Open Discussion: Week of May 9th

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

The Phillies are a 18-14 after a 3-4 week on the road in Saint Louis and Miami.  They have an 11-3 record in one-run games.

They still have the 4th best record in the National League.

The Phillies continue to get good starting pitching, good relief pitching, adequate defense, and timely hitting.

They are playing much better than I expected.  So, I’ll continue to enjoy and appreciate the good things that have happened to the Phillies so far this season.

I noted in another article that the Dunedin Blue Jays have released former Phillies’ outfielder Michael Bourn.

Prior Week’s Transactions:  

  • 5/7 – Reading Fightin Phils activated C Jorge Alfaro from the 7-day disabled list.
  • 5/7 – Matt Hockenberry assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Clearwater Threshers.
  • 5/7 – Lakewood BlueClaws activated C Deivi Grullon from the 7-day disabled list.
  • 5/7 – Joel Fisher assigned to Phillies Ext. Spring Training from Lakewood BlueClaws.
  • 5/6 – Gregory Infante assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 5/6 – Edubray Ramos assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Reading Fightin Phils.
  • 5/4 – Lakewood BlueClaws activated 1B Brendon Hayden from the 7-day disabled list.
  • 5/3 – Reinier Roibal assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Reading Fightin Phils.
  • 5/3 – Samuel Hiciano assigned to Clearwater Threshers from Lakewood BlueClaws
  • 5/2 – Clearwater Threshers placed CF Herlis Rodriguez on the 7-day disabled list.
  • 5/2 – Alberto Tirado assigned to Phillies Ext. Spring Training from Lakewood BlueClaws.
  • 5/2 – LHP Tyler Gilbert assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Phillies Ext. Spring Training.
  • Rosters are up to date here.

120 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of May 9th

  1. The Mets should be the team to beat in the division. Anytime the Nats lose makes my day. Getting swept this wknd made my week. That’s a veteran roster that’s built to implode when a couple things go awry. If we can beat the weaker sisters in the league, summer at CBP should be a lotta fun.

      1. It is an old saying that I am familiar with. “Weak Sisters” referred to the teams that were not to put up a fight because they were not as strong. Not used so much now but had always been an accepted term.

      2. From the OED:

        “In the translations of the Bible from Tyndale onward, used to render Greek ἀσθενής, ἀσθενῶν, applied by St. Paul (esp. in Rom. xiv and 1 Cor. viii) to believers whose scruples, though unsound, should be treated with tenderness, lest they should be led by the example of the more enlightened into acts condemned by their conscience. Hence allusively in weaker brethren (often supposed to be a scriptural phrase), applied to the more timorous members of a party, who are in danger of being shocked by extreme statements of principle or policy; weak sister (colloq., orig. U.S.), an ineffectual or unreliable person (of either sex); a person of weak character”

        1. OT: William Tyndale was executed (burned at the stake)by the church for committing the blasphemous act of translating Bibles into english for distibution to the public. His execution date is the same as my birthday.

  2. The Phillies continue to win despite weak hitting and suspect relief pitching (on paper). They are 4 games over .500 with a -27 run differential. A lot of things have to go well and the most opportune time. I remember years where it was the other way. They weren’t winning the close ones but they had a few blowouts wins. I think I like this better. Every time the lose, my first thought is, here we go… an 8 or 10 game losing streak. I think MacKanin has created the perfect atmosphere for this team. Stay loose and have fun. They seem to fight their way back from deficits and believe in each other, even though the roster is full of sub-.200 hitters with little to no power. I like it!

  3. Phillies are keeping games close, which is way better to watch than last season when we were out of it by the 3rd inning.

  4. I continue to enjoy watching the big club which is a surprise to me. I don’t expect the wins to continue but I like seeing players grow and improve who might be here for the long haul. Cesar and Galvis have both gotten big hits and Herrera certainly has star potential. Rupp is looking like a serviceable catcher which is good too. In my mind, I’m not rushing guys up from the minors unless they earn it. TJ is the only bat hitting that well at AAA and he and Ruf could swap spots if the current conditions remain the same for this month. Williams is not ready and neither is JP. Knapp clearly is struggling and will stay where he is. The pitchers have all had some adversity so we’ll see how they respond. No rush there either. Reading plays two 11:30 games this week and Groome next Monday night at Camden. Fun baseball opportunities.

