Howie Kendrick to Begin Rehab Assignment
The Phillies have been really bad. This has moved most discussions about the team to focus on how to fix the Phillies. In the wake of Daniel Nava’s injury and Michael Saudners’ poor start the focus has shifted to calling up Roman Quinn. It does appear the Phillies have some outfield help on the way, just not in the form of the 24 year old speedster. Instead this happened today.
INF/OF Howie Kendrick will start a rehab assignment with Lehigh Valley (AAA) tonight. pic.twitter.com/xnfNKsDMdC
— Phillies (@Phillies) May 24, 2017
I don’t blame anyone for forgetting about Howie Kendrick, especially with the emergence of Aaron Altherr. Kendrick hit well for the first 10 games of the year (.333/.395/.487), but he has not played since April 15. His absence, and now Nava’s injury, has forced the Phillies to use Ty Kelly and often a 4 man bench for much of the last month. Not that the Phillies want to be constantly bench their struggling young players, but this has left them with very few options for giving players time off without putting an inferior lineup on the field. We don’t know how the Phillies will use Kendrick when he is back with the team, but he has been seeing defensive reps all over the field. His versatility when used in concert with players like Aaron Altherr and Andres Blanco give the Phillies plenty of room to restructure their lineups both before and during games.
Kendrick’s return does not preclude the Phillies from making a more impactful move (like a call up). Even if the Phillies are conservative with his playing time, he should see close to 5 starts a week, which will eat up many of the available plate appearances. However, if we are talking about an outfield prospect, like Quinn, that overlap should be only be about 2 games a week if the Phillies really are committed to moving Kendrick around the diamond. This move won’t fix the Phillies, and we don’t know how long this assignment will be (the max is 20 days), but every bit counts.