Open Discussion: Week of September 26th

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

The Phillies went 3-3 last week.  They won both games of a two-game series against the White Sox, beating White Sox’ ace Chris Sale in the getaway game.  They traveled to New York to play the Mets and lost 3 of 4.  Their record stands at 70-86 (28-38 since the All Star break).  

Their bull pen blew two saves in the series opener unable to protect a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the ninth and 8-6 in the bottom of the 11th.  Both implosions came on one out home runs.  A four-pitch walk figured into the scoring before the walk off.  They were fortunate to avoid being swept as their defense and bull pen conspired to blow a 10-0 lead in game three which they managed to win 10-8.

The Phillies were outscored 44-23 in the four game series.  Before losing 17-0 on Sunday, they had scored 13 runs in the first two games of the series ( losses of 8-9 and 5-10) and 10 runs in a 10-8 win Saturday.

The Phillies had a team ERA of 9.94 in the series.  The starters posted a 5.90 and the relievers posted an atrocious 14.29 ERA.

The Phillies close out their season with three games in Atlanta and three games at home against the Mets.

The Phillies 3-3 week raised their winning percentage to .449, but tied for the ninth worst worst winning percentage in the majors with the Brewers.

There is still a small gap between the tenth worse team (86 losses, .449) and the 11th worst team (83, .468).

11. Rockies                      73-83       0.468
10. Brewers                     70-86       0.449
9. Phillies                       70-86       0.449
8. Angels                        69-87        0.442
7. A’s                                67-88        0.432
6. Padres                       66-90        0.423
5. Rays                            65-90        0.419
4. Reds                            65-90        0.419
3. Diamondbacks     64-91        0.413
2. Braves                        63-92        0.406
1. Twins                          56-100     0.359

The sports world lost two stars Sunday.  Marlins’ star pitcher Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident early Sunday morning.  Golf icon Arnold Palmer, winner of 62 tour events and 7 major championships, passed away Sunday evening in a Pittsburgh hospital which he had entered with heart problems this past Thursday.  Condolences to both families from the Phuture Phillies family.

229 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of September 26th

  1. Today is definitely a half-staff flag day in the sporting world.

    Posters on this site would enjoy John Feinstein’s “Where Nobody Knows Your Name.”, published in 2014. It’s as intelligent a treatment of what it’s like to be a player, manager or even umpire in the minor leagues as one can find. It’s based on extensive interviews and travel with certain AAA teams. Names of possible interest from a Philly perspective include Scott Posednick, Frank Herrmann, Scott Elarton and Ruben Amaro (who comes across favorably). There is a chapter, “Slice of Life: Rolling With the Punches in Allentown, Pawtucket, Norfolk.”

  2. I watched a good bit of the Phillies-Mets series. The relief pitching was unbelievably bad, to the point of embarrassing for a big league team. Most guys couldn’t throw strikes consistently and when they did, got hit hard.

    Roman Quinn hit a few balls hard, but struck out way too much (five times in one game). His two-strike approach leaves a lot be desired, but then so does most of the Phillies line-up. I would have preferred to see him in CF; I gotta believe he is a better fielder than Herrera.

    First time I saw much of Jake Thompson. He had more struggles with his control and seemed to “nibble” at the outside corner. Didn’t seem to trust his fastball much. Nice slider, but couldn’t throw it for strikes and the Mets weren’t offering at it.

    Frustrating to keep seeing the Phillies swing at so many bad pitches. It was just one game, but Galvis hitting 2nd is a joke; his strike zone discipline is so bad. Herrera and Altherr also swing at too many bad pitches. Conversely, the Mets swung at relatively few bad pitches and made the Phillies pitchers throw strikes; makes a huge difference.

  3. I finally saw some hope for the Phillies future yesterday. I Would make Klein a starter along with Those guys who pitch yesterday, are future aces on this team. Romus we found our ace.

    1. rocco……sarcasm I see, but can understand because you think it will always be this way.
      But it is always the darkest before the dawn….and the dawn starts next season.
      Three of the five starting pitching staff in 2017 are not even playing now.
      Will see how this group rebounds for the remaining seven games, for some it is an audition of sorts going forward.

      1. Romus would you sign Nova for 4 years for 48 million. Pittsburg is not going over three years. They will let him walk. I don’t know a lot about him. But pittsburg likes him but is cheap.

        1. rocco…not sure for that length of a contract, turns 30 for next season…..TJ in 2014 but seems to have recovered nicely.
          One scouting report on him:
          …throws four pitches: a 4Smr -91 to 95 (tops out at 97 mph), a circle CU- 85 to 88 , a slider/cut FB- 85 to 89 , and a 12–6 CB- 79 to 82 … relies heavily on his 4Smr FB against hitters from both sides of the plate. A high percentage (20–25%) of his pitches are CBs, especially when facing left-handers. Nova worked in 2011 to develop his slider, changed his grip at the suggestion of Yankees executive Billy Connors. The work paid off, as his slider garnered a whiff rate of 43% in 2011. Nova’s changeup is not his main weapon and is not used against right-handed hitters.
          …..I would offer more money but same year length that Pitt is offering.
          But does he become the TOR guy?

  4. It’s a very tough weekend for sports fans when a golf legend and a young extremely gifted pitcher die. RIP

    On a lighter note, I noticed Luke Maglich won the MVP position player award. Wha???? Gregori Rivera, Jesus Alastre, William Cuicas, Brett Barbier, Derick Hall, Enmanuel Garcia and Chandler Hall each had better BAs. Four of those guys had better OPS with Hall being #1. Most of the team had more HRs including Encarnacion. Hall lead in OBP, Hits, runs, RBIs and doubles. Maglich was tied for the lead in BBs with Lucas Williams. He also had no errors but only 1 OF assist.

    I’m a bit lost on Maglich’s choice. I know I didn’t watch him but what are the criteria for MVP? Hall looks like the obvious choice to me.

  5. Mackanin set the tone for this debacle by letting Gomez go out Thursday night to save the game after he said he “probably” wouldn’t. Had the Phils won that game 6-4, it deflates the Mets and perhaps the rest of the series is different.

    1. Well, I doubt the Thursday game had any effect on the subsequent three games, but the way Gomez has pitched in September, I don’t know why you would bring in him to pitch the 9th inning in that situation. Very questionable decision if you’re actually trying to win the game.

      That said, these are meaningless games for the Phillies from a win/lose perspective. Though I would enjoy seeing the Phillies derail the Mets’ playoff drive.

  6. Phillies are pretty much locked in to picking between 8-10. Would be great if they get a college arm closer to big league ready, unless there’s a stud outfielder.

    1. Best player available but that entails more than just sequencing the top 10 players and taking the one that falls to you. You have to decide if BPA is quickest to the show or long term success or who will take the least amount of money and still be a great pick so you can get another shot or two with a reach in the sandwich round of round 2. If Hellickson gets a longer term deal then Sandwich pick is off the table but a high 2nd round pick could be someone special (if money is available).

      Take a look at Moniak. Was he the best player available, if you take 1 year only? The answer is no. Could he be a long term great? Yes he can. Did they save money on the pick to get a very good 2nd round pick plus better other top 10 picks? Yes they did. If you look a ‘C’ Randolph’s 1st year last year and look at it against Moniak, ‘C’ had the better year (.302/.425/.442/.866 vs .284/.340/.409/.740). A lot of people will be dropping ‘C’ in their top 30 lists because he had an injury prone 2nd season that went bad and stayed pretty bad. Moniak is the better positional guy but I haven’t decided yet on their long term prospects. They could be the Jim Rice and Freddy Lynn of the future Phillies but that’s a long way away.

      1. Okay, let me clarify. They should take the player that, in the long term, they believe will be the best major leaguer. Whatever they do, they should not draft for “need” and they should not heavily prioritize a player that they truly think is inferior to another player merely because one player will reach the major leagues more quickly. By the way, I always believe in this philosophy but it’s especially important now that the most important thing to this franchise is not depth, but the acquisition of long-term difference makers.

  7. With us looking below the surface into the minor leagues, one area that looks thin mostly throughout the Phillies’s organization is relief pitching. There is no Ken Giles clone lighting it up. I know that starters with only a 2-pitch repertoire can be converted to relief pitchers. There are numerous examples around baseball, but I think Klentak & Co need to either trade for or sign free agents to shore up this abysmal pen.

