Open Discussion: Week of August 26, 2018

The Phillies are slowing losing ground in the division and the wild card races.  They still have 32 games left in the season, so there is time to grab a playoff berth.

Regardless of the outcome, the Phillies have already had a successful season.  They won their 70th game of the season Sunday.  They didn’t win their 70th game last season until their fourth win this season.  Haha.  Seriously, when I look at a comp for this season, I don’t look back at 2008.  Nor 2007.  I look back to 2001 thru 2006, when the Phillies were finishing second and third in the division following a string of seven seasons where they had losing records and finished more than 20 games back.  After 65 wins in 2000, they won 86 in 2001.  Prior to their 2007 division win, they won 85 games in 2006.

Just an observation.  This is the Phuture Phillies Open Discussion for baseball topics.

345 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of August 26, 2018

  1. I was watching the 8th inning on Saturday. Bases loaded. Still wondering if Quinn would have been able to catch the ball that bounced before the wall.

    Not trying to belittle Herrera but wondering if Quinn is the better CF option for next year if u can put aside health history.

    1. I was watching that too. Do you think he was positioned too shallow? Got a bad read? What do I know but it looked like as he ran back Herrera wasn’t lined up with the ball to reach up for a catch – in other words, if he reached straight up he would have been at least a few feet to the left.

      1. It seemed like he was 4-5 ft from ball when it landed. It was a long run and I wonder at length of run would Quinn’s sped made up the 2-3 strides.

        1. I guess the image I was trying to visualize is if he were running with his arm in the air how close would it have come to the ball as it passed – I thought if he were lined up, it might have been pretty close!

  2. Odubel sure has become the hot button issue on this team. He has star power at times and advanced metrics favor him, but when he is cold he is team-killing cold. I liken it to Robert Covington of the Sixers; same type of thing. And if you say a bad word about him on social media, the Phillies twitter lynch mobs come at you and accuse you have having non-baseball motives. Its pretty crazy.

    If you could guarantee me that Quinn would be healthy next year, I think he could be a better player than Odubel. However, nobody can make that guarantee and if anything, he is at the point where you have to expect an injury at some point. He has been a blast though and it kind of makes you think where this kid would be in his career if he could just stay healthy.

    If I am Klentak, I am at least seeing if there is a team that would give up real value for Odubel; despite having a bad year, he is a proven big league starter on a team friendly contract. I think it should at least be explored. Hes had a pretty overall solid time in Philly, but to me, he just comes off as the type of player who should be making All-Star teams on last place teams. He’ll usually end up with decent statistics, but game by game, he kills you way too frequently.

    Of course, if it weren’t for him we probably don’t win that Nola/Scherzer game, so theres that.

    1. Based on his talents, below the shoulders, youth, and contract he would make an extremely attractive headliner in a package deal.
      But I would expect MLB arrived or MLB ready LHP starting material in return.
      Guys like Paxson, Snell or As or Padres two lefites…..Luzardo/Puk or Morejon/Allen. Of course, IMO, Snell would probably also have to include Sixto or Adonis in that package back to the Rays

      1. I honestly don’t think he value is as high as we expect. Hasn’t hit in 2 months. What is another team supposed to do with that type of player. To me he is Dennis Rodman when he couldn’t rebound anymore. Its hard to keep those types around unless they are major producers.

  3. looks like Nola/Scherzer tuesday and stub hub showing good tix well below face.

    had this thought, then heard O’dowd on MLB network mention it last night- Blue Jays trying to get Donaldson on rehab in next couple days to trade him by friday- and Atlanta looks like a good fit.

    1. There is one move that Klentak should make by Friday – trade for Alex Cobb. He’s apparently rediscovered his splitter/change up and it’s gotten him a 2.16 ERA since the all star break. A nice chunk of change over next two years (approximately $43M if I recall) so the return should not be exorbitant. This is assuming the Phillies are going for the division. Standing pat with Pivetta and his slightly below 5.00 ERA doesn’t build my faith.

      1. 8mark..from the believe it or not category….on the leaderboard….Fangraphs has Pivetta at number 26……only two Phillies pitchers among top 30…Nola and Pivetta.
        Arrieta is #40..but my calculations ViVe should be 32 or 33, and Eflin at 43, but both are omitted for some reason.

        1. I respect Fangraphs but I’m not sure what parameters they are using. We’ve been running on fumes with Nola and “cross your fingers” at this point.

          It is encouraging however to see Hector and his splitter back together.

      2. And especially if Atlanta does acquire JD, Klentak should be charged with gross negligence if he did nothing. Despite this team’s shortcomings, they ARE in a pennant race. The whole NL, let alone the division, is weak. Nothing should be conceded.

      3. didnt Gio clear waivers as a rental? though i get he’s had 3 awful starts to go with 3 good ones in last 6.
        not sure id want to give up much for Cobb- yes he’s pitching better but he’s still not striking out anybody. I imagine Klentak would be hesitant after passing on Hamels and Happ and saying he liked his starting pitching, to turn around a pick up a guy whose overall numbers are 4-15 with a 5 era, despite the recent run of success, and give up prospects and take on future salary to do it.

      4. 8mark – Rather than Cobb, I’d rather see them activate Eickhoff by Friday. He pitched well in his final rehab start, and could replace Pivetta in the rotation.

    1. With some notes at what changed

      1. Is this an indication that the organization’s development department is beginning to learn not to mess with what works for certain young players? Haseley is another example. Maybe the talent evaluation hasn’t been the problem? Perhaps the organization just needs more horse whispering and less focus on shoving launch angles and exit velos down prospects’ throats.

          1. To my understanding, V1, they tried from early on to adjust Mickey’s swing (perhaps to generate more power?) and from what I recall, the same with Haseley. Basically, aren’t they allowing them to return to their original plate approach? Please enlighten me….

            1. 8 Mark… being his dad I can definitely tell you they did try to change his swing and turn him into a pull side power hitter more than he had been in the past. When he is going well, he’s driving the ball to left-center and then he’ll Hammer one to right or right center. I’d say 60%+ of his hits of late have been on the left side of the field which is his sweet spot. Certain brass had reached out to me at one point early this year and said he wish mick would just do what he did when they drafted him and have everyone stop messing with him.. Obviously certain people have jobs and they don’t like to step on toes but this came from one of the highest of the highest. Mickey took it to heart and I think it has shown. This was back when I was in Clearwater mid-may. You can see from that point on things started to change.

            2. Great to hear, Matt! Thanks for responding. Hardly any of us here know what’s going on between ABs and games. But wow, to hear from you that a top exec seemingly intervened is very encouraging to say the least. From listening to your son in radio interviews, I was impressed with his maturity beyond his age. It should carry him far. Again, thanks for your input.

            3. That’s fantastic insight Matt M. It’s funny we talk above about a guy named Josh Donaldson who had the same thing happen to him with the A’s. Eventually he made the decision on his own to go back to what made him successful, what he was most comfortable with and his career took off.

              I imagine someone as young as Mickey just wanted to be coachable. Hopefully as you said there is someone from afar advocating for these youngsters.

              he should have been able to say at some point you “you know what coach I am more comfortable when I do X Y and Z” without any fear of retribution or being labeled a hard head.

            4. That’s very interesting and actually troubling. If the bosses want Mickey to do something then they should communicate that to the coaches who work with him every day. When it comes to instruction, the organization shouldn’t be speaking with multiple voices. Very weird and not good.

            5. It’s troubling if someone in the Phillies brass went directly to MM (and/or his dad) and bypassed the coaches; that would be bad. However, I couldn’t tell for sure from the post in question whether the coaches had in fact been bypassed. Seems very possible that we don’t have enough info to draw any definite conclusions here.

              Also, Jim Peyton recently indicated that the Phillies had changed Randolph’s approach and swing to become more pull-happy, presumably to generate more power, and then recently allowed him to scrap the changes and return to what made him successful as a prep hitter.

            6. So we now know that the Org tried to turn both Moniak and Corney into pull hitters, away from their natural “all fields” approach. These are two of our top talents and investments and it has limited both of their developments. The second the pull-only approach was removed they’ve both gone back to what we know they are capable of. Who are these folks that have attempted to damage these guys and why should we trust them with the next set of talents?

          2. “I have no idea how you drew that conclusion from the above tweet, but I don’t see that connection at all.”…in all honesty whenever you hear/see evaluators claim:
            1. ‘swing is too long’
            2. ‘rolling over to the pull side”
            Plain and simple code for power and pull.

  4. I know everyone says we should be thankful for what this team has accomplished this year and how much credit Gabe deserves for getting them to overperform, but I’m not there yet. I feel that Gabe and the GM both really struggle to understand the human element of what the analytics are telling them to do. I think the bullpen management is a great example. While I understand the models say use your best pitcher in whatever inning the other team’s toughest hitters are batting, it creates a challenge for the individuals in the bullpen not knowing what inning they are being used. I think this bullpen would be more effective if, for example, Neshek knew he was the 9th inning guy, and Seranthony knew he pitched usually in the 8th, and Hunter and Avilan would pitch mostly the 7th, etc. I know it can’t always be that cut and dry, but general rules help for planning purposes. I think they underestimated the impact jumping all around the field would have on Kingery. I don’t think they thought through the Eflin situation very well. Putting Hoskins in LF is like something you do in a video game simulation. Had they just started the year with Alfaro, Hoskins, Hernandez, JPC, Franco, Williams, Herrera, and Altherr as the starting 8 around the diamond, they would have been a much better team defensively, and some of these guys may have performed better having that certainty. Kingery should have started at AAA if he didn’t have regular consistent at bats at the same position.

    1. Spot on the money.
      There were quite a few who were in favor of Kingery starting in LHV for a few months…and then when he had to show up at the park with 3 different gloves, not know where he would play that night, it became almost an absurdity.
      In spite of the sieve-live defense and the streaking and anemic offense, the team and the pitchers kept them together until the last month now.

      1. Me raising my hand Romus I was that guy. I’ve always thought the bigger problem for this org is McPhail and Klentak. I think they try and get too cute.

        1. DMAR…you were not alone….there were many posting about that same thing.
          Back in June Scott joked about all the gloves he had to have handy for each game, but really it did not help his development in his rookie year…..then when I heard the manager say the “Ben Zobrist thing’, with Kingery, I could have spit.
          Zobrist being a veteran of many years was well equipped to handle that duty.

      2. I think Kingery is on the verge of making serious strides as a hitter. His at bats are better. His swing is more crisp. And it’s unclear whether the fielding multiple positions affected him, although it’s certainly possible. It’s worth noting that he’s been one of the few above average fielders on the team.

    1. Is there no room in baseball for Tony Gwynn – Pete Rose type hitters. Randolph, Moniak, and Haseley could all be .300 hitters with about 12 accidental homers a year. Did the Phillies draft them as hitters, or did they draft them into becoming 20 home run guys?

  5. Are we nearing a convergence of finally having enough depth and talent coupled with the Angels stagnation of talent to where Moreno says to Eppler No Mas….

