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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

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"According to David Murphy’s Twitter page". A few years ago, if you told me this is the way I'd be getting breaking baseball news, i'd tell you to go F**k (Tweet) yourself, your nuts.

(your=you're)

Personally I thought we could've used him in the bullpen at the moment. But as a general matter I suppose it's wise to reward performance.

Happ to LV I guess? Hmmmm....

Happ, Mosebach, Taschner and Majewski up for the last two BP jobs - http://zozone.mlblogs.com/

Contacted Sheff.

From last thread- Courtesy of the Murphy's High Cheese blog, Park is the number five starter, Happ to the bullpen. I actually think they made the right decision putting Park in the rotation, but it is interesting that they want Happ in the pen. I'm guessing they think that gaining major league experience is more important than working as a starter against lesser competition.

Right to do if this was a competition but Park will be out of the rotation before Memorial Day (and I think even sooner) if there aren't any injuries to the other starters.

A middle relief of Durbin/Eyre/Condrey/ and 2 guys from the mix of Happ, Mosebach, Taschner, and Majewski is looks pretty mediocre to me.

From the last thread:

If the answer is Sheffield - that really will be an amazing turn of events. Not one I'm happy about honestly - but let's say that this was in fact a trade and not two veterans being released ..... what would we have thought of Rueben?

Sheffield for Jenkins - for arguments sake, let's say the salaries were equal, would you have made that trade?

I can't seem to get over "According to David Murphy’s Twitter page." That just cracks me up.....

If Park works out as 5th starter, I think Happ will end up being a very important part of our bullpen as the season progresses. Relievers are always wild cards and it's a pretty good bet that 1 or 2 of the guys the Phillies are counting on in their pen will end up having very bad years. If that happens, someone else will need to step up and Happ is a good candidate to be that guy. I could see him sort of being the Chad Durbin of 2009.

More kudos to the Phillies.

The easy choice was to put Happ in the rotation and put Park in the pen. But, to my surprise, Park won the job. Period. He's been amazing this spring.

Now... should Park show that his amazing control in the spring was a mirage, Happ will be ready to move into the rotation.

Good for Chan Ho Park. He was told the 5th starter spot was up for competition and then he went out and won it. I hope he pitches great!

The question now is how willing the Phillies will be to pull the plug on the Park experiment if he pitches badly as a starter. My guess, and my hope, is that given how aggressive they've been recently, they will do it pretty quickly. They'll have given him his fair shot, so if he doesn't perform, he will be moved to the pen and replaced by Happ.

The bigger question, at this point, is Happ to the bullpen rather than starting at Triple A. Because he's not a power pitcher, most don't see him as a dominating relief pitcher, which means his value is as a backend starter rather than reliever. Are the Phillies getting the most out of him in the bullpen at the major league level, or should he be starting at Triple A and ready to be called up as soon as Park struggles? It's a tough question, and given his age, I'm not sure this isn't the right move, if they're not going to start him. But it's an interesting conundrum they're in.

here's hoping that chan ho's spring is more than a mirage, and that his performance in the 'pen last year + his performance starting this spring leads to a home run offseason pickup.

i'm glad it seems they're going to take happ with the phils, though. he's clearly got nothing left to prove at AAA. i know it can be tough in that yo-yo spot starter roll, but i think clearly you want the 11 or 12 best pitchers with the big club, and happ has demonstrated this year and last that he's one of those top 11. let's hope he makes the right adjustment to pitching out of the 'pen and doesn't feel too slighted. he's had a solid spring, but park has just been out of this world and has earned the 5th spot.

It was probably an easy call to make Park the #5...

especially if Mr Happ has to take Mr. Hamels spot in the rotation for a short-medium term.

just a bad-news guess.

"Update: J.A. Happ will head to the bullpen, according to Murphy's blog update, meaning, this spring's big winners, in terms of predictions, are Bill Conlin, Howard Eskin and Clout."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I thought Bill Conlin WAS clout?

They are rejoicing in the streets of SEOUL!

Yes I predicted the Royals in this years World Series. And I predict Gary Sheffield hits a walk off home run in game 2 of that series.

Phillies win in 7.

