Here’s the open discussion thread for Phillies’ talk and other topics.
No new transactional housekeeping moves by the Phillies this week. But, Emmanuel Burriss elected free agency on the 15th.
With Dalier Hinojosa and Colton Murray apparently having accepted their outright assignments, only four required roster moves remain. After the completion of the world series and the return of Zach Eflin, Matt Harrison, Charlie Morton, and Aaron Nola to the active roster, four players will have to be moved off the 40-man to make room.
Of course, the end of the championship season will also signal the beginning of a bevy of off season moves throughout the league. The Phillies will tender the expected quality offer to Jeremy Hellickson. They will decline their club option and buyout the final season of Ryan Howard’s contract. They have a similar decision on Charlie Morton’s mutual option or buyout. They have four arbitration eligible players to whom they will have to decide whether or not to tender contracts (Jeanmar Gomez, Freddy Galvis, Cesar Hernandez, and Cody Asche). Plus, four players enter free agency (Andres Blanco, Peter Bourjos, A.J. Ellis, and David Hernandez).
(Reminder, one transaction that cannot take place is the release of Matt Harrison. He has a guaranteed contract and cannot be released until he has demonstrated that he has rehabilitated from his injury. So, when contemplating the make up of the Phillies 40-man roster, remember that Harrison will be a member of the 40-man roster at least until the end of spring training when he can be added to the 60-day disabled list, if necessary.)
We have discussed the MLB contract issues that have been leaked so far. Particularly, the implementation of an international draft and the raising of the minimum signing age from 16 years to 18 years. Someone suggested that some highly talented American high school players might want to take citizenship in a Latin American country to avoid the draft and take advantage of international signing rules that afford the most highly sought after LA players much higher signing bonuses.
Cardinals’ pitcher and top prospect, Alex Reyes, was offered as an example of an American high school player who did just that, taking up residence in the Dominican Republic and signing a $950K contract. In Reyes case, although he was born in the US, both his parents were from the DR. They were unable to send him to the showcases and tryouts that would have helped him get the attention of scouts. He relocated to the DR where he lived with each of his grandmothers. He worked out with the son of the town’s mayor, former MLB outfielder Raul Mondesi, and was spotted by a local scout and a Cardinals’ scout. After a one-year delay due to his emigration to the DR (per MLB rules), Reyes signed with the Cardinals in December 2012.
The United States does not formally recognize dual citizenship. However, it also has not taken any stand against it, either legally or politically.
Dominican scouts (buscones) have indicated that they may withhold their players from showcases in response to MLB’s consideration of an international draft. This shows how seriously they take the MLB discussions regarding a draft. However, I wonder if this might not play into the MLB’s hand. Since MLB also wants to raise the signing age of international players from 16 to 18, MLB could conceivably “lock” international players out for two years until next year’s crop of 16-year olds is old enough to sign in 2019.
Former Phillies’ pitcher Jim Bunning suffered a stroke on Tuesday, October 18th at his Cincinnati home. According to his family and friends he is recovering and watching the baseball playoffs. The family issued a statement to a local paper that,”He has been provided skilled care that is leading him on the road to recovery”. The Hall of Fame pitcher and former Senator from Kentucky turned 85 on Sunday.
The Florida State League is honoring Ryan Howard with an induction into the FSL Hall of Fame on November 15th at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater Beach. The Dunedin Blue Jays’ Roy Halladay and Fort Myers Miracles’ Joe Mauer are also among the 2016 inductees.
The following is a copy of a letter sent to season ticket holders from Matt Klentak.
On behalf of the entire Phillies organization, thank you for your support as a season ticket holder. We appreciate your commitment, and hope that you share in our optimism for the future of this franchise. Now that I am nearly a year into my role with the Phillies, I would like to share with you some of the success stories that we experienced this season, both at the major and minor league levels.
At the major league level, we witnessed firsthand the growth of a young, promising pitching staff that should only improve with experience. Notably, Jerad Eickhoff, Hector Neris, Aaron Nola and Vince Velasquez (among others) took impressive steps forward this year. Offensively, Odubel Herrera followed up a fine rookie season with an All-Star sophomore season and was joined by César Hernández, Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp (among others) as players who achieved marked improvement this year. Indeed, the performance of these young players contributed to an eight-win improvement from 2015 to 2016, tied for sixth best among Major League teams.
