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Saturday, February 7, 2009

1 week until pitchers and catchers report

I figured I'd add my two cents on the current homepage of philadelphiaphillies.com in an attempt to move past the whole Kurt Warner fiasco. The team has posted that there is a hole to fill that is the 5th spot in their starting pitching rotation. Pictured (as obvious contenders) are Happ, Carrasco, Kendrick, and newly acquired Chan Ho Park. Amaro has stated that it is pretty much up to whomever has the best showing in spring training.

JA Happ: Probably my frontrunner for the job. While he doesn't have a very large pitch selection, he is a strikeout pitcher. Happ has faired well for the most part in his very few major league appearances, and could possibly sustain that "rookie" sparkle until Major League hitters have seen him enough. Having Happ as the 5th starter would most likely mean that Park could move into the bullpen, where he faired pretty well last season with the Dodgers.

Chan Ho Park: Park has much more experience as a starter, and his numbers in this role are better than his numbers as a reliever. Park's career WHIP is 1.398, and 2008 WHIP was 1.395. He made 49 appearances in 2008 as a reliever. These numbers suggest that no matter where you use Park, he will most likely allow runners to reach base at a higher rate than people would like. While frequently letting runners on, he does have around a 2:1 K:BB ratio. This could help him get out of trouble. Reports on Park state that he gained velocity last year as a reliever (should be obvious as he became a "sprinter"). Park's entering the bullpen could allow him to relieve Clay Condrey of his services. If this happens, I would like to think that Park's numbers would improve as he would be used in the mop up role, or in positions where the opposition isn't sending its strongest batters to the plate.

Kyle Kendrick: At this point in time, Kyle Kendrick is my last choice as the Phillies fifth starter. While he has had brief success at the Major League level, he only has two real pitches he can throw, and often relies on contact for outs. When it comes to pitchers, those that tend to be able to get outs themselves (high strikeout totals) tend to stick around much longer than those pitchers who rely on the defense behind them. People may argue that KK has accumulated his fair share of "Wins" over the last 2 seasons, but that is a complete garbage stat. Last season alone, of all the pitchers who threw at least 140 innings, Kendrick had the fifth best run support. That pretty much spells out the story. Send Kendrick back to the minors, and have him develop another pitch. He has been much appreciated for the time here, as no one really banked on him as the club's pitching savior. He was often a servicable pitcher, and it is not his fault he isn't as good as people think.

Carlos Carrasco: Don't know much about him, except that at the AA level last season he had a 4.32 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. It couldn't hurt to let him play at the AAA level a little before bringing him up, but if he does end up on the Phils, I'd be happy to see what he's got.

1. Happ
2. Park
3. Carrasco
4. Kendrick

1 comment:

Andy Musser said...

Agreed. I want to see Happ as a starter.