Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kendrick Demoted, Fifth Spot Up for Grabs, Hamels gets Good News

Kyle Kendrick has officially been demoted to the minors, creating a two-man race for the fifth and final spot in the rotation. While Kendrick is vowing to return, Chan Ho Park will take the ball against Toronto this afternoon. He looks to build upon his already strong spring, in which he's gone 1-0 with a 1.54 era in 11.2 innings pitched. His competition, J.A. Happ's spring era has risen a bit over his last few outings. He has no decisions with a 3.15 era in 20 innings. Happ was off to a tremendous start, but his performances have averaged out over the last two weeks. If Park keeps pitching as dominantly as he has, the spot will likely be his and Happ may become a left-handed reliever. There's plenty riding on Park's start this afternoon, so keep an eye on that.

The Phillies website is also reporting that Cole Hamels will make his season debut, if all goes according to plan, on April 10 in Denver against the Rockies. This is Philadelphia's forth game of the season, which should set the first week's rotation as Brett Myers on Opening Night, Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton closing out the series against Atlanta, and then Hamels and Park/Happ taking the ball in Colorado. This is encouraging news and hopefully Hamels stays on track and is ready to go come opening week.

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