That Kyle Kendrick is only the sixth-longest-tenured Phillies player is more a testament to Cole Hamels‘ ability and the Phillies’ propensity for throwing good money after bad. That Kendrick played for the Phillies from 2007-2011 and managed to throw nearly 600 regular-season innings and make exactly one postseason appearance is reinforcement for what he is: the fifth starter, someone who can take the ball reliably and not get absolutely lit up, but for whom “not getting absolutely lit up” is the ceiling. And that’s fine–I’ve long said that playoff berths have been lost for want of someone like Kendrick, but as the time and resources the Phillies have spent on him (as opposed to seeking out or developing a better option) have piled up, so too has our frustration.
In 2011 and 2012, we glimpsed, perhaps, a new Kendrick, a better Kendrick, a Kendrick perhaps capable of striking out more than a batter every other inning. For the first time, we went into a season viewing Kyle Kendrick as an asset rather than an inconvenience. That didn’t last long.