Open Discussion: Week of September 17, 2018

The Phillies are down to 14 games remaining in the season, 10 against teams in their own division and 4 against the Rockies.  This week they play three at home against the Mets (avoiding deGrom who pitched and lost today) and travel to Atlanta to play four games. Next week they travel to Colorado to play four games before returning home to finish the season with three against the Braves.  All 14 games are crucial.  They can’t afford to blow opportunities to gain on the Braves.  Unfortunately, the Phillies finish the season without a off day or travel day.  Oh, and then there’s that little problem that they suck against their East Division foes.

This is the Phuture Phillies Open Discussion for baseball topics.

With the end of the minor league seasons, I’ll start off season programming.  I’ve already posted the first post season polls (James’ 2018 Hitting and Pitching Awards).  I’ll be posting the other season-ending polls soon.  If you want to e-mail your personal season-ending top 30 to me at prospectpoll @yahoo.com, I will compile and report back, IF I get enough responses to make it worthwhile.

I’ve begun the Key Dates section (below).  It includes transactional dates, contract dates, dates dependent on the end of the world series, dates that haven’t been announced yet, and spring training and Instructs game dates.

Rosters and Lists have been moved over from the Recaps as well as Transactions.  I’m thinking about adding the links to my Rosters and Lists to the menu bar above.  I’m also considering an overhaul of the menu bar as well as changing the banner photo back to the original since all the guys depicted have moved up or on.

I’ll revive the Organizational Changes section to follow the myriad of changes expected during the off season.  I’ll do not quite daily reports from Instructs for the next three weeks.  And, I may do something with the winter leagues.

I pulled the breakout players post and I expect to do an article on how that went.  I’ve also got a 40-man roster article in the can that I hope to proof and edit this week before it is too out of date.

And then, right after Christmas, I’ll start our annual Readers’ Top 30.

Key Dates (some dates become set with the conclusion of the World Series):

  • September 17 – Instructs at the Complex
  • September 18 – Instructs at the Complex
  • September 19 – Instructs at the Complex
  • September 20 – Instructs at the Complex
  • September 21 – Instructs at the Complex
  • September 22 – Instructs at the Complex
  • September 23 – Sunday Off Day
  • September 24 – v. Toronto
  • September 25 – at Baltimore
  • September 26 – at Pittsburgh
  • September 27 – Camp Day
  • September 28 – v. Pittsburgh
  • September 29 – Camp Day
  • September 30 – Sunday Off Day
  • October 1 – at Pittsburgh
  • October 2 – v. Baltimore
  • October 3 – Camp Day
  • October 4 – at Baltimore
  • October 5 – v. Atlanta
  • October 6 – v. Baltimore
  • October 7 – Sunday Off Day
  • October 8 – at Atlanta
  • October 9 – v. New York
  • October 9 – Arizona Fall League Starts
  • October 10 – Camp Day
  • October 11 – at New York
  • October 12 – v. New York
  • October 15, 2017 or on the fifth day following the last day of the World Series, whichever is later, of the last year of a player’s Minor League Uniform Player Contract, the player’s Minor League Uniform Player Contract shall expire and the player shall become a ‘Minor League free agent’ unless the player’s Major or Minor League club has remaining options to renew the contract.  (Major League Rule 55)
    • According to Major League Rule 3(b), “All Minor League Uniform Player Contracts between either a Major or a Minor League Club and a player who has not previously signed a contract with a Major or a Minor League Club shall be for a term of seven Minor League playing seasons.”
  • The day after the last game of the World Series, 9:00 AM – “Following the completion of the term of his Uniform Player’s Contract, any Player with 6 or more years of Major League service who has not executed a contract for the next succeeding season shall become a free agent.”  Organizations began an exclusive five-day negotiation window (referred to as “the quiet period” in the CBA) with their own free agents. During “the quiet period” any Club representative and any free agent or his representative may talk with each other and discuss the merits of the free agent contracting, when eligible; provided that the Club and the free agent shall not negotiate terms or contract with each other. The following subjects are among those which may properly be discussed between any Club and such Player:
    • (i) the Player’s interest in playing for the Club, and the Club’s interest in having the Player play for it;
    • (ii) the Club’s plans about how it intends to utilize the Player’s services (as a starting pitcher or reliever, as a designated hitter or not, platooning, etc.);
    • (iii) the advantages and disadvantages of playing for the Club including the nature of the organization, the climate of the city, availability of suitable housing, etc.;
    • (iv) length of contract;
    • (v) guarantee provisions; and
    • (vi) no-trade or limited no-trade provisions.
    • Notwithstanding the foregoing, the free agent and his former Club may engage in negotiations and enter into a contract during “the quiet period”.
  • The fifth day after the last game of the World Series, 5:00 PM – Deadline for organizations to submit qualifying offers to their free agents. Last year’s QO was $17.4M.
    • This is also the deadline for organizations to exercise any club/mutual options.
  • November TBA – GM meetings.
  • The fifth day after the last game of the World Series – Free agents become eligible to sign with any team.
  • Tenth day after the end of “the quiet period”, 5:00 PM – Deadline for players to accept/reject qualifying offers.  Those who decline will become free agents.
  • November 20, 2018 – Deadline for roster expansion to 40 players prior to the Rule 5 draft.
  • November 26-29: MLBPA Executive Board Meeting, Dallas, TX
  • December 2, 2018, 8:00 PM EST – Deadline for teams to tender contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters, including arbitration-eligible players.  Non-tendered players become free agents.  Tendered players who are arbitration eligible who do not accept the tender proceed to the arbitration process in February.
  • December 9-13, 2018 – Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • December 13, 2018 – Rule 5 draft.
  • TBA – (last year on January 9th) – Salary arbitration filing deadline
  • TBA – (last year on January 12th) – Salary arbitration figures exchanged
  • TBA – (last year on January 29th – February 16th) – Salary arbitration hearings
  • TBA – (last year on February 14) – pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training (tentative: report on 2/13, first work out 2/14)
  • TBA – (last year on February 19) – all other players report for full squad workouts (tentative: report on 2/18, first work out 2/19)
  • February 22, 2019 – Phillies’ 2019 spring training opener at Tampa Bay (TBD)
  • February 23, 2019 – Phillies’ 2019 spring home opener v. Pittsburgh (1:05 PM)
  • February 24, 2019 – at Detroit (1:05 PM)
  • February 25, 2019 – v. Detroit (1:05 PM)
  • TBA – (last year on February 27th) – tentative start of minor league spring training.
  • February 26, 2019 – at NY Yankees (TBD)
  • February 27, 2019 – v. Minnesota (1:05 PM)
  • February 28, 2019 – Split Squad v. Baltimore (1:05 PM), at Toronto (1:07 PM)
  • March 1, 2019 – v. Pittsburgh (1:05 PM)
  • March 2, 2019 – at Tampa Bay (TBD)
  • March 3, 2019 – at Minnesota (1:05 PM)
  • March 4, 2019 – off day
  • March 5, 2019 – v. St. Louis (1:05 PM)
  • March 6, 2019 – at Toronto (1:07 PM)
  • March 7, 2019 – Split Squad v. NY Yankees (1:05 PM), at Detroit (1:05 PM)
  • March 8, 2019 – at Atlanta (6:05 PM)
  • March 9, 2019 – v. Toronto (1:05 PM)
  • March 10, 2019 – at Baltimore (TBD)
  • March 11, 2019 – v. Tampa Bay (1:05 PM)
  • March 12, 2019 – off day
  • March 13, 2019 – at NY Yankees (TBD)
  • March 14, 2019 – Split Squad at Pittsburgh (1:05 PM), at Tampa Bay (TBD)
  • March 15, 2019 – v. Toronto
  • March 16, 2019 – v. Houston
  • March 17, 2019 – v. NY Yankees (ss)
  • March 18, 2019 – at St. Louis
  • March 19, 2019 – at Houston
  • March 20, 2019 – v. Detroit
  • March 21, 2019 – v. Toronto
  • March 22, 2019 – at NY Yankees
  • March 23, 2019 – at Pittsbirgh (ss)
  • March 24, 2019 – v. Baltimore (ss)
  • March 25, 2019 – v. Tampa Bay
  • March 28, 2019 – Phillies’ 2019 season home opener v. Atlanta (3:05)

The rosters and lists are up to date as of September 15th.

Transactions (newest transactions in bold text)
9/15/18–Reading activated CF Adam Haseley from the temporarily inactive list
9/15/18–Lakewood activated RHP Ismael Cabrera
9/11/18–Philadelphia recalled RHP Enyel De Los Santos from Lehigh Valley
9/11/18–Philadelphia recalled LHP Ranger Suarez from Lehigh Valley
9/11/18–Philadelphia recalled RHP Drew Anderson from Lehigh Valley
9/10/18–LHP Kyle Young assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
9/10/18–Lakewood placed RHP Ismael Cabrera on the reserve list
9/8/18–Philadelphia recalled 3B Mitch Walding from Lehigh Valley
9/8/18–LHP Josh Tols assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
9/7/18–Philadelphia recalled C Andrew Knapp from Lehigh Valley
9/7/18–Lehigh Valley activated RHP Tom Eshelman

321 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of September 17, 2018

  1. I just don’t know where to begin. Matt Klentak has doubled down on the “new way” of doing things, and the result is that a lot of long time baseball lifers are being replaced by “sports information” people. Matt Klentak is also under the mistaken impression that players are interchangeable, and can be plugged in anyplace in the lineup, and anywhere in the field. He is wrong, and a great deal of the blame goes to John Middleton, who has bought this BS hook, line and sinker. The stuff that Gabe Kapler does as manager is the kind of stuff you expect the Tampa Bay Rays to do, because they have no chance of winning, and no fanbase. They have nothing to lose. But if John Middleton is going to sit there, and with a straight face, tell the whole world that some person who handles the analytics department is more qualified than some person who has an eagle eye for talent, well consider me not impressed, either by his ownership, or Klantak and Kapler’s baseball acumen.

    1. The Rays actually have worse players than the Phillies, a better record, and play in a tougher division. Just playing devils advocate here.

      1. And the Phillies are on pace for a 15-20. And the last two World Series champions are highly analytical organizations. And that the best team in baseball this year is a highly analytical organization.

        But let’s not let facts get in the way of an old timer complaining that things were better in olden days.

        1. They may have a 15-20 win improvement from last year, but that was just being lucky as hell in the first half winning those one run games. Look what happens when the luck runs out, and the appalling lack of fundamentals is laid bare for all too see. But keep deluding yourself into thinking that this a playoff team as currently constructed. And I believe that analytics can be a useful tool in the building of a consistent contender. It just can’t be the “be all, end all” philosophy that Klentak seems to be pressing ahead with.

        2. Exactly. Analytics has always been such a convenient scapegoat. This team didn’t fail to win because of analytics – they lost for a host of reasons, including the underperformance of trade deadline acquisitions and the regression of overachieving starting pitchers. And, by the way, I don’t believe that they have categorically rejected traditional scouting – who said they did? I think they are working hard to figure out what works for them long term. They aren’t Ruben Amaro old school (“forget about walks, I care about production” – I almost had an aneurysm when I read that) and they aren’t bull-headed Chip Kelly new school (where all forms of traditional thinking are thrown down the drain). They are trying to achieve the best of both worlds – and I like that. But it’s not all going to happen overnight – it’s a process and I like that they see this as a process. They are not pretending they have all the answers – they are pushing the boundaries to see what works and what doesn’t work. On a team climbing out of the cellar, what’s so wrong with that? As I said, I’ve had two real complaints with this group so far – one was player development which they are working on and the other is talent evaluation for domestic talent (I am NOT criticizing Sal Agostinelli and his team – without them this organization would be in big trouble right now).

          1. What is wrong with Production? Walks can only go so far in winning baseball games. Look how many times the Phillies had runners in scoring position this year and came away with nothing. The bottom line is you still need someone to drive in the runners.

            1. V, I think you misread my meaning as a winning team needs batters with both patience and the ability to hit a pitch that they like.

        3. V, the Red Sox have changed from a “Extreme Analytlcal Team only” under Ben Cherington to a mix between the “Older Method and Extreme Analytical ideas” under Dave Dombrowski. So the Red Sox have stepped back from their prior position. The Phillies seem to going toward the “extreme” position with no middle ground.

          1. philabaltfan………the irony of it all with the Sox….they hired, as some would say is the Father of Analytics (Sabrmetrics)….Bill James in 2003. I think he still may be there…he is in his late 60s now. And the next year they won their first WS in decades…then three years later another. Though, not sure he was the catalyst behind their first WS in 2003

    2. Mr. Wood, no baseball lifer has been replaced by a “sports information person”. All of the new sports information positions were created to help the baseball lifers adjust to all the data that the new people in the new analytic positions would be providing.

      The sports information positions were necessary because the concepts are new and most of the lifers did not want to be bothered with new. Anyone who is losing a job has “earned” it by not embracing analytics as a TOOL (not as the be all and end all), the same tool that ALL of the playoff teams are using.

