Open Discussion: Week of April 15, 2018

I opened last week’s discussion stating that the Phillies were 3-5.  Well, they reeled off 6 wins, sweeping the Reds and Rays.  Granted, the Reds and Rays are two teams that the Phillies should beat.  But, back to back sweeps is impressive.

The Phillies magic number is 148 to clinch a home wild card game.  It’s not too early to buy those playoff tickets.

#Phly Phillies Phly!

Seriously, though, we should enjoy this stretch.  But, keep in mind this is a young team, a flawed team.  They scored half of their 79 runs in just 3 games.  They have the 12th best batting average (.230) in the NL.  They rank 7th or 8th in OBP (.321), SLG (.395), and OPS (.716).

Much has been made of the Phillies’ attention to controlling the strike zone and having quality at bats.  To this end, they see the most pitches per at bat (4.198) than any team in the NL.  They have the second most walks (63) and the 6th fewest strike outs (134).  But, they have the second fewest hits (109).

Pitching has been good.  The Phillies rank 6th with a 3.45 ERA, 4th fewest hits allowed (113), 5th fewest runs (58), 3rd fewest earned runs (49), fewest home runs (8), 2nd fewest walks (44). 6th lowest batting average against (.238), and 5th lowest WHIP (1.23).  We can all think of several bad appearances by individual pitchers, but these are better team rankings than I expected.

Organizational News and Changes

Tommy Hunter pitched in a game at the Complex.  He looked good against the stiffs he pitched against, as he should.  A healthy Hunter will be welcome addition to the Phillies’ bullpen when he returns.

The transactions section contains over 350 transactions I used to complete the rosters I reported for the affiliates and the earlier work groups.  Those you can’t find on the major and minor league sites, I am getting from inside the league office.

The Phillies took over 100 players and coaches from the Complex to the Trop for game three of their series against the Rays.  I hope that included a meal plan.

Spring Training

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

Minor League Report

The GCL Phillies East and West begin their seasons on June 18th and 19th.  I have their preliminary schedules.  You can see them here.

Key Dates:

  • June 4-6, 2018 – 2018 MLB Draft
  • June 15, 2018 – Williamsport’s home opener v. State College
  • June 18, 2018 – GCL Phillies East home opener v. GCL Yankees West
  • June 19, 2018 – GCL Phillies West home opener v. GCL Yankees East
  • July 13-17, 2018 – All Star Week
  • July 17, 2018 – 89th All Star Game
  • 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

Transactions (recently reported transactions in bold): (40-man stands at 40)

  • 4/15/18–Jakob Hernandez assigned to Williamsport from Clearwater
  • 4/15/18–Will Stewart assigned to Williamsport from Lakewood
  • 4/15/18–Connor Brogdon assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
  • 4/14/18–LHP Zach Warren assigned to Williamsport from Lakewood
  • 4/14/18–LHP Damon Jones assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
  • 4/14/18–RHP Jacob Waguespack assigned to Reading from Williamsport
  • 4/14/18–SS Emmanuel Marrero assigned to Williamsport from Reading
  • 4/12/18–RHP Connor Seabold assigned to Williamsport from Clearwater
  • 4/12/18–RF Yahir Gurrola assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
  • 4/12/18–RHP Ismael Cabrera assigned to Clearwater from Williamsport
  • 4/11/18–Lehigh Valley placed RHP Drew Anderson on the 7-day DL retro to 4/8/18. Right forearm strain
  • 4/11/18–Connor Brogdon assigned to Williamsport from Lakewood
  • 4/11/18–Julian Garcia assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
  • 4/11/18–CF Malvin Matos assigned to Williamsport from Lakewood
  • 4/10/18–RHP Ismael Cabrera assigned to Williamsport from Clearwater
  • 4/10/18–RHP Mauricio Llovera assigned to Clearwater from Williamsport
  • 4/10/18–Ryan Asencio transferred from GCL East to DSL Red
  • 4/10/18–Emiliano Brazano transferred from GCL East to DSL Red
  • 4/10/18–Carlos De La Cruz transferred from GCL East to GCL West
  • 4/10/18–Christopher Duran transferred from GCL East to DSL Red
  • 4/10/18–Juan Geraldo transferred from GCL East to DSL Red
  • 4/10/18–Elias Liriano transferred from GCL East to DSL White
  • 4/10/18–Juan Miranda transferred from GCL East to DSL White
  • 4/9/18–Enyel De Los Santos transferred from Williamsport to Lehigh Valley
  • 4/9/18–Yeison Sanchez transferred from GCL West to DSL Red
  • 4/9/18–Rafi Gonell transferred from DSL White to GCL West
  • The organization’s rosters 
  • The organization’s injury list 
  • The organization’s Rule 5 eligibility list is not up to date.