    1. This freak out over the bullpen is misplaced. The team is intentionally filling this team with scrubs this September – seeing if there are any diamonds in the rough. And if they get blown out and lose games while giving these guys auditions – who cares? In fact, it benefits them in the long run to lose these games. They will sign a guy or two in free agency and one or two guys who are starters in the minors may end up in the bullpen. It’s going to be fine. A lot of these issues are caused by the fact that Gomez is really a 7th inning pitcher – he pitched over his head for most of the year and is now coming back to earth. He’s not that bad – he’s just not a closer or set-up man.

      1. Exactly!!! This season, Gomez gave them far more than they could have ever hoped for. If he blew a lot more saves, this team would be close to a 100 loss team.

    2. I see two future MLB closers already in AA or higher next season…Cordero and Arano. Cordero will be in the Phillies uni at some point next season…unless he is injured again, and Arano should make his MLB debut in 2018.
      From the port side I can see Joely Rodriguez added to the bullpen mix.
      And have to assume Neris and Ramos are 1-2 next season.

      1. Romus, you are a glass half full sort of guy. I like it. If the Phils were gong to breakout next season, I’d be a little more concerned but the guys you mentioned could be as good, if not better than the Gomez/Neris mix this year. 2018 will be decision year for how the bullpen goes. Maybe the next Giles is about to explode onto the scene. Remember Giles was okay in CLW in 2013. He went to the Arizona Fall League in 2013 and had 3 saves but a huge ERA. He starts in Reading in 2014 and he’s lights out. LHV was exceptional too and ends up in Philly at the end of 2014. He has a great 2015 in Philly and with little hope of Philly being a NL East power, they got some good players for him. I’m sure he surprised even the best scouts between 2013 and 2015. The next guy might be staring us in the face but we can’t see him yet. But we’ll probably keep him this time.

        1. Oddly…..seems quite a few Latin pitchers have the most upside of becoming quality relievers in the system, and it seems even thru the majors on other teams. Not sure why that is. Maybe it is a coincidence.

      2. Given the absence of a highly prized, experienced closer, the Phils should deploy a righty-lefty tandem in the closer role in ’17. A ‘situational closer’ becomes the guy better equipped to face rhe hitters due up, either righty or lefty, in the final inning. This sharing the burden would reduce the likelihood of September burn-out on display in Philly and elsewhere. Lefty Brett Cecil is a free agent many consider unlikely to be re-signed by the Blue Jays. I’d like to see the Phils sign him and match him up with Neris to fill the closer role in 2017.

      3. Neris, Ramos, Gomez will be the 1-2-3 as of right now with Rodriguez as lefty in pen. Subtract 10 pitchers off 40 man roster (add 3 back on from 60-day DL) that opens up 7 roster spots. 5 of those 7 spots will be filled to protect prospects from rule 5 draft. So I can see Klentak shopping for (hopefully) 2 quality relievers with one being a closer. remaining bullpen spots will be battle of non roster invitees and prospects.

        1. BobD…since relievers can be very fluid from year to year, I just do not see Jeanmar as the closer next season. Just doesn’t have the whiff factor going for him. Neris, on the other hand, if he stays healthy could be that guy. Gomez is arbitration eligible for next season, so I can see that raise coming his way, but think he will be the 7th inning or set-up guy.

          1. I agree that’s why I expect Klentak on signing a closer of some sort. I’m not expecting Neris or Ramos in that spot to start the year

    3. Ken Giles didn’t “light it up” until his fourth minor league season. From 2011 thru 2013, other than his K/9, his numbers were somewhat pedestrian. His BB/9 was down right scary. It wasn’t until 2014 when he “lit it up” in Reading, that he moved quickly. And his BB/9 and K/9 regressed in AAA that season. But, he made the most of his call up to the Phillies that season. And so did the Phillies when they moved him to Houston.

    1. Wow…Brito is a surprise to me, at 12 no less. Figured he be in the late 20s or early 30s if they would have extended it that far.

      1. You’re undoubtedly right, Jim. But this is a ranking of prospects, not who was best in the GCL, so my guess is that Sixto’s frame marks him down a bit in BA’s eyes.

    2. Summarizing the write-ups

      Moniak – stellar start, appeared very tired at the end of the season. advanced combination of tools and skills. good strike zone judgment, thinks he can become 10-15 HR hitter. Smooth defender

      Sanchez – easy delivery, pounds the strike zone. Sits 92-96, touches 98 with solid sink that leads to weak contact. commands FB well and uses all quadrants. 2 secondary pitches that flash plus (CB and Change). good athlete, excellent fielder

      Brito – probably stays at 2B, bat is his calling card. advanced hitting approach, good plate discipline and pitch recognition. high contact hitter. future 8-12 HR hitter, main value is in on-base skills. average runner/average defender/solid-average arm

      Ortiz – he appeared to tire late in the season. 70 raw power. great bat speed. 25-30 HR potential. needs to improve pitch recognition. pull oriented approach without natural rhythm in the box. Late in the year, pitchers threw more break balls, keeping him off balance and he also expanded his strike zone. has made significant progress on defense. arm plays in RF.

  8. I think the scouting report on Ortiz is the one I would write for Williams. I still believe seeing him at lhv, he has trouble with pitch recognition

  9. By the way, I am completely devastated by the loss of Jose Fernandez. If you had to pick 20 current players who will end up in the HOF, Fernandez would definitely have been on that list. In my view, he was the best young pitcher in baseball not named Clayton Kershaw.

    This year my wife were home watching a game where he was pitching against the Phillies and she asked “who is this guy?” I told her it was Jose Fernandez and explained how good he is. She said he’s not like the other players “he looks like a machine out there.” She grasped his excellence intuitively – his ability was exceptional and unusual.

    Such an awful loss for his family, his friends and his team. He will not be forgotten.

    1. It’s interesting that she should describe him as a machine considering he was the most animated pitcher I’ve ever seen (not that I’m saying she’s wrong, he was surely robotic in his pitching). He was just a joy to watch. Not just because of talent, but also enthusiasm. When I read he died, I felt the same way I did when I read Halladay was retiring.

      But this is even worse. I still hold out hope Halladay will re-join the organization (as more than a guest instructor, and even though it’s more likely he’d go to Toronto), he still makes appearances, and his name will be enshrined in the Hall for everyone to remember. Life goes on after baseball for Halladay. But it never will for Jose. In one respect that’s a very romantic sentiment. But it’s such a devastating loss. We’ll never get to see what he ultimately becomes. We’ll never know if he becomes the greatest pitcher since Pedro. We’ll never see him vie with Kershaw to be this generation’s defining pitcher.

      And what’s worse, a mother has to bury her son (the same son that saved her from drowning when they escaped their country) and a child will now have to grow up without its father. The only consolation I can take is that his child will surely grow up hearing stories from so many different people about how great his/her father was.

      This is really tough to cope with.

        1. Odessa, I think. But he is a guest instructor for the Phillies and Blue Jays in Spring Training. Just wish we could convince him to have a more full-time job with us.

      1. My wife was just watching him pitch – he was a big, dominating and unstoppable force on the mound – that’s how she meant that.

        1. Yeah, I understood. It’s just an interesting juxtaposition to think about. While the ball was in play, he was extremely methodical and focused on his job. But the second he didn’t need to worry about the next out, he was all smiles and energy like a little kid.

  10. Getting back to the earlier draft discussion I would rather the Phillies take BPA, don’t worry about trying to get a guy to sign for a lower number so you can take another good prospect in the second round. Now is the time for the team to start aiming for elite talents, there is plenty of solid depth in the system but very few guys that project as potential all-stars.

    1. There are the three of the most important positions on the field that may project as all-stars…JPC, Alfaro and Moniak.

  11. Nah get power bat pitches you get later in the 40 th QO selection. After reading that Hr article let’s get some more power.

      1. That’s the new trend Boston was 1 of the highest scoring team and yet 1 of the toughest to stike out. There pitching staff doesn’t have 5 RH flame throwers. Yet there favorites to win the World Series . The power is only going to increase next yr mite break records.

