Open Discussion: Week of September 10th

So far thie week, the Phillies have dropped four of five games.  They lost two of three against the Mets, and lost the first two games against the Nationals.  They have a 53-88 record and a .376 PCT.  

(I’m preparing this so that you have a place to continue our weekly Phillies’ discussions.  If I can’t update it, I have it set to auto-publish Sunday night.  The following does not include games on Saturday and Sunday)

The Phillies are 34.0 games out of first place in the East Division, and have been officially eliminated.  They are 9.0 games behind the fourth place Mets.  Weak divisional foes may be their biggest obstacle to the 1:1 pick in the 2018 draft (okay, maybe not).  They have been eliminated from the Wild Card race.

Now, the race we might have a chance to win –

  • the White Sox have drawn within 1.5 games with a 54-86 record (.386),
  • the Giants are 56-87 (.392) and have slipped to 2.0 games back,
  • the Tigers and A’s have passed the Reds and are 7.5 back with 60-80 records (.429),
  • the Reds are 61-81 (.430) and also 7.5 back.

Key dates remaining:

  • December 10-14th – Winter Meetings in Orlando
  • December 14th – Rule 5 Draft

Last Week’s Transactions: 

  • 9/6 – Phillies traded RHP Juan Nicasio to St. Louis Cardinals for 2B Eliezer Alvarez
  • 9/6 – Phillies optioned 2B Eliezer Alvarez to Lehigh Valley
  • 9/6 – RHP Tom Eshelman assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
  • 9/6 – RHP Victor Arano assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
  • 9/6 – SS Malquin Canelo assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
  • 9/6 – RHP Franklyn Kilome assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
  • 9/6 – LHP Elniery Garcia assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
  • 9/6 – 3B Mitch Walding assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
  • 9/6 – RHP Jacob Waguespack assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
  • 9/6 – RHP Jose Taveras assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
  • 9/6 – LHP Brandon Leibrandt assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
  • 9/6 – RHP Colton Murray assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
  • 9/6 – RHP Alexis Rivero assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
  • 9/6 – Lehigh Valley activated RHP Mark Appel from the 7-Day DL
  • 9/5 – Phillies placed CF Pedro Florimon on the 60-Day DL. Right ankle dislocation
  • 9/5 – Phillies selected the contract of SS J.P. Crawford from Lehigh Valley
  • 9/4 – Philadelphia Phillies activated RF Aaron Altherr
  • 9/4 – CF Odubel Herrera assigned to Philadelphia Phillies
  • 9/3 – Phillies sent 1B Brock Stassi outright to Lehigh Valley
  • 9/3 – Phillies recalled RHP Jake Thompson from Lehigh Valley
  • 9/3 – Phillies recalled CF Cameron Perkins from Lehigh Valley
  • The organization’s rosters are up to date.
  • The organization’s injury list is as up to date as I can make it.
  • The organization’s Rule 5 eligibility list is as accurate as I can make it based on the

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


355 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of September 10th

  1. Phils play 16 of their last 19 games at home, 1 game ahead of SF in race for rule 4’s 1-1 (tied in loss column). Our lineup should be strong enough to give up that distinction, as well as the 100 losses, what with Herrera and Altherr back. But then again, Pete loves him some Freddy in the 2-hole and the pitching staff is highly unpredictable at best. It’s an ignominious thing to follow but hey, we love baseball.

  2. I suspect we’ll end up with 3rd pick in the draft. The giants and white soxs seem like good bets to pass us.

  3. Has anyone heard from Jim? It looked like the Clearwater area dodged a major hit, but there still a lot of wind. Hope Jim and everyone there is ok.

  4. Player A: k rate 18.1%, walk rate 19.2% slugging % .650

    Player B: k rate 19.8%, walk rate 16% slugging % .722

    Player C: k rate 23.9%, walk rate 12.3% slugging % .644

    Player A: Mike Trout
    Player B: Rhys Hoskins
    Player C: Giancarlo Stanton (this year, which also happens to be his best year)

    In Stanton’s best year, in which he leads MLB in homers, Rhys has a slugging % 78 points higher while walking significantly more and striking out significantly less.

    Trout’s k rate and bob rate are slightly better than Rhys’, but Rhys has a 72 point better slugging %.

    The cynic might say that Rhys only has 125 PAs. That is true. Also true that Rhys is a rookie. Also true that this compares him to the best hitters in baseball and in Trout, a player who may turn out to be the best player in the history of the game.

    To call Rhys’ rookie year performance “elite” is an understatement.

      1. Rhys, Nick Williams, & Alther have transformed this lineup. I believe JP & Kingery will do the same next year.

        1. I think so too, but Kingery will linger a month in AAA to start the season, so the team can control him longer.

          1. Well…….he wlll be 24 in April….Cubs did that with Bryant since , also a college guy, was only 23 at the time when they delayed him.
            If Kingery proves himself in ST we agree I think, he should be carried on the team going north.
            The question is….will Cesar still be here?
            That will delay his MLB start time.
            Anyway, that will be the rationale the club will use to send Kingery back to LHV…though the added benefit as you mentioned, delaying his service time and delaying adding him to the 40.
            Will the Phillies trade Cesar this off-season…and place their bets on Kingery?

            1. Depends on the buyers & what they have to offer. Right now the Tigers come to mind. They were part of an early season rumor if Kinsler were to be traded.

              Cesar has only helped his stock further with another solid season. My preference would be to hold him due to his solid production & have Kingery ready for 3B when Franco starts off slow.

              Hard to have the cake & eat it too. Kingery is now the top 2B prospect in baseball. BoSox made it work, why can’t we?

            2. Besides the Tigers, the two Los Angels teams may also have a need for a 2nd basemen like Cesar going forward.
              Judging by Klental’s comments on Friday, it would appear they will go in search of more pitching, so assume that will be a target return in any Cesar trade.
              The Tigers and Dodgers have the best almost ready MLB pitching available.

            3. I think John H. has it right, that the market will determine timing for a Hernandez trade since he represents the only player the Phils might trade whom other teams could target. There’s no great market for marginal players on MLB’s worst team. Tampa, the LAD and Blue Jays are possible landing places for Cesar.

              If Hernandez is not moved in the off-season, then Kingery is stuck in Hoskins-land, with a promotion tied to externalities. Well-operated baseball teams don’t operate this way year after year.

            4. I think it’s a little unfair to criticize the current regime for having more than one valuable player at a position and trying to figure out the right thing to do without selling too low on a player.

              For the most part, I think the team has handled the conflict of talent fairly well, with the exception of last year’s inexplicable insistence on playing Ryan Howard a ton. With ToJo, I get their wanting to increase his trade value, but obviously, he needs to move along right now.

              The next couple of years will tell us a lot about how the team is going to handle things going forward.

              Cesar is a valuable cost-controlled player – they should not sell low on him. They also should not move Franco just yet because he’s destroyed his trade value this year – so why give him away?

              But some other players just need to move immediately, including ToJo and Rupp, and other players, such as Galvis and probably Cesar, need to be moved soon. There should be legitimate market for Cesar and Galvis.

        2. I am not yet a long term bull on Nick Williams. His plate discipline is horrible. see below link to his O-Swing %, which means he is 6th worst in MLB in in swinging at pitches outside of the zone. I am not saying his performance is a mirage. But I am saying he is a risk for regression if this doesn’t improve.


          1. I agree V1. I like him but I am afraid to look forward… just doesn’t feel comfortable. Hits all fields – but do not like those wild swings and high outside pitch swings in particular. Alot of energy – needs to gain a sense of “slow down.” Get more patient and let the game come to him.

  5. I agree.

    The need for pitching outweighs the luxury of holding Cesar.

    Curious how the crowd of mediocre pitchers will be unclogged. Who stays in the starting rotation, released, or moved to the BP.

    Hate to give up on pitchers in their 20’s still learning how to pitch.

    1. Lively has impressed me. These last two years at Reading, LhV and now in Philly he has shown me a lot.
      He turns 26 in the spring so he has some maturity about him.
      And also, in fairness, he is a little older than Eflin, Pivetta and Thompson…two years in Eflin and Thompson’s case, but still he seems to have the poise and where-with-all to pitch.

    2. I think you’ve seen from Lively and to a lesser extent Leiter, that pitchers who can command their pitches can atleast keep you in game and pitchers like Pivetta are way to inconsistent. In addition to bringing in outside help ( ideally one starter and one reliever in free agency and one starter via trade), I think It needs to be clear that pitchers that command the zone and keep the team in game will pitch in Philly and those that don’t will pitch in Lehigh valley ( this includes anyone with available options like Pivetta, Vazquez etc)

      While you cant win longterm with a rotation of only control pitchers, I think a message needs to be sent going into training camp next year that pitchers who only throw and don’t work on command wont be pitching in philly

  6. I think that VV and Pivetta eventually go to the BP. Maybe not next year, because they are probably going to give both another shot at starting, but eventually.

    1. You could have the makings of a very strong & deep BP with VV, Pivetta, & Neris.

      I don’t know to what extent that health has prohibited Efflin with his knee issues.
      Thompson dropped off tremendously this year after a strong AAA season last year. Did he take the foot off the gas peddle?
      Leiter has proven to be a good utility pitcher, making spot starts & working in the BP. He would be a good 6th starting pitcher.

      That leaves Nola, Lively, Eichoff, & TBD’s for next year. It would interesting how Kilome & Sixto adjust next year. Will they hit the wall like the others or rip it down to make the major league team?

      1. Next year is Sixto’s age 19 season – he’s incredibly young. I doubt the team is interested in promoting him to the majors before he is 20 or 21. So, for me, his optimal ETA is probably 2019.

        1. Given how conservative the organization is, probably 2020 unless he takes off. probably a year a A Clearwater ,AA, AAA.

    2. I’m so torn on this. Part of me understands that having them turn into successful starters is of enormous value and give it another year, part of me feels they will not achieve that and says put them in bullpen now ( I know that wont happen) and get them established in that role strengthening that part of pitching staff and allowing us to turn our attention away from hoping they can be starters and turning to realistic approaches to improve the rotation

  7. I don’t see the Phils mustering a strong pitching staff in 2018. The existing pieces don’t seem to fit right and not much development has happened at the big league level. There isn’t much help available in free agency and top pitching is in short supply generally so realistic trade targets for starting pitchers will be few.

    I think the wise move is to focus on the Phils’ offense and build on some of the success this year. The biggest need is a lefty bat in the order to provide protection to Hoskins and make him hard to pitch around. It’s an aggressive move but I would promote Cozens now and platoon him in RF for the remainder of the season.with Altherr, coming back from his injury. (I’d stick Hoskins at 1B and plant Joseph on the bench). If the Phils don’t give Cozens a shot now, then the right move is to sign 1B/LFer Logan Morrison as a high priority this off-season. Having Hoskins, Morrison, Joseph, Williams, Herrera and Altherr to man 1B and 3 OF spots is not too much depth — given that corner outfielders Altherr and Williams have averaged 375 and 415 ab’s, respectively, in their careers to date.

    Hoskins, without a dangerous power bat behind him — preferably a left handed bat — seems like a high powered sports car not hitting on all cylinders.

    1. Promoted now Cozens is likely to hit below .200 and possibly below .100 he would offer absolutely no protection for Rhys. Right now their best option is Williams. next year is a problem because signing Morrison creates a logjam with Altherr and Williams. One or both may not be a long term starter but both have earned the right to show if the can be for at least the start of next year. A lot of people would like to see the Phillies trade Herrera but it is not going to happen. The biggest spots in the lineup the Phillies need to improve with limited internal options are 3B and C. I don’t see a lot of options to improve C unless Alfaro proves me wrong (and I hope he does). Because next year the Phillies are still not likely to contend and the impending free agency of Machado Franco is likely the 3B to start next year with the chance to lose time to Galvis/Crawford/Kingery depending on what offers the Phillies get for Galvis and Hernandez in the off season.

      1. I’m fine giving Franco a little more time given his age and potential upside. Its not like they have a great 3rd base prospect holding him back for the start of 2018.
        I’m also fine with a platoon of KNapp and Alfaro at catcher also. especially batting 8th.
        I keep going back to this because in my mind the biggest issue is straigtening out the starting pitchers . I don’t see much help from the minors except back of rotation candidates till late 2019 at the earliest.
        All extra resources and free agency should go in that direction.
        I think our position players have promise and we can always fill in a hole or 2 in free agency after 2018

      2. Colorado is the example of a team with iffy pitching but depth on the offense that has put them in the WC discussion. The Phils typically look to identify 5 starting pitchers, 3 outfielders etc. as if no one will get hurt or under-perform. Fans shouldn’t fall in that trap. I tried to make the case that neither Altherr or Williams has been a seasonal 550 ab kind of guy. When was the last time the Phils had too much depth?

        Williams and Altherr I can see doing well in the 3d slot. Morrison is the cover guy and is in the top 100 for OPS. No regrets if he gets signed.

  8. Keith Law named his Prospect Of The Year. His winner is Vlad Guerrero Jr.
    His runners-up were: Ronald Acuna, Fernendo Tatis Jr, Bo Bichette, Rafael Devers, Forrest Whitley, Alec Hansen, JoJo Romero.
    Here’s what Law had to say about Romero … “Overshadowed by the bigger velocities of various teammates of his in the Phillies’ system, especially Sixto Sanchez, Romero dominated across low-A and high-A this year at age 20, with a 2.16 ERA, just four homers allowed in 129 innings, and 128 strikeouts. The Yavapai College prospect was the Phils’ fourth-round pick in 2016 and already has joined their top echelon of pitching prospects along with Sanchez, Adonis Medina, and Franklyn Kilome”.

    1. I’m very excited to see how Romero translates to AA which I assume he’ll advance to next year given our backlog in the Clearwater rotation.

    2. Wow…KLaw on the Romero eval is great to hear. Though in his selection process…wonder why Kingery got no consideration in the top ten

  9. Love that! We do have some excellent SP prospects across the 2 A Ball levels. Even a couple of them panning out will be a huge boost for the future.

  10. The continue talk of Manny Machado and his free agency after next season can be , for all intent and purposes , a dream.
    At some point within the next year or the Orioles will have to make a decision about Machado’s future with the team. Three scenarios exist::

    1. Re-sign him to a long-term contract.
    2. Let him leave as a free agent and get a draft pick at the end of the first round
    3. Trade him for a haul of prospects or young MLB players already under team control.

