Kendrick Continues to Make His Case

Posted by Amanda Orr, Mon, March 08, 2010 10:06 PM | Comments: 71
Posts, Spring Recap

Kyle Kendrick is on a mission.  He’s been picking Roy Halladay’s brain.  Some days, he beats Halladay to the ballpark — which is usually as early as 5:00 a.m!  By his current work ethic, it’s easy to tell that Kendrick wants to be the Phillies’ fifth starter.

The New York Yankees defeated the Phillies 7-5 on Monday, but the Phillies received an impressive outing from Kendrick, who continues to make his case for the final spot in the rotation.  Kendrick tossed three scoreless innings.  In the process, he struck out one, allowed just one hit and did not walk a batter.

On the other hand, Jose Contreras pitched terribly.  In 1.2 innings, he surrendered six runs on six hits and three walks.  There was a very slight chance that Contreras would be the fifth starter, but it’s more realistic for him to fill Chan Ho Park’s spot in the bullpen, with Kendrick and Jamie Moyer dishing it out for the fifth slot.

Also in the game, Jimmy Rollins (2-for-4) smashed his second home run of the spring.  For the first time this spring, Domonic Brown did not get a hit (0-for-2).

Halladay will start tomorrow against the Braves.  Andrew Carpenter, Danys Baez, and Ryan Madson are slated to pitch.  Billy Wagner is scheduled to pitch for the Braves.

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Amanda has been writing for Phillies Nation since 2009.

  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    I know that this is still spring training and everything, but I really do not like what we have seen from Jose Contreras so far this Spring. He was a guy I felt really uneasy about signing to begin with, and he’s really not making a good first impression.

    Kendrick on the other hand is making a GREAT impression, and he seems so fired up to prove himself to the doubters, that I just want to applaud him. This is the kind of guy that the Phillies want to see!

  • Posts: 0 shag beta sigma delta

    I really like Moyer, but so far this spring KK has pitched really good, and if the season started tomorrow I think he should be the 5th starter, I know a lot of people disagree but I think Moyer can fill in long relief, or even middle relief, I like Jamie out of the pen.

  • Posts: 0 fan at Birth

    Cant wait to see Halladay pitch vs our rival Braves. He is going to dazzle them and make them wish they had halladay. Hope to see Baez pitch better then Contreras who I think was working on his breaking stuff so today was an aberation and Madson will be good to see out there.

  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    Moyer would be great in long relief, which still is a VERY important roll to fill. We need some bullpen guys who can handle multiple innings well without complaint, and I think Moyer would be excellent in that role. After all, he did a lot better last season after he was moved to a long relief role.

  • Posts: 0 christopher

    i don’t feel i need to base my opinions of contreras solely off his performance thus far, i didn’t think he was a good pitcher to start with. i was disappointed in that signing from the start and think they’d have been better off leaving the spot open for someone already in the system.

    great to see KK and moyer performing well!

  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    Contreras was money wasted, and it takes a job away from one of our guys in the high minors chomping at the bit to make their mark.

    Chan Ho Park couldn’t be retained…I get that much, and I like the Baez signing a lot. Unfortunately I never liked the Contreras signing, and I predict we’ll all be running the guy out of town after a few months. He pretty much sucked his whole career, and he’s not likely to get any better.

  • Posts: 0 Nunzio Scholeri

    I’m with WFC010 on this one. I’d be much happier to see even a revolving door of high-minors kids showing their stuff than have to put up with Contreras if this is what we can expect from him. It just looked like the Yankees were completely wise to his game. He threw dozens of pitches in the dirt, apparently hoping the Yankee hitters would chase them, and no one did – hence all the walks. If everyone knows that he’s a power low-ball pitcher and no one falls for it, then he’s just a power walk machine.

    Also, it was nice to see Howard get some singles – especially one the other way. I think even Joe Girardi (who was being interviewed at the time) said that if Howard can learn to hit the other way like that consistently, there’s no stopping him. Maybe Howard should listen to the enemy.

