Open Discussion: Week of September 28th

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

  • Aaron Nola tossed 5 scoreless innings Saturday against the Nationals.  It became his last start of the season when the Phillies decided to shutdown Nola for the rest of the season.  Nola scattered 6 singles and struck out five while walking none.  In 2015, Nola threw a career high 187 innings.  He started 13 games with the Phillies and pitched 77.2 innings (there goes his prospect status).  Nola posted a 6-2 record with a 3.59 ERA.  He struck out 68 and walked 19.
  • With Nola and Adam Morgan both shut down, the Phillies will go into the final week of the season with David Buchanan and Alec Asher starting the first two games of the Mets series.  Jerad Eickhoff will likely start the third game.  After a bullpen game in the series opener with the Marlins (in Nola’s spot), the Phillies will probably finish the season with Aaron Harang and Buchanan on the mound.
  • The Phillies are in good shape in their drive for the top pick in the draft.  They have 97 losses with 6 games to play.  Their “magic” number is 4 over the Atlanta Braves. Any combination of 4 Phillies’ losses and Braves’ wins should lock up the pick.
  • The only other team that can pass the Phillies is the Cincinnati Reds.  The Reds have 92 losses with 7 games left.  The Phillies hold the tie-breaker with both teams (lower 2014 winning percentage).
  • The first Intructs game is tomorrow in Dunedin.  If anything interesting occurs, I’ll post a story.
  • I’ll post the Weekly Prospects Discussion tomorrow.

103 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of September 28th

  1. Make or break year coming up for Walding. With the soon to come infusion in talent he’ll need to show his defense can play at the big league level.

  2. Let’s all collectively gloat about Jonathan Papelbon and the demise of the Washington Nationals. Sounds like an ESPN source is saying they’ll be forced to release him and eat the $11M 2016 salary. So not only did the trade for him help implode their 2015 season, IMO, not because he was bad but because Storen was doing well and was a popular clubhouse guy so Papelbon’s addition really hurt team chemistry, but now it will also hurt them next year. Rizzo really wanted to be the “new Phillies from 07 to 11”, but don’t look now Mike but you haven’t won back to back divisions (let alone 5 in a row), haven’t won a World Series, and have created a brewing dumpster fire. Well done.

  3. I’ve been thinking about next year and what the most important individual prospect outcomes could be for the Phils. I’m limiting this to only existing prospects, so this doesn’t apply to international signings, the Rule 4 and 5 drafts, trades, and graduated players such as Franco, Nola, Herrera, etc. Keep in mind these aren’t predictions, just saying these would be ideal outcomes in order of importance.

    1. JP Crawford stays healthy, starts and excels in AAA, earning a mid-season call up to Philly, where he demonstrates evidence of being a future all star at a key position.

    2. Rhys Hoskins starts the season in Reading and absolutely rakes. At this point, he is the primary power bat that, if develops, could hit in the middle of the order and hold down 1B.

    3. Of the two high level, middle of the order OF prospects the Phils have, one of either Altherr or Nick Williams has a season that solidifies him as legitimate. Altherr will likely start 2016 in Philly and get regular playing time, so the opportunity is his. For Williams, the path of success would be similar to that of JP Crawford’s above (see #1).

    4. Although the Phils will likely pick a pitcher with ace potential in the draft, the emergence of another pitcher with ace potential (or #2) is key. I think that guy is Franklyn Kilome. Would love to see him stay healthy and put up great numbers in A ball, with a possibility to finish the year in Reading.

    5. A catcher emerges as a sure thing, everyday player in the bigs, with all star potential. This could be Knapp or Alfaro, but guys like Rupp or Lino could surprise. In a perfect world, Rupp plays everyday and continues to improve, while Knapp develops well at AAA, and Alfaro performs like the beast people say he is, and the Phils will have one great problem to solve in 2017.

    6. Roman Quinn – stays healthy, plays to his potential, and moves to AAA by August. Solidifies himself as a legitimate, top of the order potential guy.

    7. Give me one young reliever to quickly emerge and rocket to the big leagues, ala Kenny Giles. I’m thinking Tirado, but there are a few others. Would love to see one emerge.

    8. A long shot comes through as a surprise resurgent prospect. Can you hear me Jesse Biddle? Kelly Dugan? Nick Pivetta? Ethan Martin? Just one….

    9. High level, mid tier pitchers develop. Come 2017, the Phils will need a #1 pitcher. I like Nola as a #2, and I don’t think it will be hard to find a #5 with some of the depth the Phils have. For those 3 and 4 spots, I’d love to see Jake Thompson and Zack Eflin fill those roles and reach Philly by August or September 2016.

