Open Discussion: Week of April 1, 2019

The Phillies began their 2019 season with an opening day win on Thursday.  They followed that with a second-game win on Saturday.  As I type this, they are tied with the Braves on Sunday Night Baseball.  So far, the Phillies have run out the same 8 players, in the same defensive positions, and in the same slots in the batting order all three games.  Bet that hardly happened last year.

Okay, I went back to the game and now we have a three-and-oh team, sole possession of first place, and the only undefeated team in baseball!

I admit that I preferred signing Machado in the off season.  Like some, I felt that he filled a stronger need in the infield.  But, after we got Segura, Harper made more sense to me.  I love the way Harper has embraced his role in the organization and at CBP.  From Phanatic spikes to running to his position to bowing and saluting the RF fans to the ball toss into the second deck to the individual hand shakes with each team mate to all the interviews he has to submit to, Harper strikes me as the ultimate professional.  I couldn’t be happier that he and his wife decided to come to Philadelphia.

Heck of an opening series for the Phillies.  I have to admit that there were moments when I longed for the acquisition of K or K.  But, it’s certainly too early to make snap decisions.  Conditions had a lot to do with pitching results.  Cold weather Sunday night and tight or erratic strike zones on Thursday and Sunday.

I choose to enjoy this weekend’s results.  I’ll reserve my second guessing until later.  Hopefully, much later.

Did you notice that Pat Neshek pitched in all three games?  I had heard/read that he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) go back to back.  Guess that’s another myth shattered.  And Boeggarts has reached an extension agreement with the Sox?  Another potential free agent off the market.

Bring on the Nationals!

The 40-man roster stands at 40, the entire organization stands at 348.

This is the Phuture Phillies Open Discussion for Phillies and other baseball topics.  Still don’t want to hear about some mythical Trout trade.

Key Dates:

  • April 4, 2019 – Opening game for Lehigh Valley, Reading, Clearwater, Lakewood
  • September 17, 2019 – beginning of the Arizona Fall League
  • October 12, 2019 – Arizona Fall Stars Game
  • October 27, 2019 – Arizona Fall League Championship Game

The rosters and lists are up to date. 

Transactions (newest transactions in bold text)
3/30/2019 – Phillies signed International FA P Victor Lopez; assigned to DSW
3/29/2019 – RHP Gilmael Troya assigned to Lakewood from Lehigh Valley
3/29/2019 – 3B Damek Tomscha assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
3/29/2019 – C Deivy Grullon assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
3/29/2019 – OF Jan Hernandez assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
3/29/2019 – LHP JoJo Romero assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
3/29/2019 – RHP Colton Eastman assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
3/29/2019 – RHP Kevin Gowdy assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
3/29/2019 – RHP Oscar Marcelino assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
3/29/2019 – RHP Tyler McKay assigned to Lakewood from GCL Phillies East.
3/29/2019 – RHP Dominic Pipkin assigned to Lakewood from GCL Phillies East.
3/29/2019 – RHP Gilmael Troya assigned to Lakewood from Lehigh Valley
3/29/2019 – C Rafael Marchan assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
3/29/2019 – 3B Alec Bohm assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
3/29/2019 – SS Jonathan Guzman assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
3/29/2019 – CF Malvin Matos assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
3/29/2019 – LF James Smith assigned to Lakewood from GCL Phillies East.
3/29/2019 – RHP Tyler Carr assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
3/29/2019 – LHP Ethan Evanko assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
3/29/2019 – LHP Ethan Lindow assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
3/29/2019 – RHP Robinson Martinez assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
3/29/2019 – RHP Francisco Morales assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
3/29/2019 – LHP Jhordany Mezquita assigned to Lakewood from GCL Phillies West.
3/29/2019 – RHP Victor Santos assigned to Lakewood from GCL Phillies East.
3/29/2019 – RHP Jack Perkins assigned to Lakewood from GCL Phillies West.
3/29/2019 – C Abrahan Gutierrez assigned to Lakewood from GCL Phillies West.
3/29/2019 – SS Luis Garcia assigned to Lakewood from GCL Phillies West.
3/29/2019 – 3B Jake Holmes assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
3/29/2019 – RF Carlos De La Cruz assigned to Lakewood from GCL Phillies East.
3/29/2019 – CF Yerwin Trejo assigned to Lakewood from GCL Phillies West.
3/28/2019 – Reading Fightin Phils released 2B Drew Stankiewicz.
3/28/2019 – RHP Pedro Beato released
3/28/2019 – Williamsport released RHP Tyler Fallwell.
3/28/2019 – Williamsport released RHP Randy Alcantara.
3/28/2019 – Phillies placed CF Roman Quinn on the 10-day IL retro to 3/25/19. Oblique 
3/28/2019 – Phillies placed RHP Tommy Hunter on the 10-day IL retro 3/25/19. Forearm
3/28/2019 – RHP Josh Martin, INF Sean Rodriguez, C Rob Brantly reassigned to minor league camp
3/26/2019 – OFs Shane Robinson and Lane Adams, and INFs Phil Gosselin, Gift Ngoepe, and Matt McBride reassigned to minor league camp
3/25/2019 – Phillies signed FA SS Andrew Romine, assigned him to Lehigh Valley
3/23/2019 – Phillies optioned Jerad Eickhoff to Lehigh Valley
3/22/2019 – Phillies optioned Victor Arano and Yacksel Rios to Lehigh Valley
3/22/2019 – OF Adam Haseley reassigned to minor-league camp
3/22/2019 – Phillies released SS Andrew Romine
3/22/2019 – Phillies released C Drew Butera
3/21/2019 – Phillies optioned LHP James Pazos to Lehigh Valley
3/21/2019 – Phillies optioned RF Dylan Cozens to Lehigh Valley
3/21/2019 – Phillies optioned RHP Drew Anderson to Lehigh Valley
3/21/2019 – Phillies released LHP Jeremy Bleich
3/21/2019 – Phillies released SS Gregorio Petit
3/21/2019 – Phillies released 3B Trevor Plouffe
3/21/2019 – Phillies released LHP Edward Paredes
3/19/2019 – Reading Fightin Phils released RHP Blake Quinn
3/19/2019 – GCL Phillies East released RHP Justin Miller
3/19/2019 – GCL Phillies West released RHP Alex Garcia
3/19/2019 – GCL Phillies West released 1B Stoney O’Brien
3/19/2019 – GCL Phillies West released RHP Sati Santa Cruz
3/18/2019 – Phillies traded C Lenin Rodriguez to Baltimore for Future Consideration
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

318 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of April 1, 2019

  1. Surreal. This lineup is SO deep that as one or two or three guys look off in one go around, one or two others come through to manufacture a run, including 8 dingers through the 1st 3 games. This may take a while to get used to.

    And the one thing Harper brings to this literal party is ENERGY, from the dugout all the way to Ashburn Alley…something that CBP has been missing for 7 years – and even then it had become expected, and it’s even more fun now than ever. The celebrations atop the dugout steps may elicit some chin music like it did last night. But hey – it’s finally time to have the bullseye on OUR backs for what’s happening ON THE FIELD.

    And Gabe, great job as you just LET ‘EM PLAY! (We can address the pitching later…)

    Now let’s go down and take over DC!

  2. 8mark – The best thing about the pitching is that all three starters threw a lot of pitches. By the time the warm weather rolls around, they’ll all be ready to go 7 or 8 innings.

  3. The fun is back at CBP! Yes this lineup looks great to start the year. No way to get through this lineup three times without damage. We’ll see how we do against Scherzer. Let’s go!
    The bench will get occasional starts but barrring injury it won’t be frequent.

  4. Will be interested to see how our offense stands up to the Aces of the East. The Braves don’t have any, as of yet. I gotta think they get one of K&K, with the Brewers getting the other. If the cubs wipe them out, I think the Braves will be in panic mode.

    The offense is pretty amazing 1-5. Anyone of the hitters can walk, mixed in with xtra base hits. Then, the offense just needs one of Herrera,Cehe, or Franco to step up.

    OK, so now… with this offense… the DH is starting to look even sweeter. Arrietta s at bat was fun, but imagine having Kingery,Cozens, Quinn in that spot?

    Efflin needs to keep it close tonight, and let the offense beat the bats tomorrow.

    That was a great opening weekend, Sweeping the Braves, putting them 3 games back right off the bat, keeping Acuna quiet… it has to mess with their morale. I will say, I hope they trade Freeman soon, the dude kills us

      1. Yeah I saw the typo, good “catch”. Technically he can’t throw a no hitter since no one will register an “at bat” 🙂

  5. Haseley or Moniak cannot get up here fast enough to take over in CF.
    OH, after four years of a downward slide (OPS+-111, 109, 104, and finally last year at 94) i think Doobie may be playing his last season in Philly.
    That first at bat with the bases jammed thru walks says it all.
    he is such an undisciplined major league hitter….even ARod and the hs partner in the booth had to mince their words when he started flailing at the first pitch in the dirt.

    1. You can write novels with the different Odubel takes that have made their way online over the past 5 years. He has undeniable hitting talent that will always make him an enigma. I will say that first at bat last night is one of the worst I have ever seen. Rookie pitcher making his first ML start in a very hostile road environment walks the bases loaded, and this dude is swinging at a first pitch in the dirt. That is just bad baseball. I’m only down to get rid of him though if somebody is ready to take over. There is no evidence that haseley or moniak are close to ready. I did love Quinn last year, but that dude just cant stay healthy for more than a month at a time. In a perfect world, Haseley has a breakout year and is ready to take over in 2020

      1. IMO, Haseley is getting closer.
        After his start at Reading, maybe 350 PAs of Triple A pitching could be all that he needs at this point.
        The only reason I cannot see him up in late August or September is that the team wpild be in the play-off hunt and cannot afford to put a rookie in the lineup. Though moving Franco and Cesar up a few few slots in the batting order and putting Haseley in the 8 hole would not be as critical as it would appear.
        I’d have no worries about his defensive play in CF.

    2. Man Romus even Arod was saying in that first AB the tendency would be to take a pitch however he disagreed and said you have to be ready to jump a cookie FB down the middle.

      Unfortunately for Doobie that is not what he got. I can’t defend him of course as ultimately those were pretty bad AB’s last night.

      A little early to bash him though. Once he gets hot look out. The trick with him as I’ve observed is he responds very well to getting benched for a night or two. It’s way too early for that.

      Criqui we’re all enamored with Segura and he’s got 4 Ks and no BBs. He swings at everything that guy.

      1. DMAR………patience for the patients.
        And how about that right center field at the base of the wall….jump in front of Harper and snag the ball catch……my guess, the first time he collides with the $330M Bionic Man …..Kapler will have him sitting for awhile.

        1. I know I know Romus. I’m chilled out.

          Some fun facts to make you feel good. Through the first weekend there are 56 players with an OPS of 1.000+. Guys like Trout and Machado are not one of them but Franco, Harper, Hoskins, Realmuto and McCutchen are.

          The Mariners lead the league in HRs 15. The Royals have yet to hit a HR. Phillies have 8 which is a pace of 432.

          If they say you can’t win a division in April but you can lose it what do they say about March.

          Also if I am not mistaken all but 1 scheduled game was played to start the season!

          1. DMAR…good stats….and Franco looks like he is rededicated himself , right now anyway.
            And those Mariners, got a head start, and clubbed a few of those 15 HRs in Japan…before ST was completed.

