Open Discussion: Week of February 25, 2019

The first full squad workout for the minor league affiliates will be held this week.  Daily reports will reported in separate articles.

Machado is off the board, but Harper is still available.  I would ask that any Harper negotiation comments be posted HERE. Thank you.

The Phillies resigned infielder Trevor Plouffe.  I had heard that Sean Rodriguez may have suffered a leg injury, but I’ve seen him working out this week.  He took BP in the stadium Sunday.

Dylan Cozens is having himself a spring.  I think he is batting .800 and he hit a HR that bounced off the roof in RF.  I think it was calculated at 478 feet.  Cozens power is nothing new.  I once saw him hit a HR that appeared to still be rising as it passed THROUGH the light standard in RF at Bright House Field.  I’m sure that was an illusion and that it landed before Route 19.  Pretty sure.  Well, I hope it landed short of the highway.  Focusing on contact, that was one of only 5 HR he hit that season for the Threshers.

As a team, the Phillies look pretty good so far.  In 27.0 innings, pitchers have walked just 5 and struck out 26 batters.  They have the only WHIP below 1.000 (0.96).  The starters ERAs are all under 4.00.  The only concern is the 4 HR they’ve allowed, and 3 (maybe 4) of those were by guys who will start the season in the minors.  Fielding is much improved in our small sample.  The only 2 errors were committed by shortstops who will start the season in the minors.  Offensively, their stats are a little skewed.  With two games on the road this weekend, projected starters didn’t make the trips.  Collectively, Realmuto, Hoskins, Hernandez, Segura, Franco, and McCutchen have taken only 16 of 107 at bats.  Herrera hasn’t played yet due to a thigh, although he took BP in the stadium Sunday.

The 40-man roster stands at 39, the entire organization stands at 359.

This the Phuture Phillies Open Discussion for Phillies and other baseball topics that are not about Harper.

Key Dates:

  • 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 27, 2019 – Minor League Spring Training begins
  • March 28, 2019 – Phillies’ 2019 season home opener v. Atlanta (3:05)

The rosters and lists are up to date.

Transactions (newest transactions in bold text)
2/21/2019 – Phillies signed FA 3B Trevor Plouffe to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
2/18/2019 – C Drew Butera assigned to Lehigh Valley
2/13/2019 – Harold Garcia released by Reading
2/12/2019 – LHP Christopker Soriano assigned to DSL Phillies Red
2/11/2019 – RHP Ruben Aponte assigned to Williamsport from DSL Red
2/11/2019 – RHP Jeison Blanco assigned to Williamsport from DSL White
2/11/2019 – 1B Maximo De La Rosaassigned to Williamsport from DSL Red
2/11/2019 – 3B Juan Herrera assigned to Williamsport from DSL White
2/11/2019 – LHP Yefferson Mercedes assigned to Williamsport from DSL Red
2/11/2019 – Phillies signed free agent C Drew Butera to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
2/11/2019 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Christopher Soriano to an MiLB contract
2/8/2019 – Phillies signed FA INF Sean Rodriguez to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
2/7/2019 – Phillies traded C Jorge Alfaro, RHP Sixto Sanchez, LHP Will Stewart and $250K international bonus dollars to Miami for C J.T. Realmuto
2/3/2019 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Jhongel Malaver, assigned to GCL West

239 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of February 25, 2019

  1. Personally observed the Pirates and Tigers game and Jim’s assessments are spot on.

    The Team is playing regular baseball. They are selective at the plate but are not “santana”, good pitch then swing. No shifts and limited pitching changes in middle of innings only when needed like when T Viza was getting shelled yesterday in the 8th.

    Enjoyed their style of play immensely.

  2. Just wondering. I’m confident that the Phillies will sign Harper, but if it somehow falls apart, will the Phillies sign a different Outfielder, or go with the players that they already have.

      1. Let’s just talk about Phillies current OF options vs all free agent OFers. What we have now is better than all options but one. But I guess tgat gets us back to other site. Oh well.

      2. I was thinking about that, Jim, but it also includes members of the current roster. No offense intended..

    1. Only OF’s available would be:
      Marwin Gonzales, Carlos Gomez, Austin Jackson, Adam Jones, CarGo and then even worse. Stick with the known.

          1. It does look rather lean…..but if the current yuong OFers on the phuillies all cn play up to their strengths, may not need another OFer…..Cutch will also be out there.

            But if Klentak still thinks he needs another corner OF helper…..Padres have a glut of OFers ready to be moved and Detroit has Castellanos who they also are trying to move…..all of them however are power RHBs…..Castellanos, Wil Myers, Hunter Renfroe, and Franmil Reyes.

            1. True, there are outside options but there are enough in house. This Team is so close knit that if we don’t get any FA OF we will even bond tighter. Last night they had a celebration over their win over Detroit but I think it was a last hurrah before any news breaks.

    1. Glad to see Dylan Cozens on the list. Never wanted to get the point across that he was the best or maybe not at that starter level yet, justed wanted him to be a member of the outfield & roster discussions.

      1. Just remember there can only be 5 OFs in the 25, at most, and Quinn is #4 and Altherr is #5. Cozens is certainly penciled in for RF in LHV. If he is able to continue this great start for several more weeks, it will create trade thoughts for sure.

    2. Yup, that’s not even thinking about what’s coming down the pipeline from Moniak and Haseley, possibly Cornelius. Obviosuly none are a given, but when you build from within for 7-8 seasons, and then splurge in FA, this is part of the risk you take. Over Spending on a player when you have similar production from a young cheap player. I will be interested to see McCutchens numbers vs Williams this year. I know McCutchen brings leadership, so he has that bonus. Also looking to see if Kingery is more of the real deal and can unseat hernadez. As many of you know, I’m looking forward to Eickhoff pushing his way back into the rotation. Last I heard his early setback was minor, good to go now. Lastly, Cozens is a surprising story so far, i hope he keeps it up, as they can find himnenough playing time to hold over till the DH is official. He’ll need to keep doing what he’s doing

  3. If we don’t land said player I’d move forward with signing Kimbrel and Keuchel. I’d try to move Altherr for something anything.

    Quinn would be my 4th OF and Williams gets the job through June 1 to cement himself as an everyday player. I’ll get Quinn a few starts each week in all 3 OF positions.

    MK hopefully made the right call on Cutch because now Castellanos really doesn’t make sense.

  4. Yankees give Hicks a 7/$70 extension. He’s 29 and was going to be a FA after the season. 70 in the hand is worth 20 in the bush 🙂

  5. I have seen Odubel in ST but he hasn’t played in first 3 games and is not in home lineup today. Hurt or holding him out to be traded if we sign Harper?

  6. Okay, back to prospect talk. I taped De Los Santos’s start and need to watch the whole thing, but what I saw was really impressive. Moving 96 MPH FB to strike out a batter. If that’s representative of his stuff, we could have a much better pitcher on our hands than we currently expect. Very excited about this.

    1. I mean not trying to be that guy but I said that about DLS last year after I saw him in ST. Right now he’s better than anything we have after Nola, Jake and Nick.

      He’s got some command issues that will need to be cleaned up but he has what VV doesn’t and that is a killer CU to get lefties out.

      The other thing he has going for him is that it was probably MKs best trade in getting him for Freddy.

