Phillies getting Happ back tomorrow, but lose Park for 'a while'

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J.A. Happ is now slated to rejoin the Phillies’ rotation tomorrow against the Braves after testing his oblique injury with a 20-pitch bullpen session yesterday. Happ, who came out of relative nowhere to go 8-4 with a 2.81 ERA in 19 starts as a 26-year-old rookie, has missed back-to-back turns in the rotation.
On the other hand, Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel speculated yesterday that Chan Ho Park “is probably going to be down a while” because of a hamstring injury. Park has been a key member of the bullpen since being dumped from the rotation in mid-May, logging 49 innings with a 2.57 ERA, 52/16 K/BB ratio, and .235 opponents’ batting average as a reliever. His availability for the postseason may be in doubt.
And while we’re on the subject of the Phillies’ pitching staff, consider this stat: Since joining Philadelphia’s rotation Cliff Lee and Pedro Martinez have combined to go 12-2 with a 2.74 ERA and 94/15 K/BB ratio in 101.2 innings spread over in 16 starts.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.