Open Discussion: Week of June 22nd

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

The 2015 Draft Tracker is pinned at the top of the site.  It has also been added with other 2015 draft stuff under the pull-down menu titled “The Draft”.  The Tracker includes bonus information that I have been able to confirm and all signing to date.  I added Luke Williams as signed.  His Twitter account indicates he is a member of the Philadelphai Phillies and an article from a home town paper indicates he signed, probably for slot.

Some random stuff to light a fire –

  • I’ve seen a few bloggers go bonkers over the Phillies selecting SS high in the draft.  One questioned whether Crawford was draft fodder after the Randolph pick.  After the Williams pick, Canelo’s future was questioned.  Comments like these tend to support the contention that some people don’t understand the process.  This is not an indictment of anyone who comments here.  But more of an observation of all the bloggers, twitter accounts, and media I follow.  I understand the level of dislike people have for the current management team.  But, criticism for the sake of criticism gets old.  When the critic displays a lack of understanding, it renders the criticism moot.
  • Drafting the best player available vs. drafting for need.  This is an interesting topic.  Baseball is different from football or basketball where a player can be drafted and immediately be inserted into a first string position.  I’ve only been following the minors for a few years now, so I don’t have a firm position on this.  Since a draft pick is a few years away from contributing at the major league level, I guess I can see taking the best player available with your higher picks.
  • For a really good article on the draft check out the article James posted on June 9th, if you missed it.
  • Sorry, I haven’t been following the Phillies close enough to offer up a subject.  Unless you want to talk about Sandberg and his handling of the bullpen.  I was one who really looked forward to the day when Sandberg would take over as manager.  However, I don’t think I want to see Nola, Biddle, Eflin, et al move up to the majors while Sandberg and McClure are still there.

87 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of June 22nd

  1. Speaking of pithing coaches, i’d still really like to see Ray Burris go.

    On a positive note, I’ve been pretty impressed with Rupp this year. He’s moved from back-up to playing almost a platoon with Ruiz. Didn’t have high expectations for him, but he’s held his own. Certainly serviceable–he’s second among position players in WAR.

    1. You’d like to see Ray Burris go, where? To the Majors, maybe, but I’ve been more and more impressed with him every year. In fact, he’s so good from a developmental standpoint I’d probably prefer that he remain in the minors.

    2. What’s wrong with Burris? I’ve heard nothing but good things about him. I’ve heard arguments to promote Biddle just to get him hooked up with Burris bc he’s such a good pitching coach. What am I missing?

  2. I’d like to see Lino grow into become the lead catcher for the phils – by the early to mid 2016

  3. Best player available versus drafting for need:
    All else being equal (e.g., signability), always take the best player available. This is especially true of pitchers and position players with higher defensive importance (catcher, SS, and CF). Stockpiling a single position tends to work itself out via injury, trades, or positional changes. If players are rated approximately equal, which is probably the norm after the first several rounds, drafting for a specific need makes sense.

    Ryne Sandberg:
    Sandberg has been handed a crappy team, but he has shown absolutely nothing to indicate that he is anything but a “meh” manager. This has all been documented on other sites, but his questionable moves include: [a] pitching an obvious off Cole Hamels another inning after throwing 100 pitches in five innings, [b] overworking certain members of the bullpen (e.g., DeFratus) with predictable results, and [c] insistence on bunting

    1. He includes Margot in that package. I think we’re getting closer if that deal gets put on the table.

      1. I really think Amaro isn’t the one who will trade Hamels. I would take margot. Devers and Swihart, Brian Johnson. if Swihart isn’t in the deal then go to another team. The thing thats attractive about Hamels, to me is beside him being a ace. He really has a friendly contract. The guidelines were set I still believe by Washington. Guys like price will top 200 million. Hamels is cheaper and less years tied up. So whoever wants him has to give us a great package. I don’t mind keeping him if we don’t get value.

      2. Margot, Vasquez, Moncada and a pitcher….maybe Johnson.
        That’s what I would start with.
        When they balk again, as they fear losing one prospect is detrimental to their future…then move on….to the Yankees.

