Open Discussion: Week of July 15th

The Phillies came out of the All Star break and dropped back-to-back games to the Nationals.  They saved face with Maikel Franco’s walk off HR in Sunday’s game, but probably little else.

They dropped two more games behind the division leading Braves, and a game to the Nationals.  They are 48-45 in third place 8.5 games back.

The Phillies completed their 26-game stretch against division opponents with a 10-15 record and one rain out.

This is the Phuture Phillies Open Discussion for Phillies and other baseball topics.

Key Dates:

  • 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 
7/13/19 – Phillies placed Sean Rodriguez on the 10-day IL, (7/10), abdominal strain
7/13/19 – Phillies activated C J.T. Realmuto from the paternity list
7/13/19 – Phillies designated C Rob Brantly for assignment
7/13/19 – Phillies recalled CF Adam Haseley from Lehigh Valley
7/13/19 – Lehigh Valley activated C Deivy Grullon from the 7-day IL
7/13/19 – Reading activated RHP Mauricio Llovera from the 7-day IL
7/13/19 – Lakewood sent RHP Jack Perkins on a rehab assignment to GCL West
7/12/19 – Phillies placed C J.T. Realmuto on the paternity list
7/12/19 – Phillies transferred RHP Pat Neshek from 10-day to 60-day IL, hamstring strain
7/12/19 – Phillies selected the contract of C Rob Brantly from Lehigh Valley
7/12/19 – Lehigh Valley activated LHP Austin Davis from the TIL
7/12/19 – Lehigh Valley released RHP Josh Martin
7/12/19 – Reading placed OF Grenny Cumana on the 7-day IL
7/12/19 – RHP Alejandro Requena assigned to Clearwater from Williamsport
7/12/19 – LHP Zach Warren assigned to GCL West from Clearwater
7/12/19 – DSL Red released RHP Ruben Aponte
7/12/19 – RHP Douglas Mijares assigned to DSL Red
7/12/2019 – Adam Leverett assigned to Williamsport from GCL East
7/11/2019 – Uziel Viloria assigned to DSL Phillies Red
7/11/2019 – Phillies signed IFA Erubiel Armenta, assigned to DSL Red
7/11/2019 – LHP Damon Jones assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
7/11/2019 – C Nick Matera assigned to Lehigh Valley from Lakewood
7/11/2019 – Lehigh Valley placed LHP Austin Davis on the TIL
7/11/2019 – RHP Connor Seabold assigned to Clearwater for a rehab start from Reading
7/11/2019 – Reading placed LHP Bailey Falter on the 7-day IL
7/11/2019 – Reading activated 3B Alec Bohm from the TIL
7/11/2019 – Reading activated CF Mickey Moniak from the 7-day IL
7/11/2019 – RHP Michael Gomez assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
7/11/2019 – RHP Gilmael Troya roster status changed by Lakewood
7/11/2019 – Lakewood activated C Abrahan Gutierrez from the 7-day IL
7/11/2019 – Victor Cairo assigned to DSL White from DSL Red
7/10/2019 – 3B Jake Holmes assigned to Williamsport from Lakewood
7/10/2019 – IF McCarthy Tatum assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
7/10/2019 – Phillies signed NDFA LHP DJ Jefferson; assigned to GCL East (PND)
7/9/2019 -DSL Red activated Douglas Mijares from RL to PND
7/9/2019 – Clearwater placed LHP Ethan Evanko on the 7-day IL
7/9/2019 – Lakewood released RHP Blake Bennett
7/9/2019 – RHP Mark Potter assigned to Lakewood from GCL West
7/9/2019 – SS Bryson Stott assigned to GCL East
7/9/2019 – CF Marcus Lee Sang assigned to GCL East

533 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of July 15th

  1. Saw Sixto went 7 innings for the Jumbo Shrimp….didn’t dig into how he’s been doing prior to that

    1. He has been elite both on stuff and performance. K rates are good. BB rates are elite. GB rates are elite. reports on stuff has been elite. we should all prepare ourselves to face an elite pitcher for a long time if he stays healthy. this one is going to hurt.

      1. His number don’t really reflect elite . . . good yes, I dunno if you’d even call them very good. K rate for the year under 9, giving up close to 10 hits per 9 . . . his walk rates are good tho.

        1. At 20 yo in AA, he is averaging a 4.77 K to BB rate (10th best in all of AA, but everyone else is at least 23 or older), a 1.36 GB to FB rate. pretty awesome combination of stuff, control and ground balls for a young pitcher IMO.

  2. Franco’s walk off yesterday made me feel good for him but it more urgently begs the question as to whether they will keep making the same mistake of trusting his hot bat to become at least consistent, or trade him before the deadline and before his foot goes back in the bucket as he historically hasn’t managed to avoid regressing to old bad habits.

    The Phillies are in the wild card race but I would not be averse to them priming the pump for 2020 by phasing in the likes of Haseley, Bohm, Listi and Jones come August. Allow Kingery (who presently needs to sit a game or two) to assume his future position.

    The Phillies don’t have a closer. Neris is a good 8th inning guy but may fetch you more value in a trade package for a bigger piece. The bullpen needs young arms, not more veteran tin men and scarecrows who can’t stay in one piece.

  3. I’m very happy with JT and wouldn’t redo this trade @ all……he’s the best in the business and Sixto was said to have “issues”

    1. And when you look at it…Jorge Alf is only two years younger than JTR.
      So they should be aging, over time, at a closer equivalent rate of decline.

    2. JTR is a stone stud behind the plate and his approach at the plate lends to consistency. His HR yesterday was a beautiful piece of hitting, going with the pitch and still driving it. His teammates should watch that in the video room and take notes. Thirdly, he’s a solid citizen and leader in the clubhouse. Get his signature on an extension today!

    3. Player A: .253/.370/.512, 19 HRs, 14.8% BB rate, 21.4% K rate, 10.3 defensive WAR

      Player B: .275/.329/.446, 11 HRs, 6.9% BB rate, 23.1% K rate, 14.7 defensive WAR

      Player C: .272/.314/.436, 10 HRs, 3.1% BB rate, 33.3% K rate, 7.5 defensive WAR

      Player A: Yasmani Grandal who was a free agent that signed for a 1 year $18m deal
      Player B: Is JT who cost us a top 25 prospect
      Player C: is Jorge who is 2 years younger than JT

      In hindsight, the best option by far would have been to sign Yasmani for a 2 year deal and keep Sixto. You could have then flipped Alfaro for a pitcher, which we deeply needed.

      And it can be argued that the second best option would have been to keep Jorge and Sixto. I love JT. Don’t get me wrong. But he is going to cost us a ton of money and we lost a top 25 prospect. He is definitely better than Jorge, but based on pure stats alone, it is pretty close. And Jorge is still ascending.

      This post is clearly a fan with the benefit of hindsight. But we would have been better off with other paths.

      1. If you really want to play Monday morning QB/GM, Klentak probably mostly screwed up by not including Sixto in a package for Christian Yelich the previous winter.
        But … like you said about the “benefit of hindsight”.

        1. No doubt about that. That had huge ripple effects. Probably means that we don’t pay huge for Harper, and Machado is our 3rd baseman. Imagine how much better we would be with the combo of Yellich and Machado vs. Harper and Franco.

      2. I agreed with this sentiment at the time of the trade and I too love JT. That said to get Grandal on more than a 1 year deal would have taken IMO a significant overpay for his value as he publicly stated he wanted to maintain the AAV bar McCann had set years before.

        Water under the bridge as they say but that is what we are here to do and GM’s are evaluated with hindsight. It’s not personal its just business.

      3. You are going to win some and you’re going to lose some. It was a fair deal when it came out, and I’m ok with it. If Sixto becomes elite, I’m ok with it.

  4. Stealing First for the first time:
    7/13/19, 8:38 PM
    For the first time in baseball history a player stole first base thanks to the Atlantic League-MLB partnership rule changes! ⁦‪@ESPNAssignDesk‬⁩ pic.twitter.com/yj4FkcZg6O

      1. Wasn’t there a situation in MLB whrre a runner stole second and then ran back to first, which was also considered a steal? Hence a rule was written.

        1. You got me.
          Do not recall anything like that.
          It may have happened I just cannot remember if it did or when.

  5. Regarding Kingery: in his last 15 games he has struck out 26 times in 63 at bats with a .159 batting avg, .243 OBP & a .286 SLG %. If you go back to his last 30 games he only has a .242 batting avg and over 4 times as many strikeouts then walks. He makes some great plays but he is not a CF & plays much better when he mans the infield. I believe he will turn it around but he is playing out of position in the batting order and in the field. The sad fact in all this is we don’t have many other options. I agree with 8mark that he needs a day or 2 off.

  6. C Realmuto
    1b Hoskins
    2b Kingery
    SS Segura
    3b Bohm
    LF Bruce/Listi
    CF Haseley/Quinn
    RF Harper
    Bench: Morrison (also 3rd C), Miller

    Rotation: Nola, acquired SP, Eflin, Arrieta, Jones
    Bullpen: acquired closer, Morgan, Alvarez, Velasquez, Pivetta, and the turnstile of relievers up and down from the minors.

    Neris, Franco and Hernandez go for whatever return Klentak can get. The mix of veterans and young talent could simultaneously help keep the club wild card relevant and prepare for 2020.

    1. Replace manager, pitching/hitting coaches and we are good to go! Klentak has a lot of work to do, doesn’t he?

    2. Correction to my post above – Quinn goes back to AAA, Knapp is backup catcher while Kingery would be CF when Haseley sits vs lefties.

        1. The seemingly obvious answer is platoon splits, but when you look at his minor league numbers, they are pretty darned good – in fact, surprisingly so.

          1. My point exactly 🙂 not to mention you don’t bring a young player up if you’re afraid to play him.

    3. You should tell us who you want for the acquired closer and starter (I’m assuming at least a #3), because those guys don’t grow on trees.

      1. I think Giles (who has reportedly matured since his days here) would thrive with JTR behind the plate. As for a starter, Boyd may be a risk because he’s not an established arm but I think we have what it takes to acquire him without giving up Bohm and Howard.

        1. So you would trade Medina for Giles? I’m asking because Medina for 3 years of Boyd is NOT going to be enough.

          1. Yes. Now news out that Phillies have interest in Givens from Baltimore.

            I don’t think Boyd will get Detroit what they’re presently asking from any team. But Medina, Haseley and Listi should be enough. I doubt the Phillies will do that.

            1. At the minimum, Detroit should be able to get a top 75 prospect. And if they don’t, just keep him.

    1. Bohm should be one, maybe also List….and of course the usual relief arms that are sent every year, maybe Dohy, Dyer, Russ, Hernandez or Hennigan.

  7. With the trade deadline a couple of weeks away, a lot of experts are predicting that the Phillies will go after an outfielder (in addition to pitching help). Do we need another outfielder? The current ones are underperforming, but we’re loaded going into next year. However, outside of Harper and McCutchen, most are listed as potential players (Haseley, Quinn, Bruce, Nick Williams, and Listi). The only way that I’d trade for an outfielder is if a couple of players named previously are traded for pitching help.
    With Hunter injured again, the bullpen is back to where it was a month ago. Neshek and Robertson appear to be nearly ready, but we can’t count on them being effective. We need a bullpen arm that can pitch in the late innings to give Neris a day off now and then, and we need a #3 and a #5 starter. Acquiring one would enable Velasquez an opportunity to move back to the bullpen, and he could be that arm that I already mentioned (but it’s a gamble).
    I’ll be disappointed if Klentak trades for a rental. The Phillies are a young team, and any players added at the deadline should be young and upcoming players for the future.

    1. Wawa Mike:
      Neshek is now on the 60 day…..will not be going until September sometime…if at all this season.
      And MLB rules dictate…players can go from 10-day to 60 day…but not vice versa.

    1. Logan Morrison is another pickup off the Yankees refuse pile, after Brad Miller. But the bat is legit. Why can’t another team pick up a guy like that from our junk yard. Anyway, I’ll take him, thanks.

  8. Mike, Neshek is done. Although he “may be ready by mid-September,” I would bet he does not come back. I don’t know if Robertson is back before the end of July. I would love to add Diekman or Giles, but, again, I want additions to help us get the WC spot, but I am not trading a top guy. I would have picked up Cashner. Boston got him for very little. Homer Bailey was not on my list, however.

  9. With the continued injuries to the bullpen – I would think MK should acquire at least 2 relievers. While there is rumored competition for Deikman I would like to see him added along with one of Givens of O’s, Dyson from the overly stocked Giant pen, or Nick Anderson from the Marlins….

  10. And, I am firmly on the JT side of the argument. I know it cost Sixto, but Alfaro, aside from his arm, was terrible behind the plate. JT is one of the best Cs in the game, and I re-sign him today. Klentak’s big mistakes, if we are looking at it in hindsight, is not getting Cole Hamels last deadline, and not getting Charlie Morton this offseason. I think we would be back in 1st place in the Division, and we would be talking about who to add to the BP, not that we have “so many holes to fill”.

  11. Looks like the Phillies are scouting Mychal Givens of the Orioles. He has 2 years of control left, but he’s not having a good season. I don’t think it would take much to get him.

  12. Listening to some talk radio today (I don’t usually listen because their lack of understanding about the Phillies is astounding), however the outrage over McPhail’s statement lacks substance.

    McPhail’s statement was spot on IMO. We are in no position to be trading our best prospects. We simply have to let them run their course and make it to the big club when they are ready.

    Now if they wish to re-direct the outrage that this FO has run the rebuild poorly great. This is no small nuance to the conversation.

    1. Hah…talk radio….even Howard Eskin on Saturday mentioned Bohm as a future shortstop in a conversation with another caller about Phillies prospects….I chuckled.

    2. I was relieved when he said that. The Phillies need their prospects to be good and playing for the Phillies, not traded to other teams for stop gap players who marginally help them win a few extra games. I don’t know why this is hard for people to understand. Do you want a Phillies’ team that is dominant in 5 years or do you want another post-Amaro reboot where the team wins for a couple of years and dives into 90 loss territory for another 5 years? If you want the former then the team should hold onto its best prospects.

      1. The reactionary fan base, led by Cataldi, Eskin and Missanelli, have little or no grasp of what is required for the Phillies to become legitimate contenders. They only see the surface of the choppy waters with no idea what’s happening down below.

        Now the front office certainly failed to address the pitching in the off season when it overvalued Pivetta, Velasquez and to a lesser degree Eflin. Arrieta is shot and they hoped that because of his huge salary he would somehow weave some magic with smoke and mirrors and and bad elbow. Yes it would be unwise to trade Bohm and Howard for what is currently on the market. Most of the fan base, including the loud mouths of radio, know virtually nothing about the farm. They’re too lazy to find out. It’s always what have you done for me lately. And don’t tell me the truth. MacPhail may have been snarky in his press conference but no more than the ignoramuses of the air waves and their faithful fools.

        I apologize in advance for my arrogance.

        1. No, you’re right. The problem is that the fan base for the Phillies has been taught by the Phillies themselves over the years to be reactionary and to “go for it now” regardless of the consequences. They don’t do that with the Eagles because they trust that the Eagles know what the heck they are doing in putting together the best team (and they do know) for now without sacrificing 3 years from now. I used to say I wanted the Phillies to be like the Yankees and the Cardinals and the Dodgers and properly balance the long and short term. But that’s too hard for most people to grasp. They need to be like the Eagles. They need to get good and stay good. The Eagles aren’t going to trade their best young players away for a short term gain and the Phillies shouldn’t either.

      2. Good points in exercising patience but you always have to bring me into the argument. I left Andy McPhail many building blocks to grow with, a good Latin American Director and the big TV contract. There has been mixed results as Andy McPhail and Matt Klentak have not greatly improved the team in the past four years.

  13. DMAR, my problem with the MacPhail press conference is the narrative that they are ahead of their goal to “have a new regime make the playoffs in the 4th year of the rebuild” If they make the Playoffs that is great, “if we don’t, we don’t” How many of those rebuilds were big market teams? And, we, the fans, have suffered twice as long. More importantly, Klentak’s stated goals were 90 wins and the Playoffs when the season started. The FO still owes the fans a shot at the WC, and an addition or 2 to try and get it.

    1. I hear you Matt but stuff happens: Cutch goes down, Herrera gets suspended, Robertson goes on the 60 day, VV, Pivetta and Eflin stumble.

      Those that say injuries are no excuse aren’t living in reality. You don’t compound that misfortune by making short sighted moves to try and patch it up by weakening your farm.

      They should have signed Keuchel, they should have signed Kimbrel and then we might not being having this discussion. Those moves were just money and short term contracts.

      1. The Kimbrel contract was actually a big one and longer term. Keuchel would have been affordable and as much as I wouldn’t want him long term, he would have been a big plus this year. Lefty and consistent. Geez, he would have at least kept them in games and given them a chance to win.

  14. Did a little study of the MLB draft and subsequent results.
    Looked at drafts from 2007 thru 2012,
    …all first round picks, to include supplemental first rounders, so that usually extended the first round to anywhere from the 45th pick thru the 64th pick (2007).
    Primarily looked for all players who made it to the majors and had careers of >10WAR.
    There were a total of 329 players selected as first round picks…of that group, 49 ended up having MLB careers to date of >10WAR…….just about 15%.
    And of the 49 with >10WAR careers……20 and probably soon to be 23 were drafted within the first 10 picks of their respective drafts.

    So of all the professional sports’ drafts…MLB could be one with a very high fail rate.

    1. There is absolutely no question that of the major sports, MLB has the highest failure rate for prospects – and it’s not even close. It’s why there are 40 some odd rounds in the MLB draft (or whatever it is now) and international free agents, and 7 tiers of minor leagues. It’s a ridiculous crap shoot, even with high picks.

    2. I’ve been saying this for years. If you get even 1 starter out of a draft, it’s a win.

      1. Yes…..it is difficult , and virtually impossible, to get multiple starters from just one draft.
        In 2013…JPC and Knapp…. 2014…looks like just Nola and Hoskins….maybe a third in Austin Davis as a pen guy….Kingery in 2015…and zilch in 2012 so far, and Quin and Giles from 2011
        A team that drafts in the first ten picks of a draft, stands a good chance of getting impact players, like the Nationals for all those years.

          1. Not saying it was bad draft…saying, if you get at least two starters from a draft, it is probably considered a success.

    1. I understand why teams are looking at Robbie Ray. He’s 27, with 1 more year of control, and he’s having an ok season. But his numbers outside of Chase Field are pretty good and perhaps teams think they can get him from the DBacks for cheap.

      1. Assume the DBacks will want at least one pitcher, possibly two….Medina probably will be one offered, the other who knows…maybe Pivetta or Eflin or VV and the third piece of the transaction to the DBacks…a prospect position player.
        That one is tricky.

        1. Medina isnt cheap. Trading anyone of our top 20 propects for this team is nuts. The Phillies need a manager , pitching coach lhp starter, exp closer and back of the rotation starters. Oh. A healthy bp would be nice. Zona has a better chance at the playoffs then the Phillies do.

  15. Phillies trading anything decent in the minor leagues at the deadline would be a mistake. The Braves are winning this division and the Phillies could very well win a wild card, but whoever advances from the Wildcard game is just a lamb to the slaughter for a rested and ‘reset’ Dodgers rotation.

