Open Discussion: Week of April 22, 2019

The Phillies played losing ball last week, winning 2 of 3 from the Mets, but finding a way to drop 3 of 4 to a Rockies team that started the series 6-12.  The pitching in Colorado wasn’t too bad, they held the Rockies to under 5 runs per game but the vaunted Phillies line up averaged just 2 runs per game in their losses.  That’s unacceptable.

And, I don’t want to hear about the injuries.  Injuries are a part of the game.  They happen.  Their AAA club was designed to provide help if injuries occurred at the major league level.  They are not the reason for the loss Friday night.  Going 1-16 with RISP is the reason.  But, that might just be me.

The 40-man roster stands at 40, the entire organization stands at 349.

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

Key Dates:

  • June 2, 2019 – DSL Phillies Red begins its 2019 season
  • June 2, 2019 – DSL Phillies White begins its 2019 season
  • June 3-5, 2019 – 2019 Rule 4 Draft
  • June 14, 2019 – Williamsport begins its 2019 season
  • June 24, 2019 – GCL Phillies East begins its 2019 season
  • June 24, 2019 – GCL Phillies West begins its 2019 season
  • July 31, 2019 – Non-waiver trade deadline
  • September 1, 2019 – Roster expansion to 40 players (for the last time)
  • 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 
4/20/2019 – Phillies placed SS Jean Segura on the 10-day IL retro to 4/17, hamstring
4/20/2019 – Phillies placed SS Scott Kingery on the 10-day IL, hamstring strain
4/20/2019 – Phillies placed RHP Victor Arano on the 10-day IL retro to 4/19, elbow
4/20/2019 – Phillies recalled RHP Drew Anderson from Lehigh Valley
4/20/2019 – Phillies recalled 3B Mitch Walding from Lehigh Valley
4/20/2019 – Phillies recalled LHP Austin Davis from Lehigh Valley
4/20/2019 – Lehigh Valley activated C Matt McBride from the 7-day IL
4/20/2019 – RHP Ben Brown assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
4/20/2019 – LF Jimmy Smith assigned to Williamsport from Lakewood
4/19/2019 – Reading placed LF Cornelius Randolph on the 7-day injured list
4/19/2019 – LHP Jeff Singer assigned to Reading
4/19/2019 – Clearwater placed LHP Zach Warren on the 7-day injured list
4/19/2019 – 3B Dalton Guthrie assigned to Clearwater
4/19/2019 – LHP Ethan Lindow assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
4/19/2019 – RHP James McArthur assigned to Williamsport from Lakewood
4/19/2019 – RHP Kevin Gowdy assigned to Williamsport from Lakewood
4/19/2019 – Tyler Carr assigned from Williamsport to Lakewood
4/19/2019 – Alejandro Requena assigned from Clearwater to Williamsport
4/19/2019 – Kyle Young assigned from Williamsport to Clearwater
4/18/2019 – Phillies placed CF Odubel Herrera on the 10-day IL, hamstring strain
4/18/2019 – Phillies activated CF Roman Quinn from the 10-day IL
4/18/2019 – Lehigh Valley activated RHP Tyler Viza from the 7-day IL
4/18/2019 – Luis Carrasco assigned from Clearwater to Williamsport
4/18/2019 – Seth McGarry assigned from Williamsport to Clearwater
4/18/2019 – JD Hammer assigned from Lehigh Valley to Reading
4/17/2019 – Lehigh Valley activated 3B Gift Ngoepe from the 7-day IL
4/17/2019 – Phillies transferred Tommy Hunter from the 10-day to 60-day IL, forearm
4/17/2019 – Phillies optioned RHP Nick Pivetta to Lehigh Valley
4/17/2019 – Phillies selected the contract of 2B Phil Gosselin from Lehigh Valley
4/16/2019 – Phillies optioned RHP Drew Anderson to Lehigh Valley
4/16/2019 – Phillies recalled RHP Jerad Eickhoff from Lehigh Valley
4/16/2019 – RHP Spencer Howard assigned to Clearwater from Williamsport
4/16/2019 – LHP Jhordany Mezquita assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
4/16/2019 – RHP Dominic Pipkin assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
4/16/2019 – JD Hammer assigned from Reading to Lehigh Valley
4/16/2019 – Alexis Rivero assigned from Williamsport to Reading
4/16/2019 – Julian Garcia assigned from Clearwater to Williamsport
4/16/2019 – Tyler Carr assigned from Lakewood to Williamsport
4/16/2019 – Jack Perkins assigned from Lakewood to Williamsport
4/15/2019 – Phillies recalled RHP Drew Anderson from Lehigh Valley
4/15/2019 – Phillies placed RHP David Robertson on the 10-day IL. Elbow soreness
4/15/2019 – LHP Ethan Lindow assigned to Williamsport from Lakewood
4/15/2019 – RHP Tyler McKay assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport

291 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of April 22, 2019

  1. AAA team has too many players not on 40 man roster. Can’t bring worthy players up without fear of losing players that are out of options.

    1. I don’t understand which worthy AAA player should be up that isn’t? The only possible candidate I see would be Romaine.

      Almost the entire pitching staff is on the 40-man with the exception of Irvin and Romero.

      Gosslin is up already as is Quinn and Walding. Cozens is batting .188 and certainly isn’t a candidate currently to help the big club.

      As to the guys who are not on the 40, they don’t need a catcher, Sean Rodriguez plays 2b which they already have occupied by a “quality ML starter”. They are good at 3b.

      You can make the case for Romine at SS but Gosslin was playing better and got the call instead.

      Beyond that, I’m not sure who’s getting held back by not being on the 40…

  2. In the heat of a playoff run, there will be plenty of crucial moments when the mental strength of players will be tested. Then there are the routine plays that simply require the awareness of how many outs there are, where the ball is, etc. I have no idea what category Cesar’s mind numbing baserunning blunder yesterday comes under. But he and Doobie continue to prove their mental ineptitude after enough major league experience that those moments should be anomalies, not the eye rolling, hair pulling normalities which they’ve become. On last week’s thread, there was an exchange over “what is a winning player?” Case in point.

    And I also hope Gabe has realized that just as he likes Franco as the top 8-hole hitter in baseball, Cesar is not a top of the lineup hitter either, even with the current injuries.

    1. (Partial repost)

      Imagine if this was the playoffs! I agree, this is one of the moments that separates someone from being defined as a “winning player”.

      Not to pile on, but looking at major mental lapses, earlier last week against the Mets, Herrera had a way bigger mental error imo, but didnt pay the price Cehe did. I’m not even sure herrera truly understands the game of baseball, in referring to more of a basic to intermediate level of understanding. To refresh, 2 man on, Herrera is on 3rd, the batter walks … Herrera starts to walk home as if he is “forced”
      In do to the walk. The Mets catcher fires over to 3rd after ball 4, Herrera gets back but is lucky imo. Now, I’m not sure if he didn’t realize the bases were loaded or if he thought because the batter walk and he was on 3rd, if all the base runners advance 1. Honestly, It wouldn’t surprise me. I felt he has tremendous talent, but just doesn’t know the game as well as a player who should for his level.

      This are the type of plays/players that scare me when the microscope is dialed in during a playoff series

  3. Another thing Kaplan needs to realize is how to handle the SPs. Eickoff threw 50 pitches or so against the Mets. When he got to 70 against the Rockies, Kaplan should have taken out Eickoff.

    He’s just not ready to throw that many of pitches yet. He pretty much had no spring training and he’s not stretched out enough. He ran out of steam. He could’ve left the game with 5 innings and one run.

    I understand that Kaplan didn’t want to lean on the RPs. He probably figured he could get another inning out of Eickoff because he was pitching well but he’s just not ready yet. That’s the difference from 1-0 and 4-0.

    1. Absolutely agree, unfortunately the bullpen was thin yesterday. Drew Anderson was the only option at that point. But as soon as Eickhoff walked the first guy I wanted to take him out. His body language screamed I’m tired. Kapler just isn’t good at recognizing the signs soon enough.

          1. Kapler decided he wanted to keep Young in favor of Kranitz…still too early to see if the change will be fruitful.
            I guess by August we will be able to get a more clear picture.

    2. Ciara: I have been perusing philly.com, nbc philly, and the good phight to find comments about how the pitching was handled yesterday. I found zero. Of course, i would See one on this site, which fosters only thoughtful and insightful commentary (thank you, Jim).

      What stood out for me yesterday was not the lack of hitting (stuff happens), but how Eickoff was (mis)handled by Kapler & Co. To recap, Eickoff’s spring training starts late; he pitches an inning or two and then adds one an inning or two before the team breaks camp. He gets sent down to LV to start the season: he makes 2-3 starts and pitches 4-5 innings in those starts; he gets called up and splits a game with Pivetta; he does well, but pitches only 4 innings, I believe.

      With that as background, he gets sent out to pitch the bottom of the 6th, two innings more than he’s pitched since forever. The Phillies are showing no offense in a one-run game. They need to keep it at that. No one is warming up, I believe. He walks two batters and then, of course, all hell breaks loose. It’s now a 4-run deficit that is insurmountable. Game over. I know it’s only one game among 162, but it baffled me that Kapler didn’t have the bullpen stirring when it was obvious to this observer that Eick was gassed.