    10. Finally, by next off season (2016-2017) and the one after (2017-2018), the Phils should be in a position to be trading for proven players, such as the Hamels’ and Tulowitzki’s of this season. Guys like Nola, Franco, Crawford and other players currently at AA and above will either be successful major leaguers by then, or have failed and have no value. Guys like Tocci, Arauz, Grullion, Kingery, Randolph, Ortiz, and many others could form depth to trade from at that time. Continuing to push good prospects to A+, AA, and AAA will be critical.

    Thoughts?

    1. Refreshing to hear an all current prospects future. No mention of FAs or cast-off signings. It’s a wonderful world, aye. But could you imagine a prospect world without Crawford because the Phils signed a top FA that year? The Phils will find it hard to sign a top FA for the 2016 season since they are expected to be pretty bad and could this prospects team win enough games to end up out of the top 10? If it can then signing a top FA in 2017, it could be problematic. What if you lost the 15th pick to sign a guy for huge money and he becomes a Jason Werth type of FA? Yikes, the boo birds would come out in force just before they stop coming to games.

      They need to keep the prospect pipeline in tact and sign plug-in type FA for a while. It will be hard to become a top-tier team in the shorter run but could become a long running top tier team looking in the longer term. But sometimes the fan base becomes Veruca Salt with the chant, “I want it and I want it now.”

      I put just enough talk of Free Agency and Jason Werth to allow this to be in the GENERAL Discussion and not in the Prospects General Discussion.

    2. I like it and would add specifically that one of the recently drafted college guys or existing 2nd baseman to break out and move quickly to AA. Kingery or Tobias? This would probably slot at #6 for me.

      1. My ideal is for the Phils to show the patience of the Cubs in the development of their position players and the foresight of the Mets in drafting and developing their rotation.

    3. Buddy…you summed it up pretty thorough.
      Number nine I could see emerging with one of either Puk or Groome……finishing with the first, or even the second pick now, is a just ‘reward’ for them.

    4. I like the list and would add something related to C Randolph. I think if he shows more power with the same approach he showed this year (and hopefully this is done at Lakewood), that would lead to a major uptick in the outlook of the farm. We needed to add depth, which we’ve done, but we also need to develop stars. I think Randolph has that potential.

    5. Perhaps greedy, but I think the Phillies really need both Altherr and Williams to do very well. Both have done well enough this year that I don’t see this as an unrealistic expectation.

      Near the very top of my list is that the Phillies need to see something, actually they need to see quite a lot, from their $5.2 million investment in LA sluggers Encarnacion and Ortiz. Ortiz was just about the entire LA class from 2015, hogging the lion’s share of the bonus $. We have a lot more invested in him than we do in Cornelius Randolph. A good season at Lakewood from Randolph is also very high on my list.

    6. @buddy – i 95% agree with your post. my concern is that it’s too optimistic so something may not pan out like we thought it will be. i think the Phils are doing something right in 2013 to 2015 drafts – that’s a check. i also believe that the Phils are doing well in finding gems in mid-$$ talent in LA – that’s also a check. if the Phils continue to put and spend on the “right” people in scouting (local and international) and probably spend some more $$ for the higher end international talents, invest in analytics infrastructure and hire the best coach available (player development, base running, hitting, etc.) on top of hitting the #1 or #2 of 2016 draft, the Phils are in good shape to get back in contention probably in 2018-19.

      IMO the Phils is a dream job for an up and coming GM.

    7. 1. I would guess Crawford starts in AA but he won’t be there too long just like this season when he started in Clearwater but didn’t take too long before he was in Reading. Got to see a lot of him in Reading, can’t wait till he’s up full time though, going to be a treat to get to watch him on a daily basis no matter how bad or good the Phillies end up being by then.

      2. We sure could use some power bats, it will be very interesting to see what Hoskins does and where they start him. If he’s not in Reading to start the year I could see him moving up quickly and it should be a lot of fun watching him at that park.

      3. Was very impressed with what I saw from Williams, can’t wait to see what he does at LV next year. Altherr I was never a big fan in the past but he’s certainly changing my views on him. Will be interesting to see what kind of season he has next year.

      4. I don’t get to see too many Lakewood/Crosscutters games, missed Kilome’s starts this year but hopefully get to see him next year and he has a big year. The main concern for the rebuild so far is the lack of high end pitching prospects. I know that next summers draft should really help in that regard from the sounds of it. One guy that hopefully follows in Kilome’s footsteps is Medina who I heard a lot of good things about. Going to be interesting to see what both do over the next few years.

      5. I don’t know much about Alfaro yet, but looking forward to seeing him at Reading next year since I get to see a lot of their games on tv. Knapp was a beast this year so next year is going to be very telling for him as well as I assume he’ll be in LV. I wasn’t too impressed with Lino, one guy that I did notice was Logan Moore but not sure what the plan is for him. Having seen Grullon in person, if he can pick up the hitting they may have a good one there, he’s got a good sized frame and should get at least a little bigger since he’s still young. Numata doesn’t get too much press but I am hoping he’s in Reading at some point since I don’t get any Clearwater games.

