Kawakami seems resigned to bullpen move

Despite being spotted a 4-0 lead against the Royals, Kenshin Kawakami lasted a career-low two innings Sunday and seemed resigned to the fact that his days in the Braves’ rotation appear to be numbered.

Manager Bobby Cox said after the game that Kawakami would make one more scheduled start before a decision is made on who will move to the bullpen when Jair Jurrjens returns, Kawakami or Kris Medlen.

While Medlen seems only to be picking up momentum as a starter, the Braves have won his last five starts, Kawakami can’t seem to find a way to win. He held at 0-9 Sunday with a 4.78 ERA after throwing only 36 pitches.

“Being a starter, I’m not really doing my job right now, so I’m ready for anything that is coming,” Kawakami said through his interpreter. “The team is playing well so whatever role I’m given I’ll try to do my best.”

A lack of run support and tough pitching match-ups have plagued Kawakami this season, but on Sunday he had neither. He was spotted a four-run lead against former Brave Kyle Davies, he of the 6.15 ERA and seven walks on Sunday.

Despite a perfect first inning, Kawakami gave up six hits and five runs. One run was unearned, but that was because of his own fielding error.

Kawakami threw 25 of his 36 pitches for strikes but they were hittable.

“I was trying to hit the spots and they were still getting hit, which means they’re reading me or I’m not having enough zip to my ball right now,” Kawakami said.

Kawakami lost the only game on this home stand to the Rays’ David Price to become the first starter in Braves franchise history to start a season 0-9. When asked if he was losing confidence after his outing Sunday, Kawakami said: “No, it’s my mechanics. I’m just not getting into a good groove.”

88 comments Add your comment

eskippy

June 20th, 2010
7:45 pm

jason

June 20th, 2010
7:51 pm

I am only hoping KK is traded or released. Maybe the ‘ol change of scenery will help. His days as a Brave are numbered. I was sure he would get a win today to get off the snide. I was hoping,but you just can’t have a game like today and think you will be pitching for a contender. I like KK and and was pulling for him, but it is time to come to reality. His signing was a bust.

Billy Jack could whip Chuck Norris

June 20th, 2010
7:51 pm

classy comment from KK….I feel bad for him…sometimes he looks good..??? he’s an enigma…but apparently a “team guy”…that’s a good thing…right..??

jesse james

June 20th, 2010
7:56 pm

Their is no doubt he has major league stuff. He could be very effective in the pen because he throws strikes.

Jay

June 20th, 2010
7:58 pm

Would the Braves get involved in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes and throw in KK to Seattle, where there’s a large Japanese-American population, and he’d be teamed with Ichiro? In a scenario where we really don’t need pitching (but wouldn’t a great LH be nice with the Phils sure not to go away), maybe the Braves are unwilling to part with anyone of value to get Lee on a rental?

Boatdoc

June 20th, 2010
7:59 pm

Since we were talking about this very question before the weekend on this very site it is reassuring to hear that Bobby has noticed that Medlen has been Maddux-like for his time in the rotation. Kawakami has been the very definition of a “hard-luck” pitcher, but given a chance to prove his place as a starter, he didn’t come through.

Any guesses on how long Chipper will stay hot as a firecracker? I’ll guess “until a week before the All-Star Break”.

JohnSmith

June 20th, 2010
7:59 pm

I want to root for the guy…but not as a starter with the Braves. As a long reliever or as a Gwinnett starter, perhaps. Time to call a spade a spade; this signing wasn’t one of Wren’s best. However, since the guy’s pretty much untradable, and since so much $ has been spent on him regardless, why not let him try to get his act together in a different capacity?

Jay

June 20th, 2010
8:01 pm

Trade him to Seattle in a package for Cliff Lee.

Change Turner Field to Aaron Stadium

June 20th, 2010
8:03 pm

Kawakami is a stand up guy, but he just doesn’t have it right now. I don’t know if the bullpen is the answer, but he truly needs some time to work on his mechanics.

jesse james

June 20th, 2010
8:05 pm

With Chipper, it is amazing what alittle competition will do for motivating a player. Chipper is motivated. Thank you Infante!

