Open Discussion: Week of January 11th

Here’s the open discussion thread for Phillies’ talk and other topics.  Another slow week.

Recent Phillies’ transactions include the invitation of Mark Appel, Zach Eflin, Jake Thompson, Andrew Knapp, Gabriel Lino, Logan Moore, Brock Stassi, J.P. Crawford, and Nick Williams as non-roster invitees to spring training; and the signing of free agent outfielder Cedric Hunter to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

MLB’s annual Rookie Career Development Program was held this past Thursday through Sunday in Leesburg, VA. The Phillies sent Alec Asher, Adam Morgan, Nick Williams, and Jimmy Cordero.

The Phillies annual Prospect Education Program is scheduled for January 12-15.  Asher, Williams, and Cordero attended this, too along with Mark Appel, Andrew Knapp, Tyler Goeddel, Ricardo Pinto, Edubray Ramos, and Jake Thompson.

The salary arbitration process starts this week.

  • January 12th is the deadline for eligible players to file for salary arbitration.
  • January 15th is the deadline for eligible players and their teams to file salary figures for the arbitration panel to consider.
  • February 1st is the start of the salary arbitration hearings.
  • The Phillies have avoided arbitration and come to agreement on 2016 salaries with Andres Blanco and Peter Bourjos.
  • Three Phillies remain unsigned and eligible for the arbitration process – Jeanmar Gomez ($1.5M projected by MLBTR), Freddy Galvis (1.9M projected), and Jeremy Hellickson ($6.6M projected AND Boras Corporation client).

Interesting fact, none of the Phillies’ five free agents has signed yet – Cliff Lee, Aaron Harang, Jerome Wiliams, Chad Billingsley, and Jeff Francoeur.  Dom Brown also remains unsigned.

Ben Revere is back in the NL East as a member of the Nationals.  Revere and a PTBNL are headed to Washington while the Blue Jays will receive reliever Drew Storen and cash.

And finally, I have included C Randolph’s spray chart below. Notice the higher density of balls hit to left and center fields and the lighter density of balls hit to right field.  This is what I would expect from a hitter who I have repeatedly suggested hits the ball where it is pitched rather than trying to pull everything.

C only hit one home run, but I remember it being hit more toward right-center than to dead right.  This got me to wondering about who actually marks the spray chart.  Is it the official scorer?  In a lot of these games, that would have been Chris “Stats King” King.  Or maybe they are compiled later based on the recap that the official scorer provides with the box score, which could lead to a slightly subjective placement of balls.

In either case, it struck me odd that a kid like C who is described as not showing home run power yet, but possessing gap-to-gap power, has no balls recorded in either gap.  Just three clusters in left, center, and right and a glaring emptiness in each gap.  Does this look strange, or is it just me?

Cornelius Randolph




48 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of January 11th

  1. Just for fun I made a small list of LA arms from the Phillies LA teams. Which one could be the next Kilome , Medina or Pinto. Sergio Velis, Gustavo Armas, Adallah Aris, Freddy Zorrilla, Oskerlly Sanchez, Mauricio Llovera, Anderson Nunez or Geury Oritz. I like Gustavo Armas and Freddy Zorrilla.

    1. I like Sixto Sanchez, not just because of his cool name but also because he threw 26 solid innings last year as a 16/17 year old, which is more experience than most players his age get. He’s listed at only 5’10” though, so hopefully he grows a little.

      Oskerlly Sanchez and Mauricio Llovera were guys that caught my eye last year also. Both were old for their leagues but both were making their debuts too.

      Of course, we know next to nothing about these guys, but it seems like there are one or two that pop up every year and surprise people when they come stateside.

    1. The great Darin Ruf, with a 0.1 projected WAR. My projection when he was at Reading, that would be Casey Mcghee, seems generous now.

  2. Yes, it doesn’t seem to be a “true” spray chart but rather a chart of which directions he hits the ball to based on scorebook. LF vs rf, etc. Hits seem to be too clustered into groups at the various defensive positions.

    As an example, his doubles are deep hits to one of the 3 OF positions.

  3. Not that it matters,but what happened with Larry Greene? He announced he was coming back last summer, but I don’t recall any stories as if that turned out to be the case. What’s the scoop?

    1. I didn’t see the stories, but saw the discussion in comment threads. I thought it was a joke. But apparently, 4 months after retiring in March 2015, Jay Floyd reported that Greene would be returning to baseball. Barring any more announcements, I’ll keep an eye out for him this spring.

  4. Saw in Baseball America that Phils signed Christian Marrero. He is 29 and should be veteran RF, 1B for Reading. He is playing good in Ven.
    Saw in MLB Rumors that Anthony Vasquez was re-signed.

