Results tagged ‘ Kyle Kendrick ’

Amaro Will Offer Kendrick Contract

Kyle KendrickIt looks like Kyle Kendrick will be back next season.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. ended speculation about Kendrick’s future this afternoon at Turner Field, when he said he planned to tender him a contract in the offseason.

Kendrick is eligible for salary arbitration. He made $4.5 million this season and is expected to receive a raise, despite posting a 3-9 record and 6.45 ERA in his final 14 starts. He went 16-14 with a 3.50 ERA in a 40-start stretch from April 29, 2012, through June 25, 2013.

Kendrick finished the season on the disabled list because of an injured right shoulder, but the Phillies are woefully thin with starting pitching depth so Kendrick at least will provide them a durable arm going forward. Both sides say Kendrick’s shoulder problems are not serious.

“I don’t know why people are asking about that,” said Amaro, when asked if the Phillies plan to tender Kendrick a contract. “We will.”

Rotation Problems

Roy HalladayGood morning, y’all.

I wrote yesterday about the many uncertainties surrounding the Phillies’ rotation entering the offseason. Everybody is mostly concerned about the offense (its 3.77 runs per game average is second-worst in baseball), the bullpen (its 4.24 ERA is worst in the National League), if Carlos Ruiz will be back, if Darin Ruf is the answer in right field, etc. But the rotation has been pretty bad this season. Its 4.29 ERA is 11th in the league. We know going into next season Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee will be atop the rotation. That’s a good start. If he is as good as Phillies scouts (and other scouts) think he is, Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez should be a solid No. 3.

But then there are the final two spots.

Roy Halladay and Kyle Kendrick? The Phillies face interesting decisions on both. Halladay is a free agent, and his numbers the past two seasons have not been good. He turns 37 next May. He had shoulder surgery this May. History suggests he won’t be the same. Do you trust the evaluation that an offseason of rest and preparation for Spring Training will have him sharper and throwing harder next season? Or is that just something somebody says about a struggling pitcher (i.e. Oh, don’t worry, he’s still got it …)? Halladay is a considerable risk, unless he’s resigned at a significant discount or to a heavily incentive laden contract.

Kendrick is eligible for salary arbitration. He has struggled since the end of June, going 3-8 with a 6.23 ERA in 12 starts. That followed a 40-game stretch from late April 2012 through June in which he went 16-14 with a 3.50 ERA. He is going to get a raise if the Phillies offer him salary arbitration. They could non-tender him and try to sign him for less, but there is risk there. Kendrick is a durable guy, never having appeared on the DL. I would think he could get a multiyear deal elsewhere. I mean, the Angels signed Joe Blanton for two years, $15 million following three seasons with a combined 20-21 record, 4.79 ERA and trips to the DL. Halladay might have more upside than Kendrick, but Kendrick seems to be the safer bet. You at least have a better sense of what you’re going to get.

Bring back both? Bring back one? Bring back none? If you say none you have to have pitchers ready to step up. There are some free agents out there, but are they worth the risk?

Wait, Kendrick Is Good?

Kyle KendrickKyle Kendrick had another quality start last night, even though he didn’t have his best stuff early.

He has evolved into a pretty good pitcher over the past few years. Kendrick is 3-1 with a 2.43 ERA in six starts this season and 22-19 with a 3.46 ERA in 77 appearances (46 starts) from 2011-13. Kendrick’s 3.46 ERA in that span ranks 25th out of 89 qualifying pitchers (minimum 300 innings) in baseball. That is better than Roy Halladay (3.48), Matt Garza (3.52), Zack Greinke (3.57) and a host of other pitchers making a heck a lot more than Kendrick’s $4.5 million salary this year. Kendrick’s 1.24 WHIP is 35th.

A reporter mentioned last night that Kendrick, who has a 1.54 ERA in his last five starts, has been a stopper recently, helping the Phillies win following a loss (or losses) in his previous three starts. Kendrick smiled awkwardly, like, “Uh, did you just call me a stopper?” This is a guy that fans have loved to mock and boo. I asked him about that in spring training. He said he wasn’t sure why he remained an object of scorn in Philadelphia. I offered the possibility that fans might not be able to forget the 4.96 ERA he carried from 2008-10, so anytime he pitches poorly it’s like, “There goes Kendrick again.”

