Open Discussion: Week of April 17th

The second week of the season was not as good for the Phillies’ as the first as their record fell to 4-8.  They finished the week 1-5 in series against the Mets and Nationals.  

The bullpen was responsible for three of the losses.  Edubray Ramos and Joely Rodriguez combined to blow a game against the Mets.  Ramos and Jeanmar Gomez blew the first game of the Nats’ series.  Joaquin Benoit served up a two-out, walk off victory to the Nationals on Sunday.

The rotation will get a boost when Zach Efkin joins the team Tuesday against the Mets. Hopefully, he will add to the good performances we’ve been getting from Hellickson, Eickhoff, and Nola.

Hernandez and Kendrick are clearly the best offensive performers among the starters. Herrera is also performing well.

Galvis, Franco, Joseph, and Rupp are all languishing below .200/.290/.390/.620.  Saunders isn’t much better at .225/.262/.325/.587.

Altherr and Nava have shown that they probably deserve more than the two starts they have gotten so far.  And maybe its time to have Blanco give Franco a day off.

As a team the Phillies rank in the middle of the pack in hitting in the NL.  Their pitchers have the second highest ERA and have given up the most HR.  They’re middle of the pack on strike outs, and are close to the leaders in least walks issued.  The Philies committed their first three errors of the season this week, but are still tied as one of the best fielding teams.

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

Key dates remaining:

  • June 12-14th – Amateur Draft
  • July 31st – Non-waiver Trade Deadline
  • December 10-14th – Winter Meetings in Orlando
  • December 14th – Rule 5 Draft

Cumulative transactions: 

  • 4/15 – Wander Perez assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 4/14 – Phillies placed LHP Elniery Garcia on the restricted list.
  • 4/14 – CF Mark Laird assigned to Clearwater Threshers from Williamsport Crosscutters
  • 4/14 – RHP Franklyn Kilome assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters from Clearwater Threshers
  • The organization rosters are almost up to date.

279 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of April 17th

  1. I’m gonna re open the Cesar Hernandez bandwagon . . . All are welcome . . . But there’s obviously no trade talk allowed on board. Just take a seat and enjoy a kid who is becoming a boarder line All Star right in front of our eyes.

    1. I am on the Ceasar bandwagon and I also hope we are able to flip him for an elite pitching prospect once Kingery is ready. For as good as Ceasar has been:
      1. I think Kingery will be better
      2. We need elite pitchers.

      We have one, maybe two (or maybe zero) elite pitching prospects – Sixto and maybe Kilome. There rest are meh IMO. Lots of 4s. Maybe a 3. We need top of the rotation studs and a young, cheap controllable borderline all-star at a position with a big standard deviation can get us one.

      1. Are you counting out guys who have already made the show? Because I believe Nola and Eickhoff have ceilings of 2’s. I also see the following players with that ceiling: Dominguez, gowdy, Medina, and Anderson. Out of that group plus the ones you mentioned: Kilome and sixto, I’m hoping for four fifths of our phuture rotation, with an ace lefty coming via trade or free agency. Then you have your other group competing for those 4/5 slots if anyone goes down with injury/doesn’t make it/ involved in trade: Pivetta, Lively, Thompson , Efflin, Pinto, Velasquez, Appel, Fanti, Irvin, others.

          1. Yea I’ve read it a couple times, and just did again. It doesn’t really get into our lower minors guys: Dominguez, Sanchez, and briefly touches on kilome (who’s velocity has gained some since this was written). I believe Velasquez and Thompson have now fallen into 3 at their probably ceiling, but i think Nola and Eickhoff have possibly gained a spot. Obviously we need to see some consistsncy but Nola was routinely hitting 95 with his 4s and 91 with his 2s and both have wicked movement and pin point accuracy. His curveball is devastating and his changeup is effective. I’m not calling him an ace, but if he can hold onto that velocity he can certainly be a 2. Eickhoff has one of the best curves I’ve seen, and a decent fastball and change to go with it. All he does is throw quality starts. I think he’s a 2/3 at his best. I think sixto has true 1 potential and Kilome and Dominguez are more in the 2/3 mold and Anderson looks to have the stuff to be a 2, but obv his risk is very high. It’s a great article and I agree with most of it. Sixto is our only pitcher that has ace potential right now, but I think we have a handful of guys with 2 potential.

      1. Yes, let’s trade Cesar to make room for Kingery. Kingery is a sure thing as a starting 2B on a playoff team. Just like Dom Brown was going to hit 290 and hit 40 HRs every year to go along with 15 OF assists. And Kyle Drabek was a TOR starter, and Jonny Singleton, who had such great plate discipline, was toooooo much to give away in a trade. Lou Marson, starting catcher. A bird in the hand beats five in the bush

        1. Oh man. Guys heads exploded one year when Keith Law came on here and dared to call Drabek no more than a #3 pitcher.

        2. Thank you Mr. Lieberthal . . . we are looking for productive players, have one that is playing like an all star and we want to move him bc we have a 2ND round pick hitting .280 in AA (in a park that is suited for offensive numbers). Makes no sense.

        3. Don’t forget Valentin in addition to Kingery.

          This is about selling high, not getting rid of players for the sake of depth. There is a difference. A package with Cesar looks better now than it did a year ago, that’s value that needs to be entertained.

          Brown and Singleton proved to be too mentally weak. Not to mention how the Phillies mishandled Brown.

          Lou Marson was never considered a sure thing and Drabek was decent until he got hurt. Every situation is different.

          1. We need players who can produce!!! Out of the guys who have been called up who has really produced at the level Hernandez has? NO ONE!!! So we sell high on the one younger kid who is performing at an All Star level?!?!? That is crazy to me. The return better be extremely good and the prospect (Kingery or Valentin BETTER do well). I wasn’t skipping over Valentine, i’ve argued for him to get more coverage on here as well but for some reason Kingery is the guy that everyone loves (someone who hasnt performed above AA).

            1. We need to stop overvaluing our players. Cesar is a decent player, but not a perennial all-star.

              It is the job of the GM to get value for Cesar, otherwise we keep the depth.

  2. Does anyone have any idea why Hector Neris wasn’t given the closer job from day one in the spring? I’m discouraged and concerned by the decision making regarding major league personnel. No, we’re not a contending club but when games are lost due merely to miscasting, it only distances the fan base further than it already is. Who’s to say Neris wouldn’t have served up a 3-2 cookie to Harper? My guess however is that one of the best splitters in the game would at least have been employed in a big moment like yesterday’s. Too often I’ve come away thinking the team hasn’t been given the best chance to win. That’s what’s disheartening. Benoit is the veteran. I get it. But since when does major league tenure trump proven talent? Some will say a bad ball club doesn’t need a closer….but what if the best in house candidate is overlooked time and again?
    C’mon, Pete. I criticize Mackanin regularly here and it’s often met with indifference, largely because well, the team isn’t good enough yet. Can’t we rebuild with a manager who’s actually going to be here for the next 5-10 years instead of a night watchman lifer who’s simply minding the store?

    1. I Think they have Benoit as closer so they can increase his value at trade deadline which is wrong. This team seems like they just want to show case players for trade reasons instead of wins. Not sure I agree what they are doing. Franco was also a reason in the loss yesterday he had 2 chances to increase on the lead and whiffed on the first try and grounded out with bases loaded that with any kind of hit would have taken pressure off the closer. Clutch hitters are what these Phillies have lacked for years.

      1. Agree. Showcasing the veterans on this team (with the obvious exception of Hellickson) is pointless. They are one year rentals to any buying clubs at the deadline. And none of them are difference makers. Which means none of them will bring any kind of return. The only trades that will be significant are ones that include our young, controllable players. Veterans on this club are primarily place holders and not much else.

    2. I disagree, Benoit is the right guy for the job and he’s pitching very well. Yesterday he walked a guy on a questionable call by the ump and then gave up a single to a hot hitter before facing Harper. He had him 0-2 before Harper fought back to 3-2 and then did what he did. If anything, I can’t stand the way Rupp calls a game and I can’t wait for him to be replaced. It was a tough mement as a Phils fan but you have to appreciate the classic baseball moment of 9th inning, 2 outs, 3-2 count, one run lead, bang. I also don’t have to worry whether Benoit’s confidence has been dented. He’s 39 and will be fine. Next game. Let’s go Eflin!!

    3. 8mark…these are character building losses. When the day comes when the shoe turns, it makes winning that much sweeter for them.
      For the fans to watch however…grab a beer, and then think positive thoughts for a future Beer.

