• The Numbers On Chan Ho Park

    Posted by on February 22nd, 2010 · Comments (12)

    Some of the more optimistic fan feedback on the Yankees signing of Chan Ho Park that I’ve seen so far contains the claims that he’s a much better pitcher out of the bullpen (compared to being a starting pitcher) and he’s tough on right-handed batters.

    So, is he? Let’s check some recent numbers on him. First, as a RP -

    Year   G  PA  AB  SO/BB   BA   OBP   SLG 
    2005   1  12   8  0.50  .250  .364  .250 
    2006   3  23  22  6.00  .364  .391  .682 
    2008  49 309 274  1.75  .274  .348  .427 
    2009  38 206 186  3.25  .231  .296  .280 
    

    And, next, how he does vs. RH Batters -

    Year   G   PA   AB  SO/BB   BA  OBP  SLG 
    2004  16  214  190  3.00  .284 .352 .484 
    2005  30  336  287  1.49  .279 .366 .373 
    2006  24  276  248  3.36  .278 .328 .431 
    2007   1   12   10  1.50  .300 .417 .600 
    2008  53  232  215  3.54  .237 .287 .377 
    2009  44  185  161  2.17  .248 .326 .354 
    

    Here, yes, the numbers show that Park was good as a RP in 2009 – and tough on RH-batters. But, in 2008, he was just so-so as a RP albeit while handling RH-batters. And, that’s it – we only really have a two-year recent view of Park pitching out of the pen. Not a very large sample size there, at all.

    But, we do have more data on Park facing right-handed batters. And, as you can see, from 2004 through 2006, they handled him pretty well – batting about .280 off him during that span.

    Granted, what we’re probably seeing with Park, against righties, is what happens to some pitchers when they move to the pen. In a situation where they can gas it up, only facing a batter once in the game, and only having to throw one inning or less, they’ve more effective than when they attempted starting a game.

    This all said – perhaps Chan Ho Park can be a useful pitcher for the Yankees in 2010, if they use him out of the pen and only allow him to face right-handed batters? Personally, I’d feel more sure about this if we had four or more consecutive years of data on Park to look at – as a relief pitcher and facing RH-batters. In any event, the Yankees must feel like they’ve seen enough to roll the dice on giving Park a contract. Hey, on the bright-side, at least they didn’t spend $46 million on him, right?

    Comments on The Numbers On Chan Ho Park

    1. jay
      February 22nd, 2010 | 2:06 pm

      Back to my original argument about Park, figuring out the ‘error bar’ on this guy is probably pretty complicated. How do you project a guy who stinks as a starter, but, as you said, finds something more in the tank as a reliever? Should his performance as a starter count less? I don’t think anyone would just take data and throw it out, but perhaps it should be weighted differently? I really don’t know, but I guess we’ll find out.

    2. Pat F
      February 22nd, 2010 | 2:43 pm

      i know this was discussed in the previous thread, but i will add that i don’t think park’s particular skill set is the real reason the yankees signed him. i think they probably like certain things that he does, but as you alluded to steve i think this has to do more with depth and flexibility (not just with robertson but in total). some teams don’t have complete pitching staffs and others will have needs arise during the spring (hopefully not us). so not only do we guard against our own needs with gaudin/mitre/park but can afford to trade one of them for something we need and still have pitching depth intact. regardless of how good park is or isn’t he has value in that he can provide depth for the yankees or for someone else.

    3. Evan3457
      February 22nd, 2010 | 6:06 pm

      {click! This is a recording!}

      Least: Consistent use of punching bags, almost always citing anything that can be used, however tangentially, to attack their value…

    4. 77yankees
      February 22nd, 2010 | 9:19 pm

      Just another in a continuing Yankee tradition of importing National League relief pitchers who have never had any experience or success in the AL – nothing more.

    5. February 23rd, 2010 | 7:35 am

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    6. MJ Recanati
      February 23rd, 2010 | 8:47 am

      @ 77yankees:
      On the one hand, yes, I agree. On the other, for a maxiumum contract value of $1.5M, this is a lot less risky than some of the other foolish bullpen moves that Cashman has made (Karsay, Hammond, Farnsworth, etc.). While I don’t totally get the need for Park, at least Cashman didn’t sign him long term or for big money.

      In short, this is a totally benign move that costs the Yanks very little and (in my opinion only) adds very little either.

    7. butchie22
      February 23rd, 2010 | 10:45 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      @ 77yankees:
      On the one hand, yes, I agree. On the other, for a maxiumum contract value of $1.5M, this is a lot less risky than some of the other foolish bullpen moves that Cashman has made (Karsay, Hammond, Farnsworth, etc.). While I don’t totally get the need for Park, at least Cashman didn’t sign him long term or for big money.In short, this is a totally benign move that costs the Yanks very little and (in my opinion only) adds very little either.

      MJR , I wouldn’t say it was a benign move but it wasn’t exactly a necessary move either. BUt I agree that it didn’t add much and didn’t cost much just the same. The way I perceive it is very simple, it is bringing in a NL pitcher into a divison in where he might be overmatched. as 77 states it’s a tradition with the Yanks BUT I’ll go one further, it’s a Cash Man tradition! He seems to love pitchers who excelled in the NL then BOMB with the Bombers. Examples like Pavano and Vazquez come readily to mind.

    8. mwz524
      February 23rd, 2010 | 1:54 pm

      Please NO. Living here in Texas I was able to see the train wreck that is Chan Ho Park. It seems that the new Yankee Stadium is just as hitter frendly as Texas and with that being the case Chan Ho may get lit up when he pitches at home. Granted if he comes out of the bullpen then you can situationally pitch him against only those players who he has success against but anything more than a 1 batter and done pitcher spells disaster for the Yanks.

    9. 77yankees
      February 23rd, 2010 | 8:42 pm

      @ butchie22:

      I think the Yankee fascination with importing NL pitchers even pre-dates Cashman back to the 80s, when they’d seemingly every year bring in a Ed Whitson, Rick Rhoden, Andy Hawkins who had never pitched in the AL, and it’s always dangerous when you do that.

      There’s a big difference in going from a league with 8th place shortstops and catchers hitting .230 and pitchers in the 9th spot to a league where you have an Erick Aybar hitting .310 in the 9th spot.

      Realistically, how many predominantly NL pitchers the last 30 years have been able to make that transition to the AL? Pedro, Beckett (though he was hit hard his 1st season) For every one that succeeds, seems like there’s another 10-15 who fail.

    10. Raf
      February 24th, 2010 | 8:30 am

      77yankees wrote:

      There’s a big difference in going from a league with 8th place shortstops and catchers hitting .230 and pitchers in the 9th spot to a league where you have an Erick Aybar hitting .310 in the 9th spot.

      Having said that, if a pitcher can pitch, it doesn’t matter which league he’s in. In the cases of Whitson, Pavano and Hawkins, they weren’t really that good to begin with. Rhoden was nearing the end of his career when he came to NY. Vazquez was hurt, but having pitched in the AL for Chicago, he’s put up similar numbers in either league.

    11. February 27th, 2010 | 1:54 am

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    12. April 1st, 2010 | 4:51 pm

      [...] know that Park was good against righties, recently, in the National League. But, let’s not forget that one-fifth of the Yankees [...]

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