Open Discussion: Week of August 15th

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

The Phillies completed another 4-2 week.  After dropping the first two games in Los Angeles, they won the getaway game and returned to CBP where they swept Colorado. They are off Monday, then complete their home stand with series against the Dodgers and Cardinals.  Their record stands at 56-63 (12-15 since the break).

The Phillies trail St. Louis by 6.5 games for the second wild card spot.  The teams ahead of them aren’t really playing that great lately.  In fact, only the Cubs and Nationals are playing great right now.  With all the injuries that teams are experiencing, and the flat play of some others, it’s not inconceivable that the Phillies could challenge for one of the wild card spots.  I still think it’s unlikely, but that’s more positive than I’ve been all season.

Back to reality.  The Phillies’ .471 winning percentage still gives them the 10th worst winning percentage. However, their sweep of the Rockies has brought them within a half game.  They are only one game behind the White Sox, two games behind the Royals.  The Mets are struggling to stay above .500, the Marlins suffered a crippling loss when Stanton went down for the rest of the season.  A protected, top ten pick is no longer assured.

The Phillies are flirting with that gray area between protected pick and playoffs.  The last time they finished in that range, they drafted J.P. Crawford 16th overall in 2013.  Draft picks that year who are still in the organization are –

  • 1/16 – J.P. Crawford
  • 2/53 – Andrew Knapp
  • 3/89 – Cord Sandberg
  • 3/96 – Jan Hernandez
  • 22/661 – Mark Leiter
  • 24/721 – Will Morris
  • 32/961 – Tyler Viza

 

187 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of August 15th

  1. As much as a protected pick is nice, who is really out there that we would sign that would cost us our pick? Cespedes? Hell no! Jansen? Highly doubtful. I do believe this offseason we should start acquiring some pieces, even if we have to overpay. Josh Reddick would be a nice piece. He’s easily a 3.5+ win player with 30-homer potential. Even though injury-prone, that’s still ok. We have pieces to fill in. I’d also like to grab Prado on a one or two-year overpay. He’s a great, versatile piece. And then since it’s not my money, let’s go out and get Chapman. Gomez, Ramos, Neris, Chapman. That’s strong. And if we decide we don’t him, eat some money and trade him. We’d essentially be paying for prospects. None of those guys would cost us a pick and would greatly help us get over the .500 hump with possibly more.

    1. Reddick is the one guy that had popped into my head as far as offense, because of no draft compensation, and the fact that none of our prospects seem to project as everyday right fielders. Could be the one veteran in the lineup and a lefty in the middle of Franco/Rupp/Joseph, and Altherr would get plenty of action as 4th outfielder against lefties and filling in the other slots.

      1. So who do you offer to the Dodgers for Reddick if he is not a FA?
        At his age, I do not think they traded for him as a two-month rental.
        With Puig headed out, Ethier they have been trying to unload also and once off the 60day he could be released, Scoot Van Syke is a 4th …Reddick would seem to be the guy that they would want to stay in one of their corners.

        1. Romus. Why do guys go to st Louis and have great years. Moss hit 217 in Cleveland last year. This year 20 homeruns and will get a good three year deal in free agency.

        2. that was based on him being a FA- if Dodgers re-sign him they cant trade him anyway. but they also have Verdugo looking like RF of future in AA.

          1. Teams can’t normally trade a newly signed free agent until after June 15 of the following season, unless the player gives written consent.

  2. I disagree with signing any OFs this off season. In 2017, the OF spots should go to some combo of Herrera, Altherr, Williams, and Quinn. I would also consider C (Rupp), 3B (Franco), and SS (Crawford) locked down for 2017.

    I would however consider a short term free agent (high risk, high reward type) at 2B, 1B, one starting pitcher, and one relief pitcher.

    I wouldn’t sign any of them beyond one year. For next year’s rotation, let’s hope Nola, Velasquez, and Eickhoff are locked in. After that, would be great for 2 of Thompson, Eflin, and Morgan to fill out the rotation, but considering the Nola and Eflin injuries, along with the performance of Morgan and the injury history of Velasquez, I wouldn’t rule out taking a chance on a free agent starter.

    1. Nola is unproven, Eickhoff is a five, Velasques has potential. but hurt too much, Morgan is bad. That why I love matt Klentak. He knows we need pitching .Right now your best starter is Hellickson. who is leaving. So if there is a top of rotation guy, go for it. now.

      1. Eickoff is a 5? I’m not saying hes an ace, but hes proven hes much more than a 5. Solid 3 who will eat innings in my opinion.

    2. If you are going to do that, you might as well just keep hell boy. thinking it is more and more likely he signs his non tender.

  3. Off season acquisitions should begin with pitching, both a top of the rotation guy AND a closer.

    Altherr, Williams and Quinn with Herrera as either trade bait or a platoon. (I’ve noticed Pete isn’t starting him vs lefties lately) The outfield isn’t a priority unless you’re looking at acquiring a real stud.

    1b is just not a premium position anymore and there are so few prototypical LH power bats. (Hey, the Piece may lead our late season resurgence this year!…..wouldn’t that be a story?…..I know I know)

    Freddy is fine at 2b when JP gets the call, until we’re set when Kingery is up in ’18.

    1. after the papelbon overpay and the low cost Gomez year, I would hope the new regime has learned that premium closers are a wasteful commodity. Especially where the team is now

      1. I think there is a real market inefficiency to exploit right now as it relates to relief pitching. Looking at what Houston gave up for Giles, Cleveland for Miller, and Chicago for Chapman, a strong, hard throwing closer can provide much greater value via trade than on the field. If there are any high risk high reward relief arms available via trade or free agency, I’d go get a few and roll the dice. If even one of them turns into a solid option, it could generate a good return.

        I’d really like to see Neris or Ramos get to close. They both have bigger arms than Gomez and either one could equal a big return if successful as a closer.

    2. 8mark…….’Off season acquisitions should begin with pitching, both a top of the rotation guy ‘….maybe the Cardinals would trade Alex Reyes for Jorge Alfaro to replace Yadier Molina and compete with Carson Kelly, and their choice of one of either Kilome or Ric Pinto. Reyes’ ceiling is ace.

      1. @romus – I like the trade but knowing the STL brass, they are very calculated. I can probably see them roll the dice on a solid veteran for 1-2 years until Carson Kelly is ready. I can see them asking for Rupp than Alfaro if it will cost them Alex Reyes.

        1. Possibly Rupp would serve their purpose and he enters his age28 season next year so he does have a few more years left. And I would think they would want one or two pitching prospects in return also. Kilome is one I am sure they would want and maybe one of the GCL arms for long term measures.

          1. @romus – yes, if the Phils will ask for Alex Reyes, STL will ask for a pitcher or two – one will be close to the majors and fill in the slot that Reyes will vacation (i.e. Lively) and another that will make up for the “ace” potential (i.e. Kilome, Medina).

            But if it’s for Rupp, I don’t see STL letting go of Alex Reyes but I’m ok with Marco Gonzalez or Dakota Hudson if the Phils can make it work.

        2. You like the trade? Alex Reyes for Jorge Alfaro… Say that a few times to yourself and see if it still makes sense to you…

          1. @anonymous – YES! I prefer Alex Reyes over Alfaro. I said it 100+ times and looked at myself in the mirror and nothing changed. Did I pass your test?

            1. No, you didn’t pass. Nobody is going to trade a top 10 prospect in baseball for two top 100 players, let alone one top 100 and a throw-in pitcher. The other team’s GM needs to keep a job too.

          2. Reyes is a top 10-20 prospect with a FV projection of 65. Alfaro is in the bottom half of the top 100 and has a FV projection of 55. I don’t think STL would do it, but an Alfaro for Reyes swap would be a steal.

            1. Otero96……quality catchers are the next best asset to obtain, next to starting pitchers. But who said it would be an Alfaro for Reyes straight up?
              Phillies would have to throw in pitching …ie Kilome and maybe someone like Gowdy from the GCL.
              That may get the Cardinals attention.

