Open Discussion: Week of August 5, 2018

The Phillies had a good week.  After extending their losing streak to four games with an extra inning loss to the Boston Red Sox, they bounced back with a win against the Sox, splitting the 2-game series, and swept a 4-game series from the Miami Marlins.  Their pitching staff held the “best team in baseball” to 3 runs in 21.1 innings.  And the Phillies outscored the Marlins 23-9.

In sweeping the Marlins, the Phillies restored their 1.5 game lead over the Braves.  The Braves have 3 games in hand, but we are tied in the loss column.  Advantage Phillies.  The Phillies have the second best record in the National League.  One game behind the Chicago Cubs.  Yet, every “talking head” I’ve heard on MLB and ESPN writes the Phillies (and Braves) off expecting the Nationals to win the division with the wild cards coming from the West and Central Divisions.

The Phillies travel to Arizona and San Diego for two, three-game series.  They return home the following week to face Boston in another two-game series and a five-game series with the Mets.

The Miami games were on cable down here.  I got to watch a good portion of the them. Who else held their breath when Roman Quinn chased Bour’s HR into the center field fence?


308 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of August 5, 2018

  1. Me!! I just saw it on the espn game-delayed recast and still held my breath as Quinn slammed into the wall and tumbled over.

  2. Nats and Braves play each other this week – day/night DH Tues, single games Wed and Thur. The Nats then head to Wrigley while the Braves host the Brew Crew. Let them beat each other up while we take care of business in ARI and SD, hopefully winning at least 3 of those games.

    1. Fangraphs playoff odds:
      To win NL East –
      Phillies 54.1% (70% to make playoffs, 2.3% to win WS)
      Nats 25.2 % (42.9%, 3.5%)
      Braves 20.7%

      1. If I could get 45 or 50-1 odds on the Phillies to win the WS, I’d take it. They are really improving in front of our eyes and the Cabrera and Ramos acquisitions were brilliant for the post-season. Exactly what they need and not too expensive. Not just good – brilliant.

        1. I got 40 to 1 odds before the season. Put down a hundred. If they win, I’m going to get some ice cream for the grandkids.

  3. In one of the daily threads last week we had a discussion on the stat BABIP. I thought that it is worthwhile to have a more detailed discussion in the General thread. I think that BABIP is a useful stat, but very misunderstood. With this post, I am NOT positioning myself as an expert. I am simply starting a dialogue based on my understanding of the stat. I hope others engage and this conversation help this community understand the stat’s value.

    First, what BABIP is NOT. BABIP is not an indicator of who is a better player. It is NOT similar to batting average or ob% in that regard. So someone who has a higher BABIP is not necessarily a better player than someone with a lower BABIP. Also, BABIP is not an absolute stat. It is a relative stat. And while the MLB average is .300, it is a stat that is best used when comparing an individual season of a specific player to that same player’s career BABIP.

    BABIP can be used for both hitters and pitchers. A hitter can have certain characteristics (speed and power) to influence the stat. Pitchers have less impact on the stat, but can still impact the stat by throwing a lot of ground balls. High strikeout rates do NOT impact the stat for either hitter or pitcher.

    So what is the stat? BABIP is a measure of the percentage of time that a base hit (limited to a single, double or triple) occurs when a ball is put in the field of play and a defensive player has an opportunity to make an out.

    It removes home runs, walks and strikeouts from both the numerator and the denominator. It removes these plays (2 of which are good plays) because a defender does not have a chance to make a play on the ball. That is why it is not a measure of a good player or a bad player. To be clear, it does NOT penalize a player for hitting a lot of homeruns. Homers are removed completely from the stat.

    Quality of defense highly influences this stat. For a hitter, that is more level specific. Meaning low minor leaguers are worse defenders than major leaguers so babip is more likely to be higher in the minors than the majors. For a pitcher, defense heavily influences this stat because the pitcher has the same defense every game. Misplayed balls by weak outfielder go down as hits for example. A bad defensive 3rd baseman might be highly susceptible to bunts. More so than other 3b on other teams. That is not the pitcher’s fault. But the pitcher gets penalized in ERA for poor defense. That is why FIP, or Fielding Independent Pitching is often used for Pitchers.

    Luck also plays an important role in this stat. With the exception of a few hitters who have elite bat control (Ichiro or Tony Gwynn), most players can not “hit it where they ain’t” on purpose. That is why the shift exists. So while a grounder with eyes or a baltimore chop looks like a line drive single in the box score, it is really more of a result of a mishit that got lucky. Same goes for a line drive that is snagged, that’s just bad luck!

    As you would expect, ground balls have a much lower BABIP than Line Drives.

    Type AVG ISO wOBA
    GB .239 .020 .220
    LD .685 .190 .684
    FB .207 .378 .335

    Also, as you would expect, with the advent of the shift, hitters who constantly pull have a lower BABIP.

    How to use the stat? I don’t know how others use the stat, but I use it when determining if a player’s specific season is legit or a statistical anomaly. It is a good buy low or sell high stat. Let’s take an extreme example, Bryce Harper.

    I have heard a lot of chatter that Bryce is having a bad season. Mostly because his batting average is .230. When I hear that, I go look at the details. First, Bryce has plus speed and 80 grade power. So you would expect his career BABIP to be higher than league average, and it is. Bryce has a career. 316 BABIP. This season, Bryce has a BABIP of .253, which is 63 points lower than his career (3,200+ plate appearances). His ground ball rate this year is 39%, which is low and is lower than his career GB% of 42%. So he isn’t hitting more ground ball outs. He is pulling the ball 44% of the time this year, which is higher than his career pull rate of 39%. That is a big change from his career pull rate. And that might impact things because as this article indicates, lefty, pull hitters have a lower BABIP (hello post injury Ryan Howard)

    So when I look at Bryce’s current season, I conclude that his increase in pulling the ball might be hurting him, but he is most likely just getting unlucky to have such a low batting average.

    Anyways, that is how I use the stat. I think that it is a valuable piece of the puzzle when analyzing both a pitcher and hitter. But others might disagree. I hope that you found this post interesting and enlightening. Please share your thoughts.

    1. Perhaps I misunderstand you, but BABIP sure seems like an “absolute” stat. There is nothing in the computation of the stat that relates the result to anything else. The only thing “relative” about it is when you compare it to BABIP of another player, another season, another level, etc.

  4. Tough stretch here, west coast trips are never easy and Arizona is playing well. Gotta be happy with 3-3.

    Real solid week for the big club and some prospects. Its getting to the point where not getting Meneses bat in the majors is malpractice. I know hes not on the 40 man, but I would be ok exposing some of these guys to waivers to make a move. The Walding/Cozens bats off the bench are basically giving the other team an out, those guys cant make contact.

    1. agreed
      I don’t get the 13 man pitching staff anyway.
      they have a make up excuses to get innings for morgan at this point
      more value to Meneses coming off the bench


    2. DBack are 6-4 in their last 10 and actually have a better road record (32-23) than home record (30-28)
      However, Greinke will be tough and the Phillies will miss Ray, who is struggling lately anyway.

    3. “Malpractice” is a gross overstatement. Unless I am missing something, he is a first basemen and has no position flexibility. There is more to building a roster than finding a guy who can pinch hit only for a pitcher because has no defensive value.

        1. The 2008 team that had the best 1B, SS, and 2B in franchise history? And also had All Stars in RF and CF? And had a power hitting LF and one of the most well-regarded catchers in the majors in terms of working with his pitchers? The team with the best defense in baseball by a pretty significant margin?

          I feel like there’s a couple reasons the bench for that team could be vastly different than is possible for this year’s iteration.

          Seriously, though. We already have multiple people playing out of position. It’s impossible to justify carrying a third 1B. Without an injury Meneses is blocked, simple as that. It’s a shame, but that’s baseball. You need something that forces a team’s hand and he’s hitting about as well as Hoskins is, but in the minors. So he’d basically need to hit so well that the Phils would consider cutting Santana. He’s having a good year, but not THAT good of a year.

          1. Meneses can hit. As a 1b, that makes him a prototypical AL player with limited value, but value all the same for an organization that is fairly deep at 1b. We might see him packaged or moved for international dollars. Listi had fit the same bill earlier this season. Hall is another. Versatility is a keystone trait for most GMs anymore. We can love these guys every day and twice on Sunday but they simply hold little value in the economy of baseball talent.

            1. I see Meneses as the latest version of Darin Ruf.
              He may be a LFer on some team….applies also to Listi…..Hall is probably strictly a 1b.
              Then again….Hoskins was never ever anything but a first baseman last year, not having played LF since his freshmen year at Sac State.

    1. If Nick Williams is for real, and it seems like he is, then it would be a bad decision to put all of that money into Harper. Nick is basically free for several more years.

      But I go all in and way overpay for Machado. Whatever it takes. Upgrading Shortstop is #1 priority.

      1. I tend to agree with this.

        That leads us to the next question; are we ready to commit to Franco at 3b after his recent stretch? for some reason I am still hesitant, but it is a strange situation. Franco has teased us with potential for years and has gone on hot streaks before. However, they have never lasted this long and it does seem like there is an actual change in his approach that has led to this, whereas in the past his hot streaks were a result of him just hacking away and making some contact. Two months ago, this guy was an afterthought and we were saying he needs to be traded or even possibly sent down to AAA. Now hes pacing the offense. What do we believe is real?

        1. before this season, my big take was that Franco and Williams are not good and both will be gone by midseason. Amazing how wrong I was there haha. I also thought Kingery was gonna be a ROY contender

          1. If a “superstar” is acquired this offseason at either RF, 3B, or SS that will likely mean Klentak with have major league depth to trade from. It could be a very interesting offseason as we could hear the names of Williams, Franco, Hernandez, and a pitcher or two being thrown around in trade rumors. I do like these players but the return could be a huge upgrade in rotation or bullpen or other area.

          2. What I really appreciate about Williams and Franco is how hard they have each worked to improve fundamental aspects of their games – aspects that a player often can improve. In the high minors, Williams would often go weeks without drawing a walk and he was just totally undisciplined. He worked at it – and he’s improved far more than I ever could have predicted. And Franco has clearly worked his tail off this year improving his approach at the plate – he’s now starting to look they player whose ceiling we said was similar to Aramis Ramirez.

            As for what they do, remember that their playing better also makes them more valuable on the trade market. My view is that it’s always harder to find a good infielder than a good outfielder (unless the player is Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, as good as he can sometimes be, is not Mike Trout), so I’d still try to sign Machado, have him play SS, keep Franco at third, keep Cesar at second for the time being and use Kingery as a super-sub. If Ramos is good this year I’d re-sign him for another year or two and let him and the other catchers fight for playing time – if they can wrestle the job from him, great – if not, he plays and produces – it’s all good. I’d use the FA money to sign Patrick Corbin or another top shelf lefty and make the rotation lethal.

