Practice has been truncated and games are being played. One unanswered question, Where’s Doobie?
Crowds at the Complex remained small through the end of spring training workouts.
The minor league players already in Clearwater will be joined by the rest of their team mates for their first full squad workout on Sunday, March 4th. Their workouts until then will be dictated by the needs of major league camp. Minor league games begin on Tuesday, March 13th. A link to their schedule is in the Spring Training section below.
I’ll close the book on my opinion on the subject of an Arrieta signing, for now.
#Phly Phillies Phly!
Organizational News and Changes
Will Middlebrooks was injured in a very dramatic collision with Andrew Pullin during Saturday’s game. He suffered a broken fibula. But, where in the world is Odubel Herrera?
The Phillies have played four games, and the Phillies’ popular center fielder hasn’t set foot in the outfield. We down here are beginning to suspect that he has an arm injury.
I reported that during the first full squad workout that Herrera did not take part in outfield drills that required the outfielders to throw to second base. Instead, Herrera caught balls for the coach hitting the balls to the outfielders.
The next day, Herrera caught balls in the outfield, but did not throw them into the coach who stands behind the screen at second base collecting the balls during the drill.
Friday, Coach Kapler came out to sign for fans after his press conference. One of my buddies asked if anything was wrong with Herrera. He received a terse, “Herrera’s fine” or words to that effect. But, it was a short, clipped response.
And yet, through four games, Herrera hasn’t played an inning in the outfield, and hadn’t taken an at bat until Sunday. Through the first four games we’ve seen Danny Ortiz, Zack Coppola, Colin Cowgill, and Roman Quinn divvy up center field; Nick Williams, Andrew Pullin, Dylan Cozens, Jesse Valentin, Ortiz, Rhys Hoskins, Aaron Altherr, Matt McBride, and Cowgill manning the corners; and until today Logan Moore, McBride, Tommy Joseph, and Mitch Walding getting the DH swings.
Herrera went 0-1 Sunday with a ground out and sacrifice fly. He failed to hustle on the ground out. He just missed on the SF, making contact toward the end of his bat. Maikel Franco followed with a no-doubt-about-it HR off the back wall of the Phillies’ bullpen.
Through their three games against professional teams, I detect a troubling and common thread, reminiscent of previous seasons – a close loss, a win where the opponent scored a lot of runs, and a blow out loss. But, it’s early and just spring training.
The Phillies signed a couple more young international players – 18-year old LHP Maikel Garrido and 16-year old C Edward Barboza. I was given a site that lists a few transactions that have not been reported, yet. In addition to some FA signings, it has the promotion of a lot of current players to the next level. I’m not going to concern myself with the promotions until they are formally announced, but I’m going to add the new players to my lists with some sort of identifier until I can verify their signing by a second source. (For instance, Gabriel Lino is listed as having been signed recently. I’d like a second source on this, but it makes sense that the Phillies would sign another catcher in the wake of Eric Fryer’s retirement.)
The Phillies spring training schedule is available here.
The Phillies’ minor league spring training schedule is available here.
More Jake Arrieta
Two weeks ago, I showed how Jake Arrieta’s numbers are trending downward since his 2015 Cy Young season.
Last week, I reported the numbers discussed by MLB’s Brian Kenny (presented by his Shredder) that show that Arrieta’s WAR each year has dropped dramatically. His FB velocity has decreased by 3.0 mph. Hard hit balls have increased by almost 8%. His ground ball rate has dropped below 50%. And as his FB lost velocity, he relied on it more the past two seasons.
I see these facts as a red flag when contemplating signing Arrieta to any contract, let alone a long term contract. But, as one reader stated, Arrieta’s 2017 numbers (if they were the same in Philadelphia) would have been the second best of any pitcher on the Phillies’ staff. Should he be signed for the 2018 season, I wouldn’t argue with anyone who stated that he would be the second best pitcher on our staff this season.
I learned at the Complex, that the Phillies were talking to his agent. A fact that has been reported. I heard what the numbers being discussed. I don’t know if those were reported.
