Results tagged ‘ Chan Ho Park ’

Myers Has Sore Shoulder

The Phillies certainly could have used Brett Myers this weekend at Turner Field.

But Myers never pitched, despite the fact the bullpen pitched 16 innings in the three-game series. In fact, Myers has not pitched since Sept. 12 against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Myers said Friday he had not thrown because Phillies starters had been going deep into games. But that no longer held true after J.A. Happ pitched three innings Friday, Pedro Martinez pitched three innings last night and Cliff Lee pitched four innings this afternoon.

Phillies general manger Ruben Amaro Jr. said following today’s 4-2 victory over the Braves that Myers has had soreness in the back of his right shoulder for more than a week. Myers will fly to Philadelphia on Tuesday to see team physician Michael Ciccotti to “see if there’s anything very serious about it.”

Myers, reached by telephone, said, “I don’t think it’s real serious. I have some stiffness and tightness and they want me to go get it checked out.”

The Phillies have just 14 games to play before the postseason, and with left-handers Scott Eyre (loose body in his left elbow), J.C. Romero (strained left forearm) and Jack Taschner (strained back) and right-hander Chan Ho Park (strained right hamstring) sidelined with injuries, this comes at a bad time. But Myers, who missed more than two months in 2007 with a strained right shoulder, sounded optimistic he would be pitching before the end of the regular season. He said he has thrown each of the previous four days and has felt better each time.

“I should be back,” he said.

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Park Is Hurt, Bullpen Is Hurting


park 0917.jpgChan Ho Park
said he felt a pop in his right hamstring last night at Citizens Bank Park, which does not sound good.

Park is 3-3 with a 4.43 ERA in 45 appearances, but those who have paid close attention know he has been much better than that since he moved to the bullpen in May. He is 2-2 with a 2.52 ERA in 38 relief appearances, and 2-2 with a 1.84 ERA in his last 34 relief appearances. He has been incredibly valuable, not only because he gets hitters out, but because he pitches multiple innings.

Park went on the DL with the Rangers on April 4, 2002 because of a right hamstring injury and did not return until May 12. The Phillies certainly hope Park’s current injury is less severe, especially because the bullpen is ailing with the postseason less than a month away.

They are without J.C. Romero and Scott Eyre, their top two lefthanders. Clay Condrey is coming back from an oblique injury that cost him a couple months, so it remains to be seen how effective he can be. Brad Lidge is still struggling. If Park is lost for an extended period of time, the Phillies will have some tough decisions to make next month when they put together their NLDS roster.

The Phillies carried 11 pitchers last year in the postseason: Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Jamie Moyer, Joe Blanton, Lidge, Romero, Ryan Madson, Chad Durbin, Condrey, Eyre and J.A. Happ. They carried two catchers, six infielders and six outfielders. But unlike last year there is not an obvious extra bench player to take like So Taguchi. Combine that with bullpen issues and the Phillies might take 12 pitchers.

Cliff Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Pedro Martinez, Happ, Lidge, Madson, Myers and Tyler Walker should be on the roster, if they are healthy. That would leave three spots for a group that includes Condrey, Durbin, Eyre, Moyer, Park, Romero and Jack Taschner.

The Phillies have 18 games to play before they need to put together a postseason roster, so there is time for these things to settle. But losing Park for more than 18 days would be a blow to a bullpen that needs him.

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Happ Making His Case

happ 0720.jpgThe numbers are impressive.

J.A. Happ is 7-0 with a 2.68 ERA after he threw seven scoreless innings yesterday against the Marlins at Landshark Stadium. He is 5-0 with a 2.74 ERA in 11 starts since he replaced Chan Ho Park in the rotation.

Happ leads National League rookies in wins, ERA and opponents average (.222). He is second in innings (94). He is third in strikeouts (65). He is the only rookie to throw a shutout this season.

He is a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate.

Atlanta’s Tommy Hanson (4-0, 2.85 ERA), Milwaukee’s Casey McGehee (.321, six homers, 27 RBIs), St. Louis’ Colby Rasmus (.270, 11, 34), Colorado’s Seth Smith (.305, 8, 25) and Los Angeles’ Ramon Troncoso (4-0, 1.70 ERA, nine holds) are a few rookies who can make claims for Rookie of the Year.

