Pirates Have Interest in Kyle Kendrick

According to Bill Brink, the Pittsburgh Pirates have interest in right-handed pitcher Kyle Kendrick. The 31-year-old pitched for the Colorado Rockies last year, posting a 6.32 ERA in 142.1 innings over 27 starts. He led the National League in both earned runs allowed and home runs. Kendrick has pitched in hitter’s parks his entire career, spending his first eight seasons with the Phillies. He has a career 4.63 ERA, with 702 strikeouts and a 1.38 WHIP in 1281 innings. Despite the home park disadvantage, his career ERA has been 4.71 at home and 4.55 on the road.

Kendrick has been durable during his career, making 30 or more starts in four of his seven full seasons. Two of the seasons he didn’t reach that mark, he pitched out of the bullpen for part of the year, and last year he fell three starts short. Kendrick has never had a FIP lower than 4.02, except when he threw just 26.1 innings during the 2009 season, spending most of that year in AAA. More on this shortly.

UPDATE 2:28 PM: Analysis from Tim Williams…

The other reclamation projects have made sense, as you could point to a year where they pitched like a number three starter or better, and hope to get them back to that point. Technically, Kendrick would be a reclamation project, but he’s more along the lines of a Vance Worley or Clayton Richard project, where you hope to add back of the rotation depth, rather than finding the next surprise middle to top of the rotation starter. If Ray Searage could do that with Kendrick, then maybe the “have pitchers pay the Pirates to play in Pittsburgh” idea would have to become a reality.

Kendrick has had some decent groundball rates in his career, but has reduced the usage of his sinker the last two years, and saw that ground ball rate drop to well below average in 2015. He’s never really posted dominant strikeout numbers, but also doesn’t have poor control. At best, he’s a strong number four starter, and at worst he’s a guy who should be used as depth out of Triple-A.

There are scenarios where Kendrick would make sense for the Pirates. The most unlikely scenario would be if he was willing to accept a minor league deal and work on getting back on track in Triple-A. This seems unlikely due to his name value, but it also seems unlikely to work for the Pirates because they no longer have Jim Benedict available to work with guys like this in extended Spring Training in April. The other scenario would be if they traded Charlie Morton or Jeff Locke, they could bring Kendrick in as a replacement, since they would need more than one starter.

At this point, I don’t really question the pitching moves the Pirates make, but Kendrick isn’t an appealing option on the surface.

  • I see no value in Kyle Kendrick- Both Morton and Locke are better. I’d rather start the season with Taillon on the rotation from day 1

  • Hey aren’t Kyle McPherson and Stolmy Pimentel supposed to be rounding out this rotation by now? Just saying, we all stink at judging MLB futures and talent isnt always the most important thing.

    Sweet sassafrassy, they’re gonna sign some organization depth reaches and they haven’t signed Kendricks to anything yet. Could be a Jonathan Sanchez NRI. Could be Happ/Volquez barf inducing overpay. One can hope.

    Remember how bad Liriano was before he came here?

  • I agree with Tim’s analysis. The other reclamation projects have at least had that one season you could point to. This one is puzzling, but then, I also agree that I do not question the Pirates when it comes to evaluating reclamation pitchers. I hope he turns into an ace! 😉

  • Wouldn’t we all be surprised if NH was the secret party putting together a package for Jose Fernandez? 3 years of reasonable control. They can then sign Kazmir as their 4th pitcher. Keep the best outfield in baseball intact, extend Cervelli, trade Melancon and Walker, and win 2 or 3 world series titles. Now what would it take to pry away a player that they are unlikely to sign after year 3? Taillion, Meadows, Diaz and Ramirez?

    • Start by paying a crew to dismantle PNC Park piece by piece and reassemble it in place of that godforsaken hole in the ground they call a baseball stadium.

    • Glassnow, Bell, Meadows would be a start

    • I have a source speculating that Prince Fielder is the BIG SURPRISE. Source knows Pirates have been in a lot of discussions with Rangers about 1Bmen and they want to calve salary so they can make more bad signings. Source “speculates” Diaz and Morse and A-baller with potential and Texas sends $15m.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    December 8, 2015 4:41 pm

    I hope this is a joke and not reflective of reality….

