Open Discussion: Week of March 27th

The Phillies went 2-3-1 last week.  After thirty games, the Phillies have an 11-15-4 Grapefruit League record.  The Phillies play 6 games this week – night games Monday and Tuesday against the Blue Jays in Dunedin and at home, two split squad games on the road Wednesday, and home games Thursday and Friday.

The last three weeks I have tracked the Phillies dismal offensive slash as spring training progressed.  In the interest of fairness, I have to report an improvement in the Phillies offense over the pasty week.

  • 3 weeks ago – .260/.335/.444/.779 (18th/18th/13th/15th).
  • 2 weeks ago – .257/.342/.412/.754 (20th/9th/21st/19th).
  • 1 week ago   – .245/.328/.397/.725 (26th/19th/23rd/23rd).
  • Last week     – .259/.332/.413/.745 (19th/17th/20th/18th)

I’ve also been comparing the combined slash of this season’s projected starters v. the slash of the best at each position this spring.  Barring injury, nothing is likely to entrench any of those projected, so I’ll just leave that alone.

But here’s a look at some line ups –

  • 2016 opening day     2016 Sept/Oct             2017 opening day 
  • 2B Hernandez               2B Hernandez               2B Hernandez
  • CF Herrera                      SS Galvis                         LF Kendrick
  • 3B Franco                       CF Herrera                      CF Herrera
  • 1B Howard                     3B Franco                       3B Franco
  • C Ruiz                               1B Howard                     RF Saunders
  • LF Hunter                       C Rupp                             1B Joseph
  • RF Bourjos                     LF Paredes                     C Rupp
  • SS Galvis                         RF Altherr                       SS Galvis

There are four major differences from 2016 opening day to this year.  Kendrick and Saunders have to be an improvement over Hunter and Bourjos.  Joseph actually took the starting job from Howard regardless who Mackanin was required to start at the end of the season,  And Rupp took the starting job from Ruiz, allowing the Phillies to trade Chooch for a C A.J. Ellis, RHP Tommy Bergjans, and OF Joey Curletta.  Ellis became a free agent, Bergjans is laboring in Phillies minor league camp, and Curletta was traded for SHP Pat Venditte.

Discussion around the cages last week drifted back to an old topic, one that keeps resurfacing among my friends – what package could the Phillies put together to entice the Angels to trade Mike Trout?  It was pointed out that after this season, Trout’s $19.25M salary jumps to $33.25M for the remaining 3 years of his contract (thru 2020).  It was also suggested that the Angels would probably like to dump Albert Pujols’ salary in the trade.  That’s a salary that increases by $1M each season from $26M this year thru $30M in 2021.

Two assumptions were made – that the Angels trade partner would like to extend Trout’s contract as part of the trade, and that the inclusion of Pujols’ contract should drive the prospect cost down.

Even with those qualifiers, the prospect cost suggested made me blanche.  And I still wasn’t sure it was enough.  The consensus trade was a little heavy with AAA prospects.  I believe that the Angels would like to stock their system with more lower level prospects than we discussed.  Even with a AAA heavy package, Sanchez’ name was uttered.

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

Key dates remaining during the off season:

  • Grapefruit League games thru 3/31.  Schedule here.
  • 4/2-3 – Opening Night/Opening Day.

Extra Innings

Rule 5 selection Hoby Milner was returned to the Phillies by Cleveland.

The Phillies optioned/reassigned Jake Thompson, Tyler Goeddel, Dalier Hinojosa, Hector Gomez, and Logan Moore.

Sean Burnett requested and was granted his unconditional release.

Some opening day roster decisions are imminent.  Outfielder Chris Coghlan could ask for his release Sunday, but the Phillies have until Tuesday to make a decision.  Catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday have similar stipulations in their contracts.  Outfielder Daniel Nava must be placed on the 25-man roster by June 15 or he must be released if he has a spot on another team’s 25-man roster.

This might be a good time to revisit an earlier article, The 20-80 Scouting Scale or Why the Phillies DON’T Have a #1 and Maybe Not Even a #2.  Pitchers in the #1- #5 scale are rated on “stuff” not results.  A pitcher MUST have two PLUS pitches and a third average pitch to be a #2.  That’s two 60 grade pitches and a 50 to be a #2.

The article was written before the 2016 season, but the theory hasn’t changed.  For the Phillies to have a #1 or #2, that pitcher would have to be among the top 30 starting pitchers in the majors.

At least four players left the minor league camp today.  As usual, their identities were not confirmed by any Phillies transactions.  They keep secrets better than the military.

Cumulative transactions: (Bold text indicates new entries)

  • 3/24 – LHP Hoby Milner returned to Philadelphia Phillies from Cleveland Indians.
  • 3/24 -Phillies optioned RHP Jake Thompson to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 3/24 -Phillies optioned LF Tyler Goeddel to Reading Fightin Phils.
  • 3/24 -RHP Dalier Hinojosa reassigned to minor league camp.
  • 3/24 – INF Hector Gomez reassigned to minor league camp.
  • 3/24 – C Logan Moore reassigned to minor league camp.
  • 3/17 – Phillies optioned Ben Lively to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 3/17 – Phillies optioned C Jorge Alfaro to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 3/17 – Phillies optioned OF Nick Williams to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 3/17 – Phillies reassigned OF Cameron Perkins to minor league camp.
  • 3/17 – Phillies reassigned IF Taylor Featherston to minor league camp.
  • 3/17 – Phillies reassigned SS J.P. Crawford to minor league camp.
  • 3/17 – Phillies reassigned RHP Pedro Beato to minor league camp.
  • 3/16 – Phillies signed free agent 2B Jose Rivera to a minor league contract.
  • 3/14 – Phillies optioned RHP Ricardo Pinto to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 3/14 – Phillies optioned RHP Nick Pivetta to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 3/14 – Phillies optioned RHP Mark Appel to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 3/13 – RHP Victor Arano has been reassigned to minor league camp.
  • 3/13 – Phillies optioned Elniery Garcia to Reading Fightin Phils.
  • 3/13 – Phillies optioned Alberto Tirado to Clearwater Threshers.
  • 3/13 – Phillies optioned Drew Anderson to Reading Fightin Phils.
  • 3/13 – Phillies optioned Dylan Cozens to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 3/13 – RHP Wilberson Liendo assigned to DSL Phillies.
  • 3/12 – Phillies reassigned Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery, Chace Numata, and Andrew Pullin to minor league camp.
  • 3/12 – Phillies traded RF Joey Curletta to Seattle Mariners for Pat Venditte.
  • 3/10 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Wilberson Liendo to a minor league contract.
  • 3/10 – C Freddy Barreto assigned to DSL Phillies2.
  • 3/10 – RHP Jose Conopoima assigned to DSL Phillies.
  • 3/7 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Jose Conopoima to a minor league contract.
  • 3/7 – Phillies signed free agent C Freddy Barreto to a minor league contract.
  • 3/6 – LHP Jhordany Mezquita assigned to DSL Phillies2.
  • 3/1 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Jhordany Mezquita to a minor league contract.
  • 2016 15th round pick, Alex Wojciechowski, reported to minor league spring training.
  • The organization rosters are almost up to date.

214 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of March 27th

  1. To me, you cannot offer 3-4 top 100-125 prospects and take on that horrible pujols contract and pay trout 35-40 mil a year. Then you become to current angels. No thanks.

