Open Discussion: Week of April 20th

Here’s an open discussion thread so the minor league posts don’t get cluttered with Phillies’ talk and other topics.

Under other topics – I just listened to the ESPN color analyst (John Kruk?) blame a terrible throw by Yadier Molina on the pitcher because of his high leg kick.  Really?  Molina can’t make a bad throw without it being somebody else’s fault?

Phillies lost and are 4-9 on the season, 1-6 over the last  week, and had a 6-game losing streak.  Anybody still watching?  Still care?  I think I’ll track something I know you care about – Papelbon 3 saves in 3 save opportunities, 4 games finished.

162 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of April 20th

  1. Glad to see chase Harris with the threshers and finally getting a chance to play after having a stellar spring. The log jam in the outfield didn’t help but he’s gonna turn some heads and move up quickly

  2. Anyone know tocci, Quinn upside? Could have a solid team in 3 years


    Second Baseman


    Ace ?
    2 ?
    3 Nola
    4 Biddle
    5 Pettibone

    Closer Giles

    1. They need more then those guys to be considered a good team unless those guys all live up to their ceilings and I don’t think an outfield with Quinn AND Tocci would be successful. You really just want one or the other to pan out prob preferably with Quinn manning CF (wrecking havoc on the base paths) with maybe Tocci as your 4th OF. Also on the pitching side hopefully you see 1 or 2 of Eflin, Lively, Windle, Kilome (still really young but you have Tocci in there so he could be there by that time) and Mecias there as well (along with this years pick and maybe next if it’s a college arm).

      1. I don’t see a problem with having Quinn and Tocci in the OF if they both happen to reach their potential. You could send one of them to a corner and have a stellar defensive OF, plus two guys who have a lot of speed on the bases and hit a lot of doubles. Not many lineups are filled with home run hitters anymore.

        Sure, they would have the option to trade one if such a scenario occurs, but I wouldn’t send one to the bench just because they have similar skill sets (and why would you not want them both to pan out? You can’t have too much talent). If they end up as two of our three best OFs then there’s no reason not to play them together.

      1. Murray, why would you say that when the three Pirates outfielders can play Center Field and they all play outstanding defense.

        1. Though I think Marte and Polanco have a more power bat then Tocci, Revere, or Herrera at this point.
          Quinn, however, does seem to have Rollin’s type power.

    2. What are the odds of Pettibone actually coming back as a major league starter? I am surprised that you don’t list Buchanan and list none of our prospects beyond Nola and Biddle in your rotation: Eflin, Windle, Lively, Imhof. I think even Morgan has as good a shot as Pettibone at this point. Garcia will be in the pen.

      I think Herrera might be at 2B. If you are projecting Tocci to our OF, why not Cozens or Sandberg or even Dugan. I think Knapp as likely as Guillon to be the starting catcher, with Guillon as the defensive-minded backup.

  3. the phils are about as watchable as a wnba game, can’t believe anyone would be watching

    the sooner rube the boob is gone the better

  4. I Really cant watch, I have tried, but they are so bad. Who is held accountable??? Glad to see the fans are not going, Maybe it will force the owners to give Middleton the extra percentage he needs to take over. I know a lot on here are hoping there is help on the way. Beside a couple of guys, like Crawford and Franco. its hard to get excited, I will see all the guys like tocci and elfin but they are far away, Franco is ready now. and should be up. rather see him then Howard at this point of rebuilding. make him make his mistakes in big league level and learn cant hurt his team. I said it was a 65 win team. I might be really off maybe in the fifties, no defense, no starting pitching, no power, cant hit in clutch, how much worse is it with Franco?

    1. This is me being serious and honest, because I don’t know the answer. Why is everyone so fixated on Middleton gaining majority ownership? For all we know, he was the main reason for hanging on to our “core” guys as long as they did? How do we know what he would value? Do we know that he would put an emphasis on outside markets? Extra emphasis on player development? Scouting?

      I think those that closely follow the team are aware that this disaster is not solely on the shoulders of RAJ. We can also point the finger at Monty, but are we to think that Monty wasn’t influenced by more powerful and influential owners?

      Perhaps I missed some reports or quotes from Middleton? Help me out!!

      1. This is a pretty decent point.

        The only things we really seem to “know” (really, we barely “know” anything) about Middleton is that he has a lot of money, appears to be trying to obtain a majority ownership in the franchise, and is known to be very aggressive and more impatient than the other owners, some of whom seemed to be so passive and patrician that, at times, it appeared that they only vaguely recalled that they owned part of a baseball team.

        As for myself, the hope is that his desire to put a winner on the field means not only that he’s ready to shell out money (the team already has shown the desires to shell out cash – that’s not the issue), but that he is prepared to bring in forward thinking people, give them the support they need and a reasonably time period to prove themselves. We have no idea whether he will do this or whether he will begin a reign of holy terror, demanding the team contend annually and directing the GM to trade young players to get experienced players.

