Open Discussion: Week of July 29, 2018

The Phillies took two out of three from the Dodgers and things looked great.  Then they went to Cincinnati and dropped three of four.  You can’t do that.  Their margin for winning is too slim to waste an opportunity against one of the worst teams in the league.  Now, on to Boston!

Lots of movement as we approach the non-waiver trade deadline.  The Phillies added veteran infielder Asdrubel Cabrera for pitching prospect Franklyn Kilome.  Not a bad trade, but it was for a rental.  The acquisition of Cabrera alone isn’t enough to turn around a complacent offense.  Indeed, they were in the front runner for Manny Machado until the Dodgers’ last minute inclusion of Diaz rightfully priced the Phillies out of the auction.  And, they may have just missed on another deal for a veteran player.  If true, the Phillies inability to close trades this off season won’t be for a lack of trying.

290 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of July 29, 2018

  1. I was at today’s (Sunday’s) game so maybe it was my perspective looking at the action live by third base instead of in front of the angles displayed on TV, but I was horrified by how slow the Phils infielders looked. Sure, no doubt any of them are at least twice as fast as me at my fastest, but is it me, or do Franco, Cabrera, Kingery and Hernandez all have surprisingly limited range?

    1. Franco and Cabrera are, indeed, slow (by MLB standards). Scotty and Hernandez are not, though. In fact, Kingery is among the 10 fastest MLB players at the moment, if I remember correctly. Hernandez is probably a 60-65 on the scouting scale (still very fast), but Kingery is an easy 70.

      Could be they were taking bad routes, but the thing keeping both Hernandez and Kingery from being a real SS is their arm so that tells you something.

      1. Thank you! I also thought Kingery was fast and that Hernandez was not slow, however there was a play in the final Cincinnati game that I attended, where a ground ball was hit up the middle fast enough to get past the pitcher, and by the time Hernandez got to it the runner beat out the throw. Huh? And it wasn’t Billy Hamilton running but Mason (3 lifetime stolen bases) Williams! Then several ground balls made it between Cabrera and Franco. On the one hit by Joey Votto – not sure but by that time Kingery might have substituted into the game – Franco was positioned on the second base side of the shortstop position and he still hit it between them. A tribute for good positioning but….

        1. I think some of what you are seeing isn’t a problem with foot speed but rather reaction time. Part of the issue with guys playing out of position is that they don’t read the angles very well and then don’t react quickly.

  2. It seems to me that the Phillies weak points are finally being exposed. They are in spite of their 7 homer explosion the other night, a poor hitting team. The pitching goes south and before you know it 3rd place looms. Sorry to say but the rest of the season doesn’t seem promising from where I’m at. Unless the pitching can hold the opposition to 4 runs or less I’m not confident of victory. Boring team = no fans.

  3. Opportunities. On and off the field. Is it because teams like the Yankees and Dodgers are in win-now mode (despite their tight luxury tax constraints) that separates them from teams like the Phillies who seem to be counting every penny, prospect-wise? GMs like Cashman find ways to solidify their roster because they balance the payroll and talent allocation effectively. With all the talk of depth in the Phillies organization, that depth is actually breadth. They have a broad organization with talent thinly spread throughout but hardly enough to land the Machado’s of the world. Klentak tried? Ok. Perhaps. And maybe it’s not fair to compare him to the shruder, vastly more experienced Cashman who simply has real bullets at his disposal, not rubber ones. I would agree with the description by another commenter posting over the weekend that the Phillies system is a mile wide but only an inch deep. This shallow pool of talent won’t get us that much needed piece to put us at an advantage in the playoff push. It’s all about Middleton’s deep pockets now. And they won’t come in handy until November.

    1. The Phillies had a deal in place for Machado. So, there is no question that they had the talent necessary. When, the Dodgers upped the ante with Diaz, the Phillies still could have landed Machado, but I think most would have balked at the additional cost. So, there is still no question that they have the talent necessary to land the Machadoes of the world. They just had the good sense to back off when the cost became too high.

  4. Bad dressing Ivy leaguer didn’t do enough so far to put us in a position to win they continue to put Scottie NOPOP out there every day. They are both equally over matched

  5. Phillies…great on walks, thanks in part to Santana (80), Cesar (64) and Rhys (57)…. however, horrific on swing and miss.
    Between these six of Alf/Doobie/Kingery/Rhys/NickyW. and Aaron Altherr…..546 Ks…for a 27%K rate….way too high.

    1. Romus, Does this mean you’re buying into Kap’s stated view that working the count and ending with a strike-out can mean a good AB?

        1. Frank…tricky….that is a double-edge loaded question. 🙂
          Is it possible to work the count higher than normal, and still avoid the swing and miss?
          Hoskins….when he gets ahead , 1-0 in the count…gets on almost 50% of the time.
          And he will still work it to a full count a lot of the time….and also has been striking out more than ever in his professional career.
          OTOH, Alfaro….Wiliams…..Doobie-…Kingery do not work the counts deep on a whole…but still strike out. But on those occasions where they do work it deep…the have minimal OBP via the BB.

          Cesar and Carlos Santana, along with Hoskins are probably the only three who follow the Gabe protocol on hitting to work the count, to its maximum production.
          Since they are the three with also the highest BBs (181 bewteen them) on the team.

          I can buy into Gabe’s mrthod if a higher OBP is the result

          1. Romus,

            Thanks. I agree and asked the question somewhat (as in gentle good nature), facetiously.

  6. the texas rangers just swept a 3 games series in HOuston ( one of the leagues worst sweeping one of the best on the road), so I wouldn’t overreact and read too much into one series on the road. the team has flaws, we know that. that’s why we are all so pleasantly surprised that they are in playoff contention this yr
    to be a WS contender they need another top starter and a middle of the lineup bat. that’s for the off season
    for now, put this series behind us and move on

  7. It was a very good trade and Cabrera will contribute, although he hasn’t yet. The Phils offense is built in taking pitches and getting walks and tiring pitchers, and they then take advantage. However when the opposing pitcher is throwing strikes the Phils have no answer with their low batting averages. They’ve improved but are still not great as a hitting team. Their fielding is terrible and really can hurt them in a close game. Looking for a split in Boston but the Six are tough. It’s practically August 1 and we have games that matter, I’m happy. I don’t love Klentak or Kapler but we’re in 1st place on July 30 and we have a chance. Enjoy August games that matter and check back on Sept 1.

  8. Although the Phillies did not play a good series in Cincinnati I would point out that since starting the season 9-27 the Reds have played above .500 baseball so they aren’t exactly the worst team in the league anymore. But as srussell noted above, every team has stretches of bad games, including they Phillies.

    What the Cincy series exposed was the team’s biggest weakness, their poor defensive. Aside from the errors, there were a numbers of plays not made by the Phillies and made by the Reds that were difference makers in a couple of the games. That’s on both Kapler having guys playing out of position and on Klentak for forcing him into that situation with the signing of Santana.

    Adding Cabrera might be an offensive upgrade but will make the defense worse.

      1. Defense: both Hoskins and Kingery have been playing out of position; Santana is not gaining mobility as he ages; Alfaro and Knapp are projects behind the plate; Doobie (in spite of his occasional web gems) and Williams won’t win any GGs; Franco and Cesar are adequate. But better hitting will cover if not solve the poor defense. And pitchers who can finish off hitters with more Ks as well.

  9. Heyman hears the Phillies are among Braves, Brewers and Yankees with interest in Zach Wheeler.

  10. I would like to see that but I am tired of hearing we are interested in guys we don’t get. If that is a precursor for the off season, it won’t go well. The hitting is so boring to watch. I know getting on base is important, but we need to actually hit the ball. This was not exactly the best pitching staff in the league the last 3 games.

    1. I mean all it takes is one phone call from the Phillies kicking the tires on a guy for a report to come out that they are “interested” in him. That seems to be the case sometimes, unlike the Machado case when it is widely known that they did make a legitimate offer and push for him.

      Wheeler is trash btw, zero desire. Not sure why we keep hearing the names of starting pitchers; that is our strength right now, even if moving Pivetta to the pen might be a smart move id still rather replace him with Suarez than Wheeler

      1. Would prefer Zach Wheeler over Zach Eflin and Nick Pivetta at this point in the season if the cost is not prohibitive. It would be a shame if Matt Klentak and Andy McPhail do nothing more to help the team. I just can’t see this current team making the playoffs as it is made up now. We will come close but we have to win the division as the Wild Cards are now Milwaukee and Arizona.

  11. Have to agree that the team is defensively challenged. I think they can sometimes get around it because the shifts can compensate by putting the best fielder (say Cesar) in the best possible placement. That said, the shifts remove some of the deficiency but there are still way too many sloppy plays. Never mind the passed balls. This team remains “beatable” but also remains a very pleasant surprise. I often find myself being angry or upset with a play but have to be reminded that this team has exceeded expectations by a factor of 2x. They are not the golden era Phils of 2007-2010 – and they have a ways to go to get there.

