Open Discussion: Week of January 16th

Only 30 days until pitchers and catchers have their first workout.  The first full team workout is 3 days later.  Until then, here’s another open discussion for Phillies’ talk and other topics.

On January 11, 2017, The Phillies announced the non-roster invites to spring training from among the organization’s prospects, thus bringing the total number of NRI to 20 players.

The Phillies had previously committed invitations to seven free agents as an inducement to signing minor league contracts.  Those seven were – 

  • on December 12th, the Phillies signed free agent 3B Hector Gomez, free agent OF Daniel Nava, free agent LHP Sean Burnett, and free agent 2B Pedro Florimon to minor league contracts and invited them to spring training;
  • on December 20th, the Phillies signed signed free agent C Bryan Holaday to minor league contracts and invited him to spring training;
  • on December 21st, the Phillies signed free agent RHP Pedro Beato to minor league contracts and invited him to spring training; and
  • on January 5th, the Phillies signed FA LHP Cesar Ramos to minor league contracts and invited him to spring training.

On January 11th, the Phillies announced 16 “additional” players invited to spring training that included 3 of the players above plus the 13 new names below –

  • top propsects SS J.P. Crawford (#2), 1B Rhys Hoskins (#12), and 2B Scott Kingery (#13);
  • RHPs Victor AranoColton MurrayMichael Mariot, and Dalier Hinojosa;
  • infielders 1B Brock Stassi and 2B Taylor Featherston;
  • outfielders Cameron Perkins and Andrew Pullin; and
  • catchers Logan Moore and Chace Numata.

The Phillies signed three Latin American 17-year olds – one Venezuelan, LHP Gabriel Yanez, and two Columbians, RHP Ramiro Soto and RHP Santy Prada.-

Key dates remaining during the off season:

  • February – Salary arbitration hearings.
  • 2/14 – First workout for pitchers and catchers.
  • 2/17 – First full-squad workout.
  • 2/23 – Phillies’ spring training game v. University of Tampa.
  • 2/24 – Grapefruit League games begin.  Tentative schedule here.
  • 3/6-22 – World Baseball Classic.
  • 4/2-3 – Opening Night/Opening Day.

Extra Innings

As we approach the salary arbitration hearings in February, teams and agents are negotiating to avoid actually having to attend the oft times acrimonious meetings.  The Phillies have come to agreements with Freddy Galvis ($4.35M) for and Jeanmar Gomez ($4.2 M).  Cesar Hernandez remains unsigned.  He submitted a figure of $2.8M.  The Phillies responded with a figure of $2.0 M.  The hearing date has not yet been set.  Both sides can continue to negotiate until the hearing is held.

Andy MacPhail was on a couple of MLB Network shows this week.  He was asked routine questions about the rebuild and avoided the trap of saying the Phillies expected to compete this year.  He’s happy with the progress changing the way they go about gathering and interpreting data.  He’s also happy with the progress upgrading the minors.

MacPhail did reiterate a story we’ve hear a lot lately, that the Phillies are looking for a left-handed bat.  Along those lines, free agents 1B/OF Brandon Moss and OF Michael Saunders are still available,  As is Mets RF Jay Bruce.  Saunders has recently stated that he wants to re-sign with the Blue Jays.  FWIW, the Dodgers still owe released Carl Crawford $21M for the 2017 season.  Oh, stop!  I can’t even continue typing I’m laughing so hard.  … But he should come for the league minimum.  Just sayin’.  (And he’s J.P.’s cousin.)

And finally, Carlos Tocci was selected the Rookie of the Year in the Venezuelan Winter League.  In 59 games, Tocci slashed .323/.403/.392/.795 with 11 XBH, 20 BB, 36 K in 217 AB.

Cumulative transactions: 