        Sure, change seemed to be needed on the team, but, if he assumes control, will Middleton bring any substantive change and will the change be positive? We just don’t know.

        1. JRoll knew…..his words on Middleton….could be ‘Steinbrenner south’…as I think they were.

            1. Age and injuries did it to both the Phillies and Yankees….Cashman and Ruben are both on the hot seat I would think.
              But I think JRoll’s comment were more to Middleton’s aggressive nature for winning and money as no barrier, like senior George’s was back in the day.

      2. I would address you by name, but you chose not to say your name. I am ninety percentage sure its giles ,behind all the moves, He is the one who stopped them from going over slot in draft, he has his fathers legacy and wouldn’t do anything to piss off the commissioner, He is the devil, when he got mad at bowa, he gave away a hof player, like a hot head, no reason for him to have any thing to do with this team he is the devil. When Montgomery gave out those contracts I be it was giles behing it, worried about losing attendance if they didn’t resign howard chooch, and Utley. He couldn’t separate attendance from what was good for the team, not his pocket.

        1. But we still don’t know anything. That’s my point. I can understand wanting change, I just don’t understand the push for Middleton.


    2. At this point the only thing holding back Franco from a platoon with Howard is his arbitration clock. He’ll be up in May.

      1. No, that’s not the only thing holding him back. Platooning with Howard, on the short end of the platoon, nonetheless, would not help Franco’s development. He needs to play virtually every day, not the quarter of the times the Phillies will face a LHP. Franco should not be brought up this year, unless the Phillies are going to play him in at least 2/3 of the games and give him a fair shot.

      2. I don’t get what the rush is with Franco. It’s going to take more than 43 plate appearances for me to believe his plate discipline issues have been solved.

    3. Absent an injury on the Phils, I’m content to see Franco remain in the Valley till the Howard situation plays out. By June I think Howard will be gone or relegated to a bench role. There has to be an every day job for Franco in Philly for a promotion to make sense. It’s clear they’re giving Howard some rope.

  5. The Phillies just can’t score, and since we’re rebuilding, there’s no need to rush anybody to the majors until they’re ready. That said, if Franco keeps up his pace, he should be the first one called up with Howard likely cut.

    On the other hand, our minor league system seems improved to the point where we should be in the top 15 of baseball. Some players are off to some hot starts, let’s hope that continues.

  6. I have a draft question . . (Considering I work with 4 guys who will prob get drafted in the 2016 and 2017 draft I should know this however they aren’t 1st round talent as of yet, so maybe not). So this draft is seen a very weak . . one of the players who is a 1st round talent is Kyler Murray a SS out of Texas who is also one of the top HS QBs in the country (Committed to Texas A&M) . . he should be available at 10, there are a lot of questions around him mainly his football commitment. So would it be a bad strategy to go with him with our 10th pick, offer him a little under slot money. If he signs then that’s fine but more then likely he won’t sign which will give us a pick in next years draft plus our prob top 1-3 pick as well in what will be a stronger draft. I realize we would lose a pick this year but if the draft is that weak then wouldn’t it be better to have 2 first round picks in a stronger draft?

    1. I like Ian Happ from the Bearcats of Cincinnati….good right-handed power bat …corner OFer and did play second for awhile as a freshmen or sophomore and over 200 lbs.

      1. romus What kind of competition does Cincinnati play? I don’t think I know anyone from that college who is in the major.

        1. rocco…here is a write-up the other day from their local media …..”University of Cincinnati outfielder Ian Happ, who leads the American Athletic Conference in hitting, can count a Reds Hall of Famer from his hometown of Pittsburgh among his biggest fans.
          Wikkingboro, NJ;s Sean Casey, the former Reds first baseman, has become a valued mentor to Happ. Casey was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2012 after hitting .305 with 115 home runs and 604 runs batted in with the club.
          “He’s so charismatic,” Happ said, “such a great guy….. He just loves talking hitting.

          The two met at a facility in Pittsburgh where they both work out. Casey attended Upper St. Clair High School. Happ went to Mt. Lebanon. They talk regularly on the phone, sometimes as often as once a week. “I knew of Ian,” Casey said. “I knew that he was a really good player from the area and I knew he was going to Cincinnati. We struck up a friendship. One day he said, `Is there any chance we could hit sometime?’ I said, `Yeah, I’d love to hit with you.’
          “The biggest thing about Ian is that he loves baseball. I was so impressed that he would come in and work out by himself – and they were hard workouts – and how he would get after it. It was stuff like I used to do. I just saw that he loved the game.”
          Happ, a junior switch-hitter, is projected as a first-round pick in Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft, which will be conducted from June 8 to June 10. He began UC’s weekend series at Houston leading the American with a .397 batting average. He also leads the league in on-base percentage at .519. His 10 home runs are tied for second in the league.

