Open Discussion: Week of February 13th

Finally!!!  Pitchers and catchers have their first official workout Tuesday.  The full squad starts on Friday.  As you may have seen in the ‘Clearwater Updates”, a lot of players are already in Clearwater.  Some as early as mid-January.  The Phillies will have 62 roster and non-roster players in town for spring training.  Three less than last year.  A lot of minor league players are among the early reports.  

If the Phillies follow the same pattern of practices as in previous seasons, after a team meeting in right field on Schmidt Field and calisthenics and stretching exercises, the group will pair off and long toss.  Catchers will slip away to the Seven Mounds and be joined by pitchers scheduled to throw off of a mound that day.  PFPs will be run where fans can watch.  Batting practice for the early reporting position players are held in Bright House/Spectrum Field and are usually open to the public.

When the full squad meets, the first difference is that long toss occurs on two fields, Schmidt and Ashburn.  PFPs are run with more varied scenarios.  Fielding practice for the position players begins, as well as base running drills.  This generally occurs in two groups on Schmidt and Ashburn.  Batting practice is held at the Complex and runs concurrently on all four fields.  Parking is free until Grapefruit League games start.  There is no charge when there is no game in Bright House/Spectrum Field.

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

The Phillies formally announced the signing of free agent outfielder Chris Coghlan on February 4th.  He is already in Clearwater.

Cuban LHP Osvaldo Hernandez has been declared a free agent and can now sign with any team.

Chase Utley is reportedly going to re- sign with the Dodgers.

Key dates remaining during the off season:

  • 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.  Schedule here.
  • 3/6-22 – World Baseball Classic.
  • 4/2-3 – Opening Night/Opening Day.

Extra Innings

MLB will be testing a new overtime rule in the GCL.  A runner will be placed on second base to start extra innings.  The article I read in Yahoo Sports opined that some of the benefits include  –

  1. an increase in action that a forced runner would create,
  2. a strategic decision on whether or not to bunt,
  3. to a lesser extent, relief from fatigue and travel,
  4. less exposure to the rigors of extra-innings, and
  5. reduction in taxation on young arms.

Most of the above probably apply to major league games.  GCL games would receive little of the above “benefits” in their games.

  1. There are very few fans in attendance to appreciate the forced action.
  2. In rookie ball, players are rarely asked to sacrifice.  It appears it is more important to allow the player to have the AB rather than to have him give himself up.
  3. Kids in rookie ball are dying to get into and stay in the games.  You can’t impress the coaches from the bench.  Fatigue?  These are mostly teenagers.  Travel?  Home team walks to their hotel and the visitors take a bus ride no matter when the game ends.
  4. So few games end in extra innings in the GCL, I don’t know if they’ll get a big enough sample size to be of any use.
  5. Pitchers don’t throw too many innings as it is.  Starters may go 5-6 innings by the end of the season, but the rule won’t affect them.  Relievers only pitch one or two innings.  Rosters are so deep that there is no real threat of over-taxing arms.  The home team has well over a dozen pitchers available.  Visitors have a couple “disaster” pitchers in case one of their earlier guys has a blow up inning.  Often, the extra pitchers end up throwing on the side to get their work in before the game is over and it is apparent they aren’t going to be needed.

As for the need to go slow to get players acclimated to it in the upper minors and majors, I call BS.  Any ball player who attended minor league spring training or XST has taken part in intrasquad games and games against other organizations where innings have started with runners on base.  That would include ALL players signed out of Latin America, ALL domestic players who played in any of the short-season leagues, and any player who attended Instructs.

Additionally, MLB has proposed raising the bottom of the strike zone to the top of the batter’s knees from its present location at “the hollow beneath the kneecap”, and to allow an intentional walk to be accomplished by a signal rather than by throwing four balls intentionally wide of the plate.

