Today, February 3, 2015, the Colorado Rockies signed ex Philadelphia Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick signed a 1 year $5.5 million dollar deal and gets a $500K bonus if he reaches 190 innings pitched according to Jeff Passan of NBC Sports. Kendrick grew up in Houston, Texas and played high school ball in Mount Vernon, Washington after moving there during his childhood. Kendrick spent his first 7 seasons with the Phillies after getting drafted by them in the seventh round in 2003. He began his career in the minor leagues and supposedly did not live up to expectations as coaches questioned his maturity and skill. He then turned it around in 2006 pitching for Lakewood Blue Claws and eventually got called up to the big leagues later that year. Kendrick is a 30 year old starter and has been a back of the rotation guy filling the 4 or 5 spot. In his first few years in the big leagues, Kendrick had aces Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee on his team reportedly loving working out with them to improve his game. So the kid likes to work hard and is willing to get better at his game, the question is just when it will happen.
In my opinion, this was not a smart move by the Rockies. This move has a bunch of question marks all over it. In Coors Field, Kendrick has struggled immensely. He lacks in strikeouts and has let up 25 homeruns in 32 career starts at Coors. Kendrick will bring depth to the Rockies poor rotation, but is a 1 year deal enough time to prove who he is? If Kendrick struggles, he may not have time to redeem himself because of the 1 year deal. Last year Kendrick had a poor ERA (4.61) with a 10 and 13 record with 121 strikeouts. Kendrick will have to improve these numbers if he will want to improve this Rockies rotation.
Kendrick will improve the mediocre starting pitching the Colorado Rockies have. Kendrick’s career earned run average (4.42), is not impressive. At the age of 30, Kendrick does provide veteran experience to the rotation. With Jorge De La Rosa being the ace of the staff, the Rockies will have to provide run support for the pitchers. The Rockies have not lived up to the hype these past few years. The pitching staff has not been consistent like the batting lineup. If the Rockies think Kendrick is the savior, it will be another mediocre season for the Rockies.
The Rockies do have a dominant lineup on the upside. Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez lead the lineup along with other veteran players. The Rockies lineup will succeed if their team stays healthy, but the pitching staff is a big question mark. With the Rockies having the pitching rotation they do, it will be very interesting weather they contend or not. Kendrick will improve this pitching staff and contribute in victories. The Rockies have a tough season ahead with the San Diego Padres, who have made moves over the offseason, the reigning champs the San Francisco Giants, and the Los Angeles Dodgers all in their division. It will be very challenging to win this division. In order to overcome these three other teams the Rockies pitching staff will have to step it up.
Projected Starting Rotaton:
NOTE: This is my opinion not Jake Wesley's whom's you will see in the upcoming weeks
1. Jorge De La Rosa
2. Jhoulys Chacin
3. Jordan Lyles
4. Kyle Kendrick
5. Tyler Matzek
Last year, none of these guys pitched for an under 4.00 ERA as the Rockies rotation struggled. In 2014, the Rockies combined pitchers had a 4.86 ERA with 66 losses and 96 wins. To be serious contenders, these numbers need to change. De La Rosa was statistically the best pitcher in the rotation with a 14 and 11 record, but with a mediocre 4.10 ERA followed by 23 year old Jordan Lyles who had a 7 and 4 record with a 4.33 ERA. Kendrick will bring another decent starter to the rotation, but these guys do not have a considered ace.
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Jake Wesley is now the only writer for MLB_NL_AL.com all of these articles are ether based on facts and pieces of his opinion.