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

131 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of April 15, 2018

  1. Despite the drama/controversy of the first few games of the regular season, I am enjoying the early going here. The Marlins, Reds and Rays aren’t the real test but the way in which the Phillies are winning – timely hitting, working ABs, young players making impact both on the mound and at the plate – is very encouraging. Different heroes on different days.

    Crawford is just finding his groove, Altherr has a grand slam and 3run shot but has yet to get untracked, Williams and Alfaro have contributed here and there despite their slow starts. Four SPs have ERAs under 4.00 and the bullpen has been effective for the most part.

    Off to Atlanta, then back home vs Pittsburgh, Arizona and Atlanta will be a better 13 game stretch to evaluate for the balance of April.

  2. the promising thing is you can start to see a core of players who look like the real deal, Hoskins, kingery, nola. and we’re using this yr to find out who else is on board for the long haul. i see pivetta, Herrera and Crawford in that category. probably Alfaro as its hard to find high level catchers
    in the end I don’t see Williams, altherr as long term solutions. probably not franco either but we’ll see
    they are really one big bat ( harper, machado?), one starting pitchers ( say a #2 level) and one top end of game reliever ( closer) from being a playoff team and they have the money and minor league resources to acquire those things

    1. Herrera is a real deal, long-term piece. He’s under contract through 2023, is a doubles machine and plays quality defense at a premium position. He no longer has to audition.

      If they could sign Harper to play RF next season along with another starter (perhaps Fulmer, Duffy or Archer in a deadline deal), they would be truly scary.

      1. I would pass on both Duffy and Archer, they both have red-flags now.
        Archer’s last two seasons have been in a down trend….and Duffy flat out has not been the same since the double-DL duties for the forearm last August.

      2. agreed
        Herrera is a bit of a nut job but he’s a good player especially hitting in front of other quality bats

  3. Good week! On the batting statistics it is amazing that we have been winning with Altherr, Santana and Alfaro really slumping

    1. Its hard to say that Santana is slumping if you look at his hard contact rate. I heard somewhere that he has hit the ball harder than 98% of the league. I may have misunderstood that but don’t think that I did. I can see him having a really solid summer once the weather heats up. A lof of his balls that were hit at the warning track would have been HRs. Also heard that for ever 10 degrees warmer, you can add 3ft of travel distance which was interesting. Personally i’m not worried about him at all.

  4. JP looks like a different hitter after using that drill. Keep it up JP!
    Quinn is hitting and running..,and is healthy!
    Cozens is hitting too.

  5. im hoping Cozens hits enough in short term that he has trade value in a package for other needs. don’t see him as a long term piece in philly.

  6. I know Altherr has had a very tough beginning. But, he may be the best defensive OF on the team. That play in RF where he laid out really clinched the game for the Phils, and his HR came after that. Maybe the great play he made helped his confidence at the plate? Kingery is a pleasure to watch. We are winning the games we are supposed to win, and good habits will come in handy when the opposition gets better.

    1. if Kingery started at LHV where most experts think he will, the Phils will lose about 5 games more. Kingery at 23 already played like a veteran despite playing multiple positions since he knows what he needed to do at the basepaths and at the plate(sac fly, timely hit, etc.) If Kingery can get regular playing time, he can be a reliable 20 (HR) – 20 (SB) guy. Kingery can save that 2015 draft class even if Randolph busts.

      Among the 3 top 10 1st rounders that Johnny A. drafted, Haseley is probably the one who will reach the majors first and can have a decent career.

      1. Well since Haseley is a older than the other 2 picks, I would hope that he’s the quickest one to reach the majors.

        As for Kingery, the contract signing eliminated the reason to keep in at AAA until May to get the extra year of control but I agree that he’s shown why many have been making the case that he’s the future at 2b for the team..

  7. What Bartolo Colon is doing at 44 is pretty incredible. Consider: He was a 28-year-old veteran when traded for youngsters Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore and Brandon Phillips in 2003 – a trade widely considered a steal for the Indians. Those prospects went on to a combined 14 All Star games over three long careers, and have retired rich, fat and happy old men (in baseball terms).