    1. My thoughts as well. This Phillies team is just not good enough. Maybe they can tease with A WC Berth, but I’d literally poo my pants if they did anything more than make an appearance in the “playoffs”. It’s time to face the music, and think strategically in terms of beating the Braves in coming years for the NL EAst and beating the top tier teams. To me, that answer is stand pat. It would have to be a substantial player who can help this team for 3-4 years or a salary dump that makes sense. As of right now, I don’t see a lot of good fits unless Matt Boyd can be bad for a decent price, I’d kick tires on ray but the Phillies should get out bud for these guys. If the Phillies take grienke, Robbie ray May make sense to prep for next year

      1. I think yuo are correct in that many fans are thinking 2020….with adding Haseley, maybe Bohm to the linei=up along with maybe a big ticket FA pitcher or a trade for a controlled starter also.

        The issue…Kapler, and to a large extent Klentak, are not thinking that way.
        They cannot let this season play out with the current 25 and hope for it to catch fire and a WC spot. They need to show improvement and a steady incline in wins.
        They only have next year left on their contracts and so it is imperative that the team finishes on a high note and having the fanbase optimistic about going into next year.

  16. DMAR, I agree with the philosophy that unless we were that one piece away, I don’t trade any of our top guys. I have said that all along. We cannot have a FA in every spot on the roster, and we need our young guys to become good. Having said that, and fully acknowledging that the Cutch injury really hurt, we didn’t do what we should have to address SP. I believe it was a big mistake to count on all 2 SPs. Even one becoming a #3 would have been great. But, they counted on all 3. That was a big mistake. One they also made at the last trade deadline. And, once Keuchel came available without losing a draft pick, there was no excuse. No need to even talk about the missed opportunities up until then. At the very least, he was an upgrade over VV, and despite the pre-season hope surrounding Pivetta, he was an upgrade over him. So, let’s, for argument’s sake, assume we miss the Playoffs. We go into next off season needing SP, because I am not counting on Howard and Medina to make the team. Our AAA depth is nonexistent. We have seen what we have there. None of DLS, Anderson, Irvin, etc. are becoming anything more than #5s over the Winter. Where is SP coming from? It will be year 5, when even McPhail said we should be a Playoff team. They need to make the same FA or big trade decision that they didn’t make this year. Do they go the years for Gerrit Cole? The same prospects will have to be any part of a trade for a good, controllable arm. Or, does this group make the same mistakes again?

  17. Last two months (5/16 – 7/15) for Moniak, across almost 200 plate appearances:

    .303/.372/.463

    K rate: 18.9%
    BB rate: 9.2%
    wRC+: 143

    Wow!!

    1. I think Moniak could go and play on MLB team just like Haseley at this point. Moniak had better stats than Adam did most of AA time together. And two years younger.

    1. They are dead men going through the motions, they’ve never bought into Gabe’s positive Tony Robbins schtick. He’s tried. But it doesn’t work. How ugly or how far out they need to fall remains to be seen before Klentak makes a move – any move – or cuts Kapler loose after he backed him in June, especially when he hasn’t given him the horses on the mound. Can’t blame Gabe for everything but it’s difficult to learn on the job as he appears to be while trying to contend for the playoffs. That too falls on Klentak, who MacPhail backed the other day. The only way any significant change will happen is for Middleton to clean house….and I highly doubt he will anytime soon.

  18. I’m glad I didn’t pay to see this debacle! What a circus. They should be sued for impersonating a Major League Baseball team!

  19. Who really thinks that Cesar, Franco, VV, Pivetta, or Neris have any value on the trade market. It would be nice to get rid of them but they are not going to bring back any value at all.

    1. Neris has some value. The rest, not really. Although it’s not zero, because all of them would be claimed if outrighted. But yeah, they’d be throw-ins for anything that brought us back real value.

      That said, it only takes one team who thinks they can fix them (less so Neris and Cesar, moreso Franco and the “starting pitchers”)… It wasn’t that long ago that the Cubs cashed in on a trade for an under-performing pitcher with talent by the name of Jake Arrieta.

    1. He’s 31 and has been in the majors for over a decade. That and he’s had multiple injuries to his pitching arm. Makes sense he’d lose some zip over the past couple seasons.

      Father time remains undefeated. (Kershaw’s still damn good, though.)

  20. Forget MacPhail, Klentak or Kapler. At this point, Middleton has to take action. As in, TODAY! Last night went well beyond losing a game.

    1. 8mark….like I said at the end of June, July 19th may be decision day for Middleton.
      Gabe cannot afford the next three nights to be anything similar to last night..

        1. 8mark..hah.
          Dodgers will be getting their charter red-eye out of Philliy back to to LA late Thursday I assume….they may have to have an extra seat on it for Gabe.

          1. There doesn’t appear to be much that the Dodgers need to get back to the WS but I noticed Kike is having a poor year with a sub 300 OBP.

            Would you swap Kike for Cesar send some money back and also get 1 of Jeter Downs, Jacob Amaya or Omar Estevez?

            1. If Cesar is who they would take, i suppose….but the minor league prospect I would want is RHP reliever Marshall Kasowski and also J2 money.
              Kike is versatile and that would be a plus….and Kingery goes to 2nd full time.

  21. Phillies…at this point there is nothing left for me to say. I’m beginning to wonder about the owner, Middleton.

    Surely he would have SOME competitive spirit and eventually get tired of all this losing,being the laughing stock of the league.Isn’t Philadelphia about the fourth largest market?
    Fire all of the people in charge and replace them with the Devil Rays front office! They have very little money to work with,but they still compete most every year in the mighty AL East!

    I am IMPRESSED with some of the small market teams on what they are able to accomplish year after year!

    1. One must understand what the Rays market is like. Let me preface my statement by saying I agree with you that I would trade out our FO for theirs. You can get away with a lot in Tampa because no one really cares.

      It is also easier to play IMO when there are no expectations on you. Unscientific but look at some of the great Rays who have left for other clubs. Their careers didn’t exactly flourish.

      And again I will harp on the fact that Haseley is up and sitting on the bench. This swoon we had for Bruce needs to be over. He’s a good guy but he should be coming off the bench.

      I didn’t think we could ever be more dysfunctional than the Montgomery era/way of doing things.

      1. Maybe the Montgomery era was better than we thought short of starting the rebuild too late. I suspect that was due to wanting a long term TV contract and revenue.

        1. No it wasn’t Phila trust me it was bad. In fact it was a big mess. Too many cooks in that kitchen.

          My rants yesterday were immature,premature and reactionary to a false pretense. Middleton still has my confidence.

          1. Maybe too few cooks in this kitchen? Is Middleton that much better than Montgomery? If Middleton trades his higher prospects than what has he learned. Again, what stars did we trade away other than Carlos Carrasco and possibly Travis D’Nard in all those trades? We have already seen great improvement from J.P. Crawford once he was traded to Seattle.

            1. Montgomery listened too much to Dallas Green (god bless his soul) and Larry Bowa. Sought too many different opinions and was loyal to a fault sometimes and resisted investments and improvements in analytics.

              Under Middleton the decision process is more linear. He is the majority partner if I’m not mistaken and provides the lion share of the equity so when they need to spend big I don’t think he has to get approval from any of the other owners.

              Rewatch if you can the signing of Harper and you’ll get some keen insights as to how this structure operates compared to the old.

            2. DMAR, you are spot on about the lack of investment in Foriegn player markets(Asia and Latin America). Contrary,to public opinion the Phillies did use Analytics but at a much lower rate than other teams. Maybe Montgomery wanted too many opinions but he seemed to run the Phillies like a corporation to get the consensus on a action path.

    2. You want it both ways. You want an owner that stamps his feet and makes the winning happen now. On the other hand, you want a patient and creative front office that takes the long view and knows how to compete on a shoestring. Frankly, I prefer the latter because it’s value oriented.

      Teams like the Yankees and Dodgers (and, historically, the Cardinals), both spend money but do it wisely and know how to hunt for bargains and value, much like our Philadelphia Eagles do in football. I think we want to be like them.

  22. I might add I am not worried about Middleton he just hired the wrong guys I trust he’ll get that figured out. The only question is does he play it safe and wait til the off season or does he #bebold and drop the hammer now.

    If nothing else I hope he puts a moratorium on this crew being allowed to make any more personnel moves.

    1. The underlying issue IMO is that the Phillies front office is caught between trying to be playoff relevant this year while scratching their heads as to who to keep, who to dump and who to trade. They can’t be promoting top prospects like Haseley and let them rust on the bench. That’s nothing short of mere stupidity.

      1. All contending teams have this problem, and you forget that the Phillies had this problem with Domonic Brown. You’re in win now mode, but you can’t afford to wait for the rookie to go through his struggles. So what’s the solution? Leave him at AAA? Yo-yo him with the minors when he gets cold? Or let him sit on the bench and hope that he catches fire?

      2. I think you have a good point there. They don’t know who to keep and who to trade or dump. They have a lot of out outfield prospects and next year McCutchen will come back and at least nominally be in left field. My view is let’s get Kingery over to second base sooner rather than later as this will free up outfield spots and also third base. But their biggest problem is starting pitching. They did a terrible job evaluating and coaching up most of the staff and then, separately, Arrieta tanked. The rotation has been a disaster, but rather than trade, they should promote from within and sign a few mid level free agents this winter. Zack Wheeler is one good candidate. He’s not having a good year but he’s got a very good arm and stuf..

        1. Wheeler is physically shot, we need healthy pitchers. You can’t win games on the injured list.

          1. The shoulder issue is only labeled as fatigue right now…but you never know with shoulders.
            And he will be 30 next year so there are risks associated with him especially with his injury history.

        2. @catch – agree in all points.

          #1 – 2nd Base – we finally agree in this area where we keep going back and forth before.

          #2 – SP – the FO and leadership missed this one big time. Klentak over values his current rotation, thus, not prioritizing this in the offseason (i.e. Morton, Paxton could be had) and Chris Young has been a disaster!

          #3 – Promotion from within – the team has too much holes to fill that a SP in the trade line will not fix it. The rotation other than Nola are unreliable. Phillies need to start auditioning the young arms and keep a short leash.

          #4 – Zack Wheeler – I mentioned his last week i think. I don’t think Wheeler is shot although I expect that NYY will eventually get him and Klentak will not match since he doesn’t want to give up Bohm or Howard.

          1. KuKo….if Cole hits the open market, as yuo posted before….may be just a good idea to spend big on him , so you lose another 2nd round pick and inter money, just hit on the first rounder like yuo are suppose to….then trade for another starter.

            1. I want Hamels for almost 3 years now and I’m not sure if Hamels will be QOd by the Cubs. The Phillies might got him without the comp pick implication. I don’t see Hamels as the #2 anymore but he can be a good mentioned to this young staff. Hamels can also teach Pivetta, Eflin and others how to throw an awesome CU!!

              My main target will still be Gerrit Cole and with Hamels are secondary to have a rotation of Cole-Nola-Hamels-Eflin-Arrieta (player option) and Pivetta anchoring the bullpen.

              I can’t stand Neris as a closer. He’s in my to trade list with Cesar and Doobie since 3 years ago. Neris has good stuff to be a good bullpen arm but I think he can’t handle big situations.

            2. Yes I like Neris in the 8th inning. I don’t trust anybody who keeps patting his heart after every outing he survives, to be a closer

          2. I’m not 100 percent sure whether you want Cesar to finish the year at second, but to prevent a logjam, I think he needs to be gone by next year because otherwise, Kingery being in the outfield or third takes away opportunities from other young players. Let’s just get on with it already.

  23. Catch..Very good post,on the part of who to keep and who to let go,they first need a new manager and let the players play for him,maybe then they will have a better idea.
    Otherwise you take the huge risk of the players that you let go fulfill their potential with another team.
    I’m not impressed with Klentak I think he could’ve done much better the past few years!
    Unless..the owners really wanted to fill their pockets with cash prior to last winter.

  24. We have to question the promotion of Chris Young and the releasing of Rick Kranitz. The supposed rationale was that Young was the “up and coming” PC with a great analytics mind. Something went wrong with the process, Either bad information was put in, results were misinterpreted, or decisions based on the results were improperly implemented. And, what analytics formula decided that a fully rested Aaron Nola, by far, the only quality SP on the roster, should not have opened vs the Nationals after the All Star break? It was crucial to get off to a good start. And, does Kapler have to make an excuse every time a player does not run out a ball? Now, maybe Franco was injured, so he didn’t run out that ground ball when he would have been safe? Last time was a disaster, but one we could certainly see coming. But, “if we make the Playoffs we do, if we don’t, we don’t!”

    1. Typically, in baseball, if you make the playoffs you’ve got a chance. Well, I can say without hesitation that, unless the Phillies were to improve enormously, this team has about as close to zero chance of winning a WS as any team I’ve ever seen in the playoff hunt. They are a mediocre team right now, so let’s get rid of the dead weight and start promoting some young players. My focus is 2020 and beyond because the 2019 team, in my opinion, is just nowhere near good enough to do any serious postseason damage. It is not a coincidence that this team consistently gets crushed by good teams.

      1. The issue with the Phillies right now is that they will be match up against the Dodgers.

        I’m confident that Nola can win a 1-game Wild Card but after than it will be a match up against the Dodgers with Pivetta, Eflin, Arrieta pitching putting Nola in another must win situation to avoid a 4-game sweep!

        1. It’s too bad Howard, Jones and Medina are not one year farther along in their development – it’s hard to envision any of them being promoted and being able to make a contribution this year.

          1. Jones is getting adjusted to the ball now. By necessity alone he’s likely to be up by September at the latest.

            1. He probably will get a cup of coffee in September but as Murray and I have been saying, he’s really not big league ready yet. He struggles with control and command and his pitches are inconsistent. Do not read this comment as my believing he has no upside – he does. But he has a lot to work on. That said, there aren’t a lot of lefty starters who can sit 93-95, pitch up in the zone effectively and break off a killer curve or slider. He has potential, but walking 4 batters per 9 and working behind in counts will get him crushed in the big leagues so he’s got some work to do.

  25. I have a feeling the Phillies drop 3 of 4 to the dodgers, possibly all 4. Hey now, they did lose 5 straight to the marlins.

    I’d be a seller at the deadline.

    Bruce (need to flip him)
    Williams (trade before his stats drop)
    Cehe – it’s time – get a AA prospect back
    Niasco (pure salary dump)
    Quinn – trade before he gets injured
    Franco
    Possibly Realmuto, depends if you get the feeling he is not going to sign
    Hunter (single A prospect)
    Robertson (let him get healthy, he’ll fetch a AA prospect)

    The last two are hurt, but lower cost should help facilitate a deal

    Bring up:
    Jones
    Irvin/Anderson/Eickhoff – your pick
    DLS
    Haselely
    Listi
    Gullon over Knapp

    Depending on how Medina’s next few starts go, I’d give it a go in sept
    Push Howard, bohm, moniak and Stott along

    Lmao … Phils have VV going tonight … I’d have a better shot at winning the lottery than seeing VV throw a pitch in the 6th inning

    1. Cesar, Mikey and Bruce will probably yield a couple of low minors prospects.

      Nicasio, Hunter and Robertson will not get any takers, if ever it will be PTBNL or Cash.

      Potential trade chips that can have buyers are Neris, Ramos, Morgan and Alvarez.

      Romero and Mo Llovera are due to be protected. We might see them in Sept if the Phillies are out of the race.

      1. I’d expect Robertson to get something, also signed for next year. If not, keep him

        I’d be open to hear offers for those mentioned, though. Neris is not a closer to me. His 2 pitch pony that the batters can guess correctly to often. If the batters aren’t swinging, walks are to often a possibility.

        I like him for a 7th\8th inning role ideally

        Speaking of which, the Phillies need Sir A to be ready next year, no need to rush back

        1. Robertson has been hurt virtually all year and he was bad before he got hurt. His contract has zero value right now. Zero. Now, if he comes back and pitches well for 3 weeks, we can reassess, but nobody is giving you anything of value for him right now. It was a bad signing.

          1. Disagree. If he can prove he is healthy, his track record would come into play, imho. You could maybe fetch an organizations top 8-15 depending the strength of the system. Bullpen pieces are often the final pieces for some teams. The fact he has another year, and has been relatively healthy his whole career, I believe can warrant a return.

            1. I disagree with the below quote 100 percent. Robertson has not shown he is healthy and when healthy this year he pitched poorly. He is owed money for this year and a lot for next year. You’d almost have to pay someone to take him off your hands. He has zero value. If you paid half his salary you might get a lottery ticket. Expecting anything more is a fantasy. Not happening.

              “If he can prove he is healthy, his track record would come into play, imho. You could maybe fetch an organizations top 8-15 depending the strength of the system.”

            2. No problems in disagreeing. With the bullpens being a major issue across baseball, and the how volatile bullpens are from year to year, I can see him bringing a prospect back. Factor in the shortened trading season, teams that are closer than the Phillies are would be options imo. A strong bullpen would go a long way in the year if the long ball. Depends on the risk tolerance of the GM, but when your that close, it’s a high reward payoff. Especially when your not as likely to need the prospect since your window is … now.

            3. I agree with Catch on Robertson for the reason(s) that he said. That’s why I did not consider Robertson as a trade asset.

              If teams are looking for a bullpen arm that is a final piece of the puzzle —- it is bullpen arm that is “currently” performing. Not an arm that sucks this year and hope that they perform next year.

              A good team knows when to ride a hot bullpen arm and bailed out when the wheels start to fall off. Robertson is not a hot bullpen arm and he has some $ attached to him.

  26. Remember this time last year when the Dodgers came into Philly. The Phillies played them so tough and I think, took two out of three games. I realize that last year’s team pitched way over their heads but last year’s team had some chemistry and a ton of spirit. This team, with all of the new stars, is listless. By playing the kids, maybe they can add at least a little excitement.

    1. AGREED. In 2006, the Phillies were trade deadline sellers and sold Abreu, among others, just to clear dead weight. And as soon as they did that, they got hot as hell and were in the playoff race until the last week of the season. They need to do something similar here – turn it over a little, bring in some young blood, keep re-stocking the farm, and clear unneeded payroll. Personally, I’d like to Haseley and Listi get some playing time. We should not ignore Listi – he’s hit like a demon, with power and average and, perhaps most importantly, really good plate discipline. And while he’s 25, he’s progressed through the system very quickly – which is all you can ask and expect.

      1. Agree 100% Catch, Haseley should be our starting CF, give Listi 4-5 starts a week and have Kingery start multiple positions giving guys a break.

        1. Kingery needs to play 2b. Period. This swiss army knife role he’s been playing should only be a necessary evil. Time to move on from Cesar. Get what you can. Boston? LAD? Someone among all the buyers must have a need for a fairly solid 2B aside from his brain farts.

  27. Hear me out, imo we are sellers. In a realistic view, we are behind the Braves, possibly for 5 years.

    I’m bullish on Bohm,Haselely, Moniak, and Stott and Howard. Don’t know what to think of Medina just yet. If I bank on 2 of the position players, possibly 3 of them being everyday MLb players, with one being a star, and the other two above avg replacements

    … what would Hoskins fetch in a trade? With the thought of putting Listi there now, and bohm as the eventual replacement? Can Bruce play first?