    No. 2 should be considered a non-option. Machado is far too valuable to let leave for a 30th something draft pick.
    Now there is something to be said for keeping him and trying to make a run next year, but with a player this valuable, I don’t think the Os can risk letting him walk and getting so little in return. The club can see where they stand at midseason next year and act accordingly.
    Trading Manny is an interesting — albeit painful — option the Os have to at least consider.
    Team owners, the Angelos family and their staff wouldn’t be doing their job if they didn’t explore trading Manny for a package of young players to build around going forward.
    And the sooner they trade Manny, the more they could expect in return. He is a difference-maker. The kind of player who can change the balance of power within a division. The sooner you pick him up, the more he helps. And probably the best time to get the most for him would be between Nov 2017 and Feb 2018. And, of course if he resigns , more power to the Os.
    This can also be said for Bryce Harper and Josh Donaldson.

    1. Romus … I don’t think there are many people who believe Manny Machado and Bryce Harper don’t hit FA next winter. The only question with Machado is does enter FA as an Oriole or as a member of another team. Yes, the O’s should seek the best return they can get for him and get on with a rebuild. However, IMO, there is a good chance MM does not get dealt. I just don’t see Angelos trading him this off-season. And … if the O’s are in playoff contention next summer, they’ll look to make one last run at it with their current core. Just my opinion, but I can definitely see MM leaving Baltimore as a FA.
      Also, both MM and Harper will get a more lucrative contract than the one Stanton got.

      1. Hinkie….what would you do if you were Duquette….would you be happy with the 35th pick in the draft once Manny leaves? Any reasonable GM would get all he can get once he knows he is leaving.
        How many position players of their (Harper and Machado) stature have reached FA before age 27?
        I do not see it happening.

        1. If I were Dan Duquette, I would trade MM, Adam Jones, Zach Britton, Brad Brach, and anything else not nailed down in the Oriole clubhouse and begin a rebuild. In fact, I would have probably dealt them in July. The difference between me and Duquette is I don’t take my orders from Peter Angelos.

  11. I am all for getting Machado, and I don’t think he gets re-signed by the O’s. That is, simply, not a contract that Angelos agrees to. It is going to cost a lot, however, and how far are we willing to go? Remember, he,almost certainly, does not agree to an extension. So how much of the farm do we give up to take a chance that he likes it here? I think he goes to the highest bidder, and waits to be a FA, so my offer is probably going to be a lot less than what some others of you would give for him. I take my chances in landing him as a FA.

    1. matt13….no team will be willing to trade for him without a ‘sign and trade’ agreement already in place with permission from the Orioles.
      If he doesn’t agree than there is no trade.
      I would think once he and his agent do agree to a new team’s contract terms, the trade gets consummated with the Os. It will probably have to be a minimum 7- year deal with an opt clause, as what has become a normal occurrence these days, also full no-trade protection I assume and team preferences if he approves any future trade. And probably an AAV between $26M and $29M per year.

      1. From the Phillies standpoint, I’m willing to make an aggressive offer of minor league talent if we have the opportunity to look him up to a long term deal.
        I have no interest in a trade for 2018 and give up talent knowing he’ll be a free agent at the end of the year. That’s a deal a 2018 contender should make. Not us.

        I’m imagining what that deal would look like
        I assume something like Crawford, Williams, and 3 pitchers not named sanchez.
        ( and that might be way too light)

    2. Orioles also have Adam Jones going into free agency in ’18 and the talking pundits in Charm City feel that Angelos will sign the easier one to accept terms and trade the other, perhaps this off-season, perhaps by the ’18 deadline.

  12. Isn’t Boras his Agent? I would think any deal would Average $30 Million. But, of course, that is a guess. So, let’s say there is an extension agreement, now what do we have to vs want to give up? I would think that Sixto and Kingery and Herrera are the ask from the O’s.

    1. I think Herrera, Alfaro, Franco to replace Machado at third for them, and high-end pitcher would be my offer for him.
      And his agent is Dan Lozano…..who happened to broker his initial contract with Andy Macphail in 2010.
      yes $30M AAV, may be what it would take.

      1. Too much IMO to include Odubel, who is a 3-4 war player who is pre-peak years and locked up and relatively cheap. If Manny was locked up long term then yes. But with the risk of only one year I wouldn’t include Odubel.

        I would do Franco, Nick Williams and JoJo for Manny.

    1. Wow, interesting, with a longterm contract in place, it would be really tough but I would probably make that deal.
      you would then keep hernandez at 2nd.
      Hit free agency for starting pitching help

      1. Hold the phone!

        Will the Orioles re-sign him? Highly doubt it.

        Will the O’s trade him this off season? Perhaps.

        Will Machado agree to a trade and extend? NO WAY unless the acquiring team blew the all-time record contract out of the water.

        …and even then, what team would ALSO give up several of their top prospects to make it happen?

        Two most likely scenarios – IF he gets traded, it’ll be a case of Baltimore getting what they can, the sooner the better for them (meaning this off season)…or they roll the dice and go for one more playoff run with him.

        1. Dodgers and Yankees have the money to sign him and the prospects to get him.
          I am willing to bet the day after the World Series ends, the Machado trade rumors start…..if the Os realize that they cannot resign him. Keeping him thru next year and they do not contend or make the playoffs, means they only get a dinky 30th selection draft choice for one of the best players in the game.

          1. You’re forgetting about the sale of season tickets and group plans. Once those get sold could be the time to move Machado or Adam Jones.

  13. Any deal for Machado that unloads players that are not long term would be a win. Right now, the list of players include ToJo (Replace Trumbo), Alfaro, Franco (Replace Machado), any of the mediocre pitchers, & a top prospect (say Moniak).

    Otherwise, I don’t see the point of pursuing Machado if your everyday lineup, long term future, or payroll is compromised.

    I prefer to hold Doobie & Cesar for a package that lands me a TOR.

    Moniak is expendable due to Haseley’s progress in the system.

    1-JP, SS
    2-Doobie, CF
    3-Hoskins, 1B
    4-Machado, 3B
    5-Williams, LF
    6-Altherr, RF
    7-Kingery, 2B

    Looks good, even better when not giving up the farm.

    1. Comes down to what the Os want in return.
      Herrera , I would think, would be top of their list.
      They could move the 32-year old Adam Jones to LF

      1. Think Herrera, Kilome and a 3rd guy in A ball like Dominguez. Do it for one year? It really only makes sense if it gives an advantage on signing him to a long term deal. Would it? I’m really not sure.

      2. Any deal the Phillies make with Baltimore should involve ToJo for Trumbo and his bad contract, int’l money, a ’18 competitive balance pick and maybe a PTBNL. Then flip Trumbo back to the AL for another lottery ticket.

        Manny will still be available next winter, regardless of where he plays in ’18.

        1. I think Baltimore would rather trade Machado to the NL before the Yankees get a hold of him.

          Any deal for Machado would require a contract extension.

          Adding Trumbo to the trade may lessen the price for Machado. But I don’t think Trumbo is the type of player we need on a young up & coming team.

          1. No, we wouldn’t keep Trumbo. If he’s not flipped to the AL, then we release him. Eat the money. No big deal.

            1. i’m not really getting that fascination with Trumbo and the comp pick and whatever. The $25M that the Phils will absorb just to get that comp pick can be used in good ways. the Phils need to stock pile really good players and not to stock pile comp picks. Like any other teams, the Phils have 40 picks every year to scout, pick and develop prospects. Using the $25M to augment the scouting and player development might be a better long term solution. if not, use that $25M to hire the best coach available.

            2. KuKo … the comp A pick should become a really good player. It also comes with about 2 million slot dollars. I’ve also suggested the Phillies get a minor league player in this deal. I like Zac Lowther, but I doubt Baltimore would include him. I would take like Gray Fenter.

            3. @hinkie – if the MLB draft functions like the NBA draft, then sure, why not. but it’s not. and Johnny A.’s draft philosophy is also plays a key role in drafting players. we’ve seen JA handle the last 3 drafts and JA is not following the national rankings that way you probably envisioned. The reasonable goal of a Rule IV draft is to develop at least 2 MLB regulars. I think scouting and player development is the better long term solution rather than trying a band aid approach of absorbing $25M and hope that JA draft the remaining highest rank player.

              Tampa has 10 picks in the 1st 100 (which is a Hinkie dream) back in 20011 (and one of them is Goeddel) and it appears that only 1 of the 10 will be a MLB regular.

      3. Depends on the other deals out there.

        If Doobie moves, I would be inclined to hold Cesar & move Kingery to CF.

        But then what do you do for starting pitching? Would Cesar alone return enough?

        If so, can we live with Cozens in the lineup?

      4. @romus – i agree with you that Doobie, multiple cost controlled MLB ready player and a high end will be the O’s asking price. And yes, the O’s would rather not see Machado within AL East.

        Doobie, Eickhoff, Kilome, Jojo, Haseley and possibly a Franco or a Stobbe will be the package that the O’s might consider.

        I like Machado and I really want to see him with the Phils, but i rather acquire him via FA.

          1. Agree….that is why there will probably be the ‘sign and trade’ agreement in any of those three-way deals (A. player, B. the team gaining the player, and C. the team losing that player)….do not see any GM ever doing that deal for just one year of a player of that magnitude, and giving up so much for Machado.

            1. @romus – you know that i like Machado but i’ve been advocating to acquire him via FA and not trade. my reply is based on your assumption that BAL will do a sign and trade rathen than lose him.

            2. Romus … maybe it’s the early onset Alzheimer Disease my wife and kids swear I have, but I can’t remember any “sign and trade” deals in MLB. They’re common in the NBA, but I can’t think of a single one in MLB. In any event, I think it’s unlikely Machado passes up a chance to hit FA at this point. For that reason, even if Baltimore were to trade Machado, a team with a shot to the win the WS would be most willing to give up the most lucrative trade package. The Phillies should just wait until after next season to throw lots of money at him and bring him to Philadelphia that way.

          2. a rebuilding team like the Phils will not give up tremendous assets for a one-year rental, of course they will do it win the intent to acquire Machado long term. McKlentak might be slow and deliberate, but i don’t think they are that incapable.

            1. KuKo…….why would Duquette and Rizzo let Machado and Harper walk for a dinky 31st selection in the draft?
              Seriously…….do you think any GM would do that?
              If you were a GM, would you?

        1. No, no, no.

          The team generally should not be trading huge packages of prospects for players that are nearing free agency. They need to show patience to just pay players when they are free agents (as the Cubs did) rather than giving up tons of prospects and either risk losing the player or paying free agent money to the player anyway.

          Could their be exceptions to this rule? Sure, there could – there’s always a correct strike price for player and a fair trade off, but, as a rule, it’s not how they should be acquiring soon-to-be expensive players.

          The one thing I like about this new administration (in stark contrast to the Amaro years) is that they are value oriented. The Nicasio trade was probably the best evidence of this, but, with each move, they are trying to acquire more value than they surrender. They don’t always achieve that result but they are trying and it’s a smart philosophy. It’s how you accumulate assets and put yourself in a controlling position. Dumping loads of prospects for a guy who will be a free agent in a year anyway, is generally a really bad move, especially for a team that is still in a rebuilding mode – much more value is surrendered than received.

          As for when the free agent signings begin, I think the Phillies should definitely consider acquiring their first legitimate FA this offseason if the opportunity presents itself – if only because it will not mean surrendering a first round pick the following year. But if they wait another year, I can deal with that.

    2. Is Machado is true difference maker on offense? Or is he similar to Heyward with his value tied to his fielding? If I acquired him I might try him at SS. Orioles had great SS in Hardy so he got pushed to 3B.

      I might rather go after Donalson even if he will be higher risk for decline due to age. For that reason he may be cheaper (not so if he takes Phillies offer) and require fewer years without opt out clause. Lefty hitter with high walk rate would pair nicely with Hoskins.

    1. It’s all over the news big ticket pitcher incoming , plus Bp help book it . New Coaching staff , Mk will make big moves Phillies in Playoffs .

  14. Anderson, the writer, is another guy who underestimates Rhys Hoskins. I think they can make a big splash or 2 that does not involve Stanton. Except for the part about having $ to burn, I don’t see any fit for us and Stanton. Some people may believe that the Marlins just want to dump the salary, but I am not in that group. I don’t give up the prospects to get him, nor do I think he waives his no-trade to come here.

    1. matt13…agree.
      Do not think a Stanton to Philadelphia move will be made.
      The new ownership group, ghowever, does want to lower their team salary from $115M and not sure how they will go about it.

  15. If they can get a good SP with some time left under control, I can see Klentak doing that. Then he would part with Cesar and a pitching prospect. I am not suggesting a TOR guy, but someone that would slot at #3. That is a move I can see.

  16. Makes no sense I mean if your the O’s who’s the player you want long term. Machado , the O’s have there future outfield in Austin Hays . Schoop, Mancini, Machado , Chance Sisco, Austin Hays . I’d trade Adam Jones , Chris Davis , Castillo for Sp help. the O’s also lose 60 mil this yr off there payroll. Trumbo if he hits 30 hr at 11 mil it’s not bad . Chris Davis contract is nuts but that’s the one. NO Way they Trade Machado they can throw a bunch of money at him and still have enough for a good team .

    1. The Orioles are a team full of guys who can hit a lot of home runs, but still really stink. Trumbo has played to a negative WAR this year and Chris Davis is right there with him. I don’t want most of their position players at any price.

    2. Baltimore’s opening day payroll for this year was $164M, and they want to cut that down some……for 2018 Davis/Jones and Hardy will have commitments of $40M for next year……then add maybe another $30M for Machado, since if they resign him it will have to be in the next 4/5 months (Machado said he will not renogotiate during the season)….. throw in Trumbo @ $12M….thats $82M for 5 players…….you still need to fill the 25 and 40.
      So will see where it goes with them in the next few months.
      Mu guess, if Machado is not signed back with the Os in the next 90 days…..he will be wearing a different uniform in spring training.

      1. Romus, I’m in on Machado but not at an unnecessary cost of top prospects. Besides, it’s difficult enough for two parties to agree on a trade. But for THREE to come to complex terms almost requires the cosmos to click into place, to cite Ray Kinsella.

        I’ll take my chances he’s traded elsewhere and wait until ’18. Can’t give up even part of the future heart of this ball club when odds are he’ll be a FA in another year.

        1. Like I asked yesterday….just give me a name of a superstar position player who has reached free agency in the last 20 years before age 27?
          Both Harper and Machado are in line for that.
          I have my misgivings they get there.
          The Angels made sure Trout will not get there.
          I think the Os and Nats will do the same….one way or another…resign them or trade them.

          1. OK, Romus – I’ll play along. My one and final offer – ToJo, Cesar, Freddy, Franco (in other words, our current IF) along with Odubel and any top pitching prospect other than Sixto. Otherwise I wait it out ’til ’18. If he’s traded and signed elsewhere this off season, I go for Moose.

