Open Discussion: Week of July 23rd

The Phillies had a good week going 4-2, winning 2 series, and 5 of their last 7 games.  They continue to have the have the worst record in baseball with a 34-62 record and a .354 PCT.

Eickhoff was beat by the Marlins, Velasquez pitched well in his return from the DL, and Pivetta pitched well enough in a romp to take the series.  Nola dominated the Brewers, Hellickson pitched crappy in a shootout loss, and Eickhoff pitched well in a win to take the Brewers’ series.

The Phillies continue their home stand with series against the Astros and Braves.

The Phillies are still 24.5 games out of first place in the East Division.  They gained 2.5 games and are 12.5 games behind the rebuilding Braves.  They are 10.0 games behind the fourth place Marlins. They are 21.0 games behind the Diamondbacks in the Wild Card race.

Now, the race we have a chance to win –

  1. PHI       .354     34-62     —–     (last week)
  2. SFG      .380     38-62       2.0      3.5
  3. CWS     .400     38-57       4.5      8.0
  4. CIN       .418     41-57       6.0      8.5
  5. SD        .439     43-55        8.0      9.5
  6. OAK     .449     44-54        9.0      11.0
  7. TOR     .449     44-54        9.0      11.5
  8. MIA      .458     44-52      10.0      11.0
  9. DET     .464     45-52       10.5     11.0
  10. NYM     .469     45-51      11.0     11.5

The Phillies little win streak tightened the “race for last place”.  Everyone gained ground with the Giants closing within 2.0 games back and the White Sox making the biggest game after two line up depleting trades.  And, the Reds continue their yearly “tank”.  So, the run to 1:1 has already become interesting.  Could be a long two months.

Something New

I have added a new Google sheet tracking injuries within the organization.  It is as complete as I can make it with the information provided in the transactions and whatever I can glean from online media and talk around the Complex.  I placed it at the end of the Transactions section, just below the organization’s rosters link.  I’ll minimize the font after a week.  The link is also here.

Key dates remaining:

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


  • 7/22 – Lehigh Valley IronPigs placed SS Hector Gomez on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to July 21, 2017
  • 7/22 – Carlos Oropeza assigned to DSL Phillies White from DSL Phillies Red
  • 7/21 – Phillies optioned Brock Stassi to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 7/21 – Phillies activated LF Howie Kendrick from the 10-day disabled list
  • 7/21 – RHP Seranthony Dominguez assigned to Clearwater Threshers
  • 7/20 – Phillies sent OF Howie Kendrick on a rehab assignment to Reading
  • 7/20 – Lehigh Valley IronPigs placed RHP Tom Eshelman on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to July 18, 2017. Right flexor strain.
  • 7/20 -LHP Bailey Falter assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters from Lakewood
  • 7/20 – Jose Taveras assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Clearwater Threshers
  • 7/20 – Reading Fightin Phils placed RHP Miguel Nunez on the 7-day disabled list. Strained right shoulder
  • 7/20 – Reading Fightin Phils placed SS Jorge Flores on the temporarily inactive list
  • 7/20 – Gustavo Armas assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport
  • 7/20 – SS Dalton Guthrie assigned to Williamsport Crosscutters
  • 7/20 – 3B D.J. Stewart assigned to GCL Phillies
  • 7/19 – Lehigh Valley IronPigs released OF Osmel Aguila
  • 7/19 – SS Matt Williams assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 7/17 – Phillies signed free agent SS Matt Williams to a minor league contract
  • 7/19 – RHP Alex Garcia assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from GCL Phillies
  • 7/18 – Phillies activated RHP Vince Velasquez from the 10-day disabled list
  • 7/18 – Phillies optioned RHP Mark Leiter to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 7/18 – 3B Harold Martinez assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Reading
  • 7/18 – SS Jorge Flores assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 7/17 – Phillies activated 2B Cesar Hernandez from the 10-day disabled list.
  • 7/17 – Phillies placed RF Aaron Altherr on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to July 15, 2017. Strained right hamstring.
  • The organization’s rosters are up to date.
  • The new organization’s injury list is as up to date as I can make it.

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


355 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of July 23rd

  1. The lineup for ’18 as amended by myself:
    Kingery 2b; JPC SS; Altherr RF; Hoskins 1b; Williams LF; Herrera CF; Hernandez 3b; Knapp C.

    1. Franco seems to be a lost MLB player. Sorry for him and the Phils. His contact rate I bet is terrible and his 3rd base fielding is “average” at most. Please re-sign Hernandez for 3-4 years and play him at 3rd. Galvis should also be re-signed for 3-4 years and be the super sub infielder.

      1. .355/.395/.595 is Franco’s slash line for the last week.his k% is 13.2 the best on the team is ball is 7.3 the best in his young career. He has 8 errors plus he leads the team in RBIs with 52 has 14 HR . He’s a 24 yr old making adjustments this yr. In the last 2 wks he’s been hitting the ball the other way. Franco may stay hot for the rest of the season . Funny if Franco had a better season then Machado then what ?

        1. I also read somewhere that Franco has as many walks as strikeouts in his last 35 games. That stat shocked me (in a good way), and is a great indicator of increased plate discipline. He just needs to continue that approach.

      2. besides the fact that Hernandez hasnt really played third, im not loving the idea of a 8 home run a year guy playing third in the CBP bandbox. And of course Odubel would be whining about batting 7th.

      3. **His contact rate I bet is terrible**

        Ok, want to make that bet?

        Here is his k% as a major leaguer:
        – 15.5%
        – 16.8%
        – 13.1%

        24 players in all of baseball (four of which are 3rd basemen) have a better contact rate than Franco this year.

        maybe, just maybe, you should look up his stats before complaining about his stats?

        Franco’s issues are not contact ability. It is his absurdly low BABIP. Of the 24 players with a lower k rate, Franco has:
        – the lowest babip
        – a higher ISO than 13 of the 24
        – a better walk rate than 13 of the 24

        that my friends…is bad luck. I am not saying he can’t improve. he can. but jumping to extremes on Franco is stupid.

        1. I agree that Franco’s BABIP is absurdly low, which, no doubt is partly due to bad luck, but I suspect that part of it is due to his slowness of foot. For whatever reason, it does not appear that he gets out of the batters box very well and his time to first base also does not benefit from his being a right-handed hitter. In fact he is in a 6 way tie for 2nd in the majors this season in grounding into double plays with 17. Perhaps the Phillies should be bring back Marlon Byrd to help Franco figure out how to hit the ball in the air instead of on the ground.

    2. Though I like Cesar’s uptick in power this year, I don’t think his offense profiles at 3B & he can’t play there either. Do you recall him in CF & SS? Not very good.

      Kingery’s surge in power this year could push him to 3B if he can physically last to the end of the year. He was exhausted by the end of last year & isn’t a very big guy.

      Franco has been playing better of late, much like Doobie. At the very least, MK needs to assess trade value in the off-season.

      The Tigers would be interested in a 2B once Kinsler is unloaded. Trade values could be better when packaging players together. The phillies have a volume of prospects & veteran players that can be traded.

  2. It’s not just the Reds that are tanking. White Sox have lost 9 in a row and also look to be firmly in tank mode.

  3. I think an IF with Rhys, Kingery, JPC, and Galvis is better than one with Franco.

    Really liking Nick right now, he looks good. Next June I’m thinking:

    1 Crawford SS
    2 Kingery 2B
    3 Herrera CF
    4 Altherr RF
    5 Williams LF
    6 Hoskins 1B
    7 Galvis SS
    8 Knapp C

    1. I took heat as a Franco hater last year for suggesting the he should be considered a 5th/6th hole hitter in a good line-up. Now a year later I will have to be a Franco apologist by arguing that it’s way to early to give up on him as a 24 year old who’s learning to adjust to how teams are attacking him…

      Fans were spoiled by having finished products like Utley, Rollins, Werth, etc. in the line-up. Most young players are going to struggle to adjust to major league pitching.

      If the Phillies really hold their prospects back as some claim, Franco wouldn’t even be in the majors yet and his learning curve would be happening at AAA with less eyes watching..

  4. Apologies if I’m stretching the limits of Open Discussion, but I found this interesting.

    I recently toured the Louisville Slugger factory, and learned it was a former Phil who was the first ML player to make the end of his bat concave (a “cup balanced” bat, as they’re called now).

    Jose Cardinal, primarily an OF but he platooned with The Grave Digger at first for the Phillies in 1978, went on a barnstorming tour of Japan in winter 1972, noticed the Japanese players doing it, imported the practice to America…and in 1973 he went on to hit over .300, thus the tradition was born.

    According to my guide on the tour, 90% of all MLB bats are now concave. That seems to a little high to me, but I have no reason to dispute it. I was surprised to learn that only 40-45% of MLB bats are made by Louisville Slugger.

    All in all, it was a great place to visit. Though at my time of the tour they were making bats for the Reds back-up catcher…can’t win ’em all!

    1. PS: They had a game-used bat from each team, that you could hold. The Phillies submitted Dick Allen’s. My god, is that a big bat. 42 oz. I don’t believe I’ve ever held a bat quite like that!

    2. I wonder what percentage is ash. I believe there has been a general movement towards alternative wood choices: maple, bamboo, wood composite, etc.

        1. Actually, I was surprised to learn broken bats are at an all-time low, about two per game. Anecdotally, I would have though that more are broken today, too, especially with 95 the new 90.

          Regarding ash, if I remember correctly, only 15% of Louisville Slugger MLB bats are ash. Ash bats are cheaper, and are still used more frequently in the minors and below.

  5. The Phllies should be in the buying mode for a closer . The Phillies nearest closer is Singer in Clearwater Reading And LV don’t really have any . The Phillies for the past month are playing much better ball. There 15 th in the league in RA. You wonder if the Phillies make it to 10th in RA do they start buying bats. That may not happen until the off season.

    1. The Phillies have many needs more important than the closer spot. That’s a need that needs to be filled about 2 years from now and perhaps during that time the actual closer will emerge internally.

      1. As one of the worst teams in baseball they should be in seller mode at the trade deadline rather than buying mode.

        1. Buy? Sell?
          Buy any pieces with long term value. Sell all rentals. They should do both as opportunity presents itself.

          Hellickson is clearly an August waiver deal. The other rentals may also be here past 7/31, except for Neshek. They need to give this rebuild a jump with creativity. Joseph (with no market as a sole entity) and Herrera (who’s market is changing like a traffic light) need to be moved to make room for Hoskins and whichever OF is coming up next. Galvis and Cesar can wait until the off season but I would prefer room sooner. Aggressiveness in promoting prospects should then be followed by more aggressiveness on the ’18 buyer’s market.

          1. 8mark…speaking of OFers coming up or maybe back…..word among media types, is that Nick Williams helped Aaron Altherr’s hamstring heal quicker.

          2. 8 mark, your on the mark here. I can see that many trades will end up waiting till offseason. Players like Hernandez, Galvis, Rupp, and others could be shopped as players for whole season maybe higher value. This allows room for internal promotions. Joseph may be just flat out traded for lower value or part of package before Aug 1 or he will end up hanging around till offseason.

          3. I love it trade Herrera the Phillies can bring up anyone to do what here’s doing ,piece of cake.

            1. Tim…..why bring up someone now….they are here already…Altherr goes to CF and Williams plays full time in one of the corners…..there is Nava, Kendrick …one probably here thru August 31st…..then there is Perkins and hopefully a healthy Quinn come September
              Now I would not suggest trading Herrera unless the return is an offer that cannot be refused.
              Meaning….a Michael Fulmer type pitcher in AAA…..or perhaps someone like Blake Snell.

      2. The Phillies Bp lost 23 games this yr, the most in the league. good closer could last 7 or 8 yrs. Even if they trade for a AA or AAA prospect closer. Enough of another LH Outfielder or a 20 yr old pitcher that can’t get above AA. The Phillies seem to draft and sign LA kids better then trading for Pitchers or Postion player . When the Phillies go after the big ticket players there going to have to make room. The Braves and Oakland seem to put vets on a team. Plus the Phillies really don’t have anyone that would bring back much.

    2. I will say the Phillies should be in buying mode for any pieces they can get. Padres bought Kimbrel and made a nice deal. Yankees didn’t need Andrew Miller or Chapman, but they went and got both! Made nice deals in return.

      I think if there is an opportunity to grab a valuable piece, you do it. It never hurts to add talent.

      1. You mentioned relievers for the most part….Phillies tried it with starters (Hellickson/Morton/Buchholtz) and OFers (Nava/Kendrick/Saunders)…..they did luck out with Neshek it appears in the reliever area.
        The one guy out there now….would be Os Britton and he will be costly upfront, and then to re-chip trade him next year, is again a risk on what kind of return you can get.
        But that is the idea the Yankees did and also AJ Preller and the Padres did with Kimbrel from the Braves three years ago.

      2. Andrew,

        SD did not trade for Kimbrel to flip him. They had aspirations of contending in 2015 when they acquired Craig Kimbrel and Melvin Upton Jr. from the Braves for Cameron Maybin, Carlos Quentin, Jordan Paroubeck and Matt Wisler. It wasn’t until after their failed season that they traded Kimbrel to Boston for Carlos Asuaje, Javier Guerra, Logan Allen and Manuel Margot.

        NYY approaches every season as though they are a contender. They signed Miller as a FA on 12/5/2014 and acquired Chapman from the Reds for Caleb Cotham, Rookie Davis, Eric Jagielo, and Tony Renda on 12/28/2015.

