Fifth Spot: Moyer or Kendrick? – Phillies Nation

Fifth Spot: Moyer or Kendrick?

Entering spring training, Ruben Amaro Jr. said that the fifth spot in the rotation was Jamie Moyer’s to lose. While Kyle Kendrick has made his case for the fifth spot, Moyer has done nothing to lose it.

In 19.2 innings this spring, Kendrick has a 1.37 earned run average. In that span, he has given up 12 hits, walked four and struck out seven. He has yet to allow a home run.

Kendrick made his last start against the Astros. In 5.2 innings, he allowed one earned run on five hits.

On the other hand, Moyer has a 0.77 earned run average in 11.2 innings. The 47-year old has only allowed six hits and has yet to walk a batter. He has also struck out 12.

Moyer spent a majority of spring pitching in “B” games, but perhaps he sealed the deal with 6.2 shut out innings against the New York Yankees. Tossing 74 pitches against the Bronx Bombers, Moyer struck out six.

Charlie Manuel and Rich Dubee have yet to name the fifth starter.  So, who will the fifth rotation spot belong to? Kyle Kendrick or Jamie Moyer?



  1. Ryk

    March 27, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    This one is tricky. We were in a similar situation with CHP and JA Happ last season. Went with the vet and ultimately, it was a mistake. It was quickly remedied and both players thrived in their new roles. This season the choice is not quite so obvious. While the management has said a million times that the spot is Moyer’s to lose, and he’s done nothing to lose it, they may need to think about this from a non-financial viewpoint. Do the Phils really want to go into the season with Antonio Bastardo as their ONLY lefty in the pen? Until Romero comes back form injury, or until they sign a scrap heap lefty, they simply MUST put Moyer in the bullpen. I’m not saying keep him there, but early in the season, when it’s cold and the rotation isn’t quite up to pitching through 7 or 8, they need a dependable arm in case of emergency.
    Had KK not pitched so well this spring, there might be more of an argument, but Kyle has proven he’s ready for the 5th spot for the time being. To me, it’s the only choice they have at the moment.

  2. Jim

    March 27, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Moyer had an FIP of 5.08 over 162 IP, Kendrick had a 3.59 in 26.1. That should have much more weight than a very small sample size spring session (obviously Kendrick’s MLB results are a small sample as well).

    I don’t know how to quantify it but I think that it should matter that Kendrick should hopefully (?!) improve while Moyer, a 63 year old favorite of the viagra/flomax crowd, will almost certainly break down physically by the end of May.

  3. BurrGundy

    March 27, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Moyer should start the season as the fifth starter. He has been great this spring. The competition makes both pitchers better. Kendrick will eventually start this year, as well. Pitchers get hurt and miss starts. And we do need the help in the pen. It is easier to ask Kendrick to work out of the pen than Moyer, because Moyer is ancient. Kendrick is young and pliable. I hope both have excellent seasons. A lot is riding on it.

  4. WFC010

    March 27, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Kendrick has pitched better this spring, but it’s freaking spring training!

    What we will be getting out of him in regular games is very hard to say, but that’s pretty much the same deal with Great Grandpa Moyer as well.

    Whatever we say though, we all know Moyer will open the season as the 5th starter. He’s pitched well enough to “defend” his spot, even though Kendrick pitched better.

  5. Dan S

    March 27, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    like you said its Moyer’s spot to loose and he’s done nothing to loose it, so I think he will get the job. I’d hate to see Kendrick get sent down to AAA given how much work he put in this offseason to make the team and how well he’s performed. I’d like to see him in the bullpen if Moyer gets the job.

  6. Ed R.

    March 27, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    It was always Moyer’s job unless he totally crapped the bed. He has not, so it will be his job come April 5th.

  7. WFC010

    March 27, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    I just hope that the Phillies will be quick to pull him from the rotation if he sucks for a month or so.

  8. Ed R.

    March 27, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Also, anyone else concerned that Hamels has gotten rocked two starts in a row and Contreras still looks like crap? Because I sort of am. I was willing to let Hamels have a bad go but two in a row, to teams not known for offense…concerning.

  9. Nunzio Scholeri

    March 27, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    I’m biased towards Moyer, so take what I say with that grain of salt. Though, for what it’s worth, I’m 23 and certainly not part of the “viagra/flomax crowd” – I just happen to respect stunning perseverance, excellent craft, and great control pitching. Plus I never get tired of watching giant hulking major league hitters get reduced to flailing helplessly at 70-80mph pitches. Moyer’s a badass, plain and simple.