    If Hoskins fetched ace or #2 to pair with Nola, Howard, and a FA … you need to kick the tires and bet on yourself (aka prospects)

    Yeah it’s sounds crazy, but can Hoskins pry away a top tier pitcher? Or a few top 100 prospects? To mix with those listed above?

    The Braves are going to be a force and the Phils FO is going to have to do more than sign FA to keep up, imho.

    With the ship sinking, I’d look also have to look at Realmuto if your aren’t going to get him to resign. You can be ballsy on this with some of the catching depth, though you need to get something good, Sixto was rough giving up.

    1. Oh my God – why would you trade Hoskins? Yeah, you’re right, it’s completely crazy. He’s exactly the type of player you build around, not discard. He’s a cheap cleanup hitter with a .930 OPS – those guys don’t grow on trees and they are generally expensive to replace. If you trade Hoskins for a pitcher, you may (or may not) solve one problem and you create another. No way.

      1. Someone has to be the crazy one!

        In all honesty, there are scenarios in which trading Hoskins could make the team better, if their top prospects develop. Now, it’s not the only way to winning, but I was exploring that “road” so to speak. The Braves are leaps and bounds ahead of us, with more reinforcements on the way, the FO better have a plan.

    2. I would only entertain the idea of trading Hoskins for a premium return IF and only IF there was a comparable talent to replace him. (We don’t know nearly enough about Bohm just yet.)

      As for JTR, his defensive prowess at a premium position and offensive skill set – he’s not just a lumbering catcher. IMO he is currently the best player on the team despite his underperformance so far at the plate. I expect him to provide balanced production. I don’t trade him AT ALL, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

      1. The only team trading away players in their mid 20s with .900 OPS are teams that can’t afford to re-sign them like the Marlins. Trading Hoskins would be really really bad.

        It is much easier to build a rotation through FA(or trade) than it is to get top-end bats through FA (or trade)

        Top 10 Offensive WAR for position players: Mike Trout(LAA)
        Cody Bellinger(LAD)
        Christian Yelich(MIL)
        Xander Bogaerts(BOS)
        Pete Alonso(NYM)
        Alex Bregman(HOU)
        Kris Bryant(CHC)
        Fernando Tatis(SDP)
        Matt Chapman(OAK)
        Jorge Polanco(MIN)

        Hoskins is at 2.9 offensive war which puts him outside the top-10, but he’s actually 8th best in the National League.

        You know how many of those top-10 players were traded or signed as a FA after their MLB debut? ONE. Christian Yelich.

        Conversely lets look at the top-10 WAR for PITCHERS.

        Max Scherzer(WAS)[Signed as FA]
        Hyun-Jin Ryu(LAD) [Signed as FA]
        Luis Castillo(CIN)
        Jon Gray(COL)
        Stephen Strasburg(WAS),
        Zac Greinke(ARI) [Signed as FA]
        Patrick Corbin(WAS) [Signed as FA]
        Cole Hamels(CHC) [traded for]
        Mike Soroka(ATL)
        Jacob deGrom(NYM)

        Meanwhile 5 out of 10 of the top WAR pitchers in baseball this year were either signed as FA’s or traded for. You don’t trade top hitters in their prime unless you’re the Marlins.

        1. Exactly – you’re quantifying what I said. You don’t trade Rhys Hoskins because he basically can’t be replaced at all and he definitely cannot be replaced inexpensively. He’s under team control for another 4 years after this year – something that has exceptional value for the team. He’s a guy you keep.

    3. No need to trade any young core players in Hoskins, Kingery, JTR. Looks like this year is a lost year so just sign GERRIT COLE!!! Not sure if any team will trade a young controllable TOR (like Chris Sale 2-3 years ago) — Thor is probably the one that comes but the Muts said they don’t intend to trade Thor.

      With Haseley, Bohm and eventually Stott – the hitting squad are almost set. The Phillies should need to keep at their top arms in the high minors (Medina, Howard) and sign Gerrit Cole and Cole Hamels in the off season.

      1. Pretty concise and accurate summary, Kuko. The talent is here. While it’s not stockpiled like some organizations, there’s enough to build a core foundation.

        So, what then is the problem. QED – the quality of coaching and development…or lack thereof. We can examine this from all aspects. But at the end of the day, it’s not talent evaluation nearly as much as development. The greater problem then is – who within the organization – high enough to be heard – can shout out that everything else is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Let’s hope that voice is ultimately Middleton’s.

        1. Talent evaluation (players and coaches) is a big miss. It doesn’t necessary mean that there’s there lack of talent but Klentak and his brain trust don’t have a good “eye” in evaluating their coaches and players. Hopefully, Klentak just doesn’t rely on the numbers that his analytic guys are spitting out.

          Other teams seems to get the right not-high profile FA signings that help their team. Klentak doesn’t seem to hit that.

          I give Klentak for acquiring Segura and JTR, but other than that — he missed a lot.

      2. KuKo…G. Cole is the one I would target……but assume there will be a few other big spenders trying to get him also.
        Hamels would be nice…but at the right price
        And I would trade for Ray of the DBacks if Hamels cannot be signed.

        1. I think Middleton still have enough stupid money to go around now that Mike Trout is no longer a possibility. That’s why I like NYY to acquire Wheeler so they can be eliminated in the bidding war.

          LAD is always been a threat since they are not afraid of the luxury tax and they are really close to winning a WS.

          Other than NYY and LAD — the Phillies should be able to flex their financial muscle to sign Gerrit Cole.

          1. Actually the Dodgers, other than Pollock last year,really do not dip heavily into the FA market.
            Who have they really went out and signed to those large mega FA contracts?
            They certainly like to get their Asian arms at reasonable rates and they have that West Coast advantage in signing them..

            1. EXACTLY RIGHT!!! The Dodgers find bargain signings, develop guys from their farm and pick up a ton of bargains from other teams. Muncy, Turner, and Taylor are all bargain picks ups from other teams. Spending on big dollar free agents is not a sound way to rebuild a team.

      3. Not sure if my original reply posted, but I can go this route. So your plan is to bank on, and roll the dice with the current players, and wait from reinforcements from the minors. Basically the rebuild, is still going on, despite the spending. I can live with that. I just don’t want to see Foolish moves that keep the Braves out in front.

        My only thing is if G Cole signs elsewhere. I believe he really likes it in HOU, could be very tough to steal away.

  28. I’ve never coached at the high school level or higher. I only played HS ball. But the launch angle/exit velocity approach that this and other major league teams employ puzzles me in this regard – as a hack golfer, I always heard that no 2 swings are the same because of body types and the like. And a golf ball is stationary. A baseball travels upwards of 95+ MPH with movement and on multiple planes from an elevated mound tells me that the principle would apply more so. So how can the hitting philosophy of the Philadelphia Phillies or any other club succeed from one hitter to the next. It seems to minimize what got a player to the level he’s reached and forces him to conform his own swing to laws of the prevailing philosophy. I’m open to any input someone might have to offer….

    1. I’ll defer to what Mike Trout said on live TV when Brian Kinney asked him if he paid attention or worked on his launch angle “Nah I don’t to be honest”

      You nailed it swings are unique as DNA. And sure they get out of whack but I think some basic principles apply to good hitters. They stay inside the ball, they have quick enough hands to let it travel, they see and read spin well and of course they have exceptional hand eye coordination.

      Whether you tend to strike the ball on a downward plane to create back spin and carry or on an upward plane to create loft and distance is of no consequence.

      Should a player experiment with one or the other well certainly JD Martinez is a perfect example.

  29. With Contreras on the IL, Cubs acquire Maldonado from KC for Montgomery. That’s what the better organizations do. The Phillies would allow Knapp to get further exposed as a fill in for JTR should he suffer an injury. Klentak doesn’t think outside that box.

  30. When the Phillies jumped into analytics I was excited, but now I am thinking “be careful what you wish for.” I am guessing that all of their decisions from who to trade for to where to position fielders is either dictated by or influenced by analytics. Well, most of their decisions have been mediocre at best. Is it that their analytic staff isn’t as good as other teams or is the data not being utilized correctly?

  31. Feedback from a scout on Luis Garcia…not good

    1. For a super young player, these scouting reports are just as important as the stats. Yeah, not good. I had him at the bottom of my top 10. I’ll probably keep him there for now, but he’s losing ground.

      1. Josh Bonifay has a reputation for promoting aggressively. Could Garcia be a case of where he read enough raving scouting reports that he assigned Luis over his head?

        1. There was that option to him extend in the spring and start at Williamsport…or get him the ABs early in the SALLY.
          They chose the latter.
          Sure it was aggressive and the reports probably reflected that the kid had the abilities to handle the force feeding.
          With six weeks left in the season….let him finish it up and get him in the FIL at the Complex and hopefully on some conditioning and strength building program thru the off-season.
          .

          1. Agree, I will let Luis Garcia finish where he started and possibly a 2nd turn in SALLY next year. We’v been hoping for that “wonder kid” ala Acuna and Soto to come up in the farm that the expectation for a young player Luis Garcia is too high and failures are too magnified.

            Since the Phillies are trying to contend sooner than later – I rather focus on the development of prospects who can help in 2-3 years time —- Haseley, Bohm , Medina, Howard, Stott, Dohy, Jones, Romero, Moniak, Vierling, Killgore, Dyer, Russ, etc.

            The younger kids like Garcia, O’Hoppe, Torres, Santos, Silva, Lee Sang, Morales, Pipkin, etc are also important but I will let them continue their development down in the minors and revisit their progress 1-2 years from now.

            1. Hall was too good and his HRs are to awesome that he forced my hand to be traded to an AL team. Same as Listi.

            2. Yeah most likely……probably the end result will be an AL team.
              Can imagine the Yankees putting him in that lineup…..maybe 35 HRs, though a slash of just 240/310/475.

            3. KC is selling and they are dangling Diekman. Maybe Hall, Alvarez + a low minor arm for Diekman can be done.

            4. Diekman has been bad this year. I’m fine taking a flyer on him, but he’s been a bad pitcher and wasn’t very good last year either. He has virtually no value – a low level minor leaguer should do.

  32. Luckily hood of Bruce getting flipped before the deadline with:

    McCutchen, Herrera, and Haselely in the picture for next year?

    1. Better than it was a month ago. But my sense is that Klentak will act urgently with a push for the post season…unless of course MacPhail squashes a deal while assuring Matt that his job is safe, not to worry and stray off course.

        1. This sooo stupid. This is Klentak saving his ass and not thinking about the long term. This is why Andy MacPhail is there – to stop shenanigans like this. I don’t care if they improve at the margins by trading secondary prospects – it’s not ideal, but whatever. But if Klentak starts trading the better prospects, in the medium and long term, this team and its fans are screwed and I am really pissed about this.

        2. That report certainly seems to be in contradiction to MacPhail’s comments last Friday. And I’m not sure what something between opposing ends would look like.

          1. We don’t know what the price is, but yeah … If it is any of the players many posters consider to be untouchable, or top tier… it’s not going to be pretty. Even if Bum has a 2nd half like hamelsndid for the cubs last year, I’m not sure that is enough to save this team… they are 15-22 … come on now. The koolaid must be strong in that FO

          2. Matt Klentak’s contract is up by the end of 2020 season and Kapler’s fate will be tied up to Klentak since the Kapler’s decision is all on Matt. So Klentak swinging at the fences at the back end of his contract sounds normal to either save his job. Klentak’s job security after his contract ends is solely based on the Phillies winning or close to winning the WS this year or next year.

            1. MacPhail should be the voice of reason and the team should be shooting to re-tool and re-load for 2020, like the smart teams do when they have a good core but missing pieces. This team does have some really good players and some really good minor leaguers – a good GM allows this to come together without foolishly and senseless selling assets that should be retained.

            2. MacPhail did say something different just 2/3 days ago….and now a report like this comes out.
              If it is true however, and not someone’s idea of throwing stuff up on the wall and hope it sticks, then I do not know what to make of it all in that front office.
              Surely they communicate before speaking to the media.

        3. Is it possible that Middleton stepped between MacPhail and Klentak and told the latter to [foolishly] go for it?

          1. If he did then it foreshadows many bad things to come. Gosh, I certainly hope that didn’t happen.

        4. I can only hope Middleton has been seeking advice from a few outsiders and is not solely putting his full trust in McPhail and Klentak.

          At the end of the day he has to approve any trades.

  33. I just hope that someone uses common sense…If this happens,then my concerns for Middleton are valid,and it won’t be good for the future for this franchise.

    My biggest gripe now is that Klentax is too bull-headed to fire his manager…AND he will make stupid trades to try to save his own hide and his hand-picked manager..Klentax has done a VERY poor job putting this team together,ever since he was hired.Charlie Morton??
    He could’ve done a much better job just bargain hunting during that time,instead of the junk that he put on the field.

    This goes back to MacFAIL,trying to cover his hide now and even on up to Middleton as well.

    Boy! the koollaid that they have been feeding us these past 7 to 8 years!!

  34. Maikel Franco was benched for tonight’s game but Gabe said (according to Todd Z) that it’s “partly”(?) due to a groin pull and he can’t give 100%. What a load of absolute garbage! It’s like Kapler can’t honestly say that Franco would be sitting even if he was healthy. That’s insulting to even the moderately intelligent. Even Zolecki ended his tweet with… “at least that’s what he’s (Kapler) saying.” Can him!

    1. 8mark….they lose the next three…Gabe is on the red-eye charter with the Dodgers headed back west.
      Clubhouse manager will forward his personal stuff to his forwarding address.

      1. Never seems to work out just the way we prescribe, Romus. Something in the narrative almost always saves the hide of the most embattled until there are no more alibis. Injuries….underperformance by seasoned veterans….some off the field drama….a mini winning streak….and then, hey look – the team is still playoff relevant….and on and on, until we fans are worn down and outlasted by the rouse of progress.

  35. I’m onboard with the don’ t trade top prospects to chase a wildcard spot crowd but would suggest people take a pause from losing their minds until something actually happens.

    Up until now, Klentak has shown the ability to get good returns in trades.

  36. I don’t really like MacPhail, and I don’t agree with a lot of what he and Klentak say and do, or don’t do, but I don’t consider them stupid. And trading Bohm or Howard or Medina would be stupid to try and chase the WC. Klentak may be “aggressive” in calling every team that has SP, but I don’t believe they will trade any of the top guys.

  37. 8mark, I am even less comfortable with a 3 run lead. But, when we score 4 runs or more, our winning percentage is really high; 2d only to the Dodgers. When we score less than 4, we are awful.

  38. VV – as a Phan, few players have made me as frustrated as you. The phan bAse has been waiting for many years, waiting for you to turn a corner.
    4-2/3 innings … smh. Hindsight is 20/20, but I’d say that enough time has passed to call that “trade” as loss for The klentak regime. I wonder how long he would’ve lasted had he not had his high watermark, 16k performance vs the cubs. I believe it was his Phillies debut as well. Alllllll down hill from then.

  39. With Bruce likely heading to the IL, how about sending Quinn down to AAA and bringing up both Nick Williams AND Austin Listi?

  40. Case in point against Kapler: 7th inning, Cesar leads off with a walk. 6-5 game. Gabe lets him sit at 1b without so much as a sac bunt, stolen base attempt, hit and run….anything! Whether they bring him around or not, the fact that Kapler has no sense of creating some action when the Phillies hadn’t gotten a hit since Harper’s HR. That’s a disgrace.

    1. Trying for a hit-and-run I could see. But why, in any high leverage scenario, would you advocate Cesar steals a base? Dude has been caught almost 1/3 of the time in his career. We’ve seen him long enough to know that his speed has never translated to him being a base running threat in the big leagues.

      And what’s even more ridiculous… WHY would you want the TOP OF THE ORDER to sac bunt? Why give away that out? A double likely scores him from first, and a single most likely doesn’t score him from second. Plus EACH of the next 3 hitters are a huge threat of hitting a double, but Harper hits very few singles (the shift all but prevents them). Having Kingery sac means all you’ve done is give them an out for the exact same odds of scoring your already had. Having Harper sac means you’re now at 2 outs and you just took the bat out of the hands of a player with a $300M contract.

      Gabe’s done plenty to be annoyed about. Let’s not manufacture outrage to diminish our opinions.

      1. My point was that playing station to station when you need insurance runs (which the Phillies certainly did) against the best offense in baseball is managerial malpractice. The Dodgers defense sucks. Force them to throw and field the ball. Okay, forget the straight steal or sac bunt? Then hit and run. Watching Cesar walk and see him still standing at 1B 3 outs later is deflating, and sadly a microcosm of the static, non-aggressive approach employed by this manager

        But we won so it’s all swept under the rug….until it happens again, and we lose.

  41. Wow, this team has totally lost it. Even if Neris didn’t do it on purpose, the ump had to throw him out. The problem here is that, if Neris gets removed from the closer’s role, who gets it? Hunter, Robertson, Neshek, Dominguez are on the DL. Adam Morgan? Alvarez? Suarez???

    Gabe better get his resume handy.

  42. Now 2 days in a row a Dodger gets plunked, you know somebody on the Phillies (Hoskins/Harper/Kingery) are going to eat one in the ribs or in the back.

  43. Neris is a good pen arm but incapable of pitching in high leverage situations. Neris just choked against ATL, WAS and LAD!

    Kapler said that Neris is still the best arm to get outs!! This is scary if it’s true. Neris being the best pen arm means how terrible the bull pen is.

    Bullpen will be critical in play off situations and if Neris is the best pen arm, the Phillies don’t deserve to be in the playoffs!

    1. Talent wise, with all the injuries, Neris is still the best bet for saves. But for some reason or another, he’s hanging his splitter and teams are making him pay. His confidence has to be shot so he needs to be taken off the closer role, but that means somebody has to inherit the mantle. I’ve said it in the past, the closer role is a different beast. The pressure is enormous.

      1. Vinny’s tenacity fits him in the back of the bullpen. Pitching for just 1 inning will mask Vinny’s pitch inefficiency and lack of a 3rd pitch. Vinny can throw with heat and he can miss bats. He is meant for the bullpen.

        Vinny at 8th and Pivetta closing is what I want to see. Neris should pitch in the 7th or against garbage teams.

        Moving Vinny and Pivetta will create openings in the rotation – the Phillies can acquire low cost alternatives like Jason Vargas, Tanner Roark to bridge the gap until Middleton signs Gerrit Cole and Cole Hamels and Medina-Howard-Jones gained more experience with the juiced ball and reinforce the MLB rotation.

        1. I don’t doubt that VV can be a late inning reliever, but the Phillies will need to convince him to buy into it. And once it happens, there’s no going back anymore.

      2. Klentak has to go get one. This squad will not survive Neris as its closer. If no closer is attainable, then any playoff aspirations are completely delusional.

        1. I still believe in Pivetta as a rotation arm with #3 potential. The Phillies can still try Pivetta in the rotation but Vinny should pitch in the pen full time. No more spot start – give that to delos Santos. Vinny as the 8th inning guy and transition to closer is Vinny can afford to master all his efforts for just one inning! Just one inning!

          1. Agree that it’s time to send Vinny to the bullpen and I think it would have happened already if they had someone – anyone really – who could step in and be a solid #5.

