Open Discussion: Week of January 25th

Here’s the open discussion thread for Phillies’ talk and other topics. Another slow week. Here are some random stories/thoughts to start the conversation.

Let’s see.  Tim Lincecum hopes to hold a showcase in early February to show that he is able to pitch after recovering from hip surgery (link).  Meanwhile, Cliff Lee hopes for the perfect fit while providing assurances that he will be 100%, but he may decide to sit out the 2016 season.

I posted a comment in another thread, but felt I should place an excerpt here,

Coach Shawn Williams lives in the Clearwater area during the off season and was at the Complex with several young players who had reported early. They had spent the day hitting and such in Bright House Field since the Complex had been taken over by Phantasy Campers.  I approached him by one of the fields.

We talked about “C” Randolph and his hitting (I told him you guys didn’t like the pick when it was announced, but had ranked him as our # 4 prospect 7 months later) and the likelihood of his starting in Lakewood in spite of Joe Jordan’s statement to Mitch Rupert that he might start in Wiliamsport.

Then it clicked. Coach Williams is local. Did he visit the Complex during the period when Tocci and others were working on strength and conditioning this fall? (Yes, he did!). Did he see the players? (Yes, he did!) DID FRANKLYN KILOME ADD ANY MUSCLE? (YES, HE DID!). Kilome is listed at 6’6, 175. A improvement to a Miguel Nunez type physique of 6’6, 215 is probably too much to hope for. But, 190-200 pounds would be nice.

I noticed several young players at the Complex.  The only one I recognized for sure was Mark Leiter.  I think I saw Scott Kingery and Jason Zgardowski, but it’s difficult without names on their shirts.

Jim Salisbury writes that Jimmy Cordero has closer stuff in a BA article behind the paywall (link).

Scott Boras supports the Power Five Conferences’ decision to allow high school athletes to have the help of an agent if selected in Rule 4 draft (link).  I agree and believe any player who has to make an important decision regarding his future should be allowed to have legal guidance without it effecting his “amateur” standing.  I also believe that the NCAA should be required to pay the athletes who generate their sports profits.

Commissioner Manfred has described the idea of the National League adopting the DH as gaining support among National League executives (link).  This spurred the conducting of a bevy of polls for the opinions of fans.  So, I am curious what Phuture Phillies’ readers think about the DH.  How many if any are in favor of bringing this terrible, horrible mutation of the sport to the National League.  This poll will be open for several days. Please don’t feel you have to see your opinion win by voting more than once.  Thank you.

And finally, as I put this together, Rhys Hoskins is going all monster mode in Australia.  As I sign off here he has –

  • driven a sacrifice fly to deep center field that the outfielder caught with his back to the infield that scored a run and moved another runner to third from where he would score later in the inning,
  • pulled a bases clearing, three-run triple down the line into the left field corner and scored later in the inning, and
  • reached on a throwing error on a hard hit ball to the third baseman.  That’s 1-2 with a run scored, double, SF, 4 RBI, and a .304 batting average through 4 innings,

Hoskins’ Sydney Blue Sox can’t make the playoffs, but Cord Sandberg’s Canberra Cavalry will begin their playoff run next weekend.  Sandberg will get a chance to duplicate Brian Pointer’s 2015 accomplishment of playing for the team that wins the ABL’s Claxton Shield.


97 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of January 25th

  1. I’ve always considered myself a baseball purist, and my evolving position on having the DH even surprises me. But I do think it is inevitable that the NL will have the DH and I’m comfortable with this.

    1) Pitchers don’t even try to hit any more. I think it was Stark who had an article about this earlier this year–sorry I couldn’t locate it, but I remember his point: batting averages for pitchers are noticeable lower than in previous eras. Something like .140 in ’15 compared to .180 in ’75. We live in a time of specialization. You can’t even count on a pitcher to reliably lay down a bunt. The lack of pitchers who even attempt to hit is my biggest reason for supporting the change.

    2) With inter league play now entrenched, NL teams are at a disadvantage. Chris Chote once served as the Phillies’ DH. Chis Chote?!?