      I don’t know where you are getting your misinformation (WIP?), but the Phillies employ BOTH scouts AND analytics people. The scouts find the talent (that hasn’t changed), and the analytics people are a part of the development process.

      1. I wrote a comment that was swallowed by the internet, but, Jim, you said what I was going to say (or tried to say) but you said it much better and you are more knowledgeable about what is going on with the team. Well done, sir.

        The analytics demon is a false boogeyman – it’s just more information. And one other thing – the team, from what I can tell, is trying to marry scouting/observations with analytics and it is a trial and error process since much of the information is new and evolving – they are trying to figure what works and what doesn’t. Isn’t that a lot better than just putting your head in the sand and ignoring potentially useful information?

      2. Jim–you may not have seen my reply to your comment about my “innuendo” asking for sources about coach firings from Kapler’s time in LA the other day as I was late to reply. So i’ll copy it and paste it here as this comment is another opportunity to say the new philosophy is a “with us or against us” mentality that Gabe has brought from Los Angeles.And it is a bad mentality and bad organizational philosophy, especially in light of your comments about concern and anxiety from young players and their parents on staffing. See my full comment from last week here:

        https://www.milb.com/midwest/news/dodgers-fire-managers-berryhill-shines/c-150154442

        “Berryhill, who led Triple-A Oklahoma City to an 86-58 first-place record — the best in the Pacific Coast League — a division title and a playoff appearance, was one of nine managers, coaches and instructors fired by the Dodgers this week as Los Angeles continues to revamp its farm system. A 10th coach is reportedly out as well.”

        “”All our Minor League staff put forth a tremendous effort in 2015, and we appreciate all their work and dedication,” said Gabe Kapler, the Dodgers’ director of player development. “At this moment in time, we wanted to bring in some new voices in some key areas. Our changes should not be viewed as a reflection on any performance; they simply reflect that we are heading in a different direction.”

        Later in the story…

        “The moves came on the heels of the Dodgers firing a dozen international scouts in August.”

        Via Wikipedia…
        “On November 7, 2014, he [Gabe Kapler] became the Dodgers’ new Director of Player Development.

        1. Good documentation, BSD. The only downside is I am not sure who here would be upset if the Phillies did as well as the Dodgers have done since 2014?

        2. Thank you for posting. I believe that one of the misnomers in baseball is that managers, coaches, front office people, et al get fired. In most cases, as in the Phillies and Dodgers example above, employees did not have their contracts renewed. I know that sounds like semantics, but when these people sign their 2- or 3-year contracts, there are no guarantees.

          I did notice that Kapler implemented changes after his first season with the Dodgers. Klentak is making changes after his third season with the Phillies. I’m wondering if he shouldn’t have started sooner.

          (That is what I would have thought had I read this when you posted. Now, however, after reading Klentak’s interview where he kind of laid things on Jordan, I think that if there was as big a difference in thinking as he insinuates, the organization definitely should have parted ways with Jordan after Klentak’s first season. Not that I’m personally advocating that, I like Mr. Jordan and his approach, but if they didn’t see eye-to-eye, the change should have been made sooner rather than later.)

          1. i think it’s weird and bad that Kapler is having this much influence on the minor league development staff. Obviously it’s Klentak’s call but that it happened at the end of Kapler’s first year managing, and follows the same pattern from his time in LA is no coincidence. Major league managers shouldn’t have that much say.

            1. FWIW, Jayson Stark’s impression is that, whatever input Kapler has, he was given a template by the higher ups to work with from the jump.

            2. We’ll have to disagree here. I know that the impression that Kapler has any amount of influence over Klentak is incorrect. Rather, I think that Kapler was hired because his vision was similar to Klentak’s. But to read more into it than that is a stretch.

  2. It’s difficult and frustrating trying to determine what talent is actually worth keeping on this team when the talent itself has been largely mishandled. At this rate, Gabe might eventually pinch hit for every player in the starting lineup before their first plate appearance.

    LET THE FUTURE PLAY!

    1. And remember the old LF to RF back to LF experiment in the spring? I’m still waiting for the findings on that fiasco.

  3. Let’s get real, this season is over in terms of playoffs and they’re playing out the string. It would still be nice to win 83 to 85 games if possible and finish strong. Lots of young players gained valuable experience thus season even if they came up small when the pressure hit. That starts with Hoskins who has to improve in pressure situations going forward and probably will with time. It’s hard to see the young guys losing at bats. Kingery doesn’t know what to think but the kid needed a month in the minors and didn’t get it and had a lost season. Hopefully he’s strong enough to bounce back next year. JP gets 3 hits and then doesn’t play for three days. Crazy stuff.

  4. “October 15, 2017 or on the fifth day following the last day of the World Series”…Rule 55 kick in ….and assume Joey Meneses is a goner at that time….probably signed by the Dodgers and their latest reclamation project begins.
    Perhaps MattK will add him to the 40….but doubt it.

    1. Okay, where on this team does he play? There’s a waiting line at first base – he certainly wouldn’t play there before Hoskins assuming Santana is traded or moved to third. So now you’re looking at the outfield – do we have any reason to believe he can be a competent outfielder? I like Meneses too – but it’s hard to see where he fits.

      1. LF…..Hoskins back to first….and then have this ‘new way’ GM practices what he preaches, and start to cull this roster of surplus MLB players who can be anywhere from average to a little above average..

        1. And that process needs to begin before December.
          Just looks at the transition in Boston from Cherington to Dombrowski….who brought in Kimbrel, Sale, Price, Porcello and goes full time with a struggling Bradley and Bogaerts.

        2. He’s really mostly played first base. How do we know he won’t be worse than Hoskins in left? Look, I don’t have any problem keeping him on the 40-man and giving him a chance if it doesn’t mean losing a more valuable player, but odds are that he’s not going to be any type of solution for this team.

          1. He did say this season RF was his best position.
            But understand he could be a poor defensive player……actually Listi may also fall into the Meneses category…..good hit approach but poor defensive player….except first base like Meneses.
            At least with Listi he does not need 40 protection

            1. Listi is younger and is speeding through the minors – may be more upside with him. This was Menses’ first really good year and he was 26.

  5. i get that this season wasnt supposed to be a playoff year, but im not sure what there is to feel really good about other than Aaron Nola’s season.
    Seems like we have Nola and Hoskins, still alot of question marks after that, and our hope is in signing spending big dollars on free agents. who is our third best player for 2019 right now?
    I don’t have any better feeling/knowledge about Kingery, Crawford, Franco, Alfaro, Nick, Odubel, Pivetta, VV, Eflin, etc being a real part of the future than I did before the season really, and not much progression overall with key prospects to make you feel like you’ve got that much coming up in the next couple years that is really going to help.

    1. You should feel really good about Hoskins. The key to me with a young hitter is whether the hitter is able to adjust after the pitchers have adjusted to him. Hoskins has adjusted to the adjustments. He’s the real deal. If he gets just a little better he’s a middle of the order slugger for them for the next 6-8 years and he’s clubhouse leader.

      1. In addition to Nola and maybe Hoskins you could also feel good (if you wanted) about Quinn, M Franco, Seranthony and Eflin(even if they haves run out of gas), Pivetta’s overpowering stuff and Hernandez…. I do! Huh – that actually is a pretty long list, isn’t it?

    2. Nick Williams did well once the Phillies realized that Aaron Altherr was not the answer in RF. He would be one of the positive results out of our position players.

  6. Its not as easy as old school vs new school. Hardly ever does any business go from 0 to 100 change in one season. We heard strikeouts are ok. Bunting is bad. Don’t hit and run ever!! Kingery 0 2 counts seemingly every at bat. It was hard to watch a lot of these games
    Also coaching is supposed to improve player performance. Besides Franco and maybe Nick, no position player improved. I would also say that it appears that Franco,Williams and Crawford are all dog house occupants. Interesting

  7. Started t put my top 30 on paper (actually on a worksheet). There are some very good players in this organization. I was looking at the under 20 yos. Four of our top 5 hitters, based on BA, are under 20. In fact they are all 17 or 18. Garcia, O’Hoppe, Aparicio, Vierling and Gutierrez are the top 5. Vierling is 21 but he was a 2018 draft pick. Do O’Hoppe, Aparicio and Gutierrez belong in our top 30? I might squeeze one of these guys into my top 30. Listi is 6th in BA but is 24. Age lowers him in the rankings but he definitely belongs. Haseley is 9th in BA and he’ll be very high. If I was ranking the 1st year players and not looking at how much money they got or where they were drafted, Alec Bohm might have a hard time breaking the top 5 and yet he’ll be in my overall top 10.

    Who do you think had the lowest WHIP for guys over 50 IP? Gustavo Armas won that distinction. How many of you have him in the running for top 30? I certainly didn’t. Kyle Young, Andrew Brown, Will Stewart and David Parkinson round out the top 5 lowest WHIPs. Cole Irvin is 6th in WHIP so that makes 4 of the top 6 lefties. I hope there’s enough room on top 30 for Rosso, Falter, Lindow, and Llovera. Seabold also should be in the discussion here.

    As I said, we have a lot of really good looking prospects and trying to stuff them all in the top 30 will be impossible but it’s awfully fun trying.

    1. @Bellman – Gustavo Armas has a 70-grade name but his overall stuff is only half of that. He’s 22 yo playing in Low A ball basically repeating every low minors level he played with. He had a good year this year, but it’s an outlier. I’ve seen him a lot in LWD and he’s not that good.

      The low minors have a lot of hidden gems which includes the 2 “Big Ben’s” — Big Ben Pelletier, 20 yo, showed good hitting for power and average for the last 2 years and Big Ben Brown, 19 yo, is throwing up to 94 with secondaries showing promise. Other gems are Nick Torres and Vic Santos — they are not mentioned a lot but should be up and coming.

      Mo Llovera might warrant a low 20’s ranking due to plus FB and proximity. I will not mentioned O’Hoppe, Silva and Falter become I’m biased towards them.

    1. Well, the stats match the eye test. One of the little secrets about the 2008 team was that they were really good on defense. They pretty much never beat themselves.

      1. Romus, Okay, I’ve been biting my tongue on this for a while. But, the Phillies infielders listed in the SDI were all negative WITH a good defender manning first base in Santana. Imagine their numbers if an average-to-below-average first baseman, like Hoskins, were playing first base. Hoskins is no Darin Ruf at first base, he’s more like Ryan Howard. The analytics people probably know this. He may never see first base. Even if the Phillies move Santana, Justin Bour is an above average fielder and might block him. Hoslins may be in LF for the foreseeable future. Whew, good to get that off my chest.

        1. Yeah..Hoskins was a defensive liability coming out of college according to Ruben in his podcast interview with Jim Salisbury a few weeks ago. They worked with him to get him serviceable enough.
          Hoskins may go the Bull, Inky, Pat the Bat route and stay as a fixture in LF.
          Personally, I am optimistic that at some point in the next two years, Darick Hall will playing first base and pounding the ball 30/35 times into the right field bleachers.

          1. Keep an eye on who plays where in the AFL. I’ve heard that some guys will see time at new positions. Also heard that another guy is coming to Instructs (not on the Instructs roster) to learn catching. And, Ben Pelletier took reps at first base this morning.

            1. Looks like they want versatility among their fielders….makes sense in the long run.
              And you already mentioned Scheiner may do some catching also.
              The first time in a long time the Phillies are finally deep at catching in A/Rookie ball….and now they want to start to convert guys to catching.

  8. Players that have gone backward this season:
    Cesar Hernandez
    Odubel Herrera
    Aaron Altherr
    Scott Kingery
    JP Crawford

    Taken a step forward:
    Aaron Nola
    Vince Velasquez
    Maikel Franco
    Victor Arano?

    Neutral:
    Rhys Hoskins
    Nick Williams
    Jorge Alfaro
    Nick Pivetta

    That’s not good enough.

    1. This isn’t directed at you Mr. Stassi, but this is as good a place as any to mention that a lot of Phillies are playing with and through injuries. I think a lot of people know that Roman Quinn is playing with a broken toe. But I heard that an infielder has three broken toes. I heard that a starting pitcher is pitching with an oblique. Another player had injuries before his recently publicized wrist. Almost every player who didn’t spend an extended time on the DL could have spent some time there, but they played through their injuries. It’s a long season and injuries are part of it. But, I didn’t realize that we had so many hockey players on our roster.

      1. Broken toes would explain Cesar Hernandez. He is usually our most consistent hitter but his (already low to begin with) power has vanished and his swing looks terrible.

