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.

Mike Trout has yet to strike out this spring

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Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.

But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.

To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).

According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.