Jamie Moyer versus Kyle Kendrick. Old goat versus young buck. Withering veteran versus percolating youngster. This is the battle for the Philadelphia Phillies coveted 5th spot in the 2010 rotation. Just last season Grand Pappy Moyer was booted from the rotation due to a horrendous ERA and maddening inconsistency. That was then followed up with 3 offseason surgeries. KK spent most of last season toiling in Triple A attempting to develop his secondary pitches. Now it's spring training and Kendrick has sparkled through 2 Grapefruit League outings (5 innings, no runs) and Moyer has yet to see official box score action (only appeared in B games). However, the elder statesmen of Major League Baseball at 47 years old is set to make $8 million this season and that speaks volumes.
"I'd like to see Kyle in the regular games because he's the guy that's got to win the job. Really, in my mind he's got to win the job. And second of all, Jamie is coming off (three) surgeries, so I'd rather put him in a less intense environment and let him get his feet on the ground. He'll be back in a regular game soon. I think for me, Jamie comes in with a big track record. You can't just go away from that. What did he win last year? Twelve? He won 16 the year before. He's got a tremendously long track record of being a winning pitcher. Even when he turned 40." ~Phillies Pitching Coach Rich Dubee
My translation- Kyle will only be the 5th starter is Jamie breaks. He's the "proven" commodity and therefore gets the upperhand no matter how poorly he pitches in spring.
Poor Kendrick, just when he found confidence in himself, finds himself in a no-win situation. Moyer is a cult figure in baseball today because of his age, but Amaro's decision to sign him to a 2-year deal has handcuffed the team. In pro sports money talks, and $8M is alotta of talking. Kendrick has minor league options left and that's his likely destination unless he earns a bullpen slot.