But Happ … he filled a huge void in the rotation for the defending World Series champions. His ERA is fourth best amongst all pitchers in the National League. Only Dan Haren (1.96 ERA), Tim Lincecum (2.27 ERA) and Matt Cain (2.32 ERA) are better. His opponents average is fifth best amongst all pitchers in the National League. Only Haren (.187), Clayton Kershaw (.193), Yovani Gallardo (.208) and Lincecum (.214) are better.

Of course, what makes Happ’s Rookie of the Year candidacy more interesting is that he could be included in a trade for Roy Halladay. If the Blue Jays insist on a young, Major League-ready starter — a starter they can control for the next several years — Happ is the guy.

The Phillies could use a guy like Happ in their rotation for the next several years.

The problem is they could use Halladay this year.

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Good Baseball Against Good Teams

rollins 0614.jpgJimmy Rollins said he looked forward to a double. Actually, he looked forward to any ball that would hit grass first instead of leather.

He got more than that.

He hit a solo home run to right field in the seventh inning in today’s 11-6 victory over the Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park. The homer snapped a 0-for-16 slump. But more important, it gave the Phillies the lead against Josh Beckett.

“It was a good win,” Rollins said. “We got a game back on the Mets, which was the most important thing. … It was very fun. You always look forward to these games. Really, since we’ve left every series has been pretty fun. I guess you have the exception of San Diego. They weren’t playing that well, although they were playing well at home. But Los Angeles, New York, Boston. We were playing teams that are expected to be in the running down the stretch. It’s not easy, but you definitely look forward to playing those games.”

Rollins is right about that. Cole Hamels shutuout the Dogers on June 4 at Dodger Stadium, and almost every game has been nip and tuck since. The Phillies had ninth-inning leads June 5 and 6 against the Dodgers, but Brad Lidge blew a pair of saves. The Phillies pounded Randy Wolf in a 7-2 victory June 7. They hit four homers against Johan Santana in a 6-5 loss Tuesday. Chase Utley hit a game-winning homer in the 11th inning against the Mets on Wednesday. Raul Ibanez hit a game-winning three-run homer in the 10th inning against the Mets on Thursday. They lost in 13 innings to the Red Sox on Friday. Last night’s game was an 11-6 loss, but they came back to win today.

The Phillies are 5-5 in that stretch. They could be 7-3, if Lidge saves both those games or one of them and Greg Dobbs‘ foul ball Friday is ruled fair.

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It looked bleak for the Phillies bullpen after J.A. Happ threw 55 pitches in just two innings. The Phillies had thrown 24 innings the previous four nights, and Charlie Manuel said he had just Chan Ho ParkRyan Madson and Tyler Walker available.

But Happ squeezed in 5 2/3 innings, Park threw 2 1/3 innings and Madson pitched an inning. The bullpen gets a much needed rest tomorrow.

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Ibanez had started 222 consecutive games until today.

He has been bothered the past few days with some soreness in his left Achilles area because of some ill-fitting shoes, so Manuel rested him. He said the shoes have been fixed and he is fine. He also said after a long week, which included three consecutive extra-inning games and a game Saturday that ended after midnight, Ibanez just got today off.

“It’s nothing at all,” he siad.

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A Bunch of Tired Arms

durbin.jpgI think the Phillies are owed about a 2 hour, 30 minute game Sunday.

They also wouldn’t mind J.A. Happ pitching about, oh, nine innings in the series finale against the Red Sox. Antonio Bastardo lasted just one inning tonight (make that last night) in an 11-6 loss because of a 1 hour, 35 minute rain delay. That meant another long day for the Phillies bullpen.

The bullpen already threw 16 innings Wednesday through Friday as the Phillies played three consecutive extra innings games for the first time since June 4-6, 2000. They threw another eight innings tonight.

That is 24 innings for the bullpen in the last four games.

That is a ridiculous amount of work. So much so that I would expect the Phillies to make another roster move before tomorrow’s game.

The bullpen has pitched well this season, but they certainly need a break. (They at least have a day off Monday.) They entered last night ranked fifth in the National League with a 3.48 ERA. But they also ranked fifth in the league with 201 2/3 innings pitched.

The Phillies played just 58 games to get those 201 2/3 innings. The teams ranked ahead of them had played more games: the Marlins (219 2/3 innings in 63 games), Dodgers (211 1/3 innings in 61 innings), Astros (208 2/3 innings in 59 games) and Padres (204 2/3 innings in 59 games).