    3) Offense is in a downward trend

    4) It prolongs some hitters’ careers. We get to watch a maestro like Edgar Martinez for a longer time.

    1. I would add to this a point made by David Murphy in the Daily News yesterday. Having the DH helps big $$$ teams like the Phillies, since it creates an opportunity to buy another bat for the lineup that other teams might not be able to afford. He cited Victor Martinez, Billy Butler and Adam Laroche of examples of bat-only guys whom they could have bought this offseason.

      I have always been a DH opponent. One of my favorite memories from the past decade of Phillies baseball was Brett Myers’ NLDS AB against Sabathia, when he fouled off pitch after pitch and worked a walk that led to Victorino’s Grand Slam. But on the whole, watching pitchers flail uninterestedly at pitches (and seeing starters taken out of a game before they should to generate some runs) is getting old. If it happens, I’m on board.

    2. i agree that it is probably inevitable at this point.

      do pitchers hit at all in the minors anymore?

      I wonder how many younger fans get into the strategy of the game like we do.

  2. I haven’t decided on the DH thing yet, however the poll could be worded to be neutral so not to sway votes in one way or another.

    DH would add another dimension, adding a good hitter to roster. While we would miss the pitchers who actually can hit, maybe Dennis Cook could pinch hit for the SS

    1. My poll, my article, my opinion. The poll is worded a little tongue in cheek with the intention of reflecting my sentiment. I don’t often provide my opinions. I report what I see so others have the information they need and want to form or support their opinions. This is a safe spot to voice my opinion since, in this instance, I am not using my position to sway the opinion of readers on something as important as the ability or projection of the prospects we all follow. Regular readers will get it. If not, still my poll, my article, my opinion.

            1. It’s 60 degrees here in southwest Florida, and people are wearing coats.

              Meanwhile, I have to admit to checking weather reports back home and seeing 20 inches of snow and winds at the Delaware coast touching 75 MPH.

              Just bought tickets for Phillies Spring Training games when they visit the Rays, O’s and Twins.

        1. the DH decision will be inevitable. but the thought of having offensive and defensive units is over reacting, more appropriate probably is the discussion about interleague play.

          i still prefer the NL way of baseball. but will worry about it if DH actually comes to NL sooner that we expect.

        2. You can still have the debate. How I phrase the poll is up to me. Don’t like it? tough. If I can’t have an occasional bit of fun, you can take over for me. God knows this has really become a burden.

            1. Jim, I thank you as always for the work that you do. I hate the DH and would rather it be abolished in the AL. But, that won’t happen and seems inevitable to be coming soon to our park.. In the meantime, I hope that 1 knucklehead does not let you forget how much you are appreciated.

            2. Thanks. I wanted to delete my comment as soon as I pressed . I decided I need not hide that I can be as susceptible to bad judgement at the keyboard as anyone else.

            3. Jim while I really don’t have a horse in this argument I will say that I really appreciate the work that you do for this site please don’t let one person get you down.

  3. Adding the DH would put people in the seats by adding considerable offense. Football has not minded the disappearance of the foot —more offense, more fans. We would not have to despair of getting any offense after our fifth hitter hits.
    On the other side of the coin I would miss the pitcher hitting; the eighth batter having the discipline to draw a walk; the manager having to pay attention to who pinch hits and who continues to pitch after the sixth inning.
    If the DH goes into effect, why not have a steady batter for the non-hitting fielder ( the catcher for example).
    I would miss the old National League.

    1. MLB should stop treating pitchers like they are porcelain and very breakable. Many pitchers were the best players on their HS teams including hitting. Several Hall of Fame pitchers won many games with their bats(Carlton, Seaver and others) so it benefits good hitting pitchers. I may stop following MLB all together if they institute the DH.

  4. Boo. Hiss on DH.

    Now, back to prospects: Rhys Hoskins finished in Australia third in the league in RBIs at 43 in 49 games. He slashed 301/369/508, giving him an OPS of 876. He was player of the week three times in the 56-game season league. He struck out 32 times in 209 plate appearances, not bad for a power hitter.