        It wasn’t until they gave up on the 2016 season that they traded Miller to the Indians for Ben Heller, Clint Frazier, J.P. Feyereisen, and Justus Sheffield; and Chapman to the Cubs for Adam Warren, Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney, and Rashad Crawford. (They re-signed Chapman when he became a FA in the off season.)

        Miller was the “closer-apparent” as the Yankees searched for the successor to Mariano Rivera. He became the set-up guy when Chapman came off the RL in 2016. Both became trade pieces when the Yankees gave up on the 2016 season when they were 7.5 games back and in 4th place in their division.

        My point is that none were acquired by a losing team with the express purpose of flipping them.

    3. Closer is a luxury for a rebuilding that is not expected to contend. Closer is the last piece that the Phils should be getting which i expect after at least 2 years – this should give the Phils time to evaluate internal options like Neris, Pinto, Ramos, Appel, VV, Arano. Singer and Edgar Garcia probably pitched enough innings by that time to determine if they can be viable options and there will be someone from the lower minors that will develop closer stuff and will fly under the radar (i.e. Hibbs, Dyer, Llovera, etc).

      1. JDT’s SL is good, but his FB is behind the likes of Neris, Ramos, Pinto and Arano and all of them have good secondary pitches. I saw him twice (this year and last year) in REA, he can be a solid middle relief but nothing I saw (and nothing I read about him too) that he has closer stuff.

          1. Jordan mentioned 93-94, which is not a closer type FB. Neris, Ramos, Pinto and possibly Arano can dial up their FB from mid to high 90s consistently.

            I’m not knocking JDT down because I can see him as part of the pen, but not with a closer stuff like what you said.

            1. Even though having a crazy fastball would be ideal, you can still close without it. And he closed at Reading, a noted hitter’s league with great results. And I think he’s next in line to close at Lehigh, after Beato. So he has the experience to close, and I think he will get a shot to do so in a Phillies uniform in the near future.

              A decent comp for Therrien would be AJ Ramos of the Marlins.

            2. @guru – when you say “Jesen Therrien has the stuff to close” — i thought you are pertaining to his “stuff” or grade of his pitching repertoire.

              but apparently, you are now referring to the opportunity to close games (SVO). JDT, if he makes it, will be given the chance to save games for the Phils especially they are not expected to make a run in the playoffs so some of the SVO games are non-bearing. But JDT will be behind the order in SVO – the Phils will give the RPs i mentioned in Neris, Ramos, Pinto and Arano to pitch in high leverage games.

              Hopefully, JDT can be a surprise.

            3. Understand, Eric Gagne has been mentoring him for a few years now, and the Phillies are alright with that in the off-season, not sure about in-season.

            4. With a closer alot depends on his demeanor . Neris and Rams look like there about to have an heart attack out there. Neris FB has no movement he needs the spitter.

          1. Why does closer need to strike everyone out? It may be one of the easier spots, since one often comes in with clean inning.
            But if ‘closer’ is best bullpen reliever the if not a plus FB, there must be a wipeout pitch, which JDT may not have.

    4. God bless you, Tim. You are the eternal Phillies optimist. IIRC, last month, you told me this team would end up with the 15th pick in the 2018 draft.

      1. I didn’t say 15 th but out of the top 10. I play the field against 1 team , there schedule, Division, depth, the trades. The Phillies are playing better ball. There 17 and 19 in there own Division,Plus injuries .

    1. Like to see them get either pitcher Austin Franklin or another Latin pitcher with a great first name….LHP Genesis Cabrera

      1. Red Sox for Jason Groome? highly unlikely straight up, but if they sweeten the pot a tad its possible – Neshak + prospect for Groome + ??? maybe a roster cast off

      2. Romus … If Neshek goes to TB, I’m pretty sure Austin Franklin is the guy they will get back. I think the Phils had some scouts in to see him pitch Saturday night. Franklin would be a good get for Klentak. Of course, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN is reporting there are at least five teams scouting Neshek. He identifies the Rays, Red Sox, Cubs, Nats, and Dodgers. Let’s hope the Dodgers fall in love with Neshek. They have an A+ farm system.

        1. Yes…the Dodgers would be likely to give up a lot more than a many of the other teams who have shown interest in Neshek.
          I guess the Yankees have shown no interest….they would be another.

            1. Roberto Hernandez…plus return
              Chase Utley….minus return
              Same Pres Baseball Ops… Friedman
              Go figure!

        2. I already like Austin Franklin as a return for Neshek. Can LAD offer a better prospect in return? I assume that LAD will not offer any of their Top 10-12 for Neshek – will LAD offer Will Smith or the Phil will settle for Dustin May?

          With Kershaw scheduled to be out for 4-6 weeks, is Hellboy a viable option to increase trade return? I think LAD will shoot for Yu Darvish and try to go all the way this year.

          1. KK … The Dodgers won’t give up Dustin May for 40 innings (maybe) of Neshek. May is a top 10 prospect for them. I have been a big AJ Alexy fan since before last year’s draft. Now that Jesus Luardo is gone (Nats dealt him to the A’s), Alexy would be my #1 realistic target for Neshek.

            1. Agree there….Aj Alexy would be a nice fitting return for Neshek.
              They may also want Hellickson now that CK is on th e shelf for awhile.

          2. The Dodgers farm system is so ridiculously good, they’ve got young kids most people have never heard of, who will be on their top 20 list this offseason. Case in point is 19 YO catcher Keibert Ruiz. He’s already in A+ and mashing. If Ruiz was in the Rays organization, he’d probably be their #4 prospect. It would be a much better scenario for the Phillies to go shopping in the Dodgers farm system !!!

            1. There’s multiple reports coming out there in on Darvish so LA will spend on him.they will still have enough of Neshek. I still think Neshek will go my bet Boston .

  6. The Phils have pieces in the upper minors to assemble a competent team that is young, cost controlled and with potential to develop. What a homegrown Phillies roster lack is(are) impact talent(s). Enough with the 1 year rentals that Klentak is not showing any good results. If the Phils is going to be a buyer, I do hope that they get the best talent available.

  7. Is it too early to assess the 40 man roster crunch for next year?

    On the Bubble:
    Appel – Expose or BP
    Quinn – 4th OF or Expose
    Herlis Rodriquez – Expose
    Walding – Expose
    Windle – Expose
    Watson – Expose

    Perkins – DFA
    Rupp – Trade or Non-Tender
    Tojo – Trade or DFA
    Stassi – DFA
    Morgan – DFA





    Leaves 10 players to fill out roster.

    1. Kingery does not have to be on the 40 man so he won’t be on it (this could change if Cesar is moved in the offseason).

      I would axe Tirado and keep Adam Morgan. Morgan is throwing 94-95 and the hope is that he progresses much like Luis Garcia.

      I would give Quinn one last chance and perhaps leave Thompson off. But for me, Thompson would probably be the final cut off the 40 man roster.

  8. Phillies would be hard pressed to field a 2018 team salary of $60M. So they can easily add salary to facilitate a prospect trade.

    One such player could be Homer Bailey. He’s been injured like crazy, and still owed $49M. I wonder how desperate the Reds are to unload that contract. And no, I don’t want any part of Joey Votto’s contract which is flat out insane (5 years, $125M left).

  9. Currently, the Phils can shed at least 7 rosters spots (Hellboy, Neshek, Benoit, Kendrick, Nava, Kelly and Blanco), however, they will also protect the JPC, Hoskins, Arano, Dominguez, Tocci and possible Pullin and JDT. So that’s a wash. But I like to see Austin Davis to be protected too.

    I think Kilome needs to be protected as well, but I’m still confused on the eligibility of the J2 signings since most played the after they signed so I’m not sure if the Rule V clock starts on the year they signed or on the year they started to play.

    If the Phils still need to open more spots – i can see the following to be potential casualties (assuming no trade).

    a) Rupp – Alfaro has no more options starting 2018 and the emergence of Knapp will push Rupp out of the 25-man.

    b) Stassi and/or Perkins – age and lack of projection left will be the key factor

    c) Leiter – lack of pure stuff

    One more chance – I can see the Phils give Appel, Thompson, Tirado to pitch out of the pen but 2018 will be their sink or swim year with the Phils. Being LHPs, Morgan and Milner will be given as the lefty option from the pen. Luis Garcia better not implode for the remaining 2 months.

    Trade candidates – ToJo trade will likely save Perkins or Stassi as both can back up Hoskins from the bench. Doobie and Cesar as low cost options to small market teams will be exploded this winter meeting. Galvis is in his last year in ARB, the Phils may decide to cash on him before he hits the open market.

    1. Rupp hit 16HR & had 54 RBI on a part time basis last year. I understand his age, but think his value should be higher.

      While Knapp needed more playing time, Rupp’s value has been impacted by the way the team has handled him. Just seems to have been in PM’s dog house since last year.

      If no bites at either trade deadline, I can see the team just sitting Rupp until the off-season to allow Alfaro & Knapp split time the remainder of the year.

      1. I don’t think Rupp is in the doghouse. He was playing a lot in the beginning of the year. He lost playing time because he went into a crazy slump.

    2. Allowing for changes in the coming week:

      Neris, Eickhoff, Velazquez, Nola, Ramos, Lively, Eflin, Pivetta, Kilome, Dominguez, Therrien, Anderson, Appel, Davis, Rios, Garcia, Pinto, Morgan, Arano

      Knapp, Alfaro, Rupp

      Hernandez, Galvis, Joseph, Franco, Hoskins, Crawford, Valentin, Walding

      Altherr, Herrera, Quinn, Williams, Cozens, Tocci, Pullin (borderline)

      – – – – – –

      My bold move:

      to the Yankees – Nola, Franco and Kendrick

      to the Phils – OF’s Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Fowler, 3B Miguel Andujar, LHP Justus Sheffield and RHP James Kaprielian.

      If Ellsbury refuses to waive his no trade clause, then accept 3B Chase Headley instead if the Yanks are intent on dumping salary.

      Yankees are in the market for starting pitching. Nola is cost-controlled and is appealing compared to pitchers known to be on the market. They appear to have 3 untouchable prospects – P Chance Adams, SS/3B Gleyber Torres and OF Clint Frazier, not included here. This deal moves 4 of their top remaining 10 prospects in an over-stocked system.

      Players acquired can fit within my projected 40 man roster. I’d add a top of the rotation (Darvish, Arrieta, Cobb, Otani?) starter in free agency, drop Pullin.

      1. Nola is the only player in the 40-man that is untouchable to me – he’s a combination of 2 good things – cost controlled and upside. i will not involve Nola in any trade unless the Phils will get a legitimate stud like Machado, Trout or any players alike. Maybe offer Eickhoff, VV but not Nola.

        NYY doesn’t care about costs, and NYY wouldn’t mind spending $$ to get the value of return to their favor. If the Phils will going to deal one of their cost controlled SPs, better target the non-big market teams who puts premium on $$, thus, willing to compensated with better prospect. LAD is the only big market team that I might consider since LAD had shown that they are willing to overpay to fill their needs.

  10. While i drool over the numbers of prospects that ATL has in the upper half of the BA’s mid-year Top 100, Phillies with 7 (almost all in the lower half) in the Top 100 is not too bad. JPC had the biggest drop from 19 to 92.

    Looking at the rankings, I saw Beau Burrows of DET breaking the Top 100 at #82. Beau Burrows is my comparable to Adonis Medina from the time Burrows made pro in 2015. Both almost the same age and physicality (Medina is slightly leaner) and almost the same stuff back in 2015 – mid 90s FB, CU and solid breaking ball. After 2 years and almost same number of innings, both Beau and Adonis have identical stats (although slightly in Beau’s favor).

    If BA likes Burrows as their #82 and statistical results is also good, my optimism with Medina is getting bigger especially now that Medina is starting to miss bats and he has a wider repertoire (FB-SL-CB-CU) than Burrows. Medina will be breaking the Top 100 soon.

  11. Back a little bit, guy84 wrote that if the Phils deal Neshek to the Rays, he’d like to see Ryne Stanek, a pitcher, in the deal. I checked him out to see his stats and projections which are:

    FB 70 SL 55 CU 45 Control 45 Overall 45

    How does someone with a plus FB and good SL end up with an Overall 45 score? An average of the four pitch scores is almost 55. Can somebody explain that to me?

    1. Good question.
      Avoid the obvious math formula for averaging.
      Below average CU, no CB, velo plus-plus with 70FB@96-98, Slider above average and gets plenty of swing and miss from them both, but walks far too many for RHP.
      Finally….this was a rating normally done in january/February, prior to the 2017 season……this year his AAA metrics are better than previous years.
      2016 he had a horrific season when it comes to metrics….FIP4.8.

  12. Thanks. i knew I could depend on you, Romus. Unlikely the Phils would take him given the chance because he would probably need to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft.

    1. Good for Matt Klentak. Nothing worse than a reporter asking questions just to hear himself talk. Eskin didn’t even know Hellickson’s name !

  13. I may be wrong but I thought I read something that Doc Holliday was working with Tom Windle when he was injured, does anyone know his numbers since Doc worked with him and is he working with others? Any chance they have Appel work with him?

  14. Update Royals make trade with SD Cahill the bug name . Wheeler goes on DL with dead arm poor Mets and there Rotation.