            1. I love these trades that a just throw out a bunch of names that the person would be happier to be without without looking at what other team may want. Not one of those player is a definitive upgrade over what the Orioles already have. What the Orioles need is major league ready pitching. The only thing the Phillies have to offer there is Nola. The Phillies do not match up well trading with the Orioles.

            2. 8mark….have to think Herrera would be on that list they would want…since Jones would then go to a corner. Franco only because they need a third basemen for the vacancy until I assume Reyes gets there. They need a catcher…I assume Alfaro would be their choice to compete with Cisco. ToJo …..maybe. And Cesar, not sure about him….what happens to Schoop?. He seems entrenched at second.
              Freddy?…forgetaboutit., I think they say thanks but no thanks.
              Now it leaves pitching….all teams want arms that are close to ready. I have to think the Phillies would keep Nola and Sixto and just offer evertone else in the organization. Kiiome and/or Pivetta may interest them.

              Moose for third? I like that also, though he did take a few years to come around….and that is the risk a team takes with Franco being shopped…he could come around. The league is full of those guys that take 3/4 years and then mature into better hitters.

      2. Yea but the O’s lose 60 mil this yr. So they will be at 100 mil. They already have Adam Jones replaced in Austin Hays . Plus ,plus ,plus Hardy has a club option this yr . Adam Jones is a FA 2019. No way no they they re up on Hardy so now that’s 74 mil they don’t have on the books for next yr. There going to rebuild this team around there young players like Machado not Davis or Adams. They mght be in the market for Galvis he’s an up grade over Harvey.

      3. Here’s The O’s next CF Austin Hays he ranked AA he’s there 2nd ranked prospect by mlb. He hit 32 hr .323 in AA.

  17. Dylan Cozens Stats Summary Minors 2017

    135 476 68 100 199 12 3 27 75 58 1 194 8 3 .210 .301 .418 .719 0.69

    Andrew Pullin Stats Summary Minors 2017
    134 504 62 137 246 43 3 20 69 35 1 93 5 1 .272 .327 .488 .815 1.11

  18. Not sure what Starting Pitcher will be available for anything Phillies are willing to trade.
    What is the price for Nola? Would you accept Cesar, ToJo, Lively, and Moniak?

    I think I’d part with Williams, assuming his k-rate will catch up with him.
    I’d part with Kilome where his physical profile might give more upside value in trade than guys I like in Medina,Romero,Eshleman.

    For a true star TOR like Archer I might give up other pieces that team may want, like Alfaro and Moniak.

    But I hesitate on some pieces since Hoskins, Kingery, Crawford might rival the better infields the Phillies ever had.

    1. Hoskins, Kingery and Crawford aren’t going anywhere short of a Mike Trout trade, nor should they. The whole purpose of a minor league system is develop, promote and retain guys like this and the same goes for Nola, unless it’s for a package of even more promising minor leaguers.

  19. I think they’ll sign one FA pitcher and trade for another to add two pitchers to the rotation. Personally I would go after a free agent OF and trade Herrera for a pitcher. What could he and Cesar get you? Separate trades? It’s about maximizing value. What free agent pitcher? Someone from Tampa perhaps….

    1. If it is close to MLB prospects you want and pitchers as Matt Klentak said they were interested in, ….if Detroit were a trading partner…Cesar could probably bring back RHP Burrows and maybealso LHP Soto together. From the Dodgers…I would ask for Alvarez and they would say no, then go with maybe a RHP like Mitchell White.

      If it is MLB majors already with experience….you may be looking at more 4s and 5s.

      1. It’s pretty simple really if you look at the return for Adam Eaton. The White Sox targeted guys who were close but unproven in Giolito and Lopez. It’s a gamble for sure to project pitchers in the minors to be TORs but one the Phillies most likely have to take.

      2. If the Dodgers offered me Mitchell White for Cesar Hernandez, I wouldn’t be able to say “yes” fast enough. For me, White may be the least talked about great prospect in MiLB.

  20. This team has the makings of the Rollins-Utley-Howard Phillies right now (JP-Kingery-Hoskins). No need to mess it up going after some pipedream in Machado with a trade.

    Let the young kids play together next year, add a solid pitcher or two and let’s roll. The momentum is building and there should be no rush. What is better than watching a young team grow together?

    We’ve watched Philly teams overspend for years and get middling results. Let’s build this the right way this time. Position players dominate baseball. Pitching breaks down and comes and goes minus stud starters and relievers, who are next to impossible to come by anyways.

    Look at the Cubs and Indians and Dodgers (minus this late stretch) and Red Sox. They dominate with young stars. Let the kids play!

  21. We all need to pump the breaks on “This infield combo rivals a great past combo” or whatever has been said . . . the odds of Hoskins/Kingery/Crawford becoming what Rollins/Utley/Howard were are, well not very good. Expectations like that lead to disappointment in my opinion.

    I was really hoping Crawford would come up and continue to do what he did in the 2nd half at AAA. Could have sold him as a top prospect in all of baseball again with a solid Sept with the big club. Granted we are only talking 20AB, he’s looked pretty bad in those 20. Even his hits. I know i’m not a fan and don’t see the all star potential so maybe i’m just being bias. I just don’t see this star player that everyone else does, not even close. I know it’s not a popular opinion but its what I see.

    1. First of all, his star ability starts with his ability to play SS which he has t been allowed to play. He’s not a 3B even if he can play it. He’s a SS with amazing hands, very good range, and a fine arm. His at bats show good patience but he’ll need some time to find his comfort zone. Guys, this is a 100 loss team, there’s no need for loyalty to an existing player. Our minor league guys won a lot at AA last year and at AAA this year before we robbed their roster. It’s time to embrace the talent upgrade and to spend money on needed pitching.

  22. I agree, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins are the best 1B, 2B and SS in the history of the franchise, and they happened to play together. The new kids are not, and will not, be them. But, they can still be good. And, it is important that the rest of the pieces around them are also good. Trading a bunch of the top guys for any one Superstar is not the way to go. SP wise, we should expect more along the lines of Alex Cobb or Jaime Garcia or a trade for JA Happ.

    1. Wait a minute – why can’t they be them or something damned close?

      I can easily see Hoskins being as good or better than Howard (no, I’m not joking – Hoskins won’t hit as many homers, but he’s a freaking offensive on base and slugging machine – this dude is special and he could easily rack up way more WAR than Howard).

      Kingery not likely ever to be as good as Utley at his peak (who is at second base?) but could have a longer career and become a Pedroia-like player.

      I can also see Crawford being very different but just as valuable as Rollins – it’s a tall order, but its definitely possible.

      And you know they are going to get a stud third baseman one way or another – so this infield absolutely has a chance to be as good an infield as the one that contended for championships.

      And I don’t think I’m stretching things – these guys could be really, really good.

      1. When I refer to Kingery having a “longer career” I mean a longer period of high productivity. Once Utley sustained his injuries, he was very quickly just an average player.

        1. Catch, I like all 3 players, and I think they will be good, but I think comparisons to Howard, Utley and Rollins are a little overly optimistic. That does not mean, I don’t think they are good or that they will not be part of a winning team. I think they are and can, but Crawford does not have Rollins’ total package, Hoskins can be very good, but when he competes for MVP, I can admit I was wrong, and Utley, without being injured was a Hall of Fame 2B, and good luck to Kingery being Utley. I don’t have to oversell them to like them. And, the reason that Kingery is as highly thought of over Cesar is the “it” factor he has, coupled with a very high baseball “IQ” reminiscent of Utley. Utley lite is still really good.

          1. Are the odds against it? Sure they are. But, in 3 or 4 years, compare the WAR of our infield to the WAR of the infield (including third) from 2007-2011 – I think you’ll be happy with the outcome.

      2. I can see Hoskins having a better career than Howard did, so I agree there.

        As far as Kingery goes, his ceiling really isn’t that much higher than what Hernandez is doing right now, what? maybe a few more HR and SB (I also fully believe that Hernandez could improve to a 25-30SB threat with proper coaching and work on his part)? And that is if he comes up and performs. He’s said himself the power isn’t something people should expect to last. So I ask, is his ceiling really THAT much higher than what Hernandez is giving us? And Hernandez has improved year in and year out AT THE MLB LEVEL, why can’t he continue to improve? Again, if they move a proven MLB player who has only gotten better, they better be right about Kingery.

        As far as Crawford goes, my position is the same, I don’t see the stud that everyone else does. I see an MLB average player and i’d rather try to package him in a trade. I know my views aren’t popular however i’m not going to waiver, only hope that i’m wrong (about Crawford).

        When they haven’t even COMBINED for a full year, or even half of a year . . . it’s a good idea to pump the breaks on the Howard/Utley/Rollins comparisons.

        1. We will agree to disagree.

          First of all, on Kingery, he doesn’t need to be that much better than Cesar to be an outstanding MLB second baseman. Cesar is now like a 3.5-4.5 WAR player – just below all-star quality. I believe Kingery will be a whole grade better than him – both on offense and defense (the plays he makes are staggering) and I believe Kingery has the rare ability to will himself to do things that others think he cannot do – I think he’s a really special talent.

          On Crawford, guys with 70-75 plate discipline aren’t a dime a dozen and that’s the kind of discipline he has. He’s a fantastic SS and he flashed some real power for the first time, which bodes well for his future. He’s not a Rollins-type quick-twitch athlete. That’s not his game. When he hits his peak, he will just kill you with competence. I could see him being a 2-3 WAR player, but, as he matures, I think he’s going to be quite a bit better than that. I’m not sure he’ll hit Rollins’ peak (MVP year), but I think once he gets going, he’s going to churn out one 3-5 WAR season after the next which, over time, could make him just as good as Rollins, albeit quite different.

          1. Yeah, it’s all projection, but that’s why we are here, right?

            I could be wrong, but if these guys are healthy, I don’t think so.

            Now, the pitching is an entirely different story. It’s Aaron Nola and some other dudes with questionable talent. I have no idea how that’s going to go.

          2. I guess it all depends on if you think Crawford is the guy he was from June-until his call up or the guy from the 2nd half of 2015 until June 2017 . . . He honestly wasn’t that good for the vast majority of the past 2.5 years which is why I was shocked that so many people were shocked about his ranking drop. The horrid start to 2017 def played the biggest factor however he wasn’t exactly playing at a high level for the year and a half prior to 2017s bad start.

            You say Kingery has the it factor, can you expand on what you mean by that? I look at how the offense and team in general struggled while Hernandez was out and then the turn around when he came back. That tells me that he’s a bigger part of the line up than people might want to think. I’m just in the camp that you take the least amount of risks as possible. You are taking a huge risk by moving Hernandez without knowing if Kingery will produce at the MLB level. And again, from all reports ive seen, Kingerys ceiling isn’t that much higher then what you are actually getting out of Hernandez. And hitting your ceiling, statically doesn’t happen to the majority.

            1. Yeah, well, you’re not going to hear me criticize Cesar because I’m one of his biggest supporters on the site. My view is that Cesar is already a first division regular, but Kingery has a chance to be a star. As for the “it” factor, just wait until you see him play. Very few players have that “it” thing going for them, where, the first time you see them play, you can envision their future. Kingery has it – big time. Put simply – he’s a winner.

              On J.P. you need to remember he was always pushed to level where he was the youngest, or one of the youngest players in the league. This was even true this year. As for looking at his stats, I think one really important thing happened this year – he improved and became the player we all envisioned he would be, but with even a little more power than we expected, but not quite the hit tool. But the second half JP was exactly what folks on this site generally thought he would be during his first full season in the minors. I’m not sure what else to say.

            2. Corning the ‘it’ factor:
              All I need to hear is what Hoskins said about Kingery, “‘best player I have played with”.

            3. Yeah, lots of folks have said things like that about Kingery. He will take over games by himself. He wills himself to make big things happen in big situations. He’s a money player. He lives to win and he has all the ability to make it happen. I saw him play in Reading and he jumps off the field with his will and his talent. As I said earlier, I’m not sure he’s our best prospect, but I think he’s our most important prospect. He will be a centerpiece and the heart of the next great Phillies team. I am as sure about this as I ever have been about a young players. He’s that good.

            4. That’s fine that they pushed him, doesn’t change the fact that he struggled for basically 2.5 outta the past 3 years. I’m not saying he’s not going to make it, I see an MLB average player . . Nothing wrong w that at all. Nothing wrong with that out of the 16th pick in the draft either.

              I’ve seen Kingery play about 12x . . . What does the it factor mean? He looks like a throw back hard nosed good baseball player to me. I dunno if that is what you mean. I’m just saying you have someone doing it at the MLB level. Trade the prospect for someone proven and let the new team assume the risk. Kingery can’t move to 3B, arm doesn’t play there. It’s 2B which I think we already have covered.

            5. I couldn’t disagree more on both Kingery and Crawford.

              Crawford struggled for one year in AAA not two and a half years.

              In terms of prospects and position players you have to make a determination of who is going to be better and trade the lesser player. Or would have rather they traded Utley and kept Polanco? No, I didn’t think so.

            6. Catch- if you think Kingery is going to hit 26 HR you are gonna be disappointed, the kid said it himself.

              Look back at Crawford over the past 3 years, he didn’t struggle like he did in the beginning of this year but he most def had his struggles.

              Again you keep comparing Kingery to Utley, that’s not a fair comparison. Smh.

            7. First of all, what you’re saying about my continuing to compare him to Utley is blatantly false. I compared him once and not favorably – I was mostly comparing him to Cesar. I don’t ever expect him to get close to Utley’s peak. His hope would be to produce 4-6 WAR over a longer period of time – more like Pedroia.

              Second, I never said he would hit 26 homers in the majors. What I am saying is that he’s hit 26 homers in the minors and Cesar never sniffed that and never will – Kingery has a lot more power than Cesar. And don’t get me wrong, I like Cesar a lot, I just think Kingery is going to be a better player and I’m not alone in that assement.

              Third, you’re wrong again about J.P. – his OPS+ was consistently at very levels in the minors (usually in the 120-130 range – well above average) until he was promoted to AAA where he struggled for almost exactly one year, but when he emerged from his troubles he did so well that his OPS+ for the year in AAA this year was an aggregate 114 – meaning he had a good year in AAA this year. He emphatically did not struggle for a couple of years.

            8. Once again, he struggled . . .

              2015 post all star break – .258/.332./414 or
              2015 July .242/.315/.400
              2015 Sept .200/.259/.240

              A good Aug kept his post all star numbers somewhat respectable at .258/.332/.414 however Reading didn’t help him like it helped many others.

              He followed that up in 2016 hitting .244/.328/.318 in AAA after spending a little over a month in Reading hitting at an average clip (for a top prospect it was below average tho). I’m sorry but he has struggled more so than not over the past 2.5 years. That’s just a fact, ESP for a “top prospect” in all of baseball.