    And Colon is still going, almost pitching a perfect game the other day. Incredible.

    1. Showing my age here, but it reminds me of Nolan Ryan. When he made the big leagues I was barely a toddler. When he retired, I had been practicing law for two years. Wow! And while we are at it, aside from Wayne Gretzky’s scoring records (points record is INSANE), Ryan’s strikeout record of 5,714 may be the most unbreakable record in modern baseball. To break it, you’d have to have 250 strikeouts a year (typically where the league leader sits), every year for almost 23 SEASONS!!! That is remarkable.

  8. Tonight the Nats begin a series against the Mets in NY. They are 6 games out of 1st place. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Mets sweep to bury them early. We can worry about the Mets later. Besides, our reasonable hope for this season is a wild card berth. Time now to take care of the Braves and secure our 2nd place standing. Here’s to playing meaningful games in September!!

    1. If your hope is a wildcard then you should be rooting for the Nats, not the Mets.

      The Nationals are the most talented team in the division and will over 162 games end up in 1st place (or at the least, be better than the Phillies will be). The sooner the Mets come back to reality the easier it will be to pass them for a WC berth..

  9. The Pirates’ 2b Josh Harrison is out 6 weeks with a broken hand. How’s their farm? International pool situation? Competitive balance picks?

          1. I won’t jump over the insinuation but I doubt the Pirates brass will be willing to part with anything to fix the situation. They gave up on the season before it began with the trades of Cole/McCutchen and I doubt they are going to reverse course because of a good April start.

            If this was June, it might be different…

  10. Chase Needs One More to Join MLB 200 Club:

    Name Hit by Pitch MLB Rank
    Hughie Jennings… 287..1
    Craig Biggio….. 285..2
    Tommy Tucker.. 272..3
    Don Baylor…… 267..4
    Jason Kendall.. 254..5
    Ron Hunt …………….243..6
    Dan McGann… 230..7
    Chase Utley….. 199..8

  11. Victor Arano has retired all 16 batters he’s faced. 8 Ks. Talk is that he may eventually serve as the closer. He even started using a new grip he learned from fellow Mex reliever Sergio Romo of Tampa over the weekend (go figure) and it’s given him better command of his sinker. Not sure why this kid hadn’t gotten more love in recent prospect rankings, despite being a reliever.

    1. Arano and Edgar are the 2 relievers in my pre-season Top 30 that I don’t expect to be ranked higher in any other rankings.

      The bullpen will be a legitimate strength when the Phils start to contend — a pen of Arano, Seranthony, Edgar Garcia, JD Hammer is possible by next year.

  12. The Phillies schdule should tell the tail on who they are at this point. Alt ,Pitt,Zona, Alt. The Braves are crushing the ball. Pitt leading the Central and Zona leading the west.

    1. Braves are getting some luck from Flaherty and Tucker…not sure that will last..
      Albies and Swanson are doing what they were signed and drafted to do now.
      Freeman and Markaksis also.
      So they are having a little luck…pitching will be the difference for them if it is to occur.

    1. I’ve never seen someone refuse to accept how talented a player is and much as you continue to spew your hate for Odubel. Do you call into WIP on the reg?

      1. Rip, I haven’t called any radio station in close to 20 years. But that wasn’t the point of your post, was it?

        Here we go. I recognize the kid has physical talent. Analytics has shown he does. He is highly rated as a CF. He has foot speed. He’s certainly been tearing the cover off the ball of late. Personally, he seems to be a likable guy. As Gabe said himself, he is presenting beautifully. But to whom are we comparing Doobie? Shane Victorino won a world series here while suffering similar brain cramps. Great guy! Good player.

        My downfall is that I have this posting twitch in reaction to his costly mental errors and regular lapses in concentration, mostly on the basepaths and occasionally in the field. It’s not personal. I want him to succeed. I want to see the Phillies win with or without him. My comments (and I try humor) are not unique or uncommon among fans with whom I converse. I have a pulse and I don’t suffer foolish baseball very well. My bad. To those who disagree that his mistakes are acceptable because he puts up numbers, I really don’t know what to say.

        1. 8mark…can understand your point with Doobie, and how frustrating it is….also can hear it in the voices of former players like Davis, Kruk, Rick Bo, and Schmidt…they have to couch it in a way to make it politically correct over the air waves.
          There was a phrased used in the past about certain talented but unfocused players….not very headsie.

