Open Discussion: Week of March 18, 2019

The Phillies made their a few more roster moves during the week.  They optioned RHP Enyel De Los Santos and Edgar Garcia, LHP Ranger Suarez and Austin Davis, and 3B Mitch Walding to Lehigh Valley; reassigned LHP Cole Irvin and Tyler Gilbert minor league camp; and released 2B Emmanuel Marrero, 1B Quincy Nieporte, RHP Victor Sobil, 3B Jesus Henriquez, and 1B Edwin Rodriguez.

Major league camp has 48 players.  Note, of the 15 non-roster invites still in the major league camp, only two were in the organization last year – Matt McBride who resigned with the Phillies this past December and Adam Haseley, the lone prospect remaining among the NRIs.

Minor league camp now stands at 190 players – the original 181 who reported, plus the 14 optioned or reassigned from major league camp. minus the 5 who were released.

The 40-man roster stands at 40, the entire organization stands at 361.

This is 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:

  • 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)
3/15/2019 – Phillies optioned 3B Mitch Walding to Lehigh Valley
3/13/2019 – Reading released 2B Emmanuel Marrero
3/13/2019 – Clearwater released 1B Quincy Nieporte
3/13/2019 – Lakewood released RHP Victor Sobil
3/13/2019 – Williamsport released 3B Jesus Henriquez
3/13/2019 – Williamsport released 1B Edwin Rodriguez
3/11/2019 – Phillies optioned RHP Enyel De Los Santosto Lehigh Valley
3/11/2019 – Phillies optioned LHP Ranger Suarez to Lehigh Valley
3/11/2019 – Phillies optioned LHP Austin Davis to Lehigh Valley
3/11/2019 – Phillies optioned RHP Edgar Garcia to Lehigh Valley
3/11/2019 – LHP Cole Irvin and Tyler Gilbert have been reassigned to minor league camp.
3/10/2019 – Infielder Malquin Canelo, catcher Deivy Grullon, 1B/OF Austin Listi, outfielder Mickey Moniak, and LHP JoJo Romero have been reassigned to minor league camp.
3/10/2019 – Phillies optioned SS Arquimedes Gamboa to Reading
3/9/2019 – Phillies optioned RHP Adonis Medina to Reading
3/5/2019 – Phillies signed FA RHP Pedro Beato, assigned to Lehigh Valley
3/4/2019 – Phillies transferred INF Bradley Haslam from Military List to Williamsport
3/3/2019 – Phillies signed FA CF Miguel Tejada to an MiLB contract, assigned to DSL White
3/2/2019 – Phillies signed FA RF Bryce Harper
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

420 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of March 18, 2019

  1. Gabe’s comment about Segura taking more pitches this year made me puke. 300 average 3 years running. He wants to make him Kingery?

    1. Being more selective can help any player. It’s one of the things Kingery does worst–he has an out-of-zone swing percentage that is the highest on the team, especially at low and outside breaking balls. So he’s obviously not trying to make him another Kingery. How about another Utley?

    2. taking more pitches is not Kingery’s problem. Nor is playing different defensive positions as others have argued. Kingery’s issues were on full display during his at bat in the 7th inning yesterday.
      – 1st pitch: takes a strike on outside of the plate. ok. he doesn’t want to swing at a ball on outside of plate, no problem.
      – 2nd pitch: swings misses at a ball. it was a 90 mph sinker that the catcher catches off the dirt. it should be 1-1 but it is now 0-2
      – 3rd pitch: swings and misses at a 96 mph fastball that was above his belt. issue #1, the pitch was likely ball 2. so it should have be 2-1 but instead he is headed to the dugout. issue #2, even if he wants to swing at that pitch, then his inability to time up a good fastball is a repeated problem with him.

      Kingery’s issues can be easily explained:
      1. He swings at a lot of balls. 40% O-swing rate
      2. He is really bad at hitting fastballs, sliders and sinkers. Check out pitch values here https://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=17975&position=SS
      3. He has little power, so even when he does hit it, it doesn’t go very far.

      1. This analysis is excellent and right on the button. The stats confirm what our eyes see quite plainly. I am not getting ready to give up on him. But I think he has to go back to basics and rebuild his approach and he needs minor league at bats to do that as he’s not going to get enough PAs in the majors to work on his game to that extent. Just my two cents.

    3. Didn’t hear what Kapler said about him but hopefully nothing too eyebrow raising. One the one hand, players should always try to get better. On the other hand, you can’t make a player into something they’re not, especially veterans. If you don’t like a player’s skill set, don’t bring him in.

  2. It’s about time we start seeing the everyday lineup out there without the AAAA guys who won’t be going north. Only a week plus before it’s for real.

    1. Look towards Wednesday forward, after this Monday/Tuesday trip to the east coast. Guys will be getting at bats at the complex these next two days when the vets don’t travel.
      Luis Garcia and Marchan are going to make Lakewood a desired destination this year, especially if Ortiz repeats and Morales makes it there.
      Jim – hope you’re feeling better. See you next year!

    2. I’m a little more subdued on the everyday LU 8mark. MLB players are going to be MLB players. Org filler is going to be org filler and so on.

      Kingery is a really good 2B I hope he can figure out his swing.

      I’d love to hang out with Cashman and pick his brain: Tulo, LeMahieu, Bird, Voight, Frazier, Hicks, Gardner Didi and Torres. How is he going to fit all these pieces.

      1. DMAR:
        Frazier headed back to SWB it appears to get ABs and Wade stays as their 4th OFer.
        Tulo at ss until Didi returns…then who knows what.
        Assume Torres stays at 2nd
        Bird and Voit…..whoa not sure if platoon is in order.
        Hicks probably comes back before mid-April so more decisions to be made.

      2. That’s a great problem to have, DMAR. Trick is, with all that talent within the organization and naturally it won’t all move forward with the big club, how to redeem the value on the trade market. Cashman is one guy whose batting average in that regard is higher than most.

        My confidence in Klentak is growing. His biggest challenge right now, however, is identifying and developing the young talent. Aside from Luis Garcia (perhaps, since he’s still at least 3 years away) there isn’t a single position player in the system that we can say with any level of certainty who might be a starting player in the Show. And there is no probable SP who figures to be a TOR.

    1. I commend the Blue Jay for this. Just do what’s right why do owners have to be forced with a CBA…

      1. I suppose management wants their young prospects to stay hungry…..literally and figuratively.
        But the per diem at least, should be doubled or tripled for that matter.

  3. Matt Breen

    @matt_breen
    Bryce Harper went 0 for 3 today with a walk, a groundout and two strikeouts. He begins spring training 0 for 8 in his first 14 plate appearances. He will play in a minor-league game on Monday and play right field on Wednesday.
    4:06 PM – Mar 17, 2019

    1. I love watching games with my wife as she sees everything through a sobering lens. She’s not concerned about the 0-8 but the hair where did it go she said…

    2. Not worried about Harper. Timing is clearly off. Just want to see some daily continuity despite the ankle bruise. I’m more concerned about the pitching right now. We could be seeing a revolving door between CBP and LHV.

      1. @8mark – i agree with pitching particularly the BBs. As I noted in the past, our Phillies issued too many BBs that becomes a run. I’m not worried as much with Arrieta, but I like what I see in Nola, Pivetta and Eflin. The battle will be the 5th SP – Anderson has the leg up due to ST performance, but Vinny is probably in the top of the queue because of seniority. It’s a good 2nd game for Eickhoff who I think deserves the 5th SP than Vinny (who needs to move to the pen).

  4. As per Carlos Santana, some Phillies players (he doesn’t want to name names) are playing video games during the games when they are losing late in the season….

      1. Ha, one of the few times Santana actually swung a bat last season. Much of this is Gabe’s problem but yes they do need veteran leadership.

        1. Seems to have been a big thing league wide. The Blue Jays are changing their rules as well.

          This whole thing reminds me of the Red Sox earlier this decade.

      1. What an interesting comment in so many ways,… to me the biggest being that one would think that normally that type of uncommitted behavior could be counceled or coached successfully and not be an unrecoverable flaw.

      2. It was reported that Santana pertains to two (2) players playing Fortnite during game when the Phillies are slumping. We’ve talked about back in October about these 2 young players that seemed to lost the confidence of the management when these 2 young players did not get the playing time they need back then — JPC and Nick Williams. Is JPC also the one who started the table tennis tournament in the clubhouse?

        1. From combining Arrieta’a comments and Santana’s, I’d put my guess towards the starting rotation. I’d eliminate whoever was pitching that series opener against the braves with 2 games left (Game 159) Also I’d eliminate Arrieta, since he probably Not a Fortinite nut. From what I gather, this is temporary, and once the Santana’s and Arrietas end their career, video games will be a big part of the clubhouse/lockerroom
          Moving forward. These guys can probably even make money off it will some type of YouTube channel. It’s not going away imo, just slowed. I hope I’m wrong but I just don’t see it, all sorts of devices are glued to people’s hands these days, at all times of the day.

          1. Don’t think the problem is with playing video games in the clubhouse but rather playing video games in the clubhouse during the actual game. Doesn’t matter if it was starting rotation guys on off days or bench players.

            It’s not acceptable and is why having the right clubhouse leadership is important.

            1. Agreed. My suspicion is that it was an SP during an off day, playing during the game, taking liberties. Not cool in this day and age, but In the future, I think it will be very common, just from observing the youth today.

  5. I think Kingery is trying too hard. I also think he got some pretty bad advice this winter about swinging at more pitches. Yes, he should be looking to swing at good pitches early in the count – that makes sense. But he should do it the right way – expanding the zone as the count changes – not just hacking away. I’m concerned about his development.

  6. Sal A.’s main job is to look for baseball talent in foreign land. But I give him credit for the draft and signing of domestic talents from Long Island area – Fanti, Young, Brown and O’Hoppe.

    Big Ben Brown and Logan O’Hoppe are the 2 talents in the low minors that I will follow closely in 2019. These prospects have tremendous upside!

    https://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/phillies-prospects-nick-fanti-ben-brown-logan-o-hoppe-kyle-young-1.28598243

    1. I’m not so sure that this isn’t lazy reporting. I know that Sal has a baseball clinic or two in the northeast, but I asked two of the parents of these kids last year who signed the boys and they both mentioned the area scout.

      1. @JimP – it is the area scout who are responsible for the signing. But I’m giving Sal A. the credit for “finding” (thru his baseball academy and connections) these prospects not for “signing” them. Given that these Long Island prospects Day 3 picks, they are considered picks and Johnny A. still hold the weight in Day 1 and 2 picks.

      2. I believe the area scout also coaches and runs clinics in the area which has contributed heavily to the Phillies success in the area.

  7. While I have virtually no confidence in Velasquez as a SP going forward, I’m feeling better about Eflin. In fact he may have a breakout year. He and Pivetta may vie for the #2 man in the rotation. Arrieta will do well to give us what he did last season, which is basically .500 ball. Meanwhile, Klentak will be manning his radar for one upgrade come the deadline.

  8. I hope this will be the last time we’ll see Rodriguez, Butera, Plouffe, Petite, McBride, Ngoepe, Romine and the rest of the AAAA journeyman. Opportunities should be give to Nick (OF), Cozens (OF/1B), Knapp (C/1B), Listi OF/1B), Grullon (C), Kingery (UTIL) and Franco (3B).

    The LH pen arm is still shaky in the hands of Morgan, Alvarez, Davis and Pazos. Alvarez is possibly the best LH option as of now but I like to believe that Austin Davis will emerge as some point this year with prospects like Gilbert, Dohy, Singer and Warren moving closer to the big league.

    1. Eflin cruising so far vs the Red Birds in Jupiter, except for O’Neill’s 5th HR….90-92 velo but not sure about the gun there, using his 2Smr, a lot with plenty of sink.

      1. It’s actually a good sign that Eflin is working on another pitch this ST. Eflin’s breaking balls are developing very slowly and he is not throwing his CU with confidence. But he is hitting with his 4S FB particularly the high FBs.

    2. KK – I was hoping for a lot out of Pazos and Alvarez this year. While Morgan is serviceable, he’s too inconsistent. Remember that Robertson is lights out against lefties, and that Hunter is also effective against them. I think the bullpen will be improved, but I’m greedy. Sign Kimbrel!

  9. The biggest concern I observe from the position players this offseason is the K rate. Just today with bases loaded with 1 out, Altherr and Williams struck out consecutively!

    I believe that the regular starting line up of Cutch-Segura-Harper-Hoskins-JTR- Doobie-Cesar-Franco will exercise better plate discipline and will produce runs when situations give it to them. I hope not to see Alterr and Williams hitting back to back in the middle of the order.

    1. Barring any injuries to McCutchen and Harper, I would see no possible circumstance in which AA and NW would be hitting back to back.

      Offense looks weak at this point but these guys will produce when April comes. It would defy logic and all past performance to think this revamped offense wouldn’t put up comparable stats to the Nats and Braves.

