If the Phils are holding an honest audition for fifth starter, as the team has stated publicly, than the job belongs to Chan Ho Park, who pitched another beauty today and has posted better numbers than J.A. Happ.
Promised an opportunity to win a spot in the rotation dating back to the time he was first signed, Park has delivered a 2.53 ERA and spectacular 25/2 ratio in 21 1-3 innings, a marked improvement over Happ's 3.15 ERA and 14/6 K/BB ratio, which isn't terrible by any stretch, but pales in comparison to Park's sterling spring. Happ also pitched Saturday in a minor league game and did not impress, numbers that obviously don't count against his overall Grapefruit League totals. If the job is awarded to Happ, it would provide the perfect commentary on the uselessness of the Grapefruit League as a way to measure performance. I've been at this five years and not once has spring training shed so much as a pinhole of light on the Phillies' true intentions, or served as a reliable predictor of future performance. However, that spring training will be erased from memory the moment the first official pitch is thrown is a fact that's proven time and again.
Hamels officially out: Cole Hamels will not take the mound Sunday night and will instead pitch Saturday night in the Phillies' exhibition game against the Rays at Citizens Bank Park. The Inquirer is suggesting that Brett Myers or Joe Blanton could take the mound Sunday when the Phillies host the Braves.