      1. Evidently the Phillies were thinking he was adequately prepared to go further than 6 innings yesterday and the 92 pitches he threw and faded at..
        Over the last 5 weeks, 23 innings pitched in 6 games., with his bullpen sessions mixed in there.

        1. He actually faded at around 80 pitches starting the 6th. But forget pitch count, he had tough innings with men on base a lot. 5 innings was enough for him but Kapler followed the book rather than his eyes. Eickhoff looked gassed when he took the mound in the 6th (for the first time this year?).

      2. I’m not sure where to find it but a glance at how many innings our BP has thrown compared to the rest of the league would be interesting.

        I’m not a huge Kapler fan but even I can’t kill him for yesterday the BP was gassed. It’s not even just innings its also pitches. I’ve seen very few clean innings. I’ve seen quite a few 25 pitch 1 innings and so on.

        Until the starters start giving him some length its going to be a challenge year long.

        And its not just us. This problem is starting to be apparent league wide.

          1. Thanks Romus I think I found it from the ESPN link. It appears we rank 14th with IP pitched from the BP at 79.2

            For context Baltimore is 1 with 101.2 and Tampa Bay is 2 with 99.

            FWIW worth both Atlanta and NYM are worse…

          1. How do you know this? Keuchel also hasn’t pitched in a game since last season so I doubt he would be of much help for several weeks at the earliest..

            1. I don’t “know” anything. That’s my opinion based on his history/profile. Granted he hasn’t pitched in anger since last season but he’s a lefty Arrieta, again IMO.

            2. 8mark … I’m not sure if Keuchel would be a major upgrade to this SP staff or not. Last year, he led the league in base hits allowed, and averaged just 6 innings per start. Not saying he can’t have a bounce back year, I’m just saying he’s no sure thing.
              And for all those calling for Craig Kimbrell, remember he was leaking oil badly at the end of last season as well. Many of the games he was brought in to close in the playoffs were not pretty. Maybe he was just gassed from a long season, or maybe he’s on a decline. I don’t know for sure.

            3. Major upgrade, no. But the Achilles heel of this staff/usage has been the maddening pitch count per inning throughout. 2-3 pitch ABs have become like unicorns. And while Keuchel isn’t the guy he was, his ability to go deep should at least ease the strain on the bullpen. If Nola, Arrieta, Eflin and Eickhoff can all keep their ERAs under 4, Keuchel is a good bet to do the same. Velasquez has certainly pitched better than expected but his ability to go deep has yet to be established. And I’m not proposing that DK would supplant any need to acquire an arm at the deadline but this division demands that when it comes to pitching, there will be no such thing as enough. And relying on unproven arms from the farm shouldn’t be an option unless we run into injury problems, at least not for a playoff hopeful team.

            4. I agree Hinkie that the wishing on Keuchel and also Kimbrel are based on previous results and not where they are today. Keuchel did not have a particularly good year in 2018 and he’s now on the wrong side of 30. Add in that besides the contract $$, he will cost both a draft pick and international $$$ and I don’t see the potential upgrade as being enough. If either of them were that much of an upgrade, they would already be on someone’s roster and not still sitting out there waiting for a deal…

              The Phillies issues in Colorado wasn’t the pitching keeping them in games but rather the offense not producing runs which I don’t expect to be a long-term problem…

  4. How is Camden River Shark Young doing as pitching coach. I thought Kranitz helped many pitchers and Gabe ousted him to keep his buddy

    1. I’m waiting to see improvement in Nola. Pivetta certainly didn’t improve. Vinnie looks good though. It’s hard to know when to credit or blame the pitching coach. They did seem to help Dominguez after a tough start.

    1. Not having Robertson, Arano and Hunter hamper them enormously.
      Tough to have an effective bullpen when players are on the IL so early in the season…Phillies are not alone….but they need to get thru it.
      Pazos, Edgar Garcia and Rios are down in LHV and may have to be summoned eventually.

    2. Voice of Reason its not really mutually exclusive is it? I mean if your starters are at 90 pitches in the 5th what are his options.

      1. It’s even worse when you’re expecting 6-7 innings out of Nola and he’s been the worst starter in the rotation this year. If he gets back on track and Arrieta continues to give them 6-7 innings as well it would go a long way to stabilizing the bullpen.

  5. Denny……..opened the discussion citing that LHV doesn’t have enough players on the 40 man and I agree. The question I have is why Gamboa is taking up a 40 man slot? He is hitting .105 at AA?

    1. Agree Jim that was a head scratcher one I don’t think any team in the league was going to take him and two if they did I wouldn’t have sweat losing him.

    2. True enough but I have to think Walding’s time on the 40 is about to end. Honestly I’d rather have one of the 4A guys up here this week than Walding. Romine or Rodriquez, come on down! Walding is overmatched. Unfortunately Quinn looks like a guy who missed spring training, which he did. He’s swinging at sliders out of the zone and then is missing fastballs which he doesn’t usually. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cutch slide over to CF for a game to give Williams a start. Williams looks lost also. He’s batted so little and played even less.

      1. Williams cannot get out of Kapler’s doghouse and the poor guy will never play with this team as long as Kapler is Mgr…..I know it is tough to fit him in with outfield as it is – but at some point, Kapler is just going to have to put him in LF and move Cutch to CF for a game or two. He – Williams – can hit, but he just doesn’t get the chance and he is not likely to see that happen.

      2. Murray, agree with your evaluation on Walding, Quinn and Williams. I think the time is ripe for some house cleaning and some new faces.

        1. Well, you can move on and find out about “some new faces” but I wouldn’t hold your breath on improvements unless you’re feeling lucky.

    3. Someone here probably has data but I seem to recall that AG was a highly touted international prospect and we spent a fair amount to secure him. He has had decent years previously and has shown promise. I suppose that the front office was expecting him to take the next step based on his pedigree and time in the system. To me, that’s why they put him on the 40.

      1. Gamboa was highly touted and did receive a nice signing bonus but he’s been pretty bad with the bat and coming into this season never played a game above A ball.

        He had virtually no chance of being picked up or kept on a MLB 25 man. My opinion of course.

        Career MiLB 217/293/591 OPS throwing good money after bad not good.

  6. At this point of the season, it is early, I’ve watched a good portion of the games so far. I afeel the Phillies record should be better, by 3 or 4 wins. Not overly alarmed, but the the Phillies missed an opportunity to take a nice early lead in the division, that is expected to be tight. They need to cut these winnable games down by a 1/3 to half, and I can relax as a fan 🙂
    Well, Another opportunity to push the Mets back with 3 games, not facing their top aces. Unfortunately, our lineup is weakened for the matchup

    1. Agreed.

      And we blew an opportunity tonight, with Arrieta pitching, to grab a win against Mets and the offense didn’t show up.

  7. I was more disappointed in the hitters vs. the Rockies. Sure, Nicasio wasn’t great, and the BP has issues, and we can argue when Gabe takes out the SP, and those are good points. But, when we hit, we couldn’t score men from running position, a big problem when the # is 16. Yesterday, Gray pitched well, but you could see how he was setting up hitters to swing at balls in the dirt. They were clearly not picking up the breaking pitch when it left Gray’s hand. And, can we complain about Cesar on the bases, or is that going to cause a big debate? Without mentioning trading him or anyone else playing, he has to learn to be more aware of what is going on. I didn’t make it up, the announcers were all over it. Not the first time Cesar made a base running misplay. I don’t get how he can’t be more aware. When he got up, the Ump was still signalling the safe sign, and Cesar simply never looked at him. Anyway, that didn’t lose the game, but he drives me crazy.

    1. Cesar’s boner may not have lost the game but it sure cost them a chance to get things going offensively. Baserunning mishaps are almost always like pins popping a balloon, leading to our collective sighs, including those in the dugout. They literally zap any and all energy to rally from behind.

  8. Mitch Walding is another example of how big of a jump AAA is to the majors. In 20 PA he has struck out 13 times and has 2 BBs and one hit (a HR). Most of the strike outs that I have witnessed have been pretty bad as well.

  9. As this team develops, I see them as a Team that rarely loses more than two games in a row. The starting pitching has under-achieved, but I’m not worried. Are you? When the line up is clicking on all cylinders, they can score a lot of runs. When (not if) the pitching and hitting are in sync, this team can win 7 or 8 games in a row.

    1. Wawa I guess it depends on your expectation. You say you’re not worried but relevant to what

      A. Winning the Division
      B. Grabbing a WC berth
      C. Improving in wins above last year

      Personally my expectation once they signed Bryce on top of trading their top prospect for the best catcher in baseball and making a significant upgrade at SS and LF was winning the division.

      1. The Phillies currently have a win % of .571 which would give them 93 wins for the season and they are currently leading the division. Guess I’m not sure what the expectations are for this team beyond winning 93-95 games? Do you think they are a 100 win team?

        It’s going to be a very long, painful season if there is going to be this much agonizing over every 10-game stretch where they go 5-5 or 4-6.

        95 wins means 67 losses and some of them are going to happen consecutively, some of them are going to be frustrating, and some of them are going to be ugly.

        1. …and this is Philadelphia where as we all know, you can enjoy the thrill of victory and the agony of talking about it the next day….or something like that. So the losses will be even more excruciating.

