Open Discussion: Week of April 3rd

The Phillies went 3-2-1 in the final week of spring training.  After thirty-six games, the Phillies had a 14-17-5 Grapefruit League record.  They posted wins of 7-1, 8-2, and 8-2 last week; and losses of 10-4 and 14-1.  They tied 7-7.  That’s 35 runs for, 36 against.  Could be an interesting season.  The Phillies open Monday in Cincinnati at 4:10 PM.  The Phillies opened against the Reds last season and blew saves in the 8th and 9th innings while dropping the first two games of the season.

I’ve tracked the Phillies dismal offensive slash this spring.  In fairness, it has trended up the past two weeks.  the interest of fairness, I have to report an improvement in the Phillies offense over the pasty week.

  • 4 weeks ago – .260/.335/.444/.779 (18th/18th/13th/15th).
  • 3 weeks ago – .257/.342/.412/.754 (20th/9th/21st/19th).
  • 2 weeks ago – .245/.328/.397/.725 (26th/19th/23rd/23rd).
  • 1 week ago   – .259/.332/.413/.745 (19th/17th/20th/18th)
  • Last week     – .266/.337/.426/.763 (15th/12th/17th/16th) (8th7th/9th/9th in the NL)

Of course, it’s only spring but I find the combined 6.11 ERA of the five starting pitchers worrisome.  Velasquez’ 2.75 is solid, but of the rest only Hellickson with 5.92 was under 6.00.  The quintet walked 38 batters (3.7/9) and struck out 102 (8.8/9).  Or 8.1% and 21.7% if you prefer.  Most of the pitching staff’s metrics are middle of the pack.  And six of the bullpen pitchers posted an ERA of 3.00 or better.  So, maybe there’s reason to hope.

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

Key dates remaining:

  • April 3rd – Opening Day in Cincinnatti.
  • June 12-14th – Amateur Draft
  • July 31st – Non-waiver Trade Deadline
  • December 10-14th – Winter Meetings in Orlando

Extra Innings

Extended Spring Training (XST) begins with the arrival of a group of players from the Dominican Academy on Monday.  XST games begin on April 10th.  The first home game is on Tuesday, April 11th at 1:00 PM at the Complex.

And a couple polls just for the heck of it.

 

 

 

 

Cumulative transactions: (Bold text indicates new entries).  The Clearwater transactions are in preparation of their roster announcement tomorrow.

  • 4/3 – Angelo Mora assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 4/3 – Brandon Leibrandt assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Clearwater Threshers.
  • 4/3 – Carlos Tocci assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Clearwater Threshers.
  • 4/3 – Chace Numata assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Clearwater Threshers.
  • 4/3 – Reading Fightin Phils placed LHP Elniery Garcia on the 7-day disabled list.
  • 4/3 – Jiandido Tromp assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Clearwater Threshers.
  • 4/3 – Reading Fightin Phils placed RHP John Richy on the 7-day disabled list.
  • 4/3 – Jorge Flores assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/3 – Kyle Martin assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Clearwater Threshers.
  • 4/3 – Matt Hockenberry assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Clearwater Threshers.
  • 4/3 – Shane Watson assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Clearwater Threshers.
  • 4/3 – Reading Fightin Phils placed RHP Victor Arano on the 7-day disabled list.
  • 4/3 – Yacksel Rios assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Clearwater Threshers.
  • 4/2 – Philadelphia Phillies placed RHP Zach Eflin on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to March 30, 2017. Knee surgeries.
  • 4/2 – RHP Adonis Medina assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/2 – 1B Alex Wojciechowski assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws.
  • 4/2 – SS Arquimedes Gamboa assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/2 – LHP Bailey Falter assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/2 – 1B Brett Barbier assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/2 – LF Cord Sandberg assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Clearwater Threshers.
  • 4/2 – Damek Tomscha assigned to Clearwater Threshers from Lakewood BlueClaws.
  • 4/2 – 2B Daniel Brito assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from GCL Phillies.
  • 4/2 – 3B Danny Zardon assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from GCL Phillies.
  • 4/2 – 1B Darick Hall assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/2 – CF David Martinelli assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/2 – RHP Felix Paulino assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/2 – Grenny Cumana assigned to Clearwater Threshers from Lakewood BlueClaws.
  • 4/2 – C Henri Lartigue assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/2 – Jacob Waguespack assigned to Clearwater Threshers from Lakewood BlueClaws.
  • 4/2 – Jesus Alastre assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters from Lakewood BlueClaws.
  • 4/2 – LHP JoJo Romero assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/2 – LHP Jonathan Hennigan assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/2 – Jose Pujols assigned to Clearwater Threshers from Lakewood BlueClaws.
  • 4/2 – Jose Taveras assigned to Clearwater Threshers from Lakewood BlueClaws.
  • 4/2 – 3B Lucas Williams assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/2 – Mark Laird assigned to Clearwater Threshers from Lakewood BlueClaws.
  • 4/2 – RHP Mauricio Llovera assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from GCL Phillies.
  • 4/2 – CF Mickey Moniak assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from GCL Phillies.
  • 4/2 – LHP Nick Fanti assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from GCL Phillies.
  • 4/2 – LHP Ranger Suarez assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/2 – RHP Sixto Sanchez assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from GCL Phillies.
  • 4/2 – Sutter McLoughlin assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters from Lakewood BlueClaws.
  • 4/2 – RHP Trevor Bettencourt assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/2 – RHP Will Hibbs assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 3/31 – SHP Pat Venditte assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 3/31 – Rhys Hoskins assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Reading Fightin Phils.
  • 3/31 – Mark Leiter assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Reading Fightin Phils.
  • 3/31 – Jorge Flores assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters from Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 3/31 – Osmel Aguila assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters from Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 3/31 – Joey DeNato assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters from Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 3/31 – Phillies selected the contract of 1B Brock Stassi from Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 3/31 – Colton Murray assigned to Phillies XST from Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 3/31 – Phillies designated LF Tyler Goeddel for assignment.
  • 3/30 – Lehigh Valley IronPigs released C Ryan Hanigan.
  • 3/30 – Phillies selected the contract of LF Daniel Nava from Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 3/30 – Phillies optioned RHP Luis Garcia to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 3/30 – Phillies optioned 2B Jesmuel Valentin to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 3/28 – Phillies traded RHP Alec Asher to Baltimore Orioles for cash.
  • 3/27 – Phillies released C Bryan Holaday.
  • 3/27 – Phillies optioned LF Roman Quinn to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 3/25 – LHP Hoby Milner assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 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.
  • 3/4 – 15th round pick, Alex Wojciechowski, reported to minor league spring training.
  • The organization rosters are almost up to date.

220 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of April 3rd

  1. Alberto Tirado (Clearwater) is only one of 2 players on the 40man roster assigned below AAA which should suggest (to me, anyway) that this is a HUGE season for him. Somebody has to decide quickly whether he’s remaining as a starter or shifting to the bullpen.

    Drew Anderson (Reading) will likely find himself in Lehigh later this season since one or more of those starters will advance.

    PLAY BALL!!!

