Open Discussion: Week of September 14th

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

  • Now that there is no more national discussion about the Phillies trade pieces, the only discussion seems to be speculation on the choice for the new GM.  Go!
  • Or, continue discussion about the play of the young guys, Eickhoff pitched a nice game this weekend.
  • Or, the chase for the #1 pick. (stupid Cubs, stupid Cubs, stupid Cubs!)
  • Or, anything else …
  • With the end of the minor league season, I think I’ll post a Weekly Prospects Discussion so that you will still have a place to talk about prospects without talk about the big club interspersed.

235 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of September 14th

  1. The Phillies picked Mitch Gueller in the com-1st round, 37 picks before Jake Thompson. 3 years later, Jake Thompson is busy throwing complete game shutouts in the playoffs for AA Reading, while Gueller is walking guys and struggling to get through 5 innings in SS ball.

    1. The big question (that we’ll never get an answer to) is how far along Gueller would have been comparatively as a big-armed RF. I’m going to go out on a limb and say he’d be higher than Williamsport at this point.

      1. The Tigers had the same decision to make withe Jake Thompson, who was a hard hitting 1B coming out of HS. They made the right decision and turned him into a pitcher.

    2. Yes, if only we had perfect knowledge ahead of time. Also if there were 37 picks between the two, how many other teams missed on him?

  2. The depth of the Phillies farm seems to be concentrated at catcher. With Rupp, Alfaro, Knapp, Grullon and Lino the Phillies have a bunch of guys that will be major leaguers barring injury. The Phillies lack ‘top end’ Pitching and major league Power, like most clubs. Would anyone be willing to trade Rupp or one of the top catching prospects for a competitive balance 1st round pick? With the Phillies a near lock to get a top 2 pick, the Phillies could address a weakness in the system with an additional overslot pick.

    I know this isnt basketball, but how much is too much for a 1st round pick? Rupp, Alfaro, Knapp? I’d drive Rupp to the Airport for the pick, but I’m not sure another team would do it for anyone except Alfaro.

    1. Besides the fact that MLB will not allow you to trade for a first round draft pick, you can do what the Braves did to “trade” for Touki Toussaint. Basically it cost the Braves $10M for him, the 16th pick of the 2014 draft.

      1. also, the braves essentially got a competitive balance pick from Arizona for taking on Trevor Cahill’s contract- so there are creative ways to get one of those picks- definitely not against the idea of getting an extra pick with the pool the Phillies will have from picking probably #2.

      2. IMO, of all the compbal teams after the first round, the Pirates may be the one who could have an interest in Rupp to complement Cervelli, and they pick 36th, I think.
        The others,..Reds, Athletics, Rockies, Diamondbacks,and Marlins..may not have a need for Rupp right now and also may want to keep the pick in their rebuild modes.
        Phillies would have to make a decision whether or not 2016 continues to be the full rebuild mode again and have Lino, or Moore with Chooch back there. They could also sign a low-cost FA vet to help.

    2. We still don’t know if Knapp or Alfaro will even stick behind the plate. There is a real possibility that all three players could eventually be part of the same starting nine in Philly (Alfaro in RF, Knapp at 1B, Rupp at C).If Knapp or Alfaro continue to develop behind the plate (as well as at it), then I consider moving Rupp, although I don’t think you get the value he’s providing right now.

    3. The last time I checked (admittedly several years ago) baseball did not permit the trade of players for draft positions..

    1. I believe it said somewhere on csnphilly that Sweeney was going to get a look at 2B with Hernandez out. I would assume he gets a majority of the starts there for the rest of the year. Blanco may see a few starts with Sweeney moving to the OF in those games. I wouldn’t expect to see that very often though.

      If Sweeney can do some damage with the bat to finish the year I wonder if the org. thinks about moving him to CF and putting Odubel back at 2B. Odubel and Cesar have almost identical OBP and Herrera is hitting for a higher average with more pop. Plus Odubel is younger and IMO has more value moving forward than Cesar does. Should be interesting to see how the big club’s roster looks next spring.

      1. Read somewhere that the Phillies are not planning on moving Herrera to second base. Have to assume, this winter will decide…if he plays CF in the Ven league he stays in CF for 2016.

      2. He’s too good in CF to move him to 2B. I’d much rather have Sweeney there. He seems like he has some real pop in his bat.

        1. I like Sweeney too. Nice swing, good plate discipline, real power, speed. If it comes together, he could break out into one hell of a player. See TruePhan – sometimes we agree 🙂 . While I’m at it, I’ll note that I like Eickhoff as well – I have since I saw him pitch in Lehigh Valley.

        2. Herrera seems to be adjusting well to CF, a move back to 2B would be more for the defense of Sweeney. I’d be perfectly fine with leaving Odubel in CF. My concern is that Sweeney’s defense may hurt him at 2B if he proves that his bat will play in the bigs. Hopefully Sweeney can be an average 2B defensively and hit his way into a starting job. He certainly has more upside than Hernandez does. He’s got some pop, speed, and has been drawing walks. He needs to just cut down on his strikeouts and make contact more consistently.

      3. The Phillies are extremely happy with Herrera in CF. I think he has exceeded all of our expectations. He’s staying in CF.

      1. A rotation of David B.,, call-up Sean O’S., and maybe Jerome once more……could help the cause. Now they will give it their best, and that is all we ask of them.

        1. and make sure that Howard, Chooch, call up Danks, Asche and if Dom Brown is available to play will be the starters for the Braves series or for the rest of the season…But wait —- make sure that Frenchy will pitch in 6th and/or 7th inning and let Loewen, Neris or Gomez finish the remaining innings. it might help the Phils get the #1 overall and give the new Phils FO enough to move on from these players. #sarcasm

            1. so bad that the phils move on from him when they needed him the most. #another sarcasm. on a serious note, reminding aumont still hurts because he is the phils reward for losing the 2010 WS. saying that because if C Lee was not traded befor 2010, he could have helped winning the 2010 WS.

  3. The Phils and Braves are now tied in the race for the #1 draft pick in 2016, and have opened up a bit of a cushion over the contenders. The Rockies are next (4.5 games back), followed by the Reds (5 games back), Marlins (5.5 games back), A’s (5.5 games back), and Brewers (6.5 games back).

    After losing four straight to the Mets, the Braves are now 3-24 in their last 27 games, and appear determined to have the worst record. However, two of the Braves’ wins in that stretch were against the Phillies, so that might say something. Atlanta also has a more difficult schedule, with three game series against the Jays, Mets, Nats, and Cards. Their other six games are with the Phils and Marlins. The Phils have six games each with the Marlins and Nats, and three games each with the Mets and Braves.

    So the Phillies are in good shape for no worse than the #2 pick, barring something stupid like going 5-1 in the remaining games against the Marlins. Not likely. However, all of these contending teams are bad, and it really wouldn’t shock me if any one of them went like 4-15 or similar in the remaining stretch of 18 to 20 games.

    1. Regardless of what you might want to think, no professional athlete in any sport is “determined” to have the worst record. Especially not in baseball.

      1. Seriously, this “tanking” nonsense started with the Sixers, spread to the Eagles last season, and now is front and center in all talks about the Phillies. Anybody who is employing that strategy in any sport does not deserve their paycheck. Especially in baseball. You guys can root for it all you want, but just like with the Sixers it does not mean anybody is actually employing that strategy. Too many people seem to take opinion as general knowledge and accepted fact but it isn’t.

        1. You are correct on one thing…..whoever management decides what players to put out there on the field, court or ice…they are not thinking anything but winning and playing to their best abilities in that regard.
          Tanking is the furthest thing from their minds…it is their careers on the line.

          1. Exactly. Everybody’s job is in jeopardy every single season unless they do well.

            Tanking has never won anybody anything, in any sport. People will claim it won Boston the 2008 Finals but those people don’t seem to understand that none of the players traded for either Garnett or Ray Allen were high draft picks except the rights to Jeff Green. And no way they win if the Lakers had a small forward who could defend or the refs call that game fair. It’s a bad strategy employed by organizations who are a laughingstock.

            1. Would you rather have OJ Simpson, or Leroy Keys? What if Bryce Harper was sitting out there right now, waiting to be picked? They’re not, just saying. I’m not supporting any tanking and I don’t think anybody here is. It’s just that losing right now is not the worst thing in the world. I wasn’t angry Saturday night because Eikoff was dealing or yesterday because the Phils found a way to win again. I watched the end of the Braves game…absolutely pathetic what they are doing. They look like the team that’s thrown it in and is tanking, not the Phillies. Everytime Eikoff, Asher, Morgan, and Nola roll out there, I want to see a shut out, and I want the other young guys to play well and keep improving. I don’t care about Harang, Buchanan, Williams, Howard, or anybody else who isn’t a part of the future. Well…I love Howard, but he needs to go. Sweeney should be playing all of the remaining games at 2B, not Blanco.