  • 1/12 – LHP Gabriel Yanez assigned to GCL Phillies.
  • 1/12 – Ramiro Soto assigned RHP to GCL Phillies.
  • 1/12 – RHP Santy Prada assigned to GCL Phillies.
  • 1/11 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Gabriel Yanez to a minor league contract.
  • 1/11 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Ramiro Soto to a minor league contract.
  • 1/11 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Santy Prada to a minor league contract.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Victor Arano to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster 2B Scott Kingery to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster LF Andrew Pullin to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster C Logan Moore to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Colton Murray to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster C Chace Numata to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster LF Cam Perkins to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster SS J.P. Crawford to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster 1B Rhys Hoskins to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Michael Mariot to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Dalier Hinojosa to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster 2B Taylor Featherston to spring training.
  • 1/11 – Phillies invited non-roster 1B Brock Stassi to spring training.
  • 1/7 – Phillies signed FA RF Christian Marrero to a minor league contract.
  • 1/6/ – RHP Pedro Beato assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 1/6/ – RHP Jesse Beal assigned to Reading Fightin Phils.
  • 1/5 – Phillies signed FA LHP Cesar Ramos to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 12/28 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Jesse Beal to a minor league contract.
  • 12/28 – LHP Wander Perez assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 12/23 – Reds claimed Richie Shaffer off waivers from Philadelphia Phillies.
  • 12/21 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Pedro Beato to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 12/21 – Texas Rangers claimed David Rollins off waivers from Philadelphia Phillies.
  • 12/21 – SS Hector Gomez assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 12/21 – SS Pedro Florimon assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 12/21 – RHP Victor Santos assigned to GCL Phillies.
  • 12/21 – OF Wilbert Garcia assigned to GCL Phillies.
  • 12/20 – Philadelphia Phillies designated 3B Richie Shaffer for assignment.
  • 12/20 – Boston Red Sox traded RHP Clay Buchholz to Philadelphia Phillies for 2B Josh Tobias.
  • 12/20 – C Bryan Holaday assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 12/20 – Phillies signed free agent C Bryan Holaday to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 12/19 – LHP Sean Burnett assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 12/19 – LF Daniel Nava assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 12/15 – Phillies extended Odubel Herrera with a 5-year, $30.5M contract with 2 option years.  The Phillies have bought out Herrera’s arbitration years plus his first year of free agency.
  • 12/14 – Phillies signed free agent 2B Andres Blanco (1 yr./$3M).
  • 12/14 – Phillies claimed Richie Shaffer off waivers from Seattle Mariners.
  • 12/14 – Phillies released RHP Phil Klein.
  • 12/14 – Phillies designated LHP David Rollins for assignment.
  • 12/13 – Phillies sent Michael Mariot outright to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 12/12 – Potomac Nationals traded Mario Sanchez to Reading Fightin Phils to complete the Jimmy Cordero trade
  • 12/12 – Phillies signed free agent 3B Hector Gomez to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 12/12 – Phillies signed free agent OF Daniel Nava to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 12/12 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Sean Burnett to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 12/12 – Phillies signed free agent 3B Pedro Florimon to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 12/8 – Lehigh Valley  claimed Jorge Flores off waivers from the Dunedin Blue Jays.
  • 12/8 – Cleveland Indians claimed Hoby Milner off waivers from the Phillies.
  • 12/6 – Phillies designated RHP Michael Mariot for assignment.
  • 12/6 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Joaquin Benoit.
  • 12/2-9 – Phillies signed LHP Wander Perez to a minor league contract.
  • 12/2 – LHP Jose Palacio assigned to DSL Phillies.
    • 10/13 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Jose Palacio to a minor league contract.
  • 12/2 – Phillies claimed David Rollins off waivers from Texas Rangers.
  • 12/2 – Phillies designated LF Cody Asche for assignment.
  • 12/2 – LF Cody Asche elected free agency.
  • 11/23 – Phillies released RHP David Buchanan.
  • 11/23 – Phillies traded RHP Jimmy Cordero to Washington for cash or a PTBNL.
  • Signed RHP Victor Santos, OF Wilbert Garcia
  • 11/20 – C Ronald Torrealba assigned to DSL Phillies2
  • 11/20 – LHP Anton Mikhailovich Kuznetsov assigned to DSL Phillies.
    • 09/08 –  Phillies signed FA LHP Anton Kuznetsov to a minor league contract.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Mark Appel from Lehigh Valley.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Ben Lively from Lehigh Valley.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Andrew Knapp from Lehigh Valley.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Nick Pivetta from Lehigh Valley.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Jesmuel Valentin from Lehigh Valley.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Nick Williams from Lehigh Valley.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Elniery Garcia from Reading.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Dylan Cozens from Reading.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Ricardo Pinto from Reading.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Drew Anderson from Clearwater.
  • 11/18 – Phillies selected the contract of Alberto Tirado from Lakewood.
  • 11/18 – Marlins claimed Elvis Araujo off waivers from Phillies.
  • 11/18 – Phillies designated RHP David Buchanan for assignment.
  • 11/18 – Phillies designated RHP Jimmy Cordero for assignment.
  • 11/15 – Phillies released LHP Matt Harrison.
  • 11/11 – Dodgers traded LF Howie Kendrick to the Phillies for 1B Darin Ruf and 2B Darnell Sweeney.
  • 11/10 – RHP Luis Pacheco assigned to DSL Phillies
  • 11/10 – RHP Jose Perez assigned to DSL Phillies2.
  • 11/10 – RHP Jonas De La Cruz assigned to DSL Phillies.
  • 11/07 – 3B Carlos Alonso elected free agency.
  • 11/07 – LHP Anthony Vasquez elected free agency.
  • 11/07 – RHP Gregory Infante elected free agency.
  • 11/07 – DH Jake Fox elected free agency.
  • 11/07 – C Gabriel Lino elected free agency.
  • 11/07 – RF Christian Marrero elected free agency.
  • 11/07 – SS KC Serna elected free agency.
  • 11/07 – IF Raymond Mora assigned to DSL Phillies2.
  • 11/4 – Traded a PTBNL or cash to the Houston Astros for RHP Pat Neshek.
  • 11/3 – Philadelphia activated LHP Matt Harrison from the 60-day disabled list.
  • 11/3 – Philadelphia activated RHP Zach Eflin from the 60-day disabled list.
  • 11/3 – Philadelphia activated RHP Charlie Morton from the 60-day disabled list.
  • 11/3 – Philadelphia activated RHP Aaron Nola from the 60-day disabled list.
  • 11/3 – C A.J. Ellis elected free agency.
  • 11/3 – 2B Andres Blanco elected free agency.
  • 11/3 – RHP David Hernandez elected free agency.
  • 11/3 – 1B Ryan Howard elected free agency.
  • 11/3 – RHP Charlie Morton elected free agency.
  • 11/3 – RF Peter Bourjos elected free agency.
  • 10/26 – IF Juan Herrera assigned to DSL Phillies2.
  • 10/25 – Signed free agent RHP Alexis Araujo to a minor league contract.
  • 10/25 – OF Maximo De La Rosa assigned to DSL Phillies.
  • 10/25 – RHP Scot Hoffman assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 10/25 – LHP Casey Brown assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 10/15 – 2B Emmanuel Burriss elected free agency.
  • 10/13 – Signed free agent OF Luis Matos to a minor league contract.
  • 10/13 – RHP Frank Herrmann elected free agency.
  • 10/10 – RF Jimmy Paredes elected free agency.
  • 10/10 – LHP Patrick Schuster elected free agency.
  • 10/8 – DSL Phillies activated RHP Gregorix Mateo.
  • 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.
  • 10/5 – DSL Phillies activated 3B Leonardo Colagrossi from the 60-day disabled list.
  • Re-signed FA RHP Miguel Nunez
  • 10/6 – RHP Derwuin Marchan assigned to DSL Phillies2 (Signed July 2, 2016).
  • 10/4 – Signed NDFA RHP Scot Hoffman
  • 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 close to up to date.