    But as to this specific competition, for me a lot of it is about what we know about each pitcher. We know that even in an off year like last year, Moyer will be decent, with great moments. And we also know that he can be as good as he was in 08, and as good as he’s been this spring training. (1-hitting the Yankees for 6 2/3 innings with 6 strikeouts? That’s stellar no matter whom we’re talking about.) So with Moyer you have a range of potential results from decent – quite good, and with Kendrick you have a range of potential from ??? – good.

    Sure I want to see what Kendrick can do, and we all know that he’s going to start at least some of the year, whether it’s spot starts or if Moyer or someone else goes down to poor quality or injury. And I’m excited for him to be a starter in ’11. But if I’m the Phillies, I want the best, most reliable starting rotation I can get to start the season right, so I go with the guy I know will be good, not the guy who might be good but we really have no idea yet.

  10. Manny

    March 27, 2010 at 7:50 pm


    Contreras not looking too good.

    Red Sox released lefty reliever Brian Shouse who had a very impressive spring…

  11. rob5000

    March 27, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    I think Moyer needs to be your 6th man in the rotation. The go-to guy in the pen that is your first option if a game gets ugly early on *See Hamels, Cole. While Kendrick could function in this role, I think his age allows him the opportunity to pitch deep into games early on while oftentimes, Jamie Moyer barely puttered into the 6th inning in some games. All in all, I’d have to say this is a great “dilemma” to have. Go Phillies!

  12. George

    March 27, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    In his time as a major league starter, Kendrick has rarely managed more than six innings per start, despite his youth. He has no advantage over Moyer there, although possibly with his improving secondary pitches he might go deeper into games. Moyer, although only really effective for about 95 pitches is efficient enough with them that it sometimes doesn’t matter all that much. He’s already pitched as deep into games in ST as any other staff member. He used only 74 against the Yanks to get into the seventh.

    While it may appear that Moyer would be a relief option, his age says otherwise. He can’t go in back to back games, so most of the time he’d just be taking up bullpen space. Kendrick would most likely be more flexible as a reliever, and having started against left handed hitters might be usable against them in relief.

  13. Dave

    March 27, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    I’m a Kendrick partisan, but it was Moyer’s job to lose and he hasn’t lost it. As long as Moyer doesn’t get too long of a leash, I’m happy. Let’s be honest, Moyer’s last outing was impressive.

  14. Bruce

    March 27, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Let’s face it, the young crowd will always have a fixation on Moyer’s age and for the most part ignore his effective performance on the mound. Moyer appeared completely recovered from post season surgeries and had his most satisfying effort yet this spring against the Yankees who played most of their regulars. 6.2 innings of shutout ball on just 74 pitches. Moyer deserves the 5th spot in rotation. Way to go Jamie.

  15. Bobby

    March 28, 2010 at 12:08 am

    Ed R.: Hamels is not getting “rocked”. He’s working on new pitches and seems to be keeping his composure. If you don’t believe me, I found this while checking some blogs

  16. Ed R.

    March 28, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Hamels spring ERA went down from 6.63 to 5.57…just because he is doing better doesn’t mean he is doing well. A lot of guys, Kendrick for one, is working on pitches and he isn’t getting smacked around like Hamels is.

  17. WFC010

    March 28, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I am not terribly worried about Hamels, and as long as he remains as calm and focused, I won’t be worried either.

  18. Kennedy

    March 28, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Gotta be Moyer, it’s not like Kendrick is going anywhere. Someone will probably get hurt anyway, this is baseball after all.

  19. Chuck

    March 28, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Answer to the question: Moyer.. He hasn’t lost it. Give him a shot and keep him on a short leash.
    Hamels…..let’s see how he fares in REAL games…..before we sound the alarms. I still think he’s gonna rebound this year.

  20. Ed R.

    March 28, 2010 at 10:51 am

    I agree, I want to see what he does in real games as well but if he is getting hit around by bench players and career minor leaguers than that is a concern for me.

  21. George

    March 28, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Hamels had been working on new pitches for only this offseason. Now he is trying to get the right mix and location with them.

    Kendrick has been working on new pitches since he was sent down at the start of LAST season, so he’s had more time to work things out.

    Give Hamels a break. He may have a couple more bad outings, but he’s really doing well considering that his arsenal got larger just this winter. He’s healthy, composed and confident, throwing with more velocity, and still has his deadly changeup. His location and pitch selection will come soon enough.