    1. Can anyone imagine a scenario of Trout coming coming on the market and the Dodgers and Yankees NOT becoming heavily involved in the bidding?

      Since the Angels have the same roster limits as everyone else, can anyone imagine the Dodgers and Yankees NOT being able to offer a better package (quality over quantity) of team-controlled young talent than the Phils?

      Given these, doesn’t the discussion of Trout to Philly reduce to where Trout might want to go, as if this were a consideration?

  2. I was watching some of the other games yesterday and came upon Charlie Morton. He has the 2nd most IP for the Stros this spring he has a .92 WHIP and a .175 BA against.

    Maybe we should have picked up that option instead of trading for Bucholtz.

    1. Agreed. I’m not feeling Buchholz. Morton is better and you wouldn’t have to give up the prospect or as much salary. Don’t get that acquisition at all.

    2. had that same thought after Houston gave him a two year deal; that being said, Morton is so injury prone and when asked about being able to maintain his increased velocity a couple weeks ago he said (cut and pasted from Astros blog)
      “Good question. I don’t know. I would like to know. Check back with me come June.” He went on to say that he has had Springs where he would throw hard, but the velocity dipped later in the year. He did say that he threw harder after returning from Tommy John surgery, which was interesting.

    3. Damn – I’ve been thinking the same sort of thing. Charlie Morton was poised to have a fantastic year last year. His stuff was superb. I think that’s non-move they will later regret.

      1. I remember Catch I remember you liked picking up that option it just made a lot of sense and I agreed.

        1. I’m already counting the days until Buchholz is no longer a Phillie – NOT IMPRESSED!

          Which leads me to a broader point. I get why the team is signing veteran hitters and pitchers. It serves two functions – it holds down the fort and (theoretically) provides production while younger players develop and it also gives the team an “asset” to sell at the trade deadline. I don’t mind this approach in concept. But it’s very easy for the team to lose focus and have this arrangement go sideways, especially when a young player is ready but the team wants to continue playing the veteran in an attempt to improve his trade value. You need a nimble manager to pull this off well – based on what I saw last year, I’m not sure Pete is up to the task.

          1. Buchholtz will not block anyone and the team will not likely hold on to him if he is not producing. If he is untradable they will cut him in a heeartbeat if a AAA pitcher is tearing up the league. And with the amount of good AAA pitchers they have I give it till June 1 for the first change to occur.

            1. According to COTS Buchholz for 2017 is $13.5M club option ($0.5M buyout).
              So if they do DFA him in July the Phillies will only be on the hook for approx. $7M (half the $13.5M….. and the $0.5M buyout clause)

  3. I would still much rather have an outfield of Quinn , Herrera , Alther, I’m not sure why the team is aiming for a chance at 2 wins over last years totals instead of letting the young kids play and have some excitement , rather than the first half in a contract year Allstar and the professional out of position hitter , but I suppose I’ll watch either way.

  4. I really felt strongly that it was necessary to add a couple of solid veteran bats. I really liked Matt Holiday as a righty and liked Saunders all along partly because both of those guys were unattached to compensation.

    Both pretty bad defensively and it might be that Holiday would never have come here or could play any amount of LF. But still if you want guys like Franco and even TJ to develop the best way to do that is put someone around them that can really shoulder the load.

    I’m suspect of this new way of rebuilding via an out right tank. I’m suspect that it creates a culture of losing as opposed to a culture of winning and just because you get to bring in some young talent in losing a 100 games doesn’t mean you hit a switch and just become championship caliber.

    Now some will point to the Cubs and prove that theory wrong. I’ll point to the Cubs and say they are the outlier. The Astros will be interesting to watch as they really were at the fore front of the all out tank in baseball.

    1. yeah I get your point but I still don’t think it’s the way to go
      No what happens to the development of Quinn and Alther
      Are they told well your not ready so sit on the bench or do you demote them to AAA after all nothing says confidence building like being demoted

  5. Our upper level hitting prospects – Nick Williams, Quinn, Cozens, Hoskins – having big years would be one of the best enablers of a Trout trade (or Machado for that matter, as I doubt the Orioles let him walk in to free agency and getting nothing in return). A team rarely trades a star for lower level prospects alone, so a Moniak-Sixto led package probably does not get it done. Because they will surely be competing for Trout and others in free agency with us, the blossoming of the Yankees’ farm system with a number of blue-chip prospects could make them players for Trout. Hence why we need our AAA guys to become blue chips.

    1. I think Trout will hit free agency. I’d rather overpay him with cash than with prospects. The most brilliant things about the Cubs rebuild was that they only traded away prospects or young players they really didn’t need. When you start trading too many prospects without a very careful long-term plan in place, you usually end up shooting yourself in the foot.

  6. If the Phils trade for Trout, it means it will block any prospect that plays CF or LF in the future (Trout will play CF in the next 4-5 yrs then move to LF after that). Which means Herrera and MickeyMo will be moved out by Trout. I will use both as the headline to make a package and the Phils has no choice but to give up one of VV, Sixto, Kilome or Gowdy and add 2-3 more to replenish the LAA farm.

    I rather wait for Trout to become a FA, but i wouldn’t to offer a package of – Moniak, Doobie, Kilome (or Sixto), Cesar, Knapp, Grullon or Gamboa (or both) and add Appel as high upside risk type to sweeten the pot.

  7. Trading Herrera and Moniak should not weaken the OF currently with Quinn, Williams and Cozens joining Trout and Ortiz, C and possibly Stephen coming up in the future. The only question mark in that OF pipeline is the RF especially if Cozens and Ortiz will move to 1B earlier than expected and Stephen and C are pretty much limited to LF.

    Francisco Morales’ development will be key to make up for the loss of a high end pitching prospect (i,e, Sixto, Kilome) that is surely to be asked in the trade package. The Phils should try to hold on to Alfaro as much as possible and offer multiple Catching prospects in return. Brito is another prospect that the Phils should avoid putting in a trade package, but instead offer Cesar Hernandez or Valentin.

  8. As much as I love Mike and believe he is the best player in baseball right now you don’t need the best player in baseball to win championships and if that’s the goal you don’t do the type of deal it would require to get him here.

    His ties to Philly however mean this will always be a topic of conversation.

    1. @DMAR – i agree and disagree at the same time.

      Disagree – that you don’t need the best player to win championship. there’s no downside to have the best player in your team. If the choice is to have or not to have the best player in your team — i rather have the best player in my team without even thinking.

      Agree – that you don’t do a deal that hurts you in the future. However, if you do a deal based on a position of strength — then it’s a smart proposition. Currently the Phils strengths are: a) deep wallet; b) financial flexibility; c) stash of controllable MLB ready players and d) depth in the farm in almost all positions.

      What the Phils don’t have right now is roster flexibility and a stud or really good players and player maker(s). The premise is basically is to use your strength to fix your weakness so if the Phils use their financial capability and depth in the farm to get a Mike Trout 3 years early — this is a decision that they can live on in regardless of the result.

      Trout + Pujols for Doobie, Moniak, Cesar, Sixto, Knapp and Appel (plus others like TJ, Grullon, Tirado). This should open up at 3 roster space and unclog some traffic in the minors and look for a 2018 Opening Day roster of Trout, Quinn, Cozens, Williams in the OF, Franco, Hoskins, JPC and Kingery in the INF and Alfaro in C and intact rotation of VV, Nola, Eickhoff, Jake/Pivetta/Eflin and possibly Otani.