126 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of January 16th

  1. Any idea when the minor leaguers start playing the minor leaguers from other teams, at the florida minor league complexes ? Is the schedule available yet ? Hoping to visit Cleareater area in March.

    1. No schedule, yet. Last year pitchers and catchers had their first workout on February 18th. The minor league schedules became available on the 17th. The first minor league game was March 15th.

      With a WBC this year, Ps and Cs start on the 14th. If the same template is used, the minor league schedule should be available the same week and the first game around the 11th of March.

      We’ll know for sure soon.

        1. Thank you
          Do you know if there are any inter squad games scheduled on the main Spectrum Field?

          1. JimP, I am sure, when the time gets closer, will be able to give you a more definitive answer on that question. Also, if you scroll to the very bottom of this section of comments, he has already posted information on spring training activities.

        2. @Romus, No, No, No, Never! ‘the Spectrum” was in South Philly. Those of us down here originally from Philly hate this new name. We tried a write in campaign to try and avert the name Spectrum Field. We failed. Your comment marks the first time (of the many we were afraid would happen) where this minor league ball park was referred to by that “sacred” name that conjures memories of the Stanley Cup Flyers and “Fo-Fo-Fo” Sixers.

      1. @Bob, February 24th is the start of major league spring games. Scott asked about the minor league games. That schedule hasn’t been published. Springtrainingonline still lists the minor league start dates for pitchers/catchers, position players, and games as TBA.

  2. Boatload of NRIs coming to camp…of all of them, would not surprise me if one of former Phillies’ Michael Mariot, Colton Murray or Dalier Hinojosa makes it coming north, what with it seems some type of ailments/ injuries to pitchers every ST.

    1. Let’s hope not, Romus. We’re nine or ten deep in starting pitching. If any of those you mentioned have to go north, it’ll be a triage unit of injured arms.

      1. 8mark…I guess I should have clarified….relievers not starters going down in ST, i.e. Neris, Gomez, Ramos, Rodriguez, Neshek et al..

        1. besides 60 day DL spots that may or may not happen I could see 2 or 3 playing to keep their spot such as Luis Garcia.

  3. Carlos Tocci, MVP in the Venezuelan Winter League, had an Odubel type winter season. Have they tried to do what they did with Galvis to put some weight on him? I guess they have. All that talent and no where to put it. What if he has a break-out year this year like Odubel did? Can they find a place for him?

    1. Puddinhead,

      I won’t repeat my past posts of how much offensive improvement I saw in Tocci last season, but he’s a break-out candidate for this season, I think.

      Others in the prospective break-out category for me are C Randolph and Deivi Grullon.

      I’m also going to be looking at

      • Chace Numata to see if he can sustain last year’s improvement and add to our list of genuine catcher prospects;

      • Jose Pujols to see if he can harness his power through some plate discipline;

      • Darick Hall to see if he can do a Lakewood-Clearwater number like Rhys Hoskins did in 2015. (and he’s a LHB 1B)

      •Elniery Garcia to see if he can be as dominant at higher levels.

    2. I have written about 20 posts on this. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes they have tried to put weight on him for like 5 years. But he’s too slight in his build and muscle frame to gain much weight. He is built like a high school cross country runner and this is NOT an exaggeration. If you told that runner to eat a lot of food and camp out in the gym for 5 months, 5 months later he would either be fat or would gain like 5 or 10 pounds, tops, although he still might get stronger. They have already done this with him so you’re likely seeing the physically finished product.

      It’s hard to see him ever having the muscle development to be much of a big league hitter, where nasty pitchers will knock the bat out of his hand. His tippy top ceiling as a player is Doug Glanville. I’m not saying, by the way, the he doesn’t have good baseball skills. He does, especially fielding and throwing and his hit tool is decent. But his physical weakness and inability to get big league strong is probably going to prevent him from being anything other than a 5th outfielder or a second division back-up.

      We should stop wasting time on this guy unless he develops more. He’s so low on our outfield depth chart.

      1. Look, I’m probably being a little too harsh on Tocci. He does have good baseball skills, but he’s not a speed merchant and is going to have a really tough time developing other skills necessary to make up for what is almost certainly going to be a significant lack of power. Doug Glanville is, however, a pretty good comp for his ceiling, except Tocci does not possess Glanville’s speed. I just look at him and I see a guy who is probably either going to stall in the upper minors or is going to constantly be on the borderline of a major league and minor league player. Now, if he shows up in spring training one year weighing 190 pounds and looking a lot stronger, then we can have a different discussion.