            1. I’ve been talking to Matt Winkelman (Don’t think he’ll mind sharing some of our convo) about the draft, asked him if the following were available at 10 (Aiken/Mantuella/Bickford/Cameron/Allard/Fulmer/Happ/Newman which one would he pick . . . He went with Happ saying he would have him at 2B.

              I like what Justin Hooper can bring to the table but it’s going to be tough repeating his delivery with his 6’7 LH frame. If he can harness his stuff then he will be someone to watch for. Getting excited as the draft gets closer.

            2. I initially thought pitchers would be better picks….but seems Pat Gillick already has his mind made up…he said last week they will go ‘offensive’ since Ruben has acquired enough ‘candidates’ in the pitching area.
              Funny he prefers the term ‘candidates’ vs prospects.

            3. Given the potential starting pitching talent in the minors right now it makes sense for us to grab a fielder (weak there) unless a potential ace (non UCL injury) falls into our laps.

            4. In interpreting Gillick’s comment, remember that the Phillies can choose a pitcher with the first pick, if that is the best prospect available, while still emphasizing position players overall in the draft.

            5. See, I don’t understand how they can pass up Aiken if he’s there at 10. Nobody else in the draft offers his upside, and it’s not like pitchers don’t rebound from TJ surgery in this day and age. It’s not like drafting a toolsy outfielder like Hewitt too high and praying his tools will develop…

            6. G$ apparently his injury goes beyond the usual TJS . I’ve heard that it could be career ending. He may drop well past the 1st round, there’s an article on fan graphs that mentions this.

            7. That would definitely change my opinion. I hadn’t seen that, other than the stuff that Astros claimed was an issue last year when they drafted him.

            8. I read a couple of articles saying this may the catalyst that spurs MLB to put together a combine like the other sports.

              Finally, they may start gathering all of the medical information regarding prospects in one location.

        2. Not sure there’s been anyone since Kevin Youkilis. Of course, back in the day, there was a pretty fair pitcher from Cincinnati named Koufax who went on to have a pretty solid big league career.

  7. Wow eric on paper sounds good. But could you imagine if between 11 thru 20 someone drafts a stud. we would kill them for doing this move. All depends on how much they like a kid in first round,

    1. Going back to 2005 there have always been at least 1 guy picked in that range who has either been a stud, really good, or good MLB player.

      2005 – Pick 11 Andrew McCutchen Pick 12 Jay Bruce
      2006 – Pick 11 Max Scherzer
      2007 – Pick 14 Jason Heyward
      2008 – Pick 19 Andrew Cashner
      2009 – Pick 19 Shelby Miller
      2010 – Pick 13 Chris Sale
      2011 – Pick 14 Jose Fernandez Pick 18 Sonny Gray
      2012 – Pick 19 Michael Wacha

      but were any of those drafts seen as weak? It was just a thought on my part.

    1. And soon it could also be Chad Billingsley’s trade value.
      Both can bring back maybe a couple of decent prospects.

      1. He hasn’t even pitched yet. At this point in time, he remains a long-shot to get into our major league rotation, pitch well, and stay healthy for several months. How soon will he be ready to join the rotation? How long must he stay healthy and how well must he pitch during that time to entice a contender to part with a valuable prospect to take on him and his salary? It was only two months ago that we were speculating how long Lee had to pitch relatively well for the Phillies to trade him for a valuable prospect or two. That came a cropper. Until he proves otherwise, Billingsley is in the same position as Lee was two months ago. It’s been a while since Billingsley was an effective starter. His signing was a lottery ticket gamble. Less than half of those gambles succeed.

        1. It’s not sounding like a long shot at all – for the first time in a few years, he’s supposedly entirely healthy and his velocity has been good. If he’s healthy, he pitches, because nobody wants to see O’Sullivan start 30 games.

        2. Incorrect…..Billingsley is pitching pain-free as of last week…how is it the same as Lee, who avoided the surgery and decided to rest rehab his arm?

            1. Lee was said to be throwing pain free coming into ST this year. Billingsley has yet to pitch in a game. Until he does, I am not going to give muce credence to his and the Phillies pronouncements about how great he feels and what great shape his arm is in. It might be, but it might not be. He’s coming back from more than one surgery, isn’t he?

    2. I’m pretty sure we said the same thing about AJ Burnett at the end of April last year, too.

  8. I’m not that fickle I guess. I watch for Hererra and Giles. I watch for Utley and Cole. I watch just to watch other teams good players. I’m a baseball nut so I can appreciate good players even if they are on other teams.

    And at the end of the day the more we lose the better off we are. So far they all seem to be competing.