Three Phillies relievers also ranked in the top 10 in the league in innings pitched:

- Right-hander Clay Condrey, who is 4-1 with a 2.14 ERA, ranked sixth at 32 2/3 innings. He pitched a scoreless eighth inning last night, despite the fact Charlie Manuel said he wanted to stay away from him because he recently has had an issue with his back. Condrey told me after the game “it’s just a tick” and nothing to be alarmed about. (Manuel also said right-hander Chan Ho Park is tender, which explains why he did not pitch.)

- Right-hander Chad Durbin ranked seventh at 32 innings. He threw three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, taking over for Bastardo in the second. Durbin lowered his ERA from 4.22 to 3.86. He deserved a medal last night. He got a sore arm instead.

- Right-hander Ryan Madson, who is the closer while Brad Lidge is on the disabled list, ranks tied for eighth at 31 1/3 innings. He did not pitch. They’re hoping they need him tomorrow.

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Road Trippin'

phils 052409.jpgThe Phillies went 8-2 on their just completed trip through Washington, Cincinnati and New York. That’s their first 8-2 trip since Sept. 2007, when they handled the Mets, Cardinals and Nationals on their way to winning the National League East for the first time since 1993.

Some interesting numbers/things/events during the trip:

  • They kicked things off at the White House on May 15.
  • Brad Lidge had three saves and three blown saves.
  • Rookies Sergio Escalona and Andrew Carpenter picked up wins in Washington.
  • Rookie John Mayberry got his first big-league hit, a three-run home run at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.
  • Chan Ho Park got bumped to the bullpen. J.A. Happ took his place and allowed two runs in six innings Saturday against the Yankees.
  • The Phillies were tied for second in the majors with the Twins with 65 runs scored in that span (May 15-24). Only the Blue Jays (74) scored more.
  • They hit .288 with 18 home runs, 62 RBIs, a .363 on-base percentage and a .510 slugging percentage. They stole 12 bases and got caught just twice.
  • They had a 4.63 ERA, which ranked 24th in baseball.
  • Raul Ibanez scored 11 runs, which tied for second in baseball in that span. Jimmy Rollins scored 10, which tied for fifth.
  • Ibanez led the majors with seven homers and 17 RBIs.

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Phillies starters have a 6.03 ERA, which is the worst mark in baseball. Lidge has a 9.15 ERA, which is the second-worst ERA in baseball for a relief pitcher. Only Cincinnati’s Mike Lincoln (9.19 ERA) is higher.

But yet the Phillies are six games over .500 to the lead the NL East and have the fourth-best record in the National League. Explain that one.

OK. They’re averaging 5.69 runs per game, which is the second-best mark in baseball. Only the Rays (5.72 runs per game) have been better. They also have committed just 13 errors, which is the fewest in baseball. That’s four fewer than any other team in baseball and 22 fewer errors than the Mets. The Phillies are hitting and playing great defense. If you’re a Phillies fan, you have to like your chances if the rotation can pitch more consistently (they looked good this weekend against the Yankees) and Lidge figures out a few things.

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J-Rollin?

rollins 0517.jpgIt’s too early to declare Jimmy Rollins back on track, but the last five games certainly have been encouraging.

Rollins is hitting .363 (8-for-22) with a double, triple and three RBIs during the Phillies’ five-game winning streak.

“When he goes, we go,” Ryan Howard said. “I don’t think anybody was worried about what was going on. He got off to a slow start, but that’s why you play 162 games. All that matters is where you are at the end. If he’s hot at the end of the season and we’re hot at the end of the season, nobody will even remember the slow start. You knew at some point he was going to come back and putting it together. We’re used to it. It’s J-Roll being J-Roll.”

Said Charlie Manuel: “Jimmy Rollins is the kind of guy where he loves to play baseball. He’s got a little what I call slick on him. But his is in a real good way, and his personality corresponds to us winning.”

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Manuel and Rich Dubee certainly had to make the move to replace Chan Ho Park in the rotation with J.A. Happ. But even if Happ pitches well, the Phillies still have to hope Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton straighten out soon.

Moyer pitches tonight.

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Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park and Washington’s Nationals Park are probably the two most underwhelming new ballparks in baseball, in my opinion. There just isn’t anything spectacular about them. While I wasn’t impressed with Citi Field, it has a little more character than these two.

