Park or Happ?

park.jpgFor most of the spring I’ve been saying I think the Phillies prefer J.A. Happ in the rotation and Chan Ho Park in the bullpen.

Why?

First, the Phillies pursued Park in the offseason because they liked him as a relief pitcher. He went 4-4 with a 3.40 ERA in 54 appearances last season for the Dodgers, and they thought those numbers would add depth to an already strong bullpen. Second, Happ has been a starter most of his career and pitched well in September in that role. If Happ could prove himself this spring, the Phillies might be better served with Happ in the rotation and Park in the ‘pen.

But Rich Dubee said at the beginning of Spring Training that the competition for the fifth spot in the rotation would be based on performance.

Who can get pepole out?

So now I’m not sure what to think. Park is 2-0 with a 2.53 ERA in 21 1/3 innings in the Grapefruit League, while Happ is 0-0 with a 3.15 ERA in 20 innings. The difference there is only one earned run and 1 1/3 innings pitched. But Park has allowed just two walks and struck out 25, while Happ has walked six and struck out 14. If this competition is based purely on Grapefruit League performance, it would seem Park has an edge entering Happ’s final start of the spring Thursday.

And that’s where things really get interesting.

Asked if he would be open to accepting a bullpen job, Park said today, “I don’t know, let’s see. Wait, wait, wait, wait. Sometimes I’m crazy.”

He also said, “I’m expecting their decision to make me as the starter. That’s my goal. That’s why I signed with this team.”

He signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract because the Phillies promised him an opportunity to start. Based purely on the numbers, he can make an argument that he won this competition. So if the Phillies tell him that they need him in the bullpen more than the rotation? Based on his comments today, he could feel cheated.

So, we’ll see. I thought I had a good feel for how this competion would be resolved, but now I’m not sure.

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11 Comments

Entire Season TEAM W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV SVO IP H R ER HR HBP BB SO
As a Starter Los Angeles Dodgers 1 0 2.16 5 5 0 0 0 0 25.0 22 8 6 2 1 8 30
As a Reliever Los Angeles Dodgers 3 4 3.84 49 0 0 0 2 5 70.1 75 35 30 10 3 28 49

Well, we missed above ST.
Let’s see how he went last season as a starter and as a reliever.
Simply we can imagine he is fit for a starter and don’t forget he went 280 game start and he’s been a starter most of his 15 years
career. It’s obviously much more than Happ :)
We’ve got to know he retired his national team because he wanted to grab the spot, focus on competition.
The Phillies promised him to give a chance to compete.It was the reason why he signed with the Phillies as you mentioned.

Now, he proved himself.
Right time the Phillies should keep thier words.
No argue or trade him because he is for the Phillies not the Phillies is for him.

Did you run your comment through Yahoo Babel Fish?

I don’t know why this is a controversy till this point!
CHP has shown his ability throughout the Spring!
CHP is a veteran pitcher who proved that he can be a good starting pitcher. The only reason why he signed with Phillies is because of the chance that he might receive as a starting pitcher.
I guess we’ll have to see the result, but it is definitely Park who did better. (in terms of stat &experience)

I realize that park has pitched better then happ in ST. No doubt! How much better? Not much. As Todd said, 1 run given up and 1 inning pitched less.

However, Happ has to be our 5th starter for a number of reasons. With park in the Pen, you have a great middle innings guy who can eat innings. He ca start the odd double header, or the rain game handed to the Pen, or the times someone misses a start. He is a veteran used to this.

Happ, however, is a rookie. He’s been a starter his whole career except for last year in the majors (I think he pithced twice from teh Pen). He is capable of becoming our 3rd starter for years to come. In the Pen he looses his value to us.

Better to disapoint Park, who is getting, let’s not forget, 2.5 million dollars to throw a ball!! then to ruin a piece of our rotation for years to come.

In a black and white world, CHP would already be the #5 starter based on both his performance and what the Phillies promised him. But we all know that there is a lot more to the situation than that.

They wanted Kendrick to win the job and they feel that they may have now lost him for the long term. Unless he really improves his performance and his attitude he will be nothing more than a throw-in in a trade down the road. They may fear the they could lose Happ in the same way, although he appears to have a different mind-set and has better stuff than Kendrick ever did. Frankly, I like CHP and always did. He’s a gamer and would really upgrade the rotation. Happ is still in learning mode and could benefit from being around a major leage pitching staff in a bullpen role.

JMO.

I disagree that Happ will be ruined long term by going to the pen. If his psyche is that fragile, then he’s not a keeper anyway. His major league education can be enhanced by learning from the veterans of the staff while he eases into the league. Park has been there before and seems highly motivated to prove he is a starter and has certainly rose to the challenge and promise that was put in front of him. If Park fails in the role, he goes to the pen and Happ moves up. If Charlie is honest about people competing, then Park gets the job, he earned it on merit. I loke Happ, he may have a promising career in front of him, but after 5 or 6 major league appearances, do we really know what we have yet? Plus he has options if we don’t need him, he can shuttle back and forth to the Iron Pigs to get work if necessary, we don’t have that option with CHP.

Sheffield released by Tigers today, could he be the right-handed bat the Phillies need/want?

FIJ you need to keep in mind the mindset that Park has. It is that unqiue Asian mindset where “face” means far more than dollars. He has talked about how much his pitching as a starter means to his nation. That is why he chose not to pitch for them in the WBC because he thought he might bring greater glory and joy to them as a starter who they could watch every 5th day. The money doesn’t mean that much to him, so to say he “let’s not forget, 2.5 million dollars to throw a ball!! ” isn’t really valid in this case. If he was an American, I’d say sure. See this link to see this illustrated even better: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/sports/2009/03/136_42280.html
Park has pitched better. His strikeout numbers are far superior to Happ (24 to 14). I don’t see why if Happ goes to the pen he can’t also be used for double headers since he has been a starter as you say. Now if Happ comes out his next start and blows it away and shrinks the numbers then I think it is safe to give him the spot. But as of now, I think it should go to Park.

Thumpbump, I doubt it. There are alot of questions as to whether or not he can still play the outfield or not. I believe he was DHing in Detroit.

Todd,

Walk into Ruben’s office and tell him to sign Sheffield. Perfect right handed bench bat who has pop. The team cannot defend a championship with Eric Bruntlett and Miguel Cairo as your right handed bats off the bench

SIGN SHEFFIELD!!!!

If I said this here before, my apologies. But its real nice to just be discussing our 5th starter and bench player and not a major roster player!

Either choice to me is really a win-win situation.

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