  13. Got to admit – getting frustrated that Phils can’t beat the Braves. Well pitched game, a shame to lose. I am afraid this is a harbinger of things to come when they get their 5 future Cy Youngs pitching in the bigs. And why oh why – would Kapler replace Crawford who had 2 hits for Florimon just because the pitcher is LH ? Yes, I know, but that is pure nonsense – it is about playing the kid(s) and giving him (them) confidence. Shameful and stupidly doctrinaire. I hope Klentak will give him a call on that one !

    1. My issue is more with the fact that if you want to find out what you have in players they need to be giving the opportunity to face difficult situations. Crawford facing a hard throwing lefty in a late-game pressure situation is what you should want to see if you’re the Phillies.

      Can he put up a quality at-bat in that spot? We still don’t know…

  14. Herrera had a tough night but we also scored 1 run and a lot of guys where flailing away at sliders all night long. have to score more than one run. we have a lot of low batting averages in the lineup right now. guys like Santana, alther, Alfaro, Williams need to pick it up

    1. Santana has been disappointing thus far given how much they paid him to be a solid bat. It’s early yet, but he has not looked like a $20 million man.

      1. Catch, FWIW, he IS among highest in MLB in hard hit outs. I share your disappointment however. And he should be batting 5th. It was well established before the regular season began that his numbers in the 2 hole over the years were not impressive.

          1. Thanks for the stats folks – it’s good to balance the picture. But part of my disappointment has been with the warning track power – hopefully that is also a mirage that fades away as he pulls more balls and the summer winds carry balls into the seats. I mean, I really want this guy to succeed and certainly his plate discipline is real. He’s no Rhys Hoskins, but not many players are!!!

            1. I have been watching baseball a long time and I think Rhys Hoskins is the single most mature first full year player I can ever recall. He’s not just studious and serious and talented and smart and hard-working – everything about him makes it appear that he’s been in the major leagues for 10 years and now he’s doing what he can to encourage and lead veteran players. I don’t recall anything like him pretty much in any sport. He’s unique in a wonderful way.

              When Earl Weaver first saw Tom Seaver he remarked that he had a 35 year-old head attached to a 21 year-old body (and it was true!). The same generally holds with Hoskins.

            2. My apologies, the quote is attributable to Solly Hemus and not Earl Weaver (who, the story has it, agreed with that assessment).

  15. In response to Tim’s post on another thread, my longterm (3-5 yrs) rotation hopefuls are:
    Nola, Sixto, Gowdy, Morales and either lefty Jojo or Ranger. Medina has yet to break out, but he is the discussion. Pivetta and Velasquez have this season to show they should be in consideration. I’m not high on Kilome as a starter. Of course, if by some work of magic Mize is available at 1-3, then he bumps somebody. Not sure who. (Qualifier –
    this all precludes the acquisition of an MLB TOR via trade or free agency.)

      1. IMO, Kilome will find success in bullpen and maybe transition to be a starter 5-years that the road. We haven’t seen Gowdy much yet, but his reported stuff is a potential TOR — at least 3 potential above average pitches (FB, SL, CU), good control and easy delivery. Gowdy can become what Luzardo is doing after his TJ surgery.

    1. My forecast for the 2021 Phillies rotation:
      Nola is a lock
      Sixto is a near lock
      Pivetta is trending in the right direction
      1 free agent … I’ll go with Japanese lefty Yusei Kikuchi
      1 via trade … James Paxton and Aaron Sanchez both finish their arbitration years in 2020. I love them both. I’ll say the Phillies deal for Sanchez (because he’s 3 years younger than Paxton) before 2020, and then re-sign him at the end of the season.

      So … the Hinkie Five for 2021 is Aaron Nola, Sixto Sanchez, Aaron Sanchez, Yusei Kikuchi, and Nick Pivetta.
      PS … the fact that you can add the names Aaron Nola and Sixto Sanchez and come up with Aaron Sanchez is just so poetic/cool !!!!!

      1. My version will be:

        #1 Nola
        #2 Sixto
        #3 FA
        #4 Medina
        #5 a lefty like Skaggs, JoJo or Ranger

        @hinkie – if Klentak want Kikuchi, he needs to get him sooner than later. He will be 30 in 2021.

  16. My idea was to involve all Phillies prospects in the rotation. So no wild trades or signings. So Nola ,Sixto, Ranger, Jojo, Elseman.

