Results tagged ‘ Kyle Kendrick ’
It has been a few few nights at Citizens Bank Park, but I’m certain the Phillies are hoping today to sweep the Reds in regulation. It’s the All-Star break and some of these guys have places to go, people to see, flights to catch.
But whether or not the Phillies win today, it is a nice way for them to head into the break. They’re still 5 1/2 games behind the Braves in the NL East and 2 1/2 games behind the Rockies in the NL wild card race, but they’re staying close. Imagine if they had lost those three games to the Reds. They’d be 8 1/2 behind the Braves and 5 1/2 behind the Rockies, which means those Jayson Werth trade rumors really would start kicking up.
If the Phillies can get Placido Polanco back before the end of the month — he said the Cardinals series in St. Louis is a possibility — they could be in good position when Chase Utley returns with four of five weeks to play.
Another start, still no run support for Roy Halladay. Of the 54 qualifying pitchers in the National League, Halladay ranks 42nd in run support at 4.24 runs per game. He’s actually tied with Cole Hamels. Interestingly, Kyle Kendrick (6.24) and Jamie Moyer (5.85) rank sixth and 10th, respectively.
It could be worse for Halladay and Hamels. Ted Lilly ranks last in run support (2.41). Roy Oswalt (2.70) and Johan Santana (3.30) are 53rd and 50th respectively.
The Phillies were stuck in an 8-17 slump before Jamie Moyer beat the Yankees last night and Kyle Kendrick beat them tonight. The Phillies took 2 of 3 from the Yankees. It’s just their second series victory since May 15-17, when they swept the Brewers in Milwaukee. They finished 3-3 on a road trip that couldn’t have started worse with Moyer allowing nine runs in one-plus inning Friday in Boston and Joe Blanton allowing nine runs in four innings Saturday.
It has been a grueling stretch, but maybe this is a sign of a turnaround.
We won’t know that until the Phillies finish their nine-game home stand against the Twins, Indians and Blue Jays. But the Phillies have looked a little looser the last couple games. It’s not why they won, but I thought it was interesting that Chase Utley, who rarely shows his sense of humor to the outside world, tried to loosen up the clubhouse. He arranged bats, fruits, batting gloves, vitamins, a can of Red Bull and a tin of chewing tobacco in a crop circle-like pattern next to his locker before last night’s game. Then in a nod to the movie Major League, a Darth Maul bobble head, a miniature bottle of rum and a shot glass full of rum sat in the locker next to his before Thursday’s game.
“I think it was like a couple years ago (in the 2008 World Series) when Charlie put the rubber ducks in everybody’s locker,” Ryan Howard said. “Just try to loosen everybody up and play. Right now it’s whatever works.”
The way the Phillies’ rotation has looked lately, it needed Hamels to flash the signs he flashed in Spring Training, namely, that he looked like the ’08 Hamels, not the ’09 Hamels. I never thought Hamels pitched terribly in his first two starts, so I never worried. He had poor command against Washington on April 7 and was a check-swing away from allowing just one run through his first four innings against the Nationals last Wednesday. But there is no question the Phillies’ rotation needed somebody to step up other than Roy Halladay, who is 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA.
Joe Blanton remains on the DL, although he could be back following the team’s nine-game road trip through Atlanta, Arizona and San Francisco. He makes a rehab start Tuesday with Single-A Lakewood. J.A. Happ (1-0, 0.00 ERA) has soreness in his left forearm and might miss his next start — maybe more. He will throw today at Citizens Bank Park. If he feels fine, he could start as early as Wednesday in Atlanta. If he doesn’t feel fine? It could be a problem. It goes without saying the Phillies need the rotation to stay healthy because the back end of the rotation is struggling: Jamie Moyer is 1-1 with a 7.50 ERA and Kyle Kendrick is 0-0 with a 17.47 ERA.