These are attempts by MLB to appear as though they are addressing pace of play.  I don’t see much time saved with these changes, although raising the strike zone could create more offense.  My suggestions – pitch clock and prohibit catchers (and, any player really) from visiting the mound.  As for the strike zone, raise the bottom and automate it.  Get the subjective rulings of umpires out of the game.  This would also get pitch framing out of the game. Framing shouldn’t affect an umpire’s decision since the framing occurs after the ball has passed through the strike zone.  And a pitch clock was used in the FSL without having a detrimental affect on the game.

Cumulative transactions: the transactions below have been added to the Transactions Page which can always be found under the Transactions Option on the menu above. They’ll be omitted from the next Open Discussion, and a new list will begin.

  • 2/4 – Phillies signed free agent LF Chris Coghlan to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training
  • 1/25 – C Ryan Hanigan assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 1/25 – Phillies signed free agent C Ryan Hanigan to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
  • 1/25 – LHP Matt Imhof retired.
  • 1/25 – Lakewood BlueClaws released 2B William Cuicas.
  • 1/25 – Lakewood BlueClaws released 1B Brendon Hayden.
  • 1/25 – GCL Phillies released RHP Luis Gonzalez.
  • 1/24 – Phillies traded RHP Severino Gonzalez to Miami Marlins for PTBNL.
  • 1/19 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Ruben Aponte to a minor league contract.
  • 1/19 – Phillies signed free agent LF Michael Saunders.
  • 1/19 – Phillies designated RHP Severino Gonzalez for assignment.
  • 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 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Jose Palacio to a minor league contract.
  • 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.


76 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of February 13th

  1. It’s cold and windy here in Philly but I’m feeling the warm Clearwater breeze in my heart. This is a special time of year. Hope springs eternal and .500 is a really good number. Starting pitching depth will be our biggest asset. And I wonder which one of the young arms will be the most pleasant surprise of ’17.

  2. It is befuddling that they are so intent on speeding up games when you only need to look to a few areas

    1. Replay review system needs to be completely over hauled as there is no reason that needs to take longer than 30 seconds

    2. Mound visits which includes catcher visits

    The TV contracts dictate that you have to have a certain amount of time between innings for ads so I understand that but the incidental breaks in flow are the problem not the length of games. IMO

    1. DMAR….how about this…have pitchers and catchers wear helmets with built in WIFI radio transmission from the dugout….ala NFL with their QBs……one visit to remove the pitcher.

        1. DMAR…baseball is a game of tradition…..naturally it sounds strange. But one of these days the pitchers will probably have to wear some protective headgear, like a modified version of a batting helmet of sorts….why not install a radio system with it…..and catchers already wear the mask and protective headgear, they should have it already.
          Get out of the medieval times…like Marty McFly says….lets get moving. 🙂

          1. I cling to baseball as the last great doorway to a simpler time perhaps. And for sure it depends on your age how you might view changes to the game.

            For instance I would be for an electronic tone in the umps ear for a strike.

            I’d be for pitching changes where the guy coming out of the pen must be ready to go with the exception of an obvious injury to the current pitcher.

      1. Wouldn’t even need to be a two-way system. Catchers already wear helmets, just include a microphone to speak to pitcher. Pitcher can have an ear piece as part of their hat and can still just shake-off pitches they don’t want.

        As a former pitcher, it would be very difficult to wear any type of head gear.

    2. Biggest delay in games is simply amount of time between pitches. Install and enforce a pitch clock where the pitcher gets charged with a ball if the hitter is ready before clock expires and batter is charged with a strike if pitcher is ready.

      Entirely too much time is wasted between the batter needing to step out and adjust the batting gloves between pitches and the pitcher taking a stroll around the mound after every pitch.

      I do not like speed-up rule changes that change the nature of the game itself. Just move the players along. Most every other sport has a play clock/shot clock to keep the action going. I do agree that catcher trips to the mound should be limited just like pitching coach visits..

      1. Clay B was never embraced by Boston fans in large part because he’s so slow on the mound; its frustrating to watch one of his outings.

        I do like the idea of automating the strike zone, and raising it to the upper part of knee.

        I’m not in favor of eliminating mound visits, not altogether anyway. Maybe limit it to the catcher, and once per game per pitcher. Those mound visits can be valuable, to help a pitcher calm down, talk strategy, etc.