        1. Catch,

          I agree. In my initial post, I was going to include a disclaimer that, while maybe breaking out this year, I don’t necessarily think Tocci will be a first division starter.

          Glanville without speed sounds right. And a similar half-dozen years as a MLB starter wouldn’t make Tocci a failure.

          1. Yeah, but speed is a large part of what gave Glanville his value. Once the speed diminished, Glanville wasn’t a major league regular any longer. The real question is whether Tocci can do other things that Glanville couldn’t do to make up for the lack of elite speed. It’s possible, but I’m not holding my breath. Perhaps he can draw a lot of walks – that’s one way to gain an advantage.

      2. I have read this sight for many years, but rarely comment. This opinion, which may very well be true, was also a common comment on on Freddie Galvis if I remember. Many people commented that he would never be able to put on enough weight to hit major league pitching. Just saying…

  4. Will the first full squad workout on February 17th be on the main field, and is it open to the public. If so what time?

    1. The Phillies’ spring training workouts are held at the Carpenter Complex next to Spectrum Field (formerly Bright House Field).

      They are open to the public.

      They generally start around 10:00AM.

      Prior to the first full squad workout, any position players in Clearwater while the pitchers and catchers work out at the Complex have taken batting practice in Spectrum Field. And yes, BP is open to the public.

        1. Phantasy camp schedule is always the same, rain permitting. Thursday morning is veteran games on one side and rookie workouts on the other, Thursday afternoon, Friday morning, Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon all have games on all 4 fields plus DiMaggio. Sunday morning has each of the 10 teams playing 2 1/2 innings against the former players/coaches.

  5. With improving depth and recent success in both local and international scouting, we can list hundreds of things to look for in 2017. if we can make a 50 prospect deep, the list to “look for” is longer than that. I tried to narrow my “list to look for in 2017” based on the following categories:

    a) Prospects with potential Elite Tools (Position) or Stuff (Pitchers) i.e. Alfaro, Ortiz, Pujols, Sanchez, Tirado, Gamboa, Gowdy — prospects with elite tools are game changers.

    b) Prospects eligible for 2017 Rule V i.e. JPC, Hoskins, Viza, Arano, Sandberg, Brown, etc. Some of these prospect will serve as the last remaining key pieces of the new core.

    c) Prospects that were not protected and will be exposed to 2017 Rule V – Arauz, Tocci, Pullin, Dominguez — 2017 will be key for them to prove their value. We might see a lot of this prospects to be traded if no roster spots is available.

    d) Forgotten prospects that can have a bounce back 2017 i.e. Lucas Williams, C, Falter, Cabral, Brown, Sandberg, Grullon. C is still a top prospect, can Williams, Grullon, Falter and Cabral have better 2017? Brown and Sandberg have very good tools and eligible for Rule V, is 2017 their last year with the Phils?

    e) Lottery tickets i.e. Encarnacion, Gamboa, Picket, Young, Fanti, Pelletier

    f) 2016 Top Performers – see if they can sustain their 2016 success.

      1. Should have added above that this guy disappeared from view in part because of TJ surgery but is now throwing 98 MPH.

  6. Saunders is a nice pick up, tremendous first half, 2d half fell off a cliff, but a good acquisition. In a bit of trivia, when the awful Cliff lee deal first broke, Saunders was mentioned as part of the deal. Now we get him 8 years later.

    1. matt13…hope his knee holds up come late in the year. My understanding he has only 40% left of his meniscus in his left knee after the 2015 surgery..

      1. Moving to grass should help Romus. Sounds like a one yr deal with option – will be interesting to see the $$ involved.

        1. Maybe the knee heals further along, the longer it does not incur any more damage.
          The grass should also help, plus have to believe Mack will rest him judiciously thru the season. Next month will be two years since the surgery, so that could also be helpful for his long term outlook.

    2. looks like the end of Luis Garcia or SevGon. The Phils still need to fill 3 bench positions to fill — C (most likely Knapp playing as a back up 1B), INF (Valentin might get this) and OF (this will be the last position to get filled as both Quinn and Goedell are expected to start in AAA. If Phils will not sign any FA and release SevGon, Goedell might take this spot).

        1. PPhan65 – teams normally carry 2 INF in the bench. Blanco is the 1st INF, so the Phils might add another INF. I’m OK with Valentin to be the UTIL player.

          1. Do they need a 2nd INF when Kendrick can play 2nd, 3rd (?) and possibly 1st, Knapp can back up 1st (as you noted) and Galvis can play all over the infield as well as Blanco being an emergency C? That would leave room for one more pitcher? Can Valentin play more than 2nd & SS?

            1. PPhan – the Phils have enough depth in the pitching side both SP and RP. If one the veteran NRI plays well, SevGon will go.

              While the projected BENCH of Blanco, Altherr, Knapp and Valentin provides a lot of flexibility, most teams keep it at 5 to provide another warm body for potential late inning tactics like pinch running, pinch hitting and defensive subs.

      1. Yup it looks like Garcia is next one to go. Goeddel vs Nava for a 40 man spot. Burdette vs Morgan for his spot as well.

  7. Knowing the pitching depth in the upper minors, I thought that the Phils will non-tender Gomez to provide more flexibility in the roster space considering Gomez salary goes up to $4M++. I’ve been vocal of trading high on Cesar, but Cesar’s $2.8M salary demand is way better than the $4.2M the Phils gave Gomez.

  8. Royals just extended Danny Duffy, who was due to be an FA after the season. I was hoping he’d be a good Phillies target next year.