          1. Hope Ruben makes the Cole deal with the Yankees.. and Aaron Judge is the centerpiece of the package.

            1. Today after listening to Gillick. I am more angry then ever. He is saying that its going to be ruben through the trade deadline. I now believe we have three senile people running this organization. Montgomery. Giles and now Gillick. I just hate what is going on. there is no direction.. Why is chase playing? You cant let him get the next year guan teed. imo it hampers us in getting that money towards, Latin market. Cuba players. and free agents. Its so hard to see Middleton with this forty eight percent and no say, People on here can rip me for my comments but how can we continue with his type of ownership, front office people and scouts. It just isn’t fair to us the fans.

            2. Me too Romus. I also just read and FWIW Cole says no to Houston but yes to either the Rangers or the Yankees plus we also know he would be ok with the Dodgers, Giants, Cubs, Cards.

              To Rocco’s point about them playing Utley and this uproar over $15 Million Dollars. I don’t see the problem and have no trouble having Utley on the roster for another year.

              That $15 million is nothing and is not going to hamper them from doing anything they want to do next season. I would concede the point if this roster was close to doing something and next year was the year you wanted to go out and sign a top line starter but its not.

        1. They would never include Moncada because then Hamels’ team friendly deal becomes an overpay. The $60M they paid Moncada is already a sunk cost because it was all bonus and excise tax. So if they send him to the Phils, they’re still on the hook for it plus Hamels’ contract. Won’t ever happen.

          1. Great point G$ plus I’m not sold on these high price Cuban signs. Take a look at the Top 20 in hitting both avg and ops and tell me how many of these guys are there.

            Sorry but I’m partial to the domestic players that are required to go through the draft process.

            For me the better bang for your LA buck is still in that $1-$4 range on 16-18 yr old players.

    2. Cherington’s problems are not unlike that of Ruben’s. Bill James is in John Henry’s ear and over the top of Cherington meddling or playing Draftkings in all their personnel decisions.

      Whats funny was that you would see James regularly on MLB network with Brian Kinney during the off season when they were making all these moves and now that it appears they have mostly bombed he hasn’t been seen or heard from.

        1. I disagree. It’s still harder to find/develop good hitters in the current baseball landscape. The Sox issue isn’t that they focused on hitting to the detriment of pitching. It’s that they bet on the wrong pitchers. They paid Porcello ace money. That was just a bad decision.

    3. Typical article you would find n the Boston Globe. Team X should trade there biggest trade chip for the following underwhelming prospects from our system…

  4. I don’t have any particular names in mind, however I would like to see either a former pitcher or catcher be the next manager of the Phils. Someone who knows how to handle a pitching staff.

  5. To your point Jimmy I am over Sandberg at this point and would favor a change to Bud Black or possibly Rick Renteria…

  6. Seems John Hart comes back into the Brave’s GM position and guts the team of its ‘superstars’ (the Upton Brothers, J. Heyward, Kimbrel) minus Freddie F and Andrelton Simmons….and now their farm system is ranked top ten from the low 20s when he arrived.
    Hopefully, Ruben heeds the direction that Mr Hart took.

    1. The GMs around the league should envy John’s position. there is very little noise from ownership or old advisors in that front office.

      He had his plan coming in and he is free to execute it. He clearly follows the “acquire as much pitching as you can philosophy”

  7. can someone update me on the status of pettibone? at one time he was a very promising starter.

    1. I have no updates on his right shoulder surgery. But, I saw him leave the Complex Saturday. He stopped to sign an autograph for the guy I was talking to. He looks to be in good shape.

      On April 5th, Pettibone was placed on the 15-Day DL retroactive to March 27th.

      I reported this back on April 17th – “Jonathon Pettibone was scheduled to throw about 25 pitches in the XST game at Dunedin. He threw an 11-pitch 1st inning retiring the Jays 1-2-3. His fast ball was fairly steady at 86 and reached 87 on his last pitch. He threw 9 strikes. The coaches opted to have him finish his work in the bullpen. Pretty good first outing. The velocity isn’t important yet. That he was able to throw without pain was a step in the right direction.”

      I haven’t seen him pitch since. He was placed on the 60-Day DL on April 28th. That may have been a numbers thing with the 40-man roster more than an indication of a physical setback.