      6. I was impressed with Quinn when I saw him in the past, just hope he can get past the injuries and show what he can do.

      7. Cordero looked good but the guy that impressed me the most was Ramos. I know Ogando could be in the mix as well. We certainly have some decent arms in the pen. Tirado is said to be moving to an SP role along with Rivero, that’s going to be very interesting. I know he’s not highly thought of but just from a live viewing and some tv, Manny Martinez caught my eye so I hope he can build off this season.

      8. that would be great. Zach Green, Tromp, MAG, Jake Sweaney, Sam Hiciano, Walding. After several guys in the system had such good years, would be great if someone unexpected could bounce back or one of the guys that have been out all or most of the season to injury could have a big year would be nice to see.

      9. Thompson was the most impressive pitcher I saw behind Nola this year. I liked Eickhoff a lot when I saw him at LV, and Pinto is a guy I look forward to seeing next year. Eflin I am interested to see what they do with him, he seems to have the stuff but I just had a hard time getting a good read on him as he had his ups and downs in the games I saw.

      10. I would think in a few years the Asche’s, DeFratus, Ruf, Rupp, CH, Galvis, Buchanan, etc.. would be replaced by prospects or trades or FA signings, as they will most will either be backups or gone from the organization. But baseball is a funny sport when trying to predict the future and how a prospect is going to do in 3-4 years time as injuries and all sorts of things happen. Guys that look like bums one year could end up turning it around later on and guys that are highly rated by BA and make the all stars could be out of the organization a few years later after terrible plays/lack of production. But that’s what makes it fun to talk about and for the Phillies the only thing we have at this point is hope and a possible 1st overall pick next year.

  4. I believe the magic number is only 3 since the Phils hold the tie-break. Unless you really want to “win” outright.

    1. The magic numbers are 3 against Atlanta and 2 against the Reds. For the Phillies to get the # 1 pick both have to happen. Ideally Phillies losses count against both magic #s.

      1. That is correct, 3 for Atlanta and 2 for the Reds, since the Phillies hold the tiebreaker against these teams. And of course Phillies losses count against both magic numbers (not sure if you were joking about that).

      2. Curious that we would consider the second team in line behind us, when you don’t necessarily do that when you’re talking about the positive magic numbers to win something. I guess that’s because you control your own destiny by trying to win, and since you’re not trying to lose, you have less control? This is way too much analysis.

  5. The Pete Mackanin hiring reflects poorly on Andy Macphail and raises a red flag on Macphail’s tenure IMO.

    First, it doesn’t appear that Macphail went through any interview process with others. This is an extremely odd behavior pattern. Macphail has been out of baseball for several years. If nothing else it would be good to get different perspectives to see how young managers view the role now.

    Mackanin has basically the same record as the failed Sandberg. That includes an unbelievable BABIP driven 20 game stretch where these Phils played .700 ball. Even with that mirage, he still has a horrible record.

    There is no evidence that Mackanin is a data driven forward thinking manager. No evidence that he knows where the game is going. He is a baseball lifer. He was hired by the ultimate old-school manager in Sandberg.

    It is really hard for me to believe that there is no more talented managerial candidate out there. Especially since Macphail didn’t even look.

    Finally, hiring him before hiring a GM tells you how much power the GM will have and thus the quality of the candidate we will get.

    I am going to give Macphail the benefit of the doubt, and I hope he turns out right. But I don’t like how he has started his tenure.

    1. v1,
      A. Do you agree 2017 is still a rebuilding year?
      B. Are you aware Pete Mack. was not given a 5-year deal but a one-year ‘lease’?
      C. What does that mean to you?

      1. I do a lot of hiring. The goal of any hire is to find and recruit the most talented person possible. Period.

        I couldn’t imagine how that is possible without an extensive interview process.

        Rebuild or not. You always try to get the most talented person into your organization. Talented people always surpass your expectations.

        “A” players hire “A” players. “B” players hire “C” players.

        The one year contract only validates my point.

        1. v1…..you have to be a visionary and look strategically….short-term fixes are not what Midd and MacP seem to be looking forward.
          When you hire….do you hire the right person 100% of the time?
          if you hire ….then you must fire…..so, has anyone ever not worked out to what you expected when you first hired them?.
          The Phillies are in the initial stages of building their company back to contention, Mack for the next year is the transition person bridging that objective.
          Plus…….MacP already stated….time is of the essence…..the off-season rebuild phase cannot be wasted…a lengthy hiring process for both, first a GM and then the process of hiring a long-term manager. Org meetings in four week, then winter meetings coming up 9 weeks.

          I am on board with a one-year deal with Mackinin….and he understands his ‘probationary’ period is 2016 also.

