Open Discussion: Week of April 24th

Big week for the Phillies.  They reached .500 (9-9) with a 5-1 record for the week.  They took 2 out of 3 from the Mets in NY and swept the Braves at CBP.  They are in third place, ahead of both teams.  They host second place Miami in a three game series starting Tuesday.

Galvis has pulled above .200 and Joseph is right at .200.  But Franco and Rupp are still languishing below .200/.290/.390/.620.  Saunders has improved to .259/.295/.362/.657.  However, his zero HR are a little worrisome.

Altherr and Nava have stepped up during Kendrick’s absence.  Hernandez is still raking, although the haters will likely focus on his 23 Ks instead of his .338/.376/.563/.939 slash, his team leading 4 HR, 18 R, 4 doubles, and 3 SB (in 4 attempts).

As a team the Phillies have improved their AVG/OBP/SLG rank in the NL to 6-5-6 with .250/.314/.416 .  Their pitchers have improved to the third highest ERA and second most HR.  They’re still middle of the pack in strike outs, and are close to the leaders in least walks issued.

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

Key dates remaining:

  • June 12-14th – Rule 4 Draft
  • July 31st – Non-waiver Trade Deadline
  • December 10-14th – Winter Meetings in Orlando
  • December 14th – Rule 5 Draft

Extra Innings

Just heard some fool announcer on the Mets/Nationals game say that “every team has a #1, but not every team has an ace”.  Is there any wonder that fans get confused?  It wasn’t the softball player, and it wasn’t the color guy.  It was the play-by-play guy.  Dude should leave the baseball talk to the baseball people, and stick to calling the plays and introducing the commercials.

Ryan Howard made his AAA debut with the Gwinnett Braves this weekend.  His slash is 1.000/1.000/1.000/2.000.  He went 2-2 with 2 singles, an RBI, a BB, and HBP in the one game Gwinnett played after he was called up Saturday.  He was the DH.


  • 4/23 LHP Cole Irvin assigned to Phillies Ext. Spring Training from Clearwater Threshers.
  • 4/22 LHP Ranger Suarez assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters from Lakewood BlueClaws
  • 4/22 RHP Felix Paulino assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/22 Phillies transferred RHP Clay Buchholz from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list. Torn flexor tendon in right elbow.
  • 4/22 Toronto Blue Jays traded 3B Ty Kelly to Philadelphia Phillies for cash.
  • 4/21 LHP Joey DeNato assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/21 RHP Matt Hockenberry assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters from Reading Fightin Phils.
  • 4/21 Phillies activated RHP Pat Neshek from the paternity list.
  • 4/21 Phillies optioned RHP Ben Lively to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 4/20 – Seranthony Dominguez assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters from Clearwater Threshers.
  • 4/20 – Franklyn Kilome assigned to Clearwater Threshers from Williamsport Crosscutters.4/19 – Phillies placed RHP Pat Neshek on the paternity list.
  • 4/19 – Lehigh Valley IronPigs activated RHP Colton Murray from the 7-day disabled list.
  • 4/19 – Phillies recalled RHP Ben Lively from Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 4/19 – RHP Felix Paulino assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters from Lakewood BlueClaws.
  • 4/19 – RHP Kenny Koplove assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/18 – Phillies placed LF Howie Kendrick on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to April 16, 2017. Right abdominal strain.
  • 4/18 – Phillies placed RHP Clay Buchholz on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to April 15, 2017. Torn flexor tendon in right forearm.
  • 4/18 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Carlos Francisco to a minor league contract.
  • 4/18 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Alexis Herrera to a minor league contract.
  • 4/18 – Phillies selected the contract of RHP Mark Leiter from Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 4/18 – Phillies recalled RHP Zach Eflin from Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 4/18 – LHP Wander Perez assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Reading Fightin Phils.
  • 4/18 – Lakewood BlueClaws placed RHP Trevor Bettencourt on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to April 16, 2017.
  • 4/18 – LHP JoJo Romero assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • The organization rosters are almost up to date.

196 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of April 24th

  1. All hail Cesar! Probably the best player on the team in the early going. Altherr is also seizing the moment with the playing time.

    I wonder if Atlanta is planning to play Ryan Howard on defense or just PH and DH him. Hoping he catches on and gets a chance to hit his 400th career HR this year.

  2. Cesar keeps this up—then 1-he is named to the All-star team, and 2-he was get himself a very good long term contract at good salary figures after the season. Kingery becomes trade bait after he spends some (good) time at Lehigh Valley this year or next.

    Keep it up Cesar. Pay grades going up!!

    He’s doing as much as the pitching staff to keep them winning…as well as Altheer!! Altheer looks like their right fielder with Saunders maybe up for trade at the July trade deadline.

    The way Hell-Boy has been pitching…if he goes on this way when July arrives, they might want to re-sign him instead of puitting him up for trade.

    1. Far and away, for me, Altherr is the biggest revelation thus far. Its not just the numbers, which are impressive–its the at-bats. His approach is great. And obviously his defense is legit.

      We have a long season to go, but I hope he gets 350+ ABs this year. He’s certainly playing like a good second-divisoin regular.

      Nava has also impressed me. Again, not just the numbers, but his approach at the plate. Seems like a genuine professional hitter.

      Looks like the FO made the correct call in formulating the bench!

      1. My friend who’s a Sox fan told me if Nava healthy your going to love him. He eats up young pitchers waits for them to make a mistake.

        1. “My friend who’s a Sox fan told me if Nava healthy your going to love him. He eats up young pitchers waits for them to make a mistake.”

          He reminds me of a generation ago, when teams had professional hitters solely reserved to be a pinch hitter. Rusty Staub, Manny Mota, Greg Gross, Terry Crowley, Denny Walling….its seems like every team had a hitter like Nava.

          1. You’re right. But the old, pure pinch hitter was one of the slots that was sacrificed for the extra two relief pitchers (when I was a kid, pitching staffs always had 10 men). Nava can pinch hit because he’s also a back-up outfielder – so he has a more broad role than Staub or Mota. He’s been a very nice surprise and will provide some veteran leadership when the Phillies flip Kendrick or Saunders (or both).

            1. Which is why I favor adding at least one if not two roster spots on the 25man. There will never be enough arms on a big league pitching staff because managers love to manage and play the match up game in late innings. Why not restore the old pinch hitter guy the National League is badly in need of?

      2. Nava showing he can work the count. Stassi also does that but Nava has been hitting on top of that

    2. “The way Hell-Boy has been pitching…if he goes on this way when July arrives, they might want to re-sign him instead of puitting him up for trade.”

      I agree with this also. He’s obviously done well last year and into this season. He seems comfortable in Philadelphia. Has been nothing but reliable.

      1. Yes, he does – that’s the closest comparison one could find. He doesn’t have Werth’s pedigree and may not quite have the same power (although it’s close), but I think he’s actually faster and a better athlete than Werth was at the same age (again, it’s close).

        This morning I read a quote from Pete where he grouped Altherr as a bench guy with with Blanco and Nava. It’s hard to tell from a quote what a person means, but if he keeps playing like this he needs to be out there every day or almost every day. It’s not entirely a coincidence that they won when he was out there. He’s a damned good baseball player.

        1. Perhaps Matt Stairs, so far in this SSS, has had a positive influence on him.
          Has his bat on his shoulders now vs up prior to his load.
          Still early…lets see how he is by June/July.
          A overall MLB 28% k rate will need to be lowered or he is what he is in Mack’s estimation…a great defensive 4th OFer with occasional power.

