Phillies Notes: Phillies' Kyle Kendrick can use spring to tinker

Righthander Kyle Kendrick is using the spring to work on his sinker and change-up.
Righthander Kyle Kendrick is using the spring to work on his sinker and change-up. (DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer)
Posted: February 28, 2013

CLEARWATER, Fla. - One of the upshots of Kyle Kendrick's being guaranteed a rotation spot this winter is the freedom of a spring without worries. The results of his Grapefruit League appearances are meaningless.

He will be the fourth starter come April.

Kendrick's spring debut Tuesday against the New York Yankees was anticlimactic. The righthander allowed one run on three hits with a strikeout in a 4-3 Phillies win. His goal early in spring training is to develop a feel for his two most important pitches: the sinker and change-up.

The sinker is what has made his career. The change-up, which he threw a career-high 22.9 percent of the time last season, is what guaranteed his rotation spot.

A third pitch would help, too. Before the change-up, Kendrick used a cutter as his secondary pitch. He also throws a slider, but only rarely. That is a pitch he will play with later in the spring.

Kendrick envisions his cutter and slider as interchangeable on a given day.

"My slider has been feeling pretty good in the bullpen," he said. "I threw one today to the first batter. I got a checked swing. It was pretty close. It was a good pitch. I think it will keep getting better, for sure."

On Tuesday, Kendrick was just happy for the chance to throw in a game situation.

"I felt like I was really going to be upset if we got rained out," Kendrick said. "I felt like that Little League kid that just wanted to get out there. I used to cry when games used to get rained out. That's how I felt today."

Utley scratched

About 40 minutes before the scheduled first pitch, manager Charlie Manuel and coach Ryne Sandberg took a stroll to where Chase Utley normally stands on the infield dirt. The area had been pounded by rain all morning, and once the tarp was removed from the field, more water formed there.

There was no sense in risking Utley's newfound spring health.

"When I walked out there, there was all this water dumped in the area there," Manuel said. "It was still cloudy, so I just didn't play him."

Utley's replacement at second base, Kevin Frandsen, doubled home Jimmy Rollins in the sixth inning.

The Phillies have a long trip to Fort Myers on Wednesday, so Utley's next game action should come Thursday against Atlanta in Clearwater.

Extra bases

Mike Adams will make his spring debut Thursday. Adams, who had offseason rib surgery, had said he did not expect to pitch until March because of the lengthy spring schedule. Pitching coach Rich Dubee said Adams has been feeling well and wants to see game action. . . . Domonic Brown's seventh-inning home run was followed by a two-run shot by Tommy Joseph, the youngest player in camp. The catcher was acquired from San Francisco for Hunter Pence. . . . Ryan Howard, this spring's iron man, will make the trip Wednesday and start his fourth game in four days.

comments powered by Disqus