              And comparing Kingery to Utley . . . that’s my fault, read something you wrote incorrectly. However the HR comment, Hernandez isn’t going to sniff 26 HR, just like Kingery more than likely won’t either (again, said by himself).

              What kinda numbers do you think Kingery will produce?

              BTW i’m not saying Crawford or Kingery aren’t valuable. I think both make it, Crawford being an average player and Kingery slightly better than average.

            9. Eric – your use of statistics is so selective that it’s crazy.

              The “bad” September you alluded to consisted of 6 games and 25 ABs – c’mon, we’re all smarter than that here. His season stats in Reading from 2015 are representative of how he performed and are quite good for a strong-fielding 20 year-old middle infielder in AA (where he was 4.5 younger than the average AA player – do you realize how significant this is?) – his performance was just what I would have expected. And he progressed. He had a .354 OBP in 2015 and before he was promoted to AAA in 2016, he had a .398 OBP – which is excellent and his calling card. You can say he didn’t dominate AA, but he most surely was not struggling at AA.

              Again, he had a single bad calendar year in AAA (taking the last part of 2016 and the first part of 2017) together. That YEAR (not 2 and 1/2 years) was not very good – no doubt about it (although his walk rates stayed excellent). Then he adjusted and had a dominant second half.

              Where you see just an average player I, and I think many others on this site, see a well above average player who could perhaps even be a minor star. I’m not seeing him as a consistent star player yet (there’s no evidence for that, even with the walk rates), but I am seeing a guy who, once he settles in, will generate 3-5 WAR seasons year after year and might even be better if his power develops.

              More on Kingery in a moment.

  23. When you loose 30 some games by 1 run you don’t need a whole new team. Since the All Star Game we are 25 – 31 which would be close to get a Wild Card spot.

  24. I understand they can’t all be Howard-Utley-Rollins but they have the makings of a nice young core. I hate the idea of just trade for this guy or sign this guy.

    I have enjoyed the last month of Phillies baseball more than I have in a long time. Let’s see how they progress together. I think 2018 is all about the offense and seeing where they go. I think it could be special.

  25. I hate the idea of losing 100 games again and this team can’t pitch and the #1 rule of baseball is good pitching beats good hitting

    Just look at where we rank in the following and that’s a;; you really need to know

    Starters ERA-Rank 23Rd
    Starters Quality Starts-21st which is also 4 below league average
    Starters Runs Per Game Allowed ranked 8th and that’s not good

    1. Pitching is what he said they will be looking at in the off-season.
      Plus the Rule 4 will have great college arms available , if they all stay healthy
      RHPs Jackson Kowar and Brady Singer are two of the best arms, and both pitching for the Florida Gators.
      Phillies , if they even finish second in the draft, will get one of them and they probably will be in the rotation by late 2019 season.

      1. Kowar, Singer, Casey Mize, and Ryan Rolison are the four college pitchers who will most likely go at the top of the draft. LHP Matt Liberatore is a HS arm I really like, but I get the feeling the Phillies won’t go HS arm at 1-1 or 1-2. The other two strong candidates I would love to see the Phillies choose are Jeremy Eierman (college SS/3B), or Nolan Gorman (HS 3B). I’m already psyched for the 2018 draft. It’s going to be a really, really good draft. It’s loaded with pitching (both college and HS). Hopefully, Klentak will eat Edinson Volquez’s contract to acquire Miami’s comp B pick. You’re probably already tired of hearing my ToJo for Trumbo swap for the O’s comp A pick.

        1. Hinkie…..I like that idea, ie, trying to get their Competitive balance pick, which, I assume, this year will fall in the thirties since last year it was round B. And taking Trumbo’s contract with ToJo included probably gets it done.
          i guess the Phillies could always trade Trumbo to an AL team at somepoint next year and eat the remaining portion of his contract.
          They seem to eat a lot of high-calorie contracts like that these last few years.

          1. Romus … yes. Let’s own the 2018 draft ! It’s going to be loade with a fantastic crop of players !!!

    2. DMAR … the Phillies have been so bad, it may seem like they’ve been losing 100 games at an annual clip, but it’s actually been 56 years since they lost that many games. Cheer up ! They’ll be a playoff team again in 2019.

  26. I would like the team to find a way to get both Kingery & Cesar in the lineup next year & see how the offense clicks in the first half.

    That means Franco’s 20 HR & 60 RBI production would be absorbed elsewhere, which is very achievable & putting Kingery at 3B.

    Without Quinn or Altherr proving to stay healthy, I would be apprehensive to move Doobie.

    Moving the obvious players out: ToJo, Freddy, Rupp, Blanco, Kelly, Nava, Kim
    Making decisions on moving pitchers to the BP: Appel, VV, Efflin
    Giving more time for SP to develop: Pivetta, Thompson, Lively, Leiter
    Moving minor league SP up through the system: Anderson, Kilome

  27. If they are able to trade Cesar, and I think the ask by the Phils will be very high, Freddy may be your opening day 2B. The idea that they are committed to starting Kingery in the Majors to start the year, is stretching what we have seen of the MacKentak leadership. Every quote about Franco indicates that they are more committed to giving him another shot at it. I don’t think they are blowing smoke trying to increase his value, I think they are going to use next year to give auditions again. I expect Kingery to start at LHV. A couple of mid-level SPs, maybe another BP arm, and they are ready for 2018. I do not necessarily concur with that, but it is the direction I see them taking.

    1. Pete is going to lobby the Phillies hard not to trade Freddy, I don’t think SK starts the year in Philly, and I don’t see them opening the wallet this winter, so what you say could easily happen.

    2. matt13….I think that is about right.
      They all seem to think Franco can come around,even Matt Stairs said something to that effect.
      Just look at Franco’s two metrics, he has a very respectable K rate of 15% for a power guy, and even his BB rate of 7% is not terrible, maybe 2/3 percent below average. But when he gets into a hitters count, he just wails away at anything that is close.
      Though next year might not be Franco’s audition year…but could possibly be his probationary year.

  28. If you want to upgrade our starting pitching, the guy to go after is Gerritt Cole. It is going to be expensive.

    I think it would take JP Crawford, Ceasar, Nick Williams, Pivetta, Kilome and JoJo.

    Maybe that gets it done. And that is a big price to pay. But I would do it.

    1. You are correct..costly in more ways than one.
      Besides the haul of prospects that will be required to get him…. a team will have to negotiate with Scott Boras in an arb year for him and may want to go long term since the Bucs avoided it this time, by going the one year for 2017

      1. I think pittsburg wouldn’t take that deal. When you trade a number 1 you want to get back a potential tor guy and those guys aren’t imo tor.

        1. rocco…I think the Bucs are hoping Glasnow and Keller emerge as TOR guys. Keller is on the cusp now for MLB duties and Glasnow is getting the experience he needs.
          Then there is Taillon on their staff. They are all mid-90 velo guys, but just lack experience.

    2. Wait…what? Cole is a free agent in two years. Cesar alone has been more valuable in the last two years. I get that a SP is more valuable than a 2B, but to add our best prospect PLUS two of our best pitching prospects PLUS a lottery ticket in Pivetta PLUS Nick Williams seems insane.

      1. Hinkie…….eventually Cole and Boras are going to want the standard ace AAV…..which is probably in the Grienke range.
        And I am sure Boras does not want to wait too long to negotiate a long term contract since Cole has already had arm issues, so they may not want anymore one year deals.
        The Buccos do not like to go there, which they already have had their run in with Cole concerning finances… the asking price may not be as steep

      2. Yeah nor would I that is insane…that said they (Pirates) do have a couple of arms in their system that are upper level arms meaning possibly ready mid season 2018 or 2019.

      1. Well, it’s at least two players too many. Remove Crawford and JoJo and then maybe it’s worth considering.

    3. There is no way on God’s green earth that I make that trade. I think it would be an unmitigated disaster.

      1. V1 – you’re the man – what’s with the momentary lapse? Think about that trade – it guts the strength of this team going forward. I’d consider a package like Cesar and JJ or Cesar, Kilome and Dominguez – but that’s as far as it goes. And I’m treating guys like J.P., Kingery, Sixto, Hoskins, and even Odubel (sorry folks, this guy is too good and too cost controlled to give away) as near untouchables.

  29. But v1, It is nice to hope for a SP like Cole, but how does that make the team better? That is much more than I would pay. I have a question? Not to get Tommy Gunn fired up, but a real question. When we first heard from the MacKlentak guys, they espoused a philosophy of “growing the arms and buying the bats.” Yet, the last 3 Drafts at # 1. “C”, MM and Haesely. How does that not seem contradictory? To get a SP like Cole that we haven’t drafted, decimates the farm. Why didn’t they “grow the pitching?”

  30. I guess I’ll play devils advocate here and ask when have you ever heard of a 6 for 1 trade, let alone for someone that isn’t a top 5 player at his position? Seems far-fetched, especially trading to a small market team that won’t pay for him. I like Cole, don’t get me wrong, but they better be including Gregory Blanco or another piece.

    I always go back to this – our rotation in 2008 was Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton.

    You don’t have to have a ton of big pieces. I would much rather take a 1-8 lineup and some good pitching then trade everything away for one or two starters. Just my opinion though

    1. I think the system has more than enough arms to load up the BP. This would require converting the fringe starters.

      It’s not a great way to manage long term, but use the depth you have the best way possible to win games.

    2. And in 08 we played the low-ly Rays…that Pitching staff was not likely to hold up against a better line-up and it actually demonstrated to be true the following season 09 with an even better arm added to the mix it still wasn’t good enough.

      In this day and age you need a couple of Aces to beat the types of line-ups and pitching these GMs are throwing out there these days.

  31. I don’t want to re-hash every pick after the Phillies picked in the last 3 drafts, but as a philosophy there were SP prospects drafted after the Phils drafted their guy that would look very good now. And, I only bring up the question because of what the cost would be to get a Cole or someone like him. I am not paying anywhere close to the price. It would be great to keep JP and Williams and the Pitching prospects and have Walker Buehler in the system, for argument’s sake. So I go FA for the SP and over pay in $ rather than decimate the system. 3 years/$80Million and get Jake Arrieta.

    1. matt13…….you know the Indians’ Trevor Bauer, who is a 93-95T96 velo guy, took a few years before he came around for them….he was wild and now has better command and control and it has paid off for the Indians. Perhaps waiting for Pivetta and Eflin, and also VV may also prove to be worthwhile.

    2. I think Phillies looked at the arms they have from Latin America and the risk/potential in the draft and decided the high first round options were better spent on hitters.
      I think the “grow pitchers” is more important due to injury attrition. It was terrible to watch Halladay and Lee fade to nothing for $50M.
      I do not fault teams like Atlanta who are drafting as many upside arms as they can. Because if one becomes a TOR stud for 5years that is incredibly valuable.

      Phillies may think getting pitching prospects in trades, after some minor league evaluation, is a better method.

    3. LOL if that’s all it is going to take to get Arrieta the Cubbies and Theo would have it done by now…

      I like Jake and I would target him in the off season. He reminds me a lot of Lackey and Peavy moving into this era of his career and how might potentially age through a contract.

      He’ll battle, he’ll compete for you even if he doesn’t have his best stuff that night.

  32. MLBTR reports that as many as 16 major league clubs were represented by scouts and/or execs at his last start (only his 3rd of the season after recovering from an injury, although he’s done well with his bat). Anybody know whether the Phillies were among those 16 teams.

    1. It was reported the Phillies were not represented a few weeks ago….is that the start they are talking about?

      1. This was reported this afternoon by MLBTR. Now that I read the actual tweet by Dylan Hernandez, it sounds like it’s happening today/tonight in Japan.

        1. MLBTR reported overnight that Otani has in fact asked to be posted for bidding by MLB clubs at season’s end. He’s supposedly said that salary isn’t the primary consideration but rather the opportunity to be a 2-way player. The site suggests that the pursuit for his signature on the bottom line will be unprecedented in hot stove history.

          Now, go show us something, Middleton-MacKlentak!

          1. Yes. The Phillies are in need of pitching. Otani is only going to cost money. MacKlentak need to make a serious run at him. He’ll be one of the top five pitchers in MLB next season.

            1. I don’t understand how you can say “it’s only going to cost money” that’s not a factual statement in the sense that Middleton can’t just write a check for $300 million and get him.

              Every team is in play for him because every team is within a few million of what the can the max offer can be (ok maybe not every team but you get what I’m saying)

              Money isn’t going to get you Otani

            2. So all you can do Hinkie is offer him the $5 mil and change you have for slot and the promise he can play everyday

              Every team is going to make that same run so you have to explain to us here what the Phillies can do beyond that to gain an edge on other cities.

              Again this is why I would have held my ground for a firm International Draft. Had they done that you would have your Otani…

            3. DMAR … teams are going to skirt the J2 rules by having an “under the table” long term agreement with Otani. He’ll sign with a team this winter for a smaller amount. He’ll then sign a long term extension with that team early in the 2018 season. This is why even teams in the J2 penalty box like the Cubs, Dodgers, and Padres are said to be in the mix (probably are among the teams in Japan scouting tonight’s start).
              The Phillies could offer Otani 1 million dollars (or whatever J2 money they have left) with the agreement that Otani sign an 8 year/280 million dollar contract (with an opt out after four years) on April 1st.
              When I say it’s “it’s only going to cost money”, I mean the Phillies wouldn’t have to cough up any prospects. You read V1’s opinion (further up) of what it would take to acquire Gerrit Cole. You can imagine what it would cost for Chris Archer. Yes, those guys would come at a much cheaper AAV than Otani, but the Phillies have mucho millions to work with. I’d rather start using up some of that payroll flexibility to sign young superstars (Otani and Machado), and keep my prospects (for now).
              The one thing I will say is the Phillies should have been thinking outside the box on the Otani situation. I unveiled my “the best way to a superstar pitcher’s heart is through his stomach” plan last winter. The new CBA made it mandatory for MLB teams to provide a clubhouse chef. I called for MacPhail to hire Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto as Phillies Director of Clubhouse Food Services. Morimoto is not only one of Japan’s greatest chefs, he is a TV celebrity in Japan. Morimoto (who owns a very successful sushi restaurant in Philly would supply chefs to the Phillies clubhouse. More importantly, he and Charlie Manuel would be the face of the Phillies efforts to lure Otani to the Philadelphia. This idea would have seperated the Phillies from the other teams vying for Otani. MacPhail (who I’m sure reads Phuture Phillies) chose to ignore my suggestion because I’m just a guy on the internet with wacky (?) ideas !

            4. Hinkie:
              “…….under the table agreements”
              “MLB intends to be vigilant in enforcing the rules and will scrutinize any efforts to skirt them.”…….what if he can only sign for two years then become a free agent at age 25?

