What? We Worry?

Darn Mets!  Darn Reds!

The Phillies will go into their final weekend series with a slim lead over the Cincinnati Reds for the worst record in baseball and the prize that come with it, the number one pick in the 2016 June Amateur Draft.

After sweeping the Mets (a team they were 2-14 against this season), the Phillies find themselves in danger of improving from the worst record in baseball for the first time since June 8th when they successfully held off the Milwaukee Brewers.  But the Phillies have won six of their last ten and the Reds are mired in an 12-game losing streak.

After tonight’s games, this is where things stand –

  1. Phillies  62-97   .390
  2. Reds       63-96   .396
  3. Braves   64-95   .403

The Phillies are at home against the Miami Marlins.  Their pitching match ups are –

  • Nicolino v. Harang
  • Koehler v. TBD (probably the bullpen game in Nola’s spot)
  • TBD v. Buchanan

The Braves had kept pace by beating the dysfunctional Nationals in the first two games of their series, but lost tonight and have won five of their last ten games.  They finish at home against the Cardinals.  Their pitching match ups are –

  • Garcia v. Teheran
  • Lackey v. Miller
  • Lynn v. Wisler

The hapless Reds travel to Pittsburgh.  Their pitching match ups are –

  • Sampson v. Liriano
  • Finnegan v. Burnett
  • Smith v. Happ

Two losses guarantee the Phillies the top pick.  One loss and two rain outs will do the same.  I understand that rain may come into play along the Atlantic coast this weekend, and all three series are on the east coast.  Who expected this kind of drama on the last weekend?

93 thoughts on “What? We Worry?

  1. So…screw-up the drafts and signings and development to produce the present band of brothers of the past to abject failure, and….

    They’re again about to screw up this great chance at super benefits!!

    Anybody at home here?

    1. not really. there’s no super prospect next year….there are 2-3 college and high school pitchers phils have a shot at. Puk is probably not much better than 3-5 other guys. that’s a wash to me. so long as top five, they get a good guy. worry more about development and health.

      1. Yetis you had to make this up, There are three legit number ones in puk, groome and pint. and Hansen is a solid two maybe one. I Like to buy what your smoking. I told people this would happen phils would win meaningless games to lose the spot. I have seen it many times before. My biggest fear is Cincinnatiti takes at one and we get next pick and blow it like the oj keyes pick.

        1. rocco…if the Reds finish with the first pick….doubt they take a HS lefty pitcher as one, of the certified two in history, neither made it….so Phillies get Groome. @ two…not bad after all.

          1. rocco…there is one aspect of picking first vs second.
            The WAR for first picks since ’80 is almost doubled vs the number two pick….802 vs 419. ARod however made up 12% of that WAR alone….and the Nats’ Harper, and Strasburg and Pirates’ Cole have not finished their careers yet so……

            1. Yes. What Romus says. I don’t think it’s devastatingly negative if we don’t get the first pick, but we absolutely want the first pick. Those dismissing the advantage of picking number one overall versus number two overall are in my opinion off the mark.

            2. Steve…..in 2016, if lefthanded starter pitcher is truly what the MacPhail and the Phillies desire….then the choice between Groome or Puk is not that devastating.
              The Phillies do have the first or second pick now with the braves winning last night.

          1. No, there aren’t 3 #1s. There are 3 potential #1s. A HS pitcher is a VERY risky 1.1 or 1.2. The success rate is low, with arm injuries playing a key role in that. Even if all works out, a HS arm helps the Phillies about 3 years later than a college arm and I’d rather be contending again sooner rather than later. We are also a whole Spring baseball season away from the draft and what looks like a closely bunched 1,2,3 now might not look so close come June. The top ranked guys are all pitchers. Odds are that one of them isn’t even standing come June.

            1. Answer the question: What does it matter if Phils end up #2 or #3 if there are three potential #1’s? the original point of my comment was to stop being so down on the franchise for winning a baseball game and for not tanking and that the difference between this year’s #1 and #2 is marginal

              One poster below says I’m wrong because the 18 year old pitcher Groome has a Kershaw-esque projectability. That’s fine, I respect that then in terms of arguing if pails make a mistake by not locking up the #1. My point was there’s no Bryce Harper type can’t miss guy, so don’t dramatize falling to #2 pick.