Is anyone else smelling a Carlos Carrasco trade in the winter of '09? Sniff sniff Carrasco and Donald for Ryan Zimmerman?

I was always curious about how it works out with Junior signing Park and promising the opportunity to compete for the 5th starter spot. Are Cholly/Dubee consulted prior to that commitment and who is really involved in the decision making?

I'm happy for CHP that it worked out in his best interest (for now), but was wondering who has to cash the check the Junior writes?

Chan Ho deserves the shot and haap will hopefully do well out of the pen.
Let's go get Scheffield. He would be a great spot starter against lefties and a great right handed threat off the bench. He should provide this team with a little swagger and I hope Charlie and the team can keep Scheff's head in the game and not cause unnecessary distractions.
Go get him Reuben.

"A visably upset Happ has so far declined to speak with the media."

Not a fan of the move - Park has proved he can do the job in the pen. I think that 7th inning guy is a lot more important than a rotating 5th starter.

Park picked. Deserved it. Good! My prediction of CY for CHP still possible.

Happ w big club. Also good. Reward performance.

If Park pitches to league avg ERA or less = excellent signing by Jr.

Prediction: bullpen will not be a good as last season, but won't be a problem. Lots of parts will be stashed at AAA to fill in.

Majewski, Koplove, Tashner will provide depth.

Will Mosebach be taken back fo 25K?

If not, more potential depth.

Carrasco and KK in AAA is good too, for later in season if needed.

LA Jeff: IMO, they wouldn't do tha trade. No way would they trade a good young arm who could be a future 2 or 3 for Zimmerman, as good as he is.

There's just too much value in young pitching.

TJC: He's a kid; of course he's upset. But the Phillies promised an open competition and Park outperformed Happ.

He could still be there in a month or two anyway, so the Phillies should just tell Happ to keep the car running.

Give him a few days and he'll come around. This is the business aspect of the sport and it's the ugly side--but if someone isn't upset at the end of ST, then the Phillies aren't doing enough to improve the club.

From the last thread:

Jenkins (regardless of his lack of success or underachievement vs his contract) will always be remembered fondly by me for that one beautiful hit. I was one of the many fortunate ones to be at game 5. During the time in between the two segments it was endlessly debated how the chess match btwn maddon & charlie would play out (leave in Balfour or counter with LHP once Jenkins was announced). That double was simply awesome!

Re: Sheff
I know I threw out the Sheff option earlier, but I too am worried about the clubhouse aspect.

Re: Park

Like many posters have stated this spring I am leery of him reverting to the performances he has displayed as a starter since 2002. But If Charlie is planning on ridding the hot hand, I am ok with that. So long as park is given a very short leash.

I'm sure Happ is disappointed and pissed right now. But I hope he gets over it and quick. His opportunity is right in front of him. He's very likely to get his shot at a spot in the rotation sooner rather than later. So he should keep his cool and be ready when that time comes. If he isnt't able to get over it then maybe he has a sense of entitlement far beyond the level of his career accomplishments. And that is a very dangerous thing for a young professional athlete. I'm betting he deals with it and is ready when he gets his chance, though.

Question for the group - what's more important over the course of a season, a slightly above league average 5th starter or an effective 7th inning bullpen arm (i.e. Durbin for much of 08)?

re: Sheff (courtesy of USA Today)

Sheffield says he isn't limiting his options, but his preferences would be to play for Tampa Bay, Florida, Atlanta or the New York Mets.

"I would love to go to the Rays," Sheffield said, "but if I can't go there, I'll look at other options. I want to go to a good spot for me.

"I want to go to the right team and a bigger market that has a bigger stature."
------------

So Sheff wants to play in the NL East, just not for the Phillies. I hope Amaro doesn't piss him off by saying that he's not good enough to be anything more than a PH/backup outfielder on the Phillies. No way he wants to play for the Phillies unless they guarantee him playing time in the field. Not sure if DH counts as PH, but the guy has 34 PH plate appearances out of over 10,600 PAs. I think he's headed to the Marlins.