    Secondly, the offense seems to be especially ineffective against pitchers who throw off speed junk. It is almost a foregone conclusion they won’t score when they face a finesse pitcher and Cincy seemed to use a couple of those.

  12. Matt – I’ve been a little concerned about the starting pitchers for longer than the last 3 games. I wasn’t thrilled with the rental starting pitchers, But I would still be willing to give up prospects for a tested starter with team control (Archer, Fullmer). De Los Santos got rocked yesterday, Suarez is what he is, and Anderson and Irvin aren’t ready.

    1. (Michael) Fulmer is on the DL with an oblique strain. He might not provide much help this year, but he enters his first of four years of arbitration this off season.

  13. I agree, I had wanted the Happ/Granderson combo. I would like Zach Wheeler, and still would like Jake Diekman. I preferred Escobar to Cabrera, but the hitting woes will take more than i hitter, and I wonder if the approach needs to change. Defensively, I read a stat somewhere, and you guys who pay more attention to those metrics than I do can confirm, but it said that we are the only team who has a negative result from employing the shift. That is on top of our defense ranking at, or near, the bottom of the league.

  14. Also read an interesting piece in the Athletic about the NL contenders who, except for the Diamondbacks have elite numbers from their left handed hitters, and how valuable a lefty reliever who can get them out would be down the stretch. Our old friend Jake Diekman fits that mold perfectly. How much could he possibly cost?

    1. mattt13..I think Jon Daniels would bite for one of these three pitchers….Drew Anderson or Tom Eshelman or Harold Aruaz.

      1. Jake Diekman should cost the Phillies something like Jake Sheiner and Damon Jones or Sheiner and JD Hammer.

  15. Mariners with their weak farm system just traded for Zack Duke and Adam Warren. The Astros just traded for Robert Osuna for Ken Giles and others. I hope we a move or two left before tomorrow at 4 PM.

    1. Osuna….has that domestic issues going on….Giles has his own personal attitude issues also going.
      Teams trading players hoping they can start fresh somewhere else.

    1. Carrasco was a much higher touted prospect than Kilome. I also think the Phillies were so set that losing Carrasco wasn’t an issue.

      If Kilome becomes an effective starter good for Kilome, ….not bad for the Phillies.
      Though I don’t think he makes it as a starter.

  16. He is heading for the BP, and the team will be able to make zero less trades next year because they don’t have Kilome to add to the deal. We can be in love with all of our prospects, and the GM has to decide which are expendable. History tells us that so many of them are, we just need to move the right ones, and get the right return. I make any of those trades to get Jake Diekman that folks mentioned earlier.

  17. “J.T. Realmuto, the Marlins’ All-Star catcher and a player coveted by the Nationals all winter, blooped a bases-loaded single down the right-field line for a walk-off victory. Harper’s response after the game: ‘If that guy was on our side, it wouldn’t have happened. Tough luck.’

    “A number of people inside the organization saw Harper’s comment as unprofessional and potentially divisive among his teammates, according to sources.”

    https://sports.yahoo.com/10-degrees-underachieving-nationals-reached-point-trading-bryce-harper-make-sense-164438671.html

    This guy is such a cancerous teammate, this offseason its all about Machado. ZERO interest in Harper

    1. Flybynite, I agree. I have no interest in Harper, especially at the price we’d have to pay. He’s just not worth it IMO. I’d like to have Machado, though I’m not a fan of the huge, long (eventually crippling) contracts for almost any f/a. …except Trout’21. 🙂

      I think Patrick Corbin (LHP) is my preferred biggest f/a signing this offseason! (Maybe an overpriced 5-yr deal could entice him.)

  18. Another tough loss. Great outing by Nola. Can’t get a clutch hit, D far from stellar. Braves make a really good trade for them. Gave up some good prospects. Klentak can’t be done!

    1. I didn’t think much of the Braves trade at all. They got a lefty bat who strikes out a ton and struggles to get on base; but hits a lot of homeruns.

      The Reds got 3 mediocre prospects that all have to go on the 40 man roster I believe.

      1. Duvall adds power off the bench and if he helps the Braves win 1 game with a pinch hit HR he was worth adding for them. The Reds can use the arms they got and the OF is a fill in for the rest of the season. They can afford to take a chance on both Wisler, who once was a highly sought after prospect from the Padres and Sims who was also once highly regarded.

    2. Adam Duvall isn’t a particularly good player this year although he has a chance to improve based on the last 2 seasons. He’s a good gamble for the Braves although I’m not sure where he’s going to play for them other than being a power bat off of the bench.

      They aren’t replacing Acuna, Inciarte, or Markakis as their regular outfielders..

  19. Sounds to me like we might get Diekman. Ziegler is also a possibility. McCutchen’s name surfaced last night on the Phillies radar. But the hardest thing to improve on a club is its defense. Adding a high K arm or two, and a legit bat could help in offsetting it to some degree. But having players out of position and/or inadequate in their usual position continues to hamstring this team. Too many square pegs and round holes.

  20. Not to mention, 8mark, terrible base running, and the lack of the ability to move runners along and get that clutch hit. Santana may lead the league in BBs, and I will still question the value he brings to the team. And the BP has been pretty good, but I don’t trust Hunter or Morgan to get big outs down the stretch vs. Left handed batters. So, it may seem silly with our offensive woes and defensive poor play, but I want Jake Diekman. I think we are still going to be in a Division race and there are a lot of lefties we will face.

    1. Matt, Carlos Santana is reminding me more of Bobby Abreu every game. Instead of trying to get key hits he seems to try to get a walk. The 2006 Phillies took off once Abreu was traded/given to the Yankees and almost made the playoffs.

      1. Santana shouldn’t be hitting in the middle of the lineup but rather should be in the 2-spot. I know the wisdom of the day says to put your best hitter in the 2-spot to maximize at-bats but for the Phillies, his value is mainly getting on base, not producing big hits in key spots…

        1. Have to believe if Machado is signed for next season…the dynamic and also the construction of the lineup will be changed and/or need to be altered….Machao is three hole hitter under the old beliefs as an Oriole….but under Gabe’s plan he could be put in the two hole and Rhys back to 4.
          Santana then goes to three or five or after.

          1. Unfortunately, Santana provides little hitting either at 3 or 5 because he value is based on his OBP. Hitting .210 in the 3-hole is worthless for producing runs and getting on base at a high rate for the bottom of the order is of little value for a guy who doesn’t have any speed.

            My issue with the Kapler/Klentak combo is that the GM doesn’t seem to be acquiring players that fit the coaching philosophy of the manager. The players the Phillies have don’t match the line-up structure that Gabe appears to want.

  21. Looks like the Halos will shop for a new second baseman next season.
    They could call for Cesar or hand the job to rookie Jahmai Jones?

    1. I don’t trade Cesar unless I’m 100 percent certain Kingery can handle major league pitching.

      1. I still like Kingery as a prospect and love his tools. But his plate discipline is truly awful and that is leading to a player who is over matched. His O swing rate is 42%, which is atrocious. He is always down 0-2 because he swings at balls. Unless/Until he fixes that, he will not be a major league hitter. I don’t know if he can. I have confidence that it will come with time, but right now, it is killing his productivity and thus our team’s productivity.

        Cesar on the other hand, is an elite hitter at second base. Does everyone realize that his OB% is second among all MLB second basemen only to Altuve? I really don’t understand why everyone wants to trade him. He is part of what is good with our team, not what needs fixing.

        1. You make a good argument for Cesar based on his offensive metrics.
          But that apparently did not sway the Phillies on their long term plans.
          Giving Kingery that six year contract probably hints that he is their future there at second, and not Cesar.
          Cesar did not get any arb buy out years…..so probably he will be a goner.
          If Machado ends up in Philly the left side of the infield gets further complicated…especially involving Kingery if Cesar stays around for awhile.

          1. While $4m a year is a lot of money for you and me, it is a pittance for a MLB team. I doubt very seriously that they would let that small of a sum to make the decision to play an inferior player. Unless/until Kingery learns to lay off balls, he is going to have a sub .300 ob%, which makes him borderline unplayable. I believe that he can improve. but no chance they trade Cesar until he does improve.

  22. Jon Heyman
    ‏ 24m
    Harper still seems unlikely to be traded, but some rivals suggest the team to go for it should be Philly: 1. they have the $, threshold space. 2. they tried for Adam jones and other OF. 3. they are in 1st place. 4. they’re expected to go hard for harper and/or machado this winter

  23. As much as I like Harper (and I love him for the Phils), I would be all in on Realmuto. I would package Alfaro and Medina + another top 10 prospect not named Sixto for him.

    The two spots in our lineup that kill us are Catcher and Shortstop.

    1. Yeah, I wouldn’t give up that much, but I am seeing in comments here and on twitter that I am much more hesitant to give up prospects than others are. At least not now when the team is not really a WS contender.

    2. Agree…..Alf and Medina may get Jeter to move Realmuto.
      And Jeter and the Marlins willl have to pay him top dollar very soon.