        3. Reyes like the 2nd rated Rhp pitcher in baseball. I would think more like Kilome and Sixto , VV, plus Alfaro . REYES doess have high risk tried to him. He just came off a drug suspension and his Fb command is below avg. His delivery he will leave him so will his control . Think is walk and hits per 9 went up AAA . The trick to him is don’t swing he can walk you at a chip over 4 per 9. When he in the stretch he comes more hittable that why the Cards put him in the pen. to see what they can figure out and help him with his control. That’s form my friend who’s a Hugh Cardinals fan. He did the Cards are very smart they and have planned the Molina replace months ago.

          1. lay off the liquor Tim.

            Kilome, Alfaro, Sixto Sanchez and Vincent Velasquez for alex reyes?

            I don’t know where to start if you think this is a good deal for the Phillies

  4. Our pitching is struggling to reach the finish line. Morgan, Klein, and Buchannan will be in our rotation in Sept. It’s hard to think that we’ll many games in Sept. The free agent we need, a legit #1 pitcher, doesn’t exist this year. No one else is out there. A trade is more likely.

  5. I wonder if the Phillies will extend their Player Development Contract with Lakewood after this year? It is due to expire after this season.
    I would think the Yankees (Charleston, SC) or the Mets (Columbia, SC) would live to get their low-A SALLY club in Lakewood and closer to their home fan base around NYC..
    LHV, Reading and Clearwater are givens. Williamsport also is a given, though theirs is also up after this season.

    1. Read a post couple weeks ago where someone mentioned Camden as a consideration to replace Lakewood or Williamsport. Wonder if that’s a real possibility.

      1. 8mark….Campbell Field is available. The team is part-owned by New-Jersey-born wealthy businessman and insurance guru Joe Plumeri.
        He is Vice Chairman of the First Data Board of Directors and he is also part owner of the Trenton Thunder.
        Maybe he may think of relocating the team into another Jersey city.

  6. I am tired of the constant post that Eickhoff is a 5. Look and the numbers of all MLB starters and what he has done in the past year plus. Whether we like it ir not in this age of baseball he is not a 5.

  7. Sorry but Eickhoff isn’t a 5. He might have been seen as a 5 but in his year with the Phillies he’s been a really good 4 with flashes of a really good inning eating 3. You’ll get starts where he looks like a 5 but he’ll throw starts that he looks like a good number 2. IMO he IS more than a 5

    Also this isn’t the FA class to go in on ESP for starting pitching. Remember Hellickson will be one of the best arms out there, obviously a thin class. I actually thought (prior to this year) we’d make our first splash this off season by signing Strasburg but he signed an extension.

    Btw is it time to see Tocci back in a top 20? Or are we just too deep? He’s hitting the ball well in Clearwater. Again he’s the rare prospect whose making it depends on less baseball skills and more so being physically mature. What I mean is the only thing holding him back has nothing to do w baseball.

    1. Eric that fine if a three is a guy who gives up more hits than innings pitched. With a almost 4 era. Then your right. The more he pitches, the more exposed he becomes. He just doesn’t have the pinpoint control you need to win with his stuff. But I wont argue with you make him a one. If we are going to have a staff filled with his type.. Then we should have kept kenricks. Lucky. Klentak knows he needs better pitchers.

      1. rocco……look at Tim’s guy….Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs. Maybe he is the ace in waiting…maybe Matt Klentak will go after him! 🙂

      2. Ike is a solid 3/4 who typically hits a wall for one inning, usually early but last outing in the 6th. Like him a lot.

      3. Lmao people are really funny. Any one who voted me two stars. makes me laugh. Another guy I will be right about.

        1. So work is abnormally boring today and i’ve seen some people post what they hope the future looks like . . while it’s next to impossible to be 100% correct, it’s still fun playing GM. Here’s how my 2018 Phillies look . . . .

          The Following are some FA that I think would be interesting to go after. The FO should have the money to sign AT LEAST 2 big time FA maybe 3. With my team I signed Eric Hosmer (Solid D at 1B who brings a little bit of everything), Carlos Gonzalez (Don’t need to say much here), Alex Cobb (Really good mid rotation starter) and Jake Arrieta (Here’s the ace they’ve been looking for). A lot of money there but who else is really making money on the 2018 team?

          Here are some other guys that interest me that will be available:

          Yu Darvish (31) He would be my fall back for Arrieta

          Todd Frazier (32) Move Franco to 1B or could have Frazier play 1B

          Michael Brantley (31) Depends on how he comes back next year from shoulder surgery.

          Justin Upton (30) I’ve always though Upton could be special at CBP

          JD Martinez (30) Having a down year this year but still not a bad year. He would be a comp piece

          LINE UP (If i’m not moving Herrera in a trade then he’s moving to 2B where I have to imagine his D could at least get to passable. It’s pretty LH heavy but you have to like the line up all the way to Rupp)
          1. Roman Quinn (S) CF
          2. JP Crawford (L) SS
          3. Eric Hosmer (L) 1B
          4. Carlos Gonzalez (L) RF
          5. Maikel Franco (R) 3B
          6. Nick Williams (L) LF
          7. O. Herrera (L) 2B
          8. C. Rupp (R) C

          BENCH (Just throwing in the guys who didn’t make the starting line up)
          Freddy Galvis INF/OF
          Knapp or Alfaro C/1B
          Aaron Altherr OF
          Tommy Joseph 1B

          ROTATION (Eflin/Thompson/Lively/Pivetta/Appel could all slide into the 5th spot)
          1. Jake Arrieta RHP
          2. Vince Velasquez RHP
          3. Alex Cobb RHP
          4. Aaron Nola RHP
          5. Jared Eickhoff RHP

          BULLPEN (Just names who would compete for spots and i’m sure I’m missing some)
          Hector Neris
          Edubray Ramos
          Nick Pivetta
          Jimmy Cordero
          Zach Eflin
          Jake Thompson
          Ben Lively
          Mark Appel

          This was obviously just for fun . . . even so how many games do you think a team like the above could win?

          Also think about the players who are listed above (Moniak/Cozens/Randolph/Kilome/Gowdy/Hoskins/Kingery/Pinto/Medina/Sixto/Ortiz/Tocci/etc etc etc). You can use those players in trades (obviously) or start filling them in as others phase out.

    2. Based on MLB stats, Eickhoff is the #43 starter (with sufficient innings) in the majors. I don’t take take him as a #2 but the case for a 3 is easy.

    3. Tocci’s late season resurgence has really suprised me. I bet he looks amazing playing in reading all year.

  8. I’m not sure if I’d go after any major position player free agents this offseason. I could see the argument for Josh Reddick or some other vet to add to the locker room and platoon with one of the young guys, but the Phillies have a lot of strong prospects who need MLB at bats to develop and see if they’re worth keeping around. This is how next year would play out for me:

    1b: Joseph. Not very popular on this site, but underrated IMO. 15 dingers and an improving OBP, he’s seeing the ball better as he gets adjusted to the MLB and I think he has potential to hit 25-30 HRs in a full season

    2b: Hernandez. Another guy who’s never talked about on here. Doesn’t have much power but is batting .289 w/ an OBP just south of .350 and 9 triples. That’s what you expect out of a 2-hole/7-hole hitting 2nd baseman. I have no problem with him holding down second next year until Kingery comes up/they find someone better.

    SS: Crawford.

    3B: Franco

    OF: Herrera, Williams, Altherr, and potentially Reddick

    C: Rupp

    Lineup:

    Herrera
    Hernandez
    Crawford
    Franco
    Reddick
    Joseph
    Rupp
    Williams/Altherr
    Pitcher

    1. if that’s the lineup, Cesar needs to move down to #7 unless he’s on a hot streak (again). Herrera if not traded, can still the lead off, but Quinn (as CF/lead off) is not a bad alternative too.

