Open Discussion: Week of July 8th

The Phillies limp into the All Star break in third place 6.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves.  They started the week with a victory in Atlanta, but then got blown out of the next 2 games.  They rallied somewhat winning 2 out of 3 in New York.

The Phillies will complete a 26-game stretch against division opponents the first series after the break.  So far, they are 9-13 with a rain out in the first 23 games of the stretch.  Not the kind of division record that wins divisions.

The Phillies 3-3 record last week has them at 47-43, .522 for the season.  They currently hold the second wild card, a half-game behind Washington, but with six teams within 2.5 games of them – Milwaukee, Arizona, San Diego, St, Louis, Colorado, and Pittsburgh.

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:

  • July 12, 2019 – End of Rule 4 signing period
  • 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 
7/7/2019 – Lehigh Valley released RHP John Curtiss
7/7/2019 – Jakob Hernandez assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
7/7/2019 – Lehigh Valley activated RHP Alexis Rivero from the 7-day IL
7/7/2019 – RHP Blake Bennett assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
7/7/2019 – RHP Mark Potter assigned to GCL West from Lakewood
7/6/2019 – Lehigh Valley activated RHP Tyler Viza from the TIL
7/6/2019 – 3B Jose Antequera assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
7/6/2019 – Reading released RHP Luis Cedeno
7/6/2019 – Reading sent RHP Connor Seabold on a rehab assignment to GCL East
7/6/2019 – Reading placed 3B Alec Bohm on the TIL
7/6/2019 – RHP Hsin-Chieh Lin assigned to Williamsport from Clearwater
7/6/2019 – RHP Tyler Carr assigned to Clearwater from Williamsport
7/6/2019 – Williamsport released RHP Luis Ramirez
7/6/2019 – LHP Joel Valdez assigned to DSL White
7/5/2019 – Phillies optioned LHP Austin Davis to Lehigh Valley
7/5/2019 – Phillies recalled RHP Yacksel Rios from Lehigh Valley
7/5/2019 – LHP Jhordany Mezquita assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
7/5/2019 – RHP Michael Gomez assigned to Williamsport from Lakewood
7/5/2019 – LHP Spencer Van Scoyoc assigned to Williamsport from GCL East
7/5/2019 – RHP Brett Schulze assigned to Williamsport from GCL West
7/5/2019 – C Kevin Escalante assigned to GCL West from GCL East
7/5/2019 – RHP Jose Guaramaco assigned to DSL White from DSL Red
7/5/2019 – RHP Noelis Moreno assigned to DSL Red from DSL White
7/4/2019 – Lakewood placed Jesse Wilkening on the 7-day IL
7/4/2019 – Phillies placed RHP Juan Nicasio on the 10-day IL, strained left groin
7/4/2019 – Phillies signed LHP Erik Miller
7/4/2019 – Phillies recalled LHP Austin Davis from Lehigh Valley
7/4/2019 – Lehigh Valley activated RHP Josh Martin from the 7-day IL
7/4/2019 – LHP Josh Tols assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
7/4/2019 – Reading placed CF Mickey Moniak on the 7-day IL, hamstring
7/4/2019 – LHP Erik Miller assigned to GCL West
7/3/2019 – LHP Jakob Hernandez assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
7/3/2019 – RHP Luis Cedeno assigned to Reading from Williamsport
7/3/2019 – RHP Hsin-Chieh Lin assigned to Clearwater from GCL West.
7/3/2019 – RHP Tyler Carr assigned to Williamsport from Clearwater
7/3/2019 – Clearwater sent RHP Spencer Howard on a rehab assignment to GCL East.
7/3/2019 – Gustavo Armas assigned to Clearwater 7-day IL from Williamsport
7/3/2019 – Lakewood placed Abrahan Gutierrez on the 7-day IL
7/3/2019 – Michael Gomez assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport Crosscutters
7/3/2019 – Nick Matera assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
7/3/2019 – Blake Bennett assigned to Williamsport from Lakewood
7/3/2019 – Herbert Iser assigned to Williamsport from GCL West
7/3/2019 – Williamsport released Abdallah Aris
7/2/2019 – RHP Jose Taveras assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
7/2/2019 – Lehigh Valley placed C Deivy Grullon on the 7-day IL, fractured toe
7/2/2019 – Lehigh Valley placed RHP Tyler Viza on the TIL
7/2/2019 – Lehigh Valley activated C Matt McBride from the 7-day IL
7/2/2019 – Reading placed RHP Mauricio Llovera on the 7-day IL
7/2/2019 – Reading activated RHP Seth McGarry from the 7-day IL
7/2/2019 – LHP Chris Micheles assigned to GCL East
7/2/2019 – Albertus Barber assigned to Williamsport from GCL East
7/2/2019 – Brian Marconi assigned to Williamsport from GCL West
7/2/2019 – Phillies signed Dylan Castaneda, assigned to GCL East
7/2/2019 – Phillies signed International FA Esteban Cabrera, assigned to DSL Red (FUT)
7/2/2019 – Phillies signed International FA Jean Cabrera, assigned to DSL Red (FUT)
7/2/2019 – Phillies signed International FA Jose Colmenarez, assigned to DSL Red (FUT)
7/2/2019 – Phillies signed International FA Diego Gonzalez, assigned to DSL Red (FUT)
7/2/2019 – Phillies signed International FA Enyer Graterol, assigned to DSL Red (FUT)
7/2/2019 – Phillies signed IFA Fernando Hernandez, assigned to DSL Red (FUT)
7/2/2019 – Phillies signed International FA Jean Hernandez, assigned to DSL Red (FUT)
7/2/2019 – Phillies signed IFA CF Jose Leanez (FUT)
7/2/2019 – Phillies signed International FA Diego Linares, assigned to DSL Red (FUT)
7/2/2019 – Phillies signed International FA Raibiently Mercalina, assigned to DSL Red (FUT)
7/2/2019 – Phillies signed International FA Jackie Pertuz, assigned to DSL Red (FUT)
7/2/2019 – Phillies signed International FA Jesus Querales, assigned to DSL Red (FUT)
7/2/2019 – Phillies signed International FA Ricardo Rosario, assigned to DSL Red (FUT)
7/2/2019 – Phillies signed International FA Jehisbert Sevilla, assigned to DSL Red (FUT)
7/2/2019 – Phillies signed International FA Brahian Silva, assigned to DSL Red (FUT)
7/2/2019 – Phillies signed International FA Santiago Torres, assigned to DSL Red (FUT)
7/2/2019 – Phillies signed International FA Randy Vasquez, assigned to DSL Red (FUT)
7/2/2019 – Phillies signed International FA Giussepe Velasquez, assigned to DSL Red (FUT)

360 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of July 8th

  1. I”m just curious, but what do the people here think of the binging the DH to the NL?

    If you had asked me five years ago, I would have been opposed; but I’ve come around and would welcome it.

    I think its fair to say that most people who love baseball respect its traditions and enjoy strategy–and having the pitcher bat hits both marks.

    But so few pitchers today even make an attempt at hitting, let alone the art of bunting.

    And then there’s the disadvantage NL teams have while playing AL teams, when our DH is a 4th outfielder while there’s is a professional slugger.

    Anyway, like I said, I’m just curious what people here think. This is obviously a well-informed baseball community–and a NL-focused one at that! And apologies if I’m stretching the “open” in “open discussion” too far!

    1. I’m in agreement for the same reasons. At one time I loathed the DH and considered it as a cheapening of the game to get nominal fan interest (meaning added revenue from people who aren’t baseball fans).

      Now, sadly the game has morphed into something we barely recognize and the DH is probably by far the least offensive distinction between one league and the other. In fact, there really are no more distinctions. So much so that I think they should go all the way and realign the divisions and do away with AL and NL altogether. 8 four-team divisions should be geographically concentrated in order to stimulate rivalries. The Phillies division would include the Mets, Nats and Orioles. The Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays and an expansion team in Montreal would be another. I could go on but won’t bore you with it now.

      Death and taxes aren’t the only inevitable things. Change is also. For better, and for worse.

    2. I don’t like the DH. I don’t like bans or limitations on shifting. But, I wouldn’t consider myself a traditionalist. I want to see a pitch clock and robo-umps.

      However, when the NL inevitably embraces the DH, it can only benefit the Phillies. I can’t imagine that Harper will be able to play the outfield for all of his 13-year contract.

      1. Agreed on pretty much all counts with Jim. I’m by no means a traditionalist. But the reason I love baseball so much more than other sports is how cerebral it is. Adding the DH and removing defensive shifts takes away a lot of the strategy in game-to-game situations. I’d take away the DH from the AL if I could, but I know the MLBPA would never allow that (nor would most AL fans be okay with it). But also, if both leagues have the exact same rules… why are there two leagues to begin with? Just make it one league and change up the divisions at that point. They’ve already made inter-league games less interesting (in my opinion) by adding so many more of them.

        Anyways, I like pitch clock, robo-umps, and challenges (although these could disappear with robo umps and I’d be fine with it). I do NOT like DH, restrictions on where players can position, or the added runner in extra innings (fine with it for exhibition games, though). I’d be fine with expanding NL rosters by 1 or 2 players to compensate for the extra needed RP.

        1. West:
          1 Seattle
          2 SF
          3 Oakland
          4 LA Angels
          5 LA Dodgers
          6 SD Padres
          7 Arizona
          8 Colorado

          South
          1 Miami
          2 Tampa
          3 Atlanta
          4 Houston
          5 Texas
          6 St Louis
          7 Kansas City

          North
          1 Minnesota
          2 Chicago C
          3 Chicago WS
          4 Detroit
          5 Cleveland
          6 Toronto
          7 Cincinnati
          8 Milwaukee

          East
          1 Philadelphia
          2 Boston
          3 NYY
          4 NYM
          5 Washington
          6 Baltimore
          7 Pittsburgh

    3. I am at the point where I welcome the DH. I get all the strategy behind having the hitter pitch and the tradition associated with that and, like you, for years I opposed the change, but I’ve come to accept and want the DH in the National League. At first, I was grudgingly in favor but, over time, my desire for this change has become pretty strong. There are a lot of reasons, but the most clear one is that the pitcher is a complete non-factor in a line-up. With very rare exceptions, it’s a complete give away at bat and really makes the sport less entertaining at the major league level (personally, I don’t find pitching changes and double-switches all that interesting).

      I also think having the DH in the AL and not in the NL gives the AL an enormous advantage in the interleague play. The reason is that when there’s no DH, there’s really no usable room on an NL roster for a hit-only player, so that player is replaced typically with another reliever or a utility guy. So when the NL team faces off with an AL team, the AL team has another masher and the NL team has Sean Rodriguez or Edubray Ramos, a fringe player who is not nearly as good as the AL DH. I believe this very deeply and feel that adding the DH is important to equal out interleague and WS play.

      1. And I have to think that Klentak and MacPhail are considering that inevitability as they have Hoskins as a classic example of a future DH, which means keeping their options open for a future 1B.

        1. 8mark….”which means keeping their options open for a future 1B”…….I see you are finally coming around on Hall.
          Bravo for you!. 🙂

          1. Romus, I am coming around on Hall as a trade piece to acquire much needed help. I like his profile as a big thumping Willie Stargell-lite more than his projection as a future major league player.

            1. He very well could be included in a package at some point this month or in the off-season.
              I thought the Royals may be interested but looks like Pratto will be their guy….though he is current;y struggling down the road here with the Blue Rocks.

    4. I am in favor of the DH. Let the best hitters on the team hit when you are batting not some guy who cant swing and you know is only trying to bunt. In the MLB, often the 2nd baseman and ss on most teams already can’t hit well so its 3 easy inning per game for most pitchers when the fans can just go to sleep. MLB players are the best at what they do and as a paying fan, let me see the best do what they do and not some all star pitcher face a pitcher that has no chance to hit him.

    5. IMO the NL should absolutely have the DH. having a weak hitting player in the NL lineup is stupid. the only argument is “that’s how it always has been.” but that is a dumb argument imo, rules change. rules are constantly changing. this is a game built for entertainment. it is awful to have terrible hitting pitchers ruin a rally. long past time to fix this.

      1. My arguments have less to do with the pitcher hitting, and more to do with strategy and fairness. Strategy is an obvious one; AL managers don’t even have to consider when to bring in a pitcher due to hitting considerations. I like the cerebral part of the game. DH dumbs it down a bit.

        Fairness is something people never seem to talk about. If pitchers can have someone hit for them, why not a catcher? Catchers have more to deal with than even pitchers do. It’s exceedingly rare to find a catcher that is good on both sides of the plate. So why not let teams have a defensive catcher and a DH for him? Plus catchers have so much strain on their knees, a DH means they don’t have to run the bases and don’t have to rush to put their pads on after hitting (if they were the last out/on the bases for the last out).

