Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies

Phillies shut down Kyle Kendrick due to lingering shoulder issue

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The Phillies have shut down Kyle Kendrick for the remainder of the season, reports Chris Branch of the News Journal. Veteran journeyman Zach Miner, who has filled in for Kendrick once already on Wednesday, will take Kendrick’s remaining starts. The Phillies have “TBA” listed for Tuesday’s start against the Marlins. Assuming Miner starts then, he would be on track to pitch the final game of the season in Atlanta against the Braves as well.

Kendrick, dealing with tendinitis in his shoulder, last pitched a week ago, allowing six runs in four and one-third innings against the Nationals. He had an MRI on Tuesday after which the Phillies figured he would be able to make two more starts before the end of the season, but they decided to play it safe and shut him down rather than risk further damage. Kendrick will finish with a 4.70 ERA in 30 starts spanning 182 innings.

After impressing the club in each of the past two seasons — in 2011 as a swing-man; last year as a new-and-improved starter — and posting good numbers in the first half of 2013 (3.68 ERA), Kendrick’s second half has been abysmal (6.91 ERA). The timing couldn’t have been worse for the Phillies as he will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration after earning $4.5 million this season. During the off-season, GM Ruben Amaro will have to decide between non-tendering Kendrick, or keeping him around at a salary likely between $5-6 million. As the Phillies will also be weighing the pros and cons of keeping Roy Halladay around, Kendrick may prove superfluous in the team’s 2014 plans.

Wade Davis? Greg Holland? Who needs ’em?

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 21: Joakim Soria #48 of the Kansas City Royals throws in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium on August 21, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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The story of the two-time defending AL champion and current defending World Series champ Kansas City Royals cannot be told without talking at length about their bullpen.

In 2014, Wade Davis, Greg Holland and Kelvin Herrera formed a shutdown brigade that not only made it next to impossible for the opposition to mount late rallies, but managed something which seemed utterly impossible before 2014: they turned Ned Yost into a tactical genius. Indeed, the only time Yost got criticism at all that fall was when he messed with the autopilot formula that had that three-headed monster handling the 7th, 8th and 9th innings.

Much the same happened in 2015, of course, despite Holland’s sharp decline and eventual injury. Davis and Herrera continued their dominance. They were joined by Ryan Madson and a cast of other effective relievers who, along with timely hitting, great defense and good health, helped propel the Royals to the title.

This year had not been quite the same story. Holland has been out all year and Davis, while effective when he’s pitched, has missed time due to injury. As has longtime contributor and presumptive next-man-up Luke Hochevar. Herrera is basically still Herrera, but Ned Yost has been presented with a decidedly different set of choices. Lots of choices and Ned Yost don’t always go together well, but lately that hasn’t mattered.

Last night the Royals’ bullpen came in to a close game and tossed three scoreless innings. That set a franchise record with 32 straight scoreless frames, besting the previous record set back in the club’s inaugural season in 1969. The streak is a huge part of why the Royals have won nine games in a row.

Unlike the success of 2014-15, the streak is not a three-man show. As Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star notes, eight different relievers have appeared for Kansas City during the streak, with Joakim Soria and Matt Strahm leading the crew with five and a third innings pitched. Herrera has tossed five scoreless. Otherwise it’s been a group effort with even Peter Moylan offering a couple of scoreless frames. And here you thought Moylan was, I dunno, gearing up for the upcoming Brisbane Bandits season. Nope.

The Royals are still not, in my view anyway, a lock to make the postseason. It’s a a crowded field right now. They’re seven and a half back in the AL Central and four back in the Wild Card with a bunch of teams in front of them. But they’re certainly playing themselves back into the conversation. They’re interesting. And they’re doing it in much the same way they’ve done it the past two years. Only with different dudes doing the do.

Video: Mookie Betts made a ridiculous throw last night

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Mookie Betts was an infielder once upon a time and the knock on him both then and since his move to the outfield was that maybe his arm was not fantastic. As an infielder there was talk that he was better suited to the right side than the left. As an outfielder people were saying that, with work, his arm could be average and/or serviceable. Not bad, of course, but not anything to write home about.

Maybe we need to reassess that, because last night he uncorked one from right field that would make Dwight Evans says “dang, man.”

 

And the throw mattered, as Kiermaier represented the tying run in a game that, at the time, the Sox were leading 2-1.

Betts is a dangerous middle-of-the-order bat at age 23. And now he shows that he’ll nail a fast runner with a frozen rope if he has to. The guy is going to win an MVP award some day. And maybe not just one.