Here are two differing views of whether Chan Ho Park is best suited to the bullpen.
Charlie Manuel: "I look at Chan Ho Park, where he is in his career…I think his stuff can play up better for two or three innings than it can over the course of six or seven. I think he can do an excellent job if he accepts that role and fits in it."
Park: “I don't like to be in the bullpen because you've got to prepare every day and pitch back to back to back. It feels different from being a starter. Mentally it's kind of tough to be prepared every day."
I appreciated Park’s honesty, though those quotes will probably not look flattering to him on paper. But the was speaking just minutes after losing the job that he was elated to win about six weeks ago, and he was honest about his feelings. Like the elation of Sergio Escalona on Sunday, it was another reminder of why sports are so raw and compelling.
The obvious question now is: Will Park commit himself to this job, as J.A. Happ did at the end of March? His ability to do so will, of course, determine whether or not he succeeds. If he decides he wants to be a good reliever, he can be a tremendous asset to the team for the rest of the season.
Park’s performance on Sunday made this decision an easy one for the Phils, and the time was right to for this to happen, while Happ was still somewhat stretched out (Manuel and Dubee estimated that Happ could throw 65-80 pitches against the Yankees on Saturday, and after that would be fully in shape to start). So that’s that, for now.