  12. It would be foolish not to capitalize on the band box we have in CBP. Not that we have to have a 20+ HR guy at every position but at least 3 regulars should hit 25-35 per season – two corner infielders and one outfielder, and maybe another 20+ from our catcher.

    1. 8mark…..don’t we have that already?
      …Franco and Joseph at the corner infield, with Cozens, Alfaro. even Rupp and also Hoskins coming shortly.
      Or do mean trade for a MLB player now or sign a power bat FA?

      1. Romus,

        I wouldn’t assume Cozens since he may only turn out to be a platoon. A free agent or trade trade target should be an established slugger. Reddick might fit the bill.

        Yes Franco SHOULD be a 30-35 HR guy but the jury is out. I’d give him the benefit of the doubt for now.

        Will Joseph become a more polished hitter or will he be Kingman lite? Hoskins is an intriguing piece. But I’m not sure he’ll be a 25+ guy.

        I think Alfaro will be a doubles machine but at CBP that could translate into more taters. I’m hoping he’s hits more for avg.

        So to answer your question – we need to go after one big bopper, for now.

      2. Tj and Hoskins play the same position Tj is basically being benched for Howard last tour. TJ really came on the second half still holds a 820 .ops . Lol he already runs and throws better then Howard did . Saying that there are very few teams since the free agencies period began that have all prospects on the team. The Phillies do need bullpen help and OF help. A couple of veteran bats good bp arms would help.

  13. Romus, I really believe that Franco can be that 32-35 HR guy and add 30 points to his BA as he gets some support around him. I think that will allow him to increase his OBP as he does not feel that he has to do it all. I am still high on him. Hoping that TJ can up his game as well. I don’t think Rupp is here long term and we still don’t know about Hoskins and Cozens. I think a FA bat or 2 are added at some point, just not this off season.

    1. I could see a bat for OF position added this offseason. Maybe not by free agency but could be a trade. Herrera is the only one penciled in. Quinn has great potential but has shown a tendency to strike out a lot so far. Altherr has not excelled as we all hoped but still could come around. Williams and Cozens are not there quite yet but I could see them as a great power lefty/righty combo either occupying 2 OF spots or a platoon if the splits are bad.

      1. BobD….don’t rely too heavily on September call-up metrics…..they rarely ever look exceptional for prospects, even the best of them. In fact, I would worry more if they were too good.
        Even Mike Trout, though at age 19, had a very mediocre mid-Aug/Sept call-up after raking his way thru the minors.

        1. Quinn’s k % was 21% @ Reading this yr ,his k % @ reading last was 16 %. 40 some atbats is not Enough at the Mlb league level he still as some work to do.

  14. Can a franchise in a market as big as Philadelphia and flush with money from a sweetheart tv deal go into 2017 with a 35-40 million dollar payroll? If so how do they justify it, seems like a slap in the face to the fan base.

    1. I think they can justify it for another year as long as they can convince the fan base that they are moving in the right direction. With that being said, I do expect them to either sign a couple of FA’s or trade for players with expensive contracts to fill holes. Similar to what Atlanta did with Matt Kemp. But their payroll will remain well below $75M for 2017..

      Right now, they are on the hook for only $24m in 2017 and all of that is in dead money ($10M for a Howard buyout, $13M for Harrison, and $1M for Morton if they decline his option). They have no other guaranteed contracts on the team.

      Of course the arbitration guys like Franco, etc. will not be non-tendered so they will add to the payroll but most of their current 40-man roster isn’t even arbitration eligible yet.

    2. On the surface you’re comment is understandable. However, being flush with money doesn’t mean you can throw it at anything and make it better. There’s a high price to mediocrity these days, let alone the few elite players available. The plan to build won’t be helped by simply spending a lot of money. But yes if there’s a legit stud on the market, I want to see them aggressively pursue him. Who might that be in 2017?

    3. @dank – I think the Phils can only go 2 ways to satisfy the fanbase:
      1st – sign the best FAs available
      2nd – promote and play all the top prospects (i.e. JPC, NickWill, Appel, Pivetta, Lively, etc) to the big league. Most will say that the are not ready yet – but the fans will be more accepting to see struggling prospects than a struggling veteran placeholders.

      1. KuKo…….many people want the Phillies to sign FAs….you can probably do that for the Hellicksons of the baseball world….pitchers trying to recapture their past performances for their last bing contract, ie Andrew Cashner….and the Phillies can squeeze that type of pitcher in the rotation somewhere.
        But when it comes to position players…those Fas may want to go for that 3/4 year deal and there are not many positions available, that prospects will need to be promoted to in the next year or so. There are no infield positions that will be available……CF and catching seems out of the question… it is LF/RF….and what do you do with Quinn/Herrera or Cozens, and Williams?

        1. Romus, what you do with young prospects when they’re big league ready is promote them and trade the guy in their way, or trade them if a better longterm answer is already in place. I wouldn’t NOT sign an established bat because I’m afraid it will cause a logjam.

          I’m also not dead set on having to sign a free agent IF I’ve enough value and depth in the organization to trade for a coveted player I’d otherwise have no chance of acquiring.

            1. Here is something Andy MacPhail said the other day:
              “I don’t think you want to make a long-term commitment to a player that is not a game changer in your mind, if you think you have an internal option that might be better,” MacPhail said. “You want to keep the flexibility there. At the same time, nobody has too much pitching. Any time an opportunity arises in pitching, I think we have a responsibility to pursue it. But there’s no, ‘We’re going to be dormant for a year and in two years, watch us.’ That’s not the way it should be. The way it should be is we’re always open.
              “But I think we have enough promising kids in the system that some of that offensive fix will come from within. And we have enough financial flexibility going forward that those areas where we don’t have internal solutions, we’re going to have the wherewithal to find external solutions.”

        2. @romus – there’s nobody in the FA who “realistically” the Phils can sign of “value” other than a couple of SP that are bounce back candidates. there’s really nothing the Phils can do to compete in 2017 — so I’m willing to roll the dice on seeing the following:

          OF – Quinn-Doobie-Altherr-NickWill
          INF – call up JPC by May
          C – trade Rupp and promote Alfaro and Knapp
          SP – sign a couple of Ivan Nova/Cashner/Morton type to augment the young core of Nola-VV-Jerad-Jake-Eflin
          RP – Neris-Ramos-Cordero as late inning arms and joined by Appel, Joely, Pivetta or any of the young who cannot make the rotation.

          Another scenario I want to see is to package some depth (i.e. lively, asher, tocci, canelo, etc) to acquire a legit bat.

          1. KuKo,
            Yankees are one team that will be looking for depth in starting pithing. And I assume part of that need for depth would include major league ready arms….Phillies have a few…Asher and Lively for two. But not sure what value they would bring back.

          2. KK no way Quinn or N Williams are everyday regulars at this
            time . I don’t think I’ve ever seen 2 rookie catcher’s start a season .Nova wants TOR money , Cashner noway he wants to leave The Marlins because of there facial hair policy . He can’t pitch with it or without it to many walks and hr for CBP. More like trade or sign 3 good Bp pitchers 2 good veteran bats. MK always said prospects have to earn there promotions . AA to the Majors us a huge step no many prospects can do.

            1. @tim – agree that Quinn and Nick are not yet ready for regular starts for 162 games. but we are talking about 2017 – a year that they will not contend and probably will go 81-81 if everything goes well.

              so yes, while both Quinn and Nick are not ready, I still prefer to see them struggle thru their development rather than to see rethreads of Paredes, Asche, Ruf or any veteran scrubs in the OF.

  15. Forget about signing Martin Prado as a Free Agent this offseason. Prado just signed an extension with the Marlins for 40 Million over 3 years.

  16. Which free agent outfielder would you like to see the Phillies acquire?

    • Yeonis Cespedes
    • Josh Reddick
    • Ian Desmond
    • Mark Trumbo
    • none of the above
    • someone else

    1. Cespedes but Cespedes will choose NYY. Prado – who can also play OF and as suggested by some of us here – is a good option for the Phils.

    2. Matt joyce and Steve Pearse played in Baltimore with Macphail I think. There not going from long term money 1 to 3 yrs . They will give the Phillies veteran atbats both have high obp . No sexy as Ian Desmond 2017 2018 the Fa class maybe the best ever.

