Open Discussion: Week of March 4, 2019

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

Minor League pitchers and catchers are in Clearwater.  Starlyn Castillo is stateside for his first professional spring training.  Position players not yet in town will report Monday.  Full squad work outs start Tuesday.

The Phillies signed Bryce Harper and are now positioned to contend for the post season.  I am generally more conservative than most with projections, predictions, and expectations.  I liken the current team to the 2007 Phillies.  And by extension, next season’s team to the 2008 Phillies.

Unlike most, I see the pitching differently.  I think their starting rotation is good enough as is.  I think Aaron Nola is the key.  They have enough pitching to sustain an injury to anyone but Nola.  He doesn’t even have to be as good as last year.  The improved offense and defense will help him and all the pitchers.

If you assume that the starters will be Realmuto, Hoskins, Hernandez, Segura, Franco, McCutchen, Herrera, and Harper, then bench construction becomes interesting.  I believe Knapp is a lock as well as Kingery.  Quinn would have been my fourth outfielder.  But, with his injury I think it will be Williams.  The final slot will likely go to a multi-position player. I have no idea who their emergency catcher would be.  Kingery?

The 40-man roster stands at 40, the entire organization stands at 364.

This the Phuture Phillies Open Discussion for Phillies and other baseball topics that are not about some mythical Trout trade or his far off free agency.

Key Dates:

  • February 28, 2019 – Minor League Spring Training  – Pitchers and Catchers
  • March 5, 2019 – Minor League Spring Training – Full Squad
  • March 13, 2019 – Minor League Spring Training games begin
  • 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)
3/2/2019 – Phillies signed FA RF Bryce Harper
3/1/2019 – Phillies signed international free agent OF Miguel Tejada, Jr. to an MiLB contract, assigned to DSL Phillies White
2/28/2019 – 2B Johnny Weeks assigned to Williamsport 
2/27/2019 – C Jonathan Rodriguez assigned to DSL Red
2/27/2019 – RHP Fausto Pediet assigned to DSL Red
2/26/2019 – Phillies signed FA C Jonathan Rodriguez to a minor league contract
2/24/2019 – Phillies signed FA 2B Johnny Weeks to a minor league contract
2/23/2019 – Phillies signed FA RHP Fausto Pediet to a minor league contract
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

419 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of March 4, 2019

  1. Any idea what the signing bonus for Tejada Jr is? Read he tested for roids which I’m guessing is why he was available? Could be a good pick up for the club

    1. TrollU…here is a one year ago report( Apr 2018) on him from MLB’s Jesse Sanchez:

      “Miguel Tejada Jr., the son of former Major League shortstop Miguel Tejada, will also be eligible to sign July 2. A former outfielder, the younger Tejada could end up at third base. The 6-foot slugger has shown good bat speed, good hands and strong arm. He also projects to be an average runner. The White Sox are among the teams that have been linked to him.”

      WSox originally had him under consideration but backed off after the positive test.

        1. rocco..agree.
          He looks like he can hit.
          He was listed last year at 6’1′, 170 lbs as a 15-year old.
          Later on, he did get a little thicker as was proven out thru the testing.
          Both him and his father were subject to these allegations.
          I am sure he will be tested more often on a regular basis so he will have to stay clean.

  2. Agree with you Jim about the starting pitching. I believe the right path now is to give the current 5 a chance until either a) the trade deadline or b) until someone proves ineffective. At that point, if b happens, I suspect one of DLS, Irvin, Romero, or Suarez will have done enough to earn a chance. I’d also support acquiring a ToR starter at the deadline if the right one is available and enough of our prospects develop that we could make the trade without depleting the system too much.

    I really think pursuing Keuchel or Gio, or trading for Minor, would be mistakes. I would bet that Pivetta, as an example, performs better in the next 3 years then any of those others. I believe a vastly improved defense, along with a top notch backstop, will greatly accelerate the performance of VV, Pivetta, and Eflin.

    1. That is where my vote is… let it play out. The Phillies had 2 riches coming into the offseason. Middleton’s war chest and a top 10 farms system stocked with arms. The farm has taken a hit as some have “graduated”, so let’s see if the current staff/AAA pitchers can produce, if not pivot and cash in on the prospect capital vs tightening the luxury tax payroll.
      The I think will be happy with what we get from the staff mixed with AAA

  3. Question – After the obvious choices of Bryce, Realmuto, and Nola, who would you pick as an under the radar Phillie to make the 2019 all star game?

    My choice is Nick Pivetta, I feel he may be on the verge of a breakout season.

    1. Don’t know if it’s under the radar but I would throw Seranthonys name in there if he remains closer

      1. Agree with Phil Bradley. Nick Pivetta has got a chance to be TOR 2.0. And … he’s still two years away from his arbitration seasons. Pivetta was RAJ’s “Steal Of The Century” !!!

        1. I’m a big Pivetta fan and as much as I disliked RA as a general manager, that was a great move. I believe that, frequently, the best minor league acquisitions are one-off trades like the one that netted Pivetta. 5 or 6 for one 1 trades, like the Hamels trade or the Schilling trade, often do not turn out especially well because the team is trying to solve too many problems with one move, which tends to dilute/reduce the higher end talent in the trade. But taking a flyer on a risky, but higher ceiling prospect like Pivetta, is usually worth the gamble. Do enough of those and you’ll hit on some really good young players.

    2. My pick is Jean Segura. I think Hoskins has a really good year, but he is behind Freeman, Goldschmidt and Joey Votto.

  4. Does anybody know how to get name and email to not have to be manually retyped each comment?

  5. Why is the consensus almost everywhere that Pivetta is the guy outta the back enders (Pivetta/Eflin/VV/Eickhoff) to have a great year and establish himself as a TOR SP? Don’t get me wrong, I hope that happens but I think Eflin is the guy who’s going to breakout (not TOR numbers but really good 3 type). I think you’ll see 180IP at around 3.20.

    1. I think 180 innings pitched is a rather high water mark for the likes of anyone on the major league staff aside from Nola. He should accumulate something in the neighborhood of 200, give or take, with a good and healthy season. Any other of the SPs that reach between 150 and 175 will have done very well IMO. I believe Arrieta rebounds in ’19, if only for this season. Pivetta is a strong candidate to breakout. Eflin is an X factor to me. Yes he has the makeup to perform well but sustainability is my question. Velasquez may benefit from the improved defense, along with the rest, but his decrease in velo cries out for a shift to the bullpen. Eickhoff’s health is too tenuous to even consider him as a consistent contributor to the team.

      All eyes will, and should be, on Medina as the next potential impact arm on his way. I like Irvin but doubt highly that he figures to be more than a 4/5. Here’s hoping for someone to surprise us all from the farm in 2019.

    2. Eric i cant speak for others, But i said it last yr, If you look at Pivettas stuff,its really good. That doesnt make him a pitcher, but imo he has the most upside based on what i have seen

      1. Exactly, the stuff is the best of the group outside of Nola. If you watch him enough you can see that he has the ability to be an upper rotation arm.

        1. I don’t disagree that his stuff is the best, I had Pivetta as a breakout for the past 2 years, including when he was a prospect. Have always loved his stuff however VV stuff is damn close to his too, if not better (my opinion), stuff doesn’t make you a good pitcher tho. Obviously it helps a great deal, but you need to know how to pitch as well. I just think Eflin is the best “pitcher” outta those guys. And to be honest, his stuff is better than average. Any one have an idea what his average FB velocity was? He can get it into the mid to upper 90’s too, not as easily as Pivetta, I get that.

    3. Mostly because he misses bats. If you dig into the numbers a bit, they paint a portrait of a guy who was unlucky last season and pitched better than his ERA indicates.

    4. @Eric – to be a TOR, a pitcher should have at least 2 plus pitches. Pivetta’s FB-CB can be potential plus and he missed bats with those pitches. The SL is the 3rd pitch that Pivetta’s is using, but it is not as good as the FB-SL combo.

      With regards to Eflin, Eflin has a lower K rate than Pivetta. His FB is not as good (vs Pivetta who can dial it up to high 90s) and his second best pitch – the CU, is inconsistent. Eflin 3rd pitch is a SL, which is behind his FB and currently flashing only as average. What Eflin is doing well is finishing batters with a high FB.

      Based on stuff, Pivetta has the stuff to be a TOR with his 2 potential plus FB-CB and at least a average FL. Eflin appears to be a 1-pitch SP but he has a better rhythm and more efficient than Pivetta. Eflin’s SL and CU are not even MLB average caliber.

      I think both pitchers will have a successful and better year but Pivetta’s stuff gives him a higher breakout potential due to higher ceiling. Eflin might end up the 3rd best SP behind Nola and Pivetta.

  6. I want to write a post about being critical of a prospect.

    It should be stated upfront that every player in minor league baseball is an exceptional athlete. The type of athlete that was great at every sport growing up. He can do things that few humans can do. He works extremely hard and has great passion for his craft. He should be admired for these traits. If a parent of a player reads this blog then take a bow. You have done a great job raising an excellent young man. It took a lot more than god given talent to get to this level. And I know that you made a lot of sacrifices to get him here.

    That said, everyone has to separate critique of a specific baseball skill with critique of the person. They are not the same. The person is not synonymous with the player. With rare exception, I rarely see people being critical of the person. But often I see people on this blog conflate critique of a skill with being a “hater” or “not liking” a player. Those are silly comments. No one hates a prospect. Everyone here wants these young men to achieve. But the harsh reality is that very, very few of even our top ranked prospects will do anything of significance at the MLB level. The bar is extremely high. They are the elite of the elite. Flaws that a prospect can work around at lower levels get exposed by major leaguers. While it is impossible to guess the future, there are patterns that repeat. Example, if you don’t take a lot of pitches or walks in the minors, it is highly unlikely that you will be a good major league hitter regardless of your minor league stats. It can happen. But the odds (already against a prospect) get even longer.

    So it is ok to discuss a prospect’s flaws. To look for patterns. To hope for the best, but be skeptical that a player will achieve that level. And to enjoy a prospect along the way for the love of the game.

    1. A very good and well thought out post. When I look at pitching prospects, mostly at the AA level, I look for the ability to miss bats. A guy who can’t do that will see, at a higher rung, his offerings fouled off till a batter walks or finds a pitch to his liking to barrel up.

      1. Exactly. Doesn’t mean you don’t hope that he figures it out. Of course you do. But the probability is lower than the already low probability.

    2. excellent post and agree 100%. I am a parent 1st and TY. Very proud and excited for my son. I can’t speak for other parents but my son has been critiqued his whole life and if i didn’t like what was said I would just eat it and and move forward. Baseball is a very hard sport and i’m proud for as far as he has been. If you can’t take criticism then there is no room for improvement.
      I really like this site and feel most of everyone on here is speaking about player and not person. Competition breads Success. Really looking forward to see how this organization progresses. Exciting times ahead

      1. So awesome for you to post that. You should be very proud. It is exceptional, truly exceptional that your son has gotten this far.

        1. v1, very good posts. I, for one, have always enjoyed your posts, found them informative, and admire your willingness to mix it up, to set yourself apart from the herd mentality, and even to challenge it.

          We all fall victim to that mentality and sometimes need an iconoclast to break us out of it.

          As for the young men and their families, it is definitely a balance for us fans commenting on them. On one hand, we need to respect them, what they have accomplished and the fact they are all chasing the dream. On the other hand, critique and projecting the future is what this site is about, and it’s the fun of it for people like me who visit several times a day.

          Finally, kudos to Jim who who helps us all retain that balance, and who sees face-to-face the young players and their families, looks them in the eye and takes responsibility for what we fans post here.

          Phuture Phillies is phun because of you, Jim and other posters, because of the family members who join in commenting, and because we all live vicariously through the young men pursuing their dreams.

  7. With Harper signed and the big club moving through spring training, I’m very excited to get the minors started and to get back to talking about prospects. Their games start the week after next so that’s when the first cuts will occur from big league camp. Our minor league starting pitching should be strong even after losing Sixto. Who will have the biggest step up?

      1. He still needs to develop a bit more fastball. If he does, watch out. Good choice

    1. As far as pitchers go…one of the obvious to step up with higher expectations based upon last season’s performance and noted critical acclaim, will be Spencer Howard.
      Hopefully he can do that, and also avoid any dreaded arm issues.

  8. Perhaps my opinion differs from most. I would like to see one more veteran arm in the rotation after Nola-Jake-Pivetta. Who that is I’m not sure yet but I’d still like to get Keuchel on short term deal… I don’t like Williams as a bench player so maybe you trade him.

    I like Williams and I feel he deserves a shot to play every day. I think I would also feel better about a more veteran back-up catcher. I’d look to move Knapp too. Sal Perez just went down.

    I’d DFA Altherr or trade him for some money. I’d finally make the move on Cesar and commit to playing Kingery every day at 2B. I like Romine to back up the middle IF spots and play some 3B if needed.

    I think now is the time to give Cozens his shot as the 4th or 5th OF and if he can do it a few spot starts at 1B to give Hoskins a blow.

    Not sure what you do with Quinn at this point. He truly is a perfect 4th OF.

    I don’t like the BP after Robertson and Dominguez. I don’t have a ton of confidence in Neris anymore. Point is I would make some moves to eliminate some of the redundancy on this roster and try to replenish areas of the system that need it.

    It’s really hard for me to accept this is only the 2007 team and sit back.

    1. DMAR..I have voiced my opinion on the rotation plenty….I prefer for the team to get a lefty in the middle …with experience….Robbie Ray.
      Hazen would probably be receptive to Vinny and Williams and maybe a prospect lefty like Irvin or Ranger Suarez.
      Ray plugs right in there at three in the middle giving Gabe that flexibility with a change up look on almost every other series from an all righty rotation.
      Ray is 27 and cost controlled for a few more years and a 6bWAR pitcher over the last two years. And one of Matt’s new hires in the FO knows him well and would not be surprised if he is talking him up..

      1. I know you’re a big Ray fan and I watched him pitch the other night. When I watch him why do I feel like I’m watching the left handed version of VV?

        If that’s the guy I do agree we match up really well for him but again he doesn’t seem to be an innings guy and this rotation needs that. Otherwise your BP is going to be gassed again by August.

        1. DMAR…last two years…286 IP in 52 starts….that would be enough for me….gets into the 6th almost every start….with 12 K/9…control is the iffy part.

    2. Cozens is not ready to be a ML player but if he was, it’s doing him a disservice by making him the 5th OF on a team where the 5th OF is rarely going to play. He’s better served by either going to AAA to play everyday or by being traded to a team as part of a deal for a LF starter.

      I actually think the bullpen has a change to be a strength if for no other reasons than because they have a large number of good arms to throw at it. They can also mix/match who’s in the majors and who’s in the minors depending on results.

      1. 3up…agree.
        And IMO, Cozens and Williams….they are not built for 4th/5th OFers.
        They are too young and inexperienced to handle that role, plus it is a disservice to their careers to be sitting around.
        IMO, Altherr fits that bill to a tee….he has had his chance and has got exposed over the long term of a season. Also, apparently Quinn will fall into that role it seems due to his health issues.

