Open Discussion: Week of October 3rd

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

The Phillies’ season is over.  They went 1-5 the last week of the season and finished with a 71-91 record.  They were swept by the Atlanta Braves who are probably no longer the worst team in the division.  Then dropped the first two games of the final series to the New York Mets at CBP.  They won the last game of the season, but the Mets had clinched a home playoff game with their win Saturday night.  After a 42-48 first half, the Phillies were 29-43 after the All Star break.

Ryan Howard played his last game for the Phillies, and the fans gave him an emotional send off.  Howard averaged a National League leading home run every 10 at-bats in the second half of the season.  He was second only to the Gary Sanchez’ 1 HR per 9.85 AB.

In his 13-year Phillies career, Howard posted some great numbers for the organization –

  • 1572 G  (6th all time)
  • 5707 AB (7th)
  • 6531 PA (8th)
  • 848 R
  • 1475 H
  • 2940 TB (5th)
  • 277 2B (10th)
  • 382 HR (2nd)
  • 1194 RBI (3rd)
  • 709 BB (7th)
  • 1844 K (2nd)
  • .258 AVG
  • .343 OBP
  • .515 SLG (6th)
  • .859 OPS

Howard was voted the 2005 Rookie of the Year.  He followed that with his MVP 2006 season. He hit 58 HR and 149 RBI that season and slashed .313/.425/.659/1.084.  Howard surpassed 40 home runs in 4 seasons (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009) and 135 RBI in the same four seasons. Howard was a three time All Star and finished 2nd (2008) and 3rd (2009) in MVP voting.

It has been reported, but not confirmed, that the Phillies have already elected their buyout option for the remainder of Howard’s contract.  If accurate, that means that they have declined their $23M club option and opted to pay the $10M buyout.

The Phillies were at or near the bottom of both leagues for most offensive stats –

  • Runs, 610 – 30th
  • Hits, 1306 – 28th
  • Doubles, 231 – 30th
  • Home Runs, 161 – 24th
  • RBI, 575 – 30th
  • Walks, 424 – 29th
  • Strike Outs, 1376 (7th most)
  • AVG, .240 – 29th
  • OBP, .301 – 29th
  • SLG, .385 – 29th
  • OPS, .685 – 30th

At least they figured out the cause for these disastrous numbers.  Multiple sources have reported that the Phillies’ hitting coach, Steve Henderson, will not return in that capacity next season. (tic)  Again, this has not been confirmed by the Phillies.

Individual Phillies’ leaders were –

  • Hernandez .294 AVG
  • Hernandez .371 OBP
  • Joseph .505 SLG
  • Joseph .813 OPS
  • Galvis (584), Herrera (583), Franco (581), and Hernandez (547) only Phils  > 500 AB
  • Herrera (87), Franco (67),  Hernandez (67), and Galvis (61) only Phils  > 60 R
  • Herrera (167), Hernandez (161), Franco (148), and Galvis (141) only Phils  > 100 H
  • Galvis and Rupp 26 Doubles
  • Hernandez 11 Triples
  • Howard and Franco 25 HR
  • Franco 88 RBI
  • Hernandez 66 BB
  • Galvis 136 K
  • Herrera 25 SB

The Phillies’ pitching was only slightly better.  I wonder if pitching coach Bob McClure is worried –

  • ERA, 4.63 – 26th
  • Saves, 43 – 13th
  • Hits, 1468 – 25th
  • Runs, 796 – 26th
  • ER, 739 – 26th
  • HR, 213 – 27th
  • BB, 466 – 11th
  • K, 1299 – 16th
  • AVG, .265 – 25th
  • WHIP, 1.35 – 17th

Individual pitching leaders were –

  • Hellickson, 12 Wins
  • Neris, 2.58 ERA
  • Neris, 79 Appearances
  • Eickhoff, 33 starts
  • Gomez, 37 saves (43 Opportunities)
  • Eickhoff, 197.1 IP
  • Neris, 6.61 H/9
  • Eickhoff, 30 HR
  • Hellickson, 45 BB
  • Eickhoff, 1.92 BB/9
  • Eickhoff, 167 K
  • Neris, 11.43K/9
  • Nola 4.17 K/BB
  • Neris, .202 AVG
  • Neris, 1.11 WHIP
  • Eickhoff, 3028 Pitches
  • Ramos, 15.3 Pitches per IP (low); Araujo, 19.87 Pitches per IP (high)

The Phillies finished with a .438 winning percentage and will have the eighth pick in the 2017 First Year Player Amateur Draft.  The draft order, based on winning percentage (with 2015 winning percentage as the tie breaker for teams that finish with the same winning percentage in 2016) should be as follows, dependent on any changes in the next CBA :

  1. .364     Minnesota
  2. .420     Cincinnati (.395 in 2015)
  3. .420     San Diego (.457)
  4. .420     Tampa Bay (.494)
  5. .422     Atlanta
  6. .426     Oakland (.420)
  7.  .426    Arizona (.488)
  8. .438     Philadelphia
  9. .451     Milwaukee
  10. .457     Anaheim
  11. .463     Colorado
  12. .481     Chicago (AL)
  13. .484     Pittsburgh
  14. .491     Miami
  15. .500     Kansas City
  16. .519     Houston (.531)
  17. .519     New York (AL) (.537)
  18. .531     Seattle (.469)
  19. .531     Saint Louis (.617)
  20. .534     Detroit
  21. .537     San Francisco (.519)
  22. .537     New York (NL) (.556)
  23. .549     Baltimore (.500)
  24. .549     Toronto (.574)
  25. .562     Los Angeles
  26. .574     Boston
  27. .584     Cleveland
  28. .586     Washington (.512)
  29. .586     Texas (.543)
  30. .640     Chicago (NL)

And in conclusion, I found that I was drawn into caring about one wild card race even though I had no rooting interest in any races all season.  I found it gratifying that the Cardinals did not win a wild card berth after the terrible no-call by the umpires in a game against Cincinnati.  The game where the Cards won when the ground rule wasn’t enforced and a runner scored from first on what should have been ruled a double.  Rather than scurrying off the field and hiding behind the lack of immediacy by the Reds manager, baseball should want to get calls right ALL the time.  I can only hope that while he was defending the result, Joe Torre was rolling his eyes and crossing those umpires off the list for post-season games.

I’ll begin putting out some sort of weekly minor league discussion piece this week or next.

197 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of October 3rd

  1. If we offer Hellickson the qualifying offer we get a pick between rounds 1 & 2 but don’t we also get the 1st round draft pick of the team tht signs him if they are not in the 1st 10 ?

    1. The rule that allows the team losing a top F/A to pick up the signing teams 1st round pick was eliminated a few days after Papelbon was signed. You might remember all the Phils fans screaming about the timing of the signing.

      1. So the Phils finishing bottim ten is irrelevant? There is no more top 10 picks that are protected?

        1. The ‘top 10’ picks are protected so the Phils or others, would lose their 2d round pick if they sign a free agent who comes with a qualifying offer attached.

    2. Bishop…no….only one pick….the signing team loses their pick only.
      The big mystery…..Hellickson may take the QO, as he says this weekend he really likes Philly and thinks the team is moving in the right direction.
      I am sure Matt Klentak is hoping, please no….do not take it.
      If he wanted JHellckson to stay, he would had offered him a 4/5 years extension in mid-season.