      1. @DMAR – DLS is Zac Eflin lite at best so he is not the 4th best option right now. DLS can experience success early in his MLB starts but without a breaking ball or a consistent CU, batter will adjust to his FB similar to what happened to Eflin before. Without enough sample size in MLB, DLS is still behind Vinny and possibly Eickhoff.

    2. @catch – DLS cannot afford to be just a FB guy especially if he wants to see success as a starter. DLS is supposed to have a good CU, but he is not utilizing it as much. With FB-CU, DLS is only a pen guy. DLS needs to develop a breaking ball, otherwise, he is Zac Eflin lite.

      Aaron Nola was kocked around this site due to lack of velocity in his FB and we now know that Nola can take any batter out with a non-FB (CB, CU).

      1. I never said he only needed a FB. I said what I saw was encouraging because what I saw was a true plus pitch. I need to watch the whole start to see his secondary stuff, but he could have some serious upside even if some of his pitches are still developing.

        1. @catch – i watched DLS pitched in LHV a couple of times. His FB can be a plus although he has problems carrying the command (not the velocity) deep in the games. DLS is mostly a FB heavy and throws CU for weaker batters when I watched him.

          DLS is a better and bigger version of Ricardo Pinto — both have plus FB and good CU. Pinto also struggle to develop a reliable breaking ball resulting to his demise when his CU did not progress to be better.

          As of now, DLS is a cut between Eflin and Pinto. Eflin developed a breaking ball (SL). In my observation watching DLS, Eflin and Pinto in REA/LHV —- DLS is closely similar to Eflin.

          1. Man Kuko you lost me when you brought Pinto’s name into the conversation…

            DLS is what Eflin wants to be considering DLS pitched the whole year at age 22 in LHV to a 2.63 ERA and a 1.161 WHIP

            1. That;s a WHIP of 0.8.
              The following year is when he had his issues and then th knee surgeries after the season.
              Will have to see how DLS does the second time aroun the IL….along with Cole irvin.
              Second time around gets a lot of the pitchers.

            2. @DMAR – “DLS is what Eflin wants to be” — are you serious about this? Eflin is dominating AAA at the age of 22 and called up in the majors until knee problems gave him problems.

            3. DMAR….huh…crushing?
              Splits….2016 LHB as RHP
              PA-244…….249/.292/.444 ….and that counts his MLB stats in there also

            4. I’m not on your page Romus last year Eflins OPS against lefites was a lofty 842

              but OK you want a silver lining for Zach he could be Nathan Evoldi one day.

            5. @DMAR – DLS can potentially becomes better than Eflin. But I’m not ready to say that yet. DLS just doesn’t have enough sample size to make a determination. We’ve followed Eflin from the time the Phillies got him for J-Smooth — and we’ve seen a good version of Eflin who can work efficiently and pitch a complete game. Eflin improved his FB and developed a complimentary breaking ball (SL). I will probaby rank Eflin ahead of Vinny and Eickhoff and Eflin can possibly outplay Jake Arrieta to be the #3 best pitcher in the rotation behind Nola and Pivetta.

            6. A little lost on “what Eflin” wants to be”. Call me crazy but i’d rather have Eflin over VV, Pivetta, DLS or Eickoff to pitch one game. I think he emerges as a solid 3. He was one of the best pitchers in baseball for a month, he won’t be that guy but theres no reason he can’t pitch like that more often than not.

    1. Yes he is thinner for sure…..in fact a bunch of the guys are lighter.
      Dylan C. is down to 7% body fat from 17% (270 pounds) from last year .
      And three guys who really bulked up are Cesar, again further, Kingery and Cornelius Randolph

      1. Not saying that you are incorrect however where did you hear he was at 7% body fat? That is EXTREMELY low, to give you an idea Arnold would get down to 7-8% body fat for competition and he’s smaller than Cozens. If that number is correct then he has the best physique in all of baseball. I’d venture to guess it’s closer to 10% (3% is a huge difference).

      2. Matt W said he didn’t have Cozens ranked in his Top 50. I’m no Denny but I too have a great affection for the young man. His draft story was kind of inspirational to me and I’ve followed him ever since.

        It had to be tough on him to be part of that bash brothers unit in Reading only to watch his buddy blow by him.

        Matt cited his K rate which everyone here does as well an abysmal 35% as the reason he will never be more than a platoon player at the MLB level.

        I don’t buy that it cannot be fixed. I know Charlie has worked with him in the past and heck he’s been around long enough to work with some excellent hitters and experiment with some different things.

        If Mallee is able to tap into this kids potential look out. I hope he gets the chance to be the next JD Martinez.

        1. He’s the thing. When you try to cut back on your K rate as a power hitter you tend to lose some of that in game power. That’s his calling card, if he loses power he’s not a prospect, well to be fair I don’t think he’s much of a prospect anyways.

  7. Has there been any word / rumors on Mark Appel? Safe to assume that he has officially hung up his spikes?

    1. Wes – I was wondering the same thing. I’d rather the writers write about him, and the Phillie who lost an eye, and see how life is treating them.

  8. The good news in today’s game with the Tigers is that the Phillies scored 12 runs. The not so good news is that they did it against their foe’s lower level pitchers.

    In the first three innings against the Tigers better pitchers (which included Zimmerman), the Phillies using their major league lineup went 9 up and 9 down with 6 strikeouts.

  9. Hey Jim. I’m going to be down in St Pete this week and have Thursday afternoon free to see some baseball. Are the regulars playing in games yet or would it be more fun to watch afternoon practices? Not even sure there are afternoon practices.

    Also anyone else going to be at the game on Thursday?

  10. Some commenters like to get on me because I give opinions with limited looks. But I want to share what I look for. Watch this clip:

    For those of you who don’t know, Bo Bichette is a top prospect that tore up AA as a 20 year old last year. Exceptional hitting prospect.

    But without looking at his stats or even seeing where this ball goes, you can tell that this kid is going to be a great hitter. Just off this one at bat.
    1. He is very patient. Doesn’t expand the zone. Which shows up in the numbers with an 8% walk rate.
    2. He shortens up his swing (read leg kick) after getting 2 strikes. His focus is just to make contact. Which shows up in the numbers with a 17% k rate
    3. Before he gets two strikes, he has a big load, a swing with a good launch angle and he is swinging to do damage.
    4. He takes strike 1. The second pitch of the AB was really close, but called a ball. Just below the knees. He lays off. The first called strike was on the inside and he can’t do damage there. He trusts his hands and so doesn’t swing, which would have resulted in weak contact. This might be the most impressive part of the AB for me. The patience to watch strikes (or near strikes) that are not good pitches to hit.
    5. He is extremely quick to the ball. Load the hands, fire the front hip, hands get through the zone quickly.
    6. Able to foul off a few pitches.
    7 Works an 8 pitch at bat before he turns on one

    If you know what a good hitter looks like, you don’t need to see much more than a few at bats. there are certain hallmarks of good hitters. the result of the at bat is secondary in my opinion. there is so much that happens before the actual contact that is critical. sure it is good to see other at bats and make sure that he has the same approach with every at bat. But someone who hits like that is always going to be a great hitter.

    1. Excellent take and write up V1. I don’t coach anymore but I do individual sessions with young men. The most common mechanical flaw that I see in my cage work is balance issues.

      Coaches don’t spend enough time disrupting timing and when the name of the game for the pitcher is to disrupt your timing that’s a sad thing.