      1. I know. Thanks, Romus. It’s just physically painful to watch a winnable game get away.

        So Beer’s your guy? Personally I’m bullish on Pavin Smith. I know 1b don’t usually go that high in the draft but unless there’s a stud college arm on the board, Smith profiles as the classic Mattingly type. I’d rather buy the ace via trade or free agency.

        1. Hinkie……first you sold me on Seth Beer, then you sold me on Pavin Smith….now you are selling me on a tiny Beaver shortstop! 🙂

      2. Romus i dont know if i will be alive in 20 yrs when the shoe turns. They rebuild the system with a lot of role players. no real studs.

  3. Not one minor league game on Easter Sunday. That made my Easter Monday a very sad day. So let’s talk Major League Baseball.

    What I’ve seen so far from the big club is a team that is a step or two away from playing with the big boys. They are losing more games than their winning but they are always a couple of hits or a couple of good pitches away from winning more than they lose. I’d call that ‘Not ready to play with the big boys yet’. If a couple of guys in the lineup stepped up or the back end of the bullpen was stepping up, we might see a start like last year. Let’s hope the guys who aren’t pulling their weight yet start hitting like we know they can.

    Eflin is up. He deserves it but I’m not sure he’s ready to go 6 or 7 innings. They better have a long relief guy or a bunch of 1 inning guys ready to pitch.

    1. Really hope Eflin becomes a productive pitcher. Yet I remain deeply skeptical of any minor league pitcher who struggles to strike out minor league hitters.

      1. If you remove his Reading in ’15 stint , after the trade from the Dodgers/Padres…..his whiff ratio borders around 7 for his other full season efforts …which granted is not TOR quality, but not completely devastating.
        Now his approach is different than most, pitch to contact from the beginning of his career but he can dial it up into the mid-90 range with his 4Smr when he wants to.
        I was at the Braves game last and could see what he can do with that FB,.
        And just not sure how much the chromic knee condition affected him in the past.
        I like to give him the benefit of the doubt….as a potential to be a solid #3 at some point in the rotation.

          1. IMO, better than average command and makeup.
            What indicates plus or average pitch ratings?
            Does velo on the FB4 indicate that as a plus?
            He sits at 93/95T96
            For all I know he could be FV55 across the board (FB -4 and 2Smr), CU and SL/CB) without the 60.
            There have been MLB pitchers that have that non-descript plus FBs..Keuchel and Hendricks as two for example..

            1. I think it is funny that every time someone on this board comps a minor league player it is to an All Star who is an outlier. Someone else did it last week to Keuchel too. Dallas is the very rare exception. If you want to hang your hat on that then fine. but the odds are way against Eflin becoming anywhere near as good as Keuchel.

            2. I just think he can be a 3.
              Apparently your perspective on his future pitching involves 4th or 5th at best.

          2. No, he’s not a 3 right now. He’s a 5 right now. But does he have the realistic potential to become a 3? Sure he does. Is it likely? Probably not, but it could certainly happen because he has decent command and he throws nice and hard. I’d sure as heck rather see him pitch than Clay Buchholz.

            1. People do change
              For instance in that little thing you posted about the 20-80 scale has Mike leake and Andrew miller as equal value

    2. We seem to be losing the 1 run games that we were winning last year.

      There’s no doubt in my mind they’re a better team than last year, but they should project to a similar win/loss record.

      1. Rei,

        Remember, the Phils played lucky last year. I don’t have the stats here, but they projected to far fewer wins than the team ended up with. So this year might see a better team but not a better won-loss record.

        1. The Pythagorean Winning Percentage is a formula that suggests the Phillies should have won 62 games in 2016.

          The PWP is an estimate of a team’s winning percentage given their runs scored and runs allowed. Developed by Bill James, it can tell you when teams were a bit lucky or unlucky. It is calculated by

          (Runs Scored)^1.83
          (Runs Scored)^1.83 + (Runs Allowed)^1.83

          The traditional formula uses an exponent of two, but this has proven to be a little more accurate (an exponent of 1.83).

    3. bellman,

      The good news is that the reading Phillies will have our undivided attention tonight on MiLB.

      A poster on another board observed that last year the Phillies were outscored 48-21 in their first nine games against the Nats and Mets. This year, the Phillies have outscored them 48-47. And, even if you factor out the two lopsided games, they have outscored the Phillies just 34-29.

      In other words, the Phils have been much more competitive, as painful as coulda, shoulda, woulda losses happen to be.

      1. Reading isn’t the only game on, the Clearwater game is also being shown as Bradenton is on the list of teams. I’ve had for years but this is the first time I will get to see an Florida State league game. They have a bunch of Lakewood games this year (I think it’s like 14 or something around that when I counted) plus some Crosscutters games, so getting to see Clearwater is an added bonus for me. hopefully they can add more teams from that league going forward.

  4. 1. I’ve only written a few times but once was a year ago to note the large gap I saw between Hoskins and Cozens. (No offense to Dylan). Other than not being LH (big deal!), Rhys has it all. As Catch22hman wrote yesterday, he has hit tool (and power) AND plate discipline. His splits are strong every way you cut them, and he’s been consistently productive for years! While I’m rooting for Tommy Joseph, I have believed Hoskins is our future 1B.

    2. Thank God the FO didn’t give Cesar away for peanuts last year. He is either our starting 2B for the next 5 years or he should net a very significant prospect in return. I’ve been on his bandwagon for awhile and personally I’m okay if he is the future guy simply because it’s unreasonable to expect every future starter to come from among the prospects. They just won’t all pan out and/or they’ll take time. Cesar is already producing at an ever-improving rate. …I do really love Kingery though too (and all our great 2B depth. Romus and others are right to constantly point it out).

    3. I think we are selling at two high-level SPs short. There’s no doubt our lower level SPs are our strength, but I don’t understand why Nick Pivetta does not get more attention here. I picked him as my Breakout in Jim’s preseason poll, and he is off to a great start. Control is his achilles heel but his 13/0 K/BB so far may be a huge sign of a Breakout. SSS I know 🙂 I love that his hero was Halladay, IF* control is added to his great FB and CB, I believe he has #2 SP upside. …And Eflin was strong at AAA in 2016 and carried it to success in Majors too. Outside of his horrible first start (jitters and incredibly tough matchup @TOR), he did very well until he was pitching injured. His upside is less than Nick’s but he could be a quality 3/4 I hope.

  5. on the Cesar bandwagon – what is that bandwagon for? i think the site in general likes Cesar, the debate is really is whether Cesar is the team’s 2B for the future or not — and I think Cesar is not the Phils 2B long term because they have better options. Cesar will be a FA in 2021 — even if he continued his current trend, he will become an expensive option by the time the Phils contend. So the Phils will end up trading him in the next 2 years so I’m glad he is playing well.

    On the closer – you don’t pay $$ to sign veterans just to see them in the bench — that’s a not a wise use of $$ just to baby sit. One year vets are small gambles that can yield prospects and help the young players mature. Closer is a luxury for non-contending teams and I agree with v1again that your best pen arm is more suited as the set up guy at this stage of the rebuild. If the Phils suddenly contend this year, they can easily flip Neris as their closer with no issue. As Romus said, these are character building losses and they players feel the same pain as we do.

  6. I feel bad for Lively. He pitched well for a long stretch in AAA and as soon as a spot opened up in the rotation he throws a clunker. Must be frustrating for him. Those guys in AAA left them no choice than to rush Eflin back.

    1. I was somewhat cheerin for him to get that cup of coffee
      And I also think if they don’t see him as a starter in the MLB try him as a reliever

  7. The season is still early but it looks like I was very wrong about Cesar Hernandez. Not only does it look like he is more than a utility player, he may be above average at 2b. Pleasant surprise

    1. Folks, since the last half of last year, Cesar has played at an all-star level and seems to have taken his game to greater heights this year. Stop fighting it people – embrace it! He’s really good. Rejoice and be merry in this news.

      1. What I find hard to grapple with is that Cesar turns 27 this season.
        When the future core comes together to win and hopefully contend, we are looking at 2 (2019) maybe 3 (2020) years minimum.
        Cesar could be trending downward as he turns 30.
        That is how MK needs to view it strategically.
        For now and thru the beginning of 2019 Cesar is a keeper, but things could change after 2018.

        1. Unlike, say, a slow first baseman or corner outfielder, Cesar has the kind of skill set that should play well over time. Probably the last thing we should be worried about right now is how quickly Cesar will decline – especially when he’s still improving rapidly.

          The time horizon, however, is important for the team and for Cesar’s ultimate free agency. If I were the Phillies I’d be looking to give Cesar the kind of contract that Odubel Herrera has right now – not after the season – now. It will give the Phillies the maximum amount of flexibility going forward. And, yeah, if Cesar keeps hitting like thing, and Jesmuel keeps hitting like this, and Kingery keeps hitting like this, and Crawford keeps hitting like that, there’s going to be some shifting going on.

