Friday, November 11, 2016
How on Earth did Howie Kendrick End up on the Phillies???
Yeah, I wasn't exactly expecting the Phillies to be, you know, BUYERS this offseason.
2016 was a down year, obviously, for them, but it was semi-optimistic. Thanks to some nice performances from usually-dormant fielders like Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis, as well as the new blood of Cameron Rupp, Jerad Eickhoff and Tommy Joseph, the team did a lot better than they had any business doing.
So now, the Phillies have made a pretty major move in landing Howie Kendrick, a legitimately good veteran infielder/outfielder, in exchange for Darin Ruf and another prospect. And...somehow the Phillies...you know, the 2010's Phillies...got the better end of the deal.
Look, Darin Ruf's had the potential to be a killer offensive player for the past 4 seasons, but the Phillies have had nowhere to put him, and when they HAVE started him at first (in favor of Ryan Howard), he's disappointed. Plus, now that they have Tommy Joseph, who can basically do the exact same crap that Ruf did but with a better average and more playability, they don't really need him. Sending him to LA might not do him much good, though, as he's being blocked at first base by A-Gon, and the outfield will be mighty crowded if the Dodgers hold onto Yasiel Puig, as well as if they have healthy performances by Andre Ethier and Joc Pederson.
So, that leaves Howie Kendrick in Philly...and I think that legitimately helps us. The plan, according to the GM, is for Howie to play left field, which gives, along with Odubel Herrera and what I can only assume is a healthy Aaron Altherr performance, a much healthier outfield picture than the Phils have had in over 5 years. Kendrick is a steady average hitter, and even if he didn't absolutely dominate in LA, he's still a pretty nice performer, and the Phillies are extremely lucky to have him.
So...that makes me feel a smidge better about my Phils for 2017. Maybe some pitching would help as well?