  2. I think my biggest goal for them this season is to see if an over arching philosophy can take root and that would be the offensive side of the game. I’ve always preached it with my kids so I align myself with Stairs when it comes to not giving away AB’s and the simplicity of grinding on a pitcher to throw strikes.

    From the pitching side I would really like to see some of these young guys put an emphasis on the change up. If you watched Archer yesterday and Martinez last night you can see how important a pitch that can be to get disciplined hitters out at this level.

    And finally when it does come time to trade the guys you brought in to trade show me your scouting acumen is up to the task. Show me this analytics team can uncover the value that regimes of the past could not.

    Let’s play ball!

    1. If he was toast they wouldn’t have assigned him anywhere :). I would say that this is a very important season for him to show some significant progress..

    2. I actually expected him to be released so this was a surprise to me. He has to hit to keep his spot, guys like Alastre and Ortiz are nipping at his heels.

    3. Baseball prospects are the hardest of all sports to predict… sadly I wish there was a stronger correlation between draft position and outcome. I imagine if there were there would be significantly less minor leaguers and the draft would shrink to say 10 rounds or so…

      If that were the case all these years of unintentional tanking would have resulted in more legit players and the phillies future would probably be brighter.

  3. Top 5 most important things for the upcoming Phillies 2017 Minor league season:

    1. JP Crawford hits and forces his way on to the Big club.
    2. Jake Thompson and Zach Eflin stay healthy and pitch well enough to replace Hellickson and Buchholtz.
    3. Moniak, Sanchez, Brito and Randolph have big enough years to keep system in top 10.
    4. Quinn or Williams hits enough to force their way onto the Major League team.
    5. Alfaro continues his Defensive improvement to solidify himself as the future Catcher.

  4. Hoskins-Martin-Green-Hall-Wojc — this forms a pretty solid 1B pipeline with power potential. Can Green still play 3B so CLW can have both Hall and Green starting everyday?

    Sandberg needs to hit to avoid a Tyler Goeddel. CLW OF is stacked. Sandberg is still young at 22 yo and if he hits a decent line somewhere .270/.340/.400 in LWD, he can leapfrog to REA if Goeddel is traded/claimed and beat the old Osmel Aguila for a bench spot.

    1. Sandberg has never come close to hitting as Goeddel has in the minors. Sandberg hitting at Goeddel’s​ level, would be a major step up.

      1. @anonymous – i agree that Goeddel has better hitting stats in the minors than Sandberg. But I’m not even comparing both of them — “avoid a Tyler Goeddel” doesn’t mean you have to hit like Tyler Goeddel in the minors — in the current situation, it means that you can be squeezed because of the roster crunch.

        Lack of roster is basically what cost Goeddel his place with the Phils. And with a big OF depth, this will happen to Sandberg too unless he really starts hitting consistently close to the line i mentioned.

  5. I’m sure that the Pigs will be the minor team to watch, but I will be spending equal amount of time following the Claws to see a loaded rotation with JoJo-Sixto-Adonis-Arauz-Falter-Fanti as the headline, DP combo of Arquimedez-Brito, the MickeyMo show, potentially new bash brothers of Hall and Wojc and a bounce back year from Lucas Williams and Edgar Cabral.

  6. 72-90 this season for me. The 1-7 pick in 2018. My waaay too early pick for the 2018 draft is Oregon State SS Nick Madrigal.

    As far as this year’s draft … Hunter Greene, Royce Lewis, Jeren Kendall, JB Bukauskas will almost certainly be gone before 1-8. There’s a pretty good chance Brendan McKay will also be taken ahead of the Phillies.
    Who’s left ???
    College Pitchers … Kyle Wright has been just average this season, and that is why he will probably be available. Tanner Houck is probably regarded just a notch below Wright. The guy who is really excelling this season is Oregon’s David Peterson. The 6’6″ LHP is 46 IP, 41 H, 4 BB, 66 K, OBA .233.
    College Hitters … Jake Burger (Missouri State 3B) .387/.473/.774 11 HR in 106 AB. He’s not the most athletic guy. Wouldn’t be the first time the Phillies drafted a non athletic, power hitting, corner infielder from Missouri State. Keston Hiura (UC Irvine DH) .391/.505/.759 14 doubles, 6 HR in 87 AB. Hiura has been DH-ing since hurting his elbow last season. He’ll play 2B or LF in MLB. Finally, Pavin Smith (Virginia 1B) .310/.377/.549 8 HR. This guy really controls the strike zone (a Klentak must !) He’s walked 13 times and K’ed just 3 times in 113 AB. The LH hitting Smith had a couple of hits off of LHP Brendan McKay on Friday.
    HS Pitchers … RHP Blayne Enlow and LHP DL Hall are the two most likely candidates. I like Enlow a lot, but I would be surprised if they take a prep arm.
    HS Hitter … RH OF Jordan Adell is a four tool player. Lots of power, speed, and arm. However, some teams feel he needs to mature into better contact. LH OF Garrett Mitchell gets a lot of love for his plus bat, power, and speed. He’s from southern California. The Phillies have a strong recent history with prep players in that area. They drafted Moniak, Gowdy, and Stephen, and tried like hell to force Blake Rutherford to fall to their second pick last year. RH 3B Mark Vientos may be the youngest player in this year’s draft. Some scouts love him and compare him to a young Manny Machado. Others believe he won’t be picked in the first round. Finally, RH OF Austin Beck is easily the fastest rising player in the 2017 draft. He missed most of last season with an ugly knee injury. He’s healthy now. Scouts say he has the greatest bat speed and exit velocity in the draft. (If I remember correctly) Keith Law mentioned the dreaded “questions about his makeup” a couple weeks ago. Those same questions helped drop Jayson Groome to 1-12 last year. And this is why Beck could fall to 1-8 this June.

    If I had to guess (two months from the draft), I think the Phillies will choose either a college pitcher or HS bat. I believe they’ll pick David Peterson, Kyle Wright, Garrett Mitchell, or Austin Beck. And … to really go out on a limb … The Phillies second round pick will be either Xavier LHP Zac Lowther, Fla St LHP Tyler Holton, or HS LH 1B Nick Pratto.

    1. Hinkie…JB Buk…..could drop…he is not very tall.
      He is listed as a college Tar Hell at 6’…….translation 5’10” and 1/2 in the real world.

      1. I’d be very happy to have him fall to 1-8. Before the season, there was some talk that Bukauskas’ height may relegate him to a future closer. I don’t think there’s too much skepticism anymore. You can’t argue with his success in the second best conference in college baseball. 47 IP, 24 H, 11 BB, 70 K, .151 OBA. He throws in the upper 90’s and has one of the best breaking balls in the draft. He’s the best pitcher in college baseball. I think only an injury could drop Bukauskas (Greene, Lewis, and Kendall).

  7. 75 wins, Interesting that USA Today predicted 74 wins, but in their Five Bold Predictions for the National League they have the Phillies over 500.

    1B is stacked with power hitters: TJ, Hoskins, Martin, Hall, Wojo
    2B-SS stacked all the way down to Lakewood and Brito
    OF stacked all the way down to Lakewood and Moniak
    C stacked, including dark horses Numata and Bossart

    Lots of potential in all of these positions make me hope that we’ll get at last one solid major leaguer at each one.

