Worley Should Get Nod Over Kendrick

The Phillies had been uncertain as to who would start this afternoon’s match against the New York Mets. Initially, their list included three pitchers: Kyle Kendrick, Vance Worley, and Nate Robertson. Robertson was obviously removed after allowing six runs in two thirds of an inning on Wednesday against the Florida Marlins. So, the Phillies were choosing between Kendrick and Worley. They chose Kendrick.

Kendrick has been, well, horrible in his last six starts, spanning 30 and two-thirds innings. His ERA is a bloated 7.04. While he has been BABIP unlucky (.359), he has a lackluster 10-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio. By trade, he is not someone that misses a lot of bats. A .359 BABIP wouldn’t be nearly as detrimental if he were striking out an average amount of batters (about 6.0 per nine innings). Instead, he has been averaging fewer than three strikeouts per nine in his past six starts.

Worley, on the other hand, is someone who can miss bats. In his Minor League career spanning over 380 innings, he compiled a 6.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9, both respectable numbers, slightly above the average. In his first Major League start on Monday, he struck out five, walked one and allowed just two runs in five innings of work.

There is no reason not to start Worley today. He is, by all measures, a better pitcher than Kendrick. What has Kendrick done to earn this vote of confidence?

This dilemma is somewhat reminiscent of the team’s handling of Scott Mathieson earlier in the season. Despite Mathieson statistically being an upgrade over about half of the bullpen, the Phillies kept him stuffed in the Minors. When they finally called him up, he was the victim of some bad luck and was subsequently sent right back down to the Minors. The team even invoked a rarely-used roster loophole to do so.

As great as things have turned out in recent years, sometimes the team makes you wonder if they really are still stuck in the Stone Age in terms of player evaluation. Even using rudimentary metrics, Worley is clearly a better candidate than Kendrick. With 20 games left in the regular season, the team should want to maximize its chance to win in each. The Phillies are passing up a golden opportunity to do so by not replacing Kendrick with Worley today.

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18 comments

  1. Weems

    September 11, 2010 08:03 AM

    Amen, Cy Kendrick is awful.

  2. Ted

    September 11, 2010 08:56 AM

    My guess is if Kendrick gets shelled today they will bump him out in favor of Worley. As much as I hate to admit it, giving up a ton of runs today and potentially losing might be best for the Phillies in the long run.

  3. ken

    September 11, 2010 09:17 AM

    Ted your a knucklehead how is losing the best thing in the long run. Game is about wins and losses, more wins is the goal. Where do you people come from. Get a grip pleaseee

  4. JD

    September 11, 2010 09:29 AM

    The Phils coach has always been slow to change things up. He is faithful to his players, and although this doesn’t make us arm chair coaches happy Manuel’s record stands for itself. I would suggest he is doing the right thing until proven other wise.

  5. Ted

    September 11, 2010 09:33 AM

    @Ken

    I’m not saying losing is good, I’m saying Kendrick giving up runs could be good so that Worley can replace him. Logic dictates, however, that when Kendrick gives up runs the Phillies lose since he usually can’t make it to the 5th inning in such games. Just following the logic.

  6. JD

    September 11, 2010 09:35 AM

    I would like to offer up the Phils need to make a change in announcers, get rid of that hack wheels. Its no wonder Harry the K and Ashburn couldn’t stand the guy he’s someones token

  7. ken

    September 11, 2010 09:38 AM

    JD you I agree with

  8. Herb

    September 11, 2010 09:45 AM

    Let’s chill and let Charlie weave his magic, guy knows something we don’t. He see’s something in Kendrick and he has done this in the past with other players who were struggling and he was correct. Matter of fact the entire lineup at different times of this year. Also agree with the post Wheels is a fraud.

  9. Bob

    September 11, 2010 10:32 AM

    Charlie please: Here is the Phils optimum rotation for rest of season after today
    9/12 Oswalt vs Mets
    9/13 Blanton vs Fla
    9/14 Hamels vs Fla
    9/15 Halliday vs Fla
    9/17 Oswalt vs Nats
    9/18 Blanton vs Nats
    9/19 Worley/Kendrick vs Nats
    9/20 Hamels vs Atl
    9/21 Halliday vs Atl
    9/22 Oswalt vs Atl
    9/24 Blanton vs Mets
    9/25 Worley/Kendrick vs Mets
    9/26 Hamels vs Mets
    9/27 Halliday vs Nats
    9/28 Oswalt vs Nats
    9/29 Blanton vs Nats
    10/1 Hamels vs Atl
    10/2 Halliday vs Atl
    10/3 Oswalt vs Atl

  10. E

    September 11, 2010 11:13 AM

    bill-

    off topic, but do you know where to go to find the # of base runners ryan howard has on base this year and in the past. like a running total of who has had the most?
    thanks.

  11. BS

    September 11, 2010 11:17 AM

    Slightly off topic, but when CSN flashed the Kendrick vs. Pelfrey matchup stats, I was struck by how similar their peripheral stats were.

    Now, I think Pelfrey has better stuff than Kendrick, but apparently they’re almost the same guy.

    Back on topic, I’m guessing Charlie went with Kendrick simply because of his good career stats vs. the mets #smallsamplesize. I would’ve loved to see what Worley could do.

  12. Dan

    September 11, 2010 12:49 PM

    @Bob;

    Please, for the love of God, spell HALLADAY correctly. The guy is our freaking ace, and arguably the best pitcher in baseball, and people still don’t know how to spell his name. What’s the guy gotta do?

    On that note, anyone else getting pissed off at Sarge calling him “Holliday?”

  13. phillyinnyc

    September 11, 2010 02:07 PM

    Based on Bob’s rotation listed on this blog,

    I see that Doc might be scheduled against the nats, if the Phils have a decent lead at that point (16 days), maybe UC can give Hilludoy* a pass on that start

    spelled wrong -

    *Correction Hollowdiy – er HALLADAY

  14. hk

    September 11, 2010 03:49 PM

    All you need to know about the limited value of pitching Wins as a statistic can be found in the fact the Kyle Kendrick has 9 W’s and Cole Hamels has 10.

  15. Fake Mandy Housenick

    September 11, 2010 08:45 PM

    I love Kyle Kendrick! You can really tell by the way he pitches that he’s really trying out there and he likes being in Philly and he *wants* to be the #5 starter. I’ve never even heard him curse after a fan interfered with him catching a foul ball! He never blows us beat writers off. After most starts, he says, “I just have to go back out there and try and pitch better next time.” Oh, and that aura! That aura makes me feel like I’m in heaven!

  16. Jon

    September 13, 2010 08:00 AM

    FWIW, Charlie said he started Kendrick because he threw well against the Mets his last time against them. And he didn’t cost them that game either.

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