Open Discussion: Week of October 8, 2018

This is the Phuture Phillies Open Discussion for Phillies and other baseball topics.

I’m visiting Philadelphia.  I’ve been put on the Temporarily Inactive List (TIL).  That means I’m unavailable for personal or family obligations which no one has the right to know about unless I choose to reveal.  I hope you understand the reason for this dramatization.  Why a player is placed on the TIL is none of our business.  I posted some of the things that might cause a player to be placed on the TIL.  If that wasn’t enough, you should look it up yourself.  I wish the person who divulged the information had not done so.  That should have been released by the player himself or through the team.  Until otherwise, the reason is none of our business.

With the end of the Phillies and minor league seasons, off season programming has commenced.  I’ve already posted the results of the first post season polls.  And, the individual results from the breakout players discussion,  The second round of polls has posted and closed.  I’m still collecting your post-season top thirties.  (E-mail your personal season-ending top 30 to me at prospectpoll @yahoo.com, I will compile and report back, IF I got enough responses to make it worthwhile.  I’ve received eleven.)

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.

Here’s a link to the a 40-man roster article that I posted recently.  It includes most of the transaction based components that you frequently ask about – free agency, Rule 5 eligibility, and remaining options.

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):

  • October 8 – at Atlanta (Instructs)
  • October 9 – v. New York (Instructs)
  • October 9 – Arizona Fall League Starts
  • October 10 – Camp Day (Instructs)
  • October 11 – at New York (Instructs)
  • October 12 – v. New York (Last Instructs game)
  • October 12, 2018 – Opening Day for the Mexican Winter League (MPL)
  • October 12, 2018 – Opening Day for the Venezuelan Winter League (LVBP)
  • October 13, 2018 – Opening Day for the Dominican Winter League (LIDOM)
  • October 22, 2018 – Opening Day for the Nicaraguan Winter League (LNBP) 
  • 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 2, 2018 – Opening Day for the Columbian Winter League (LCBP)
  • November 15, 2018 – Opening Day for the Puerto Rican Winter League (LBPRC)
  • November 15, 2018 – Opening Day for the Australian Baseball League (ABL)
  • 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 Pittsburgh (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 30th.

Transactions (newest transactions in bold text) – At this juncture of the season, teams begin recalling the remaining 40-man roster players who they haven’t recalled.  Since the Phillies have already recalled all of their 40-man players, we will see no recall translations.
10/5/18–3B Trevor Plouffe elected free agency.
9/27/18–Phillies signed free agent RHP Cristofer Adames to a minor league contract
9/18/18–Philadelphia activated LHP Aaron Loup from the 10-day DL
9/15/18–Reading activated CF Adam Haseley from the temporarily inactive list
9/15/18–Lakewood activated RHP Ismael Cabrera
9/14/18–Phillies signed free agent RHP Hermes Astudillo to a minor league contract
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

256 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of October 8, 2018

  1. Jim, is it possible to have separate polls, one for position players and one for pitchers? I think the ranking of players is subjective enough already. However, to distinguish between a top arm in say, AA versus a teenage upshot infielder in rookie ball seems apples and oranges in terms of projection and current value. Just though I would ask and I’m in no way wishing to burden you with any more work. Also interested in what others think.

  2. Romus, I’m responding to your LAD post/Fangraphs piece at end of Oct 1 week discussion. Bringing it over here to this week’s thread. This is amazing that more media outlets are not jumping on this, even without all the particulars known to date.

    1. 8mark….looks like Fangraphs has a little more information.
      But there will be not a lot of info to come out when there is a Federal investigation going on…that may be eventually presented to a Grand Jury.
      They will keep it close to the vest.
      Though the more I look at this from what is presented for public awareness, this whole thing seems to be a vendetta against Gabe and Friedman because they are the two names mentioned,
      And Gabe ran the Player Development in 2015 and 2016 with the Dodgers and it seems they have focused only on that particular time frame…strange..
      And state’s witnessed primarily is MVP Sports Group’s co-founder Manny Paula.
      Who coincidentally, (MVP Sports) represent Manny Machado.

      I cannot see how Gabe or Friedman can survive this if it gets to the Grand Jury…they could be facing a stiff penalty and a banning for life would be something devastating for Gabe and his family….though he will always keep his baseball pension and lifetime health care since he met those requirements as a player for 12 years.

    1. Better yet … “how” will Sixto pitch ??? I’m concerned about his health. When a kid throws 100 MPH and comes down with an inflamed elbow, that’s worrisome.

      Speaking of Phillies pitching prospects … I couldn’t help but think about Adonis Medina while watching Kevin Gausman last night. While they have different bodies, their FB (mid 90’s w/movement) and CH (wicked) are very similar. The difference is Medina is still working on a potential plus SL. Medina will be added to the 40 man this winter, and IMO will be pitching at CBP by the end of 2019, beginning the new generation of the Phillies starting rotation.

      1. This is what I mean. If you look at the history of hard throwing young pitchers, TJ is a recurring theme. Alex Reyes and Michael Kopech are a couple of examples off the top my head. If you ask me, the Phillies should have gone the PRP route or TJ this summer after the elbow inflamation. I don’t think Sixto will throw in a game again until he undergoes one of the two procedures I just mentioned.

          1. Jesus Luzardo is another example. When his velo spiked (upper 90’s) the summer before his senior season in HS, his elbow went. He ended up a TJ victim and missed his senior season.

            1. Also … TJ is not the end of the world. Most pitchers come back and throw just as hard (or even harder) after surgery. I believe Kevin Gowdy will be a beast in 2019 and beyond. I already have him at #10 on my prospect list I sent to Jim.

            2. I have a better feeling about Howard, Gowdy and Irvin making a major league impact at this point. Sixto is so high risk, health-wise. Maybe after this issue is resolved, he’ll be able to in 2 or 3 years. Question is will the brass be smart?

              Medina has PROJECT written all over him, perhaps he’s a future pen piece? Not sure about Jojo, but hopefully they both break out in 2019.

        1. Well, to be fair, the stated problem this time is with his collarbone. Is that usually a reason for TJ surgery?

          1. If it is the collarbone area, it could also be a thoracic issue,which affected Velasquez last year and had his procedure to correct it over the off-season..

    1. Didn’t expect de los Santos and especially Suarez to be ranked so high by anyone. Encouraging that they think so highly of Bohm at #2. Not sure what they are seeing thus far.

    2. IMO, Howard > delos Santos and Irvin > Ranger. In my rankings I submitted to Jim, I have Howard at #8, Irvin at #10, delos Santos at #11 and Ranger at #14.

      Medina is my #2 prospect. I really think that he can be at 3 pitch arm (plus FB and CU, average SL) with good command — projecting to a solid #3 with #2 upside.

      1. Kuko, we agree on Howard > DLS and Irvin > Ranger. I think both Howard and Irvin have high floors and will become good major leaguers. DLS and Ranger figure more as back of the rotation starters or long relievers.

        As for bats, Bohm is the only power bat even remotely close to the show. And he’s sputtered at the start. Even Haseley is regarded as a singles hitter who hardly walks, has average speed and ok glove. Let’s hope Garcia is a quick riser cuz he’s a long way from the bigs.

        1. I think they have got Haseley profiled a little harsh as ‘just’ a singles hitter.
          He is far from a Ben Revere and did hit 11 HRs last season
          His swing may be inside out but he does have good size and can develop power as a CFer in the 12-15 HR range….heck even Cesar hit mid-teens.

  3. I am waiting for the Top 30 to come out, but I think De Los Santos is rated too high on that list. Medina #2 for me. Also, JoJo ahead of DLS. And, I would like to see Bohm’s “monster bat” before I rate him that high. But, no question, the young Pitching is the strength of our farm.

  4. Phuture Phillie, Manny Machado has had a terrific day for the Dodgers, and this should send Atlanta packing. I really can’t wait for the wheeling and dealing to begin. I can’t tell you how much I want Playoff baseball back here. I know I am setting myself up for disappointment, but I am going all in, and will be really pissed if Klentak screws this up.

  5. No Moniak in the top 10…. I hope he uses it as fuel, the way Crawford did when he was written out of baseballs top 100.

    This team needs 2 of the following 4 to make impacts at the high club

    C, Moniak, Hasley, and Bohm. They can’t afford more than 2 bustS to keep this thing rolling. That is way too much losing with very little to show for it

  6. Watching all the playoffs, seeing at least 8-10 veterans that were traded that have performed and veterans Phillies picked makes me concerned about FO ability to look at 19.
    Watching Braves showcase Prospects, for future. Phillies pitching prospects, trade bait but keeping eyes on Strength in the system, plus supporting Parent club with plugnplay opportunities gaining experience

    1. The Braves are ahead of the Phillies in the rebuild, but we can catch up this winter. I see the Braves and Phillies being the NL version of the Yankees – Red Sox.