        And to take it a step further, if you just want the best person for each skill out there, why aren’t rosters doubled and have 1 player for defense and one for offense at each position? Football does it. I personally find that excessively boring. Great players aren’t only great at one thing; they’re great at multiple things. But no player is good at everything. That’s why it’s so much fun. You have to build a roster with considerations toward what each player is good at and what your team lacks. Sometimes you can get away with a poor defensive SS because he’s such a good hitter. Sometimes you put up with a .220 hitting CF because he covers 70% of the grass all by himself.

        And sometimes you put up with a rally being killed by a pitcher hitting because he’s shutting down the opposition when he’s on the mound.

        1. Pitchers are not drafted for their hitting ability. Pitchers do not practice hitting in the minor leagues. The reason for both of the above is because pitching is a specific skill that requires specific physical and skill development. That reality is unlike any other position even catcher, which is a distraction from the main point because literally no one is suggesting that we should DH for the catcher. this is simply about whether a player who is known to not have the skill when drafted and also does not spend time developing that skill in the minors should be asked to then apply that skill in the major leagues. the obvious answer is no.

          and let’s not kid ourselves about the cerebral part of pinch hitting for a pitcher. it is not that complicated and rarely actually impacts the game’s outcome.

          this is a game. its intent is for entertainment and enjoyment. asking a player who is not qualified nor trained properly to hit only decreases the entertainment value of the product.

          1. It’s not a distraction from the main point; it IS the main point. You say pitchers aren’t drafted for their hitting, which is fine. Some people get drafted for their defensive ability, some for their offense, and some for a combination of the two. But saying that pitchers can’t learn to hit while pitching is silly. We currently have Otani and McKay proving that assumption wrong. Plus, if you think that pitching takes up more development time than catching… boy have I got news for you.

            It is by no means a coincidence that most catchers develop slowly. They have MUCH more to work on than any other position. Bar none. And yet they still learn how to hit. Why? They already need to learn the basics of defense, plus pitch framing, plus EVERYTHING a pitcher learns outside of throwing the actual pitches (and sometimes they learn that, too). They need to learn EACH pitcher’s arsenal. They need to study EACH opposing hitter before each game. They need to gameplan for the pitcher EVERY GAME. If pitchers shouldn’t be expected to learn how to hit because they need to learn how to pitch, then catchers absolutely deserve the same treatment.

            To put it more succinctly, the only reason pitchers don’t learn how to hit in the minors is in order to fast track them. That strategy is all fine and well, but it comes with the cost. If you feel it’s worth fast tracking a pitcher at the cost of him not being able to hit, by all means. If he’s a good enough pitcher, his hitting won’t matter. Just like if you fast track an advanced hitter with the expectation that his defense will be sub-par.

            1. “everyone can learn to do something that they have proven that they can’t learn to do because there are 2 people who can do it.” is an interesting way to counter. i don’t think that i will convince you if you are going to rely on that type of logic…so i will stop responding. believe what you want.

            2. v1,

              They haven’t proven they can’t do it. They don’t TRY to do it. It’s a strategy to not teach pitchers how to hit, the positive effects of which are that pitchers develop more quickly and can focus on one thing. It began a long time ago and feeds into this notion that they CAN’T hit. But that’s utter garbage. Sure, some pitchers will never be good hitters. But not all fielders are good hitters, either. You know what separates most pitchers from average hitters? PRACTICE.

              In 2018, the league average hitter from the 8th spot in the lineup had a .315 wOBA and 97 wRC+. So slightly lower than that should be acceptable for the 9th hitter (assuming you have the batting order go in descending order of ability to hit). We’ll put the cutoff at .300 wOBA and 92 wRC+.

              Since 1871, 2178 pitchers have gone to the plate at least 100 times. 103 of those had wOBAs of .300 or higher. 52 had a wRC+ of 92 or higher. Small percentages, right?

              Wanna know a smaller percentage? Of those 103 and 52 pitchers, 12 and 5 (respectively) pitched after 1948. So the real numbers are more like;

              1871-1947: 94 (wOBA) and 48 (wRC+) out of 1048 total pitchers.
              1948-2019: 12 (wOBA) and 5 (wRC+) out of 1126 total pitchers.

              Are you trying to tell me that as pitchers got better, they somehow forgot to hit? No, they just started to specialize.

              And sure, the percentages are small regardless. But back when pitchers weren’t being groomed JUST to pitch, they hit WAY better. And now first two prospects in DECADES to try practicing both are succeeding at BOTH. Pitchers are just as athletically gifted as hitters. Most of them are perfectly capable of being at least decent with the stick. They just don’t practice it. And you can’t be an MLB hitter without practice. You can argue that specialists make the game more enjoyable. But I disagree. If that were the case then, like I said before, there should be double the roster for every team so that there can be an offense squad and a defense squad. If specialists DON’T make the game more enjoyable, then stop giving special treatment to one position. Every player has specific roles to play, and balancing the strengths and weaknesses of each player is part of the fun of baseball.

              And just as an aside, Babe Ruth isn’t included in that list of pitchers. You know, arguably the best to ever play? Let’s not forget that he started as a pitcher, And he mashed then, too.

            3. That’s a compelling argument, Dan K. And impressive research to boot. Maybe one day that ship will return to its port but for now it seems to have sailed far far away.

            4. Dan K…interesting research and fact gathering.
              I have noticed the Phillies have been drafting a few more college ‘hitters’…who also were college pitchers for their team…Haseley, Vierling and Hall to name three…kind of a reverse thing going on there.
              And in interviews they mentioned how it was so much better for them to now just concentrate on hitting and fielding.

  2. I’m very much against it but then again I’m against most everything baseball strategy represents today. I understand the analytics are right in most cases, but I miss bunting, choking up on the bat with two strikes, hit and runs, stealing bases, etc. The game was definitely more watchable when there were less strikeouts and walks.

    1. Lead-off double, next batter grounds to second to move him along….yeah, I miss those days, too!

      ‘True outcomes” can be boring, truly.

  3. We should have DH – every team has one already on its roster , i.e. right now Nick Williams of the Phils? Two words should be the reason for a mandatory DH – Jimmy Nelson of the Brewers. Pitchers’ careers are ruined running the bases. Even Robinson Cano is a perfect case for a DH (overpaid and overaged, but can still hit).

    1. That is very helpful. If you can give us just a little more info about them, it would be great. I follow the box scores, but they are just names at the moment.

    2. Thanks!! I can easily get excited with the prospects in the ROK level but I normally withhold my judgment not until they reach A Adv.

      Manuel Urias (6’6″ 200 lbs) and Israel Puello (6’3″ 200 lbs) have good size – a prototypical prospect evaluator’s dream. It will be interesting to see them in GCL teams and have Jim P and others report on mechanics, tools and stuff.

  4. I still oppose the DH I don’t think in all my 40 years watching baseball pitchers were ever interested in hitting. You had the occasional good hitters or bunters but the rest were still pretty bad.

    If you wanted to improve the optics of the game you would simply ban shifts in my opinion. I think most professional sports had to make rule changes to ban certain defenses during their histories. MLB should be no different.

    If anyone caught the Futures game on the MLB network last night you were treated to some really big arms. Unfortunately none of those arms pitched more than an inning.

    Bohm again looked pretty good hitting some balls hard right at guys. I was hoping to see him bat against Deivi Garcia again since I saw that match up a few weeks ago in Trenton. I wanted to see if having seen a guy once would allow him to make some adjustments or design an approach for success.

    No such luck Bohm batted 4th and Garcia dispatched the NL hitters 1-2-3. That kid can really pitch. Sixto was pretty nasty as well.

    1. DMAR, it is interesting that the older pitchers who could hit really helped themselves by being able to stay in the game longer. I can recall Steve Carlton, Bob Gibson, Don Drysdale and Tom Seaver were pitchers who could hit well.I also agree with you about banning the shift in MLB as how many hits did Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and countless other LH batters lost to the shift

      1. I’m in favor of a minor shift where there are still 2 infielders on each side of 2nd base.

        1. I’m all for limiting the shift … or should I say playing within the natural bounds of the position. The shift ruins the game imo, for both for the traditionalist and the entertainment factor. Imo, it should have been out of the game yesterday. Playing the natural positions gives more appeal imo to the batter vs pitcher match up, and the strategy/ability involved in that vs loading up one side of the infield and pitching the hitter inside.

          As for the DH, I was against it, but now …. if pitchers can’t even bunt anymore … get them out of there. I’ll pass on watching pitchers bat fir the 1 out of 500 that can swing the stick well enough to not be an automatic out

          It’d be nice if small could make its niche back into the game as well. When you see offenses like the Phillies go through their struggles, and a league driven by upper cut swings for hrs, feels like the analytics departments have moved the game towards all or nothing. The game needs a middle ground.

      2. Phila there are probably several hitters in today’s game that are equally adept at the plate: MadBum, Greinke, Lorenzen are a few that come to mind.

        Speaking of Gibson and Drysdale who I never saw pitch but know their history as pitchers who weren’t afraid to buzz the tower so to speak. I’m woefully tired of hitters getting PO’d at the plate when they get pitched inside or knocked down.

        In my opinion the hitter should

        A. Take his plunking and head to 1st
        B. Go out and try to get some punches in on the pitcher
        C. Let his own pitcher take care of business on one of their players

        This Frazier nonsense is just dumb.

        That said pitchers throwing 95+ beaning guys in the head warrant automatic ejections in my opinion

        1. Frazier was mostly upset because it’s the Phils specifically that have plunked him a lot this year. It’s kinda like Utley against the Nats. Eventually Lannon broke his hand. That being said, if you wanna talk tough, back it up.

          Arrieta’s comments about putting a dent in his skull were stupid, though. Overly macho BS. If someone comes at you, go ahead and put his butt on the grass. But don’t threaten a guy after the game is over.

      3. Drysdale often pinch hit for the Dodgers. He was a better hitter than several of their starting position players.

      4. philabaltfan – let me add Warren Spahn, Don Newcombe (8 hrs one year), and arguably the best, Ken Brett (.700 OPS, in 450 AB’s)…..

        But like most replying – I am also worn down by the probable need of an NL DH .

        1. Let’s not forget our very own Robin Roberts as a good hitter.

          The first game I ever saw live Robbie lost to the Dodgers 2-1. He drove in the only Phillies run with a double. The Dodgers winning run scored on an effort. Typical Robin Roberts loss.

            1. What players on the NL all srar team could have been replaced by Bryce Harper without any public discord?

  5. Maybe the best part of watching that futures game last night was seeing Justin Dunn and Jared Kelenic representing the AL for the Mariners you know the 2 pieces the Mariners got in the Cano/Diaz swap.

    LOL

  6. I was looking at the 2019 MLB Top 30 (I listed the top 15 below):
    1. Bohm
    2. Medina
    3. Haseley
    4. Garcia
    5. Howard
    6. De Los Santos
    7. Romero
    8. Morales
    9. Moniak
    10. Suarez
    11. Ortiz
    12. Muzziotti
    13. Gamboa
    14. Marchan
    15. Llovera

    Bohm has certainly lived up to the #1 ranking. Medina, after a slow start, is showing why he’s #2. Haseley got an emergency call to the big leagues and I wouldn’t make him any lower. Garcia, is having trouble in A ball. He’s very young so I wouldn’t drop him very far but I think he’ll drop. Howard was very good until he was injured. He could warrant a push up to #4 but let’s see how he comes back. De Los Santos has not been great in his call up to the Phillies but let’s face it the guys who are up there (except Nola) have been barely better. At 30 IP in the Majors, he only needs 20 more IP to come off Prospect Status for lists. Romero will drop significantly. He’s been bad at best and terrible at worst. He’s certainly not top 10 material and top 20 might be iffy if his season progresses like it has. Morales has gotten some good press on this site and he deserves it.

    Moniak is solidifying his top 10 status and could get back to the top 5 area. Suarez is another guy who hasn’t pitched very well in the Majors this year but see my comment on De Los Santos. Ortiz is a tough one. He started the season like top 30 was iffy. He started hammering HRs and it might be enough to keep him in the top 15. Muzziotti has been very good. He should move up as others fall. Gamboa has been a tough one, at least for me. His BA has been microscopic but his BBs are very good. He also has 17 SB in 23 attempts. He’s very young so that gives him a small excuse but he’s never shown much of a bat. I think he slips in the rankings but 20 might be too far. Marchan has been good. He got dinged earlier in the year and is working his way back. He should move up a little. Every year, we around here, talk about Llovera as a reliever and he just keeps the Phils from removing him from the starter role.

    Some guys who I think could jump up into top 15 consideration: Irvin, Maton, Parkinson, Grullon and Castillo (if he ever throws a pitch). Stott and Miller, new draftees, will be thrown into the top 15, although, Jim’s comments about seeing Miller and noticing he throws his fastball from one arm slot and his other pitches from another, was very disconcerting. Others mentioned it also but it should be fixable. Baylor, as a HR’er, got a nice 3rd round bonus. I’m not sure we’ll enough out of him to give him a slot in the top 15 but he’s another guy who could end up there.

    1. Stott is definitely Top 10 and Damon Jones should be breaking any Top 20 and may deserve a close look to crack Top 10.

