Open Discussion: Week of May 1st

I would think the past week was a little disappointing for Phillies fans.  Coming off a week where the Phillies won 2 out of 3 from the Mets and swept a three-game series from the Braves, the Phillies continued to fuel the high by sweeping two games from the Marlins after a rain out.  Then they went to LA and were swept by the Dodgers.  The killer was the three home run barrage that wrenched defeat from the jaws of victory in the ninth inning Saturday night.

The 2-3 week dropped them below .500 at 11-12.  Things get tougher when they travel to Chicago for four games against the Cubs (Velasquez v. Anderson, Hellickson v. Lester, Eickhoff v. Arrieta, and Eflin v. Lackey).  Then back home for a series against the Nationals.

Should be fun.  The Cubs are coming off a Sunday night loss in Boston and the Nationals just laid 23 runs on Noah Syndergaard and the Mets.  Well, we can enjoy second place for another day.

Now, rather than talk about stat lines, there’s this.  One of our readers sent this to me.  He said the author didn’t mind if I used it.  Since it should generate some discussion, I will.  It will add more fuel to the Hernandez v. Kingery argument.  It uses saber stats to compare the two against each other AND against themselves.  Like any statistical argument, you can’t argue the actual numbers, but you can interpret them differently.

I have two comments.

  • Probably not a big deal, but I wondered why one player was compared against a set of six statistical criteria and the other only three.
  • I do not necessarily agree that the resolution reached in the last paragraph is the correct or only resolution.

Here’s the link to the document – Is Scott Kingery the Future Second Baseman of the Phillies?

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

It was reported (by Jim Salisbury, I think) that Howie Kendrick has been working out at first base the past couple days.  He opined that if Joseph is still scuffling when Kendrick returns, maybe Kendrick plays a little first base to keep Aaron Altherr’s bat in the line up. Well, that would only benefit Altherr if Mackinon put Nava over there with Kendrick, too. (Oh, no he didn’t.)

And, finally 10 days after his call up, Mark Leiter made his major league debut against the Dodgers.  He pitched a 1-2-3 inning, and retired Chase Utley on a fly ball.  I’m gonna wear my Mark Leiter, game-worn, Threshers jersey to Monday Night’s Threshers game as an homage.  WooHoo!


  • 4/30 – Phillies optioned RHP Luis Garcia to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 4/30 – Phillies recalled RHP Nick Pivetta from Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 4/30 – RHP Tyler Viza assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Reading Fightin Phils.
  • 4/30 – RHP Shane Watson assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/30 – RHP Blake Quinn assigned to Clearwater Threshers from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/30 – RHP Ranfi Casimiro assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters from Clearwater Threshers.
  • 4/30 – RHP Mauricio Llovera assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/30 – Lakewood BlueClaws released RHP Kenny Koplove.
  • 4/29 – Felix Paulino assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters from Lakewood BlueClaws.
  • 4/29 – Lakewood BlueClaws activated RHP Trevor Bettencourt from the 7-day disabled list.
  • 4/28 – RHP Mauricio Llovera assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters from Lakewood BlueClaws.
  • 4/28 – RHP Harold Arauz assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/27 – 1B Darick Hall assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/27 – 1B Alex Wojciechowski assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters from Lakewood BlueClaws.
  • 4/27 – Cole Irvin assigned to Clearwater Threshers from Phillies Ext. Spring Training.
  • 4/27 – Keudy Bocio assigned to Phillies Ext. Spring Training from Clearwater Threshers.
  • 4/26 – RHP Harold Arauz assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters from Lakewood BlueClaws.
  • 4/26 – LHP Ranger Suarez assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/26 – Reading Fightin Phils activated SS Jorge Flores from the 7-day disabled list.
  • 4/26 – RHP Shane Watson assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters from Reading Fightin Phils.
  • 4/25 – RHP Blake Quinn assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters from Clearwater Threshers.
  • 4/25 – 2B Keudy Bocio assigned to Clearwater Threshers from DSL Phillies.
  • 4/24 – RHP Seranthony Dominguez assigned to Clearwater Threshers from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 4/24 – Phillies placed RHP Aaron Nola on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to April 21, 2017. Lower back strain.
  • 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.


253 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of May 1st

  1. Thanx for posting it Jim. The reason he wrote it up is Bc we were having a discussion about what you do with Kingery or what you do with Hernandez. Thought it was an interesting read, the kid is unreal when it comes to knowledge of prospects.

    1. The most interesting comment he made was that he thinks Jetpax will be the one traded eventually. Who would get you more in return? I guess that’ll depend on when a deal is made. Sooner, Cesar. Later, perhaps Kingery.

      This is turning into a political election.
      Thanks for posting, Jim.

    2. EricD……He did an excellent work on that analysis.
      One thing I seem to have seen over the years , when it comes to wRC+ and minor league analysis,
      the MLB standard is 100…..for minor leagues I would raise that standard a bit higher.
      Just not sure what would be the standard for a minor leaguer.
      The true generational superstars will eventually out perform their minor league metrics for the most part, but ordinarily, most MLB players will not live up to the same weighted runs created as they did in the minors.

      1. “most MLB players will not live up to the same weighted runs created as they did in the minors.”

        << I think this is true across the board. Which is why I focus so much on strikeouts for both hitters and pitchers. The minors are filled with players who will never make the major leagues let alone be solid MLB players. Great players have to control the strike zone against inferior talent. That is why I have been so down on Cozens. I don't think he will be anything more than a situational bench player for a season or two and then will be out of baseball. Nothing he is doing in AAA is surprising and it will only be worse if he gets to the show.

        1. V1 what’s your thoughts on Nick Williams and Quinn and there metrics. Bty Carter a 1st base man on the Yanks have a K % over 40ty last yr.

            1. He doesn’t walk and doesn’t hit for a high enough average, have enough power or field well enough to overcome that. He’s young so I’d never say it’s impossible for him to adjust and improve, but I believe it’s very unlikely that he becomes a major league regular at this point.

      2. That was my thought romus. I just cant see how you compare numbers in minors to major league guys numbers. But i am really concerned with franco and his bad habits. Imo if he isnt a good power hitting third basemen for us. we are set back even further.

        1. rocco……can understand your trepidation.
          Though Franco has been in the majors parts of 4 years, and he turns 25 later in the season, he still doesn’t seem to make the necessary approach adjustments at times at the plate. His k rate of 16% over 1100 PAs is pretty good for a guy with his power potential, then again his 7% BB rate is a little below average.
          After all is said and done, he just may become some plate mixture between a Pedro Feliz and an Aramis Ramirez.

  2. Good morning, everyone. My friend Eric D brought this site to my attention. It was humbling to see my article on Kingery was posted. I wanted to follow-up with a brief explanation. I only used three sabermetrics for Hernandez, simply because they’re the most common. I wanted to point out that based on those three alone, Hernandez is only getting better at the MLB level which will make it more difficult for Kingery’s ascension to the show, along with the other factors that I laid out in the piece. Also, as with statistical analysis, I didn’t want to make a case for one or the other. I simply wanted the reader to reach their own conclusion, based on the evidence presented. Again, I thank you all for the feedback! If there are any other prospects, or questions you’d like me to answer, shoot me an email at

    Hopefully this article creates interest and lively discussion!

    -J. Yarusinsky

    1. Great info John!!! I would be interested in reading more of you analysis. Do you have any write ups on Adonis Medina or Brito? Personally I think Brito is the 2B of the future with Hernandez being a nice place holder. I like Scott Kingery as well but I don’t understand the head over heels love for him on here.

  3. To several points above : Is anyone else tired of seeing these kid pitchers throw 5 or 6 solid innings to just have the bullpen throw the game away – not only at the ML level but also at the minor league level as well !

    Romus —Further, several of the games this week had Franco come to bat with men on base – he didn’t have bad at bats, but if he had just gotten a scratch single to score several runs – the bullpen blowups would not have cost them the game.

    I know this season isn’t about winning games but it is frustrating to see game after game played well but have the bullpen throw it away. I am not in favor of importing strong relief pitchers but this may become a necessity. ???

    1. Every season is about winning games. You play to win the game.

      1. The team and manager always play to win. In a rebuilding situation, which is where the Phillies are at present, the GM doesn’t necessarily build the roster to win. Really, he couldn’t have built a 2017 25-man roster with more than about a 15% chance to have a winning record on the year.