            They are in a really good spot right now – the Klentak/MacPhail plan is working.

            1. I meant to say aspects that a player often CANNOT improve. Improving plate discipline is incredibly hard because it’s not just selectivity – it’s the ability to discern quality strikes and foul off borderline pitches (something Kingery hasn’t learned to do yet) – it’s super difficult even if the desire is there.

            2. good stuff. I think a lot of credit has to be given to John Mallee and Rick Kranitz. While Gabe has been awesome as a rah rah guy and with his strategy, these coaches have really done some great work with the players. Mallee is bringing out real fundamental development in these guys who at one point seemed like they were what they were, and Kranitz is getting the best out of pitchers who prior coaches could not. Great work by both of them.

            3. To Catch – I couldn’t agree more with you on Williams. He has really done a great job at becoming more discerning at the plate. In fact, he is the one hitter who consistently hits the ball hard – and he sprays it over whole field. I find myself now hoping runners are on when Williams bats as he has invariably hit a key HR or a hard base knock. His stat line over 600 at bats looks like a solid MLB right fielder. His fielding – does need work.

              While I like Alfaro – this lineup will look really alot better with Ramos behind the plate for his bat – adding he and Cabrera adds alot more offense – and will only make Williams, Rhys, and Santana better.

        2. I keep Franco and use JP and Kingery as backup plans at third. Also super utilities. Good problem to have to have talents like JP and Kingery on bench.

          1. I just can’t see the team using Kingery on the bench after the contract they gave him. I think they try to move Cesar for a package and give Kingery the 2b job…really don’t mind JP as a super utility though at least until he shows he can handle a full time MLB gig

            1. He is making $4 mil a year. That is nothing to a mlb club. Until he proves he can hit mlb pitching, that contract will mean nothing.

            2. In fact, I think the opposite is true. Kingery signing the deal means they can play with his time horizon since they could control him for up to 9 years – money is no longer the issue with Kingery.

            3. his contract is light in the first few years. This year he’s at 750K + 1.5M signing bonus. Then it’s 1.25M in ’19, 1.5M in ’20, 4M in ’21, 6M in ’22, 8M in ’23 and club options in ’24 – 13M 1M buyout and in ’25 – 14M, and in ’26 – 15M.

            4. Yes, so they are only committed to around $25 m over six years before the options kick-in – in the scheme of the Phillies payroll over the next 5/6 years this is nothing – pocket change. They have paid bad middle relievers almost this much over a few years. Lots of possible upside and very little downside risk – this was still a great contract in concept.

      2. My hope is Nick Williams’ first 160 MLB games is not the Dom Brown of 2013…..and then the fall off. If he can make the adjustments than that will not occur.

      3. I think at some level Williams is “real” – the question is what, precisely, does that mean? Is he a guy who is fine for 2-3 years and then should be replaced/upgraded? Or is he a guy who can become a strong complimentary player going forward (I don’t seem under any scenario as a star player like Hoskins or Nola, although I guess it’s remotely possible)?

        I view Williams, in a best case scenario, to be a lefty version of Adam Jones and worst case he is probably exactly what you are seeing now, which is probably a second division regular. Nick needs to continue to work on his fielding as well – those metrics seemed to have improved a little but his value would be much greater if he were at least average instead of clearly below average.

      4. Manny Machado is/has always been priority #1 this offseason. Middleton is not going to be outbid for him because Machado is worth more (on and off the field) to the Phillies than any of the other big market clubs.
        IMO … Harper only makes sense on a pillow/short term contract. In other words, if Harper and Boras can’t find the big money, long term deal they’ll be seeking … Middleton jumps in with a deal that would pay the Nats’ star lots of upfront money with a quick opt out that would encourage Harper to hit free agency again after 2020. That would allow Harper to reset his value and exit Philadelphia at the same time Mike Trout could hit free agency.

        Machado may start his Phillies’ career at SS, but he’ll (quickly) make the move to 3B. IMO, Klentak should take advantage of Franco’s breakout, and sell high on him this winter. The Padres had previously been looking to buy low on Franco. SD has the #1 farm system in the game. They won’t part with Tatis, Gore, or Paddack, but Franco should fetch the Phillies something like Adrian Morejon and Tirso Ornelas. Or maybe Klentak prefers Matt Strahm (good LHR under team control for 4 more years) plus a prospect (Morejon,Ornelas or Hudson Potts).

        1. Why not just keep Franco though? I’m still high on Crawford, but he’s not a sure thing. Our best option the next few years might be playing Franco at 3B and MM at SS, even though Machado is poor defensively there. If it turns out JP is for real and we make no trades, there’s no issue with having an overqualified bench bat. Kapler has shown that he’ll get whoever is the odd man out enough ABs. It also protects us against the inevitable injury.

          I think we’re past the point of trying to flip our major league talent for lower level minor leaguers just because we want to sell high. That also could backfire in Franco’s case because there’s a chance he takes another step forward next year and we end up trading a middle of the order bat.

        2. @HInkie – agree. I believe that Machado woulnd’t mind going back to 3B once he got his big $$ contract. SS is the most important defensive position. while JPC’s offensive potential is not that high, I believe in his defensive ability. Plus, there’s a deep pipeline of SS/3B in the farm in case JPC bust which make Maikel Franco the odd man out.

          Franco is playing well now so Klentak will get a lot of flak to those who are sentimental and what have you done to me lately gang if Franco is traded. The fact that Franco was already written off 2-3 months ago by the same group that’s supporting him now, shows that Franco is a streaky player — a good compliment but not a core player.

          I advocate selling high — Cesar, Neris, Garcia, Doobie, Vinny, Eick and Franco are included in that list.

          1. I’ve never fell of the Franco brand wagon this yr. Nor Herrera you don’t trade young improving parts.

            1. you don’t, if you don’t have better alternatives. with deep pockets, payroll flexibility and deep farm – the Phillies are capable of acquiring better players than Franco, Doobie, Cesar, etc. The young improving parts that we are arguing about are good complimentary players. They can win games but not carry a team into championships. Machado, Harper and alike can.

            2. Who’s a better CF then Herrera at 26 . Trout , Betts maybe that’s it. Herrera if can post 280 30 100 RBI’ yr . It’s crazy to sell him.

            3. Tim,,,,,these are good CFers also, ages notwithstanding……..Billy Hamilton ….Albert Almora…..Manuel Margot …..Ender Inciarte…..Michael A. Taylor…..Starling Marte…..A.J. Pollock …..Ian Happ……Michael Conforto…Jackie Bradly Jr…..Aaron Hicks….:Leonys Martin

            4. Romus Age matters, none of the Centerfielders on your list is good as Herrera.some have major holes in them. I could see if Herrera was aa aging player or high price one He’s either.

            5. Romus, your list made me laugh out loud. I’m not the biggest backer of WAR but it is a decent proxy of relative value, especially when the numbers are vastly different. Since Herrara came into the league here are the fWAR of your list.

              Herrera 12.2
              Pollock 11.8
              Marte 11.4
              Bradley 10.9
              Inciarte 10.2
              Comforto 8.6
              Hicks 8.5
              Hamilton 6.5
              Martin 5.1
              Taylor 4.7
              Happ 3.2 (2 years)
              Margot 3.2 (3 years)
              Almora 3.0 (3 years)

              For a combination of age and production I can’t say I want a single one of them more than Herrera. Maybe Pollock but he’s older. Maybe Marte but he’s older and just as prone to bone-headed plays as Herrera. Maybe Happ but he’s not really someone who should be an everyday Centerfielder.

            6. Aron…glad I gave you a chuckle.
              And as i posted….there are other good CFers….did not say they were all better than Doobie.
              But letting Fangraphs decide, for 2018….not historically since 2015……..if it is WAR that will show where he ranks….and right now Doobie ranks 14th…and a few notches above Inciarte and JBJr.

              Mike Trout…7.6
              Lorenzo Cain…..4.1
              Aaron Hicks…..3.4
              Starling Marte….3.0
              Brandon Nimmo….2.5
              Brett Gardner….2.5
              Leonys Martin…..2.5
              Bryce Harper…..2.4
              Mailex Smith….2.4
              Chris Taylor….2.3
              Cody bellinger….2.0
              Georger Springer…..2.0
              Max Kepler…..1.9


      5. Any reluctance to overpay for Machado as a SS only with his abysmal defensive metrics this season or do you believe that to be a one off after several years @ 3b?

        1. Machado insistence to play SS is just to drive his value in the open market. Machado knows that 3B is his long term position. He’ll move back once he gets his big $$ contract.

          1. KuKo…..Manny is not getting traded in Nov/Dec….he will choose where he wants to go.
            Two offers come in equal amounts..Phillies and Yankees….one wants him at third, the other he can play shortstop….where do you think he will go?

            1. @romus – it’s a useless argument because Machado’s decision will not be based on what position he will play —— it’s about $$ (including the cost of living and taxes) and the chance to win. With Phillies and NYY bidding, it will come down to $$ and Middleton will not be denied so your argument is pointless.

            2. KuKo……lets see how it plays out…I say he ends up at shortstop wherever he goes.

            3. @romus – SS might be, but I doubt it will be for long term. I think Machado will eventually realize that he’s a 3B long term and will be amenable to the move from SS to 3B.

            1. Machado played SS until Turner went on the DL around July 23rd. Turner came off the DL on August 3rd and played 3B on the 4th. Looks like Machado’s a team player.

  5. How great does choosing Arietta over Darvish look? Not only better this year but half as long contract. Awesome decision. Yu’s contract is going to be an albatross on Cubs for a while

    1. Not just Darvish, but we could’ve gone after Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb, Tyler Chatwood. I was very vocal about wanting Santana and Darvish on this site. I’m happy I’m not running the team…

  6. The player I want to target this offseason even moreso than manny(or in conjunction with manny) is Nolan Arenado. I’ve seen lots of rumors and talk about the writing being on the wall for him walking once he’s a free agent and the Rockies would be best suited trading him while he has enough time left on the contract to bring back major assets. I would give them Franco, Williams, Pivetta and Medina for the best third baseman the league has seen since Schmidt, and then sign either manny for Short or better yet replace Williams with Bryce. Adding a righty and lefty bat capable of 40 homeruns in this stadium, plus two great gloves.

  7. We are witnessing greatness.

    1. The really cool thing about Rhys Hoskins is that he’s still in the middle of an improvement curve. I expect his apex years to be MVP-type seasons – like .280/.400/.600 – and he’ll probably throw in a 40 homer season or two along the way. He’s a joy to watch.

