Open Discussion: Week of February 15th

Looks like we made it.  Pitchers and catchers have their first official workout this Thursday. A lot of players, mostly pitchers, have been here since January.  J.P. Crawford arrives Monday.  The Phillies will have 65 roster and non-roster players in town for spring training. A lot of minor leaguers are here, too.  

If the Phillies follow the same pattern of practices as in previous seasons, the pitchers will throw out of sight on the Seven Mounds behind the minor league club house and perform PFPs on the fields where visitors can see them.  Hopefully, the batting sessions by the early reporting position players will be open to the public in Bright House Field as in past years.

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

Recent Transactions

  • 2/3 – signed free agent OF Jose Estrada to a minor league contract.
  • 2/3 – signed free agent LHP Anthony Vasquez to a minor league contract.
  • 2/4 – signed free agent 2B Tyler Henson to a minor league contract.
  • 2/10 – designated Bobby LaFromboise for assignment.
  • 2/10 – traded future considerations to the Los Angeles Angels for traded 3B Taylor Featherston
  • 2/12 – sent Bobby LaFromboise outright to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • And back on 10/16, Nathan Thornhill retired.  The RHP out of the University of Texas was a 13th round pick in 2014.  He made 1 appearance each for the GCL Phillies and Williamsport.  He didn’t pitch at all in 2015, looks like he was on the DL most of the season.

58 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of February 15th

  1. Baseball’s right around the corner and hope springs eternal. I hope to see less long losing streaks and some of our young guys jumping up a peg or two. If I see Franco, Altherr, Herrera and any of the young guys invited to camp expanding their game, I’ll be happy all season long.

    I think the team could have as high as a .430 win percentage, which gets them to 70 wins. I’d hate to see less than 63 wins — or 100 loses. That would be a step back and although it might get the 1-1 pick, I’d rather see upward movement. Hopefully by August, some of our top 5 guys in the minor leagues will be banging on the door and ready to be welcomed with open arms. “Somebody’s knocking at the door. Somebody’s ringing the bell. Do me a favor, open the door, and let ’em in.” I’m sending the residuals to Paul McCartney as I write.

  2. Not sure hope springs too eternal for the 2016 Phillies. As you state, the real hope is that their prospects continue to show signs of improvement and the injury bug stays away.

    Do think it will be a good season on the farm but I don’t expect the big club to be any better than the 2015 version. They have a real chance of repeating the #1 overall pick again in 2017..

  3. Story at has 25 non roster players with Cedric Hunter and LaFromboise has been added, so 66 players will be reporting.

  4. I think this Phils team has better potential than the worst team in baseball, but in the end it really all boils down to just a few things this year in my opinion…..

    1. Key prospects / young players progressing and not suffering significant injuries.
    2. Cashing in on the draft, particularly in Rounds 1 and 2, with those high picks.
    3. Landing a boat load of talent via the International market after July 2nd.
    4. Finishing with a bad enough record to be able to sign a Free Agent next off season without sacrificing their first round pick.

    1. BuddyB…another ray of hope….a stat from Todd Zo;
      ‘…..Hamels (3.64 ERA in 20 starts), Morgan, Nola and Eickhoff made a combined 56 starts last season. The Phillies went 28-28 in those games, despite scoring the fourth-fewest runs in baseball.’

  5. Every major rebuild has big upside surprises. For Cubs, Arietta and Rizzo are huge upside surprises. Who will it be for the Phils?

    Altherr has a chance. So does Rhys, who can be our Rizzo. Eickhoff also has a chance as many pegged him as only a #5.

    1. I think Canelo can be a plus surprise. Hoskins also could. I think Appel could exceed what a lot of people (esp. Houston) are expecting from him. Two years from now, I think the home-grown (including the already done trades for youngsters and the dumpster dives) bullpen can shock the NL in a positive way. I don’t think our next playoff team needs to acquire a Lidge or Papelbon, which leaves a big pile of money to fill a different hole.

    2. I agree that luck has a significant part in these re-builds.

      Well, I don’t know if Rizzo is a surprise – it’s more like he’s completely fulfilled his potential. Agreed that Arietta is a very big surprise (perhaps the biggest in baseball last year) and the Cubs rebuild is a surprise in that everybody – with the possible exception of the now departed Starling Castro – is becoming the player the team hoped he would be.

      Likewise, each of the young Mets pitchers has hit his ceiling or even exceeded his ceiling (did anyone ever think deGrom would be anything more than a 4 prior to his call-up? Now he’s one of the best pitchers in baseball). The Mets have also done a sneaky good job with their position prospects and position player FA acquisitions. They look to me like a 90-95 win team that could easily go all the way.

      But you’re completely right, the Phillies need some good fortune and you’ve identified many of the same candidates that I’ve been watching. I hope these developing players all get the proper instruction to help them fulfill their potential.