      1. I wish I shared your optimism, Wawa. The Braves are by no means a juggernaut just yet, but they are head and shoulders better than the Phillies, both on the farm and in the conference room. Signing Machado and/or Harper will improve the roster, but the Phillies are so thin at so many positions. And they apparently lack the coaching and talent evaluators to challenge Atlanta. I actually thought the 2018 Phillies major league talent was as good if not better than the Braves, especially after July 31. But Atlanta’s organizational strength showed up when needed despite their playoff exit earlier.

      2. It could be, but the Braves are very far ahead of the Phillies when it comes to good, young players. The Braves have grade A prospects and young major leaguers. The Phillies generally had grade B prospects and mostly grade B and C major leaguers – the exceptions are Nola (grade A young major leaguer) and Hoskins (grade B+ or better young major leaguer) and Dominguez (grade A- young reliever). The Phillies are behind the Braves and this is not surprising. The Phillies settled for grade B prospects in trades when the Braves consistently received grade A prospects and the Braves developed two potential Latino stars in Acuna and Albies. The Phillies can catch up if they spend wisely and some of the young prospects hit their potential. But they are definitely behind.

  7. Damn, Phils just pulled Sixto out of the AFL after another injury, this one supposedly his collarbone although that claim seems fishy to me.

    1. Collarbone makes zero sense I’ve never once heard of that for a pitcher, let alone one coming back from an arm injury….

      1. I would preach patience to everyone who is about to jump off a cliff regarding Sixto.

        First of all, this is the organization’s prize jewel pitching prospect. They need to be super careful with him and that’s exactly what they are doing. We all want him to pitch in the AFL, but is it really a big deal in the scheme of things if there’s even the smallest doubt as to whether pitching in the AFL would set him back further? Of course not.

        Second, he’s NOT the Roman Quinn of anything. He’s been out for part of this year. Roman Quinn has been injured for seven consecutive years. There’s no comparison and I can’t believe that someone even wrote this.

        Third, the idea that a pitcher can’t come back fully from an elbow issue without TJ surgery is incorrect. Two of the Phillies’ starting pitchers – Nola and Velasquez – avoided TJ surgery through rest, rehab and improved mechanics. This team seems to know what it is doing when it comes to avoiding this surgery, so let’s not jump to any conclusions. Is it possible he will need TJ surgery? Sure, it’s possible, but it’s also quite possible that he will be fine.

      1. Hope Ortiz stays at the Complex for the next 18 months (now thru next season with the Threshers, fingers crossed, thru the 2019 instructs then thru St 2020)….his thickness may need a little thinning also.

  8. Hinkie – That would give the Phillies 2 top 10 prospects who’ve barely played for them (Gowdy, Bohm). I don’t know if that’s good or bad.

  9. If Sixto, who just missed most of the season, is on the shelf again, that really hurts our farm. Atlanta’s is already ahead of us and Sixto is our #1 Prospect, and #2 is not even close. Of course, unless a player is healthy and can perform, it does not matter anyway. Our onlyhope is a huge off season. We don’t just need Machado, we need Klentak to make a really big trade where we come out ahead. Just like Theo, and Cashman and Jeff Luhnow have done.

    1. My biggest concern – did we miss an opportunity to get full value for him by packaging him last winter to Miami for Yelich?

      1. 8mark….he is entering his age20 season.
        Perhaps the Phillies fans are growing impatient.
        Phillies would be wise to bring him along slowly
        And he still has the time for developing, plus getting and staying healthy.

        1. I am growing impatient, Romus. Especially when this organization has yet to show they can identify/evaluate talent and develop it. Most of our hope stems from talent acquired before the new regime and I’m not a RAJ supporter. Just don’t want to fall into the pattern of being 3 years away from being 3 years away.

          ….not to mention what else might be coming down the tracks from the DOJ.

        1. @Wawa – MIA just had a change in the ownership, with Jeter calling the shots, I don’t think the animosity factor sunk in to Jeter’s mindset already. I will probably believe that Jeter rather not make a deal with BOS than any of the NL East teams.

          IMO, MIA’s current situation where a creative GM made an opportunity to get talent from Jeter who is hellbent in reducing contract obligations. Unfortunately for the Phillies fans, Klentak doesn’t thrive on those situations. Klentak is not a tactical genius. He prefers a strategic plan with incremental moves along the way.

  10. I see him as a truly TOR prospect, and I was against trading him. And, I still am. It is the lack of information that, I think, is the most worrisome. It doesn’t make sense that he hurt his collarbone recovering from a sore elbow, and, I always worry about TJ surgery whenever I hear elbow problems. I would love to have Yelich, and I wonder what we offered to get him. I don’t know if there is a Yelich type to be gotten this off season, but the Front Office needs to find one and hope they can put together a package to get him.

    1. Matt13…like Hinkie said above in the thread….Kevin Gowdy could be the newest TOR hopeful.
      Though he will be 21 years old, with little experience….I can see him progressing thru the system at pace a little faster than the normal prospect would be doing.
      i am hoping they let him start at Clearwater ilo of Lakewood…..weather is warmer in April, plus he has the facilities at the Complex to continue his conditioning or rehabbing if necessary and all under careful monitoring.

      1. I agree with Hinkie about Gowdy. Health issues aside, Gowdy has the projection of a high upside arm — physically build, good feel for pitching and raw stuff (3 pitch that has potential to be above average to plus).

        The Phillies also drafted Waylon Richardson in the 40th round of the 2018 draft. Richardson just had a TJ surgery and he can be the steal of the 2018 draft like Logan O’Hoppe.

  11. Romus, Is Gowdy fully cleared medically and ready to go full bore? Also, what exactly what the damage that Bohm suffered that kept him out and where should he start the year?

  12. I applauded ATL in the past for their committed pursuit of high powered arms — the same suggestion I like the Phillies to do. ATL is definitely ahead in the rebuild but the Phillies can make some ground by spending $$ in FA. Signing Machado may not make the Phillies a WS favorite but they’ll be a contender for the NL East. And if the Phillies signed both Machado and Harper (which is a possibility) and some FAs, they will jump over ATL in the power rankings.

    2018 was a down year for a lot of young Phillies, so the brightside is, they’re a good chance they will trend up. The Phillies have Nola — who is better than any pitcher that ATL have. Offensively, ATL have Freeman, Acuna and Albies and some up and comers. So if the Phillies can sign Machado and/or Harper, they can be better offensively than ATL. Quinn may not be uber talented as Acuna, but he’s a gamechanger. Once once Kingery finds his niche and comfort zone, he can be at par with Albies and Hoskins can be the Freeman counterpart.

    The battle between the Phillies vs ATL will go down to the “Arms Race”. ATL have a deep stock of power arms in their system. So the success of Sixto and Medina will be crucial to level the arms race and the development of Gowdy, Howard, Morales, Eastman, Pipkin, Castillo as true high upside arms should be given priority.

    Another factor to consider is the Phillies ability to find good arms where nobody is looking —- Sixto, Medina, Seranthony are examples. Manuel Silva, Victor Santos, Jhordany Mezquita, Bailey Falter, Kyle Young, Ben Brown — possible falls this group as well.

      1. This year was the first AFL season that they sent 8 players, their highest number to date.
        They could hurry up and send another pitcher…but I do not see any sense in sending position players since the Scorpions are already well stocked in the OF and Inf…and with three catchers.

        1. Each team is required to send 4 pitchers, one who can function as a starter. Sanchez was to be that guy. They will likely send an additional pitcher, but not necessarily a starter type. However, Medina is still in Clearwater. Hmm.

          1. Adonis Medina ..you are it…next man up!
            Actually this may prove very beneficial for Medina….the Futures Game was a coming out for him, and this would be icing on the cake.

  13. “Quinn may not be uber talented as Acuna, but he’s a gamechanger. Once once Kingery finds his niche and comfort zone, he can be at par with Albies and Hoskins can be the Freeman counterpart.”

    I think you are really pushing this – Quinn is miles away from Acuna, Kingery hasn’t shown the ability to hit like Albies yet and there is still quite a gap between Hoskins and Freeman.

    1. @catch — you’re a lawyer you should know that “can” and “may” are not conclusions so while what i said if full of hope, it is still a factual statement.

      you are dwelling too much in the past season. Hoskins, Kingery and Quinn are reasons for hope.

      1. I’m not dwelling in the past – I’m dwelling on what I see. You can choose to see Hoskins, Kingery and Quinn as being the collective equal of Acuna, Albies and Freeman, but the likelihood of that happening is pretty low.