Dont make the mistake of viewing Happ as 'just a kid', He turned 26 about over six months ago. He's been playing proball for awhile now. That is a big reason why I think putting him back in AAA is pointless. He either is good enough to take the #5 spot away or good enough to get hitters out from the bullpen - or not. Can't figure he can go to th eminors and improve on anything

"but if someone isn't upset at the end of ST, then the Phillies aren't doing enough to improve the club."

hh......Amen!

A "washed up" Sheffield with slow bat speed is still a better hitter than our starting 3B, lol

.726ops, .704 ops 2008

The one thing that surprises me about the Park announcement is the timing.

I would have thought they would wait until Happ had his final start later this week.

AWH - I think the timing of the announcement is fine. Piniella made an interesting comment the other day about pitching competitions in ST and how those who are still in the hunt via good performances in ST all of sudden start giving up lots of runs during the last week because they start overthrowing like crazy and aren't as relaxed as they should be; this also leads to injuries and an inevitable let-down/deadarm period for the winner of the competition, making them ineffective for the first couple weeks of the season.

With regard to a possible Sheffield signing...

IF Sheffield's not completely cooked and can still hit a little, and IF he can still play an outfield corner adequately, and IF he's okay with getting 300 at bats, and IF he's not going to be a clubhouse distraction -- then it'd be a decent signing.

I'm hard-pressed to see all those things coming true, however.

TNA, good point, good info.

"A "washed up" Sheffield with slow bat speed is still a better hitter than our starting 3B, lol"

Yeah, playing the DH role. Stick him in the field and see if he makes it 2 weeks without an injury.

I hope that this Sheff thing turns into a "letdown" and he signs elsewhere. I just don't see the upside. I think Jenkins actually brings more to the table considering the big picture (not just RH hitting). Alou would be another crapshoot. I don't see either getting more than 150 AB's without significant injury next season - and neither have a small enough ego to settle for RH bench bat.

Re: The 7th inning

Are we really unable to pitch the 7th without Park? I know we're expecting some backing up by Durbin, but he was pretty dam good before getting a little tired. If he's used a little less (and with no Eaton or KK, he may be), then I think he'll be fine.

Durbin/Romero 7th, Madson 8th, Lidge 9th

We know the bullpen won't be as good as last year, but if Chan Ho Park can succeed in that 5th starter spot, that could be huge for this team... especially if age catches up with Old Man Moyer!

johnnysanz3 - Pedro Feliz had a .845 OPS against lefthanders in 2008. Dobbs had a .846 OPS against righties.

Sheffield had .754 OPS against lefties in 2008. (and .715 against righties)

I've heard conflicting reports on Sheff's bat-speed. The loss of control due to significant chronic shoulder injuries is the question.

Lauber just updated his blog with quotes from Amaro Jr. on the Park/Happ decision.

He said the decision has not been made as to whether Happ would be in the bullpen or in the AAA rotation; he isn't guaranteed a spot in the bullpen. I think he's better served in AAA getting ready to take over for Hamels until Hamels gets into his "groove."

CJ, I agree. If the Phillies can get 180-200 innings from Park(Happ) at league avg ERA or better, it will go a long way to helping the 'pen.

I would be very happy if this is how the SP wound up eating innings this season:

Hamels...200
Myers....195
Moyer....190
Blanton..210
Park,#5..190

Spot......60

IMO, some members of the rotation will miss starts, so the spot start "happy" quotient is based on the spot starters getting 10-12 starts, and, hopefully, eating 5-6 innings in those starts.

BTW, whatever happened to JD Durbin?

I think we still need a #4 Outfieder on the 25 man roster.

Jerry Owens was sent to waivers by the White Sox. Perhaps a reclamation project for the Phillies?

The list of possible pickups grows:
-Tyler Walker, RH reliever
-Wily Mo Pena, fastball killer but absolutely no ability to hit breaking pitches, which is what all pitchers now throw to him.
-Jerry Owens, 28 yrs old, with speed and decent ability to get on base.
-Sheffield.

Anybody else?

Re: Sheffield. Why would you want to add one of the biggest me-first a-holes in baseball to the Phillies clubhouse?