      I love both Medina and Howard (and should not be traded) and they are neck-to-neck in the #1 pitching prospect and #2 overall behind Bohm. Howard stuff is better but Medina’s has pitched more against better opposition.

      Starlyn Castillo and Dominic Pipkin are 2 high risk high reward power arms that can also easily break Top 15 depending on how you value the prospects in low minors.

    2. Miller pitched exclusively out of the stretch at Stanford for reasons of accuracy and college coaches’ direction. He had over a 100 K’s in 80 innings, so it worked in college but won’t long term in the pros.. He’s working with the Phillies coaches on a hybrid pitching delivery similar to David Price’s that he started with last week. It’s still being tweaked so the slight arm slot change between different pitches will be ironed out..

  7. The one thing that I and many others on this site was hoping/expecting this year was for one of the Eickoff/Velasquez/Pivetta/ Eflin crowd to emerge as a legit #3. Thought early on it was Eflin stepping up. Now I’m not so sure. With Arrieta down it will be interesting to see what Phils do in 2nd half.

    1. Mark Polishuk of MLBTR in last evening’s chat agreed with a comment suggesting that Klentak may be acting by the end of the all star break, especially with the urgency of Arrieta’s situation. If Jake had been faring okay while battling the elbow issue, that’s one thing. But he’s been horrible regardless of whether he needs surgery or not.

      1. 8mark – With every teams executives gathering in Cleveland this week, it’s possible that Klentak brings a pitcher back with him. At least he should lay the groundwork for a deal by the end of the month. If he does nothing, he will be crucified.

    2. Agreed Tony. The biggest disappointment with this team is that none of those guys have stepped forward to claim that #3 role…

      1. It’s petty staggering, I know many prospects don’t pan out … but it is damn surprising to me that Of all the arms the Phillies have stock piled over the years, they couldn’t get one #3 of out:
        Efflin
        Pivetta
        VV
        Thompson
        Eickhoff
        Appel
        Lively
        Eschelmem
        Irvin
        Anderson

        Those are pretty bad odds, even for the majors.

    3. Among the names you mentioned, Pivetta is the one who has that upside to be #3 or more with a floor of a back of the bullpen arm. Pivetta is underperforming this year and I’m not sure to whom I will be disappointed — to Nick Pivetta or Chris Young?

      Eflin is doing Eflin stuff which is within my expectation – basically a #4. I’m still optimistic that Eflin become a solid #3 but will be OK if he’s a #4.

      Just move Vinny to the bullpmen and get over it. Vinny’s poor pitch efficiency is in his DNA.

      Eickhoff is a #5 who can pitch like a #3 at times but his stuff is a #5. Eickhoff is suppose to be an innings eater type but his injuries is starting to be a concern. A #5 who can’t stay healthy should not be occupying a roster spot (remember Jonathan Pettibone?)

      I will sound like a broken record here but the best way to improve the rotation long term is to keep Medina and Howard and sign Gerrit Cole (and another FA like Cole Hamels, Alex Wood).

  8. I am not a fan of adding the DH but an resigned to the fact that it’s going to happen sooner rather than later. I think it’s actually creates a distinct advantage for a NL team when you have pitchers that can hit or at least handle the bat.

    Unfortunately, too many teams have quit trying to teach their pitchers to hit to the point it’s become painful to watch some of them.

    The other reason I like making pitchers hit is because it exposes them to the ramifications of intentionally throwing at/hitting batters. Why should a teammate have to wear the payback vs. the guy who actually deserves it..

  9. Interesting information on Grullon…it seems to be his defense that has held him back.

    The fly-ball data is an interesting resource, and the Phillies prospect who jumps out is catcher Deivy Grullon. The 23-year-old Dominican is on the minor-league injured list with a broken toe, but he has continued to hit for power after a breakout 2018 season at Double-A Reading. Grullon ranked 16th out of the 397 hitters with an average fly ball distance of 326 feet through June.

    There are questions about whether Grullon’s approach is sustainable — his .387 batting average on balls in play would indicate it’s not. Grullon profiles as a backup catcher in the majors, but he does not have the typical profile for that role. Teams tend to seek a defensive-minded catcher for the backup job.

    Concerns have persisted about Grullon’s work behind the plate. It’s why he was not picked in the Rule 5 draft over the winter despite being left unprotected. He has trouble blocking balls (11 passed balls in 55 games) and with pitch framing. He’s thrown out just 19 percent (13 of 70) of would-be base stealers this season.

    Still, the raw power is intriguing. Grullon, during his first big-league spring training, displayed a work ethic that impressed some of the veteran pitchers. He was not afraid to ask questions. He was willing to take some of the data offered to him in an attempt to improve his receiving skills.

    He could be a potential trade chip this month.

    https://theathletic.com/1066889/2019/07/08/local-9-ripple-effects-of-scott-kingerys-emergence-nick-williams-trade-value-phillies-second-half-rotation-and-more/?source=dailyemail

  10. Does Alec Bohm remind anyone of Dale Murphy with his build and hitting style, spraying the ball to all fields with power?

    1. I think he is starting to remind me of Alec Bohm meaning I see a style all his own. I know comps are natural I’ve thought Werth myself and even some Bryant but his hands are so quick and he’s able to stay back and balanced and still get to velocity.

      He’s truly unique in many aspects. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.

  11. One SP option that I don’t see anybody brought up is Zach Wheeler who is an upcoming FA. If the Mets think they are out of contention, Wheeler will be a trade deadline candidate. He’s a pure rental but at 30 yo and with stufff worthy of a #2/#3 — Klentak should be checking in but he can be a FA target together with Gerrit Cole.

    NYY are reported to be high on Wheeler and with a deep farm and playing outside NL East, NYY has legit shot of acquiring Wheeler which makes it harder for the Phillies to nab him in FA.

  12. Jim – Just as a matter of course, I like to keep track of the roster spreadsheet and it seems like a few players have fallen off the roster without any official word/transaction on websites. Do you have any information on whatever happened to:

    1. Will Hibbs, P, Reading
    2. Kevin Markham, OF, Clearwater
    3. Scott Harris, P
    4. Wilman Silva, C
    5. Enmanuel Omana, SS
    6. Wilerik Diaz, P
    7. Reiwal Gonzalez, P

    Were they all just released and it was never reflected anywhere?

    Also, just in general when someone drops off the rosters into “Inactive” status on your worksheet – what’s really going on with them? I’m talking about guys like:

    Brandon Leibrandt
    Juan Escorcia
    Jose Jimenez
    Eric White
    Maximo De La Rosa
    Jhostyn Marin
    Alejandro Martinez
    Cesar Mata
    Osvaldo Arauz
    Efrain Morales
    Gregorix Mateo

    1. you missed some guys who just mysteriously vanished…..

      #1 – Will Morris – 2013 Rd 24 pick. Last seen in REA in 2016
      #2 – David Martinelli – 2016 Rd 6 pick. Last seen in LWD in 2016
      #3 – Alex Kline – 2016 Rd 29 pick. Last seen in WIL in 2016.

      1. Morris and Martinelli showed up in some transactions reports as released in 2017 and 2018 offseason transactions. Kline retired in one of those reports as well.

    2. Scott Harris retired in the 2016/2017 offseason. He lives in the Tampa area now. Kevin Markham retired earlier this season.

      1. The Phillies often hold on to the retirement papers of young players in case they change their mind. See, Andre Pullin. The first time. In Markham’s case, I believe, had he not retired, he would have started the season in Reading as their fourth outfielder. He would have gotten the Josh Stephen at bats, and would have been in a position to get more playing time when Adam Haseley was promoted as Stephen did. Go figure.

    3. Some have retired, some haven’t been on a roster in two years, some entered the season hurt from last year and were never put officially on an IL this year, and some have been on the RL for an extended period.

    1. Bryson Stott and Spencer Howard will be knocking at every Top 50 very soon. I though Luis Garcia will be a fast riser, but he still has time on his side.

    2. Right now, I view the Phillies’ prospects with the highest ceilings to be Bohm, Howard, Morales, and Stott, and then Medina. Luis Garcia is back to being an unknown quantity. He’s moved down to the lower half of the top 10 for me. I’ve got Moniak ahead of him now – Moniak’s come on in a big way.

  13. As Hinkie mentioned before, Franciso Morales might be the high upside arm that might be traded. In 2019, Morales K/9 and BB/9 are 12.75 and 3.9, respectively. And in the last 10 games he pitched, Morales has 1.46 ERA with 12.4 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 and that includes a couple of clunkers where Morales issued 8 BBs for 4.1 IP in 2 games.

    I’m not sure who Klentak will target but trading Francisco Morales for a marginal upgrade may not be the best move at the deadline.

    1. Just to add. Morales FB is sitting in 92-94 but touching 95-96 multiple times. The CU is still very raw but he breaking ball (i thought it was CB rather than a SL) can be potentially above average to plus.

    1. Romus – have seen Marte linked in trades before this – Phillies are a natural due to Marte playing CF – shifting Kingery to 3B. Curious though – Marte has a reasonable salary at 2 more years – seems to me he is perfect low cost Pirate player ?

      1. RU…I think the Pirates will want a minor league pitcher or two….or maybe one of the three of VV/Piv/Eflin.
        I do not see the Pirates giving him away.

        But pitching is what this team needs….and getting Marte only tells me Kapler and Klentak have a very myopic strategic plan.
        For next spring again…..players will have to be released or moved ….Quinn,Herrera, to name two. and Haseley will be expected to be in CFer before the season is out.

        Perhaps there is a three way deal coming down with the Phillies, Pirates and another unkown team…I can see that with marte going to another team and MLB pitching coming back to the Phillies.

    2. The Phillies need to get better in a lot of areas. If Marte can be had for a reasonable price and it allows you to move Kingery from centerfield to third, actually, it upgrades the team quite a bit. It depends what it costs in terms of prospects. I’m also not worried about the Marte contract, it can be flipped if they feel they have too many outfielders next year. It’s also a market competitive deal and can be bought out for $2m if they don’t feel he has any excess value above the option. I’d do this for a few second tier prospects (like in the 8-20 range), but they’re not getting someone like Medina, that’s for sure.

    3. Not sure why the Phillies want Marte. Yes, 3B has been a hole all season, but Maikel’s D has actually gotten better where he’s actually positive dWar. The Phillies can even platoon Maikel with Brad Miller if they want. Marte has 2 club options coming up at $11.5M and $12.5M. The money is good if he’s a starter, but not if he’s a bench player. And then what about Haseley? The Phillies give him aggressive promotions to be a bench player?

      1. This team is potentially a lot better with Kingery playing third and Marte in center. This is a trade to make the playoffs this season – it’s not about the long term.

        1. If this is the case, and the Phillies will likely buy out his 2 options, then the Phillies won’t be giving the Pirates much. A lotto ticket from A ball.

        2. Still need the pitching….they have the bats already.
          That was the whole idea behind Segura/Realmuto/Cutch and Harper
          Plus Bruce has been a God-send in LF.
          Franco in the 8 hole is not hurting anybody

          1. An upgrade is an upgrade – and this would be. This trade wouldn’t preclude them getting more pitching too.

            1. It would preclude them to a certain extent…..what they give up for a 27WAR Marte will not go to pitching.
              Like I said..Pirates will not be giving him away.

            2. If the Phillies gave up a bag of balls to Seattle for Bruce, it would take three or four bags of balls for Marte. I only wish he was a lefty bat but I would do it so long as they go after legit #2.

            3. 8mark…IMO, more than likely Huntingdon will try to include Archer , along with Marte if a deal were to be negotiated.
              Both players would be rentals, and FAs next year.
              Huntingdon would be sacrificing the QO option, in return for whatever the Phillies were to offer.
              So basically the Phillies would have to offer the equivalent of what two draft picks would be in the 30 or 40 range or maybe a little more.

          2. Regarding your comment that the Pirates would attach Archer to a Marte deal (can’t reply to that one), I’d do that in a second. Take on the money to give up less prospect capital and have a chance at a change-of-scenery win? Yes please.

            I don’t think he’s an ace at this point, but I think he can be “fixed” enough to be a better option than we’ve got for our 3/4/5 spots. Also, he’s still striking out a bunch of people. So we could always move him to the ‘pen and see if his FB spikes up and allows his SL to be a dominating pitch in short stints if all else fails.

            1. Dan….Archer may also have a desire to get back to where he once was a few years ago. I just would not know what the Pirates would ask for that duo together.

  14. liked seeing Bohm last night- just looks like a professional hitter.

    but also reminded of just how well the Braves are set up moving forward.
    Pache and Waters looking great as 20 year olds at AA, ready to take over for Inciarte (about 17 mil owed over 20/21 is closest thing they have to a bad contract) and Markakis sometime next season. Riley can move to third if Donaldson moves on, or DH if that comes to NL. Catcher is only spot they arent set at.
    Teheran, Folty, Gausman can all be picked up for another year or let go if they want, plus Keuchel a FA- plenty of young arms to sort through for next years rotation.
    Freeman two more years at 22 mil, Acuna and Albies already signed at low dollars.
    Plenty of dollars to spend on whatever they want.