    1. Starting pitching is stacked all the way down through Lakewood (Clearwater is not particularly deep, but they have our currently top rated pitching prospect, so I’ll count them too). Relief depth is average, but it becomes deeper when you realize our ML bullpen is fairly young and several minor league starters will probably end up pitching in relief.

      1. CLW overall pitching may not be as touted but they can be sneaky good. CLW rotation has (probably) 2 of the best arms in the farm in Kilome and Tirado. If Irvin and Dominguez pitch as projected and Gilbert and Leftwich don’t implode – that’s a really good 6-man rotation.

        On the bullpen side, we might looking at the next best potential closer in Edgar Garcia and some solid bullpen arms in Quinn, Singer and Davis (and possibly Dyer joining them).

        1. That’s true for Clearwater – I forgot about Tirado, so it’s deeper than I recalled.

          1. and we haven’t even mentioned about the strike throwing big RHP Jose Taveras who I think can transition to a really good bull pen arm.

        2. I’m liking that Kilome gets to start out his year in the warm weather at Clearwater. Maybe that helps get him off to a strong start.
          Cole Irvin also seems to have a shot to shoot up the prospect rankings pitching in Clearwater.

  8. Opening Day Lineup…..2018

    1 Quinn CF
    2 Hernandez 2B
    3 Crawford SS
    4 Franco 3B
    5 Herrera LF
    6 Altherr RF
    7 Hoskins 1B
    8 Alfaro C
    9 Archer P

    1. so the Phils will trade for Archer?!? If Archer played at 2016 level, the Phils won’t trade for him, if Archer pitched like Archer can do — the Rays will ask a lot in a trade. Mike Trout is the one player I’ll trade for high end prospects before the projected 2018-19 run.

    2. Chris Archer – interesting. What do you think we would need to give up to get him. My guess is that Tampa is going to want a small fortune. I don’t see it happening, but it’s an interesting possibility.

      1. Actually, if they are going to get Chris Archer, the sooner the better. Last year he had a deceptively decent season. He lost a ton of games, but struck out 233 batters and only yielded 183 hits in 201 innings – it was just a bad luck year for him. He’s got great stuff.

        1. Agree….a 1.2WHIP, xFIP3.4, 4ERA in the AL and AL East and 3.1fWAR for a guy who loses 19 games is pretty darn good. The Rays gave him little support.

        2. TB operates on small budget to assemble a team so I don’t see them selling low. I’m certain that numerous teams inquired about Archer during the offseason and offered trade package based on Archer’s 2016 value – so getting Archer for a “small fortune” is less likely since Archer’s contract is not yet prohibitive to TB’s taste.

          Archer is interesting but I rather have the Phils pursue Otani and get a young ace without giving up talent in the farm. No Archer, No Quintana for me if it includes (which is high probability) high end prospects.

          1. KuKo….getting Otani may mean breaking the cap allocation and two years of a threshold of $300K for international signees.
            I could live with that.

            1. Romus … I may be remembering incorrectly, but I think the new CBA has placed a hard cap on J2 signings. Teams can no longer bust their budget to incur a two year penalty. The Phillies will have a 4.75 million dollar budget. However, I think they can get to 8.3 million by trading for other teams’ international signing money.

    3. If the Phillies are going to get Archer, then they probably won’t have one of Alfaro or Crawford, because they’d have to give one of them in return.

        1. @Mike – none of the names you mentioned are in Top 100. It will take a couple of Top 100 prospects to initiate a trade for a controllable ace. I agree with Anonymous that it will take one of Alfaro or Crawford (both in Top 100), if not Moniak (another Top 100) will be mentioned and possibly Sixto (potential Top 100).

          1. KuKo…Archer is under contract for the next three years…so the price remains high.
            And it a very team friendly contract.
            One of Nola or Velasquez may also have to be included in the exchange.

            1. I like Archer quite a lot, but I don’t see them doing this except if they can swing it with players that they view as being largely redundant – such as mid-level starters, extra outfielders (they have a few of those actually) or guys like Cesar, for whom they believe they have good replacements. Trading away guys like Moniak, Alfaro, Sixto or Velasquez could be counterproductive. Whatever they do, I expect them to take the long view – as they have frequently promised and as their conduct suggests they will – all of which is a good thing!

            2. @romus – agree about Archer’s value in regardless of his 2016 performance. that’s why i don’t see the Phils trading for him — the Phils can just wait and see of Kershaw opts out and sign him.

              I’m already on record saying that only Mike Trout trade should pursue the Phils to trade their controllable and really good young player and/or high end prospect(s).

        2. @Lieberthal. That’s not even close to what it would take to get Archer. At least one, maybe two of Crawford, Moniak, Kilome, Sanchez or Alfaro would be the Starting point of a package.

      1. I’m not sure why the Phillies would make a move now to deplete what is already an average farm system to add an ace to a well below average major league club…

        This just seems silly to me at this point.

  9. CeHe lead off home run. Could this finally be the power breakout from him this year? His trade value would increase tremendously.

    1. If you have a 2nd baseman with a 370 OBP, that is hitting HRs, why are you trading him?

      1. Sell high to strengthen your team further and back fill position with prospect that forecasts the same/better production.

        1. Yes they have Scott Kingery and yes he did well in spring . . . but he is not a lock by any stretch. You don’t trade a player who is preforming at the MLB level like CH has been doing bc you think Kingery will do well. At least I wouldn’t.

          1. I don’t think you can categorically say that you won’t or can’t trade a player unless it’s determined who is being offered for him. That’s the beauty of depth within an organization. If you have three good 2bman, two have value to teams that have no good 2bman. Let’s not place all our chips on just one guy. And let’s not fall in love with a guy who’s had a good half season and led off this one with a HR when he’s not a power hitter.

            1. Also let’s not fall in love with 2nd baseman that has never played AAA and assume he is better than a major Leaguer who produced a .371 OBP and 4 wins above replacement.

            2. I’m a big Cesar fan and have been singing his praises for a while. But, to me, the Phillies don’t need to do anything right now since Cesar just continues to develop, as do Valentin and Kingery and I think the market does not yet recognize Cesar’s value (people may assume that 2016 was a fluke – this year should prove otherwise). I think Valentin and Kingery will both end up being major league players – but it’s unclear right now if either or both will be better than Hernandez who is now a legit first division regular and is still improving. It wouldn’t surprise me if they signed Hernandez to the type of long-term contract that Herrera got. Signing that type of contract would both give Hernandez a great degree of security and also improve his trade value – a classic win/win.

            3. Not falling in love with anyone . . . but you are minimizing him if you say he’s had a good half season . . . he has done nothing but improve since he’s been called up. Literally, has improved every aspect of his game year by year. What more can you ask out of a player?

              And yes, obviously it matters who is offered.

      2. I Have been saying that since last year. There are a lot of C H haters on here. But to be fair he has to stop making bone headed plays, on the base paths especially. imo

        1. rocco….he has rectified and will minimize the bone headed plays on the base paths….he will only hit doubles, triples and HRs. Those days of getting picked-off first base and over sliding second base are over.

          1. I agree a lot with what has been mentioned concerning CH, but one thing is sure, if Valentin and Kingery continue developing and I believe V could play now one of the 3 will be gone…………and that isn’t a bad problem to have in my estimation.