  17. Corey Seidman mentioned and tweeted a good stat about Nicky Pi – he allowed 2 runs or less in 6 of his last 7 starts. He has 1.86 ERA and .217 opponent batting average over that span with 40K and 10BB.

    My wish list for Pivetta is a CU and a low BB rate. Pivetta is not issuing BBs recently and he can forget about the CU as long as he can continue to throw his breaking balls (CB, SL) the current way he is doing.

    1. Like Eickhoff, Pivetta needs to develop a CU. His platoon splits this year show that in spades. RHB slash is .154/.175/.205; LHB .325/.364/.350

  18. I have to give some credit to Pivetta. He looks like he’s throwing his slider/curveball with a lot more confidence.

    1. This is how he looked last year in AAA before he was promoted. Only, now, his command is a lot better and he’s throwing more pitches.

      1. PV CB was pounded into the ground yesterday for a DP. That’s a good sign he had trouble in the first but came out of it.he still needs to work on placement and location his k % decrease with a better hitting lineup.he also needs to go a full 7 . Getting there could be a # 3.

    1. My bad. I meant to post this in the Draft Discussion thread. I’ll copy and paste it there. Jim … you can delete this.

  19. Observation on Franco:
    His entire body is way too busy just before his trigger to swing. Yes he’ll get a hold of a pitch in the inner half of the strike zone but it looks like he’s dramatically shifting from back to front. Not a good recipe for consistency. And he’s as hot/cold as they come. Historically, his ‘hot’ lasts only a few games unfortunately.

    1. I think John Kruk mentioned that Franco’s hip flies open when he faces RH pitchers. He keeps it in more against lefties. He’s getting better, but we need him to ramp up faster or else he’ll get replaced.

  20. Santana needs an off day in the worst way. I can’t imagine him being in the lineup tonight. His swing still looks fine and he continues to have hard hit balls for outs, but you could see the look on his face when some of those sharply hit balls turned into outs the past two nights. I still think he’ll be fine, but I’m afraid if they keep running him out there, things could tailspin.

    We need a consistent hitter in the middle of the lineup (think Santana should be batting 5th regularly) as the young lineup is prone to streaks. Hope he is OUT of the lineup tonight. Maybe give Kingery his 8th position started on the field before he inevitably is penciled in as a SP one game.

    1. I have to image that Santana has been around long enough to have gone through stretches where he has been unlucky and is seasoned enough to not let that throw him into a tailspin.

      1. I’d generally agree with you, but new team, big FA contract, etc. … probably just the lingering pessimistic fan in me (despite the Eagles, Flyers, Sixers, Nova’s efforts to reverse pessimism). Either way … seems like a good day to get him out of there.

        Here’s to hoping VV can keep trending in the same direction as Pivetta–longer outings, better control.

      2. Aron…agree…he has the experience to weather this early season storm..
        Santana’s career delta between his BA and OBP is a whooping plus 116….that indicates a hitter , not only with a good ‘eye’, but patience at the plate and who will wait for his pitch and swing only in the zone.
        His lack of speed does contribute to his lower BA and just a little higher than normal GDP metrics….110 over his career.
        His career K rate is less than 20% @17% and BB rate of 15%…another plus-plus feature to his overall metric profile..
        He may not be a superstar in the traditional sense…but he is a steady 3WAR player which is a good thing.

  21. Joey Bats signed a minors deal with the Braves. He’ll spend XST time working at 3b. Surprised he wouldn’t just hang ’em up with no other offers at 37 years old.

    1. Good news for Jesse….avoid the spring hail storms.
      And he still has his picture at the far top right of the PP homepage.

      1. I’m really happy for him. He had the stuff to be one hell of a starter, but he was just too inconsistent. It would surprise me if he became a reliable middle-to-back end bullpen arm. A really solid 7th and 8th inning guy.

  22. Might be very early and definitely a SSS, but the bottom ten teams so far in the standings reflect their pre-season expectations.
    The one exception….the Phillies, they are not one of them.
    Detroit Tigers
    San Francisco Giants
    San Diego Padres
    Texas Rangers
    Chicago White Sox
    Miami Marlins
    Baltimore Orioles
    Tampa Bay Rays
    Kansas City Royals
    Cincinnati Reds
    ….leads me to believe the Phillies will be there at the end in Sept as playoff contenders..