            5. Romus … we’ll see what happens, but MLB teams know this is the route needed to be taken. That’s why even teams like the Cubs, Dodgers, and Padres (all in the J2 penalty box) are scouting Otani. There are many creative ways to pay him long term money.

            6. Hinkie….if a penalize team signs him…it is at a max of $300K bonus.
              Now the minimum MLB salaries for the next two years are:
              2018-$545K and 2019-$555K
              Now if he plays in the majors in that first and second year that would be his salary I assume…anything more is skirting the system and subject to a penalty.
              A penalized team cannot sign him now beyond his 25th birthday, that is how I read it, since as a foreign international player his free agency under the new CBA is age 25.
              The whole things seems a bit confusing to me when it comes to extended contracts with Otani.

            7. Yes. It’s all unclear. This is why a team with creative accounting is going to win Otani. IMO … MLB was stupid to up the J2 age from from 23 to 25, especially the year before Otani was reportedly ready to come over. That new CBA rule was a real shot to the heart to the Phillies chances of signing Otani.

            8. Once again, Hinkie, you impress me with your creativity. This is truly food for thought (or should I say ‘sushi’?) We can only hope that MacKlentak and Middleton are just as resourceful in their brainstorming sessions. I also hope that they’re not proceeding like we’re merely underlings among the big market clubs and grow a pair before they miss the Otani train.

              $HOHEI ME THE MONEY!!

          2. By the opportunity to be a two-way player, does he mean actually play OF on the days he doesn’t pitch? Or is he just interested in hitting? If its the latter, I’d expect the AL (with the DH) to have the edge to sign him.

            1. In Japan, Otani plays the OF on the days he doesn’t pitch. I’m sure MLB teams will tell him whatever he wants to hear. The truth of the matter is … what team in their right mind is going to pay Otani probably 30 million dollars to pitch and risk injury to him by allowing him to play the OF or DH ? Madison Bumgarner is a really good hitting pitcher (17 career HR’s). The Giants (rightfully so) won’t even allow him to participate in a HR Derby.

            2. Has anybody seen comps of Otani’s performance as a hitter or pitcher?

              He’s obviously a legend, but if he comes here, how good is he in each spot? Is he like a young Darvish as a pitcher and an average outfielder/hitter?

              I’m curious what the experts say about him, but it’s sure fun to speculate about this.

  33. I hope so Romus, I like Pivetta’s stuff, but he has to really grow his game. We all feel the same way about VV. They have certainly chosen pitching in their trades over the past few years, but their best SP is still the guy they drafted, Aaron Nola. I’m not giving up on any of the guys, I just wish they had stuck with their philosophy better. I want to see them do that this coming draft and get a Pitcher.

    1. matt13…I agree.
      I think Klentak has shown his hand by mentioning obtaining pitching as their main off-season objective. Now when it comes to the June draft, have to think that is also their strategy. After three straight years of drafting OFers in the first round, I hope they go with pitching.

    2. Matt I most likely am wrong. but Pivetta stuff is way better than VV imo. I love his stuff. Now does he become a good or great pitcher, no one knows that but he has a good chance.

  34. Phillies amateur scout Joey Davis won the 2017 Dallas Green Award.
    Davis, who has spent the past 14 years with the Phils, covers Northern California and Northern Nevada. He signed four players who made their Major League debuts with Philadelphia this season: Rhys Hoskins, Drew Anderson, Andrew Knapp and Brock Stassi.
    The award was established in 2011 to honor the accomplishments of Green, who spent 62 years in professional baseball, 46 of which were with the Phillies.
    Next up from his area will be Mitch Walding.

  35. Eflin put on 60 day DL and Knapp came off 10 day DL. 32 players on active roster, 6 in the minors and 2 on DL and 6 on 60 day DL that don’t count towards the 40. Alvarez will be put on the active roster when either Quinn or Valentin is put on the 60 day DL and Phils will go to a 6 man starting rotation for the rest of the season.

    1. as much as I love Rhys and I was one who lobbied often for him to be ranked higher and threw poo at anyone who said RH 1B’s aren’t that valuable

      …..I still know half a season does not make a player. As we’ve all witnessed many have come up at the tail end of a losing season and looked pretty good only to settle in at average or below.

      I am not predicting that will be the case for our newly beloved 17 as he has the requisite plate discipline you need to be an All-Star level player in this league.

    2. This is why we all need to take those rankings with a grain of salt. The core 4 of the last championship team were not ranked very highly before they were promoted and Utley only once achieved a top 100 ranking, and that was at # 81. Howard was not ranked in the preseason rankings before he was called up in 2004 and the year he was called up, Hamels was ranked around 70.

      Their is institutional bias against right-handed hitting first basemen. I get why this is but I think it’s way overblown.

  36. How about JP’s night huh…huh…where ya’ll haters at now….LOL

    he’s simplyu going to be a really good player in this league for many seasons. Probably not too many All Star teams but who cares. I think the kid knows how to play winning team baseball.

    1. Don’t want to make too much of a deal about one game but I do think it shows the contrast between Galvis and Crawford. Galvis just doesn’t get on base enough.

  37. Reviewing again the SP coming available there are some really solid options out there


    If you wanted to pass on a big number for Arrieta and try and get two of the others it wouldn’t be a bad strategy.

  38. My wish for a 2018 lineup

    Kingery 2B
    Crawford SS
    Herrara CF
    Hoskins 1B
    Williams RF
    Altherr LF
    Franco 3B
    Alfaro C



    Galvis (starts 2-3 times a week at 2B-SS-3B)

    Start at LV


  39. Senator, You may very well get your lineup by August. I still think that Cesar starts the season at 2B. I don’t see the SP that Cesar brings back that is worth much. Maybe Cesar and a couple of mid-level prospects, but I can’t guess which team that is or what they could offer. The LA teams seem like a possible fit, but we are not getting back a Major League SP. I also see an additional BP arm acquired.

    1. If someone gets Cesar for mid-level prospects they are going to get a steal.

      I think the Phillies will either trade him as part of a deal to get a pitcher or impact hitter or will trade him for guys in the lower minors with higher upsides and longer Rule 5 clocks.

      1. Right now I can see three teams perhaps having a need for him…the two LA teams and the Tigers.
        Naturally they will never surrender their top one or two pitching prospects for him….but I think the Phillies could get any pitcher below that level…maybe even two pitcher from a team.
        I think the Tigers would give up Burrows and maybe LHP Soto also.
        I assume, like most everyone else that has reported on Klentak’s interview on Friday, that pitching is what they are after.

      2. Catch we have to release him. We have ty cobb replacing him. Romus said he has little value. I think we should just let him go and make his own deal with other club. No one on here thinks he will bring anything so do the right thing and release him

        1. rocco….thats funny.
          Cesar has value….but if keeps on sliding into home plate and the bases like he did last night in the 9th inning…oh man, I can see it slowly eroding :).

          1. Yeah, there’s no question that he and Odubel do more than their fair of boneheaded things. It’s gotten a bit better this year with Cesar but he’s not all the way there.

            That said, can anybody ever remember watching a team that made more stupid and unforced errors on the base paths than this team? Game after game after game they make multiple unforced outs on the base paths and get nailed trying to take an extra base that just isn’t there. It’s a real indictment of the coaching and it’s not flattering for the players either.

            1. Amen…never in my lifetime…between Cesar and Doobie…they run the base paths like they were mined with M18 Claymores.
              I remember when Astros Brett Myers stuck his tongue out at jason Werth when he led off second and got picked off…and I thought that was comically sad, but these last two years its been like a circus.

  40. My off-season moves, in free agency:

    Go hard, as it works out, on Tampa Bay Rays 1B/OF Logan Morrison, SP Alex Cobb and RP’s Steve Cishek and Sergio Romo. Morrison, on a 2 year deal, is the power left-handed bat to slot in behind Hoskins. Cobb is as good of a starting pitcher as the Phils will spring for. Phils won’t and probably shouldn’t invest heavily in a true closer so Cishek and Romo compete with Neris for the job.

    – – – – –
    Trade Cesar Hernandez and P’s Ricardo Pinto and Alberto Tirado to the Dodgers for LHP Scott Kazmir, INF Logan Forsythe, P Mitchell White and OF Starling Heredia. Free up the Phils’ logjam at 2B for a possible front end starter, a versatile infielder who can challenge at 3B and 2 really good prospects (White, Heredia) who don’t yet require roster spots on the 40-man)

    Trade prospects who don’t require roster protection (eg. Damek Tomscha, Kyle Young, Luke Leftwich, Austin Bossart, Joey Denato, Kyle Martin) to the Yankees for better prospects who require 40-man roster protection — OF’s Billy McKinney or Jack Cave (not both), INF Thairo Estrada and P’s Bryan Mitchell and Giovanny Gallegos.

    1. You probably can get White and Heredia from the Dodgers for just Cesar alone.
      Tirado will not be protected in November, so his value is minimal.
      Forsythe would be a good pick-up but you will need more than Cesar and Pinto to get him along with White and Heredia.
      34-year old Scott Kazmir……I assume you want him, just to take their contract off of their hands and not to pitch. His 60 day DL ends in Novemebr like Evonne elses.
      He now has an hip issue and pitching in 2018 is some concern.

      1. I value White and Heredia more than you do, apparently, and Forsythe a lot less. In LA there’s a question whether they will pick up his option for ’18 and they are in search of a second baseman. I like him as a utility infielder and a guy you could stick at 3B when needed.

        Logan Morrison is the type of left handed power bat the Phils need to protect Hoskins. If Hoskins represents the threshold for successful LF play, than Morrison with his history can meet the standard.

        Thinking that a Altherr/Herrera/Williams OF can make it through a season intact ignores the history of Williams and Altherr. Would love to see the Phils move Joseph but there are enough AB’s to go around for Hoskins/Morrison/Altherr/Herrera/Williams covering 1B, the DH when needed and 3 OF slots.

        The Yankees get a pittance for the prospects they need to protect from the Rule 5 but can’t. So there is no thought of matching value; instead just offering more value than the $100,000 they get for each player selected in the Rule 5. This is not an idle concern as 4 players were selected from the Yankees’ organization in 2016.

    2. Tomscha, Leftwich, Bossart, Denato and Martin are all org prospects – they have no value at all. Young has a little value – but very little at this point.

    3. I like these moves with the exception of Lomo…that guy can barely play 1B and Hoskins is going to be your everyday player at that spot.

    4. Why trade for borderline prospects who can be exposed to Rule 5 if the Phils have a similar roster crunch problem? If these Yankees prospects get exposed, then just select them from Rule 5 (if the Phils like them) and the Phils don’t lose anything other than $100k.

      1. No, picking through Rule 5 as a habit is what you do when you haven’t planned ahead. I would avoid it and look to add the type of player you could get in the Rule 5 by a trade beforehand and maintain roster flexibility.

        The Phils aren’t deep on their 40 man roster, except on this website. If you have McKinney, you don’t even think about keeping Pullin, Tocci and perhaps Cozens. If you have Estrada then you end consideration of protecting Valentin, Alvarez, perhaps Florimon. Mitchell is a more advanced version of Nick Pivetta. Gallegos pushes Rios, Therrien and Tirado down or off the list.

  41. I agree with Cobb and think 1 of those RPs can also be on their radar, but I don’t know where LoMo plays. They are happy, I think, with Williams/Doobie/Altherr as the OF.

  42. Hoskins is playing like he is making up for lost time. Incredible hitting 17 HR since mid August.
    Reminds me of Ryan Howard when he came up.

  43. Who is the Angels Pitching coach ? There RA is Good without having stud Pitcher’s. Here’s the way I see the off season playing out .
    Pitching needs …….. # 1 or 2 vet sp since there’s about 6 TOR pitchers in the entire league one Is Darvish who is a FA . while his health has 1 stike his age will be here’s my top 3
    Dallas Keuchel ….. he’s hits the FA 2019 Houston has a truck load of young pitchers plus if Peacock for Real .
    Lynn he’s walks a ton but it doesn’t seem to matter . This Era is 3.02 his health is good .
    Darvish there’s not a lot of Vg pitchers out there that are available.
    The bp needs at least 2 proven pitchers one with Closer experience.
    I get the feeling Cooch maybe be back.
    3rd base
    1 Franco
    2 Eugenio Suarez
    Todd Frazier

  44. Your comment is awaiting moderation. Jim or else I wrote a post and this is the header that is atop of it. It didn’t post ty .

  45. Keith Law released a list of Prospects Who Have Lost The Most Ground In 2017 The Milwaukee foursome of Corey Ray, Isan Diaz, Lucas Erceg, and Trent Clark top the list. Also making appearances: Jay Groome, Austin Meadows, Mickey Moniak, Blake Rutherford, Delvin Perez, Ariel Jurado, and Sean Reid-Foley.

    Law on Moniak … “The first overall pick in 2016 went to low-A this year at age 19 and struggled badly, particularly against lefties (.179/.236/.248) as well as generally struggling to pick up off-speed stuff from all pitchers. His overall line reflects an August/September collapse that could be the fatigue of a teenager playing his longest-ever season, but even heading into the last month, he was underperforming expectations. His value is largely tied up in his ability to hit, as he’s a good but not superlative defender and his current swing won’t lead to much power.”

    Law on Rutherford … “Taken 18th overall in 2016 by the Yankees, Rutherford was widely seen as one of the best pure bats in the class, but with limited value on defense and some skepticism about his upside because he turned 19 before finishing high school.

    Rutherford’s swing hasn’t changed, but it didn’t produce much impact, with a .260/.326/.348 line around a late-July trade to the White Sox. Like Moniak, he’s still young enough (20 now) to regain the lost status, but unlike Moniak, he doesn’t have a position in the middle of the field to help him.”

  46. Tom Ley on Deadspin.cpm feels like MLB will be all bark and no bite on an “under the table” long term agreement for Shohei Otani.
    “I’m not sure the commissioner’s office would have much success trying to void a second-year contract extension for Otani, given that many star players, like Andrew McCutchen and Madison Bumgarner, have chosen to sign pre-arbitration extensions early in their careers. If a team decides that Otani is worth that kind of investment, how is the league going to tell them no?”

    1. Great piece. This off season promises to be intriguing on so many fronts. Honestly, MLB needs to get its head out its assinine international rule book.

    2. McCutchen and Bumgarner are US citizens, obviously Otani comes under a different category under the international,
      Also it is specifically written in the new CBA in Attachment 46 of the 2017 MLB CBA
      International Amateur Talent System what the requirements and conditions are that need to be met by each club
      No team or owner, is going to go into court to challenge their own league since the CBA already exists to handle this situation.
      IMO, Otani signs for two years and then becomes a free agent @ age 25 is the only way i see it happening.
      The league would put themselves in a very precarious situation if they make any exemptions for one player.