    1. I like to see that. He is very high on my list to break through into the SR in the upcoming seasons. Medina as well. They are going to need another homegrown pitcher to step up during this championship windows, help prolong it. My money is on Medina and Howard.

      1. The best part of that line is “7K’s”. My only question is, did he labor like Vasquez? If not,very encouraging.

        1. Why would you think that? In 3 innings, he allowed 1 hit and no walks. So it’s possible, but seems very unlikely as that the model of an efficient game line.

          1. It’s kinda knit picking, but 7ks in 3 innings tells me swing and miss type stuff. I like to see that, as long as it’s not on a VV pitch load. The 1 hit is great as well. Obviously both … and well that is why a lot of us are excited about him. I’m confident this trend will continue for him, he has a bright future.

          1. You’ve a lot to be excited about, Mr Howard. Very bright outlook for Spencer. We’ll all be tracking him every outing this season.

            1. I concur. Spencer is my favorite pitching prospect. As Harry Kalas might sing… “high hopes”.

  10. I went to the Phillies game today in Jupiter. The last time they came here was in ’09 and I saw Blanton and Carasco pitch the two games. Got an SRO seat for $21 and was able to find an open seat in the 3rd row between the Cards dugout and home plate. There were lots of Phillies fans in the 7,666 people. Red everywhere for both teams.

    When I go to a game the where Phillies have traveled 3-4 hours to get here, my expectations are pretty low. They brought 2 position starters and 2 other position players from the main roster. But it would be nice to see these guys hitting the ball better than the non roster guys did in this game. It was a bit disappointing to write/say the least.

    Eflin is one of my favorite pitchers but he gave up a LOT of hard hit balls. O’Neill’s homer was a high fly ball but Goldschmidth’s tater was crushed. His HR came after a two out error by 2B Petit who booted the ball, had time to make the play, but then threw it past Plouffe. Then Goldschmidt homered. Doesn’t that make both runs unearned??

    Plouffe has such poor footwork at first. Might as well let Cozens get some innings over there. Another Plouffe blunder came on a ball hit to second. Plouffe went toward the ball but realized it was a mistake. Eflin assumed it to be the 2B’s ball all the way so he hesitated to first and got there too late. Fortunately, a hard hit DP got him out of it.

    The Phillies threatened a little but couldn’t get the big his (as usual). Second and third and one out and Herrera hits a weak grounder to 3B that is bobbled. Bases loaded only for Altherr and Williams to K. An inning or so later, man on third with one out and Hernandez and Herrera K. Thirteen strikeouts. Will they be better than this? Please, say yes.

    Sorry to drone on about a game most of you probably watched but like I said they come over here once every ten years. Tomorrow’s game in WP Beach will probably be rained out. A “bomb cyclone” is due in tonight and it promises to unleash a deluge. I guess I can expect the boys back in 2029. Maybe Harper will make the trip with them.

    1. ciada, if there are less than 2 outs, and a fielding error is followed by a HR, then the one run is earned. Otherwise both are unearned.

  11. Bryce picked up 2 hard hit singles through the right side in today’s minor league game. Still, good to see him smoke a couple.

  12. Check the box score, 8mark. They list 2 of the three runs to Eflin as earned. So they are wrong, correct?

    1. You’re right. He gave up a solo homer to O’Neill in the 2nd. And a 2 run shot by Goldy in 5th, with a baserunner who reached on an error with 2 outs….huh?? Don’t get that at all.

  13. Per MLBTR, SD and CLE are reportedly engaged in ongoing discussions about the Indians’ top starters. The Padres have a glut of young OF talent. So it seems a lot of late spring activity is bound to happen with 10 days before opening day.

  14. Phillies just acquired international pool money from Baltimore in exchange for minor league catcher Lenin Rodriguez. Didn’t see how much, however.

  15. I’m wondering. We’re in the late stages of spring training, and Drew Anderson is 2-0 with an ERA of 0.71. He probably will get 2 more starts, including tomorrow’s start against the Astros. Has he moved the needle for anybody else? Can he win a job? Can he beat out Velasquez (0-2, with an ERA of 18.00)?

  16. On a Minor League deal. I hope we don’t regret it. I still worry about the SP, and I worry a bit about the BP also. Eflin still gave up 2 HRs, VV has looked mediocre, if we are being optimistic, Pivetta has looked pretty good, and Arrieta I just pray uses his veteran savvy to pitch well. Not an inspiring collection in total. But, Mike, I get no sense that the organization does anything except send Anderson to LHV. I still want Keuchel and I am aware that he won’t be ready to start the year. If we don’t do anything, I am positive we will need Pitching in July.

    1. matt – If, and it’s a big if, Anderson pitches a great game tomorrow against the Astros, will that move the needle for you?

      1. Of course not. He needs to go to LHV and pitch well for six weeks and then I’ll think he’s turned the corner. Or Irvin needs to repeat last year’s performance. Or Eickhoff needs to find his 2016 self. Very risky any of this happens. And what if Eflin and Vinnie struggle?

        1. Agreed – he needs to build on what he did this spring, although it’s very encouraging. I was not impressed with him last year, but the stuff and command and pitch selection have all ticked up a notch and all those changes add up to what might be a much better pitcher, we will see.

        1. I wouldn’t say that, he’s had a great off season. However you don’t bring in veteran bats and decide to go to win now mode but not touch a young pitching staff full of “ifs”. Multiple “ifs” never all work out. As for Anderson, I agree that he’s looked great but it’s only spring training, against spring training lineups. He has to back it up now with real results when the season starts.

          1. Murray, normally id agree with you, but the Phillies are technically not in win now mode. Obviously they are in large part, but I can’t blame Klentak for holding off and letting the FO & managers see how all of the new additions will gel/fit together. I believe he thinks that some of the answers will come
            From within, and usually some players is a great surprise before the season is over. It’s year 1 of contention imo, I’d wait to see what they have and then make a move is necessary. If the move is not necessary, then the team gets a big boost imo. What if they trade for Stroman from TOR? I have a feeling he is on the radar.

            1. That is regardless off an answer coming from within their system.

              How do we feel about the rotation if Nola is a tick below last year, Pivetta steps up to be a #2, Arrietta slides to #3 with Efflin pushing him at #4. Plug in who you want at #5 – VV,Eickhoff, Irvin,Anderson, DLS etc.

              Now add stroman to that rotation, combined with the bullpen (now has VV as well) and a lineup that is supposed to rake at a high r/game avg. That would cap the 2019 campaign, setting the stage for years to come.

            2. I get not over spending for a guy like Keuchel, but a guy on the rebound like Gonzalez might have been helpful.

              That said, I don’t fault their strategy. They have 3 or 4 guys at AAA, anyone of whom, who could turn the corner and be a cheap solution. Otherwise, they are leaving themselves room to add a player and salary before the deadline rather than getting a guy who is expensive just “meh” right now. It’s a defensible approach.

          2. Murray – Klentak has had a great winter, but he’s betting his job (probably) on this pitching staff. I expect that he’s got a Plan B and C ready in case somebody disappoints.

            1. Wawa: you think Klentak is in risk of losing his GM position? If they year goes bad? I get the impression after the Harper press conference, Klentak is going to get a longer leash than that. It could happen but I’d be really surprised. I think he has at least two subpar seasons in a row or 3 meh season before he is canned. I believe Middleton is quite happy with him.

            2. His job isn’t in jeopardy now. Middleton thinks he’s a genius. Absent an epic fail – not likely – he’s bought himself at least another year or two.

            3. I think the owner loves the job that Klentak has done this winter. Klentak’s job is totally safe regardless of how the team does. He’s not responsible for performance interestingly enough. His job is to get the pieces together. It’s clear that management feels good about their young pitching staff and are probably hopeful that Eickhoff can make a return. If he could suddenly return to his 2016 form, that would be huge. How likely is that? I don’t know but he looked good on Sunday. They also are hoping that they can get something from LHV. There will be lots of talent there but who knows. I still think there could be a trade soon. Williams has value and won’t be happy on the bench getting 200 at bats. Altherr is a better fielder and probably a better bench piece, although not the pinch hitter that Williams could be. What can Williams get us in a multi player deal?

            4. Klentak is in no danger of losing his job short of committing murder, at least for 3 more years. Yes, pitching needs to be addressed, but the major league bats needs to cut down the Ks while the arms need to improve their BB rate. However, Ks and BBs are a league wide issue now with the way analytics has commonly shaped the strategic approach by coaching staffs.

        2. Vast sums of the owner’s cash can make anyone look good as a GM. Klentak’s prior off seasons were not that good. I hope our pitching staff can hold up but if not then he could be in trouble.

          1. Money’s got nothing to do with it; his two best moves were trading for segura and realmuto. The former because it got Santana out and Rhys back in, and the latter because he beat out at least half a dozen serious suitors for JTRs excellence. There is ONE position on the field in which the Phillies have the undisputed best player in the game, and that’s on MK–not Middleton’s cash

        3. Vast amounts of the owner’s cash can make us look like great GM’s. Klentak has had less than stellar prior off seasons. The only problem I see is the back half of the starting rotation which I hope does not hurt us this year. If there are big problems than Klentak could be in trouble. I truly hope that I am wrong about the rotation.

  17. Looks like today’s game against the Astros is going to be rained out. This past winter I advocated for the Phillies to trade for Mike Minor. Though the bullpen is much improved, I didn’t see anyone who could pitch two or three innings in relief, and be an emergency starter. Now I’m thinking that Drew Anderson might be that guy. With Arano and Edubray Ramos probably pitching their way off of the 25 man roster, and Hunter likely to start the season on the injured list, there’s a chance. Of course, I still want Kimbrel if a short term (2 years max) deal can be done, but he’s another late inning pitcher. We still need someone to come in and stop the bleeding in the 3rd or 4th innings when the starter gets injured or just doesn’t have it.

  18. I have faith in Robertson, SerAnthony and Neshek. Kimbrel would be a huge addition, but I wouldn’t go more than 2/3 years. I don’t have much faith in the lefthanded relievers. Morgan is still shaky to me, Alvarez hasn’t done much, and I haven’t gotten to see Pazos. Neris is a big if. His split is great, but he still gets hit hard on his FB. I know they are determined to give Vinny every chance to be a SP, so I am resigned to that. I hope the bats are hot early because I don’t want to lose early games because the SP isn’t good enough. I agree with Mike that I don’t see anyone I trust to pitch multiple innings. And, if we don’t get 6 innings out of Eflin and Vinny, we could be in trouble. We can’t burn out the top 3 RPs in April.

    1. Neshek is fairly reliable….but fairly available at 1 inning for only 3 or 4 games per week. We will be needing multiple innings guys in a big way, I suspect.

  19. I also share a concern with the current rotation. However, I don’t overreact by asking Klentak to signor acquire a SP just to make a move. I’m certain that Klentak is working behind the scenes to make improvements.

    On the FA side, Keuchel (who wants to be overpaid) is the only better option compared to what the Phillies already have. The fact that no teams grabbed Gio (who I brought up in the past as a target) and the NYY gave him a marginal contract, it means he’s not a game changer type of a pitcher. Sure, a small contract is worth a risk for Gio but since he will not be better than #4/#5, then Klentak should not sweat about it because the Phillies has a lot of #4/#5 in the roster and AAA.

    The trade market is a tricky situation. Klentak only tapped the farm in acquiring JTR and Segura so I will not blame him for not making any dent in the farm any further. If Klentak will go the trade route to improve the rotation, it will be a trade at the deadline where the trade return will be less prohibitive.

    Am I concerned with the current rotation? Yes, I still have some question marks. But the current rotation and SP depth is still good enough so the Phillies can keep up in the NL East.

  20. For fun … 2021 lineup… best part…. we are only missing 1 of the players on the list.

    CF – Haselely/Moniak
    SS – Segura
    RF – Harper
    LF –
    1B – Hoskins
    C- Realmuto
    3B – Bohm
    DH -Cozens
    2B – Kingery

    My years of suffering as a Phillies fan are finally about to payoff, it’s in the bag.

      1. And that’s why you dont sit around and wait for FA’s. Go out and field the best team you can. Every year.

        1. I view it a little differently. It’s why you don’t rely on signing any specific free agent – especially when that player is at least 2 years away from hitting the market. Mike Trout is gone. Nothing you can do about it. Trout’s contract is 12 years, $430 m – a $35.83 m AAV – and will likely be totally reasonable given his greatness.

        2. Amen to that. FA’s can get you over the hump but the path to championships is still with a home grown core and a few under the radar trades.

          I’m not right often enough to make a living at it but this was easy to see coming. It’s why I would have signed both Manny and BH.

          1. Exactly!! We had 4 years of Jeff francoeur and delmon youngs…. we could’ve been making smart, short term moves. We were sold on waiting for this offseason. It wouldve been great to land MM and BH.

