Skin Blues wrote:To expect Kennedy to outperform his peripherals that significantly again is setting yourself up for disappointment.
I agree with the premise of this, but there are always exceptions to the rule.
Kennedy has actually outperformed his peripherals (by a good margin) for 2 straight years now. More so in 2010 than in 2011. His BABIP in 2010 was insanely lucky at .256 and went up to .270 in 2011. Yet his FIP, xFIP, and WAR all dramatically improved in 2011 from 2010. So while he may be getting lucky as far as ERA goes, you cannot deny that his peripherals are improving and have been since his injury in 2009.
When I look at him, I see improvements in all aspects- K/9, BB/9, GB%, small increases in his FB velocity, and the introduction of a good cutter. Sure, his HR/FB is going to rise pitching in Arizona, but if he can keep the ball on the ground, he still stands to be a pretty good.
I guess what I am wondering (which no one has answered so far) is will Kennedy repeat 2011 or regress somewhat in ERA? Throw out the record of course. And unless something disastrous happens, his K/9 and BB/9 should be the same (maybe better).
Javier Vazquez had a terrible strand rate for years, whereas Dice-K had an insanely good strand rate. So there are exceptions to the rule.
Could Kennedy be one of these exceptions to the rule, where he always outperforms his peripherals?