Category Archives: Weekly Discussion

Open Discussion: Week of January 19th

Here’s a recap of some of the recent Phillies news.

A few weeks ago, former Pirates’ left-handed pitcher Wandy Rodriguez (who turned 36 today) agreed to a minor league contract with the Phillies.  Rodriguez (formerly Eny Cabreja), made the Pirates’ opening day roster in 2014 and started 6 games (0-2, 6.75) before being sent to their AA affiliate in Altoona for the rest of the season.  This past week, Rodriguez became this season’s Chad Gaudin when he failed his physical.  Subsequently, he signed a $2M deal with Atlanta.  Continue reading Open Discussion: Week of January 19th

Open Discussion: Week of January 5th

I didn’t have enough time to gather the Winter Ball data.  They aren’t posting it with the off season stats, I have to gather it box score by box score.  I did get this from the DWL (thru Saturday) as they begin an 18-game round-robin playoff round among the top 4 finishers.

  • Maikel Franco – 5 G, 21 AB, 2 R, 6 H, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 BB, 4 K, .286 BA, 2 E (1 fielding, 1 throwing)
  • Nefi Ogando – 2 G, 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 1 GO, 1 FO, 9 BF, 1 Hold
  • Hector Neris – 3 G, 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 1 GO, 1 FO, 11 BF
  • Luis Garcia – 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 3 GO, 0 FO, 6 BF, 1 Hold

Not bad, eh?

phillie tree

Open Discussion: Week of December 22, 2014; Christmas Week

Well, in the words of Andy Williams, ” It’s the most wonderful time of the year”.  So far this month, the Phillies have turned Jimmy Rollins and Antonio Bastardo into three young pitchers – Zack Eflin, Tom Windle, and Joely Rodriguez.  They have also added another pitcher and a young infielder through the Rule 5 Draft – Andy Oliver and Obudel Herrera.  What would you like the Phillies to find under their tree come Christmas morning?  A package of prospects for Cole Hamels?  A smaller package for Marlon Bird?  Jung-Ho Kang?  Discuss.


Open Discussion: Week of December 8, 2014; Winter Meetings Edition

MLB began their coverage of baseball’s winter meetings at 8:00PM Sunday evening.  Early in the show, Greg Amsinger, Harold Reynolds, and Dan Plesac offered their opinions on the level of activity we could expect from the Phillies at the 2014 Winter Meetings.  Their preview suggested that the Phillies –

  1. might be as inactive this year as they were last year because of the big contracts.
  2. had missed their window of opportunity for unloading their big contracts.
  3. had a new window and their big contracts didn’t look so bad.
  4. had an opportunity to move their big contracts, even Howard’s “if he’s able to turn it around” (Huh? What does that even mean?)

After these four earth shattering pronouncements, with which all three announcers agreed, I decided to mute the volume by 8:14PM and prep the Open Discussion for  Monday. Continue reading Open Discussion: Week of December 8, 2014; Winter Meetings Edition

Open Discussion: Week of November 24, 2014

We haven’t had an open discussion posted since November 3rd.  I’ll try to fill this void until …

First, here’s the link to Phillies Offseason League stats –

Check out pitchers Hector Neris, Elvis Arajo, and Manny Chavez. All have sub 1.00 ERAs, and WHIPs around .100.  Their SSS includes at least 9 appearances and 8.2 IP. Araujo and Chavez also have nice K/9 and K/BB numbers.

Willians Astudillo opened with a 3-run HR in 1-4 debut in VWL. Freddy Galvis is hitting below .300 for first time since 2011. He’s also striking out at a much higher rate that in previous VWL seasons.

With the rumors that Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez having agreed to sign with the Boston Red Sox swirling around, what if any impact will that have on the Phillies’ off season trade market? Is SF now in on a SP? Is Boston still a likely trade partner for Hamels?  Discuss.



General Discussion – Week of 9-29-14 – State Of The Team/Farewell Edition

So this is going to be my last post here. I already said a good bye of sorts a few week ago, so I’ll make this about the team and the GM, and not about me.