  9. McCannin said Quinn will now start at AAA. I’m excited about the LHV lineup.
    1 Quinn CF
    2 JP SS
    3 Alfaro C or Williams LF
    4 Cozens RF or Hoskins 1B
    5 Hoskins or Cozens
    6 Williams or Alfaro
    7 Perkins or Stassi (based on pitcher) DH
    8 Featherston 2B or 3B
    9 Journeyman 3B or 2B

    This assumes Knapp, Valentin, and Goeddel are on the major league bench. The lineup offers a terrific L-R-L-R in either order. Will Williams or Alfaro bat 3rd? Maybe they change it based on who is pitching (L or R). Add Franco to this lineup plus Cesar or Kingery and you might have our 2018 lineup.

    1. Goeddel could be the 5th OF now, if Quinn is ticketed for LHV and assuming it is Kendrick/Herrera/Saunders with Altherr across the OF
      Goeddel can play the corners well and maybe even some CF, so that is a plus..
      However, not sure it will help his development at the plate as a MLB player, but then again, he will accrue MLB service time.

    2. The Pig will definitely complete the core of the next contending Phillies team. I can see Nick batting 3rd (unless he struggles again) but the 3 to 6 hitters can be mixed up depending who is currently hitting well.

      Quinn (S) CF
      JPC (L) SS
      Williams (L) LF
      Hoskins (R) 1B
      Cozens (L) RF
      Alfaro (R) C
      Perkins (R)/Stassi (L) DH
      Walding (R)
      Mora (S)

      SP: Jake, Eflin, Appel, Pivetta, Lively
      RP: Asher, SevGon, Murray, Nunez, Hinojosa, 2 veteran RPs

    3. Between pitchers and hitters, this is probably as stacked of AAA team as you will ever see. In most instances, a AAA team has 2 or 3 good prospects at most, with another 2 or 3 guys who are older and trying to break through or middle relievers and a lot of AAAA players. Certainly, until last year, this was true of the Phillies’ AAA teams since I started following the team. The guys in AAA, with minor exceptions, were generally org filler with a prospect here or there.

      This team is loaded, from top to bottom, with real prospects at pretty much every single position and on the mound.

      First base – Hoskins – prospect
      Second base – Valentin and Kingery (when he gets there) – both prospects
      Shortstop – Crawford – prospect
      Third base – Featherston – AAAA guy
      Left field – Goeddel – borderline prospect
      Center field – Quinn – prospect
      Right field – Williams – prospect
      Catcher – Alfaro and/or Knapp – both prospects
      Bench – Stassi – intriguing breakthrough candidate


      Appel – prospect
      Lively – prospect
      Eflin – prospect
      Pivetta – prospect
      Asher – borderline prospect

      And I know I’m probably missing some guys.

      They may not all be elite prospects, but they all have potential. My guess is that the team will dominate in the standings and many players will be called up throughout the year. Going to AAA games this year will be a blast.

      1. There could be a slight adjustment period at the beginning of the season for Hoskins, Alfaro and Cozens to AAA pitching nuances..
        However, the remaining prospects, who were there last season, should do well.

      2. You forgot Cozens. Valentin, Goeddel and Knapp will all likely start the year on the major league bench due to 40 man inflexibility. I also think Pinto and Asher or Appel will go right to the bullpen. LHV will certainly be the early season destination spot.

        1. Murray – Pinto doesn’t have a good statistical year in REA. He is still young and need to develop further his SL. He might be the 1st SP to be moved to the pen, but the Phils will not rush him. So I see Pinto anchoring the REA staff to start 2017, but if he is slow in developing a breaking ball, then he will join the AAA bull pen.

          Same thing will Appel – he will be part of the strong Jake-Eflin-Appel-Lively-Pivetta pitching staff to start in AAA. Appel will be given teh benefit of the doubt as SP because of his pedigree. Asher might be the odd man out. He might start if LHV moves to a 6-man rotation or pitch multiple innings from LHV bullpen.

          1. I just think the Phils will need some relief arms ready at LHV in case of injury, already on the 40. Garcia is about to lose his spot for Saunders. Burnett is fighting for a 25/40 spot as is Nava, Stassi and even Perkins. I think the team will choose to not lose any more players from the 40 and promote Knapp, Valentin, and Goeddel to hold bench spots for at half the year. I think Burnett and Garcia are fighting to get Morgan’s 40 spot. Mac announced that Morgan is now a reliever, as I expected. I think he’ll start the year in the pen and they’ll try to keep Burnett and Garcia at LHV, unless they have April 1 opt outs. Then it’s a spring training battle.

            1. @murray – the Phils might keep some of the vets (who will not make it to the 25-man) in LHV for that purpose. Normally, these vets will sign a minor league contract with an option to choose free agency if not added at certain point in time — most likely in May. The 4-6 weeks time will give the Phils to assess some players in the minors and decide to release the, trade or move to different position (i.e. SP to pen).

              In case they needed a bullpen arm — they already have young guys with MLB experience. Morgan, Asher, SveGon and Jake can pitch effectively out of the pen while the Phils are still trying Appel, Pinto and Pivetta as viable SP.

      3. It really is pretty unbelievable compared to what we have traditionally had at AAA in this organization through the years.

        I usually make it up to LHV for a game or so a year but I’m definitely going to try an take advantage of this year and get to a bunch.

