Phillies Sign Moyer, Park

The reigning World Champion Phillies have signed pitchers Jamie Moyer and Chan Ho Park to fill out their 2009 starting rotation.

Two decent moves by the Phillies, assuming that Park is used similarly to the way Joe Torre employed him last year in Los Angeles — as a long reliever and occasional spot starter.

However, in a press conference in Korea, Park intimated the opposite. From the Korea Times:

Park, who has made it clear that he wants to be a starting pitcher, said the Phillies only viewed him as a starter.

“I was a little worried about the Citizen Bank Park, the home of the Phillies, which is hitter-friendly, but as they considered me as a starter, I signed with Philadelphia,” he said.

Perhaps there was something lost in the translation.

The Phillies’ rotation now looks like this:

1. Cole Hamels
2. Brett Myers
3. Joe Blanton
4. Jamie Moyer
5. Kyle Kendrick / Adam Eaton / Chan Ho Park / Carlos Carrasco

Wow. Not wow as in overly dominating but wow as in pretty damn deep. What was once a weakness now looks like a strength. Hopefully Carrasco will need another full year in the minors or the Phillies could have the strongest one-through-five rotation in the NL East.

Park is something of a head scratcher. It appears he fits on the staff as a guy to give the Phils 2+ garbage innings once or twice a week, helping to mop up for whomever turns out to be the #5 starter. He did make five starts with LA last year, posting a 2.16 ERA, but he averaged only 5 innings per start. As a reliever he was OK — not great — as hitters had a .775 OPS against him while he spun a so-so 3.84 ERA. In Citizen’s Bank Park, his homerun rate will likely increase — and he allowed one homer every eight innings calling cavernous Dodger Stadium his home.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude December 16, 2008 at 3:08 pm
    I think the Park signing by the Phils is atrocious. If they intend to give him 1st crack at the #5 spot, they deserve every future loss they have coming to them. If you look back at Park’s track record, he has only done well in LA for the Dodgers. And remember just 2 short years ago Park was a guy who the Mets tried as their #5 and he completely stunk. So he ran back to LA, succeeded as a long reliever, and now the Phils reward him by giving him a rotation spot. Mark it down, Park won’t last 5 starts before getting booted from the rotation, and will finish the year with an ERA near 5.50. Homer-happy CBP will be the death of him.

    I think you should add JA Happ to the #5 equation for the Phils, though. Aside from Carrasco he’s got the best chances of putting up the best numbers looking forward. However, I’m not as in love with the Phils rotation as you are, Joe. Hamels and Myers are great, but beatable. The Mets have historically done well against Hamels, and Myers has the ability to beat himself, so he’s a meltdown potentially waiting to happen. Blanton is a solid #3, but how much longer do you foresee Moyer keeping up this act? Giving $14-mil to someone over 45 is insane, no matter what he did the year before. Eventaully father time is going to catch up with ol’ Jamie, whether it be injury or consistency, and having that much money locked up in such an old timer is dangerous. Additionally, if Park really is their answer to the #5, it leaves them out of the running for Lowe, who they were heavily connected with earlier this winter. Lowe would have put them over the top. Park leaves them with something to be desired.

    I actually think the Phils have had a horrible offseason. Ibanez and Burrell are virtually interchangable, albeit Ibanez makes the Phils more lefty-heavy and probably makes them worse defensively. He’s also on the wrong side of 35, so his skills can start to diminish at any time, all while making a cool $10-mil per year thru 2011. They could have done a lot better there. Also, Utley had hip surgery and could miss some time at the start of the year and could have lingering effects throughout the season, but still their best backup at the position is Eric Bruntlett or Brad Harman. Awful. And their heavily relied upon bullpen is entirely intact for next season, and if the Mets learned anything from 2006, it’s that a bullpen that succeeded but was overworked one year is bound to breakdown the next. Yet the same crew of Durbin, Madson, Romero, and Lidge will head the bullpen again in 2009 without any major reinforcements. Unless they still have a trick up their sleeve, I see the Phillies taking a huge step back next season, with the Mets primed to reap the rewards. Call me an optimist or a homer, whatever. That’s the way I see it.

  2. joe December 16, 2008 at 3:25 pm
    Oh jeez forgot about Happ!