      1. Alex Rodriguez had an interesting comparison for Rhys Hoskins a few weeks ago. ARod comp’ed Hoskins to Dale Murphy. He said they have very similar builds, power hitting OF’ers with high OPS. They even seem to have similar personalities (modest, nice guys).

    2. Seeing his first few abats I could tell right a way… He passed the eye test – pitch recognition, strike zone command – off the charts. Maybe I am off my rocker from watching years of Howard and Burrell chase every low and outside pitch every thrown to them… once I saw Hoskins layoff that pitch, and how early he did it …. plug him in, he will be a top 10-20 player in the league for a long time. Glad to have him.

  8. Franco has proven to be real this season. Only 50 strikeouts as a 25 year old. His ground ball % is still a little high but will get better
    Nick is seeing more pitches and striking out only 23% he is also hitting lefties well. Also real deal. I think he turns into a 270 27 80 guy

    1. Heard stat from Corey Seidman over the weekend, Franco is the only player with more than 18 HRs with 50 Ks or less.

      1. That’s impressive, Romus. He with his contact rate and Williams with his increasing walk rate indicate that these 2 guys are works in progress heading in the right direction. I’ve been especially down on Franco but his approach this year shows he may be coming into his own. I still wouldn’t be opposed to moving him in the right deal this off season since his value has never been higher. Hats (and helmet!) off to him!

  9. The Phillies have many possible directions to go before next season. The first priority is signing Machado. If they don’t however, they could overpay Cabrera and/or Ramos to two year deals. I don’t want Harper because Williams is still developing, and I still haven’t given up on Herrera. The Phillies were wise to give Franco “One more year”, and it paid off. Next year should be Herrera’s one more year. I like Alfaro and Knapp, but Ramos is an upgrade over both of them (at the present). The moveable pieces are Pivetta, Eflin, Knapp, Hernandez, Kingery, Crawford, and Cozens from the active roster, and numerous prospects in the system. Signing Machado, and acquiring another #2 starter, and a lights out bullpen arm is all this team needs.

  10. A few things:

    1) I’m extremely happy with our off-season moves. Santana is certainly disappointing with his average, but the walks and power are right where I was hoping and Franco credits his success with a conversation he had with Carlos. That alone is worth the money. And Arrieta’s contract is an absolute steal.

    2) On the topic of Franco, assuming we get Manny I trade whoever gets me a better pitcher between him and JP. I would love to have all three, but JP is still developing and you can’t expect him to do that playing part time. So in their interest and our own I say gauge their value and pick up that (second) ace this winter.

    3) I know some people were still considering Nola a 2 or 3 over the winter. Are we all on board with him being our ace now? I hope so. Even his off days are wins for good offenses.

    4) I’m also really happy the home crowd gave Werth the ovation he deserved. I know there was some friction after signing with the Nats and making some comments, but it was nothing worse than JRoll calling us front runners. And everyone on that team played their hearts out for us. It was a very special team and I’m glad he feels welcome (if not at home) in CBP.

    5) Please don’t sign Harper. Even if we don’t get Manny. Please. I can not cheer for him. Can. Not. It’s not a rivalry thing. He’s on a very short list of athletes who I never want on my team in spite of clear talent (Crosby and formerly ARod filling out the list).

    1. Sign Manny and then trade for Arenado. If the Rockies don’t make the playoffs this year, he is going to be looking to be moved to a playoff team. One on the rise playing next to MM would be really enticing.

      1. A trade for Arenado will be counterproductive move for the Phils. This move will cost the Phillies possibly Sixto, Medina and Bohm if acquired in the offseason.

        Unlike Machado who said that he prefers to play in the East, Arenado is a legit flight risk. Arenado will either stay in COL or as a SoCal guy cheering for the LAD, join his favorite team.

        If the Phillies want to boost the offense next year and the year after, the proposed Harper signing is the best approach. Harper will only cost $$ (and possible a draft pick) and the better fit (RF and LH).

    2. Ace is supposed to the best pitcher in the staff, the pitcher a skipper will put in the mound in a win or lose situation. But most people relate “ace” as the “super #1/TOR type”. Nola is the ace of the Phllies staff because he is the pitcher in the rotation that Kapler will put on the mound for the best chance to win. And Nola is also a TOR (#1/#2) based on his actual stuff — at least 2 plus pitch and a above ave 3rd pitch with plus command. Only a person who believes that velocity as the measure will say that Nola is not an ace/TOR pitcher.

      The 2nd ace might be coming from the farm in the form of Sixto Sanchez and Adonis Medina. The Phils should continue following the “buy the bat, grow the arms” philosophy. Arrieta will hold the #2 tag, until Sixto or Medina comes up the ranks. Kikuchi, if the Phils signed him, will be a good #3 while Pivetta, Vinny, Eflin delos Santos, Ranger, etc will be the #4/#5 arm.

      I don’t like Harper as a person but anytime a team has the chance to acquire an elite talent at his peak, they should do it without thinking. Harper is only 26 yo when he hits FA, basically entering his physical peak so possibly the best version of Harper that you will see.

    3. I generally respect peoples opinions whether or not I agree with them, but if there is anyone who would still argue that Nola is a 2 or 3, I would greatly question their knowledge. So to answer you question, there may be some people who feel that way, but those people are wrong. Lets lock him down long term as a top priority this off season.

      1. It’s not really a top priority because they control him for another 3 years. It’s more of a big, long term priority and I’m sure they will be exploring a contract now because they might get a discount due to the big guaranteed money and length of years they can offer. If Nola’s everyday demeanor counts for anything, I don’t see him scraping for the last dollar if he is treated fairly, which he would be.

        1. Nola is not even arbitration-eligible yet because he started in July 2015, getting past that June service timeline. So he has the three more season under control as you say..19-20-21. Next year is his first arb year.
          If I were the Phillies I would wait until after 2019, he will be 26 at the time and then buy out his last two ard elig years and tack on the long term part of the contract.

        2. Giving long term contacts to high risk positions like pitchers and older homerun hitting first basemen well before you have to is how you get contacts like Ryan Howard’s. I love Nola but signing him a long term contact at this point is not going to save you all that much money and carries a big risk.

          1. I do not see Nola’s contract being as such a detriment as Howard’s was.
            For one, I do not see him and Paragon asking for the best deal ever on the market fro that year..
            Then, I could be wrong if he happens to switch agencies from Paragon to the Boras Co….so that blows that out of the water.
            Plus Ruben and Monty seem to open their pocketbooks up a little more than was needed.

            1. Pitchers can and do get hurt. You don’t want to give long term deals to pitchers until you have to.

            2. At some point Nola will need to get a LTC…here or somewhere else
              And it may come down to timing..
              Whether it is after arb year 1 or 2, he will be getting it.
              If the Phillies wait until his last year……they stand the risk that they may have waited too long and he may elect free agency….then he will cost more, if he decides to come back to Philly.
              I say strike after his first arb year….which is next season.

            3. I don’t fear doing an extension with Nola. After all it is going to be one that makes sense for player and club and I don’t ever see that as being a bad thing.

              I still LOL when Howards contract is brought up. Look at the deals that were made with 1B’s after that it clearly ended up being a bargain however that is a bygone era

              JD Martinez is blowing his contract out of the water and there will be strife ahead with the MLBPA if they don’t see money flowing to the players the way it should be (revenue sharing)

              If clubs and the MLB are smart they will start doling it out early to guys like Nola. It looks really bad when guys like DeGrom are making $7.4 million and Yu Darvish is making $25 million.

            4. I am totally not convinced by these arguments – as I said, if Nola gets 6 years, it will all be guaranteed and it will be at least in the $120-130 million range (perhaps more) – it’s my view and sticking with it. Time will tell. Obviously, the few FA years they buy out the lower the AAV.

          2. It’s not like Ryan Howard at all. It’s more like the Indians pitchers who signed below market extensions and are allowing the club to compete at a high level for a long period of time.

            1. If the Phillies are going to have and keep top tier pitchers, they are going to have to sign some longer term deals. Better a below market deal while a pitcher is young than an above market deal to a FA who is 32.

            2. It just depends on what Nola is willing to sign for. If he and his representatives are willing to use the early deals (plus inflation) signed by Chris Sale, and Corey Kluber as blueprints for an extension, the Phillies would be wise to take the plunge and get Nola locked up for the next six or seven years.
              Sale and Kluber inked LTC’s four years shy of free agency. Nola would be three years out from the open market this winter so Nola should get more money per year.
              Sale signed his deal six years ago (after the 2012 season). He had finished 6th for the AL CY award. Sale gave up seven seasons and got 59 million dollars (including team options). That’s a ~8.4 million AAV.
              Kluber agreed to his contract two years later (after the 2014 season). Kluber had just won the AL CY award. Kluber got 70 million dollars for seven seasons (including team options). That’s a 10 million AAV.
              As I mentioned earlier, Nola should automatically get a higher AAV because he’s a year closer to free agency than Sale and Kluber. You also have to include inflation of MLB salaries. So … Aaron Nola should reasonably expect a 7 year/105 million dollar deal (4 years guaranteed and 3 team options).
              It would look something like this:
              Year 1 … 8 million dollars
              Year 2 … 10 million dollars
              Year 3 … 12 million dollars
              Year 4 … 15 million dollars
              Year 5 … team option 20 million dollars
              Year 6 … team option 20 million dollars
              Year 7 … team option 20 million dollars

            3. You are right. It all depends on the terms. I’d do Hinkie’s deal in a second. I’m just not sure he wouldn’t want 5/$100 guaranteed which I would pass on three years out of free agency.

            4. I think your version of the deal is far too light and risky for Nola to take over all of those years. My guess is the deal runs something in the nature of 6 years and $120-130 million with the ending salaries around $25 or 30 million (sort of an upside-down Arrieta deal with more years). I also think those FA buyout years would not be option years (why should he give them a discount and options?). If he’s going to run the risk of leaving money on the table he is going to want (and should get) guaranteed money – that’s the quid pro quo with a young elite player. If anything, he might get an opt out.

            5. Let’s check back over the fall or winter – if Nola does a long-term deal I would be shocked if the deal looked more like Hinkie’s deal than mine, but hopefully I’m wrong.

            6. catch … you’re right about the guaranteed years, but not about the salaries. After doing a little more research, I see Sale and Kluber only had two team option years. So … change that fifth year team option 20 million dollars (in my post above) to a guaranteed 18 million dollars. Years six and seven would be 20 million team options/two million dollar buyout.
              That would guarantee Nola 65 million dollars over 5 years, and the possibility of earning 105 million over 7 years.
              Those numbers are what they are. They’re based off of the contracts (plus a bump for inflation and the fact that Nola is one year closer to free agency than) Chris Sale and Corey Kluber got.