          1. I know I should refrain from being overly critical and I will try harder but something irks me about this team and I’m not quite sure how to put it into words.

            Most of these guys are like-able to me so that’s not it. I’m leaning toward grit. They seem to lack it.

            1. DMAR, I think it’s okay to identify issues with the club. That’s partly why this site exists as an outlet for (mostly) thoughtful comments concerning the Phillies and the farm system. All in all, the needle is moving in the right direction. I’m glad that we’re still in 1st place after the Rox series. Nola has been a mild concern, and only Pivetta has been an utter disappointment so far. The bullpen is always a fluid situation that needs a stabling presence or three. I agree, this lineup is imposing to opposing pitchers. Cesar is probably our weakest link and even he’s better than most of the “weakest” in MLB. (That’s a compliment coming from me.)

        2. My sense is that this is a team that will win 91-96 games and will probably take the division and be very dangerous in the playoffs. I’m good with that.

  10. I’m overall happy where they are at given they don’t really have anyone performing at an unsustainable rate that skews the results so far
    I would feel better if they had a lock down closer as they’ve lost 2 games so far with the lead with 2 outs and 2 strikes.
    whenever I see that, it reminds me of the magical perfect season that brad lidge had not blowing any saves
    we really should be 14-7 given removing those 2 crushing losses

  11. sr, I agree with you. I am pleased where we are, and I think that no one has performed over expectations or in a way that is not sustainable. I also want a Closer, and I think the need for one will only grow, not diminish. I think we can give our SPs at AAA shots if we need more SP, at least should we need another change before July 31. And, Pivetta will be back. I would sign Kimbrel, although I know we won’t have him for a month.

    1. Do you remember him blowing 11 saves the very next year and the Phils finishing with one extra win for the season?

      Bullpens are nice, but I think you’re overvaluing the thought of a closer. Our bullpen will hold more leads than they give up. And of the ones that they give up, some will result in wins anyways. We don’t need a “perfect” season (which Lidge’s wasn’t. He had multiple saves in games that he gave up 1 or 2 runs). We just need a bit of luck and health.

  12. So we’re all kind of on the same page it’s just been a little topsy turvey to start which perhaps should also be expected from a club that has 2 new OFs, a new catcher and a new SS.

  13. Eickhoff has a true out pitch in his plus CB. Most of the his given is from his FB, a pitch that lacks deception, movement and heat. If Eickhoff misplace that FB, it as almost always gets hit. Despite of this big physical frame, I don’t expect Eickhoff to increase velo on his FB. So if the SL is not working, Eickhoff will be in trouble. Maybe Eickhoff is another candidate to learn how to throw a cutter or maybe a sinker – pitches that do not require a lot of velocity.

    1. I preach this all the time, if he cant get his outstanding great , wonderful superior, these are your words, curveball over. he stinks plain and simple, he is a one pitch pony.If we cant draft better or have better options, then this guy we are in trouble

  14. Agree that losing the series against COL is on the offense. However, the series could easily be a 3-1 if injuries in the position players did not hit the Phillies.

  15. The lost 3 good hitters in there lineup. Sequra, Herrrera and Kingery you cant replace them . So let’s hope they comeback soon.

  16. Arrieta was right in his postgame comments but he needed to say what he said to Harper and the rest of the team, not the media. This should be an opportunity to wake up the dormant bats despite the players missing on the IL. If Bryce was trying to stir up the troops, he could have found another way to do it. DMAR commented yesterday regarding the team lacking grit. This may be a good test for them to show some.

    While the pitching hasn’t largely been the culprit of late, I can definitely see the revolving door of relievers from this point on. Alvarez and Nicasio hitting back-to-back batters? Ugh.

    Altherr and Quinn look abysmal. Mark down the date and time I said this but…I miss Odubel. 🤪

    1. And speaking of the OF, why can’t Cutch play CF until Herrera returns? Williams should get some ABs if they’ve any hope of redeeming his value as a trade piece.

      1. You would think…..but Kapler thinks otherwise.
        A guy with just over 800 MLB PAs…with an ISO of .173….and cannot get to start just a few games in a row.

        1. It’s shocking Williams hasn’t gotten a start or two. McCutchen has been very good but he could use a day off her or there. Williams isn’t a stud player but he has the kind of bat that can get hot and win a game for a week or two while Herrera, Segura, etc sit.

          1. Yeah…go figure why the reluctance on the part of the manager on giving him a few games here and there. I can understand the LHP thing…..like Matz last night….but there has to be at some point an opportunity to get him multiple games at starting.

    2. I know I said I would refrain but I just can’t help myself. Harper has not been what I had hoped he would be.

      Last nights ump was the poster child for automating balls and strikes. I think Harper’s frustration was warranted. Sure he shouldn’t get himself tossed there but maybe Gabe should have had his back sooner.

  17. Marlins’ Return on the Realmuto trade:
    –Sixto still being nursed along…yet to appear in a game.
    –Alf…is what is expected….40% K rate but little above average ISO at .170…..pure HRs
    –Will Stewart…could be the gem of the three,
    …plus 3 starts in his FSL season so far…if he continues, will probably get a promo to AA level.
    When all said and done, hopefully, could be considered a fair deal for both teams.

  18. Not a fan of Arrieta airing his issues in the press which will obviously create national news that Phillies players are upset with harper, dont see how that helps the team. its not like calling out a player for lack of effort
    if arrieta had issues with harper getting ejected, handle that in house

  19. He also said the whole team was “flat”, so more than Harper may be annoyed. Or, as he is perceived as a leader amongst the Pitchers, and maybe the whole team, they said “you know, he is right”, and they use it to play better. The hitters have looked “flat”, and Kapler saved Bryce from a suspension, if he didn’t stop him from going after the Ump. So, in my view, Arrieta was correct. Maybe you are also, sr, and Arrieta should have said his piece quietly, but I want to see us play with a little more fire. Our hitting has been less than satisfactory, and last night was a good opportunity to win vs the Mets when they didn’t have Thor or DeGrom pitching.

    1. Agree, Matt. No one expected the Phillies to tattoo Matz like they did last Tuesday but they absolutely didn’t show up with any plan against him last night. Even with Segura, Herrera and Kingery out, the complete reversal of fortune isn’t acceptable. They had to know and be prepared for his own adjustments against them the second time around. Do something creative. Lay down a drag bunt or 2, anything to throw him off. Good teams find a way to avoid being totally shut down. Instead, the collective listlessness sets a pall over the entire dugout until frustration brings about the barking over balls and strikes. Hopefully they learned something last night. Wheeler hasn’t been himself so far, and Vargas stinks. Give Williams a start tonight for once. Respond with 2 strong games and then come home to take care of business in 4 games vs the Fish.

  20. So what was discussed with Nicky Dubs at breakfast? Preparation, attitude, etc.? If you can’t replace an .043 outfielder who can’t pick up a ball off the ground, you must have done something wrong! Notwithstanding a left handed pitcher, he could have matched AA’s performance.

    1. With regards to Aaron Altherr, I could not have been more wrong. 2-3 years ago I was absolutely certain he was going to be a really good major league ball player but boy does he look bad. When all are healthy, I think they really need to just move on however possible as he just isn’t getting it done.

  21. Regarding this whole debate on Harper getting ejected and the umpiring last night, I think the thing that is missing here is Gabe’s role in all of this. An average manager would have noticed that his team came out flat after a long rain delay. An average manager would have noticed that the umpiring was bad and his players were frustrated. An average manager would have noticed that his star player struck out twice and verbally responded to the umpire in both at bats. A decent manager would have gotten ejected also right after his star player to show that star player he has his back. A good manager would have gotten ejected before his star player got ejected to show that star player he has his back, to help his pitcher and catcher get the same calls, and to give his lifeless team on that day a spark.

    Gabe is not an average, decent, or good manager, he is below average at best. Just like he couldn’t read Jerad’s body language the day before, he just doesn’t know or have the awareness to react in unique situations. I love this team as currently comprised and I happen to think they can win this division despite the manager not because of him. I believe Klentak had a great offseason and will make the right move at the deadline. But the 5,000 pound elephant in the room is this manager and his complete lack of capability vs everyone else around him. Mr Middleton has built a juggernaut in every possible way, but it shocks me that he has continued to let this manager lead said juggernaut.

  22. Bob Gibson was once quoted as saying, “You’ve got to have an attitude if you’re going to go far in this game.” (He also said, “The two most important things in life: good friends and a strong bullpen.”) I don’t know of any successful athlete who was more fierce than “Hoot” Gibson. And it’s not about playing dirty or talking smack. I can’t single out the Phillies for not having that quality of character as a team. But at some point, preferably sooner than later, somebody needs to step forward and lead loudly with his style of play and competitive spirit, but with a measure of anger that commands respect, both from within and without. The culture across MLB for the most part seems to be that where players want to be each other’s brother from another mother. That’s all well and good off the field. However, it seems to interfere with their job when push comes to shove. The HR celebrations are novel and amusing. Fine. But in the long run, they simply don’t win baseball games when your team is playing like crap.

    Sermon over.

    1. ….ie – I hate the Washington Nationals more than any other club, but I would take MadMax on my team any day of the week.

  23. Kapler has Quinn batting 9th in cf tonight. Eflin in 8 hole. Don’t get why he absolutely won’t get Williams in the lineup. Beyond me. If the club was taking, I could see it. But what the hell?