      1. Steve Pearce, who will be 34 next season, you probably could get for a year under $5M…..but is he injured and still on the 60 day DL?

    3. Free agent Michael Saunders as a left-handed bat for left field. And Danny Valencia in a trade of a lesser prospect or a waiver signing if he is released by Oakland. Valencia plays the 4 corners — LF, RF, 3B and 1B.

  17. I go with none of the above. I want to see them spend money but not waste it just to say they spent it. And, I don’t want to rush the young players. I have no interest in seeing JP or Williams until they are ready and I guess that leaves us with more of the same for 2017. Hoping for improvement from Franco, TJ, Alfaro and anyone else, and hoping that JP and Williams prove they are ready to be promoted. I was all in for Prado but that is off the table. I don’t see a TOR guy to throw money at, so I think the off season is one where they add a couple of bullpen pieces and that is it.

  18. Quinn is put together like a scarecrow. They gotta beef up guys like him and JP, at least for starters. Is somebody on staff assigned to monitor hydration?

    Growing up in the ’70s, I don’t recall so many injuries when 4 man rotations and an everyday starting 8 were the norm. Now we have specialization in mlb and nobody stays healthy. What up!!

    1. Part of it is selective memory, I’m sure. It’s hard to remember the guys from 40-50 years ago who were always injured because they didn’t have a lasting impression like the people who weren’t.

      But mostly it’s because of the evolution of the game and players. Pitchers especially. They throw harder, their pitches have more movement, and they’re bigger. They put a TON more stress on their body than players of earlier generations. The human body is just not built to hold up to that over time. Plus, while 4 man rotations meant more MAJOR LEAGUE innings, most of those earlier pitchers didn’t pitch from such a young age as nowadays. So many of these injuries are to pitchers who have accumulated all that bodily stress for many years at a much younger age.

  19. The platoon of Ryan H. and Tommy Joseph.
    Produced plenty of HRs at the first base position, but the wRC+ splits seem to have favored TJ…with league average being 100.

    T.J.- vs LHP=140……………vs RHP=104
    R.H.- vs LHP= minus 11…..vs RHP=94

  20. 8mark, it is the same oblique he missed 6 weeks for. I don’t know what they can do to strengthen that part of his body. Maybe there is a physical therapist on this site. I am so high on him but the injuries just never stop.

    1. Just seems to be too many soft tissue injuries, ligament and tendon tearing….other than the broken wrist and concussion.
      Who knows…he may have a mineral/vitamin deficiency or an imbalance.
      Have to assume they do all the testing for that.

  21. Doesn’t Pete know who the owner(s) of the Phillies are that make final decisions?????

    “Mackanin said Tuesday afternoon. “I’m anxious to hear from (general manager) Matt Klentak and from (president) Andy MacPhail and if there’s an owner there. We’d like to hear what they have to say. We’re pretty much in agreement on a lot of what we need.”

    1. The Manager has a say in it at times he’ll tell them what he needs . Now they don’t always listen , saying that any baseball personal in the world can see The Phillies need OF and relieve pitching help.

    1. GOD NO! don’t want him in the clubhouse, don’t want his undisciplined bat, and don’t need another centerfielder.

  22. BA Top 20 for NY Penn League

    11. Adonis Medina – has matured physically and added to his FB – consistently in low to mid 90s, touching 97 – has hard, late breaking slider with plus potential – change-up should be serviceable – mid-rotation starter upside

    and that is it for the Phillies … AJ Puk in the #1 slot

    1. Not really promising news that a highly drafted Division I college pitcher is in the NY Penn League regardless of his ranking..

          1. He can’t place himself anywhere. He goes went where they put him and he was very good. He struck out a lot of batters and kept his walks under control. The short season was a success. At least let the guy fail before you damn him.

            1. And it’s perfectly understandable why he started here. With Puk it’s all about control and command. If he establishes that, he has a chance to be an elite player and rise quickly. If he doesn’t he’ll either be a wash out or a high leverage reliever. They probably put him in lower A ball because they are working on his mechanics while they tinker with what he does. Given his issues and upside, he did fine. He’s not a quick riser like Nola, he’s a high risk, high reward, longer development guy – like Randy Johnson.

            2. Not damning him at all. Just responding to the mention that he was the #1 ranked prospect in the NY/Penn league.

              His short season was so-so. He did strike out many batters but his other numbers were pedestrian. However, I put no stock in short season numbers, especially for newly drafted players making the transition to pro ball so next year will really be his first test.

        1. Also, being ranked #1 doesn’t mean he’s the best performer in the league but rather the highest ranked prospect. No doubt his draft position has much to do with that.

          1. No different than Sixto Sanchez, as 6th, in the GCL Top 20…RHP Matt Manning was ranked higher, but Sanchez was awarded the best pitcher

    2. Thought Darick Hall could have snuck on the list at 19/20. Third in the league in HRs, first in OPS and SLG and 10th in OBP.

  23. Not to add the proverbial rain that’s already falling but when you look at Atlanta’s roster right now, Freeman, Kemp and Swanson are better than our best player….whoever that is. And then the possible return of Brian McCann next year. Who among our arms is as good as Tehran? A sobering thought to keep perspective on the road ahead.

    1. Well, Kemp isn’t (at all), but your overall point is a good one. Atlanta is, as a rule, acquiring better prospects than we are. It seems that when Atlanta makes a trade it acquires one or two grade A prospects whereas we get 3 or 4 grade B or B+ prospects. I’d take the quality over the quantity any day of the week.

        1. To give Klentak and company some credit, they really have one major trade under their belt (the Ken Giles trade) and in that trade, they did get a grade “A” talent – Vincent Velasquez – plus a bunch of grade B prospects – with varying talents. They also made one under-the-radar move that was very good – acquiring Hellickson and they made another move that I think would have worked out great – signing Charlie Morton – had Morton not been hurt (Morton was throwing harder and better than ever – I think he would have been quite good).

          I know many here are clamoring to sign guys immediately and “improve” the team. But the team is kind of in an odd place right now. It doesn’t have a lot of “can’t miss” type prospects, if any (even Crawford, who is a great prospect, isn’t a “can’t miss” guy, although he’s pretty close to that), but does have a lot of depth and a lot of guys who could end up being good and inexpensive. The problem is that, at many positions, it looks like there’s a good chance that the team will have an affordable option for the medium or long term, but it’s unclear which player will prevail and how long that will take. In order to find out, however, the team needs to let these players develop and audition them. It takes time – maybe a year a more because some of these players aren’t even in the majors yet. So, if you sign a starting catcher, you’ve kind of screwed the chance that Rupp, Knapp or Alfaro can audition for the job (actually, it’s kind of Rupp’s job know, but you know what I mean). The same thing is true in right field – you could sign a guy to a 5 year contract in right, but then what happens to Altherr and Cozens? And how about third? You’ve got to give Franco a chance. Second? Unless you get a stud in return, Hernandez is already good and keeps getting better. Short? No can do – have to keep the position open for Crawford. First? You could do it, but how does Joseph get at bats? It’s not an easy situation.

          The one area where I think they could safely acquire help is on the pitching staff. If you signed an ace or a “near ace” there will always be room for that player on the team. Similarly, the team could spend like $15 million (for the next year) in the offseason and shore up the bullpen – it’s not a big deal – tons of teams do it every year.

          As for the line-up, unless they can somehow acquire a true star consistent with their long-term goals, if they are looking to be more competitive next year, they COULD acquire a corner outfielder on a one-year contract. But where does that get them in the long run given that they probably won’t compete for the playoffs next year either and it will block a free competition for that spot among younger players. It seems like a dead end to me. Nope, unless they are able to acquire a true star type player that would carry them through the rebuild and into contention, I think for next year they probably need to stay the course with the rebuild with respect to the every day line-up. It will be frustrating for a while, but it’s probably the right thing to do. And it really has nothing to do with their desire to spend or not spend money – it’s just where they are in the process.

          1. catch, what you’re describing is the need for a near term and middle term plan. Good teams do this all the time. You can make a case for keeping the significant catching and infield pieces in place.

            The outfield is another story. Question marks abound. So getting a team-controlled player on a one year deal and a left handed bat with pop on a two year free agent deal makes sense and supports the development of current pieces in what currently is a pathetic batting order. Outfield prospects like Williams, Cozens, Altherr and Quinn (Pullin?) need to show their stripes at AAA and earn promotions when they’re ready.