As you all likely know, I have been far from an Amaro apologist in the past. The biggest mistake of Amaro’s tenure, and the ultimate downfall of any hope to compete in the 2012-2015 timeframe, has to be the Ryan Howard deal. It was the domino that took down the “whole big thing of dominoes” that was a perennial contender. It seemed at the time like Amaro was hedging against the free agent first base market in the winter of 2011/12, which was set to include Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols. So when Pujols contract runs out in 2035 or whatever, and we compare those players’ hindsightedly questionable deals to Howard’s, Amaro may have gotten off lightly. However, he could have done any number of other things to get the same (read:no) production out of first base, and allowed himself a great deal of flexibility (Cody Overbeck at first and Jayson Werth in right, anyone?). Of course, the what ifs and the maybe woulddas are nice now. Who knows what wild deals Amaro would have turned to try to fill the perceived gap Howard left in the middle of the lineup. Continue reading General Discussion – Week of 9-29-14 – State Of The Team/Farewell Edition


General Discussion – Week of 9-22-14 – End of the Line Edition

Last week of the year. Three at Miami to close out a ten game road trip and three at home with the Braves over the weekend. Last place in the division looks like a near certainty at this point. A protected pick is all but guaranteed as well, as the Phils sit four games “behind” San Diego for 19th in baseball, (oops, I meant 20th, the first unprotected pick) with just 5 games to play. Still looks like they could luck into as high as 25th place, for the 7th overall pick next year, and they currently sit in 23rd place, in line for the 9th overall pick.



General Discussion – Week of 9-15-14 – Saint Diego Edition

Seven on the west coast this week. Four in San Diego then the weekend in Oakland.

The Phillies sit in 21st place overall in the MLB, which does afford them the last of eleven protected picks (with that Houston 2014 re-pick at #2). The club is even in the loss column and just a game up in the win column on San Diego right now, so honestly, I would be fine with a Padres sweep for the betterment of the club in the long term. Perfectly reasonable that the Phils could finish in the bottom eight, (pick #9), below San Diego and the White Sox, and less reasonable but still plausible that they could finish as low as the bottom five, (pick #6), if the Cubs, Astros, and Red Sox all get a little bit hot and the Phillies do not. Seems to me that Colorado, Texas, Arizona and Minnesota are locked in ahead of the Phils, as they’re currently lined up to fill out the top five picks around Houston at #2.

As for the other direction, if the Phils get a little hot, they could potentially pass any of Cincinnati, the Mets, Marlins and Rays. Passing all four would push them down to the 16th pick, but passing any of those four would put them in a position where a QO free agent signing would lose them that pick. I’ll say that IMO, there’s no reason they ought to be signing any QO free agents this year based on my quick look at free agent power rankings. However, if the right name fell to them at the right price, it would be lousy to have to weigh it against losing a pick that could theoretically help them in the next couple years, assuming they plan to repeat their 2014 draft strategy by picking another advanced college player.



General Discussion – Week of 9-9-14 – Franco In The Two-Hole Edition

Since I hijacked yesterday’s General Discussion with my departure announcement, here’s a fresh thread for all things Phillies. Something of note – Maikel Franco is batting second tonight with JRoll out of the lineup. He fits the “contact hitter” part of the traditional number two hitter. Not sure he fits any of the other typical traits you’d expect there. Maybe he’ll turn out to be a really awesome bunter and just no one’s ever given him the chance, ya know?



General Discussion – Week of 9-8-14 – Announcement Edition

As the title of this post suggests, here’s an announcement – I’m leaving as of the end of this regular season. I’ll post a couple more weekly discussions and maybe a thought or two about the state of the org before I go, but it’s been a long year after two long ones prior, and it just got to the point where I wasn’t enjoying myself anymore. I’ll still be doing my Crashburn Alley stuff, and I hope that writing for that different, less prospect-intense audience will help bring some challenge and fun back into my writing.

A huge thanks to Gregg for bringing me on board in the first place, back when I was nothing more than a regular commenter with some questionable opinions about certain things, (notably big-bodied catching prospects from Texas). It’s been a great three years, and I’ve enjoyed writing for all of you and interacting with those of you who boldly choose to try out your opinions in the comments. I look forward to seeing what the person who comes after me has to say about the day-to-day goings on of the 2015 Phillies Minor Leagues.

Anyway, as I said, I’ll be around for a couple more weeks. So please – PLEASE – no tears, folks. There’s no use crying over minor league baseball websites. Or is it “there’s no crying in minor league baseball websites”? Perhaps its both. In which case, it’s a double negative, and you all better get the water works…uhh…working…over my departure. Open the spigot of your heart and let the sadness flow out of you like a hot summer rain!

Or talk about Phils/Bucs. Whatever.