Open Discussion: Week of May 16th

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

The Phillies are 22-16 after a 4-2 week.   They took 2 of 3 in Atlanta and returned home to win 2 of 3 against Cincinnati.  They have a 14-3 record in one-run games.

They now have the 3rd best record in the National League and are second in the division a half-game ahead of the Mets.  They picked up two games during the week and trail the Nationals by one game.

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

They are still 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.

Well, except for this.  The Phillies finally called Tommy Joseph up to the big team.  He played Friday, went 0-2 with a walk and 2 strike outs, and was replaced by Andres Blanco for defensive purposes in the eighth inning.  Then he sat both Saturday and Sunday.  I understand the anti-Ruf sentiment from most of you here, I but don’t understand how anyone can expect better from Joseph.  He’s a first base only player (and not a particularly good defensive first baseman).  He’ll get less opportunities than Ruf since he can’t play another position (Ruf got 6 of his 14 starts in left field).  Joseph batted everyday in Lehigh and we don’t know how he’ll react to occasional starts in a platoon with the new aspect of pinch hitting duties tossed in.  Hoping for the best, but color me skeptical.

Prior Week’s Transactions:  

  • Rosters are up to date here.
  • 5/14 – Venn Biter assigned to Phillies Ext. Spring Training from Lakewood BlueClaws.
  • 5/14 – CF Carlos Duran assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 5/13 – Lehigh Valley IronPigs activated 2B Carlos Alonso from the 7-day disabled list.
  • 5/13 – Sent LF Cody Asche on a rehab assignment to Clearwater Threshers.
  • 5/13 – Optioned Darin Ruf to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 5/13 – Selected the contract of Tommy Joseph from Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 5/12 – Jose Antequera sent to Extended Spring Training from Clearwater Threshers.
  • 5/12 – Samuel Hiciano added to Clearwater Threshers from XST.
  • 5/12 – Lakewood BlueClaws released RHP Mitch Gueller.
  • 5/12 – Lakewood BlueClaws released RHP Anthony Sequeira.
  • 5/12 – Edgar Garcia assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from GCL Phillies.
  • 5/12 – RHP Sutter McLoughlin assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 5/11 – Samuel Hiciano sent to Extended Spring Training from Clearwater Threshers.
  • 5/11 – Andrew Pullin added to Clearwater Threshers from XST.
  • 5/11 – Philadelphia Phillies signed free agent OF Andrew Pullin to a minor league contract.
  • 5/11 – Reading Fightin Phils placed RF Christian Marrero on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to May 9, 2016.
  • 5/9 – Sent RHP Michael Mariot on a rehab assignment to Reading Fightin Phils from Clearwater Threshers.
  • 5/9 – Sent LHP Mario Hollands on a rehab assignment to Clearwater Threshers.
  • 5/9 – RHP Matt Hockenberry assigned to Clearwater Threshers from Reading Fightin Phils.
  • 5/9 – Mark Leiter activated by Clearwater Threshers and assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Clearwater Threshers.
  • 5/9 – Clearwater Threshers added Drew Stankiewicz to the 7-Day DL retroactive to May 7th.
  • 5/9 – Jose Antequera assigned to Clearwater Threshers from GCL Phillies.

68 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of May 16th

  1. Agree about Joseph. What’s the point if he’s going to sit. Fortunately Miami is scheduled to throw lefties the 1st 2 games coming up.

  2. If Joseph is only going to play against lefties, there’s no way he’ll get enough at bats to be effective. Hopefully he’ll hit enough to get some opportunities against righties too.

  3. Yeah I don’t like bringing Joseph up just to platoon. He needs defensive reps at first and really juat needs to consistently get at bats since he’s missed so much time.

    1. I think Eflin is farther along than either Thompson or Asher at this point. However once Morgan gets his demotion, I’m not opposed to any of those 3 since they’re all progressing. Morgan will likely get a few more starts even if he continues to struggle.