          1. those rhetorical questions and criticisms do not make sense.
            – no one hires the right person 100% of the time. but the point is, if you have a flawed process that doesn’t properly search for the best possible candidates, including those outside your organization, then you have a much higher probability of hiring the wrong person.
            – when you are at the initial stages of a re-build, you don’t want a “transition” person. you want to hire a person that you can build with.
            – time is not of the essence. getting it right is the most important goal. they are not going to contend next year, so it is far better to take your time and get the best possible person in the organization.
            – focusing on a false deadline like the winter meetings is short term thinking that pressure an organization to make flawed decisions.

            this was not a well run hiring process. it is not a matter of opinion if you have a background in hiring.

            1. v1…….you are entitled to your opinion. MacP seems to have the hiring process worked out from his past experiences. I agree with his logic and his process.
              My past hiring process was not in a start up venture/company, bot one that was already running along smoothly. Phillies situation seems to be different. They already have upside assets 2/3 years in the pipeline to make it a more ;profitable’ organization long-term. He seems to be wanting to see how that progresses for the next year. Plus Mackinin is agreeable to that end.

        2. Most of us that hire aren’t in a position of renewing contracts. The closest equivalent is retaining people. And even in “at will” situations it’s harder to justify firing someone if we’re happy keeping the status quo. Yes, there may be better talent out there, but could I really attain and retain them given the current status.

          All this makes me think MacPhail is targeting someone that is not yet available. Which would be a good thing since they would seemingly have a proven track record. But I’m an optimist.

          1. He was given the label of “interim” manager, which gave Macphail the opportunity to do whatever he wanted. Macphail chose to not recruit outside the organization on his own. That strikes me as a poor process.

            1. Your point is flawed because it assumes this is an etched in stone hire. Case in point would be those Cubbies who fired Renteria the moment Maddon became available. Just one season on the job.

              Was Luhnow’s process flawed after he hired and then fired Bo Porter after two short seasons?

              I’m sorry but there is no possible way the new process can be more flawed than the old process. Managers have very little to do with the process in the initial stages of a clubs turn around.

              Everything is about the talent acquisition of those playing on the field and when the time is right and the players are in place in steps the right manager for the job.

    2. I hear your criticism and appreciate it. Of all the points you raised, the one that is of greatest concern to me is the fact that Andy MacPhail, and not the new GM, has now hired the manager. Andy was the President in Baltimore too, but he basically ran the show entirely – the GM was more of an errand boy/fact gatherer. If that’s what we are going to get here, then I think the MacPhail era will not end particularly well and, I should note, it appears that this model is NOT what John Middleton wants – he wants a GM that will have the powers of a typical GM and will be forward looking.

      Aside from all of that, I’m not too worried about Pete’s one year contract. Ultimately, we are going to want a manager that weaves the best of analytics into his decision making. For the next two years, however, that won’t be the most important job of the Phillies’ manager. The most important job will be developing players and allowing them to play while not permitting them to go off track – and it looks like Pete may in fact be a very good manager for this type of project. As for the record being bad, well, this isn’t really Pete’s fault. They’ve gotten rid of a few good players and he is now trying a bunch of guys out, many of whom are pretty bad – of course they are going to lose. But I think if you watch the team, they are generally playing harder, seem relatively focused and he is trying to give guys a chance to develop.

      So I’m fine with keeping Pete in place now, but I want a review done to ensure we have the best hitting coach and pitching coach that money can buy. There’s no luxury tax for coaches and I don’t think we have the best coaches – at most, they are okay.

      Coaching can be extremely important. My first hint that Ruben Amaro might be a bust was when he fired Davy Lopes over some stupid argument over some allegedly “unauthorized” things Lopes said about a player and Lopes’ request for more money, which I think he clearly deserved. Why would you get rid of Davy Lopes? He is probably the greatest baserunning coach in major league history and was probably a 1 or 2 WAR all by himself (I’m serious). If you don’t believe me, check out the stolen base statistics the year before and after he joined the team. Going from memory, Victorino went from like a 60% percentage to over a 90% percentage.

      Anyway, coaching and instruction must be reviewed and improved on an organization-wide basis.

      1. excellent point. the phillies’ base running this year was horrible. surely it would have been better with lopes coaching. big mistake by rueben.

      2. My point was less about Pete and more about the failed process that Macphail ran. Executives who run poor decision making processes fail more than succeed.

        1. Understood, but the lack of a process was probably due to a combination of factors including: (a) the young players responding to Pete; (b) the team’s lack of a current need for a high level strategist; (c) Pete’s ridiculously short contract; and (d) the team’s focus on more important things and the need to minimize distractions while a GM is hired. That said, I agree with you that the decision really should have been made by the new GM.

        2. I really don’t get how you can call something failed that hasnt even played out yet. McP has a proven track record and knows how to run an org better then ANYONE on here.

            1. v1, I don’t mean to belabor the point, but I don’t think that we saw any process take place yet. I think that they liked how Mackanin communicated, don’t yet have their GM, and are just buying some extra time. I think they are taking 2016 as another non-competitive year, and giving whoever comes in time to see what is what and make his own decision. I am not saying that was a good plan. I disagree with them taking so long to bring MacPhail on board. They knew in January it was going to be him.