    1. ‘And at the end of the day the more we lose the better off we are’.
      There you go DMAR….tank you. 🙂

      1. Exactly Romus its nothing to be ashamed of. Most important is that the young players play hard and do everything possible to give off the appearance that they are giving max effort.

        and the Vets need to play at a high level so they can play their way onto a contender.

        The one gripe I have about Cole is that when the team is playing bad behind him he tends to show it in his body language and facial expression. yeah he is human I get it and it can be pretty bad but you have to find a way to take the high road and show positive attitude.

    2. I agree . . I find myself looking to see what certain guys are doing . .Hererra and Giles are def 2 of the guys I look for. Hamels and Utley as well bc i’d like to see them moved for prospects, then Harang as well. The thing with Harang is that didn’t the Braves have a chance to move him last year and they didn’t. I’m not sure if they actually tried and there were no takers or what the issue was but if I remember correctly he has a decent year.

  9. I’ve seen most of their games on tv, mainly just to see Hererra. I’ve been impressed so far. I also watch to see Asche, Galvis, Rupp and the young arms in the pen. After watching Galvis struggle to hit last year I’m surprised at how much better he’s looked, granted it’s a small sample size but still good to see. Asche has been fun to watch as well. Out of the pen I’m most interested in seeing what Garcia can do, as the others we’ve already seen what they can do last year but if the phils can get another young cheap arm that can get the job done in Garcia then that’s good news at least.

    1. Diekman needs to get going so we can trade him too. Hell if the bravo’s can trade the best closer in the game we should be able to move a flame throwing lefty for a more useful piece to the future.

    2. I wish I knew how to find this stat. What did galvis hit before the homerun off chapman, and after it. I just have a feeling that homerun change him for a while. and now he is back to hitting it where its pitch and not trying for homeruns.

      1. Custom Splits are not my thing Rocco but I bet someone could do it on fangraphs if you got them the date of that HR

      2. He’s using a much heavier bat this year causing him to shorten his swing. It seems to be working.

          1. I missed that, I guess he felt too slow against the big fastballs they faced recently. I’ll expect more pop ups now….

      3. 5/19/13 was the date. Looking at Brooks Baseball, 2 things pop out. BABIP on hard stuff has really dropped (.285 pre vs.223 post) as has his ISO (.182 vs .138.) Both lefty and right are consistent.

        1. i’ve always wondered about Galvis pre/post Chapman homerun. Diving a little deeper, Galvis has more than doubled his pop up rate against pretty much every pitch type. I’m sure someone somewhere is blaming it on J-Roll.

  10. Making my way up to the Philly area from FL this weekend and will visit Lakewood (thur,) Allentown (fri) and Harrisburg (reading- Sat) for the first time. Any insights on the ballparks? anyone else attending these games? Pretty excited to see Quinn, Franco and Tocci in the same weekend.

    1. All are great parks. Lakewood and LHV are new pretty parks while Reading older but still great in a classic sense. They all have lots of minor league between innings stuff that’s still fun somehow.

    2. Yeah the Harrisburg stadium is really nice since they re-did it. It’s on City Island just across a walking bridge from downtown where there are plenty of bars and restaurants within walking distance. You can also park on the island. Hope you enjoy it

      1. Lakewood is a little like Brighthouse Field North – it has a similar feel and build. I still haven’t been to Lehigh Valley, but I sure love Reading – it’s awesome.

        Also, speaking of Reading, one more thing to report, albeit a little late. Probably the only thing that truly surprised me that evening was just how good of a baseball athlete Aaron Altherr appears to be. Physically, he’s built something like Jayson Werth or John Mayberry. He is fast, can throw and can crush a ball. His big issue, to me, was plate discipline and the hit tool. If the plate discipline he’s been showing early in the season is legitimate, he has a real upside. Sometimes it takes these really large players a bit longer to develop; I’m hoping he’s one of the exceptions.

        1. Have to agree on Altherr. Approach and plan seem improved, sss and all. At least it looks that way on

  11. Spongehead hope to hear a report on the players from you. If you are driving stop at romus house instead of a hotel. He has a bb in Lakewood.

    1. Sounds like a perfect spot to file a game report. Romus, any truth to you offering complimentary drinks and shuttle service too?

    2. spongehead….ignore rocco….but enjoy the trip up north…weather this weekend looks to be pretty good so far.