          1. @romus – I hope Matty Stairs spends equal time with Franco, Rupp and ToJo too – 3/8 of the starting line up and main source of power and run production.

  3. Phillies runs per game 6th at 4.7 hr 22 at 16 ops 14 th .722 . Pitching 4.39 era 28 th getting better. 1 thing there making great defensive plays . FYI Kendrick is now out to mid May. I would have liked to seen Mark Lieter get into a game.Going 500 in the first 20 games will be a good sign.

  4. I honestly have no idea why you’d take exception with the comment: “Every team has a #1, but not every team has an ace.” Can you elaborate?

    It true for most teams, Phillies included. We have a pitcher atop our rotation–our number one–but he’s by no means an ace.

    Or are you implying that only aces can be considered a “#1?”

    1. I was about to type same thing. And i even questioned who wrote that. Didnt sound like Jim comment IMO.

      1. Yes, it was I. I wrote an in depth article on the 20-80 scale and pitcher ratings. It is one of the things I continue to harp on when I see the terms misused.

    2. I think it’s a thought that every team has an ace because every team has a #1 pitcher. It’s equating the #1 pitcher on a team is their ace. I firmly disagree and feel like an ace is an elite level pitcher which is why the Phillies had those 4 Aces back in the Hallady, Lee, Hamels, Oswalt days.

      I never liked the “every teams’ #1 is an ace.” Preference, I guess.

    3. Yes, I am. Ace and #1 are interchangeable terms with the same meaning, one of the top pitchers in baseball. So, not every team will have a #1.

      Pitchers are rated #1 thru #5 based on certain sets of criteria. I covered this in depth a couple years ago. At any given time there may be about 12 #1 pitchers in all of baseball. Maybe another 20 or so may qualify as #2s.

      Using the terms indiscriminately just confuses people. Obviously. IMO Network baseball announcers should not add to the confusion.

  5. Altherr is the real deal. Cesar is the real deal. The broadcasting combos including McCarthy, Kruk, Davis, and Schmidt are the real deal.

    I saw the Phils last year were 27th in pitches seen per at bat, this year they are 1st. Therefore, Matt Stairs is the real deal.

    1. Come on man. If you pay that much attention to the transactions, then you know they’ve been doing this all year with the starting pitchers in order to circumvent the roster limits.

  6. Great to see Altherr go REAL deep. Ball jumps off his bat. Double to the gap the other night went 111 mph.

    With Kendrick on the shelf and Saunders looking very pedestrian (where’s HIS pop?!), there seems to be no grounds whatsoever not to play AA every day. As a fan, he’s fun to watch. We may already have 2/3 of our foreseeable future OF on the big league roster.

    With Rupp treading water, I’d like to see Knapp get more starts. Alfaro is playing like he wants to get a call soon.

    I’m one of those Cesar ‘haters’ Jim referred to. The kid is producing, there’s no argument there. What would they get in return for Kingery? Valentin? Then what might they get in return for an all-star 2b? This is my point. Go, Cesar!

    ToJo is in my opinion holding Hoskins’ place. And if we draft Pavin Smith, all the more interesting when we’ve been concerned that 1b was a weak spot up until now.

    Eflin issued NO walks yesterday. We’ve talked about hitters taking more pitches (which they are – thanks Matt & Matt). Now our young arms are collectively making strides, notwithstanding those nagging BBs before HRs.

    I’d say we’re trending UP^

    1. Agree with Knapp seeing more time. I do think Rupp will improve but I’ve liked Knapp’s approach at the plate more, although the results really haven’t been there yet. I’d like to see what happens if they start splitting time more evenly.

      1. I like Knapp more as a player than I do Rupp. Believe it or not, I think Knapp may have passed Rupp as a defensive player (he already calls a better game) and I think, while we haven’t seen it yet, his offensive upside is better, perhaps a lot better. While I understand not unseating the incumbent, I do hope that Knapp gets enough at bats to develop. He’s kind of between a rock and hard place with Rupp in the majors and Alfaro in AAA and he’s not a young prospect, but I think he has a chance to be pretty decent.

      2. I have seen a lot of knapp. He has a beautiful swing. But just doesnt hit enough and i cant figure out why. I just dont see him right now as a better player.

    2. If Kingery is as good as I think he might be, he could be one of the top 2 or 3 hitters in the system (and you could make a decent argument that, of the older group, he’s the best). While his ideal position is second, if he’s that good, they will make room for him, like the Red Sox did with Mookie Betts who was so good that the existence of Dustin Pedroia did not block him.

      It’s hard to overstate how significant Kingery’s jump forward has been this year. I love this guy as a prospect – just love him. And I think the Phillies fans will take to him right away. The weird thing about him is that facially and physically, he kind of looks like David Wright’s little brother – the resemblance between the two is striking.

          1. He is most certainly a class act
            However you cannot say he doesn’t have chipmunk cheeks and stupid smile

    3. Agreed, love what Cesar is doing and am interested to see how his trade value develops.

      I’m not ready to write-off Rupp or ToJo just yet. Solid players in the club house and it is still early. It should be okay if Knapp gets 350 ABs in his first year.

      However, if Alfaro and Hoskins continue to light it up into June, they will have pushed themselves onto the big club.

  7. Granted its way too early in their careers, but after watching Neris struggle again yesterday, what are your thoughts on Vince Velasquez to closer at some point in the (near) future? VV seems to have the make up and certainly has the stuff to be dominant there for the next decade. Pitch count continues to be an issue. Neris back to dominate set up guy and opens up a spot in the rotation for some combo of Lively/Pivetta/Thompson. Really intrigued by what we have with the latter two especially and our present closer situation on the big club is downright scary!

    1. I’d be on board with Velasquez in the bullpen. 8th inning at the start. Let him grow into a closer if that’s where he’ll succeed.

    2. It’s too early in Velasquez’s career to give up on him as a starter. And it isn’t​ as if he’s getting bombed in his starts. He just has to figure out how to go from a 5 inning pitcher to a 6 inning pitcher.

      Jumping the gun and moving Velasquez to closer basically nullifies the Ken Giles trade. They could have just kept Giles if they’re going to waste Velasquez as a Relief Pitcher on a non-contender.

      1. Agree it’s too early on Velasquez, but he also needs to start walking fewer batters. Although pitch economy and that go somewhat hand-in-hand.

    3. Makes no sense to make a potential starter a reliever until he’s proven he can’t remain a starter. Your first statement was correct, it’s way too early in their careers…

    4. If the Phils are contending now and make a run next year, maybe yes. The Phils have enough live arms in the farm to be developed as a pen arm that can be the future closer of the team – Arano, Appel, Tirado, Pinto can be better candidates and possible Edgar Garcia, Llovera and Dyer.

      I’ll stick with VV as a starter – can be a solid #2/#3 or a top trade chip when he clicks!

  8. Too early for Velasquez to go to the pen for sure, but how about Appel? How long do you wait for him? He’s getting a little long in the tooth.

    Still not a CH believer. The Ks don’t bother me too much (they’re only outs no matter what) but striking out (runner on third) when you need to put the bat on the ball concerns me.

    From Eflin to Eflin, the starters went 5, 6, 5, 7, 5, and 7 innings. Slowly, they are getting there. With Bucky out, I like this pitching staff.

    1. Appel struggles greatly in the stretch, making him a RP at this point might be tough to watch. I feel like he’s either a decent starter or nothin at all.

      1. You may be right, but if he continues to struggle as a starter, they are going to have very little choice but to try him in that role. Sometimes it’s hard to predict whose stuff will jump a little bit and whose stuff won’t change at all. It’s also a demeanor issue – although it seemed a little better this spring, Appel’s demeanor on the mound and mound presence are not good at all; he’s been the opposite of Jerad Eickhoff who is as compose and focused as I’ve ever seen in any young pitcher.