  8. Romus if the Phillies sent Hayden from the draft to Williamsport. and Hoskins is still at Lakewood. I am confused where they send martin? They cant put him in gcl? or do they send him to Clearwater.

    1. It was reported that Martin is going to Lakewood, so Hoskins should be moving up shortly. Maybe after the SAL all-star game.

  9. No props for Adam Morgan? I was a big fan before the injury so it was great to see him go out there and face the best organization in baseball and pull out the win. I’m guessing more then a few people lost money betting against the phils yesterday. A guy with no wins since 2013 facing one of the top young RHP’s. I thought they should have kept him in for one more batter but it worked out at least.

    Franco with another impressive game. While this season has been an expected nightmare, the top 3 prospects going into the season haven’t disappointed. Crawford, Nola and Franco all have been living up to the hype and should give fans some hope for the future.

  10. I am 100% convinced that Gillick’s replacement is going to clean house. RAJ and Sandberg will be gone. I am actually not a RAJ hater. I think he has done some good and some bad things but is trending up. But I just think this dreadful season is the death knell. You can’t win 55 games and keep your job.

    1. To me that shows the disfunction of this management group. Amaro should have been fired after last season. You don’t go into a full rebuild and then fire the GM after its first year.

      I am in the same boat with Jim as someone who was excited by the Sandburg hire. I have definitely been disappointed, and it has nothing to do with the W-L record.

    2. What’s more interesting is the timing MacPhail joined the Orioles in the same capacity June 20th 2007 he took over a team that finsihed with 69 wins

      On February 8, 2008 the Orioles traded left-handed pitcher Érik Bédard to the Seattle Mariners for outfielder Adam Jones, pitchers George Sherrill, Chris Tillman, Tony Butler and Kam Mickolio

      He mentions in the article that he is a “One Voice guy” I wonder how that goes over with the current situation at 1 Citizens Bank Way!

  11. Lehigh Valley IronPigs sent RHP David Buchanan on a rehab assignment to GCL Phillies.

    Harold Martinez assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Clearwater Threshers.

    Devin Lohman assigned to Clearwater Threshers from Reading Fightin Phils.

  12. Agreed, but the knock on MacPhail, if you can call it that, is that he moves slowly. He’s patient, takes everything in, etc. If he’s hired in the not too distant future, surely he’ll have seen enough to clean house by the end of the season. What that means for moving assets at the trade deadline, though, remains to be seen.

  13. Fritzerland That would make the statement today by gillick seem to indicated that it will be Mac Phail. He said it will take longer than he first thought, Maybe mac has already been scouting and looking at the Phillies, and that’s his option.

  14. In some ways, slow and steady is what the franchise needs. You cannot rush talent development which moves according to its own pace.

    There is not much we can do to sign a big name free agent. Nobody wants to come here until the team starts winning again.

  15. A nice shout out to JP on the BA chat the other day….”the next great shortstop prospect”

    AA (FL): Due to personal performance, as well as so many of the top prospecting having been called up lately, who are three players you see making the largest jumps to the top 50?
    J.J. Cooper: This is a year with a whole lot of fluidity because as you mentioned so many of the top prospects are no longer eligible. I’d expect Jeff Hoffman to climb because he’s shown the stuff has come back from his Tommy John surgery. J.P. Crawford doesn’t have much room to climb, but he’s established himself as the next great SS prospect now that the pre-season crew are all in the big leagues (except Seager who is a shortstop/third baseman). Blue Jays LHP Matt Boyd is a guy coming from off of the Top 100 who has to be looked at

  16. Obviously can’t post the article here, but can anyone summarize what Law wrote about Canelo today. Interested to hear his take on him.

    1. Says Lakewood is thin on prospects

      Canelo stands out because he can hit

      Short, quick swing with surprising pop

      Had hands and arm for short, but needs to slow down

      Average runner

      Also added that Yoel Mecias is now just an organization arm due to his diminished velocity

      1. That is a shame to hear about Yoel, but hopefully Pinto takes his place and Kilome turns out better.

  17. Anyone hear about somebody sent up to Reading? A player is walking around saying hello. Charlie is at the Reading game tonight

    1. My guess is Harold Martinez or Jose Mayorga, unless there’s someone else today we didn’t hear about?

  18. Phils Free Agency Discussion – should the Phils jump back into the free agency market this coming offseason or wait? If they do, what positions and/or specific players should be targetted?

