Open Discussion: Week of May 11th

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

Jonathan Papelbon made 2 appearances and finished 2 games this week, converting his one save opportunity.  After 32 games, Papelbon has made 12 appearances, 11 games finished (6 saves, 5 non-saves).

Some other random stuff to light the fire –

  • Chase Utley .116/.194/.221/.415 (lowest BA of any Phillies position player, 3 SP have higher BA – Hamels, Buchanan, and Billingsley)
  • Hamels .273/.273/.273/.545
  • Buchanan .167/.167/.333/.500
  • Billingsley .333/.333/.333/1.667
  • Billingsley has more HR (1) than Blanco, Hernandez, Herrera, Revere, Ruiz, Rupp, and Sizemore.
  • Phillies .228/.282/.332/.614 (still the worst in NL)
  • Although they have played more games than 9 NL teams. their 91 runs is the lowest in the league.  Their 241 hits is tied for lowest with the division-leading Mets.  They lead the league with 10 triples, but trail the league with 17 HRs.
  • Their team ERA had been middle-of-the-road, but has now dropped to the bottom 4 in the NL.  They have allowed the most hits (295) and the most walks (122).  Opponents are hitting .272, only the Rockies’ .291 is higher.
  • And, finally (it’s early but what the heck) the Phillies’.344 winning percentage is tied for the worst in baseball with the surging Milwaukee Brewers.  They are one of five teams with a winning percentage below .400.

87 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of May 11th

  1. Keeping my eye on teams that need starting pitching. Boston needs a #1 and has prospects to flip for Hamels. The Cubs were hot early but have started their slide. Do they think they can contend right now or is it “wait ’till next year’ all over again. And a few other teams that will fade pretty quickly without an ace. I don’t know what the Phils will do without Hamels and/or Harang or even Williams. They certainly aren’t doing very well with them. We might see the Fab 5 from Reading pitching in the big leagues by August. I’m joking of course… but maybe not.

    1. I see Harang going first….then Hamels in mid-July timeframe. Williams, I think, is staying, not sure there will be interest. Billingsley could draw interest once he gets over the 4th/5th inning hump.

  2. Keep throwing Utley out there everyday, we’ll get that #1 draft pick for sure… Utley, Howard, francuer and Sizemore should be playing in LHV

    1. Howard has picked it up a bit but boy Sizemore, Ruf, and Utley are just dragging down this lineup.

      When you run three guys with sub-.200 BA’s out there it just crushed the entire lineup.

  3. Harang is drawing some interest from teams that are losing to injuries mid-to-back of the rotation starters. MLMTR reports a ‘second-tier- prospect’ can be had. I would hope that Ruben also gets a few dollars in the ‘international bonus pool monies’ added to any transactions…..especially since Jhailyn Ortiz may cost >$4M, and the Phillies total pool is less then that

  4. Well, we all knew the Phillies would be bad, but so far they have exceed expectations in that regard. I figured they would end up about 65-97 on the year, but right now they are on pace to win only 56 games and finish 50 games under .500 (56-106). That is brutally bad.

    1. I saw the following on the thegoodphight website:

      The gap in run differential between the Phils and the second worst team is now up to 13: the Phillies are at -60, vs. the Rockies’ -47.

      The pythagorean projection based on that run differential puts them on pace for a 46-116 record.

      http://www.thegoodphight.com/2015/5/11/8577079/phillies-stat-notes.

      I don’t recall what my pre-season prediction was, but I think I pegged the Phillies for roughly 67 wins. I may have been too optimistic.

  5. Bak I Tried to tell my friend romus this team might not win 60 and could be one of the worst teams ever. if they win 56 I will lose my bet.

    1. rocco……but a number a one pick is at stake in 2016….tank you.

      Dusty Watham on Nola after yesterday’s game:

      “It’s hard to project guys,” Wathan said. “Is he a number three? Yeah, he’s probably a number three pretty soon in the major leagues. Can he develop into a number one? Probably he can. I never saw Greg Maddux pitch in the minor leagues, but I would imagine not many people said he was a number one just because he wasn’t a flame thrower. “But he got better as he aged and threw the ball where he wanted more and more and he was able to master pitch grips and move balls all over the place. I’m not going to compare Aaron to Greg Maddux, but I’m going to say I think he can get better and better. He doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but there is a lot more that goes into pitching than overpowering stuff. The number one thing is throwing it where you want it, and he throws it where he wants it a lot.”

  6. My issue isn’t with the team losing as I prefer to be in a position to get the top pick in the 2016 draft but most of the young guys are squandering their chance to prove they belong at this level….