AWH- Yea I agree with your assesment on the trade idea, especially with Myers becoming a FA.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Phillies signed Park before the news went public of the Romero suspension? They knew of course that he would miss the first 50 games, but Park had no idea. So he signed thinking he had a legit opportunity to win the job and the Phillies promised him a chance at it but never, ever expected him to actually win it.

I think the Phillies wanted Park to be their lefty arm in the pen the whole time and were put in an awkward position when he dominated this spring. I really think they are going to be looking for an excuess to yank him out and put him in the pen. I think a rough start will equate to a short stint as the #5 guy.

What say you?

This was likely the only viable outcome given that they framed it early on as an open competition based on spring performance. But, part of me worries that they've weighed a couple weeks of spring performance over longer-term performance records from both that indicate Park may be a better fit for the bullpen spot and Happ as a starter. In other words, the combined performance of the two may be better with Park in the pen and Happ in a more comfortable starting routine. Kinda reminds of the debacle of Leiber in the pen before they moved Myers, who was a ultimately a better fit for the role.

Park is a right-handed pitcher.

Yea Dubee can do miracle TNA

"If the Phillies can get 180-200 innings from Park(Happ) at league avg ERA or better, it will go a long way to helping the 'pen."

How many teams had #5 starters last year with 100 ERA+? Kendrick's ERA+ last year was 80. Pedro: 75; Dodgers (combing Penny and Maddux) about 75. The Cubs are probably the only team last year with anything close to that sort of depth. Give me a 5th starter with a 90 ERA+ (in about 170 IP) and I'm happy.

-----

In 2007, Sheffield hit .265/.378/.462. In 2008 he was much worse. He is done? I think his days of OPS over 800 are probably over. He probably wouldn't be a terrible move, though. What other options are there?

Jeff, I don't care who pitches in what role as long as they pitch well.

As I've said before, if Park can give them close to 200 innings with a league average or better ERA he's a huge success.

OTOH, as someone else pointed out, if he is anywhere near as close to as good as he has been this spring, he'll be the steal of the FA market.

If he has a sub-4 ERA and gives them at least 180 innings, barring any serious injuries (i.e. Hamels out for season), they'll probably win the division again.

Everyone is assuming that Jenkins' release is prelude to another move, and it certainly does feel like that should be the case. But when you look at the bench, we already have our 5 men in Dobbs, Bruntlett, Stairs, Coste, and Cairo. Who out of those is this mythical RH OF bat going to replace(i'm going under the assumption that they've decided to keep Cairo)? Does anyone expect the Phillies to go away from the 5 man bench, 7 pitcher bullpen they used almost all of last year's regular season?

Sophist, I agree.

That's why I think the Phillies, based on my +/- scale, could win as many as 96 games.

If Hamels stays reasonably healthy and makes only 28-30 starts, "180-200 innings from Park(Happ) at league avg ERA or better" will go a long way to actually improving the overall rotation.

It certainly won't be as good at the top if Hamels is ailing, but the bottom of the rotation has a chance to be much better than it was in 2008.

You're arguing "probability", which I understand. I'm not arguing........only saying that it's within the realm of "possibility".

MG: You really are being unfairly cruel towards the middle relief guys. There is no reason to think Condrey/Durbin/Eyre and a mix of Happ, Taschner, Mosebach, and Majewski is going to be mediocre. Even if Dubin regresses some from last year the established three will be solid. majewski has been fine this year and some scouts say he looks more like the Majewski of 2005. My guess is Taschner has a better shot than Happ at being the lefty but if Happ is the guy than that makes the bullpen better.

Happ showed he could fill that role very well towards the end of last year, plus if Park falters then the next guy is right there.

On Park- I'm sort of leery like other posters but the fact is, Park won the spot this spring. He did extremely well and had an amazing 25:2 K to walk ratio. Yes he may revert to being bad again, but he may not and given his performance you need to take that chance.

Brian G.: I think you need to adjust your assumption about Cairo. Why on earth would the Phillies be committed to keeping him?

From last thread:

It was Clout who originally pointed out that Amaro's offseason discussions with Happ had implications for him starting this season. This contrasted with most posters who assumed it was a pro-forma offer to be ignored as it was for Durbin.