      CF Herrera (L) or Quinn (S) – if one needs to go
      SS JPC (L)
      3B Franco (R)
      RF Reddick (L) – I like him but LAD will let any team to outbid them
      1B ToJo (R)
      C Rupp (C)
      LF Nick (L) or Altherr (R)
      2B Galvis (S) or Cesar (S)

    2. That line-up isn’t anywhere close to being good enough for a playoff team. Even the most optimistic reports on Crawford as a hitter wouldn’t support him hitting 3rd and Franco isn’t a 4 hitter in a playoff team line-up.

      Team is most likely going to have to shop outside of the organization to find middle of the order bats unless Cozens/Hoskins grow into that role and I don’t see that happening with either of them.

  9. “The last time they finished in that range, they drafted J.P. Crawford in the 16th round in 2013.”

    JP Crawford was 16th overall in the 1st round, not 16th round

  10. Geez! One more time. A pitcher’s game by game stat line, his season stat line, nor his career stat line does not determine whether he is a #1, #2, #3, #4, or #5. That ranking is determined by the number of pitches he throws (FB, CB, CH, …), the quality of the pitches he throws, the command v. control of the pitches he throws, and his overall make-up.

    #1 – 2 plus pitches, average 3rd pitch, plus-plus command, plus make-up
    #2 – 2 plus pitches, average 3rd pitch, average command, average make-up
    #3 – 1 plus pitch, 2 average pitches, average command, average make-up
    #4/#5 – command of 2 ML pitches, average velo, consistent breaking ball, decent change up

    No where does a pitcher’s ranking consider whether a he “eats innings” or posts “numbers”. Nor does a pitcher’s rank swing from #5 to #2 back to #3 or #4 from start to start or inning to inning.

    A pitcher’s rank is primarily determined by the number and quality of weapons in his arsenal.

    1. I’m glad to see I’m not the only person that gets irritated at lack of understanding of the labels #1,2,3, 4 and #5 pitchers.

    2. A 36-28-36 may be the ideal measurements needed to be Miss America but, Jim, there will be a Miss America this year whether with those measurements or not.

      Closer to the subject at hand, at the MLB level a #3 pitcher is the guy you slot into the third game of an important MLB series or playoffs. The only useful comparison is how he stacks up with opposing equivalent starters — how he gets the job done at the major league level.

      The analytics you offer, which I’ve seen many times before, are useful to project performance by prospects at higher levels. What it leaves out is important — how a pitcher’s velocity and command hold up throughout a start, his ability to pitch through pain/fatigue, his ability to stay off the DL.

      At a big league level give me guys who perform well head-to-head and may have a winning X factor. And how can you have a #1 who doesn’t eat innings? What’s the value you put on a guy who checks the boxes but can’t pitch into the 6th inning? That’s what’s missing in this consideration of slapping #’s on pitchers.

      1. I think I get what you are saying and agree. You can’t label a pitcher (Who is at the ML level) an ace (or 1) because he has x amount of plus pitches and command/control. I want to see you have those AND preform. For example Nola . . . I’ve seen his fastball rated as plus bc of his ability to command it, also his curveball was one of the best in the ML at one point, i’d call it plus as well. EVERYONE has said his command is plus (to plus plus) and his make up is strong too. BUT he isn’t a number one and it’s because he hasn’t performed to that level. You HAVE to take into consideration more then just having x amount of plus pitches or plus command. You HAVE to perform with that stuff as well which is why you have guys with plus stuff who never make it and guys with average stuff who carve out a nice career.

  11. The above being said, here is an article about Eickoff that goes to show that he could absolutely be a 3.

    http://crashburnalley.com/2016/04/20/positive-signs-from-expectation-exceeding-jerad-eickhoff/

    for those of you that want the abridged version, here goes.

    Written in April of this year, the author takes Fangraphs custom leaderboards for Eickoff’s pitch value/100 pitches, and compares them to league averages to generate a “scouting report” on his pitches. Again, this article was early, but I couldn’t find any later articles. Anyway, his pitch rankings per this article are as follows:

    Fastball-50 Slider-65 Curve-70 Changeup-35 Zone%(command)-55

    He goes on to break down each of the pitches but that is the important section to look at. Given these, and the above “1 through 5 pitcher requirements” and bearing in mind that it is a small sample size you can make a couple statements.

    1. This is his high point- 1 plus-plus, 1 plus, 1 average, and above average command. This would put him as roughly a #2 starter per the given requirements (not saying he is)

    2. His projections coming into the league as a prospect in 2014 were (Fastball: 65 | Curveball: 55 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 40 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45)(MLB.com). This would break out as 1 plus to plus-plus pitch, 2 average pitches, average control giving him a projection as a #3 starter given the above requirements.

    That all being said, I don’t think its fair to say that he is a 5 with max upside of a 4, he is only 24 and could still develop more. This is his first full major league season and he is probably still adjusting to the rigors.

    Overall I think his best projection is a #3/4 with the upside to be a spectacular #3

    1. April before season. Do they watch him pitch this year. The rigors is this, the league is seeing him a second time. AS I said and his command isn’t good enough with the stuff he has. A spectacular # 3 that made my day. He isn’t a spectacular 3 on a high school team. God I love klentak..

      1. Simple fact is that he’s 24, there is still projection left in his command. If he even gets to what we call “average command” he is by definition a great #3 with 1 plus(plus)(curve) one above average-plus(slider) one average(FB) and a below average developing (change).

        Justin Verlander was terrible for how many years? did anyone doubt that he still had the stuff to be a 1/2 guy? no, they said he needed to get it back. Let him adjust to his first full year as a starter and if he comes back next year and hasn’t improved any command, then yeah he will be a solid 4, but his “stuff” if he can work on the command is by definition that of a good #3

    2. I agree with #3/#4 with #4 as current or floor and #3 upside. The development of the SL will be key for Eickhoff as I don’t see any projection left in his FB (which is AVE) other than slight improvement in the command.

      His CB is a true plus (plus) pitch, if Eickhoff develops at least and AVE his SL (to add to his AVE FB) – that’s a legit #3 and probably more if command continue to improve.

      IMO, Eickhoff’s ability to pitch innings adds to his value as SP but will not affect the projection of his actual stuff.

      1. Eickhoff’s slider is already close to a plus pitch. His big issue is and will remain, fastball velocity and command. When he has the FB working, the breaking pitches become lethal.

        1. @catch – I’ll be glad if Jerad’s SL is a plus pitch as of now. Jerad is pretty much a FB-CB pitch last year, and he is only starting to use the SL this year so I’m not sure why a plus pitch (if Jerad has a plus SL) just show this year.

          Even with the April 2016 Crashburn Alley article posted by Troutman, Spencer mentioned Jerad’s SL as “still developing” which I kind of agree. Some scouting reports also grade the SL behind the FB and CB.

          1. I believe (and I don’t know if it’s in that article) that his Slider is one of the toughest pitches for a RH hitter to hit in the MLB or at least at one point it was. I know that for a fact meaning i’m 110% sure I remember reading that. Eickhoff has been nothing less than consistent.

            Here’s a list of ER given up by him in each start.

            2/0/2/7/3/3/3/3/0/4/2/1/0/3/1/2/2/8/2/5/1/0/4/3

            I know you can’t do this but if you take out a 10 inning stretch where he gave up 15 R in 10.2 innings his ERA is 3.11 Also in the 2 games he gave up 7 and 8 he still pitched past the 5th inning. That doesn’t look like a 5 to me. And his ERA plus is currently better then league average.

  12. Found something kind of interesting. StatCorner has minor league park factors for HRs broken down by handedness. I checked out Readings park factors and here’s the last 5 years for righthanders:

    2012:163
    2013:169
    2014:171
    2015:143
    2016:149
    Average: 159

    And here are lefthanders:
    2012: 116
    2013: 101
    2014: 105
    2015: 107
    2016: 133
    Average: 112

    There is actually an even larger gap if I had pro-rated the impact of the 2016 season (I counted it as a full year). I know there’s been a lot of discussion about how much Reading’s park has helped Cozens and Hoskins power and the consensus seems to be that Cozens more than Hoskins is living off of the home field advantage. It’s possible that even though Cozens home/road splits are more dramatic, it might be partly sample size and maybe we shouldn’t be discounting his production as much as we have. We’ve kind of lumped all hitters together when talking about Reading, but at least in the last 5 years it’s been way more favorable for RHs.