  24. v1, I can look at the numbers, not this year, but for his career, and see how Harper would be a real addition. But, I don’t like him, and I don’t really want him on the team. I do not trade prospects, and it would be our top ones, to get him, and I don’t spend Middleton’s money on him in the off season.

    1. Harper is having a fine year. His BA is depressed solely due to a completely abnormal BABIP of .241. That is insanely low especially for such an elite hitter with huge power. he is simply being unlucky. But the Nats GM just said that Bryce is going nowhere. so it is a moot point.

        1. nah…the shift is not new to him. his ground ball rate is in line with all his prior seasons. i think that it is just bad luck.

          1. I’m sure there is data on this stuff but I wouldn’t know where to find it. I always felt like the shift really derailed Ryan Howard’s career, especially as he got older. Harper is still pretty young, even though he’s been playing forever.

        2. The shift and the fact Zim and Murphy have not been around much in the lineup and he has the highest BBs since 2015…so being pitched around and having a 28% outside the zone swing rate….which is close to normal for him…..but the one difference his contact outside the zone is the lowest of his career at 512%.
          Normally he is in the high 50s/low60s percentile.
          He wants to swing and hit and not have to continually take walks.

            1. And at 14% his swinging strike percentage is the highest of his career…he must be chasing anything near the plate.

  25. Dan, I understand your position about giving up prospects without us being a WS contender, but I value winning the Division and being in the Playoffs. I believe that experience is critical, and while I am not for trading our top guys, the guys I wanted, Happ, Granderson, Diekman, did not, and will not, require our top guys, and would help this year’s team. Diekman’s #s this year vs. lefties is terrific, and he will be a big boost.

    1. Agree with Matt. Diekman should be Klentak’s primary trade target. Diekman is definitely getting dealt today (he’s of no use to Texas anymore), and he shouldn’t cost too much (something like Jake Sheiner and Damon Jones or Jake Sheiner and JD Hammer, IMO).
      It’s painfully obvious this Phillies club isn’t a championship team, yet. They have a few championship caliber players, but not nearly enough. Outside of emptying the farm on Harper and deGrom today, there’s really nothing Klentak can do to change that this season. Just stay the course. Play out the year, get the young players playoff contention experience, and let the cards fall where they may. Then … get ready for major upgrades this winter through free agency and (possibly) the trade market. Klentak will be more active for top players at next year’s trade deadline because the Phillies should be a lot closer to being true WS contenders.

  26. I don’t want to overpay any more than anyone else. But we do tend to overvalue our own. Difficult to balance in a competitive trade market with GMs craftier than our own.

    As for Harper, I’m conflicted. He doesn’t seem to handle adversity well. That could be a problem over the long run unless a stable clubhouse culture is established. His left handed power in CBP is a compelling argument, however. Doubt Klentak has the wits to pull the trigger, right or wrong.

    May be another quiet July 31.

      1. RU – Do you have substantial proof that Harper is a clubhouse cancer? He’s certainly an intense player.

  27. Phillies are supposedly in “deep talks” with Tampa Bay about Catcher Wilson Ramos.
    They are checking medicals according to MLTR report.

    1. Here’s the tweet.

      Ramos is another rental and shouldn’t cost too much. I’d be for it. They can send Knapp back to AAA, and hopefully, Ramos can tutor Alfaro.

      BTW … Ramos is another guy who the Rays signed to a TJ rehab contract. A player gets hurt and needs TJ. A team offers the injured player a two tear, ~ 10 million dollar contract over two years. The first season, the injured player rehabs with your club. The injured player then returns to action in year two at a very reasonable price. Matt Klentak should be all over this strategy this winter with Garrett Richards (Mike Trout’s best man, and close friend) !!!

  28. I hope they even do a portion of what you suggest Hinkie! On another topic. Let’s assume the Phils had a viable SS, just for argument’s sake. Would Kingery be better off at AAA honing his craft? I am a big Kingery booster, but I think we did him a disservice this year. We did not “put the player in the best spot to achieve”!

    1. Have to agree with you there.
      Kingery should have started the season in LHV , at least to get 100/150 PAs more.
      But wonder how much Gabe’s unorthodox thinking was involved in persuading Matt Klentak to sign him long term and start him right away in the majors.
      If Kingery blossoms….that contract is a def. team friendly winning contract…..especially with the three years of team options when he is starting his age30 seasons…not mutual

    1. Two caution flags with Diek this season.
      1. Control…his BB/9 has ticked up for some reason
      2. Reverse splits…lefties are hitting him pretty good..hard to explain that.

      1. Yes. Diekman isn’t immune from tossing in a clunker from time to time. Last week vs A’s for example (1 IP, 3 BB, 0 K). However, since then, he’s been very good (3G, 3 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 6 K).
        Again … I’m almost positive Diekman isn’t going to cost a whole lot (especially for a team with a deep farm system).

    2. Just saw Aaron Loup from Toronto Blue Jays for Jacob Wagusepack. How good is this reliever?

        1. I guess there was some talk that Ramos deal could have been expanded. But didn’t happen.

  29. No Diekman.it appears.
    #BlueJays have traded Aaron Loup to the #Phillies for a prospect per sources

    1. Brooks on LHP Loup:
      His sinker generates an extremely high number of swings & misses….. has an obvious tail and has slightly above average velo. His cutter generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers’ cutters, has heavy sink, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ cutters, has slightly below average velo and has strong cutting action. His curve has sweeping glove-side movement and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ curves. His change is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers’ changeups, dives down out of the zone, generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers’ changeups, has slight armside fade and has slightly below average velo.

  30. I wouldn’t be surprised if the PTBNL is a top five pick from this past draft. Also, giving up Waguespack for Loup is a massive overpay.

    1. Really? Waguespack is an overpay? He had to be protected next year and I can’t see anyway he would’ve made the Philliess 40 man. Loup might not be good, but he had a better ERA in the majors the Waguespack did in the minors. Which isn’t everything but Loup is an actual major leaguer. Waguespack might be lucky to ever get there

    2. Waguespack a “massive overpay”? He may never get more than a cup of coffee in the show, if that. LOL.

  31. Obviously…the Phillies seem content and happy for the unexpected current resurgence of this team….but letting the chips fall where they may this year as it goes.
    And then, hopefully, go all out for Manny this fall and come out blazing in 2019..

    1. I am OK with this strategy. No real need to whine after missing out on Machado. I’d rather hold my bullets for the long term window. I don’t see them winning it all this year, especially not after the teams ahead of them got stronger, with that said, you never know, that is why they play the games. Will see how long Cinderella sticks around for… I’m OK with what the FO did, and the chances they have the rest of the season. This ballclub is on its way up on

      1. Yeah…I lean your way on the long term strategy
        Then again seeing what has happened these first four months…sometimes I wonder if the Phillies and Nola/Hoskins/Arrieta and crew are a parallel version of the Wentz/Cox/Ertz/Jenkins/Foles crew of the Eagles from last season.

  32. This trade deadline has been underwhelming.

    I can understand not giving up top prospects.
    I can understand not adding a starting pitcher (well kind of).
    But not adding a late inning bull pen piece when every one seemed available is troubling.

    This team fought to be a top this division. They needed some retooling, they got little from the front office. And after 5-6 years of losing in this city the ownership failed its fans.

    It’s one thing to not trade premium prospects for Machado, but to not even grab a solid reliever or a better loogy than Aaron Loup is laughable.

    1. Cabrera, Ramos and Loup…….maybe their experience and skills will keep them in the race thru September.

      I think the Os have changed a philosophical baseball operational direction , as a poster posted yesterday….they acquired $2.5M in int’l money from the Braves in a trade today….whoa

  33. Trenton Guy, this trade deadline has not been overwhelming but lets give these guys a chance. In 2008 we missed out on the top available pitchers but got Joe Blanton who was great for us. If Ramos is healthy then we have a chance to win the division but we must start hitting.

    1. 2018 Phillies couldn’t hold the 2008 Phillies Jock Straps. Nola is a stud and Hoskins and Franco are playing well but that offense was excellent and they didn’t even peak yet.

  34. I don’t agree. That the Phils get Ramos is big. I’d be moaning along with the chronic moaners if Ramos went to Atlanta or back to Washington.

    1. Ramos won’t be on the field playing till at least mid August, maybe late August.
      How’s that helping all that much?

      I was on board for Cabrera. But feel underwhelmed by these two trades.
      Go out and get Cutch or some other Righty bat with pop. I’m not asking for the Phillies to trade all or any of their top tier prospects but this team currently constructed isn’t better than any of the other 1st place NL teams.

      1. TGuy,

        Good point on Ramos’ injury keeping him from helping in the playoff race, but he does strengthen the club and in 2019 the Phillies will have a solid MLB catcher, and can bring Alfaro or Knapp along without relying on them. This is very positive.

          1. Romus,

            Thanks. Should have checked that out before opining. Still, a significant positive, I think.

