Tag: Kyle Kendrick

MLB Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding David Ross, Allen Craig and More

If you thought the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox were done signing players this offseason just because they respectively landed Jon Lester and Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez, think again.

Boston and Chicago are pursuing backup catchers, but they are not the only ones involved in rumors from around the league.

Read on for some of the latest buzz from around baseball as the season approaches.


David Ross

Rob Bradford of WEEI 93.7 passed along an update on David Ross:

“The Red Sox and Cubs evidently aren’t done battling for players this offseason. … According to a major league source, free-agent catcher David Ross was choosing between the Red Sox, Cubs and Padres as of early Wednesday night.”

San Diego probably won’t be Ross’ final destination considering the Padres just landed Ryan Hanigan in a three-team trade and Derek Norris in a separate swap. While that doesn’t rule the Padres out completely, they will likely turn elsewhere after acquiring a catcher.

That means the race for Ross may come down to the Cubs and Red Sox, just like the battle for Lester. Ironically, Lester may be the reason he chooses Chicago. The Cubs already have to be considered one of the winners of the offseason with the additions of Lester and new coach Joe Maddon, among others, and adding a catcher familiar with Lester who will likely put up better numbers would make it even better.

Chicago or Boston will certainly not bring Ross in for his bat. He hit .184 last season with a whopping 15 RBI, but to be fair, he only played 50 games because of injury. Any offense from the catching spot is often just a bonus, though. 

Catcher is the most important player on the field outside of the pitcher, considering he is involved in every single pitch. How he manages a game and works with the pitching staff is ultimately more important when it comes to Ross and just about any catcher.


Kyle Kendrick 

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com provided an update on Kyle Kendrick:

The ground-ball rate is certainly a plus for the Colorado Rockies, considering they play at hitter-friendly Coors Field. Regardless of the mile-high air, no ground balls are soaring over the fence for a home run.

It is important for a back-of-the-rotation guy to be an innings-eater, and Kendrick did just that last season by throwing 199 innings last season for the Philadelphia Phillies. He finished with a 10-13 record, 4.61 ERA and 1.36 WHIP.

He is still only 30 years old, so he should have a couple of productive seasons still in the tank. Kendrick is not that far removed from a 2011 campaign in which he finished with a 3.22 ERA and 1.22 WHIP.

The Rockies should be able to get him for a favorable price and will hope that he can tap into the potential fans saw a couple of years ago.


Allen Craig 

Jon Morosi of Fox Sports noted that Allen Craig could be on the move:

Boston landed Craig in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals but hit a miserable .128 with the Red Sox in 107 at bats. His foot injury was likely a partial explanation for the struggles, but he still only hit .215 on the season.

It certainly wasn’t the Craig fans saw from 2011-13, when he hit .312 and drove in more than 90 runs in two separate seasons.

Craig’s comments when he was traded to the Red Sox are now even more poignant, via Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe: “I was surprised by the trade. But as players, we understand that nothing is ever permanent unless you have a no-trade clause. The fact I was coming to a great organization helped me get past it.” 

The problem for any team that trades for Craig is his back-loaded contract. He is owed $26.5 million over the next three years, which is a huge risk-reward situation. If he returns to the powerful middle-of-the-lineup form that fans saw in St. Louis now that he’s healthy, he would be worth the contract. 

However, if last season was the start of a rapid decline as he ages (he’s 30 now), that is a lot of money to pay for a potential sub-.200 hitter.


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Philadelphia Phillies 2013: 7 Bold Predictions for the Phils’ 2013 Season

There is a unique feeling for Philadelphia fans entering the 2013 season.  Much of the talent that helped the team win 102 games in 2011 remains, but the bitter taste of the 2012 season remains strong.  Ruben Amaro has quietly filled the team’s needs, avoiding the flashy free-agent signing or blockbuster trade that has marked seasons past.  The team appears poised to compete, but there is more uncertainty surrounding this team than there has been in many years.

With the competition growing increasingly fierce, the Phillies will need to perform up to potential all season long to have a chance to compete in the NL East.  A lot can happen over the course of 162 games and this slideshow will outline some of the key events that I believe will mark the upcoming season.