        1. Though what I have been seeing for many Latin breakout 20/21 year olds…..and have seen it more these last 7/9 years….they come on the scene with a splash and then trend down for awhile and settle at a plateau not as high as when they started.

          Perhaps the league pitcher adjust and they do not counter as appropriately well….perhaps most all have entered into majors with great bat skills but poor plate discipline and take few walks and have relatively lower than expected OBP results.

          Not sure why…but many, not all, seem to trend down after their initial burst.
          I will want to see how Acuna, Albies, Soto respon next season.
          I saw how Devers, Sano, Sanchez, Puig Pirates Polanco, Rangers Mazara, though Ozuna and Seguro slid and came back, and even Phillies Franco also has not reached expectations after that 2015 start.

        2. I’m bench marking Kingery and Hoskins to Albies and Freeman, which I think is fair. I just said that Quinn is a game changer — which is also a fair statement. I don’t compare him with Acuna.

          1. Not really. Albies is 3 year younger AND more accomplished than Kingery. And, look, I like Kingery lot, but Albies is not a good comp for Kingery at this point.

            As for Freeman and Hoskins, they are very different players in style. Freeman is a high average, high OBP hitter with power and a 5-7 WAR all-star. Hoskins is a traditional slugger, but got off to a much later start than Freeman. But I could see, if Hoskins reaches his peak, his producing as much offense as Freeman for a period of time, but, again, you talk about these guys like they are interchangeable – they aren’t. The Atlanta threesome, as a group, projects to be much more valuable. Is it possible the Phillie group becomes as good. Yes. Likely? No.

  14. We may have the most “what ifs” of anybody in baseball. Nola is our only star player. Hoskins may turn out to be a poor man’s Goldy but right now he’s a .250 hitter with power and plate discipline which hasn’t brought consistency yet. He is still in his sophomore adjustment period. After them….???

  15. We have practically no idea what the 40 man roster will look like in 2019, much less the 25 man. Nola is off the table. Hoskins as well, but I’ve a sneaking sense that he’s closer to the table than most assume. Quinn is a game changer, but I think he’ll be more of a utility player, 4th OF in the long run. His bat is inconsistent, or at least he hasn’t yet established himself as a steady top of the order guy. He will need to be given the time.

    1. I really like Roman Quinn, but when you factor in his injury history and the small sample size of his success at the big league level this year, the Phils cannot simply count on him alone to play CF next year. Could he develop into an everyday player who is a game changer? Absolutely, but you can’t bet the house on it if you want to be a contending team. If they were the KC Royals right now, yes I’d give him the job and hope he stays healthy. But that’s not where the Phils are at right now.

  16. I give Quinn CF and play him every day at the top of the lineup. I think with a full ST of coaching, his speed becomes an even bigger weapon. I think he can hit and will develop even more. His CF D is GG level, and upgrades the whole team D. I don’t let his injuries stop me from moving Doobie, who still has some value. I think we learned that we need to move on from him. I think we also learned that we need a Left handed SP, and he needs to fit into the middle of the rotation. We also need a Superstar. Just those things will make us a better team, but they are must haves. Any internal improvement is a bonus.

    1. Matt – I almost agree with everything you said. Do you think that Pivetta, Velasquez, Eickhoff, and Eflin have all reached their ceiling? I don’t. They do however, need two more very good bullpen arms.

  17. What are people’s thoughts on bullpen construction for this team going forward? I know Hinkie is passionate about the Phils needing to acquire a closer, and I certainly agree with that completely, and wish the Phils had two months ago.

    Let’s say the Phils acquire a legitimate closer, do people think he should be primarily a 9th inning guy, or do people think the better use is to use him whenever it makes the most sense, even if it’s the 7th inning, as an example?

    With more consistent usage and role definition, which pieces currently internal do we think make the cut for next year? How many external arms do the Phils need to acquire?

    1. John Doe….as you can see, the playoffs prove that a full reliable bullpen is imperative.
      More than just the closer, but 2/3 more good BP arms.
      Now during the regular season a team could get away with a poor bullpen…Red Sox did not have a great bullpen this year, Kimbrel was the most reliable..but they had the hitters in Betts, JD et al.
      I want to see how they do vs the Astros, if they get there.
      In the playoffs, maybe not in every game, but enough to realize that starters are probably only effective twice thru a lineup vs these play-off hitters, and you better have guys coming in who can get outs in the 5th thru the 9th.

    2. I’m not worried about the bullpen and it will take care of itself. Closer is normally the last piece of the puzzle and closers are available almost every trade deadline. Barring any long term injury, Seranthony will take the closer role so the Phillies is only looking for a 7th and 8th inning guy. If the Phillies decided to move Vinny and Pivetta to the pen, there will be the 7th and 8th inning guys. If the Phillies decided to keep Vinny and Pivetta in the rotation — there will be enough power arms internally —- from Ramos, Arano, Edgar Garcia, Anderson, Llovera, Dohy, Hammer, Warren, Killgore, McArthur who can be available to help within the next 12-18 months.

    3. I say two, a closer like Britton and a lefty better than Morgan. That may gave to come by trade of Cesar. Watching Eovaldi last night sure got me interested in him. I want to sign a starter and put VV into the pen as the set up guy with Dominguez the “tough out” guy but who can’t go back to back days yet. Free agent pitchers include Eovaldi, Happ, Morton, and maybe Hamels. Corbin will be out of our reach.

  18. Mike, I don’t think any of them have reached their ceiling, but I am not sure that VV and Pivetta’s ceilings are not in the BP. They may simply not be able to develop that 3rd pitch, and without it, they don’t successfully get deep into games. I have thought that one makes it, a second makes it as a high leverage BP arm, and 1 more gets included in a big trade. I just don’t know which combination that would be. Regardless, a left handed SP who is not just a #5, is important. So is one for the BP, one who is significantly better than Adam Morgan, who I always rooted for, but who is just know good enough.

  19. Think Theo is making a mistake.
    He will need to decide of the eight starters now….one or two may have to be moved but the top three cannot be moved…if they plan on getting into the Harper sweepstakes..

    https://www.prosportsdaily.com/articles/it-sure-sounds-like-cole-hamels-will-be-back-in-the-cubs-rotation-in-2019-534364.html

    The biggies guaranteed….Hamels/Darvish/Lester….totals $67M for 2019
    Quintana/Chatwood/Hendricks/ Smyly/Montgomery…totals approx. $30M

      1. Ha! Nah, no thanks. Thought Altherr and Williams made strides in ’17 under his coaching. But then the new sheriff in town wants walks, Ks and long balls.

  20. The manager was glowing in his review of the 2 hitting coaches. He thinks they are awesome, so I doubt that there will be any moves. I believe that they already announced that all the coaches are coming back. I want a catching coach named Chooch, and a base running coach named Davey Lopes more than anything.

  21. About the BP:

    I agree with Romus. The best teams usually have a good/very good back end of a pen. You need at least three guys who can take care of the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings. The candidates:
    * Ser Ant’ny is capable/has the stuff to be one of those three arms. IMO, he can’t be counted on to close games yet because: 1. He is inconsistent so far. 2. He isn’t yet able to pitch on back-to-back nights. His numbers were not good on those second nights. Hopefully, he gets more adjusted to the pen.
    * Nick Pivetta (IMO) has the stuff to be a helluva closer. I’m just not ready to give up on him as a starter yet.
    * Tommy Hunter was a disappointment in 2018, but I believe he’s a good candidate for a bounce back season, and could be the 7th or 8th inning guy.
    * Then there are guys not currently on the roster. I am/have been very much in favor of dealing a young starter to acquire a young, proven/dominant closer. Earlier this summer when Jim Salisbury reported the Phillies were looking into Felipe Vazquez, I was willing to fork over Zach Eflin (when he was going good) and a few prospects to Pittsburgh. Nobody was in favor of that. At this point, after dealing Meadows, Glasnow, and Baz to obtain Chris Archer, I doubt Pittsburgh is inclined to trade Vazquez.
    If I were Matt Klentak, I would either sign Zach Britton as a FA, or target Edwin Diaz in a trade. Diaz is a shut down closer, is young (24 YO), and under team control for four more seasons. He also makes a lot of sense because Seattle also has Alex Colome (who can also close) on their roster, and the Mariners are in need of pieces (starting pitching & OF) and can’t draw from their farm system because it stinks. In addition, Seattle is in win now mode (their 17 year absence from the post season is the longest drought in MLB), and Matt Klentak has a relationship with Jerry DiPoto. I’ve already suggested sending VV and Odubel Herrera to the Great Northwest for Edwin Diaz, Logan Gilbert, and some J2 dollars.
    Finally, there is a need for a LHR (or two or even three). I like San Diego’s Matt Strahm. After the Phillies sign MM, I’d look to put together a trade with the Padres that would include Maikel Franco and Strahm. Maybe Franco and a prospect (Jhordany Mezquita?) for Strahm and Austin Hedges.

