While Kyle Kendrick’s season started with a clamor after a hot start, it ends with little more than a thud.
After getting a second opinion on the tendinitis in his right shoulder, Kendrick has been shut down for the rest of the season, manager Ryne Sandberg said Friday.
Sandberg didn’t say whether shutting Kendrick down after the second opinion was simply a precautionary measure or if it was cause for more concern.
Kendrick started off the season strong, but his 6.91 ERA since the All-Star break is the worst among all regular starters in the major leagues.
Since his velocity stayed up throughout that stretch, however, it was tough to see that Kendrick was ailing.
“He was able to pitch and his stuff was there,” Sandberg said.
Still, Sandberg admitted that Kendrick’s sinker, the one pitch he would often have even on off-nights, didn’t have the same movement as it did at the beginning of the season.
“He was healthy enough to pitch,” Sandberg said. “It was a normal sensation that he was feeling.”
Kendrick had failed to go more than six innings in a start since he took the mound against Washington on July 11.
Zack Miner will start in Kendrick’s place.
In his first start with the Phillies on Wednesday, Miner threw three scoreless innings on 61 pitches. On the year, Miner has a 3.22 ERA in 14 appearances.
While Kendrick is done for the season, Michael Stutes returns to the big-league squad for the first time since June 22 after suffering from bicep soreness.
“There was a chance for him to come back and pitch some time late in September,” Sandberg said. “He’s been throwing in Florida and he’s ready to join us.”
Before his injury, Stutes carried a 5.14 ERA in 14 appearances.
While there was the possibility that Stutes wouldn’t return this season, “I wouldn’t say it was a surprise,” Sandberg said.
Still, the manager will be smart about his use of the reliever.
“Use him accordingly,” Sandberg said. “There will be a little bit of caution there, but he’s good to pitch.”
The Phillies will need to make judgments on the bullpen going forward. Having Stutes get back on the mound gives Sandberg a chance to see where the righty currently stands.
“It’s a thing just to show that he’s healthy and being able to end the season on that note adds some depth to the bullpen,” Sandberg said. "In regards to the bullpen personnel, there are decisions that have to be made.”