          At this point, I think Crawford is probably dangerously close (2-3 weeks) to a demotion as his confidence may be waning and the team may need to re-tool his swing. Also, sending him down to gather himself will give Jesmuel the opportunity to play more at shortstop. Jesse is getting lost in the mix again – but, damn – that guy is a player!

          1. Too early to give him a contract. OH had two years to prove value before signing this past off-season.

            1. It depends how much he wants. Odubel’s contract, over time, should be well below market. Odds are, however, if they gave Cesar Odubel’s contract it would prove to be a huge windfall for the Phillies. So let’s say they give Cesar $30 over 5 years (extended after this year). A WAR is worth around $6 million. By most conservative projections, Cesar is likely to recoup the value of that entire contract in a year and a half and certainly within two years. It would be a steal and, if he keeps it up, you’re not getting the same contract at year end.

      2. I just find it hard to say “move him because of kingery” . . . we are a re building team looking for players who can perform at the ML level . . . we have one who is preforming at an All Star level and people want to move him? Kingery BETTER work out if thats what they do, i’m just not in the camp of moving a younger kid who is preforming (when you need those players) because you are hoping a 2nd round pick who hasn’t been above AA will be the future. I don’t get it.

  8. I think he has been a really bright spot, and I wish Franco has shown a similar improvement. Unfortunately, I watched him pull off the ball and hit grounders to the SS. Cesar brings a nice return in a trade if 1 of the young guys, probably Kingery, proves to be better, or he outplays them all and we have a very good 2B. Either way, it is one of the good problems to have, unlike some of the other positions on the team.

    1. matt13… much as Cesar is keeping a solid to above average WAR going…..what value do second basemen have in the trade market these days?
      Of late Ian Kinsler was a good return at the time of his trade from the Rangers.
      Just not a lot of trades made that were earth shattering when it comes to 2nd basemen.
      I think they are right up there with only corner OFers

    2. After JP’s struggles in LHV, I need to see Kingery succeed in Allentown over a sustained period before I crown him the future and trade away Cesar.

      In other 2B news, I hear Brito is looking good in Lakewood. I wonder if he can play anywhere else.

  9. I was a late addition to the Cesar bandwagon, but I’m on now. He’s proved me wrong, I didn’t think he was a legit big leaguer.

    Crazy question- can Kingery play 3B? I’m not giving up on Franco yet but I have a lot of concerns- he seems unable to stop pulling off the ball.

        1. Sorry, I thought you meant Cesar. Agreed on Franco – he needs to stop going yard on every swing.

      1. That head turning is killing him. I thought he would have adjusted by now. But this habit can get him sent down. I am a big fan of franco as most know. But if he cant realize what he is doing and stop it. he will never be the player he should with his tools.

    1. I generally agree. Other 3B options should be considered if Franco doesn’t make the 30HR/100RBI in this lineup.

      I’m not sure that Kingery would have the power production to enable a move to 3B though.

      Sometime ago, Marcus Hayes of the daily news, proposed the idea of moving Crawford to 3B, enabling Galvis to stay at SS. Franco would have moved to 1B or traded. He tries to put out controversial proposals to get a reaction.

      The general concept is the same. Can you move solid players to other positions instead of trading away? There is a mix of Kingery, Valentine, Kingery, Crawford, Galvis, Hernandez, where 2 spots are available for 4 players.


    1 Odubel Herrera – Contractually speaking, he’s the most desirable player on the club (notwithstanding the occasional eyes rolling from the dugout) but the future of the OF is so up in the air, even with the depth of talent. There are no corner pieces in place. They’ve yet to give Altherr his legit shot. Now’s the time.

    2 Cesar Hernandez – Please stand down all his defenders. This is not an indictment of him. In fact, quite the opposite. Can we all agree he’s become a better player? Should he continue to play well, it’s a win-win. I can’t see how the FO passes up the opportunity to maximize value sooner for a really good return. If the farm was barren at 2b, it’s a totally different story. It’s not. Kingery is climbing steadily and Brito has one of the best hit tools in the organization according to Joe Jordan. And then you’ve got Valentin.

    3 Jeremy Hellickson – obviously, unless you determine it’s better to try and extend his contract. He’s a solid #3 on most other clubs. However, he’s a 2 month rental. Package him with Rupp, whose value may never be higher than it was in the off season, even of he starts to hit. His game behind the plate is the bigger issue. But nonetheless a decent backup. Alfaro should be ready by August.

    4 Tommy Joseph – He would have to get all his averages way up and it’s early yet. It’s really a matter of when Rhys Hoskins is deemed ready. Package TJ in a deal for an established role player.

    1. Here’s my question (and a wider problem with the rebuild at this stage):

      What is the point of trading any of these guys, beyond Hellickson?

      We have a group of prospects in the high minors with an unproven ability to produce in the majors, but not dramatically higher ceilings than what we have in place (perhaps with the exception of Alfaro and Crawford, though I’m not sold on either).

      We WILL need to make room for those AA/AAA guys to get a shot in the majors at some point in the near future. But beyond injuries to those guys already in The Show, how do we make room?

      There is this glut of cheap, cost-controlled players and no obvious reason to flip them for a current major leaguer (who would presumably be older and coming to a team that will not compete this year and probably not next year, inching closer to a free agent contract or arbitration).

      Are we trapped in mediocrity?

      1. I can’t say I don’t share the same worry. This is the year we need 2 of the JP/Alfaro/Quinn/Hoskins/Cozens/Williams group to show that they can become good Major League players. I don’t know that any become a Star, I hope I am wrong. I want to see progress from Franco like we did with Cesar but, so far, he still has terrible at bats. the 9th Inning yesterday, for example, but the 8th Inning K on a pitch 6 feet over his head was worse. With no TOR starter at AA or above and no every day players with All Star ability, this rebuild goes nowhere. We need 2 of those guys I mentioned before to be really good.

  11. Hernandez is improving his stock as his overall game has improved in sss this year. Future I think is in Brito who is not only a bona fide hitter but a solid fielder at 2B not his true position. If nothing else, the Phils have tremendous quality depth at 2B – Kingery is going to be a very good player as well.

    On the relief pitching – while no one wants the team to be winning alot of games for the sake of future drafts, other young players not being ready, and experimentation to find out who can do what etc. – I find it a shame that so many games have been thrown away. Someone above mentioned that Franco should take some if the blame for yesterday’s fiasco because he had an opportunity to put it away in the 9th – I concur. However, how disappointing – demoralizing it must be to the players to have the game go down the tube due to the pen – day after day.

  12. Every AB, Franco looks like he is trying to hit the ball 500 feet, he looks horrible. Maybe a week on the bench would get through to him what the expectations are.

  13. Jerad Eickhoff WAR with the Phillies: 5.8
    Cole Hamels WAR with Texas: 6.8

    Maybe the Phillies got lucky with Eickhoff, but that trade is going to look A-OK if Alfaro turns into a major league regular. If he becomes an occasional all-star, all the better. Williams, OTOH, I don’t think will amount to anything.

    1. If Eickhoff is around for the end of the rebuild (and remains a “3”) and Alfaro turns into an average major league regular, it will be okay, but still disappointing. Trades of stars are potentially transformative moments for a rebuilding team like the Phillies. When you make trades like these (especially when you add a useful piece like Diekman and take on about $40 million in dead salary), you need to hit it big. The scenario you project is not a disaster, but it’s not hitting it big either.

    1. Saw that too and then saw something about his next start in Clearwater ? Color me confused, whoops, more so.

  14. If Neris goes to closer and gets roughed up a lot, it will hurt his confidence. The Phils aren’t going anywhere this year, so let Neris set up.

    The Phillies did well in the Hamels trade. He had given up. He wanted out. Everyone knew it so what they got for him was not great, but okay.

    Hamels was 8-14 3.60, 9-9 2.46, and 6-7 3.64 in his last 2 and a half seasons. If he was still with the team, his stats would be around the same.

    So far this year his stats and Eickoff’s stats are as such:
    H 3 18.0 15 9 7 3 7 11 3.50
    E 3 19.2 16 7 6 3 6 18 2.75

    Hamels is 33 and Eickoff is 26. Now I realize that Hamels is a superior talent but Eickoff is a gamer and a solid pitcher. He’ll never be a Cole Hamels.

    The key is if Alfaro plays to his potential. Williams is probably a bust (as of now), Asher’s gone and who knows what will happen with Thompson.