      1. @DMAR – likewise, in the modern sports scenario – superstar(s) attract fellow superstars. Once Trout is on board, it will be a good marketing to attract other key pieces thru FA whether it’s Otani or any of the 2017-19 FAs.

      2. Teams trade for there needs not your strength. The Angels need pitching in the worst way . So pitching studs are what there looking for.

      3. Sixto and Moniak are untouchable to me. 18 yo with 70 fastballs (command and velo) don’t grow on trees. Nor do 18yo with 70 hit tools.

        The Phils should have enough to get Trout if they want him. They have a lot of young MLB and near MLB talent.

        1. v1 – Mike Trout’s also don’t grow on trees and having a best player in your team is not something any team can have in any sports. kids with 70 FB and/or 70 hit tool come up every year thru rule IV and IFA. Mike Trout is a sure superstar in the age of 23 yo.

          1. True but you are selling low on Sixto and Mickey by trading them when so low. Doesn’t make sense.

            Also Trout is 25. Your point still holds. But he is not 23.

            1. v1 – when i made reference to Trout’s age, what i mean is he is already a legit superstar since 2-3 years ago when he was only 23 or i can even say when he played in the MLB at the age of 21.

              trading for a legit superstar who is probably at the peak of his physical prime is not selling low. Trout will be one of the top MLB players in the next 7 years. Adam Eaton and Shelby Miller are selling low. Mike Trout is not.

              The Phils can get somebody like Sixto almost every year via IFA — if the Phils found low buy gems they can do it again.

            2. also, most of the good teams (i.e. CHC, BOS, TEX, etc) have that 70 FBs and 70 hit prospects almost every 1-2 years. because they don’t look at some trees. they spend $$ for scouting and travel around the world. we know that the Phils are a little conservative in the IFA front in the previous years.

              Moncada, Maitan, Y Alvarez, Espinoza and so on can be had for the right amount and appropriate scouting connection. But not everyone can be the best player by the time they reach the big league,

            3. name an 18yo starting pitcher prospect that the Phils have had in the last decade that has had as good of a fastball as Sixto. name one.

            4. v1 – anderson espinoza is as good if not better prospect than sixto. there’s must be a reason why he is thought and ranked highly,

            5. when i say the Phils can get somebody like Sixto (a pitching prospect with A+ FB and command profile) almost every year — i think this will be easily supported by looking at any top baseball sites ranking all the top prospects eligible for IFA every year. you will see at least 1-3 premium arms with ace potential — and all the Phils has to do is open their wallet and dole out $$ to get them. Sixto has ace “potential” – but do you know if he can the ace that you expect to be? And Trout? Just look at the stats and it will tell you much because you are looking right at (almost) a sure bet HOF.

              Through every single age in which he played a full season, Trout has been the all-time career leader in WAR for position players. And no player has ever started his career like Trout — not Ruth, not Mantle, NOBODY.

              I’m not recommending to trade the farm for Trout. But for Sixto and Moniak and Doobie — I will.

  9. Initial 2017 ESPN Power Rankings:

    1. Cubs
    2. Indians
    3. Red Sox
    4. Dodgers
    5. Astros
    6. Nationals
    7. Giants
    8. Rangers
    9. Mets
    10. Blue Jays
    23. Braves
    24. Phillies

    Phillies projected record: 67-95

    1. Best case: ZiPS doesn’t think the Phillies are ready to compete, but they should rack up some wins in a July stretch of 19 games against losing teams. Maikel Franco and Odubel Herrera form an elite heart of the lineup, J.P. Crawford could force his way into an everyday big-league role, and a strong starting rotation can nudge the Phillies toward an improved season.

    2. Worst case: Starting in late April, the Phillies play the Dodgers, Cubs, Nationals and Rangers. If this turns out to be a year too soon for the young Phils and the veteran starters struggle to stay healthy and productive, killing their in-season trade value, Philadelphia will find itself in the basement of the standings in the early going.

    3. Swing factors: If a Cinderella story is in the works, mid-April is the best time for it to happen with 12 consecutive games against the Nationals and Mets. Franco’s first full season was disappointing, even though he slugged 25 home runs. He hit .255 even with a below-average strikeout rate but walked just 40 times for a subpar .306 OBP. There were some hidden positives in his season, however, that indicate he can make a leap forward. His average exit velocity equaled Nolan Arenado’s, and he had some bad luck on balls in play. He needs to hit more fly balls and cut down on his swings on pitches off the plate to tap into his power potential. If this doesn’t happen early, the Phillies might not be able to recover.

    This would give the Phillies the 1-7 pick in the 2018 draft. That might be high enough to land Seth Beer.

    1. ESPN actually projects the Phillies to have the second worst record in MLB:
      Padres 65 wins
      Phillies 67 wins
      Braves 68 wins

    2. Personally, I’m so tired of focusing on the draft and tanking (in every sport) repeatedly. At some point soon, we need to start winning games. That means you Phillies! That means you Sixers! That means you Eagles!! I’m worried about ping pong balls and Kings wins and Lakers wins and it’s tiring. Let’s go Phillies! Let’s get off to a decent start and bring up lots of talent (Thompson, Eflin, JP, Cozens, Alfaro, Williams, Quinn) and let’s get us 81 wins. While watching the ping pong balls….

    3. i still think that the Phils can win around 72-75 wins (and get Top 10 pick in 2018 Rule 4). The tough early schedule will knock them off in the contention as early as June but the losing will not significantly reduce the trade value of the vets (except probably for Buchholz who I don’t like) since they will play within their career averages. The Phils lack of impact players basically is the reason for losing to better teams. Fans will check out early for the Phils, but this will jump start the development of the young core as the FO will be forced to trade their vets and start promoting the high minor prospects to give fans reason to watch the rest of the season.

    4. Hinkie……..right now Beer looks a little like a corner guy or an eventual 1st baseman. Phillies will definitely have their fair share in the fold with an addition of a Beer. And by most accounts, he looks like a hitter who will reach the majors with maybe a year and half or even less in the minor leagues.

      1. Beer is now a 1st baseman. He’s also being pitched around a lot this season (17% BB rate). He should have transferred to a JC after last season, and been a top 3 pick this year.

  10. I look at players like Rupp, Joseph, Altherr, Hernandez as all being expendable by the end of the year if the prospects perform the way they should.

    With that said, a trade can be made for Trout with a mix of these players and a leading prospects, but Pujols play and contract have no room on this team. If the Angels can eat 75% of the contract, then he can sit home like Harrison while the Phillies pay the rest.

    The Yankees are the only other team that can make a trade like this happen, while taking on Pujols salary.

    Even after lining up a deal like that, one would still need to gauge whether Trout can perform in front of the home crowd through good and bad times. History doesn’t support it.

    1. John H.
      Not sure how much of mix of the four you mention above the Angels would desire for Mike Trout.
      If I were Billy Eppler and Matt Klentak approached, what would I say:
      1.Rupp vs Alfaro…I want Alf
      2.Joseph vs Hoskins…maybe a push
      3. Altherr vs Williams/Cozens/Quinn/Herrera…..any one but Altherr, prefer Herrera however
      4. Hernandez….think they may lean for JPC
      Now lets talk pitchers…just start with 2..Nola and Velasquez.
      Bottom line……minimum of four young prospects/vets would have to go.

      1. I think you all are shooting low. Trout is probably the best young player since Mays or Mantle – whatever you think it might take to trade for him – you can pretty much double that, at least until his walk year.