However, I think Clout went too far in asserting the depth of the guarantee, given that neither Amaro, Manuel, nor Dubee were willing to publicly confirm the offer. Even the normally clueless Mvptommyd spotted this.

It's interesting that the Beerleaguer consensus has shifted from Park would be a terrible starter and Happ should be the starter (where I also was at the beginning of Spring Training) to an acceptance of Park taking the 5th spot and Happ working as a young pitcher out of the bullpen -- despite his discomfort there last year.

David Murphy's good piece today reinforces the pragmatic decision and BL consensus. Park's seniority, backed by an entire nation pulling for his starting status, made the virtual tie this spring go to Park. I think that left unsaid is that it would be preferable to replace Park with Happ in the starter role if Park falters than the reverse -- which would risk Park's discontent and send Happ in the wrong direction for the goal of making him a long term starter.

With the virtual tie this spring between Park and Happ, we lost the interesting opportunity to divine the real nature of Amaro's promise to Park and who really decides playing roles between the GM and the coaches. Had Happ outpitched Park, it would have put more strain on the private guarantees Amaro made to Park, and how much Chollie and Dubee were willing to go along with them.

Sophist, BTW, when was the last time, in the 5 starter era, that a team has had 5 SP with double digit wins?

Owens hits lefty. He's somewhere in the neighborhood of Bourn and Roberson. (Which end of the neighborhood I'm not sure.)

If Sheffield signs on with FLA, does that make Cody Ross available? (Yecchh. Forget I suggested that.)

JJG - apparently in the eyes of the front office/staff, the competition between Park and Happ WAS NOT a virtual tie:

from Scott Lauber's blog:
(On whether Park's reluctance to pitch out of the bullpen played a factor): (AMARO:) "Like I said, we're trying to put the best team together, and we felt like him being in the fifth-starting position was our best chance of having success, at least at this time. He won the starting job outright, and that's what we felt was the best thing to do."

Amaro also said this: (again, from Lauber's blog:)

(On why they chose Park over Happ): "Frankly, I think our entire staff felt Park pitched better, and we're a better club with him in the rotation at this time."

Andy - I realize Owens is lefty. Just thinking he could go to the minors and be a good pinch-runner/defensive outfielding option later in the year when rosters expand. If he improves his batting, that's a bonus.

Put me in the "NO" column for Sheffield.

I think:

1) the decision to release Jenkins and not Stairs is fairly curious - and not just in lieu of the money they're eating because of it. Stairs is a better and more dangerous pinch-hitter from the left side, but Jenkins is much better suited to play the field and his bat isn't too dramatic a drop-off from Stairs.

2) Park was a whiny brat about being a starter, and he'd better damn well do the job. Happ has a right to be upset. Being left-handed in a rotation with two other lefties worked against him, but all things being equal - Park has experience pitching effectively out of the bullpen, while Happ does not. I do not see Park lasting the full season in the rotation. Since I believe public sentiment was with Happ, fans are going to be quick to get on Park should he falter. Hope he's ready for it.

3) I can't believe they'd even waste a moment of time considering Sheffield. If ever there was a clubhouse cancer in baseball, it's that guy. Yes, his bat is dangerous, but so is his personality. Please, no.

After carefully building this group of "character" guys, the idea that the FO would bring Sheff in to brood on the bench strikes me as laughable.

RSB - are you saying that Happ has a right to be upset because Park is a "whiny brat?" And what has Park said that makes him a "whiny brat?"

If anything, this particular post of yours sounds awfully whiny, I think.

Happ was outperformed by Park this ST; he should either be upset at his own performance, the decision of the FO to even bring in Park as a competitor (which could be seen as a lack of faith), or a combination of the two.

As for Happ not having experience pitching effectively out of the bullpen, well here's his chance to build his resume if that is where he pitches this season.

That said, Happ will definitely start at some point this season. I see him replacing an ineffective Moyer or an injured Hamels as a higher probability than replacing Park in the rotation.

bap: That may be the case. I haven't followed things as closely as usual, but it was my understanding that the consensus is that Cairo will be kept around.

RSB: I think you're coming on a little strong there. Park is a brat? I think Happ is a brat if he's pouting when it's just been announced he's making the team.