    1. So, let me see – if pitching a no-hitter is a sign of giving up, then I agree, he gave up.

      Anyway . . . I really don’t agree with a lot of what you said, but I think we all agree now that the outcome of trade will probably hinge on what Alfaro does.

      1. HaHa I was thinking the same exact thing catch. Hamels DID NOT give up and if you think about it, that would be the dumbest thing for him to do. You wouldn’t “give up” if you wanted out bc well how is that going to help your value? Yeah, Hamels didn’t give up . . . not even sure I understand the logic behind that statement.

  15. Updated Top 10:
    1 Alfaro
    2 Sanchez
    3 Hoskins
    4 Moniak
    5 Randolph
    6 Crawford
    7 Quinn
    8 Kilome
    9 Valentin
    10 Kingery

    1. Mike,

      Interesting Top 10.

      I might be tempted to drop Sixto a couple notches just cuz he’s so young and a lot can happen. Randolph a couple because he’s starting to look like a good player but not a star. I’d elevate Kingery above Valentin. As big a fan of Hoskins as I am, I might drop him a notch or two, also. Otherwise, I’m pretty much with you.

  16. Here is my take on the org:

    1 Phils have a manager who is at best mediocre, nothing more

    2 Phils have a few guys at the top of the list for hopeful stars – Franco and Crawford – that will never be stars.

    3 The pitching at AA and above are a bunch of #5 starters

    4 Depth doesn’t win titles

    5 Odubel is a head case waiting to implode

  17. I guess the asher trade has already been discussed. But he threw 3-hit ball for 6.1 innings for the O’s. He had a goid winter. I couldn’t understand goibg after buckholts when Asher and Elfin will probably have an earned run less per 9 than Bucky.

    Still havn’t heard or seen who they got for him.

    I was an asher watcher simply because of his attempts at control and limiting walks.

  18. I would actually like to trade for a young star or two. I think we have the prospects to do it. If we package Alfaro, Crawford, and Franco together, that would net you a nice current player.

  19. I did yell for Dunn and Holland there both with the Rockies doing very well. The Phillies really need to push the prospect more . There relief pitchers seem to get stuck in Reading.

  20. After reading this, it gives me all the more reason to emphatically state that the Angels can select any 5 players from our Org except for Alfaro for All-Star 25 year-old Mike Trout!!! We are in DESPARATE need of this young man to come back home and give us the ability to attract Phuture FA’s that will want to come play with Mike Trout and get our Phillies out of these DOLDRUMS …. get the Trout deal done ASAP Klentak/McPhail !!!!!!!!

    1. Guys – I don’t think I am going to be able to take three or four more years of posts about hypothetical free agent signings that are years away or trades that are clearly not in the works. I get we all want Mike Trout and Manny Machado (who wouldn’t?), but can we give it a little rest and talk about our prospects at least until moves like that are close to actually happening?

      1. So what U want to talk about is our stagnant team of propspects and the continued non-success we’ve had since 2012?? Of course let’s not think outside the box of trying to get this team back on track again!!! How its working out with the core (Galvis, Rupp, Hernandez, Franco, Herrera and Joseph) currently?? No guarantee that our next core led by Crawford and Williams and the boys are going to work either… trade any 5 for Trout and we instantly become players again with cred to sign other FA’s , have STAR power and turn the corner!!!!

        1. Stagnant or not, this is a prospects site and not a fantasy baseball site so, yeah, I want to talk about the prospects. I mean, you can talk about hypothetical trades all you want, I just don’t see that advancing the discussion here about our prospects, especially when those moves are theoretical and off in the distant future.

          1. Sorry catch….but the Open Discussion thread was initiated for this sole purpose 5 or 6 years ago…then it was called General Discussion.
            Gregg established it since posters were continually going off prospect topics onto the Phillies main club talk.
            The other threads were supposed to be reserved for Phillies prospect talk solely.

            1. I don’t think that he’s saying that we should never talk about things like that but the Trout talk is getting old and boring. If the Angles wanted to trade Trout guess what? There will be teams lines up and teams with better prospects that ours. Also Trout would not make us contenders, period . . . one player would not do that.

        1. Hinkie – I’m not saying that they won’t. It’s certainly possible, and it may be more likely than not. But saying that they might not sign with their existing team AND they will sign with the Phillies. I’m not going there yet. Do I think they will sign one of these big name free agents? Yup, I do – and they may sign two of them (if you made me guess, I would say one hitter and one pitcher). But who it will be and when is not clear at all.

  21. Trout = patience. There’s no reason why he wouldn’t come home upon his free agency after 2020 (unless the Phillies insulted him with a measly contract offer, or LAA gets competitive enough to where he felt some loyalty to stay). Trading for him makes no sense unless the Angels FO had a serious brain cramp and took a lesser package than they should. And even that would probably be counter productive to our rebuild.

    I do however agree that zeroing in on some top major league talent and packaging a few prospects should be on the FOs table, and sooner than later. I don’t want this rebuild to become perpetual. I’m eager for the sustenance phase to begin. That’s the goal here as they’ve said.

    1. In one breath U say NO to acquiring MTrout, but in the next breath U say lets package some of our prospects and go get some Top Major League talent??? WTF …I think Trout fits in that Top Major League talent realm somewhere!! Trout is 5X better than any of our prospects individually and quite possibly collectively…I’m for going ALL IN to GET BACK

      1. Ouch! Just got stuck by Stick.
        I guess my point was going for 2nd tier stars who might be more affordable. Easy on me….

        1. can we please just stop w the Trout trade talk? Not happening and again if it was happening, there are other teams who could offer a hell of a lot better package than us. Free Agency will be the time to go after him.

  22. Excellent report yesterday by John Sickles of on U of VA 1b Pavin Smith. Comps to John Olerud and Eric Hosmer. In ’17, he’s already hit a career high 10 HRs, 21 BBs and only 5 Ks in 149 ABs. One error so far (.996 fielding %). Has the arm to play corner OF.

    1. Pavin Smith is my guy !!! I can see the Olerud comp. I don’t agree with the Hosmer comp. Olerud, Don Mattingly, and Todd Helton (1-8 in the 1995 draft) are all LH 1B guys who hit for avg and power, BB’ed more than K’ed, and played GG defense. That’s Pavin Smith’s profile. I’ve watched him play a number of times. He can flat out hit. Earlier this season, he hit a double off the left-center field wall against JB Bukauskas. He also had two hits against (LH) Brendan McKay. Bukauskas and McKay are the two best college pitchers in America. I believe Smith could make the Phillies’ 2019 opening day lineup.

      1. Hinkie….and what becomes of Hoskins or TJ if Smith goes to 1st base?…..
        or what kind of domino affect becomes of Nick Williams/Dylan Cozens, Herrera or Quinn if he goes to LF?

        1. You need to just pick the best player at 1-8. For me, that’s Pavin Smith. ToJo and Rhys Hoskins won’t be the first players to get bypassed by a new, uber-talented acquisition. What will the Phillies do with Maikel Franco when they sign Manny Machado ? These are good problems to have.

          1. Hinkie, I’m starting a campaign and printing the bumper stickers as we speak: CRAVIN’ FOR PAVIN!

          2. I really don’t want a 1B as our first pick. He has no backup plan if he doesn’t hit like he’s projected to.

            1. Rei, he’s not expected to get past the mid-1st round. I personally don’t want another arm unless he’s a iron clad stud and I haven’t seen reports of any to be still on the board. From what I’ve heard and read, I think he may be the best player available at 1-8. Regardless of position, his classic 1b/COF profile is just too compelling.

            2. Rei….depends on what the strategy is for the MacKlentak team.
              Will it be pitching or positions at the first pick? Theo went positions in almost all his drafts… John Coppolella in Atlanta looks to be concentrating on going pitching.
              Not sure there is anyone particular avenue to success.

          3. Also from John Sickles blog, his piece yesterday on Hoskins cites 2 reputable projection systems having him as a major leaguer batting sub .250, low .300s obp, and sub .500 slug%. He’ll likely hit 20+ HRs but his avg at best defense makes him an ideal AL player. Like Tojo. I personally like them both but less I look at the bigger, long term picture.

            1. 8mark……always will be lower slash line projections for RHBs, especially first basemen. I would not go by that but look at his latest peripheral trends and also his overall metrics.
              Think about….his best tool is his hit tool…and pECOTA and Steamers has him at 250/300………..go figure!
              I can give you a two dozen list of RHBs that were never even considered top prospects (not even Top 100 prospects) who are now MLB players.

      1. That’s good news – I thought from your first post that he was coming back. No thank you.

        1. He’s be right up there with Danny Tartabull, Andrew Bynum, and Charlie Morton as Philadelphia athletes who arrived injured or promptly became injured and checked out without a whisper. Oh well. It’s not my $13 million.

