Open Discussion: Week of June 29th

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

We now know the bonuses of the top 10 picks.  The 2015 Draft Tracker has been updated.

Some random stuff to light a fire –

  • Andy McPhail
  • Ryne Sandberg
  • The Phillies begin a crucial 4-game series at home against Milwaukee.  You know why it’s crucial.
  • Maikel Franco is leading the Phillies with his .304 BA.  He is second in HR and RBI with 10 and 32 to Ryan Howard’s 13 and 36.  He has a mere 25 K in 172 PA (14.5%).  He has only walked 9 times (5.2%).  That should maybe go up when pitchers stop challanging him.  Sound about right?

79 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of June 29th

    1. Not in a week but he’s on track. If when Utley returns, Cesar’s level of play remains this high, the Phils will have to keep playing him half time or more.

      If the Phils think some of Utley’s struggles are due to the injury, they will want to play him when he returns to see if they could move him. Ideally, I think they’d like to move Howard before Utley’s return, then they could play Chase at first.

      1. The Phillies are also expected to sign Raphael Marchan (a catcher) so they could spend about 5 million on two players alone. Good to see your posts again Riggs.

      2. No I can read. It says the phillies are likely to go pay Ortiz 4.2 million dollars when they only have 3 million in their bonus pool. Meaning they will incur all the penalties of not being able to sign players for next year and potentially the year after that to any bonus over 300,000K for 1 guy. Which is the dumbest thing in the world.

        1. I agree with you. If you are going to go over and get locked out of future years you do it big and get 5 or 6 guys. Plus the Phils are in line to have the largest Intl bonus pool next year. Going over the limit on 1 or 2 guys is stupid unless one of them is a sure fire superstar type prospect. Read an article on BA that said next year you get nearly half of the top 20 for 10 million because so many big spending teams will be locked out.

      1. He is far more skilled at the plate IMO then some of his higher “ranked” international “brothers”, the ranking displayed there is a proximate “value” ranking, not “how good the player is” ranking. The reason for the discrepancy is likely due purely to position. If you consider the rule “money talks” and “bullshit walks” then it would be safe to assume Ortiz has the “4th best upside” of the group. Downside risk for him though is also huge, because he’s a 1B player he has no where to go if he doesn’t absolutely “crush it”. The bar is just so much lower and nearly every other position.

      2. That was in earlier ratings. For some reason his rating has declined, yet his projected bonus $ ranking is still ranked among the highest guys. If the rankers know what they are doing, this is not a good combination.

    1. I agree with Vegas. Signing two LA players for $5 million is not an aggressive showing. If you are interested in seeing the definition of “making a LA splash” see the Dodgers on that list. To me the template is, if you go over the LA “Cap” go WAAAAY over on a number of high priced guys, pay a big tax and be prepared to sit out the next couple of years. If you do not go way over, you are really just hurting yourself because then you cannot spend the next year (Which will be a big number for the Phils considering they will have the worst record and highest allotment).

      For me, this is one of the most frustrating topics associated with the Phillies’ attempt to rebuild. All it costs is money, which the Phillies have a lot of. They will have even more money as they shed ML salary. I mean come on, sign one of those Cuban guys! So frustrating. I really want to hear their explanation if this is they extent of their signings. To make it worse, Ortiz has been slipping in the rankings, but his bonus number is not.

      Also interesting is the Phils’ failure to sign the top Venezuelan talent. The teams with Summer league teams in Venezuela: Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays. The teams that are signing the top 7 rated Venezuelan talent in order: Mets, Cardinals, Cubs, Rockies, Red Sox, Rangers, Reds. WTH? First of all, Organizations without Summer League teams/academies are beating them to top talent. One would think, that because they are gutting it out in Venezuela they would at least reap the rewards of first shot at the country’s top talents. Also add in the number of Venezuelan born players on the Phillies and you should have an upper hand. Does not make sense to me.

      LA is one of the last spots to exploit the monetary resources that the Phillies have and I do not see them doing it to the extent they should be. I can only hope they have some rabbits up their sleeves.

          1. David: As you know, there are always successes and failures. You seem to have omitted the Cuban success stories. Maybe, the initial players that were signed out of Cuba were older and more predictable? Anyway, it seems a shame that we only have MAG (you forgot him in your failure links) to show for the Cuba influx.

            I do not advocate blindly spending in Cuba or LA, but targeting some of the higher priced guys in LA in a year that you go over the LA slot would be smart management. Look, if you are going over for Ortiz anyway, why not spend more money this year considering for the next 2 yrs you are not going to make most of the “smart low priced signs” you mention the Phils to be known for? The Phils’ successes in that price range should be all the more reason to be careful of losing out on the next two signing periods. To be honest, if all they get for going over the pool cap is Ortiz, I would rather they stick with their old model.