  10. I don’t think Goeddel makes the team as a 5th OF. They may need to start him at reading. He needs a full season of ABs to get back into some kind of a groove if he is ever to be a prospect again. If the OF in LHV is Williams/Quinn/Cozens, the only choices are to play Goeddel everyday in AA or be a part time player in AAA. Sitting him on the bench with the Phils as a less than part time player makes no sense.

    1. this means that SevGon is out of the 40-man. I think the Phils will delay their decision to fill the bench until mid-ST for them to better see their option. If SevGon is throwing mid-90s with good command and control (which Sev is known for), they might a) move some prospects via trade, if not; b) start with extra arm and only 4 bench players; or c) utilize the 40-man to fill the 25-man (Valentin and Goedell are likely the choice).

      1. Maybe reunite Clay with Theo…

        The White Sox also might be interested in exchanging our upper level prospects with their lower level ones to expedite their rebuild.

        1. I assume when you say “our upper level prospects” you have players like Lively, Pullin, Goeddel, Eshelman, Asher, Valentin and maybe Knapp in mind…versus Williams, Cozens, Hoskins, Eflin, Thompson or Alfaro?
          Plus…have you seen their lower level prospect grading?
          Assuming their top 6/7 are off the table….then the only prospect that would interest me would be RHP Alec Hansen and he seems to be targeted for Hi-A or AA this season.

          1. Spot on Romus and I specifically think about Valentin who seems really blocked at the moment

            Goeddel too but not any of the others you have here. Maybe a few off the reliever list of 40 Man guys.

            Not sure what the answer is but hearing that we have to have Valentin up to start the season and sit him doesn’t sound good.

            1. I also would like Valentin to be playing daily at LHV.
              IMO, he has as almost, if not equivalent , upside as Kingery

  11. I kind of like Seve over Joely and Ramos over Garcia. Was thinking I rather have a guy like Featherston or Florimon sitting the bench in April as opposed to Jesse.

  12. A question for all of you. In Eric Longenhagen’s chat today someone asked if he could remember a better array of homegrown talent than Bryant, Russell, Schwarber, Contreras, Baez, Edwards and Hendricks, and he said he felt that the closest was Rollins Howard, Utley, Bourn and Happ. First, add Burrell and Ruiz, and I think the Phils is better, but also Edwards, Russell and Hendricks came to the Cubs via trade, making the Phils’ “home grown” base even that much more significant. Agree with me or not?

  13. – Todd Zolecki reports the Phillies’ new baseball academy in the Dominican Republic is open for business. The Phillies and Twins announced Tuesday the completion of their shared academy in Boca Chica, which is east of Santo Domingo on the south side of the island. The $18 million, 85,000-sqaure foot facility is housed on 45 acres. The teams said prospects from both teams will live and train at the academy, and they will participate in education and cultural development programs. Phillies owner John Middleton, president Andy MacPhail, general manager Matt Klentak and others attended Tuesday’s festivities, which included numerous dignitaries and officials from the Dominican.

    “Today is an exciting day for the Phillies and the Twins and for the future of our respective franchises,” MacPhail said in a statement. “This new facility allows both teams to provide on-field training and development, off-the-field cultural development and educational advancement, all of which are vital to becoming a successful baseball player in the United States.”

    Each team’s academy includes three full-sized fields, bullpen mounds, agility field, covered batting cages, dormitory space for as many as 78 prospects, dining hall, weight room, training room, video coaching room and three classrooms for English language and Spanish instruction in multiple high school-level topics. The teams will share a kitchen facility, an auditorium and a maintenance building. The Phillies and Twins also made a financial contribution to show their commitment and thanks to the neighboring community. The funds will purchase “team kits” that will be given to local under-resourced teams from “Fundacion ENED.”

      1. I have to assume they will be also instructing the kids strongly on the English language.
        So once they get stateside that is one aspect in their life they do not have to be worried about.

    1. The first seven picks before the Phillies selection, could easily be college pitchers this June.
      it seems things have evolved over the last 10 years or so, whereas, college pitchers are now the gold standard, followed by HS hitters, HS pitchers and finally college bats.

      1. I haven’t spent time looking at the 2017 Rule 4 draftees, but with the flux high end arms in the low minors, I can see the Phils draft a college arm for their 1st pick and join the LWD rotation.

    2. Of those 11 RHP … I like Kyle Wright, Tanner Houck, and Corbin Martin. Hunter Green won’t make it to 1-8. I think he’ll go to the Padres at 1-3 or the Rays at 1-4.
      I would love to see the Phillies end up with U of Missouri’s top two pitchers. Take Houck at 1-8. Select Bryce Montes De Oca in the third round.
      I was absolutely counting on Hellickson declining his QO and having the Phillies add an extra first round pick. My hope now is for Miami to remain in playoff contention for the first couple of months this season. Hope they remain strong with their bats and weak with their arms. Last season, a deal for Hellickson fell apart when the Marlins insisted on a second starting pitcher in a deal. I would offer them both Hellickson and Buccholtz (Phillies pick up the bulk/all of their salaries) for Miami’s competitive balance pick (most likely #36 overall) and 3.75 million (the max the Phillies can acquire) of Miami’s international spending pool. The Phils can’t slap another QO on Hellboy so they’re going to have to deal him. This plan would allow the Phillies to net the extra first round pick they missed out on when Boras and Hellickson took the one year, 17.3 million dollar offer. It also allows movement for their young starters. They can call up two of their AAA arms. It would also allow promotions in lower levels.