    1. Agree, Murray. Joseph warrants a call up by June 1 BUT my one concern is will he get enough playing time with Howard still around? Don’t want ANY young prospects sitting half the games.

      1. I agree 100%. Any prospects that are promoted need to be playing the majority of the time.

      2. I am completely fine with Joseph starting vs lefties and Howard vs rightys, and maybe seeing if u can get joseph a few extra starts here and there. I don’t think he needs to play 7 days a week. I’d rather his play 3 or 4 a week in the majors than every day in the minors. Gotta see what we have in him. I’d go with the platoon for now and then really hope that an AL team sees that Howards bat could help them towards a playoff push.

  5. Does anybody know when Eagles tickets go on sale? Looking at what happened last year, it should be coming up soon. And yes, the odds of me actually getting tickets are slim to none…

  6. I think teams have found the way to beat the nats. Walk harper. and pitch to rest of team. Until they start hitting, it seems the way to go.

    1. rocco….why walk him and waste three pitch counts…just plunk him with a slow slurvy salacious curve ball…remember Cole’s indoctrination to him 4 years ago?

      1. Yeah, I remember. After being hit with two outs, Harper went first-to-third on a Jason Werth single to LF (Juan Pierre) and stole home. He handled that indoctrination well. As well as the post game interview. When told that Hamels hit him intentionally, I think his response was, “Cool!”.

  7. I’ve worked out what I wanted to do for my stats. Since Tim informed me about the mlbfarm website, I won’t send Jim my full list of season totals for the team unless he requests it.

    My Methodology:
    Basically I wanted to take BABIP completely out of the stats so the randomness of the SSS results in the season is reduced. I also add Stolen bases to ISO, and subtract Caught Stealing from expected hits. I am using OOI (OBP + OBP + ISO) rather than OPS.

    I thought I could include the farm leaders in these adjusted stats every time the open discussion opens up, which I think provides us with a better understanding of who’s really having a good season, not just a lucky one. I also wanted to include SB and CS seamlessly into these stats, which I believe gives a more overall picture of a player’s value.

    Any and all criticisms are welcome.

    Adjusted OOI (min. 55 AB):
    Dylan Cozens 1.122
    Scott Kingery 1.024
    Tommy Joseph .989
    Jake Fox .970
    Roman Quinn .968
    J.P. Crawford .958
    Mitch Walding .919
    Brock Stassi .912
    Josh Tobias .873
    Angelo Mora .870

    Players with biggest positive OBP -> adj.OBP change
    Gabriel Lino
    Jiandido Tromp
    Scott Kingery

    Players with biggest negative OBP -> adj. OBP change
    Josh Tobias
    Tommy Joseph
    Zach Coppola

    For reference, the OOI for our phavorite phillies:
    Odubel Herrera .984
    Maikel Franco .827

    1. Speaking of Herrera, his rule 5 successor Tyler Goeddel should get more time if the club wants to really “find out” about him. Bourjos will survive being late inning D replacement. We know what he is. The sooner we see what Goeddel can do the sooner we can start looking at prospects like Cozens and Williams.

      We’re still an above .500 team, so let’s take our time but not waste it.

      1. I think, in a perfect world, Peter Bourjos is cut in the next month or so. If they promote or acquire any real hitters to speak of, I don’t see why you need both Goeddel and Bourjos on the same roster – Goeddel can field fine and has more upside going forward (probably not this year, but in a year or two) – either of them are perfectly capable of making outs in 85% of their at bats.

        1. And you can throw Emmanuel Buriss (not a major league player – it’s that simple) and Darin Ruf right in there too. Ruf might get a little longer to break the doldrums, but his string has all but run out.