The Phillies don’t need a fifth starter until Saturday, so the Phillies can give Happ time to rest. But when Saturday rolls around in Arizona they’ll need a fifth starter. If Happ can’t pitch I’m guessing Nelson Figueroa takes the spot.
Tuesday is a big start for Kendrick. He not only is pitching for his spot in the rotation, but possibly his spot on the team. Kendrick took Blanton’s spot in the rotation, so when Blanton is back Kendrick is out. Finding a spot for Kendrick looks difficult, at least in the short term.
J.C. Romero could be back sometime during this road trip. He likely will replace Antonio Bastardo. Brad Lidge could be back following the road trip. I think the Phillies will try to keep David Herndon on the 25-man roster. (They must keep him on the roster or they likely lose him because he’s a Rule 5 Draft pick.) That means Lidge might take Figueroa’s spot in the bullpen. But if Blanton returns before Lidge, the Phillies might option Kendrick to the Minors and bring him back as the long man once they lose Figueroa. Figueroa is out of options and must clear outright waivers to send him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. As well as he has pitched, I can’t see that happening.
The Astros held ”Turn Back the Clock Night” last night at Minute Maid Park to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the first game at the Astrodome, which featured the Phillies. Houston’s grounds crew commemorated the event by dragging the infield wearing astronaut outfits.
The Phillies wore replica 1965 road uniforms, which got thumbs up from Charlie Manuel and Ryan Howard. (If you liked them they apparently will be auctioned off. I’m not sure where, but keep an eye open on the Internet. They have all sorts of things on sale there.) The ’65 Phillies scored 654 runs (4.04 per game) in 162 games, which ranked sixth in the 10-team National League. It’s safe to say the 2010 Phillies have a more potent offense.
The Phillies have scored 41 runs (8.2 per game) through five games. That pace can’t possibly last, but where will the Phillies finish? Let’s take a look at how the Phillies offense has ranked in the National League since Manuel became manager in 2005.
2009: 820 runs (5.06 per game), first in the league.
2008: 799 runs (4.93 per game), second in the league.
2007: 892 runs (5.51 per game), first in the league.
2006: 865 runs (5.34 per game), first in the league.
2005: 807 runs (4.98 per game), second in the league.
The Phillies’ franchise record for runs is 944, which they set in 156 games in 1930. The Phillies would need to average 5.83 runs per game to break that record.
So where do they finish this year? What’s the magic number?
Manuel let Jamie Moyer hit in the sixth inning because he needed to give his bullpen a break. As well as the Phillies have played the first week of the season, the bullpen had pitched a combined 12 innings the previous three games because Cole Hamels went five innings Wednesday, Kyle Kendrick went four innings Thursday and J.A. Happ went five innings Friday.
Far from perfect, but far from troubling.
He allowed five hits and two earned runs in five innings. He struck out five, but walked four. He threw 103 pitches, just 63 for strikes.
He simply couldn’t throw much of anything for strikes.
Hamels walked four or more batters four times during his rookie season in 2006, including his first two starts in Cincinnati and Milwaukee. He walked four or more batters just three times from 2007-09. So Hamels’ command issues are not typical.
Assuming he improves his command in his next start — the Phillies’ home opener Monday against the Nationals — one would expect improvement.
Looking forward to seeing what Kyle Kendrick can do this evening.
Nelson Figueroa is expected to join the team today. He took a redeye from Arizona to DC.
Today’s pollen count in DC: CRIPPLING.
The news is not a surprise. Moyer locked up the job with an outstanding performance Friday against the Yankees. The Phillies also said a couple things this spring that made it clear Moyer had the decisive edge for the job: First, Moyer’s experience mattered. Second, spring training numbers didn’t matter. In other words, nothing short of Kendrick throwing shutouts in every start and Moyer carrying a double-digit ERA would have gotten Kendrick the job.
But the Phillies liked what they saw from Kendrick. They think he can start again in the big leagues, and he still could. Moyer must produce. The Phillies showed last season they’re not afraid of pulling him from the rotation. If he struggles like he struggled last year, and if Kendrick pitches well in the bullpen you definitely could see the two swapping roles.
