Oh, Those Pitching Problems


colehamels.jpgThe good news about yesterday’s rainout against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park is that Cole Hamels can rest his ankle a few more days.

Not that he felt he needed much extra time.

“It’s not too bad,” he said. “I’m only a couple days away. I really am.”

Here is how this week’s rotation sets up because of yesterday’s rainout:

- Tonight in St. Louis: RHP Joe Blanton (0-2, 8.41 ERA)

- Tomorrow night in St. Louis: RHP Brett Myers (1-2, 4.83 ERA)

- Wednesday in New York: RHP Chan Ho Park (0-1, 8.57 ERA)

- Thursday in New York: LHP Jamie Moyer (3-1, 5.65 ERA)

- Friday vs. Atlanta: Hamels (0-2, 7.27 ERA)

Phillies starters have a 6.71 ERA after 22 games, which is the worst mark in baseball and almost a run worse than the second-worst team in baseball: the Boston Red Sox, who have a 5.75 ERA. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee have been asked plenty about the rotation’s troubles recently, but Dubee didn’t say much yesterday about Park’s situation.

Park’s job is on the line. Not that he has pitched much worse than Blanton (opponents have hit .371 against Blanton compared to .333 against Park), but Park is in the rotation because he won a close competition in Spring Training. And, frankly, Blanton isn’t going anywhere.

“When Charlie wants to talk, we’ll talk,” Dubee said about Park.

Park has pitched more than five innings just once in four starts.

“None of our guys have (pitched deep),” Dubee said. “Chan Ho has pitched as deep into a game as anybody. He pitched seven innings once, didn’t he? That’s as deep as anybody has gotten this year.”

But is Dubee still confident Park can do the job?

“He’s getting the ball,” Dubee said. “Yeah, we’re confident.”

Park had two walks and 25 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings in Spring Training.

“Spring Training is a different bird,” Dubee said. “That’s why I don’t evaluate guys in Spring Training. That’s why I don’t like guys competing for jobs in Spring Training. Spring Training is not a true indicator, but I don’t think he’s been as aggressive in the strike zone. He’s getting into a lot of good hitter’s counts.”

My guess is that Park gets one or two more starts to prove himself. The Phillies promised Park they would give him an opportunity to win a job in the rotation. They never promised him that he got to keep it.

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14 Comments

Park was lights out in spring training, but since then has been a litle league pitcher (along with our whole staff). While I have always felt that Happ should be the 5th starter (always go with youth if everything else is equal) it will be kind of hard to yank Park while no one else (except Myers) has done anything as a starter. If Charlie really wants to shake things up, put all the starters on the DL for 15 days and bring up the kids (Happ, kendrick, Carlos, etc) Maybe the kick in the as$ will wake these guys up

fij……..I was thinking the same thing, about putting the starters on the DL! Great minds think alike!

I know you have a great mind. I’m still trying to find my mind at all (monday morning and all that)…Let’s hope the pitching comes through today

Putting Park in the bullpen maybe the best solution especially since that’s where he’s had success as a long reliver (coincidentally that’s what Happ has done very well lately also). Hopefully, hopefully all of our starting rotation can come around soon (although Moyer didn’t look so good on Saturday….of course when he doesn’t get the strike zone he likes things go down hill) since our offense and bull pen can’t keep up these come from behind wins all season.

On a different note: Should we have sent marson down when Ruiz came back or have ended Coste’s tenure with the team? I love Coste but he is’t the same player he was last year and two years ago it seems and marson is the real thing. Comments?

What Dubee said about Spring Training as an indicator of a pitcher’s ability to pitch in regular season games was true from the beginning. The problem is that there was no other way we could have determined the 5th starter, unless Charlie just went with one of his famous hunches. St. Louis has been crushing teams so far this year. It’s not a fluke; they have a great offense and pitching staff, even without Carpenter. If our starters keep pitching they way they have been, we will get swept, regardless of the team’s offensive prowess. NOW is the time for the starters to wake up out of their hybernation! GO PHILS!!!!!!!

FIJ: I think Marson might need a bit more “seasoning” in the minor leagues. Don’t forget he’s only 22 so another year might be beneficial. Its good to have Chooch back. Maybe that will help the pitching staff get on track.

I was thrilled to see Chooch back! Offense aside, he calls a much better game. I think that will the pitching. Fingers crossed!

While Marson may need more seasoning, I think he’s defiantely ready to come off the bench once a week. As he, himself said, his major problem is managing the game and the better he knows the pitchers the easier it is for him to call their game. having him on the bench talking with the guys on their off days will only benifit him. It’s not as if Coste is contributing right now, and sorry as it is, I think his days of contributing to this team may be in the past.

When I read these comments about Coste and Marson, I thank God Charlie is running the team and NOT some of you guys. All of our starters are going through a tough time right now, and you guys want them to throw to a kid who can’t even tell you the name of the half the players on the teams we will be playing, muchless what pitches to call when those players come to bat. Coste knows everyone of them by now. The pitchers are more confident when he catches than when Marson does. Lou will be the man soon, but we can’t afford to have him learn on-the-job while our starters are struggling to find their comfort zone, no matter how much better he hits than Coste or Ruiz.

“That’s why I don’t evaluate guys in Spring Training…” WTF? What exactly is Dubee doing in Clearwater if he’s not evaluating pitching? That may be the most absurd statement of the year so far. No wonder they have the worst ERA in baseball. I hope he took a few strokes off his golf game at least down there.

Dubee meant he goes by a pitcher’s track record. I think the competition for 5th starter was Charlie’s idea anyway. But ras_ brings up an interesting point: What is Dubee’s job if it isn’t evaluating and preparing the pitching staff for the regular season? I’m sure he got a killer tan, but what else did he accomplish in Spring Training? Maybe Todd can tell us.

Erichh1: When and how do you want him to learn teh players if he’s not with the team? If Ruiz was still on teh DL and we were looking for a starting catcher you’d have a point, but we’re looking for a guy to be the #2 catcher, playing perhaps once a week behind the plate. The way to learn is to be on the bench and listen to the other guys talking about each hitter.

FIJ, I was simply stating that the timing is bad. To do that now, with the pitchers struggling to find their form, would be a mistake. Marson is going to be on the team sometime this year. Right now, getting meaningful AT BATs in Triple-A is more important for his development than sitting on the bench, talking to Dubee about hitters tendencies. That’s why it’s a no-brainer why he’s still in the minors.

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