        2. I’m still lukewarm with Stroman since he will cost at least a top arm and potentially at least 3 Top10. delos Santos is a sell low candidate so Klentak will really need to top into the prospect equity (Medina, Howard, Bohm, Stott) to acquire Stroman,

          1. Kuko, Stroman is a #3 on a good team although he would probably be #2 here. All the same, neither Bohm, Medina nor Howard should have to be included in a trade for a pitcher of his profile, (Stott isn’t eligible to be traded this soon after being drafted) but I would consider offering Luis Garcia and Medina, of course 😁but that is it among our top prospects.

            1. IMO:
              Avoid Stroman…one great year..that is it..and that was two years ago.
              Avoid 5’7″ RHPs.
              Avoid a starter who 2nd time thru the lineup is an opponent slash of 261/.320/.388…but only gets higher after that…which is not unusual but his gets a little too high.
              His contract is good vbut he may want to fight in his last year of arbitration for more than the standard max.

            2. I agree, Romus. Stroman isn’t my preferred target. It’ll be interesting to see who, if any team, gets Boyd from Detroit, and what it takes to get him. Ray is looking better by the hour but the DBacks are only a game behind the Phillies in the wild card. Klentak needs to find value somewhere. I can’t take anymore of Nola or Nothing.

  44. Did you see Kenley Jansen throwing 90-92? It’s a good thing the Dodgers score a lot of runs because I don’t think Dodgers fans can be content with him as the closer. He’s now blown 4 saves with soon to be less than 0.4 WAR for the season. He’s still owed a whopping $38M for the next 2 seasons!

  45. Like to see Gabe give Morgan a shot at closing…especially when the lead off hitter in that last inning is a lefty.
    Now who goes into the 6th/7th or 8th where Morgan would have normally worked….another problem to be solved by the manager and staff.

    1. Shane Greene, Kirby Yates, Will Smith, Ken Giles. Can the supposedly aggressive Klentak nail one of these? Or maybe his old pal’s lefty closer Roenis Elias of Seattle?

    2. Why this team with playoff hopes has NO closer is beyond me. It’s like being the only guy at the prom without a date.

  46. Oh boy!
    Nothing on Kapler however.

    The Athletic

    @TheAthleticPHI
    Sources: Matt Klentak, Andy MacPhail received 3-year extensions from the Phillies. @MattGelb reports on the undisclosed agreements and looks at the state of the rebuild effort. How does John Middleton judge progress if the timeline falls behind schedule? https://theathletic.com/1080804/2019/07/17/sources-matt-klentak-andy-macphail-received-three-year-extensions-from-phillies/

    36
    6:56 AM – Jul 17, 2019

    1. I would rather have these guys under less pressure and try to do the right things rather than have them pull out all the stops and trade their best prospects in order to save their jobs.

      People look at this season and this rebuild as a big failure. Really, it hasn’t been – they’ve come a long way although they still have a way to go. If they stay the course and adjust things over the offseason, they could be a lot better in 2020 and right now they are in the wild card hunt. In retrospect, they really made a mistake in not signing Keuchel if they wanted to compete for the WC this year.

      1. Catch I think you’re being kind or lowering your expectation because if you take what this pair has done in totality since being put in place the decision making has been abysmal.

        If you’re Middleton and your not pausing here to ask can I do better than these two you’re making a huge mistake.

        I want them to feel pressure everyday. I want to see what they want to do in the face of adversity. If they come to me with trade proposals involving guys we clearly should not move I have my answer.

        I’m assuming Middleton has allowed these guys to do most of what they wanted to do unencumbered which wasn’t how they operated under Monty.

        1. I suppose there is nothing stopping Middleton from relieving them of their duties after a few seasons more if the team literally tanks
          Three years is not a long time for an extension…2023.
          By 2022 should be the time to decide i if they are here further or gone.

          1. At least Middleton will have another Eagles parade and a Sixers parade to go to between now and then, I’m sure he’ll enjoy that…

      2. How much better are we than 2016? This FO has had four years to improve and they only improved through Free Agency. Our talent evaluation team and Draft Prospects seem to be better lately but why have some players (Franco,,Herrera and Williams) regressed? Seems like we have a problem with keeping Latin American players consistent other than Cedar or Hector(overuse).

  47. Now Matt Gelb just tweeted that Klentak and MacPhail have both been extended without there being an actual announcement, according to sources. Wow! That will go over like a lead balloon.

    1. Middleton must be satisfied that his $330million investment got a walkoff last night. Like his business, up in smokenot Bryce but management.

      1. You meant “holy efflin @#$%”

        I’m not surprised. Middleton credits Klentak with getting Harper to the finish line, per the rain delay special “signing Harper”

        If that is the case, and not a smoke screen, it’s not surprising klentak was extended. The injuries help his argument for being extended. Now, Kapler is likely the lame duck if they need one. I see him getting into next year, after that he is fair game

        Not what some of you want to hear, but it looks like that is the case

        If it helps keep the prospects in our pantry, I’ll take it. I don’t want Hail Mary trades for a 1 gm playoff that costs us our top prospects. Hopefully the new found job security will prevent that

        1. Tac If he wants to credit Klentak for Harper fine that is what a good boss does in public. But clearly Middleton was the one getting on his private plane and flying out to Vegas 2X.

          Clearly Middleton wanted no parts of Manny. Christ when Manny came to town he gets out of an SUV on the street and walks up to a locked door where MK has to let him in where intermittently he’s accosted by a Phillies finest on camera telling him to get that money.

          It’s a clown show it’s been a clown show aside from 2 trades and even those may end up being suspect.

  48. Contract extensions to Klentax & MacFail…Hmm,I wonder why now? As far as Klentax getting Harper over the finish line…Most of that came down to giving him the most benjamins/ money.

    Right now I can’t believe Harper actually bought what they were selling him,after all I’m certain that he hopes to win a world series at least once in his career,and it sure looks like he would’ve had a better chance with another team.
    Time will tell if this management group has the skills to get this team over the finish line/ World Series.

    I’m not an analytics expert,but it does seem to me that this group relies TOO much on that and does not look at the human side of baseball enough.In other words,if analytics tells them that they should use a certain reliever in a certain spot in the game today,how can analytics determine that the reliever is entering a dead arm period?

    Or,do players like playing for a manager that his decisions are Ruled by a computer exclusively?

    1. Well until then I’m sure Harper will just be happy collecting his 200th double ball and his 1000 hit ball and whatever other ball is significant to him.

      1. I told my wife last night about how hard Harper tore into second before Kingery scored. He is a true ballplayer and team player. Going for double but also proud to win.

        He was also saying as he was celebrating in his motions, “Okay, let’s use this as a starting point. We’re tired of losing and getting laughed at. No More!” He wasnt just jumping around for this one win.

        1. I am still very glad they signed Harper. Look, he hasn’t hit well and he’s still on pace for almost a 4 WAR, which is roughly on par with his contract. He plays hard every night, helps wear down pitchers, is a leader, can withstand the heat in Philly (something I never thought Machado could or would do and I still don’t) and I expect he’s going to still have some MVP type seasons.

          1. I strongly believe, given he’s healthy, that Bryce is dialing in as we speak. I still see him with 35-40 bombs and 125 RBIs. OPS over .900 at season’s end.

    2. McPhail got his extension in 2017 (just wasn’t announced). Klentak got his in March. Klentak’s extension should not be a surprise. Whether you want to believe it or not, Klentak had a very good winter. He brought in Harper, McCutcheon, Realmuto, Segura, and Robertson. Like catch posted above, the Phillies are a much better team than last season. They’re not good enough to win this year, but I have no doubt Middleton will continue to spend (will almost certainly go over the luxury tax threshold beginning in 2020), and Klentak will sign/trade for pitching upgrades this winter (don’t think Gerrit Cole is in the cards, but could see him signing Cole Hamels, Alex Wood, or Takahiro Norimoto).
      I’m not saying Klentak has been perfect. He clearly missed out on Charlie Morton twice (didn’t pick up his option after the 2016 season & failed to sign him last winter despite the fact he stated he wanted to play near his in-laws who live in Delaware). Klentak also missed on signing Garrett Richards to a team friendly TJ rehab deal last winter (BTW … Richards will probably be throwing for the Padres next month).

      For 2019, this club is going to go as far as Harper/Hoskins/Realmuto carry them. Klentak will probably (wisely) hold on to his top prospects and deal from the lower levels of the farm to acquire more modest pitching upgrades.
      I still think he can do something with the Royals where he could land Danny Duffy and Jake Diekman. Duffy is overpaid (still owed ~37 million thru 2021). Diekman is owed next to nothing this season, and has a 7 million dollar option for 2020. KC is very likely OK with taking back younger prospects to shed Duffy’s money.

      I mentioned over the weekend VV needs a change of scenery. I would scour MLB for another “change of scenery” dude to flip him for. My #1 target would be Daniel Norris. Norris (like Velasquez) is under team control for two and a half more years.

      1. Hinkie, what would Klentak have to send his old trading partner Jerry DiPoto in exchange for bat missing lefty closer Roenis Elias? Too much from the farm?

        1. Roenis Elias shouldn’t cost all that much. He’s basically Adam Morgan. He’s closing for Seattle because they have nobody left (traded Diaz and Colome) to do it. Dipoto could probably ask for Kyle Dohy and maybe another younger arm (Ethan Lindow?).
          Personally, I rather hold on to Dohy.

    1. More than likely. Was hoping Listi would be called up but that would require a 40 man roster move.

      Speaking of which, Quinn has no options left. I’d like to see what Klentak might get for him. Not much but a high risk high reward low level minor leaguer perhaps?

      1. I would be ok with giving Listi or Nick a chance, but all I ask, is please just put whomever you pick in the lineup every day for 3 weeks and give him a fair chance. I’m begging them not to call one of these guys up and play them 2-3 times per week. Both have been swinging well at AAA playing everyday, whomever they pick, just plug them in for 3 weeks and see what happens.

        1. Hit a long fly too. Might not be a bad idea going back to switch hitting. Utilize the speed too.

    2. Assuming Bruce is out for a while, how about Austin Listi? Williams has no future in Philadelphia. The only thing the Phils could hope for from Williams is that, if he hit, his trade value might go up. Let’s see what Listi can do.

  49. Hinkie..Good post.On Klentak having a good winter,with that amount of money to spend,any general manager could’ve had a good winter.
    Does that make him above average?

    For him to think that the starting pitching was even adequate,was a huge mistake. (If they thought that they’re a contending team.)

    1. The Phillies paid Harper more than any other team. Period. That’s why he’s here and if California had the same state tax as Pennsylvania he’d probably be a San Francisco Giant.

      1. I don’t want to be on here defending Matt Klentak. I like most of what he’s done, but wish he had been more aggressive (deal for draft picks by eating bad contracts, for example) through the rebuilding years.
        However, IMO it’s unfair to diminish what he brought in this winter by saying he just spent Middleton’s money. Klentak did something the LAD, NYY, Reds, Braves, Nationals, etc couldn’t get done when he traded for JT Realmuto. And the Segura deal was universally praised.
        McCutcheon and Robertson looked like solid signings before injuries.

        The Harper signing was more on Middleton. Harper is more than the team’s starting RFer/2 (or 3) hole hitter. He is the face of the franchise. He is what the Phillies needed to become relevant again.

        Don’t let the record fool you. This team has warts, but it is much better than than the 2018 Phillies. If you want the team to get better/become a true WS contender this month then get ready to deal some combination of Bohm/Howard/Medina. Nobody wants that. Having a Harper/Hoskins/Realmuto/Kingery/Bohm/Nola core is a good thing. You can argue it doesn’t compare to Atlanta’s core or Washington’s core, but it’s good enough to compete going forward, provided Klentak can add arms this winter.

        1. Need that one quality top of the rotation arm to complement Nola for 2020.
          That could solve many problems.
          Assume that will be the concentrated efforts this off-season…maybe Gerit Cole
          Like to see them get a lefty for either Pivetta or Eflin in a package..
          As for Arrieta…looks like he is here for the duration of his contract.

        2. GERRIT COLE!!! GERRIT COLE!!! GERRIT COLE!!!

          Chapman said that he will opt out of his contract. he can be a consideration if Middleton wants to spend $ for a closer.

          And of course, Hollywood Hamels! Cole will be happy to be back and bring another WS to the city of Philadelphia!!!

          I’m still hoping that miracle happens and this current team will make noise in the playoffs. But I will wear my GM hat, I will keep the Top 5 prospects (Bohm-Howard-Medina-Stott-Morales) and shoot for the offseason to complete the transformation from pretenders to legit WS contenders.

          1. Will he be happy to be back? I absolutely adore Hamels (his was the first jersey I ever got), and he’ll definitely say all the right things in public. But having now played for multiple non-Phillies teams, I gotta wonder what he actually thinks about Philadelphia fans. It took all of ONE YEAR for them to sour on him after he put the team on his back in the playoffs.

            I certainly want him back (like I wanted Utley back). I’d love for him to retire here, and I’d love even more if we got him one more ring. But all other things being equal (that is, similar contract offered), I think it’s entirely possible he’d rather stay with the Cubs. Or maybe even go to a California team.

            1. Also, when I was at the game in Arlington I saw some people wearing Hamels shirts. It made me happy that another team’s fanbase appreciates him even though he was only there for a relatively short time.

            2. The Majestic Store at Globe Life Park in Arlington must have been selling Cole Hamel’s jersey at half price after he was dealt to the Cubs!

            3. Seeing Cole Hamels attending the Eagles Superbowl parade said a lot about what he think about the City and their love for their sports team.

              On top of that, Hamels will be joining a team with young core (Nola, Hoskins, JTR, etc), establish MLB players (Harper, Segura and hopefully Gerrit Cole) and some good pieces in the farm (Howard, Bohm, Stott, Medina) —- that’s a good situation for any veteran player.

              The Cubbies are financial strapped so they will not open their wallet for Hamels. SF is rebuilding, Cole will not go there. Both LAD and SD have enough pitching depth – they will allocate their $$ to fill other needs. OAK? nobody wants to go to Oakland. JRoll is from Oak and he doesn’t even want to mention his name with that City.

        3. Hinkie, very good points in your post. Matt Klentak reminds me of Ed Wade in that his best deals were in the offseason. It seems Klentak needs more time to figure out his strategy than other GM’s so he stumbles at the trade deadlines. Take last year when we could have taken a chance on Hamels for a small asset and avoided most of poor trades he made last August.
          As for McPhail you should not be surprised by the s!ow rebuild as that was how rebuilt the Orioles and tested everyone in Baltimore.

  50. Bottom line stat for this season thus far:
    Phillies record when scoring 4+ runs is 44-10, 2nd only to LAD.
    Phillies record when scoring <4 runs is 5-36.
    As bad as our pitching has been (and it still needs to be upgraded), it's all about the bats. That's how Klentak constructed this roster. I was impressed with the acquisitions he made and how he made them. However, his neglect/overestimation of the pitching staff is difficult to swallow.

  51. 5-36 is pretty awful, and the FO simply failed in evaluating what’s here and what was needed throughout the pitching. We should not have to see another VV start. Those extensions were given in the excitement of the season and euphoria of the off season. I wonder what Middleton thinks now?

  52. I’m not sure if anyone heard this, but Harper, when interviewed after the game made an interesting comment. He stressed this and said something to the effect of “we finally found a home” or “we finally bought a home”. I will tell you from experience that finding and buying a home is very distracting and stressful. I wonder if this has been a key piece to his struggles.

    1. Not a bad point. I’ve been happy with him so far. Breaking in. His OPS is a little lower than I expected, but he is coming on with extra base hits. He likely leads the team with 26 doubles and 17hrs.l, or right behind Hoskins

      His defense has been better than advertised, and a good clubhouse team guy it seems. Can’t complain, minus the SO, but I believe that will change. The fact that it’s not my money paying him, all the more gravy.

  53. For me I think the two best GM’s in the game right now are Cashman and Luhnow. Friedman is right there with them Chaim Bloom of the Rays is an up and comer as is Mike Hazen of the D-Backs.

    Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Hum are playing checkers while those guys are playing chess. Just study the moves those two have made in the last 4-5 years and compare them to ours.

      1. Romus just getting to this article what a fantastic read in many ways. What it really tells you is how a GM can be helped and hampered by his owner.

  54. Here’s the starting rotation I would like to see in 2020:
    1 Aaron Nola
    2 Gerrit Cole (FA)
    3 Matthew Boyd – acquired for Medina, Jones, Williams and Listi.
    4 Cole Hamels (FA)
    5 Jake Arrieta (who could also become a long relief option should his elbow inhibit his innings)

    1. You’re FIRED!!! Your salary will be forfeited and will be donated to the family of Adonis Medina!

      Medina and Jones may not be the better option in 2020 but they will be for years after that. I know that people are hating on Zach Eflin right now but Eflin is 3 years younger and have better stuff than Matthew Boyd. Boyd might be better than Eflin now but not sure if he Boyd will be better long term.

      Also, there’s the Spencer Howard factor. I’m OK with a set rotation of Cole-Nola-Hamels-Arrieta (player option) and an open competition between Eflin, Medina, Jones and Howard as the #5. Vinny and Pivetta will be in the back end of the pen as I’ve been saying suggesting for a number of years now.

      Mike Minor will be a better fit because Minor will probably cost less prospects and Minor can be a trade deadline asset if Howard, Medina, Jones or JoJo stepped up in 2020!!

      Phillies will regret trading 2 top MLB ready arms in acquiring Matthew Boyd. If the cost is 2 of lower minors arm – in Morales, Pipkin, Gowdy, Lindow – that can be manageable.

      1. My suggested 2020 rotation will be:

        SP#1 – Gerrit Cole (FA)
        SP#2 – Aaron Nola
        SP#3 – Hollywood Hamels (FA)
        SP#4 – Jake Arrieta (Player Option)
        SP#5 – Mike Minor (if acquire with no Top 15 prospects) or open competition between: Eflin, Howard, Medina, Romero, Jones

        Bullpen: Robertson, JD Hammer, Morgan, LHP, Seranthony, Vinny and Pivetta. The 2nd LHP in the bullpen can be a FA or Romero or Dohy or Jones or Singer.

      2. Kuko, you’re a riot😆
        I would actually go after Minor before Boyd but the Rangers may not be selling. And especially if he’s cheaper to acquire than Boyd. It’s hard to gauge which teams will overvalue their own talent vs the market. My bottom line is to not trade Bohm and Howard. Again, Stott can’t be traded yet, but him too.

        1. @8mark – Stott is also an untoucheable and I never even suggested that Stott should be included in any trade. But what about the Trea Turner rule?

          As a team in a WIN NOW mode, the Phillies should avoid trading prospects that should be ready to help them in 2020 and years to come. They should tap the prospects in the lower minors instead.

          Matthew Boyd is not a game changer type of a player. His upside is too close to the floor of Medina and Jones.

      3. Also, if the Phillies mind set is “WIN NOW” they should not be trading their MLB ready top prospects (Bohm-Medina-Howard-Jones) since these prospects are crucial in keeping the flow of talent in the major league team.

        Good GMs will tap in the bottom of the barrel since prospects from low minors doesn’t fit the “WIN NOW” mode —- so think of Morales, Pipkin, Luis Garcia, Jhailyn Ortiz, Marchan, Muzziotti as better trade assets.