  • I know that Vance Worley was told don’t let the door hit you in the arsenal on the way out- but these options posted today are not any better. Also how about Clayton Richards which was gift wrapped to the cubbies…

  • Neal, if you’re reading…for what it’s worth, my WAR over the past 9 seasons is just 5.5 lower than Kendrick’s. I will happily pitch for the MLB minimum.

  • Apparently, the Pirates are going after shit and only shit.

  • Where would I look if I wanted to see how he did pitching at Pnc park

  • There is no world where Kendrick is worth anything but a minor league deal.

  • Boys and girls…you too can play the Twitter Rumor Mill game.

    Insert Player……………………………

    Add Team with ‘interest’…………………………….

    Voila…………………………….Instant Rumor!!!!

  • Please no, this just doesnt even make sense.

  • Just.

  • To all the people moaning and complaining about the players that the Pirates have interest in, has NH and the rest of the FO earned at least a little of your trust yet? What more than a 98 win team will it take for you to believe?

    • They aren’t going to be able to fix everyone. And not every prospect in their system is going to turn into an above replacement level player.

      Some of these teams spending money have the banners hanging in their stadium to prove they know what they are doing.

    • It takes no amount of mental gymnastics to simultaneously appreciate what Huntington & Co have done while objectively acknowledging that Kyle Kendrick, Mark Reynolds, and Jeff Francoer suck at baseball.

      Both thoughts are completely earned, and accurate.

    • Trust?
      Fox Mulder: “Trust no one”

      98 Wins?
      Dale Earnhardt: “Second place is just the first loser.”

  • Can Searage teach him to throw as a lefty?

  • Michael Sanders
    December 8, 2015 3:25 pm

    I hate to say this, but it looks like the Cubs are going to lock up the division while the Pirates seek another Wild Card spot.

    • It’s December, so let’s hold off for a bit on those sorts of predictions.

    • Call John Mozeliak and tell him the Cardinals don’t have a chance, the Cubs have it locked up. Does anyone out there realize the organization needs experienced pitching at Indianapolis ? Hilarious comments here for the most part.

  • It is getting to the point of being comical lately. I mean I’m not one to say “we’re so Fing cheap, we need to get serious and sign Cueto this offseason”. But Frenchy, Mark Reynolds, Kyle Kendrick. LMFAO. I’m not getting worked up because I simply don’t believe these guys will be on the 2016 roster.

  • Blah

  • As a Pirate fan, you have to ask this question first about Kendrick.


  • How is he at grounds keeping? We also need a new strength coach and physical therapist. Maybe he can “back fill” there.

    Still steaming over Huntington’s comment……

  • These rumors are getting depressing.

  • piraterican21
    December 8, 2015 2:47 pm

    Brightside, he’ll make Morton and Locke aces compared to him

  • Someone has to throw batting practice…

    But yeah, this is probably the equivalent of last year’s Volstad or Richard signing, if it even happens.

    • I’d rather see Howie take the mound in a Pirate jersey than Kyle.

      • If we sign him, and he ends up actually making a start for us, it probably means we got hit with the worst starting pitching injury bug in MLB history.

  • Well, you sure don’t have to sign him right now because I think he will be available closer to spring training. Yeesh.

  • yuk

  • Wow, this would be at best a Clayton Richard level signing.

    • Chris Volstad, basically. The only reason such a rumor is generating this level of notice is because the Pirates have done little else thus far. Two months from now and no one would bat an eye.

      • TurnerWardHitsTheWall
        December 8, 2015 2:46 pm

        Would rather have Volstad. Younger and had a good season at Indy.

        • Yeah but when Volstad was signed he had hardly pitched in the big leagues in 2 years and had just posted an ERA over 6.00 in the Korean league. The point is, they were both NRI-caliber minor league roster-filler signings and it’s just weird to have a really strong stance in either direction about a player like this.

  • This is exciting!!!

  • Is there any dumpster that NH will not dig into….