  9. It is much more than old school vs. new school. I am 64 and have been a fan since 1961, one of the worst teams ever. I am all for the analytics and how valuable of a tool they are. In fact, most of what I have learned has been from being on this site so long, and having you guys direct me to sites that explain some of the phrases that were Greek to me. My problem is the lack of fundamentals, number 1, starting with how bad we are defensively. And, a lot of that is guys playing out of position. And, second is the way that KIngery was mismanaged. I am tired of hearing about Ben Zobrist. My long term view of Kingery is Dustin Pedroia. I hope they sit him down, give him an off season plan, and let him start fresh next year at 2B. I bet his hitting improves dramatically next year. And, they may have to take elss than perceived value for some of these guys. They did with Bobby Abreu, and I don’t know if that was old school or new school, but it worked to propel the team forward. No one denied Abreu’s talent, and they got zero for him. And, the team was better.

    1. matt13…agree with your assessment.
      Interesting you bring up Pat Gillick’s Bobby Abreu example.
      Here was a guy…Abreu….who had a total 15bWAR plus 3 or 4 seasons before he was traded to the Yankees….for CJ Henry among others who never materialize.
      A loss trade on the books…..but Abreu at 31, still very talented at the plate and with plus raw skills, may have been blocking younger but unproven players (Werth/Vic) AND may not have the attitude that Gillick was looking for in a winning player on a winning team…not sure about that, since that was just conjecture at the time.
      I can see some Gillick doing the same with Doobie as he did with Abreu if Gillick were the GM….moving on without him.

    2. Completely agree, Matt. While the advancement of analytics takes effect within the organization, it looks like the major league manager has been playing square pegs in round holes. That’s as much Klentak’s doing as it is Kapler, IMO.

    3. They really only played two guys out of position though. One was Hoskins who’s been bad in LF. I think it’s fair to criticize the Santana signing for that reason. The other was of course Kingery, but he was actually a pleasant surprise at SS (fielding-wise). Most of the bad defense has come with guys playing their natural positions poorly.

      I’m not sure why the Phillies management gets blamed for Kingery not hitting at all. It’s not like he was playing SS so poorly that it was carrying over to his hitting. Early in the year when he was playing a different position every night he actually hit better than when he settled into being the everyday SS. We could have sent him down mid-year maybe, but it’s a big red flag if you have to send down a 24 y/o because he can’t hit major league pitching.

  10. This is the 2019 opening day roster I hope materializes:

    C Ramos (re-signed), Alfaro

    IF Hoskins, Kingery (2b only), Crawford, Machado, Bour, and a solid utility infielder via trade or FA (I wouldn’t try to re-sign Cabrera).

    OF Williams, Altherr, Quinn, Harper

    SPs Nola, Arrieta, FA LHP (Kikuchi or Corbin), Velasquez, and I’d like to see Irvin given a shot in spring training.

    Bullpen – a newly acquired closer, Pivetta, Hunter, Neris, Seranthony, Neshek, and 2 lefties other than the ones we have currently (although Davis has been ok….perhaps try Suarez?)

    That leaves a major league trade pool of Santana, Hernandez, Franco, Herrera, Knapp, (perhaps) DLS and Eflin.

    1. I agree that comes close to your best roster should Harper and Machado sign. However, unless the Phillies show some life in these remaining games. They may not see the Phillies as the future. Whether or not they sign, trading Santana, Herrera, Knapp, and Hernandez makes sense. If they don’t sign, the Phillies must keep Franco. Also, you can’t let Meneses just get away. They should take a good look at him during ST. Few hitters did better in the farm system this past season.

      1. “you can’t let Meneses just get away”. We have to accept that Meneses is gone. He’s a free agent, and can sign with whomever he wants. With Santana, Bour, and Hoskins blocking, he will likely look for a better fit with another team. He would probably need to see Santana traded AND Bour non-tendered before he would consider re-signing.

    2. I’m almost ok with just cutting Santana if it means Harper and Machado come here. Hoskins NEEDS to be moved to 1B. Like someone else alluded to, this defense needs to get better. Moving Hoskins to first is one move that can almost make 3 positions better defensively in that moving Hoskins to first can have a better LF and most likely have Quinn in CF and Doobie to RF or another RFer.

      Phillies can afford to eat Santana’s contract for only 2 more seasons. I’d do it if you couldn’t find a trade partner.

      I do think trading off Doobie, Franco, Hernandez could get real nice pieces. Maybe SD still likes Franco and trades the Phillies some pitching. Those are 3 names that could benefit some teams and get the Phillies some good pieces in return plus let other, possibly better, players play.

      Kingery should be at 2nd, Crawford should be at SS, Machado at 3rd (convince him to do it), hell, re-sign Galvis as a bench sub. Bour’s good platoon for Hoskins at 1st. That’s still a really good IF with loads of potential. REMENDOUSLY better defensively.

      I’m really excited about this off-season. I feel Kingery and Crawford are going to be better suited coming back as the starting middle infielders.

      Rambling but some of these dead-weights need to be moved and the actual core needs to be cemented.

    3. My understanding is that Machado wants to play SS (even though he appears to be a better fielder at 3b) and in order to sign him we may have to promise him that. Agree about Cabrera

  11. I’ve always found it interesting how much flak I’ve gotten for being analytically inclined about baseball (this is in general, not necessarily on this site). And more broadly, I’m shocked how adverse a lot of people still seem to be about it. The common refrain I hear is that I’m just a geek (or some variant) that doesn’t really know the game or watch the players… except I’ve been immersed in the game for my entire life.

    My family has had partial season tickets since I was born, I go to games all the time. And like many of you older fans, I’m legitimately irritated by those people at the park that are just staring at their phone. When I was too young to play baseball, I played tee ball and quickly discovered the concept of a force out wasn’t common knowledge among my teammates. I was no super star, but I was always at the highest level team my age would allow. I made every all star team, won a few championships, blah blah blah. All of this to say, I’ve been a student of the game since I was born. Baseball is one of my passions. And I’m not an outside observer; I’m a former player and, when I’m older, will be one of those “lifers” that people mention.

    Advanced analytics are not perfect. They are still trying find the answer to some questions, and I’m certain some answers they currently have are incorrect because of a human element that is so hard to account for (for example, I agree about not bunting in general; but I believe there needs to be adjustments on the calculations of steals). But here’s the thing: people who do all this research LOVE the game. Maybe not in the same way you do, but you don’t pour THOUSANDS OF HOURS into research just for the sake of it. They want to understand baseball in a way that no one previously could. They want to know everything about the game. And they learn a lot of things that can help ALL of us understand the game better.

    Many times what they find are NOT single solutions for problems, but ALTERNATIVE solutions for complex problems. They are not trying to say, “this way is inherently, always better.” They are trying to tell you, “we may have misunderstood how this generally works, and there may be a way of doing things that usually works better; but not always.” The goal of analytics has never been, and will never be, to replace the love of the game. It’s a way to enhance it. If you see something you don’t agree with, don’t just say that everything is worthless. Pose the question: are we sure this is correct? Have a dialogue. Improve the theory. Help each other understand the game more. Stop with the us vs. them mentality already. We all love this game. There’s room for everyone.

    Sorry for the rant.

  12. However the off season shakes down, the defense will improve exponentially if only they establish regulars or platoons at each position. That end would best be served by signing both Machado and Harper (who would of course improve the offense at the same time) and trading the above mentioned chips. The pitching will continue to be a work in progress, but another big league arm in both the rotation and bullpen should stabilize the staff significantly. That means 4 major acquisitions. Doesn’t seem like a lot considering the wad in Middleton’s pocket.

    BTW, Jon Heyman is getting killed on Twitter for repeatedly tweeting out about the likelihood in the minds of many rival execs that the Phillies may very well get both FA stars. He’s not always right, but he seems plugged into the pulse of informed speculation.

    1. 8mark…it would certainly be great if he Phillies could pull that coup with both.
      Just do not see both with long term contracts….maybe one of the two if they do sign with the Phillies.
      People on here mentioned Harper as a one/two year contract.
      I do not see how the Phillies can have them both, and still remain under the threshold if each gets 7 plus years on a contract.
      Nola and Hoskins will be getting theirs in a few years.
      Those four can probably total $115M AAV in three years…then what happens with Trout?

      1. Romus, this is true. Harper’s is likely to be the more opt out laden contract. The Phillies would be wise to offer him the second year after ’20 (when Trout presumably goes on the market) and maybe the 4th or 5th yr opt out when he’s around 30 yrs old and can reassess his market. Manny will also receive an opt out or two, so these potentially huge gets should by no means be defined as long term.

        1. 8mark…well they are possibilities that cold be explored.
          If the Phillies could get just one under a long term contract I would be satisfied.

        2. Machado
          Year 1 $50M (includes $10M signing bonus)
          Year 2 $37M
          Year 3 $37M
          Year 4 $37M (followed by opt out)
          Year 5 $35M
          Year 6 $35M
          Year 7 $35M (followed by opt out)
          Year 8 $30M
          Year 9 $30M
          Year 10 $30M
          Years 11-12 each $25M with team buyout of $10M
          Total value range $366M-$406M

          Harper
          Year 1 $50M (includes $10M signing bonus)
          Year 2 $40M (followed by opt out)
          Year 3 $40M
          Year 4 $40M (followed by opt out)
          Year 5 $35M
          Year 6 $35M (followed by opt out)
          Year 7 $32M
          Year 8 $32M (followed by opt out)
          Year 9 $30M
          Year 10 $25M
          Years 11-12 each $25M, with team buyout of $10M
          Total value range $369M-$409M

          My guess is Boras will wait until Manny signs, then get a little more…but not much. Besides, there likely won’t be a better offer. Middleton has to blow the rivals out of the water.

          1. 8mark….wow.
            Though did read were Machado is projected to get a little more than Harper based on his defensive capabilities and the fact he is steadier and not inclined to long periods of slumping.

            1. All things even, yes you’re probably right, Romus. However, Boras is known to drag out the process. Plus he’ll play the “marketability” card in selling Harper as the known face/personality. Field wise, Machado is definitely the steadier, more consistent player at a more valuable position. But we’ll see….

          2. Machado contract will be AT LEAST $40 M per year and I agree that there will be multiple opt out periods. Harper will not sign a long term contract unless someone goes nuts and gives Harper and Boras the type of money he would get after an MVP-type season. I still expect Harper to sign a one-year pillow contract – probably for somewhere around $35 million – if it’s a two year contract, the second year will be for around $40 million.

  13. There was an article yesterday at mlbtraderumors.com where they said and now has been scrubbed a player was and I am paraphrasing here, Kristopher Negrón was “High on Phillies list as a great player” and that person who reviewed him was low-level mgt. position at the time and is now high level within the Phillies.

    At least MLBT.com then said, this is a worry if they think Negron is a tremendous player

    Anyone else saw this? IF true that they scouted and thought Negron was awesome, wonder who else they think is awesome.

  14. If I have any worry at all it’s that Middleton and team relied too heavily on internal consultants when he hired Andy and from that we got Matt and we didn’t get the best available minds that were available to us.

    It’s not an easy business and when Theo left Boston the Sox and Cherington found that out. The Cubs smartly snapped up Theo who smartly nabbed Jed. They then saw an opportunity to go proven manager and quickly deposed Renteria for Maddon.

    Jim Crane somehow knew that Luhnow was the cog in the Cardinals success and smartly scooped him to build their FO.

    Feels more and more like we got the Bo-Bo brand of analytics!

    1. the way I read and interpreted his comment, was “wow you value that guy highly?” no one in their right minds does! What is missing is when that mgt person said it in his career. I try to look at both sides, but when would be the question.

    2. DMAR…..since Klentak’s job is entirely depended on Kapler’s success I would hope that the ‘Bo-Bo’ analytical dept head can, along with their traditional counter-parts in scouting, can come up with assets that will produce favorable results.
      The prior regime has given them a substantial good base, just not great, of youthful talent.
      Then again a few prospect nuggets like Sixto/Medina/Haseley/Romero all come thru then that helps immensely along with that big FA signing.

      1. Agree. 2019 minor league season across the system needs to produce some breakouts, especially bats. We need a healthy Sixto, progressing Medina, Haseley slashing, and boppers like Bohm and Ortiz to have serious power numbers consistently from spring to September. It was a lotta fun following the core of talent at Reading in ’16, onto Lehigh in ’17. Winning together goes a long way in developing players, IMO.

        1. 8mark…Ortiz is someone I would like to see take that next step. I watched some of his playoff ABs….he still has a little pooch around the mid-section. The raw talent is there. Though his LKW season was not enough fora certain promo to CLw nxt season, I would still like to see him there.
          I’d like to see him. starting today in the FIL at the Complex, all thru spring training , the regular season, 2019’s FIL and thru 2020 spring training.
          As the Twins did to Sano by sending him down to their Comlex in Ft Myers to lose weight/tone up….I like the Phillies to do that with Ortiz..18 months at CLW, the Complex and training facilities and monitored to get into his best physical condition.

  15. Romus, to me, this off season is crucial. We need a star player, and MacKlentak needs to make decisions that affect almost all of the positions on the team. They cannot punt this offseason, cannot push the Doobie and Cesar decisions off to another year. I don’t know how good our front office is, but we will all learn a lot about them very shortly.