    1. Down to 2 years and 1 month left on that contract….. I think if it continues like this for another 365 days, they will have to trade him unless they think he will re-sign.

      1. Agree. If LAA are floundering early in ’20, there is no way they shouldn’t trade Trout for as much as they can get, which won’t be nearly as much as sooner. But that ain’t happening if only because LAA is not a good organization.

  6. I am wondering if/how they might align Nola’s pitching dates from here on….skip Pivetta this time and have Nola face Hamels on Sunday? Or are they lining him up so he definitely faces the Rox and the Braves twice in those final games? If he stays on course for every 5th game day, he would pitch the last day of the season vs Atlanta at home. Will be interesting because he may very well be the lynchpin to a playoff berth, or even still, the division.

    1. ….that would be 7 starts. We can’t lose more than 2 of those. Ironically, Matt Gelb just tweeted on the same topic. I’m sure Gabe and Kranny have sat down and mapped out the balance of the schedule by now.

  7. DMAR, I don’t think that happens until the Angels make, at least, another big run and putting together a Playoff team. They tried this off season but were derailed by injuries. They will hold on to Trout until the very last minute. I don’t see him ever being traded. How can you trade the best player in the game? No matter how many pieces they get back, the Angels lose that trade. I don’t think Moreno is that guy. He goes down fighting to sign him until the ink is dry on Trout’s new deal here.

  8. When Middleton and McPhail are sitting in a room talking about this season right now, do you think they are thinking…….?
    A) Thank God we hired Gabe Kapler, he is our manager for the next 10 years
    B) I think Gabe has done a nice job, and we’re hopeful he’ll continue to improve
    C) We’re really not sure about Gabe, some things have gone well, others not so well
    D) Although we’ve won games, Gabe has really struggled with some things and he’ll need to improve next year, or
    E) I think we need to hire a different manager before the free agency timeframe this offseason

    1. I’m going C. I think they have to know that organically they were a better team than last year with the additions of Arrieta, Santana and a full season of Hoskins and some improvements from a handful of younger players. Nola has been huge and Nola would have been Nola IMO regardless of who the manager was.

      From a standings POV I think their improvement might be equal parts the NL East is pretty darn bad (fewest wins) and no team in the NL has taken off and separated themselves.

      So I’ll take the lessons I have learned as should they from watching the Eagles last 2 hires to reserve judgement.

    2. I hope the talk between Middleton and McPhail is not about Gabe. Gabe is learning and will have his hits and misses and he is a Klentak hire (McPhail warn Klentak about the implication of his decision). Middleton be better telling McPhail that elite talent should be joining this team this offseason since this current team is not good enough to win. Elite talent can make like easier for skippers since they know how to get the job done. However, Middleton can tell McPhail to supervise both Klentak and Kapler and let them know that the Middleton Phillies don’t tolerate incompetence and mickey mouse tricks.

    3. If you’re asking what Middleton and MacPhail are thinking, I’m more inclined to pick B. Middleton loves Kapler and his progressive thinking. The results NEXT season will determine his longterm, much less this season. There are still too many blanks to get filled in on the roster. Who stays? Who goes? Kapler is locked in for 3 yrs. He’s not the issue IMO, despite a few head scratching moves.

    4. Somewhere between A and B. There’s no way this team would be 10 games over .500 with ‘Ole Pete at the helm and they know it.

      1. Yeah….you are probably correct….. the temple is a block away from the Ben Franklin Parkway. Nats came in from NY last evening and could be staying at the nearby hotel.

  9. I am with B, I think Kapler has done a nice job, and I hope he improves. I think he has kept the team on an even keel. They rebound well from truly awful losses. Pulling Nola opening day cost a win, and I have some questions about the Defense and how much the Manager is at fault. But, overall, I say a “nice” job. A is out, E is out, D is too negative, and C can be argued as the correct answer, but I am going B.

    1. Matt – I agree with the B. Once you get beyond the x’s and o’s of baseball, the positivity that Gabe projects on this team is priceless.

      1. My take is that Gabe has improved significantly since that disastrous opening week, though Kaplan has his moments like not starting Bour against DeGrom thought he’s 10 for 21 against him.

        Agree with Wawa Mike about value of staying positive. This is a very young team and young teams can lose really awful games. Eventually, they mature, gain consistency and the talent blossoms into more wins.

        At first, I didn’t like Gabe’s rah-rah football captain rhetoric, but he seems more natural now that we’ve had a 130 games to get used to it.

        I vote B.

    1. I have absolutely no idea why they would even put a claim on him, let alone try to trade for him. The national media are all over it.

      1. i guess filling the Bour power bat role off the bench- if they expect Bour to miss several more weeks.
        and an upgrade in the pitching arms out of the position players.

    2. The “Roy Hinson Effect” – do whatever you can to acquire a player who absolutely kills you in head-to-head battles and let the other statistics be damned.

    1. matt13….Matt Klentak said this afternoon that they are quite pleased with their starters. In fact, so please that their high K= swinfg miss rate adequately ‘off-sets’ their porous defense. He said they cannot afford to have GB pitchers (pitch-to-contact 2Smr guys) with their defense Though thatis what Jake Arrieta does most of the time, but do not see him trying to shake things up with their starters right now…give it a few weeks.

  10. Gabe shaking up the lineup tonight:
    Quinn cf
    Hoskins lf
    Cesar 2b
    Ramos c
    Cabrera ss
    Santana 1b
    Franco 3b
    Williams rf
    Eflin p

  11. I am glad Quinn is back. Romus, I saw that. I think Klentak is wrong. We don’t get beat by groundballs, but by HRs. A good pitcher is a good pitcher, and Cole would have helped this team tremendously. The idea that all 3 of Eflin, VV, and Pivetta were going to do well down the stretch, in their first Playoff runs, was betting on the longest of long hots.

    1. How ironic and sad it will be if, after being our lifeline this far, the starting pitching winds up being our undoing in September.

    2. Agree…Hamels or even Happ may have helped immensely going down the stretch…both are doing well now.
      As gor GB and BABIP….the Phillies defense takes a bottom of the rung hit due primarily to four positions…overall catching in these first 130 plus games, LF and Rhys as at the bottom metrically in baseball, shortstop when Kingery made the switch over and was still a negative thru mid-July, he has improved however, and then finally RF, Nick W is still a negative.
      Doobie at -3.6 was surprise however.

    3. I kept advocating this and people kept blowing me off and saying I was crazy. I wasn’t. Cole Hamels could end up being the difference between a magical offseason and just watching the Eagles.

  12. More INTERNATIONAL BONUS POOL MONEY on the way! Minor league 1b Jack Zoellner has just been traded to Baltimore for some.

    1. Do not see more than $500K return…maybe even only $250K
      But that can get you a very talented 16-year old Latin player.

  13. New blogger, 4 years. Can anyone explain why Cole Irvin (24 yo) 14-3 LeHigh not moved or given chance at MLB? Enyo De Los Santos (22 yo)10-4 has been given an opportunity? $$

    1. Partly it was a 40 issue:
      The Padres trading Enyo De Los Santos to the Phillies for Freddy seem to be a real steal….but one underlying reason was that DLS had to be protected by the Padres, who did not want to it appeared, and so they get one year of Freddy……in turn Phillies had to protect DLS since he would probably been scooped up in the Rule 5 draft anyway.
      Irvin does not need 40 protection until 2019.

    2. Forgot…..it is easier to bring up and send down players on the 40 roster.
      Calling up Irvin would have dictated a current 40 player would have to be DFAed

  14. Is anybody in the Phillies organization paying serious attention to Joey Meneses? Will they add him to the 40 man roster and give him a look in September? With the problems at 1B why not?

  15. Way off topic… Dom Brown is playing in a Mexican League (good for him).

    His career WAR is -.1. I wonder if any other player ever made an All-Star game with a negative career WAR.

    1. Apparently $750K according to the latest report. And that for a guy that I thought the Phillies would probably waive in any case as he was not even standing out as a 23 year old in the Gulf Coast League! I guess that’s the difference between a good farm system and a poor one- one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

  16. Whether you agree with Klentak or not – – and I support him completely on this issue – – one of his main long-term objectives for the 2018 season has been and remains learning as much as possible about the young starting pitchers: Eickhoff, Pivetta, VV and Eflin. Unfortunately, Eickhoff’s prolonged injury-related absence has made it impossible to evaluate him thoroughly this year.

    Overall, P, V and E have performed much better than we reasonably could have expected coming into this year. As a result, I believe that they have earned the right to try to finish in September what they started in April.

    But in addition to the current season, Klentak’s focus also is on the team’s young starting pitchers for 2019 and beyond. This is why Klentak has not traded for another starter [Hamels, et al] and why he is very unlikely to do so for the remainder of the season. He simply is not going to deviate from his long-term goal in order achieve a possible short-term benefit from replacing one or more of the PVE trio, thereby perhaps winning a few more games in August and September. And yes, Klentak is committed to this long-term objective even if those wins arguably might result in making the playoffs rather than missing out on them entirely.

  17. So explain to me how that is a good thing. You go into the season with an expectation of average baseball, Maybe .500 is a reasonable goal. The season unfolds and the team has a chance to make the Playoffs. If I suggested that any of them be traded, then the argument makes sense. But, how does the acquisition of Hamels hurt the development of any of the SPs whose turns he takes? The team, the organization, and the Fan base are owed their best effort to push towards the Playoffs, short of sacrificing the future. Why isn’t Cabrera hurting the development of Kingery? Or Ramos, Alfaro? Those young SPs are no more important to the future of the team than the every day players. The GM needs to adjust. I gave him credit for adding the bats that he did. Ramos was a steal, and Bour was, except he is hurt. Hamels would have been an even bigger difference maker.

  18. An important part of any pitcher’s development – – and we are talking about pitching here, not position players – – is to see how he performs in high pressure situations. Pitching in September in the middle of a pennant race is as pressure-filled as it gets during the regular season. So if you trade for Hamels/Happ, et al you will deprive one or more of your young pitchers of the opportunity to perform under the pressure of a September pennant race. And that is directly contrary to the long-term goal – – whether you agree with it or not – – of learning as much as possible about those young pitchers and determining who is able to perform well under pennant race pressure.

    1. but when your slogan for the season is Be Bold, and you are in first place, you have to adjust. one of those 3 guys pitching out of the pen for 2 months (if everyone else stays healthy) is not going to stunt development significantly. with a month to go, all 3 are about at their career highs in innings- expecting them to all be successful through that next month seems like wishful thinking.

      1. The unknown was who would pitch better since 7/31 from the internal and external candidates. At the deadline Happ or Hamels were not much better than the Phillie Three.

        Inconsistency of Velasquez and Pivetta is hard to manage. Either of them could pitch a shutout or get banished to the pen.

        I agree that lefty vet could have helped, but would trade of Suarez been worth it, or just keep Suarez?