So without further ado, here are my 7 bold predictions for the Phillies’ 2013 season.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Seven Pitchers the Yankees Should Acquire Instead of Liriano

With the recent trade talk involving the Yankees going after the Twins’ Francisco Liriano, who should the Yankees be going after instead?  

While I think the Yankees acquiring Francisco Liriano would be a great benefit to the starting rotation, it is bound to come at a high price (Jesus Montero and several of the young Yankees pitching prospects) for a pitcher who will be either the number two or number three pitcher. 

Even though Liriano is the best pitcher currently available in the trade market, there are others who are available that would cost less (in terms of money or prospects).

Why are the Yankees even bothering to get another pitcher? Don’t they have a bunch of young prospects and former Major Leaguers they signed this offseason? Yes, but the Yankees always want to win and in order to do that you need a solid pitching rotation, not one with a solid number one pitcher followed by four question marks.

If they can shore up just one more rotation spot before the season starts, they’ll feel better overall about their chances.

I came up with a list of seven players, some are targets the Yankees stand a better chance of acquiring, others are long shots that will have to wait till at least June to see if they’re even available and two are still free agents.  

Let’s start with the free agents available because they wouldn’t cost the Yankees any prospects and thus would cost the Yankees the least. 

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Kyle Kendrick: Trade Bait or a Necessary Cog in the Machine?

Ever since the Philadelphia Phillies signed free-agent left-hander Cliff Lee in December, rumors have been flying about the city of Philadelphia regarding the status of interim right-handed starter, Joe Blanton.

Set to make $17 million over the course of the next two seasons, should the Phillies explore a trade for their fifth starteror is he better served in their rotation?

To make things short and sweet, Blanton is better off wearing a Philly uniform, at least for the 2011 season.

Giving a quick survey of the trade market, the last of his suitors that would be willing to take on his contract in full seemingly went off the board when the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins signed free-agent right handers Brad Penny and Carl Pavano, respectively, and the Washington Nationals acquired former Chicago Cubs’ starter, Tom Gorzelanny.

Now, trading Blanton becomes a counter-productive scenario. In order for the Phillies to move him, their trading partner will require that they pay a portion of his salary. To do that, the Phillies would require a prospect in return. That seemingly removes potential suitors like the rebuilding Baltimore Orioles from the equation.

If they are forced to pay a large sum of Blanton’s contract, what is the point in trading him? They are better served paying him to be the fifth starter in Philadelphia rather than the third or fourth starter with another team.

Though Ruben Amaro is the type of general manager that likes to dwell in the shadows until the last possible moment, using smokescreens and sly tactics as a plot to operate in his own style this time, he may be telling the truth—he’s not comfortable trading Blanton because his options have run dry.

The need for an expensive, middle-of-the-rotation right hander just isn’t all that great.

So what can the Phillies do to shed payroll? After all, as Ken Rosenthal of FOXsports.com first reported, the Phillies will need to create some payroll flexibility in case they need to make a spur of the moment trade at the trade deadline.

And trading another right-handed starting pitcher, Kyle Kendrick, could become a top priority for the Phillies.

At first glance, the now-former fifth starter seems to have little trade value. In 2010, Kendrick made 31 starts for the Phillies, posting a record of 11-10 to go along with an ERA of 4.73.

Kendrick is an extreme “pitch to contact” pitcher, as he posted the lowest strikeout rate (4.18 K/9) among qualifying starting pitchers. Though he showed relatively good control, he also showed that he was prone to the home run, and his ground-ball rate had decreased from the year prior.

Though his win total is a product of extremely high run support (he finished second in baseball in this category, with the Phillies’ offense averaging a whopping 8.47 runs per Kendrick’s starts), he has shown a number of positive tendencies as well.

Though he has a tough time striking hitters out, he posted a good BB/9 of 2.44, and the opposition hit .277 against him. His greatest strength, however, may be his durability.

In three full season with the Phillies (in 2009, he appeared in just nine major league games), he has logged 483.2 innings, starting 83 games and never missing significant time with injury.