              I agree with your points about projection but the question isn’t one of projection but what separates #1 from #2 and #3…and I haven’t heard much to justify the whining on this site.

        2. If there are three legit number ones why are you worried about finishing first or second?

    2. I have no confidence that the Reds will win any games in Pittsburgh, but there is still hope for the Phillies. Take a look at the starting pitchers the Phillies will trot out this weekend – Harang, unknown (bullpen game), and Buchanan. While anything can happen, that is far from a daunting trio. If Miami shows up at all, two Phillies loses are very possible.

      The Braves also could lose all three games against the Cards, but at least Teheran gives Atlanta a legit shot in the first game. One Altanta win will eliminate the Braves, even if the Phillies somehow sweep the Marlins.

      There can be drama even in futility.

    1. 2015:
      Arizona Diamondbacks –$5.4M
      Colorado Rockies——— $5M
      ……difference last year….$400K

      1. The MLB Basic agreement ends next year. There is a very good chance the whole International signing situation changes dramatically and the pool situation may end up turning into some sort of draft. So next year, they should overspend and be major players because they can under the current agreement and the only impact may be a tax on the overspending.

        1. Agree….IMO sign the 20-year old Cuban OFer Eddy Julio Martinez for approx. $15M and incur the two year restriction of $300K per signee. The Phillies could join the other 8/9 teams under the penalty restriction umbrella.
          The draft will probably be no earlier then 2017 if it is implemented.

          1. Great thought……another avenue to acquire prospects…D-Backs got two of our A level pitchers I recall.

  2. Yetis- you are crazy if you say there aren’t any super prospects. Scouts are drooling over Jason Groome, saying he could be Kershaw with MORE upside . . If that’s not a super prospect I don’t know what is. I get that he’s a high school kid but LHP who sit in the mid 90’s with ZERO effort, solid control AND command, who also posses good secondary pitches isn’t something that comes along every year. I know I’ve been high on him but that’s bc I’ve seen him throw in person. To any local guys I suggest you get to some games next spring to watch him throw. You will be on the bandwagon as well. This kid is a legit Ace LHP power pitcher. I don’t see them going any other way then Selecting Groome number 1.

    1. You’re scouting report reads as if Donald Trump wrote it. I like Groome at this point, but he doesn’t ‘sit’ mid 90s, he hits it in the first inning or two. The Kershaw reference was in regards to Kershaw at the same age, not that he projects to be better than Kershaw is now. He could very well become that obvious stud, but he has some developing to do first.

    2. Wow, more upside than Kershaw? He has one “bad” year where he will probably finish 3rd in the Cy Young voting and there’s a 17 year old with more upside? Three Cy Young’s, a 2nd, a 3rd and an NL MVP isn’t what it once was I guess.

  3. It’s not like the Phils didn’t try to lose all 3 games to the Mets. The Mutts wouldn’t take them. In the 1st game, Ruf hits a 3 run HR in the 1st. If Howard was in there, the Phil’s fans would be drinking champagne. In the 2nd game, the Phils are down 5 runs in the top of the 1st inning. Yahoo!!! break out the champagne. but no, Ruff hits 2 HRs and a 2B to help bring them back. What were the Mutts doing for 8 innings and why did the Phils pick this particular game to come from behind? 3rd game, Ruf hits a HR, catching the theme here, and Eichkoff decides to strike out 11 pathetic Mets. If Howard is in the lineup, the games this weekend would mean nothing for anyone. Damn, Howard screws us one last time… wait….there’s still next year. Can we loan Ruf to Cincinnati for the weekend? Can we huh?

    1. Ryan Howard helped win this franchises 2nd World Series in 115 years has a career 125 OPS and has hit nearly 400 HRs for this franchise. He doesn’t deserve to be disrespected like this.

      1. I agree 100%. He has given his all for the Phillies and helped us win a title. It’s not his fault that he got that crazy contract. Anybody in his right mind would have taken that contract. And he’s been a character guy through out his career.