  15. I wonder would VV and Ceaser would bring in the trade market ,VV having alot of trouble with HR . VV against a good hitting FB team seems lost . 3 red flags HR rate per 9 , his walk rate , and his Health . He also has trouble with getting past 5 ings. He’s young and love his stuff but command and control are avg.

    1. Earlier someone was saying Phils need a closer. They got one, but they keep trying to have him start. Sorry, but VV is not a reliable starter. At some point you gotta realize his walks and pitch count comes from trying to be a starter and throwing four pitches.

      Put him to close and cut back on the repertoire. His heater will be upper 90s.

      I know people want to throw it back in the Astros face that the Phils got a dominant starter for a reliever, but Velasquez is not a starter.

      1. I have to agree here. VV’s fastball would be upper 90s and I think his curveball is enough for a 2 pitch mix. The hope here is that he only has to focus for 1 inning, and perhaps his control improves. Because those 2 fastballs he served to McCann and Bregman were hammered for HRs. VV can look so good, and then he would throw a fastball right down the middle and miss his spot by 6 inches.

  16. What are everyone’s thoughts on Catcher?

    I believe pitching has suffered this year without a veteran C. I know they have coaches and I know Hellickson is experienced and shares knowledge, but a quality veteran C could have been huge. Even Doc and Lee used to be outspoken about Ruiz. While I fully understand (and in a vacuum agree with) decision to go with Rupp and Knapp (it was their turns by merit), all our young pitchers would have benefitted significantly if we had kept Ellis (or brought back Ruiz or some other veteran, respected/teaching C).

    So, my plan would be…. 1) trade Rupp for whatever you can get. He’s not the future nor a valuable vet. I have nothing against him, he showed good power last year, but honestly he’s not helping enough this year to warrant a spot much longer. 2) trade Knapp or Alfaro. Again, I like these guys but I’d rather one be the backup next year and potentially/hopefully become the C of the future (or we wait for a younger prospect to blossom as future C). 3) get an experienced C with couple years left. My choice: sign Jonathan Lucroy after season (or trade for him now with agreed-to extension) He’s struggling this year but has had a strong career both with the bat and defensively. (I read two years ago he was #1 for framing pitches and pitchers love throwing to him.) Coming off his by-far-worst season he may be on the cheap. He’ll only be 31/32 next year (not young but not entirely too old either). He still may have a couple years left to be a possible middle of the order bat, experienced voice in the clubhouse, groomer of future catcher (Alfaro or Knapp), and a great asset to all the young pitchers we have currently and to come. …If he can demand a l/t contract on the market then he’s not the right option, but he may not garner more than a 1-year or 2-year contract and so offering either with another year or two of mutual option years may make it viable.

    To get a big piece for our future in a trade (we’ve dreamed on rumors of Archer or Fulmer or Yelich, etc, etc) we have to give up young talent to obtain such a player. So, this plan makes giving up one of Knapp/Alfaro as part of a package almost strategic.

  17. Last night was a pretty clear indication of the huge gap the Phils have to bridge. I know the Astros lost about 325 games over 3 years and actually picked mark Appel over Kris Bryant, but they have some terrific talent. Their guys can hit, approach the plate with a plan, seem to be able to recognize breaking pitches and just rake. We are far behind them and this year has done very little to establish anything other than we are still 3 years away from being 3 years away.

    1. Astros were 70-92 in 2014, then 84-78 last year……so it only seems the Phillies are light years behind them and so far away.
      Phillies have too many high end prospects and young players in the system and on the team, to not put it together in 2/3 years.
      Sometimes it only take 2 or 3 players to really break out and it then it can become contagious.

      1. You put a Cole Hamels in the rotation, add a harper or Stanton to lineup, the gap closes a lot. I am not saying we can get these guys put three studs change this team a lot. With Cesar leading off and a kingery or Quinn and freddy in front of a Stanton it would do wonders. With a cole to start a series with a win does a lot

      2. Romus, but even when they were lousy, Houston had Altuve and Correia and Springer that were regarded by everyone as high end talent. They added to that. My problem is that we don’t have 1 of those guys. I am happy with Altherr’s year, but he is not at that level. I am pleasantly surprised by Nick Williams, but he has a long way to go, and our best prospect, as we sit here today, is probably Kingery. We have some very good prospects, but I don’t see that elite one, unless it becomes Kingery or Sixto.

        1. matt13….Judge last August/Sept and Sanchez in spring 2015 were look to be very close to prospect disappointments. Then something changes within players that once shined then dulled , then they regain the luster.
          I like to think i will see a similar upswing in result from JPC, and continued in Hoskins, Kingery, Cozens, and perhaps in 2018 in Haseley

            1. Matt I know romus from when we were kids he is never wrong. the man is a walking computer, remember he graduated from the best hs in philly before college at Princeton he went to southern

  18. MLB top 100 out

    Mickey Mo 33rd, down from 19, but still ahead of Puk and Groome, though well behind Sensel

    Sixto 52 from not ranked

    Kingery 56 from not ranked

    JP 64 from 7. Says still shows flashes of all-star potential

    Alfaro 73 from 72

    Rhys 74 from not ranked

    1. If my math is correct, i counted around 11 2017 Rule IV draftees that made the Top 100 but no Adam Haseley? I thought that Haseley is almost a consensus Top 10 prospect from the Rule IV but other lower ranked prospects made it over Haseley? One clear example is Alex Faedo who is ranked # 78 by MLB. MLB (and most national outlets) ranked Haseley over Faedo pre-draft, but Faedo without throwing a single pitch in the pros suddenly jumped over at least 5 2017 draftees?

      1. i think Faedo pitching well in CWS may have influenced them. i saw a speculation somewhere else that Haseley would have been in the next ten.
        i don’t get the Alfaro ranking but i guess they need a couple catchers on the list.
        not sure how JP drops that much, but Austin Meadows only to 20.

      2. KuKo……Phillies must have reached their quota with six. Their system is not as good as Atlanta’ rated by all the pubs…. so they cannot have the same or more Top 100 then the Braves have there.

          1. Kuko….however, their systems are ranked higher than the Phillies, well at least Yankees and Braves….CWS are late comers with their trades this off-season and last week. So they will have more than most all the teams, and the Phillies.
            For example, Maitan at 44….the guy has how many PAs, 70 in rookie ball? Sure he is a talent, but I see him at the back end of the 100, in the 90s somewhere. Then one year yuonger, 18-year J. Ortiz cannot crack the back end and has performed outstanding against older players going into his second season. Sometimes it is is just ‘political’ with some of these rankings. Heck, possibly Astro future HoF Jose Altuve never cracked close to top 100.

    2. On the Phillies ranking side – Ranger Suarez jumped to #16, Fanti and the NEW Luis Garcia made it at ##30 and #25, respectively. Ranger was exposed to Rule V last year and might be exposed again this year. A tough call for Klentak for sure.

  19. That is my point SWFL Frank. We know Mickey Mo is not our best prospect, and we have none in the top 25. Even if we agree that Sixto and Kingery are higher than 52 and 56, and 6 in the Top 100 is good, without that elite level talent, it is not good enough, and puts too big of a burden on spending in the FA market.

    1. @matt13 – you are getting me really riled up!! most of my posts here sound like a wishful thinking to most, but looking at the current landscape withing the organization, the Phils cannot win unless they think BIG – i mean BIG TIME PLAY MAKERS. From the time that someone told me that Doobie is the Phils most valuable player and i just sit back and enjoy watching Cesar play — I already turned my calendar past forward into 2019.

      On the contrary, with the depth across the farm system I believe some prospect(s) will emerge and will become legit MLB players of the next contending Phillies team. Nonetheless, the Phils still need to have the financial commitment to be a force again in MLB. Think BIG to win BIG!!

  20. Sorry KuKo! I did not mean to. But, looking at those stats for the Astros players made me depressed. Even Gurriel, who I think was a nice signing from Cuba, has proven to be a very valuable player with good numbers. He is 7th or 8th on Houston, production wise. I think that a couple of our guys will “turn the switch” to paraphrase Romus, but I start this off season. I go after Darvish and try to get Donaldson or Moustakas, and don’t wait until after 2018 and pray that Machado comes here. I want this to be the last year we tolerate lousy baseball.

    1. @matt13 – i didn’t realized that you have more sense of urgency that me. I like to go after Darvish this winter, but the Jap player I’m more interested the most is Otani. If the Phils can get them both, the better. I’m not sold on Donaldson or Mous or even Hosmer (the 3 i think are looking for at least 5 yr contract), since I thought of them as 2nd level alternative. My game plan (after removing the scrubs) for the 2017 offseason will be as follows:

      1) Sign 1-2 TOR arm – Otani, Darvish (I’ll stay away from Arrieta unless it 1-yr deal). Garza, Cashmere can be cheap arms if available.

      2) Sign a bat ST with high AAV (with team option) to bridge to Machado, Harper – JD Martinez can be a target. I’ll take a flyer on Bruce.

      3) Trade Doobie, Cesar, Galvis and/or any players blocking my young core. I might consider trading Neris and Garcia too, if the price is right.

      4) Optional: sign a veteran RP is there’s roster space.

      2019 is the year for me, and I have 2018 as the development for the younger core so I’m willing for wait for the Machado’s and roll with the roster of:

      C – Alfaro/Knapp
      1B – Hoskins
      2B – Kingery
      3B – Franco/Valentin
      SS – JPC
      OF – JD Martinez (or Bruce), Williams, Quinn, Altherr (Tocci/Pullin if Quinn is injured)

      Bench – Knapp, Valentin, Stassi, Perkins, Tocci/Pullin

      Starters – Otani, Darvish, Nola, Pivetta, Eickhoff
      Bullpen – VV, Pinto, Ramos, Morgan, Davis + Garcia/Neris (if not traded)/vet RP (or any of JDT, Arano, Milner)

      I will transition Thompson and Appel to bullpen in full time capacity in 2018 before deciding to DFA them for good.

      1. you lost with Garza and Cashmere (is that some awful combo of Scott Kazmir and Andrew Cashner?)
        you favor signing Jay Bruce over promoting Dylan Cozens?

        1. @RAEF – i missed some words there. but what what i mean is – after the Phils sign their TOR in Otani or Darvish or both, the Phils can consider another cheap vet in the likes of Garza or Cashmere if they can sign for 1-yr with team option.

          my prferred RF is Harper. Bruce at 1-yr $20M or Cozens is really a wash. But for a 1-yr stop gap to a Harper, I’ll go with a proven bat.

      2. Build around 4 maybe 5 core prospects the rest you buy . bp and bench you use both prospects and FA. As of right now a Altherr , Herrera, N Williams , outfield looks good. The next wave of Outfielder’s have to knock those 3 off there perch. Rupp not a bad back up for the rest of the season. He does have power and is a good thing . Nola been outstanding a true hope for the future. Galvis has been outstanding GG defense lowered his K % 4 pts and increased his ball %. While keeping his power and being a team leader. Jp still has work to do.

  21. Step 1: Unload rental players
    Step 2: Call up prospects
    Step 3: Recalibrate club with mix prospects, rentals, & longer term veterans

    Why can’t the rental players be unloaded? Not getting passed Step 1.

  22. Just a few points in MK’s defense on the rental players. I understand MK has a need for very specific types of players he wants in return which are those he won’t have to worry about adding to the 40 man.

    If we’re talking about Hellickson Neshak, Kendrick and Nava who cares if he can’t find the right deal for them. IMO those guys are not blocking anyone and they are a sunk cost. You just aren’t going to get an A tier type prospect for any of them and we are already flush with lottery ticket type prospects why add to that gluttony.

    I think and I could be wrong it’s more about the off season or possibly this week what he might be able to do with the real assets he has in Herrera, Hernandez and to a lesser extent Joseph.

    1. with young players (Pivetta, Lively, Williams, Knapp and possible more) getting MLB experience, the need for rental journeyman may not be a viable option anymore come offseason. The Phils will be one of the youngest, if not the youngest, team in MLB next season.

  23. What do you guys think about at Catcher?

    I did not think it wise to go with Rupp and Knapp this year. Please know I understood the decision (both Rupp and Knapp deserved the roles they received and in a vacuum it may have been the right move), but the lack of an experienced, coaching-type Catcher may have impacted the young starting pitching this year. I get that there are pitching coaches and I get Hellickson is good about sharing his knowledge/advice to the young guys, but a Catcher can make a big difference too. Even great SPs like Doc and Lee used to be outspoken about how much they loved throwing to Ruiz. So I had hoped the Phillies kept Ellis around or brought in someone else to play that role.

    My preference at this point would be as follows…
    a) trade Rupp for whatever you can get. I respect that he contributed great power last year and merited a chance, but he’s not the future C and he’s not a veteran C, so it seems he needs to go. b) trade one and keep one of Knapp/Alfaro to be the backup for 2018 and let him continue to learn/grow under a vet. c) bring in a veteran C. I’d love to see us sign Jonathan Lucroy in the offseason. (Or trade for him now with an agreed-to extension.) He is having a career-worst year but he only just turned 31. He’s not young but he’s still likely got a few good years in him. I remember reading a year or two ago that he was the #1 pitcher in mlb at framing pitches and that pitchers loved throwing to him! He could come in and be a middle-of-the-order bat, a clubhouse leader, a great teacher to the young backup Catcher (Alfaro or Knapp), and an experienced voice for the young pitchers especially in-game. If the market will provide him a large, long-term deal then maybe he isn’t the right fit, however I’m not sure he’ll garner that after this year. So let’s over-pay him (which we can afford in s/t) with a 1-year or 2-year contract (and maybe another year with mutual option).

