Open Discussion: Week of August 22nd

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

The Phillies went 2-4 last week losing both series to the Dodgers and Cardinals.  They completed a 5-4 home stand.  They go on the road this week for a two-game series against the White Sox and 3-game series against the Mets.  They are off on Monday and Thursday.   Their record stands at 58-67 (14-19 since the break).

The Phillies lost 2.5 games on the second wild card spot and trail St. Louis by 9.0 games.  They have four teams between them and the second spot and two of them are in their division.  So much for my positive outlook last week.

The Phillies’ .464 winning percentage still gives them the 10th worst winning percentage. The White Sox are the 11th worst team.  The two games with the Sox this week are crucial.

What’s up with Cesar Hernandez.  He’s leading the team with his .295 batting average. Herrera is second with a .282 average.  And, Rupp is third at .276.

Franco is leading the team with 22 HR.  Ryan Howard has 19 with 187 less AB.  Joseph has 16 in 218 less AB.

BTW, Howard was batting .154 at the All Star break.  Since then, he is batting .339 with 7 HR and 16 RBI.  He is batting .378 in August.

As a team, the Phillies are toward the bottom of the league in most offensive categories. And, their pitching has finally cratered and the staff is in the bottom half of the league in most categories.



111 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of August 22nd

  1. I have no problem saying this but I want Howard back! Im not sure Joseph is long term answer and Hoskins is another year away.

    1. OMG, please, no. It’s fine to keep Chooch as a back-up catcher – but Howard has NO future with the team, so he needs to move on; he’s impeding Joseph’s development right now.

      1. The Phillies should just sign Chooch as a catchers coach and allow the natural progression of Knapp to MLB, Alfaro to AAA and Numata to AA. I love what Chooch has done for us but it is time to move on.

    2. Sam…put soap in your mouth!
      The ‘Piece’ needs to move onto his next destination in baseball. Joseph needs a full year for evaluation before a guy like Hoskins shows up in ST in 2018 to perhaps challenge.

      1. Oh yeah…not paying full price…but based on his second half he pribably can find a dh or dh platoon situation

    3. Keeping Howard on a rebuilding team is pointless. Bring up Knapp for time at C and 1B to see what you have while Hoskins establishes value at AAA. This will open positive trade scenarios for the team when Joseph, Rupp, and Knapp all build value. No need to put Chooch on the 40 many roster, would rather make him a coach while Rupp continues his growth.

  2. article in Philly Inquirer yesterday about how Bowa was getting on Hernandez a month or two ago to hit the ball on the ground, and Hernandez thought he was joking. what, had no coach ever told him that before?

  3. Hard to believe, but Chooch’s bWAR as a Phillie is now 21.8 and Ryan Howard’s is now at 15.3. Five years ago did not think that would ever happen.

  4. Our boy, Cole Hamels, is in the thick of the conversation about this year’s AL CY winner.

    The funny thing is that he has been a little off this season. His control has been at a career-worst and, in the early part of the season, he was giving up HRs at an alarming rate.

    1. I keep teasing the faithful here in Boston that they could have had Cole for a Swihart package. Boy could they use him now.

      1. I don’t talk high on Amaro but kudos to him for staying firm with Hamels — a Swihart package will probably include Owes, Coyle and Cecchini — with hindsight , that very underwhelming compared to Jake, Nick, Alfaro, Jerad and Asher that the Phils received from TEX.

        1. KuKo….that would have been a disaster.
          Swihart cannot stay at catching…now Leon has moved him down another rung…And Coyle and Cecchini…are they still in the Sox org? I watched Owens pitch yesterday…..he still has a way to go.

          1. @Romus – that’s right! Coyle and Cecchini were both DFA’d and no longer with BOS — I remember Uncle Cholly likes both!! And Owens was like Top 20 that time and BOS is trying to fleece the Phils for a lesser SP. Bradley is another name being mentioned, but he was struggling that year.

            BOS gave the Phils a hard time during the Hamels trade discussion and I will be happy to see Hamels win the CY Young and eliminate BOS in the AL playoffs.

            BOS not only gave the Phils a hard time but also trying to fleece the Sixers. PHI should stay away from them for now.