    2. Your “facts” are off a bit about Ruf. In the 2nd game of the series, Ruf had one hit, a 2-run double. He definitely did not have a home run in that game, much less two homers.

      1. SSS…..but Ruf last 23 games, is hitting .244 with seven HRs, 21 RBIs and an .852 OPS.
        But I would think his OPS would settle around .775/.800 if he played an entire season starting.

        1. Ruf’s defensive abilities are superior to Howard’s which provides another bonus to the Phillies ground ball pitching staff.

      1. Speaking of Biddle….today was suppose to be the decision from Dr Andrews or one of the other noted orthos, on his status for his elbow. I wonder what the delay is.

  4. Romus, I knew you would have those WAR numbers. It is much better to have the 1st pick, the extra money and the first pick in the Rule V Draft. All around the board, there is more of a benefit. Not getting it would be the perfect end to a horrible season. I am being sarcastic. They may find a way to finish #3. They blew it with that 21-9 run after the All Star game! And Ryan Howard does deserve respect anon. However, it is past time that he was gone. There is no need to watch him out there any more. He was way underpaid when he was winning the MVP and helping to win the WS. But, he did not earn any of the big contract. So, he has become the focal point, player wise, for fan dissatisfaction. The majority like him very much. But, that doesn’t mean anyone should be happy that he is still here.

    1. Matt, you are spot on concerning Howard’s compensation, but that is the nature of the thing. You always are compensated after your performance has been good, not for your current performance. Very few IMO earn the big contracts. Especially those who are in the twilight of their careers. I’m for a base salary with a performance bonus at the end of the year if it is merited. We administrate pay with performance in industry, why not MLB. Think the players association will buy that? NOT!

    1. they are starting all rookie starters. and have been for awhile, and these aren’t the next Glavine-maddux-smoltz-avery.

  5. Anyone who cheers for the number one spot is a loser. Rather see the young kids play well than worry about some mystical player.

    1. Gee, why could anyone possibly be hoping for the #1 pick in both Rule 4 and Rule 5 draft and the biggest international pool, plus the chance to pull a Houston and save a couple million on the 1.1 so that we get another top 15 guy with our 2.1 pick? And the downside for this largesse? Just losing a couple meaningless games in a joke of a season with a lineup in which most of the guys aren’t at all part of our next core. Easy decision for me. I’m hoping for the 1.1. It gets us back into contention faster and gives us a better chance to draft and sign another star player, the next Hamels. Guys may be bunched tightly in draft rankings today, but how many drafts yield two or three aces? More likely if you lose out and get the 1.2 you get Leroy Keyes instead of O.J. Simpson. You get a nice guy in the draft, but he won’t be A-Rod, or Harper.

    2. This isn’t a matter of fans buying front row tickets at CBP and wildly cheering for the home team to play poorly. This is an online discussion forum dedicated to Phillies prospects. From a prospecting perspective, there is nothing more exciting at this time of year than the ‘prospect’ of a high draft pick in next year’s FYPD and this year’s rule V.

  6. That is very short sighted Segura. The object is to get back to being a Playoff team. A fan hoping that you get better faster by getting the 1st pick instead of the 2d or 3d, is not a loser. This season was horrible. Losing 98 games instead of 102 is bogus success. The stink is the same. Now, they need to get better. Finishing last improves their chances. You can disagree, that is your right. But “loser” is inaccurate and off base.

  7. time for the phils to call up sean o’sullivan and sev gonzalez. give both the chance to pitch 9-innings!! #sarcasm. i like to see the young kids play well but i want that #1 pick more!! 3 games will probably not affect the development of the younger players. play chooch, asche, frenchy, d’arnaud call up danks and ask ruf and altherr to go lefty. #anothersarcasm

      1. I think it is a little less likely to win both ends of a double header than two win two games on back-to-back days.

    1. MAG! The Phillies always insist upon playing the used-to-be star turned bad player whom we have a ton of money invested in. Well, we’ve got a ton of money invested in MAG.

  8. The difference between two losses vs one loss this weekend is about 2 million in Amateur spending this year, plus your choice of the best American and Latin player.

