|Philadelphia Phillies – No. 38|
August 26, 1984 |
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|June 13, 2007 for the Philadelphia Phillies|
(through 2013 season)
|Earned run average||4.38|
|Career highlights and awards|
Kyle Rodney Kendrick (born August 26, 1984) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball. Born in Houston, Texas but later attending high school in Mount Vernon, Washington, Kendrick played baseball, basketball, and football. After turning down a scholarship to play football for the Washington State Cougars, the Phillies drafted him in the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft. He made his big league debut in 2007, and was part of the 2008 Phillies World Series championship team. For the next few seasons, his role fluctuated between starting and pitching in long relief. He finally firmly implanted himself in the Phillies starting rotation in 2012.
Born in Houston Texas, Kendrick was a three-sport standout in football, basketball, and baseball at Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, Washington. Kendrick was drafted by the Phillies in the seventh round of the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft. Kendrick turned down the opportunity to delay enrollment for a year at Washington State University and then join the team as a quarterback a year behind the other quarterback commit that year, Alex Brink.
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Kendrick was first called up to the Phillies after pitcher Freddy Garcia was placed on the disabled list. His MLB debut came on June 13 against the Chicago White Sox at Citizens Bank Park. He pitched six innings and gave up three runs, getting a no-decision in a game Philadelphia went on to win by a score of 8-4. Kendrick also singled to right field in his first at-bat. He'd record his first win in his second start, again allowing three runs in six innings as the Phillies defeated the Cleveland Indians, 9-6 at Jacobs Field on June 19.
Though only expected to be a temporary fill-in, Kendrick spent the remainder of the season in Philadelphia's rotation. His performance was a key to the Phillies' late-season surge as he finished the year with a 10–4 win-loss record (plus a 3.87 ERA with 49 Ks) while the Phillies won 13 times in his 18 starts. Trailing the New York Mets by seven games with only 17 left to play, the Phils closed the regular season on a 13-4 run, while the Mets went 5-12 over that same stretch. As a result, Philadelphia edged New York to win its first National League East title since 1993. Kendrick started Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Colorado Rockies, but took the loss in a 10-5 Colorado victory. The Rockies would sweep the series in three games en route to winning the NL Pennant.
Before the 2008 season, the Phillies (led by pitcher Brett Myers) pulled a prank on Kendrick by telling him that he was traded to the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball for a player named Kobayashi Iwamura and $1.5 million. When Kendrick realized it was only a prank, he was relieved and Myers repeatedly shouted that he got "punked," referring to the popular TV show on MTV, Punk'd. "Kobayashi" referred to Takeru Kobayashi, the Japanese competitive-hot dog-eater, and "Iwamura" was referring to the last name of Tampa Bay Rays infielder Akinori Iwamura.
Kendrick began the season as the Phillies' number four starter. He posted a 2–2 record in April, went undefeated in May (2–0), and matched ace Cole Hamels in June with a 3–1 record. Though his earned run average (4.59) was high through the first three months, he allowed only eleven home runs in that time, mostly using his sinker. He struggled a bit in July, allowing five home runs and posting an ERA of 5.02, almost a point higher than June. His record after 20 games was 8–4, comparable to his 10–5 record in his 20 starts of 2007.
Though the Phillies rallied to win a second straight NL East title, Kendrick continued to struggle late in the season, finishing with 5.49 ERA despite a respectable 11-9 record. He was not included on the Phillies postseason roster. Instead, he was sent to the Clearwater Threshers and participated in the Florida Instructional League to work on his change-up. The Phils would defeat the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS to capture the club's first National League Pennant since 1993. While Kendrick was not added to the roster for the World Series, he did return to the team and was in uniform for the games. Kendrick co-authored a World Series diary during the Series, giving his perspective, which was told to journalist Randy Miller and published in the Bucks County Courier Times. Kendrick would get a World Series ring as the Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in five games for the franchise's second-ever World Championship.
Kendrick spent most of 2009 with the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. He pitched well during his short stint in the majors, going 3-1 with a 3.42 ERA in nine games (two starts). On September 30, Kendrick got the win in relief of Pedro Martinez as the Phils defeated the Houston Astros, 10-3, to clinch their third consecutive National League East title. Kendrick's performance at the MLB level was enough to get him included on the club's NLDS roster. He did not make any appearances in the series (the Phillies defeated the Rockies, three games to one), and was not part of the team's active roster for the NLCS (a five-game victory over the Dodgers) or World Series (a six-game loss to the New York Yankees).