I'm sure losing the battle was disappointing, but the stats and the experience back Park up. Happ has pitched 35 innings. If he's as good as a lot of you think he is, he'll pitch plenty more, as both a reliever and a starter.

I like this decision.

AWH - Don't know. When?

Bruntlett has hit very well this Spring. Wouldn't surprise me if the Phils did nothing at all but keep Bruntlett and Cairo on the roster and, if one shows no value (Cairo most most likely), we've got that Donald guy.

RSB: I know you're a BL Hall of Famer, but that was one of the more curious posts you've ever written. Happ "has a right to be upset" because the Phillies refused to hand him a starting job which he clearly didn't earn? And Park is a "whiny brat" because he wanted to be the starter and showed up to ST in great shape, dedicated to pitching as well as he possibly can? Under your curious definition, please give me a team full of "whiny brats."


Happ has absolutely no grounds for being upset. While Park was going out and dominating, Happ was getting lit up in 2 of his last 3 starts -- including one against Triple A players. Park won the battle fair & square and Happ is the one who needs to quit whining and be happy that he apparently has a major league job, instead of being relegated back to AAA again. He should see this as a continuing opportujnity to show the Phillies that he can be a successful big league pitcher. I, frankly, don't believe there's such thing as a guy who can be a good starter but not a good reliever. Happ needs to use this relief job as a gateway to an eventual starting job. If he fails at the relief job, I would have serious doubts about ever putting him in a starting role -- and so will the Phillies.

I just think Park wasn't real classy about it. It's not like there was a guarantee that he was going to be a starter, and I would have preferred to see a few 'whatever the team wants me to do' quotes instead of "I'm tired of waiting, I'm going crazy, I came here to start", etc. Hell, even Brett Myers can manage that degree of professionalism. Who exactly does Park think he is, Johan Santana? The guy was out of baseball on merit less than two years ago. I find his statements selfish and petulant, and I'd resent the hell out of them if I were a competitor as worthy as Happ. (And in terms of ERA, Park did *not* out-perform Happ this spring.)

The hatred towards Park is kind of odd. Park was told he would have an opportunity to win the 5th starting job. He got himself into shape and came into camp to compete. He compiled a 2-0 record with a 2.53 ERA and struck out 25 batters vs walking 2. Those are excellent numbers. Happ didn't lose the job, Park won it. He may revert but you have to give him the chance he earned.

Also, I think with the rabid nature that the Korean fans have followed this battle it opens up the Far East market for the Phillies which is just as important. You can't pick a whole roster like that, but it is something to think about.

On Sheffield, yes he is a clubhouse cancer, but if he can give you anything it's a steal. Not to mention it would balance the line-up out more, as you'd have another right handed bat that can jump in for Ibanez if need be or give Werth some rest. Also, if Victorino would go down, then we could easily slide Werth to center and have Sheff play right.

re: Sheffield

Given his preference for 3 teams in the NL East, it's a wise on Amaro's move to, in the very least, up the ante on Sheff even if, as Andy Martino blogged, the chances of them signing him are "very slim."

Did these get posted? ST stats

Park (5 games, 4 starts): 21.1 IP, 1.043 WHIP, 25 K / 2 BB, 7 RA
Happ (6 games, 3 starts): 20.0 IP, 1.200 WHIP, 14 K / 6 BB, 8 RA

solid competition

IMO Sheffield is no upgrade over Jenkins at this point. Both guys are over the hill, but maybe Jenkins was due for a bounce-back, and certainly he's better in the field. Sheff, on the other hand, strikes me as a guy whose body is breaking down from years of steroid abuse. Plus, as everyone has said, he's not good in the clubhouse.

I'd rather see Dobbs and Stairs splitting the 4th outfielder spot than Sheff, strange as that is to say, although I hope there's another move brewing.

AWH - I don't know if it's the last time 5 starters had double digit wins, but on the 2003 Seattle Mariners:

Freddy Garcia (12-14)
Jamie Moyer (21-7)
Ryan Franklin (11-13)
Gil Meche (15-13)
Joel Pineiro (16-11)

Of course, these 5 started ALL of Seattle's games that year (no one missed a turn).