              Tanking in baseball would seem to me to be the least favorable because the draft is more of a crap shoot than the other 3. Now when you throw the slotting and money into the equation, it does change things, but not enough to tank on purpose. Finishing 1 or 2 from the bottom means more money and the oppurtunity to use that extra money to your advantage. One thing Middleton has is $$$, and he is willing to spend it to get back on top. He’s already shown that.

              I too looked at the Braves remaining schedule,coupled with the way they’re playing, it will be nearly impossible for them not to finish on the bottom. The other teams the Phils are bunched in with are all playing better and like the Phils, are trying to win some ball games.

            2. That’s how I look at it, too. I don’t care how Ruiz, Luis Garcia, Haraang, Blanco, or Jerome Williams do. When our young guys are out there, I want them to do well regardless of what that means for the record. If the bullpen blows it well they do as long as it’s not Giles, Colton Murray, or Ogando. I root for Loewen to do well because he’s a great story but that’s about it. I even root for Buchanan for the same reason. I never want our lineup to struggle because it’s full of young guys. Blanco and Ruiz can go 0 for the end of the season for all I care but not anybody else, including Howard.

            3. Tanking got the Spurs Tim Duncan and 5 championships. Tanking got the Rockets Olajuwon and 2 championships.

            4. Knew somebody would bring that up.

              No. Losing David Robinson and other key players and then doing an AMAZING job of roster-building got them 5 championships. And bringing in the right mix of players to complement Hakeem and then trading for Drexler and letting the Magic fall apart got the Rockets 2 championships.

              All of those claims are easily refuted.

            5. Wrong as usual and if you claim to be under 30, you don’t know. Drexler wasn’t even on the Rockets for their 1st championship.

            6. Lol okay first of all they got their championships when I was alive and old enough to follow it.

              I never claimed he was. It’s hilarious how arrogant you are. Drexler was who they got for Mad Max, and he put them over the top for that year. They wouldn’t have won had Orlando not choked though.

              They got Olajuwon almost a decade before that and didn’t win anything until they brought in the right guys, including Kenny Smith.

              I like many kids back then knew full well who Penny and Shaw were and how good that Orlando team was.

              Get a clue before you come at me.

            7. You want to pull that nonsense with baseball then feel free but don’t pull it with any other sport because you will lose…. badly.

            8. This is a baseball site l, so this is the last I’ll say about this. The Rockets beat tge Knicks in the summer of ’94. They traded for Drexler in 1995, tenuous.

            9. I already pointed that out. Stick to speaking baseball. That was a veteran team.

              Think you meant to say “genius” which is funny because you’re dead wrong about the Rockets but feel free to make a fool of yourself.

            10. I wouldn’t call the 76ers a laughingstock at all, nor the current Phillies. When holding all your vets, while adding enough meh older FA tp get up to the salary cap yields nothing but multiple seasons on the poor side of mediocrity, then determined efforts to get younger and better are the only way to avoid being a laughingstock. You do what the rules of your sport allow to rebuild your team. In basketball, you need stars, and they almost always come from primo draft position. The coach and players try to win, but the GM provides a poor roster of overall talent, with some talented kids who need to experience growing pains. I think the Sixers have followed the right course. In baseball, a primo draft position not only gives you a shot at one of the best-regarded prospects, it also gives you a bigger spending pool, both in the draft and internationally. If the Phillies wanted to make sure they won the most games possible this season, they would have spent up to the salary cap on FA and kept Hamels. Doing so would have guaranteed they stayed bad for quite a while and they still likely win only 70-71 games. Badly out of contention, with little move toward a better future — I think that, rather than the course the PHillies have taken would spell laughingstock.

        2. I was being facetious about the Braves determined to get the #1 pick. I agree that no team is trying to lose, though going 3-24 in the last 27 games may make it seem that way. I mean, that is some horrid baseball.

            1. Tanking …..seems it all started with former Vegas showgirl Rachel Phelps inheriting the Indians from her deceased wealthy husband and owner of the team and decided to move the team to Miami if attendance fell under a certain number…so usher the good players and bring in the mediocre players….but the players and Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn (Charlie Sheen) proved her wrong and won. So management may subconsciously want it….but players play to win.

    2. Don’t look now but Cincinnati has an absolutely killer schedule in the last 18 or so games. If they aren’t playing Cards, Cubs, Pirates, they play the 1927 Yankees. That is the real team I fear because the Phils could end up with the 3rd worst record ! Cinci could do something like go 4-14 ???

    3. I already figured the braves would be getting the 1st overall pick as they have just fallen apart. I don’t follow other MLB teams but they seem to have done a good job at trading away assets (how many trades have they made since last off-season? seems like a lot) but I wondered how does our farm system compare to theirs? Since both teams are neck and neck for the 1st overall (my money is on the braves getting 1st), both teams went into a major rebuild around the same time, we might have started before them but they caught up quickly or so it seems.

      Guess it just seems like they are trying to one up us at every turn. Not saying they are tanking on purpose, just disappointed that we had the 1st overall pick locked up and now I could see us not getting it. We won’t know how badly that will impact us, as I understand it there are said to be 4 very good pitching prospects at the top of the draft and while I know it’s still too early to have a good read on next years class, as perhaps it won’t be too much of an impact in terms of the prospect we both end up with and how we both spend the bonus pool monies plus a possible rule 5 pickup.

  4. the braves flew a 3 run lead in the ninth yesterday- just amazing how bad they are right now.

    attended my one phils game for the season yesterday, and scoreboard watching was certainly different, as it consisted of hoping for the braves, reds, rockies and marlins to win.

    by the way, i know he’s not a prospect, but Bogusevic sure can play some defense, and was great to see Altherr glide around the bases on his triple. Hernandez’ injury play was simply bizarre.

    1. Have to keep your head up in any sport. Looked like he didn’t see Rizzo coming and his thumb got hooked on Rizzo’s body with the momentum causing the injury. Painful stuff.

    1. He hasn’t been the same hitter ever since that HR Derby he won. He was better that one year he worked with Bonds but that HR Derby ruined his swing, and he hasn’t hit the ball to all fields the way he used to since.

      1. Based on one specific signing contract…in his case the extension….he may be the worst productive valued player per dollar in Phillies history…in his last six years he has a combined negative WAR.

        1. They should have known better than to sign him like that at 32. They called him up too late, just like Chase. Imagine having even just one more healthy year out of him say if he came up for good at 24 instead of 25 and started everyday. But you can’t do that when Thome had hit 40+ HRs every year as a Phillie prior to that. They made the same mistake with Ruf after converting him to an OF but I put that on Charlie.

        1. It ruined his swing. Don’t believe me? Watch Howard before it and Howard after it. It turned him into pull hitter when he used to hit the ball to all fields.

          1. It was at the time of his life and career when lumbering first basemen always begin to decline. Always has been that way. Of course, Ruben didn’t do enough research and still gave him a billion dollars, but guys dont hit like Howard did from 06-09 for very long. The Derby is a contest, nobody’s swing changes in the long run because of it.

            1. You can say that as many times as you like but it’s just your OPINION.

              It did ruin his. If you bothered to watch the difference, you’d know that. Pitchers didn’t take advantage of it until the next season. He used to be notorious for staying back on pitches and standing way off the plate. Then he began pulling the ball and couldn’t hit that outside pitch anymore. That used to be his bread and butter. There’s a reason his average dipped as hugely as it did in such a short time.

            2. TruePhan, I havent seen you posting here much until now, but it seems like your views and opinions are severely misguided. No sense in arguing with you. If you think that a 2 hour hitting contest changed a guys swing that he had spent 28 years of his life learning, then you are welcome to believe that.

            3. He was 26 in 2006. So then he started learning how to hit when he was a twinkle in his daddy’s eye huh….

          1. You know what, I have read over some of the things you said here. Some I completely agree with, like Odubel in CF, but you seem to take everyone literally. Yes I said Howard had been swinging a certain way for 28 years. You get what I meant by that, you don’t have to be so literal. There is no way that one day of a contest screws up a guys swing that he had spent his whole career perfecting. None. A ton of big power hitting 1b have a short prime, and he fit that bill to a T. He was in his decline when the phillies gave him this contract (which you stated) but the decline was because his prime was over, not because he messed up his whole swing in a glorified batting practice

    2. yesterday Pete left him in to strike-out on 3 pitches against a lefty- then after a wild pitch later in inning gave Phils the lead, put Ruf in for Howard on defense- guess we’re still worried about hurting Ryan’s feelings.

      1. i think Pete already had a change of hear about Howard. He is now willing to Pinch Hit for Howard if needed. Howards is not OK with it but Pete says that he will still do it so Ryan said fine. If Middleton is the main driving force of the the new Phillies Way, I will not be surpised to see them trade for scrubs (and assume the remaining $$) or outright release Howard before 2016. With Williams, JPC next season and Cozens, Brown and Pullin down the line, Phils have enough LH bat to balance the line up.