            But I wont be a downer. I think this team is good and I’m excited to see how it all plays out

  21. Welp . . . that’s exactly why one free agent shouldnt be your end game . . . guess I can get rid of my Harper/Trout 2020 shirt.

    1. Man …. is hinkie ever going to be depressed when he steps off that cruise ship …

      I am stunned that it happened so soon … on a team buried under the Astros, and the A’s. Not even to mention that he didn’t test the market. I feel he left a lot of money on the table, unless him and his agent got very nervous about the changing landscape of FA.

      What a bummer … I literally was day dreaming about him in the lineup .. and boom, mlbtr hits me with a bomb. Well I guess I can focus more on work now

      1. I’m home. While this is disappointing, I can’t be blame Mike Trout. 430 million dollars goes a long, long way in Millville. I am a little surprised he is agreeing to the extension now (before Arte Moreno has taken any serious steps to upgrade the team around Trout).

        1. On the other hand, now that Trout is locked down, should things go really south for LAA in the AL west, (if Trout is still healthy and productive) there’s always the possibility that they could still engage the Phillies in trade talks at some point.

            1. That just means that Trout would have the ability to veto a trade, not that he would not accept one. Many players with full no trade protection have been traded.

              And for the record, I do not see Trout being traded by the Angels…

          1. 8mark, this is the really the only silver lining in this, but I think it’s tiem to move on. The Angels FO would rape and pillage our farm system for Trout, even with that deal. The Angels FO could bow command a deal of “:

            Nola,Hoskins, Realmuto, And quality prospects in return for Trout and his deal.

            Time to focus on Betts and Bryant

            1. Yeah, I won’t be holding my breath. Not that I’m adverse to trading prospects, most of our top ones being the non-stud variety. It’s just that it won’t be until a few years when Trout hits 30 and reaching his career arc that anything would transpire anyway. My focus was to acquire him via trade BEFORE the 10 year mileage begins to catch up with him.

              I’m officially in move on mode.

        2. Hinkie…I warned you not to be disappointed if Mike accepted it.
          But let us see what the entire contract entails….there may be an opt clause after the next four years from right now….that is what i predicted.

  22. That changes EVERYTHING as far as targeting future FA and trade acquisitions AND drafting bats vs arms.

  23. At least we can stop seeing the dumb Trout posts over and over and over again. Guess the allure of the hometown wasn’t a “given” like some thought.

      1. They were getting tired, the same stuff being repeated over and over and over again when we obviously have no clue about what someone is thinking. A lot of people made it seem like it was a lock.

        1. Eric, I think that is fair, but I by far enjoyed the optimism from the fan base for once. Really wish this would’ve happen next offseason so the optimism could continue in full strength.

    1. Kind of like the idea that Harper would never play in Philly because he wanted to be close to home.

      When you’re making $30+ million per season, it really don’t matter where you want to spend the off-season…

  24. KK – The Phillies signed a past-his-prime former Cy Young winner last season more for his leadership than anything else. I think that Klentak didn’t want to go down that road again with Keuchel or Gonzalez, Neither are major upgrades like Corbin was. BTW, I think that Gonzalez has an opt out on April 21st if he’s not on the Yankees, so he could still be in play a month from now.
    With Herrera back, and Quinn likely to start the year on a rehab assignment, we still have an extra outfielder. Cozens has cooled off, and Altherr has not impressed anybody. In fact their stats are amost identical. Cozens could start in Lehigh, but somebody will have to go when Quinn returns. This buys Klentak a little time.

  25. Even tho I wanted Trout, who wouldn’t . . . I think this will be an overpay and only worth it for maybe 3-4 years into his extension. The one thing I kept coming back to is how many games/innings are going to be under his belt come 2020 . . . he plays balls to the wall every game, there’s gotta be wear and tear. Lets move on and be happy that we won’t have 2 OF spots tied up until 2030 something.

  26. the trout signing has a big impact on our decision making because MK no longer needs to design contract signings around saving money for the 2020-2021 offseason when trout would have been a free agent
    maybe be more aggressive in the starting pitching market next offseason or during this regular season
    I want them to upgrade the rotation but the targets really should be guys who slot in at the top of the rotation
    I think they have enough options that they should be able to find 4th and 5th starters
    ideally the rotation would be

    NOLa
    new TOR starter in trade
    arrieta
    pivetta
    efflin

    VV to bullpen or in trade
    madision B from the giants is a guy to watch and target as the giants are going to realize they are in total rebuild and aren’t going to sign him in the office
    he checks all our boxes
    age ( he’s only 30)
    Lefty
    awesome postseason experience

  27. Few thoughts on Trouts kick in the nuts contract/extension:

    It has no opt outs. Which is crazy. He must really believe in the Angels organization. I don’t but I’m biased obviously

    Secondly, we know Trout and Harper were talking during the off-season … and I have to wonder if LAA was a mystery team for Harper, with Trout’s “Well???” Tweet directed to Harper after the first Vegas meeting. Was Trout trying to recruit Harper?

    3rd… one of Harpers big reasons for signing a no opt out 13 year deal was to lure big FA to Philly… well he’ll be going head to head against trout now. East coast vs West coast.

    Should Trout show up at Eagles games now? WhT a tease. Unless there is a sign and trade agreeement in place. I’m sure there is a no trade clause as well, I haven’t seen that confirmed.

    Well the Trout dream is over, Kris Bryant anyone? That or bring back the 4 aces with this lineup !

    1. I Hate California. This was the first time i went to Vegas and didnt go to Los Angeles, California has cities like, Los Angels and San franciso which are toilets. But for 440 million, i would go. Mike did the right thing. why wait two years and risk getting hurt and getting nothing. Take money.

      1. Well technically it is a 10/363 mil, 36.3 million AAV since they are lumping his last 2 years from the previous deal. Really hard to believe he didn’t test the market, especially on a team buried under the Astros. He must seem something in the upcoming prospects, because it’s hard to imagine him not wanted get paid and win. That is what FA offers imo

        1. I think everyone’s overthinking this. Trout is just a good guy. He wanted something he thought was fair and was making a commitment to the team who drafted him. He intentionally didn’t push the envelope. He’s just a good, loyal guy and I can’t knock him for staying with his original team.

    2. Really can we stop with the East Coast versus West Coast thing? It is mostly about the guaranteed money. The Phillies should have a money flexibility advantage. A distant second would be going to a winner. Interestingly as much as we bash LAA they had an identical record last year. Hopefully, the Phillies can start making deep runs into the playoffs this year but their is no guarantee of that.

        1. Well my point is it will now be East coast vs West Coast in the Harper vs Trout FA recruitment of the next 12-13 years.

          I wonder if Harper is going to call Trout with a “wtf bro!?!?” Call 🙂

  28. Thank goodness Phillies signed Harper. Trout extension is a shocker but like Tac said, he must believe in the org.

  29. Apparently its a 10 year 363 extension. Sounds like they were lumping in the next 2 years with the extension.

    1. I hope Mike Trout thought this through. Trout can easily get the $363M/10 yrs from the Phillies or any team when he becomes a FA in 2 years.

      Oh well. The Phillies just need to put that stupid money in hiring the best coaches and scouting the best talents all over the world!

  30. Makes you wish they did sign both MM and Harper. Like I said before, Trout would not have been needed if they signed both. Honestly you can complain as they also got Realmuto and Segura. The lineup should be secured up with Moniak,Haselely, and Bohm on the way to add to what we have. Kingerys development is now more important.

    Going forward I’d like them to secure up the rotation, with top rotational talent. kiwchel doesn’t do
    It for me. A location pitcher in a notorious hitters park. Don’t see it going well.

    1. Exactly. Thats why I was screaming that you don’t plan an off season for another off season in the future.

  31. its tempting to have kingery start the yr in LHV to continue his development and get daily atbats for the first few weeks and then bring him up though I doubt that will happen

  32. I am not surprised that Trout was loyal to the Angels. I am surprised that he did not wait to see how they did this year. They are not even close to a WS team, and have a very mediocre Farm System. I thought that he would leverage his signing against the Angels improving. I guessed wrong. They have really failed to put a team around him. He is still our local guy, so I wish him well, but his team isn’t very good. Back to us now, we don’t have to fantasize about him coming in 2 years, and it is imperative that we acquire SP. I real #2, and I am not giving up on any of our young Pitchers, but we will need a FA or a trade to bring us a legitimate partner for Nola.

    1. Agree, Matt. There’s a big difference between giving young arms a chance when you’re rebuilding vs when you’re expecting to contend for post season play. The latter is when you should be more aggressive in acquiring proven talent and allow the young pitchers to augment the staff due to injuries or poor performance, NOT to be put in uncharted waters of a major league pennant race. That’s my 2 cents, anyway.

    2. If you want a legit #2 for an upgrade this season, it is going to have to come through a trade. Going to need to find the young up and comer, before he takes off or spend a boatload of prosepct capital. I’m willing to forgo the prospect capital, but I want it to be for a pitcher that will be here for 2-3 years, with a strong indication he’ll resign.

      I’m still shocked trouts off the board so soon. Well … we can enjoy seeing his face on the Jumbotron … in Oct at CBP! Amazing. Money means a lot obviously, but I gotta imagine that a playoff drought is pretty hard to play through. It looks like another 3 years before the Angels can realistically think about the postseason with the Astros roster.

      1. Thanks Eric…saw that now.
        Apparently Phillies management….specifically John M. will have to regroup.
        I am sure Matt and Andy Macphail realized getting Trout would be under a lot of uncertainty.

        1. Fire Klentak and Mcphail!

          :)… obviously kidding, but to me, this team is just about set. The bats are here, at the MLB level and in the minors. The Focus should be getting Nola his “Harper” into the rotation. I expect Pivetta to make a nice step forward. Arrietta probably has a better year than last, but I think this is the last year you can count on him higher than a #3. They need to start filling in and taking the pressure off Nola.

          For the teams next move, I’d say go out and offer Kimbrel some stupid money, over 2-3 years, enough that makes him bite.

            1. Assume they will still now do something along those lines.
              Kimbrel did have a QO so the price will be higher than his salary.

  33. Trout signing with the Angels! I wanted him in philly real bad.
    Can you imagine how loud we would roar and all of the phillies phans if we didn’t GET Harper??
    Unbelieveable!!!

    1. Still wondering what the fan reaction will be at an October home game at the Link and Mike comes down to his end zone seats.

      1. Trout is a favorite son as a Phillie or not. He will always be revered when he shows up to Eagles and Sixers games 🙂

          1. Anyone who gives this guy a hard time about being loyal to the team who drafted him and has paid him a ton of money and will pay him a ton of money, is being ridiculous.

        1. He is a hometown hero and always will be, in spite of what a few knuckleheads may shout his way at the Linc. In his position, let’s be honest – he had little to gain (and much more to lose) by “coming home” to play for the Phillies. He was going to be paid no matter what. It was only a matter of where. To us, it was a dream sequence that might play out to a world series or three here in Philadelphia. To him, he can still enjoy the comforts of home without the unending spotlight of stardom, mixed with the disgruntled critics whose voices would grow louder in the latter years of his contract. In southern California, that’s virtually a non-factor. I join all those who wish him well and admire his loyalty, despite our temporary disappointment.

          1. Yes…..he is loved at there and it is reciprocated.
            And even over time as he ages and may slow down, they will still love him.
            The Angels and their owner now must make a concerted effort to get the pitching that will give the opportunity to contend for the AL-West against the Stros and surround Mike T with the pieces.

            1. My prediction is that the Angels don’t do anything but tease for the next 6 or 7 years (maybe they make the playoffs once or twice, but they don’t go anywhere) and at about age 32 or 33, he’s going to look up and want a change. Just my hunch here.

            2. I think you are correct on that hunch.
              I just do not see them getting the pitching required to make a run at the WS……at least not until the Astros slip up and start a decline i the West.
              Their pitching prospects …right now…are not earth shattering.
              http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2019?list=ana

              Ohtani has the bat…but the arm is still a question mark as to health issues.
              And with the MT money…..the tax threshold will be oh close if they try to get one or two arms of quality…which could be in the $35/45M range.
              https://www.rosterresource.com/mlb-los-angeles-angels-info/

  34. if he was going to sign, I’m glad he did it now. that gives us the opportunity to adjust our plans and not plan for 2 yr,of conserving luxury tax space for something that wasn’t going to happen
    maybe makes kimbrel an option now since we can do 2yr with a 3rd yr option?

  35. With Harper-Trout 2020 dream now down in the drain, the main focus of the FO’s infusion of talent shifts to developing home grown talents. The scouting department really need to start hitting on their high draft picks and high $$ IFA. I understanding finding MLB talents needs luck, but it can also be done thru good scouting, coaching and development.