    It’s also worth noting that Cozens’ home/road HR difference is one of the main reasons the park factor this year is as high as it is. If you remove him from the equation, it’s more in line with the previous 4 years.

    1. Otero

      This is great stuff ! I continue to be amazed at the availability of data which allows us to more accurately compare players/ performance.

      What is becoming more obvious to me with this generation of talent evaluators, “analytics guys”, etc is instead of using traditional/old school scouting – “the eye test” , i.e. valuation based primarily on observation of performance, evaluators rely much more on evaluation of the data.

      The school of thought is that visual performance is flawed due to the evaluator’s personal bias/limitations to evaluate. Conversely, it appears as though everyone accepts the empirical data is without flaw, i.e.unbiased. What is ignored far too often is the data and those who interpret the data are still subject to bias similar to that of the scout utilizing his “eye” to evaluate performance.

      The prevailing basis is that Cozens is not as good a prospect as Hoskins and those who espouse this point leverage analytics to substantiate this. Otero, your stadium data certainly brings to light that there is bias in all forms of evaluation and the pursuit of the perfect valuation tool is still alive and well.

      For every player we all watch, it still comes down to this, ” can he play or can’t he?”

  13. Process. That is what the pitching staff is going through. Adjusting to MLB usually takes some time, and this season is meant to do that. there may be none of those “processing” that seems to be a #1 or even a #2…but given a little development time, one or rtwo could emerge to be @ 1-2.
    In developing a new team through the minors, the franchise has some players and pitchers who look good so far on the way up…you know their names.
    With that plan in place, it makes no sense to me to start trading “the future” for an immediate help for the staff at the price of some of our better prospects.
    In ’17 we should be looking at the entry of several prospects to the 25, and playing. We then could…with a little patience…look around at free agency to seek out an important fill-in for the staff…who could see the better future for the team and be willing to sign on.
    There is still a chance that, if they end up within the bottom ten of losing teams at this season’s end, a good, not great, pitcher could be signed as a FA without costing a draft choice.
    THAT makes sense to me. I DO look forward to the several newbies coming up in ’17…in the meantime, i see it as counter-productive to trade any of our better prospects at this point.
    Patience…and happiness to see the ’17 team youthful movement…

    1. You have to watch the doc Fastball . . . they talk about him in there as well. Fastest pitch in a game was Nolan Ryan at just over 108MPH and I believe it was late in the game too. Interesting watch.

      1. There is absolutely no proof that he threw that fast. Just anecdotes. Like people insisting that Walter Johnson “sat” at 100 MPH with that easy, side arm delivery.

          1. In 1958 the Orioles sent Dalkowski to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, a military installation where Feller was once clocked. Feller was clocked at 98.6 mph. Dalkowski was clocked at only 93.5, but a few mitigating factors existed:

            1) Dalkowski had pitched in a game the day before, so he could be expected to throw 5-10 mph slower than usual;

            2) there was no mound to pitch from, which Feller had enjoyed, and this would drop his velocity by 5-8 mph;

            3) he had to pitch for 40 minutes before the machine could measure his speed, and he was exhausted by the time there was a reading. Other sources reported that the measuring device was a tube and that he took a long time to finally throw one into the tube.

            It was estimated that Dalkowski’s fastball at times reached 105 mph. Dalkowski was not physically imposing, standing only 5’8″ and wearing thick glasses. He had legendary wildness, which kept him out of the Major Leagues. In 995 minor league innings, he walked 1,354 batters and struck out 1,396. He walked 21 in one minor league game and struck out 21 in another. In high school he pitched a no-hitter while walking 18 and striking out 18.
            http://www.baseball-almanac.com/articles/fastest-pitcher-in-baseball.shtml

          2. Sorry thought you were talking about Nolan Ryan. Didn’t see your next post. Just to give the info anyways he did it in 1974 @ 108.1mph recorded by “laser radar”. Trying to find the game now . . .

            Remember the velocity reading isn’t when it crosses the plate (so the actual speed recorded will be higher than what the batter actually see).

            ps Feller was 2nd at 107.6mph.

            1. It’s recorded 50 feet from home plate. For example when Chapman was clocked at 105.1mph it actually crossed the plate at 96.5mph. For Feller it crossed at 98.6 and Ryan’s at 99.1mph.

        1. What are you talking about? Would you like me to tell you the game he threw it in and watch pitch of the game it was? Try watching the documentary, in the doc they talk about Walter Johnson’s velocity too and it wasn’t really even close to 100mph. They know how to figure out velocity pretty well these days.

    2. 125 MPH is fanciful – I doubt he threw anywhere close to that hard, but it might have been in the 110 MPH range, which is incredible. All the casual reports seem to agree that Dalkowski was the hardest thrower ever. But he wasn’t a good pitcher, of course. Just as Dave Kingman, who hit a baseball farther than anyone I ever saw (by quite a bit, actually), was not a good hitter.

      1. I have a fun Dave Kingman story. It was 1977 and he was playing with the Yankees against the Red Sox. They were in Fenway Park and my friends and I picked up tickets on opening day to the late September matchup. We had tickets right behind home plate. When we entered the park, the scalpers were offering $100 a seat. I think they were $10 or $12 seats at the time. That’s a lot of beer for a bunch of college kids. We didn’t take the windfall. Anyway… Kingman put on a display in batting practice. He hit some shots that looked like they would clear the Citgo sign in left-center field. That’s 1,200 feet from home plate but from our vantage point they looked like they could clear it. In the game, Kingman was riding the pine. In the later innings, he pinch hit. We were bubbling with anticipation. He hit a foul pop up that I swore I could have left my seat, hit the head, picked up a beer and finished it, before it came down. It hit a ladies seat on the 3rd base side and luckily it didn’t hit her. It plunked on her seat and bounced almost as high going back up. A few pitches later, he got a hold of one. One of my friends was listening to the broadcast on his transistor radio. He was weird that way. The announcer said something like, that ball is back, back… and then there was a little pause… and his next statement is legendary. He said, that ball is in the outbound lane of the Mass Pike. If he’d hit it a little more toward center field, it might have hit the Citgo sign. We laughed until beer came out our noses.

  14. I don’t really want much, the Phillies are avg 6.7 runs a game . They did 2 maybe 3 bullpen pieces to keep the score down. The Phillies are now tryed with the Rockies the The Mets are losing the Phillies would be only 3 games back of them.

    1. Williams seems like the safer bet, like he said, but if Roman can stay healthy at all, i think hes the much better player. Im PULLIN for him

  15. Otero

    This is great stuff ! I continue to be amazed at the availability of data which allows us to more accurately compare players/ performance.

    What is becoming more obvious to me with this generation of talent evaluators, “analytics guys”, etc is instead of using traditional/old school scouting – “the eye test” , i.e. valuation based primarily on observation of performance, evaluators rely much more on evaluation of the data.

    The school of thought is that visual performance is flawed due to the evaluator’s personal bias/limitations to evaluate. Conversely, it appears as though everyone accepts the empirical data is without flaw, i.e.unbiased. What is ignored far too often is the data and those who interpret the data are still subject to bias similar to that of the scout utilizing his “eye” to evaluate performance.

    The prevailing basis is that Cozens is not as good a prospect as Hoskins and those who espouse this point leverage analytics to substantiate this. Otero, your stadium data certainly brings to light that there is bias in all forms of evaluation and the pursuit of the perfect valuation tool is still alive and well.

    For every player we all watch, it still comes down to this, ” can he play or can’t he?”