            1. The best part of Franco’s night was a BB and a little inside out swing to hit the ball to the hole on the right side 🙂

              He has a tendency to really want to pull everything which is fine but he has to learn how and when he will see pitches to do that with hitting 8. If he figures that out MY GOSH what a season he will have.

    3. Romus – I fell you, but we have to be more patient with OH. If he can do what he has done before, he will allow more time for Haseley/Moniak to develop. It’s tempting, as it should be to replace OH with high 1st rd picks. Cozens could still force his way on, but the defense would take a hit. At least Cozens wouldn’t collied with his right and left fielders. The at bat was terrible, but I can give that a pass this early on, the OF collision, that boils my blood more.

      Hope is on the way, but I’m not sure it’s an improvement in talent, but certainly baseball smarts/awarness

  6. I agree with you both. I know we won 3 games, and it was a blast to watch. I am thrilled with how we have hit, and hate to complain. But, that at bat drove me crazy. The folks in the booth were saying you have to take this first pitch, just as he swings at a ball in the dirt, not even close to the plate. Clearly guessing a FB down the middle, but guessed wrong, and he showed zero plate discipline. His second AB was just as bad, but the bases hadn’t just been walked loaded. Horrible baseball. I was encouraged by Arrieta, despite the 6 BBs, and command issues. It was very cold, but the encouraging part was that some of his Pitches were downright nasty. He still has terrific stuff, and will get better command as the season goes on. All in all, a terrific first 3 games.

    1. I wasn’t around on the weekend but did anyone chastise Segura for his base running blunder Saturday night. He’s on 2nd with 1 out and tries to tag on a fly ball to get to 3B with 2 outs


  7. My problem with this team is, We just dont match up with Washington or New York with there pitching. We have the tor guy in Nola. but then its a mystery. If we make the playoffs without adding a stud we cant win against those two teams with Nola , then ?

    1. roc….Mets Wheeler has struggled thru ST and early on…deGrom is what he is, an ace….Thor still has his flaws. Matz has had shoulder issues and has been inconsistent in the past
      Nats…Strasburg did not look good vs the Mets……Corbin also was hit and walked one too many in his start.
      But it is early on ….so lets see how the Phillies pitching responds.

      1. It’s odd that nobody mentioned Franco, who leads the team in every offensive category. If we continue to see “bad” Odubel, it won’t be for long.

    2. Keuchel is possibly the best SP available and he is not a stud. Actually, he might be on the downward path that’s why he is not signed yet.

      The Phillies played good games against Thor and deGrom but they struggled with the Mets other pitchers particularly Bartolo Colon. But the current Phillies is a different team now especially on the offensive side.

      For WAS, Mad Max is what Doc used to be with the Phillies so that’s will always be a tough match. But again, the offense improves so that gives the Phillies a chance against any other WAS pitchers.

      If you look at the 2008 WS winning team, Cole Hamels is the only stud arm while the rest of the rotation (Myers-Moyer-Blanton-Kendrick) are ok. Arrieta > Moyer, Pivetta > Myer and the Phillies had enough $$ and depth within the team to find a suitable #4 and #5 better than Blanton and Kendrick combo.

      1. The 2008 team was a real anomaly. Only 7 pitchers started for the Phillies that year – Hamels (33), Moyer (33), Myers (30), Kendrick (30), Adam Eaton (21), Blanton (13), and JA Happ (4).

        Blanton was acquired on July 17 from Oakland for Matthew Spencer, Adrian Cardenas, and Josh Outman. Happ, who had made a one-game debut on June 30, 2007, was called up for two starts in July of 2008 and a relief appearance in early August before he was called up in September (2 starts, 3 relief appearances).

        While we all remember Hanmels’ playoff heroics, he was a disappointing 14-10 after a 15-5 2007 campaign. Still he put up the staff’s best numbers –

        Hamels – 14-10, 3.09 ERA, 33 GS, 227.1 IP, 53 BB, 196 K
        Moyer – 16-7, 3.71 ERA, 33 GS, 196.1 IP, 62 BB, 123 K
        Myers – 10-13, 4.55 ERA, 30 GS, 190.0 IP, 65 BB, 163 K
        Kendrick – 11-9, 5.49 ERA, 30 GS. 155.2 IP, 57 BB, 68 K
        Eaton – 4-8, 5.80 ERA, 19 GS, 107.0 IP, 44 BB, 57 K
        Blanton – 4-0, 4.20 ERA, 13 GS, 70.2 IP, 31 BB, 49 K
        Happ – 1-0, 3.69 ERA, 4 GS, 31.3 IP, 14 BB, 26 K

        Of course, this is only part of the recipe to a 92-win season. A lock-down closer in Brad Lidge helped. As well as, a BP that featured Chad Durbin, Ryan Madson, Clay Condrey, JC Romero, Rudy Seanez, and Scott Eyre. All had sub 3.55 ERAs. Plus half a season of Tom Gordon (34 appearances, 5-4, 13 H, 2 S, 1 BS).

        1. I mean, maybe Hamels’ regular season in 2008 was not what some people expected, but he pitched to a 3.09 ERA – and he wasn’t a disappointment at all. He was a firmly entrenched ace of the staff (although not really a true #1 by objective standards he was pretty special) by mid year. He pitched to a 4.7 WAR that year.

    3. Rocco if our guys stay healthy I think they are built to withstand good pitching. I think this line-up can grind out a good SP and get to a teams BP where they can do damage.

      But yes it would be beneficial to add one more solid piece. I’m warming up to a Robbie Ray deal.

    4. we won the WS in 2008 with Hamels and a lot of slop. Gotta remember that. Also if this is how the first few months of the season goes, Klentak will get a starter

      1. Dan you have to admit the stars aligned for that team drawing the Rays. I suspect had we drew the Red Sox that year we’d have bemoaned a different outcome.

  8. Harper vs Strasburg … in WAS. That is a must watch matchup. Going to be a lot of emotions for the engaged Nats fans. (I’m guessing that matchup happens this series)

    Glad Efflin drew Scherzer, it’s a tough matchup, but really looking forward to how the offense responds to top tier pitchers. I’ll be very happy if they can take the series, 2-1, and leave WAS with a 5-1 record. 6-0 would be a dream

    1. It’s only a 2-game match with Eflin and Vinny getting the starts. Then the 3-game match the week after with Eflin and Vinny (again) plus Nola pitching the last game.

      WAS is still offensively capable getting the Phillies weaker SPs in 4 (or 5 games). The current bullpen is still shaky and they might be called upon earlier in the next 2 games.

      1. From what I understand, Velasquez isn’t scheduled to start until Mon 4/8 vs Mad Max. Can’t say I’m in faith for that matchup.

        1. @8mark – you are correct. I checked the schedule and it will be Eflin and Nola in DC then Vinny, Nola and Pivetta at CBP, Honestly, the Vinny start is the only one I’m concerned.

          IMO, it will be PHI vs WAS for the NL East so each game against one another is important.

          1. I was listening to the first half of Saturday nights game so I didn’t get to see Pivetta. How did he look?

            1. it is the Bad Nicky P. who showed up. Velocity are ok but the command of his pitches is poor.

      1. Wawa, I see now. I haven’t peaked at the schedule yet. All these off days and short series are throwing me off!

        Missed opportunity. That is must watch baseball imo. Even Harper vs Scherzer. Sounded like He was the one who through Harper under the bus. Will see how hard Harper swings against him.

        For Baseballs image, it could be boosted by highlighting a matchup of Harper vs Scherzer, two potential HOF. I think baseball needs more of that.

  9. You can bet that if the team needs an experienced arm – Mr. Middleton will instruct the FO to go get it. You can’t waste a great lineup and solid catcher and be short one pitcher. Remember what J-Roll said, “if John Middleton ever becomes the principal owner this team will look like Steinbrenner South…” Book it.

  10. Herrera’s undisciplined overall game is really accentuated when watching professionals like Mccutch and JTR do their work

    1. I’m sorry. Did you see McCutchen’s first AB. With the count 3-1, he chased two fastballs out of the strike zone instead of taking a walk.

      1. Jim have you seen Josh Stephen this spring? Just wondering what you think about his chances.

        1. He is only 21 and they put him on Reading’s roster. He is a lefty and we already have 3 starting OFs Hasely/Moniak/Randolph that are lefties.

      2. I did Jim…and I think the point is if we’re going to rip on Odubel for every bad AB that he has we should be ripping on everyone that has a bad AB or does something dumb on the bases.

  11. Two thoughts:
    All is going well now, no doubt, at some point most expect the team to hit a bumpy road, how does the individual handshakes play when your behind? Does that negatively affect the team when they go through a rough patch?

    Forcasting the prospects in the system, to replace current roster players, where are the actual upgrades?

    Kingery over Cehe?
    Bohm over Franco?
    Haseley over Herrera?
    Moniak over McCutchen?

    Howard, Medina, etc over VV?

    The position prospects, I’m not so sure anymore, they might have their best team of the window right now … something to consider at the deadline

    1. the easy answer is — those prospects have higher ceiling than the current MLB players listed. and the hard par is we don’t know who and if these prospects will reach their ceilings.

      Among the prospects listed, Kingery and Haseley are probably the ones closest to contribute the MLB team. Kingery is not needed because of Cesar while Haseley will probably benefit from another 6 months in the minors and he is not yet due for protection until next year.

      With the acquisition of established vets during offseason, the Phillies is in WIN NOW mode and this is the mindset that Klentak will have at the deadline. With depth in the high minors – Eick, Anderson, DLS, JoJo, Irvin, Ranger – I can see Klentak tapping Iron Pigs for help if not, trade some of these MLB ready arms for established SP like MadBum.

      1. “those prospects have higher ceiling than the current MLB players listed” – do they? I’m not so sure.

    2. I can’t imagine any of their celebrations will negatively impact team members. The handshakes usually energize people. It’s kinda like a, “he can do it, so can I” moment. Especially for the guy on deck. For that guy it makes you feel like part of a tag team. It’s also a reminder that every rally starts somewhere.

      Of course every person is different, but no one I’ve EVER played with has had anything but a positive reaction to celebrating a teammate’s big play. You’re still happy for them even if the team comes up short in the end. And individualized handshakes are just a way of showing camaraderie and friendship in game settings.

  12. Congratulations to Bryce and Kayla Harper. Just heard it announced on the radio in the car the Harper’s are expecting baby #1 in August. Just in time for Bryce’s first WS championship.

    1. As if my nephew’s birthday didn’t make mine irrelevant enough already…

      Congrats to the Harpers.

  13. I hate orchestrated celebrations! In football and baseball, and in the stands (I never did the Wave). It seems that football encourages it because they don’t care how long their games run. Baseball has been trying to shorten their games for twenty years Expect the word to come down from the Commissioners office for the Phillies to cease their celebrations. As of now, Harper has to go through three orchestrated (Hoskins, Franco, & McCutchen) celebrations, and a possible curtain call to resume the game after a dinger. It’s time to stop it, before anybody gets seriously injured (HBP) because of it.

    1. That’s an extremely one-sided way to look at them. I’ve never been the type to do them myself, but I’ve had a LOT of teammates who enjoyed doing them. If a time constraint is what you’re worried about, then tell them they have to happen in the dugout. The game continues regardless of what the dugout is doing.