    Btw, as we all hope for a young top talent via a trade now or offseason (i.e. Archer, Fulmer, Yelich, etc) we know we need to include major prospects. So with this plan, having to give up one of Knapp/Alfaro in a trade would even be strategic.

    1. I think Rupp will get traded for peanuts or cash. Then Knapp and Alfaro will battle it out in spring training to find out who’s the starter.

    2. i get your point; i don’t think it would have been crazy to get an ex-catcher on the coaching staff, as opposed to three former middle infielders.

      i imagine like poster below Rupp will be gone, but with Rupp value so low, the idea of going with Knapp/Rupp another year if another team values Alfaro in a trade, and signing a catcher if needed the year following, wouldnt be terrible.

      lucroy hasnt just struggled at the plate.

      1. Wow, good article. I had not realized Lucroy had gone from #1 pitch framer to one of the worst. So, both his O and his D have dropped a ton this year.
        I still wonder if it’s just a bad year though. I couldn’t understand why so much of baseball was ready to write off McCutchen after one bad year last year (and start to this year) but look at him now. Players who are amongst the best don’t often just lose all their skills in their age 30 season. I realize Catchers are different than OF but I wanna believe Lucroy still has good value (I’ve been a fan for years). ….This article makes me think twice though. Thanks.

    3. Alfaro has 1 option left so ’18 is a big year in how his future gets shaped in Philly. Make or break, I’d say.

  24. The time to trade Alfaro was just after the WBC. I said months ago they should have tried to see if the Cubs had any interest in flipping Happ or Eloy for him.

    That ship has since sailed…

    1. DMAR….correct, Alfaro’s value was at its peak right after the WBC. And a team like the Cubs may have had interest.
      But have you seen Klentak make any bold moves, especially in -season….don’t know, was Giles a bold move in 2015?
      He apparently likes the winter meeting interaction for trading purposes.
      Maybe he feels he can get more of a return.

      1. Who knows if the Cubs would have been interested. It’s quite possible they would not have been at my ask.

        To Romus point about MK making bold moves…nope so far we haven’t seen it. But I want to trust the process so I’ll remain vanilla on him for now.

    2. just curious. why do you think the Cubs would have had interested, with Contreras on the roster?

  25. Is Matt Klentak really Ed Wade in a different body? Ed rarely made a key deadline deal in July and made the vast majority of his deals in the offseason,

  26. The Astros knew what they were doing to get Giles. They gave up Velaquez instead of Musgrove. They held onto Derek Fisher and enticed Klentek with Appel. They swapped the Arauz boys. Then for good measure, they “threw in” Oberholtzer. Fortunately, the Phillies got Eshelman who might turn out okay. The Astros gave up all the guys THEY didn’t want.

  27. That is on Klentak and MacPhail and whoever evaluated the prospects. Someone made a call on Appel. They decided that he was more valuable than Fisher. The word, at the time, was that there were health concerns about VV. No shock there! They wanted more pitching so swapped out Fisher for Appel. A mistake. I am not trying to knock Klentak. Every GM makes mistakes. But, the wins must outweigh the losses. I am not thrilled with his passive approach. Last deadline and now, he has left me cold. His getting Kendrick was a plus only if he can get a prospect back. Otherwise, it was a waste of time. The team is worse this year than last. So Howie helped not a bit unless he brings back something. His being a nice guy simply doesn’t count.

  28. Slightly off the immediate topic here but for the purpose of seriously jump starting this lagging (and lacking) rebuild, I’d like to test the waters with LAA now or not until Trout turns FA after 2020. I would tell them that we’d take on the balance of Pujols’ sizable contract, and for that, we make Kingery, JPC and Sixto unavailable. Then, the Angels get to choose any TEN of the remaining players within the organization (from both the big league club and the minors), excluding ’17 draftees of course, which isn’t allowed by league rules.

    Somebody has to come up with some creative way to move this thing along since A) we have loads of cash and B) supposedly we have the depth of talent.

    1. 8mark……they can select/trade ’17 draftees the day after the World Series ends.
      And…aren’t going a bit overboard with TEN players.
      We could lose Carlos Tocci in that ten. 🙂

    2. Nola, VV, Franco, Doobie, Alfaro, Moniak, Kilome, Appel, Ortiz, Luis Garcia (new J2).

    3. Why does the idea persist that if you stack up enough coins on the table you can get back the gold bars of Fort Knox?

      If the Angels offered negotiations on Trout, the Angels would be listening to offers like Bryant, Rizzo and Happ from the Cubs; Judge, Severino and Torres from the Yanks; maybe Betts, Bogaerts and Devers from the Red Sox; Bellinger, Turner and Urias from the Dodgers (Angels wouldn’t trade with Dodgers but would welcome the Dodgers’ contribution to the bidding). .

      Trout’s supposed preference for Philly would not sway the negotiations from the Angels’ standpoint. They would need players to put fans in the seats. The Phils don’t have players at this point to put fans in the seats here. And adding Pujols would reduce the return, reduce the players putting fans in the seats in Anaheim, so the Phillies’ ability to take a bad contract wouldn’t push them to the head of the line.

      I’d love Trout in Philly but the teams don’t match up in a trade and people need to hope he’d consider coming here as a free agent. Ownership gets involved in a deal of a player like Trout so the Angels’ GM wouldn’t be at risk of losing his job after a trade to Philly because ownership would deep six any such trade before it materialized.

      1. Trade match up is all about timing. Now may not be the right time, but Trout can indirectly tilt the leverage in the Phils favor because of the no-trade clause in his contract. Every year that the LAA failed to assemble a contending team, they also lose control of Mike Trout. I like the Phils go hard now, but the odds will be better after the 2018 offseason, once the Phils (hopefully) signed top FAs (Otani, Machado) and a young core (i.e. Nola, Kingery, JPC, Kilome, Hoskins) is already in place and strong crop of elite prospects are in the upper minors (i.e. Sixto, Medina, Gowdy, Haseley, Ortiz).

        Phils ace in the Mike Trout saga is Mike Trout himself and his love for the city of Philadelphia and everything about it (Carson and the Eagles, Embiid and his shirley temples, cheesesteaks, etc).

        1. This is just wishful thinking wrapped in words. Basketball seems to be moving in the direction of players shaping teams — baseball and its culture was shocked when Koufax and Drysdale combined efforts to stage a joint holdout. That wasn’t recently.

          1. this is not wishful think, you just got it wrong. you still have the Lebron’s syndrome in you.

            most top players in MLB almost always want to have that “no trade clause” in their contract so they can have a say where they want to go – that’s why in some cases the players specifically list the teams they don’t want to be traded. in almost all trade negotiations involving top players, the “no trade clause” is a key consideration and sometimes affect the trade return. this happens all the time, then how come it becomes wishful thinking? Our own Cole Hamels did it and I’m sure most of the top players did.

          2. @fighterflea – Yu Darvish will be the recent example of my point wherein MLB players can indirectly tilt the leverage towards specific teams via no trade clause. MLB players won’t do a Lebron and his “the Decision” drama, but yes, MLB players (especially the top players) can be a factor in the trade negotiations. I still think that Trout will be acquired via FA, but things can be interesting before Trout’s free agency especially is LAA is not winning.

  29. Hmm. Charlie Morton (lights out) and Derek Fisher (2 run knock) factor in tonight’s game. With a little GM gumption, they could (should) have been in the Phils lineup.

  30. I get annoyed when Charlie Morton goes out and pitches well for the Astros. What really annoys me is when Charlie Morton goes out and pitches well against the Phillies.

    I was never on board with the Buchholtz trade. I live in New England and I never ever liked Buchholtz. It was a very poor decision to bring him over to the team.

    I know I shouldn’t dwell on stuff like this but I can’t help it. No one knew Morton was going to come back pretty strong but I always felt that he was better than Buchholtz.

  31. So … how’s that decision to not pick up Charlie Morton’s option looking right about now ???
    You think he may have been worth a couple worthwhile prospects ??? Klentak traded in Morton for Clay Buchholtz. UGH !

    1. Yup – I called that last.

      It’s not so much that they got it wrong, it’s that I seriously question their scouting capabilities. It was OBVIOUS last year that Morton has great stuff. Not good stuff, great stuff. All they needed to do was pick up the option. But they let him walk, acquired a more expensive pitcher who was much worse (so much worse that we were relieved when he was out for the year) and an expensive outfielder who was a minor leaguer.

      Now, Kendrick and Neshek were good moves. Benoit could have gone either way so that’s not a surprise.

      It’s not one move, it’s the totality of the moves and whether they can scout their own players properly, no less someone else’s players.

      I don’t know – let’s put it this way, aside from Sal (who is a scouting genius), the existing scouting team hasn’t been knocking my socks off – that’s for sure.

      1. Tough situation with Morton last year….timing involved…he signed mid-Nov with the Astros prior to teams finalizing the 40. Plus he wasted little time to sign without a team actually seeing him pitch against hitters in live situations coming off the May surgery…but understand he did pitch some bullpen sessions….and probably the selling point for the Astros….Charlie preferred to have more than one year, and the Astros quickly obliged with two years.They took a gamble and so far it has paid off
        But Matt Klentak could have stepped up more I would think in November..

        1. 1 who would you rather pitch for the Astros or Phillies . 2 Morton has a long history of getting hurt he was hurt this yr. Last yr he tore his hamstring running to first base.3 I checked that was by far this best outing of the yr.

          1. Tim….certainly…a playoff favorite or a bottom tier team… choose the best.
            But they also did not beat around the bush and try to see what else was out there…Luhnow wanted 8/9 pitchers to start ST with, so they offered him shortly after the WS was over and he jumped on it Like yuo said he was injury prone and when a two year $14M offer comes up he would be foolish not to take it

          2. If I may pile on to Tim’s comment, assuming I understand it correctly, Houston is an offense-producing juggernaut this year, and if Morton played for the Phils with his era around 4.0 he might well be 4-8 and not 8-4. Even after the Phils game padded his stats, I think he has a WAR under 1 for the year. On an unrelated topic, why again are pro-Philly people upset with the switch of Arauz’s being added to the Houston trade?

            1. i’m one who didn’t like the amended trade because of Jon Arauz. Sal A. is showing good success in finding good 2B/SS prospects and Jon Arauz is no different. He is the better Arauz between the 2, and If I understand it correctly, he was added to (supposed to ) upgrade the return from Fisher to Appel – with hindsight, the original trade is looking better than the amended trade.

      2. Bad night for the MacPhail/Klentak group as Derek Fisher saves three runs with his defense and adds a two run homerun which changes the game completely. Charlie Morton pitches a gem after a slow start and has pitched well for Houston all year. We gave up Morton for Bucholtz? We gave up Derek Fisher for Mark Appel? I am beginning to think that John Middleton needs to step in and force Matt Klentak make a move. Matt Klentak seems to have a case of paralysis by analysis. If Klentak does not step it up I would not mind see him reassigned in the organization.

        1. If the owner has to step in to force the GM to make a move……………….he (the owner) doesn’t need that GM.

  32. All,

    I’m in Oklahoma City on a business trip and noticed from my hotel room that the lights were on at the baseball stadium several blocks away. So I walked over and caught a few innings of the OKC Dodgers vs. the Reno Aces, a Diamondback affiliate.

    And what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a little round man name Willans Austudillo. And, just like the Willans we remember from Lakewood and Clearwater, he was in the middle of the action: two hits, run scored, RBI. Fun to watch.

    One thing different about the Oklahoma team and others, one of the mid-inning entertainments was young Dodger employees dancing to Cotton-Eye Joe on the dugout roofs.

  33. Agree that superstars are driving force of a championship team. Phillies do not appear to have those A level prospects. The challenge for the Front Office is to decide who to keep. No players in the organization can get A level prospects back and no free agent should want to come to a terrible team. Any superstar FA is going to request player options so the team better be good and rich to keep them.

    The Phillies can just watch prospects fail and be worth nothing, or they can make earlier choices.
    Do they clear the deck by trading Cesar and Freddie? How about Altherr and Williams who I think are exceeding expectations? Should we ditch Herrera and Franco, who could be All-Stars?

    I’d try to trade Cesar,Herrera,Kilome for young #2 pitcher.
    Quinn,Altherr,Williams,Franco,Hoskins,Alfaro,Galvis, and either Crawford or Kingery. NewSP, Nola, Eickoff, with VV and Elfin. Bullpen will be tough due to 40man slots. VV,Pivetta,Thompson, and Appel may end up there.
    Pitching still seems like biggest weakness to me.

  34. Someone said that we can get what Herrera gives us out of a minor league player, what the hell are you talking about? I’m hoping he was being facetious and I think he was . . . Herrera had played very well 3 of the 4 months of the season . . .

    April/March .262/.340/.417
    May .183/.196/.257
    June .321/.351/.519
    July .364/.425/.652

  35. I could tolerate Herrera’s nonsense if this was a good team. He’s the hottest bat on the club. Trade him now if you can. If Pete continues to reward this unacceptable hot dogging and flat out dogging by playing him, it damn well better be to build his trade value. Otherwise he has to go as well. Shake the tree, Klentak! Get rid of the bad apples.