  35. Wow did you see what the Pirates gave up for Archer…Meadows and Glasnow. The Cards purged themselves of Pham and the Dodgers finally landed Dozier.

    Exciting day in the MLB

    1. DMAR – It actually was kind of exciting because so many NL teams are in it this year…or should I say….so many NL teams aren’t out of it yet.

      I feel like the Cards are going through a mid-life crisis.

      I feel the Brewers were big losers in not netting a solid pitcher to bolster their staff.

      1. How are the Brewers the big losers ? I like what they did. Milwaukee bought low on Jonathan Schoop, who is under team control for next season, also. All they gave up was Jonathan Villar, an 18 YO lottery ticket, and a minor league pitcher who may eat himself out of baseball within the next couple of years. Yeah, in a perfect world, they could have picked up a SP, but Jimmy Nelson and Zach Davies may be returning from injuries in a couple/few weeks.

    2. If I were a Pirates fan i would be miffed.
      Two premier prospects just a few years ago, for a declining Archer….last three years he is a replacement pitcher.
      Perhaps not facing a DH now will prove beneficial for Archer and the Pirates.

      1. Romus, maybe the Pirates pitching coach can turn him around like he has many others.

  36. I like the Ramos deal a lot. His bat alone will give the lineup a boost. But with the acquisitions of him and Cabrera, how Kapler uses them will be critical. Of course Knapp will be optioned. But will Alfaro’s playing time be curtailed in favor of the veteran? (Also wonder if they might consider trying Alfaro in RF versus a lefty here and there?) My guess is Cabrera will rotate between 2b, ss and 3b, 5 games a week. I think Loup classifies as one of those ‘cross our fingers and hope he becomes something here’ additions. They could have gone the extra mile (or prospect) to get a higher leverage lefty reliever. All in all, not impressed with Klentak. But time will tell whether Cabrera and Ramos boost the offense enough to gain him points heading into the off season. Gotta score a lot more runs. Plain and simple.

  37. I think Cabrera and Ramos are 2 good adds, and after reading about Loup, I’m not as down as some of the folks on here. 10.6Ks/9 is a nice stat to cherry pick, but does have some other nice stats as well. Having a down year and may be looked at as a rebound candidate on a potential playoff team. Anyone who is miffed by giving up Wags for a proven MLB lefty bullpen piece is a head scratcher to me.

  38. With Ramos and Crawford due back from their respective rehab stints within the next 2 weeks, it will be very interesting to see who moves/plays/sits among the 12 position players. Knapp will go down to AAA, of course but what will the roster look like?

    Catchers
    RAMOS (plays 4-5 GB games/week)
    ALFARO (plays 2-3 games/week)

    Infield
    SANTANA 1b
    CABRERA 2b, 3b, ss (4-5 games/week)
    HERNANDEZ 2b (5-6 games)
    KINGERY ss, 2b, 3b, OF (????)
    CRAWFORD ss, 3b (utility?)
    FRANCO 3b (4-5 games)

    Outfield
    HOSKINS lf, 1b
    HERRERA cf
    WILLIAMS rf, lf (vs RHPs)
    QUINN 4th of

    There is lots to like, talent wise. But then they have to produce. Let’s go Phillies down the stretch!!

    1. I think they’ll carry 3 catchers on the 25 man roster. If Ramos comes back mid August, it would only be for 2 weeks anyways then rosters expand.

    2. Alfaro can also play RF. No idea how competently. I’d love to see Santana sit occasionally so the outfield defense could improve.

  39. I may be wrong in my comps, but the Archer deal feels to me like Vinny Velasquez + Nick Williams + a TBD minor leaguer for Archer.

    This is a tough one for me, but I think that I may do that Phillies version of the deal.

    1. But trading Williams just creates another hole not to mention TBD is supposedly a legit piece coming back.

      I dunno if I would do it. I hope Archer does really well for Pitt I’m just not moving that much for him.

    2. Not an Archer guy. I thnk he peaked early in his career. Got figured out. Unless he reinvents himself as he gets older, I don’t think his value is anywhere near the package returned to Tampa. Pittsburgh is getting lauded for its aggressive approach at the deadline. History tells us he’ll be traded in 2 years because they don’t pay big money. That’s if he’s still pitching.

  40. TGuy “This trade deadline has been underwhelming.” Au contraire, mon ami.

    Klentak just acquired roughly six weeks rental of an all-star catcher who is having one of his best years for cash and/or a PTBNL. And at a position which he will upgrade both offensively and defensively.

    Tres bien!!

    1. Totally agree. In Ramos they just upgraded their lineup again. Ramos is a professional hitter having a strong year, and a more veteran presence at C! Yes, he’s injured and there’s risk until he’s back. But in a few weeks we’ll likely forget the injury and be thrilled to have him. Cabrera and Ramos improve the lineup & bench, no doubt. And Quinn (with 3 hits tonight) does too as we all agree.
      Now let the young core find it’s identity during the pennant race, and hopefully the playoffs, and it’ll pay off in years to come. There’s some parallel to 2008 for sure. (And 1992 Braves.) Let the core grow! …And hopefully win!

  41. i had mentioned idea of Ramos last week- glad to see them bring in without giving up much of anything apparenty- they just have to find some offense in the lower part of the order- he’s been consistently good at the plate this year.

    glad to let Archer pass.

  42. I thought I read that Ramos is due back August 4? Maybe I was hallucinating. If they have him for at least half of August and he contributes to a couple of Wins, he is well worth the move. He can hit the ball, a tool we are lacking. Same with Cabrera. If he makes the difference in 2 Wins, he was worth it. Loup is a crapshoot, but maybe his sinker works back to back with Ser’Anthony’s heat? I wanted the GM to do soemthing, and he did. I cannot complain. This time next year, I expect him to play with the big boys, after he wins the offseason.

    1. no one knows when Ramos will be ready, they hope 2 weeks but it could be 4 weeks or more. They expect him to be ready to play by Sept 1st if he doesn’t have any set backs.

  43. Major kudos to Nola, Jake and the pen! Only 3 runs over 21 innings to the best lineup in baseball in their own park.

  44. Just saw the 7/31 box, not any of the action, but was excited to see a Quinn start and that he had success. Anyone able to watch his defense in CF?

    1. Didn’t get a ton of chances but he made a nice running catch on a ball hit in the right-center field gap. Got a good jump and tracked the ball very well. He covers a lot of ground and is a smooth runner.

  45. Few thoughts:

    -A lot of people who are complaining that Klentak didn’t improve the bench with a trade don’t acknowledge that in Quinn, they technically did only without having to give anything up. Right now, I would take Quinn over Granderson or Jones or these guys who may have been available (of course I am only talking about right now; those guys had great careers)

    -I am extremely happy. I have been a prospect hoarding advocate and they didn’t give up anything of value. Best of luck to Waguespeck; its an incredible story and would love to see him make the bigs one day as an UDFA which is so rare, but you are trading a guy who might get a cup of coffee one day for a guy who absolutely is a big league pitcher.

    -Ramos is a great add; sure it hurts that he wont be ready for a bit, but if the team can hang around they will be at their best in September

    -I might actually think that the Phillies equivalent to the Pirates trade for Archer could be Hoskins and Pivetta and a PTB. Meadows is really really good. I would have been furious. Maybe that is an exaggeration, but I would say Meadows is somewhere between Williams and Hoskins at the very least. Pittsburgh overpaid.

    1. Quinn may be the X factor heading down the stretch. He must get playing time. Even though he was caught stealing 2x in Fenway, he’s our only legit baserunning threat. (Doobie is also a baserunning threat but not in a good way.) Quinn’s elite speed puts the opponent’s defense on edge, a disruptive weapon even if he isn’t stealing bases. Hopefully Kapler utilizes him enough.

      1. Can you imagine what Quinn could do if he had a baserunning coach like Davy Lopes to show him the ropes? It’s clear that they really do not have a base stealing guru in the system as Roman Quinn is way too fast to get caught as often as he does.

        1. Wow, Catch! That is EXACTLY what I was thinking earlier today… remembering Lopes’ work helping on base stealing and outfield positioning….. and then sadly having google remind me he retired in February.

          1. I bet you could coax Davy Lopes out of retirement on a consulting basis. These old baseball guys never really retire. If you can pay him and let him avoid the coaching grind I’ll bet you can get him involved in coaching the players and perhaps even coaching the coaches. He’s so much better than any base running coach I’ve ever seen. I think he was worth a WAR all by himself (I’m actually not exaggerating) – the before and after difference he made on the team 10 years ago was staggering.