WilliamG

June 20th, 2010
8:12 pm

I do admire his attitude. That doesn’t mean he should be starting. But it does mean I very much hope that he figures things out. He honestly isn’t bad (and he has had a few moments of real greatness, especially when facing the best pitchers in baseball). I am not sure he’ll be very good out of the bullpen but I don’t know what other options the Braves would have.

JTH

June 20th, 2010
8:14 pm

UGH! All that wasted money for KK.

chop33

June 20th, 2010
8:26 pm

KK hasn’t been that bad… he was bad today, definitely, but he hasn’t been the problem most of the games he has lost… it’s been the brave’s offense.

ABravesFan

June 20th, 2010
8:41 pm

The people who are calling the release of KK are just being dumb. KK will have solid value in the bullpen. He has 7 relief appearances last year and was pretty solid. With the tough luck earlier in the season, he may just have lost some confidence, not to mention control.

When Chris Resop is eligible to come off the DL, I wouldn’t be surprised if KK attributes some problem to an “injury” and gets some rest + rehap assignment in the minors.

Techman

June 20th, 2010
8:50 pm

For those of you that want him gone, remind me again why Lowe is a much more viable option.

Unknown Hinson

June 20th, 2010
8:57 pm

Techman, if you watch closely where the catchers glove is in relation to where he locates, it is always off. Has been most of the year. With that said, D.Lowe is not much better but I definitely think he has more experience and would be more valuable in a playoff run. But Lowe is our #4 starter lets face it.

Michael D

June 20th, 2010
8:58 pm

I would put Kawakami in the bullpen, and only bring him into a game if the Braves are behind. That way he can’t loose. If they happen to take the lead during that time I would remove him immediately, so he can’t loose the lead. In other words he should be at the back end of the bullpen.

Rich Clary

June 20th, 2010
9:01 pm

Kris Medlin is the obvious choice. Kenshin may help in the pen, but let’s shore up the staff before the deadline. We are so close to that storybook season. And the Mets are likely to add a pitcher, plus the Phils are going to be stronger as the year goes on. Let’s win this thing. The cement is in place…

Ward Pearson

June 20th, 2010
9:07 pm

K.K. to bullpen…Medlen is a stud….J.J. # 5 until he is in the groove…McClouth and Chick-Fil-A gift certificates to K.C. for Farnsworth….still can throw…

Dan J.

June 20th, 2010
9:08 pm

Only problem with moving KK to the bullpen is that he’s struggled in the first inning for much of the year. That’s not what you want coming out of the bullpen.

kkdud

June 20th, 2010
9:20 pm

KK off the team — eat his salary. He’s costing much more by being an automatic zero spot on our rotation. For those in his defense–I don’t know what you are watching. He looks like he’s pitching batting practice. The ball typically is about thigh high over the center of the plate. The sooner he’s gone the better.

bulldog bubba

June 20th, 2010
9:25 pm

If he can throw strikes then think Mike Remlinger.He could pitch long relief.Remlinger was an ace at long reliever back in the day.He had 10 wins one year in relief.Unless we can trade him the bullpen is the best place to get his groove back.GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!!!!!

Geezer

June 20th, 2010
9:31 pm

Really do not want to see him coming out of the bullpen when the opposing team might have a couple of runs lead on us…..Not sure he could withstand the pressure that that creates…..he does not need any more pressure other than being 0-9…..a great guy, a real team guy….but he does not need that extra pressure….

MattC

June 20th, 2010
9:33 pm

Very Classy comment’s on kk’s part but Medlen deserve;s the spot kk need’s to be moved to the pen

Geezer

June 20th, 2010
9:34 pm

i z[[fd igzgd his moxie and stand up attitude…..but don’t put any more pressure on him to win than he is already facing…..could be considered cruel and unsuaual punishment…..and would not blame him for turning tail and running…..

Geezer

June 20th, 2010
9:35 pm

Here is hoping he gets a win really soon and gets that monkey off his back…..

Geezer

June 20th, 2010
9:48 pm

Geezer

June 20th, 2010
9:35 pm
Here is hoping he gets a win really soon and gets that monkey off his back…..