        1. I want to let the spring play out, and think a little outside the normal roles of bench players.

          Quinn’s talent is undeniable, but it’s the health issues for him. He is out of options, to me, the 4th/5th OF spot is his. Defensive replacement/base runner type role. If he gets hurt, you can slide haselely up if ready or someone else.

          Cozens is tough one. A lot of us are pulling for him, the bash brothers style season from him & Hoskins still sits in our minds. He has things to work through, and if he does, I can see this team, which preaches versatility, finding enough at bats for Cozens not to rot on the bench. Same for Quinn. Quinn will make it easy though by getting hurt at somepoint

          How many at bats does he need? 350? He can spell each of the OF positions and 1B (from my understanding) plus DH games and pinch hits. That’s about 80 starts between the OF/1B/DH. That should be good for roughly 350 at bats. I can see it happening for sure. Cozens needs to take the next step and forces the issue, like Hoskins did. The opportunity is there. I’d argue 250-300 at bats is enough to progress his career.

          My fear/concern is that Cozens can be an above average DH, and we need to find out before trading/releasing him. As I have a feeling next year it will be implemented in the next 2 seasons, if not next.

      2. While that may be true with regard to Cozens 3UP what you don’t do is take a young player like Williams who is ready to be an everyday player and only get him a couple of starts a week off the bench.

        Cozens has a few things going for him in that role.

        1. I’d think he prefer to be a bench or role player at this point in his career and be on the 25 man with more enthusiasm than Williams

        2. He’s pretty darn athletic and probably a better OF in the corners than Williams and gives you the versatility to play some 1B…maybe.

        3. His power is undisputed. Yes he K’s a lot but that’s on the coaching staff to get him settled down and prepared for his AB’s.

        4. He’s been a really good soldier I like that about him. LOL

  9. Read somewhere, maybe on here, that VV had been seeing a sports psychologist. If that helps him, I think he has a chance to make the biggest leap between he, Eflin and Pivetta.

  10. Right now, the division will be decided by starting pitching. As I see it, the Nats and Phillies are toe to toe as far as the everyday lineups go. The Braves and Mets are 3/4. The Nats have a distinct advantage over the Phillies in the rotation.

    Starting pitching:
    1 Mets- DeGrom, Wheeler and Thor(?health)
    2 Nats- Scherzer, Corbin and Strasburg(?health)
    3 Phillies- Nola, Arrieta and Pivetta
    4 Braves- not sure who their ace is….

    Point being, we definitely need a veteran arm, preferably a LHP.

    1. Mets’ Wheeler is really struggling early on right now.
      May be just his spring routine…when he has been healthy.
      Braves are scrambling…..too many arm issues …Mike Folty and Julio Teheran seem to be their go to guys right now. Newcomb looked good last year….wondering if former Phil prospect Jesse Biddle will be tried in their rotation as a starter.

    2. @8mark – the available LHP options are not good unless Klentak can swing Nick, Cesar and some prospects in a trade.

      Keuchel will not get his LT contract but he can get at least 3-years which is beyond what the Phillies are willing to give. This is fine because Keuchel can basically become the #4 or #5 SP in the rotation and Irvin can provide a similar #4/#5 production. Irvin will be protected from Rule V so Klentak might call him up at some point this year,

    3. Not sure I agree that the teams are toe-to-toe on the lineups (offensively)

      Phillies are better at C, 2b, SS
      Phillies with a slight advantage in RF Harper vs. Soto
      National are better at 3b
      LF is TBD depending on how well Robles plays as a rookie.
      1B & CF is close assuming Eaton and Zimmerman can both stay healthy.

      Defensively, the Nationals are better, especially in the OF, and I agree they have the advantage in the rotation.

    4. The Braves starting pitching as a whole is better than ours. We are only ahead of the Marlins as far as starting pitching goes. This is the main reason that we should look to trade for Trout. If we are looking to move players and prospects it better be for starting pitching.

      1. EricD…IMO, the Braves bullpen is weaker than the Phillies….now Minter may be down.
        They have no one near Nola…….and if you compare the FIPs of Pivetta, Eflin and ViVe(all below 4)….they are slightly better than the three of Teheran, Newcomb and McCarthy from last year…all above 4

        What you may be mistaken is that the Phillies defense behind their pitchers last year….was probably the worst in MLB history for any team….negative-132 DRS.vs Braves third in the mLB at positive 56

        1. I should have left out their pen, I was touching more on their starting pitching. I get that they have no one close to Nola but as a whole their starting pitching is better. Does that mean I feel the same way at the end of the year, nope but right now i’d take their 2-5 over our 2-5.

          1. Kevin Gausman should help them and he is a 94-96 velo guy with experience.
            I think Teheran is trending downward….Newcomb is probably trending up.
            You could be correct right now…still want to see how our three youngsters come out of the blocks.

  11. Thoughts on Haseley? I like what I see so far. His bat stays in the zone for a long time, he’s not jumpy, the stroke is pretty short, saw some evidence of pop. Pressing a little bit in camp so yes he is probably still a year away. With Cutch signed to 3 years and of course Harper he’ll really need to explode to make them comfortable trading Odubel.

    Moniak very much so is pressing but the few balls he has squared up were shots.

    That Twin’s broadcast by the way yesterday was atrocious. Is it normal for the other teams broadcasters to know so little about the opposing teams players. I mean they couldn’t even pronounce Mickey’s name right and didn’t even mention the kid was the first overall draft pick a few seasons ago. Sheesh!

    1. DMAR…Haseley reminds me of Utley.
      A pure 60 hitter and seems to be 55 across the board on everything else.

      1. Utley? Romus I told you this before. You have to loosing you wig, its making your brain say some crazy things,

      2. I would be shocked, absolutely shocked if Haseley has a career that is even 75% of Utley’s career. Utley is pretty damn close (maybe just short) of a Hall of Famer. I have never seen anyone project that type of career from Haseley. He looks like a league average 3rd/4th OF to me. I don’t see a multiple time all star.

        1. @V1 Romus says reminds me of. You don’t have to be so boring all the time. We all know most prospects are going to fall short but genuinely at the time Utley was coming up I don’t remember anyone saying he was a near HOF player.

          I mean Utley didn’t play his first full big league season until age 26 and his 23 and 24 y/o stints didn’t light the world on fire.

          LOL live a little…

          1. Live a little? You are giving me life advice? Do we know each other? How about you worry less about me and focus on the point. Haseley is not 55 across the Board with a 60 hit.

            1. man you are really judgmental of people whom you don’t know.

              why not you just stick to discussion of prospects’ skills and leave personal attacks out of it?

          2. V1 must be in a bad mood today, I didn’t get anything from your post that warranted a tongue in cheek response. With that said, I see a lot more than a 3rd or 4th outfielder outta him, maybe thats just me tho.

      3. To put into perspective what a 60 hit and 55 across the board on everything else prospect looks like…Fangraphs has Fernando Tatis Jr. as their #3 overall ranked prospect and has him at:
        – 50 Hit
        – 60 game power
        – 50 speed
        – 55 field
        – 60 throw

        Not exactly the same, but pretty close to a 60 hit 55 everything else prospect. Haseley is nowhere close to that level of a prospect.

        1. V1 my man I know you to the extent that we are both regular posters. I know you might believe from your post above that you can be critical of prospects so long as you purport from fangraphs and Keith Law etc. etc.

          Just be mindful these are not facts these are subjective opinions or evaluations call them what you will. But you must also acknowledge these projections often fail.

          I also know you have a history of hyper sensitivity to anyone who rebukes a post of yours.

          Lest I remind you this whole exchange began because you chastised Romus’ comment to me that Haseley reminded him of Utley.

          To be fair to thee if I came across as being anything other than a guy ribbing you I apologize. Sheesh just last week you were thanking me for complimenting a post of yours.

          1. compliment my posts. criticize my posts. all good.

            just leave the personal attacks out of the discussion. pretty simple request.

        2. v1…let it play out… will be the first to admit you sold low on Haseley’s talents.

          1. I don’t think that it is selling low to not say a prospect who is in no service’s top 100 and has never played an inning at the major league level shouldn’t be compared to a borderline Hall of Famer. That is my only point. I doubt that Adam or his parents would compare him to a borderline Hall of Famer either.

            1. v1… my point…I am comparing him to a 2003 Chase Utley…a prospect who only reached any top 100….BA…and that was .once as a 24 year old and only as high as 81….and beforee his Triple A season with the Red Barons.
              Utley also had some red-flags on some of his defensive abilities when he came up….Hasely rates higher on fielding and throwing.

              I will give one tool Haseley may not be a 55…and probably is somewhere between 45 and 50…and .that would be power..
              And I know what Fangraphs has him rated, and also with their FV rating….they are not infallible…Longenhagen will tell you he has goofed in the past….ie Dom Brown for one.

        3. In response, Fangraphs has Haseley ranked as follows:

          -55 Hit
          -45 Game Power
          -55 Speed
          -45 Field
          -45 Throw

          No its not 60 hit and 55 everything else but still pretty solid and, as you know, scouting grades can be slightly subjective. They also reviewed him as an above average left fielder (assuming he doesn’t stick in center) and a “high probability, close-to-the-majors 2-3 WAR position player” and ranked him similarly to the golden child, Luis Garcia.

          Don’t just dismiss because you expect most prospects to fail. Can you say he’ll have the same career as Chase Utley? No, but tell me honestly you thought Utley would have his exact career when he was one year into pro ball. The guy has only had positive results so far in his career with generally positive reviews thus far. Let people dream on his potential a little.

          1. Hey Fred.

            I agree Haseley is a very good prospect. I took exception to the comp to a potential Hall of Famer. That Utley wasn’t projected to be a HoF’er as a prospect isn’t justification. If he rises above his projection – as a league average OF – then awesome. Of course, I hope that he does. But as fans we tend to have grade inflation. Haseley’s grades are very good. And he seems very close as a prospect. I like his swing, lack of launch angle notwithstanding. He does keep his bat in the zone a long time and I fink that is a pattern of a quality hitter. I like his arm strength and think that he will have sneaky power. But I think people don’t realize what a 60 hit, 55 across the board prospect is. That is a top 5 prospect. That is a guy who will make a lot of All Star games. That is a very rare player. I truly hope that he becomes that good.

      4. @romus – I don’t see an Utley in Haseley. Haseley is probably close to the player he was commonly compared to at the time of the draft – Brett Gardner. I can see Haseley develop into productive OF at a MLB level.

        1. Well i will take Gardner if it happens, 38bWAR player…but Haseley probably does not have Gardner’s closing speed in the OF and on the base paths..

          1. yup. and Haseley might eventually move to LF. But Haseley has more power potential than Gardner. Haseley can be an 0.275 hitter so his BB% will be key for him.

        2. v1 – At least we’re not talking about Trout, for a change, or trying to tell Klentak who to sign.

    2. DMAR….Marney Gellner and her partner spent the whole game talking about how they keep score on their scorecards…..yo mama!
      And Jake Scheiner in the 8th or 9th….she pronounced his surname twice as Jake ‘Schneer’
      Never thought I say I appreciate TMac

      1. Haha yeah that was the other name she kept botching but I gave her a pass on that one because you’re getting pretty deep into our MiLB guys at the Scheiner point.

        Really no TMac for you? Wheels drove me bananas so when we got TMac full time I was ecstatic.

        1. DMAR…TMac, IMO, not too cerebral and a constant vocal-orgasm
          Outside of game calling…he is pretty good on interviews….but once behind the mic IMO, I find him just tolerable. .

          1. How can anyone not like Tmac . . . I don’t get the hate for him (not saying you hate him Romus but the twitterverse always hammers him).

            1. EricD…..he seems so trivial on the air….foul balls in the stands become a great talking point for him when a fan makes a catch or misses it…..makes numerous mistakes in misspeaks, every inning…listen for it…has to correct himself too much….talks before engaging the cranial.
              But i have listened to his NFL Westwood One football radio and he is very good and his interviews with other talk show hosts are excellent…..but just his Phillies play by play lacks something for me……perhaps I still long for Harry….or even By Saam. I always thought Scott Graham would make a good TV guy, then they let him go awhile back…now he is national on some sporting events.

    3. The Twins broadcasters were just dreadful and not only because they were talking about the boring Twins. It was like a much worse version of the era with Tom McCarthy trying to prop up Sarge and Chris Wheeler. The Twins broadcasters had nothing to say so they focused on stuff going on in the booth and idle chatter. Our broadcasts are much better.

      1. The lady in the broadcast sounds like Dei Lynam but Dei Lynam is way better than her. The broadcast did a really good job in showing how disinterested they are with the game.

  12. Now that Harper is wrapped up, my druthers would be trying to bring Kimbrel onboard on a 2 year/ 1 option deal. My thoughts are that with Kimbrel you can shorten the game to 5 innings [ a good thing for our young starters]. Neris in the 6th, Robertson in the 7th, Dominguez in the 8th and close it with Kimbrel.

    I believe the Phils have 18 million left and I think it makes more sense to shore up the bullpen and get a starter [Hamels?] at the trade deadline if VV, Pivetta, Eflin and the LV group struggle.

    Getting Kimbrel also keeps him from the Nats, yet another plus.

  13. We missed the boat on Hamels last deadline. I would take a shot on Keuchel on a contract similar to Arrieta’s, but I think they wait until the deadline. I think Pivetta is the guy that can be a # 2 SP, and I certainly hope they all achieve their ceilings, but I think we will need a SP come deadline time. I don’t know what would be a reasonable contract for Kimbrel, and I would like to keep him away from the Nats, but we have some BP arms making a lot of $ that need to get a shot to see if any of them should be traded.

    1. Don’t sleep on Eickhoff just yet. I’m hopeful that Irvin can be an above average #5 starter if needed this year.

      1. The Phillies have plenty of starting pitching depth. I’ve been sort of down on Drew Anderson, but I watched the tape of his last start and he really showed me something. While his FB is only a hair above average for a righty (93-94, touching higher sometimes), he has a good curve and a nice slider, but most impressively, he has an idea of how to pitch and his command is pretty good. The pitches he threw were expertly placed in and out of the zone. While I don’t think he’s anything special right now, I could see him settling in somewhere as a dependable 3/4. He’s not bad at all and he, Del Los Santos and Irvin provide some impressive immediate back end depth and longer term potential. And if one of them steps forward, it perhaps allows the team to trade a guy like Velasquez if the price is right.

        1. @catch – i’m probably the biggest Drew Anderson follower in this site. I liked him because I like pitchers “who knows how to pitch”. Anderson is having some issues carrying his velocity and command deep into the game, so he might eventually move to the pen where he can dial his FB to 96/97 in short stints. Anderson’s CB is a potential plus that can miss bats but his CU is not developing for a while now.

          If you have the chance to rewatch Anderson’s last start, you will notice a new pitch that Anderson starts to us —- a high 80s Cutter. If Anderson can add a reliable Cutter in his arsenal, he might save his career as a SP since he doesn’t need to worry his diminishing FB. Having a consistent 3-pitch mix is critical for a SP to have a sustainable career.

          To go back to Eickhoff, he is working on a SL to match his average FB and plus CB. Eickhoff’s FB is so average that the development of at least average SL (or any 3rd pitch) is a must.

        2. Agree Catch its about asset management at this point. Find the balance between necessary depth and replenishing the system at the levels and positions you feel are void of upper end talent.