        1. I have to admit that I was skeptical of “demeanor-issue” talk until I saw Appel this spring in Clearwater. Everything looks fine until something goes wrong. Then he “hangs his head” and struggles after that. And it doesn’t have to be a hard hit ball or HR to trigger a reaction. Several times it was a pitch that didn’t hit the “perfect” spot he was aiming for. I’ve been sitting on this observation for weeks, not wanting to throw “gas on the fire” prematurely. But, he sometimes looks defeated before the inning plays out after a bad result.

  9. So I am seeing a lot of “sign Hellickson to an extension” rhetoric lately and as much as I am a fan of his, I can’t stomach spending 80m on him. I just made a list of all of the viable starting arms we have from the major leagues down to rookie ball and I am well over 25. I know I’ve left off many of them too. We have four young pitchers in our current major league rotation, and a couple more knocking on the door. The biggest problems we have are that we don’t have a lefty, and we don’t have a top of rotation arm. Hellickson doesn’t solve either of those issues. I would much rather use that 80 million to try to extend guys like Cesar or Nola or Eickhoff before they see the big payday in their sights. If we could get all of the young talent on Odubell type contracts, sure we will miss on a few of them, but we could really prove control this rebuild in such a way that we could use our big reserves on a top of the rotation lefty or free agent power hitting right fielder. And also I want to continue to stack the lower minors with those cheap deals we’ve seen become so fruitful with our A ball rotations. Don’t get me wrong. Hellickson is a stand up guy and a huge contributor. But I don’t condone tying that much money into a right handed third in a rotation type guy.

    1. Agreed. Trade him at the deadline and think about re-signing him in the offseason if the price is right — he’ll have no draft pick compensation associated with him, finally.

  10. Hail Cesar!! He might fetch a top arm or two!! The issue with Cesar (and might apply to Altherr) is that he may no longer be performing at this level and becomes expensive when the Phils start to compete. I agree with Middleton’s assessment that the Phils is at least 2 years from contending. 2017 and 2018 is evaluation period to earmark the key pieces that will make up the next contending Phillies team. Cesar and Ken Giles just came at the wrong time!

    Let’s enjoy Cesar while he’s here. He might be the next Phils gift that keeps on giving. I’m glad he’s raking!

    1. This is crazy – he hasn’t even turned 27 yet. Why are we all rushing to trade Cesar now? There’s no reason – none – that he could not be one of the centerpieces of re-build. If they signed him to a six-year contract now he’d be ending the deal in his age-32 season. If they can’t put a contending team together in 6 years we’ve got bigger problems than Cesar’s talent bell curve.

      1. Teams that go on to contend are not in the habit of trading their youngest, most cost-controlled players away absent a truly mind-boggling offer. The whole point is to develop and retain these players, not trade them away as soon as they play well.

        1. yes, teams don’t trade young and controllable assets especially if they don’t have any replacement. the Phils has the luxury of entertaining such idea because of their depth in 2B position – one way or another teams will trade somebody because nobody can play the same position at the same time.

          if you choose to keep Cesar, what are you going to do with Kingery, Valentin and others? you’ll eventually trade them too otherwise they’ll lose value.

          i’m not saying that keeping Cesar is wrong but you need to understand that the Phils will make a decision about their future 2B — a) Cesar; b) Valentin; c) Kingery; d) Brito; e) none of the above —- unfortunately nobody knows what’s the correct answer. i just choose c) and/or d) because they have the better skill sets and potential and have age on their side.

          1. KK – you’re not gonna get much buy in from the guys here, they’re very old school baseball folks… the concept of competing too soon / trading a player who is good but doesn’t fit our roster construction timeline is not something that is well received.

            I personally agree with you though.

        2. Catch- I’m with you 110%, you have a player who is young and doing NOTHING but improving and thats at the ML level. He’s becoming an all star. Why would you trade the known for the unknown. Kingery is not a lock type prospect, there aren’t many of those types of players. Hell even with his nice start to the season Kingey is still a sub .275/.340/.390 for his minor league career. You DO NOT trade an all star caliber player for someone who hasn’t been above AA and someone who isn’t seen as a game changing prospect.

          1. He’s 27 for the majority of this season, not 23, that’s not exactly young. If a good return is offered, he should be traded. The phillies won’t be competing for a championship in the next 2 years, which is when he has the most value.

            This should mean that he has more value to other teams (who are built to contend) then he does to the Phillies, therefore he should be traded. (If the Phillies can capture that value)

      2. the beauty in the Cesar argument is that there’s no right or wrong answer. the only “crazy” part of the argument is that people doesn’t understand that Cesar is becoming a good problem to have.

        On one hand, Cesar can be part of the future contending team.

        On the other hand, Cesar can be a valuable trade asset (that can fetch real good prospects) and Valentin, Kingery and Brito provides the same potential.

        Timing is key in winning. That’s a key factor in the success of the 2008 Phils.

        If Cesar continue to develop as we now, the only “crazy” thing is if the Phils trade Cesar for peanuts or let him walk away for nothing.

        I don’t have a crystal ball and i don’t know anybody who has. i just believe that Kingery or Brito has the better skill sets and are the future 2B of the next contending team and father time is on their side so it’s not “crazy” for me if Klentak see it that way as well.

        1. KK – I get that Cesar could be traded – of course it’s possible.

          But, right now, he’s young, he’s cost-controlled and he’s the best player on the team. If he were 30 or 31 right now, I might agree with you. But he’s still 26 and getting better and controlled for several more years.

          Players like that are not guys you look to trade away – they are guys you look to retain and rebuild with unless someone gives you such an incredible offer that you can’t turn it down. Otherwise, you try to sign him to a good, long-term deal now, which benefits the team in having cost certainty and having a more tradable commodity moving forward, as Adam Eaton was for Chicago.

          So, yeah, I think, as a general principle, it seems crazy for me for the Phillies to actively shop him unless they were presented with a package that absolutely blew them away and simply could not refuse.

          1. @catch – i have no issue (and i probably agree with it) if the Phils sign Cesar to a long term cost controlled contract. this can be beneficial to the Phils if they end up keeping him. I just think that Kingery has the better mind set and skill set and he’s in line with the timeline when the Phils will start to contend.

            Neris also is a potential casualty of my “2019 theory”. Phils can trade Neris for the right return

            1. I’m not sure what other skill set you’d like to see Cesar develop, except steal more bases and improve his steal percentage (and he’s actually done that a lot better this year). He hits for average, he gets on base, he’s hitting for power, he’s fast, and he’s at the worst a well above average fielder. The fact that Kingery could also be excellent, doesn’t detract from Cesar’s abilities. As I noted earlier, this isn’t like the situation with Thome and Howard where you couldn’t keep both players. There’s room for Cesar and Kingery on the team.

            2. Agreed, the time horizons and decisions regarding Neris could be entirely different than with Cesar. Neris is also a bit older, so there’s that too.

            3. i should say “2019 Timeline” theory – i can see a contending line up of:

              C – Alfaro
              1B – Hoskins
              2B – Kingery
              SS – JPC
              3B – Franco (Machado)
              LF – Williams or Doobie
              RF – Cozens or Quinn or FA
              CF – Moniak or Quinn or Doobie

              Trout is the only position player that I want the Phils to trade for.

              Rotation – (Otani), Eickhoff, Nola, Pivetta, Kilome, VV (or in the pen)
              Bullpen – Arano, Ramos, Appel, Ed Garcia, Pinto, LHP FA, LA prospect.