        1. We’re saying limit catcher visits not “eliminate” and mainly talking about a catcher visiting the mound multiple times per AB or Inning.

          If you can’t get the signs right from behind the plate oh well…

      2. The first thing I would scrap is instant re-play. They hold the game up for ten minutes and the still get it wrong anyway. I thought it would be good for the game when it first came out,but they still get as many calls wrong as they used to.
        Both leagues should play under the same rules,either DH in both leagues or not.
        If they want to limit the trips to the mound to two an inning that’s alright with me except when 3 runs score. Then a manager can remove a pitcher and not be charged for a trip to the mound.
        No fan worries about the length of the game when his team is winning 9 to 1. Eliminate shifts,lower the mound,be stricter on the balk rule,do almost anything to improve the offense,but starting an extra inning with a runner already on second base is stupid.

        1. 10 Minutes? Time for a Reality check. Only a few I have seen have gone past 3 minutes – And I think they mostly get them right or determine that they can’t tell. They only get it “wrong” when they reverse a correct call. What you mean when you say they get as many calls wrong as they used to is that they reverse as many correct calls as they do wrong ones – and that is patently nonsense. I have a distinct impression that your figures are more the product of temper than counting. And the time issue is easily addressed. If they can’t overturn a call in 150 seconds (2.5 minutes) the call remains. Outlawing shifts will lead to huge wastes of time and increased arguments. Agree with making the rules uniform. A pitch clock would be an enormous help – and limit the number of times a pitcher or batter can call time.

          1. How does a pitcher get around a pitch clock and fell uneasy about being rushed……with a runner on first throw over to first, or down to second, as much as he wants…then go back into his stretch to grab the signal, which still hasn’t changed from the last time before the throw over.

      3. Agreed. The pitch clock would speed the game up tremendously. Saw it last year at a Double A game. It really kept the game moving but the pitchers didn’t seem rushed. There was a nice flow that didn’t interfere with the game. Can’t see why it isn’t instituted in the majors.

  3. I’ll be down the weekend of March 4th. Will the Minor Leaguers be working out at the complex by then? Even if there aren’t games yet, it would be nice to watch some practice.


    1. they have 2 games at home that weekend. Camp should be in full swing by then. I would assume you would be able to catch a lot of drills and inter-squad games on the back fields. At the games, the normal starters will probably not be going to deep that early but you should beat the crowds who normally head down later in the month.

      1. thanks. yea we are going to the game that Saturday. I wanted to be able to saunter over to watch the kids practice a bit too. Thanks!

  4. I am definitely in favor of the automated strike zone and a time limit between pitches. what I hate is the idea of starting extra innings with a runner on 2B!

    1. matt13…not sure when extra innings became an issue with MLB.
      It is not like it happens every game.
      I wonder what percentage of games played, that more than 10 innings does occur?

        1. Thanks Bob D……..seems,for less than 10% of the time, they want to marginalize the game Not sure this is really a problem.

  5. I’ve been thinking about how to speed up the game and there are a few things they can do.

    First, the pitch clock is easy. Make it about 15 or 20 seconds – preferably 15.

    Also, only permit 2 mound visits per inning, including player visits – absent an injury time-out. It’s one thing to check on a starting pitcher – that makes sense. But there’s no reason for all this stoppage with LOOGYs and situational pitchers – figure out the damned strategy and go – if you want to give the catcher and pitcher listening devices, I don’t care, that’s fine. After those two visits, the manager must change pitchers before the pitch clock for the next batter has expired. There should be a clock to change pitchers. The pitcher should have to be ready in 2 minutes after the other pitcher leaves the mound – don’t limit warm-up throws – limit the prep time.

    Visits to the mound should be timed. It should be like a 45 second time-out. From the time the visit is “called” the team has 45 second to finish the mound conference.

    Batters should not be permitted to step out and dilly-dally forever. Absent an injury or broken bat, the batter should be prepared to hit shortly after the pitcher retrieves the ball.

