BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : Park Is Sound, Team Doctor Says


Before the Dodgers signed Chan Ho Park, they sent team orthopedist Frank Jobe to Korea to examine him. Jobe reported that Park was a very sound prospect, but said there was a slight overgrowth of bone in his pitching elbow, a sign of overuse.

Overgrowth is a common condition that does not interfere with pitching, but usually doesn’t occur until later in a pitcher’s career. What it told the Dodgers was that Park, 20, probably had been throwing hard for a long time.

“It doesn’t mean that something is wrong, but we need to have him under a good pitching program that doesn’t allow him to hurt his elbow,” Jobe said.


Park is such a top prospect that the Dodgers are watching him carefully. He has been given a turn in the rotation and will continue to start regularly in spring training.

Thursday, in the Dodgers’ 4-3 victory over the New York Mets at Vero Beach, Fla., he started his third game and pitched well, giving up a run, three hits and striking out three in three innings. He mixed up his pitches, kept his composure after the umpires had called his second balk of the day, and got his first major league hit, waving to the crowd as he stood on first base.

“When I got to first base, (first baseman) Glenn Davis said hello to me in Korean, and that made me feel good, too.” Park said.

The Dodgers had wavered on whether to pitch Park because his arm was slightly sore after his four-inning stint on Sunday, a normal condition in spring training. But Park said he felt fine, so he pitched a predetermined three innings.

Park continued to mix up his delivery, and hesitated during several windups. On one pitch to Jeromy Burnitz, he paused so long that Met players yelled at Burnitz to step out.

“(Met Manager) Dallas Greene told me after the game that he will not allow Park to use that delivery during the season,” said umpire Bruce Froemming, who worked first base. “He will have his batters call time out. There is no interpretation of the rule, and if this is still happening when the season starts, there will be a serious problem.”

It will only be a problem if Park makes the team, and to do that, he will have to beat out a starter, or replace an injured or traded starter.

Pitching coach Ron Perranoski said Park is progressing faster than he expected. But he needs some seasoning, and the club is not likely to put him in the bullpen. They would prefer to see him starting at triple-A Albuquerque.


The Dodgers reportedly have been shopping Roger McDowell to clubs all spring, including the Angels, but Executive Vice President Fred Claire said McDowell has a place on the team. “We are not seeking to move Roger McDowell,” Claire said.

Darryl Strawberry was already on the field when he got word that his wife, Charisse, had given birth to a boy, Jordan Shay. “I named him after Michael Jordan,” Strawberry said.

“He’s a good friend and I’m a big fan of his and that’s why I picked it.” Strawberry said. He will fly to Los Angeles today to be with his wife and plans to return in time for Sunday’s game.

Jose Offerman has made no errors in 11 games this spring. He is batting .314.