Open Discussion: Week of March 18, 2018

The Phillies newest pitcher, Jake Arrieta, arrived in Clearwater.

Arrieta’s arrival was expected to shore up the Phillies rotation which took a hit when expected starter, Jerad Eickhoff suffered an injury.

#Phly Phillies Phly!

Organizational News and Changes

Jake Arrieta threw a simulated session Saturday.  If you haven’t seen the video and would like to, the full session is here –

Jerad Eickhoff suffered a “mild” lat injury that is not related to the nerve irritation that ended his 2017 season.

The Phillies selected the contract of Pedro Florimon.

Tommy Joseph and Eliezer Alvarez were Designated For Assignment

Yacksel Rios to Lehigh Valley and Seranthony Dominguez was optioned to Reading.

The Phillies announced the signing of LHP Tim Berry to a minor league contract

47 players remain in major league camp – 32 are on the 40-man roster and 15 NRIs.  Two are injured and will start the season on a DL (Jared Eickhoff  and Will Middlebrooks).

Spring Training

The Phillies’ spring training schedule is available here.

The Phillies’ minor league spring training schedule is available here.

The Phillies’ eXtended Spring Training schedule starts on April 9th and is available here.

Free Agent Talk

Word from the Phillies is that they are unlikely to seek any further pitching though free agency.  Even after Jerad Eickhoff suffered a lat injury that will keep him out of the rotation until May, the Phillies are committed to filling his spot from within the organization.

Key Dates:

  • 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)

  • 3/17/18 – Phillies optioned RHP Yacksel Rios to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 3/16/18 – Phillies selected the contract of CF Pedro Florimon from Lehigh Valley
  • 3/16/18 – Phillies designated 2B Eliezer Alvarez for assignment
  • 3/13/18 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Tim Berry to a minor league contract
  • 3/13/18 – Phillies optioned RHP Seranthony Dominguez to Reading Fightin Phils
  • 3/12/18 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Jake Arrieta
  • 3/12/18 – Phillies designated 1B Tommy Joseph for assignment
  • 3/10/18 – RHP Ricardo Pinto assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs from Phillies
  • 3/10/18 – Phillies optioned RHP Ricardo Pinto to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 3/9/18 – Phillies optioned 2B Eliezer Alvarez to Reading Fightin Phils
  • 3/9/18 – Phillies optioned RHP Jose Taveras to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 3/9/18 – Phillies optioned RF Dylan Cozens to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • 3/9/18 – Phillies optioned RHP Franklyn Kilome to Reading Fightin Phils
  • 3/9/18 – Phillies optioned LHP Ranger Suarez to Clearwater Threshers
  • 3/7/18 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Manuel Urias to a minor league contract
  • 3/5/18 – Phillies optioned RHP Drew Anderson to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  • Patrick Frazier
  • 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 
  • 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.

348 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of March 18, 2018

  1. Sorry for the late post. I fell asleep early and forgot to hit the “publish” button. Second time this weekend.

    Yes, Romus, I will run the Breakout article this season. I’m waiting for the last week of ST so that we have as much info as possible on players.

    And, Gabriel Lino finally arrived at camp. I had heard that he may have had visa problems that would account for his late arrival.

    1. You are human after all, Jim. Welcome to this non-exclusive club.

      Re Lino, I saw him play against the Portland Sea Dogs near where I live and can still remember an incredible stretch-out catch he made of a low trajectory foul pop. He’ll never make it to the majors, but I have a soft spot for him. A minor league lifer still has more talent than 99.99 % of the world’s population.

    2. It’s all ok. Sorry for this late reply, but the real world interfered. So I hope you see this. I have a transaction correction for you (I also posted it last week). You have an entry that just says Patrick Frazier. The player is actually PARKER Frazier, a 29 yo RH starter who hasn’t pitched MLB or MiLB since 2015.

  2. Thanks Jim for all you do to entertain all of us.
    After a weekend of hanging around the complex, and talking with Jim frequently which was very enjoyable as usual, I have a few observations. Take them for what they’re worth, a quick view.
    Ortiz is a big guy, but looks very heavy. However he can surprisingly still run pretty well. He swings at everything so plate discipline will be his challenge at Lwood.
    I still have high hopes for Stobbe, he just looks like a ball player. I watched the young SS Luis Garcia quite a bit yesterday and he looks very good for a 17 yr old. He hits very well from the left side but the right side looks to be still a project. The glove is ok but he’ll improve so much from the repetitions he’s going to get. Bailey Falter seems like a good dude, talks to anyone who approaches him. Plus he’s very good. He looks like Cwater rotation will start the year without Sanchez or Fanti who are being held out for now. That’s one way to deal with 7 SPs. I also saw Gutierrez take BP. He’s also a big guy who looks soft. He can hit the ball hard though. Markham is very fast and built like a marine. Moniak is playing up a level and looks overmatched. Not good. Kyle Young pitched yesterday and I wasn’t impressed. Either were the Pirates who hit the ball hard. I have to think that his size makes it harder to get all the body parts moving the right way. Hopefully he’ll get much better. Any questions?

    1. Murray (or Jim) … did you get a chance to see the Hefty Lefty ? If so, how did Jake Hernandez look ??

      1. Saw him pitch a sharp 1-2-3 inning yesterday. He is an intimidating looking individual who looks a little older than most of the other players.

          1. Wow ! He does look slimmer.
            New body. Same great stuff ! This kid deserves the opportunity to start (don’t care if it’s in Williamsport or Lakewood). jaKe has the stuff (and a history) for racking up the K’s. 89 K’s in 79 IP as a Jr at Texas-Arlington. Before that, he was the Nolan Ryan of the JC circuit. As a frosh at Seward County CC, Hernandez averaged nearly 11 K per 9 IP. As a soph, he won the national strikeout crown by piling up 159 K’s in 89 IP. His 159 strikeouts were the second-most by any NJCAA pitcher in the last 15 years, topped only by SF Giants’ 2015 first-round pick Phil Bickford.

            This kid (even as big as he was) went under the radar.

            1. Jake Hernandez will be 22 yo this May so i like to see Jake Hernandez start in LWD and jump to CLW. Pitching in WIL and below is pitching against prospects that he is expected to dominate.

  3. A couple of underrated key dates: July 3rd and 4th. The Phillies host the O’s. Fans will have the chance to let MM know that he would look good in “red” pinstripes !!!

  4. Carlos Tocci update: through 43 AB’s this spring, Tocci is slashing .186/.222/.209
    Do the Rangers offer him back, or do they hold on to him like the Phillies did with Tyler Goeddel (who also wasn’t ready for MLB) ?

    1. If Texas offered him back, let’s say ‘No we’re good, thanks’. Doobie, Altherr, Quinn, Kingery, Moniak and Haseley all agree.

      1. 8mark….if offered back after the season begins in 10 days, at least he will not have to go on the 40 if the Phillies take him back, since he has to clear waivers.
        He gets a minor league contract and goes to LHV.
        Soon ToJo’s fate will alos be decided……maybe also back to LHV…or maybe Seoul with Ruf.

      2. I’d take Tocci back. While he may never play CF at CBP, he could still make a viable trade piece (most likely as part of a larger package).

        1. I don’t see the projection with this guy due to his utter lack of strength. I guess they could take him back, but does anyone ever see this guy having a role on a future Phillies team? I sure as heck don’t. If he had the frame to put on some muscle weight, he’d actually be interesting because his pure baseball skills are quite good. But I don’t think he does. I don’t see this guy doing anything but flailing against major league pitching. He’s Don Hahn. Who? Exactly.

          1. Have to agree…Tocci is like Tyler Goeddel in some respects…does everything well, but drive the ball on contact.

      3. I’ll take Tocci back. There’s no harm in maintaining depth in CF position.

  5. The Phils only have 15 position players in the 40-man with 12 or 13 positions to fill. Cozens will start in AAA and possibly another catcher. If the Phils go with 5 bench, the position players are almost set.

    With 25 pitchers in the 40-man, Klentak will need to move 1-3 pitchers to create flexibility in the position players. Curtis will end up being cut to create a roster space for a position player. I don’t see Klentak signing another veteran SP unless Cobb will be a 1-2 yr contract. Thompson is the other unless Eickhoff will be moved to 60DL or Klentak can find a way to trade Lively, Leiter or some of the extra back end starters.

    Quinn and Valentin might find themselves as reserves due to lack of positional players in the 40-man. I’m ok with both making the 25-man or starting in LHV getting regular at bats. I just want to see both playing healthy since they will going to make it to the big leagues at some point this year.

    If Klentak can create 2 extra roster space to add position players – start Knapp, Quinn and Valentin in LHV for about a month to get regular at bats. And the bench will be consist of Williams, Rupp, Florimon, Flaherty and a wild card (Walding, Pullin or Rosales).

      1. Smelling full time DH First baseman at some point .Choo is 35 and LH , Gallo is LH and hitting .209 although he does walk alot.Tojo should do well in that lineup.Gallo will move to 3rd someday Beltre 38 making 18 mil , Choo making 20 mil at 35 as a DH.

  6. Rough 9th inning for Esh giving up 4 runs and losing the game. 4 XBs and a single. Eshelman will bounce back and will be in the majors at some point this year. But for now – Vinny, Pivetta, Eflin, Lively will compete for the last 3 SP spot and join Nola and Arrieta in the rotation.

    Hutchinson is nice to keep around if he wants, but he will not bring anything more than the non-Nola/Arrieta starters in the roster.

    Anderson proved last year that he is fully recovered. I expect him to pitch better this year and have a better 2nd chance pitching in the majors.

      1. rocco…let me help you turn on the light and get you out of the dark.
        He velos at 88-91T92……but superlative command and control…..need more lighting to see?

        1. I get it romus, I as you know hate soft toss righth anders. They are right and away the biggest risk , You get two out of a hundred who win in the majors. As I stated before when they post one who wins with 90 velo. I can post hundreds who didn’t make it. I still think you need to get to 94 with decent or above secondary pitches for right handers,

          1. rocco… are correct in that assumption.
            You rarely find a RHP as a TOR that sits in the high80s/low90s, perhaps MOR but more than likely BOR.
            Now LHP are a different fruit and can survive that, especially with great command and a plus change-up, ie Dallas Keuchel as the latest.

