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Park to Pen; Minor League Transaction; Other Notes

23 Feb 2001: Paul Bako #9 of the Atlanta Braves poses for a studio portrait during Spring Training at Disney Wide World of Sports in Kissimmee, Florida.Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons  /Allsport
Rupert PupkinCorrespondent IMay 19, 2009

CINCINNATI– According to General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., Chan Ho Park has been moved to the bullpen effective immediately. After going just 1 1/3 innings on Sunday, Park has been demoted to the role he has held through much of his career– long relief.

Park didn’t say much, but did offer this to reporters: “I’m disappointed I lost the job, but I got a new job now.”

J.A. Happ will take Park’s spot in the baseball’s worst rotation (seriously, it’s statistically the worst in baseball) starting Saturday at new Yankee Stadium.

More coming…

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The Phillies made a minor league addition Monday, signing catcher Paul Bako. Bako, a veteran of ten different Major League teams over eleven seasons, is a career .231 hitter.  He was last with the Cubs during spring training, but was released March 30. And no, he’s not going to be the needed right-handed bat, he bats from the left side.

The signing seems a little puzzling, is it just a step toward having a plethora of young catching talent– maybe, but if you read into it a little further, you can’t help but wonder if he may see some time with the big club.

When Carlos Ruiz got hurt in April, catching prospect Lou Marson was called up to try to help backup Chris Coste fill the hole Ruiz left.  Marson looks promising, but wasn’t all that impressive.  Besides, he needs to be spending his time catching every day and hitting every day, not sitting on a big league bench.  Bako has proved over his career that he is capable of filling the big league backup catcher’s role. Sure, he’s a bad hitter, but is good for an occasional start and has decent skills behind the dish.

Managers tend to be hesitant to use the backup catcher as a pinch-hitter because the catcher position requires uncommon skills.  Could the Phillies be thinking of adding Bako, when ready, to the big league roster as the backup catcher, thus freeing up Chris Coste to come off the bench as the necessary right handed bat?

It could certainly be a possibility.

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Other Notes:

  • Charlie Manuel will use the same lineup that he used in Washington over the weekend, with Ibanez batting third, Utley second, and Werth fifth.  Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  • Manuel also announced that Matt Stairs will not DH against Andy Petite or C.C. Sabathia in New York this weekend.  He said calling up a right-handed bat would be an option.
  • J.C. Romero surrendered a run on two hits in an inning of work in his first appearance with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.  He also struck out two.
  • The Phillies made a few shuffles in the rotation to set up for this weekend’s series in New York– They pushed Jamie Moyer’s start to Wednesday, which lines him up for a favorable match-up with Florida, who he has had success against, on Monday. Cole Hamels, who pitches tomorrow, is on schedule to meet C.C. Sabathia Sunday.

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