  6. Funny the Mets are the only really playoff team in our division. There’s only 1 or 2 good pitcher’s in next yrs free agent pool.

  7. Beginning next year, a new provision to the CBA will prevent larger-market teams from receiving revenue-sharing money…Phillies along with about a dozen other large market teams will feel this impact.
    Perhaps it is time to also do away with Competitive Balance Picks for small market teams…after all the majo leaguie players FA market scene has changed a bit since that was a established and to go even further many small market teams are investing large dollars in 16-year old international signings, so much so they are being penalized for busting the ‘cap’.

    1. Mackanin quoted last night as liking Vincent to be a lock in the 5 man somewhere along with Nola and Eickhoff!

      You could keep competitive balance much easier by employing an international draft. Stop allowing foreign born players from attaining almost outright free agency when our own domestic players are not afforded the same opportunity.

      Lottery style the top pick as in the NBA.

      Change the qualifying offer from a 1 year deal to a 3 year deal and make it so you can only receive compensation if you were the drafting team. In other words very few players should be hitting the FA market with compensation attached to them.

      A team like the Dodgers should not have been able to rail road Howie Kendrick.

      1. DMAR…international draft! That’s laughable.
        MLB cannot operate a league in a fair and balanced, if I can borrow the phrase, direction. The life line of the league is the amateur talent acquisition…it is the only professional league that has this inequitable means of attaining talent….via the dollar.
        NFL, NHL, and the NBA all have a draft for eligible aged talent…..and then undrafted players can be signed in an open market…MLB does it somewhat differently and then , like you say, restricts the Rule 4 or ‘domestic ‘ eligible guys.
        Granted, MLB must pay to develop their players, while the other leagues have no or minimal minor league developmental programs. So there is an added expenditure for the teams in the league, but a separate international draft makes the most sense and they acquiesce to ‘special interest groups’, ie Latin MLB Players , who, with almost 30% membership, influence the MLBPA and also the ‘agents’ in the DR for the most part.

        1. The players and agents will acquiesce because they will no longer be as harmed by the compensation tag.

          All teams including smaller revenue clubs will have a fairer chance at adding international talent. Moncada if he wanted to play in the MLB would have gone most likely as the first pick.

          Based on the prior years records the Phillies still would not have gotten him but neither would have the Red Sox.

          1. DMAR – this just in. The LA Dodgers sign the entire island of Cuba to a multiyear contract.

  8. The ‘surprise’ guys are always fun to root for. Interesting decisions will how to handle fringe players on this roster. Will Boujos, Ruf, Asche, Sweeney get playing time? Will Herrera, Altherr, Franco, Eickoff, Nola slump in value? How will bullpen be used, try to play vets to get trade value or cycle through many young guys to see if any can stick.

  9. If the OF lines up Dooby, Bourjos, Altherr, it will be a vastly improved Defensive OF, at the very least. The past 3 seasons have been dreadful, and finally, we get to see a young, hopefully improving team. I am really looking forward to it, and following the LHV and Reading seasons will be fun as well.

  10. DMAR, I read Mack’s quote also, but I am hard pressed to believe that VV doesn’t start in LHV. Nola, Eickhoff, Morton, Hellickson and Oberholtzer, who doesn’t have any options left, is how I see it. Yes, Oberholtzer can move into the bullpen, but I would give him a shot as a SP to start the season. No knock, at all, on VV, but I see them trying to establish value for Morton and Hellickson, move them at the deadline, and slot those spots with VV and then the better of Jake Thompson or Appel, depending on the seasons that they have.

    1. We’ll have to see how it shakes out. I think Mack is a straight shooter but you’re right he might not have final say. If Klentak wanted to delay the clock on VV Mack is going to lose that battle.

  11. I agree, and the more I read what Mackanin says, the more I like him. But, you are completely correct that some of these decisions are made higher up. No question about the upside for VV, but sometimes that is not the determining factor. And, I can understand that thinking.

  12. BP’s Pecota has projected the Phillies at 65 wins in 2016….seems about right.
    Also projects KC Royals at 76 wins…..after projecting them last year at 73 wins!
    Now that is rather strange.

  13. BA RHPs and LHPs Top 100: Kilome at 50…that’s great news.

    Top 100 Prospects Position Rankings: Righthanders –

    Top 100 Prospects Position Rankings: Lefthanders –

  14. Thanks Romus! Thompson, Appel, Kilome and Pinto. Happy to see them, even if I think Thompson should be a little higher. I assume VV is ineligible because of his time in the Majors last year, so where would you put him relative to this list?

    1. v1 … appreciate posting this, but do you need permission from JimPeyton do this with a subscription article, in this case ESPN Insider?

      Good to see Hoskins so high with him and Cozens at 18.

