Thursday, April 1, 2010

No Tricks for Kendrick This Time

Kyle Kendrick battled Jamie Moyer for the fifth spot in the rotation during the entire 2010 spring training and came out on the short end of the stick. Moyer basically got the job because this will be about his 50th season in the majors, and he has some valuable experience (and a contract) that Kendrick doesn't have.

But with the recent news that Joe Blanton will be out for three to six weeks with a strained oblique, it looks as if Kendrick is going to be thrust into the starting rotation after all.

He is going to be taking the third spot in the rotation, making his 2010 debut on Thursday in the final game of the series at Washington. Yea, I know. He went from not making the rotation at all, to starting the third game of the season, but don't be alarmed. If Kendrick continues to play how he has played in the spring, Phillies fans have nothing to worry about.

Kendrick's spring training ERA was an astounding 1.66 in 21 2/3 innings pitched, the most innings of any Phillie. He had only five walks in those innings and gave up a measly 14 hits. Although spring training stats rarely translate to the regular season, it was good to see Kendrick pitching well early on. For Kendrick to be pitching this effectively shows that he was determined to make the ball club this season and worked hard in the offseason to accomplish that goal. Considering his 2009 spring training stats--9.20 ERA, 27 hits, in 14 2/3 innings-- Kendrick certainly proved that he deserved a spot on this team, and I'm glad he got it.

Phillies fans should all be excited to see what Kendrick can bring to the team while Blanton is out. And if Kendrick continues to pitch as well in regular season as he did in the spring, the Phils may have another pitching quandary on their hands. But this time, it will be a good dilemma to have.

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