Kendrick, who was eligible for arbitration this off-season, settled on a $2.45 million contract with the Phillies, who now have two viable options for the 26-year-old right hander—move him to the bullpen or trade him.

Surprisingly enough, there would be a role for Kendrick in the Phillies’ bullpen.

He would become the long reliever, and push the interim long reliever, David Herndon, to Triple-A. With a rotation that features inning eaters Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton, Kendrick would see very few innings in 2011—which overall, may be a good thing.

He would be available for a spot-start should that situation present itself, and in the event of an injury, provide the Phillies with valuable depth. However, they could choose to use him differently out of the bullpen as well.

Though a “specialist” usually denotes a tough left-handed reliever, Kendrick could become a “right-handed specialist” of sorts. Though his numbers against right-handed hitters aren’t all too flashy, they are remarkably better than those against left-handed hitters.

Kendrick’s sinker is particularly tough against right-handed hitters (50.5 percent ground-ball rate), and in total, they managed to hit just .247 against him. Using him against select right-handed hitters isn’t all that impossible to fathom.

However, the Phillies may be able to receive more value out of Kendrick in a trade.

Earlier in the week, the Detroit Tigers established a market precedent for a pitcher like Kendrick, when they traded Armando Galarraga to the Arizona Diamondbacks for fringe prospects, Kevin Eichorn and Ryan Robowski.

Galarraga, 29, is widely regarded as a very similar pitcher to Kedrick.

In 2010, despite pitching a perfect game (we can save that debate for another time), he posted a mediocre record of 4-9, with an ERA of 4.49 and compiled similar strikeout, walk, and home run rates.

In all fairness, Kendrick is actually the more proven, established pitcher.

According to Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, a “handful” of teams showed interest in Galarraga before the Diamondbacks acquired him. Though the D’backs are probably off the board, there would be interest in a very similar pitcher in Kendrick.

So if the Phillies really wanted to move Kendrick, they would be justified in receiving a couple of fringe prospects for the right-hander. Moving his salary, however, (Galarraga is due to make $2.3 million) could be another issue.

So where do the Phillies stand with Kendrick? Before the trade deadline last season, the Phillies seemed to have lost all hope in the former promising starter. After a falling out with pitching coach, Rich Dubee, the Phillies designated Kendrick for assignment, only to recall him just a day later because of an injury.

While that depth can never be a bad thing, the Phillies have other starting pitchers that they can turn to in the event of an injury in 2011.

Before the Phillies signed Lee, people around the city of Philadelphia were calling for 23-year-old right hander, Vance Worley, to be given a chance in the rotation.

In 13 innings with the big league club last season, he displayed good control and the ability to strike hitters out, posting a record of 1-1 with an ERA of 1.38 (3.16 FIP).

Other pitchers that could start games for the Phillies in the event of an injury include David Herndon, who posted a record of 1-3 with an ERA of 4.30 out of the bullpen last season and prospects including Drew Carpenter, Drew Naylor, JC Ramirez and, if necessary, Antonio Bastardo.

Though they aren’t currently on the Phillies’ 40-man roster, pitchers Nate Bump, Michael Stutes and Michael Schwimmer could all make spot starts for the Phillies in 2011.

So, the depth is there. The Phillies must make a decision on whether they want to keep Kendrick in the system “just in case,” or if they are better served by moving his contract and receiving a couple of decent prospects in return.

Moving Kendrick may not create the same wiggle room that moving Blanton would, but his time in Philadelphia has run short.

In the long run, a trade may be beneficial for both Kendrick and the Phillies.

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Philadelphia Phillies Avoid Arbitration in 2011 by Signing Kyle Kendrick

The Phillies locked up their final arbitration eligible player today by signing pitcher Kyle Kendrick to a one-year, $2.45 million dollar deal.  Ben Francisco signed this past Saturday as well.  His contract is also for one-year and totals $1.175 million.

To start the year, Kendrick will wind up in one of two places.  If Joe Blanton is traded, Kendrick will be the favorite to win the fifth starters spot.  If Blanton stays, Kendrick can take over the long-man job in the bullpen that was vacated by the still unsigned Chad Durbin.

