Kennedy's procedure was performed by Dr. George Todd at Roosevelt Hospital in New York, the same doctor who performed a procedure on David Cone's aneurysm in 1996. Todd told Yankees general manager Brian Cashman that "everything was similar" to Cone's aneurysm.
The 24-year-old Kennedy left an April 27 start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre when he felt numbness in the middle finger of his right hand, with what was initially diagnosed as a vasospasm.
"They thought it came from up in this area [shoulder], maybe an artery," Kennedy told the Scranton (Pa.) Times-Tribune. "I guess that's pretty common with pitchers and I think with some volleyball players. That motion, things can get pinched, but they put me through that motion and there was nothing, which is really good. I had three or four tests to confirm that. ... Right away they thought something similar to what David Cone had."
Manager Joe Girardi has said that Kennedy was buoyed by the story of Cone's return in 1996 and wanted to speak with the current YES Network broadcaster.
After missing four months of the season, Cone came off the disabled list and threw seven innings of no-hit baseball on Sept. 2 against the Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum before being removed at 85 pitches due to restrictions. Cone went on to win his only start in that year's World Series, hurling six innings in a Game 3 triumph over the Braves in Atlanta.
A first-round selection of the Yankees in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft (21st pick overall), Kennedy was 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in four starts for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, with 25 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings. He was 0-4 with an 8.17 ERA in 10 appearances (nine starts) over three stints with the Yankees last season.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.