Park's Preference: Starter or Reliever?
But what does Park want?
“I want to be a starter again,” Park said in The Korea Times earlier this month. “Being a starter is more attractive for me, because I can take over a whole game.”
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday that Park is a reliever as far as he has been told from Park’s agency.
“His preference is to go to a winning ball club,” said Park’s agent, Jeff Borris. “There are some clubs that are interested in Chan Ho as a starter. There are some clubs that are interested in Chan Ho solely as a reliever, which would be the Philies. There are some clubs that see him as somebody with some swingman attributes, where he could perform in both roles. We’re really not shutting the door on any possibilities right now.”
Park talked extensively during spring training about how much he valued starting because his fellow Koreans could watch him pitch. Obviously, watching him is much more difficult when he is a relief pitcher.
But he also was much more successful as a relief pitcher in 2009. He beat J.A. Happ for the final spot in the rotation in spring training, but went 1-1 with a 7.29 ERA in seven starts before the Phillies moved him to the bullpen. Park went 2-2 with a 2.52 ERA in 38 relief appearances.
“I’ve been pleased with the response that we’re getting on him,” Borris said.