            1. Yes…I remember Charlie liked them.
              Ruben first asked for Bogaerts or Betts I think…they were ‘pulled off the table’ then there wad the constant pull off the table of one after another…I think the GM was Ben Cherington then and he later stepped down at the end of August…..Dave Dombroski would have pulled the trigger for Hamels…..but not sure for Betts or Bogaerts however.

            2. @romus – i think that’s where Amaro played his cards well by sticking with Xander or Mookie or walk away. If Dave is around, maybe package of younger prospects like Devers, Margot will be included.

        2. Kurdt, Amaro did a great job getting us young talent when he was finally allowed to by our old ownership. When we contend again he will be remembered as fondly as Ed Wade was in 2008. Matt Klentak has brought some young talent in but not as much as Amaro did.

          1. Ed Wade should continue to get credit . . . he basically built the Phillies team that won all those East titles and the WS. He also helped build Houston . . . both franchises just didn’t put out money when he was there. The Phillies finally did when Thome came to town but Wade was already at the end of his rope. Look where the Phillies did he left (with a majority of his players), look where the Astros got too. Now he’s a special consultant since I believe 2012 and the farm system has only gotten better year by year. Wade is def a solid piece in the front office . . . wouldn’t be surprised to see him get another shot at a GM job with another org and if they have money he should fair well.

          2. I just puked in my mouth.

            Seriously, if this cite becomes a gigantic salute to Ruben Amaro, a man who inherited a young, WS winner and steadily turned it into an expensive, barren wasteland, I am going to be sick.

            Amaro was a terrible GM and Ed Wade was, AT BEST, a caretaker GM. You folks need to raise your standards some. Check out what Theo Epstein and his team or what the Cardinals do year after year and get back to me.

            I am, hopeful, however, that Klentak and MacPhail are going to turn the tide. I don’t agree with every move they have made, but I like their approach.

            1. Well how do feel about him as a first base coach?
              And as for the MacPhail/Klentak team……exactly what is their approach so far?
              What I see so far is slow and steady….’Glucerna’ for the most part.

            2. By the way, when it comes to GMs, let’s distinguish what the GM does from what the guy who runs the farm system and chooses players in the draft does. Almost all of Ed Wade’s success is attributable to players that Mike Arbuckle drafted. Mike Arbuckle was already in place when Wade was hired, so he can’t take credit for that. Wade’s one shining moment was the acquisition of Bobby Abreu for Kevin Stocker, which was a great move. BUT Ed Wade also gave us the disastrous Curt Schilling trade (I saw essentially the same trade 23 years earlier when the Mets traded Tom Seaver for 5 mediocre to bad players from the Reds), the very bad Adam Eaton trade and he was routinely outmatched and outwitted as a GM.

              I love how, in the movie “Moneyball” when Billy Beane needed to dump a player, the first stiff he calls is Ed Wade (the movie, of course, is based on real life events). Even better, Wade is suspicious of Beane’s motives, but he still goes through with it. Classic!

            3. MacPhail and Klentak, from what I can tell are trying to: (a) add tiers of young talent to the farm system (even if it means moving another young player, like Ken Giles); (b) improve scouting; (c) increase the investment in player acquistion and development; (d) improve dramatically the use of sabrmetric tools and analytics; (e) improve the teams draft position (not quite tanking, but not unnecessarily inflating win totals but using veterans); and (f) shed payroll to give the team maximum financial flexibility moving forward.

              Slow and steady is exactly what is called for at this point – if you skip steps, you become the Diamondbacks.

            4. That Moneyball incident was hilarious, but you need to be a Phillies fan to appreciate it more.
              As for Wade/Gillick/Amaro/Klentak as GMs…..its their watch, the accountabilty rests on them, they take the credit and also the blame for what happens in the standings during their tenure.
              Currently…….still remains to be seen how things turn out.
              And the ‘a’ thru ‘f” scenarios….all initiated in the prior regime from the signing of Tocci in 2011 for $850K, thru the JRoll trade and finally to Hamelsf and Ortiz signing in July ’15.
              ………..I like slow and steady…..but also like to see some of the Coppolella/Preller/Daniels/Epstein approach.


            5. Romus – I agree that we need to wait to see how things turn out and we need to see what they do when they get to the point where they have to make the really hard decisions. So, right now, I like their approach – I like where they appear to be headed. That’s half the battle. The other half is the difficult decision-making (which started when they traded Giles and continued when they did this year’s draft) and we won’t know for many years how good they are at this.