            The free agent I like is Michael Saunders and the other bat would be Danny Valencia, who has one year of team control and has seemingly fallen out of favor in Oakland. They don’t represent too high a bar for prospects to compete with. They’re not immovable objects blocking the prospects. And if the prospects I mentioned can’t beat them out, then they are dubious prospects.

            But a batting order of Hernandez/Herrera/Franco/Saunders/Joseph/Valencia/Rupp/Galvis or even
            Quinn/Hernandez/Herrera/Franco/Saunders (Valencia – platoon)/ Joseph/
            Rupp/Galvis improves on what the team has currently.

      1. Klentak must come up big this off season with all the “depth” in the system. He mentioned yesterday the possibility of trading young prospects for a bat. There’s not a lot out there on the free agent market this time around. Maybe Reddick or Trumbo could be signed, but he’ll have to be creative to infuse some stability into this awful lineup. If “Kemp isn’t (at all)”, he sure made a BIG difference. Atlanta’s offense lit up like a Christmas tree after he was acquired. Let’s see what MacKlentak puts under our tree this year.

        1. Romus, the sub-title of the article you cite is

          “There isn’t really a good guy or bad guy here. Just a couple players the A’s should move on from.” (referring to the altercation between Valencia and Billy Butler).

          Butler has moved on and is fairly productive with the Yankees. So if the A’s are intent on moving from Valencia, he’s worth a one year deal for a team desperately in need of better hitting.

          There are always a multitude of reasons not to do something — that’s called inertia. Valencia would be a low cost investment that doesn’t tie the team’s hands on other deals or the promotion of prospects.

          If it came to a deal like offering a guy like Ricardo Pinto for Valencia, I would do it in a heartbeat.

    2. I think ATL FO did a good job in acquiring as much talent. They operate with the intent to “fleece” every GM in the league and trade anybody for something. They even completed a trade late in Sept!! In addition, the fully commit to acquire talent as evidenced by their aggressive IFA signings. SD is also doing the same strategy that’s why their farm improved significantly in the last 6 months!

      While the Phils FO likes to play as the “good boys” trying to play within the rules and be noble in their dealings. Thank God the Phils (had) have Cole Hamels, Sal and Johnny – the depth of the farm is because of them.

  24. By the way, people need to pay attention to how well Cesar Hernandez has played this year, especially toward the end of the year. His September OBP is .458! Look at the monthly progression in his statistics – it’s clear and impressive. For all of his limited power, he has played the second half with an .833 OPS while playing elite defense. He sure has his share of WTF moments, but he’s become a fine player in spite of these.

    Folks, he’s not the problem – he’s part of the solution, either as the second baseman going forward for the next few years or as a very valuable trade chip. And if he can keep his OBP in the high 300s or even low 400s, the idea of him, Crawford and Herrera hitting 1-2-3 could be very attractive.

    1. @catch – I have no issues with Cesar’s tools and skillset. My main concern with him is his “mental focus” — he can be a good short term solution but not somebody who you can trust in a long run. I’ve seen so many athletes in different sports with so much talent but implode because of lack of mental character. Cesar doesn’t even have the “pedigree” of a real good MLB player.

      If the “WTF move” will be added to runs scored every game, then I might agree with you.

      1. What “pedigree” is that? He was a highly touted prospect – among the top 10 second base prospects in the professional baseball for several years. As you said, he’s got skills and tools and he now has experience – what other pedigree would one want for a baseball player?

        And, again, I think we are confusing Cesar’s occasional lapses (which are frustrating – yeah, I get it) with his commitment to his job. If you look at the body of Cesar’s work as a minor leaguer and major leaguer, you will find one overriding theme: consistent improvement in virtually all facets of his game. Furthermore, the lapses don’t make him a bad player – they are the obstacle between his being a good to very good player (which is what he is now) and an excellent player.

        Again, go to the stats. Look at his season. The progression has been superb this year.

        You are right that we need to see if he can continue this improvement into next year – it’s a fair concern – so he hasn’t fully arrived yet, but he’s getting there!

        1. @catch – I think we think of the same definition of “pedigree” — however, I don’t agree that Cesar is “highly touted” like what you mentioned. None of his tools gets anyone excited so I think you are diluting the definition of “highly touted”. Cesar was never mentioned in any Top 100-150 during his tenure as minor league, you call him “highly touted”? Cesar was not even considered a “consensus” Top 5 Phillies prospect during his time considering the farm is shallow.

          Cesar = highly touted? really?

          1. KuKo…I think I remember one-time he was rated number 5 of the top ten 2nd baseman by Fangraphs or BP, pre-2011 or pre-2012 rankings.

            1. That’s what I was referring to but, at this point, does it even matter?

              He’s far exceeded any reasonable projection and his tools, with the exception of his power, are very good.

              I’m not trying to make Cesar our into something he’s not, but this year he was a very good player and we don’t know if he’s done improving.

              You may not feel he’s a very good second baseman based on the eye test – but he actually is – he played extremely well at second this year.

            2. @romus – I remember that as well. but 2B prospect is a shallow list. somebody can be Top 10 2B but actually outside of the Top 500 all positions.

              I like to be proven wrong, but “this year” stats doesn’t change my view about Cesar. Physical tools are not there to sustain his current success.

    2. I been saying this kid has played well and all I hear is the name of a player in a ball, no one gave this kid credit. Yes he does make some bonehead base path mistakes.

      1. rocco….it wasn’t until after the Twins series out the end of June, in Minnesota, that the ‘Bowa neon-light’ went on for Cesar . Among the mental focus aspects on the base paths, he also started viewing video on opposing pitchers with more of a discerning Utley vision and put the ball on the ground as directed.

  25. This was not Cesar’s first year in the league and his base running is awful. How do you consider him an elite defender? Galvis, yes, not Cesar. I was very pleased to see his progression at the plate through the year and he deserves credit for that. I think JP needs the beginning of next year to re-establish himself as a “can’t miss” prospect. He regressed this year. I am still high on him but cannot call him “can’t miss”, especially after seeing Seager and Russell play this year.

    1. “How do you consider him an elite defender”?

      Check out Fangraphs and also watch him turn double plays with Freddy – they are a well-oiled machine out there. Fangraphs has him as a plus 14 runs saved defender at shortstop – essentially a plus 2-3 WAR defense alone. He’s ranked number one in baseball in runs saved at his position in both leagues. That’s how. Even if you use bWAR – he close to a 1 WAR defensive player.

      Is Galvis better at short? Yup. But that doesn’t mean that Cesar is not also an outstanding fielder.

  26. Catch, when the season started the Phils were the 30th ranked team defensively at 2B. Now Fangraphs has Cesar higher than Dustin Pedroia. I don’t see it. If I am wrong, I am the first to admit it, but watching him play I don’t see a top defensive 2B.

    1. It’s not surprising. One of the things that is almost impossible to see (unless a guy is making highlight reel plays) is a player’s range, but this probably has the most effect on his value. Also, I go to a lot of games and the one thing that does come across better in person than on TV is how phenomenal Cesar and Freddy are at turning double plays. Together, they are spectacular at this.

      1. It’s the same reason why it was originally very surprising that Utley had such great fielding WAR numbers. To the naked eye he always looked mechanical and forced at second – never smooth nor spectacular. But what Utley did incredibly well was position himself correctly and break properly to the ball. He was probably the best I’ve ever seen at almost any position in knowing how to break to the ball. He would run to the correct position BEFORE THE BALL WAS HIT, based on his expectation of where the hit was likely to go based on the type of pitch that was being thrown and its location. This resulted in some weird plays where you’d see him shown at the last second on TV running to the left when the ball was to his right (or vice versa) and you would think “why the hell is he running away from the ball?” But he wasn’t running away from the ball, he was running to the place where he thought the ball would be hit and would sometimes have to double back when it was it someplace else. In any event, doing this gave Utley great “range” that accounted for his great defensive numbers – not his being a great whiz with the glove or arm.

