Kennedy's transition to 'pen impresses Moore

GM says Royals open to veteran right-hander rejoining rotation

April 20th, 2019

NEW YORK -- Royals general manager Dayton Moore has been impressed by how right-hander has adapted to working out of the bullpen.

Entering Saturday's action against the Yankees, Kennedy had allowed one earned run in 10 2/3 innings (0.84 ERA) with 13 strikeouts. Not bad considering that he has spent most of his career as a starter. Kennedy is considered a pitcher who can give the Royals at least two innings and pitch on back-to-back days.

The Royals approached Kennedy about becoming a reliever this winter after the bullpen struggled mightily last year. Kansas City was looking for veteran guys who could pitch in the later innings and were poised in high-leverage situations. Kennedy was someone the team thought of.

Moore did not rule out Kennedy going back into the starting rotation in the near future.

"When we approached him this winter about possibly being in this role, we asked to be open-minded to pitching late, pitching in the middle, however we could possibly use him," Moore said. "He has been really good. He is attacking the zone, competes well, holds runners, fields his position. He has done a lot of things to put himself in a position to be successful in this role."

Tidbits from the GM
• Moore has seen positives from the Royals even though they entered Saturday with a 7-13 record. He said the organization has been pleased with the team's offense and abilities on defense, and that the starting rotation has given the Royals a chance to win on most nights. Moore acknowledged that the bullpen has been shaky. The bullpen's ERA was 5.95 entering Saturday.

"The first 10 days, the bullpen -- the later innings -- have been a work in progress," Moore said. "We feel we have enough talent in our bullpen to match up effectively. We just need to look for more consistency. I think we will get it."

• Left-hander (left shoulder impingement) is expected to throw about 90 pitches for Double-A Northwest Arkansas on Saturday. If things go well, the Royals could bring him back to the big league rotation, according to Moore.

"We are going to be open-minded. We'll see how he does," Moore said.