          1. When you mentioned Danny Tartabull. the first thing that came to my mind was the Seinfeld episode where George, who was working for the Yankees, had to drive him around….and somebody gave them the finger….in a finger cast.

          2. Catch,

            Ultimately it is your money, or at least that of the paying fans.

            I remember the president of the Chicago Cubs being asked why beer at the ballpark costs $12. His answer: Why does a starting pitcher cost $16 million?

            Gotta get that money from someone — us.

            1. Oops. Asked me for my name and I used my real name not screen name. Fixed below

            2. Frank – the Phillies are doing fine – making $84 million a year right now (probably even more this year). Buchholz tanking doesn’t affect me in any real way financially, it just makes our team a little worse.

    1. I am excited about Efflin getting the chance to stay for the year with a strong performance.

      All for Hellickson getting a hot hand and getting dealt to make room for Lively, Pivetta, or Thompson.

      1. I don’t understand why anyone would want to trade Hellickson if he’s pitching well. A 3 year extension would be perfect for him to stabilize the rotation going forward.

        1. He is a number 3 starter at best. Not sure why people are interested in giving out contracts so easily to players who aren’t long term here.

          Sell high.

  23. Anybody high on Marco Estrada? He may be on the block once Toronto is out of the race. Bad start so far. What would it take via trade?

  24. Agree with you about Eflin. I like him a lot and think he can be a 3. Hope he contends and competes with the Mets tonight

    Klentek owes the team 13 mill and the suffering fans an apology. Very poor move for a guy who is injury prone and past his prime.

    Who would you all like to see as the new manager for next year?

    1. You’re going to have to wait a long time for Matty K to get the boot. MacPhail is now calling those shots (until Middleton gets pissed off again) and Matt Klentak is his boy. Klentak probably has a 3 year leash, at the very least. The Buchholz move was a disaster but Klentak will be judged on a much broader body of work, so we’ll see.

      1. I am losing confidence in this regime. And the money is not an issue…it is the decision making and judgement.
        MK’s personal decisions so far have been less than spectacular.
        1.The Giles trade is slowly looking like a push..ViVe may end up closing when all is said and done, maybe Eshelman will turn out as a dependable BOR 4 or 5 guy…Appel , who knows….fortunately Giles is not setting the world on fire or else MK would be under a lot of criticism.
        2. Rule 5 picks are normally lottery tickets… Herrera, Victorino the Phillies may not have hit the Powerball jackpot, but they got the first 5 numbers.
        Goeddel and Stumpf got maybe one or two numbers on the ticket.
        3. And all the relief pitchers he has signed in the last 18 months……must be 18 of them…one a month club…..not many keepers in the group.
        4. The starting FA pitchers signed as trade chips……the best of the group he could not even trade last July…..JH signs the QO and now MK will have to sell low in July because his hands are tied since there are no second QOs under the new CBA

        Hopefully the Rule 4 picks in 2016 will materialize along with the International signings.

        1. It’s hard to know what to make of him at this point. It’s kind of a mixed bag. Often the correct strategy is there (for example, get experienced players in contract years and flip them for prospects at the trade deadline), but the execution is sometimes questionable or moves made get in the way of larger objectives (I understand acquiring Kendrick or Saunders, but acquiring both made it more difficult for younger players to get at bats and playing time; what purpose is served by that?).

          Unless he screws something up beyond belief (not that likely), he’s going to get another couple of years. In the interim, the system will start filling up with his acquired players, so we will be able to assess what he has done more accurately.

          1. Understand….he and MacPhail are probably here for the next three years minimum, thru 2019…no matter what the team does in the standings.
            And until all the AA/AAA prospects have had a few years in the MLB and to see if progression is being made.

            1. rocco……did not know you wore Phillies apparel.
              Meet me at the Majestic store on Friday nite before the Braves game..

      2. Catch cant base it on one move. I think we need to see this year.Look at the kids and then at end of year judge. I personally dont like Stassi bat. I saw him a lot in minor. Thought he changed his swing this spring but still dont think he is a big league hitter. I love Knapp swing. it really a nice swing, but he doesn’t produce like he should imo with that swing of his.

        1. Yeah, Roccom, that’s exactly what I’m saying – we have to look at a full body of work over several years before we can assess how well Klentak has done.

          1. Or Mackanin – I do like the way Mackanin handles the egos and personalities of younger players. He’s very good with that, which is not a small thing at all.

    2. I favored Raul Ibanez when Sandberg moved on. Not sure what he’s doing lately. I know he doesn’t have experience at this level but served as a virtual coach/mentor later in his career. Plus he hung with Trout as a teammate before he hung ’em up. He’s a good man.

  25. I agree that the Mac/Klentak team has at least 3 years, but I am not as upset about the Bucholz signing. First, I don’t care about the $, they have plenty, and it is not a situation where the $ was going elsewhere. I didn’t see one of the prospect SPs ready to come up and they needed to eat innings. It did not work out, that stuff happens. I am more annoyed that Altherr is not getting a chance. Early, I know, but he should have more ABs than he has been getting, and we need to see if he has anything to offer. he has terrific D, and needs to hit. That requires ABs.

    1. They took a shot on a guy who had some success in the past and it didn’t work out. To call this a disaster is hyperbole.

      1. The picture is starting to come into greater focus and by that I mean the Pro Scouting decisions have been questionable

        Eric Thames-Why didn’t we see that?

        Bucholtz-Why when there were other guys out there for the same or less money to give you the same caliber of pitching but more IP

        Greg Holland-When he was healthy he was special. Exactly the kind of guy you take a chance on when you have a ton of money at your disposal.

        We already beat the Morton dead cowboy

        And we have not even delved into last years guys. I’m just asking with an open mind where is the genius?

        As far as I’m concerned Johnny A and Sal A are the only guys that seem to know what talent looks like.

        1. DMAR…have to agree with you. I stated my case above on the subject. The amateur acquisitions appear to be the strong forte in the org right now. The MLB scouting evals for roster acquisitions apparently are coming up short.

  26. Starling Marte gets 80 games for PEDs. Huge loss for Bucs. Especially since Cutch isn’t starting strong.

    1. Kendrick 10-day DL….so he is off for 10 days….Leiter here for short starts probably from Eflin tonite and ViVe tomorrow…then Valentin could be called up for the last 4/5 days.

        1. Romus your really smart. Ty for the help. Now can you do my taxes? funny isnt it people are talking about valentin and cesar. My suggestion is that people on here should watch the players and stop reading scouting reports. Look at them play.i Believe you pick up so much more watching them.

    2. Elniery Garcia going on the suspended list opened a spot on the 40 man roster

  27. The Pavin Smith Hit-Palooza continues at UVA. He had four more hits tonight (2 vs a LHP). Tonight’s line … 4 for 4, 1 double, 1 R, 3 RBI. The only time he failed to reach base, he smoked a sac fly that came withing 15 inches of leaving the park. Smith’s 2017 stat line … .366/.433//.621, 175 PA, 5K, 10 HR !!! He did commit a throwing error tonight, but he also made a great pickup on a bounced throw from deep in the SS hole.

      1. 8mark….which one of these seven, do you think wants or will take a first baseman/LFer.
        Twins.. Reds…Padres…Rays.. Braves… A’s…. Diamondbacks

  28. How about Brent Rooker.432/.532/.957 Miss St . 16 hr 19 db 57 rbi . He even leads Miss St in stolen bases. He ate up Kentucky who just beat Louisville.

  29. I DON’T GET IT. Altherr must be in the lineup every game that Kendrick is out. No reason whatsoever. I can’t say I’m disappointed in Mackanin because I already think he’s at best a mediocre manager, no matter how well he handles the “egos” – there’s still a game to be managed and personnel to be utilized sensibly. If his contract is extended, that’s a big strike on MacKlentak.

  30. The Phillies did win the game Altherr will get his chances. Maybe Mac wanted a lefty line up. I think Altherr might get his chance today.

    1. I’m glad we won the game, Tim. That’s not the point right now. Our young players on the major league roster should be getting serious playing time. Who can evaluate Altherr while his rear end is collecting splinters?

      1. Tim the point is not playing the younger players. doesn’t help us to build a winning team. We wont build a team around kenrick. nava, saunders. sorry but they arent part of the future.