      1. Hellickson is certainly going to say he likes Philly and might like to stay. His job now is to try to scare the Phillies away from making a QO so his market value increases. More teams will be in play this off-season if the 1st round pick isn’t at risk.

        For the Phillies, it wouldn’t be a bad thing if he eventually does accept the QO and pitch on a 1-year deal. He would be overpriced for the year but the $$$ isn’t the team’s concern right now and they still need help in the rotation in 2017. He then becomes a trade candidate at the deadline in 2017.

        1. I guess you can look at it that way with the trade chip in ’17….but then again there is the injury risk, and he has lately seem to incur the back and knee issues. And if he accepts and stays, hopefully he doesn’t regress into the Jeremy of 2013-15.
          I hope he just test the market as I am sure his agent Scott Boras will want him to do.

          1. I agree that that move comes with the risk of him reverting back to the 2013-15 version or injury.

        2. Oh…..and the rules could change with the new CBA on QOs…..not for this year, but starting after the 2017 season.

          1. I think I was the first one on here barking about this but if they offer him a QO, HE WILL ACCEPT IT. Again he’s young enough to do so and why wouldn’t you secure a 17m a year contract (more then his career earnings) and then go back out on the market the following year (he’s not getting a 17m/yr offer and esp not with a QO attached to him)? Hell if it’s possible, he could get another QO next year as well (not sure if you can get more than one, dont see why not). If he likes Philly so much and has a good relationship id hope he would let them know ahead of time that he’s going to accept or reject (I believe Ibanez let them know prior to him being extended one).

  2. Jim: I thought you were down on the Cardinals because of your lifelong hate of them when they won the 64 NL pennant after the Phillies’ collapse down the stretch.

    That is why I hate the Cards, just as I hate the Celtics. Old grudges never go away.

    Btw, remember the incessant wait for the NYC gaggle of know-nothings to make the fair/foul call that went against the Phillies in their away series in St. Louis? They made the wrong call and it turned the tide.

    I’m OK with the reviews during the playoffs. Otherwise, I’m just fine with the human element. Furthermore, I go for managers getting kicked out of games. It’s great entertainment value.

    1. I hate the Red Sox because of the ’64 Cardinals. Hear me out on this. I moved from West Chester, PA to Massachusetts in 1967. My hate for the Cardinals was strong. The Red Sox were facing the Cardinals in the ’67 series. I moved into Red Sox territory. All I heard about was they were going to kill the Cardinals. I was hoping against hope. Then the Sox failed and my hatred for them surpassed the Cardinals. I root for every team to beat the Red Sox… every game now.

  3. MacKanin says the Phils need to improve the offense next year. The statistics bear that out. The record bears that out. The game by game box scores bear that out. They even bare that all out. So the question is: Are the players, needed to improve the offense, on the ball club now or chomping at the bit for call up? If the question is all about next year, I’d say absolutely #$%@&% NO but if the question is about the next 3 years, possibly is my answer. Can the Phillies fans wait 3 years? Again the answer is an emphatic NO. Most Phillies fans have 1 minute attention span… SQUIRREL!!…

    But Rome wasn’t built in a day and this Phils team won’t become great again by next Thursday. A couple of F/A pick ups this winter could make the Phils a little better and possibly good enough for high in 70’s wins. Crawford and Williams (if he wakes up and realizes the next level is going to be achievable only through very hard work) could push some other guys to a new level. Howard will be gone and no matter how great you think his career has been, this year was poor at best. HRs are good but a single or two every once in while can go a long way to helping a ball club. Franco was on hiatus for a good portion of the year. Galvis developed a power stroke but putting the ball in play helps out a lot more. Hernandez is already hearing the pitter patter of feet behind him. Maybe it’s Galvis he should worry about or maybe Valentin. Kingery is a couple of years away but maybe he can see him in the rear view mirror as objects start to appear closer than they are.

    There are some players on this team. Rupp is a strong catcher who gets better every year. Herrera had an up and down year. He has some things to work on but lets just call this a sophomore jinx year. Altherr’s wrist was a serious injury, in terms of coming back successfully. I said when he was injured that last year might have been the highlight of his life. I still stand by that because the heavy footsteps that will get louder and louder are here. I love this guy but I think he’ll always be a 4th or 5th OF’er. Quinn is an 82 game a year guy. If you have another 82 game a year guy on the team, then he’s fine. Otherwise, you can’t count on him for long term help. Joseph has power. He showed why he was a high draft pick but will he be a great successor to Howard? Hoskins might be the answer but he’s a few years away.

    This offseason and next year will have a lot of what-if’s going on. What if this guy breaks out? What is this guy is Dom Brown all over again? Patience will be needed but Phils fans don’t have too much of that.

    1. I’d say that the first half of Howards year was poor . . . and yes his overall numbers were poor as well however since the All Star he hit something like .265/.330/.600 with 13HR and 32 RBI in less than a full time role. I think he showed there is more in the tank but had to be used properly.

    1. If you remember I thought that should have been done Mid-Season. You can’t have the leagues worst OPS and even worse you can’t have your supposed cornerstone player Franco OPSing 733 and OBPing 306.

      Again someone needs to come in with an emphasis on approach and working pitch counts and swinging at strikes.

      1. Where are you going to find the players that can adapt the instruction into their skill set? Coaches get purged, but were the players buying in to the instruction? I think Hernandez bought it, even Howard changed his style the 2nd half with good results. I think a lot of what Henderson had to work with was suspect all along.

    2. I don’t know Steve Henderson from the man on the moon but when the message isn’t getting across, creativity can be effective. The manager has to manage coaches as well as players. That means he gets personally involved in the day to day. Fresh voices and methods can kick start improvement even if it isn’t permanent. Mackanin displays respect to a fault, especially to veterans and probably coaches as well.

      1. I don’t know that I ever buy into hitting coaches . . . They really don’t do much. I mean think of different hitting coaches who have done well w one team but not another (there’s a ton of examples) or how about a hitting coach going from having good years to bad ones (Milt Thompson). It’s on the players not the hitting coach. Now pitching coaches is a little different.

    1. Yeah, they were here Saturday taking innings and ABs from the kids here for Instructs. Made me sorry I adjusted my schedule to get to the Complex for the 10:00AM game. I didn’t feel like reporting the game that night. Leibrandt, Arano, and Singer pitched. Walding played 1st, Kingery 2nd, and Brown LF/CF. Columbia bound Josh Tobias played 3B/LF. Just not my idea of an Instructs line up.

  4. Little off topic. But to get 10 million to go away is unbelievable to me. I don’t know a lot of the guys on here, except for romus. who has that kind of money, but a lot of us will never see 10 million in our life time. Romus to you its chicken fee, but to me its a ton of money

    1. rocco….hah…you funny man.
      Saw somewhere that Ryan Howard made a little less than $200M, counting salary and endorsements since 2005. Not bad of a decade.

      1. Looking at his career with us in totality and the money he made I would say it was good value.

        Especially if you compare it to other contracts of the time: AROD, PUJOLS for starters…

        1. DMAR….better look at Abert Pujols last 5 years compared to Ryno’s.
          Pujols is approx. a 20WAR player for these last five years….now he still has a few years remaining on that contract, but I think he has surpassed Howard in performance on their last respective contracts to date.