    Also … someone mentioned Nathan Evoldi. Evoldi came to the Red Sox via the Rays. Tampa was clever enough to sign the hard throwing RHP to a TJ rehab contract after the 2016 season. The two year deal only cost the Rays 7.5 million dollars (total). Matt Klentak should definitely sign Garrett Richards to a TJ rehab deal this winter (maybe 2 yrs@ 12 million). Richards would rehab with the Phils in 2019 and could become a key piece of their 2020 rotation. The fact that he’s Mike Trout’s best friend in baseball ain’t a bad thing, either.

    Finally … about Sixto Sanchez and this new setback … I have absolutely no idea if this collarbone report is true or not, but IMO the whole thing is very suspicious. When he first came down with an inflamed elbow in June, I was certain (and posted) he was through for the season. I felt he was headed for either TJ or (if lucky) PRP shots. Right collarbone problem? Or could it be a right shoulder problem? Let’s hope Sixto doesn’t end up the next Julio Urias. Again, I know nothing. Maybe the elbow just needed some rest. And maybe the collarbone acted up because of a lousy mattress. However, when hard throwing prospects (Alex Reyes, Michael Kopech, AJ Puk, Jesus Luzardo, Dylan Cease, etc) come down with these problems, it usually means surgery.

    1. Eovaldi is a free agent, Hinkie. I haven’t heard much talk about trying to sign him but after last night’s high 90’s/t100 performance vs the Yankee lineup, might he be on the Phillies radar this winter? Maybe not a TOR but he’s definitely got #3 stuff.

    2. I can’t believe Hector Neris didn’t get mentioned.

      When he came back from the minors he was a dominant pitcher. Not good, dominant. And he’s always shown flashes, but it looks like he may have turned the corner for good. His splitter, when he’s throwing it well, is a nearly unhittable, plus plus pitch and his FB flashes plus. I definitely have Hector in the mix next year even if it’s just in a 7th or 8th inning role. He may fall on his face, but he also may turn into one of the top 10-15 relievers in baseball because he has a true out pitch.

      1. catch … you’re right. I overlooked Neris. He was the Phillies best reliever over the ~last two months of the season. It’s not impossible he closes for the Phillies next season if the team misses out on Britton or can’t swing a deal for a guy like Diaz.

        1. ….OR do you sell high on Neris if (and only if) they can acquire a major impact bat or TOR? This is only his 1st year of arbitration so he should be appealing to many teams, especially IF we do acquire a bonafide closer. Either way, it certainly seems that he’s gotten his mojo back.

          1. I think he’s worth more to us than he is in the trade market. No matter what you do, some team is going to look at the full year and try to knock down his value. They will want him, but at a steep discount.

  22. Wonder😳. With FO so committed to Gowdy, 3 innings in 2 years (right handers), Sixto 8 starts but limited innings (sore arm/collarbone?, Right hander) If I were a GM would I give a lot away for either, take a chance. How do I explain how and why when nether can stay healthy?
    Yes Kurdt we have a lot of hidden jewels in our system, especially Lefthanders ie: Reading, Clearwater and 1 at Lehigh that gets no respect.
    Develope the organization as a whole and don’t put all your hopes on what if’s
    Food for thought

  23. Yankees just lost to BoSox and are not going to sit and just let their young guys develop. They will be in on a SP and, I believe, on Machado. The Cubs will be in on Harper, and I don’t think there is much question about that. Us getting one is far from a sure thing, no disrespect to Hinkie. Klentak better have found an aggressive, bold gene somewhere, or we are going to be very disappointed. Hinkie, I am happy to sign Richards, and I do your Seattle deal, but I don’t think Seattle does that deal. I think we are over valuing Doobie and VV, and Diaz, as you said, is a young, controllable, shut down reliever. I believe Doobie goes to a team that is not looking to make the Playoffs, not to one that needs a piece or 2 to get there. Even with Colome, I don’t think Vinny and Doobie get Diaz.

    1. Matt13….after this latest Yankee playoff loss…pitching is in order for them.
      And as i mentioned earlier, Cashman and the Yankees will need pitching.
      He valued Velasquez when he was an Astro back in 2015. I would dangle Vinny again in front of him….for one of their surplus OFers….specifically Clint Frazier.
      Maybe he will take the bait.
      Frazier will not crack that OF up there unless both Hicks and Garner leave. Also i would let them see if they would want a LHB OFer like Cozens, since if Garner leaves they would be all right hand bats…..and in return ask for a pitcher in their system like Stephan or Sauer who do not need 40 protection for another few years and can still develop.

      1. Velasquez, Romero and Cozens for Frasier. I would prefer an IF like Andujar or Torres but that ain’t happening with Cashman calling the shots. With all due respect to Hinkie (who I will declare PP contributor of the year if Manny does in fact sign here), I think he’s Bronx bound.

        1. You might be able to get it done for Velasquez and an okay middle infield prospect like Gamboa or very good minor league reliever (Cozens has no value, so he’d be a throw-in at best). Velasquez was far from perfect, but he was still a 2-3 WAR pitcher – not quite a 3, but better than a 4. He has more value than you would think.

          1. “Dylan Cozens would be better than Frazier”…huh.
            Yes in a bar fight he would pulverize Frazier.
            But when it comes to inside the batter’s box….not sure about that.
            I can only go by their last 4/5 years of stats.
            And I like Dylan Cozens, but he still has not adjusted his two-strike approach….so a 30% plus K rate and low BA and OBP results seem to become a reality for him.

            1. I was referring to their Triple A metrics and their entire minor league metrics.
              Not their MLB SSS.
              Check their splits at Triple A…..Cozens vs LHP does not even reach the Mendoza line.
              He is basically a platoon guy….right now….maybe in 3/4 years he eventually adjusts….but will the Phillies wait for that to happen?.

    2. Signing Harper or Machado will be Middleton’s job, NOT Klentak’s. Middleton will NOT be out bid. If they choose to go somewhere else, it won’t be because Middleton was cheap of Klentak F’ed up.

      1. Wawa, I agree. So it will be a matter of HOW MUCH MORE Middleton will have to offer. That may be a lot to offset Machado’s desire to turn away his favorite childhood franchise. At least that will be the narrative for now until something else happens.

        1. That’s why I predict $45M/year 10 years for Machado, and maybe Harper — the Phillies will need to outbid, not match, other suitors.

          The Phillies could pay both of them $45M and have a payroll next year of about $170M, assuming they trade Santana. (note: if they trade Santana, Franco, and Hernandez, the payroll would be about $158M, give or take a couple million). The luxury tax threshold is $208M next year; they wouldn’t be close to the limit. And with the young pitching they have coming up, they’ll likely have a supply of good, cheap arms for a number of years.

          Good background on the Phillies payroll:

          https://www.nbcsports.com/philadelphia/phillies/phillies-2019-payroll-and-how-much-they-can-realistically-spend-offseason-mlb-offseason

  24. Mike, I am not suggesting that Klentak screws up getting Harper or Machado. I don’t have a lot of faith in him, but if we don’t get either one that will not be Klentak’s “fault.” I just hope he has a creative Back Up Plan, one that may involve a bit of risk. I have never thought that Machado simply goes to the highest bidder. Harper may, but I think MM weighs whatever is on his list of important factors, not simply the most money. And, that, hopefully, is us.

  25. Klentak’s success, or failure this winter will depend on which supplemental pieces he acquires. I don’t know how many blown saves and holds the Phillies had last year, but it was a lot. The bullpen must be strengthened, and Kapler has to lose the quick hook on his starters. We also need two professional hitters.

    1. Two professional hitting targets – either Machado or Harper, and Marwin Gonzalez. That’s assuming they don’t re-sign Ramos. Otherwise, they would need to trade.

      1. Marwin Gonzalez would be a perfect fit for this team. Plug him in at any position other than catcher and he has some pop. Would be a valuable addition.

  26. With all due respect to Hinkie who is always a valuable resource, my greatest concern is that MM signs with the Yankees – he is familiar with them and played in front of their fans enough to know it is an enthusiastic crowd, young team, and could use him. Living near NYC I can tell you that the announcers regularly bash M Andujar’s defense claiming he was among the weakest 3B in mlb. DD will be a free agent after ’19, but then Torres could slide over to SS or MM could play SS or 3B. Point is – Yankees could trade M Andujar and some of their minor league players for a top pitcher. They too — know they need defensive help. Since they may have found themselves a 1B – Andujar can become the odd man out. Also – plan on seeing Sonny Gray on another team – he can’t pitch in the Bronx. Sign MM, trade Andujar and Gray to ??? for a pitcher(s). Just say’in…..