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The WWE had an event across the street from the ballpark last night. Rowdy Roddy Piper remains my favorite. Piper’s Pit rocked.

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Park Is Out, Happ Is In

park.jpgThe Phillies have moved Chan Ho Park out of the rotation and have replaced him with J.A. Happ.

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.”

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Limited Options

park 2.jpgThe Phillies find themselves in first place in the National League East despite the worst starting pitching in baseball.

Can it continue?

“We’re not going to get very far unless they all step up and pitch the way we think they can pitch,” Phils general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Monday. “It’s something we monitor every day. We haven’t made any decisions as far as changes are concerned. But, of course, when they’re not performing at their normal levels, it is cause for some concern.”

The Phils enter tonight’s game against the Reds at Great American Ball Park with a 6.35 starter’s ERA, which is the highest in baseball.

Right-hander Joe Blanton has a 6.86 ERA, which is the sixth-highest ERA in the Majors. If left-hander Jamie Moyer had enough innings to qualify for the ERA rankings, he would have the highest ERA in the game at 8.15. If right-hander Chan Ho Park had enough innings to qualify with Moyer, he would have the sixth highest ERA at 7.08.

I bring this up (again) only because I’ve been getting plenty of questions about what the Phillies can do to improve the rotation.

And, well, what can they do?

Not much.

“We have to keep our minds open with what ways we can improve our club,” Amaro said. “But at this time, the options that we have internally are not necessarily better options than what we have going right now. If we feel differently, then we’ll make changes, but right now that’s not the case.”

Moyer and Blanton aren’t going anywhere, which means the Phillies have just one option at the moment: replace Park with J.A. Happ. I would not be surprised if Park gets bumped to the bullpen this week after he lasted just 1 1/3 innings Sunday against the Nationals.

“He’s pitched very well out of the bullpen, and we’ve needed him,” Amaro said of Happ. “He’s been effective back there. He’s helped us there. He’s been helping us win games there. The question is whether or not we’re better off having him do his job as well as he has done in the bullpen, or whether we end up weakening our bullpen and adding what may be a question mark in our rotation. Do you weaken two areas just to see? Those are the things you have to factor in.”

In short, the Phillies have to hope Cole Hamels and Brett Myers continue to pitch well, and Moyer and Blanton start pitching better because other than Park, they have what they have.

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Signing catcher Paul Bako to a Minor League deal doesn’t seem like much, but I don’t think it’s completely insignificant either. The Phillies already have Lou Marson and Paul Hoover in the system, so they are not hurting for depth should Carlos Ruiz or Chris Coste get hurt. But I’m thinking Bako not only provides the Phillies a little more depth, but he pushes Coste a little, too.

Of course, Coste is accustomed to that. He always seems to be behind the eight-ball with the Phillies. He had a great Spring Training in 2006, but he didn’t make the Opening Day roster. He eventually joined the team and hit .328 that season, but the Phillies signed Rod Barajas before 2007. Coste experienced no drama in 2008, but struggled offensively late in the season. He was hitting .182 on May 2 this season, but is hitting .455 (5 for 11) in his last four games to boost his average to .236.

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How about that Ryan Church? Doh!

Feeling Good Again

escalona.jpgSo I leave the Phillies for the weekend and what happens They complete a four-game sweep of the Nationals.

Maybe I should stay away more often. (That’s a rhetorical question … or something. Don’t answer that.)

Raul Ibanez hit .500 (9 for 18) with three homers and nine RBIs in the series. Pedro Feliz hit .500 (7 for 14) with two doubles and two RBIs. Chase Utley hit .444 (4 for 9) with two RBIs and five walks. Jimmy Rollins hit .389 (7 for 18) with a triple, two RBIs and three walks. Jayson Werth hit .333 (5 for 15) with a homer and three RBIs. Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino each hit .294 (5 for 17), with Howard adding two homers and five RBIs.

Yeah, pretty much everybody hit.

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Andrew Carpenter, Sergio Escalona, J.A. Happ and Brett Myers picked up wins in the series, which I’m sure most people would have predicted. Brad Lidge picked up saves Saturday and Sunday after blowing a save Friday. Clay Condrey picked up a save Saturday.

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Is Chan Ho Park‘s spot in the rotation in jeopardy again after Sunday’s poor showing?

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There is only one restaurant in the Green Bay airport, and that is before security. But there is one Cheese Shop, which has an assortment of cheese curds. I’m OK with this.

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