          1. @Romus how many ROY, how many MVP how many WS Championships did he bring the Angels in that span?

            I’m not contending Howard was the better player in the L5 years.

            It’s a little bit apples and oranges since Howard likely spent his entire career with the Phillies. We had the advantage in value because we had Howard’s premier seasons for pennies on the dollar.

            1. Got you.
              But remember, all of the great players first 2/3 years before arbitration, teams get premium seasons for pennies on the dollars….that is the baseball system under the last 15/20 years.

  5. Phillies bWAR Batters:
    Herrera………..4.2
    Hernandez……3.3
    Rupp……………1.3
    Galvis…………..1.3
    Franco………….1.2
    Joseph……….. .5
    Bourjos and Ellis .1
    Negatives….Asche, Howard, Blanco, Altherr
    ————————————————————
    Carlos Ruiz……..1.5

    1. Please Mr. Middleton no more asche. I cant take watching. I would rather watch romus combing his hair over his bald spot, then watch asche

  6. Phillies will likely offer a QO to Hellickson, the result would be they have an extra pick somewhere around #35 or Hellickson pitching in 2017 for them. If Hellickson goes elsewhere they could entertain signing a FA with a QO and give up their draft pick they receive for Hellickson. Or they could let Hellickson go elsewhere after a QO and pick #8, mid 30’s (Supplemental pick) and again in mid to late 40’s with the 2nd round pick. Not a bad choice at all.

    1. BobD….do they give up their supplemental pick or is it the 2nd rounder if they sign a FA? I thought it was the 2nd rounder, the supplementals, along with the Comp Bal picks, stay with their teams.
      I could be wrong.

      1. No, you’re right. It is the second round pick they surrender for signing a FA on a QO. However, that could change if this season’s outcomes aren’t grandfathered in with the new CBA.

      2. Yeah thats right, But keeping the Supplemental pick around #35ish is better than having the 2nd round pick at #45ish. I dont think there really is any bad choice here unless they sign multi QO players and lose several picks

  7. Great sendoff for Ryan Howard by the Phillies. A very classy move.

    BTW, did anybody see how big Ryan’s son Darian was? The kid is 15, it looks like he’s already over 6ft.

    1. I was fortunate to be about six rows behind him when he placed that plague on the ground. He was truly touched by the whole ceremony. He was high fived by the crowd.

      Yes he’s a big young man. Last time I saw him I think was when he was maybe 9 or 10. He was a little chubby. Now he is lost the baby fat and is an impressive young man.

      Wonderful day. The entire crowd stood for every pitch of every at-bat when Howard came to the plate. How often has that every happened in any park in MLB?

      1. OMG that kid was a little kid when I saw him and his dad, getting this white escalade with gold trim. washed at 3rd and Oregon ave in south philly.

        1. rocco……did you see them as you were coming out of Cheerleaders for their ‘eggs and legs’ special that day! 🙂

          1. Tell you Romus Howard was a really nice guy. He would talk to everyone. As you know living near the stadiums, you get to see a lot of players. Howard was one of the good ones.

      2. I’m sure Derek Jeter got that treatment in his last game. Big Papi too.

        Good Luck Ryan. You’re the best 1B in Phillies history.

    2. Agreed, I was waiting for this day. Even though he could not get enough hits to get to Mendoza he was tied as the leader in homers with half the at Bats of Franco.

      I have mixed feelings about seeing him or any other long time Philly great in another uniform. In his case, I can’t imagine it happening unless somebody needs a DH between now and the end of the spring. If no one does I wonder when he will announce retirement?

      I wonder if Jimmy or Victorino will announce in the next year?

      Also how much longer for Utley, Ruiz and Werth? My guess is the playoffs will dictate some of that.

      Next year could see some of them hanging around Clearwater and Philly.

  8. Hellickson, in that same interview about how much he likes Philly, said he likes the idea of a multi-year deal even more. With the SPs available as a FA, I think there is an excellent chance he gets that deal.

  9. Also, I have a real problem with Matt Klentak and his pronouncement that he would have signed up for this season if given the chance in ST. I think it was a terrible season and fell short of what they should have hoped for. Not necessarily in Wins, but the player development. We can argue all day about Cesar and whether he is a lead off hitter on a playoff team. I think not. But the only prospect that really showed something was Eickhoff. VV still has a lot of uncertainty about him, Nola and Eflin are injured, Doobie was very inconsistent and Franco has a long way to go. Add a BP piece or 2 to Eickhoff, and that is what you learned from this season. Not nearly a success!

      1. Thanks Romus, I had not read that before you posted the link. I am still not sure about Herrera, and agree that there are more crucial needs than 2B, regardless of anyone’s opinion on Cesar. The last paragraph is very telling, The most important aspect of the team going forward is their financial flexibility. But, I don’t see it being used this off season. And, as I believe you have said before, I am still waiting for that big International signing. it is nice to have all of this financial might to do something, but they actually have to use it correctly.

        1. well I hope it’s not used this off season because there aren’t really any attractive players for the Phillies situation. They are better of waiting to flex next off season and the season after.

          I can see what he’s saying . . There were def more positives IN THE WHOLE SYSTEM then negatives. You aren’t taking in what’s happened in the minors all year as well. Even staying at the MLB level Rupp had a better season than most would have expected. Joseph’s performance. Cesar Hernandez. Galvis coming into some power w a GG caliber SS . . . Could go on a little more. but I agree with him when lookin at everything as a whole.

          1. According to John Middleton in his interview with Jim Salisbury, Phillies minor league system had 27 players making their respective leagues’ all-star teams, with nine coming from Clearwater’s roster. The most of any MLB team, plus their total domestic minor league system winning percentage at .595 was the highest.

        2. I don’t share this fascination with “big international” signings. Show me the “big international signings” in the league who are MVP and CY Young candidates?

          1. Beltre was one,…half the Rangers team it seems, including the Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish.
            But agree……sometimes too much emphasis is placed on signing the big dollar guy. Many were low signings…Cano for example.
            Now in two weeks form today…October 19th….we shall see, once again, the Phillies intentions and philosophy about signing international FAs…..without penalties attached….when Lourdes Gourriel turns 23 year old.
            I am willing to bet…….the usual teams will be there ….but will new new FO be there and finally sign one.
            http://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.cgi?id=gourri000lou

            1. If nothing else I prefer to get them when they are babies and see what they can blossom into.

              I’m jaded perhaps…

              But as you said many of these guys were low signs. Heck Papi was signed by the Mariners for nothing…

  10. Unless his knee injury turns into something disastrous, I think it is a lock Hellickson gets a QO. Phils either get the draft pick if he signs elsewhere, or a 1 year deal for a guy who helped the youngsters on the staff.

    Even if you assume the worst happens next year (Hellickson accepts the QO and gets hurt, reverts to pre-2016 Jeremy), no big deal-Phils have loads of cash and it does not hurt them long term.

    My hope is he declines and I suspect he will- thin pitching market this offseason will have someone overpaying for Hellickson.

  11. How far away is the team from contending 2020 would seem like the best case scenario that would be roughly an 8 season rebuild, is that justifiable for a major market franchise?

