Open Discussion: Week of August 12, 2018

The Phillies went a disappointing 2-4 on their west coast trip.  But, they return home for a seven game homestand.  Although they start off with 2 games against the Red Sox, they then host the Mets for a rare 5-game series.

During the week, the Phillies bolstered their bench with the acquisition of Justin Bour.  The right-handed first baseman is having a down year, but he has impressive numbers against his East Division foes.  The cost was McKenzie Mills.  I’ve seen Mills pitch and liked what I saw.  But, if Bour can strength our bench and help us beat the Braves and Nationals a couple times, then the trade makes sense.  Even if he doesn’t make a measurable difference down the stretch, it’s good to see the front office make a well-thought out trade like this.

J.P. Crawford was activated and Wilson Ramos made two rehab starts.  And, the Phillies have gone to a 5-man bench temporarily.  If Ramos comes off the DL before the end of the month, it will be interesting to see who goes to Lehigh.  Probably Knapp, but Kingery or Crawford could also be considered.

In any case, the Phillies could run out a line up that includes Alfaro/Ramos, Santana, Hernandez, Cabrera, Franco, Hoskins, Herrera, and Williams/Quinn.

The Phillies have 45 games remaining, 25 at home, and 33 against division opponents – 7 v. Atlanta, 11 v. the Mets, 9 v. Washington, and 6 v. Miami.  Their non-division series are against, Boston, Toronto, the Cubs, and Colorado.


288 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of August 12, 2018

  1. Lots of guys struggling heading toward September. Gabe needs to get creative to find some time off for guys. RH, OH and CS really struggling, yet no resting, except OH, and no lineup shuffling. Quinn could spell RH occasionally and Bour could platoon with CS. Need Ramos to add a consistent hitter to lineup. SK really needs help. Not sure letting him flounder on bench with occasional pinch hit is helping his progress. Knapp should be sent down as soon as Ramos arrives and only one light hitting infielder should be carried on bench. Still in the thick of things. Gut check time. Need better from Arrieta.

  2. I bet we see Ramos this week. I would keep three catchers as they add better pinch hitting alternatives over Scotty (0-2) or JP
    Ugly week

    1. I do not want to waste an option year for Knapp. Either he or Alfaro to DL would be an underhanded solution.
      A bench of Knapp, Alfaro, Bour, Crawford is not reasonable. Quinn has to be included. I still like Knapp as PH better than Alfaro, so a fake DL stint for Alfaro would be my favorite option.

      1. Optioning Knapp now would not burn an option year since he would not spend the required 20 days in AAA if he was recalled when rosters expand on Sept 1.

  3. Although Bour’s BA isn’t much higher than Santana’s, he does have 69 walks this season. I’d certainly take his power over Santana’s. The collective hitting approach of this squad is maddening. Santana is the prototype. I’ve generally supported Kapler in his overall job pulling this club together. But the “let’s where down the opposing pitcher by working deep counts” routine is difficult to watch. At some point somebody HAS to drive home baserunners. Too many cookies right down the heart of the plate.

    Besides Santana, I also want to see Cesar, Doobie, and Rhys rested. Quinn, Crawford and Bour should not be collecting splinters these last 6 weeks. And let’s hope Ramos is on the rehab Express plan especially with Boston coming to town. As much as I love Alfaro, he’s a project to say the least.

    And the competition – the theme has been to play to their level. While it’s great to go toe to toe with the better teams, there are more lesser teams and they struggle big time against the weak. And despite the home record, the Phillies are one of 2 teams with winning records (TB is the other) with a losing record on the road. At some point doesn’t every team hit its offensive stride for a stretch? This lineup has rarely hit together. One bat usually carries most of the load on any given day. Williams hasn’t reached his prime yet but I am liking his trajectory.

    In any case, count me in on going after Machado AND Harper this winter. Warts and all, I’d rather see that lineup in this town for once.

    1. 8Mark, with Boston coming up, it is a good time to reflect on the flight on some of their older prospects, ones for the Hamels rumors, and where they are today. It can take awhile, and patience is needed, if not will be replacing controllable talent for contracts that can look ugly near the end. With that said, if we could sign them both, I’d want to trade some of our developing talent to fill holes but also trade some for more high quality prospects, replenish the waves of talent coming, since we speed up the window
      With 2 top tier fa. Crazy to think it could happnw but also, waiting on Alfaro,Kingery, and Crawford isn’t the worst plan, see Boston on betts, bogerats, Xavier, Mogart … I’m
      Fprgettinh them

    2. It does seem as if the entire team has not been hot for a good 2-3 week spell. It’s really weird because even bad teams typically get hot like this.

      Although I disagree with you regarding importance of walking (it’s hugely important), I do agree that OBP does not entirely make up for a poor hit tool. To give the Phillies some credit, they apparently understand this at some level too and added two players (Cabrera and Ramos) they have really good hit tools. Time is running short, but they could heat up at any time and perhaps adding Ramos to the lineup will be the tipping point.

    3. 8Mark, agree that sitting Carlos Santana in favor of Justin Bour might wake him up. So maybe the rumor that Cleveland thought Santana was too passive at the plate are true. If the Philies want to win their division then the hitters need to step up in a big way.

    4. 8mark – agree with you completely. Phils play to their competition. My worst fear was realized by losing the Padres series. They should have demolished that team. They have a hard time with lefties who throw off speed stuff. That’s why the 5 game Met series could be very problematical !!!

  4. Some nostalgia last night watching both Hamels amd Madesn pitching in different uniforms.
    Madsen giving up that walk-off slam, as the Nats cruised to the W into the 9th, could be devastating for that Nats team long term.

  5. The Phillies are in contention now – at least a year earlier than expected – and their new push is to win ballgames rather than focus almost exclusively on development.

    As such, if Wilson Ramos plays the way I expect him to play, I believe the Phillies will re-sign him this offseason if they can do it on a one or two year deal (preferably one year and an option). At this point, the team has money and they are close – where a reasonably priced FA (Ramos should cost about $10-13 m next year, perhaps slightly less) constitutes a big upgrade over the performance provided by a younger player they have on the roster, they should sign the experienced player and let the younger player fight for playing time especially where, as here, the younger player has been mediocre (sorry, both Alfaro and Knapp have been mediocre thus far). It is for this reason too that I expect the Phillies to re-up Cesar Hernandez and perhaps even sign him on a longer term/team friendly deal. Cesar is a very good player can always be traded if Scott Kingery becomes the stud they hope he can become but until Kingery or someone else takes the spot, Cesar should play.

  6. Anyone else wondering if maybe Herrera isn’t what we thought he was? He isn’t the same player that he was 2 years ago . . . believe it or not, he was consistent in his first 2 years up but the past 2 have been completely different w/ a lot is trending in the wrong direction and that’s not only his offense, his defense as well. He should still be developing, not regressing. I think you see the FO try to move him in the off season.

    And i’m glad that there wasn’t a lot of Eflin crybabies on here. There was a ton of backlash due to the move Klentak made . . . this is a business, get over it. I’m sure they will make it up to him in the future.

    1. EricD…when Doobie swung with more pull and lift to increase his HRs numbers, he stumbled and will continue to stumble in that vein. And you probably are correct about the FO wanting to move him…..I always thought it would be after the 2019 season, not figuring they would do it after this season. Drafting Moniak and Haseley in the first rounds were other indications that Doobie would be moved eventually and then offering him that team friendly contract in Dec ’16, six months after drafting Moniak seem to be another indication that moving him for a quality return was part of their objective with an attractive contract to go along with his talent and raw skills

      As for Eflin…I was dead set against it…it is bush….and for what, ‘marginal advantages’…his agent Tom O’Connell seem to be a little annoyed with those events. I’d prefer they would have sent Kingery down for the last 20/25 games in LHV for confidence building and maybe frequent PAs vs whaty he will see now for the remainder of August.

      1. Feel bad for Elfin, but this is very smart roster management.
        Elfin is a young player trying to keep his major league career going. He and his agent have no say and certainly Phillies would be smart to ‘bump’ his salary next year if he even makes on the team.

        With Crawford back I think Kingery should be sent down. But I do think players can learn without playing and his speed and defense could help for 10 days.

        1. IMO, its bush.
          I cannot think of another GM and FO that has done that with arguably their number 3 starter in their rotation?
          There were other avenues to take to get Bour on the 25 without optioning a starter.
          Players do remember those type of things……at least their agents do.
          As for Kingery, shoulda, coulda, woulda, been sent down mid-June for 6/8 weeks, outside of Davis of the Os and Escobar of the Royals, he is the worst metrics of any position player with over 300ABs
          …I just do not want to hear Klentak say next spring….”In retrospect, I think we could have handled Kingery a little differently last season”.

          1. I get the arguments that its “bush” as you call it but you are in it to win and what ever moves you feel gives your team the best shot you take it. The race is going to be so tight, little moves like this could be the separation. I get the likelihood is slim that it even makes a difference but having that extra player helps.

            1. As far as “Players do remember those type of things” … I remember Cole Hamels got upset with the Phillies in 2007 (maybe … ?) when the club didn’t boost his minimum salary in a pre-arbitration year. IIRC, he said something like, “I won’t forget this.” He got over it soon enough, and was happy to pass up free agency to sign his mega deal with the Phillies.
              The situation sucks for Eflin, but (IMO) was an master stroke of roster management by the team. Like PhxPhilly mentioned above, the Phillies can make it up to Eflin by increasing his 2019 salary by 20 thousand dollars.

          2. Somehow I doubt you are looking at every single MLB teams transaction report on a daily basis to know all of the minor moves that team makes on a daily basis to support a claim like this.