      As for a HBP because of a celebration… HAH. If they’re willing to throw at you for a handshake, they’re willing to throw at you for hitting the homer to begin with. Celebrations don’t show up the pitcher. You’re not staring him down while walking the bases. You’re getting congratulated by teammates.

      Besides, baseball is a game. Let it be fun. There’s just as much room for the exuberant players as there are the Utleys of the world.

    2. Wawa…it is new for them…in time it will temper.
      Also after a few losses it may also dwindle.

      1. Is Kapler running scared? Both Scherzer and Nola started on opening day. On normal rest Scherzer is pitching again tomorrow, but Nola isn’t. Eflin is being offered up as a sacrificial lamb, so that Nola can have an easier game on Wednesday. I don’t like it one bit.

        1. Wawa…..I think the expression now commonly used….’putting my team in a position to succeed’. …he may think it is easier to get one victory in the two game set.

            1. maybe Kapler understands it’s a long season so getting Eflin a start as part of a normal rotation is good for the team and it doesn’t matter about specific pitcher match-ups in April.

      2. I hope so Romus. For me its “to each their own” I don’t want to become the fun police but I’m a “act like you been there before” kind of guy and winning in and of itself is fun.

        I get enough enjoyment from the HR or the bases clearing double. The in game handshakes do not add to that enjoyment.

        Now if you want to save that for when the game is over and you notch the win have at it. But in game in the middle of the game is a little much for me.

        1. DMAR…I am with you…but I am also an old head and have seen enough thru the years to believe it really could be savored more for those momentous times…the win for example.
          I do think they will eventually bring it down a few notches on the celebration decibel level in time.
          When the wives/irlfriends start asking them at dinner…..’Do you guys do that every time someone hits a HR?”…then the light will go on.

          1. Lmao Old Head. Your ancient m8. There arent many left from World War 2 Thank y for your service m8

  14. WAPO’s Tom Boswell on Harper:
    :”I’ve never seen an athlete spend more time on drawing attention to himself. Maybe it’s just more obvious when he’s on a different team. His green shoes practically glowed in his first Phillies game. Completely stood out from any of his teammates. And after his second homer in two games on Sunday, he had a different home-run celebration “handshake” –or ritual– with each teammate as he went through the dugout. That takes practice! . . .I wonder what Rhys Hoskins thinks –really thinks. Two pitches after Harper’s HR celebration, he got thrown at for the 3rd time in that Braves series. The Atlanta pitcher (Carle) was ejected.”

    1. If he thinks Rhys Hoskins is upset about Bryce Harper coming, filling the stands, giving Rhys and his teammates national attention, and drawing walks for him so he can drive in oodles of runs, he’s got another thing coming. By all appearances, Hoskins is overjoyed that he plays with Bryce Harper now. Bryce Harper plays hard, is soft spoken, appreciates the fans, and kicks ass. Don’t like that? Too bad.

      1. I think there is some sour grapes from some of the DC media folk and maybe the fans.
        They have this ‘betrayal thing by Harper’ going on.
        I can understand some of that but Harper will be addressing the DC fans and will show his appreciation for their support for the 7 years he was there.
        Wonder how the Os fans and Baltimore media folk feel about machado!

        1. We can be honest here right? Many well before he came to Philly were turned off by the hype this kid received. From the Sports Illustrated cover on I’m sure many were hoping to see him fail. I mean its not supposed to be that easy and its not for 95%+ players in the MLB.

          Second its not the first time Bryce was voted most overrated and I believe the last time he was, he followed that up with his MVP season.

          Third we don’t know why Papelbon was so enraged that he went after Bryce on live TV in the dugout. We can glean from that however that Bryce can rub people the wrong way even a teammate.

          Fourth we must watch that in his effort to be the every man rah rah teammate he doesn’t suck the air out of the room to the point it becomes detrimental to the rest of the organization.

          So yes I am sure Hoskins appreciates having the added muscle pulling on that rope to a championship and how it will improve his own marketability and financial situation in the future.

          But let’s not fool ourselves into thinking this will never get old if 5 years into this thing we haven’t won another WS with a few playoffs and division titles sprinkled in.

          I’ve played with Players like Bryce I’ve had them on some of my teams. Superior talents who have to work really hard to say and do the right thing because humble doesn’t come natural for them (Mike Trout).

          1. DMAR….you pretty much summed it up.
            That is a worry to some degree….if in five years the Phillies are doing what the Nats have done for the past five years…..the shine will fade.

  15. I didn’t hear all this complaining about celebrations from other teams when they had the advantage on us the last few years. Go back and watch the Mets celebrate all those homers they hit at CBP like they won the billion dollar powerball. Now that we’re not someone’s kicking toy, all the whining is out form other teams and writers.
    I LOVE the celebrations
    I love the energy
    Time will slow them down but we’ve been down since 2011
    I’m enjoying very celebration, handshake and fist pump

  16. What’s wrong with all the hand shakes? I would rather see a team with personality and enjoying themselves,than a bunch of dower faces, also MLB should be encouraging things like this, if they say that they aren’t getting young fans, they should encourage these things to get kids interested in the game. But I am also a fan of bat flips to the moon. (i’m also 40)

    As for anything that Boswell writes that guy is just a curmudgeon. Also what’s wrong with Harper having the Phanatic on his spikes for opening day, I thought it was a great way for him to introduce himself to Philly. If Embiid wore shoes with the Phanatic or Gritty or anything like that. whichever shoe company he has a deal with would be selling them the next day, and it would be all over ESPN, MLB needs to embrace things like this, in my view this is one of the problems with baseball the old unwritten rules, god forbid anybody have fun playing a “kids” game.

  17. My goodness, did I miss a series or two where the Phils got swept? Take it down a notch, ladies and gentlemen.

    Regarding Doobie:
    1) outfield collisions happen all the time at every level of the game. It can be the fault of many things. But in general, if the CF calls for the ball, that is HIS ball. The CF and the SS own their respective fields. They are the generals. Everyone else gets out of the way. End statement. Did he call for it? Then not his fault. Did he not call for it? Then maybe. But either way, you do NOT get angry at a player for trying to secure an out. You remind them to call for it or to heed a call, but you do not chastise them for doing what they’re supposed to be doing.

    2) He is not unprofessional, he is not a child, and he is not a bad player. He shows up every day, he puts in the work, and he generally gets great results. I get that he acts differently than you do/did. So what? He loves his job and he comes from a different culture. Have you never worked with the guy that has a constant smile? Same thing, he just gets to be even more expressive because of his field of work.

    Regarding celebrations:
    Should fans be prohibited from jumping out of their seats and cheering? Should we “act like we’ve seen a home run before”? Hell no. If you’re excited, be excited. If you’re happy, be happy. And we’re not even the people who did something! We just watched! But you guys want the person who actually did what we’re screaming about to put his head down, jog the bases, and sit on the bench? Some people are like that. I certainly am. But if the person who did something noteworthy wants to be excited about it, let them. If the team who directly benefits from their heroics want to jump up and down, let them. They aren’t doing anything disrespectful, and their celebrations are actually very tame. They just have more moving parts. Who cares?

    Regarding Kapler/pitching Eflin:
    Pitching Eflin against Scherzer doesn’t mean he’s throwing in the towel. Maybe he just believes in Eflin more than some of you. Maybe he believes our offense is good enough to make up the difference. Maybe he doesn’t want to give Nola extra starts because he’s worried about over working him.

    Or MAYBE it’s Eflin’s turn in the rotation. What kind of message does it send to your pitcher if he hasn’t pitched yet and you’re already skipping his spot in the rotation. He hasn’t given Kapler any reason not to trust him on the mound. Let the kid pitch. It’s his job. Sometimes he’ll win, sometimes he’ll lose. But pitchers don’t improve on the bench.

    It’s fine to not anoint the Phils the greatest team ever. You shouldn’t. It’s just one series. But also, IT’S JUST ONE SERIES. Start complaining when they’ve done something worthy of complaining. Until then, just enjoy the ride. Be happy that we’re currently the only undefeated team in baseball.

  18. Living in Colorado and having the ability to watch the last 2 games on National TV, I have to say that I loved the enthusiasm, energy and overall play from this team. It was infectious and took me back to the 2008-2011 teams. Watching the crowds reaction to HRs hit during this series was something I have been waiting for since the addition of the core 5. This is going to be a exciting year. Embrace the celebrations……………….these guys are making Phillies baseball fun again!

  19. I understand the older fans (I’m one of them [56 YO]) pining for the “good old days” when baseball was only about wins and losses. However, you’ve got to understand it is 2019, and MLB (all professional sports) is now entertainment. I’m not saying wins and losses aren’t still important. I am saying fans want to be entertained. Young kids will soon be emulating each of Harper’s handshakes. My favorite is his encounter with Maikel Franco.
    Last season, even when the Phillies were winning and in first place, CBP was mostly empty and the atmosphere was not very fun (except for the Phanatic). That’s the reason John Middleton settled on Harper instead of Manny Machado. Harper, for all his talent on the field, is making the stoopid money for being the most entertaining player in the sport. They’ve played three games at CBP, and they’ve sold them all out. I was at Fox Chase CC today, and I must have seen seven or eight people in Phillies T-Shirts/sweatshirts. It’s early, but all Phillies fans seem to be on board with this team. What’s not to like? Let the players have fun, and let the fans have fun.

    1. Hinkie if what you say is true why are 20 something pitchers still throwing at players?

      I don’t think you can defy human nature in the heat of a highly competitive sport. So its not really us fans and our age who’s opinions matter on this subject.

      1. MLB has to do a better job of appealing to younger fans if it wants to stay relevant. This is why the league is considering rules to speed up the game and make it easier for guys to get on base.

        Also, while the pitcher (Shane Carle) may be a younger guy, you have to also focus on the manager, coaches, and the catcher. In this case, Brian McCann has a history of playing the role of MLB’s HR sheriff.

        Again, nothing is more important than winning. However, teams and the league as a whole need to make the game/their club as entertaining as possible to keep fans enthused ans keep the sport healthy (especially with younger fans).

  20. You know the fans are fired up for this team when they give a standing O to Arrieta for his 11 pitch AB Fly out. That was great to see the crowd that fired up.

  21. I was at the game on Saturday .When Harper hit the homer,the noise rose,as if, it was going thru a canyon.When he came out of the dugout,for an encore,it rose to a pitch that I can’t remember hearing at a game.
    P.S. I saw my first game in 1948( A’s against the Red Sox.).

    1. Charlie … respectfully, I’m not sure your hearing level is a good barometer anymore 🙂

      1. TAC3……..had to be a high pitch or he wouldn’t have heard it, right? ……..huh, what was that?

  22. The first series sweep of the Braves is great. Let’s see what the Phillies can do against the Nats.
    Herrera was hurt half of spring training . So he might just need to see more pitches. He does have the ability to look horrible 1 game and then go 4 for 4 the next.

    The Phillies AAA team is build for instant help for the Phillies . So the Back half of the rotation maybe interchangeable parts . Let’s play ball and see .