          And while we discuss hitters someone needs to free Andres Blanco – right now, he’s one of the best 3 or 4 hitters on the team. If they are serious about winning, he would start at least 70 percent of the games – hopefully more.

          1. I think we all know what Goeddel can do right now and what he is capable of. The question is “Can he become a MLB player”? He should stay on the club all year be cause I think there is something there. Can the coaches turn him into a MLB player in the next year or two? I think it is worth the chance. But he will fail on most situations currently. But it might pay off living through his growing pains.

            1. Matt Klentak took Featherston last year….and this year Tyler Goeddel in the Rule 5.
              I get the sense that he prefers a defensive leaning player first with , with speed, some bat contact ability then lastly power.
              Not a Jabari Blash guy, however last I looked had a rather low slash of..130/ .259/ .174/ .433.
              Goeddel will probably end up at LHV next season for more seasoning.

            2. I’m not sure his performance can exceed what we already have on the farm. I do agree with you on Bourjos and Burriss, well that is a no-brainer.

  8. With a “favorable” schedule ahead:
    Atlanta 3 away and 3 home
    Miami 3 home
    Cincinnati 3 home
    Detroit 3 away (a below.500 club)
    before heading to Wrigley and perhaps back to Reality at the end of May, let’s see if we can win these series and stay relevant in an otherwise unimpressive NL besides the Cubs and Mets. (No I won’t mention Washington)

    1. Good outlook. After the dust settles in these five series I see the 18-14 team at 28-19. I also see TJ coming up in the midst of this run with two HRs.

        1. rocco….the $439M Powerball winner was in Trenton from Saturday…. I think DMAR was the winner.

          1. Romus there is no clear number one. What the hell do they do? We could get a stiff with the kids out there this year. Lewis scares me. just on the little I have read. They better start losing. or we wont get a top ten next year.

            1. rocco…LOL….chill….someone will emerge from the depths. Could even be the next Christian Yelich….Mickey Moniak! 🙂

        2. naa…my prognostication expertise is limited to baseball…see Romus for that.

  9. Today, the Phillies sent LHP Mario Hollands on a rehab assignment to the Clearwater Threshers; and RHP Michael Mariot on a rehab assignment to the Reading Fightin Phils.

  10. Thompson was supposed to pitch tonight for Lehigh Valley, but didn’t. I hope he’s not injured…

  11. Just got to El Paso for work and saw the Chihauhas were playing so got a ticket. Turns out they are playing Fresno – weirdly the CA team is affiliated with the Astros and the TX team with the Padres. Funny to notice Jon Singleton DHing for the Fresno team and batting 6th, hitting .222 in AAA this year. Who would have thought the day the Phils traded him he’d be playing in AAA in 2016 and struggling. Really a great reminder about prospects.

  12. Alfaro 3-4 rbi double tonight. JP also doubled and scored and as usual figured in the mix although he did commit his 6th error.

  13. ….and check off Strasburg from our free agent list. He’s supposed to sign 7yr extension with the Nats…..other fish in the sea.

    1. Yes I posted this in discussion. Washington back loaded another contract. I just think they will be in trouble with all the back load money someday.

  14. On Tommy Joseph – “There’s an opportunity here, if he can swing the bat and play the position”

    “We don’t really have a first baseman at the upper levels.” – Scott Proefrock

    “Uh-oh” – Brock Stassi and Rys Hoskins

    1. The longer the Phils wait to bring TJ up, I think it indicates the more serious they are about him being a legit 1B prospect. If they are thinking of giving him a long term look as an everyday player, they would want to keep him in AAA longer to have sustained success and improve his defense.