            1. “……..after 45 consecutive years in the Major Leagues, Lopes retires…
              “I’m not doing much. I’m retired, taking it easy,” said Lopes, who last worked for the Nationals as a first-base coach in 2017. “It was not a difficult decision to make, but one I was kind of hesitant to make. But it all works out. I got the opportunity to play, manage or coach for a long, long time. I’m extremely thankful. I was one of the lucky ones in the big leagues for 45 straight years. That’s a long time. I have no complaints.”
              “……….”Once you have guys who will listen to certain things that you are trying to teach, like I did when I was in Philadelphia … we had a lot of fun. We went to the World Series; we won it. We didn’t quite win the second one. You have to have students and guys that love to play, want to learn and want to win. That’s even more important. I had the opportunity to work with a lot of people. You don’t do this thing alone.” Former Phillies and Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth once called Lopes the best coach he ever had. “He was really good [when it came to] my overall mentality toward the game and how to play the game,” Werth said. “He was very instrumental and kind of molded me into the player I became.”

              …may be hard coaxing him out of retirement now at age 73.

            2. Maybe Rusty Kunz as an alternative? Not all the benefits Lopes added for fielder positioning but at least for basestealing?

    2. What the hell were the Pirates thinking on this? They are a small market team and they are at the out fringes of this pennant race – they need as many young, controllable players as they can get to compete going forward – not a nearly 30 year old pitcher who is not doing well. If I were a Pirates fan this trade would make me LIVID – it’s so stupid. I might have traded Archer for Glasnow and a lesser prospect, but Glasnow and Meadows? It’s a potentially massive overpay – the kind of trade that could easily turn into one of the worst in many years.

        1. Not sure about that.
          Meadows last three years was ranked by BA at:
          Pre-2016 #22
          Pre-2017 #6
          Pre-2018 #44
          And Glasnow:
          Pre-2015 #16
          Pre-2016 #14
          Pre-2017 #23
          …I think the Rays got a steal for a pitcher who seems to be trending downward in his career.

      1. Don’t underestimate Ray Searges the Pirates pitching coach who has fixed many a reclamation project(Nova, Liriano and others). I would not be surprised if Chris Archer makes a nice comeback.

        1. Yes he might under Searage. Then when his value escalates and his contract comes up, he’ll walk because Pittsburgh doesn’t give out those large contracts. They must want to just go for it in the short term while he’s theirs.

    3. dan, I agree with you. Would have been happy with Granderson, but I love Roman Quinn, and I agree with all of your points. Quinn may have 50 or 1,500 games in him over the next 10 years, but all of them should be in the Major Leagues.

  46. i like all the moves, although they are not big needle movers, they each address areas that needed improvement. i particularly like the addition of a loogy, which they have lacked all season. i hope loup can do the job and save them some games they have been losing for lack of a lefty who can get left handed batters out in key situations.

    1. Cabrera and Ramos both OPS over .800. That could be a real positive for the offense going forward if they can do the same in a Phillies uniform..

      1. The Phillies did exactly what I would hope they would do. They made real moves to improve the middle/bottom of the line-up focusing on guys with 55-60 hit tools who could knock in the players who do a great job of getting on base in front of them and they did it without seriously sacrificing the future. They also got another lefty reliever, which they needed. These were extremely well-conceived and well-executed trades – no overpays. I give them a solid B+, which ain’t half bad.

        1. I would like to see how Ramos comes back from the hamstring injury.
          If he is anything like he was these last few years….before the knee injury in Washington and after…..he may be one FA to sign in 2019 thru 2021.
          He turns 31 years old next week, so he will want at least 3/4 years , maybe more for his last big contract.
          Phillies will need to decide if signing Ramos, will also negatively impact Alf’s future.

      2. My only concern as it pertains to Cabrera is where does that 800 OPS plug into the field? It’s nice when we can to use it as the DH but lest I remind you we play in the NL.

        My only complaint the rest of the moves were great.

        1. Cabrera probably plays a little bit here, and a little bit of there. 🙂
          Seriously….squeezing him in will be a challenge with just the three reamining games in Toronto as DH opportunities.
          Personally….i would also put him at first base at times to spell Santana…and this also lets the clubhouse attendants get the pine tar stains out of the shoulders of number 41’s uniform..

  47. So I have to get on Rhys a little bit for his base running. It’s such an integral part of the game especially for those that aren’t fleet of foot. How does he forget there are 2 outs?

    So yeah the ball in the air was caught and it was no damage but still this is the MLB c’mon man.

    1. As a pitcher, when you have a truly great arm (as Cordero does) your prospect time horizon is extended by several years.

  48. Correct me if I’m wrong but would you say that
    Ramos > Chooch with the bat?
    Ramos < Chooch behind the plate?

    1. Wow,
      overall….bat or glove
      …..Chooch first 9 years 20bWAR player
      …..Ramos….13bWAR player

  49. Over time – as teams fall away from contention there will be more high salaried bigger named players that will fall into the Phils lap because they WILL pay the freight – even if it is only for a specialist. I agree with most who say the offense has been improved – by the two trades and Quinn. Once Washington fades more – look for some of those relievers to be dfa’d. It ain’t over yet on acquisitions.

  50. Don’t sleep on the Nats. Now that the trade deadline has passed I could see them snapping out of their funk. They have way to much talent not to make some noise here down the stretch.

  51. I have to say if I’m one of a handful of young players on the Phillies I have to be asking myself why I find myself sent down or on the bench more often than Kingery….

    1. Because they believe in Kingery and I don’t blame them. He’s the chosen one – the one they’ve invested in. Most of us believe he’s going to be quite good in time, but as the team gets better he needs to do more to justify his regular place in the line-up. I have sort of given up on significant improvement for him this year, but he will need to show notable improvement next year to keep getting as many ABs.

  52. Just heard Phillies and Baltimore had a trad completed with Adam Jones coming to Philly.
    But Jones refused invoking his 10-5 rights.
    Now Jones is getting grief from Baltimore fans on social media.

    1. Yes, I heard that too. He was the “may have just missed on another deal for a veteran player” I referred to at the end of the second paragraph above. I diluted the story a little to protect a source. I reported the 10-5 rights in my first draft but thought that was to much of a clue and deleted it.

      1. Seems the people of Baltimore are more upset about his decision than Phillies fans.
        He is FA after the season anyway.

    2. Jones has always been pretty aware and outspoken of the struggle of African-Americans in baseball. I think he kind of tried to use thus as his Curt Flood moment and be like “See? These past struggles led to us being able to have more say in our own rights and I used those rights”

  53. Today the Washington Nationals defeated the NY Mess, 5-3, due largely to poor defense. However, the month of August poses as a challenging stretch for the boys in DC.

    Home vs an improved Reds team, 4 games this weekend.
    Home next week vs Atlanta, 4 games
    At Chicago Cubs for 3 games
    At St Louis for 4 games
    Later in August – 6 games vs Phillies, 3 here/3 there.

    That’s 18 games vs playoff relevant teams and 4 vs an upticking Cinci club.

    1. WAS can lose all their games as long as they beat ATL.

      Am I worried about WAS and ATL – yes. But I’m more concerned about the Phillies giving games to lesser teams. If the Phillies win most of the winnable games and split the tougher games and win their series against ATL – they will be in control of their playoff destination.

      1. Phillies have been playing better at home….29 home games and 26 road games left…I hope they can continue this trend..

  54. Prediction:
    August 31 waiver trade – Los Angeles Dodgers trade 2B Chase Utley to Philadelphia Phillies for cash considerations.

  55. Four months from now….the 2018 Baseball Winter Meetings will be held Dec. 9-13, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada…..signing Manny at that time will be the pivotal focus for the future.

      1. You and me both.
        Though i think John Middleton has waited long enough, and will start immediately the negotiation process 5 days after the WS ends.

        1. Romus … here’s a prediction: Middleton reaches an agreement with Manny Machado just before Thanksgiving. They hold a press conference to announce the deal the Monday after Thanksgiving (November 26). And that’s just the beginning to a wild winter !!!

          What else could/should happen:

          * Phillies acquire a SP through either free agency or trade. I’ve been calling for/hoping for 27 YO Yusei Kikuchi, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they target Jay Happ to a shorter term (2 year) contract knowing they have high end arms (Sixto Sanchez, Adonis Medina, JoJo Romero) on the way (late 2019 – sometime in 2020).

          * Phillies sign a LHR (Zach Britton or Jake Diekman) or Klentak could make a major move for Felipe Vazquez. Despite all the flack I get every time I bring this up … I’d still definitely flip Zach Efflin (a nice arm/MOR starter) in a package for Vazquez (an elite arm/second best LHC in MLB).

          * Klentak’s “no-brainer” move has to be signing Garrett Richards to a 2 year, TJ rehab contract. This should only cost the team ~ 10 million dollars spread out over the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Klentak has a relationship with Richards from their time in Anaheim, and (more importantly) Richards is one of Mike Trout’s best friends in baseball (was actually a groomsman in Trout’s wedding last winter).

          * Middleton could shock the world by reeling in Bryce Harper on a very short term, extreme overpay contract if Harper (and Scott Boras) can’t find the long term deal they’re seeking. Middleton could structure the deal something like this:
          Year 1 …. 40 million
          Year 2 … 40 million
          Opt Out
          Year 3 … 18 million
          Year 4 … 18 million
          Opt Out
          Year 5 … 15 million
          Year 6 … 15 million
          Opt Out
          Year 7 … 12 million
          Year 8 … 12 million
          Opt Out
          Year 9 … 10 million
          Year 10 .. 10 million
          This would guarantee Harper 80 million dollars, and would allow/encourage him to walk (at age 28) after the 2020 season. At that same time, Mike Trout could (looking more likely Trout probably will) hit free agency.

