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.
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.