  23. Under the Radar…Phillies from MiLB.
    Philadelphia Phillies, Kyle Dohy, LHP

    A 2017 16th-round pick out of Citrus Community College in California, Doby posted an flashy 14.7 strikeouts per nine innings at three different levels in his first full season last year. The 22-year-old began at Class A Lakewood, where in 33 innings he fanned just under 48 percent of the batters he faced. A promotion to Class A Advanced Clearwater lasted just 11 frames until he got bumped up again to Double-A Reading. Dohy struggled in the Eastern League — the left-hander posted a 5.56 ERA in 22 2/3 innings — but improvements in battling fatigue and commanding his pitch arsenal should give him a better chance there this season. Often flashing plus stuff with his fastball, slider and changeup, Dohy has a chance to push to the top of the farm in the near future.

      1. Hah…hope Aaron Fultz works with him at Reading on his command issues.
        Dohy, along with Edgar Garcia could be in the CBP pen come August

        1. Romus when I was lobbying months ago that Kyle should be in our Top 30 I think many knocked him for his Reading command but through LKW and CLW he was pretty tight.

          I think by the time he got to Reading he might have been wearing down a little. He’s light framed.

          1. DMAR…one have him at 22 so he is getting his share of recognition.
            Relief pitchers normally do not rate very high in many of the nationals.
            Rarely do I ever see them in any teams top ten.

    1. I am a huge Dohy fan.

      One of the hallmarks of a great farm IMO is the ability to produce elite relief pitchers. Adds so much value and saves so much money and roster flexibility. Dohy, Warren, Llovera, etc. All very, very valuable.

  24. Another hi-velo hi-draft choice HSer needs TJ:
    Cincy’s number three prospect.
    Hunter Greene

    Thanks for all the❤️ I’m in great shape & great spirits. I’m in LA & will have surgery next week by Dr. Neil Elattrache. I have an amazing support group & people around me that will make me even stronger. I’m still on track, time to move forward!
    10:35 PM – Apr 1, 2019

  25. Good writeup on the Farm

    lots of good stuff in there, but here are some interesting quotes/notes:

    – “But Bohm is 22 (he turns 23 in August) and it will be a disappointment if he doesn’t spend a good chunk of the season at Clearwater. The Phillies insist Bohm will remain a third baseman, but there are reasons to question whether he can stick there. His arm actions are slow and his range could diminish as he grows a little more.”

    – Luis García and Jonathan Guzman will split time at Shortstop and second base at Lakewood.

    – “Those inside the organization might be most excited to see Rafael Marchan, a 20-year-old Venezuelan catcher, who will be on a full-season affiliate for the first time. He is undersized, but he projects as an everyday catcher. He is a potential breakout candidate in 2019.”

    – “Gowdy pitched in the low 90s this spring. Bonifay said Gowdy at times reached 94 mph. “It was encouraging,” Bonifay said.”

    – “For the majority of evaluators, Spencer Howard has passed Adonis Medina as the system’s top pitching prospect. During offseason trade talks, teams asked the Phillies most often about Howard and García.”

    – “Clearwater will have Jhailyn Ortiz in the lineup at some point, but he will begin the season in extended spring training as he recovers from a hamstring injury that nagged him in March. During the offseason, Ortiz underwent Lasik surgery and the Phillies are hoping some vision issues were solved. Ortiz struggled last year at Lakewood. He wore corrective lenses and some within the organization were not convinced his pitch-recognition issues were solely tied to the vision situation.”

    – “Mauricio Llovera is one of the more intriguing arms. He too could be a power, multi-inning reliever down the line, but the Phillies will keep him in the rotation for now. He’s hit 100 mph with his fastball.”

    Lots of other good stuff…if you don’t have a subscription to TheAthletic, I recommend one. It has really good articles daily on Phils, Sixers, Eagles and Flyers.

    1. Putting all my chips on Marchan in 2019, who should be ready when JTR is transitioning to 1b/corner OF/DH.

      1. Woooo – wait a minute. Marchan hasn’t even played a full year of full season ball yet. He’s in Low A and has not even had a break out year. How in the world can you project him to do anything yet, let alone replace the best catcher in baseball. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but he’s way too far away right now to project. C’mon now.

        1. Anyway . . . I would bet money that, right now, the Phillies are in the process of trying to negotiate a one-year contract for Keuchel. I don’t want him weighing down payroll for more than year, but for one year, he could be a very useful piece for them and would allow Velasquez to return to the bullpen. It could be a real win-win for this team.

          1. If the Phillies wait until June to sign either Keuchel and/or Kimbrel..they save international money and a draft choice….some teams may be thinking that way I am sure.

            1. Romus, some teams may in fact be thinking that way, but at the risk of missing out on a guy who might not want to wait to sign and forfeit even more money than he has already. Not sure what either Kimbrel or Keuchel have accomplished at this point.

        2. You may be right. Marchan is an undersized catcher with decent speed and good contact skills as a switch hitter. We may see him eventually move to 2b. But my opinion is based mainly on the fact that he’s already ranked as top 15 on many lists. Personally, I like to project forward a few years in case I’m right. Which I’m not always. Like you.

      2. I have Marchan and O’Hoppe as #1 and #2 catching prospect with Grullon as #3. I like Marchan but O’Hoppe has the JTR profile if he keeps the hitting as he goes up the minors.

    2. Lots of good stuff.

      My takeaways …

      If there is any position the Phillies seem to be able to develop or at least identify with higher than average odds, it’s the catcher position. This team should be set for a long while with Realmuto and the upcoming prospects.

      Gowdy… at 94mph, hell yeah, what we like to hear. Very excited for the kid, sounds like he getting back on track

      Lastly, our top positional prospect is Garcia, and our top pitching prospect is Howard. To me, it is telling when other teams are consistently asking about them vs those ranked higher. Yes other aspects factor in to another teams request, but that to me it is telling.

  26. The article also mentioned that we have the lowest number of drafted players on Major League rosters across the league. I hope the new guy, Josh Bonifay, is able to turn that around. We are a little better, 23rd, if we include International picks, but we have a long way to go. We, especially, need break out seasons from our hitters, and I sure hope that Alec Bohm proves all the negativity wrong.

  27. The Braves and Acuna Jr nearing an 8/$100 deal. The new process of getting players paid has started right before our eyes.

    This movement could put Scott Boras out of business

  28. I am fairly sure Llovera is a reliever in the long run but why not see what he can do and get him as many innings as possible. I don’t mean that as an insult, btw, he could be a fire throwing beast reliever.

    Seems like everything coming out on Bohm as of late is negative. Way to early in his career to get too worried, but it isn’t ideal. One thing I do want everyone to remember; he was almost a unanimous choice as the pick, so if he does not pan out I wouldn’t rip the front office. Everyone had him going there.

    Gowdy at 94 is great….now lets get him to 96 lol

    I am very pro Marchan, but not as bullish on Ortiz. Never have been; seems like a classic guy with all the power in the world but no approach at the play. I hope that changes in the next year or two, but we’ve seen guys like that all too many times.

    Very excited to see Howard this year

    Can we get the MILB season started already haha

    1. That’s what the Phillies has been doing with Llovera, giving him all the opportunities to develop as a starter. Llovera has a live arm (FB can touch 100) but it doesn’t have a lot of movement. Llovera’s SL is coming around (above average potential) and he is throwing a 3rd pitch that hybrid CU or SPL or something.

      Even if Llovera developed a consistent 3rd pitch, his max delivery effort will get a toll on him in the long run, thus, moving to the pen where he can throw his FB with max effort.

  29. It feels like 4 freaking years since we’ve had minor league baseball. Let’s go already!!!!

  30. I surmise Bohm has the potential to capsize the amateur scouting department. I’m bullish on Alec, I did really like the pick but the start was inauspicious. Despite that I’m buying the stock without the 3B.

    Spencer Howard is what they look like to coin a phrase from John Hart

    Ortiz always struck me as the guy that goes around doing the golf long drive contests. Put him in the BP HR derby and he’ll wow you. Put him in a game and start spinning some balls and UH OH!

      1. He’s got to hit first, which he hasn’t come close to displaying at any pro level yet. Among the system’s potential candidates to be a future DH (which young players aren’t usually prepared for – it’s a veteran bat who normally evolves into a DH) Bohm may not be in the top 10, to be honest.

        1. 8mark…..have be seeing some teams are going with younger guys as a DH…..Meadows with the Rays, Nunez with the Os and Voit with the Yankees.
          It may be a combination that the smaller market teams cannot afford a Encarnacion or Cruz at millions or they are in a rebuild mode and do not see the need for a veteran expensive DH at the stage they are in that rebuild.

          As to the Phillies…if a DH comes to NL in 2022 as reported by some executives, the Phillies wold be wise to get a veteran bat.

      2. If they drafted a DH with the #3 overall pick that would be a complete disaster.

        I continue to be amazed that Almaraz gets a free pass. I think that he has done a horrible job drafting.

        1. Johnny A. is terrible in Day 1 picks, OK in Day 2 picks but appears to make wonders in Day 3 picks. If only Middleton can ask Johnny A. to take a hike in Day 1 and comeback in the middle of Day 2, the farm might be in better shape.

          In fairness to John A., if the Rd 2 picks of Kingery, Gowdy and Howard develop as projected, this can compensate for the misses in Rd 1.

          1. How do we know Johnny A doesn’t acquiesce to the higher ups because some higher profile draftees have sexier resumes which may appeal to the less informed. Not sure why a guy like Almaraz would be a good evaluator of diamonds in the rough than the more prominent players.

            1. Could be luck. Could be that the traits he looks for signify future success in undeveloped players, but not in more developed players.

            2. Well, we never know, but the more time goes on, the more it falls on his watch and is his responsibility. As for Alamaraz perhaps not being a good evaluator of diamonds in the rough, my response is “huh?”!!! That is literally the most important part of his job. If he can’t do that, no offense, but he should be fired immediately. Unless there’s something we don’t know (and it’s possible – like, you know, Pat Gillick coming and overruling Johnny’s proposed picks – who knows?), Almaraz has to be on the shortest leash of any higher up person in the organization right now and if he can’t find diamonds in the rough, they should get somebody else in there as soon as possible.

            3. I’m with 8Mark we are quick to assume who has final say on these picks. Going back to Moniak I think we know both Gillick and Manuel were sent to look at him as well.

              A lot of chefs are in that kitchen. I’m careful when I criticize because I don’t know who and frankly none of us generally knows who made the final call.

              The front office knows. Middleton knows.

            4. Thanks, DMAR. I think Catch got a little confused by my post. I meant that how or why would Almaraz be a good evaluator of more obscure talent but not the 1st round bound? It’s a rhetorical question. I guess I’m saying my hunch is that top brass are pushing for a certain profile/type player, be it a bat or arm, prep or HS. I don’t think Johnny A has unilateral say on 1st rounders, that’s all. The first round is like a beauty pageant. The “cosmetics” often obscures the warts.

            5. One way or another, this team needs to get a decision-making team in place that gets it right. If there are too many chefs stirring the pot – over time, that falls on Middleton, MacPhail and Klentak – they need a well-oiled machine in that room that gets it right again and again.

            1. Considering where the prospects are drafted (Rd 11 to Rd 40) anyone of them who projects as MLB contributor or potential top prospects – I consider them wonders. Examples include:

              Will Stewart

              It is still too early but college prospects like McArthur, McKay, Killgore looks promising while HS prospects like Ben Brown, O’Hoppe, Holmes, Young are can be good finds.

            2. If ay of them turn into productive everyday, mlb players of 3+ war then I would agree on patting Almaraz on the back. Until then, his drafts have produced very little.