        1. Agree…..sometimes better to trade a player year earlier, than year later….wait a minute, someone once also said that.

  16. Was just visiting MLBTR. An article today speculates about Charlie Morton’s future and whether he will even continue to pitch beyond 2018. Health, performance, and one other factor mentioned was his wife’s home in Delaware. He turns 35 in Nov. He might receive and accept a QO from Houston. But if he declines, I would be interested in exploring a 2 year deal for a guy who could be a very solid #4 in our rotation. What say ye?

    1. They speculate a little more than lefty Hill and maybe two years could be done…so I would think 2@$36M is what he may ask.
      Just do not sure if I would go that way with all the RHPing arms already trying to forge their way into the rotation, ie DLS and Eickhoff , probably two of the latest to try next season.

  17. Baseball america all star team

    FIRST TEAM
    Pos Player (Highest Level)
    C Danny Jansen, Blue Jays (AAA)
    1B Peter Alonso, Mets (AAA)
    2B Gavin Lux, Dodgers (AA)
    SS Wander Franco, Rays (R)
    3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays (AAA)
    OF Kyle Tucker, Astros (AAA)
    OF Jo Adell, Angels (AA)
    OF Alex Kirilloff, Twins (HiA)
    DH Eloy Jimenez, White Sox (AAA)
    Pos Player (Highest Level)
    SP Dylan Cease, White Sox (AA)
    SP Touki Toussaint, Braves (AAA)
    SP Justus Sheffield, Yankees (AAA)
    SP Ian Anderson, Braves (AA)
    SP Jesus Luzardo, Athletics (AAA)
    RP Colin Poche, Rays (AAA)

    SECOND TEAM
    Pos Player (Highest Level)
    C Austin Allen, Padres (AA)
    1B Nate Lowe, Rays (AAA)
    2B Brandon Lowe, Rays (AAA)
    SS Royce Lewis, Twins (HiA)
    3B Taylor Ward, Angels (AAA)
    OF Yordan Alvarez, Astros (AAA)
    OF Alex Verdugo, Dodgers (AAA)
    OF Tyler O’Neill, Cardinals (AAA)
    DH Franmil Reyes, Padres (AAA)
    Pos Player (Highest Level)
    SP Logan Allen, Padres (AAA)
    SP Corbin Martin, Astros (AA)
    SP Taylor Widener, D-backs (AA)
    SP Michael King, Yankees (AAA)
    SP Patrick Sandoval, Angels (AA)
    RP Tommy Eveld, Marlins (AA)

    Not one phillies player…disappointing.

  18. Ok, again tonight with another example. I would rather have Crawford face the lefty Zamora than Joey Bats face Drew Smith. But no, Kapler has to “manage” as if he’s the show. They needed baserunners, lots of them, not one swing from a washed up has been. Meanwhile the Braves are down 4 runs late to St Louis, the Nats lost to the Fish. This division is more tortuous than laying in bed while the bathroom faucet drips in the middle of the night. Somebody shut it off!

      1. He may lead the team with 140 strike outs, but there’s more to it than that. Of the 12 players with over 100 plate appearances plus Quinn who has 96 PA, Hernandez’ 21.9% K% ranks 6th, ahead of Hoskins, Kingery, Crawford and others. And his 13.3% BB% is second best on the team behind Santana.

        Franco, 13.6%
        Santana, 14.0%
        Quinn, 17.7%
        Herrera, 20.0%
        Cabrera, 21.3%
        Hernandez, 21.9%
        Hoskins, 23.0%
        Williams, 24.6%
        Kingery, 25.4%
        Crawford, 27.0%
        Altherr, 32.2%
        Knapp, 32.6%
        Alfaro, 36.7%

        1. I wonder if the higher K rate is also a reflection on the higher number of pitches he sees.
          Seems Cesar is i more full counts than any other player outside of Hoskins and Slamtana..

          1. I know that we walked 22 more times than the Mets, but also K’d 122 more times. I know they don’t seem to care about Ks, or maybe they do, and I am misinterpreting what I hear from them, but that is way too much. The Mets stink, and I find it very difficult to watch us play against them and keep losing.

          1. Strike outs have never been an area of concern with Franco. Quality of contact has.

            2014 – 22.4% (in 58 PA)
            2015 – 15.5%
            2016 – 16.8%
            2017 – 15.2%
            2018 – 13.6%
            career-15.6%

  19. Yelich hit for the cycle AGAIN tonight. MVP candidate. I often wonder what package MIA turned down last off season from Klentak for him.

    1. If I remember correctly, the Phillies were dead set to draft Yelich, but the Marlins snatched him one or two picks ahead of them. Haven’t been able to acquire him since.

    2. Yelich was someone that we all wanted, and I believe the FO did as well. The key, from what I remember reading, was Lewis Brinson? Whatever the Brewers gave up, it was a great move by them. We need a similar one.

  20. While I don’t know exactly how things will pan out, I do know that, a few years ago, I expressed concern that the Braves were simply acquiring better prospects than the Phillies and that, over time, this would likely lead to the Braves developing better major league players and it looks like that is precisely what has happened. In addition, the Braves have been better at identifying better hitting talent in Latin America – leading to players like Albies and Acuna. So, let’s be frank, for now, we are behind the Braves although exactly how far behind is not entirely clear.

    I am not concerned about the Phillies’ pitching talent for now. They have a lot of arms in the pipeline and more than a fair share of younger major league arms, several of which will develop. But I am concerned about their scouting and developmental capabilities. These are not easy fixes. They are things that take a few years to fix and then a few years after that to really start bearing fruit as younger players mature.

    1. The Braves have been a better organization than the Phillies for quite some time now, despite the recent indiscretions of their FO. Pipelines like Atlanta, St Louis and San Francisco always seem to sustain quality of young talent, both in evaluating as well as development.

      Your second paragraph is a good take, Catch. I wonder if the Phillies system is even among the top 15 in MLB at this point. Good lower level arms, scarce in the bat department throughout. And Jim’s post on Ortiz’s issues (rule 5 thread, I believe) raises another red flag.

  21. I admit that I am now down to just looking for 1 or 2 things to be happy about when watching the games. Last night it was JP’s 3B with the bases loaded. That made my night. I am very much on the “get Manny at any cost” bandwagon, but I do not want to lose JP. I am hoping for a way to have MM, Kingery and JP all play together. And, Jim, you make a terrific point about Rhys and his D. Moving him back to 1B may not be such a great idea. Does anyone know if the DH in the NL can be on the Winter Meetings’ Agenda, or does that have to wait until the next CBA?

    1. And looks liker the players want it to….without waiting for the next CBA

      https://www.bleachernation.com/2018/07/17/adding-the-designated-hitter-to-the-national-league-gaining-momentum-among-players/

      “The concern I’d have if I were the players, though, in espousing this view publicly is that they’ve now handed ownership another lever against which to push in the next CBA negotiations. Owners are much less likely to push for the DH in the NL on their own, so if it’s something the players “want,” then it becomes a bargaining chip.”

      MLBPA Exec Dir Tony Clark says the idea of a universal DH among players “is gaining momentum… players are talking about it more than they have in the past.”
      11:53 AM – Jul 17, 2018

    2. I think the commissioner can implement it at any time under the guise of “good for the game”. He threatened to do that last season the pace of play initiatives he was negotiating with the MLBPA. HOWEVER, I believe he needs a majority (or more? two-thirds? three quarters?) of National League owners to implement the DH in the National League. But, if he gets the required number of NL owners, he can implement it whenever he wants. I don’t think the union would stand in his way, anyway.

      1. Rob Manfred did announce awhile back that momentum has started to change in the designated hitter debate, and things don’t look good for long-time fans of pitcher at-bats. More NL clubs are warming to the idea of a designated hitter in their lineups, which would smooth out the last significant change between the two leagues. Though Mike Rizzo of the Nats hates the DH. I think it will come down to the GM and owners listening to their GMs.
        Though the owner can really use this as a good bargaining chip in 2021.
        Then there is the expanded Sept 1st roster changes that they are talking about also.
        Contending teams do not like it since lesser out of the playoff teams load up on relievers and Loogies.

      2. Jim, btw – it’s really good to see you post more often of late. Your informed input and opinions tend to shed more light on some of the debates exchanged here. I know your time is valuable but thanks for chiming in. It’s never intrusive even though you may opt to restrain from sharing your views and/or info. I defer to your vantage point, as I’m sure many who read and comment here do.

        1. Thanks. It’s really a byproduct of the minor league seasons being over. I have more time on my hands. I wish I could divulge all that I pick up around the Complex. But, I prefer to be factual and correct than to be first and be wrong. Case in point. The outfielder I referred to earlier as having a problem (medical, not substance related, BTW). I learned about it 2-3 months ago. My source was worried that I was burning him. I reassured him that I got a second source (actually I found out that a beat writer knows about and is researching the story). However, if a beat writer hasn’t reported it yet, then he is probably having difficulty getting corroboration. And, there’s a part of me that hopes it is not true.

  22. Jayson Stark was just on 97.5, said the Phillies position players are collectively minus-16 wins above average. That’s equivalent to Baltimore. Yeesh!!

    1. Alf and Knapp’s catching defense has been a big part of that.
      SS and 2nd have been below also.
      Not sure if Rhys’ negative 8 or 9 really plays a big role in overall scheme of things….but catchers touch the ball at almost at every pitch.

      1. Crawford, Kingery and Quinn up the middle will exponentially improve the defense. Add Manny’s GG at 3b and it’s a non-issue.

  23. I think we are all in agreement, that the Braves look better right now, and they have some young hitters that we, simply, do not have. Whatever the cause, we have to deal with reality. We were all disappointed that we were not the team that stole Toussaint, simply by eating some bad $, when we clearly have more than they do. But, now, we have to use that $ advantage and acquire the stud, established player/s, that the Braves do not have. The more I watched this season play out, the more I am convinced that we need to sign both Machado and Harper.

    1. I’m fine with Harper on a pillow contract – but 10 years for him scares me. Way too much risk given the price. Machado, to me, is a much surer bet.

      1. A Harper deal to me hinges around the Trout situation. Timing especially. ’20-’21 winter is as important an off season as we’ll have in the foreseeable future. This off season, Harper, Machado, FA market is more or less a no-brainer. It’s the subsequent years that Klentak and Co will really need to navigate more prudently, what with the young stars entering arb yrs and possible extensions.

            1. Right – which is why you don’t do it if you have too many lingering concerns. I wouldn’t do a 10 year deal with Harper given how much it’s going to cost. I would with Machado.

            2. Catch, would you consider an acceptable short term deal for Harper (and Boras, whose other Phillies signee Arrieta took $75M/3 yrs)? Year 1 – $45M, year 2* – $45M followed by opt out*, year 3 – $35M. Harper would still be only 28 yrs old after 3rd yr.

            3. Yes – it’s an overpay but that’s the only way you get someone like Harper who is a mid career slugger. But that deal won’t happen. Boras will either do a one year deal or a long term deal unless Harper demands something else and I doubt he will.

  24. I have not been all in on Harper like I am Machado. But, I look at what is out there, try and put together a team for next year, and believe they need 2 big bats. I don’t see a trade like the Brewers did for Yelich to be out there. What team is in the position that the Marlins were last year? If Rhys stays in LF and Bour or Santana is at 1B, Kingery at 2B, JP at SS, MM at 3B, Quinn in CF, Nick Williams in RF and Ramos at C, is that good enough? It may be. And, that is excepting Hinkie’s guarantee that Manny signs here and is willing to play 3B, not SS, which I believe is a huge if. They have to add a Lefty to the Rotation, one that is not just a #5 SP, and acquire a Closer. I sure hope Klentak is up to the task.

    1. I think the Rhys experiment in left is almost over. His poor defense swallows up almost all of his offense. It’s a serious problem.

      1. catch – I think that Rhys will work his ass off taking fly balls this winter. Every aspect of his game will be better next year.

  25. If Hoskins remains in LF, as Jim P strongly suggests above, then wouldn’t that make Williams another potential trade piece? Especially if they manage to sign Harper? Or does someone have the inside track on the DH being implemented in the NL?😀

    1. OR, since Hoskins is considered a defensive liability at any position, might they consider trading him to the AL for a nice haul? (Outside the box thinking here.)

      1. I would be shocked if they traded him. He’s the embodiment of what they want and he will be fine at first. He’s not going to be traded. He’s a building block player.

  26. Random thoughts, as always

    Big offseason for the rebuild to go to the next level. My worst fear for this prolonged rebuild was to go through the process… but come out in “2nd” place to another rebuilding team. The Braves look good in many different ways. Luckily for us Phillies fans, the fo can erase some of the gap with Middleton’s war chest … or it could widen the gap if they give out too many Ryan Howard type contracts. Will see.

    I like Herrera and Caesar, but something has to give. The Phillies could have deep bench, with a lot of unhappy players if not, depending on who they sign. I don’t see players accepting what went down this year, much longer. Especially players being brought in from outside the organization. My suggestion: this is the offseason to trade both. Poo or get off the pot with the prospects you been touting fit your analytics.