Geezer

June 20th, 2010
9:49 pm

Enter your comments here

Stat Man

June 20th, 2010
10:03 pm

Kawakami – 4.78 ERA; Record: 0-9
Lowe – 4.77 ERA; Record: 9-5

Go figure.

doubled

June 20th, 2010
10:27 pm

Trade KK for Vazsquez.Both appear to need different scenery.

Don

June 20th, 2010
10:42 pm

NO BODY will Take KK in a trade unless the Braves eat most of his salary. But there will be nothing in return for him and to think so is not too bright. Our junk is not someone else’s treasure and everyone has scouts.

hAL

June 20th, 2010
10:49 pm

was just on a yankee blog one guy lists the vasquez trade as the worst in a legacy of bad brian cashman trades lol this is how he “STIFFED” FRANK I GUESS

Aaron T.

June 20th, 2010
10:50 pm

KK originally signed a 3-year deal worth $23 million and is the 4th highest paid player on the Atlanta Braves Roster with a $7,333,667 contract hit for 2010. I hate to say it, but he will end up weakening our bullpen with another pitcher being demoted. As long as he pitches the games that are blowouts in long relief I am not going to complain to much. The guy just hasn’t been able to get it done. He is helping slumping players get their confidence back on an inning by inning basis.

For what it’s worth, Martin Prado has a $440,000 salary this season.

Braves Fan Since "80

June 20th, 2010
11:26 pm

KK do the chipper, negotiate your departure…..We need to write this guy off While i am no Resop fan…he would be a better than KK

bg3003

June 20th, 2010
11:28 pm

kk disapointed me today i went in today thinking he could get it done and he went and got taken out in the 3rd inning.

I hear banjos and the pigs are nervous

June 20th, 2010
11:35 pm

While it would make many of us happy, Kawakami will not be released this season or next by the Braves. They would have to eat his contract and he has not pitched that poorly to merit an outright release.

Keep in mind the investment the Braves have made in being perceived as a friendly landing spot for Japanese players for now and the future. Kawakami’s presence had to have a positive influence on Saito signing and it may help others.

Bobby made it pretty clear that no action will be taken until JJ is ready to rejoin the rotation. Better to wait and see.

Jo-Bu

June 20th, 2010
11:37 pm

I think there was a serious disconnect with the recruitment of KK. Did you all know that the Braves were never able to see him pitch a single game over in Japan? Not one. As I understand it, the scouts would show up to the games but because they apparetnly do not announce starting pitchers over in Japan, they never ever saw the guy.

I hope that never happens again and I hope the scout or scouts responsible (if there were any) were terminated. He was a huge risk and the gamble has not paid off in terms of wins. Not that he is a horrible pitcher or doesn’t have MLB stuff but he was a huge risk as an unknown quantity.

This is sad to see. Today KK had the oppourtunity to change the minds of the nay-sayers but unfortunately, he just couldn’t get it done. An enigma for sure — as any reasonable person would think that given 4 runs to work with after having hardly any run support at all, one would really think he could hold a four-run lead.

Problem with putting KK in the pen is, we all know that he has to ease-in to a ball game. Last season didn’t really work so well with him in the pen a-la, exactly what happened today in the second inning. You just can’t put a guy in there in the seventh inning with three runs or less and expect him to earn a hold.

Like it or not, the Braves are stuck with KK but I don’t care what the money situation is, if he is going to cost you games, you gotta send him down to GWT for the betterment of the team and the organization. Who knows, maybe he can find something down there whilst helping out the G-Braves in the process.

It’s also worth noting too, that KK was a known name over in Japan but he was certainly NOT a Pedro Martinez nor a Roy Halladay.

Techman

June 20th, 2010
11:39 pm

wow, so he got hammered today and his ERA is .01 above Lowe. I would leave him in the rotation and move Lowe.

KK is still a viable 4 or 5 starter.

rico43

June 21st, 2010
12:39 am

A viable starter for the Royals, maybe. The bullpen would be a break and he could be a serviceable long man. One thing — his velocity seemed down today. That’s gotta change or he needs to go onto the DL with the same phantom injury Resop has.

NO MORE BOBBY

June 21st, 2010
2:05 am

“Being a starter, I’m not really doing my job right now, so I’m ready for anything that is coming,” Kawakami said through his interpreter. “The team is playing well so whatever role I’m given I’ll try to do my best.”