  27. And you are certainly correct that watching him actually improve and work at his job makes you want to root for him, and I may very well ne wrong about his defense. He is the starting 2B next year and if he improves his base running and other mental mistakes the way he has improved his offense, then kudos to him. And, I don’t mean to infer that he is bad defensively, I questioned the term “elite”.

    1. @matt13 – I’m with you. Catch normally makes sense but to describe Cesar as “elite” and “highly touted”….it’s hard to comprehend.

      1. Well, we will just have to agree to disagree, but the numbers this year don’t lie. He was a very good ballplayer.

          1. And highest fWAR at 4.2. On Fangraphs, he was the 37th best position player (including DHs) in baseball, ahead of some really fantastic players. He’s a damned good player and what’s more important is that he came on strong at the end.

            1. I like to see his monthly grading among all 2nd basemen from July 1st thru now.
              I am willing to bet he is top five across the board except for HRs.
              Doesn’t he lead the league in infield hits?
              ….I guess bunt hits count there however.
              Valentin or Kingery will find dislodging him in the near future difficult…..if Cesar maintains this production.

        1. Cesar 13th in the majors for 2nd baseman with a wRC+ of 109….higher than Odor, Schoop, Castro, Panik and Chase.

        2. @catch – for me, the queue here is: “this year”…in order to be “elite” or considered “highly touted” — there must be a good “body of work” (which means multi year and not just “this year”).

          cesar opens some eyes and performed above expectations — but those are not the same as “elite” and “highly touted”.

          if I’m an athlete – you’ll be my agent!!

          1. You’re a good guy KK – that was funny.

            I think we all agree that we need Cesar to do this for at least another year or so before we can be confident that the gains are permanent. But if he continues to play like this (and stops the dufus mistakes) he will either be the long term second baseman or he will command a lot in a trade.

            1. @catch – hahaha!!! we’re all love here. but I agree that cesar will be the Phils starting 2B. Part of me is looking at Kingery that’s why I can’t see Cesar anything but a placeholder. If the Phils decided to move on from Cesar – I hope that they can get good value of him – since like what you said, he can be a very good MLB player.

  28. I think the Phils need to trade for a leader, a guy who can lead the young guys as they move towards being a playoff team in two years. What would the Pirates want to move McCutcheon? He had a bad year for him but I bet he bounces back. The Pirates have two guys that can both play CF and Cutch makes a lot of money that the Pirates would like to redistribute. It would probably take 3 guys, something like Thompson, Cozens, and Knapp. That feels like too much but I know I’m very close to the prospects while Cutch is an MVP caliber player, if he bounces back. Thoughts? Other leaders that could be pursued instead?

    1. Eventually, JPC is suppose to be the bus driver. But until he gets to that point, like your idea on McCutcheon.
      And the three you mentioned is probably about right on the mark…..though they may want Hoskins ilo of Cozens, since Josh Bell is probably more of an OF type than first baseman. And Knapp becomes the prospect to some degree, to replace Reese McGuire who they moved in July to the Blue Jays. I’d offer Asher before Thompson however, to see if they would oblige, if not then Thompson.

    2. McCutcheon is too close to Free Agency for me to make that trade. We need a leader who will be here 3-5 years for me to make that trade.

    3. zero chance the Phillies are getting McCutcheon away from Pittsburgh for 3 prospects with big question marks.

      McCutcheon is signed cheaply for 2 more years so maybe Pittsburgh thinks about trading him in 2018 when he’s approaching FA IF they are not in the playoff chase but it’s going to take much more that those 3 players to get him.

      1. I disagree…….McCutcheon has trended downward in his last three years to a very poor 2016. Can he rebound at age 30? That is the risk the Piorates may nopt want to take with FA in 2018.. Will the Pirates want to go for an extension with him, I doubt it very much with Meadows knocking on the door.
        It would not surprise me if he is dealt this December.

        1. He’s not trended down the last 3 years. his 2014 season was actually better than his MVP season when he was 3rd in MVP voting and in 2015 he’s OPS was still almost 900 and he was 5th in MVP voting. He did have a down season in 2016.

          He’s scheduled to make $14M in 2017 which is a bargain for an elite center fielder. They are not going to trade him for anything less than multiple top-level prospects.

          I just got done reading comments stating how the Phillies management has to be better at getting quality vs. quantity but now the Pirates are going to take several B-level prospects for an MVP caliber player.

          1. His bWAR has steadily declined form its peak in 2013 at approx.8.
            2014 and 2015 they were excellent, but they trended downward.
            His K rate has steadily has risen by 2 points every year since 2013.
            The trend for progression is not painting a rosy picture for him right now at age 30.
            Further, the Pirates , will want to find room for Meadows, and Marte and Polanco look like they are staying for awhile.
            They will entertain offers for him…whether or not the Phillies could ever compete in a market for him may be uncertain or doubtful, but the Pirates could land a substantial haul from someone.
            I still think he is on the trade market come December.

    4. No way Pittsburgh goes for that package. 3 maybes for an elite player who’s had an off year. They’ll want one top OF prospect, 2 top pitching prospects and another top 10 player just to start the conversation.

    5. If I’m the Pirates, I want 2 top 50-60 prospects for McCutcheon Say a pitching prospect and position player.

      Nationals: Giolito and Robles
      Rangers: Brinson and Ortiz
      Dodgers: De Leon (or Urias?) and Bellinger

      I don’t see the Phils having a comparable package to offer the Pirates.

        1. You’re right. Swap in Gallo for Brinson. But the Rangers, Nats and Dodgers are playing for now and I could see a lively auction get going on McCutcheon. Not hard to see him traded this off-season, given the Pirates’ history.

  29. I’d throw some money at James Loney on a short deal or Logan Morrison either can back up Joseph as a Left Handed hitter. Hoskins forces a move or he doesn’t.

    As for outfielders I don’t see any that are worth losing a pick for but I’d watch for a few guys to see if they don’t get a QO: Rasmus, Reddick, Joey Bats and possibly even Carlos Beltran.

    The one guy I would consider losing a pick for would be Ian Desmond. You could tempt him with a 5/125 and a 3 year opt out.

    None of the pitchers appeal to me. Depending on how Morton’s injury rehab is going he is a measly $9.5 million to pick up his option which is mutual.

    1. I don’t think they would pick up that option and I don’t think they have to do that. He’s a big question mark for the Phillies or anyone else. They could give him an incentive laden deal that gives him close to that value if he makes, say, 25-28 starts. But if he’s healthy I like him. He had nasty stuff before he got hurt.

    1. rocco….wow, the uncertainty of a prospect! I was so wrong on him and also Dom Brown.
      After that marijuana event, he kind of flattened out. He still is fairly young, so he could resurrect his career somewhere. But first base jobs are limited.

  30. Keith Law admits underestimating Jerad Eickhoff:
    Law wrote:
    “I hadn’t seen Eickhoff in the minors and, based on what I’d heard about him, had him as a back-end starter, saying he had the repertoire to start but giving him a limited, back-end ceiling. Eickhoff had a good curveball with Texas. But the Phillies’ staff has encouraged him to throw it more often, and it’s been a difference-making pitch for him. His curve accounted for 40 percent of his swings and misses in 2016, and it’s one of the most effective curveballs in MLB right now; that pitch alone has made him more than just a back-end starter, and he has been the Phillies’ most valuable starter this year. He is probably a league-average, No. 3 starter going forward with the arsenal he has — average fastball, plus curveball, inconsistent slider that flashes plus but on which he makes too many mistakes — and with 4-WAR potential, given his durability.”

    IMO, he should be opening day starter next season in Cincy if he avoids injuries in ST.

  31. Romus, remember back when the trade was made and we hated to see Singleton go? Most on here thought that he was a terrific prospect. Then the whole Dom Brown fiasco, from the #1 prospect in Baseball to the minors with Toronto, I think? Please don’t let Williams, or even worse, JP, fall into that abyss. I am putting you in charge of their development!

    1. matt13…hah.
      Yes remember all that hoop-la in those trades…….and the two prospects that were traded and nary a word of dissent…Carlos Carassco and Jonathan Villar…have come on and prospered. Go figure.
      Though one big difference between Brown/Singleton and JPC/NWill…..the two latter can play defense at the MLB level now.
      I hope their development path follows something similar to Gary Sanchez of the Yankees, when for a period of a few months in his one season at Trenton in 2015 he went into a swoon of sorts and people doubted his dedication…but he came out pretty fine it seems.