            1. I always thought lefthanders are different. They have that natural movement. on there balls. I Remember playing fast ball as a kid in fells school yard the left handed kids couldn’t throw a ball straight. even in little league. Sometimes I think it hurts them, cause they might walk more from that movement, But on the whole I take a 90 lefthander all day over a right hander.

          2. Roccom – you and are both on the same page when it comes to velocity. You don’t build a team around soft-tossing righties, which is why I’m very concerned about Eickhoff. However, as you note, there are rare exceptions and my point is that this fellow Eshelman could end up being one of those exceptions. My concern with him is that he really needs to develop at least one killer breaking pitch and I don’t see that pitch yet.

          3. IMO, velocity for pitchers is similar to power for hitters — if you cannot control the strike zone, then you negate its importance. i agree that it is important but it is not the #1 gauge for me to assess a pitcher although I draw a line at 90 mph MPH for starters and mid 90s for relievers for the 4S.

            The quality of pitch(es) and pitching repertoire are #1 to me. Pitchers should be able to throw for strikes with the pitches they have and preferably have at least 3 pitches to mix. Nola, Pivetta and Vinny are examples of this philosophy which i posted here numerous times why i like/concern about these 3 pitches.

            Nola is the epitome of the quality of pitch(es) that I’m talking about – a dancing 2S, wicked CB and a vanishing CU even though his 4S is in 92-94 range Nola can locate it well. All of Nola’s pitches can generate swing and miss.

            On the other hand both Vinny and Pivetta have live FB and velocity but cannot control their pitches effectively. Vinny is ahead of Pivetta since Vinny is starting to throw a CU more consistently know but his pitching repertoire has a lot to be desired to lower his pitch count.

            1. KukO…IMO, first things first, everything works off a RHPs fastball and the velocity it generates, except knuckleball pitchers.
              Then secondly is command in the zone, then third is secondary pitches.

              Nola does bring it up to 93/94 when he wants to and almost every batter will see it one time or another in a plate appearance..
              And when he struggled in 2016, his velo was down in the low90s, which were due to the forearm issues

            2. romus – i agree that everything starts with the FB – that’s why i said –
              “I draw a line at 90 mph MPH for starters and mid 90s for relievers for the 4S” —- not sure if you missed that.

      2. He has ridiculous command – like about as good as anyone in professional baseball. He doesn’t throw hard but he knows what he’s doing. His success is going to hinge on nearly perfect command (possible) and his developing more effective and varied breaking pitches. I don’t generally like softer tossers, but this guy could be an outlier. I’m giving him a chance.

    1. How come everyone forgets Thompson who really out proformed everyone above at the ML level.

      1. We didn’t forget him. He’s has not yet shown himself to be very good in AAA or the majors. I haven’t quite written him off, but I certainly don’t expect much of him (at least as a starter). He will go back down to the minors, as he should, and let’s see if he can turn it around. He might end up finding his way in the bullpen too – but he’s NOT the guy we were told we were getting the Hamels deal – not even close.

        1. No he hasn’t and I’m not sure exactly why. I know the Phillies have tinkered with his delivery and release a bit. I’m not sure it has helped, and I’m not a keen enough observer to know exactly what they’ve done. He has had a pretty solid spring that I’ve seen and I think a semi-permanent move to the pen might be in order. It will justify his 40-man spot and he can be available to swing to Philly when needed.

          1. Actually that is not entirely true…..check out his 2016 metrics at LHV:
            They were superb in 130 innings pitched.
            IP129.2… Hits-105… ERA-2.50 …. WHIP 1.095… H/9-7.3… HR/9-0.7… BB/9-2.6…. K/9-6.0
            He was on a roll from the early Reading call-up and cruised thru AAA until the end.
            Not sure what went wrong for him in 2017 @LHV

            1. But I think that was a bit of an optical illusion. When he was called up to the big league team he wasn’t very good and, more importantly, his stuff wasn’t good. You can get away with fooling AAA hitters with breaking ball junk – it doesn’t work in the majors.

  7. Scot Rolen … (on in the words of Mr Wonderful – “you’re dead to me”

  8. Hey, did anyone else notice the note from yesterday about Sixto Sanchez’s absence from the mound so far in Spring Training? Do we have any further intel on this?

    1. They are holding Sanchez and Fanti out for a while. Too many pitchers in A+. Rest is good for young arms anticipation a long season.

        1. I saw it in a comment from another person who had been in Florida. If that is not true, please pull it. I don’t want to mess things up. The comment said that there are 7 starters in Clearwater. Sorry, I know there are families that of players that read this. Pull it if I went overboard. I don’t want to give anxiety to anyone.

  9. Saw Francisco Morales pitch an inning against Acadamie Baseball Canada on Roberts Field today. Certainly not an expert on pitching but he seemed to throw hard with an easy motion.
    Hit a batter and walked another. Got out of the inning on a nice pickup by Jake Holmes at 3B that started a DP. Interesting thing was that Matt Klentak came out to watch him pitch and went back in as soon as the inning was over.

  10. I think they are committed to giving VV and Pivetta each a shot to be in the rotation, and I am certain they will have fairly long leashes in terms of the number of Starts they get. I think It is between Lively and Eflin and, maybe, Hutchinson, for the last spot. Very concerned that Sixto has not done any Pitching so far. What could be the reason? Going to have him in Extended ST before they assign him to a team? I have heard no injury or soreness news, and I know I will over react every time I hear Sixto not pitching every 5th day!

    1. Cross Mark Leiter off the list….being evaluated for possibly TJ with tightness in the forearm and coming to Philly for more evaluation.

  11. Really feel terrible for Leiter. He had a spot carved out as the long guy. I wish him the best.

  12. Casey Mize keeps rising up draft boards. Would be a heckuva prospect to fall into the Phillies’ lap at 1-3. After last weekend’s no-hitter, he opened Auburn’s SEC season this weekend vs Texas A&M and went 7.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 13 K. For the season, he’s 32.2 IP, 51 K, only 3 BB. From D1 “Mize, to me, has been the most dominant pitcher in college baseball so far this season. He’s always had that fastball/splitter combo and that cutter has developed into a strong weapon for him. I was talking to someone close to the A&M program and they told me that was the best Friday guy they’ve ever seen. BTW, this person has been around a LONG time.”
    You may be able to see Mize’s performance vs Texas A&M here

    1. the rise of Case Mize is definitely a good news for the Phils. Solid command and control of his pitches and clean delivery with swing and miss stuff. If Mize can command the Cutter and Slider the way he command his FB-SPL, that will lessen the use of the SPL and lowers the risk of the forearm injury.

      I still like Gorman but concerned that DET and SF will draft him. Mize at 1.3 is a good option.

    2. I like Mize at 1.3.
      Only concern….read he was temporarily shut down twice last season due to precautionary forearm soreness.
      And he also started throwing a splitter…which, IMO, should be a limited usage pitch
      Not sure how accurate that was about the shutdowns..
      He did get into 13 games and pitched 84 innings, so the season was pretty complete.
      Perhaps Hinkie you can investigate that more for authenticity?

      1. Romus … here’s what Keith Law had to say (earlier this month) about Mize, his arsenal, and the forearm concerns:

        “Mize showed five distinct pitches, including a fastball at 91-96 mph, a cutter, a slider, a splitter and a true changeup, three of which are clearly plus — the fastball, cutter and the splitter. You don’t see many amateurs who throw a splitter at all, because of the unproven belief that it can cause arm problems. (Mize did miss time last spring with forearm soreness, but it never morphed into elbow trouble.) Mize’s splitter is one of the best pitches in the draft class this year, a 70-grade pitch when he hits it to go with 60s for the fastball and that cutter. He throws it at 88-91 mph and it is devastating against right-handed hitters.

        He had less consistency with the mid-80s slider, although he threw some tight ones. A few backed up on him and the last hit he surrendered looked like it came on a slider he released early and left up. The changeup is new and could really help him by reducing his reliance on the splitter early in counts — and if there really is a physical reason not to throw the splitter as much, the change gives him a way to reserve the splitter for times he needs a swing-and-miss.”

        IMO … the injury concern could be the only thing that could keep Detroit from selecting Mize with the 1-1 pick. If I had to predict the top ten picks (11 weeks from draft night), It would go:
        1. Tigers …… Casey Mize
        2. Giants …… Nick Madrigal
        3. Phillies …. Nolan Gorman
        4. Reds …….. Shane McClanahn
        5. White Sox … Carter Stewart
        6. Mets …….. Jeremy Eierman
        7. Padres …… Kumar Rocker
        8. Braves …… Travis Swaggerty
        9. A’s ……… Brady Singer
        10. Pirates ….. Ryan Rolison

        1. Based on what I read, I don’t see the Phillies taking Gorman. Almaraz seems to focus primarily on hit tool and not current power output and there is a question about Gorman’s hit tool. By the way, I’m not necessarily saying that I agree with this (in fact, I’m very concerned that this “hit tool” exclusive approach has resulted in some questionable picks recently), but I don’t see him taking a guy with serious swing-and-miss issues and hit tool questions.

        2. Hinkie…thanks.
          But why would Detroit go with another pitcher at one!.
          Avila’s last three draft classes had pitcher’s taken as their first pick…Faedo, Manning and Burrows….all all are their top 4 prospects, along with Perez from the Astros….and all are close to MLB ready by 2019 except Manning.
          I just do not see Detroit taking another RHP pitcher….maybe LHP McClanahan if he stays healthy and continues pitching as he has done so far with the Bulls.
          They could surprise..

          1. romus – i can see DET going the youth movement trading away Zimm, VMart and Miggy so they will take the BPA to reset the button. Young arms are valuable commodity to have. If I have to make a guess, DET will draft a top arm (if somebody separate themselves) or do a Carlos Correa – signing underslot Madrigal or de Sedas since DET are thin in INF prospects. Then SF will draft Gorman then Johnny A. will draft one of Mize, Liberatore or McClanahan.