  27. Meanwhile, the Nats acquired reliever Kyle Barraclough from Mia for international money which means they’re going after that Cuban kid Victor Victor Mesa. I hate that 1) we don’t make deals like this and 2) we’re not geographically positioned to draw top international talent.

    1. 8mark…in the best Bill Clinton gravely Southern-drawl voice….”I feel ya pain”.

      Case in point…Lively goes for nothing in a DFA move to get one of their late season vet acquisitions on the 40, right after Labor Day…he easily would bring a cool million in int’l monies…just saying….and Royals scooped him quickly…he didn’t even make it pass the third or fourth choice.

  28. RU … I stand by my forecast: The Phillies, for multiple reasons, will pay more than any other team (including the NYY) for Manny Machado. If, for whatever reason, Machado refuses to take the most money to come here (and very rarely does that ever happen), Middleton will sign Bryce Harper. I am 100% certain this team gets one of those two. I already promised to give myself a 6 month ban if they strike out on both.

    As far as the Yankees go … they need starting pitching. Unfortunately for them, this isn’t a strong FA class for that. I believe they sign either Patrick Corbin or Yusei Kikuchi and look to trade for a big name arm. They’ll shoot for Blake Snell or Jacob DeGrom, but probably settle for a guy like Madison Bumgarner. Mad Bum is under contract for just one more season. He’s 29 YO. The SFG’s don’t appear ready to compete in the near future, and their minor league system is weak. The Yankees could offer Clint Frazier and a young arm (maybe Jonathan Loaisiga or Trevor Stephan) for Bumgarner.

    Also … IMO, Bryce Harper actually makes more sense for the Yankees than Manny Machado. Other than Didi Gregorius and Greg Bird (and he was terrible this season), their entire lineup is right handed (Brett Gardner won’t be back). Yankee stadium is built for LH hitters.

    One other “also” … Sonny Gray isn’t going to get the Yankees much. His value is at an all time low.

  29. Thoughts on LeMaheiu? Not the “we don’t need him because we have …” type, but would he be a good “get” in free agency. I understand his acquisition requires additional moves. We can discuss those later, after we discuss the merits of signing him.

    1. Would DJ LeMahieu be an upgrade on the field? Yes.
      Is he going to have any effect on attendance/TV viewership/excitemant surrounding the team? No.
      The reason John Middleton is so desperate to give MM or Bryce Harper more money than any other team is because the Phillies, as an organization, need a shot in the arm. This team has a marketing problem. Most people just aren’t enthused with this group of players.

      1. “This team has a marketing problem. Most people just aren’t enthused with this group of players”…I think you hit the nail on the head.
        When I go to the park….you can tell what type player is fan favs……just look at the names on the back of the jersey’s the fans are wearing.
        Of this current team down at the park walking around the concourse…i see a lot of 17s and 27 jersey’s …..not much others.

    2. I think they (we) need to find out about Kingery at his natural position. Should he continue to flail at the plate early next season, then yes it’s time to move on.

      One question I have about Lemahieu – what are his home/away splits as a Rox player? Don’t know myself, just asking if anyone has the answer at their fingertips.

            1. He’s better than a good player – he’s a flat out stud. He’s an excellent hitter and a superb fielder. If we missed on MM but signed Arenado in 2020, but that would be a fabulous consolation prize. He could EASILY end up having as good or better career than MM. Don’t sleep on this guy. He’s subject to the Coors Field reverse prejudice (totally disregard of Coors field hitting stats). He’d be a great player in any stadium (his away number in 2018 weren’t good, but his away numbers in 2017 were BETTER.

  30. Hinkie, As I have said before, I want you to be right. First, we need 1 of the 2. There really is not a Plan B. Plan B is in addition to one of them. There is no Plan for instead of. Second, I don’t want you to ban yourself. So, let’s assume we get 1. Assume for argument’s sake that Corbin and Kikuchi go elsewhere. I think that is a safe assumption. Do we go the Gio route, Happ, someone else? Or, go with Ranger or Cole Irvin? I think we need another SP, one that bumps Arrieta to #3. I still want a back up C, maybe Hedges in a Franco deal, and a Lefty for the BP.

    1. Matt … Machdo is plan A. Harper is plan B. We’re not going to have to worry about a plan C.
      IMO, Corbin will end up a Yankee. The Phillies will bid on Kikuchi and Britton. If they don’t land Kikuchi, Happ makes sense because he is older (yet still effective) and won’t require a long term deal (maybe 2 years@ 26 million). The Phillies next generation of starters is just a season or two away.

    2. Matt, as I mentioned above somewhere earlier today, Eovaldi opened some eyes Monday night vs NYY. He’s a righty but potentially a solid #3, maybe #2 if he continues to improve. We may have to outbid the Red Sox for him.

      I’d give Irvin the next shot among lefty starters if we can’t sign either Corbin or Kikuchi.

      1. 8mark…I also like Eovaldi ( and whatever what happened to the vowel ‘u’).
        But his career has been checkered and the TJ has not helped him.
        I think he will command something between $13M and 17M AAV for 2/3 years…..and I think the Phillies could be a player at that price.
        If he goes for a longer deal….and at age 29 he may…then i am not sure that is a good idea.

  31. Just ran across this. It maybe backs up my contentions that the Phillies should stop procrastinating, and get Sixto to the nearest TJ surgeon. A hard throwing kid doesn’t wake up with a swollen elbow for no reason. I’m not a doctor, but that, to me, indicates some trauma to the elbow. This team has now allowed over four months to pass and done nothing for this kid. As I’ve posted numerous times now, It’s either TJ or PRP injections. Why waist more time ?

    Anyway … the topic came up this afternoon in Kiley McDaniels’ chat:

    Jake: Isn’t it quite obvious Sixto needs/will need very soon TJ surgery??

    Kiley McDaniel: I wouldn’t go that far, but I was talking to a scout about it this week and compared it to how the pilot tells you the 2-hour delay by saying it will be 15 more minutes every 15 minutes. Not encouraging.

    1. That’s what irks me most about the Sixto situation. Let’s get the surgery over with. Let’s get him healthy while he’s still young. While WE’RE still young!!

    2. Yeah, sure, are you guys kidding me? This kid is the prized possession of the organization – you think they haven’t done their due diligence on what is best for him in painstaking detail? And, by the way, the Phillies probably have the best record around over the last few years for rehabbing guys and permitting them to avoid TJ surgery (Nola, Velasquez). So, please, under you’re a doctor, stop playing doctor.

      1. TJ surgery is not a small thing and LOTS of players never recover their full velocity (Strasburg, for one, was never the same) – so you avoid that surgery wherever possible.

        1. Aaron Nola had PRP injections.
          Let’s see what happens. Let’s see if he throws in a game again w/o either TJ surgery or PRP injections.
          Sure, TJ is not foolproof, but the great majority of pitchers (especially young ones) recover to throw as hard (if not harder) than before surgery. Not sure Strasburg is even a good example for your argument. In 2010 before TJ, Strasburg’s FB (according to Fangraphs) was 97.6 MPH. In 2011 and 2012 post TJ, Strasburg’s FB was 96.7 MPH. That’s a difference of 1 MPH (hardly detectible). This year, he’s more 95 MPH but that’s more due to age (now 30 YO) than TJ surgery.
          Read this: https://sciencelife.uchospitals.edu/2014/03/04/do-major-league-pitchers-throw-as-hard-after-tommy-john-surgery/
          “In a study published recently in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, University of Chicago orthopedic surgeon Martin Leland (@DrMartinLeland) and resident Jimmy Jiang analyzed a trove of pitching data from Major League Baseball and found no significant difference in pitch velocity between players who underwent Tommy John surgery after a UCL injury and those who were never injured during the same time period.”

          Watch Kevin Gowdy take off in 2019 with a clean elbow. TJ is not a career killer. An inflamed elbow is not normal. It’s more than likely going to continue to act up until it either blows out or Sixto injures his shoulder trying to compensate for the injured elbow.

          1. TJ isn’t a death sentence anymore, but claiming 1 MPH is “hardly detectable” is laughable. That much of a drop is a HUGE red flag for pitchers. Maybe it had to do with surgery, maybe not. But that much velocity is sometimes the difference between two full scouting grades for pitches (say, a 70 grade pitch and a 60 grade pitch). If the options are TJ or no TJ, I go with no TJ wherever possible.