  24. I am a Roman Quinn guy, but I think Williams deserves a shot. Play him in LF and Cutch in CF. or give Cutch a night off. His bat has seemed slower the past few games. Either way, we are wasting Williams and diminishing his trade value to zero. He has not pinch hit anywhere close to last year, so why not send him to LHV if he is not going to play? This seems to be the worst of both worlds.

    1. End of last year, we were fading fast and really out of the race, Kap kept Joey Batista in but Dylan Cozens rotted on the bench. Good time to see if DC could do it.

  25. Can someone explain to me what advantage it is to batting the pitcher 8th? I’ve played baseball at the college level and have coached it ever since; yet I can never come up with the reasoning for hitting the pitcher 8th. The 2 lead off guy argument doesn’t even make sense.

    1. EricD….must be a study out there that defines the reasoning behind it…Tony LaRussa I believe pushed it a lot when he managed.

      Now I understand there was one study that showed the average team sends 38 batters to the plater per game.
      Thereby…the one and two hole hitter get the extra PAs……their 5th.
      Perhaps the 9th hole non-pitcher hitter, has a better probability on being on base,prior to their at bats.

      1. Over the course of an 162 game season, on average, each position in the batting order will be the last batter of the game 1/9 of the time, or 18 times. This means, on average, over the course of the season each place in the order gets 18 more ab’s than the following position.

        Your #8 hitter loses 18 ab’s over the season if he’s dropped a spot to let the P hit 8th. That’s the cost if you bump up the P to string together a non-pitcher with your lead-off hitter.

    2. LaRussa’s logic as told to Joe Maddon of the Rays who questioned the maneuver:

      “……he was looking for ways to get more plate appearances for his best hitter. And by hitting a position player in the 9-hole as sort of a second leadoff man, he was trying to increase the chances of his best hitter(s) batting with as many runners on base as possible…”.

    3. It’s about putting your best hitter in the 2 hole in the modern way of thinking to maximize his PA. By moving the pitcher to 8th, the 9th batter gives your best hitter a better RBI opportunity. After the first 8 batters, the lineup looks more traditional with the #2 guy in the #3 position.

  26. Ugly.
    Embarrassing.
    Demoralizing.
    These losses make you feel like this team is at the bottom of the division. They are certainly playing like it. And watching the ineptitude of Cesar and Quinn? Painful. Never mind we’re missing key players. This is bad baseball from Harper to the 25th man. Getting thrown out at the plate by 20 feet. They are trying to create new ways to be dreadful.

  27. I can’t say it any better than you 8mark. Wheeler with 11 Ks through 5, reminds me of last year’s collapse. I know, it is early, but this is awful.

  28. Took 84 pitches for Drew Anderson to get through 4 innings. This organization is paper thin. There is no help readily available on the farm whatsoever. The depth we’ve boasted about for the past few years has turned out to be quite an illusion.

    1. Dreadful game. I started watching “Pickers” hoping they might find a sign to say the Phillies will somehow get through this awful demoralizing baseball….terrible…and it seems to go on day after day…is this September 2018 again ????? Todd Frazier ? are you kidding me ? and the pitcher drives in 3 of the 4 runs ? errors of commission and omission !!! Who is in charge here ?

  29. Matt Gelb just posted a piece for the Athletic discussing the eventual replacement of Cesar Hernandez with Scott Kingery. If anyone has a subscription, please let me know the gist of it. So glad it’s finally being given its due.

    1. Can we package Hernandez, Williams, Eflin and a prospect for a good starting pitcher? Any thoughts on this?

        1. It will take more than that to land Minor IMO. He will definitely move before the trade deadline and will likely land someone’s top prospect plus some again IMO.

          That said replace CeHe with Grullon or Marchan take back Choo’s remaining money and maybe throw in Hunter to offset it some and its a possibility.

        2. Probably. But he reminds me of another up and down innings eater that drives me crazy. Start the zeroing in on MadBum now.

  30. I enjoyed listening to Jimmy the past 2 nights. He’d have a long way to go as a broadcaster but my gosh he was the straw that stirred the drink on those teams.

    This team doesn’t seem to have that. It has more than its share of Victorinos LOL

    It certainly doesn’t have a Hollywood Hamels. They say you can never go home again but man you can sure miss it.

    With regard to Harper has anyone else noticed he does this weird step back thing as he swings? Like stepping backwards away from the plate. It annoys me especially when he strikes out.

    Talk me down off the ledge but for $330 mil I expected him to look like an MVP candidate for the next 5 seasons at least. Going back to the opening week did he shoot the proverbial load. Cause man its been ugly ever since.

    Makes you wonder if somewhere in the depths of Matty K’s safe space he’s saying “man I’m glad Middleton owned that one”

  31. How much longer does Eflin get? Is De Los Santos next? Eflin’s last 3 starts have been worse than Pivetta’s, and I know he started with 2 really nice games. Pitching will be a problem, Both in the Rotation and the BP. It will need to be addressed sometime at or before the deadline. Of course, if the hitting doesn’t wake up, it won’t matter. Early, I know, but better play should still be demanded than what we have seen lately.

    1. I think the Phillies brass hope Eflin simply keeps his value until they decide how to improve the rotation… whether he remains as a #4/#5 or a trade piece in some package for an upgrade. I don’t think he’s on any kind of watch. He can be very effective or he can get lit up. Either way, I have to think he’s very expendable.

  32. I have made the point before that my biggest challenge with this manager and his coaching staff, among the many, is the lack of development of players under his and their leadership. This trend is continuing in 2019 unfortunately. As part of this argument, I’m going to ignore the new veterans we acquired as I think it would be unfair to give credit or criticize their performance to date being due to the manager and coaching staff at this point. It’s unlikely in just 4 weeks of regular season action and one camp that dramatic differences are due to the manager and coaches rather than a small sample size, etc.

    But let’s look at the starting rotation. While VV, Nick, and Zac all took strides forward early last year, they ran out of gas and regressed in the second half. Now after a full off season and another Camp Gabe, where do they stand? Nick is in the minors, Zac is inconsistent at best, and VV has been slightly above average to good albeit only 3 starts and he hasn’t gone deep in an outing yet. While Nola has clearly regressed, I’m not going to blame that on the staff although I think we should evaluate how quickly they are able to help him regain his form.

    On the offensive side of the equation, Cesar, Odubel, Nick, Altherr, Roman, Kingery and Knapp have not moved forward at all, if not regressed in both their performance and value since 2017. I feel that Franco has moved forward and Rhys is playing well, and I’m hopeful Kingery will sustain his progress before the injury.

    Now to the bullpen, where have the young arms gone? At a time when these guys should be taking leaps forward, there is little to no progress? Edubray, Arano, Garcia last year, Davis, Seranthony, and Rios have all gone flat or in the wrong direction. After a less than exciting 2018, Adam Morgan is at least doing well this year.

    Sum it all up and you see that at a time and age when these players should be moving forward, most are not. I don’t know how even the strongest Gabe Kapler believer can defend this as even without coaching and good guidance, young players should be improving performance not regressing.

    1. 1) Gabe is not the pitching coach.

      2) You can’t put an asterisk next to Vinny’s performance for SSS and not for the others just because it fits your narrative.

      1. Missed it…..I assume Josh Harris was asking John Muiddleton about the availability of Kyle Young and Carlos De La Cruz to fill in upfront in the Raptor series?

  33. Sean Rodriguez is up and will play ss tonight. DLS is also up while Drew Anderson and Mitch Walding are back down. James Pazos has been DFA’d.

    Roman Quinn is back in CF tonight so he can strike out 3 more times is that strategic 9 hole. He and Cesar must have pictures of Gabe in compromising positions?

    1. Sean Rodriquez had one of yhe worst spring trainings this year but is a former teammate and friend of Kap. Trying to keep the clubhouse.

  34. Sean Rodriguez is NOT a shortstop! Phil Gosselin is NOT a shortstop! When are they going to figure that out? I realize that there are no other SSs on the forty (except Gamboa) but come on. Every grounder to short tonight (and until Segura returns) is going to be an adventure. That’s just what VV needs.

    1. Roman Quinn is a shortstop, 8mark your like my wife ,repeating same thing over and over, email the phillies tell them you dont like 270 hitters, with 359 obp.

      1. I’m in too good of a mood to argue with you guys. Great win tonight.

        Apparently, Quinn won’t be playing ss or CF or anywhere else for a while. Feel bad for him but it may be time to move on from waiting for him to become what his body simply won’t allow him to.

        Let’s sweep the Fish this weekend!

        1. 8mark only a difference of option, I Would never say Cesar doesnt make bone head plays someitmes. but he is a pretty good player, Sure there are better second basemen in the game, but he does put up nice numbers each year I know he wont be back. They wont pay him 10 million, when they believe so much in kingery, right or wrong. Its a really bad situation with Quinn one of his biggest assets is speed, and he is always hurt. imo time to move on, Does anyone know about Moniaks speed?

