St. Petersburg Times
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Schedule
The Trop
The Trop
Getting to the Trop
Best routes
Parking
Interactive
Rays forum
The art of pitching
Links
Devil Rays' official home site
Talk baseball in our Devil Rays forum



Print storySubscribe to the Times

Kennedy heading to pen

The opening day starter, still mystified by his struggles, gets pulled from the rotation after another poor start.

By MARC TOPKIN
Published August 31, 2003

OAKLAND, Calif. - Joe Kennedy doesn't know what's wrong.

But he thinks he might be trying too many things to make it right.

"That might be the problem," Kennedy said. "I might be trying to do too much instead of just going out there and pitching.

"I moved to the other side of the rubber. I tried to use more legs. I tried to get on top of the ball. Maybe a little sidearm. I guess it's just one of those years. Hopefully I can bounce back."

Any pitching Kennedy, 24, does the rest of this season likely will be from out of the bullpen. After he struggled Friday in his latest start, leading directly to the Devil Rays' 5-2 loss to Oakland, manager Lou Piniella said Kennedy would be taken out of the rotation and used in middle relief.

"Sometimes a stint in the bullpen can get you to relax a little bit," Piniella said Saturday.

The demotion caps a stunningly disappointing season for Kennedy, who was the Rays' opening day starter coming off his first full season in the major leagues but who won three times in 21 games, none since May 13.

"It's frustrating," Kennedy said. "It's been frustrating because I'm trying to do too much instead of sitting back and relaxing and just letting my arm and body do what it can do."

Kennedy, who spent six weeks on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, said he's in good shape - "Probably the best shape I've been in since I hit puberty" - and his arm feels fine.

"I'm not throwing hard like I did last year or the year before, but it doesn't hurt," Kennedy said. "I'm just not getting any velocity, which is not always a bad thing."

Pitching coach Chris Bosio said Kennedy's struggles are the result of a combination of problems.

"I think he's fighting to try to do things, and that might be the root of it all," Bosio said. "Being frustrated is expected because there have been a lot of expectations on him. Sometimes you look at a guy and say, "Is it mechanical, is it mental?' I think right now it's a little bit of everything. I think he's really pressing to try to get it done."

Kennedy's numbers for the season are brutal: a 3-11 record, a 6.60 ERA, a .310 opponents average and a whopping 207 baserunners allowed (156 hits, 42 walks, nine hit batters) in 1182/3 innings.

He insists the numbers don't tell the story.

"I think I'm pitching fine, I'm just not getting any results, not having any luck," Kennedy said. "You know how people say it's better to be lucky than good? I wish I was a little more lucky this year."

Kennedy wasn't surprised by the demotion, as Piniella has been considering it for a month or so.

"To his credit he has not given up, he has not given in, he's continuing work hard," Bosio said. "He's in one of those ruts right now that he's got to try to get himself out of."

[Last modified August 31, 2003, 01:47:13]

Today's lineup
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Other sports

Baseball
  • Agents: Ease up on Willis
  • AL: Tigers join Mets in infamy
  • Marlins lose All-Star Lowell for season
  • NL: Bonds homers in teary return
  • Yanks bats prevent a collapse

  • College football
  • A new start for Berlin
  • Composed Rix, Seminoles start season on high note
  • Fit to be Tide
  • Nation: Virginia QB Schaub injures shoulder
  • Big East: Badgers' Sorgi wins start at last
  • SEC: Ole Miss escapes with win at Vandy
  • State: Rattlers stumble in Detroit Classic
  • USC gives up little in shutout of Auburn
  • Gators find few answers
  • Lineup includes half-dozen new starters
  • UF by the numbers
  • UF game balls
  • UF has safety in numbers with Scott
  • Elbow sidelines talented tailback
  • FSU by the numbers
  • FSU game balls
  • Running back makes impact
  • ACC: UGA shakes early worries, Clemson
  • Big 12: Cornhuskers return to old ways
  • Pac-10: California turns big plays into a win
  • Big Ten: Krenzel stars in Clarett's absence
  • C-USA: Houston pounds crosstown rival
  • Nation: Air Force gives coach win against alma mater
  • Banks looks sharp in defeat
  • Bulls junior shows off his versatility
  • USF by the numbers
  • USF game balls

  • Fantasy
  • Injured but irresistible: Vick the big mystery

  • Golf
  • Ahern capitalizes as Watson laments

  • Gotta minute?
  • Mark Malaska

  • In brief
  • Positive test could force sprinter White to forfeit medals

  • Motorsports
  • NASCAR's future lacks strong Southern accent
  • Teenager takes Busch win
  • Yarborough won't give Gordon his due

  • NBA
  • U.S. team earns spot in Athens

  • NFL
  • Injuries expose preseason waste
  • USF's Blackwell among 10 cut by Jets

  • NHL
  • Surgery threatens to end Bure's career

  • Opinion
  • Rant, Rave

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report
  • Tarpon tumult keeps building

  • Preps
  • IRC cruises past All Saints'

  • Running
  • Red Mule win a feat on road to U.S. trials

  • Tennis
  • Nerves starting to fray at U.S. Open
  • Letters: Your Turn
  • Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
     


     Devil Rays Forums
    From The Wire
  • Players, teams start rush to settle in arbitration
  • AP source: Yankees sign free agent RHP Kuroda
  • AP source: Pineda, Montero in Yanks-Mariners swap
  • Resop, Pirates agree to a one-year deal
  • Zambrano says he's happy with trade to Marlins
  • Report: UK police officer loses Olympics documents
  • Jayhawks send Baylor to first loss of season
  • No. 1 Syracuse at 20-0 after 71-63 win over Pitt
  • Fisher's late 3 pushes Lakers past Mavericks 73-70
  • Westbrook's 3s lead Thunder past Celtics 97-88
  • Djokovic, Williams into Australian Open 2nd round
  • Tebow has earned starting status in 2012
  • Filly Havre de Grace wins Horse of the Year
  • Crosby to meet with specialist as symptoms linger
  • AP Top 25: Syracuse stays on top for 6th week