            1. Yes, but you are missing my point. This isn’t about second-guessing. It’s about giving yourself the best chance of succeeding. You do that when you draft the guy you believe to be the BPA rather than drafting for perceived need. It’s hard enough to find the best player, but when you limit your options to what you think you need you make it that much harder.

          2. Romus … Detroit would/should take Mize because he’s the best player in the draft. When you start drafting for need (in any sport), you’re bound to end up with regrets. Remember the 1984 NBA draft when Portland took Sam Bowie and passed on Michael Jordan because they already had Clyde Drexler ?
            Besides, neither Faedo, Manning, Burrows, or Perez are probably TOR SP’s.

            If Mize and Gorman go 1-1 and 1-2, I’d probably still draft Nick Madrigal (as of today) at 1-3, even though he’s Scott Kingery 2.0.

            1. Let’s take a more recent example – Baltimore passed on Buster Posey because they had Matt Wieters. Not smart.

            2. Hinkie…i said this before and stick with it…..BPA is over-rated AND especially at the top of the draft. You probably can see the differences more so, but not always, in the NFL draft and NBA draft…..but baseball with HSers and collegians mixed together, it is a very difficult delineation.
              If someone has a crystal ball then that would probably work better.

            3. That happens all the time…..look, the Angels passed on Trout and took Grichuk, they took Trout with the very next pick in the 20s…..and slot money wasn’t the issue.
              Monday morning QBing is a very simplistic way of judging the results of a past draft.
              Posey vs Wieters….Posey 2008…Wietres 2007 draft…. both 5th pick different years.

            4. BTW…Wieters was a 14WAR player his four years in the league…..then the injuries started occurring then the TJ surgery and related healing issues in his 28 and 29 age seasons …so that would be hard to hold that against him.

            5. Disagree, Romus. At the top of the draft, it’s important to take BPA. Later in the draft, it’s ok to draft for need. For instance, the biggest hole in the Phillies farm system is 3B. If, with the 1-3 pick, Gorman and Mize are both available, and you have Mize as the best player in the draft, you have to take Mize. You then draft multiple 3Bmen in later rounds. That first round pick is the most important. You have to hit on that. The later picks are more like lottery tickets.

            6. Hinkie……my question to all the BPA proponents.
              Identify them and separate them from non-BPA players.
              It is always easy to identify them 2/3 years after the draft.

              Do yuo agree… players have lower ceilings and higher floors than HS players?
              That is something I have heard a lot thru the years.
              But then there are always exceptions to that thought.

            7. Romus, salient point regarding floor/ceiling with HS vs college prospects.

              Roc, look up the word ‘salient’.

            8. Romus I totally agree. Reds if I am not mistaken just signed there third basemen and one of there best prospects is a third basemen and I saw mock draft where they are going after another third basemen. I always thought you draft the best player and then figure out where to play them. or use them in a trade.

            9. Romus … your scouting department identifies and helps to put a draft board together. They spend months seeing these kids and putting grades on them. You have to trust their reports/opinions.
              Generally speaking, college bats always get the most love. HS arms are the riskiest.

            10. Look at the Braves. They have a very pitcher-heavy farm system. They took Kolby Allard at 1-14 in 2015. Their first five picks (headed by Ian Anderson, Joey Wentz, and Kyle Muller) were pitchers in 2016. Yet, they drafted, and went 1.3 million dollars over slot, on Kyle Wright at 1-5 last summer because they thought he was one of the top three players in the draft.

            11. Hinkie….if you ask every GM the day after the draft…they will all say the same standard line…we drafted the best player our scouting department deemed available.
              So it is really just a gamble.

            12. Agree. The draft is a gamble. But … you have to gamble on the BPA/highest player on your draft board (assuming he’s signable).

            13. Bowie and Jordan were considered more or less as equals in that NBA draft, but Bowie was a lot bigger. At the time, Portland picking Bowie barely raised any eyeborows.

            14. With all due respect, Matt Wieters is not and never was Buster Posey – who is even better than his impressive WAR and MVP might suggest.

            15. I believe the subject was…. BPA selecting.
              My assertion….it is easy to claim the BPA years after the draft.
              Wieters first fours years and Posey’s first four years in the majors were virtually identical with Wieters being selected for two consecutive all-star games.
              Wieters did not overcome his injury, TJ, were as Posey did, broken leg.
              Now why the Os did not select Posey in ’08…no clue…I would assume because they selected Wieters the prior year. But when yuo look back at that draft…..Posey is the only player from all 40plus 1st round picks, to have a 15WAR or better career.
              To look back on drafts and determine best player is like, closing the barn doors after the horses have already left.

        3. If we take another hitter with a top 10 pick, I am going to go bonkers.

          We need elite pitching talent. Take the best pitcher available at 3. If it is Mize, then great. If not, I like Shane McClanahn a lot too.

          1. What if Mize and McClanahan go 1-1 and 1-2 ? Would you pass on Madrigal (a career .370 hitter at Oregon St) for whoever you feel is the third best pitcher available ?

          2. Best player available = best value. I like Mize if he’s there at 1-3 but Gorman’s profile as a power lefty bat interests me despite his flaws as a HS talent. My only rule is NO HS arms.

            1. The “no HS arms” is generally a pretty solid rule for top 5 draft picks; however, last year’s 1-2 (Hunter Greene) and 1-3 (MacKenzie Gore) are killing it early in their careers and could be the two best pitching prospects in all of baseball by the end of the year.

    1. That’s too bad – I was hoping a National League team would sign him so we could win the games where he pitched against us.

      Buchholz to me is the ultimate red flag in terms of the Phillies’ talent evaluation skills. They passed on exercising the option on hard-throwing Charlie Morton and instead opted to obtain the more expensive and horrible Clay Buchholz (who was so bad that I was relieved when he went out for the year). I realize that everything went about as badly (for the Phillies) as it could have gone on both sides of those transactions, but it raised caused for concern.

  13. Fyi – as Jim has said previously, Sanchez has participated in all the PFP drills as if fully healthy. He also takes part in the daily catches all the pitchers do. I think it’s just a way to manage innings with 7 starters

  14. Btw – Hutchinson pitched very well today against a very good Red Sox lineup. If he backs that up in his next start, I think he may have a job. Then it’s majors vs minors. He’s not on the 40 although if Leiter goes down, it might be a 60 day DL stint.

  15. Interesting to see the everyday line up and pitching rotation. It’s now getting late in spring training . I think the 3 ,4 ,5 spots in the rotation will become interchangeable with a host of pitchers until production is found. I do like the Bp much more stable then last yr .

  16. Do you who had the 5 best war among relief pitchers last yr ? Neshek 2.5 war very nice.

    1. Yes, that’s why it’s such a good signing. If he has just one of those seasons in the next two, he will perform up to his contract. And given his odd pitching style, I don’t see why he can’t continue to be successful. It’s also nice how much he liked Philadelphia and is such a fan of the game (I loved how he publicly chastised that jerk Zach Greinke for refusing to give him an autograph) – he’s very easy to root for.

  17. I’ll tell you what. I went back and watched some of Valentin’s at bats this spring and I am REALLY excited. He is now much stronger and has developed a true power swing, complete with full load and release. I mean he is crushing the baseball like a power hitter. When he hits the ball now, he looks more like Josh Donaldson than a weak-hitting utility infielder. I cannot wait to see what he does in AAA.

  18. So, catch, you are in favor of him playing at LHV rather than being an extra in the Majors? I am not sure what is best, so just asking what you think.

    1. No, for several reasons. First, there is no room for him the big leagues with other players taking at bats. Second, and most importantly, he hasn’t dominated at all at AAA, he needs to go down there for a few months at least to see if what we are seeing is real and further develop his skills – perhaps longer. But it’s very encouraging.

    2. i agree with catch i prefer to see Valentin (and Quinn) to get regular at bats to see that both are healthy and that their ST performance is real. I posted this earlier above.

      on a controversial side, seeing Valentin and Quinn (and Kingery) made me push more to trade Doobie and Cesar. IMO, these trio has the better skill set and mind set (thus, higher upside) to succeed in the major leagues and the trio can play multiple positions too which adds to flexibility within the team. Doobie and Cesar can only play one position.

      Major leaguers are prospects once. So i don’t buy into the argument that you don’t replace a major leaguer with a prospect since a prospect hasn’t proved anything yet. In sports and competition — it’s all about skill set and mind set.

      1. Blasphemy! I’ve gotten killed for suggesting that we trade Herrera and Hernandez. The truth of the matter is that Kingery and Quinn are potential game changers like Rollins and Utley. It’s a weak excuse to say that they haven’t done it on a professional level. For once, throw away the analysis and projections and trust your eyes.

        1. I agree on Kingery/Hernandez but there is no way you can count on Quinn as the everyday CF based on injury history…

        2. Wawa Mike – I’m with you on trading Herrera and CeHe. The FO has to take some risks in assembling the team, or calculated decisions – whatever you’d like to call it. Herrera is an interesting talent, but I have questions on him. The mental lapses really make me sour on him, pushes him into the tradebait pile, as OF is a position of strength to trade from. If they didn’t have the surplus of OF prospects, with the addition of moving Hoskins to the OF… then it’s a harder choice, and one that could hurt more. I say capitalize on him while his trade value is high. We saw this city’s teams, and specifically the Phillies hold onto players too long, which diminished their trade values (rolen, schilling,etc) A log jam is coming shortly. Roll the dice on your scouts that Hoskins, Altherr, Williams, and others can hold the fort till Hasley and Moniak can arrive, Quinn could make it easier, and heck with all the musical chairs I’m pretty high on Valentin. Lastly… what if they sign Harper? Honestly, it’s not a full proof scenario, but I’d be willing to take that gamble, that the team could be better off without him for what he brings back in return along with future replacements
          For CeHe .. as soon as I know that answer on Franco or Machado he is gone, unless they have a musical position scenario I don’t know about … CeHe is a nice player, but can be replaced. I have to gamble on Crawford,Kingery, Valentin, Flormin, even Quinn … holding out … with Machado/Donaldson as fail safes. Obviously the return has to be reasonable.