  47. If the Phillies come up empty in the Shohei Otani sweepstakes … there’s always Japan’s 1B player. Pitcher Shintaro Fujinami (also 23 YO) isn’t coming over this winter, but he probably will join MLB some time between 2019 and 2021. Fujinami in HS was considered a better prospect than Otani. Otani and Fujanami were the first two picks in the 2012 NPB draft.

      1. TonyCurry….don;t laugh…look at Eric Thames of the Brewers.
        I think it t is the kimchee……makes them stronger to launch missiles at great exit velocities and high angles…except our Hy Kim’s missiles have not got off the launch pad yet..

  48. Just checked post allstar stats and Nick Williams leads the club in hits, runs, triples(tie), rbi and strikeouts. Williams even has more hits than Hoskins in the last 30 days. What a turn around from last season. I really like an outfield of Williams, Herrera and Altherr going forward.

    1. I like it for next year – but Williams has to work on his fielding a lot and needs to continue to evolve at the plate. I have to give Williams a hell of a lot of credit, however. Everything that was a knock on Williams last year (his plate discipline, his over-swinging, his attitude) he has worked on very, very hard. He has truly impressed me with his desire to improve and with the results he has had.

      As for Altherr, he just needs to keep playing and stay healthy – he also has to continue working on keeping his swing short and being quick to the ball. His recent negative defensive WAR numbers are a bit of a mystery to me since he came up as great defender and should not have slowed down. I can’t understand why he is in left field and Williams is in right field – they should be switched. Altherr seems to play much better in right than he does in left and he’s a better fielder than Williams period. The lesser fielder (Williams) should be in left.

  49. On June 30th the deal Amaro made with the Rangers on the Hamels trade look liked a real bust…..10 weeks later it doesn’t look as bad now.
    If Thompson can slow his descent and start picking it up, maybe it will be a win-win all around on the deal.
    Alf has the potential and raw tools to still succeed…and Eickhoff has to get healthy again.

    1. and imagine if BOS signed off to that Uncle Cholly “preferred package” of Owens, Coyle and highlighted by Swihart.

      Both the regression of Eickhoff and Thompson this year is i think the biggest concern. Eickhoff has the look of a solid #3 and Thompson is supposed to be a #2/#3 with a wipe out SL and pitching 2.32ERA and 1.07 WHIP before getting promoted to the big leagues. Williams surprising success is a welcome development.

    2. Look, I’m trying to be realistic about this deal.

      Eickhoff is a nice back-end pitcher if he’s healthy – we’ll see. I love his fight and mound presence and curve – those things are real. But he needs to throw his FB 91-93 to keep batters honest. If he’s at 88, he’s probably a goner.

      Asher is gone.

      Alfaro has huge pitch recognition problems and gets himself out with breaking pitches. If he doesn’t adjust, he’s a back-up catcher, at best. I say make him Knapp’s back-up plus next year and see if he develops. What choice do they have? But, so far, the tools aren’t translating into performance.

      Thompson is a soft-tossing disaster. I have no idea what they are going to do with him, but I’m not optimistic. Maybe they should try him in the pen – because you never know how much velocity a guy will gain when you do that. Did anyone ever expect to see Adam Morgan throwing 97 MPH? I didn’t. Anyway, he’s very close to being a complete bust at this point.

      Williams is a very pleasant surprise so far. He had some (and still has) big issues and he’s apparently worked very hard to address them. We will learn a ton about Williams next year as he gets more at bats, the league gets a chance to adjust to him fully, and he figures out if he can improve his fielding and plate discipline. If he turns into a perennial 3-4 WAR player and we don’t get production from anyone else, it will make the trade okay. If Williams can play at that level and Eickhoff can develop into a solid 3 or Alfaro develops into a first division regular (they have a second division regular already, they don’t need another), the trade is plus.

      1. Oh yeah, and if we can parlay some of the players from the Hamels trade into a trade for a player we really want or need, then the trade will have served it’s purpose as well.

      2. I think we also need to take into account what Hamels has done…Eickhoff, while he was pitching, was almost as valuable as Hamels. Hamels K rate has plummeted this year and his velocity has dropped off a bit. He’s always done a nice job of inducing weak contact, but if he’s striking out 6 batters per 9 innings, is he really that valuable?

        I am low man on Alfaro because I don’t believe he has the discipline to be a ML regular, but if the Rangers offered back Hamels for the package we gave them, I think I turn it down. Williams has been a legit hitter at age 23 (he just turned 24) and if Eickhoff regains most of his velocity he’s a #4 starter who can masquerade as a #3 for stretches. Both of them are under team control for a while. Hamels’ contract is up after next year but there’s potential he locks himself into a $24M year in 2019 as a below average pitcher.

        We can’t know for certain what other deals were out there for Hamels, but I don’t see how the one we made is anything less than break-even.

    3. romus I am guessing you haven’t seen Thompson pitch? He is horrible. unless he is hurt. fire that scout who recommend him today.

          1. I hope, for the scout’s sake, the answer is simply that, for reasons nobody can understand, he lost 4 MPH on his FB (which happens all the time). Honestly, I think that might be what happened here because we were told he was a much harder thrower than this.

      1. rocco……no I have never seen him pitch….how is he?
        Seriously…..Thompson’s slider was suppose to be his out pitch. In 2016 at LHV he was dominant…..130 innings -WHIP 1.09.
        He lost it this year and has struggled.
        If he ever gets any consistency with it, he could still be a back-end starter.
        He may get 3 more starts this season…..if he can have three quality starts, perhaps he may have some value in barter.

    4. there’s a high probability that Thompson will follow Asher’s fate. Klentak might trade him for PTBNL or cash.

      I’m not that high on McClure and I think he’s expandable. The Phils has been burning $$ for 1-year rentals, why just not use that $$ to hire the best coach available – pitching, hitting, base running, etc. A top end coach probably earn around $2-3M.

      The Phils have good scout in SA and JA, spent $$ in analytics team and infrastructure and some million $ for a baseball academy. With a lot of young players in their line up – top end coaches (and possibly a better skipper) is a must for the Phils.

      1. KuKo….on McClure’s resume I see Nola, Morgan, Luis Garcia, Edubray Ramos and Hoby Milner.. And even Neris has seem to rebound from his earlier struggles this season. You have to take the good with the bad sometimes.
        But getting a new PC could still be a good thing and should not cost as much as you would think. There is Dave Lundquist at LHV who may be ready….why not him?

        1. @Romus – Nola is already expected to be MLBer and the development of his pitches is what you normally expect regardless of the pitching coach.

          Luis Garcia and Edubray Ramos have live arms and already projected as high leverage arms even before they join the big leagues. Both struggled big time when McClure handled them. Milner was developed as a potential LOOGY during his time in the minors by adjusting his arm slot.

          I will credit the reinvention of Morgan and Neris to McClure, although Neris has been going thru that same struggles from time to time that Garcia and Ramos had.

        2. the arms that i will hold McClure accountable will be – Eickhoff, VV, Lively, Pivetta, Eflin, Jake, Leiter and Pinto. Lively has been holding his own, but he’s been like that in the high minors. Eickhoff and VV – they regress. Pivetta, Eflin, Jake has been solid before they work with McClure but now they’re struggling. Pinto carried his stuff in the big leagues, but he is not making good strides in his control. i don’t care much about Leiter.

          1. You cannot pick and choose.
            He is the pitching coach of everyone not just the ones that are having bad seasons.
            Injuries are a factor that you cannot hold also against him.
            And that would be the group consisting of Velasquez, Eflin and Eickhoff…since you do not when the injuries actually began affecting their productivity.
            Pinning every bad pitchers performance on McClure’s tutelage is not reasonable.
            But not withstanding, IMO, I till think he may move on anyway after the season..

            1. @romus – how can you say that i pick and choose? we’re talking about a pitching coach that is crucial in the development of a young and developing pitching arm. So do you credit McClure for Hamels because McClure was the pitching coach for a couple of years? how about those scrubs – McGowan, SOS and waiver arms pick up that stinks? do you make McClure accoutable for that too?

              Nola is the only exception i made together with the pitchers that are already up before McClure becomes the pitching coach. McClure joined the Phils starting the 2014 season. Tell me who i miss? name anybody (notable) that’s in the 40-man roster that played with the Phils that i exclude?

              deFratus, Diekman, Bastardo, BJ, Hollands are Dubee era, they are pretty much finished products when McClure managed them in 2014.

              2015 arms are araujo, aumont, SevGon, murray, ogando, giles, luis garcia, neris. Nola got promoted and Eickhoff came from Hamels trade

              2016 arms vinny, jake, ramos, morgan, asher, eflin, joely

              2017 arms lively, leiter, pivetta, arano, pinto, reinvented morgan, milner, rios and some 2016 holdovers

              if we include the ex-Phils arms, looks like it was only Giles and Diekman are notable. maybe Giles but i don’t think that McClure developed him.

            2. My point……sometimes a pitching and hitting coach are not as valuable in the development of a player as you may think…once that specific player has already reached the MLB level.
              In the lower minors and college most if not all pitchers are developing what will get them to the majors….and it is reflected in all their peripherals.
              Sometimes people may mix up what the coach may be teaching with what actually is the player gaining experience and learning from his own failures …his lesson learned..

            3. I judge coaching at all levels and all sports by whether or not players are making atleast some growth and improvement ( ie their changeup is getting better, their walk rate is getting better etc)
              I don’t see enough improvement in pitching growth or performances to keep a job that only 30 people in the world have and hundreds aspire to.
              I don’t think the line ” its not his fault” is acceptable for a major league coach
              I’m also concerned because the key pitch in baseball after the fastball is the changeup and I see no improvement in that pitch other than Nola.
              too much reliance on curveballs as the primary offspeed pitch. A difficult pitch to master and consistently control.

            4. @romus – i believe in the value of “coaching in general” across all levels. the “degree of coaching” is what is crucial is the players development.

              early in the athlete’s career, the good coaches are mostly the “tactical” ones – the one that knows ant X’s and O’s, can identify strenghts and weaknesses and fix them. they focus mostly on techniques and working of physical abilities. once the athlete’s becomes a “finished product”, the coaching becomes “strategical” where we now start to see that good coaches becomes a mentor more than a X and O guru.

              so i don’t agree with you when you say that coaching (in this case pitching) is not valuable in the players development. i don’t see any successful athlete that do not have a coach. and if they are not valuable as you say, then why teams hire them anyway?

            5. A buddy of mine is the head coach of the Durham Bulls, I can say from speaking with him that coaching at the MiL level is more in depth then the coaching at the ML level. Obviously they still perform a duty however it’s not as much as we may think/believe.

  50. My preference is for the Phils to sign a pitcher like Darvish or Lynn and another reliable veteran pen arm – maybe Bryan Shaw, Addison Reed, Jake McGee or even Nicasio. Otani is in the top of my wish list although I still see Otani waiting until some point where he can sign for big $$ unless a team can do a work around the current rules.

    Putting Otani aside, I can see Klentak continue to do his current MO of doing marginal improvements here and there while cleansing the 40-man roster with borderline talent(s). I don’t expect Klentak to do a big FA signing this offseason but I can see Klentak doing a lot of Asher-like goodwill trades. I give the following borderline players the following probability to be traded or DFAd.

    a) ToJo – Traded – 100%. To AL team, probably a small market like KC.
    b) Tirado – DFAd – 100%. A team will pick him in the waivers and Klentak will trade him for cash or PTBNL or something similar to Cordero
    c) JDT – DFAd – 100%. Expected to be out for a year.

    d) Kelly and Curtis – DFAd – 100%
    e) Florimon and Siegrist – Non tendered – 100%
    f) Perkins – DFAd – 50%. He can still play as bench OF but the Phils might want to for a proven veteran OF bat or might prefer protecting Pullin over him.

    g) Cesar – Traded – 50%. He will not get the most trade value because teams value him less than anybody here. Klentak will package some prospects like Taveras, Canelo or Eliezar Alvarez to maximize return.
    h) Eliazar Alavarez – Traded – 50%, DFAd – 50%
    i) Appel – DFAd – 30%

    j) Lieter and Thompson – DFAd 30%, Traded – 50%
    k) Quinn – DFAd – 10%, Traded – 40%

    Klentak’s dealing and wheeling will also depend on how many more prospects he wants to protect from Rule V. With the MLB ready prospects already up, I give the following probability to these prospects to be added in the 40-man.

    1. Kilome – 100%
    2. Dominguez – 100%
    3. Tocci – 80%
    4. Davis – 60%
    5. Taveras – 50%. His value is high right now and I can see him being packaged in a trade deal (i.e. Cesar + Taveras for some players and prospects)
    6. Pullin – 40%

    1. It’s a mark of a team lacking in depth if Pullin and Tocci are protected. Look around baseball to see how other teams handle prospects who actually hit well at AAA. Putting it another way, the 40 man roster is where teams hope to protect as many top 20 prospects as possible. Few would put Pullin and Tocci in that category. I’d put Pullin at 0 and Tocci at 15 %, depending on other moves. The pitcher %’s seem about right.

    2. You have no idea want Curtis or Siegrist has yet. Lieter has been better the Pivetta or VV .I think deal VV or Pivetta in a trade . Kelly and Florimon will be resigned if there DfR to a minor league contract . JDT and Rios are FA at the end of the yr. Perkins you DFR then resign ,Davis is hurt . Really Ceaser, Galvis , Rupp , and some of the Bp arms will be traded.

    1. agree, Lieter is probably the #34/35 man in the 40-man so he has a really good chance to stay. Although I give a 50% chance of being traded since Lieter has a profile of a innings eater and teams normally look for those type (and the Phils has an abundance) so Lieter might be part of a trade package or part of a goodwill deal like Asher.

      1. Say next yrs starting rotation looks like this. 1A Dallas Keuchel, 2ALynn, 3A Darvish ,Nola, Lively , VV ,Pivetta . Here’s who going to fighting for # 3 #4 #5. Lively , Eickhoff, VV, Pivetta, Taveras, Eshelman, Anderson, Liebrandt. VV shown he can’t stay healthy , Eickhoff has to prove he’s back, Pivetta has to prove he can get past 5 ings. Lively in as off now ,VV and Pivetta might be in the bp.

        1. Tim…ahh, and how do you suppose the Phillies end up with Dallas Keuchel?
          He is a free agent in 2019.

            1. He is not signed to long term since he still is in his arb years…….this will be his final arb year, so expect the long term deal from the Astros.

          1. The stors have alot of young Pitching Peacock might be the real deal. They also have Verlander contract which is Hugh.