  • Posts: 0 Greg

    I thought Contreras was just working on his breaking balls, hence the excessive amount of them. During his first outing, he was fine. I think he was just working on his command a bit. I expect him to do better than he did, at least.

  • Posts: 0 Nunzio Scholeri

    I mean, certainly I am open to giving Contreras a chance. It’s just that given his very unimpressive numbers, I don’t see how paying him even semi-decent money is more worthwhile than giving some younger pitchers a chance to impress.

    But then again, maybe Contreras will surprise us. Maybe he’ll be one of those guys who impresses for one year, and that’s as much (if not more) as anyone can ask. Or maybe he’ll just be another guy out in the bullpen, ready to come in and mop up innings and maybe keep the team in the game – and you need those guys, because they keep the key arms from getting overworked. That would be ok.

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    It’s one week into spring training. I don’t know how Contreras is going to pitch through the season, but it would be a mistake to make any conclusions at this point. The veterans, especially in the first few weeks, are concentrating on location, grip, getting a feel for their breaking balls, and building up arm strength. Last year is a better predictor than two games in the spring. Contreras has already stated that moving to the pen is probably the best option to extend his career. He’s not trying to crack the rotation, just getting into game shape. Like Moyer, Contreras knows how to get guys out when he doesn’t have his best stuff, and he’ll take one for the team when he has to (mop up).
    For the younger guys (or those with “off” seasons in 09), results are certainly more important. KK needs to get his confidence back – so far so good. The Mets and Braves lean a little more to the right this year. If KK can continue, we’re better served having him as a starter, Moyer, Contreras, Lidge, Madsen, Durbin, Romero, (if healthy), and a revolving door of kids for DL filler,…

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Can we let these guys pitch more than 4 SPRING TRAINING INNINGS before we decide that their signings were good or bad . .

    Maybe he’s working on a new pitch? Maybe he was throwing nothing but fastballs, just to build his arm strength? Myabe he was throwing nothing but curveballs just to get his arm into a rythym??.. Who knows.. who cares..

    they are in the process of getting themselves ready for the season..

    so lets give them a chance before we give Kendrick the job (though I think he’s already the front runner for #5)… and banish Contreras to the Camden Riversharks

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    WFC010 . . .

    your prediction of “RUNNING THE GUY OUT OF TOWN”

    has a better chance of coming true, when people are slamming the guy after his second spring training appearance..

    he was a low risk move.. if he helps the team, GREAT!
    if he doesn’t help the team, NO BIG DEAL

    he was brought in to be an option.. if other guys are better then him, those guys will play intead of him. If he is better than other guys, he’ll get the playing time, and we’ll be glad we had him.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    in his first season with the Yankees, 2003 … when he wasn’t a full-time starter

    He posted a season with 3.30 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and .202 Batting avg against..

    as a starter his numbers havn’t been quite as good . . . Im guessing the Phillies scouts saw something they liked in him, and im willing to bet that he helps us more than he hurts us this year

  • Posts: 0 Jeff of Nova

    I agree with Don on this one,

    We have not seen much from these guys. The Starters we have seen more but bullpen guys no.

    My take on it is KK having 5 scoreless innings as a starter is great, but more importantly how he has pitched is what I am most excited about.

    Contreras is working on defining pitches, I rather him do that in Spring training in gametime action and get spanked and live and learn, then do it in April and May. He will be fine. He is not a rookie trying to figure it out but a veteran working on some kinks.

    Same goes for Hamels, the fact that he had success the first outing is great but what he threw in the outing was even more promising, and how he handled having the first batter go yard.

    I love Kendrick’s attitude and demeanor. That was part of his problem the year we won the Series. I want to see him as a our 5th starter if this is the consistent Kendrick we will see.