      1. Morgan’s prior start was excellent. He only threw 90/91 yesterday after throwing harder his previous start. Hopefully, he’s healthy and just had a bit of dead arm yesterday. Everyone needs to remember we’re in a rebuild and just relax. Eflin and Thompson, thankfully, are getting closer to being ready but there’s no rush. After the all star break, things will start to move in the system. Not before, barring injury

        1. Repectfully, I disagree with your overall premise. While rebuilds generally mean no shot at a postseason, while we don’t know how long this amazing run might last, the team should do everything it can to keep it going and not concede to .500 or worse or be looking at the All Star break. They have to be smart and proactive on Morgan. He came into yesterday with an over 6 ERA. His next start must be an effective one or they need to swap him with one of Asher, Thompson or Eflin (in that order of preference). Eickhoff also needs to show he can be effective like he was; may need to let him develop his repretiore in the minors.

          I’d like to see Joesph playing 3/4 of the time. It is way overdue to phase out Howard.

          And its time to move Lively to AAA and make Buchanan a long reliever.

          1. Morgan came in with a 3.94 ERA, now over 6. Still, I stand by my premise. Morgan’s upside is a 4-5 starter. I see better than that with the AAA trio – something closer to Nola potential.

            1. Talking about the upside of the three AAA pitchers and the need to win now in the same breath is contradictory. A young pitcher might not reach his upside if he is rushed to the bigs too soon. They should stay in the minors until they are ready to face MLB hitters.

              Besides, it’s not like Morgan is Jerome Williams … personally, I’m interested to see if the velocity is here to stay. If so, it makes him nearly as interesting as the others IMO. Don’t forget we were all calling him Baby Cliff Lee on this very site a few years ago.

        1. Actually he’s had 2 or 3. If he were projected as a future fixture in the rotation I would be bummed. This is part of the process. Find out about a guy and go from there. Fortunately we have Eflin, Thompson, Lively, Pinto and later Kilome to find out about, and they’re projections are higher than Morgan’s. It’s OK. He’s gonna get a few more turns but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    1. So, Galvis or Ruf? My guess is Galvis.

      “When a Phils batter grounds out weakly, I ask if the player, one the team has been nurturing for some time, will ever become a good hitter. Middleton groans: ‘No.'”

  4. I’ll break this week up based on league, and give the adjusted OOI team leaders for each:

    Min (60 AB)
    AAA:
    Tommy Joseph 0.911642743
    Andrew Knapp 0.900772201
    Brock Stassi 0.872290671
    Cedric Hunter 0.811955168
    T. Featherston 0.784367246
    Cam Perkins 0.738351254
    David Lough 0.733846154
    Nick Williams 0.711016949

    AA:
    Dylan Cozens 1.046008403
    Jake Fox 0.968236074
    J.P. Crawford 0.882792138
    Angelo Mora 0.837235984
    Roman Quinn 0.791621912
    Rhys Hoskins 0.763487797

    Jorge Alfaro 0.72172619

    A+:
    Scott Kingery 0.866215427
    Mitch Walding 0.842743491
    Malq. Canelo 0.788257062
    D. Stankiewicz 0.779969766
    Chace Numata 0.74952381
    Zach Green 0.735261708
    C. Sandberg 0.732596816
    Kyle Martin 0.702172494
    Carlos Tocci 0.67535497

    A:
    D. Tomscha 0.959942979
    Josh Tobias 0.869637082
    Jose Pujols 0.830625403
    Jian. Tromp 0.789151802
    Deivi Grullon 0.784067293
    C. Randolph 0.745185185 (50 AB)
    Emm.l Marrero 0.668697614

    Takeaways:
    Knapp and Kingery are doing better than the general stats indicate.
    Cozens is probably the real deal in AA, and not getting lucky.
    That Reading team has some hitters.
    Alfaro isn’t doing bad, but he’s low on the list because the whole team is great.

  5. Mike Leake comp my a&&

    1. So far this season Nola has pitched like 1 and Velasquez has pitched like a 2 with room for further growth. The starting pitching in the minors has been great. Lively could pitch in the majors right now and he would be just fine.

      1. catch…IMO, Phillies will be shutting down Velasquez at some point this season.
        I realized that:
        1. He has never in his lifetime pitched more than 125 innings in one baseball season…and he currently is up to 44 and does go 6/7 innings most outings now, so 15-17 more stars may be it.
        2. He is TJ.guy…though it is 5 years removed, there still may be a shelf-life to consider.
        3. His age of 24 in June…he still is young and this may not be the year to push his limit.
        My guess is at the 150/160 innings mark they shut him down.