              Based on that projection, current players that can fetch high value can be traded – so that includes Cesar, Neris, young SPs (including VV, Jake, etc) and to lesser extent AA, ToJo, etc.

            4. Kuko, I’m tracking with you. 2019 is our watershed year. Playoffs (and who knows what might happen?) My lineup goes this way:
              C Alfaro
              1b Smith (or Hoskins)
              2b Kingery
              SS Crawford
              3b Machado
              LF Herrera (if he’s not dealt) or Williams
              CF Moniak (if not opening day, by midseason) maybe Quinn
              RF Altherr (possible platoon w/Cozens)

              Trout is ours in 2021! With our financial muscle and locally connected sentiment, he’d have no reason not to, nor the FO.

            5. We won’t contend until 2020 at the earliest and it’s probably more likely we don’t contend with this batch of prospects then we do at all.

        2. “no right or wrong answer”. It’s wrong to want to trade Cesar, who is dominating in the majors to open up a spot for someone with mediocre minor league career stats.

  11. Cesar is 26 guys, relax. I think its wrong to assume hes going to have a 1 or 2 year prime and be trending downward when hes 29 and the Phillies are competing. The bottom line is this: it has been a month which could be a small sample size. If it is not and this is how he is as a player, he is a franchise 2b. If this is somewhat flukish, he is not.

    I HATE that I am even thinking this, but in the event that JP Crawford is legitimately broken, could Kingery play SS? Clearly Crawford is not a guy you give up on yet, but I am just saying long term is that POSSIBLE?’

    I am not ready to say Kingery is trade bait…like others here I think he might be something super special

    1. You don’t trade anybody unless A. you have to (like then when the Phillies needed to move Thome to make room for Howard) or B. you get blown away (like what the Phillies got for Ken Giles).

      Kingery is still at Reading. He’s not going anywhere.

      1. the argument in trading Cesar is to trade him while his value is high (young, controllable and developing) and not because people hate him because of his bone headed plays. not sure what side of the argument you belong, but nobody wants to trade Cesar for scrubs.

        1. I’m on the side of keeping the young, cheap, controllable player who’s hitting MLB pitching right now. The prospect is what he is: a PROSPECT. They have done zilch against MLB pitching. There is no guarantee that this prospect will do anything. It’s hard to develop players. If you have any doubts about what I’m saying, look at the struggles of one Byron Buxton in Minnesota. That guy was supposed to be can’t miss.

          1. these players including the superstars are once “prospects” too — so playing that “prospect rhetoric” is chicken and egg and it will lead to nowhere.

            for every disappointing top prospect like buxton, there’s a francisco lindor and so on — so again this will lead to a chicken and egg discussion.

            if Cesar becomes one the young “studs”, then everybody should back off. Cesar is young, controllable and developing — yes that’s correct if you think short term. by the time the Phils content, the young Cesar that you’re talking about is not longer young, the controllable Cesar is needs to be paid and the developing Cesar may not develop to a “stud” that you like to see.

            people can spin things to support their reason – but everybody is limited to what it can do physically and mentally and father time affects everybody.

            2019 — that’s the time to compete!! Middleton indirectly said that. i’m looking at the 2019 and so Phillies not the 2017 version.

            1. What am I spinning here? Cesar is getting it done right now against MLB pitching. Kingery is at AA. Is Kingery the next Francisco Lindor? Kingery is not even in the top 100. My argument is that even Byron Buxton could struggle, and he was WAY more upside than Kingery.

              If Cesar is generating 3-4 WAR right now, how much WAR do you think Kingery is going to generate? And that’s IF Kingery can hit MLB pitching. You seem to think that it’s a foregone conclusion he will.

            2. Guru – who says Kingery is Lindor?!? your head must be spinning.

              The timeline that I’m looking is 2019 and beyond (not 2017, not 2018) — i’m not sure who will be better 2B option in 2019 between Kingery and Cesar. I’m betting with someone younger and with better skills. If I’m wrong, then it is still a good bet.

        2. KuKo…..I am interested in seeing what you think trading Cesar will bring you back in return?
          Second baseman did not have great return value on the market…..anyway, not like pitchers…..starters and top-closers, CFers, shortstops or catchers.
          Kinsler is the latest I can recall that brought back a good return.
          There just are not many trades centering around second basemen.

          1. Romus – barring any injury situation, i don’t see any contending team that might have a need for Cesar — so that lowers the leverage. if the LAD offers Jose de Leon for Cesar last winter, I’ll do it. I like to get a Adam Eaton haul or similar to that (maybe a top arm and another low minor arm with high upside).

            1. KuKo… Adam Eaton haul would be great, but not sure that would be possible since like you mention…there needs to be a need or demand.
              You bring up the Dodgers…they may be the only contending favorite that may have a need for Cesar.
              And I assume a pitcher is what the Phillies would want in exchange since they are maxed with prospects in almost all the positions.
              Would the Dodgers be willing to give up one of their top ten prospects who happens to be also a pitcher?
              I am not sure I would be willing to trade him if a return pitcher with premium potential is not included in the trade.

          2. If your not Cano not much it’s still early let’s see what happens . The league will adjust to Ceaser new found​ power . He going to have to re adjust.

    2. on the Kingery at shortstop, i had remembered reading this on after the draft:
      : after speculating about it on the site, multiple contacts reached out in agreement that Kingery had the better chance of being a quality shortstop in pro ball than his far more discussed teammate Kevin Newman.

      realize JP was/is in the fold and Kingery can be a great second baseman, but i do wish they were more open like the Cubs to giving guys experience at different spots to give them more flexibility for the future- like if Cesar and JP are here and Kingery came up, and could handle both middle infield spots behind them, that would be quite a position of strength.

    3. danurda,

      I agree. We might be better served waiting a month or two to have the CeHe discussion.

      Kingery to short stop is an intriguing idea. He appears to have great instincts in the field and maybe could transfer them to a new position. Then, again, this idea also might benefit from a month or two of maturing to see if JP snaps out of it and is our future, or if we have to start thinking of Plan B.

    1. the Phils are off today so they can just move everybody up until one of the LHV arm they pick is ready which is most likely Lively or maybe they ask Leiter to start multiple innings. I can see Pivetta coming up if Nola will miss multiple starts.

  12. If Moncada was the center piece that got the Sox Chris Sale then you draw some type of parallel to potentially acquire the Ace you might need to go on a deep playoff run.

    A little further back to look at what we gave up to get a Cliff Lee and a Roy Halladay who both pitched exceptionally well for us at reasonable contract $.

    I think the last thing you want to do is play in the ecosphere of FA Aces and $200+ Million to guys that play once every 5th day. I think its better to trade for those guys or play on the fringes of that.

    In that sense having these 3 guys doing very well is a good problem to have absolutely.

  13. Really worried about Nola. He has been struggling to find his command, and he needs that to be a #3. Now his back is giving him problems. It happens when you re- configure your motion trying to compensate for something else. I don’t know that is the problem, but we have seen it before.

        1. Lively pitched Saturday. I don’t think the Phillies want Lively to make his MLB debut on short rest.

          1. yeah i guess that would be too much for Lively.
            Hope Pivetta’s debut is a successful one on Wednesday.

      1. Heavy rain is forecast tomorrow night. A postponement would likely move everybody back a day, unless a doubleheader was scheduled Wed or Thurs. We’ll have to wait and see. I’m sure they will.

    1. I agree with you, the command issue is a huge red flag. Mac said in ST we will see how healthy Nola is come June, I suspect he will have had surgery by then.