  19. I see Valentin starting in the majors, with Quinn, with Florimon as the SS at LHV. However, I see Kingery and Valentin swapping roster spots in less than a month, which will require a 40 spot which one of our two injured pitchers might provide or so might Rupp. I expect Flaherty to go back to the Orioles but Rosales to stay at LHV. Valentin will get plenty of at bats this way. The one fly in the ointment is if the team thinks they need Florimon on the 25 because he’s a better SS than Valentin, Kingery or Quinn obviously. I really don’t want Quinn getting sent down since he offers things they don’t have. A bench with Florimon and Valentin together in a 4 man bench is not good and doesn’t do enough.

    1. Florimon will start the season on the team with Valentin in AAA – I’d be shocked with any other result for Valentin.

        1. I doubt it. It’s still just spring training and he hasn’t proven himself at AAA and desperately needs the at bats. Promoting him is sending him to purgatory.

  20. Come summertime, I think Hoskins, Kingery, Nola, and Arrieta will be the face of the team.

  21. According to Joe Jordan, Sixto is 100%, nothing to worry about, he had the flu, and they wanted him fully recovered, which he is.

  22. I always love Cole Hamels (thus, get excited about Bailey Falter for a time) and brought up more than a year ago for the Phils to acquire Cole (Hamels) and Cole (Ragans) (and Kyle Cody or AJ Alexy) from TEX involving players that TEX like (i.e. Vinny, Doobie, Tocci). I remember that this didn’t fly here and someone even said that why re-acquire a player that you already traded.

    A ESPN article speculates that Hamels can be a trade target for the Phils if they become seller at the deadline. Cole and Heidi still have presence in the area and I think Cole will welcome a return to the Phils.

    With HOU expected to dominate the AL West, TEX might decide to restart and do a youth movement. I like to have Hamels back but I don’t want Klentak to overpay (no Sixto and Kingery) unless he can get some young players back like Ragans, Cody or Alexy.

    1. KuKo….maybe pass now on Ragans…..Ragans will have surgery this week or early next week…TJ.

  23. I am not trading Sixto or Kingery, and if that takes us out of some SP acquisitions, so be it. There will be SP available for a lesser price, including Cole. Next off season, while there is not a Scherzer or Kershaw, who I think re-signs with the Dodgers, there will be Pomeranz and Gio Gonzalez and maybe more. But, to me, Sixto and Kingery are off limits.

        1. I think that you’re way ahead of things here. We need to see where Kilome, Medina, and Sixto are in Sept., or Klentak may trade for a pitcher during the summer.

    1. @matt13 – i think most agreed in this site is that Sixto and Kingery are untoucheables.

  24. If he is healthy Hinkie, you are correct! That is another option, but with no Sixto or Kingery involved.

  25. Leiter has mild Flexor strain and out for 2-3 weeks, then he will try to ramp back up, so it might be longer. Could have been much worse.

    1. Good news for sure.
      Should be ready to go in May after rehab time and stretched out again, I assume @LHV.

  26. I would probably go with LIvely as the 5th starter in april, He has nothing to really work on in LVH, he is what he is at this point. Efflin has a bigger upside but has some things to work on that he can do in LVH

  27. This player could be a real sleeper and diamond in the rough.
    Huge 6’8″ Carlos De La Cruz just keeps blasting them.
    From BaseballBetsy video from yesterday:

    1. Romus, thanks for the video. DeLaCruz is one to watch. Imagine – 2022, him and Ortiz on either side of the Millville Meteor!!! Who needs lefthanded power?

      Alright, alright….I know.

  28. Anybody know who’s wearing 91 and 98? My 6-year-old son got their autographs at the Blue Jays game on Friday (including Alfaro and Eshelman!), but we didn’t know who they were.

  29. Yes. De La Cruz is interesting, but you also have to remember that Canadian National team is made up of HS players (I believe). Roy Haladay’s oldest son pitches for them. He’s just a HS junior and throws in the lower 80’s.

    1. Hinkie…that is true….but De La Cruz is only 18…he was signed last August as a 17 year old out of NYC.

  30. Why doesn’t anyone think Walding will get a chance at Third,starting in Lehigh. He didn’t get a lot of at bats with the big club but he held his own pretty well. And my opinion he is better at third than the rest.And now they are trying to make him a first baseman. They just dropped him down today.

  31. I’ve been saying this for two years so this is no surprise, but it is nice to get some validation … I don’t have SiriusXM radio, but I heard a clip (while listening to WIP) of Jim Duquette on MLB Network’s Power Alley. Duquette (who BTW is the cousin of O’s GM Dan Duquette) predicted Manny Machado would be a Philadelphia Phillie next season. He said the Phillies have a boatload of money and the MacKlentak relationship with Machado.

    1. One of the former GMs on MLB Network radio said he would bet his house that Kingery becomes a 20/20 guy. That’s wild to me. Everyone views JetPax as the real deal. It will be fun watching him play this year.

    2. Hinkie, Buster Olney’s statement regarding Harper either re-signing with the Nats or signing with the Phillies prompts the question – Is it possible Middleton charges MacKlentak with going after both Manny and Bryce? I’m not suggesting it’s likely they would succeed in signing both but would they in fact try in earnest?

        1. I believe Middleton will discuss Harper with Boras, but in the end, someone (probably the Dodgers or Nationals) will outbid the Phillies. There are just too many (big market) teams who have prepared (reset their luxury tax clocks) for next winter’s historic FA class.
          I do think Middleton will also have an interest in Marwin Gonzalez (Yankees will be in on him, too), and some pitching help (Garrett Richards, JA Happ, Zach Britton, Jake Diekman, and Andrew Miller [another Yankee target] are all possibilities).

          1. Hinkie – don’t be surprised if Toronto gets too far behind the Yanks/Bosox then goes into rebuild mold and trades J A Happ in July since he is a free agent. I would grab him in a NY minute. In fact, I would be inquiring about him now to set that up.

  32. When do we see this lineup CEHE , Herrera, Santana, Hoskins,Franco, Alterra / Williams, Alfaro/Knapp , JP.

      1. Why would you put a power bat and a slower runner in front of faster runner by a mile . 2 Santana is a middle of the order type of hitter.imo I really just put the names out there.

            1. So your putting your vet power bat in the 2 hole . So who goes in 3,4,5 6 holes Herrera, Hoskins , Franco ,

        1. Tim… somewhere on another Phillies site….if it is any consolation….Santana’s career slash from the 2-hole was his weakest slash.

          1. I makes no sense you want man on base with Santana up you put him in the 3,4,5 hole. Herrera doesnt walk as much as Santana but he’s a better batting avg profile . I mean Herrera hit a load of doubles last yr . So you would have Herrera on 2nd Santana at the plate .the other way Santana on 1st with Herrera at the plate . Imo plus who’s who your 5 hole hitter.

            1. Personally I want players on base in from of Hoskins in the 4-hole.
              I do not care who they are and in what order…just be on base.

            2. Santana has a the track record and as of now is the better hitter. Hoskins has to do it for a hole yr. Imo Hoskins plus Williams ,Altherr , Knapp , Alfaro, have to do it 162 . I think once Kingery does come up it will give this team a different look. Imo I think they all can be successful . Mix in the Proven bats Herrera, Santana , CeHe for now with the younger players.

        2. Tim…here you go.
          Carlos Santana’s career slashes in 2 thru 5 hole.
          Batting 2nd……35 games:….186/.333 /.341

          Batting 3rd….69 games….236 /.353/ .431

          Batting 4th….489 games….229/ .358/ .408

          Batting 5th……241 games…..284/ .374/ .493

  33. Let’s talk about Machado and Harper. Let’s assume the following happens in 2017, a bit optimistic, but let’s propose that:

    1 Franco turns in a solid season and is seen as having moderate value as a future 3B
    2 Crawford holds his own and becomes the SS of the future
    3 Kingery comes up and plays the Zobrist role in 2018 and is on track to be an above average regular
    4 Of the Phils five OF’s (Hoskins, Herrera, Williams, Altherr, Quinn), three turn in strong years (Hoskins, Herrera, Williams) and one other flashes potential (Quinn or Altherr).
    5 Alfaro and/or Knapp lock down the future starting catcher role.

    Now the Phillies 2019 lineup might look something like this:

    1 Kingery 2B
    2 Santana 1B
    3 Machado 3B
    4 Harper RF
    5 Hoskins LF
    6 Herrera CF
    7 Crawford SS
    8 Alfaro/Knapp C

    Which would leave them with the following trade chips to go acquire TOR arms:
    1 Cesar Hernandez
    2 Mikael Franco
    3 Nick Williams
    4 Andrew Knapp or Jorge Alfaro
    5 Aaron Altherr or Roman Quinn

    That lineup would be unbelievable, and I think by combining the above 5 trade chips, with some younger pitchers and/or minor league prospects, the Phils could acquire 1-2 front line starting pitchers to go with this lineup. Let’s dream on a rotation of:

    1 TOR Arm via trade
    2 Arrietta
    3 Nola
    4 #2 type starter via trade
    5 Any one of Eickhoff, Velasquez, Pivetta, Lively, Eflin, Eshelman, Leiter, Thompson, etc

    1. JohnnyG, one problem with your scenario (as exciting and optimistic as it is) is that the trend of most GMs now is to trade FOR top young talent. And while the above names might be included in a package, clubs with a TOR arm will demand a top prospect or two. But the bigger problem is that there just aren’t many if any true TOR around or available to begin with. Teams with real good young pitching prospects (like the Phillies – Sixto, Medina, possibly this year’s 1-3 pick Casey Mize?) are already planning to raise their own. The players above may get you a veteran who’s already peaked. That’s the market currently.

    2. One only need look at what it took to get Sale and to Get Quintanna…

      Maybe that grouping would get you an Arm owed a lot of Money or an arm with very little control left on his existing deal. I.E the Verlander deal

      Gerrit Cole is another deal you can look at. On paper it appears the Stros gave up very little to get him but it is also his walk year.

      1. DMAR … Believe it or not, the Astros got Cole with two years of team control. Cole averaged 2.3 WAR per year in his five seasons in Pittsburgh. He was traded for Joe Musgrove, Michael Feliz, Colin Moran, and Jason Martin. Musgrove, Feliz, and Moran were (at one time) former top 10 organizational prospects, and all three had limited (less than 2 years) MLB experience. Martin is a 22 YO lottery ticket.