    I didn’t say I was in love with the Phillies rotation. But right now it looks DEEPER than anyone else’s in the division. Deep as in, “pitchers who have had success at the MLB level”. For an offensive-minded team, that’s a dangerous combination for everyone else.

    The Phillies’ starters don’t have to dominate, or be particularly outstanding. They merely have to keep the team in the game for 6 innings. That means the best plan is to find guys who can consistently take the ball and give them decent outings (i.e., the misnomer “quality start”). Hamels, of course, has been injury prone in the past, but the other three top starters will likely make 30-33 starts and throw 170-200 innings — that’s all they need to do. And the fifth starter spot has five candidates. Compare that to the Mets, who don’t even have five starters TOTAL right now!

    I don’t think the Phils’ bullpen should be radically changed. That crew did a pretty damn good job last year, why mess with it? Unless you subscribe to the Omar Minaya theory of “relief pitching is a crapshoot” …. you know, that thinking that made Omar jettison Darren Oliver and Chad Bradford and import Scott Schoeneweis and Jon Adkins (among others).

    Though I do agree, the Phils are probably one reliever short thus far. My guess is that arm will come from one of the excess starter candidates or from the scrap heap.

  3. sincekindergarten December 16, 2008 at 5:33 pm
    A friend of mine who I used to work with calls Park “Chan Ho Parking Lot.” As in, that’s where a fair number of the balls he threw, outside of LA, wound up–in the parking lot.

    I think that the Phillthies will try him in said reliever slot. All he’s got to do then is throw as hard as he can for an inning or two.

  4. isuzudude December 16, 2008 at 6:05 pm
    Good call, SK. Park’s away-from-LA ERA wasn’t horrible (4.50), but as opposed to striking out a batter per inning at home last year, he only K’ed 33 in 50 innings on the road. He also surrendered 8 gopher balls, which would equate to 16 homers over 100 innings, which would equate to 32 homers in 200 innings, which is quite a lot. To put things in perspective, Brandon Backe gave up 36 to lead the majors last year, so Park wouldn’t have been far off. It’s all further evidence that suggests that his tenure in Philly’s going to be a rough one. The Phils would be best served sticking him in the bullpen and letting him be their long reliever, replacing Adam Eaton, but if he’s been promised a role in the rotation, who knows how well he’ll take to the news.
  5. Micalpalyn December 17, 2008 at 11:34 am
    Compatriots: Lot of discussion and nice post. Here is my 10cent thought:

    1. Park is irrelevant!!!!!! As Isuzu and even u Joe allude to, the Phls ARE deep….in arms. But Isuzu, I think Joe Blanton is their true key to success. Cole is a wonderfull arm but EVERY team has an ace….Blanton is consistent and proved himself to be a better pitcher than we thought he would be. Happ and Carrasco have me looking over my shoulder. Moyer is due to go thru atrophy, but Happ and Carrasco could develop quickly.

    2. How CAN the Mets respond? We have to get past Ollie. Right now Ollie compares to Vincente Padilla (on a good team). We need a CONSISTENT pitcher in the #2/#3 slot. Lowe’s age is not contract enhancing……..Maine IS that good but is he, or when will he be healthy. IF maine WERE healthy i would gamble on Ben Sheets. I said last yr that the opening series set a tone for the rest of the yr when Maine was not slotted behind Santana but needlessly pitched against the CWS in a game that meant nothing (in the standings). Bottomline….no one knows how Maine is going to look in Spring, or even if he CAN pitch in April. That said I acknowledge that the Peavy Market is dead until Ollie and Lowe are gone.

    3. The Contradiction to the Post is the DISATER that is Atlanta. Smoltz, glavine and Hudson are shelved. Hampton is gone and all they have is Jurgens, Jo-Jo, and Vaz. That said if they add Ollie they have a revamped rotation that is young. I am suprised that theyhave not been linked to him. I think he fits very well there. Also the Nats SHOULD be looking at him too. Both ATL and the Nats have dabbled with top FA, why not Ollie?

    4. Really 2b. I think there is more to the trade market than we have seen so far. MLB rumors has NOTHING on the trade market. Will Arz sell?