          3. Interesting take Romus as I started at the bottom of posts today and read up. Your take (while I’ll neither strongly agree or disagree) raises the eyebrows. It was these types of moves Chip Kelly made while seemingly in a vacuum should have 0 affect on a player.

            We now know the opposite was true and he quickly lost his team and was fired having the owner cite a lack of emotional intelligence as the reason.

            Winning can mask a lot of behind the scenes strife and what if the winning we are doing is not as much do with how incrementally more talented we are but more so how much worse the division we are in became.

      2. Romus, we agree on Doobie, disagree on Eflin. He’ll live. Such a blip on his career and a savvy team-centric move. That’s all. He’ll be ok with it when he’s pitching game 3 of the NLDS.

        As for Doobie, he probably has one more hot streak in him this season. Get himself back to around .285, 25 HRs and the obligatory handful of bonehead plays in the field. I would welcome an OF of Hoskins-Harper-Williams/Quinn in ’19.

        But first we have a division to win….

          1. Nobody cares as much about defense anymore. Didn’t you get the memo. It’s all about BBs, Ks and fingers. Of course Doobie is a gold glove, isn’t he?

    2. Optioning Eflin over Kingery was ridiculous as Kingery is totally lost at bat. If they want Kingery to grow and contribute to the team he needs to down to Allentown for work.

      1. Hold on a minute! The point isn’t about Eflin vs Kingery. It’s about temporarily not needing a 5th SP and the advantage of using that roster spot for another bench player. Wanna send Kingery down? Fine, but they should bring up another useful position player. Please! Stop the tears for Zach.

        1. Agreed – and they will both explain this to Zach and overcompensate later on to show him some “love.” It’s NOT personal and it won’t affect his spot in the rotation all.

    3. Bobby Abreu esq? Puts up great numbers for year end but would have long stretches where he would kill the lineup 🙂 … yes that was subtle jab from Bowa, even if it was more directed towards rolen

  7. I disagree with you on Kingery PhxPhilly. I see him as a future high level player. I won’t use the word “Star”. His development will be better served with a few weeks in LHV, where he should have started the season, re-learning how to hit. Some success there is way better to take into next season, than an occasional AB as a PH. Late inning D is what Crawford will supply. Zero reason for them both to be here. Kingery was done a disservice by the organization.

    1. Totally agree, Matt. The handling of Kingery has been by far the BIGGEST misstep made by the FO this season.

      1. I’m not sure we know that yet. It could be that the experience he gets this year leads him to blossom next year.

  8. In playoff series what would be Phillies rotation be?
    If trading for another starting pitcher how would that change a playoff rotation?
    Are Suarez or De Los Santos enough to get through a spot start or longer?

    Velasquez and Pivetta keep alternating between excellent and pitiful. Both have dominant stuff for the bullpen but inconsistency could be a problem there also.

    For must win game, is Elfin a better choice than the risk from the other two?

    Still lots of games to go.

    1. I definitely think Pivetta slides to the pen come playoff time. Eflin and VV are a toss up as to games 3 and 4. Another byproduct of post season roster shifts is a longer 5 man bench.

    2. Don’t take this in the wrong way but are you watching the same games? Velasquez has only given up more than 2 ER in 1 of his last 8 starts. And if you go even further back, in his last 15 he’s given up more than 2 ER only 3x. If you take out his start on June 8th where he gave up 10 ER in 3.2 innings his ERA goes from 3.98 to 3.32. He also sports a WAR of 2.5 which 3rd best on the team.

  9. I think Nola, Arrieta, then whoever is on the hottest streak closing out the season. It could be any of the 3. I think it is important that Klentak spoke to Eflin, and assured him of his value to the team, and that the $28,000 would be made up to him. That seems little when we are talking about MM getting $400 Million plus, but this is a young kid not making Millions. Most importantly, he has done his job, outperforming expectations. How many of the other players have out performed expectations this year? Not many!

    1. If they don’t trade Zach I guarantee they will overpay him next year to make up for it. The Phillies have their faults, but they are an extremely classy group – they handle players, alums, fans and everyone else with a ton of class and respect. It’s one of their bigger selling points and it’s not phony – they are really good folks.

      1. I love this statement by you Catch as I really do agree with it. Can we not also use it to say they wanted to do right by Ryan Howard a larger than life African American player the kids of Philly idolized and brought 1000’s of new fans out to CBP?

  10. playoff share for winning division was about 36k a player last year- if maybe the expanded bench helps you win 1 game in the next 10 days and you win the division, Eflin will be made whole that way.

    it also allows them to have Kingery on roster for the Williamsport game sunday, and he’s the 1 Phillie who played in LLWS, and espn was already using him in the promos. probably just ironic but you never know.

  11. 90 wins – 25 more, gets them in a WC game; 93 – 28 more wins the NL East. With 45 left… split the 16 versus Nats and Braves; win 8 of 11 from Mess, and 4 of 6 from Fish. That’s 20-13. All they need to do is 6-6 versus the rest for 91. AND the fact that I did this math for 2018, is awesome; was not expecting ANY meaningful baseball past Aug 15.

    1. I used to try and figure the strength/weakness of schedule to project Ws and Ls, but it’s a fruitless exercise. If they’re playing good baseball, they can beat the Red Sox. If they’re not, the Padres will beat them.

  12. We are at the three quarter mark of the season, and we’re tied for first place. I am the eternal optimist, and I never saw this coming. Overall the front office has done a masterful job of incorporating veteran leadership with a young developing team. If I’m counting correctly, there are eight players in their first full year on the team.
    I was wrong about Gabe Kapler. My first impression was that he was as phony as a three dollar bill, but he has won me over. He has this team believing in him, and themselves. not all of his moves have worked, but for the most part he has “Been Bold”. On June first half the fan base wanted to dump Franco, and now he is the best hitter on the team. Thank God that Klentak didn’t listen to us.
    The current great debate currently going on is, “What to do with Kingery”? The answer is, nothing. He’s the last player on the bench right now, but his speed can still be an asset in the remaining games.
    We’ve been extremely lucky with the health of the pitching staff (knock wood). Eickhoff has missed the entire season, and he should return soon. The timing couldn’t be more perfect. If one of the young pitchers should run out of gas, we have a fresh, veteran arm ready to step in.
    Enjoy the day off, the Red Sox are coming. The bad news is that they’re the best team in baseball. The good news is that we should see Justin Bour do his thing for us, instead of against us.

    1. I believe you need to give Kingery time … more time. He is still developing, to me, one way or another, he is an asset to the team, either by becoming an everyday player or tradebait . This team has so much flexibility in positions, you can’t predict where he or other will play next year. He could be an OF… a lot of people are tired of santana, personally I think he was signed for the following seasons vs this year, but he could be traded moving Hoskins back to first, opening up an OF spot. Nothing is far fetched anymore after all the musical chairs this year. Let Kingery develop, there are ways for him to grow in the majors, but I think his time is up this year. Will have to wait till next year to see what he is/progress

  13. My question has always been is Gabe Chip Kelly or Doug Pederson? Everything was hunky dory for Chip in that first season then things quickly went south.

    For Doug of course it was the opposite year 1 but who could argue with a Super Bowl win in year 2.

    My mind will continue to stay open. Certainly if it ended today I would call it a huge success. The skeptic part of my brain however would see varying degrees of success and namely look at the massive take down of the Marlins, the mirage that was the Mets and the almost complete dysfunctional collapse of the Nats.

    And I still have some underlying doubts about our talent evaluators.

    1. NL only

      In 2017 the Phillies ranked 12 in OPS with a 723

      In 2018 they rank 11 with a 709 OPS

      In 2017 they ranked 10th in ERA with a 4.55

      In 2018 they rank 3 with a 3.74

      1. During yesterdays game they I heard them say that since July 1st the phils starters rank #1 in the MLB in ERA. I can’t remember the number but still was surprised to hear that.

        Another one from the Nola game, he ranks #1 in MLB in slg % off his FB. I believe it was .268 and max scherzer was next then David Price and I forget the other 2.

    2. Gabe Kapler is neither Chip nor Dougy P. Sorry but that’s a Philly sports radio take on evaluating a coach/mgr. Football and baseball are apples and oranges when it comes to how players and coaches are valued, as well as the games themselves. As are comparing great players of today with legends of the 20th century.

      1. I think the sport is irrelevant and doesn’t make any sense 8mark. Isn’t the point you can’t decide good or bad after just a season or 3/4 of a season?

        I think your statement seeks to deny fandom and to deny fandom would deny the existence of any sport. It also seeks to deny that sports are coached and played by human beings and not apples and oranges.

        Respectfully or course!

        1. I got it, DMAR. All due respect to you as well since you generally contribute thoughtful comments here. Kapler vs Mackanin and the like is a better discussion IMO is all I’m saying.

    3. DMAR – Though you may still have some doubts about Gabe, you have to admit that he’s been 100% more effective than Pete.

      1. Merely on wins and losses for sure. As I posted the stats above the one area where we have improved substantially is in the pitching department so who had the affect there?

        I never thought of Gabe as a pitcher whisperer so kudos to him for that.

        1. DMAR…concerning the pitchers….we really do not know how much it is Gabe Kapler or Rick Kranitz’ influence.
          I lean Kranitz.

      2. Depends on how much of those wins you give the manager vs. how many are attributed to better players. I tend to believe good players win and bad players lose regardless of the manager in charge. The manager might impact 5-10 games a year.

        The manager’s real job is to allow the players to play with as little distraction as possible. That might be handling the press, dealing with player conflicts, personal issues, etc. His job is not to be part of the distraction.

        Kapler was part of the distraction early in the season but to his credit, he seems to have grown in the job…

  14. The other thing regarding Eflin, is that he started the season in the minors so this year was already an option year for him. That gets me wondering what they will do regarding Knapp, Crawford, or Kingery. Would they want to send any of them down to minors and burn an option year for only about 2 weeks, since they will be back up when rosters expand.

