2017 Spring Training, 3/30

The Phillies completed their 25-man roster Thursday.  Luis Garcia was optioned early and back at the Complex in the morning.  Word filtered around that Adam Morgan and Joely Rodriguez would join the bull pen and complete the pitching staff.

After their blow out loss to the Yankees, Daniel Nava and an emotional Brock Stassi were selected for the final two roster spots.  Jesse Valentin was optioned and Tyler Goeddel was designated for assignment to create the needed 40-man roster spot.

The Phillies laid an egg at Spectrum Field.  I was sorry I left the Complex to watch.  I learned that Odubel Herrera is going to have to cover a lot of outfield playing next to Howie Kendrick.  I saw an erratic Cameron Rupp throw a ball into center on a steal attempt, almost throw one into right on a pickoff attempt, and commit a passed ball on a pitch that was three feet above being in the dirt.  And, I watched as Maikel Franco committed another bonehead play on defense when he interfered with a runner during a rundown.  On the other hand, Freddy Galvis turned in another web gem.

The game was played in 2:57, hard to believe after a 48 minute first inning.

Anyway, earlier at the Complex, I had watched the IronPigs for five innings.  Nick Pivetta gave up a lead off double that came around to score on a sacrifice fly.  Then he shut down Detroit’s AAA team.  He went 5.0 innings allowing 1 hit, 1 run, 0 BB, and 7 K.  The seven strike outs came in the second thru fifth innings.  Pivetta looked real good.  I left for the Phillies game when Michael Mariot came on to pitch.

The ‘Pigs came right back in the first inning.  From the left side, Roman Quinn lifted a fly ball down the left field line.  It bounded out of play for a ground rule double.  He advanced on J.P. Crawford’s chopper to first and scored on Jorge Alfaro’s foul pop down the right field line.  Excuse me, sacrifice foul pop.  Dylan Cozens closed out the inning with a towering fly ball that the wind knocked down at the fence in right center.

They scored their second run when Nick Wiliams doubled and scored on Logan Moore’s routine sacrifice fly.

They picked up a third run when Taylor Featherston singled and moved to second on a walk to Harold Martinez.  Osmel Aguina lined an RBI single to make the score 3-1 after five innings.

I didn’t watch any of the AA game but heard that Mark Appel was pitching.  Later we learned that Mitch Walding hit for the cycle in the game.

I wish I had a lot of good news to report from the Phillies game.  About the best thing that came out of the game was the pitching of Jesen Therrien.  He struck out 3 in 2.1 perfect innings and threw 18 strikes in 22 pitches.

There were two funny moments – Andrew Knapp nearly “killed” the Phanatic on a foul ball into the stands in front of me.  And, the canned announcement by Chris Wheeler that spring training games can end in a tie after the top of the first inning.  The score at the time was 9-0 Yankees.  The announcement seemed unnecessary at the time or extremely optimistic.


72 thoughts on “2017 Spring Training, 3/30

  1. Loved the emotions from Stassi when learning he made the club 😄 …the local Sports Reporters were right on this 25-man roster

  2. I’ve been a fan of the FO the last couple seasons but their mishandling of Tyler Goeddel is a black mark. We kept him on the bench all last season just to release him this spring?

      1. At least gave him more at-bats last year, to see what he could do.

        He was playing okay in May; there was no need to play Lough, Pareades, Hunter, Bourjous, Burriss, even Asche ahead of him.

        Or, if they were convinced he wasn’t a MLB player, send him back; and move on.

        1. Completely agree, Fritz. Somewhere there must have been a disconnect between Mackanin and the FO. My biggest concern this season isn’t Ws and Ls but allowing struggling veterans continue to “get untracked” while younger players like Altherr and Stassi atrophy on the bench. I don’t want to keep watching guys like Kendrick, Saunders and Blanco when there are younger options waiting for playing time. It’s always bothered me that veteran players are favored by management when legitimate cries of “get rid of him!” echo throughout CBP.

