Park Set For Biggest Audition Vs. Astros

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, March 30, 2009 12:00 PM | Comments: 41
Posts, Spring Gameday

astros.gifThe Phillies open the final stretch of Clearwater business with a home game against the Astros. After today there are three games remaining in Florida.

Chan Ho Park gets likely his final chance to prove worthy in the Fight For Fifth. He’s performed very well this spring, but the race with JA Happ has been practically neck and neck. Today’s lineup: Rollins (SS) / Utley (2B) / Werth (RF) / Howard (1B) / Ibanez (LF) / Victorino (CF) / Bruntlett (3B) / Ruiz (C) / Park (SP).

I’ll talk about the game on Twitter. Follow here, too, if you’d like.

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About Tim Malcolm

Tim Malcolm has written 1948 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 Jim

    Its my opinion that if park pitches just average today and the race remains practially tied, that we should go with happ over park.

    first, because happ has way more potential than park, and because park would be a solid veteran force in the bullpen

  • Posts: 0 Evan

    I’m with Jim. Happ should get the spot only because Park is the better guy for the pen. I’m still rooting for Park to get it even though I think Happ is the better choice. When he broke down in tears about missing the WBC it showed how bad he wants it.

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    If Park has a decent outing today, you have to give him the 5th spot. His stats are better than Happ’s this ST, and we all know how badly he wants it, which will only reenforce his work ethic. I have a feeling we’re going to need both of them in the rotation as the season wears on, Happ probably will be called up before too long.

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    If one were to go with Tim’s assessment that “the race with JA Happ (vs Park) has been practically neck and neck”, I choose MLB experience over youth. There are fewer starts for the 5th spot in rotation during the season therefore the Phillies would greatly benefit by having Park available in both roles as starter and reliever. I think it would do more harm than good to put Happ in a pressurized role as reliever when he does not have the ability or mindset to be one. Allow Happ to continue improvements as starter in AAA Lehigh Valley and be available for call up when needed.

  • Posts: 1650 Tim Malcolm

    Avatar of Tim Malcolm

    I’ve been siding with Park the whole time. Happ has experience (his starts last September were HUGE), but Park has much, much more. Plus Park has outstanding numbers this spring. Those K/BB splits are ridiculous. Ride the hot arm.

    Then again, Park’s splits indicate he could be perfect in the Durbin role (swing man). Either way, if Park starts, Happ better stay in AAA. Give Majewski or Taschner the final spot.

  • Posts: 0 Justin

    i agree with Georgie and Bruce. Park deserves the job for how he’s pitched, he’s pitched with purpose this spring training and deserves the shot to start the season as the #5 starter, if it doesn’t pan out who cares he goes to the pen someone gets sent to AAA and Happ’s recalled so either way if you start the season with Park #5 and Happ waiting in the wings its easier to recall Happ than send him down after he gets destroyed the first month of the season.

  • Posts: 0 Justin

    One last note i don’t know if we know this yet but does Tashner have any options left? I’m not sure of his status if we’d have to put him through waivers or if he has any options left.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Park is one of three pitchers in the Phillies camp with a WHIP under 1.00 … the others?

    Chad Durbin.. and Joe Blanton, who could have a HUGE year this season..

    How does Twitter work, and why should we read that, instead of you, Tim, posting updates on here?

  • Posts: 1650 Tim Malcolm

    Avatar of Tim Malcolm

    Twitter allows me to post candid, quick updates on things that I normally wouldn’t write on the blog.

    Essentially it’s the same thing, but it’s a little quicker and a little more informal.

  • Posts: 0 Don M


  • Posts: 0 Kev

    Haha, “word”

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Phils losing 2-1 in the 2nd inning. Park: 3 H, 2 R (1ER), 1 walk, 3 Ks

    Utley has a fielding error (WHAT?!)

    J-Roll hit a homer in his first AB

  • Posts: 0 reddeath

    bruntlett brought his bat to spring training. just hit a two run shot off hampton.

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    Oh man, that line on Cole made my hands sweat.

  • Posts: 0 PhillyGirlinMichigan

    Bruntlett is showing he plans on staying around for a while! Good for him.

  • Posts: 0 Justin

    Park is rackin them up 6 ks in 4 innings.

  • Posts: 0 Fire

    ok, i’m officially on the Ibanez bandwagon. Dude just scored from second on a single. Tell me how many times Burrell did that?

    Also, Park needs to start for the Phils. Send Happ to AAA where we can be the ace of the ironpigs until someone falters. Park has been pitching lights out this spring and there’s no reason to stow him in the pen.

    Here’s the rotation/pen as I see it:


    Taschner (can’t see this lasting)

  • Posts: 0 CT

    Bruntlett has been an offensive bearded beast this spring. i think the bigger his beard gets, the better he plays.

  • Posts: 0 Kevin

    I’m starting to think we need to have Bruntlett seeing ABs regularly… he gets zoned in when he sees pitches everyday.

    what are the chances of seeing Bruntlett at 3rd for a few starts in April? possibly splitting time with Feliz if his bat stays hot…

  • Posts: 0 CT

    i think it’s very possible that they do a platoon of feliz/dobbs/bruntlett at 3rd. and possibly letting bruntlett start at 2nd once in a while if utley needs a break.