    1. MarkP…option years are based on the entire season….they can send down a player numerous times within one season, playing accordion with him between LHV and Philly…..and it only counts for one option.
      It is also a matter of how many times a player is protected on the 40……first time on the 40 in November , following season is his first option year.
      Eflin must be on his last option year.

      1. ………first time on the 40 in November , following season is his first option year….and if activated, and sent down later that year….one option is used.

        1. Yes, i understand that option years are for the entire year and you can go up and down as many times. What i was implying was that knapp, kingery and crawford would not use up an option year since they havent been assigned to the minor leagues this season. I did look up more and found out something that i didnt know. You have to be in the minors for 20 days to use up option year, so all 3 could be sent down for less than 20 days and still not use one for this year.

          1. This 20 day rule is why the Eflin move was important. Eflin was sent down on August 11th. If Kingery was sent down instead and brought back up on August 1st when rosters expanded, he would have used up an option year because it would have been more than 20 days.

    2. They will not burn an option on any of them since they will not spend 20 days in the minors at this point of the season

    3. I am least worried about option years for Kingery. He is already guaranteed MLB money and will be on major league team over similar players for that reason.

      Knapp seems like a useful 3rd catcher (to have in minors). Having multiple option years for him could be valuable to a playoff contender.

      Crawford is more interesting. Service time matters to him as he could be a valuable player and optioning him could add a year of control. As a good defensive player he could also be a player shuttled up and down in the future.

      I think Quinn should remain a 4th OF for the 6 years they can control him. Try to get what value they can before he is too injured to contribute.

  15. Today is a day off, and we have bounced back all year. Need Pivetta and VV to be at their best vs. BoSox. Most importantly, the fundamentals need to be much better.

    1. matt13…..fortunately JD Mart may have to play LF, assume JBJr will sit and Benintendi goes to CF.

  16. It needs to stop raining … or at least if it’s going to rain, it needs to be raining Phillies runs. Never seen so much damn rain in my life

  17. Wilson Ramos is catching all 9 innings tonight in Clearwater, an indication that he’ll be up tomorrow. (Speculation is mine.)

    1. It would be unfortunate if they did that if for no other reason than his value would seem to be at an all-time low right now.

  18. The Nats die for the second straight night on a walk off homer, again by an unlikely hero. Now 7 games behind Atlanta, 6 behind the Phils.

    1. Last 2 games have been a killer for the Nats. They are at a point now where they almost have to go on a 8-10 game winning streak to get back into the race. 7 games back with 43 to play mean they have to go 29-14 the rest of the way if either the Braves or Phillies play .500 baseball the remainder of the season

      1. I have 0 sympathy for the Nats but wow how do you explain that. How do you explain 3 managers in 4 years if you are their GM.

        1. They have certainly had talent but they are historically not a good organization, especially with the instability at the top. If things ain’t right in the head, problems will be evident in the body. Law of physics.

          1. the stuff with dumping Kintzler and Kelley off the roster recently, with the reasons given, were pretty strange.

            1. Without Strasberg, they’re not going 29-15. I to have no sympathy for Washington. Rizzo got into bed with Boras and all of those deferred contracts are going to be a problem for them. But, looking at that line up last night, it amazes me they’re in the position they are in.

  19. We are out of 1st place for the first time in a while. 2 tough games, but we are at home, but unless we hit the ball we are in trouble. The hitting might as well start against Boston. I can’t see trading JP this off season when his value is as low as it has ever been. There are a lot of tough decisions, that will be even tougher if Machado signs here.

    1. matt13….think it has been about 4/5 weeks since they were in 2nd place.
      Maybe additions like Ramos and Cabrera will help the offense in these last 6 weeks.

      JPC….may have to cut bait and suck it up. He could be part of a larger package deal if what the Phillies requires his addition to the trade.

  20. Still up on the wild card and right there in the division hunt. They do have a tough stretch; it may not appear that the teams they are playing after Boston are all that good but they are set to face Thor, deGrom, and Sczerzer twice in the coming weeks. I just want them to be right there when they close with 7 of 11 vs Atlanta

  21. I would like to see Bour get in a game. Santana could use a day off, and if Ramos is ready in a week or so, he will help. He could always hit. Stealing a game or 2 against DeGrom or Thor or Scherzer will make up for a couple of the poor performances vs. mediocre pitching. I don’t know what will get Doobie back on track. He has been pretty underwhelming lately. I expect Rhys to bounce back and go on another tear. 5 vs. the Mets, 6 vs. the Nationals and 3 vs. Toronto after Boston. 10-4 anyone?

  22. Headed to Citizen Bank Park tonite,with my two sons,hoping to see a win against the Red Sox. My dad took me to my first game,in 1948 to see the A’s meet up with Teddy Williams”,the Little Professor”,Johnny Pesky ,Bobby Doerr, Mel Parnell ,Ellis Kinder and those otther Sox.Seems like yesterday.

  23. Bob Brookover has a column each day. I think you have to subscribe through the Inquirer, but he talks about how we should have signed J.D. Martinez rather than Santana. Now, I know we did not consider ourselves contenders, so were not in on him at all, but for $2 Million more per year, his numbers would be perfect in this lineup. Hoskins would be at 1B. .330, 37 HRs 104 RBIs, already, Wow! Sorry, guys, just dreaming! Between Martinez and Betts, Boston has 2 legit MVP candidates.

    1. One of the many positive things about the Phils success this year may be improving their attractiveness to future free agents. It might have taken a lot of, umm, persuasiveness last year to lure some players off a potential World Series contender

  24. I just have to say this because I like Shane Baz as the 1.8 pick last year, Shane Baz in the PTBNL in the Chris Archer deal. So TB received Glasnow, Meadow and Baz for Archer. Good move for TB, I’m glad there are not in the NL East.

    1. KuKo…….maybe the Phillies will be able to do an off-season trade with the Rays to get Baz.
      BTW….I think the Pirates really got taken to the cleaners in that deal.
      Rays made out like bandits.
      Archer is still fairly young….but he really has been trending the wrong way these last few years.

      1. TB operates like a private equity company, they acquire talent then sell them before they become expensive to keep. TB doesn’t like taking on any contracts so I don’t know how the Phillies can acquire Shane Baz from them.

        1. Yeah…..they are a lot like their Florida counterpart when it comes to fiscal restraint.

          1. The Phils still owe TB a PTBNL – hopefully, it’s a org filler and not a Top 30/40 prospect. I hope that TB bought into the MLB-hype on Jose Gomez and ask for Jose Gomez as the PTBNL.

        2. The Shane Baz portion of that trade was mentioned in the recap thread. I’m going to repost here what I put there.
          That deal is an absolute win for the Rays.
          Also … this shows just how much it would take to get Blake Snell from TB. Earlier this summer, I said I would give up Sixto Sanchez, Alec Bohm, JoJo Romero, and Jhailyn Ortiz for Snell this winter. All of you thought that was crazy/way too much. Think again. I’d still do that deal this off-season.

          1. I got banned from this site due to language because people thought Cesar and Rupp would’ve been enough for Archer. People have no idea how much pitching costs.

          2. I don’t think it’s too much. I just believe that it will be counterproductive for the Phils to acquire a young top arm for another young top arm plus some more. If you remember, I said take Sixto out of the package and it will be good to go.

            it took long and hard for the Phils to finally develop a TOR arm in Sixto, so I will keep him as much as possible. This is the reason why I always advocate to acquire a high ceiling arm in the Rd 1 picks in 2015 (Allard/Buehler), 2016 (Puk/Groome) and 2017 (Baz) so the Phils can utilize these high ceiling arms as currency to acquire somebody like Blake Snell.

          3. Many(?) on this site have suggested Sixto is a potential TOR pitcher, which by definition is as good as it gets I’d think, and that JJR is a solid pitching prospect as well as having high expectations for Bohm. Of course, all of them are also relatively inexpensive. What, @Hinkie, do you see in Snell that makes him so desireable? What others might have the same trait(s)?

            1. Blake Snell has good stuff from the left side. Up to mid-90s FB and very good SL and CU. Blake Snell is only 25 yo he can be very good and cheap when the Phillies made a run to multi-year contention — this what attracts Hinkie so much. Blake Snell is ready to help the Phillies now and the coming years so he is ahead of Sixto/Medina by about 4 years.

              I still prefer to keep both Sixto and Medina and sign a top FA arm like Kikuchi or Gerrit Cole and/or Chris Sale next year. I like Corbin, but I think he’s NYY bound.

            2. Blake Snell is the best young (just 25 YO), LHSP in MLB. On top of that, he’s under team control through the 2022 season. He and Nola at the top of the Phillies rotation would be a championship caliber 1 – 2 punch.
              It would be like the Red Sox forking over Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Alexander Basabe, and Victor Diaz for three years of Chris Sale.

  25. I think it was a dumb move by the Pirates, and I base that on what they received from Cole vs. what they gave up for Archer. Hands down, Cole is better, and by a good deal. They gave up more in prospects than they received. The definition of a bad deal, and a bad plan. I don’t over pay for a controllable SP, because the cost is so high. Corbin I pay for because he only costs $. If they feel they need a Lefty and can’t get him, I offer Gio or Happ shorter deals. But, it is so valuable to have your own young talented SPs.

    1. yeah, I thought Archer is a buy low candidate that Klentak can exploit. I didn’t expect that PIT will be the crazy team who will drive the price up, considering they literally given up the NL Central when they traded Gerrit Cole and Cutch.

      If that’s the cost for Archer, now it makes me feel better not to give up Sixto and Medina for any deal other than multi-years of Mike Trout.