    3. Meh its a 1 year extension not really a contract which means new GM can come in and pick his own manager if he wants.

    4. I have to disagree with this- it’s best to take a broader view. Macphail is doing what executives do in corporate America. Evaluate and hire from the top down.

      The GM will be his most important hire and he wants the GM focused on (i’m assuming) free agency, building an analytics department and roster management. If the GM had to hire a new manager, as Macphail has said, that would delay everything else from happening in a timely manner. It’s similar to taking over a company, you leave key folks in place until you have time to evaluate and can hire the right person. Macphail is essentially streamlining the onboarding for the new GM and making sure the GM is focused on Macphail’s priorities.

      While I’m not a huge fan of Pete, I’m on board with the one year contract and Macphail’s process.

    5. v1 – i agree with you in theory. but in reality, “the most talented” doesn’t 100% guarantee success. i’m also involved in a lot of hiring and “hiring the most talented resource” is for me is the easier part especially if you have the $$ to dole out because there’s track record to look at. but i’ve seen these “talented people failed” because they either a) either don’t “fit” in what the organization needs or the situation is looking for; b) their track record of success is different from the current situation; and c) feel self entitled and if everything failed it is because of the organization not him because he had that “track record” to bank on.

      McKannin may not be the best candidate out there but the last 2 months showed us that he might be “fit” for the current situation which is motivating young players to tap their potential, ability to communicate to players and create a very good clubhouse atmosphere. as for analytics, the Phils needs to show dedication to invest in analytics database/infrastructures first and hiring the best analytical minds available. once you have the the infrastructure and analyst/people available that feeds information, i’m pretty sure that McKannin will utilize that resource.

      i’m not sure if you have a specific candidate in mind, and another reality is good managers are hard to find because they don’t grow in trees and are always hired and taken care of.

        1. keep in mind, this is a person who never had this job before in his life. how often do you hire someone into a new job without interviewing anyone else?

          1. If the Phillies had gone through an open interview process and picked McKannin, I doubt it would’ve been a one year deal. Right now this is a good compromise. I think the manager job next offseason is going to be a lot more attractive. GIve Pete a year as a trial. He hasn’t had any negative impact on the younger players so there is almost no risk here . Almost all of them have met or exceeded expectations this year. MacPhail has had a decent hiring track record during his career, so I don’t see real reason to doubt him here.

            The one thing, for better or worse, is it signals to me that he’s going to be calling the shots and not the new GM.

            1. My problem with the rehiring of Pete was it wasn’t because he was a great manager.He just seemed to be because Sandberg was so terrible.
              Also I’m hoping that it’s not a prelude to retaining the entire coaching staff.
              There is no good reason to do this.
              I have to ask myself if the pitching staff could have been better and have to conclude that it couldn’t have been any worse under someone else other than McClure.
              The base running has gone backwards under Samuel and the hitters haven’t adjusted very well under Hendersons guidance.
              Change is needed in these areas if the Phillies hope to improve.I certainly hate to see anyone lose their jobs,but the team has gone backwards from 2014 in 2015.In 2016 we must see at least see improvement and I don’t believe rubber stamping the same tired coaching staff is the way to do it.
              How can MacPhail hope to improve this team if he was brought in here to change things and never does?

          2. v1…..let me get this straight….you do not object to giving Pete Mack one year more on the job….but object to the process MacP used to do it?

            1. I object to both. I don’t see anything in Pete’s performance or resume that suggests he is a forward thinking manager. Just a really nice guy.

              And I hate the process. My main point was on the process though. And how I think it reflects poorly on Macphail.

            2. As for the process:
              Apparently MacP is hesitant in committing to a manager long-term at this point. For what reasons are his and that should be respected.
              He did mention, that he wanted to see how the top prospects ‘pan’ out in 2016.
              Not sure he would have had anyone want to interview for the manager’s job if they knew it was a only guaranteed a one-year tenure..

          3. v1 – i don’t disagree with your line of thinking but i think it’s a calculated risk that should not reflect badly on McPhail. If McPhail hired McKannin (or whoever internal candidate they have) as GM then i think it is an issue. The way i see it, the Phils will use as much time to evaluate their new GM then use the 2016 to evaluation Pete. If the New GM really have a good candidate to hire, the Phils can always relieve McKannin, right? it may not be the “by the book” type of hiring process, but looking at the bigger picture, this might be a smart move after all.