    1. How about timing the entire AB, both pitcher and batter are penalized a ball or strike if, for instance, it takes more than 60 seconds to have 3 pitches, 6 per 2 minutes, and so on. That’ll give all concerned a greater sense of urgency.

      1. ….of course, the home plate umpire would have to signal to start the clock and be responsible to determine which, batter or pitcher, are guilty in delaying the AB.

    2. And lets bring back the logo golf carts to bring the relief pitcher in from the bull pen!
      At least for those pitchers who don’t run in.

      1. And why do pitchers who have warmed up in pen need additional pitches when they enter. If so reduce to 3.

        1. How about a radical idea. All these batters who step out to adjust gloves and body armor. Just outlaw it all. Only authorized enhancements are rosin and pine tar. Should easily shave 20 minutes off a game.

  6. I like the headset communication options. By far the slowness of baseball is between pitches. Get as many options available to speed that up as possible.

    May even need to ‘grandfather’ existing players who can be slower, but have all rookies on a shortened clock.

  7. Ben Badler of BA listed his breakout prospects at each position in both upper and lower levels. He picked Daniel Brito as the lower level 2b and Nick Williams as one of two upper level corner OF. Big year for Williams. It would be a feather in Matt Stairs’ cap if the kid can right his swing.

    1. Nick Williams is another polarizing prospect….ESPN’s KLaw and Fansgraph Eric L. are not big believers. While Badler and some of the BA guys seem to keep the flame lit higher for him.

    2. i take it as a positive that BA view Williams as a potential breakout prospect. despite of some bad habits, Williams is way more polished that our old friend Dom Brown. BA relied on Williams’ tools to reach their decision, and I think with maturity William will eventually learn to slow down the game and utilize his bat speed and strong wrist to start crushing the balls again. At the least, Williams will be a LH version of Altherr.

  8. Nick Williams has a great deal of ability and can hit the ball. By all accounts, he pressed when he thought a big league call up was imminent, and had an awful August. I know he has to adjust his approach and show vast improvement at plate discipline. But, I am not writing him off at all. I think he is a priority for Matt Stairs during ST. He is one of the guys I am most anxious to see jumpstart his improvement level. Another is Mark Appel. I am so glad ST is finally here.

  9. a lot of MLB players are superstitious which may result to resistance from the players association – it can happen, but it may take time. agree with most with the proposed suggestion to speed up the game.

    a) use time clock for pitchers and batters – during at bats, pitching, pen to mound, etc.
    b) intentional walks – no need to throw 4 pitches, signal is fine
    c) communication device for pitcher and catcher rather than mound visit
    d) automate strike zone
    e) # of mound visit and RP change – with limit during regular season, unlimited during playoffs
    f) limit the game to 12 innings (9 innings + 3 innings for OT). After 12 innings, there should be some sort of a HR shoot out like ala HR Derby.

    1. Kuko, I like your ideas. The biggest problem with change is actually implementation. Too many fingers in the cookie jar and ‘whisper down the lane’ misconstruction. It’s not that complicated by itself but by the time you add corporate sponsorship, union blowback and the one guy in the league office who has his own pet preferences, anything that does get changed is so watered down that it’s little more than half measures and comprises which defeat the whole purpose.

      1. MLB is still littered with a lot of “old guards” who will be resistant to change(s) to the game they used to know. they will be some sort of a compromise to get things done so we might see incremental changes here and there instead of a sweeping change across the board.

        to me, i’ll sell the it to the teams and players that the game should be completed within 3 hrs or less (which is at par with other major sports) and consult what’s the best way to achieve that goal.

    2. I’m a traditionalist so I’m ok with the current game. However your idea of a home run derby after the 12th inning is intriguing. While I hate the idea, I’m also acutely aware of how a 12+ inning game depletes a team’s pitching for a week or two. A home run derby would sure be an exciting way to end the game.