    On the DH – I love it, but it’s time for it to go. I think he could help with the “game is boring” complex the youths have. Also, giving pitchers large contracts, makes less and less sense to expose them to potential injuries during at bats and on the Basepaths

    Does this lineup look like it could beat the Braves offense or Mets next year? But feeling

    Quinn -CF
    Hoskins/Bour – 1B
    Kingery -2B
    Harper – RF
    Ramos/Alfaro -C
    Franco/Machado(dream scenario) -3B
    Williams/Altherr – LF
    Crawford – SS

    Now give Atlanta,Realmuto from the Marlins … it gets scary. Put a decent hitting team behind the Mets SP … not liking what I see either.

    1. Braves’ pitching is their weak link.
      They have many pitching prospects…but they can take 2/3/4 years before they can put it together….just look at someone like Luis Severino of the Yankees, and he was one of the best pitching prospect 4 years ago coming out of triple A..

    2. Tac3 – This was intended to be a developmental year. The winning was just gravy. Going into this season every position player was a question mark except Hoskins and Santana. The starters were Nola, Arrieta, and cross your fingers. What we have now is answers. The five starters are good enough to win. So good, in fact, that the Phillies released Ben Lively. The bullpen is good enough to win also, but both the starters and relievers could use upgrades. We’ll see.
      I’m positive that the Phillies will sign either Harper or Machado. Depending on which way they go, will determine which kind of trades they make. I’d hate to see them give up on Franco or Williams now. Not every player can be a superstar, but Franco and Williams can be excellent complimentary players, like Trillo and McBride were.
      The odds are slim, but can you believe that we’re still in this thing on Sept. !9th?

  27. Analytics and such……………..I remember back to the middle 50’s when baseball was so much simpler. When you went to the ballpark with the family. Aunts, Uncles, parents, cousins and grandparents. They let you in the park with your own food. Parents would pack ham and cheese sandwiches, chips, have a picnic lunch. We’d park outside at Connie Mack Stadium and give the kid a few bucks to make sure the car wasn’t sitting on blocks, missing parts or gone when it became time to leave.

    It was like a different world inside the stadium, all green and colorful. No one cared much that they had to peer around a steel pillar or whether the wooden seats were comfortable or not. The umpire called the play and when he was wrong a manager would be in his face, nose to nose, might even kick a bit of dust on him. Everyone loved it, it was part of the show. No, lets stand around and have Abie Steinmetz up in NY break the play down to milliseconds to see if the foot touched the bag 3 milliseconds before the throw.

    We always tried to get tickets for twilight doubleheaders. More for the money and twice the fun. When you went to the game, you knew before you got there what the lineup was going to be. Whitey leading off in centerfield. Jones at third, Hamner at short. Allen at first, etc. There was no rotary bingo basket in the managers office filled with the players names to randomly select the days lineup, nor did he pull the names out of a hat. Some of the starting pitchers could actually hit and most of them lasted longer then 4 or 5 innings.

    One game I remember was on Andy Seminick Day. They were playing the Cincinnati Reds and Ted Kluszewski wearing the sleeveless jersey of the Reds had hit a double off the scoreboard. The next batter singled him around 3rd where he met Andy blocking the plate. “Big Klu” sent Andy ass over teacups to the backstop on his special day no less. I suppose if you had ask Andy immediately after the game his thoughts on a proposed Posey rule, he might have thought it had merit, but probably not, it was part of the game.

    The game of baseball has changed. You could go to a game and half pay attention, relax, laugh and have a good time. Somewhere they are missing the value of old time baseball as they try to make this game the equivalent of a chess match. The only statistics that we knew back then were on the backs of Topps Baseball Cards. I think I liked it that way best.

    1. Jim…yearning for the days gone by. The game has certainly changed. And Shibe Park/Connie Mack….got my one and only ball there during a meaningless Sept night game, off the bat of Cub George Altman.
      And not just an ordinary scoreboard….but the Ballentine’s scoreboard.

    2. The human creature is a strange and complex animal as it always yearns for more. It’s compelled by curiosity and restlessness to seek and destroy if necessary anything that stands in the way of perceived progress.

      Take it all in stride Jim until said humans invent the time machine in our lifetimes. Then we can all travel to the eras that best suit our inner soul….forward or backward.

  28. Kelvin Pichardo was signed by the Phillies a few months ago out of the DR for approx $100/125K.
    Any word are they going to have him as a middle infielder or a pitcher going forward?

  29. I just love it when the Nats get screwed. They, along with 5 other MLB organizations, were vying for favorable AAA agreements. When the Rangers finally reached an agreement with Nashville, that left Washington with none other than Fresno, CA – 2800 miles away from DC. Can you imagine the commute for a last minute call up? Way to go, Mike Rizzo!

    1. Hey….maybe he went with Boras under the condition that Boras’ other big client signs with the Phillies…Bryce Harper.

        1. Maybe Bryce can keep Rhys accountable for when he looks at meatballs right down the middle of the plate like he’s been doing. Holy strike out, Batman! Swing the freakin’ bat!

  30. Nola now 5th in innings pitched:
    1.- Scherzer • 206.2
    2.- Kluber • 203.0
    3.- Verlander • 202.0
    3.- deGrom • 202.0
    5.- Nola •199.1

    1. Separated by 7.1ip. Scherzer will probably get more Cy Young votes for being a 4-time winner when this year, Nola bested him head to head. ERA’s are close. But deGrom has clearly shown himself the cream of the crop. Maybe this will be the nail in the coffin to the traditional misperception that Ws and Ls for SPs actually means anything, other than the probability that he’s on a good team that supports him with enough runs.

      1. AL…King Felix already had his winning Cy Young accomplishment with that low W total for the Mariners many years ago.

        1. Yeah, but that was mostly because he was the league leader in ERA AND innings pitched. The only other AL pitcher in the same hemisphere as his ERA was Buccholz (hah), but with 70 fewer innings pitched. That’s sizable.

          The only other pitchers with 200+ IP and an ERA under 3 were Price and NL pitchers (including Halladay’s stud season). Price had an ERA almost 30 points higher in 42 fewer innings, so it was kind of a no brainer for people who value those stats.

          For deGrom, there were 2 other pitchers in Nola and Scherzer who were almost as deserving, but with decent win totals. But now he’s separated himself (or rather the other two have fallen off a bit and he’s stayed his consistently dominant self). Two weeks ago I wouldn’t have bet on him to win the CY, but now I would.

    2. The difference in innings is negligible – they have all have roughly pitched the same number of innings.

      1. I wonder if Callaway will shut deGrom down after his start vs the Nats if he pitches another great game and seals his chances for the Cy Young….he would have one more remaining probably vs the Marlins.
        I would think he would not based on his reputation.
        Shutting Wheeler down after the Phillies was precautionary with total max innings pitched coming off TJ a few years ago.

  31. Following the Braves-Cards game on Gameday app. Furious that the new StL skipper Stiltz(?) would allow rhp Jack Flaherty (who lost the strike zone in the 5th) face Freeman who homered and singled off him already today. So what happens? With runners on, Freddie singles home another run. It’s hard enough dealing with managerial ineptitude on our own club….

        1. ….or come close enough to sniff one. Losing gets old. Ask Scott Rolen. Misera’ble that he was, he saw the brass wasn’t bent on winning or they didn’t know what they were doing. Nice guys like Joey Votto are happy just to be where they are, playing major league baseball. Winning is great but not necessarily a priority to certain guys.

  32. Chi & NY are going to put up a good fight for Harper. I’m convinced he wants out of WAS. Close but no cigar. Both those teams are more easily plug and play than Phi.

    1. Tac3…agree both Chi and NY will come out swinging …even the Braves, since they lose Nick Markakis’ salary off their books and have many youngsters not even arb eligible.
      just i do not know how Theo will manage it financially…..he will need to decide between Hamels and Quintana, then throw in Lester, Darvish, Chatman, and Hendricks….then there will be Kris Bryant’s possible early buy out now with his first arb year next season. But he usually has tricks up his sleeves.

      1. Lol – I knew when I wrote that that you would respond and misrepresent what I previously said. I think I said he had like 35-40 percent chance of being with the Phillies. I still think this but I think the odds may in fact be as good or better than any other team. Maybe the odds are a little higher now – like 40-45 percent. But it’s a hunch and it’s NOT a “far cry” from what I previously said. Not at all. But it’s just a hunch that he’s here next year and, if he is, the contract will make everyone shake in their boots. It will be the biggest contract in MLB history.

        1. I told you I was going to mark you down as a non-believer when you posted this on August 17 … “That can’t be true, we’ve been promised by so many posters on this site that he WILL be a Philly – they would bet their moms’ lives on it. How could they POSSIBLY be wrong when they’ve guaranteed this for two years?”

  33. From Kiley McDaniel chat today:

    Buddy,,,: I’m tired of the misdirection, the false starts, and the lies. Should Phillies fans be excited about what Adam Haseley and Mickey Moniak have done this year? Especially Haseley.

    Kiley McDaniel: I’ll allow it. Moniak has had a much better 2nd half and looked better to my eyes when I saw him late as well. Haseley has performed and has a low-end everyday look, there’s just not much lift in the swing right now and he’s a tweener, so if he’s in LF that needs to come around. It’s more like Nori Aoki if he doesn’t

    Spencer Howard: How much helium do I have based on the 2nd half?

    Kiley McDaniel: Lots. Talked to a guy that saw you early to middle of the season and he had 92-96, 40 offspeed. It’s been upper 90’s, some reports of 100 down the stretch, with more 50-55 offspeed. We moved Howard up to a 45 and 8th in the system when we first heard of the velo bump. There could be more room to rise in the offseaon

  34. Analytics is here and apparently staying. However, in a series against Atlanta like the one coming up next, I would like very much to see Kapler employ some gamesmanship, and the pitchers claim the inner half of the strike zone and further inside, especially against guys like Freeman and Acuna.

    1. Why would analytics leave? The point is not to abandon it but to improve it and mix it with scouting and developmental techniques along with sports science.

      1. Exactly, Catch. My point is that instead of standing at the top step of the dugout with only a spray chart burned in his brain, how about leaning over to whisper, “Gee, Freddy Freeman looks awfully comfortable at the plate lately. Let’s make his LESS comfortable.” I’m talking about addressing the not-so-subtle nuances of the game that should create a little more tension when the dog needs to look for a competitive edge. Analytics doesn’t have to be a cold application of the numbers, that’s all I’m saying. Seems nobody gets pissed off enough anymore.

      1. Yeah. Here are the Manny Machado odds from the Hinkie Sports Book:
        Phillies 97.5% chance of signing him
        Yankees 2% chance of signing him
        The field .5% chance of signing him

    1. Cubs and Dodgers would have some serious $$$huffling to fit a big FA on their rosters. Yankees would have to move some serious talent to make room for either Manny or Bryce, probably for starting pitching.

      1. The “cap” goes up to $206M next year. Baseball-Reference has the Dodgers payroll at $190M. All they’d have to do is move Turner or Rich Hill. The Yankees have more holes to fill but only have $142M in salary next year.

  35. Harper to cubs is a strong possibility. I didn’t know that Kris Bryant and Harper grew up together in Las Vegas … playing baseball. Hard to overlook, since they talked about joining up in the big leagues. Feels like the baseball version of “the decision” If they are good friends, and chi gives enough money, I see Harper to the cubs. They will shuffle enough money around I’m sure to make it work. Not giving up hope, but I’m not even sure which player I’d want more anymore, machado or Harper. Machado seems like the safer bet for the money. With Harper, i Can see him declining faster, thus making that contract untradeable.

    I hope they get Manny, but that might keep Hoskins in the OF. I’ve never seen an offseason mixed with so many possibilities, hypotheticals, I have no real idea what will happen, just preparing myself for multiple scenarios, and hoping the FO navigates this correctly

    1. “hoping the FO navigates this correctly’….that may be the biggest concern this off-season for all Phillies’ fans. And quite a few seem to have their doubts if that can be done.

      1. Romus – i think they can get through this without any major screwups but the potential is there to really kill this rebuild. For instance, paying too much for Harper, and he stays at the level he is at now … for the foreseeable future. Do you give a guy with harpers production 30mil p/year because Machado lands elsewhere? On top of that, what if they resign Ramos and he is hurt pretty consistsnly for the life of the contract? Add in Arrietta, and that payroll flexibility just really tightened up.

        1. Agree.
          The Nats beat writer also had Harper pegged at $30M AAV…and whether or not they should do it.
          But if Manny goes somewhere else, then perhaps they will spend something like that on Harper…..but hopefully no opt-out clauses.
          Ramos had the two good healthy years….’15 and ’16 and many years of sporadic inactivity due to injury. I like his bat….but he also clogs the base paths like a few others on the team. Anything more than a three year contract by a team is plenty of risk.