      1. William in my opinion isn’t a Dom Brown He has a better swing then brown. I still think he is guessing too much. Doesn’t recognize pitches fast enough. I believe he will be better with another season in minors.

        1. Right now, Williams and Crawford are in different leagues in terms of prospect rankings. Crawford had some struggles this year, but his fielding continues to improve and his plate discipline is awesome. He’s still a great prospect.

          Williams has serious plate discipline issues which have to be resolved for him to have any shot at long term success in the big leagues. In my view, Williams fell pretty far this year as a prospect, but that view is only marginally impacted by his issues with the manager. It’s mostly about on-field performance.

    2. Domo and Jon have too many holes. JPC is not bust-proof but his tools sets his floor high – his hitting will determine if he’s just a regular or all-star (and potentially HOF). I think NickWill is better than Domo and Jon but a level below JPC. NickWill may not be able to reach his ceiling but he will be a better MLB player than Domo.

  32. I hope you are both right. They both are certainly better defensively. Brown was an adventure. JP has a very good eye, and I hope that Williams is the kind of kid who wants to get better, and the Manager change goes a long way in helping him.

  33. Brass is meeting with the coaching staff today to discuss the off season.

    Jon Heyman says look for the Phillies to go after a left handed bat who can play 1b and OF.

  34. Logan Morrison, maybe? It will be a platoon guy, and I think DMAR mentioned him before. But, I don’t see anyone who will make that big of a difference and we are looking at another poor team next year, maybe 6 in a row. Prospects need to really step up next year or this rebuild may have to start being rebuilt!

  35. Despite my hopes for the contrary, I believe it’s more reasonable to expect the front office to make intermediate moves this off season. So long as the roster isn’t full of AAAA players with no future, I can look forward to three things in 2017:
    1 the draft in June
    2 at least 2 if not more prospects called up at the trade deadline along with our starting rotation beginning to take shape, and
    3 an aggressive off season with a better crop of free agents than this one coming up.

    1. 8mark…as for the June draft….if JHellickson does not take the QO and does sign elsewhere, even with the sprain knee issue currently going on, with the comp pick, the Phillies could draft 3 players of the top 50.

      1. Romus, the Phillies look like they will have the #8 pick as Milwaukee and the LA Angels have passed them. With sweeps San Diego or Arizona could pass us. I don’t like the Mets but the more the Phillies lose the better the draft pick.

        1. And I think if the Phillies end in a tie, same record as another team, they get the lower pick, since they finished last in 2015….is that correct?
          Also last drafts’ 8th pick was valued at approx. $9.4M, and with a 4/5% increase in 2017…should hover in the $10M area. So money-wise the Phillies should have flexibility with their top three picks.

    2. They just said on air that at least 1 Veteran bat a difference maker . 2 get help in the bullpen I like see Asher he throws stikes which is getting rare . 3 always looking for Sp help. Mack said they might not be playoff contenders but Improved .

  36. BA list for the SAL league

    8. Franklyn Kilome – scrapped spike CB for more traditional one, great results, getting swinging strikes in the zone – sits 92-96 touches 98 – rudimentary changeup – many scouts see a future reliever- Kilome said he can make adjustments to remain a starter

    19. Jose Tavares – thick bodied with a deceptive delivery – projects as a #4 starter – 3 solid average pitches

  37. Well its my last weekend for a while to celebrate what I believe was the greatest era in Phillies history. Nothing against the late 70’s and early 80’s teams, but as phuture Phillies we have to have loved watching all those 90’s and 2000’s prospects making up what was pretty much encapsulated by Howards career.

    I know a lot of folks have downed the big man for the past 5 years cause he got a bloated contract, but that last out of 2011 just reminds me how much he gave to this organization.

    This year was especially tough to watch him stay below the Mendoza, but I did enjoy the memories with every bomb he hit this year. Hope he hits a couple more this weekend!

    I will probably say it again in this Mondays thread, but I am thankful for Ryan Howard

  38. I just looked this up and was really surprised:

    Player A:
    (1) (age 21 season) at A+: .268/.306/.333 in 452 PAs
    (2) (age 22 season) mix of AA & AAA: .291/.329/.404 in 589 PAs
    Player B:
    (1) (age 21 season) at A-: .250/.314/.337 in 282 PAs
    (2) (age 22 season) mix of A+ & AA: .281/.335/.388 in 586 PAs

    Player A is Cesar Hernandez; Player B is Scott Kingery.

    Is Kingery just comparable to CH, but a year behind him developmentally (which is actually significant, prospect-wise)?

    For comparison to Kingery in 2017, CH’s age 23 season was 440 PAs in AAA at .309/.375/.402 as well as 131 PAs in MLB at .289/.344/.331

    1. Tim, do you think the number of years it takes a player to get to the majors has anything to do with how old the player is when he starts in the minor league system?

      The doubles are nice, no doubt. 36 doubles in Kingery’s age-22 season is great. In CH’s age-22 season, he only had 30 doubles, but he had 12 triples! In fact, Kingery and CH had exactly the same number of extra base hits (44) in their age-22 season.

      Keep in mind that CH is a productive major leaguer. I’m not suggesting that Kingery is a bad prospect. All I’m suggesting is that, based on his minor league production to date, the idea that “when we’re ready to contend” we’ll have a much better second baseman than we currently have . . . I’m not sure that’s the case.

      1. It depends CH came for the VLS where Kingery came from college too totally different places. Most college baseball players don’t start in low A , Kingery is being fast tracked to the Majors. If the Phillies thought CH was going to be there future 2 nd baseman they wouldn’t have put Kingery in the AFL this yr. CH game us based on speed and getting on base .

      2. I am so tried of people beating a dead horse. They never seen kingery but make him the best prospect in all of baseball. He doesn’t have power. so what the hell makes him better, Then CH who is doing it at the major league level?

        1. Roc, you could make the same argument by replacing those 2 names with JPC and Freddy. But would you?

  39. CH SB % is a joke for a lead off man. Mack was thinking about pulling the green light for CH on 9 / 22/ 2016 . Kingery As 41 sb 8 cs he know for his Baseball IQ .

      1. I believe I was the one who brought him up first. But I just hate that people keep downing CH, he isnt perfect, but he is a pretty good player.

        1. You and me both, brother. If Cesar was doing the things that people are putting him down about, he’d be a top 20 player in baseball. As it is, this year, he was a top 40 player or top 50 player.

          I’m kind of done with CH conversation – people are going to think what they want to think. I don’t think they are correct, but they aren’t going to change their minds about him. It’s just so odd to me that they are focused on HIM.

  40. Tim your broken record. One guy is doing it against minor league catcher. Most wont ever make the majors. Most don’t have great arms. or do you know if the pitcher are good at holding on runners in a ball? You cant compare minor leaguer to majors. Especially a ball players Now if he is doing it at high level, maybe different.

    1. Well so are Roccom , CH has the worst SB % in major baseball. His game is speed and when can’t use because he can’t get good jumps . Minor league catcher’s with bad arms what? The Phillies Alfaro, Grullon, Moore, Can’t think of the 1 from Clearwater, All have Guns . Most of the cather’s above A+ either have great pop times or good arms. Come on are you really going to tell CH has Avg mlb power. He leads the majors in flied hits. You telling me Kingery has no power and CH does. Wait

    2. CH HAS power 27 in HR ,18 slg % among the 2nd he is dead last in doulbes, Hr , and and Rbi’s. The among the top 20 there 20 mlb 2nd base I’d rather have.

  41. If my math is correct, the Phils will have a pick between #7 and #9 in the Rule 4 draft. If the Padres win their last 2 games and the Phils lose their last 2, they get #7. If the Phils win their last 2 games and the Brewers lose their last 2, then they get #9. If the Phils split, they pick 8. If the Brewers split and the Phils lose both games, the Phils still pick #8. If the Padres split, the best the Phils can hope for is #8. The most likely scenario is Phils picking 8th.

    1. This is correct. The Phillies are now locked into picks #7 thru #9.

      To get pick #7, the Phils must lose their last 2 games and have SD win their last 2 games. To get pick #9, the Phillies must win their last 2 games (unlikely the way they have been playing) and have the Brewers lose their last 2 games. In all other scenarios the Phillies get the #8 pick, which is by far the mostly likely outcome.