    Moyer is tricky especially if he pitches well in the spring, but I have said it before and will say it again; When Jaimie Moyer is on he can fool the lineup 1 maybe 2 times through the order. Now unles he is pitching a perfect game that is like 4 maybe 5 innings. When he is off he maybe able to go through 1 time or not at all. That is a tell tale sign of a middle reliever. A spot starter as well. Kendrick(if he continues to pitch well and consistently) has more upside than Moyer over the course of the season. Also since Romero will be out for a little having a good lefty in there would be nice. He also is such a competitor and is a great presence in the bullpen.

    So I see it like this.

    Bastardo (Romero when ready)
    Mathieson(if they go with extra reliever)

    That makes the position players look like this




    I think this is a more solid lineup coming out spring than we have had in the last 5 years. Especially the Pitching staff

  • Posts: 0 trini

    Just an FYI to anyone thats down in FLorida for Spring training. If you plan on going to any of the lame Yankees games, prepare to not even get close to the field. Nope, they don’t even let you down for BP. Went to the Phils/Yanks game yesterday and arrived early to attempt to get some good pics and maybe an autograph. well nope, that elitist club wouldn’t allow anybody down to the field level without tix for the lower level, but they werent even available the second ST tix went on sale, they were all sold out for lower level.. All the more reason i hate the yankees.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Let’s “run Ryan Howard out of town” because he’s been awful at the plate this spring. Oh, that’s right, he got 2 hits yesterday. So the “front-runners” can now change their tune.

    Contreras looked like sh!t yesterday. But, yeah, he’s JUST WORKING THROUGH THINGS. It’s, what??…the second week of the spring games?? I would be willing to bet that by the FOURTH week he will look a lot different.

    Sometimes it takes some of these guys some time to iron out the kinks, work on new pitches or, in the case of hitters, work on a new stance. That’s why these are PRACTICE games.

    Kendrick looked great though. Not overpowering, but impressively condident out there. Go KK!!

  • Posts: 0 Chuck


    I was there 2 years ago. I will NEVER go back to that stadium to watch a game. Elitist is a kind word to describe it. Add “RUDE” to the list of adjectives.

    On the flip side, caught a game at the Astros complex in Kissimmee. Completely the opposite…..very laid back, fan-friendly…..players not only sign stuff but TALK to the fans. Really cool experience.

    The Tigers’ complex in Lakeland is like that too.

  • Posts: 0 Philly Texan

    Lay off Contreras. The guy’s 57 years old. We can’t expect him to really be sharp in spring training.

    He pitched really well in Colorado’s pen last year. And I think he has the potential to be just as good as Chan Ho was out of the pen.

    Meanwhile, it’s really encouraging that KK has four pitches working and is throwing all of them.

    This year’s staff is so much better than last year’s. Remember when Myers was our opening day starter?

    We could be looking at a staff with five pitchers with at least 12 wins

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    It’s Spring Training… you can’t get too high when things look good or too low when things look bad (applies to the entire season but is especially true during ST).

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    Tex, agree, at least double digits. Not only does the starting rotation look better than last year (or any year I can remember), but there are options. Chances are, one of the starters is going to need some down time, Moyer and Contreras are nice insurance for spot starting.

  • Posts: 0 christopher

    once again, not basing my opinion of contreras off of his one spring training performance. i’m basing it off of his mlb performance for the last decade. i think that that’s a sufficient body of work to go off of. the guy isn’t good. i hope he proves me wrong but i doubt he will. don- if he doesn’t help the team no big deal? gotta disagree, if he loses them games then that’s certainly a big deal.

  • Posts: 0 Gaze_NJ

    I have to think that the 5th starter job will be Jamie Moyer’s to lose this spring, but the leash will be much shorter than it was in the past once the season starts.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    So christopher…..let me ask you a question….

    If Roy Halladay goes 20-8 (which is a reasonable prediction for him)….then are them 8 games that he lost a “big deal”???

    Just askin’…..

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I dont think he’s going to be in a position to lose them games… his role will be like a 6th inning pitcher.