        2. v1 – i think the McKanin move is more tactical (short term) than strategical (long term). it all depends on what the phils intend to do with 2016. if i can make a guess, the Phils will use 2016 to evaluation the younger guys in the 40-man team particularly the Asche, Ruf, Rupp, (maybe) Domo, de Fratus, Garcia and some extent Dugan, Jospeh which McKanin already had an inside knowledge being an insider. Because honestly, the Phils future is playing in Reading and CW right now. 2016 season is coming and I think the Phils will spend as much time to look and interview their future GM. It will be a haste to look for the “right GM” in the next 6 weeks – otherwise Phils will just based their decision on track record which means the candidate’s success in the past which may not necessary apply to what the Phils LT plan. The Phils should looks for a guy with vision which means someone who knows what to do with the resources we have in Reading and CW and knows how to adopt to modern analytics.

          I’m not saying your argument is wrong because in theory it is correct but I cannot judge McPhail yet like what you imply.

    6. While respecting your concerns and analysis, I’m fine with it. I think Pete is very astute and the players like him – that’s one better (being more astute) than you can say for Charlie who had some decent success. Let’s see how Pete does as the rebuilding process continues and allow the new GM to evaluate him. Then they can decide what course to take after 2016.

  6. Buddy, I like your list a lot, and would be happy if Crawford shows his ceiling even without making the Phils next year. I think he starts at Reading. I have a lot of hope, still, for Roman Quinn. I thought they were trying to switch Tirado to Start, so maybe Cordero emerges as an 8th Inning guy in front of Giles. And, on Pete, I look at his signing as a hire of temporary help. 2016 will be another season where the number of Wins is minimal. A new GM comes in, learns the organization and makes some changes. However, I also agree that the de facto GM, as we know a GM to be, is MacPhail. He will be much more involved in player acquisitions than Monty ever was.

  7. I have to think this week sometime Jesse Biddle should be making a decision on whether or not he will go forward and have surgery, or just rest/rehab for his arm issue.

    1. Hopefully he won’t need tommy john surgery, and if that’s the case rest/rehab would mean he wouldn’t miss any of next season. If he has tj surgery, he’ll be out all of 2016. I’m hoping for the best with Biddle.

  8. I almost feel sorry for the Nationals. Somehow the rest of Major League Baseball knew that Papelbon wasn’t worth acquiring, but Rizzo didn’t know he was a net negative.

    1. Obviously Papelbon was in the wrong for what happened with Harper, but I don’t think giving him the blame for their disappointment is fair. Yeah, everybody loves that he’s not going to the playoffs and that the Nats collapsed, but if the team came unglued and went in the tank just due to his presence, isn’t that more on Storen and the rest of the players that actually struggled on the field?

      I mean, I understand why Storen would be frustrated but he’s been awful since the trade and has seen his ERA go up almost 2 runs. As a team, I think they have way bigger problems than Papelbon.

      1. This is the brilliance of RAJ! – not only plant the seed that contributes to the demise of the gnats, but give them a target (Pap) for their frustrations that shifts their focus from the rest of their problems. 🙂

      2. Rizzo destroyed the psyche of the team…..Turner’s promo (Desmond) and Papelbon’s acquisition (Storen) affected the team, from July 26th they lost 17 of their next 24 games.

      3. Handzus…Someone else on that bench should have confronted Harper, not Papelbon. He has zero check and that blowup was bound to happen after what happened last week. Harper has been spoken to about some of these issues in the past, perceived laziness and lack of hustle. How difficult is he going to be when he’s making $30 mil/year?

        I agree about Storen.Too much pouting. They do have way bigger problems on the horizon too. The Sherzer contract will come back to haunt them. Zimmerman, Desmond, and Span will be gone, Strausberg next year.

        I hate the Nationals and all of their fake, phoney fans. As soon as the next president is in, a new group of phonies will take their place. Now, I can turn my hatred back where it belongs, north towards the Mets.

      4. @Handzus
        Papelbon is a known net-negative. If he hadn’t won a ring with the Redsox in his rookie year, he’d be known as nothing but a “coach killer”. The Red Sox got better immediately after they let him go. The Phillies went downhill from the moment they signed him and now the Nationals have been in a horrific free-fall from 1st place when they traded for him. I’m not a guy who over-rates character or “make-up”, but its obvious that Papelbon has an intangible negative effect on his teams.

        1. I don’t buy that he’s a net-negative. The most obvious reason being that he’s probably been the best non-Mariano Rivera reliever in the game since he came up. The Sox actually went from 90 wins to 69 wins the year they let him go, then rebounded the following year before going back in the tank, so they’ve been bad 3 out of 4 years since he left.

          Unless he did something to Roy Halladay’s shoulder and Cliff Lee’s elbow he’s not the reason for the Phillies going downhill either. With the Nats, there have been people questioning that team’s character for a few years now. If they let the trade sabotage their season then there might be something to those concerns.

