Chan Ho Park has walked a lot of hitters over his career — that’s been true of the years when he’s been successful as well as they years when he hasn’t.
Arguably, the best years of his career have been 1997, 2000 and 2001. In those three years combined, Park went 47-29 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.21 ratio in 652 innings. Opponents hit a meager 214/308/352 against him.
Notably, however, even when Park was at his best he was still walking a lot of guys. During those three seasons he walked 285 in 652 innings, which is 3.93 hitters per nine innings. That walk rate is higher than the walk rate of many of the other starting pitchers in the organization. Again, the chart below compares Park’s walk rate during three of his best years to the walk rate for other pitchers in the organization over their entire careers:
Park did get his walks per nine innings down to 3.40 working mostly as a reliever in 2008, but he’s almost sure to keep walking hitters this year. And while it may seem like it’s good news that Park can be successful when he walks hitters at a high rate, the bad news may be that while that is true he would need to hold hitters to a very low batting average to do so. It doesn’t need to be .214, but .280 is going to be a problem. Opponents hit .264 against Park in 2008, which was the lowest mark for him since 2001. Since 2001, opponents have hit .279 against him.
This suggests that Happ and Park are now the co-favorites to win the fifth starter job.
Brad Lidge will pitch an inning in an intrasquad game today.
The Phils did not play yesterday. They will play the Braves this afternoon. Kyle Kendrick is scheduled to pitch in what will be an important outing for him coming off a weak showing against Team USA.
Team USA, featuring Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino, plays Venezuela today in the World Baseball Classic. Mexico faces Australia (Harman et all) and Puerto Rico (Romero) and the Netherlands square off.