            Would you be okay if the Phils go over slot for Ortiz and a few smaller signings and forfeit their LA pool for the next couple of years?

            Any thoughts on failure to get top Venezuelan talent?

            Finally, I doubt signing a couple of bad apples from LA or Cuba will sink the minor league structure of the Dodgers, Red Sox or Cubs. etc. They will survive as they continue to spend the cash that they have gobs of to spare.

            1. David for some reason is the new excuse maker for the Phillies. There is no reason to come on here and defend that ownership. To List tocci as a success is so stupid its funny. what the hell has he done. kilome. Galvis a dime a dozen no hit shortstop. With the money this teams has and to ask its fans to wait three years or more is really so stupid its funny. David you list boston sending down players as that would stop them from spending more to try to win they made mistakes before still spent. Were smart enough to unload those mistakes and win a championship. so david you really should not try to tell people this group of owners will do whatever it takes to win. it wont.

            2. Franco, Ruiz, Tocci, and others.

              I omit the successes because that is all you focus on while glossing over and ignoring the problems.

              Here is the thing with Ortiz. People complain when the Phillies do not go all out in LA. People complain because there is no power in the system.

              So the Phillies go all out and commit to a major power prospect.

              What do you do? Complain.

              Do I feel comfortable? I have no idea what their talent pipeline looks like over the next couple of years and as people have pointed out, you can buy international dollars in a trade and the trade deadline is approaching.

              The LA market is not like free agency. You run camps and build relationships over a period of years with people. If the pipeline is poor next year then it makes sense to be aggressive this year. But we are not privy to that information.

              To complain makes yourself look silly because you are complaining about the Phillies doing the things you wanted them to do in the first place.

            1. Very interesting articles on the LA market…I knew most of this before with the ‘buscones’ and how they operate
              However, this will change once the draft is in place. And one of the reasons for the draft is this type of player pre-maneuvering.

            2. David: Great debating an interesting point with you. I especially appreciate being called silly for subscribing to a reasonable point of view that happens to differ from yours. Since name calling does not enter into my Phillies’ blog vernacular, I will try not to engage you in the future.

        1. David…….Phillies success stories from the LA market, not future but current or past….Chooch, Carlos Carrasco, Carlos Silva, all Carlos so far. Maybe Julio Franco and Juan Samuel……few and far betwixt

            1. Chooch is Ruiz….and Maikel Franco needs to do it for more then a Dom Brown ‘May ’13 saga

            2. Severino, Galvis, Hernandez, Domingo Santana,Canelo. The Phillies have done pretty well honestly.

            3. JoeDE…I would like to try to measure success by major league sustainment . Many have very good minor league careers. Granted not all become Robinson Cano’s or Pedro Martinez’, but the Phillies need to strike it rich with just less then a handful at the MLB level.

      1. Bedrock…I feel your pain.
        This has been a bug-a-boo for me for years with this organization.
        It is the Bill Giles ‘small-market’ philosophy he espoused 20 plus years ago.
        Granted….a few teams….Yankees, Cubs, Rangers, Braves and Sox have gone overboard, but at least try to stay close to them, ilo of the bottom 1/3 of the league.

        1. What bothers me too is that we seem to do some of our best scouting down there. Instead of thinking progressively – “hey, we’ve got great scouts, let’s have them identify some of the best prospects and let’s get them signed up” – they have thought conservatively “why do we need to spend a lot of money down there when Sal and his staff do fine on the limited budget we give them?”

          The problem with Phillies’ upper management is they always learn the “wrong lesson” both from their failures and successes, which is why the selection of the President and his selection of the GM will be huge. Once I heard Andy MacPhail’s name, I pretty much knew he fit within their comfort zone. That said, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Andy will be a bad pick – but he has to choose his new GM wisely and that person has to be forward looking. Otherwise, it’s same old, same old for the retro Phillies.

          1. In the 3 yrs they have used there money i e Encarnacion for over a mil. Grullon . Pujols, Gamboa. The problem is that your putting a lot on 16 yr olds. They need too get into the Cuban, Korean markets which they really haven’t done. They have the money which really gets you mad there wasn’t even a scout sent or a bid made.

            1. 2011…Tocci @ approx. $800K was one of the first biggies in a decade since the Korean pitchers in 2001 or 2002 Franco was $100K in 2010.