        1. No guarantee a single one of those guys makes it, and trading a guy for nothing is just dumb.

          Amaro publicly said the team would be better off without him before the season even started and then they wonder why they can’t get any decent offers for him even after offering to pay salary.

          He’s only starting because he hit 20+ HRs this season. He’s already on a platoon.

          1. “and trading a guy for nothing is just dumb”. — TruePhan. this is not entirely correct. Howard has no value right now. So trading somone with no value for nothing is at least a wash or no loss of any value. Releasing Howard is to create opportunity – which mean a chance to try someone better. Not saying that Ruf or Stassi or whoever will be the answer but a least the Phils will get a chance to see who can be the best 1B option until a known commodity comes up. Taking on a chance vs a known commodity in Howard is not DUMB.

            1. They could even just let Ruf play every day even if he struggles against righties just to have an open roster spot for someone else. They could carry an extra reliever or bench bat that way as well

            2. @TruePhan – if you think that Howard has value then why the Phils cannot trade him even if they absorb some $$. I’m not sure how you define “value” — but the fact that no team wants Howard means he has “NO Value” considering the Phils is a very motivated seller. “Value” is somehow driven by demand.

            3. WAR measures wins above replacement value. When your WAR is negative, your worth is basically fungible with all the AAAA alternatives. When you are Howard’s age with negative WAR, you have no value beyond MLB minimum with a lot of equal alternatives, and you have no future. I would do whatever is required not to have Howard back next season. Trade him for scrubs, cut him, doesn’t matter. And yes, you can hit 20 HR and have negative value — doesn’t hit for average, bad fielder, awful runner.

            4. Well John Henry, billionaire owner of the Red Sox, was a big Edwin Starr fan in his youth, and could be hear singing on occasion, ‘WAR, what is it good for, absolutely nothin’. 🙂

    3. Ryan Howard isn’t the only guy with horrific platoon splits. Darin Ruf is a career .218 avg and .671 OPS (440 OPS this year) against RH Pitching, but its rarely mentioned.

      1. Exactly. And they never have Ruf the chance Howard got with Thome out. He could have started quite a few games between left field and first since originally coming up. It’s a little late to be seeing what they have in him.

        1. If Howard is hopeless vs LHP and ruf is hopeless vs RHP, there seems to be an obvious solution doesnt there?

    4. Wow! Those are some scary numbers. I wonder if Pete will stick to his guns and continue to refuse to pinch hit for him if he has started?

  5. After the game Petee said he had changed his mind and will PH for Howard against lefties. A little too much “closing the barn door after the horses escaped” for me. What are they going to do with him? Release him is my suggestion. I have no interest in seeing him next year, and it is clear he has zero trade value.

    1. Thanks Matt…If they had a young guy ready to go, he would probably be gone. Maybe they sign a Garrett Jones type to platoon with Ruf until Hoskins is ready. That would be better than watching him wail away at the lefties. Yesterday was predictible as he has great career numbers against Harren.

      1. @Matt – agree, but apparently somebody is still thinking that moving on from Howie is DUMB. I don’t expect too much from the Phils in 2016 so I think the spot left by Howard (via trade or outright release) can be use to evaluate Ruf or Joseph (if the Phils hasn’t moved on from both) or Perkins (if not chosen in Rule V) and more importantly, maybe another Jose Abreu (or similar player) will come sometime next year. The Phils tried out Abreu but to 3B. Imagine if they are willing to move on from Howard, they could have both Franco and Abreu on both corners.

        1. Moving a player to create a hole, especially by releasing said 25 million dollar player, is dumb. Until the Phillies have a guy near the majors who can hit 20+ HRs at 1B or acquire somebody who can, Howard is your best option.

          You might not like him but that doesn’t mean he’s worthless. Ruf is the only guy anywhere close who can hit even double-digit HRs at first.

          1. “I’m sure you think you know everything about baseball but you’re a lot more green than you think you are — from TruePhan”….another thing, this kind of comment is unnecessary unless you 100% know the person which in this case you don’t. you can be argumentative and arrogant as you want, but I do hope you stick to the topic/discussion on hand/for debate rather than running insults and using words such as dumb…

            1. You’re the one who’s been smug to a lifelong die-hard Phillies fan this whole time. You really have no business talking about what’s unnecessary.

            2. @TruePhan – i hope you’ll rather man up and debate my arguments and see if most of us agree with you. and also the moderator doesn’t tolerate bad comments here so show any of my comments that i’m being a smug to my fellow lifelong and die hard phillies fan? and you said you’re younger than 30? so please show some maturity. we follow the same team here and i normally admit if proven wrong.

            3. Kid just don’t even start with me. I don’t play these stupid games and do the back and forth and he said she said.

              You’ve got no business talking about maturity. You speak your opinions as if they’re fact and are disrespectful towards people like me who disagree. Just quit with the nonsense already and don’t ever talk about manning up like you know a thing about it.

              I really highly doubt you’re a lifelong die-hard fan but feel free to make that claim all you like. It’s really sad that you put any weight in who does or doesn’t agree with you. That’s maturity though, right?

            4. That’s right…. I can’t win an argument with a fool like you.

              You’re beyond delusional if you think I’m a fool, kid. Feel free to regurgitate some more internet insults though. Maybe throw in some t-shirt sayings and bumper–stickers while you’re at it.

          2. Ryan Howard actually is functionally worthless (not as a person of course [seems like a great guy] just as a major league player). He has no net value as a first baseman – he hovers at or below replacement level. On top of that, his presence prevents the team from auditioning other players, including Ruf and others. He’s a very real impediment to the future of the franchise or at least he will be the moment the potential first baseman of the immediate future (he’s not here yet as far as I can tell). The ONLY reason to keep playing him would be to pad his stats in the hope that someone would take him in a trade, but that ship has sailed.

            1. They are when they stink at everything else. I grew up watching Dave Kingman. He would 37 homers a year and still manage to stink up the place. Ryan Howard, is, at best, a replacement level player. If you put Ruf or Francoeur at first for the year, they would each be better than Howard and a hell of a lot cheaper.

          3. It’s not a matter of personal like or dislike. There are many advanced stats for computing a player’s overall value. Howard is a negative. He has been a negative for years. Not negative compared to what 25 mill should buy, negative compared to what a readily-available replacement level player at MLB minimum is worth.

        2. I’m sure you think you know everything about baseball but you’re a lot more green than you think you are. Most prospects don’t amount to anything, and you never get rid of a proven commodity until you have another one to replace it. Doing what you’re suggesting is how they got here in the first place. They let Werth go on the assumption that Brown could replace him and were proven dead wrong. They did the same with Rowand and lucked out with Werth. Ruf should have started in LF after they converted him but they kept starting washed up vets over him. Now he’s 29 and still very unpolished, and the Phillies have no replacement for Howard as he continues to decline. If they had somebody equal or better to him, Howard would be on the bench. It’s a business. Nobody cares about his feelings unless they have no true replacement. If Howard gets released, he will be picked up the second he clears waivers.

            1. I remember. I was happy with their offer.

              But they had nobody to replace him, and it’s killed them ever since.

          1. Victorino replaced Rowand, not Werth. He eventually took the starting job form Jenkins, who was signed as a free agent. Does that help your memory, life long TPhan. Try getting your facts in order when trying to refute someone’s points.

            1. Okay let me explain this.

              Abreu was originally the most consistent hitter on the Phillies and the tough out. Then that became Utley for about a season. Then Rowand became that. Then the Phillies lucked out when Werth turned out to be that. Ibanez was that for a tiny bit but kept getting screwed up and losing his timing over and over. Now we don’t have that guy and haven’t since Werth. A lineup that was made up of strikeout-prone players needs that guy.

              For real though, way to fall flat on your face when trying to throw digs.

          2. No, they let Werth go on the assumption that he wasn’t worth nearly the contract $ and years he was demanding. They would have happily kept Werth for a couple more years at what he was earning.

            1. On Werth…..not sure why it was done, but Ruben in Dec ’08 decided to sign him to only a two-year contract….whether that is what Werth wanted at the time or what the Phillies only offered….seem to be rather dubious many years later. An added 1 or 2 years more to that contract could have prevented other things from occurring…..spilled milk now.

        3. @TruePhan – I don’t hate on Howard. Moving on means you gain some and lose some and the success of that is based on the “value” that you will get by moving on. Like what i said in my other post, there’s no demand for Howard, thus, he holds “no value”. you said that he’s a “proven commodity” and I agree. but there’s a difference between the “ryan howard of old” (the proven commodity) vs the “old ryan howard” (known commodity – who holds “no value” as of now). so moving on from a “no value” commodity to take your chances for something better, is that a DUMB decision like you believe? I don’t think so because you can’t go worst than a “zero value”

          1. i don’t see an actual guy to throw out there at this point so i don’t hate the idea of keeping Howard around 1 more year simply because if you bat him cleanup then you don’t have to stick Franco, or Rupp, or Altherr in the cleanup spot where they might think they have to try to hit more home-runs.
            but if they want to write off a sunk cost and try somebody else or sign someone on a one or two year deal to fill the spot until you know if Hoskins is the real deal, thats fine too.