  16. I see some love for Tocci above and I just don’t get it.

    Guys, he has 20 grade power and does not steal bases. His hit tool is future average at best and is below average now. He has a huge amount of infield and ground ball singles that is propping up his BABIP into an unsustainable level, which is making his batting average somewhat respectable. http://mlbfarm.com/player.php?player_id=624636&position=CF But his BA is fools gold. He is NOT a good hitter.

    If you can show me a productive MLB Outfielder with an average hit tool, no power and not a base stealer, then that might convince me that he is worth keeping on the 40 man. But you can’t, which is why will be left unprotected for a second straight year. He is at least 2 years away from being called up, if not more, yet will be required to be on the 40 man roster.

    And when he is actually called up, he is likely to be less productive than what Tyler Goeddel is now. So you would have to wait 3 years to just get a Tyler Goeddel with less power.

    We have a great farm system. Lots of real prospects to get excited about. Tocci is an org filler. Maybe he gets a cup of coffee for his defense. But I doubt that is even with our team as we have a lot of OF prospects who are far better than he is.

    1. I’m pretty much in your camp – he’s a great fielder with a great arm. Yeah, accepted; I get it and I even agree. Everything else is meh and there’s like zero projection for him as a hitter who should be starting the major leagues – he’ll never be strong enough. He’s probably in the back of my top 50 – if he’s lucky, he’ll be a 5th outfielder. I don’t spend much time thinking about 5th outfielders.

    2. V1- Tocci has no power this is a known fact his Iso is under .1 which is abismal however if Tocci can get on base at a decent clip and strengthen up a little bit (I know everyone has said this for years but I still don’t think it’s impossible) I think he could be a decent glove first 4th outfielder on a decent team.
      I do not think Philly should put him on the 40 man roster I think he is to far away from the show to do that. I don’t think he should be written off 100% I just think he was overhyped early on due to the Phillies farm system being in ruin.

        1. Tocci seems to be the prospect that everyone loves to hate. He is the nickelback of Phillies prospects.

          1. Nah, we don’t hate him (although I was in the crowd a few years ago when he threw a ball and hit a lady in the seats and turned around as if nothing had happened when he clearly saw that she was hurt; not a selling point for Mr. Tocci), we just see that his ceiling is limited by his strength. You have to understand that if he looks skinny and weak for a high school baseball player, no less a college or professional player. Now, he plays stronger than he looks, but he’s got the build of a distance runner – I don’t see any chance he really fills out. He’s just limited.

          2. No one “hates” a prospect. We are just objectively analyzing whether he will be a great MLB player, which is an extremely high bar.

        2. Yep. I have been the low man on Tocci for a while. Everyone was bashing me for a while. But I never thought he was much of a prospect. Same with Biddle. I was the low man on Biddle. And everyone hammered me.

          1. My comment was made mostly in jest. I understand the people who feel like he can be a MLB regular and the people who think he never makes the show.

          2. I’ll make the argument for Tocci to be in their top 30 (whoever said back of their top 50, even with the trades, J2 signings and drafts is off . . . I mean I can’t imagine you can find 50 players in the org. with a better chance to make it over him).

            Here’s what I came up with for a scouting report (5 different publications and took the average for each).

            Hit – 50 (Saw a 2 55s but nothing under 50)
            Power – 30 (All 30s)
            Run – 55 (1 60 and the rest 55)
            Arm – 55 (see Run)
            Field – 55 (split between 60 and 55)
            Overall – 50 (50s and 1 45)

            His D could play at the ML level right now (he’s a VERY good CFer), along with his arm (sticking in CF as well). There’s value to that right there.

            Between 2 stops last year (Low A and Hi A) he hit .287/.339/.363 w 23 Doubles and 4 HR. He stole 17 while being thrown out 11 times. K’ed at 14%. BB at 6%
            So his K rate is between good and great. His walk rate is slightly below average (however for someone with little power that says something, no?)

            This year he’s hit .280/.333/.353 w 20 doubles and 3 HR. 13 SB while being caught 6x. K rate of 13% (it was 17% w/ Clearwater last year) BB at 7% (4% last year w/ Clearwater).

            So he’s doing somethings that are needed to be done as a prospect, he’s adjusting. He’s dropped his K rate by 4% in Clearwater since last year. Has raised his BB rate by 3% in Clearwater since last year. As far as SB go, I don’t worry to much about that, it’s not like he doesn’t have the speed. Base running including stealing bases can be taught . . . Take Victorino for example, in 2006 he has 4 SB (caught 3x) and the following year 37 SB (caught 4x) think about that improvement (also in the minors Vic got thrown out a ton, almost 40%). He obviously made improvements to his running game, don’t see why that can’t be done with Tocci.

            I’m going to sound like a broken record but Tocci is so interesting because it’s not his baseball skills that could hold him back. IF he can continue to make improvements (yes he’s been making them) and fill out you’ll see an uptick and he becomes a viable prospect. Remember just getting stronger while already being able to make contact should raise just about all of his offensive numbers.

            1. Really thoughtful and well researched response. Thank you!

              But I don’t think that we are that far off on our grades. I have him at a future 50 hit tool with no power too. We just seem to disagree with the value of a prospect who is 3+ years away from being a future average hitter with no power and not a great base stealer but needs to be protected on the 40 man during the entire time.

              My comp has continually been Tyler Goeddel, who has a better body, significantly more power a better hit tool and comparable defensive capabilities and is struggling to make the lineup of a team with the 10th worst record in baseball. Could Goeddel be a valuable player in 3-5 years? Maybe. But do you really want to carry Tocci for the next 3 years just to get to a Goeddel level player who still needs several years to be a productive player?

              I think Tocci is a fine player. Has some real skills. But I struggle to see him being a starting caliber player. He has a ceiling of a role player IMO. I don’t know if he is the back end of the top 30 or the top 50. I haven’t ranked that far. I just know that he is over hyped by people who put him near the top 10. He is not that good of a prospect.

  17. Hey Mr. Jim, I would like to see a 40 man discussion post if that would be possible. Posting here to see how people involved in discussions feel about it.

    There are somewhat tough decisions on like 5 players and maybe up to 8 if Phils decide to sign some free agents. Do you keep Milner just because he’s lefty with good #s against LHB? Do you keep Valentin or Hernandez?

    It might be nice to see some polls for the roster crunch like how is done for the top 30 now and a month after season is complete.

    Im thinking it may be onsite somewhere but details about when 40 man have to be finalized (Nov 30?) and how does someone like Harrison affect a spot would be good. Do the Phils just release Harrsion to free up another spot?

    1. These are the players I let walk, David Hernandez ,Carlos Ruiz, Jimmy Parades. Featherston ,Buchanan ,Matt Harrison, klein. Ruff, Sweeney, Hinojosa, Howard, Asher. Colton Murray, Charlie Morton, That is fourteen, I Am on the fence on Bourjous.

          1. Roccom- As soon as a player goes on the 60 day dl they are removed from the 40 man roster to free a spot up. The Phillies will however at the end of the year need to decide if they want the insurance money for Harrison or to protect a rule 5 prospect.

            1. Romus- I know Harrison still has a year left on his contract. The Phillies can still DFA him at the end of this year and protect a rule 5 eligible prospect instead of having Harrison on the 40 man roster. This would more than likely (from everything that I’ve read but I could be wrong) mean that the Phillies would not recoup the money from the insurance policy that they have on Harrison.

            2. 8mark- Not sure if that was sarcasm or a compliment but I really enjoy knowing and understanding the rules of MLB baseball.

            3. Chad…….the 60-day DL does not require the player to be counted on the team’s 40-man roster; however, a team’s 40-man roster must be full in order for the option of a placement on the 60-day disabled list to be available.
              Sounds a little complicated….but not sure you need to DFA Harrison, or not sure it is even authorized under the CBA if he is on the 60 day.
              Someone on this site may have more information on those rules.