  7. If LA offered Alex Guerrero for Hamels what else would you want in a trade besides him . . . Obviously not getting their top 3 guys if Guerrero is in the deal. Or at 28 is Guerrero too old to be a part of their rebuild?

    1. Unfortunately, Guerrero has an opt-out clause in his contract that triggers if he gets traded, so he won’t be a target for a long-term rebuild.

    2. I’ll start that conversation with Grant Holmes and with your point of his age and Matt’s point with his opt out no to Guerrero. They won’t deal us Seager so there isn’t much else in their system for positional players.

      Arms are plentiful though in their system

    3. He’s also too old for a rebuild process. He will be over 30 before they rejoin the playoff conversation.

  8. Btw looking at MLB.com they have Jhailyn Ortiz is ranked 1 in their international prospect rankings. I didn’t realize that he was seen as the top international guy but any publication. This is what MLB.com says about him:

    Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 65 | Run: 35 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50
    Two words come to mind when Ortiz’s name is mentioned: raw power.

    Ortiz has the most raw power in the entire class, the type of power scouts have not seen from a player his age in years. The teenager puts on a show during batting practice and more importantly, he has shown the ability to hit for power in games. His home runs are legendary, and his line drives into the gaps are just as impressive.

    Some scouts have concerns about his overall athleticism and wonder if his large frame will eventually force him to switch positions from the outfield (left field) to first base. Others believe he has the tools to stay in the outfield and he will only get better on defense and as an overall hitter once he signs and is placed into a team’s academy. One thing is certain, the type of power Ortiz has does not come around very often and the team that signs him is getting a player that can not only hit home runs, but can hit them into the upper deck.

    The Phillies have expressed the most interest in Ortiz.

    I’m worried that they are only going after this kid and no one else. Haven’t heard them connected with anyone else. If they are going to break the allotted bonus cap then they need to break it with multiple signings. At least that’s my opinion.

    1. ‘I’m worried that they are only going after this kid and no one else’..do you mean after spending somewhere around $4M on Ortiz, they just do not sign anyone else?
      They normally sign 30/40 every year…..many at lower then $100K.
      Now will they spend the $800.900K range like they did with the likes of a Gamboa/Brito/Encarnacion/Pujols etc…..maybe not,
      I think Ruben really needs to get his act in gear to get an additional $1M or so just to get Ortiz under contract and still not bust his allocation pool, if $4M actually does take to sign Ortiz. Right now they are at approx. $3M. They are ‘penalized’ teams that cannot go over $300K threshold that he can make some deals with to get their surplus monies to ass to the Phillies allocation pool.

      1. I know that they will sign more then just him but I mean more top guys then just Ortiz. Going through MLB.coms top 30 guys there are multiple teams mentioned as favorites for multiple guys with the Cubs and Dodgers leading the way. I just hope they get a fee more top guys that’s all. If they are gonna bust the pool then bust it big time.

        1. I don’t know that he hasn’t . . . I’m just saying there are a bunch of other teams linked to top 30 guys however we are only linked to one. With that being said he is ranked as the number 1 international prospect by mlb.com.

    2. Boy, that scouting report for Ortiz is terrifyingly similar to Larry Greene’s from when he was drafted. That said, he sounds exciting. It’s good to see the org being more active with the big money July 2 guys.

      1. I’m sure I’m missing some, but these are the Phillies biggest/most expensive international free agents from the last three signing periods:

        Deivi Grullon C (2012 – $575,000)
        Jose Pujols OF (2012 – $540,000)
        Lewis Alezones RHP (2012 – $325,000)
        Willerker Isava SS (2012 – $200,000)
        Gregori Rivero C (2012 – $110,000)
        Luis Encarnacion 1B/3B (2013 – $1M)
        Daniel Brito SS (2014 – $650,000)
        Arquimedes Gamboa SS (2014 – $900,000)
        Lenin Rodriguez C (2014 -$300,000)
        Jonathan Arauz SS (2014 – $600K)
        Jhon Nunez LHP (2014 – $100,000)

          1. I wonder why MLB set the threshold of $300K for the max offering from teams who are under a penalty!
            Was it an analytical forecasted number of the average past signees?

  9. Still trying to fathom why Domonic Brown is in AAA, getting blocked by Sizemore… god this organization is a mess. When is the tipping point? 100 losses? How long is it going to take to make some changes?

    1. They can’t lose enough. I think they have to be this bad for min of 3 years to have legitimate prospect pool to rebuild.

    2. He’s in AAA because if he is going to make it back he needs to get his confidence and timing back, which means playing everyday. Look at his stats in AAA and think about what he would be doing the the majors?