    Where you are either UP big or DOWN big in the game..

    or as a Spot Starter . . . I would def rather have a veteran pitching than a kid with only AA experience. .

    Regardless of what he does later this season . . the fact that people are expressing any kind of real concern for his Spring Training thus far is a little bit nuts.

    I understand what Christopher is saying.. but I don’t think that he’ll be in any type of position where his pitching is going to have a big impact on our season..

  • Posts: 0 christopher

    chuck the difference in your example is the positive in that scenario clearly outweighs the negative. i don’t think the negatives are going to outweigh the positives with contreras. don while i agree that’s hopefully going to be contreras’ role, any time you come into a game with a lead you run the risk of losing it, or directly contributing to a loss. we’ll just have to wait and see. as for spot starts though, i’d much rather see KK or moyer in that role.

  • Posts: 0 christopher

    rather i don’t think the positives are going to outweigh the negatives… got a little tongue tied there.

  • Posts: 0 Phils Fan in NYC

    Hey… did I miss out on the Phillies Nation fantasy draft again this year? Hope not… can someone let me know? thnx

  • Posts: 0 Evan

    Spring Training is meaningless when it comes to the numbers these guys put up, but it means a lot if they are flashing new and/or improved stuff that they will definitely be carrying into the year. Everyone’s touting Kendrick as working on his slider and adding an additional pitch to try and break back into the rotation. I’m more curious about what he’s throwing than 3 scoreless innings (especially if there’s only 1 strikeout). No walks is a good sign.

    Does anyone have a more detailed breakdown of Kendrick’s outing?

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Based on what I’ve read, I think the two effective “new” pitches for KK are the cutter and the changeup. Couple those two with a very good sinker and BOOM. Magic baby.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    christopher….I was being a bit of a wiseass. Don’s right, though….Contreras’ contribution….whether positive or negative isn’t going to be the reason that we either have success or failure this season.

    And, yeah, as I said earlier….this is only the second week of S.T. I’m not really all that worried about the 6 runs he gave up yestarday.

  • Posts: 0 Clem Clines

    Great to see Kendrick kicking in. Hope he really shines in Spring Training and then does well as the fifth starter.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    I am not a fan of Rueben. He basically is killing this team. He took over a world series team and has screwed it up. Last season he tried like hell to get Doc. The Jays wanted Drabek and Happ in the deal. He basically earned my respect by saying NO. Then turns around and makes a beauty of a trade. Getting Lee for some ok prospects. What a deal. Then this. He now gives up the guy he said we wont give up in Drabek. Plus two more major prospects for Doc. Are you kidding me. Then turns and gets rid of Lee for scrubs. We basically now have given up 6 guys for Doc. Then he tries to spin it and say the Lee deal was apart of the Doc deal which is a LIE. I do like Doc but not for what we gave up. If you were not going to keep Lee then shop him around to get some relief pitching. I dont care you dont keep him but come on. Then letting Park get away for the garbage Jose. There is no question Doc will be great but thats it. We have nobody else to count on. Our farm system is much weaker since Jr. took over. Guys like Taylor and Knapp are gone. Very sad to see what he has done to this team. Would of let Blanton go and signed Lee for that year. If Lee had to go, shop him around and fill the holes. SORRY BUT UPSET.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Jeff.. . . you’re probably still mad about the Rolen trade too, right?


    “letting Park get away” ??
    we offered him more than he accepted from the Yankees

    I love how everyone is an expert on the farm system and the prospects now . . complaining that D’Arnaud and Knapp, etc.. got traded is a phuucking joke.

    Taylor is blocked by the guys we have now . . . and by this season, is passed on the depth chart/prospect list by Domonic Brown (who we kept)

    Rollins, Howard, Utley, etc are only guarenteed here for a few more years.. so they traded some prospects to bring in Baseball’s best pitcher, Roy Halladay, to win now why the rest of your team is good enough

    By the time Kyle Drabek is good enough to help a World Series caliber team, Rollins will probably be retired,.. and the year will be 2014

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Our 2008 World Series team had a starting rotation of:

    Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Jamie Moyer, and Joe Blanton

    Ruben Amaro has turned that into:

    Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, JA Happ, and ?