  5. Every time Jeremy Hellickson has a good game (like he did this weekend against St Louis), it becomes more and more a sure thing he declines his QO. BTW … how’s that Marlins’ decision pass on Hellboy in favor of Andrew Cashner looking right about now ? Cashner is winless (0-2) in four starts since the trade. He has a 5.48 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP. Miami trails the Cardinals for the last WC spot by 1.5 games. The difference between Hellickson and Cashner (not to mention Stanton’s injury), could keep the Marlins from making the playoffs. The Marlins can’t say they didn’t see enough from Hellboy. He dominated them twice right before the trade deadline.

    1. Marlin has the talent to compete with their OF + Dee and staff anchored by Jose Fernandez. However, MIA is also the organization wherein the incompetence of the FO trumps the talent they have.

      Klentak could have said yes to Hellboy, Obbie + another RP for Naylor and Castillo. Cosart is the SP that they probably need and could have kept him.

    2. What they did do was put Phelps in there Rotation from there bullpen. That was a stoke of Genus by the Marlins he’s outstanding there.

  6. Who on the Marlins list of prospects projected as equal in value to a sandwich pick? I don’t remember any of the proposed Marlins names either offered or demanded.

    1. I think if Miami offered Philly what they offered to San Diego Klentak would have taken it. Carter Capps has a very big arm and pitched incredibly well his first year in the majors before getting hurt.

    2. Don’t get me wrong. I’m very happy with #30ish first round 2017 draft pick the Phillies will get. I’m talking from the Marlins’ point of view. They dealt Josh Naylor and Luis Castillo to SD as part of a deal that also included a second MLB starter (Colin Rea … who ended up back with the Padres after an arm injury). Castillo was returned to Miami when SD agreed to take back Rea. According to reports, the Phillies were close to consummating a deal with Miami when the Marlins suddenly insisted on a second pitcher (Eickhoff has been reported). In the end, Hellickson would have been a better get for the Marlins than the combination of Caashner and Rea.

    3. If the Marlins had been willing to give up Naylor and Castillo for Hellickson, I would have made that deal. However, Miami apparently wanted two MLB pitchers for that price. Like I mentioned, I totally fine with the first round draft pick. Next year’s draft is supposed to be a very good one. Plus, that pick will add more than 2 million slot dollars to the Phillies’ bonus pool.

      1. with all the injuries to the SP, you never know, the phillies could make him an actual offer.

        if that doesn’t happen, the other risk variable is if his agent isn’t getting great offers elsewhere for a longer term deal, that $16M+ qualifying offer for one season isn’t such a bad option if they want to wait a year and test again.

        1. You never know. The Phillies could resign Helickson, but I think it’s more likely they extend him the QO … then excersice their end of Charlie Morton’s mutual 9,5 million dollar option.

          1. Hinkie – agree with you on this. The Phils set a high price on Hellboy based on the probably that they can get a comp pick for him — so I’m almost 100% certain that the Phils will offer the QO that sign Hellboy long term. If they need that veteran innings eater – Morton at $9.5M is a reasonable deal.

            1. I’ve never understood the argument of Charlie Motion as an innings eater. He had never pitched over 175 innings, has only pitched over 150 innings twice in his career, and averages less than 100 innings per season.

            2. @aron – the concept of the innings eater for a rebuilding team like the Phils is someone who can pitch every 5 days and ease the load of the bullpen and young rotation have. morton doesn’t need to pitch 200+ innings as he will be flipped for prospects at the trade deadline.

        2. Quchi….’if his agent isn’t getting great offers elsewhere for a longer term deal, that $16M+ qualifying offer for one season isn’t such a bad option’……….teams have until five days after the WS to make qualifying offers. At that point the players have seven days to accept. So by mid-November JHellickson is coming back or moving on.

      2. Hinkie… where the Os could still try a waiver deal for Hellickson…..but doubt it will get pass any of these four AL teams…Royals, Mariners, Tigers and Astros.

    1. actually, reading a bit more into him, he never played in AAA. and he doesn’t have many starts in the minors in general because of his injury history. so he could really use some developmental time in AAA.

