Born: March 31, 1979
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 220
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Signed: Contract purchased from Frontier League, 2001 (Cardinals)
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
College: Quincy Univ.
Agent: ACES


Kinney wasn’t drafted out of college, but St. Louis signed him after he pitched three games in independent ball.  He throws sinkers, sliders and curves, with the velocity on his sinker averaging a little over 90 mph.  He’s had very high groundball rates in the majors, except in 2012 for some reason.  He’s generally been a little more effective against left-handed than right-handed batters.  His K rates were low in his first couple of seasons, but since he reached the upper minors they’ve usually been surprisingly high for a finesse pitcher who relies heavily on location.  He’s never started a game outside of indy ball.  The Pirates signed him to a minor league contract for 2014, with an invitation to spring training.

IND:  1-0-0, 1.71 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 21.0 IP, 3.0 BB/9, 7.7 K/9
A-:  2-0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.35 WHIP, 5.2 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 7.9 K/9
A:  1-4-0, 4.39 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 41.0 IP, 3.3 BB/9, 7.7 K/9

Kinney made three starts in independent ball before the Cards signed him, then he spent most of the rest of the year pitching in relief in low A.

A+:  1-3-7, 2.29 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 41.1 IP, 2.2 BB/9, 7.6 K/9

The Cards moved Kinney up to high A and he pitched better than the previous year, although his walk and K rates were mediocre.

A+:  3-0-3, 1.52 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 38.2 IP, 5.8 BB/9, 5.8 K/9
AA:  2-1-2, 0.68 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 39.3 IP, 2.7 BB/9, 10.9 K/9

The Cards sent Kinney back to high A and he dominated there until a mid-season promotion to AA.  After the promotion he was nearly unhittable, including a greatly increased K rate.  Baseball America ranked him the Cards’ #21 prospect after the season.

A+:  0-1-0, 4.32 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, 8.1 IP, 6.5 BB/9, 13.0 K/9
AA:  3-8-4, 5.50 ERA, 1.81 WHIP, 55.2 IP, 5.5 BB/9, 7.8 K/9

Kinney struggled in AA, with poor control especially being a problem.  He ended up back in high A, where he didn’t pitch well, either.

AA:  5-2-11, 1.29 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 42.0 IP, 2.6 BB/9, 9.0 K/9
AAA:  1-2-0, 7.36 ERA, 2.30 WHIP, 25.2 IP, 6.7 BB/9, 8.8 K/9

Kinney returned to AA and dominated there, before struggling badly in the second half in AAA.

AAA:  2-2-3, 1.52 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 71.0 IP, 3.7 BB/9, 9.6 K/9
MLB:  0-0-0, 3.24 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 25.0 IP, 2.9 BB/9, 7.9 K/9

Kinney continued his pattern of dominating in his second year at a level, this time AAA.  He spent the months of July and September in the majors and pitched well.  Between the majors and minors he appeared in 72 games.


Kinney had Tommy John surgery in March and missed the season.  He also broke his elbow playing catch in August.

AAA:  0-1-0, 7.36 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 3.2 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 12.3 K/9
MLB:  0-0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 7.0 IP, 1.3
BB/9, 10.3 K/9

Kinney had several setbacks during his rehab and wasn’t able to pitch until late August.  The Cards brought him up in September and he pitched surprisingly well.

AAA:  3-3-1, 3.86 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 44.1 IP, 4.1 BB/9, 10.6 K/9
MLB:  1-0-0, 8.80 ERA, 2.22 WHIP, 15.1 IP, 6.5 BB/9, 4.7 K/9

Kinney opened the season with the Cards, but they sent him down in mid-April to add a starter.  He didn’t return until mid-June, then struggled for about five weeks before they sent him back down.  He didn’t pitch all that well in AAA, either, apart from a high K rate.

AAA:  3-4-17, 1.80 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 60.0 IP, 2.6 BB/9, 7.6 K/9

The Cards optioned Kinney to AAA at the start of the season.  He pitched well there, but in July they outrighted him and he stayed in AAA the rest of the year.  After the season he became a free agent and signed with the White Sox.

AAA:  6-3-14, 2.77 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 61.2 IP, 2.5 BB/9, 9.6 K/9
MLB:  0-0-0, 6.62 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, 17.2 IP, 3.6 BB/9, 10.2 K/9

Kinney pitched well in AAA and the White Sox called him up in August.  He pitched poorly in the majors and the Sox outrighted him after the season.  He signed a minor league deal with Seattle.

AAA:  1-0-3, 2.70 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 36.2 IP, 2.7 BB/9, 9.3 K/9
MLB:  0-3-1, 3.94 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 32.0 IP, 4.2 BB/9, 10.1 K/9

Kinney continued to pitch well in AAA, although not as well as the year before.  (Of course, he was in the Pacific Coast League instead of the International League, as he was in 2011.)  The Mariners called him up at the beginning of July and he spent the rest of the season in Seattle.  He pitched decently, with a good K rate.  After the season he signed a one-year deal with the Mariners.

AAA:  2-2-1, 4.36 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 33.0 IP, 2.7 BB/9, 8.7 K/9

Kinney had problems in spring training with a stress reaction in his left shoulder and rib cage, and ended up missing the first half of the season.  Seattle outrighted him to AAA at the end of July and he spent the rest of the season there.  He pitched much better than his ERA indicates.

AAA:  2-3-4, 3.38 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 61.1 IP, 4.3 BB/9, 9.1 K/9

Kinney pitched in relief for Indianapolis all year.  He wasn’t all that effective, walking too many hitters and allowing a few too many hits.  Hitters put up a line of 256/358/397 against him.

Kinney will be a free agent again and will probably move on.

Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
2007: $382,000
2008: $390,000
2014: Minor League Contract
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2001
MLB Debut: 7/3/2006
MiLB FA Eligible: Eligible
MLB FA Eligible: 2016
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 7/2/2006
Options Remaining: 0 (USED:  2006, 2009, 2010)
MLB Service Time: 4.004
June 15, 2001: Contract purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals from River City of the Frontier League.
July 2, 2006: Contract purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals.
July 2, 2010: Outrighted to AAA by the St. Louis Cardinals.
November 6, 2010: Became a free agent.
January 9, 2011: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Chicago White Sox.
August 19, 2011: Recalled by the Chicago White Sox.
October 14, 2011: Outrighted by the Chicago White Sox and became a free agent.
December 13, 2011: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Seattle Mariners.
July 1, 2012: Recalled by the Seattle Mariners.
June 28, 2013: Outrighted to AAA by the Seattle Mariners.
October 1, 2013: Became a free agent.
November 20, 2013: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates.