Open Discussion: Week of July 29th

Sell … Sell … SELL!!!  Ah, sell whom?  Sell what?  I don’t know that we have anyone in whom a contender would be interested, whom we would also want to deal.  Maybe, the Phillies remain buyers, looking forward to the 2020 season.  Perhaps such additions add a pulse to this team and they catch the added benefit of contending into September.

The trade deadline is 4:00 PM on Wednesday, July 31st.

Forgot to report that Jerad Eickhoff pitched a live BP Saturday that included Jose Pujols.

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

Key Dates:

  • July 31, 2019 – Non-waiver trade deadline (4:00 PM)
  • September 1, 2019 – Roster expansion to 40 players (for the last time)
  • September 8, 2019 – Coaches and players report for Instructs
  • September 9, 2019 – Instructs’ workouts begin
  • September 18, 2019 – beginning of the Arizona Fall League
  • October 12, 2019 – Arizona Fall Stars Game
  • October 26, 2019 – Arizona Fall League Championship Game

The rosters and lists are up to date as of July 28th … there are 398 players in the org

7/28/19 – Phillies optioned LHP Cole Irvin to Lehigh Valley
7/28/19 – Phillies recalled RHP Edgar Garcia from Lehigh Valley
7/28/19 – Jose Taveras activated by Lehigh Valley
7/28/19 – RHP Julian Garcia assigned to Reading from Clearwater
7/27/19 – Manuel Silva assigned to Williamsport from Lakedwood
7/27/19 – Phillies transferred RHP Tommy Hunter from the 10- to the 60-day IL, forearm strain
7/27/19 – San Diego traded LF Jose Pirela to Phillies for cash
7/27/19 – LF Jose Pirela assigned to Lehigh Valley
7/27/19 – Lehigh Valley placed OF Jan Hernandez on the 7-day IL
7/27/19 – Reading placed LF Cornelius Randolph on the 7-day IL
7/27/19 – Clearwater sent OF Ben Aklinski on a rehab assignment to GCL West
7/27/19 – RHP Tom Sutera assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
7/26/19 – LHP JoJo Romero assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
7/26/19 – RHP Spencer Howard assigned to Reading from Clearwater
7/26/19 – Clearwater activated C Jack Conley from the 7-day IL
7/26/19 – Clearwater placed C Rodolfo Duran on the 7-day IL
7/26/19 – LHP Chris Micheles assigned to Williamsport from GCL East
7/26/19 – GCL West sent OF Ben Aklinski on a rehab assignment to GCL East
7/26/19 – DSL White released RHP Cristofer Cruz
7/26/19 – SS Erick Brito assigned to DSL White
7/26/19 – 1B Arturo De Freitas assigned to DSL Red from DSL White
7/26/19 – RHP Raul Mendoza assigned to DSL Red
7/26/19 – Jose Taveras assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
7/26/19 – Ezequiel Ventura assigned to DSL White from DSL Phillies Red
7/25/19 – RHP Luke Leftwich assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
7/25/19 – Kyle Dohy assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
7/25/19 – Jhordany Mezquita assigned to Williamsport from Lakewood
7/24/19 – Phillies activated SS Sean Rodriguez from the 10-day IL
7/24/19 – Phillies placed 2B Brad Miller on the 10-day IL, right hip flexor strain
7/24/19 – Clearwater sent OF Ben Aklinski on a rehab assignment to GCL West
7/24/19 – Lehigh Valley placed Logan Morrison on the 7-day IL
7/23/19 – Reading placed RHP Tyler Viza on the 7-day IL
7/23/19 – Phillies sent RHP Fernando Salas outright to Lehigh Valley
7/23/19 – RHP Tyler Viza assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
7/23/19 – RHP Jose Taveras assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
7/23/19 – JD Hammer activated by Lehigh Valley
7/23/19 – Mark Potter activated by Lakewood
7/23/19 – Victor Santos assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
7/23/19 – Raul Mendoza activated by DSL White
7/22/19 – Lehigh Valley sent RHP Luke Leftwich on a rehab assignment to GCL East
7/22/19 – RHP Connor Seabold assigned to Reading from Clearwater
7/22/19 – RHP Colton Eastman assigned to Clearwater from Reading
7/22/19 – Reading placed RHP Luis Carrasco on the 7-day IL
7/22/19 – RHP James McArthur assigned to Clearwater from Lakewood
7/22/19 – RHP Dylan Castaneda assigned to GCL West
7/22/19 – LHP Cam Beauchamp assigned to GCL East
7/22/19 – Kyle Dohy assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
7/22/19 – Austin Davis activated by Lehigh Valley
7/21/19 – Phillies designated RHP Fernando Salas for assignment
7/21/19 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Drew Smyly