          1. I dont think they are favoring veterans over playing the young players. Baseball is a business they are hoping these veterans have a good start and can use them as trade chips in July , while showing the young players how to be major leauge player. I feel once July comes around the youth will be on the field and Kendricks and Saunders may be looking for playing time. Hopefully the youth movement is in full swing by July because they need to know what they have in Alther ,Stassi and the rest of the youth or move on from there like they did with Asche and Ruff

            1. I’m not buying the line that any of these guys are going to be worth anything of significance at the trade line. The league pretty much knows who Nava is, who Kendrick is who Saunders is and who Buchholtz is.

              I really wish certain writers would stop pushing this false agenda.

              Now if you go out and get some studs like the yankees did in Chapman and Miller for a potential mid season trade awesome.

              you’re peeing on my leg and telling me its raining with these guys. And I say that as someone who favored signing at least one really good veteran coming into this season.

              And yeah this FO did Goeddel really dirty. He should have been offered back and maybe the Rays say at that point nah you keep him.

            2. I agree with DMAR. Considering they couldn’t even swing a deal for Hellickson last trade deadline, its silly to think they are going to get anything for Kendrick, Saunders, Nava, etc. You couldn’t trade Nava for Goeddel today. The Phillies are likely the only one who would take the opposite of that deal.

            3. Don’t think they are playing Kendrick/Howard as a way to showcase them for a mid season trade. They acquired some experience major league hitters in the attempt to help take some pressure off of the younger hitters like Franco, Joseph, etc. and also to provide some veteran leadership in the clubhouse.

              I know this is a minor league blog and everyone is excited about prospects but no ML team wants to field an entire team of youngsters trying to learn how to play the game at the big league level. The right veteran voices in the clubhouse can help that development process.

            4. @dmar
              I agree , it’s Bull sht to say that those guys are trade chips
              Not one of them would get you a player as good as goedell and he was just cut
              I don’t see why we don’t just play the youth , people like that and would come out to watch rather than watching a middling has been
              Oh joy !

            5. The only reason to keep the beteran players isnt just for trade chips. Also veteran leadership and showing young players what needs to be done to stay a major leauge player is huge. Look at football the Pats dont always have the best talent bit leadership there is top notch and players learn to be pros. All Im saying give them to July to get players time in the minors and get some AAA at bats then if the FO doesnt promote them then lets have a conversation then.

          2. 8mark…..your concern isn’t Ws and Ls, as a lot of fans….but that is not the manager and the band of 25 concerns.
            There is no tanking on Mack’s team.

        2. Fritzerland did you ever watch him bat? He is overpowered by big league pitching. I Would have let him go earlier. He isnt a big league player imo, The only pitch he can hit is a low outside okay fastball. anything inside he is overpowered, He imo was a bad selection

      2. Not keep 34 year old Daniel Nava. He’s completely unnecessary. Make Valentin the bench guy and preserve the 40 man roster spot for Goeddel

        1. I wouldn’t worry about it too much. He has only played 34 games at AAA. They are probably thinking that he and the team would be better off with him playing full-time at AAA and continuing to develop rather than get spotty playing time in the big leagues. If he’s as good as I think he might be (and he really opened my eyes in ST – and it wasn’t just the stats, it was his whole game), he is either going to become the starting second baseman at some point or be a valuable trade piece. They are loaded at second base – each of Hernandez, Valentin and Kingery may be legitimate starting major league second basemen.

    1. Goeddel played in 92 games and had 234 PAs. I think the loss of Altherr, early last year, solidified Goeddel’s spot on the bench. With the signing of Kendrick and Saunders this year and the reemergence of Altherr, it was forgone. He was inexpensive and could play defense pretty well.

      I always felt badly for Dave Hollins. He was a Rule 5 pick in 1990 and played in 72 games and 127 PAs. I always wondered if he continued his career through AAA and then to the majors, whether he would have been truly great instead of a journeyman. He wouldn’t have been with the Phillies. Don’t get me wrong. He had a very nice career but I saw him live a couple of times and I thought he could have been a big piece for a team.

      1. Bellman. I Just dont see the value in Goeddel , he isnt a good hitter. Good fielding outfielder are easy to find

        1. rocco…bingo….there are plenty of Drew Stubbs, Peter Bourjos and Tyler Goeddels floating around the league.
          However, what puzzles me is Matt Klentak’s judgment in his selection of talent or what he perceives as particular skill strengths in those players in the Rule 5…all failures to his degree of need…Featherston, Stumpf and now Goeddel.
          Granted, giving him the benefit of the doubt, Rule 5s are probably the highest wash-out rates than the normal talent acquisition avenue.
          And Ruben’s selection of Odebel was probably a stroke of luck.

