Results tagged ‘ Kyle Kendrick ’

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!

Good Thursday for Kendrick, Big Friday for Moyer


Thumbnail image for kendrick 0308.jpgCharlie Manuel
insisted today that the Phillies haven’t talked about the fifth spot in their rotation.

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.”

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.

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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.”

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Thanks to WIP’s Howard Eskin and Ike Reese for having me on today to talk about the Phillies and my book.

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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!

Amaro on Pitching Staff, Moyer and Kendrick


Thumbnail image for amaro.jpgRuben Amaro Jr.
answered a couple questions before they got asked yesterday morning at Bright House Field:

“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.”

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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.

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The Fightins is giving away a copy of my book, if you enter their NCAA tournament Sweet 16 pool.

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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 Makes His Case

moyer 0321.jpgLike the rest of us, Jamie Moyer does not know how the Phillies will pick their fifth starter.

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.

Still true?

“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

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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.

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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!

Polanco Strains Right Knee, Leaves Game

polanco kneeling.jpgThird baseman Placido Polanco left today’s game against the Pirates in the bottom of the third inning after he sprained his right knee stumbling on the pitcher’s mound while trying to catch a pop up.

“It’s nothing bad,” he said. “No DL situation or anything. It’s probably day to day.”

Polanco limped off the mound before he dropped to the turf. Two team athletic trainers helped Polanco off the field and into the visitor’s clubhouse down the left-field line at McKechnie Field.

“When it first happens you really get scared,” he said. “You don’t know what’s happening. It doesn’t feel right. But now that the doctor took a look at it, it’s nothing big at all. … It’s getting better now already after the icing and all that.”

A Pirates doctor checked Polanco’s knee ligaments.

“It’s just the back of the knee,” Polanco said. “It’s probably hyperextended a little bit. Irritated.”

He added that he does not think a MRI is necessary.

Polanco tried to catch Delwyn Young‘s pop up in the third, but he lost the ball in the sun and stumbled on the back of the mound.

“Tomorrow is a big day to see how it feels, how sore it is,” Polanco said. “Probably two or three days because we’ve got a day off coming (Thursday).”

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Jamie Moyer allowed eight hits and five runs in three innings in a B game against the Blue Jays in Dunedin. 

The Blue Jays had seven regulars in the lineup.

It still is possible Moyer could open the season in the rotation, and Kyle Kendrick could open in the bullpen. If Moyer pitches well, great. If not, Kendrick could replace Moyer like J.A. Happ replaced Chan Ho Park in the rotation last season. Moyer will make $8 million this season. It is possible the Phillies could release Moyer – although he pitched well in the bullpen late last year – but it would leave them with little starting pitching depth in the organization.

Asked about the possibility of starting or relieving, Moyer said, “That’s their choice.”

So he’s just along for the ride, doing what he can?

“Exactly,” he said. “Contribute. It’s all about contributing.”

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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!

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!

March 4 – Phillies 3, Yankees 2

halladay grapefruit opener.jpg

Roy Halladay looked like Roy Halladay in today’s 3-2 victory over the Yankees at Bright House Field.

He threw 24 pitches, 21 for strikes. He allowed no hits, no walks and no runs and struck out three in two innings. He looked good. Here is what Yankees ace CC Sabathia had to say about it:

“I think it will be a pretty easy transition for him,” Sabathia said. “He’ll like facing the 7-8-9 guys in the National League. The type of pitcher he is, I expect him to go out and be even better than he was with the Blue Jays.”

But are the Phillies better with Halladay instead of Cliff Lee?

“It’s kind of a wash, I feel like,” he said. “If they would have kept the two of them, they’re definitely the team to beat. If Cliff was over here, he’d say the same thing. They’re still a good team and the team to beat in the National League. I don’t think they’ve really lost anything.”

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It’s the first spring without Harry Kalas. … Kyle Kendrick and Placido Polanco make their Grapefruit League debuts. … SI.com ranked baseball’s GMs.

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Sergio Escalona blew a 1-0 run lead in the ninth, allowing four hits and two runs to hand the Yankees a 2-1 lead. But Brian Bocock singled and pinch-runner Quintin Berry scored on Paul Hoover‘s double in the botto of the ninth to tie the game. Hoover advanced to third on the throw home. Pinch-runner Dewayne Wise scored the winning run when Wilson Valdez singled off Yankees pitcher Wilkins Arias.

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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!

Take A Break

Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock negotiatied the contract extensions for Joe Blanton, Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz. He also negotiated the contract for Chad Durbin, who avoided salary arbitration.

Proefrock might not be as busy next January.