538 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of July 29th

  1. I was trying to figure out a comparable Phillies package for Stroman. Howard definitely would have had to be in it. Which makes it a non-starter for me. And then maybe someone like Morales. But he may be too far away. They may have needed both Howard and Medina to beat the package that the Mets sent. Hard pass for me.

    1. Huh????
      …..Kay and Richardson are not even top 100 in any boards….Medina and Howard are both top 100.
      Mets farm system is not ranked in the top half of the league, so it is hard to determine the value of a 24-year old Kay and a 19-year Richardson..
      —-Kay is basically DLS or Irvin
      —-Richardson is basically Morales.

      Stroman brought back little…he is a 8 month pitcher….2 months this year and 6 next…then he walks or pony up 5 years/125M minimum for his services.
      He already has claimed he has out performed his current financial standings under arb elig years…he wantd a buy out from the Jay and they refused. .

        1. Agree….DLS and Morales would have been a good offer.
          The trouble with Stroman is that he is looking like he wants that big payday more than anything.
          He complained to the Jays over the off-season about his contract status so they must have just got tired.
          A few years ago he was a dominant pitcher and again now this year.
          But many years he was less than a 2WAR pitcher…but his FIP has a\lways been below 3.9, so that is a good sign.
          I also expected a larger return on him.
          Brodie Van Wags will need to decide what to do with him this spring….Stroman will want that big contract before the season or he will walk after the season.

          1. Stroman is a #3 at best. Nice arm, small body that may not have too many bullets left. Roy Oswalt type minus the Ace status.

            And from Jim’s opening comments, it sounds like he knows something…??

            1. @8mark – Stroman > Boyd and Boyd is #3 at best while Stroman is #3 at least so I view Stroman better than what you think. Being undersized and not getting K/IP are the thumbs down that concerns me. But Stroman’s overall stuff and pitching repertoire are good. Stroman can be that solid #3 for the next 5 years,

          2. the phils dont seem to like DLS that much, and the Padres gave him up for 1 year of Freddy Galvis, so we shouldnt have expectations others would be overly interested.
            thought i read somewhere that the Jays were interested in drafting Richardson before the Mets took him.

            while i share the concerns about Stroman and wouldnt have wanted to overpay, this team wants to win, and you have nothing about question marks after Nola this year, and next- and Stroman in 2021 could get the allocation of money we’re currently paying to Arrietta through next year.

            P.S. Happy 10th anniversary of the Cliff Lee trade.

      1. @romus – i agree with you. I thought of DLS and Morales as comparable. I like Stroman because he got good stuff and he is a GB machine that works well in CBP. If Klentak, I will offer DLS + Morales+ Damon Jones.

        Howard is a Top 100 and Medina can be Top 100 is some rankings. Both are better prospects that what the Muts gave up.

        1. KuKo…..well the Phillies could still get him after next season.
          I do not see the Mets breaking the bank for him….especially if BVWags keeps Thor and has to start to think about paying him….along with Matz.

          1. I always thought that Stroman will be ATL bound since ATL has the stockpile of arms that TOR would want. Maybe your right about the potential big $$ payout after 2020 — this probably concerned ATL too and hesitated to give up some of their power arms for 1 1/2 years of Stroman.

            Gerrit Cole is still my target and if the Phillies signed him and I may not be looking at Stroman in after 2020.

  2. A mid-season top 10 list. Some interesting movements here:

    1. Interesting. What’s Haseley supposed to do? Came on strong and then has shown flashes in the majors. Outside of that, I think I’d agree with this.