          1. Romus. I’m not sure it’s entirely fair to rip the GM here over Rule 5 selections. Regardless of what we think of Goeddel now, he was widely viewed at the time as the top, or perhaps one of the top, available players in 2016. On top of that, Rule 5 busts are the rule. It’s rare for a player to stay with the team that selected him for a full year and even more rare for that player to become even an average player. The success rate (meaning the player sticks for a year AND becomes a good major league contributor), I would have to guess is probably much lower than 5%.

            1. Yes realize the limited success rate…question what he is looking for in the positional players. Featherston and Goeddel seem to have some similar profiles.

            2. Featherston was not a Phillies’ Rule 5 pick – he was picked by the Angels and he was acquired by the Phillies in a very minor trade. I actually like Featherston a bit, but I don’t think you can extrapolate anything from his acquisition – he was acquired as a minor league infielder and potential big league bench piece. He’s just another guy and they paid little for him. It wouldn’t surprise me if stuck somewhere as a back-up fielder for a few years, but it probably won’t happen here as the Phillies have no room or specific use for him.

              I understand your concerns about Goeddel but, again, he’s just a Rule 5 pick and was one of the more highly rated guys. He’s a little too skinny for my tastes as a corner outfielder (don’t see how he could ever hit for enough power to justify a corner spot), but he has some broad skills. I get it, but again, don’t really think that he’s a particular “type” that Klentak and company are looking for.

            3. Featherston was more of a Klentak pick than aJ erry DiPoto…DiPoto was preparing to make his exit out of LA, he had enough of Mike Scioscia and was lining up other opportunities in baseball

            4. I don’t want MK to be gun shy on Rule 5 guys and Catch you’re spot on we all liked him (Goeddel). The rip is that if you do select a guy you gotta play him and MK PM obviously were not on the same page there.

              Something should have gave is all I’m saying. Let the kid get 9-10 starts in a row and then make an evaluation. If he’s not up to the task get him back down in the minors.

    2. I respect your opinion, Fritz, and I certainly think that it would be great if there were more ML ABs to go around. But I actually like what they did with Goeddel. They used the top pick in the Rule 5 draft on a guy with some decent potential, got a look at him over the course of two spring trainings and one season in the big leagues where they gave him almost 250 PAs. That’s a pretty good opportunity for a Rule 5 guy. The team’s evaluation of players is not just what they do in ML games. They’re looking at Goeddel and others in spring training, in camp, in practice, in warm ups, etc. And they saw Goeddel for over a year.

      There’s a lot of major league fringe talent in this organization right now. The club decided that not only was Goeddel not one of the best 5 OF in the org (the ML roster). He isn’t one of the best 8 or so either (AAA starters, cumulative of ML) because they demoted him down to Reading. I’m glad they treated that Rule 5 pick as a sunk cost and didn’t just keep Goeddel around on the 40 man based on the fact that they had invested an opportunity in him.

      Not every prospect pans out, and when the club thinks it got a good look at one in Goeddel but determined that others surpassed him, they made the tough decision to remove him from the 40. For the record, the Phils aren’t alone. The Rays decided the same thing. The Phils are going to have to make a lot of these types of decisions in the next year or so and I hope they continue to be based on talent and not on sunk costs.

  3. Kendrick, Saunders and Buchholz will get us little more than a bag of balls come trade deadline. Play the kids! Quinn, Altherr and Stassi are worth a good look before the next wave get here.

    1. Some of the teams in the penalty for international over-spending are teams that may be in the playoff hunt come July( Astros, Athletics,, Cardinals, Nationals, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants and Royals …not sure about the Red Sox)…and they cannot exceed their threshold of #300K or whatever it is these days.
      Just trade those players for the penalized teams surplus international money?

  4. All of you who want to promote all of our kids now need to be patient. They’re not ready! You can ruin a prospect by promoting him too soon. Who has hit 300 at AAA and earned a promotion? No one. Thompson and Eflin earned their promotions but both got rocked and clearly need to improve a bit more before they try it again. We have such a prospect loaded AAA team thus year, it could (should) be lots of fun. The kids playing there all know they’re possibly a hot streak and a half season away from the majors. They’re under pressure to perform but that’s the business. We need to let the natural progression occur. As for the veterans we have and their trade value, let’s not get carried away, it’s not that great.