        2. Agreed so far – I cannot believe he has gotten a free pass. Every time the Red Sox get a top 10 pick that turns into a guy like Benintendi. When the Phillies get a top 10 pick it turns into Cornelius Randolph. I do acknowledge that he spotted Howard, and that was a good pick, but on the whole, he’s blown their high pick capital in a big way – in fact, it’s hard to imagine him doing much worse with the picks they’ve had. I feel pretty confident that Marti Woelever would have done a better job with these top 10 picks – perhaps much better.

          1. I will agree that we don’t know for sure who is making these picks. But Middleton better do what Lurie did. Lurie took notes of the players each person in the room wanted to pick for years and then drew his own independent conclusion that Howie Roseman was, by far, the best judge of talent (and he was right!!). If Middleton finds that Almaraz has been touting the likes of Randolph and Moniak, well, maybe he needs to replace him. But if he finds that Almaraz has done well but has been overruled, he needs to lay down the law and give him more power. Either way, the drafts must start to go much better for them. Not just better – much better. They had 4 top 10 picks in a row, 2 of which were top 3 and it’s possible they maybe get one first division regular from that group or worse? Wow – that’s horrific!!!!

            1. One question that comes up at draft time every year…are they drafting for need or the best player available.
              Now drafting OFers for three straight years in a row…..IMO, is they think they are the best available players on the board.

              Now if that is truly their thought process/philosophy with those picks…..then it is a little disconcerting

            2. That’s what’s disturbing. It looks like they are trying to draft the BPA, but get it wrong. We’ll see, but the top picks on Johnny A’s watch are not going well – it’s as if the Sixers “process” resulted in 4 Nerlens Noels – yikes!

  31. It is far too early to speculate about Bohm. On the other hand, Hall and Listi have shown potential. However, should neither Hall, Listi, Moniak, Haseley, or Cozens become productive major league ballplayers, pitching aside, the player development program will have a lot to answer for. This year should tell us a great deal.

    1. I agree with that generally, although Cozens was not an Alamarz pick. Everyone should keep in mind that Wolever picked Nola, Hoskins and JP Crawford, among others. Almaraz is “responsible” for Randolph, Moniak, Haseley and Bohm on the first round side, but also Kingery and Howard.

  32. I did look at the Sox first round picks for the past 10 years (2006-2015)……and they have had their share of ‘busts’…..they hit on Benientendi (7), JBJr (40) and maybe Matt Barnes (19)….but blew it so far with Ball, Owens, Light, Marrero , Vitek , Brentz, Renaudo and Fuentes.Kelly, price, Hagadone, Dent, Place Johnson and maybe Bard (long term)
    So really it is hard process to strike gold every year..

    1. The drafted Mookie Betts who was the second best player in baseball as a 25 year old. If Johnny drafted anyone close to that quality of a player he would get a free pass

      1. Without question.
        Still comes down to a certain amount luck and good health for most of all picks to their success..

        1. I know that. I am saying, if you draft a generational player who puts up a 10 war season at age 25, you get a free pass on first round misses.

  33. Let’s not forget our age old debate as to whether the issue with our farm system is talent evaluation or player development. I tend to think that while our draft history leaves much to be desired, my greater concern is how these kids are being indoctrinated (ie hitting philosophy) and the culture in which they have been grown. Bonifay may be introducing a new way as we speak, but until now there have been too many accounts of how players are being trained to modify the swing which got them so far (ie Moniak last year). Sounds like they tend to mess too much with what’s already worked.

  34. Talk about team friendly contract…especially if he develops into what he did his rookie year (4bWAR) and more.
    Acuña …… eight-year, $100 million extension through 2026….. with 2027 and 2028 club options for $17 million a year….thru his age31 season.

    1. That contract was crazy for Acuna to sign. He gave them 4 years of free agency. AAV of 12.4 million. If he becomes a star he going to be vastly underpaid.

        1. Ronald Acuna is 21. If somebody offered me $100M at that age, I would be all over it too. There are no guarantees what will happen in the future. He can take a pitch to the head, he can get into a car accident, etc. I don’t fault him for a second for taking $100M.

  35. Haseley, Mickey Mo had solid yrs last yr. Let’s see if they can grow even more this yr. Bohm geez let’s give him a full yr before making a judgement call.

    1. Kind of reminds me of Bluto (John Belushi) in Animal House….”7 years in the minor leagues down the drain”. Just kidding. I truly hope he finally gets it and breaks through this season.

      1. Remember at the end of the movie, Belushi got the pretty girl and power position.

    2. Denny….the date that is used to determine a players ‘aged-season’ for only analytical purposes is June 30th.
      Anyone born before that date, in that year, is considered to be in their age season.
      For Dylan…..this is his age 25 season now.

        1. Agree.
          If the Phillies ever move Nick Williams….which they should for his benefit and career….than Cozens should be the guy called up.

    3. Yep. We also know this is his 9th year in the organization and he carries a career K% north of 25% in the minors and struck out in over half his MLB plate appearances (small sample size there, but not encouraging).

      Youth is good. Tools are better. Results are best.

      And before you say it, I know his power tool is elite. But what about the rest?

      1. Good fielder, has speed and good arm. Along with power he has 4 tools. If he continues to make contact he could have #5.

        1. He’s a DECENT fielder in the minors and has surprising speed for his size. That doesn’t make him a 4 tool player. He currently displays 1 elite tool and 2 fringe average tools. He COULD grow into two/three tools, or he could grow out of one (speed) and be a 1 elite, 1 good, 3 below average-to-bad tool players.

          I cheer for him just as much as any Phils fan; I want him to be a success story. But he’s getting just as many chances as he deserves. He’s not currently a MLB stud, and we shouldn’t be complaining that he isn’t on the 25 man. If he grows into more, great. But until he’s shown he can be more than a guy who strikes out 40% of the time with power, he hasn’t really earned a spot in a crowded outfield.

        2. I love how much you love Cozens, but he is a 2 tool player. Power and arm. his defense is below average for MLB standards. Think Pat Burrell. And his hit tool is well below average. He does have some straight line speed, but that won’t translate into game speed to make it a plus tool by mlb standards.

          1. He also has very good plate discipline – he draws more than his fair share of walks. If he could somehow just draw even against lefty pitching and real gang up on righties, you might have something, but the platoon split is so bad that he has to make a lot of progress to have a big league career even if, generally, he would only start against righties.

  36. Cozens’ biggest problem is his platoon splits which nobody seems to mention. He cannot pinch hit in the big leagues if he can’t hit a lefty.

        1. If Altherr plays CF and the DH comes to the NL I would let the pitcher hit and DH for him.

          1. Defensive capabilities are way more important than offensive as a 5th outfielder. Cozens isn’t competing with Altherr because he can’t play CF; he’s competing with Nick Williams. Nick Williams is a better hitter.

      1. Yeah, I mean, I guess you can compare him to Altherr for the short term (who sticks and who doesn’t), but the platoon splits are an issue regardless of what Altherr does.

      1. How he hits lefty pitchers. He was abused by lefties in AAA – .146 average with a .247 slugging percentage – truly abysmal. If he doesn’t do something about that, he’s basically not going to be able to pinch hit in the big leagues (at least this year – it might change when MLB goes to the three batter rule next year) or do anything but get spot starts against righties for a few innings (again, once a lefty comes in, history says he’ll have a tough time with that).

  37. Anybody want to guess what Maikel Franco’s OPS is (in the 8th inning of game #4)?
    If your guess was anything less than 2.000, you are wrong.

    1. This was another topic of conversation at the bar. Initially I wanted Manny instead of Bryce, but I’ve always liked Franco. If he hits remotely close to .280 with 35 HRs, I will have to bow down before our front office. He seems to be thriving with less pressure on him to produce.

    2. If Franco has a true break out year, this team will be unstoppable. As someone who pounded the table to sign both Harper and Machado…Franco might make me eat my words. And I would love doing so. Keep going Maikel!

      1. I would comp Franco with Aramis Ramirez again at their current MLB PAs and ages, but will not… the last two years I have done that Franco went into a downward slide.

          1. Agree…..$5M this year….then arb 3 (2020 )and arb 4 (’21), then free agency in 2022( his age 29 season)…………I think he realizes…..this year if he produces, he could be in line for one of those currently trending early contract offers that many are now receiving and taking.

          2. v1 – Very quietly, Franco is 28th on the all-time Phillies HR list, and he’s only 26 years old.

          3. That is asking for a lot because he’ll probably be negative WAR on defense for the rest of his playing career at 3B. But if he puts up a .400 OBP (because of the walks), anything can happen I suppose.

        1. Aramis has always been the comp. Franco hasn’t lived up to the comp the last few years – but if he plays to his potential they are near baseball doppelgangers. And, yeah, if he has a typical excellent Ramirez year, the Phillies will score runs like the better AL teams and they will just overwhelm the competition.

          1. And if he does do just that this season….then will they reward him with a 5/6 year LTC approaching $90/100M?
            I think he would want that assurance.

            1. Probably not given his uneven track record and the possibility that Bohm may replace him. But I could see a 3 year extension (buys out one year of FA) with an option year or two option years at below market rate. Frankly, they would want a very tradable contract – otherwise, they should just control him for these next three years and let things play out. But let’s see where he stands at the end of May before we anoint any new royalty and dole out more cash.

    1. All 267 Nats fans have left. What a fraud fanbase. Transient population. Go back to Montreal. Expos fans were more faithful.

      1. I was at the bar watching all night (my dad showed up in the 6th after his KoC meeting) watching and I actually talked about this some:

        I don’t entirely blame the fan base on attendance. Have you ever tried to drive in D.C.? It’s a freaking nightmare. It doesn’t surprise me that most people don’t want to dedicate 6 hours to a team that may or may not be a contender this year.

        That said, I will never be sad that they draw less fans than we do.

      2. I know this all too well, Montreal fans are NOT more faithful. They are one of the biggest bandwagon fans in most sports (except hockey). When the Expos were bad, nobody came. And the stadium was the absolute worst.

  38. Nick Williams has the hottest bat in baseball. Have you seen what Bryce Harper is doing with it ?

    1. I hope Bryce buys him dinner all year long. I called his shot tonight saying, “he looks sick of hearing them call for Max instead of him. Here comes the homerun to send the rest of them home.”

  39. So I just got done watching the game. I DVR’ed a game in the first week of April and it wasn’t even opening day. I honestly think that’s the first time I’ve ever recorded a baseball game and it was well worth it.
    Btw I’ve fallen in love with Harper . . . It’s amazing how he’s embracing us and vice versa. Perfect marriage.

  40. Eflin was amazing last night. I have never seen him pitch better. Pounded the top of the zone with 94. Good breaking balls/change ups. Hit JT’s mitt constantly. Showed excellent Command and Control. He just looked terrific.

      1. JT’s framing was excellent too. But if you watched closely, Eflin hit the mitt over and over again. That is an exceptional skill.

    1. Eflin is the pitcher many on this site want to continually post about wanting to trade.
      Of the three amigos…he is the only ‘pitcher’.

      1. Romus, I totally agree. Eflin has the highest floor among the 3. Despite the high pitch count (85 over 5 innings) he was masterful. And if that Nats lineup had trouble with him last night, Nola should have a good chance at getting his 2nd W today.