“Maybe, but that’s tough if that’s the way it is,” he said. “I’m not that same pitcher anymore.”

Maybe a few more good months this year and they will notice.

“I’ve always kind of expected this out of me,” Kendrick said last night. “I know it hasn’t been there in the past like I’ve wanted, the fans have wanted it, my teammates, the coaches, the organization. But I expect this out of me. Hopefully now I can be consistent like that and every time out give us a chance to win the game. That’s the main thing as a starting pitcher. I’m feeling comfortable and confident I can do that every time out.”

Kendrick will have his bad starts, but he has become more of a sure thing. Charlie Manuel often said Kendrick pitched a “Kyle Kendrick type of game” when he allowed three or four runs in six innings. But these days a Kyle Kendrick game is more two or three runs in seven innings. (He is 10-5 with a 2.75 ERA in his last 19 starts.) The Phillies need that, especially with Halladay’s inconsistencies.

Bad News from St. Louis

Cross your fingers.

Roy Halladay left today’s start in St. Louis after the second inning with what the Phillies call “shoulder soreness.” They said he left for precautionary reasons, but the fact Halladay feels anything in his shoulder is not encouraging. He told reporters in St. Louis he started to feel something in the back of his shoulder in his last start last week against Washington, but Rich Dubee said the issue has been lingering a bit longer than that. Of course, it is possible Halladay has been feeling something since spring training. Everybody remembers Ken Rosenthal‘s report from a couple scouts that Halladay lacked velocity and sharpness. Halladay denied any talk he might be injured, although he did not deny he lacked the velocity he had in the past.

“Yeah, I’m 34 and 2,500 innings, it does take a while to get going,” he said in March. “I don’t pay attention to that. The older you get, the more you throw, the longer it takes you to get yourself going. When I came up I threw 98. Last year I was throwing 92-93. It’s not unusual. When you get older it takes you longer. The more innings you throw the more it takes to get yourself going again.”

Halladay was 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA in five starts in May, easing those concerns. But the discussion about his drop in velocity continued. Pitch f/x figures are not always accurate (they weren’t with Halladay early this season), but looking at those pitch f/x numbers anyway, Halladay’s sinker averaged 93.29 mph in 2010, 92.71 mph in 2011 and 91.6 mph this season. His cutter averaged 92.03 mph in 2012, 91.47 mph in 2011 and 89.58 mph this season. Dubee dismissed concerns about Halladay’s velocity, saying last month in San Francisco, “He’s got four pitches. He throws to both sides of the plate at any time. And overall he doesn’t use the meat of the plate. That’s what pitching is about. It isn’t about velocity. Velocity allows you one thing. It might allow you to get away with some mistakes. But straight velocity without location, and velocity without an option of being able to go soft or go backwards as far as pure speed, those guys get waffled.”

But another indication Halladay hasn’t been right is the fact he has thrown fewer two-seam fastballs. During his starts in 2010, 33 percent of his pitches were sinkers. In 2011 it dropped to 20 percent and this season it dropped to 16 percent. If pitchers don’t feel good about their fastball they often resort to their offspeed pitches, which could be the case here. (I recall Brett Myers relying a lot on his cutter a few years ago when he lost velocity on his fastball.)

Halladay blew a six-run lead in Atlanta on May 2, and looked bad again last week against Washington when he allowed five runs in six innings. He is 1-3 with a 6.11 ERA in six starts this month. Opponents are hitting .312 against him. Asked after his start against the Nationals if he was healthy, Halladay offered a don’t-be-ridiculous smile and said, “Yeah. Yeah.”

It turns out, wasn’t.

He will get reevaluated Tuesday. I would be shocked if he made his next start, although they could skip a turn with an off day Thursday. But I would be more surprised if Halladay did not end up on the DL. He’s a $20 million pitcher and means too much to the organization to risk throwing him back out there too soon. If it really is nothing serious like Halladay believes — he said it’s different than the shoulder problem that put him on the DL twice in 2004 — there’s no harm in shutting him down for a couple weeks and making sure the shoulder gets as healthy as possible.

