Teammates have taken to calling Kyle Kendrick "Kyle Halladay," according to a New York Times tweet. Kendrick, who has reportedly been hitting the weight room hard this offseason and has grown a reddish beard, has joined Halladay for predawn workouts.
When the Phillies first acquired Roy Halladay and shipped Cliff Lee to Seattle, one of the most perplexing nuggets that surfaced was that Halladay would be a better fit for the clubhouse. You're starting to see why. Not that Lee was a square peg; there have been no reports to suggest this. But in his brief time in red pinstripes, it's become clear that Halladay, who threw his first bullpen today, has become the new sheriff in town, one who has quickly attracted a legion of followers and has set the bar in terms of a clubhouse fitness policy. The Phillies' brass, quick to jettison slacker starter Brett Myers, must be thrilled by the lean-and-mean '10 team. Even Charlie Manuel has tightened the belt. With zealots like Halladay and Chase Utley in the fold (Utley arrived days ago), it's impossible to believe complacency will cripple the defending National League champions, despite all the cushy, long-term commitments.
The only worry might be that Halladay's alliances would somehow cause a rift with some of the old guard. After all, Kendrick and Moyer are in a head-to-head competition for the fifth starter spot. When the whole thing went down with Moyer getting bumped from the rotation, the veteran's reaction was reported as an ugly about-face by someone viewed as the ultimate team player. Recall that Moyer held a mini press conference to publicly express his disgust, and the media, in something of an about-face of their own, editorialized their coverage in suggesting genteel left-hander was out of line. One wonders if at that moment, the Phillies' consummate professional had lost his clout, and one can't help but wonder if the ageless wonder had left young, impressionable starters, like Cole Hamels, without counsel.