    Both the scouting directors – Sal A. (international) and Johnny A. (domestic) appear to hit on some of their lottery picks (i.e. low $$ IFA or Day 3 picks). But hitting on the higher ceiling prospects (high $$ IFA or Day 1 picks) still have a lot to be desired.

    Sal A.’s scouting gems in Jhailyn. Morales, Luis Garcia and Starlyn Castillo are still very far away with very high risks. While Johnny A’s Rd 1 haul of C, Moniak, Haseley, Bohm are behind expectations although Rd 2 picks of Kingery, Gowdy, Howard showed good potential but are not yet MLB talent.

    As a fan, I overvalue and romanticized the Phillies prospects, but the Phillies talent tool still needs a lot of work if the Phillies want to make a sustainable run.

    1. Bohm and Spencer are the keys IMO and They’ll need to come quick. If I had to bet high stakes on 2 players to become AS caliber players out of our system as we see it today its them.

      1. Agree. Howard and Bohm can be the next Nola-Rhys combo — college high floor prospects who developed better when reaching the majors.

        I’m a sucker to higher risk HS prospects, but Johnny A. may need to continue drafting college prospect instead in the early rounds since he cannot seem to hit (yet) with his early HS picks.

  36. Here are the list of the potential FAs in the next 5 years (take Trout’s name out). There are still some names to target, but young generational talent may not come it again for the next foreseeable future so the Phillies need to make a better job in scouting and player development.

    Adonis Medina, Spencer Howard and Luis Garcia are the only prospects with “future MLB All Star” profile while prospects like Gowdy, O’Hoppe, Marchan, Ortiz have risks higher than their potential.

    https://www.mlb.com/news/mlb-free-agents-for-2020-2021-and-2022-c302396056

    Also, the Phillies may need to start locking Aaron Nola for a longer time and start contract talks with Pivetta and Rhys.

    1. Prefer they put all of them on the back burner…..Nola ( can wait for another three years not a FA until 2024), Pivetta ( he is not arb 2 until 2022…why rush it) and Rhys is a FA in 2024 with Borus as his agent……IMO, concentrate on JT Realmuto if he is in their long term plans.
      I assume he is but then again maybe not if their prospect catchers start to blossom.

      1. I wouldn’t put too much stock in Hoskins until he establishes himself as a perennial all star. Power hitting 1b aren’t exactly unicorns. We should be targeting a higher BA 1b if Rhys can’t get above .270, as much as I like him personally. The fact that the Phillies explored trading for Goldy says a lot. Again, let’s not fall in love with our young talent. I’m just now trying to loosen my embrace for Jetpax.

        1. Agree….Rhys’ explosive rookie year raised expectations that may have been higher than should have been realized.
          I can live with a 270 BA, as long as his ISO is in the .250 area

          1. This often happens. A guy gets promoted and takes the league by storm before the pitchers have a chance to adjust. I thought Hoskins was really good last year for his second year. He had a couple of rough months, but did really well, with a .888 OPS in the second half. I think, at the plate, he had a very good second year and I expect there’s more upside there and in no way does he appear to be a fluke as a hitter – he has a great eye, 65 power, a decent hit tool and can hit the best fastballs. We are lucky to have him.

    2. What? They just signed Nola. It literally JUST HAPPENED. They aren’t going to address his situation again for another couple of years at the earliest.

    3. The silver lining in all this, is that as much of bummer is that the Phillies are not going to be signing Trout, they really don’t “NEED” him. Not after adding Harper,Realmuto,Segura and McCutchen to team with Hoskins and Herrera. Sure if would have been super awesome, and probably the most relaxing 162 game season ever to watch… but it is over kill with the prospects on the way imho. What they need, is Starting pitching, which is shaping up to look nice over the next few years. Will see who reaches, but a far amount of options exist, plus the rising prospects of Medina, Howard and others.

      The team is set up nicely, even without Trout.

  37. Off topic (finally😉)….

    How would Cutch, Segura, Harper, Hoskins and Realmuto stack up against the top 5 hitters of NYY, BOS and HOU? Just thought I’d gauge our audience on the subject of formidable lineups.

    1. For me, it was All In on Trout. Personally I’ll wait to see who actually makes it to FA now
      Lindor is 3 years out, near Kris Bryant time as well. I think most of us are going to have to be very happy that the Phillies got Harper, as we should be. I advocated for MM as well, do to how rare it is for such young talent to hit the market. If they did sign both, it would be a coup, and the prospects could be traded for TOR arms. Didn’t happen but we should all be very happy.
      The bats are here imo. It is time to focus on the pitching, which has 3 good FA classes coming up to mix with our current staff and prospects. I’ll take Sale please

        1. I think the Angels will now have to show some spunk and go after a TOR pitcher.
          With Trout, Upton and Pujols…over the next three years…. will be pulling down $88M of their luxury tax threshold….that could make things interesting for the Angels when they go shopping for a TOR or two.

          1. Cole is a native of Anaheim as well, so it could factor in, though it hasn’t seemed to much lately. I’d have to imagine that part of this extension was for the LAA to be players in FA again. Not to mention… the Astros need to keep some of their SR. They lost Morton and Keuchel this off season, with Verlander and cole next year. They have too young pitching but I’d assume they have to resign 1 of them, they’ll probably push for Cole.

            Bumgarner and Verlander could be short term 1 year deals, well at least Verlander

            1. Astros will still be at the top of that division for awhile….in a way cannot see the Angels topping them in the next 2/3 years.
              Will come down to the pitchers.

  38. I’m happy with a core of Hoskins, harper, JTR, segura as postion players
    the key is continuing to try to move the needle at 2b, 3b, LF and CF either with internal candidiate, kingery, bohn, etc or freeagency
    and
    most importantly developing the SR behind Nola

    1. I guess it will never stop Downing a lifetime 358 obp, 277 hitter at second base and we need a upgrade. I am amaze how people keep thinking this kid isnt a nice player to have. You cant have allstars at every positon. With his ability to get on base he is a table setter for the rest of the lineup. And base off what we have seen of Kingery or babe ruth Kingery why the upgrade. The upgrade is a least one stud starter to follow nola. that is the piece we should be going after. Sure your happy with Harper, Segura. Hoskins. Jtr they are all allstars. just drives me nuts how disrespected Hernandez is in this town

      1. rocco…do agree with you to some extent….Hernandez needs to be the guy…for now….Kingery should not go north with the team….he should be starting at LHV for a few months to see what happens there. Kingery has too much swing and miss..for a pitcher thats a good thing …for hitter not so much.
        .

  39. Quinn on another IL to start the season.
    Then I assume some rehab time at LHV before he rejoins the team around mid-April….if healed.

  40. I am hoping for huge years from Bohm and Howard, establishing themselves as top level prospects. Look, Franco plays for us, and I hope he does well, but what I believe, is that the next every day position that will need an upgrade is 3B. No, I don’t see Kingery landing there.

  41. matt – The Phillies have their “Core” in place as far as the everyday players are concerned. Bohm could very well being a future upgrade over Franco at 3rd base. This season is huge for both of them. By September, the Phillies brass will have a better idea of how close Bohm is to the major league roster. Neither he or Franco need to be Gold Glovers at 3rd base, they need to make the routine plays. Atlanta got by for a lot of years with Bob Horner at 3rd. After Franco, the next possible upgrade is CF. Herrera needs a major bounce-back year, and Quinn needs to get, and stay healthy. Both could be key components to the Phillies success (or failure) this year.
    No knock intended on Medina, but Howard is my top pitching prospect. He’s a pitcher, and in my mind, Sixto was a thrower. Hopefully, with Realmuto’s experience, he can turn Velasquez into a pitcher. The Phillies have a wealth of pitchers in the system with high upsides (both starters and relievers), and I expect that teams will be calling Klentak, in order to upgrade their teams.

    1. Sixto was absolutely a pitcher. Just because he throws 100mph doesn’t make him a thrower, I say this bc he had command of his pitches and seemed to know what he was doing (which is surprising for someone so new to pitching).
      I think Bohm has a monster year and ends it in LHV as a top 30 prospect. I also think that Franco puts together something like .285/.340/.500 31HR this year. Think he’s going to settle in in the bottom 3rd of the line up.

      1. After watching Bohm struggle all weekend I’m afraid I don’t share your optimism. He’s a big guy with long arms and he’s still growing into his body. His defense at 3B was not good. (In Strat O Matic, he’d be a 4, apparently up from a 5 last year). Offensively I never saw him hit a ball hard. He’s focusing on making contact at this point, the power hopefully will come later. He’s big but he’s young looking and not particularly powerful at this point. I’m sure he’ll start the year at Clearwater and let’s hope he finds his footing.

  42. I know no one is going to believe this but I think we are gonna look back in 15 years and be thankful we didn’t sign Trout For his age 30 season and beyond, likely to age 40-42. Think about it, over half of that contract could be at below league average (ages 35-42 or 35-40), would it be worth 35m-40m+ a year for 7 years (or 5) to have 3-5 years of the end of his prime? That’s a lot of empty money out there that could be used elsewhere.

    Disclaimer: I realize I could be wrong but looking at how the game is now, not many players are playing at a high caliber past even 33 . . . And Trout got to this level young, a ton of games under his belt.

    1. Sagely points, Eric. I think we would have loved the contract for the first 5 years or so, but after that, his contract and Harper’s contract would have been like an anchor, just as Howard and Lee’s contracts were in 2014-16. There’s a silver lining here to be sure and you’re right to point it out.

  43. Difference is he can be a dh in the baby league. And still be productive in his later years, and save his legs and body.In the american league he can play fortnight smoke a cigar. in the dugout until his time to bat.

    1. rocco…..I think Ohtani will be their DH for a few more years to come…especially if he also wants to pitch.
      So MT may have to wait about 5/6 years before the DH gig is afforded to him.

    2. I don’t think it’s about his fielding, it’s about when his hitting goes. It’s one of the few unknowable mysteries in baseball and all of sports. When does a guy hit the wall? Usually, big, heavy, slow guys hit it earlier than fit, thinner fast guys – but not always. Albert Pujols and Ken Griffey, Jr. fizzle in their early 30s and David Ortiz has pretty much his best year at age 40. How can you predict this stuff? Teaser alert – you really can’t.

      1. One thing about Trout…he is a large guy…6’2″, 235 lbs….but muscle and probably about 5% body fat. So there could be a concern at some point….especially if he incurs a knee issue. Turns 28 in August, so they should have have him for the next 6 maybe 7 years at peak performance.

        1. Yup, and they said the same thing about Pete Rose – how he was too muscular and would never last. The truth is – we don’t know.

        2. Romus you need to soften your numbers when talking body fat . . . I was gonna mention this when you said cozens was at 8%. 5% is somewhere that an ELITE marathon runner is at . . . you won’t see any professional baseball players under 10% and if you do, IT’S EXTREMELY rare. To give you an idea, Arnold would get to around 8-9% for his competitions. 5% is actually unhealthy.

          1. EricD……DC said he was measured at 7% when they reported…..he was 17% last year he said. I did not guess that number…all I said was he looked like he lost weight with a smaler waist line.

            1. My apologies, I wasn’t trying to say you were lying or anything like that … and no offense to Cozens but he’s mistaken or he did the measuring himself. The best way to do it is in a pool with, well it’s actually really complicated but I can tell you with 100% certainty Cozens is not 7% BF. At 7% with his size, he would look like a statue carved outta marble. My educated guess would be 10%.

    3. Well in that case you’re paying a player 35-40m plus to play one aspect of the game and again, prob not anywhere near the level he is at now. I said all this before he signed with LAA as well so it’s not just sour grapes on my part.

  44. ST stats are often meaningless but since it sets up to be a pretty boring few days I thought I would try to have a little fun with them SSS aside…

    Nick Maton and Jake Scheiner are hitting .667 to lead the club

    Scheiner leads in OBP 800

    Darick Hall leads the team in OPS 1.750

    Cozens Leads the team in HRS 4

    Kingery leads the team in PA’s 44

    Altherr in BBs 7 but also in SO’s 15 tied with Cozens and Kingery

    Moniak has a pretty even slash 200/200/400/600 he likes round numbers

    Bryn Mawr’s own Phil Gosselin leads the team in XBHs with 7 (he’s getting a long look)

    and the all important RBI leader is Nicky Dubs with 9

    1. I’m hoping Cozens is knocking one the door, If he can polish off his development, and figure into this teams future as a LF/DH that would be a big boost. He has cooled off, against the better, now warmed up pitchers. We Will be watching to see where he goes from here. If he can have a good last week, hot start to his season, I think he will get back on the Phillies radar in a big way. McCutchen is nice, but I think he will be tradeable if needed, with Cozens, Haselely, and Moniak making noise, continuing their developement.

      1. Cozens has been striking out vs RHPs. They will likely be all he sees in the major leagues so he’d better choke up even more. He’s 25.

