The Phillies today optioned RHP Kyle Kendrick to the minor leagues, where he will likely pitch for the Triple A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. This ends Kendrick's attempt to begin the season as the Phillies' fifth starter, of course. They also optioned C Lou Marson and INF Brad Harman.
It isn't necessarily surprising that Kendrick lost the fifth-starter competition, but the fact that he was shipped out before Carlos Carrasco makes me wonder if Kendrick is not only out of the team's immediate plans, but maybe has fallen as far as eighth on the putative starter depth chart. Whoever wins the Happ/Park duke-a-roo is obviously #5, with the loser very likely relegated to bullpen duty and on call if or when there's a rotation opening. If Carrasco and Kendrick are both in the IronPigs' rotation, though, at some point Carrasco's evidently superior talent pushes him ahead of Kendrick's track record. That point might be now.
Meanwhile, Marson's demotion isn't a surprise, though I also wouldn't have been shocked to see him linger till the last cuts. But at this point I'm guessing Charlie Manuel wants to see as much of Chris Coste and Ronnie Paulino as he can, while choosing between them. Of course, the loser of that competition probably will back up Marson in Allentown, unless there's a trade.
Update: Jason Donald, Dave Borkowski and Jake Woods were optioned this afternoon as well. It seems that with Utley and Feliz both evidently on track to start the season with the Phils, Donald will continue to bide his time in triple-A and serve as a human trade rumor.