          2. He has zero value IN YOUR OPINION. That’s what you don’t seem to get.

            He will be picked up the second that contract is up or he clears waivers. That wouldn’t be the case if he had zero value.

            Like I said, you’re a lot greener than you think you are. Power hitters are always in demand.

          3. Howard’s value will always be tied to the dollars left on his contract, even with the Phillies paying a hefty portion of his remaining salary. Next season, another $25M will be off his contract at the trade deadline. The only dollars remaining will be about one-third of his $25M yearly salary plus the $10M buyout (@$18M)

            If Howard has a first half similar to this year’s first half and the Phillies pay a large portion of his remaining contract, Howard would have more value than this year because he only ties up a roster spot for the trade partner for less than half of a season.

            Now, how much that value is depends on his production and the need of the trade partner. But, there were some AL teams this trade deadline who might have benefited from Howard’s LH bat in a DH platoon. Had 2016 been his buyout year, I think teams might have given real consideration to Howard as an upgrade without the onus of his being on their roster for the following season.

            Even if he does have no value today, he might have some value next season.

            1. $18M….chump change to John Middleton….I think he had that inside his left coat pocket the other day at the table with MacPhail! 🙂

            2. Factoid from Oct 2014:
              Pennsylvania’s richest man is non other than Phillies owner John S. Middleton with an estimated net worth of $1.8 billion.

        4. Kurdt I don’t think Middleton will agree with you. Someone better hold him down, I really believe he will spend and try to get better right away. Something I am against. I am really in one respect selfish I cant stand another season like this, last night watching the eagles lose I switch channels to see the game winning homerun by Washington. knowing the sixers will stink.. I hate hockey but they wont be any better. its hard to watch all this losing,.

  6. There does not seem to be any reason to have Howard on the team. Try a number of guys at 1B. Maybe you get lucky with someone. They are going nowhere in 2016, so use the spot as a chance to find a future piece, no pun intended! The $ is wasted anyway. On another topic, Altherr has looked very good and the starting OF next year could be Asche, Doobie and Altherr.

    1. Cody Asche and his career .689 OPS should not be starting in a major league outfield. The Phillies should use the spot as a chance to find a future piece.

      1. What happens to Brown? Do they walk away from him? Do they bring Frenchy back? Some might not like it but I wouldn’t mind bringing back Bogusevic, especially if they let Brown walk.

      2. IMO, the Phils will move on from Brown. They might keep Asche since he is still cheap (compared to about $4-5M for Domo). I like Frenchy and Bogu too but they might be unnecessary luxury (i say that they will cost at least $2M each) unless the Phils can flip them in July 2. So far, the Phils will have Altherr in RF, Herrera in CF and probably Sweeney in LF with Asche going to the Bench – so no spot for Frenchy and Bogu too. Be ready to see Dugan (since he’s cheap) until Williams or Quinn or injuries will force the issue.

          1. agree with Dugan and i can see him start in AAA as well. i think 2016 is about “evaluation”. I can see the Phils take a closer look of the players who are in the 40-man roster like Dugan, Joseph, Asche to see if they can be salvaged for anything or can be part of the future. The 2016 batch new bloods (Williams, Thompson, Knapp, Cozens, Tocci, Pinto, Eflin, Valentin, etc) will be interesting, one way or another or we can agree to disagree, the Dugans, Josephs, Asches, Rufs, etc will be gone post 2016 season.

            1. You’ll see Dugan at Spring Training. He’ll have to rip like a madman to make the team. It’s likely he’ll start at Lehigh. But just because he’s a former second round pick that’s on the roster, doesn’t mean he automatically gets a shot. He’ll still need to take care of business at AAA. And it just got tougher with Nick Williams likely headed to AAA also. They’ll need to battle it out to be the first OF promoted if somebody gets injured on the Phillies.

    2. You cut Howard if somebody can take his place. Right now, there’s nobody on the roster that can do it, and no young body at Lehigh that can do it either. There’s still some value in Howard in that he still can rip RH pitching. So for 2016, his last year, you tell him that he’s going to platoon with Ruf for the whole year. That’s it, end of story.

      1. @TheGuru – there’s no really right or wrong answer in the Howard argument. I agree with you that Howard can still rip RH pitching. But to the Phils, they don’t need a warm body who can just rip RH pitching and can’t do anything else. The same thing that they don’t need to pay $10M+ for a closer who will not close a lot of games for the team whether that closer is a lights out pitcher. Howards value is on a contending team that needs LH bat, unfortunately, no contending team wants him unless they get him in a recycle bin. But for the Phils, holding on to Howard is unnecessary because the Phils needs actual players or 1B who can be an everyday player. Why maintain 2 (Howard and Ruf) for 1 spot? I’m not saying that Ruf, Stassi of anybody in the farm is the answer, but at least releasing Howard can create an opportunity to look for the next everyday 1B whether via farm, FA, internationational, trades or whatever. Platoon will only move Howard out of starter but he will still occupy a space in the Bench (which is only limited to 5).

        1. I won’t be heartbroken if the Phillies cut Howard. But there’s nobody on the farm that deserves it (I’m talking about Tommy Joseph here). And if Rhys Hoskins/Kyle Martin/Alfaro/Knapp are destined to be the 1B of the future, there’s no reason for us to trade or sign a stopgap 1B. You’ll only be able to trade/sign an Ike Davis type player. And any international player you sign will be years away, like Jhailyn Ortiz. You’re already paying Howard and Ruf. Either they both are on the roster and you platoon them, or you cut Howard and Ruf has 1B all to himself.

      2. Exactly. The fact is most of the time we haven’t even had to worry about this because Howard has been out. I’d be more than fine with platooning two guys who can hit 20+ HRs over a full season.

  7. Dom may very well be non-tendered. I am not suggesting that Asche is a top notch OF, but based on what they have, he will, most likely, be on the team, and at the very least, part of a platoon. I don’t think they are giving up on him yet. I don’t see any FA signings to fill the OF,, and I don’t see any of the prospects being ready yet. I have no problem with Frenchy as a bench piece. He is a terrific teammate, by all accounts, and fills the veteran role perfectly. Dugan, I think, has to start in LHV as his performance there this year has been less than encouraging.

    1. I’ve mentioned previously, Asche needs to turn himself into Greg Dobbs. He has some pop off the bench, and can play 3B and LF. Asche has nothing to prove in the minors. He needs to do whatever he can to stay on a MLB roster. And there’s nothing with being a decent bench player. You collect a decent paycheck, and if you hang around long enough, a great pension.

      1. Exactly how I see it, with Ruf hopefully being able to become a Franceour type one day. I know a lot would disagree on this but I do think Asche could be a great hitter one day.

        1. Asche is weird. You watch his swing (awesome, short, relatively powerful stroke with almost no moving parts), you watch his approach at the plate and to baseball (diligent, very studious), you look at his minor league numbers and you conclude that he should be substantially better than he has shown. But he is going to have to hit like hell because he can’t field very well, he’s an average base runner, he doesn’t walk a ton and he doesn’t have great in-game power. I think he really also struggles with good breaking pitches. So, he could still break through (he’s not that old), but he hasn’t shown he can do it thus far and has, to date, been a disappointment. Also, his moving to the outfield, where he is not yet very good and where he needs to hit more to justify his existence, is not helping his case at all.

          1. His minor league peripherals do not scream plus-plus, but I would think a bit better then what he has showed to date in Philly.
            PAs-1358…K-18%…BB-8%…Slash-.291/.349/.446/.795

            1. Yes, but his trajectory was excellent; he generally played progressively better as he went up the ladder. He put up good numbers in his first year at Lehigh Valley, which is not easy to do – he had some mojo.

          2. It is really frustrating.

            I have to put at least some of the blame on Charlie though for refusing to play these young kids back then. Ache looked like something his rookie year. I do think he could be a David Eckstein type of hustle player, just not as good a fielder. I really don’t see him ever being a .300 hitter like Chase but .275 seems realistic with at least double-digit HRs.

    2. I thought Brown was going to stick around, but with the emergence of Sweeney, I give the odds at 50-50. Sweeney needs to have a good end to this season to force the Phillies to keep him on the active roster for 2016.