            And make no mistake, the Phils know what to do about this situation better than we do. They’re not adverse to advising TJ where necessary, but they also won’t resort to it when not needed. Plus, it’s not like it’s their decision. It’s Sixto’s. No matter what they tell him or advise him, he makes the decision to go under the knife or not. If he wanted to, he could get TJ when fully healthy just to see if it bumped his velo. Likewise, he could refuse to get surgery even if a team of doctors told him he was missing entire ligaments in his pitching arm.

            1. But isn’t this a moot point now?
              The the initial MRI in June showed no structural damage ( torn or fraying UCL issues)….and I am sure any subsequent ones done showed the same …if not, the Phillies would have already started PRP or suggested TJ surgery.
              You have to believe, and trust that the radiologists can accurately read the imaging.

            2. If you want to argue 1 MPH is a big deal to a pitcher who throws in the low 90’s, I’ll buy that. However, it a pitcher throws upper 90’s, that 1 MPH is not a big deal at all. Would you rather see Sixto Sanchez throw 99-100 with a questionable elbow that could blow out at any time? Or would you settle for 97-98 with a clean elbow, and have greater confidence he’ll be able to pitch for the long term? BTW, I don’t even believe he’ll lose the one or two MPH I just spotted you. I’m just throwing that out to you as a bad case scenario.

              My commenting on Strasburg was in reaction to catch using him as an example of a pitcher losing his velo. I could have/should have responded by bringing up Nathan Eovaldi. He’s a TJ survivor, and he throws as hard as ever. Read the article I posted. There is no evidence to support the theory that pitchers lose velo because of TJ.

              Finally, Sixto Sanchez is not going to say “no” if the Phillies tell him he needs TJ.

              I’ll tell you the same thing I posted to catch. An inflamed elbow is not normal. It is almost assuredly a sign of some sort of trauma. Maybe I’m wrong (I hope I am), but I doubt Sixto Sanchez will pitch in another game until he either gets PRP injections or TJ surgery. The sooner he is treated, the sooner he’ll return to action.

            3. Look, if he ends up needing TJ surgery then he does. But if the problem can be dealt with through rest, rehab, revised mechanics and/or a PRP injection – that’s a much better case scenario. Among other things, there is speculation about how long a TJ ligament replacement lasts and, yes, sometimes velocity does diminish. I’ll tell you that I watched Strasburg when he came up and he was essentially unhittable, and, when he came back from the surgery he was still really good (and remains very good), but he’s never been quite the same.

      2. That is correct, Phillies have done well with rehabbing their pitchers…..and Seranthony had the should issues last year and was out two months and looked good this season.
        And the book is still out on Gowdy…but he is throwing so that is a good indication he is well on his way to a full recovery.
        BTW…. ViVe was TOS not Tommy John.

        1. Yes, but before that Velasqeuz had an elbow strain. The Phillies have just been really good about spotting these problems early, giving guys rest, rehabbing them properly and fixing their mechanics. I don’t care what the surgery is – if you can avoid surgery on a guy’s arm through non-surgical means, you do it.

  32. Saw article on Fansided (FWIW) suggesting Arizona may be active in the trade market should they decide they want to rebuild their farm. And that we should test those waters.

    1. I expect ARI to QO Corbin and lose him to NYY then the dominoes will fall. The Dodgers haven’t really secured the NL West so ARI might want to make one final run before dismantling.

      It is already been reported that Corbin is NYY’s #1 target this offseason.

      1. Kuko, I think it’s virtually impossible for ARI to stay in the NL West hunt when they’re losing as many as 4 good players to FA and another in Goldschmidt next year. They would be wise to retool the entire organization. That will take time and some luck.

        1. if you’re going to ask me, I will agree with you. But a GM perspective is different especially if his job is on the line. I don’t follow ARI so I can’t say if Mike Hazen has the owners support to stay if he decided to rebuild and basically give up the next 2-3 years.

          1. What may save Arizona are the Padres and Giants….if those two can push forward, then the DBacks could be struggling to stay out of the NL-West cellar.

  33. Luis Garcia, the SS, is #1 prospect in Gulf Coast League from BA newest rankings. Kudos to him! On Arizona being open for business. We can afford Greinke, but what would you give up. He is a strange bird. Goldy would cost a fortune and we have our 1B in Rhys, AJ Pollack is a FA, and I would have some mild interest in him in as a back up plan. Robbie Ray would be interesting also.

    1. Matt13…Outside of those you mentioned….the team and their farm system is pretty barren. Next season I can see them possibly falling to the bottom of their division upon losing Corbin and Pollack, and a 35-year old Greinke aging downward trend.

    2. Yeah, upon further examination, the only Dback players I’d be interested in are all FAs with the possible exception of Robby Ray. Corbin, Diekman, Escobar and Pollock are there if we really want one. With our financial wiggle room, we can slightly overpay for any of them. As for trading for Ray, he’d be a plan B option should all the preferred lefties get taken. Nice pitcher but I wouldn’t give much up for him.

    3. It’s not what I’d give them for Greinke’s contract, it’s, “what do they have left to give us to take it?”

      Seriously, I want no part of that contract. Or Yasmany’s. If they had a farm system we could work something out, but…

    4. Robbie Ray would be a great get for this team provided the price is right. Should be high given his talent level but would love a left handed power arm in the rotation.

      1. Also;

        Maybe a bigger trade could be made. Greinke & Goldschmidt, for Santana and prospects. Take on Greinke’s contract. Absolutely improve the offense, tough out another year with Hoskins in left & then get a pick when Goldschmidt leaves.

        1. Interesting proposition. Plus we would get 1st shot at Goldy next winter. (As much as I like Rhys, I’m not married to him just yet.) And since we’d be taking on Grienke’s salary and maybe eating some of Santana’s, we should not have to give up THAT much in prospects. Food for thought.

    5. Greinke will have the same impact as Arrieta basically a #3/#4 — maybe a salary dump for some scrubs or soon to be minor league FA like Harold Arauz.

      Last year, I suggested a Cesar for Bradley swap and I still like Bradley as a target.

      1. It makes me think of the “Hennigan’s” Seinfeld episode.

        Jerry: “I got a bottle of Scotch my uncle gave me, Hennigan’s. It’s been there two years. I’ve been using it as a paint thinner.”

        Kramer: “That is damn good Scotch. I could do a commercial for this stuff.”

        Kramer: “Boy, that Hennigan goes down smooth, and afterwards, you don’t even smell.”

        Kramer: “That’s right, folks. I just had three shots of Hennigan’s, and I don’t smell. Imagine, you can walk around drunk all day. That’s Hennigan’s, the no-smell, no-tell Scotch.”

        “Say you got a big job interview and you’re a little nervous. Well, throw back a couple of shots of Hennigan’s, and you’ll be as loose as a goose and ready to roll in no time. And because it’s odorless, why, it’ll be our little secret.” (singing) “H, E, double-N, I…”

  34. Checking Matt Gelb’s twitter today. He cites someone’s piece on analytics and platooning players. It seems it works better on some teams that have established veteran players (which the Phillies mostly don’t) like the Red Sox and Dodgers. However, one follower commented that at the same time, analytics tends to work against most players who want to get paid when it’s time to enter free agency. Yes, the top tier guys will still be paid top dollar, but the salary scale under the scope of analytics works in favor of the owners. Interesting.

    1. Nice to see that report on Morales.
      And since his birthdate is October 1999…he would have just graduated from a North American HS in June ..or if held back a year at some point earlier, entering his senior year..

    1. I wouldn’t lump this story in with the DOJ investigation, Romus. The Daily Rag? Not doubting it happened but there’s probably been a dozen of these type of incidents in the minor leagues where boys will be boys, unfortunately for female hotel staff.

    2. I don’t see what Gabe did wrong in this case. It sounds like he said the player would be dealt with and assured the Hotel Manager he wouldn’t be a problem for him moving forward.

  35. I am not completely clear about the Dodgers’ issue. Is this latest story about the player and the alleged assault part of the investigation into the bribery charges in their overseas operation? Or, something separate?

    1. Matt13….good question.
      It references 2015 and it must be one aspect of the investigation….that apparently was leaked to the NY Post writer.
      It all seems so much like a Wash DC political drama…..and Gabe’s name keeps getting mentioned.
      I believe Nick Francona and Manny Paula have corroborated to release the inner dealings of the Dodgers during that specific time Gabe was running that area. Nick Francona, as the former Dodger emplyee let go by Gabe, providing all the evidence for Manny Paula as the unwitting victim in this ordeal.

