Kendrick Is Looking Good

kendrick 0308.jpgThings are different this spring for Kyle Kendrick.

Rich Dubee pronounced Kendrick the favorite to win the last job in the Phillies’ rotation last spring, but a few weeks later the Phillies sent him to the Minors. It seemed that Dubee wanted to build confidence in Kendrick, who had been competing with J.A. Happ, Chan Ho Park and Carlos Carrasco. In reality, Kendrick needed time to develop his secondary pitches. But praise of Kendrick this spring seems more genuine, and for good reason. He has pitched well. He threw three scoreless innings today in a 7-5 loss to the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field to continue to build his case for the final job in the 2010 rotation.

Kendrick has thrown five scoreless innings this spring. He has allowed just two hits and has struck out two.

“What I’ve seen this year, he’s a completely different guy,” Carlos Ruiz said.

Kendrick’s top competitor for the fifth job is left-hander Jamie Moyer, who faces the Blue Jays in a “B” game Wednesday.

Here is the rub: If both Kendrick and Moyer pitch well this spring Moyer might have the edge because of his experience and $8 million salary. Kendrick, who makes $480,000 at the big-league level, could start the season in Triple A or in the Phillies’ bullpen. Anything but the Minors, Kendrick said.

“If it’s the fifth man, great. If it’s the bullpen, I’m happy with that, too,” he said. “I just want to have a good year, a good full season in the big leagues and go from there. If it’s the fifth guy or in the bullpen, so be it. But I’ll be happy wherever it’s at.”

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Shane Victorino (sore shoulder) makes his Grapefruit League debut tomorrow night against the Braves in Lake Buena Vista. Roy Halladay pitches. … Jose Contreras allowed six hits, six runs and three walks in just 1 2/3 innings against the Yankees, although Charlie Manuel deflected blame to sloppy play in the field. … Jimmy Rollins and John Mayberry Jr. each hit solo homers.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

7 Comments

Honestly if it was up to me, I’d put Jamie back in the pen only because he did show last year he could do well there. I’m very happy to see Kendrick do well.

It would be the best thing for the ballclub if Kyle can step up and take the spot. Halladay-Hamels-Blanton-Happ-Kendrick is a nice rotation. A good mix of youth and experience, and that left-right-left thing that Charlie likes so much.
Jamie’s a good guy and all, but we know what happens when your heart makes decisions for you.

I hope this doesn’t come down to the size of the paycheck.

We win either way. I like that Kyle has matured to the extent that he has over last year and would like to see him be successful as the 5th starter. On the other hand, Jamie is a proven veteran who can be successful either as a starter or in the pen. I’m enjoying the friendly competition between them this Spring and like our fantastic winning line-up. Because Moyer is a big part of why I love the Phillies so much, I want to see him have an outstanding year also and think that how he handles this year will say a lot about him to the many fans and especially the kids that are paying attention. He still has enormous value to this team.

With all due respect libertybelle, statistically Jamie was one of the worst pitchers in the majors last year. So I don’t think it’s a given that he “can be successful either as a starter or in the pen.” I agree that he has value to the team, but more off the field than on I think.

I’m happy for Kyle and I hope he continues to pitch well and stays on the team throughout the 2010 season.

I don’t see Kyle in the pen unless the Phils decide one lefty is all they need. He deserves a chance to start because he put the work into making himself a much better pitcher and it shows. On the other hand, if Jamie ends up in the pen, he will be the second lefty who can also eat up innings.

No offense taken, Zach58. I said “can” not “will”, although I believe he will. I suspect most of us thought Hamels and Lidge would have had better years than they did last year also. Moyer had some stellar competition on the team for wearing that “worst” moniker. It’s normal for most, I suppose, to want to see the old guy fade into the sunset to make room for the young guys on the way up. I’m just not one of them.

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