        1. 8mark…….Nats may be in desperation mode, if that is possible this early in the season, and also assume they will sit Trea Turner today, so Nola may have a little more trouble than expected with the Nats who will be playing..
          Understand Ben Davis thinks Knapp could catch him this afternoon, Kingery maybe to second and Williams for Cutch in LF vs Sanchez.

          1. Romus, they better win. Kapler won’t hear the end of it if they don’t, especially with another off day tomorrow.

      2. Eflin had a really good feel for his change last night. It had some fade that I had never seen before. He looked really confident that whatever JTR put down was the pitch to throw.

        Vinny Velo coming out of the pen was pretty dog gone cool as many have been saying all along that’s where he ends up.

        Why would you IBB Franco? The lost art of the unintentional BB. I mean ok I’m glad they did but it’s dumb Franco swings at everything. I would still hit Franco 7th but amen to him if he can figure out situationally when he is going to see pitches to hit.

        Hoskins concerns me some can I say that…

        Harper was bigger than the moment last night and it was glorious.

        1. ‘Hoskins concerns me some can I say that…’
          Yes you may.
          Seems at the strangest times…he will take a pitch straight down the shoot, in a count, where he is behind in it, and where he should be swinging.
          Some of his ABs seem to be non-Hoskin like from what i remember from Reading and LHV.
          Then again…he could be using Odubel’s bat! 😉

          1. Ah and let us get to Odubel. If you can just get past the aloofness that is he you can enjoy a really exciting player. I’ve never seen a hitter who can look really bad from pitch to pitch, AB to AB and then whamo he gives you a 3 double night.

            1. We may have to learn to live with his Jeckyl and Hyde routine and hope the former appears more than the latter.

      3. I don’t get why, he’s the best out of the 3 (Him, Pivetta and VV) and is gonna solidify himself as one of the better 3’s in the league.
        Don’t look now but Franco off to a nice little start.
        Trying to tell you guys that Eflin/Franco are gonna have really really really good seasons, Pivetta not so much (again early I know) but he’ll throw in his stellar start every 3-4 starts. Just has to keep us in games but I think you see Eickhoff replace him eventually.

    2. Remember a few years ago, when you (legitimately) complained about his K rates and I told you that he had the velocity to change that if he worked on new pitches? Well, it looks like that has happened.

      1. Yes, I definitely said that. I am not ready to deem him a high K rate pitcher after one game. but i certainly like the start.

        1. This isn’t a one game development and I know you follows these stats carefully enough to know this. It’s going on the second year of this evolution. In 2017 he struck out 4.9 batters per 9 innings. Last year he struck out 8.65 batters per 9 in a statistically significant sample size – 128 innings. This looks much more like a permanent change – not a one game phenomenon.

          1. @#catch – it’s not all about velocity to get the K rate up. In his last start, Eflin K’s 3 batters with SL and 2 more with CU. Eflin’s abandoning the pitch to contact and learning to throw the high FB also help increase K rate. The current pitching repertoire looks like a good template for Eflin. Yes, the velo helps, but it is the overall pitching arsenal that will eventually help Eflin’s K rate.

            1. Uh, KK, you are countering “arguments” I never made. My post said nothing about velocity – zero. It said his K rates were up beginning last year. His FB doesn’t move a ton so he needs multiple pitches and excellent command to get his Ks.

            2. @catch – i probably reply on the wrong spot. But my post is related to this statement you made to v1 —- “I told you that he had the velocity to change that if he worked on new pitches?” —- i agree though on the working on new pitch(es). Eflin is mostly a FB-CU without a consistent breaking ball. So the development of a consistent SL will be key for him.

            3. Yeah, I’m not going to have another “velocity is not that important” discussion with you. It’s not everything of course, but it’s really important and if you don’t agree, well, we can just part company there (just watch how much more effective someone like Aaron Nola is when he can sit 92-94 and touch higher – it’s night and day).

              Anyway, my point was that he throws hard enough that his K rates could improve dramatically if he developed some other good pitches. This is exactly what he did and exactly what happened. My post was to counter V1’s “hey this is just one game” comment. It isn’t just one game. He started striking guys out at a much higher rate last year.

            4. @catch – yeah, i tried not to have an argument with you because you’re good at twisting facts. I never said that velocity is not important. I hope I will not hear this statement again to rebuke an argument.

            5. First of all, I kind of pride myself on not twisting facts – if you’ve got an example, let me know. If I’m wrong about a FACT, I’ll readily admit it. Second, you sort of baited me by starting an arguing against a point I had not even made. Third, how about we agree that I never said velocity is the only thing that dictates success (only that it’s very important) and you never said that velocity isn’t important and we call it a day? Fourth, go Zach Eflin!

            6. @catch – here’s the twisting you usually say:

              1) “velocity is not that important” — i never said this, I just believe that evaluating a pitcher go beyond just velocity. You already twisted your opinion towards Nola. Because i remembered when I posted a year ago that Nola can be a perennial CY Young because of his current arsenal and you and roccom jumped on the velocity discussion again.

              2) “hate towards Cesar” – I don’t hate Cesar – saying that Cesar made boneheaded plays is not hate, it is a fact. Also, wanting to trade a player like Cesar is not hating him, it means he holds value to get something valuable in return.

            7. Okay, let me respond.

              First of all none of what you complained about my saying are facts, they seem to be about my opinions (several of which you are wrong about), but I’ll still respond.

              1. I said we had “Velocity is not Important” arguments tongue-in-cheek to get a rise out of you – I never thought you said that. In fact, I explicitly said I’d agree that you never said that and made a peace offering which you ignored. Oh well.

              2. Calling people “Cesar haters” is an opinion and my being ckeeky, not a fact. I know people don’t objectively “hate” Cesar the person. In any event, I’ve said we can agree to disagree on Cesar and how good or not good he really is.

              3. I never, ever complained about Aaron Nola – you’re confusing me with someone else. I was one of his early champions on this site and said early last year when people said he could be an ace that he already was and that he pitched the last half of 2017 as an ace. What I did say is that his effectiveness can vary with his velocity, which is objectively true and can be seen from his last outing. Aaron Nola is much more effective when he can vary his velocity up to the mid-90s. When he is sitting 90 or 91, he struggles. Please don’t put words in my mouth. I’ve been all about Nola since he was in Reading.

            8. This is nonsense.

              You are complaining about opinions, not facts.

              Obviously, I was trying to get a rise out of you by saying “velocity is not important” and I said before (if you read what I wrote) that you didn’t say that. I was being cheeky and sarcastic. It wasn’t a statement of fact.

              Same thing with Cesar – we have a difference of opinion. I know you don’t hate Cesar the person. If you took that literally I don’t know what to say.

              I never been down on Nola. I called him an ace early last season and have been one of his biggest supporters since he was in Reading. What I said was that his effectiveness varies greatly with his velocity, which it does. He struggles when he can’t flash a 94-96 MPH FB when he needs it. If he’s sitting 90 and 91, he can get hit really hard.

  41. Machado with another incident last nite. Was it intentional? I don’t know but he had to know about where the catcher was and should’ve thrown the bat behind him,instead of over to where the catcher was.
    “Where there is smoke there is fire” he has earned the label “dirty player”
    Sure glad that we have Harper instead!!

    1. My lasting Machado impression (and I wanted them to sign both) was how he showed up out front of CBP with a mini entourage and the door was locked and MK had to coming running up to let him in.

      Juxtapose that with Middleton taking the lead on Harper and flying out 2X to meet with him.

      A part of me still feels bad for Nick Williams but then he also looks like he sulks. Hinkie that was a great post by the way. That role of a lefty off the bench should be a veteran type player or Cozens.

      I know what Cozens is and isn’t

  42. I’m not an “I told you so guy”, but I feel rewarded by the Phillies keeping Franco and not signing Moustakis. It’s still very early, and we can compare the numbers in Sept. I always felt that Franco could be a “valuable piece”, but never “the Man”. Even when he comes down to Earth, he’ll still be the best 8 hole hitter in baseball.
    Eflin turned in the best pitching performance of the season last night, and he’s our number 4 (for now) starter. Ironically, our number 5 starter pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning with 2 K’s. Give Velasquez another 9th inning in the next couple of days, and see what happens. He could be the closer that most fans think he is.
    It was a miserable night for a baseball game, both for the fans in attendance, and the players. I against playing under these conditions. The risk of injury is multiplied by 10,

    1. wawa……you are correct on Franco.
      But the majority of time anyone wanted him traded….was under the circumstances if Machado signed on with the Phillies…that was a foregone conclusion among all baseball writers and fans. And yes I would have liked to have Moustaka for third if Franco was not going to be there…and also Machado.

    1. You could also be the beneficiary of some promotions Spencer Howard and Bohm could likely make Reading by late June and Vierling as well once Hasely moves up to LHV.

      Looks like I have to wait until June for them to come to Trenton and its a lousy Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday series.

  43. Wow! I’m pleasantly surprised that Kapler has stayed with the starting eight. Let’s get a gem from Nola today and come home at 5-0.

    1. I’m impressed as well. With another off day tomorrow why would you not put your best 8 on the field. Every game is important in division.

      You give off days as needed of course but hopefully you work those in out of division and with interleague games.

      1. I’m not sure I’d start Realmuto in a day game that soon after a very late night game. We will need him fresh in August and September – otherwise, I agree with you.

        1. I have a better idea. Let’s jump on Sanchez early today and then pull JTR for Knapp by the 4th inning. Tomorrow is ANOTHER off day. It’s April. Realmuto will be fine in August if he plays today.

            1. Nola has lower than normal velo, sitting at 91… and poor command so far
              Just does not have it today.

    2. Having talent makes it easier for Kapler to manage the team. The less Kapler thinks, the lesser is his margin of error.

      I’m not sure if it is lack of experience or just the lack of aptitude, but when Kapler start to implement what Kapler thinks, that’s when the team gets burned. The success of this team will rely on the players themselves and for Klentak to infuse the necessary talent. I hope that Kapler just get out of the way and let the players do their part. The best that Kapler will do is to be the eye in the field and work with Klentak if certain player(s) need to be replaced and make sure that negativity will not exist in the clubhouse.

  44. Eflin pitched very well last night so I hate to nitpick but the next stage in his advancement is learning how to limit his wasted pitches during at-bats. It was amazing how many times he was 0-2 or 1-2 on a batter and ended up finishing the at-bat at 3-2.

    When people refer to the phrase “pitching to contact”, to me it’s not throwing the ball down the middle and letting the hitter make contact but rather taking advantage of that count to get weak contact on pitches on the edge of the zone. Too many of his pitches in those situations were not close enough to get called strikes or weak contact but rather were attempts to make the perfect strikeout pitch and missed badly.

    And on a completely unrelated note, the umpire’s strike zone was rather wide for both sides. Guess he was cold….

    1. It’s a good point 3UP. How many games can you get away with leaving 4 innings to the BP….and experience sustained success!

    2. The pitch to contact approach also requires certain skill set to be successful – 1) good command; and 2) pitch type – Sinker or a moving 2S. The ball should be diving down or getting inside to get the ball on the ground. Eflin in his time in the minors, was asked to develop pitching to contact but he doesn’t have the right type of pitch to be success with it. Eflin stuck out 9 batters with the following pitches:

      4S FB – 4
      SL – 3
      CU – 2

      None of these pitches were thrown for pitch to contact. Eflin dominated last night because he was able to fix and command 4 (as in FOUR) different pitches – FB-SL-CB-CU. Eflin’s CB looks below average but the SL is starting to look really good.