          MK will want those waves of talent hitting at the right times.

    2. There were four LHSP’s available this winter that would have been excellent additions to the Phillies rotation:
      1. James Paxton – it may have taken Sixto Sanchez to land him via trade. I love Paxton, but two years of Realmuto > two years of Paxton.
      2. Patrick Corbin – six years at 140 million was an overpay IMO.
      3. Yusei Kikuchi – could have been had on a reasonable FA contract. Unfortunately, the Japanese lefty appears to have preferred the left coast.
      4. JA Happ – IMO was one of Klentak’s two misses this off-season (Garrett Richards on a TJ rehab deal was the other). Happ seemed amenable to a Philly return. Klentak refused a third year option.
      * I also really like (and endorsed a trade for) Matt Strahm (who can start or work out of the pen). However, after the Padres acquired Manny Machado, Strahm became unavailable.

      That said … a lot of times the best deals are the ones a team doesn’t make. I’m a big believer in JoJo Romero. I believe DLS is eventually headed to the BP, and JoJo will be the young arm to get the call when/if two of Nola/Arrieta/Pivetta/VV/Eflin/Eickhoff go down.

      Also … If the rotation situation is shaky in July, the team has the prospects and cap room (don’t think they’re going to sign Keuchel or Kimbrel) to go out and land a GUY. Madison Bumgarner and Alex Wood could be available for rent. And, the Jays could put 1.5 years of Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez (one of my favorites) up for sale.

      1. Agree on the following:

        1) Strahm not available anymore, I mentioned this to DMAR as well.
        2) Corbin is an overpay.
        3) Miss opportunities on JA Happ.
        4) MadBum and Wood as potential trade targets.

        On JoJo, i think whoever is pitching between Irvin and JoJo (both will be protected) will get the call up if LH is needed.

        With Vlad and Bichette close to the majors, I don’t see TOR selling Stroman and Sanchez unless there’s an offer they can’t refuse.

      2. I’d avoid Stroman.
        Small RHPs, him and Sonny Gray for another, seem to less effectiveness very quickly third time thru the lineup, more so than the normal.

  14. The pen is too crowded particularly with RH arms. Neris is a sell low candidate unless Klentak can find a GM who is a fan of Neris. Austin Davis is the LH pen arm that I like the most – so Morgan (out of options), Pazos and Alvarez are expendable and can be traded for low minors lottery prospects, PTBNL or cash.

    Rios is already throwing heat early in the ST, Rios sharp SL is very good too and I like to keep him unless Klentak can sell high. Too bad for Rios, he might spend more time in Allentown unless Klentak can clear the log jam in front of him.

    I actually like Neshek, Nicasio and Hunter as the veteran pen arm. All had good success in the past but there are no roster space to go around. One of these vets will be traded early in the season.

    I can see the Phillies employing a 8-man bullpen early in the season with Kingery, Quinn (if healthy), Altherr and Knapp as the bench guys which brings me to Nick Dubs, who has nothing to gain by starting in LHV —– he will force Klentak to make a move. Starting Quinn in the DL will give Klentak some time to think about his options, if not, Klentak will be force to either look to trade Williams or DFA or trade Altherr.

    I believe Klentak’s next move is clearing the bullpen and OF before he considers signing another FA.

      1. @DMAR – with the acquisition of Machado, I think the Padres will keep their good pieces and contend in the NL West. Preller used to like Nick Williams – so the opportunity with Padres will be trading Nick plus antoher SP arm for some of the Padres top SP prospects. I don’t see Strahm being available unless he will be traded for a young MLB ready SP.

        1. I say Mr Preller take your pick I have a bunch of them but he too has some really good ones in his upper minors so it might not be a good match.

          1. It’s not a perfect match but there will be opportunity since I expect Preller to jumpstart their contention while they have Machado on board. So Klentak should keep Preller’s contact in his speed dial in case the Padres will need a veteran bullpen help.

        2. KuKo…Preller is trying to rid 2/3 of his current OPFers….Myers for one and his contract…..he has about 5/6 OFers….Margot, Renfroe, Reyes, Myers, and Janko …not sure he wants to take on another OFer….unless he needs a LHB out there.

          1. Although I think (and replied to DMAR) that the Padres is not a perfect match, Nick Williams will look good in the OF with Margot and Reyes. Jankowsi is a good 4th OF and Cordero is not ready. Preller can send Myers to the team who drafted him – Kansas City.

    1. KK, Quinn and Williams strike me as super expendable. Quinn can’t be relied up so should not be relied upon. Williams is unemployed with Harper’s arrival. Pretty easy decision to get what you can for them because, if you do nothing, you still don’t get anything fro them.

      1. @SWFL, agree that both are expandable especially if they will target Mike Trout and with Haseley, Moniak, Listi, etc in the pipeline.

        The Phillies invested so much time on Quinn to just give it up. Quinn has some game changing abilities so the Phillies will milk him everytime he can play.

        Doobie and Williams are the most valuable trade assets, both are cheap and team friendly and good enough ceiling. I prefer to keep Williams over Doobie but Doobie’s value is low as of now which pushes Nick Williams as the most expendable OF.

  15. They might as well start printing those Trout jerseys, they’ll need a 2 year lead time to meet the demand.

    No amount of cold water is going to slow this hype train down. The current players need to do their part and make the playoffs, let trout see what he’s missing … lol who knows… maybe he’ll attend some of the playoff games!

    He is going to look good in red pinstripes…

    1. I don’t know Tac Moreno is going to come at the Trouts with a hefty extension offer. It’s going to be an amount of money that is really hard to turn down.

      We are not promised tomorrow.

      1. Last I’ll say about this for awhile, since we have to wait regardless:

        I agree, The Angels will come out swinging, but I think they lose. The combination of an anticipated Phillies offer, the position of the current Phillies team (Playoff contender) & and their farm system coupled with coming “home” to raise his future family… i just think it’s too much to not even listen to the offer, so I believe he hits FA. Step 1.

        Step 2: I’m sure wants to win over extra money. Harper mentioned it. It’s what your remembered for. I believe they talked about that during Harper’s courtship.
        The Phillies are setup to make an incredible run if the players perform. I can’t see trout wanting more money over that entire scenario.
        Step 3: lay out the red carpet. He’s coming home.

        Bottom line, if the Angels want any shot at resigning Trout, they’d better start winning. It’s a head scratcher that they let BH and MM pass without a flyer. Anyways, If they don’t start winning, I don’t believe that money will be the deciding factor this time around. Everyone will be close enough.

        It almost feels as if BH took the longer deal to fit in Trout, a verbal agreement so to speak.

        Nothings is guaranteed, but this is about as close as you come in sports FA. I’m just going to enjoy the inevitable, with a possible championship along the way.

        Let’s go Phillies! & God bless Middleton!

      2. Just gotta’ hope the LAA’s have another bad/mediocre year. That’s what could really seal the deal. Astros are almost a lock to win the AL West. One of the Yankees/BoSox are almost a lock for one of the AL WC spots. That leaves the Angels competing with A’s, Rays, Twins, and ChiSox for the second WC.

        1. If Trout is anywhere close to the same player during his next contract that he has been thus far, $350m for 10 years would be a huge bargain.

          1. The three prime years between 26 (MM/BH) and 29 (Trout) is an element they seem to be taking into consideration.
            I am wondering if Moreno offers him….it seems it has to be ten years tacked onto 2020….taking Trout into his age39 season…not 10 years starting this season

            1. This is exactly why I think people should temper they expectations, we wouldn’t get the player who we’ve seen for the past however many years. We would pay a premium for what he’s done when the majority of the vast contract will be during his declining years. Again, I want him but to expect him to be the player we are seeing now might be a bit much. Look at McCutchen from age 22-29 and then look at the years after that.

    2. Mike Trout not wanting to talk about any extension talk until the end of 2019 offseason is a good sign for the Phillies. If LAA miss the playoffs in 2019 and the Phillies ride a hot Bryce Harper in their way deep into the playoffs while Mike Trout spends most of his offseason watching his buddies Wentz, Ertz at the Linc and relaxing at WF to see Embiid, Simmons, etc — Mike Trout will ask his agent to see where the Phillies payroll will be at 2020 and he will be all Philly-d up!

      1. I’ll be shocked if it doesn’t happen.

        Many said Harper’s dream was to play for NYY or LAD. The stars didn’t align, the teams had that position reasonably covered and the payroll couldn’t fit him in.

        That’s not the case in Philly. The stars are aligned, I’m sure their is mutual desire, and the team is willing to allocate the dollars. Even analytics can’t argue Trout isn’t worth it.

        The next 5 years (minimum) are going to
        Be incredible.

        1. I’ll post this info one more time for anyone who doesn’t visit this site on the weekends. On Friday night, I spoke to my wife’s cousin who isn’t a Phillies fan, but teaches with a couple of Mike Trout’s friends in Millville. Here’s what Trout’s friends tell him: 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.

          IMO … the whole Trout scenario will come to a head next winter. Does Mike sign a LTX? If he doesn’t, does Arte Moreno listen to trade offers? Does Trout (who has a no trade clause) say he’ll only accept a deal to the Phillies?

          BTW … you can also go back to last week’s open discussion to see what John Middleton jr believes his father may have been wishing for while blowing out the candle on his birthday cupcake this weekend (I posted that yesterday).

          OK … sorry for that (Mike Trout update). You can all go back to your other business now.

  16. Ok, I’m done discussing Trout for a bit. Apologies, but the hype is real. I’m going to enjoy this team rebirth.

    Who hit more team hrs – NYY or PHI? What’s the gap

    1. DH gives the Yankees the clear advantage in HRs in the season. Would guess the number is somewhere around +45

      1. I did some math, I could see the Phillies hitting somewhere near 235+. The yanks it 265 last year, but yes that DH helps them a lot.

        1. Tac i think you made a mistake, I did it and came up with 240, did you use %x -e over g?

          1. Rocco,

            To be honest, I had the help of a calculator, not sure I used it correctly!

            Some fun comparisons. In 08&09, we saw 214&224 hrs smashed. In 93’, we “only”
            saw 156 balls make it past the fence… and that team was rioded up (which I’m thankful for) If BH and Harper hit somewhere around 40 each, it could be a crazy year, has a legit shot to top the franchise record.

            On the brighter side. The team average R/G was 4.18 last year. Excited to see the new R/G with all the additions. Whenever I’ve seen this team make the playoffs, they are a tick below 5, or up to 5.5 p/g. If we can see 5.5 r/g,they should be onto something. If the shift is eliminated, I’ll go to 6.

      1. Whoa…..but only $21K a month mortgage….thats a steal. 🙂

        BTW,,,,Harper’s AAV is less than $26M

    1. Bryce and Kayla do not have kids yet. They might settle in the Old City or Rittenhouse area for 3-5 years before moving out to the suburbs (Mainline or South Jersey).

      1. “..before moving out to the suburbs (Mainline or South Jersey).”…or even Berwyn! 🙂

    1. Vlad jr must not be taking his occupation/career seriously. That’s an inside joke that only v1 will probably understand. 🙂

  17. VV, Pivett and Elfin weren’t really good last yr vs lh hitters. Saying that I think the Phillies might try Irvin or Jo Jo at some time In the rotation later on in camp.

  18. Adam Haseley… Chase Utley…. wow. The kid has impressed this spring but settle down with that comp. it wasn’t long ago that several SEVERAL posters on this blog were comparing Cody Asche to Chase Utley. Just be careful. Not saying I don’t like the prospect. From what I’ve seen this spring his swing can blast a baseball to left center field. Oppo power and on base skills equate to a skilled hitter, anyone whose played competitive baseball knows this. I’m optimistic about Haseley but am under no circumstance comparing him to a HOF (v1 is right on this). It’s like people comparing Sixto to Pedro when the kid pitched 40 innings last year… but I digress

    1. In fairness to those who did (not me) Asche basically was copied utleys batting stance. I think that mental trigger did it for fans

    2. Joe Savery…again…for the umpteenth time….comping him when Utley was 23 years old…sheesh. Give me a break!

      Do you even recall what the scouting reports were on Utley when he went back to SWB before his second time there?
      His slash the first time was .263/.352/.461…..not HoF projections then!

      1. Calm down my friend. Take your meds, go to the gym, Have a coffee and think about how great it would be if you were Hinkie

      2. Utley’s projections when he was coming up are irrelevant. He outperformed all expectations and became a great player; it’s not fair to Haseley even if you don’t mean to say he’ll eventually be one of the two best players in the game. That’s how you get people comparing any power hitting 1B to Ryan Howard, or any command/control type pitcher to Greg Maddux.

        1. “Utley’s projections when he was coming up are irrelevant”…irrelevant to what?
          Haseley is happening now in the upper minors.

          I am not saying Haseley will be a 60WAR MLB player when it is all said and done.
          Utley’s MiLB days and Haseley’s is what i am comping….along with the hitting approach adn physical profile

          Nevertheless….if it is ever heard from the TV or radio guys …then tweet them and tell them how foolish it is.

        2. But Handzus why is it not ok to do that? Thome does it often and the prospect brothers Callis and Mayo do it from time to time.

          Do you think when a couple of guys went out to scout Moniak they possibly said this kid reminds me of Jim Edmonds or was it more likely they said this kid reminds me of say Eric Byrnes we should make him the first pick of the draft.

          And hey I’m just having some fun here.

          1. If they comped Moniak to Jim Edmonds it’s probably because they could see him being that kind of player at the time. Nobody is comparing him to Edmonds now. Byrnes, maybe.

            Why compare a guy to Utley’s minor league performance when it would be just as accurate to bring up Asche or maybe Jason Donald? If you say Utley, you’re invoking his ML success whether you want to or not.

    3. Welcome back Mr. Savery. They were just talking about you the other day when Aaron Brown came into the game a great comp I thought only he went the other way.

      I’m going to have a little more fun with this topic of comps if you don’t mind. I find comps to be fun because they stir debate and debate is one of the things we come here to do.

      Gabe asked us to #Bebold so I’ll give that a shot. I didn’t comp Haseley to Utley and I don’t really think Romus intended to either. I believe he said “reminds me of”. I don’t believe Utley is officially in the HOF we’ll find out in 5 to 10 Years. I’m sure he will get in. He should.

      Utley was taken 15th overall in the 2000 age 21. He tore up the NYPL that same year and started in CLW the following. That age 22 Hi A season was mediocre. Interestingly he starts the following season at AAA age 23 and puts up a solid slash of 263/352/813 OPS.

      Age 24 he repeats AAA and explodes 323/390/906 OPS and gets called up for 43 games and 152 PA’s. It wasn’t exciting so we’ll skip on to age 25 where again he starts at AAA with 33 games and puts up a respectable 285/368/880 OPS

      He gets his final call to the bigs (94 games and 287 PA’s) that season 266/308/776 OPS. Ok right. If this board existed then not sure anyone is saying hey we got a future HOF on our hands but little did we know.

      My point or argument whichever you prefer is its not off the mark to say reminds me of Utley. Adam taken 8th overall at age 21. Through age 22 and 5 levels is 298/360/784 OPS. Utley through age 22 2 levels was 282/353/786. What’s really cool is that it would appear Haseley is going to be 23 and at AAA as well.