  36. Hinkie has guaranteed me that Machado is coming here. I have to be a believer, because losing out on Machado and Harper is too depressing to contemplate. There is really not a good Plan B. The Trout trade talk, I think, is fantasy. First, i don’t think Moreno allows it until the very last minute. Rather, the Angels will be in on every FA out there tis Winter. Second, the cost for Trout would be so high, it would cripple the team. Any Cesar, Doobie plus trade would be dismissed immediately. They would want Nola and Hoskins and Sixto. Cesar or Doobie would be the 4th piece in any deal.

    1. I only wonder how much it would actually cost to acquire only 2 years of Trout. He’s a FA after 2020. That needs to be factored in as well. Still a haul, but the Angels shouldn’t get the same regardless should they fail to a) extend him or b) build a playoff team around him. At some point, doesn’t LAA have to cut their losses?

      1. To elaborate, I guess the only teams in the Trout trade market are those who deem themselves capable of re-signing him as a FA after 2020. There will absolutely be no sign and trade in his historic case.

      2. 8mark … the Phillies would have to start with Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery, and Sixto Sanchez (add on from there). They would also have to take back Albert Pujols in a hypothetical deal this winter.

        1. Which means it won’t happen. The Phillies don’t need to trade for him. I see 3 possible scenarios:

          1 – If he really wants to stay in Anaheim, he’ll re-sign with them this winter. End of story and any further speculation that he’d be traded.

          2 – If he chooses to move on as a FA come ’20/’21, Philly is his most likely destination.

          3 – Should the Angels trade him anytime between this winter and the trade deadline of 2020, no team is going to cough up the cupboard for any player they have no hope of re-signing to an extension by the end of ’20.

          Barring a serious, career threatening injury, I don’t see it play out any other way.

          1. 8mark…you nailed it with those three alternatives.
            Though Mike could actually sign a 10 year deal…with opt-out clauses after 2/3 years.
            Anyway, what do you think is the cut-off date when an offer is made his way…and he has the choice to resign or go?

            1. Romus, I’d have to guess that matter would have to be resolved by early Nov after the WS ends. At least if he gives the Angels a “nyet, danka”. Perhaps out of respect he gives them a window of negotiation. But by the holidays when football season is cranking up, we should know.

            2. I heard on some broadcast (sorry, no reference) that Trout and Angels we’re discussing a lifetime deal. I’m afraid he never reaches the market.

  37. noticed this on a mlbtrade rumors chat- just one guys opinion obviously.

    Doug
    5:39 Contract prediction on Wilson Ramos?
    Jason Martinez
    5:39 I’ll say 3/48 or 4/56.

    1. Yes to the Jason Martinez contract prediction for Wilson Ramos. I posted a couple of weeks ago, Ramos would get 4 years/60 million.
      BTW … I kind of doubt Klentak will re-sign Ramos. If you look at his recent rash of injuries over the last couple of years, you have to wonder how he’s going to hold up as a catcher heading into his age 31 to 34 seasons. For me, Jorge Alfaro will be just about as valuable during that time span, and will be 50 million dollars cheaper.

      1. I like Jorge the person, but he’s just a strikeout waiting to happen.

        I think the market is bearish on post-30 YO catchers with injury histories, which is why the Phillies will get Wilson for like 2 years and $32 M with a third year vesting option and a healthy buyout (like $7 million). Wilson is dramatically better than what they have now. Could that change over time? Sure, but I wouldn’t count on it.

        1. catch … apparently you and I will never see eye to eye on players’ values/contracts.

          An Aaron Nola LTC this winter:
          * Hinkie – 7 yrs@105 million
          * catch – 6 yrs@120-130 million

          Manny Machado contract this winter:
          * Hinkie – 37.5 million AAV
          * catch – as high as 42 million AAV

          Wilson Ramos this winter:
          * Hinkie – 4 yrs@60 million
          * catch – 2 yrs @ 32 million

  38. While I’m at it (and have the time), some were earlier speculating about contracts for Manny Machdo and Bryce Harper. Here’s my guess to what the Phillies will offer:

    Contract for Manny Machado 12 yrs @450 million (37.5 AAV). 1st opt out clause wouldn’t come until at least after year #4

    Contract for Bryce Harper 10 yrs @200 million (pillow contract)

    year 1 42.5 million
    year 2 42.5 million
    opt out
    year 3 20 million
    year 4 20 million
    opt out
    year 5 15 million
    year 6 15 million
    year 7 15 million
    opt out
    year 8 10 million
    year 9 10 million
    year 10 10 million

    Machado will sign for the 450 million dollars.
    Harper will consider/could sign with the Phillies if he and Scott Boras can’t find a really big money LT deal. Chances are better he finds a 12 year 360 million dollar deal from someone, and takes it.
    If (for some strange reason) the Phillies strike out on MM, they’ll be more aggressive/make a bigger offer to Harper.

    1. Great last point, Hinkie. Boras will tease out Harper’s market until possibly into the new year, but most definitely AFTER Manny signs. And that benefits the Phillies should Manny land in the Bronx instead of South Philly. Those are his 2 by far most likely destinations. Harper and Boras will first field offers from the big markets – Big Apple, Chi Town, South California.

    2. Machado will garner at least $40 M AAV – perhaps even around $42M. It is going to below peoples’ minds.

      1. Kershaw and Trout now sit at $33M….based on expected percent raises it will be $35M or a little north……I say 10years at $375M

    3. I don’t think the deal Harper signs will be less than the Stanton contract even if the deal is front loaded and comes with an opt out in 2020.

      The Stanton contract is the benchmark take that and add at least 20% and that’s the floor of both of these players deals and sure it is likely to exceed that.

  39. BTW … the Harper contract would encourage him to opt out after the 2020 season. At the same time, Mike Trout could become a FA.

  40. So, if we eliminate Trout as a possibility this off season, then there is no Plan B after Machado/Harper. And, I appreciate we may not want to re-sign Ramos, but if we don’t, Alfaro has a really long way to go to equal Ramos’ value. I would not be happy bringing Alf and Knapp back to Catch next year. There are serious Offensive and Defensive issues with that. I think we need a number of pieces and I want it all accomplished this off season. Maybe I am expecting too much from the FO, but I expect the Playoffs next year.

    1. Matt, I don’t think Knapp returns in ’19. Look for Austin Bossart to be protected on the 40man with a real chance to go north out of ST as a defense first backup C. I understand he’s good handling pitchers. Otherwise, they go outside the organization at least for 2019.

      1. I think Knapp is in LHV next season as an emergency catcher. Klentak can trade for a defense-first backstop (Austin Hedges?) this off-season to play alongside Alfaro in 2019.

        1. Major league catching is definitely a 2-man position now more than ever before. And I’ve seen it written that SD may prefer to keep Hedges since Mejia’s future as a catcher is already uncertain at this point.

    2. matt13…I only expect more wins than what they will finish with this season….anything less, even just one less, than this season’s final win total….then out with Kap and Klen.

  41. Romus, do you agree that Machado or Harper is a must get? We need that star player? Do you see a trade that would work?

    1. If the Phillies do not get one of the two….the owner will be very disappointed since the money will be there for either of them.
      What is the Plan B!
      Maybe a trade for a premier MLB ready prospect dangling one of the three pitchers..VV/NP or ZE and some other prospect (s).
      Maybe the White Sox, who need pitching now that Kopech and Rodon are having medical issues, and Giolito has not come totally around…..maybe try to get Eloy Jimenez for an OF corner position….he is about as ready as anyone out there.

      1. If both Machado and Harper sign elsewhere, then yes they should trade for young studs and load up on FA arms, beginning with Corbin, Kikuchi and kick the tires on 29 yr old MadBum to see if SF is willing to entertain a trade. He only makes $12M next season so it’ll cost a chunk of prospects to get him. But he’s definitely a big IF durability wise.

      2. Romus, “the owner will be very disappointed”? How about the fanbase that will revolt along Citizens Bank Park Way?!?!

  42. Quinn in the 9 hole tonight….Cabrera in the 3-hole.
    More mixing, juggling and matching.

    Phillies have have two…6 game winning streaks this season…..April and July. That’s it.
    Maybe if a lineup was used on a more consistency basis, there may have been more.
    Then again…..losing streaks have been minimized to some extent with the longest being just 5 a few weeks ago..

    1. Anybody know why Nicky Dubs is being buried on the bench in favor of Altherr (who I like, don’t get me wrong), again tonight vs a RHP?

      1. I assume him and Franco are being rested for the upcoming four-game Colorado series.
        Which, if it were up to the Braves, could be inconsequential after Sunday.

  43. In response to a few threads here, if the Phillies are to trade for Trout, I think it happens this offseason, right here right now. Trout has the first play, if he really wants to be back “home”, he uses his leverage now. He informs the Angels of his intention to test the market, and the owner reluctantly changes directions. He sees what WAS/BAL are left with once traded. It doesn’t make good baseball sense. He knows it, everyone knows. In the age of analytics, you need to maximize trade values to stay relevant. In turn he’ll use his leverage and ask for a bounty, knowing they won’t get it, so ultimately it will take less than Hoskins,Nola, and Sixto imo. If it is going to happen, it happens now. 2 years is not bounty worthy. 4 years is a different story, 5 definitely. If the Phillies can sign MM or Harper, I think it lights Trout’s fire more to say no to a LT deal with the Angels. I guess part of it depends on how much he wants to win with his current teammates. Imo, if it doesn’t happen this offseason, Trout won’t be in a Phillies uniform until the broken down days of his career, like utley/Dodgers. Too much can happen 2 years from now in playoff race to count on trading for him. Now or never for Trout. Will see. Will he be in town for Wentz’s return?

    1. Tac3……I still think he will sign a LTC with the Angels….but with that opt-out clause @ 2/3 years…..that will mean 4/5 years in LA, somewhere around his age32/33 season he will make another decision.

      1. Will see, if that’s the case, I don’t see him in philly until the curtain call days. The big factor we can’t measure is the family card/kids. I believe his brother unfortunately passed this year, that could have a role in coming home. What his wife wants will play a factor. Things we can’t measure from a distance. I give it a 70% this offseason he makes it here. Just a gut feeling. Phillies get 2 big players this offseason, one of MachadoHarper and Trout… or just trout. They have what it takes to trade, the war chest, and the desire. MLB might even want to see it happen for better exposure of Trout. He gets eagles updates during the game while playing OF… he could play a 1:30 game… and head over to the Linc in person for a 4:00 game. Tell me he hasn’t thought of that, then hangout afterwards with his buddy Wentz, comes home to his family/wife. Not a bad Sunday.

        1. Of all the players who ever had a chance to come here, I think Trout is perhaps the only one who would actually think as you have described. He won’t say it, but I’m pretty sure he would do anything with reason to play for the Phillies. That doesn’t mean it will happen, but I bet he wants this.

          1. Nothing is a lock, but I feel as if it is going to happen, it is this off season. The stars seem to be aliging. The wildcard that pushes him to philly is the family Card. Will have to wait and see, but

            If it does hap.pen, He has to know, his fan appreciatation will rival Utleys/Dawkins. I can hear/see trout chants during an eagles game. From what I hear, he doesn’t like the spotlight, but I think spotlight in philly will all be natural to him. I can see Lurie spring some assets to get him hear, the PR team between the Eagles and Phillies will be foaming at the mouth to have Wentz and Trout in town, during their peak years together. The perfect storm seems to be brewing… let’s just hope his wife prefers the east coast over the west coast, and blood/family vs good friends. If so, I think next year is going to be awesome watching Machado,Trout, and Hoskins in the lineup

        2. 1. Mike Trout will never tell the LAA, “Trade me because I’m not interested in ever signing a LTX.” He’ll most likely play the I want to get to the post season card.
          2. Arte Moreno is not going to trade Trout this winter.
          3. I’d put the odds of slightly better than 50% that Mike Trout tests the FA market after the 2020 season. If that happens, there’s a 98% chance he signs with the Phillies.

          Also (for Romus) … if Mike Trout wants to come home to Millville and play for the Phillies (and I think he secretly does), why would he put it off by signing another LTX with the Angels that would allow him to opt out after two years? He already has millions in the bank (146 million [by 2020] goes a long way in Millville). He’s going to want to get back here for the “way of life”/want to raise his family in Millville. He’d do it the first opportunity he gets.

          1. Why…because he does care about the fan base in LA and he is a character guy.
            I do not see him doing a Machado scene.
            And giving the org and their fan base a few more years may be his idea of temporarily placating that fan base while also giving him the opportunity to come back to Philly and playing more years here later..

            1. I think he placates the Angels’ fan base by saying he wants to get to the post season. Then when the Angels don’t make the playoffs in 2019 or 2020 (can’t see them beating out the Astros), their fans blame Arte Moreno for Trout leaving.

      1. Moniak – opinions split

        Haseley – some doubt he can hit for enough power to be a regular

        Randolph – seen as a non-prospect by other orgs.