          1. Agree wholeheartedly. I’ll even add in that they shouldn’t look to resign him . . . my only point is 2 things.
            1. He’s out performed Kingery and should be playing over him
            2. He’s a hell of a lot better than people make him out to be. You’d think he was Michael Martinez they away he’s talked about around here

            1. One of the things I HATE about some of our prospect discussions is that, at times when there are two competing players (hell, most of the time), people seem to do what the political parties do and that’s oversell their guy and unfiarly slam the guy they don’t like to “win” the argument about which guy should be playing, as if there were anything to win. Furthermore, once people “choose sides” they often stick to their positions even if the evidence (performance) evolves over time.

              When it comes to Hernandez and Kingery, I absolutely despise the narrative on this site that’s developed and believe the discussion often does little to advance the ball. As for Hernandez, he’s been a good player on the whole. Not a star, but a good player. It’s unclear if he will or won’t continue to get better, but at this point, odds are he will likely stay the same – roughly a 2-4 WAR player. That said, at some point in time, a mature player has to stop making stupid bone-headed mistakes. All players make dumb mistakes at times. Cesar makes way more than his share. And I’m not talking about physical errors, I’m talking about inexcusable mental mistakes (that baserunning mistake made me lose my mind – it was like he wasn’t even on the field paying attention – the ball was loose and the umpire signaled safe – both were signs to not move – but he checked out). So unless Cesar plays out of his mind over the next 4 months, they should be looking to someone else long term because I don’t want him making a critical mental mistake in a game 7. Sorry, I don’t and, yes, his lack of growth in his approach has caused me to change my mind about him.

              As for Kingery, he has his flaws, but he’s a growing player. Again, unless Cesar plays out of his mind, Kingery should get more and more time and second and other places and he should be groomed as Cesar’s successor. If he fails, I think they still be looking to replace Cesar at second.

            2. rocco/EricD….Cesar is auditioning this year for his next team, since we all know they will not resign him to any long term deal….maybe, just maybe, they will offer a one year deal, but he will not want that.
              Now he needs to stop the mental gaffes and play good ball to boost his earning power..

          2. Rocco, I don,t know about Moniak’s speed, but I do know Hoskins wasn’t going to pull a hammy or stretch a groin last night on his home run trot. I read the daily news while he was in transit between 1st and 3rd.😊

          3. What happened to Cesar Hernandez as the “super sub”? Didn’t he play SS, 3B and OF in the past? Kingery can play 2B when he comes back with CH taken over for Kjngery/Quinn. Also he would be a switch hitter for pinch hitiing.

  35. Btw bash Hernandez all you want but last night he was one of the only guys off the bench having Hoskins back . . . Sounds like a good teammate.

  36. Well Jim,………..I guess I was a bit over optimistic on my estimate of 15 days before Quinn gets hurt.

  37. Phillies should be getting a lot of players back over the next 4/5 days, per the IL schedule…unless they have to be extended for more healing.

    David Robertson…Elbow…Due return,,,today
    Jean Segura….Hamstring…Apr 27…Sat.
    Odubel Herrera….Hamstring….Apr 28…Sunday
    Scott Kingery….Hamstring…Apl 30….Tues.
    Victor Arano….Elbow….Apr 30…Tues.

    Roman Quinn…groin…????
    Tommy Hunter Elbow May 25?????

      1. Agree……some will probably be extended.

        As for Roman Q….I would immediately put him on the 60 day, even if it is an estimated 3/4 week injury prognosis ( which I doubt, his soft-tissue injuries linger on for some reason)….so they can make an added 40 move…ie Cole irvin for the rotation in June perhaps.

    1. I heard Kingery’s injury is a lot more severe than the others. I think he’ll be out at least 3 weeks.

  38. [Part 1]

    One of the things I HATE about some of our prospect discussions is that, at times when there are two competing players (hell, most of the time), people seem to do what the political parties do and that’s oversell their guy and unfiarly slam the guy they don’t like to “win” the argument about which guy should be playing, as if there were anything to win. Furthermore, once people “choose sides” they often stick to their positions even if the evidence (performance) evolves over time.

    1. [PART 2]

      When it comes to Hernandez and Kingery, I absolutely despise the narrative on this site that’s developed and believe the discussion often does little to advance the ball. As for Hernandez, he’s been a good player on the whole. Not a star, but a good player. It’s unclear if he will or won’t continue to get better, but at this point, odds are he will likely stay the same – roughly a 2-4 WAR player. That said, at some point in time, a mature player has to stop making stupid bone-headed mistakes. All players make dumb mistakes at times. Cesar makes way more than his share. And I’m not talking about physical errors, I’m talking about inexcusable mental mistakes (that baserunning mistake made me lose my mind – it was like he wasn’t even on the field paying attention – the ball was loose and the umpire signaled safe – both were signs to not move – but he checked out). So unless Cesar plays out of his mind over the next 4 months, they should be looking to someone else long term because I don’t want him making a critical mental mistake in a game 7. Sorry, I don’t and, yes, his lack of growth in his approach has caused me to change my mind about him.

      As for Kingery, he has his flaws, but he’s a growing player. Again, unless Cesar plays out of his mind, Kingery should get more and more time and second and other places and he should be groomed at Cesar’s successor. If he fails, I think they still be looking to replace Cesar at second.

  39. Great win last night, it was an important win for the psyche of the team. Hoskins’ homer was terrific and his slow trot was just the best. He’s the clubhouse leader of this team, even with all the guys they brought in. He’s just a leader. I was so happy for Quinn to get a perfect bunt single to score a run but in typical Quinn fashion, he then hurt his groin. If he goes on the IL today it could simply result in them recalling Walding or maybe Cozens. Or they could callup Shane Robinson and start him in CF. He played well in spring training, played okay for the Yanks last year, and is hitting very well at LHV. This would require a 40 move which could mean the 60 day IL for one of the guys on the IL or the release of Walding, which is overdue in my opinion.

  40. catch, you make a terrific point. I like Cesar. I base my hopes on Kingery due to a higher ceiling. I could certainly be wrong, and it wouldn’t be the first time. I root for whoever is out there, because I want the Phils to win. I am always looking for them to be the best at every position possible. We can point out a player’s deficiencies, like D or base running mistakes without bashing the player. I wanted to trade Doobie and thought Roman Quinn could be the answer. I was wrong again. Quinn can’t ever stay healthy, and Doobie is better than I gave him credit for. But, I try not to bash any of them. Last night Vinnie had a terrific outing, and showed real poise in getting out of trouble a few times. Good for him. He demonstrated how valuable it is to be able to miss bats. I am not sending him to the BP so fast, I will take performances like that over and over. And, great for Rhys! I enjoyed his leisurely stroll around the bases.

    1. IMO he has to go more than 5 innings or at least have the potential to do that. Even when the results are good like last night, you still need 4 out of the BP. So, if you have to depend on 3 or 4 out of the BP every time he starts, just put him in the bullpen and let him go 3 or 4 innings there or if someone gets shelled, put him in to do his customary 5. I have nothing against the guy. I actually like him and his demeanor, just think he is better suited for the bullpen. It isn’t like you are less of a ball player or person if you are in the pen.

      1. That’s an excellent comment, Jim. Otherwise, to continue using him as a starter, we may wind up calling him an ‘opener’ anyway. The bullpen can’t sustain his short outings over the long haul.

      2. I disagree here. It’s true that VV is only going 5 innings, but he’s keeping the Phillies in games, which is way better than what the other starters are doing. At this point, he’s 4/5, and if you tell me that VV is going to go 5 innings and give a quality start most starts, I would take that any day of the week, especially from a 4/5 starter. Case in point, look at what Jason Vargas is giving the Mets.

        Also, the guys that go 3-4 innings (i.e mop up duty) are journeyman guys or filler material. Those guys have zero value. VV has value. Putting a starter into the bullpen decreases his value. That’s why teams will give starters multiple chances before he goes into the bullpen. Because once he goes into the bullpen, he’s not coming out.

    2. I’m surprised that Quinn hasn’t been ripped more because he’s been flat out terrible, especially in the Colorado series. He’s getting fooled badly on off speed pitches and he totally misplayed that triple into an inside the park HR a few days ago.

      Yesterday, he bunts with a guy on 2nd with 1 out and kicks the ball accidentally. If Odubel did that, there would be a riot here. And then Quinn gets hurt again. Given his injury history, at best he’s a 4th OF. And if Quinn is a 4th OF, then Altherr is a 5th OF if you get my drift.

        1. I heard Odubel is close. He should get activated once he’s eligible.

          At this point, not sure why Gabe is NOT putting Cutch in CF. We’ve seen enough of Altherr, We need Nick WIlliams to get going.

          1. I just don’t think Nick Williams is very good. The risk of putting him in is, in my view, not outweighed by an appreciable upside. He’s just sort of a mediocre major leaguer.

          1. Dylan Cozens is the Phillies’ Joey Gallo. He draws walks and when he connects, the ball goes a mile. His career success will be determined by how often he can make contact. If Dylan Cozens could hit .235–.250, his other skills should make him valuable. I will say that each year in AAA his OPS has gone up so it’s not like he’s stalled – it’s just slow progress and not entirely what you would expect.

  41. Velasquez’ “stuff” is electric! Ride him till he gets it right. I think Realmuto has a lot to do with VV’s resurgence.

    Too bad for Quinn. He works hard to stay fit but he has such a slight body that it’s easy to see why he’s hurt a lot.

    If Legares is in center field when Hoskins hits his triple, it’s a long out. Legares catches every thing, especially against us.

