Phillies need help on third?
By Kevin K
As the trade deadline quickly approaches, the big question is what is the Phillies biggest need? The Phillies have been rumored to be looking at a relief pitcher and a right handed outfielder, but what about third base?
According to CSN's Jim Salisbury, "Just spoke with Placido Polanco. Back still sore. He believes he needs injection to help relieve pain from bulging disc".
Polanco started the season red hot, but slowly started to cool off and hasn't been himself while injured. There may be a reason to worry knowing how bad backs are hard to come back (no pun intended) into playing at a high level (look at Polanco and Oswalt).
Now there has been no trade rumors of the Phillies going after a third baseman, but I wouldn't leave it out of the question. Polanco's health certainly scares you a but as a Phillies fan and might cause you to push the panic button just a little bit.
Now I am not trying to take away from what Martinez has done for us lately, but he is not the everyday solution for the Phillies at third base. Just two weeks ago we were all saying how Martinez shouldn't even be on the team (so please don't try to attack me here).
All I am trying to really get out of this is letting you know do not be surprised if the Phillies decide to go after a right handed hitting third baseman.
Kendrick and Worley are getting the job done. According to John Clark, "Vance Worley and Kyle Kendrick have made 17 starts for Phillies. They are 8-3, ERA around 3.00. They've been better than Oswalt/Blanton"
Teams are high on Phillies Prospect Jared Cosart. Expect his name to come up a lot in the upcoming weeks as "trade bait"
'I love starting but if they need me in the pen I’ll be ready to go' -Kendrick
Spring Training Q&A With RHP Kyle Kendrick
By Kevin K
Pitchers and Catchers have officially reported to Spring Training in Clearwater as the buzz continues on what may be the greatest Phillies team in the organization’s history.
The Phillies has a very interesting off-season in preparation for the 2011 season starting with Jayson Werth signing with the Washington Nationals. All Phillies fans were upset with the organization until December 13th, 2010. That day will be a day that no Phillies fans would forget anytime soon because that night the Phillies brought Cliff Lee back to the organization without trading any of their pitchers.
Yes the Phillies now have four aces in their pitching rotation. Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels; let it sink in a little more as that is what the Phillies bring to the table this upcoming season.
Yes the Phillies may have some holes in their offense with Jayson Werth being out of town, however, the team is set to make another run at the World Series this upcoming season.
With thought of the 2011 season, I was able to have a question and answer session with Kyle Kendrick, who will be competing for the 5th Starter Spot in the rotation against Joe Blanton and Vance Worley.
Kendrick talks about competition, the four aces, the upcoming season, and more in this Question and Answer session.
Note: Being that Kyle Kendrick and I both have the same initials, the questions will be posted with the initials TPP with Kendrick’s answers being posted with the initials KK.
TPP: What were your thoughts when the Phillies acquired Cliff Lee?
KK: I was very excited, he is obviously one of the best pitchers in the game and I’m happy he's back!
TPP: Having the Big 4 there, is there more pressure to perform or is it business as usual?
KK: Not at all, I'm not Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels or Roy Oswalt. I am going to pitch my game and keep developing what has got me to the big leagues and what has made me stay. I'm excited to pitch with them though!
TPP: What routines do you take from Roy Halladay, who seems to be a workaholic?
KK: His work ethic and focus! He is always staying focused on his work and his work ethic is the best I’ve seen!
TPP: The Phillies bullpen seems to have gotten weaker this upcoming season, do you think that matters more when you have a starting rotation like the Phillies do?
KK: I think our bullpen is going to be just fine. You never know in baseball, can't always depend on our rotation.
TPP: I know that you turned down playing Quarterback for Washington State University, what (if anything/anyone) helped you make your decision between football and baseball?
KK: I've always loved baseball and it was my first love. I made the decision on my own but if was tough at first. I am happy with it now!
TPP: Where do you prefer to pitch: bullpen or rotation and how would you prepare differently for the two roles?
KK: I love starting but if they need me in the pen I’ll be ready to go! Preparing wouldn't be much different, just have to watch my workouts
TPP: How are your preparing for Spring Training knowing that you are in an open competition for the fifth starter position between you, Joe Blanton, and Vance Worley?
KK: Just prepare like I do every Spring Training; get myself ready for the season and let the front office and coach's make the decision.
TPP: What team do you think is the biggest threat to the Phillies within the Division, National League, and MLB in general?
KK: Well, the Braves are always good and the Giants are the defending Champs. Also, Boston has made some strong moves this off-season, so we'll see!