    2. I saw the early part of yesterday’s game. No doubt, VV has electric stuff, but he couldn’t throw any non-fastball for a strike. He needs to calm down and realize that you can’t blow by all hitters. And he needs to have more faith in his secondary pitches. It didn’t seem like that yesterday.

    1. I like DL Hall. I think if the Phillies are picking out of the top 8, they could draft a HS pitcher (Hall). I like Zac Lowther a lot, too. Next year’s draft is supposed to be loaded with pitching. How about that Mitchell Stone. If the Phillies pick him late first/early second, they can line him up next to Kyle Young and have the most intimidating front court in the GCL intramural basketball league.

      When Hellickson declines his QO, the Phils should land 3 of the top 50 picks. I’m already excited for it.

      1. Hinkie….HS guys do scare me a bit…especially the ones who thrown in the mid-90s and above….seems it is just a matter of time before TJ comes their way.
        But Stone and Young would really be an impressive sight.
        If Hellickson does pursue FA, hopefully Boras does not play a waiting game with him and drag it into June before signing on with a team (that is one of his tactics)…then the Phillies may have to wait until 2018 to capitalize on the transaction.

    1. I’d be happy to see Puig in Philly; hate to see him playing in Atlanta or elsewhere in the division. If the Dodgers are taking offers while Puig’s stock is so low, it’s worth the offer. Check out his stats in Oklahoma City. MacKanin speaks Spanish and fancies himself as adept with hispanic players, Puig would be the test.

      What would I offer? Knapp OR Lively plus a 2d piece — maybe a choice off a list that includes some tweeners (Ruf, Asche, Morgan) and lesser prospects (Tocci, Moore, Valentin, Stassi).

  7. Strasburg elbow tightness put on 15 day . MATZ too R Cuff and Shoulder injuries. This is blow for Nats , Mets Are pretty much done. THE Dodgers won today 18 to 9 today .

  8. When talking about Hellickson and the QO also remember that a team will also GIVE UP that pick to sign him . . . I just don’t see Hellickson as a player worth giving that pick up and whatever money you think it would take to sign him. Again . . . you can eliminate about 33% teams because of the following . . . (imo that is)

    Rebuilding teams: You aren’t going to want to give up that kinda pick for a back of the rotation pitcher (Rays, Twins, Angels, A’s, Phillies, Brewers, Reds, Braves, Pads, Dbacks, Rockies)

    I would also think that middle of the road teams aren’t going to want a a back of the rotation guy and give up that pick . . . I mean Hellickson doesn’t really put you over the top.

    On Hellickson side:
    -A QO would be more money then he’s ever made in his career (Combined)
    -He’ll be 30 going to FA next year (has been pretty healthy throughout his career), he can take the QO in the 2015-2016 off season and hit the market again at 30. If he pitched well he will have done 2 things . . . 1. Make it possible for another QO (Which would basically mean he played his past 2 years on a 2yr 34m deal. Or 2. He’s a FA who just made 17m the year before, if he pitches 2016 to lets say his career averages, he would be inline for a 3-4 year contract (maybe from a bigger pool of teams and another year showing he can pitch to a sub 4).

    I actually think him pitching this well is hurting him, that QO will hurt him.

    1. The thin SP market is another factor that the Phils are considering. JA Happ got a 3-year last year. True, the bottom half will probably not sign Hellboy, but the other half will find a way to solidify their rotation. Hellboy at 30 yo, is worth a 3 to 5 years deal.

    2. This year’s FA pitching class is very weak. Helickson is probably the best arm on the market.Yes, the QO will hurt his value, but he should still get a similar deal to the one JA Happ got last off-seson. Also, those bottom teams you mentioned will have their first round pick protected. They would lose a second rounder, instead. I could see the Angels as a potential landing spot for Hellboy. Also, another team who gains a comp pick by losing their own FA is also a likely landing spot for Hellickson. Toronto may gain two comp picks by watching Bautista and Encarnacion walk out their door. Finally, teams who win the competitive balance lottery and gain sandwich picks may also be willing to give up their earlier first round pick to sign Helickson. I’m pretty confident Boras will find a team willing to offer a three or four year deal.

      1. Phillies are in a good position regarding Hellickson. While they should make the QO, negotiate for a 3 yr, $35M deal. I wouldn’t go higher or longer than that. If he and Boras don’t bite, we still have a fine extra pick in ’17. Taking the Charlie Morton option would be my plan C.