      Re. Cesar – perhaps we have not yet seen the entire upside that he may provide? If this guy is as good as he has been looking the last 4 months, we could be looking at 15 HR, 85 runs, 50 RBI, 30 SB .320 BA in his age 27 year. Also, I would like someone to look at his bone-headed plays over the last 6 months – I suspect a regression has occurred

    2. I wouldn’t worry too much yet. His stuff this year has been as good as it ever was – hitting 95 with tons of movement. He could still grow into a solid 2.

  14. Nobody trades a player because they aren’t good. We have depth at 2b. Unproven depth? Of course. If we had nobody in the system worth mentioning, there would be zero talk about trading Cesar. You don’t acquire anything by giving up little or nothing, unless you get real lucky. GMs and their people have to make hard decisions on good players. The marginal and sub quality players are easy. I would have no problem if MacKlentak trade the following players come the deadline IF we get a worthwhile return.

    Tommy Joseph, Cesar Hernandez, Odubel Herrera, Vince Velasquez, Hector Neris, Andrew Knapp, and any of our top prospects although very reluctantly Alfaro since catcher is a premium position. Worthwhile means serious haul. Otherwise, I’m willing to remain jammed at any position and try to figure it out later. For example, either Kingery or Cesar could conceivably move to the OF since both seem to be developing unexpected power.

    1. Unless we get a crazy offer, the Phillies won’t be trading Cesar. And therein lies the rub, no GM is going to overpay for Cesar. I doubt we will get even fair value for him. If the Phillies put Cesar on the block, then the other GMs will wonder why. Cesar is not Chase Utley. Kingery is not Chase Utley. But if Cesar gets us 3-4 WAR per year, we should be happy about that.

    2. 8mark…forget about Cesar in the OF….he doesn’t have the desired power for a corner, nor the arm for RF and doesn’t have the defensive acumen for CF.
      Kingery did play CF at AU.

    3. There is a fair trade out there and the GM needs to find it.

      Franco at 3B (1100 MLB AB’s) and Crawford at SS will dictate types of trades or re-positioning of players. Both off to a slow start. Moving Franco could open the door for Kingery or Valentin at 3B. Galvis could be around another year if Crawford continues to falter at AAA.

      1. I see a lot of people projecting JPC as our star of the future and for over a year now I’m just going to repeat that I don’t see it.

        I would be shocked if he manages to become a star.

        His bat is just so bad right now and has been for quite some time. Obviously he’s still super young, but essentially an entire half of his game (offense) has been suffering.

  15. Nola to the DL for back strain, first I am hearing that he elected to not have surgery in the off-season on his elbow. Could there be an eventual longer term injury? (eg: Bucholtz)

    Excited to see Pivetta get the opportunity for two starts. Hope he does well and stays in the rotation. Too bad for Lively and Thompson.

  16. Pivetta could be a solid member of the starting staff. It is refreshing to have several starting pitchers seemingly good from our farm teams to insert in the rotation with Thompson and Lively soon available– Elfin already here and now Pivetta. The only downside being leaving Lehigh Valley bereft of them. Who believes that other starters lurk in Reading ? to move up to LV as replacements there?

    As for Kingery moving to SS….does he have the arm strength for that position? Along with many here, I see SS as a position not accounted for…with JPC having an extraordinary failure at bat. Pathetic, especially since we’ve been lured to believe that he’s our next great guy at that position. Could Brito be moved to SS??…since he promises (?) to be a good hitter along with a good glove? Aside from JPC, no other SS in the system stands out as comparable to his prior promise. Scary.

    With Galvis being a defensive genius (my term), he could stay until another SS is found . If only he could hit .250….

    1. Brito was signed in 2015 as a SS and split time between SS and 2B in the DSL. In 2016, he was pushed off SS by Cole Stobbe who has since moved to third. Brito was signed along with Arquimedez Gamboa. While Brito was in the DSL, Gamboa played SS in the GCL. While Brito played 2B in the GCL, Gamboa played SS in the NYPL. Now they man the middle together in Lakewood. I guess my point is that Gamboa was deemed the better SS prospect as early as 2015. Joe Jordan spoke highly of him last season in spite of his low batting numbers. It seems unlikely to me that the Phillies would consider Brito at short.

  17. Galvis and hernandez will be phils middle infield for a while and they deserve it look for kingery and Crawford in a package for the “great’ mike Trout

    1. kingery and JPC will not get you Mike Trout. The negotiation with start with a Trout replacement – possibly MickeyMo and/or Doobie plus a premium arm like Kilome or Sixto.

      If the DP combo is still Cesar and Galvis, then the Phils is not a contending team yet.

      1. Gavis hits 20 home runs last year and could of won the gold glove if it wasn’t for Crawford and Hernandez is an all star this year, so what’s the issue ??

      2. The Angels already have Trouts replacement Calhoun . The Angels would want pitching,pitching , pitching then more pitching.

        In order for the Phillies to acquire Mike Trout, there are in my mind two scenarios. The more plausible first one is to simply wait for his free agency following the 2020 season.

        The other could play out like this:
        IF and only if the FO deems the club is ready to contend sooner than later, MacKlentak calls LAA to see what they would want for Trout and explain to them, “Hey look, we’ll be players for him when he becomes a FA. But if we can agree on a trade AND Mike is willing to extend the contract thru say 2027, wouldn’t you (LAA) want to get a good return instead of letting him walk in ’20. The longer you wait, the less you (LAA) get back and the more inclined we’ll be to sit and wait since we think we can sign him since we have tons of money and he’s a local boy who loves to come home. Plus he knows already what we have going here.”

        The Phillies could provide LAA with more than half their starting lineup and several pitchers. LAA wants young controllable players but at or close to the big leagues. We offer Herrera, Hernandez, Franco (Machado replaces him), JPC, Hoskins, Cozens, Knapp, Velasquez, Neris and Kilome. We would then have to figure out who our next SS is (assuming Crawford was). This would also clear up some 40man issues.

        Likelihood? Just playing GM in my little mind.

        1. Package should be highlighted by MickeyMo, Sixto and Doobie to make LAA interested.

          1. You can add as many players to the package as you want. If he doesn’t agree to an extension, it’s all moot. My question to LAA is what are they thinking as 2020 draws near. Will they wait until his contract year to deal him as a rental. What will they get in return for an all time great player? Their landscape isn’t too green right now. A lot can happen in 3 yrs but their farm is among the worst. I would offer any 8-12 of our controllable younger major league/older top prospects. Alfaro, Mickey Mo and Sixto are IMO keys to the future. Again, this is only practical if the FO goes for contention sooner than later. From LAA’s end, a fascinating situation. Is Arte Moreno gonna blow it? After all, this one is his call. If I’m the Phillies, we can wait until his free agency. LAA can’t.

            1. Moreno will try to avoid to be the one who traded away a future all-timer so he will ask for the moon and starts for Trout — so it will be up to Mike Trout to drive his market. knowing Trout, he will be diplomatic so we need to look for subtle signs – i.e. Trout not negotiating extension with LAA prior to his free agency, continued bromance with Wentz, watching Philly teams. sharing Shirley Temples with Embiid and so on. But the Phils need to create a contending team to make it easy for Trout to bolt out and sign with the Phils in 2020.

              For me, a MickeyMo, Sixto and Doobie is already a huge price. But i will try offer that package but take it or leave it approach.

  18. Slow baseball news on a Monday….So far, here’s my prospect stock watch:

    STOCK UP!!