      Asche is a great counter. His MiLB profile belies the MLB outcome for sure. It does for most of BA’s top 100 prospects. But again comps are fun comps are natural. It’s hard to look at a guy and NOT say he reminds me of

      1. Who do you think this guy is that you are welcoming him back. This is his first comment using this name.

        @Monster84. Pick a name and stick with it. This continual use of numerous fictitious names will result in your being blocked.

        1. Jimmy I was being facetious that it was the real Joe Savery. Not welcome back to the board.

  19. 81 games at CBP. This club needs to go yard A LOT!! And not just because chicks love the long ball. The ’06 to ’09 stretch was marked by winning with the bats (and stealing bases, btw). Season HR totals were well over 200. That’s not to minimize pitching in any way but this lineup has to thump the ball. ’10 and ’11 was mainly about elite starting pitching and timely hitting. There has been a recent uptick in power from ’16 to ’18, and that’s before Realmuto and Harper arrived. I would hope we can expect to see home runs soar back up, perhaps to a record of at least 225 for a Phillies team at this park within the next few years, especially if a certain local product returns home.

    My projections:
    Realmuto 25-30
    Hernandez/Kingery 15-20
    Segura 5-10
    Franco 25
    Cutch 20-25
    Herrera 20-25
    Harper 35-40 (a conservative range, IMO)
    Add another 20 from the bench and we’re getting closer to 200. In any case, the trend is an encouraging sign.

    1. Personally, I think you’re a little light on segura. His low is 10, high is 20. I’d say it’s reasonable to add another 5 to him playing at CBP. I see more than that from him though, I’m thinking 18-20 again. I see a great year out of him, with all that protection he’ll have in the lineup. Will see.

      1. strange that 7 of Segura’s 10 were at home last year in that big park..but he also only hit 3 homers with a .659 OPS after the break so im really curious what we see offensively this season.

      1. I want some action on that, been trying to find who is accepting bets on his over/under for 32 hrs. Anything specific, other than Vegas? Sportsbook in Vegas didn’t have it.

    1. Middleton highlights:

      * The night before the deal, Middleton and Klentak were doubtful they would land Harper. MacPhail and Ned Rice, however, remained positive.

      * Matt Klentak had one of the greatest offseasons in the history of MLB. He is one of the elite GM’s in baseball.

      * Made his stupid money comment to send a message to the team and fans that he was ready to make a big, aggressive move/raise the bar.

      * Team had no preference for Harper/Machado heading in to free agency. The reason the club ended up passing on Manny for Bryce is because the fans overwhelmingly wanted Harper.

      * Expects the team to be competitive in the toughest division in baseball the whole season. Didn’t mention playoffs or WS.

      1. Nice recap hinkie

        Interesting how the fans picked the superstar and not the FO. I hope the boo birds keep that in mind.

        This little nugget of info tells me that Machado cost himself 30million at this point of his career earnings, from his Johnny hustle comments/playoff antics.

        Also loved how he threw the Orioles under the bus, saying they showed him no love… as if they had a chance.

        Lastly, Kind of weird Middleton didn’t take the freebie and say Harper was our target all along, more stones shown from “Mr Steinbrenner”

      2. Awesome interview, Hinkie. It was also nice to hear Middleton do most of the talking instead of Cataldi.

      3. I thought Middleton’s best comment was related to your third bullet point – “I also made that comment (stupid money) to put public pressure on the Front Office, so there was no easy escape route. Sometimes as a Leader, you have eliminate options and make your team take the tougher road.” – paraphrasing a lot here.

  20. Hinkie, Thanks for that report. Middleton and Klentak deserve a lot of credit. It was really a terrific off season. I think they have financial flexibility to add whatever they need as the season plays out. If I can get Keuchel on a 1 yr/$20Million deal, I do it. I even offer to put an option year in there. Otherwise, I wait until the deadline. I am not discounting our young SPs, but I believe we will need a SP by the deadline. Time will tell if I am right, but a 1 year deal gets us a quality #3 SP, who is a Lefty, and gives Keuchel a nice payday, and next year he can go into FA without the QO penalty attached to him.

    1. @Matt. Ive got a very good feeling on some of the metric based info that Pivetta,Efflin, And VV will benefit from our improved defense, in addition to their hopeful progress as MLB pitchers. Factor in the better offense, and their mistakes should be more forgiving this year with added run support. Factor that in, and I’d like to pass until the deadline to address the SP if needed. Of course, I’ll keep beating the Eickhoff drum as well, plus our upcoming SP arms in the minors. I don’t want to block Irvin, DLS,Medina, Howard, etc just yet.

      If Kimbrel would take a 1 year 20m deal, (I think he would), that would be the route I’d go… but I’m just a commentor, not GM.

      1. Tac I don’t have much faith in Eick I’ll be honest. That’s a difficult injury to come back from…

        In the sense that he would surpass the guys that have now climbed ahead of him.

        1. DMAR, I hear you, I’ll keep the faith for you :). Eickhoffs curve ball is nasty. I really hope he is healthy, and can overcome the carpel tunnel syndrome to get back to his 2016 form, which is only 2 years removed.

          If he can, it’ll be a big boost to the team. The clubhouse loves him too from reports.

          Will see, from last I heard, his recent flare up should be behind him and will get to see that nasty curve striking out NL East lineups this year.

          Here is a reminder of what he can do, at the MLB level. Fingers crossed

          1. Tac3, while we can hope for the best concerning Eickhoff, the decision makers don’t have that luxury. IMHO they need to acquire a #2. I understand that the harvest right now isn’t as white as it will be in July. But nonetheless, the rotation needs some seasoning. Nola, Arrieta, Pivetta, Eflin and Velasquez may start out of the blocks, but my sense is the brass will be scouring both leagues because that should be the next major acquisition.

            1. I agree that I’d like to see them acquire a #2 what one is available? Kuechel isn’t one anymore. And the Phillies don’t have enough to trade for one. Hernandez, Herrera/Williams, Pivetta/Eflin/VV, + is not enough to get you a #2

          1. Rocco I would give him a little more credit before his injury and say he could be a sound 5th on a team with good to above average starters at 1-2-3 and when he came on scene with us he appeared better than that because there was nothing else here really.

            And sure while he had a plus Curve Ball I saw many instances where it was taken deep because he became so predictable with it. There wasn’t enough on the FB to keep guys from sitting on the curve.

            1. Romus I am looking for halladys kid at pennstate and cant find him on roster, You know anything?

  21. Jim –

    Any word on Eickhoff? (Sorry really prefer him over a FA signing, look to slot him in at#4 or 5, and make Pivetta work for his #3 spot)

    Also looking forward to updates on Gowdy. We won’t get into it, but when healthly he’ll boost the Farm standings/Prospect trade currency if needed.

    I’ll be going to see Howard pitch this year, once he gets a few starts under his belt, and warmed up for the season

    This is going to be one hellva year all around for Phillies phans, lots to look forward to.

  22. Every once in a while I’ll read a comment with a caveat saying, “I’m not the GM, but … “. Our front office might have had the best winter of any in Phillies hiistory.. Despite that, people comment on this site and others about how Klentak can do a better job. What we’re looking at right now is pretty much a finished product. Adding a left handed starter at this point is unnecessary, but adding a bullpen arm like Kimbrel is a possibility. It would have to be a short term deal with a high salary that could come off of the books in two or three years. The other option would be to check out the rosters of rebuilding teams. Good to excellent relievers are a luxury that a rebuilding team doesn’t need. What they do need are starting pitchers and everyday players who are in, or very near, major league ready. The Phillies have at least one outfielder (Herrera, Quinn, Altherr, Williams), and one starter (Eickhoff, Eflin) that should be available.
    I’m not the GM, but … I trust Klentak to do what’s best for the team.

    1. Wawa I wouldn’t say better job I would just say I think there is more work to be done. I think there is some redundancy in the BP and some square pegs with round holes on the bench.

      Plenty of time though to work it out.

      1. DMAR – “Plenty of time …” Only about 3 weeks left of camp. This winter has moved so slowly, and now several moves could be made by the end of the week.

        1. As much as I would like to see all the ancillary pieces figured out before they break camp I don’t think it happens all that often Wawa.

          Sure be neat if it did these guys are on a roll!

      2. We have excess major league relief pitching, excess young major league/ready starting pitching, and we also have a few young OFs with only one outfield position to fill. I’m not sure what all that gets us if not a big arm. A true super utility guy would be nice as well, but he wouldn’t cost too much in young talent.

    2. Okay, so here’s my take on current management group.

      1. Agreed that this was the best off season in Phillies history and perhaps Philadelphia sports history. It was that good. What was best about it was not only the upgrades, but nothing was done ad hoc or in a mad scramble. It was all carefully planned and executed as part of a longer term plan for the franchise to become great and stay great and, because it was planned, they did not overpay much, if at all, in any transaction and several transactions were relative bargains (Nola comes to mind).

      2. Since the MacPhail Klentak era began, it was clear to me that one thing they were doing right – and very right- was setting up a great game plan and organizational strategy. I can poke holes at some stuff they’ve done, but the game plan has always been impeccable.

      3. The team’s talent evaluation and talent development functions are still under scrutiny. It seems they have made a lot of changes in the player development area – they are trying to evolve and get better. On talent evaluation, they have done okay and we shall see, but, again, it looks like they are going in the right direction.

      4. Lost in all the hub bub of this offseason was the fact that, because it was expertly planned, the team upgraded significantly without seriously depleting the farm system. This is huge and shows the vision of the management group. Keeping top notch talent flowing in is critical to the sustained success of the post-rebuild period.

    3. Wawa, I said the gm bit recently, klentak has proven his worth, along with most in the FO. All that said, I’ve been pretty pro Phillies FO since the wade layup days for Gillick. I’ve been on board with most decisions 75-85% of the time. Even with klentak I gave B.O.T.D, until this offseason. We can only watch as fans, and get the Benefit of hindsight with no job on the line. Surprisgly fans had a little say In Harper over MM. crazy to think about, with all the armchair gms. In this case, I’m glad I’m not the GM over Klentak, he’d out Perform me. From here, us armchair fans are looking to make it more of a lock for the Phillies to win the ws, but the team is good enough, if they perform. Favorites don’t always win, so let’s roll the dice this year

  23. (PART 1)

    Okay, so here’s my take on current management group.

    1. Agreed that this was the best off season in Phillies history and perhaps Philadelphia sports history. It was that good. What was best about it was not only the upgrades, but nothing was done ad hoc or in a mad scramble. It was all carefully planned and executed as part of a longer term plan for the franchise to become great and stay great and, because it was planned, they did not overpay much, if at all, in any transaction and several transactions were relative bargains (Nola comes to mind).

    2. Since the MacPhail Klentak era began, it was clear to me that one thing they were doing right – and very right- was setting up a great game plan and organizational strategy. I can poke holes at some stuff they’ve done, but the game plan has always been impeccable.

  24. (PART 2)

    3. The team’s talent evaluation and talent development functions are still under scrutiny. It seems they have made a lot of changes in the player development area – they are trying to evolve and get better. On talent evaluation, they have done okay and we shall see, but, again, it looks like they are going in the right direction.

    4. Lost in all the hub bub of this offseason was the fact that, because it was expertly planned, the team upgraded significantly without seriously depleting the farm system. This is huge and shows the vision of the management group. Keeping top notch talent flowing in is critical to the sustained success of the post-rebuild period.

    1. To your #2 point, it seems like the players have really bought in to the teams vision. Nola’s deal looks like a steal and IMO, Harper’s is team friendly … when it needs to be team friendly. That lower AAV than expected will payoff in better player support.

      To point #4. The offseason went way better than expected, I thought 3 signings, but the trades blew me away. Keeping the prospect capital and increasing the payroll was smart , while still leaving room for future deadline&seasons to add. Segura is a steal imo. It hedged the bet on what JP Crawford could develop into, and put him square in the middle of our contention window. JT Realmuto was like waking up on Dec 26th … and seeing a whole new set of presents under the tree. Very surprised the FO pulled that off when it made much more sense for LAD,WAS,&ATL to take the plunge. Alfaro was great to have , but Realmuto is better, another hedge from going to rebuild to contention.

      We still get to look forward to the scrap parts left over from the rebuild period and the 2019 draft to strengthen the contention window.

  25. Matt Breen just tweeted that Bryce hung out with Mickey Mo in the dugout before today’s game. Two 1st picks. Actually, Mickey might be a tad more mature than Harper was at his age, no? Of course, not the pedigree.

    1. I thought Harper could/might be a mentor to Mickey when he mentioned wanting to help the club in any way he could at the press conference. According to reports, the Phillies’ farm system was one of the things he took a lot of interest in during John Middleton’s meeting in LV.

        1. From Jim Salisbury’s story:

          “It was really cool,” Moniak said of his conversation with Harper. “He’s very impressive.

          “He told me to be myself. He said, you got drafted where you got drafted for a reason, so be confident in the way you go about your business and always put winning first. He said, don’t care if other teams hate you, all that matters is the guys in your clubhouse and having one goal with them.”

  26. Harper highlights:

    * Phillies have a great group of young guys

    * Jayson Werth gave him a great reference for the team and the city

    * Talked a lot again about “family”

    * Kept asking himself, “Where can I see myself for the next 13 years?” Are the schools good? Are the hospitals good? Where do I want my future kids growing up? Hears the city is like one big neighborhood.

    * “I remember hugging my wife saying, ‘We’re going to Philly’ ”

    * “Fan base really cares about it’s players. It’s really humbling to play here.”

    * Are the Phillies the team to beat in 2019? “That should be the goal every year.”

    * Great group of young guys in the minors. We need to show them how to play the game.

    * About Trout: the contract allows him to recruit players whether it be Mike Trout or whoever becomes available.


    1. I would call that last comment Bryce Harper’s first walk off HR as a Phillie !!!

      1. But Hinkie….why did he say …”IF HE BECOMES AVAILABLE”….and not ‘when’?

      2. Here’s the exact quote:

        1. Sorry for the misquote, Romus. My mind sort of blew up into a thousand different pieces as Harper made the declaration on the radio. I mean at some point, I think MLB may have to come out and warn the Harper about tampering. Until then … I’m just going to enjoy it.

          1. Hinkie…no problem,
            also my guess…the commissioner will probably send a memo to Harper and the Phillies to lay low on the Trout recruitment talk…..he probably does not want a NBA type of recrudescing scenario between stars to arise in major league baseball.

          2. Hinkie… the man now has $330 million, not sure he cares what Pentalty they give him if the tampering helps the Phillies sign Trout.

    2. Although signing Harper is expected, there are a lot of things that surprised me as a resulting of the Harper acquisition (I will exclude the maturity that Harper demonstrated throughout the process) .

      1) No opts and no trade – Boras created the opt us and his biggest client never used it.

      2) 13 years – 10 years IMO is too much and will only be used to provide more financial security but Harper wants more!

      3) #330M and AAV – this is really a bargain. I expect at least $350M/10 yrs

      and most importantly and the most surprising to me…..

      4) Harper becomes the recruiting agent to lure Mike Trout!!! Bryce fostered a close relationship with Mike Trout and his long term presence and salary really help the Phillies to go all in for Mike Trout!!!