  26. Santana out of the clean up spot, and Rhys in. Santana down to 5, and Doobie batting 7. JP to AAA, and Hector is back. I guess they figure they will need the BP vs. BoSox?

    1. Thought they would remove Bradley….but they are putting Betts in CF and JD Mart going to RF.

    2. Did anyone catch McCarthy last night say he was in Kapler’s office and they were talking about the line-up…Gabes says to Tom “do fans really care what the line-up is and who is batting where because as a player I never really thought about it”

      Tom responds “Well yeah” does he not know the history of “I don’t care about walks I care about production”

  27. Thompson to the Brewers for $. Once upon a time I really liked Jake. Kilome, Mills and Thompson. Klentak is paving the way for some of the lower level Pitching prospects to make their way up.

      1. The first time I saw him pitch I was shocked at how pedestrian his stuff was – turns out that is definitely the case.

        The Hamels trade is still one that I’m not sure who won – we need a few more years. You could look at it as a comparison of WAR produced on each side, and I’m pretty sure the Phillies will win on that. But that’s not quite how I look at a deadline deal for an ace – those trades really need to produce, at the very least, a first division regular (Alfaro and Williams are not that yet – we’ll see) or 2/3 pitcher (Eickhoff is not quite that and he’s been injured) and probably another good contributor. Certainly the trade is not a disaster – but I’d really like to see a core player develop from that deal.

        I do, however, declare the Phillies the winner of the Ken Giles and Papelbon trades – and that’s a good thing.

  28. It blows my mind how some people think Vinny V is having a bad season and feel he should be moved to the pen. Ive seen it on twitter about 5 different times today and heard on here that he goes from bad start to good which is just plain incorrect. He’s made big strides this year and if he can continue, he earned a spot in the rotation for next year.

    1. Vinny…22 starts….12 exceptional starts…6 bad starts….4 average.
      2.5bWAR/2.4fWAR…..projection 3.6WAR

      1. If he could do that every year, he would be a very good #3 starter (and they don’t grow on trees). If he got a little better he’d be close to a 2.

  29. You are right Eric, he has come a long way. I think there is more there, and more to learn, and he will get even better. No reason to send him to the BP when SPs are so valuable, and he has great stuff. How many times have we seen it click for a young Pitcher. We don’t have to look any further than Arrieta. Carlos Carrasco, also, if you want an ex-Phil example.

    1. Yeah man I don’t get it. Someone called him inconsistent, he’s been nothing but consistent in his last 15. He’s decided to throw his fastball more until teams can prove they can hit it. His fastball is plus plus, no it doesn’t have the top end velocity 99-100 however there’s something about his fastball that is hard to hit, it explodes outta his hand. I’m not as good with the research like some on here are . . but I would love to know what players are hitting off of his fastball, I would have to guess it’s well below .230

      1. BA Against 4Smr So Far in 2018:

          1. Thank you sir. And those averages confirm what we are seeing with his fastball. If he’s figuring it out (I need to see another season of it to believe) he is going to be a really good number 3.

      2. @Eric D – this is just my observation so this might be different from a different vantage point. IMO, Vinny’s recent success is the utilization of his 2S. Vinny still throw his mid-90s FB, but most of his FBs are in the 91-94 range. So it is not all about Vinny Velo to him anymore throwing power pitch after the other resulting to poor pitching efficiency.

        The reason I like Nola ever when he was still a FB-CB pitcher and struggling to get batters out, is his ability to change speeds in his pitching repertoire. Vinny’s incorporation of the 2S let him have a better control of the strike zone and added another offspeed pitch to set up his 4S for a K.

        Most people are enamored about velocity but it is all about controlling the strike zone too, If you see Spencer Howard early this year, he is Vinny-like. Trying to throw the ball rather than pitch the ball. Howard’s velo is up but his pitch efficiency and control of the strike zone are poor resulting to bad results early in the year.

  30. To LEFT field. I have a feeling whoever said they were messing with his swing was right. Now he is spraying the ball all over like the way before he got drafted.

  31. Phillies’ now with a .234 batting average and trickling further downward
    I know BA is first generation analytics….but come on now!
    That is getting to the bottom of the barrel..

  32. How many batters did you count last night that didn’t let Kingery steal the bag? Was Bour a lead off BB I forget.

    I feel bad for these pitchers and wonder how much better they could be if they weren’t pitching on sea shells. They hold the best OPSing team in the league to 2 solos and still lose…incredible.

  33. More than a few fans are concerned that the Phillies are folding. They have lost 2 in a row while the Braves have won 4 in a row. Both the Phillies and Braves have stubbornly responded to really tough losses, and gone on short winning streaks. The NL East has become a two-team race, and we have the better starting pitching.
    The one thing that has really hurt the Phillies has been the offense. I’ve been waiting for the line up to “turn it on” since April, and it’s clear now that it won’t happen. I don’t need charts and graphs to tell me that they need an RBI man (the get plenty of base runners). I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had 2 on, and 0 outs, and failed to score a run. Maybe somebody out there, with more time on their hands, can tell me how often the starter has given up two or less runs, and failed to get the win.
    Last night was a gut-punch, but with a win tonight, the Phillies will split the season series with the Red Sox. Not too many teams can say that.

      1. Yes, looking forward to seeing what he can do for the lineup tonight. Hopefully VV likes his game calling

  34. With Ramos and Cabrera in the middle of the order…it lengthens the lineup with quality hitters.

      1. I think the prospects/youngsters got a lot of MLB ABs in this year to keep their development on schedule….Hoskins and Williams will still be playing full time.
        Some more than others unfortunately….Kingery for example
        However, Alf and Knapp may have to ‘suck it up’ these last six weeks with Ramos probably getting the nod down the stretch.

    1. Kapler’s full of S…! If Kingery was the base stealing weapon, why not get him to second before there were two outs giving them three chances to tie the game with a single. He was stealing on Kimbrel, the catcher had no chance but Hernandez and Williams don’t have enough discipline or baseball sense to let Kingery steal. Kapler should have called a straight steal if that was his plan, Kimbrel is very slow to the plate. Kapler takes credit for everything and none of the blame in his mind he invented the game.

      1. Concerning the manager…I am trying, as difficult as that may be, to reserve judgment for another six weeks.
        He is a different bird and does things a little out of the normal.

  35. Wilson Ramos is active.
    He’s catching and batting sixth.
    Justin Bour is at first base.
    He’s batting second.
    — Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) August 15, 2018

  36. IMO at least 2 of the the following need to happen in order to make the playoffs and make a run:

    1) Rotation – to continue to pitch at current trend
    2) Batters – consistent production from the middle of the order
    3) Bullpen – hold at close games

    The current unexpected success by the Phillies is carried by their pitching stuff (see #1 above). Nola, Eflin, Pivetta and Vinny are pitching better than expected. Rhys, Santana, etc need to be a consistent bat like Freddie Freeman of ATL.

    1. Aaron Cox (RIP), just turned 24 yo. Too young to pass away. Vineland guy and possibly a Philly sports fan like Mike. Condolence to the Cox-Trout family.

  37. Man is Odubel maddening … talented but I just don’t trust him in a playoff game for reasons you saw tonight. It is undeniable. Yes he wins us games but he loses them too.

  38. Wilson Ramos with 3 XBH tonight! …I wrote moments after that trade was announced that it would become seen as huge by end of season. Tonight is proof. He is a stud hitter at C! That makes such a big improvement to our lineup.
    …I’m hoping he loves it here and wants to sign. 🙂 So I’m adding Ramos to my offseason f/a wishlist to now read: Corbin and Ramos.

    1. JohnK – Agree here…I forgot how he hits the ball to right field all the time – with power. The first hit reminded me of what he used to do with the Nats vs. Phils. OTOH – imagine him at Yankee Stadium – he’d have 30 + homers punching the ball into the 280 foot RF stands !!! But, I do concur – sign him – he is both a good defensive and offensive catcher and let Alfaro learn under him – he is injured enough that Alfaro would still play an awful lot.

    2. Ramos debut – 2 2B and a 3B hiting 3 (of 4) with 3 RBIs including clutch hits. Don’t want to be excited with Ramos yet but Ramos, Bour and Carbrera as the middle of the order may not sound sexy, but it looks effective.

      1. Agree, it’s refreshing to trot out 8 competent hitters. It’s the deepest lineup we’ve had since 2010.

    3. The problem with Ramos and catchers in general as offensive cornerstones in a line up is they get hurt a lot and miss a lot of time.

      That said he should be cheap if they wanted to lock him up for another year or two.

      1. DMAR…..he may get offers for 3+option years vs another year or two.
        And in ’15 and ’16 he did catch 125 plus games a year…which is what is expected for most MLB catchers thru a full season….then the injury occurred with the knee..
        I like him more than Alf behind the plate and at the plate.

        1. Yeah Today I like him more than Alf but we all know his injury history and that should tell you a lot about the type of offer to make.

          I’m agreeing take a reasonable chance on him and hope Alf soaks up some of his wisdom and settles down some.

  39. This has been a down stretch of games capped off with a good win vs Boston. The additions of Ramos, Cabrera and Bour may turn out to be huge. The offense is overdue for a breakthrough. The Braves have recently played a more favorable schedule but they have a more difficult stretch in early September, including 3 games at home vs Boston. But the Phillies MUST win series against weaker teams like NYM. In fact, three of five this weekend may be considered disappointing, even facing deGrom and Thor.

    1. Of the three….Ramos and Bour I would look to keep long term., ie three years
      Ramos’ career 17% K rate and 6% BB rate in close to 3K MLB PAs is enough for me…adn when healthy he is a 2/3WAR player
      Though he will turn 32 next August…..a three year deal at the same AAV as Santana would be something I would offer.
      Bour, I would keep also, and look to move Santana……Cleveland wanted him last year but only at a $12/13M AAV, not what the Phillies gave him.
      Eat some of the remaining $40M and trade him to the Indians if they are still interested in his services this off-season.