        In hindsight it may have been…

        1. PhxPhilly, My only response is this. There is a difference in pitching down the stretch. Not just the accumulation of innings, which most of these young guys haven’t reached before, but the pressure. Veterans like Hamels and Happ have experienced that. Theo Epstein, my choice as the best President/GM in the game, slightly over Cashman, said he believed that the adrenaline rush of Hamels pitching in a Playoff chase would help his game. Hamels had been working on things all year, after a start where his velocity was down. The cost to acquire him, as was the cost for Happ, was minimal. The Cubs scouts reported to Epstein, and the Yankees scouts to Cashman, that they thought those 2 were worth the shot. We were in the same position, with a staff of Major League scouts paid to make these evaluations. Our process netted neither. Meanwhile, we have seen all 3 of our guys struggle as we lose ground every day.That is my concern.

          1. Actually Matt I think you helped make PhxPhilly’s point that until these guys get the chance to pitch in a playoff race and face that pressure, they won’t know what it’s like and won’t have that experience moving forward.

            While Pivetta, Eflin, and VV have been inconsistent down the stretch they are not the reason the team is losing ground. They are losing ground because the offense is not producing, the bullpen has blown some games of late, and the defense is terrible. Add in a few questionable decisions by Kapler and you have a bad record over the last few weeks.

            1. 3up, You are correct, but when the Playoff race began, I think the development of the 3 young SPs should have taken a back seat to making the Playoffs, and the goal of giving them experience is secondary to that. But, you are also correct that the BP, terrible D, and lack of consistent, clutch Offense is more to blame.

    2. I am a big fan of developing players, but once the team had an opportunity to make the playoffs, you get the best players you can on the team without sacrificing the future and you let them play. And, by the way, one thing a young player has to learn is that he has to fight for playing time and justify his place on the roster. If Pivetta or Eflin or VV had take a back seat for two months while Cole Hamels provided the rotation with an effective, experienced left-handed starter – oh well, that’s the breaks. It also, by the way, would have given the Phillies a deeper bullpen. Yup, not acquiring Hamels was a pretty big mistake, although I did like many of their other moves. It wasn’t like they sat on their hands.

  19. I just noticed the post from Mickey Moniak’s dad earlier in this thread. Thank you for that story, Matt. I think the greatest part of this site is the occasional input from the parents of Phuture Phillies (I’m talking about you, too, Mr. Howard).
    BTW … if I had to guess … it must have been someone associated with scouting/drafting Mickey who spoke to you earlier this year. Either Johnny Almaraz (probably) or Charlie Manuel (possibly).

    1. Yes, it was very nice (and pretty surprising actually) that players’ parents and family check in on this site and comment. I, for one, will make sure that I keep that in mind as we critique players – we can get our points across about our doubts and still be polite and I, for one, will try hard to keep that in mind.

      But, in any event, for any parents/family members of players reading this site, please understand that we are all rooting for your guys – we want them all to succeed. If we doubt your player, it doesn’t mean we don’t want them to prove us wrong. Some of us (me included) certainly have had questions about MM’s future as a major leaguer because last year and the first half of this year, candidly, were not great for him statistically, but he obviously is a very mentally strong young man and has clearly worked hard to improve and whatever he has done appears to be working. Here’s to more success for him.

      1. I would bet that the majority of the parents read this sight and others. I am my sons #2 fan (mom’s #1!!) but I am also a big fan of baseball…just as all of you are. Please do not change any comments just because a parent might be reading…it’s all part of the ride.

      2. Let me second what Catch just said. We are never criticizing the kid. And we always want to be wrong. We are just trying to objectively analyze whether a certain player’s baseball skills are enough to be a major league impact player…which is a very, very high bar. And we all want every prospect to be great!

  20. IF the Phillies hope to be a playoff team in 2018 and beyond they need to significantly improve their defense. They are terrible defensively behind the plate, in LF, in RF, and at SS with Cabrera. They are sub-standard at 1b, CF, and 3b. 2b is probably the only position where they are average. For the remaining games in 2018 they need to move Hoskins to 1b, Odubel to LF, put Quinn in CF and let Kingery play SS.

    They brought Cabrera in to provide offense while sacrificing defense but he has not provided offense, OPSing .613 with the Phillies. Kingery’s OPS for the season in .612 and he is better on defensive and on the bases.

    They can’t fix C and RF in 2018 but need to address those positions before 2019.

    1. I don’t see the Phillies eating Santana’s entire contract. I think Santana starts next year with the team but might be traded if he does well. The Phillies almost certainly will need to absorb a significant portion of his salary (I would say at least 5-7.5 million per year, perhaps more). The idea of Hoskins in left is so/so, but only makes sense when you have a real offensive force at first. Santana has not, to me, been good enough at the plate to have this arrangement work properly.

      1. I think they can move Santana in the off-season without eating money. He will only have 2 years remaining at $17.5m per season which isn’t excessive.

        Santana has value as a guy who has power and gets on-base, but was always a bad fit for the Phillies who already have a 1b on the roster in Hoskins. How much better would this team be if they had spent that money on JD Martinez to play LF instead. They would still be below average defensively in LF but would be getting the offense to go with it.

        1. If they have to eat money, as a fan, that really doesn’t affect me since the team is nowhere close to the cap. I will also allow that Santana might come back and have a better season next year (I know, he’s not young, but it could happen). I get that the team didn’t want to tie its hands with a 5-year contract and I get that they are trying to be really careful, but at some point soon (like starting this offseason), they are going to have to make some serious evaluation decisions and commit real money in order to get premier players for longer term contracts. But I still think they will be cautious. Everyone thinks they will sign Machado and they might, but I think a pillow contract for Bryce Harper (one year or two years tops) is just as likely.

          I also now think the team will try to move Odubel in the offseason if he has a good month and improves his trade value. I have mixed feelings about that, but if nothing else, Odubel is a player who produces mixed feelings.

        2. The Santana signing didn’t make the most sense this offseason, but I can see it working out much better next year with a harper or machado added to the lineup. His high OBP, and a year adjusted to NL pitching, I’ll give him a partial mulligan. Get on base infront of Machado or harper is a different scenario than this year. Will see. I’m also very OK with trading him, getting Hoskins back to first is a prioriity to me.

      2. His signing has been nothing short of a disaster when you take into consideration there was already a glut of young OFs and then you had to move your obvious first-choice 1B to LF to make room. Hoskins’ defense has been so bad that he’s basically a 1 WAR player which is hard to fathom given how good he’s been at the plate.

        If the Phils can dump Santana and only pay 25% of his salary its a coup and they should run to the bank and make the payment immediately.

        1. It hasn’t been great but it also hasn’t been a “disaster.” Santana has produced above league average and of our outfield glut did not include three outfielders ready to be league average right now. I’d call it a mild disappointment, but, for this year at least, still better than not having him. Next year, however, may be different.

          1. His signing cost the Phillies a 2nd round pick, lots of slot and international money, McKenzie Mills as there wouldn’t have been a need for Bour if Santana was competent, along with moving Hoskins out of his natural position and watching the butchery in LF like last night. I think SWFL Frank and myself were the only one’s against signing Santana because of the effect it could have on Hoskins. Hoskins hit the hell out of the ball when called up last year and he gets rewarded by moving to a position he had only slight experience with in college. Santana’s signing was shortsighted and awful.

            1. That’s a good point and one I did not remember when I made my argument. Yes, with the loss of the pick, it’s closer to disaster-land than just not very good. My guess is that the brass did this mostly as a concession to John Middleton’s desire to speed up the process while not trying to tie up payroll for more than a few years. For the most part, the team has stayed the course and been disciplined. This was not a good move and, as with a number of other moves, it raises questions about the team’s MLB talent evaluation. Overall, it hasn’t been very good.

            2. NL – Santana will probably finish with 85 RBI’s, well over 100 walks, and a .350 OBP. Yes, his average stinks, but he hasn’t been a disaster. The problem is that his presence, is making Hoskins play LF. If the Phillies move Santana, don’t expect Hoskins to be an upgrade defensively.

            3. @Wawa Mike – his OBP is almost irrelevant b/c his BA and SLG are so awful. He’s 11 out of 13 qualifying 1B in the NL in slugging, ahead of such mashers Josh Bell and Eric Hosmer. For all the reasons already stated, this is a catastrophically bad contract that needs to be traded away asap.

          2. What are you talking about? 1) He’s been replacement level. 2) He’s pushed Hoskins to LF who’s 3.0 WAR is now .5 b/c of his horrific defense.

            They are currently 3.5 games out of 1st place and 2.5 out of the WC. If Hoskins played 1B this year with just average defense and they played a barely replacement level player in LF they’re A) in a playoff spot; and B) $60 million richer.

            This contract is the epitome of “Hey look we have money to spend, where can we blow it!?”. Nothing short of a disaster. They’ll be begging someone to take him in the off season while paying half his salary.

            1. Indians may take him back…..of course Phileis would have to eat plenty of 2019/2020 payments.
              Indians offer, from what I remember reading in the off-season was for $14/16M AAV range to Santana….which was only a few million more than his previous contract with them….Phillies blew them out of the water with their offer.
              Sometimes it pays to be frugal.
              Still if the Indians were serious about bringing him back, and not just a gesture for a good soldier, then maybe they will still trade for him……the Phillies will probably need to eat about 25/30% of that contract.

            2. Oops, I misspoke.
              ….Indians QO Santana, so it was one year at $17M…then he becomes a FA.
              Phillies gave him that two extra years and also more money.

            3. A lot has been said on this subject and there isn’t much more to add, but having Williams in left and Altherr in right would have made for a much better defensive team, even if Hoskins is not a gold glove at 1B.

              Assuming no trades or free agent signings (hope we get Machado), here’s the lineup I’d like to see next year:

              C, Ramos backed up by a studious Alfaro
              1B, Hoskins
              2B, Kingery
              SS, JP (but hoping Machado)
              3b Franco
              LF Williams
              CF, Quinn
              RF, Altherr

              Okay, this does assume a couple of trades, namely Hernandez and Odubel to clear the decks and, hopefully, get us an experience lefty on the mound.

            4. Frank,
              I have my suspicions Hoskins may not be going back to first base anytime soon…….until he is in his 30s.
              Saw the Phillies do that with Burrell and Bull

    2. “They can’t fix C and RF in 2018 but need to address those positions before 2019″….a long-shot, but a Harper signing would go a long ways in helping there for ’19 and beyond.

  21. One more thing – I think Roman Quinn is the fastest player running first to third I’ve ever seen, Billy Hamilton and Vince Coleman included. Quinn is an injury waiting to happen, but the talent is undeniable. Man is he fun to watch!

      1. Deion Sanders was probably this fast – he was a blur. Rickey was super fast and had more explosive (off the mark) speed than Roman, but I think running around all the bases – Roman is faster.

        1. Roman is fast, probably faster than Vince Coleman. But Coleman had the ability to steal bases at will. You walk Coleman, he’ll be standing at 3B after 5 pitches.