    1. was seeing that Oakland was looking for a centerfielder in a Sonny Gray trade. not that i want Gray with only two years on his contract, but thought of Phils being a third team in and getting a couple prospects come to mind.
      just dont know what other teams think of Odubel- focus on the numbers, and maybe think he can mature?

    2. 8mark….some other GMs do not want to take that chance of a headache thrust upon their managers and teams. The market is somewhat limited to begin with, and he has great talent and skills, so how do you sell him without the distractions involved?
      I would try to get the Marlins involved…..Herrera and one of the yuong Latin pitchers, not named Sixto, for Christian Yelich.
      Contracts are somewhat similar…approx $6M AAV for Herrera and $7M AAV for Yelich…and length is a little different but with options.

      1. @romus – i like Yelich since he turned pro. in fact, i like the Marlins OF trio. The Marlin is in need of a SP and has a weak farm, so there’s opportunity there to match. i will approach Loria in 3 ways:

        1) Trade for Yelich – OPTION A: offer Doobie + cost controlled SPs (Lively, Thompson) + thrown in prospects (Ranger, Canelo). All of these prospects can play for the Marlins in 2018 and cost controlled for a multiple years, this should be appealing to the prospective buyer; OPTION B: Doobie + Eickhoff + Taveras + PTBNLs. Marlins expressed interest in Eickhoff before; OPTION C: Doobie + Eickhoff + Lively + Thompson + Muzziotti; or OPTION D: Haseley or Moniak + Eickhoff + Lively.

        2) Trade for Yelich and Gordon – Eickhoff + Doobie + Cesar + Lively + some prospect combinations in #1 (i.e. Taveras, Ranger, etc)

        3) Trade for Yelich and Stanton – Eickhoff + Doobie + Haseley (or Moniak) + Lively + throw in prospects. I will acquire Stanton with the intent to trade him to a west coast team within 2 years. LAD is always been a good trade partner for the Phils and LAD and Stanton will be a great match when Stanton decided to move to California full time.

        1. KuKo….not sure Stanton wants to play in Philly. Keep hearing he likes the Yankees, but that may be Yankee writers who are generating those rumblings.
          Gordon would be nice….until Kingery is ready.
          And what a catch from Kingery last night….full extension dive towards the RF line!
          One of the best plays of the year.

          1. @romus – the rumblings come from NY because we all know that NY always assume that everybody wants to play for the Yankees. If given a choice, LA will be Stanton’s preference which he somehow acknowledged somewhere. With possible opt out in his contract, I think Stanton wouldn’t mind playing in the CBP sandbox to pad his stats that he can use as a leverage to opt out and renegotiate a contract. I will not trade for Stanton alone (because of the opt out scenario) but I will be rolling the dice if it includes Yelich.

            I’ll swap Cesar for Gordon anytime if it is a choice for the Phils. Gordon and Kingery can co-exist by moving one to the OF and if Kingery is indeed the future 2B, Gordon still holds value as a trade piece because of his speed and good ability to get on base.

    3. Herrera is the teams best player but is prone to stupid actions on the baseball field. I would have Odubel spend the winter with the Phillies working on the mental side of the game. His problem is between his ears and is correctable.

      1. “You can’t fix stupid, there’s not a pill you can take, or a class to go to……….. stupid is forever.” – Ron White

        1. Perhaps he needs to get married and have a child.
          That formula seems to work for some young guys.

        2. It is true that Odubel Herrera does dumb things on the baseball field but he still has lots of talent. If the Phillies can minimize these mental errors you will have a star player and it is worth trying to correct his thought process. It may not work but it is worth trying to salvage his talent. Many Latin American players are much more emotional than their American counterparts.

          1. The one thing I’ll say about Odubel (I’m not trying to excuse his stupid actions or lack of attention to detail in any way, mind you) is that I think he’s a nice and charismatic guy and I think he really does want to be good – but he got too comfy this year. I think there’s a decent chance he grows out of most of this foolishness, but the team needs a vocal, mature leader that will go to him and encourage him to stop doing foolish things. He is so talented – I haven’t give up hope either.

          2. philabaltfan……the city in the past endured other talented players who had a different side to their personalities…TO and AI….perhaps OH will join them.

            1. the difference is that TO and AI have game changing abilities – in a way that made them irreplaceable and the patience (or leash) for the of athletes are normally longer. Doobie’s talent is not at that level. talent wise Puig (a good comparison) might be even better than Doobie.

              in the analytics age, people tried to be overly analytical and quantify everything into numbers and tend to overlook that things that cannot be quantified but visible to the eye.

              WAR this and WAR that again, but Doobie is a replaceable talent and the Phils just need to open their eyes and weight things that’s good to the team as a whole and not just to a particular player(s).

            2. Of course the other difference….the Super Bowl and the NBA Finals….if those teams were never there, then that makes the comparison that much closer.
              Playing on a last place team does not help him.

            3. @romus – i go opposite of what you said and this proves and separates TO and AI top end abilities vs Doobie. Signing TO almost guarantee the Eagles to the playoff and a perennial superbowl contender (if not for egos and in-fighting) and AI is the difference between a playoff vs a lottery Sixers team. The Phils will be in the bottom 10 if not bottom 5 whether Doobie is with the team or not. Like what his WAR indicate, Doobie will just make the Phils #3 worst team from #1 worst team while TO and AI made the Eagles and Sixers title contenders with them or non-playoff teams without them.

  36. Herrera all but cooked any value that he had last night. Put him in the realm of Puig which is to say yeah someone would take a chance on the talent but no one would be likely to give up equivalent value for him.

    Bobby Abreu all over again…

    1. I agree with your point and put the onus on Klentak for putting his money on the wrong horse. Is it a coincidence that the Phil least able to be managed is the one with the greatest job security? Herrera has more guaranteed money coming to him than he could ever expect and he is sticking his middle finger in the face of the organization, his teammates and the fans. They can try and trade him for 20 cents on the dollar or, better, they can build up their outfield so that a distracted Herrera gets a spot on the bench behind 3 sound alternatives.

  37. I have been on the dump Herrera bandwagon for a while.After WS trade to Royals for cbp, J2 money and a prospect from 2016 draft. Trade Franco and Hernandez as well.In trades, try to get J2 money, it would be nice to get Salinas.

    1. I am with you on that…that is getting added money for the international pot….Raimfer Salinas is still seated out there unattached with any team.
      Didn’t the Phillies already get some additional money with a few minor trades last month?

      1. I said it before Obbie is like Willie Montanez was ,after we traded him for Gary things I believe got better.

  38. I wonder if Middleton has a private consigliere like Tom from the Godfather advising him on the people he has chosen to run the business…

    1. @DMAR – I hope Middleton do have one so he can send Arte Moreno, Peter Angelos and Jeff Loria an “offer they cannot refuse” so the Phils can get Trout, Machado and Yelich with no complications.

      1. LOL good one KuKo….

        In other news the market seems like it would be really weak for Neshak. The ChiSox only got Ryan Cordell for Swarzak a 25 y/o with inflated AAA numbers in the PCL that requires 40 man protection.

        Nunez to the BoSox sor Shaun Anderson a pretty nice 22 y/o pitcher and Gregory Santos a 17 y/o lottery ticket

      2. Ned Colletti is out there:

        “Clayton Kershaw, Cory Seager and Cody Bellinger were drafted by Colletti’s regime.

        Kenley Jansen was moved from catcher to pitcher under Colletti’s guidance.

        Then there’s Justin Turner, who was signed as a minor-league free agent by Colletti in February 2014 and has since blossomed into an All-Star after winning the fans’ “Final Vote’’ polling with a record 20.8 million votes.

        Full Article

        1. DMAR….good choice.
          Ned Colletti would be ideal.
          Been around a long time…Cubs, Giants and Dodgers.

    2. dmar I heard he listens to Leonard from big bang theory. I Believe Middleton was blowing smoke up our. he is another bad owner. maybe he did steal that money from his family

  39. DMAR, That would require axing MacPhail as well. I don’t know how far Middleton will go, and I don’t know how much leeway the Mac/Klentak regime has. I heard him talk about his commitment to winning and his lack of patience. I believe he instructs them to go into FA this off season. If they are unable to do that successfully, we will see just how much Middleton’s words really mean. I can’t see him putting up with this for another year.

    1. I think the current Andy regime has a minimum of two years left to show what it can do and, my guess, is that if things don’t go well, Klentak gets canned and Andy buys himself another year or two.

      So far, Klentak and Andy have shown a sensible strategy, but that’s just the first part, then you’ve got to pick the right players. They are doing below average on that second part, which is probably the most important part and the difference between mediocrity and excellence.

      One thing the Phillies have shown little ability to do since Lee Thomas left (and Thomas was superb at this) was identifying young major leaguers who were stalled somewhere else but had talent. The 1993 team was composed almost entirely of these players – Schilling, Kruk, Dykstra, Eisenreich, Jackson – all of these guys were buy low major league deals. And look around, the Dodgers have done great with these recently, picking up Turner and Grandal. You have to have a real eye for talent to get this done, like Pat Gillick, who picked up Werth for next to nothing.

      1. When it comes to professional sports the difference is in the immeasurable or in other words a 6th sense and some luck.

        So to your point Catch I completely agree. If you don’t have someone in your org to see beyond the data someone who possesses some degree of emotional intelligence you’re screwed.

  40. The Nunez trade is not a good comp. The Red Sox weren’t competing with any other teams for Nunez. The Swarzek deal is a better case study. Both Swarzek and Neshek are RP having really good years. Ryan Cordell is a 25 YO IF/OF. He was the Brewers #17 prospect, and is also a former 11th round draft pick (by the Rangers). The Phillies are more interested in a younger player(s) in a return for Neshek. The teams most connected to Neshek are the Cubs, Nats, Red Sox, Rays, and Dodgers.
    * The Cubs and Nationals have pretty much depleted their farm systems and don’t seem like good matches for the Phillies.
    * The Red Sox have also blown through their system. However, 18 YO RHP Bryan Mata could be a good match. He’s Boston’s #16 prospect ( and won’t have to be 40 man protected until 2020.
    * The Rays look like a good trading partner with the Phillies. Their #12 and #13 prospects would interest me. Lucius Fox is a 20 YO SS. He was a big J2 name in 2015. The Dodgers (who I consider the best talent evaluators in MLB) loved him. Fox has a high ceiling, but he is probably blocked by Willy Adames. Austin Franklin is a 19 YO RHP. The Phillies had scouts in to see him this weekend.
    * The Dodgers have a tremendous inventory for the Phillies to shop from. AJ Alexy (#19 prospect) and Iman Abdullah (#23 prospect) are young RHP’s. Both were 11th round draft picks (like Cordell was). The Dodgers also have an unranked pitcher named Melvin Jiminez who should draw interest from the Phillies. Jiminez is the second youngest player (at 17 YO) to ever pitch for the Dodgers’ full season A ball team. Only Julio Urias was younger. Jiminez just turned 18 this week. He’s put up great numbers so far in his young career, and he fits the Phillies LA pitcher profile to a tee (6’0″, 170 lbs).

    1. When it comes to the Rays….for Neshek , Franklin would be an ideal return, and also think the Phillies could get LHP Genesis Cabrera…two for one. I am not as high on Fox.
      And agree on the Dodgers….Alexy and also I would take any of OF Rincon or RHPs May or Santana. All young and no need protection for 2 to 4 years.

        1. I think he is 2019 eligible…that is, must be protected on the Nov 2018 list…16 months from now. He is 20 and was sign in Nov 2013

    2. Hinkie how do you know the Phllies the are only interested in young talent ? The only players so far the Phillies were tried too were Gordon,Yelich. Flanklin was on the bump that night with a team behind him.maybe the Phillies were scouting a postion player. Just saying do you know for a fact or guessing.

      1. Tim … it’s been reported they’re looking for younger guys that won’t need to be placed on the 40-man roster.

      2. Also … I’m talking about prospects coming back for impending FA’s (Neshek, Hell-Boy, Kendrick, etc).

  41. Indulge me with a few points:
    1) If there was a pill one could take to not be stupid, I would’ve taken it long ago and on a regular basis….which leads me to
    2) When Appel was substituted for Fisher, guys on this site said it was fine because Fisher was limited to LF and he wasn’t that good of a defensive player…which leads me to
    3) Fisher made that game changing catch (in “CF” no less) on Herrera. Onto
    4) If Herrera bats higher in the order, he doesn’t make boneheaded plays like when he bats in the bottom three. I’ve noticed this. Okay, maybe I haven’t.
    5) If the Hot Dog and 3 others get traded for Yelich, it would remind me of when the Phils traded for Von Hayes (remember 4 for 1?). Yelich reminds me of Von Hayes.
    6) Finally, when guys on this site cheer for the Mother Ship to lose games so the Phillies can get a better/higher draft pick, I wonder how those guys can be fans at all.

    1. i might be the only person in this position, but going back in 2015 the opportunity to acquire a potential TOR (with back end RP as fall back) for piece that the team doesn’t need is already a good return – so Giles for VV is ok with and the add-ons are just sweeteners. When the draft was amended, I’m more concerned on losing Jon Arauz rather than whoever is coming from the amended trade.

      the benefit of hindsight is the one affecting one’s judgment about the trade. but if you go back to the 2015, it is a trade that “needs to happen” and the Phils made a sensible trade based on the existing market at that time.

