Apr 28, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Colorado Rockies pitcher K. Kendrick (right) is pulled from the game by manager W. Weiss against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Colorado Rockies aren’t going to get much for their Opening Day starter, but it’d be insane to keep him around all season long.
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Prepare for my crazy to come out: if they aren’t already, the Colorado Rockies ought to be showcasing Kyle Kendrick for some kind of trade in the next ten days.
On Monday afternoon I called my dad, and we were talking about the Rockies (actually, we were talking about Edwin Jackson and what the Rockies should do about maybe signing some kind of reliever like that). We got on the subject of Kendrick, and Eddie Butler, and Sunday’s (rained-out) game.
We are both of the opinion, as crazy as it sounds, that the Colorado Rockies should be showcasing Kendrick to see if any insane team would want him for starting pitching depth. Starting pitchers are always at a premium, and if you are in the playoff hunt (or believe you are in the playoff hunt), the prospect of picking up some pitching at the trade deadline for a light return is attractive.
The Rox could get a “prospect” in return. (And yes, by “prospect,” I mean “not a prospect.”) But surely there’s some team that will be scared off by the price tag of a frontline starter like Cole Hamels or Johnny Cueto (or just flat out won’t need/can’t afford a pitcher like that) and a fifth starter option like Kendrick suddenly becomes palatable.
The Jeremy Guthrie parallels can’t be ignored here. It was three years ago yesterday that the Rockies traded Jeremy Guthrie to the Royals for Jonathan Sanchez (good lord, do you remember that guy?). Kendrick actually has slightly better numbers than Guthrie in most metrics, if you can believe it. Considering where the Colorado Rockies are headed, it’d be dumb not to try to flip Kendrick for somebody else’s reclamation project or a mid-rate minor leaguer.
What’s there to lose? Besides, if they can’t shed Kendrick via trade in the next ten days, it’s absolutely possible the Rockies could just designate him for assignment in August as they make way for Jon Gray in the rotation (though all that depends on the health and effectiveness of the rest of the rotation, too).
All that being said, here’s the rub: the Colorado Rockies should’ve started Kendrick on Sunday in San Diego. It doesn’t matter anyways because the game got rained out, but calling up Butler to start a game that should’ve been Kendrick’s showcase — on the road, in a very pitcher-friendly park, against a mostly offensively-terrible team — is a weird move. Then again, maybe my whole Kendrick-Guthrie-trade-comparison hypothesis is wrong, and the Rockies couldn’t care less about “showcasing” an asset they won’t trade.
Trade or not, one thing remains true: the Colorado Rockies had a chance to reset their rotation thanks to the All Star break, and in doing so, they chose to let the man who’s allowed the most homers in the league make his first start at Coors Field against a good offensive team. Giddyup!