    “basically killing this team” ??

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    First off Hamels is not the Hamels of 08. Who knows if he will ever be. We played a very average team in the world series.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Plus Lidge was lights out..

  • Posts: 0 Ben

    so he killed the team by bringing them back to the world series last year and setting us up to have the best team in the NL again?

  • Posts: 0 Chuck


    If you’re going to basically rip somebody apart….then at least have the decency to spell the person’s name correctly.

    We’re not talking about a Jewish deli sandwich here…

    It’s RUBEN

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    This Seattle scrub prospect things never going to go away is it…? You can’t look at Aumont and Gillies’s numbers and skillsets and call them scrubs so it’s obviously a lack of research. You don’t need prospects who less than a year away from the majors if you have no spot or role for them on the 25 man roster. The Phillies are stacked with future role players near major league ready and have prospects with an elite billing in A-ball. There’s no point whining over a D’Arnaud who wasn’t going to see the majors for a long while when you’ve got a guy like Valle who can fill that role. Cliff Lee was not going to ensure a 2nd championship but was more likely to land us another CJ Henry or Mike Costanzo than a Kyle Drabek…

    I really want to see the Phils make use of integrating arms like Carpenter and Savery into the major league bullpen but I really like the set-up of the bullpen this year. Baez and Contreras are both guys who can pitch in any role in the bullpen which should make Chad Durbin more effective in a more specialised role. If KK can win the rotation spot and add another righty to the rotation if Moyer was willing he would be a great addition to the bullpen, I was skeptical last year but he can come into a game and pitch to both lefties and righties and force them to have to make adjustments at the plate at a time in the game their settling in. If Lidge can hold on to the closers spot this is a very versatile, flexible bullpen with more collective experience than any bullpen in the league. It’s not sexy but it could be damned effective, just look at that year the Rockies had a lockdown bullpen of people considered to be cast-offs too far past their prime.

  • Posts: 0 Heather

    To be fair to Jeff, SI recently ran an article where they ranked the managers in baseball. Amaro ranked 19th out of 30. So even though Jeff is probably guilty of painting him a little blacker than he is, others agree that some of Amaro’s moves have been puzzling. As the article says, for as many great moves as he has made so far, he has made an equal number of puzzling/terrible ones.

    I don’t think I am a Phillies basher to say that I’m not thrilled with Amaro. Good job on the Halladay deal. But the two years and millions of dollars to Moyer? Even at the time that was a terrible idea. Same with the Ibanez deal. He’s not a terrible GM on a Minaya level but outside of the Halladay deal, I’m not terribly impressed thus far either.

    Here’s a link to the article I am referring to: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/tim_marchman/03/03/gm.rankings/1.html

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    “very average team in the world series” ?????

    The Tampa Bay Rays in 2008 were 97-65

    While their team BA was .260 and ranked 13th in the AL…

    …..their team ERA was 3.82 and ranked SECOND….

    …..and their team fielding pct. was .985 and ranked FOURTH

    So I would hardly call them an “average team”

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    I LOVE the idea the farm is weaker because the names that are there aren’t recognisable after trading guy who’d be recognisable to the average fan for about five and a half minutes…

    Carrasco, Donald and Marson’s value was at their lowest because of not dealing them…

    Jeff please do your research if your going to bitch and moan… By all means do it but you sound like the un-washed hobo in the corner of the bar dribbling down his beard and shouting at peoples feet as they walk by…

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    The 97 wins that the Rays put up that year, would signify them as better than “very average”

    at least in my book.. they beat “better” teams in the playoffs
    that is, if you consider the 88-win White Sox, and the 95-win Red Sox “better” teams

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    It’s pretty impossible to be “fair to Jeff” in ANY respect at all.