              * Sale (coming off a season when he finished 6th for CY award) got 5 years/32.5 million guaranteed. With two team options, Sale’s total contract totaled 7 years/57.5 million dollars.

              * Kluber (coming off a CY award winning season) got 5 years/37.5 million guaranteed. With two team options, Kluber can get at least 65 million over 7 years. His contract also includes incentives/escalators that could earn Kluber an additional 12 million, so he could max out at 7 years/77 million dollars.

              For Nola … 5 years/65 million guaranteed, with the possibility of 7 years/105 million is fair/historically in line with what a LTX should look like for top, young pitchers. If he takes the gamble that his health holds out, Nola could be in line for a Cole Hamels type of contract (6 years/144 million guaranteed [plus inflation]) after he finishes his arbitration years. However … if he takes that gamble, he runs the risk of becoming the next Matt Harvey or Garrett Ricjhards or (God forbid) Jose Fernandez.

            7. Ahh, but you’re not right because the Sale and Kluber deals are now way, way below market – they will not be the template for salaries going forward. Sale’s deal is almost 7 years old now – it has nothing to do with the present market.

            8. Like I said, come back when the deal is done – I can almost guarantee it will look much more like my proposal than yours – in fact, it may be more money heavy than what I put out there.

            9. I think Nola could get a Hamels type contract this offseason because if he remains the pitcher he is right now, he’s a $35 million a year guy on the open market – so a Hamels deal which ends up around $22-24 million AAV, buying out 4 FA years, is fair. Your numbers are way old and these numbers will only escalate this offseason.

            10. As I mentioned a few times … I included MLB salary inflation in my calculation. I even gave Nola a bump because he is a year closer to free agency than Sale and Kluber were when they signed their LTX’s.

              Sale (after 2012) … 5 yrs/32.5 million guaranteed. 7 yrs/57.5 million max.

              Kluber (after 2014) … 5 yrs/37.5 million guaranteed. 7 yrs/65 million with options. 7 yrs/77 million max with incentives.

              Nola (after 2018) … 5 yrs/65 million guaranteed. 7 yrs/105 million max.

              You’ve also got to remember, the contracts for FA arms have been regressing lately. They’re getting less years, and in turn less guaranteed money. See:
              Arrieta, Jake
              Lynn, Lance
              Cobb, Alex
              Helickson, Jeremy

            11. Romus … Kershaw’s contract is not applicable (at this time) for a potential Aaron Nola deal. You’re asking why:

              1. Kershaw had already gone through two years of arbitration when he signed that 7 yr/215 million dollar LTC. Nola hasn’t even been through his first year of arbitration.

              2. Kershaw had already won two CY awards and finished runner up in another season at the time of that deal.

            12. So I take you are offering Nola his LTC after this season prior to next season?
              I was willing to wait until after 2019 was completed which would have put him into his first arb year.

            13. And, by the way, if Nola turns out to be a 5-7 WAR ace going forward, $120-130 M over 6 years is a freaking steal.

            14. catch … Hamels contract is also not applicable (at this time) in connection to a possible Aaron Nola LTX. Hamels had already gone through FOUR years of arbitration. As a matter of fact, Hamels was just a couple of months shy of free agency when he signed his big extension (6 yrs/144 million) with the Phillies.

              When doing extensions with young players/pitchers, the farther out from free agency the player is, the less guaranteed money he gets. The closer he is to free agency, the more money he gets. It’s that simple.
              The player (in this case Nola) can take the guaranteed money, or bet that they remain healthy (and as productive as they are now) and get maybe twice as much money in three or four years from now.
              You don’t want to understand the team gets something out of the early extension, too. The team (in this case Phillies) get a break on the price because they are running the risk of having to pay for a pitcher who ends up injured or less productive.

              I don’t claim to know what the exact figures to a Nola LTX this winter will look like. All I can do is find similar examples (Sale and Kluber) and base my numbers off of them.

            15. Yes, Romus. These numbers are based on an extension this offseason. Hense, the Sale and Kluber comparisons. If the Phillies/Nola wait until after the 2019 season, the figures should go up.

            16. You’re mixing my arguments. I’m saying he could get Hamels type money for a contract of that length not because he’s in the same situation as Hamels (year before FA) but because the market has changed so dramatically. A player like Hamels today would be paid in the vicinity of $175-200 for the same deal. Anyway, my prediction is that if Nola signs a long term deal it will be at least six years and $120-130 million – the market is NOT the same as it was when Chris Sale entered into his contract in 2012 and, as for Kluber, it was also several years ago AND Kluber was much older which reduces its value. These deals are not good comps for the current market for Aaron Nola in my view.

            17. catch … yes, the market is not the same as it was six years ago when Sale signed his contract. That’s why the contract I am proposing Nola gets is almost twice as valuable as the deal Sale got. The Sale and Kluber contracts are better comps than anything you’ve introduced. You throw out the numbers 25 to 30 million dollars per year (at the end of the contract). No pitcher gets that kind of money on a pre arb deal. As far as I can remember, only Mike Trout has gotten that kind of money for any year in a pre arb deal.
              You reference the Cole Hamels contract … “I think Nola could get a Hamels type contract this offseason because if he remains the pitcher he is right now, he’s a $35 million a year guy on the open market”. They were you words.
              The key words/phrases there are:
              * “if he remains the pitcher” and
              * “he’s a $35 million a year guy on the open market”

              There is no guarantee that Nola remains this good (or this healthy) three, four, or five years from now. That’s why the team gets a discount on the guaranteed money. And that’s why the player takes the discount on the guaranteed money.
              Also, it doesn’t matter what Nola is worth on the open market if he isn’t on the open market. He won’t reach the open market for another three years. A lot can happen in three years. I brought up the names Matt Harvey and Garrett Richards as examples.

              OK. Like you said … we’ll wait and see what a LTX looks like for Nola if both sides can hammer something out this winter. However, I think you’re going to be surprised by what Nola gets/agrees to.

  11. Tonite will be a real test for hard swingers like Franco, Alf and Williams.
    Zack Godley throws his knuckle curve about 45% of the time in the low 80s…..and a sinker 30% in the high 80s.
    Hoskins, Santana, Cabrera and Hernandez should be able to handle this pitcher.

    1. the walks have killed Godley this year- rate up from 3.1 to 4.3, though better in recent starts. 7 innings last time out was his best since april.

  12. How about some of these career earnings Ryan Howard $190MM, Prince Fielder $248MM, Albert $344MM, Miggy $400MM and just for some giggles AROD $441MM

    2 of those guys never won a WS interestingly enough. One never will and the other has long odds against him.

    1. Correction I forgot Miggy did win a WS Title with the Marlins in 2003 so that just leaves Prince without a WS title.

    2. Didn’t Albert win a series with the Cards? In fact, didn’t he win 2 of them? Howard won with the Phils. Miggy won with the Marlins. And Arod won with the Yankees. The only one on your list who didn’t win a WS was Prince Fielder. So, what was your point?

      1. That’s the type of money that was being doled out at that time is the point and it was only going to go higher. It’s about context. Too many people use revisionist history to claim it was a bad deal. Yeah he blew out the achilles 10/8/2011 he signed the extension 4/27/2010

        Up until that point he was averaging an OPS+ of 138. Had won an MVP a ROY a World Series and was a perennial MVP vote getter.

        Some people just hated the guy and some people hated Mike Schmidt. It’s good whatever your opinion was of the man I just think looking back he was worth every penny.

        1. Looks, most of us here love Ryan Howard and always will and certainly the achilles made everything much worse and you can’t predict that. But the biggest problem with that contract was that, by objective measures, it was premature and divorced from the realities of the metrics of what he was producing and the likely regression curve of a big slugger. And criticizing it now, is not revisionist history – this deal was lambasted around the league and in the media when it was executed; if you had to summarize the response by the national media and analysts it would be “what is Ruben Amaro doing?” It was just not a very wise transaction even as viewed at the time and then the negative aspects were magnified by some very bad luck.

          But, you know, teams don’t learn (or if they do, they learn very slowly) – the Chris Davis deal had exactly the same smell when it was signed and it has turned out to be at least as bad and probably worse.

          1. My biggest issue with the Howard deal (then and now) was giving that much money to a 1b only player in a league without the DH. Has there ever been a $20M per year plus deal given to a 1b only player that has ever worked out in the team’s favor? Votto might be the only one you can make the case for and his value is .OBP more than power?

            1b is the easiest position to fill and teams can get solid production at the position on the cheap. If a team is going spend big, it should be on positions where the separation in talent is much greater…

            1. “Has there ever been a $20M per year plus deal given to a 1b only player that has ever worked out in the team’s favor?”

              Pujols probably comes the closest….over 12WAR in his 6plus years in LA.
              And that is not enough.

            2. They have many years to go before they have to make that decision but I would not be paying him $25M per season to play 1B…

    3. I don’t understand the “other people did bad contacts so the Howard’s contact was okay” mentality. All those others were at their peak and entering free agency. Howard’s was already declining and two years out from free agency. I would also note that at least two of those guys are surefire Hall of Famer and another would be too if not for the PED’s.

  13. A lot of hard decisions coming this offseason. Just about every position is up for grabs… even Hoskins… trades might send him back to 1st. I can’t predict it anymore, but I’ll takw machado and package Franco/Kingery/Crawford/ for other good pieces. Even the OF is getting crowded with FA & prospects such as Hasley. One way or another, meaningful baseball is back in Philadelphia for the foreseeable future. Enjoy it, because it hasn’t happened often

    1. I don’t consider the organization’s outfield a strength or deep. Haseley is currently the best player and he may project to be a solid major leaguer. Ortiz is SOOO far away, struggling to produce in low A, and despite high expectations he’s no where near being a stud. Pujols has apparently jumped over Moniak and Randolph. After them,….????

      Of course, the credo of ‘buy the bats’ certainly applies to the OF situation. This gives me reason to think that, despite the naysayers, Harper could be a target. There are things about him that make me wary, but that lefty power in CBP is rather compelling.

        1. I’m saying no to Harper 8mark. I think there is enough information to go on that says he is a great talent but he’s not a winning player. Guys like that can suck the air out of room a la Bobby Abreu.


          1. I think that’s nonsense – while I’d pause on signing him to a long term deal, I’d give him a big one-year pillow contract in a heartbeat. You can complain about Harper getting injured and being inconsistent, but this guy plays hard and I don’t see him being anything but hard-working. One or two years? Harper and Hoskins back-to-back? Hell yes I’d take him. We would be freaking dangerous with Harper.