  36. Dusty Wathan interviewing for Rangers Managerial spot. Dusty is a good guy and was an outstanding Minor League Manager. I wonder what his chances are? I think losing him hurts us.

    1. I have often wondered about Wathan being selected for Kapler’s staff since he is a hold over from the previous, much less analytical regime. He did connect with guys like Williams, Crawford and Franco – who may also be on their way.

    1. How can you follow the FIL. Phuture Phillies site started out strong but then nothing. I would love to find game-by-game results for their season. Help.

    1. 8mark – Speculating on possible trades is futile, but fun. Our needs, as far as trades go, will depend on whether or not we can land a big fish (no, I don’t mean Trout). If, or when, we land Harper or Machado, we’ll have a better idea on who we can trade. For most teams, they need one or the other, but the Phillies can go either way. Just a hunch, but I think that Machado will sign within a week, and then Harper will sign a week or two later.

          1. Sorry, misread. Free agency begins the day after the WS, but FAs from other teams can’t officially sign with new teams until 5 days after. (QAs can, theoretically, be offered and accepted on the first day)

      1. Wawa, I agree with you on speculation. I do however think Harper’s situation won’t be resolved until much later, perhaps into the new year, closer to the beginning of Feb.

        1. Machado basically comes down to NYY and PHI battling it out. Harper has so many more wrinkles in terms of whether WAS factors in with a one yr pillow deal and several other clubs with the need for a lefty power bat.

          1. Didi Greorious is going to have TJS opening the SS (Torres to move to 2B). I still think that NYY’s priority is Patrick Corbin that will give the Phillies the window to talk and sign Machado early into the FA. I like to think that Machado wants to sign a fat paycheck before xmas.

            1. Winter meetings end Dec 13th….he could sign there, or maybe even wait until right after they end. That two week period between end of meetings and Christmas holidays seems to be when most want to get it done…well non-Boras clients.

            2. That’s a HUGE turn of events. I’m sure NYY will still go hard after Corbin but not at the expense or stead of going after Machado. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

          2. 8mark – I’m not sure, but I think the big money kicks in this year on the Strasburg and Sherzer contracts. Washington also has that kid, Robles, in the minors. I think that they’ll make a qualifying offer, and take the draft compensation.

            1. Neither Strasburg or Sherzer have any increases in their contracts but both have significant deferred payments coming the future.

              As for Strasburg, he has an opt out option this year. That decision will impact where thee Nationals go in the off-season.

      2. wawa Mike:
        ‘Machado will sign within a week’, …what week?
        Cannot sign before the 5th day after the WS ends…and WS looks to end now somewhere around Nov 1-3.

  37. 8mark – Last year Darvish signed first, but because Arrieta, Lynn, and Cobb were still available, it dragged into spring training. Once Machado sets the bar, the bidding should be furious for Harper, and wrap up about a week or two later. The Yankees will have to deal Ellsbury to have room to bid on Harper/ Machado. Despite Harpers friendship with Bryant, the Cubs have the Darvish contract and others to deal with. I’m not saying that they are out of the sweepstakes, but it’s more difficult for them, and the Phillies need (and cash) is greater.

    1. The Cubbies has a $179M committed contracts before the ARB to Bryant, Baez, Schwarber, Russell and Kyle Hendricks. The new CBA impose a hard penalties for teams who will sign big $$ FA and crossing the luxury tax threshold. The Cubbies will be hard pressed to keep up with the bidding war for Harper. Unless Harper will agree with 1-year contract that will circumvent the CBA rules.

      1. Bryant could get $12M plus this year……Hendricks could be a $8-10M guy…..Russell is a big question pending investigation or suspension…..Schwarber and especially MVP candidate Baez will get hefty raises for sure.
        How they sign Harper …plus keep 7/8 of their starting pitchers is beyond my comprehension!

        1. Harper/Boras will command $35M+ on any 1 yr pillow contract.

          Where’s Hinkie? I want his take on Didi’s TJ surgery and the effect it now has on the Manny market.

            1. Not if he plays to 1 WAR again, it won’t. That said, given that he is likely to be much better than that and the team has a ton of cash, I’d like to see it happen.

          1. One thing for NYY to consider in light of Didi TJ surgery – Torres’ natural position is SS and the 2b market is pretty flush this winter. So….maybe the play for Manny isn’t that urgent after all?

            1. Manny for the Yankees would be a luxury, not a need since they have plenty of offense already. They need pitching and will use their resources, both financial and trade, to add pitching…

              Manny might want to go to NY but I don’t see the Yankees making a big offer to get him..

            2. That makes me feel better already…and Hinkie hasn’t even posted in response to assure us all there’s nothing to sweat.

  38. The luxury tax teams put in a good deal of effort to get under and re-set their penalties, specifically so they could spend this year and next. I don’t think the Yankees have to choose between Corbin and Machado. I am not being negative, I simply want our FO to have been working on an approach to Machado, selling him on the team’s future, the City and playing here. It will not be simply outbidding the other teams. I haven’t thought that since this whole thing started a year and a half ago. Harper is going to get some creative deal. It may take Boras until ST to get what he wants. I don;t think we have the luxury of waiting that long. Signing one is only move 1. There need to be several.

    1. Matt13….I think you are correct…Yankees have plenty of flexibility…outside of Stanton/Chapman/Tanaka and whatever is left of Ellsbury’s contract….they have no big commitments that have to be made.
      they could sign both Machado and Corbin….then deal with Judge, or even Sanchez if they keep him, or Torres and Andujar a few years down the road.
      Gardner and Hicks are not long term deals in the making.

        1. Yes realize that. CC and Gray are nearing the end for them.
          Severino comes back., Happ and Lynn are FAs so they could be back or both gone…..a young guy like German will get some fill in starts.
          They will sign Corbin more than likely.
          I assume Cashman will make a trade somewhere along the line also.

  39. I don’t think there’s any chance Harper signs a one year deal. A DC writer might think so because he thinks Harper’s value is down. In reality, lots of teams will bid high for him because of his potential. I expect a 7-8 yr deal for $30-$35 M per year with a possible out clause after 3/4 years. The Phils will certainly be bidders. As for Manny, there’s zero chance he signs before December. Again, multiple teams bidding against each other takes time. He’ll get a similar deal. Manny has the IF going for him but Harper is a face if the team guy while Nanny is quiet. Corbin to the Yanks seems likely.

    1. He COULD sign a long term contract if someone overpays, but I think he doesn’t like the long term offers and goes with a pillow contract. That said, all you need is one team to commit. We’ll see.

      1. Hard to believe…but Harper has been a 7.5bWAR and a 11.3fWAR player over the last three years.
        His wRC+ however averages out to 134 per year over these last three years.
        So some mixed metrics on him

        1. In my view there is WAY too much risk to sign Harper to a long term contract of the type he would accept. I’d give him a pillow deal but would steer clear of a long term contract.

      2. A contract with a couple of opt-out years would allow him to do both. I imagine he’ll want an 8-10 deal with an opt-out after 1 or 2 years and maybe another after 4 or 5. Any signing team probably pushes for the 2 vs 1 year opt out. Now the good news with this type of deal is that if you have concerns about Harper’s defense as he ages, then there is a strong chance he is gone after 2 years. Let someone else deal with the expensive downside of his contract.

        1. AndyB….there are no mutual or club opt-clauses in these contracts…it is always player beneficial oriented ….so if he slides down hill at two years….the club is stuck.
          because his value has slipped.
          Then again if he is going great….than he could leave, and create a hole in the team’s lineup

          1. These opt outs are where the top tier players have been obtaining leverage entering free agency or extension talks. Analytics has in effect gradually lessened the value of 2nd tier players in terms of dollars and years. GMs/owners will no longer pay the money once paid for mediocrity or non-marketable faces (relatively speaking, of course). Look how the market dragged on last off season. Moustakas wound up getting peanuts compared to his original QO. Where the tide turns is the next CBA – will the MLBPA fight for bigger dollars for younger, more productive players instead of paying fading veteran stars for what they’ve already done?

  40. I think both Machado and Harper will command and receive multiple opt outs, the first being in the first 2 to 3 years. Another after 5 years.

  41. Word is Atlanta will not offer Nick Markakis a QO. If so, and should we not sign Harper (and even if we do sign Machado), would Markakis be an acceptable fallback 34 yr old OF, a lefty bat with so-so power but slashes well, for say 2 years@$20M?