    1. Jim – that’s great news. To me, he’s the class of the organization when it comes to starting pitching prospects.

  15. So with Verlander bringing up the juiced ball thing again, I’m kinda curious… did Nola just adjust to juiced balls in less than half a season? He brought it up earlier in the year that the balls didn’t feel right to him, and that’s something I took into consideration with his early struggles. But I wasn’t sure he’d be able to adjust before the end of the season if that were the case. His last few starts have been great, so it seems like he’s adjusted. It’s easy to say, “well he should have done it faster” but that’s a ridiculously hard adjustment to make. It’s basically re-learning how the ball feels in your hand with EVERY pitch you throw. I’m impressed.

    1. i think the problem some pitchers were having was gripping the ball on a colder night. Syndergaard said it was like trying to throw an ice cube-
      so not a problem this time of year.

      1. Some pitchers, sure. But Verlander isn’t pitching in the cold, and Sabathia and Stroman both agree with JV (as do others). Nola also made the comment about the ball feeling different after a game in which temperatures were in the 80s if I remember correctly.

        Pitchers don’t typically jump to the juiced ball narrative if cold weather could adequately explain the problem. I’ve never met a pitcher that wouldn’t admit if the cold was preventing them from gripping the ball correctly.

        That doesn’t mean the ball is, in fact, juiced. But I’m leaning more and more in that direction looking at these home run numbers. Pitchers haven’t forgotten how to pitch en masse, and launch angles alone don’t make up the difference between this year and last.

        1. Dan…balls were manufactured differently by a different company according to the commissioner.
          1. laces/stringing done very tight and taunt
          2. inner core….. the cork center or“pill” … is wrapped in a couple of thin rubber layers…but it also may be close to ‘super ball’ quality

          Since almost 175K are made every season…assume ‘George Costanza’ may have had a cheaper way to get them done! 🙂
          MLB is spending around $5.5Ms each season on baseballs..a doz balls about $70/75.

          Rawlings is the manufacturer…..ROMLB’s are made in Costa Rica at the rate of about 80,000 per year, while the ROMLB counterpart, the Rawlings Official Minor League Baseballs, are made in China
          But now Triple A are using the MLB variety of balls…so their HR rates have also climbed.

          1. Balls! I don’t like the direction Manfred has taken MLB. Instead of making the game more entertaining, he’s turning it into a mockery of itself. Instead of “Field of Dreams” and “The Natural”, it’s become “Major League” and “The Bad News Bears”.

          2. I’ve also read/heard that the “center” has been positioned more closely in the center of the ball. This allows less “wobble” and makes the ball more aerodynamic. This from a study done by a reputable laboratory. I forget whether it was done by a university or some private concern.

            1. Verlander and some of the top name pitchers will, eventually take their grievances further to the MLBPA.
              Would not surprise me if the next CBA has an agenda on just the manufacturing specs for baseballs.

              And the idea also…once a ball hits the ground it must be sent out of play.
              And a new ball brought in…then the pitcher is rubbing it up
              I would think a pitcher would want to keep that ball in play…a scuffed ball has better grip.

          3. MLB bought Rawlings in 2018, so… yeah, any changes in the ball is clearly and firmly on the shoulders of the commissioner. It’s a pretty large coincidence that Manfred took his position with the stance that they wanted to increase offense, and then MLB bought the manufacturer of baseballs. Et voila, more HRs than we’ve ever come close to seeing.

            1. Or have gloves made just for pitchers with emery nail filing boards sewed into the pockets…that would do the trick.

        2. there were two different things being talked about- pitchers struggling with gripping the bal (like Nola, Syndergaardl, which was prevalent in colder weather, and what Verlander was talking about-the baseballs flying out this year-
          could be partially the same cause.

  16. Can we get a list of players that need to be protected on the 40 man after this year?

    It seems to me the Phils traded players in the system that they didnt think were valuable to protect after last year.

    This would give a better idea as to what players they may trade for this year. I don’t see them making trades of any higher value than that again this year.

    Get a couple of starters like Leake and Roark and see if maybe the lineup gets hot as they should.

      1. Jim, your files are excellent and “are enough”. I politely suggest the poster may not have been aware that your spreadsheet provides the requisite data.

        1. You’re probably right. But,if a person were to read the entire post, the file is named and described as – “organization’s Rule 5 eligibility list (includes player info, assignments, …)”. Hence, my frustration.

  17. Even though he is a Met….I am moved and admire Pete Alonso for donating a total of 10% of his $1M HR Derby winnings to two worthy organizations…. Wounded Warrior and Tunnels To Towers.

    1. Alonso is a pretty amazing player. The Mets record for home runs in a season is 41. Alonso could break that record by early to mid August as a rookie. With bigger guys you never know how long they will be effective before they decline, but Alonso has a good chance of terrorizing Phillies pitching and the rest of the league for the next 10-15 years. I don’t see anything flukish about him – at all.

  18. Especially considering with the baseball wage scale he is making peanuts as a rookie player.

    1. Yeah…he said a lot of the rest will probably goes to his fiancee for their upcoming wedding.

    1. It’s not an unfair ranking of Howard as he has not been pitching a lot. My guess is that if he hadn’t been injured he would be somewhere near Bohm. That said, I think Bohm is an emerging prospect. I fully expect him to be a top 25 by sometime this winter or next year assuming he doesn’t make it to the big leagues before then. All the signs are pointing up for this guy and I’m so excited about it.

      1. I also expect Bryson Stott to join any prospect ranking soon. Stott can be the Trea Turner for the Phillies – a legit Top 10 prospect that fall in the middle Top 20s who can be a fast tracker to the majors.

        It’s about time for the Phillies to finally hit with their top draft picks.

        1. Yeah, their newer draft philosophy makes a lot of sense. The track record with good college hitters is so much better than virtually any other category of draft prospect. It’s a well considered approach.

      2. Matt Breen was on 97.5 this morning. He didn’t dismiss the possibility if not probability that Bohm reaches the Show later this summer, based on what he’s hearing. Also thinks the Phillies may be in on Stroman who’s under control through 2020.

        On another note, I think that Klentak will be/is being aggressive at the deadline if only because he’s on the clock this year. Expect to see some beating the bushes for value but also a big splash by 7/31.

        1. Well, let’s hope he’s not at a desperation level – that typically makes for poor decisions. Frankly, I think he’s fine for now – Middleton seems to love him. I think he’s good through the remainder of the year and next year absent a crazy horrible melt down.

            1. Rosenthal has Cashman and the Yankees looking at Robbie Ray.
              Assume Clint Frazier would be the bait.

            2. @Hinkie – I agree with you on Stroman, My guess are:

              ATL – Stroman
              MIN/MIL – MadBum
              NYY – Wheeler

  19. The Phillies farm is so dried up of the types of prospects a team like Toronto would need to headline a Stroman deal they’d likely have to start with two of the following to begin putting an offer together – Bohm, Haseley, Howard, Medina. After the Jays pick which two of those they want, you probably need to an include a Nick Williams in the deal, plus 1-2 more lower level prospects. Even if the Phils put that package together, they could likely be outbid by a number of other teams who could offer one higher rated prospect which is the ultimate desire for Toronto – quality over quantity.

    1. Perhaps but I’m not sure how many teams would cough up that much for a year and 2 months of Stroman who’s not a certified TOR.

    2. That’s a lot for Stroman. He’s having a good season, but he’s 28, and my buddy (who’s a big Blue Jays fan) considers him a #3 pitcher. The Blue Jays won’t give him away but they’re really motivated to deal him. I think a top 75 prospect who’s close should be able to headline a deal.

    3. If it takes any of those first 4 names to get Stroman I’ll pass. He doesn’t make this team a favorite to win the division and not getting any control beyond 2020 is a waste.

      Nick Williams and JoJo and some other lottery ticket and you got a deal…

      I’d possibly trade Medina for a really solid SP but he would have to come with 3-4 years of control. I think Medina is going to be really good it just might not click for him until he’s 24-25

      1. If the DBacks were so inclined…I’d try to get Ray for Medina and a few other pieces….at least before Cashman goes after him.

        1. I can just picture Romus (whatever he looks like) wearing his Robbie Ray jersey at his first home start in red pinstripes.

  20. I fell like I’m in off-season mode right now. I find myself checking in on all of the Phillies sites every hour to see if anything is going on.

    1. I’m with you, Wawa. Things should start stirring this week. MLB doesn’t like any news to compete with the all star game. But tomorrow we should start hearing more rumblings.

  21. Buddy, you may be right about the cost, but I don’t trade any of those 4. Even if they got us Stroman, adding him does not make us good enough to be a legitimate WS contender. I do try to add but at a much lower cost, and if we only make the Playoffs, I am ok with that, for this year. I am not ravaging the farm. The Yankees have a player like Frazier who can immediately start for a lot of teams, and is young and under team control. What we hoped Nick Williams would be.

    1. “All the hitters care about now is OPS. We don’t care about batting average. Some guys do, I guess. Batting average is an old stat that doesn’t matter. It’s OPS, runs created, WAR.”,
      …Bregman comes out and says it…wRC+, OPS and WAR are what they look at.

      And who would even think WAR was a not a meaningful metric!
      That thinking is outdated.

      1. A player that values WAR has some subjectivity with it. For players with positive WAR, obviously they will overvalue that and vice versa for players that don’t.

        WAR can indicate if a player is having a good year (thus, WAR can fluctuate within the year and from year to year) but not necessary cannot indicate if a player is good or not. WAR is also bias towards certain position and unfair to some.

        Also, using the stats a generation talent like Mike Trout to justify a general observation is not fair.

        1. Kuko…I knew you would eventually pop in when WAR is brought up. 🙂

          Not to argue the value or un-value of WAR…that has been beaten to death.
          But to realize now ….the players are leaning towards it, with its legitimacy in a measuring tool.

        2. Players can have fluke years and have a stand out WAR season like Anibal Sanchez in 2013. But you can look at his WAR from other years and correctly see that he’s just an average pitcher. But if you start accumulating WAR at a pace like early Felix Hernandez or Max Sherzer, then you can infer (from WAR) that he’s an elite pitcher because he has a ton of WAR accumulated.

    2. I am a huge fan of OPS so much so that I even keep track of it for my men’s softball team.

      That said a high OPS is incumbent on a few things and one of those things is consistently getting the barrel on a ball which in turn will lead to higher batting averages.

      As we saw with Carlos Santana last year. His line 229/352/766 OPS vs. this season 297/418/958 OPS.

      You can’t celebrate one or the other in a vacuum.

      1. The leaders to date:
        OPS.
        1 Yelich 1.140
        2. Bellinger 1.124
        3. Trout 1.098
        4. Bell 1.024
        5. Blackmon L 1.010
        6. Alonso 1.006
        7. Rendon .997
        8. Freeman .978
        9. Gallo 1.060 ****
        10. Santana .958

        1. 8 of those 10 are hitting 297 or better…Alonso 280 and Gallo 275

          of the top 10 average leaders the lowest OPS is Tim Anderson at 832

  22. Methinks Tanner Roark is the best pitcher available for the actual cost. Yes – he is a 3/4 but he is predictable and used to being on a winning team. I could see the Reds asking for a catching prospect+ plus other for him. Too much action on Stroman and any of the other well known names.

  23. From Keith Law’s notes on the Future’s Game http://insider.espn.com/mlb/insider/story/_/id/27143750/keith-law-observations-2019-mlb-futures-game :

    “None of the hitters really stood out, since they were mostly busy returning to the dugout. Alec “Super Bon” Bohm (Philadelphia Phillies) hit the ball hard three times but had just one hit to show for it, as he grounded into the shift in his last at-bat. I’ve seen him three times in the past few weeks, and I feel pretty confident he’s going to hit a lot, and will be ready to do it soon.”

    Law also mentioned Sixto Sanchez (hit 100 MPH in Futures Game) “appears to have put on quite a bit of weight since the last time I saw him”.

    1. If I recall correctly, the Phils were unhappy with Sixto’s commitment to conditioning which is one of the reasons they were willing to part with him, right? Is that a precursor of things to come, or is the weight mostly muscle?

      If he flames out due to weight concerns, I’m sure the Phils will feel very vindicated. But I’d still like him to reach his ceiling because he’s got great stuff. Would be good for baseball for him to be able to show it off.

      1. I saw Sixto pitch that night. It wasn’t muscle he added. He looked pretty heavy, especially his lower half. That said … it didn’t diminish anything from his FB. He hit 100 a couple of times.

        1. I think once Will Stewart gets straightened out….less line drives and back to his normal inducing plenty of ground balls he could be the unsung part of that trade.

        1. Whew!
          Though, Gamboa is athletic and looks the part in the field and at the plate….well at the plate anyway until he swings.
          Hall, even with that big power bat, but being just a first basemen, has few opportunities

          Joe Girardi is in town……in the FOX booth
          Getting an idea of the make-up of the team maybe.

