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The Phillies haven't been saddled with injuries like they have in previous years, especially in 2012. However, two key injuries in their rotation to John Lannan and Roy Halladay have forced the Phillies to depend on other pitchers for support. In this case, it's been Jonathan Pettibone and Kyle Kendrick.
Pettibone came into the season ranked as the Phillies' fourth-best prospect, according to Baseball America. He also was considered to have the best changeup and control in the Phillies farm system. In light of a nice finish to 2012 and a solid start to 2013 at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Pettibone was called up to the majors after Lannan landed on the DL in mid-April.
Since his major league debut on April 22 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pettibone has impressed. He now sits at 3-0 with a 3.41 ERA and 17 strikeouts. He has exceeded expectations, and it wouldn't be a surprise for Pettibone to remain a mainstay in the Phillies' rotation through 2013.
Kendrick obviously wasn't called up, as he's been with the team for a few years now. Coming off a good 2012 season, the biggest questions surrounding Kendrick had been whether or not he could consistently pitch the Phillies into games. And he's answered that question with absolute success.
At one point it was arguable, but now it's clear that Kendrick is the Phillies' best pitcher in 2013. He's 4-1 with a 2.47 ERA and has a solid 39 strikeouts to date. The question had always been if Kendrick could keep his sinker down, and he clearly has, except for a handful of mistakes that have led to five home runs.
Both of these pitchers have been pleasant surprises, and it shouldn't be surprising to see them pitch well down the stretch. We've learned that both Pettibone and Kendrick are good pitchers, and their dominance thus far has no reason to end.