3. Ian Kennedy
From good closer to being a subpar setup man, Ian Kennedy has made some transitions in the past few years and one worked and the other hasn’t. With Kennedy out of the closing role, he has had a terrible season across all statistical categories. So far this season Kennedy has an ERA of 6.55 with an even worse FIP of 8.42.
To make things worse, Kennedy has given up six home runs in 11.0 innings which is beyond terrible. Adding on to this, Kennedy has also given up an average exit velo of 95.4 with a hard-hit percentage of 51.5% along with an average launch angle of 22.6 degrees.
The only thing that Kennedy has done well this season is not walking anyone and striking out batters. Kennedy’s K/BB rate is 6.50, which is really good, but it seems that is the only way for Kennedy to get outs without giving KC Royals fans heart attacks as he gives up a lot of hard-hit flyballs.
Kennedy can definitely turn his season around and help the KC Royals win some games, but he needs to get outs consistently without giving up the long ball. In his last appearance, Kennedy was used as an opener against the Minnesota Twins and went two innings without giving up a run. That game could help Kennedy get back on track this season and use his closer mentality to shut down anyone he faces down the road.
These three have not had great starts this season, but they could turn it around to help the KC Royals push for a wildcard spot no matter their roles.