          1. @Romus – I’m more on acquiring building thru FA than trading —- Gerrit Cole and Cole Hamels and potentially a veteran LHP to complete the transformation.

            There’s truth that a team should not be building thru FA —- I agree with that, that’s why I suggest to keep the MLB ready top prospects because these cost controlled young players not only help balance the payroll but growing with the team is the best indicator of a sustainable run.

            As I posted earlier, Klentak can go the trade route (if he doesn’t want to sign FAs) but Klentak should keep the MLB ready or close to ready top prospects but instead offer high ceiling prospects in the low minors (except Stott) like Francisco Morales, Luis Garcia, Dom Pipkin, etc.

  55. This is a bad line up which looks like a spring training split squad. Phillies should have ate least 3 of Segura, Harper, Hoskins and Harper. Whoever is pitching tonight can have a complete game and will look like a CY candidate.

    Once Cesar is out, the Dodgers can walk Kingery-Harper-Hoskins and load the bases and they will still get out of the jam with no problem.

  56. It’s coming!!!

    1. Hah….”While trainers for international players and many international scouts were opposed to a draft when MLB and the union were discussing it in the last CBA negotiation, that sentiment has shifted”

      .:…amazing what one FBI investigation into RICO allegations will spur.

      1. Romus, there should be a new baseball only version of 60 Minutes. You could do all the ground work for the investigative reporting. The man behind Morley Safer. Or whoever is on that program now.

        1. Ok 8mark.
          Amazing how everyone is on board now with the draft…the MLB Latin Players Caucus and the Buscones…plus even the half dozen big spenders like the Yankees, Dodgers, Sox et al.

          Now do not be surprised if the FBI report comes out ina month or two.

  57. Damon Jones discussed in Fangraphs chat today:

    Z: Have you heard any updates on Damon Jones (PHI)?

    Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, I made calls on Philly yesterday and will add Jones (and others) to the Board today. Velo has ticked up over the last two years and he found a much, much better slider this year.

    Eric A Longenhagen: Lefty relief piece, at least

  58. My two cents on the Klentak extension. I made a snarky comment earlier as I originally thought he was extended today, not at the beginning of the year. At the time he was extended, I totally get it and it makes sense. Klentak, minus his pick of a manager, is much better at his job then the results indicate. Here is what I mean.

    C – Realmuto – Everyone praised this deal when he made it. Why? Because we all expected JTR to build on his already impressive resume by breaking out this year in a smaller park, in front of bigger crowds, and with better lineup protection. People are less thrilled with this trade today not because Klentak was wrong in acquiring him, but rather because JTR has failed to take that next big step under Kapler. (Having said that, I think we all remain very pleased with JTR, just not as much as we hoped at this point.) Bottom line, it was a good trade then, and it is now, and will be better when he plays under a new manager and coaching staff here, hopefully sooner than later.

    I’m not going to go through the whole list, but at the start of the year the bullpen looked pretty decent before all the injuries. Kapler overuses his pen, and even more so, misuses them and injuries and ineffectiveness are the result. Not on Klentak, on Kapler.

    Alfaro and JPC have done a little better than expected elsewhere, is that Klentak’s fault? No, they are just getting better coaching and managing in their new homes then they had here last year.

    Everyone blames Klentak for the starting pitching. Okay, I’ll somewhat agree he should have gotten an arm, but I believe he expected, and rightfully so, this coaching staff to have success with at least 2 of the young arms (VV, Pivetta, DLS, Anderson, Eflin, JoJo, Ranger, Eickhoff).

    Is Klentak perfect? No, he’s made some mistakes but all GM’s do. I think he is above average at his job minus the manager part. I believe if he fires the manager now, or at least by right after the season ends, and brings in the right manager, we’ll see many players on this roster flourish under a new staff and we’ll look at Klentak in a much brighter light.

    1. I believe Kapler will be back next season.
      Can’t say the same for Chris Young and John Malee.

      1. Are you basing that on where they are today or are you saying that he will be definitely back? I agree if things stay as they are, fighting for a WC all the way to the end. However, if they totally spin out of control, I believe he is gone before the season is over.

      2. If the Phillies miss the playoffs, I believe Klentak will relieve Kapler of his duties. And most if not all of the coaching staff.

        1. That may be a good assessment.
          MacPhail’s words last week about the team currently sitting in a play-off spot, and his assurance that prospects will not be burned for a quick fix….lends me to believe that he thinks Kapler has most of all the ‘tools’ at his disposal now and he should be able to take the team to that play-off spot……or else.

      3. I was really surprised Rick Kranitz was the one who was replaced. I thought he did a really good job with the staff last year. That was a big head scratcher for me.

  59. Buddy…Good points on Klentax,but how Can he stick with Kapler as doing that makes him look bad??
    If these players may flourish under a new manager,then what the “bleep” is he waiting for?

    1. Amen brother. If I could say just one thing to John Middleton, it would be to ask him who would have won Super Bowl 52 had Jeffrey Lurie not admitted his failure in hiring Chip Kelly by firing him on December 29, 2015?

  60. Jon Morosi says the Phillies and Brewers are showing interest in Mike Minor. Rangers are losing big to Arizona tonight, which would be their 4th straight loss, and losing ground to Oakland in the wild card race. Minor is under control through 2020. I suddenly like our chances of landing him. After tonight, we should not have to endure another inefficient, ineffective start from Pivetta or Velasquez. They are relievers if they are major leaguers at all.

  61. Did that lineup last night have any shot? Holy crap! I’m sorry but against the Dodgers I’m starting JTR every game. Rest him a game in the Pirates series. I know there’s injuries but that was lame, Gabe.

  62. I just watched the MLB story on the 1995 Seattle Mariners and their exciting season of saving baseball in that city. My one big take away was that hiring Lou Pinella changed everything there. He brought fire and he laid expectations on the players. We need that fire from a manager in Philly, but don’t expect it from Kapler. We’ll never win with this manager. Two years in a row the team has just faded away as the season moves along. Come on Klentak, recognize the signs and realize the needs. Until he does, this team is 500 at best.

  63. Resting JTR last night,I actually agree with Gabe.They have a day game today,plus..get the guys healthy for the pirates series since they have a better chance of winning any game from them versus the Dodgers.
    The Phillies starting eight and their roster is not even close to the Dodgers and the other elite teams in the NL,or even in the AL.

    Trade rumors,ie Mike Minor,etc. I can’t even get excited about,how much will it move the needle? Especially to try to win the wild card this year!

    Now,if they make a trade without giving up their A prospects and it improves them for next year? Then count me in!
    I truly think since they may not fire Gabe now, they should just play the rest of this year with what they have and maybe get a 10 to 15 draft pick for next year.

      1. How do you know it wouldn’t cost them top prospects? Where did you read or hear about that?

        Minor is ranked 15th among MLB pitchers this year – and the cost for a pitcher like that at the trade deadline, particularly one who is under team control for another year, typically WOULD be a top prospect. I would expect that, if they want Minor, the lowest rated prospect that the Rangers would take in exchange for him would be Adonis Medina plus several other prospects. Yes, maybe it wouldn’t cost them Bohm or Stott or Howard, but Texas is going to extract a deep price from the Phillies or someone else. Whether he’s worth that price depends on how close you think the Phillies are to doing some real damage in the playoffs and how good you think Medina is going to be. If you think Medina’s ceiling is as a # 3 and you’re not throwing in another top 10 prospect in this trade, MAYBE I could live with it. Otherwise, I think it’s foolish given that they are not serious contenders right now, but I do think it’s a trade they could do and I do think several valuable players would be included which would be painful.

        1. Look, if they can pull of a trade for Mike Minor without surrendering a top prospect like Medina (oh yeah, I really don’t want to see Haseley or Listi in that trade either, but that’s just me), I’m all for it, but it’s hard to see that happening.

        2. Medina is a top prospect, yes. I would offer him. But I’m thinking teams value youth and control so much that a 31 year old pitcher with an injury history who’s only under contract through 2020 is gettable without laying out a king’s ransom. And next year is an important year, we would all agree.

      2. Mike Minor is having a crazy season with 6 WAR already. He’s under control for 1 more season. Now I’m not saying he can duplicate it next season but if he gives 4 WAR next season, that’s still pretty damn good. He’s going to fetch at least a top 75 prospect. Somebody is going to pay that price for Mike Minor.

          1. And perhaps Daniels would also take a flyer on a PTBNL who turns out to be a guy he wanted back a couple years ago by the name of Odubel Herrera.

            Medina is the highest ranked and only top prospect I think it’ll take to get a guy like Mike Minor, along with a two or three other pieces like Williams and Listi (who I also love but don’t see him as a NL player until the DH becomes reality.

          2. I think that is about what it might take. Cashman had to give up Sheffield to get Paxton also 30 same number of years of control. Same type of injury history.

            I wouldn’t do it for us because I think we are way further away from contending for the WS than the Yankees are.

            1. 8mark/DMAR…….there just are not many other options out there when it comes to LHPs that are on the trade market.
              Boyd….Duffy…Ray…also each costly and with some warts..Duffy could eb the least value in prsopects exchange….but he may not have what the Phillies need.

              Adding Minor and then maybe Gerit Cole in the off season could bolster the staff for 2020.

              I think the fanbase has thrown up the white flag for 2019.

            2. My dream rotation next year is Nola, G Cole, Hamels, Minor, Eflin with Arrieta as a long man out of the pen. Velasquez and Pivetta to the pen as well. Hopefully Seranthony regains his mojo to anchor the backend while a legit closer should be targeted as well.

            3. NYY is an offensive juggernaut and the Phillies cannot match mano-y-mano in offense unless Hoskins, Kingery, Haseley and Bohm developed as the typeof offensive player we envisioned them to be.

              But the rotation of Cole-Nola-Hamels-Minor-Arrieta (or Eflin, Pivetta, Medina, Howard) should be to match with NYY rotation who is also having some issues.

              Severino may not be 100% next year, Tanaka and Happ showing sign of decline, Domingo German is pitching well this year but he will be 27 yo soon so there may not be upside there. Which leaves Paxton as potentially the best NYY arm in 2020 — I’m confident that Gerrit Cole or Aaron Nola can match up with James Paxton who will be 31 yo this year.

  64. Romus, Would that get it done? And would you do that deal? I like Minor, but I am very torn about Medina. I hate to give him up, but to get something we have to give something in a trade. I think we need to move Nick Williams off of his nice run at AAA before he gets exposed again in the Majors and his value plummets. It is not that early anymore, so making a deal to add a SP before we have to use VV again on Sunday would be a very good thing.Nothing will work if we can’t hit. Last night I couldn’t get past the 5th inning. We were only losing 1-0, but had zero hits. Some nights our hitting is pathetic. Anyway, I go for the WC if I don’t have to give up any top prospects. And, I can’t fault Kapler for sitting JTR. Knapp had a big pinch hit the night before, and with a day game, it was the perfect time to rest him. And, we have to make a BP move. I can’t watch Garcia again.

    1. @matt13 – the value of Mike Minor for now is all speculation. It order to know who and what player/prospect equity that Klentak will have to give, it will depend on who are the other buyers of Mike Minor —- if SD and ATL are involved, Klentak is screwed.

      Seeing Klentak operate in the past, he will try to be ahead and strike early (i.e. Stroman) but it the price is too prohibitive, he will wait and see what will ATL (MadBum, Stroman), SD (Mike Minor, Stroman), MIN (Thor, Boyd, MadBum) and NYY (Wheeler, Thor) do before re-assessing the market again being striking a trade.

      I’m not a proponent of trading top prospect equity at the deadline because I have Gerrit Cole and Cole Hamels in my wish list. A deal for Jason Vargas is OK or a Mike Leake and his contract are OK with me.

      I don’t think that the Phillies are not 1 SP away to be a legit contender, so at most, they will be a WC team, Nola wins the WC game but lost to LAD 1-4 in the playoffs.

    2. matt13.
      Would that get it done?…..who knows, make the offer and let it stand
      And would you do that deal? …yes, I’d do it for Ray also but DBacks may not be selling.

  65. I’m of the opinion that for a team like the Phillies that is close to become a legit contender, you don’t give up a MLB ready top prospect for a band aid solution. Mike Minor, who is dealing with father time, is a short term band aid fix. If TEX wants Medina or Howard, then Klentak should walk away.

    As I’ve been suggesting the in the past which we all saw this offseason, the value of FA and trade market is all economics and not math. There’s always a smart guy who will justify a players value based on certain statistics – but in real world, it’s all about supply and demand and seller/buyer motivation.

    I’m sure that everybody is wrong about the Segura and JTR trade. Based on math, Segura and JTR are valued more. But it just takes a motivated seller like a gun slinging Jerry DiPoto to find an opportunity to sell Segura. On the JTR trade, Klentak is the GM who offered the best ranked prospect (Sixto), thus, Jeter pulled the trigger in letting go of a cost controlled best catcher in the league.

    We all saw what happened in FA with Keuchel and Kimbrel (and to some extent Harper and Machado). Their awesome WARs in the past don’t do anything for them because the buyers (teams) are not motivated enough to invest big $ for pitchers on the downside.

    Like in any trade market, we will not get any good idea of the fair value of a Mike Minor or Matt Boyd or a MadBum not until closer to the trade deadline where buyers (playoff contending teams) and sellers (rebuilding teams) line up and tap into the market.

    If the Phillies will bid against a team with good prospect equity like SD and ATL, they will be forced to phony up their top prospects regardless who they want to get.

    1. Besides the fact that Keuchel and Kimbrel had QO on them, they both wanted to get paid. If they were reasonable in their demands, they would have signed before the season started. Now, I’m not saying that they were going to get peanuts. Their past WAR would dictate that they were going to get decent money but they wanted crazy money. And in this age of analytics, you can’t give crazy money to aging pitchers.

      You talk about fair value and what people are willing to pay for tradeable assets. But the fact is, the demand is for good players not bad players. And why is there such a demand for Minor and Stroman? Because they are having good seasons as indicated by their WAR! So economics comes in second not first. You identify which GOOD players you want, then you try to figure out how you can get him with the lowest cost to you. And not every team is going to give a lowball offer because these players are good and can help their present club. And if all you are see are lowball offers, then the Rangers and Blue Jays can keep these players for another year. But it won’t happen, and somebody is going to pay up.

      And if the Phillies don’t want to pay up, they won’t get their player. That’s it.

      1. Actually, the Phillies could give “crazy money” to Keuchel for this year only. It’s an overpay, but he’s a lot better than the alternatives and that’s what’s critical for this year.

      2. I don’t want to be the Pirates who gave up Meadows (an All-Star) and Glasnow a lottery ticket for Archer…

        1. The Pirates historically don’t spend money. They historically trade off their young talent before they cost anything. I don’t see any similarities.

          1. 8mark how do you not see the point? The Pirates last season strangely became buyers and thought Archer was somehow going to put them over the hump.

            Meadows is controlled through 2025 Tyler Glasnow through 2024 for 2 1/2 seasons of Archer. That’s just dopey especially for a small market team.

            There is no reason Klentak should do something dumb like that for Mike Minor.

            Now if Jon Daniels wants to do us a solid and take a package like what he gave us for Hamels (actually a little less because of years of control on Minor) let’s dance.

            1. DMAR … Jake Thompson was ranked #51 in MiLB, Nick Williams was ranked #55, Jorge Alfaro was ranked #59, and Alec Asher and Jerad Eickhoff were ranked between 20 and 30 among Rangers prospects. The Phillies couldn’t come close to putting something like that together for any player currently on the trading block.

      3. WAR is only relevant when it is linear. A linear WAR shows that the players year-to-year performance is legit. WAR is a way is similar to forex – it is an as of date and same currency/player will have different values as some point in time.

        You cannot determine the final fair value unless the market is establish. Not because you assume that Minor and Stroman are very good because of their WAR it means that WAR (math) took over fair value (economics). If no GMs bought into the crazy year of MInor (who is more of an 2 WAR) and view Stroman as a #4 than a #2/#3 than your valuation of the players at the trade deadline is incorrect —- you can put math over economics but you are taking more risks of over(under)paying what a player’s worth – so GMs tend to avoid that situation.

        Trading before the market develops is speculation —- for a GM like DiPoto who is a risk taker, DiPoto is a player in this type of situation. Klentak is cut from a different cloth. Klentak likes to hedge or sometimes we call him risk averse because Klentak doesn’t like to overpay.

  66. Edgar Garcia and Austin Davis optioned to AAA, Irvin back up with RHP Fernando Salas up to take the 40th spot on the 40 man roster.

  67. When did Irvin start last? Could he be the SP on Sunday, and VV back to the BP? I am not real thrilled with Salas and Irvin coming out of the BP. It is one mediocre arm after the other.

    1. The bullpen situation is a mess beyond Klentak-Kapler’s control. Neshek, Nicasio, Hunter and Robertson are there to stabilized the bullpen giving Neris and Morgan their best role – low leverage support role.

      Nicasio sucks and Neshek-Hunter-Robertson are hurt putting Morgan and Neris in situation that they are not built to do. Losing the best upside bullpen arm in Seranthony and Arano also hurts.

      Klentak is more methodical than radical so I don’t expect him to do “outside of the box” thinking but rather do the bullpen carousel that he is more accustomed to —- which is not good.

  68. Random question about something I found a little interesting. I was on Lehigh Valley’s page today because I was trying to figure out if there are any better bullpen options than this merry go round of AAAA slop we keep seeing, and on their stats page I came across a pitcher Abdallah Aris.

    Aris has been in the org a few years, but has never pitched above Lakewood. But for one game this year apparently, he got called up to AAA. He, predictably, got hit hard.

    How did a guy who has still not played in high A get a call up to AAA for one game, and then get sent back down to Williamsport?

  69. Matt Beaty of the Dodgers is an interesting story. He was a college senior draft pick. 12th round pick. Went to Belmont U in the Ohio Valley Conference.

    http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/profile.asp?ID=165577

    Looking at his college numbers, the one consistency is his ability to make contact. His K rate was single digits all 4 years, dropping to 6.14% his senior year. He maintained that contact ability all through the minors. Added weight and power and now looks like another in the long line of Dodger’s studs.

    I harp on K rate for hitters all the time. I think it is the leading indicator. Power develops, but rarely does contact ability improve dramatically unless there is a clear mechanical flaw in the swing. I say all the time, if you strike out a lot against minor league pitchers, it will only get worse against major league pitchers.

    Anyway, I just thought that he is an interesting case study.

    1. I would put BB rate above K rate the best player in baseball has a 21% K Rate and a 15% BB Rate.

      That said with Beaty (a nice find) you only needed to look at his OPS. He also wasn’t a stretch by any means taken in the 12th round. FWIW Beaty had a 14% BB Rate in college and 2 seasons where he OPS’d 1000+

      and even that only gives you a now 26 y/o MLBer with a 770 OPS. Valuable for sure but not terribly exciting.

      I guess what I’m saying V1 is that if you only gave me 2 data points from which to scout a College Senior I would choose BB rate and OPS.

      So what if you make a lot of contact but dribble the ball all over the place and GIDP

      1. Agree hat BB rate is huge. Particularly players with an upside down ratio of bb rate to k rate.

        I prioritize k rate over ops at a young age because power develops later for most players. A 21 yo can’t have nearly the power of a 28 yo man who has been. But the ability to consistently put the ball in play is a natural talent that can’t be taught imo.