  5. Minor vent here but I see Pete batting Galvis in the 2 spot several games this spring. Why? He’s the LAST candidate on the roster to bat second. I hope that’s not even an alternate lineup consideration. He’s an 8 hole hitter. Period. C’mon, Mack.

    1. Yes, it’s beyond stupid. It’s like they are trying to create out and stop rallies before they start.

      And, by the way, another issue I have (and I really have no way of proving this, I’m just watching the evidence mount) seems to be that the front office is reluctant to tell this manager how to construct a line-up. I get that the front office cannot, and of course should not, try to instruct a manager during the game or micromanage the manager in a way that is stifling. But the manager should be taking general instruction from management (or at least be in a meaningful dialogue with management) about how to maximize the run scoring potential of a line-up, among other things. You don’t freaking put a guy with a .294 OBP at the top of a line-up. It’s just idiotic.

      1. Nothing personal against Pete. I’ve seen enough questionable decision making regarding personnel. I’m of a mind to bring Dusty Wathan up along with the rest of the prospects.

        1. Well, let’s see how Pete does this year.

          Aside from overusing the bullpen a little (which was understandable given how crappy their starters were), my biggest complaint is line-up construction.

          Pete was sort of mediocre last year as a bench manager and fairly bad at constructing a line-up, but I don’t think that’s the main reason he is there right now. Here’s there to create a positive environment for player development and I think he’s actually pretty good at that. He’s neither overly effusive when a guy plays well nor too harsh when he messes up and he seems to tell it like it is, which is refreshing. So he’s fine for the rebuild, but the jury’s out on how well he would handle a contending team.

  6. Quinn
    Gomez or Featherston (Martinez??)

    That’s quite a lineup for AAA. Lefty, righty, lefty, righty, lefty, righty. Awesome

    1. Yeah, and on top of that is a 6-deep pitching rotation with some really quality arms – not just low level guys or MLB rejects. The challenge will be converting quantity into quality at the major league level – this process is where the GM will really have to earn his pay.

      I’ve been thinking about the Phillies and their glut of solid-level talent and what they can do about it. My view is that the Phillies have such depth at basically every position, that they can offer some pretty unique trade opportunities in the middle of this year. In a typical trade deadline deal, a team deals one or two valuable chips to help another team make a pennant run.

      You rarely see a team trade away a bunch of valuable players to a contending team. But the Phillies will be able to do this and, in doing so, provide a lot of value to a contending team, take top level value in return and clear space on the 40-man roster, which will become essential in the near future.

      So, for example, let’s say another team needs a good starting middle infielder, a good corner outfielder, a mid-rotation piece, a decent starting catcher and another back-end starter. The Phillies could put together this trade without blinking, so, in the example above, the Phillies could EASILY package Hellickson, Hernandez, Saunders, Rupp and a guy like Lively to a contending team that needed to fill holes. Of course, in return, the Phillies would want a few high end minor league players (like the kind Atlanta has traded for in recent years), but it would be well worth it, both for the contending team and the Phillies. And the Phillies at the major league level would barely skip a beat because there would be several players to fill the holes created by the trade.

    1. He probably struck out 5 and walked 7. Seriously, when I read sportswriters discussing Appel, I think they are basing their analysis on what they have been told about him rather than what they are seeing. I’ve yet to see Appel throw a FB 95 MPH – he generally sits like 91-94, which is okay, but nothing special. Breaking balls were fine, but nothing overwhelming. Maybe he will throw a lot harder as the season progresses, but I’m still looking for the guy who we are told has “great stuff.” I’m not saying he doesn’t have it, but I sure haven’t seen it.

      1. In the long run, it’s not a big deal, but Buchholz may end up being a total waste of money or, worse yet, once it’s clear he cannot pitch well, they will dig their heels in and keep starting him anyway with the vague hope that someone else may want him.

    2. According to the blueclaws blog, Appel went five innings. He gave up one unearned run, struck out four, and walked three.