  10. I was revisiting the Phillies 2016 draft. While I really like most of the guys they picked and signed (7th rounder Henri Lartigue is still a head scratcher), the guys they couldn’t sign were equally impressive. Moniak, Gowdy, Stobbe, Romero, Stephen, and Young are all teenagers who are at least top 50 prospects already. I’ll also be following the guys they couldn’t afford:

    27th round pick SS Logan Davis is already ranked the #6 prospect for the 2019 draft by Perfect Game. He’ll probably be in Clemson’s starting lineup with Seth Beer this season.
    35th rounder Carter Bins will see some time behind the plate for Fresno State.
    39th rounder Dante Baldelli begins his career at Boston College.
    38th round pick Trevor Hillhouse will be pitching at Auburn.
    40th round pick Trey Morris has joined an outrageously talented TCU pitching staff.
    Hillhouse (6’6″ 208lbs) and Morris (6’5″ 207 lbs) are big, projectable pitchers who could each be high picks in 2019.

    Finally, 27th rounder Davis Agle gave serious consideration to signing with the Phils. Agle was a former infielder who transitioned to the pitchers mound, and was throwing 95 MPH. A few weeks after the draft, the freshman JUCO announced he was signing a letter of intent to pitch for Clemson. Some time later, he decided to hold off on Clemson for one year. Instead, he will pitch one more season at Spartanburg Methodist College. That decision gives him the opportunity to be drafted again in 2017.

    1. Hinkie, sorry this was delayed. The app immediately holds comments with three or more URLs for approval. Sometimes it allows them sometimes it doesn’t. Not sure why the algorithm is so weak.

    2. Hinkie.. not so sure they couldn’t afford Davis thru Morris.
      The Phillies elected to draft the ones you mentioned, before them.
      I have to assume Davis-Morris must have given their representatives instructions, that they needed to be high top ten picks ( rounds one thru the fourth round -pick 136-$422K), if not then they were going the college route,

  11. Romus … Don’ get me wrong. I wasn’t trying to insinuate the Phillies should/could have signed these guys. Teams draft these type (HS) players late in the draft as fall back options. If Gowdy ($2 million over slot) or Stephen (500 thousand over slot) ended up with an injury diagnosed after the draft or for some other reason chose not to sign, the team would throw the over slot money at Davis, Morris, or one of the other late picks. Davis Agle is another story. I’m pretty sure he was offered roughly 100 thousand dollars to start his pro career early. He’s not the same type of prospect as Davis, Morris and Hillhouse.
    The reason I mentioned these players is because the Phillies have a definite knowledge/interest/probably relationship with. In fact, Logan Davis’ father played for the Twins while MacPhail was GM in Minnesota. Although, not usually the case, theses relationships could lead the Phillies back to these players in three years (or this year in the case of Davis Agle).

  12. Many ex-Phils pitchers are signing. Reds – Lisalverto Bonilla, Nefi Ogando. Rangers – Adam Loewen, Bobby LaFromboise. Giants – David Hernandez.

    1. Bonilla has a killer breaking pitch. Good signing by the Rangers. The Giants are like the Patriots of baseball, now that he’s there and not here, David Hernandez will probably turn into the best setup man in baseball (I somewhat jest, but not entirely).

  13. With the runner starting the extra inning on second base, if the pitcher who starts the inning allows the run to score, does he take the loss or is it considered a “team loss”? I realize that it’s the GCL and it doesn’t matter all that much.

  14. Didn’t Charlie Findley (sp) want to speed up the game by starting the count at one ball and one strike on the batter? I think they do that now in softball.

    1. Charlie was an innovator, but I would be very much against this. However, I would support lowering a strike out to 2 strikes and a walk to 3 balls. (said tongue-in-cheek) I remember a story back in the early 70s that he offered Vida Blue $100K to change his first name to “True”.

      1. Agreed – the challenge with these rule changes is to improve the pace and the “watchability” of games without changing underlying essence or important rules of the game. A 15 second pitch clock will do wonders for the game alone – I’m guessing that change alone would take 10-15 minutes off the game (at a minimum). In my view, MLB should be shooting for games that last 2:30-2:40 minutes, with a goal of no more 2:30 for a regulation game.

