Happ vs. Park — Final Round Goes to the Veteran

The fight for the Phillies fifth-starter spot remained unsettled until Tuesday afternoon when Ruben Amaro declared that Chan Ho Park won the last rotation spot.

The status of Park's closest competition -- J.A. Happ -- remained unknown.

Happ remained in the running for a bullpen spot, said General Manager Ruben Amaro. Happ is battling Gary Majewski, Jack Taschner and Bobby Mosebach for the final two bullpen spots.

What started as a royal rumble between a slew of pitchers quickly became a two-man slugfest between Park and Happ.

With Adam Eaton, Carlos Carrasco and Kyle Kendrick all thrown out of the ring The Phillies brass is left with a choice between the veteran Park and the youngster Happ.

Picking between the two pitchers was a tough choice but Amaro never complained because unlike the other guys both Park and Happ pitched well enough to earn a rotation spot.

Park came out on top after a blistering spring.

The right-hander was 2-0 with a .253 ERA, .244 batting average allowed, 25 strikeouts and three walks in 21.1 innings pitched during Spring Training.

His 8.3 to 1 strikeout-to-walk ratio really stuck out.

Happ's numbers weren't as impressive but still look nice on paper. The left-hander was 0-0 with a 3.15 ERA, .240 batting avg. allowed, 14 K's and six walks in 20 innings.

His 2.3 to 1 K-to-BB ration wasn't nearly as dominant as Park's ratio.

Happ is better served as another lefty in the bullpen even after the acquisition of southpaw Taschner last week.

Park deserved the spot. He had better spring numbers and more experience.

Yet, the Phils could have gone with Happ despite the numbers.

"If the job is awarded to Happ, it would provide the perfect commentary on the uselessness of the Grapefruit League as a way to measure performance," said the Beerleaguer.

The biggest knock against Park is that he hasn't pitched successfully as a starter since 2001. He is only s 34-34 with a 5.48 ERA in 104 starts from 2002-08.

The Phillies enter this season confident that they have five solid starters. And, if someone goes down they will have another arm (Happ) ready to step into the rotation.

The luxury of depth -- must be a result of being a World Champion.

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