During the first two weeks of this season Kendall looked like an All-Star again, hitting .293 with as many home runs (three) as he had last year. Healthy for the first time since 1999, when he dislocated his right ankle, Kendall is finally fully recovered from ligament damage in his left thumb that required surgery in 2001 and bothered him last year.
Another plus for Kendall has been the addition of outfielders Kenny Lofton and Reggie Sanders and first baseman Randall Simon. The newcomers give Pittsburgh potentially its best lineup in Kendall's eight years with the team and allow Kendall, who last year appeared in every spot except cleanup, to bat second. In 425 at bats in that spot in 2000 he hit .318. "He's an ideal number 2 hitter," says an NL scout. "He makes good contact, uses the whole field and can hit for occasional power. The team has been juggling him around so much, but now he's where he belongs."
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