Tagged: Kyle Kendrick

Worley to DL, Kendrick to start. Alternatives?

Two possible starters waiting in Lehigh Valley
The Phillies have confirmed that Vance Worley has been sent to the 15 day disabled list with elbow inflammation. He will be eligible to return on May 27 and he will miss tonight’s start in Chicago in addition to two additional turns through the rotation (Monday vs Washington and Saturday May 26 vs St Louis). This could fulfill the prophecy of two starters going down long term every year. Elbow problems are serious stuff.
So in response, the Phillies have moved Kyle Kendrick back into the rotation and recalled Joe Savery to full a spot in the bullpen. But laying in wait are two pitchers that have been dazzling down in the minor leagues. One a veteran, one a young rookie.

Scott Elarton

Team
League
W
L
ERA
G
GS
CG
SHO
SV
IP
H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
AVG
AVG
LHV
INT
4
1
2.39
7
7
0
0
0
37.2
31
11
10
3
13
19
.225
.225
Minors

4
1
2.39
7
7
0
0
0
37.2
31
11
10
3
13
19
.225
.225

 

Scott Elarton was signed to give added depth to the Phillies rotation, the likely number seven starter after Kendrick. Elarton has started seven games with Lehigh Valley. He had one rough outing against the Buffalo Bisons where he gave up 8 earned runs in 3.2 innings. Other than that he has been masterful. Take out the Buffalo start and he has about a 0.52 ERA. Right handers are batting .190 against him. He’s 11th in the International League in WHIP at 1.17. Elarton’s turn to start comes up tonight against Indianapolis. We signed this guy for a reason. Should another starter go down in the Phillies rotation, expect to see Elarton get called up.

Tyler Cloyd

Team
League
W
L
ERA
G
GS
CG
SHO
SV
IP
H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
AVG

REA
EAS
3
0
1.80
4
4
0
0
0
25.0
22
5
5
1
3
20
.239

LHV
INT
4
0
0.69
4
4
0
0
0
26.0
12
2
2
1
5
21
.145

Minors

7
0
1.24
8
8
0
0
0
51.0
34
7
7
2
8
41
.194

 

 

Tyler Cloyd was selected by the Phillies in the 18th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Bellevue East High School in Bellevue, Neb. He also pitched for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League following the 2011 season. Last season he split time between Clearwater and Reading and started 22 games, going 9-4 with a 2.77 ERA for the year and getting 128 strikeouts. He has seven starts this season between Reading and Lehigh Valley, winning pitcher of the week in two different weeks in April. Lefties are batting .167 against him while right handed batters have a .132 avg on him. He leads the Ironpigs in WHIP at 0.65. Today is actually his 25th birthday. That should tell you enough. The Phillies are notorious for keeping the young talent down as long as they can unless their hand is forced (see Freddy Galvis). If the Phillies had the need for a number 8 starter, I can’t say with any confidence that Cloyd would get the call even there. You’d be more likely to see Jose Contreras start after Kendrick and Elarton get moved into the rotation. I apologize for giving you that image. There’s a reason though he hasn’t progressed as quickly as Vance Worley, also drafted in 2008. In 2010, the Phillies used Cloyd predominately out of the bullpen, a transition with which he had some difficulty, finishing the year with an ERA over 5.oo, spending most of the year in Clearwater after only starting 9 games. So the bounce around did more harm than help. He started more games in 2011 and improved somewhat, but so far he has been excellent in 2012. It will take a desperate situation for Cloyd to get called up as a started anytime before September this year.

But… if Kyle Kendrick does not perform adequately in his fill in starts, it is possible the Phillies could move him back to the pen and call up Elarton. Less likely: Cloyd. Kendrick would have to get shelled though in consecutive starts. And the other facets of the game, the offense and the bullpen, would have to perform well so Kendrick would have to be the only scapegoat left to blame for potential losses. Translation: Everything would have to go wrong for Kendrick and right for everyone else. If tonight the Phillies lose 7-1, it won’t really matter since there was no offense. If Kendrick throws 7 innings and gives up 2 runs and leaves with the score 4-2, then the bullpen blows it, then the bullpen blame game will roll on. I can’t say for any certainty how much of a leash the Phillies will give Kendrick, both in individual games and in the rotation as a whole. But knowing what we do about Elarton and Cloyd, they can’t just say “We use the guys we have”. Because they have two more guys in Lehigh Valley just waiting for a call.