      Mallee is getting good reviews so hopefully he can get a few of prospects unlocked and a few of our veterans as well.

    2. This is a very good write-up and exactly the same things you’ve discussed here make me concerned about Scott Kingery.

      There have been several articles recently about Kingery’s lack of aggression last year and about how he is going to “fix” this problem by being more aggressive.
      When I read these articles, there were a whole bunch of red flags for me not necessarily about how his struggles but how he was going to fix them, who was fixing them and about how he doesn’t like hitting with two strikes.

      First, while I agree that Kingery has to learn how to attack good pitches in the zone early in counts if they are offered, I am always concerned about an approach that puts a hitter in a position where he is hacking away early. I am also concerned about a hitter trying to be less patient. Kingery doesn’t walk enough as it is, so even fewer walks could make it even harder for him as a hitter unless he makes elite contact, which we haven’t seen yet.

      In addition, and I’ve see this again and again with the Phillies’ hitters, the people who seemed to be offering him the best solutions on his hitting were not people in the organization, but people he hires and works with in the off season. Why does it always seem that our players are getting their best solutions from outsiders? This raises concerns about the level of instruction in the organization although I can sense that the team is working very hard on raising the bar in these areas.

      Finally, I think virtually all good hitters need to establish some level of comfort hitting with two strikes and the really good hitters know how to foul off pitches like Bichette does and like so many other good hitters do. It seems that rather than embracing a two strike approach, Kingery is trying to avoid two strike counts like the plague, which could make him overly eager to swing early in the count. That concerns me. If Kingery can’t really learn to work a count, it’s hard to seeing him being very successful in the long term.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love the way Scott Kingery works to get better and there’s a lot of potential there. I’m rooting for him, but the things above really concern me.

      1. You nailed it. Coming up, we were warned that Kingery is not selective at the plate.

        Well he moves up to the majors and swings at 40% of pitches that are balls https://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=17975&position=SS

        If you watch his at bats, he takes early and then chases when he is down 2 strikes. Ends up with a 26% k rate, which is truly awful for a non-power hitter.

        These are the things that are projectable.

        To Klentak’s credit, he talks about “controlling the strike zone” a lot for hitters. this is what he means.

        There is no hitter in all of baseball at being patient at the plate than Rhys Hoskins. Rhys has lead the league in Pitches/PA the past two years. Historically exceptional at that stat. In 2017 he didn’t qualify, but he had 4.65 P/PA which not only was the most in the majors, but the most in the majors going back as far as ESPN kept that stat (which was the year 2000). He lead the majors at 4.42 P/PA in 2018. He is exceptionally good at that skill which is critical to being a good hitter.

    3. I wrote an extended (and complimentary) reply contrasting Bichette’s strengths with Kingery’s issues/weaknesses in the same areas. Wish it had posted but it got caught up in some type of spam filter here again – as do almost all my longer posts.

      1. You are right with the juxtapose of the two. Kingery swings at 39% of pitches outside of the zone. they don’t have this stat for minor leaguers, but he had a reputation as a free swinger with a low walk rate while coming up. these type of things always come back to bite a prospect in the majors.

  11. Here we are, Tuesday February 26. Day 120. And still the Phillies – and the Phillies ONLY – have a 10 year offer on the table. All credible sources indicate that is the case. Boras has run his course. Good for him. Middleton has made his pitch, and hopefully it’s in the neighborhood of $350m, if only for the sake of getting this done. I’m feeling like the inevitable will happen. May it mercifully be today.

  12. One guy I’m really looking for a bounce back season is Ortiz. I believe someone mentioned a comment that he looks slimmer which is nice to hear. Does anyone know if they plan on having him repeat the sally or a bump up? It would be nice if that 4 million investment in him turns into an elite prospect.

    1. sibs…I am guessing, but Jim Peyton would probably get more accurate information…but IMO I think the Phillies want him at CLW this year.
      He has lost a lot of weight and looks very toned..compared to 18 months ago for sure.
      And having him at the Complex from the fall thru maybe next spring will ensure he stays that way and can work on his total game more.
      I hope he does well at CLW…but does not get a promo to Reading until 2020 spring.
      IMO, the longer he is at the Complex the better he off he may be.

  13. Jon Mayo and Jim Callis on Phillies prospect to watch this year:

    Phillies: Rafael Marchan, C (Phillies’ No. 14)

    Developing catching is hard, but the Phillies think they have a good one in Marchan. Signed back in July 2015, he’s coming off a very strong New York-Penn League season. In his brief professional career, he’s hit .302, though without power, and thrown out close to 36 percent of potential basestealers. Combine that with his strong leadership skills and he has big league regular backstop written all over him.

    1. This will make 8mark giggle! I have Marchan as the top C prospect right now followed by Grullon (who I hope to break the ST with the Phillies – sorry Knappy boy!). But the C prospect I like the most is my currently my #3 C prospect – Logan O’Hoppe — I got a Joe Mauer excitement over him!

      1. KuKo…Phillies may have the best overall talent pool of catchers in baseball.
        The two i am excited about are Abrahan Gutierrez and Mitchell Edwards the Aussie from down under.

        1. I’ll settle for just one of them becoming a first division regular. We’ve been waiting for one catcher after the next for what seems like a decade and a half and the best we’ve done is Travis d’Arnaud, who never played for the big league team.

    2. Marchan was actually chosen as the player in the system most likely to be in the majors in 2021. Each team had a selection. In reality, he won’t make it by 2021 I don’t think. Maybe 2022 though.

      1. MLB…Mayo and Callis did have him at 2022 in their Top 30 rankings.

        Rafael Marchan | Rank: 14 (Preseason: 14)
        Team: Unassigned ETA: 2022
        Position: C Age: 20 DOB: 02/25/1999
        Bats: S Throws: R Height: 5′ 9″ Weight: 170 lb.
        Signed: July 3, 2015 – PHI

  14. Put this is the Harper thread as well but looks like Nolan Arenado is about to sign an 8 year 255m extension w Colorado.

  15. Matt Kelly, MLB picks Vinny as one of five break-out pitcher this year:

    Velasquez’s stuff has tempted fantasy owners for years, but his 4.85 ERA from last season doesn’t inspire much confidence on the surface. There were encouraging gains under the hood, however, from a 3.75 FIP that was even better than his mini-breakout in 2016, to a nearly six-percent raise in his strikeout minus walk ratio (K-BB%). Philly’s poor defense might have also helped Velasquez rank among MLB’s unluckiest starters in the eyes of Statcast™’s all-purpose metric, expected weighted on-base average, that considers quality of contact, walks and strikeouts.

    Highest “unlucky” gap between wOBA and xwOBA, 2018
    Min. 500 batters faced
    1) .043 — Ross Stripling (.309 wOBA, .266 xwOBA)
    2) .041 — Dylan Bundy (.363 wOBA, .322 xwOBA)
    3) .034 — Nick Pivetta (.322 wOBA, .288 xwOBA)
    4) (tie) .031 — Velasquez (.325 wOBA, .294 xwOBA)
    4) (tie) .031 — Marco Estrada (.360 wOBA, .329 xwOBA)

    Velasquez’s .294 xwOBA was 17 points lower than the MLB average, and MLB.com’s Mike Petriello found that Velasquez was perhaps most hurt by the Phillies’ defense on ground balls. Philadelphia’s offseason acquisitions should help improve that department, leaving Velasquez room to keep focusing on missing bats. His 109 strikeouts on four-seamers tied Jacob deGrom for the fifth-most in baseball, and his slider remains an effective wipeout pitch. Many might have given up on seeing Velasquez rise to a top-of-the-rotation star, but this might be the year the 26-year-old surprises some people.

