Kendall Traded To Cubs
by Ken Arneson
2007-07-16 17:43

…with some cash for catcher Rob Bowen and minor-league LHP Jerry Blevins.

The 6′ 6" Blevins was not on anybody’s prospect list to begin the season. He had a 6.13 ERA last year, but something must have clicked for him in the offseason. He’s had a monster year in 2007. He had a 0.38 ERA with 32 strikeouts against only 5 walks in 23 2/3 innings in A-ball, before being promoted to AA. There, he’s struck out 37 in 29 1/3 IP, against 8 walks, with a 1.53 ERA. He’s been better against lefties than righties, but he’s not just a LOOGY like Jay Marshall; he’s been good against RHB, too.

So I’m very happy. The A’s weren’t going anywhere with or without Kendall this season, so to get anything with even some possible positive value for him is fabulous.

Meanwhile, has anyone seen Ray Fosse?  Anyone?  I’m kinda worried about him…


Comments: 20
1.   Eric Enders
2007-07-16 17:49

1.  Is his name Rob Bowen?

2.   Ken Arneson
2007-07-16 17:50

2.  Robothal says it's Bowen and a minor league pitcher. I updated the post.

3.   For The Turnstiles
2007-07-16 18:22

3.  O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

4.   mehmattski
2007-07-16 18:30

4.  Blevins only pitched 40 innings last year between three different levels. Is it possible he was hurt?

So, um... Piazza's gonna catch, then?

5.   Ken Arneson
2007-07-16 18:40

5.  Sukuki's the catcher now. Piazza's shoulder is not healing enough for him to throw. I imagine Bowen is the backup to Suzuki; either that or they'll call up J.D. Closser from Sacramento.

6.   mehmattski
2007-07-16 18:45

6.  5 I spent a good five minutes googling "Sukuki Athletics" before realizing your typo.

7.   Ken Arneson
2007-07-16 18:54

7.  6 Oops sorry about that.

8.   olmedotimes
2007-07-16 19:21

8.  I'm an A's fan from the East Bay. I root for the A's first and foremost, but I live in Chicago these days. Up here, I pull for the Cubs, my second favorite team. I just got back from their 3-2 win against the Giants, and I checked my phone. My buddy back home left me a message, taunting me, telling me that Jason Kendall was a Cub. This is a nightmare. There are 28 other teams, and he had to end up here? My guess is that Hendry was trying to cement his reputation as the Bonehead Sabean of the midwest.

9.   Philip Michaels
2007-07-16 19:38

9.  "Meanwhile, has anyone seen Ray Fosse? Anyone? I'm kinda worried about him..."

Ray is currently battling his instinct to be a good company man versus his need to mythologize Jason Kendall's contributions to the team.

Right now, the need to mythologize Kendall is winning. Not to give anything away, but the name of Mark Belanger has been invoked.

Fosse (paraphrased): Kendall led by example.

Michaels (Not paraphrased): Perhaps that's part of the problem.

I think this is a wonderful thing, in case my preceding comments were too cryptic.

10.   Bob Timmermann
2007-07-16 20:06

10.  Since no other catcher is on the roster right now, I assume Suzuki is under strict orders tonight to not get hurt.

11.   Scott Long
2007-07-16 20:17

11.  I'm guessing Beane traded Kendall and offered plenty of his salary, just so he wouldn't have the stench of his stats tarnish more of the Moneyball legend. Truthfully, Kendall has killed the A's more per dollar than almost any player I can think of in the AL over the past 2 seasons.

12.   Ken Arneson
2007-07-16 20:49

12.  11 He wasn't killing them last year, just this year. He was good last year; good obp, and he led the team in win shares. This year has been a monumental collapse.

13.   jmoney
2007-07-16 22:29

13.  Confession: I'm the guy who taunted olmedotimes above. I couldn't help it, I was just so happy that I'd never have to watch Kendall bat again.

As for Fosse, listening to him on the radio during the pregame show was truly something. I thought he was going to cry. I've heard less moving eulogies at some funerals.

14.   Scott Long
2007-07-16 23:57

14.  Kendall's SLG percentage during his time with the A's.

2005: .321
2006: .342
2007: .281

This complete lack of power coming from a catcher making 12-14 million per year is abysmal. I know his OBP was solid the past couple of seasons, but not anywhere close to salvage how he hit with no power with an obscene contract. But I haven't watched him on a daily basis, so maybe I'm off on this one.

15.   Todd S
2007-07-17 06:36

15.  Cubs fan here. I'm hoping I am not in a room anywhere near Jim Hendry in the near future. I will end up going to jail.

Or "special assistant to Hendry" Gary Hughes, who apparently recommended getting Kendall because he was hitting .297 in his last 25 games and .286 in Interleague play this year. (The preceding is from Nate Silver from BP recently stated that the Cubs don't understand sample size. The above quote certainly validates Nate's opinion.

This is incredibly frustrating as a Cubs fan. I can't see how any logic tree can be constructed to arrive at the conclusion "Jason Kendall is the answer."

Thanks for letting me vent here.

16.   Tom
2007-07-17 07:45

16.  I don't think it's a /bad/ move for the Cubs. He's at least as good as Bowen or Koyie Hill offensively. The jury's still out on Soto.

One of the great things about being a Cubs fan is your undying belief that people will play better in Wrigley, even if they never do. It would be a sacrilege not to show that same optimism for Kendall.

17.   Raf
2007-07-17 14:17

17.  12 He was below average last year too. Looking at today's ATM reports, Kendall created 8 runs below the league average then. This year, it's -23

18.   olmedotimes
2007-07-18 09:04

18.  I didn't get to watch the Cubs game last night, which was Kendall's first game behind the dish at Wrigley. During the game I was walking home, and I walked past a sports bar. I heard some guy yell, "KENDALL! NOOOO!" at the the top of his lungs, followed by everybody in the bar booing. I don't know what Kendall did, but I assume it was his first weak groundout to third in a Cubs uniform. Hopefully Gerald Perry can get Kendall to return to his awesome 2006 ways.

19.   olmedotimes
2007-07-18 11:47

19.  I just saw a replay of Kendall's debut last night. Play at the plate, and he didn't come up with a ball that Soriano threw to him, even though he had all day, so a run was allowed. Then he lost a pop up in the lights, giving Molina a second chance. Molina would wind up scoring. Oh, and he went 0-3. Man, the A's are going to miss his grittiness.

20.   toni
2007-07-18 12:44

20.  I know offensively he sucked. And I mean sucked. But I can't get past how he called a game and how he handled the pitchers. Maybe it's a myth or maybe it's overrated, but the starting pitching seems to have imploded in the short time he's been gone.

I know, I know small sample size and all that. But Kendall seemed to know what he was doing behind the plate, even if he had lost all ability to do anything at the plate.

I wish him well. And hope he can find his stroke.

On another note, let the firesale begin. This team is absolutely brutal to watch right now... why Crosby is allowed to play everyday is beyond me. Maybe Ryan can do an analysis of how truly horrible Cros is. Who knows, maybe he's not as bad as I think.

But I doubt it.


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