  10. Anyone get nervous watching Jeanmar in the 9th? I hope that closer decision doesn’t cost us a few wins early in the season before Pete realizes he has three arms in the bullpen who clearly have better closer stuff. It was the Reds, after all. Otherwise, nice win. Good ABs throughout although TJ and Rupp didn’t look too comfortable at the plate.

    1. I don’t worry about Jean Mar because I don’t think he is long for the role with Neris and Benoit waiting on deck.

  11. I hope i am wrong 8mark, but i think he stays as the closer, until he blows about three games. It seems to me that the manager is sold on him staying as closer. But what i cant get is as a team, who preaches stats, his numbers after the allstar game last year, werent good and he is given the job over better arms. stubborn in my opinion

    1. He was terrific last year for at least three months. He deserves first crack at it this year. There is a lot to managing a clubhouse. You have to be part psychiatrist to manage these guys and Maccannon seems to have a good handle on it. Neris is a possible future closer, it would also increase his value. I agree that three blown saves would cause a change in jobs.

  12. I love opening day but I hate the scores of articles that come out trying to make anything out of the 1st couple of games.

    I know they have to fill space but c’mon with some of this garbage.

    1. Baseball is the only sport I will watch if my team isn’t playing and comcast gives you the baseball package free of charge for the first week.

  13. “You don’t trade a player who is preforming at the MLB level like CH has been doing” — Eric D.

    I think this is sample of a generalization that looks correct but really misleading. what do you exactly mean by performing at MLB level? Stats are used to measure performance, however, people use the stats that only support their position.

    SSS no longer apply with Cesar and his minors and majors stat line are close to one another and say the same thing which is ironically points to the skills set that an “eye test” can see. Cesar is basically a player who can hit (with below average power) and gets on base but with poor base running instincts — as supported by his 10+ year playing baseball. Defensively, Cesar is probably average tops.

    I don’t see anything that will significantly change who Cesar is. He was caught stealing almost 30% in the minors and 37% in MLB — is Cesar going to improve his baserunning?!? yeah sure because that 37% is too high and if Cesar is going to improve, that 37% will go down to about 30% which is still pretty bad.

    I’m vocal in my opinion to trade Cesar because when skill set is consistent with stats — that should tell you what a player is and will be and I’m not happy to have a 2B in Cesar’s profile.

    1. I get that people don’t want to jump into a trade for the sake of it and aren’t sure about the prospects back filling, but this is about selling value at the right time. Same goes for any player that isn’t in the long term plans of the team. Not sure that signing Cesar to a longer term make sense either. His trajectory is not the same as OH.

      It’s okay to run a platoon situation until a prospect proves the ability to play everyday, but if you have maximum value at the right time – you make the trade.

      Young, controllable, low cost, everyday major league players have value. It’s up to the GM to find that value and make the moves.

      1. By the way, the long-term deal is about increasing his marketability. Cost-controlled long-term deals for good to excellent players greatly enhances their trade value. It’s why the White Sox got so much for Adam Eaton.

    2. Agree, Kuko. Folks can go back and forth all day over Cesar. Some are fans. Others are not. Personally, I favor heady ball players.

      On another note, most of the discussion here about the Phillies proceeding with making moves to facilitate the rebuild (as reasonably expected) assumes they’ll be out of playoff contention by June.

      ….but what if they’re not?

      Let’s say the Nats and Mets are hovering around .500 and we’re holding our own as well. That would throw some monkey wrenches into the machine. Because after all, I’m a fan rooting for the team to win regardless of which stage of rebuild we’re in.

      1. Great question, given where you are in the rebuild there is no reason to make an aggressive trade if it involves blocking or losing prospects.

        No change in approach, both and front office are on same page for rebuild. In fact, it would be exciting to see some of the prospects come up and help a wild card chase. The experience would pay dividends for team next year.

      2. Would be a big mistake for the Phillies to alter their rebuild approach simply because they are still in the race in June/July. Any objective roster comparison between the Phillies and the Nats/Mets shows that the ML rosters are not close. Over 162 games, talent wins…

        I think most fans root for the team to win regardless of where they are in the rebuild process but that doesn’t mean you can’t also be realistic as to where the team currently is.

    3. What’s so weird about this Cesar dialogue is that so many people discuss Cesar as if he has not improved over time, which, of course, he has. If you look at his stats, he has consistently improved and he did the same thing in the minors. He is not stuck in some rut of mediocrity – rather, he played to a 3.3 bWAR and a 4.4 fWAR last year, improving his fielding and hitting and tearing up the league in the second half and those numbers include the boneheaded base running stuff. Cut that stuff down even to average levels and he gets that much better.

      I get that he can be frustrating to watch at times. I get it. But all the full bore Cesar criticism – it’s bizarre to me.

    4. KuKo…..SDI has CeHe at 9th in MLB. So he is in the top third of all second baseman defensively according to SABR. And a DRS of 4…..which according to their (Fangraphs) chart is considered one point below ‘above average’ and four above ‘average’. So for 2016 he may not be Gold Glove he certainly wasn’t a liability in the field…..except when he tried to ru over Ryan Howard on that one pop-up at first. 🙂

      1. @romus – i still have hesitation to put weight on SDI. The metric is fairly new and shows a big delta or variation year-to-year for most players. For now, SDI can be used to determine the yearly Golden Glove winners, if Cesar can consistently rank in the upper half of SDI on a year-to-year (not just 1 year), then that can be used to determine Cesar’s defensive capability.

        1. KuKo…can understand that.
          And one year does not make a career.
          Though the other metrics, UZR/150, along with the DRS, did show he was above the average, granted not the elite like a Kipnis or Kinsler, but more then serviceable.
          It all comes down to whether or not he can sustain it.

    5. Yet all he has done is improve year in and year out and at the ML. I can point to a ton of players who have improved on the bases . . . the first that comes to mind is Victorino in 2006 he stole 4 bases and got caught 3 times (just about 500ab), the following year he steals 37/4. BTW I never said anything about signing him long term.

  14. Anybody have info on how to follow tonight’s exhibition between the Pigs and Fightins? Will there be a live feed box score? I just want to be able to get on my phone and check in periodically.

  15. Teams in the north and northeast who host opening day games keep the next day open in case of a rainout.

    I the manager allows Gomez to blow three save opportunities, both Gomez and Makanin need to lose their jobs.

  16. Cody Asche is DH today for Chisox. So far, 0 for 3, 3 Ks. Good thing Pete pulled a hot Goeddel out of the lineup last year in favor of a player with no apparent skill set. Yeesh!

    1. Meanwhile, our future LF had 2 hits and went deep in the Angels opener yesterday. What an absolute beast! He’ll look great in red pinstripes.
      …..patience, patience…..

    2. Though it was a brisk 50 degrees in Chicago…..you would think they could have drawn more of an attendance on the south side for the Sox opening game..
      The ballpark looked half empty.

      1. Yeah that was a pretty depressing sight for my pals. A far cry from my opening weekend there just 2 seasons ago…

        1. DMAR…..there must have been at least 15K no shows…they listed the paid attendance at 36K and the ball park sits approx. 40K.

          1. They’ll be fine once they call Moncada up. They are a little worried about Giolito who they thought when they got him would be ready for the rotation opening day.

            1. Yeah…their broadcasters talked about their prospects on the air yesterday……not going to bring them up until they are ready….same as the Phillies philosophy.