            4. Chad……I stand to be corrected….you were correct on the 60 DAy Dl in the off-season. The rule states:
              “In most cases a player on a disabled list can be traded, even if the player is not eligible to be reinstated and/or healthy enough to play. The one exception is if Trade Assignment Waivers must be secured before the player can be traded. In that case (only), the player must be eligible to be reinstated from the Disabled List AND healthy enough to play before the player can be placed on waivers. Otherwise the disabled player would have to remain a “Player to Be Named Later” until the conclusion of the MLB regular season.
              If a player on a disabled list is traded, the player can be transferred directly from his former club’s 7-day, 15-day, or 60-day DL to the corresponding DL of his new club. Time spent on a 7-day, 15-day, or 60-day DL prior to the trade counts toward the minimum number of days required before the player is eligible to be reinstated.
              If a player on an MLB 60-day DL is claimed off waivers after conclusion of the MLB regular season, the player can be transferred directly to the 60-day DL of his new club.”
              …bottom -line Matt Harrison can be DFAed after the conclusion of the regular season it would appear.

            5. No sarcasm at all, Chad. I wish I was up on all the intracasies of rule 5, CBA, 40man, etc. You and others really help with false assumptions guys like me might make in our opinions about what the organization should or shouldn’t do with certain players.

    2. I wish there was a place that listed all the guys eligible for the rule 5 each year. I know there are a bunch of guys the Phils can drop but not sure who they need to protect.

      1. Matt Winkleman has an article on philliesminorthoughts.com that shows who needs added. I can’t find the exact link to it but I know it’s there.

  18. Chad why would they give up all those millions for a rule 5 player. I am lost on that one. Your talking about 10 million or more. That’s a lot of money for a rule 5 eligible player.

    1. Roccom- It all depends how much the Phillies value their players that are rule 5 eligible. It would be a hard sell to the owner as well.

  19. Roccom, I think I hold on to Asher. I don’t think there are 14 guys that will need to be protected. I think Featherston may stay, a Klentak guy, and Bourjos goes. Whoever asked for a 40 man Roster discussion site had a good idea. I am not looking to create more work for Jim, but a good idea.

    1. matt13….that discussion can be very fluid thru the end of the season….maybe it can be held off until after the season is completed with the WS’ end…. the 40 has to be finalized (Nov 20th) by all MLB teams.

      1. Romus I thought this off season . You would tell us about when you were in France. during world war ll
        .I Love to hear your war stories. in the slow time on here

  20. Another power arm, Nathan Eovaldi , needs TJ and also flexor tendon surgery repair.
    This will be his second TJ in less than 10 years.
    And Nathan Eovaldi is in his final year of his contract.
    He is eligible for arbitration after this season, but given the circumstances, the Yankees may non-tender him.
    So, Eovaldi, 26-years old, and will miss all of 2017, would become a free agent.
    Should the Phillies take a chance and sign him at a bargain price, if the Yanks non-tender him, and then hope he will be available for the 2018 season?

  21. Mets starting rotation is currently a triage unit. Fish lose Stanton. Cubs, Nats, Giants and Dodgers are well positioned for a playoff spot. Likelihood is another question of percentages BUT all other 2nd WC contenders have little or nothing over the Phillies right now. The starting pitching will be the litmus test. The unpredictable offense is what it is. In any case – Let’s go Phils!

    1. The Phillies Need a bullpen , Sev Gonzalez has To go E Araujo too . Mack needs a quick hook the Score 5 runs that’s enough .they play St louis this wk en d ,2 more with the Dodgers .

  22. Romus, I would look at Evolidi for sure. They have the money to take a flyer. Meanwhile, if you check the numbers for Cameron Rupp over the last calendar year, I think he has close to 20 HRs and 60 RBIs, and gives us a good job at C.That would trail very few Catchers in the League. We may not look to trade him so fast!

  23. https://mlbreports.com/tj-surgery/ here’s a list of players from yr to yr. I personally think it’s being done to many young kids . I heard A story were a 17 yr old who could throw in the 94 range was asked why he choose Football or baseball. He with Football as Qb I could have a concussion . In baseball as a pitcher I could have TJ surgeries . Football is trying to help protect the Qb . In baseball they not doing nothing about finding out why TJ surgeries are becoming more common . 1 article I did read the better the delivery the less stress on the Arm and Shouder.

    1. The difference between having TJ and getting concusions is that TJ doesn’t permanently mess your life up. You may never pitch again if you have if but its not going to give you a mental disorder.

      1. His point he was trying to make was the NFL took steps in protecting a Qb. Mlb has done nothing about finding out why there more TJ surgeries then before. It’s not as much about the injury itself more about what’s being done about them.

        1. Tim- It is 100% about the injury. I would of rather had TJ than had one serious concussion. Serious concussions are for lack of a better word very serious. Multiple serious concussions can cause real brain damage. Try talking to Jim McMan and ask him if he would cut his arm off (pretty much the worst outcome of having TJ and something that I don’t think ever happened) if his brain would go back to pre concussion state. I can guarantee he offers his arm up in a heartbeat.
          Ive had 3 concussions and I can’t close my eyes while standing up without getting dizzy. I walk into rooms and forget what I’m doing. I pray everyday that I can see my kids grow up without ending up with a serious brain issue due to the concussions I suffered when I was younger.
          A more appropriate comparison would be acl tears or Achilles tear to TJ. The NFL has done nothing to try and figure out why players tear their acl’s. I’ll give you a pretty good reason why they haven’t figured out why it’s happening. People are not made to continually throw 90+mph people are also not made to throw high velocity sliders or curveballs. Pitchers are moving their arms at weird angles and at a very high velocity hundreds or even thousands of times a week it only makes sense that pitchers are getting hurt. The human body isn’t meant to do the things pitchers do.

          1. Ok the kid also said his friends are also not pitching they’d rather play positions. He said it’s more likely to have a 15 yr playing career then a 15 pitching career . This kid will be playing QB at a major college he in prep school in northern nj. He has 15 division 1 A college prospects on his football team. Just saying some kids are seeing there friends go under the knife . That in itself is scaring some kids off pitching .

            1. I won’t argue that having TJ is scary but to act like the possibility of having lasting brain damage is better than having TJ doesn’t seem smart. Also acting like TJ hasn’t improved over the years doesn’t seem logical. TJ has improved drastically over the years.

            2. So has root canal doesn’t mean I want it. Thinking about it you spend 14 to 18 months rehabbing TJ that right cuts into your career. Altherr had wrist surgery was back the same yr. Hitters have it better I know who people have knees blown out that were back in 6 months . Wheeler from the Mets is on 17 mons and he’s back at the doc’s.

  24. Chase is back nice to see he can still hit lol . Maybe I was 1 of a select group on his board that though he could still play.

    1. Tim…….strange happenings……..looking back at the trades Ruben made of his core….Rollins, Vic, then add in non-core guys like Hernandez and Byrd…the return on those four have been very substantial to the farm system….and they are , for all intents and purposes done in baseball.
      Chase , on the other hand, gets a rather pedestrian return in Darnell Sweeney and Jon Richy….and he is still going, not as strong and as productive in the distant past, but still going, and plans to play again next season.
      I would think the Dodgers made out well in the trade….Ruben could have been a little more shrew with the Dodgers.

      1. Romus, if you recall, last year, Chase Utley looked like he was completely done – he was a terrible offensive player for the Phillies last year. That he has rebounded is a testament to his hard work and talent – but he has way outplayed any reasonable projection for his performance this year (in fact, the Dodgers were widely criticized for giving him a $7 million contract for this year). Based on where he was last year, his health history and his age, it is not surprising that the return for Utley was far less than the return for other players who, at the time they were traded, appeared to have better prospects than Utley.

        1. Yeah agree……at the time chase looked like the one headed first to retirement, but odd had it all turned out.
          If I were Matt Klentak I would contact Andrew Freidman and tell him Chase outperformed the returned on the trade and demand Urias as fair and equal compensation! (tic) 🙂

      2. The Dodgers seen what the had by the end of last yr. Dodgers aren’t a stupid team they mix in vets with young players. Ultey had 1 bad yr how many more games do think we would have won with him this yr. His Baseball IQ is off the charts, as for The trade the Dodgers seem to be a bad trading partner. There prospects don’t seem as good over here as they were with the Dodgers.

