Last summer, Jason Kendall won praise from the clubhouse for being a tough guy and playing with torn tendons in his right shoulder. He finally gave in and had surgery in September.
At the time it didn’t seem like a quick recovery, but there were rumblings that he might return even as soon as opening day. Instead, MRI results revealed that the tendons again tore and Kendall will have to have surgery again. He’s finished for 2011 and, as a 37-year-old free-agent-to-be, he’s probably done regardless of if the surgery is successful or not.
I can’t imagine the pain such an injury brings, having not suffered it myself, and to continue to play does display Kendall’s toughness. Now, whether it was a good decision for the rest of the team? That’s a whole other matter. Even healthy, Kendall wasn’t much of a base-stealing deterrent, catching just 29% of base-stealers in his career.
Add a twice-torn rotator cuff and that’s the end of the line.
Kendall has served as a sort of bench coach for pitchers and catchers this year, and the surgery now allows Brayan Pena and Matt Treanor to continue with whatever they’re doing. Pena has been passable with a .708 OPS and Treanor has been an on-base machine, getting on base 35% of the time.
The Royals get the pleasure of paying Kendall $3.75 million for his services this year.
Kendall hit .256/.318/.297 with the Royals last year. He hasn’t homered since September 29, 2009.