    2. Yep RU….Franco can be like a roller-coaster.
      Just when you think…okay he is now turning it around, he’s getting it, then the games, back to the letdown with RISP.

    3. That Neris meltdown reminded me of Jose Valverde (which is not a good thing). A rough series for the bullpen. I think Benoit is going to regain the closer job.

      1. ….and Jeanmar should be getting his unconditional release any day now. There are better options below, if not much better.

        1. Jeanmar deserves to be cut. He’s been a total disaster since last September.

    4. It already is a real probelm now is the time to get some of these extra Sp like Pinto etc and start using them in the bullpen .

  4. Nice homer Saturday night, sad the way it ended. Might be time for more Brock at 1B…

    1. Good seeing you in LA, keep in touch…introduce me to Brock next time….he’s aged 27 years, just the way I like it…

          1. I was being sarcastic, but I guess I didn’t use the right font .
            I don’t think it’s funny , but maybe it’s only me

    2. With the way ToJO has played you might be correct there , i would be Ok giving the Stassi a shot.

  5. Kendrick is apparently practicing at 1B in rehab. He could be moved to a more utility role allowing more ABs for Altherr.

    Seems the team would prefer to look at the current roster for 1B solutions, instead of calling up Hoskins right. This would certainly give Brock a chance to stick with ToJo struggling.

    1. I would agree with that move. One concern I have is that Pete doesn’t handle moving parts well. And he likes to go with veterans when given the choice. Not good when players like Altherr need ABs, especially now before other prospects are in waiting.

      1. Agreed – I’ve been fairly disappointed at how reluctant he is to play younger position players. He seems less reluctant with pitchers.

        Not much (if any) talk here about Pivetta, but I’m pretty optimistic. He struggled as players often do in their first start, but he showed off some pretty good stuff. Love that he can hit 97 at times and can sit 93-95. It’s significant.

        1. I guess it was tough to put a silver lining on the weekend series, but agree that Pivetta was handling it well & has the stuff to get more opportunities in the rotation.

          21 HR’s last year & only 419 ABs for his career, would still like to see ToJo get more time. Maybe he hears the footsteps.

          As for Kingery-Cesar analysis, my preference has always been to make a deal if teams are offering value. A contending team in need of a leadoff hitter & SP may make a solid trade offer.

          Otherwise, you keep the depth. I am interested to see how Kingery’s power numbers continue to develop into next year. Creating a potential value to move him to another defensive position. Too early to call.

          1. I can not see trading Cesar until Kingery has at least half a season of sustained success in AAA unless we are knocked over by an offer.

        2. Well, you need to play the vets if you want to drum up some trade interest.

          Pivetta has a nice explosive fastball. But his secondary pitches need some work. He hung that curve badly for the 2nd run of the game. He has a decent changeup, but sometimes it goes down, sometimes it goes right. Not sure if he knows where his secondary pitches are going.

  6. like i said before, the Cesar vs Kingery battle is becoming a good problem to have and it doesn’t even include Daniel Brito. Cesar is fixed at 2B while Kingery can probably play a difference position like CF (another position of depth). Personally, i’ll go with athlete’s with better skill sets and mental fortitude.

    2B pretty much like the CF is a good problem for the Phils — and eventually, someone needs to go. i hope the FO will not mess this up.

    1. Good organizations find ways to get their best talent in the starting lineup. I can see Kingery in CF since he was there earlier ASU. If Moniak, who projects as the heir apparent in CF by ’19/’20, could conceivably move to a corner IF Jetpax proves to be the real deal offensively. The outfield is probably the most fluid part of major league rosters. Look at Schwarber in Chicago. If you can hit, they’ll find a spot for you. It might take some outside the box thinking but Brito could hopefully prove to be another “problem” according to evaluators.

      OR they could simply trade from their excess. Herrera’s contract alone tells me they’ll be entertaining offers for him this July provided he remains productive. Quinn should be ready by then, even if Doobie stays put.

      Draft? I go with 1b/OF Pavin Smith’s bat. If Hoskins shows he’s the real deal throughout ’17/’18, and Pavin is ready by ’19, he could play a corner OF. Another potentially good “problem”. These tend to work themselves out.

      1. According to Jim…..circulating chatter around the complex. has the Phillies showing interest in HS lefty bat Pratto.

        1. Hey Romus! Not really “chatter”. Just a single, solitary voice that is NOT a part of the organization. But one I took seriously because it was better positioned than I am.

          Their recent history of interest in CA HS players made this heads up an intriguing story to follow. But, I was told this weeks ago, and It certainly could have changed by now.

          1. Ok got it.
            But it does make sense since they have been going SoCal these last for years.

            1. Hey it seems obvious
              Living in so cal means you can ply baseball outdoors for like 11 months out of the year

      2. 8mark,

        Lots of choices, as you say.

        If CeHe sustains his high level of play through next year and Brito continues to develop, they could trade Kingery with the idea of making another decision on CeHe a couple years later.

    2. Cesar won’t be traded at least until the off season if at all. It will (and should) take a compelling offer to move him.

      Valentin is the guy who’s most likely to be traded among the four 2B’s in the organization, although we hear little about him compared to the other 3. Perhaps later this season in order to make room for Kingery’s promotion to Lehigh.

      Kingery will likely start in AAA next spring unless Cesar is traded. Or unless they’ve moved him to another position in the off season. But where? He’ll be blocked unless a trade is made.

      Brito has time on his side. However, it’ll be interesting to see how quickly he moves up considering the high praises he’s been getting for his hit tool.

  7. I think when Kendrick returns, Stassi could end up at AAA. I think they like Kelly and I don’t see TJ, Blanco, Nava, or Altherr getting optioned.

    1. TJ, Blanco, Nava and Altherr cannot be optioned because they don’t have any options left. They need to be exposed to the waivers if the Phils decided to boot them out of the 25-man.

      1. Blanco, Nava and Altherr aren’t at risk of any type of demotion right now. TJ is an issue and demonstrates the problem of first basemen generally. If you play first in the NL and you can’t hit, there’s no place to put you. What this means is that he will probably get a more extended look than he might otherwise deserve.

      2. KuKo….I think TJ does have an option left or maybe even two…..he is a first time 40 guy in 2017?

        1. But, IMO, TJ will not be dent down….he will be DL for 10 days then do some ‘rehabbing’ somewhere.

          1. One of the problems that Mack has imo is that as previously mentioned he caters to the veteran, but in actuality most of his team are not veterans in the true sense of the word. I think TJ really needs to turn it around quickly because there are other alternatives at 1B.

        2. @romus – TJ was added to the 40-man last November 2013 and was outrighted in October 2015. I think TJ’s last option year is last year.

            1. romus – the option rules still confuse me. anyway, here’s what i found when ToJo was added to the 40-man back in Nov 2013.


              ToJo’s profile in also confirms the selection of ToJo’s contract by the Phils on November 20, 2013. The ToJo was optioned back to REA in March 2014 (Option #1) and 2015 (Option #2). When he was added back to the 40-man roster again in 2016 that’s what I thought his last option year.

            2. KuKo…..this may simplify it better….once a player has been placed on a team’s 40-man roster, a team has 3 option years on that player. A player is considered to have used one of those three option years when he spends at least 20 days in the minors in any of those 3 seasons.
              So in effect…one year on a 40 from November to November counts as an option… matter if the player is brought up and sent down 4/5 times thru the summer season….only counts as one option.

            3. KuKo….either Baseball cube or Baseball Reference may be incorrect. Cube does show’13 as 40man as you say.

            4. Romus – assuming that ToJo is added to the 40-man in Nov 2013 is correct — we know that ToJo didn’t play in the majors (thus >20 days in the minors) in 2014 and 2015 so that’s 2 option years there and makes 2016 his 3rd option year.

              anyway, i don’t want to argue as much about the options since i’m still confused.

          1. KuKo…..I found he was on 2016 and 2017 40s……so he should have one option remaining.

            1. Joseph has one option remaining. As do Altherr and Kelly.
              Franco and Rupp have two.
              Herrera, Knapp, and Stassi have three.
              Kendrick, Hernandez, Galvis, Saunders, Blanco, and Nava have none.

              Among the pitchers Neris and Rodriguez have one.
              Eickfoff, Velasquez, and Ramos have two.
              Nola, Eflin, Pivetta, El. Garcia, and Leiter have three.
              Hellickson, Neshek, Benoit, Buchholz, and Gomez have none.