        1. Though one team with a plethora of young pitching that could sway the Angels would be the Braves…throw in two of three of Swanson, Albies or Maitan…and maybe 4/5 of their top young pitchers. That could attract the Angels attention.

          1. Not to mention Moreno is one of thee if not most stubborn owners in the game. He is NOT signing off on a trade of the best player in baseball even if it does make sense.

            The Pujols deal in and of itself should tell you that.

            1. Yes he can be obstinate for sure.
              And Klentak has worked for him and he probably knows what makes the man tick.

        2. LAA’s asking price for Trout will go down every year closer to his FA. I do think that most (if not all) team believe that Trout will sign with the Phils as long as the Phils will open their wallet and keep a good core — chances of both of this happen is really HIGH!! Trout is the best player so the price is prohibitive to any team — but there are 2 caveats that falls into the Phils favor – #1 absorb the albatross contract of Pujols; and #2 Trout’s consent to sign with the acquiring team. LAD and NYY are the teams that have the deep wallet and farm system that can compete with the Phils to offset Pujols contract. But Trout can tip the balance to the Phils when it comes to consent of signing long term. I’m sure that Trout is still dreaming to be that hero batting in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs and 2 strike and hitting the walk off HR for this hometown team.

          I think the Phils can pull a trade with the LAA for Trout without really giving up all the young core that will help the team win. Unlike the other superstars in MLB, Trout can dictate his trade value down by saying I like to go hunting with Carlson Wentz and drink shirley temples with Embiid and Simmons so I will only play for the Phils,

          1. KuKo….seriously, even with absorbing the Pujols contract and Trout’s willingness to play in his local vicinity…the Phillies will still have to give up a huge portion of their youth movement.
            I cannot see the Angels talking without Alfaro and JPC heading up a 5 player package.

            1. Given what teams have paid to trade controllable young players, here’s what I think it would take to get Trout, even if the Angels were willing to trade him now, which they aren’t: Moniak, Crawford, Velasquez, Sanchez, Alfaro, Hoskins, Valentin and another good young arm, like Thompson. And if you’re thinking to yourself that that would be the most any team has ever given up in a trade, you would probably be right. But the price would probably be similar to that package and they obviously shouldn’t do that.

            2. @romus – if the LAA asks for heaven and earth, it’s their prerogative. assuming that Klentak offered the package i proposed (or any package that will not compromise the team long term) and LAA don’t like it, then the Phils move on continue their current direction and just wait for Trout’s free agency. there’s no harm in trying and asking – it’s free – just like when you ask your credit card company to waive the penalties and fee and lower the rates. if you don’t get what you want, then move on.

            3. I’d rather wait until 2020 when Trout becomes a FA. A trade will totally disrupt the build. We have virtually EVERYTHING in our advantage to sign him then. Local guy with ties to Klentak, and we’ll have buku bucks to spend. I can’t even entertain the idea of a trade. It is beyond the scope of making a trade, anyway.

            4. KuKo….understand.
              What would be a real kicker if another NL team is able to pull off the Trout trade with the Angels. The Cubs and Braves have the resources to absorb large prospect losses to pull off that trade….if Moreno is a willing trade partner.

            5. @romus – yes, that’s it. like others, i rather wait until 2020 and sign Trout. However, if the LAA sense that they’ll lose Trout via FA, they will try to recoup as much value and might go to a point wherein LAA will accept an offer below asking price rather than lose Trout for nothing. This is where i don’t want the Phils to sit idle and be reactive.

          2. For curiosity sake I checked out Mike Trout’s SABR- SDI for 2016. Did not realize how far down the list he was.

            Kevin Kiermaier 14.6
            Kevin Pillar 11.7
            Lorenzo Cain 5.8
            Leonys Martin 2.4
            Rajai Davis 1.9
            Mike Trout 1.4
            Jacoby Ellsbury 1.0
            Jackie Bradley -1.2
            Ian Desmond -3.6
            Adam Jones -5.5
            Tyler Naquin -9.1
            Carlos Gomez -9.4
            Ender Inciarte16.4
            Billy Hamilton12.8
            Odubel Herrera7.7
            Dexter Fowler3.5

      2. I disagree. The Angels are in a tremendous financial hole and Phillies can provide major league/cost controllable talent that would fit their organization. The only way this makes sense for the Phillies is if the top major league ready prospects are off the table.

        We’re talking about 4 established position players while throwing a Moniak or Randolph in to close the deal.

        Otherwise, I don’t see Klentak mortgaging the entire farm for Trout, nor should he.

    2. Crazy. The four position players you mention and a top prospect won’t warrant even a return call from the Angels. Your logic: the Phillies are replacing these players with younger better prospects, let’s trade them for Mike Trout. Think before you post.

      1. I did and it’s a win for both sides. The Angels will not be competitive for the next 5 years as long as Pujols is on the team.

  11. Phils release Hanigan and Holaday — it means Knappyboy will break camp with the Phils!

      1. Haha Rocco. I liked Hanigan had we not had Knapp. He is a suitable back-up for a team in a much different situation then we are.

        We need to build Knapp’s value and Alfaro needs to play everyday at AAA. I think the best way to do that is to maybe show case Knapp in 20-30 games behind the dish and hope he hits well and shows at least adequate defense.

  12. To weaken the whole future of our better prospects would be a duplicate of the Angels’ signing Pujols since it would take away several worthy prospects and gut the expected core of a good maybe excellent team. There is no way that Trout gets passed by the Yankees in a trade or in free agency. The amounts of salary for Trump that have been suggested reach as high as $400 million.

    I suggest that there lives our own imitation of Trump on the way: Moniac who might well zip through the minors and be ready for MLB sometime in ’19’s latter half. Beginning salary for him will be at the MLB minimum, whatever that is at that time. (I see Moniac ending ’17 at Clearwater FSL)

    With prospects showing their better skills on the field, the most urgent need is superior pitching. That can be added through free agency with the money being accumulated presently and next year.

    Admittedly, it is a great leap to think of Moniac in those terms…but if there is one player who has the present and developing skills (along with a great attitude) around baseball, it is him.

    I’d rather place my bet on him and leave the rest of the available funds for pitching and any field position that comes up short.

  13. Unless the Angels significantly change their trajectory in the next 3 years (highly unlikely), I don’t see him staying there. He could go anywhere but I think the Phillies have to be viewed as one of the front runners. It also wouldn’t shock me if the Cubs traded for him. Flipping some good young players, prospects and perhaps an established top tier young guy like Rizzo to get him.

    1. One of Harper, Trout or Machado will be MLB’s first $40 million per year man. And, guess what, if Trout continues to produce as he has, he would be worth it!

    2. @catch – i don’t think that the Cubs farm is as deep as it was before. Even if they include Rizzo in their package (they have nobody in the farm to replace him) – Rizzo is probably too costly (salary wise) as old for LAA rebuilding purposes. I don’t see the Cubs offering a package better than the Phils who can offer a highlight of Doobie, Moniak and Sixto.

      I agree with Romus that ATL with their young arms and Maitan can swoop in and get Trout.

      1. Sure, the Phillies could offer a “better” package (I guess), but should they? Probably not. If Atlanta wants to trade for him and also pay him all that money, that’s on them – I hope they do it because it would put them at a competitive disadvantage 4 years down the road.