      2. Tac3…unless the Phillies fail miserably in the first half and are the or near the bottom of the NL-East….Cutch is not going anywhere this year.
        Klentak will not be trading him going down the stretch if the Phillies are fighting for a play-off spot.

        1. To clarify, I was thinking more in year 3, or possibly next years deadline, if Haselely or Cozens shows they are ready. They’d likely have to eat some of the money as well, but it could be an easy decision by then if the prospects reach expectations. Will see.
          I’m still happy with McCutchen, I’m just looking down the road a bit, for possible improvements

      1. Haha Mike. Pitchers seem to get the early advantage on the hitters don’t they. But there may something to a few stats

        Eflin has logged the most IP 15 followed by Drew Anderson 12.2

        Anderson has been exceptional thus far .71 ERA 12K in 12.2 IP OBA .143 WHIP .63. That’s dominance!

        Paredes pretty stellar as well 11Ks in 6.1 IP WHIP

        Neris leads the team in SOs with 14 in only 8 IP but also bitten by the HR 3

  45. Great cover this month on SI’s MLB Preview: Hoskins-Harper-Nola-Realmuto. And the 3rd straight issue with a Philly sports team repped. Pretty cool😎

        1. Cutch, too. Even odder while you’re at it. But I think the 4 players on the cover figure to be the core 4 over the long term. I think it’s as simple as that.

        2. i guess, there’s not enough room in the put them all together. SI appears to feature the “Top 2 New Phillies” (which should easily be Harper and JTR) and “Top 2 Current Phillies” (Nola is a lock and Rhys is possibly the next closest).

  46. MLB season is officially underway…

    Final in Tokyo:
    Mariners 9
    A’s 7

    Domingo Santana popped a grand slam for SEA, Matt Chapman and Khris Davis went yard in a losing cause for OAK.

  47. My opening day lineup, and most days for that matter, would have:
    Segura ss (R)
    Realmuto c (R)
    Harper RF (L)
    Hoskins 1b (R)
    McCutchen lf (R)
    Herrera CF (L)
    Franco 3b (R)
    pitcher (-)
    Hernandez 2b (S)
    I know a lot of folks like Cesar leading off because of his history of high OBP. I personally prefer to have the best 5 hitters at the top of the lineup. Cesar would be ideal for turning the lineup over as the leadoff man after the first time around the order.

    1. @8mark – I agree and I posted that same line up in the previous treads. I just think the the best bats should be in the position to get the most PAs.

      If the current trend in ST will be used a basis, it appears that Kapler will utilize Cutch as the lead off. I’m actually ok with this approach too. Cutch and Cesar almost have the similar career OBP, however, Cutch is the better overall hitter (and baserunner) and he can hitter with more power vs Cesar.

      Cesar’s main attribute is his ability to get on base. Since Cutch and Segura can be reasonably argue as better options, Cesar’s OBP is better utilized as the 9th hitter so the top order can move him in the base paths.

      Cesar batting 6th before Doobie and Franco is another option, especially is both Doobie and Franco can exercise better plate discipline to move Cesa

    1. I just noticed this, in this game vs DET, the Tigers get a DH (Cabrera) but the Phillies don’t (Pivetta as P is batting)?

      1. Yeah…I guess it is optional with manager’s deciding prior to the game……and Pivetta K’d also.

      1. I think Pivetta is getting really close to a serious, TOR breakthrough. His stuff is so electric.

        1. I guess Pivetta is a TOR now….technically as a #2.
          Jim Salisbury
          @JSalisburyNBCS

          Gabe Kapler said Pivetta likely to pitch second game of season and Arrieta third game
          12:46 PM – 20 Mar 2019

          1. Then again there is ToddZo’s tweet.
            Todd Zolecki
            @ToddZolecki

            The #Phillies will line up Aaron Nola, Nick Pivetta and Jake Arrieta in the season-opening series against the Braves. Arrieta pitches Game 3 because it’s Sunday Night Baseball.
            12:48 PM – 20 Mar 2019

          2. Uh, no, not really. That term has more meaning than that. TOR pitcher is a near-ace. He’s not that – although he has the potential to become that. His pitching second in the rotation just means they don’t have a particularly deep rotation right now.

  48. Phillies bat in 5th:
    Doobie walks
    Cesar Ks, Doobie nailed at 2b trying to steal
    Franco Ks.

    Maybe we need to break these 3 up after all?

  49. Kap announced Cutch is the lead off hitter Opening Day. I am not sure where Cesar bats, but I am pleasantly surprised. Pivetta has been my favorite as a break through candidate, and I expect a good year from him.

  50. Can someone tell me why Sean Rodriguez, his 3 Ks today and OPS of .287 is still in camp, other than being a warm body?

    1. yeah, i also don’t understand why these crappy AAAA journeyman are getting ABs. Gosselin and Robinson are the only 2 who has a shot not with the Phillies but with other org. I rather see the minor leagues take those ABs than the AAAA guys.

  51. Lucas Duda was released by the Twins due to an opt out clause. Considering our present options, he might be worth signing as a backup 1b/lefty power bat off the bench. He’s 33. Any takers?

      1. Not sure he has to be added to the 40 until opening day….or perhaps he could sign a minor league contract with a May 1 or June 1 opt-out.
        But he will need to be added to the 40 at some point if they wanted to keep him and a position player has to be DFAed

    1. Rendon could get 6/$150m, perhaps front loaded. Harper’s plan B recruit? I’m totally underwhelmed with our inhouse options at 3b. I think someone will emerge from among the outfielders in the system: Haseley, Moniak, Muzziotti, Vierling, Ortiz, de la Cruz….but “buying the bats” may continue to be the MO until we’re able to draft and develop our own.

      1. 8mark…I think he is looking a little bit north of $25M AAV…….6 @$175M could do it.
        I really do not think any team will offer 8 years or higher.
        He could get 7 years…..but really most all the contenders have their third base options already in place.

          1. Bogaerts is a good one for sure…..have to move Segura either to second or third.
            Unless Bogaerts can play third.

    2. %^@#!$&%$ – I know this is the open discussion, but frankly, since the beginning of last year, this has become a site whose comments are focused primarily on the majors and, even worse, on future FA speculation. It’s not so much that this content is irrelevant to a minor league site (and it is) because one can simply ignore those comments, it’s that it has the effect of stifling discussion of prospects to a huge degree. It’s very disappointing.

        1. Look, I didn’t mean to focus my comments on you in particular as I do this too, but, last year it was not seasonal. It continued unabated and in full force all year when the prospects were playing minor league games. And even during the off season, the focus used to still be mostly on prospects. It isn’t anymore. The focus of the posters on the site has changed – it’s distinct and it’s disappointing.

          1. Oh I understand it is not personal.
            I am hopeful and fairly confident that once April 4th rolls around, that the next day we are talking about Spencer Howard’s opening day performance vs Dunedin….and then it will go from there, with the remaining affiliates level teams…they all open…full season teams… on April 4th.

      1. Come on, just let it be. Yes it’s a site to discuss “Phuture Phillies” but it’s enjoyable talking about the organization as a whole, not to mention talking about prospects in the off season would get really boring/quiet. It picks up when minor league start.

    3. I’m not seeing this. If the think Alec Bohm can be an above average regular at third, then they don’t spend their FA money there. I think an elite starter could be next.

  52. Pitching guys . . . we need pitching (Personally I want Cole next off season). It’s great to stack our line up but we need arms more than we need offensive guys. But if we are talking offensive guys why aren’t we talking Betts . . . you could argue he would be a better signing than Trout.

      1. I get that, I was just saying since everyone was talking Trout, why not Betts? And it sounds like he will hit FA or at least reading into his recent comments.

    1. My 2 FA targets next winter are Rendon and Cole. Betts is 2 years away. Don’t wanna go thru that Trout-like hope & hype again.

        1. I think Bryant is 3 years away, but it’s a little bit of lazy journalism to link Bryant to Phillies so far away because their from Vegas,friends, wife’s are friends … wait a minute, Bryant to Phillies in 2022! Will see, that’s another trout scenario. Klentsk eill love him since he can play multiple positions, if he is still around by then

    2. Eric – How do you know we need pitching next year until we played out this year? Maybe the pitchers all perform well. Maybe a couple from the minors will take a leap forward this summer. Maybe, Klentak trades for a stud at the end of July.

      1. Well to be fair, any and every team can say this, no?
        Do you disagree that pitching is more of a need than offense?

        1. Why is everyone seeming to forget that the pitching staff surprised us all last year and was THE reason why we even sat in first place for a time? I guess it is the small sample of over-analyzed spring training games that makes people forget about the games that actually mattered.

          1. Not exactly sure what surprised you last year as far as the pitching goes . . . outside of Nola (175+) and Arrieta (105+), all other pitchers were below league average (Eflin being the closest to league average outta the back 3). As far as starting pitching goes with are the 4th best in our division. I guess you can argue 3rd but I still put the Braves starting pitching above ours. The rotation needs another arm to pair with Nola. Sure someone could step up and take that spot but odds aren’t in favor of that.

  53. I agree with Eric, the next order of business is Pitching. I would have loved Trout, but I never got the sense he wanted to play here. Love the area, yes, the Eagles, yes, but playing here would cause him such a loss of privacy and put so much extra on him in terms of demands for his time outside of playing, that I didn’t think that is what he wanted. He has never used his status to become a celebrity or an endorsement mogul and that type of public notice would happen here for him. The next FA class can wait, we have to figure out what we needto win this year.

  54. matt – I’m not disagreeing with Eric. We can determine by the 4th of July what our needs are for next winter. In the past few years (when we sucked) we could project what we needed because we needed everything, This year we have a few studs on the roster, but we still have question marks too. By the 4th of July, or sooner, Klentak and PHIL will have decided the fates of Altherr, Williams, Quinn, Knapp, Velasquez, Eflin, Kingery, and Herrera. Let’s hope that they all play well and make it a hard choice.
    I also agree with you on Trout. From what little I know of him, he seems like a fiercely loyal guy with as many friends in Anaheim as he has in the Delaware Valley. I’m glad that he’s in the other league, and I wish him well.

    1. It’s year 1 of contention, the rebuild is over, but they still have players to sort through. If Keuchel will do 1 year deal, high AAV do it, if not they still need to focus sorting through what’s left of the rebuild players. Trade deadline for me

      On trout, I get that he doesn’t want the spotlight, but it’s still easily avoidable in ways, imo. Don’t let it fool you that he doesn’t get hawked in LAA. I think their is some truth to the last few FA periods going backwards in terms of players salaries and years, spoking the upcoming FA. We are seeing that throughout the majors now, get it while you can signings.
      For Trout , I think trout was OK staying last year, and they were said to be working on an extension for months, they just needed Harper/MM to sign. Once a half billion (near) is floated in your face, to play a kids game, it’s pretty hard to say “Na, I’m good” .. which is why I think Mookie crumbles and signs his extension next offseason.Hard to blame trout, I’m sure he is happy enough without Philly 100% of the time, some peopel like variety. I’m annoyed but understand why he left money on the table, and will ride with LAA until it’s over. 35 mil is going to be rough in years 10,11, and 12, but it is pay for past performance at that point

  55. Mike, you said it perfectly. We will know what, if anything, and even the best teams need reinforcements at the deadline, by the 4th of July. Pivetta looked terrific today and I think he emerges as a quality SP. I can’t wait until we start playing.

  56. KuKo……hard to believe but Jose Gomez is still hanging in there…and had a key double in a recent Group game this week.
    Back in July 2017, when the Phillies traded Pat Neshek to the Royals for him, Requena and the Hammer…..MLB.com….Jon Mayo and Jim Callis… right away put him in the middle of the Phillies Top 30 for the remainder of 2017 ….and kept him there all last season thru 2018.
    Well he is not there in the top 30 for 2019….but seems he is not going to go away.
    He has been compared in the past to Cesar
    I assume he will start at CLW again and then get a promo to Reading this season if he does well..

    1. I have nothing against Jose Gomez and I do want him to be like Cesar so he creates value for himself either as a potential MLB filler or trade asset, Sal. A. tend to find the Jose Gomez profile in the IFA so Jose Gomez better hit his way or he will be buried into irrelevance given the depth in middle INF in the low minors.

  57. Phillies have released left-handed pitchers Edward Paredes and Jeremy Bleich; and infielders Trevor Plouffe and Gregorio Petit.

    RHP Drew Anderson and LHP James Pazos have been optioned to Lehigh Valley.

    1. Drew Anderson will now join a stacked LHV rotation with 6 able SP and another one coming (if no trades) between Eflin and Eickhoff.

      In the offseason most believe (including me) that Anderson will be headed to the bullpen due to the number of SPs in LHV rotation. The emergence of the new Cutter puts Anderson back in the SP option again. Anderson also has a good feel with his CU, who lacked progress in 2018. The rotation in MLB and LHV are getting crowded with Howard, Seabold, Parkinson, Rosso coming up soon.