RSB - please show me the "I'm tired of waiting, I'm going crazy, I came here to start" quotes. I think you have a bit of confirmation bias going on. Also, why would Happ be upset if he fully believed in the doing "whatever the team wants me to do."

And in terms of the staff's evaluation of Happ and Park, Park was a hands-down consensus winner this spring.

Now, you can challenge their evaluation and the judgment (which I do), but I seriously doubt they are looking at ERA as the primary indicator as to who performed better as a pitcher.

Not hatred. I didn't say I hated Chan Ho Park.

I do stand corrected on the ERA. It would be nice, however, if anyone looked past my use of the word 'brat' and preferred to address my point about Park's experience in the bullpen over Happ's.

And while we're comparing meaningless stats

Stairs (48 PA): .233/.292/.465, 1 SB, 0 CS
Jenkins (51 PA): .250/.314/.386, 0 SB, 1 CS

It came down to speed i think.

Let's be clear here...

It would not have been "wrong" of the Phils to give the 5th starter job to Happ. He performed very well this spring, nearly as well as Park and Park has serious questions based on the fact he hasn't been an effective starter since 2001.

This wasn't a clear cut decision. I think, in the end, that Park won the job based on his control and ability to miss bats (demonstrated in spring, we'll see if it holds up) and the fact that Happ is more of a fly ball pitcher than Park.

Actually, the Angels had 5 starters with double digit wins last year (Garland, Santana, Saunders, Weaver, and Lackey).

And so did the Rays (Shields, Sonnanstine, Jackson, Garza, and Kazmir).

Long-term thinking...

Does keeping Stairs make it easier to start Dobbs and still have a viable LHB on the bench?

Lauber has updated his blog with quotes from Park and Happ on delawareonline.

For the record, TNA, this is excerpted from Paul Hagen's article today:

[when asked after he survived a shaky start to give up just two runs (one earned) in 5 2/3 innings if he would willingly accept a relief role should manager Charlie Manuel, Dubee, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. (who was also at the first couple innings of the minor league game) and the rest of the baseball brain trust decide to award Happ the starting spot, he didn't give the politically correct answer.

"Uh, I don't know," he said. "Let's see. Wait, wait, wait, wait. Sometimes I'm crazy."

That got a laugh. Park wouldn't go into further detail. But his demeanor left no doubt that he's not going to be happy if he's told that he won't be starting.]

As far as comparing this to Happ's reaction: for all Happ knows, he's going to the minors. No one's said he's made the team. His reaction is perfectly understandable - and note also that he declined to offer a comment, which indicates a higher level of professionalism than the guy ten years his elder.

I predict the final playoff rotation will look like this:

Hamels
Halladay
Blanton
Myers
(with Park and Happ both in the bullpen)

BP:
Lidge, Madson, Park, Romero, Happ, Durbin.

Do the Phils need a RH bat off the bench in a very bad way? Yes

Whether Sheffield qualifies as such, or would be willing to accept that role, is an entirely different question.

Bullpen experience is overrated. Until last year, Park had been a starter his whole career. He seemed to make the transition to the bullpen just fine. Same goes for numerous starting pitching prospects, who began their major league careers in relief roles (i.e., David Price, Joba Chamberlain, Chad Billingley, Johann Santana, Aaron Cook, Derek Lowe), and other starters who successfully moved to the bullpen in mid-career (i.e., Myers, Smoltz, Dempster, Kerry Wood).


If Happ has the goods to be a big league starter -- and I believe he does -- he will do fine in a relief role.

RSB:If Happ was hampered by being a LH in a rotation that already had 2 LH,why wasn't Park hampered by being a RH in a rotation that already had 2 RH?

From the last thread;DUDE:Where is it etched in stone that you cannot have 3 LHSP? Do you have evidence that this could never be?

Goody: Generally, teams don't carry more than two LHP because opposing lineups are generally righty heavy and, thus, succeed more against LHP.

It's just common wisdom... not set in stone at all.