              In the minors Alfaro, L. Garcia, and Morgan have one.
              Quinn and Venditte have two.
              Thompson, Lively, Appel, Pinto, Milner, Anderson, and Tirado have three.
              Mariot, C. Ramos, and Florimon have none.

            2. Then I retract my comment – I assumed the statement about ToJo having no remaining options was accurate.

            3. jim – just a thought, i’m surprised that Nola and Leiter have the same number of options left (3) considering Nola already pitched 1 1/2 seasons in the majors. same thing with Eickhoff vs Ramos with 2 options left when Eickhoff is already in the 40-man when he was acquired in July 2015.

        3. If TJ is DFAd, fairly certain he’ll be able to pass through waivers (as mentioned previously).

          1. I doubt it. Someone will see a youngish kid who hit 21 homers last season in not that many at bats and will take him. You just need one team desperate for offense and, trust me, there are many.

        4. When you look back on his minor league history, TJ had an intermittent career what with his misfortunate concussions. He basically came out of the ashes as a 1b last year without a real pattern as a hitter. Now the league has adjusted to him. He doesn’t have a lot of time to readjust. His primary hit tool is power. Nothing else has been established. Great story, but I think we’re seeing the true Tommy Joseph who might find success as a role player in the AL.

  8. Thor out possibly for 2 months. If the Mets want to stay in the race, might they be interested in Hellickson? If so, who might they offer?

    1. The Mets have other problems besides Thor. Matz is hurt and Matt Harvey’s SO rate has plummeted. It’s way too early to talk trade with those guys. They might not even be .500 at the break.

    2. Mets are done book it they will sell some of there vet players even Harvey on the block.

  9. Beginning a new month, we have had some success stories, hitting wise. Cesar has played well, Altherr looks like he has earned more ABs, Galvis has been ok and so has Doobie. Franco, again, has to seriously up his game and TJ just looks slow. Either he is not adjusting well or is having trouble picking up the pitches. I see another month for him before they start to think about changes. Not very impressed with Rupp either. SP has been very good, even with Nola being a disappointment. The BP, ugh!

    1. My biggest worry with Franco is that his lack of successful outcomes will make him revert to his previous approach. His peripherals are good: improved walk rate, k rate, LD%, IFFB%, and O-Swing% and he’s about 30 to in the league in exit velocity.

      1. I don’ t see him able to correct his deficiencies. He is a free swinger and with people in scoring position if you pitch him outside you’ll get him most of the time. The thing I hate most about him is the strut and swagger when he hasn’t been able to sustain at bats in crunch time. That liner through the box the other day was a hit if he wouldn’t have been loafing out of the box.

  10. Guys,

    Checked to see how our old friend Ryan Howard is doing in AAA.

    Unfortunately, he’s off to a slow start. Through 26 place appearances: .167 .231 .167 .397.

    Six K’s to go with it.

  11. And our old friend Cody Asche is slashing .093/.152/.093 in 46 PAs for the White Sox. Makes for a .245 OPS which is, um, not good.

    1. I guess since we are going there:
      Tyler Goeddel’s slash at Louisville (Reds) Triple A affiliate:
      SSS-43 PAs…….190/.209/.424

  12. Romus, I think we can agree that losing Goeddel and Asche did not hurt. I wish we had kept Ascher, though. More 40 man decisions coming after this year. And, there is more talk of extending Hellickson, What do you think?

    1. Acquiring Buchholz puts Asher on thin ice — even without hindsight, i’m not a fan of that trade considering the plethora of RHPs in the 40-man.

    2. matt13…..Hellickson will want at least 4 years, maybe 5. Boras will probably shoot for 5 years. OTOH, the AAV will not be in the Greinke/Price class, nor the expected Sale class, should be lower, so that is a plus.. Not sure what I would do right now. Trading him in July will bring back probably one prospect, if NK can pull the trigger, then he goes FA in November so Phillies can jump into the FA competition for him.

      1. I’m going 3 years max. If he wants more than that, somebody else can give him that.

  13. Any Jurickson Profar fans here?

    He has been optioned to AAA & will clinch 4 years of major league service this year. The Rangers don’t seem to have room for him & could probably be obtained for reasonable piece(s) on a contending team.

    Profar will be a FA in 2020-2021 offseason. Has a recent injury history & lack a set position, but versatile IF/OF option.


    1. Not sure he will ever be able to hit as he did before the surgery
      The torn labrum surgery in Feb 2015 may have been too much for him.
      He missed both ’14 ( pre-surgery) hoping it would heal with rest and then ’15 (post-surgery)
      Over 600 PAs since and he still has not found his stroke

      1. Could be worth a flier if the trade cost is low enough. Still only 24 years old, he could be a platoon option in the OF.

  14. On Ceaser let’s play baseball let ,baseball for a full yr decide. Kingery in AA so he’s about a yr away form a call up. If Ceaser can do what he’s doing now for a full yr then we can talk about who’s better.

      1. I know – he has played at an all-star level since last June and, since that time, has substantially improved. He is in the top 15 in WAR in the major leagues. He’s the guy you keep unless somebody makes you an offer you can’t refuse. And the idea that he will be too old by the time they are competitive seems nutty – even if they don’t start to compete until 2019. It’s not even clear that he has reached his peak yet, so what out there suggests that two years from now he won’t be effective? He hasn’t even turned 27 yet.

        1. When you think about it…the Phillies are pretty fortunate to have two sets of double-play combinations over the last decade that are one of the better ones in the majors.
          twelve with JRoll and Chase and now going on two with Freddy and Cesar.
          Of course many of the folks are also thinking JPC and Kingery going forward at some point.

        2. i agree with Tim – let Cesar and Kingery play for the whole year and see who’s the better 2B going forward. i still don’t get excited that he “hasn’t reached his peak” yet — what else do you think he can do other than hitting and getting on base and steal bases occasionally. will he hit for power? will be he a golden glove 2B? the only improvement i can see is his ability to steal more bases.

          Cesar is evolving into a real solid MLB player, but he’s not a game changer type of a player. Cesar’s success is connected to the players batting after him — Cesar can easily score 80 runs every season but can he drive more than 50 runs regularly?

          i don’t think people doubt what Cesar can do (so the argument about “doubting Cesar” is nonsense). The question really is does Cesar has the skill set to the 2B long term. Whatever Cesar is doing right now is what he is supposed to do anyway (hit and get on base). The current .545 slugging is a good news, let’s hope that sub 0.400 SLG guy can keep his > 0.500 SLG.

        3. @catch – since you like to use WAR, what’s your definition of WAR (my definition is similar to Fangraphs which i already posted here before)? People like to use WAR but doesn’t know how and when to use that stat. WAR is useful if you like to assess the “current” and “historical” value of a player. you can throw WAR if you like to know who is more valuable as in the case of MVP voting, trade proposal, contract signings.

          How you seen anybody using “projected” WAR for the players? No, because there is none. WAR is not designed to assess future value.

          1. KuKo…..then what metric is used to reflect future vale?
            Check out Steamers and their rationale or ZIPs….they project everything but give the current WAR of the player.
            IMO, it is purely semantics.

            1. Exactly, there are plenty of projections around.

              I say we don’t know if Cesar has hit his peak because has gotten consistently better over a 3 or 4 year period. Honestly, I didn’t think he could play any better than he did the last half of last year and then he came back and hit for better power and seems to have dramatically limited the stupid mistakes. But you’re right, he’s playing at such an awesome level (7.4 WAR per year – MVP consideration stuff) that probably the best he can do is keep it up and become one of the 20 best players in baseball. I’d take that.

              By the way, if Cesar continues to be as good as he has been and Kingery becomes as good as he might be (list, I love Kingery as a prospect), the solution is not a trade. The solution is to put another guy at a different position and let both of them use their hitting and athleticism to improve the Phillies.

              Cesar is a now a playing at an all-star level. Not an above-average level, an all-star level – and he has done so for the better part of a year. If he finishes the year the way he has started it, the goal is to sign him, not trade him (unless, of course, another team makes you an offer you can’t refuse – there are few truly untouchable talents in baseball, I’m not say he’s at that level, but he’s freaking good!).