      2. These are the following FAs starting pitchers:

        Brett Anderson (29)…. Clay Buchholz (32) — $13.5MM club option with a $500K buyout…. Andrew Cashner (30)….. Jhoulys Chacin (29)….. Bartolo Colon (43)
        Jorge De La Rosa (36)…. R.A. Dickey (42)
        Doug Fister (33)…. Jaime Garcia (30) — $12MM club option with a $500K buyout
        Gio Gonzalez (31) — $12MM club option with a $500K buyout
        Jason Hammel (34) — $10MM club option with a $2MM buyout
        Jeremy Hellickson (30)…. Rich Hill (37)…. Derek Holland (30) — $11MM club option with a $1MM buyout
        Scott Kazmir (33) — can opt out of remaining two years, $32MM on current contract
        Mat Latos (29)…. Colby Lewis (37)
        Kris Medlen (31) — $10MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout
        Charlie Morton (33) — $9.5MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout
        Jon Niese (30) — $10MM club option with a $500K buyout
        Ivan Nova (30)…. Jake Peavy (36)
        CC Sabathia (36) — $25MM vesting option with a $5MM buyout
        James Shields (35) — can opt out of remaining two years, $44MM on current contract
        Alfredo Simon (36)
        Edinson Volquez (33) — $10MM mutual option with a $3MM buyout
        Jered Weaver (34)…. C.J. Wilson (36)
        …Hellickson based on age and this year’s performance rates right near the top.
        Pitchers like Cueto and Gio Gonzalez may not get to free agency.
        Which means Boras will ask for the sky….and he could be a ‘hold-out’ to later in the season unless he gets what he feels is fair market value. .

  9. Happ is also 17 3 with 3.06 Era if Hellickson does half of what Happ is doing he’ll be fine. Pitcher’s are having a tuff time this yr, with the injuries and under pro forming . There’s 15 starting pitches under 3.00 in MLB.

  10. A few days ago; Nerris pitches 5 pitches in the 8th, gets pulled for the 9th while the closer blows the save in the game the phils lost in 11 innings.

    Seems like management staff is as interested in padding stats as much as the players.

    1. Routine is as important to baseball players as most folks. Knowing what your job is and performing it regularly is helpful to production. You will have noticed that the next night they both did their jobs perfectly. Management is supposed to know these things. Pete obviously does.

      1. I don’t subscribe to that theory and I doubt Pete’s reason for 1 inning pithers is routine. It’s more likely their assumed and established role.

        If a closer is relatively successful (say 85-90%) which is what the phils closer is; and Pete would allow Nerris to pitch the 9th, and Nerris would have blown it, then the blame would have been on Pete and not the closer.

        Just sayin that on teams without a “lights out” closer, which describes the phils, that its not a ‘sin’ and would be appropriate to let the hot hand and strong arm finish a game now and then.

  11. unrelated topic, but I just want to text support for Galvis on netting issue. For years at Reading and LV we always got seats behind the nets because of my 80yr old father. With his passing we got seats behind 1st base dugout at LV.
    now I am always on high alert for foul balls when I hav my young granddaughters and a right handed batter is up. This vigilance distracts from the game, I for one would like netting completely down the lines. The percentage of fans not paying attention to the game at minor league parks is astounding.

  12. Is anyone else a bit disappointed that this Phils season did not really clear anything up? I was hoping someone would have established themselves as a legit contending team every day player or mainstay in the rotation. The best performance was by Cameron Rupp. Franco has quite a ways to go, especially in his pitch selection. Nola, who I believed was, at his floor, a #3, I am no longer sure of. Hopeful, yes, but sure, no. VV has to learn how to pitch and develop command in his secondary pitches or he could end up a Reliever as quickly as a #2. After Rupp, I would say Eickhoff has established himself as a #4 on a good team. Odubel still lacks baseball instincts, did not improve defensively, and hitting .330 for one half and .230 for the second, is much less valuable than a .280 consistent hitter. His improvement at pitch selection seems to have regressed right along with the drop in his BA. Sorry for being long winded!