  24. Very encouraging to read from Matt Breen that JTR has publicly stated that he is open to signing an extension with the Phillies, that his time here has been “awesome” and that he can see spending the rest of his career in Philadelphia. I know his offensive production is down (though still above average for major league catchers) but his defense is elite – wow! 49% nailing would be base stealers. And the guy seems to be a rock as a team leader by the way he goes about his business. No nonsense. Doesn’t need the limelight. Despite the pitching problems, they’d be much worse if he wasn’t around to guide them.

    1. It’s great for 3 reasons. 1- It recreats a culture that players want to come do Philly, like it here, want to stay. 2- Phillies seams to have a lot of catchers prospects. A lot of trade bait. 3- He’s one of the best catcher in baseball and it’s gonna be for a while.

    2. Scott Lauber posted that as Yadier Molina signed a 3 year extension for $60M, he projects Realmuto to get 4/$96M. I would offer another option year for less AAV.

  25. Gabe was on 94 this morning. Said Jake at 85% is better than what we have at AAA, hence he’ll start this weekend vs the Nats.

    1. 85% Jake didn’t look better than what they have in AAA based on his last start vs. the Mets.

      1. Kapler’s statement screams for some type of trade. I saw Tanner Roark mentioned as somebody Klentak might try to acquire without having to give up a top prospect. My sense is that he’ll beat the bushes for an under the radar arm that is at least reliable and fairly consistent. Nothing too exciting.

        1. Yes, unless they’ve decided to become sellers they have little choice but to try to add a starter but I agree it should be one that’s not going to require much prospect capital to acquire.

          I do not support the idea of trading any of their top prospects unless the return is a long-term piece and not a stop-gap measure.

        1. I’m going to try and monitor the future of each of our AAA pitchers after we discard them. If we trade them for something like Cliff Lee for Cookie Carrasco then that’s ok. But someone released or in a minor trade then I’ll document.

      1. He might like to have that one back haha…I like refreshing honesty but those types of statements have a way of biting you in the keester…

        1. Minor league players get a certain amount of time to establish themselves as prospects. Nobody at AAA is making me stop to think, “ooh, just a little more time and he’s really gonna turn out to be something. Don’t let him go.”

          1. Giolito talked extensively last night about his turn around which came from working with driveline and changing his arm action

            Last season WHIP 1.477 K/9 6.5
            This season WHIP 1.070 K/9 10.8

            granted you have to have the stuff to work with but when the results belie the stuff something has to change.

  26. Not that anyone isn’t monitoring this possibility, but MLBTR just mentioned Alec Bohm as one of 7 top MLB prospects who may help their respective teams down the stretch. Probable or not, it’s exciting to think about.

  27. Maybe there are not legitimate #2/3 SPs out there, but I think that Duffy, Leake or Roarke are better than what we are throwing out there every game Nola doesn’t start, and so they would help us. As we talked about yesterday, I don’t trade any of our top 4 guys, Bohm, Howard, Medina or Haseley. There is not 1 SP that makes us WS contenders, but I do want some help to make the WC. I believe that Bryce has a 3 week stretch carrying the team that we haven’t seen yet, and I believe JT and Segura can pack 15-20 points onto their respective BAs, so I am still hopeful for the Offense. The FO has to show that they are not giving up, and doing nothing is giving up to me.

    1. matt13…if any consolation…Rhys’ bat in July, in his brief career, do sport a .961 OPS….one of his best months.
      It is however, a SSS for his career.

  28. About a year (or so) ago, the Phillies were being linked to Taiwanese LHP/OF Lin An-Ko.

    .

    He was supposedly looking to sign with a MLB team after graduating from college this spring.
    It now looks like Lin has decided to play ball at home in the CPBL. He was drafted fourth overall by the Uni-Lions. From what I’ve read, he has decided he wants to play the OF full time (not sure if that has anything to do with the Phillies not signing him).

      1. 8mark … there is a Japanese RHP who should be available this winter as a FA. His name is Takahiro Norimoto. He’s 28 YO, and only 5’10”, but he packs heat (up to 96 MPH with high spin rates). Norimoto offsets the FB with a SL and splitter.
        My idea for the Phillies to hire Iron Chef Masahuro Morimoto as the team’s Director of Clubhouse Food Services has been ignored so far by Middleton and MacPhail. This organization needs to do some outside the box thinking. We need pitching. #Morimoto4Norimoto

  29. ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle lists the Phillies as a trade deadline “buyer” (https://www.espn.com/mlb/insider/story/_/id/27157263/buyer-seller-deadline-shopping-lists-all-30-teams). He rates their aggressiveness as a “7” (on the 1-10 scale).
    He strangely lists CF as the team’s big need (I think most rational people believe SP is their biggest need). Here’s what he writes:

    Whom could they target? Kevin Pillar, Jarrod Dyson, Billy Hamilton

    “The thinking here is that if the Phillies can at least find an everyday center fielder for the second half who is strong defensively, then Scott Kingery can focus on raking as the third baseman, and Maikel Franco can be demoted or traded.”

    1. The strange part in my view is that Kingery is a better CF than he is 3B but we all know his maximum value is as a 2B….

      1. This is all true, but the media comments are indirectly focused not so much on where Kingery is best (he’s best at second and can hold his own elsewhere) but on the fact that third base is currently a trouble spot because of Franco, who is playing at a AAA level and has for quite some time. A solid centerfielder allows Kingery to play third and thereby significantly upgrades the lineup.

    2. I guess Starling Marte was not on his list of CFers….I think Joe Giglio had that rumor going last week.

      1. I’m thinking Klentak’s best course of action (assuming the team is still competing for a playoff spot by the end of July) is to look to eat bad/not wanted money in lieu of coughing up any top prospects. Greinke probably wouldn’t accept a deal here. However, maybe Klentak could do something with KC. Phillies get Danny Duffy (still owed 37 million dollars through 2021), Jake Diekman, and maybe even Billy Hamilton. Diekman and Hamilton have 2020 options. Phillies should not have to surrender any top prospects. Maybe Klentak sends the Royals some combination of Deivy Grullon, Cole Irvin (who was good in his start vs KC), Dominic Pipkin, and Darick Hall (sorry Romus).

        1. Frankly, Duffy really isn’t even worth his salary, especially given that he’s owed big money for two more years. So I think you could isolate the trade to him alone (or him and Diekman – why not?) and give up very little. Like one 1-20 prospect and a lottery ticket. But he’s still a big upgrade over the garbage they have now and he’s a lefty, which they need, so it would be a good trade for both sides.

            1. Kansas City would be sort of a “one stop shop” for Klentak. He gets a LHSP, a LHRP, and a CF’er for eating Duffy’s money and some mid tier prospects.
              Duffy isn’t worth the money he’s making, but he would be an upgrade for the Phillies rotation.
              BTW … Llovera is my #10 Phillies prospect. I would not trade him in that deal.

            2. I certainly would have no objection to their trading a lesser prospect than Llovera. That said, he’s not all that special in my opinion. He does have a good arm, but he’s 23 in AA, with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.326 WHIP. He’s nothing to write home about in my view.

        2. Everybody is trying to get rid of Darick Hall…..or should I say Rodney Dangerfield!
          Thouh Nick Pratto is down the street in Wilmington now and looks to be their first baseman of the future…so they may a want another prospect ilo Hall.

    3. Again this is another case where national scribes miss the pulse of what’s happening locally unless it’s a big name involved.

      1. 8mark…I can see where they are coming from now…..Dyson and Hamilton would be two month rentals…Pillar has one more year left before FAcy.
        So they are not long term investment options…. Haseley, Moniak, Nuzziotti et al would not be hampered at all in their quest.
        And also Herrera!

        1. Romus, I have no problem with them mentioning CF as a position of need. But clearly (as in head and shoulders above) the greater need is a SP. How that’s not mentioned is beyond me. If Klentak rolls with the status quo of the pitching staff, I’m running for the tallest bridge.

          1. Yes agree…..SP is the issue that should be addressed….perhaps they will kill two birds with one stone….a short term fix CFer and a SP in the same trade.

            1. Will Seattle will always have their door open, and Klentak and Dipoto are buds……so they are in it probably somewhere.
              And I would think Dayton Moore is ready to move some of the Royals heavy contracts….heavy for the Royals that is.
              The Os, Reds and Tigers seem to ne in the rumor talks a lot also.
              And finally the Giants want MadBum gone it seems.

            2. MadBum and the like will be high end especially for a rental. Highly doubt we’ll be in that market.

              Marte and Vasquez from Pittsburgh….what might they cost, bearing in mind that relievers, even good ones are…well, relievers.

            3. With Vasquez added. you may be looking at one or two top ten prospects for sure or a one top ten and another 10-15.

            4. I would offer Medina in a package for Vasquez, but no other top 5 prospect. However, Pittsburgh may hmm and haw over whether they are buying or selling.

    1. What if Arizona (and Greinke for that matter) say no, which is more than likely? That package won’t get you that much talent in return.

    2. … Why would Arizona want ANY of those players? Ray and Greinke both have team control (granted it’s expensive for the latter) and are better than VV and Pivetta. Franco is, at best, a lateral move from Jake Lamb. They already have a 2B that’s better, younger, and cheaper than CeHe. And they have multiple options in CF, so why bother getting a CF who is always hurt and hasn’t hit when he isn’t?

      You don’t get good players for junk, no matter how much junk you offer.

    3. When you propose a trade, at least make the trade a little plausible. This trade has zero chance of happening. If that’s the case, then you might as well not waste your time typing this out.

      You’re just trying to turn nothing into something. Franco has no value, Quinn’s injury history makes him have little value, VV and Pivetta are stinking it up so they both have little value. Cesar has value, but he’s older, making decent money, and he’s NOT the problem!

    1. Ooooooohhhhhhh!!!!!
      I was waiting to see who the first one to mention the absence of our most beloved curmudgeon. Ciada wins! The prize? I’ll get back to you on that one. Ha!

      1. I think he said he was going on vacation…..remember him saying he was going to the Phillies /Mets game at Citi Field while in NY State.

  30. Just read an interesting point by Steve Adams of MLBTR who just wrapped up today’s chat. Asked if Bumgarner’s trade value is based on his performance of 5 years ago. Adams replied, to fans probably so but not to MLB GM’s. The more I think about it, it’s doubtful that contending teams will actually give up a top prospect for him. If so, the Phillies would be in the picture. However, his no trade (which is essentially his demand for a sign and trade) presents quite a dilemma. Beyond the young talent outlay, who would agree to pay the extension dollars anyway. Perhaps no team would, but if a team could, the Phillies are one. But again, what’s he actually worth? I think he won’t find one. In which case, he may settle to play for the contender that simply offers SF the most for him, which won’t be much. Then he goes to FA in the fall and gets a moderately lucrative deal but nothing commensurate to the hype.

    1. 8mark…the catch….if the Giants put a QO on him, since he is eligible for one, he may not sign until next June…..ala Kimbrel and Keuchel….and may only get a one year deal of 4-months.
      Teams do not want to forfeit that 2nd round pick and international money it seems.
      So he better not make demands in his last 2/3 weeks as a Giant.

  31. It seems to be a Pat Gillick trade market, i.e., so many teams need SP that there will be a feeding frenzy over the “known” ones (Ray, Greinke, Stroman, Madbum, etc. ). To counter that, rather than go for the starter – add more relievers and have the current non Nola starters pitch 3-4 innings, pray they don’t give up more than 4 runs, and then bring in a never ending series of relievers. That is testimony that your offense gets fired up again so maybe you do what you can to supplement it – namely fix the bench and a CF with a little punch to move Kingery over to 3B. IOW – assist the pitching with relief and more bats and hope you can win games 6-5 etc.

    1. Well, if any manager can accomplish your tasking of “bring in an a never ending series of relievers”, we have the Gabe. He is the man for this job.

  32. i have watched most of the phillies games this season and in my opinion kingery is playing a pretty darn good center field. down the road his best contribution would be as a good fielding offensively plus second baseman but right now he is doing a nice job in center.

    curious to hear other opinions.

  33. Kingery is having a very nice year, but he is another one who does not belong hitting leadoff. The #s for our leadoff hitters since Cutch got hurt are terrible. I think Kingery has dropped 25 points in his BA. I am a big Cutch fan, but not even I knew what a huge loss he would be. I am looking for Klentak to move quickly to add reinforcements. I agree with those of you who don’t want any of our top guys being moved, but we need some help to even make the WC.

    1. I agree that Kingery isn’t a leadoff guy but he is the best one they have right now. his BA dropping is expected since he wasn’t going to hit .330+ for the entire season.

      I’m a big Kingery fan but I do think he’s become a bit pull happy the last week or so. He’s too fast to have teams shifting him which the Mets were doing just before the AS break..

    2. My future “dream” top of the order is Moniak-Kingery. While Moniak doesn’t walk a lot, his propensity for doubles and triples will often set the table for Jetpax who also can spank the ball around, or at least move him along by driving the ball.