  5. I am so pumped for this year! The Phils could see the major league debuts of like 8 prospects this year even if in Sept. JP, Williams, Knapp, Thompson, Efflin, Appel, Hoskins, and Windle. 2016 is made for the Phuture Phillies site. Add in #1 pick and all that $ on July 2 and the will be a historic year for Phuture Phillies. To Jim and all the contributers keep up the good work! Plus no DH although its coming no matter what.

      1. Disregard this top ten from MLB….the official 2016 2nd base edition does not come out until tomorrow.

    1. Really interesting article.
      – gives Kingery 2 plus tools (hit and speed) along w 50 defense. If he can get his defense up to plus, that is an all star caliber player.
      – Sweeney at #8. Shows no plus tools. Big drop from 7 to 8.
      – nice to see 2 of top 8 2b prospects in baseball. Nice depth!

      1. My reaction was disappointment and a sense that Kingery likely has better stats this summer and moves up the list. I doubt there are 8 or even 7 guys currently playing 2B in the minors who will ever be MLB starting 2B.

        1. You were disappointed to see a 2b with a current grade of 2 plus tools and average defense? That doesn’t make any sense. What were you expecting?

          1. A ranking higher than #7 among minor league 2B prospects. As I said, I don’t think their are 7 starting 2B playing 2B in the minors last season.

    2. Really interesting article.
      – gives Kingery 2 plus tools (hit and speed) along w 50 defense. If he can get his defense up to plus, that is an all star caliber player.
      – Sweeney at #8. Shows no plus tools. Big drop from 7 to 8.
      – nice to see 2 of top 8 2b prospects in baseball. Nice depth!

      1. With Valentin at Reading, phils will have prospects at top three levels with Cesar in the majors trying to hold them off. Should be interesting to watch. I like Kingery but I didn’t live Sweeney when I watched him last year after the trade. He’ll start the year at LHV and be ready for an injury

  6. No,No, No to the DH. If a team wants more offense, find pitchers who can hit. If your a player who can hit, find a position to play.

    The strategy of the pitching hitting is an integral part of the game.

    1. The DH argument goes beyond just hitting for the pitcher.It’s about both leagues playing by the same set of rules.
      Managers in the NL can’t rest their very good hitters for a day or two in a pennant race by using them to DH and also a the same time keep bench player fresh.
      NL GM’s cant sign the very best hitters in the game to long term contracts knowing when they get older there’s no DH position to fall back on.
      All or most of the minor leagues use the DH rule.Now in inter league games pitchers that never had a pro AB are trying to hit major league pitching.
      The All Star games are screwed up. The World Series are effected.
      Yes,the tradition suffers,but in the old days they used to throw underhand and wear wool uniforms,chew on the field and leave their gloves on the field.
      Instant replay is in effect,the no bowling over the catcher rule is now a rule.
      The DH is here to stay whether we like it or not. Pandora cannot be stuffed back in the box.

    1. I liked him a lot as well. Great story. Seemed like a nice, humble guy; thankful to play in MLB.

      But as a DH? No AL team would have a DH like him (that said, looking back at his stats, he was a better hitter than I remember).

      Someone in another comment mentioned Brett Myers’ NLDS AB against Sabathia–which was a classic. But its hard to top that shot Blanton hit in the 2008 WS.

      Of course Rick Wise’s no-hitter while hitting TWO home runs has to be one of the game’s all-time under appreciated feats.

      Steve Carlton I enjoyed watching hit. He was always considered one of the best hitting pitchers. And his career line? .201 /.223 /.259 /.482

      1. The first Major League game I attended was classic Robin Robins. Lost 2-1 to the Dodgers with one LA run scoring on an error and Robbie driving in his lone run with a double.

        Let pitchers hit. Keep strategy in the game.