        1. ATL will have the prospects but i can see them balk on Pujols contract. that’s why i can see the Phils in the driver seat in acquiring Trout for less that what LAA’s prohibitive price because: a) Trout is sure to resign with them long term; b) they have the pocket to absorb Pujols; and c) they can offer cost controllable young talents (Doobie,Cesar and TJ), high end prospects (Moniak, Sixto) and some change (any B level and spare parts they have are probably better than most prospects in LAA farm).

          1. I think that would be a foolish decision – precisely the type of “let’s trade everyone” mentality that got them into this mess. I don’t mind paying Trout boatloads of money, but taking on Pujols’ contract and trading away the young stars that we need to be a contending team – no thank you. Hard stop.

            1. @catch – i’m not sure if my trade proposal falls into your “let’s trade everyone” rhetoric — i’m telling it’s not. there are 4-6 players i mentioned and they are not the everyone in the Phillies organization.

      2. KuKo…after looking at it more, the Cubs really do not have any pitching what to speak of, in an offering for Trout. They could start with Schwarber or Rizzo, OFer Eloy Jiminez and Inf./OFer Ian Happ without putting much of a dent into their current club. But the Angels like every other team will want top pitching prospects also to go along with positional prospects..

        1. @romus – i agree on the pitching side. that’s why i think the LAD and NYY are the 2 main competition for Trout via trade since both have the $$ and type of prospects that LAA covets. I like the depth in the farm for all levels but the Phils now need to convert this string of good product in the farm into actual success. the roster spot is limited to house all their prospects. they can start trading for Trout (with no more than the package i propose) and signing the best available FA that meets their need and accelerate the winning. the local philly news will be full of Wenz and Trout bromance.

          1. KuKo……one thing yuo can almost bet on, Moreno will probably never trade Trout to crosstown rival Dodgers…..that may never happen as long as he is owner.

            1. “KuKo……one thing you can almost bet on, Moreno will probably never trade Trout to crosstown rival Dodgers…..that may never happen as long as he is owner.”

              It would be ownership/management malfeasance of the highest order for the Dodgers not to put in an offer if Trout came on the market. That offer would be something the Phils would have to take into account. This line of ‘reasoning’ is ridiculous.

              Any of you guys who pride yourselves on knowing baseball and can imagine yourselves in the shoes of Arte Moreno have to ask yourselves what you would do to lop of the 6-7 guys from your 40 man to take on all this talent from the Phils. 7 for 1 and 8 for 1 deals don’t happen for a reason (or 2 if you throw in Pujols).

              You guys are better than this.

            2. If the Dodgers do acquire Trout from the Angels…in a trade….then I will be the first to admit I was wrong.

            3. Considering ALL that it will cost, whoever tries to acquire Trout via trade better make damn sure they’re going to be able to extend him and be certain that he’ll sign. That’s why he’ll stay put until FA. And that’s why if any team has the advantage, the Phillies do.

  14. Guys,

    I’m really vacillating on my predictions for wins this season. I came within one in 2015 and three last year and was pretty confident, but just don’t know for this year. I go from 60-some wins to low 80s on different scenarios.

    On the plus side, the club looks considerably stronger: Kendrick and Saunders being improvements in left and right field. Odubel and Franco another year more mature and, hopefully, better. Staring pitching looks significantly better, though I’m one of those who’d just as soon not see Bucholtz. Unlike many, I like the bullpen. Open on Rupp and TJ. Figure that Freddie will repeat, though with fewer home runs. Expect Hernandez to regress or repeat.

    From there, it’s easy to add wins to last year’s 71.

    On the other hand, the Phillies played lucky last year and probably should have won in the low 60s. Build off that and you get around 70 wins this year. And playing contending teams to start the season could dampen spirits.

    At present, I’m thinking something like 74 wins, the mid-point of my manic 78 and depressive 70 range.

    Any thoughts?

    1. Nobody really knows the players on this team and other than Hellickson and Herrera, none are established and reliable, so the low predictions don’t surprise me at all. That said, what people don’t see is the seamless depth at the top of the system, including the ridiculously good team we are going to field at AAA. I think 72-74 is a good range. But it wouldn’t surprise me if they won 68 or 69 or 82. When it comes to 2017, aside from fairly concluding that they won’t win 90 games or lose 100, it’s just a plain old guess.

      1. By the way, speaking of unknown pieces, I watched Sunday’s game and was very impressed by what I saw in Valentin. I like Hernandez a lot, but Valentin may have even more upside (and Kingery has more upside still). I’m eager to see what he will do in AAA this year.

        1. Been a fan of Valentin for a while. Most thought on here just thought he was a after thought, all you hear is Kingery. But these two are both good prospect in my opinion

  15. If Trout wants to come here but cant block beng traded to another team, would it not be his right to not sign an extension or new contract with the new team? If teams knew that, would they offer not as much and thus be turned down by LAA

  16. Anybody know why VV is batting tonight vs Toronto when the Jays are using a dh? Short on players making the trip to Dunedin? Just wondering….

    1. No, probably just getting the pitchers ready for hitting live pitching – the last week of ST should resemble the first week of the season as much as possible.

  17. Here’s where the fun starts better pitching better hitting . The Phillies were last in runs last yr so any improvement will be helpful. Mlb have there over-under at 72.5.the Angels will be more ready to trade Trout in 2019 just to get something for him.

  18. I understand why there is so much talk about Trout. He is the best player in the game. But, it is too early to make any plan because we do not know what we have with our prospects. There is not a surefire star, and while I have faith in JP and think Franco can step up his game, it is certainly not a sure bet. To mortgage the future and if there is ever a Trout trade, it will decimate the system, is way pre-mature. Even if we can make the trade, we become the Angels. My hope is that the guys we are counting on in Philly, Franco, Doobie, and hopefully, some pitching, gets to their next level of performance, and we have a number of prospects with great years in the minors. Then, you have real strength to make a trade. We can’t project a single guy a couple of years ahead and claim we have an All Star.

    1. matt13…I assume you do not have faith in Freddy as the future ss, if JPC is included in any of the Trout trade talks!
      That would be a hard pill to swallow.

  19. I don’t think “trading everyone” got us here, I think it was “not trading everyone”. If you go back and assume the Phils kept all the prospects they traded for Lee, Halliday, Pence, and Oswalt, I don’t think they would have ever contended again after 2011. The big mistakes they made in no particular order were: giving Howard the premature extension, not re-signing Werth mid season before he hit FA, not trading Rollins much earlier, and not trading Lee one year earlier.

    As it relates to Trout, I’d make a trade a year from now if the Phils are in a position to deal from a position of surplus. I’d love to think Herrera, Quinn, Williams, Cozens, Altherr, and Moniak all work out but the reality is 3-4 of those 6 won’t end up being big league regulars. The catch is making the right determination on who those are – who is the next Tyson Gillies or Dominic Brown?

    1. Just a note on Jayson Werth…he was sign in Dec 2008 for only two years by Ruben.
      Whether Ruben went short on his own accord, or Jayson only wanted two years to test FA for the 2011 season is probably now a moot point. In hindsight, you are probably correct, the Phillies should have opened up and try to bring him back…but they would not been able to compete with that Nats offer for sure.

      1. Romus, I think the Phils had a chance to re-sign Werth during the season. They lowballed him, I forget the numbers, but a reasonable deal would have gotten him. He then fired his Agent and hired Boras who took him to FA and got that Nats offer. He would have signed for a lot less than he ended up getting.