    1. Except the Phillies are missing their Nick Foles – his name is Cole Hamels. When they acquire him for the stretch run (don’t laugh!!), they will be set up nicely for a playoff spot and nice playoff run. He’s exactly what they need.

      1. Cole is struggling now…FIP of an astro 5.96…7 HRs and 11 BBs in 22 innings pitched….and a WHIP of 1.5.
        OTOH, he should not cost much in return if his numbers do not improve in the next two plus months.

          1. No, it could happen, especially if they can stay in the vicinity of .500 through late July. That doesn’t mean they will make the playoffs, but they could be in the hunt for sure, particularly if Pivetta and VV are for real. That’s a huge development thus far.

        1. Well, his FB velocity was down a bit in his early starts this year but appears to be recovering. If he can still sit 91-93 and touching higher, I’d take my chances on him any day of the week.

          1. According to Brooks…..he may have lost 2 mph from 2017, adn 4 mph from 2016.
            This year it is getting dangerously low
            Fourseam Sinker
            3/18… 89.94 90.06
            4/18… 90.95 90.62

  23. It just dawned on me that Roman Quinn is in his 7th year in the Phillies organization. He turns 25 on May 14. Nice piece on him this morning by Bob Brookover. What a big league weapon he could be at some point this season!

    An 8-man bullpen is the new trend in MLB now but it’s putting a crimp on the manager’s bench options. Quinn would be up otherwise. Anyway, he’s just a midseason trade, a less likely demotion, or injury away from getting the call. Stay healthy, kid.

  24. 8 mark I would like to see major league baseball. Eliminate Florida Marlins and Tampa. Make major league teams go to 28 players. They don’t need those two markets, all we do is feed there owners money for being small market. stupid imo

    1. Roc, I’m with you on expanding the rosters. If ALL of MLB is managing their rosters virtually the same way and squeezing the bench in the process, why not?

      1. I worry that, even if MLB did expand the rosters, teams would just expand the bullpen that much more and the whole concept of a “starting pitcher” could go out the window. Every game would be a bullpen game.

  25. The best thing the Phillies have is great depth of starting pitching. There AAA starting rotation has many prospect who are a string of quality starters away from the Bigs. Pivetta and V,V know this which puts pressure on them .Pivetta knows he needs to pitch later in games to use his slider more. He needs to show he can get left handed batters out. V,V knows he needs to stay healthy and get into the 7th ing more. Lively too but he’s shown last yr he can get into the seventh .
    Nick Williams walked twice in the last 2 games .
    Knapp bag coming alive is the most dangerous thing for Alf ?
    Phillies win the Pitt series.

    1. Kilome’s pure stuff compares with VV’s stuff. Kilome obviously has bigger command problems, but he’s a huge dude who could turn into a workhorse. He’s not a guy who I easily throw into a trade as an extra player. He could still turn into an excellent starting pitcher or high leverage reliever.

  26. From Keith Law’s chat today:

    Matt
    How excited should Phillies fans be about the foursome of Sixto/JoJo/Ranger/Adonis? Because the names alone are enough to make me dizzy.
    Keith Law
    I saw a bad Ranger start, although it was 40 degrees at first pitch. I’m hoping to see him again on Saturday vs New Hampshire. Anyway, yeah, that’s a good group. Kilome belongs in the same discussion.

    1. Also …

      Bored Lawyer, Esq.
      At what point does a slow/bad start get concerning? If Lutz and Jhailyn Ortiz (for example) are still struggling to make contact in 25 games, is concern valid? 50 games?
      Keith Law
      Both play at 19 this year; Ortiz won’t turn 20 until November. So I’d say no number of games will concern me with those two. And it is f**king FREEZING in the northeast and upper midwest.

      1. Have to like KLaw’s brutal honesty.
        Most of the young Latins playing in Lakewood probably never experienced this type of temp readings.
        I remember Kilome saying two years he could not feel the grip on the ball when was at Lakewood.

        1. Romus,

          Boston Marathon. Cold and wet and American women, for the first time in decades, dominated. Kenyans apparently didn’t acclimate.

          1. Frank……low temps bothers everybody differently….I froze Friday nite, had to go up and get into the warmth of the Connie Mack bar. The concession stands were even selling hot chocolate…$3 a cup.
            Phillies would have done well if they decided to put a retractable on the park back in 2004..and somehow kept the optics for the city’s sky line.