  7. I’d like to see the NL adopt the DH. Different rules for different leagues, who play games against each other, is beyond stupid. Also, watching pitchers hit is a boring inning killer. If baseball wants more offense, adding an extra bat to the lineup is the easiest and least change way of doing it. I much prefer this to having all the players adjust to a hotter baseball or a lower mound or moving in the fences or 4 strikes and you’re out, or officially blessing special vitamins.

    1. If you want a dh then start a new book for stats. Fat guys who cant run. play defense only can hit stat. Having a dh means you take away from the game. Every player should hit and have to play the field.Its the way the game was intended to be played.

      1. I hate comments like this. Every game adapts and changes it’s just how things go. If we played baseball “how it was intended to be played” it would look a lot different. Go and look up some of the early rules from baseball and educate yourself on “how the game is supposed to be played” and let me know if you want those rules because that’s how it was supposed to be played.

        1. I should say that I really don’t have an opinion on the DH in the NL. Don’t come around with the weak argument of how the game was supposed to be played though think of something better than that it’s just lazy and impractical.

        2. 100% agree

          The “purists” conveniently forget that there are rule changes every year. The reality is the pitchers don’t hit in the minor leagues. It’s silly to pretend that having them hit adds anything to the game. Pitchers pitch around lineups to get to the 9 spot. It is such a waste to have someone so clearly over matched hit.

          1. Me personally I would like to see them bring back the rule that the batter tells the pitcher if he wants it high or low and the that’s where the pitcher has to throw it. I don’t think we would need the DH anymore because you would see an offensive explosion.

  8. MLB’s schedule for top ten at each position and finally their top 100 on Friday:
    Tue., Jan. 19 – Top 10 Right-Handed Pitchers
    Wed., Jan. 20 – Top 10 Left-Handed Pitchers
    Thu., Jan. 21 – Top 10 Catchers
    Fri., Jan. 22 – Top 10 First Basemen
    Mon., Jan. 25 – Top 10 Second Basemen
    Tue., Jan. 26 – Top 10 Third Basemen
    Wed., Jan. 27 – Top 10 Shortstops
    Thu., Jan. 28 – Top 10 Outfielders
    Fri., Jan. 29 – Top 100 Prospects
    ….if Kingery and Sweeney are still in their top ten 2nd baseman tomorrow, then the Phillies could have, logically, in the top 100 , 6 players…..Alfaro, JPC, Kingery, Sweeney and for OFers Williams and Randolph.
    ..maybe 7 if Mitch Walding gets a top ten selection in the third base category. 🙂

    1. Just because a prospect is top 10 for their position doesn’t mean they are in the top 100 prospects. I feel like that is pretty much common knowledge. I’d like to see your rationale behind putting walding in the top 100 but leaving Thompson off.

      1. First….Walding was only a joke…….figured sandusky would jump on it.
        Second…….MLB has 8 categories of top ten….80 slots…just assumed they would be in their top 100, however the remaining 20 slots plus other tier one prospects, especially OFers could push some of the lower top ten prospects outside the top 100.

        1. I didn’t see who posted the comment and I thought it was him I do apologize for that. Typically every year on the top 100 prospects there are about an even amount of pitchers as hitters so there’s an extra 30 or so spots there. Normally there are only around 4-6 catchers, 1-3 first baseman, 3-7 2nd baseman and 5-8 third baseman on the list the rest are filled out by extra out fielders and short stops. There are a lot of short stops in the minors who will end up at 2nd or 3rd eventually that’s kind of the reason for that. My prediction for Phillies in the top 100 are JP, Nick Williams, and Jake Thompson as locks and the probably at least 2 or 3 of the following C, Alafaro, Quinn, Appel, and Kingery.

    1. DMAR also had that suggestion..
      Cody Reed is currently ranked 7th on MLB’s top LHPs ranking:

      It might take a little more then just taking Hill off their hands. Unless they are counting on Oscar Hernandez as their future catcher……they probably would want Alfaro or Knapp to go along with that, since catching is one of their weakest positional areas after Castillo….he approaches 30 years old after this season. .

