Recent rumors have linked the Colorado Rockies to starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick as they try to piece together a rotation for the 2015 season.
Imagine, for a moment, some of the pitchers who have taken the mound in a starting role for the Rockies in the last number of seasons. Allow me to provide a sampling for you.
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To give you a representative idea, we will just go back to 2012. So from 2012 to 2014, these are real starting pitchers who have pitched for the Rockies as they have dealt with injuries and ineffectiveness in the back of their rotation:
- Jeff Francis
- Jamie Moyer
- Josh Outman
- Guillermo Moscoso
- Jonathan Sanchez
- Jeff Manship
- Collin McHugh (who is actually good now, but he wasn’t at the time)
- Roy Oswalt (the washed-up, no-business-in-baseball version)
- Jon Garland
- Jair Jurrjens
- Pedro Hernandez
- Yohan Flande
- Christian Friedrich (well the shine of being a prospect long gone)
That, my friends, is a rag-tag group indeed. If ever you forget why the Rockies are irrelevant, recall your experience reading this list. Recall the emotions. Recall the resigned sadness upon remembering the fact that something call Jeff Manship actually served as a starting pitcher for the Colorado Rockies.
And when you hear that the Rockies are interested in Kyle Kendrick, formerly of the Philadelphia Phillies, as an answer for the back of the rotation, just remember that the team could do worse…because they have done worse….like, a lot of times.
Jerry Crasnick reported the team’s interest.
He is durable and he is competent. There is a lot to be said for that for any team, but especially for the Rockies.
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Kendrick has a career 4.56 ERA that lies right in line with his career 4.55 FIP to go along with the 46% ground-ball rate mentioned above. He does not miss bats, as his career 4.9 K/9 mark tells us. To be fair, however, he has settled in around a 5.5 K/9 mark over the last few seasons, with his career mark dragged down by the first couple seasons of his career when he was inexplicably under 4.0 K/9 (in 2007 and 2008, respectively).
Most recently, Kendrick was a solid pitcher on a putrid Phillies’ team in 2014. He made 32 starts, going 10-13 with a 4.61 ERA. I dare say he even heated things up a bit down the stretch, going 3-2 in five starts in September with a 2.78 ERA. In that short sample, he looked like a guy who might still offer decent upside when he’s right.
He even bucked a season-long trend by striking out nine hitters in a September start.
At Coors Field, Kendrick wouldn’t overwhelm anybody. There would be some ugly starts and some early exits, especially given his proclivity to pitch to contact.
Ground balls or not, pitching to contact will get you dinged up from time to time in Colorado.
Still, the Rockies aren’t looking for spectacular. They are looking for durable, dependable, and dare I say predictable. They don’t care if it’s boring, presumably. They just need a capable big league pitcher to hold down a spot in the rotation.
Kyle Kendrick can be that guy. This move would not move the needle, but it wouldn’t be a bad move either as the Rockies build their roster for next season.