The Zo Zone has reached the Phinal Phour at The Phield. Voting begins today at 8 p.m. and runs 24 hours.
Here is why:
- The Phillies have said throughout the spring that Kyle Kendrick must beat out Moyer for the job. Kendrick has pitched great. He has a 1.37 ERA in five Grapefruit League appearances. He has shown poise on the mound. His secondary pitches have come along nicely. He simply looks like a completely different pitcher than the one fans saw last spring. But after Moyer threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings against the Yankees, Moyer has a 0.77 ERA in two Grapefruit League starts, and a combined 2.61 ERA, including starts in three B games. Moyer has done nothing to lose the job.
- The Phillies have said they will not look at Spring Training numbers to make their decision, so even if Moyer should struggle in his final spring start, I don’t think the Phillies will put much stock into it.
- The Phillies have said that Kendrick is better suited for the bullpen than Moyer, 47.
- The Phillies have said Moyer’s track record matters.
It’s not official — well, at least the Phillies haven’t said anything publicly — but for those reasons it looks like Moyer gets the job to start the season. But he’ll have to perform. The Phillies pulled him from the rotation once last season. They also have a track record for pulling a starter early in the year (i.e. J.A. Happ and Chan Ho Park swapping jobs last May).
We need your vote in The Phield. Help a brother out!
Nope, not once.
(Insert “Really?!? with Seth & Amy“ here.)
But the decision is near. Believe that much. In fact, it could be pretty clear after Jamie Moyer pitches tomorrow night against the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. If he pitches OK, the job could be his. If he gets knocked around, things get a little more interesting.
Kyle Kendrick, who is competing with Moyer for the job, impressed again today in an 8-7 victory over the Astros at Bright House Field. Kendrick struggled with his command early and arguably had his worst stuff of the spring but allowed five hits, two runs (one earned run) and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out one. Kendrick has an impressive 1.37 ERA after five Grapefruit League appearances. Moyer has a 3.86 ERA in four spring appearances, which includes on Grapefruit League and three B game starts.
Big night for Moyer on Friday?
“I don’t know,” Manuel said. “I don’t think so. Not really.”
The Phillies announced on March 31 last year that Chan Ho Park had edged J.A. Happ for the fifth spot in the rotation. It would not be a surprise to see the Phillies make this year’s announcement around the same time with Kendrick scheduled to make his final Grapefruit League start next Tuesday.
“I’m pleased with the way Kyle is throwing the ball, but I also know there’s a track record on the other guy,” Rich Dubee said.
A couple notes from today:
- Brad Lidge and J.C. Romero are expected to open the season on the DL. No surprise there. The Phillies can backdate DL stints to March 26, which means today would have been the last day they could have pitched in a Grapefruit League game. The earliest Lidge or Romero are eligible to pitch is April 10 in Houston. There remains a chance Lidge could be ready to pitch in Houston, but Romero still hasn’t appeared in a Minor League Spring Training game. He is further behind.
- Roy Halladay allowed seven hits, two runs and one walk and struck out seven in seven innings in a Minor League Spring Training game against the Yankees in Tampa. He threw 98 pitches. Halladay will make his final Grapefruit League start Wednesday against the Blue Jays at Bright House Field. He makes his Phillies debut April 5 on Opening Day in DC.
- Left-hander Antonio Bastardo allowed two hits, three runs, one walk and one home run in one inning. He struck out two. He has a 7.71 ERA in six Grapefruit League appearances. “I can’t say a whole lot of our guys have been real sharp the last time out,” Rich Dubee said. “I think we’re at that point right now in Spring Training where guys are going through a little bit of a dead arm and dead body period, which is fine. I’d rather they hit it now than the first week of the season.”
Thanks to WIP’s Howard Eskin and Ike Reese for having me on today to talk about the Phillies and my book.