The nice part about avoiding arbitration for the Phillies is having less drama going into Spring Training.  This is especially true for Kendrick, who seemed constantly conflicted about his role with the team in traveling back and forth to the minors

The only thing Kendrick has to worry about now is pitching.  This kind of focus, without the unnecessary distraction of a hearing, is exactly what Kendrick needs to be successful.

It has been a busy off-season for Kendrick.  He got married to Stephanie LaGrossa, bringing the second Survivor contestant into the Phillies family.  Heidi Hamels is the other former Survivor.   And now, Kendrick can add “millionaire” to his resume.

But the best part of his new-found stability is that Kendrick will probably not fall for any more “you have been traded to Japan” pranks. 

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Philadelphia Phillies: Should They Trade Joe Blanton?

With the Fab Four of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels already locked up in their starting rotation, do the Phillies still need Joe Blanton

The righty has two years left on his contract, which will earn him a total of $17 million dollars.

In his two and a half years with the Phillies, Blanton has a combined record of 25-14 with an average 4.36 ERA in 72 starts. For a fifth starter in the rotation, these are pretty good numbers.

In comparison, Kyle Kendrick has a 25-20 record with a 4.55 ERA in 63 starts since the 2008 season. The statistics are similar, but it should also be noted that Kendrick spent a good amount of time bouncing back and forth from the majors to the minors in 2009. 

And last year, Blanton spent time on the disabled list.

Another alternative for the fifth starter position is rookie Vance Worley. In two starts with the Phillies in 2010, Worley pitched 13 innings and recorded a 1.38 ERA. Between AA and AAA last year, Worley recorded a combined 10-7 record with a 3.36 ERA over 27 starts. But Worley is still a big unknown; he is young and lacks experience.

With these options, it seems that either Blanton or Kendrick would be the best fit for the role. If the Phillies are concerned with payroll, trading Blanton may be a good idea as Kendrick is still under team control.

When asked if payroll would move him to trade Blanton, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. told the media, “I really don’t have to do anything.”

A lower payroll would help if Amaro has other future moves in mind, however, it does not appear to be necessary right now.

If money is not a true motivator at this times, the Phillies may be better served to keep Blanton. Having both Blanton and Kendrick provides tremendous pitching depth. In the event that one of the Fab Four gets injured, the decision to then move Kendrick into the rotation to fill the hole should be a no-brainer.

Blanton also has experience in eight different playoff series, including two World Series. Kendrick pitched less than four innings in the 2007 NLDS and has not seen any playoff action since that time.

And if the Phillies start the year off with Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, Hamels and Blanton, then Kendrick can fill a hole in the bullpen as a long reliever. With Chad Durbin still unsigned, there may be a greater need for a long man.

It appears that keeping Blanton is probably a good idea. Of course, if another team makes a good offer, the Phillies still have other options for the fifth spot in the rotation. 

But until the season actually begins, anything can happen.

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MLB Rumors: 10 Reasons Phillies Can’t Risk Playing Hard Ball with Cole Hamels

With the Philadelphia Phillies picking up Cliff Lee in a deal that shocked all of baseball last month, there has been a lot of talk about the how good the Phillies current rotation is, which ranks probably within the best five rotations in baseball history. The 2011 Phillies rotation compares to the rotations of the Atlanta Braves from the mid-1990s, the 1971 Orioles with Jim Palmer, and the 1966 Dodgers with Sandy Koufax.

Sadly for the Phillies fans, this rotation has a life of probably no more than two years. After the 2011 season, two of the pitchers of this potentially legendary rotation could be seeking new contracts. Cole Hamels’ contract ends after this season, and Roy Oswalt has a $16 million club option for the 2012 season. It is possible that the option might occur for 2012, but he is only 33 and may be seeking a multi-year contract following 2011.

Assuming that Oswalt will be looking for an opportunity following 2011 to find a multi-year deal to retire with, it is vitally important for the Phillies to sign Hamels to a contract very soon in order to avoid a contract war. Hamels is not eligible to be a free agent until after the season of 2012, but he is due arbitration following this coming season, which would put his value much higher than his current contract. The 2010-2011 offseason has seen a great deal of pitcher changes, and the Phillies need to insure soon that Hamels is not among that list for next season.