        1. Ok and there is Franco ,Tojo, Obbie, etc that play everyday. Altherr will get his chance you can’t play everyday. You have to earn it just because your a younger prospect doesn’t mean you get playing time no matter what. Nava was having some good at bats plus he walks alot. I really don’t see Altherr as a 2 hole hitter . Altherr will get his chance, geez most people on his board seen Altherr as A 4th or 5 th outfielder. Mac wanted veteran outfield bats because last yr outfield was horrible. It did work out last night both Nava and Altherr had key hits to win the game. I mean Elfin had a good game Obbie had a good game and so on. Believe it it’s about winning too to show the young players how too.

        2. They signed them for a reason Mac wanted veteran bats . Obbie playing everyday because he had earned it. Atherr might not be here either, he might have to beat out Obbie, Mickey Mo, Pullin , Cozen etc.

  31. Great that Eflin competed last night! The kid’s a keeper. I think he’s here for the rest of the season. He had the Mets off balance the entire time after the first inning.

    Was never on the C.Hernandez train. Still too many bone-headed plays: bumping Saunders, bad throw on the pick off/run down, and striking out with one out and men on 2nd and 3rd.

    Nava has reached his limit. Two homers in the Reds game was an anomaly. I don’t think he (and Stassi) should be in the majors.

    Altherr will play tonight but I think tomorrow he sits against Thor. After that he should be in the line up every day until Kendrick returns.

    I still believe Mackanin is not a good field manager. A two year extension would be a very bad move as I see it. His only plus is that he speaks Spanish.

  32. Romus’ guy McKay goes 3 in that mock. JB would be a really good pick if he lasts that long.

  33. MacPhail is on record saying “grow the arms and buy the bats”. That’s fine unless the best player available is a position player. In my mind, of two highly rated players, I’ll go with the impact guy who plays every day instead of one who pitches every 5th. Like Whitey used to say, “I don’t like pitchers, Harry.”

    1. Agreed! How do you think the Astros are feeling right now for passing up on Kris Bryant to pick Appel?

      1. Or the Angels taking shortstop Taylor Lindsey ilo of Noah Syndergaard. or the A’s taking Mike Choice vs Chris Sale 3 picks later in that 2010 draft…which was a pretty outstanding draft..
        My point….it goes both ways.

        1. Fair point. I think you are making an argument in favor of BPA. I generally agree with that. But all things being equal, I’d rather have the bat. Not because I think an elite bat is more valuable than an elite arm, but because I think the risk is generally greater – it’s so easy for a great pitcher to get hurt or lose velocity. That type of attrition is less common with hitters.

          1. Agree…though I was pointing out the risk with both sides of the argument…however I too prefer the bat, especially the college bat.
            That is why I cringed a little when I read MacPhail’s interview today about preferring to ‘grow the pitchers and buy the bats’.
            He mentions they are .333 with the FA pitchers on one year contracts….Buchholz and Morton as the disappointments and Hellickson so far as the success. of course we will see if the July trade deadline results in a success, in how I see it.

  34. It is really hard to guess how it plays out, but we thought we were getting a really good prospect with a top hit tool and maybe a question of which position he was playing, but “C” has been a big disappointment, and has not flashed much of a tool. I am not looking for another pick like that.

    1. Well, Ben Lively is getting at least a cup of coffee. He’s replacing Neshek who is going off to paternity leave.

      1. And somewhere I read that Leiter is being added to the 25-man roster to replace Bucholz (sp?) now that his projected injury recovery might exceed the length of his contract!

        1. Buchholtz is currently designated on the 10-day DL, which will soon be changed into the 60-day DL I assume in a few days.

    2. mattt13…..premium college bats/players, on a whole, are more advanced due to the obvious experience and physical maturity. right now C” would be in his second year/sophomore season in college.
      If someone like Pavin Smith is available at 8, I would seriously think about looking into taking him …though he is positional limited to RF/LF/1st base

      1. Romus, I am not disagreeing about the prospects of Smith, but if McKay falls who do you pick? I also think very highly of JB and don’t think I would easily pass on him

        1. matt13……good question. Liked McKay all along as a pitcher.
          Could be a David Price type pitcher, or Twins Tyler Jay.
          But a bat is hard to pass up , if Smith is as good as they say.
          As for JB…..his lack of height scares me….not even sure he is 6’…that is a college measurement.

  35. While I’m happy for Ben Lively, I don’t understand the move at all. He is a starter who has NEVER pitched out of the pen. Are they really planning on using him as a reliever for the first time in his life in the bigs???

    1. IMO, since Velasquez has been of late a 95-pitch, 5 inning guy…..perhaps tonight bring him into the game at that point and let him go the distance from there.

  36. Bash Bros have shown up tonight. Cozens’ with a slam! Pinto still going strong in the 7th.

  37. Pinto seems like a new Man this yr . Kingery and Pullin are back at it . Taravas needs to be sent to Reading. The Phillies pitches have to stop grooving pitches right down the Hart of the plate to Bruce.

  38. After a reprieve here in Storrs Tuesday night, the torture continued Wednesday with the Phils getting “Bruced”. Most of the off season I was hoping for Bruce more than Saunders or even Moss. He’s got six HRs (4 against our boys).

    The Mets aren’t stupid. They refused to dump his 13 mill salary unlike the Red Sox who found a willing taker for Buchholtz. The Mets weren’t going to give Bruce away, especially within the division. That’s why they asked for Neris.

    Velasquez pitched well enough last night into the sixth. I think he’s giving up some speed for command. But he can’t be laying change ups directly into the middle of the plate as he did during the course of the game.

    It wasn’t at all helpful that Franco had such a crappy game on “both sides of the ball”. Glad he hasn’t been given a Dubie type extension. It would’ve been nice for Altherr to put the bat on the ball with only one out and two on. Oh, well! Thor tonight.

  39. It would be indication of a different sign moving forward if the Phillies went ahead and signed Cuban OFer Luis Robert, who is now a free agent. He counts under the current J2 year which ends June 15th. However, they probably would face the penalty since they would need to go over their ‘cap’.

    1. Hey Romus how much can we pay this kid? This would start the level playing field signing bonus phase correct?

      1. DMAR…..not sure what he is looking for….but certainly more than what we have already spent, which was to the max in signing 61 players….in other words, the Phillies would have to break their cap and incur the penalty.

  40. Let’s see – Pivetta, Valentin and Eflin for Pap, Roberto Hernandez and a tired JRoll. Not bad, Ruben. Give the devil his due. (Yeah I know – a blind squirrel, right? )

    1. Ironically……outside of the Hamels trade, he didn’t get anything of comparative value for the best player he traded that actually contributed to his new team…Chase.
      Go figure.

  41. 8mark, nothing wrong with giving Ruben credit where it is due. They were all good moves. The team’s downfall was not preparing for the core growing old and drafting poorly for an extended period of time, not using their money wisely, and not going over slot when they could.

  42. A report out today says the Phillies were closest among teams interested in Jay Bruce over the winter. Doesn’t say what kept a deal from consummation. I would rather have him than Saunders but hey, 20/20….

    1. Made my day, Hinkie. Maybe somebody in the FO is tuned in to our persuasive threads here and leaked it to Manuel & Co. Nice work. May it be so!

    2. The past few years, some advanced college bats have done very well, very quickly. I’m talking Kyle Schwarber and Andrew Benintendi. I think Pavin Smith is the same type of quick moving, advanced hitter who controls the strike zone like Schwarber and Benintendi.

      1. Pencil (not ink) him in as starting 1b on opening day ’19. Moniak and Sixto should be getting a September call up that season. If Alfaro stays his course, and Crawford recovers his game, the next core will be forming. Pick any one of the four 2b in our organization. Hopefully a major FA bat will solidify that group thru the mid-20s.

      2. Yes but without the power his best power season is this yr. He’s more is a contact hitter gap to gap hes not better then Obbie . Tojo just started hitting tonight he pulled a 100 mph fb . Just saying if Tojo has 10 hr 30 RBIs by the draft . Smith is limited lf or first base both power positions . Phillies Really need 3 more relief pitchers I more power bat. Things could change btw Shane Baz a pitcher I really like moved up to 14 th. It’s still! Way early.

      3. So you don’t think Hoskins projects as the long term 1B?

        I would agree with taking the best player available.

        1. Right now no Tojo is up in the big league he had a Ops over .800 last yr. Let the kid play some I doubt if Hoskins has more power then Tojo or a better arm. Hernandez too it’s a long season let them p!ay if they don’t produce then you talk about replacing them. I don’t a 1st baseman \ LF is the 10 best person In the draft unless he hits like Pujols . It’s. So early to be taking about the draft as in mock it could change day by day .