    2. So Mr Law is very high on Kingery and Hoskins, compared to many others, which is interesting. On the flip side, he has Quinn and Knapp lower than most.

  15. Did anyone see the reasoning behind having Kingery so high? Not that I am complaining, but ahead of Corny? And Klaw is usually down on Right handed hitting 1st basemen, so I am surprised to see where he has Hoskins.

    1. From what I read concerning Hoskins….he made a referce/comp of sorts to Paul Goldschmidt.
      Now he has said in the past, he missed on Paul Goldschmidt back 6/7 years ago because of Goldey’s high MiLB K rate and the right bat -1st baseman thing…so maybe it s his way not to make the same mistake with Hoskins…..who actually has a far better K rate than Goldey, of course ISO is not that close.

    2. Yeah. It is the same reason I have been saying for a month about Kingery:
      – plus, plus speed
      – plus hit
      – good defense

      At a position that typically doesn’t get much offensive output.

      Regarding Rhys, it’s just so hard to ignore the productivity.

  16. According to the AskBA question: “Who just missed the top 100?” Nine (9) Phillies received votes from the 4 senior writers at Baseball America for top 150. Crawford, Williams, Thompson, Randolph, Knapp, Appel, Alfaro, Kilome and Quinn.

  17. Baseball America picked Cozens as the Breakout prospect and Keith Law picked Cozens as the Sleeper prospect for 2016. BA correctly picked Knapp as the Breakout last year, so the Cozens pick may be something to note.

    1. I think 60 hit tool is lite for C.

      I have never said this about a prospect before. But I honestly think it is a 70 with a possible 80 hit tool. I think it is that good.

          1. I’m not sure how much stock BA puts on plate discipline being apart of the hit tool. That could explain the difference of opinions. What player do you think Randolphs hit tool comps to?

            1. I am not saying he will be Tony Gwynn…but he will be a similar type player.
              – 12-15 hrs per year
              – a ton of doubles
              – sub 10% k rate (won’t come close to Gwynn’s insane career 4% rate)
              – 8% walk rate
              – .375 OB%
              – .800 OPS

              Now I realize the kid hasn’t played beyond rookie ball. And I realize that is a huge projection. But if he truly has a 70 hit tool, which potentially more in there, then this is the type of production you can get.

      1. I don’t really think so. They may have a better farm system, but they have little if any young ML talent, whereas we have recently graduated prospects like Franco, Odubel, Altherr, Nola, Eickhoff and Velasquez. Plus our farm has more close to ML ready talent. So we’re at least a year, if not two, ahead of them in terms of timing.

        1. They do have Inciarte and Teheran, who are only 25, and Freeman who’s 26. I don’t know how long they’ll be in ATL but they should have years of production in front of them.

    1. Their system is loaded and they still are favorites for two 16-year olds, Maitan and Armenteros.
      I like to see if MacP/Klentak make a big move, now or July…not so much in a trade, but rather in young international talent acquisition. Ortiz/Marchan were Ruben signings.

    1. I will need to look into who are the best available after Maitan and Armenteros.
      Phillies got their bonus amt….$5.6M……add another possible 50% via trades and total up to $8.4M to spend

    2. mstt13: Here is MLBs Jesse Sanchez’ list…BA’s should be available somewhere.
      Not sure…..but me thinks Edisson Gonzo is Severino’s yuonger brother, I asked Jim Salisbury to see for me.
      Luis Jose Almanzar, SS, Dominican Republic
      Yasel Atuna, SS, Dominican Republic
      Edisson Gonzalez, RHP, Panama
      Abraham Gutierrez, C, Venezuela
      Kevin Maitan, INF, Venezuela
      Adrian Morejon, LHP, Cuba
      Jorge Ona, OF, Cuba
      Tirso Ornelas, OF, Mexico
      Alfredo Rodriguez, SS, Cuba
      Jeisson Rosario, OF, Dominican Republic

  18. Like the lists now I’m ready for Pitchers and catcher’s. ” put in cold I’m really to play today “, Plus March Madness.

  19. Was anybody else intrigued by Keith Law’s not so subtle shift Of his position on Knapp and Cozens? To refresh,he lambasted Rube for picking Cozens in the second round, continued to bash him when he visited and watched Lakewood play, and now has him as his sleeper!

    Regarding Knapp, Law lauded Knapps bat coming out of the draft and had repeatedly been high on his hit tool. Now, with Knapp coming off an amazing offensive year in Reading, Law says his bat will only play as a back up in the show.

    In the words of Colonel Klink, “interesting, very interesting”……..

    1. national pundits are short sighted and nobody are calling them off for their own inconsistencies. i honestly believe that these so called ESPN experts can only impress “casual fans”. even jayson stark, i will only listen to him when it comes to stats, but for best evaluation, there are better sources out there.

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