The Philadelphia Phillies have avoided arbitration with right-handed pitcher Kyle Kendrick, agreeing to a $2.45 million, one-year contract. Oddly enough, due to the presence of Joe Blanton on the roster, Kendrick still is not certain what his role will be in 2011.
Kendrick went 11-10 with a 4.73 ERA in a career-high 33 games (31 starts) for the Phillies in 2010. His 11 wins last season tied his career high. He also set career highs with 180 2-3 innings and 84 strikeouts.
He’s 35-24 with a 4.69 ERA in 93 major league games over four seasons. Kendrick has spent as much time pitching for AAA Lehigh Valley as he has for the Phillies. In 2010, Kendrick began to fashion himself after imported ace Roy Halladay. Kendrick trained with Halladay to adopt his work habits, workout regiment and baseball lifestyle.
While Halladay is an excellent choice for a role model, Kendrick remains a mediocre major league pitcher who probably should be farther along in his development. Fortunately for Kendrick the Phillies do not have a plethora of high minor league prospects pushing Kendrick for a roster spot. JA Happ was traded to Houston in the Roy Oswalt deal last summer and Kendrick has continually struggled to keep the #5 starter’s job. Had Happ not been traded and Jamie Moyer not been injured in 2010, Kendrick would likely have spent all of 2010 in the minors.
Kendrick is still infamous around the clubhouse and amongst the media for an incident that happened a couple of years ago. February 2008 was when the Philadelphia Phillies pulled off an elaborate prank, orchestrated by then-pitcher Brett Myers, who “punk’d” second year rookie Kyle Kendrick.
Then-assistant GM Ruben Amaro (who presented a false document confirming the transaction), went so far as to include the Phils media in the ruse. Reporters aksed Kendrick questions about being traded, as the stunned 23-year-old responds as best he can.
“Do they have good food in Japan?” Kendrick asked reporters, as the first words out of his mouth. “I don’t know what to think right now. I guess it’s going to be a whole new chapter, huh?”
Kyle buys into the prank, even though such a trade is prohibited. Myers eventually lets Kendrick off the hook, saying “You’ve been punk’d!” as Kendrick breathes a sigh of relief. “I’ve never been so happy. Seriously. Wow. I was not going on that flight in the morning.”
Manager Charlie Manuel offered young Kendrick advice as he [Manuel] spent many years in Japan. A dejected Kendrick dutifully took his skipper’s advice and accepted his letter printed on Phillies stationery with official-sounding language. Kendrick was convinced of the “deal,” and given an itinerary of things he must do so the swap could be completed, supplied by traveling secretary Frank Coppenbarger.
Kendrick’s agent, Joe Urbon, who also represents Japanese import Hiroki Kuroda, gets credit by confirming the deal when he received the stunned phone call from his client.
View video of the prank below.
The Phillies added another arm to their system with an agreement to a Minor League contract with right-hander Jason Grilli. The aforementioned Grilli’s self-proclaimed Twitter account (@grillcheese49) status: “This Italian Stallion is FIRED UP about the City of Brother Love! Balboa workouts paid off and READY TO GO!!!”
Grilli is 18-18 with a 4.74 ERA in 238 appearances over eight seasons in the big leagues. He last pitched with the Colorado Rockies and Texas Rangers in 2009, when he went a combined 2-3 with a 5.32 ERA in 52 appearances. He did not pitch last year because of a knee injury.
Grilli will not be in big-league camp, which begins Feb. 14 in Clearwater, Fla. He will be in Minor League camp. Details of the deal have not been publicized. It is very likely that Grilli will compete with Kyle Kendrick and Vance Worley for the longman’s role in the Phillies bullpen.
Some contract details:
- Kyle Kendrick. One-year, $2.45 million contract. Awards bonuses: $25,000 for All Star; $50,000 for World Series MVP; $25,000 for LCS MVP; $50,000 for Cy Young or Rolaids ($25,000-2nd; $15,000-3rd).
- Ben Francisco. One-year, $1.175 million contract. Performance bonuses: $25,000 for 400 plate appearances; $25,000 for 450 plate appearances; $25,000 for 500 plate appearances. Awards bonuses: $25,000 for All Star; $50,000 for MVP ($25,000-2nd; $15,000-3rd); $50,000 for World Series MVP; $25,000 for LCS MVP; $25,000 for Gold Glove; and $25,000 for Silver Slugger.
- Justin De Fratus. $33,600 in Minors; $414,000 in Majors.