        2. Harper is a big part of the OF being crowded. I’m not even ruling out Kingery shifting there If the Phils can sign machado… please do make me have to explain

          Hoskins, Herrera, Williams, Altherr, Quinn, Kingery,Harper, and hasley for 4 spots… not to far fetched. Again, I’m just going to enjoy the ride. I’ve ruled Franco in and out of the core groups so many times I’m done 🙂 … though he looks ready to stay… but given his track record, I’m waiting until the end of the year to give it 100%.

        3. Harper is a big part of the OF being crowded. I’m not even ruling out Kingery shifting there If the Phils can sign machado… please do make me have to explain

          Hoskins, Herrera, Williams, Altherr, Quinn, Kingery,Harper, and hasley for 4 spots… not to far fetched. Again, I’m just going to enjoy the ride. I’ve ruled Franco in and out of the core groups so many times I’m done 🙂 … though he looks ready to stay… but given his track record, I’m waiting until the end of the year to give it 100%.

    2. Tac, starting pitching, too.

      Five guys doing the job this year and DLS, Irvin and Eickoff waiting in line. And that’s not counting Medina and Sixto making their way a year or two later. Somebody’s going to have to go.

      1. I agree, absolutely… I’m a huge baseball fan, and th fact I’m thinking about the off-season while the team is in a playoff run… tells me how exciting this offseason should be. Reminiscing about the Thome signing … x3 . FA+Trades+Promotions& international signings = a great time to be a Phillies fan . We need the fo to navigate this correctly … enough to get the trajectory headed in the right direction. It’s exciting. If it would be nice if they could muster up
        Some More runs!

  14. I am enjoying the depth at the major league level. If Kapler can continue to spread the playing time around & keep everyone satisfied, this will be a very hard team to beat. The FO has the payroll flexibility to continue paying. I would even sign Cesar to an extension now. Yes, I was one of the nay sayers on Cesar, now we should just keep the depth.

    JP will come around with his buddy Kingery. Let them grow at the ML level, same way they did in the minors.

    MK has many options in the off-season to package the pitching depth for potential salary dumps or just lower level prospects. MF has greatly improved his value, but now why not just keep him?

    CS has given an incredible amount of leadership despite his low BA.

    A strong finish in September will make this a hard team to beat in October.

    1. I don’t see Cabrera here next year, but Wilson Ramos would be an outstanding fit. He should be affordable and would ensure that we get good production from the catching position. I suspect they would keep Alfaro (although that’s not a sure thing) and if he wants to play more, he would have to force the issue. For a playoff contender I have no issue with that especially since Alfaro’s long term prospects are totally unclear.

      1. The thing is, Ramos tends to get hurt almost every year. So if you do sign him, you have to keep Alfaro, and then you have to ask if its worth it to do that instead of just hoping Alfaro takes a step forward.

        1. Yeah, if it’s for a year or two, it’s worth it – some redundancy is fine.

  15. I remember either Harry Kalas or Chris Wheeler use to refer to Jimmy Rollins as a “red light player.” I think we are seeing pretty clearly that that term also applies to Franco. We’ve seen it in 2015 when he lit up the Yankees at Yankee Stadium during his rookie year, and now that the Phillies are winning we are seeing it on a more regular basis. It has been fun to watch him play.

  16. Seranthony may need a breather.
    Last three outings since Friday…2,2 innings….13 batters faced….5 hits allowed.

    1. they’ve asked a lot of him in a short period of time. probably a good time to let him sit for a few days and let him catch his breath

      1. Cesar is another guy who could use a couple of days off.

        Nothing worse than blowing a 2 run lead in the bottom of the ninth after removing Hoskins and Cabrera for defensive replacements. Their offense was a snooze-a-palooza in extra innings. I mean I was actually getting mad at myself for not going to sleep to sit through that ineptness. By the 14th inning (before Austin Davis gave up the HR), I was beginning to feel optimistic the club could pull off another “last team to use a position player on the mound wins” game. The Phillies had three arms left (Davis, Loup, and Neshek). The DBacks were getting ready to bring their last BP arm (Jake Diekman) in for the 15th inning.

        1. Hinkie……birthday today for the Millville NJ kid.
          Doesn’t look too happy these last 3/4 games sitting and healing.

  17. Is there any way to evaluate which of our shortstops/shortstop prospects have the best fielding range? I tried looking through Gregg’s position summaries but couldn’t figure it out!

        1. Thanks very much to you both, Wawa and Hinkie! So this year we should get a chance to see how the infield defense looks with Crawford and Franco playing together….. which I guess we did earlier in the year but I just don’t remember.

  18. Really pissed off when I saw they lost this morning since I went to bed after the 8th and they had that 2-0 lead. Last night was a brutal turnaround without a day off between flying out west, and then to play 14 and lose and face Greinke today, if they win tonight that should tell any doubters out there that this team will play Oct baseball for the first time in 7 years.

  19. A really tough loss. SerAnthony looks tired, and now we face 2 top SPs in Greinke and Corbin. It would not be an exaggeration to say they are 2 of the best Pitchers in the league, so watch us hit off of them! It would not surprise me the way this season has gone.

    1. Seranthony probably should not be going in back-to-back days.
      They are off on Thursday before San Diego and off on Monday before coming home to face the Sox.
      They should try to have him do the games around each of the off days.
      Take off tonite….go on Wednesday and Friday….then Sunday in San Diego.
      Would also be big help…..if the hittters would start to put up some runs.

      1. Yeah, Godley is the type of Joe bagodonuts they always have problems figuring out. Trick pitcher. As for Seranthony, he may be tired but relievers are another breed. Like Russian roulette, you never know which chamber is loaded or which night they will give up the lead. Shame to waste Jake’s brilliant effort. That’s about 6 or 7 heartbreaking losses so far this season.

        1. “relievers are another breed”…so true…so volatile and fluid from year to year and in many cases from month to month.
          Just as there are a limited amount of ‘ace’ starting pitchers in the game today that a team can rely on….same applies to ‘aces’ among relievers.

        2. 8mark…prime example on the Phillies…Tommy Hunter…..April thru June is was well belwo average…..last six weeks he has turned things around.

    2. true. im taking solace in that they have played 4 more games than the Braves so Braves can wear themselves out a little bit more here the rest of the way. Braves had to go to Allard early today and might have to leave him in for a meeting or blowout the bullpen in game 1 of DH.

  20. Hinkie….still interested in buying out bad contracts for compensation?
    Yankees’ Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract….$50M ( $22M AAV thru 2020, 2021 $5M buyout) ) over the next two plus years… prime bait.
    Ellsbury has to have hip surgery and probably will not be available in 2019 until May/June, if at all.
    Cashman may want to rid his payroll of the contract gearing up for a run at Harper and Corbin

    1. If Middleton is will to eat that kind of money, I think I’d rather go after Realmuto and take on Wei-Yin Chen’s salary ($42M for next two years with a very unlikely vesting clause for 2021). Catcher is our biggest hole going into next season.

      I guess it wouldn’t hurt to kick the tires on a Gary Sanchez/Ellsbury package if the Yankees have soured on him, but the Realmuto seems less risky.

      1. You sold me.
        i like the Realmuto/Chen deal.
        Catching becomes a plus position.
        I would avoid Sanchez……Alf may be becoming a better defensive catcher at this point. Plus pitchers prefer pitching to Romine than Sanchez from what I have been reading between the lines…Alf seems to have overcome that perceived negative.


          I just looked up the pitch framing stats. Alfaro and Sanchez are basically neutral. Realmuto grades out as one of the poorer starting catchers.

          I also just realized from that list Erik Kratz is still in the majors with the Brewers at 38. Sadly he’s (barely) having a better year at the plate than Scott Kingery…

          1. I prefer to go to SABR’s SDI for the first half of 2018:
            Pitch framing is important , but it is not the end all be all.
            NL Catchers:
            Buster Posey SFG 4.9
            Manny Pina MIL 3.3
            J.T. Realmuto MIA 3.0………..
            Tucker Barnhart CIN 3.0
            Willson Contreras CHC 1.2
            Pedro Severino WSN 1.1
            Yasmani Grandal LAD 0.9
            John Ryan Murphy ARI 0.7
            Jorge Alfaro PHI -0.3
            Francisco Cervelli PIT -1.0
            Yadier Molina STL -1.2
            Devin Mesoraco CIN -1.7
            Elias Diaz PIT -2.6
            Nick Hundley SFG -3.6
            Kurt Suzuki ATL -3.7
            Chris Iannetta COL -4.1
            AL Catchers:
            Mike Zunino SEA 4.3
            Austin Romine NYY 3.2
            Salvador Perez KCR 2.9
            Sandy Leon BOS 2.5
            Martin Maldonado LAA 2.1
            Luke Maile TOR 1.8
            Brian McCann HOU 1.5
            Max Stassi HOU 1.4
            Russell Martin TOR 1.2
            Yan Gomes CLE 1.0
            James McCann DET 0.5
            Chance Sisco BAL -0.2
            Wilson Ramos TBR -0.8
            Gary Sanchez NYY -1.0
            Caleb Joseph BAL -1.1
            Christian Vazquez BOS -1.6
            Robinson Chirinos TEX -2.3
            Mitch Garver MIN -3.3
            Jonathan Lucroy OAK -6.0
            Omar Narvaez CHW -7.5

  21. Nats handing it to Braves 8-6 in 7th. Win-win either way for us. Either we gain space from Atlanta or the Nats get buried a little deeper. Take your pick. (Game 2 of day/night DH tonight)

    1. Ruf was always a pretty decent player – but he never quite hit on all cylinders here. It wouldn’t surprise me if he came back and became an average-ish DH for a team like the Royals or Rays – Ruf isn’t Rhys Hoskins, but he’s a legit hitter.

  22. De Los Santos called up, Cozens down. Anybody know why the extra SP? Or is he to serve in long relief?

    1. AFan’sView:
      Phillies have added Enyel De Los Santos to the bullpen for tonight and optioned Dylan Cozens to Lehigh . They will play with a three man bench in tonight’s game. Used a lot of relievers last night in the 14 inning game.

      1. Especially since it’s Pivetta going tonight. The Phillies just can’t take the chance he might go out there and not last 4/5 innings.

          1. Yes he was! And that’s two very strong starts in a row.

            I posted his sabermetrics last week. Pivetta has had a great year but some want to send him to the bullpen cause he had a few bad starts. He’s in his first full MLB season.
            I just love his K/BB: 147/33 in 119 IP!