    1. Risky….he will be 35 and last two months he really faded….,255/330/660.
      But for $10M AAV for two years, it may be worth it with his veteran presence and experience. But that is a drop in pay for him, so he may want something like $15AAV

  42. About DiDi Gregorius, Manny Machado, and the NYY …
    Gregorius’ TJ surgery makes things more interesting in the chase for Machado. I believe the Yankees look into Manny. If he’s willing to take a below market value deal for the “privilege” of wearing Yankee pinstripes, they’d be happy to have him. However, that rarely ever happens. IMO, John Middleton will go as high as 450 million over 12 years. That’s 37.5 million AAV. I don’t think the Yankees want to go that high.
    I’ve always believed Bryce Harper would make more sense for the Yankees because their lineup is so right handed heavy. With DiDi out, their lineup loses it’s most potent/one of their only LH bats.
    Also, from what I’ve read, Gregorius could be back by the second half of the 2019 season.
    The Yankees have four options:
    1. Spend big bucks on MM.
    2. Move Gleyber Torres to SS, and sign a 2Bman from this winter’s bloated FA market. An older guy on a shorter term deal makes sense (Daniel Murphy bats LH, Jed Lowrie is a SH).
    3. Sign a FA SS on a short term deal. Freddy Galvis could be their guy.
    4. Trade for a dude who can play multiple positions. That dude could be Jurikson Profar. He’d be perfect for the NYY because he’s a switch hitter (with good pop from the left side) who could play SS until DiDi gets back. He could then play 1B if Greg Bird doesn’t rebound from a terrible 2018. Otherwise, Profar could play all over the diamond when Gregorius gets back and if Bird is playing well. The Rangers need young pitching. The Yankees have plenty of it.

    Of those four options, I think #2 is the most likely.

    1. Once again, Hinkie comes through.

      After taking the position that Manny would more likely sign with the NYY, I’m now of the opinion that his desire to play in the Bronx is greater than their need for a shortstop when starting pitching will be their primary target AND they have internal options from their depth in addressing Didi’s absence.

      Conclusion – Manny Machado will become a Phillie by the end of the winter meetings.

      Also, after reading MLBTR’s breakdown of the Cubs’ off season outlook, I’m of the mind that Bryce Harper will sign with either Chicago or the Yankees, who would be better served with a premier lefty power bat in their predominantly right handed lineup. The only, much less likely possibility that Harper signs with the Phillies is if they wait out his market and sign him on a short term (3 yr max) deal with very high AAV.

      Carlos Santana will probably stay and play most innings at 3b while Hoskins plays mostly at 1b. Trading the former would be an admission by Klentak that he was wrong for signing him in the first place. That ain’t happening. Plus, lefty bats with power may now become a rarer commodity in red pinstripes in 2019, anyway.

      The biggest questions remain – who will man the Phillies outfield corners? And what will the starting rotation look like? The answer to the second question will likely impact how the 2019 bullpen is constructed.

      To be traded: Hernandez, Herrera and Franco are the most likely candidates. Crawford and Williams are also possible although JP’s value is low enough that he may be more useful as either a platoon/utility IF or simply start next season in AAA. Altherr’s value as a 4th OF staying put is probably higher than trading him. Perhaps he’s also a rebound candidate as a platoon. Quinn and his tenable health will get the opportunity to lock down CF, though my more realistic longterm outlook for him is as a 4th OF/utility weapon. In any case, we’re in need of a lefty power bat at one corner, at least, whether it comes by free agency or trade.

      1. I am thinking that Quinn will be the CF with Herrera in LF as he is a fall back option for CF. Altherr kept either for bench or ends up in AAA (I think he is out of options) as he also can play all 3 OF positions. Williams is the odd man out as I do believe they will add 1 really good OF. Harper is the main target with several other players as plan B. If Machado is signed I would expect an OF from their plan B list to also be signed. The wildcard is who they end up trading for.

    2. Hinkie…..” IMO, John Middleton will go as high as 450 million over 12 years. That’s 37.5 million AAV. I don’t think the Yankees want to go that high”
      .:….there could be some doubts if that were to happen according to what MacPhail said in his last interview, which seem to have a mixed message:

      “……if you were going to invest all you had on one star-type player, then that would be sort of an acknowledgement that you think you may be one player away,There’s always going to be that push for, ‘Sign this guy, sign that guy.’ Is that really going to solve the problems that I articulated earlier — the defense, playing within our division better, being more consistent, striking out less? I mean, those are all things we’re going to have to balance this offseason.”…then he went onto say
      “This ownership group has demonstrated that it’s not afraid to have a payroll in the top five, it’s our hope to get back there.”

  43. $37.5 Million is lower than I thought. And, even $40 Million is not “investing all you have”. So, I still think MacPhail’s statements were nothing more than hedging in case they strike out on Machado and Harper. I hope Middleton is in whatever meetings they get with FAs, because I don’t think MacPhail is worth much as a deal closer.

    1. That’s the impression I get from him, Matt. While I do appreciate MacPhail’s candor, he doesn’t exactly light up the room. He’s probably a good sounding board but I wouldn’t want him making final calls.

  44. Many people want to know about Kevin Gowdy.
    A little of Kevin Gowdy pitching last game of the FIL yesterday ….courtesy of Baseball Betsy videos.

      1. Yeah …that is a possibility.
        Hard to believe he will be 21-years old next month with only 9 innings pitched.
        Marlins also have a first round pick who will be 21 also and has 73 innings pitched so far. And another HS first rounder who will be 23 with only 150 innings pitched over five years ..Tyler Kolek.
        Drafting HS pitchers can be so risky when they incur arm issues thru injury..

  45. Great to see him, Romus. I am counting on him having a big year, and rocketing up the prospect charts. I probably have him too low at 20, but that is only because he hasn’t pitched in 2 years. I think a healthy Kevin Gowdy becomes a top Pitching prospect, not just on our rankings, but across the league.

    1. Until we see the stats and the reports, I can’t predict anything for him. Sure, it’s nice to have him around, but he’s still a huge question mark for me. He could be great or he could turn into another Shane Watson or Mitch Gueller who, collectively, amounted to nothing as professional baseball players.

      1. If he’s healthy, I’ll take a young pitcher like him and build, rather than hold on to electric arms that burn out or can’t command the strike zone.

        1. But you say that as if we know a ton about him as a professional pitcher. We some vague reports, but that’s it. He’s a 21 year-old with the experience of an 18 year-old. I’m not talking ill of him, I’m just saying we can’t count on him for anything.

          1. He is a risk for sure.
            You give examples of pitchers that fizzle and eventually fade.
            Plenty in this org for sure
            And he can be that.
            I like to have a little optimistic viewpoint on him for another season at least.

  46. I read yesterday that Wilson Ramos wants to be a starter so that pretty much rules him out for the Phillies. There are no good catchers available in free agency, so the Phillies will trade for one or go with Knapp again. His bat is his upside, but he can’t start more than 40 games unless his defense improves greatly. A lot of sources are saying that Machado has already made up his mind to play for the Yankees, and that Harper is our only choice. That’s not a bad Plan B. However, MONEY TALKS. Middleton will not be outbid , and if he wants Manny, he’ll bid the highest. If Manny wants to play for the Yankees, he’ll have to leave a lot of money on the table.
    As of right now, the Phillies are loaded with starting pitchers that any rebuilding team would covet. Maybe they trade Eflin and Suarez/De La Santos for a good reliever, and sign a FA relief pitcher also (2 lefties would be preferable).
    Who’s on third Santana, Franco, Crawford, or somebody else? If the Phillies can sign Machado, that will turn Crawford into a 2nd, 3rd baseman and Shortstop. As much as I want to see him play, he can take the year to get used to ML pitching. Then it comes down to Franco or Santana. One must go, and one must play. Franco is much younger and much cheaper.
    If the Phillies decide to trade Hernandez, Herrera, Santana and Bour, I’d like for them to get good minor league bats, at the least, AA level.

      1. Yates is a career nothing, one good year this year at 31 and Hedges a career low .200 hitter. Don’t waste a trade of talent for these two.

        1. Give yuo a fair point on Yates….he may be nearing the end at 32 years old…and relievers are so unpredictable year to year.
          But Hedges is one of the best defensive catchers in baseball….that can hit . 250 range with some pop.

          The Phillies will NEVER get to a WS with Alf behind the plate.
          Better check out the last 15 WS winners and who was catching for them….most all were Gold Glove nominees and many got the award.
          Other than Red Sox with Saltalmacchia…..the rest were exceptional defensive catchers.
          Alf alone was involved with 49 of the teams 5th leading Wild pitches (81)by their pitchers…..go along with his 10 pass balls, leading the majors, and his 11 errors, top five in the league…..Hedges’ defensive skills would make this staff better than they were.

    1. Doobie to Oakland for Puk.
      Cesar to Toronto who isn’t looking to rebuild. For who I don’t know but I’m sure they can package a couple prospects for him.

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