  12. I think it is totally unacceptable. I think they should have started the rebuild in 2013, giving them 2012 to get over the heartbreak of 2011. The Phils, I believe, at the front office level, still, mistakenly believed they were contenders for a couple of more years. Still, 3 years is too many for a team with the Phils’ resources. Look at Boston. They went from a last place finish to the playoffs. That is the standard for the Phils. Not a team like KC or Houston.

    1. Cubs did a 24 game upswing from 2014 to 2015.
      Of course having a Kris Bryant in the middle of the lineup helps, along with a Lester and Arrieta on the mound. Phillies do have more young pitching prospects than the Cubs, but those two are aces or close to aces…1.5s

      1. Reliievers, Joe Smith has that Mk favor , Greg Holland post Tj surgery, Travis Wood, Mike Dunn. Give Matt Holiday a 1 yr deal and maybe a matt joyce.

    2. TOTALLY AGREE WITH MATT. With this market and the money they have, no reason to have to wait three more years. on top of the last 5, not for a big market team.

        1. roccom- what would you like them to do with the money this year? There really isn’t much out there on the FA market and you would prob have to over pay for what little is there, why do that? why get middle tier guys? The next 2 off seasons (after this one) is where they will look to sign guys. Also you can’t really call it an 8 year rebuild if theres basically a whole new front office, can you? The teams named were built from within (for the most part) so i’m not sure how the big market things comes into affect . . .

  13. Talk on various blogs were that the Phillies might go after either Martin Prado (who has since signed with Marlins for 3 more years) and Ranger’s Ian Desmond. I liked Desmond a little more. Since those articles, Desmond has probably increased his value a lot. Thoughts on signing him for RF? Thoughts on a Quinn-Herrera-Desmond outfield next year if things work out? I know you need to worry that Quinn makes the field for even 150 games next year but let’s assume he does.

    Early wishes for that #8 pick are LHP Brendan McKay from Louisville or RHP Tanner Houck from Missouri.

  14. Almaraz prefers guys with pitchability opposed to raw big arms, this is a philosophy that will make acquiring top of the rotation starters difficult.

  15. WHY I LOVE THE SUMMER GAME

    ♢Its Timeless Tradition.
    Its history is rich toward every generation. There is NO ticking clock, but only the constraints of balls, strikes, outs, innings and gamesmanship.

    ♢Its sights, sounds & smells.
    From the sudden roar that follows the crack of the bat or the diving catch or the called third strike, from the star spangled banner to the 7th inning stretch, from pine tar and rosin to leather and sweat, from fresh cut grass to popcorn, hot dogs and beer.

    ♢Its geometry.
    The game is unparalleled in its numerical exactitude while each park’s dimensions and aesthetics are unique.

    ♢Its continuity.
    The daily ups and downs of the long season coincide with that of common everyday life.

    ♢Its glory.
    The design and balance of teamwork and individual performance makes it the greatest game ever created by man.

  16. I predicted 72-90 for this season and the final 71-91 was pretty close (especially after losing 3 in Atlanta). My goal for next season is 81-81 and 91-71 in 2018. I think they need a veteran leader who can hit but there are none on the free agent market. There are trade possibilities however (McCutcheon, Votto, Cargo, etc) and we have lots of good although not great prospects close to major league ready. And Hellickson will definitely sign a long term deal for real money. I could see the club bringing back Morton as a veteran arm. He was throwing the ball well before the injury and his arm got plenty of rest.
    Good bye Ryan, thanks for the memories.

    1. I predicted a record of 62 wins. just missed. I really thought the bullpen would be a killer all year. but held up most of the year

      1. The bbref.com website shows the Phillies with a 62-100 pathegorean record based on their stats. Restating – per the statistics, the Phillies won 9 games more than expected (only the Rangers exceeded that mark – they were +12.

        While the record shows improvement, I think that some of it is a statistical anomaly. Still a long way to go.

  17. I saw this om BRef. and winced:
    Simple Rating System ….Bottom 10
    21.Pittsburgh Pirates (78-83)-0.2
    22.Miami Marlins (79-82)-0.4
    23.Oakland Athletics (69-93)-0.5
    24.Milwaukee Brewers (73-89)-0.5
    25.San Diego Padres (68-94)-0.6
    26.Cincinnati Reds (68-94)-0.8
    27.Minnesota Twins (59-103)-0.9
    28.Atlanta Braves (68-93)-0.9
    29.Arizona Diamondbacks (69-93)-0.9
    30.Philadelphia Phillies (71-91)-1.3

  18. What do you (any of you) project to be the pitching staff and lineup for 2018?

    Nola,
    Elphin,
    Eichhof
    Ascher,
    lively,

    Long relief
    Morgan
    klein

    setup
    Ramos
    acquired lefty

    closers
    Nerris
    other

    Franco
    Crawford/Galvis
    Kingery/Hernendez/Free Agent
    Joseph /Hoskins

    Blanco

    Rupp
    Alpharo

    Cozens
    Hererra
    Free Agent
    Bourjos
    Quinn

    1. Rotation in ’18:
      Free agent
      Nola
      Velasquez (if he isn’t traded)
      Eickhoff
      Thompson or Eflin
      Pivetta has a shot especially with inevitable injuries to starters

      Bullpen:
      Back end – Neris, Ramos and Arano
      rest are unprojectable but possibly Appel, Cordero, Morgan and Joely R.
      Lively in long relief

      1b – acquired thru trade or FA, or Franco if another 3b is acquired
      2b – Kingery
      3b – Franco or a newly acquired
      ss – Crawford
      c – Alfaro
      OF – at least one acquired thru FA next off season, a healthy Quinn, Cozens and Altherr platoon, perhaps another thru trade, and Williams is less than 50/50 at this point

      1. Tj the best young power hitter on the hole team. He’s at first with at least 45 Hr’s as a pro, Herrera the best hitter on the team. There no power other then Franco and Cozens.

        1. Just a stat of little meaning or significance, however, of the top ten HR leaders this year….three are in the playoffs…..Trumbo, Encarnacion and Bryant.

  19. I think the first thing that you see is a FA pitcher in that starting rotation and Thompson will have a spot over Asher and Lively. What did you get for VV in the trade as I don’t see him. He should be in the Rotation or part of a trade. I will wait to hear everyone else comment on the Rotation and the every day lineup. I think this coming year will tell a lot about Hoskins and Cozens and Quinn and Herrera and you may see an OF comprised of FAs and a traded for player.

    1. I honestly forgot about VV. If there was ever a situation to favor a six man rotation, the phils might posess it. It would keep the innings down on the young arms and give an opportunity for them to gain m.l. experience.

      I don’t really agree about Thomson, though its not a strong disagreement. I think he walks too many compared with the others.

      There are so many variables of things that could happen that its just exercise to project a future lineup. But one thing seems evident; they have a good number of respectable starting pitchers with potential.

      I like to evaluate pitchers using whip and opponents slugging % over era and wins, though the era and wins should follow. Thats why I think lively has a chance right with Thompson and Acher.

      There are several players who 2017/2018 will determine their careers. Eshelman, Hoskins, Pullin, Cozens and probably 10 more.

      Agg

      1. I’m with you on the 6-man rotation. Unless VV can return you a ransom in a trade.

        The depth is there for so many positions on this team. Why not utilize and let the best players take charge? Great team building and competition that will serve the team well long term.