    2. I hate the Nationals about as much as I hate the Cowboys, so this has been a very enjoyable little spectacle for me.

      1. From a fan standpoint, Papelbon is at fault for the way he involved himself in the Harper confrontation. On Washington radio it was mentioned that former big league pitcher C.J. Nitkowski runs a blog which apparently attracts the attention of former players, including big leaguers. They overwhelmingly support Papelbon. What’s of interest to me is the disconnect between the impression of fans and former players. Hell, I wasn’t in the Nats’ dugout to know who’s in the right and who said what. A part of me thinks that old school values have clashed again with the values of the modern player. In D.C., people can’t refer to Harper without the descriptive ‘MVP candidate.’ Old school thinking suggests that talent isn’t the issue.

  9. Congrats to Altherr who won a Gold Glove for his season in the Minors. He made a terrific play in CF yesterday. We had talked about him the other day regarding his upside and the Defensive talent he brings as a back up CF. His Gold Glove, BTW, was for RF.

    1. And Sandberg who also won a GG, which I was surprised to hear as the few times I saw him in Lakewood I didn’t notice him being someone I would think would win a GG. Tromp was usually the guy that I noticed make some good plays in the OF, but still glad to see it as I’ve said in the past with Sandberg he certainly looks the part. Just looks like he would be a good baseball player, so hopefully he can start putting it together now that he’s had a few seasons under his belt.

  10. I have just been secreting endorphins watching Papelbon crash and burn. While he has flirted with this level of discord (inflammatory statements and crotch grab), he finally lost all control. This guy is a malcontent and a cancer. So glad he’s no longer on the team I root for.

    1. Nor on the team you root against, since as of this afternoon, Rizzo booted him off for the remaining of the season. He may be a free agent this off-season.

    2. Papelbon is, and has always been, a 1st class jackass. It boggles my mind that Reuben signed him to be a part of championship roster, then it totally blew me away that Washington would trade for him.

      1. Yeah, Papelbon can be a jerk on occasion. And yeah, Amaro overpaid Papelbon, but Pap held up his end of the bargain on the field. The Phillies’ demise was mostly caused its core of star players all getting old at about the same time, not by anything Papelbon did or did not do. And by all accounts that I’ve read, professional baseball players consider Pap a good teammate.

  11. Here are my thought’s on the whole Mackanin extension. You didn’t give this guy an extra years because you think he knows when to use his LOOGY in a tight game in September, or when he should use a double switch. MacPhail watched Pete for two months with THIS roster, and liked how he handled THIS roster. He could have gone out and hired the hot name, whoever that is He could have had an extensive interview process and made it three months long. However, he liked how Pete handled the starters, and bullpen. He liked how he handled the Howard situation, which was essentially a platoon by the end, and he liked how he got young guys at bats.
    Bottom line, he was hired to manage this same roster for next year. Keep the possible future major leaguers like Franco, Nola, Herrera, Eickoff and Galvis happy, while finding at bats for the Blancos and Bogusevics of the world. He was hired to get Altherr at bats and see if he could be a good 4th OF, but still get Frenchy in there 3 times a week.
    People with these delusions that this is going to be a team that competes in 2017 are nuts. This is a roster barren of ML talent, a roster that will probably win 60-65 games again next year…….and, worst of all……this roster is not going to change much out of Spring Training. You are going to have Nola as your ace, Morgan and Eikhoff,who might be acceptable 4-5s, but we can’t be sure yet, as your 2 and 3, then clowns after that. Your lineup, even with a healthy Franco, will be terrible again. Your bullpen after Giles? Guys like Garcia and Gomez, who are essentially 6th inning guys, then young guys taking their lumps. This is why Mackanin was hired. He did a nice job with THIS roster.
    Forget the wins and losses, they don’t matter at this point. Joe Maddon wasn’t getting 70 wins out of this team, and he wouldn’t next year either. However, all of the young guys and Vets that were complaining about Sandberg were able to go out and play for Mackanin. As sad as it is to say, it will be the same guys next year, until these reinforcements can start to filter their way into the lineup and rotation. But this is a good thing. We’ve hit rock bottom. Why not have the guys who have to take their lumps every night be coached by a guy they like and respect? That’s why MacPhail rehired Mackanin.

  12. Reds wont win again and Phillies as history of sports in this town. tells us will win at least 2 more games. I wouldn’t play Herrera, or ruf. Phillies will most likely fall to third pick.

    1. I’d be happy if the Phillies went 3-2 the rest of the way. It would be nice to get the #1 pick and avoid a 100 loss season.

    1. rocco……..the number two pick is not bad,
      Money for Astros last year was $7.4M, and they were able to take Daz Cameron at the 37th and still give him bonus monies…….maybe Groome could be the pick at 2 if the Reds do get number one and decide to go with Puk/Pint or Hansen..

        1. !st- $8.6M-D-Backs-
          Also realized…Astros had also the 2nd and 5th pick ($7.4M plus $4.2M)
          3rd-$6.2M
          4th-$5.0M

          1. They would have a lot of options with $8.6 mil. Any idea how close anybody in the number 1 slot has come to using it all?

