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Who Will Be Phillies Fifth Starter?

“If it’s possible, and if anyone can do it, it would be Jamie,” said general manager Ruben Amaro when commenting about 47-year-old Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer who went down last year with abdominal and groin operations.

If Moyer is not able to return to his spot in the Phillies rotation that he gave up to Pedro Martinez last year, whom will become Philadelphia’s fifth starter?

Kendrick Likely Fifth Starter

Kendrick increases fantasy baseball value as fifth starter

Kendrick increases fantasy baseball value as fifth starter

The odds on favorite at this point has to be Kyle Kendrick.  Kendrick, a Phillies starter in 2007 and 2008, spent most of 2009 in the minors.  A strong September, however, likely assures Kendrick of the number 5 spot in the rotation.

“If we had our druthers,” said Amaro, “we’d sign someone else plus maybe one or two other pitchers to fight for one of those jobs.”

Vote for Pedro

But, signing returnees Pedro Martinez or Brett Myers seems unlikely.  (By the way, why did Phillies fans so easily forgive Myers for the domestic abuse incident in Boston?)

Regarding Martinez, Amaro said: “At this time, his price poitn and our price point weren’t really matching up too well.”

As for Myers: “I just don’t see much likelihood on him coming back.”

So, whom would be those two other pitchers that Amaro would like to have?  Two former all-stars that are available are Chien-Ming Wang, Eric Bedard, and Ben Sheets who were all hampered by injuries last year.

“We’ve touched base with their agents,” said Amaro.  “They know we have some interest.”

Assuming that the Phillies don’t make an addition to the pitching staff, the

Tigers (Hanshin Tigers) Vogelsong will battle for fifth spot.

Tigers' (Hanshin Tigers) Vogelsong will battle for fifth spot.

likely competition for Kendrick for the fifth starter spot is either minor leaguer Andrew Carpenter (11-6, 3.35 at Lehigh Valley), who appeared in Phillies pinstripes for three games last year, or Ryan Vogelsong, 32,  who spent the last three seasons pitching in Japan (10-10 last two seasons).  Vogelsong pitched five seasons for the Pirates and his ERA was over 6 in four of those five.

Coming in to the season, will the Phillies make a move for another pitcher?  It appears unlikely, as a fifth starter is really not needed early in the season.  In fact, due to days off in April, the Phillies likely won’t need a fifth man until April 24.  So, the best bet is that Kendrick will start the year in the bullpen or the minors and then gravitate to the starting role in late April.

Kyle Kendrick – Fantasy Baseball Analysis

As for Kendrick, if he earns the fifth starter spot, he can win some games for the two-time returning NL champs.  After all, he was 10-4 in 2007 and 11-9 in 2008.  But, if your league counts strikeouts, Kendrick is definitely not your man. Kendrick needs to get a lot of ground balls to the Phillies strong defensive infield to be successful, as his strikeout ratio is poor–only 117 K’s in 50 career starts.

We recommend picking up Kyle Kendrick only in the deepest of fantasy baseball leagues. He had a solid year last year at 9-7, 3.34, at Lehigh Valley and 3-1, 3.42, with the Phillies.  His future, however, is likely as a starter with a bad team or as a long reliever where he will have little fantasy baseball value.

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