  20. Romus, I think we are in trouble if JP does not become an All Star caliber SS. Mike, when you look at the trades that were made, we can’t really complain about what we gave up, even though most were mad at what we gave up for Pence. The best is probably Carrasco who took a few years to get good, and I don’t think anyone would undo the Lee trade from Cleveland. It was the failure to get anything in the Lee trade to Seattle, and the organization’s failure to go outside of “slot” numbers for draft picks to build a base of prospects. That came from the top when Giles was still in charge.

    1. Matt,

      I wouldn’t put too much on JP. If he disappeared tomorrow, Freddie can still be a positive in the line up for several years. My hope is that JP is for real and Freddie replaces Andres Blanco as the super utility guy.

  21. If switch-pitcher Pat Venditte makes the team….maybe he could try to break LAD’s Mike Marshall’s 1974 record of 106 games pitched in one season. One day left, the next day right,

  22. Romus, if I remember correctly, Mike Marshall became a Dr. of Kinesiology, which I think studies the motion of the body. 106 games, that was amazing!

  23. On second thought, the Phils downfall was really about not drafting and/or developing talent for an extended period of time. Whether they kept or traded their young talent really wasn’t the issue as those players just didn’t become successful at the big league level minus a few exceptions.

  24. Lets try a few over/under . . .

    Tommy Joseph HR – 26

    Maikel Franco HR – 29

    Roman Quinn SB – 20

    Odubel Herrera – .295 Avg.

    Vince Velasquez – 185 K’s

    Jerad Eickhoff – 3.50 ERA

    Aaron Nola – 25 Starts

    Before or After Call up date

    JP Crawford – Aug 1st

    Nick Williams – July 1st

    Jorge Alfaro – Aug 1st

    1. TJ over
      Franco over
      Quinn under
      Herrera over
      VV over
      Eickhoff over
      Nola over
      JP before
      Nick after (not in 17)
      Alfaro after

  25. My predictions on ’17 team stat leaders:
    (bearing in mind some players won’t be here all season, based on minimum 300 PAs; I think Quinn will be up by June 1):

    Batting avg. – Odubel Herrera (.301)
    OBP – Roman Quinn (.355)
    Slug.% – Tommy Joseph (.525)
    HR – Tommy Joseph (31)
    3Bs – Odubel Herrera (7)
    2Bs – Odubel Herrera (34)
    BBs – Tommy Joseph (74)
    RBIs – Tommy Joseph (102)
    Runs – Odubel Herrera (88)
    SBs – Roman Quinn (41)

    IPs – Jerad Eickhoff (228)
    Ws – Jerad Eickhoff (14)
    Ls – Jerad Eickhoff (14)
    ERA – Jake Thompson (3.39)
    Ks – Vince Velasquez (215)
    Saves (tie) – Joaquin Benoit (21)
    – Hector Neris (21)

    1. Correction – sorry, TJ will have over 40 doubles and lead the team, not Doobie. My bad. He may or may not be the future at 1b BUT this year he’ll be team MVP, I also predict.

    2. I pick Franco to beat Joseph in the power stats, and Hernandez to beat Herrera and Quinn in the Average and OBP. I think Quinn is too fragile still to lead in anything, but he could beat Herrera in SB if he has a healthy second half. I pick Altherr to be among the Phillies top 3 outfielders in plate appearances and innings. Joseph and is the biggest wildcard and biggest key to the team playing 500 ball. If he and Franco each exceed 900 OPS then the Phillies can be competitive and fun to watch offensively. They each have big upsides. Altherr too, but he’s more of a long-shot. Unpredictable unproven players like the Phillies have make predicting their final win total hard. I’m expecting 74+/-10. My biggest reason for optimism is the Lehigh Valley roster depth should prevent them from having to tolerate sub-replacement levels of play from anybody for more than a few weeks at a time.

      1. Ken45… can’t go wrong in the win/loss column……64 thru 84 is a lock, sure thing I would think.

        1. @romus – i’m also about to comment on that big +/- 10 delta resulting to 64-84 wins which basically saying that the Phils can be Top 3 in draft ranking to a legit post season team.

  26. Can’t we offer $25K to the LAA for Trout? Maybe “No No Nanette” is ready for a huge comeback.

  27. TJ over, Franco under, Quinn over, I think he is first call up, Herrera over, VV under, Eickhoff over, but only by a little, Nola over, JP after 8/1, Williams after 7/1, Alfaro after 8/1. Good list MikeL. Thanks!

  28. Can I go on one of my rants. I really hate hypocrisy it really gets under my skin. Are there any writers that cover the Phillies that you guys would say are not afraid to challenge some of these moves from Klentak

    Granted I have this thing for Quinn I want him on this 25 man and I want him getting platoon starts for either Kendrick or Saunders. I don’t mind that some don’t agree what really gets under my crawl is when they say he doesn’t have any AAA AB’s.

    Can you fact check me on Goeddel…didn’t he spend 162 games on the 25 without a AAA AB to only be sent to AA? Did Herrera have any AAA ABs before coming to Philly.

    Don’t we have a shiny new analytics toy that says Quinn=WRC+ value as well as dWAR value over the existing two corners.

    What am missing…go ahead let me have it.

    1. Different players have different situations. Both Herrera and Goeddel were rule-V picks which meant they had to stay on the major league roster or be returned. Herrera has proven he belonged and Goeddel did not.

      I supported the idea of keeping Quinn on the ML roster and giving him 3-4 starts a week at all 3 OF positions. I do not think it is hypocritical to site Quinn’s lack of AAA experience as a reason for sending him down to get at-bats.

      As for Quinn’s “metrics” in 2016, 57 at-bats is nowhere close to enough of a sample size to give those much credence one way or the other..

  29. little surprise to know that the Phils released Coghlan…i’m almost certain that Stassi will do the TJ way wherein he’ll be reassigned to LHV and hit his way up to the Phils

    1. According to Matt Gelb, a trade may be in the works moving a pitcher off the 40man to acquire another bench option. Hopefully it won’t affect Stassi’s chances. Two bench spots remain up for grabs.

      1. I prefer to trade one of the SPs for good value low minor prospects or bonus pool $$ to create roster spot(s). the Phils can pick up veteran back up via waiver/FA (like Nava and other NRIs) or fill internally (i.e. Stassi, Valentin, Quinn).

      2. @8mark – looks like we got the answer — Alec Asher for PTBNL or cash to McKlentak’s old pals in Baltimore. This is a “meeeh” move on the part of McKlentak. Looks like Stassi’s chance is getting bigger. Moving Valentin to the 25 man will save Garcia or Morgan.

  30. As for Knapp, I think he’ll gradually come into his own as a solid role player who consistently has good ABs. Meanwhile, somebody tell him to either shave the pornstar ‘stache or go all the way with the Rollin Fingers handle bars. He’s got the face for that turn of the 20th century look.

    1. Romus,
      Player to be named later or cash.

      That removes one off the 40-man. And with Coughlan gone, it might be good news for Stassi. Or Nava.

      1. Frank does look that way now.
        Hopefully it is not a 24-year old PTBNL but money that can be used on the international market.
        And hopefully, the better Asher does with them…the better the return value.

        1. does BAL have comp pick? their farm system is weak and the Phils don’t need cash. if this is part of the goodwill building that McKlentak is doing with Machado is mind — then they can send all the other scrubs they want.