    1. I won’t fight your stats and I like Velasquez, but he’s a pitcher who I feel is always fighting himself. Also, he’s not quite the same pitcher (in terms of velocity) who struck out 16 Padres. For Velasquez, the difference between throwing 94 or 95 and throwing 97 is huge. That’s not true for every pitcher, but it is for him. I’d be very happy if he took his place as a solid #3, which I think is a realistic ceiling for him now. Personally, when I watch the games, the guy whose stuff just pops is Pivetta. Under the right set of circumstances I could see Pivetta becoming a legit #2, perhaps even contending for a Cy Young every now and then. His stuff is electric.

      1. Phillies like to use xFIP to measure the projection of a pitcher….and actually all three came out pretty favorable. So one could pick any of the three to be a break-out this season…and of course Pivetta if not at the top but 2nd from the top for sure.
        As for Vinny…Brooks has him pretty consistent the last three years ….2015 his velo was at its peak 95-96 range steady.

        http://www.brooksbaseball.net/velo.php?player=592826&time=&startDate=03/30/2007&endDate=02/26/2019&s_type=2

        So he has declined a tick or two….hopfully he has mastered the art of pitching a little bit more.

    1. Poor bastard, but until I’ve seen two straight injury free years from him, there’s no way you can count on him and he can never be thought of as a regular player regardless of how talented he is. He just doesn’t have a body that can withstand the strain. I think he is the single most injury prone young player I’ve ever seen who does not have just one nagging injury. It’s so unfortunate.

        1. Yeah, and it happens a lot with pitchers, but not so much with hitters who don’t have a nagging injury.

  16. The Phillies overall, should be smashing hrs this year. Segura,McCutchen, and Realmuto all stand to get a boost from CBP. Add in “that” OF, and they’ll have a good shot and being in the top 5 of MLB. I’m thinking the doubles totals will be up near the top of the.mlb as well.

    Going to be a much more exciting year either way.

    1. Players will have some high demands….shorter period to arb years, raising the minimum wages beyond the current COLA factor now on the books for them, and assume a few other nice things to have.
      The owners may give in……but under one condition….no more contracts with opt-out years attached unless it is a ‘mutual’ condition.
      Boom…..talks will stop there.

  17. Cesar Hernandez had an MRI yesterday for a grade 1 hip flexor strain with no timetable for a return. Seems one goes down every day…

    1. Cozens still has some developmental time, but beware ST results. We need to see how well he hits advanced lefties before we go anointing him anything, but he certainly is a physical talent.

      1. Especially early ST results where much of the lineups/opposing pitchers are AA/AAA players who will be leaving for minor league camp in a week or so.

      2. And wouldn’t it be sweet, if they didn’t sign Harper, if Cozens came out and had an Aaron Judge like season? Yeah, it’s a dream, but wouldn’t it be awesome?

    2. Choking up and returning to Uncle Charlie’s tutelage might be the difference. Wouldn’t it be wild if he breaks out this year?! Aaron Judge was an absolute mess the year before he broke out.

  18. Now that Harper is a Phillie, we can finally start talking about him in Open discussion forum. YAY! Another reason to celebrate.

  19. I interrupt the Bryce Harper euphoria to once again post how much I like Nick Maton as a prospect. Maybe the most under-rated kid in the system IMO.

    1. After watching Mauricio Llovera pitch today (small sample I admit) I now think I know why Jim and MLB have him rated as a prospect…our voters missed a potential good one.

  20. In recognition of the superior efforts of Phillies Vice President and General Manager of baseball operations this off season, I am granting a general amnesty to all blocked/banned accounts.
    Remember that we do not allow –
    1.) multiple names associated with a login account
    2.) personal attacks on readers, commenters, players, managers, coaches, front office employees, writers (me), anybody
    3.) commenting as another commenter
    4.) selling of baseball memorabilia
    5.) political discussion

  21. So, now that we have Harper in the fold, talk of Mike Trout will only become more obsessive around here (if I have anything to say about it😀) – whether FA or trade. Let’s start off with 3 young players in today’s lineup vs Pittsburgh: Haseley, Moniak, and Cozens. Throw in Ortiz and LAA has plenty to hope for. While I concede that nothing will take place until this season’s trade deadline at the earliest, we’re only talking less than 1.5 years of Trout, unless (and that is a BIG UNLESS) he and LAA both agree to a sign and trade. Let’s not sell Klentak short on pulling it off, having once been under the employ of Arte Moreno and that it’s highly conceivable that Trout would entertain such a proposition. The question remains how much would we need to give up.

    Yes this topic of discussion has been knocked down and around quite a bit on this site. The window is now open, folks! The stakes have never been raised higher. It’s very relevant in my humble opinion to speculate how the wheels may be turning.

    1. Fabian Ardaya

      @FabianArdaya
      Mike Trout said he does not want to negotiate an extension during spring training or the regular season over the next two seasons before his contract expires. That means that, if the Angels were to extend him before he hits free agency, that would come next offseason.

      Angels have a short window…..Nov 2019 thru Feb 2020…if Mike trout sticks to what is reported as to negotiations on an Angel offer.

    2. I think that package is way to light for Trout. Right now our offense is fine, there’s no need to trade for him, if anything pitching. We can wait for him to hit free agency.
      But a good question for right now is what’s next? There’s gotta be some kinda move w the crowded outfield, or at least you’d think.

  22. Offensive WAR for Phillies & replacements:
    – Shortstop: Kingery (-19.3) >> Segura (8.5)
    – Right Field: Nick Williams (2) >> Harper (29.9)
    – First Base/Left Field: Santana (7.2) >> McCutchen (11.7) *moving Hoskins to first so comparing these two
    – Catcher: Alfaro (0.9) >> Realmuto (21.9)

    Lineup:
    – 2018: -9.2
    – Replacements: 72

    Pretty dramatic improvement in the weakest parts of our lineup.

    1. Vegas must have did similar addition/subtraction calculations…over/under 89.5 on one book now.

        1. rocco agree.
          Snakes’ Robbie Ray for me…….Vinny, Nick Williams and Ranger may get it done.

          Hey good things sometimes come in threes…..eh?
          1. Bryce signs on….2.Jim lets you back on….3. Graterford grants you parole. 🙂
          Just jokin’ buddy.

  23. now that the drama is over and we can concentrate on prospects, what i’ll be looking at in 2019 is the bats within the system. To that end i’ll be focusing on the following players and hoping to see major improvements over poor 2018 results.

    Kingery; I know not a prospect anymore but I want him to start realizing what my expectations
    are of him. Biggest disappointment of 2018 in my opinion.

    Cozens: Must finally show if he is closer to Hoskins than Ruf. With DH looming in a few years
    he needs to keep power up and reduce k’s.

    Ortiz: Was the $4M worth it. This year should start to tell.

    Moniak: Hearing good things and end of 2018 was hopeful. Still feel he was a worthy #1 in a
    weak draft class. Does he ever become close to Yelich?

    Randolph: I have given up on C and his hit tools. With diminishing OF spots available this
    year is his final chance.