          1. Yup – at his peak, Vince was probably the fastest guy I ever saw in terms of base stealing. But in full stride from home to wherever, I’d put Quinn against anybody. When I saw the replay of him running between first and third last night I simply couldn’t believe what I was seeing. How can a human being move his legs that quickly – it’s unreal.

  22. Time to beg for help from without:

    Atlanta plays this week-
    Tampa (2 games tonight and Wed)
    Cubs (make up game Thu)

    Early September-
    Boston (3)
    St Louis (3)
    @Arizona (4)

    That’s 13 games vs .500+ teams.

  23. 8mark – The Phillies need to take care of their own business. I’m still waiting for a winning streak, but time is running out.

    1. This team always seems on the verge of putting it together, but it actually bodes well for next year. The Eagles went 7-9 before they won the Super Bowl. I don’t expect the Phillies to be in the WS next year, let alone win it, but I think there’s a good chance that they are a LOT better.

      1. What concerns me is that the consensus of opinion was that while the Braves have the better crop of top prospects, the Phillies were supposed to be further along toward contention. Now what….???

        1. Yeah, but it’s still early and the Phillies have a lot of prospect depth and monetary resources (a lot more than the Braves), so how this ends up playing out over, say, 3-5 years is not entirely clear. My guess is that we and the Braves will be neck and neck for more than a few years and the other teams in the division, especially the Mets (yuck, what a mess) and the Marlins especially will be bottom feeders. Washington is an unknown but they are getting older, players are about to get more expensive and, oh yeah, I hate them a lot.

  24. Would you if you were the Phillies and would you if you were the Angels make this deal for Mike Trout

    Herrera and Santana
    2 of Pivetta/Vasquez/Efflin
    1 of Sixto/Medina/DLS
    1 of Crawford/Kingery/Hernandez

    We can then go hard after Corbin, and get one of Manny or Harper…

    1. DMAR, I think that regardless of whether a deal makes sense to the reasonable person or even an impassionate GM, it comes down to the ownership. Arte Moreno seems to run the Angels like a Hollywood movie studio, looking for the big smash blockbuster and enamored with big ticket stars. While you and I might quibble over this player or that to offer a compelling package, short of Trout himself telling Moreno that he absolutely won’t re-sign, the latter will not budge until at least the last minute or no sooner than the trade deadline in 2020.

      1. You would think that a GM, or I should say owner, would try to avoid the same situation that Baltimore was placed in by Manny Machado last month.
        Selling for pennies on the dollar basically.
        Now there is Rizzo in Washington with Harper, facing that dilemma.
        Moreno will need to make his decision soon or else face the same outcome.
        You would think a businessman , seeing the bottom line, would try to alter the course of history.

    2. So if it’s Herrera, Santana, Pivetta, Eflin, Sixto, and Hernandez, NO

      If it’s Herrera, Santan, Velasquez, Eflin, DLS, and JPC, YES

        1. I think he dodged the questions that were intended to determine if he was the real Don Money. Based on information available to me that I will not divulge, I would venture to say that he is not Don Money. It’s more likely that Don Money would be on the Brewers equivalent of PP. He played there twice as long as he played in Philadelphia and was inducted onto their Walk of Fame. His last known position in baseball (2015) was as a special instructor of player development in the Milwaukee organization. Though 71 years old, he may still be working in this capacity.

    3. ….but okay, I’ll play along.
      Herrera, Santana, all 3 of VV, Pivetta and Eflin, Medina, and both Crawford and Cesar. I might have to throw Franco in as well. A deal like this would in effect have to restock LAA’s everyday lineup and reinforce the starting rotation. If they were smart, they would demand our top prospects and go light on established major leaguers, but again, they have among the worst organizations in baseball for a reason.

    4. The Mike Trout trade would cost so much it’s hardly worth discussing it. The package would be something like Sixto, Herrera, Haseley, Bohm, Kingery, Quinn, Velasquez and Dominguez. I’m not kidding – that approaches what the Angels would likely demand for the greatest player of the last 50 years not named Bonds who happens to be controlled for the next several years. Literally, it would have to be the biggest trade package in big league history (or damned close to that) and it would rip the guts out of this team moving forward. Not worth it.

    5. @DMAR – that’s a bargain deal for Trout especially Klentak can assemble a package of Pivetta + Eflin + DLS + Cesar for Mike Trout based on the parameters you set. That’s GM of the Year worthy for Klentak.

      I’ve been beating the Mike Trout to Philly for 2 years now. Unless Mike Trout demands to be traded only to the Phillies (which is very unlikely that Trout will do), the most reasonable package for Mike Trout is Sixto + Bohm + Jhailyn + JoJo plus a couple of major leaguers like Doobie and a SP not named Nola.

      Arte Moreno will definitely ask for Nola and Hoskins to be included but this will be a futile exercise Klentak since he need both Nola and Hoskins to team up with Mike Trout and form a solid core of a contending team.

      1. I think if you take the emotion out of it its a fairly solid deal for the Angels. They’ve had the best player in baseball for how many years now and have done nothing with him.

        Jo Adell is a star in the making but still a year or two away. Herrera as goofy as he he is a bonafide MLB CF today and Santana would be prime for a bounce back season.

        Moving Mike saves them $70 mil gross after Santana $ is factored in roughly $35 AAV.

        And Mike for as great as he is does show signs of wear and tear. Again outside of emotion I don’t think he commands as much as Catch says he commands when you factor in future considerations $$$$, Length and Injury History.

        1. I’m certain that Moreno can get a better deal than Pivetta + Eflin + DLS + Cesar for Mike Trout. ATL can offer a truckload of power arms or SD also have a long list of elite prospects. Even NYY will join the sweepstakes and offer Frazier + Florial + Sheffield + Sauer and a couple others.

          I think most teams will offer their top prospects to get Mike Trout. Catch’s proposed package is similar to what I just proposed with Catch’s proposal offers some more. Both of our trade proposal beats the Pivetta + Eflin + DLS + Cesar package in terms of potential and upside that’s why I think your proposal is a bargain deal.

    6. LOL it was fun while it lasted….

      But again I always thought there was no way Trout would get traded a year ago but a lot has changed for Mike personally and if he has said to ownership thanks but no thanks I want to hit free agency then it’s the smart thing for them (The Angels) to do.

      I get that Moreno may not do the smart thing and may head down the same path as Angelos and the Lerner’s.

      I predict it to be a very hot hot stove topic

  25. I assume if the Joey Bats deal is completed today, that Knapp will return to Lehigh until Saturday when rosters expand.

  26. A lot of posters expected the worst when they heard about Quinn’s hamstring issue. That triple last night did not look like he has any problems running.

  27. It sucks that this team has lost 7 of their last 9, and have fallen out of a playoff spot.
    However … for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
    Phillies now sitting at the 1-17 spot for the 2019 draft. That could make them viable for one of the fastest rising prep arms:

    Or even Clemson switch-hitting SS Logan Davidson. Davidson was part of Johnny Almaraz’s famous 2016 draft class (30th round), but didn’t sign. Since then, he’s been penciled in as a likely top 10 2019 pick. However, he struggled on the Cape this summer (second year in a row he’s done that), and it’s possible Almaraz gets a second shot at him.

    1. Just remembered … Carter Stewart (drafted by the Braves at 1-8 this year, but didn’t sign because of a wrist injury) is probably headed to a JUCO, and will also be available (maybe for the Phillies in the late teens) for next year’s draft.

  28. My off season priorities:

    1 Sign Manny and/or Bryce. We can do both fiscally if not likely for external reasons like the infernal Yankees, for instance.

    2 Trade Santana, Cesar, Doobie, and Franco for considerable returns. Hoskins would move immediately to 1b, Manny can be persuaded to play 3b (unless Franco stays), otherwise let JPC have one year to claim SS as his own and let Kingery play where he finally belongs.

    3 Sign or trade a TOR arm, preferably a LHP but not mandatory. Cole Irvin should also be given a shot in the spring. Kikuchi or Corbin should certainly be FA targets.

    4 Re-sign Ramos and allow Alfaro to continue his development.

    5 Sign the best available FA reliever to strengthen a volatile bullpen.

    1. 8mark – #1 The Yankees have a logjam in the IF, so they’ll go hard for Harper. Middleton will tell Machado to name his price.
      #2 I wouldn’t trade Franco. Can you imagine what he could be with a full season of playing like the last two months? I’d trade Cesar, and have Kingery and Crawford platoon until one of them wins the job.
      #3 Absolutely! On TOR arm, and if Irvin doesn’t make the team next spring, he should be the next man up. From what I’ve seen De Los Santos is a trade chip.
      #4 I’d split starting time equally between Alfaro and Ramos.
      #5 Duh? Either sign or trade for the best reliever available.

  29. Off Season Priority List:

    1) Sign Manny Machado

    2) Sign Bryce Harper to front loaded contract with opt out

    3) Trade volume for ToR starting pitcher (Velasquez, Eflin, C Hernandez, and Suarez)

    4) Resign Wilson Ramos

    5) Eat a small amount of Santana’s contract and trade him for a prospect or two.

    Lineup:
    1 Herrera / Quinn CF
    2 Machado SS
    3 Hoskins 1B
    4 Harper RF
    5 Ramos C
    6 Williams LF
    7 Franco 3B
    8 Kingery 2B
    9 Pitcher

    Rotation:
    1 Nola
    2 ToR via Trade
    3 Arrietta
    4 Pivetta
    5 DeLosSantos / Irvin / Romero / Eickhoff

    1. Our extra pieces alone are not getting us a TOR. It will take pieces that hurt to lose, like Sixto, Medina, etc.

      Our young controllable players like Eflin will be enticing, but they aren’t prize jewels. The one player on the roster that might realistically be a headliner in a deal for a TOR is Doobie. And even with him there will still need to be a prospect haul included (although maybe not one of our top 3).

      Good rule of thumb is to ask if you would trade Nola for what you want to trade to other teams. If no, it’s not good enough to get another team’s pitcher.

    1. No way!!! It will be a guy who is redundant and who we really don’t care about. Joey Bats was released not too long ago and is hitting about .200 – let’s be real here – the Mets are lucky to get anything for him. At most, it will be a guy like Anderson. Cole Irvin? Yikes!!!

      1. Anderson is still way too much.
        Most likely it will be cash (and not international money, Romus). I’m talking just enough cash to buy the Mets’ front office lunch on Thursady.

        1. Maybe so, but, then again, I don’t think too much of Anderson. He’s not much different from Jake Thompson as far as I’m concerned.

          1. I am willing to bet if Drew Anderson was put out in the int’l market for pool money he could bring back a cool million.

      2. Picking up Batista seems more desperation than anything. He doesn’t provide help for the team, which doesn’t need another .200 hitter that strikes out a lot.