  13. Only time all year were all major league games start at the exact same time across the league….last day of the season on Sunday……3PM EST and 12PM Pacific.

  14. I have a question I hope someone can answer. With the horrible weather coming this weekend, there is a good chance some Phillies, Reds, or Braves games will be washed out. If some teams do not play a full 162 games how is worst record determined. Number of wins, number of losses, or winning percentage. Thanks.

    1. I was sitting at work today and I had the same thought. My guess is it would be winning percentage. Strictly a guess. Great question with all of the crappy weather on the way. Phils need to remove all doubt by losing tonight n tomorrow. Braves already a winner.

  15. According to Jim Salisbury tonight on CSN, the Marlins and Brewers both have interest in Cody Asche. Something to keep an eye on this winter.

    Also (this is just me thinking out loud), would you trade Ken Giles straight up for Aaron Sanchez ?

    1. Here’s my feeling on trading Cody Asche. First, in the long run, he’s probably not going to hold down a regular job and he’s not a utility type player, so it’s probably not a bad idea. Second, it depends what they get for him. Third, his value is not as low as it could go, but it’s pretty close to that – so unless they get a really good offer, it’s better just to hold on; he’ll get some good at bats early next year. Finally, they shouldn’t move him, just to move him – when you do that, you end up with Joely Rodriguez. Whatever you think of Bastardo, he HAD to be worth more than that.

      1. By the way, I checked both Fangraphs and Baseball Reference on Altherr’s stats this morning. I was stunned to see that, in 34 games he is a 1.7 fWAR and a 1.5 bWAR. We don’t know whether and to what extent the offensive numbers are sustainable, but the walks are very encouraging as is the “eye test.” What is especially telling is how great his defensive statistics are – he’s basically a 1 defensive WAR on Fangraphs, which would make him an elite defensive player – something that may be sustainable. I saw Altherr early on in the season at Reading and was beyond impressed. He’s a very good baseball player and even if he is just a decent hitter, his other tools will make him valuable. It’s now looking like he projects to a regular in right – which is a completely different trajectory than he had heading into the season. The biggest issues for him will be the hit tool and power (and keeping strikeouts down) – but we just could have another piece right now. He’s basically the player we all wanted John Mayberry, Jr. to become.

    2. I had thought before that instead of moving him to the outfield, if we could get a young outfielder for him, that would be better. As a general rule a lefthanded hitting 3rd baseman, should have more value in trade, than an outfielder of similar age and production. So they should be able to get value for him

  16. First time poster here… getting really nervous about the Reds stealing the #1 pick.
    Now they’re bringing back Franco for the final series? No! Why?

    Here’s what still gives me some hope that the #1 pick will be ours:
    Fri – Bullpen by committee (Nola’s spot)
    Sat – Harang
    Sun – Buchanan

    That’s gotta be a lock for a few losses, right? #SUKforPUK

    1. The Phillies want to get a real good look at him to make sure he’s 100% healthy before they send Franco to winter ball.

  17. Mets, trying to get home field advantage, blow a 5-0 lead! I thought losing 2 out 3 was a safe bet! Reds are not even coming close to winning a game. Need a loss today Phils!

  18. One person who is clearly taking advantage of his playing time is Ruf. He has a .817+ OPS in September. He might force the Phillies to cut Howard during the offseason. One person who has not taken advantage is Sweeney. He has a .457 OPS in September. He might start 2016 at Lehigh.

  19. I agree that Ruf is playing well, but I think there is a very slim chance that they cut Howard. The will platoon them, and pray they get something for him from some AL team. I disagree, as I am ready to say goodbye. Eickhoff is pitching very well again, and has been a very pleasant surprise. The #1 pick is slipping away!

    1. Phillies own the tiebreaker vs Reds.
      Hopefully Joaquin Hurricane comes into play this weekend and preserves the pick for the Phiilies.
      Do not see mLB doing makeup games on Monday with teams like the marlins or Phillies.

  20. Eickhoff is pitching lights out. I’m amazed at how how well he has adjusted. Obviously SSS, so I’m hopeful he can continue to do this in 2016. But considering he was essentially the 4th best prospect in the Cole Hamels deal, I’m ecstatic.

  21. I just need to make my peace with not getting the #1 pick now. Otherwise, this weekend will be a disappointment. But still… so so stupid and pointless (all these meaningless Ruf HR’s! Ha ha…) How in the world do the Mets stink (editor’s word replacement) so bad all of the sudden? The same Mets team that crushed us all year?

  22. From a poster, Maj. Malfunction on another site:
    “Since 1980, the career WAR of players drafted as the 2nd pick is —419.5.
    Looking at the 1st pick since 1980, career WAR is—– 802
    Even if you take out Alex Rodriguez 118.9, it’s still an incredible number. And that includes minimal additions by Harper, Strasberg, and Cole who would no doubt bulk up that number as their careers go on.”

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