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Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels: The Phillies Playoff Starters Must Be Only H20

Sorry Blanton. You have really helped the Philadelphia Phillies out the past few years when we needed you. But Joe, we just don’t need you this year.

In their 127-year history, this is the most dominant top end of the rotation for the Phillies. If you doubt that, just ask yourself if there has ever been a Phillies team that you have been more confident in.

Just so you can understand how much better these three pitchers are than any other one-two-three in the league, I’ll throw out some stats for you.

All three of Halladay, Hamels, and Oswalt have pitched over 30 starts and over 200 innings. Combined, they have six shutouts, 12 complete games, and one perfect game. They total more complete games than any other team in the league.

Roy Oswalt has the least strikeouts out of the three of them with 192. Cole Hamels has the worst WHIP, at 1.19 (Halladay’s is 1.04 and Oswalt’s is 1.02). That is an extremely high floor for those three starters.

Halladay is the front-runner to win the NL Cy Young award with a 2.44 ERA. Oswalt follows him in the rotation with a 2.73 ERA, finished by Hamels, who has a 3.09 ERA. That’s right, the Phillies have a number three starter who has an ERA just a tad over 3. To put into perspective how good that is, the Yankees‘ number three starter, Phil Hughes, has an ERA of 4.21, and the Braves’ number three starter, Derek Lowe, has an ERA of 4.

The Phillies selected that they would like to play the NLDS in eight days, which allows the Big Three to start every game on normal rest. It’s the NLCS and World Series in which the Phillies have a big decision to make. 

Assuming that they get to the NLCS, there is about .01% chance that the Phillies give Kyle Kendrick the game four start, barring injury. It’s not a secret that the Phillies have no trust in Kendrick and his 4.73 ERA, even sending him down to the minors for a short stretch earlier in the season. This is also Kendrick’s first full year in the majors, after stretches in the previous three years.

So the big decision is to whether start Blanton for game four and have Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels on normal rest for the rest of the series, or to have “H2O” also start games four, five, six, and seven on short rest.

This year Blanton has had one of the worst years in his career. His 4.74 ERA is a good 1.65 more than his teammate one spot up in the rotation. This is one of the biggest drop-offs between a 3 and 4 starter in the league.

Besides the horrid ERA, Blanton has a 1.40 WHIP, 134 strikeouts, no complete games, and no shutouts. He has 28 starts this year, so there is no blaming the injury which put him out all of April for bloating his stats.

Even his postseason stats aren’t as good as most people think they are, with a 3.89 ERA in 34.2 total innings pitched. And even if he had great playoff stats, why should the 34.2 playoff innings he has thrown in the past few years make up for these horrible 174.2 innings he has thrown most recently this year.

So what would ever make me want to start him in important playoff games when we have other great options?

The only reason that there is a possibility of starting Blanton is that H2O might not handle three games rest very well. But there is no reason that they can’t. Each of the big three has pitched over 200 innings, which shows that they can handle the workload. All of them like to work deep into games, and by the results they have showed this season, nothing really throws them off.

There is no way we should risk throwing Blanton when we have pitchers head and shoulders better than him, even if they only have three days rest. Phillies fans are probably familiar with the 2009 Yankees, who only had three good starters on their team, and it worked out just fine for them on three days’ rest.

There is no guarantee that any series will go seven games, which means that there could be only one or two of the Phillies’ starters going on three days rest.

H2O can get lots of rest in the off-season, so the Phillies need to maximize their usage while they are available, in the NLCS and World Series.

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Phillies 11-Game Win Streak Broken: Gee, Duda Beat Them?

Well, Gee, nothing really lasts forever, does it?

The Phillies, playing before their 122nd straight sellout crowd at Citizens Bank Park, saw their 11-game winning streak come to an end, losing 5-2 to the New York Mets. The Mets were led by rookie pitcher Dillon Gee and rookie leftfielder Lucas Duda.  Who?

