The Dodgers added some depth to their infield prior to the 2012 season by signing veteran infielder Adam Kennedy. The former Cal State Northridge standout and Riverside native had bounced around the past few seasons with stops in Oakland, Washington, and Seattle.
Kennedy was brought in for his versatile glove and veteran presence. Kennedy mostly saw action as a left-handed pinch-hitter, and saw a majority of his playing time early in the season at third base filling in for the entirely ineffective Juan Uribe.
He also saw time at second when Mark Ellis went down with a leg injury. Ironically, the man who was always called upon to fill in for injured players saw his own season end early due to a strained groin suffered in a game against the Giants on Sept. 7.
The Numbers: .262, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 22 R, .345 OBP, .702 OPS, 86 games played
Kennedy was brought in as a backup, so needless to say his numbers were not that impressive. He filled in admirably whenever called upon by manager Don Mattingly.
However, Kennedy is far removed from his championship days with the Angels in 2002.
He actually did have his highest batting average since 2009 with Oakland, posting a line of .262/.345/.702, which was on par with his career line of .272/.327/.711.
Although, most of his other numbers across the board were career lows. Again, Kennedy was used primarily as a backup and did not play in nearly as many games as he had in previous seasons.
May 18 vs. Cardinals – Kennedy turned in his biggest day of the year, going 4-for-4 against one of his former clubs, including a game-tying RBI single in the 3rd inning. Kennedy also added his third double of the year and scored a run.
May 20 vs. Cardinals – It was a big series for Kennedy against the team that originally drafted him back in 1997. Kennedy went 1-for-2, smacking his only triple of the year and scoring a run in a 6-5 Dodgers victory.
July 6 vs. Diamondbacks – Kennedy went deep for his first home run of the season, and his first homer in nearly a year, connecting against Arizona starter Josh Collmenter. Despite giving the Dodgers a 2-0 lead with the homer, the Blue Crew would fall 5-3 to the Snakes.
July 22 vs. Mets – After the Dodgers watched a 3-1 lead disappear at Citi Field in New York, Adam Kennedy put the finishing touches on a five-run 12th inning with a pinch-hit two-RBI double off of Mets reliever Ramon Ramirez. This was Kennedy’s only multiple RBI game of the season and put the Dodgers ahead of the Mets 8-3 for good.
Sept. 7 vs. Giants – Kennedy went out with a bang, slugging a go-ahead solo home run off of the Giants Tim Lincecum. However, both Kennedy and the Dodgers fall, with Kennedy injuring his groin and getting shut down for the rest of the season. As for the Dodgers, they lost a 2-1 lead, and eventually the game, 5-2.
The Dodgers signed Kennedy to a 1-year/$800,000 deal prior to 2012. He is now a free agent and is unlikely to return to the Dodgers in 2013.
Although Kennedy was solid in his utility role, at this point in his career Kennedy, who turns 37 next year, doesn’t provide much pop, and the Dodgers have other options in Elian Herrera, Nick Punto, and Jerry Hairston, Jr. Even Juan Uribe appears likely to be back in 2013, so it appears the infield will be too crowded for Kennedy.
Kennedy is still a versatile infielder and a solid presence in the clubhouse, so chances are the veteran will catch on with another team in a similar role.