In Appreciation of Kyle Kendrick

In Appreciation of Kyle Kendrick

One month after avoiding arbitration, the Phillies extended Kyle Kendrick through 2013 on Sunday, agreeing to pay the versatile right hander $7.5 million over two years. Though Kendrick is eligible for arbitration again in 2014, the agreement marks the first time the club has demonstrated a commitment to the 27 year old as he enters his sixth Major League season.

The front office is rewarding Kendrick's career year, one in which he remained effective despite bouncing between the starting rotation and bullpen as needed. They are telling Kendrick he has carved out his place on this roster, that he will be in Philadelphia for the foreseeable future.

Yet many fans still fail to recognize Kendrick's value. Maybe it's because we've become spoiled by Cy Young award winners and World Series MVP's, or some of us aren't able to erase the memory of his awful '08 campaign. Whatever it is you don't care for about Kendrick, make no mistake, he has developed into a more than serviceable pitcher for the Phillies.

He belongs on the staff.

What exactly is there not to like about Kyle Kendrick? When Roy Halladay arrived in the clubhouse, Kendrick began to mimic the superstar's workouts. Dedication. He does whatever is asked of him -- spent most of '09 in the minors, moved in and out of the bullpen, even took a joke about being traded to Japan in stride. Team player. Most importantly, he's played very well of late, going 8-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 2011.


Practically all of Kendrick's numbers were career bests -- ERA, 1.221 WHIP, 8.6 hits per nine, 1.1 home runs per nine, 4.6 strikeouts per nine. He was even better in games he started, posting a 5-4 record with a 3.16 ERA, 1.157 WHIP, 5.0 K's per nine, and a 2.71 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Obviously those aren't All-Star numbers, but almost any team in the league would have taken Kendrick as either their fourth or fifth starter last season. On the Phillies, he was the seventh option, behind Joe Blanton and Vance Worley. However, for whatever reason, every time Kendrick took the mound, you could almost hear the collective groan of the fan base.

Who else has seven Major League starting pitchers?

Such contempt for a mere role player makes no sense. It's not as if Kendrick were some vastly-overpaid underachiever. He's just a guy making the most of his rather ordinary talents, working hard to get better while helping the ball club win any way he can. That's somebody I want on my team, especially when the results back it up.

>> Phillies sign Kendrick to two-year deal [Phillies Zone]

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

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Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Eagles bring back Taylor Hart after stint with Chip Kelly

Eagles bring back Taylor Hart after stint with Chip Kelly

The Eagles have brought back a familiar face to take Ron Brooks' roster spot.

On Monday, the team claimed defensive tackle Taylor Hart off waivers from San Francisco. Hart was just waived on Saturday by the 49ers, who claimed him after the Eagles waived him at final cuts.

So, Hart is coming back to Philly after a stint with Chip Kelly in San Francisco.

Hart, 25, played in one game for the 49ers this year. The Eagles are light at defensive tackle thanks to Bennie Logan's groin injury. While head coach Doug Pederson on Monday said Logan was getting better, the Eagles still brought in more depth by claiming Hart.

While still with the Eagles, Kelly had a hand in drafting Hart, an Oregon product, in the fifth round of 2014.

Hart worked hard this offseason to learn how to play in Jim Schwartz's aggressive 4-3 defense, which is very unlike the ones he had played in during college and in the NFL.

Brooks has been placed on IR after rupturing a quad tendon during Sunday's game against the Vikings. He'll have surgery this week.

In addition to adding Hart to the active roster, the Eagles also added cornerback Aaron Grymes to their practice squad.

Grymes, 25, was having an impressive training camp and preseason with the Eagles before injuring his right shoulder. He was waived shortly after that.

After coming out of the University of Idaho in 2013, Grymes didn't make an NFL team so he went to Canada. He ended up as a starter and All-Star on the Edmonton Eskimos and won a Grey Cup in 2015.

To make room for Grymes, the Eagles cut OL Matt Rotheram from the practice squad.