Promoted to front page for stat-engendered deep thoughts. -Wet Luzinski
Phillies fans love having a scapegoat. Whether its a position player like David Bell or the new trendy player to pick on, Kyle Kendrick, Phillies fans are quick to hurl negative thoughts during a player any time they do something wrong. Over his past few starts, Kendrick has been receiving alot of ill will from what I have seen from twitter, the game threads and other sources throughout the web.
I am going to try to give you all a little perspective on his season so far. Maybe you have looked into this, maybe it has been mentioned here before but it needs to be brought up again. Kyle Kendrick is our #5 starter and because of this, he is not having that bad of a season.
I wanted to compare him to other #5 starters. So let's take a look at Kendrick's stats compared with other #5 starters (as currently listed on MLB.com depth charts with some additions) in the National League.Listed are the stats I think are crucial in evaluating a pitcher's true performance.
Kyle Kendrick (26 starts)
4.72 ERA/5.04 FIP/4.82 xFIP
.287 BABIP, 69.8% LOB, 0.6 WAR
5.11 ERA/4.24 FIP/4.57 xFIP
.323 BABIP, 63.0% LOB, 0.9 WAR
Mike Minor (Braves current #5 - small sample size alert)
3.91 ERA/2.45 FIP/3.66 xFIP
.372 BABIP, 68.6% LOB, 0.8 WAR
7.12 ERA/4.40 FIP/5.19 xFIP
.369 BABIP, 52.7% LOB, 0.5 WAR
5.68 ERA/6.31 FIP/5.69 xFIP
.266 BABIP, 74.2% LOB, -0.6 WAR
Madison Bumgarner (Giants, 13 starts)
3.76 ERA/4.37 FIP/4.43 xFIP
.316 BABIP, 78% LOB, 0.8 WAR
4.23 ERA/4.70 FIP/4.33 xFIP
.317 BABIP, 72.5% LOB, 1.2 WAR
Travis Wood (Reds, 12 starts)
3.19 ERA/3.62 FIP/4.47 xFIP
.256 BABIP, 70.7% LOB, 1.5 WAR
4.15 ERA/4.76 FIP/4.57 xFIP
.306 BABIP, 80.4% LOB, 0.1 WAR
So fact of the matter is, when you look at KK compared to pitchers in his position, he does not really look all that bad. Sure, some teams have better #5 starters but do you really want to give someone up to upgrade slightly over KK?
Plus, I think if any of these guys on the farm were any more than marginally better than KK, they would have had a spot by now. Maybe one of them (including Worley on Tuesday) will get a start down the stretch and pitch well. However, we have seen KK pitch well this season and I think that with him under contract, it is better to use him than to have pulled one of the young guys up and start their arbitration clock.
So let's be fair to KK. Let's not put the same standard we put on Halladay, Hamels or Oswalt but be fair with him. He is the #5 starter and when you compare his production to similar starters, I think you will come away more than satisfied. If not, gain solace in the fact that he will only pitch 3-5 more times in the regular season and probably (hopefully?) zero times in the postseason.