Park Is Out, Happ Is In
Happ will start Saturday against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Park will be available in the bullpen beginning Wednesday against the Reds.
“I’m disappointed,” Park said. “I lost the job as a starter, which is what I wanted. I don’t make the decision, but I lost the job. I’ve got a new job. I have to figure out how to prepare to be good with the new job in the bullpen. I have good memories of the bullpen last year. I know it’s not easy, that’s why I don’t like being in the bullpen. But the team expects more from me out of the bullpen. I have to do my best.”
Park was 1-1 with a 7.08 ERA in eight appearances (seven starts). He had a 7.29 ERA in those seven starts, and pitched just 1 1/3 innings Sunday against the Nationals. Meanwhile, Happ went 2-0 with a 2.49 ERA in 12 appearances in the bullpen.
“Obviously, I had a little pressure,” Park said. “I felt like I was pitching like it was Spring Training, you guys asking me all the time, ‘Are you going to still have a job or not?’ I put pressure on myself. It’s too bad I couldn’t enjoy that I made it after Spring Training. But I had a good time. I appreciated they gave me an opportunity. Who knows in the future? But today I heard I’m going in the bullpen.”
Happ won the right to start as much as Park lost it. If Happ had moped in the bullpen because he lost the job to Park in Spring Training and pitched poorly, maybe the Phillies stick with Park a little longer? Who knows?
“For me, in reality, that’s kind of the only choice I have,” Happ said. “Otherwise, maybe I would never get back up or bad things can happen. I try to stay positive. Hopefully I can go out there Saturday and give us some quality innings.
“It’s an opportunity. I’ll try to take advantage of it. Other than that, it’s a job. I’ll try to do well, obviously.”