            1. I tried to tell everyone last year that, although his stats weren’t good on the whole, his stuff was quite good and developing. Pivetta has a bright future and could possibly settle in as a 2 or 3. At worst, he’s a 4 who can shut down any team at any time. But acquiring Pivetta was probably Ruben’s greatest moment as a GM. I’m no fan of Ruben as everyone knows – but this was a great trade.

            2. Some would say his greatest moment was acquiring Halladay – and maybe it was. But when I look at GM moves I don’t see anything particularly brilliant about giving up a lot of your best prospects for a star. Perhaps the neatest thing about the Halladay trade was extending him in a cost-controlled way. But that good move was almost completely off set by the insanely stupid move of trading a controlled Cliff Lee whose presence likely would have put the Phils back in the WS in 2010. It’s hard not to view the good trade and horrible trade in tandem as the Phillies themselves linked those deals.

            3. Just looking at Amaro’s ‘rebuild’ moves…Pivetta is up there,
              …along with Doobie as the Rule 5 drafting,
              ….and the Rollins return with Eflin.
              Hamels’ return I am still deciding on Alf, but Williams looks like a corner OFplus anyway.

            4. Romus, if Eickoff can return to his 2015-2016 form than the Hamels trade looks even better.

  23. Corey Seidman (@CSeidmanNBCS)
    8/8/18, 12:24 AM
    Asdrubal Cabrera has driven in more runs in the last 4 games than Manny Machado has as a Dodger.

  24. Many similarities between Dbacks and Phillies though Dbacks are a bit more proven and expensive.
    Only a few stars, unsung bullpens, scrappy lineups, good starting pitching.
    Santana/Herrera/Hoskins == Goldschmidt/Pollack/Peralta
    Neshak?/Arano?/Dominguez == Hirano/Bradley/Boxberger (Phils bullpen really is just mix and match)
    Arrieta/Nola == Grienke/Corbin
    Velasquez/Elfin (less proven) == Ray/Walker

    Most interesting to me is the unproven youngsters on both teams…
    Hernandez,Franco,Crawford,Kingery vs. Lamb,Marte,Ahmed,Ownings.

  25. Is it just delusional greed for me to wish that despite his control issues we could have gotten something for Zac Curtis, maybe by packaging him with…..?

    1. Phillies did get him the same way a year ago off the Mariner’s waiver wire as the Rangers did yesterday.

  26. A strong outing for Nick Pivetta. He has a plus FB, and his command, at times, on the breaking stuff is what gets him in trouble. But, kudos to him. Is it just me, or when watching him pitch, wouldn’t a change or split be a major weapon. He ran up his pitch count because he just could not put away some guys. Just missing or they fouled it off. A change, I kept saying to the TV, would be huge for him. Am I wrong?

    1. matt13…you are spot on.
      He raerly ever thros a change-up ( less than 3% of the time)…I tink he is not comfortable with it. hopefully he can work that into his reps… would be beneficial vs LHBs. His 4Smr (45-55%) and 2Smr (10-15%), along with the slider ( approx 20%) and curve (20-25%) seem to be his favorites
      Again at 96 PC he is sitting at 96 velo with his 4Smr..pretty amazing when you think about it.

    2. More pitches would help most pitchers (with possible exception to Darvish who already throws 7 or 8 pitches). But it’s not just a matter of, “hey, throw a change up.” I can throw a change up. Doesn’t mean it’ll get by a major league hitter. At the end of the day, it still needs to be a good change up. Some people have the ability to throw one, some don’t. Sometimes different grips help, but sometimes a pitcher just doesn’t have it in his arsenal no matter what.

      So yeah, it’d help Pivetta if he had one. But he’s been working on it for a while now so it may just not be in the cards for him.

    3. Split or even a very effective cutter, could bring him to the next level. For some reason people have labled the cutter a garbage pitch and it’s fallen out of favor. I’m not saying it works for everyone, but, with a power pitcher, it can be a fabulous pitch because it looks like a FB until right before it break and there’s good velocity separation between the FB, cutter, curve and change.

    4. @matt13 – Pivetta’s CU is bad. But as long as he can command his FB and effectively mix the mid-80s SL with his best secondary pitch – high-70s CB, Pivetta doesn’t need a CU to pitch effectively.

      1. But these folks have a point – another hard-thrown pitch, like a cutter or effective 2 seam FB or splitter might be very effective for Pivetta even if his CU is not good.

        1. Apparently, the splitter is not an option and frowned upon to be taught to the young pitchers according to the Phillies pitching coaches. Neris has had success, bur his usage is off the charts and it has failed to be effective for him lately..
          He just needs an effective pitch vs LHBs in the long term.


          1. (as usual) you are absolutely right, Romus, so isn’t it surprising that one of the Phils latest premier international transactions features the possibly even-more frowned on fork ball?????

            1. Hah…that old fork ball…heard it twice this week…Mark Leiter also says he throws it, as one of his half-dozen pitches. I am sure his dad or unclel taught it to him.
              “Phils latest premier international transactions”:…..Castillo he throws it?

        2. catch – Pivetta can mix 2S here and there. I rather have Pivetta work on and gain confidence on his 3 best pitches (FB-CB-SL) than try to throw a bad pitch (i.e. CU, SPL, Cutter) that can be a cookie in the strike zone. Pivetta’s FB-CB-SL has good velocity separation – FB in mid-90s, CB in high 70-low 80s and SL at mid-80s.

          At 25 yo, I think Pivetta can still learn to throw another pitch, but for now, I rather have him focus on his best pitches until he gain comfort in throwing these pitches anytime.

          Nola throws mostly FB-CB-CU and never throw a SL, SPL and Cutter.

            1. Thanks I(Heart)PP….never saw that on Lin-Hsin-Chieh.
              Rather unusual, but from Asian pitchers it might be commonplace to be taught to throw the pitch.

        3. Yes, the splitter may cause shoulder problems – it’s a legit concern, which is why I emphasize the cutter, which can also be effective for a hard-thrower. It was one of the pitches that took Hamels’ game to the next level.

          1. A Cutter is like a FB-SL hybrid. Once Pivetta gets the hold of his SL (which still need some work), I believe he can start to develop the Cutter.

            1. Doc also relied on his Cutter a lot to dominate hitters. If my recollection is correct, it is until Doc was in town when Cole Hamels started to learn to throw the Cutter. Arrieta is more of a Sink Baller and I think Tommy Hunter is the only pitcher in the 40-man who throws the Cutter.

              Cole Irvin relies on his Cutter a lot, that’s why he is not utilizing his CU.

  27. I said winning last night after Monday’s loss guaranteed Oct baseball, especially with Pivetta vs Greinke matchup. I’ve been telling co workers that Chase has not played final game in CBP yet since LA will be coming here for NLDS.

    1. You “guarantee” October baseball (i.e., playoffs) for the Phillies based on one win in early August, game #113 of 162? It was a good bounce-back win after a tough loss the night before, but c’mon man. It doesn’t guarantee anything.

  28. Any truth to CLW lefty MacKenzie Mills being promoted to Reading?
    And also from Phillies website….July winners…Dylan Cozens hitter of the month….
    LKW’s Connor Brogdon and GCL pitcher Victor Santos … co-Pitchers of the month…

    1. It was a good trade – it’s hard to know how much value it will bring in the future – it could be just a little or a whole lot – but it was a very good return for a rental player.

  29. Phillies “value optimization” issues…
    I see many Phillies as near average players. Problem is that teams rarely trade “quality” prospects for average major leaguers.
    Also, without acquiring a star there is limited gain in attempting an upgrade from their current players.

    Nola is a star. Hoskins should be DH but can hit. Herrera should have value but may be hard to replace. Large 2B market limits Hernandez value.

    Franco, Williams, Velasquez all have limitations but projection. Even if selling “high” I doubt any team gives up a top prospect or controllable asset for them. Would really hurt if they trade away the ‘good’ one of them so early in their career.

    Kingery and Crawford are way down. Quinn history hurts (pun intended) value. Alfaro D may be enough to keep value. Knapp seems like AAAA guy. Pivetta is still inconsistent. Elfin may be better than perceived BOR.

    Not sure what to make of bullpen, other than Seranthony is valuable thus far. Rest of them seem like crapshoot, like most bullpens.

    Braves youngsters all seem like possible stars so Phillies scouts have a big challenge to keep ahead of them with good valuations.

    1. “Problem is that teams rarely trade “quality” prospects for average major leaguers.”

      I completely disagree with this statement. Teams won’t trade major league ready quality prospects but they regularly trade quality prospects for average major league players. Those quality prospects are usually in the low minors so the trick (skill?, luck?) is finding the right player.

    2. The Phillies is one of the youngest teams in the MLB. So there will be ups and downs until the players maxed out. Betting on youth is betting on upside. So I doubt if any GMs will make an assessment of the team like you did because it is premature to come up with a conclusion what this current team is capable of, other than, there are a lot of moving parts that can go up or down.

      That’s why it is imperative for the Phillies to acquire a legit elite talent this offseason via trade or FA. These elite talents can help stabilize the team. Whether you like Harper or not, he’s an elite talent so he should be a target. So is Machado and others.

      We’ve seen teams acquire top pre-draft and IFA prospects who fizzled out in the minors and acquired some gems too. So there’s no exact science on how to find and develop MLB talents. The Phillies might be a step behind from other teams in player development in the past years, but they started putting resources in data analytics, player development facilities, scouting teams, etc. so elite talent will eventually flow in the pipeline — and we’re probably start to see that happen in the farm.

      1. Pretty much. Just look around the league at who some of the stars of today are and where they were drafted or how they were left for dead and picked up off the scrap heap and revitalized their careers.

        Some might say Justin Turner or JD Martinez never become the players they are if they weren’t dumped by the Mets/Astros.

        Then you have another set of players that blossom because they wind up on teams with many stars or the team is so bad the expectations on them is very low. Chris Taylor and Scooter Gennett might be those examples.

        I always say better to be lucky than good and I also say luck is the result of opportunity meeting preparedness it’s high time us Phillies fans get some luck.

  30. im just interested to see what these guys do the balance of the season- they have been pretty fortunate with injuries- really just Neshek in first half and Crawfords hand, and Hoskins the short period out with the jaw.
    VV is about 15 innings from his professional high, Eflin about 25 away from his- how do those 2 and Nick hold up the rest of the way?

  31. KU-KO – I agree with your comments about needing a young position player who can be the bonafide star for the Phillies. I watched the Nats/Braves game last night and those two teams are singularly startling when you realize Albies/Acuna – Soto /Robles (untested yet) are the core of those teams. The Phillies don’t have anything like them – at least in star power and all around athletic talents. The Phils may have the pitching (Sixto, Medina) and that is because that is where they put their emphasis – but it shows how important – to me – it is for this team to land either MM or even Harper in order to really compete with future division rivals. They need a front page position player – ala Rollins, Utley, Howard.

