Kendrick was 5-4 with a 4.82 ERA in 20 games (18 starts). But since May 1, he had a 4.04 ERA in almost 842/3 innings.
In that span, he had better numbers than Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton. But those two pitchers could not be easily sent to the minors and each has substantially more lucrative deals than Kendrick. They have better track records, too.
Plus, the Phillies never knew what they would get from Kendrick on a given night. He allowed two or fewer runs seven times. But in eight of his 18 starts, he allowed five runs or more.
He was, for lack of a better word, inconsistent.
Kendrick spent the majority of the 2009 season at Lehigh Valley to work on his secondary pitches.
"He's improved," Dubee said. "He's come a long ways. But again, his location has to get a lot better."
Dubee said he wants Kendrick to focus on that consistency but also improving his rotation from the stretch. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Kendrick slows down when he is in the stretch, which allows lefthanded batters to get a better look at the ball coming out of his hand.
Lefthanded batters have a .975 OPS against Kendrick as opposed to .680 by righties.
"There's a difference in deliveries," Dubee said. "One of them has a little hesitation which makes him tougher to time than in the stretch. It's hard to have that hesitation in the stretch because they'll steal bases all day."
Yet Kendrick's numbers with or without runners on are almost mirror images. In fact, with the bases empty, opposing hitters are batting .277. With runners on it's .262. But Kendrick's strikeout-to-walk ratio, albeit still not good enough, is much better with the bases empty.
Manuel is positive the 25-year-old Kendrick can improve.
"He's young," Manuel said. "He's determined. He'll be back."
Righthander Andrew Carpenter, who replaced Kendrick on the roster, said he would be available to pitch Tuesday night, and was pressed into service right away when the starter, Moyer, went down after one inning. . . . Second baseman Chase Utley continues to do his rehab around the team rather than in Clearwater, Fla., and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is grateful for that. "He's not a happy camper right now," He said. "But he's a good influence with the guys here. It's good to have him around. I'm sure he's as every bit as frustrated as the guys on the field and in the front office."
Starting to Shake Things Up
Kyle Kendrick has struggled at times this season and was demoted to triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday. But since May 1, he has arguably been the Phillies' third-best starter. However Kendrick had options left. Joe Blanton is in the first year of a three-year, $24 million deal. Jamie Moyer is in the final year of a two-year, $13 million contract.
Since May 1
Record ERA IP H HR
Kyle Kendrick 5-3 4.04 842/3 84 12
Jamie Moyer 7-7 4.78 862/3 72 15
Joe Blanton 3-5 6.21 87 108 16
If the Phillies choose to acquire another starter, there are options on the market, some more costly than others:
Top of the line
Roy Oswalt Houston (6-11, 3.12 ERA)
Dan Haren Arizona (7-8, 4.60 ERA)
Costly, but attainable
Ben Sheets Oakland (4-9, 4.53 ERA)
Ted Lilly Chicago Cubs (3-8, 4.07 ERA)
Paul Maholm Pittsburgh (6-7, 4.03 ERA)
Fausto Carmona Cleveland (9-7, 3.65 ERA)
Jeremy Guthrie Baltimore (3-10, 4.58 ERA)
Jake Westbrook Cleveland (6-5, 4.67 ERA)
- Matt Gelb
Tuesday night's Phillies-Cardinals game ended too late for this edition.
Contact staff writer Matt Gelb at 215-854-2928 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/magelb.