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Ian Kennedy leaves start with hamstring injury

The Royals insist he departed as a precautionary measure

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Kennedy left his final spring training start against the Rangers early with a tight left hamstring. According to the Star's Rustin Dodd, Kennedy exited with trainer Nick Kenney after warming up before the fourth inning. The Royals insisted the move was a precautionary measure.

Kennedy injured the hamstring in his first start last season, placing him on the disabled list. According to 610 KCSP's Josh Vernier, Kennedy claimed at FanFest that his hamstring did not feel right until mid-season last year. Kennedy had a 6.48 ERA in his first ten starts for the Padres last season, but a 3.35 ERA in his 20 starts to close the season.

Kennedy is scheduled to start the second game of the season against the Mets on Tuesday afternoon, but this hamstring injury may put that in jeopardy. Because of all the off-days in the first week, the Royals could skip Kennedy's turn in the rotation without having to make a roster move to allow him more time to recover.

Kennedy has had a poor spring training, giving up 12 runs in 17 innings for a 6.35 ERA going in to today's game, although he did strike out 18. Kennedy gave up two runs in three innings with four strikeouts this afternoon against the Rangers before exiting the game.