      Doobie is Doobie regardless where he hits in the order.He’s a good hitter, bit undisciplined who has a liking for showmanship. People call them kids, but in reality these are grown up professionals who should know how to conduct themselves.

      I don’t get your point about Yelich, but you acquire a talent like him if you have a chance. the quality or quantity of prospects will depend on the negotiations.

      there are different level of fan hood. myself, i go beyond the wins and losses. i like to see good players in the team and i try to understand the philosophy of the front office that’s making decisions. i’ll cheer for the team I think there are doing what needs to be done, and criticize them as needed – whether they win or not.

      philly went thru 4 rough years following the sixers, who i think is more embarrassing than the any of the Phillies team the last 4 years. i bought into the #TrusttheProcess because I see what the Sixers want to achieve. I apply this to the Phillies as well so I can see the rationale why some wants the Phils to “tank” or whatever you call it.

      I’m a Phillies fan because I’m willing to sacrifice my time, money, effort to go thru joy of winning and agony of losing of the all the Phillies team. You may need to revisit your definition of being a fan.

  42. I agree that LAD is tops when it comes to talent evaluation and HOU is up there with them. With Kershaw out for a while, can Klentak push for a Hellboy + Neshek deal for Dustin May and another prospect?

    TB is in the tick of fight so i hope Klentak get the deal done – Fox or Franklin is a good return.

      1. i thought the expected price for Darvish rental is one of Buehler or Alvarez? (personally i think is an over payment). Dustin May is the one I like in the bottom half of LAD’s Top 30, and LAD has been very generous to the Phils in the past for rentals.

  43. Dustin May would be the second piece to a Darvish trade. Maybe Verdugo and May, or Calhoun and May. May could also go in a Zach Britton deal.

  44. I want the Phillies to win every game; but the bitter taste of losing is softened by least the prospect of a better player in the draft for a winning tomorrow.

    1. This is the correct line of thinking, Riverhorse. Even more importantly, that 1-1 spot comes with the most draft bonus pool money !!! If the Phillies land the 1-1 pick, they would have $ 13,397,027 (including the 5% overage) to spend on 2018 draft picks. That means better players (overpays) throughout the entire draft.

  45. Nunez trade keeps Alonso in Oakland, which keeps ToJo in Philly for the remainder of the season.

    1. Don’t be surprised to see Alonso and Sonny Gray dealt to the Yankees. That would leave the possibility for a ToJo to Oakland scenario this month or in the offseason.
      In addition … if Cashman pulls off that trade with Oakland, I’ve read Dave Dombroski will feel the need to answer by acquiring a bat. He could trade for any position player and use him as a DH. That trade would probably cost the Red Sox Michael Chavis. I guess a Neshek and Joseph trade to Boston could be a possibility (but not a likelihood) for Chavis and a young pitcher.

      1. @hinkie – agree with you. Klentak should following the AL East (NYY-BOS-TB) chess match and be ready to pull the trigger. If ToJo is not traded, I can see KC as a potential match come Winter meetings. ToJo can be an alternative as their cost controlled 1B/DH if they will not resign Hosmer. KC is also in the playoff hunt and apparently looking for a bullpen help. I like Matias, Melendez or Puckett but Klentak might settle for less.

        I can see LAD go for it and acquire Yu Darvish and NYY will make moves to Gray and Alonso (since MIL will balk on Sonny Gray) by the deadline.

  46. Was thinking more along the lines of Howie Kendrick to Boston but then not sure how good of a 3B Howie can be in the playoffs. One thing is for sure Howie has to be the premier professional hitter on the block.

  47. A bit of good news on the relief pitcher’s market.
    From ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick:

    I know the Dodgers had a lot of Interest in Britton. Hopefully, Klentak can get something done with them.

    1. As I posted earlier, AJ Alexy, Iman Abdullah, or Melvin Jiminez would be good returns for Neshek.

      1. you should talk to Middleton ask him to put Klentak on vacation time in key west until Monday and volunteer to take Klentak’s place for free. then maybe we can get some trade activity going. hinkie did a good job in acquiring future assets for the sixers, so maybe he will consider you.

  48. How can anyone say that Nola isn’t going to be a good number 2 maybe even A REALLY good number 2. Kid has enough fastball with movement and elite command and solid secondary with elite command. Proof is watching he pitch. He’s a PITCHER and a damn good one.

    1. People dismissed Nola because of his velocity so when Nola struggled, they easily feast on Nola. You have to watch Nola to appreciate him. I’ve been saying that Nola probably has one of the bet CB in the majors, and you just have to look at the wicked movements of his pitches to see beyond the stat line and the radar gun.

      Nola is the only player in the 40-man that is untoucheable unless the Phils is getting a stud in return.

      1. But it’s not like hes 88-90, he can touch 95 and I believe he’s been as high as 96. Has been sitting 92-94 for most of the year, nothing wrong with that when you can put it where ever you want.

      2. kurdt I dismissed him. the difference now and if you listen to the announcer like Ben Davis he has increased his velocity. which is one of the reason didn’t like him as a 7 pick in first round. He now has his velocity up to respectable 94 and is pitching inside more. not nibbling on outside as much. My statement before he increased his velocity and started to challenge guys inside . was he was a three or four on a good team. I will repeat this again to you Kurt with without proper velocity right handers who fail outnumber the few who make it with low velocity by a very large margin.

        1. definitely very encouraging. he’s now around the number of innings he was at last year when he went on the DL, so my main interest is how the velocity and his arm holds up over the final two months.
          last year he had that 9 start stretch where he had 59 ip, 45 hits, 11 runs, 62/12 k/bb, then fell apart and went on DL- now in his last 7 this year 48ip,33 hits, 8 er, 59/14 walks.

        2. @roccm – i understand the small window of success for RHP will low velo. But velo is not the lone indicator alone – there’s too many moving parts to evaluate a young pitcher. Before turning pro, Nola’s FB is assessed at 91-93 but graded above average because of the command. I think he’s throwing more 2S before to create movement, thus, the lower velocity that most are seeing. Nola’s uptick in velo (4S) is not that much – probably a little over 1 mph or no more than 2 mph tops on some occasions.

          It’s not hard to see that Nola is a different pitcher than the Kyle K’s, Cloyd’s and other soft tossing RHPs the Phils had. When it comes to FB, i hope people should consider the types of FBs (4S, 2S, cutter) + movement + command + delivery in the pitchers arsenal before jumping on the conclusion about the velocity.

  49. Any body ever see a baserunner move from 2nd to 3rd on a sac fowl behind home plate…..Williams just did.

  50. Phils just traded Neshek to Rockies. Details were on my phone alert, but when I clicked on for the full story it took me to MLB, which hasn’t published a story yet. Anyway, three players. I guess a story will be posted soon.

  51. Okay, Here goes:

    Phillies got SS, and 2B and 3B, Jose Gomez. 20 YO hiring 324 with 810 OPS in the Sally League.

    RHP JD Hammer. 23 YO, 6’3″ reliever. Dominated in low A, promoted to Advanced A and now has struggles with 5.25 ERA and 1.56 whip.

    RHP Alejandro Requena 6’2″ starter. 2.85 ERA, 1.09 whip in Sally League

    1. by the way, Hammer at High A gave up 3 runs in his first outing and three runs in another; one run total in his 10 other outings, and has not given up a homer in 42 total innings this season.

  52. Haven’t read about the pitchers’ velocity/stuff, but Gomez seems pretty intriguing. Any idea if he sticks at SS?

    1. Scouting report I saw from (posted in a different thread) indicates that Gomez is unlikely to stick at SS (only average quickness and arm strength). Heck, I’ll just post the scouting report again here; see below.

      Following two seasons in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League, Gomez opened eyes in his U.S. debut last summer. He led the Rookie-level Pioneer League in hits (98) and contact rate (92 percent) while ranking second in batting (.367). In addition to his hitting ability, he also impressed with his maturity and energy as one of the youngest regulars (age 19) in the league.

      Gomez has a very disciplined approach at the plate, using a controlled right-handed stroke and rarely deviating from his plan to hit line drives from gap to gap. He’s not very big, so while he can add some strength he still may top out at 10 homers per season. An average runner, he stole 55 bases in 199 games during his first three pro seasons but succeeded in just 63 percent of his attempts.

      Gomez played all four infield positions in the DSL, spending most of his time at third base before shifting to shortstop in 2016. His internal clock helps him make plays, though his merely average quickness and arm strength make it unlikely he’ll stay at short in the long run. He profiles best as a sweet-swinging utilityman and could be a regular at second base if his bat is as good as it looked last year.

  53. This is a good trade. Exactly the type of haul they targeted. No 40 man implications. They all have some chance of making it…Hammer had good k/9 in low A. Gomez appears to have good hit tool. Requena seems to understand the strike zone and is .young for the league.

    I really don’t know how much more you could reasonably ask for. All three are decent prospects and time will tell if any turn into a winning lottery ticket. I’m pleased.

    1. Yeah, I agree. At first I was underwhelmed by the return (no prospect higher than #21 in the Rockies’ organization), but after reviewing the deal more closely, it’s a reasonable return for Neshak.

    2. I definitely approve of Jim removing the like/don’t like feature since it was obviously “abused” to the point where it was not a valid indicator of comment quality… but that said, if it were there I would definitely have given your comment a BIG “like”! Neshak was not going to get a Kershaw-like prospect as a return.

  54. I will take the Rox #29 prospect in Mike Nikorak over the 3 prospects just acquired. The Phils have those kind of prospects across all levels in the farm.

    1. I might agree about the two pitchers the Phillies received, but who in the Phillies organization has a slash line of .324/.374/.437/.811 over 81 games in low A?

    2. you are assuming Colorado would want to give up on the 2015 first round pick already.
      didnt realize he was out with tommy john. man, 51 walks against 34k’s to start his pro career. not sure ive seen anything like that before.

      1. @RAEF715 – that’s the reason why i would love to take a gamble of Nikorak – he is a true lottery ticket – high risk high reward type especially for what the Phils gave up (i assume the Phils will just give up $$ for Neshek trade).

        Nonetheless, Klentak probably explored it and the Rox said NO!

  55. Sounds like a Carlos Tocci, Grant Dyer, Mauricio Llovera comp. Not earth-shattering, but an OK return for Neshek.

  56. When it comes to trading rental pieces ALONE who aren’t game changers, you tend to get quantity over quality and hope one prospect emerges. We can’t judge the Neshek trade for 2 or 3 yrs.

    Much the same for Kendrick, Nava, Hellickson or Benoit. Klentak should be pressing to package Joseph, at least, with one of these guys. He likely won’t impress anybody immediately with such moves.

    I guess we’ll have to wait for the off season and hope that they strike much more significant deals involving Herrera, Cesar, and Franco. Perhaps by then they will have reckoned with what Vinnie Velo really is and move accordingly…if he’s not on the DL. Also by then they’ll know whether Crawford is the man so they can decide on Freddy as a super U guy, future SS or trade dangle who’ll be a FA himself after ’18.

    1. It could be best to trade ToJo in the off-season. More teams will be reshuffling DH/1B instead of just those in the playoff run now.

      Freddy certainly will want to play everyday. He will ask to be traded & the team will respect his wishes. He can stick with making $3M annually as a utility player or play everyday making $5M to $8M. With consecutive 20HR seasons, it’s a no brainer.

      The Tigers will target Cesar after Kinsler is moved. The question is whether the return will be enticing enough to pull the trigger & is MK fully invested in the youth movement next year.

      2018 Starting Lineup with OPS:
      1-JP Crawford, SS .752
      2-S. Kingery, 2B .777
      3- O. Hererra, CF.750
      4- R. Hoskins, 1B .901
      5- A. Altherr, LF .777
      6- N. Williams, RF .800
      7- M. Franco, 3B . 730
      8- A.Knapp, C .741

      I like this lineup on paper. JP has been playing better since Kingery came up to AAA, it would be beneficial to the team to keep that partnership going in the majors.

      Franco will get another chance next year at 3B. Schmidt & others have said the team should give him more time.

      1. this is actually a really good line-up would prefer somehow to keep Hernandez and Kingery and move Odubel…

        I love switch hitters in the 2 hole…

        1. I like the thinking, but it’s hard to keep everyone. Position changes rarely go well unless you are talking about a really good player. Why mess with set routines that have shown great results?

          Balancing role, value, & switch hitting capability. You could get the most value with trading Cesar & Doobie, controllable & established everyday players, as center pieces for a controllable front line starter (eg: Sonny Gray, Chris Archer, etc).

          While plugging in Roman Quinn who will give you .275 BA, switch hitting, & speed at the top of the lineup.

      2. That line-up isn’t good enough to be a playoff team. They need at least 1 middle of the order hitter (probably 2) that they don’t have in the system currently.

        This off-season needs to be devoted to getting the 1 for 2018 with a target of Machado/Harper for 2019.

        1. We don’t know that yet until you let them play together. I would say it is a playoff team if 2 players emerge as the anchors in the lineup.

          There is great potential with both Hoskins & Altherr at 900+ OPS over minor league career & this year, respectively. Williams is also showing well in a SSS.

          Why give away a 10 year $400M contract when you have a farm system that is building the kind of depth to reload every 3 to 4 years, while selecting the best ones to keep? The money can be used for front line starting pitching instead.

      3. John,

        I like this line up, too. It has the makings of the next championship core. For 2019, there might be some other changes. Maybe Alfaro. Maybe Machado. And for 2020 maybe a young CF like Haseley or Moniak.

