Kennedy joins Padres, prepares to face Yankees
Ian Kennedy joined the San Diego Padres on Friday and began preparing to face his original team, the New York Yankees.
Kennedy was obtained by the Padres from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday. The Padres were off Thursday and opened a three-game series against the Yankees on Friday night.
Kennedy's first start with the Padres will be Sunday against the Yankees, who took him in the first round of the 2006 amateur draft. The right-hander was traded from the Yankees to the Diamondbacks in December 2009.
Kennedy has been reunited with Josh Byrnes, the Padres' general manager who once held the same job with Arizona, and A.J. Hinch, a former manager of the Diamondbacks who is San Diego's assistant GM.
''I missed them my first time after I got traded. I missed them again this year as a Diamondback,'' Kennedy said. ''And yeah, it's kind of ironic. I talked to A.J. and I talked to Josh about it and it's kind of come a little full circle as it's going. I just saw some guys I've played with in the minor leagues so it's fun to see some familiar faces.''
Byrnes has twice traded for Kennedy, including when he held the same job with the Diamondbacks.
''So at least someone likes me,'' Kennedy said.
''He will acclimate himself quickly,'' manager Bud Black said. ''He'll get up to speed as quick as possible. He's a bright guy. He'll catch up.
Kennedy is 49-38 with a 3.99 ERA in 133 major league games, all but two as a starter. He was Arizona's opening day pitcher the past two seasons but is 0-5 in his last 10 starts, a period that included a 10-game suspension for his role in the incident that led to a bench-clearing brawl against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 11. The brawl erupted after Kennedy hit Zack Greinke with a high pitch after doing the same to Yasiel Puig earlier in the game.
Black said Kennedy is ''a strike thrower who has that presence to him that gives the ballclub a good feeling every night he pitches. I think our players will come to expect that we're going to win those games. Those are my expectations for all our starters. When that guy takes the mound we expect to win. He brings that type of talent.''