Gee, you never heard of Dillon?  The rookie pitcher was making only the fourth start of his career, and the Phillies jumped on him immediately.  With two outs in the bottom of the first, Chase Utley singled to left center, which was followed by a home run blast from Ryan Howard, his 31st of the season to put the Philies up, 2-0.

After Howard’s shot, the game settled into an unexpected pitcher’s duel, as Phils starter Kyle Kendrick (now 10-10) cruised through the first six innings. Kendrick, looking very sharp, yielded only three singles, while striking out four (with no walks) through the first two-thirds of the game. 

Meanwhile, the Phils could not do anything else against Gee (now 2-1) and some of the electricity seemed to have left Citizens Bank for the first time in many home games.

Entering the top of the seventh with that 2-0 lead, the good fortune that has aided and abetted their 11-game win streak vanished into the warm September night air.  After a Beltran single, David Wright topped a ball to the third base side of the mound that Kendrick pounced on and threw a strike to the second base bag.  Shortstop Wilson Valdez flashed like an NFL cornerback in front of Utley, who was expecting the throw.  They only got the force out on the play.

With a man on first and one out, Ike Davis singled just out of Utley’s reach to bring Angel Pagan to the plate.  Pagan hit a bouncer that Ryan Howard booted to load the bases.  Another Mets no-name named Josh Thole singled in a run to cut the lead to 2-1, and Kendrick hit the showers in favor of Chad Durbin.

The Durbinator came into the one-out bases-loaded jam, and may have breathed a sigh of relief to see someone named Lucas Duda—who came in hitting .170, but with six of his nine career hits going for extra bases.  Advantage Duda, who ripped a Durbin meatball into left center, knocking in three runs. 

The lumbering Duda was replaced by a pinch-runner, but probably would have scored himself on a double by Jose Reyes.  Just like that it was 5-2, Mets.

On many other nights during the Phillies’ ridiculous hot streak, a three-run deficit with three innings and nine tough outs left would be almost easy to overcome.  This was not one of those nights, as no breaks came their way.

In the bottom of the seventh, pinch-hitter Domonic Brown—seeing his first action since Sept. 8—followed a two-out double by Wilson Valdez with a shot down the right field line.  On another night, the ball would have left the yard, pulled the Phils to within one-run, and getting the place jumping again.  On this night, the ball hooked foul, and Gee struck him out on the next pitch.

In the bottom of the eighth, Utley hit one up the middle that bounced off reliever Pedro Feliciano. On this night, it ricocheted right to Wright (Mets third baseman David Wright) who completed the rare 1-5-3 ground out.

The Mets went deeper into their bullpen in the bottom of the ninth, and after a leadoff walk to Howard, the Phils never threatened again.  As soon as you could say Hisanori Takahashi, the game and the amazing September winning streak was over.

Well, nothing lasts forever, and, Gee, sometimes you even get beaten by some anonymous Duda named Lucas.


Gold Notes

  • The Phils magic number to win the NL East remained at two as the Atlanta Braves shut-out the Washington Nationals, 5-0. 
  • The Colorado Rockies led by their amazing duo of Car-Go (Carlos Gonzalez) and Tulo (Troy Tulowitski) rallied to beat the Giants, 10-9, in 10 innings.  Coupled with the San Diego Padres win over the Reds, the Giants now trail the Padres by a half-game with the Rockies hanging in, but still four games back.
  • The Phillies play their last regular season home game tomorrow with a Sunday matinee finale versus the Mets.  On paper, it should be a “Misch-match” with the scorching Cole Hamels (12-10, 2.93) facing Pat Misch (0-4, 4.44, with a career record of 3-15, 4.74).  If the Phils win and the Braves lose, the Fightins can clinch the division at home again.
  • Many dudes—thousands and thousands—have played in the major leagues, but Lucas is the first “Duda” to have done so, according to www.baseball-reference.com.  You don’t get this information just anywhere, folks.
  • And speaking of names, Dillon Gee was the first Gee to play in the bigs since a 6’9” left-handed pitcher named John Alexander “Whiz” Gee last toed the rubber in 1946 for the New York Giants.  Gee, Whiz, I swear I did not make that one up.  Feel free to check!




