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Monday, December 8, 2008

Player Analysis: #38 Kyle Kendrick SP

Overall Season Numbers

Overall Opponent's AVG/OBP/SLG & wOBA: .304/.371/.484 & .378
-vs. RHB: .271/.335/.423 & .352
-vs. LHB: .334/.404/.541 & .401

IP: 155.7
K: 68
BB: 57
WHIP: 1.612
BB/PA: .079
K/9 IP: 3.93

Overall Career Numbers

Overall Opponent's AVG/OBP/SLG & wOBA: .294/.352/.469 & .361
-vs. RHB: .258/.311/.393 & .321
-vs. LHB: .329/.392/.544 & .399

IP: 276.7
K: 117
BB: 82
WHIP: 1.464
BB/PA: .067
K/9 IP: 3.81

In Kendrick's second season with the Phillies, his fate was definitely more in line with the numbers he put up. Kendrick managed to stack up the ever meaningless Ws in his rookie season, and compiled a 3.87 ERA. He did an admirable job of filling in the void in the Phillies starting rotation in 2007. However, the major leagues caught up to him, and as his control dipped this year, Kendrick was forced to leave his hittable fastball over the plate. Kendrick really only worked with 2 pitches this season, as he has never been able to develop a reliable third pitch that continually leaves hitters off balance. In 2007, his 2-seam fastball at least gave righties a little trouble, but in 2008 Kendrick's WHIP soared, and his numbers were quite awful against righties and lefties. While this was due in large part to his lack of control and walking hitters, Kendrick gave up far too many hits across the board.

While this is to be expected from a 2nd year player, local media would never let anyone in on the true story. Despite his climbing win total early in the season, Kyle Kendrick did not look like a pitcher the Phillies wanted to rely on to give them consistent wins. Even in the games where he held the opposition to few runs, it was quite evident that he was getting roped. I remember numerous times in the middle of the season where Mr. Musser and I would be discussing the perplexity of how Kendrick was able to escape the danger of that day's contest. Down the stretch, the Phillies skipped over his spot here and there due to his terrible outings, and rightly so.

While all hope for Kendrick should not be abandoned, people should come to realize that Kyle Kendrick (and Adam Eaton in 2007) are the prime examples of how a pitcher's Win total does not always reflect good or even average pitching. If Kendrick can regain his command, gain some velocity on his fastball, and develop a third pitch, he could eventually become a decent Major League pitcher. As The Book preaches, non-strikeout pitchers tend to have a much more difficult time lasting in the Majors than do even average strikeout pitchers for the simple fact that they rely on a hitter's ability when making contact for success. This is not always a recipe for success, and Kendrick appears to be a prime example of that. For now, I don't think he has any place in the Phillies rotation, and should perhaps give it another shot somewhere down the line. Hopefully the front office is not left with the decision of whether or not he should be on the opening day roster, and they pick up a reliable arm.

Next up: #43 J.A. Happ SP/RP

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