Winning was a word Kendrick had not seen associated with his name since Aug. 6 of 2013. That’s 10 straight winless decisions. One win in 11 starts might be good enough for now, but what Kendrick does over his next 10 starts will determine his long-term future with the team.
Kendrick cannot go winless in his next 10 starts, or even 4-6. He’s got to prove that he’s a plus-side pitcher in the majors for the Phillies to go forward with him, even as a No. 5 starter. This is an organization that just signed a lucrative TV deal with Comcast, the Philadelphia-based owners of NBC, to broadcast their games.
With that money, the team can afford to jettison journeymen pitchers like Kendrick and sign proven winning major league starters — at least that’s the theory, anyway.
Kendrick is an interesting study in that he’s capable of a shutout win every now and then, but he’s just as capable to be rocked on any given start. With the kind of inconsistency, the Phillies will have to find out what they really have in him. No team cannot afford to carry a pitcher who is purely an innings-eater in the regular rotation. He also faces internal competition as David Buchanan is up with the big club until Cliff Lee rehabs from his wrist injury.
Winning wasn’t anything to Kendrick for a long while, but his next 10 starts should determine whether he gets to see 10 starts after that.