        1. This makes even more sense considering the number of starters who could be in line for promotions from LHV by the end of the season.

    2. I was so wrong with Nola. I was so against the Phillies drafting him, I wanted Jeff Hoffman. And I completely bought the Leake comp. I’m so glad I was wrong. Having said that, I cant stand Puk, so maybe that means he’s going to become great?

      1. I was not a nola fan either. Though he would give up a lot of homers. But he so far has proven me wrong too. The way he is throwing right now is to me unreal. he can paint the corners with his pitches. Just never though he could

        1. if there was one thing we knew he could do it was paint the corners. We just didn’t expect K rate to be this high.

  6. I said on Friday I feared they would bring Joseph up to not trust him with regular playing time. So sad so peculiar…

      1. No doubt Romus but that doesn’t address what appears to be a systemic problem in the roster mgmt right now.

        1. Klentak does have a temporary ‘hands-are- tied’ affect with Howard….but that could change in less than two months. That could create a domino effect if Howard is moved off the roster..

        2. Agree. We’ve been hearing Ryan’s Song for the last 2 yrs. It’s old. Only an AL contender will show the least bit of interest in Howard. That narrows the possibilities considerably. Not sure what’s holding MacPhail (he’d make this call) from cutting him loose.

          1. ….but watch he’ll hit a couple of bombs his next start and the flicker is rekindled. Sadly

          2. If he’s released, he is not able to sign with another team for the remainder of the season. That’s a fairly classless thing to do to a guy who has hit 365 HR over 12+ seasons and won a World Series with the franchise. He’s a shell of his former self, yes, but let’s not minimize the fact that he’s got 8 HR on a team that is almost completely bereft of power.

            There’s a chance an AL team takes him if the Phils cover all the money — IF he keeps on hitting balls out of the park. I think it’s more likely he is on the team in September.

            1. Klentak has experience in this area. He was with the Angels when they had to maneuver to get rid of Vernon Wells. And while I’m not in favor of doing Ryan dirty I also don’t see why his name is being written in the line-up as much as it is.

              It seems to me they are making this toxic effort to try and prove to someone he still has value.

            2. Honcho, I agree with you on the class thing to do. Correct me if I’m wrong but if the Phillies don’t find a trade partner by the deadline and release him, I’m understanding that any team can get him for league minimum while the Phillies still pay the balance of his contract.

            3. DMAR….if he isn’t trade to an AL team in July, they may just give him the month of September ‘off’, when call ups are enacted and rosters expanded.
              Then buy him out in November for the $10M after the season is officially completed.

            4. @ 8mark: I dont think he’d be free to sign until the end of the season. Its a moot point however; if someone wants him on their roster for free, and the phils are willing enough to eat the $ to make it happen, then a deal would get done. The question to this point is whether any other teams think he is worth the roster spot.

            5. If any player is released he can sign with any other team for a pro-rated league minimum salary for the remainder of the season and the Phillies are required to pay the rest of his salary. If the pro-rated amount is $150K, the Phillies save $150K over the balance of the season.

    1. my too early changes are
      slide Appel down to the bottom of the top 10
      put Cozens in top 10 somehow- maybe in Knapp’s spot
      Lively and Pujols in 10-15 range moving Tocci and Hoskins way down

      1. Standard for me is to re-rank the top 30 after the June Draft and after the cross cutters get to playing some games.

        I like to have time for hot and cold starts to normalize…

  7. JP Arencibia just released by Phillies at his request. Wonder what chain of moves that will start, if any. If Rupp was gonna miss any time, a guy like him would be useful.

    1. Sounds like they think Rupp will be ok in a couple days. I was a bit surprised that they didn’t move Lino up to Reading despite his struggles at the plate. Thought he might be a good backup for Alfaro. Hopefully Moore can help Knapp improve his defensive game.