  24. A really good day for Haseley today, and I think he is a legit player. I am looking for a big season from him. I am looking forward to seeing the line up possibilities, and I am going to refrain from Mike Trout’s future for a while. Does anyone know when the SPs that will be on the Major League roster will start to pitch in ST? I am assuming everyone is healthy and Kap and the new Pitching Coach have some schedule planned out?

  25. C Randolph looked horrible in the two at bats that I saw today. Swung at 6 of the 8 pitches he faced. the two which he did not swing at almost hit him. but he missed the ball on 5 of his 6 swings. most were outside the zone. looked completely over matched.

  26. We are all phans of prospects, so I’ll propose a hypothetical. Now that the rebuild is OVER, we have an abundance of OFers, high quality imo… with the big fish on the way (no doubt in my mind you know who signs with the Phillies). In the meantime, the recent signing of McCutchen may not be needed. With Quinn,Haseley, Moniak, and now Cozens making a possible push. Plus we still have Williams and Altherr. Let’s assume both are moved.

    How do you guys see the situation shaking out? Who goes first if Cozens forces his way onto the team? Herrera or McCutchen? Is it possible to trade either if they make their big jumps this year/next? I see this coming more to a head at the beginning of next year, but the OF depth is looking really good right now. To me, Their is a possibility to shift the money allocated to McCutchen to extending Realmuto, or Hoskins, or a pitcher.

    I’ll enjoy it this year, but IMHO, the can feel the water will eventually boil on this. Personally I’d prefer to trade them all for deadline bullpen pieces.

    1. I think the question of which OFs are moved depends on which team the Phillies trade with. For instance, a rebuilding Texas may want younger players for a lefty like Mike Minor. Whereas Colorado might prefer Nick Williams or another guy with MLB experience for Robbie Ray (who I’m tepid on personally) since they are trying to remain relevant in the NL west.

  27. Having spent the past 5 months of +5,000 posts on speculation, predictions, guesstimates to the point of adnauseum on Harper and MM is it possible that we could put a moratorium on Trout discussion until he is in play. Let’s get ready for 2019 and the building of that roster, etc. Any chance?

  28. The Phillies have a tremendous offseason, and possibly the best offseason that I remember. The FO fixed the key weakness of the 2018 Phillies. Although I believe that the rotation still need some tweaking. Charlie Morton is a miss. I’m not high on Keuchel not because his name is Dallas but he might be the 4th or 5th best arm in the rotation behind Nola, Pivetta, Eflin and Arrieta. I think the Phillies will roll with what they have right now and see if the young arms can step up if not will look at the trade deadline to add arms like Cole Hamels!

    With the Harper addition, the OF becomes crowded. Quinn and Altherr have no options left and will be exposed to the waivers. Nick Dubs and Cozens will need MLB playing time to determine their ceiling.

    Altterr for lottery minor leagues or PTNNL or cash will be a short term fix to the logjam and roster spot. I keep mentioning Doobie in the past, but his value is down unless Klentak can find a GM who is a sucker to historical WARs.

    Nick and Cozens need to find a spot to get the chance to hit.

  29. Let’s talk some minor leaguers again now that things are going well.
    Jim – when does minor league camp open?

  30. Needs left
    1. Lh Starting pitcher, maybe Dallas , Gio, Ray 2. Is Gabe the manager to take the Phillies to the playoffs ?
    3. Do the Phillies need a veteran on the bench?

  31. First of all … just wanted to endorse Jim’s amnesty plan. Welcome back rocco and Troll, and great to see/hear from Tim again also.

    Secondly … while I’m thrilled with the addition of Bryce Harper (not to mention JT Realmuto, Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura, David Robertson, etc), and I am ready to enjoy this new edition of the Phillies, I am also dumbfounded how the mere mention of Mike Trout eventually becoming a Phillie sets off some people (and I’m not talking about you, v1). I’m bring this up here (open discussion thread) because the topic has already been mentioned above. The Trout/Phillies evidence continues to mount. I’ve mentioned that I was told (in October) that Mike Trout was the Phillies end game. Today Jim Bowden reported Bryce Harper (who says he wants to recruit players for the Phillies) has been in touch with Trout for months. In fact, Bowden went on the radio and actually guaranteed that Mike Trout will absolutely be a Phillie in two years. If Trout doesn’t become a Phillie, I will ban Jim Bowden for six months 🙂 .

    And now the kicker … I was at an event at a school in Millville tonight. I was speaking to my wife’s cousin, who teaches in Millville. BTW … he is not a Phillies fan. He’s a Mets fan. He also works with a couple of Mike Trout’s friends. This is what Trout’s friends (who teach in Millville) have said: Mike has a lot of loyalty to the Angels. He remembers every team who passed on him in the draft (Phillies didn’t pick in the 1st round that year). However, Mike definitely wants to play here.
    As Romus mentioned above (and I have speculated for months), Trout will not sign (even entertain) a LTX this winter. The Angels and Trout will come to a crossroads next winter. I’m not going to guarantee anything. However, I will say if the Angels miss the playoffs again in 2019, the chances of Mike agreeing to a LTX with Arte Moreno are not great.

    Sorry to approach this subject to those of you who get upset by it.
    Happy to supply this info to the rest of you.

    1. Hinkie,

      Sorry to give you two posts the other day, but I literally was on the run and when the first message didn’t post to the PhuturePhillies site right away, I sent it again because I knew I wouldn’t get the chance until late at night. Nonetheless, the message got out: YAY HINKIE!!.

      Now, on to Mike Trout. I’d love to see the Phillies and Angels deal with reality right now and for the Phillies to trade for Trout, whatever the cost in prospects would be. Get ‘er done and we’ll be deliriously happy Phillies fans.

      Final note: Jim, good decision on amnesty. You do a GREAT job of keeping these site pertinent and polite.

        1. I thought before hearing Harper he was demure . He isn’t, I now have a Cynosure for him.

    2. If the trade deadline was today, and the Phillies were within 5 games of the division lead (and the Angels were not), I would offer Adonis Medina, Odubel Herrera, Adam Haseley, Alec Bohm, Zach Eflin and Carlos de la Cruz to LAA for Mike Trout. It’s gotta hurt a little but it’s still for only less than 1.5 seasons of the Millville Meteor and the likelihood that he is more than amenable to an extension. If the Phillies and Angels and Trout were to agree to a sign and trade first, then it would naturally be more painful in terms of what we give up. I’d be fine without the sign and trade, of course.

      1. Again, my campaign to trade for Trout instead of wait for his free agency is based mainly on the fact that he’ll be entering his age 29 season. Old? No but age 27 and 28 seasons are serious career prime time that we would not benefit from. He will also have been in the bigs for a decade should we wait. Dings and bumps and bruises add up on a guy his stature. And most importantly, our window of contention is opening NOW. Who knows what happens in 2 years. Two years in life is little more than a blip. Two years in baseball is a long time.

    3. Well that is a pretty strong endorsement. I have to say, we did see some evidence of this as well. Hinkie posted it as, Trout’s tweet to Harper “welllll?”In response to Harper’s first meeting with the Phillies.

      Little hard to hear that Trout grew up a Mets fan, but I’ll let it slide if he wants to play for the Phillies 🙂 I felt it was a lock that he signs with the Phillies if it was his fav team growing up, so I’ll roll it back to 85% of happening . The Angels are going to have to make an offer he can’t refuse. That is somewhere north of 45mil AAV AND a playoff team. The Angels need to have an offseason like the Phillies. I don’t see it happening. Not in 2 years.