  22. Tyler

    March 28, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Ed R- Joe Mauer is a bench/minor league player? Guess he should give that MVP back.

  23. Dave

    March 28, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Hamels had two bad games. Bad games happen. Cliff Lee had a couple of stinkers late in the season and then bounced back to have a great post-season.
    God, Hamels probably can’t wait to get out of here.

  24. Chuck

    March 28, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Thing is….the fact that it’s Hamels that’s had two bad games….it’s more scrutinized and talked about….than if Roy Halladay had two bad games.
    It’s gonna be like that all season for him. Each pitch, each inning, every game will be dissected instensely…..fair or not.

    Let’s just all give Cole the benefit of the doubt. I really think he will be fine.

  25. Dave

    March 28, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    I don’t get it, though. He had one bad year, that wasn’t even that bad (just league average) and he’s $hit now. Why the irrational hatred? Yeah, maybe he didn’t work hard enough during the 2009 offseason, but he certainly put in his time this offseason. Why are some people so eager to get rid of him?

  26. Len

    March 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    If I hear one more uneducated person talk about Moyer’s starts this spring being in ‘B’ games, I’m going to vomit. I was in Florida on March 15th and went to the Jays-Tigers game in Lakeland. The Jays sent one starter to the game………John Macdonald.
    The Jays are notorious for not sending starters on the bus in spring training. We found out that night that the Jays ‘B’ game at Dunedin the same day at 10:00 am had almost their full major league line-up. Easier to go golfing in the afternoon, when you play at 10:00 in the morning.
    The pitcher that day against the jay’s starting club in the B game……Jaimie Moyer

  27. Bobby D

    March 28, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Hamels had a bad outing against 2 AL playoff teams. He’d never faced Mauer before and he got burned. Mauer’s a beast. Luckily, those two lineups are nothing like what Cole will be seeing all season long. He’s not great against free swinging, AL power clubs. Who is?

    Topic at hand, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Moyer still has a dozen wins or so in him. Maybe not all this season but if he struggles, at least Kendrick could serve as an option.

  28. Joe Blow Likes His Hoes

    March 28, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Theoretically Kendrick would get the spot, but since Moyer is a little bitch and is a veteran this organization somehow feels it has to cater to him like they do Rollins. So Moyer wins this outright without a question. The only way he doesnt win this is if he has a horrendous spring the rest of the way which isnt likely to happen. KEEP DAVID HERNDON!

  29. Chuck

    March 28, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    “since Moyer is a little bitch and is a veteran this organization somehow feels it has to cater to him like they do Rollins.”

    Real thoughtful, insightful and accurate reasoning…….

    …..guess it makes sense coming from someone with a name like yours.

  30. Tyler

    March 28, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Regardless of who the 5th starter is on opening day, the competition will go on throughout April and May where Moyer and Kendrick will probably get most of their work from the bullpen due to how the schedule plays out.

  31. Mr. Phil

    March 29, 2010 at 7:49 am

    I think most of us fans will be surprised if Moyer is not named the fifth starter. I am very encouraged by Kendrick’s performance this spring, however. It reminds me of how well Happ pitched last spring. As we all know he was a pitcher who blossomed last year into a quality starter when given the opportunity.

    I am most encouraged by the enthusiasm of the Phillies faithful. I was in Clearwater in mid March and was amazed by the amount of Phillies fans who traveled to Florida to see them play and prepare for the upcoming season. Even in Bradenton the Pirates/Phillies game was loaded with Phillies fans. I believe Philadelphia is once more a baseball town. The Phils have always been my favorite Philly team, with the Eagles a close second during their glory times of the 2000’s. I’m glad I have tickets already for a lot of their games because CBP is a happening. I’m loving that this team is so easy to root for.

  32. Don M

    March 29, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    not sure if anyone will see this.. but I emailed David Murphy last week,

    and he basically said that the Phillies would have either on a short-leash . . . and they don’t want Kendrick looking over his shoulder the whole time.

    If the time comes that Moyer loses the job to Kendrick.. they’ll let Kendrick run with it, and not go crazy worrying about immediate results.

  33. Bruce

    March 30, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Who is David Murphy? Does he represent Phillies organization’s points of view? Is he an authority on all that goes on with the team? Does he work for the Phillies?….Or he is just another media writer with his own opinion? 😉

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