      Klentak will have decision to make but it is a good problem to have.

      1. And I forgot my LH Drew Anderson – Bailey Falter!! Falter is under the radar but he performed in every level he pitched. REA will be a challenge for Falter, the ERA might go up but Falter will continue to have a decent BB rate and WHIP because of his ability to command all his pitchers, Now he’s up in the high minors, I can get to watch Falter as often in REA and LHV like I did with Anderson.

  58. Best Fastball Hitters, 2018
    Player wOBA
    Juan Soto 0.489
    Max Muncy 0.472
    Mookie Betts 0.471
    J.D. Martinez 0.465
    Bryce Harper 0.453
    Mike Trout 0.445
    Christian Yelich 0.440
    Khris Davis 0.438
    Jose Ramirez 0.437
    Rhys Hoskins 0.431

  59. With Pazos getting sent down, Matt Gelb reports that Morgan and Alvarez will be the lefties in the pen.

  60. Newtons 3rd law Action-Reaction According to the law, the force exerted by object 1 upon object 2 is equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to the force exerted by object 2 upon object 1.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/this-weeks-flood-of-contract-extensions-have-raised-the-bar-for-baseballs-young-stars/ar-BBV1pCQ

    Mookie Betts is a sure Bet (pun intended) to sign an extension. Call it a market correction but if the age 30 guys are not getting paid the age 26 premier players and even to a lesser extent not so premier players will be jumping on these extensions now that the market is set.

    Manny-Harper-Arenado-Trout-Bregman-Jimenez. There is now benchmarks for many situations. Another reason to silence the chatter about future star FA’s as they are likely to become unicorns for a while at least.

    1. Wanted to add, that this is dejavoo interms of the valuation of players, right as the Phillies get back into contention. Last time Phillies were on their run, prospect currency changed. The value of unproven, but touted prospects became more valuable than proven veteran mlb talent. Contracts like Howard’s were becoming less for established players, at least more push back. That now seems to continued to have grown, and we are seeing that play out in only LT deals for younger players under 30 or younger, ideally younger. To me it’s also the fallout of the steroid era, 36 seems to be the age teams don’t won’t go gauranteed on, but a more case by case year to year contracts

      I agree, FA young stars are going to be unicorns, expect the marlins players 🙂

  61. Keith Law lists his breakout players for the 2019 season.
    http://insider.espn.com/mlb/insider/story/_/id/26316165/keith-law-mlb-breakout-players-2019

    One of my favorites, Matt Strahm, made the list.
    Also … Scott Kingery found his way on to Law’s “under consideration” list:
    “Scott Kingery has had a rough spring and isn’t taking better at-bats yet, not enough to tout him as a breakout candidate, although I still see the bat and foot speed as well as above-average power to make him a good regular if he works the count better.”

  62. Caught the Dodgers Cubs game last night Dustin May wow. The Dodgers just keep em coming…

    Pair him with Buehler in another year and they appear to be formidable opponents for years to come.

    1. If you look back at baseball history, you see the same teams staying in contention year after year and decade after decade. The Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees and, since the late 60s, the Red Sox – are ALWAYS in the mix. And why? Because their talent pipeline is unending. Sure they spend and add free agents, but they stay good mostly because they identify, develop and retain young talent. That’s where we need to be.

  63. From today’s Keith Law chat:

    Hi Keith – do you see Kingery as anything more than a super-utility player moving forward? Based on his power/speed combo and success in the minors, I was expecting more, and most likely so were the Phillies’ brass when they handed him 6/$24M (with $65 total possible) before he even made his MLB debut. He was one of the worst position players in the MLB last year statistically, but due to his versatility, he’s currently the backup SS, 2B, and 3B and can also play OF in a pinch, which is valuable. But as long as we have Cesar Hernandez at 2B, I don’t see where he fits everyday. Thoughts?

    Keith Law: He doesn’t fit everyday on the current Phillies but I think he’s going to end up a regular. He’s a ++ defender at second.

  64. From today’s Keith Law chat

    Hi Keith – do you see Kingery as anything more than a super-utility player moving forward? Based on his power/speed combo and success in the minors, I was expecting more, and most likely so were the Phillies’ brass when they handed him 6/$24M (with $65 total possible) before he even made his MLB debut. He was one of the worst position players in the MLB last year statistically, but due to his versatility, he’s currently the backup SS, 2B, and 3B and can also play OF in a pinch, which is valuable. But as long as we have Cesar Hernandez at 2B, I don’t see where he fits everyday. Thoughts?

    Keith Law: He doesn’t fit everyday on the current Phillies but I think he’s going to end up a regular. He’s a ++ defender at second.

  65. Watching the game on MLB. Velasquez walked one and struck out 3 in the 1st inning but the 2 guys who hit the ball, hit it hard for an HR and a 2B. He threw thirty pitches.

    For those who think that VV can go to the BP and just throw fastballs past everyone, think again, These guys are major leaguers who time fastballs and pound them.

    1. ciada…agree….he will not be a very effective relief pitcher, if this is what he will bring to the table….sitting at 94/95 is now pedestrian from a BP guy.
      But he is getting his work in now in the spring…..so maybe in a few more starts and weeks his velo picks up….and his break in his slider.

      At some point this season, I would really like to hear JT Realmuto analyze the three pitchers now that he would have caught them for awhile.

    2. @ciada/romus – i’m once of most vocal who advocates Vinny transitions to the pen. I will not assume that Vinny will be an effective bullpen arm until I see him pitch in the pen, however, I will also not assume that since he is ineffective as a starter ergo he will ineffective in the bullpen. I can see a mirror between SP-RP vs Marathon runner-Sprinter. The mindset and preparation are different. Not because someone can sprinter doesn’t mean he cannot do marathon and vice versa.

      If Vinny will transition to the pen, he just need to focus on his best pitch and will only face a batter once. Also, velocity also increased when a pitcher transitions to the pen. Vinny has a good FB and CB. His main issue really is pitch economy sometime trying to do too much to keep the batters honest.

      Let’s look at Seranthony. He’s OK as a SP with a 3-pitch mix and a mid-90s FB touching high 90s. The long innings exposes Seranthony to injury and when he transitions to the pen, the FB becomes better (high 90s touch 100) and he can just focus on his FB-SL to get 3 outs.

      I will withhold my judgment with Vinny until I see pitch as a RP and get 3 outs base on the match up.

      1. Also, one thing about Vinny is – his FB-CB can miss a bat. His K/9 rate is really good. So if he will be used in shorter stints like in relief – that K/9 will be key to his success.

        1. When I watch VV I still see the same problems I saw back when we first got him. He has some velo but its straight not much life to it side to side and he doesn’t command in and out, up and down all that well.

          The SL when its on has great depth to it. Lefties still seem to see him pretty well. Move to the pen at this point seems advisable.

          1. @DMAR – the mind set and preparation of a SP is way different that being a RP. “Phasing” is a key part of the SP that RP doesn’t worry too much. Too many variables to consider and this is where I think Vinny is struggling being it appears he is thinking to much. Limiting Vinny’s preparation to few pitches and innings may bring the best FB-CB combo that Vinny has.

            I’m not sure about the SL you saw but Vinny doesn’t really throw a good SL. He’s mostly a FB-CB with occasional CU. His FB still have some heat in it while his CB has a good bite.

  66. Did anyone get to see Pazos? I had some hope for him as a lefthanded RP, and I know he has options left, but I was wondering how he looks? Morgan has not filled me with confidence.

  67. Unable to watch today’s game but can someone tell me how many pitches did VV throw in the 1st inning?

    K, HR, K, BB, 2B, K….

  68. Looks like Scott Kingery changed his bat a few days ago, not a toothpick anymore but bigger barrel, and seems to be smoking the balls lately

    1. TB will probably not pay the whole contract. Snell will be traded midway through the contract for a bunch of MLB ready prospects. TB always operate like a mom & pop shop.

  69. When do we get to worry that Vinny can’t give us 5 innings? I am not saying he will be a good BP Pitcher, but I have serious doubts about his ability to be a quality SP. Good stuff, yes. Can he K guys, yes. But, he gets hit too often, does not have great command, and has multiple innings where he throws way too may pitches. Not a recipe for success. I want him to be good, and I like that he Ks guys, but the rest of the time he looks pretty poor.

    1. @matt – with available SP arms in the 40-man and LHV, the time for Vinny as a high powered SP has come. Vinny might be a failure as a starter but he still have the stuff to reinvent himself in the bullpen.

      If Klentak traded Vinny and cash him for the years of control and potential, that’s also another option.

  70. It appears that the projected LH arms in the pen are Morgan and Alvarez. This is not a solid ground although I expect both Morgan and Alvarez to pitch better during the regular season. If not, I’m glad that Klentak signed Robertson who can pitch well versus lefties. I’m still optimistic about Austin Davis, and it is good to know that there’s depth in LH arms in the minors.

  71. Bohm got an AB today. He’s lanky er than I thought. SO on a pitch I thought was outside. Quick hands though.

  72. Shane Robinson and Phil Gosselin are having a decent ST, both have a shot in the “OLD” Phillies team.I looked at Robinson and Gosselin’s MLB numbers and they are garbage. I wouldn’t mind seeing Kingery get regular at bats in LHV and regain that confident when swinging the bats. But without Blanco and Freddy anymore, the Phillies have no options for UTIL player – which is a very important bench position.

    I don’t see any NRIs and AAAA guys that worth DFAing Altherr or Morgan.

    1. Any interest in signing JT Realmuto ….5@$110M?
      Buy out this year and next years last two arb years, then adding three..

      1. JTR at @$110M/5 is actually a decent offer since i can see a productive 5 years with JTR. By the time the contract is up, Logan O’Hoppe is 24/25 years old and ready to roll.

          1. They could go that high but the club is still buying out his last two arb years which are estimated $24M total….$6 this season and perhaps conservatively $18M next season.

          2. No – not based on the market. That’s a big overpay and he’s not worth it, especially as a catcher – they decline more quickly than anyone – and especially if they are buying out an arb year. Take $25-30 m off that price and now you’re more in the range.

            1. IMO, he will get over $100M…whether it is 5 yrs or 6, just not sure.
              But he is rated arguably the best catcher in baseball so he will get paid accordingly.

            2. It depends when he signs the contract, but the peak rate for a catcher now is $20 m and Buster Posey didn’t even get an AAV of $20m – if they are aggressive and sign him early they may get a discount. The annual number will likely be between $13-20 m – I’m guessing around $15-17 m if they sign him this year during the season. Length is unclear – at least 4 years after this year. They won’t give a catcher his age a 6 year contract (most catchers are effectively done as hitters by age 33 or 34), so I’d be shocked if he was signed for over $100m unless he is the league MVP this year.

            3. If you look at Mike Piazza’s or Gary Carter’s hitter’s curves that’s pretty standard for a catcher. As a general rule, you don’t want to be paying a 34 year old catcher a lot of money. History says this is a horrible investment.

            4. Well if they do not sign or extend him soon…he is gone to free agency and the Phillies lose out.
              He has them right where he needs to have them…..the Phillies will have to offer him the best contract a catcher can get.
              Posey at age 26…..9 years at $167M…..Realmuto will have to better that AAV but certainly at a shorter length
              Posey’s also was 6 years ago…..nothing goes down in baseball.
              IMO, the Phillies go shorter with their first offer, 5 maybe 4 years, at a very high AAV…over $20M plus

            5. I like Realmuto, but Buster Posey is a former MVP – probably one of the 7 or 8 catchers of all time (3 time WS champ) – please, he’s not in his class at this point and doesn’t have his market value. People should stop freaking out. We have 2 years and another off season after that to decide what to do. It may be smarter to sign him now but there’s no emergency whatsoever.

            6. In this ballpark, Realmuto stands to put up MVP caliber numbers, perhaps more likely than ANY other current teammate. His athleticism and speed give him a higher ceiling than Posey, accomplished as he is. Time will tell but my money is on JTR as a mainstay who must be signed as a core member of whatever success the Phillies will enjoy over the next 5-7 years.

        1. Kuko, agree about his productivity over 5 year – behind the plate….let’s not forget the likelihood of the DH being another option for him beyond that. But the current market seems to indicate that as a reasonable deal. Let’s get it done!

          1. Whatever it takes to keep Realmuto. We all wanted Trout, but if I told you at the bringing of 2017 … your 2019 Phillies would have

            Segura,Harper,Hoskins, and Realmuto… but no Trout… many of us would be ecstatic to go along with our Farm system.

            With trout and many others off the market, it’s imperative that they extend Realmuto. If he is able to hit the market, he will have many suitors throwing cash at him… since he’ll be the best FA available (I’m assuming Betts is extended)

      2. They can sign him for fewer years and less money if the contract begins with next year’s arb year and they offer a 5th year buyout. Salaries are down across baseball. Goldy’s contract will only be for a little more than $25 m per year, Harper’s is like $26 m and Mike Trout is only about $36 m AAV. They can get Realmuto on more reasonable terms.