TPP: Teams seem to have loaded their lineups with Left-Handed Hitters against you, how are you training/preparing to improve against Left-Handed Hitters?
KK: Keep developing my change-up, cutter, and slider and continue learning everyday!!
TPP: Have you ever played as yourself in any video games, and if so which one?
KK: Yes, I was pretty pumped to pitch with myself when I got to the big leagues and knew I was going to be in video games, so I was excited about that. I don't play anymore but I’ve pitched with myself a couple times.
TPP: What is the best advice you ever received in MLB and who gave it to you?
KK: Jamie Moyer... Don't take anything for granted!
TPP: What is it like playing in Philadelphia?
KK: I love playing in Philly; in my mind the best place to play in MLB
TPP: What do you think of the Philadelphia Fans?
KK: Philly fans are good; they love the teams and want to win! That’s all the matters!
TPP: Some fans are very negative sometimes when it comes to certain players; do you have any reaction to these fans?
KK: Not at all, fans have their opinions and that’s fair.
TPP: I know you recently got married, so which moment was bigger in your life, the day of your Wedding or the day the Phillies won the World Series in 2008? (Sorry Steph, I had to ask)
KK: haha, I love baseball and always will, but getting married is going to beat that. Winning the World Series was awesome though!!
TPP: What sports teams did you grow up following and which athlete did you admire growing up?
KK: Being from Seattle I grew up watching the Seattle Mariners so they were my favorite team. I always liked the Houston Astros also because of Nolan Ryan, I loved the way he battled and competed out there!
TPP: What advice do you have for children who look up to you and want to play in MLB like you?
KK: Follow your dreams and enjoy the game, try to learn something every day at the park!
TPP: Who is the leader in the clubhouse?
KK: Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley
TPP: What player do you look up to the most?
KK: (Roy) Halladay
TPP: Who is the funniest player on the team?
KK: (Ryan) Madson
TPP: Who has the best nickname on the team?
KK: Carlos Ruiz: Chooch
TPP: Use your best Jimmy Rollins prediction here, what is your prediction for the 2011 season?
KK: haha, I’m not sure, hopefully a World Series ring.
TPP: Thank you Kyle and best of luck in Spring Training and throughout the 2011 season
KK: Thank you!
I would like to thank Kyle Kendrick for taking time out of his day to answer these questions. Also a special thanks to his wife, Stephenie, for all the help.
Blanton Likely to Stay With the Phillies
By Kevin K
After the news of Kyle Kendrick (who is expected to compete for a 5th starter spot) avoided arbitration signing a one year $2.45 Million deal, Fox News reported that Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is not likely to trade RHP Joe Blanton before Opening Day 2011.
“I don’t feel comfortable doing it,” Amaro said, according to Fox Sports. “He’s going to pitch for the Phillies, probably for the entire season.”
Joe Blanton is due $8.5 Million as the Phillies 5th Starter. If the Phillies were looking to trade Blanton they would have to continue paying some of his salary.
Note: Ruben Amaro has been very secretive before, see Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay signings. I do not expect Amaro to show his hand at all and that may be the reason why this report came out of Fox Sports.
Rumor Mill Flies!
By Kevin K
On Tuesday Kyle Kendrick was sent to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and is now expecting to be traded along with a few other players. Andrew Carpenter was called up to originally replace Kendrick, but, reported first by us, Carpenter was put in the bullpen leaving the fifth starter spot wide open.
With that trade rumors went flying.
Included in the trade rumors include; Jayson Werth, Kyle Kendrick, and J.A. Happ.
The Phillies have expressed interest in Starting Pitchers Dan Haren, Roy Oswalt, and Ben Sheets according to multiple sources.
According to FanHouse.com the ball is in (Roy) Oswalt's court to waive his no trade clause and join the Phillies.
During the Phillies/Cardinals game, Jamie Moyer left in the first inning. After the game, Charlie Manuel said that Moyer was definitely going on the DL and described his injury as Happ-like in the beginning of the season. That injury caused Happ months to recover from.
Manuel also stated that Happ will return to the team after Moyer is placed on the DL.
Moyer said, "I expect to pitch again. When that is I have no idea."
This leaves the Phillies with a big move that they have to make in the upcoming days. Rumors are now swirling about what the Phillies are going to do. As always, we will keep you updated.