    1. i know what you’re saying, seems like a year where not much “major” got resolved. however, this year was going to mostly be about the development of the young guys in the minors, and that’s mostly what we’ve all been following anyway.

      we did learn a few things. ruf and asche’s chances ran out. cesar hernandez will (should) stick around, while galvis will likely be gone. we got to see a bunch of young SP’s hit the show (eflin, thompson, velazquez) but it’s way too early to draw many conclusions.

      the year isn’t over, the September call ups will be some things to look forward to.

      next year will be different. crawford and williams come up early in the year, alfaro later in the year. plus we get to see if the bash bros can continue to tear it up in AAA (i have major doubts).

    2. Last yr the Phillies won 63 games They have won 58 games this yr,They have 39 games left. Even if they win 15 more games 73 that’s a 10 game improvement . I think that’s the low end of the win total. TJ can hit Hr’s in the Mlb leagues,SO can Rupp, Galvis is an above avg SS that can hit 15 Hr’s 60 rbi’s . C Hernandez can hit and leadoff when he wants too. Franco and Herrera are also big league players regulars .Altherr and Goeddel have a nice future. The pitching is young but Eickhoff Nola have had Success VV too. Eflin and Thompson are young but will loads of up side. The bullpen has too closes in Neris and Gomez. Best part the only have 25 mil on the books next yr. Morton history is not good he’s really not a loggy he’s too injury prone. Macphail has made the same statement twice ” if there a good pitcher out there, that has big contact and a team is looking to trade because of Financial reason the Phillies would interested”. The now get to see there future in September in Nick Williams , Knapp , Alfaro etc . Hopefully can bring up enough pitchers bullpen there was some good that came out of this yr.

  13. MLB-Park Factors for HRs.
    CBP—number 5 on the list….Wrigley number 22.
    1 Coors Field (Denver, Colorado) 1.413
    2 Yankee Stadium (New York, New York) 1.365
    3 U.S. Cellular Field (Chicago, Illinois) 1.282
    4 Chase Field (Phoenix, Arizona) 1.278
    5 Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) 1.226
    6 Great American Ball Park (Cincinnati, Ohio) 1.182
    7 Miller Park (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) 1.180
    8 Progressive Field (Cleveland, Ohio) 1.177
    9 Comerica Park (Detroit, Michigan) 1.151
    10 Globe Life Park in Arlington (Arlington, Texas) 1.122 .
    11 Safeco Field (Seattle, Washington) 1.114
    12 Angel Stadium of Anaheim (Anaheim, California) 1.082
    13 Citi Field (New York, New York) 1.080
    14 Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore, Maryland) 1.066
    15 Fenway Park (Boston, Massachusetts) 0.994
    16 Rogers Centre (Toronto, Ontario) 0.966
    17 Nationals Park (Washington, D.C.) 0.944
    18 Target Field (Minneapolis, Minnesota) 0.924
    19 Petco Park (San Diego, California) 0.921
    20 Tropicana Field (St. Petersburg, Florida) 0.899
    21 Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles, California) 0.891
    22 Wrigley Field (Chicago, Illinois) 0.818
    23 Marlins Park (Miami, Florida) 0.806
    24 PNC Park (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) 0.803
    25 Busch Stadium (St. Louis, Missouri) 0.802
    Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City, Missouri) 0.802
    27 Minute Maid Park (Houston, Texas) 0.797
    28 Turner Field (Atlanta, Georgia) 0.733
    29 Oakland Coliseum (Oakland, California) 0.730
    30 AT&T Park (San Francisco, California) . 0.690

  14. Just read that the Phillies and the Lakewood Blue Claws extended their Player Development Contract for four more years until 2020. Maybe Campbell Field in Camden can host another low level team for the Phillies.

  15. Matt13 – On the pregame tonight Ricky Bo said that Eickhoff would be the Phillies number 1 next year with VV and Eflin and Lively and TBD, maybe Nola.

  16. Could have some good power next month. Middle of batting order 3B Franco – Joseph 1B – Altherr RF – Ruf LF – Rupp C.

  17. Really happy for Cesar he has turned a corner and made himself into a fine MLB player. It’s pretty simple really “don’t get yourself out”

    Case in point Franco. Last night Herrea steals 2B on a ball in the dirt with 2 outs count 1-2. Howard on deck and a lefty warmed up in the pen the next 2 pitches are good takes to work a 3-2 count pretty obvious Albers isn’t going to give in with the base open

    What happens next Franco gets himself out swing and miss at a ball low and away. Frustrating that it is so obvious to me what is going and to everyone on the bench but not him. I love Franco. I think he could be great if he matures his approach.