      1. Really doubt that the Phillies would look to trade Santana and keep Bour as their regular 1B. And this season, unless something strange happens, Bour will primarily be a pinch hitter with an occasional start.

        1. This off-season.
          Indians wanted Santana last year….but at only $12/13M AAV…Phillies gave him $20M for three years.
          This off-season…..offer him to the Indians WITH the Phillies picking up 40/45% of the remaining $40M left on Carlos’ contract.
          Let Bour man first base for a few years.

          1. What is good about Bour also…he is controlled for awhile.
            Also…I’d think about moving Alf this off-season and signing Ramos for three years thru his age33 season.
            Ramos provides stability and experience.
            And with all the young catchers in the system coming up the ladder he would be a good example for them…someone like Grullon would do well with Ramos tutoring him.

            1. I certainly don’t want to be an Alf apologist the kid has no doubt struggled offensively and defensively. I just want to keep it real that this was his first full season in the MLB and he had no one there to fall back on in terms of a veteran catcher.

              It was put on him day 1 and that is a lot to ask of a catcher. I love that they brought in Ramos and these last few weeks with Jorge being able to sit back and relax some hopefully pays off at some point.

              For me he’s the perfect catcher if he could just get a little better blocking balls and cut down the K’s.

            2. I think I pull an Eagles and sign Ramos for 2 years ($18 M?), keep everyone and let the situation play out with the other guys. If Ramos does well and another young guy does well, you’ll have a trade commodity on your hands – it’s a pretty simple solution to me and it would help the team because they really can’t afford another year where the catching position is a big negative, which it was before Ramos arrived.

            3. If Ramos is willing to take a two year deal I would do it.
              But would also tack on a club option.
              And $9M sounds about right since right now he is at $7M AAV.

            4. Romus … the reason Ramos signed his current (below market value) contract is because he was injured. He agreed to a 2 yr/12.5 million dollar TJ rehab deal with TB. He’s now 30 YO, and this off-season, he’s going to want to get PAID. He’s probably looking at a 4 year contract worth at least 60 million dollars.
              Once again … these TJ rehab deals are smart moves, and Matt Klentak should be pushing for one with Garrett Richards this winter. Pay the guy 12 million spread out over the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Richards would rehab next year and be ready to pitch for the Phillies in 2020 at a below market price. The Rays did the same thing with Nathan Eovaldi (only 4 million over 2 years). He pitched really well for them this year before being dealt to Boston. Last winter, Minnesota inked Michael Pineda to a TJ rehab contract (10 million over 2 years). He’s healing this season, and will throw for the Twins in 2019.

            5. Yeah, I don’t see Ramos getting paid quite that much because older catchers have a shorter expiration date, but I guess 3 years and around $30 M might happen.

          2. Agree with you Romus in letting Carlos Santana go next year or even this August and keeping Justin Bour, I don’t know why but Santana just reminds me of Bobby Abreau in that he walks a lot but does not want to be the man in a clutch situation. Strange as it was the 2006 Phillies really took off after Abreau left.

            1. Yeah….I like Carlos, but he needs to swing more so, like last night in that pinch hit role.
              OBP is great….but more so, it is important to also drive the ball for production when you are a middle of the lineup hitter.
              Gillick did not see that something special in Abreu for some reason…even though all his offensive metrics were good to plus.

            2. Santana has been awful. Tommy Joseph would have been ripped to shreds on this board if he had the year Santana has had. And Santana was hardly “free.” He cost the Phillies a 2nd round pick plus lots of slot and international money plus McKenzie Mills. No need to trade for Bour if Santana was doing his job.

            3. If you compare one of their metrics, there is a difference in their overall production.
              2017-Joseph…….85 wRC+
              2018-Santana….103 wRC+

              There has been some criticism of Santana……but granted not as much as ToJo endured last season.

      2. I’m actually OK if Knapp is the PTBNL for Ramos or just try to trade Knapp to any AL where he fits better. Without Knapp, the Phils can resign Ramos and protect either Grullon or Cabral as the 3rd catcher in the roster.

        I’m 50-50 to keep or trade Bour. But it’s good that he is still under control. Agree that the better approach is to trade Santana and absorb big portion of the contract to both Hoskins and Bour can be in the line up.

        1. Why would Knapp be the PTBNL? Aren’t they usually draftees who signed less than a year ago (and therefore ineligible to be traded)?

          1. That’s no longer legal under this CBL. Must be player from draft prior to current year (ie have at least 1 year of pro experience when trade is made).

  40. That was a terrific “nice to meet you Phillies’ fans” hello from Ramos. Nice win and good BP work. Now need 3 of 4 from the Mets!

  41. Hinkie, This off season is on you! You promised Machado, and I would like you to deliver Kikuchi also. Thank You in advance! Seriously, this should be a great off season. U am counting on Middleton to deliver on his promise.

    1. I give the Phillies the biggest odds to acquire Machado, but I give the odds to the field particularly the west coast teams and NYY for Kikuchi. i don’t doubt that Middleton will let himself to be outbid by other teams, but oriental players have some affinity to west coast teams (maybe due to proximity to Asia).

      But I’ve been with Hinkie in drumming the Ohtani (now Kikuchi)-Machado-Trout to Philly train for a while now. Time to deliver!!

        1. Are you referring to Chef Masaharu Morimoto? Chef Morimoto has a restaurant in NY and Philly (7th/8th and Chestnut)!!! Sum Yung Guy sounds like a Kung Fu actor.

          1. Yes…that is him…..Chef Morimoto.
            I forgot his name.
            Add him to the welcoming package to allure the Japanese LHP Kikuchui.
            Though signs point to the Phillies getting away from Japan prospects, and heading further south to Taiwan for their new Asian prospects.

    2. matt … buy your season tickets now. Manny Machado is a done deal. Harper (on a pillow contract) isn’t out of the question. I would really love Yusei Kikuchi, but I think they’ll probably be more in the market for a guy like Jay Happ on a shorter term (2 year) contract. They’ll bring in a LHRP either through FA (Zach Britton) or trade (Felipe Vazquez). Finally … as I’ve mentioned many times … Garrett Richards on a TJ rehab deal should be on Matt Klentak’d “to do” list.

    1. agree, Wilson Ramos won the game for the Phils last night but Neris did not let them lose it. the game could have been over if the bad Neris showed up.


    Just a year ago when Nola was dubbed my most as a #3/#4 and mentioning Nola in line of CY Young is laughable — we’ve seen Aaron Nola transition in our eyes. Making the playoffs (thus making all Philly teams playoff teams this year) is possibly the biggest news but the transformation of Aaron Nola as a pitching stud is the most important development.

    1. kuKo:
      What Carson turned into last year for the Eagles…is what Nola turned into this season for the Phillies.
      So based on that sound logic……what pitcher, other than Nola, will win the World Series MVP?

      1. the WS MVP is tougher to answer, but if I will make a guess the WS MVP (pitcher) will come from AL team which is probably Chris Sale or Gerrit Cole.

        if you ask for the NL CY Young, Scherzer might be a close win over deGrom as of now. but if Nola can make a string of starts (based on his current trend) that lead to the Phillies winning the NL East and making the playoffs, he will get a better chance of winning the NL CY Young especially if NYM and WAS got buried in the standings.

        1. Okay.
          Sound logic with strong winning teams like Boston and the Astros….do not forget the Indians with Kluber/Bauer in the mix also.
          But just maybe a guy who gets optioned out in August, comes back and becomes the Phillies equivalent of Nick Foles. Now that would make a good story line.

          Cy Young….deGrom may not even get to 10 wins and could still win it on a poor team. Heck Wheeler and Thor have a win more than he does now…how strange is all that.

          1. I just don’t think that CLE has enough firepower to win the AL so I lean towards BOS and HOU. NL is wide open so I expect that a AL team will win the WS.

    2. I think most of us had him pegged as a #2 last year – by the middle of the year he was one of the top 15-20 pitchers in baseball and was dealing. So, yeah, he’s exceeded expectations but it’s not entirely shocking.

      1. Yea, I think there was only one multiple-personality person posting last year making the argument that Nola wasn’t a TOR starter….

  43. it’s been discussed before why the Phillies cannot product a teen phenom like what ATL and WAS have in Acuna and Soto. Luis Garcia has the looks of a potential teen phenom that we all hoping for. In a year where a lot of breakout and surprise prospects in the low minors, Luis Garcia appears to be the prospect who can be a potential consensus Top 10/20 prospect national before the age of 20.

    For the HS draftees, Kevin Gowdy, Dom Pipkin and Logan O’Hoppe have potential to be Top 100 worthy by end of next year.

    Ben Brown (6’6″, 18 yo), is just OK after his 6 IP, 0R, 16k performance is silently having another great year so is the other Brown – Andrew Brown. I don’t know anything about Andrew Brown stuff wise but I read an article that reported that Ben Brown is throwing low 90s (T94) with 2 secondary pitches. With Ben Brown’s remaining physical projection, he is a pitching development coach’s dream prospect.

    I like Keylan Killgore a lot. Since he is pitching exclusively from the pen, he will move fast like Kyle Dohy.

  44. biggest developments moving forward in my mind are now:

    OF, SS,C,& SP

    I’m not sure what the FO had in mind signing Santana… I think it was more for 2019 and on, high obp to be knocked in by machado or Harper. Will see, but With the way things have gone, I can now see Santana, Alfaro, and Herrera being dealt for SP. throw in some starters to upgrade that. Herrra is a great talent, but it takes talent to get it, and I think he scares everyone enough in a playoff game for him to be included.

