Kyle Kendrick and the Phillies avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.585 million deal last month, but today the two sides signed a new two-year, $7.5 million contract that cancels out the previous deal.
Or, put another way, they tacked on an extra year and another $3.915 million to the previous agreement.
Either way, the Phillies clearly valued the cost certainty that comes with pre-paying for Kendrick’s arbitration years and once the two-year contract ends they’ll still have him under team control in 2014 via his final year of arbitration.
Kendrick’s career strikeout rate of 4.1 per nine innings is the fourth-worst of any active pitcher with at least 500 innings, but he threw 115 innings with a 3.22 ERA last season split between the rotation and bullpen. He’s currently slated to be the Phillies’ long reliever unless the team finds a taker for Joe Blanton’s contract (and doesn’t replace Blanton with a new veteran starter).
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.