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Mets Try To Even Series With Phillies, Handing It To Mike Pelfrey

NEW YORK—The Mets were let down last night in the series opener against the Phillies by their young starter Jenrry Mejia. He’s young in age, not just baseball years.

Today, they’ll attempt to even the series by starting another younger pitcher, Mike Pelfrey. Now, Pelfrey has been around since 2006, and is 26 years old. But, he still pitches like someone of Mejia’s age.

He’s consistently inconsistent, and has still not lived up to his first-round-pick hype. Every time you think he’s about to mature and reel off eight straight wins, he regresses and gets beat up.

This season has been the biggest example of that to date. It’s been a tale of four seasons for Pelfrey so far in 2010.

He got off to an unbelievable start in April, going 4-0 with a 0.69 ERA and a save. After an average month of May, posting a 3.82 ERA, he entered his second season.

From a period in mid-June through early August, Pelfrey went 2-5 with a 7.35 ERA and gave up baserunners at a historical rate. He then entered his third phase in his final four August starts, going 3-1 with a 1.20 ERA.

Now, he’s in the middle of his fourth chapter, having put together two bad starts in September.

In his last start on Monday in D.C., Pelfrey had an early 3-0 lead. He would give it all back and then some. In only 3.2 innings pitched, he allowed six runs on five hits. The Mets would lose the Labor Day affair, 13-3, and Pelfrey suffered his ninth loss of the season.

He’s still stuck on 13 wins, which is tied for the most in his career. He will get a third attempt at a career-high 14th win today.

The Phillies will counter with Kyle Kendrick. His entire season has been up and down. He’s had a rough time of it over his last four starts, pitching to a 7.84 ERA. In each of those starts, he allowed either four or five runs.

His last start came on Sunday against the Brewers and it was bad. In four innings, he allowed five runs on seven hits, in a Phillies 9-8 loss. He did do well though in his last start against the Mets at Citi Field, and that’s probably why the Phillies are going with him today.

The Mets last night got some positive news and some horrific news that’ll bleed into 2011.

The positive news is that Jose Reyes returned to the lineup and recorded an RBI double. He looked fine, with no problems regarding his frequently injured oblique.

The horrific news is that they’ve lost their ace for the season, and more importantly, the foreseeable future. Johan Santana was diagnosed yesterday with a tear of the anterior capsule of the left shoulder, and will undergo shoulder surgery.

It was originally classified as a strained pectoral muscle around his left shoulder when he left a game early on September 2 against the Braves. It turned out to be much worse, and Santana himself doesn’t have a clue when he’ll be back.

“The most important thing is to be ready,” he said. “To be 100 percent whether it’s April, whether it’s May, July, October—who knows? Time will tell how I will recover. I’ve just got to get back to being healthy.”

The statement about perhaps not returning until next October is disturbing. If Santana can’t be with the Mets next season, their next meaningful game will be 2012.

So now, the Mets are out of playoff contention, and don’t even know where they’ll be next season. It’s frustrating times for them right now, and they’ll try to at least perform well in these final three weeks.

Mike Pelfrey vs. Philadelphia this season (3 starts)
1-2, 4.50 ERA, 18 IP, 18 hits, 6 BB, 8 SO

Kyle Kendrick vs. New York this season (2 starts)
1-1, 3.86 ERA, 11.2 IP, 11 hits, 2 BB, 7 SO

2010 season series (New York vs. Philadelphia)
April 30: New York 9, Philadelphia 1
May 1: Philadelphia 10, New York 0
May 2: Philadelphia 11, New York 5

May 25: New York 8, Philadelphia 0
May 26: New York 5, Philadelphia 0
May 27: New York 3, Philadelphia 0

August 6: Philadelphia 7, New York 5
August 7: New York 1, Philadelphia 0
August 8: Philadelphia 6, New York 5

August 13: New York 1, Philadelphia 0
August 14: Philadelphia 4, New York 0
August 15: Philadelphia 3, New York 1

Sept. 10: Philadelphia 8, New York 4
Phillies lead series 7-6

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