Howie Kendrick had a 2016 season to forget in multiple ways. He hit .255 after spending most of his career hovering around .290 to .300 and had to split time between left field and second base due to positional logjams. The latter situation prompted Kendrick to request a trade from the Dodgers, which landed him with the Phillies who reportedly plan to make him their regular starter in left field. Kendrick's value has always revolved around his ability to hit for average, so hitting .255 again probably isn't going to cut it even if he retains second base eligibility in leagues. The good news is that part of his drop-off can be attributed to a .301 BABIP that was 36 points below his career average, which might be chalked up to bad luck. Still, it's not crazy to think a 33-year-old player's skills are diminishing with age and that Kendrick doesn't have much going for him heading into 2017. The Phillies could turn to younger options with more upside if things aren't working out this summer.
Kendrick started at second base Tuesday, but manager Pete Mackanin affirmed after the game that he remains the team's primary left fielder, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia reports. Mackanin said they want to give Kendrick some looks in the infield this spring in case a need arises during the regular season. The veteran will likely get a start at third base and possibly at first base before camp ends.
Kendrick is off to a slow start this spring with just one hit in 11 at-bats. Kendrick isn't fighting for a job, so his spring training stats are fairly meaningless. He will open the season as the Phillies' starting left fielder and is likely to hit second most days behind Cesar Hernandez and in front of Odubel Herrera.
Kendrick is expected to be the Phillies' everyday left fielder in 2017, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports. This is what the Phillies are saying now, but there's always a chance Kendrick could shift to second base if Cesar Hernandez is moved this offseason. Kendrick was acquired from Los Angeles on Friday in exchange for Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney after formally requesting a trade last week.
Kendrick was traded to the Phillies on Friday in exchange for Darnell Sweeney and Darin Ruf. Kendrick made it known that he was frustrated with his role within the Dodgers' organization and preferred a trade, and he got his wish. At the moment, there's some uncertainty as to where Kendrick will play with Philadelphia, but Cesar Hernandez has been a popular name in trade rumors, and Kendrick would presumably step in as the everyday second baseman if Hernandez is moved. Kendrick, now 33, hit .255/.326/.366 with eight homers and 10 steals in 146 games in 2016.
The Dodgers are exploring trades involving Kendrick, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports. Kendrick, who's traditionally played second base, wasn't pleased with his role over the course of the 2016 season. Rather than start at second, the Dodgers primarily started Kendrick in left field and gave him occasional chances to play around the infield. Although the Dodgers are shopping Kendrick around, the 33-year-old's performance at the plate certainly didn't make a case to improve his trade value. Kendrick managed to scrap together a batting average of just .255, which was a vast regression coming off three straight seasons that saw him hit above .290.