        4. Yeah man I don’t get it either. Did someone really say “he’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing” and how can you say “let it play out to see who’s better” . . . One player is performing at THE ML LEVEL and performing like one of the best in the game at his position yet there are still naysayers . . . What am I missing here? 2B of the future – CHECK (he’s playing 2B right now for the Phillies).

          1. You are missing NOTHING. The only reason to trade him is if you get an offer that is so overwhelming that you simply cannot refuse. Otherwise, you sign him for the best deal you can get and work on improving the rest of the team.

          2. @Eric D – i asked you this before, but what do you mean by ML Level? is there a threshold where can quantify if someone is playing at “ML Level”?

            2B is not the deepest position in the MLB – being settled with player who can hit for ave (not for power) with still questionable base running instincts, who was is never been an all-star, never had a golden glove, never been in the Top 50 in all baseball and was never been a highly regarded prospect — seems to be premature if not settling for less. Cesar can be the “current” 2B and will be the “2B” while he’s performing at this level. let’s see if he can sustain that for a long run before anointing as the “2B of the future”

  15. Last night I read where Middleton doesn’t want a low play roll. Ok let’s get some bats and relievers now. We have starting pitching out the butt in the minors . Mk said it earlier in the month. The Phillies will be buyers this yr and next yr the question is when.

    1. we’ll soon see if Middleton mean what he say. I want to see the Phils go hard this coming J2 signings particularly on Otani.

      1. I think there were talking about ML level players but at this pt im in for all players. Middleton​ what’s to be like the Yanks ok will see.

    2. thats because everyone read how Phillies where 2nd most profitable team in all ML while team is non contender at moment. He knows the fan expect the spending to start soon.

  16. Another big test for VV tonight. If he’s not on, he’ll be down 5 runs in a blink of an eye. He needs this to show he belongs in the rotation and not in the bullpen.

  17. Tojo hits great in the rain , that ball crossed the Canadian border on the fly.

  18. What a great game for Knapp on Sat. because Phils lose it goes unmentioned Walk, single, double and home run. Imagine if he played everyday !! Way to go Knapp

    1. How much accountability should he have for the way Neris pitched in the 9th?

      Give me a catcher that commands the pitcher & has an okay bat any day of the week.

      1. absolutely. Catcher with poor game calling affects 5 starters and unknown amount of relievers.

    2. I grow more and more convinced that Knapp is probably a much better player than Rupp. The hope here is that they move Rupp before Alfaro is ready to be promoted so Knapp can get some reps as the #1 catcher for a while. I have been high on Knapp as hitter since watching him tear up Reading in 2015. Since then, his plate discipline has improved. Hopefully he isn’t a trade deadline throw-in.

      And, by the way, the numbers don’t lie. He has been much more valuable than Rupp this year, even in the limited time he has played.

      1. Going by the raw metrics…projects out to 7.2WAR over 162 games and 7.4WAR over 500 PAs…but just SSS, and probably not a sustainable outcome..

        1. Even if he projects out to a 3 WAR, it’s better than Rupp and it makes him a borderline first division regular. I cannot conclude yet that he is that good – but, over time, he might be, in fact, he might be a little better than that.

  19. Hope your not talking about Knapp It was a masterpiece watching him and Hellickson work during his last start. Neris has the ball in his hand and throws what pitches he wants. Now Rupp needs some work, Velasquez up 7-0 in the 4th inning and they throwing off speed stuff ?

    1. Ya, disnt get that at all. Seemed like VV was trying to be perfect, and nibble.


    Dear Pete,

    You seem like a pretty down to earth guy from your interviews and pressers. I realize yours isn’t an easy job what with such raw talent or lack thereof to work with on this roster. I can appreciate how frustrating it can be.

    I’ve a few suggestions to make things easier on yourself, and which might extend your tenure as Phillies skipper.

    1 Please stop batting Freddy Galvis at or anywhere near the top of the lineup.

    2 Please don’t hesitate to bench Odubel when he does something that warrants it, including the extraneous bat flip.

    3 Please let Andrew Knapp play more than Cameron Rupp. We all know that the latter isn’t as bad as he’s playing this season, nor as good as his slash line showed last. He’s a backup catcher while it’s about time you find out what the 25 year old is.

    4 Please tell your relief pitchers to stick with their out pitches BEFORE they’ve blown multiple save opportunities.

    5 Please start Aaron Altherr until we’re all sure he shouldn’t.

    6 Please exercise your liberty to bench Maikel Franco regularly until he begins to show a genuine interest in changing his approach at the plate. He seems to think he’s invincible after 2 or 3 productive games in a row.

    Thanks in advance for your attention to these ideas. They might not turn this club into a championship caliber team but they just might save your job.

    1. @8mark – i agree with what you’re saying but unfortunately the 2017 Phils is development of young core and finding out the piece to build around – so don’t dream of a championship caliber team. I don’t agree with the Buchholz and Kendrick trade, I don’t like the Jeanmar Gomez signing and I’m lukewarm on Nava, Neshek and Benoit (because i rather like to see the younger prospects instead). If some thinks that Cesar is still developing at age of 26/27, that’s also true with Franco, Doobie and the other young players – so they need to play everyday to figure things out. Next year I think is when the FO will eliminate the less performing players.

    2. Just on number 1 but Galvis in the second hole is hitting .400/.438/.600. Just saying 😉

      1. Eric, it’s a small sample size. There are things to be said for Freddy, but putting him in the number 2 spot in the line-up when he has a crazy low OBP and borderline contact skills is not a good idea; over the long haul it will cost the team runs. It’s not a coincidence that the team scores as well as it does when Altherr is in the lineup at #2. The hope, ultimately, is that JP hits second – he is well suited for that role.

      2. Galvis may need an RBI spot , in the lineup like 7th or 6th. when he’s on Galvis hits with power. That 8 Hole we had Cooch at for a long time. Galvis may hit 25 hr this yr.

        1. Tim…I can live with Freddy in the 8-hole with what he brings to the table offensively.

    3. Oh, and #7 Please refrain from bringing in Jeanmar, the human white flag, unless we’re down by more than 3 runs.

    4. I think I’m limited to one thumbs up, but if I had the option I’d give you a dozen for item #6 alone.

  21. MLB All Star Game balloting is now open. You can vote up to max of 35 times with a limit of 5 times during any 24-hr period. Let’s support of Phils and this might be a year that we’ll have a starter (Cesar). I voted straight Phils with Altherr in LF and Knappy at C!

    1. If Hellickson, Cesar and my boy AA make it, I’m thrilled. None of our position players will be voted in. Cesar just doesn’t have the national pub yet unless he really goes wild. A veteran like Brandon Phillips will get more votes by name recognition alone. That’s why the general public shouldn’t vote. Notice I didn’t use the word ‘fans’.

  22. We have to consider Kingery’s age in this discussion. He’s only 22 so the Phillies can easily keep him in development for another two seasons. For the 2020 season he will be 25 and Cesar will be 30. Not saying it will happen this way, but a decision could potentially be delayed that long (unless a great trade comes along).

    1. Kingery just turned 23 Ceaser is still learning at 27 . Let’s give Ceaser his yr a full 600 or 700 at bats. FYI Dave Murphy is having a good yr and Zorbist is as good as they come. Obbie might have a lot to say who’s an all star on this team.

    1. Kuko, as I look at the rest of the NL East, clearly the Nats are the best team. Even they will come back to earth. But the other teams have deficiencies. The 9th inning will likely continue to be a problem for this squad. Otherwise I put our bullpen over the Mets or Nats, depth wise. The central and west have unimpressive teams leading those divisions.

      The job of the FO is to manage the bigger long term picture. The big league coaching staff and players should have no other goal but to try and win. A wild card berth isn’t an unrealistic possibility. Improbable? I guess.

      1. even if there’s regression to both Cesar and Altherr – the Phils are producing runs eventhough the big bats (Franco, ToJo, Rupp) are playing below their averages. Saunders is coming and Doobie should be better than his current stats.

        The dilemma for the FO is come July – are their going to cash in any value with their trade chips or keep the performing vets and take a chance to get into the playoffs. Best case scenario will be – trade the vets, promote top prospects then make a run to the playoffs — although this is close to improbable because the young pitching is shaky to make a sustained run.