    1. It does make a difference, last year it was at total of $1.6M (1.2M in Rule 4 and $400K in Internatioal) difference and the one team that used it to their advantage in the June phase of talent acquisition was the Astros being able to get Daz Cameron at the 37th pick in the Rule 4.
      But in the Latin market…..my hope is that they sign one of those Cuban OFers Martinez or Diaz, but they will incur the penalty since both are going to cost over their MLB allotted limit.

      1. I would love one of those 2 Cuban of’s. You never know what kind of back room deals they may have brewing. If those 2 don’t sign with the Dodgers, an offer for a July signing may already be out there. You just never know.

        1. Another MLB snafu….teams already over their limits and under the penalty….can still sign whoever they like….just pay the luxury tax…..so LAD, Cubs, Rangers Yankees, Red Sox and all the big market teams with the moolah, just go ahead and do that. So unfair….and then small market teams get comp balance picks….Phillies are in limbo and no=man’s zone if they do not break the bank for the Cuban OFers.
          Midd and MacP should jump into the fray with the rest of them.
          And now look at the Cubs and Sox farm systems……top notch with surplus talent.
          The beauty of the Phillies doing it now….the next year or two, they will have added bonus money to trade for prospects like the DBacks did with the Phillies in July and acquired two pitchers from the Phillies system…Oliver and Josh Taylor.

          1. Spending money now makes little sense. The Phils will have a very high international slot and fewer competitors with dollars to spend on big ticket international players starting July 2, 2016. It’s not likely they’re getting Maitan, but there are a host of other high ceiling players that can be had at that time. (Including the Cuban OF Jorge Ona, so all of you who so desperately want to jump in that market will have your chance.)

            Going over the limit for Martinez or Diaz seems a waste, given the scouting reports I’ve read do not equate them to the other guys who signed in recent years. I think patience is the best strategy in this area.

            1. Not really….Martinez or Diaz become one of their right handed corner OFers with the hit tool with power….ie Soler, Puig…..for a decade or so.
              The time is now….not two years from now…..they will not have the allocated international money in July 2018 to play with, if they climb to a .500 team by then, to get other prospects from teams needing additional monies to go into the LA market.
              Plus….it is only a two year penanlty [hase……if they cannot survive for two years at $300K a pop, with Sal A and their scouts, then they need to retool their scouting department. Further, right now their system is flush with LA talent….more so then ecer before.

            2. I agree. This isn’t the year to exceed your allocation. With the top allocation budget, they will be able to get a star talent (or two). The time to go waaay over budget is when you don’t have a top slot allotment.

            3. VOR…that may never occur…..if the draft becomes a reality, and Rob Manfred is pushing…then they lost their window of opportunity….in the meantime the Cubs, Yankees, Sox, and the rest have fortified their systems for another decade.
              In any event, IMO, I rather have a 20-year old with 60 tools now, then wait for a 16-year old to blossom.

            4. According to MLB Rumors, Eddie Julio Martinez signed with the SF Giants for a 2.5 million bonus. Wonder why his signing bonus dropped so much?

  9. 98 losses with 2 to go. Reds win or Phillies loss in the remaining two and we lock up the 1st overall pick + bonus pool money.

  10. Reds finally win a game, turned on the 9th inning to see if they would hold on, glad to see they did. Can’t wait till next June to see who they end up getting.

  11. GREAT we are number one. I think we can do it again next year. Great to be a philly sports fan. Now lets go eagles you can get the first pick and sixers get enough balls to pick one this year.

      1. With the first overall pick I’m certain they’ll participate. And with the overall youth and flexibility of the expected 2016 roster, they may just participate twice

          1. Right – ergo the ‘flexibility’ reference. If they like someone the second time around, I’m not sure the available of a roster spot would serve as a constraint. The 2nd round is ripe with big arms who can’t find the plate. The Phillies love those types.

            1. Right now on my radar woul;d be Astors LHP Reymin Guduan, but they still could put him on their 40 before November. If he ever could get a little control/command, he could be another Aroldis Chapman.