      1. Hinkie……inter money netted thru trades usuallty come from penalized teams that cannot go over the $300K threshold or whatever it is these days under the new CBA.
        I am not sure Miami is under the penalty for the 2017 signing period?
        The teams I am aware of are:…..the Astros, Athletics, Braves, Cardinals, Nationals, Padres and Reds have all exceeded their 2016-17 bonus pools already….the Cubs, Dodgers, Giants and Royals won’t be signing anyone also for 7 figures, they won’t be able to sign anyone for more than $300,000 during either the current signing period or the next one as a penalty for exceeding their 2015-16 pools. Now the Red Sox…just not sure.

        1. Romus … I understand what you are saying. However, to the best of my knowledge, the Marlins aren’t usually big players in the J2 market. Just about all of their signings are for 300-thousand dollars or less.

          1. Well it will be up to them, since they may want to sign a boatload of players vs giving up that opportunity for two veteran pitchers. The Phillies did something similar with Jhailyn Ortiz…..they did not sign the quantity they normally would sign since Ortiz garnered $4M of their total…plus the two pitchers they sent to the D-Backs for the additional money.

          2. Hinkie here is a question I’ve pondered of late. If TRUSTTHEPROCESS means make your team the worst in the league so you can hope to draft high to get a Franchise Player or two

            Does there come a point in time when you stop Trusting the Process?

            1. “The Process” is an organic thing. It naturally ends as your team has collected the necessary franchise-altering talent.

      2. Speaking like a true Hinkie! I know that MIA is looking for a couple of SPs and specifically target Eickhoff. I wonder if Klentak offered Asher (with Hellboy) instead. My gut feeling is Klentak is gambling on the possibility (which is a good chance) that Hellboy will reject the QO so he didn’t push hard enough to trade Hellboy last July.

  14. I saw in Bleacher Report (yeah I know and I don’t really take their articles seriously) a power ranking of MLB team with projected starting line up (25-man). I only pay attention to the Phils which was ranked #22 (of #30 and above ATL) with a projected line up including Holaday, Nava and SevGon. I think this is only possible if the Phils made trades involving some guys in the 40-man, otherwise, the author is just throwing out names without considering the complication of the 40-man roster.

      1. the comment section is even worse, like worst.

        there’s a power ranking of the pitchers days ago. The Phils rotation of Hellboy-Nola-Eickhoff-VV-Buchholz and bullpen of Ramos-Morgan/SevGon, Gomez, Joely, Neshak, Neris and Benoit is probably better than the half of the league

    1. Relationships and having a valuation tradeable assets are key to make the other GM’s listen to you. Coppolella fleeced Dave Steward big time, and if Coppolella used his transactions with Steward as a barometer or starting point of a trade conversion, i’m not surprised that GMs will not talk to him.

      On the trade itself, having a balance trade yields another opportunity to make another. The Cole Hamels trade seems to help both teams, I’m pretty sure that the Phils and TEX will always have an open line to discuss trade scenarios.

      1. KuKo..agree.
        AJ Preller could be in the same boat. Other GMs may be wary when dealing with him per the Sox/Padres-Espinosa/Pomerantz trade last summer.
        What you do not want to do is skunk anybody in a trade.
        For example, right now the Giles trade tilts toward the Phillies, however, I am sure Giles will resurrect his production this year.

    1. Anthony Gose released by Tigers. Expected after fight with manager last year. Unfortunately he’s another failed high prospect, high draft pick, from our system.

  15. I think the Phils plan is pretty straightforward and very solid:

    2016/2017 off-season – retain as many prospects as possible while filling major league gaps through free agency and trades without giving up value.

    2017 season – allow young players to develop at the appropriate level – partially to develop, partially to increase their value, and focus on improvement/discovery at the major league level – Franco, Rupp, Hernandez, Joseph, Herrera.

    2017/2018 off season – trade quantity for young quality – target 1-2 young stars in their mid to late 20s that are controllable using the plethora of prospects the Phils have and potentially young players at major league level.

    2018 – with improved high end talent, start winning some games and finding out what they have with their other prospects, in preparation for….

    2018/2019 off season – Go big in free agency.

    2019 – WIN

  16. Nola and Joseph took in the Sixers game last night. They saw a great game. Joseph was at his first ever NBA game! Come on Tommy….

  17. Who would you trade Alfaro or you can say any top prospect for right now. Just a straight 1 for 1 and if you want to say Alfaro for Trout have at it but really the concept is to look for something that might actually be realistic

    Say Alfaro for Gleybar Torres or Clint Frazier

    I’ve always held the philosophy that catchers get so banged up that I would never want to invest to heavily in the position or rely to heavily on offense from the position. And given Rupp appears adequate back there I wonder what deal I might do for him.

    1. Before last season, I was proposing an Alfaro and Pivetta deal to Toronto for Aaron Sanchez. At the time, there were a lot of questions about Sanchez’s delivery (how it could lead to injuries) and his ability to remain a starting pitcher.

      1. Thinking about what we have coming up I’d probably not trade him for pitching. I’d go for a really solid right handed or switching hitting corner OF

        Ian Happ

        1. DMAR…are the Cubbies moving Happ to a corner permanently?
          Thought he was splitting tine between 2nd base and the OF..

        2. I prefer to trade Alfaro for a MLB ready player like Rodon, Urias or Alex Reyes. If for a prospect – I like Frazier, Torrer, Senzel, Groome or Brendan Rodgers

          1. Those are some good names and I would want the same someone upper level right there ready to play in the MLB. I think Gleybar is ready and so is Happ.