  8. Ben lively to the bigs ala Kyle Kendrick??? no need to face journeymen and AAAA never will be players at LHV ???

    1. What? No, Lively will not be going to the majors any time soon. The question for the day though is who is the 3rd catcher. I assumed it was Arencibia but he must have been told that it wasn’t. Rupp might need a DL stint. Who would go up now? Logan Moore?

  9. Good insight here on the next pitchers to be called up. I’d be for dumping Hellickson at the trade deadline or moving him to the BP to make room for some of the young pitchers as well.

    Goedell has played his way in recent games into the everyday lineup and will be a good platoon with Asche. Bourjos needs to be let go. I’d support calling up Cam Perkins to see what’s there.

    With JP Arencia out, does that bring Knapp up if Rupp is injured?

    1. I think letting players learn to win is infinitely more important that picking up fringe AA pitcher for Hellickson.

  10. Looks like Phillies have decided to change ViVe’s pitch selections/usage from what they were in April to currently in May.
    4/16… 4Seamer-67.2%… 2Seamer-3.45% …ChangeUp-4.9%… Sldr- 4.6%… CB- 19.7
    5/16… 4Seamer-58.4……. 2Seamer-11.5… ..ChangeUp-7.1…….Sldr-11.7 …..CB- 11.0

    Apparently increasing his usage of the 2seamer indicates more of a pitch-to-contact philosophy to stay longer in the game. Just not sure. And they sliced his curve ball usage almost in half, I assume because it was ineffective and hitters were not chasing it or not thrown for strikes. Or perhaps his personal preference was for the slider over the curve ball.

  11. It’s outta here T J with his 1st. Congrats Why would you leave your hottest hitter in the 7 th hole ?

      1. Lol Hinkle nah it was the back to back they do it to ya all time. See when you bring up players that what you do hit the ball hard.ty TJ

  12. Mac better realize he not every bodies best friend . Burris has to be the worst pitch hitter in the league. Let VV hit he’s a better hitter.

    1. Cuban Corner OF 28 yr. old Yadiel Hernandez will probably sign soon. He doesn’t have a lot of power (projected to hit 10-15 Hrs a yr.) He hits for avg. and gets on base. LH hitter. Seems like someone who might be worth considering, since he does not have to be traded for. Question would be, how quickly could he play at major league level?

  13. Pay attention, front office. The Marlins pitcher Koehler (RH) just pitched to Howard (LH) so he could walk the slumping Franco (RH). And struck him out.

  14. Ryan is still being paid and given consideration for 2008, and it is way past time they just cut ties with him. He is terrible defensively, can’t hit .200, and does nothing for the future of the team. His occasional HRs are meaningless, and no one is going to want him in July. There is no reason that TJ should not have been out there today after a 3 hit game on a team that is awful offensively. He is taking a roster spot for no reason. I appreciate what he did for the organization but this has become ridiculous.

  15. With today’s win…if the Phillies go .475 the rest of the season they finish with a 81-81 record.

  16. I know that this isn’t the best spot for this but does anyone have an Email for Matt Wink?

    1. Yeah he actually blocked me on Twitter and I’m trying to figure out why. I’m always respectful to him.

  17. Ok probelm 1 Cesar Hernandez ops last among 2nd base , slg last , 5 cs is first . Blanco has more Hr , doubles , higher .ops . Oh Cesar batting 2nd has managed 11 runs 25 in the league. O WHERE HAZE YOU GONE Ultey, at least the person who sold you out is the 1st base COACH in Boston.2 Bourjos is 2nd to last in ops the Phillies are going better thanks to Goeddel in RF and lf. Move Goebbel up to second in the batting order move Cesar to 7th or on the bench and Blanco up to starter. Start Tj 5 days a week, Howard needs to set retirement date.

  18. The refreshing thing about Mackanin is that he acknowledges that Bourjos has to hit, but until he has a better option his D brings something to the table. Williams has certainly not hit enough yet to warrant a promotion, and I don’t think anyone is really anxious to see Asche back. That is probably the next move. They tried to claim Parades, but Toronto had a claim ahead of them. I don’t see much else happening for at least another month.

  19. The question is more whether or not Ache’s Offense is better enough than Bourjos’ to overcome the great disparity between Bourjos’ Defense and Asche’s.

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