        1. I see the blue plate special is a favorite on yelp- but the service is poor. Thx for all the feedback. Drinks on me.

  12. Good to see some of the young guys on the big club and high minors performing well. Of course it’s early and some of it is high BABIP driven. I was wondering that if at least a few of the guys continue to show promise, is it worth keeping Hamels and trying to sign Heyward to a long term deal (it’ll probably take a Werth/C. Crawford contract) to speed up the rebuild. Next year will be his age 26 season and we really don’t have any good RF in the pipeline. Sort of thinking of the following lineup by June, 2016:
    Quinn CF
    Crawford SS
    Heyward RF
    Franco 3B
    Utley/Ruf 1B
    Asche LF
    Ruiz C
    Herrera 2B
    Starters: Hamels, Nola, Eflin, Biddle, FA

    I’m thinking Revere and D. Brown should be traded or nontendered b/c they’re getting too expensive for what they provide. That team will still lose a lot of ballgames, but should be more interesting to watch and there maybe some light at the end of the tunnel.

  13. I was reading up on the draft Ian Happ looks like the best there was named Klye Murphy an RF ” has a swing like Ted Williams ” ok I’m In. There’s going to be so many FA pitchers next yr . What Really worries me is if the Phillies go after a power pitcher that’s over 30 yrs old. Over pay him then he breaks down. I don’t want another Howard or Lee’s contact on the books.

  14. How about how well d’naud is doing for Mets? I know he broke his hand but was really coming on, meanwhile I think drabek got released .

  15. Probably jinxing them by saying this but Clearwater relievers Forsythe, Joaquin and Ridenhour between them have 25k, 0 bb, 0 ERA in 20 total innings of work. Joaquin struck out the 3 batters tonight he faced in a losing effort.

  16. Was at Sundays Lakewood game and Carlos Tocci was impressive. Hit a hustle double on a line drive over the shortstop’s head then went to right field with a single and sliced a double to right. The kid has surprising line drive pop for being so skinny and showed discipline laying off off speed pitches. Did not seem overwhelmed at the plate or in centerfield. Hard to remember he is still a teenager,

  17. Baseball I Q is high can’t teach that plus this is his 3 rd yr at lakewood. Every yr he gets better 11 pds did him good.

  18. A long way to go and I don’t want to put the KOD on Tocci but this is the kid the Tocci lovers have been telling us about. He might not be much bigger but he definitely appears stronger and more explosive. The age of 19 is a beautiful thing for a young man.

  19. Utley is now making a serious run at a BA below .100. All conversation continues to center on Howard. Can we please acknowledge there is a significant disconnect here? I would add that Howard never hid his physical condition from anyone nor refused to discuss it with anyone in the organization. They both need to retire, but the public discourse about their relative virtues needs to shift.

    1. OK, Galvis hits a HR and the Twitter comments are about Howard. I’m trying really hard not to use the “r” word.

      1. The “r” word really is low level border line moron level thinking and it has nothing to do with the amount of rope Utley receives from the fan base. First off we are only 13 games in

        2012 OBP .365 $15 Mil
        2013 OBP .348 $15 Mil
        2014 OBP .339 $15 Mil

        2012 OBP .295 $20 Mil
        2013 OBP .319 $20 Mil
        2014 OBP .310 $25 Mil

        26’s cache wasn’t built in this town based on his color so don’t cheapen the argument by bringing it into the equation. Plenty of white players have worn the red pin stripes and received merciless boos.

  20. Draft is looking even worse. Baseball America reporting that UVA RHP Nathan Kirby is being shut down for 6 to 8 weeks with muscle strain in his pitching arm. MRI reports no tears.

    Pacific OF Gio Brusa is also hurting with elbow strain. Could miss the rest of the season.

  21. Looks like Joe Nathan is down for the count again. Can we start the Papelbon to the Tigers rumor mill up again. What would you take or what would be reasonable Joey Pankake perhaps.

    The best name in baseball maybe!

    1. DMAR…thats good. ….Joey Pankake
      But I really think his pronunciation is pan- ka- key, not pan -cake.
      But he is not even rated that high in the system right now…maybe 15/20 range…I would shoot for one Buck Farmer.

        1. Whoa Buck Farmer WHIP 1.82 but K/9 10.6 in his 2014 MLB IP but his MiLB looks fantastic. That would be a great get for Paps. Hell I’d pay all his remaining salary to get him.

    2. Papelbon’s case is an interesting one. Let’s start with the person – someone who almost everyone will be forced to admit is obnoxious and probably not the guy you most want around in the clubhouse – certainly, he’s no friend of the ownership group who is paying him so handsomely.

      But then let’s talk about the player. More than any player I can recall, Papelbon’s trade value has been hurt by harmed by his loss in velocity. For a closer without an “out” pitch (devastating cutter, splitter, change, etc. . . .), his velocity is about as low as it gets. That said, from what I can see, he hasn’t lost any effectiveness, nor does it appear that his velocity (which dropped precipitiously about 2 years ago) is waning at this point. This guy has plus movement, plus command, throws multiple pitches that are effective and, as much as I can’t stand him personally, he rises to the occasion.