    2. That comment was from last October so it doesn’t real apply to Hoskins. Stassi is a career minor league guy.

    1. 76 2011 Philadelphia Phillies 1594 1567 1569 1577
      128 1977 Philadelphia Phillies 1583 1556 1568 1569
      182 2010 Philadelphia Phillies 1575 1544 1570 1563
      198 1976 Philadelphia Phillies 1576 1560 1548 1562
      235 2009 Philadelphia Phillies 1567 1548 1559 1558
      298 2008 Philadelphia Phillies 1564 1536 1564 1554
      316 1916 Philadelphia Phillies 1564 1542 1552 1552
      394 1978 Philadelphia Phillies 1555 1542 1545 1547
      438 1917 Philadelphia Phillies 1552 1537 1544 1545
      453 1915 Philadelphia Phillies 1556 1527 1548 1544
      542 2005 Philadelphia Phillies 1548 1523 1548 1540
      574 1980 Philadelphia Phillies 1545 1525 1545 1538

  15. 577 1950 Philadelphia Phillies 1553 1534 1527 1538
    610 1993 Philadelphia Phillies 1547 1535 1529 1537
    622 1952 Philadelphia Phillies 1546 1517 1546 1537
    666 1983 Philadelphia Phillies 1548 1518 1537 1534

  16. ’83 World Series team ranked #666
    ’93 World Series Team #610
    ’50 World Series team #577

    And the 1980 Champs rated lower than the 2005 team?!

    1. The ’80 team was similar to the past year’s Royals team that doesn’t fair well on projection systems. They caught the ball at every position, didn’t hit for a lot of power (outside of Schmidt and Luzinski), didn’t have great starting Pitching (outside of Carlton) and had a good bull-pen. It think the power and starting Pitching hold their ratings down.

    2. I’d be interested to know if there is a cutoff point somewhere that teams with really high ELO scores stopped walking away with a WS Championship. I’m thinking at some point when the playoff’s started adding teams it would have deteriorated for those teams.

      Better lucky than good perhaps!

  17. We should be feeling fortunate right now. The Red Sox have Sean O’Sullivan starting for them tonight.

  18. Amazing how the nationals keep signing guys, with deferred contracts. It will have to catch up to them some day. amazing. Wonder if they do the same with Harper?

    1. Yes they have talent but don’t know how to manage it nor their financial resources. Not a good organization in my opinion. If they do the same for Harper, how will they pay anybody else. They obviously haven’t paid attention to the division rival north of them….
      but that’s okay.

      1. how much longer do they have to eat Werth’s contract? It already prevented them from keeping Jordan zimmerman

    2. Nats owner is something like 150 years old :). His only concern is winning now, someone else will have to deal with the deferred contracts.

    1. Gio’s has a couple option years also….but his is less than $10M annum.
      And Murphy’s is only about $12M annum for three years.

  19. Strasburg will get paid until 2030 with this contract. 15 MILLION thru 2023 then 10 million for next 7 years. unreal. So he will be getting 10 million plus whatever contract he signs in 2023. This team with these contracts could have a ton of money on books. for players not on team. nuts

  20. SEE When you play teams like the Braves you can win with timely Hitting and good pitching . The Phillies schedule for the next 20 games is all Brave like teams. I’d really like to see the Owners if the Phillies go 10 games over .500 and are in 1st place. We weren’t Hmmmmmm well prepared for ahhhhh well to win . We may have to bring so players up and might sign the next international impact player .

  21. It’s funny. Two guys are kind of slipping under the radar who should not. Adam Morgan is back. Two years after having shoulder surgery, his velocity is just about fully back to pre-surgery levels – this is encouraging as his shoulder surgery was not structural – it was to move a nerve in his shoulder that was becoming inflamed. Last night he was on. Throwing in the low 90s, touching 93 and 94 (at least twice!). He is back to having solid mid-rotation potential. When a team rebuilds, it needs some luck – I think Morgan’s recovery counts as a little bit of good luck.

    The second guy we need to pay attention to is Ben Lively. He’s a good pitcher. I’m pretty well convinced he could pitch just fine in the big leagues right now. His upside is not as high as Eflin or Appel, but I think he’s farther along in his development than those two pitchers (put another way, I think Eflin and Appel may have more to gain by staying in the minors and continuing to work on their stuff and their command). And by the way, Lively is not a soft tosser – he may sit 92 or so, but he regularly hits 93, 94 and I think sometimes, 95. I’m a fan. He will have a major league career (although it might not be with the Phillies) and that was a good trade on the team’s part.