      1. Funny about DMAR. Found his comment in last week’s thread. Merely a coincidence, but obviously I like where DMAR was going there.

    2. Steve….oops, there are two Cody Reeds. I was looking at the older one. nevertheless, he is a top ten in the D-Backs org , still could take a little more value in return to get him.

  9. I just read some more about Ken Brett. When he was with the phillies he hit a home run in 4 straight starts. He died at age 55 from brain cancer.

    1. Actually he hit homeruns in 5 straight.But the umps thought it bounced over fence instead of landing over fence for a homerun. It was in san francisco if i remember right.

  10. i believe it is tantamount to having a designated free throw shooter to avoid the hack-a-shaq strategy. there is strategy to deciding whether a bad free throw shooter to be on the court, just as there is strategy to deciding whether a pitcher should hit, it is the dh that is the aberration, and i question the “inevitability” after 40 years. that said, it is an easy collective bargaining concession, and this is likely a way to get us used to the idea when the union wins this point.

    one should not make too much of australian baseball league numbers, because the pitching is wildly inconsistent and the ballparks matter. one team hit 9 home runs in a game recently at their home park that is 270 feet down the line; hoskins won his last player-of-the-week award after a series there 2 weeks ago. on the other hand, hoskins’s home park is known as “the place home runs go to die;” similar to lakewood, he hit only one of his there, and it probably has a lot to do with his high doubles total. given the parks and leagues he has played in, it will be inetresting to see what he does when he finally plays his games in a hitter-friendly environment

    1. I thought for sure there would be at least one wise crack about the Phillies signing a QB, that he went to the wrong place and thought he was signing with the Eagles.

      He’s 6’5 LHP signed out of the CWL. Have we ever signed someone out of that league before? Said he expected to play both football and baseball at Stanford but it didn’t work out. He was redshirted so he could have gone back for one more year as a QB or transfer but he opted to put down the spikes for a glove.

      1. Last year about this time the Phillies signed Josh Taylor in something similar circumstances. . Taylor did well in low A, and the D-Backs took him and Oliver for some of their international money and the Phillies were able to sign Ortiz for $4M and other LAs without incurring the penalty..
        Crower could be a real steal

    1. The first report I saw of the demise of the VSL was on the 21st by Bill Badler of Baseball America. Within a couple hours, Jim Salisbury provided the Phillies response. I think Corinne references both in her article.

      The Phillies will keep their academy open and transport their players to the Dominican Republic to participate as a second team in the DSL when the season opens.

      I think this might give the Phillies an advantage in the near future at least. By keeping their academy open they are likely to maintain the good will they have earned over the years.

      Since the Cubs closed their academy, I believe that leaves only the Tigers’ and Rays’ academies as their primary competition for prospects. Other teams will undoubtedly have scouts in the country, but an actual presence might have long term benefits.

      1. Not sure what advantages having an academy in the country is…and not sure how much of an advantage it was in the past four/five years with having one of only four MLB affiliates there.
        For example, Kevin Maitan is already programed for the Braves this year and they haven’t had a team there in awhile and he is rated as one of the top Ven kids for the upcoming July 2nd 2016 signing.
        Perhaps, getting a diamond in the rough would help though like a Carlos Carrasco or Freddy Galvis/Cesar H.
        Tocci remains to be seen how he turns out, but he was their first Ven ‘big’ signee.

        1. Well, I was careful not to use any absolutes like “will” or “definitely” in the two paragraphs where I cited opinion. I was purposely vague with the words “might”, “at least”, “likely” when addressing present and future potential benefits. Lack of any past advantages doesn’t mean that an actual, physical presence in the country won’t help in future recruiting. But for the Phillies, I think it is better to be there than not. Because they are still there, the loss of the league shouldn’t hurt them as much as organizations who have left the country.

  11. Any thoughts on possibly claiming OF Rymer Liriano, DFA’s by the Padres? 24 yo, hit 291/375/466 over the last 2 years at AA and AAA. Top 75 prospect 2-3 years ago.