  20. I read where Ramos had some elbow soreness about 3 games ago. Mack shut him down. I had them about 75 wins this yr. Next yr 85 wins maybe playoffs I think they do go out and get a veteran bats and a full season of TJ helps . The Bp also is going to be addressed better. The CBA should be intertesting , Hellickson might just sign the QO. Ron Hexall next great GM as the Flyers will be drinking from the Cup soon. The Red Sox Vs The Dodgers Sox in 6.

    1. Why would Hellickson sign for $17m when he can get $45m? He’s not accepting. It’s all about the money

      1. Would the Phillies consider offering Hellickson an actual multi year deal worth close to $40M? Is he a legitimate #2/3 starter on a contender? (They’ll go after an ace next off season.)

        OR are they dead set on a QO and counting on getting that tweener draft pick?

        1. There’s only about 10 Aces in the league. Let’s get some more bats in here ,you can’t be last in the league in runs.

      2. That’s more then 1 FA in the last couple of yrs that signed QO. The CBA is going to have something to say about it. No Fa is going to sign until after there’s a new CBA.

        1. This CBA is for the baseball year in starting in 2017…all the current FA, whose contracts were signed under the old CBA, should not be affected…..so it will not affect the QOs for this year from what I have read.
          The only change the CBA will have will be in the Comp Bal picks…which is a farce anyway…..and the lottery for that will be held in January, if they still have it.
          QOs are offered within that 7 day period after the last game of the World Series……I do not see them changing that right now. I mean that is less than approx 28 days…when has MLB made any decisions that fast!

          1. Yea true but what if they take the #1 pick of the QO . Hellickson could have a lot more buyers next season while making 17 mil this yr.

  21. Trading for Eric Hosmer should be the priority this offseason. He’ll be available and we have the ammo. I would take the Gordon contract with him and give them Herrea, Cesar Hernandez, Tommy Joseph, Nick Williams, and Cozens. This gives the Phils a sold three and four hitter in that lineup with Franco and Hosmer.

    1. I like the thought process, but not that deal. Hosmer broke 20 HR for the first time this year, understanding he is still young and progressing.

      I’d rather make a blockbuster trade if it involves ace type pitching. Not sure teams are willing to pull the trigger with pitching.

      Many good trade partners out there now. Let’s see what Klentak will do. I see more low risk, high reward signings while the young players take shape.

      I don’t see anything wrong with keeping the lot of players until a clear cut there is a clear cut starter at each position for 2018.

      The competition will be incredible:

      C – Rupp & Alfaro
      1B – TJ & Hoskins
      2B – Cesar & Kingery
      3B – Franco – but I’m not convinced he should be long term
      SS – Galvis & Crawford
      RF – Altherr & Williams
      CF – Herrera & Quinn
      LF – Free Agent Signing & Cozens

    2. So you want to trade all of that for a 1st baseman when we have a bunch of prospects at 1B?

      I think I’ll take my chances that either Joseph or Hoskins can give me what I need out of that position.

      I like Hosmer and he would easily hit more than 20 HRs in CBP but he is not special enough to give up all of that.

      1. In looking at MLB Trade Rumors it looks like the Royals may want to reduce their 135 Million payroll. They maybe a team that the Phillies may be talking with, such as Hosmer. A number of their guys are coming into their final year on their contracts. Also it looks like Kendry Morales could be leaving. So maybe the Big Piece could DH in KC would make sense

    3. The Royals are definitely the team to try and do business with this off-season as their budget was based on returning to the playoffs and they are considering moves to shed salary.

      The guy I would go for is lefty starter Jason Vargas who returned from surgery at the end of the year and performed well. He is due $8.5 M in ’17, making him a good trade target. In taking that contract off their hands, I’d also ask for fireballer Matt Strahm. I don’t see K.C. moving Gordon, at least not without a center piece player coming back..

      But maybe offering Hernandez, Joseph, Lively, Pinto and Asche for Vargas, Strahm and Hosmer works both ways. Obviously I’m steering away from fixing the outfield here. The Phils would need to look elsewhere for help.

  22. The Phils have missed the playoffs for five straight years, and we can’t yet see the light at the end of the tunnel. The team deserves to continue losing fan support until their improved philosophy produces the stars that will provide the light at the end of the tunnel.

  23. Any more info on the last instructs games? There was a beatiful recap of game two, but not on any game after this one.

    Don’t get me wrong here, nobody can demand info on instructs games, but I was just wondering because normally there is any info on Phillies minor league games on this page 🙂

  24. Someone needs to take a second to explain to me the logic behind a potential 3B to 1B switch for Franco. He’s, at the moment, a below average offensive third baseman. A move to first put him in what, the bottom 5 players at his position in the league?

    How does that move make sense?

    1. Doesn’t make sense at all….Mack just conjecturing.
      Has been doing a lot lately.
      Franco has closed to 800 games at third base in the Phillies org….to make that assertion is ridiculous. Maybe when he is post-32/34 years old or older and bigger and slower, can understand, but not now.

      1. It makes me think he has zero understanding of positional value. Franco potentially adds value as a third basemen re: defense however he has less than replacement value as a first basemen re offense.

        Does Mack not know this? Or is he just talking bc his team went in the tank a month ago? This kind of talk is simply baffling.

        1. Not sure what Mack’s intentions are.
          He only has one year left on his contract and wants to win in 2017 to get another extension.
          Playing the kids for more evaluations and taking losses in 2017, is not what he may envision.
          But the fans want to see the kids to see what they have.
          76ers’ Brett Brown was allowed to do that under Hinkie since he had a longer contract in place.
          MacPhail may not see it that way.
          So he wants to get that veteran bat…..but that veteran bat will want 3/5 years on a contract……or just take a reclamation contract of one year like Mark Trumbo did with the Os. And quite frankly there are not many out there right now.
          If Mack is not offered an extension by July, then he is probably on his way out as the manager.

          1. In my opinion he’d get another extension if he showed even menial understanding of positional value as well as helped the young players he does have (that the franchise feels are valuable moving forward) gain experience in their future roles.

            Asking for FAs so a below average team can meaninglessly win more games in a throw away season shows ZERO understanding for the task at hand.

            I was all for Mack being given a contract last year as it seemed he was on board with what the club was doing. Complaining about available talent and foolishly requesting/ demanding money be spent on FAs to minimally improve the team, and therefore his record, is not acceptable.

            If he doesn’t know where the Phillies are, and hence why he’s here, then he doesn’t deserve another contract.

      2. That’s where your wrong Rumos ,Mack came out of the Friday meeting that . MK and the coaches where thee too . Anywhere you can get more power you get it.

        1. He’s not here to grab more power. He’s here to manage while the team transitions from young to competitive. Otherwise he can go.

    2. Only makes sense if they are looking to pursue a FA who plays 3b and they need a new home for Franco.

      At this point, they are getting offense from the position with Franco there and they have a number of other positions that need upgraded..

  25. I’ve been thinking about the state of the team, and I think we’re in a very dangerous spot.

    DMAR reminded me of this when he said “So you want to trade all of that for a 1st baseman when we have a bunch of prospects at 1B?”

    The dangerous spot is we have a TON of prospects, but it’s doubtful that we have enough high ceiling star power to actually contend in the near future. The scary part is that this plethora of prospects could influence the team to not go after star level FAs since we have an average to first division regular to take that spot on the diamond.