        1. Tim…two of the LAD prospects in the Phillies system, Arano and Valentin, seem headed to the major leagues in 2, maybe 3 years. But agree….. Ethan Martin, Josh Lindblom, Darnell Sweeney, all have come up short. Richy still has hope. Not sure about Windle.
          Heck, right now, the best return was for short-time Philly pitcher Roberto Hernandez,

    2. Sometimes it’s what we know not what we see . In Ultey we knew what we had yet he was having a bad yr . A great baseball mind is a terrible thing to waist let’s hope he comes back one day to coach.

  25. I don’t mind the trade. I Wanted Chase and Jimmy to get another shot at a championship. I don’t think you could have gotten anything more..

    1. rocco…understan I wanted them also to get there for another WSrun…but as for the trade return….Sweeney would have been a Rule 5 protected or unprotected player for the Dodgers…..Richy had potential…..I would think he could have also pried one of the their lower teenagers from them….heck they signed multiple Cubans in the last 18 months so their system was full of young players…..maybe lottery tickets, but still a chance.

      1. Romus, the Dodgers had the Phillies over a barrel for Chase as it was the only team he wanted to go to. Maybe John Richtie can make it to the MLB as Darnell Sweeney does not look as he will make it.

        1. Three months ago I told people. Sweeney cant hit. Why did they take him for Utley. They are professional scouts. and they couldn’t see this kid cant hit. I am amazed why they would take a non factor, Was it to make it look better us getting two guys to there one.?

          1. Philly owed the Dodgers a solid after the Roberto Gonzalez trade. That’s why we got nothing for Chase lol.

    1. Very nice article , couldn’t help see the fires out there in Cal . There bad hope God brings some rain .

  26. Now that Vince Vasquez has come back to earth does everyone feel the same about the Ken Giles trade? Giles is pitching well now for Houston and our return is looking less promising than before. Marlon Anderson on CSN showed how VV pitches much less effectively from the stretch than the windup and the results bore it out last night. I hope the Phillies are working with him on that problem. Any thoughts on that?

    1. phila…..the trade will probably come down to Giles for Velasquez and Eshelman.
      Arauz vs Arauz…..I think the ‘Stros will benefit on that part of it in the long run.
      Appel….reliever probably now. Klentak ships out Obie…go figure and keeps Elvis, Mariot and the some of the other fungible relief arms…at least Obie could be put in the rotation since he use to start. And Obie had no options but did not matter at this point of the season.
      And if the Astros get in the playoffs this year…Giles could be the difference maker for them. Which is a good thing.
      IMO, the team of MacPhail and Klentak leave a lot to be desired right now.

      1. Romus, Brett Oberhultzer got off to slow start but was pitching well before he was released. I agree with you about your MacPhail/Klentak performance thoughts so far.

    2. Absolutely.

      Velasquez is going through the typical growing pains of a young starting pitcher – he’s figuring it all out. But as I watch him pitch, I become more and more convinced that he has all the stuff necessary to be a top of the rotation pitcher – I’m a big fan and he, alone, justifies the trade if he’s a 2 or a 3.

      On Eshelman, don’t underestimate him. I think he’s going to be a solid major league pitcher. I say that because he has otherworldly command and is now just learning to use his breaking pitches since, in college, his command was so darned good that he didn’t have to throw breaking pitches. He’s learning, but there’s no reason to think he can’t be a solid 3 or 4. I think he’s the hidden gem in the trade.

      Oberholtzer and Arauz were extra guys in the trade – if they provide anything, it’s a bonus, but my expectations are low.

      Appel is the lottery ticket. He could turn out to be nothing or he could be a solid reliever or even a decent starter. It sometimes takes guys like Appel several years to figure things out. Andrew Miller was considered a complete bust for a long, long time, but he had talent and figured it out. Personally, I’m not too bullish on Appel, but it has nothing to do with his ability and everything to do with his demeanor and personality. Amazingly for the first pick in the draft, he appears to have very little self-confidence. During spring training, he walked around almost like he was timid or embarrassed – it’s not easy for a six foot five guy who was the first pick in the draft to get lost in the crowd at the Carpenter facility, but, remarkably, he did. When he heals and comes back next year, I’d like to see a little more of a take no prisoners attitude from him – grab the brass ring Mark! You can do it!

      On the whole, the trade works out fine if Velasquez is a 2 or 3 and the team gets no other production from the rest of the players in the trade. That said, I think it’s pretty likely that Velasquez does become at least a 3 and I think the trade will yield other important contributors or assets to be used in other trades. It was a well conceived trade.

  27. My overview position by position of the next few years:

    CATCHER Jorge Alfaro may be the most important prospect in the organization, if not the highest ranked, playing a premium position. Bossart and Marchan further down are also worth keeping an eye on.

    FIRST BASE It appears that Joseph isn’t the future in most eyes. The reasonable assumption is Hoskins will get his turn. Otherwise, the front office will look outside the organization unless somebody like Ortiz gets moved to 1b due to an overcrowded outfield.

    SECOND BASE 1)Kingery 2)Kingery 3)Kingery. Players like Valentin and Tobias don’t figure to be more than utility men. A guy like Cole Stobbe could slide to either 2b or 3b.

    THIRD BASE Maikel Franco for the foreseeable future but I’m not convinced he’s the guy longterm, whether he moves on via trade or free agency. He’s certainly not a middle of the order hitter for a contender.

    SHORTSTOP JP Crawford may require patience but his acumen and maturity alone speak volumes. Give him time and don’t make him the centerpiece right away and I’m sure he’ll be worth the wait, barring injury.

    OUTFIELD In my opinion, building strong up the middle is the way to go and it appears the Phillies are doing that. Which makes Mickey Moniak the apparent anchor in CF. That leaves the two corners for Williams, Herrera, Altherr, Cozens, Quinn, Randolph, and Ortiz to sort out for starters. If that’s not enough then we’ll have to look out yonder. We shouldn’t, I hope.

    PITCHING Kilome, Medina, and Sixto might anchor an impressive young rotation come ’19 – ’20 but until then we have significant pieces of numbers 2 thru 5. We definitely need an ace!

    1. Pretty good thoughts but I think you sell Maikel Franco way too short. It’s not a sure, thing, but he could easily be a middle-of-the-order hitter for a contending team. His talent is exceptional and, in what is not a great year for him, he is still going to hit at least 25 home runs. If he turns the corner, he could be one of the better hitters in major league baseball and I love watching him play third base.

    2. TJ has really been good he could put up 30 hrs . Howard is hot as there trying hard to show case him. Tj let up AAA this yr ,Hoskins has yet to play there. TJ should have 1st base to himself next yr.

    3. You can have a pitcher pitching Ace like for a yr or a short period of time. HAMELS did it for us , KC bet the Mets with the help of Cueto and crushing Mets pitching.

  28. Look romus, imo trading a relief pitcher you don’t need is good. If they get one good prospect out of the trade its a win. I like velasquez, He is just not there yet. plus I have my doubt on the way, rupp calls a game. Those first two innings he was great. I only got to see those innings. I believe and I have not one ounce of proof, that rupp doesn’t control the game. He get shaking off and doesn’t say, throw what I tell you. instead he is listening to young kids. who need to learn.

    1. rocco…..if Velasquz gets corrected AND stays healthy then yes. As for Rupp and pitch selections….not sure why the dugout doesn’t call some of the pitches….especially with runners on base. The first two innings Velasquez was blowing the pitches past them with a good mix of off-speed and great location.
      Third time thru the lineup the hitters adjust. Dugout should be calling pitches for that one or two innings until Velasquez gets into the 7th….then get the relievers ready, oh boy!