But serious or not, this injury certainly has several potential implications:

  • The Rotation. If Halladay misses any amount of time, Kyle Kendrick will remain in the rotation. (He has a 1.64 ERA in his last five starts.) If Vance Worley can get back in a reasonable amount of time, the rotation will include Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Joe Blanton, Worley and Kendrick. That’s not bad. But if Worley (right elbow inflammation) isn’t ready soon, the Phillies will have to look to Triple-A Lehigh Valley for a short-term replacement. Options include Dave Bush (4-3, 2.73 ERA in 9 starts), Tyler Cloyd (4-1, 2.15 ERA in six starts) and Scott Elarton (5-1, 2.98 ERA in nine starts).
  • Roy Oswalt. The Phillies watched Oswalt throw a bullpen session a couple weeks ago. It has been written Oswalt prefers to stay close to home in Mississippi, but don’t read too much into that. There were similar reports before he accepted a trade to the Phillies in 2010. If Halladay’s injury is serious and he misses a significant amount of time, Oswalt would make a lot of sense if the Phillies were willing to meet his asking price. The Phillies are still trying to stay below the $178 million luxury tax threshold, but Oswalt would put them over the top.
  • Cole Hamels. If Hamels is intent on taking the biggest offer on the open market this winter, the Phillies could make the argument they would be better served spending that money elsewhere (offense!) because they are the rare team with two other aces already in the rotation (Halladay and Lee). But if the news Tuesday is bad, the Phillies might not feel so comfortable about their pitching moving forward. Maybe it increases their urgency to sign Hamels.

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • June 16: Barnes & Noble, Wilmington, Del, 2 p.m.

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.

Chooch Playing Like All-Star

Carlos Ruiz continues to build his case to make his first National League All-Star team.

Consider:

- He leads big-league catchers in batting average (.343), slugging percentage (.610), OPS (.999) and game-winning RBIs (four).
- He is tied for first with A.J. Pierzynski with 24 RBIs.
- He is tied for first with Carlos Santana with six go-ahead RBIs.
- He is second in home runs (six). Only Matt Wieters (seven) has more.
- He ranks third in on-base percentage (.390).

And those are just his rankings when he is hitting as a catcher. His .990 OPS overall — it’s a bit lower than his catcher OPS because he is 1-for-3 as a pinch-hitter — ranks 12th in baseball. His .602 slugging percentage is 10th.

Simply put, Chooch is one of the best hitters in baseball right now.

I know a lot of people have been asking why Charlie Manuel does not hit Ruiz third. Good question. But much like Jimmy Rollins being more comfortable hitting leadoff (despite the fact he’s hitting just .247 since his return to the top spot) and Hunter Pence being more comfortable hitting anywhere but fourth (his career .711 OPS hitting cleanup is the lowest of any spot in the order) I think Manuel believes this: Ruiz is tearing the cover off the ball. He’s comfortable. So don’t move him into a spot where he might feel more pressure to produce.

Manuel has had Ruiz hit fifth four times and sixth four times since May 5. Before this stretch Ruiz had hit higher than seventh only 31 times in his career. I say keep hitting him fifth or sixth. The Phillies are hitting .276/.328/.438 since April 22 in San Diego. They are averaging 4.9 runs per game in that span, which ranks fourth in the National League. They are scoring runs more consistently, and Ruiz is producing where he is.

Don’t screw that up.

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Since Kyle Kendrick allowed six runs in seven innings in Toronto last July, he has a 2.96 ERA in 13 starts.

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • June 16: Barnes & Noble, Wilmington, Del, 2 p.m.

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.

Oswalt? Phillies Have Other Fish to Fry

Vance Worley is out. Kyle Kendrick is in.

The Phillies said Worley has inflammation, but no structural damage in his right elbow. They think it is mild, so they will keep him from throwing for a week. If he looks and feels OK at that point, he could begin his throwing program. They are hopeful he misses only a few starts.

But what happens if Worley doesn’t come back as expected? Or what happens if the Phillies lose another starter?

Who do they turn to? The Phillies don’t have much depth at all after Kendrick.

“The depth is an issue for us,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “I think it is for a lot of clubs, but depth is an issue, and if we’ve got to reach down and grab somebody else if somebody else goes down, we’ll have to get somebody who’s pitching as well … and make that assessment of who that guy is.”