    Harper sure does strike out a ton. I hope he’ll cut that stat down a bit. He faces Smith this evening who has been tough.

    1. Velasquez’s stuff IS electric. That’s not the issue. He rarely goes 5 innings without staring down 100 pitches in the process, meaning the bullpen has to bring their A game. That’s not sustainable throughout the season. Use him in the most sensible way. Out of the pen. Call him what you want. His talent is exceptional. Good outing last night. But he’s not a starting pitcher.

      1. Based on this argument, Nola should also be in the pen since he’s also not be able to get past the 5th/6th inning.

        VV starts so far this season:
        Wash – 5 IP – 80 pitches
        Mia – 6 IP – 81 pitches
        Col – 5.2 IP – 97 pitches
        NYM – 5 – 97 pitches.

        Nola
        Atl – 6 IP – 99 pitches
        Was 3 IP – 63 pitches
        Wash 6.1 IP – 99 pitches
        NYM 4 IP – 83 pitches
        Col 5.2 IP – 97 pitches

        Would see that the Phillies #5 starter has been just as efficient as the Phillies #1 pitcher so far in 2019 except VV’s results have been better.

        There is no reason to move him to the pen when he’s been their 2nd best starter behind Arrietta so far in 2019..

        1. VV wasn’t 3rd in Cy Young voting last year, nor was he a 1st round pick. Nor a consistent history of developing as a starting pitcher.

          1. But none of those things matter in 2019.

            When the Phillies have a better option for the rotation than VV then they can worry about VV getting deeper into games..

            1. Actually my better option is to sell high on him, package him for a TOR and acquire an arm that can go deeper into games so that the bullpen isn’t fried by July.

            2. @8mark, if we know what VV’s shortcomings are, you better believe the other teams do too. So at this rate, you’re pretty much selling VV for pennies on the dollar. VV will be a better lotto ticket at this point, and not the focal point of a trade package. As for trading for a TOR pitcher, I will say this until the cows come home, you need talent to get talent. I’m sure nobody wants to trade Spencer Howard. Do people want to trade Adonis Medina? Because any TOR trade talk will center on those pitchers at a minimum.

              And btw, VV has 1.2 WAR which is second behind Arrieta. VV is doing just fine.

            3. ViVe….4 games ….Game Score average 59….second best WAR player on the team @1.2 (9WAR projection)….dang me!

            4. VV shouldn’t even come up in conversations when talking about issues w the team. He’s been good so far. Leave him be.

      1. The Phillies will be passing out monogram ‘ C.S’. towels to the pitchers if Dohy turns out like Mitch Williams.

      2. Well today, he just lost the game vs Pawtucket – 2 hits and a walk, allowing 3 runs in a tie game. Final 5-2. He did K 2 batters.

  42. Quinn doesn’t get ripped because he brings something to the table that we need, So, he gets cut some slack from people like me who fantasize what might have been.. The problem is, he hasn’t this year, and now is hurt again. His D, supposedly outstanding, hasn’t appeared, and he hasn’t hit. However, his speed is game changing, and despite the bunting gaff, he can bunt. Doobie can’t. But, you are right. Certain guys get more leeway. I think much more has been expected from Doobie, and when his play falters, he is an easy target. His ups and downs are so pronounced. He has to play better defense when he gets back. I still stick with VV, and maybe he reduces a bit of the wildness, and can give us that extra inning. It is amazing what the difference is between a guy who goes 6 innings vs 5. If we can get VV to 6, and his performance is the same as last night, I don’t think anyone would be sending him to the BP.

    1. Quinn’s story is a tragic story. He has all the tools to play MLB baseball but his soft tissue genetics keep getting in the way.

      I can’t imagine how frustrating that is for him.

      Not sure why or how you can rip him for that. From the org standpoint they have to move on.

    2. Quinn has barely played this year, let alone had a chance to settle in. I don’t think, long term, his talent is or would be the issue. The issue is what it has always been – the dude can’t stay healthy.

  43. Official: Quinn on IL, Cozens is up. I’m actually excited about DC getting another opportunity. Not expecting much but the possibility that something clicks for him.

    1. Why not put Roman, with a Grade 2 strain , on the 60 day DL!
      Normally it takes a player 3-6 weeks….in Roman’s case, since he is a slow healer, based upon the past, it could be 6-8 weeks.
      Being on a 10 day IL, then one extension after another, the team limits its 40 maneuverability.
      On the 60 day…..you at least have the temporary ‘kick the can down the street’ maneuverability with the 40 to add a pitcher or position player.

      1. Romus, they may do that when they need to. Right now, Cozens is up until Sunday when Doobie returns, I suppose. But the 60 day for Quinn may be inevitable.

        1. 8mark…..I suppose that can be the case….a player may be shifted from the 10-day to the 60-day injured list at any time, but not the other way around or vice versa.

    1. Would you retire, he loves the game, is still young and makes decent money doing what he loves. Team will pick him up if we let him go. You dont give up on talent

      1. Rocco,

        Agree, I wouldn’t quit if I was making $500,000-plus at age 25. And, who knows, he might make a good fourth outfielder for somebody.

  44. With his speed, there will be teams willing to roll the dice for a couple of more years. Why would he give up that $? And, I am happy that Cozens gets to the Majors again, but he hasn’t exactly earned this promotion by his play in AAA, and if Nick Williams gets no playing time, what will Cozens get? He can’t play CF, so maybe he pinch hits a time or 2, then goes back down on Sunday.

    1. Hey Roc . . . Should I mention how Cesar now leads the team in batting average (well minus Segura) . . . ?

          1. Geez, you don’t have to jump to CeHe’s defense. I wasn’t being serious.

            But eventually, Kingery is going to take his job, it’s just a matter of when.

            1. Yes, next year.

              And I will always jump to someone’s defense if they deserve defending. I realized you weren’t being serious but many on here are w the hate (or whatever you want to call it) towards him.

              He’s hitting .277/.337/.415
              2B MLB ranks
              Runs: 6th
              Hits: 4th
              Doubles: 4th
              BB: 6th
              BA: 8th
              OBP: 12th
              SLG: 15th

              Imagine a normal start for him and those numbers are vastly better. However there’s NOTHING wrong with those numbers, esp coming from the back of your line up.

              Kingery is probably the future or at least the 2B come next year . . . He isn’t this year.

  45. Don’t get Gabe having Gosselin pinch hit instead of Cozens vs righty in 8th. In a tight game like this, one swing could make all the difference.

    1. Asshat! He hates Cozens. Didnt play him last year at all at end of season. Put in Joey NoBats instead.

    2. When has Hector ever pitched more than one inning and survived? Kapler is losing me.

      As for the team’s performance, when you’re playing bad baseball, ANYBODY can beat you. But maybe the talent just isn’t good enough? Who’d have thought Adam Morgan would be our best reliever?

      1. 8mark – Perhaps we were spoiled by the teams 4-0 start. With all of the new players, and now all of the injuries, the team is a work in progress. As * as they’ve been playing, they’re only a half game out of first. They will find their mojo, and run off 7 or 8 wins in a row, and we’ll wonder what we were worried about at the end of April.

    3. And let’s not talk about injuries. The Yankees have been absolutely ravaged by injuries. Like in the teens. Lo and behold, the next men up are stepping up. This organization has no ‘next man up’. Klentak did well plodding through the off season in acquiring top talent. Now he needs to think on his feet or the long season will become even longer.

      1. The Yankees have played exactly one team with a winning record so far this season and they got swept (Astros). Even if you assume the Red Sox are just in a slump right now they’ve played 9 games against the Orioles and Tigers (probably the two worst teams in baseball) and 8 against KC and the Angels, who are likely .500 teams, maybe worse.

        They have had, bar none, the easiest opening schedule in baseball. And they’re still just 14-10. They aren’t particularly faring better with their injuries than we are, they just had the benefit of playing horrifyingly bad teams.

        We arguably should won more against the Rockies, but they’re 8-2 in their last 10 and almost back to .500. We definitely should beat the Marlins, but they’re better than the O’s, and the Yanks have lost two to them. The Mets were expected to contend for the division, so splitting with them is fine.

        We started the season 7-3, and in our last 10 we’re 4-6. Slumps happen, we just happened to slump at the same time we lost 3 starting position players and a handful of pitchers. Bad luck, move on.

      2. 8mark – Kingery was our next man up at SS. and now we’re down to the next, next man up. The same could be said in CF with Herrera and Quinn both out.

  46. Another pathetic loss, hitting has disappeared. Harper cannot pop up the opposite way with runner on 3rd and 1 out. Sorry, he needs to bring home Cutch some how. Very disappointing

    1. Some really crappy AB’s last night. Again other than JT (who caught smith) they didn’t appear prepared for Smith.

      Move Franco out of the 8 hole and he’s back to flailing and wailing sheesh

      1. Maybe Caleb Smith is that lefty we need to target at the deadline? I like his confidence with which he seems to pitch.

        Nicky Dubs really made a great play, both the way he urgently came in to field the ball and the 95.5 mph rope. Again, Kapler is losing me with his (non)use of Williams in the lineup while he had the opportunity once Quinn showed he wasn’t ready to contribute upon his return. Very discouraging to me.