            1. the Phils should just add another prospect like Tocci and get that #74 pick. with strong depth at CF, Tocci may not make it with the Phils.

            2. or if BAL has another roster space, throw in Goeddel or Morgan instead of Tocci and get that comp pick instead.

  31. Gelb says Klentak is high on Valentin who’s already on the 40man. Looks like him and Stassi as bench players. Nava would be sent to Lehigh until his decision comes in June.

    1. If so, I wouldn’t be surprised if Valentin presses Cesar H for playing time if the latter sputters early.

      1. I just keep hearing guys downing Cesar. I just dont know what you guys are looking at. its amazing

        1. I’m with you on this . . . he’s constantly improving. What more do you want outta a younger player? and it’s not like he’s improving from way below average to just average . . . he’s a productive 2B.

  32. Cesar Ramos, Milner, Murray and Venditte told they won’t make the 25-man roster. FO appears to be high on Valentin and like to see more of Garcia’s new splitter.

    Looks like Stassi and Valentin will join the bench and Morgan vs Garcia for the final bullpen spot.

      1. @romus – it mentioned and/or for Stassi and Nava so it can be just one of them. i think it will boil down to the roster spot. i’m sure that trading Asher for potentially low value return is hard but that’s a decision that needs to be done — this will accommodate only one of Stassi or Nava unless Klentak wants to make another hard decision and trade/release Morgan (who has a decent ST and he fills a need) or Garcia (who they hold on up to the last minute despite of the performance that warrants an outright release).

        1. KuKo….I guess it will depend on how much Mack and Klentak value a bullpen arm on the 25 roster or in LHV for an emergency call up

          1. the Phils only have 7 full time BP arms in the 40-man — this is lean. If needed, Klentak will push Morgan to the pen and probably others like Pivetta and Appel unless he can create another roster spot to add non-40 pen arms in LHV.

            I understand that Klentak selected Goeddel, but Goeddel is occupying that critical spot that can be used for another pen arm.

  33. Nava serves a better purpose/role at Lehigh than Stassi would. You’d might as well move Stassi on rather than put him back down in Lehigh. He’s run his minor league course. Nava as veteran insurance come up or move on come June.

    1. Stassi’s value can’t be any higher than it is now. I’m surprised actually that he hasn’t been traded. CO would be a great fit for him with the injury to Desmond.

      1. DMAR…have to agree.
        Though the 40 crunch time is now happening with almost all the teams.
        But wouldn’t hurt for MK to explore that possibility.

        1. Interesting to see which minor leaguers are getting playing time in the Phils’ split squad games today. Andrew Pullin is one, against the Pirates.

          I get the impression that the Phillies are higher on Pullin this year.

        1. Josh Tobias got us Clay Bucholtz I have to believe Stassi has some kind of value. I grant you he’s not returning us a top 100 prospect but maybe some pool money.

  34. Just wanted to throw my two cents into the Mike Trout discussion.
    There is no bigger Mike Trout fan on this site than me. I live just a few minutes from Millville. He is God in this area. That said … IMO, it isn’t time for the Phillies to acquire Trout. The Angels aren’t going to trade him right now, anyway. My belief/hope is Mike Trout will be the last piece to the next Phillies’ championship team. I think the Phillies will make a run at Shoei Otani after this season. I am convinced they will end up with Manny Machado by 2019. Trout doesn’t hit free agency until after 2020. I believe there is a 95 percent chance that he signs his next contract with either the Angels or Phillies.

    1. @Hinkie – i also echo this timeline even in the past – Otani in 2017, Machado in 2018 and Trout in 2020/2021. However, if the Phils can get Trout in 2017 for a price Doobie+Moniak+Sixto — I will be on board with that as well. Having a superstar like Trout in your team with the still enough talent in the farm and big financial flexibility long term — the Phillies will be a haven for top FAs.

      Doobie will be expandable with Trout and Moniak might hurt. For Sixto, the Phils have intriguing arms in the lower minors. Good scouting and smart drafting will recoup the value of these players in the future.

      1. Hinkie/KuKo….wow….Machado, Otani and no less Trout!
        That’s a cool minimum $90/100M annum.
        Have to like your enthusiasm. 🙂

        1. @romus – email me your address and I’ll ship to you the kool aid i’m drinking…

          it’s been tough few years to be a sports fan in Philly — i need to see some light to keep my sanity.

          1. Can understand the depressed feelings.
            Four teams and 200 losses in a year can be a real downer.

  35. Still interesting decision to be made with only 1 roster spot open:

    Bench (2) – Stassi vs Nava vs Valentin
    Bullpen (2) – Joely vs Morgan vs Garcia

  36. Baseball heaven today! 2 well hit, well pitched games (with the exception of Luis Garcia who didn’t help his cause). I say Morgan and Joely make it.

    REALLY TOUGH call on the bench but I go with Stassi over Nava.
    1) Nava is over 30, had his chance and it’s possible his spring hasn’t been a microcosm of the kind of player he’ll be. He’s had a legit big leagur shot already. Send him to Lehigh as a team leader among young OF prospects, and insurance until his D-day sometime in June.
    2) Stassi earned nothing less than at least a cup of coffee on a team in the process of finding out about certain players. If you can’t trade him at his highest value, then take him north!

    1. 8mark,

      I agree on all points.

      Someone somewhere — maybe even on this site — published Nava’s history of very strong Spring Training stats followed by weak regular seasons, so maybe we shouldn’t read too many positives in his performance this spring.

  37. Hoping a real offensive stud is uncovered this year. So far we have nice depth, but there is nothing to get overly excited about.

  38. Valinten has played every postion but pitcher in the minor league’s . The Phillies were also working him at SS and 3rd. So Cesar is safe as for now. I tell you if Galvis can hit 20 home runs again and play GG Defense . He’s a nice trade piece not a bench player.

      1. Ok when the Phillies received Valinten form the Dodgers there was a write up about him p!aying every position but Cacther. Just putting it out there plus the Phillies had him at 3rd too.

    1. You say that but how many teams would look at him as an upgrade? Not many. There are so many good SS right now it’s scary.

      1. Agree. I like Galvis but he’s not a front line player. He’s the consummate utility man. Versatile, good baseball acumen, and some pop in his bat. He is what he is. Let’s use him as such.

        1. 8mark,

          Agree. Andres Blanco has a few years on him and might not be the Super Sub much longer. Freddie could fill that role well. Maybe Valentin, also.

          We’ve got to be careful not to be like the college football fans who are never satisfied with their starting quarterback and always want the hot-shot sophomore to start, but I have to admit I look forward to Hoskins, Kingery and JP even though TJ, Cesar and Freddie can be what we need.

    1. The bullpen will look exactly like how many of us expected, with Joeley as the lefty and Morgan as the long man. The bench decision still comes down to whether they want to drop Goeddel to keep Nava and Stassi and send Valentin down. I don’t think they will. I think they’ll send Nava down and keep him as insurance until June 15 opt out date. I’ve been sayin Valentin makes the squad for awhile, due to the 40 man issues. We’ll find out today. And no, the 26th man on our roster has no trade value so don’t even go there.

      1. Murray,

        As you say, much predicted on this site. I’m starting to think that Morgan has found himself. Also good to have a sixth starter, or occasional starting lefty, when needed.

        Nava to go down seems like the best move, too. Valentin could use the ABs, but him might get them on the Big Club, especially if Blanco doesn’t pick up the pace in the regular season. Having said that, a case can be made for keeping any of the three bench candidates or for sending them down.