  34. I find it funny that people think the Dbacks are just gonna give up Greinke for nothing . . . he’s got an ERA under 3 and a war that he approaching 5. I get the contract but they aren’t taking Hall and another rando for him. It’s going to cost you a decent if not good prospect. They could always hold onto him and trade him in the off season as well. IMHO its going to take something like Medina/Williams for him (which I would do) . . and that may be light.

    1. I agree forget Greinke as that is not happening for many reasons. The D-Backs have a really good squad and they get overlooked because the Dodgers are playing out of their minds and likely will continue to do so.

      Them and the Rangers are right in the same boat we are. Not good enough to win their divisions but right there to snag a WC.

      If you want them to forgo their shot at a WC you’re gonna have to blow them away with an offer and that wouldn’t be prudent for us.

    2. @Eric D – the risk with Greinke is that he is already 35 yo and there’s a good amount of history to tell how a mid-30s pitcher peform towards the back end of his career. So if Greinke regress as most ageing pitchers did, the Phillies will have a $70M back end starter in the next 2 years while losing a pretty good prospect like Medina.

      Greinke will pitch around 8-10 games by the time the Phillies acquire him and how may of those 8-10 games he will pitch that he can reasonably win — around 6-8? Compared to a cheaper alternative (i.e. rental) which will be around 4-6?

      So for an additional 2-3 wins, is trading from Greinke and his contract worth some top prospects?

  35. If the Phillies play the Nationals and the Dodgers the way they played them the last times they met, the Phillies will be sellers at the deadline.

      1. One of the three pitching Amigos?
        The return may not what is expected, unless a contender has a rich and deep farm system and willing to give up something of value.

        1. ‘Tis the season. Not to sell yet, still buying. What would you think of offering Eflin, Medina and Listi to Detroit for Boyd? Then I would still make a trade for one of Roark, Leake or Duffy to further supplement the rotation without giving up top prospects. Arrieta may or may not continue with his elbow so we may very well need another SP. The farm arms are currently neither ripe nor MLB caliber.

          This of course is IF Klentak is still buying. I don’t think he’ll be selling even if we’ve fallen away. Except for maybe Franco in a small trade.

          1. Is Boyd legit?
            Or a Johnny come lately wonder at 27/28?
            Sits in the low 90s with two basic pitches 4SmrFB and slider…85% usage
            In Eflin and Medina two younger starters that may have a higher ceiling
            So it is risky.

            1. All MLB GMs will tell you that EVERY trade of any magnitude is risky, Romus. Otherwise who would make a trade if both sides felt it was an ironclad decision? No risk, very little reward.

            2. @romus – that’s my hesitation with Boyd. He doesn’t have a good pedigree or stuff of a good pitcher. I’m worried that he can become a Cloyd once the Phillies acquired him.

              I can understand i(but not necessary agree) f the Phillies will burn prospect equity for MadBum, Greinke, Stroman or whoever that showed years of previous success in MLB.

              I might as well try to get Daniel Norris than Boyd if talking to DET.

            3. KuKo…..agree
              . He only started coming after JUne of last yearr. Then I say to myself…lefties develop later for the most part, plus he is facing the DH…so it comes down to the risk factor.

          2. Don’t understand the fascination with Boyd beyond him being left-handed and under team control for several more years? Prior to this season he hasn’t been very good. Maybe he’s getting better and has finally unlocked the code or maybe he’s just having an outlier first half of a season and is ready to return to being an Eflin clone..

            I don’t get trading a #4 under team control (Eflin) for a different #4 under team control and including several prospects to boot. Yes, you’ve been trying to move Medina in every possible deal but even if you don’t like him as a prospect, why waste him on a lateral move..

            1. Never even thought of it that way.
              Perhaps Klentak ought to offer less for Boyd and stand firm.
              He seems to get good initial returns on his trades…….on paper anyway when completed…it is the few years down the road they begin to dissipate and crumble.

            2. Good point but I guess I’m taking a gamble on Boyd becoming Corbin, more or less. Aside from Medina, the prospect outlay would be fairly innocuous.

            3. I won’t do Medina/Listi for Boyd either but at least that would be a move to improve the current team vs. simply shuffling the deck chairs.

            4. Tigers needs OFers…maybe they value Williams, then add a catcher like Grullon and a few minor league pitchers like Irvin and/or JoJo
              Tigers are stacked with RHP prospects…probaby best in baseball.
              They may take the bait…then reel them in.

      2. Hoskins? Kingery? CeHe? Neris? Morgan? Bruce?, Nola? Realmuto?

        If the Phillies really want to be sellers they have plenty of players that would be of interest to other teams. Obviously they are not going to blow the team up and move most of those guys but I could see Bruce drawing interest. Same with Neris, Hunter, and Morgan.

        1. A reliever doing well, becomes very attractive this time of the year.
          Neris and Morgan could bring back assets.
          If Roberston comes back as expected in two weeks, take a gamble and place Neris on the market.

          1. If the Phillies become sellers, they shouldn’t sell anyone who they really want on the team in 2020 unless it’s an absolutely overwhelming offer they can’t refuse. They need to operate like the Yankees or Red Sox – sell only guys you can easily replace by ST 2020 unless it is an offer you simply can’t refuse – period, no exceptions.

            So, this means the following guys should basically be off limits: Nola, Kingery, Harper (no trade clause and nobody wants that contract anyway right now), Hoskins, Dominguez (he’s the only BP untouchable – Neris is close behind), Bohm, Haseley, Stott, Howard, Morales and maybe Medina.

      3. DMAR, this is a great question truly. When you think about it, the Phillies went all in this winter in acquiring players to compete now and here we are months later and if the Phils wanted to sell, they have very little to trade. Am I the only one that thinks just how crazy awful that is as an assessment of where this organization is at?

        There are some major league players that of course would have value that the Phils wouldn’t trade because they are part of the future, i.e., Nola, JTR, Eflin, Kingery, Hoskins, and Segura.

        Then you have the vets – Arietta, Robertson, Hunter, Neshek, Cutch, and Harper – that have little to no value on the trade market for different reasons.

        Then you have the young players that are injured or have simply failed so badly to develop that they are worthless in trades at this point – Knapp, Franco, Odubel, Nick, VV, Pivetta, DLS, Irvin, JoJo Romero, Anderson, Quinn, Altherr (gone), Eickhoff, SirAnthony, Ramos, Arano, etc.

        It really leaves the Phils with 3 pieces they could try to trade to obtain some small value in return – Bruce, Neris, and Cesar H.

        1. Morgan has value as a LHP who is having a very good year with a .3WAR as a reliever.
          I am sure there would be a team that would like to have him in their pen for the stretch run.
          What he brings back is anyone’s guess.

  36. That is a negative, but not unfair, post ciada. The sweep vs the Dodgers involved some bad baseball, and the Nats have been very hot. No question, our work is cut out for us. But, I don’t think the FO can admit this was a disaster, and being sellers at the deadline says it was. I hope, over the next 10 games, we find a way to go 6-4 or better. I don’t want the rest of the summer to be a baseball dead zone around here. I may be wrong and you correct, but I am hoping.

  37. ciada…I agree. I think the phillies are too many pieces away for being a contender this year.

    Sure, if they could make a couple GREAT trades and not give up any of the Few good assets that we have,but I feel that “other” teams are in better shape to give up A prospects than we are.

    For us to contend this year,the hitters would need to hit Much better than they have so far,ditto for the starting pitching.Since the starting pitchers have not performed as good as the front office HOPED they would so far,my opinion is that we are just too far away to be a serious contender.
    My best case scenerio is that Bohm keeps improving and gets called up later this year,establishes himself for next year as well as a few starting pitchers.

    1. Barf – You could be right, but I’m hoping that the mini vacation with family and friends will rejuvenate them.

      1. My 3 keys to the 2nd half of the season are
        1 regardless of who Klentak acquires to supplement the starting rotation, the bats MUST come alive and average 4.5-5 runs a game from here on out.
        2 Atlanta has to hit a road bump at some point….don’t they?
        3 Kapler can’t get in the way with nonsensical ingame decisions/personnel usage.

        Otherwise I am resigned to punting the rest of the season with faint hopes for a wild card spot. There’s no arm on the market worth trading a top prospect.

        1. The Phillies winning games against NL East particularly the freaking Marlins will be a key factor if they will make it to the playoffs. If they continue to stink against the Marlin, they don’t deserve to be a playoff team.

          1. Unless they beat the Braves and Nats along the way but you’re right. That mess vs MIA needs to be cleaned up.

        2. 8mark…the Phillies could be going thru growing pains like the Twins did.
          The Twins were brutal in 2016…then surprised everyone in 2017 (as the Phillies did last year), then collapsed again in 2018 to under to 8 games under .500….now in 2019 in first place and coasting basically.
          So hopefully the Phillies will follow a similar path….though the NL-East is a lot stronger than the AL-Central, so it will be more difficult.

          1. The Indians are starting to click so the Twins better not get complacent. Indians are 21-6 since June 1 and open the second half with a head to head.

            I would bet a few sheckles the Indians run them down if I got good odds.

            Only 4.5 games separate the top from the bottom in the NL Central

            1. Will know in the next three games for the Indians and Twins…they play each other…Indians need to win two.

  38. It will be interesting to see what moves are made, so much talk about getting pitching help, which clearly is a major need but if the bats don’t wake up it doesn’t look it this team will go too far.

    OPS leaders with at least 200 ab,

    Hoskins – .931
    Kingery – .889
    Harper – .839
    Segura – .769
    Realmuto – .767
    Hernandez – .759
    Franco – .709

    It’s that pretty weak? I know Bruce has been doing great since the trade, I shudder to think where this team would be if they didn’t make that move. But outside Hoskins and Kingery at the top and Segura/CH are around their normal levels but the rest are all around 4th from their highest season of their careers.

    Who do you think is to blame as last year we didn’t seem to have many hitter progress so do they need to find a new hitting coach? And pitching coach while we are at it as it seems like the made a mistake in promoting Young

    1. I tend to believe that hitting and pitching coaches (in particular) are hired by this regime based mainly on how they articulate the collective philosophy, no matter how flawed. Like minds, right. So firing them would be more a matter of finding a scapegoat.

      1. There may be something to that. Up until the late collapse, I thought that Rick Kranitz did a great job with the pitchers last year. But they thought Chris Young was/is a wunderkind so they moved on to him. So far, it hasn’t gone well to say the least. Unfortunately, due to the low ceiling, control pitcher philosophy of Johnny A, all of the guys in AAA project as back end starters, at best, career minor leaguers at worst, so no immediate relief is on the way. It would be nice if Jones or Medina could be promoted but I suspect neither is quite ready.

    2. I think the offense while middle of the pack are ok, although I expect to see more from Harper and Rhys.

      Starting pitching and pitching in general is the one that’s killing this team. The rotation is under performing and having a pitching group with young arms regressing than progressing – I will be looking at the Pitching coach. Also, I will also put some blame on Klentak for over estimating the overall capability of the rotation. Klentak’s over confidence with the pitching rotation possibly made him not to push hard in acquiring SP help during the offseason with Corbin, Morton, Keuchel as potential FA targets that Klentak can go hard.

      1. In fairness … all 3 of Pivetta, Efflin, and VV were picked by multiple “experts” to breakout, in one article… all 3 were picked due to some analytics stat. If the gamble paid off, the Phillies Would be in a great position, but it doesn’t look to be the case that the experts were correct, time to scramble.

        1. I haven’t seen anybody who picked VV – but Pivetta and Eflin have the stuff and showed enough development to really trend upward. The regression if not lack of development is mind boggling —- and it’s not only isolated to Pivetta and Eflin but also the other young arms who have the abilities but never took another step forward.

          This is where I start to look at the pitching coach – who apparently is the not their pitching when these young arms are showing promise.

          1. Yeah that swap of pitching coaches doesn’t look to great right now

            Kranitz to Young
            Alfaro to Realmuto

            The pitchers should be moving forward, not stalled or regressing

            Another thought on this, some what of a conspiracy theory, but rumblings are going around about the baseball seams being changed now that the mlb owns Rawlings, who produces the baseballs.

            3 things I look at that make me believe this has some
            Traction: the insane hr totals so far, the aces who have struggled, that includes the front row seat to Nola… and Arrietta – he had that crazy movement on his pitches near the end of spring training…. not so much anymore

            Does it mean anything? It’s certainly suspicious to this one fan.

  39. So I read from MLBTR that Miami is getting calls on Starlin Castro. Huh? He has a bloated contract and is having the worst year of his career. I assume it would be a salary dump where the acquiring team would take most of the money while giving up hardly anything talent wise, unless the Fish are considering including Caleb Smith in the deal. Otherwise we have a better 2B in Cesar Hernandez who will be no more costly than Castro, arb eligible for another year at roughly $10M for 2020. I’m sure I’m missing something.

    Which contending clubs need an upgrade at 2B?