  17. In case you missed it … Virginia 1B (and possible Phillies first round draft pick) Pavin Smith went nuts tonight. Against ODU, Pavin went 3 for 5 with a BB. He hit two HR’s and drove in 7 runs. He’s now at .322/.390/.602. For the season, in 118 AB, Pavin has 10 HR’s and only 3 K’s. He’s probably a future Gold Glove winner, as well. I’ve seen him look good against both JB Bukauskas and Brendon McKay (both probably top seven picks). I’ve seen Don Mattingly comps on Smith. He could be the one !

    1. I’m just going to come out and say it – I think the pendulum has swung too far.. I think first basemen are undervalued in the league.

      Everyone fuses so much about SS/2B/CF’ers who can’t hit a lick but play great defense but the objective of the game is still to score runs.

  18. Eric L was asked a question on Kingery do you think he is part of the future ? Eric response ” I Do” . Another person asked do you think Kingery can be as good Ceaser was last yr ? Eric L response ” no but i’m not going to assume Ceaser a 4 war yr player either “. I think with Ceaser let’s see if he can do it again. Bowa had to go to him last yr and tell to get his butt in gear.

  19. Remember the Phillies infield last yr wasn’t the probelm it was the corner outfielder​’s . They had an ops of 5 something, the bp was 28 in the league with an era of 5.05.Improving in those 2*area’s shouldn’t​ be that hard.

  20. My order of prospect callups this season:
    Position players
    1 Quinn (first injury or sub performance in OF)
    2 Williams (2nd injury or sub performance)
    3 Alfaro (once Rupp is traded)
    4 Crawford (once Cesar H or Freddy is traded)
    5 Valentin (once Blanco is released or Cesar H is traded)
    6 Cozens (Sept)
    7 Hoskins (Sept)
    8 Kingery (Sept)

    Pitchers
    1 Thompson (replaces Buchholz due to sub performance or trade)
    2 Pivetta (replaces Hellickson once he’s traded)
    *Luis Garcia will likely replace Benoit or Neshek once either is traded

    ….ahh, my crystal ball just crashed.

    1. Eflin could be a Sept callup but I’m inclined to think they’ll be careful and give him the full year to strengthen his knees.

      1. Appel? Probably a Sept callup BUT if he doesn’t progress this season, he’s likely a 40man casualty at end of the year.

        1. I’ve been thinking about Appel and my guess is that they have a pretty good internal timeline set up for him that, I think, goes something like this. They are going to give Appel one last chance to establish himself as a starting pitcher – unless he falls flat on his face immediately, he is probably going to get until the end of May or June to show he is a legitimate starter. If he can’t get real traction by then, I think they will flip him to the bullpen to see if his stuff (which we have all been told is so good) will play up there. He might turn out to be a world beater if he only needs to throw hard for an inning or two.

          1. This was my thought as well, see if maybe we could have the RH Andrew Miller on our hands (I remember when the Marlins had him and he was a big time SP prospect) . . . HOWEVER, Appel has a ton of issues with runners on base, him throwing out of the stretch isn’t good at all. This shouldn’t be just a bullpen issue for him, should have worked on this regardless (hope he has).

  21. I’ll be interested to see if the 2017 breakout star of the young Phillies core gets in the lineup today vs a LHP in RF……..fingers crossed

    1. Maybe as a PH.
      Tonight’s lineup vs Eickhoff
      1. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
      2. Jose Peraza (R) 2B
      3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
      4. Adam Duvall (R) LF
      5. Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
      6. Scott Schebler (L) RF
      7. Zack Cozart (R) SS
      8. Tucker Barnhart (S) C
      9. Brandon Finnegan (L) P

      1. I am very pumped about Altherr. When I see him play and watch what he can do, I have the same feeling I had before Jayson Werth broke through. Altherr is really good at baseball on the whole, but he needs to make consistent contact for those tools to play up.

        1. The few times last year I got around to minor league games and talked to scouts I notice that the ones that love Altherr think very poorly of Williams. The scouts just rave about Altherr and his skills and really think he has a chance to be a great player. On the other hand, they really don’t seem to think that highly of Williams, but let’s hope they are wrong.

          Either way, I think there’s a good chance the Phils will have 3 good young OF options to pick from going into 2018 from Herrera, Altherr, Quinn, Cozens, and Williams.

    1. CIN liked Goeddel since the Rule V draft. I hope Klentak was able to obtain the Red’s J2 bonus slot since the Reds can’t use it this year.

      1. KuKo….that would be a bonus for sure. the added money does come in handy. Phillies signed 61 this period.

        Also from Eric Long.’s chat yesterday:
        12:56…Philly Fanatic: Nick Williams‘ swing looked a lot more controlled this spring to my untrained eye. Any truth to the rumor that Matt Stairs has fixed him and we can expect big things from him?

        12:56…….Eric A Longenhagen: No idea. Williams has been “fixed” before.

        1. Yeah, I saw that and my think is like Long’s. I don’t doubt Williams’ tools, but he’s on a “show me” basis as far as I’m concerned. I’ll believe it when I see it. On the plus side, he’s still young, so he has that going for him too.

          1. Williams does have his doubters on the national scene….KLaw is another.
            I envisioned his ceiling when the trade was made in July 2015, as a former Angels’ Garret Anderson type player.
            In retrospect, that may have been too wishful thinking on my part.

  22. Big Alex Wojo with a blast yesterday….courtesy of Baseball Betsy video:

    …..sparse crowd on hand.

    1. Romus,

      Gotta love a guy with the size and name that appropriate to a Pennsylvania coal-cracker football player from the days of yore.

      Actually, I’m rooting hard for Wojo and Darick Hall. They can combine with Hoskins and TJ to create a big set of sluggers. Too bad they can’t all fit on first base at the same time.

      1. Yes Frank.
        There are more than a few MLB teams that stack their systems with large body power slugging first basemen.
        Not unique to the Phillies.
        But would be great if Wojo and Hall can push their way higher up onto the Phillies prospect list.
        Don’t forget Kyle Martin at reading this season.

        1. Romus,

          Not forgetting Kyle as a prospect. I just thought he was smaller than the other guys. But he’s in the range. So, okay, a quintet of giants

          1. I’m not too high on Kyle Martin as a prospect. He definitely has power and his plate discipline is okay, but he’s already 24 and just starting Reading. Unless he improves a lot this year, he’ll probably put up good numbers in Reading, but it’s hard to see him jumping ahead of a guy like Hoskins and Hall seems to be a much better prospect that could soon pass him (and I’m intrigued by Wojciechowski – I don’t care where you play, 33 homers in 55 games is staggering).

  23. Eick pitching a good game​ , piss me off about Goeddel . I mean Garcia has show to be nothing more then a AAA pitcher. I’m on board with about 90% of what the OF does that 1 was a head scratcher.

    1. Goeddel was buried so deep on the org depth chart that he had no chance. We are all frustrated by Garcia, but they see a guy who can throw 99 MPH and is learning the splitter. Both players are on the bubble, but one (Garcia) has a realistic possibility of sticking with the big league team in the immediate future, while the other (Goeddel) does not and is not projected to be as good as any of the other outfielders ahead of him in the long run. It was a classic roster squeeze move.