      I love the signing and I love the possibilities even more!!

  27. Jayson Stark had a good article about Jayson Werth and Trout in the Athletic. One of Werth’s responsibilities was to mentor the young phenom, and Werth said “he gave it to him good. There were times I am sure he wished I was dead.” Also, Werth said there is no place that does winning better than Philly. It was clear that he gave Harper a lot of good views of the city and its fans, and did not mince words, that when things go poorly, and they always do at some point, Harper will get booed. But, did not seem to make a big deal out of it. “They booed me, that’s for sure, but it wasn’t like JD Drew or Scott Rolen. Or, when Barry Bonds came to town. They really hated him.” A very good article, and Harper seems genuinely pleased to be here, aside from all the $

  28. Bryce and Rhys should be the heart #3 and #4hitter) for all the games with Bryce hitting #3 or #4 depending on the opponents SP. JT should be #2 with Segura leading off. Kapler can put Cesar at #9 but he should not be leading off anymore.

    SS Segura (R)
    C Realmuto (R)
    RF Harper (L)
    1B Hoskins (R)
    CF Herrera (L)
    LF McCutchen (R)
    3B Franco (R)
    SP Pitcher
    2B Hernandez or Kingery

    Depending on the match up, Bryce and Rhys can swap as #3/#4 and Doobie and Cutch can do the same as #5/#6.

    Segura, JTR and Cutch are professional hitters who had success in the past. Kapler should be screwing around with the hitting line up anymore.

    1. Who had the highest OBP (prior to his broken foot) for the last three years? That would be César. That’s why he’ll lead off.

      1. @Murray – Cesar is a good player on a bad team so pitchers work around him to get to the weaker batter. Cesar is now one of the weaker batters so he’ll fall down in the batting order.

        If Cesar is that good then Klentak should be able to trade him easy but i never hear any rumblings that any GM is interested with Cesar. And let’s not forget that Cesar sucks in the base paths and Segura-JTR-Harper-Hoskins do not need those boneheaded plays in front of them.

        The Phillies acquired legitimate bats to improve the offense. Let these legit bats hit in the top of the order, Cesar and Doobie should go down in the order.

        1. Segura-JTR-Harper-Hoskins-Doobie-Cutch are better hitters than Cesar and they are probably smarter in the bash paths too. Those are 6 legit bats that can produce runs so Cesar should not be hitting in front of them.

          Cesar can hit #7 but #9 is more suited for him. With the pitcher (who bats #8) out, Segura and JTR should be able to move him in the base paths and set Harper and Hoskins for the base clearing bombs!!

        2. Shame you go the route of putting down Cesar. He puts up good numbers, leading off on a bad team for years. So your statement he is a good player on a bad team. holds no water. Its harder to walk when you dont have power. with a bad lineup behind like has done. Kingery is the most overated player, who people keep wanted to replace him,

          1. Welcome back roccom, Cesar need you more now that he is no longer one of the better hitters in the team.

            “good player on a bad team” — Cesar is a good player but the (old) Phillies is a bad team so what’s wrong with that?

            I did not put Cesar down as a player, I only put him down in the batting order. Cesar is possibly the #7 best hitter in the squad so it is wrong to put him down in the batting order?

  29. Does anybody have subscription to Baseball America? I read that Logan O’Hoppe made the Top 30. BA values potential/projection in their rankings (same philosophy I apply) so I’m curious to see if there are other low minor prospects that made the list.

    1. I would think then they must have three catchers in the Phillies top 30….O’Hoppe, Duran and also Marchan.
      I would think there are only a few MLB teams that would have that total number among their top 30.

    2. KK,

      BA ranked O’Hoppe at 12:

      Scouting Report: O’Hoppe is an advanced defender for his age. He has soft hands and receives the ball well, showing good agility and flexibility behind the plate. He also has a plus arm, erasing 33 percent of basestealers in the GCL. Known for his defensive ability as an amateur, O’Hoppe also hit well in his pro debut. He’s an aggressive hitter with a knack for the barrel. His swing is geared for loft, though his power is mostly to the gaps right now, with a chance for 10-15 home runs as he continues to add strength.

      The Future: O’Hoppe has quickly emerged as one of the most promising sleepers in the organization, with a chance for a breakthrough year if he can keep it up next season in low Class A Lakewood.

      1. Some other low A and below guys cited by BA:

        15 Kyle Dohy
        23 Marchan
        24 Nicoles Torres
        29 Dominic Pipkin

        1. 19 yo Nic Torres is my #1 2B prospect (#18 overall) ahead of Brito, Maton (is he’s a 2B) and Brayan Gonzalez.

          Nic Torres is the typical Sal A. kind of INF prospect – soft hands, good defense and solid contact ability.

      2. Thanks SWFL!! Would you mind to list the complete list – just the names and rank and not the scouting or so.

        Logan O’Hoppe at #12 is something that the Phillies should get excited about. On the time he was drafted, I saw scouting reports about the good arm, solid defensive position (balance) and advanced game calling. Looks like BA hit on all those good tools. The bat is really the surprise in 2018.

        1. KuKo…O’Hoppe at 12!
          Appears BA may be taking on the KLaw philosophy and reaching out for the high risk/ high ceiling prospects.
          To have him 11 spots higher than Marchan and I assume Duran, who apparently is not even in their top 30, is very intriguing..

        2. KK,

          Here it is. Note Grullon all the way down to 30, below O’Hoppe and Marchan.

          1. Bohm
          2. Luis Gacia
          3. Adonis Medina
          4. Adam Haseley
          5. Romero
          6. De Los Santos
          7. Howard
          8. Suarez
          9. Morales
          10. Moniak
          11. Eastman
          12. O’Hoppe
          13. Llovera
          14. Castillo
          15. Dohy
          16. Edgar Garcia
          17. Warren
          18. Listi
          19. Irvin
          20. Duran
          21. Brito
          22. Ortiz
          23. Marchan
          24. Torres
          25. Seabold
          26. Gamboa
          27. Vierling
          28. James McArthur
          29. Pipkin
          30. Grullon

  30. Major development between MLB and players union: close to agreement including 26 man roster and only 28 in Sept.

    1. That could keep Nick Williams around much longer, despite his 3 Ks today. Or Cozens, for that matter….

  31. MLBTR just posted their 2019/2020 free agent power rankings. My targets would be:

    1 Gerrit Cole (another Boras client)
    2 Chris Sale (if his demands for yrs is reasonable)
    3 Zach Wheeler

    If we can add one of the above alone, that should be a good off season. Not sure at this point which trade scenarios will be at this point.

  32. Did anyone see the Phillies game today vs the St. Louis Cardinals, and if so did you see the play when Mendoza of the Cardinals, who had reached first on an infield single to third base, scored from first on a single to right-center? Evan Mendoza is a great prospect, but I think he has less than 6 stolen bases in the past 2 seasons combined. Great base-running or questionable outfield arm strength or??????

    1. Mendoza was on second base…remember the delayed steal he did on Butera.
      As for arm strength from RF….yes it was Haseley and he bounced it and coughed it up.
      So let us put him down as a bust of an OFer.

      1. Thanks, Romus!!! I did not see the game – just saw the play by play via internet, and that PbP did not list the steal. It also wasn’t possible to see from what was written which fielder would have thrown in from the outfield. Thus, it looked from what was written that Mendoza scored from first on a single to right-center. Thanks again!

      2. That throw form Haselely was horrific. I gotta assume he lost grip, thought it was to go the cut off man… something, because he was in the middle of RF, and his throw didn’t reach the infield dirt (or just barely).

  33. To expand on 8mark’s mention of Williams’ three Ks,
    it was same old Phillies today against the Cards.

    Flaherty dominated them today, just like he did in the
    game he pitched versus them last season.

    Seems like when guys come to Philly, they tend to
    not be able to put the bat on the ball.

    I sincerely hope that when the season begins, the guys
    aren’t swinging and missing so much.

    1. 16 Ks by Phillies batters. Ouch!
      19 balls put in play (10 outs, 8 hits, 1 StL error).
      Knapp also Kd 3x, beside his 2 bagger. Cutch and Segura Kd 2x. That’s 10 Ks among 4 batters. But yes, Flaherty has our number. And how about Hicks! 4 Ks in one inning when Nicky Dubs whiffed on a wild pitch and reached 1b. Let’s clean up these ABs, gentlemen.

      1. It’s early in ST, they’ve been hitting pretty well up until now. The lineup was missing Harper,Realmuto, and Herrera, And Cehe. They’ll be fine, but yeah … I saw an inning or two, and the cards pitcher was dealing for ST.

      2. Knapp’s hit was HR and would have been ruled that if they had instant replay for review.

  34. In case anyone missed Bryce Harper on the radio this afternoon. He had his first walk off HR as a Phillie when he ended the interview with this little gem:

    Fun times ahead for Phillies fans !!!!

  35. Haseley has a good arm. I don’t care what happened today. Romus, I think you are still upset over the whole Haseley/Utley thing. I knew what you meant, so shrug off the criticism. I see Haseley as an All Star Iron Pig this year.

    1. Matt Romus always was like that. When he and my dad went to southern in 1956, my dad told me romus would be upset for days. if he flunk a test

  36. Scott Boras to John Middleton: “You did a great job. You’re a patient SOB.”

    John Middleton to Scott Boras: “You’re a tough negotiator is what you are.”

  37. I’m thrilled that Harper signed with the Phillies, yadda, yadda, yadda. Has anyone noticed that the Phillies have the best record in baseball (7-2-2)? In eleven innings, the Phillies regular starters have given up one earned run (Eflin). Tomorrow will be Velasquez’ first start, followed by Eickhoff, but I’m guessing. If you watched today’s game, I hope you stayed until the end. The Phillies got three consecutive singles with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to win it 2-1. All of this is without Harper, Hernandez, and Herrera in the line up.

  38. VV has been seeing a Sports Psychologist. I hope it helps him the way a Dr. Dorfman helped a guy they called Doc. VV has terrific stuff, and he seems to know that the mental part of Pitching is what he has to improve. Kudos to him, and I hope it works.

    1. I’ll always be rooting for anyone that seeks out help, especially of the mental variety. It’s really, really tough to admit we can’t do it all on our own.

  39. Don’t look now, but LAA has the most wins in ST, 2 extra games than Phillies though.

    Per espn, the Angles were not to happy with our new boy Bryce Harper’s comments. O well, it’s going to happen, LAA is not resigning him imho.

    Onto other non BH/MM/Trout topics:

    For those for signing a FA starter, today maybe significant in terms of looking at alternatives. The best pitcher from the 2016 staffs pitching a simulated game today if my understanding is correct. Will see if the injury is behind him. Of course I’m lobbying for Eickhoff, but I’d easily take Irvin, DLS,Saurez to start the season and to see how it goes in the #5 spot. My logic, the teams offense vs their opponents #5 should give enough lead for anyone of those pitchers enough leash to be successful. Unless they pull the old Cole Hamels run support syndrome, I say wait till the deadline, reassess, and save the payroll space until needed

    I’ll drop this plan if VV comes out dealing, into normal starter innings 6+, and doesn’t fall out a cliff in the 2nd half. I’d be happy will all those outcomes if the rest of the team is doing their part

    1. I don’t see anything significant happening until the deadline. There should be more and better options available. Plus the centerfield and 3b situations should also be much clearer by then.

  40. If Keuchel hangs around much longer, and he takes a 1 yr or 1 plus option deal, I see us in on him. He can still pitch, we have a much improved fielding team, and I can see that. A multi year deal, I don’t see.

    1. @Matt13 – I agree, if Keuchel lingers around and amenable to a shorter contract, Klentak should snatch him.

    2. I agree. Don’t love him but he’s a good fit for this team on a 1-2 year deal. Have heard nothing but crickets on his market. NYY seem to have interest in Gio even before Severino went down.

  41. By position, these are the prospects I’m most looking forward to tracking in 2019…

    C Rafael Marchan
    1b Darick Hall (though it’s not a strong position)
    2b nobody stands out
    ss Luis Garcia
    3b Alec Bohm (though I’m not impressed that he’s a future 3b)
    OF Mickey Moniak (Haseley is currently the more sound prospect but for some reason he doesn’t move the needle for me, I believe MM has a higher ceiling)
    OF Carlos de la Cruz
    OF Matt Vierling
    LHP Cole Irvin
    RHP Spencer Howard
    Reliever Mauricio Llovera

    *Austin Listi may possess the best pure bat, but as a man without a position, so to speak, perhaps he factors in to either the impending 26 man roster or a trade chip to an AL club.

    1. @8mark – since you have Luis Garcia and dela Cruz, I assume you include prospects in the low minors.

      Here are my list of prospects to watch that you did not include in your list:

      C – O’Hoppe
      2B/SS – Nic Torres and Jake Holmes
      3B – DJ Stewart
      OF – Pelletier – Big Ben can be that hidden power bat in the OF
      LHP – Manuel Silva
      RHP – Francisco Morales, Ben Brown and Vic Santos
      Pen – Keylan Killgore

      RHP Waylon Richardson is the Phillies’ Rd 40 pick last year who did not play due to injuries. He is big and supposed to have a big arm as well. He’s ready to pitch in 2019.

        1. @8mark – LoL!!! I watched a lot of Medina in his LWD days and I’m already convinced that he has the “IT” factor so no need to track him anymore. I just can’t wait to see Medina pitching in red pin stripes and follow Nola — both have the same pitching repertoire – FB, CB and CU and both their CUs are NASTY!!

        1. @JimP – you’re correct, I noticed my error after I hit post comment. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to see Jake Holmes development. I do believe Holmes has some sneaky power with good arm and speed.

    2. 8mark I am interested in your comment. MM has a higher ceiling. How did you come to that ? I see a overmatched player. but I am not a expert.

      1. Roc, I realize it hasn’t been pretty, but Mickey has shown flashes that tell me it’s a matter of when it all clicks and he settles into his game. No science. Just my gut.

      2. Rocco he is 21 he’s a 1:1 what you’re seeing is a kid who is desperately trying to live up to that.

        he’ll be fine….

        That said (more fun with comps) when I see him he reminds me of Von Hayes

  42. I’m just hoping Cutch has something left in the tank. Career OPS by position


    Obviously JT is going to be above that in our park he was 825 last season. That right there is better than what Boston OPS’d last year and they were the highest OPSing team in all of baseball.

    1. The team OPS is why I leaned and eventually favored BH over MM. The biggest bump to the team came from adding Harper vs MM replacing Franco. Defensive metrics are another story but,this team should rake and score runs at a per game clip we haven’t seen in awhile. Aiming for 5.5 r/g avg. The offense is on par with 2007-2012 ,the good years. Pitchers need to give up less than 5 runs a game and will be in good shape with this offense

  43. Harper took Eickhoff deep in a simulated game. Off that curve ball to boot :). Hopefully Eickhoff is through his injury and can get in the mix for the SR.

    Saw Bryce brush off the Philly media too, looks like he wants to trout comments to die down. Clarke almost got the clown question treatment imo

    1. Manfred has probably informed Boras and Middleton to quell the boy down a bit….had to do that with the Yankees/Cashman when Judge started talking up Manny Machado to the Yankees.
      I suppose he does not want a NBA thing going on within baseball.