    3. matt13…a few maybe low-cost veteran FAs for next year…some old faces and familiar names…..Jeff Baker ….Alejandro De Aza ….David DeJesus
      Marlon Byrd…..Chris Denorfia ….Corey Hart ….Austin Jackson ….Matt Joyce
      Nate McLouth…..David Murphy…..Gerardo Parra ….Carlos Quentin ….Ryan Raburn
      Alex Rios…..Cody Ross…..Grady Sizemore ……Denard Span ……Drew Stubbs
      Ryan Sweeney…..Will Venable ……Shane Vic…..Chris Young …..oh no Delmon Young
      Did not include the Uptons, Heywards, Bautistas or Cesoedes

      1. romus – this is a request. any list of who can be available in rule v from teams with strong farms like HOU, BOS, LAD, TEX, etc. if we can get another Herrera, i think, that’s also a good option, right?

        1. Rule 5 lists now are just projected. Clubs still have to determine their 40, or 39 if you want to participate in the draft, .the real list comes out third week of November.
          The one guy I have looked at is the ‘Stros LHP Reymin Guduan…until now still not protected.
          Have to see who else is out there….plus I only assumed the Phillies will lean pitching based on MacPhails assessment of the ‘thin’ pitching in the system.

        2. Getting Herrera was extremely lucky. That may not happen this time around.

          If the Phillies do go after rule 5 again, I’m thinking they will go pitcher.

        3. Though Boston and LA have the top systems, a lot of the best players in their system do not ha e to be protected yet. The one guy that the Dodgers may have exposed, Sweeney, we already got. Houston has some interesting Latin, power arms they may not have room to keep.

          1. I hope Guduan is left unprotected and the Phillies consider him……a Chapman clone wannabe……but little control right now.

            1. Both Guduan and David Paulino seem like guys that would be worth selecting in the Rule 5 from Houston. They’re like versions of Cordero and Tirado.

  8. Pete said yesterday that he is going to work with Howard on hitting left handed pitchers in spring training. I think Bogu and Frenchy will be 4th and 5th outfielders.

    1. he actually said that? i think they would have better luck in getting Howard to learn to hit right-handed than for him to change anything to help him with lefties.

      1. I actually like ‘ol Pete and hope he didn’t say something so dumb. There seems to be little in the baseball world more futile than trying to teach a 36 year-old Ryan Howard how to hit left-handed pitching. A fool’s errand if ever there was one.

    2. That’s infuriating in a way. Why wouldn’t Pete have done this (work with Howard for improvement against lefties) in spring training in 2015? Or 2014? Howard has struggled mightily against lefties for years. This is common knowledge, yet only now do the Phillies concede that Howard has an issue against lefties? That’s just absurd.

  9. Did not read all the posts above but what free agents players do you see becoming available that could help the Phillies 2017 – 18.

    I mean what I’m getting from reading stuff from owners and current management, which change with new GM, but not terribly since he will reflect McPhail and owners, is that they are open to getting young talent as FA if it makes sense for long term.

    So lets suppose the above is true…and I’m not going to debate if its not etc….who do you think is out there at a what positions?

    1. @Rem – cannot answer your question and don’t have the list of the FA this year and next, but what I’m banking on is that the new Phils FO will open the wallet to accelerate the rebuilding. So my gut feeling says that the Phils will spend $$ for international talents not only the 16 yos but also the mid-20s who can already play. No names for now.

      1. The one guy I would go for is Eddy Julio Martinez, the Cuban OFer….not sure why he is not signed already, unless there is a deal on the table until July 3rd
        And incur the penalty.

        1. i like EJM as well but i thought the LAD locked him already since they are already over the limit. i’m 50-50 in incurring the penalty. if the phils is just a peice or 2 away, i might consider that. i thought that there’s another cuban hitter who’s name escapes me that did not meet the deadline so he’s eligible for 2016. i can see the Phils busting their international $$ for 2016-17

            1. Romus – that’s what i thought since LAD already burst and go beyond their limit. just from rumors and ramblings, no official report received yet

          1. Is this the other Cuban hitter you were thinking about?
            From MLB.
            Yusniel Diaz Position: OF Age: 18 DOB: 10/7/1996 Bats: R Throws: R Height: 6’1″ Weight: 195 lb. Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Run: 70 | Arm: 60 | Field: 60

            The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Diaz was the favorite to win the award for the top rookie in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, the island’s top league, but he defected in April, less than one month after the season ended.During his first season for the Havana Industriales, Diaz sported a .348 batting average with an on-base percentage of .448 and a slugging percentage of .440. Diaz hit 13 doubles and three triples in 65 games for Havana. He also struck out 33 times while walking 36.Diaz, who is sometimes referred to as Yusnier, showed athleticism along with some hitting and power potential in an open showcase for all Major League teams in early August in the Dominican Republic. He ran a 6.5-second 60-yard dash and also impressed scouts with his body projection. Evaluators also liked Diaz’s bat speed, and they believe he will improve on his overall hitting mechanics once he sees professional pitching on a daily basis. He has shown the ability to play center field.

            1. @ romus – i don’t think it’s diaz. if i remember it correctly, it’s an older cuban guy that any team can sign that will not count against the slot. i will try to refresh my memory if i can get the name

    2. 2017 First Basemen-
      Pedro Alvarez…Ike Davis…Edwin Encarnacion…Adam LaRoche…Adam Lind
      James Loney…Justin Morneau…Kendrys Morales…Mitch Moreland…Brandon Moss
      David Ortiz.Travis Wood.Carlos Santana…Justin Smoak…Nick Swisher ….Mark Teixeira
      2017 SP………..Bronson Arroyo…Brandon Beachy …Andrew Cashner…John Danks
      Jorge de la Rosa…R.A. Dickey…Scott Feldman…Jaime Garcia…Gio Gonzalez…
      Jeremy Guthrie…Jason Hammel …Jeremy Hellickson…Luke Hochevar…Derek Holland……Daniel Hudson…Edwin Jackson…Cliff Lee???…Cory Luebke…Kris Medlen ….Matt Moore ….Charlie Morton….Jon Niese….Ivan Nova….Jake Peavy
      Stephen Strasburg….Edinson Volquez….Jered Weaver…C.J. Wilson
      —some above however have option year attached to their current contract.

    3. I think Justin Upton and Jayson Heyward would be two bats from free agency this year who make some sense. Both would probably benefit from hitting at the bank and both are young enough to still be productive players in 2017-2018 (Upton will turn 30 that year and Heyward will be 28).

      Andrew Cashner, Matt Moore, Strasburg, will be FA next year and could be interesting pickups. They will be age 30, 28, and 28 respectively next off season.

      There aren’t many intriguing bats available next off season so grabbing an Upton or Heyward this year may be a good move long term. I really like Heyward as a complete player. He can hit pretty well, gets on base, has some pop, plays excellent defense, and can swipe 20 bases a year. We would end up paying him more than he’s probably worth, but he could be a leader as Jayson Werth was when the nationals started turning things around.

      1. Heyward and Upton are going to command serious dollars. You really want to commit that much money when the Phillies don’t know what they have in Altherr and Nick Williams?

        1. I would stay away from both of those guys – they need one more year at least in or near the cellar (draft pick) and if your going for a big contract, you want a premium guy – not a guy who is just very good but will command top dollar anyway (think Jayson Werth or Carl Crawford). And you especially don’t sign one of those guys if you think you might be able to obtain a comparable player through the farm system – that’s a disaster.

      2. To me, Heyward would make a lot of sense if you think he’s going to be a stud RF for the next 6-7 years, but any team that makes that commitment to him has to do some serious scouting. I don’t watch him enough or follow his career that closely to know what to expect from him going forward.

        We know he’s a good defender in RF and he doesn’t strike out a lot. He walks a decent amount but this year his BB rate is a career low. He’s hit for power in the past but not a whole lot the last two years. Offensively, he was awful for the first month of this season but he’s been great since. His BABIP has varied pretty widely from season to season.

        So, he seems to have all the ingredients needed to be an impact player for a long time at a spot where the Phillies have a hole to fill, but he hasn’t been consistent in putting everything together. He’s still pretty young though; he’ll play most of next season at 26 years old. So, if the Phillies are interested in him, and they should be, then they need to flex their scouting muscle that they take so much pride in and determine if he’s worth the kind of contract it will take to get him here.

        1. my concern with him is that you’re counting on his offense/power improving as he’ll only be 26, while hoping his defense and speed don’t drop much as he ages. but he’s always seemed older than he is,so not sure how much more power you will see, other than the CBP park effect.
          if you’re going to invest those dollars, don’t you want to spend it on someone whose a better fit for the middle of the order?
          saw him over the weekend with a chance to rob a home run if he could have gotten 2 inches off the ground, but he couldnt get that high.

          1. “if you’re going to invest those dollars, don’t you want to spend it on someone whose a better fit for the middle of the order?”

            Yes, but that’s what I mean by the need to scout him. He’s pretty much been a good #5 hitter throughout his career, but he has more ceiling and it’s very possible that his prime years are in front of him. He’s shown more power in the past so it’s not hoping that he’ll develop power, but that he’ll rediscover it. Scouting would also have to take into account how likely he is to lose his defensive ability. He’s big, so he might lose a step, but they can make an educated guess as to when that might happen. It might not be for 4-5 years.