      1. If Garcia was 25 yrs old and not 30 maybe. His career hp9 is 9.5 his career wp9 4.7 . He’s had 4 chances , I,’ve seen twice throw over 30 pitches in 1 ing twice to try and get 3 outs, that’s how bad his command and control are. He has no options left so the next time is last time. Goeddel hell the Reds just received a former # 1 pick who’s only 24 with major league experience . Goeddel might be your next Shane Victorio.his is Garcia last chance and he may never get it .

        1. In a vacuum keeping the 30 year old guy over the 24 year old is ridiculous, but decisions aren’t made that way.
          Goedell, who I liked, stood long odds to ever become a starter on this team, and they have five other guys in the Minors who have the same or better upside. There is only two spots for bench Outfield. Teams have 12-13 spots for Pitching. Even at age 30, if Garcia can squeeze out 3 seasons of Hector Neris level Pitching that would be huge value. Right now Garcia isn’t Neris, but they may see the same kind of potential. Right now, it is much easier to see the potential of getting 4 WAR over 3 cost controlled seasons from Garcia, than getting 4 WAR from Goeddel over his cost controlled seasons.
          Not only that… Pitching is currency. You can get something for 30 year old pitcher who throws 99. You can’t get anything for a 25 year old 5th Outfielder.

          1. That’s it’s it Garcia has no command or control if any of his pitchers . Neris is a bad comp he can be a lights out closer or a long guy his arm is great. Garcia really​ could only be a closer if he had control or command. I mean I’m I’d rather take a shot at Jason Motte or Galvin Floyd if there healthy​.

    2. @tim – to me the head scratcher is probably Nava – who I don’t expect to create value by trade deadline. Goeddel is a victim of number crunch especially in the long line of OF depth. On the other hand, that’s something that works in Garcia’s favor — as he is the only full time bullpen arm reserve in the 40-man. Although I can see Appel, Pivetta and Pinto as a solid bullpen arms if the Phils needed help — but I also understand that it will be more valuable to the team long term to continue their development.

      1. Lol Nava hit 2 bombers today but that’s what mean Garcia is done. With other younger prospects including Appel, Alexis​, etc Even Mariot is a better option. I injury to a AAA outfielder and Goeddel would have been up in AAA. Let us not forget the outfielders in AAA each have a major Question mark. I think a guy like Pullin can get hot and do jump up the bigs.

  24. Those of you who contribute regularly to this or other Phillies’ blogs are much better Phillies’ fans than I.

    When the Phils face the Cubs in the NL playoffs, I will root for the Phils. In my view, that is several years away from now and probably at least a decade from when they were last a good team.

    Until then, I, who also have strong ties to Chicago, will be rooting for Javy Baez and the Cubs, a team with five or six position players I prefer to Crawford and management that sets the standard for baseball.

    1. We all respect what the Cubs have accomplished in their climb to the top of MLB, BUT we can all do without the condescension.

    2. at least a decade sounds pessimistic — the window of opportunity will open for the Phils in the next 3 years via FA (Otani, Machado, etc) to fast track back to contention. With the all the financial flexibility, MLB ready prospects and patience that the FO is asking from the fans, I’m optimistic that the Phils will be a key player and start to make a run in 2-3 years time.

      1. I said a decade from when they were last a good team. They were last a good team in 2011. A decade later is 2021.

        You say 2019 or 2020 “before they make a run”. I say 2021 or later before they meet the Cubs in the playoffs, in other words, before the Phils are good again.

        I am not willing to give the Phils a mulligan for all the years since 2011 when they were floundering aimlessly before new management took over.

        While it’s true the Phillies finally have adopted analytics, so have all of the other 29 teams. The Phils are not leaders in this area. They just have been playing catch-up.

        While the Phils have some good prospects, so do several other franchises. The Phils’ prospects are good, but not, collectively, special.

        Looking at the Phils’ current talent pool, majors and minors, I see mediocrity, not excellence.

        The Phils do have the money to venture into free agency, but so do several other teams. I would not count on the Phils signing a Machado or a Harper, let alone multiple blue-chip free agents.

        Part of the Phils’ problem is a lack of good luck. They had the No. 1 pick in 2016, but that was a weak class with probably no superstars. The Nats, with two successive No. 1s came away with Harper and Strasburg. The Phils with one No. 1 pick, so far, came away with Moniak, who looks to be good to very good, but not a superstar.

        1. You sir are a saint and a visionary… couldn’t agree more with your entire post. The one potential super star we might have had other then the 1/1 pick was JP, and i’m 95% sure that’s not what he is at this point.

  25. I missed the last part of the game last night but only glanced at the play by play feed.

    Questions for anyone with answers:
    1 Did Galvis attempt to bunt the runners over in the 8th?
    2 Did anyone get an explanation as to why Odubel even tried to steal 2b in the 9th when one swing could tie the game? (I saw that the out call was overturned before ToJo K’d to end the game)

    1. No I don’t believe Galvis attempted to bunt them over I believe there were 2 outs. He did swing at quite a few balls in the AB same ol Freddy

      I think Odubel suffered a brain fart. There really is no explanation. I couldn’t tell though if they were holding him on or not. Obviously if it is defensive indifference you take the bag to eliminate a force at 2B.

      1. Thanks DMAR. I’m positive there were no outs when Freddy K’d. Then Saunders K’d. Then Cesar grounded out. They couldn’t even move the runners let alone score one. Why Galvis didn’t even attempt to bunt is troubling.

          1. DMAR…..Mack’s first words to Doobie after TJ struck out and he reached the dugout.
            “Odubel…..QUE DIABLOS?”

            1. It was kind of a Bobby Abreu play – I remember Abreu trying to steal second in a game where the Phillies were down a bunch of runs in the 9th – it was so stupid (or selfish – Abreu was one to pad his statistics). With a developing team, it’s not a killer, but they need to cut down on those dumb mistakes and when they get on the verge of contention down the road, it is going to become very important.

            2. It is astonishing how some of the MLB players lack the intuitiveness and nuances of the game.
              Like Mack’s quote “He made it…that all I will say about it”

            3. The ‘L’ didn’t bother me except for Bulldog’s fine outing wasted. The ineptitude of the last two innings gave me angina, however.

  26. Tommy Joseph, in 2 games, looks completely lost. I know, small sample size, but he looks lost.

    1. TJ is a slow starter that said I think he is a 250/300/800 25-30 HR 180K guy in a full season. Not horrible not great.

    1. Votto is so good it’s ridiculous. If he has a normal age regression he easily should be a Hall of Famer.

  27. Seeing Nava in the starting Line-Up irritates the hell out of me…don’t care if he goes 4-4 with 4 dingers I don’t want to see him do anything but maybe pinch hit from time to time.

    Sheesh!

      1. But he’s on his way – 2 and counting. I think he’s channeling his anger from your disrespect and taking it out on baseballs in Ohio.

    1. irritating yes, but a home run in his first at bat. albeit off a pitcher who got shelled in his handful of starts in AAA at the end of last season.

  28. And another thing Colon went 6 IP last night at the Mets his line 2H 1R 1BB 6K. Picked up for 1 year $12.5 million. Let’s see if Clay can match that today.

    The Bravo’s Front Office is going to run circles around ours for the next 10 years I’m afraid.