    1. Leiter might be a smartchoice as in unlikely to be selected. If you were to pick a 2nd player (not, obviously Mark Leiter Jr) to dfa for a potential future pick up who would it be?

  30. Think we can get a bat flipping competition between Doobie and Joey Bats? Would be more exciting than many games have been lately.

  31. Congratulation to these Pigs.
    International League Awards:

    Gary Jones – Manager of the Year
    Joey Meneses – MVP, Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year…
    Cole Irvin – Pitcher of the Year
    Mitch Walding and Pedro Beato named League All-Stars

  32. Josh Donaldson is rehabbing in Dunedin tonight. If I’m Klentak, I claim him off waivers (assuming TOR puts him out there within the next day or so), not because we need or want him necessarily, but if only to block Atlanta from claiming him and subsequently dealing for him. Ideal fit for the Braves.

  33. Knowing that the Phils weren’t going for anyone big (other than Machado) during this season, wouldn’t it have made more sense to wait until August to make some moves. I like the Ramos trade, but rather than giving up Kilome for Cabrera, they probably could have had Murphy for nothing…..

    1. Doubt Rizzo would have traded Murphy to the Phillies….that probably would have sealed his fate as the Nats GM
      Trust me…..they still want the NL-East.

  34. Florimon and Eiekhoff are going to require roster moves when they are taken off the 60 day DL (I think there rehabs end on Sept 1st). I assume Walding will be DFAd. I guess the other move might be putting someone on the 10 day DL to the 60 day?

      1. No guys on the 60 day DL don’t count towards the 40 man roster. You can only bring up guys on the 40 man when rosters expand.

  35. Really disheartening! Terrible D, another blown save, a wasted effort by our genuine Ace. A really good game until we royally screwed it up.

  36. I have always said time and again that it’s just not easy being a closer. And now I’m going to say something that I thought I would never say this season, Hector needs to get another shot at being the closer.

  37. Stick a fork in them.
    They’re done.
    This season is over.
    If I’ve said it once … I’ve said it three dozen times … a dominant closer (Felipe Vazquez) is way more important than a MOR starter (Zach Eflin). They’d be in first place if they had traded Eflin (and Adam Morgan and Connor Seabold) for Vazquez in the middle of July.

    1. Bullpen is just pitiful right now. Neshek who has been great and is a vet, blows it with a HR? I think bringing him in was the right move.

      Why not lefty to start 9th against Harper?

      Not sure who I would bring in from the pen in a 1 run game now. Everyone seems unreliable except Neris!

    2. i felt that way after the horrible loss in Toronto, but i went down last night for Nola/Scherzer and to resume my tradition from 2019-2011 of attending games that officially or essentially end the Phillies season, and it certainly seems like that happened.

      first, im in first row after the diamond club, and almost the entire section behind me was empty the entire time, and almost no buzz in the stadium for the matchup or team. is it the fans not deserving a playoff team, or smart fans recognizing this team isnt one.

      my boss has tried the Gabe Kapler always positive routine, and its led to even good employees who make mistakes, or just dont do what they are supposed to do, not fearing any consequences and shrugging it off. I’ve told the boss the office needs to see him angry sometimes- positive all the time just doesnt work. When you see the same mistakes being made again and again, you need to do something different. Come on Gabe.

    3. I don’t understand the thought process of most people. Eflin isn’t even a MOR pitcher….Remember when people were saying “NO WAY” to the speculative trade of Eflin for Machado???

      1. LOL – that’s a silly straw man argument. Nobody in their right mind would ever say they shouldn’t trade Eflin for Machado.

        1. I think the argument was that they should not trade Eflin for a 2-month rental of Machado and I would still make that argument today…

  38. 4.5 games behind Atlanta. The Keystone Cops were better coordinated than this mish mash of a roster. Klentak needs better ideas than picking up Joey Bats.

    The bullpen is a shambles. I finally agree that relievers are so mentally challenged that they need to be assigned defined roles like kindergarteners. Kapler loves bringing guys out for a second inning and it ain’t working.

    Defense. It’s not the physical part of it that they’re failing. It’s poor judgment by the fielders. Throws that should not be made and balls that aren’t being read correctly.

    Baserunning. Ugh!

    And while I’m at it. Let’s keep Cesar in that lead off spot so he can keep striking out. 6x in last 2 games. A middle infielder with an OPS in the low .700s is treading water, no matter how high his OBP is, and Cesar’s are dropping like rocks.

    Hitting. Let’s get a modest lead and sit on it. We’ll worry about blowing it later.

      1. 8mark….silver lining?
        Phillies could be drafting in the low teens or even 12th if they continue playing like this and finding newer ways of losing. The Angels are only a few game behind them now…not sure Twins can make up the difference however..
        This time last month the draft waw the furthest from my mind.

        1. The sky isn’t falling, this is a team that wasn’t supposed to contend that is now contending. It’s been painful to be sure, but there’s a lot to look forward to if things don’t work out this year. I’m not too concerned. It’s the first time I’ve watched meaningful (albeit painful) baseball in August in years. This is a process and next year should be better but Klentak and Co. need to be really on their game this offseason.

            1. Hope Klentak, Kapler and the team learn from this recent slide. Klentak in that he was thoroughly outmaneuvered by the Braves and Cubs GM. Kapler in how he handles his pitching staff, defensive shifts and player usage(VV used as pinch runner). I know I am in the minority but I believe the team would be closer with Rob Thomson as manager(he would be a Joe Girardi Jr.) which is better than bold and reckless. I hope that John Middleton and Andy MacPhail are watching too.

            2. I don’t know why anybody is surprised the Braves are a bit ahead of us. The Braves always had more high level prospects and then Acuna and Albies developed. On top of that the Braves acquired more veterans as part of the move to the new stadium. It’s not surprising they are ahead of us. But fear not, they don’t have an Aaron Nola on their team either so all is not lost.

          1. agreed
            hopefully MK and kapler have learned that defense does matter and in this era of baseball, youhave to have a shutdown bullpen and closer

            1. srussell – Going into the season, The bullpen looked to be the strength of the team. Neshek got injured, Ramos, Hunter, and Neris forgot how to pitch for a while, and they had only brief periods where they were effective. Don’t get me started on Hoby Milner, and some of the others they ran out there. I wasn’t confident in the left handed relievers, and it’s caused the Phillies at least a half dozen games.

        2. How is that a silver lining? This FO has no idea how to select a first round talent. Just look forward to another high pick being flushed down the toilet.

  39. Have to say I’m putting this drop in the standings directly on the players. The 9th inning blown saves are the direct fault of the relievers, that’s their job, Nishtak is clearly not tired. Santana’s error is on him, not the coach or GM. the front office brought in reinforcements ( and did it without hurting the longterm rebuild in my opinion)
    the players have just not gotten the job done when they needed to

  40. Catch, Romus, Looking towards next year. My big question is what has Klentak learned? Santana was supposed to be a good Defensive 1B. He is not. Rhys is not a LF. The C position has so many errors and passed balls, and WPs, that should have been blocked that I can’t count that high. The CF’s D has dropped to below average.Players are out of position. Machado, alone, does not help. If the team is to be better next year, Santana needs to be traded, and Rhys moved to 1B. We need another OF. Odubel needs to be traded also. Quinn needs to play every day somewhere in the OF, preferably CF. We need a Closer, and a #2 SP. A decision has to be made, if we sign Machado, about what to do about 2B. Do Kingery and JP start at AAA? Do we trade Cesar regardless of the fact that we won’t get a return that is equal? Has Klentak learned the answers to all of these issues? The Braves are better right now, and they have a better Farm System. Our advantage is our ability, and willingness, I sure hope, to spend BIG. Has Klentak learned where to spend that $?

    1. After signing Machado, our #1 priority should be in signing Ramos. The catching position has been awful in every way possible. Next up is a lights out reliever, and a #2 starting pitcher. I’d include Cesar in a package deal, and platoon Kingery and Crawford at 2B until one of them wins the job. As the season wears on, the games become more important, and Cesar and Herrera have disappeared. To be blunt, they’re not ready for prime time

      1. Cesar at .724 OPS is unacceptable in the lead off spot. He has been in steady decline. Should we fall completely out of the playoff picture, I want to see Kingery replace him at 2b. Quinn is the obvious lead off man on the roster. Again, like with Mackanin, I’m weary of deferring to the veteran player who clearly isn’t a future piece.

      2. Catching has been awful. As has SS and 1B. The team has serious holes and its impressive that they’ve stayed in it as long as they have.

    2. I’ve always said talent evaluation at the big league level has been a concern – the current group has missed more than they’ve hit. We just have to hope they improve.

  41. Strongly agree that the Phillies are a year ahead of schedule. 2018 has really separated the men from the boys.
    The men: Rhys Hoskins, Aaron Nola.
    This team needs more than two men. How does that happen?
    1. Sign Manny Machado as THE man.
    2. Bryce Harper on a pillow contract (while unlikely) would work.
    3. I think MacKlentak will also sign (or trade for) two pitchers (a starter and a closer). Cole Hamels (if his option isn’t picked up by the Cubs) and JA Happ are a couple of older LHSP’s who could be possibilities to be had on shorter term deals.
    4. I can also see Klentak finally become a wheeler and dealer this winter. He could trade current Phillies, or Phuture Phillies. My #1 target would be (you guessed it) Felipe Vazquez ! He is exactly what this team thirsts for: dominant, LH closer under team control for five more years.
    5. Gotta’ hope some of the younger players step up and become “men”. Top candidates are Scott Kingery, Roman Quinn, JP Crawford, Jorge Alfaro, and Sir Ant’ny.

    1. Hinkie – Players love consistency. When was the last time that we’ve seen the same lineup 2 days in a row? At this point, I’d count Franco as 1 of the men despite batting 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th in the order. Kapler is writing Cesar’s name in the leadoff spot, just as often as Pete wrote Freddy’s name in the 2 hole. He’s killing us. Let Quinn lead off and bat Cesar 8th or 9th (or bench him). Gabe, if you happen to read this, there is a reason that pitchers aren’t used as pinch runners.
      Do these losses seem more painful than last year? It’s like we’re inventing new ways to lose every night.

  42. Hinkie, I agree with you. But for Kingery and JP, they need to play every day at their natural positions. How does that occur with Machado here? I know people think that he will agree to play 3B, but I disagree. He will get so much money offered from a number of teams. The amount of $ is not going to convince him to give up SS. He may play 3B or even 1B down the road, but the next few years he will play SS. I wasn’t joking when I suggested that JP and Kingery start at LHV. They need to sign Ramos, and let Alfaro play behind him. I am a big fan of Roman Quinn and always have been, despite the injuries. He brings game changing abilities with his speed and D, and I have the team work on flexibility drills and core strengthening all off season with Roman. I think you underestimate what the cost would be for Vazquez. Great pick up if we can get him, but the cost would be enormous.