      This is a very long way of saying that he apparently is not viewed as being desirable to contending teams but he should be. He’s a tremendous pitcher and I reluctantly concede that he has pitched to the value of his contract so far.

      You can make a pretty decent argument that had the Tigers acquired him last year, they may have gone farther in the playoffs and perhaps all the way.

      1. I agree completely catch. Thus far this season he has been a model citizen saying and doing the right things. if he wants out he needs to keep up with the good attitude

      2. Paps…the new Lotrimin man….’don’t just try to adjust, but get relief when you really need it’.

      3. It s his contract that’s in the way . His personality would be better serve on a winning team . I think there is a closer still out on the FA market. Come trading deadline there a high value on closers let’s all hope.

      1. There’s a few prospects in Detroit’s system, particularly some pitchers who would interest me in return for Papelbon. Papelbon and a few mil should net the Phillies a Byrd-ish return. Or should I say Lively-ish?

        I hope the big club plays hard this year, and we finish the year with some good stories. Does Asche prove himself worthy of a starting position on a first division team? What of Herrera? The bull pen, including some of their depth there in the entire system, provides a bit of intrigue. At the same time there will be plenty of interesting stories that will carry into the rebuilding effort, I really do hope the Phillies play hard, and lose. A lot. I’d like a top 3 pick going into next year’s draft.

  22. Look at this point who cares who we get for pap. The 13 million they save is going to help Montgomery and giles, make more out of there 5 percentage ownership. worst team in baseball, worst team maybe in history of 162 game season.

    1. Worst teams rocco……Phillies not even going to be close.
      1916 – Philadelphia Athletics AL 36 117 .235 GB 54½
      1935 – Boston Braves NL 38 115 .248 GB 61½
      1962 – New York Mets NL 40 120 .250 GB 60½

    1. Oh boo hoo. If he really wanted to be traded last trade deadline or this off-season, it likely could have happened had he waived his no-trade clause without requiring the automatic vesting of his option. It’s his right not to do so, but then don’t bitch and moan that you weren’t traded. You either wanted to be traded or we wanted to hold up the two teams for your own financial advantage. Please decide what you want and instruct your agent accordingly. You may already have blown any chance to move prior to the trade deadline. Your greed comes back to bite you in the posterior.

  23. How long is it going to take before this team realizes that Ryan Howard is a sunk cost, swallow the contract and release him? The likelihood he turns this around to the point where he would be a worthy trade target is miniscule – meanwhile, he’s like an intestinal blockage for this franchise. There are many things they cannot do until he moves on, including, by the way, win games along the way. If they release him now, Ruf can get more at bats and Franco can be recalled within the next month or two and get more at bats. They have to start getting young players experience and see who works and who doesn’t.

    By the way, I’m not sure if anyone else caught this but on the pre-game show a couple of days ago, Ruben Amaro let it slip that when Brown’s rehab is done he may stay in the minors. That’s fine with me as he hasn’t shown the ability to play well at any level in more than a year. That said, why did they let Wally Joyner walk? What hubris. If you look at the cost of another hitting coach and how much he can elevate the value of one of the organization’s regular players, it’s so clear that it would be worth the cost. But it’s the same arrogance that allowed them to let Davy Lopes go even though Lopes’ value obviously far outstripped whatever extra money they might pay him.

    1. I don’t discount that Joyner was good for Brown but I stick to my point that Brown must be mentally weak. I hope he is not pinning his career to a hitting coach.

      One must consider they didn’t just let Joyner walk as much as Joyner wanted out but at the same time Joyner probably wanted to be some where else because of the situation being dysfunctional (2 hitting coaches and a new manager with more old than young players to work with) not to mention Ryno sent him out to coach 1B towards the end of that season. Probably not what Wally signed up for.

      reality is a hitting coach’s job stability depends on the players he has to work with. Tigers vs Phillies at the point in time where the decision was made was a no brainer for Wally.

      Lopes on the other hand they should have ponied up for him. I think ego’s got in the way with that one and in the end he didn’t get that much more from the Dodgers than the Phillies offer but he did get closer to his home in San Diego.

    2. IMO, they may put Howard on the 60-day DL with some sort of ailment and let him try to work things out on his own, at his Florida home, and do some things at the Carpenter Complex.
      Come July, his total cost will be $45M left on his contract, I believe, and the Phillies were mentioned to be willing to pick $35M earlier. Maybe they still think some team , who may have incurred some injuries, may be interested.

      1. The DL option seems most reasonable to me for Howard saves him some dignity. Don’t like the idea of just releasing him now

  24. It is all coming to the point where Howard will need to be released. I think everyone but the Phils Management knows that he is done. Nothing will happen that will encourage anyone to take him. My question is that when it happens, and Franco gets called up, who plays where? Ache at 3rd, Franco at 1st, leaves Ruf out. They all deserve a spot to see what they have over an extended period.