            2. Matt put a very good article up today about the Cuban market.

              It may look sexy but there have been a number of high profile flops and people seem to just focus on the guys doing well.

              If it makes sense to go after a Cuban, by all means.

              However, you have to take into consideration their LA pipeline. The relationships that they have in LA are not to be taken lightly. If you nurture a prospect, meet their family, build trust, and extend an initial offer it looks very bad for you to go back on your word.

              In some cases it may be years before they trust you again blocking you from prospects.

              It is a different culture in LA and take it from someone who worked overseas in different cultures, a wrong word, move, or statement can be the difference between closing the deal and being shown the door. When you operate in another country you play by their rules.

              Just go back and look at the articles written about the busts. You find the same language used as the successes.


              Use a critical eye when you read overly glowing reports about prospects.

              I just read an article about an infielder who supposedly had 70 speed and was called plus plus speed by scouts.

              I checked his career stats and found zero stolen bases and being caught once.

              That is odd, a guy with plus plus speed has zero stolen bases.

              The article did not match the stats which it should.

              Don’t just take what is written as gospel. Everyone get paid for their scouting reports. Make sure the stats meet the written word.

            1. rocco….John Middleton front and center stage now…with Pat G and Andy MacPhail. Today, is the first time he has talked in public as a Phillies owner.
              Changing of the guard it appears.

            2. rocco….I think Ruben will now be bumped upstairs in October….I think he will do his GM job day to day and support Andy and Pat until then…..but I think he truly would like to get out of the limelight and be the Sr VP of Operations

  1. Way off topic, but someone inquired in another thread about state parks worth visiting near our minor league affiliates. One was suggested that really caught my eyes about 2.5 miles north of Philly. It had lots of hiking trails and waterfalls. Whoever posted it said it would have been a national park but for the depression. That’s about all I remember.

    I haven’t been able to find it again either in my browsing history or on this site. If someone can remind me the name of that park, I’d be much appreciative. Thanks!

      1. No something further out. Hopefully whoever posted it will see this message. He described it as a national treasure or something along those lines. Thanks anyway!

    1. That description isn’t ringing a bell specifically with any of these parks, but they may have been referring to one of the following parks in Bucks County:

      Ralph Stover State Park
      Tohickon Valley Park
      Ringing Rock Park

      They are all around Doylestown, PA which is about 45 mins north of Philadelphia

    2. J, it was Ricketts Glen State Park and it also caught my eye. However, it is more like 2.5-3 hours north of Philly, not 2.5 miles.

  2. That sounds a lot like Ricketts Glen. It is about a half hour from Willamsport, hour and a half from Allentown, and a half hour or so from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. It is beautiful. There is a trail that takes you past multiple waterfalls, the tallest one coming in around 93 feet. Many of the other falls are beautiful and unique. It is well worth the trip. It was set to become a National Park but that idea was scrapped due to the war.

    As a side note, I have started following this blog this year. I find the minors to be interesting, especially given the current state of the major league squad. This is my first comment, I just wanted to answer that question for you jpolice. Perhaps I’ll start commenting regularly now.

  3. Even without considering Cole Hamel’s trade value it’s best that he move on as I believe the team feels undue pressure in trying to score for him and are even affected defensively. This is more evident with the recent outburst of high scoring games, but not for Cole. It’s a shame as even an arguably worse team in ’72 gave Carlton decent support.

    1. It’s getting irritating as a fan to see the perennial poor support the lineup gives the kid. Honestly though, I think it’s because he’s often matched-up with the other teams #1 pitcher, and that’s why the hitters do so poorly. (or at least that’s what I hope it is, the next most likely reasons are really crappy to consider)

  4. Franco would be under consideration for ROY in most years but between Joc Pederson, Kris Bryant and others, he will likely finish 3rd or 4th. It’s hard for him to be an All Star too between Arenado, Bryant, Todd Frazier, Matt Carpenter at 3rd base. Still Franco will be a fixture in the Phillies lineup for years to come.

    1. Though with decent and good offensive numbers…he could challenge for Gold Glove consideration in the near future..
      I do not think there are many in the NL who are head and shoulders above him as a third baseman.
      All he needs is someone like Mike Schmidt to keep blowing the horn for him and that may persuade voters.

    1. Thanks Romus. Hard to tell much from one swing but he looks calm, compact and quick to the ball. Good for contact but maybe not power?

      1. Eric Longerhagen (sp) ESPN, thinks he can hit AA level now.
        I hope his progression is rapid through the system.