    2. Freddy is A major league starting SS not a utility player. He also is a FA at the end of 2018 he will sign with a MLB team as a starter . Franco .250/.304/.500 . Franco 8th in the league in RBI,’s 1 before Machado he has the same amount of Doubles. Now Franco is 21 out of 22 mlb 3rd baseman in ops . Machado is 18th so not much difference.

      1. Tim:
        Franco vs Machado:
        Their career metrics are a little different in some key areas:
        MF…..PAs-1425….slash-.249/.304./427…K-16%…BB-7%….wRC+93…ISO-.177….fWAR 2.6…(extroplatefWAR 5.4)
        MM….PAs-3098…slash-.279/.330/.471….K-17%…BB-7%…wRC+115…ISO-.193….fWAR 25.1

        1. True but this yr nobody seems to know why Machado has a higher k% or his avg along with his .obp is much lower this yr . If the are going to get Machado I want make sure this yr trend stops. He’s in a hitters league in a good lineup Franco isn’t.Franco shouldn’t be moved until Machado is signed.

      2. and I honestly don’t see Mack starting Crawford over Galvis . . . it’s just not earned. . . . Yet

        1. Only if Mack is still managing the team & Galvis isn’t traded.

          JP is showing enough now to get the call up in September. A 250 BA & 750 OPS would be enough after a slow start.

  57. did the Phils simply purchase Neshek’s contract from Houston, or do the Phils owe a player to be named later?

  58. Good to hear Neshek was finally traded. Didn’t know Colorado was in the running. Now they can move on to trading the others.

    I am excited about the way Nick Williams is playing. The press was negative last year & he never got call up with the bad finish. It seems he took to heart & plays hard every play.

    An OF with Altherr, Doobie, & Williams looks good. But think about moving Altherr to CF & putting in the power potential of Cozens.

    1. That would be my thought process at the moment John. I have to think Doobie could return a true TOR type prospect from one of the cheapo teams who are in a perennial state of rebuild.

        1. Yeah no Romus…I spent some time with my buddy over the AS break and the reviews on him are not positive….

          Doesn’t like Giolito either. In fact he doesn’t like a lot of the guys they picked up LOL.

  59. I’m thinking Doobie to the Padres…they have quite the stock pile of arms going on there. I’d have to think any one or two of them (Not named GORE) would be in play for a cost controlled MLB CFer…

    Here is my proposed deal with the Padres

    Pads get Doobie and a choice of Lively/Thompson/Appel
    Phillies get Baez Lauer or Logan Allen and House

  60. Pro-Phillies Beat Writer Bob Brookover about ToJo:

    With his 3-for-4 effort against the Astros, Joseph raised his batting average to .253 and his OPS to .765. He still ranks in the bottom third in most offensive categories among the 24 big-league first basemen that qualify for the batting title, but it is not unreasonable to think he has more of an upside offensively.

    Fifteen of the 24 qualified first basemen are 30 or older and only one of the 24 – Pittsburgh’s Josh Bell – is younger than Joseph. You could argue that at least five teams – the Yankees, Mariners, Orioles, Twins and Angels — would be better off with Joseph as their first baseman.

    This is the dilemma with ToJo. A few ticks up on the OBP & he shoots up the 1B rankings. Still, less than 1000 AB’s in the majors & could be due for a real breakout next year. I don’t see Tampa extending Logan Morrison in the off-season. There is a trade to be made there.

    1. FWIW. I think Brookover is no longer a beat writer, and just does “features” articles. Makes his opinion a little less “expert” since he doesn’t see players on a daily basis.

  61. I agree that TJ is tradeable, and probably to an AL team where he can DH. His defense is below average. His production is better than what those teams you listed have and it is better than a number of teams production from their DH. I just don’t know if that happens now or in the off season. Or, if Hoskins is part of a bigger off season deal, and TJ comes back for another year. Then Franco gets his last shot at 3B and the Phils make a move for Donaldson or Machado.

    1. I’m just amazed that they haven’t done a deal with the Yankees for Joseph at this point. The Yankees keep trading for warm bodies to man the position with the hopes of getting lucky.

      After each, Klentak should be on the phone making the Tojo sales pitch..

      1. I’d like to see Joseph packaged with Hellickson to any number of AL clubs.
        Yankees, Royals (especially if they don’t expect to re-sign Hosmer). TJ is under team control for several years and has considerable power. Granted a 1b/DH only player but hey, it’s the AL way of life.

  62. According to Zolecki, Gomez is Rule 5 eligible.
    Got all we could for Neshek. It was a good trade.
    John H.-I would swap Williams to LF and Altherr to RF.

  63. People can look at the Neshek trade in different lot of ways, but this is a net gain for the Phils. Note sure how much $$ the Phils will give to HOU for Neshek, in effect the Phils just bought these 3 prospects for $$ so no complain.

    I would think that the Hellboy fall out last year, somehow affected Klentak’s decision to quickly pull the trigger considering the rule change in the QO and Hellboy’s value declined vs last year. Josh Naylor is already a Phillie raking in REA right now if not for Klentak trying to be overly smart last year.

      1. Romus,

        Being a former Delawarean, we often talked about the high brain cancer rate of people living, or having been raised, in northern New Castle County, and wondered if having been “the chemical capital of the world” had anything to due with it. Not to mention that Philadelphia region is the second-largest oil-refining region outside of Houston.

        However, the more likely explanation is that in a world of 7 billion human beings all kinds of statistical quirks will happen.

        1. Yep…heard all the cancer connections to oil/petrol refinery….and believe them to have some merit. Heard something similar in northern NJ

  64. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick says the Red Sox really liked Neshek:

  65. That’s the thing without the Phillies going after big ticket players or including there own prospects there going to get bid time lottery tickets back. There’s so many relievers and Sp still on the market .

  66. After the victory against the Astros last night, the Phillies are now 4-10 against the American League this season. When they sweep the A’s and the Angels in the next month, they will be a very respectable 10-10.

  67. Looks like the local boy Jeff Singer is joining the Fightin’ Phils. He will not be added in the 40-man but we might be invited in the spring training

    1. Would you be open to signing CC Sabathia on a one year trade chip deal?
      Of course that one year could cost anywhere from $19M to $22M if he is willing to take a one year deal.
      He is at the age now, 37, where he will probably not get anything more than 2 years anyway.

      1. @romus – no to Sabathia especially for that $$. If I’m Klentak, I will no longer look for rentals, but rather, start reloading with reliable vets (Otani, Darvish, Lynn) and start the winning culture in 2018. The farm is deep enough that the lottery tickets (prospects) that you might get from these “rentals” will be buried in the depth chart anyway.

      2. I’ve mentioned in my earlier post that my preferred shopping list will be:

        GOAL#1 – Veteran SP preferably TOR (1 or 2)

        1) Otani – whenever his available – 10-yr contract with multiple opt outs
        2) Darvish – 5-yr contract
        3) Lynn – 3 to 5 yr contract if #1 and #2 can’t be done
        4) Optional 1-yr contracts: Estrada, Liriano, Cashner

        GOAL#2 – Obtain veteran bat in ST (high AAV) deal with team option(s)

        1) JD Martinez
        2) Bruce

        GOAL#3 – get a reliable veteran back end bullpen arm for 2-3 yrs contract

        1) I’ll check Clippard, Shaw, Wade Davis, Kintzler, Watson
        2) Optional – get another veteran pen arm that can go multi-innings – I’ll look for Nicasio, Miley,

      3. Agreed, they should be past the point of needing veterans to chew up innings. They should now be looking for top of the rotation starters and middle of the line-up hitters.

        Only rentals should be bullpen arms.

  68. Romus, I prefer to go after Darvish or a TOR arm that we will have for a number of years. I want this to be the last bad baseball year. I hope we can be really active this off season and not have to wait another year.

  69. Do you think the Phils would try and sign Neshek next year for the same price? Or do you think he’s looking at a two-year contract?

    1. Neshek is a good reliever but having a great year. Neshek is currently outplaying his career numbers so look beyond the last 4 months. $$ is not an issue with the Phils with only Doobie with contractual agreement. Roster space will continue be tight so the Phils just go for top end talents and lay low on veteran journeymen and stop the fungible RP carousel.

  70. So now the troops say NO to rentals…except maybe relievers….and go for the gusto.
    The screw has now turned. Time to do it, or get off the pot.
    I hope this December MKlen pulls the trigger on a reverse polarity prospect deal and goes and gets that super impact player.

  71. If you are talking at me, I don’t get it. Neshek is a proven commodity who likes Philly. The BP is probably not going to be much better next year. Looks mostly like only Benoit won’t be back but the rest will (minus Morgan and Milner). I’m only asking a question, Romus.

    1. He did say that after the game last night…he could come back.
      And I guess why not…and keep flipping him for prospects to contenders, until th Phillies are in the playoff race.
      But seriously……bullpens fluctuate so much from year to year….except for the premier closers, you really never know what you are going to get after spring training with the rest of the bullpen arms.

    2. the Phillies fans has been suffering emotionally for all the losses in the past years and the FO cannot afford to be sentimental in making their decisions. Neshek is a proven player, but the good years already passed him. We’ve seen this with Hellboy and Hellboy is way younger than Neshek and Hellboy loves to play for the Phils too. I’m pretty sure that Chase, Jimmy, Chooch and Howard would love to go back and play for the Phils in pursuit of the next World Series.

      Stop with that. The Phillies has an obvious hole — elite talent(s). That should be the priority and priority means that all resources should be focused on that goal alone — acquire elite talent. Period.

  72. Romus, I agree. This offseason MK needs to make some deal that brings in an impact player. Maybe he packages some prospects, maybe it is FA, maybe he trades Doobie. But he has to move this forward. I do not want to wait until 2019. There are rental RPs always available every year, but that is ancillary to obtaining a core piece, and a TOR starter.

    1. Like I said last week…..if the Os have not Machado signed up to a contract by the winter meetings, then offer a package to Dan Duquette and then sit with the agent before a deal is finalized with the Os and come up with a long term contract with Manny for 7 or 8 years. I would not wait longer then December, since the Os will trade him next year sometime anyway if they cannot reach a deal with him. You know they are not going to settle for one comp pick if he walks.

    2. While the Phils are still not contenders next year, I already want to see a core foundation or building blocks (via farm of FA) of the next contending Phillies – regardless of what sabermetrics will say, it’s not Doobie, it’s not Cesar, it’s not Franco. Rentals and players with average skills and questionable acumen are not building blocks. Getting a top FA this off season should be a given, and not an option.

  73. And if we cannot get it done this Winter Meetings, then shift gears to Josh Donaldson or Mike Moustakas, although Moose is # 3 on my list, he is a FA and only requires $, not a trade. But certainly an upgrade over Franco.

  74. Neshek was acquired for $, pitched well and brought back 3 lottery tickets .I consider that to be a win. Kendrick, Nava, TBD. Hellickson brought nothing last year, and may bring nothing back this year even if the Phils eat $4 Million of the $6 Million he is owed. Saunders and Bucholz were losses. I think the “patch for a bit with rentals” has run its course, except for RPs, and we need to acquire long term pieces with talent.

  75. Rays acquiring Lucase Duda from the Muts.

    Apparently they wanted a LH bat & he would likely supplant Morrison at 1B next year.

    Drop them off the off-season list of teams for ToJo.

    1. It gets tougher to move TJ since most teams would prefer first to have a LHB first basemen.

      1. Thanks for the clarification. That puts ToJo back in play for the Rays.

        They along with the A’s have a long history of being a budget team.

  76. Why wait to the off-season let’s get Jay Bruce and Addison Reed now . Cheaper or a Darvish , Houston or the Brewers might come after Hellickson throw in Benoit.

  77. Since May 1st Hoskins .265 17′ homers Tojo .271 14 homers soon there platooning at the Major league level.

      1. I don’t believe that is going to happen either. It will be one or the other, notwithstanding what happens when Hoskins gets called up this year.

      2. I’ve since read the posts and news articles reporting they in fact will platoon TJ and Rhys – but I just can’t see that at as an indefinite situation. Klentak should insist that TJ be added in any deal with Hellickson, especially to an AL club like Boston or KC. Then again, these things have a way of sorting themselves out.

    1. normally platoon partners are batting the opposite side. it will be counterproductive to both ToJo and Hoskins if the Phillies play it that way.

      1. But that’s what’s going to happen and then I think the off season is when TJ gets his new assignment.

        1. Unless Tommy gets moved in a waiver deal in August.
          When they put him on waivers next month to test the market there may be some feelers.
          But not sure who would block it from going through, since that is a possibility.

          1. I guess that is possible but how often Romus do you see young controllable players with hardly any money on the books moved after August 1?

  78. baseball reference has a calc of guys number in last 365 days. thought this was interesting;
    Galvis: 255/304/438, 22 hr, 71rbi, 15 steals
    Franco: 234/287/388, 21 hr, 84 rbi
    joseph: 252/317/459, 22-69
    odubel 276/327/430 13-49, 14sb

    1. At 27 years old, Freddy is peaking offensively

      Franco appears to be a serviceable 6 or 7 hole hitter. With the lineup reshuffle coming next year, it will be worth keeping him.

      1. Freddy is always been a glove first SS, and somehow limited in his hitting skills (contact and discipline). Power is the only thing that Galvis can improve since most athlete’s gain strength as they physically mature. Galvis is a MLB leaguer on the basis on his glove and ability to play multiple positions and hit on both side of the plate.