    Seranthony Dominguez

    If the rankings will be made today, MikeyMo will be #1 followed by Alfaro. Kingery, Brito and Pullin will break Top 10, 20 and 30, respectively. (NOTE: I think Kingery is my breakout and Brito is my sleeper for 2017 — that’s probably why I’m pushing to trade Cesar).


    El Garcia

  19. IMO, it is highly questionable that Crawford will ever be a MLB player. It may be only in his head…but that seems to have overtaken him. He seems afraid/scared that MLB play would be expected from him. Time to look for another SS…IMO. Sorry about that,

    1. Art,

      It’s still early, as everyone says. But the worry about JP clearly is growing.

      I’ve said a couple of times that he appears weak at bat. You say afraid/scared. That might be the same thing. He certainly doesn’t appear confident. But maybe he lines three hits Tuesday and life returns to normal.

  20. I noticed Brito has been playing SS the past few games. Has anyone heard/seen anything from the Phils on why. I am speculating Cesar, Kingery and Valentin are enough for second base plus with Galvis and Crawford not displaying any offense moving Brito to SS just makes sense. Any thoughts?

    1. Amazing seventeen games into season and we are throwing Crawford under the bus. Still looking to trade Cesar. this is funny stuff. I have to be the only one on there for two season has said how good Cesar is and would become. but still people want to trade him for two unproven prospects, Amazing you couldnt make this stuff up. Lets trade a guy who is headed to be a allstar second basemen for a guy in triple a and double a. Who havent proven anything. and i like Valentin. but he is unproven. You will get no value for cesar so lets just release him and bring up kingery who is headed to hall of fame. omg i cant stop laughting.

      1. rocco……are you ROGL?
        Cesar is the lightning rod guy this season.
        BTW…got myself a nice Phillies 47 cap at the Majestic store Friday nite. Where were you? And big John M. was chatting with Wheels in Wheel’s box….no doubt talking about ‘no doubles defense’. 🙂

        1. Romus i been on the Cesar wagon for two years. He just had to eliminate the stupid base running mistakes and sometimes laps in fielding judgement. He was young and learning .But the people on here just keep reading scouting reports on kingery and think he is the next pete rose. He might be a good player. but Cesar is doing it at the highest level. with only now getting a little respect. It just amazes me how we based opinions on scouting reports alone. thats all. To the 6 people who thumbs down my comments. i know your must be in a closet reading scouting reports. cause prove me wrong on what i said. have the guts to confront me.

      2. I’ve been throwing JPC under the “bus” for 385 at bats in AAA last year and another 60 this year.

        He’s been a .635 OPS player in his 400+ most recent at bats… come on man, this isn’t new.

        1. True I don’t get alarmed or surprised any more when a highly touted prospect struggles or doesn’t make it. It’s happened so many times where just because a kid attains a top MLB prospect ranking by BA or some other pundit comps a kid to an HOF that everyone assumes a forgone conclusion.

          The flip side is just as silly though and that is just because a prospect breezed through all his levels and hits a wall in AAA doesn’t mean he isn’t going to get it.

          You’re looking at a bunch of kids in the league this year who are finally enjoying a little success who made or needed multi years in AAA.

          1. Dmar I have seen Crawford a little. He is right now imo lost. That junk they throw in triple a ,can get into a guys head. You dont see a lot of hard throwers. A lot of veterans who are short on there fastball. and relies on junk pitches. so i think it is a real adjustment for this kid. I would give him the season . the second half will be the key for him. i think.

    2. Brito has moved over to SS because Arquimedes Gamboa is injured. I believe he’ll be back to 2B when Gamboa returns.
      BTW … Has anyone heard anything about when Gamboa and Darick Hall will be back ?

    3. @Bob, Arquimedes Gamboa went on the 7-day DL on April 12th. Brito is their best offensive option on a team that needs to score runs for its effective pitching rotation. Jose Antequera isn’t hitting (he’s been in a freefall from .333 to .167 over the past 11 days). The best option down in XST is probably Jonathan Guzman who played in the DSL in 2016 (He turns 19 in August). Cole Stobbe has been used exclusively at third this spring. The other young SS prospects didn’t even play in the DSL last season – Brayan Gonzalez, Jose Tortolero, and Christian Valerio.

  21. If you were to eliminate Saunders, Nava, and Kendrick from the big league team today. How would you prioritize the minor league players for call up, based on readiness?

    I would say Cam Perkins, Nick Williams, & Carlos Tocci in that order.

    Reasoning: Quinn cannot stay healthy, Cozens strikes out too much, and Tocci is ahead of Pullin in terms of OF defense.

    1. I don’t care much for any of the three that you mentioned.

      Perkins is a AAAA player – is unlikely to have any legitimate major league career. He could hold down a back-up job for a little while without killing you, but he has no major league upside and thus no interest for me.

      Nick Williams is a highly regarded prospect by some, but his plate discipline is awful and he doesn’t have any really loud tool (good athleticism is not a tool). I’m not a believer, but I’d have him third on the list after Hoskins and Alfaro.

      Tocci? Why would you pick him? He fields well and hits okay, but has no power and doesn’t have good plate discipline. Back-up outfielder at best and he’s still a long way from the majors. Should be trade fodder at the trade deadline or during the winter.

      The guys who are closest to a call-up in my view are as follows:

      Hoskins – Real power, good plate discipline, enough hit tool. I think he’ll be a major leaguer. The question is whether he can become a first division regular.

      Alfaro – Has Cameron Rupp impressed anyone this year? Granted, Rupp is okay, but I’d much rather have Knapp and Alfaro behind the plate.

      You could go with Quinn, Williams or Crawford. Of the three, Williams might be the closest, but Quinn and Crawford have more upside and are more interesting.

      1. I failed to mention, that you would need to replace the OF’s with other OF’s in the system.

        It’s interesting, the fine line there is with the system OF’s we have due to concerns with injury, plate discipline, and ability to perform.

        Williams would be the only close to ready option and you would need to move another player into the outfield.

    2. Quinn is healthy at the moment. His current problem is non-productivity. But he’s already been up.

      They might choose to do Perkins a solid since he’s played respectably well, strictly as a bench player.

      That’s it. Altherr is in rf. We’re good until Williams or Cozens show they deserve a promotion. Tocci would make a good 6th OF at this point.

      1. 8mark…you are being facetious or speaking ‘ tongue in cheek’?
        ….”Tocci would make a good 6th OF at this point”
        Teams do not carry 6 OFers on their 25…..and some do not even carry 5.

        1. Yes, Romus, I said 6th OF. Major league pitchers would feast on him inside worse than they did to Goeddel. I was being respectfully facetious.

          1. 8mark….Tocci would find it difficult vs MLB pitching, Though I think he would fare a bit better than Goeddel.
            Goeddel’s k rate over his entire minor league career was over 20% and Tocci’s with more minor league plate appearance hovers around 16%.
            He does make contact….he just doesn’t drive the ball with authority.

            1. Romus, he had better order extra bats. Many of his would be sawed off by his hands. If he whiffed, he’d save a lot of lumber.

    3. if the OF old dudes will be traded or released, Altherr and Quinn will join Doobie in the OF. Pullin will be promoted and join Cozens and Williams as the Pigs OF.

      Stassi will probably make it thru the year as the LF/1B and the Phils might give Cam a change to get a cup of coffee with the Phils as the 5th OF only if Williams is not ready.

      Tocci and pullin will be caught in the numbers crunch by end of September, so both need to have a very good year to be considered for Rule 5 protection.