Rotation Russian Roulette

This year, the Phillies pretty much have their rotation set. In past years there were 5th started controversies or competitions but not so much this year. After Halladay, Hamels, and Lee, Vance Worley looks build on his successful 2011 year and Joe Blanton is hoping to come back from arm problems which kept his stats on the lower end for much of last year. So one through five are set. However, we know we are going to need six and seven.
Six and seven?
Yes, six and seven. The pitchers on the depth chart who will have to inevitably fill in for the two pitchers who will be taken out of the rotation due to injury or ineffectiveness (AKA stinking up the place). This is bound to happen. You might want to even use the dreaded “C Word” that Philadelphia fans hate to bring up. That word being curse. Is this rotation cursed? Let’s recap the several seasons and who suffered from time off the mound.
2007 Opening Day Rotation: Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Jon Lieber, Jamie Moyer, Freddy Garcia
Casualty 1: Jon Lieber. Lieber didn’t make his first start until the Phillies 15th game of the season. After three starts and two relief appearances, his ERA was 2.57 with a 1-0 record. After his 12th start on June 20th, he was put on the DL with an ankle injury that would cause him to miss the rest of the season.
Replacement: Kyle Lohse. Lohse was traded from the Reds and went 3-0 with a 4/72 ERA in 11 starts.
Casualty 2: Freddy Garcia. In 11 starts, Garcia only earned one win, took five losses and posted a 5.90 ERA. This came to be known as “The ten million dollar win” since Garcia was on a one year, ten million dollar deal. His fall soon led to the rise of…
Replacement: Kyle Kendrick. After being called up on June 13, he went 10-4 with a 3.87 ERA. He did a good job of eating innings and keeping the team in the game but never really dazzled. His 07 performance secured a spot in the rotation in the 2007 postseason as well as the following season. More on him later.

2008 Opening Day Rotation: Hamels, Myers, Moyer, Adam Eaton, Kyle Kendrick
Casualty 1: Brett Myers. Myers had a poor start to his season, going 2-2 in April with a 5.11 ERA. At the end of June he accepted an assignment to the minor league teams to get his pitching back on track. He his record before being sent down was 3-9 and gave up four runs or more in his last four starts in June. He returned in July to close out the year with an additional 7 wins and 4 losses and maintain an 3.06 ERA in 13 starts. The Phillies took advantage of the All Star Break, days off, and spot starts from JA Happ to work around Myers Minor League adventure.
Casualty 2: Adam Eaton. Eaton did not record his first win in 2008 until his 11th start on May 28. In July he was moved to the bullpen, and then sent down to the minors, leaving with a 4-8 record. The last image Phillies fans have of him is when he waved to the fans as he picked up his World Series ring.
Replacement: Joe Blanton. Blanton came to the Phillies from Oakland in exchange for three prospects. He took the role of the innings eater. In his 13 starts with the Phillies over two months, the team went 9-4 while Blanton only got decisions in four of those games, receiving the W each time.

2009 Opening Day Rotation: Hamels, Myers, Moyer, Joe Blanton, Chan Ho Park
Casualty 1: Chan Ho Park. After a drama filled spring training played out on TV, Chan Ho Park won the fifth starter job, beating out JA Happ and Kendrick. But after 7 starts in which he landed a 7.29 ERA, he was sent to the bullpen where he seemed to nicely fill the role of long man. These days he is playing for the Hanwha Eagles of Korea Baseball Organization and remains the Asian player with the most wins in MLB.
Replacement: J.A. Happ. If you watched “The Pen” on MLB Network, you got to see the drama for the 5th starter position play out. Cameras were there as Happ was told he would not be starting, but would still be on the team as bullpen long man. When Chan Ho was given the hook, he and Happ traded places. In Happ’s 23 starts, he went 10-4 with a 2.99 ERA. You’d think that would be good right? Good enough? Good enough to start in the postseason? Keep reading.
Casualty 2: Jamie Moyer. Moyer had a pretty rocky season. In his four starts in April, the Phillies went 3-1 but he gave up 4 runs in three of those starts and never went past six innings. By the end of June, his ERA was above six and he had a even 6-6 record. There were quite a few games where he gave up six runs or more and the Phillies did not take to this at all. He was sent to the bullpen in August following a grumble session with the media. He did manage to pitch well in some relief appearances following rain delays which were started by his replacement…
Replacement: Pedro Martinez. Nobody have Pedro a contract after the 2008 offseason and he showcased what he had in the 2009 World Baseball Classic playing for the Dominican Republic. Phillies scouts checked him out in July and he was signed to a one million dollar deal for the season, the definition of low risk high reward. In his return to New York on August 23, Martinez’s win against the Mets was preserved by a rare unassisted triple play by second baseman Eric Bruntlett in the bottom of the ninth inning. With his win on September 3—his third as a Phillie and his 100th as a National Leaguer—Martinez became the 10th pitcher in history to win at least 100 games in each league. The Phillies made it to the World Series in a much hyped return to Yankee Stadium. He pitched well enough in Game 2, leaving the game with the Phils trailing 2-1 but in Game 6 allowed four runs in four innings, leaving some to wonder if JA Happ should have gotten a spot in the rotation. He officially retired this past December.

