Phillies Pitching News: Kyle Kendrick Out, Fifth Pitching Spot Still Open

Alex MillerContributor IMarch 24, 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)

Kyle Kendrick was expected to take the Philadelphia Phillies' fifth rotation spot in the beginning of spring training, but now is out of the running.

The Phillies had their first four rotation spots set early, and many qualifying pitchers were in the contest for the fifth spot. Kendrick, J.A. Happ, and Chan Ho Park were among the top in the contest. Kendrick, as early speculations stated, was the prime candidate.

But after a start that was not quite up to par, he has been removed from the picture. The fifth spot is now open to either the veteran Park or rookie Happ. The latter appeared in several Phillies games last season, including some in the playoff stretch. He proved himself then and is continuing to in this spring training.

Chan Ho Park, who does have quite an arm, may be better suited in the Phillies bullpen. According to most Phillies analysts, Happ will take the fifth spot; where it will go from there farther in the season is yet to be seen, but with the competition ending, Opening Night is looking to contain many surprises all "phans" are dying to see.