  43. I am very disheartened by a lot of what I see on the Phils so far, and I know it is SSS. But, with a 5-1 lead, Nola gives up a 3 run HR on an 0-2 pitch. I see this way too often. The pitch should not have been anywhere near a spot to hit a HR. VV last night throwing a meatball Change Up on the first pitch for Bruce to hit out. Sorry to vent, but that is fundamentally stupid Pitching.

    1. It’s okay. They are young and decent level pitchers, but not elite.

      Some don’t like Pete as the manager, but I think he is perfect until this team is ready to win. Look at when Bowa was the manager and the team couldn’t get over 85 wins. I see Pete the same way for this team and hope he is extended another year.

    2. Nola i think is a bright spot. His 4S can now go up to 93-95, has wicked movement in his 2S and CB and more importantly, Nola is showing a developing CU. The key is to regain the command of this pitches which is what Nola is known coming up. If the command comes to where it should be and CU is developed and thrown frequently, Nola’s repertoire can be:

      90-92mph – 2S with movement (plus)
      93-94mph – 4S with good location (average)
      77-79mph – CB with movement and location (plus plus)
      81-83mph – CU still developing (average)

      A SP with 2 + to ++ and 2 ave pitches is a solid #2/3. Nola should benefit with Hellboy around as Hellboy throws one of the tightest CB and bat missing CU – 2 pitches that will be key to Nola’s arsenal.

    3. i can’t recall if it is a CB or a CU that served Walker’s 3-run blast, but the ball is literally 3-4 inches off the ground and Walker needed to make an off balance awkward swing to hit it. So it’s more of nice hitting that poor ball location. The black eye in Nola’s performance last night was the 4BB including the walking the Thor!! – with the 1st 2BBs contributed to runs (1st BB moved the batter to 2B which eventually scored with a hit single, and 2nd BB came before the HR).

  44. channel flipped late in Phils game and caught Alex Faedo trying to finish off a complete game shutout of South Carolina. Walked a guy with 2 outs and got pulled at the 125 pitch mark. 3 hits and 9k’s.

    Not sure if announcers have touched on this, but with Kendrick on the DL, if you use Blanco as a pinch hitter and then something happens to Franco, Galvis or Cesar, who is the next infielder up? would have to be Herrera coming in to play second of ToJo trying to play third?

  45. John Middleton was on WIP yesterday. Among the highlights, he said:
    * Successful rebuils take 4 to 7 seven years. He believes the Phillies rebuild will be on the shorter end (4 or 5 years). They’re in year 3 right now.
    * Likes the George Steinbrenner comparisons.
    * Will spend big money. Won’t necessarily be through free agency. Could be through trades for big contracts (like they did with Roy Holladay).

    1. Click the tunein icon (lower right hand corner/ to get you to the WIP page to find the three part interview under Angelo Cataldi and the morning team show.

    2. John Middleton is the reason why i’m optimistic about the Phils and start dreaming of Otani-Machado-Trout or alike. Middleton waited long and hard to be in control and I don’t see him being contended to being a good team with a strong fan base. Middleton has greediness in his face that indicates he likes to get and win them all world series. Middleton said that are already about 75%-80% complete in the rebuilding which is timing to get some premiere players and start making a run.

      1. Middleton has expressed a desire to win that is lacking among the other local ownerships. They’d all ‘like’ to win so long as it remains profitable. Middleton isn’t a nickel and dimer. He and his FO will have to prove that vision is real and attainable.

  46. It really was a good interview, and one of the best with any Philly team owner since Ed Snider many years ago

  47. As we discuss the current crop of prospects and who’s coming up soon, let’s not forget that the June 12 draft and the J2 signing period will say an awful lot about the future of these same prospects.

    1. 8mark …

      June draft – Pavin Smith
      J2 – every dollar to Shoei Otani

      That would say an awful lot !!!!!!!

  48. Tim asked about Miss St’s Brent Rooker earlier in this thread (I think). So far this season, he’s slashing .414/.516/.917. Here’s the reason he’s not going to be a first round pick (I hope I’m able to post this correctly):

    MSST Brent Rooker leads the SEC in Batting Average, RBI & HRIs he as good as his stats would indicate?“No, definitely not.” – @Keithlaw— ESPNU (@ESPNU) April 21, 2017


  49. I read a chat on fangrahs last night Eno Sarris is the guy who answered the questions. He really likes Franco said he cold be a .280 25 hr player . Someone​ asked if Eickhoff is in the top 50 or 60 pitchers in baseball he said yes .

  50. Tim asked about Miss St’s Brent Rooker earlier in this thread (I think). So far this season, he’s slashing .414/.516/.917. Here’s the reason he’s not going to be a first round pick:

    1. Hinkie…that age factor is so important when you are talking about guys early on in their development.

      1. Romus … Yeah. That’s the reason Blake Rutherford fell to 1-18 last year. He’s two years older than Mickey Moniak, even though they both graduated from HS last year.

      2. Also … Mark Vientos is a guy who I would consider at 1-8 if Pavin Smith is already taken. Vientos has some flaws, but might be the youngest player in the draft. He won’t turn 18 until Dec 11. He has always played against older guys. He has as much projection as anybody in the draft.

    2. He didn’t say why I’m not a big Kieth Law guy.I’m not saying​ Rooker is as good as his numbers right now . But he plays in a good league he change his swing to use his hips more. Sometimes the scouts have to redo scouting report . Most of the time the teams don’t even start to make there regional calls until late may. These mock drafts are what the site think there going to take not the team. Hey I’d love to get Austin Beck if he falls . I hear the Phillies are looking for a power 4 Hole bat. Palvin Smith is a Mark Grace type.i hear Smith can’t run he is a below avg runner kinda like Ruf.

        1. He’s still thinking, Hinkie. Could be a pick’em.

          I believe Tim is minimizing Pavin’s pop. He’s a 20+ HR guy, not a Mark Grace comp. Jay Bruce, John Olerud, Todd Helton(!!) are closer comps.

          1. Bruce your kidding me he can hit like 40 . Todd Helton hit 49 Hr in1 yr. Olerud I agree he never has more then 24 hr in a yr. Jay Bruce has more hr now then Olerud had in his 16 yr career.Wait Jay Bruce plays RF.

        2. Niether but I don’t think there the future of the team . First baseman need a power tool I really don’t think Pavin Smith is better then Tojo. I don’t think Quinn better then Obbie or Micky Mo he’s doesn’t have a RF tools . You can be stuck on P Smith I’ll take the field.

  51. You guys know better than I do, but Middleton referenced Fangraphs and their ranking of us and the Yankees having the most 40 plus prospects in the system. That means guys projected to play in the Majors. That is nice, but the number that are projected to not just make it but excel is more indicative of where the rebuild is heading. I agree he will spend big $, but unless a few of these guys excel we are not going very far. I don’t see TOR pitching closer than Sixto, so the LHV and Reading groups need to produce a couple of stud players. We are in year 3 of the rebuild and he projects the 4-5 rather than 7-8 year mark to contend. A lot sure needs to happen between next year and 2019.

  52. Im a changed man I hope Palvin Smith hits another 15 homers knocks in 60 runs and hits 500 before the draft.

  53. Altherr is hitting .360, SSS but this is his opportunity to prove he should play every day. Platoon rf with Saunders and Kendrick (when he returns) and spell Doobie on occasion. If not, this would be the biggest waste of talent on the 25man roster. MS and HK are known commodities at this point of their careers. Trade returns for 2 month rentals of their class will be modest even if they are productive. Let’s not blow our opportunity to find out about Altherr. Stairs has apparently made an impact with his stance and approach. Then later this summer we can phase in Quinn (if he picks it up) in LF, Herrera in CF, Altherr in RF.

    Quinn lf
    Hernandez 2b
    Herrera cf
    Franco 3b
    Joseph (or Hoskins) 1b
    Altherr rf
    Alfaro c
    Galvis (or Crawford) ss

    1. What happens if Nick Williams picks it up or Cozens . It’s really going to be Obbie ,Micky Mo ,Rf maybe Alther and Cozens. Right field should have some power. It’s a big question who beats out who Nick Williams,Quinn, Cozens , Alther , maybe even Pullin . The vet bats were brought as requested by Mac . Kendrick,s isn’t having a bad season. Nava will give you good at bats from The bench look at today 2 walks 1 hit that started the scoring. Nobody throws out a bunch of kids and says go play.look at the Braves Phillips ,Kemp , Freeman , There RF too. Then they have Swanson etc . The Yanks do it too Judge, Bird,Headly, etc sane as the Red Soxs. The Phillies are winning right now the really need help with that bp .

  54. Altherr stayed within himself against one of the smartest Ps around in Colon, and he has hit very well. I agree 8mark. he has to get a lot of ABs and I hope that July brings the lineup you just laid out. JP needs to really step it up.