  3. A few Keith Law scouting reports:

    Francisco Morales threw three innings in relief for Lakewood and had a 70-grade slider, a wipeout pitch that would make him a high-strikeout reliever in the majors in short order if he threw enough strikes. Morales was also throwing 94-96 mph and overpowered some guys with the fastball, but he had grade-30 command, and his changeup was too firm without any deception at 90-92 mph. I think he’s a reliever in the end, maybe an elite one, with a Dellin Betances build and demeanor, but I would give him another year or so to see if he can start.

    Lakewood shortstop Jonathan Guzman might be a grade-70 defender. There’s enough bat there to project him as at least an extra guy in the majors, maybe a contact guy without a lot of power but enough defensive value to make him valuable.

    1. Thanks for posting, list as well.

      DLS & Morales – id give them up for Stroman. Hoping I can resign him. Didn’t happen, so now we can look forward to Morales as a future BP arm to pair with Sir A. Clean out that bloated BP salary for good young controllable arms.

    2. Francisco Morales is only 19 yo so basically equivalent to a HS prospect drafted in the recent Rule 4. I think that giving him longer leash 2-3 years vs 1 year) to figure his command is just reasonable. If the Phillies let MoLlovera and Damon Jones continue to pitch as a SP all the way to the high minors, they should give Morales the same opportunity given Morales’ higher upside.

      I liked Morales ever since and I’m not yet ready to sound alarm on the command issues since this is generally an issue with teen age pitching prospects.

      1. Agree on Morales. At 19, he isn’t done filling out his frame. Only then can we get a truer reading of whether or not he belongs in the bullpen, or can remain a starter.

  4. Everything I’ve seen has both SP the Mets sent over as 3-4 types if they reach their ceiling. To me that would be something like Media/Morales or Medina/Jojo Howard alone dwarfs what they Mets sent over.

    1. I agree. Not sure if somebody in TOR ownership owns a share in the Mets franchise because they keep giving them a good hand. TOR gave the Muts Thor for RA freaking Dickey.

      1. You’re absolutely right, KK, but wasn’t Dickey the reigning Cy Young winner at the time of the trade? Even though Toronto got a lot of innings out of Dickey the Mets just did a good job of “selling high”

        1. Yes, CY had a career year when the Muts sold high on him. This is what I want the Phillies to avoid in overpaying Matt Boyd.

  5. I think people are really underestimating Adam Haseley. I went to a LhV game and was beyond impressed with him as a hitter. He has such a short, effective, easy swing and he hits the ball where it’s pitched. He also has surprising power. On top of that he’s a really good fielder and has a pitcher’s arm. He’s not a Dodgers type muscle man. He’s a good, old fashioned solid ballplayer and I think he has a chance to be very, very good – a legitimate first division player.

    1. There’s no way he’s less promising, sitting at this moment, than Medina or Luis Garcia. That’s my take anyway.

      1. I might just ride out the season, reevaluate roster, minors and FA’s then move forward.

        The Cutch injury really messed up the year along with Oduble situation.

        1. I’m shocked more ppl don’t bring up the fact that we lost 2 of our starting 3 OFer for the vast majority of the year. That’s a HUGE deal. Add in that just about the whole pen went down, or at least the top 4 guys as well. How many teams would be 5 games over .500 after losing all those players? Not many.

          1. The bigger deal was that we had some depth to replace them at some level and the GM pulled a magic trick getting Jay Bruce (it really was a superb bit of maneuvering).

          2. @Eric D – i think Klentak’s overvaluing his SP rotation is way worst than losing Doobie and Cutch. Doobie has been struggling and the combo Kingery + Haseley + Bruce somehow made up for production in the OF.

            But for the rotation — man, it is a big, big miss. I don’t want to belabor on Charlie Might Morton anymore. The fact is, Klentak has some good options entering the 2019 season improving both the rotation and bullpen.

  6. I think it’s important to keep in mind that after Gerrit Cole this winter, the FA starting pitching market is pretty thin. Teams (including the Phillies) may find it more appealing to acquire a controllable arm through trade now than wait until the off season. Most clubs who are in the wild card mix are probably looking beyond 2019 as well. Which entirely changes the landscape for the next 54 hours.

    1. 8mark…I think that is one reason why Cashman is looking at Ray of the DBacks since the FA market will be thin this off-season..
      But i am sure he will also go in heavily for Cole as a FA signing.

  7. We do not know what the internal ask was on the players the Blue Jays gave up but I have a hard time thinking we couldn’t have beaten that offer for Stroman.

    A little disappointing. I also think it’s time the Phillies get more innovative/creative. Maybe piggy backing Arrieta and Eflin and acquiring a 5th starter type.

  8. Okay, I’m starting to warm up more to Darick Hall for a number of reasons. First, he’s still only in his age 23 season – he has development time left. Second, his numbers have improved steadily and most importantly, his plate discipline has taken a huge step forward this year. What they are teaching our hitters at Reading appears to be working. Third, he has surprisingly good platoon splits for a lefty which bodes well for future development. Fourth, I’ve seen him play and he’s a beast – the dude can punish a baseball. That’s it – catch out.

    1. Join the club….now if Josh Bonifay would only start to get him to play a little LF it would be more enticing to dream on him.
      My fear..Cashman sweeps in and tries to get him for the Yankees at first base if Luke Voit begins to falter next season I’d hate to see Hall in that lineup with Judge, Stanton, Sanchez et al

      The other issue….Hall will probably not make it thru the Rule 5 in December since the Phillies may not protect him and there are other clubs that may take a chance on him…Seattle for one..

  9. Cutch was a huge loss to the team, Doobie, not so much. We need to do something for 2 reasons. The players on the team still think they can make the Playoffs, and we, the fans, deserve the FO adding help to achieve that. There is value going forward to getting there this year, or, at least, playing meaningful baseball in August and September. I can’t stand the thought of another year like last year where they were a dumpster fire to end the season. How many more subpar Starting Pitching performances can we be subjected to? Secondly, we need SP for next year. Where is that coming from unless we add a controllable arm this year? Does anyone think that we pony up the years for Cole? I don’t. I don’t think that even Mr. Howard thinks Spencer starts in the Majors out of ST next year. I hope we see him by July. We can’t go into next season with VV, Pivetta, Eflin and Eickhoff again.

    1. matt13….do you like Reds’ Tanner Roarke and Seattle’s Mike Leake?
      I think Klentak will go that will not cost much prospect capital.

    2. How do you feel about Bauer? (After is on field blowup – which he likely could’ve done on purpose knowing how nuts he is reported to be)

      Would you give Medina, Morales and Garcia for him? (Aka Howard/bohm – untouchable to me)

      These are the moves I can see for the future, but Bauer would worry me how he would fit into clubhouse. He is fiery, but looks like a loose canon from afar at times.

      I’d go into the year with

      FA (please be G Cole) or even Cole Hamels
      Medina (waiting for Howard to bump one of bottom 3)

      1. @Tac3 – I like Bauer because he’s good and brought him up before. Obviously, there’s some risk to take with Bauer —- as much as I like to have him pitching for the Phillies – I will NOT buy high for him because of the risk attached to him. So no Medina, no Morales, No Garcia for Bauer. I’ll offer no more than DLS + Connor Seabold + Grullon for Bauer and his asterisk.

  10. matt – The loss of McCutchen was the biggest loss to the Phillies this year. On the other hand, the bullpen, despite numerous injuries, has performed better than expected. The story of this season has to be the starting rotation. Despite a slow start, the Phillies have won 14 games that Nola started. Arrieta (bone chips and all) is a .500 pitcher. That’s all that I expected. What has killed the Phillies this year is Pivetta, Eflin, Velasquez, and Eickhoff. Their inability to pitch more than 5 innings put extra pressure on the bullpen, and caused Klentak to yo-yo pitchers back and forth from Lehigh all year. Pivetta and Eflin were the biggest disappointments as I expected both to win at least 13 games this year. For his part, Kapler has done the best that he could under the circumstances. Tomorrow night, we will get a second look at Smyly. He’s probably not the answer, but by Wed. Klentak should add another starter who could be the answer. Let’s all hope so.

    1. @Wawa – agree on the young pitchers under performing. Not just the 4 arms you mentioned so it goes to the other young arms in the team. That’s why I’m starting to look at the direction of the coaches whether its the pitching coach or the player development coach. Klentak just made it worst by not having a fall back plan.