      2. Franco has always been a streaky player that goes through hot stretches where he’s patient and not chasing and then through steaks where he swings at everything.

        The only thing the 8-spot might help him with is the fact that he knows teams will be less likely to throw him strikes so he’s less aggressive.

  47. This team reminds me of those teams that sputter along, then without notice, get hot on a 10/11 game winning streak and get to the top of the division, and then fight to stay there.

  48. Wondering now if Matt K. and the FO are questioning their logic on placing Arqui. Gamboa on the 40…..one spot that the team could really use now with the injuries that have mounted over the last two weeks..
    its the little things that will bite you in the end.

    1. No doubt Romus but more importantly is Middleton paying attention to these mistakes.

      If Middleton has a Tom Hagan what is he telling him?

      1. I was so excited about this year but now ……Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

      2. DMAR…..I guess it will come down to wins and losses in the end.
        Perhaps expectations for many were higher than where they should have been.

      3. Forget about who’s talking to Middleton for now. I want to know who’s talking to Kapler. I mean, either his bench coaches and confidantes are in agreement with many of his misjudgments OR he’s ignoring their input. Which is it?

        OR is Rob Thomson & Co. allowing him enough rope to hang himself?

        1. 8mark…………………I think they’re testing the sandbag right now to see if the weight is right!

        2. Imagine being Rob Thompson. Does he see himself as Fredo LOL

          But who if anyone Middleton consults is important. Any good leader trusts his decisions and makes them with conviction. He also has to trust the leadership he puts in place but he also keeps a confidant to cross check said decisions.

          I’ll go back to the day he hired McPhail (June 29 2015) it all seemed rushed. Was he really the best candidate for the position? In my mind there were other more progressive candidates actively working in a FO that would have made more sense.

          1. DMAR….if Gabe does not get things turned around or things start to go south pretty fast….look for Thomson’s old Yankee partner Joe Girardi to be taking the helm.

            1. Girardi is unlikely to be Klentak’s choice since a) Klentak isn’t going anywhere and b) Girardi isn’t of the advanced analytics mind that is the cat’s meow these days. Personally, I would love to have him.

            2. Will not be Klentak’s choice…probably Middleton will make the decision on the next manager of Gabe is let go..
              And as far as Klentak is concerned…..his contract is up Oct 2020…this season is important if he wants that extension offer in 10 months.
              I really do not think it is a good situation when a GM is not offered an extension immediately prior to his last year of his contract….lame duck GMs usually see the hand-writing on the wall.
              So this season is critical for Klentak .
              Phillies cannot afford to fall out of the pennant race.

            3. I hear you, Romus. But Klentak’s off season bought him time and Middleton’s favor, for the time being. I don’t think Middleton rolls that way. He may stomp his feet and demand action, but I don’t believe he determines the course of action. Signing Harper was a unique situation in which yes, he was most instrumental. But that’s the rare exception. I doubt that anything similar arises anytime soon.

            4. 8mark…lets just hope the Phillies do not finish the season in the 4th spot of the NL-East. Middleton’s patience will be tested.

  49. Does anyone realize they haven’t had an off day since April 11th which means a 17 game stretch before their next scheduled off day on Monday.

    Trying to find some silver linings here.

  50. Please play Cutch in CF and give Williams a shot. AA cannot hit, sorry, but he is just not good. No reason to send Neris out for inning 2, ever. And, especially not when it took a great play to save him the last inning. If there is not enough in the BP, and Cozens is not going to be used, even when PH him was the right move, then why didn’t they call up another RP instead? Even Kap admitted his mistake. I still maintain that the game was lost when Bryce did not bring home Cutch from 3B with 1 out. Sorry, he needs to find a way in that situation. I don’t care if he bunts.

  51. Kaplan admitted he was wrong (“That one’s on me”.) about using Neris for another inning. You know what else is on Kaplan? It’s when he can’t use Neris tonight because he sent him out for a second inning last night.

        1. LOL – that wasn’t directed at you. It was directed at ciada who somehow thinks our manager’s last name is Kaplan. Really? You think his name is Kaplan?

          1. Well, at least he didn’t mention Rice Hopkins, like Bob from Lower Pottsgrive who calls 94’s pregame show every freakin’ night just to hear himself talk. Classic radio.

          2. Well in his defense sometimes I can’t tell whether the guy we have is a manager or actor/comedian myself. “Welcome back Kotter”!

            1. I think Gabe Kapler is the original “Sweat Hog” and Neshak’s real name is Horshack and that when guys in the dugout get mad at each other they say “up your nose with a rubber hose.”

  52. LOL catch, I loved that show. Also thought that Mrs. Kotter was very good looking, Marcia Strassman, if I remember correctly. I digress. I don’t think Klentak is in any danger. He had a really fine off season, and I think there will be more work to come in July or sooner. MacPhail has really handled just the business end, and despite his telling Klentak that a GM only gets so many Managers, Klentak has bought himself an extension. I am not giving up on Kapler. I disagree with the whole Closer view, but that is as much Klentak as Kapler. The hitting has to get better. The ABs, Bryce, Rhys, Franco were just poor last night. Rhys vs. Florida’s closer was classic where a guy throwing 101 gets 2 strikes, then throws a pitch 59 feet and the batter swings, clearly guessing another fast ball. It is the hitting that has to elevate this team. Pitching reinforcements can come as we go along, but it is hard to imagine any moves that would add bats.

    1. I agree that they won’t be adding any impact bats this season but they might tinker with the bench a bit come July. As of right now, the options they have coming off the bench are massively underperforming

  53. Catch – My deepest apologies for making a mistake with KapLER. I hope you will accept it.

    matt13 – Agree with you about Marcia Strassman. She passed in 2014 at age 66. Another great looking lady from that era was Jan Smithers from WKRP in Cincinnati.

    1. We all know who you meant, ciada. The temptation to bust balls around here is irresistible, I guess. Nothing personal. Plus you can always blame autocorrect.

      1. Always thought Jan Smithers was hotter than Loni Anderson on WKRP. Just like Maryanne was hotter than Ginger and Betty Rumble was hotter than Wilma.

  54. I didn’t know that ciada, WKRP, another good show!. 3up, agree completely that bench upgrades are very likely. I know Segura and Doobie are hurt, but the rest have not performed close to what they need to

    1. I’ll leave out Kingery because he’s also hurt and was performing well above what’s reasonably expected anyways.

      Name: Current (Career)

      JTR: .270/.337/.416 (.279/.327/.441)
      Bryce: .253/.393/.495 (.278/.388/.512)
      Cutch: .250/.368/.458 (.286/.378/.480)
      Rhys: .261/.387/.554 (.250/.367/.528)
      Cesar: .277/.337/.415 (.276/.356/.376)
      Franco: .258/.350/.517 (.253/.305/.439)

      Maybe your expectations are higher than they should be. Also, it’s still early enough in the season that a slump or hot streak will drastically change stats, so.

        1. Because:

          1) He was at 86 pitches, which is where he hit a wall last time out.
          2) He had been inducing more contact than earlier in the game. They weren’t finding holes yet, but if that trend continues, they would.
          3) His spot in the order was due up and we were still only up by two at that point.
          4) Other pitchers also need work.

          Better to take your starter out before he’s in trouble than bringing in a reliever with men on. The 7th inning is an entirely reasonable time to take him out. It also helps prevent unnecessary injury to Eick.

        2. This is hilarious because last week it was literally Kapler shouldn’t let Eick pitch into the 6th inning.

          1. Exactly. People will complain no matter what the man does. I don’t get it. The team outperformed expectations last year and we’re first in the division currently.

            And before anyone says anything about them being two completely different situations, you’re right. Last week he let his pitcher keep going while showing signs of fatigue, and this week he didn’t. Maybe he gets through another inning, but with his spot due up to hit, it was a reasonable time to take him out while trying to extend the lead.

            And if you don’t take him out, what happens if he is getting tired? He gives up a couple base runners, and NOW you want our ‘pen out there? If you don’t trust them with the bases empty, you shouldn’t be waiting for base runners to bring them in.

  55. I can’t think of a bigger shot of encouragement to the ball club yet this season than Eickhoff’s performance tonight, following how well he’s been pitching leading up to it.

    And yes, I still can’t make heads or tails of how Kapler is handling the bullpen. We’ll all be in cardiac arrest before the month is over.

    Klentak, GET US A BACK END RELIEVER, FAST!

    1. He’s made some mistakes, but I don’t see how anyone takes exception with tonight.

      Has everyone forgotten how Ramos pitched last year? What, you think all of last year is less indicative of his talent level than less than 6 innings so far this year? He can’t right the ship without pitching, and he never looked like he was in trouble tonight. And then he went to our two hottest relievers to close out the game.

      What is this dude supposed to do? Never use the bullpen? Only use relievers with a 0 ERA? I honestly don’t understand.

      1. I agree Dan. Also, Kapler led a mediocre team last year to stay in contention until August. He is searching now for answers with a bullpen that has been unimpressive to date. Yes, Kapler has made some mistakes but no team in the East Division has done better. I have no problem criticizing individual moves he makes but overall I am currently ok with the manager.

      2. He used 3 relievers when he probably needed only one. Over 162 games this is what wears down the pen

        He could have used Ramos the night before and not Neris for 2 innings instead

        1. Wait. So when we lost he shouldn’t have used a pitcher for 2 innings, but he’s wrong for not using a pitcher for 2 innings when we won? What?