    1. And Goldey is almagest 4 years older than JTR…..and a first baseman.

      With all the contract being offered and accepted…th MLBPA is loosing footing for any type of negotiations for altering the current system.
      May be the owners are trying to nip it in the bud.

      1. Goldy also has a huge track record of hitting success – he’s one of the top 7 or 8 hitters in baseball.

  73. I can’t imagine the angst we would all be feeling if we did not land Harper, and now we are seeing all these guys go off the board. I still would sign Keuchel to a 2/3 year deal. I don’t feel confident that we are sitting with enough SP, and I don’t know that there will be much available at the deadline, or I want to give up what it will take.

    1. matt13……I think the longer he is out, the shorter the deal he will have to take.
      The Phillies would be wise to have the highest AAV for the first year at least.
      And if they signed Keuchel today….more than likely he will not be ready to pitch in a big league game until May 1st

  74. Offense came alive today. McCutchen smoked a ball that somehow died at the wall, easily could have been a 2 hr day for him as well. Nice to see the newest star blast 2 over the wall, and still get his walk. Trout is obviously better, but I’m still ecstatic to have Harper, which when on, is closer to Trout than we think, minus the SB and fielding.

    VV.. 9 SO, 3 BB, gives up 2 HR, 3ER in 3.1 innings … so at minimum, he threw 50 pitches for 13 outs… I’d love to see him take a step forward but I’m getting my doubts. Again, it feels like it takes an act of God to get VV into the 5th, and x2 for the 6th. They already sent Drew Anderson down, and Eickhoff pitches tomorrow vs the Yankees… looks like there is a chance Eickhoff could bump VV to AAA to work on being a reliever. I don’t think it’s automatic he becomes a great reliever either. He needs to pitch to contact to be successfull as a SP, as a reliever he has a chance to just throw heat.

    1. Amen to Eickhoff bumping VV. The guy knows how to pitch. I’ll take that as a #5 over anybody who merely throws hard and can’t get through 5 innings. Unless of course they are secretly making Velasquez an ‘opener’….and wincing.

      1. Vinny as an ‘opener’….very intriguing idea.
        Now he will never ‘open’ for Nola or Arrieta (over my dead body will somebody open for me)…..but Eflin and Eickhoff would be viable alternatives….and once in awhile Pivetta.
        Vinny can handle two innings, for him that is about 40 to 50 pitches.

      2. His stat line today shows me that he has the mindset of a RP. I wonder if he is like Brett Myers, and secretly would love to be a RP?

        Anderson deserves some consideration to bump
        VV, but if Eickhoff pitches well against a Yankees lineup, that might be packed, I gotta believe he bumps VV, Great FIP or not… he doesn’t pitch to contact, which results in crazy high pitch counts by the 3rd. I wonder if he has ever has a 1-2-3 inning on less than 6 pitches. Doubtful. I’m about ready to stick a fork in VV

    2. “He needs to pitch to contact to be successfull as a SP” —- this is like looking for trouble. Vinny’s pitches are not suited for pitch to contract. If a MLB hits a Vinny FB it will almost be a hard hit. Pitchers with very good Sinker or 2S are the ones who can find success in pitch to contract.

      Vinny’s success as a SP will be dependent on his ability to locate his spots with efficiency. Both Vinny’s FB-CB can miss bats, Vinny need to keep his pitches withing the strike zone without serving it over the plate.

      1. He needs to trust his stuff. He doesnt trust his stuff. Too many 02 counts to 3-2.He might benefit from a new pitching coach. Cause this guy cant get threw to him.He has a major league arm, but mentally he just doesnt have the heart to trust his talent

        1. Vinny’s passion and demeanor shows he’s a fiery competitor – these are the type of players who believes in themselves and their ability (stuff). However, believing in yourself and your ability to execute are 2 different things – and confidence is not Vinny’s problem. His issue is the physical ability to command his live arm. Knowing his ability and his limitation, this is where a good coach and mentor can be a factor.

          A change in scenario is definitely a possibility, but a transition to the pen is another alternative.

      2. I can see that working as well… watching him
        I get the feeling he is in “strikeout” mode like Iverson was in shot mode, or Jimmy swinging for the fences. He needs quick outs every now and then to keep his pitch counts down. Even if he is located his spots, I feel his pitch count would still be high. It just seems like it’s way past time for him to learn how to get past the 5th consistently. Granted it’s ST, but I don’t get the sense he has learned to be more efficient

          1. I had forgotten about this. I think this happened right when I started to have confidence he could get past the 5th … well the doubt for me is creeping back in. Eickhoff,Anderson, DLS, and Irvin will be gunning for his spot, he doesn’t have all season to figure it out, I think he is on a short rope, 4 starts …

      3. There is only a small fraction of pitchers who do well “pitching to contact” – it requires great command and great movement. But, on the whole, “pitching to contact” is a loser philosophy, just like the prevent defense in football. I’m a fan of pitching to mitt.

        1. Thats true there are just a few pitchers that can do that effectively …..no relievers for sure….but IMO, it seems the ones who have the best results are the LHPs like the Keuchels, Moyers, Glavines, Buehrle, Jaime Garcia, CJ Wilson, Ted Lilly of baseball who have that great command and able to make that 2Smr do what they want it to do….thus they have high GB%s
          But for RHPs anymore….they need that good 4Smr FB in the mid to upper 90s

    1. IFA $ are normally in $250K increments. My guess is it’s either $250K (most likely) or $500K if O’s loves Lenin.

      1. KuKo…you are probably correct, i do not see anything higher than $500K …..understand also it cannot be carried pass June 15, so the Phillies will need to sign some guys with it within three months..

        1. So they can’t carry it past June 15th? I would assume then that they had someone in mind or else why not just wait until the money can go towards the kid they want to sign on July 1st for 2.5M?

          1. I still believe they are going to sign Taiwanese LHP Lin An-Ko after he graduates college (Culture University) this spring.

            I think they also want to be able to shop for LAD’s prospects who could be declared FA’s by MLB for major international rules infractions (similar to the penalties suffered by the Braves and Red Sox over the past few years). Gabe Kapler should be familiar with the Dodgers’ prospects placed on the open market.

            1. I’m not sure the if the LAD’s are going to be banned from signing J2 prospects for a certain amount of time as part of the penalties they may face. Both the Red Sox and Braves were hit with that sort of punishment (in addition to losing already signed prospects).

  75. I can’t wait until the season starts. I still see us as 2d to Washington, at least as things stand today. In the WC mix with the Braves and Brewers and Cubs and Cards. I think the Nats’ edge in SP makes the difference. I am believing in Pivetta making a big step up, and I am putting a good deal of trust in Arrieta. I am torn as to whether I think a Kimbrel or a Keuchel helps more. With the way Kapler manages, a closer may not be as valuable here, but if he closes the way he has, and Robertson and SerAnthony are set up/leverage guys, and we have Neshek for the 6th or 7th Inning, albeit every other day, that BP could be a real weapon. And, we have arms that can help additionally. What does everyone else think? Are we still behind the Nats? How do we look, heading into the season, regarding our Playoff chances?

    1. I have the phils at 1st, they were in 1st last year with just terrible defense which not only should be much improved but should help the pitching out noticeably. Then add what should be a better and more consistent offense, that also will help the pitching as it will likely take some pressure off knowing they don’t have to be at their best all the time.

      Of course injuries to the wrong players could derail that thought, and you never know how the team will gel when so many changes are made in the off-season. But to me with the improvements they should be looking at behind the plate, SS, OF, IB, and the pen plus what I assume will be either around or better starting pitching depending on course on how the young guys do, Jake’s arm holds up and VV doesn’t look like he has in the spring so far.

    2. @matt13 – Keuchel and Kimbrel are immediate help as both are better options that what the Phillies currently have. However, the need for Keuchel and Kimbrel are more short term in nature, thus, the need for short term contracts.

      It is a wash between WAS and PHI on paper. WAS rotations is more stable, however, they have rely on young and unproven (although very good) players on the offensive side. This is the exact opposite of PHI where the position players are established veterans while the rotation will rely on breakouts and development of young and still unproven arms of Pivetta, Eflin, Eickhoff, DLS, Anderson and others.

    3. matt – As always, in order to win, you have to be good AND lucky. Both teams are good, and the team with the most luck (injuries) will win. I died a little bit inside when I saw Bryce get hit, but we were lucky.

  76. Sorry but didnt know where to post this … (the rest of this comment was deleted by the site administrator)

    For your future reference, philly.com or anywhere but here.

      1. Romus do you think the phillies are in a little bit of a bind? With the good young catcher they have. do we expend Realmuto or wait .

    1. Please. Stop it. Just because some women you’ve heard announce aren’t good (and, yes, the Twins’ announcer is horrible) doesn’t mean ALL women can’t do this well.

        1. Roccom – I love your posts, but, cmon, that one was crazy sexist. I know it probably wasn’t meant that way, but that’s how it came out.

          1. No, we are not. This is a baseball community. This is NOT the place for gender bashing, which is all his comment was. Yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion. But, that doesn’t mean they get to air them here.

  77. VV, our new favorite topic since Trout resigned… gets another spring start this Tuesday…

    “He will look to get to 90 pitches in that outing… so he’ll hit the showers by the 4th?

    It took him 74 pitches to hit 3.1 innings last time. It’s time for VV to produce, and I did think he took a step forward last season, to get to the 6th at times. I’m running out of patience in a way, and as I suspected there is chatter that he is on a short leash with Eickhoff and Anderson breathing down his neck. I want him to succeed as a SP, but I think this is the year he heads to the pen. Eickhoff,Anderson, Irvin, DLS,Suarez are in line to replace him. Imo Eickhoff gets the first chance to take the job, from what I heard, the clubhouse is pulling for him, not just my biased based off his 2016 performance.

    1. It may be that he’s just way better suited for the bullpen. Remember, Mariano Rivera had a 5.51 ERA primarily as a starter the year before he became a lights-out reliever as John Wetteland’s setup man. Teams tried Goose Gossage as a starter many times before he went to the pen. Vince may just be better off as a reliever.

      1. Catch, I feel like he would be better suited. I’d like to see how he would attack hitters knowing he was in for 1 inning vs laboring to the 5th. Also, how he his stuff would play when bought in to SO a batter with 2 on, 2 outs. Houston, which has had a nice track record of developing talent recently, minus Appel, seems to think he is a RP vs a SP. It workouts better for Phil’s if he can be a SP, but I think the chips fall with him in the pen.

        Eickhoff pitches tonight vs the Yankees in a big test. Not sure he will be “working” on things, he for sure is going to try and put more nails in VVs coffin as SP. if he impresses against the yanks lineup, he could force the Phillies hand, exepcislly if VV pitches well out of the pen early on, when only 4 SP are needed

  78. Drew Anderson, the revelation of the ST, will probably benefit starting in LHV. It will give Anderson time to further improve his new Cutter. Couple of things I like Anderson to improve are:

    a) Ability to miss bats – his K/9 is ok but could be better. I think the Cutter will can help set up his other pitchers to strike batters out.

    b) Pitch at least 6 innings – Anderson had problems carrying his command and velocity deep in the game. With 2 years removed from injury and pitching 110 + IP for the last 2 years, pitching about 150 innings with 6IP average should be a good goal for him.

  79. Do we expect JoJo and Eshelman to be at Reading? I think Anderson, Eickhoff, DLS, Irvin and Ranger comprise the SR at LHV. I thought the last Grapefruit League game is Monday. Where will VV pitch on Tuesday?

    1. From CSN, sounded like he would stay behind as the team went north, not sure if that is considered “extended spring training” technically at that point

    2. @matt13 – I anticipate a move coming within the next 30 days. Package Williams + a young SP (Eflin, DLS, Ranger) will be the best options since this trade package can hit 2 birds in 1 stone – 1) fetch a good return and 2) clear needed roster space.

      If that option is not available, there’s always an MLB team who looks for a controllable MLB ready arm either for depth or to fill a need – Eshelman, Ranger, Irvin are the most expendable arms without weakening the SP pool.

        1. ARI is an easy answer because of a particular name – Robbie Ray and ARI appears heading into rebuilding/retooling. TEX (not expected to contend) is another and SF (MadBum) is a team to keep an eye on if they decided break the team and starting the retooling.

      1. KK – I agree and disagree. Williams/Altherr + Eflin, Velasquez, or De Los Santos Shou bring in a very good prospect.
        The one thing that everybody has been screaming for all winter is a left handed starter. I wouldn’t include Suarez or Irvin in any deal.

        1. One of the guys in the Philies FO knows Robbie Ray inside and out…..I would go get him…offer up to Hazen ….Williams, Velasquez and one of who they like between Irvin/DLS/Suarez/Anderson….and see if they are interested.
          And then have Cozens taking Williams spot on the 25.