        2. Another opinion from MLBTR:
          2:32 Hey Jeff. With the Phillies in desperate need of pitching, who should they go after? Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb in free agency, or Gerrit Cole or maybe Chris Archer? They have the prospects to get a trade done. Not looking forward to another “Hellickson” type pitcher coming in
          Jeffrey Todd
          2:33 The good thing about Hellickson was that he didn’t require a lengthy commitment. Neither Lynn nor Cobb have terribly exciting peripherals, and are likely better suited to a team that is ready to win and just needs those solid innings. Cole doesn’t have enough control left to justify the price for Philly. Archer would be great, but every other team in baseball feels the same way.
          2:34 They are willing to spend near-term money to take a risk on a veteran, but have rightly avoided the long-term deals. And I don’t think that should change unless it’s a youthful, impactful player. I do think the Phils will be pretty aggressive in looking into the trade market — same kind of deal we’ve loooong heard rumored re the Braves.
          2:35 Regardless, it’s probably reasonable to expect they will at least look at some bounceback types (Brett Anderson, old friend Clay Buchholz, etc)

          1. See I heard different no more Hellickson type pitchers ,there going big .Lynn has excellent stats there’ s only 20 mlb Sp pitchers under 4.00 era he’s one. Archer ? His era over 4.00 ever since his elbow injury he’s been getting rocked.

  51. As expected, Keith Law got some Shohei Otani questions today (including one from me). Here are some highlights:

    Adam: It has been speculated that Otani’s free agency will be a situation “where money almost literally isn’t a factor,” due to the new signing rules. But the difference between $300k and $10mil is still a lot of money, even for Otani, right?
    Keith Law: Of course it is. Two thoughts on Otani: One, I saw absolutely nothing this week to indicate that he’s any more likely to be posted next month than he was a few days ago. There was one completely unsourced report out of Japan … and that’s it. He may very well come over, but this was a non-story. Two, a team can sign Otani to a short-term deal with a forced non-tender clause, which most NPB free agents had in their contracts, so they’d become MLB free agents after just three or four years here. Hell, if I were GM of a contender with the cap room, I’d offer Otani one year at the maximum allowed salary and agree to nontender him at the end of the year.

    Hinkie: Can you please explain what MLB means when it says it “intends to be vigilant in enforcing the rules and will scrutinize any efforts to skirt them” when it comes to the Shohei Otani Sweepstakes. Is this even serious or will some team still have an “under the table” long term arrangement with Otani ?
    Keith Law: No idea how MLB can stop anyone who doesn’t explicitly violate the CBA.

    Law also got in his weekly shot at Nick Williams.

    Leo: Nick Williams hasn’t really slowed down. He’s running a high BABIP though in a small sample…is his season encorauging at least?
    Keith Law: Not to me – same poor pitch recognition as ever.

    1. Hinkie,
      Like I mentioned earlier…..Otani may sign for one or two years with a team and if non-tendered, then he becomes a free agent.
      Anything else will open up a MLB investigation which they will find some minute form of collusion to make their case.
      As for penalizing MLB teams that skirt the CBA……my guess, it will be worse than the Red Sox penalty.
      Forfeiture of a number one Rule 4 pick could be the blow….but if you are the Yankees./Dodgers or Red Sox…losing say the 30th pick is no big deal or then again it could be a $300K max threshold signing int’l penalty for more than two years.
      But right now the penalty poses no deterrent.
      If MLB comes out and states on the Otani situation what the penalty will be….and if severe enough, teams will shy away until after he reaches 25 years old if he is a free agent by then.

    2. I think that is being overly harsh on Williams. In the end, despite potential warning signs in terms of command of the strike zone as a hitter, Production is still production until he stops producing.
      He’s had 2 good months of production and has shown an ability to pull himself out of funks.
      He’s also shown the excellent bat speed he was supposed to have and an ability to use the entire field with extra base power.
      That has to be worth something for god’s sake.
      Now the questions is if you’re the Phillies, do you sell high on Williams in a trade package for quality starting pitching help or do you believe in him long term?

    3. Player A: 283 PA, .300/.353.502, 6/27.2 BB/K, .361 wOBA
      Player B: 285 PA, .280/.340/.479, 7.4/15.4 BB/K, .353 wOBA

      The first is Nick Williams, enjoying a fine rookie season despite KLaw’s warnings about pitch recognition.

      The second is Maikel Franco in the first 285 plate appearances of his fine rookie season. His numbers are far more pedestrian since.

      This isn’t to say that Williams will regress to where Franco has, but it does illustrate that Law’s warnings about pitch recognition can’t be ignored. Once big league pitchers diagnosed Franco’s weaknesses, they fed him a steady diet that he can’t seem to stay away from.

      Williams will have to learn to recognize pitches better in order to survive the inevitable adjustments pitchers will make.

      1. Agree…with your finding.And still cannot grasp how a power guy like Franco, with only a 15% K rate, is not producing appreciably better. Williams on the other hand, at 27% is probably going to regress at some point like you say, unless he can make adjustments..

  52. I choose to be pro- Nick Williams, KLaw notwithstanding. I would like to see better Defense, and, of course, he needs to work on his pitch selection, but I like his attitude, and the strides that I have seen, and his stroke, and he gets an every day job here next year starting from day 1. I put him in LF and Altherr in RF.

    1. Yeah, absent an unexpected development, I’d like to see where we stand after about 80 games or so with an Altherr, Williams, Herrera outfield in 2018.

      1. I agree unless the opportunity arises to put one ( Williams and Altherr in particular) in a trade for a TOR starter.

    2. Why Mack continues to play Williams in RF and Altherr in LF is as much a mystery as why he batted Freddy second for almost 90% of the season.
      The only thing I can think of is that Nick Williams played RF in LHV for 37 games, CF in 10 games and LF for only 17 games. And he is going by FLD% and Williams lowest was in LF.

      1. That’s because Mack and 5 yr old boys are the only people who still judge players by total errors, home runs and rbi like on the back of a 1970’s baseball card

  53. But, Altherr has always been touted as a plus Defender, even when he was coming through the system, and we had no clue if he could hit. Freddy is not, at all, a #2 hitter, and batting him 2nd is putting him in the worst position for success. I get that Mac loves him, and he plays GG SS and is a good guy, but, even on this team, he should bat 7th.

    1. matt – we’re mostly agree in a lot of points and this one is no different. i view this season as purely development stage of the next winning Phillies team so i focus more on the actual performance of the young core than Pete’s moves as the skipper. I don’t agree in a lot of Pete’s decision in the line up, which IMO, should show the FO that he is not the right man to lead the Phillies in their next run of contention.

      So it is up to the FO to set the tone and the timeline and communicate to the rest of the organization that they need to stop their goofy acts and think better of their performance because they need to be good if they want to win. Pitching and base running areas should be in Klentak’s crosshairs.

  54. I’ve watched a lot of games lately and while I don’t see gold glove from Nick Williams, can someone explain to be the consensus that he needs to improve a lot on defense? Other than one day game against Miami, I would say he has made some outstanding catches. He has, in my opinion, been totally fine out there. But I may be missing something.

    1. Can understand that…the ‘eye test; says one thing and the metrics reveal something different. The opposite relates to Doobie in CF…many people think by the eye test he is poor , but his metrcis reveal an outstanding CFer.
      Williams according to BP’s FRAA is:
      2016-LHV- 125 games ….positive 3.8
      2017-LHV-78 games……..positive 6.8
      2017-Phillies-66 games…negative 5.7
      Go figure.
      FRAA is BP’s ….Fielding Runs Above Average is ..players ” defensive metric created using play-by-play data with adjustments made based on plays made, the expected numbers of plays per position, the handedness of the batter, the park, and base-out states”.

      1. mathematicians normally say that numbers don’t lie, but what they don’t say is that these stats are dependent of certain “assumptions” that wrong application of these assumptions can skewer the numbers into different directions.

        normally, the numbers supports the physical abilities of the athletes (i.e, Trout’s statistics should be one of the best since he is the best player in the league and so with Scherzer and Kershaw). When the numbers contradicts the eye test (physical abilities), it doesn’t necessary mean that the analytics guys are crazy or the scouts/player development are wrong. it only means that there are “outliers” that both sides did not consider, thus, the player is either over or under performing. This where a good FO comes in. Try to do a balancing act between what the statistics (analytics team) and eye test (coach, scouts, player development) indicate and try to to identify and resolve that “outlier”. This is what separate the FO from the fans, because most fans tend to go only in one side of the equation depending what makes them look smarter.

      2. Romus, a question on FRAA – is it possible that what the stat says is that Williams is on average 5.3 above AAA average and 5.7 below MLB average? are the FRAA benchmarks different by League?

        1. IHeart…yes, that is how I understand them to be.
          However, from the defensive side , the difference between AAA and MLB for OFers, IMO, is minimal since almost all the plus AAA defensive OFers can easily transition into a MLB outfield without any difficulties.
          And yes they take in park factors.
          Now you will also have SABR’s SDI metrics and Fangraph’s and BR defensive metrics to add to the whole picture.
          i just did not want to go and look up all his stats i=under each of them……though SABR is mostly MLB and not MiLB data..

      3. People must be using different “eyes” than I am. Does Odubel occasionally do a stupid thing in the outfield or look a little awkward. Yes, but only occasionally. What I see is a dude who is fast as heck, gets great jumps on balls and routinely catches balls that others can only dream of getting to. He’s an outstanding defensive outfielder – a 2 WAR defensive player, which means if he gets close to hitting his peak on offense, you’re looking at a 5 or 6 WAR player (he’s a 4 WAR player as it is). Not only that, but he can get hot for months on end and carry a team with his bat. Not many good defensive outfielders can do that. People should stop focusing all of their frustrations with this team on him. He is an asset, not a liability. Let’s move on to the team’s real weakness – the starting rotation.

        1. The question I oft ask myself is could Herrera land me Chris Sale (the equivalent of contract and performance) and in doing so could Kingery play CF until the right deal came along for Cesar…

          1. Basically Moncada landed Chris Sale….he was the number one MLB prospect at the time….along with a premier prospect pitcher like Kopech.
            Perhaps Doobie lands you a Giolito plus another as Eaton did.

          2. Would you be happy with AJ Puk? Billy Beane would like Doobie’s contract for sure, and could find a place for him in the OF.

            1. It might be there is no need to do anything in a trade. You can sign 2 top 20 pitchers this FA season in Lynn and Cobb and call it a day heck if you really want to get crazy sign Arrieta too

    1. On cue he did but he also sat 93 most of the night and the slider seemed to be the one I saw when we first got him in Reading.

  55. Cesar’s market value may take a hit with so many out there.
    Whats the market look like for Dee Gordon?
    Jeffrey Todd
    Sooo many second basemen. Walker, Kendrick, Phillips, Nunez among FA options. You have Kinsler, Lowrie, maybe Forsythe, Cesar Hernandez, others as trade candidates.

    1. You can say that Cesar is younger, controllable, still improving, & will cost less than the others through arbitration.

      By those metrics, he should have a higher value.

      Otherwise, I am fine if they decide to keep him another year, while finding a spot for Kingery to play.

  56. I agree KuKo, they have to be able to determine which is the real player when the stats and “eye” test/scouting disagree. Williams looks good to me so I will stick with that. Meanwhile Hoskins hits #18 and Alfaro with a bomb. Our old friend Vanimal received a very rude welcome tonight.

  57. And Romus, on Cesar, that trade market/FA market for 2B is saturated. I don’t see him bringing a lot back. Not knocking Cesar, but is he that much better than the 2d or 3rd choice that a team would give up a mid-rotation SP?

    1. Yeah, a bit of a surprise. Can’t say they didn’t do any moving around since Kingery is now top 100.

    2. Actually, 7 Phillies – Haseley is #93.

      You shouldn’t be surprised to see Moniak as the top pick. More often than not, reputations on these lists are as important as performance. When you’re drafted 1/1, that will carry you on these lists for a few years.

      But when you’re a lowly drafted right-hand hitting first baseman, like Rhys Hoskins, you’re lucky to get to #66. So you’ve got to take these rankings with a grain of salt. Does anyone in his or her right mind think that there were 65 players in the minors better than Rhys Hoskins? Of course not! As it turns out, I’d be surprised if there were 5 and you could easily say now he was the best player in the minors this year even if he plays first base, hits righty and is 24.

  58. So Dave Cameron (Fangraphs) hosted a mostly Shohei Ohtani chat yesterday.
    Among his highlights:
    * Ohtani will probably sign with a MLB team around Christmas time.
    * Every team has a >0% chance.
    * Teams in the middle of the country are the least likely landing place.
    * NL teams are favored because they can guarantee Ohtani he gets to bat every fifth game and can promise to use him as the primary PH for the other four starting pitchers on the days he doesn’t pitch (AL teams can’t realistically promise him DH duties).
    * Favors the Dodgers and Cubs even though they are in the J2 penalty box, and can only offer Ohtani 300 thousand dollars.
    * Cameron does throw the Phillies a bone when asked for his top 3 most likely landing places …
    ChiSox2020: Who are the top 3 favorites for Otani?
    Dave Cameron: Everyone is going to say the Yankees, Dodgers, and Cubs, just because the assumption will be big market contender with money to throw at him in a future extension. But I don’t think this is a Harper-esque situation where you can eliminate the other 27 teams. Maybe the Phillies make a really interesting pitch? Maybe Seattle pitches him on the community aspects of living in Seattle? Maybe he really wants to be teammates with Darvish and he goes wherever Yu goes?

    In the end, Cameron says Ohtani’s decision won’t be about money because no team can blow the others out of the water since he is under J2 bonus rules. This is why MacPhail should have listened to me last off-season when I suggested the Phillies hire Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto as the teams Director Of Clubhouse Food Services. Morimoto and Charlie Manuel would have served as the face of the Phillies attempt to land Ohtani. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Maybe MacKlentak has a better plan.

    1. Hinkie…..he , along with every other analyst are guessing at this point.
      They do not address the long term issue…..what happens with him after he reaches 25 years old in July 2019, and the 2020 season and beyond?
      KLaw was the only one who really touched on that aspect…with the ‘non-tendering’ scenario, but that could cause a team to be investigated,.
      Otani also could be a one or two year rental if MLB goes by what they have established under the CBA.
      You think they will make an exemption or exception for Otani……that also sets a precedent that may open up a can of worms that they may not want to happen..

  59. And now with Hoskins taking MLB by storm, the Phillies fans on are complaining that Hoskins was kept down in the minors too long and should have been brought up a lot sooner….and just not months sooner, but years.
    And one used another 5th rounder, Ryan Howard, as an example.