    1. I will not be thinking and worried about WAS (Soto/Robles) and ATL (Albies/Acuna) until they start to win World Series. WAS was very fortunate to be Pick 1.1 when both Strasburg and Harper are available and ATL has not been a major player despite of the success in their scouting since the Phillies won their last World Series.

      I do believe that Nola and Hoskins will be bigger than any of the current Braves and Nola will be catching up Scherzer very soon. And by next year, we might be staring at multiple All-Star Candidates playing for the Phillies and like you said Sixto and Medina can be one of the young and upcoming stars.

  32. It is getting difficult to watch Kingery’s ABs. Still a fan, but he should have spent 3 months tearing up AAA instead of getting buried in the Majors.

    1. Agree, Matt. But my biggest complaint is that he was placed in unfair position by being the everyday ss. Square peg in round hole. They hamstrung his early major league development.

      1. 8mark – If Crawford hadn’t been injured, Franco would have seen a lot more bench time. Maybe he wouldn’t have had a break out year.

    2. matt – Klentak tried hard to trade Hernandez last winter and spring. I think he had a deal in place when he gave Kingery the big contract last spring, and the deal fell through. We’ll never know how Kingery may have performed if he had the starting 2B job all year.

  33. It was envisioned that he be a Super Utility guy, but I am of the opinion that a Veteran is more suited for that. Then he became the everyday SS when JP got hurt, and to be fair, his D has dramatically improved there. But, we are used to GG Defensive SS play, and that put another burden on him. I am not making excuses, he has to work himself into being a good hitter. But we owe it to our young guys that they be put in the best possible position to succeed, and Kingery was not.

    1. I still believe in Kingery’s ability. His success in the minors i think is legit. Kingery is playing the good soldier role and it is just unfortunate that the current situation is setting him up to fail (i.e. forced to play the Super Utility Role and everyday SS which is not he is supposed to do).

  34. Phils get Justin Bour from the Marlins for a minor league pitcher mot yet named. Reported to not be a top one, I believe. From Bleacher Report and Ken Rosenthal, so I believe it. What a nice pick up. He can hit, and unless the pitcher is not a top prospect, a terrific move.

      1. Might be the end for Mitch Walding. With Franco hitting, JPC coming back – 3B will be covered. Not sure if Mark Leiter is considered a minor league pitcher, maybe a Bour-Leiter swap is in order. Or Jeter can take the ex-Yankee farmhand in Juan Escorcia.

    1. Bour is a legitimately good hitter who has not had the best season. He can hit, I give you that, but what is this about? Interleague games and pinch hitting (and, I suppose, a possible WS DH?). If the prospect we gave up isn’t huge, it’s not a bad deal, but where and when is he going to play?

    2. Bour will now take the Matt Stairs role on the bench. He’s under control for 2 more years so I doubt Hoskins will be moving to 1B anytime soon.

      1. ‘so I doubt Hoskins will be moving to 1B anytime soon.’…yuo probably correct on that. Right now….looks like he may be doing the Pat the Bat Burelll/Bull career LFer transistion.

      2. wow, had a thought of Logan Morrison, though having a terrible year, as that veteran lefty power bat off the bench, but this is way better.
        he’s only up for arbitration next year and not a FA until 2021 so could deal him elsewhere after the season.

  35. MattWinks just released his Mid-year Top 30. My ranking is normally close with MattWinks (his Top 14 is almost similar to mine). I believe that both Llovera (as RP) and Grullon (back up C) can carve out a decent MLB career but I’m still surprised to see both jumped to the Top 20 over high ceiling prospects like Pimpkin, Eastman, Silva and others.

    Logan O’Hoppe and Rafael Marchan are tied as the top C prospect in my list, but I have to admit that Marchan should be ahead of O’Hoppe and deserve Top 30 consideration. I have Brito as my breakout candidate 2 years ago and IMO, Guzman, Gonzalez and Torres already passed him in the prospect ranking. I was never been in the Rodolfo Duran bandwagon as i believe that Marchan, O’Hoppe, Gutierrez, Grullon, Cabral and Aparicio are better prospects than him.

    1. Sanchez
    2. Bohm
    3. Medina
    4. Haseley
    5. Ortiz
    6. delos Santos
    7. Romero
    8. Luis Garcia
    9. Morales
    10. Suarez
    11. Gamboa
    12. Howard
    13. Moniak
    14. Muzziotti
    15. Marchan
    16. Brito
    17. Irvin
    18. Jon Guzman
    19. Llovera
    20. Grullon
    21. Young
    22. Seabold
    23. Holmes
    24. Duran
    25. Gowdy
    26. Gutierrez
    27. Gonzalez
    28. Pelletier
    29. Randolph
    30. Torres

  36. Deep farm, with a lot of guys, I believe, see the Major Leagues. But, not that much of what would be elite prospects. Sixto is still our # 1, and his ceiling is high. But, he hasn’t pitched in 2 months. Bohm just got drafted, didn’t start off great, then got injured and has been out for a month. Median has great stuff, but not an outstanding season. And, it is great to see Haseley doing well at Reading, but does anyone consider him elite? Again, a very deep and talented farm system, but I would love to have those couple of top guys slotted right between Sixto and Bohm.

    1. @matt13 – Luis Garcia can be that elite talent that most of us are hoping for. He’s a consensus Top 10 now and might be Top 3 a year from now. Nic Torres and Logan O’Hoppe can be fast risers too and Manuel Silva, Vic Santos and the comeback kid Kevin Gowdy can be a surprise. Morales and Castillo have the power arm but they require to exercise more patience.

      Although I always been preaching to acquire high ceiling prospects, I was never been enamored with this “baby superstars”/”top 100 prospect” thing. I like the Nola and the Hoskins type. Simple but effective with innate baseball skills and instincts.

      1. Luis Garcia is really “popping” right now. Let’s see how he does at higher levels. I thought that Jhailyn Ortiz would do really well this year but he’s taken a half step backwards. The Phillies have had a lot of good hitting prospects over the last 20 years, but I’m hard pressed to remember one that I’d say was a real hitting prodigy. Rollins was very good but nothing like the guys on the Braves and Nationals. Crawford looked for a time like he might be on that type of trajectory, but things went sideways there for a while. I still think he can be really good – but not a prodigy.

        1. You can say that to Gorman too, who gives you nightmares for killing the ROK league.

          People are always talking about the ATL and WAS baby superstars, both team never won anything since the Phils won the World Series. And also, Utley and Howard may not be the “baby superstars” that some people are hoping, I considered both Chase and Howard (and JSmooth) as good hitting prospects – and these trio is instrumental to the last great Phillies run.

          1. So that’s the test for how good a player is – whether his team won? By that measure Mike Trout is not very good. That’s a silly argument – stop it.

      2. KuKo….. ‘He’s a consensus Top 10’….not for nothing, but until i see it from Callis/Mayo I will take anything from any other sources, with a grain of salt.
        They do their share of mixing up names and other vital statistics on prospects, especially the Latin players, ….but they have baseball sources that are not always available to the analysts from BA or BP.

        1. @romus – as long as Callis/Mayo includes Jose Gomez in their Top 20/30 — that’s what I take with a grain of salt. I always believed that local people (i.e. Rupert, Israel, Jim P., MattWinks, etc) have better overall handle of the prospects than the national outlets who are just relying on certain “undisclosed source” aka interns compiling reports.

          1. KukO….seriously….”than the national outlets who are just relying on certain “undisclosed source” aka interns compiling reports.”
            Callis/Mayo work for MLB… you think they do not have legit sources!

            1. @romus – seriously? do you honestly believe that MLB will allocate that much resources to Callis/Mayo to fully cover minor league prospects? For what benefit to MLB? They are MLB not MiLB. Prospect discussion is just a small part of the MLB.

              If you think that Callis/Mayo knows the prospects better because they work for MLB is like saying that the White House staff know the problems of Philadelphia better than Mayor Kenney and the City Council.

              MLB Teams are the ones spending resources on scouting and player development of prospects not the MLB. Local outlets with Jeff Isreal (LWD, REA, LHV), Mitch Rupert (WIL), Jim P (CLW, GCL) spend tremendous amount of time going to the ballpark, watching the games, talking to the team personnel, following other sources and you don’t think they don’t have better handle of the Phillies prospects?

            2. KuKo……they only get paid their salaries thru a portion of the league’s resources.
              But if you believe they are not worthy professionals to accurately assess the quality of prospects, then that is your prerogative to believe.
              I trust their judgments.

            3. @romus – if you really understand my argument, I’m just saying that local outlets have better handle of the Phillies prospects than national outlets like Callis/Mayo. I’m not saying that national outlets like Callis/Mayo are not worthy of their judgment.

  37. LHP McKenzie Mills assigned to Reading from Clearwater?
    …..anyone hear if could now be a Fish vs a Fightin?

    1. Appears to be the case, as reported on McKenzie Mills to Marlins, in exchange for Justin Bour and cash.

    2. Harold Arauz might be the possible trade return for Justin Bour. Arauz #29 is now assigned to McKenzie Mills.

  38. Apologies, but I haven’t been able to find much time to be on here this summer. (Family stuff). Bohm is done for the season, in case you didn’t know that. His injury was a foul ball off his knee that caused some nerve damage. Regarding prospect rankings, get out and watch them play instead of comparing lists. I have watched Guzman and Gonzalez all season long in Williamsport. Between below average fielding and flirting with the Mendoza line, I don’t think anybody who has actually watched them play would have either in their top 30. They have been very much over-matched and should have repeated in the GCL. You want to see an impressive shortstop? Go watch Madison Stokes.

    1. I get to watch some games with LHV, REA and LWD as others are too far (and can be costly on our family budget). Most of us fans have full time jobs so I don’t expect anybody who can watch most of the minor league games consider the Phillies 7 minor league teams stateside.

      I tried to follow a lot of scouting reports since I don’t get to watch all the games. I never seen anybody (including Mitch Rupert) who is high on Stokes as a prospect. I’m planning to watch a LWD game when they come back next week, maybe I get the chance to see Madison Stokes.

      1. KK check out Matt Vierling also. He was a Williamsport favorite. He looks like a hitter.

    2. Is this a serious post ?
      Madison Stokes is 22 YO. Guzman and Gonzalez are 18 YO.
      Also, Alec Bohm is back in the GCL on a rehab assignment. He played today.

      1. Huinke….manager removed him in the 5th…after two ABs……Jim will have to say if it was a precautionary removal since he was rusty….or a re-occurrence of the leg nerve issue.

