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Monday, March 30, 2009

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There's no doubt Park has pitched better than Happ over the 4 weeks of Spring Training. I happen to believe, however, that Happ would be the better starter over 6 months of the season.

I would love to see Amaro's tenure start out right with Park becoming an unreal sleeper. I'm already pessimistic about Ibanez. There's just something about Ibanez/Feliz back-to-back that reminds me of stuff that never seems to work.

If Park doesn't start the season as a starter, it's basically telling all the free agents to be in the league that Amaro is a flat out liar in negotiations. Doesn't seem to set a good precedent.

And as far as the LOOGY dilemma. Why does Chase Utley still get thrown in with Howard and Ibanez in their futility against lefties? Is a .863 career OPS against LHP not sufficient? .927 in 2007 before he suffered from a hip injury for most of 2008. Maybe I'm confused, help me out.

Last year was the first good one (though with some dicey peripherals) Park has had since '01, and he did it mostly out of the 'pen. I'd rather have him do the swingman thing again, and be available to jump in if Happ falters or somebody gets hurt.

Johnny:"If Park doesn't start the season as a starter, it's basically telling all the free agents to be in the league that Amaro is a flat out liar in negotiations. Doesn't seem to set a good precedent."

Amaro never said he would be a starter. This is per ESPN the day of the signing:

"Park was quoted by the Korea Times as saying the Phillies considered him a starter, but Amaro declined to say whether Park will compete for a starting spot or pitch in relief"

I agree that Park certainly has earned the 5th starter gig. What I can't shake however, is how significant a hit it would be to the bullpen. Without Park, who's our third best reliever for the first 3rd of the season? Eyre? Durbin? Condrey? How much better does the pen look with Park in it? I say a lot. When Romero comes back that'd be a dynamite bullpen (on paper).

Will the difference between Park and Happ be all that significant over a full season (assuming that Park better, which is a toss up at best)? Park came to spring training prepared. He came to make an impression. He still hasn't pitched very deep into a game and he really doesn't have a track record that shows he'll be anything more than a flash in the pan for the first few weeks before reverting to career norms. He could start the year as a placeholder for Happ/Carrasco, with the chance to keep his job as long as he's performing. No reason Happ can't get a little steam behind him with a handfull of minor league starts to begin the year...

Now that the phillies signed a lefty, this pretty much signifies Happ as the 5th starter to round out the rotation.

Meanwhile... Will Ohman signed a minor-league deal with the Dodgers. $1.35 million guaranteed, with another $200K possible in incentives, with a $2 million option for 2009 ($200K buyout).

I know the Phils' budget was apparently maxed out, but that's good value for a guy who has held lefties to .194/.283/.313 line over the past 3 years. For comparison's sake, Taschner's surrendered a .288/.349/.409 line to lefties over his 4-year career.

MVP: Well, Park has said -- and RA has confirmed -- that the Phillies promised him a fair chance to compete for the starter's job. If there was truly competition, then Park has unambiguously won that competition. So, if he doesn't get the starting job, then what else could he conclude except that he was lied to?


That said, I think Park will be the starter & Happ will start the season in the bullpen.

"He could start the year as a placeholder for Happ/Carrasco, with the chance to keep his job as long as he's performing. No reason Happ can't get a little steam behind him with a handfull of minor league starts to begin the year..."

I agree with this, except for the Carrasco part. Barring a bunch of injuries/ meltdowns, I don't see Carrasco starting for the Phils this year.

I second b-a-p's emotion

MVP:That trade didn't signify anything but an urgency to dump Paulino.

I do not know the pitching rotation right now but a sentimental suggestion to pitch opening day would be Jamie Moyer.

Probably not the best baseball decision but it would make for a nice story.

However nice stories are never the best business strategies but the memory of him digging up the mound and carrying it around is still one of my post-game favorite moments from the WFC.

reposted from the last thread:

"That got a laugh and Park wouldn’t elaborate. But it’s apparent that he’s going to be unhappy if he doesn’t win the competition."


clout, they had a graphic up on DNL on CSN tonight.

Happ has pitched pretty well, but park has CLEARLY outpitched Happ if you look at the numbers, especially if you look at K/BB.

Park had been a man on a mission. I actually expected a little closer competition, and I still question whether Park can keep it up for a whole season.

But at this point, if it's based on performance, Park should get the nod.


I have been rooting for Happ 100% and I think he will eventually be in the rotation this year,but for the moment,Park has earned it.

There's no upside to starting Happ over Park right away, but there's all kinds of upside in starting Park and keeping Happ on the big club. Having him "hovering" will push Park, and if he doesn't pan out over the long term, then just swap him out like they did with Eaton last season.

Park has earned the job. Plain and simple. It's his job to lose during the regular season and it's nice to know that if he does fail, they have a suitable #2 waiting in the wings.

I don't think Happ is going to the bullpen. He would be best served starting in triple-A, starting in a regular rotation and then sliding right into a starters role on the big league club if someone falters. I think an unhappy Park in the bullpen isn't a good thing to have on the club. Regardless of whether or not he was seen as a starter or reliever, he's obviously been given the chance to show he can start and he has blown everyone away. Deserves to start the season as the #5. After that, he just has to perform to keep his job like everyone else.