          So … while I’m excited for what’s ahead this season, I’m even more fired up for the off-season !!!!!

          1. Hinkie…I’m wich you.
            Everything look slike a plan.
            Though Garret Richards signing does not seem like a Matt Klentak move at this point of the rebuild or whatever phase they think they are in.
            And i can see the trout connection with him in the Phillies family.
            But I do not see MK keeping Richards on the 40 for that length of time .
            There are no 60 day DL designations after the WS is completed, so he would have to take a roster spot like Harrison did from the Hamels trade…once the season starts in ’19 he then could be put on the 60 day DL, and then Klentak can pick up another arm…..but i am not sure he thinks like that.
            .

          2. Agreed that you really can’t/won’t get a “buy low” contract for Bryce Harper, but the discount could/would come in the form of limited years. Either a huge one-year pillow contract (that’s my bet – and it might even be with Washington) or a 4-6-year massive overpay with an opt out after year two similar to what you outlined.

            Harper has had a really bad year and he often fights inconsistency. But he’s still very young and if the Phillies can sign him to a one-year $35-40 million pillow contract – I’m down with that even though he’s barely been above replacement value this year. It would be awesome to see him in the middle of a line-up with Rhys Hoskins. If it’s a pillow contract, they will lose a later first round pick, but they would recoup a supplemental pick the following year if they don’t re-sign him (and my guess is that they wouldn’t). It’s definitely worth the risk and they obviously have the money to do it. And it really helps generate interest in the team.

            1. ” If it’s a pillow contract, they will lose a later first round pick, but they would recoup a supplemental pick the following year if they don’t re-sign him (and my guess is that they wouldn’t). “……I believe, under the new CBA players can only get one QO in their careers. If Nats offer him a QO after this season, then that is his first and only QO.
              So not sure the Phillies would get supplemental pick if they are not able to offer a QO….he is just lost to free agency.

            2. catch … the new CBA only allows players to get hit with a QO one time during their career. The Nationals will use it on Harper after this season. So the Phillies would not be able to slap one on Harper in a year or two if they signed him to a short term deal. That’s ok. I’d still sign him to the short term, overpay deal I posted above. Can you imagine a CeHe/Hoskins/Harper/Machado/Santana/Odubel/Alfaro/Crawford lineup? They’d sell out every game next season.

            3. Romus … your concern with the Phillies 40 man (if Klentak signs Richards to a TJ rehab contract) sent me investigating how difficult it would be (or if it could even be done at all). IMO, it shouldn’t be a problem. Here’s my hypothetical Phillies 40 man this winter:

              1 Drew Anderson
              2 Victor Arano
              3 Jake Arrieta
              4 Austin Davis
              5 Enyel De Los Santos
              6 Ser-Ant’ny
              7 Zach Eflin
              8 Jerad Eickhoff
              9 Luis Garcia
              10 Tommy Hunter
              11 Adam Morgan
              12 Hector Neris
              14 Pat Neshek
              15 Aaron Nola
              16 Nick Pivetta
              17 Edubray Ramos
              18 Yacksel Rios
              19 Ranger Suarez
              20 Vince Velasquez
              21 Adonis Medina
              22 LHSP (Kikuchi or Happ)
              23 LHRP (Britton, Diekman, or Loup)
              24 Garrett Richards
              25 Jorge Alfaro
              26 Andrew Knapp
              27 Edgar Cabral
              28 J.P. Crawford
              29 Maikel Franco
              30 Cesar Hernandez
              31 Scott Kingery
              32 Carlos Santana
              33 Manny Machado
              34 Aaron Altherr
              35 Dylan Cozens
              36 Odubel Herrera
              37 Rhys Hoskins
              38 Roman Quinn
              39 Nick Williams
              40 Bryce Harper

              This would mean dropping MLJ, Ben Lively, Jose Taveras, Jake Thompson, Mitch Walding, and Jesmuel Valentin. Klentak should be able to deal some/most of them for J2 dollars.

              This also exposes these prospects to the rule 4 draft:
              Deivy Grullon
              Jose Pujols
              Daniel Brito
              Tom Eshelman
              Arquimedes Gamboa
              Edgar Garcia
              Tyler Gilbert
              Mauricio Llovera
              McKenzie Mills

              Feel free to replace Cabral with Grullon (that would be a mistake IMO), or Hector Neris (another guy who could be dealt for J2 money) with Edgar Garcia or Tom Eshelman.
              I think there’s a good chane Franco gets traded (sell high !!!) if/when MM is signed. If Franco is dealt for prospects, Gamboa gets added.
              As a bonus … I’ll throw this possible Franco deal out there:
              Franco to the Padres for either Adrian Morejon or (one of my personal favorites) Cal Quantril.

            4. I can see Neris and Garcia gone (traded for PTBNL or cash) if Klentak make big moves this offseason. Knapp might also be a casualty if Klentak added another young defensive C in the 40-man.

              Padres also expressed interest in Williams and Altherr – if Harper is signed, one (or both) of Williams and Altherr can be packaged with Franco to the Padres for one of their arms.

          3. Hence, the Hinkie Plan (without the tanking😉)! I’m down with each point. If it rolls out that way, even better. I think we’re all hoping Philly becomes the most desired destination on all levels.

            Now, queue the naysayers….

          4. I co-sign with this master plan Hinkie!! I will also try to trade for Skaggs (for Cesar and Parkinson) and so both Mike Trout’s buddies are already with the Phillies and make his decision easier.

            Signing Machado and/or Harper and Richards is a MUST for Klentak.

      1. rocco….two and half week layover……better get lucky at the tables.
        I would go batty in Vegas for that length of time.

        1. As somebody who has stayed in Vegas for 7 nights, it started to get rough the last few nights.

          1. Agree…sometimes enough neon is enough.
            Then again…if the bank account is increasing with each day there, it could worth sticking around for awhile, …..but that has never happened.

      2. I will also be in Vegas for Thanksgiving, primarily for the Basketball “tournament” at the Orleans.

    1. Wow. How time goes by. Four months ago we were into a young baseball season. Four months from now, we’re into Winter Meetings.

  56. I think one September hits no starter will go now than 5 innings except Nola and Arrieta to try and ease some of the work load. I could see them even smiling a start or two for Eflin and Vince.

  57. not just because he pitched well tonight,(though 95 pitches to get through 5), but im surprised there wasnt more noise about bringing back Hamels to give you another veteran starting pitching option, since the cost would have been a low level prospect and $.

    1. Hamels sort of has that Nick Foles feel about him – I’m a little disappointed that they seemed to have no interest in him. I could be wrong, but if he was affordable, it seems like a mistake to me and I’m not saying that because he pitched a great game yesterday.

        1. Cole could come back in 2019. He has an interesting 2019 clause. Club option for $20 Million or Vesting $24 kicks in if he has 400 IP between 2017-2018 and 200 of those come in 2018.

          Right now he is at 267.1 with only 119.1 this season so the $24 Mil vesting is probably out.

          The Cubs can get him for next season at $20 million or buy him out for $6.

          1. If he pitches even moderately well (which I think he will), the Cubs will likely exercise the 2019 option and either keep or trade him, probably the former.

      1. Always loved Hamels always will. That being said I’m totally fine with how they decided to handle the rotation this deadline. Maybe they could have grabbed someone but then are you forcing Pivetta to the pen? Minors? If Pivetta to the pen who is bumped?

        I think there’s too many parts to move around while young pitchers are still developing.

        Hamels may come back to haunt the Phills but if he does that means they made the playoffs without him and that’s truly what this year (at this point) is all about, making the playoffs.

        I was/am a let down at the lack of bullpen help they decided to get but oh well. What can you do.

  58. We need to take 3 out of 4, minimum, vs. the Fish starting tonight. I would like to see one of these games be the one Cabrera wins for us. I have a good feeling about Ramos in September.

  59. I would like to see Santana rebound to where he was in June, not that his BA will ever be good. But, he dropped over 200 points in OPS from June to July and walked 9 less times in the same ABs. He has to play better. With this humidity I expect to see Rhys continue to hit HRS. I trust you guys about the analytics stuff. Kapler was raving about Pivetta’s xFIP. Is that legitimate or is he just trying to find anything to bolster Pivetta’s confidence? I see the stuff that Ks guys, but he gives up way too many HRs on bad pitches.

    1. Part of what goes into FIP and xFIP is HR/FB which generally has a league average of ~10% and varies on pitcher almost entirely in the 8-12% range. Pivetta currently sits 15.5%.

      He could be an outlier, and only time will tell for sure, but he doesn’t induce a lot of hard hit balls or fly balls in general, so it’s likely just bad luck.