    1. matt … according to the Fangraphs Trade Value Chart (https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2018-trade-value-honorable-mentions/), Vazquez is outside the top 50. He fits into the Honorable Mention or cost controlled arms category. They say, “The Ken Giles deal established the market for controllable elite relievers, and Diaz, Hader, and Vazquez all fit that bill. Newcomb and Clevinger are having breakout years and could work their way onto the list next year if they can keep it up.”

      Giles and Jonathan Arauz brought back Vince Velasquez, Mark Appel, Tom Eshelman, Harold Arauz, and Brett Oberholtzer.
      This is the reason (about a month and a half ago), I proposed the Zach Eflin, Franklyn Kilome, Connor Seabold, Nick Fanti, and Adam Morgan for Vazquez and a low A lottery ticket. Of course, Kilome has since been traded to the Mets, but the outline for a deal is still in place.
      When I proposed this deal in the middle of July, nobody (as far as I remember) was for it. Everybody argued Eflin was too much. People live in the moment. Eflin was going great at that time. You need to step back, and look at the long term outcome for a player. Selling high is a good thing. The Phillies have other Zach Eflins is their system. They have nothing like Vazquez.

      1. after trading for Archer with 3 years of control, im thinking the Pirates want to hold on to Vazquez.

        if Machado is signed and would play SS for at least 1-2 seasons to give Franco more time at third- you have great flexibility with the other positions- can move on from Santana, Hoskins back to 1B- Kingery at second, Quinn playing alot in OF and begin the lineup 1-2 with Kingery- can move on from Cesar then- Odubel to left- so what if we don’t get full value for him.

        1. If the Phillies want to shore up their defense, they have to primarily play Machado at 3B. He excels there. He’s a below average defender at SS. Franco should be shopped this winter (again … look to sell high). If Klentak can find someone (Padres or Rangers) to meet his asking price, deal him.
          CeHe and Odubel are tougher decisions. It’s hard to imagine Cesar bringing a whole lot back during a winter when there will be a strong market of FA 2Bman available. I’m not sure what Odubel could bring back. I do know I would really enjoy watching Roman Quinn and Scott Kingery running wildly on the base paths. They would drive opposing pitchers (and catchers) nuts.
          Other than signing MM, I’m not sure exactly what Matt Klentak has in store this winter. I am sure he’s going to finally become very active, and we could see a whole lot of changes for the 2019 season.

          1. Hinkie, your idea of trading for Felipe Vasquez from the Pirates was spot on as our bullpen has tired and is not effective right now.

    2. Manny better consider playing 1B if he wants to play for the Yankees. Yankee are pretty well set on the left side of their IF. Sure they could opt to move Andujar or Didi to another spot but would they…

        1. Completely agree, Romus. I think many people overstate the probability of Manny signing here. Cashman is very resourceful. Love him or hate him, Harper has a better chance of signing here (even for the oft proposed shorter term/high AAV deal) than Machado. Many within the industry also believe the same.

          1. 8mark…I have changed on the Manny/Harper debate….I want Harper for the OF.
            IMO, JPC will be the man at shortstop and will be what everyone expects.
            What he did last July/August in LHV still resonates strong with me.
            Kingery has to go to second for good….the defense alone up the middle improves drastically.
            If Klentak were smart…he would also move Alf and bring in Austin Hedges….best defensive catcher now baseball and improves the pitching staff. Does not hit much…but will bang 10/12 HRs and give you the same slash line offense as Alf but that defense is Chooch like

            1. Romus, the most expedient way to fix the defense is this lineup:

              1b Hoskins doesn’t improve the position much if at all but at least he wouldn’t be in LF.

              2b Kingery, obviously.

              SS Crawford, obviously

              3b Franco isn’t perfect but he holds his own and should continue until his thicker body slows him further.

              LF Anybody but Hoskins and you’ve improved already. Williams fits the bill nicely. Athletic enough without having to be a GG.

              CF Quinn, obviously. The ground he covers alone justifies his placement there. He will outrun some mistakes, especially early on in his career.

              RF Harper plays adequately. His lefty power bat alone justifies his presence.

              C Alfaro and Ramos (should they re-sign him) are fine despite the passed ball issues. Both handle the pitchers well and Alfaro simply needs more time to progress. Otherwise, go get a Hedges.

            2. 8mark …well agree with most.
              Alf IMO, should be moved as his value is probably higher than at any time so far..
              He will always be a 250/295 guy with almost 30% K rate..PB will be an issue for awhile ….and pitchers may not want to throw to him at some point.

  43. Put in a claim for Donaldson when he hits waivers today or tomorrow. Do not let the Braves get him. We still have to try to win despite the lousy way we have been playing. 41/2 games is not insurmountable. If the Braves get him, I promise he kills us down the stretch!

    1. No, he didn’t start the year for the Phillies so they can’t make a QO for him and get a draft pick if he declines. The rules changed several years ago.

  44. After last night’s heart breaker to the Nats….SportsLine Projection Model (@SportsLine on Twitter) gives the Phillies and Gabe Kapler’s squadron a 22 percent chance of making the playoffs.

  45. Josh Donaldson is experiencing soreness in his leg following last night’s rehab game with Dunedin. Not in lineup tonight. So much for his season, it would seem.

  46. With all the time he missed earlier this year, there is no reason (barring injury, knock on wood) why Roman Quinn should not be in the everyday lineup from now until the end of the season. What a game changer!!

    1. I am definitely interested in seeing how he adjusts at the plate after the league has had a chance to adjust to him, but goodness gracious is he a talented, exciting and effective player. Give credit to Kapler for being in on him virtually immediately. He would have been a big part of the team all year if only . . . (well you can fill in the blank here).

  47. He is so much fun to watch, and Kingery made 2 excellent plays at SS. He has made himself into a good SS, and he has been better at the plate. Now, we will sign Machado, and Kingery has to start all over at another position.

    1. matt13…..hopefully Kingery will go back to the position he has played for 4 years prior to this season going back to his Wildcat days.

    2. @matt – Kingery should be fine. it is normally easier to switch defensively from SS to 2B than the other way around. Now we are starting to see how dynamic Quinn and Kingery can be, thus, giving credence on the thought of selling high on Doobie and Cesar more than a year ago.

      When JoeyBats was acquired, I saw a post in tweeter saying that JoeyBats has a higher WAR than Rhys in 2018?? And Rhys 2018 WAR is <1?? That WAR thing is really, really, flawed. WAR is the main reason why most think that Doobie and Cesar are the future CF and 2B. Doobie is a streaky player and Cesar is a good 2B on a bad team.

      1. KuKo….that WAR on Hoskins is skewed because he is considered the worst defensive LFer in MLB.
        Polar opposite for example, like a Jason Heyward who had high WAR because his defense was considered one of the best in MLB.

        1. SABR SDI thru Last week:
          Left field

          Player Team SDI
          Corey Dickerson PIT 10.5
          Adam Duvall CIN/ATL 8.3
          Kyle Schwarber CHC 4.6
          Marcell Ozuna STL 2.9
          David Peralta ARI 2.6
          Gerardo Parra COL 0.5
          Joc Pederson LAD -0.1
          Christian Yelich MIL -1.3
          Matt Kemp LAD -2.7
          Juan Soto WSN -3.5
          Derek Dietrich MIA -8.3
          Rhys Hoskins PHI -8.8
          AL:
          Alex Gordon KCR 8.9
          JaCoby Jones DET 7.1
          Justin Upton LAA 6.5
          Brett Gardner NYY 4.5
          Marwin Gonzalez HOU 4.0
          Andrew Benintendi BOS 3.8
          Eddie Rosario MIN 0.2
          Denard Span TBR/SEA -0.4
          Teoscar Hernandez TOR -3.2
          Joey Gallo TEX -3.9
          Michael Brantley CLE -3.9
          Trey Mancini BAL -7.0

          1. It’s really interesting how Kyle Schwarber, a former catcher who doesn’t appear to run too fast, is rated so highly – that’s a huge surprise. There’s no doubt that the Phillies’ defense is hurting them big time, although it’s nice to see that Scott Kingery seemingly can be a plus fielder wherever he goes. I think the hitting is going to come along next year – in fact, I think he’s starting to turn the corner now.

        2. @romus – this is the reason why i don’t use WAR is any argument. there are too many moving parts in the WAR calculation that can favors others and vice versa.

          WAR is the only stat i know that is not conclusive and somebody can always poke a hole because it has too many holes. I agree with Jayson Werth, WAR is not baseball.

      2. For whatever value Hoskins gives on offense, he takes away on defense. If you can’t see that, then you’re blinded by your love of tools. That’s why his WAR is under 1.

        Roman is doing great right now. He definitely should be starting over Odubel right now. But what was Roman doing the last 3 years? Being injured. Odubel? 10.5 WAR and making an all-star game.

        1. that 10.5 WAR thing is like monopoly money. nobody GM will buy that so it has no value. The Phillies are in the midst of their rebuild in the last 3 years so whether Quinn is in the dog house or what not, it doesn’t really matter. The Phillies did their part of filling the pipeline and make sure that talent is flowing by the time they are ready to compete which most think that it will be 2020.

            1. do you think GMs use the ESPN articles to evaluate players? ESPN articles are mostly for the fans and baseball followers who don’t have access to the scouts, scouting reports and database that the GMs and MLB teams have.

          1. You saying WAR has no value doesn’t make it so – of course it has value – it’s GM currency. That said, it would be nice if Odubel went on a run in the next month and improved his street value. Man, I thought Bobby Abreu was frustrating but Odubel takes wild inconsistency to new heights.

  48. Guys, I was referring to what happens if we don’t trade Cesar, and he has to learn, for instance, Leftfield? I am on the side that trades Cesar, knowing that he will bring less than what he should on paper, and letting Kingery play every day at 2B. A lot of folks on here are still of the belief that Cesar is the future at 2B.

    1. I don’t think too many people were thinking that Cesar was the future at 2B. The main concern was more short term. Expecting Kingery to step right in and replace Cesar’s production from 2017 would have been a huge task. And Cesar had a really good 2017.

      1. @Guru – nobody expects Kingery to be the 2B in 2017, in fact nobody expects him to be in the 25-man in the beginning of 2018.

        The argument between Cesar vs Kingery is — does Klentak need to sell high and trade Cesar in 2016 or early 2017 with Kingery expected to come up at some point in 2018. There are a lot who think that Cesar is still improving and can be the future 2B and not Kingery.

        I can actually see a good reason to trade Kingery instead since he can bring also a nice return, but I like the Kingery-type player so he’s the type of player that needs to be kept.

        1. The only way Kingery isn’t the future 2b is if they decide (by merit or necessity) that he’s a SS. That could be the case if Manny signs elsewhere and they don’t find a trade partner for Cesar. In any case, Gabe can’t continue to bat Cesar lead off or even 3rd as he has recently. Don’t get that at all. He’s K’d 8x in last 3 games and generally K’s too much even when he’s producing at an acceptable level.