  42. I think that the Kingery argument is based on the hope that his upside exceeds Cesar. Most of us who are on this site want the Phils to get back to the 2006-2011 status as a top team. Those teams had the best 1B, 2B, and SS in the whole history of the franchise. And, arguably one of the very best Cs. So, either Superstars have to develop, somehow, from the JP, Williams, Alfaro group or they will need very high level production from every position on the team. Can Cesar be that? I don’t know, therefore praying that Kingery or someone else develops into a better player. Cesar certainly would not be the lead off hitter on any playoff team.

    1. rocco….Cesar’s last three months have been at this pace:
      .313/.445/.833…..K-18%….BB-15%…..SB-14….Triples-6…Doubles-7….sOPS+-130, with somewhere north WAR4.
      If you can guarantee me this is who he will be for the next 4/5 years…then I am in on Cesar.

      1. Why are people so emphatically down on this guy? You’d think my prior posts were praising Kyle Kendrick. A little frustrated by his occasional boneheaded plays I can understand. But not liking him as a player – it makes no sense to me especially with how the numbers have dramatically trended up the second half of the year.

        1. And by the way, my being up on Cesar (at least guardedly so) has NOTHING to do with my views on Kingery. Kingery could end up being a really superb player. But he’s probably a year or two away, so Cesar’s not blocking him right now. There’s no conflict between the two players right now at all. And if Kingery looks like he might be a better player, Cesar could always be traded.

  43. Catch, I am not down on Cesar. I root for him, in large part, because I love a guy who makes himself better, and he has certainly done that. What I said was I don’t consider him a leadoff hitter for a playoff team. You convinced me he was a better defensive player than I had given him credit for, but his overall base running, and his lack of success at steals does not equate to a lead off guy. Maybe he can improve in those areas like he has with his hitting and plate discipline. Kingery projects, and so far only projects, as a much better top of the order guy. But he would still have to hit and have the OBP that Cesar does.

    1. matt13……next season’s start is critical to Cesar’s future at 2nd base as a starter. He comes out mediocre and flat, then things could change for him.

      1. He better learn how to steal a base and get stronger . If Bowa hadn’t had that talk with him . Think about it CH only has to increase 48% SB rate hit more then 14 doubles ,6 hr , 38 rdi’s. There Ben Revere numbers except he could steal 40 plus bases a yr. There was around 20 2nd baseman who hit 20 hr his season. Some much younger then CH . See the probelm right now is that’s CH is the 2nd baseman on the team with the lowest runs in the league. When that changes it may take a few yrs .CH will be somewhere else may be even next yr.

        1. Cesar is actually pretty strong (for his size) and extremely fit – as was Ben Revere. With Cesar it’s the way he swings that has historically limited his power. They had him try to hit down on the ball, which helped him to drive the ball better, but it’s unclear how much more power he can generate without entirely retooling his swing. He definitely needs to improve his steal percentage (everyone agrees on that), but his runs scored are so low because, as a group, the guys hitting behind him were really bad at getting on base and driving in runs. I think there’s some hope, especially when JP gets to the majors because JP is an on base machine.

          If his contract wasn’t so long, he was a little younger, and it wouldn’t cost so much (in players) to acquire him, I’d love to see what this team could do with Joey Votto hitting after Cesar, JP, and Odubel and with Maikel following him in the line-up. There would be a hell of lot more scoring, I can tell you that for sure.

          1. Interesting Mack there might be a postion change with Franco moving to first. Wierd unless there’s a better 3rd baseman out there then RF.Franco is Vg at 3rd but if they could bring in a power hitting vet 3rd baseman somebody who could bat clean up. Funny TJ this yr runs faster then Ruf and Franco . You can try him in one of the corner OF postion he already has the Arm for it.

  44. With the 8th pick, the Phillies take ????. BA’s list of the top 11 are (in no particular order): RHPs: Tristan Beck, Alex Faedo, Alex Lange, J.B. Bukauskas, Tanner Houck and Kyle Wright. 2 way players: Hunter Greene (SS/RHP) and Jordon Adell (OF/RHP). Outfielders Quintin Holmes and Connor Uselton and a SS named Ricardo De La Torre. All the RHP are College guys. All of the position players including the 2 way guys are in High School or the PR Academy. I’m sure as spring comes around, there will be other guys brought into the discussion. I know little to nothing about these 11 guys but look forward to learning about them.

    1. One name left off your list from BA is LHP Brendan McKay from Louisville.
      He could also be a top ten pick by the time the draft rolls around in eight months.

    2. I hear Hellickson what’s to stay , Phillies will pick a power bat at 8 they don’t feel the pitcher next yr at 8 pick are any better then what they have. They have no interest in HS pitcher just like last yr.

  45. Nick Fanti from yesterday, courtesy of baseballbetsy.

    …to me, reminds me a little of Jaime Moyer in his delivery.

  46. Interesting about Mitch Walding,,,,,the Phillies have him playing a little first base in the FIL. I wonder if he will play any of that in the AFL starting next week and what the Phillies see as to his future.

    1. That goes with Mack saying the might be bring in A 3rd baseman. Move Franco too 1st bring in a clean up vet hitter.

      1. Of late. Mack has conjectured a lot…..another veteran bat in the middle of the lineup, Herrera to LF, Franco to first base…..will see how Klentak responds with action.
        Unless he gets another extension within the next 8/9 months, he probably will not be back..

        1. John Middleton cant do what he wants. Cause those two devils. Montgomery and Giles made it hard for one owner who wants to spend the money to win to have control. I hate BILL GILES guts. I think I hate him more than any person on this earth. Why don’t he just sell his small piece and let middleton do what he wants, to get us back. So Romus to answer your question, klentak might not be able to do what he wants,

          1. Roccom – calm down. Giles and Montgomery have zero power and no say anymore. ZERO. The only reason they are around is that Middleton is a gentleman. Their presence is only ceremonial. Nobody gives a flying crap what they think and nobody wants their opinion.

            1. But your anger is understandable – even admirable be issue the two of them made a lot of mistakes, but worst of all they made the same kind of mistakes over and over again. So I appreciate your frustration.

            2. Roccom – Middleton and the Bucks own the team. They call the shots, especially Middleton who nearly owns a majority of the team by himself. Montgomery and Giles have very minor ownership interests – just a few percent, making them functionally irrelevant since Middleton and the Bucks are said to be on he same page. Middleton wants to win – a lot. But he saw foolish decisions and incompetence and hired Andy MacPhail to run the team. Giles and Montgmery have no decision making authority. If you want to complain about a decision, complain about Middleton, MacPhail or Klentak. Hopefully Middleton will let the baseball people do their jobs, but he’s not going back to the days of Giles and Montgomery.

  47. All in all, I’m still glad the Phillies made the Hamels deal with Texas instead of Boston. And the Giles trade still leaves us with significant upside if not definite future success. The off season allows for a more balanced perspective than the emotional ups and downs of the season.

  48. The Phillies pick 8 # and Hellickson wants to come back. Mk has backed up Mack in saying the will go after a big name veteran bat.

  49. Catch I could be wrong. But Middleton doesn’t have majority control. He must get the other owners on board to do things. That is my understanding. I don’t believe he has the power to do what he wants in spending money in all markets. The way the deal is written it takes a majority to get things done. but could be wrong

    1. My perception (and it could be false) is that Middleton has assumed the role as the face of ownership with the Bucks deferring (they have no inclination) that to him. With what is close to but not quite 50%, Middleton has been given sway on matters of front office hirings and setting direction even if he can’t “do what he wants”. It may be a matter of time before the Giles/Montgomery shares are deferred to him as he has more or less taken the helm, notwithstanding any political maneuvers or “bad blood”. Not sure how much of an issue that is at this point in time what with old age and poor health of the previous “face”.

      1. Just reread my post. Sorry – that was not a pun, by the way. By “face” I was only referring to the term used earlier for Middleton and NOT Monty’s physical condition. Mea culpa.

    2. rocco…he da man now.
      A year ago he took the reins. He hired MacPhail and approved of MacPhail’s hiring of Klentak.

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