During Spring Training in 2010, Kendrick competed against veterans Jamie Moyer and Jose Contreras for the fifth spot in the starting rotation. Moyer emerged victorious with Contreras settling in to a middle relief/setup role while Kendrick initially made the team as a long reliever. Shortly before the season started, however, Joe Blanton was placed on the disabled list and Kendrick took his spot in the rotation. On July 3, Kendrick notched his first career complete game in a 12-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park, but he would be sent down to Lehigh Valley 17 days later with a 5-4 record and 4.82 ERA. He would not make any appearances for the IronPigs, though, as Moyer went down with a season-ending elbow injury on July 21 and Kendrick was recalled. His first start back with the Phillies was against the Rockies on July 24. His mound opponent that day was Ubaldo Jimenez, who entered the game 15-1 with a 2.38 ERA. The game was expected to be a complete mismatch. It was, though not in the way expected as Kendrick limited Colorado to one run over seven innings while Jimenez was chased in the third after allowing six runs in an eventual 10-2 win for Philadelphia.
Kendrick remained in the rotation for the remainder of the regular season, going 6-6 with a 4.60 ERA in 13 starts following his brief demotion. He finished 2010 with an 11-10 record and 4.73 ERA in 33 games, 31 of which were starts. After a disappointing first half, the Phillies won 49 of their final 68 games to capture their fourth straight NL East title. The Phils did not include Kendrick on their NLDS roster (they swept the Cincinnati Reds in three games), but did add him for the NLCS. Kendrick did not make any appearances in the series, which the Phillies lost to the San Francisco Giants in six games.
On January 18, 2011, Kendrick and the Phillies avoided arbitration with the sides agreeing on a one-year, $2.45 million deal.
With the much-heralded "Four Aces" (Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels) taking center stage along with Blanton to round out the rotation, Kendrick started the season in a long relief role. However, due to lengthy disabled list stays by Oswalt and Blanton, Kendrick ended up making 15 starts among 34 overall appearances in 2011. Despite bouncing back and forth between the rotation and bullpen, it was quietly a strong season for Kendrick, who went 8–6 with a 3.22 ERA as the Phillies won a franchise-record 102 games and a fifth straight NL East crown. Kendrick was part of the club's NLDS roster, but again did not appear in any postseason games. The Phils were upset in the series by the eventual World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals, three games to two.
Kendrick again started the season in the bullpen before moving to the rotation after an injury to Vance Worley. On May 26, Kendrick tossed his first MLB shutout, scattering seven hits in a 4-0 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Kendrick struggled for much of the season's first half, though, and he'd head back to the bullpen after Worley returned. When Blanton was traded to the Dodgers on August 3, Kendrick returned to the rotation and thrived, going 7-3 with a 2.43 ERA over his final ten starts. Kendrick's final record on the season was 11-12 (his first sub-.500 mark at the MLB level) with a 3.90 ERA. For the first time in his MLB career, Kendrick was not part of a playoff team, as the Phillies finished a disappointing third in the NL East with a record of 81-81.
Thanks to his strong finish in 2012, Kendrick entered Spring Training assured of a spot in the Phillies' Opening Day starting rotation for the first time in five years. He would start the team's home opener (fourth game overall) against the Kansas City Royals on April 5. Kendrick could not hold a 4-0 lead in that game, which ended up being a 13-4 rout for the Royals. He'd quickly bounce back, though, going 4-0 with a 1.84 ERA over his next seven starts. Included was Kendrick's second career shutout, a 4-0 three-hitter over the Mets at Citi Field on April 26. Kendrick tossed his second complete game of the season and fourth of his career on June 3, a 7-2 win over the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park, the first time he'd gone the distance at home. He also hit his first career triple in the game.
Kendrick's 2013 season took the opposite path of his 2012 campaign, as he struggled in the second half, going 2-7 with a 6.91 ERA after the All-Star break. He finished the season 10-13 with a 4.70 ERA in 30 starts overall as the Phillies went 73-89, their first losing season since 2002. On September 18, he was scratched from his scheduled start due to right rotator cuff tendinitis. It was the first time in Kendrick's career he missed a start due to injury. He'd initially planned on making his next start, but the Phillies announced on September 20 that Kendrick had been shut down for the remainder of the season after receiving a second opinion on the injury. Zach Miner took his spot in the rotation.
Kendrick relies mostly on three pitches. His main pitch is a sinker at 88–92 mph. He also regularly uses a cutter in the mid-to-upper 80s and a changeup at 81–84 mph. He throws a handful of curveballs and four-seam fastballs. His pitch breakdown does not vary greatly between right-handed and left-handed hitters. His pitches mostly have below-average whiff rates, giving him a low K/9 rate of 4.6 for his career.
In 2009, Kendrick became engaged to Survivor contestant Stephenie LaGrossa. They were married at the Silverado Resort in Napa, California on November 13, 2010. On February 22, 2011, the couple announced they were expecting their first child in September. The couple welcomed their first child, a girl, on September 3, 2011. They welcomed son Kyle, Jr. on July 30, 2013. In March 2011, his home was burglarized; among the stolen items was his World Series ring. The ring was found in a swampy area of Bothell, WA by Snohomish County Sheriff's deputies on May 17, 2011. His pitching intro music is "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons.
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- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)