Time To Take Kyle Kendrick Seriously
The Boston Red Sox have some serious concerns with their starting rotation as we are just two weeks out from Opening Day. Outside of Rick Porcello and Chris Sale, questions remain with the remainder of the starting five. Eduardo Rodriguez has been healthy and making his turns through the rotation as has knuckleballer Steven Wright and there’s no reason to believe either won’t be ready come April 3rd.
David Price will almost certainly open up the season on the disabled list with his elbow injury and we won’t see him until mid-May at the earliest after he escaped Tommy John surgery (for now at least). Drew Pomeranz left his start yesterday with triceps tightness and is anything but a sure-thing to be ready in a few weeks especially with how last season ended and the time he missed following the trade to Boston.
That leaves Kyle Kendrick who has been impressive this spring as the man for the job as the fifth starter, for the time being at least. The 32-year-old righty signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox, who are well-renowned for their development of starting pitchers and their resurgence. Ask Rich Hill who went from pitching in Independent Ball to a $45 million contract last winter after a two-month stint with Boston in 2015. It was a huge factor in Kendrick choosing to sign with Boston for the Spring after a failed 2015 season with Colorado and struggles as the Triple-A level all of last season.
Kendrick has gone back to what made him successful early on in his career, his two-seam fastball. He is able to command the zone and induce ground ball outs with his sinker and mix in the off-speed pitches and his much-improved curveball this spring and the results have followed each time he has taken the hill for the Sox. Sound familiar? Rick Porcello had similar struggles in 2015 and reverted back to where he earned his stripes in Detroit with his two-seam and obviously Porcello has much better stuff than Kendrick, but the turnaround and similar mechanisms and approach for both right-handers is parallel.
If you’ll recall when the Red Sox signed Kendrick, I was very high on the upside of the move and would much rather have Kendrick over the headcase Clay Buchholz who would have been making $12.5 million to serve in the same role.
Kendrick has a 1.96 ERA over 23 spring innings and 20 strikeouts after he turned in another quality outing for the Red Sox on Monday agaisnt the Orioles and departed with a five-run lead. If you haven’t been paying attention to Kyle Kendrick before, you had better start to now because I would not be surprised in the least if he cracks the Opening Day roster and the Red Sox starting rotation.
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