Saturday, March 5, 2011

Kendall eying opening day return

Jason Kendall has been cleared for workouts, it's taken a minor miracle but I'm somehow able to contain my enthusiasm. I imagine Kendall and Yost would like for you to believe that his rotator cuff was to blame for his offensive ineptitude last season however it's worth noting that his 71 OPS+ was in line with his three previous seasons (62, 74, 71). So if the injury affected his hitting it didn't make a noticeable difference.

I like this gem Kendall delivers in Dutton's article:
 “I only need 20 or so at-bats to get my timing down. If I can’t hit by now, I can’t hit.”

Year PA HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS+
2007 514 3 41 .242 .301 .309 62
2008 587 2 49 .246 .327 .324 74
2009 526 2 43 .241 .331 .305 71
2010 490 0 37 .256 .318 .297 71
I mean, that's kind of what I'm saying, injury or not he can't hit. And his b-r page stands ready to confute any who believes that he has any offensive value. I suspect I'm preaching to the choir here but there is a disconnect from reality that has claimed members of the front office and coaching staff when it comes to Kendall. They believe there's something left in the tank, his performance the last four seasons says otherwise.

The Royals actually do have a catcher who can hit a little, Brayan Pena, though he struggled offensively when given sporadic playing time (.178/.244/.219) he absolutely flourished after Kendall's season ended (.318/.363/.435). Pena put up similar numbers (.320/.362/.433) when given regular playing time at the end of the 2009 season and while I doubt he could sustain that production over the course of a full season I'd love for him to get the chance.


I sincerely hope that when Kendall returns the playing time approaches a 50/50 split, but I think we know it won't. He'll play everyday and bat second doing it. 

Salvador Perez is clearly the future, but it's a shame that Pena may never get the chance to be the present.

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