          For the record, I agree that he shouldn’t have stuck with Neris for another inning. However, the justification for doing so was that we were looking at extra innings and he had no idea how many innings he would need. It’s a juggling act between not overusing a pitcher and not running out of pitchers.

          But either way, he didn’t misuse his relievers last night. He brought in Morgan for a high leverage situation to make sure we kept the lead, and then he went to Neshek to secure the win. Neshek hadn’t pitched the night before, and this was only his 3rd appearance in the last 6 days. He doesn’t like not pitching for multiple days.

          1. Said nothing about using reliever for 2 innings. Eickhoff pitches the 8th and Neshek the 9th. No Ramos and no Morgan needed.

          2. Wait, 2 days later and he lets Eflin bat in the 7th and then pitch the 8th after 90 pitches. I like it…

      3. Right or wrong, relief pitchers rely on the 3 R’s – routine, rolls, and rhythm. Kapler doesn’t factor that into his game plan. I get his strategy for high leverage situations. That’s fine. But so far there’s been no rhyme or reason from game to game. I do admit that Klentak has done him no favors without a go to, back end arm.

        1. I think what he would like to establish is Robertson in the 7th, Dominguez in the 8th and Neris in the 9th…..we will see.

  56. Very nice to see Eickhoff pitching to his capabilities. One more result like that and I’ll say he is back to his 2016 form. His curve&slider combination keeps hitters off balance. If he can bump up his fastball mph he’d be pushing for TOR spot, imo.

    How has Pivetta responded to AAA? I’ve missed his starts so far.

    Bohm looks to have responded well, lol must’ve heard my haggling. I’ll take the results, 2 hrs and 10 extra base hits. Just wanted to start seeing that power

    Moniak and Haseley has nice starts and now Cornelius is ahead of them, but ready in general has had a lot of games PPD so far

    Lastly, Gowdy, from his stats line is looking a head of schedule. Looking to see control from him in terms of the BB/SO .

    1. Tac3…was there last night at the Park…..saw Alf circle the ump only two times, after a couple of foul balls off his bat…I was watching.

      1. It looks like he cut down a lot from last year, he basically made me look like a liar the first series. If you watch games from last year, I swear he did it 90% of the time. It is basically the equivalent to a pitcher tipping his pitches. Hopefully hes stopped it because it is pretty brutual to watch when he is waiting word from air traffic control that he can land!

        1. I think he only does it now when he swings and fouls the pitch off, while letting his momentum lean him out over the plate. The called strikes he just stood in the box.
          I have to see tonight what he does, if he does the catching.

        2. Yep Tac3….he only does it with a swing and a foul off….did it again in the first inning tonight.

  57. Bullpen management is always going to be questioned if pitchers fail.
    Pitching analytics needed to be combined with human limitations. Not every pitcher is available for a given situation and it is quite difficult to predict the future.

    Neris, Dominguez, and Robertson were supposed to be 3 closers available. Neshek could be an every other day option to fill in around matchups (lefty/righty) as needed for resst of the guys.

  58. I Watched last nights game. And it was brutal. Watching Neris is terrible. Cesar cant continue to play, and i like him, if he fields like he has been lately. dont care about his bats. You cant keep letting balls play you, just like Hopkins does. Sir Anthony is not the same , did anyone hear ben davis. Sir Anthony throws a fastball that the hitter misses by a mile. then they come back with a slider and he gets a hit, Ben went nuts. Who called that pitch? I would bet anything if we were playing Any other team. and Neris was pitching with two men on. they wouldnt be swinging at balls in the dirt. lucky it was the marlins. I just cant beleive we cant get a good bullpen piece for Williams..

    1. roc…looks like Seranthony also came into camp a little more beefy than spring 2018. The Gabe preaches conditioning as a very important part of being a MLB ballplayer…..seems some guys are reluctant to follow the regiment and get totally on board. I just do not get some of the Latin guys, on why they let this happen to themselves…and it is not just the Phillies org…it happens to many teams….Devers, Sano, Maitan, Wander Franco, even Vlad Jr put on 20 lbs and he just started. They are young and now rich with their bonus monies, and would probably need to have personal trainers along with them.

  59. rocco – Watching Neris enter the game gives me the same anxiety that I had when Mitch Williams would come in. We know that the guy can be very good, but we don’t know if he’ll be very good today. There must be a reason that nobody has signed Kimbrel at this point. Is he clubhouse poison, or a Prima Donna like Paplebon?
    Todays game is so important. A win today, and much needed off-days tomorrow and Thursday will give the Phils a chance to get healthy. for a 3 game set against the Nat’s.

    1. Kimbrel will definitely be signed in June by some team that needs him and who are also in contention.
      There will be no penalties incurred thru the QO process.

    1. Roberston was cleared to throw so he should be back soon, I haven’t heard an update on Herrera but I believe they said he would be back soon as well. Kingery they said was the worst of the hamstrings. Haven’t heard on Arano and Hunter is out till at least the end of May.

  60. A lot if us here loved Christian Yelich, and wow! Is he terrific. I think Management loved him too and I wonder how far apart we were in trading for him. Marlins loved Lewis Brinson if I recall, and he was the headliner of the return for .

    1. Jeter also wanted Sixto as one of the players in that package if I remember correctly.
      But can you imagine…Harper and Yelich in the OF and in that batting lineup.

    2. Phillies had no one as highly rated as Brinson was at that time. Don’t think they had pieces needed to make the deal

  61. Cesar’s D has gotten worse, sorry rocco. I don’t know why, but it wasn’t that good to start. I see this as his last year here. Trade value is non existent..

    1. matt13…..2nd basemen have little trade value anymore.
      He probably will have to be included in a package deal…straight up he may only bring back international money or a A (hi or low) level minor league prospect.
      He just does not have the Robinson Cano pedigree to bring back anything of impact value.

  62. Odd happenings this year in the majors.
    Top pitchers like deGrom, Scherzer, Nola, Thor, Sale, Porcella, Kluber and Bumgarner are struggling…while the top ten WAR pitchers have about half-dozen new faces.
    1. Castillo • CIN…2.0
    2. Bauer • CLE….1.8
    3. Minor • TEX…1.7
    4. Marquez • COL…1.7
    5. Gonzales • SEA…1.6
    6. Stroman • TOR….1.5
    7. Corbin • WSN….1.4
    8. Verlander • HOU….1.4
    9. Arrieta • PHI….1.3
    10. Musgrove • PIT….1.2

  63. The off season Minor rumors may be about to heat up in the next 6-8 weeks. There is no question, in my mind, that we need pitching. I expect a SP and a BP piece.

    1. Matt, possibly, but if Pivetta rights the ship, I’d focus on bullpen over SP in order of my preference. This is also assuming Nola regains his form in the next 6-8. Weeks. I just feel the SP is better than people realize, now it’s not the 4 aces good but with this offense, it shouldn’t be the reason they lose. I guess will learn more playing outside the division

  64. Kudos to Eflin! First complete game W for Phils’ SP since 2016, amazing! Welcome back Jean Segura. Hope we roll out a 10 out of 12 streak.

  65. A couple people have mentioned weight the past couple days, so let me remind everyone:

    Baseball players weigh more at the beginning of the season than at the end. You lose a LOT of weight over 162 games. Your frame of reference tends to be your most recent memory, which is the end of the previous season. Players put on weight in the offseason specifically because of it.

    As for the implication of it being a LA thing specifically (or at least more so), it’s not. In spring training a lot of people were talking about how much bigger Kingery looked. The same stuff has also been said of various NA prospects over the years; including JP, Sixto, and Moniak (just to name some highly recognizable and diverse representations).

    Oh, and before anyone says Kingery looked bigger in muscle mass… how would you know? Other than their arms and head, baseball players are completely covered. You can’t tell whether weight is fat or muscle. Absent the presence of a beer gut (of which I’ve seen none in the MLB thus far), all we can really say is they’re thicker. Muscle has that same effect.

  66. A couple people have mentioned weight the past couple days, so let me remind everyone:

    Baseball players weigh more at the beginning of the season than at the end. You lose a LOT of weight over 162 games. Your frame of reference tends to be your most recent memory, which is the end of the previous season. Players put on weight in the offseason specifically because of it.

    As for the implication of it being a LA thing specifically (or at least more so), it’s not. In spring training a lot of people were talking about how much bigger Kingery looked. The same stuff has also been said of various NA prospects over the years; including JP, Sixto, and Moniak (just to name some highly recognizable and diverse representations).

    Oh, and before anyone says Kingery looked bigger in muscle mass… how would you know? Other than their arms and head, baseball players are completely covered. You can’t tell whether weight is fat or muscle. Absent the presence of a beer gut (of which I’ve seen none in the MLB thus far), all we can really say is they’re thicker. Muscle has that same effect.

    1. ‘Oh, and before anyone says Kingery looked bigger in muscle mass… how would you know?’……..I just look at their waist line…and their butt.

      1. Muscle training can have a dramatic impact on both of those things. It’s incredible how many professional body builders/weight lifters look fat until they start lifting.

        They key thing to remember is that this is the “bulk up” part of the season for baseball players. The remainder of their season is when they “cut”.

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