        Following the Gerrit Cole blueprint, we can put together some possible trade scenarios for the Phillies next winter. Assuming the Phillies sign MM, The Phillies could offer a package of Maikel Franco, Roman Quinn, Zach Efflin (all former top 10 organizational prospects), and Jacob Waguespack (24 YO lottery ticket).
        Who could they target ? Someone like Cole. A high end (but not perfect) SP with two years of team control who is now pitching for a team who might be ready to rebuild (or at least retool). Or a guy pitching for a team who isn’t likely to retain (pay) him when he reaches free agency after 2020. Here are some possibilities:

        Giants may be rebuilding/retooling and have Jeff Samardzija. They could even entertain offers for one year of Madison Bumgarner.
        The Blue Jays may be rebuilding and could make Marcus Stroman and/or Aaron Sanchez available.
        The DBacks could regress this season and shop Robbie Ray and/or Taijuan Walker. Zack Greinke will be 35 and could probably be had for a lesser prospect haul because he’ll still be owed more than 104 million dollars.
        Not sure how much the Indians are willing to shell out for Carlos Carrasco or Trevor Bauer, but they’ll also be FA’s after 2020.
        And the cream of the crop (IMO) is James Paxton. If Seattle (a team with maybe the worst farm system in baseball) doesn’t win this season, they could consider a rebuild. However, two years of Paxton would almost certainly cost more. The Phillies would probably have to give up Jhalyn Ortiz or this year’s 1-3 pick.

        Of course, all of these scenarios aren’t perfect, and things can change in a year. But … this is a general idea of what could be possible.

        1. Hinkie, your wealth of info is a big part of what makes Phuture Phillies enjoyable and educational. It’s high time you are appreciated. Plus the fact that I agree with most of your opinions and suggestions. Keep on!

        2. Vegas as Dbacks as a fov to win the world series there loaded with young talent.nk way I’m giving up Ortiz this side of Sale or another top 200 ing LhP.

          1. Name the book that has them favored. They are typically around 10th-13th. Why do people just fabricate facts on this site? It drives me nuts. And think about it – is there anybody who, today, thinks the DBacks are the best team in baseball? That’s just false.

            1. BTW I said as a favorite not the Favorite. So if there in the top 10 or just outside the the top ten that makes them Favorites.

            2. Lol. The site you gave me listed the teams in alphabetical order – duh. Nobody in the told views a 10th or 13th place team as a “favorite.” Stop it. This is moronic. You made this up. They are favorites in no place but your head and the alphabet.

            3. What alphabet do you use Catch ? The Chinese one the listings of teams from that site in order . Arizona, Colorado,Milwaukee, San Diego , los Ángeles ,San Francisco. So that’s A,C,M,S,L,S the first letters of your alphabet. Duh
              Zona had 93 wins last yr that’s more then the Cubs , Yanks, Twins,Rockies, tied with the Red Sox .they have there top 3 pitchers and closer from last yr. Plus 4 hitters that can hit 30 hrs . They made it too the second Rd of the playoffs last yr as a young team. C’mon me ten teams better. Plus they pulled off a major trade and seems like they would again if they had too.


    3. @johnnyG – nobody can stop you from dreaming. but i agree with Murray. The odds of everyone will do well is remote. Plus, the names you mentioned will not fetch you a young and controllable top arm moreso a TOR (who is the most valuable commodity in the game). Klentak might get a prospect with TOR potential but not a young major league TOR unless he will give up not one but maybe 2 of their Top 6 prospects.

  34. Let’s also talk about the great Cole Hamels. The NLCS MVP Cole Hamels. World Series MVP Cole Hamels. I threw a no hitter in my last game ever as a Phillie Cole Hamels. I brought you Jorge Alfaro, Nick Williams, Jered Eickhoff, and Jake Thompson Cole Hamels. The great charitable class act Cole Hamels.

    I know everyone wants a Cole Hamels reunion. It would be a great story and I personally would LOVE to see it. However, I think the Phils need to be really careful about doing something sentimental and using their hearts rather than their heads. I don’t think they will as the organization is really run by outsiders who are independent from Cole – the FO, manager, and coaching staff barely have any ties to the Phillies.

    This is not to say Cole Hamels is done, but his numbers did trend the wrong direction last year, and even with a rebound year in 2018 his age is approaching that of Mr Halladay, Mr Lee, and Mr Oswalt where their performance started to move in the wrong direction fairly quickly. I’d also like to note that all 3 of those pitchers kept themselves in great shape, prepared diligently, and had strong health track records, just like Mr Hamels.

    So what should the Phils do in my opinion? First, do not trade for him during the season. If he has a strong year, teams will be lining up to trade for him and the Phils will have to part with too many young resources. If he doesn’t have a strong year, why trade for him at that point?

    Second, if they want Cole Hamels, go after him in free agency. If he has a strong year, consider a high dollar, short term contract that doesn’t stop them from signing marquee free agents. If he has another year of decline, and you think you can buy low on a high risk, high reward contract, go for it.

    Bottom line, don’t fall into the trap of getting Cole Hamels because he is Cole Hamels. Only go down that path if he is the right guy for the right reasons at the right time. We as fans have waited too long for this team to recover from the sentimental decisions of past leadership to have the strong position the Phils sit in today impacted by new sentimental decisions.

    Love you Cole, no offense. World F*n Champion forever!!!

    1. Hamels would make sense because he’s a lefty, and only IF he’s performing well, healthy, and the Phillies are positioned to make a playoff run THIS year. Otherwise, there is no basis (sentimental or not, which MacKlentak aren’t) to bring him back.

      1. 8mark…agree.
        One of the main reasons the Phillies are and have been in this position for the past 5/6 years was based upon sentiment and loyalty to their aging stars.waiting until late 2014 to actually start the slow and long process to rebuild was a little too late.
        It is a business.

        1. I pin their demise more on the health of Lee and Halladay and Monty’s refusing to behave like a big market club should when that stuff happens.

          You don’t see the BoSox or Yankees going into oblivion because of a few bad contracts.

          1. yes….once the Dominoes started falling they should have started the rebuild
            Foresight and vision are important….Middleton stressed that in October 2015 …..looking five years out …even in the good times.

    2. at this point in time, the Phils will not reacquire Hamels to be the Hamels of old. While it is expected that Hamels performance trends download due to age (thus don’t overpay), he can still something valuable to the team particular to the young rotation.

      Hamels proved that he can perform well in crucial moments and he learned how to play for this team and this fanbase (thus, mental toughness) – he will be a better mentor that Arrieta. Hamels also throw one of the best CU and CB during his best, 2 pitches that can benefit Eickhoff, Vinny, Pivetta, Anderson. Hamels can still log inning and he’s a lefty that can provide balance to the RH heavy rotation.

      Being sentimental is trying to hold on to players like Cesar, Lively, etc when you have better players who can replace them.

      Trading Galvin and DFAing ToJo despite of the lack of depth in the position players is a good sign that Klentak is not overly sentimental.

    3. The thing you have to think about too is would we need him? Cole was my favorite Phillie behind Utley and I’d love to see him come back and be this team’s Andy Pettite but:

      Romero is going to be in AA. If he dominates there he’s probably in the big leagues. Do one/two of Pivetta/Velasquez/ and Eickhoff solidify their spots in the middle of the rotation?

      Also Medina and Sanchez will be one more year closer. It’s possible there may just not be enough room.

    4. Said it before makes alot of sense to bring Cole back for 2 yrs . 1 LhP 2 history 3 still pretty good.

  35. We as fans always dream of something optimistic about our favorite. As one of us pointed here, the probability of everything gets right is close to remote. If there’s something positive positive I like to happen and I have a strong gut feeling that it will happen are as follows:

    a) Sixto, Medina, JoJo – to stay healthy and continue to develop as a potential TOR/MOR arm. I like to see these trio in the rotation 2 years from now and join Nola and possibly a top FA signee.

    b) For Johnny A. to finally hit with his 1st rd pick. I think Haseley will eventually make the big league within 2 years, but Johnny A. need to draft a high impact talent this coming draft.

    c) Jhailyn, Arquimedes and Morales – for these top LA signees to break (or gather national attention) Top 100 prospects nationally. These trio have game changing tools which can be perennial all star type. They can significantly help the major league team or can be good trade asset to acquire a top MLB talent.

    d) Alfaro – to develop at least average defensively and improve plate discipline.

    e) Wildcards – for some prospects to perform within they potential such as Anderson, Seranthony, Arano, Ranger, Howard and Luis Garcia (SS).

    I did not include Nola, Hoskins and Kingery since I’ve already said a lot to like about them and I willing to lose the battle over Machado, Harper, Kilome, Vinny, Pivetta, Franco, Doobie, Moniak, C, Gowdy, Quinn , Cozens and others if I can get the above.

    I lost on Ohtani, but I’m still optimistic that Mike Trout will play for the red pin stripe and I know that Middleton will do something not included in my wish list.

  36. Pivetta did well today:
    Jim Salisbury…@JSalisburyNBCS.
    Nick Pivetta is done after two perfect innings and one strikeout. Had power stuff. Team planned to scale him back today.

  37. I am not a Pitching Coach, but there is a week to go in ST. Pivetta, we know, can pitch 2 Innings. The problem is 5 or 6, and we know nothing more than we did at the start. Shouldn’t we see him trying to go at least 4 by now?

  38. Edubray Ramos. I really liked this kid a year ago but now I’m not sure what to make of him. Anybody have a long term profile for him?

    1. Gorman’s team will be competing in the National High School Invitational Tournament next week. He’ll have to look good there. He’s supposedly slipping down draft boards. I’ve read he’s put on weight and teams are concerned about his ability to stay at 3B. May end up a 1st baseman.

    1. i can’t believe you trust that link and even share that here. all teams almost have the same record and same probability to win the WS. are you also the one who posted that Kyle Hendricks is 27 WAR but rather in fact only 27th in WAR or something like that?

      1. I didn’t say I trusted it . Vegas had odds out the day after the World Series for the 2018 WS for the favorites . If you don’t like don’t read it . I Geez I’m was just trying to say Zona has as much Core talent as anyone in the NL. My connection is bad tonight .