      I like Drew Smyly of old and I do hope Smyly can turn back close to where he was back years ago. I’m not looking for a Cliff Lee or something, but at least an arm who can regularly pitch at least 6 IP with average of 3 runs.

      1. Agree on Smyly, and hoping…just hoping that for one lucky break which we seldom find here in Phillies country, a player who surprises us all by being what we never expected. It’s happened before…but just not around here.

      2. This would be a big boost if so. Be awesome to have have him flirting with a #3.

        This is inline with the new baseball movement, money ball vs smart ball?

        Basically everyone knows the money ball tactics now, so to hard to find them in time, vs now FO find a player who they believe they can tweak a thing or Two, and get better production out of. Perfect candidate for this … is Franco imo

    2. Cutch might be the biggest loss but if Roberston was able to do what he did with the yankees, that would have be a huge boost to the pen. Losing an All Star reliever sure does sting especially when you only got a few innings out of him and most of them weren’t very good.

      Pivetta and Eflin have been major disappointments, Hopefully with Eflin it’s more health related as he was one of the best pitchers we had early on. The whole things seems odd, he says he feels heavy and Kapler says he’s fine, if he’s fine then why is he saying otherwise? Pivetta I had high hopes for but now I don’t even know if he can be a good pen arm until he learns to trust his stuff.

  11. The inability of the phillies to produce good starting pitchers from their minor leagues is what is really setting this team back.If you need to trade or sign free agents for 4 of your 5 starting pitchers,it is not sustainable in the long run.Actually that appears to be the #1 issue.The only way to off-set that is to produce a lot of good position players so you can trade them for starting pitchers.
    Our long and lengthy re-build has produced what? Hoskins,Kingery,Nola & maybe Hassley.I guess you can count JP since he has brought us Segura.Everyone else was signed as a free agent,

    I’m pleased with Hassley so far,Gabe needs to keep him in the lineup full time,so we can have a good idea of the type of player he can be next year and beyond.

    It really make me wonder,which prospects we would’ve had to give up for Stroman,he would be a major upgrade for our starting rotation immediately.

    1. The Phillies OF is crowded. Not right now, but next year


      And with a moniak pushing. 3 of the Phillies top 10
      prospects are OF. Somethings gotta give.

      Who wins the Haselely bs Moniak race?
      Quinn – if healthy, he likely locks down a bench spot as the 5th of. Obviously the catch is the health part. His numbers are starting to come up, but his def is enough to keep him
      There imo.

      1. As we saw this year I think that’ll work itself out.

        Right now you probably go into next year with a starting OF of McCutchen/Haseley/Harper with Bruce/Herrera (assuming Herrera is back next year) as your 4th/5th OFs.

        Moniak is AAA and Quinn needs to show more this year to prove he belongs on a contending team. Williams probably is with another organization.

        A lot can change though. I do not think it’s that crowded and the depth is neccessary. That’s why the Dodgers are the class of the NL. They probably have 4 starting caliber outfielders in Bellinger/Verdugo/Pederson/Pollock. They make it work.

        1. I think Bruce is also your backup 1B. I think Quinn, if healthy, hangs around. I’m not sure what you do with Herrera and I think they try to get rid of him. But if his is around, I think they could ride w Herrera, Quinn, and Bruce on the bench with backup C, and then a utility infielder. Or maybe not. Depends on what they do with Hernandez and Kingery and 3rd base.

        2. JL26….the issue will come down to contracts/salary…..’They probably have 4 starting caliber outfielders in Bellinger/Verdugo/Pederson/Pollock. They make it work”…..only one is costing them any money, Pollock…all the rest are under team control.
          Phillies will have Harper/Cutch/Bruce/Herrera all on post-arb contracts..

      2. Herrera and Williams are as good as gone, Quinn needs to hit better. Will Cutch be the same guy? That is my take on the OF, might not be as crowded as we think.