    2. Agree…the K rate is a clear indication of a player’s hit tool adn what it can project at the next levels..
      Personally i like to incorporate also the BB rate and the delta between the two metrics…the smaller the better.

      There are those exceptions that I have misjudged….Franco for an example.
      An very good Krate (15%) for a player with his overall minor league ISO (.176), but does not seem to translate consistently at the MLB level

      1. Franco is a case study on why ground ball rate is such an important stat. He had a terrible gb/fb ratio in minors and has maintained that in majors. That is why his batting average is so low. He has a career .257 babip.

        1. Yeah…I did not take that into account, even though his overall minor league BABIP hovered around .300.

  70. I am so sick and tired of watching Cesar Hernandez botch or boot routine plays.

  71. FYI – Haseley with first big league homer – and it was not a cheapie. What a beautiful swing he has. Having watched him progress and seen him in person, he’s grown on me. I think he’s got a shot to be a very solid major league player.

    1. I agree Catch just let the kid play run him out there every night for the rest of the season and see what you get.

    1. I LOVE Madrigal. I was in record saying that I would have taken him over Bohm. Bohm has been better than I expected and might end up the better player. But his 1B risk at defense still scares.

  72. Moniak got eviscerated by Keith Law in today’s chat:

    Brian
    1:32 You didn’t seem particularly impressed with Mickey Moniak. And yet, in May he hit .290 with a .755 OPS, in June it was .294 w/an .872 OPS and a big spike in walks & in July it’s been .320 with an .850 OPS. That sounds a lot like the Steve Finley type player discussed when the Phillies drafted him. What are you seeing and hearing from scouts that the stat line isn’t showing?

    Keith Law
    1:33 OPS sucks for individual players, more so for trying to evaluate prospects. It’s not a good swing at all, not going to generate power, and his approach isn’t good. He’s also probably not a CF long term.

    Draftnik
    2:01 Not going to argue with you about Moniak’s swing — I’m certainly no expert — but he has a wRC+ of 137 since May 1st. That’s over 250 plate appearances, and that is as a barely 21-year-old in AA. You don’t see him as a first-division regular in, say, 3 or 4 years?

    Keith Law
    2:02 No I don’t see him as that, and that’s still a small sample – and wRC+ is not useful for prospects. Chase Vallot had a 136 wRC+ in a full season in high-A as a 20-year-old, and he’s a non-prospect.
    Stop scouting the stat line.

    1. KLaw apparently does not like Mickey Moniak as a future impact MLB player.

      . “It’s not a good swing at all, not going to generate power, and his approach isn’t good. He’s also probably not a CF long term.”

      And if not a future CFer….then what?
      He seems to think he has no power for the corners.

      Reading between the lines….Moniak will not make it to the majors as a starter I think he is implying.

      Well KLaw does admit mistakes from his past, so maybe this will be one.

      1. Keith Law has had an ax to grind with moniak since the draft. He probably didn’t get tipped off that he was going to be the first overall pick so he is bitter still. I know how these guys are they all want to get the inside track and people think he is such a tool in the industry nobody gave him a sniff. And it must have sucked to be picked last on the playground every year. Not sure if anyone has ever seen Keith law but he would have to stand on a milk crate to hit a letter High fastball. Not an athletic bone in his body. Not sure why everyone puts so much credibility in this half pint. No I don’t plan on it I don’t I don’t think so why Keep it up Keith, I bet you will regret it along with your other kids you have an axe to grind with.

        1. You don’t have to agree with everything (or anything) he says. But no need to get personal. Plus you don’t need to be a good athlete to be a good scout. Some people just have a good eye.

          Just keep cheering on the players you like. Chances are they won’t make it, because the vast majority of prospects don’t. But some will. Maybe Moniak is one, maybe he isn’t. We won’t know for sure until it’s happened.

        2. Keith put him in his top 100 post drat. Keith has zero ax to grind with any prospect and does NOT hate the Phillies. He is giving his honest opinion that you happen to not like.

          Before bashing Keith, try finding another scout paid to do this for a living who disagrees with him.

  73. Baseball America’s mid-season Top 30 is out.

    Top Five Phillies in order: Bohm, Spencer Howard, Medina, Stott, Haseley.

    Damon Jones jumps all the way to 10.

    Micky Mo, despite all of his improvement, ranks just 18th behind the likes of much less heralded guys like Nick Maton and just one place ahead of Logan O’Hoppe.

    1. That’s a pretty damned good ranking – pretty close to what I would have for the first five spots and definitely the same five players.

      On Moniak. I am going to watch his games closely. When I’ve seen him bat, I was impressed and certainly his stats would seem to reflect genuine improvement.

      1. I put you in same category V1. If I didn’t know any better I would think you and Keith Law are one in the same. You obviously have an axe to grind with him as well or you would never even make that comment. Even when you try to say something positive you have to take a step back and reel it in. You think pretty highly of yourself just like Keith Law does a. Get over yourself

        1. Why is your opinion better than everyone else’s? Isn’t that what you’re accusing Law (and no v1) of?

        2. Lol…let’s try this again without the personal insults…Two of the most respected prospect publications in the industry are not high on him. Do you think that they both have an ax to grind? Can you point to other professional scouts who are high on him? Instead of deflecting the question with an insult, maybe try responding with data Harry.

          1. Data are his stats. No more insults. .270 isn’t shabby for a barely 21 yr old in a pitcher’s league. Not to mention top 10 and even top 5 in most of the stats that count. All the isometrics / War / bla blah blah. Leave that for Billy Beane. Y’all thinking too much Smalls. See ball, hit ball

            1. 1. the history of the minor leagues are littered with players who put up decent stats and never turn out to anything at that mlb level. that is why teams spend a ton of money on scouting departments. just rejecting the views of major recruiting services because you don’t like them doesn’t seem to be a great strategy. but you do you.
              2. you started your argument with a stat and then said don’t value stats. kind of a weird way to argue a point.

  74. I know some people were saying if we got swept by both the Nats and Dodgers the season was over; so out of curiosity, do those people feel any better about the outlook of the team now that we’ve split with both teams?

    1. We won 3 of 7. Let’s just hope the Nats and Braves beat each other up in a 4 game series starting tonight. Let’s head to Pittsburgh and get on a roll against weaker teams. I choose not to feel anything because we Phillies fans would become Jekyll’s and Hyde’s if we aren’t careful.

      1. Fans tend to be over-reactionary and sensational consistently. Hence why people were saying we were gonna get swept and the season would be over… with 65 games left to play.

        3-4 could obviously be better. But 2-2 against the best team in baseball is pretty good. So I’m curious what the reaction will be.

      2. no not really. if pitching doesn’t make a huge turnaround, I’m predicting 80 wins.

    2. Ehhh, they got lucky. I still wouldn’t sell the prospects for a 1 gm playoff. The main reason is all the injuries, just too many pieces to trade for. Secondly, to catch the Braves in the coming years, we’re going to need those prospects to develop. The Braves will likely sell some of their prospects this year, so it’ll close the gap (theoretically) if they stand pat.

      1. If we’re talking rentals, I wouldn’t want to do that even if we were in first. We’ve built a core, but you still need your farm for injuries and to replace players that leave in FA/stop being productive. I WOULD trade for a controllable impact player regardless of our standings.

    3. I don’t believe I’m one of those people, but I don’t believe I’ve changed my opinion. I think we have too many holes to plug. Pitching, both SP and BP are a crap shoot from day to day. We need to solidify 2B, 3B, 1OF slot, BU C and the bench.

      Might get to the playoffs. I don’t think we’ll last long. I don’t want to give up our youth for a 60 day wonder and no more RP’s with damaged goods.

      1. Funnily enough, most of our RP signings had little-to-no history of injury. Sometimes you just get unlucky.

        But yes, I don’t think anyone is advocating a trade for a rental.

    4. I am optimistic, if we can somehow score 4 or more runs a game, we will win a lot more games then we lose.

  75. Hector’s HR came on the only 2 seam FB he threw, and it was right down the middle. Thankfully, he didn’t walk the 1st guy he faced. I don’t put a lot of stock in KLaw, and he had Buster Olney on, someone else not high on my list. They were talking about how the Phils tried to copy the Cubs/Astros rebuild model, but we are hampered by a lack of prospects coming up. Mentioned Nola and Hoskins, who, BTW, KLaw never liked coming up, and conveniently forgot Kingery who is playing very well. And, I hate when Randolph and MM are mentioned in the same breath. I still am high on Moniak, and don’t think much of Randolph, and I have no trouble seeing MM stick in CF. We do need someone to really take a leap and become one of those top level prospects, but, I remember we had Dom Brown ranked #1 in all of Baseball. That worked out great! I did agree, however, on the point they made about being too conservative in drafting Pitchers.

    1. matt … not on here to defend Keith Law, but he was probably Rhys Hoskins biggest supporter during his trip through the Phillies farm system.

  76. For those who play the daily number, 4-5-2-4 will win it. That’s how many home runs the Trolley Dodgers hit in the series game by game – 15. News flash: Jorge Alfaro drew a walk this afternoon.

  77. Word from Ken Rosenthal is that the Phillies were close to acquiring Andrew Cashner from Baltimore before the RedSox got him. They pulled back with concerns about his makeup. Rosenthal suggests that perhaps the Phillies are being careful after a few of last year’s acquisitions didn’t mix well in the clubhouse. I’m glad if they’re learning from their mistakes last season, but especially with Cashner who I never liked as a pitcher even a little bit. Also heard a while back that he’s a bit of a jerk.

  78. I certainly don’t think Law is biased. It concerns me when I see comments like his about Moniak, because I think he is NOT biased.

    That said, scouts are wrong a lot. FWIW, here’s Keith Law’s ranking of his top 10 draft prospects right before the 2016 draft:

    1. Corey Ray, OF
    Louisville
    Previous rank: 1

    Although Ray could slip out of the top five, I still think he’s the best all-around player in the draft class, a power-speed guy who has a good idea of the strike zone and plenty of bat speed, giving him a high floor of an everyday left fielder.

    2. Jason Groome, LHP
    Barnegat (New Jersey) HS
    Previous rank: 2

    Boasting the best high school curveball I’ve seen, at least since Lucas Giolito’s, Groome is still projectable and loose if a bit raw, lacking the control you’d like to see in the best prep arm in a draft class.

    3. Braxton Garrett, LHP
    Florence (Alabama) HS
    Previous rank: 6

    Garrett doesn’t have the huge upside of most prep arms, but he already has command of an average fastball and a plus curveball, dominating competition this spring, and he’s likely to do so in the low minors as well.

    4. A.J. Puk, LHP
    Florida
    Previous rank: 4

    Puk had his best start of the year at the SEC tournament, coming back on four days’ rest after an abbreviated two-inning outing, holding mid-90s through seven innings with better strikes and a tighter breaking ball.

    5. Mickey Moniak, OF
    La Costa Canyon HS (Carlsbad, California)
    Previous rank: 5

    Moniak appears to have the best hit tool in the high school class, plays hard, can stay in center and is an above-average runner, but despite his size (6-foot-2, 190 pounds), I can’t project any power here, given his narrow stance and lack of any stride or weight transfer.

    6. Blake Rutherford, OF
    Chaminade College Prep (West Hills, California)
    Previous rank: 7

    If you like Rutherford, you see a plus hit tool with above-average power that will profile even in left field, and you don’t worry that he’s already 19, because you think he’ll go all Alex Verdugo and catch fire in the Midwest or Sally League next year. If you don’t like him, you see a 19-year-old left fielder without the power or speed to profile there. As his ranking here shows, I happen to like him.

    7. Ian Anderson, RHP
    Shenendehowa HS (Clifton Park, New York)
    Previous rank: 13

    Anderson endured a spring of misfortune, losing starts to rain and even snow, then suffering an oblique injury while warming up for another outing and missing two starts because of that and pneumonia. He made two official starts for his team before the playoffs but showed flashes of what he’d been last summer, enough that he’ll probably still go among the top 20 picks.

    8. Nick Senzel, 3B
    Tennessee
    Previous rank: 10

    The most advanced college hitter in the draft, Senzel also has improved his defense at third base to the point where most scouts believe he’ll stay at the position. That said, the raw power he has shown in batting practice has yet to show up in games, making him a high-floor player but perhaps without much ceiling.

    9. Matt Manning, RHP
    Sheldon HS (Sacramento)
    Previous rank: 9

    Multi-sport athlete Matt Manning remains a top-10 draft option. AP Photo/Four Seam Images/Larry Goren
    A supreme athlete who has been up to 98 mph and has a scholarship to play baseball and basketball at Loyola Marymount, Manning is still somewhat raw as a pitcher, and his main off-speed pitch is a spike curveball that few pitchers can command.

    10. Kyle Lewis, OF
    Mercer
    Previous rank: 8

    Lewis has electric hands — he homered over the batter’s eye in the pro park in Greenville, South Carolina, last week, slightly to the opposite side of dead center — and 30-homer potential, but someone is going to have to kill his leg kick and quiet down his approach to get that power to play.

    1. I think , excluding my bias for Moniak, he may have hit on two for sure….bottom half guys @ 8 and 9 (Senzel and Manning)….and a good chance with Ian Anderson.
      The remaining six….really still up in the air or plateau in their careers.

    1. It’s not Hector’s finest moment, but at least he didn’t escalate it.

      I understand the emotion though. Dodgers are the best team in baseball and they’ve been making the Phillies like a JV team. It was game the Phillies needed to have.

      1. I think the whole David Freese thing and his MLB suspension has taken control over him..
        This really will not help matters when he has his hearing coming soon.

    2. I’m sure they won’t forget it either. Those indiscretions sure have a way of coming back to bite you in the rump. I guy that serves up gopher balls at the rate he does should know better.

  79. According to Corey Seidman today, the Phillies continue to show interest in Mike Minor. While Texas would certainly ask for the likes of Spencer Howard, Adam Haseley and/or Mickey Moniak, it remains to be seen whether the Phillies would do it. He notes that the Phillies are reluctant to trade Howard.

    I definitely would not, as everyone on this board seem to agree. But what about either Haseley or Moniak? The former has already reached the Show but I personally favor Mickey Mo’s ceiling to Haseley’s. Time will tell.

    Again, I would offer Adonis Medina, Nick Williams, and Odubel Herrera (Texas may prefer his involvement as a PTBNL for the time being, like after the 2019 season). I really don’t think rival suitors would be willing to offer their ‘Spencer Howard’ for a post 30 year old pitcher unless he was Clayton Kershaw.

    1. ….actually Seidman’s article on NBCSP was posted yesterday and cited by MLBTR earlier this afternoon. So it’s not a hot breaking story.

    2. I really want to see them get Minor but as MacPhail said in his interview last week that,

      “Though he indicated a reluctance to give up significant minor-league talent to patch a team that might not be ready to win in October, MacPhail said he could be open to acquiring a high-salaried player who might cost less in talent.”

      If the price is too high, wonder if they kick the tires on Lance Lynn, I know they need a LHP but Lynn is owed 18M over 2 years after this season.

      Also wonder if there would be any interest in Chris Martin to help the pen, he’s 33 and hasn’t done much in the majors before this year but seems to be having a very solid year.

    3. I’m curious to think why you would think the Rangers would trade Minor (who’s having a monster season) for a non-top 100 prospect, a 4A player at this point, and a player coming off a suspension who’s not making chump change?

      1. Medina is a top 100 prospect on many lists. I would be willing to switch out Williams for a more promising player between 15-20 (Marchan?). I honestly don’t think it takes much more than that beyond a throw in.

      2. Also, Texas will have to move on from or with Minor after next season. His value may never be higher than it is now.

  80. According to Jim Salisbury, we have interest in Drew Smyly. He’s free, and lefthanded. Those are the 2 positives I can think of.

    1. He did go to the same college as Cliff Lee.
      The TJ surgery took a lot out of him a few years ago.

    2. Ouch. I’d rather see them give Gilbert a shot, seems like he’s been pretty good for LV this year.

  81. Seriously, I am glad he got the save and I know he is an emotional guy. But, the Dodgers have just pounded on him, and I can understand a bleep, yeah!, but not a bleep you, and no need to look at the Dodgers’ dugout. Go beat them a couple of times in the Playoffs.

  82. I would still take a shot on Danny Duffy. He is owed $30M after this year, controlled two more years, and may be a “change of scenery” guy. KC must be happy to get out from under that contract, so he would not cost much. VV can go to the BP, and that boosts the ‘pen as well. Not an earth shattering move, by any means, could be a help.

  83. I don’t pretend to know what should be offered in a trade, but if the Phillies do want to pursue Mike Minor, and think Odubel could be a key piece of a Phillies offer. He has all-star talent and this incident in Atlantic City might be what it took to shake Odubel into adulthood. He has taken his medicine, not appealing the case, even though charges were dropped. At 27, he’s at the age where people reach their emotional and psychological maturity. It might be worth the Rangers’ risk to get the reward of a mature Odubel, though they probably would want more, beside.

  84. Herrera had zero trade appeal . He might not be able to play baseball to next yr..saying that hes major risk both on and off the field.

    1. Agree with Tim. The Phillies would probably have to add more prospect capital to get the Rangers (or any other team) to take Odubel at this point.

      1. Hinkie, one thing I’m confident in Klentak about is that he doesn’t overpay. Minor is the type of pitcher who despite his appeal to rival GM’s, the trend is for buyers to withhold their top prospect for any player who isn’t an elite and established talent, which Minor is not although this season he’s opened eyes. From all the names rumored to be of interest to the Phillies, Minor is the one I predict will be wearing red pinstripes by August 1.

  85. Jim Salisbury says the Phillies are talking to newly minted free agent lefty Drew Smyly. Signing him wouldn’t necessarily preclude trading for another SP, and would allow Velasquez to return to the bullpen. Salisbury also said that they have also discussed MadBum, Boyd, Greinke and as we already know, Minor. That’s quite a few fishing lines in the water. Let’s hope they catch one without using too much bait.

    1. Drew Smyly? Why not. He costs nothing.
      Madison Bumgarner? Highly unlikely.
      Zach Grienke? He’s not going to ok a trade to the Phillies.
      Mike Minor? Wouldn’t surprise me. They’ve been talking to Texas about him since last winter.
      Mathew Boyd? Makes the most sense to spend prospects on him because he’s under team control for 3.5 seasons (in addition to being LH).

      Would you do Haseley, Medina, Starlyn Castillo, David Parkinson, and Juan Aparicio for Matthew Boyd and Shane Greene?

      1. That package should certainly get you Boyd but I would think adding Greene would cost you more. Beside, teams with 2 prime trade chips like these will almost always deal them separately to maximize their value. But we’ll see….

        The 12 days of Christmas in July have begun.

        1. I think you might have better luck getting Castellanos as in a package deal than Greene. The Tigers got almost nothing from the Diamondbacks for JD Martinez. That would improve the offense and allow them to shift Jay Bruce back into that bench role they envisioned for him.