    1. I am OK with Asche playing third this year to build up some possible trade value. However, going forward Franco should be playing third base. Quite simply he is a better fielder than Asche. It simply makes no sense to play a worse fielder at a possition simply because his bat doesn’t play at another position. Franco at third and Asche at first (or left) puts a better team on the field than Asche at third and Franco at first. If Franco proves that he can handle majorly pitching this means that the Phillies best move is to agressively shop Asche. Having Revere in left complicates this some because either Asche has to learn a another new position where his bat is inadequate or Revere has to move to the bench (or be non-tendered).

  25. I thought about it and I am totally against Franco at first, I rather put him at third and ache at first. why weaking two position with Franco at third you have your third basement, asche is not the fielder that Franco is and needs another position, just don’t know if he is a first basemen or outfielder in future.

    1. By next year, Franco needs to be at third, but right now, he needs major league at bats and Asche cannot transition to a new position mid-year. He should come up, play first, with some at bats at third. Asche should stay put and develop his hitting. Ruf should play some in left and some at first. I am convinced that Ruf can hit – he’s just got to get on a roll. My worst nightmare is always that they expose Ruf and he goes on to hit 25 homers a year for the next 5 years for the Royals or As – a team as bad as the Phillies should know enough to get Ruf more consistent playing time.

      Long-term if they keep Asche, he will have to play outfield or second (probably a no go), he doesn’t have enough bat to justify playing him first – there’s no reason or justification to move him someplace where his bat will not play up.

      1. I think the more likely scenario this year and maybe long-term is to move Franco to first base.

        Ruf is what he is, a bench player.

        Howard needs to show something in the next month. They cannot wait until July for him to come around, if he does.

        Franco needs major league at-bats and I agree that having Asche switch positions mid-season would be problematic.

        If Quinn and Altherr continue to develop and Asche continues to play well the best place for Franco may end up being first base. But that is not an issue to deal with this year. Right now the focus is on getting Franco at-bats and finding an answer to the black hole that is first base and the four spot in the lineup.

        1. Franco doesn’t need major league at bats until he can prove he can sustain a reasonable BB/K rate in AAA. And as I said above he is a better third baseman then Asche so there is no reason to move him off the position long term yet. Once he becomes too big and/or too old to be a good fielder only then you move him long term to first base. That might not be until he is 30 or older, however. Pablo Sandoval has shown that a big man can be capable of playing third.

          I understand and support leaving Asche at thid this year but if Franco proves capable then Asche will need to prove he is the best option in left or at first or find himself on the bench or with a different team.

      2. I see Asche at first as a poor man’s version of Adam LaRoche. His glove will play out well, and the hit tool, but his power will be I would guess in the 15/17 HR range.

        1. I’d rather have Asche’s adequate glove at first and Franco good glove at third rather than Asche’s sub-par glove at third and Franco’s adequate glove at first. Now if you could develop or sign a better firstbaseman you do it. Hell, I’d been fine with them moving Franco to first if the deveped or signed a third baseman with a better glove than Franco and a better bat than Asche.

          1. Oddly…..Asche emulates and reminds people of Utley.
            Utley, tried at Scranton, but could not make it happen at third base, and Asche also tried in the minors, but could not make it happen at second base.
            Bizarro world!

            1. Supposedly, the comparison is valid regarding their work ethic. I read some quotes from Reading coaches to that effect.

              Young players with good work ethic are great to have around a young clubhouse. They motivate others through actions and often turn into leaders.

          2. It doesn’t make any sense to turn Cody Asche into a first baseman if he can play any other position – you’re probably better off trading him than reducing his value in that way.

            1. Reduce his value?
              How so?
              I thought the objective was to win ballgames
              I look at it that he doesn’t need to worry about defense, since he can glove and throw already, and can concentrate more on his hitting.
              Did it reduce either of Miguel C or A. Pujols value…granted Asche is not in their hitting league by a long shot, but they were switched …..but do you think switching to play first base seems to be indicative of a reduction in worth?

            2. I go back to what I mentioned earlier…..he could give you the same production of an Adam LaRoche, which I think is decent.

            3. I have always thought that Franco is far more valuable at 3rd. because he is a good fielder. It seems to me the Phillies should eventually trade Asche for a young right handed hitting outfielder. An infielder who hits is more valuable that an outfielder with the same offensive production, so they should be able to do something along those lines, instead of taking an infielder and trying to convert him into an outfielder

            4. Romus God bless you but I’m not going to get into a long discussion about the relatively higher value of player who can competently play a more difficult defensive position as opposed to the easiest defensive position on the field. No offense, but it’s kind of a central premise of baseball analytics. Cody Asche is way more valuable as an above average hitting third baseman than he is as an average hitting first baseman.