CBP GOES SUPER HD
The Phillies have partnered with Sony Electronics’ System Solutions Group and Daktronics to dramatically enhance the fans viewing experience at Citizens Bank Park. The $10 million upgrade includes the installation of a massive, new Daktronics HD-15 video display and the latest in Sony HD production technology.
When completed, the new Phillies HD display will be the largest in the National League and among the largest in the world – measuring 76 feet high and 97 feet wide, and totaling 7,372 square feet of digital space.
The new HD display will be located under the iconic Phillies sign in left field and will almost triple the size of the formerly existing video display originally installed at Citizens Bank Park. During game time, millions of individual LEDs will illuminate the screen, creating superb image clarity with improved contrast and incredible wide-angle viewing of the action on the playing field. The additional size and resolution of the display will provide even more game-related action and statistical information.
“We’re truly excited to bring the HD experience to our fans,” said Mark DiNardo, Director, Broadcasting and Video Services. “The new technology and dramatically larger image will bring our fans closer to the action than ever. Our unique partnership with Sony and Daktronics gives us the opportunity to transition the in-house broadcast, production and entertainment systems to high-definition in one step.”
Other locations in Citizens Bank Park that will be part of the upgrade to HD include PhanaVision (Phillies video replay and control room) and video production/video coaching production areas, as well as the facility’s cable TV system.
Construction has already begun with the removal of the original Phillies videoboard, which has recently been relocated to the team’s spring training facility at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla.
Additionally, the Phillies will be installing a dedicated closed captioning display to assist hearing impaired fans, and all 800 televisions in the suites and public areas will also be upgraded to HD.
The first opportunity for fans to see the new videoboard in action will be during the On-Deck Series, when the Phillies take on the Pittsburgh Pirates, March 29-30.
NEW PHILLIES HD VIDEOBOARD DETAILS & FUN FACTS
- The display could feature 49 life-size Phillie Phanatics standing next to and on top of each other
- Overall size: 76 feet high and 97 feet wide. Offers more than 2.5 times more video area than previous video display (7,372 square feet of digital space vs. 2,691 square feet)
- Weight: approximately 84,420 lbs. (42.2 tons)
- Resolution: The HD-15 display exceeds 1080p HD standard with 1512 lines of resolution (six times the resolution of the previous display)
- Super-wide viewing angles offer improved visibility for more fans; Viewing angles: exceed 160 degrees horizontal (greater than 80 degrees on each side off center)
- Takes approximately 1,380 flat-panel televisions (at 42″ each) to fill the area of the new display
- If it were a consumer television, the Phillies display would be considered a 1,478″ screen
- Uses state of the art LED technology providing superior brightness in direct sun light, with the capability to show up to 144 quadrillion shades of color
- Approximately 32,363 feet (6.1 miles) of wiring will deliver power and data to the new display
PHILLIES COVERAGE: http://prosportsblogging.com/sports/mlb-baseball/philadelphia-phillies/
About the Author
Written by Christopher Rowe
Contributing writer Comcast Sports, NY Times contributing stringer 1996-2000, Contributing writer Yahoo Sports (2001 World Series). Contributing writer Newsday Long Island (1992-1994, Jets Training Camp) and Newak Star Ledger. Freelance Copywriter, Editor/Founder Atlantic Times Weekly (1993-2003) fantasy football magazine, produced screenwriter and general humorist. Hofstra University grad, Marist College honorary alum, Salesian; Purveyor of the Value and Valor of Philadelphia Eagles 1960 NFL Championship; Adrent believer that Eagles could have won Super Bowl XV...and Super Bowl XXXIX...plus modern decade of Eagles 5 NFC Championships... Believer in the Broad Street Bullies and the 1983 Sixers... Witness to Philadelphia Phillies World Series championships 1980 & 2008, Suffered Phillies first pro sports team to reach 10,000 losses,witnessed "1980 Cardiac Kids," 1983 "Wheeze Kids," 1993 "Macho Row" and many, many, many not-so-memorable seasons in-between... until the Philadelphia Baseball Renaissance of 21st Century, Five NL East division titles 2007-2011, 3 NLCS appearances 2008-2010, 2 consecutive World Series berths 2008 & 2009. 2008 World Champions of baseball [miss ya Harry and Richie]; "collector" of MLB ballparks (42 stadiums including 15 which are gone); Fantasy Football & Baseball player since 1992. Always a sports fan... Tenui Nec Dimittam Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org