    1. I like Morgan and Lively for the depth they should provide but don’t figure either of them into the future rotation. Hopefully they will have value at big league level as spot starters/long relievers.

    2. Maybe the Reds will take him back for the 1st Comp Balance pick (Round A) next month…pick 35…its slot money is also worth $1.8M

    3. I agree with you totally. I think it’s time to move Lively up and release Buchannan. The concern is that Buchannan is next man up right now so they would need to decide who would be the “6th” starter without Buchannan, IF they needed one.

      1. Buchanan and Severino may be DFAed shortly from the 40, if TJ, Perkins and/or Holland need be added.

      2. Buchanan is a poor man’s Kyle Kendrick. Why teams bring up the known commodity simply because he’s already on the 40man roster….I know why but it’s so hard to watch.

  22. A Trout to Sox rumor:
    “For some reason, a number of otherwise solid media types are writing about the Angels trading Mike Trout. ….(and) that Red Sox honcho Dave Dombrowski is just the right kind of wheeler-dealer with the trade chips to pull it off. One goofy scenario has ‘Double D’ packaging Jackie Bradley, Jr., Yoan Moncada, Rafael Devers and Blake Swihart for Trout. After the Angels stopped laughing, they’d probably ask for Mookie Betts or Xander Bogaerts as well—or possibly Anderson Espinoza. The bottom line is that despite Dombrowski’s history, despite Boston’s rich prospect pool, and despite John Henry’s deep pockets, this ain’t happening, folks.”
    ……………………
    I wonder what the Phillies would have to give up for that to materialize!

    1. The boat Herrera , Quinn because there on need for them. VV , Eflin , Knapp plus the 1.1 . Neris .

      1. I think four players would make the Angels think about it a little…..Nola, Franco, Herrera and Williams.
        But if they then ask for Matt Stairs in the broadcast booth….deals off.

    2. LAA Farm is barren so the number of prospects to be received by LAA might make them consider. Phils can start with Doobie + Eickhoff + Goeddel (players that Phils got almost free) + 1.1 this year + Appel (another 1.1 which LAA might overvalue). Then 2 of Lively, Eflin, Pivetta, Richy or Imhoff + Canelo + 2 of Pujols, Sandberg, Brown, Tocci. Then add a couple of below A guys or RPs (JDT, Nunez, Munoz) in high minors for good measure.

      So all in all that’s 2 MLB and 8 (or 10) prospects or 10-12 players for Trout. Hopefully, LAA will look towards the quantity over quality and see Doobie to develop as an All-Star player.

      1. KuKo….I am not sure LAA is interested in getting their farm system high on the BA/BP/Fangraph boards with a bunch of prospects years away or TINSTAAPP tier two types..
        They may want ready made MLB players of AAA guys ready to go soon.

    1. Revise: Give them one of our major league arms, Herrera and any 5 prospects except JP and Alfaro.

    1. i already got my suspicion when Red Sox signed some high end talent for $300k bargain last july — it’s either savvy negotiation skills or it’s just cheating is now a way of life in boston sports scene.

      1. MLB is also at fault…….just establish a draft and be done with it.
        Doesn’t have to be an elaborate large thing…..maybe 2-rounds, 60 picks, two for each team, slot money same as Rule 4 one thru sixty….then let all the other UDFA kids sign with whomever they please at whatever price. Let the scouts do their thing for the draft.

        1. the problem is MLB is also a business so money talks. i think big market teams with deep pockets will stone wall it and the small market teams will just keep their eyes closed, otherwise, they might lose their extra comp pick in Rule IV draft.

          maybe Trump (#justhavingfun) can force himself as MLB Commissioner if he loses his President bid and make change like this to happen.