Worley’s injury brought up an interesting name today: Roy Oswalt.

Could the Phillies bring him back, much like they brought back Pedro Martinez midseason in 2009? I speculated they could do just that during Spring Training. But one issue with Oswalt is how much he would want to be paid. I’m sure the Phillies would like to save some money for the bullpen or a bat come trade deadline time.

“We think he’s throwing,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said of Oswalt. “I guess he is. But right now what I’m worried about is our team playing better. That’s my focus right now. I feel comfortable with the starters we have. If we get to the point where we’re not comfortable with him then that might be something we explore. But I will tell you that right now I’m happy with our guys the way we are right now, unless something changes. I think we’ve got other fish to fry right now.”

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • June 16: Barnes & Noble, Wilmington, Del, 2 p.m.

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.

Worley Has Elbow Soreness

The last thing the Phillies need is an injury to one of their starting pitchers.

But Vance Worley (3-2, 3.07 ERA) did not make the team’s trip to Chicago this evening and will miss tomorrow night’s start against the Cubs at Wrigley Field because of soreness in his right elbow. Worley will be examined tomorrow in Philadelphia.

Left-hander Joe Savery reportedly is on his way to Chicago, and could replace Worley on the roster if it is decided he needs to be placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Right-hander Kyle Kendrick will start tomorrow.

Worley said he has felt some discomfort in the elbow for about a month, but has been able to pitch through it.

“It’s something I can pitch on, but it’s just bothering me enough where I want another opinion on it,” he said.

Asked how concerned he is, he said, “I’m not worried. I just want to confirm what it is. That’s all.”

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • June 16: Barnes & Noble, Wilmington, Del, 2 p.m.

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.

Lee Back on Wednesday

Cliff Lee is back.

He threw a lengthy bullpen session this morning at Nationals Park, and pronounced himself fit and ready to return to the Phillies rotation on Wednesday. He has been on the disabled list since April 19 with a strained left oblique.

“Everything is normal,” Lee said.

If he continues to feel OK – and there is no reason to think he will not – he will face the New York Mets on Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park. Kyle Kendrick, who had been starting in Lee’s place, will return to the bullpen.

Lee is 0-1 with a 1.96 ERA in three starts.

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • May 10: Tredyfrrin Public Library in Stafford, PA, 7:30 p.m.
  • June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter.

The Number Shuffle

If you have any interest about the numbers on the back of the Phillies’ uniforms …

We know Jonathan Papelbon‘s alter ego “Cinco Ocho” is based on the No. 58 on the back of his jersey.

But when he came to Philadelphia he knew Antonio Bastardo had the number. No big deal. Papelbon and Bastardo have the same agents, so Bastardo had no problem handing his number to the Phillies’ new closer. (Papelbon gave Bastardo a Rolex for the effort.) Of course, then Bastardo needed a new number. Phillies director of team travel and clubhouse services Frank Coppenbarger gave Bastardo a few options, and Bastardo finally settled on No. 37.

Now, Justin De Fratus wore No. 37 the final couple weeks of the 2011 season. But that’s not enough service time to keep it, so he handed the number to Bastardo. Not that he minded. Because when Coppenbarger started to rattle off a few numbers for De Fratus, he blurted out, “How about 79?”

“Are you serious?” Coppenbarger said.

“Yeah,” De Fratus replied. “I wore it in the (Arizona) Fall League (in 2010).”

Coppenbarger said he had no problem with that. In fact, he liked it because De Fratus will never have to worry about any player asking him for his number ever again. But he also made sure De Fratus really wanted it. Coppenbarger said, “Hey, if you pick this you’ve got to stick with it. If your teammates start giving you a hard time you can’t start switching around.” De Fratus said he wanted it.

So he’s got it.

And that’s how Papelbon got 58, Bastardo got 37 and De Fratus got 79.

“I wore it in the Fall League and I had a good Fall League,” De Fratus said. “So why not?”