      He strikes out a lot, walks few, and induces groundballs at the league average rate. That’s typically a very good pitcher.

  60. Wilson Ramos told Todd Z he should be back by mid August. The Phillies return home vs the Red Sox on the 14th. Be nice if he’s healed by then.

  61. Did an updated Top 50 now that the trade deadline has passed.
    Note: I’m graduating Roman Quinn from #5 on my last list because it’s a good bet he won’t be returning to MiLB this season.

    1. Sixto Sanchez
    2. Adonis Medina
    3. Alec Bohm
    4. Jhailyn Ortiz
    5. Adam Haseley
    6. JoJo Romero
    7. Ranger Saurez
    8. Luis Garcia
    9. Francisco Morales
    10. Enyel De Los Santos
    11. Spencer Howard
    12. Nick Maton
    13. Mickey Moniak
    14. Arquimedes Gamboa
    15. Kevin Gowdy
    16. Starlyn Castillo
    17. Dominic Pipkin
    18. Simon Muzziotti
    19. Edgar Cabral
    20. Cornelius Randolph
    21. Rafael Marchan
    22. Nicolas Torres
    23. Cole Irvin
    24. Jonathan Guzman
    25. Kyle Young
    26. Jake Holmes
    27. Austin Listi
    28. Logan Simmons
    29. Bailey Falter
    30. Daniel Brito
    31. Connor Seabold
    32. Jhordany Mezquita
    33. Abrahan Gutierez
    34. Drew Anderson
    35. Colton Eastman
    36. Darick Hall
    37. Will Stewart
    38. Carlos De La Cruz
    39. DJ Stewart
    40. Jose Pujols
    41. Matt Vierling
    42. David Parkinson
    43. Jake Scheiner
    44. Tom Eshelman
    45. Victor Santos
    46. Logan O’Hoppe
    47. Manuel Silva
    48. Jakob Hernandez
    49. Brayan Gonzales
    50. Kyle Dohy

    Next 5 … Ben Pelletier, Edgar Garcia, Tyler McKay, Gabriel Cotto, Ethan Lindow

    1. @Hinkie – finally, you recognize Logan O’Hoppe!! I have O’Hoppe and Marchan side by side at #41 and #42, respectively. And you decided to jumped off the Rodolfo Duran bandwagon, who somebody ranked as high as #14! I was criticized for having Moniak at #12, and I noticed that you moved him up from #17 to #13.

      We only have 3 different names – Cabral, DJ Stewart and Pujols. I have Lindow, Edgar Garcia and Andrew Brown instead. Edgar Cabral’s back up C profile and lack of upside pulled him down my rankings. I moved on from Pujols and it’s a toss up for me between Andrew Brown and DJ Stewart — and I prefer pitching than batting.

      I have #10 Cole Irvin higher and I agree that #8 Luis Garcia, #17 Nic Torres and #27 Jake Holmes deserves a big jump in the rankings. #35 Manuel Silva and #38 Victor Santos should be making any Top 40-50 easy. I’m not high on Parkinson but he and Dohy deserved some recognition for having a great year.

        1. Good call on Bailey Falter. I just mentioned in the other thread that Falter never made anybody’s Top 30 but you have him at #29 (I have Falter at #28). I believe that Falter is better than a LOOGY or a #5 starter. He might break out in 2019 and force the Phillies to protect him.

        1. No. Actually, Mauricio Llovera checks in at #56. Sorry about Deivi. Too many good C prospects in this system.

    2. I think you should reconsider Pelletier and Grullon. Two guys who are age appropriate, performing well and have some tools. Grullon has a 128 wRC+ in AA and loud defensive tools. I mean, he’s outhitting Austin Listi while being at the opposite end of the defensive spectrum and is two years younger.

      I’ve got Luis Garcia in the same spot on my list; very excited to see what he does.

    1. If I had to guess, it’d have something to do with his career 94 wRC+, lackluster defense, abysmal speed, and inability to take a walk.

      But it does seem like he’s turned a corner. I hope so, I’ve always been a fan of his hand-eye skills and his arm.

      1. Right handed, still might be a killer first basemen defense-wise. Whether that is a possibility at the Phillies, though…. may depend more on whether it is possible for Hoskins to improve his outfielding.

  62. I like your top 50, Hinke. I would probably switch Haseley and Ortiz right now as I’m a little disappointed in Ortiz lately.I thought that he was starting to be more consistant,was hoping that he was taking off.He has a high K rate especially lately,hopefully just a slump that he’s going through.

    If Moniak continues like he has for the past weeks,Ortiz power aside Moniak will have to be considered a better prospect,level higher Far better defender,etc.

  63. Great/exciting game last night !
    BTW … absolutely love when they wear those throw back, powder blue uniforms !

    1. and my buddy and I are going back and forth which is the better throw back —- Phillies Powder Blue or Eagles Kelly Green!!

      1. Funny, I used to hate the powder blue and longed for the original red pin stripes. I still love the pin stripes but like the variety of having the powder blue, and the even further throw back of the red-white-and-blues on occasions.

        1. Think MLB should go with the NFL Thursday Night Football set-up on specific Thursday games during the year…say, Phillies with red tops and red pants, white lettering vs Marlins black tops and black pants, white lettering

    2. I have such mixed feelings about the power blue unis. I grew up a Mets fan outside NYC and, after moving here in 1988, finally became a Phillies fan right before the 1993 season (good timing, eh?), which was also the year they switched to the new uniform style. But, as Seinfeld said, you root for laundry and the powder blue unis were the uniforms of my dreaded enemies as a youngster. That said, I am coming around as they are objectively pretty cool. The Cardinals, as I recall, had very similar uniforms, but the Phillies’ blue uniforms were the most iconic.

      1. I like them but spot on they weren’t unique back then. The cards definitely had them and so did the Royals and a couple of others if I’m not mistaken.

        Many will say they were atrocious but the 2 throw backs I love seeing are the Pads and the Astros. There was nothing like them then or now.

        1. My two favorites of the old style (70s/80s) unis were the Blue Jays (they’ve sort of stood the test of time – gorgeous and nothing like them) and Expos (home unis with the three-colored M were beautiful).

      2. I’m not partial to powder blue myself but what sets these uni’s apart is how the maroon counters the blue nicely. Or as Kapler would say, it “presents beautifully.”

  64. Pivetta pitched pretty well, the HR the only blemish. Big W, and I think the hitters are going to heat up soon and go on a bit of a roll. They owe a big offensive outburst to Nola on Sunday!

    1. matt – On opening day, I felt that Velasquez was the weakest link in the rotation. Since coming off the DL he has been rock solid. I’m glad that Klentak didn’t add a starter at the deadline. Even though we’re contenders, this is still a rebuilding year. We’ll know by the end of the season if Pivetta and Eflin, are legitimate, or flukes. That will determine what Klentak does next winter.

  65. Can’t argue Mike. I would have liked Happ, and Cole for nostalgia reasons, but can’t complain. VV and Pivetta have really good stuff, and I certainly would not give up on either. I think a Lefty gets added via FA in the off season. Maybe a Corbin or Gonzalez, or maybe Happ on a shorter deal, bridging the gap until Sixto and Mediana are ready.

    1. Matt, you just invited Hinkie to remind us that the Japanese FA lhp Kikuchi should be a target of Klentak’s.

      1. 8mark … Here he is. 27 YO LHSP. Up to 97 MPH, and a true FA this winter !

        The Phillies have been all over Taiwan over the past few months. They’ve already signed two Taiwanese teen pitchers and may be the leader for a third. Hopefully, they’re also recruiting in Japan/Kikuchi, also.

        1. Hinkie…..Kikuchi could be costly….. $75M plus since he is not governed by the international CBA restrictions for under 23-year olds. And I assume he will need posting by his Japanese team.
          Phillies better hire a good sushi chef! 🙂
          I doubt he comes to Philadelphia….NY/Boston or one of the West Coast teams.

          1. Romus … I’m still calling for Middleton/MacPhail/Klentak to act on the “Hinkie plan”: Hire Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto as Director of Clubhouse Food Services. That and a bunch of money would go a long way to reeling in Kikuchi.

    2. Happ……Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease….WTF!
      How did he get that?
      I thought kids get vaccinated for that.

    3. It is now safe to assume that Nola will anchor the rotation starting this year so a dependable #2 is needed to back up Nola since Nola cannot win it all. Corbin can be a good #2 but I can see him join the pitching starved NYY.

      Arrieta will be around so it will be upon him to be that #2 guy behind Nola, until Sixto and Medina completed their development to form a trio of ace potential arms.

      Gio, Hamels and Happ are more of #4 now, a role where Cole Irvin can possibly fill. Another option is to trade Cesar (plus another prospect) for Tyler Skaggs. And I agree with Kikuchi is the best option for the LHP. Kikuchi have enough experience and stuff to be a solid #3 behind Nola and Arrieta. I believe that Sixto and Medina current stuff is already a solid #4/#5 so the Phillies can put them in the mound late next year.