    1. The O’s get a compensation pick after the first round I believe
      If so, the Phiilies 2nd round pick has just dropped one slot

        1. Yes they do…the Marlins lose their 2nd round pick approx. mid-forties, but the O’s also get compensated for losing Chen.

  5. The Chen signing hurts the Phillies 2nd round pick, since the Orioles get a comp pick, but that looks like a good signing for the Marlins. I like Chen more than Mike Leake and they got the same money.

  6. I was looking at the number of starting pitchers the Phils have accumulated and it got me thinking about what the 2017 rotation might look like. What are the chances the Phils won’t need FA place holders in 2017? What is the best case rotation you can project from the current pool of pitching?.

    like – Nola, Eickhoff, Valquez, Thompson, Appel you also have Morgan, Eflin, Lively, and Biddle.

  7. Do you mean placeholders as in just innings eaters, or are you referring to building a future Playoff rotation? Because if the former, I agree. There are enough arms that they will not need guys who just throw innings and they should be beyond pitch counts for their young guys. But, there will still be a need, I think, for a frontline starter as they become a playoff contender.

  8. yes Mat13 I was talking inning eaters (this year Hellickson and Morton). There will be some good competition between the players to earn those rotation spots for 2017. I wonder if they might run into the good problem where they have to many blossom at the same time.

  9. I saw Bill Shakin the other night say the A’s would like to move Billy Butler owed a little over $20 Mil the next two seasons. We could leverage that into a pretty decent prospect possibly. Maybe you could pry Renato Nunez or Chad Pinder from Billy Beane in exchange for the salary relief and Asche.

    In CBP Butler could revive himself and be flipped somewhere along the line this season or next.

        1. Ok… mistake…thought you were in tight with the Williams and Hahn clan.
          But I like the A’s proposal. Butler could hit 20 HRs alone at CBP, perhaps also a great trade chip in July, but could put Ruf out of a job!

          1. Yeah Ruf is a great Kid but he would probably A. Have to take a limited role on the bench and get AB’s during inter-league play. B. Hope for a trade or C. Hope Klentak and the crew cut bait with Howard.

            Howard IMO is a sunk cost and untradeable so we may as well move on without him.

      1. Romus the thing that gets me is that the marlins, Sign guys with no intention of keeping them long term. The part that really gets me mad is baseball continues to pay the owner of that team the money to operate. Why? its a bad market and cant draw. Dee Gordon will be flipped in two years for money and prospects. This owner is making a ton. stop the small market stuff. Do a hard cap and you cant go over, make it fair to all. You don’t get a player if it makes you go over. stop giving st Louis comp picks for being small market. no more comp picks.

    1. Dmar do me a favorite tell bill I was asking about him. ty. The marlins owner makes me sick. signing Gordon with money they get from mlb. to only trade him for cheap prospects in two years. Why does mlb have to have a team in florida when it doesn’t draw? Some of the things mlb does drives me nuts. giving st Louis extra picks as a small market team. what a joke. Paying this slum owner of the marlins money to operate a losing francise in a bad market is crazy. Want to level the playing field. Try this hard cap. cant go over, if a player makes you go over then you cant sign him.

      1. rocco….cannot believe i am posting this….but tend to agree with you on the Competitive Balance Picks being awarded to the 12 or so classified small market teams. Now all of those teams do not get a pick after the first round, only half in a lottery, and the others after the second round I believe.
        But the whole idea should now be jettisoned, since the FA scene has changed a bit, plus many of the smaller market teams now have adequate finances.

        1. It’s coming Romus. No one believed the Yankee’s would reel in their spending and the new ownership of the Dodgers is going to quickly learn being over that luxury tax is no joke.

          Combined with the fact that two of the biggest recipients of those funds were the Royals and Pirates. What we are seeing in the last 5-6 seasons is the lower payroll team is knocking off the larger payroll team more frequently in the playoffs.

          the Yankee’s lost to the Astros and had a payroll 3x’s that of Houston.

          The Dodgers lost to the Mets and too had a payroll almost 3x’s that of NY.

          The gap between David and Goliath only exists in the payroll these days not the talent and that is a product or fruits if you will of the competitive balance program.

          So what’s my point. Well its that when the Big Market teams start to behave more like the small markets the tides will shift again.

          Miami is the outlier of the small markets in that they are a mess in their front office. And sadly they may have ruined any chance Tampa had at a new stadium.

          If the MLB was smart or had any say they would move Tampa to Miami and force Loria to sell to another group in another state. I think Miami deserves a good baseball team.

          I don’t think Tampa does. Most of Tampa is made up of Yankees and Red Sox fans anyway.