    All the guy does is bash EVERY SINGLE THING this team does.

    Jeff, are you even really a Phillies fan….or just somebody that’s always having a bad day?

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Man it gets boring scrutinizing every single deal expecting to win every single element of every single deal…

    Is Amaro really behind guys like Doug Melvin/Dan O’Dowd/Kenny Williams/Dave Dombrowski? Haven’t the White Sox had the worst success for a team after winning a world series in the free agency era? Hasn’t Dave Dombrowski currently got more bad contracts than anyone else?

    Much easier to throw Amaro under the bus after a championship and successive world series appearance and blow smoke under Friendman/MacPhail/Byrnes/Daniels who’ve reigned over teams who’ve been able to acquire talent by being as competitive as a Buddhist monk in a bar fight.

  • Posts: 0 Heather

    NJ- I don’t see how I threw Amaro under a bus. I merely questioned some of his puzzling decisions. You’re not honestly telling me that the majority of people thought the Moyer signing or the Polanco signing, as far as years/dollars were decent deals. I don’t expect the GM to rob the bank every time, but those deals weren’t even equitable. The majority of commentators would agree with me on that.

    As far as the exact rankings of the GM’s, I didn’t write that article, but merely included it to show that other commentators agree with me that Amaro has done a number of puzzling things. You’ll have to argue with the columnist about the relative merits of Amaro versus Melvin, Williams, et al.

    I am a Phillies fan. That means I gave credit where credit is due, but also question moves that make no sense.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Jeff seems to be one of those who seem to migrate here sometimes who think Moyer’s deal was reprehensible but was no doubt scratching up the carpet at the deadline to acquire Halladay, who wouldn’t have batted an eyelid at signing Alfonso Soriano or trading for Bedard as an Oriole and who probably think no good has come from getting rid of Abreu…

    Prospects come and go, you build a major league team and support it with a farm that can re-invigorate it at the right time. Isn’t that what Amaro is doing? Don’t we have more prospects that have been through Philly in the ‘top 100′ than at any time in the teams recent history? Haven’t we got more likely top prospects in A-Ball and below than almost any other team with a major league roster almost locked down for the next two years? Is the farm really empty? Do you really need accelerated prospects stuck in AAA or does the AA/AAA championship mean more?

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Heather I apologize that wasn’t meant to be an attack on you, I get that you posted it for debate, my comments are more for those who wouldn’t the the sunny side of a fried egg…

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    the guy that did the GM rankings has

    has Bill Smith, of the TWINS ranked #21
    his reasons is the despite the teams great performance, and making the playoffs with scrap-heap players to go with Mauer and Morneu… that the trade of Matt Garza & Jason Bartlett -for- Delmon Young was a bad one.

    he ranks Brian Cashman #3.. the man with the $200 Million payroll
    “…the really impressive thing is that since he secured full control over baseball operations after the 2005 season, the Yankees have spent their money wisely, signing studs like CC Sabathia rather than sure bets for decline…”

    Yea that’s pretty impressive, signing a Cy Young pitcher to a huge contract… thank god they had Cashman at the helm to make that tough call !!!

    among the reasons he ranked Amaro so low??
    “..if so far successful, decision to sign 37-year-old designated hitter-masquerading-as-an-outfielder Raul Ibanez to a long-term contract have to count heavily against him.”

    So basically, a move that has worked great so far “HAS TO” count heavily against him. ????

    That is the most A$$-BACKWARDS rankings list i’ve ever seen..

  • Posts: 0 Gaze_NJ

    Would the name Drabek been so recognizable if not for his pedigree?

    I’m not writing Amaro’s name on my presidential ballot, but he’s hardly killed the team. I’m not sure that in his shoes I wouldn’t have made just about all the same moves. He’s a quick worker who takes the approach that it’s better to sign players before the market inflates their value. I’m fine with that.

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