  23. I have a question for the group in here. On Saturday, May 13, the wife and I are taking a trip to Lakewood to see the Blue Claws. Its a Tebow game and its bark in the park, so it should be a lot of fun. We are going to make a night of it and get a hotel and go out on the town afterwards (we booze a bit but are always safe about it). Do you guys with experience have any recommendations of where to go, eat, stay, etc? Bar A is the spot we usually go when in that area, but I would love to hear if anyone has any suggestions. Looking for a cheap hotel in that area too, as of now the best I have found is a Red Roof in for $81/night

  24. Fansgraph Eric Longenhagen weighs in on the Cesar vs Kingery debate today:
    Does Scott Kingery have the bat and fielding ability to start anywhere other than 2B? Cesar Hernandez is looking increasingly like a long-term solution at the position.

    Eric A Longenhagen
    Yeah if you would have asked me three months ago which one I thought the club would go with long term I would have said Kingery but Hernandez is really playing well. It’s an intersting chance to maybe sell high on a guy with mediocre baseball instincts, but Hernandez has been hitting for long enough that this might be who he is.

    1. Hmm. “mediocre baseball instincts”
      If that’s the general consensus among baseball people, don’t expect to get a big return for him. Might as well keep him until you’re forced to make a choice between him and Kingery and even Brito further down the road.

      1. 8mark……the ‘mediocre baseball instincts’ is virtually all derived from those bone-headed base running guffaws from last season’s first half.
        Deduct the two pick-offs from first, the two over-running second base and the one over-running third base and his baseball instincts look a whole lot better, not to mention his CS% slopes down a bit.

        1. @romus – as we speak, Cesar has a 36.5% CS in the majors and 28.6% CS in the minors. obviously, the trend should go down/improve if Cesar wants to stay in the big leagues.

          Cesar has been a poor base runner for the last 10 years (since his days in the VSL) and stats are available anywhere — the 10 year historical data is a better measure than the outliers that you just mentioned.

          1. “obviously, the trend should go down/improve if Cesar wants to stay in the big leagues. ”

            This statement is surreal. Cesar is one of the top 15 performing position players in the big leagues even with the mediocre stolen base percentage. He is not in jeopardy of being sent down – do you seriously believe that? If he doesn’t improve his stolen base percentage, he won’t steal as much. It’s not a big deal.

            1. By the way 25% caught steal percentage is just fine, thanks. Bill James calculated the break even percentage as around 33%, so Cesar’s base stealing is a net negative. It is not costing the team runs, it is adding runs.

            2. I meant to say its NOT a net negative; it’s a net positive.

              I can understand people saying they should trade Cesar for a huge haul (I can disagree with that, but I get it). But you cannot say that Cesar is not performing right now at an all-star level. He is.

            3. Not Bill James…but Hardball Times….they calculate the BEP to be 73.5% success rate or CS of 26.5%.

              The “break-even point” (BEP) is the success rate for attempts for which run value gained on successes and run value lost on failures balance each other. It is given by the equation:

              BEP = CS Value / (CS Value – SB Value)
              For zero outs: BEP = (-0.595)/(-0.595 – 0.215) = 0.735 = 73.5%

              So, if one can exceed a 73.5 percent success rate, attempting to steal second with none out will be beneficial in the long term. If not, one would be advised to not try for the steal, although making an attempt from time to time when the odds say not to will help to keep opposing teams from becoming too accurate in anticipating one’s tactical moves.

            4. a base runner getting caught at a high rate is like a pitcher walking batters at a high rate. not only CS will take away a winning, it adds an out and can be a momentum breaker. what’s not surreal about that?

              i like your passion, but let’s be factual with your word definitions particularly your stats. Cesar is probably 30is in the top position player rankings. Zimmerman, Thames, Judge, Haniger, Comforto, Sano, J. Ramirez probably ranks higher than him. Cesar is probably behind Murphy, Ramirez and Starlin Castro as the top 2B despite his hot start.

            5. @catch – i think you are becoming too sensitive. maybe you need to breath and understand what everybody is saying for and against Cesar. This is from your own post:

              “I can understand people saying they should trade Cesar for a huge haul (I can disagree with that, but I get it). But you cannot say that Cesar is not performing right now at an all-star level. He is.”

              Understand that:

              a) Like what Eric L said, Phils has a chance to sell high on Cesar, that’s what most (me in particular) are saying – Cesar can probably fetch a top arm for Cesar – you don’t agree but you understand – so chill.

              b) Nobody (as in nobody) is saying is that Cesar is not playing like an all-star. i even encourage everybody to cast their ballot as this is the year that we can have a starter in the all-star (in 2B Cesar). 8mark mentioned that Cesar may not have the name recognition of a Brandon Philips so he may not get the nod, but 8mark didn’t say he’s not an all star.

              c) we are discussing about Cesar’s major weakness — his poor/mediocre baseball instincts (even Eric L said that). We are reconciling the stats to the comments and understand why national experts think that way.

              if you like Cesar, better start the drum rolling and vote him into the All-Star — i already cast my vote.

          2. If the rub on Cesar is his CS% wouldn’t the intelligent analytics folks push down a note of wisdom for him to stop trying to become a base stealer and just focus on what he does best.

            Hell its like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Some guys are good at it and some are not.

            1. @DMAR – is Cesar doesn’t utilize his speed in the bath paths and concentrate in hitting for average — that’s a profile of an expendable player.

        2. If I do the math correctly, this is Cesar’s year to year CS% since he turned pro.

          2007 40.0%
          2008 26.9%
          2009 27.8%
          2010 15.8%
          2011 30.3%
          2012 41.7%
          2013 25.0%
          2014 47.1%
          2015 20.8%
          2016 43.3%
          2017 25.0%

          1. That’s pretty poor even if it’s improving(?). He may not be the leadoff guy long term. If and when Quinn is called up, I would hope he’s that guy. Might not hit for the avg Cesar does but he takes walks and by virtue of his blinding speed alone will have a much lower CS%. Let Cesar bat 2 and move the runner.

            1. Quinn’s distinct advantage (vs Cesar) as the lead off is his 80-grade speed – not only Quinn can turn single into doubles and swipe bags easily — Quinn can disrupt the pitcher’s timing being that threat in the base paths. I don’t expect Cesar to sustain his current SLG, but I do hope that he maintains his OBP and improve his CS%.

          2. kuko…..well some of the greatest base stealers in MLB history had approx 20/25% CS rates. I would think anything over 25% would be unsatisfactory.
            Rickey Henderson -1,406………335CS……..81% success
            Lou Brock- 938…………307…………..75%
            Tim Raines- 808……….146……………85%
            Vince Coleman- 752…..177…………..81%
            Joe Morgan -689……….162……………81%
            Kenny Lofton- 622……..160……………..80%
            Otis Nixon- 620…………186…………….77%
            Juan Pierre- 614…………203…………….75%

    2. Eric longenhagen should have asked me last year. I told you romus this kid was for real. Eric dont quit your day job

    3. Eric L described Cesar as a player that we already know — someone who can hit (and hit for a long time) with mediocre baseball instincts.

      1. KuKo…I know this is human nature, but when Cesar is on the bases now, I wait with bated breath to see what inane thing may occur after the pitch is thrown. Every throw over to first by the opposing pitcher, is now an adventure waiting to happen with Cesar on first.

        1. @romus – agree with what you said. Cesar’s CS% is like a credit score — 1 year of taking care of your bills will not erase the stigma of your historically bad credit habits. Cesar probably need to maintain a 15%-20% CS for at least 3 consecutive years before we can dismiss his poor base running skills.

          1. I didn’t downvote you, but I disagree with the credit score analogy…If anything, one year of taking care of your bills will absolutely get you a good credit score in most circumstances.

            Cesar’s caught stealing numbers are still baked into his WAR, which has been fantastic for two years now. Just accept that Cesar is awesome and we can trade some of our 2B depth.

            1. Yes, thank you. As I noted above, the sharp Cesar criticism on this site just astounds me. I’m not saying he’s perfect – he’s just incredibly good and, YES, the stupid stuff is baked into his awesome numbers. If he does less of that, the awesome numbers get even better.

            2. Before last night game his babip was.432 which high it will go down . Also his flyball per hr is .26 which is crazy high . All these numbers will come down as the season goes on. Also Ceaser started last yr bad in the middle of the yr Bowa had a talk with him . So let’s give Ceaser this yr to see if he can continue what he’s doing . Jetpax is raking in Reading which he should be doing. All in let’s just wait and see.

