ST. LOUIS -- It begins.
Eleven days before the trading deadline, the Phillies have made their first roster move. Righthander Kyle Kendrick was optioned to triple-A Lehigh Valley after allowing seven runs in five innings in Monday's loss to the Cardinals.
Replacing Kendrick on the roster is righthander Andrew Carpenter, who was recalled. It's unknown if Carpenter will take Kendrick's next turn in the rotation, which is scheduled for Saturday against Colorado at Citizens Bank Park.
Kendrick was 5-4 with a 4.82 ERA in 20 games for the Phillies. He showed flashes of quality pitching, especially in May when he was 3-1 with a 3.13 ERA. He had a horrid first month but had a 4.04 ERA in 84 2/3 innings since.
In fact, since May 1, Kendrick has arguably been the Phillies' third-best starter. Consider:
Jamie Moyer: 7-7, 4.78 ERA, 86 2/3 IP, 72 H, 15 HR
Joe Blanton: 3-5, 6.21 ERA, 87 IP, 108 H, 16 HR
Kendrick: 5-3, 4.04 ERA, 84 2/3 IP, 84 H, 12 HR
Carpenter, 25, was 7-6 with a 3.41 ERA for Lehigh Valley. He began the season on the Phillies roster but did not appear in any games. It would be surprising if Carpenter simply replaces Kendrick in the rotation. Another move is likely coming, whether it's a trade or promotion.
Not to say Carpenter hasn't pitched well for the IronPigs. If we take the same time measurement, Carpenter has a 3.11 ERA in 84 innings at triple-A since May 1.
Another possibility to join the rotation is lefthander J.A. Happ. Happ will make another start at triple A on Tuesday night. Happ has a 5.59 ERA in 19 1/3 triple-A innings in 2010.
More to come...