KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Kyle Kendrick was curiously pulled after pitching two innings against the Astros. It could be the clearest sign yet that the Phillies have chosen Jamie Moyer to be the fifth starter.
It's not official yet, but once the game is over and we can speak to manager Charlie Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee, we should finally hear the news: Moyer is the pick.
Kendrick said he didn't know he would be pitching only two innings. When he came out, he said his first thought was, "Something's up." He wouldn't let down his guard when reporters asked, but it seemed like Kendrick already knew that he was headed for the bullpen.
At this point, he is fine with it.
"I just wanted to come in and have a good spring and build off of last year," Kendrick said. "Just get some good things rolling into the season. I felt like I did that. I was happy with the spring I had. I learned a lot. This is the best spring I’ve had, not only pitching-wise, but I learned from my teammates, how guys go about their business. I actually paid attention this year and tried to learn. It definitely was a great spring for me."
Kendrick allowed a run on two hits in his two innings against Houston. In Grapefruit League play, Kendrick sported a 1.66 ERA over 21 2/3 innings.
He said at the beginning of the spring that his goal was to make the team in whatever role the team wanted. It appears Kendrick has reached that goal. The Phillies will likely take him north as the long man in the bullpen.
Kendrick said his routine that he has established this spring won't have to change if he goes to the bullpen.
" My workouts maybe will change a little bit," Kendrick said. "But my preparation shouldn’t change. My focus shouldn’t change. Workouts will have to change because you never know when you’re going to pitch."
More to come...