I heard a lot of permutations. One year, two years, two years with an opt out, three years, three years with an opt out, three years with two opt outs. At no time did I hear more than three. Most of the numbers were absurdly high in my estimation. I forget most, but remember 2-yrs/$50M (28 and 22). I don’t think this one had an opt out, but maybe it did.
I have stated the reasons why I am not in favor of a long term contract. Here’s why I still think one is unlikely and why I don’t think a shorter term deal can be reached.
A long term contract is unlikely because Andy MacPhail is not in favor of one. In spite of the perceived advantage by some that they had a working relationship in Baltimore, MacPhail does not like to pay for past performance.
MacPhail is more likely to do a deal for a shorter contract with a little bump in dollars, but I don’t think it will happen because of the public stance that Arrieta and Boras have taken.
- Arrieta was not interested in a 6-year/$126M deal similar to the Darvish deal.
- Arrieta wants a 6-year/$155M deal similar to the deal inked by Jon Lester in 2015.
- Arrieta is entering his age 32 season.
- This is likely to be his last chance at a big contract.
- Any shorter term contract will leave him short of the collective big money he seeks over the next six years.
- Boras has a history of holding out his players waiting for the contract he wants.
- A rotation injury in April or May to a team expecting to contend plays into Boras’ hands.
- A need for a starter at the trade deadline by a team in contention plays into Boras’ hands.
- Arrieta wants to play for a contender this season.
- I think that any details that were leaked about Phillies’ negotiations were intended to spur movement from other teams. The Brewers for one.
It was also discussed at the Complex among my friends that signing Arrieta would have the additional benefit of adding his presence and experience for the young pitchers on the staff. I argued that they had a similar experience with Hellickson the last two seasons, but conceded that a CYA winner brings a certain panache that a regular veteran can’t provide. I haven’t heard anything negative or positive regarding Arrieta as a mentor or as a teammate in the clubhouse. So, lets assume that my friends are correct about this intangible.
So, while I while I remain unconvinced, if the Phillies do sign Arrieta, I will accept that it is the best move they could have made. Color me “lemming”.
- March 29, 2018 – Opening Day for the 2018 season
- March 29, 2018 – Phillies opening game in Atlanta
- April 5, 2018 – Phillies’ home opener v. Miami
- April 5, 2018 – Reading’s home opener v. Erie
- April 5, 2018 – Clearwater’s home opener v. Dunedin
- April 5, 2018 – Lakewood’s opening game at Kannapolis
- April 6, 2018 – Lehigh Valley’s opening game at Pawtucket
- April 12, 2018 -Lehigh Valley’s home opener v. Louisville
- April 12, 2018 – Lakewood’s home opener v. Delmarva
- April 17-18, 2018 – Twins v. Indians at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, PR
- June 4-6, 2018 – 2018 MLB Draft
- June 15, 2018 – Williamsport’s home opener v. State College
- July 13-17, 2018 – All-Star Week
- July 17, 2018 – 89th All Star Game, at Nationals Park
- August 19, 2018 – Phillies v. Mets in the Little League Classic in Williamsport.
- December 10-13, 2018 – Winter Meetings at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada
Off Season Transactions (recently reported transactions in bold): (40-man stands at 40, unsubstantiated signings in italics)
- 2/19/18–Phillies signed free agent LHP Maikel Garrido to a minor league contract
- 2/19/18–Phillies signed free agent C Edward Barboza to a minor league contract
- 2/16/18–Phillies signed free agent Gabriel Lino to a minor league contract; assigned to Lehigh Valley
- 1/30/18–Phillies signed free agent Wilson Garcia to a minor league contract; assigned to Clearwater
- 1/9/18–Phillies signed free agent Juan Escorcia to a minor league contract; assigned to GCL Phillies West
- The organization’s rosters are up to date.
- The organization’s injury list retains the injuries at the end of the 2017 season. All are expected to be okay by the start of spring training.
- The organization’s Rule 5 eligibility list is as accurate as I can make it FOR 2018.
Here’s the open discussion thread for Phillies’ talk and other topics.