        2. With the failure rate of prospects so high, there is an inherent risk of selling high on a current MLB player and replacing him with an unproven, talented prospect. If the Phillies sold high on Cesar, it’s not hard to see that the Phillies would have been worse off in 2018 with Kingery at 2B. And it’s a small sample size, but I don’t think anybody feels confident that DLS or Suarez can replicate Eflin’s production if the team sold high on Eflin (that one is for Hinkie).

          Now obviously, there are times that the prospect bullies his way into being a starter (Chase Utley, Ryan Howard) or they are such a mega prospect that they need to be given a shot. But Utley and Howard performed at the MLB level at first before being anointed a starter. Kingery was still in the minors, Quinn was always hurt.

          Prospect or not, it’s hard to stick at the MLB level and produce. Unless the prospect has proven that they are better than the incumbent, only then do I make the trade (like trading Jim Thome). Roman Quinn may get there. Scott Kingery may get there. Or not. Imagine if the Phillies traded away an OF to make room for Domonic Brown, who was considered the #1 prospect? Yikes.

          1. that’s why GMs are being paid big $$ since they need to embrace uncertainty and live with it, because if you don’t then you are not fit for the job.

            i understand that there are risks in dealing with MLB players (certainty) and prospects (uncertainty) and one key GM skills is risk management — the Phillies big investment in data infrastructure, scouting and player development (2 DSL, 2 GCL) are part of risk management since the Phillies are using data and increasing the pool to lower the risk.

            When it comes to trades, GMs can go all in or they can hedge to minimize the impact in case of failure. For Doobie and Cesar, the Phillies built a deep pool of talent in CF and 2B and cleared enough room to sign an established FA mitigate the risk of losing both.

            I’m still not posting here in PP during the Domo days. But i was never been a big Domo guy the same reason I don’t like Cozens. There’s not really a lot of prospects to like during the Phillies golden days since the farm is barren.

          2. i actually agree with most of Hinkie’s trade idea except when Sixto is involve. The Vazquez trade is i think fair to both teams, although my preference is to acquire a closer when the team is ready to go deep in the playoffs.

            also, the Phillies already have a closer in Seranthony, the Phillies just need to develop 2-3 high leverage arms that can hold close games and bridge it to Seranthony —- i think the Phillies can fill this need internally — other than Arano and Ramos, Edgar Garcia, Mo Llovera, Dohy can be high leverage arms. Or the Phillies can use Sixto and Medina in the pen for a year before moving them as starters.

            1. KuKo … Ser Ant’ny shows the potential to become this team’s closer. However, he has yet to prove he can pitch on back to back nights. This team will (hopefully) be winning a lot of games beginning next season, and will need a closer to throw two and even three nights in a row.
              Also … to be fair … the only proposed trade I have included Sixto Sanchez in is for Blake Snell. I love Snell. My proposed Sixto Sanchez, JoJo Romero, Alec Bohm, and Jhailyn Ortiz package is the type of offer it would take to compete with other teams (Yankees) for the Tampa lefty.

            2. @hinkie – i actually agree with you Vazquez deal so I basically agree all your trade ideas except for one.

            3. RAEF … I proposed that trade in mid July (before the Pirates dealt for Archer). At that time, Eflin was going good and it was near unanimous … nobody wanted to flip Eflin for Vazquez. You might be right. Pittsburgh might not be interested in the deal now. At that time, however, it was being reported (by Jim Salisbury, I think) that the Phillies were looking into Vazquez.

            4. Vazquez may have been what the doctor ordered for these games the Phillies gave away with leads late. If they were looking at him in July….they still may be looking at him come December for 2019.

          3. Guru … have you seen Eflin’s production in the second half of this season/since the trade deadline ? It’s been a far cry from his first half production. Eflin was on my “will not trade for a rental/MM” list, but to replace Eflin with Felipe Vazquez was/is a no-brainer. I have never believed the Phillies were a championship contending team for 2018. For me, it’s always been about 2019 and beyond. The Philles system has Zach Eflin replacements on the way (or they could sign a short term FA arm this winter). This team is completely naked when it comes to closing out games. They’ve probably blown 10 games (at least) this season. Felipe Vazquez is a unique opportunity (just turned 27 YO LH closer with 100 MPH FB and a wipeout SL under team control for 5+ years). The Phillies have nothing like him (at any level).

            1. love Vazquez but I don’t think Pitt gives him up for a Eflin-centered package. They have Archer, Tailon, Musgrove,Nova, MItch Keller for their rotation next year already anyway. I’m just happy the Nats traded Vazquez to rent Melancon, then traded Treinen and Lazardo to fill their closer void the following season.

  49. Well, regardless of where anyone stood on the trade Cesar issue, this off season is going to require some movement. If, as expected, Machado is the target, and he plays SS, as I believe, and Kingery does not get sent to AAA, he has to play somewhere. So, there are issues of whether Santana stays, and I think he will, leaving Rhys in LF, Franco, Kingery or JP at 3B, Quinn or Odubel in CF, Kingery or Cesar at 2B. Does Ramos come back, does Nick Williams get replaced by a Harper signing? Not a single position is settled, and then the SP and BP. Interesting off season.

    1. This is where the Santana signing stings. He is not blocking any prospect, but he is preventing flexibility. Without Santana, the Phils can play around with the OF crew of Doobie, Quinn, Williams, Altherr, Cozens and Kingery. This OF group is actually dynamic with very good upside and can provide room for a big FA signing like Harper.

  50. WE can make an argument that is not all that far-fetched that next season’s opening Lineup can have Rhys at 1B, Kingery at 2B, Machado at SS, JP at 3B, Nicky Dubs in LF, Roman in CF and Bryce Harper in RF. Now, that is unlikely, and I don’t think they move Santana, and I believe that Franco is at 3B, but it is not completely out there that every position has a new starter.

    1. matt … your point (that every position could be filled with a new starter in 2019) isn’t as far fetched as some might think. IMO … it’s completely possible.

    2. Crawford’s value will likely not be on the trade market but rather as a utility IF, and a very good defensive one with at least good plate discipline if nothing else. Unless Machado is persuaded to play 3b (assuming he signs here in the first place), I think Franco is the next best option at this point. With an IF of Franco-Machado-Kingery-Hoskins, there are no lefty bats. But an OF of Williams-Quinn-Harper would certainly balance the lineup more in that regard. Both Cesar and Herrera, either separately or together, should center a package for pitching, both starting and relief. Santana should be offered (along with $10M-$15M of his remaining $35M) to an AL club with a good farm.

        1. Cleveland has Alonso signed through next year for 8 million- pretty much the same numbers as Carlos except for the walks.

      1. The Phillies may need to do a full salary dump (absorbing most of the $$ and not expecting a Top 30) to really get rid of Santana.

        Too bad, Klentak probably missed his chance to get something of value for Doobie and Cesar, it’s basically $0.60=$1 now compared to at least $1=$1 more than a year ago.

        I think that Klentak view Cesar as an “insurance” in 2B, basically riding on Cesar years on team control and see if he can be the best 2B option, if not, let him walk away in FA. Doobie is the enigma because he can be dynamic but he is streaky good and streaky bad. Quinn’s injury and Altherr’s not stepping up adds to that too.

        1. The Phillies would not need to do a salary dump for Santana, he’s not a bad player, just a bad fit for this team. After 2018, he’s remaining deal is a reasonable 2-year deal at $17M per season. There will be takers for a good OBP player with 25 hr power.

          He’s not going to return A-level prospects in return but he is easily moveable.

          1. Santana is owed $41.17M for 2 years. The fact that most GMs know that Santana is a bad fit, they can squeeze Klentak more. Smart GMs will try to look at some holes to lower the value they give. Good luck on Klentak to find a GM who will absorb the $41.17M and gave up a A-level prospect.

            1. Santana’s contract per baseball prospectus.

              http://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/national-league/philadelphia-phillies/

              Carlos Santana dh-1b
              3 years/$60M (2018-20), plus 2021 option
              •3 years/$60M (2018-20), plus 2021 club option •signed by Philadelphia as a free agent 12/20/17
              •$10M signing bonus
              •18:$15M, 19:$17M, 20:$17.5M, 21:$17.5M club option ($0.5M buyout)

              Now I assume he’s received his signing bonus plus his $15m salary for 2018. That leaves $17M for 2019 and $17.5m for 2020 plus the $500,000 buyout…

            2. @3up – it will be nice if Klentak can just move the salary, although I prefer to absorb some $$ to increase the value of the prospect in return.

              the math doesn’t work if Santana only owed $17M in 2019 and $17.5M in 2020. The $10M bonus is spread throughout the life of the contract so it’s $3.33 per year. If I calculated it correctly, Santana’s $60M/3yr will be:

              2018 – $18.33M ($15M base + $3.33 bonus)
              2019 – $20.33M ($17M base +$3.33 bonus)
              2020 – $20.83M ($17.5M base + $3.33 bonus)

              $18.33 + $20.33 + $20.83 + $500k buy out = $60M. So Santana is still owed $41.16M + the $500k for the next 2 years.

            3. KuKo…before the Indians QO Santana at approx $17M last season…they did offer him something in the $14/15M AAV range.
              I would think the Phillies would have to eat at least 30% of his remaining contract for them to think about pursing taking him back in order to maintain what they were budgeting for him in 2018 anyway..

            4. The signing bonus is spread over 3 years for salary cap penalty purposes but I’m fairly certain the money has already been spent and the team acquiring him would not be on the hook for 2/3 of the remaining payment.

        2. Kuko….one team that may have interest in Doobie are the As…..not sure Canha is their future and Fowler seems to be hurt every year.
          Doobie fits the bill for money with them.
          AJ Puk would be a nice get for Doobs.

          1. Romus, as Capt Jean Luc Picard would say, “Make it so.” Right now I would take Peter Puck for him if not for the team friendly contract. (If you’re under 50, you won’t get it….)

          2. @romus – i’m not sure if anybody remember but a year ago when I raised the idea of the Doobie trade, it was actually to the A’s for the package of Luzardo (still injured) + Daulton Jefferies + Nick Allen.

            It will be hard to go back to the previous threads to look for it but I keep a cheat sheet of trade ideas i have including some hypothetical line ups.

            Me and Hinkie are probably the ones who love to discuss trade scenarios in this site.

            1. 8mark/KuKo…….unfortunately Matt K. making any creative dealings probably amounts to dreaming
              I think he will make his big deal…singular….come Dec at the Mandalay Bay in Vegas this year.

    1. Dang…..Phillies seem to be leaning away from Japan and Korea and concentrating on Taiwan and Mainland China prospects.

  51. Why I still have hope for both Kingery and JPC….Mike Trout hit .220/.281/.390 in 40 games in 2011 and Anthony Rizzo hit .141/.281/.242 in 49 games.

    1. Full disclosure I am a JPC fanboy. It’s strange that some would write him off based on 87 and 112 PA’s in the MLB when he essentially had a very linear progression through the system since he was drafted and yet Kingery fanboys seem to have nothing but optimism on his behalf.