    My initital thoughts in general at a high level, without mentioning or discussing specific players is as follows:

    1. They will not be in contention next year is an assumption I’m going to make, so I would start by making any and all free agency decisions this off season about how they would impact 2017-2020, not 2016.

    2. If the Phils sign a free agent this off season, I would be sure that it isn’t someone who blocks a legitimate potential prospect at that position. As an example, if Chase Utley’s contract doesn’t vest, I wouldn’t sign a long term free agent at 2B in hopes that one of our prospects like Kingery, Galvis, C Hernandez, or Herrera could develop into a solid everyday regular. If in 1-2 years it’s obvious they aren’t that guy, you can always then enter free agency. So for me, I would absolutely not sign a free agent at the following positions: 3B, SS, 2B, C, and bullpen.

    3. I wouldn’t sign any free agents who don’t fall into a “younger than normal” category. I would want someone coming into their prime in the 2017-2020 timeframe, not well past it.

    4. I would stay away from long term starting pitcher deals at this time. I’d want to see how Nola, Elfin, Biddle, Morgan, and others perform prior to making any long term commitments, as well as what the Phils might get in return for Hamels and others.

    5. I would not hesitate to sign an OF, assuming he was younger than the average age of free agents and the deal made sense. I don’t think the Phils have any risk of blocking OF prospects by signing one FA OF if it is the right guy and the right deal. Having said that, if the deal isn’t right and the player isn’t a good fit, error on the side of waiting.

    6. The one other benefit I can see to adding a veteran free agent is to provide leadership in the clubhouse to a very young team, assuming Utley, Howard, Hamels, and others are gone. Having said that, I’d go with a veteran or two that can provide leadership but are either bench players, part time players, or players on a one year contract. It doesn’t need to be leadership from a superstar level.

    1. I pretty much agree with everything especially number 6.

      Overall, wait or else you overpay.

      Once the kids are up in 2017 you can begin to sketch out the talent you need to get back into competition.

      Then you wait and make the right move via free agency or trade.

      A lot can happen between now and then.

    2. Having watched the Phillies labor under long-term contracts for players whose skills have dininished as they got older, I would prefer signing only under-30 players, regardless of position, to multi-year contracts. With that caveat, there are only a few outfielders who are under 30 –
      Jason Heyward (26)
      Gerardo Parra (29)
      Justin Upton (28)
      Austin Jackson (29)
      Colby Rasmus (29)
      Anyone here you would give a 5-year deal to? 7-year?

      1. Heyward is the one I would like to see them target. He’s the right age, may be undervalued since so much of his value comes from defense, and could still improve as a hitter. I would really like to see him here.

        1. He won’t be undervalued, he’s expecting big bucks in free agency. Braves tried their best to sign him to a team friendly deal (like Freddie Freeman) and he said no. Then the Braves traded him away.

        2. The Heyward situation reminds me of BJ Upton. A young guy who has been around for years and has all the tools who someone is going to overpay for what he might become. Ricky Porcello is the pitching version of this.

  19. I’d already by curious to re-do the top 50 (I know BA will re-do its list before too long). I don’t neccesarily think there is a ton of change in the top 10 (partially due to Wsport and GCL guys being a long way off) but I think a lot of guys lower down the list are trending up and not too many are trending down.
    Point being, I think we are developing a lot more depth than before. Not a ton of high end talent, but a lot more depth.
    Think about LHV next year: they might actually have a team full of prospects. Altherr, Dugan, Eflin, Biddle, Lively, Lino, Stassi, Quinn . . . and I know not all are high end prospects, but at least they are all under the age of 30

    1. Texas has been known to get aggressive at the trade deadline – especially with pitchers. Hamels would be a great acquisition for them – honestly, my impression is that, for serious title contenders, Hamels has been significantly underrated in the last year or so. Hamels has shown the ability to take over a series by himself under the right circumstances – you almost cannot put a value on that, but it certain demands a premium.