      1. When a team hits you that good in back to back starts against them there is a pretty good chance you are tipping your pitches…

        Additionally the stuff was good enough to get 10Ks but the command is still lacking. I would like to see him develop that change up a little more and possibly play around with a cut FB.

        1. And just to add I am super impressed with VV’s season. He just made his 28th Big League start last night. I don’t know many hard throwing Right Handed 1’s that started their careers looking like a 1. Are there a handful sure probably.

          VV has a 10.4 k/9 over a 3.3 bb/9 that’s pretty darn good for a 24 year old.

            1. Just this season its a sturdy 7.63 as a result of a pretty high WHIP for someone of his ilk but he’ll learn. Lefties are getting him pretty good with a 360 OBP compared to righties with a 300 OBP. BaBIP OPS + all those stats follow suit.

              I’m sure they will look at that over the off season and come up with pitch to neutralize that.

            2. Listening to Larry Anderson. He said him and Bert Blyleven had a talk earlier in season about pitch count. Larry said pitching 6 innings and giving up three runs isn’t a quality start, in his and other pitchers book. Its a 450 era, he said a good start would be 2 runs in 7 innings. Cant understand the way they handle pitchers. 100 pitches and your out of the game. Years ago relief pitches would pitch more than one inning, now its rare to see. Some interesting stuff, imo love larry.

  29. Anyone realize this is Quinn first go around at 1 Level . He hasn’t stayed healthy enough but so the pitcher’s really had time to adjust. 1 Quinn he in a little bit of slump 2 his K% last yr at Reading 16 % this yr 22 %.

    1. But not velocity?:
      Early versions of this model included pitch velocities, but it became apparent after later revisions that pitch velocities — at least given the present variables — was serving as a poor proxy for the number of hard pitches thrown. It follows that guys with fast fastballs throw those fastballs frequently. Take, for instance, freshly Rockie’d reliever Jake McGee, who has a scintillating fastball and rumors of maybe another pitch. Throwing hard may not actually lead to elbow injuries, but throwing a LOT of hard pitches might.

    1. There’s much better research out there. Of course anything taking money out of the pockets of surgeon is deemed experimental.

  30. BUMGARNER, Kreshaw, Max Scherzer, J Lester, Jake Arrieta, Corey Kluber, Chris Sale, Hamels, De Groom, J Verlander, . There ‘my Aces of Mlb I left out some of the younger pitcher’s do to limited track record.

    1. Darvish, Strasberg, Harvey(injuring), Fernandez (maybe too young), Cueto, Greinke, Archer and Keuchel (still can come back next season strong).
      Some people consider them highly valued number ones.
      What about your boy Hendricks?

      1. Body of work I like pitchers who have a sucessful history. I really Hendricks if he can keep it up this yr and next he’s on it .his price will go way up in trade in value. Your right about Fernandez, Sanchez Tor too young yet. Darvish injury history , Verlander is up there in age so Strasberg or J,Quintana , T Tanaka, D , Duffy, T Roark, .Harvey injury history major, Keuchel probably he had the history.Cueto yea maybe 11 , Grienke running out of time. King Felix too Archer has to win and bet the likes of Boston ,NY ,at worse you have a 3 because of his Fb command.

        1. Tim…..right now Phillies draft at 10th in next years Rule 4. Maybe their ace will come from one of these early top ten projected pitchers.
          1.. Tanner Houck RHP JR Missouri
          2.. J.B. Bukauskas RHP JR North Carolina
          3. Tristan Beck RHP SO Stanford
          4. Alex Faedo RHP JR Florida
          5. Hagen Danner RHP HS Huntington Beach, CA Commitment: UCLA
          6 Alex Scherff RHP HS Prestonwood Christian Academy, TX Commitment: ASU
          7.. Hunter Greene RHP HS Notre Dame, CA Commitment: UCLA
          8.. Brendan McKay LHP JR Louisville
          9. Hans Crouse RHP HS Dana Hills, CA Commitment: USC
          10. D.L. Hall LHP HS Houston County, GA Commitment: Florida State

          1. 2 things I learned the Draft changes all the time . There is alot of bad pitching in the Mlb right now . Even the Aces have an off game Arrieta today 7 bb 5 r 5 ings. The Phillies could move down easily .

    1. I think, as a general rule, this is a good idea. If baseball doesn’t move a little more quickly and become more interesting, fans are going to be leaving the game. Pitch clocks are a no-brainer. The NL should have the DH – something that I think will happen by 2020. Limiting positional shifts is a great idea. I think the game could use a refresher but they need to be careful – fundamentally changing the strike zone could be scary and probably useless. In the past, whenever the strike zone changed, the umpires slowly changed it back to what they wanted anyway.

      1. The shift is kind of like the zone trap in hockey I really don’t like either. I like to see the DH tryed for 1 yr. The avg Age for viewing mlb is 56. The offense is trending up which is a good thing.

  31. Not sure where to put this but Ryan Howard was officially cleared by MLB along with Ryan Zimmerman. Great news for him and his reputation.

    1. Ok Featherston drills a Rbi double , Burriss is a poor , poor man’s C Herandez which is not good Mack most like them. My Aces are getting there arse handed to them .De groom was creamed by San Francisco 5 ing 13 h 8 runs. Bumgarner hit a hr off him . Bumgarner gets hit hard too. Arrieta walks 7 and gives up 5 in 5 ings. Baltimore game today 5 hrs in the first ing. Boston lit up Fulmer for 4 in the first today. Steve matz has shoulder pain out for the yr .

  32. Romus. I don’t know If you listen to the game last night. I found the answer to a question I asked you about a week ago. Why guys go to cardinals and become good.. Mike Schmidt addressed the question last night, he said its the coaching and the way the cardinals play. They are taught the game the right way, 16 years since they have been out of the pennant race. Even guys who come up from the minors, step right in and play the right way. They showed how many starters are out and still playing good baseball. Amazing to be constant pennant threat with new guys coming to team. Davis said look at these guys most were not with team three years ago, he said it seems they change guys and don’t miss a beat.

    1. rocco…..I heard that…..that is debatable…..IMO the Cardinals draft ‘safe’ guys. Players with have higher floors and lower ceilings….they got lucky on Pujols.
      But I posted a few years ago all of their first round busts……their later rounds they got players who had ‘better than average seasons but typically for only 3/4 years’
      …one notable exception Yadier Molina.
      But they also do make good trades…Holliday for one ….than Carpenter from the Jays and Wainwright from the Braves, a dozen or so years ago. And besides trades they do sign a FA or two to fill the role they want.
      Heyward wasn’t the greatest trade nut he served his purpose last year.
      As for LA talent….they do very well…..Reyes now, though that was a suspicious signing altogether…MLB did not investigate……then their great talented OFer who died in that car crash a few years ago….Oscar….forgot his last name.
      So they do sign …and pay for LA talent.
      What MJ said about coaching….all the teams have good coaches.

      1. Romus I don’t agree with all teams have good coaches. Right now I think Samuel isn’t the greatest, He hasn’t been able to get thru to Herrera on stupid running and outfield plays. And the one guy who I got rip for liking was Cesar, I thought he would hit and has great speed , but doesn’t steal bases, makes dumb plays on the bases and in the field. Samuel job is to work with this guys. and imo he has fail. There is no reason that cesar shouldn’t be a 30 plus base stealer with 280 average and good fielder, its the same blunders that get him killed, I love to have david lopes back.

        1. rocco…yes, Oscar Taveras….died in the off-season , fall of 2014 in his home country.
          And as for coaching…..today’s stories reveal how Larry Bowa came down hard on Cesar at the end of June and worked with him in the cage. Probably also told him ‘get it togethe this year’ because there are people behind you who will want your job .starting next season. Look at Cesar….has that determined look on his face..same with Freddie…they know the score next season…one may have to go.
          Don’t blame Sammy for all the Latin players faults…..hard to change what you have been doing since you were 5-years old. North American kids have all the organized instructive programs fro T-ball all the way up…with people who can instruct them…Latins kids have sandlot for the most part.

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