    Moving Kingery to the OF,Quinn, and Williams and a FA. Hoskins back to first, machado to SS, Franco stay at 3B, Crawford is super utility. I can see the Phillies resigning an Allstar caliber C, in the package above. Then dealing surplus of prospects to fill in gaps in the bullpen.

    SP – New acquision
    SP – Nola
    SP – VV
    SP – Eflin
    SP – Arrieta

    CF – Quinn w/ Adam H coming soon
    2B – Herndez
    1B – Hoskins
    SS – Machado
    C – Ramos
    3B – Franco
    RF Williams/Altherr
    LF Kingery

    With Crawford &,Bour, on the bench – & obviously others

    Bullpens fluxuacte too much to me from year to year, trade for hot help at the deadline, make a run at it

    1. I think the Phillies priority in the FA is bat so book Machado or Harper for that. For SP, Corbin (who might be tagged with QO) is appealing but I don’t see the Phillies allocating that much money for a SP. Kikuchi will be their top target if ever so Aaron Nola is still the projected #1 starter. A veteran LHP pen arm will be a target too and I will not be surprised if Klentak will package a prospect to get rid of Tommy Hunter.

      The trades that I like Klentak to do are:

      1) JT Realmuto (plus contracts) – package of Alfaro, delos Santos and rejuvenated Mickey Moniak,

      2) Carlos Rodon – same package above.

      I will also try to see any interest with Doobie and Cesar if Klentak packaged them together.

      1. From the Hamels trade, I was intrigued most by Alfaro, mainly to get a top tier catcher, controllable/low salary … just what a rebuild calls for. An offensive catcher can make a world of difference imo. I’d be fine with Realmuto or signing Ramos. Allstar level catchers are hard to come by, but the Phillies do have a nack for developing them, I’ll give them that,”.

        Book machado as well, he just has to want to come here

        I think Klentak shops Herrera and Hernandez. Good players, should be able to add prospects to get the pitcher we need.

        Again for me, bullpen is year to year, great example Rheal comier – one year he stinks, then Allstar, then stinks. Then Allstar. I’d trade here and go with then hot hand.

        I’d layoff Moniak this offseason too. He is too young to give up on, needs some meat on them bones and the power should follow, now that he is hitting the ball.

        Pivetta,Eflin, or VV is tradebait imo. With the promising prospects coming down the pike and fa available, makes sense to flip them for other pieces, just improve the SP. I don’t care about salary’s, I don’t foot the bill, just also long as it’s not a gross overpay that handcuffs the team later. The fo needs to manage that better this time around. Klentak needs to call Howie, to ask how he would do it – yeah different sports, but I’m sure he has a clue

      2. I liked Rodon before the shoulder issues… he scares me a little.
        Shoulder surgery in Sep 2017…..significant bursitis was found in the shoulder and a debridement was done.The good news was that both the rotator cuff and labrum were viewed as normal.The other side…..will the bursa accumulate more inflammation over time with repeated pitching?

    2. You’re way too optimistic about Haseley. He’s got 7 XBH hits in Reading, and infamous hitter park. We have no idea if his spike in avg and OBP is anything but a result of park effect and throw in non-existent power I think we’re putting the cart before the horse.

      1. Well let’s say I’m optimistic. That’s fine. Part of me can see the Phils trying to sign Harper and machado, but I’m not counting on it. They can sign a fa to push the time clock back of our OF prospects. It is going to be interesting to watch this season unfold, followed by a highly anticipated offseason that the Phillies will be major players in.

        A few of the currently players, just took a jab to the face … tell me after playing with everyone along the minor league circuit, that Alfaro doesn’t have a fire under his rear with Ramos in town, taking his playoff race at bats from him? What about Kingery and crWford? Santana got a shot across the bow last night with Bour. The FO but the players on notice… time to produce. Like a good old fashion sales meeting … the kind that makes you feel you need to triple sales to keep your gig. Kumbiya time is over, time to make a true contender

        1. KLaw’s scout of Haseley from this past weekend just reaffirms that we’re scouting the stat line and have no basis to hold him such high regard as a prospect (owner bias):

          Unfortunately, the scouting report won’t match the stats as Haseley looked awful and was behind average fastballs the entire night. In five at-bats, he had seven swings and misses, six on fastballs, and put three balls in play, two of them weakly. The problem is the swing — Haseley’s swinging entirely with his hands now, not using his lower half at all, and he doesn’t have the hand acceleration to get his bat started on time or the strength in his wrists to drive a ball when he’s a half-tick late.

          1. I wouldn’t worry quite so much – he is trying to evolve and it’s just one game. Anyone can look great or horrible in one game. I saw him hit in several games and I thought he looked pretty good. This is just one data point. We’ll see.

      2. Saw Haseley in Bowie MD 2 weeks back and he was squaring up the ball. Don’t see him as a creature of the Reading ball park. Have to look beyond the stats. I’m sure the Phils are.

    3. Machado at SS is like Rhys in OF. Ugh. Machado will have options in contract, likely after 2 years, so he will only be controlled long term if he stinks. Those can be handcuff contracts.

      Phillies can likely live with the negative, but may need to re-negotiate just a couple years in. Will be interesting what happens with Franco, Kingery, Crawford.

      Doubt other teams want to give up anything for Cesar, Santana, or Franco.

      Hard to predict future for Alfaro, Kingery, Crawford, Williams, Velazquez and Pivetta. I think Phils keep them all and see who sticks but could be tough if they are in bench/bullpen roles.

      1. Franco definitely has market value now – more than you might think (more than, say, Freddy Galvis had last winter – perhaps quite a bit more). He has turned his season and career around and there’s no deny the talent that is there.

    4. I love Kingery but moving him to LF is a bad idea. He’s a terrible hitter for the time being a critical defensive position – at a low leverage position it seems entirely untenable.

    5. Tac,

      Interesting scenario. I’m not sure about the need to trade for a starting pitcher, but if we can get a Halliday or Lee quality starter then, yes.

      I’d keep Hoskins in LF figuring that Quinn can make up for some of his shortcomings, and I’d trade Hernandez and put Kingery on 2B. Bour would be my 1B, or Santana if he isn’t traded. Definitely like the idea of resigning Ramos giving us a year or two to promote/groom a successor.

      BTW, not to ignite more Hernandez debates, but I think Kingery is a future all-star at 2B, so let’s put him there already and quit jerking him around.

  45. KuKo – not disagreeing with you – but the Phils have to produce just one LA player that is not a pitcher to compete with Soto/Acuna players. They are producing the young pitchers, Seranthony, but not the position players. I think it is because Sal focuses on pitchers – not position players. I also now— think that other LA pitchers are attracted to the Phillies as they see others performing well under their tutelage.

    1. agree. Sal’s focus is on pitching, C and INF. I remember when a coach told me that most young aspiring baseball kids all started as shortstops and they start figure out the best position while their progress. i mentioned this in the Acuna/Soto that while the Phillies fans are clamoring for a Acuna/Soto phenom, other teams are basically saying how come the Phillies found gems in Seranthony, Ramos, Sixto, Medina for cheap money.

      Jhailyn is the 1st major non-arm/C/INF LA prospect that Sal A. sign for big $$ since Jhailyn main attribute is raw power which is common for OF/1B type of prospect.

  46. Can this year be described in any other way than a complete and utter disaster for JPC?? Sitting back and actually looking at his numbers, in the abbreviated version we’re given for 18 – he’s regressed pretty much across the board.

    1. It’s easy to think a guy has regressed when he’s been injured on and off all year – let’s see how he does over a fully healthy season. He still has a lot of ability.

  47. How many people predicted Nick Williams, on 16 August, would have a better slash line than Odubel Herrera? Raise your hands. Thought so. I didn’t and I’ve been a believer for a while.

    1. Williams has worked a ton on his game at the plate. We now need to see if he can do this for another year and if he can improve in the field but he’s way better now than I thought he’d be by the end of this year. Way better.

    1. matt13….Ranger was never going to be a lights out lefty,
      ….a bottom-of the rotation pitcher basically with plus control and when in the minors plus command.
      His swing and miss effect was better in A ball and declined as he climbed the ladder as he saw better hitters.
      He really need to hit his spots to be effective….and he does have that plus change-up, which should help him.

      1. That’s all great except for when you’re in a divisional race and every game matters and this one has become a give away from the beginning. Shame too because the balls are flying out for the Phillies.

        1. Assuming this game is over….will be hard winning 4 of the next 4.
          Have to beat both deGrom and Thor.

  48. He cannot possibly be the best choice for a SP from LHV. 15-4 the last I saw, with more errors than I can count and Mets hitters pounding the ball when they are not reaching on an error. Really one of the worst games I have seen in a very long time by the Phils. Meanwhile, we have 4 Solo HRs.

  49. I hate this “throwing out players to be embarrassed because the game is a joke routine:. Quinn was hung out to dry, now Kingery. I get saving the BP, but this performance is brutally awful. A contending team playing like this, at home, is a disgrace.

    1. Not to mention the fact that some hard working stiff paid good hard earned dollars to watch this joke of a game. Possibly they could be sued for impersonating a major league team.

    2. maybe Kapler was trying to take the attention away from the 5th inning, which was as bad as any in Phillies history.
      Maybe MLB needs to make double-headers 7 innings like in the minors or institute a 10 run rule. Three innings of position players pitching, especially when you have a 9 man bullpen, is a disgrace. Wonder how Kapler would have felt if Kingery had taken a line drive to the face off one of those ephus pitches.