          3B Kingery
          1B Hoskins
          RF Harper
          LF Castellanos
          C Realmunto
          2B Hernandez
          SS Segura
          CF Haseley

          1. They are almost certainly not going to do this, nor should they. Casetellanos is not cheap and doesn’t play good defense and this team, while they have a temporary issue with the outfield, is awash with outfielders on their roster and it will be even worse next year when McCutchen and Herrera return. I mean, look, if Detroit wants to give him away, I’d take him for the rest of the year. But trade a legitimate prospect for him when I could use the prospect to trade for a pitcher? No. This seems short-sighted to me even though I know he can hit.

      2. If I were to set odds on likelihood of the 5 pitchers mentioned, they would be:
        Smyly (FA) 5-2
        Minor 5-1
        Boyd 12-1
        Bumgarner 18-1
        Greinke 20-1

      3. Nope Hinkie not doing it. Take out Haseley and replace him with Muzziotti, take out Medina and replace him with Damon Jones/Romero/Lindow or maybe even Pivetta for Boyd.

        Greene will have to be a separate transaction.

        It seems to me we all seem to think we are chasing just the Braves but the Nats have awoke from their slumber and they have 3 legit starters anchoring their rotation and arguably the best 3B in the game that gets no attention in Rendon.

        For the umpteeth time we have no business trading any of Bohm, Howard, Haseley or Medina in that order.

        1. DMAR:
          “For the umpteeth time we have no business trading any of Bohm, Howard, Haseley or Medina in that order.”….I think you just echoed the same philosophy that Andy MacPhail is adhering to.

          1. DMAR is entirely right. If the Phillies want to build this thing the right way and get good and stay good, they will resist the urge to trade their most valuable assets this year. Great teams are in the business of retaining their best young players, not trading them away for a momentary gain. I actually do think the new management team understands this and it’s at a time like this I thank god Amaro is gone. Don’t take my word for all of this – watch how the teams that are great and stay great manage their systems and rosters. They hold onto their good young players for dear life and are more likely to trade for young players than trade them away. We are finally headed in the right direction and have a nice collection of good young hitters. They need to stay the course and try to stabilize the rotation with guys like Tanner Roark. But the top prospects needs to stay in house.

            1. Catch I am glad we agree but I wish you would let go of your hatred of Amaro. RAJ would have run circles around Klentak had he came to be GM under Middleton and had the resources at his disposal MK has.

              he pushed for more analytics and was rebuffed at every turn by Monty and his old head cronies who scoffed at it.

              Look at pre and post George Steinbrenner Cashman

            2. “RAJ would have run circles around Klentak had he came to be GM under Middleton and had the resources at his disposal MK has.”

              We part company there – Amaro was an unmitigated disaster. He took a young championship team, and an ownership that was willing to pay whatever it took for the team to be good and ran it into the ground so hard that it’s taken 8 years to restore the franchise to just the .500 level. I hate what he did to baseball in this town. Just dreadful.

            3. Please don’t compare him to Cashman – the Yankees never, ever had a situation like this with Cashman. They were always relevant and pretty much always excellent and he was on record fighting for the right things even when his bosses made him do otherwise. Since Brian Cashman became GM of the Yankees in 1998, the team has won 100 games an astonishing 6 times (and will probably do it a 7th time this year), has won over 90 games 14 times, has made the playoffs 17 times and has never, ever had a losing record. Amaro couldn’t hold Cashman’s proverbial jock strap and the marketplace agrees as Amaro was a laughing stock and utterly unemployable in a front office. HE STUNK!

            4. Anybody ever wonder how Billy Beane would have fared with Henry’s money in Boston? Or Middleton’s money in Philly? Just a thought….

            5. Yes, I’ve thought about it a lot. His performance probably would have been similar to Epstein’s. They were so smart to make him a part owner and lock him in. Without someone like him they are floundering all these years. Still, the lack of money has meant no championships. God, that has to be frustrating for him.

            6. Yeah I have to give you that the Yankees were always relevant. Impart because big george was always willing to spend himself out of a hole.

              Do you think GS would have told Cashman he couldn’t have both Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay? Or Lee and Werth?

              Not sure how you can’t find a way to give credit where credit is do. If you want to assign complete blame on Amaro for every bad move then you also have to give him credit for all the good

              Halladay, Nola, Sixto, Hoskins, Odubel, Lee, Medina, Alfaro, Crawford, Ibanez, Pence, Kingery, Giles, Neris, Papelbon/Pivetta

              and when it was time to tank he was pretty good at that too dropping us from an 81 win season in 2012 when Halladay showed up cooked to seasons of 73/73/63

              But you can’t be serious when you say ownership was willing to spend whatever it took. But I hear I respect your opinion and I still think he must have stole your Girlfriend in HS or something LOL

              no one could have that much disdain they can’t let go for any other reason than something personal.

          2. While I agree that this is not the time to trade our top prospects, is Adonis Medina really any more than a future Pivetta-Velasquez type who currently isn’t missing bats as was expected? Considering that he’s on some top 100 lists, however, I would definitely include him in a deal for Boyd and probably Minor since neither of them is a rental. In his case, I think Medina is overvalued by many on this board. Just my opinion. But yes I agree we cannot offer our other top prospects for anyone currently available on the market.

            1. @8mark – which do you think is more over valued? Medina or Boyd? Medina is over valued (Top 100 prospect for a while now) with good stuff while Boyd is LHP, ok stuff and having a good year.

            2. Kuko, Medina is overvalued.
              Boyd is more of a risk worth taking since he’s doing it now in the major leagues and seriously missing bats all the while.

            3. @8mark – when you take risk, it should be for someone with a high ceiling. Medina is exactly that pitcher.

              Boyd is more of a floor not ceiling. If Boyd pitched to his average and that’s a back end starter — so another #4/#5 sitting in the 40-man for the next 3.5 years. I thought we’re done with that?

              Why not just get a good rental for less prospect equity and sign Gerrit Cole? The thought of “cost controlled” to some is crazy. Cost controlled is OK if we’re talking of a legit good player. Is Vinny, Pivetta, Eickhoff, etc cost controlled too?

              I’m still very skeptic about Boyd due to lack of pedigree and track record of success. I can’t understand why people fell in love with Matt Boyd – I just don’t!

              Is Matt Boyd better than Robbie Ray or Patrick Corbin or James Paxton? These are the LHP that you take risk not Matt Boyd.

            4. Jose Quintana had a better track record of success when a the defending champion Cubs acquired him. Quintana is the better pitcher than Boyd and Quintana never pitched in that level when the Cubbies traded for him

              The Phillies should not make the same mistake! Boyd is a LHP #4 who is also unproven in critical situations (i.e. play offs). If you want cost controlled, invest in your scouting and player development.

            5. I’m greatly outnumbered on Medina, I know. But while I don’t want to scuttle the farm, I also want to find value even when it presents a measure of risk. Bohm, Howard and Stott are my untouchables right now. Guys like Morales, Garcia, Moniak and Haseley would require a much greater and long term target to move them.

            6. Also, Matt Boyd exclusively pitched for DET a team that never had success in recent years and never been in a critical situations. I’m not sure if Boyd has that grit especially in the front of a very demanding fan base or he will choke in big situation like Hector Neris?

              People love Hectors Neris’ because of certain selected stats but Neris is a big time choker – he can’t perform against top teams. Neris keeps pounding his heart when he pitch and that’s not a good sign for me.

            7. Totally agree on Neris, Kuko. The Phillies will suffer several more heartbreaking losses if he remains in the closer role.

            8. Catch, you have to stop your obvious hatred of RAJ! You are sounding like a broken record and it does not look good for you. I will ask you agaIn: how many stars did the Phillies trade? Carlos Carrasco for sure and possibly Travis D’Naurd(who is out of MLB) are the only ones that come to mind. The Phillies were undone by not developing young talent as their stars aged and declined. Lastly, Klentak and McPhail have had four years to rebuild and we have improved slightly.

            9. I don’t believe my Ruben rant any less, but I’ll stop. As for the question of what he traded away – that’s not really the ultimate issue, is it? The fact is that he allowed the old talent to die on the vine and the organization had so little in the tank that it’s taken 8 years to field a .500 team again. If that’s not an indictment of his stewardship, I don’t know what is.

          3. I sure hope so Romus. I think we’re getting tunnel vision on starters who yes will help this club near term but at too great a cost.

            When there are other starters out there we’re not talking all that much about that would be much less expensive in prospect equity and still be upgrades over VV and Pivetta.

        2. I echoed what DMAR is saying —- the Phillies being close to being a legit WS contender should keep all their MLB ready (or close to) top prospects – Haseley, Bohm, Medina, Howard and even Stott (who can be a fast riser). These 5 players will keep the flow of good talent in the MLB team to keep the run sustainable. I will prefer to keep Damon Jones is I have to.

          If Klentak will trade good prospects, he can tap the high ceiling prospects in the low minors like Francisco Morales, Dom Pipkin, Muzziotti and Ortiz.

          1. Ku-Ko — paint me like you. I think Boyd is having a career year and is being overrated since the paucity of pitching makes almost anybody with a winning record and fancy stats on a mediocre team look good – his internal stats state that he is outside his normal numbers to the positive. He is an accident waiting to happen. Tigers would be nuts NOT to trade him. Tanner Roark is the guy they should try and get…he is completely predictable, now and in the future.

            Incidentally, Shane Green is also pitching way above his normal level as well. Check out his career stats – and we all know relief pitchers are erratic ? !!!!

            1. Last yr Boyd was good too. Saying that hes under control for another 3 years. It would take atleast Howard to start.were not getting him.

        3. BTW … I’m not endorsing that proposed trade. I’m just telling you that’s probably what it would take to get something like that done. Al Avila would first ask for Bohm and Howard. Klentak would tell him their untouchable. Avila would then move on to Haseley and Medina. As I’ve stated in the past, I’d like to see the Phillies deal from the lower levels of the farm (I’m sure Klentak will try), but the Tigers are going to want near ready prospects for 3+ years of Boyd, and 1.5 years of Greene.
          BTW … I expect Greene to be included in a deal for Boyd. The Phillies agreed to include Diekman when they dealt Hamels. It’s not uncommon.

    1. Only took three months…tic!
      Well at least they got their priorities straight…. the pitch clock is speeding up the game. 🙂

  86. On Matt Boyd as a disaster waiting to happen…..some notes on Boyd’s stuff.

    The GOOD

    1) K/9 is awesome

    2) BB/9 is awesome

    Both current year K and BB rate are best in career. Career K/9 and BB/9 are 8.6 and 2.8.

    The BAD

    1) Poor GB rate. GO/AO is bad. Those fly balls will turn into HR in CBP.

    2) Stuff – FB velo is 91-92 and almost a 2-pitch pitcher (FB 53% usage, DL 36% usage).

    3) HR/9 – 1.58 this will only go up in CBP!!!

    Alonso, Acuna, Riley, Rendon and Turner will probably feast on Boyd if Boyd pitched back to his average.

    1. Okay, Kuko….I’m on record with Minor anyway. The question was whether to trade Medina for Boyd. Your data is compelling. Minor for Medina and a couple prospects from the 15-25 range.

      1. 8mark….
        i am with you on Adonis.
        Maybe a future #3…..probably a back end guy.
        His last three years his K/9 is trending in the wrong direction with 100 innings pitched…fewer swing and miss, maybe less velo….and entering age 23 season in 2020 and should be getting stronger and more dominant
        That should not be happening.
        i am afraid his highest value is now….time to take advantage of that.

        1. Yeah, Romus….I’m afraid the best thing about Adonis Medina is his name….and even his name can’t hold a candle to Rixon Wingrove!😉

        2. @romus – “Maybe a future #3…..probably a back end guy.” — this is basically what Matt Boyd is —- ceiling #3 and floor back end guy.

          Medina’s K/9 looks bad this year at 6 K/9 but it was 10 K/9 in the last 2 years – career is 8 K/9. I’m not sure what causes the K/9 to be below average this year, but it is reasonable to think that Medina should have around 7-8 K/9 in the majors considering he can strike any batter out with all of his 3 pitches.

          Medina is not TOR dominant at the age of 23 yo. But is Boyd TOR dominant to give up Medina + 2 more Top 10 prospects?

          While Medina’s may not be the #1/#2 type that we want him to be, a solid #3 or #4 as floor is a reasonable outcome. Medina has good command. good make up and his FB can still hit mid 90s, both SL and CU still have potential to be plus, GB% is very good (this will work well in CBP), GO/AO not bad.

      1. KuKo…what say you Danny Duffy?
        Will come cheaper since Phillies will pick up a larger contract (5 yrs/$65M (17-21) for a small market team and he is having a very mediocre season with the Royals.

        1. @romus – I’m OK with any changes as long as it will not include Haseley, Bohm, Medina, Howard, Stott and most importantly the Phillies future DL – Darrick Hall! Zinger!!!

  87. I asked MattWinks (who is based in WIN) if he know anything about Matt Boyd and some random New Yorker thinks that Matt Boyd is a STUD with 3 plus pitches!!! If I thought that some of us are crazy falling in love with Matt Boyd somebody out there is worst!!

    He is is probably thinking of Chris Sale whose FB-SL-CU are plus. Matt Boyd is Chris Sale === I’m speechless!!

  88. Latest is, we are serious about Marcus Stroman. I join all of you in not trading Bohm and not trading Howard. And, I would be hard pressed to trade Haseley or Medina. I am not apologizing for RAJ. He did a lot wrong. But, the biggest failure of that run in Phils’ history is the ownership, Bill Giles, refusing to spend in the International market, and refusing to go over slot when there was not a slot system in place. There were players that we could have had that could have helped as the stars got older. And, what I feel was the worst blunder, and cost us another WS win, was the inexplicable, stupid trade, sending Cliff lee to Seattle when we received nothing in return, did it in a hurry so we couldn’t get top prospects elsewhere, and saved all of $9Million. Ancient history, for sure, but as big a blunder as there has been. All of that contributed to the team’s downfall, some precluding RAJ and some while he was GM. That is relevant today because the danger isn’t in trading prospects, but identifying who will be really good, and receiving back player/s who are difference makers. As much as I like Bohm and Howard, I trade them today for the next Doc Halladay. He’s not out there, however.

    1. The Lee to Seattle trade was the hallmark of the Giles/Monty cheapskate regime. Nice men who were universally liked but man, when it came to baseball, forget it. My biggest knock on RAJ was that he (apparently) didn’t stand up to his bosses in a case like that. With Doc and Cliff both in the 2010 rotation, our odds of repeating as 3x NL champs would have increased exponentially. What a horrendous decision that only a small market club would possibly make.

      1. I actually don’t think it was cheapness that caused that move. It was worse than that. It was Amaro’s desperation to make up for years of leaving the farm system fallow by acquiring as many prospects as he could in a single trade (as if that’s how you rebuild a farm system). And it was made even worse by the perceived need to make the move very quickly so the public would almost see it as a trade for Halladay, which it clearly wasn’t. It was just so bad and so poorly thought-out and executed at so many levels. And worst of all, it maybe cost them a WS in 2010.

        1. Catch, how about Ownership telling him that you can’t t have Halladay and Lee together? If you look at his trades this one is so far out of character for RAJ. He was made the scapegoat for the trade as management told him to do it. Lastly, Roy Oswald had very good post season so your assumption is questionable.

    2. I”l go out on a limb and see Bohm is the next Bryant and Howard is the next Kluber and they will both be at CBP in 2020.

      I’m still convinced Howard would have been this season if not for the shoulder set-back!

      1. I will probably stop with the Bryant and Klubs comparison, but I agree that both Howard and Bohm will wear red pin stripes next year.

        Howard is easy since he needs to be protected anyway and the leash for Eflin, Pivetta and Eickhoff will be much much shorter. Howard is a sure invite in the ST so watch out!!

        Bohm will be invited in ST but will not be added in the 40-man yet. With Cutch coming back and possibly Haseley staying in CF – Kingery will be the starting 2B/3B depending if Klentak will move on from Cesar. If Cesar is traded and Bohm tears the ST and AAA, he’s up by May. If not, wait until September unless there’s huge hole in 3B.

        1. If Bohm’s progress this year is any indicator of his future trajectory it’s hard to imagine his not being up by next May or June. He has so much going for him and he just seems to get better and better.

        2. If the Phillies move on from Franco, which I fully expect sooner than later, and they don’t acquire a stop gap 3B, I believe Bohm will be up midseason 2020, if not the opening day 3B. My question is one that may not be answered until it becomes evident, which is – are the Phillies convinced Bohm is a 3B long term? I’m not so sure by how they are assigning him at the moment.

      2. DMAR…..’I”l go out on a limb’……not much of a risk since they look to be Redwoods.

  89. Not sure if this should be in Thresher’s wrap, but I’ll post here:

    BA has its new Top 100. No Phillies added, not even Stott.

    Our two representatives are Spencer Howard, up from 91 to 69, and Bohm, down to 38 from 32.

    Not much comment on Howard, bud did say Bohm’s bat should play in either infield corner position, though questioned if he sticks at 3B.

    Top addition to the list is O’s Number One draft pick, Adley Rutschman at Number 5.

    Sixto dropped a notch to 20.

  90. I have seen references to Bohm not staying at 3B. Has anyone seen anything that indicates he can’t? I believe it affects his value, but I have seen nothing but guessing that he will have to switch positions. Maybe he’s not Schmidt or Brooks Robinson, but he hasn’t screwed anything up there, so why can’t he stick? So, until that happens, I think he will stay as a 3B, and may be the starter by 2021.

    1. Bohm’s value is only a concern if they want to trade him. The need Bohm for his bat and not to be traded. If ever Bohm cannot stay in 3B, he can switch to LF/RF and Kingery/Stott will be the 2B/3B.

  91. I think that is purely projection based on his size and the wear and tear playing 162 at 3rd annually.

  92. From the four games I saw Bohm play at Clearwater earlier this season, he doesn’t seem to have the quickness defensively of even Maikel Franco and I did see him not get to a below hit low towards his legs because he just seemed too slow in getting his glove down. Having said that, I also thought he played competently, didn’t make any errors and actually made one very good play in which he had to range far to his right for a ball and still throw out the runner at 1B.

    He also has been credited by the Phillies in working hard on his D and improving it. Finally, on the Franco comparison, it’s not D per se, but Bohm is a faster runner.

  93. Meghan Montemurro‏

    @M_Montemurro

    Smyly will start Sunday for the Phillies. This is based on him completing and passing his physical. Pivetta to the bullpen beginning tonight. Velasquez starts Wednesday vs. Tigers.

    12:57 PM – 19 Jul 2019

    1. That’s mildly surprising although I would prefer both VV and Pivetta head to the bullpen. If and when another SP is acquired, I’m sure….

    2. I hope that this switch for Pivetta is permanent. Let him go all out. His fb/cb combo should be more than enough to get guys out for 1 inning.

      1. I still harbor some hope that Pivetta can figure it out and stay in the rotation- the stuff is all there. VV should go to the BP as soon as he is able consistent with the team’s needs. Time to get on with part 2 of his career.

    1. ciada…probably because he has yet to come out of his time warp.

      Is it a desperation signing…or just the first of another move forthcoming?

  94. Bumgarner’s Status Now..Up In The Air:

    Jon Heyman ✔ @JonHeyman

    MadBum raised his trade value with huge performance last night. But the question now is whether he’ll be traded at all. One interested exec says he’d already sensed the Giants had “pulled back” in talks. Interesting call now: gutty team that’s hot vs. huge trade commodity

    334 12:18 PM – Jul 19, 2019

    1. That’s why SF is in this mess. Hardly any scouting outside US, trade every prospect that’s not glue to a wall for marginal upgrades, extende contracts that they can’t get rid off, and, of course, refuse to trade their biggest assets.