    1. I stand corrected on Castro’s contract, $4.5M remains for 2019 while he can be bought out of his $16M for 2020 for only $1M. But still, what value is a team getting for him in a pennant race?

    2. Not sure…but Sox , Indians and As may not be too thrill with production from Nunez, Kipnis and Profar at this moment.

  40. If I had a wishlist for the second half, it would be more on the long term focus of the organization and not 2019. My list would look something like this:

    1. Fire Gabe Kapler during second half or after the season and hire the right manager. Much of my wishlist below involves player development and improvement which I’m not sure is possible under this manager.
    2. Sign JTR to a long term contract extension.
    3. Watch Howard and Medina flourish in the minors and enter 2020 as top 50 prospects.
    4. Do whatever is best for the long term development of Bohm and Haseley – preferably see them in Philly in September and play great, making them the everyday options in 2020 for 3B and CF, respectively.
    5. Continue to start VV and Pivetta. The more innings they get, the more likely we are to find out if one of them will figure it out in Philly rather than somewhere else.
    6. Bryce Harper – relax my friend, choke up on two strikes, put the ball in play, create havoc on the bases, and swing for and hit your home runs on 0 and 1 strike counts. Bat .300 in the second half, with a 1.000 OPS, and just have fun playing the game without any pressure. Don’t try so hard, hitting is not a max effort endeavor, you do not need to be Brian Dawkins with a baseball bat.
    7. Tom McCarthy and John Kruk both stop eating 10 hot dogs per game and lose 20 lbs by October.

    1. “7. Tom McCarthy and John Kruk both stop eating 10 hot dogs per game and lose 20 lbs by October.”
      ….candidates for Nutrisystem for Men.

    2. Nice post Buddy, I agree with all but #5. I believe the verdict is in on VV and the final exam on Pivetta is the 2nd half and currently he is in no danger of making the Dean’s list.

  41. Buddy..Nice post,I agree 100% on all but #7, I’ll need some persuasion on that one!!

    On #3 and #4, My hope is that they get enough experience in the bigs this year,and can make adjustments for next year so that they would be above average regulars in their first full year.Then Kingery can play second base full time.
    The starting pitchers would be,Nola,Howard,Medina and at least one maybe two free agent signings,or maybe one pitcher via trade.With what they have in the bullpen this year,plus the AAA guys that should be a good mix for next year.

    If the starting nine produce up to their abilities,that should be an above average lineup,If one of the new starting pitchers is a #2 or better,and if they have a healthy year,I believe that team COULD win about 90 games.

    Can that team play up to their potential with Gabe as the manager???

  42. I think Stott is ready to graduate from the GCL, 5 for 5 the cycle + a single, and a walk! Not a bad start, send him to Reading.

    1. —-Haseley had 3 games,14 PAs (583/.643/.833) in the GCL before going to Wiliamsport in 2017
      —-Bohm had 4 games ..14 PAs before Williamsport last year.
      —-I suspect Stott will be going up on Monday or Tuesday next week.

  43. MacPhail speaks. According to Scott Lauber on Twitter, the club prez said that he’s less inclined to give up top prospects under the circumstances, but that they would consider taking on payroll to lessen the return in talent. Sounds to me like Greinke would fit the bill.

  44. Todd Zolecki tweeted quoting MacPhail on 2 matters:
    1 – that the Phillies are unlikely to make any big trades by the deadline, saying it’s not judicious to give up young talent when they have too many holes to fill, and
    2 – that because the Phillies are in the playoffs if the season were over today, he can’t dignify the question of whether this is the right GM and coaching staff.

    1. That doesn’t sound like Klentak’s going to be aggressive this time around. Oh well….could be another 2018 without the August veteran additions.

      1. “….could be another 2018 without the August veteran additions”

        I would clarify ….without the August ‘impact ‘ veteran additions….I did not consider Bautista/.Andrubel./Bour/Loup/Avilan as veterans that would make a difference.
        Ramos the catcher came the closest to having a beneficial impact.

  45. This current Nats rostrr is collectively 40 for 96 vs Pivetta over his career. That’s a .417 clip. Ouch!

    On the other hand, only Hoskins has struggled vs Strasburg in his career. Franco has 3 homers against him.

    A friend texted me that he predicts a 9-8 game tonight. He’s just not sure who scores 9.

    1. Oh…and Rendon alone is 10-18, .556 with 4 dingers. If Suzuki hits another one out tonight, I’m making a bee line for the Ben Franklin Bridge.

  46. Another mediocre performance by Pivetta, but offense is getting shut out. Knapp and Quinn are just not major league players. Our friend, Pat Neshek, is done for the year. Not a chance that “may be back in September “ happens. CBP is sold out and sounds like there are 5,000 people there. Middleton cannot be happy.

    1. How can they play off the bench I’m sure they r doing their best when they do come in but looking at last night game look like no one is major league player

  47. I for one, am glad that they came back to start the 2nd half of the season refreshed. Otherwise, they would be really tough to watch. MacPhail is right they need too much to compete on even terms with the best teams.

    1. While we got all geared up for the 2nd half of the season and these 2 big series, MacPhail could have done us all a favor by opening his mouth a few weeks ago. He’s accurate in his assessment of the team. So now the trade deadline will be anticlimactic. Let’s move on to 2020 rather than pretend they’re looking for pitching upgrades.

  48. Those boos when the game ended were pretty noticeable. I am usually the first one to complain about MacPhail. But, I have no problem with what he said. No way would I advocate trading our top guys, and we don’t have many, to add a piece because we are not close to a WS team. I do want some help, and am not giving up on a WC, but this offense needs to start doing something other than falling over when swinging or swinging at pitches over our heads. The whole lineup is guilty of that.

  49. A couple of weeks ago Hinke predicted a Mets sweep and started with “one down, three to go”. I’m afraid with last night’s loss, it may be “one down, six to go”.

    1. With the Braves and Nats win and Phillies loss….season is slowly slipping away.
      IMO, they will need to win 4 of the next 6 to still have some semblance of being in it.

      Note….Mike Leake was mentioned as possible pitcher to come to Philly…he got clobbered last night by Mike Trout and the Angels in their no-hitter in honor of Tyler Skaggs. Leake lasted two outs in the first inning.
      He may be also hearing the Philly rumors and is just preparing himself to come East.

  50. Phils could actually be sellers and buyers. They should always be looking to see if Cesar has any trade value. And we know Nick Williams should be moved. If we don’t play well over the next two weeks, I would love to see them dangle Neris out there and maybe try to sell high. They try something different and use Pivetta in the pen. I’m not a fan of our new pitching coach. Who has improved this year? After Nola pitches today, will things look better?

    1. Strangely the Phillies are still the 2nd wild card team as of this morning. It’s not inconceivable that they could be the second tallest midget come playoff time. With Nola (I presume he would start) they would have a real shot. This is my positive spin for the day. To what extent the FO goes in pursuit of that remains to be seen. I’m not as excited about the deadline as I was 2 days ago.

    2. Odubel Herrera isn’t eligible to play for the rest of the season but he can be traded. A contender certainly wouldn’t be interested in him at the moment but some rebuilding team who likes his upside might take him on for next season. Franco, Hernandez, Neris, Williams, Bruce, Hunter, and even Velasquez and Pivetta may be on the list of potential trade chips off the big league roster.

      1. There not trade chips . Maybe bingo chips the Phillies really dont have that many Major ready trade chips maybe Williams .

        1. I remember last year this time….JPC was considered a low value asset.
          Young players have to be sold high…and mid-20 pitchers the same…like Pivetta and Velasquez.
          They may rebound for that 3 or 4 seasons of 4WAR pitching with a change of scenery…then the Phillies are kicking themselves if they do not get value in return.
          And this has happened in the past….so I would sell high on the younger controlled players..

          1. Tommy Hunter and Jose Alvarez are the two most likely trade chips.
            Some are fine with dealing Hector Neris. I’d have to receive something of actual significance to trade him. They could also probably flip Brad Miller for a couple of lottery tickets.

            If they really want to think outside the box, Klentak could look to buy low on a :change of scenery” guy. I’ve always liked Daniel Norris. He actually made a start against the Phillies earlier this year, and was effective. However, through two different organizations, he has never been able to live up to his former prospect status. I think a lot has to due with health. He’s battled everything from back issues to cancer. His velo is down, but he’s a LHP and he’s always had a plus CB. He can start or relieve. He’s still under team control through the end of 2021. I’d flip VV (another guy in need of a change of scenery) for Norris. Velasquez (like Norris) is also under team control through the end of 2021.

            Here’s a little of one of Norris’ better starts this season:

            1. Hinkie, that approach could work but what players have come here and improved under this leadership?

          2. Agree but the market for contending teams dont have Pivetta Or Vv on there wish list.

  51. I noticed that Brantly was activated and used in last night’s game. Was somebody dropped from the 40 man roster?

  52. Another performance tomorrow from Jake like the last one vs the Mets will probably be his last this season. I would think they have to shut him down if that happens. DLS has not exactly dominated at LHV, or, in any way, has earned a call up. We have seen what we have in Cole Irvin. Leake just got rocked, and the possibilities are dwindling to improve the SP. We keep hoping that they snap out of it and go on a roll. But, maybe, we are just not good enough? I know the SP is weak after Nola, but the hitting performances have not been much better. It was just sad to watch the game last night and hear Kruk trying to encourage something, anything, to get the crowd into the game. The approach , especially with runners in scoring position, is terrible. I know Strasburg is good, but we play this way against scrubs and against guys making their first start, and against guys who get rocked by every other team. It is a team wide malaise, that I think starts with the inability to manufacture runs. I believe that if they play more small ball and stay with the pitches, that HRs will come from that.

    1. i have nothing to support this observation but my eyes but this team seems to lack passion or some spark. the only place to look is at the leadership. a lot has been debated about kapler s moves and tactics but i believe more focus needs to be put on his leadership. do these guys want to play for him? has he lost the clubhouse? why do they look, in so many games, like they are going through the motions? so lacking in fire and in excitement?

      maybe i m completely wrong ( it wouldn t be the first time) but something doesn t look right with this team. they are playing far below their talent level.

      1. I don’t know how important it is but there doesn’t seem to be much confidence exuding from anyone on the team. Nola has some but he’s not a demonstrative personality. Kingery brings energy but he’s still trying to establish himself. Max Scherzer is a guy whose confidence defines him. No nonsense. Arrieta talks the talk but it doesn’t fly when you’re stinking up the joint, sounds like he’s deflecting personal responsibility. Most players appear too cool for school. The Phillies don’t have any “straws” to stir things up in a positive way. And with all his positivity, Kapler’s style rings kind of hollow.

        1. Cutch and Bruce…88 games played in Philly between them…2.9bWAR .
          Cannot ask anymore from the two veterans..

  53. great point 8mark. It is the reason I have not been critical of Bryce’s getting thrown out trying to take an extra base. Not all of them were great decisions, but he was trying to make something happen, to add a spark. I will take more of that. What I can’t take is swinging at pitches over our heads, and even Kingery is starting to do that lately, or falling off balance and still trying to pull the ball like Rhys did last night or taking strike 3 and acting like it was the ump’s fault, like Knapp did. Only Franco stayed on the ball and got his 3 hits to the center of the field.

  54. Cherry picking, but Kapler’s record in last 142 games going back to August 2018 thru now……64-78.

  55. Great comments on this team, I agree on the leadership points made. I think MacPhail chose his words carefully saying that this tea is in the playoffs today so why question the manager? I think that’s code for if they miss the playoffs, he’s ready to take a look at that.

    I’ve spent some time the last few weeks looking at managers over the last 5 years or so across MLB and I cannot find a single example worse then Kapler where players basically stopped developing or regressed at this rate. I wish the local media would ask MacPhail and Klentak – How do you view the manager and coaching staff when 90% of the players have underperformed? Do you hold the staff accountable? Or do you think it’s really just a crazy coincidence that this could all happen at once?

    This is really like flipping a coin 100 times and getting tails 88 times….

    1. With Joe Girardi sitting out there dwindling his thumbs…i would think John Middleton would just say enough is enough with this manager.
      Giradi’s bench coach is already in place and what the team needs now is a long term answer more than the next 10 week answer.
      The Mets and Brodie may also be eyeing Giradri , so I would not hesitate and begin researching whether or not the Phillies are of interest to him

      1. Romus, while I share much of your disenchantment with Kapler, the Phillies aren’t changing course regarding analytics any time soon so if they do cut Gabe loose, Girardi is a bit old school to become the next Phillies manager. If Middleton demands Klentak to make a managerial change, the GM has earned enough juice that the owner will allow him to pick a different type of personality BUT still have a sabermetric profile. Guys like Buck Showalter and Joe Girardi are less likely to land gigs these days. Joe Maddon, OTOH….??? His days in Chicago are numbered.

        1. 8mark……do not get caught up in that analytical managerial requirement…they just need to have the right analytical types in place….decisions are not always cut and dry in the analytical world.
          Its using all the data and making the correct decision.

