Results tagged ‘ Kyle Kendrick ’

Projecting the Rotation

The Phillies have not said if Kyle Kendrick, Vance Worley or Nate Robertson will be pitching Saturday against the Mets at Citi Field.

We know Roy Halladay is pitching Friday and Roy Oswalt is pitching Sunday. That keeps the Phillies in position to set up their rotation so Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels face the Braves in both three-game series against them later this month. Here is how the Phillies could setup their rotation. Days of rest are in parentheses. Four-days rest is normal rest. Five-days rest is an extra day of rest:

  • Monday at FLA: Joe Blanton (5)
  • Tuesday at FLA: Cole Hamels (5)
  • Wedneday at FLA: Roy Halladay (4)
  • Sept. 16: OFF
  • Sept. 17 vs. WASH: Roy Oswalt (4)
  • Sept. 18 vs. WASH: Kendrick, Worley or Robertson (6)
  • Sept. 19 vs. WASH: Blanton (5)
  • Sept. 20 vs. ATL: Hamels (5)
  • Sept. 21 vs. ATL: Halladay (5)
  • Sept. 22 vs. ATL: Oswalt (4)
  • Sept. 23: OFF
  • Sept. 24 vs. NYM: Blanton (4)
  • Sept. 25 vs. NYM: Kendrick, Worley or Robertson (6)
  • Sept. 26 vs. NYM: Hamels (5)
  • Sept. 27 at WASH: Halladay (5)
  • Sept. 28 at WASH: Oswalt (5)
  • Sept. 29 at WASH: Blanton (4)
  • Sept. 30: OFF
  • Oct. 1: Hamels (4)
  • Oct. 2: Halladay (4)
  • Oct. 3: Oswalt (4)

The way this sets up, no Phillies pitcher will have to pitch on short rest down the stretch. It also gives the big guns most of the starts with the fifth starter getting just three.

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Offense Shows A Flash

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The Phillies showed they still have some life in their bats last night in Game 2 of a doubleheader against the Marlins.

They have averaged 4.59 runs per game this season, which surprisingly ranks fifth in the National League. They led the league in runs per game in 2009, averaging 5.06. They ranked second in 2008, averaging 4.93. They ranked first in 2007 (5.51) and 2006 (5.34) and second in 2005 (4.98). You have to go back to 2002 to find a Phillies offense that averaged fewer runs than the 2010 Phillies. The 2002 Phillies ranked seventh in the league, averaging 4.41 runs per game.

This is what the Phillies offense is — it’s the first week of September, not the first week of June — so nights when they score one or two runs should no longer be a surprise. In the past the offense carried the Phillies into the postseason. But unless something dramatic happens the final month of the season, pitching is going to have to carry them into the postseason this year. 

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Charlie Manuel dropped Jimmy Rollins to fifth in the lineup in Game 2. Rollins has been struggling lately, and for much of the season. According to Fangraphs.com, Rollins has hit line drives only 16.8 percent of the time this season, the lowest level of his career. He has hit infield pop flys 10.5 percent of the time. That is lower than 2008 (11.8 percent) and 2009 (13.7 percent), but higher than his 2007 MVP season (7.5 percent).

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Vance Worley pitched OK in Game 1, but did he pitch good enough to bump Kyle Kendrick from the rotation? Manuel and Rich Dubee are down on Kendrick after the way he pitched Prince Fielder on Sunday, so it will be very interesting to see what they do.

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Kendrick Optioned, Carpenter Recalled

The Phillies optioned Kyle Kendrick to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and recalled Andrew Carpenter to take his place on the 25-man roster.

Carpenter is 7-6 with a 3.41 ERA in 18 starts this season with the IronPigs.

It is possible Carpenter takes Kendrick’s place in the rotation. But here’s another possibility: the Phillies make Carpenter a long man in the bullpen until J.A. Happ rejoins the rotation in five days.

Or the Phillies make a trade for starting pitching help.

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

More Late Inning Heroics

rollins 0710 2010.jpgIt 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.

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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.

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

Turning Things Around?

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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.”

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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!

The Pitching Picture

hamels 0418 2010.jpgCole Hamels pitched great yesterday, which almost made yesterday’s 2-0 loss to the Marlins feel like a victory.

Almost.

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.

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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!

Turn Back the Clock, Keep Scoring Runs

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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.

Poor guys.

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?

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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.

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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!

Hamels Struggles with Command

hamels 0407 2010.jpgSo what to make of Cole Hamels‘ season debut?

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.

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Looking forward to seeing what Kyle Kendrick can do this evening.

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Nelson Figueroa is expected to join the team today. He took a redeye from Arizona to DC. 

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Today’s pollen count in DC: CRIPPLING.

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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!

Moyer to Start, Kendrick to Pen

Thumbnail image for moyer 0326 2010.jpgIt’s official: Jamie Moyer is the Phillies’ fifth starter and Kyle Kendrick is in the bullpen.

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.

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The Zo Zone has reached the Phinal Phour at The Phield. Voting begins today at 8 p.m. and runs 24 hours.

Vote!

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Brad Lidge still needs to build up arm speed and improve his fastball command.

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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!

Moyer Likely Takes the Fifth Job

moyer 0326 2010.jpgIt’s not official, but Jamie Moyer‘s stellar performance last night against the Yankees very likely secured him the fifth spot in the Phillies’ rotation.

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).

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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!

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