    No Qualms at all about having TOJO as my 1B he has real big boy power and once he has seen a pitcher a time or two has shown the ability to make adjustments and recognize pitches. I really hope he gets all the starts from here on out. I’n not calling him a future AS or anything like that but easily this kid can give you 250 and 25+ Dingers.

    1. I Talk about him earlier in the season. When everyone was talking about Valentin and kingery. I Said why are we not looking at cesar. Then he really started to make bone head plays, in the field and on the bases. But Romus mention this the other day bowa must have got thru to him. Now Kingery and Valentin could be trade chips if they continue to get better, Or maybe Cesar in a package gets us a top of rotation starter like a 2, This could be a great problem to have. which one to keep and which one brings us what we need. Franco who I love, just needs to figure out what will make him better. I have followed him thru his minor league career, He just does this at every level. struggle then get it. But watching him this year I really never remember him pulling off fastball like he is doing. He moves his head and looks lost. I hope he figures this out. cause he has untap potential.

      1. rocco…Freddy and Cesar see the writing on the wall for next season and eventually JPC coming into the mix at ss…look at their faces and their determination now. They are fighting for their careers.
        IMO, bring them both back and one or both take the Blanco role….Cesar can play 3rd and maybe a little OF as a sub….Freddy can play anywhere but pitcher…..heck give him a catchers mitt in the off-season and he could probably be a decent catcher.
        But no……do not trade Kingery…..when it comes to Kingery,.think Pedroia.

        1. Whoa Romus I do not share your sentiment on Kingery. Pedroia at age 20 in both levels of A ball OPS’d 970. At age 21 at AA-AAA 837 and by age 22 he was full season at Pawtucket before his MLB call up with an 810 OPS.

          I’ll trade him fort CJ Edwards right now and since Theo drafted Pedroia it should be a swap he will make in the off season 🙂

          1. DMAR……I want to let it play out. The metrics are not there for their respective minor league levels, but the skill set is there. But will the Phillies eventually use him as trade chip? Good question.. IMO, I would hold onto him.

        2. I have never seen him or valentin play. So its hard for me to have a option on kingery or Valentin, based purely on numbers. I Hope to see them play.

  18. According to Jim Salisbury, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz have cleared waivers. Nobody wants Howard, but the Indians and Red Sox are considering Ruiz.

    1. Hinkie…at least dealing with the Sox under Dombrowski vs Cherington….he will give you return value since he has a reputation for going for the ring, even if it can be a little costly.

      1. Yeah … Dombroski goes all in. He’s already traded Manny Margot and Anderson Espinoza for this season’s WS run. The Sox have a pitching prospect in the NYPL the Phillies should have a stron interest in. 21 YO Josh Pennington is a TJ survivor. He blew out his elbow in HS (Lower Cape May so he’s a local kid). He’s healthy now, and has a very live arm. According to, he throws 94-98. He currently is a starter, but may end up in the pen. Either way, he’s the type of prospect Klentak should look to get back for Ruiz.

    2. Hinkle I would think chooch would be better for a National league team. He knows the league better. But I wouldn’t care what I got back for chooch. I would like to see him go to a team with a chance to win. That guy derserves it. He never complains a model player imo

  19. Interesting article from Marcus Hayes, don’t always like what he writes. Ultimately, I wonder what the market values will be for Galvis, Hernandez, Joseph, Rupp, Herrera, etc. To make room for the other guys coming up.

    My thought is, that Franco is still growing as a player, but still has many flaws that may or may not be resolved. I would take advantage of his value and trade for an Ace type prospect while potentially opening a spot for Crawford at 3rd base.

    1. Crawford at third? From all accounts he is rated plus defense at ss.
      Not sure I would do that.
      As for Franco, I still like to see what evolves. He is intelligent enough to know what he needs to do to enhance his plate approach.
      When you listen to him talk, that comes out.
      The one young guy I would listen to in a trade would be Herrera.
      At least in Altherr and hopefully Quinn, you have two quality defensive replacements in CF..

      1. Galvis is playing gold glove SS. If a package of Herrera and Galvis gets you a top pitching prospect, you do it.

        1. Yes …that would be an alternative that most would agree on.
          But as Marcus Hayes says…moving Crawford to third and Franco to first……not really somethin I think the Phillies will ever entertain.