    1. Why is it a disgrace? To me, that makes no sense. Kapler isn’t there to make you feel good about a big loss or amuse you – he’s there to set his team up to win as many games as possible. Why on earth should he use up a relief pitcher on a game that the team would lose 999 times out of 1,000? That makes no sense. Baseball orthodoxy can be flat out dumb – this is an example of that. Kapler was absolutely, positively, 100 percent correct. He was saving his resources for games he could win, not wasting valuable resources on a game he was certain to lose. Get with the program folks. There are reasons this team doesn’t seem all that good and yet is 1 1/2 games out of first and would qualify for the wild card – and one of those reasons is the willingness of the manager to throw out old baseball ideas that are counterproductive and illogical. This is a good example of that. If this insults you, hell, don’t go to the games or watch. What can I say? For me, I’d much, much prefer a course that results in the Phillies winning more games and this seems like the approach that would do this.

      1. Yeah Kapler’s between games presser was fantastic. I don’t care for him but I gained mad respect for the way he handled those beat writers questions. He was very respectful to them and his answers all made sense meaning you couldn’t argue the other way but his direction on how to handle the game at that point made sense.

        And as he said he job shifted to the second game at that point and everything he did from the 5th on forward was to win the 2nd game. And they did.

  50. I’m sure it’s been brought up around here but really impressive turnaround for Clearwater as a team. At the end of May they were 21-29 and since June 1st have gone 46-25.

  51. At the end of the day, we gained ground on Atlanta. Go figure. 30 runs allowed today. Ramos is paying dividends immediately and Hoskins is heating up again.

    1. game plan was to wear out the Mets players by making them run the bases so much in the 1st game…… That Kapler is a genius 🙂

      1. Concerning the second or third ‘laugher’ this season…letting position players pitch in laughers or in some case 15+ extra inning games……Gabe’s genius ought to draw up a schematic in March to have all position players pitch some in spring training on the back fields if necessary vs the group A thru D minor leaguers.
        Let them get ready when the days comes.

  52. Since these games are inevitable thru a season….or the 15+ extra inning game….and since roster are going to be set at 25 for awhile…..have position players on a rotational basis, pitch some in spring training on the backfields to Group A thru D minor leaguers….might as well get them ready for the regular season when in case their number could be called.

  53. Those thinking Manny is a lock to come here better come up with plan b. I said it before I thought the little nephew gave it away on live TV at the All-Star break.

    Also thought Gabe’s in between games interview with the beat writers was fantastic. I still don’t like the guy and I probably never will but I’ll give him this he stays cool under fire and was very respectful throughout the interview.

    At one point he says ‘c’mon Matt you know that’ I’m thinking it was Matt Gelb and the comment was reference that they have players health in mind all the time. I didn’t hear the exact question but the line of questioning at the time was why pitch Roman Quinn with his injury history.

  54. I would have pitched Leiter longer. To me, his role is to pitch multiple innings in that kind of game. We won the 2D game, Rhys with a huge HR and Ramos has been a terrific Matt Klentak move. I give credit where credit is due. We need back to back Ace performances from Nola and Jake. I want to forget that 1st game!

  55. I thought I posted earlier it must have gone into a black hole…

    I love this team even with all its warts and even with a manager I don’t care for.

    1. That can’t be true, we’ve been promised by so many posters on this site that he WILL be a Philly – they would bet their moms’ lives on it. How could they POSSIBLY be wrong when they’ve guaranteed this for two years?

        1. catch … You’re on record now.
          OMG ! Some 30 YO sports blogger (no one has ever heard of before) who writes for Larry Brown Sports (oh, yeah … that’s where I go for all my sports news) is reporting Manny Machado would give up SS if he signs with the Yankees. I’m not a sports blogger, and I’ve never been lucky enough to get a paycheck from Larry Brown Sports (LOL) … but … I’ve been posting on this site all year that Machado will happily play 3B for the Phillies when John Middleton signs him for mad money.
          For every one story you (or anybody else) posts saying MM is signing with the Yankees, I can show you three where actual baseball people and more respected MLB reporters believe Machado will be a Phillie in 2019.
          I posted maybe a hundred times this summer that there was no way MM would ever pass up free agency to sign a LTX/sign and trade deal. Now … the most important thing you need to know is this: Manny Machado is going to sign with the team who is willing to pay him the most money. I know the Yankees have the deepest pockets in MLB (and they’re going to use their financial might to buy arms), but there is no major market team that needs Machado more than the Phillies both on and off the field. Middleton is not going to be outbid.

          1. That article linked to a Jon Heyman article saying Machado would prefer to play in NY and that he’d be willing to move to 3B. Heyman is definitely a credible source. Heyman also said he’d be open to playing in Philly.

            1. @Otero – Machado’s preference to play for the Yankees is already an open secret. Machado is a Yankee fan so like most MLB players it’s not a surprised that a MLB player prefers to play for the team that he root for.

              the issue is not Machado’s preference but are the Yankees willing to outbid somebody to grant Machado’s wish. If Middleton offered $400M/10 year and NYY offered a Stanton like contract, do you think that Machado will still prefer the Yankees?

            2. I only mentioned that because Hinkie was questioning the source.

              I have absolutely no idea what Machado would do in that scenario, but I really doubt the Phillies offer that deal. That’s $75M over the previous record. I’m not sure they would go over $300M.

            3. And speaking of Heyman, he also reported that a rival GM thinks that Phillies can land Harper too!!

              Regarding Middleton’s opening his wallet, I do believe he will. I saw his body language when he watched the Eagles won the Superbowl. I can sense that Middleton wants to win. Middleton will not be denied to land either Machado or Harper or possible both.

          2. Stop being silly. The Phillies are in play on him for sure – but so are other teams. They might get him and they might not. And we don’t know either way. Give me a break.

            1. Did none of you see the sarcasm in my post? C’mon. This is so silly. YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING FOR SURE ON MANNY MACHADO.

      1. 🙂

        I don’t know Catch. The only way it doesn’t happen is if Cashman doesn’t want it to happen. They have their hands full from a Salary perspective and at the same time uncertainty about Giancarlo’s deal if he opts out.

        I think the Phillies are a solid #2 choice for him but I also wouldn’t sleep on Miami and Jeter wanting to make a splash and bring the home town boy home.

        1. DMAR … you know I love you, man. But … c’mon. Derek Jeter is so cheap he had to get rid of the Marlins’ team ambassadors (Jeff Conine, Andre Dawson & Tony Perez) because they wouldn’t take a 50% pay cut from their $100,000 per year salary. The chance they have of signing MM is 0%.

          1. LOL Hinkie and I love you but a couple of things you owe Catch a “my bad” he didn’t post that article I did. And as Otero quickly said it was linked to Heyman.

            Next what if Jeter’s moves to dump salary were all along to target Manny? Not sure you can judge his cheapness based on a couple of ambassadors. Jeter knows talent is where you spend money. Fans aren’t showing up to see Conine in his current state

            Yeah its far out but who knows

    2. @DMAR – yeah, I don’t doubt that. But it will still take 2 to tango. Unlike in the NBA where superstars are willing to accept significantly below market FA contract to sign with a particular team, (I’m not sure) but MLBPA has some guidelines about a FA turning down a bigger contract to sign a lower contract.

      We know that NYY have deep pockets, but they also have a lot of holes to fill. SPs will be their priority – at least 3 of them – since NYY only have Tanaka under contract and Severino as the other reliable rotation arm. Then the BP too, other than Chapman (under contract) and Bettances (final ARB), NYY need to reconstruct the BP too. 3 rotation arms plus 3 pen arms is probably $80-100M AAV. NYY knows that they need stud pitching to match up with BOS.

      Machado is ok playing in Baltimore so he should be ok playing in Philly too. As long as Middleton flex his financial muscles to the tune of >$350M, i can see the mighty NYY empire to balk on signing Machado.

  56. Pedro Florimon will be coming of the 60-DL so somebody will be DFAd. The Phils have 10 INF and 22 arms so it’s either Leiter or Walding will go. Whoever it is, they don’t probably expect to survive the roster purge by the end of the season.

    1. Leiter should go. He should have gone instead of Thompson. Not that Thompson is great or anything but I would have rather taken my chances with him than Leiter.

  57. DMAR, I don’t think Jeter is anywhere close to making a move like MM. They are years away from that kind of deal, and why would MM want to play there? He is tired of losing. I understand the Yankees, but I don’t see them playing him at SS when DiDi is so good. I don’t think we really have a Plan B. It used to be Donaldson, but he is still injured.

    1. He’s letting it be known if the Yankees want him he will play where ever they want him however Andujar is fine young player so its hard to imagine who on the Yankees would be the odd man out if they did sign MM.

      1B is looking like a problem for them. I saw a lot of Greg Bird in Trenton and didn’t really like what I saw so maybe that is an option.

      Yeah the Jeter idea is a bit outlandish but Manny is from Miami and they do have a ton of payroll flexibility in 2019 and even more beyond.

  58. Jeter’s problem is not the ability to pay but the revenue stream of his team. MIA is a retirement place so I doubt there are loyal followers so even if Jeter put a big name in the stadium, there’s still no guarantee that the stadium will be filled up and viewership (TV revenues) to increase.

    Cash flow is the blood flow of any business, that’s why Jeter traded his talents so he can unload the contracts to lower his operating costs. And also, if Jeters incurred debts when he acquired the Marlins, he will be tied up with debt covenants too (normally measured in cash flow and net income) so more pressure for Jeter to manage his team’s costs.

  59. Question. Does Ranger Suarez’ drop on anybody’s Prospect lists after his first two big league starts?

    1. Ranger’s prospect status will go down organically because some of the prospects will make a jump in the prospect standings. In PP’s preason rankings, I believe that Ranger is ranked at #16 so he will not go down that much. The following prospects might overtake and push Ranger down in the standings:

      1) Luis Garcia – might jump to Top 5-7
      2) Howard – Top 15
      3) Moniak – Top 15-20
      4) Irvin – Top 12-15

      In some rankings delos is below Ranger in pre-season and it’s almost certain that delos Santos is ranked higher than Ranger as of now. Morales is also ranked lower than Ranger in PP pre-season. Despite of the control issues, Morales has huge upside and he might jump over Ranger in some rankings.