2010 Opening Day Rotation: Hamels, Moyer, Blanton, Roy Halladay, J.A. Happ
Casualty 1: Joe Blanton.  Blanton suffered an oblique injury before opening day and was placed on the DL until he was ready to come back in May.
Casualty 2: J.A. Happ. Happ began experiencing elbow problems after starting two games. He made rehab appearances, one more start for the Phillies on July 25 where he gave up three runs in five innings, then was traded to the Astros for this guy…
Replacement: Roy Oswalt: Happ was traded for Oswalt in the semi annual Astros fleecing. He lost his first start after being whisked out from Houston, but in his next 11 starts, went 7-0.
Casualty 3: Jamie Moyer. The honored elder pretty much repeated his performance of the previous year but the Phillies were locked into waiting it out with him until he suffered a a sprain in his ulnar collateral ligament and a strain of his flexor pronator, which resulted in Moyer missing the remainder of the 2010 season.
Replacement Infinity: Kyle Kendrick. He initially was given a bullpen spot on the team, then was part of the opening day rotation, first filling in for Joe Blanton, then Happ. He was sent down to AAA for a day, only to be called up again when Moyer went down.

2011 Opening Day Rotation: Halladay, Hamels, Blanton, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt
Casualty 1: Roy Oswalt. Little Roy started out strong in his first starts in April, but on April 27 in Arizona, was pulled after three innings and then took a leave of absence from the team, citing “personal reasons,” namely to check on his family and home after a series of devastating tornadoes in Mississippi. He later returned to Philadelphia but his back problems forced the Phillies to place him on the DL. He returned to the team on May 17th but went 1-5 in his next 8 starts (even through in three of those starts he was the victim of the other Phillies curse, poor run support). Oswalt went on the DL for about six weeks over the summer with an ailing back. It was said this was aggravated by his use of an excavator assisting with tornado relief efforts.
Replacement: Kyle Kendrick. He’s up, he’s down, he’s all around. He starts, he relieves, he gets into bets with Cliff Lee. He does it all.
Casualty 2: Joe Blanton. Problems with his elbow put Blanton on the 15 day DL in late April. He made two starts but eventually was returned to the DL, and did not return to the active roster until mid September. This leads us to…
Replacement: Vance Worley, AKA VANIMAL. Worley made a few starts after Blanton went down and pitched well. But he was sent down to AAA when Oswalt came back from the disabled list. He was brought back up again when Blanton returned to the DL. He was sent back down again to bring up Mike Zagurksi, only to come back to the Phillies in mid June to return to the rotation. Most believed this yo yo system of call ups and bullpen trips messed with him a bit, but overall he had a great season with an 11-3 record and a 3.01 ERA for the season.

So now here we are in 2012. Predictions for who might go down? Glad you asked.

Predicted casualty 1: Cliff Lee. Currently experiencing abdominal issues and there is a chance that Game 2 NLDS performance affected him during the offseason.
Predicted casualty 2: Cole Hamels. Only because the fates are cruel. Cole has it all, talent, good looks, hot wife, kids, friends. I think we are going to pay for this easy going winter we had with a Hamels injury of some kind. Throw in the fact this is his contact year and it would be just the cruel twist of fate you only see in tragic movies.

As for replacements? Kendrick just signed for 2 years and Joel Piniero is on a minor league deal with “Just in Case” stitched on the back of his uniform. Don’t get me started on Roy Oswalt, that’s a whole nother mess I’d rather not bring up.