Tartan - apologies for basically echoing what you just said. Think we posted at the same time!

I'm still baffled why curt and mvptommy seem to think the Taschner deal is some kind of major life-altering trade that impacts everyone else.

Goody's got it right. Cholly had seen enough of Paulino and wanted him gone. Taschner is a fine Triple-A stash-away guy. To think this will cause Park to go to the bullpen is preposterous.

I think most of us, myself included, thought Happ would be the better pitcher this Spring and win the spot, and that the Phils would be better served with Park in the 'pen.


OTOH, another way to look at it is this:

If Park, by some strange quirk, stays this motivated and pitches even CLOSE to this well for the whole season, he might wind up being the best #5 in MLB, and the difference in winning the division again.

Also, Majewski and Koplove seem to be motivated to get back to MLB and pitching well, which will provide good depth for the pen. Carrasco may be ready to go by late summer, and KK may be able to turn it around.

The Phillies are sitting with good depth in the pitching department, and them pitching well (or not) will be the difference this season, not the last man off the bench.

This has a chance to be one of the worst rotations in recent history:

Guthrie
Uehara
Eaton
Simon
Hendrickson

"I'm still baffled why curt and mvptommy seem to think the Taschner deal is some kind of major life-altering trade that impacts everyone else."


clout, need I remind someone as astute as thou?

Think......Sir Alden Trio!

I was at the game today, perfect day for baseball! It was great to see the phills start hitting. I have to say tho I was really excited to meet Jason Stark today and get my copy of "Worth The Wait" autographed. Really nice guy btw. Thats all just wanted to gloat!!

mjoephliiy, you're in FL and I'm not.

Gloat away!

"If Park, by some strange quirk, stays this motivated and pitches even CLOSE to this well for the whole season, he might wind up being the best #5 in MLB."


If Park, by some strange quirk, stays this motivated and pitches even CLOSE to this well for the whole season, he won't be a No. 5 pitcher. He'll be a No. 2. Actually, he might even be our ace.

I can't help but thinking of a comment Amaro made a few weeks back about how if Park isn't the 5th starter, he feels bad for whoever has to tell him.

I'm not one to take what sports teams say at face value, but I will here: I don't see how Park isn't the 5th starter come Opening Day.

since we don't need a 5th starter until april 20th...I forsee the opening day roster looking something like this:

Myers
Blanton
Hamels
Moyer

Condrey
Durbin
Park
Eyre
Taschner
Madson
Lidge

They can then possibly carry 6 position players(cairo) and send Happ to the minors to get some regular work in or keep him on the big club and let him be the long man until they need a 5th starter and see what happens with park in the pen until then.

It pays to listen to what Cholly says. The day after he ripped Paulino,he was gone. The day after he complained about the hitters,they scored 13 runs. After todays game,he said"It all comes down to who we think is the best FIT." To me,this sounds like Park to the BP and Happ the winner by default.

I should have added that he said that after saying"The've both pitched well."

Amaro said he wanted to upgrade the pitching on this team in the offseason. Park really represents that upgrade and is going to be play a big role on this team regardless if he is a starter/reliever.

If spring training is a competition (unlike the phony competition with Eaton last year), Park earned the job today outright. No debate really. I still think he will be back in the bullpen sooner than later when he struggles as a starter.

As for Happ, he should down to Allentown to start the season in the rotation. Several reasons why having him as the 12th man on this roster makes no sense especially if Cholly has two veteran lefty options in Eyre and Taschner.

Frankly since the Phils don't need a 5th starter until April 20th because of a ton of off-days, I hope they start the year with 6 players on the bench. Having a 12th pitcher on the roster really makes no sense at this point in the season.

As for Hamels not being the Opening Day, I could care less. Probably the only people who remotely do are those who actually have tickets to the actual game.

I just hope the Phils don't get out to their usual 2-4 start during the 1st week but I have a feeling they will again including losing 2 of 3 against the Braves to start the season.

"Having a 12th pitcher on the roster really makes no sense at this point in the season."

Hey, I like watching Joe Blanton take a big cut in the 13th inning, in a mid-April tie game.

Or, watching Jamie Moyer running the bases, as a pinch-runner.

With all the off-days/rain days in April, there is really no reason to even have a 5th starter early and certainly no reason, to have 12 pitchers, if you have a quality rotation (which the Phils obvously do).

Go with 11 pitchers, and have that extra bench guy ready to go.

Anybody wish Howard would save a few of these long balls, for the regular season? I remember him doing this last Spring too, and then looking lost once the real season got going.

One thing that would worry me with him, is that he seems to hate hitting in colder weather. Looking at the April schedule, the 3 games in Florida are the only warm weather candidates the entire month. Don't think we'll see much tropical weather in Philly, Washington or Colorado in April.

Long-range weather looks good for Opening Night though. 60 and sunny, for Sunday in Philly. Not bad for early April.

"He seems to hate hitting in colder weather"...

Temperature at the start of the last game that counted that Howard hit at least 1 HR in...54 degrees, headed down to the mid 40's.

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