      I’m sure his wifey wants trout jr, and that is going to benefit the Phillies phan base, it takes a village these days, and all the family and friends are going to want to see the baby. Sooooo … odds are, gettting an offer near the highest AAV near your hometown, will get it down.

      Sorry Cali, but we are taking trout. You’d be wise to trade him ASAP for max return.

      1. Tac3
        …Trout did not grow up a Mets fan….he was Phillies all the way….he was at the parade in ’08.
        When the Phillies got Halladay back in Dec 2009…he supposedly yelled to his father and said…..”we got Halladay”.
        And his father corrected him and said…”.son you are now an Angel”…since he was drafted 6 months earlier and played in their rookie league.

        The Mets fan was the teacher Hinkie referenced.

        1. Reread, my bad, the coffee was still working its way through my system!

          OK, back up to 110% confident he’ll be a Phillie. This is Awesome.
          What a time to be a Phillies phan. A booming farm system AND a robust MLB roster. IMO, it’s good enough to win, now the players need to their part on the field. Sure three team COULD be better, but it is good enough to win imo. The last piece should be adding Kimbrel @ 3yrs if he’ll
          Take it. I have enough faith in the SR to get them where they need to go to pass on Kuechel. Readdress at the deadline if needed. A bullpen with Kimbrel would be pretty lights out, not to mention the late inning run support

  32. That Matt Klentak has impressed me this winter would be an understatement. He’s taken Two players that we wanted to unload (Luis Garcia & Santana), and brought back a lefty reliever and a top SS. I was looking forward to Crawford playing for the Phillies for ten Years, but I have to admit that Crawford will never reach Segura’s level of play. The same could be said of Alfaro. Many fans preferred to believe that the Phillies we saw in August and September were the real Phillies. The optimist in me believed that the team we saw in the first four months was the real Phillies team, and the front office agreed with me. They were in unknown territory, and just hit a wall.
    This past week, Middleton put the icing own the cake. He managed to sign a left handed bopper, and still leave room in the budget for another player down the road (Trout). Maybe, more importantly, he extended Aaron Nola. It sent a message throughout the clubhouse to the younger guys, that “if you play well, you’ll get your money too”.
    It’s been a long and tedious winter, but it’s ended well for Phillies fans. I’m satisfied, but I believe that Klentak will pull one more rabbit out of his hat before opening day.

    1. I agree, Wawa. I think Klentak makes a trade for a pitcher, mainly because of how fortunate we were last year that the rotation stayed healthy the entire season. It would be presumptuous to think that would repeat itself this time. So, look for a deal including Nicky Dubs once Doobie shows he’s recovered from his hammie. Mike Minor of Texas or Robbie Ray of Arizona are two possible targets. I actually prefer Minor over Ray. The former’s peripheral numbers and spin rate are pretty impressive, though I can’t recall when or where I saw them. There’s been speculation that they will wait until the deadline but as spring rolls on, my sense is the urgency will become apparent if only due to the thinness of the staff.

      1. Please tell me why people want Mike Minor but scoff at Cole Irvin, Ranger Suarez or JoJo Romero? We get a pitcher that pitches to an ERA from 4.5 to 5 for millions of dollars and costs good players when we could plug in another player at less than a million and would cost nothing? Why do people get so enamored with these marginal pitchers? I have been asking this question from the 70’s.

          1. Lol. Last year lefties hit .259 against Minor, 30 points higher than righties. Bring him on says DC.

          2. The one thing Cole Irvin did real well last yr . He was really good against lhb.

        1. Denny ..I am telling you….Vinny and Dylan to the DBacks for Ray.
          You get to bring the grand boys to Chase every other week to see their hero!
          Take a dip i the pool in right center.
          You be the best Granddaddy of all in Arizona.

      2. Minor is also 4 years older and due a LTC very soon, after 2020, plus having past shoulder surgery in 2015….partially torn labrum, similar to Docs, is not conducive to long term health….that will play heavily in their debate whether or not to pursue vs Ray or Duffy or anyone else out there.
        And their FIPs are almost identical…which is one of their critical components on pitchers’ projections.

  33. Interesting game today. The Rays, who had great success last year by using an “Opener” to start a lot of games, versus the Phillies. Many fans have suggested that the Phillies should go this route. Well today Eflin will start for the Phils and Romero will probably follow him. If we get six strong innings from them, I’m confident in turning the game over to the bullpen.

    1. Wawa…I’d like to use Seranthony as an opener for 24 starts thru season ….rotated between the three of VV, Pivetta and Eflin.
      He was a starter two years ago but shoulder issues pushed him to the pen….but he can handle two innings I would think every fourth or fifth day
      That is…..if all the remaining bullpen arms are healthy coming out of spring training…already …Hunter is probably down for the count until mid-April at the earliest.

    1. Its amazing watching these games and how many lowest level minor leaguers are playing. I don’t remember in previous years all the levels getting playing time in these MLB games.

    2. I remember talking to Brogdon’s dad at spring training last year. Nice family. Kid has a great arm, slotted for relief work.

  34. Ok, so I had some fun trolling back at all the haters on Mlbtraderumors

    But this should be a meme, when it happens:

    Middleton ripped the heart out of DC fans with one hand, and he’ll rip the heart out of LAA fans with his other hand. Bleed Phillies Red

    Lol … ok I’ll see myself out

  35. Denny, Here is my take on the left handed SP. Not my opinion, but what I think the thought is. A guy like Minor or the guy from the Padres that was a target for the proposed Franco trade, are guys who can start and also come out of the ‘pen and have success. The thought on the guys that you mentioned is that they want them to progress as SPs, keep their routine and let them develop. Moving them around may harm that development. It is different in September when there is a more “all hands on deck” scenario.

    1. That’s true. I am just tired over the years when they get “innings eaters” and dis their minor leaguers. Final result would be similar and would be a lot cheaper from within.

  36. I assume a trade will be made because they’ll need to straighten out the OF
    cozens can start in LHV
    but cant carry Quinn, willliams harper, muccutch, alter and Herrera
    can carry 5 if one can play 1b so bench is:
    knapp
    kingery
    2 OF ( I guess they can wait on trade if Quinn is out for a while ) but he has no more options

    unfortuanatly Williams cant play CF so he seems to be the odd man out

    so Williams in trade for left handed starter or Williams for prospects to replete system a little

    Williams ,VV and Irvin for ray ( maybe find a way to get archie Bradley in the deal?) seems to work all the way around for both teams

    1. sr…I am on board with you with that trade to the DBacks.
      Hazen is in a rebuild mode and Williams and Irvin fit the mold….Vinny can also turn it around, if not as a starter then a reliever for them

      1. sr – You’re assuming that Cozens doesn’t force his way onto the roster. It’s a longshot, but possible. The only player that I can see them adding is Kimbrel, and only if it’s a reasonable deal. Any trades made at this point should be to restock the farm. Nola, Pivetta, Arrieta, Velasquez, Eflin, Eickhoff, De Los Santos, Suarez, Irvin, and Anderson are all good enough starters with our improved offense and defense. of course, if a great deal for a starter should fall into our laps, Klentak will pull the trigger.