    1. i have to admit that I like the creativity and assertiveness that the Braves FO is showing compared to McKlentak duo. I have trust in Middleton because he has that look that he is not contended to be mediocre. For someone who waited long to ascend to power, the patience that Middleton is asking is very calculated. I think the Phils will strike when the opportunity comes.

      1. Agreed. When Klentak/MacPhail make a move, I’m more inclined to say/think “good job – that was a solid move that makes sense.” Whereas the recent Braves moves have generated a lot more of a “wow – how did they get that done?” type of reaction. But I have to give McKlentak a “wow” on the Ken Giles trade – that was a heck of a move.

        1. Granted, the Kemp move was a bit of a head scratcher – not because they traded him, but because his contract goes another 3 years. The Markakis move was just a place holder – I get that.

    2. I actually have a hard time figuring out if the Braves are trying to go young or are trying to compete moving into their new stadium.

      They’ve made some nice deals to get young talent like Swanson and then turn around and take over $60M+ of Kemp’s contract for no apparent reason. They gave Markasis a multi-year deal that makes little sense for a team in a rebuild.

      One thing they have been willing to do is to change directions quickly. They made the Heyward trade with STL to get Miller and quickly decided he wasn’t what they wanted and turned him around to get Swanson. Did the same with A. Simmons giving him a multi-year deal and then trading him to the Angels to get prospects..

      1. i think the Braves are trying to do both — put some seats in the new ballpark (by having recognizable names) and rebuild and build the farm. the Braves are just basically more aggressive than the Phils in building the farm (i.e. acquiring contracts for prospects, flipping vets for prospects and signing IFAs)

        1. KuKo…have to agree. Coppellla and even Preller of the Padres are going balls to the wall on some of their youthful talent acquisitions. Of course, both busted their allocations for international signings and have incurred a penalty for another year or two.
          However, signing these vets are basically all temp jobs, Though having Kemp for awhile, may be the vet to provided leadership for the youngsters when they come on the scene, maybe?

  29. Not to beat this dead horse again, but last night Charlie Morton was sitting 94-96 – Clay Buchholz is lucky to touch 90. That’s one I’m sure they’d like to do over again.

    1. Aside from the fact that Morton seems to be evolving into one hell of a pitcher, I don’t care that much that they are wasting money on Buchholz. What I do and will care about is Buchholz being thrown out there for 25 starts this year and taking mound time away from 5 guys in Lehigh Valley who are probably better than him right now.

      1. @catch – agree with you. Not a fan of the Buccholz trade when you can have Morton who is effective before he got injured (and give the fans a Doc Halladay nostalgia). Buccholz is the Jeanmar Gomez of the SPs — someone that will give you scare in a close game.

        1. The Phillies had a decision to make with Morton coming off an injury, and it had to be made early on.
          In hindsight, right now, it looks like that decision was pretty disappointing.
          Astros have Morton under contract for 17 and 18 for a total of $14M.
          Money could not have been a factor, Phillies have plenty of it and Morton’s contract is very club friendly.

          1. I do understand the odd pressure with the timing of the option. But he clearly signed for less over 2 years. The team could have negotiated a longer term deal in lieu of exercising the option. It just looks much worse when combined with the Buchholz acquisition, which is looking about as bad as it can look right now.

            1. Buchholz combines poor velocity, mediocre stuff with bad command. I cannot believe that, right now, he’s a better pitcher than Jake Thompson.

            2. Anyway, I do hope Buchholz turns it around at some level, but I’m certainly skeptical.

  30. The Phillies should contend by 2019 but the full rebuild should be complete by 2021. Based on current projections and LOTS of subjectivity and a little wishful thinking, the following lineup isn’t outside the realm of possibility:

    Roman Quinn rf – Let’s bring back the threat of the stolen base. His game is electric. His speed us disruptive. His power may grow into that of Jimmy Rollins. In any case, among the first wave of OFs within the organization, he’s potentially the greatest force. Altherr could be another piece. This year will tell.

    Mike Trout lf – I might consider him for the leadoff spot simply because I’d want him at the plate most often of anybody. And why as a FA wouldn’t he sign here above all other options?

    Mickey Moniak cf – With more physical growth coming (and some power with it), his makeup, work ethnic and talent could make him an iconic figure of the next generation.

    Manny Machado 3b – He may not wind up here but the Phillies have as legit a shot as any big market club. Money will be no object.

    Pavin Smith 1b – I’m with Hinkie on this guy. Mattingly comps. We’ve a lot of thump at this position already but his glove and hit tool may be better than any in the fold. We’ll see come June 12.

    Jorge Alfaro c – Of the first wave of prospects, he could be the most special. At a premium position with power in both arm and bat. Good kid who’s willing to learn to make the most of his talent.

    JP Crawford ss – I’m not hinging the entire future at shortstop on him. However, my hopes are that he’s solid in the field and continues to use a sound approach at the plate. In time, he’ll be among top SS’s in the game. Just let’s not make him “the guy”.

    Scott Kingery 2b – We’re rich at 2b with Valentin, Brito and possibly Stobbe coming up the pipeline. I’ll go with the kid who makes the most of what he’s got, and then a little more. Any one of these should turn out to be something.

    Pitching – Shohei Otani, Sixto Sanchez, Kevin Gowdy, Jared Eickhoff, Franklyn Kilome, Vince Velasquez (closer?) Any of these could comprise a formidable rotation. Add Drew Anderson and Jake Thompson for even more depth and perhaps we sign a top FA arm as well.

    1. @8mark – I’m also on the Otani-Machado-Trout bandwagon. But real baseball both majors and minors is here now so I will wake you up so we can talk real baseball while we wait for our future Phillies team. We’ll beat the drum again when Otani signing comes near!!

      1. Thanks Kuko. I’m a dreamer, what can I say. That performance today keeps me in dreamland. I’ve got to hunker down for a long season and enjoy the Pigs and Claws, rule 4 and J2 signing period. Period. This big league dreck is gonna make me nauseous if I follow too closely.

        1. yeah, i think we drink the same kool aid, only yours is stronger like 100% proof!!!

          i think the Otani domino is the 1st real test for Middleton and company. we’ll find out soon if they are really ready to play with the big boys or revert to big market playing like a small market FO.

    2. About Pavin Smith … he had another very good game last night. He went 2 for 2 (including a double), 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB.
      However, Keith Law is not as big a fan as I am:

      Hinkie
      2:39
      Is Pavin Smith the best hitter in this year’s draft? Also, will he be there at 1-8 for the Phillies?
      Keith Law
      2:39
      Not the best hitter, or in the top five. He’ll be there at 8 and I bet he’ll be there at 9 too.

      We’ll see what Johnny Almaraz, Matt Klentak, Pat Gillick & Co. has to say.

      Other notes from today’s chat:
      * Twins will probably pass on Hunter Greene and take a college guy like McKay with the top pick.
      * 90% chance the Reds take either Greene or McKay at 1-2.
      * Padres (1-3) and Rays (1-4) both like Austin Beck.
      * Shohei Otani will be a top 10 pitcher (maybe top 5) in MLB. His bat is over-hyped.
      * Which Phillies prospect are you most interested in seeing?
      Keith Law: The whole Lakewood rotation, really.
      * Kyle Wright has definitely hurt himself with his lackluster showing. There are more guys in this draft going down than going up.