    2. “The inability of the phillies to produce good starting pitchers from their minor leagues” —- this is not entirely true. Aaron Nola is a homegrown talent. Also, there’s the draft strategy employed by Domestic Scouting Team. If your Director of Domestic Scouting prefers to draft bats over arms in the annual Rule 4 — don’t expect the farm to produce a pitcher. So far, the farm produced notable bats since 2014 – Hoskins, Kingery, Haseley and possibly Bohm + Stott so that’s 5 MLB players in the last 6 drafts — which is in line with the recent draft philosophy of drafting a bat over an arm.

      However, this doesn’t mean that the Phillies should neglect pitching. Prior to Klentak, Amaro acquired a good amount of young arms close to the majors — Pivetta, Thompson, Lively, Eflin, Arano, Eickhoff and Klentak added Appel and Vinny to that list. All showed good promise. Since these young arms are close to the finish product when acquired, I’m not sure who’s fault it is when these arms did not develop as expected.

      1. Amazing the list of SP prospects, to be duds so far. There is still hope one of VV,Pivetta, or Efflin could emerge, I’d have to think one does. The odds are in thr phils favor. Either way, so far, Klnetak is 0 for #of SP drafted. Hopefully this changes,but his best contribution so far on the mound is Smyly … ok it’s really Arrietta.

        Nola was Amaro’s team correct? What about Sixto?

        Klentak will soon have Howard under his belt, possibly more.

        1. Tac3……Sox won it last year…how many homegrown arms in their rotation?
          Looks at the Yankees now….Severino is the sole guy and he may be thru with his shoulder issues.
          Anymore, teams do not have the time to wait around for a homegrown arm to mature and blossom or sometimes they are traded as trade chips, like Scherzer and Cliff Lee were early in their careers.

          1. Fine, grow two, buy 1, and trade for the 4th (should be best of the bunch or a close second) I don’t need a 5th, can be homegrown slop for all I care 🙂

        2. Nola was Amaro’s team. Sixto was during his reign, but that’s all Sal. GMs don’t oversee every international signing, so he probably just told Sal it was his call on small bonus players (of which Sixto was one; only a 35K bonus).

  12. The second I saw Cutch hurt his knee I thought ACL and our season was in jeopardy, if I only I could predict my fantasy baseball teams so well.

  13. Based on what the Mets gave up for Stroman, I wonder if it would take much more than Medina and a couple lesser prospects for Mike Minor.

  14. I’m not sure if this was already discussed or posted in the previous Open Discussions thread, but I just noticed that MLB updated their prospect ranking.

    Here are some of things I noted.

    1) Damon Jones I thought should be an easy Top 10 in most rankings. MLB has him at #21

    2) MLB still love CeeCee at #29. I don’t expect Randolph in any Top 30 for the last 12 months.

    3) Erik Miller #10. I love this ranking. I still have Damon Jones as the best LHP (he’s my #9 followed by Miller at #10).

    4) Vic Santos – made the Top 30 at #30. Santos is my #25. Santos current profile is like a Cal State Fullerton arm —- basically a command artist with soft FB. I like Santos because of his pitching repertoire — for a teen age Santos can throw a couple of solid off speed pitch both can be potential plus – SL and CU. Being 19 yo, I’m not worried about the lack of heat in that FB yet.

    5) Arquimedes Gamboa – still made Top 30 at #23. Gamboa did not even sniff close to my Top 50.

    1. on Miller, I’d have to think a 4th round pick immediately being placed in a Team’s Top 10 prospect ranking is an extremely rare if not unprecedented event, particularly for a guy not signed overslot.

      1. I’m not sure if where he was drafted matters to his rankings. Erik Miller is actually a steal for the Phillies at Rd 4 as he is ranked #61 going into the draft — this is equivalent to a Rd 2 talent. Also when it comes to rankings, it’s all about projections, ceilings and potential. Erik Miller is a big LHP that can throw with some heat and with a potential plus secondary (SL). Having 2 potential plus pitches elevates his ceiling to a #2/#3 and high leverage pen as floor — that’s a lot of prospect value.

    2. KuKo:
      Santos , when signed a few years ago, was up to 92 mph with his FB velo.
      The Phillies may have decided to reel him in until he reaches a more physical maturity. He is not built like Morales, more like Medina.