  20. Not sure this concerns others but for me it is starting to concern myself now a little, with the Lucas Williams pick.
    In the past there were Mitch Walding, Mitch Gueller, Travis Matair,, a couple of non-signing college guys ….Wenzler and the position player…….all top ten picks.
    Except so far for Rhys Hoskins, Collegiate howeb=ver, and maybe Andrew Pullin…..the Northwest Region Scouting Director, not sure who he is, but seems to get his share of choices come draft day, and a lot lately have come up short.
    Unfortunately things have not worked well so far.
    Does every region get their allotted quota of picks in the top ten?
    IMO, the HS players from that region seem to come up short.

    1. Romus imo this pick was telling us, We know more than any other scout, He was not even ranked, His average in hs was bad for hs. even college, I thought for sure it was a pick to save some money for later hs kids. They better be right, cause they gave him a lot of money for a non ranked kid, and will now most likely not be able to sign, Von Watson or gabe Gonzalez. or any other kids who has a commitment to college. I though I saw it was the biggest reach in the first three rounds. When they said his name no one knew him.

    1. should say Phils,

      He was originally drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 30th round of the 2012 MLB amateur draft out of California State University San Bernadino. Prior to coming to Bridgeport, the 25-year-old spent his entire career within the Royals organization, reaching as high as the Double-A level

        1. I’d imagine he is going to be walking a bunch more. There is very little reason not to pitch around him.

  21. I need the help of the community here. My wife and I are looking to do a few short overnight trips this year with the kids (both under 7) and I want to try and wrangle in a game at Reading, Lakewood, or Lehigh Valley into one of the trips. Can anyone recommend a state or national park near any of the stadiums? The current destination is Bushkill Falls, which is almost two hours from any of the PA affliates.

    1. Ricketts Glenn, which is absolutely spectacular. Would have been a National Park had the Depression not occurred.

  22. Maiko Franco..Wow! It will be interesting to watch what happens with his next 100 plate appearances.How the pitchers will try to pitch him and the adjustments that he makes.
    Remember all of the arm bar trash that was on here? And the lousy player comps?

    Look at his numbers across the board! Can’t wait for the experts to come out and say that they totally “missed” on this prospect!

  23. Barf all the lousy comments were by law and other experts. One thing about franco, two years ago and into the beginning of last year. He was swinging at everything. didn’t work counts, and I am not talking about walks. He was hacking at the first pitch, no matter where it was. That’s the things the scouts saw. What they didn’t see was when he got a pitch he hammered it. and his quick bat, with a short stroke not a long stroke like dom brown. The thing that law and others never gave him a consideration was. he was young and could improve. I see guys who are hitting 240 in minors and law and other rave about them. Most times they comment when he learns the zone, watch him. That what got me about franco comments, was he too dumb to learn.? That is what to me it seemed they were saying. They really imo must get most of there info off scouts. and scouts can be wrong. I saw a lot of franco and to me it was the breaking ball, he had to learn to lay off of to become a really good player, and he did,

    1. Even when I saw him in AAA, I recognized that his swinging at everything would bite him in the ass. This was in 8-10 games last year. SSS for sure, since it was spread over the season (with one this year in April, where I left early due to cold weather), but he was only 21-22.

      There was no reason to think he couldn’t have improved. It’s why I think these “experts” are (occasionally) total hacks. KLaw’s opinion two years ago: There was no reason to basically “He’s too stupid at the plate to be an MLB regular.”

      Yeah, what he’s doing isn’t sustainable, but it has been damn fun to watch. It’ll be interesting to see how he adjusts.

  24. Romus..Thank you for the link.Totally amazing isn’t it? has a spray chart video up on Franco,with interesting comments.
    Hopefully he can stay within himself when pitchers pitch him carefully,and take the walk if they throw pitches outside of the strike zone.

    1. Yes agree…what a pleasant surprise…though we all wanted to see this.
      If he can keep this pace up…at least 75% of it…should be in the running for RoY award.
      Though Kris Bryant and Joc Pederson seem to be well talked about quite often in the media.

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