      I think the priority this coming offseason is to acquire a legitimate bat and add another equalizer in the bullpen. As long as Arrieta don’t implode, the young guys and the farm can hold the #3-#5 spots.

      1. KuKo … as much as I like Tyler Skaggs, I’m certain that isn’t going to happen. The Angels are in “win now or lose Mike Trout” mode and they need all the healthy arms they can find/keep.

        1. The Angels need a 2b. Nothing will happen until the off season. But my money (and Middleton’s) is on Cesar being moved. And not because I want him to be traded.

          1. If you were the Angels (or any other team in need of a 2Bman), would you rather give up Skaggs for CeHe, or would you rather just spend money on a FA? Asdrubal Cabrera, Brian Dozier, Marwin Gonzalez, DJ LeMahieu, Daniel Murphy, Neil Walker, Jed Lowrie, and Logan Forsythe are all available.

    4. matt – As the games get more important down the stretch, I’m curious how the staff responds,

  66. KuKo…..”Gio, Hamels and Happ are more of #4 now, a role where Cole Irvin can possibly fill.”….you cannot argue with experience when you are in August and September…and i assume the Phillies will also be there next year….with possibly Manny in the middle of the lineup.

    1. @romus – I understand the value of experience and if you can recall, I’ve called for the the Cole (Hamels) and Cole (Ragans) trade > 1 year ago since I value experience which Hamels can provide. That’s also the reason why I agree Hinkie about Kikuchi because I considered Kikuchi as an experienced player too. Happ and Gio only had 19.1 IP and 26.1 IP in the post season.

      I’m an optimist and will assume that the Phils will make the playoffs this year, thus, providing the needed experience for the whole team. Assuming that the Phils acquire Kikuchi (and performed as expected) and made the playoffs next year, the rotation will be Nola-Arrieta-Kikuchi-Pivetta/Vinny/Eflin (or extend to Sixto/Medina/Irvin/Ranger/delos Santos) — i don’t consider these rotation staff as newbies. If the current rotation can handle this year’s playoff run, they should be ok for next year (and years ahead) playoff run too.

      1. KuKo…..”Sixto/Medina/Irvin/Ranger/delos Santos) — i don’t consider these rotation staff as newbies”….do not think Phillies FO thinks the same way when it comes to Aug/Sep baseball…for now anyways
        Just look at the Yanks’ star pitcher Severino….this is already his third year…..and this time of the year will be nail-biting time for him and the manager

    1. Holmes is overdue.
      Pujols is a nice Reading addition.
      Stokes…..he is my ‘Charles Bronson/Tommy Lee Jones’ bromance guy.

    2. Anybody hear the latest on what was prematurely reported yesterday about the “exciting” promotion of a pitcher?

  67. 8mark – I heard that Medina could be promoted. Any idea if Gowdy is throwing yet? I’m guessing that he starts at Lakewood next spring. How many more days on the MLB roster for Quinn to come off of the prospects list?

    1. It wasn’t pretty for Medina tonight (2 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 2 K).
      Agree that Gowdy begins at Lakewood next season. Here’s how I see things for the 2019 season:

      Williamsport

      Victor Santos
      Ben Brown
      Dominic Pipkin
      Tyler McKay
      Kyle Glogoski
      Gabriel Cotto

      Lakewood

      Kevin Gowdy
      Francisco Morales
      Jhordany Mezquita
      Ethan Lindow
      Manuel Silva
      James McArthur

      Clearwater

      Spencer Howard
      Colton Eastman
      Kyle Young
      Will Stewart
      David Parkinson
      Damon Jones

      Reading

      Sixto Sanchez
      Adonis Medina
      JoJo Romero
      Connor Seabold
      Bailey Falter
      Nick Fanti

      LHV

      Enyel De Los Santos
      Ranger Saurez
      Cole Irvin
      Drew Anderson
      Thomas Eshelman

  68. After doubting VV’s ability to remain a long term SP option, he has recently shown to have the eye of the tiger along with dominant stuff and command. I also have to hand it to Kapler, Kranitz and his staff. However unorthodox, their methods are working on guys whose confidence needed to catch up with their talent. Allowing these young arms to grow and command the entire strike zone (not just the lower part, like the previous coach) has pushed the rebuild forward ahead of schedule.

    And holy cow, how I would love to see Kapler bring Alfaro in at least once this season as a reliever. According to Statcast: 10 hardest throws to 2b in MLB caught stealings this season – all El Gatto. And while he’s had problems with passed balls, he hasn’t seemed to negatively impacted the pitching staff otherwise.

    1. Using Alfaro as a pitcher is about the last thing I want Kepler to do. Fortunately, I think Kepler is smart enough to not even consider that idea.

  69. Maikel Appears To Have Resurrected His Career In Philly
    If Manny is the prize sign this off-season, it would seem he will get his wish and be the shortstop, since signs point to Maikel staying firmly entrenched at third base for the future in Philly.
    Now have to wonder, where does that leave JPC?

    1. Franco deserves his due amongst Phillies fans. I’ve been against trading for a 3B last off-season, this trade deadline, or the coming offseason. So far so good. Franco has highest BA of our starters, and he’s flashing his power and D!

      I love that our FO has shown faith/patience in Franco, VV, and Pivetta! It’s paying off and we still have our top prospects. 🙂

      Btw Romus, how about Luis Garcia last night?! 4-5, HR, 2B, SB. Our dreams that he might finally be the LA star that cruises thru the Phillies system and debuts to national hoopla is alive!

      1. JohnK…agree. Franco, though only 26 in a few weeks, is showing a more mature approach all around. He appears to have taken on a more business like approach to the game…..perhaps the Sept benching last year and the early season benching this year have made him realize something had to be done.
        He talks with more of a team attitude…I think Santana and Hoskins approach is rubbing off.
        Now to get Doobie on the same page would be helpful.
        Yes and agree on Garcia…..he was a top 10 Latin kid coming out last year, and did get a few million dollar signing bonus, I think one of the highest in that class, third I think only behind Wander Franco and the 21-year old Martinez, so the Phillies did expect him to realize his potential at some point….he has started out pretty d__ good.

    2. Romus, “where does that leave JPC?” Not sure whether he stays or goes, but now my biggest concern with him is simply durability. He hasn’t developed the body strength that a player of his age should have by age 22. I have no question about his special knack for the game, albeit his bat needs some thump. While I’ve been a big advocate of his, players who can’t stay on the field have limited value. Let’s hope he turns into a super utility IF.

    3. The Phillies have needs right now they can fill through trades.

      However, they also have guys like Franco and the starting pitching staff — and even relievers — who, if they can maintain, can be the material of a long-term contender.

      Haseley is tearing it up at Reading and might just be the guy to make a long career in the Phillies outfield starting as early as late next year. And if Quinn stays healthy and Mickey Mo continues to develop, they might have an outfield. (Assume Williams develops further, is traded or becomes a fourth outfielder, and Odouble finally wears out his welcome and is elsewhere.)

      All of this is a round about way of saying sign Manny and the Phillies might be close to a complete team. Maybe they still need a veteran catcher, which JP might be able to help fetch.

    4. Franco has made a couple of dazzling plays at 3rd this week . He isn’t going anywhere. We are going to have a bunch of 20+ homerun guys too. I will be posting saved posts from before season started to see how predictions have turned out lol

    1. Giles helped the Astros win the World Series last year so both teams benefited from the trade.

    2. yes – and think how even better that would have looked if we had gotten Fisher instead of Appel substituted in!

  70. Mike, That is the truth! When I wonder if Klentak can make a good trade in the off season, I have to look at that one. He did a really good job. VV has really pitched well lately, and last night was a terrific outing. SP has stepped up, big time, this year. If we sign MM, I wonder what value JP has? Did not hit well before the injury, and his D was not the excellent D I expected from him. Can he be at LHV next year? I would not want to give him away.

  71. matt – If the Phillies sign Machado, they MUST trade Hernandez or Kingery. Cesar is better now, but in the long run I like Kingery better.

  72. I do also, although I know that will upset some here. Notwithstanding the poor year that Kingery is having, I think he will be a really good player in the future. I didn’t think he should have been up so soon, but I think he will work it out. And Quinn really adds a lot. A terrific Defensive play again, and his speed is a game changer. Plus, he can hit.

  73. Might be a good idea to bat Doobie down in the lineup for a while. He needs that occasional wakeup call. Wouldn’t mind seeing Williams in the 3 hole for a stretch. See how he fares. We know Doobie is hot and cold. Putting Quinn in cf a couple days a week as well. Keep Doobie fresh and honest.

  74. Mike Scioscia is stepping down at end of 2018. His contract is up. That certainly changes the climate in Anaheim. The Angels are 2 games under .500, 4th place in AL West. Among the worst farms in baseball. Championship teams are built, not bought. Even the best player in the game alone can’t pull them over the playoff hump.

  75. He just said that is bogus. Cabrera wins one, so trade is already worth it!! He will win more but 1 makes deal a winner!

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