Ben Francisco and Greg Dobbs will be eligible for salary arbitration after the season. Kyle Kendrick and Scott Mathieson also could be eligible for arbitration, if they qualify as “Super Two” players.

A “Super Two” has less than three years of big-league service time, but more than two. He basically must rank in the top 17 percent in total service amongst players with more than two, but less than three years of service time … with at least 86 days of service accumulated during the immediately preceding season.

Complicated? Yeah, but don’t sweat it. I’ll try to let you know when it matters. Right now it really doesn’t.

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Charlie Manuel held a news conference earlier this afternoon and confirmed that Jose Contreras will be in the bullpen. The Phillies haven’t announced it because Contreras hasn’t taken his physical. Manuel said they will start him in Spring Training to build up his arm strength, but put him in the pen when the season starts.

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Details on Ruiz’s contract:

He will make $1.9 million this season, $2.75 million in 2011 and $3.7 million in 2012. The club has a $500,000 buyout on its 2013 option, or they will pay him $5 million. Ruiz also receives $100,000 performance bonuses for 120, 130 and 140 games started. Any of those bonuses reached in any year will be added to his 2013 salary.

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Amaro Downplays Halladay Possibility Again

Thumbnail image for halladay 0719.jpgIt would make no sense for Ruben Amaro Jr. to talk publicly about his interest in Roy Halladay.

In fact, it would make more sense to say he has little chance in acquring him.

That is what he said this morning before he left the Winter Meetings. The chances for a big-time move, Ruben?

“I don’t think there’s any likeliness,” he said.

So nothing has changed in the likeliness scale?

“There’s nothing likely. How about that?” he said.

I wrote last night that there is talk at the Winter Meetings that the Phillies are one of the favorites for Halladay, if not the favorite. FOXSports.com reported this morning that the Phillies and Angels are front-runners with the Phillies offering J.A. Happ and Domonic Brown or Michael Taylor. The Phillies also would have to shed some payroll to make room for Halladay’s $15.75 million salary. Joe Blanton could be a casualty there. He made $5.75 million last season, and will receive a raise. But FOXSports.com said the Phillies would have to shed more payroll than that.

That could explain why the Phillies haven’t made much progress on Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre. It sounds like that’s why the Phillies are playing hardball in negotiations. They might need to get them on the cheap to afford Halladay. But why would Park and Eyre agree to that?

If the Phillies would have to give up Happ and Blanton to get Halladay, who would they have to fill in the rotation? Would they go into the season with Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick? Or could they pick up another starter for Blanton? A free agent like John Smoltz maybe?

Fun, fun, fun …

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Park, Eyre, Blanton and More

The Phillies continue to talk with Chan Ho Park‘s people and Scott Eyre‘s people about possible returns, but there seems to have been little progress. In fact, Ruben Amaro Jr. said the Phillies probably would not make any deals before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.

Stalemate?

“It depends what you mean by stalemate,” Amaro said today. “We’re comfortable with the numbers we’ve presented, and if those are numbers that won’t really get it done then we might have to go ahead and move on. I’m sure they’re trying to maximize the value, which is the job of the agent. If they feel like there’s a better opportunity to make more money or to be in a different situation then they’re going to take it. … We’re still talking.”

But Amaro said the meetings have been productive. He already had meet with three or four teams earlier today and is scheduled to see two or three more before the end of the day. They might not be able to hammer out something before Thursday, but he sounds happy with the groundwork he has laid going forward.

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One source said today that Joe Blanton “is on the market, by the way.” Trading Blanton would weaken the rotation, and the Phillies don’t have a lot of depth to replace him. So why is he available?

“They want to get a big bullpen piece,” the source said.

Amaro has said the Phillies are most likely to add bullpen pieces via free agency. That would seem to make the most sense, unless they can get a real stud — which could be beneficial should Brad Lidge carry his 2009 struggles into 2010.

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Amaro said if the Phillies can’t get the veteran pitchers they want for the bullpen, they might have to go young. Candidates include left-handers Sergio Escalona and Antonio Bastardo and right-hander Scott Mathieson.

“You’d like to have guys who are veterans,” Amaro said. “Guys who have been through the wars, and have dealt with the adversity. In a perfect world you’d have young starters and have veteran-type relievers. But that’s just a perfect world. We have more young players in our bullpen this year. We’ll probably start off with (Kyle) Kendrick as a guy who will be pitching and fighting for a job in the rotation, but if he doesn’t make the rotation maybe he’ll be pushed into the bullpen.”

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A report earlier today had the Phillies interested in Cuban pitcher Ardolis Chapman, but a team source said the Phillies are not interested.

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