    And a team of average players gives you an average team.

    We need to cash in on our prospect depth now or next year, trying to acquire high level MLB talent, and now with a protected pick is a good time to go after a couple FA stars as well.

    But age matters; nobody over 30. I don’t know who we would get, but I really don’t want them to fall into the average team trap.

    1. There really aren’t any marquee free agents this year under 30. Next year is probably the year to go after free agents.

      The one nice thing is there are a bunch of near-ready minor league guys to fill in at positions of need next year:

      -Cameron Rupp struggles against RH pitching. Andrew Knapp is probably the backup next year and can switch hit.

      -JP Crawford should be ready to take over for Galvis in May/June.

      -Ryan Howard and his .257 OBP are mercifully gone, so either TJ or Hoskins will get his 360 PAs next year.

      -Our corner OF situation was a hopeless mess until September. Roman Quinn will take over CF and push Herrera to a corner spot. The other spot I would fill with a Cozens/Altherr platoon. I believe Cozens is ready to hit RH pitching (.302/.378/.660 last year) and Altherr is probably best suited for a short sided platoon role.

      Those changes have the added benefit of being able to stack lineups with either right or left handed bats. You could conceivably send 6 left handed batters out against a RH pitcher and 7 right handed batter out against a lefty.

  26. I am hoping that Mackanin was just using that as a poor example. He was talking about getting a professional hitter and the position may move someone else. A better example would have been a CF and moving Herrera to LF. You are correct. Franco is a 3B or he is not much of a Major League talent. They need to work on his pitch recognition and patience at the plate and leave him at 3B. A good hitter in front of or behind him would help him a lot. He seemed to be trying too hard to hit 6 run HRs every time up.

    1. matt13……IMO, Franco’s ceiling does not appear to be a 300BA/375OBP guy. He may hit 30/35 HRS, but I only see him averaging out at a 265/275BA and a 325/335OBP ceiling.
      And I can live with that.
      And he may have that 3/4 year spurt into the 285/290BA and 350OBP area, then regress as he ages.
      I look at other 3rd basemen like Aramis Ramirez for one, who he has been compared to at times, …took him a few years to put it together.

    2. Agree 100%. He’s either going to make some adjustments and be a first division regular as a 3B or he’s simply not going to be an every day player. Suggesting he’s a potential 1B is just laughably misguided.

      1. Franco is very unlikely to be an above average 1B but I would project him to be a better hitter than Joseph or Hoskins long term.

        If Franco is a below average fielder at 3B, and a better option, like Machado!, was available, then I could see moving Franco. Better option might be to trade Franco in that situation since Joseph/Hoskins are cheaper RHH power hitters and Franco likely has more trade value.

  27. rocco…from the owners mouth to your ears…Phillies will be looking for more analytical/metric employees for their ever-expanding department……send in your resume for a part-time position.
    Q: One area of change is the organization’s use of analytics. That seemed to be a mandate from you. In your mind, how far behind were the Phillies in this area?
    A: “In 2013, our (John Middleton) analytics department was zero. Zero people, zero budget. In 2014, we had one full time person, and one intern, and the budget from my memory was $100,000. Next year, we’re going to have a minimum of six full-time people, a number of interns, and a budget measured in the millions. Our competitors may add people, as well, and add to their budgets, but right now we’re projecting that we’re going to have one of the top analytics departments in baseball. We have come light-years in the last 12 months.”

    1. I hope the Phillies don’t have “Paralysis by Analysis” this off season. This is a very important time for the Phillies and I hope they don’t overthink their moves. As a fan I would not mind seeing the younger prospects come up and see what they can do at the MLB level. It was also nice to see John Middleton on Sunday as I thought he vanished of the face of the earth.

      1. philabalt…he didn’t vanish, but likes to remain inconspicuous.
        Also from my understanding, when not in his club suite, but whenever he wants to sit in the Diamond Club seats…..the seats are out of sightline of the CF camera shot from behind the pitcher. That was done purposely.

        1. Romus, sorry I thought he was on the latest Aaron Eckhart film location. They could easily pass for brothers and has anyone seen them together?

  28. Romus and Rick, I agree completely with you. And, I will take that .275/.335 with 30/35 HRs. Can I sign up for that right now? I think a bigger question mark is a genuine lead off hitter, I don’t think that is Cesar, and how good, really, is JP going to be. Then a competent OF and a #1 SP. And, following up on yesterday’s conversation, they need to spend $$ going into that 2018 season.

      1. Sorry but I will believe him when he and MacPhail actually make off season moves as I am tired of just talk.

    1. Agree also. Leadoff man doesn’t have to be a speedster. (That’s a luxury if someone like Quinn stayed healthy.) JP would be a decent #2 based on present projections. If Kingery gets his OBP up then he might. But yes an established big leaguer who works a count well is what the doctor prescribes.

  29. From a practical point of view they need major upgrades in OPS at the corner OF spots and they need to get better than .274 OBP out of their SS.

    1. DMAR…remember what Ralph Kiner was suppose to have said……”Home run hitters drive Cadillacs, singles hitters drive Chevys”.
      Freddy may be driving an Escalade! 🙂

      1. Maybe as its not hard to afford an Escalade on the league minimum. I’m sure Freddy makes more than that.

        Look at Freddy’s WRC+ and you’ll see just how bad of an offensive player he is. Especially when you compare him to other SS with less than 20 HR’s.

        Both he and Carlos Correa had 20 dingers yet the separation between them is here to the back of Middleton’s vault.

        1. I get you…..and assume you mean bank vault and not burial vault also?
          Freddy is now the oldest and most senior player now that RH is gone.
          So looks like he will assume the leadership role.
          He should make his first priority in 2017….strikeout a whole lot less than 22% and walk a whole lot more than 4%. That could prove to be beneficial for the team.

          BTW……on another topic…..could Jose Fernandez be the first Cy Young Award winner posthumously?
          One metric going his way….his SIERRA at 2.81 is better than any other pitcher this year.

    2. DMAR you’re 1005 correct. But on the bright side of that SS equation, we have Crawford in the minors pushing his way towards the MLB roster.

      It’s the corner OF and INF spots that leave us scratching our heads.

      1. Agreed Rick I don’t care what Crawford is doing in AAA come late May I am bringing him and not looking back for the rest of 2017.

        At the very least I know he will work counts and get on base.

  30. I have to say that, after 5 years of losing, my interest in baseball has hit a low ebb for the time being. This was the first season I can remember in I don’t know how long where the end came and I thought to myself “good, it’s finally over” and I felt relieved not to have to use my tickets to go to a game. I almost never feel like that. A winter and some winning should help change that but for now, I’ve kind of had it with baseball.

  31. BA’s John Manuel on FSL prospects:
    Jeff (Wildwood,NJ): LHP Elneiry Garcia get any consideration for the list?

    John Manuel: Clearwater had a lot of guys who would have ranked if I went 30-60 deep; Garcia is one of them. He’s small-framed, that’s an issue going forward, how durable will he be? He might be 170 pounds wet. But he’s got a quick arm, an average fastball that plays up, changeup is still his 3rd pitch … sounds like a lefty reliever to me.