  10. I relize that Sizemore isn’t doing much but Brown isn’t doing anything either and that’s in AAA. I think the FO is also a little disappointment with his attitude, it seems very content and entitled. D. Brown has no reason to feel that way, out side of one money he has been pretty bad . . Among one of the worst OFers in MLB.

  11. You know, it’s difficult to overstate just how good of prospect J.P. Crawford is at this point. He’s a guy who just turned 20, plays a great SS, has at least a 60 hit tool, probably 65-70 plate discipline and is developing power. He’s the team’s best prospect since Cole Hamels.

  12. I know there have been those who have expressed joy in watching the Red Sox falter to start the season, but if they fall too far they might not be interested in Hamels at the trade deadline. They are definitely a team you want in the mix, if only to help drive the price higher.

  13. If the Phillies go over their international pool for Ortiz, I would hope they will go all in on the international market. I know that the international draft is supposedly coming, but if it does not come before next year or the year after, the Phils will be out for the big names over the next couple of years. Shouldn’t they go whole hog this year in order to make up for the possibility of missing the next two years of the Int. market? When the Red Sox or Yankees go over, they REALLY go over to the tune of $30-$50 million +/-. I don’t want the Phils to go over by a few million. That seems counterproductive.

    Any Cuban players on the horizon to add to the LA signings? I really want a Cuban star to help jump start the rebuild.

    Also, if they go to a draft for Int. players, I would think there would be some sort of carryover sanctions for teams that had previously exceeded the Int. pool. I find it hard to believe that MLB will just let the offenders off the hook because they switch to a draft.

  14. This might sound a little crazy but if you are going to roll all of the International baseball stuff into a draft, combine, and development program I would consider trading the rights to two franchises for the Cuban Baseball League.

    If Cuba opens up in the next year you get two new franchises in a baseball hungry country in return for their network of stadiums and consolidate all of the LA markets in one place.

    Right now the DR is a pretty skeevy place and there is growing political risk across Mexico, Colombia, and Venezuela.

    1. It’s not what it seems. This is not BA saying the cupboard is full, this is RAJ saying that. He mentions Rupp, Lino, Knapp, and Guillon and avers that the Phillies are happy with their catching depth. Nothing to see here.

      1. omg rupp he stinks. and I saw a lot of him when he played at texas. Thought he had a chance to be a good hitter, but he cant hit or catch.

    1. rocco….fantasy trade…..Ryan Howard, some of his $$$ contract, and Ben Revere to the Brewers for 31-year old Ryan Braun. Phillies will eat a lot of future money until 2020, but Braun is the right-handed bat in LF and could resurrect his career and be a veteran part of the future rebuild.

      1. Brewers, get out of Braun’s contract….Howard has reduced payment one year left and they get Revere for a Publishers Clearinghouse lifetime if they want.

          1. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible either. I watched the game, and it could’ve been a lot worse for Biddle, but he hung in there.

  15. I know it’s only a month and a half into the season, but I’m interested to hear about the phils young pen arms. The team is painful to watch but they seem to be putting together a nice group of arms in the pen. Giles, Diekman seem to get the most coverage but De Fratus, Garcia, and Araujo seem to be doing well. For Araujo I assume he gets sent back down but haven’t heard too much on him during his major league time. Do the phils have something in these guys?

  16. Tommy Joseph’s latest concussions should put an end to his catching days, at least for this year. When he returns I assume a first base stop is in order.

  17. I feel like tonight’s start by Hamels is going to be the start that causes a team to pull the trigger and trade for him. Just a hunch.

    1. That could definitely happen. I think teams are a bit nuts not to really want Hamels and Papelbon. Let’s start with Hamels – yes, he has a generous contract, but he’s still fairly young, the contract is for another 3-4 years and it’s a market or better contract. When he pitches well, he’s an ace or close to it. Where can you get a mid-career ace on a 3-4 year contract? That’s right, you really can’t – there’s no such beast available on the free agent market and there won’t be. He’s worth it.

      On Papelbon, his initial decreases in velocity were concerning, but he’s the one in six or one in seven guy who evolves as a pitcher and does just fine notwithstanding the decrease. Teams can have him for a song and the Phillies will pay part of his salary. Any superb team that does not have a closer or the guys to close by committee would be stupid not to bite on this. I can’t stand the guy on a personal level, but Jonathan Papelbon the pitcher is undeniably excellent. The Tigers’ failure to acquire him last year at what almost certainly would have been a more than reasonable price may have cost them a WS.

  18. I was thinking this morning. What team wouldn’t do a package for hamels and pap. It to me is a guarantee 10-15 wins . With so many prospects that fail. you compare that to a almost sure thing. barring injury. it is insane they offer nothing of value to the Phillies. I really think teams just are waiting but to me the more they wait. and performances like last night, the price should just get higher.

