© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
HOUSTON -- Phillies right-hander Kyle Kendrick's right groin is fine and he'll make his next start, scheduled for Friday in Colorado.
The rookie strained it in a June 19 outing against Cleveland, when he lunged for a Josh Barfield single up the middle. He continued to pitch, then treated it daily leading up to his June 26 start against the Reds. When he didn't feel anything in that outing, he stopped treatment.
Kendrick felt it against the Mets on Sunday. He limped slightly to the mound for the seventh inning and got the first two outs. He pitched from the stretch with the bases empty, to lessen the stress on the area.
"I shortened my stride to use more arm to get through the ball quicker," Kendrick said. "I can pitch. I'll be good to go. We're treating it every day."
Considering the status of injured starting pitchers Jon Lieber and Freddy Garcia, the Phillies can't afford to lose the rookie, who has gone 3-0 in his four starts with a 4.38 ERA. He's become a ground-ball machine, an asset anywhere, but especially at Citizens Bank Park.
If you think the 24 pitchers used by the Phillies -- with a 25th pending once Anderson Garcia gets the ball -- is a lot, well, it's nothing to manager Charlie Manuel.
When Garcia makes his Major League debut, the Phillies will have used two more pitchers than all of last season, and will be two away from the club-record 27 they needed in 2000.
Manuel's Indians were no better off in 2000, when they used a record 32 pitchers. That was the Major League record until San Diego required 37 in 2002, including the Phillies' Adam Eaton and Clay Condrey, who was recently designated for assignment. For trivia's sake, Steve Reed was a member of both record-setting staffs.
"I had the American League record," Manuel said, half-laughing. "I might as well get it here, too."
Manuel said he argued with coaches the other day while trying to recall all the pitchers who have come through Philadelphia. Common stumpers were Joe Bisenius and Zack Segovia, who lasted one week.
And then there's Cleveland.
"That year, it seemed like we were doing something every day," Manuel said.
With an assortment of names that included the known (Bartolo Colon, Charles Nagy, Chuck Finley) and the lesser-known (Jamie Brewington, Paul Rigdon and Cam Cairncross), Manuel had difficulty remembering some names.
This is to be expected. Left-hander Mike Mohler was one such pitcher, though he stuck out with Manuel for the wrong reason.
"His first name was Mike and I called him Bill," Manuel said. "One night he gave up a home run that landed in the second deck in Cleveland to a left-handed hitter. I went out there and he said, 'Charlie, my name is Mike.' I didn't know what to say, so I said, 'It doesn't really matter. That ball ended up in the second deck.' I told him I'll remember the home run."
Tommy John for Smith:
The soreness in his left elbow turned into the worst-case scenario for Matt Smith. The lefty will undergo season-ending Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old began the season with the Phillies and posted an 11.25 ERA in nine outings, and was sent to Triple-A Ottawa on April 26 because of control problems. He appeared in 16 games with Ottawa. He's one of four players acquired by Philadelphia for Bobby Abreu and the late Cory Lidle at last year's trade deadline.
"I have a lot of respect for him. I won't tell you we're the best of friends, but in the years I worked for him, we had a good team and he did a tremendous job. It kind of caught me by surprise. I think he's doing it for himself and his family. I know this ... he's a fighter, not a quitter. I'm sure he had reasons for what he did." -- Manuel, on the resignation of Mike Hargrove as Seattle's manager on Sunday. Manuel served as Hargrove's hitting coach with the Indians from 1994-99, then succeeded him as Indians manager after the 1999 season.
Philling in: First-round draft pick Joe Savery, a Houston native who at Rice University student, is expected to visit on Tuesday. The lefty remains unsigned. ... Closer Tom Gordon will take a huge step toward returning when he begins his rehab assignment with Class A Clearwater, scheduled to begin Wednesday. "This week is going to be big for him," Manuel said. "I'd say [he can be back] early after the break. He's gotta get back where he's pain-free, and that's tough." ... Though Garcia (right shoulder) began soft tossing on Monday, he's not expected back for at least two months. "He's quite a ways away," Manuel said. ... Righty Brett Myers resumed throwing on Monday, after taking the weekend off. He's scheduled to throw again when the team gets to Colorado later this week.
Eaton, who opposes Astros ace Roy Oswalt on Tuesday at 8:05 p.m. ET, is coming off a no-decision, when he allowed the Reds five earned runs on six hits -- including two homers -- over six innings. His ERA, down to a season-low 5.33 on June 18, has slowly climbed again. Eaton has allowed a combined 14 runs since his four-hit shutout of the White Sox on June 11. The seven innings against the White Sox were his longest outing of June, when he posted a 2-2 record and 5.79 ERA over six starts.