  44. rocco……Roy Halladay’s wife tweeted this.
    Mar 5
    I’m never on Twitter but this was worth the retweet! Love my boy! So proud of his hard work and determination. Can’t wait for Penn State baseball!

  45. Blue Jays are wearing their hitting shoes today. Phillies better get all the married men off the field.

  46. Joe Giglio already has the seven Phillies pitching July deadline targets already in place:

  47. Phils interested in short term deal with Keuchel and he has also talked to Houston about any interest.

  48. Walks are killing Ranger Suarez and Austin Davis this ST. All the free passes (BB) they gave have reached the home plate. Ranger gave up a lead off walk and it scored. Davis gave up back to back walks and it scored by an extra base hit! 3 runs gave up today that could have been avoided. It’s ST and early in the season, so command should only get better.

  49. VV going 1 inning in a ST start? Will give him more leash obviously, but already eyes are on him for his tendencies to pitch short outings

    Mickey Mo Head of Haseley so far in early ST stats, will see if it continues

    Walding with 3 walks today.
    Cozens cooling down a bit, he did SO twice, but did walk. Looks like his walk to SO rationis improving

    Various reports of Phillies payroll for 2019. I’ve seen 186,000,000ish all the way down to 156,000,000. Looking to verify correct total. Big difference imo. If it is 156m, offer Kimbrel a 2 year 15mil AAV, see if he bites. If he does, I’d say that leap frogs us over the Nats, with the deadline additions still possible.

    Sorry gents, I got Phillies phever pretty bad these days

    1. Eflin will emerge as the 3rd best SP and move Vinny NomoreVelo to the pen (if he’s not traded) this year. Pitching 1-2 innings will help Vinny gather the command and velocity of his pitches.

      1. Kurdt If Elfin is our third starter, we wont win a world title, sorry but he lacks the stuff to be a three,

        1. Why? We won one with Myers/Kendrick/Blanton as our 3. Eflin can and has been better than any of those three.

            1. in 2008 or in his career? Because either way, no.

              Myers had exactly two years with the Phils with an ERA below 4; 2005 (3.72) and 2006 (3.91).

              Career stats:
              4.25 ERA, 4.41 FIP, 7.26 K/9, 2.93 BB/9

              Stats in 2008:
              4.55 ERA, 4.52 FIP, 7.72 K/9, 3.08 BB/9

              Zach Eflin in 2018:
              4.36 ERA, 3.80 FIP, 8.65 K/9, 2.60 BB/9

              So Eflin, even with his slowing down at the end of the year, was better in every regard than Myers was when he helped us bring home the championship. Now imagine if he doesn’t slow down at the end of the year.

              Also keep in mind Myers was 27 in 2008, smack in the center of his prime. Eflin isn’t yet 25, and may still have his best work ahead of him. He could regress or suffer a career-ending injury, sure. But he’s already shown he’s capable of being better than Myers was (because he pitched better than Myers did), so I’m eager to see what he shows us.

            2. unreal you want to compare a guy who has who at age 25 had 54 win, with a guy who has 14 wins. amazing. get back to me when he reaches 54 wins. at age 25

            3. Can’t reply to your newest comment, so I’ll do it here:

              Wins are a horrible stat for evaluating a pitcher. You need to look no further than last year when DeGrom won 10 games with a 1.70 ERA. ONE POINT SEVEN.

              Also, by your logic, since Eflin won 11 games last year, he’s better than DeGrom. I think we could win a WS with a #3 that’s better than DeGrom.

          1. I’m of the opinion that Eflin is the best of our backend guys and expect a breakout.

            1. @roccom – your logic is flawed. You have to look beyond just one stat. Also Brett Myers pitched for a Phillies team with an offensive juggernaut led my Howard, JRoll and Chase. Eflin pitched when the Phillies offense is putrid and their defense is terrible!

              Howard-JRoll-Chase and others can bail Myers any game while Cesar-Doobie and Franco can’t do that to Eflin.

        2. @roccom – everybody in this site knows that Eflin’s stuff is current for a back end starter. My post is a statement of possibility and not a statement of fact — notice that i use “will” (in all honestly i should have use “may” instead). So for Eflin to emerge as the 3rd best pitcher it means that his stuff needs to improve —- the breaking ball and CU in particular,

      2. Couldn’t agree with you more. He was the best pitcher in all of baseball for a month last year. That shows his potential to be a really good pitcher, when all is said and done I think he’ll be a solid 3 for as long as he can start healthy. People are forgetting that his fastball was in the mid 90s last year.

        1. EricD…after Kapler sent him down to LHV, at the end of June for some administrative reason that slips my memory now….he did not come back the same.

    2. A free agent signing here and there….Keuchel, Kimbrel, Gio….that’s about it, might affect things but if I’m predicting the division races, it looks to me like this…

      NL EAST
      Nationals (rotation, solid young core)
      Phillies (WC, need a season to gel)

      Cardinals (win tight division by a hair)
      Brewers (WC)

      NL WEST
      Dodgers (nobody in rearview mirror)

      AL EAST
      Yankees/RedSox (toss up to the final wknd)
      Rays (WC)
      Blue Jays

      Indians (not a great club, by default)
      White Sox

      AL WEST
      Astros (ditto LAD)

      1. The NL is tough this year. Not only is the East a beast, but the Central should
        Be tough with the Cubs possibly finishing 3rd.

        I’d put the Braves over the Mets. I’d expect the Mets to have their typical injuries, malfunction even after their additions.

        Pirates,Giants, Dbacks, Padres,And Marlins are going to be the whipping boys of the NL, probably toss in the Reds too. Some
        Of them improved, unfortunately for them the bar also moved.

        For the Trout catch let’s hope the A’s can make another run to keep him away from the postseason for another year, feel bad but thats one of the few things that could derail the train back home imo . Even then I’m still not even sure it could.

    3. Tac – Glad to see someone not writing about two years from now (you know who).

  50. Back to back days of 16 Ks. I could feel the swing and miss breeze all the way here in West Palm Beach.

    Actually, it was a windy cool day here. Rode my bike the two miles down the road to watch the Astros-Marlins game.

    Houston played 7 regulars and Miami brought about 3 starters because it was a road game and a split squad.

    Trevor Richards started for the Marlins. He’s pretty good! He has really good command and his FB sat 90-92. Has a nice CU.

    Houston feasted on Miami’s bullpen but the Marlins are a scrappy bunch. They probably won’t win much but they’ll compete.

    Driving up to Jupiter tomorrow. Hoping that Alfaro catches. Phillies coming here for 2 games. The first time here in ten years.

      1. They have simple layer stat projections too, if you click on the teams. For the Phillies , I feel Realmuto’s project is way lite. Took a look at some other teams, one being the Angels, and about old buddy Bour looked lite to me.

      2. It’s surprising to see the Red Sox projected for only 92 wins, even if their record last year overshot their runs scored/allowed differential. They won 108 games, but the run differential would suggest 103 wins. But that’s a far cry from 92 wins.

  51. Jim – any early impressions from minor league camp? I know everyone is there now, except for the guys still in big league camp. Games start next Wednesday I think. Guys will start getting send down this weekend

  52. Given their new love affair, It would not surprise me if the Phillies bail out boras with a 2 yr deal with a team option for a 3 rd for Keuchel at maybe 18-20 million a yr.

  53. I know he’s busy with overseeing the on the field activities/games in ST, but did anyone find Gabe Kapler’s absence for the Harper press conference a bit odd? He’s been present at past major intros like Arrieta’s last spring and Nola’s extension a couple weeks ago.

      1. Just thought one afternoon out of 6 weeks of camp he might have Thomson manage the game like they do on split squad days. Guess it’s nothing to be alarmed about. Just thought it odd on an historic moment for the organization, that’s all.

  54. Kingery in CF today vs NYY. Split squad vs Det with Moniak-Haseley-Cozens in the OF.

    1. I know it’s way early, but I’m pretty concerned about Kingery. There’s been a lot more swinging and missing at hittable pitches than I would expect. Sometimes I wonder if, like Alex Gordon, he could really benefit from a month or two long stint in the minors, just to regain his confidence and get into the zone – assuming he doesn’t right the ship during spring training. Something just seems really off. I think maybe he’s just trying too hard rather than letting the game come to him. I certainly don’t think it’s due to a lack of effort – he’s a super motivated player. But then again, so was Cody Asche.

      1. Catch didn’t you watch him play last year? Kingery cant hit a fastball. I could see him striking out on breaking balls ,But this kid was missing fastballs all year
        .Yet people want him to be our second basemen over cesar. amazing

        1. rocco…I think KLaw had Kingery as a a first round pick back in 2015…in the mid-20s somewhere…Phillies go him at 48.
          The trouble seems to be his swing and the lift he wants….until Reading he was a less than 15% k rate guy….all the way back to Arizona in his first three college years….then he got power in Reading.

          1. Romus I always say, you have to see a player, You cant just go on minor league number. Sometimes they help but a lot of times you have to figure out, How many times a week in the minors did he see guys who will be good major league pitchers. or guys who will ever get to the majors? I see a lot of triple a games. so many guys who cant break a egg, Have to be perfect to win. You could go weeks without seeing a quality starter or relief pitcher. so I take minor league numbers with a grain of salt. I Know on here its everything and that’s okay. but I want to see the guy play and who he is hitting against.

        2. I hear you and I’m the one pointing it out, but I’m a lot less fatalistic about his chances than you are. We will see.

    2. I have my concerns about Kingery as well. The Phillies are committed to him financially over the next few years. Klentak has done a commendable job thus far but the handling of Kingery last year has me scratching my head. I don’t like him playing anywhere other than 2b regardless of how adequate he may be with the glove. They need to “put him in a position to succeed” and that hasn’t happened. Square peg in a round hole, if you ask me. Which leads me back two years ago when Hernandez woulda-coulda-shoulda been traded. Look, I know Kingery hasn’t proven himself yet but the contract says they are committed to him. They apparently have made no such overtures toward Cesar, I assume, because they do not project him as their future 2b. I’m certain he would jump at the opportunity to sign an extension, considering the 2b market these days. So, what gives? CeHe is no longer a top of the order bat in THIS lineup. And now no one has an idea of when he’ll be back in action.

      1. In the couple of games this spring that I’ve seen Kingery, he has been disheartening. I think he needs to clear his head and regain confidence. I vote for sending him to LHV if he doesn’t straighten out this spring training.

        And I agree he needs to play 2B, though I suspect he might be getting used to the idea that he’ll play everywhere.

        I’m still hoping he’s our Dustin Pedroia.

        On another note, someone asked the other day about the emergency catcher. I’d like to know who that might be, too. Any thoughts?

        1. Nobody who’s currently on the 40man roster. I don’t see any names among the non-roster invitees as likely candidates to even go north at this point.

  55. Great article by Matt Breen on speaking of the most underrated player in Phillies history, Bobby Abreu . . . worth a read.

    1. He was a great talent to be sure and had a number of great seasons. But he’s a polarizing figure because the fans always sensed (with some justification) that he didn’t always go full-out – a cardinal sin in Philadelphia sports. He also was not a leader – so much so that Pat Gillick shipped him out for almost nothing in return just to get him out of the clubhouse and, against all odds, the moment he did that, the franchise, while losing an elite talent, improved and got on track. But man, was he ever a great hitter. You can’t argue that and his counting and WAR numbers are just outside HOF consideration. He was an excellent hitter and very fine player.

      1. And then he goes on to go to the playoffs in 3 of his 4 seasons (as a full time player) after leaving Philly. It says that one player doesn’t make a team. The Phillies just weren’t a playoff team yet. But you called him elite, thats fair enough for me.

    2. He was very good for the Phillies, borderline … possibly HOFer. His numbers certainly surprised upon a deeper look. Always knew he was good, but didn’t realize how close he could be to the HOF. Loved his use of the whole field, wish players could still do that vs swinging for the fences. Not to knock him, but it was weird how to the team took off without him. I wouldn’t say he was lazy, undedicated, but he must not of been a leader. He is in camp, hopefully busting bowas stones.

  56. SB Nation posted a pic (sorry I’m incapable of attaching) of the tee shirt which just dropped. It’s HARPER TROUT 2020 as in a political campaign banner. Yes, it’s only the beginning, folks.

    1. Just bought the hoodie and t shirt, will be perfect for sunday night baseball on opening weekend. Thanx for the info.

    2. ANGELS fans are going to love that… lol, part of me feels bad for them, but not to much since our long suffering fanbase will be the beneficiary. Plus it just a feel good story.

    1. NL,

      Human nature plays a role, I’m sure. When JP Crawford or Byron Buxton or Dominic Brown are unanimously touted as future stars, who wants to be he lone scout expressing doubt?

      Personally, I’ve doubted JP after having seen him play. I’m no scout but, so far, I’ve been closer in my evaluation than the consensus of experts.

      It reminds me of the book Boys On The Bus that examined group think among political writers following presidential candidates in primary elections. If everybody ran a story and you didn’t, your editor is calling asking why you missed it. If you run a story and nobody follows you, why are you alone? Are you sure you’re right?

      You can see the same pressures in sell-side equity analysts. None wants to be the lone analyst who pans XYZ Corp when all others extoll it, and visa versa. And analysts have the extra pressure of their compliance departments calling and asking why are you alone? And of sales expectations when investors run their trades through the firms of other analysts.

      1. I’m with you on Crawford, I was on top of the highest hills saying he’s not an all star caliber player nor is he even close to one. Fringe average at best . . . I feel the same about Kingery. The FO made a bad move giving him that contract, there was ZERO NEED to do that.

    1. Carlos Tocci – lol. The “before” picture in those old Charles Atlas ads. Let me know when’s put on 20 pounds, then I’ll take him more seriously.

      1. Here is more on Tocci.Obviously he did something in the offseason. He came back a little stronger,” Woodward said. “It’s eye-opening. If he puts on another 10-15 pounds, who knows what you have at that point?Obviously he did something in the offseason. He came back a little stronger,” Woodward said. “It’s eye-opening. If he puts on another 10-15 pounds, who knows what you have at that point? Obviously he did something in the offseason. He came back a little stronger,” Woodward said. “It’s eye-opening. If he puts on another 10-15 pounds, who knows what you have at that poinObviously he did something in the offseason. He came back a little stronger,” Woodward said. “It’s eye-opening. If he puts on another 10-15 pounds, who knows what you have at that point. Obviously he did something in the offseason. He came back a little stronger,” Woodward said. “It’s eye-opening. If he puts on another 10-15 pounds, who knows what you have at that point? It’s exciting to see development and how far he can go because he can really defend in the outfield.”

  57. KuKo….Drew Anderson looks like a whole lot different pitcher this year.
    I guess the new grip with the cutter is what is the answer.
    Heard, Knapp said he fund his command with it right away.
    That is a good thing.
    If he can carry this production thru six, into the seventh, innings once the season starts he could be a really viable rotation piece…..for which team I do not know but should be in the majors somewhere if the Phillies cannot get him into and spots.