    1. LAD may be a team..can afford them, have a need and have prospects… that may want them both together. Bososx probably do not want to revisit Paps. Yankees have no need for Paps. Tigers have no need for Hamels. Cardinals probably only prefer Hamels.

      1. I don’t think they can. They have one position player in Seager and you know they are not going to give him up or will they?

  19. dmar I remember another untouchable. who imo isn’t so far the stud player. Detroit though. castellano. remember prospects are just that , until they prove themselves at big league level. The dodgers would most likely give up the most. cause they will just sign every stud player in dr, cuba and other countries, they have so much money and the will to win. Can you imagine adding hamels and pap to that team.

    1. rocco…you are beginning to sway me a bit on prospects….but usually you still need to give them 2/3 years in the majors before you really can determine how they will progress to the level expected. Some like Trout and Harper come on strong…..trend down a little, then blossom up and remain that way. Some start slow and trend up.
      Seager could be a possibility since you are correct, LAD will continue to sign the Cubans and LA players….at least until a draft is in place.

      1. Rocco I tend to agree with Romus. Prospects need time to find themselves and that usually needs to occur over a handful of seasons.

        I think we were all kind of spoiled with guys like Trout and Harper but a quick look out in KC and you can see how Hosmer, Gordon and the Moose have had up and down success but now seem to be stablizing

  20. The Blue Jays are a good spot for pap, also. I think it will work better to trade them separately. On another matter, at what point do the Phils release Howard and Utley? I cannot bear the thought of them both back next year. It is more disrespectful, if that is the hold up, to sit them on the bench. You can’t let Utley get to 500 ABs, and neither will get anything in a trade. It has to come to a head sometime in the next 30-45 days, don’t you think?

    1. I am still holding out hope the O’s will take a chance with Howard, once the Phillies pick up 90% of the remaining portion of the contract. If he listens to ARod on how the DH is saving him and keeping him stronger so far, maybe Howard will like the idea of an AL DH part time player, and the O’s get back in contention maybe they may want him as the power DH, since it seems his power is trending upward now.

    2. I agree they should trade them separately. With regard to Chase and Ryan I don’t think I’m comfortable just releasing them but keeping their playing time in check should be paramount.

    3. Howard will get his 20 something homeruns and 90 rbi. not too bad. I have watched Utley and for the first time in a long time. I have no clue on what he is doing wrong.

      1. He’s not doing anything wrong, but his legs are gone. Two HS baseball coaches separately have said to me that he clearly is done, a combo of the leg injuries and age. In some ways it’s amazing he lasted this long. Robbie Alomar, the best second baseman I ever saw, was done several years longer.

      2. rocco…well, its not his K rate….he is K ing at 15% this year vs his career of 14%. So he has aged.

  21. Utley is just hitting historically horribly, but Howard just hit his 7th HR and I think they are all since April 20something. Maybe he does get a shot in the AL to DH. He is tracking over 25 HRS and that is, at least, something. Meanwhile Harang looks like a terrific trade piece, and I am convinced that Hamels and Pap trades will result in some good prospects. Fingers crossed!

    1. Time for Utley to move on from Plante and Paige’s Zepps’ Kashmir…served him well thru the years.

  22. Keeping Utley in the 3 spot has to be coming from ownership because I refuse to believe that anyone can be that dumb.

    There is no rational, logical, or sane reason why he should be in the three spot.

    1. On the other hand, he works hard and play baseball the right way, so this really could be a BowaBerg decision.

    2. Utley is also very good at moving runners over which kept the one inning going and produced an insurance run, I agree that he should not be a #3 hole hitter but he still works the count better than most Phillies, moves runners by making contact and is a good clubhouse influence. His low BAPIP rate is very unlucky which would indicate some bounce back is due.

      1. 36 games or more than 20% into the season. It had better be one huge bounce back.

        This is a combination of age and injuries catching up with him starting at the All Star break last year.

    3. Who else is going to hit there? The line up just isn’t that good and the games are meaningless anyway.

  23. I know that the Phillies have no 3 spot hitter but to put a guy hitting .100 in that spot crushes any semblance of a rally.

    At the very least put your top three OBP guys at the top of the order so that teams are forced to pitch to Howard.

  24. The phillies 4th and 5th starters have a total of 1 win by Gonzalez. They can get better if they fill the 4th and 5th starters better.

  25. Franco wow if he stays like this +plus his defense it gives us something too watch. 2 pitches are down looks like Gonzalez and Sullivan the 5th unless Amonte gets his chance.

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