  22. Pullin will! Be up in AAA if he keeps this up he’s only 22 it’s about production. For the Phllies to be ready by 2018 or 2919 . Williams ,Quinn have this yr to get ready ,pj will have a longer lease I read this a few days ago. The Fo has said again when the pitching is ready the Fo will buy the remaining bats this Williams second yr in AAA if he doesn’t show better patience be could be gone. Quinn stay healthy and growing pains . Cozens we All know more contract. The Phillies pitching is ahead of the POS players . Elfin up ,Nola up, Eickhoff up , VV up. Privetta getting his first shot. AAA has Pinto, Thompson , Lively, In Waiting .

  23. Tonight in Columbus, Alfie 4-2-3-4, goes yard to the opposite field. Season avg .383!

  24. Alfie also throw out 2 base runners . 2 Good pitching jobs by Pinto and SD. Thames is getting crazy another HR his slg .929 wow.

  25. Also Eric Long Chat SD if he’s still throwing 95 + for strikes then. Yes he’ll be in the top 100 next yr. He has a hit grade of 60:for Pullin.

  26. There’s a well written piece by David Murphy in yesterday (or today’s paper) about what the Phils might do regarding their corner infield situation, short and long term view on free agent pursuits, etc. Too much to encapsulate here. Good breakfast read, though. Murphy prides himself on outside-the-box stuff but it’s food for thought.

      1. Tim, Murphy tries to sell the idea that 3b Moustakas of KC will be a good option for the Phillies this off season, suggesting Franco could slide over to 1b. The Machado market in ’18 season will be a “circus” with team vying for extension rights to him at the deadline, costing at least 2 top prospects along with the $40M per annum contract with minimum 10yr span. He says Moustakas wouldn’t be cheap but more cost effective.

        He also talks about how the post’21 FA market will exceed the one in ’18. Bryant, Correa, Lindor, Seager and Sano are scheduled by then. With the Millville Meteor the year before that, he basically suggests that the spending pace should coincide with the rise of our young controllable players.

  27. Three weeks ago, Keith Law (in his chat) basically dismissed my thought that the Phillies might take Pavin Smith at 1-8. I asked if Smith was the best hitter in the draft and if he would be available for the Phillies. He said Smith wasn’t even one of the top 5 bats, and he would be available at 1-8 … and would still be available at 1-9.
    This morning, Law released his updated Top 50. Pavin Smith is at #7. Here’s his writeup on the UVA 1B-man: “Smith is the safest of safe guys, as he has been among the hardest Division I hitters to strike out (just six times through 43 games and 195 PA through April 22), while making hard contact and showing some power. College first basemen taken in the first round do not have a strong track record, however.”

    Here’s some of his list:
    1 Hunter Greene
    2 Kyle Wright
    3 Brendan McKay
    4 Royce Lewis
    5 JB Bukauskas
    6 MacKenzie Gore
    7 Pavin Smith
    8 DL Hall
    9 Nick Pratto
    10 Jeren Kendall
    11 Adam Haseley
    12 Austin Beck
    13 Alex Faedo
    14 Mark Vientos
    15 Sam Carlson

    1. Hinkie……you convinced him. Good work.
      Though did notice the little comment about college first basemen taken in the first round.
      You may want to research that statement out further.
      Seems I remember some pretty good college first basemen taken in the first round.
      I guess he may be comparing that to HS first basemen taken in the first round.
      Three on this list:

    2. He later said the same thing about HS 1B-man in this writeup of Nick Pratto: “Pratto seems to have separated himself as the best pure hitter among the high school crop this year, though high school first basemen taken high don’t have the greatest track record, either.”

      Forgot to link his list for anyone who is an insider …

      1. I struggle with this hole concept of “first basemen suck”… fact is it should be the most valuable offensive position across baseball. And last I checked the team who scores the most runs wins.

    3. Romus … When I was looking for Pavin Smith comps about a week ago, I noticed Todd Helton wasn’t just a first round pick, he was actually taken at 1-8 in 1995 (six picks after Ben Davis). Todd Helton would be a helluvan outcome for Pavin Smith!

      1. Jim … I’ve only seen Pratto clips on YouTube, but I’ve read a lot of positive reports on him. He’s probably more advanced than Pavin Smith was coming out of HS. He’s also from SoCal, and the Phillies scouted/drafted that area heavily last year (Moniak, Gowdy, Stephen, Justin Miller & Andrew Brown). BA has Pratto (8) rated just ahead of Smith (11). Keith Law has Pratto (9) just behind Smith (7). For me, Smith’s track record at UVA makes him the better choice. I normally wouldn’t be in favor of a 1B-man this high in the draft, but Pavin Smith is just so polished, I think he’s as close to a “can’t miss” prospect as you’ll find in this draft. If Smith goes before the Phillies pick at 1-8 (and assuming Wright and McKay are also gone), I think I’d draft Mark Vientos. He plays SS now, but he’ll end up at 3B. Vientos is very young (won’t turn 18 until Dec 11) and has a ton of projection.

          1. I guess that’s not too surprising. The Phillies really have done a lot of scouting in his SoCal area over the past 12 months. Thanks for that info, Jim.

      1. Tim … Keith Law’s Top 50 list is his ranking of the top draft prospects. It is not his projection of where guys will be picked. That said, from everything I’ve read and heard (on podcasts), I think Beck has a good chance to make it past the first six picks.

        1. Hinkie,
          …I looked at all the first basemen(listed as 1st basemen at the time of the draft) taken in the first round between the years 1980 and 2010.
          There was a total of 56…..20 HSers and 36 college players.
          Notable college players: (13)
          Will Clark
          Tino Martinez
          Mo Vaughn
          Frank Thomas
          Todd Helton
          Lance Berkman
          Carlos Pena
          Nick Swisher
          Mark McGwire
          Ike Davis
          Travis Lee
          Franklin Stubbs
          Glenn Davis
          HSer: (8)
          Erik Hosmer
          Prince Fielder
          James Loney
          Casey Kotchman
          Adrian Gonzalez
          Christian Yelich
          Ricky Jordan
          Sam Horn
          So he has a fair point.
          However, drafting guys in the low 20s in the first round, naturally the success rate will be normally lower than top ten picks for sure.
          Many of the no-shows to the majors were not top ten picks.

          1. Overlooked three…Sean Doolittle and Conor Jackson for college and Cliff Floyd for HSers.

          2. That’s some good work by you, Romus. May not be a lot of quantity, but some real quality (Helton, Thomas, Martinez, Clark) among those college guys you found.

            1. The Phillies drafting 1-8 is in their favor..
              If I narrowed it down to just top ten picks in the first round, the percentage really goes up.
              And like Christian Yelich as a HSer and Nick Swisher as a college guy….Pavin Smith could go out to one of the corners if need be, since he is that athletic with a strong arm to boot.

        2. Ty I read like mybe 5 mock drafts . I would live to get Beck or Baz a pitcher from Texas.

  28. The interesting part about prospects are they all have weaknesses. Each has a particular strength in their game that propels them to majors despite the gaps. It almost enables them to ignore weaknesses.

    Ryan Howard had great power, but couldn’t recognize a breaking ball. Excellent success early in his pro career, but couldn’t adapt over the longer term.

    Jimmy Rollins had great confidence and speed, but always looked for the home run. He would have had a 3,000 hits and a HOF bid if he just adapted.

    Franco is on a very similar path. We all talked about his long swing and last year was about him trying to do too much. Now, the protection is better and the habits are still there.

    So now, here we are with Cozens, Williams, Alfaro, and Crawford (excludes Hoskins). Part of the luxury of depth is that players can platoon until they prove to be able to play everyday. It worked for Werth and Utley, may have worked for Cesar and Altherr.