        1. As noted above, what you posted is complete garbage – it basically projects every team as winning 81 games. That’s utter nonsense. Show me one Vegas book that has that team listed as the favorite? Or even In the top 3. You can’t do stop rationalizing and stop making things up. It’s ridiculous.

        2. the only way ARI will be in the top of the WS odds is if it is done in alphabetical order. Souza Jr (who WAS turned into Trea Turner) and Yasmani Tomas are junk. Nobody wants to get them even in fantasy leagues,

          1. Ok it’s called pitching fangraphs zip had there rotation 2nd in all of baseball. Tomas was hurt last yr and isn’t going to start . Souza mite hit 30 hit again mite not. They still have Goldschmidt, Pullock who they didn’t have all of last yr and Lamb. Enough solid defense .

            1. Houston Astros 11/2
              Los Angeles Dodgers 11/2
              New York Yankees 6/1
              Chicago Cubs 7/1
              Cleveland Indians 7/1
              Washington Nationals 9/1
              Boston Red Sox 10/1
              Minnesota Twins 20/1
              St. Louis Cardinals 22/1
              Los Angeles Angels 25/1
              Milwaukee Brewers 30/1
              San Francisco Giants 30/1
              Arizona Diamondbacks 35/1
              New York Mets 35/1
              Toronto Blue Jays 35/1
              Seattle Mariners 50/1
              Colorado Rockies 55/1
              Philadelphia Phillies 65/1
              Pittsburgh Pirates 120/1
              Atlanta Braves 200/1
              Chicago White Sox 200/1
              Oakland Athletics 200/1
              San Diego Padres 200/1
              Tampa Bay Rays 200/1
              Texas Rangers 200/1
              Baltimore Orioles 220/1
              Cincinnati Reds 300/1
              Detroit Tigers 500/1
              Kansas City Royals 500/1
              Miami Marlins 500/1

    2. Also the DBacks, Robby Ray , Godley, Walker they also will pull the big trade as they did last year with JD . No way they fall unless injuries happen.

      1. it says right on the page to ignore what they have there until march 23, doesnt it?
        souza hurt last night.
        my interest in Arizona this year is seeing the effect of the humidor at Chase Field.

        1. Did this site become future snakes? Why is there argument over Arizona’s WS chances?

          1. No Hinkie posted something about the Zona trading there pitchers if they fall out of contention. I posted that Zona is a favorite not the favorite.Some how that pissed off Catch who’s got his panties in a bunch over it . Usually when a team makes the playoffs in any sport the following yr they become favorites . Doesn’t always work out . I mean the Eagles won the Super bowl next yr there the Favorites along the Pats, Pitt, Minn, Los Angeles , Green Bay , Seahawks, Falcons. I mean geez get over it I’m done with it.

    1. They can have him. He has zero chance of ever making it with the Phillies – he’s like a physically weaker version of Tyler Goeddell.

  39. I said a favorite not the favorite . Zona made the playoffs last yr . Only ten teams made the playoffs so Zona was in the top 10 at the end of last yr . Houston was 12 to 1 at the the begining of last yr 7 th place . Right now Zona 9 th at 20 to 1 . Before the season starts the lines will change. BTW Zona Improved by 24 games last yr. Ten teams make the playoffs as long as your in the playoffs you have a chance.

    Cleveland 2016 odds preseason to win world series 20 to 1. They made it but didn’t win.
    Kansas City odds per season 28 to 1 too win the WC 2015 .Won
    San Francisco preseason odds 22 to 1 . Won WC 2014
    Boston perseason odds 30 to 1 . Won WC 2013
    In fact once in the last 5 yrs did a top 3 preseason ranked team win the world Series.
    However you have a much better chance if your team is in the 30 to 1 to 20 to 1 área.

  40. Regarding the Hamels thread somewhere above, I and another Phils fan friend propose to trade Herrera for Hamels straight up. Hamels would likely agree to a 2 year extension as the #3 which would nicely bridge the gap to when Sixto & Co arrive. Who says no?

    1. Texas. Why would they want Herrera? They would ask for Medina and Kilome, or something like that. Young very controllable high ceiling guys.

      1. Murray, not for an aging SP who’s contract (option year) is up after ’19 (I believe).

        1. Good starters cost a lot in the way of prospects. Herrera would have more value to a good team who needs one more OF bat to make their push. Same thing with Cesar. Teams starting over don’t want these guys.

      2. Totally disagree. Texas would say, “yes”. Matt Klentak, on the other hand, would be asked to go have his head examined if he traded a 26 YO AS caliber CFer (under team control on a team friendly contract for six years) for a 34 YO SP (with only two years of team control). Like Romus said, OH should have the same worth as Eaton.

        1. Hinkie, he’s an all-star only if he produces in the early half of the season. Which half will he put up the requisite numbers this season? At the end of the year, he might give you numbers that indicate he’s all star worthy, but I see Bobby Abreu 2.0

    2. Well, before the analytics gang up on me, I don’t care about his WAR. IMO he’s as good as he’ll ever be. The league book on him is adjusting it’s approach. Certainly mechanics can be learned and developed. But not baseball IQ. Texas GM Daniels publicly regretted losing Doobie to rule 5. Perhaps Cole is a reasonable price to him.

      1. …oh, and Herrera’s team friendly contract is only getting less so as time passes.

        1. Not really. If he performs as he should the contract is long enough that it provides a huge bargain, especially with contracts continuing to escalate around baseball.

          1. I can see Herrera having THE SAME OR BETTER return value than Adam Eaton.
            Herrera defensively alone is a better CFer than Eaton, who’s best positions in the OF according to DRS were the corners….and he does not have the power numbers for the corner profile.

            1. @romus – i’ve always said that market dictates the value not the team. Klentak needs to find a desperate win-now team with deep farm and a need for CF to expect the same return. CWS and NYY were just in the right time to unload players, thus, extract good prospects for it.

      2. @8mark – analytics is actually very important not only in baseball but also in all kinds of business. it is the misuse of the analytics that negates its importance.

        Doobie might fetch better returns if offered to another team. I will try to talk to OAK (who is a big analytics fan so Doobie and Cesar might appeal to them) – since OAK always try to compete without wanting to spending too much $$. Doobie’s contract should be manageable to them. I’ll try to get Luzardo, Nick Allen and Daulton Jefferies for Doobie or work on a bigger package involving both Doobie and Cesar for more prospects.

        1. Interesting idea, KuKo. But not sure what we’re doing with all the prospects we have already, though.

          1. Luzardo is a potential #2/#3 – the high end lefty that the Phils is longing for the long time.

            I will not worry about what to do with the other prospects as long as the Phils can keep and hold the top ones – JPC, Sixto, Kingery, Medina, Ortiz, Seranthony, JoJo.

      3. Odubel hit .323/,378/.551 in the second half last year. Whatever the league did to adjust its approach didn’t work. Herrera plays a good CF and is an above average hitter. He doesn’t have to get any better to be a steal on his contract.

        There were two 34 y/o and over pitchers who qualified for the ERA title and had an ERA under 4.00 last year. One was Justin Verlander, who’s a future HoFer. The other was Ervin Santana, who had a bit of a fluky year. You want to trade a cost-controlled good player in his prime for Hamels, who’s coming off a down year with lower velo and K rates? I love Cole, but even signing him to a contract next year would be risky, let alone trading and extending him. Daniels would jump at that. We’d be giving up more than what Texas did when they traded for him in 2015.

  41. I’m always optimistic about the Phillies chances and i see them close to go 0.500. In order for the Phils to be in the WC hunt by September the following needs to happen:

    a) Hoskins needs to play like an all star with .280/.400/.850+ line

    b) One of Pivetta or Vinny play like a MOR – a solid #3 type

    c) Bullpen to play as expected – Morgan, Hunter, Neshek and Neris should stabilize the pen.

    d) Altherr or William (whoever got the regular start) – play at around .280/.380/.800+ with base running capability.

    I expect Nola to be Nola and Kingery will be Kingery he comes up. Arrieta will be a solid #2 behind Nola – not CY but more of what AJ Burnett provided to PIT before.

    Somebody from Eflin-Lively-Anderson-Eshelman group should be able to come up and provide innings.

  42. I have the notion that Knapp will more or less be Arrieta’s designated catcher. He caught his simulated game and is in the lineup today. Coincidental or intentional?

    1. 8mark……you may be correct.
      Arrieta sometime prefers comfort in his catcher.
      Remember the Miguel Montero incident for last year, who is actually a decent catcher.

      Until Alf upgrades his techniques, Arrieta could prefer Knapp.
      I do not think Arrieta gives a rat’s behind about a catcher’s arm strength…his delivery may be slow to the plate as Montero claimed, but I think he wants pitching to be his main concern.

      Will be interesting to see how it plays out.
      I do think Alf is coming around but some veteran pitchers have their own wishes.

    2. Does look like Jake has an issue holding runners on.
      “Runners have succeeded on 83 percent of steal attempts against Arrieta in his career, well above the league average, which this year (2017)is around 72 percent”.

    1. No really. If Nola and Arrieta pitch as expected and assume Vinny becomes a solid #3 – then any of the following Eickhoff-Pivetta-Eflin-Lively-Eshelman-Anderson can be interchangeable as #4/#5.

      A healthy Eick is probably a good #4 – the Phils has a dept of #4s to replace him anytime.

    1. 2 Top 10 (JPC. Alfaro) will graduate early in the season and potentially 2 others (Kingery and Eshelman) will be graduate too at some point this year. The Phils don’t have Rd 2 and Rd 3 picks, so they might actually slip down the rankings.

      Haseley and Moniak will be key and the continued positive development of Ortiz, Morales and Gamboa are important if the farm wants to maintain its Top 5 status.

      1. Good point about the absence of draft picks. Although Moniak appears to be stronger this spring, I’m not banking on him making drastic improvements to his game. But it could happen. The others you listed inspire more confidence–to me, at least. Especially Ortiz and Morales. But again, we’ll see. Hopefully Almaraz hits on someone with elite upside in this year’s first round, preferably a pitcher.