            Pitching scares me because one it can only go out there once every 5 days to help you win and B it gets TJ and misses a year and half.

  18. I like Keith Law a lot. However, he has released his middle 10 farm systems, and has the Phillies at #14 (he had them at #6 last year). He has the Astros (12) and Cardinals (13) in front of them. Just does make any sense to me.
    Law cited down years for many of the Phillies top prospects in 2016.

    “The Phillies have a good farm system that had a bad year in 2016, with six or maybe seven of their top 10 guys coming into the season underperforming, getting hurt or both.

    As good as J.P. Crawford could be, he scuffled in Triple-A at the plate. He clearly has some adjustments to make and another gear to find before he can become a superstar in the majors, while Mark Appel, a key part of the return for Ken Giles, struggled badly before his season ended because of elbow surgery.

    There were bright spots — Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins took advantage of a good power park in Reading to break out with 78 homers between them, and some of the Phillies’ unheralded Latin American pitchers emerged as potential midrotation starters given enough time.

    For the rest of their near-to-the-majors prospects, 2017 looks like a critical season, whether it’s about getting healthy or performing well enough in Triple-A to earn a big league job.”

    I would bet Law will be the low man on the Phillies’ farm system this offseason.

    1. I sort of agree with his conclusions. Right now we don’t have any sure fire above-average players in the minors with the exception of J.P. Crawford – and he’s been downgraded from a sure fire all-star. It’s a deep system, but really short in the “sure fire star” category right now. It could change quickly – but that’s where we are right now.

        1. Honestly, I don’t know in terms of rankings. I think of it more in terms of how impressed I am with this system. It has depth going for it – big time depth, especially as it relates to pitching, catching, outfield and middle infield. But there’s a legitimate question as to how depth equates to performance. We don’t have many of those Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber type prospects (or, for a basketball equivalent, Joel Embiid – who is worth the price of admission all by himself) where you watch the guy play and think – wow, he’s a star! That’s not to say that some of the prospects won’t end up being good. But, right now, as a group, this system is low on the wow factor. There are question marks everywhere. With that, a ranking in the upper middle of major league teams doesn’t really surprise me. As I said, this could change quickly this year if key guys take a big step forward. One thing that does encourage me, however, is that our GCL team was insanely good – that bodes well for the future.

    2. i think most of the national media/analyst focus on name recognition and concentrate on the upper end of the prospect list. Phil’s lack of superstar talent especially in the upper minors affects them in the eyes of the national media. another point that’s being ignored is the Phils success in the international front. With the exception of Jhailyn Ortiz, most the top LA prospects are low $$ signings who most of the national guys doesn’t know —- so the strategy of the Phils of quantity over quality contributes to this “perception” of the national media.

      at the end of the day, the prospects success is not reliant on what these so called national media thinks. MLB teams success is tied out to the FO, scouting and player development departments, etc and not on was is/was reported by the writers in BA, BP, MLB, ESPN, etc. The media articles, blogs and rankings are for the fans like us. I don’t care if the Phils ranked #30 is all rankings as long as I can see pitching prospects with 3 plus pitches with good command, hitters with good discipline, etc.

      i’m pretty sure that you need to pay $$ to read what Keith Law thinks. for me, it’s a waste of my money because i don’t even care what he thinks because Keith Law will not bring the World Series to the city.

    1. That leaves Luis Garcia as the last 40 spot available, not on the 25. Morgan has a spot on the 40 but currently has a spot on the 25 in the bullpen. He’ll be fighting against Burnett in ST for that spot. If Burnett can be stashed in the minors for awhile, prior to a contract opt out date, that’s what will happen – if everyone is healthy. This means if the Phils want to retain Garcia as the only reliever at LHV on the 40, that means the 25 bench needs to come from the 40 which means Knapp, Valentin, Goeddel make the team.

      1. Nava could be retained or Stassi or Perkins could be promoted but it would cost them Garcia which I don’t think they want to do.

      2. L.Garcia is the last non-prospect left on the 40man roster. Doubt he’ll last thru the spring. A lefty reliever or AAAA position player will likely replace him.

        1. JP will be up mid year and will need a 40 spot at that time, so they’ll keep Garcia around to at least then, assuming they just send Valentin down then. Or they could release Blanco then… tough decisions ahead because of 40.

        1. In hind sight they could have given Cam Perkins that same job last year and he would have done just as well….

          1. DMAR…have to agree.
            Perk does deserve his cup of java.
            Maybe he should try wearing batting gloves this year and see what happens.

            1. You’re always thinking outside the batter’s box, Romus. Batting gloves, why haven’t I thought of that?

      3. I’m surprised they would choose Garcia over SevGon. Garcia is long in the tooth and after years has not shown the consistent ability to throw strikes or even maintain velocity. Sev showed a nice bump in velo after his conversion to a reliever and throws multiple pitches, all with decent command. Personally, I would not have DFA’d Sev over Garcia.

        1. He still could be in the system, if he is not claimed and signed by anyone in the next week or so.

        2. Catch – agree with you, but i don’t see them last thru the season anyway so it can be a push. initially, i though SevGon’s age and remaining options left gives him an advantage. And it probably doesn’t help when Chooch is no longer with the team.

  19. Probably nothing to it but I noticed Saunders listed on Phillies MLB site 40man roster as LF. So is Kendrick. Are they convinced that the outfield is set come opening day?

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