    3. I agree with you in theory and historically, that has been one of his bigger issues. However, there were numerous 0-2, 1-2 counts last night where the Ump squeezed him on what would have been a called third strike. But yes, overall, when he is up he needs to get guys out quicker. But out of VV and Pivetta, he is the youngest at 24. I think he has the highest floor and, because he actually has the feel for pitching, I think he also has the highest ceiling.

      1. I still believe that Pivetta has the highest ceiling because of pure stuff but Eflin is safer to meet his ceiling/floor. Eflin has the better mound presence/demeanor and when Eflin starts to get his rhythm, that’s when he starts to become more dominant.

  45. This has to be the last year for Eflin/VV/Pivetta as starters, and they needed to prove their worth and be part of the solution. Eflin did that yesterday. We’ll see what happens the rest of the year. All I know is, it will be really dicey if the Phillies had to search for 3 starters for 2020 (FA or unproven rookie starters). And if Arrieta opts out, 4 starters.

  46. Man. Lots of people coming to a lot of baseball conclusions based on 4 games being played. Which is ~2% of the overall season. Or the equivalent of 1 1/2 basketball games. Or 1 and a 1/2 quarters of a football game. Hoskins doesn’t look right. Franco is breaking out. Herrera needs to go…

    Everyone needs to chill.

    1. LOL JoeDE I thought the same thing but then where is the fun in that. It’s what we do

      wait until the Minor League boxes start to post 🙂

    2. Uh yeah, definitely. Last year there were about 5 or 10 people here that wanted to fire Gabe Kapler after THE FIRST GAME!!! I mean, really?

  47. Like I said Herrera looks bad one night then great the next. Eflin looks good let’s see what his next start looks like.

  48. Worst outing for Nola in a while. I was so pumped when we scored twice in the first inning, but never expected Nola to be gone after 3 innings after giving up 6. It’s why they play the games. Last year Nola was much better with the extra day’s rest. Today, he had no sharpness to his pitches, his command wasn’t very good. so he got raked. I can’t wait until his next turn. I bet he pitches a gem!

    1. Difference this year is that I don’t automatically assume the game is over because the other team scored 6 runs.

  49. Looks like Rosso is opening up tomorrow for Reading and Marty Malloy, I can only assume, is going to go with Spencer Howard for Clearwater’s opener.
    Glad also to see that Jhailyn Ortiz is healthy and swinging the bat good in last nights intra-squad final tune-up.

    1. Howard is listed on Milb’s site as the starter, Eastman for Lakewood, no one yet listed for LV.

    2. Howard is listed on Milb’s site as the starter, Eastman for Lakewood, no starter listed yet for LV.

  50. When Quinn is ready Altherr will be traded or released. I would use that open 40 spot on one of the 4A guys and send Kingery to LHV. They’ve harmed him. He needs to play every day and find his swing again.

    1. Agree completely. They are doing Scotty Kingery no favors right now by keeping him in the majors – they aren’t even doing themselves a favor since his hitting is a mess right now.

    1. Well, game over. And this bullpen has instilled absolutely no confidence. Hope the bats can simply outscore the opposition. We will need it more days than not.

  51. That was vintage 2018 Phillies. Terrible defense. Disasterous work by the back end of the pen.

    1. The shine from Harper’s glory may be overwhelming him. His at bats have been mostly poor. His head is apparently elsewhere.

    2. roc….no one ever said he would be a Gold Glove candidate……but understand how much of a disappointment it is….how can he miss something that easy!.
      I bet however, he will not let that happen again.

  52. First, I loved the Robertson signing. I still think he will be a big help. His 3 outings have been progressively poor. This was awful. If we sign Kimbrel today, can he be ready by May 1?

    1. matt13…….Klentak seems to have bad luck on veteran relievers that he brings in.
      Neshek may be one of his best signings.

    2. Either Kimbrel (who would shorten the bullpen) and Keuchel (who would be a solid replacement for VV in the rotation) have to sign soon….don’t they? Doesn’t sound like Hunter is coming back anytime soon. Neshek and Nicasio are currently the only 2 relievers I trust in their role. Seranthony is a wild card. Ramos the same. Robertson needs more ST. Alvarez hasn’t even flashed anything and Morgan is Morgan. Who am I missing? Oh, Neris. He’s fine when he relies on his splitter, and only then.

      I think it would be presumptuous to think that Nola will repeat his overall performance of last season. If Arrieta gets us through 6 innings and keeps us in the game, I’m happy. Eflin and Pivetta are on the clock and worth the time. Velasquez should have been in the pen last year. All the young arms waiting in the wings should only be relied upon in case of injury. We still need a major league pitcher to fill out the rotation.

    3. matt13…Klentak’s relief corp veteran signings is quite a list….of what I do not know.
      Since 2016……Benoit, Zac Curtis, Kevin Siegrist, Casey Fein, Phil Klein, Andrew Bailey, Mike Mariot, James Russell, Patrick Schuster, Frank Hermann, Aaron Loup, Luis Avian and finally Tommy Hunter.
      Man he needs to get some luck at some point.

  53. I don’t know Robertson ‘s ST routine from past years, Romus. Maybe he needed more work? I do believe in a Closer, and SerAnthony looks shakey also. I would go after Kimbrel. A good closer makes tge rest if tge BP more effective.

    1. matt13……teams may be waiting until June to sign Kimbrel…or for that matter Keuchel….saves them the draft choice and international money.
      Klentak needs to make a decision before then however.
      They cannot keep having days like today….blowing two-run leads in the 8th inning.

  54. I would 110% get on the horn with whoever reps Kimbrel and offer 3 years at 17.5m per with a vesting option at 20m for year 4 (set them up so if he reaches them it means he’s healthy and preforming). He’s obviously paying attention to whats going on, he seems like someone who would fit in perfectly on this team and bring another vet presence to the pen.

    9th: Kimbrel
    8th: Neshek/Robertson
    7th: SirAnthony

    with the rest mixed in depending on the situation.

    I’d rather explore trades for a starter over signing Keuchel.

  55. Ugh, kills a bit of the feeling, but overall I’m pretty happy. Not taking both games, wil have to
    Get over it.

    The offense is killing it, Need the pitching to catch up. Hopefully there aren’t to many 9-8 losses this year

    1. If you had told me on Monday the Phillies would beat Scherzer with Eflin going on Tuesday, and then lose to Sanchez going against Nola on Wednesady, I would have told you…you were crazy.

      1. Baseball has a way of being funny like that.

        We all better buckle up, this season is not going to be a cake walk. The Phils look good out of the gate, but there is a long way to go. All that said, I’ll take a 4-1 record every 5 games! Seems like everything that is wrong with the Phillies is fixable this season, enjoy the ride but it will be bumpy bc of this division.’ I think we look better than the Braves and Nats. Will see how the mets look soon enough

  56. I agree completely Romus, and tough to complain when it is going so well, but BP has been and will be a concern. I heard Kap after the game and agree with one thing he said. Nola and Rhys and Robertson will be oart of a lot of wins this year. Howver I also think we need a Closer.

  57. It really sucks to lose like they did today. As I mentioned above this was the blueprint the team used to lose so many contests last season …. terrible defense & the inability to find somebody/anybody to close out a game. All that said … it is only one game. There is no reason to panic. It’s not time to go throwing out a three or four year offer to Craig Kimbrel. You have to remember, the last time we saw Kimbrel pitch, he was doing exactly what David Robertson was doing today. Kimbrel became unreliable for the Red Sox last October when he totally lost control of the strike zone. Just about every game he entered was “cross your fingers and hold your breath” time for Boston.
    IMO, the Phillies need to keep running Robertson out there, and let him work things out. If he is unable to eventually get himself right (I have confidence he will … unless he’s hiding some kind of injury), kick Ser’Ant’ny up to the closer role and use an internal option (Yaksel Rios or DLS) to fill in a BP role.
    If nothing works, I’m sure Matt Klentak already has a list of relievers/closers he’ll make a move for this summer.

    1. Kimbrel is better than any RP we are running out there and he’s 2 years younger than Robertson who we signed for a couple of years. I can’t fathom why anyone wouldn’t want him at the back end of the pen right now. Instead lets hope that we can improve internally? Yeah we’ve seen how that works.

      1. The word is that Kimbrel still wants too much money for too many years. Otherwise I’m sure some team would bite.

        1. The draft pick comp isn’t helping either. What do you think it would take? Meaning now. The offer above would make him the highest paid RP AAV wise and could get him 4 years (4th year vesting due to IP). And what I meant when I said “he’s paying attention”, he has to see what happening in Philly and I’m sure he has to have at least one friend on the team who can tell him how much fun they are having (sure seems that way).

      2. There’s a reason no other team (including the BoSox and Braves) haven’t offered Kimbrel the long term contract he’s demanding. I’ll say this again (and leave a couple of reminders because our memories often fail us as time passes), the last time anyone saw Craig Kimbrel pitch, he was having the same kind of problems David Robertson was dealing with yesterday. For most of October, Kimbrel looked more like Mitch Williams than the old Kimbrel.

        I’m not telling you, Craig Kimbrell can’t/won’t return to his old self.
        And … you can’t tell me Robertson can’t/won’t return to his old self.
        Give it some time. We’re five games into the season. You’re already in panic mode.

        1. Don’t let one rough week let you forget what David Roberson is capable of/will probably be again.

  58. These comments are hilarious! Why do Philly fans always think they can determine a players season in 5 games? This is BASEBALL! It’s a marathon. So you think Robertson can’t pitch anymore based on 3 games? And Hoskin’s glove sucks because he made one error? Do yourselves a favor and wait for June before trying to evaluate performance. And besides…they are 4 and 1 right?

    1. Look I’m as frustrated by Robertson as anyone, but, objectively, it really did seem like a good move at the time to provide back-end bullpen depth and it still might work out. They made a bunch of moves this off season and, on the whole, they have been working out extremely well so far. Bryce Harper has exceeded expectations and then some and McCutchen and Realmuto have been as advertised and Segura looks to be solid and a perfect fit as a #2 hitter. Hard to complain, no?

      1. That said, one of the Phillies’ strange historic weaknesses is signing old relief pitchers to 2 and 3 year deals. They do it again and again and it almost always backfires. I get signing a guy like Neshek who has a unique delivery or perhaps a lefty specialist, but most relief pitchers are washed up by the age of 32 or 33.

        1. Agree ….Robertson already has a lot of wear on that arm… averages over 60, I would think, intense innings pitched every year for the last nine years.
          And at age 34…..really risky signing.
          Gabe will need to handle very carefully to maximize his talents.

          1. Agree on that point. Relievers are a weird breed of player; so much variance goes into their statistics that a guy with a 5.68 ERA one year could have a 2.12 the next and not really be pitching any different. Its because of the low number of innings they pitch. That’s why a lot of the time the big reliever signings are guys who had absolutely everything go their way the previous year and are due for regression.

            Having said that, Robertson has a very large track record of being solid. I don’t think hes the closer, but he should at least be a good mid innings guy, if not the 8th inning guy. Neris actually looks dominant again. A few more games like that and it may be time to see if hes ready to get another shot at some high leverage situations.

