As pitchers and catchers begin their spring routine in Clearwater, Florida today the Philadelphia Phillies announced they had signed pitcher Kyle Kendrick to a two-year contract worth a reported $7.5 million. Kendrick will be a part of the Phillies pitching staff now through the 2013 season, avoiding arbitration along the way.
Good for him.
There is no question that we have seen the good and bad of Kendrick in his professional career, dating back to the 2007 season. After going 10-4 in his first year with the club, with a 3.87 ERA Kendrick was a frustrating 11-9 with a 5.49 ERA in 2008, when the offense pulled him out of trouble on multiple occasions on the way to a World Series championship. Kendrick's role was reduced to bullpen duty and emergency starter status when he was not in Lehigh Valley trying to retool his game in 2009. After struggling with command and with the emergence of J.A. Happ on the mound (or so we thought) Kendrick actually ended the season with a 3-1 record and a very respectable 3.42 ERA, mostly out of relief duty. With no room on the starting rotation for Kendrick, it appeared as though the Phillies found a good situation for Kendrick, who had adjusted to life out of the bullpen. Having Kendrick in relief for long-relief situations gave the Phillies a decent arm to count on, and one that could be used as an emergency starter if needed.