After some up-and-down starts with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Kyle Kendrick finds himself back in the majors. At this time last season, he was in the Phillies starting rotation and was 5-2 with a 4.87 ERA. His problems were starting to mount and eventually, he found himself in Florida relearning how to throw a change-up and he was left off of the Phillies postseason roster.
While Kendrick has had a couple of rough starts this season, he's been solid in his last three starts, going 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA.
There are actually a couple of reasons why Kendrick got the call. First, he's not the hottest pitcher on the IronPigs staff as GM Ruben Amaro Jr seemed to believe in an interview with Daily News Live Friday. The hottest 'Pig pitcher is Andrew Carpenter, who is 5-0 with a 2.75 ERA and in his last five starts, Carpenter has been on fire, allowing just three earned runs in 34 1/3 innings (0.79 ERA). One reason Carpenter didn't get the call is likely because he threw seven innings on Thursday night and wouldn't have been able to help the Phillies bullpen until Monday at the earliest. Kendrick was slated to start for Lehigh Valley Friday night and with the 'Pigs playing at home - just about an hour away from Philly - Kendrick can pitch as early as the Phillies would need him.
Kendrick also got the call because he's logged major league innings before and won't have a learning curve, other than adjusting to pitching out of relief.
Consider Kendrick's stats by inning with Lehigh Valley.
|First and Second||2.25||24.0||22||8||6||2||11||12||1.38||.234|
|Fourth and Fifth||2.86||22.0||15||7||7||2||6||19||0.95||.168|
|Sixth and Seventh||10.00||9.0||16||10||10||1||2||0||2.00||.410|
Pitching for a couple of innings could play to Kendrick's strength as a pitcher. If he can adjust to pitching in relief, Kendrick might find himself with a new role.
And finally, the trade deadline is drawing nearer and if Kendrick pitches well, his stock could climb slightly higher. With his stats from Triple-A and renewed success in the majors, Kendrick could become a nice addition to a trade package that the Phillies could offer to another club.
The question is more about what will become of Chan Ho Park, who previously held down the long-relief role for the Phillies since his demotion to the bullpen. Park has lowered his ERA as a reliever this season to 4.09 after a couple of nice outings against the Dodgers and Mets.
If Park is readjusting to his relief role that he pitched well in last season for Los Angeles, he could move up in the pecking order of the Phillies bullpen.