        However, Freddy’s ceiling is JPC’s floor. Like Freddy, JPC is a fluid SS with good glove. But unlike Freddy, JPC has good contract skills and plate discipline ahead of his age and still have a lot of untapped potential.

        Freddy might be improving offensively, but JPC appears to be the better option in SS based on the current timeline that they have.

        1. i certainly want JP long term,but ive warmed to Freddy after being negative about him for a long time. while i cringe when Pete puts him in the 2 hole, he’s been pretty decent there, 276/335 with 789 ops this season.

          on Franco, his clutch/leverage stats on baseball reference this year make it seem like he’s actually better in the clutch than otherwise. 863 ops with 2 outs and risp, and 870 ops in close late game situations. he’s got a 527 ops in “low leverage situations”.
          he’s also been really bad in day games..585 ops.
          one other interesting stat; he’s got an 848 ops in their wins, and 590 in their losses. his homers/rbi/walks in 35 wins are equal to what he’s produced in 60 losses.

        2. Freddy was 2nd last yr in GG count how much better do you want him on The D . On the O, JP will really doesnt have the power for multiple 20 homeruns seasons. Fraddy has improved his K% from 21% to 17% he has the most walks ever. He can also steal 15 to 20 bases a yr, Good comp Zobrist

        3. Kurdt,

          Very well put. In a few words you have described the difference in value between JP and Freddy.

      2. On Franco, he is projected to be the main “power bat” generating runs in the line up ala Howard in his heyday. Your main power bat should be hitting in the heart of the order not in the bottom of the order. bottom of the order are normally reserved to key defensive players playing in premium positions.

        Franco calling card is his power and his ability to generate run, and if the Phils cannot tap on that power, then they should start looking for better alternatives.

        1. I don’t view Franco as the “main” power bat anymore. I am ok with him in the 6 hole. One of you statistics wizards feel free to straighten me out, but I just don’t think he does well at crunch time with people on base. I think he is trying hard to make adjustments and after saying that, I think I’d keep him for another year in lieu of more pressing needs on the team that need to be addressed.

          1. Franco could still get to 25/30 HRs on a mediocre year.
            its the other things that are distressing….GIDPs, low OBP, occasional lapse in the field.
            His peripherals of K and BB are pretty good considering.

            1. I thought he could bring up his GIDPS if he ran faster. His obp is because of his bad eye sight. His k and bb I am not sure about. but his percentage of carbo is good.

            2. Low babip too he’s hits the ball hard can’t run fast. Your right his power legit at 24 needs seasoning.

          2. Franco reminds me of Pedro Feliz, another guy with decent glove who hit for some power but will a lower BA and limited OB skills.

            He’s fine as a 6 hitter in a good line-up but he’s not a 3/4 hitter…

  79. I can’t figure out why the Angels aren’t interested in Tommy Joseph. I think we’d practically give him away. They have CJ Cron there, who is crap. And Albert and his money at DH. Why not bring in Tommy Joseph on the cheap? Spend money to upgrade the rest of your roster – which is needed everywhere. I think they’d be a team interested in Cesar in the offseason, but don’t know how much they have to give back.

    1. the angels system is so bad maybe they cant offer anything that interests Klentak.
      i thought the white sox might be an option after trading Frazier and moving davidson to third- they traded a veteran lefty reliever to get a minor first baseman yesterday in casey gallaspie, well regarded but having a terrible season.
      KC for a low A kid would seem to make sense too. I don’t know what Klentak things he’s going to get for him.

  80. Went to the Fightins game last night in Hartford. I live 22 miles from Dunkin Donuts Park which is said to be one of the 3 best minor league facilities in the country. It truly is a stunning setting for baseball. In right field, there is a 15 foot wall with a grandstand above it covered by a mesh fence and then another deck above that.

    The mesh fence acts as a wall so it the baseball is hit into mesh, the ball is in play. A ball hit over it into the top tier is a home run. So to hit a home run, the ball needs to clear about thirty feet. The mesh and grandstand expand about 100 feet into the RF gap. The reason for all of this is that it is only 308 feet down the line.

    It is only about 390 to CF but the ball must clear the batter’s eye which is 25 feet or so. The dimensions are so shallow because the park is built into the city streets and they only had so much room. There is a concourse that totally encircles the field like at CBP. It is a beautiful park and is desperately needed in Hartford. Go if you are ever in the area.

    I got there about 30 minutes before the game and had to settle for a(n) SRO ticket priced at ten dollars. The grandstand is only 8 dollars but they sell out first. Behind home plate it goes up to 20 dollars. I decided to stand on the concourse behind home plate so I could get a good view while Drew Anderson pitched his six innings..

  81. Anderson was consistent at 92-95 with his FB, occasionally hitting 96 and twice in the early innings he hit 97. Trouble was, he had no breaking ball to speak of so the Yardgoats laid off the CB and CU completely. Fortunately, the ‘goats don’t hit a whole lot so Anderson was able to survive on the FB alone.

    There weren’t a lot of swings and misses on his FB which is why he only had 2 Ks (one included the opposing pitcher). Two of his three walks were to the number 7 hitter who was batting .192. Good defense behind Anderson helped keep him out of trouble. Tocci and Angelo Mora are really smooth.

    Deivi Grullon caught upon being called up and did a nice job receiving but was overmatched at bat. As Jim wrote, they got 4 of their five hits in the seventh inning after Hartford’s starter left the game. He was pitching like Cy Young for six innings or so it seemed against the feeble hitting Fightins.

    The tall lefty they brought in threw 87-89. That’s when Reading exploded. Single, single, Tromp HR, a Martin K (he has mucho trouble with lefties) and another single knocked the kid out of the game. But that was it. Nothing else. The bullpen for our team was stellar. Was a nice night for a game. I’ll go back Sunday when Irvin pitches.

    1. ciada….good report.
      On Sunday chart irvin if you can.
      Interested in seeing how his arsenal plays and also FB velo.

    2. I like Drew Anderson a lot and believe that he can be a solid #3 with the future Phils. I even like him better than Eickhoff. I believe in Anderson’s plus FB and his ability to command all his pitches. Watch out for that CB which I can see developing as potential plus. Anderson can have a Nola like pitching repertoire of FB-CB-CU with CU catching up with the FB-CB combo as he gain more experience.

      1. I Never saw Drew, wondering if he can develop good enough off speed pitches to compliment his fastball.

        1. roccm – the CB has a making of a plus offering. he might be up in September and will be playing early in ST. I like that Anderson is working his CU. The CU might still be a work in progress by the time Anderson made it to the show but Anderson is more of a pitcher than a thrower so I’m optimistic that the CU will catch up with the FB-CB combo the same way it works for Nola.

          The main thing that I’m glad to see if that Anderson appears to be fully recovered (knock on wood) from his TJ surgery. The mid-90s FB is legit and it might still trend upwards.

  82. I know some of you are getting restless. Some are suggesting MacKlentak become players in free agency this winter. Be patient. They’ve been on a 2019 plan for a couple of years now. It would be ridiculous to surrender your payroll flexibility 12 months before the greatest FA class of all-time hits the open market. That said, here’s a list of “to do’s” this winter:

    * Upgrade the pitching coach. In a perfect world, they would throw fistfuls of money at Ray Searage to entice him to move across the state.

    * Extend Aaron Nola and Jerad Eickhoff to Chris Archer-type (team friendly) contracts. Both Nola and Eickhoff begin their arbitration years after 2018. Sign them to five year deals with option years. Pretty much what they did with Odubel Herrera last winter.

    * Find new homes for Cesar Hernandez and Tommy Joseph. Hoskins and Kingery should be starting 2018 at 1B and 2B for the Phillies.

    * Be players for Shohei Otani. Whether Otani chooses the Phillies or not, I want to see them be players for this young (23 YO) superstar pitcher.

    * Explore deals for good, young pitchers on team friendly contracts or guys on smaller market teams who will be FA’s in the next couple of years.

    Then get ready to spend bazillions of John Middelton’s money on Manny Machado and some LH pitching (Zach Britton, Andrew Miller, Jake Diekmon, JA Happ are targets) after 2018.

    Be patient, and Trust The Process !

    1. @hinkie – 2019 might be the coup de grace since the main piece(s) will be acquired by that time. but i think the Phils should at least start putting the other pieces a year earlier to make it easier for the main FAs to join the Phillies.

      1. KK … the thing that will make it easier for the main FA’s to join the Phillies after 2018 will be payroll flexibility. Money talks !

        1. @Hinkie – i always believe that Middleton will open their wallet when it’s needed. However, so are NYY, BOS, LAD, CHI since these teams are just a player (or two) away for a World Series and these teams are not afraid of luxury tax.

          If the Phils want to play with the BIG BOYS, then they have to be one of the BIG BOYS and these BIG BOYS have: a) $$ (Phillies – check!); b) Established stud(s) (Phillies – what are we talking about?); and c) Up and coming potential superstar(s) – (Phillies – debatable).

          In general, if someone wants to score a “sure sale”, almost equal amount of resources are being put in place before the actual “sale” happen (i.e. marketing and promotion, staging, etc). so i agree with 3up3kkk that preliminary groundwork needs to be done earlier so everything is ready when the time has come.

          signing a top FA or two and bringing up top prospects will send signal to every team and player in the league that the Phils are ready and committed to start winning again.

            1. @hinkie – Darvish is my target. He might be old, but you younger SPs are not yet ready. If the Phils can sign one (or two) of Otani, Darvish and Lynn to join Nola, Eickhoff and Pivetta – that’s a good pitching stuff.

              If Machado can still play SS (sorry JP), I will look hard at Mous, but I already mentioned that I’m lukewarm with Mous. I’ll look at JD Martinez and/or Bruce for a ST High AAV (with team option) and sell them that CBP can rebuild their value.

              Another move i’ll make is to look for a solid back of the pen arm – Shaw, Watson, possible Wade Davis and i’ll check on Oh and Perkins as well.

            2. Hinkie,

              Moustakas may be a better value than Machado per the $$$. I’d rather go after Harper in ’18. I’d also pursue Darvish for 5 yr deal, money irrelevant. Then a bigger fish of an arm in ’18 as well.

              This off season, trade Franco, Doobie, Cesar, Joseph (if he’s still here), Rupp, and Vinnie Velo (I’m just not a believer in him as either a starter or reliever). Considering the talent of these guys, we should be able to restock the lower levels of the system as well as acquire a solid SP.

            3. I don’t necessarily think they need to only go the FA path but rather look for trade candidates who are about to become expensive FA’s.

              Maybe talk to Pittsburgh about McCutchen.

    2. I think they need to become players in the FA or trade market in 2018 to set the groundwork for 2019. I don’t expect them to be a playoff team next season but they need to create an environment that will convince a Harper/Machado to make the leap.

      The can set that stage and still maintain a payroll that is easily under $100M..

  83. Here’s hoping MK is aggressive with Boston for a Hellickson trade in the aftermath of David Price move to the DL.

    1. Pete’s explanation weak, but its that time of the year. Kendrick traded to Nats for lhp Mills and intl slot money. Offer on Hellboy per K.

  84. To RAEF715 – The city of Hartford desperately needed to open the stadium after a year in oblivion. Anything good happening in a city on the verge of bankruptcy helps. The thought process was that if you build it (the stadium), they (housing and businesses) will come.

    With more litigation with the original contractor still to come, all that planning is up in the air for now. But, at least, the team is drawing people in numbers only behind Reading and Richmond. We are keeping our fingers crossed.

  85. Howie Kendrick reportedly to the Nationals.

    I like Howie. I really like Howie. But we know he’s a rental and this deal — I don’t know what the Phillies get in return — helps clarify the outfield situation.

  86. Great night tonight on trades.

    Now for Nava & Beniot. ToJo & Rupp could be higher in the off-season.

  87. This has been a good night for Klentak.
    Getting two LHP’s with some promise, and who don’t have to be 40-man protected is as good as it gets for Hellickson and Kendrick. The international bonus money is encouraging because it could mean the Phillies are going to make a run at Shoei Otani. Otani has to be paid with J2 international pool cash. It seems most of the big market teams who aren’t in the penalty box have blown through their J2 money already.

    The only thing I lament is that Klentak couldn’t have shipped Hellboy to the O’s six weeks ago for their comp B draft choice. That 2-74 pick was used on Zac Lowther (a favorite of mine and Romus). Lowther is thriving (SSS) in the NYPL.

    1. I see Otani’s desire is to go to an AL team that will allow him to DH & pitch. Playing OF in the NL would be a higher risk for injury.

      Be sure the Yankees & Red Sox will be in play for him. A Dark Horse team could be the White Sox given their current rebuild & the Rangers are always creative.

  88. Wow last night’s game Glad to see the power Altherr, Rump, Tojo,Galvis . The Phillies are 7 and 6 after the all star game. 18 and 19 in there in division.

    1. I agree. After witnessing game after game of no offense, shut outs and 1 run losses it sure is refreshing to see some offense with balls going over the fence. Altherr’s moon shot was scorched!

  89. Don’t look now but Daniel Stumpf has gotten his ERA down to 2.37 for the Tigers. He wasn’t ready for the Show when the Phils Rule Fived him but they were going no where so they really could have kept him. He’d look better in the pen than Morgan or Milner.

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