    1. #1 pick next year? It’s possible, but that would likely mean that several of the young players like Franco, Herrera, Nola, Eickhoff would seriously regress. I don’t want to see that happening.

      1. Not really. A team that young, with all 1st, 2nd and 3rd year players is bound to lose unless they are premium talent like the Cubs and Astros.

        1. I disagree here. You look at how the Phillies lost, you had a lot of older guys with poor WAR: Utley, Howard, Chooch, Harang, Jerome Williams, Correia. You also had other guys with poor war: Buchanan, Asher, Severino Gonzalez. If you just find replacement level players, you could easily gain at least 10 WAR. Then you’re looking at 70 wins and not the worst team in the league. If you want to get back to 60 wins, somebody is regressing because the majority of the players I mentioned above will be replaced and/or won’t play a significant role.

          1. They may not get the number one pick again, but I think all agree they will probably be a bottom 10 team…and with that a protected pick.

    1. It’s really too early for that with actual names since a lot can change during the Spring but I guess the point would be more organizational philosophy. Do you picka #1 college arm that is lower risk andcloser to the majors; a #1 highschool arm with more upside but higher risk and farther from the majors; or an everyday player.

      1. If Puk and/or Hansen have dominating years and continue to look like front-line starters, it would be hard-pressed to pass them up even over a high-school kid with potential for a higher ceiling. For me personally, unless Puk and Hansen both have middling or worse senior campaigns, there is no way I would pass them up for a Groome even if I appreciate the attraction. And to be honest, I think the floor on Puk may be lower than Hansen’s. Much lower. Right now Hansen is my front-runner though admittedly much can change over the next nine months

        http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/hansen-sooners-poised-big-2016/

    2. I like that too romus and do another one say in may to see if we want any changes.. Like to pick first three rounds.

  12. Will be at the game today in the Diamond Club to see the 100th loss. Will free the ghosts of the 1961 Phillies Art Mahaffey, Choo Coleman, Johnny Callison, Don Demeter

    1. Isn’t today Fan Appreciation day?
      Maybe a win for the followers on the last day, and the ’61 Ghosts keep haunting.

    2. Don Demeter … my favorite baseball card until we acquired Johnny Callison. JC worked with my little league coach at a local auto dealership, back when players had to take jobs in the off season.

  13. It seems that most here see the reality of drafting an “excellent” (i.e,.#1in rotation) pitcher as our first pick at #1. Further, IMO the 2nd pick for the Phils should also be a pitcher who could contend for the #2 spot. And draft a college guy at #1.

    After having claimed that drafting is aimed at a team’s necessities rather than “the best player available” claimed by some, some of us can verify our own viewpoints here or elsewhere by realty in drafting as we face ’16’s choices. McPhail said that the system needs better pitching in order to move above mediocrity and into playoff contention. Agreed. It is rare that a playoff team has mediocre pitching. The Giants have captured 3 recent WS titles based on their pitching (in pen and starting) and their one super star Posey with a little help from their friends in the rest of the lineup and bench.

    A final note: it is too great a risk to draft a HS pitcher @ #1. College guy, please. High school pitchers have yet to go through 2 years of success to reach the top levels while college guys already have…which gives a better measure of future promise AND whose arm has already been tested thereby getting over the hump that HS pitchers have yet to overcome.

    And, obviously the time to reach MLB is shorter for a superior college pitcher. When the team has reached respectability and the rotation seems to be in place for several years ahead, HS pitchers can be drafted because the urgency would not be great.

    On Biddle: is it possible that his injuries have cancelled his potential for MLB. His recovery and returning with success in ’17 is the best we can hope for. Odds don’t look great.

    1. Though, like you say it may be too much of a risk to draft a HSer pitcher 1.1, in the entire draft history there has only been five LHP pitchers drafted number one…three HSers….David Clyde, Brien Taylor and Brady Aiken (the first time in 2014), and two college LHP pitchers….Floyd Bannister and David Price.
      David Price is probably the one with the most success.
      So MacPhail and the new GM will probably lean pitching, since he said it was ‘thin’ in his assessment, but will it be LHP or RHP.

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