    1. matt13….first time I think I ever saw this at a game last night…..first 6 batters popped up for outs. JHellickson got Flowers as the 7th batter to K.

      1. Romus, I offer Hellickson 3 yrs at $40M plus a mutual option yr. He’s a solid #3 on a good staff. He might be around long term but he would expedite this rebuild rotation wise. Compared to what we might get at the deadline, what do you think?

      2. Romus,

        Cole Irvin had a very interesting and strong start for the Threshers: three ground ball outs and three strike outs. He looked strong through seven innings. My first time seeing him. I was impressed.

        1. Frank…..he could be a winner for sure. Jim had his velo at 90-92T93 which is decent for LHPs. Like to see it tick up some, later in the season, but you never know if he gets tired or not in the Florida heat.,

  55. 8mark and Romus, I have been thinking the same thing. I don’t know what he brings in July. I know the alleged ask last July was very high and that is why he was not dealt, but I don’t know what that value is. 3/$40 I think is very light for him, but the concept of keeping him is a good one. If someone overpays prospect wise that changes the equation, and if the young SP prospects all manage to have great years and demand rotation spots that changes things, but he is the best SP on the team and could help a lot going forward.

    1. 8mark/matt13…..would Boras and Hellickson only agree to a three year deal?. Seems since this will be his last big one….he would prefer at least 5 years….but probably not get the TOR rate, And if keeps pitching like this however…..he may try to get offers from $15 to $19M per annum. So it would be something like 5@ $80M – $95M.

      Phillies have to trade him low in July since he has no more options with them as the new CBA nixed the second QO chance, then he just walks, or they sign him to a long term deal,
      IMO, come July, first step MK does is the trade route. I do not think he will commit a long term deal prior to that.

    2. It’s funny that this topic has come up. Like matt, I was thinking about a Hellickson plan as well. My thoughts were Klentak offers him a three year/ $39 million deal. If the two sides can’t hammer out an agreement by the end of May, then trade him. My #1 target has always been Miami’s supplemental draft pick (#36 overall). This would almost get the Phillies what they missed out on when Hellboy accepted the QO last off-season. In addition to the pick (which comes with $1.88 million in draft bonus pool money), I would also ask for some J2 money, as well. It’s early, but the Marlins are a .500 team, three games behind the Nats, and tied for a wild card spot. Let’s hope The Fish win enough games over the next montht-and-a-half to keep them in play for a possible Hellickson deal.

      1. Hinkie, I can see that scenario playing out. It’ll all be settled by 7/31 at the latest. But yes with Boras the trade route is more likely.

        1. How about the Nats? Might they be interested in Hellickson in hopes of going deeper in the playoffs or seeded higher in the NL? Boras is their pal.

          1. I don’t see a fit for Hellickson in DC. The Nats rotation is pretty much set (outside of an injury). Scherzer, Strasburg, Gio, Tanner Rourke, and Joe Ross. Washington will probably give up a good prospect (Carter Keiboom) or two for a reliable closer. The Phillies won’t be able to provide them with that.

      2. I think the Phillies offer Hellboy a contract if they feel that VV can’t hack it in the rotation. Eickhoff is a lock, and I’m cautiously optimistic on Eflin and Nola. Pivetta is off to a ridiculous start at Lehigh, so he’ll need a spot if that continues.

        It’s all on VV. He could be a lights out closer and the Phillies know it.

        1. As long as Boris is Hellickson’s agent, he won’t sign an extension here. Now that he is 30 years old, 2 years plus an option year at $16M AAV would be fine, but we all know he will seek a 5+ year contract at $20M+ AAV.

          Not worth it. They will continue to make a trade for a similar pitcher using the prospect depth in the system. Look for another trade in the off-season for a Hellickson like pitcher.

          1. JohnH……I agree about Boras and Hellickson looking for that 5 year deal. I just do not think Hellickson is in that company that will command $20M plus AAV.
            I see him more of a $16-18M AAV guy.
            He isn’t the ace on any of the current contenders right now.

            1. You are correct, but the AAV ceiling is above $30M and a limited market will push teams to pay guys like Hellickson $20M AAV. Boras will manipulate the career stats to a higher salary.

              Look at this list:

              Jeff Samardzija has a career 4.08 ERA, 59 wins, and is making $19.8M. Hellickson has a career 3.85 ERA and 64 wins.

            2. Yes fair point.
              Understand that Boras will shoot high but lately he has come down a bit on some of his starting pitchers.
              Hellickson could not get what he wanted and decided to accept the QO.
              Still I think Hellickson is seen as a mid-rotation guy, in the mold of a Mike Leake/Ian Kennedy type and it could be difficult for him to garner that $20/22M AAV for 5 years.
              IMO, if I were the Phillies, and they wanted to keep him for awhile, I would offer 5@$75M, and front load the first two years at $19M AAV, then the last three at approx. $12M AAV…..and he would be easier to move after the second year.

  56. Some college prospect updates:
    * Brendan McKay had one of his more uninspiring outings of the season yesterday … 6 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 7 K. BTW, Romus … yeterday, John Manuel (in a BA draft chat) threw a Cliff Lee comp on McKay – “McKay isn’t some low-ceiling safe guy. He may be Cliff Lee with his command, angle, pitchability and stuff. He’s really, really good.”
    *JB Bukauskas went 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 8 K vs Pitt yesterday
    * On Thursday, Alex Faedo rejuvenated his draft status by shutting down S Carloina 8.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 H. 4 BB. 9 K
    * Tanner Houck missed his sttart after a long rain delay between his warm-up and the start of the game.
    * Kyle Wright throws today vs Georgia. His Vandy teammate, Jeren Kendall homered in a 2 for 5 game yesterday against the Bulldogs.
    * Pavin Smith went 3 for 8, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K during a DH split with Notre Dame
    * Finally … in one of the best pitching matchups of the weekend Oregon St topped UCLA 4-2 last night. UCLA’s Griffin Canning was very good against maybe the most talented offense in NCAA baseball. Canning went 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 10 K. Oregon State LHP Luke Heimlich (maybe a possibility for the Phillies in the 2nd or 3rd round) was even better 7.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 10 K

    1. Hinkie….well that is interesting, comping McKay to Cliff Lee.
      He may be the first guy off the board come June. Not sure what I was thinking last fall when I envisioned him falling to the Phillies at 8. College LHPs with his pedigree normally go in the top 10 anyway, and hopefully if anyone selects him before the Phillies pick…it is not Atlanta.

      1. I think Keith Law says the Twins (1-1) will take McKay or Hunter Greene, and the Reds (1-2) will take whichever of the two is left.

        1. Yeah…figures that.
          One prep guy that interests me is the OFer Beck from NC.
          His tools what I have read, have been scouted as reminiscent of the kid from Millville NJ from 8 years ago.
          Of course that hyperbole for HSers seems to be annual occurrence around draft time.

        2. Conclusion
          “Austin Beck is a guy who has been compared by some to Mike Trout- Mike Trout at the time of his draft instead of Mike Trout the best player in the world. It’s a comp that makes some sense as they’re both prep center fielders with a good build to their upper bodies, a very good power and speed combo, and the ability to hit for average. I don’t want to buy into that though, as I think Trout was an 80 runner at the time and Beck wasn’t that even before his injury. I also think that Beck’s power now is a grade better than what Trout’s was at a similar point in his career”.

    2. maybe they could manuever to get Heimlich- you know he wouldnt choke in pressure situations.

  57. Phillies acquire IF/OF Ty Kelly from Toronto for cash. Will replace Buchholz (who goes on 60day dl) on 40man roster. Restores 5 man bench without having to call up somebody who’d otherwise sit on the bench.

  58. Kyle Wright may be playing his way out of range for the Phillies to pick him at 1-8 (if they don’t draft Pavin Smith). He pitched his second great game in a row today. 7 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 8 K. Over the last two games, Wright has gone 16 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 3 BB, 21 K.

  59. Interesting That Ty Kelly is a Swiss army knife played everywhere. He also walks alot sounds good. The Mets and Nats went too extra ings again there bp is good in to be mush by the all star game.

  60. It’s a beautiful day in Phillies land. Alfaro 3 hits and a hr, Kingery 2 hits and goes yard, Mickey Mo back in the lineup with 2 hits and a double. Best of all, Jake fires 7 shutout ip and Eflin impresses at CBP. Back-to-back-to-back from the top of the lineup in the 8th. NICE!

  61. The Phillies win Again back to Back to Back. Last night’s game a lot crazy but they still won throw some leather at the Braves ,Galvis off course , Altherr , Obbie. The are now a 500 team believe.

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