      2. So I am having an exchange with a Red Sox fan on this subject, he says whats the big deal, Package deals have been going on long before the bonus money rules came into effect. I say the ones they are investigating are from 2015-2016, after the rules went into effect. Its exchanging money between parties that is a pretty big “red sox flag” Interesting when a person reads something like that and cannot grasp that its wrong

        1. sdchpl……that Red Sox fan doesn’t want to believe that his team…..which also was under the penalty of the $300k restriction… decided to iniquitously circumvent the rule and pursue their own direction.
          The Phillies are one of the large market teams that ‘play within the lines’.

    2. Speaking of LA players Romus what the number on the Phillies international slot Value . Never mind they have to be in on more LA players then 2.

  23. Teams like the Red Sox, Angels, and Nationals operate under self-imposed pressure to make hasty ‘win now’ decisions (from Pujols to Werth to the Panda). They are not positioned to sustain success because often they flame out fast. Cardinals, Giants, more recently the Cubs and now hopefully the Phillies are plodding steady courses. The international market (IMO) is a case of throwing as much mud against the wall and seeing what sticks. The better organizations make more prudent evaluations.

    1. Some may say teams that have broken the rules and have been penalized are ‘cheating’ the system and integrity of the sport.
      The Dodgers, Giants, Cubs, and Royals are serving two-year $300K+ signing bans beginning in 2016-17. The Blue Jays will face a one-year limitation period for the coming market. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks, Angels, Rays, Red Sox and Yankees are set to finish out their own pair of signing seasons on the sidelines, but will be able to re-enter the market fully for 2017-18.
      So that is 10 teams just in the past three years, that have decided to push the envelope and find loop-holes to ‘work’ the system.

      1. And guess what…..the money they cannot use in their slots one thru four due to their penalties…..they then trade that money for prospects, like the D-Backs did last year with the Phillies.
        The system promotes cheating IMO.

  24. Mackanin has done a nice job this season. I just don’t understand why he pinch hit Ruf tonight when we needed baserunners and a rally. Lough and Blanco were better choices. A real head scratcher. Oh, and bye Darin.

  25. Hoping that this home stand brings about some changes in the corners. consider the Cubs lead all of baseball with a .368 OBP the Phillies dead last with a .282.

    Consider only 2 regular line-up guys have an OBP above .300. Herrera at .450 and Cesar at .303 that is unacceptable.

    Your 3-4 right now .281 and .243.

    Blanco Ruiz and Lough are your only other position players above .300 in part time roles. Absolutely unacceptable in today’s game.

    1. DMAR…..O’bel keeps it coming. …cannot get over the fact his BABIP is now over .400, though only 150 PAs…..but, which under most circumstances is entirely unsustainable.
      He seems to be an outlier of sorts.
      He could eventually end up being one hose stars that only go by and are known by their first names.

      1. HaHa! It really is a mindset with Odubel. He has simply made up his mind that he is not going to get himself out swinging at balls outside the zone.

        Isn’t BABIP a product of what you choose to swing at?

        1. Yes it is. But then again, if you are not swinging, you are not hitting.
          What odubel has going for him, is that he legs out many grounders. Both to the left and right side of the diamond. So his BABIP will still be decent. I really thought however, it would regress at least 30 points lower than his .387 of last year.

        1. Big mansion. beautiful wife. Almost two hundred million in earnings. I think I could enjoy that. Warm weather. money and a mansion. trophy wife. not bad for hitting a baseball.

          1. Don’t begrudge him at all. Happy for him.

            No reason for him to be in a Phillies uniform at all anymore though.

  26. I wish that franco would stop trying to hit everything 400 ft. He is so much better than that. His obp isn’t what it should be. I never remember seeing a lineup with so many guys with low obp. Romus tommy joseph when we got him. was it his hit tool that made him such a great prospect. I don’t remember.

    1. rocco….yep.
      Banged out 38HRs in less than 1000 PAs in his first few season in the minors.

  27. Why don’t we get Adam Wainwright for our RF he has upper deck power and a great arm. We should also use VV as a pitch hitter.

  28. Nice article when will you fire your stolen base coach he isn’t doing his job. The players that do have speed are being caught . Where r u Davey Lopez ? .

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