        2. @Wawa – my opinion regarding the SP need is always been – get a SP who can pitch at least 6 IP with ❤ ERs regardless of what hand he throws, While having a LH in rotation provides some kind of balance, I don't want to get a LH just to get one. Ranger and Irvin (who I really like) are projected back end starters and the Phillies have a bunch of back end SP options.

          Note that I did not mentioned JoJo, who projects better than Ranger and Irvin. JoJo is near MLB ready and will be added in the 40-man at some point this year — and by the way, he's LH!! So JoJo can be that LH arm if the Phillies decided that having a southpaw in the rotation is a must.

          Looking down in the pipeline, Parkinson projects like Irvin or Ranger and he can be MLB ready soon. My favorite lefty above A+ is Bailey Falter — who can be MLB ready by next year.

          1. ** it should be less than 3 ERs. I wrote “< 3 ERs" and not sure why "<" becomes a "heart".

            And speaking of Heart —- the band Heart (Ann and Nancy Wilson) will be in Philly/Camden in August. I love the Wilson sisters and I will watch them!

        3. I don’t think people have any idea how much potential De Los Santos has – he’s not far off from Pivetta. He’s getting lost in the shuffle among us posters – but he shouldn’t be. He’s a great prospect.

          1. @catch – as of now, DLS is Eflin lite. DLS is mostly a FB pitcher with a good CU. The FB is a potential plus because of the velocity and movement, the CU can be above average although DLS doesn’t throw the CU with conviction, but DLS don’t have a consistent breaking ball yet. He throws a mix of CB and SL, the SL is bad but there might be something in the CB. Unless DLS can throw a decent CB or any other breaking ball whether its a SL, Cutter or whatever — this limits his ceiling because his current profile is a RP.

            I used to like Ricardo Pinto before. Pinto has good command and can throw his FB-CU for strikes. Pinto’s FB is mid-90s and his CU is good. However, Pinto never developed a decent breaking ball so when he gets into the MLB, he got exposed. Ranger is following the same trend. Ranger is another FB-CU arm with no consistent breaking ball although Ranger’s SL shows some promise.

            DLS FB is better than Pinto and Ranger so he can be better than those prospects. But unless he can develop a breaking ball or a reliable 3rd pitch, his ceiling is limited.

            1. Disagree on the Eflin/DLS comparison – they are so dissimilar as pitchers from my viewpoint. DLS throws harder and his pitches have more movement, especially more movement on a nasty fastball. Eflin’s FB is very straight. DLS is still working on his pitches, but he’s got a ton of upside.

          2. And also, DLS ceiling is not comparable to Pivetta. None of DLS’s stuff match with Pivetta (FB-CB-SL) unless you count the CU, a pitch that Pivetta rarely throws. DLS FB is good (mostly low to mid 90s), but Pivetta is awesome (mid to high 90s with movement) and DLS is no match with Pivetta’s power CB (mid 80s) and power SL (high 80s).

            So DLS is really closer to Eflin than Pivetta.

            1. Disagree. DLS can sit in the mid to high 90s and the FB moves a lot. Much closer comp stuff-wise to Pivetta. He’s not there yet, but it’s taken Pivetta a while and it might take him a while.

            2. @catch – DLS FB can touch 96/97 but it will be once or twice in a game. As a stater, the FB is more on 93-96 so your radar gun on DLS is too hot. As a RP (where his current profile fits right now), DLS can dial that FB by 2mph more. I don’t remember DLS FB hitting 98 or high 90s as you mentioned as a starter. I will agree with the movement, it’s not flat but it is not dancing as well.

            3. Nonetheless, we appear to agree that DLS holds a lot of value whether as a trade asset or as a member of the Phillies. The DLS trade might turn out to be Klentak’s version of the Paps-Pivetta trade.

    3. matt13….I think Eshelman stays at LHV…demoting a prospect this far along…….is the writing on the wall in a particular organization.
      And if they target him for Reading…and he has already did it done it…he will probably ask to be released to catch on with another team and since he is not on the 40, they probably would have release him if they do not have confidence in his ability to re-establish himself as a quality prospect again.

  80. I wonder if the bigger barrel bat which Kingery has been using may be serving more as a placebo effect to cause him to take steadier swings, laying the bat out there and getting positive results. Hey, whatever works….

    As for Velasquez, pitching on Tuesday while the rest of the squad heads north may be a graceful way for the Phillies to transition him to whatever role he might otherwise be expecting to fill. My sense is we will not see him start a major league game anytime soon.

      1. @8Mark/Murray – VV has the 5th starter spot locked up per CSNPhilly. That said he is on a short leash. It’s his job to lose, but I think he needs to accelerate fast. I give him 4 starts, 6 max before they would plug a AAA SP in there. This is what’s being pumped out to the media. I can see if Eickhoff commands the yanks tonight, they will have to think hard about moving VV to the pen.

        Last thought on it, I wonder if VV prefers to start or come out of the pen?

  81. Chris Sale is close to getting extended by Boston. Gerrit Cole is a Boras client so I’m hopeful that he’ll reach the FA market next winter. But the future FA markets are becoming merely a shadow of what it was just a couple years ago.

    1. He’ll reach FA and he’ll then cost a fortune if he has a good year. I like him but I don’t see us outbidding others for him.

      1. Murray, i would have thought the same thing, years ago. But with Middleton who prove to me he is serious with the money to harper. Why would he not outbid others if he really feels that player is a great fit here ,This isnt Giles thank god

  82. Another one off the board: Chris Sale.
    Redsoxs look to extend Sale.

    I guess the good news about this is Realmuto should be locked up soon…
    We can no longer look to FA to improve your team, better get those
    Farm teams humming

          1. Hard to say…..for the Phillies he’d have to play third, and I would think entering his age27 season…..6/7 years at $24/27M AAV….Bregman of the Astros is in that area after he goes beyond his arb years in his current extension.
            But…like Gerrit Cole and Dallas Keuchel…Scott Boras is his agent, so who jnows what he will end up with.

  83. Astos talking extending Cole and now Mets talk about extending Thor and Conforto.
    A pandemic of early extensions has taken over MLB.

    1. Interesting, Phils should extend Realmuto soon before the pendulum swings back in the FA favor. At some point one of these stars is going to see that the FA is weak and rip for the pickings. Whoever makes it will have a potential bidding war. Sounds like Reals leverage is increasing with each extension

    2. Update says Cole is not being extended nor are discussions happening. Remember he’s a Boras boy.

      1. Did not hear that on Cole, Rosenthal had them discussing this morning, guess it has changed….did see Verlander’s status from Jon Heyman:
        Jon Heyman✔
        @JonHeyman
        Justin Verlander is a free agent for 1st time after year and while “I plan to pitch into my mid 40s,” he also said, “I don’t need to sign a 5-year deal.” JV, 35, is OK going shorter and betting on himself, as long as value is right; he’s “cognizant” of potential effect on market.

        2:28 PM – Mar 6, 2019

      2. Seen it now on Cole.

        Gerrit Cole has refuted a report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic that he and the Astros have discussed a contract extension.
        “I told them they are free to call (agent Scott Boras) whenever they want,” Cole said. “That was the extent of the conversation and since then, Scott has not been contacted by anyone from the club. This seems more like a phone call negotiation involving the media than anyone else.” Rosenthal’s report said that the Astros were talking extension with Justin Verlander in addition to Cole but said it would be an “upset” if an agreement was reached with either party.

        SOURCE: Houston Chronicle
        Mar 22, 2019, 4:25 PM

    1. Why Pivetta?
      2019…Pre-ARB
      2020….Pre-ARB
      2021… ARB 1
      2022 ARB 2
      2023 ARB 3
      2024 FREE AGENT

      Nola had 3 yrs service time….Pivetta has 1.1 year service time.

    2. Since these extensions are providing virtually ZERO savings to the team, let’s have Realmuto make his $5.9M this season and worry about an extension next winter.

      If we extend him at the going rate, ($20M per??), it would boost our Payroll $14M for luxury tax purposes. We right now have $18M wiggle room. Not that I care about payroll, it isn’t my money. But teams seem to be weary of it. I’d rather remain flexible for this season.

      1. That is were it gets tricky.
        Agents, MLBPA and the players are seeing what is happening now.
        The owners also, and they also do not want to have happen to them,
        what happened to the Angelos(Machado) and Lerners (Harper)…low return on both.
        The Nats are now in another stick-wicky with Rendon….waiting until his final arb3 year….he is getting a good salary now at approx $20M, but it looks like now he will test free agency if nothing is done within the next week or two with a long term commitment.
        Cubs are in a similar situation with Bryant…though they are out twop years with him.
        Waiting for next winter…Realmuto entering his last and final arb year…will get approx $18/20M, but also may want to decide to test free agency….then the Phillies will have to pay more or lose him to just a draft choice if he is QOed.
        IMO, I would go for it now….4 years with a player option at 5.
        It is a risk….but on both parties.

        1. Tough call for most players now, unless he’s an elite player, and even then the recent trend will cause a reconsideration of whether he should enter free agency. Plus not all players are in a similar situation. A player with a ball club languishing in the second division may be more motivated to land with a contender. Realmuto may enjoy the atmosphere he and his family are in now. If so, that may go a long way to deterring him from navigating the unknown waters of free agency.

          1. Imo, they need to lock Realmuto up, ASAP. He is a big offensive boost to the team, coming in at catcher. Do it now, before he has another huge year in this lineup. Pretty simple from my view

        2. Realmuto will not triple his salary in his final year of arbitration. He won’t be earning $20M next year. Bryant has been pretty adamant he is going to test FA unless he is blown away. And Rendon doesn’t mind negotiating into the regular season.

          If the Phillies wait until next year, his age 29 season, and offer 5/$100M or 6/$115M, I cannot see Realmuto turning that down. Or more importantly, which team are going to top that number? Catchers don’t typically get paid like that. Posey signed when he was young. Russell Martin has the next highest. Yadi gets fairly compensated, but no $100M deal.

          I just feel we keep the flexibility for this year and pay him next year. How much “saving” are we really getting by extending him now?

          1. If Realmuto makes the all-star team again and puts up another 4bWAR season…..he will get close to $20M…maybe $18M in his final arb year.
            But hey, IMO, he gets an extended offer from the Phillies before he has to take an arb3 year salary.
            I still think he gets offered 4 years plus his option…which is an opt-out clause I guess if you look at it that way….@ anywhere between $90M/110M

          2. ‘How much “saving” are we really getting by extending him now?’…that is a fair point.
            Not much really……but the risk for the Phillies is if he decides to bolt after next year.
            Phillies get a QO draft pick …..and then stare at Sixto and Alfaro playing for the Marlins for the next 4/5/ years..

      2. if they just extend him now,and leave his 2019 salary where it is, it doesnt affect the luxury tax threshold in 2019.

  84. It is obvious that Arano is having one of the worst ST any MLB player have. I don’t understand why is he still pitching with the MLB. Why not live and fight another day. Option Arano back to LHV since he is a long shot to make the 25-man, clear his head, check his health and start a page in LHV. Arano issued a walk followed by a HR! Bam!

  85. Kingery’s homerun to right center last night, along with his 2 BBs, is a good sign. Looked like he waited nicely on that fast ball down at the knees, inside out swing. Going to be interesting who settles where, if at all, what with neither Franco nor Cesar exactly having great springs. Anyone know if CeHe is still hurting or just rusty?

  86. In the FWIW dept, SI predicts the Astros will beat the Phillies in the 2019 World Series. Milwaukee and LAD are other NL division winners, with Cards and Cubs as wild cards. NYY, MIN and HOU as AL division winners with BOS and TB as wild cards.

  87. Friday morning Verlander and Cole talking extension according to Ken Rosenthal.
    Friday afternoon….both not talking extension.
    Saturday….Verlander getting extension.

    “Justin Verlander is set for a two-year, $66 million extension with the Houston Astros that will keep him with the club through the 2021 season, an official familiar with the negotiations told USA TODAY Sports”.

  88. Irvin looked decent today. But I am still concerned about the rotation overall. Nola then Pivetta🤞then ???

    I like the way Cutch has been swinging the bat lately, heading into the regular season.

    1. They really could use a #3LHP in the middle of all the right handed pitchers..
      Hard to believe Padres could go with four LHP in their rotation if they want to….Robbie Erlin….Eric Lauer…. Matt Strahm…..Joey Lucchesi…..and Logan Allen.

  89. I can’t believe Kimbrel and Keuchel are unemployed as we get ready for the season. Some team/s are going to get them on short term deals, and I think we should be one. Each makes us better, and , to me, that should be the only consideration.

    1. matt – I’m willing to trust in our starters, but I really want Kimbrel. There will be games where Gabe will use 4 or 5 relievers, and Kimbrel makes that group deeper.

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