  5. John Middleton says analyticals will be a big part of the future…September new system will be in place.
    Now an outspoken owner, limited as he says between the Bucks and his family…but nevertheless, John Middleton seems ready to move forward.
    Looks like the oldguard may be stepping aside.

      1. No, and I think it was huge for MIddleton to take the podium at the press conference. This is a first for the Phillies – an ownership group with a face. From what I saw he came off great and I was thrilled to perceive that Dave Montgomery – who is as responsible as anyone else for this team’s systemic problems – was not part of the decision making process. Thank God for that.

      2. No.
        John Middleton mentioned the Buck/Betz.Fritz Dixon families and the evolution of the ownerships group from 5 entities 20/25 years ago to now two..the Bucks and his.
        I suppose quietly Monty and Bill Giles were bought out or decided to take back-stage from this point onward. Monty’s health could be the issue with him now. And Giles is in his early 80s.

  6. It is very telling that, for the 1st time, Middleton has emerged as the Voice of the Partnership. mentioned John and Pete Buck a number of times, and it seems that even though he could not secure a majority interest, Giles and Monty have acquiesced to his taking a vocal role. That can only be a huge step forward. Rather than rehash all the complaints about Bill Giles, I will simply be happy that progress can begin. I think, without question, RAJ gets bumped upstairs, and I look forward to the next GM being in the Theo/Friedman ilk.

  7. Giles and Monty never had more than a small share, it was the designation of Managing Partner that 1st went to Giles, then Monty. He did not mention it, but clear that Middleton is now the Managing Partner. Managing Partner/General Partner, without LarryM around to clear it up, it is the same thing basically.

  8. Matt even though they had small share those two ruined this team. Middleton would have done a lot more but couldn’t because of the way giles and Montgomery set up the group. giles is the devil and Montgomery is his assistant. I Have a lot of angry for those two.

    1. Two very decent, well-intentioned but almost surreally incompetent guys who kept making the same mistakes over and over and over again. When they signed everyone after 2008, it was 1994 all over again and I’ll bet for those around – 1981-86 was very similar. But it becomes more and more clear that these people simply don’t control the team any longer and, in fact, appear to have little or no say whatsoever in important team decisions. This is as it should be. Middleton taking control appears to be an enomormously positive direction for the franchise.

      1. I believe after today. That moving forward its middleton team. I have no inside information. but I really believe, he will do whatever it takes. something the other two giles and Montgomery. didn’t want to do or didn’t know how to. they were as you said incompetent

  9. The beginning of a new chapter Macphail / Middleton area wow good luck .may we now get into the International market.

  10. I agree with the discussion about the importance of Middleton stepping forward. I believe Giles and Montgomery to be classy individuals who have never wanted anything more than the best for the Phils and their fans. Unfortunately, time has passed both men by, but their willingness to step aside and allow Middleton to take the stage should be appreciated.

  11. Coming into this series with the Brew Crew I was really hoping to not win more than a game but have a few things happen. One is for Franco and Hernandez to continue to look really good and the other was for Cole to have a solid outing in his 7 innings of work.

    They played it perfectly!

  12. Did anyone hear what enberg of Houston told John Stonisar ? He wouldn’t trade Santana even up for hamels or tucker. Enberg works for Houston in minor league system. I Thought it was funny. Santana strikeouts make howard look good.

    1. But like Joey Gallo…..Santana does have a decent BA/OBP line. So that is what is odd about his K rate vs overall production.

  13. Still thought it was silly that hamels wouldn’t be worth Santana. Or the other prospect tucker even up. I feel bad for hamels. having to play with this team,, but I aint giving him away, Second maybe its only me but middleton the other day gave me hope, that this offseason they will go after people, even if they pay the tax.

      1. That why you need sabermatrics. to see guys who fit. a good gm. and great scouts. to try to avoid as many mistakes as possible.

  14. Sdcaphi that is so true. but harang is only on a one year deal. so it doesn’t really matter. Right now he still is better than the option of mcgown, or Williams or O Sullivan. They wont I believe bring up nola until later. The guys who have to move are Howard, which is almost impossible. revere. ruiz. hamels. if we get value. papelbon.

  15. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Times reporting that the Phillies thought they had a deal with the Angels that would have sent Ben Revere west for Trevor Gott ( who was then in Double A. The Angels pulled out of the deal at the last minute and tried to redirect the Phillies toward a starting pitching prospect, but that fizzled as well. Story here:

    Gott would have been a nice return for the Phillies. I was clamoring for a high leverage reliever type in return for Revere since April. I was thinking Cam Bedrosian, but Gott would work. We need to clear out some of these outfielders – Revere seems the easiest to move

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