    2. “Does Ranger Suarez’ drop on anybody’s Prospect lists “…the Lone Ranger Slides Again

  60. Went to the first Phillies game yesterday well . I did see alot of hard hit balls , errors etc. The second game was much better.
    1. Cehe looks tired ,alot of pop ups.
    2. Wilson Ramos if he isn’t starting some wrong.
    3. Using Quinn as a pitcher not the best idea . He’s injury prone to say the least.
    4. Hoskins bat has to make up for his does
    5. The Phillies have the veterans now to make a push for first .

  61. Not sure what the future holds for Odubel in a Phillies uniform but glad to see Quinn get some action again in CF tonight. He just adds an energy (the good kind) that is game changing, even if he only goes 1-for-4. Let’s hope Doobie and Santana have a fire lit under them with Quinn and Bour now in the picture.

  62. Quinn starting over Herrera for the 2nd straight game. I’ve been expecting this trend to happen. Kapler LOVES Quinn and Herrera’s body language is beyond bad

  63. On the constant MM conversation above – I would suggest that Phillies will go after both Harper and MM. Maybe not with the intention of signing both – but at least getting one or the other of them. Harper is the model of what the offense is trying to do – walk, hit HR, and take long at bats. With his leading the league in walks – he is a perfect fit. The good news is the Phils could have alot of base runners, but the games could take 4 hours to play. Also, in a pinch he is the CF / RF so he is position flexible, and replaces Herrera. Middleton wants a star, a marquee player and like Harper or not, he fits the bill.

    MM is preferred by most over Harper, I believe. Due to his position and consummate skill at 3B, plus the great offense, he also represents a big upgrade over the 2 players who might man either field position on the left side. That was before Franco improved recently – but that doesn’t mean he is any sort of an impediment. I agree – in the end – he will go where the $$$ is but also go to a team that has a reasonable chance to win. He’s been through the losing and will choose a winning franchise – provided that the $$ are also there – if nothing else, it will be the tie breaker. Let’s also not forget, 350MM in NY City and California is not as much $$ as the same amount in PA.- taxes etc.

    Its still a jump ball on either player…..

  64. Watching a Mets broadcast of the 3rd game of the Phils-Mets series. as the Mets just score their first run off Nola. The Mets broadcasters questioned the defensive alignment (shift) the Phillies employed against McNeil and Jackson, as both hitters have shown propensity to hit the ball to the opposite field. Jackson’s hit to the vacant 2B position led directly to a Mets’ run.

    Just found it interesting to get the opposing perspective about the Phillies’ shift. The Mets’ broadcasters questioned the Phillies scouting reports on the two players in question.

  65. obviously Nola in the Cy Young hunt with Scherzer/Degrom, but is there one player more responsible for their team being in NL playoff contention than Aaron Nola?

    with no contending hitter having an incredible year (freeman, arenado, baez,yelich, story, goldschmid all having very good seasons), it isnt ludicrous to think about.

    one stat they mentioned on radio last night- Phils leading league in errors-but Nola has not given up an unearned run all season. Arrietta has given up 17, Leiter 7 in one inning the other day.

    1. If Phillies make the playoffs, I expect Nola to come in third for CY, but perhaps rank higher in that degrom and scherzer in the mvp vote.

  66. Regarding the Machado speculation, I certainly think the Phillies will pursue him but not as certain as some on the board who believe he’ll be wearing red pinstripes. While Manny may need to be pur$e-uaded away from the NYY, Jon Heyman cites one GM that predicts Bryce Harper will be a Phillie in 2019. I tend to agree with the narrative mainly because Harper fits their plate approach profile. Tons of walks. CF option as well.

    1. Give me either one of Manny or Bryce.
      Now wouldn’t that be something else….signing RFer Harper from the Nats for 2019 and beyond, whereas 8 years earlier Nats signing RFer Werth off the Phillies.

      1. I think, ultimately, Harper and Machado will command similar contracts, but I don’t think they have similar value. But I’d give Harper a really big one year contract with a player option for a second year – and there’s a good chance he will be looking for a pillow contract – in fact, I think that’s the most likely outcome because he won’t get what he wants in the long term market. I’d pay him $30-35 m for one year. Why not?

  67. Not really interested in Harper, MM is far and away #1. Won’t argue at all about his talent, but I have no interest in rooting for him.

      1. Cashman wanted Velásquez back in 2015…I am sure his interest has not waned much.
        Personally I would want Gleyber Torres in exchange for Velásquez and put him at shortstop….he did play a few hundred games there while in the minors.
        Sign Harper, if Manny goes to the Yanks, and also have Torres at short.

        1. Cashman doesn’t want to give up Torres for deGrom so I doubt he will give up Torres for Vinny. Corbin will be their top target and possibly will resign/sign Happ, Lynn, Gio Gonzalez and Morton.

        2. Huh…I think you may have got that backwards according to some news outlets from NY.
          “For what’s it worth, it appears the Mets have no plans to trade their ace. Even if they do entertain offers, it doesn’t sound particularly promising that the Yankees would have enough to acquire him. Brian Cashman would have to pay top dollar for his talent level, plus a tax for the team being the Yankees.
          · Jul 19, 2018
          Hearing more of the same re: Mets at the trade deadline. Teams have called on Jacob deGrom & Noah Syndergaard, but Mets most interested in elite prospects (close to the majors) and/or MLB players.

          If the Yankees want deGrom, their offer can start with Gleyber Torres. Anything less, and the Mets should laugh and hang up. The deal would also have to include two or three other pieces, with Sheffield, Miguel Andujar, and Clint Frazier on the table. For Syndergaard, the price may be a bit less, but still astronomical.

          ….Mets wanted more than Torres.

  68. Could someone please tell me what’s so remarkable about Luis Garcia (the reliever who seems to pitch well only when the game is undecided)?? I’ve been waiting to see him sustain any success and I’m still waiting. I knew this game would be tough to win with deGrom pitching but geez, a high leverage reliever would have been a better choice.

    1. Garcia wasn’t good today, but he’s generally been pretty decent of late.

      Herrera is the guy I find maddening. Another bonehead play today against the Mets, getting thrown out 1B after making the turn for 2B. And his CF defense is often an adventure.

      1. Herrera has some crazy talent, but he is really starting to remind me of Bobby Abreu hitting wise. Such prolonged hot and cold streaks but at the end of the year the numbers look good. He just kills you in the slump part, to me… he is trade bait, for that reason, and for the reasons you saw again today. He can’t be trusted in a playoff series. He could easily cost you a game imo, sure he might hit, but he would have a negative war in a series. My two cents. Let the tomatoes fly!

        1. Maybe if he was hitting I would feel differently, but right now the negatives outweigh the positives for Herrera. The bonehead base running, the lack of hustle at times, the attitude, and the defense. The defense just continues to be an adventure. Today he misjudged a ball in the 1st inning (ended up making the catch), and I have no idea what he was thinking today when he nearly ran over Hernandez on a shallow pop fly; a ball that Hernandez clearly had all the way. Damn near cost the Phillies two runs in what was a one-run game.

    2. Well, the 3.51 ERA since 2015 is pretty solid. And it’s 3.08 since the start of last year. Not sure how much more sustained we can expect his success to be. If he were any better he’d be an 8th/9th inning guy.

      1. Well, at 4.11 for this season, he’s been at best pedestrian. Couldn’t finish business with 2 outs in the 8th tonight. I guess it’s just me.

    1. not the best time to do it. just sign kikuchi and shoot for Chris Sale and Gerrit Cole next year.

  69. Do analytics still say to swing away against degrom or is the old school small ball game a viable option? Seems to me small ball used to work better, but what do I know, I’m a middle aged man getting fatter by the game 🙂

    1. Justin Bout should have started at 1B instead of Carlos Santana based on his career record against Degrom. It’s not like Santana is a defensive whiz.

  70. We changed up our approach Thor, and had early success. Applaud Kap fo that. But some of us have thought they should have done that a few other times this year. I think when they are in one of those “can’t hit at all” slumps, swinging early would help. Not a reaction to DeGrom. I only expected 1 run against him.

    1. Matt, someone should tell the Phillies Ground keeping crew to take their time as if the rain delay was greater than 45 minutes the Mets would have pulled Degrom.

  71. That would have been the best plan. We need the offense vs Vargas tonight and one of Pivetta’s good outings.

  72. Marlins clobber Nats….Urena pitches a gem….does not hit anyone.
    But just an assumption, he must have appealed and was allowed to pitch today, since he was suspended for six games.

    1. Your assumption is correct, Romus, according to the news. What do I know but it looked to me like the pitch by Urena got away inside and hit above the elbow (definitely not near the head). Marlins up 1-0 at the time. Urena may have a good case for his appeal

  73. Seriously?! Vargas stinks, ERA about 10 and we meed this win. So Pivetta throws crap and we can’t hit!!

    1. Not feeling Pivetta or Velasquez down the stretch. Can’t trust Eflin either at this point. Hamels has been an ace for the Cubs. Woulda coulda shoulda.

      1. How confident that Hamels would have been better than Velasquez and Pivetta? Both have been inconsistent but great at times.

        Which one goes to bullpen? Any expectation that they would be consistently good in late innings?

        The other interesting decision is how much does FO trust Suarez and Santos for spot starts in pennant race.

        1. But Hamels (and Happ) have been excellent since deadline. Agree that would be much better than today’s Pivetta mess.

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