    1. And also:
      Scott (Delaware): You noted Clearwater had the best overall full season record, and a roster full of solid prospects, yet only Scott Kingery made your list. Can you name the "solid prospects", and tell me who came close to your top 20 ?

      John Manuel: Carlos Tocci was next, and the team was strong up the middle with him in center, Malquin Canelo playing a solid shortstop (though scouts were mixed on his bat and mostly not fans of his hitting ability), Kingery at second and another late-blooming catcher, Chance Numata. Also mentioned were Thomas Eshelman, Tyler Viza and one of the league’s best relievers, Victor Arano.

      1. Shouldn’t we have an argument about Tocci now? Just missing the FSL Top 20 (let’s say he’s #25) means, what, Top 300 in minor league baseball? So, in the 10-15 range in the Phils system? That’s where v1 has him, I think. 😉

        1. Are we really still wasting time discussing a prospect who’s ceiling is 5th OF? Please tell me we aren’t.

          1. Rick, I was just kidding.

            But on a serious note, why does every scout who comes through Clearwater think so highly of Tocci (per Jim and Krystyn)? Why does BA have him just outside the FSL Top 20? What do these professional scouts see that we don’t?

            I’m not trolling you, it’s a serious question. I’m higher on Tocci than a lot of folks on here, but not as high as the scouting community.

            1. Not limited to Tocci….but also Mal Canelo.
              There must be something there more than the metrics indicate..

  32. Joey Bats is a FA after the season. I’ve always loved his plate discipline and would love to see him in Philly next season. He keeps himself in great shape and should only command a 1-2 year deal.

    His value could be exponential to Franco and Joseph.

    1. OPS the last 3 seasons:

      2014: .928
      2015: .913
      2016: .817

      He is declining, rapidly, and judging by the monster deal he turned down from Toronto – a 1-2 deal isn’t something he’d even consider. Do we really want to overpay for Bautista’s 36 – 38 year old seasons? When’s the last time that sort of deal worked out for the team?

      1. Well, wait a minute. You’re right that he’s older and you’re right that this year was a down year, but the two prior years were almost identical and don’t show a trend. That said, you don’t want to be giving 36 year old guys 3 year contracts. I’m fine if they go 1 or 2 years on him or someone like him and frankly, I don’t care if they overpay a bit. They have so much financial flexibility that overpaying for a player or two won’t affect us as fans or limit their options.

        1. Ok and that’s a good argument – they have so much $ it doesn’t matter if they overpay a bit for a player or two. However Bautista would then command playing time in the OF where a large number of our prospects are nearing major league ready. There’s only 3 spots and OH has one of them. Are we trading him? Who sits amongst Quinn, WIlliams and Cozens?

          1. Yup, that’s the dilemma, unless OH gets moved this winter. That’s why anything more than a one year contract is risky.

      1. We need an OF Edwin can’t play OF and I don’t want to block 1B

        as far as his OPS decline of course. That’s not why I would bring him here. His OBP was a lofty .366 on a BA of 234 what does that say to you?

        Even still if you look at the OPS board we didn’t even have a LF or RF register on the 1st page. His 817 kills anything we ran out there.

        1. It absolutely does but you can’t look at it in a vacuum. Where are we trying to get to next year? 2018?

          Joey B is going to want $25 mm and for more than 2 years. If you look at the arc of his OPS the last 3 years and where it can be projected to be over the next 3, how does paying $75 mm for that sort of production make even a little bit of sense?

          You have Williams, Cozens, and Quinn who will all be in the majors by 2018, and possibly by the end of next season. What do you then do with your $75 million outfielder?

          1. Rick I appreciate what you are saying but I don’t necessarily agree with your $ Numbers but for the sake of argument let’s say that is the right figure. It makes sense if he can come in and have an impact on guys like Franco and Joseph.

            He doesn’t really block Cozens. Cozens can come up as soon as he is ready and play the other half of games. You don’t have to run him out there every single night of the 3 years.

            Maybe he is not that kind of guy. Maybe he doesn’t like to mentor young players but if he does wow.

          1. Doesn’t matter if they did Romus the point is Joey rarely gets himself out swinging at balls out of the zone. Franco’s biggest problem…

            I want that approach to bleed down to these young guys maybe they are more apt to listen to it coming from a guy still playing the game at a high level.

            1. Good point, and that is what Mack has been preaching also.
              That veteran bat in the middle of the lineup.

  33. DMAR, I agree with you that Joey Bats would be a model for Franco to learn the strike zone, but I don’t think that the Phils go that way. First, he would require a big contract to go to a non-contender, and I don’t see Management spending their $ until the 17/18 off seasons. They may sign a hitter with a better approach, although after Prado re-signed, I don’t know who that is, but after reading an interview with John Middleton, he seems not inclined to move his process along any more quickly.

  34. I have a question for all of you. In the Middleton interview he referenced a Klentak study of the Royals, Pirates, Mets, Orioles Cubs and Astros and their rebuilds, and the duration from 3 to 6 years. He thinks they are on the shorter side which would put their contention year at 2018. I think he is misjudging what he has. I see them being quite a bit, maybe 2020, away, unless this year brings a big upswing in both the current Major Leaguers and prospects. What do you think?

      1. Mets, Cubs, Orioles are all big market teams with $$$. Some on this site have major fascination with the Sox..

    1. The two trades (Hamels and Giles) shortened that length of time. Also the Mets were helped by their two trades (Beltran and Dickey) and some fortuitous drafting like DeGrom..
      I can see 2018 as a time for an upswing…..but playoffs will be very hard, since will the Nats, Mets and the West and Central powerhouses decline? Probably not.

  35. I think as a group we overestimate the chances of a hitter drastically improving his strike zone management. It happens but not that often. Franco (and Nick Williams for that matter) could watch Joey Bats (who had an 11% walk rate in the minors) every day . . . but I dunno, to a certain extent, I think it’s something innate.

  36. Matt 13, I agree looking at this year development alone, the wild cards are MLB additions and prospect development. If the Phils can do one or other, than I think 2018 maybe realistic but those are big ifs;

    I) Phuture Phils –
    a) SP Pitching – They need a top end SP aka. Hamels to show up. At this point I just don’t see it with their current prospects.

    b) I could see there INF and C developing from current prospects, but the OF is still long shot beyond Herrera.

    -Quinn – can’t stay healthy
    – Altherr – so far…..
    – Williams – so far…..
    – Cozens – – next year will tell us a lot more
    – Everyone else would be a surprise for 2018

    c) Relief – beyond Neris and maybe Ramos….?????

    II) FA –

    Need a top end SP, OF or 2, and few RP’s for 2018 to be a playoff team

  37. There’s no way they delve into the FA market aside from an established position player with a known bat and sound approach at the plate, along with a reliever or 2. Assuming Hellickson moves on, Morton would be the only SP they’re considering. They’re certainly not going to make a big $plash. Trades will probably be the rule this off season, and nobody on the big league roster is untouchable. A few higher prospects are also likely to be traded if there’s a match with another club, especially one in rebuild or retool mode.

    1. Judging from their comments and past behavior, I’m confident that they will have one experienced arm in the rotation and it wouldn’t surprise me if they acquired a second starting arm (although, personally, I think that’s unnecessary given the glut of starters that need to be auditioned this year). By the way, say what you want about Hellickson’s stuff, the dude can really pitch and I hope the other pitchers learned something by being around him.