            3. i don’t set my standards low and use description wisely – awesome doesn’t adequately describe how good a player is. Cesar is playing well and has a skill set of a good complimentary player, but he is not a “stud” or a legit MLB player that carry a team.

  25. BaseballBetsy captures portly Deivi Grullon’s blast into the night air Monday:

  26. According to a Mets beat writer, Alderson says they’re “accelerating” their search for rotation help in light of Thor’s injury. Probably look for a low scale replacement for now.

    1. Capt Morgan is a cheap low scale replacement. But the Mets might be concerned that Morgan might help the Phils score some runs when they play against one another.

        1. Morgan will be elsewhere by mid season. Too many promotions to come for him to survive.

          1. he can be a throw-in in a trade or will be traded for Cash or PTBNL (aka org filler). there will be another roster crunch since JPC, Hoskins, Kilome, Arano, Seranthony (and Pullin?) will be protected this year.

            1. The may also elect to protect Carlos Tocci if he keeps up his current production.
              There could be plenty of personnel movement starting in July thru November.

          2. Morgan was a guy i thought had a chance to really be good. Shame he didnt develop

            1. The shoulder injury and subsequent surgery really set him back in development and also I think in efficiency.

            2. I agree, especially when he came back and regained most of his pre-surgery velocity.

      1. rocco…..South Korea not North Korea…..and he is our secret weapon against Kim Jong-un…his long bombs keeps the NoK at the DMZ on high alert.

    1. From that report it sounds like Kendall is the next Nick Williams. Skills out the whazoo but weak pitch recognition, swing and miss, no thanks.

      1. Hope Pavin Smith falls to 8th and the Phillies select him.
        He could be a hitter in the mold of Conforto or Benintendi.
        Who wouldn’t want that!

        1. Pavin Smith for sure, for me. I am not a big Jeren Kendall fan. I would pick Beck over Kendall. But … Pavin Smith is #1 on my board !!!

        2. I might even pick Nick Pratto over Beck and Kendall. I appreciate Jim’s info on the Phillies interest in Pratto.

  27. I prefer ball players with advanced acumen over skillsy athletes who may or may not translate the higher up they go.

    1. @8mark – don’t worry, this is also Johnny A.’s philosophy. I’m not all in with toolsy athlete’s but I love players with loud tools — i like Pavin Smith because he’s a good combination of loud tools that i love and safety that the Phils need at pick #1.8. On top of Pavin – i also like Austin Beck and Faedo which i think one of the 3 will be there at 1.8.

  28. Can I really start to believe in Aaron as an everyday player? I flipped flopped on him so many times throughout his minor league career I think I was really afraid to climb completely on board his bandwagon.


    1. DMAR…..I am wich you.
      So cautious about his swing- and- miss tendencies from the past and how they could rear their head again in his game at the MLB level.
      But until it ever happens, if at all, then good luck to him.

      1. Altherr checked a lot of boxes – hit for power, base running, arm, fielding/defense – he can be a key cog if he can sustain his newfound success in hitting. He’s the closest to the 5-tool player that the Phils don’t have right now. Nonetheless, a 4th OF is still a good fallback for him.

  29. Conservative estimate for Syndergaard is 3 months. He’s going for a 2nd opinion but if the Mets hope to stay in the race, they’ll need to act quickly.

    We can talk….

    1. I doubt they will make a big trade for a single season without being really close to winning the division, which they won’t. Look for a low cost trade or internal call up.

      1. i really don’t care about the Mets in general, but unlike the Phils and Braves (who are rebuilding and not built to compete) – there’s a pressure for the Mets to win it all NOW from the time they lost to KC in the World Series. I can see their strategy to keep phase with Nats and the WC race while waiting for the rest of the crew to get healthy and make that run.

        The Mets problem right now is their farm – their top trade chips in Rosario, Smith and Nimmo are expected to replace the possible departures of Walker, Cabrera, Duda, Granderson and Bruce – which will leave them with smaller trade chips to land impact player that will keep them afloat.

        1. Plus there are manager and GM jobs on the line here. Mets think they must win now because everyone outside the fish bowl thinks they should try now.

  30. as the Cesar vs Kingery/Brito debate continues, i would love to revisit their performance again after this season. Kingery is not ready until next year and Brito probably 2 years after — so there’s no rush to make a decision although the Phils will miss the opportunity to sell high if indeed Cesar reverted back based on his actual skill set.

    i love smart arguments specially if supported by facts and validated statistics. romus brought up some good data supporting Cesar’s main criticism (his base running gaffe) – the current stats supports the eye test so i’m not sure why this is even an argument. tim – also brought up some stats that based on current success which may regress but we’ll see.

    numbers don’t lie and eye test is still a reliable means of evaluation — but narratives can be subjective so using the descriptions like “awesome”, “incredibly good”, “playing at MLB level” and other complimentary words — doesn’t really support a position.

    Sometimes beauty is in the eye of the beholder – i will leave the Cesar debate on that assumption — so i will just wait see what happens.

    1. You mean like now where he just was picked off 1st . Now that’s 2 last night where Ceaser should have went home from 3 rd on a passed ball.

      1. Caught stealing to me is worst that a DP – 1st, it takes away a potential run (which can matter in a close game) and 2nd it gives an easy out without throwing a pitch from an opposing pitcher.

    2. I guess this was a shot at me since I said his stats were pretty awesome – as if I just pulled that conclusion out of the air, didn’t know his stats and, as if, upon further review, one would find that the stats were not good.

      It’s just not true.

      THIS YEAR:

      Cesar’s stat line is .321/.368/.514 – pretty awesome for a second baseman.

      His defense is also very good – maybe not elite, but not far off – he’s been a plus 3.5 runs on Fangraphs and he’s been a plus .3 bWAR on fielding, which is consistent with the Fangraphs number.

      His base running, the one thing everyone says has been bad, has been slightly better than neutral – almost a plus run on that. Although I don’t agree that all of his baseball instincts are bad I do agree that his base running instincts are not good. But it’s not like he’s a negative base runner – it’s just frustrating because he should be a super base runner, but because he does dumb things on the bases at times, he’s only slightly above average.

      On the whole, he is a 1.3 fWAR and also a 1.3 bWAR. He is the 17th highest positional rated player on Fangraphs and the rated second baseman, behind Jose Ramirez and ahead of Daniel Murphy – yes, ahead of Daniel Murphy (I’m NOT saying he’s a better player than Daniel Murphy, just that he’s in that range so far this year).


      This isn’t Cesar’s first time to the rodeo. He was a well above average player last year and finished the second half very strongly.

      Last year’s stat line was .294/.371/.393 – very solid and the second half of the year, it was .298/.413/.411 – a lot like this year, except with less power, which is not surprising since he’s driving the ball better this year after he got stronger over the winter.

      His defense was somewhere between very good and nearly elite – Fangraphs has him as a plus 16 runs defender, and Baseball reference has him at .7 WAR – not as good, but still above average.

      His base running was slightly ahead of the curve – plus 1 run – it obviously should have been much better due to his speed and dumb mistakes, but on the whole he was about average and it did not eliminate his other offensive or defensive skills.

      On the whole last year, even with his slow start, he was a 4.4 fWAR and 3.2 bWAR – which made him somewhere between a first division regular and a borderline all-star (depending on which metrics you use). Again, his running gaffes last year is baked into these numbers, he was very good in spite of these mistakes.

    3. Since that’s a shot at my posts, the stats do support that Cesar has been one of the best players in baseball so far this year and was well above average last year.

      This year he’s run a .321/.368/.514 stat line. He has a 1.3 fWAR and bWAR – this places in him the top 17 position players in baseball and second among second baseman, and ahead of Daniel Murphy. Yeah, he’s been pretty awesome this year.

      Last year he was really good too – 3.2 bWAR/4.4 fWAR – he played somewhere between a solid regular and a very good/borderline star level and, more importantly, once things clicked he was extremely good the second half of the year, with a .298/.413/.411 stat line.

      So, statistically, you have a player that, since the middle of last year has been performing at an all-star level.

      As for the “eye test” on base running, you’re right that he does dumb things on the bases which prevents him from being even better, but: (a) those dumb mistakes are baked into his other numbers; and (b) even with the dumb things, he is a slightly above average base runner – frustrating when he should be a fantastic base runner – but it isn’t a net negative.

      1. If you give me a 2bman who hits north of .300 with a decent obp/slg split I’ll take the stupid occasional base running gaffe.

