Yankees option struggling starter Kennedy to minors

Updated: August 11, 2008, 9:09 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The New York Yankees sent starting pitcher Ian Kennedy to Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre on Sunday and recalled reliever Billy Traber from their International League club to bolster an overworked bullpen.

Kennedy is 0-4 with an 8.17 ERA in 10 appearances, including nine starts. The right-hander retired only six of the 16 batters he faced in Friday night's 10-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels, giving up five runs and nine hits in two-plus innings. This was his third stint with the club this season. He was recalled from Scranton on Thursday when right-hander Joba Chamberlain went on the disabled list with tendinitis in his rotator cuff.

On Sunday, Kennedy apologized for his seeming nonchalant attitude to his disappointing start on Friday.

"It came out wrong. I was very disappointed with myself. I always want to do well," Kennedy told reporters, according to the New York Post. "I had seven innings to think about it. I hate losing but I wasn't going to let it ruin what I had done recently [at Triple-A]."

Traber, who was on the Yankees' opening day roster, had no record and a 6.00 ERA in his previous three stints with them this season, including 16 relief appearances. The left-hander last pitched for New York on July 11 at Toronto and was optioned to Triple-A when the club signed free agent first baseman Richie Sexson.

Hideki Matsui, who went on the 15-day disabled list June 27 because of an injured left knee, could start playing in minor league games in the next few days. He had another positive workout on Sunday in Tampa, Fla., increasing the intensity in both his running program and batting practice.

Matsui, who hit .323 with seven homers and 34 RBIs in 69 games, shut down a rehab program last month after experiencing swelling in the knee after two days of batting practice. He decided not to have surgery on the knee in an effort to rejoin the Yankees this season.

"It was a good day," Matsui said through a translator. "As long as we keep progressing this way, I think I'll be able to play in a game soon."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.