          1. And throw in KC Royals as another small market that won it all, at a low salary structure but receiving money you like say from MLB.
            MLB really seems to operate at times as a dysfunctional organization…of course TV revenue keeps them going pretty good…
            Heck even their website has clerical miscues scattered thru it…..look at Phillies prospect Franklyn Kilome’s page in the attachment below…..he was signed by the St Louis Cardinals! Go figure.

          2. All ‘they’ have to do is move Tampa to Tampa. Tropicana Field is in he stadium is in St. Petersburg. Geography has always been the problem as far as attendance goes, and a lengthy lease deal have them bound to their current location. I’ve been saying this for 10 years. Every year they don’t build a stadium, the cost increases by $20 million. If the franchise moved across the bay they would have the greater Tampa area to move from not to mention an Orlando base who may be willing to make the 1+ hour drive (depending on where in Tampa the franchise moved).

            Geography with respect to Tropicana Field had the Rays doomed from the start. Just look at where it is on a map


            1. The new council voting helps Sternberg. The lease until 2027 can be altered based on a year to year revenue minimal attainment , I think $4M,.
              Hey, he said they could build as far east off of 4, closer to Orlando if need be.
              But his druthers is, that he wants to do what you suggested and build in Tampa

          1. rocco…..their market ranking is based on population/media size, They are 21st…..not their attendance figures.
            1 New York
            2 Los Angeles
            3 Chicago
            4 Philadelphia
            5 Dallas-Ft. Worth
            6 San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose
            7 Boston
            8 Atlanta
            9 Washington, DC
            10 Houston
            11 Detroit
            12 Phoenix
            13 Tampa-St. Petersburg
            14 Seattle-Tacoma
            15 Minneapolis-St. Paul
            16 Miami-Ft.Lauderdale
            17 Cleveland-Akron
            18 Denver
            19 Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne
            20 Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto
            21 St. Louis

    1. Jeanmar Gomez ($1.4M) and Jeremy Hellickson ($7.0M) have also come to agreements with the Phillies. All of the Phillies arb eligible players are under contract.

    1. Might be a long-shot for the Phillies at 1.1 with JPC and Franco on the left side for the foreseeable future. Though he grades plus in everything but power. But every team from the Rockies at 4 thru Mariners at the 11, sans the Marlins, could take him as their future ss.

    1. The anecdotes presented here don’t sell the argument that scouts are being phased out. The shared scouting bureau staff is being reduced. Okay, but that could equally well mean that teams have recognized the value of draftees and aren’t willing to rely upon scouting reports shared across all of baseball. They want proprietary scouting reports to give themselves a competitive edge. We saw the value of proprietary scouting reports in the Cards/Astros hacking case — the Cards guy thought such reports so valuable that he committed a federal crime, which likely will buy him years in prison, to steal them.

      The other anecdotes are mainly about very old scouts — 63 years old, another guy 46-years in the business. Are these guys who can’t get with the modern requirements for scouts?

      We know the Phillies always have been, and still are, a scouting-centric organization, but the story bemoans our hiring of a 23-year old stat guy. That was a hire we badly needed in order to catch up with the times. It doesn’t mention the Phillies firing a ton of scouts, or any scouts at all for that matter.

      If anything, the anecdotal evidence in the article points to low pay for scouts. That seems the reason why widow’s can’t afford to bury old scouts. In many professions, guys are retired after 46 years of employment. It sounds like scouts weren’t paid enough to save for retirement and that baseball lacks an adequate retirement program. Really — 46-years working in an industry, in the age of employee-pensions, in an industry that has good pensions for the players, and a valued scout with 46-years in the business is financially strapped because he can’t get another job in the industry so he can continue working? There’s a big problem here, but it doesn’t sound like that problem is the de-emphasis of scouting.

      Interesting to read the comment about the value of scouts in evaluating MLB players: it allows you to sign/trade for guys who lead to good clubhouse chemistry. So we’re the not-stat, scouting-based organization who signed Papelbon and Delmon Young? What does that say about our scouts?

      1. Very good read and analysis.
        If anything that seems to be trending in that arena, is the fact that with more adherence to analytics and MLB team employing their own analytic based ‘systems’, i e Phillies now employ PHILS, that the 1974 establishment of the MLB Scouting Bureau’s existence, may now seem to be in jeopardy. At some point, with their numbers being steadily reduced they may have to curtail operations.
        However, IMO, I cannot see that happening, since they probably will be more money infused to them by MLB and their teams. It is always good to get many eyes on a prospect to validate one’s own evaluations.
        And not sure if the author intended to ‘bemoan’ the Phillies hiring of a 23-year old other than to illustrate his point.

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