TRANSLATION – Please don’t kick me off American baseball team!!

Bob in SF

June 21st, 2010
2:37 am

Lets start all the stoopid comments like “Let’s trade KK and a used rosin bag for Cliff Lee or Adrian Gonzalez.” or “Lets throw in Chavez with KK and get Pujols from St. Louis and move him to third!” Pull your heads out people. No one will take KK and his contract unless the Braves include a Freeman or Medlen and other prospects to sweeten the pot. His contract is an albatross, the only thing you’re getting for him in trade is another teams’ expensive unproductive problem player, guys like Milton Bradley, Gil Meche or Kosuke Fukudome, another Japanese bust.

santa3247

June 21st, 2010
4:14 am

BP isn’t problem. The pressure of petrolium rose by exploding heat of magma, which is eating mentle by collapsing equilibrium between magma & mentle, why? geomagnetic-field disappearing extremely by resonance schumann wave.

As a result of that, the energy per unit square measure exploding, what kind of energy? sun & monn & magma.

If you don’t move toward babylon emphire, earth’s self-spin must stop soon just like mooon.

May the force of Hera be with you

nucleophile

June 21st, 2010
4:53 am

I think Dr. Lowe should be the one who gets relegated to the bullpen. He is a $15 million a year mistake for the Braves. At least, it will give Derek more time to write posts for his “In the Pipeline” blog.

turkeycaller

June 21st, 2010
7:24 am

KK has never shown indications of being a dominant type pitcher capable of giving you 7 innings of pro caliber ball. The opposing teams have had a chance to scout and learn him so he is not the suprise he was last year. Don’t really know what can be done with him but I certainly wouldn’t continue starting him with the team fighting for contention and with an obvious better pitcher, Medlen, getting more reliable and confident with each outing. I think the Braves mgt. knows and have know this was the case for a while but have the mindset that any fruitful outings make him easier to deal. They will lose on him just as practically every team in baseball loses on players each season.

Braves are a Team, not one player.

June 21st, 2010
8:10 am

If the braves move Medlen to the pen, then they need all new management. Leaving KK as a starter is nothing short of nuts. Medlen 5-0 vs Kk 0-10. Give me a break.

Tami

June 21st, 2010
8:24 am

I think it’s a combo of his mechanics and his mental state. The error he made yesterday looked mostly from a lack of trying. In fact, he probably shouldn’t have even tried to field that grounder at all. He doesn’t seem to be in the game when he’s…IN the game. Which started first, I wonder — the mechanics problems or the mental issues? Only KK can answer that one. I’m not sure I even want him on the hill for middle relief at this point. The imminent rotation in just another week: (1) Hudson (2) Hanson (3) Lowe (4) Jurrjens (5) Medlen. Now, that my fellow fans is an awesome rotation. Just think how much scary good the Braves will be then! LOVE it!!!

I Hate Liberty Media

June 21st, 2010
8:36 am

vermont 39

June 21st, 2010
8:46 am

stop making excuses for KK….he needs to stop going out there every 5th day…where would we be if he was just a .400 pitcher…6 games up???

It’s time!!!!!

varoadrunner

June 21st, 2010
9:08 am

Actually, if I remember correctly, he did OK in the pen last year. I don’t think he would bring much in return in a trade. Let’s hope JJJ comes back strong and KK is a marvel in the bullpen.

Jonathan

June 21st, 2010
9:40 am

ERA aside, Lowe still gets wins. I know stat heads can’t fathom why it happens, but i certainly don’t see any reason to stick him in the bullpen

ThePriceisWrongBitch

June 21st, 2010
10:04 am

“We are not making any decisions right now, He’s got another start to go before we have to do something. … For the first time since he’s been with us, he just didn’t have it.” – BOBBY COX

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA “For the first time since he’s been with us, he just didn’t have it” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Really?

I know the guy lacks run support at times, but COME ON MAN!

Bob from Marietta

June 21st, 2010
10:38 am

KK would be great as a pitcher for the All Star Home Run Derby contest. Send him to Richmond. He can’t hurt us there, since we moved to Gwinnett. The guy may be a good pitcher for batting practice but not a pitcher at this level. Bobby has given him every chance. How long would another contender stick with a guy 0-9.