  95. Romus, I would be very happy with Troy Glaus, wouldn’t you? Isn’t Glaus who we should have taken when Boras told us JD Drew would not sign here?

    1. matt13…yes that would be him……taken 3rd.
      As for a defensive third baseman……not a Brooks Robinson, but he was serviceable…..if you go the basic Fldg%….925/.935 guy.
      For sure Bohm will last longer at third than Freddy Freeman….he lasted about one week.

  96. Pivetta’s apparently not happy about the move to the bullpen, from the tone of his quote to Matt Breen (tweeted) this afternoon. Might be another change of scenery candidate. And he might have some value to a team with an actual pitching guru who can whisper to him.

  97. In all of this trade talk, nobody is asking just how much worse these pitchers will perform here under this manager and pitching coach vs how they are doing now? Will Minor or Boyd be anything close to their current performance with Kapler and Young “helping” them?

    And please Matt do not trade any of our underperforming young players until they get a chance with a new manager and coaching staff.

  98. One more try on Moniak

    I take seriously the Keith Law and Baseball America opinions. However, what intrigues me about Moniak is that he appears to continue to get better, AND I know that human’s opinions tend to be “sticky” (e.g., if you were a scout and you saw Moniak fifteen months ago and he didn’t look good, it would take a lot to change your mind)

    Here are Moniak’s last 21 games:

    PA: 90
    K rate: 14.4%
    BB rate: 12.2%
    Slash: .303/.400/.487
    BABIP: .349
    ISO: .184
    wRC+: 157

    Those numbers for a 21-year-old in AA are borderline elite.

    I get that it’s a small sample size above, but a fuller picture would include that:
    (1) he had a very strong second half of last year in Clearwater (from this date last year through the end of the season in Clearwater his stats were .324/.355/.479 in over 150 PAs with a 11.6% K rate);
    (2) after a poor opening month in AA while still age 20, he has improved month-by-month
    (3) even if we include that crap April this year, his last calendar year (from July 20 1998 to now) looks like this:

    PA: 496
    K rate: 18.5%
    BB rate: 6.9%
    Slash: .287/.336/.453
    BABIP: .346
    ISO: .166
    wRC+: 126

    That’s 500 plate appearances. At what point do we say: he has pretty good numbers?

    Put another way, if Baseball America is right, and he’s our 18th best prospect, that’s a good sign for our farm system!

    1. Like someone said yesterday.. ax to grind with Moniak. Just Like V1 does. How can anyone look at those numbers and say he is EIGHTEENTH best prospect. I take ZERO stock in what these blowhards say.

      1. And they probably still love Garcia..he is young right? Batting a buck 90 in LOW a ball… but Moniak at .270 with the rest of his top 10 (or top 5) stats in AA as 5th youngest in league is a “disaster” ..all jokers. Sick of hearing this nonsense..total rubbish

        1. Good thing minor league stats translate directly to the majors. That’s why Darin Ruf and Cody Ashe turned into instant stars.

          Seriously, though, it’s fine to disagree with someone’s opinion. But stop insulting them because they don’t share your opinion. You have done nothing to prove that your opinion should be weighed more heavily than theirs.

          1. Fair point on the conversion of MiLB stats to MLB production.
            However, the example used is apples and oranges when comparing Ruf/.Asche to a Moniak.
            1. The appropriate/age level factor.
            2. College vs HS draftees

            Both Ruf and Asche were in their junior years in college while Moniak, at age 21, is in AA ball and soon to be in Triple A next year.

            1. Dom Brown. Laid waste to the minors. Was always ahead of the curve. Flamed out.

              I’m a believer in Moniak. But scouting the stat lines is a recipe for disaster with prospects. ESPECIALLY if you aren’t combining it with a scouting eye.

              At the end of the day, these guys get paid for their opinions for a reason. We’re just avid fans. And even if they’re wrong, that’s still no reason to be hostile because they don’t share your opinion. (Those comments aren’t directed at you, Romus)

            2. Yes agree there.
              And most of the times if they are wrong they will own up to it.

              There is an axiom I think holds true however.
              —Poor minor league metrics will not ever lend themselves to a player reaching the majors…just does not happen, usually the players have called it quits and moved on before they even get to Triple A
              —And plus minor league metrics does not always convert or translate to MLB, as you posted with the Dom Brown experience.

          2. One thing I learned from watching baseball prospects is never get too worked up over someones opinion good or bad as can be such a crapshoot as to what guys will pan out vs the ones you expected to but didn’t. I don’t care if it’s on here or sites like BA, the pros or the fans get them wrong and right all the time to varying degrees. I think it’s out of line to attack V1 and say he has an ax to grind for stating his opinions same for Law or anyone else.

            Moniak will either end up being the player we hope or he won’t. No one knows and no ones opinions should be trashed just for having them. Prospects in baseball are just so hit and miss, just look at one of our former top rated prospects in Dom Brown. The guy was rated one of the best prospects in all of baseball, has a crazy short run there for a minute and then it goes to hell in a hand basket. I remember the outrage when Jon Singleton was traded, as I joined in thinking we just traded a future star. At the time there was a ton of hype on him and look where that ended up.

            My point is just that it’s so hard to predict and project what these kids will turn into that there’s no point is getting so worked up over what either a scout or a fan on this board says about any prospect.

            1. Well said. If their performance dictates a big league promotion, let’s see what they can do. If not, life goes on.

  99. TRADE WATCH

    Stroman threw 7 shutout innings tonight in Detroit. Season ERA 3.06

    Minor gave up 4 solo HRs to Astro bats in Houston. He did K 10 batters and walked one in 7 innings. Season ERA 2.86

    1. Was at the Astros game. Minor looked good, but the homeruns were not cheap, nor were they hit on good pitches. He found a lot of the plate on all of them.

      Fortunately for him, all 4 were solo shots (granted 3 were back-to-back-to-back). There were only a few other hard hit balls beside those. But he’ll continue giving up HRs in CBP.

    2. I’m wondering if the Rangers would want major league talent along with a top 10 prospect for Minor since they’re looking to contend sooner than later.

      1. Daniels may actually take Herrera back into their system…..he spent his first six years with them from 2009 thru 2014.
        Only reason they left him unprotected in Nov 2014 was the fact they pigeon him as an 2nd basemen only and they were already loaded then with middle infielders.

        1. If Odubel was making $2M, they might consider it. But he’s owed $20M+ and he’s not hitting better than a guy off the street so why take this chance with the blowback from fans?

          1. He has two year left …$17M………2020:$7M… 2021:$10M…club options after.
            That is a cheap club friendly contract.
            Now they would be taking on the risk he will recapture his hit tool…however under these current circumstances, I am betting and I am sure they are…he will next year

            1. It’s a team friendly contract if he’s hitting. If he’s not, then it’s wasted money. And the Rangers will have to deal with the fallout of his suspension. Not sure why anybody would want to deal with that right now. Odds are, either he gets DFAd at the end of the season or he tries to rehabilitate his career in ST with the Phillies

            2. If Odubel gets traded, it will be for pennies on the dollar. If he does start to hit, would it not be in our best interest that he hits for the Phillies and not for another team?

  100. I’m pleasantly surprised by hAseley’s power. His homeruns have not been fence scrappers. I really like his overall game. Defense, lack of strikeouts etc. May not be a star but I can see a well rounded player especially if he can play center

    1. I like what I’m seeing with this guy, though I need to see more. I like his composure and make-up. Hope he is not a trade chip.

      1. To Jim and Sr – I also like what Haseley has shown so far. The only disturbing thing I’ve noticed is he has a propensity to hit the ball on a line drive right over 2B and the defense to date has had a fielder positioned right there. So, it looks like a hit off of the bat, but ball goes directly to the fielder. Originally I thought he sprayed the ball around so he couldn’t be shifted on – so maybe that is not borne out by the spray charts because Dodgers got him out several times this way. But then, they have scouts at Little League games charting future players. So far, so good….

  101. Pivetta, despite being unhappy about the move, may work out well in the BP> He does have the stuff. And full disclaimer, I was on the wagon that thought he would have a break out year, and that clearly didn’t happen. However, I am not giving up on him. His moving to the BP in no way means that Velasquez doesn’t need to as well. Gabe’s explanation about VV showing progress is nonsense. He still can’t put guys away 0-2, he still has no command, and he has always shown he can look excellent for 2 innings and stink the other 2. Nothing has changed, They were just kicking the can down the road until Wednesday and hoping another SP materializes.

    1. I agree about kicking the can, Matt. I think Klentak is scrambling to get something done ASAP.

      Speaking of the bullpen, Cole Irvin looked fairly decent in his 2 inning save last night. He, Velasquez and Pivetta are better options than the Edgar Garcia’s and Fernando Salases of the world.

  102. I agree, 8mark. I think Pivetta and VV can actually be effective out of the BP. we get the benefit of two “high leverage” arms, and not have to give up on them. I don’t know who the next SP they get is, but I am pretty confident they get someone. Alvarez, since a slow start in April, has been really effective, and Adam Morgan looks like he is getting back to his pre-injury form. I have been impressed with Haseley’s swing, his D and his demeanor. I think he looks good

  103. Phillies acquired righty reliever Mike Morin from Minnesota for cash. Seranthony moves to 60 day IL.

    1. Maybe they thought they were getting Minor but got dyslexic with the spelling.

      (Okay, not so funny, but a little clever, maybe.)

  104. Morin’s numbers look pretty decent but I don’t know anything about him. Why would Minny trade him when they are in a pennant race?

    1. Because, after a surprisingly good start in 2019, he’s stunk of late and is regressing toward his career ERA of 4.48.

      The Phillies are hoping Morin can return to his early form of 2019, while the Twins (with first hand knowledge) appear to have given up on this happening. It’s unlikely Morin will make a difference for the Phillies, but he came very cheap so there is really no down side.

  105. I just saw he had been DA’d to make room for Cron and Rosario coming off the IL. So, roster crunch, a buy low, take a shot, move by us.

  106. I’m having a hard time trying to understand the Smyly signing. I know Pivetta has struggled but is he really worse then Smyly? Though I do remember when we got Pivetta some said they thought he would end up in the pen at some point so maybe it’s where he can figure it out hopefully.

    This may be a terrible idea but I wonder if the phils have considered flipping VV and Ranger. Put VV back in the pen and until they can make a trade, try Ranger as the 5th and hope he can do 4 or 5 innings.

  107. Smyly cost nothing. Throw him out there for a couple of starts to see if something clicks. It’s not like he’s replacing Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, or Roy Oswalt. Klentak will probably acquire another arm in the next week and a half, anyway.
    I do like your idea to give Ranger Danger a couple of starts in place of VV. In fact, I’ve posted a couple of times Klentak should flip Velasquez for another “change of scenery” candidate. I’d talk to Detroit about a VV for Daniel Norris swap. They both are under team control for 2.5 more years.

    1. Hinkie…on board with Dan Norris.
      A lefty with good control this year and he may be due for a correction from these last few years where he has struggled.
      But still young and has loads of experience and seems to be compensating for losing a few ticks off his velo.

    2. Can I rant? The official Phillies site is awful. Apparently, Smyly Is starting tomorrow, but Velasquez is still listed as the starter. I didn’t even know that Irvin had been called up until he appeared in the game last night. Players have been coming and going all year and the Phillies site is always the last to report it. Being 3,000 miles away, I expect to be a little behind on the daily news, but the Phillies site is useless to me.

      1. Wawa, I believe that the Smyly signing hasn’t been made official yet. So they leave the information as is until so.

  108. Can someone tell me why Haseley is not playing center field? Is it that they consider Kingery a better CF? If so, maybe Haseley is not the CF of the future. And, can he hit with enough power to be a corner outfielder?

    1. Kingery has started a lot of games at CF and I think Gabe is comfortable with him there for now.

      I don’t think Haseley will hit enough to be a corner OF but we’ll see what happens. I previously compared Haseley to Brett Gardner, and Brett Gardner has bounced between LF/CF through out his career.

      1. Haseley isn’t as athletic or fast as Gardner but his hit and even power ceiling is higher than Gardner’s. That said, if he turns into a Gardner clone, he’ll be a very valuable player for the Phillies and I love how he flashes his former pitcher’s arm in the outfield. Haseley looks like a keeper for sure.

    2. Ciada, the impression I get is that (they think) while Haseley is adequate in CF, Kingery’s speed covers more ground. Moniak is a truer centerfielder. He’s a couple years away. Quinn can’t hit, otherwise he’d be playing more CF. Cutch shouldn’t have to play anymore CF when he returns next year. And then you have Doobie, or not, we’ll see. But if Haseley hits with the pop he’s showing now, he’d be fine on either corner and still handle CF if need be. It’s only a matter of time before Kingery assumes 2B and the CF situation sorts itself out.

  109. At the deadline, I would pick up a couple of joe Blanton like starters that are cheap prospect wise,, Roark, Leike
    Move VV and Pivetta to pen so you don’t have to overpay for bullpen help and see if that combo of moves can get a wildcard.
    I would not move Howard, Medina, Haseley, Moniak etc
    Not winning division anyway

    1. Sr…agree…Leake has one year left on his contact at $16/17M and Dipoto probably would like to move him……..and Roark a two month rental for $3M left this year.

    1. Agreed
      Probably a few others in that category
      Also don’t want to trade anyone with potential because I’d love to see Santos, VV, Pivetta, with a top level pitching coach

      Trade chips are
      Williams, Hernandez, Irvin, hall from AA,

      1. Those are some rather thin chips.

        Hernandez has some trade value, but only to a team that is looking for a second baseman. And of course, that team would need to be willing to part with a pitcher that the Phillies want.

        Williams, Irvin, and Hall are all pretty much throw-in types in any trade.

        1. Agreed. That’s why I’m looking to make small trades for Leake, Roark types. Not big trades.
          You could get leike from mariners for n williams

  110. Saw an amazing stat yesterday that the Pirates lead the NL in pinch hitting at over .320+. The NL average is .225.

  111. Here is a possible starting lineup for 2021 with considerable home grown talent:

    1b: Hoskins; 2b: Kingery; ss: Segura; 3b: Bohm; lf: Listi; cf: Haseley; rf: Harper; c: Realmoto; SP: Nola, Howard, Medina, Jones, FA.

    Would be great if that pipe dream were to work out.

  112. I know I am a broken record. But, the idea that all 3 of Pivetta, Eflin and Velasquez were going to excel was just dumb. Last year at the deadline, this off season, that was their rationale. I don’t know what analytics they were reading, but they read them wrong, or what they saw, they misinterpreted or they refused to use their eyes. No one wanted to give up on any of them or get 3 new SPs, but not to get one was simply poor management. All 3 have failed and it is simply incredible that we can’t get a single quality start from any of them. If we don’t get a legitimate SP now, who are we going to get in the off season?

    1. Gerrit Cole and Cole Hamels!

      Ale Wood (29), Oddi (30) and Wheeler (30) are also available.

    2. It would have been nice if all of them panned out, but I was hoping for 1 of them to make the leap.

    3. matt13….” I don’t know what analytics they were reading, but they read them wrong,”….a combination of a few…but the main one is FIP.
      Last year the three pitchers had very decent FIP metrics when compared to the rest of the league’s starters

    4. The FO wasn’t counting on all 3 to be successful. They were counting on ONE being successful, while hoping that 2 would be. What they were ALSO counting on was that one of our VARIOUS depth pieces would be serviceable. But it’s hard to plan for 10+ starting pitchers being bad-to-awful (Eflin, Pivetta, Velasquez, Arrieta, Eickhoff, Irvin in the MLB, De Los Santos in both, and Anderson, Romero, and Medina, in the first half, in the minors).

  113. Other than someone being overweight, can anyone explain what Eflin is talking in circles about with “a heavy body”? Another mystery illness that the pitcher can’t pinpoint. Sounds like he might be heading to the IL if they ever decide what to call it. Fatigue? Dead arm syndrome? At this rate they may push for 6 or 7 man rotations so pitchers will never build enough stamina to go more than 100 innings in a season…and they’ll still get hurt. I don’t think there are enough replacements out there to keep pace with this triage unit.

    1. Could be fatigue, could be he’s sick, could just be the heat wave is sapling his energy. I’ve felt like my whole body is heavy before when I had pneumonia. It sucked.

  114. I’m encouraged by this start by Smyly. It looks like he has a feel for pitching, and he’s not afraid to pitch inside on RH hitters.

    1. He was a very good pitcher…20212 thru 2015…. before his tendon started fraying he was on his way.

    2. Not bad for a free pitcher. Granted there’s a bit of salt to be taken with today’s start (the Pirates are in the bottom third of MLB for offense), but 6 IP with 8 K’s, 2 walks, and 4 hits is a good line regardless of the team.

  115. I’ll admit, im very surprised Pivetta was bumped to the bullpen. His preseason hype vs his actual season results are at the opposite ends of the specturm. If I’m Pivetta, I’m fuming that a pitcher with an 8+ era, and then they keep 4inning Vinny in the rotation … hard to believe this goes over well long term. If Pivetta does out it together, I say he’s likely to bolt, for the reasons I stated, in addition to the reports of his attitude, coming from those with inside access. Ultra disappointing that none of the pitchers brought up through this rebuild have panned out. Well will see. It should light a major fire under Pivetta’s rear, stating the FO at minimum doesn’t think your ready, or doesnt trust this important season in your hand and at worst, doesn’t believe your anymore than a high leverage bullpen arm … which Pivetta obviously disagrees with . Will see how this shakes out

    1. Tac3…sure Pivetta’s is disappointed….but he will have to wait four more years before he can bolt.

      1. Really? Seems like he has been around forever … same with VV. Maybe it’s just the seasons the recent seasons have been so bad that it makes it feel that way!

        Either way, reading the tea leaves, Pivetta seems like the type that would hold it against the FO. Hopefully he likes his teammates more.

    2. Nick Pivetta has nobody to blame but himself. If he wants to start, he needs to pitch better, plain and simple.

      1. I could see if he had a leg to stand on, but for someone with the stuff he has, he should be much better but it must be something between the ears as he’s just way too inconsistent.

        I suggested moving Ranger to the 5th spot and putting VV back in the pen, Ranger has given up only 1 ER this month.

        1. Ranger’s stuff has been playing up in the bullpen. It looks like he’s in a good place and has embraced his role in the bullpen. Leave him be.

    3. BTW, Drew Smyly just went 6 innings, 1 ER. In 13 starts, Pivetta has done better than that just twice.

      Pivetta should keep his mouth shut and pput up zeros in the bullpen.

      1. Judging by “game day” on espn, which is all I have, Pivetta was consistently hitting 96mph and 97mph with his fastball his entire outing, and what was getting hit was his 81mph splitter. Now that he is in the Hall I wonder if Mariano would teach him his cutter… wouldn’t that be an awesome pitch for him?

  116. So Cashner apparently would have sat out had he been traded to an undesirable team…

    That’s not a red flag, that’s a full on air raid siren. I see why the Phils FO balked, and I’m glad they did.

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