Written by SB Nation KC's Brian Goodman.
File this one under "who saw it coming?".
Royals catcher Jason Kendall, who started 118 of the team's first 132 games, will miss the remainder of the season after it was reported that he'll undergo shoulder surgery on Friday to repair the rotator cuff on his throwing shoulder. Recovery time is projected at 8-10 months, though manager Ned Yost is hopeful that Kendall will be ready for opening day, which is roughly one month before the most optimistic estimate previously given.
Kendall brought his reputation as baseball's most durable catcher to Kansas City after the Royals signed the 36-year-old catcher to a two-year contract last December. Since arriving, the veteran has been disappointing at the plate as well as behind it. For all his playing time, Kendall tallied just 18 extra base hits on the year - all of them doubles. He provided an element of patience at the plate, but without the pop to keep pitchers honest.
Defensively, Kendall threw out 41 of 152 potential base stealers and committed 13 errors in 2010, his highest total in that category since his rookie season in 1999.
Perhaps the most alarming angle of this development is the fact that Manager Ned Yost admitted that Kendall sustained the injury way back on July 17 while sliding into second base. Yost, who also managed Kendall in Milwaukee to the tune of 285 starts over two seasons, told the Kansas City Star three weeks ago that backup catcher Brayan Pena would receive increased playing time, but didn't acknowledge any sort of injury to Kendall. Pena and rookie catcher Lucas May, who was called up from Omaha on Tuesday, will split playing time behind the plate.
Earlier this season, Kendall became just the fifth player in MLB history to catch in 2,000 games, a testament to his durability.