In our minor league system, we experienced an outstanding 2016 season from both a team and player development perspective. Our domestic affiliates combined to post a .595 winning percentage – the best mark of any organization in baseball since 2007. Furthermore, four of our six affiliates qualified for the playoffs, all while featuring some of the youngest rosters in their respective leagues. Our players and staff deserve a great deal of credit for the successes of our farm system this year.
At the upper levels of our minor league system, we had two players in Reading (AA) who posted record-setting power numbers. Outfielder Dylan Cozens (40 home runs) and first baseman Rhys Hoskins (38 home runs) were the top two home run hitters in all of Minor League Baseball. Cozens was awarded the Eastern League MVP, while Hoskins received Rookie of the Year honors. On the pitching side, we witnessed the emergence of Ben Lively, who won a combined 18 games overall between Reading and Lehigh Valley (AAA). At the conclusion of the season, all three received the prestigious Paul Owens Award, presented annually by the Phillies to the top minor league player(s) and pitcher(s) in the organization.
At the lower levels of our system, we watched as an impressive group of young players made their debuts in professional baseball. That group included promising centerfielder Mickey Moniak, who we selected first overall in this year’s draft, and who experienced a strong first season in the Gulf Coast League. Moniak was joined on the GCL club by several other young and exciting prospects who together have added depth and upside to our already strong farm system.
In my opinion, this franchise is well on its way to returning to the top of the standings. It doesn’t happen overnight, but with your support we will achieve our organizational goal of sustained winning and consistent success. Once again, on behalf of everyone at the Phillies, thank you for all of your support as a season ticket holder.
A friend and follower of Phuture Phillies wrote a book about the 2016 minor league season. It’s available on Amazon.
Winter league baseball has started. The Venezuelan League began games on October 6th. The Arizona Fall League and the Mexican Pacific League began on Tuesday, October 11th. The Dominican Winter League began on Thursday, October 20th. You can check on the progress of our prospects here.
Rhys Hoskins has started out hot going 5 for 10 with 4 RBI in his first 3 games. Brock Stassi is batting .349 in a larger sample size. He has amassed 3 HR, 8 RBI, 16 BB and 11 K in 59 PA. Wilson Garcia has a .344 AVG but only has an OBP of .382 (even though he has 0 BB and 0 HBP ???). Carlos Tocci has an AVG of .333 in 54 AB, but with just 3 doubles he only has a .389 SLG.
Gregory Infante has a 0-1 record and 2 saves in 5 appearances. His ERA is 0.00, the loss came on an unearned run. Including Infante, 8 pitchers have an ERA of 0.00. Alberto Tirado is one of the pitchers with a 0.00 ERA. In his one appearance, he pitched 1.0 IP and struck out the side. He also gave up a hit and issued 2 walks. Elvis Araujo, another pitcher sporting a 0.00 ERA, has 3.2 IP in 4 appearances. He recorded 7 K among 11 outs. He also walked 4 and gave up 2 hits. Jeff Singer has pitched 5.2 scoreless inning in Arizona. He has struck out only two, but also has allowed only 3 hits and walked none.
The Puerto Rican League begins on October 27th. The Colombian Baseball League opens on November 4th (3-4 Phillies are headed to Colombia, I heard Tobias, Numata, Laird, and maybe one more) and the Australian Baseball League opens on November 17th ( I heard no Phillies because Australia’s WBC wants to ensure the ABL is used to develop Australian baseball players, therefore there is no longer an agreement with MLB to provide players).
- 10/15 – 2B Emmanuel Burriss elected free agency.
- 10/13 – RHP Frank Herrmann elected free agency.
- 10/10 – RF Jimmy Paredes elected free agency.
- 10/10 – LHP Patrick Schuster elected free agency.
- 10/7 – Outrighted Frank Herrmann, Dalier Hinojosa, Emmanuel Burriss, Patrick Schuster, Jimmy Paredes, and Colton Murray to Lehigh Valley.
- 10/6 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Casey Brown to a minor league contract.
- Signed NDFA RHP Scott Hoffman
- Re-signed FA RHP Miguel Nunez
- 10/6 – RHP Derwuin Marchan assigned to DSL Phillies2 (Signed July 2, 2016).
- 10/3 – RF Cedric Hunter elected free agency.
- 10/3 – LHP James Russell elected free agency.
- 10/3 – Signed free agent RHP Jose Perez to a minor league contract.
- 10/3 – Signed free agent C Ronald Torrealba to a minor league contract.
- 10/3 – Signed free agent RHP Luis Pacheco to a minor league contract.
- Re-signed Chace Numata
- The organization rosters are up to date.