Ian Kennedy struck out four and walked none through four strong innings this afternoon in Arizona. He allowed a double to the first batter he faced but allowed just one other base runner. He struck out four of the last six batters he faced.
He wasn’t the only Yankee getting off to a strong start in the Arizona Fall League opener.
Brandon Laird was 4-for-6 with three RBI, Colin Curtis was 3-for-6 with two RBI and Austin Romine was 1-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored. Big right-handed reliever Grant Duff pitched a scoreless ninth while Zach Kroenke pitched one inning of relief and allowed a run on a two-out RBI single.
To answer a few questions from the comments of the previous post…
— Duff came to Triple-A at the very end of the year. I remember him in the upper-90s, but I checked with Mike Ashmore just to be sure he saw the same thing in Trenton: “He’d start at 93-94,” Ashmore said. “And start hitting around 96-97 towards the end of the inning or second inning.”
— When I talked to Austin Jackson at the end of the playoffs, he was planning to take the winter off (he had 500 at-bats in the regular season). I was impressed with him. Much better than I expected.
— Jesus Montero is expected to play in Venezuela this winter. He’s listed on the roster and Mark Newman, the top guy in the Yankees minor league office, has said Montero will play barring any sort of setback with his finger injury.