      Having thought about this, I do think they will acquire an experienced outfield bat on a shorter term (1 or 2 years) deal to provide stability to the line-up. That could be a FA on a pillow contract (like Bautista) or a guy who is a year from FA that another team is willing to flip for a mid-level prospect (like Trumbo was last year). I think we all agree that 1 year deals (or 1 year deals with a second option year) are the best – they give the team the most flexibility moving forward.

      1. Someone much smarter than I said there is no such thing as a bad 1 year contract and I will evolve that statement to say even a 3 year deal is hard to go wrong on considering the length of deals on premium FA’s.

        I’m all in for pushing the prospects onto the MLB roster next year so long as we have a few key veterans that can really help to bring them along. And not guys like Bourjos. Guys with solid MLB track records. Matt Holiday might be another name to consider.

        How about Matt he has a career OBP of .382

        I don’t want any JO’s of course. I’m assuming our FO knows who would and wouldn’t make a good mentor.

  38. Although I think Bautista gets a longer deal, I agree with you. I am not sure who that player is, but I see a bat and a SP. Also, they will add a couple of additional BP arms. I will continue to hold out hope that they can make a Cashner for Rizzo deal at some point. Why not this off season?

    1. matt13……the only Cashner’ talent laden pitchers in the Phillies system would have to be Velasquez or maybe Thompson or Nola.
      Cashner at the time the Cubs had him was younger and possessed top shelf stuff.
      And I assume a corner OF power bat is what interests the Phillies.
      Would a Stephen Piscotty interest you from the Cardinals for one of the above mentioned young arms?

  39. Fangraphs’ Eric Longenhagen chat from yesterday:

    Jason: How would you compare Sixto Sanchez to Adonis Medina and Franklyn Kilome?

    Eric A Longenhagen: Sixto is short but has big time present velo/stuff in general. Medina is all physical projection, you can see the stuff (fastball movement, curveball shape) is in there but it doesn’t play right now and you hope it does as he gets older. Kilome is everything. Throws hard, curveball bites but you can see more coming as he matures too. Off the top of my head, give them: Kilome, Sixto, Medina.

      1. I did not want to post what he said about JP Crawford……his bat went south this year a bit, but he will still have him in his top 15.

        1. He was on the mark Jp he’s 21 young and needs to get stronger that’s all . funny the Phillies already have a GG SS that can hit 20 Hr’s. So Jp has time on his side.I really like the FA reliever pitchers I thought of Greg Holland high risk high reward.Joe Smith Mk had him in Cali , Travis Wood and Mike Dunn .so Next yr Bullpen Travis Wood and mike Dunn as the lefties, Neris, Ramos, Joe Smith, Greg Holland . Maybe Mike Mariot and Gomez, there keeping Mariot his slider has one of the highest spin rates in baeball.

          1. I’d go for Daniel Hudson on a 2-year deal @ $4 M, lefty Brett Cecil for something comparable. There may be less pressure from rising relievers than from prospects at any other position. There should be open competition for the closer’s role in ’17 and beyond.

  40. Speaking of the Mets (may they RIP), I’m reading from mlb trade rumors that since their lineup will be lefty bat heavy next season, Jay Bruce may be moved along with his $13.5M one year remaining. Takers?

  41. Romus, I like Piscotty, but I don’t trade VV or a healthy Nola for him. I was thinking more along the lines of an underachieving player because Rizzo had not done well at all and Cashner was seriously struggling. I don’t know who that player is, but I want to get Piscotty’s numbers from an unexpected source so the cost is not high.

    1. matt13…understand about not wanting to give up VV….his stuff is potentially ace worthy. Most all teams are looking for reliable and talented starting pitching. Not sure pitchers that most posters seem to want to give up …..ie, Lively, Morgan, Asher or Pivetta, will bring anything that would be significant.

  42. I know there is an element of luck also involved. If you go through the Cubs rebuild, Arrieta was an outright theft and the Astros could have had Bryant but took Appel. Hendricks came in a trade, but no one, even Theo, predicted he would turn out as good as he did. If JP does not right his ship, we do not have an elite prospect.

    1. Yes…agree JPC needs to come out strong next season….he is expected to be to the Phillies in time, what Jeter was to the Yankees, Rollins to the Phillies and Posey to the Giants…the leader and one of the best skilled on the field.

    2. Right, if he doesn’t develop as expect we won’t have an elite prospect for now, but a player or two in the chain could develop into an elite prospect. That’s one of the benefits to having a lot of depth.

  43. Ok the SP so far for the mlb playoffs Storman, Tillman, Thor, Burgarner, Hamels, Estrada, Porcello, Bauer. Blue Jays won with Storman and Estrada they beat Tillman and Hamels . Question do the Phillies have a Storman or a Estrada could be ,you don’t always need a Bumgarner to will a playoff game. What you do need is good hitters up and down the lineup.

    1. Tim….you need RHPs pitchers that throw high velo, and lefties who can get it to 93/94 with plus secondary offerings.
      Watch what happens when the Giants face Hendricks.

      1. Romus what are they at now either there in the Playoffs Wheeler, S Martz, Strasberg, Harvey , De Groom, etc hurt. Sale, Verlander, Martinez, etc are sitting home. I not talking about lefties there some of the best pitchers in the world.

        1. Porcello took a hit last night…a high 80s/low 90s guy.
          Kluber, a 93-95 guy goes next against LHP Price and the Sox….will see how he does.

          1. Romus ahhhhh what ? Porcello pitches for Boston Kluber for Cleveland. Blue Jays just beat Darvish , there just won 3 playoff games in a row. There pitching Storman , Estrada , Happ they beat Tillman, Hamels , Darvish. 2 things 1 it’s about the hitters the lineup the Pitcher’s did the job keeping the score under 5 runs. The blue Jays HAVE the O OFFENSE BABY ,YOU CAN HAVE GOOD PITCHING BUT BETTER HAVE THE Offense To BACK It Up.

      2. Wait I just reread that I’m ok with 93 area veto it’d the throw has hard as you can 94 and up pitchers throw 65% or higher Fb . They don’t really throw a lot of secondary. There new reports coming out Tj is only about 75% to 80% successful. The % id’s going down ward.read that Dombrowski article too.

        1. I saw Romus post about how you need 93/94 veto rh/ lhp . I looked at that ,my probelm isn’t with rhp pitching in the 93/94 velo area. It’s the hole if you only throw 91 and your RH there’s no place for in the league. The other thing is the Phillies need a Ace to win and get to the Playoffs again . Nope Toronto been doing great without 1 .

    2. Read the hole post my pt was if you have the Offense you get buy with Good pitching. The Rangers are on the brink of elimination because Hamels and Darvish were hit hard. Also the Dombrowski article above read it where you have time.

  44. my two thoughts watching the indians and the red sox last night.

    Lindor seems just as skinny as Crawford, and you look at their minor league numbers and see reasonably close homer and slugging numbers – can i still dream that JP turns into something like Lindor?

    and I see Benitendi out there looking like a guy who is going to be a stud, and i think of the Red Sox tanking the last month and a half in 2014 and finishing two games worse than the Phils, allowing them to draft him ahead of us.

    1. I see the same the in your Lindor comparison. Lindor will have it a little easier as a switch hitter but their their careers should track relatively similar.

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