        1. are you talking about 0.300 career or 0.300 for few months? if it’s career – then you’re looking for a HOFer. i’m not even sure if Cesar fits the 0.300+ ave and decent SLG 2B that you’re looking for.

          Utley and Kinsler (and 10 more) are career sub 0.300 2Bs (who are not poor on the base paths) – i’ll take them over the current 2B of the Phils.

          1. Utley and Kinsler also had a much better slugging than Cesar and Utley had an elite eye. So, while they may have hit for a lower avg than Cesar they crush him in power and walks. I would also take those two over Cesar.

      2. @catch – do you have a good night sleep? i like it when you’re calm and composed – even though your posts can be lengthy when you’re calm it can be informative and factual. you start to lose me when you do your “Joe Decamara” impersonation again and throwing rants and off topic rhetoric rather than supporting your argument (i.e. idea of trading Cesar is not surreal, nobody is saying he is not playing well and in jeopardy of being sent down and so on).

        you cannot just look at 18 months of Cesar (micro) without considering the 10-year Cesar (macro). I think that’s the main gist in the debate – for those who’s on the opinion to keep (and sign Cesar) focus on the 18 months while the ones who prefers to sell high on Cesar looks at the 10-year level.

        in regardless on what side of the argument you belong — each side has a strong basis to their arguments so it is not crazy or surreal to think either way.

        1. KK – I slept fine and am smiling and happy – 🙂 – thank you.

          I’m just having a debate with you – nothing more or less; it’s all good.

          I never said the idea of trading Cesar is surreal; in fact I said I might do it if I were overwhelmed by an offer. What I thought was surreal was that the discussion of some (not everyone, mind you) which suggested that he was not a good player or that if he didn’t figure out the base running issues he wouldn’t be able to stay in the major leagues. I do think that line of reasoning is surreal because, in my view, it departs so far dramatically from what I believe is a proper view of the player, who, based on statistics, not boastful statements, has very good this year and since the middle of last year.

          On the keep or sell Cesar stuff – yeah, that’s just a matter of opinion. I don’t agree that we should be working hard to trade him right now (again, with the exception of an offer they just can’t refuse). Others disagree. I disagree with them – it happens.

          On the Cesar history, I guess looking at 10 years of history, while you always keep it in mind, is not the main way that I judge a developing player who is evolving, especially one who has continued to improve throughout his tenure in the minors and majors. I agree we all have to be concerned about small sample sizes, but he’s been a lot better for a year now and, for a 26 year-old, I think, at some point, you start to conclude that what you’ve seen recently and over an extended period of time (here, for the better part of a year) is likely closer to what the player is than what he did 2,3, 4 or even 10 years ago.

          P.S. What’s wrong with Joe Decamara? :).

          1. forget Joey D. — i remember him putting me on hold for >45 mins (when i call 97.5 the fanatic) because i want to comment on the Mariotta #dothedeal thing — i can feel his emotions on the other side of the line as he passionately state his argument for about an hour.

      3. my take away in your argument are the stats that you used – WAR, fWAR, bWAR.

        WAR has taken sabermeteics too far that it becomes opinion more than a reliable stat – thus the WAR (MLB) vs fWAR (Fangraphs) vs bWAR (Baseball Ref) vs WARP (Baseball Prospectus). WAR is still not a universal stat and why it is commonly misused/overused – that it becomes pepperoni, pizza or sausage (per Howie Roseman) that you pick and choose whatever that support your position.

        I think using the WARs data can add value when used in the context of other stats but no single stat tells the entire story. The argument of advanced metrics/sabermetrics vs “basic” stats is flawed because even advanced metrics have their root in basic stats. The two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.

        1. But I didn’t just use WAR – that’s just not accurate.

          I used the traditional stat line too, which was very good last year and this year is excellent. If you just looked at those lines, the argument is exactly the same.

          As for fielding metrics, well, those are new stats – there are no traditional stats (prior to about 15 years ago) that measured those, so I have to rely on new stats there and, again, he does extremely well on these.

        2. Kuko…BP/BR and Fangraphs all use the basic principle in calculating WAR. However, I beg to differ that it is ‘opinion more than a reliable stat’
          The six components that determine its makeup, encompass more or less the entire gamut of the offensive spectrum. Now I will give you,defensive WAR are probably less reliable than the offensive results. However, from what I have read the three entities that use WAR try to allow for that.
          And not sure why you think it is commonly misused or overused.
          Is there any argument that a Michael Trout now seated at 2.2WAR for 2017, is producing at a better rate than a Michael Saunders seated currently at 0.2?
          I really cannot grasp your argument.

          1. Yes, exactly. Look at the top WAR for any season or historically – it lines up quite well as a general rule with our perceptions of who is good. I just was trying to make the point that my argument was exactly the same using traditional numbers. It isn’t like Cesar is hitting .223 with a .275 OBP – his triple stat lines are really good, especially for a top of the order guy.

          2. @romus – a stat is being misused is when the the stats is used to support a conclusion that doesn’t fit it’s definition. 9 of 10 people i talked to struggle to give me a definition of WAR but 9 of 10 of them used WAR to support their position even though their can’t give a definition of WAR but rather hear/read it from somewhere else – thus my misused and overused opinion.

            i like Fangraphs a lot and my definition of WAR is similar to theirs. As per Fangraph:

            WAR offers an estimate to answer the question, “If this player got injured and their team had to replace them with a freely available minor leaguer or a AAAA player from their bench, how much value would the team be losing?”

            WAR is not meant to be a perfectly precise indicator of a player’s contribution, but rather an estimate of their value to date. Given the imperfections of some of the available data and the assumptions made to calculate other components, WAR works best as an approximation.

            My arguments about WAR data is based on that definition. If I want to know a “value” of a player at a point in time (current and historical but not future) can i use WAR. To me, WAR is useful to determine MVPs, All-Star and all those awards that measure current performance. And since WAR can be calculated historically, it can be useful too when negotiating trades and contracts.

            1. No offense, I still don’t understand this argument against WAR. If it’s good to measure and MVP and an All-Star, why is it less valid to measure any other player? It’s not like WAR is measured differently for MVP candidates than it is for anyone else.

            2. @catch – i think you did understand my point. i didn’t say that WAR can’t be used to measure (which i assume measure the value) any other player – where in fact i believe WAR is effective in measuring a player’s value (current and historical but not future).

              i probably used the words “know/estimate/determine/measure/assess/evaluate” interchangeably but i mean the same definition.

              when it comes to future value – i think a simple “extrapolation” of a current WAR can be misleading. the more historical WAR data is used the better.

            3. Kuko….can understand your point of view.
              Perhaps I am narrow minded in my perception of WAR.
              But basically….I use it for peer evaluation, thats it.

            4. By the way, I just thought I should add that Cesar is 3 for 4 today. I don’t need WAR to tell me that that’s good!

            5. And, okay, Cesar got caught at second trying to stretch the last one into a double – ya got me there!!! Today is like a microcosm of all of our discussions. LOL

            6. urgh!! those miscues can matter in a close game!! not only the CS/out takes one less batter to bat a run but it literally took out the one possible (and potentially the winning) run — and the next batter needs to hit a HR rather than a double to recoup the run lost!

            7. so that CS is potentially -0.5 to -1WAR there without calculating if the game ends at tie after 9 innings!

            8. Uh, no, that’s not how WAR is determined. One mistake is not going to lead to a negative 1 WAR.

            9. Actually, this game is a good example. Cesar Hernandez is not going to have a negative 1 WAR for a game where he went 4 for 5 and scored 2 runs merely because he got caught trying to stretch a single to a double on one of those hits. Even with his getting caught he has been far more valuable this game than he has been detrimental.

            10. that’s what you call kkWAR!! Jeanmar, Morgan and will have super negative kkWAR with all of them blown games they allowed!

          3. As to why i said WAR appears to me as a matter of an opinion rather than a stat is because it is being defined differently.

            MLB, BA, BP, FG, BR, etc calculates WHIP, ERA, SLG, OPS, ISO, etc using the same formula. why can’t they agree on the same formula to calculate WAR but rather calculate their own version and still call it WAR (WAP vs fWAR vs bWAR vs WARP)? To me, anything not accepted universally is not a fact but more of an opinion.