      2. Losing the two draft picks in June should not drastically affect the farm ranking short term…maybe 2/3 years from now..

        1. @romus – losing Rd 2 and Rd 3 means that the Phils lose the $$ pool that comes with it which you can manage to sign higher upside prospect in the later rounds. for example, the Cubs signed Stinnet under slot to sign Sands (Rd 4) and Cease (Rd 6) in 2014. While both Sands and Cease did not pitch yet, I’m certain that it positively impact the Cubs farm ranking by the time they were drafted and signed.

          Losing Rd 2 and Rd 3 will limit Johnny A.’s flexibility in acquiring overslot talents who normally improve a teams farm system rankings.

          1. Agree….just I do not see it affecting their ranking all that much this year.
            I can see it falling in 2019 unless they move a veteran player or two (Cesar. or Herrera) for prospects..Just the way it is.

            1. Alot more plays into this.
              1 . The Phillies do get comp picks if they they loss both Santana ,Arrieta in 2021.
              2 . So your giving up 2 and 3 picks this yr for future comp picks down the line.
              3 . So basically Santana, Arrieta are the Phillies second and 3rd picks this yr.
              4. Heading in the trade deadline the 2/3 of the Nats starting rotation is on the DL. The Nats are 4 place and rumors have it the Nats need Sp bad. Harper looks around See’s the up and coming Phillies in 2nd place 2 games out of first. ………deadline trade Phillies get Harper for VV , Medina, Alfaro, Howard, Morales

            2. Tim:
              1 and 2…… no they do not…under the new CBA, MLB players only get one QO in a career. So the Phillies cannot extend a QO to either Santana or Arrieta again.
              4. Harper….keep dreaming…Mr Sandman may hear your wish.

            1. yes………..another 500K, given the compensation rules, forfeiting international bonus money may actually hurt more than losing draft picks. Each team has a hard cap now, teams can’t go over like they once did — and given the market size, the Phillies (large market) were expected to have $4.75M total this summer, the smallest allowed. Two qualified free agents at $500K means they’re down to $3.75M internationally. It hurts, but you’re also making your MLB roster better. The Phillies have already taken the plunge this offseason and signed qualified free agents in Santana and now Arrieta. Once you do that, you have taken plunge, now might as well just set yourself up for a full draft next year.

    1. and incidentally, DET – the team that discussed here as the potential Cesar destination is dead last in the 2B power rankings. DET might go full rebuild, thus, may not be interested with Cesar anymore.

    2. I think the biggest check mark on Cesar is his lack of defensive versatility. He’d otherwise be a good utility candidate. His lack of power doesn’t help his/our cause, either. The outset of the regular season will test his metal. He may already be feeling the heat from Jetpax, given his light numbers this spring. We’ll find out over the next few weeks whether his skin has thickened.

  43. Phillies have to stay healthy at certain area’s like 3rd and first there’s little help down in AAA. Saying that they have a chance at the division . The Nats Rotation is aging Scherzer is 33 hitting 34 soon . He has alot of miles on him. Strasbourg has been injury prone in the past . Gio 32 Will turn 33 in August again lots of miles .Roark 31 lots of miles . The Nats don’t have the farm sys replace them.sound like a rotation the Phillies used to have.
    The Mets well there Rotation has to stay healthy yea ok. They Really have the same over used Bp as yrs past. Also there team is old Reyes, A Gonzalez, Murphy, Frazier are all over 30 . The Phillies strength is pitching depth . Some things have to break right

    1. Sounds about like his season will probably play out. A fair number of K’s and a fair number of HRs…

  44. From the 40man, I would guess the following 25 go north:

    SPs (5) – Arrieta, Lively, Nola, Pivetta, Velasquez
    Bullpen (8) – Arano (or Hutchison if either Leiter or Eickhoff are placed on the 60day DL), Garcia, Hunter, Milner, Morgan, Neris, Neshek, Ramos

    C (2) – Alfaro, Knapp

    IF (5) – Crawford, Florimon, Franco, Hernandez, Santana

    OF (5) – Altherr, Herrera, Hoskins, Quinn, Williams

  45. 8mark, my only question is does Quinn make the team? I still am not sure playing every day in LHV is not better for him and the team in the long run. Even for a couple of months.

    1. He’s a role player in my mind, Matt. Yes he can be a catalyst, but he’s run his course in the minors age and time wise.

    2. i think the roster will depend on what Klentak plans to do related to Eickhoff and Leiter’s injury. If both will be moved to 60-DL, that will create 2 roster spots — assume the 1st go to Hutchinson, this will move both Eflin and Jake to LHV and the 2nd to Rosales (or any FA) – this might push Quinn to LHV to get regular at bats before coming up again sometime in May.

      The starting 8 looks like a lock with Nick, Knapp/Rupp, Florimon and Valentin expected to join the bench so that leaves 1 more spot — either to Quinn or FA.

      The starters have locks on the 1st 4 and Lively has the inside track to get the 5th starter gig while the pen has 6 locks and Milner or Hutchinson might get the 7th pushing Arano to LHV or REA.

      1. KuKo:
        I do not think Matt K will be placing either of lLiter or Eickhoff on the 60 day DL.
        But I look for the 10-day DL variety….once or consecutive starting 29 March.
        Players placed on the 60-day DL must remain on the DL for a minimum of 60 days and of course are temporarily removed from a club’s 40-man roster, which often makes the list a last resort for clubs.
        So that would mean both Leiter and Eichkoff will not be able to return until June if they are placed on the 60- day DL
        However, say a team doesn’t need a 40-man roster spot to replace an injured player, the player may be kept on the 10-day DL longer than 60 days rather than being transferred to the 60-day DL. In this way the team won’t need to risk losing another player by going through the process to clear a spot on the 40-man roster when the injured player is ready to return
        I do not know what Matt K’s intentions are right now….but he does have options with both pitchers, but if they are healthy are sitting on a DL list….they may not like that idea so much.

        1. if its the 10-day then it somebody like Curtis and/or Rupp will have to go and Quinn will probably occupy one of the bench spots.

          I can see both Eickhoff and Leiter assigned to 10-DL for consecutive weeks then converted to 60-DL is it takes longer than expected.

      2. KuKo, you probably meant Knapp/Alfaro. Rupp may never play another regular season inning in red pinstripes.

        1. i have Alfaro as the starting C so it’s Knapp/Rupp for the bench C. I actually have Rupp as non-tendered candidate so he is as good as gone for me.

          1. They are already paying Rupp $2m for 2018 so there’s no reason to not send him to AAA as insurance against injury. They may try to trade him if possible but I doubt they will just release him.

            IF they need additional roster spots, there are other a couple of pitchers on the 40 than can be removed but I doubt they do that to open spots for players when they already have viable options.

    1. I wonder if the Phils are looking at USF LHP McClanahan and the high school lefty Libertore at 3 as well

      1. McClanahan is definitely in the mix for 1-3. Matt Liberatore (from what I’ve read) may have fallen just a little bit because of inconsistent velo. I would guess the Phillies would prefer a college arm or any bat. My prediction … The Phillies will draft someone whose last name begins with the letter “M” at 1-3.
        1. Mize
        2. Madrigal
        3. McClanahan
        Gorman, Travis Swaggerty, and Ryan Rolison are also possibilities.

        1. BTW … I like Jeremy Eireman a lot, but he seems destined to go more in the 10-20 range.

    1. Here’s a write up on Gorman. The big question is … Will he be able to stay at 3B or will he eventually have to become a 1Bman ???

      1. Hinkie….get any updates on Gorman from Eric Longenhagen?
        He was also suppose to go out and see him maybe with McDaniel….assume they have the same analysis.
        Longenhagen was the one who had some doubts on Gorman.
        If two or three of the Phillies young arms like ViVe, Eflin,Lively, Thompson or Pivetta all take off in the next two months, perhaps the Phillies will go after a bat…maybe Gorman.

        1. I love me a lefty power bat regardless of whether he plays 3b or 1b. Figure that out later. I’m all in with Gorman who will only get stronger even though he can already pop the ball out despite not making solid contact.

          IF he’s gone at 1-3, I’ll gladly take Mize if he projects to be in the major league rotation by late ’19.

          1. Phillies really cannot go wrong this year at 3.
            That is….if all the players are healthy by the June draft date.
            Saw on another site an article about Nick Madrigal and some suggested he would be a good selection. He is a smallish hitter with some pop, in the mold of Pedroia/Aluve (when he was a few years ago), and maybe a Kingery.
            But to me he is 2nd base limited.

        2. Romus … You’re correct. Longenhagen and McDaniel work together on the draft. Longenhagen lives in Arizona now and sees Gorman (and Liberatore) more. McDaniel (I believe) is in Florida. He’ll probably be in NC next week for NHSI (National High School Invitational) Tournament. That’s where Gorman (and many other of the top HS players) will play beginning Wednesday.

          1. Ok Hinkie….next week there should be a lot more in-depth previews on the HS prospects.

    1. Werth would be a great bench bat all 3 outfield position plus 1st . Best part pitcher hitter that will work the pitcher.

        1. Quinn needs atbats and everyday playing time. Quinn not going to learn much as a pitch runner spot starter. Both Altherr and Williams have earned the playing time and are more proven .All three can play all 3 outfield positions with Altherr maybe the best fielder. Nick Williams maybe the best hitter.
          The big reason to send Quinn down to start the season .
          1.the schedule is light and it’s still cold. Do you really want Quinn coming in as a pitch hitter or runner in sub 40 degrees weather with his injury history.
          2. The Phillies might need an bigger bp to start the season . ,Arrieta just signed so he might be on a pitch count.
          3 . Playing everyday might help Quinn even if he plays SS once or twice a WK.being a 5th is really not needed in the beginning of a season unless you have injuries .
          4. Daniel Nava and Ty Kelly seemed good at it last yr there’s a nack of pick hitting and playing maybe twice a WK .imo

        2. I rather have Romus in the outfield than Werth. I don’t understand why a young teams needs a cancer like that guy. All he would do is take away at bats. and development from one of the young kids. We are not a contending team yet, werth is worthless to us at this point

          1. You always need a vet bat on the bench . Setting on the bench in mid March wait to stop start or pitch hit isn’t really good for young players. Going down to LV and starting everyday until an injury occurs or limited production would be better imo.if your going to make a player a bench player start it in the minors let him play every 5 day and pitch hit.