    1. Of course they are. Whatever happens, people will complain.

      I think the Phillies did a great job of developing Hoskins. Was his promotion delayed a little? Yes, but it was only a month or two and does it really make a difference? But I’d rather see a guy stay down a little longer and be 100 percent ready, rather than struggle and lose his footing. For this reason, I’m totally fine with Kingery getting another 150 ABs or so in the minors before he is promoted next year. I still think he has things to work on and when he gets here they can unleash him on the baseball world the way they did with Hoskins.

      1. Yeah…..i replied to one about Hoskins being right on schedule..year wise.
        But makes no difference.
        They usually do not have the time or inclination to even follow the minor leaguers and a typical prospect’s progression.

  60. Hoskins coach at Sac State was on for a good piece the other night, and lauded the way the Phils developed him. That was not just blowing smoke. He seemed like a straight shooter, no BS guy, so his opinion and the results are good enough for me. I am the first one to criticize what I think is the slow moving front office, but you guys are correct. Another month up in the Majors is meaningless in the long run. And, if that keeps Kingery in LHV for a month or 2 rather than give Cesar away for nothing, then fine. But, how do they not start JP in the Majors? The FO is going to have to move someone, aren’t they? Could JP and Kingery start at LHV?

  61. Is anybody else OK riding out an infield of Galvis, Franco, JP and Hoskins until Kingery is ready next June? I love the flexibility the lineup has right now, especially because the outfielders are versatile and Hoskins can play left.

    This offense is growing on me. Glad we got to see JP this September as well. Hoskins has really taken pressure off the rest of the guys by performing so well. Guys like Freddy, Franco, Williams and JP can just relax and not have to be the man. It has been fun to watch

    1. Except that, after Hoskins, Cesar is the best offensive player in the bunch.

      These are good problems to have, but the solutions are less than clear. I think there’s even a scenario where Hoskins stays in left – he’s been perfectly average there, which increases his value. I do know that Franco is going to have to improve and improve soon because the only reason he’s there is his potential – he has been bad this year and pretty bad last year.

  62. The good news is they don’t have to do anything necessarily. They could easily put Kingery in Triple-A to start and rotate the infield like it is now. It could be a Chase Utley-Placido Polanco type deal until we decide about Franco, Galvis and Hernandez.

    It’s not unthinkable to think this plays out like this year in that Franco or Hernandez is phased out in July or August if Kingery forces his way to the majors.

    And I would be totally OK with that.

    1. The more I think about this, the more I am okay with the notion that, unless they receive a good trade package this offseason, it might actually be healthy to have some competition at these positions until a guy establishes himself as “the man” as Hoskins has done. It seems to be working so far and give you great options off the bench.

  63. I am with you catch, I want them to concentrate on the SP. And, there is talk of the Phils being active in the trade market, but outside of the Stroman/Archer/Cole group. I have no idea what might be available that fits the next tier after that. And, what are the Braves rumored to be doing that the Phils may try also? I read that in the MBTR discussion yesterday.

    1. Like I’ve said many time on here … (as hard as it may seem to believe) there is a pretty good chance Machado plays out his contract in Baltimore, and leaves via free agency next winter. I think Angelos wants to make one more run with this group. If the O’s are even remotely involved in a WC race next season, they’ll hold on to MM at the trade deadline. Not saying I would do this. Just saying Angelos would.

    2. they would trade him if all else failed . In fact they would clear house trade Adam Jones too. This would be the yr too clean house they loose 72 mil off there playroll.they really need Sp , they have there future Outfielder’s . Yanks could start with Chance Adams , Mateo and Dillion Tate .

    1. Well … the good news is … Otani had his car parked in a garage that looks very similar to hundreds of garages found around Philadelphia. A taste of home !!!

    1. MLB put out this video…all 18 in less than 12 minutes.
      With a lot of Tom McCarthy …’it is gone’!

  64. Jon Heyman listed the top 25 free agents this fall, with predictions of teams likely to be landing spots. He has the Phillies as possibly landing either Cargo (here or Balt because of the homer friendly ball parks) or Jay Bruce, perhaps on one year deals if the corner OF market ain’t all that. No top starting pitchers or relievers on his list coming here…

    Personally, I don’t see us going for anybody other than TOR arms. After having been pushing for Moustakas, I’ve become more inclined to think Franco will get another year, and then we go hard after Manny. I do like how they are currently moving parts around the field this month. Perhaps they’re leaving ALL their options open…

    Let’s say Franco rebounds in ’18 and moves to 1b (though I’m not a believer); perhaps an outfielder gets packaged in a deal for a TOR arm, Hoskins remains viable as a future LF, etc. In any case, I think Freddy and/or Cesar will be packaged this off season or the next deadline, probably for that SP.

    This positional flexibility is what helped take the Cubs to the pinnacle. Looks like MacKlentak took notes.

    1. Depends what Sp you want Galvis and Ceaser would get you a #3 . Don’t forget Galvis is a FA in 2018 and the 2nd base market is loaded thus yr.

      1. Tim, I did say they would have to be packaged in a trade. Alone they wont’t get you squat in return.

        1. To expound, on any trade involving either Galvis or Cesar or both, this is where the organizational depth comes into play without having to give up top prospects like Sixto and Kingery.

  65. Tonight’s lineup looks like a very strong possibility for opening night 2018. Love it!

    1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
    2. Odubel Herrera, CF
    3. Aaron Altherr, LF
    4. Rhys Hoskins, 1B
    5. Nick Williams, RF
    6. Maikel Franco, 3B
    7. Andrew Knapp, C
    8. J.P. Crawford, SS

    1. Need to agree. They should let this lineup play the rest of the way.

      I would like to see JP up one spot to help turnover the lineup with his high OBP capability.

      But now, where does Kingery play in May next year? 3B, 2B, or CF?

  66. The Phillies pitching is not set other then Nola, Lively , Lieter because he can do alot of things. Bp if a team is happy with there Bp they usually don’t pick 3 of off waivers. So Milner is in why ? Because LH hitters are batting under .150 against him. Adam Morgan too Phillies finally have 2 LHP relievers . The Outfield is set the only thing that worries me does N Williams and Altherr have enough HR power.

    1. Wait a minute. Tim, you’re saying Lively and Lieter are set, but Eickhoff and Velasquez are not ? Gonna’ disagree with you on that.

      1. Eickoff and VV are hurt if they come off IR and are healthy then they get a chance to compete for a spot. VV really needs to step up 72 ings mostly bad this yr 2& 7 5.13 era . Last yr 136 ings with an injury . VV will be 26 next July he needs to show he can pitch productive 200 ings. Eickoff has to be healthy too . The Phillies said SP was there top need in the off season . Lieter because he’s can also come out of the pen.

      1. rocco….was there last night. Lieter, like his dad, really needs great location on every pitch, especially when his 4Smr sits around 90 or so. If not, you get what happened last night in the first two innings.
        Did notice, of the starting eight position players , Cesar was the veteran of the group and the oldest at 27.

        1. I thought I saw you on tv. Your were the guy with a pennstate hat eating hot dog. When you don’t have good stuff you must be perfect. I just think its a tough way to pitch.

      2. It’s about being healthy and production what has Pivetta done this yr it’s over 100 ings and he’s getting worse. Like I said Lieter can go back to the pen. Lively so far has out pitched Pivetta . Next yr it’s Nola , lively , blank , blank, Blank . The Phllies said there first goal in the off season is getting Sp .

        1. No tim right now its about development. Pivetta is out there to get better. No matter what leiter does he aint getting better. he just doesn’t have the stuff. Lively might give you innings as fifth starter on a bad team.

          1. that’s it Pivetta isn’t getting better he getting worse . The league hitting .294 against him he’s given up more hr then any PHILLIES pitcher. Ok his era per month
            April 3.60 Era
            May 5.65 Era
            June 5.65 Era
            August 11.57 Era
            September 7.88 era
            Before the All star break 2 & 4 4.73
            After the All Star break 3 & 6 8.83
            Pivetta not learning he’s getting worse.

  67. The #4 and #5 pitchers in next year’s rotation may likely be a rotation in itself. All that’s relevant to this off season is a healthy Nola, a free agent acquisition, and another starter gotten through a trade. We can talk ad nauseum about Eickhoff and the 10 young arms to fill out the rotation. Let’s hope he’s healthy and one or two rise from the shadows. Guessing who is merely tossing darts at this point. I do believe one or two young starters will (must) be moved to the bullpen since history shows that the better relievers are failed starters.

    Next off season we’ll get a big bat to compliment Hoskins, be it Harper or Machado. For now WE NEED ARMS!

    1. I wonder if we went hard after Darvish (perhaps even significantly overpaying in AAV) in order to lure Ohtani. (Btw, I’m seeing articles now with the ‘h’ added to his name.) If successful, we could then package a trade offer more easily for a #3.

      Man, I wish I had a seat in those FO meetings.

      1. Before the draft in June, you wanted to be a fly on the wall, now you want a whole seat…sheesh…there is no pleasing some people! 🙂

  68. I see Leiter in the BP as the long guy. I believe they are going to give VV and Pivetta the chance to continue to try to breakthrough as SPs. I think both, unless something really clicks, end up as back end of the BP guys. I believe that Arrieta does not get that 5/6 year contract that he wants, and I am happy to overpay him for 3.

  69. Hinkie….I know you are very high on obtaining Shohei Otani.
    However his overall batting prowess can be a little misleading.
    I saw one scout report that had him as a 70 power, 45 hit tool.
    Looking at his peripherals in hitting in the NPL….from 2013 thru 2016
    I would think that may justify that report.
    He has a 27% K rate and a 6% BB rate in a total of 929 PAs.
    With a slash line of 275/.347/491.
    Now to be fair to him….that was over a four year period and his first two years he was age 18 and 19.
    So looking at his last two years, extrapolated from the above total of 939 PAs he fares better with the added maturity and experience.
    His k rate climbed one tick to 28% but his BB rate also climbed to 12%…that delta narrowed from a total of to 21 to 16
    His slash also improved to 291/ 375/527.
    Now, though his metrics improved as he gained experience and age,
    I have to think the level of competitive pitching he faced in the NPL was not at the same caliber as that of which he will face in MLB.
    So whenever he does come over…and face MLB pitching, I would like to think he will need some time to adjust.
    Plus, the fact , he will have to also concentrate on pitching, which could take some production from his hit tool..

    1. Romus … he would be a pitcher/PH for me. IMO, while I’m sure most teams will tell Ohtani they’ll let him play both ways, no team will actually risk him to injury by letting him play the OF or even DH. Also, I’ve read numerous reports saying Ohtani will be an average-to-below average hitter in MLB.

      1. Agree.
        Teams are not going to spend millions on a player and the pitcher to risk losing him to an injury as a position player, since pitchers these days have enough injury to go around.
        As a pitcher his WHIP in over 500 innings pitched is 1.07…and most of that over 1, was when he was 18

        1. That’s why he can be DH in the American league. The Yanks , Boston , Texas, Dodgers have 1 thing over the Phillies is called winning.

      2. I would tend to agree that Ohtani won’t be the second coming of Babe Ruth. Not in today’s game. He may not even hit .250, maybe pop 25 HRs. The arm has to take priority for any club. And if so, it has to protect Ohtani from himself (and for their own benefit, of course) if he’s that ambitious.

  70. No question that he projects as a TOR arm,and most teams will be in on him. I don’t hold out much hope that we get him, but I want to see a major effort. Everyone has the $ for him because of the rules in place, so Klentak has to be very creative in his pitch, no pun intended! I don’t know how persuasive he is. I do know that the organization has not been great in the past in this area, and I want to see some of Middleton’s passion translate into acquiring major talent.

    1. matt13…there is one scenario that could play out, if MLB decides not to cave and sticks by the letter of the law of their CBA.
      The team that signs him….and it has to be to on a minor league contract from what i read, and then at age 25 he then could become a free agent, just like Machado, Harper and Kershaw wil be after 2018. For Otani, I assume, it will be after the 2019 season since he turns 25 in July 2019.
      This will give every club the opportunity to see how he has done for the first two years in the majors. If he is as good as advertised let the bidding begin and he cashes in. Now the initial team could have the advantage with his familiarity and being comfortable with them, but that may not stopped the others.

  71. More om Otani’s situation from ESPN’s Bister Olney

    “……..A theory floated is that the team that lands Otani could circumvent the financial limitations in place by assuring the player that they won’t tender him a contract after the first or second season, allowing Otani to become a free agent — with a prenegotiated deal to follow with the team that cut him free. But sources indicate that Major League Baseball would view that as an obvious attempt to effectively break the rules and would come down hard on Otani’s MLB team. “Because there’s no reasonable logic to failing to tender a contract to a young star player other than to get around the rules,” said one official.
    Otani’s situation will be highly scrutinized and commissioner Rob Manfred has made it known he wants the integrity of the current international-signing system to be honored.
    “Otani is a great player,” Manfred said the other day. “We’re always interested in having great players in Major League Baseball. From my perspective, I’m more concerned about having the right, durable system than whether a player comes this year or two years from now…..”

  72. What is Shohei Otani looking for in a new MLB home ??? Buster Olney says nobody knows.

    Also, this article on the likelihood of MLB teams letting guys (Otani, Hunter Greene, Brendan McKay) play two ways (pitch & the field). Playing both ways is very hard. Otani’s batting skills mean nothing to MLB teams – “everyone in baseball is evaluating him as a pitcher. Otani as a pitcher is incredible; everybody’s going to want him. But the hitter thing, if he didn’t hit, his desirability to a major league team would be exactly the same as it is today.” — AL team official”
    This line may sum up the article – ” if you want [a prospect] to be great at something, he’s going to have to concentrate at one or the other. If you want him to be OK at two things, he can probably do that, but you ask yourself, ‘What do we want?’ If you want an impact talent, you need him to focus on that side of the game.” — AL team official”

      1. Hah.
        Starting to think the team that signs him for next year….will really have to watch their Ps and Qs when he becomes a free agent in a few years. That team will be under a microscope in the bidding war for Otani..

    1. I think 8mark (posted yesterday) may have the best plan to land Otani. What could the Phillies offer that no other MLB team could. The answer: the ability to play with his idol Yu Darvish. If the Phillies did some investigating and found out playing with Darvish is a really big deal for Otani … then why not offer Darvish a ridiculous amount of money on a short term deal. I’m talking 3 years @ 135 million dollars. If ManKlentak were confident that Darvish would seal the deal with Otani, then you would really be getting two TOR starters for 45 million dollars per year (averages 22.5 million per pitcher). That is excellent value !!! The only thing that could make that plan even better is if the Phillies would hire Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto as Director Of Clubhouse Food Services. Let’s make this happen, Phillies !!!!

      1. hinkie…..he may be correct.
        That could be the driving force.
        Though other teams will be thinking the same I would think.
        And signing Darvish, and Otani, would round out the rotation quite well.
        Phillies would go to as one of the favorites in the NL-East.

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