        1. Romus … I believe players on rehab assignment are scheduled to play for a certain amount of innings/AB’s/IP’s. Bohm probably got in the work they had him scheduled for, and then they removed him. That’s my take. I’m sure Jim will either confirm this … or make me look like a fool, and report an injury reccurence.

      2. Was told by W management he was shut down, Phila management must have changed their minds. Regarding Guzman and Gonzalez, yes I am serious. I am not comparing ages, I’m comparing ability. Have you seen them play? They have shown absolutely nothing to warrant a top 30 ranking.

        1. Hari S….just curious.
          You saw current Reading first baseman Darick Hall two years ago in Williamsport….if you can recall, what were your impressions of him at the time?

          1. Romus, my thought was dark horse. Possible MLB player, but not elite. Too many Ks. Not enough BBs. I still think that. He needs to control the strike zone better.

        2. Mitch Rupert doesn’t seem to be in agreement with your assessment about Guzman and Gonzalez

          1. I know Mitch Rupert (everybody around here does). His is just one voice among many in this area. Do you agree with everything Matt Breen writes? Or Scott Lauber. I’m telling you what I see, not what I read in the news or a scouting report.

            1. HariS….how many years have you been going to Bowman and watching the minor league teams in the NYPL?

    1. @matt – Kevin Gowdy underwent a TJ surgery almost a year ago (August 15, 2017 to be exact). TJ surgery normally takes a year off, so Gowdy is done for 2018 minors season. But I expect the Phills to work him in the AFL at the earliest and be ready to go 100% (hopefully in LWD) starting 2019 season.

      1. I don’t think Bour is a threat in any way to Santana. Bour’s primary role will be a pinch hit power bat with an occasional spot start at 1B.

  39. I thought it was confirmed that Mills goes to the Marlins. Jake Thompson off the 40 Man with DFA. I think there are quite a number of Pitchers higher on the pecking order than Mills. Ramos and Bour are legit hitters and will be big additions down the stretch.

    1. you’re correct. Mills for Bour and Jake DFAd. TEX took a lot of Phillies rejects so I will not be surprised is Jake will soon be Texas bound.

  40. The Phillies have been quietly sowing seeds in the Taiwanese market. Over the past couple of months, they’ve signed a couple pitchers, and are linked to a third. Today, the first seed sprouted in Clearwater when 19 YO RHP Lin Hsin-Chieh made his initial appearance. Lin pitched one inning, allowed no runs, gave up no hits and one BB, and K’d none.

    They also signed the other kid mentioned in the tweet, Hsu Chi-Ling.
    The third Taiwanese pitcher the Phillies are linked to it is Lin An-Ko

      1. Glad they’re skipping Williamsport. Our PA guy can’t pronounce Spanish names, let alone Chinese.

  41. Seems crazy the Phillies got Bour (starting cleanup hitter for another team, with 2 years control left) for McKenzie Mills. Mills is a good prospect but I would have thought we’d have to give up more.

    Patience. Klentak is showing it.
    I believe much of what Klentak has done is wait out agents and GMs.
    Arrieta. Got him at our price by waiting (& taking a risk he’d still be avail.)
    Ramos. Got him just under deadline wire. (I believe this will be recognized as a big get before it’s over).
    Bour. The low price seems to scream that patience (& risk to wait) was rewarded.

    …I’d guess he was waiting on others that didn’t fall into his hands (maybe? like Hamels?)

    It doesn’t always work out for you, but so far we’ve added a lot of talent & depth at excellent values, without sacrificing much of the future.

    Go Klentak!

    1. Bour comes on the 25 tomorrow.
      Perhaps Kingery is sent down to LHV for 3/4 weeks of ABs and confidence building.

      1. Agree. That would seem a wise move.
        I still love Kingery’s upside and am not discouraged by his season. He would have been better served getting at least couple months at AAA, so there’s no reason that would still not be true now. In fact, he can learn, grow, and also lead as LV contends for IL playoffs.

        1. I really like what history has shown from Kingery as he has always beaten his projection, but he cannot hit yet and there is no way a playoff team should have him in the plan as a starter.

          I still think Phillies are winning with smoke and mirrors. I am shocked at how good the pitching has been. On any night they could toss a shutout.

          Getting a player like Bour is what big time teams do. Improve roster and figure out next year later.

  42. Let’s get Ramos and Bour into this lineup tout suite. We can’t watch one strong pitching performance after another continue to be squandered if this club is going to make noise in September, let alone October.

    1. Agree.
      The team’s offense is sputtering mightily. Not even the timely hits now.
      Rhys in one of his worst slumps as a pro.
      Maybe the two newest acquisitions will be the sparks they will need down the stretch.

  43. At the very least, Bour is a huge upgrade over Walding and Cozens! I don’t understand why, when a team is slumping so badly at the plate, they don’t move runners along. I have heard all the analytic arguments against bunting runners over, and maybe over a whole season, that is correct. But to bust out of a slump, maybe scoring on a WP or Sac Fly will help vs. K after K, or weak dribblers to the Pitcher. I have watched most of these games, and the chances of scoring from 3RD with 1 out, vs. 2d with none have to be large.Last night, Quinn should have bunted so there would have been 2D and 3D with 1 out, minimum. Maybe Quinn’s speed causes a bad throw? Sure beats a K. The BA with runners in scoring position is so poor this year that the odds have to be better from 3d, even sacrificing an out.. Also, there are, maybe, 3 guys on the team who can score from 2D on a single and less than 2 outs. So, for that runner on 2D to score requires 2 hits, not 1.

    1. matt13…have to agree with your assessment on Quinn in the 7th.
      Gabe says two runs only gets him a tie….he wanted the 3/4 run inning.
      Not sure I agree or want to follow that logic.

      I’m with you…Quinn is probably one of a handful of players in the majors now with that kind of speed down the line. Make him pressure the defense with a bunt for a hit, not a sacrifice. Plus he is an excellent bunter, maybe only Cesar is any better on this team..

      1. and just to beat the dead horse until it is truly shredded, I still disagree regardless of “analytics” on it not being better to bunt vs hit away. IMO it is all about execution, and the way you develop skills in execution, e.g. bunting (or hitting behind the runner) to move a runner along, reading the bunt or ground ball in terms of when to advance, is by actually doing it in game situations. Sure there may be an observable analytics advantage to not bunting (when you don’t consider, as someone posted, pressure on the defense and changes in maybe changes in defensive alignments) but – sorry – I shan’t believe based on the eye test that bunting in many cases is appropriate!!

  44. Eflin optioned to make room for Bour.
    What a wrong move.
    Though Eflin will not miss a start because of the off day on Monday and the double-header with the Mets coming up this week, and the 26 man roster exemption, ……Kingery should have been optioned to get his ABs in at LHV, at least for three/four weeks.
    Kid will now sit and wait for PH here or there..

    1. I understand what you’re saying, but I disagree. This move, IMO, is a stroke of genius. Even if Kingery pinch runs four or five times this week, that’s of more value to the team than him getting AB’s for the Iron Pigs. Let him help the big club in any way he can. Give him the off-season to get himself together. At this point, it’s a matter of what is best for the Phillies. And … a five man bench is a lot more useful than a pitcher unavailable until he’s going to be used again (during Thursday’s DH), anyway.

      1. Hinkie…we agree to disagree.
        Do not see any benefit in Kingery sitting around.
        Though 75 BAs at LHV may seem small….they could be a confidence builder.
        Valentin serves the same purpose of an utility guy.
        Kingery’s negative WAR and 57 wRC+ are close to the bottom of the majors for players with 350 ABs or more.

      2. Actually, Kingery’s 57 wRC+ is third from the bottom….O’s Davis and Royals’ Escobar are at the bottom. And his fWAR is 12th from the bottom.
        He has had one of the worst AND extended rookie seasons in the MLB
        Normally, at some point baseball management, would have sent a promising rookie down, to gather themselves, a month or two ago when going thru this extended experience.

    2. Eflin is a good kid and I get the disappointment from losing $30K and 10 days MLB service time. However, it’s only a paper move. And a shrewd one at that. I’ve been one to complain how uncreative Klentak has been. This was a creative way to maximize the 25 man roster. (And he will be the 26th man next Thursday) I understand the agent has to voice their displeasure for the sake of player/management protocol and all that. But let’s put this in proper perspective. If the Marlins did this, yes it’s a bogus move. But the Phillies are fighting for the division title. A game or 2 could hang in the balance with roster flexibility being a crucial part.

  45. A stroke of genius and a good portion of lucky timing. Did anybody ever find out if Kapler deliberately set his rotation after the break, so he would have Nola and Arrieta face the Red Sox. That was a genius move.

    1. “Nola and Arrieta face the Red Sox.”…HUH?
      The manager is now going to pitch Nola vs the Sox on three days rest (Sunday/Monday/Tuesday)!
      Irregardless if Nola only pitched 6 innings/95 pitches last night….that is still a risky move long term.

      1. Romus, he is referring to Nola and Arrieta going against the Sox in Fenway, not the 2 games coming up here. Now THAT would have been a stroke of genius.

  46. I know Klentak has been applauded for using Eflin to manage the roster. But, Scott Kingery belongs at LHV learning how to hit again. Tbis is painful to watch. These pitchers from SD are mediocre and our hitters are just playing terribly. I don’t care how many BBs they work, someone has to actually hit the ball!

  47. As of this moment the game in SD isn’t over yet but I’m sorry, this lineup is an embarrassment.

  48. 27-34 on the road; the only other team in baseball with a winning record overall, but a losing record on the road, is Tampa (26-34). just 30-31 on the road would give them the most wins in the NL right now.
    while looking at standings, noticed that Edwin Diaz’ save total would have an 11 game lead over the orioles and royals. amazing.

  49. We can’t have our 2 best hitters either looking to walk or batting .320 for half and .195 the other half. The clean up hitter prefers to walk than hit. Can walk 100 times and hit .210! Who is supposed to actually hit the ball? Scored 3 today, who cares? They were shut out when it mattered twice by pitchers who are less than replacement level. Not overreacting, I have been critical of the approach to hitting all year. If the starters are not excellent, we don’t win. The well hit games are the exception. The ruleis terrible ABs, looking forBBs, watching pitches go down the middle of the plate and being behind in the count.

    1. I’d be interested to know if you have to post, or can find stats on the percentage of first pitches that are taken by the Phils starters versus swung at. I recall(with no stats to support) Chase Utley regularly taking the first pitch but my impression is that this team doesn’t do that and I’d appreciate being enlightened.

  50. Ahh! Cubbies’ bench player Bote drives a dagger into the Nats hearts with a walk off slam. My 11th hour consolation for the day.

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