Kyle Kendrick will be an effective and successful starting pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies this season.
Those words have not been uttered by many fans in Philadelphia over the past couple of seasons. But what they do not realize is that Kendrick is going to be a key component to the Phillies success this season.
On some days, fans think of Kendrick as a pitcher who is a fifth starter, at best. On other days, Kendrick is considered a consistent innings-eater.
For example, last season, Kendrick did not get off to a hot start in any way, shape, or form.
At the All-Star break, according to his game log on Baseball Reference, Kendrick had a weak 2-8 record in 19 appearances for the Phillies. In those games, Kendrick threw 82.1 innings and gave up 44 earned runs, 10 home runs, while opponents batted .284 off of him, and the Phillies finished with a combined record of 4-15.
The second half of the season was a different story, not only for the Phillies, but also for Kendrick. In his 18 second-half appearances, the Phillies were a combined 11-7, while Kendrick was an outstanding 9-4 with a 2.92 ERA. Opponents his a combined .221 and their on-base percentage was below .300 (.270 to be exact).
What stood out the most is the fact that in the second half of the season, Kendrick received an average of 3.6 days of rest, compared to the first half of the season where he was getting 4.4 days of rest.
Kendrick has been consistent throughout his six-year career. In 164 games as a MLB pitcher, he is 54-42 with a 4.30 ERA while recording over 750 innings pitched.
If the Phillies are going to find their way back to the post-season in 2013, they are going to need a healthy, determined Kendrick to step up his game and pitch well, consistently.