            1. KK – I don’t agree with this conclusion. Just because the major generators of these WAR numbers don’t agree on every assumption used and sometimes vary to a degree doesn’t mean that they are purely subjective or not highly persuasive and typically, variations between bWAR and fWAR are very minor. Take Mike Trout’s WAR for example – he has a 49.9 fWAR and a 50.7 bWAR – hardly a meaningful difference. Or Roy Halladay – 64.6 bWAR and 65.2 fWAR. And these are not guys I cherry-picked – I just looked them up now as examples. When in doubt, average them.

          4. @romus/catch,

            assuming that we do an exercise right now – you, me, catch, representatives from BA, MLB, BP, FG, DR, etc and 20 random baseball dudes and all were given same list of basic baseball stats (i.e. RBI,Ks, BB, IP, ER, etc) and were asked to calculate the following stats as of 04/30/17:

            Kershaw’s – ERA, WHIP, ERC/%, DIP/%, BABIP, K/9, RS, KK/BB

            Trouts – OBP, SLG, OPS, ISO, etc

            I will think that everybody will calculate with the same basic/expended/sabermetrics stats — except for — guess what? WAR!!! So why everybody agree 100% on non-WAR stats but come up differently on WAR? this is the reason why i said you can pick between WAR, fWAR, bWAR, WARP and choose whatever you think support your position.

            1. KuKo….as a I said earlier…the difference may lie strictly in the defensive aspect in player evaluation.
              dWAR is probably the most subjective measurement of the component….one of the main reasons why you cannot just add dWAR with oWAR and come up with WAR

    1. i literally guessed the list even without opening. the only exception i have is Jeanmar since it will be (almost) like an insult to the GM if you offered him in a trade.

      The proven vets are still the best trade chips with Hellboy potentially giving the best return.

      1. Still have 9 weeks or so left before contenders shake out from pretenders, but just cannot see Hellickson going to the Mets.
        I would hope the Red Sox come calling, especially if Price cannot get back soon and Porcello continues to struggle.

          1. it will be good for the Phils if it becomes a bidding war between NYY and BOS.

            1. KuKo…yes the ideal situation. And lest we forget….Buck Showalter’s club could be in that mix …though the Os farm system is bereft of note-worthy prospects.

            2. How about this Hellickson, Nick Williams, for Khris Davis ,Ryan Madson , Gray Doolittle.

      2. Nothing revelatory to that list but they’ll receive more calls about Knapp than Rupp. Jeanmar is irrelevant. How dare he mention Cesar?!?! (lol)

            1. I just wish i could understand the Cesar talk. Its like the protesters, They can do all the protest they want. Trump is your president. Cesar has earned the right to be our future 2nd basemen. plain and simple. Keep your sabers and charts,. watch him play. Yes he will make a bone head play sometimes, but his overall game is really good.

            2. Roccom are you talking about both Trump and Ceaser with that comment . ” Yes he will make a bone headed play sometimes , but his overall game is Really good.

  31. Galvis throwing error in 13th loses another game. Bats stopped hitting and really poor road trip comes to an end. We can talk about how close they came to winning most of the games, but bad teams lose those, and they are pretty bad.

    1. And when a player gets nailed trying to stretch a single into a double or double into a triple, should they really be credited with a hit any more than a batter who gets robbed of a hit on a screaming line drive? Just saying.

      As for Altherr and Kendrick returning soon, what to do, who plays where – why does Saunders HAVE to be the starting right fielder? Let’s dispense with the veteran deference to build trade value when we need to find out about a guy could be a major piece of the future is already on the roster. That takes precedent over how many maybes we might get for someone who is at best a complimentary player. Altherr should play every day, even if he goes into a little slide in production at some point which he likely will.

  32. Joey Rod walk 4 ,1 intention​a!!y Mac makes some Questionable bp decisions. Benoit b!ows another save.

  33. Cesar just keeps proving himself . . . he’ll be an All Star in July and is the future of the Phillies at 2B . . . lets hope AA keeps it up and can hold down an OF spot for the future. I was never a believer in AA but he’s starting to prove me wrong . . . I love being proved wrong in the sense of a player being better than I thought.

  34. According to Keith Law … Phillies like Shane Baz at 1-8 this June.

    Oren: It’s obviously early, but are there any particularly strong draft team/player connections you’re hearing?
    Keith Law: If I had to do a mock today, I’d go McKay, Greene, Lewis, Wright, Gore 1-5. Have heard Baz a lot to Phils at 8. I think the Padres would try almost anything to get Greene to them, but right now i don’t think he gets by two teams.

    1. That’s by boy I think I said it twice on here . He has a mean spitter and can really spin a cb. A great delivery too he started moving up he was around 30 at the beginning of the yr .

  35. 17 teams are either subject to a $300,000 limit for signing international free agents or just coming off that penalty. Most of the good teams are in this group, but not the Phillies. What’s their excuse?

    1. Since the CBA (2012) prior to the latest, when the international bonus allocations were being closely monitored and caps strictly imposed there have been approx. 20 teams that have been penalized….beginning with the Cubs and Yankees from 2013. The Phillies have been a model of excellence by not breaking their allocation limits.
      Whats their excuse? They never publicly come out say it.
      The Mets are another large market that has not been penalized. But their excuse for a number of the earlier years was Bernie Madoff.

  36. I would be fine with the Phillies flipping Rupp whenever they are ready to do so and preferably by mid-year. We’ve now seen what he is – which is an average catcher – a decent second-division regular or very good back-up. I don’t see him being anywhere close to a long-term solution, particularly with Alfaro and Knapp around and I think Knapp is better right now and needs an audition before Alfaro’s presence makes that impossible. While it’s possible that playing Rupp more could improve his trade value (I don’t discount that possibility), I think the potential upside to playing Rupp is outweighed by the lost opportunity costs of sitting Knapp. So when a team comes calling and the move is decent, let’s make it and move on.

    1. And by the way if Knapp starts and Alfaro stays in AAA for a while, there are always back-up catchers floating around, including guys like Logan Moore. I’m not worried about that – they will find somebody.

  37. This is per MK “Our catching at the major league level has been above average”.I have no qualms at all with the catching at the major league level . In fact I think if we sized up against the rest of the league we’re doing pretty well in that department.

    1. Tim…….that is by what the position is doing metrically. That is what they did last year with first base…TJ plus Ryan Howard’s HRs and slugging was better than the average first base position on most teams thru-out the league.
      I guess that is how the measure the success of their team.

      1. This is Mk talking not a sport writer you might not agree with it . He’s happy with the Cacther postion he thinks Rupp an above avg Offense Cacther. He runs the ship I really don’t think he takes anyone’s option on this board. Me, you, or anyone else even when There ready to Rupp I don’t think we’ll know. I like Alfaro alot more then Jp . Right now the needs are relief Pitching and power. Really though The Phillies won the World series With Cooch a defensive catcher. The Cubs Ross etc

    2. Yes, but that isn’t the issue.

      The issue is that they have 28 year-old catcher who is very average and is about to start taking at-bats from players who are younger and have more potential. It’s not urgent, but they should move Rupp sooner rather than later.

  38. The Phillies FO have been pretty good with say​ing what they mean. Mk as per last yr trade deadline is not a trade happy gm. If they move Rupp it will! Be in a package deal with with a vet Cacther included.when Cooch was traded there was a vet in the return package.

  39. Do not want to be premature in enthusiasm for Darick Hall, but below are last season college metrics for both Rhys Hoskins and Darick Hall.

    Hall—-.302/.418/.630 with 30 BB/49 K in 218 AB…ISO-..328…BABIP-.307
    Hosk—.319/.428/.573 with 39 BB/31 K in 213 AB…ISO-.254…BABIP-.318

  40. Sat behind the Phils dugout last night. What a mishmash game. Velasquez threw very well but those Nats don’t miss mistakes. Cole was very hittable but bad baserunning and Franco’s batter interference killed early rallies. Doobie and Cesar flashed some leather before Saunders lost a ball in the lights. I noticed Freddy wring his throwing hand during one AB. He looked uncomfortable at the plate all night. Oh, and ToJo and Saunders are like really slow.

    Observing Jayson Werth through the game, 2 things. Despite all the boos he gets, he took a lot of time nonchalantly looking up and around into the crowd while ondeck. I’m think “he still misses Philly”. The other thing, he appears either bored or needs a shot of caffeine.

    And finally, I still hate the Nats.

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