We are experiencing some transportation issues at Team Phungo HQ, but that should not keep us from making the jaunt down to the ball park for tomorrows 2014 Phillies Home Opener.
2009 Topps #103 Kyle Kendrick
Every time I hear Kyle Kendrick's name I cringe. They are a number of factors, he originally came up as a low ceiling back of the rotation starter with little fanfare, He is romantically connected to a low level reality starlet whom I find annoying, but mostly because I have heard he has a penchant for boy bands.
As far as your starting pitching draw is concerned going to the Home Opener when your team begins it season on the road is a gamble. This year we get Mr Kendrick.
As I have noted I cringe, but everybody that I discuss the now 29 year old Right-Hander with notes that he has some pretty strong stretches in the last couple of seasons. Kendrick also had a nice 2014 debut going 7 innings vs the Rangers giving up only 1 run on 5 hits and a walk.
Another thought that may make Phillies fans shudder is that Kendrick's number 1 age comp (according to Baseball-Ref/Bill James sim scores) is Joe Blanton. In 2010 Blanton spent his age 29 season with the Phillies. He 9-6 with a 4.82 ERA (85 ERA+, -0.1 WAR) - Those numbers point to a flat out average MLB season.
The remainder of Kendrick's top 10 comps all pitched 100+ innings at age 29, half exceeded 150 innings with the average at 150 innings. If you take out the one pitcher that got injured Carl Pavano (2005 Yankees) and the pitcher who was a 1930s era swingman (Johnny Marcum) the average among the remaining eight pitchers is 168 innings. The Kendrick 10 pitched to an ERA+ of 92 at age 29 with an average WAR of 1.29. If we remove Pavano and Marcum again and ALSO Adam Eaton's PUTRID 2007 season we get ERA+ 98 with a WAR of 2.0.
Beyond 2014 the best Kyle Kendrick can expect is to be Tood Stottlemeyer who pitched 8 additional season starting at age 29, with 183 starts and 76 wins. Stottlemeyer had a career WAR of 16.5 at 29+. Several of Kendrick's current comps remain active so his average 29+ comp is likely deflated - 4 Years, 31 Wins, 4.0 WAR. The worst that his contemporary comps fared was Eaton who had 318 inning left and pitched to an ERA of 6.40 for the remainder of his career.
I am going above the box on this one. Based off of last weeks outing versus the Rangers and Kendrick's solid spring results I am projecting a breakout season. 12-9 for Kyle with a 3.83 ERA, 111 ERA+ and a +3.8 WAR. That right I am giving Kyle Kendrick the same 2014 WAR as Cole Hamels.
I cannot belief how much I just wrote about Kyle Kendrick.
Phillies 2014+ Index
Cody Asche WAR + 1.8
Cole Hamels WAR +3.8
Ryan Howard WAR +1.0
Kyle Kendrick WAR +3.8
Phils projected W total via WAR thru 4 players 62.4.