      1. I agree what is the difference between him and Goedel? Except he is a year older and hit 292 at AAA whereas Goedel was at AA

  12. Hey I asked this last week, but didn’t get a response: anyone hear anything about the minor league Spring Training schedule this year? Was interested in catching some of the younger guys in game action. If memory serves the games usually don’t start until later in March, but I feel like this site has had a schedule in years past.

    1. Andrew Cleveland Alexander
      January 20, 2016 at 12:40 PM

      Hey Jim.
      I’m headed down to Clearwater in March. Any sign of the minor league Spring Training schedule yet? I know if years past you’ve managed to get it. Had a great time last year watching the Phuture Phillies play the Canadian Youth National Team.

      January 21, 2016 at 8:31 AM

      Schedule..Spring Training:

      1. Thanks Frank and Romus, but what I’m asking is if anyone has the minor league schedule, that is the games scheduled to be played at the minor league complex. You may not know if you’ve never been to Spring Training before, but the minor league workout groups also play a separate schedule against other minor league teams. In years past Jim has managed to get a copy of that schedule, which is not posted to the major league team’s website. That’s what I’m looking for.

        If anyone has seen that yet, would love to get a look.


        1. Ok…I see what you mean now.
          Will that be out now before the players are selected for their respective groups?

            1. Yes, I’m guessing they’ll start games around 3/14. I’ll be there 3/18-20 and we’ll watch the two minor league games on 3/19. Always a great time!

  13. FYI – yes the schedule comes out long before the player groups comes out due to the scheduling required with the other teams (mostly the Pirates, Yankees and Toronto).

    1. Nice right up Romus seems he doing stuff with his breaking pitches that are usually done in high A or AA . Maybe the Astros way they they have brought pitchers from AA to the Majors on couple times.

  14. so Fister gets the 1 year deal from Houston, 7 mil plus 5 in incentives. Would you rather have him at that price, or the McWilliams for Hellickson deal, or the Charlie Morton deal?

    1. Hellickson > Fister > Morton based as much on health considerations as anything else. Though he’s a charm school dropout, I would have signed Matt Latos before Fister and feel he’ll have a better year (for someone) than Morton.

    2. Would Fister have signed with the Phillies? IMO doubtful. Having a chance to play for a winner matters. Which is why a lot of the discussions about the Phillies signing FAs are moot.

    1. DMAR….get your resume into Citizens Way….though the position of Director of Baseball Research and Development’ has just been filled, still vacant is the Director of Baseball Operations for Nuclear Biosciences’ position!

      1. 🙂 You know for years I’ve railed against the over hyping of Analytics. Not that it isn’t needed just that it gets too much attention.

        I buy a ticket to watch baseball players which are humans play the game I love. I’m not buying a ticket to watch Bill James stuff his face full of hor d’ouvres in a hotel convention room and talk SABR with other goof balls that can’t even throw a ball 60 feet 6 inches.

        Fangraphs by the way ran their division simulations and they have the Royals finishing below .500.

        1. DMAR…analytics it has its place, along with the well documented scouting aspect. However, the accumulation of stats have been one of the most traditional fabrics of baseball, since the 1870s. Its the lore.
          Now projecting someone’s future value based on past measurables is pretty fascinating. Sometimes you hit and sometimes you don’t.

  15. Tyler Stubbfield release from texas am over rule infraction. Suppose to be high pick in draft. I don’t know anything about his kid

  16. Just now looking at the Phillies roster; I love Herrera, but he’s much less exciting as a LF than a RF. I don’t see the logic of guaranteeing playing time to Bourjos, and I certainly don’t see the logic in moving Herrera from CF in order to do so. Herrera added 1.3 WAR on defense in 2015. In CF (or 2B), you have a much more valuable offensive profile.

    I actually like Bourjos as an addition. With a young pitching staff, you really need a steady defense. But we’re talking about a guy with a sub .700 career OPS. You’re better off playing Asche and hoping he has a good May-June and could be moved at the deadline. Bourjols on my plan is no more than a 200-300 PA player.

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