    1. Yeah, i have the game recorded in my DVR and will watch later. I mentioned to @catch about the new high-80s Cutter that Anderson is throwing to compliment the FB and CB. Anderson doesn’t have the sink or movement in his FB so when he can’t carry the velocity deep, that’s when he gets into trouble. I still like to see the development of the CU, but if the Cutter is what making him successful as a pitcher, FB-CB-Cutter is a good mix.

        1. Romus my next door neighbor kid just hit a bomb for Minnesota. He might make the team as a undrafted free agent

          1. rocco….good luck to him….checked out his metrics….turns 25 next week and has good size, he may make it with the Twins. Though needs to make more contact…Ks at 28%

    2. Also, granted that the NYY line up did not include Judge and Stanton — 1H, 0BB and 6K in 3IP is good work!! I’ll the pitch count and pitch quality when I watch the game later.

  58. Based on the play by play, which is all I can see…. Drew Anderson doing great against the Yankees today. Does anyone know anything about McGarry – who had such an abhorrent stat line vs the Blue Jays yesterday?

    1. McGarry is mainly a FB guy with erratic control. He throws at mid-90s (can touch 96-97) but his secondary pitches (CU and Slurve) are below average. Poor command and no secondaries will not give a pitching prospect a bright future.

  59. Man, where were the bats today? 4 hits in each split squad game. And double figures in Ks in both games? Pitching pretty effective with exception of Arano’s one inning vs NYY.

    1. Arano is having a tough spring. From being squeezed out of the major league bullpen to almost certain to start in LHV status. Like Ranger, who issues BB that reach the home plate, Arano did the same today. All the batters that Arano put on base reached the home plate! I think it is more on command and ball location than actual stuff on why Ranger and Arano are having a bad ST. the command should normalize in time.

      I like Irvin, but he also need to develop a go to out pitch so he can limit damage when he’s on a jam.

  60. The only Met I ever remotely liked, Tom Seaver, has been diagnosed with dementia and has chosen to retire from public life, and will not appear at the ’69 Miracle Mets 50th anniversary this summer. Sad day. And a shame. Boy, he’s only a generation before me. Feeling old.

    1. How about Jon Matlack? He was a West Chester, PA guy who I watched pitch in High School. As an 8 year old, I got his autograph and walked around the neighborhood like Babe Ruth had just hit a HR in my honor.

      I mentioned this before on this site, but in my early 20s, I played volleyball against Seaver and Tom Selleck. What stood out to me about the two were how competitive they were. They wanted to crush their opponent, of which I was one. I liked the competition. I also like both men. We tried to catch up for a drink but they were going one way and my friends and I were headed the other. I’ll also say that Seaver was still pitching but not having the success he once had. He was playing volleyball to stay in shape in the winter. This was in 1983 and he turned his career around for a couple of years after that with the White Sox.

    1. Nice article on Willians Astudillo in today’s Wall Street Journal for those with a subscription. Discusses his contact skills and Everyman appearance.

  61. A lot of people are down on Kingery. I’m still optimistic, but that’s just my nature. In most of the comments that include the possible starting lineup, Hernandez is listed in the bottom third of the lineup. Why not Kingery? I know that Gabe likes his versatility, but I believe that will prevent him from reaching his full potential. I really believe in this kid. There’s a reason that the Phillies signed him to that contract before he ever played a game. They believe that he’s a “can’t miss” prospect, and so do I. He needs to play second base every day, and bat in that bottom third of the line up until he figures things out. If he continues to try to play this Super Utility role that Gabe has carved out for him, I think that you’ll see the same player as last year. When I advocated trading Hernandez in the past, it was because I believed that he had value, and he could bring us an upgrade on the roster. Now I’m advocating trading him because they need to make room for a future star. I fully expect a lot of pushback on my opinion, so let’s have a conversation.

    1. That’s your opinion. You are entitled to it, I Just see a really good player In Cesar. A guy who like a lot of other players makes a mistake sometimes. But a guy who gets on base hits for good average. okay power and a pretty good fielder. So far all that the mighty great, wonderful, superior Kingery has shown is speed. Since the first day he came up, all I have seen is get rid of Cesar, and let the next Rod Carew play, So far he has proven nothing, Yet its still get rid of Cesar., a career 277 hitter with a 358 obp. and last year he hit 15 hr, a big improvement for him, But I guess we rather have a strikeout machine take his place. I will never understand why he is picked on as a guy who will can easily replace.

      1. And he played the 2nd half hurt. Hernandez gets no love around here. I think he’s a world better than Kingery.
        Also they had a discussion on MLB Network some time last year about playing a new defensive position affecting your hitting . . Numbers didn’t back that up and they players they spoke to said it doesn’t or shouldn’t affect your hitting. I’ve always felt the same way, never understood why one would affect the other.

        1. Besides the ceiling and at this point only the potential of Kingery, have to think the driving force in the debate between the two, is the separation of age between Kingery and Cesar….4 years.
          If Cesar was entering his age26 season, ilo of 29, this year…there is no question he would be the man going forward.
          OTOH of the arguement, Cesar did not break out into the player he is now until three seasons ago…when he was in his age26 season.

  62. Since I doubt that we will resign Hernandez when he becomes a free agent, I assume Kingery gets his full shot at 2nd base in 2020

      1. @Wawa – if it is Cesar that you are referring to as “him” – it will be a coup if Klentak get something for him other than some low minors prospects as it appears that no GM value 2B that much unless its a legit All Star which Cesar is not. Cesar is the prototypical high floor low ceiling type of a player. Cesar can linger around in the league for another 7-10 years but I doubt Cesar can hurt the Phillies ability to contend even if the Phillies lost him for nothing.

        In this new era of the Phillies where they have legitimate bats in the majors and down in the minors, players like Cesar are expendable.

        1. I vehemently disagree with this statement: “I doubt Cesar can hurt the Phillies ability to contend even if the Phillies lost him for nothing.”

          Cesar was hurt last year. He has generally performed to a 3-4 WAR -borderline AS performance. That’s the amount of WAR the Phillies are expecting from guys like McCutchen. It’s a lot of value. Replace that performance with what Kingery did last year and you’ll find yourself out of a WC spot.

          Cesar is the most unfairly maligned currently Phillies player in the history of this site. He’s not a star, but when he’s right, he’s damned good and the Phillies need good players like that to make it to the playoffs.

          1. @catch – find a GM who values Cesar that way and I will change my mind. If Klentak said the same thing to sell Cesar to another GM, what do you think the other GM’s reaction will be? He just hangs up the phone and block Klentak’s number. Cesar is a good player but he is expendable.

            1. Also, a GM would rather have an elite player like Posey, Mookie, etc and some random guy who becomes hot like Cody Ross, Allan Craig and Steve Pearce in their line up to win WS. Players like Cesar don’t move the needle even by a lick.

            2. If you follow that kurt Hoskins is the most expandable . first basemans who can hit are a dime a dozen,

            3. Sorry, but couldn’t disagree with you more. He’s only slightly less valuable than Segura and if they dump him without having an equivalent replacement going they will likely be on the outside looking in when the playoffs start.

            4. @catch – do you understand that my argument is just moving Cesar down in the batting order and not to banish him from the team.

              And yes, I did say Cesar is expendable – and so is anybody in the team not named Aaron Nola, Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins and Nick Pivetta.

            5. Saying he is expendable doesn’t advance the ball and, in my view, is not accurate.

              They are a borderline playoff team and need all the above average and better players they can find. Kingery might replace him at some point, but if this year’s version of Kingery is close to last year’s version of Kingery, it’s going to cost them several games. Games they can’t afford to lose. So, no, I don’t see him as being expendable in any way, shape or form – especially not this year.

            6. @catch – you have your own interpretation of expendable. But the fact that the FO granted Kingery the contract and not Cesar, it should tell us how they think of both Cesar and Kingery. I’m not even implying that Cesar should be bench and Kingery should start. In most of my post I’m just suggesting that Cesar is no longer the best option to lead off and bat anywhere in the top and heart of the order.

              Yeah Cesar had good success in the past, but so are the new bats that Klentak just added to the team.

          2. Guys who get on base 37% are not expendable. Especially at the top of a lineup with legitimate bats behind them. On with deep playoff ambitions they should not be casually replaced by guys who have yet to show they can get on base 30% of the time.

            1. If Cesar is not hitting lead off, it means that he will be replaced by a really good hitter and not by some random player. Segura-JTR-Harper-Hoskins-Doobie-Cutch is a good top and middle of the order bats.

              Segura is better than Cesar, thus, the better lead off to be followed by legit run producing bats in JTR-Harper-Rhys. I can’t understand why people get offended by suggesting Segura to lead off and thinks that I’m trashing Cesar.

              IMO, Segura-JTR-Harper-Hoskins-Doobie-Cutch are better hitters than Cesar so they should hit ahead of Cesar. If I’m wrong about it, then I’m wrong. But don’t think that I’m unfair to Cesar.

              This is not the same Phillies with ToJo, Ruf, Asche, Galvis where Cesar, Doobie and Franco are the only MLB bats so they have to hit in the top at any game. Cesar and Doobie got their good high WAR because the team is full of marginal players and no better replacement are available, thus, “W”in “A”bove “R”eplacement.

          3. I can’t argue against the Cesar supporters. He’s a nice player. And in a stacked lineup he certainly can’t set them back in the 8 or 9 hole, to which he is better suited now. My biggest, and only real check against him is his history of mental mistakes/absence, especially on the bases. I confess having fallen in love with the profile that is Scott Kingery and his projection as our future 2b. So far it hasn’t happened. I also fell in love with Alfaro but resigned myself to letting it go once a better catcher was available to move the needle.

            Question is this, however – will Cesar be extended? I’ve gotten no indication from the brass that he’s a foundation piece, considering his tenure with the organization. 2019 will answer that question. I’m still bullish on Kingery due mainly to his personal makeup and apparent athleticism, and my hope isn’t just wishful thinking.

        2. With all due respect, kurt I hope your kidding ,Legitimate bats in the minors? yeah you see one in Kingery,.

          1. @roccom – i said “they have legitimate bats in the majors and down in the minors”

            MAJORS – I mentioned about Segura-JTR-Harper-Hoskins-Doobie-Cutch – 6 MLB bats that I think are better than Cesar.

            MINORS – Bohm, Garcia, Haseley, Marchan, Listi, Torres, etc. These prospects got good grades on their hit tool. While none of these prospects can play 2B right now, they can be use to acquire a 2B better than Cesar.

  63. MKs next big GM move is to find a way to turn an excess of outfielders, 4 or 5 starting pitching options, and relief pitching into an upgrade in the starting rotation

      1. Though I don’t love either at this stage of their careers, my hunch is the Phillies will sign one of them. Keuchel will eat some innings to better preserve the pen OR Kimbrel will shorten the game from the back end. It’s getting late and this is about the time someone blinks.

  64. Basically need to find a rebuilding team that could use Williams, VV, and maybe Irvin in a package for a starting pitcher better than VV

  65. the reason we were all high on KIngery is that we saw a ceiling that surpassed Cesar’s. We know what and who Cesar is. I don’t think he is maligned, I think he is an ok player who can be good at times. He does not play superior D, and doesn’t run the bases well. He does, however, get on base at an above average rate. Kingery has hardly outplayed him, and I don’t think anyone wants to just get rid of Cesar. We want someone to play better. I still don’t understand why playing better D and running the bases well is such a chore for Cesar, and things he just hasn’t improved very much. The FO clearly see Kingery’s future as a positive one or they wouldn’t have signed him to the LTE. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t benefit by more time in AAA. I hate seemingly knocking Cesar, who I like and give credit to for making himself a ML player, but he is not close to being an All Star.

    1. Remember Ted Sizemore? Exactly.
      He was the 2b on the 1977 Phillies team, a roster superior to the 1980 world champions in the estimation of many. My guess is Cesar will be as memorable as Sizemore in another 40 years. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

  66. How to Build a Starting Rotation

    There has been a lot of talk on here lately about the pros and cons of adding a LHP to the rotation, whether it be DK, Gio, or maybe even a trade for Minor, Ray, or others. It’s quite possible that one of those additions could help the 2019 Phillies, but looking at the Phils current rotation, free agents available, and farm system I would guess that this rotation is going to get better and better each year going forward so the focus should be on building a top line rotation for 2020 and the years beyond. Here are some thoughts on how to do that.

    The Current Rotation
    1. Aaron Nola – a true #1 today and for many years to come hopefully
    2. Jake Arrietta – probably not a #2 in 2019, and likely to regress going forward
    3. Nick Pivetta – not a #3 coming into this season, but has breakout potential to be a #3 or better. Also has the ability to fall out of long term consideration. A true wildcard
    4. Zac Eflin – not a #4 coming into this season, but likely to improve and be at least that by the end of the year, maybe better. Has a higher floor in my opinion than Pivetta, but there is a possibility he struggles.
    5. Vince Velasquez – a true high risk, high reward starting pitcher. Could become a #2 type starter if everything breaks right, or could be in the bullpen by May. Hard to say.

    The Current Farm System

    The Phils are loaded with high minors prospects that have the potential to become major league contributors. There is Delossantos and Irvin and Suarez and Romero and Eickhoff and maybe a little down the line Medina and Howard, and many others.

    Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez

    Here is the problem with these two potential free agent signings. I believe that 2 years or more for either one of them will ultimately take a spot from either a current rotation member or prospect that will be ready to contribute and provide lesser performance at a much higher financial cost and even worse, it will hurt the development of young pitchers. Here’s the real problem to me – signing either of them to a one year contract is risky because we are less than 3 weeks from opening day and they aren’t in a big league camp. Their injury risk is high. Their likelihood of starting off bad is high. And that start might be in late April or early May. My guess is by the time one of them is ready to start an MLB game this year, one of the pitchers in AAA will be performing at a level that the Phils would be better off calling them up vs inserting DK or Gio in the rotation.

    The Long Term Dream Scenario – April 2021
    1. A younger version of today’s Chris Sale – the Phils trade for a young, controllable ToR arm in 2019 or 2020 who is the 2009 version of Roy Halladay or the 2017-8 version of Chris Sale. Preferably a LHP.
    2. Aaron Nola – continues to be a great pitcher for the Phils, continuing his 2018 results
    3. Adonis Medina – all has come together and he is a young, dominant starting pitcher, a third ace in another year
    4. Pivetta / Eflin / Velasquez – just one of these 3 has to breakout and develop a strong career. My money is on Pivetta but I think an argument can be made for any one of them.
    5. Howard / Suarez / Romero / Delossantos / Irvin / Etc – Just one of this group has to make it and be successful.

    This dream scenario will not cost the Phils much but would look, in terms of results, like the 2010 rotation – 3 aces, and a #4 and #5 that are more like the 2’s and 3’s of most teams.

    So What Does This Have To Do With DK, Gio, and Others?

    I STRONGLY recommend the Phils let the current 5 start the year, and let the prospects pitch in AAA and AA until mid July and reassess the situation at that time. I suspect we’ll see Aaron Nola be a true #1, Arrietta look like a guy that will be a #4 or #5 in 2020, and one of the other 3 will breakthrough and be a core piece going forward. I suspect one of the other 3 will struggle greatly and move to the bullpen and be replaced by a AAA prospect that is dominating the IL and deserving of a chance to join the rotation. And I suspect one of the other 3 will be somewhere in between.