          1. Old dogs and new tricks, Romus. Even Mike Scioscia butted heads with Klentak’s old boss Jerry DiPoto in Anaheim.

            1. But look at the World Series managers of late….all baseball guys who are not analytical types.
              They may have adjusted…..but they for sure were not metrics oriented when they played..
              And for the most part ….everything is there in black and white on a chart that the BC has at his disposal….or in the back pocket of the player on a cheat sheet.
              So this thought that a manager must be ‘analytically inclined’ seems to me to be over blown.
              Give him the factual data and let him make a decision.
              Same in all decision making jobs in the world.

    2. Glad to see MacPhail has been enough sense to not sell the farm, they are not close enough, just near that first rung of playoff competition. The way I see it, the Phillies need to hold what they have, hope the prospects develop, if not the Braves will push past them for the next 5-10 years with ease. Hold your prospects, let Atlanta sell off pache or a top arm. This is the best way I see the Phillies catching up to the Braves
      The move id sign off on is a salary dump trade for grienke, though I have my doughts he can pitch in phillys pressure environment

  56. SF and Cin are tied for the 3rd worst record in the NL. Shocking that the Phils are 7.5 games behind Atl but only 4.5 ahead of having the 3rd worst record in the league.

    1. The mediocrity of parity.
      With the Dodgers and Orioles at the complete opposite ends of the spectrum.

  57. Buddy..If 90 % of his players have under performed..I agree 100% that Kap needs to go,and the sooner the better.Hopefully MacFail already has a good replacement in mind ready to take-over.
    It needs to happen sooner rather than later because they need the rest of this year to determine which of these players can be part of the next contending team.
    In business,to be successful,you MUST have good leaders in Place! The BEST companies ALWAYS have better leadership than the rest of the field.

    I just don’t think that Kap’s players PLAY for him.If MacFail stays the course with him for the rest of this year I hope Middleton is smart enough and has the guts to get rid of MacFail,Klentak & Kap,because it sure looks like we’re stuck in mediocrity!

  58. 14-20 since the beginning of June from a team that was 11 games over .500 at one point. Not to put all the blame on Gabe, but if this were the Yankees, he would have been gone by now. I don’t advocate for anyone getting fired, but SOMETHING has to change. This team is lifeless. You come off the AS break playing a division rival who is basically even with you in the standings, and you put up a goose egg?!?! It’s shake up time!

    And, I also believe that there isn’t a player out there who is going to turn this team around to be a WS contender. IMO, no one is beating the Yankees/Astros in the AL or the Dodgers in the NL, and they haven’t even made any trades to solidify their weaknesses! It’s just not going to happen.

  59. Brantley DFA’d. JTR back from paternity leave. Sean Rodriguez on 10 day IL with abdominal strain. Adam Haseley recalled!

  60. This coincides with the management/manager discussion. Did any of you notice during the game last night MacPhail and Bowa sitting in one of the suites and Bowa was doing the talking. It was just a quick camera shot and the camera didn’t linger long. I’d have given $20 just to hear that conversation.

    If we need an “ass” kicker, there is one on the staff.

  61. Phillies catch a break with Scherzer being moved to a Tuesday start instead of Sunday. Maybe, they can beat A.Sanchez.

    A couple of weeks ago in Philly, Jason Vargas was taken out of the game early and the Phillies came back to win the game.

    Here’s a question for you all. What 70s rocker (still playing today) did a very sweaty Vargas look like when the camera went to the dugout?

    1. Can tell you who its not…Aero’s Steven Tyler.
      BTW….Jeff Lynne and .ELO at the Wells Fargo tonight as the Phillies also play down there.

  62. Cashner to BoSox, We were allegedly interested. He is having a pretty good year. We are going to hear from National writers that we are in on pretty much everyone until the 31st.

    1. Sox payment for Cashner seems pretty underwhelming on the surface, even more so in the light of competition from an “interested” Phillies team.

      1. Looks like Cashner got traded for 2 really young lotto tickets. The Orioles even threw in some cash. Looks like their cheap owner strikes again.

        1. On the positive side, that could actually lower the cost of other pitchers that the Phils could target. One because it sets precedent, and two because it potentially removes one team from the bidding. The effects won’t be tremendous, but I’ll take any silver lining I can get.

    1. I’ll take it. Low cost, low risk, potential for a decent reward. He’s basically filling the role we meant to have Bruce fill if he’s called up.

  63. I am so sick of stupid decisions by our 2nd basemen. I can’t take it anymore lf he was told to steal they should fire whoever called it! Stupid is as stupid is, it can’t be fixed it is forever!

  64. Just watching the Mets game vs the Marlins. Alfaro threw a laser to nab Rosario. He is throwing out 40 percent of would be steals, batting over .270 and get this, has not walked in his last 106 plate appearances. Jason Vargas, by the way, looks like Alice Cooper sans the makeup.

    1. This countdown started opening day 2018 when he pulled Nola after 68 pitches. Having said that, game management is not even the biggest issue. It’s sad that the leaders of this organization didn’t see after last year what a complete and total failure Gabe is in this job and have wasted another full year of player development.

  65. Another terrible loss. Wasted Nola’s performance. Our bench is awful. Hitting is still just mediocre. Could have used Morrison tonight instead of Knapp. If .200 is the Mendoza line, is .150 the Knapp line? Yes, I am pretty disgusted with our team.

    1. Second straight season this team has utterly disintegrated. There is no pulse, no heart, no leadership, no fire, no pitching besides Nola. Someone has to go. The roster is disjointed. Klentak bought the groceries, but forgot to buy the veggies. Kapler couldn’t run the kitchen if Gordon Ramsey stood by his side. Embarrassing!

    2. Is .100 the Quinn line? They need to send Quinn down and keep Haseley up for the rest of the year.

      Team has little energy and play with no emotion just like their manager

      1. Quinn batting average can’t go up if he’s not getting more at bats only 5 at bats since returning

        1. Huh? He’s been back since June 19. They just had the all-star break which explains the gap in July

            1. How many games should he have started? he’s 2-25 since returning on June 19th which doesn’t earn playing time. So if he’s not playing enough it’s another reason he should be back in AAA to get his swing back

  66. Utterly pathetic loss. Another two-out “miracle” homerun by an opposing team. At home moreover!
    I think teams are just very confident against the Phillies. Two outs, ninth inning, trailing? Meh, it’s the Phillies. We’ll figure it out.

    Sure enough, they find a way!

    This decade has been so putrid for Phillies baseball. At least now they have some good players they can build around. But they have a long way to go.

  67. One more vs Nats, then four vs Dodgers…..I think Gabe may be relieved of his duties by Friday if they lose the next five…….c’est la vie.

  68. Put a fork in them. Can’t believe how many 7th and 8th innings leads we have blown. SELL, SELL, SELL

  69. The 5 stages of grief:
    1. Denial
    2. Anger
    3. Bargaining
    4. Depression
    5. Acceptance

    I think I have now reached acceptance.
    They’ll probably begin winning again in a few weeks after they’ve lost enough to no longer be serious playoff contenders.
    Therefore, I choose to focus on the little things. What positives came out of last night’s loss?

    * Aaron Nola is a stud. He can’t carry the team because he’s only available every fifth day, but when he pitches, he gives the Phillies the chance to beat anybody.

    * I’m not going to ignore the fact that Roman Quinn has warts … but … this kid definitely has game changing speed. Whether he’s running the bases or patrolling CF, he can single handedly win contests. Since I’m at stage 5 of grief (acceptance), I want Quinn starting every day. Hopefully, he stays healthy and can become a more confident player.

    1. I dunno about Quinn because at this point if you think he can stay healthy you may be in denial of reality.

      1. I’m “hoping” he can stay healthy. If he pulls a hamstring while running out a triple today, I’ll probably be “angry”.

    2. I would agree about playing Quinn more (it’s a stretch to say he can single handedly win games since he probably can’t hit), but I’d rather Haseley get the PAs while he’s on the big league roster.

      If Haseley goes back to AAA, then yeah we might as well put Quinn out there at least 4 times a week. We’ll have to wait for Franco to go cold again so Kingery can slide into 3B; that should take about a week or so.

  70. Speed captivates people, but his bat and durability are problematic. Defense is great, like last night, but if you need a hit it will probably come as an infield hit or a bunt.

  71. Why did Knapp bat instead of Brad Miller? Isn’t that why he is here? That pitch by Neris was just poor. Not bad luck a badly executed pitch. There goes the “well, if the season ended today we would be in the Playoffs” line. If we are sub .500 after the Dodgers series, do we talk about Gabe then Mr. I personally feel that change will have to come from Middleton.

    1. Neris is frustrating. When his splitter is at its best he’s dominating, but it’s like he just loses it for long stretches. It hasn’t looked like his A+ split for awhile and last night he got burned.

    2. Klentak already backed Kapler, with all the injures, it is easy imho that he makes it to the end of the season, and the start of next year. The leash is off next year though

      1. I am going to do everything in my power to prevent that from happening. I am compiling a large mass of data that I will turn into a narrative that will be damning to this manager’s case to continue on his job. In addition to sending this evidence to all Phillies ownership and front office leadership, I plan to send the detail to all key media personnel from NBC Sports Philly to other local websites to The Athletic writers to the Angelo’s and Howard’s of the world. If we get the data out there, somebody will eventually listen.

        1. You may be doing a lot of busy work….if this team collapses like last August/Sept…..but now starting a month earlier than last season….Kap is gone.
          Middleton will pull the rigger and just tell Andy…do it.

      1. Homer Bailey might be at the end of his rope as his career goes.
        And the player was a late first round pick in 2017…..so he could turn out as a decent prospect.

      2. Homer Bailey is finished. He hasn’t been relevant since 2013. I’m shocked that teams are still giving him chances.

  72. Why would Hammer be in a game this important? He is a mop up guy. I am not waiting to see the outcome before blasting Kapler ir the Pitching Coach for mismanaging thisteam.

    1. I don’t fault him too much for Hammer. Arrieta only went 5 innings so you needed to get 4 innings from somebody. You knew Neris was going to get an inning, maybe Morgan, and looks like Hunter might have not have been available. And even if he was, there’s still 1 inning left to be pitched and Hammer got it.

      1. Hunter was placed back on the IL this morning. So yeah, about as far from available as possible.

  73. Nice win. Finally. Will one of you guys please tell Klentak to stop signing long- in- the- tooth relief pitchers (Neshek, Hunter, Robertson) who end up hurt and not contributing to two year contracts.

    1. ciada…that is all that is out there…aged, over-used relievers…..the 20 year olds are all under their team’s controlled….look at the Phillies stable.
      Better to convert a starter….ie Velasquez

  74. The much maligned Maikel Franco may have saved the Phillies’ season with that walk off HR. Getting swept out at home by the Nats with the Dodgers coming to town would have been as low as it gets for this season.

    1. I hear you, but Imho, losing 5 straight the marlins takes the cake for me. The division was lost right then and there

  75. Morgan (judging only from ESPN gameday which is all I have) was way shaky yesterday. Neris “earned” the loss – I give Kapler credit by trusting both of them to pitch the next day. Of course, with Hunter, Nicasio, Neshak, Rodriguez, Robertson, Arano and maybe Ser Anthony on the injury list….. other than Suarez with his unimpressive showing two days ago, I’m not remembering what other options there are.

  76. Morgan’s and Neris’ outings today notwithstanding, the bullpen is bare. Forget about Hunter and Neshek, and Robertson hasn’t exactly had a linear recovery, whenever he’s due back. Klentak needs to acquire a reliever or two. And a reliable SP being one who doesn’t bury the team 4-0 in the 2nd inning. Who that is at this point for what they (don’t) have to offer, I have no idea.

    Yes it’s a feel good win today. Tomorrow and beyond…???

  77. Nice swing by Franco in the 9th. He didn’t miss it.

    The win does t change my mind. Teams not good enough. Every win is a struggle it feels like. I’d love to be wrong. Seems like the fo has their senses in check, and will make moves more geared towards 2020+ vs 2019

    1. Also, what was Quinn doing stealing a base in the bottom of the 9th yesterday? Didn’t he get the memo from the phillies analytics department that stealing bases is obsolete??? If he’d a scored, the whole department might’ve learned something …

        1. Sure glad the department could muster up some good intel on the nats pitcher … with Quinn being the runner … “very risky”

  78. Well, my comments on Hernandez stealing 2nd base Saturday as well his other gaffe evidently earned him a day off. This team isn’t contending this year. Just put the people in the positions for next year and be done with it.

    Bruce/Listi LF
    Haseley/Quinn CF
    Harper RF
    Franco 3B
    Segura SS
    Kingery 2B
    Hoskins 1B
    Realmuto/Morrison C
    Miller B
    Hernandez B
    Etc.
    Etc.

    1. I doubt they’ll be willing to pay Hernandez $8M-$10M in arbitration only to be a bench player. And they can’t seem to find a partner in need of a 2b-only player who regularly makes mental mistakes. Dilemma.

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