    1. Hey Brock Stassi’s Dad:


      I’ve been singing Brock’s praises since winter ball.

      But here on PhuturePhillies.com, they didn’t rate Brock amongst the Top 30+ prospects.

      But I did.


      1. probably because he’s not among the top-30 PROSPECTS. But congrats to him for making the big club..

  7. I wish they had re-signed Charlie Morton rather than trading for Clay Buchholz. Again, another guy who the announcers say has good stuff, who obviously (in ST, at least), does not. Morton’s stuff last year was light years better than the garbage that Buchholz has thrown up there.

    1. Is that a pro or a con on the GM’s scorecard so far?
      If Buchholz pitches in his first 12/15 or so starts like he did the last two months of 2016, then the signing could be a success and he will be able to be moved ……not sure what value however in return..

      1. It’s a nothing-burger on his scorecard. Buchholz is there to eat innings until a better option is ready from the system. Doesn’t really matter is that person is Buchholz or Morton (Who actually got a 2-year deal from Houston)

        They gave up little to get him and the will get little back for him if he has early success.

        1. Nyet on Buchholz. Not feeling it. Veteran or not, what’s he working on today? His under hand fast ball?

        2. Yeah, but the Phillies are paying Buchholz almost as much on a one year deal as Morton is getting for a two-year deal. Also, Morton is a guy who I’d be perfectly fine keeping as trading – his stuff got much better in the last couple of years (as improbable as that seems, it’s true). I was okay with them getting Buchholz, but I would have been happier had they kept Morton.

          1. And we could have had Morton for something like $9 million on a 1-year deal if we had just picked up his option. We are paying him $1 million to not pitch already.

            1. I would have preferred Morton over Buchholz as well I just don’t see it as much of a deal in the overall scheme of things. Neither guy figures into the Phillies future and are stopgaps.

      2. Buchholz is a fill in until someone is ready. Not a big deal and if he gets hot. you might get value for him at trade time. Not a bad risk,

    2. Totally agree with Catch. Klentak missed the boat on Charlie Morton. They should have picked up his option. Morton would have made less money and would have most likely been a more valuable trade chip.

      1. They would have had to pick up a 9 million dollar option, months ago, on a hurt pitcher. Who does that?

        1. It’s a valid point, but the injury was not to his throwing arm. I think if they had had a little longer to see if he had recovered, they may have exercised the option, but the window of opportunity for them to exercise the option was definitely not ideal and, as you note, probably led to that result.

    1. Minor league rosters were published, and so far, I only see the published rosters on baseball betsy’s website.

      1. Minor league rosters about as expected. Aggressive with Moniak and Sixto moving to Lakewood.

        A surprise might be Wojo. For a guy who didn’t even sign up last year, starting him at Lakewood is a bit of a surprise. Then, he’s of an age where maybe they want to start him higher. He also appeared to be in a lot of game notes this spring.

        I’m looking forward to seeing the Threshers. Got myself down for nine road games that will fit my schedule (missing the darn four-game trip to Ft Myers in May cause of a business trip.) Looking forward to seeing Kilome, C Randolph, Grullon.

        1. This year, the three most interesting teams will be Lehigh Valley, Lakewood and Reading. I cannot wait to see Sixto and Moniak.

      2. Shane Watson opening in Reading.
        Have to assume he is in the starting rotation with Anderson, Viza, Liebrandt and Eshelman.,

      3. Cord Sandberg still in Lakewood. Good grief. He may need to start looking into selling insurance.

      4. Wow, they gave Stobbe the Spring Training award, then left him back in extended spring training.

        J. Ortiz left back too. They usually jump the big money Latin signings (Santana, Tocci) to Lakewood.

        1. Surprising to me but Lucas Williams will get first shot, on a short leash, and Sandberg is getting last shot to show something

          1. I was not a fan of Lucas from some video i had seen. Which isnt a fair thing to judge someone on, but i read a 2016 draft report on him. He was a surprise reach according to the article and even more of a surprise they paid him slot, according to the article. Hope i am wrong about him. But he is a big risk to make a impact as a high draft choice

  8. Mitch Walding could be playing third in LHV by mid season if he continues to swing the bat as he has been doing lately. Something turned on for him last year. He probably is now justifying sandusky’s expectation.

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