    I think the Phils should save their prospect and financial capital for when the 2009 Roy Halladay becomes available, whether it be July 2019, November 2019, or July 2020.

  67. Just read a good piece from Mike Petriello of regarding Keuchel as a unicorn – a good but not great pitcher who accumulated 200 IPs in 2018. If we got him on a 1 yr-high AAV/2nd yr vesting option, I would have to consider signing him. The argument against this is reasonable – allowing the younger arms to develop and come into their own. My argument – the window of contention is now, not 2 years from now. Keuchel’s ability to go deep would help keep the bullpen fresh. And while the pen is fairly deep, it isn’t flush with proven talent (ie Neris and Seranthony, as much as I like their futures). Neshek isn’t getting any younger and he is limited in his availability. I don’t care much for Hunter at all. Nicasio seems like a reliable arm but also like a trade waiting to happen. Right now, I can fully rely on Robertson. Kimbrel would probably come at a steeper price and more years than DK, whom I prefer. Just my 2 cents.

    1. In fact, I will go ahead and predict that the Phillies will sign Keuchel this weekend. There’s been no buzz about him lately except for HOU possibly re-signing him. The Phillies almost always come out of nowhere like they did with Cutch and Santana last year.

      1. Better chance of Kimbrel.
        Sounds like Keuchel is holding out for his big deal as he has rejected one and two year deals from the Stros

  68. Asking this question of Rocco Hernandez (I know they’re related somehow) or anyone else: When the Phillies signed Kingery to that contract, I believe he was coming off a spring training where he was tearing up the baseball and hitting everything. What the heck has happened to him?

    Also, I realize that McCutchen has been a star in this league, but my goodness, he strikes out a ton. That pitch down and in to him from a southpaw just eats him up. I never watched him play much but am I missing something? Is he going to be an impact player? I hope so. He cost a lot.

    1. I tend to disregard spring training results with veteran players. He’s a sound player, no longer a star, but with some strong leadership qualities. In other words, he knows how to navigate his ups and downs.

    2. McCutchen’s career K rate is 18%,
      …though last year it did spike a little to 21% from 2017’s 18%…..perhaps the down slope is picking up a little speed.

  69. I’m wondering. Will we see Seranthony pitch on back-to-back days in spring training? Will he pitch for longer than 1 inning in a game? Will any of Herrera, Quinn, Hernandez, or Hunter be ready for opening day? Will Gabe trot out a line up that resembles a major league line up anytime soon?
    Please, don’t get me wrong, I’m not being critical. It’s possible that the Phillies have already figured all of this out, and just aren’t sharing..

    1. @wawa – I expect that the MLB regulars will play regularly starting next week and the sending of non-40 prospects will start.

      I think everybody will be ready by the time Nola throws the 1st pitch at the start of the 2019 season.

    2. Wawa, Kapler may very well feature what is likely to be the opening day lineup today with Harper’s debut. Problem is, Cesar and Doobie are still out. Franco was the only regular who started last night’s game. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Kingery in CF again. Or maybe one of the kids like Haseley, Moniak and/or Cozens? Otherwise, Cutch, Segura, JTR and Hoskins should be out there Sat.

  70. A week after The Harper signing, and I’m still reading articles about “Harper wants Trout” Yesterday we found out that every news source in North America has reported that Kapler has named “Nola to start opening day”. Is this news to anyone?

  71. Wow! I got my wish. The Phillies are featuring what could be an opening day lineup (except for Walding at third).

    1. It’s a solid lineup and I think we could see Cutch bat leadoff at times, as he is today, especially with Cesar out. The 2-5 is set I think with Cutch bouncing to 6 when Cesar plays. It will be great to have an everyday lineup this year. The players like a routine. Now as for the bullpen roles……

  72. I find it interesting that Kapler looks like he going to be trotting a pretty traditional batting order 1-5, with Segura #2, Harper #3 & Rhys #4. Kap is a big analytics guy, and everyone always goes on about how modern analytics say the #2 & #4 slots are the most important. So why is he batting Bryce #3 & not #2?

  73. I know the mlb is working/deciding whether to ban the shift… my vote is to ban it. For reasons yesterday, A team signs a big FA, and the shift Is used to mimicry their offensive output. If that’s the case, the game will turn into all uppercut swings, Hoping for HRs or walks. I don’t think it’s good for the game, almost as bad as INT walking the teams best hitters 4 times a game

    1. I been watching this game for a long time. i Know if they ban the shift, move the pitcher mound. i am done. A good player learns to hit the other way. Banning the shift to make it easier for a free agent to hit. in my opinion is really bad. Some of the ideas i have heard starting a guy on second in extra innings. Making a pitcher have to face three hitters. dumb ideas, they will ruin this game. I am getting older maybe its just me. The new generation of people. want to punish the rich, ruin the game. like the nfl is doing. Watch the new league its great, guy really hit that is football.

      1. rocco…as LA said yesterday…after he heard about the mound being tested in one of the indy leagues, two feet further back to 62.6, they want to fundamentally change baseball.
        They want to make all these goofy changes…but legal supplements sold at GNC/Vitamin World/Vitamin Shoppe that people in gyms use all the time, are banned.
        So go figure.

      2. My interest in banning the shift is simple. I don’t want to see the top power hitters in the game spending their at bats trying to poke singles in the open part of the shift. I want to see them swing away. All sports limit defensive strategies to a certain degree to better the game.

        1. That isn’t baseball to limit defensive strategies. They will ruin the game. So now we base the game on I pay a lot of money to harper, you cant walk him he has to hit homeruns. You cant shift, he needs a big hole to get a hit. Why don’t we just stop the pitcher from throwing hard, just throw underhand , make the infields, not be able to move more than two feet to there left or right, and all the guys who played this game, will see there stats and records broken cause its too hard, amazing. its as I said its just me.

          1. Feel free to have your tirade, I’ll stick to my opinion that I’ve held long before Harper approached free agency that I’d like to see limitations on shifting so that the game becomes less about walks and homeruns

            1. sr nothing against you personally. i just dont agree with the way baseball wants to change; the game. everyone is entitled to there opinion

          2. What’s the point of having positions if you can play where ever you’d like to play on the field? I say if you shift, then all of the infielders need to be in the dirt, no shallow RF, your an infielder not an outfielder.
            In my opinion, you should have to have 2 infielders on each side of the infield . . . If you want to use an outfielder and have him play shallow then so be it. Baseball was fine for years without the shift.

  74. I do agree with you that some of these changes like moving the mound are crazy.
    I’m ok with a pitch clock and limiting shifts,
    People forget they have made drastic changes before. They lowered the mound after the 1968 year of the pitcher where offense and attendence were way down and Gibson had a 1.12 ERA

  75. Some cuts were announced…..Meina and Gamboa optioned to Reading..optioned, not reassigned, since they both are on the 40…a technical administrative transaction..
    Austin Listi , Mickey Moniak and LHP JoJo Romero,, catcher Deive Grullon and Malquin Canelo were reassigned to the minor league camp

  76. From a comment made to local media, Blake Snell is clearly unhappy with the ridiculous renewal amount of $573K which the Rays are paying him in 2019. That’s an embarrassment. This is where the whole pay scale system needs a complete overhaul. Promising, young legitimate talent should be paid accordingly while the aging free agents are seeing offers shriveling up like dried leaves. Right now, most clubs are simply not stepping up financially. But then again, Tampa is among several towns which have absolutely no business housing a major league baseball franchise. Fix it, Manfred.

    1. I do not see the system needing any fixing….except raising the minimum wage.
      As for Snell……I can see his argument by the mere fact he will be entering his age31 season in free agency and arb0-3 can still be tenuous as to salary.
      And he had a tremendous year last season.
      But… year does not make a Hall of Fame player….Snell has had just one good year of his first three.
      Put up another year and then he may have a case.
      Aaron Nola put up two consecutive plus years pitching…and even in 13 rookie year games had a higher WAR than Snell did in his 43 starts.

  77. With Adam Jones signing with the Diamondbacks for about three mill, does anyone think that the Phillies may have jumped the gun on McCutchen by giving him fifty mill over three years?

    They did the same thing with Santana last year and then needed to scramble to get the Mariners to take on his contract for Segura and Nicassio. Is McCutchen worth all that dough?

    1. No but I’m glad we have him. Based on talent I’m happy he’s ours. He’ll play almost every day, he’ll put decent numbers for a guy batting 6th, and he’s supposed to be a good clubhouse guy.

    2. I guess thats why when they asked him why philly, He said did you see what they are paying me.This was a big big overpaid, but its not my money

  78. In retrospect they probably over paid but he’s a solid durable player and the length of contract shouldn’t hinder their other pursuits
    Hard to complain about the performance of the front office this off season

    1. The Phils have actually played Cutch in CF a few games to see if he can at least play it in a pinch and I think the answer is that he can, at least in our smaller park. That’s bad news for Altherr and his chances of making this club. Quinn will open on the DL it looks like but Hererra should be playing by this next weekend and will likely be ready. Barring trades Williams will be the 4th OF so the issue will be who will have the 25th spot until Quinn comes back. I think it might be one of the IFs initially (Rodriquez or Gosselin). Altherr will be DFAed and then traded. Morgan looks to be headed that way too, losing his spot to Pazos.

      1. I actually think you see Williams get sent down to AAA. He’s the only one with options, not to mention AA can play all 3 outfield positions at an above average clip. I don’t think Williams would do well as the 4th OF. More suited for AA. Not a bad problem to have.

        1. Whatever happens, I really don’t see Williams getting sent down. He’ll either make the squad going north or be traded. He may not thrive as a 4th OF, but he has had success in the past as a pinch hitter. And having some pop off the bench is a plus.

          1. I agree. Williams may not be a big league starter yet (and he may never be), but he is no longer a minor league player and should not be sent down. Kingery, however, might benefit from a demotion. He needs to play and he needs to figure out how to control the strike zone and count.

  79. Thoughts on the latest shift (at least was aware), of course I’m referring the 4 OF configuration against Harper.

    A lot of implications for the game if this is allowed to stick. I hope we are not as divide on this as the DH/No-DH topic.

    How can teams invest LT contracts into players that can essential lot have doubles taken away, or turned into long singles? How does that effect their FA periods? Id imagine that is will cost players money and that they should be in favor banning the shift from traditional positions. How does it effect the stat lines for HOF candidates?

    I think this is a big reason why Kapler likes this players to
    Be able to play multiple positions, and the traditional positions may go bye bye.

    A lot of aspect go into this, and i really hope it doesn’t not stick. The last thing baseball needs is the chain reaction of the shift making lower scoring games, players swing for the fences at much higher rates, Lower player salaries do to decreases stats/analytics, and the death of the .400 BA… i mean …. .300 BA. call me
    Crazy but the shift needs to shift on outttaa here, no way fans want to see this imho, and not just because philly just boost their lineup. Boring as hell watching players hit into these shifts.

    1. Apologies, i hit submit before proof reading my “autocorrect.” Autocorrect is like reliving Burrell chase all those low and outside pitches for strike 3 all over again

      Hopefully you can decifier my post, point being … all the creative variations in the shift need to go… yesterday.

      1. Yes the outfielders should only stay in one spot, They shoulnt be allowed to move until the ball leaves the infield. They shouldn’t wear gloves either. Make the parks smaller. Use bigger ball to make it easier. Forget the records that the great players like ruth , mantle, mays and other set under the rules of the game. Let them use steroids, No more complete games, make the bases only 50 ft more hits, more offense forget great pitching. great defense.

        1. I think you are way overreacting. Baseball is having some big issues and it needs to adjust. Other sports adjust and change rules all the time and baseball has fallen behind by not making needed changes. The pitch clock is the easiest and biggest one in my view. It doesn’t change the game at all. It just makes it proceed at a reasonable pace. I also think shifts are problematic. As for distance from the mound to plate, that’s not one that I think should change – 60’6″ is just too sacred.

          1. I’m not a fan of the league creating artificial defensive alignment requirements but they can mitigate the impacts of the shift by simply imposing a rule that teams must have a minimum of 3 players stationed on each side of the diamond when a pitch is released. If the 2b wants to play shallow LF that is fine but the SS cannot be beyond 2b until the pitch is delivered.

            Beyond that, a pitch/play clock is an unfortunate necessity since the players seem unwilling to increase their own pace of play. The rest of the ideas being floated (change in mound distance, etc. are stupid gimmicks that attempt to appeal to the casual fan but will instead alienate the committed fanbase.

            1. 3up – I agree completely with your suggestion to have 3 men positioned on either side of 2B. The shifts will kill whatever offense is left – particularly for left handed batters. The pitching mound distance is also absurd – maybe lower the mound, but do not change the 60’6″ or risk alot of arm injuries.

            2. I kind of find it funny that there are actually those who are against banning shifts as this is a phenomenon that is only a few years old so banning it would just make the game look the way most remember it.

          2. Pitch clock is no problem. Your right if they make the changes like move the distance of the mound. no shifts. no four outfielders then I will just stay away, which is my choice. the game will go on, people will watch. I just wont post anymore on this subject. sorry catch

            1. Pitch clock is a no brainer, works well in minors, would also like to see:
              Limit of 2 warmup pitches by relievers. Heck they’ve been throwing in pen already.
              No manager visits to mound unless to remove pitcher.
              Reduce time between innings by 1-2 minutes. if we are sincere about shortening game lets sacrifice some commercial $$ also.
              I like expanding rosters to 26 men and reducing September roster size. The 40 man September rosters are ludicrous.

            2. No apologies necessary! We all feel differently about this. It’s fun for people to share.

        2. 4 OFers is 1 to many imo. If a player can’t split the gap for a double, I’m not sure who wants to see that for 162 games. Im not even a fan of the infield shift, but could live with 3 INF to either side of 2nd, max. Even that, to me is ruining the game baseball. Of course, players could learn the B word, but we have a better chance of winnng the lottery these days

  80. Back to Cutch, Yes we overpaid, but he is still a very good player, an upgrade for us, stays healthy, and I think, will have good seasons for us. Both offensively and defensively he will fit in very well, and is a quality person. I am very happy we have him and the overpay was not a big one.

    1. matt13…need a veteran like McCutchen come later in the year…last year’s veterans of Bautista, Cabrerra and to a little degree because of the absence due to the injury Ramos, just did not come around collectively after that first week in August to settle things down for the youngsters.

  81. I still think that Keuchel on a 1 year or 1 yr/option deal is a real possibility. I guess as long as he doesn’t sign anything is possible, but there doesn’t seem to be a long term market and we can afford a high value 1 year deal.

    1. Keuchels’ three teams in the hunt right now, are the Phillies, Astros and Brewers……I think the Astros’ may be a long shot, not sure he wants to go back.
      Since they picked up a cheaper alternative in Miley.
      Brewers have a need for a LHP starter since Miley is gone to the ‘Stros……my guess Keuchel and Miley will just have swapped teams in free agency, and Keuchel ends up in Miller Park..

  82. Hey guys, for ease of use can we move the current discussion over to the new thread which Jim opened earlier today? Thanks

    1. rocco…I think 8mark was alluding to the ‘shift’ when mentioning moving the discussion to the new thread.

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