Using the remaining 51 games to identify potential rotation and 8th inning help would be time well spent. That means breaking from the status quo with Kyle Kendrick and Antonio Bastardo in their customary roles.
Kendrick, who allowed six runs on seven hits and four walks in 3 1-3 horrid innings, continued his starting rotation tailspin. As a starter, he's allowed an opponent slash line of .293/.356/.477 with 12 homers over 82 2-3 innings, a span of 15 starts. “I wasn’t throwing strikes at all,” Kendrick admitted to Comcast SportsNet following the game. “I couldn't get ahead or find the zone, so that was the main thing.” As for Bastardo, it's been the same tale of inconsistency. The Phillies have arrived on a full calendar year, dating to last season, where the 26-year-old left-hander just hasn't been dependable, let alone the lights-out late-inning reliever we saw in the early part of 2011.
Kendrick has been Phillies' conservative choice to occupy the last spot in the rotation, he may well have pitched his way out of the starting five for good. Tyler Cloyd's turn at Triple-A came last night (6 2-3 IP, 4 ER, 8 K, 4 BB). The Phils and Cloyd could stand to benefit from a trial run to see how his repertoire translates to the Majors. BJ Roseberg is another darkhorse possibility to take Kendrick spot. Cloyd or Rosenberg may not work, but the Phils have the luxury of treating the rest of the season as exhibition.
Meanwhile, dropping Kendrick to the bullpen would allow Charlie Manuel more flexibility to play around in the 'pen with Bastardo and others, or at the very least, the ability to put Bastardo in spots where he can succeed and perhaps regain confidence for next season.