A Happ[ening] Phillies Report: Park, Happ, and the Farm

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A Happ[ening] Phillies Report: Park, Happ, and the Farm
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

This is probably old news by now but... if you have not heard by now, the Philadelphia Phillies have removed Chan Ho Park from the rotation in favor of J.A. Happ.

I usually like to stay away from puns in the title, but this pun says it all. The Phillies have finally removed veteran Chan Ho Park from the fifth starting rotation spot and have put rookie J.A. Happ in his spot.

So in my triumphant return to the Report, I bring you my report on the Phillies. I apologize for the puns in title and in this article. I just could not help myself.


What is HAPP[ening] with Chan Ho Park and the rest of the rotation?

What sealed Park's fate?

It could of been that Park was thinking that he had the luxury of a few bad starts. Maybe it was the fact the he could not get out of the second against the lowly Nationals.

To quote PTI host Michael Wilbon: "Anyone can beat the Nats..." and combine that with my own words, "yeah... except Chan Ho Park!" Even John Russell's Pirates can beat the Nationals.

I will give credit to the Nationals. Everyone thinks that they are a bad team. No, they are not a bad team; they are a team with no direction from the upper echelons of their ownership, management, etc.

In his last start, Park barely managed to get out of the first let alone the second. Park pitched an inning and a third (1.1 IP) with just under 80 pitches thrown.

Park's line from April:

0-0, 7.16 ERA in fourGames (three started), 16.1 IP, 20 H, 13 R (all earned), 10 K, 5 BB

Line from May:

1-1, 7.00 ERA in four Games (all starts), 18 IP, 21 H, 14 R (all earned), 12 BB, 11 K

Totals:

1-1, 7.08 ERA in eight total appearences (seven starts), 34.1 IP, 41 H, 27 R (all earned), 21 K, 17 BB.

Park in seven starts this season has an ERA of 7.29 and has struggled to make it to fifth inning four times out of his seven starts. Meanwhile, Happ in 12 relief appearances is 2-0 with an ERA of 2.49, allowing just six earned runs in just 21.1 innings pitched.

In a blog for MLB.com by former Philadelphia Inquirer Phillies writer and columnist, Todd Zolecki: Park is quoted as saying,

"Obviously, I had a little pressure. 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."

But the fact for Park was, it Just Ain't Happening. Yes, that was a pun based off of J.A. Happ.

Does Happ's entrance into the rotation mark a change for the Phillies rotation? Coming into Tuesday's game against Cincinnati, the Phillies had the fourth highest staff ERA in the Majors with an ERA of 5.23.

I hope Happ does well in his first start of 2009, but I believe he will be held on a short "leash".


250 will have to wait...

Jamie Moyer pitched a quality outing in true "Moyer fashion" this past Wednesday (5/20) only giving up three runs. The Phillies could not muster enough run support for "Doc" Moyer and lost 5-1 to Reds ace, Aaron Harang.

Moyer surrendered three runs, all earned, in six innings of solid, quality work. He kept the game close while striking out two and walking one lone batter.

I guess win number 250 will have to wait until Monday when the Phillies return home to face the scuffling Marlins. 250 wins is certainly no small accomplishment in today's day-in-age of baseball. Players just are not playing that long anymore.


New York, New York

The Phillies start their first interleague matchup this Memorial Day Weekend against the Bronx Bombers, the New York Yankees. The Phillies will be facing the heart of the Yankees rotation.

Your projected starters for Friday, May 22 2009:

Brett Myers (3-2) vs. AJ Burnett (2-1)

Your projected starters for Saturday, May 23 2009:

J.A. Happ (2-0) vs. Andy Pettitte (4-1)

Your projected starters for Sunday, May 24 2009:

Cole Hamels (2-2) vs. C.C. Sabathia (4-3)

The Phillies will look to keep up their momentum while on the road after sweeping Washington and taking two of three from Cincinnati. The Phillies may be looking to bring up a right-handed bat, so my guess is that rookie reliever Sergio Escalona draws the short straw and gets sent down to Lehigh Valley or Reading.

The Phillies in turn will bring up either Miguel Cairo, Pablo Ozuna, or maybe even John Mayberry. Your guess is as good as mine.


Farm Report

Here is a look at several prospects at every level of the Phillies farm system with some thoughts about some of the players 2009 seasons.

Triple-A Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs

Kyle Kendrick: 2-3, 4.17 ERA, 8 G, 8 GS, 41.0 IP, 18 BB, 28 SO.

My thoughts: I still like Kyle. From what I've noticed and heard about Kyle, is that he has been throwing his breaking ball and off-speed pitches roughly 30 to 40 percent each outing. Throwing more of the breaking and off-speed pitches will help Kyle develop confidence to throw them. Look for Kyle to be back in the Show for the homestretch in August and September

Carlos Carrasco:0-5, 6.37 ERA, 8 G, 8 GS, 41.1 IP, 11 BB, 44 SO

My thoughts: Youth is not everything. Give him a few more years at triple-A, like the traditional Phillies prospect way.

John Mayberry Jr.: 36 G, .278 BA, 133 AB, 33 H, 8 HR, 25 RBI

Jason Donald: 38 G, .242 BA, 157 AB, 38 H, 14 RBI

Double-A Reading Phillies

Antonio Bastardo: 2-2, 1.83 ERA, 9 G, 5 GS, 34.1 IP, 7 BB, 39 SO

My thoughts: this kid can do it all. He can start, he can relieve, he can even close if you need him to. But I would like to see him get a full year at triple-A first before we start talking about the Show.

Vance Worley: 3-1, 3.14 ERA, 7 G, 7 GS, 43.1 IP, 9 BB, 37 SO

Quintin Berry: 32 G, .269 BA, 119 AB, 32 H, 6 RBI

Michael Taylor: 32 G, .308 BA, 104 AB, 32 H, 6 HR, 23 RBI

Single-A Lakewood and Clearwater

Dominic Brown(Clearwater, ADV-A): 34 G, .328 BA, 125 AB, 41 H, 6 HR, 29 RBI

My thoughts: I like what I'm seeing from this kid. If he continues to put up these kinds of numbers he will find himself at Reading real fast. He will be a decent if not good outfielder in a few years.

Zachary Collier (Lakewood, A): 34 G, .254 BA, 122 AB, 31 H, 7 RBI, 10 SB

Jason Knapp(Lakewood, A): 2-3, 8 G, 8 GS, 3.38 ERA, 72.0 IP, 27 BB, 96 BB

Kyle Drabek(Clearwater, ADV-A): 3-0, 8 G, 7 GS, 2.53 ERA, 46.2 IP, 15 BB, 58 SO

My thoughts: a first round pick of the Phillies from 2006 who has recovered from what I will call a successful Tommy John surgery. He is doing well at Clearwater, look for him to be at Double-A Reading by the middle of the season.

Last but not least: the J.C. Romero watch:

Only 12 more days (June 2) until reliever J.C. Romero returns from his 50 game suspension for testing positive of a banned substance. It might be that Taschner will draw the short straw if Escalona is already sent down.

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