    Platooning is an excellent way to promote competition and evaluate fringe prospects. It may leave you with reduced trade value of the losing player, but give you a better team in the end.

  29. RosterResource does a power ranking of MiLB players that it updates throughout the year.

    The performance vs. promise question is always an interesting one, and it is interesting to see how an unbiased computer ranks these guys on performance alone. Here’s the list of Phillies with their number on the overall Top 200 list in parenthesis.

    1. Nick Pivetta (#1 overall)
    2. Seranthony Dominguez (29)
    3. Scott Kingery (43)
    4. Daniel Brito (74)
    5. Ranger Suarez (77)
    6. Rhys Hoskins (94)
    7. Sixto Sanchez (119)
    8. Yacksel Rios (151)
    9. Jose Taveras (173)

    I guess this mostly confirms what we’ve all observed: it’s been a good start for second basemen and pitchers. I think it may also be a wake up call that we may be underrating some of the latin american pitchers outside of Sanchez, Kilome, and Medina.

  30. The Worldwide Leader is cleaning house today. More than 100 employees getting pink slips. Jayson Stark and Jim Bowden among those now unemployed.

    Jayson Stark is probably my favorite sportswriter of all time. Hope he ends up back on his feet soon.

    1. I read Jayson Stark when he was a Phillies beat guy in the 80s for the Inquirer..he is one of the best. He probably will be appearing on some baseball TV shows.

  31. stark was her in Philly hope he comes back. Espn has become to money oriented mlb and the NFL give info out for free.

  32. COme On Phllies are now a wild card team. One of the hottest teams in baseball. Sanderson hit that HR into next WK. Of course VV has to continue to the great starting pitching . The Phillies could be buyers by the All star break. Franco like 2bd in baseball in RBIs with 20 well on his way to his first 100’rbi season.

  33. Word from Todd Zolecki is that since Alfaro has only one option remaining, his call up isn’t imminent despite his performance and Rupp’s lack thereof. Alfaro does need to improve his K/BB, however. Personally, I’d like to see Knapp get at least 50% of the starts in the meantime. We already know Rupp is a solid big league backup.

    1. 8mark….yes one option…Rangers used the first one on him in 2015. So after this year he is out of options.

      1. Romus, I’m pretty sure he’ll be ready by mid season. His arrival mostly depends on how Rupp/Knapp fare as a tandem. If the big club is actually in contention, it’s likely they’ll keep him in Lehigh until Sept.

    2. I know we are all anxious to see Alfaro or more from Knapp, but honestly, major leaguers need to have at least 1000 to 1500 AB’s before having enough data to draw a conclusion on the longer term performance.

      Rupp should have gotten more playing time last year, but the team was shopping Chooch. Knapp will get his allocation of AB’s to establish himself this year, similarly to what was done with Rupp last year.

      Let’s give Rupp a chance at 500 AB’s this year and see if he can match or exceed his production of last year. He only has 852 AB’s to his major league career.

  34. Sanderson base running a key to 2 wins. The Mets are falling apart Thor tired arm syndome Harvey gets lit up by the Braves. BELIEVE Phillies We wild card team.

  35. What the hell is Mac doing bring in Luis Garcia in a situation where you need command and control. First he almost sails a FB over Rupp head. Then he puts a slider chest hi on a 3 and 2 count. We have a bp this yr use it.

  36. Jeanmar Gomez has virtually disappeared. According to Matt Gelb, he will be used only when the team is behind. He also suggests that someone else might take his roster spot, his $4.2M be damned.

    Gelb also writes about whether the Phillies will spend this winter simply because John Middleton has the cash and doesn’t want to field a low payroll team next season. But MacKlentak are against long term deals for FA veteran arms such as Arrieta and Cueto. Or are they? Buy a long term bat or 2? I guess it’ll depend on who’s up in the OF. The organization’s depth should facilitate trades to acquire major pieces.

    Depth and dollars should make the Phillies active this summer and beyond, especially with important 40man decisions and rule 5 implications. Gonna be interesting….

  37. Mac said that was one of the worst loses he had I confirm that . Elfin pitched a great game Stassi and Knapp where great . So sick and tired of seeing the bp blow up. No prospect no the in AAA let’s buy 1 .

    1. Tim,

      Neris gave on three homers on three fastballs when the splitter is his out pitch.

      Would a more experienced catcher have walked out to the mound with some sound advice?

      1. Excellent reply & question.

        Didn’t watch the game, but did Knapp or McClure come out to talk to Neris after the second home run?

        Clearly a learning experience for Knapp & Neris both. Better to learn in April & hope to see progression by August.

        The team & younger players are showing promise & growing pains are necessary.

      2. I think the Turner one was a hanging breaking ball . He needs to listen to the Cather but the Phillies need help in the bullpen. The starter pitching is improving the regular are better then last yr.

  38. Why is Altherr sitting in favor of Nava, Pete?

    Let’s see Knapp as the #1 catcher for now.

    Bag the idea that anybody in this bullpen can close.

    JP’s bat is getting warm again. The rest of the cavalry is ready and waiting for the call – Alfaro, Hoskins and Quinn. Jake seems to have corrected himself.

    1. And, while we’re at it, why does Mac think it’s a good idea to put Freddy as the number 2 hitter every time he’s hot. It’s moronic. He strikes out and doesn’t get on base, he’s a rally killer. He’s just fine at 7 or 8, thanks.

      By the way, for all their alleged statistical wizardry, I cannot understand why management can’t have a little chat with Pete and say, “Pete, we’ve run the numbers again and again and we don’t think it makes any sense batting Freddy 1 or 2 in the lineup; he’s costing us runs at the top of the line-up and is much better off at 7 or 8, depending on who’s catching and how that catcher is hitting. Please do not bat him leadoff or second.”

      1. Do not think Pete, nor even Larry Bowa, are too enamored the offensive aspect of analytics. Though Bowa has embraced the defensive side of analytics with the shifts he employs more so over these last two years.

      2. Galvis is batting .417 this year as the number 2 hitter and hasn’t struck out… in 13 PAs.

        You’re totally right, of course. Mackanin just isn’t a very good strategic manager. Similar to Chollie, his strength seems to be his handling of the clubhouse.

      3. Raul Ibanez just got laid off from ESPN. I’d like to give a guy who’s not far removed from the game as a player be given a shot as skipper. He is already respected. American born but an Hispanic background, if it matters or lends credence to the LA players. Plus he’s a Philly favorite. RAUUUULLLLL!!!!!!

      4. Maybe because Galvis is one of the best clutch hitting hitters in baseball . True fact really Kendrick us hurt and he moved Altherr down in the lineup. There’s nobody else but Nava take your pick Rupp, tojo or Sanders.

        1. “RISP is a fairly recent (1980s, 1990s) term, shorthand for Runners In Scoring Position. A runner on second base or third base is considered “in scoring position” as he could presumably score on a single. A player’s batting average with runners in scoring position has been used to evaluate a player’s clutch hitting, but few players are consistently good or bad at this measure, lending more credence to the belief that there is no such skill as clutch hitting.”…BR Reference.

  39. Romus with my man franco looking more and more like a flop. My 70 wins might happen for this team this year. I like to tie a rope around franco head so he stop pulling off the ball.

    1. rocco…you have to have patience with these young guys.
      Franco, Herrera, and Joseph will have their highs and lows.
      Heck ,Freddy Galvis is the player with the most seniority on this team!
      The veteran guys like Kendrick and Saunders are new and Blanco and Hellickson have their roles for leadership.
      Franco can be up and down for a few months , and then who knows, July he turns it all around.

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