Kyle Kendrick was ultimately overmatched back in 2007 when he entered the playoffs as the Phillies' No. 2 starter.
But over the last couple of seasons, the right-hander has found his niche. As a swingman, he's become a very important piece of a Phillies team that is gunning for its sixth straight division title in 2012. And now he'll earn a nice raise from his 2010 salary, as Kendrick and the Phillies avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.585 million deal.
Kendrick went 8-6 with a 3.22 ERA for the Phils in 2011, including a 5-2 mark with a 2.14 ERA against NL East opponents. He was consistent in both of his roles, notching a 3.14 ERA as a starter and a 3.41 ERA as a reliever. And his WHIP (1.22), opponents batting average (.255) and K/9 (4.63) were all the best full-season marks of his career.
Kendrick earned $2.45 million in 2011, so it's a nice 33% raise for the 27-year-old. The Phils now have three players eligible for salary arbitration: Cole Hamels, Hunter Pence and Wilson Valdez.