BraveMan

June 21st, 2010
10:54 am

KK seems like a good team-oriented player, but his pitching is just not major league caliber. The starters should be: Hudson, Hanson, Lowe, Medlen, and Jurrgens (when he’s ready). Too bad the Braves signed KK for so much money ($23 million over three years), no other team will take him off their hands.

bravos

June 21st, 2010
11:02 am

KK- run support on avg of 3 + 4.77 ERA+ bad pitching mechanics= 0-9! I don’t know how he even became the 5th starter in the first place? Braves are wheelin’ and dealin right now but the only thing im concerned about is how well KK well be in the bullpen. If he goes 0-9 as a starter he will probably lose 3-4 games as a reliever because his pitching mechanics are really bad. He throws a 80 mph fastball! Thats not gonna get it done whether he’s a starter or a reliever.

Bob Horner's Blonde Mullet

June 21st, 2010
11:10 am

We will need a long reliever at some point during the season I guess. Sorry K2, just be ready to contribute when your number is called.

Medlen, here’s your shot kid. Let’s go braves!

aswingruber

June 21st, 2010
11:21 am

Kawakami ERA – 4.78, D Lowe ERA – 4.77… Kawakami BBs – 25, D Lowe BBs – 37… Kawakami KKs – 51, D Lowe KKs – 51… Kawakami WHIP – 1.46, D Lowe WHIP – 1.42 ……….. Lowe isn’t any better Kawakami other than the fact the Braves score runs for him which is in no way indicative of pitching performance. If Lowe had been plagued with the same low run support and taken on as many aces as KK this season, he’d have the same record. They’re both just mediocre starters but if there’s a spot for Lowe then there should be one for KK in bullpen. He’s shown he has major league stuff and could be perform well in shorter appearances as he did at the end of last season. Gotta show support, especially for a guy as classy as KK.

Chief pitchanono

June 21st, 2010
11:22 am

Yes, i think KK will be perfectly fine in a long relief role and maybe he can get a chance to work on some of his stuff down in the pen. Expensive reliever-Yes, but if we can’t trade him, which I doubt – what choice do we have. I kinda wonder too if we may see Resop gettinga few starts when he comes back to showcase him for a trade. I think this is a good possibility since the Braves really want to increase his value. Of course obviously he has to perform, I think this is sink or swim for him at the major league level.

Chip Caray's Eyebrows

June 21st, 2010
11:30 am

People making excuses for him struggling in relief, blah blah blah, are missing the point. Long relief does not really affect games. Its about eating innings. He would do that.

Chi-Town Braves

June 21st, 2010
11:46 am

I honestly cant wait till we move this KK to the pen, he is terrible, and is officially the only “cancer” on our team. I almost spit up the water I was drinking when I read in this article that there is even a debate of some sort between Medlin who is 5-1 and KK. Please tell me that was an oversight! Clearly, KK was an overrated Japanese ball player who should have never made it across the big pond, send him back for sushi!

UNCBrave

June 21st, 2010
11:56 am

Kawakami needs to be traded in a salary DUMP…I don’t care if we get squat for him…

And, for those saying KK to the bullpen, you can’t have someone making $7.3 million as a middle reliever…THAT’s INSANE…

TRADE HIM!!!!

ThePriceisWrongBitch

June 21st, 2010
12:24 pm

“Long relief does not really affect games. Its about eating innings.”

Really? I needed a good laugh man!!!

BUBBA GUMP

June 21st, 2010
12:24 pm

Kawakami has had PLENTY of chances to earn his keep…………………..It’s a business………Pack your bags or start winning. Everybody is sick of excuses from Kawakami

bigstack19

June 21st, 2010
12:36 pm

Get Leo Mazzone to work with him. He made John Burkett an All-Star and fixed Jaret Wright so he could earn a giant contract just to suck for the Yankees. Plus I think Jorge Sosa won like 13 games or something like that under Leo.