        Garcia – has serious helium

        Duran – doubts about his ability to play a full season

        O’Hoppe and Gutierrez – positive buzz

        Marchan – no power

        Aparicio – doubts about staying at C

        (general consensus is we have a lot of back up catchers, maybe a starter or two if things break right)

        Ortiz – can struggle recognizing breaking pitches

        Bohm – doubts about staying at 3B

        Cozens/Green/Walding – bench bats

        Listi – Ruf 2.0

        Gamboa – tools but bat is nowhere near ready, needs 40 man protection

        Pujols – wait-and-see on adjustments

        Grullon/Bossart/Cabral – back ups

        Lots of good information I left out. And a LOT of evaluator/scout quotes. The Athletic is worth the price of admission if you like reading about sports.

  44. Anyone feeLong some magic in these final days?

    Put your bets down – I’m saying the Phillies finish 2-3 games out of 1st. No playoffs.

    Take 5 of 7 Braves.

    1. I hope we do better than that but your guess is more realistic.

      I’m going to Friday’s game in Atlanta. I may go to Sunday’s game too if we still have something to play for. I’m not interested in being there when the Braves May celebrate.

  45. Basically, the article had mixed reviews on Moniak, feels Haseley is a good hitter who will need to develop some power, and presently has little, Bohm gets a short paragraph that basically says he was drafted for power and hit no HRs in his start, and there are real doubts about his ability to stay at 3b, and Listi can hit but has no position. The hitters, as a whole, are viewed as without top end talent, except for Luis Garcia, who got a really good review, and a bunch of utility guys, if they make the Majors at all. So, to sum up, not a very good review. But, I don’t know that we, here, over value them. We think Haseley can be a player, but fully acknowledge he needs to hit for some power, we pray for MM, and hope the 2d half is a harbinger for next year, but no one is anointing him the next Juan Soto, we love Garcia, and we are all conflicted on Bohm, who generated the same conflict before the draft. Perhaps the Front office over values them, but our overall assessment involves a lot of hoping.

    1. i guess my question would be- if the Phils were a game or two behind the Braves heading into last night, is Gabe starting Santana at third? if so, id probably concur.

  46. If we don’t move Santana this winter, is there any way we can unload Tommy Hunter? Maybe eat some of the money we wasted on signing him?

    1. Down one run in the 8th inning? I know – let’s bring in Luis Garcia and his 4.95 ERA….oh wait, now it’s 5.77 after he gave up 2 singles, walked 2 batters – all 4 runners would eventually score. Ok, now let’s take him out.

      WTF happened to bringing in your high leverage arms in a close game in the late innings? Kapler using his mop up relievers in this situation utterly confounds me! He mismanaged this game horribly with his use of the bullpen alone.

      Then let’s watch Nick Williams collect splinters while Aaron Altherr Ks 3 times against RHPs and misses a catchable foul ball.

      In total, this may have been Tinkerin’ Gabe’s worst game of the season.

      And Cesar still can’t run the bases to save his freakin’ life! Two more blunders tonight. We won’t get a bag of balls for him this winter.

      1. Gabe’s decision to bring in Garcia was just awful. We can sit here all day long and talk about how this team “over achieved” and what not, but the bottom line is if the Phils sign some great free agents this off season and some players really take a step forward next year and develop, and this team finds itself in the pennant race next year and playoffs, who has confidence that Gabe is going to make the right in game decisions to win close September and October games? I certainly don’t and it’s almost every night he makes a decision that just doesn’t make sense, like bringing in Garcia over Dominguez or Neris. Just unbelievable. I’d love to hear a defense for that decision that makes sense…..

  47. Last nights game was a microcosm of the season. Their defense stunk (couldn’t catch pop flies, misplayed ground balls). Their base running is terrible (other than Hoskins going first to third early in the game). Their BP wasn’t good enough (too many BB’s and wild pitches).
    But … most of all (and worst of all) … that Phillies game was an absolute snore-fest. Middleton and MacKlentak see this and are licking their chops for the off-season to get underway. Lots of changes are on the way. This is team is going to be made over to bring a buzz to it. Bring in Manny Machado, and possibly Bryce Harper. Add a couple of arms (gotta’ find a closer). And there’s definitely going to be trades. Klentak is going to have to clear the way for the young guys to play (even if it means selling low on guys like CeHe).
    Let’s get these last 10 games over with, and get ready for a Phillies makeover !

    1. Hinkie, someone also has to tell Kapler he’s handling a major league roster of flesh and blood, not a set of socket wrenches. Otherwise, nobody will ever buy into all his positive waves.

      1. 8mark….agree.
        Unfortunately, Kapler is telling Klentak what he wants….not the other way around., since Klentak job is depended on Kapler’s success.
        Unless they are better next year, then one more agonizing year of this I can see….and they will be gone after 2019

      2. Kelly/Kapler its the same stuff in different packages. Sports science/smoothies and analytics/lineup juggling and then it wears off, the players excited and buying in……..and then discouraged and not. See VV last night after the game, do any of them look like they are having fun? The green team found a coach = super bowl. Hope we find one and a GM would be nice too!

    2. BTW … in the middle of that boring contest in Atlanta, I witnessed one of the most exciting plays of the season. That was an absolute studly throw Jorge Alfaro made (from his knee) on the strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play to end the 5th inning. He is the future. Let the young guys play.

  48. You all said it correctly. This was some Gabe managing that makes you shake your head. Altherr should not have been in the lineup, Williams should have. AA gets his chance, of course Ks all night, the last one with the bat on his shoulder to end the game, but even worse, misses a pop up. His calling card is athleticism and D. He failed his audition. Can’t even begin to understand Garcia there. I guess his “high leverage” guys are being saved for the really meaningful games! Yes, sarcasm. Great arm on Alf, but he has to hit much better and K a lot less or he cannot be the everyday C. And, I cannot keep watching base running blunders any more. Cesar, be proud of the player you made of yourself, and good luck with your new team. Doobie, Take care of yourself. No one on the team can steal a 2B from a 1B like Swanson did last night except for Quinn. That wasn’t just taking the extra base, that was stealing it. Atlanta was still stealing bases. up 6-3! Hinkie, I hope you are right about the FO, I really do.

    1. Matt, Romus, Hinkie, et al….

      I can’t remember being this discouraged about the state of the organization since MacKlentak took over. The only competitive advantage we have at the moment is Middleton’s war chest. And that’s no guarantee that the big fish will be lured here. All the analytics and sophisticated methods of constructing a playoff relevant roster mean nothing when fundamental baseball is being neglected.

      As for the youth coming up, Sixto and his golden arm have been bubble wrapped and stamped ‘handle with care’, Medina has yet to develop a consistent repertoire, Bohm hasn’t hit a ball over any wall, Haseley has little pop, and Garcia is years away. Nobody in the system screams, “here I come!”

      Somebody, talk me off the ledge…

      1. If Kapler passes you on the way down and says “So far so good!” it is just one of his positives…………..don’t believe him!

  49. Another painful loss …

    This team feels heartless… went out swinging for 3 innings then died for the season. Feels like a fruitless effort.

    This team cannot score runs, either oldschool or importing ever analytics trick in the book.

    The only winning baseball move I saw was Hoskins 1st to 3rd in the 1st. Great play, at the same time, it is telling, the mindset of their offense, to have to feel the need to take that risk… cause we might only score 2 or 3 runs.

    This team needs 3 bats … probably 4.

    On another note, I heard Kruk use a curse word on the air. There was a lead off double… and kruk suggested to a get “a really good bunted” in there.

    Anayltics are great and all, but I’d figure that Gabe would now how to manufacture runs with all these tricks he seems to have…. all that include getting feet across home plate …. it’s basically a playoff game, a they go 6 innings without scoring a run? Against a team who’s bullpen has been shaky recently? … come on… you gotta manufactuer a run at that point… cause the swing for fences approach isn’t working… consistantly enough… it hasn’t for the past 40 games.

  50. One glimmer – Klentak didn’t dismiss the lack of chemistry to Jim Salisbury. Kapler’s issues aside, there needs to be an influx of personality and team leadership. Who in the clubhouse is stepping on toes when the disco music is blaring?

  51. I’m just going to say this: I see Ronald Acuna, Jr., Albies, Juan Soto, and Victor Robles and I positively FUME! The fact that Atlanta and Washington bag one prospect like this after next and we are fumbling around with guys who can’t find their way out of A ball makes me irate. Okay, I got that out of my system.

    1. Not just that Catch but IMO not only did they derail the development of some of their better younger players they simultaneously devalued them as well.

      I could be wrong but Kapler seems to have lost Herrera, Franco, Williams and Crawford.

      1. Williams, Crawford and Kingery are Dusty Wathan boys. I wonder how that dynamic has played out, meaning has Dusty bought in to Captain Coconut’s Chaos?

    2. With all of the purging done in the system from Joe Jordan downward….It would not surprise me if I read long time international director, Sal A. was bring let go from the international area.

  52. Whats more disheartening our season or the Yankees. Sitting at 93 wins (they are 10.5 games out of 1st) and they have at best a WC berth. Assume with Judge back they lock up the 1st WC with the A’s taking the second.

    Had they been in the central they win the division and the Indian’s are in a fight with the Rays.

  53. Okay, so to boil down the off season for me….

    1. Get TWO BIG BATS. (Reminds me of Steve Martin’s standup routine about how to become a millionaire…first, you get a million dollars 😂….)

    2. Realign the DEFENSE accordingly AND assign positions to one player (unless it’s clearly a platoon situation). Versatility is great but it shouldn’t be a license for the manager to play Lincoln Logs with the roster. Continuity, routine and stability are friends to any player. Analytics can’t mess with that.

    3. Acquire as much seasoned major league pitching as possible via both free agency AND trading the extraneous chips we’ve discussed here ad nauseum. The pitching staff will continue to be a work in progress because hey – most pitchers are a work in progress, sometimes taking a step back before two steps forward. I simply don’t trust pitchers. You can usually rely on one or two if you’re lucky. But there are no permanent fixes to a starting rotation or a bullpen. It’s usually lightning in a bottle. The best solution – score lots of runs like the best teams do.

    1. LOL…..the Steve Martin routine, hah.
      And the Lincoln Logs….I guess only the old timers will remember them,,,,very good.

  54. This was a learning season, so they told us. This is what I learned. I rate the 3 young SPs, #1 Eflin, #2 Pivetta, and #3 VV. I think Eflin can win 15 games with an ERA under 4. I don’t believe in coincidence, and think the trouble he went through has a relation to the being jerked around by Roster management. Pivetta needs another pitch, and I think has good stuff, and VV just disappointed me. Yes, getting beat constantly by the Braves affects my thinking, but his #s are just not good and were really bad after July 31. He simply had little success vs. lefties, and that is a big problem.

  55. I don’t mind the idea of positional flexibility, however you need to have the type of players who can do it. If the Phillies are serious about being able to move players around the field, they should look into signing a guy like Marwin Gonzalez as a FA this winter.

          1. 8mark….do you think Kapler’s presence will have a positive or negative effect on Machado or Harper’s decision concerning the Phillies?.

            1. In the scheme of things, I doubt it’s that much of an issue. However, I think there will be internal discussions regarding treatment of such players in advance.

            2. It can’t help, but I’m not sure it hurts a lot. I know one thing – if I was Manny Machado and I was thinking about it, I’d look at how Carlos Santana was treated to determine how I might be treated as an established, proven veteran player signing with the team, and if playing out of position and batting all over the lineup bothered me, I’d have some tough questions for the team before I agreed to sign. I’m with Hinkie that if the numbers are big enough, it probably won’t stop them, but I don’t think the managerial tiebreaker goes the Phils way vs many teams…..

  56. Hinkie, I am all for that, but it works when Bregman and Altuve and Correa, etc. are the rest of the roster. Then a guy like that or Zobrist or Martin Prado who always killed us, is very valuable.

  57. Once the Braves clinch, I’m eager to see how or even if Kapler’s lineups change in terms of who plays where. We all are pretty much begging him to play the youth. The veterans had their shot.

  58. My perception of how Klentak and Kapler have operated for much of the season – I think Klentak told Kapler to play Hoskins, Hernandez and Santana every day at the top of the lineup. The rest of the roster, do what you want. And boy, has Kapler taken that and run roughshod with it. Seemingly in the name of “putting players in the best position to succeed” while giving us clinical explanations to justify his style of managing, which is nothing more than blatant overmanaging. Isn’t he merely trying to impress the higher ups by trying to prove he’s got the chops for the job? I am willing to give a guy a pass for his first year as manager but something has to be addressed about his “philosophy” before next season. Otherwise, Philadelphia will be hard to sell as a destination for both free agents AND ticket buyers.