  20. I agree Romus, Altherr really plays smoothly out in the outfield, and I think he has an everyday spot next year. I think he is a better Defensive CF than Odubel. Quinn is a Wild Card still. If he can stay healthy, he brings a whole new dimension with his speed. He is a natural lead off hitter. With JP, the top of the order would be in great shape. The if on his health is, however, huge. Williams, Quinn, Altherr works for me in the OF!

  21. Chooch to Dodgers. Phils get AJ Ellis, Pitcher named Bergjans?, and a PTBNL. Chooch deserves to go to a contender. He was a class act here.

    1. Chooch and Chase going for the ring together.
      PTBNL?….prefer they just get some international slot allocation money as the Rangers did yesterday.

  22. cut and pasted from ESPN.COM Former Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis, on his trade Thursday to the Phillies: It’s a really, really sad day for me and a really sad day for my family. One of the things I was most proud of was being a Dodger for my entire career.”

  23. Chooch, thanks for everything you did for the Phillies while you were here. I hope that the Dodgers win the WS and give you, Chase and Joe another championship.

    1. I don’t understand the Phillies insisting that A.J. Ellis be included in the deal, as has been reported. He is 35 years old and will be a free agent next year. He is a lifetime .237 hitter down to .194 this year. He is supposed to be good in the clubhouse, but what can he accomplish there in a few weeks? He clearly doesn’t want to be here. You’d think that they would have preferred almost any young prospect to Ellis. Strange.

      1. Agree….makes no sense….surely Dodgers would not insist he be part of the deal, with only 6 weeks left in his career as a life-time Dodger as he wants to go out.

        Maybe money…..but what is $4M to the Dodgers. Roster juggling for them?
        Klentak said it was the right thing to do for Chooch , since it was Chooch’s call on the trade.

      2. I’m happy that guys want to play for the same team but he needs to be a professional as well. He can retire if he doesn’t want to come here. Ruiz did more for his team as an everyday catcher, high obp and oh yea a world champion. Aj Ellis can’t even sniff chooch 37 yo jock.

        1. Understand that. But why have MK insist he be a part of the trade.
          Phillies are not fighting for anything but third place in the NL-East at this point.
          There are a few veteran catchers near the end of their careers floating around the market place of baseball….or just add Logan Moore to the 40 now…..then DFA him after the season…he clears and then bring him back.
          Moore does deserve an opportunity for his years of service to the organization……and he is a quality defensive catcher that hits left handed.
          So instead he brings in a guy who doesn’t want to be 3K miles from his family for 6 weeks……you are correct….he should retire, but I think he wants to be aprt of the playoff push as a Dodger.

  24. You are correct Romus, it makes no sense. They don’t need Ellis and there are a number of options to avoid calling up Knapp or Alfaro until their Minor League seasons are done. I think the Dodgers wanted to move Ellis because if they make the playoffs and Kershaw comes back, they want Chooch to Catch for him and could not do that if Ellis was around. So, they got Klentak to claim he insisted on Ellis.

    1. matt13….I guess.
      Of all the place Chooch would have gone…I thought Boston and Texas would have been the odds on favorite to want him…the Dodgers were not on my list.

  25. 1 baseball doesn’t make sense at times. Ellis is a Club house leader that knows how to call a game. He will help Alfaro and Rupp with play calling and Ellis knows the league. This trade was about Cooch that’s all.

  26. Guys. You all are losing the forest for the trees. Who serves as our back-up catcher for 6 weeks means absolutely nothing in the scheme of things. Having Ellis around might be helpful and once the roster expands, they keep someone like Alfaro. In the long run, none of this matters – at all.

    1. Heard that Freidman may have wanted Ruiz…..but keeping Ellis on the team, who is hitting below the Mendoza line, could have made for an awkward situation. Kershaw and Ellis had a good cry yesterday about the whole thing..
      Who knows…more and more it is looking like the Phillies did the Dodgers a favor by bringing him to Philly.

    2. Catch a club house always has a leader in it, the Phillies had Cooch . Ellis was the leader in LA, plus the weakest Put in Ruff game is game calling. You really don’t want him teaching Alfaro how to call a game.


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