  • Posts: 0 Justin

    it’s hard because Feliz is a better defensive player and they’re both right handed. Bruntlett also has to fight with Dobbs if he wants PT at 3rd.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck P

    Has anyone looked at Taschner’s splits?? Oddly, he actually has better numbers against RH batters. His clutch numbers are pretty good, too (RISP, within 1-2 runs)… he is definitely a fly ball and line drive pitcher… that’s about all I gather from the stats.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck P

    I apologize for bad mouthing Bruntlett… he has really improved his bat. It’s only spring but it looks like he worked really hard… I’m sure that he saw the opportunity to showcase his talent (thinking that Utley and Feliz would be on the mend early) and worked to make sure that he made the most of it.

  • Posts: 0 Marps

    howard is only an error away from the howard!

  • Posts: 0 Chuck P

    Howard is mashing this spring…

  • Posts: 0 CT

    About Taschner, from Phillies.com:

    Left-handers hit just .187 against him through Aug. 10 last season, but hit an incredible .517 against him the remainder of the season.

    So yeah, he WAS really effective against lefties for a while but he hit a tough streak late last season. if he can pitch as well early this season as he did early last season, then we should be good to go until JC gets back.

  • Posts: 0 Fire

    Park’s final line? 5.1 ip / 6 h / 2 r / 1 er / 1 bb / 7 k.

    Say hello to your fifth starter.

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    Fire, I agree, I think he pretty much sealed the deal today.

  • Posts: 0 CT

    Park’s a strikeout machine. even if he doesn’t get the 5th starter job, he’d be a great weapon out of the pen. either way, great pickup for the team.

  • Posts: 0 Kevin

    one more note about Bruntlett…

    Charlie Manuel said that Feliz was behind on his ABs this Spring and would like to see his starters at around 60 – 70 ABs when the season starts.

    Wouldn’t it be wise to start Feliz this game, to get his ABs? Unless Manuel is going to sit him when the season starts… and wait for Bruntlett to cool down.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck P

    I agree, Fire. I mean, if you tell him that you’re going to give him a chance to earn the fifth spot and he performs the way that he has, how can you not give him the ball? It’s reasonable to assume that Happ will find his way back up here by the end of the year… it sucks to use up his last option year but he’s 27 y/o so hopefully those options won’t matter. I like Happ a lot. I just think that Park is going to give us more in the early going.

    What’s up with Hamels? Is he going to be ready when his turn rolls around?

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I think Bruntlett will get a lot of playing time in the first two weeks of the season.. There are a couple of off-days, but there are also a bunch of day games.

    Not really sure we want Feliz and Utley playing Night-Day back to back in the first two weeks of the season.

    This coaching staff knows what they’re doing though and they know its more important to have your players healthy for the stretch then to start hot in April

    MLB.com shows Park done for the day:
    5.2 IP, 6 Hits, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO, 0 HR, 2.53 ERA

    Durbin came in and gave up a HR, nobody on base with 2 outs (guessing Park was on a pitch-count since he cleary wasn’t in trouble with nobody on base).. Durbin got the next batter to fly-out.

    When does Happ throw again, will Park throw Saturday?

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    I know Chuck, 10 hits and 3 runs for Cole in 4 innings, should we be getting nervous?

  • Posts: 0 Manny


  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Cole Hamels line today.. from David Murphy blog:

    As for actual news, here is Cole Hamels’ line from his minor league appearance today: Hamels in Minor Lg game: 4 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 64 pitches, 44 strikes.

    I didn’t watch it. Paul Hagen was there. He’ll have a complete report when he returns.

  • Posts: 0 CT

    Durbin’s given up a couple long balls these past few games. anyone else think he might not be all that ready yet? he has less than 6 innings so far this ST.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    This is where the guys like Clay Condrey and Gary Majewski come in big.. the early games in the season, before your starters are ready to give you 7 innings.

    Condrey has a 1.93 ERA… 9.1 IP in 8 games.

    Majewski has a 3.00 ERA… 12 IP in 7 games.

    Guys that can come in a throw for a while, instead of just a batter or two.. Also, those two both have a lot more Ground Ball Outs, than Fly Ball Outs. which is a big stat for any reliever, but especially in our ballpark

  • Posts: 0 Jon

    Chuck P, great point. The Phils did tell Park he had a shot at the 5th spot and he’s earned it. My question is is anyone else excited about this dilemma? I mean it’s not like we have to send Happ down because he was bad this spring. It’s just we have 6 guys now that I feel comfortable with being in our rotation, when at the end of last year I wasn’t sure if we were going to have 4. Unfortunately Happ was on the back end but he’ll get his chance. We now have a great insurance policy in Happ. Also the back end starters know they need to perform well or they could get replaced mid-season.

    PS Howard is swinging the bat. .297 with 9 dingers and 21 RBI’s in only 64 AB’s this spring. I know all his AB’s weren’t against top-notch competition but those numbers are absurd

  • Posts: 0 Chuck P

    It’s a great problem to have… you can’t have enough pitchers. Looking back, it’s amazing that we were able to grind it out last year with what we had (only starting 7 pitchers all season). Thankfully, we had no injuries, however, we lost our #2 starter while he “found himself” in AAA, our 4/5 starters both battled inconsistency all season and there was never any crossover. The deal for Blanton really saved us.

  • Posts: 0 PhillyGirlinMichigan

    Durbin has only allowed two hits all spring – just happen to be two homers.

  • Posts: 0 Justin

    Rotation is set, specially after the bad showing Happ had in a minor league game yesterday. Hamels/Myers/Moyer/Blanton/Park, or Hamels/Myers/Blanton/Moyer/Park i don’t know how they plan on breaking up the 2 lefties.

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