        My experience in going to games is that the first 4 or 5 innings are fine – the game moves at a nice pace. The last 3-4 innings, however, are brutal with the pitching changes and the slow pace of relievers (watching Papelbon was painful, especially when he got to one of those 30 pitch innings – it took forever). So, as I said, I think limiting mound visits and making pitching changes fast will also help the pace of the game. The last 3 or 4 innings will still be slower (and they should be, it’s part of the drama of a late inning game), but time itself should not stop, as it often seems to do in these games.

    1. matt13…you are correct. His endeavors were innovatibve.
      —Orange baseballs – Tried in a few exhibition games, but hitters found it too hard to pick up the spin. The week of August 18, 1975, Charlie Finley was on the cover of Time magazine and his orange baseballs were featured in the article
      —A mechanical rabbit that would pop up behind home plate and deliver new balls to the umpire and was named “Harvey,” at the A’s home ballparks in Kansas City and Oakland.[citation needed]
      —-Hired Stanley Burrell (who would later gain worldwide fame as MC Hammer) as Exec VP when he was just a teenager to be his “eyes and ears.”[citation needed]
      —-Offering players $300 bonuses to grow moustaches during the championships. For star relief pitcher Rollie Fingers, the handlebar moustache he grew for Finley became a trademark

  15. That is awesome Romus! I remember when Charlie O. owned the White Sox, he had a midget one time. And, a whole bunch of crazy stuff to sell tickets. Those Green and Gold uniforms and white shoes were Charlie also.

  16. lol. ok, now youve struck a memory chord. i was 10 and lived 5 miles from the oakland coliseum when the a’s moved to oakland. later, in the world series years, we would ride our bikes down there and rattle around a nearly empty coliseum while the ushers chased us around. dick green (2b) was our cub scout liaison to the team, and i had dinner several times with sal bando (3b), who was a golfing buddy of my friend’s dad, who was the team doctor (he was also team doctor for the raiders and california golden seals and warriors at the time — i also shot baskets at his house with rick barry). of course, there was reggie and catfish and campy and blue moon and one of the coolest managers ever in dick williams. and charlie o., who also hired a very young (21-yo, i think) jon miller as play-by-play man to replace the immensely popular monte moore in a cost-cutting move that was highly unpoular. great team that was fun to watch (fights among teammates, etc.). they dont’ make teams like that anymore. good times …

  17. oh yes! and the wedding gown white shoes! charlie o. gave us those, too. hard to believe they were the first …

  18. Dylan Cozens is a guy I’ll be following this year. And not to see whether he improves vs left handed pitching but rather vs right handers at the AAA level. If he can produce vs RHPs at the next level, my plan for him would be as a RF platoon which would get the most value out of him than to merely discard him if he can’t hit lefties. Baseball today thrives on specialization. In Altherr we have a legit righty compliment in RF. Until it’s figured out who is a long term piece, I’m dreaming on Cozens getting 400+ ABs, 25-30 bombs and 80-90 RBI vs primarily RHPs.

    1. I agree that a platoon RF is probably what Cozens will be if he progresses to the majors. The good news for Altherr is that he is so valuable in the field and on the bases, that he can easily serve as the platoon right fielder and also the 4th outfielder. I suspect he would get regular at bats in left and center as well (when other players are rested) and would come in as a defensive replacement or pinch hitter in almost every game he does not start. He could easily get 400 ABs as well if he can hold his own as a hitter.

      1. I got to see a lot Jim Thome on the MLB network Wed and Thursday. Fascinating to listen to him talk about what Charlie did to get him going. Very basic move get that back foot closer to plate and open the front just a little.

        Better plate coverage allowed him to stop diving in; open stance allowed his hips and hands to get in sync and the rest as they say is history.

  19. Charlie was a terrific hitting coach, and I see a lot of him in Matt Stairs. I am very hopeful that he makes a big difference on the young hitters, and we see improvement, at least from a couple of the guys.

    1. matt13…shame some of Charlie’s teaching could not get thru to Domo Brown. Because right now, if things had worked as they hope would pan out, he would have been the centerpiece of this team the last two/three years.

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