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Just Say No To Kyle Kendrick

Kyle Kendrick had a great rookie year, going 10-4 with a 3.87 ERA.  Even though he didn't strike out many hitters, he had a low walk rate (1.9 per 9 innings) and a low home run rate (1.19 per 9 innings).  Basically, he kept men off the bases unnecessarily and kept the ball in the park.  That translated to a good year.

Last year was not so good.  He ended with a 5.49 ERA and a respectable 11-9 record.  But his peripherals were worse.  While he actually was striking out slightly more hitters per nine innings (3.9 compared to 3.6), he was walking a lot more (3.3 per 9) and giving up more home runs (1.33 per 9).

But his ugly stats for last year mask how utterly atrocious he was for the second half of last year.  From July 11 forward, Kendrick made Phillies fans long for the days of Adam Eaton.  Here's the comparison of some basic stats for Kendrick's career pre-July 11 and Kendrick post-July 11:

Pre July 11, 2008 219.33 100 4.10 92 241 52 1.35
July 11, 2008 on 57.33 47 7.38 25 82 25 1.87

Digging deeper into some important peripherals shows just what Kendrick's problem was:

IP K/9 BB/9 H/9 HR/9 K/BB
Pre July 11, 2008 219.33 3.78 2.13 9.89 1.15 1.77
July 11, 2008 on 57.33 3.92 3.92 12.87 1.73 1.00

Essentially, hitters figured him out.  Although he was striking out a slightly greater number of hitters, they were able to coax more walks out of him and, if he threw the ball over the plate, hit the ball for more power and with better results.

Early spring training results show the same thing.  He's had two outings.  Yesterday he allowed 5 hits and 4 runs in 2.67 innings.  Last week he gave up only 1 run but on 4 hits in 2.67 innings.

Kendrick is done.  He never had outstanding stuff to begin with, and now the league has figured him out.  This is not a pitcher the Phillies should have any business putting in their rotation this year.