      1. Hinkie……McKay will probably not fall to the Phillies…I have come to accept that.
        BTW….did KLaw come out with a mock draft yet?

        1. Law’s first mock draft will come out in mid May. He said at this point (except for the teams at the top of the draft), he would just be guessing. I think he saiid he would just be pulling names out of his a$$*.

            1. Romus … Did you see the slot bonuses for this year’s draft have been finalized ? http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/2017-mlb-draft-bonus-pools-slots/#0QFkOp8w4hU5HCdx.97 The 1-8 pick is worth 4.78 million dollars. It was first listed at 4.55 million. The Phillies can probably save as much as 500-thousand dollars by picking a college player. I like Pavin. Keith Law doesn’t think he’ll be picked as high as I do. Maybe, the Phillies can duplicate what the Cubs did in 2014, Kyle Schwarber wasn’t expected to be a top 10 pick. The Cubs took him at 1-4 and saved 1.5 million (paid him 3.1 of a 4.6 million slot). The money they saved allowed them to draft and sign Dylan Cease in the sixth round.

            2. Hinkie….yes going under slot with a guy like Pavin Smith may get you another Gowdy in the second. MLB has Smith rated at 14 right now, so the savings , could be as you say, around the 500K area, maybe 750K. The 14th is slotted at $3.7M. He may even do a high percentage underslot like Moniak did, from last year.

          1. Good point about the slot money, Hinkie. The KLaws of the world may not factor that into their judgment since they’re baseball guys looking primarily at field performance projections. That’s what Almaraz and Co did so well in last year’s draft, managing the money to maximize not just one pick but the entire draft. I’m on record liking Smith. His profile is classic lefty bat for avg, obp and power along with the glove that only Stassi has among our current crop. Nice call.

    1. Tim…… he is rated 30th by MLB.
      From Ryan Howard’s college.
      Jake Burger | Rank: 30 …Missouri State….. Junior….Position: 3B
      Age: 20 DOB: 4/10/1996…Bats: R Throws: R….Height: 6′ 2″ Weight: 220 lb.
      Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 45 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50

      “……..Burger went undrafted out of high school but has blossomed into a college star, finishing second in NCAA Division I with 21 home runs while making a run at the Missouri Valley Conference triple crown in 2016. …., scouts still recognize Burger as one of the top power sources available in a Draft class short on college hitters. He generates his pop more with strength than bat speed, and there are some worries about an arm bar in his right-handed swing. He controls the strike zone well and makes reliable contact for a slugger, so he should hit for some average as well.
      While Burger isn’t the most graceful player, and one scout compared him to Hunter Pence for his ability to get the job done in less than pretty fashion. Despite his large frame, he has close to average speed and decent range at third base. With his solid arm, reliable hands and admirable work ethic, he should be able to stay at the hot corner.”

      1. I had my Eye on him for awhile he’s the Phillies type high obp good hit tool with power. Phillies​ Are really weak at 3rd he will move up if he keeps showing pop.

        1. Tim … They need to draft The Best Player Available, not the Best 3B Available. For me, Pavin Smith may the best player in the draft. The Phillies are pretty loaded with 1B options throughout their organization, but that shouldn’t stop them from drafting Smith. Both Smith and Burger have put up eye-popping numbers throughout their college careers. Both will be first round picks. However, Pavin Smith has performed in the second best conference in the country. He’s looked good against JB Bukauskas and Brendan McKay (both may be top 5 picks). Smith is also a Gold Glove caliber defensive player. Burger is just an average defender. Finally, Klentak wants guys who control the strike zone. Nobody comes close to Pavin Smith’s K rate … 3 K/136 PA.

          1. power hitter with a good plate discipline and a golden glove candidate always deserve a closer look. Hunter Greene is the one i like but he will be gone when it’s the Phils turn to pick.

            If the Phils can sign Smith below slot, then it’s should be a go. Smith will be a better prospect that C whether he can play LF or stick as 1B.

          2. He’s not better then Seth Beer and the sec looked like crap last last yr in the tournament. The West seems to have the upstart teams. A 3rd Base just based on defensive postion will! Always have the higher grade. I get the left field thing but the Phillies seen to have alot of them. Anyway it’s still way early there’s a lot of baseball to be played.

      2. I Have seen Burger four times. I not in love with him. I just dont see a major league bat.

  31. Very early in the season for sure, but the bats look terrible. Doobie is a player, I believe, but the Reds are a very bad team and struck us out way too many times, with guys showing the same lack of pitch awareness as last year. I have to believe Bucholz was just a roll of the dice, here to give the guys in AAA more time down there. If he brings back anything, fine, but he shows zero stuff. I hope they plan on giving Altherr a shot out there.

  32. Well, VV has closer stuff. That makes 4 pitchers on the big league staff with better stuff than Jeanmar…..if we ever see another save opportunity.

    1. Romus,

      Interesting that, while we focus on our prospects and get excited about their potential, we need to remember that other teams have prospects, too.

      As exciting as Lehigh Valley might be to us, Baseball America thinks there are two teams in the very same league with better prospects.

      I was thinking tonight while watching LV get beat on MiLB that Murderers Row was getting murdered. It reminds me of all those who want Jake Thompson to be promoted after four games of Phillies disappointment. Well, he provided an answer tonight after a first-game 34-plus ERA.

      And while one game is meaningless is projecting the season, dang! I sure wish JP hadn’t struck our four times.

      1. Frank…tough nite for the Pigs’ prospects …..though Alf had a nice clean solid hit to LF plating perkins. Bats and pitchers went cold….like the weather.

  33. Hinkie ive seen him like 6 times his team will be in the field of 64 .I like other draft prospects too I just thought he was the best power / hitting prospect in the college ranks.

    1. JPC is off the schneid
      Legged out an infield hit up the middle for his first hit of the season.

    2. This is One of those games were it will assure the Phillies aren’t last in runs. Did Blanton lose a pound or too, Nola does look better then he did in spring training.

  34. I realize it is early, spring training is over and the season just started, but does anyone see any improvement in Franco’s approach at the plate. All the talk from Schmidt and Stairs in the preseason on getting him to control his swing. Well, I don’t see it, he’s still wailing away as much as ever, the ball to right field last night was a result of coming through the zone late he was still trying to pull it. What do you guys think?

    1. He probably tries Stairs approach in his first, maybe second at bat in games….no pressure.
      Get him in a tight late game instance with RISP and he will go back to his youthful learned experiences he knows naturally. Like he did Friday night in the 8th vs the Nats.
      Old habits hard to break right now.
      I guess it is hard to ask and a 24-year old to completely revamp his hitting approach of 10 or more years, after 6 weeks of spring training.

  35. Franco is your classic streaky hitter. Carries a club for a week or two then disappears. That’s okay. Let’s just not count on him as a building block. He’ll be further down the lineup once the top prospects arrive if he’s still here.

    1. I agree that’s how he’s been so far and that you can’t rely on him. But he’s still only 24 and has a world of talent – it almost sounds like you’ve given up on him, which I wouldn’t do. It’s hard to know where he will end up. I could see him never get any better (I can’t imagine he would get worse), but I could also see him becoming a perennial all-star. He’s worth waiting on at least for a couple more years.

      1. Not giving up yet, Catch. Just don’t wanna make him all that. He’s a good piece in a loaded lineup.

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