Phillies Win a World Series Rematch
By Kevin K
In a rematch of the 2009 World Series, the Phillies come out on top, too bad it is just regular season. If I were to tell you that the Phillies were going to lose game one with Roy Halladay on the mound and win the next two you would have laughed in my face, but it happened.
Behind great pitching and timely hitting the Phillies were able to defeat the Yankees in two of the three games they played, and the Phillies have won three of the last four games.
The immortal 47 year old Jamie Moyer shut down the Yankees on Wednesday to become the oldest pitcher ever to beat the Yankees. Lets face it, now when you are asked who was the oldest pitcher to (insert accomplishment here), it's Jamie Moyer. Moyer was completely shut down against the Yankees after pitching his worst game in his career on Friday against the Red Sox.
Kyle Kendrick pitched on Thursday and once again my theory stands correct. Kendrick pitches three good games and then lays an egg. Another good game was pitched yesterday for Kendrick after throwing a bad game last week against the Marlins. KK continues to be a solid pitcher for the Phillies and is now putting pressure on Charlie Manuel on what to do when JA Happ comes back, or if the Phillies sign Pedro Martinez.
The Phillies also had timely hitting and seem to be breaking out of their slump. It has been a while since the Phillies have scored over 6 runs in back-to-back games, and that is exactly what they did to the Yankees.
Phillies bats seem to have waken up over the past few games and the Phillies hope they can keep it going.
Notes: First Base Coach Davey Lopes hinted that Chase Utley has been dealing with a knee injury this season
Kendrick Seen Wearing a Celtics Jersey, but Not a Fan
By Kevin K
There have been reports from CrossingBroad and the 700 Level that Kyle Kendrick is a Celtics fan, this is not true.
I talked with someone very close with Kendrick who told me that Kendrick is not a Celtics fan, but a Ray Allen fan.
Kyle is from Seattle, where Allen originally played before becoming a Celtic a few years ago.
Kendrick was seen at the Celtics/Lakers game last night with his fiance Stephenie LaGrossa wearing a Ray Allen Celtics jersey.
Starters Sensational !
By Kevin K
Remember a week ago where we would complain that the Phillies starters really needed to step up their game and give the bullpen a little rest, that is exactly how the last five games have gone for the Phillies.
It all started on Saturday with, who else, but Roy Halladay. Halladay threw a complete game shut out and started sensational starting pitching from there on.
Now Jamie Moyer didn't shut down the Mets on Sunday, but the bats came alive for him as he was able to out perform one of the best pitchers in the game, Johan Santana. With the first two games the Phillies starting pitching was 2-0.
Joe Blanton came off injury on Monday and pitched well through 6 2/3 innings in a questionable decision from the Phillies bench. I was truly amazed with how well Blanton played coming right off his stay on the DL. Blanton pitched well, but did receive the loss giving the Phillies starters a 2-1 record.
After Blanton's great outing, Hamels outdid him. Cole went 8 shut out innings on Tuesday, only to give up two doubles and a run in the ninth inning after a fan disrupted his game. Cole went those 8 innings and gave the bullpen another rest.
Tonight Kyle Kendrick stepped to the mound and continued the Phillies starters success. Kendrick went 7 strong innings, giving up zero runs and six hits. Kyle pitched a gem tonight for the Phillies and continued the starting five's success.
In the last five games the Phillies starters are 3-1 and will most likely keep it up tomorrow with Roy Halladay on the mound. Halladay is 5-1 on the season with a 1.47 ERA. Halladay is one of the top two pitchers in the National League and continues his success as the Phillies ace.
It is truly amazing how well the Phillies starting pitchers have been in the last five games ..... here is hoping they keep it up !
Notes: Kyle Kendrick got his first win of the season tonight, moving his record to 1-1 with a 5.87 ERA.
Phillies shortstop Juan Castro also left the game in the seventh inning after singling to center. Castro, who has been dealing with hamstring issues this season, was removed with a left hamstring strain.
Kendrick Goes 8 Shut Out Innings, but Madson Blows Save
By Kevin K
Ryan Madson is not a closer, so why does Charlie Manuel keep throwing him in in the ninth? Who knows. For some reason Madson cannot get his head on straight to pitch in the ninth inning, but pitches well as a set up man, so why mess with that? Madson is one of the best set up men in the league, but can't close a game to save his life.
Tonight, Kyle Kendrick pitches a gem versus the Braves, eight shut out innings giving up only four hits and striking out two. Kyle was set to win his first game of the season after being pulled after the eighth inning with a 3-0 lead (Utley with 2 RBI, and Howard with 1 RBI). However, apparently this lead wasn't big enough for Madson.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and two on, Ryan Madson gives up two homeruns that tie the ballgame.
