In 1999, he suffered a season-ending injury when he dislocated his ankle while running to first base in a July 4 game against Milwaukee. The unusual compound dislocation, which was initially misidentified as a fracture, was one of the most grisly injuries in recent baseball history.
From 2002 through 2004, Kendall led all major league catchers in games and innings behind the plate. He is the Pirates' all-time leader in games caught.
As a batter, he is a careful, consistent hitter. Though he lacks power, he is a lifetime .297 hitter who rarely strikes out. Though fast for a catcher, Kendall does not possess overwhelming speed for a major league ballplayer. He has led all major league catchers in steals a number of times in the past 7 years, however (2000, with 22; 2001 -- 13; 2002 -- 15; 2004 -- 11; and 2006 -- 11). His lifetime steal percentage of 68.5% is about the league average. Kendall has led off many games in his major league career. The frequency by which he gets hit by pitches (he is the Pirates' all-time leader in the category) is a testament to both his batting focus and his unwillingness to be intimidated by pitchers.
The 2006 season marked Kendall's first ever post-season appearance, as the Athletics clinched the 2006 American League Western Division championship on September 26. He recorded his first playoff hit in the second game of the American League Division Series off Minnesota's Boof Bonser.
On July 16, 2007, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs for fellow catcher Rob Bowen and minor league pitcher Jerry Blevins. At the time of the trade, Kendall had the lowest on base percentage (.261) and second lowest slugging percentage (.281) of any starter in major league baseball for 2007. In the field he allowed 111 stolen bases (131 attempts, 20 caught), more than any other catcher in major league baseball.
On November 21, 2007, he agreed in principle to a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. As of July 10, 2008, Kendall is batting .264 as the Brewer's everyday catcher, with a .346 on-base percentage and 26 runs batted in. Upon making his 110th start of the 2008 season, Kendall fulfilled the option in his contract, securing himself a spot in the Brewers lineup in 2009.
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