  46. With the exception of Valentin at ss, today’s lineup may very well be the opening day one. Altherr seems to be winning the rf job over Williams (0 HRs, 1 rbi). Nola in 8 hole.

    Alfaro doubled home 2 and WALKED! Heaven.
    Franco 2run homer. At least he should be good for 25-30 HRs if not much else.

    1. But then with a runner on 3b, 2 outs and Santana at bat, Cesar gets caught stealing 2b. Bad baseball. Sorry.

          1. Na na na, Romus. There goes Franco for a very good starting pitcher, my friend. Boost that market value, aye?

          2. Romus how did you hair transplant go? Hope your okay I Hope your. not in lot of pain. call me if you need a hair brush, for all that new hair.

            1. rocco….doing just fine.
              Thanks for the asking.
              By the way, what kind of bristles on that hairbrush?

    1. Pshew. Close one. Thought for a minute he might wind up back here. Has he traded in his whiffle ball bat for a wooden one yet?

      1. And two years from now everyone will be complaining about how the Phillies let him get away for nothing.

    1. BTW … Mize should be facing 6’10” (and another first round pick) Sean Hjelle in that contest.

  47. Kentucky came from behind to beat Auburn tonight 5-4. Casey Mize was very good (again) … 7 IP (105 P), 2 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 12 K. For the season Mize has 63 K’s to only 3 BB’s. Sean Hjelle was pretty good … 6.1 (95 P), 4 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 7 K. Hjelle was at 93 MPH for most of the outing and had a good breaking ball.
    Back to Mize … He would be the best case scenario for the Phillies at 1-3. Just not too convinced he’s going to make it that far.

  48. 5 days until the opener. Guess I’ll look into my 2018 crystal ball for the positional players barring extended stays on DL.

    C Jorge Alfaro .261/.316/.511
    Probably starts 60% of games behind the dish. I’ll say 21 dingers, 81 rbi.
    C Andrew Knapp .255/.340/.473
    May become the “pitchers’ catcher”, 10 HRs, 48 rbi

    1b Carlos Santana .256/.367/.509
    I liken him to Ibanez’s first year here, first half of season blistering hot (though not with as much power), cools in the dog days but has clutch ABs down the stretch. 25 HRs, 88 rbi.

    2b Cesar Hernandez – will be traded before the rule 4 draft in early June for a combo of prospects/comp bal pick/intl money.
    2b Scott Kingery .306/.350/.545
    The kid may spudder mid summer as the league adjusts, but he’ll be a ROY/ Gold Glove candidate. Perhaps a super U to start but takes over once Cesar is moved or shows he can’t sustain the past 2 seasons. Jetpax becomes a household name. Selected to the all star game as an extra….this year. 26 HRs, 92 rbi.

    ss JP Crawford .266/.361/.449
    Will dazzle with web gems, mostly at short, but a few at 3b as well. Quiet leader has a quietly good season with power spurts throughout. 14 HRs, 56 rbi.

    3b Maikel Franco .251/.315/.566
    Good enough season to make himself a commodity in the off season. Still a solid glove. 31 HRs, 98 rbi

    lf Rhys Hoskins .272/.377/.592
    Consistency will be his hallmark. Passible with the glove. All star nod. 38 HRs, 116 rbi.

    cf Odubel Herrera .277/.331/.472
    Gets a lot of doubles again, but overall a disappointing season. May be traded at the deadline. If not, 13 HRs, 66 rbi, and more Ks than he’s had this far in his career. The league has caught up with him.

    rf Aaron Altherr .275/.344/.526
    Takes the cf job over toward the end of the year. Steady contributor. Actually stays off the DL entirely thanks to regular rest. But still puts up some accumulative numbers. 27 HRs, 90 rbi.

    rf Nick Williams .280/.317/.522
    Rebounds from a very slow start to red hot in July and August. Takes over the rf job once Doobie begins to fade. 25 HRs, 86 rbi.

    of Roman Quinn .262/.320/.476
    Limited duty but sees lots of time as late inning replacement, and spells the starters 2 or 3 games a week. I’ll say he still pops 10 dingers (2 inside the parkers).

    Pedro Florimon does well as a full season utility. Plays every position except C. Might even pitch in an 18 inning blowout.

  49. 8mark..Rose colored glasses? If that happens,2018 will be a FUN season and they should be in the playoffs,if the pitching holds up.
    That would be awesome!

    1. Perhaps, but the pitching may be the Achilles heel. If the bullpen can pull together, we’re in decent shape for playing meaningful games in September. Outside of Hoskins, I don’t see anybody’s performance cruising coast to coast.

    1. He has an option left…so looks like Rupp, with Logan Moore, will be at LHV, unless Alf or Knapp get injured.
      Matt also may try to move him , but if an injury does occur in Philly, then they will have to go with Moore, who should be on the 40 if Rupp is traded.

  50. SG Giants may need pitchers.
    Bum is out until may and Jeff Smar. may have some shoulder issues developing.

    1. Calling Lackey and Dickey right now. Maybe go for young arms later, risky when you have 3 of your top starters with alot of miles on them plus 2 are over 30.

  51. Wow !!! 18 YO Jonathan Guzman getting some time at SS today with the Phillies vs Tigers.

    1. If Hutchinson makes the 25 roster, who gets DFAed? Rupp?
      Or maybe one of the other relievers …since Hutch would probably go into that long-relief role that Leiter occupied last season..

    1. Will probably take the direct shuttle from Philly to Texas like Hamels, Tocci, and Eliezer Alvarez.

  52. First 43 games of the season, we play 3 games at Wash and 3 at home vs DBacks. Only 2 teams with winning records last year. We could be well over .500 by mid-May.

  53. Big oppirtunity to start off well and build confidence. SP key as always and BP will have to be strong from day 1. If they can build some momentum, I have no doubt reinforcements will be available in July.

  54. Thu @ Atl – Nola
    Fri @ Atl – Velasquez
    Sat @ Atl – Pivetta
    4/2 @ Mets – Hutchison
    4/3 @ Mets – Nola
    4/4 @ Mets – Velasquez
    4/5 vs Mia – Pivetta (home opener)
    4/7 vs Mia – Hutchison
    4/8 vs Mia – Arrieta

  55. Matt was just speaking on air and he said we might hear some news today about Kingery and I bet that Hernandez gets traded.

    1. Someone new, after the Rupper, must be DFA now from the 40 with Kingery’s addition….or a trade is made.
      My guess Zac Curtis may be let go….if Morgan and Milner will be there lefties in the pen..

    1. Have to believe Klentak will be exploring extensions for Hoskins and Nola, also. Wouldn’t even count out an extension (minus a no-trade) for Cesar. That type of deal could make CeHe a more valuable trade piece.

  56. Caught me by surprise! He will play the Zobrist role, now I am even more excited about the season!

          1. Thought it would be Curtis….but Pinto has not come around as they would hope i guess.

      1. Glad for kingery, but risky. Lot of money for unproven player. Pivetta I still believe has the great chance to be really good,

        1. rocco….that is really a team friendly contract. Kingery has given every indication he will prove up to that contract and could very well out-perform it.
          And I do not see him being the type of player who would ‘pout’ if that does happen.

          1. Romus I just remember singleton Everyone thought he would be a star, ten million and he did nothing. Just hope they are right about this kid. I Have only seen him bat twice,

            1. rocco…..well for starters….I do not think the kid is into weed to get any suspensions down the road..

  57. Matt Gelb…….@MattGelb
    ….. breakdown of the Scott Kingery contract:

    $1.5 signing bonus
    2018: $750k
    2019: $1.25 mil
    2020: $1.5 mil
    2021: $4.0 mil
    2022: $6.0 mil
    2023: $8.0 mil
    2024-26 options are $13, $14, $15 with $1 mil buyout.

    ……Herrera was first with a team friendly, now Kingery…though after his ‘would have been’ original arb years he does get the slight jump up…but if he produces anything like he has the last year….Phillies will have done a good deal

    1. Wow .. just WOW… Glad to see it. This kid must not only be talented, but mentally tough as nails to have the Phillies present this to him. Uncharacteristic, but I am liking it. Kinda makes you wonder what Crawford is thinking. Sixto probably just got some motivations as well

      I’m sensing a change in the market of FA. After this past offseason, and Kingery’s signing.. teams maybe heading down his route more, ending the albatross last years of the contract near a stars end.

      Was excited before, but that was a kick in the rear. Plus, its time to get outside and challenge CBP for who has the better lawn!

  58. Great to hear buying my first Jersey since Ultey . Now this team as playoff protental.Phillies only need 4 starters and and a small bench.
    Kingery should start where who knows I think that will be worked out by the end of the WK.

  59. Interesting move by Klentak & by Kingery to make that deal.

    Curious if Hoskins or Nola would make a deal like that or roll the dice through arbitration.

    Overall, they could take a money ball approach to building the team. While spending bigger money on shorter term additive pieces.

    Cesar would have been a good candidate to sign through arbitration, but his agent must think he is just a few years out from a bigger payday.

    Does this now eliminate the Phillies from a Machado or Harper signing? I think so. It would be a conflicting team culture if a guy on the team over performs his contract while another gets a big payday in free agency

    1. Why would it eliminate the Phils from Machado or Harper? You make signings like this so you HAVE the extra money to spend in free agency on the right players. Those are the right players.

      As for Hoskins and Nola, I imagine Nola has done enough that he’s comfortable going through arbitration and get into FA as fast as possible. His first arb will set him for life at this point. He’d need to have a career ending injury this year to not have enough money for the rest of his life.

      I wouldn’t mind locking up those two and JP right now, though. I think JP and Hoskins would take less money (because of the former’s recent struggles and the latter’s lack of “pedigree”). Nola I would offer 10M/year and 15-18 for 2-3 years of FA. That’s still a discount but shows a lot of faith on management’s end.

  60. I wish Rupp good luck in whatever happens, but I am glad that Kingery will start the season in the bigs.

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