            Keep in mind how rare it is for a player his age and talent level to hit free agency. If there was likely to be someone comparable every year or two in free agency, then it would be easier to pass him up. Most FAs, you’re paying for past production as guys are about to hit their decline. Heyward would fit into the next theoretical “window” that the team can compete.

            1. he’s only shown power really one year-2012, which was also the last time he had an OPS over .800.
              Dom Brown put up about the same numbers the following season and we’ve pretty much given up on him rediscovering his power, though I understand he’s 2 years older.

            2. 2012 was his best year for power, but the last two seasons are the lowest ISOs of his career- .145 (this year) and .113. It’s reasonable to think he can get back to around a .170 ISO at least, and maybe higher because he’s only in his age 25 season.

              Like I said before, if they’re thinking about making the commitment, they’ve got to scout him because whoever signs him won’t be paying him for past production as much as future potential. That said, at worst they’d end up with a good player who can hit in the 5th spot and probably be worth 3-4 WAR for a few seasons, and that’s if some part of his game falls off. He’s been worth close to or better than 5 WAR in four out of six seasons.

    4. I don’t think the Phillies are in position to make long commitments to high dollar Free-agents yet. I hope they can do a couple ‘Matt Harrson type’ salary relief trades to fill out the roster and continue to build the farm over the next year. By 2017, they should know what positions they can commit to in Free-agents.

      1. Agreed, we are finally reaching an end to the bloated, bad contracts, don’t want to see them waste more money even though they have it. Plus if McPhail does move slowly as has been said about him in the past, would be surprised if he would be buying high dollar FA’s so soon after taking over.

        I certainly wouldn’t mind a move like the braves did to get Toussaint, which while I hate to admit, seemed like a shrewd trade for the braves.

        1. they also got that 18 year old lefty ricardo sanchez in the offseason for a guy who isnt any better than Cody Asche. then again, both Toussaint and Lopez didnt have great seasons and ended up on the DL at the end.

      2. I wonder if that guy will ever pitch again let alone pitch like he did during his All Star season. Could be a great fifth starter if he can.

  10. The Phillies should have started this process in 2013 at the latest. They knew Asche could play third yet they traded for Michael Young. They converted Ruf to an outfielder yet didn’t play him after that. It’s one thing to rely on vets like Utley, Rollins, Howard, etc but the other guys over these young kids? That’s just stupid.

    Charlie was never going to play them though. That’s just how he is.

    1. Look true I might be dead wrong. I really believe the reason we didn’t start sooner is this. Middleton. was in the process of getting control. I believe there will be more moves in the scouting department and fo. Middleton imo will have to be held down, not to go after some of the fa. I know he doesn’t want another season like this one. But we need to realize right now we have a third basemen and a center fielder. got to see if kids at reading improve next year. I like romus thinking. I Like the idea of taking on some guys like fister on one year deals. until we see how some of the kids do in higher levels.

        1. i’ll co-sign with that too. 1-yr contracts for bounce back candidates that can be flip for assets come july.

          1. like harang, billingsley and jerome williams? just kidding. hopefully they can make better selections for next season.

      1. Middleton better be careful about the Latin American connections or we could lose our pipeline. According to McPhail himself, Ruben asked about the scouting department first. Matt Winkleman was very worried about that but it looks like everyone in scouting will keep their job for 2016 at least.

    2. Maybe they should have started rebuilding earlier, but neither Ruf or Asche were/are good enough to replace any of those guys. And from a business standpoint, Amaro wouldn’t have been allowed to rebuild that early, because they were trying to secure the biggest possible TV contract. Howard, Rollins, Utley and Hamels presence had a lot to do with the huge TV contract they secured.

      1. What I’m talking about isn’t rebuilding. They make Ruf an OF then sign Delmon Young over him. They trade for M Young who was awful and Asche barely plays (or any of the young guys) until Sandberg takes over. Ache was no worse than M Young and on an upward trajectory in his career, and Ruf looked like a promising power hitter. We’re not talking about replacing any of the legitimate stars here. Even a year sooner of these guys playing enough would have been huge for them.

        Good baseball franchises never rebuild. They replace guys with younger guys who are capable of it.

        1. Unless you look at the models of Houston, Washington, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, and the Cubbies, some time the long-term rebuild is a necessity, except for maybe the following:
          1. Cardinals—one losing season in last 16.
          2. Angels—no back-to-back losing seasons in 23 years
          3. Yankees-23 seasons in a row with winning record
          4. Rays- six consecutive .500 seasons
          5. Red Sox- 1998-2013—15 winning seasons—3 WS
          …but are they anomalies?

          1. The Red Sox prior to their FA bonanza are exactly the model every team should follow. They won 3 titles in a decade by never going into full rebuild mode because they never had to. The Cubs and Dodgers have done great in international signings in a way that had the Phillies done the same, a rebuild would not be necessary. Imagine if we had Soler on our team right now or Cespedes. Most of the guys we didn’t need other than probably Chapman back in the day but those two would have been huge for us if not Tomas this year. It worked out for the best because we have a bunch of guys getting auditions in the outfield but those three signings alone led alone a guy like Sosa would have made a major difference. Obviously you throw in a guy like Puig there too but I don’t think we even followed him back then.

            Don’t forget the Braves, either. They’re a mess now but before they went heavy on FA they were a model of how to bring up young talent year after year.

            1. Signing the Cubans, post 2012, vs the standard 16-year old LAs are two different animals.
              The LA pipeline to the MLB is so long and uncertained.
              However, some teams did both and over spent and incurred the penalty….and like the Sox and Cubs, their systems are fruitful.
              However, I look at the Cubbies now……rule 4 (Bryant, Schwarber) and trades (Rizzo Russell, Fowler) are the vast make-up of their talented lineup…Soler has not done well this year.

  11. bak425

    The Phillies are NOT tied with Atlanta for the race for the # 1 pick in the 2016 Rule 4 draft. The Phillies would get the # 1 draft pick currently even though they have the same record as Atlanta because the Phillies had a worst record in 2014 than Atlanta. In fact, the Phillies hold the hammer against all the other teams they are competition with for the 1st pick except Colorado. So if they are tied with any other team except Colorado in the final standings, the Phillies will get the higher rule 4 draft pick.

    1. OK, thanks for the clarification. I still consider them to be tied, but obviously I was looking solely at records without getting into the tiebreaker. I mean, you don’t need the tiebreaker unless you are tied, right?

    2. ah, that makes sense. i was wondering how the Phils finished with same record as Cubs/White Sox last year but picked after them.

  12. They still have to at least tie with the Braves. But, on the other point, I do not believe that the negotiators for Comcast are stupid. Their head counsel is David Cohen, one of the smartest lawyers around. The contract was based on the baseball market in this city, and had nothing to do with any of the older players remaining from 2008. The rebuild took 2 years too long because the Giles and Monty leadership was still in place, and they were trying to make 2008 last just a little longer. A forward thinking group would have made the Lee deal in 2013 and moved Chase earlier. But, that is over now and hopefully Middleton will be as aggressive as he sounds.

  13. I think, for now, we can have confidence that Middleton will spend $. I just don’t think this off season is the Heyward/Upton type of signing. I agree with Romus that a Fister type signing is more along the lines of what they do. Then give another year for Williams, Altherr, and other prospects to show what they have. Maybe their foray into FA is a 1B, along with a SP, in the following off season

    1. Though that is a few months old now…I am sure the same teams are interested in him.
      If Middleton wants to really show his mettle….then jump the herd and offer Martinez a $35M bonus….slightly more then Moncada’s from the Sox ….and incur the penalty.He and JPC both become number one prospects in the system and one OF position is taken care of for 7/8 years. The two year hiatus of a $300K signing of LA talent, can be navigated with the high Rule 4 drafting that will be the norm for the next 2/3 years.

      1. It was in mlbtraderumors yesterday. I also asked a friend and looked into it myself .there isn’t a player in The Cuban market linked to the phillies. It’s still Kind of early but maybe Phillies just going into LA Market with Sal . Wait and see mode I don’t think Middleton is going to sit a wait for much longer.

      2. Never know maybe he’s in the win now mode signs Upton , Heyward and 2 pitchers. Some want him to do it there way sign Cuban go hi into the LA Market. Some want Heyward and a pitcher. 1 I think he gets a GM first by the choice of the GM we should know the course of action. Aka if the GM has a background in the LA Market or Cuban that’s we go..he could be like the Padres GM and sign a everybody that I don’t want .

        1. Yes…I think Middleton’s patience could be wearing thin and he may decide to ‘influence’ MacPhail to get more immediate help….while keeping that five-year projection/forecast plan in mind.

  14. Washington did everything they could to give away the game last night, but Phils said “no thanks!” Nola is getting hurt by the HR ball, and although he says he feels fine, he is probably getting tired. One more start, then shut him down. Howard and Altherr both left hurt. We talked about Asche some yesterday, and he is the kind of guy you want to root for. I would love for him to take it up a notch, but that may be more wishful thinking.

