Philadelphia Phillies Option Kyle Kendrick to Triple-A Lehigh Valley

TCorrespondent IIIMarch 23, 2009

CLEARWATER, FL - FEBRUARY 28:  Pitcher Kyle Kendrick #38 of the  Philadelphia Phillies starts against the Tampa Bay Rays February 28, 2009 at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

It appears the battle for the fifth starting spot in the Philadelphia Phillies rotation has come to an end.

Kyle Kendrick has been demoted to AAA Lehigh Valley. 

Kendrick, who held the spot for the majority of 2008, struggled mightily this spring with a 1-3 record and a dismal 9.20 ERA. 

Last season, Kendrick did have 11 wins but posted an ERA north of five, forcing Philadelphia to pick up Joe Blanton from the Oakland A's.

The 24-year-old right-hander worked this offseason on adding some movement to his pitching repertoire but seemingly has not found the right mixture to be effective. 

For now, the fifth starter spot belongs to lefty J.A. Happ, who proved to be a more-than-capable starter after getting the call in early July last season.

Veteran right-hander Chan Ho Park has impressed as well, but for the time being it seems he will take over the long relief role out of the bullpen.

Along with Kendrick, the Phillies optioned infielder Brad Harman and catcher Lou Marson to Lehigh Valley.