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From Sunday in Clearwater:

Latest Contract Info

People seem to like these, so I’m passing along the latest contract details for the Phillies:

Dave Bush. Minor League contract for $18,000/month. Agreement for Major League contract for $150,000. $800,000 in Majors. Plus: $10,000 for 10 relief appearances; $10,000 for 15 relief appearances; $10,000 for 20 relief appearances; $10,000 for 25 relief appearances; $10,000 for 30 relief appearances; $25,000 for 35 relief appearances; $25,000 for 40 relief appearances; $25,000 for 45 relief appearances; $25,000 for 50 relief appearances; $25,000 for 55 relief appearances; $25,000 for 60 relief appearances; $10,000 for 2 games started; $5,000 for 5 game started; $25,000 for 10 games started; $50,000 for 15 games started; $100,000 for 20 games started; $100,000 for 25 games started; $100,000 for 30 games started. Plus: $25,000 for All Star; $50,000 for World Series MVP; $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP; $50,000 for Rolaids or Cy Young ($25,000-2nd; $15,000-3rd). If not on Major League roster on June 1, player may be traded for 25-man roster spot on another team. If not on Major League roster, player may sign with Korea or Taiwan for $50,000; with Japan for $50,000 if between Dec. 1-Feb. 15; $100,000 if between Feb. 16-March 31; $150,000 after Sept. 1 or will be placed on roster within 72 hours. Major League invitation to Spring Training.

Luis Cruz. Minor League contract for $13,500/month. Agreement for Major League contract for $100,000. $485,000 in Majors. If not on Major League roster on July 15, player will be released if requested. If not on Major League roster, player may sign with Asian team for $50,000 if prior to April 1; $100,000 if after March 31. Major League invitation to Spring Training.

Cole Hamels. $15,000,000. Plus: $100,000 for MVP ($75,000-2nd; $50,000-3rd); $250,000 for Cy Young ($150,000-2nd; $100,000-3rd); $100,000 for World Series MVP; $50,000 for League Championship Series MVP; $50,000 for Gold Glove; $50,000 for Silver Slugger; $50,000 for All Star.

Kyle Kendrick. $3,585,000. Plus: $25,000 for All Star; $50,000 for World Series MVP; $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP; $50,000 for Cy Young or Rolaids ($25,000-2nd; $15,000-3rd).

Laynce Nix. $1,150,000 in 2012; $1,350,000 in 2013. Plus: $50,000 for 400 plate appearances; $50,000 for 450 plate appearances; $50,000 for 500 plate appearances. Plus: $50,000 for All Star ($25,000 selection); $100,000 for MVP; $100,000 for World Series MVP; $50,000 for League Championship Series MVP; $50,000 for Gold Glove.

Pete Orr. $120,000. $600,000 in Majors.

Hunter Pence. $10,400,000. Plus: $100,000 for MVP; $100,000 for World Series MVP; $50,000 for League Championship Series MVP; $50,000 for All Star; $50,000 for Silver Slugger; $50,000 for Gold Glove.

Joel Pineiro.  Minor League contract for $20,000/month. Agreement for Major League contract for $1,500,000. Plus: $25,000 for 25 relief appearances $25,000 for 30 relief appearances; $25,000 for 35 relief appearances $25,000 for 40 relief appearances; $25,000 for 45 relief appearances; $25,000 for 50 relief appearances; $50,000 for 55 relief appearances; $50,000 for 60 relief appearances; $250,000 for 10 games started; $250,000 for 15 games started; $350,000 for 20 games started; $350,000 for 25 games started; $500,000 for 28 games started; $500,000 for 30 games started. Plus: $25,000 for All Star; $50,000 for World Series MVP; $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP; $50,000 for Rolaids or Cy Young ($25,000-2nd; $15,000-3rd). Major League invitation to Spring Training.

David Purcey. Minor League contract for $18,000/month. Agreement for Major League contract for $135,000. $507,500 in Majors. If not on 25-man roster on June 12, player will be released if requested or will be added to roster within 72 hours. If not on Major League roster, player may sign with Korea/Taiwan for $25,000 or with Japan for $50,000 if between Dec. 1-Feb. 15; $75,000 if between Feb. 16-March 31; $100,000 if after March 31 or will be added to roster wthin 72 hours. Major League invitation to Spring Training.

Joe Savery. $78,250. $480,000 in Majors.

 

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