      I will say that JP has some maturing to do. Not in a way that he is a goofball or spoiled brat but he was a bit coddled and lacks a certain edginess. That comes from a guy I know who scouted him early on and is now in a different org.

      1. Yeah…he may have to make some adjustments in that regards….but nothing does it better than experiencing failure and disappointment.
        Then, again, when it comes to maturity, there are not many 18-year olds who graduate HS, and then get drafted in June in the first round, and then have to take their mother to chemo treatments for breast cancer.

      2. DMAR – The fans (myself included) are screaming for the Phillies to sign Harper and/or Machado. If they sign Harper, It’s likely that Herrera goes. If they sign Machado (my preference) they have more options. They could trade Hernandez, and platoon Kingery and Crawford at second base. Machado hits for power and average and Cesar is as good as he’ll ever be. If the Phillies are convinced that Franco is a mirage (I’m not), they could sell high on him this winter. With another month left in the season, a lot of things can happen. It’s going to be a very interesting winter.

        1. I hope so Wawa mike. Mediocre doesn’t get you to that next level. You need stars and a few guys that just have a will to win.

        2. Mike, I hear your thinking @2b, but they need to commit a year to Kingery there. They made a statement this spring when they locked him up with the contract. Then they confused everyone when they kept Cesar, played Kingery everywhere BUT 2b, and saw him struggle in his rookie season instead of starting him at AAA. Platooning him at any position will not advance his development. Now Cesar is what he is. Like someone said yesterday – a good 2b on a bad team and certainly not a top of the order hitter on a good team. If Kingery doesn’t settle the 2b question by this time next year, they can find another middle infield option. It’s not an insurmountable setback. Again, they decided he was worth the commitment with the contract. Now they need to follow through, right or wrong.

          1. 8mark – They should have traded Cesar before they signed Kingery. The other GM’s were trying to get Cesar for nothing once the contract was announced.

  52. Will the parent club wait until LHV’s playoff run is over before calling the 40 man guys up? Or won’t they, being that the Phillies are in the playoff hunt, all hands on deck?

  53. when you watch roman play, you could only imagine what a full healthy season would look like. how many triples do you think he would hit in 500 atbats, 20-25?

  54. We know they are bringing up pitching, Gabe said the ‘Pen would have reinforcements Saturday. How much can Eickhoff help the next few days since he pitched last night? Knapp, for sure, Florimon?

  55. I’m fed up with Odubel. His D has gotten way below what we need, and what is acceptable. I don’t know what has happened to him. But we need to move on.

    1. He was clearly the Phillies’ best player the first couple months, but sure can be hard to take at times. The adventures in CF, the base-running gaffes, the attitude/body language, and the bad at-bats. I swear sometimes he makes up his mind he is going to swing at a pitch before it is thrown and ends up flailing at pitches WAY out of the zone. I guess you have to take the bad with the good, but he can be infuriating.

  56. I’m convinced Nicky P is the Phillies version of Tampa’s idea of using a reliever to start the game. Many times. He just lasts longer than 2 innings.

    1. The problem is his command of the fast ball. When he has it, he mows through the lineup. When he doesn’t he over uses or makes mistakes with off speed. This will be a problem in relief also. He pitched well last night. The Cubs did a nice job waiting him out. With command problems even superior stuff, which he has, won’t serve in starterting nor in relief roles.

  57. Nats are really cleaning house! Madsen to Dodgers, Gonzalez to Brewers. Is it just me or have any of you ever noticed how tentative Hernandez is in applying a tag, even in instances when he has the ball in plenty of time.

  58. Hard To Believe:
    1.Nick Pivetta, according to Fangraphs ranks 28th among starters in MLB with a 2.7fWAR.
    2. In ERA…60th with a 4.66 ERA
    3. In xFIP…14th in MLB @ 3.32….right behind Aaron Nola who is 13th @ 3.27
    4. Last among starters at 71st in BABIP. @ .337
    5. In K/9 he ranks 10th at 10.7 per 9
    6. In BB/9 he is 35th @ 2.6 per 9
    7. And GB%…..30th @ 44.6%

    …his peripherals are like a roller coaster of sorts….he is enigma from start to start.

    1. He needs another really effective pitch and he needs to refine his command and consistency. He has a borderline plus FB and a curve that ranges from below average to plus depending on the day and even the inning. Sometimes, it’s lethal and sometimes it’s an awful hanging pitch. He’s improved a lot since last year but he has more work to do.

      And how about Hector Neris?! Man, that was a productive stint in the minors.

      1. Catch – I’m the eternal optimist. To me baseball is not just about statistics and numbers. I thought that between Pivetta, Velasquez, and Lively, a couple of them would take a step forward this year. Lively got injured, and Eflin stepped up. Now that Lively is healthy, I hope he gets a Sept. call up.
        Injuries are always a concern, but I wonder if the Phillies would encourage Crawford, Kingery, Eickhoff, Lively, and Moniak to play winter ball.

  59. Good stuff, but no command of the CB last night. He gutted his way through 5 Innings with a huge K of Rizzo. If he ever gets his breaking pitches to where he can command them, he can be a really good SP. A really good W, but I am still moving on from Odubel. I prefer to no longer take the good with the bad. My starting CF Opening Day is Roman.

          1. 8mark…..don’t we wish.
            Rizzo is selling off parts now in DC (Gio and Mad Dog the two latest, who’s next!)….so Harper and Co must think the ship is slowly taking on more water and will sink into the swamp.

            1. Romus – The Nationals window has officially closed. I don’t see any way that Harper signs a new contract with them. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rizzo in the unemployment line this winter.

    1. The September call ups will determine how Gabe manages the roster. Altherr provides a righty bat platoon option. Joey Bats as well. Kapler has to be locked into Quinn (CF or RF) at lead off from here on, I would hope. And Cesar batting 3rd makes little sense. 7th, 8th or 9th for him. Good to hear from Gabe that Bour may return next week. We should expect to see Asdrubal somewhere every day. The walk off last night could serve as a spring board for him. Interesting that Franco (who’s cooled a bit recently) is no longer an automatic write-in at 3b. At this point, Gabe will live or die with the veterans – Santana, Cabrera, Ramos (except for the normal rest). Doobie plays the supporting role now unless he suddenly catches fire. I think the brass (including Kapler) has decided to systematically move on from him, too, matt13.

      The biggest development, however, may be on the pitching staff. Neris and his splitter appear to be back. Huge! He needs to remain confident in it, though. He seemed to be a bit wary walking Rizzo in the 10th last night before Neshek entered. Seranthony also needs to regain his swagger. The stuff is still there.

      Prediction: Friday Sept 29, game 160 vs Atlanta at CBP – by then the Phillies will be UP 2 games in the division. Aaron Nola on the mound to clinch the NL East.

        1. After the LHV layoffs are completed….like to see the Phillies add meneses to the 40, probably DFA Mitch Walding.
          Have Meneses ready for PH or 1st base roles, for those 7 Braves games……he may have something to prove to them, and how many times have we seen that work in the past. Maybe uit time it could work the Philies way.

      1. 8mark – Though I don’t expect the Phillies to add any non roster players (Meneses and Irvin), Lively and Rios are good options.

    2. Matt – Really couldn’t argue if the Phillies move on from Herrera and make Quinn the everyday CF for 2019. Quinn is still a soft tissue injury waiting to happen, but if the Phillies can get a good return for Herrera in a trade, then, yeah, I’d probably do it.

  60. I have seen enough of Quinn that I take the chance on his injury proneness, I made up that word, and go with him. He has done great so far, brings so much to the team, and even when he got hurt after diving for that ball, he only missed 1 day. A couple of years ago, that would have been 3 weeks! Altherr is my back up CF. His D is good, and I don’t think he brings much in a trade, so he transitions to a 4th OF. Of course, Harper may be Quinn’s back up as well!

    1. Surprised that was the choice. Controllable middle infielder seems like he should not be easily dropped. Walding should have been next to go.

      1. Agree.
        But maybe the Phillies think Waldng is more attractive to other teams than Valentin based on their respective LHV stats this season
        And then again….maybe they want Gary Jones to have Walding there for their playoff run and Valentin was expendable since JPC seems to be coming around.

  61. Sorry, Asdrubal can’t play ss on a regular basis. Franco is batting .222 in his last 22 games. And swinging at those same old pitches again. And what is Odubel doing in the 3 hole? Or Santana leading off for that matter? Gabe shaking things up so nobody can figure out what he’s thinking. I didn’t expect to sweep the Cubs but come on!

      1. Quinn is playing today against Lester, and got thrown out stretching a double into a triple. If that was Odubel, you would have went nuts.

        And you know who threw him out? Shwarber. People were wondering why his dWar was not that bad and here’s the reason, he has 11 OF assists.

        1. Agree with Guru. I love Roman Quinn, but that was not a good decision. Yes. Odubel would have been crucified for the same mistake.

  62. There was zero reason to start Florimon. He is a utility guy, there to pinch hit or for an emergency. Yes, stupid on Roman’s part. I agree and I love him, I still want him over Herrera!

  63. What a pathetic performance! Just so we are clear. This was awful, we perform at 60% of what we can, and that is generous. Our offense stunk vs. what is 50% of what Jon Lester was.

    1. It’s all over. I was holding out hope but the Phillies simply don’t have the talent to contend. Too many players who are acceptable but none that are Studs(at least not yet). You need stars and we don’t have them. Hopefully the offseason can change that.

  64. 4 runs in 3 games. This offense is dysfunctional. Actually there is talent here but the pieces don’t fit. That should change by opening day of 2019.

    1. I’m glad to have Cabrera. I’m glad to have Bour. I’m glad to have Bautista. I’m glad to have Santana. I’m just not glad to have them all.

      Let’s get a fresh start next season: No Odubel, no Hernandez, and none of the above. Let’s follow through with building our youthful team with players at their natural positions.

      Go for free agents, especially Machado.

      But go young.

      Then, if we are to add vets in the second half for a post-season push, add quality vets with a future.

      One of the big winter decisions will be starting pitching. We have about 300 prospective starting pitchers, but only one Aaron Nola. We need to identify the Numbers Two, Three and Four, at least, whether in our organization now or to acquire from outside. And act decisively on them. Or, as Gabe would say, Be Bold.

  65. Frank – Just curious, but you didn’t mention Ramos. He’s the one player that I would keep out of the bunch. I agree with Machado slightly over Harper, but I’m not going to be picky. As much as I admire Franco for turning things around, I’d still rather have Manny at 3rd, Crawford at SS, Kingery at 2nd, and Hoskins at 1st.
    I’m beginning to think that Gabe is losing the clubhouse. All of the rentals that the Phillies have gotten are getting the playing time, and the kids who got us where we are have been shown the bench. There has got to be some tension (maybe a lot).
    Many of us have had fun with Gabe’s notion of never playing the same line up twice, but players need to know that if they go two games without a hit, they won’t be benched for a week.

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