“No, we haven’t made any final decisions on our pitching staff or rotation.
“Yes, we’re still looking in other ways to improve our club.”
The Phillies optioned Mike Zagurski on Monday. It left the Phillies with 12 healthy pitchers in camp, a strong indication those are the 12 pitchers they will carry into the season until Brad Lidge and J.C. Romero are back. Amaro won’t say anything is official because the chance always exists they could make a deal before April 5, unlikely as it might be.
One roadblock to any deal is the Phillies appear to have exceeded their payroll budget, which is approaching $140 million. They’re simply not in position to add payroll. The second roadblock is that everybody in baseball is looking for pitching right now, so it’s not like teams are eager to trade a quality bullpen arm.
If the Phillies stand pat, there is just one roster decision: Jamie Moyer or Kyle Kendrick for the fifth job in the rotation?
“They’ve both doing very well,” Amaro said. “Obviously, competition is a good thing. The fact that they’re pitching well, I think it can only bode well for the club.”
Kendrick has a 1.29 ERA in four Grapefruit League appearances. Moyer has a 3.86 ERA in one Grapefruit League start and three B game starts. If those numbers hold – they could change dramatically before the Phillies break camp – it would appear on paper that Kendrick had outperformed Moyer, right?
“I don’t evaluate the numbers, especially in Spring Training,” Amaro said. “That’s not how we evaluate. We have to evaluate what’s going to be best overall for our club, and how they’re getting people out and those sorts of things. It’s still kind of a complicated decision to make. Hopefully we’ll make the right one.
“Look at what we did last year. Chan Ho Park probably pitched better than J.A. Happ. Ultimately, was that the right decision to start those guys in those roles? Probably not. That’s why they were flipped. We ended up being a better club as a result of it.”
Thanks to 97.5 The Fanatic’s Mike Missanelli for having me on his show yesterday at the Tiki Pavilion, where we talked about the Phillies and my book. Thanks as always to WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and The Morning Team, which had me on this morning. They even gave me a little “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” music at the end of my segment.
But he made a strong case for himself today at Bright House Field. He allowed five hits and one run and struck out six in five innings in a 5-4 loss to the Orioles. It was Moyer’s first Grapefruit League appearance after making three starts in B games. In a combined 14 innings, he has allowed six earned runs for a 3.86 ERA. Kyle Kendrick, his sole competitor for the job, has allowed two runs in 14 innings in four Grapefruit League appearances for a 1.29 ERA.
The Phillies said a few weeks ago that Moyer had the edge over Kendrick because of his experience.
“I think they’ve both got two more starts,” Charlie Manuel said. “I think it’ll play out. I think we’ll do what’s best for our club and everything. I like how Kendrick has improved, but at the same time Jamie’s healthy and in the next couple starts we’ll see where he’s at.”
“Basically it’s what’s best for us and how we line up as a team,” Rich Dubee said.
If Moyer pitches well in his next two starts and Kendrick struggles, Moyer gets the job. If Kendrick finishes the spring with a 1.29 ERA and Moyer finishes the spring with a 3.86 ERA, I’ve got to think Moyer still gets the job. If Moyer struggles and Kendrick pitches well Kendrick has the edge.
And if Moyer struggles in the rotation once the season starts, Kendrick could be this year’s J.A. Happ and take his place. But it makes some baseball sense to start Moyer in the rotation: 1) Moyer is better suited for the rotation than the bullpen; 2) This gives him a chance to prove himself; 3) If he struggles and returns to the bullpen the Phillies can say they gave him a fair shot.
The edge: Moyer
Dubee said Cole Hamels, who was scheduled to pitch in a Minor League game, would pitch tomorrow against the Yankees. Joe Blanton, who originally had been scheduled to pitch tomorrow, will pitch Tuesday. … Dubee also said Brad Lidge will pitch in a Minor League game tomorrow and J.C. Romero will pitch in a simulated game Tuesday.