  59. The stark difference between the Braves and us is disturbing. We go way too many innings without a hit, they seem to always be threatening. Their BA is among the league leaders as is their team ERA. The ability to hit is important, and although stats diminish the value of looking at BA, the teams with the worst are usually the teams that do not win. I think only the WSox and the Padres are worse than us. Performance down the stretch matters also. It is a different world, and things are a lot different in August than April and May. So, while all wins count, they are harder to come by when it matters the most, and we simply failed. The team needs a major overhaul, and I don’t know that they agree. My nightmare is hearing that this was a “growing pains” year, and all these young guys are going to blossom as we see basically the same team take the field Opening Day.

    1. Comes down to veteran players like Freddy Freeman and Nick Markaksis in the middle of their lineup that do not go into slumps…both total 256 wRC+.

    2. Matt, I share your concern but highly doubt they will bring back anything closely resembling this roster. From the 40man roster, I expect nearly half to change.

      1. 8mark – I expect about a dozen players will be gone from the 40 man roster, and, of that, six from the 25 man roster, They will add an outfielder (Harper), a starting pitcher, two bullpen arms, a catcher if they can’t sign Ramos, and a better IF/OF than Florimon. Loup, Knapp, Cabrera, Avilan, Bautista, and Florimon are History. That clears the space for the five spots that I’ve named.
        I’m not sure how many players need to be protected for the rule 5 draft, but I’d guess five. There’s not a lot of other players that I’d lop off of the 40 man, but I think that Hernandez, Cozens, Anderson, Luis Garcia, Suarez, Bour, Herrera, Franco, and Altherr are all trade bait. At least five of them will be gone next year.

        1. I think Avilan is arb eligible for a couple more years. A lefty reliever is a premium commodity if he can throw strikes. I’ve seen enough of Adam Morgan. Next! Loup faced what – 2 batters since he was acquired? And retired neither. So yes, lefty SPs and relievers should be a focus in the off season.

          1. I’m not sure that the Phillies will make Avilan an offer. For my money, he’s equal to Morgan, and I’ve been screaming for an upgrade at that spot all year.

  60. You hear Gabe or read the interviews with John Mallee and they say in response to direct questions that their “philosophy” is a good one. They teach “aggressive selection”, and that these young guys are learning. And, when it seems like they are looking at pitches right down the pike, they review the film with them and teach. Ok, I buy that. Did anyone see improvement as the season went on? I didn’t. I saw the same approach last night that I saw day 1. I did not see Roman K last night. I turned it off after the 7th Inning melt down. But, Thursday night I saw Altherr end the game with his bat on his shoulder and the pitch right down the plate. Not picking om Altherr. Rhys bent all the way down to swing and miss at strike 3, in the dirt, after taking strike 2 belt high.

    1. Matt 13 – The only improvements that I’ve seen during the season are Franco’s and Williams hitting, and Alfaro’s defense. That’s not a very good track record, but I, and I assume you, are not advocating making changes. I once got an F in Algebra the first semester, and ended up with an A at the end of the year. One day it all clicked, and I expect the Phillies will be much better offensively next year.
      Overall, the biggest improvement is the starting five pitchers. They’re exhausted right now, but they will be better for having gone through this experience. If I were Klentak/Kapler I would seriously consider going with a six man rotation next year.

    1. That would be a BOLD move, Romus. I think there will be hard evaluation of field staff than I have assumed.

      Anyway, I think Arrieta is shot. I would make him the #5 man next year, then be prepared to cut him loose and eat his 3rd year $$ if his decline continues. (And yes I was on board with signing him. Only glad it wasn’t a longterm deal.)

      I also hope VV, Pivetta and Eflin are taking notes as Folty shuts down our lineup today. 51 pitches thru 5 innings. Unheard of around these parts.

      1. 8mark…yes bold…Theo Epstein bold…..Renteria to Maddon Bold.
        Middleton may very well do it…..if it can seal Machado’s signing.

      2. Could be a Charlie Manuel type move. They hire Showalter and put him in the FO. He’d then be the next manager up if Gabe tanks next season. It could also help the team land Manny Machado (though … I believe they’re going to sign Machado anyway because they will out-spend every other team).

  61. I hope Arrieta works on whatever he needs to in the off season. I don’t think he is washed up, but he needs to figure out what he needs to work on.He is not a #2, and we need to find one. He is not going anywhere, so I hope he figures it out. But, you saw a team, the Braves, that knew they were close to clinching and played like it. They fall behind and get runs back the next inning. They didn’t go 4-5 innings at a time with zero hits. I am really disappointed in the way we performed down the stretch, and I am glad this is over. It was over when we blew the Double Header vs. the Nats, but I still watch and root and try to convince myself that I am seeing more than is really there.

    1. Braves turned it around pretty quickly…did a complete reversal from 2017.
      From a 72-90 record last year, to maybe a 90 plus win season this year.
      Phillies have many youthful and talented players and next season they should be empowered to play one specific position without worrying about being taken out after a few miscues.
      As 8mark posted…. the manager plays ‘Lincoln Logs’ with the everyday roster, and unfortunately you probably are not going to win the war…..but just a few battles..

    2. Matt … I (and Jim and I think a couple other posters) was/were against the Arrieta signing last winter. For me, he was already in decline before they signed him. I felt his first season here (2018) was really just for show because nothing he gave the team was going to make the Phillies contenders. What Arrieta does for this club in 2019 and 2020 is what he’ll be judged on because those are the seasons this team will be serious contenders. IMO, he was just pretty good on the field this season. I believe he’ll only regress during the next two seasons (when the Phillies will really need him).

      That said … I think, off the field, Arrieta has been good for the rest of the young staff (Nola, Pivetta, Velasquez, and Eflin). OTOH … I believe Arrieta was horrible in the development of Scott Kingery. Kingery (IMO) was terribly mishandled by the FO and the manager this year. Arrieta only made things worse for the young 2Bman by calling him out for his defense (at SS) earlier in the season.

  62. Romus, Freeman and Markakis were huge for them. Acuna is a stud. They have a better farm. Our best prospect, Sixto, just missed most of the year, and if we squint, maybe see him in 2021. We have some talent to trade, Klentak needs to find someone really good to get, and we have Middleton’s willingness/eagerness to spend $, and we have Rhys, Nola, and some possibilities to build around. Klentak has to get it right.

    1. The reason Atlanta has a better farm, and now a better major league team, isn’t because they necessarily have more talent. They know how to develop the talent they acquire and make ballplayers out of them.

      1. 8mark…they hit on trades also in a big way…Swanson, Newcombe, Inciarte, and Foltynewicz…then there will Touki Toussaint coming up soon.

    2. matt13……I cannot believe the metrics Kingery and JPC have put up thru their minor league career could have been a mirage.
      I still believe they can do the same if given the chance.

      1. I wonder how John Middleton feels about the Braves clinching the NO Easy title at home against us. I would hope there are changes in GM and Manager soon.

          1. You’ll have to wait at least another year for those changes – Klentak and Kapler will be here next year.

  63. I was at the Friday and Saturday games in Atlanta. It has just about killed me. You all have hit upon the many issues we have, large and small. The one item I’d really like to see us address is defense. It probably means letting some players stay in one spot routinely (I’m not suggesting we abandon positional flexibility); or move redundant players off the roster. I realize our future lies with the young players but we must do a better job with fundamentals. I firmly believe it’s cost us a playoff birth.

  64. Well, since we’re into the blame-laying part of the season, I place the blame on Klentak.

    He’s the one who signed Arrieta, long speculated to be washed up and spending he second half of this season proving it. He’s the one who signed Santana, a totally needless signing creating counter-productive redundancy. He’s the one who did not get Hamels or Happ mid-season when he could. He’s the one who changed team chemistry in the stretch by loading up on old slow guys, including those not even good enough anymore for the Mediocre Mets. And if he did it at Kapler’s request, as some suggest, then another failure of Klentak; last I saw, the GM was senior to the field manager and hired to supply the players the manager will use.

    Second for blame is Kapler. He over-management and made bad in-game and lineup decisions; some mind-blowing, like not starting Bour against DeGrom who he kills. Again, I understand his New Age philosophy might be right and is prospering in Chicago and Houston, and that his team lacked ability in many ways, but if there was a decision that could backfire, Kapler seemed to find it. And his relentless, near delusional positivity undercut his credibility, an essential component of successful leadership.

    Now, the Phillies have an off-season problem. Even if Middleton thinks Klentak and Kapler should go, he has to stick with the front office they have if they expect to sign a top free agent; nobody’s going to sign on long-term for the unknown or for chaos. And that goes especially for Machado who has ties to McPhail and Klentank.

    And if the sourness of Arrieta and now Neshak get around, the big free agents might stay away, anyway. (I know, the Phillies have money. But so do the other suitors and, at a certain point, enough money is enough, a player will want to be in a good situation, not a dysfunctional one. Just ask Jake.)

    My hope for next year:

    Sign the big free agent.
    Get a veteran lefty starting pitcher.
    Sign a proven manager like Showalter or Girardi.
    Trade Hernandez and Herrera, resign Wilson Ramos.
    Play the guys identified as the young core, and play them at their natural positions.

  65. Romus, I am with you. I don’t want to give up on Kingery. He is my 2B and I trade Cesar. I get what I get for him. I don’t give up on JP either, but if Machado only will play SS, I still sign him and JP is my Zobrist.

  66. We are 2 games over .500, with 8 to go and can very easily go 3-5. That makes the season unsuccessful in my opinion regardless of the “ meaningful” August/September games. They were meaningful but we failed. After being 15 games over .500 and in first place, we collapsed and I am not sure that Kapler learned very much. I still don’t know what is his pollyanna persona meant to pump up the team or what is delusional on his part. I know that setting strike out records is not good, they are AB failures that don’t put the ball in play, creating hits or errors by the D or moving previous players along who made it on base. I know the ability to hit still matters, D is important and being fundamentally sound counts. As this “learning” season ends have we learned we are on the right track?

  67. Want a good laugh? Read this: https://fancredsports.com/articles/jon-heyman-the-cardinals-could-be-a-major-player

    Not sure what was funnier. The fact that John Heyman thinks the Cardinals are a possible landing spot for Manny Machado, or the fact that Heyman outs the Cardinals as a “big revenue team”. The biggest joke in baseball is the fact that St. Louis is a revenue sharing “taker”. They’re on the list with teams like the Rays, Royals, Pirates, Orioles, and Padres who get extra draft picks, additional J2 dollars, and lesser penalties for signing FA’s.

  68. “The biggest joke in baseball is the fact that St. Louis is a revenue sharing “taker”…exactly.
    The commissioner worries about all those other incidental things…pitch clock, mound visits, game lengths….and something like this is virtually ignored at every CBA discussion.

  69. Been thinking about why the ball park attendance never increased this season. To a degree, you could say that the fan base never embraced this roster of relatively quiet and unmarketable personalities led by nice guys like Hoskins and Nola.

    But in retrospect, very few wins were exciting. Most were long, drawn out snorefests. And then there were the 15 yo 18 absolutely gut wrenching losses which did not engender trust in either the players or the manager. The team had little identity beside Gabe’s polarizing style. He became the show and the talk of the city, unfortunately. The players need to be not only likable, but faces people recognize.

    1. 8mark,

      You make really good points and I agree with them all, but the idea that Phillies attendance is down, while much discussed and largely accepted, is wrong according to Baseball Reference.

      It shows the Phillies up 2,995 admissions per game, or 12.7 percent.

      Baseball Reference shows MLB as a whole down 4.16 percent.

  70. If you look at all of the one-run losses the Phillies endured, and all of the blown saves that became losses, adding a hitter like Harper, and a lights out reliever should turn 1/3 of those losses into wins next year. A full season, hopefully, of Quinn batting first (and not ninth) should create havoc and put extra pressure on the pitchers.

  71. We have seen a packed, sold out stadium during the good years and I believe we will again. As soon as the fans buy into the team as a real contender and trust ownership to be all in. It starts with Manny or Harper. Losing out on both sets the program back a lot. That is reality

  72. I hope that pick off sealed the team’s decision to trade Odubel. I can’t remember a player with his talent who played with his head up his butt for so long.

    1. Exactly……I have seen reports from different writers concerning the future of Doobie and some indicate the Phillies should try to move him for a quality arm…MLB or top MLB ready prospect. His value has really sunk over these last 3/4 months.

      And another veiled comment on the manager’s handling of the pitching, from a young pitcher in the rotation:
      “You know, the way that the game has been going and the way that Gabe has been coaching, at the end of the day the most I can do is just go as long as I can,” Pivetta said. “It’s up to him when he takes us out.”

      I really do not see how Gabe stays around long term.
      Hhe has been able to accomplish in one year, that took Chip Kelly three years to do.
      ….alienate the fan base and now have the young players question some of his game day tactics.

      1. Talking about veiled comments, Kapler made one several games ago that could have been considered a dig at Klentak, or at least an excuse for himself.

        If I recall correctly, it was after Santana committed a costly error while, effectively, in the shortstop position thanks to a shift. Kapler said in the ideal world he’d have his best hitters, fielders, etc., in position, but that the Phillies line up isn’t constructed that way for maximize advantage. Translation: I don’t have the talent on this team to win.

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