It likely won't be announced until later this afternoon, but the Phillies' decision to remove righthander Kyle Kendrick from his start against the Astros after two innings would seem to confirm what has been apparent for the last week: veteran lefthander Jamie Moyer will start the season in the rotation, while Kendrick will serve as long man out of the bullpen. Kendrick said he had not been informed of a decision, but lefthander Jamie Moyer has been the heavy favorite throughout spring training, and the Phillies' decision to limit Kendrick's pitch count indicates that they are preparing him for a role in the Opening Day bullpen.
"Hopefully I'm going up there (to Philadelphia)," said Kendrick, who allowed one run on two hits in two innings with a walk and a strikeout. "I just wanted to come in and have a good spring and just build off of last year and get some good things going into the season. I felt like I accomplisehd that. I was happy with the spring I've had. I learned a lot. This is the spring I had. Not only pitching wise, but I learned from my teammates, how guys go about their business. . .I'm definitely excited to get the season underway."
Kendrick said he knew "something's up" when Dubee trotted out to the mound to remove him from the game. The 25-year-old righthander is expected to start the season as the team's long man, although he could be called upon if the rotation suffers health or performance issues.
Kendrick has allowed four earned runs in 21 2/3 innings this spring while displaying good command of his slider, cutter and change-up, three pitches he spent last season working on at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.