    1. Good assessment on Nola. Probably is tired at this point – by far the most innings he’s pitched in a season.

      Asche would be the guy you’d want to root for. Has been a late bloomer throughout his career and who knows, it still might happen, but it may be too late here. Or maybe he’s just a AAAA guy.

      Was thrilled to see Papelbon blow his first save – against his former team after trashing them. How does it feel, Jonny, to still be a loser?

    2. That really does worry me. I hope it’s just fatigue and that they shut him down after this next start.

      I guess Howard is done then? So if you’re McKanin, do you play Asche at first or do you give Ruf the chance to hit righties?

      1. think it’s just a bruise- besides Asche needs to play third most days unless they are still going forward with bringing Franco back for the end of the season.

        wished i would have turned the channel at end of Eagles to see Freddy take Paps deep- that would have improved my mood.

  15. The next 2 weeks will be an early start for Sweeney to compete for the 2B job next season. If he plays well now, he has a chance to make it an open competition between himself and Cesar. I think any earlier thoughts of Herrera moving back to 2B have been erased by his play in CF. Its hard to believe that he’s only played CF for a year.

    Its hard to believe that we have the Phillies and the Sixers both going through this bottom of the barrel game at the same time. The Phils will look to sign a few reclamation projects in the off season like they did with Harang, Franceur, and others. I would love to see them go after Heyward but I just don’t see it happening, on either side. I think they’ll give Altherr and Asche a chance to play next year (Dom will not be back) while the team waits for Williams to be ready.
    I could see the LHV OF being Stassi in LF, Williams in CF, and Dugan in RF. I think Stassi has to play the OF to get himself to the majors. In Reading, I see A Brown, Quinn, and Cozens plus Pullin. At CWater, I see Sandberg, Tocci, and Herlis, although they might jump some of the college guys (Laird, Coppola, etc) from WSport here. We have a whole winter to think about this….

    1. Its hard its believe the Phils are after being 4 years from being one of the best. The Sixers have been playing the bottom of the Barrel Dance for how long now? It seems like decades.

      Like folks mention above we can at least take solace in watching shmo’s like Johnny Paps submarine a division opponent. Hard to believe with good guys like Tugger and Lidge that the Paps clown is our franchise saves leader. he is a text book case of why talent alone does not a world class athlete make.

  16. Yes we do have a whole winter, although your the first person I’ve seen who has mentioned a possibility of Stassi playing OF. I’m sure others have but just have not seen it.

    Here is another question I have asked but for whatever reason have not seen an answer. Why isn’t J Ortiz on many of the Phils prospects boards? I know he is a ways away but based on his potential…….?

    1. So, where would you rank him? And, if you would, based on what? Ortiz hasn’t played an inning for any of our rookie teams. He wasn’t on any of their rosters.

      Ortiz will make his stateside debut during Instructs with fellow LA teenagers catcher Rafael Marchan, pitcher Manuel Silva, and maybe infielder Kuedy Bocio. All four 16-year olds were signed during the signing period for international players that began on July 2.

      1. I was reading an article that said Marchan was the must constant in hitting . While going around to the different shows or tournaments. BA had the article in their paper.

      2. I hear you but for some reason we are able to rank kids out of high school state side? I guess we feel more comfortable with high school players in the states, but I would that since he signed for all that money that more than few scouts have been following him. Isn’t that mainly how we rank the high school players in the states…through scouts and their reports?

        Please I am just a fan and not as experienced and serious about this as some of you on this board. Just a simple question. If we can rank someone out of high school in the states…..?

        1. By the by he is ranked internationally, but I guess there is no way of comparing that with the talent in the states. Its almost like when we had segregated baseball….ok now I’m going really get folks on me 😉

        2. You make a good point.
          Perhaps it has something to do with an age limitation.
          Has there been any 16- year olds ranked in an organization’s listing?

    2. J. Ortiz is not on any prospect list because he is still an unknown quantity. It is like back when few of the Rule 4 picks would sign in time to get any action. Could you imagine trying to rank Lucas Williams, if he hadn’t played? It doesn’t help that the reports on Ortiz from the Spring and Summer after the Phillies apparently had a handshake agreement were less than encouraging about his weight or his ability to deal with offspeed stuff.

  17. The whole Reading season has been a very good story and fun, I am sure, for all of us to follow. I think the team should be very good again next year, with, I hope, the added bonus of a much better team at LHV. On another note, Jim, when does the discussion of the Top 20/30 Prospects start? Thanks

  18. Howard’s value. Yes, it’s a matter of opinion. But some opinions are better supported by logic and evidence than others. I’ll try to support my opinion on the subject using evidence and logic – and without resorting to WAR.

    We’ll start with the positive case. He can still hit some HR, and can still hit okay against RH pitchers. That’s about it for the positive case. Is that enough? It depends. Let’s weigh the positives against the negatives:

    (1) Lousy 1B defense, can’t play anywhere else except DH.
    (2) .229 BA
    (3) few BB (5.4% is well below average for anyone, but is really bad for a HR hitter (though not the worst in the league).); 2 and 3 together mean a .277 OBP. That’s the 7th worst in ML baseball among qualified batters.
    (4) Well below average base running skills, and that’s putting it charitably.

    How do we weigh that? :Let’s assume that roster space is unlimited. Then yeah, sure, a guy like that, used right, could have some value as a PH and perhaps platoon DH.

    But teams don’t have unlimited rosters. They have 25 spots. Can a team afford the luxury of a player with such a limited role? Generally no. Players who can only play 1B or DH are generally much better (offensively, defensively in the case of first basemen) than Howard, or are young guys with upside. There are worse offensive players (not many) spending some time at DH or 1B, but they tend to have more positional flexibility.

    Could Howard have value in a bigger role, as a full time regular 1B or DH? There are, indeed, a few teams who have gotten less production from their DH or 1B this year – not many, but a few. But those teams will fall into two categories – rebuilding teams, who ideally will want to start someone younger & with some upside, or contending teams, who will aspire to (much) better.

    Veteran leadership? I’m not one of the people down on Howard because of alleged makeup/character issues, but OTOH he doesn’t have a reputation as a vocal clubhouse guy. And there’s always a risk that he would vocally object to the limited role that he would play on most teams.

    Now, we use “value” as a shorthand way of saying “does this player have a positive role on a major league team?” Used that way, then no, Howard does not have “value.” That’s even assuming a league minimum salary.

    Is that an opinion? Sure. But a well supported one, and one that (it seems, based upon the lack of a trade despite the Phillies’ apparent willingness to eat most of his salary) is shared by all major league front offices.

    1. Very well put.
      I measure one part of the hit tool to a player’s value by viewing the delta between:
      First—– BA and OBP (the larger, the better the plate discipline a hitter has)
      Second- BB and K rates (the lower, an indicator of exceptional plate discipline)

      In Ryno’s case his 2015-22 point difference (BB to K rate) increased from last year’s of 19.
      And also his BA to OBP has dropped from his 2014 delta.
      That has only been the last years metric decline….. obviously the decline over the last 4/5 years is evident.

      As for measurement by WAR…….it is the easiest way, and for the most part, the most encompassing alternative formula. There could be some short-comings, but I do not see it as detrimental to the best available ‘metric’ evaluation process out there now.

      1. Great work by both of you. Logically and evidence based speaking, it is time to move on from Howie. If let go today, someone would probably try and pick him up right away, but that’s only because of the expanded rosters. If released next spring or over the winter, I don’t think teams will be falling over each other to sign him, keeping in mind they won’t have to pay him anything. There are just to many negative things that come along with him, especially the defense, that far out weigh the one positive. “Value” wise, he’s at the end of the road.

      2. Regarding WAR, I agree. But some people just won’t accept it. And to reach those people, it’s simply easier to avoid the topic. Because one CAN have an intelligent discussion of value without using WAR. Whereas (for example), one CAN’T have an intelligent discussion of player value without discussing OBP. So with people who don’t see the value of OBP (or who minimize that value), you need to try to convince them that they are wrong, or just not engage. But WAR isn’t like that, it’s just one way of looking at player value, albeit a useful way.

      3. I don’t think there’s a single stat that can measure a player’s full value, and I don’t think there ever will be. I think it’s incredibly arrogant to act like there is or like any current or future stat trumps anything else.

        1. WAR may not be too complicated to understand….but it also does have plenty of data and information that is calculated and calibrated to comparable level of every player that played the game and is a handy tool for projection and evaluation.
          Of course, not everyone is sold on it.
          For example….people like to compare Howard vs Utley….why the love for Utley….well I see it as 16WAR Philly player vs 60WAR Philly player..thats a lwhole lotta of love that even Elvis would like..