  27. Romus, Hinkie, Dewey, Cheatem & How – the O’s lost again today and are 5-13 on the season. Manny is producing (4th HR today, batting over .300). Who gets him at the deadline?

    1. Wow….good question. So many variables to consider.
      As a shortstop or third baserman comes into the equation also.
      Baltimore will not get what they want, or what they could have received last July or Dec. if they would have made the move then.
      My guess…..a dark horse large market contending team…maybe Cubs.

    1. Angels can’t afford to acquire him with a trade of young talent OR to re-sign him in the off season while paying Trout, Pujols and eventually Ohtani.

  28. Classic tonight Arietta veteran battles young flame thrower Tallion. Tallion has control, command issue from the beginning. The 2nd ing was a classic hbp, wild Pitch, 2 stolen bases. A full count HR followed by a walk. Implode mode for Tallion.
    Arietta the grizzly veteran pitches a gem . Mixes pitches hit corners shows no mercy.

  29. The moment that impressed me the most was Crawford scoring from 1b on Cesar’s single. These are the special instinctives that JPC brings. Also, Wathan gets credit for being aggressive in sending him. One inning or sequence of plays can often be the difference. Didn’t hurt that Jake was a beast as well. A real feather in Gabe’s kap-ler.

    1. The Phillies have 4 position players that are currently much better than the other players. Odubel and Cesar are two of the four.

    1. Romus, there will be a lot more payoff winners next year if Middleton gets his way with a lineup like this one:

      Kingery 3b
      Santana 1b
      Hoskins lf
      Harper rf
      Machado ss
      Herrera cf
      Alfaro c
      Arrieta p
      Crawford 2b

  30. Wow this post by 8 mark, just makes me realize how little I know about baseball To put Crawford a guy who cant hit 200 over CH. I Need to learn the game. when guys keep throwing a improving player like CH under the bus. I am missing the knowledge you need on this site to contribute. Thank you for pointing out my lack of knowledge and you can listen to Stephen Tyler song, dream on, if you think Harper is coming to us.

  31. All chain-yanking aside, I agree with you Rocco. Harper is not signing with Philly. After years of frustration in Washington, he will sign with whoever he thinks has the best chance to win the WS in 2019. Machado isn’t coming to Philadelphia either. Manny will be a Yankee next year.

  32. Hari, Why do you want to depress everyone? Where will John Middleton get to spend all the $ he has to spend on this FA class?

    1. Have to agree with Hari.
      Harper and Machado could be long shots to sign in Philadelphia.
      I can see Nats resigning Harper and if Machado gets traded at the deadline, the contending team he goes to, makes him an offer he cannot refuse.

      1. Romus … it is written in stone. The Phillies have been saving their money for the 2019 FA class. Manny Machado will be a Phillie next season. The only question is, “What pitcher does Middleton throw money at ?” My guess is the Phillies sign Machado, Yusei Kikuchi, and a LHRP (maybe Britton or Diekman).

          1. Hari … trust me on this. John Midleton is signing either Manny Machado or Bryce Harper this winter. MM is the better bet.

      2. Really though it depends on 2 things.
        1. money of course who can give a big contract without hurting the team.Both Harper and Machado are looking for a winning environment and big pay day.
        2 . A winning team as a better chance at getting them.
        3 . Now we know the Phillies have money . Now if the Phillies can make a run at either the Division or wild card or win either bingo. The Phillies have both a winning team and Money.
        4 . Near the trade deadline if the Phillies are near either the Division or wild card .let’s see what happens a LhP or experience closer.

        1. Don’t forget the lure of the Big Apple, the biggest stage in MLB. When the Yankees wave a pile of money at Machado, he’ll get stars in his eyes, just like Stanton did. I believe that makes 5 things.

  33. matt, Depending on how things develop this season will determine whether or not the Phillies sign anybody. The number one need will probably be infielder (Machado). I like to see Middleton spend all his $ on extending Nola and the younger players.

    1. I think Klentak would love to extend Nola and Hoskins ASAP. Nola begins arbitration next year so he should be the more difficult to get done.

  34. Btw pitching duel last night lively and Nova . Nova doesn’t walk anyone he has enough of a FB and a really good Lively seems to get better too.
    Crazy this without Hunter or Neshek.

  35. Phillies need to win and Mets lose to have there piece of 1st place . This is after 20 games into the season 143 to go. Plus Hunter and Neshek could be back to help. Finally feels pretty good.

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