Mike S

June 21st, 2010
1:14 pm

The big difference between Lowe and KK is Lowe is a winner and KK isn’t. Lowe wins games 8-6 ,KK loses them 6-8. Lowe has won games this year 2-1. KK would have lost 1-2. Give Lowe those 4 runs yestrerday and he would have won 4-3.

Mark Biles

June 21st, 2010
1:31 pm

How about trading KK for a promising minor leaguer and may be we can split the costs with the team we trade him to. As other bloggers stated, KK needs a change of scenery in the worst way.

Vanakatherock

June 21st, 2010
1:45 pm

I’d like to see either Glavine, Smoltz, and/or Maddux give him some pointers. Evaluate him like you would during spring training and give him some good tips. See if he’s doing something that makes his pitches obvious to what it’s going to be. Heck, Tim Hudson could possibly give him a few pointers as well.

BravesFanLostInOhio

June 21st, 2010
2:03 pm

I’d like to see either Glavine, Smoltz, and/or Maddux give him some pointers.

Maddux works in the Cubs’ front office. I don’t think he is going to be handing out pointers to Braves’ pitchers any time soon.

pcb mike

June 21st, 2010
3:04 pm

UNC Brave – what you said.

tom varacalli

June 21st, 2010
3:24 pm

the main and disturbing problem with KK is he has been hit consistently since he joined the Braves. and being hit by guys that were seeing him for the first time. his supposedly vaunted change up has been non existent. I don’t think he would fare well in the bullpen either. At this stage of his career he is obviously past his prime.

Brandon

June 21st, 2010
4:55 pm

Okay, the difference between derek lowe and kawakami is that derek lowe pitches more innings, gets more groundouts, and just has better overall mechanics. most of lowe’s bad starts came at the beginning of the year and if you look at his recent performance, it has been really good. kawakami doesn’t usually get past the 6th inning. if he pitched later into games, there is a good chance that he could get some wins. i know he has lack of run support at times, but when he does get run support, he blows that too. kawakami’s mechanics are bad and im sure he’s having mental issues now. hasn’t he made 3 errors himself in his last two games? i think we need to trade kawakami. it’ll probably be better for him and the team

ronaldh

June 21st, 2010
6:06 pm

There is absolutely no reason for KK to be in the rotation. Let me repeat that in case you did not read it. There is absolutely no reason for KK to be in the rotation. Is there really a “decision” to make? Who, in their right mind, thinks that he ought to be in the rotation and Medlin ought to be sent to the pen? In fact, I’ll take it one step further. There is absolutely no reason for KK to be on this pitching staff. Does that mean I have anything against him as a human being? No, so don’t even go there. Does that mean he does not have a good attitude? No. I do not question his attitude. If you check his ERA before yesterday you will see my point.

is30303

June 21st, 2010
6:27 pm

Enter your comments here

is30303

June 21st, 2010
6:29 pm

KK is a decent pitcher with a ton of bad luck – reasonably intelligent fans all know this – most of his stats indicate he is a much better pitcher than his wins and loses, much like Grienke, Millwood, etc.

The way this guy does not blame his lack of success to anything but himself – 100% accountability – is admirable. He still needs to go to the pen or AAA – this weekend shows its in his head.

is30303

June 21st, 2010
6:31 pm

Its not like Braves don’t have better options (Medlin and JJ are both better than KK).

No reason to further the damage.

jed

June 21st, 2010
8:26 pm

kk’s problem is inconsistency. you never know if you’re gonna get the guy who completely shuts teams down or the guy we got sunday. i’d definitely keep medlen in the rotation, as he’s turning into one heck of a pitcher. we’ll see how kk does out of the pen, but if memory serves, he wasnt that good in the pen last year. maybe use him in long relief, and if you have an injury in the rotation, plug him back in. in the meantime, mcdowell should be working with him on mechanics, or whatever it is that’s causing the inconsistency.

SCBravesFan

June 21st, 2010
8:36 pm

He’s untradable because of his salary and the Braves aren’t going to eat it…

Move him to the pen as the long guy or the blow-out guy…

hAL

June 21st, 2010
9:58 pm

hell if you trade hin m to seatle ask for icero if your dreaming dream big lol

blair cook

June 21st, 2010
11:14 pm

Realize you made a mistake like the Dodgers did with Andruw Jones and say BYE BYE. We will pay you your few million deferred over the next 4 years…..that is if you cannot trade him and pay whatever you have to.