        1. I think with the OF numbers crunch, cozens will definitely start year in LHV. I don’t want to trade him until we see a few months with this new batting stance. Hate to give up the next Aaron judge for nothing. Williams get trade because he has most value and can’t play CF

      2. Romus i hate to trade William, i starting to see a breakout from him. Also if you keep using big words, i will have to get help reading the site.

        1. rocco….Williams would be a very productive MLB player…..but not in Philly anymore. Phillies do spend $400M dollars on two OFers and have them sit in favor of Nick.
          Plus he is probably the most valued of the OFers who are available, though I think Cozens seems to be turning the corner….Quinn in sick call too often…Alther getting too old to be considered a building stone..

          And I will try to be terse with my bloviation…keeping in the vernacular for you.

  37. If Matt Strahm of San Diego is available, and he’s a real breakout candidate as Hinkie suggested, I might consider trading for him even though Franco is no longer a trade chip, at least for now. I’m not sure however who the Padres might have interest in among our expendable young talent.

      1. v1 … pretty impressive hacks for a 17 YO. Looks like he’s going to have the same sturdy, stocky build as his father. I wonder why it took so long for the Phillies/any team to sign him. Did he just turn 17 ? How much money did he get ?
        I also believe there’s a good chance the Phillies sign Taiwanese LHP Lin An-Ko right after he graduates college (Culture University) this spring.

        1. Miguel Tejada Jr was set to sign with the White Sox when he turned 16, but he tested positive for a PED(a steroid) and it’s why he has remained unsigned.

          1. Thanks for the info, Flybynite. Like father, like son. I guess that explains why he looked so mature as a 15 YO in that video above.
            Anyway … hopefully, he stays off the juice, and develops into a legit prospect for the Phillies.

            1. Hinkie:
              Stanozolol……It’s primarily used in bodybuilding … lower body fat quickly and improve overall definition. … also trade name of Winstrol …effective for bodybuilders looking to improver strength and retain muscle mass whilst losing body fat simultaneously…It’s derived from testosterone It was also the PED that Rafael Palmeiro was allegedly busted for in 2005.

              Héctor Gómez
              @hgomez27
              BREAKING NEWS: Son of former MLB player Miguel Tejada, tested positive for steroid Stanozolol. Player was about to sign a with Chicago White Sox, but the team decided not to sign Tejada JR due to positive test.
              2:02 PM – Jul 4, 2018

            2. rocco…hah…but works like a charm…unfortunately shrinks other impotent body parts. 🙂

        2. I love everything about that swing and his body. That is a man’s body at 17. That swing is so short and powerful. No wasted motion. Load..fire. Beautiful. Turns well. Just a great swing. He looks like a big time prospect. Just hope hat he learned his lesson on the PEDs

          1. Stanozolol or Winstrol is considered legal and use for other therapeutic reasons…it is under a controlled substance protocol…but of course banned by athletic and sporting associations for the most part.
            He probably learned his lesson…..and will be under a regulatory testing program anyway.

          2. I looked at a list of the J2 2018. Top 30, he was mentioned with 10 other prospects, so he was probably between 30th and 40th ranked. So he probably would have gotten around 500,000. Had it not been for the PED

          1. Hopefully follows in foot steps of the two latest phenoms of Latin father’s sons…Vlad and Fernando Tatis.

            1. yes, hard to not connect him to these two…imagine how amazing it would be if he becomes a similar prospect…all a dream right now, but just imagine how bonkers that would be.

            2. Agree…I hope the Phillies start him at the GCL level., like they did with Garcia…at least keep him at the Complex under some watchful eyes.
              And get Jim Peyton first hand reports on him.

              I know he didn’t need a large bonus since his father and family are financially set….but I would think he would get at least 1/2 million…..I can only guess the PED issue brought down his bonus number.

  38. Wow ….

    Harper mentioned Trout! This team is going to get even crazier! They are going to avg 7.5 runs a game

    1. Tac … I posted back in October that I was told (from someone I consider reliable) that Mike Trout was the Phillies end game. Five months later, and it’s the worst kept secret in MLB. I mean people (reporters/players/officials from other teams) are speaking openly about it now.

      1. Hinkie – Most importantly it sounds like Harper and Trout have been discussing it throughout this recent offseason. That is like pouring gasoline on the fire. It almost feels like how NBA players recruit/plan to plan with one another. No doubt Trout is coming to Philly in 2 years, maybe sooner if LAA wakes up and understands it is a lock. I was always aware of Harper/Bryants wish to play together, but that is first time I’ve heard of Harper’s desire to have Trout as a teammate.

        You’re correct… it is the worst kept secret in baseball. The Clock is ticking. This team is going to be amazing.

        The last thing i’ll say about it today. What seems really odd is how the LAA were out on BH, you’d thing that part of the price to have Trout resign would be to add a player like Harper, and not even a whisper from the Angels. Sounds like they are not serious enough about keeping him. They are probably already anticipating his departure, if not, you’d think they’d at least be in on Harper.

    1. Denny,

      I saw the same thing. It’s hard to imagine that a kid would work so hard to get to the Big Leagues and then allow himself to get overweight at just age 23 and one rung short of his goal.

      On the other hand, Mickey Moniak looks much more grown up. Last year, he looked like a kid. This year he looks like a man. He also seems to be carrying himself with more confidence, at least from this one-game observation.

      Kingery looked awful again at the plate. He might have to go back to AAA until he learns how to hit. He’s a guy who’s outperformed expectations throughout his college and pro career until he hit The Show. Maybe that’s his limit. I still expect him to be a Phillies spark plug. Fingers crossed.

      Efflin and Romero both looked good. Efflin especially after settling down from a first inning where he had some command issues.

      McCutcheon is such a pro. Scored one run on excellent base running moving up a base at a time. Segura, too. Great additions.

      Phillies scored a lot of runs more on bad Rays pitching rather than strong Phils offense, though the bats did pick up at the hand.

      Looked like more Phillies fans than Rays fans. Certainly more red than blue on the third base (visiting) side of the stands. Perhaps a reason why they might become the Las Vegas Rays or Portland Whatevers in a couple of years.

      Next report tomorrow after Phils-Twins game.

      1. Altherr needs to be more aggressive at the plate. He always looks unsure and can’t pull the trigger, too many called strikes especially on the 3rd strike.

  39. C Randolph…just, wow. Are they even going to waste a roster spot on him at this point?

    And Hinkie, Trout just bought several hundred acres in Cumberland County down the street from his parents and is building a new house. Interesting times indeed.

    1. I noted above that C looked awful in the two at bats on Friday. Swung at everything. No plate discipline. Missed the ball on 5 of 6 swings (one foul ball). Just looked over matched. Didn’t belong there.

      1. Also was shakey in the field. On a hit to LF he had opportunity to make a play at second on the hitter but double clutched and no shot. Looked unsure on a little league play.

  40. Looks like Kimbrel is going to the Nats who are likely our biggest foe within the division. I like our bullpen as is but I definitely think the starting rotation needs one more legitimate major league experienced arm. After Nola, I think Arrieta is prepared to rebound from a so-so 2018. Pivetta is my (as well as others’) breakout candidate. Then what? I’m fine with Eflin as a 4/5 but I really think we need to solidify the rotation and not “hope” someone else steps up among the younger arms. And of course I would prefer a LHP. Something is likely to go down within the next two weeks. Nick Williams has done well as a pinch hitter but he may have more value to the Phillies as a trade chip. Odubel Herrera and his team friendly contract provide the best value in a trade scenario but it doesn’t appear that CF is a very deep position right now with Quinn’s fragility. I trust Klentak is on it, however.