    5. Just for the sake of appeasing me…..if you were Omar and Detroit (or any team) came knocking, what WOULD you consider in trade for Putz? Zumaya and Robertson? Dontrelle/Zumaya/Rodney?……………

  6. joe December 17, 2008 at 12:28 pm
    People have been waiting for Moyer to regress since the 20th century … and he keeps on a’ chuggin’, even pitching half his games in a hitter’s paradise. Imagine if he pitched in San Diego, or LA?

    I like Sheets as an option to fill out the back end. To me he’s worth a gamble, as long as you try to fill the #3 spot with Ollie / Lowe as well. Why can’t the Mets shell out the dough for such an arrangement?

    The Braves are desperate for one more starter, and I think in the end they’ll get Peavy. If they don’t get him, or a Lowe / Ollie type, then it will be up to the youngsters (Morton, Hanson) to accelerate their progress — not unlike the Yankees with Hughes / Kennedy in ’08. We saw how that turned out.

    What is Arizona selling?

    There is nothing the Tigers could offer me for Putz, short of Justin Verlander. Maybe I’d consider Jeremy Bonderman and Rodney. The Mets accomplished their goal of shortening the game by two innings, now it’s time to find some big young horses to handle the first 6-7.

  7. isuzudude December 17, 2008 at 5:42 pm
    Mic, I beg to differ on many of your points.

    1. Park IS relevant because if the Phils see him as their solution to their #5 spot, it takes them out of the running for other starting pitchers that the Mets are pursuing. And by picking Park, who has never succeeded outside of LA, over someone like Lowe or Sheets, it tells me the Phillies chose the cheap route and deprived themselves of a big weapon. They may be deep in the starting pitching department, and they may be able to score a ton of runs, but that doesn’t make them unbeatable. Since when does quantity outweigh quality?

    2. I find it odd how you can praise Blanton but crap on Perez (Vincente Padilla? are you nuts?). At the end of the year, if you look at ERA and WHIP stats (the two most important stats for determining a pitcher’s success, if you ask me) you’ll see that Perez and Blanton will be strikingly similar. Case in point, Blanton was 4.20/1.37 in 13 starts for the Phils, while Ollie was 4.22/1.40. And if Ollie is brought back by the Mets, he’d be the presumed #3 starter, just like Blanton, behind Johan and Pelfrey. Besides money, what’s the dilemma? You can’t love Blanton and hate Ollie, because they are too similar to each other to hold opposing viewpoints.

    3. I’m with Joe in that any deal involving Putz going to Detroit must net Verlander in return. But Putz is not getting traded. The biggest issue of the past 2 years has been the bullpen. Omar finally goes out and signficantly strengthens it, and now you want to tear it apart already? I know you’re in love with Ed Jackson, and you insist on telling us a deal with Detroit is in the works, but the Mets would be crazy to trade Putz to get one of the Tigers’ starters and then find another top-notch setup man elsewhere rather than keeping Putz and signing Ollie, Lowe, or Sheets.

  8. isuzudude December 20, 2008 at 2:12 pm
    There’s a link on metsblog that directs to a Ken Rosenthal pipedream where he thinks Pat Burrell will ultimately settle in NY with the Mets. Does this guy pay attention to anything that’s going on around him? The 30 HRs and 100 walks would be tremendous, but every other component of Burrell’s game is flawed in some way, and there’s just no way I see Omar plucking a phormer phillie to start on his team and play over two of his favorite players, Tatis and Murphy. It’s just plain crazy talk. And now that Shea Stadium is no longer, all incentive of making Burrell a Met is gone. Can someone please email Rosenthal and tell him to dig a hole and jump in it so the rest of us can fill it in and be rid of such a lamebrain.
  9. joe December 20, 2008 at 3:26 pm
    Yeah I also saw that by Rosenthal and was scratching my head. But then, the Mets were looking at Raul Ibanez for unknown reasons as well, so I wouldn’t put anything past them.

    Burrell would NEVER make it in NY. If he began the season with his patented slow start, and the fans got on him, he’d say something remarkably stupid and irritating in the papers and wham! the fans would make their treatment of Heilman, Scho, Looper, and Mota look like they were bowing to the gods in comparison.

  10. isuzudude December 20, 2008 at 4:00 pm
    Agreed 100%. With the impending losses of Teixeira and Anderson, I see the Angels ultimately nabbing Burrell and either sticking him in LF and letting him DH. They seem most desperate for offense out of the teams with money.