  39. Jimmy done??? Retirement next? He sure seems like a great fit for tv. Phillies should hire him before MLB network snatches him up

    1. Hinkie,

      I’ve seen him play at Clearwater. He also kept the ball down consistently when I saw him.

  40. Congrats to Brock Stassi, he and Nava will be going north. So will Valentin, but further north to Lehigh.

    I’m okay with that…for now.

      1. I’m surprised but I like the decision since Goeddel would struggle to get at bats, even in the minors. Too many guys are past him.

    1. Figured Valentin will get his AAA PAs….look forward for him to rake and make a case to be called up in June or July.

      1. Romus i think it must be me. I talked up Valentin and all i heard was he wasn’t anything. Maybe utility player. Now he almost made the team. Said Asher was a batting practice pitcher, he is gone. The guy who makes me look real bad is Jackie Bradley he is really improving, and i thought he would never hit, I was watching Strassi hit. his swing is so different. Dont know if he will hit a lot. but has changed his swing, so maybe he found the answer to hitting for him. I will be on broad street for first game. Beep your horn Romus when you go to first game. I am the fat guy on broad and oregon with a mets hat on.

        1. rocco…so you are that guy on the corner!
          Isn’t it dangerous wearing a Mets hat down there?
          Agree on Valentin. he wasn’t picked at 50 something in the draft to be a utility guy…right now. He could turn out that way eventually…..but he looks like a pretty steady 2nd baseman right now. His K and BB minor metrics are very good. Plus it seems the Puerto Rico guys are really showing their stuff lately. Lindor and Correa two in particular. They all get good basic baseball grooming on the island. Maybe even Jan Hernandez will also explode this year.

      2. My instinct is that, if Cesar plays well and they can get good value for him, he will be traded. I thought Klentak and MacPhail played the Giles trade perfectly and I think they are trying to increase Cesar’s value right now so they can flip him for value. Cesar’s a damned good player, but, in the long run, he may not be better than Valentin or Kingery, so let’s turn him into good trade value.

    1. 8mark…..good luck there over the DFA ten day ‘grace’ period.
      Not sure there are a lot of teams who will have a need on their 25 for him or willing to drop a player off their current 40 to bring him on.
      I suspect the Phillies are counting on just that one team that may want him and would risk losing the claim if a team ahead of them in line also put a claim in on him.

      1. Romus, when I stop to give it some thought, I don’t think it really matters at this point. That ship sailed. They wasted a 25man roster spot last season by sitting a relatively productive Goeddel (at the time) in deference to Asche. Still don’t get it. I’ve moved on….

  41. Roman Quinn should be getting 400 ABs at the big league level. Stassi and especially Nava have no big league value. One of the problems the Phillies have had is giving ABs to terrible players.

    Honestly we’d be better off if Kendrick was cut. He’s a worse option than Altherr and Quinn in the outfield. He’s way worse than Hernandez at 2B. He’s also worse than Joseph/Hoskins at 1B.

    1. Agreed. Getting both Sanders and Kendrick will take AB’s away. They should have approached Quinn the same way as Knapp. Let them both get 300-400 AB’s in the major league, so you can make an honest assessment of what you have for next year.

      I hope Kendrick and Sanders start off hot to build up trade value before the all star break, to make room for Quinn.

    2. as much as we love our prospects, most of them need regular at bats (or innings) in the minors so it’s better for them long term to play regular at bats in the minors then sit in the bench and have sporadic at bats in the majors.

      this might be the last season that we will see the Phils invest on vets for 1-year term — since the prospects in the high minors should be ready by late this season or the beginning of next season.

      I would love to see an OF of Quinn-Herrera-Altherr to start the season but the consensus is both Quinn and Altherr are not ready to be starters. Kendrick and Saunders are not acquired just to play LF and RF (this is the situation most fans only see) — both also provide veteran presence (to show experience and maturity to younger players) and lottery picks as well as trade chips.

      3 months is what the FO is asking from the fans. We will see out favorite prospects in red pin stripes soon as long as they are doing their job (which is to complete their development and show results).

    3. Roman Quinn could use a good 300 ABs at AAA before he heads to the majors; same thing with Valentin.

      In their defense, Altherr looked horrible last year and Quinn has never played in AAA and has never played in more than about 80 games anywhere. They were trying to do the right thing by everyone here. It’s an okay arrangement so long as they are flexible and do what the situation calls for as it develops and not have a rigid plan that cannot be altered (which is my biggest concern).


    What would you like to see more? And what do you think is more likely to happen?

    ☆ Odubel Herrera wins a batting title.

    ☆ Tommy Joseph leads the NL in HRs.

    ☆ Maikel Franco is voted NL MVP.

    ☆ Brock Stassi is voted rookie of the year.

    ☆ Vince Velasquez wins the Cy Young award.

    ☆ Aaron Altherr is selected to the NL All Star team.

    ☆ Edubray Ramos leads the Phillies in saves.

    ☆ Pete Mackanin is named manager of the year.

    ☆ The Phillies win 82 games.

    1. Mark. i will run naked on broad street if this is a five hundred team. I just dont see it. Not high on there pitching. They dont have a ace. Clutch hitting is a problem. imo. I like the bullpen. defense, like the bench. But the starting eight and pitching just isnt good enough.

    2. On this list, by far the most likely is that Herrera wins the batting title this year – that’s within the realm of possibility. Ramos could lead in saves if other guys get injured, but it won’t happen with a health bullpen.

      Most of your other prop bets are very unlikely. I think Altherr could break out, but probably won’t get enough at bats to make his mark this year prior to the AS break. Of the remaining bets, most likely would be for Joseph to lead the league in homers – although that’s probably a 30-1 shot.

      1. As for what I would like to see most – it’s Franco winning the MVP. That, along with Velasquez winning the CY Young and Altherr making the AS team, would have the greatest long-term impact on the team’s fortunes. Franco has that kind of talent in him (and Velasquez has CY Young stuff).

      2. agree with catch that Franco winning as MVP and Vinny as CY Young will have the long term positive impact to the team as both have the skill sets to be solid foundation of the next core.

    3. 8mark,

      Easy answer: None of the above.

      However, forced to vote, still an easy answer: Odubel

  43. Another prediction – by Memorial Day, Buchholz is no longer in the starting rotation, if still with the ball club at all. He’s getting pounded again today. And I don’t want to hear that he’s working on something.

  44. Never too early to look at top 2017 MLB draft picks. Tonight (730pm) is a huge pitching matchup on SEC-TV. Florida RHP Alex Faedo faces Missouri RHP Tanner Houck. Looking ahead potential Top 5 2018 Florida RHP Brady Singer goes Saturday.

    Saw LSU RHP Alex Lange pitch against Texas A&M last night on SEC-TV, Lange looked to me like he has putting a lot more effort into his pitches than last year. His curve is awfully difficult to hit.

      1. “The best part of this story is that it is an April Fools prank from us at That Ball’s Outta Here!”

        1. One of the least funny April fools jokes ever. Take a real troubling situation (pitcher with elbow problem), project a worst case scenario, and then sell it as a joke. Ha ha ha – that’s hilarious. Did you hear that Andy MacPhail had a massive heart attack? April Fools! Wasn’t that funny?

  45. When I posted it I thought it was a for real . Then I started to look around at different places and didn’t see it. Then I read all the article oops crap lesson learned read .

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