RSB- not sure how you get "whiny brat" out of that quote and behavioral interpretation of Park's demeanor. From my perspective, I see that quote, given Park's less-than-perfect command of the english language, as saying, "I have no comment. Let's wait and see what the decision is. Sometimes it drives me crazy waiting to hear what that decision is." Now if I were interviewing for a job I really wanted, I'd probably also be going crazy.

As for his demeanor, that's totally Hagen's interpretation, and Park has no control over that. But in any case, I'd be concerned if Park was happy with being told that he wasn't starting.

And here's Happ's quote excerpted from Lauber's blog:

[J.A. Happ: "Regardless of what anybody says or what's been written about, there is no one who wanted this job more or worked harder to get it. I'm very confidence in saying that. I busted my butt to try to get it, and that was that goal. I thought I had a good spring. But that being said, I did all those things to be a big leaguer, so if I can get a job in the bullpen and if I can have some success there, I think another opportunity will come where I can get back in the starting job. If I can get a job on this club, it's still a good thing.]

I have no issue with this comment, but his opening statement could be perceived as a bitter sideways comment about Park, and how the media (or staff) made a point of writing (talking) about how well Park was prepared, and how much he wanted the job (sacrificing WBC, etc.). Although I don't see it that way, that could be thought of as unprofessional.

RSB is the one that sounds like a 'whiny brat,' to be perfectly honest.

So how the hell would we be prying Halladay (one of the top 5 pitchers in baseball) away from the Blue Jays? Our farm system isn't that good.

I'm stunned by a couple things...first my firewall at work now blocks BL...which sucks. secondly, I'm stunned they cut bait with Jenkins...that's a lot of dead money on the roster.

20 million or so right, NEPP.
I thought we were alway the team that had overpaid, dead money sitting on the bench just because...

CJ:Try telling that to Sandy Koufax or Randy Johnson. I think it has more to do with each pitchers own talent than his handedness.

Before the decision was made, people were saying what a wrong message this would send to future free agents if they went with Happ. Now that CHP won the job, isn't it also fair to say this sends a positive message to future free agents the Phillies might hope to attract?

if Jon Niese starts in NY, they'd have three lefty starters. Cleveland had three LH starters before trading Sabathia...I don't really know what Oakland is looking at for their rotation, but they could have three lefties if Gio goes to the majors this year.


I am a goddam drunk but still wouldnt say something as stupid as "cant have 3 leftys in the rotation". Go look at Cole Hamels splits fool. Also, no wonder Happ is ticked. He is 26, that means he will be 32 by the time he can cash in. He could also end up with the Madson thing where you are groomed to be a starter but end up being a BP guy.

"Park said he will make his debut April 12 against the Rockies in Denver."

Isn't that a little earlier than we all assumed/than logical use of our starters dictated?

Ibanez, first spring dinger.

Yeah, liking the sound of Harry's Raauuuul Ibannnnez HR call.

Myers outpitched Lowe...tonight anyway.

Finally. Thought we were going to make it through ST without one from him and I was starting to worry.

Best back and forth of the offseason so far. Glad to see RSB back and plenty of other good posts too.

Park is melodramatic but he came to camp and outpitched Happ. That simple. Happ has no reason to pout since this wasn't a sham competition like with Eaton "winning a spot" last year.

Doesn't mean I don't think Park will largely be lacking as a starter and end up back in the bullpen again by Memorial Day. Given that the Phils likely won't use a 5th starter for the first 2 weeks of the season, that gives Park about 6-7 starts to prove he belongs as a starter.

If Park struggles, I don't see Cholly/Dubee being patient with him to work out either into June. Phils have another alternative in Happ they have some confidence in some Park likely has a short rope at this point.

As for Sheffield, unless the Phils think he could give them an OPS around .750 or better he isn't worth taking a flyer on somebody else. Sheffield clearly has some pop left in his bat with the HRs last year & in spring training. Issue is can he hit better .220 or .230.

Additionally, Sheffield really is a clubhouse cancer and malcontent just about every place he has gone. Tigers likely have better options at the DH at this point but to just dump a $14M dollar contract speak volumes too. Willing to bet that Leyland just tired of his cr@p and didn't want him to become an issue if didn't see much playing time this season.

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