DaveInDallas(NC)

June 22nd, 2010
9:18 am

I feel bad for KK. Looked last year that he may make strides and be a solid contributor to the rotation. He said that either he’s tipping his pitches or he doesn’t have the velocity right now. I see both. Maybe something is wrong with his arm. He just doesn’t seem to have any zip on his fastball though he has never had a dominating fastball.

On a separate front, I heard Tim Kurkjian on HYPE (ESPN) say that folks had to start considering Troy Glaus for MVP. It’s still early for that but the thump that he has added to the lineup has definitely put the Braves where they are now…first place.

. Don

June 22nd, 2010
9:19 am

Is it true that on all the teams in the entire Braves minor leage system – that there are ONLY THREE players hitting above .300?

heartofdarkness

June 22nd, 2010
9:39 am

Could any of the pitching coaches on this blog tell me what is wrong with KK’s mechanics? Bad luck isn’t mechanical. It seems that when he throws over the plate, he gets hit hard and often. His movement on the pitch isn’t the sharpest and isn’t late. Last year, he commented on the difficulty of pitching with the major league ball (tighter seams).

dag

June 22nd, 2010
10:24 am

we are getting the same bang for the buck as we did with mike hampton

BUBBA GUMP

June 22nd, 2010
12:50 pm

I agree with dag. I say put this Kawakami on the DL until he gets his brain in gear. lol

Terrell

June 22nd, 2010
3:03 pm

It’s funny how people act here. Chipper has been struggling for the past 4 or 5 seasons with injuries and with the exception of nearly batting .400 a couple of seasons ago he is still on the decline. Yet we are paying him $16 Million to basically be a role player, but you all say stick with him and he is very very slowly showing a fraction of what we are paying him, but a lot of KK’s starts have been with lack of run support. How is it that Lowe has a higher ERA but better record? It’s not all KK. I hope he does redeem himself with us whether it’s as a starter or in the bullpen. If we can make exemptions for Larry Jones and those like him then we should afford that to other players.

tom

June 22nd, 2010
3:30 pm

i don’t here much about getting derek lowe out of the rotation, who’s stats are virtually interchangeable with kk’s accept that win loss record. oh and run support that helps too.

Kody

June 22nd, 2010
3:30 pm

Just put Kawakami in long relief once Jurrjens is Healthy to take over

Smedley McCool

June 22nd, 2010
3:35 pm

Farnswotrh as already bailed on us once. We don’t need him back.

tom

June 22nd, 2010
5:05 pm

n his first four starts (in which KK went 0-4) he faced Tim Lincecum, Ubaldo Jimenez (who threw a no-hitter that night), Hisanori Takahashi, and Jaime Garcia.

Of those four pitchers, Takahashi has the worst ERA at 3.13. A 3.13 ERA could make someone an ace (or at least a quality number one starter).

In May, the opponents got a little easier for KK. He lost to Livan Hernandez (2.94 ERA, which makes him a top pitcher this year even if we all know he isn’t), Cole Hamels (the first non-ace Kawakami faced, although Hamels is a solid second starter), and Anibal Sanchez (3.22 ERA, good for the top spot on most teams).

His three no decisions in May came against the likes of Ian Kennedy (3.57 ERA), Aaron Harang (5.44) and Paul Maholm (3.77). Harang is the only back of the rotation pitcher out of that bunch.

In his first three June starts, Kenshin, a number five starter himself, faced Clayton Kershaw (2.96), Ian Kennedy (again), and David Price (2.31).

So all in all, through his first 13 starts of 2010, Kawakami faced exactly one pitcher (Aaron Harang) with an ERA over 3.80. While KK is pitching out of the fifth rotation spot, he clearly isn’t facing other teams’ worst starters.

The great ERAs show the guys Kawakami has faced this year are shutting down just about everyone, not just the Braves. While the lack of run support KK gets is disturbingly low, it’s not all that unexpected when you see who he is pitching against.

In short, the small run support Kenshin Kawakami is getting isn’t just bad luck, but bad matchups as well.

Add your comment