Contrares comes in the tenth and gives up a walk off home run himself, causing the Phillies to fall in extra innings 4-3.
Kendrick was awesome tonight, but the bullpen falls apart again.
Phillies Roll Over Nats
By Kevin K
It was announced earlier today that SS Jimmy Rollins was heading to the DL with a calf strain. Jimmy is a big weapon for this team and the question was how the Phillies would come out against the Nationals tonight .... that was answered quickly.
Although Kyle Kendrick had a terrible outing the Phillies rolled over the Nationals 14-7. Shane Victorino batted first (taking J-Rolls spot in the batting lineup), he went 4 for 5 with 5 RBIs and a Home Run on the game.
Chase Utley added on with 2 Home Runs himself.
The bullpen pitched very well for the Phillies tonight, and now the question is, Can anyone stop this team?
The Phillies have had their difficulties with their #2 and #3 starters, but with Blanton coming back soon I expect them to be fine at #3. Cole needs to get his head back on his shoulders and pitch like he used to.
Cole actually kind of impressed me, however, on Monday. He gave up a big 4 run inning during the game, was booed by the fans, and came out strong the next inning. Cole has to learn to settle himself down and get his stuff going again.
This offense is powerful and should be able to keep rolling with this team.
Phillies Better then Ever?
By Kevin K
Last week 97.5 the Fanatic host Jon Marks through out a rapid fire question, that question was "what is your worry about the Phillies this season?" To be honest with you, I am not that worried.
You know is good when we are talking about open competition in the #5 starting spot instead of just 5 years ago where we didn't even know who are #1 starter was. Jamie Moyer is a crafty veteran who doesn't have any speed on his pitches, but he has a lot of movement on his pitches. The problem with Moyer is he is really up there in age for a Major League Pitcher and he is coming off of a bunch of surgeries in the off season. Right now competition is definitely brewing between Moyer and 25 year old Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick has won 21 games in 2 years for the Phils, but Kyle has really had troubles with a third pitch. Kendrick so far in Spring Training has definitely impressed me with his constant work ethic and his will to constantly be better. Kyle has reportedly been working out with Roy Halladay and asking him for tips on how to become better. There has even been competition between Halladay and Kendrick on who makes it to the ballpark first. Working with Halladay is only going to help Kendrick and make him better. The dark horse is Jose Contreras. Jose reminds me of Chan Ho Park last season, a guy who wants to be a starter, but will be great out of the bullpen.
Speaking of the bullpen, the main problem there is JC Romero is the only left handed pitcher in there, as of right now. I said it last year when Antonio Bastardo started for the Phillies for a few games, man this guy would be great out of the pen. He mainly works with his fast ball and can get guys out. Look out for Bastardo making it on the MLB roster in the Pen. The Phillies also made a big move signing Danny Baez, who I think if Brad Lidge falters this year, Baez will take over for him and be a worthy closer.
A main problem for the Phillies my be defensively at 3rd base. Placido Polanco is a great offensive player and will be great at the number 2 spot for the Phillies, but I am worried a little bit about his move from 2nd base to 3rd. He is a gold glover and I think he will work it out in Spring Training to be a top 3rd basemen in the league. Mike Schmidt being at Spring Training will only make him better.
The main problem with the Phillies last year was the bench. The bench was horrific for the Phils last season, and they really bolstered their bench this season. Ross Gload is a decent bat off the bench and will get hits. Greg Dobbs had injury problems last year but I believe he will be back this season. A key pickup last year was Ben Francisco (ooo Francisco I like that name). Big Ben was a key acquisition last year for the team, he can give the guys in the outfield some days off and can hit home runs. Ben is the perfect guy off the bench, and is a better run producer then Matt Stairs. Brian Schneider also gives the Phillies a chance to rest Carlos Ruiz and not scare the fans. Schneider is BETTER then Paul Bako and Chris Coste and gives the Phillies the most depth in catching. Also look out for Brad Wilkerson, he is not in Spring Training, but the Phillies did sign him to a minor league deal, he will play in Lehigh Valley and will be a great addition on the bench in case anyone gets hurt.
So Jonny to answer your question, I am not worried. Baseball is back and the Philadelphia Phillies are only going to be better this season. How can you get better then making the World Series, WINNING THE WORLD SERIES