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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Scouting Report Kyle Kendrick

Mets faced Kendrick on April 30th. Here is the write up and his update stats to see if he is changed from being terrible.

As any Phillies fan would tell you, I have been saying Kyle Kendrick is terrible for four years now. I guess I need to defend why he is terrible, and see if adding a cutter this off-season makes him less terrible (short answer, NO).

Kyle Kendrick is a 25-year old, who pitched brilliantly in the second half of the 2007 season (15 out of 20 starts were quality starts), and had a 3.87 ERA. Optimistic Phillies fans thought he was going to be a fixture in the rotation for years to come, but then a few major issues started to show up: 1) He doesn't strike any one out (3.95 K/9, which is the lowest of any starter the Mets have faced this year/lowest I've seen on any player of looked at), 2) He can't get lefties out (lefties have hit .327 and slugged .540+ against him over his career).

Kendrick relies on 90 mph fastball/sinker that is effective if it's in the lower half of the zone, but he gets into trouble when he leaves the ball up. He throws an 81-83 mph below-average change-up, and got rid of his slider this off-season in favor of a cutter, which he throws 86-87 mph. He throws either his fastball or cutter > 85% of the time. When he is effective, he is a ground-ball pitcher.

This season Kendrick is 9-8 (29 games, 27 starts, 158 1/3 innings), with a 4.89 ERA and 1.39. His strikeout rate is still bad, 4.2 K/9, and he's let up 25 home runs, the highest rate of his brief career. Not ideal for a ground-ball pitcher. And he isn't even a ground-ball pitcher this year as his GB % has dropped from 56% to 44%. All three of his pitches have been below average this year, with his change and cutter being very bad, and his fastball only mildly bad. His swing strike % is 4.9, when league average is 8.5%. And he still can't get lefties out, as they are hitting to the tone of .323/381/.574.

In his last 4 starts he hasn't thrown more than 6 innings, and has let up at least 4 runs in each of those games for an ERA of 7.84 and 5 strikeouts in those 20 2/3 innings.

I don't know how the Phillies, fighting for the division title, can still afford to trot Kendrick out to the mound every 5th day. He is still terrible.

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