  26. The problem with having Asche switch now is that they should have him take fielding practice now at the new position but I doubt that is happening.

    Franco played either 25 or 27 games at first last year and have put him in at first twice so far this year (that could be due to Canzler having a hot start at first). I think that is a stopgap measure but who knows, Howard could get bought out and Franco put at first just for the second half of this year to get him MLB at-bats.

    Either way, it is far too early to think about trading someone like Asche. You are just starting a rebuild and it will be a couple of years before the bulk of the talent come up (pitchers, Crawford, Quinn, Altherr, etc.)

    You don’t want to trade Asche now and then find out that Franco cannot make the adjustment. They both need at-bats and they both should play everyday.

    In any event, it is one of the good problems on the Phillies roster right now.

    1. What Ruben alluded to in January with Asche was the thought that maybe LF could be his final destination. I assume that was with Franco eventually settling at third.
      In any event, I would not trade him at this point.

      1. I think that is a possible destination for him, I also wouldn’t trade him now if I don’t have to, and I’m fine with him trying to play left field. See we’re friends again 🙂

    2. What does it mean that Howard could get bought out? He’s guaranteed all the money on his contract so why would he take less. He could be released. That seems like the only possibility for getting rid of him at this point.

      1. He does get all the remaining money…just not sure about any of the option year monies though.

  27. Going into this season, Howard was owed $60 Million. $25 per year for 15 and 16 and a $10 Million buyout, or another $25 Million for 2017. Clearly, that option will not be picked up, hence the $60 Million number. He gets every dime. But, I believe that, at some point this season, Howard gets released. I think that Franco has to get a shot at 3B. He is a much better fielder than Asche. His value is much greater as a 3B than as a 1B. I don’t know where that leaves Asche, but if he continues to progress, he can move to LF, and revere can go elsewhere.

    1. Why would he do that? Why would they do that? They don’t need salary cap relief or financial help – in fact, for planning purposes, they are almost better giving him a front loaded buy out, rather than spreading it out over time. But they have to get rid of him. The organization cannot take its next big step forward, or even first step back to take two steps forward with him around. Just think how much easier it will be to get young guys playing time and promote Franco in a way that will give him an opportunity with Ryan Howard gone. The fact that this team is so stupidly stubborn is, at this point, amazing. I would go so far as to say they are nearly delusional.

      1. They are not going to do anything until mid-May at least due to Franco’s arb clock so until then Howard gets an opportunity to redeem himself.

        They are not being stubborn, they are playing their hand.

        1. Agree on timing with Franco’s are clock – if that’s what they are doing its fine

          1. But they are still pretty stubborn. And it’s not at all a foregone conclusion Franco will be promoted when his Arb clock has run and Howard will be released at that time. But I hope you’re right.

            1. Seems everyone….media/fans want Howard released.
              That ain’t the Phillie Way under Ruben or even Pat.
              I can see in mid-May Howard placed on the 30-DL, initially I would say a 60-day DL but that would take some doing administratively with the union, then Franco plays at first mid-May thru 3rd week of June….Howard after working out in Florida at his home and driving over to the Carpenter Complex for his swings, returns for a few weeks and Ruben hopes he gets some life back in the bat and is able to become attractive to someone for the July trade deadline

  28. On another front, I think that Papelbon actually brings something back this trade deadline. There are a number of teams who have BP needs, the Tigers among them again, and if the Phils eat half of the 2016 option year, they can get a prospect back. Haven’t heard from LarryM in a while, and I wonder if that is a realistic scenario. Also, the teams that may be in on Hamels should grow. Toronto, Seattle, the Cubs, the Dodgers may be interested. finally, if Harang keeps this up, he is a really nice trade piece at the Deadline. That seems to be all that we can watch for from this team until Franco comes up.

    1. Even the Nationals may have an interest in Paps
      Can you imagine an inter-divisional trade with the Nats!.
      But they do have some good prospects in the 5-10 range of their system.

      1. Lucas Giolito for Paps. straight up. We’ll eat 500k. They should do it.

        But seriously, who is in there 5-10 range? I thought they were very top heavy and then a drop. Is there depth very young?

        1. Jakson Peetz the catcher could be a good long-range prospect.
          Austin Voth and Nick Pivetta are both RHP who could be mid-rotation guys.
          You will not get a ‘Lucas Giolito’ type from anyone.

    1. Perhaps more teams will be calling for Hamels……Ruben should pull the trigger.
      If an injury happens to Hamels, as it did with Lee, the loss of presumably two top tier prospects could seriously delay the rebuild.
      Perhaps the Yankees could be back in the pix if CC is failing also.
      Aaron Judge could be a player in one of the corner OF positions.

  29. Nothing more important right now than for Hamels to remain Hamels-ish. I expect a fantastic market for Hamels provided he pitches to career norms

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