    1. Hate to see Nats get Kimbrel but in head to head, if we have lead we don’t need to worry about other team’s bullpen.

      1. Knowing the nats. Will Kimbrel take the money spread over 9 yrs or more. That’s what they like to do.

    2. Nats has a great offseason IMO and were probably smart to re-allocate Harper’s money to pitching. They have two elite young OF in Soto and Robbles. Add in Eaton and Taylor and their OF will be really good. Meanwhile adding top end pitching to an already awesome staff is good strategy. They will be a beast to play in a playoff matchup. But I look forward to that playoff matchup!!

    3. I’m in the minority on this most likely, but I’d rather have Kimbrel over another SP. I have enough confidence in what we have currently on the staff and what is pushing them at AAA to be good, in combination with our offense. While the bullpen looks like a strength, adding Kimbrel would be like the equivalent of the 4 aces for the bullpen. Just like Harper lengthens the lineup, Kimbrel would really shorten the game even more. I want to hold onto whatever lead the offense gets us. Feels like that is how they could steal a game or two against other teams aces.

      Neris, Seranthony, Robertson, And Kimbrel would be pretty nasty. VV would only have to get to the 5th!

  41. Sr – I think that the Phillies need to subtract an outfielder and a starting pitcher between now and opening day. Regrettably, Cozens will probably start the year in Lehigh, but that still leaves six outfielders. After McCutchen and Harper, I like Williams, Herrera, Quinn, and Altherr (in that order). Williams can play all three outfield positions adequately, has good left handed power, and is a proven good pinch hitter. As long as Quinn and Herrera are injured, they are untradeable (which might be a good thing). There might be a possibility of Altherr being traded for a prospect, as a possible bounce-back candidate with power (remember Saunders & Werth). Williams has value and could be packaged with a prospect for a good lefty reliever. If they do trade Williams, I’d like them to also still trade Altherr, and keep Cozens on the roster. Like Williams, Cozens can do all of the things that Williams can do, but lacks experience.
    The Phillies have six starting pitchers, and one must go. I believe that Eickhoff and Eflin both have an option left and can be assigned to Lehigh. To me, neither is a good bullpen option. However, if all six pitchers are healthy and pitching well, Velasquez could be an excellent bullpen option, and better than anybody available in a trade right now.
    One thing for sure is that Klentak will be a very busy man in the upcoming weeks. Personally, I’d like one more lefty reliever.

      1. Love that question. Probably between Harper and Rhys…that is just insane to think about. That would be so much fun. Unbelievable.

        1. Or maybe at 3

          1. Cutch
          2. Harper
          3. Trout
          4. Rhys
          5. Realmuto
          6. Segura
          7. Franco
          8. Pitcher
          9. Caesar

          How silly is that lineup. bonkers

  42. If only there were a one-time Cy Young Award-winning left-handed starter to round out the rotation who could be purchased on the open market without giving up any prospects …

    I know reports say they won’t do it to avoid luxury tax, but I can’t imagine how signing Keuchel to an Arrieta-esque deal wouldn’t be a boon to this team. It would give the Phils a playoffs tested lefty who would be a perfect complement to Nola and Arrieta at the top of the rotation. Pivetta and Eflin round out the five, with VV taking his power arm to the pen where everybody knows he will be more effective.

    This is the final move to transform this team into a WFC contender. If it means luxury tax, well … they can use all those extra ticket sales from the Harper signing to foot the bill.

  43. v1 – The line up is almost interchangeable. I expect Gabe will change it up early and often, based on matchups.

    1. Wawa…..Gabe learned his lesson last year with player who could not produce…..the latest four I do not think he will tinker with…..two different former MVPs, arguably best hitting catcher in baseball and one of the best offensive shortstops also….Ioubt he starts playing around juggling them….unless all four go into one collective simultaneous slump

  44. Phillies should sigh Gio to a one year contract.
    Probably cheaper than Keuchel and is a good bounce back candidate

    1. Why roll the dice on bounce back candidates when you can write a bigger check for the real thing?

      1. Or take a long look at:
        Irvin, Romero, Suarez, de los Santos, Anderson, Eichhorn, Eishelman along with the 5 incumbents.

        1. Over the course of a 162-game season, any one of those guys is going to get a shot if they’re pitching well. But when you’ve got a lineup of players in their primes like the Phillies now have, you don’t invest 20 percent of your team’s starts in one. Keuchel fills every remaining need for this rotation, and adding VV to the pen will be another strength. I can’t imagine Klentak and co. aren’t talking about it.

          1. Doesn’t Keuchel want like $20mil/yr? No thanks.
            He’s starting his downhill slope. If his price comes down, then yes

            1. It’s funny how everyone on this site was ready to give Harper a $35M AAV deal but isn’t willing to give a few extra million annually to the lefty starter the team so desperately needs.

              I would certainly give Keuchel $20M annually over 3-4 years.

            1. I would just wait till the deadline. Spend some of that prospect capital to leave the luxury payroll open. Trout could demand 50mil AAV. Leave it open 🙂

              Sure other money is going off the books but I’d pass as of now, and get the hot hand at the deadline

  45. How much salary does the Phillies have coming off the books after the season?
    It’s a good chunk, right?
    Hunter
    Nicasio
    Neshek
    Kendrick’s deferred money

    1. But that may be negated by Realmuto…LTC I am sure…..Franco and ViVe back end of arb years.
      Realmuto could be a $20M plus dollar guy…Franco is looking at $8/9 M and ViVe is looking at $5M

        1. TU…well until Bohm shows he can play third base…and also hit Triple A pitching…I guess Maikel. is the only alternative.
          The issue will be…..Franco as a home grown guy….will expect something similar to be offered to him as a LTC at some point since he will not be in arb 3 next year…and Bohm may not be ready

      1. My offer to Kimbrel 25 million this year, 20 next yr then 10 million for third yr, and option for 10 in fourth year 4 yrs 65 million

        1. rocco…that could get it done…..the one other positive on the soon to be 31-year old Kimbrel….his agent is not Scott Boras.

        2. rocco…I think the Rays, of all teams, are going to make a push for him…saw on MLBTR that Blake Snell has talked him up to their front office.
          So the Nats and Rays are also bidding for his services.

        3. Based on how Kimball is trending, that contract would more likely turn out to be $55M for 3 years, for a guy on the down side of his career. No thanks.

  46. There were stories just last week of a number of bounce-back pitching candidates who just signed, including Homer Bailey, Wade Miley, and exPhil Therrien. One might think other similar stories might be worth investigating.in addition to Gio Gonzalez…. maybe Detwiler, Casey Kelly, Chris Tillman or Nick Tepesch?

  47. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN MIDDLETON !!!
    John jr has an idea of what his dad’s Bday wish is (I’m telling you, it’s the worst kept secret in baseball):

    Just imagine how happy his 66th birthday could be ! Noooice !!!!!

  48. Listening to Twins female announce Marney Gellman is really difficult.
    Almost whole game talked about how she annotates and marks her scorecard…..then pronounces Jake Scheiner’s surname as Jake ‘Schneer’…oy vey!

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