            No desire to sign Kimbrel unless hell take a 2 year deal. Hes got a ton of innings in that arm and looked bad last postseason. I think he knows that too which is why hes insisting on a lot of years.

            Would love to see a AAA arm come out firing for potential bullpen use. Or maybe drew Anderson crushes like he did in ST and u can put him in the rotation and see if VV can be the dynamic bullpen arm so many of us have thought he could be

  59. Look guys, I was all in favor of Robertson’s signing, and I like him a lot. I still think he will do a very good job for us. These problems are command related. This isn’t a Chapman who throws 100, and we are seeing a decrease in velocity. I think he will regain his touch. I don’t think the problem is his age. But, he is not a Closer. I have no idea if Kimbrel would still be an effective one. But, we will need someone to close out games. It is a different animal than pitching in the 7th. I am also concerned that SerAnthony isn’t striking guys out. He needs to if he is going to be good. I know he wasn’t at fault for Rhys’ error, but he sure was at fault for Gomes’ 2B that was smoked. Neshek is good, but not a Closer. It was the first loss, but the way we lost is the problem, and Ws in April are every bit as valuable as the ones in August and September. But, the ones in August and September are harder to come by, and a BP that is a weapon is as valuable a tool as a team can have. Hunter’s return doesn’t fill me with optimism. We are going to need the BP to be much better.

    1. I’m more concerned with Robertson’s decline in velocity. I don’t remember him throwing 90-92. He’s looking to avoid contact from what I saw.

      1. Guru … according to fangraphs , Robertson’s FB so far this season is 92.1 MPH. That’s down from 92.6 last season, but up from 91.9 MPH he threw in 2017. Robertson has been pretty consistently 91-93 for his career. It’s early, but the difference in Robertson so far is he has thrown more SL’s and less CB’s than previous seasons.

          1. Yeah noticed that…I have been using Brooks for years.
            Interesting to see where they both get their data.

        1. Just casually looked up Robertson’s scouting report. Back in 2014, Baseball prospectus said he was 89-93, peaking at 94. He’s declined a bit, but not too much. But he’s looked terrible so far.

  60. The Phillies are in an interesting spot, transitioning from rebuild to what looks like a legit contender so quickly. This offense is Averaging almost 8 runs a game. That will cover up a lot of holes. They have payroll flexibility, not as much before, but they can give Kimbrel or Keuchel a baller offer, if they decide it is needed. The way the teams have been handing out extensions, this might be the best free agents for a while. So, the FO will have to decide if they want to sign them (unlikely imo) or start finding trades. This is currently the best way to improve the team, unless the prospects come through. It all seems like “duh”, but this the start of a new era in baseball, for GMs, and it’s challenges on improving their team if FA is going to consists the likes of Nick Williams and Aaron Altherr…

    Maybe this makes a GM jump, and roll the dice on k&k it be the last freebie to improve the team. I’m interested to see how the trade deadline plays out this year, and how the mass extensions may change GMs behavior/thought process

    1. Wow … someone with the Phillies is pretty brutal towards Jesse Biddle: “Yips”

      1. Yeah….thats funny.
        Must be one of the holdovers on the staff from 4/5 years ago when Jesse was in the Phillies org.

        And how about that number 64…Willians Astudillo….tearing it up with the Twins…OPS1.6
        He will come into Philly with revenge on his mind this weekend.
        Who would have ever thought five years ago he would be a MLB player!

  61. Got my ready for tonight’s season openers, can’t wait to see Lakewood and then Reading and LV later.

    1. Watching Reading now, Rosso looks good. One of the new features of is that 75% of all the games will now be in HD. Looks great in Portland at least but about to switch over to Lakewood at 6:30.

  62. Look who rang the bell and blew the roof off the Wells Fargo Center tonight.

    Unfortunately, Harper’s appearance didn’t result in a win. The Sixers are really leaking oil to finish out the season (3 losses in a row … 5 losses in their last 7 games).

  63. I have to admit that I read Bryce Harper all wrong. I thought he would be coming to Philly with the attitude that he was doing the city a favor. He has been a class act all the way — friendly to the fans, embracing the city, a great teammate and of course, a real professional hitter. Bryce has proven me wrong and I am delighted.

  64. It wasn’t pretty for Lakewood as they got hit around, the Hickory pitchers were wild, they hit 2 guys and at least 3 others were really close to getting hit. De La Cruz is crazy tall for an OF, skinny and struggled at the plate but it’s just one game. Couldn’t get over how tall he is. I was surprised they put Bohm 2nd, thought he would be 3 or 4.

    But the Reading game was much better. Rosso pitched well, and the pen was great, with 9k’s in 4 innings, especially Russ in the 9th, he was not messing around. Came in, worked fast and threw 10 of 12 as strikes. Hasley and Moniak had some nice swings, Listi and Randolph with 6 K’s between them but the team had 15 k’s overall. Randolph did hit one hard almost to the LF track.

  65. I not going. To worry about 1 game early in the season . 1 great side by Kingery though .

  66. Random thoughts:

    Cornelius and Bohm opening the year up 0-4. 1 game but damn

    Angels looking bad. Buyers remorse?

    Cold weather game tonight, will see how Pivetta handles it

    Can the offense keep up their 7+ runs per game avg?

    Does Harper get another standing O for his at bats?

    1. Tac3, random answers:

      I can’t see either Randolph or Bohm with the organization in 2 years.

      The Angels haven’t been a well run organization since I can’t remember. They have never been able to sustain success. That fact didn’t seem to phase Trout.

      Cold weather? Phillies need to win some low scoring games as well if they’re going to contend.

      I’ll take an average of 5 runs per game.

      Standing O’s or not, Bryce is must see every AB.

      1. On the Avg runs per game, I checked back on some team stats, I believe the 93’ and 08’ teams avg between 5.3 and 5.5 r/gm. I’m thinking this team could blow that total away into the high 6s. Not sure it one of the Phillies teams has ever gone above 6 r/gm

        My guess is, Harper is still getting a standing O this home series, the love fest continues, expeciLly if he stays hot.

      2. 8mark –

        Agree on Randolph. Too many prospects with a higher upside in the organization. On Bohm, I’d say 50-50. He could be included in a trade for another player, but if you’re judging based on his ability, I’ll agree if he doesn’t reach Reading by the end of this season.

        Angels I agree. They can’t make the playoffs with the best player on Earth.

        Weather – 45 degrees and rainy at the start of tonights game. Call it off and Play 2 on Sunday. It’ll be 70 degrees.

        I’ll take 5 runs per game too. The pitching staff has too much talent to fail.

        Bryce – You won’t catch me in the kitchen making a sandwich when Harper, or Hoskins are at bat. The same as 2008 when Utley and Howard were due up.

        1. Ok. Let me be the first to post this; how long until Angels listen to Mike Trout offers?

          1. … why? they are 7–1 start! O wait … that’s the Mariners lol 😂
            That hurts, but it’s early. I see another 2 years of losing for Trout. Probably 3, before they can really start to get going. Again, what a tremendous waste of talent.

  67. Bohm not being a good 3B kills his value. We will see if he ever hits. A good CF catches the ball that Odibel didn’t get. Luckily Pivettavot out of it, but D out if our CF is below good.

  68. Pivetta just getting hit too hard. It’s still early in the season but he looks the same as last yr.

    1. I’ll give him a pass on this night. Cold and rainy for baseball standards. Game should’ve been called at some point for a delay. Glad they won and I didn’t have tickets to that game. I’d probably be petty pissed off if so.

  69. During the phils game last night they talked about Quinn, said that he texted with Kapler and said he feels great, the plan is for him to play today and tomorrow and then they will see what they want to do. They said they could send him to LV for a few days to get some AB’s.

    Also said that Hunter got a shot in his arm and will be shut down for a few weeks so he’s likely out till mid-May or so baring another set back so it gives them more time before they need to figure out what they are going to do.

    1. Hunter got a PRP injection…when Nola got his PRP injections in the fall of 2016….he was not allowed to throw for 4-6 weeks.
      But more than likely, no two strains are identical.
      IMO, Hunter probably will not pitch in a MLB game until mid-May or later.

  70. Willians Astudillo-Astonishing Stat.
    10 Yr. all Levels-He has batted 2991 times,life time B.Avg. .306,strike outs 99!!!!!!!

  71. Something is not right with SerAnthony and we have BP issue already. Jake’s start gets an ok, but he can’t give up HRs. Sure, we had opportunities to sore that we did not take advantage of, but what worries me the most is the BP. Yes, early, but SerAnthony’s velocity is down and that is a bad sign.

    1. He’s been just another reliever since the 2nd half of last season.

      And I’ll probably get hammered for suggesting this, but how about giving Kingery some time at 2b. I know Cesar is royalty but he hasn’t looked inspired. Otherwise, send the kid down. Sim games are a nice idea but really….

      1. They had to shut Seranthony down two years ago from mid-May to mid-July for almost two months because of his shoulder….hopefully this is not a re-occurrence.

    2. Jake had 1 swinging strike today- fortunate for some good defense and some line drives at folks;
      did see 1 96 reading from Seranthony but seemed clear he didnt have it, so was puzzled why Gabe didnt go to lefty when it was Rosario/Kapler. Rosario crushed that pitch.
      beautiful day for a ballgame though.

  72. IMO if Sir A’s FB is not exceptional, his other pitches do not play. He cannot command his secondary pitches to the degree he needs too if his FB is sub par. I would like to see him at AAA until he improves a complimentary pitch and dominates.

  73. Willians Astudillo\
    !st 100 MLB AB’s,,best avg.ever approx. .368
    P.S. 2nd- one point behind,someone named Ty Cobb.

  74. At this moment, I wonder if better utilization of pitching talent to help big league club would be eichoff or Irvin in 5th slot with VV and Santos in the bullpen

    1. Sr…I think they wilt wait for Irvin until later in the year…he will need to be put on the 40 and someone will need to be either 60 DL or DFAed once that happens.
      But Eickhoff and DLS can be brought up now.

    1. I like the overall talent of the pitching staff better with eichoff at 5 and santos, VV in the pen

    2. Yes……back-end guy.
      Profiles stuff like a guy from the Cubs, Hendricks or a few years back , Angels Jerad Weaver , M’s Mike Leake or a Royals Chris Young a few years ago…but he does get it a tick over 90 and most them are a tick under 90.
      Look what he did back in 2016 the year after the Hamels trade…..over a 3WAR pitcher.

  75. Btw, is there a rule that .200 hitting Cesar Hernandez ,who never seems to get a big hit , has to play everyday.? Why can’t Kingery get an occasional start?

    1. Sr – I agree! I thought for sure, with Hernandez struggling, that Kingery would get a start yesterday or today.

  76. Nice game by Eflin again. Terrific AB by Rhys, and I didn’t think that he got all of the ball he hit for a HR. Cutch has been a terrific addition. The way he runs the bases is a huge bonus. A real professional, classy, very goid player.

  77. I know it’s only 2 stars but Eflin pitching like a breakout and Pivetta being Pivetta.

  78. You are right Eric, I expected Pivetta to break out and so far Eflin has been the one. Romus always liked him. Just glad to see him pitch so well. VV gets his first start tomorrow and we miss Scherzer in the series.

    1. I know that i love Pivetta stuff, but so far he has made me look bad. backing him. I just dont get the 0-2 counts that go to 3-2 most times. he just doesnt put people away.

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