          Here is a an explanation of WAR and what it will give you:

          http://www.fangraphs.com/library/misc/war/

        2. Is WAR perfect? No. Is it a pretty good approximation. Yes. Now, you may not believe that … but it’s still possible to at least use WAR as a starting point. Start with WAR, and ask “what doesn’t WAR capture?”

          In Howard’s case, what is it that you don’t think WAR captures? I’ll start with something that I don’t think it captures (but which IMO doesn’t ultimately matter). His recent WAR data doesn’t capture what Howard’s value would be if used in a strictly platoon DH/PH role. In that role, he would probably have positive value (and, FWIW, used in that role WAR would confirm that value).

          But – to get back to my prior comment, team’s really don’t have the luxury to devote a roster spot to a player with such a limited role (again, in a larger role Howard does not have positive value), UNLESS that player packs a huge amount of value into that limited role. And Howard doesn’t do that.

          Now, what other arguments could you make?

          -veteran presence – addressed previously

          -“clutch” – even setting aside the argument over whether there is truly such a thing as “clutch” ability (as opposed to performance), Howard has not, on a career basis, been a great clutch performer. He has been a little above average in certain clutch situations, but not enough to significantly move the needle.

          -WAR does not adequately capture the value of his HR – pretty much demonstratively untrue. Hitting value is something that we understand VERY well, and HRs are given proper credit.

          -OBP does not matter for a slugger – again, pretty much demonstratively untrue. The issue has been studied in many ways and the evidence is clear.

          -WAR penalizes him too much for his defense and base running – I don’t think many people would defend this argument. He looks as bad as the metrics say he is.

          What else is there? Why is WAR not accurate in his case?

          Finally, I’d repeat what I said above – the fact that he HASN’T been traded, despite the Phillies’ apparent effort to do so and willingness to eat most of his salary, is strong evidence that major league front offices agree that he has no value as a major league player.

        3. Which isn’t to say that you HAVE to center discussions of value around WAR. But when WAR gets it significantly wrong in an individual case it’s always for a concrete reason. And if you CAN’T find such a reason, that’s a pretty good sign that WAR gets it right.

  19. Buchanan with a great outing tonight. After the way he’s gotten shelled lately, going 6 strong and only giving up a handful of runs is huge. Colton Murray really looks good, too. Throws fairly hard and has a just plain nasty breaking pitch. Still haven’t seen Ogando yet.

    Glad to see Art Charles getting a HR even if it was in that ballpark. That pitch Cordero got the final out on was nasty, too.

  20. Fine with the fact that you deleted my comments. I know the people they were directed at got the message and that’s that. I don’t care even remotely about how I come off online. If certain people want to feel like big men by acting that way then feel free. I personally think it’s incredibly sad.

    Don’t know why you deleted my comment about the Sixers but hey whatever.

    1. Some advice you didn’t ask for: I think sometimes the written word – especially in this form – can be misinterpreted in terms of tone. Try not to take differing opinions as personal attacks on you. Yes, there’s not a need to say, “That’s the most stupid thing ever posted on this site…” when expressing an opposing opinion. But you don’t have to take it so seriously and it only leads to the tit-for-tat exchange that you say you’re not going to get into but ultimately do.

      i come to this site for great information and opinions of folks that spend a lot more time than I do on the subject matter – and yours is one of them. It would be a boring world if everyone agreed on everything.

      1. That may be how I’m coming off but that’s not how I actually am. I more than welcome anybody disagreeing with me. That’s what sports discussions are about after all. People seem to think they can talk to me online in all way most of them flat out would not talk to me in person though, and they expect me to take it. I mean we’re all either from Philly or most likely somewhere similar here so why should anybody be impressed with that kind of stuff?

        To me, if you’re going to be throwing around insults and calling others stupid like some have done towards me, you better actually be an expert. So far none of the people doing that to me are people I would ever consider experts and are no more knowledgeable than I am. It’s fine if people put all their faith in stats but doing so doesn’t make them any more knowledgeable than anybody else.

        I appreciate that you enjoy reading my opinion. I’m just very excited about this team and this system, more than I have ever been, and I see a lot of possibilities I did not before.

  21. It’s funny Revere Bluejays, Hamels and Diekman Texas. , Rollins and Ultey the Dodgers , Bastardo the pirates . all are helping there teams make the playoffs.the not too make his better is Pap and he has made the most noise about winning.Glad to the first win by Reading where N Williams, Eflin, Cordero, came for the trades. All looking goid. The Angels are making there GM search I hope we make ours soon.

  22. Watched Strasburg last night…..looks like a different man…lost 15 or more lbs and face is totally different, thinned out. Must have did intense rehabbing in his medical recovery.

    1. That’s a great point Romus…when I turned on the TV, I had to do a double take to make sure he was pitching. I listened to most of it on the radio and didn’t get to watch until the 7th. I even got up to get a better look at the name on the back of his jersey. Do you think all of this talk about maxing out innings post TJ had anything to do with the new work out regime?

      1. He was out most of June with that unusual upper back scapula issue…then the oblique in July I think…..I am thinking the rehab and combination of prescribed meds during those times probably diminished his appetite, though with the rehab you would think it would increase.
        I looked at his photo on MLB and compared the photo to last night…..and seems his face has changed along with the weight loss. But he pitched great last night. Next season is his last year under this contract and a FA after 2016. His velo has only dropped a few ticks from a few years ago…but still plus. He will though have upwards of 800 IP after TJ and for some GMs that is a red-flag.

        1. If there’s anybody worth taking a flier on, it’s him.

          But I have a feeling if it doesn’t work out, he’ll be untraceable with the amount he’s sure to want.

          1. I can only give you what the national experts have come up with….average shelf-life for starters is 600-700 IP post-TJ before degradation. Now Zimmerman and Strasburg could be ‘outliers’……but what that also entails is that once a pitcher reaches 600/700 IPed he also is aging, which contributes to lower velo rates, so there in likes the catch.
            A starter never having TJ, will tend to have a lower velo as he ages anyway, unless his name is Nolan Ryan.
            Couple the aging process with the TJ surgery and GMs start getting antsy on those long-term contracts with pitchers at late-20’s early 30s.

            1. Thank you Romus…yes, I guess Nolan Ryan would have to be considered the ultimate “outlier”, as far as age is concerned.

    2. Same here I thought he looked like he did 3 yrs ago. His stuff last night was #1 stuff he keeps up and he’ll get the big money. Harper a beast too I can’t believe how lucky were in getting them 2. They still can’t win a WS.

      1. Tim…I think you are correct on their luck……from 2000 thru 2011….12 years ….they only hit on 4 number one round picks (Harper, Rendon, Strasburg and Zimmerman), they got lucky on a few other players on lower then the first round.
        And they were drafting very high during that period..

  23. I have been a long time follower of this site, and enjoy it immensely. I am a late comer to statistical analysis, and don’t buy in 100%, but have come to understand how valuable it is. My opinion of Howard is based on this. I don’t wish to see him another year on the team. I want the spot to be used to try out as many 1B as possible. His 20 HRs mean nothing. The team will be bad with him or without him. He clogs the bases when he gets on, and does not approach average in his defensive ability. I appreciate what he has done for the team in the past, and wish him well. Do not need to see him get another AB.

    1. matt13…you and I sound like twins. I am in the same boat with the numbers…ignored them up until about 2 years ago, don’t fully understand them all in detail, but have learned enough to know that Howie has to go, just based on his -WAR and his OBP. His 20+ homeruns are really shallow, unless you want to dismiss all of the numbers that say it’s time to move on. I too have been a longtime reader/follower and have learned a great deal from many of the posters on this site. When you look at the numbers and add to it opinions from guys who have had eyes on players(Jim P), it’s really an insightful tool.

  24. I look at Howard at first as what do we have that is better?? Ruf wont put up the numbers Howard does. and its his last year, and we are on the books for the money, I am hoping but doubt it would happen he gets hot and is traded at all-star break for decent prospect.

  25. I don’t understand at all why there would be any thought of extending Nola past another start. I know innings is not as good a gauge as pitches thrown or the new pitches thrown during high stress situations or whatever they call it. There is time to work on him getting to stretch out further, but at the end of a lousy season like this one does not seem to be that time. I guess my problem is I have so little trust in the organization’s handling of young players, I automatically think they are bleeping it up.

  26. Can we agree that the Outfield next year for the Phils will start as Asche, Doobie and Altherr? I do not see Dom Brown here, either non-tendered or part of a trade for someone else’s disappointment. I have been disappointed in Galvis this year. Even with a decent average, his Defense, which I thought was a great strength, has not been as good. And, his fundamentals are lacking. Last night’s bunt attempt was terrible. He HAS to be able to do the little things, but it probably matters little, as JPC will be the SS in 2017.

    1. Freddie seems to have problems going to his left…..either he is positioned too far in the hole or he just cannot judge gloving balls up thru the middle, hit to the shortstop side of second base. JRoll would do the slide and spin throw with them.

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