      1. @romus – a 19 you touching 92 is good news. The reports I’m getting is more on high 80s topping 90-91. But the 2 off speed are said to be really good particularly the SL. Santos can throw 3 legit pitches for strikes. But he needs to have that FB to catch up – currently slow and straight.

        1. KuKo…actually he was touching 92 @ 16 when he was signed.
          He has now ticked down.

          1. I watched the Claws 3 times this year but miss on Vic Santos in all occasions. I’m planning to watch again and this time, I’ll make sure Vic Santos is pitching so I can see his FB. Santos looks full so even at young age, there may not be enough arm strength coming. But he is current my #25 so I like him a lot.

  15. Where do people place blame when it comes to GM and coaching staff?

    Rash of injuries has been crazy. The offense has certainly struggled but you were expecting Cutch and Herrera. Can’t do anything about those situations.
    The bullpen has been bad but man, so many injuries there as well. Can’t put that on the FO or Gabe.

    However, going into the season fully relying on Eikhoff to be healthy (and effective) and then three guys which haven’t proven over the course of a season they can be effective gets put at Klentak’s feet.

    The FO did pull a great Jay Bruce trade. Smyley will need a few more starts to be at least a little evaluated.

    The FO has butchered things, seemingly, with Nick Williams.

    So, for the FO, I think they can point to the Bruce trade as a positive in season adjustment but marks against for lack of SP depth.

    However, at what point is coaching responsible? I struggle to know the value of a manager or coaching at a major league manager. However, the overall picture is that Kingery has made a jump and Hoskins kind of has, but every other everyday player has not met expectations. And there is a lot of talent (Segura, Realmuto, Harper) so it’s not like its trying to get kids to take the jump. So whether or not that’s Melee’s fault, it falls at his feet. This is the organization that fired Milt Thompson for far less. I believe Matt Stairs is still available.

    The Phillies obviously value Chris Young to push Kranitz to Atlanta so they could keep Young. Outside of flashes, the pitching hasn’t been good. Eflin had a moment but none of Eikhoff, Eflin, Valezquez, Pivetta have made the big jumps that you would hope. Maybe some are miscast but you would hope there would be something to hang your hat on. Seranthony was struggling before he got hurt. Can’t blame the Young for Robertson, Neshek, Hunter and Arano getting hurt or for Ramos’s velocity not coming back – but again, what do you hang your hat on if called in and asked to present a case for him keeping his job?

    I also wonder if the Phillies do a disservice to some pitchers by not putting them in the bullpen earlier. Obviously SP are more valuable, but if you think that Llovera or DLS are bullpen options, why not give them a little more time there to get into that mentality. I’m not sure its that easy just to throw a guy into that role. It just seemed foolish to think that Irvin could suddenly pitch out of the bullpen or DLS.

  16. I have sort of come to accept the fact the Phillies aren’t good enough to win anything this year. As Eric D mentioned, the injuries to almost the entire bullpen has been devastating, The lineup went from being deep to just ok when McCutcheon went down. The rotation is a mess (Aaron Nola and four days of keeping your fingers crossed). It’s almost unbelievable that this team is still just one game out of a playoff spot.
    This club needs to take advantage of about two weeks of very winnable games up next:
    Three at home vs the SFG.
    Three at home vs CWS.
    Three in Arizona (DBacks may look a lot different after trade deadline).
    Four at SFG.


    About the trade market …
    The fact that Toronto accepted what it did for Marcus Stroman could have an impact on the market, in general. Up until now, I had heard/read this is a sellers’ market. Just like contracts, other GM’s will base potential deals this week on what Stroman went for. Maybe the price for Mike Minor, Robbie Ray, Matthew Boyd, etc. won’t be as expensive as first thought. Not sure if that will make Klentak more inclined to pull the trigger on a big deal. Tanner Roarke should be affordable, and is likely high on Klentak’s shopping list. Alex Wood finally made his 2019 debut this weekend, and could also be under consideration.
    As I’ve mentioned before, I’d like to see the Phillies take a chance on a guy like Daniel Norris. Aaron Sanchez is another pitcher I’d have some interest in. Sanchez has pretty much hit rock bottom in Toronto. I’m not sure the Blue Jays would want to sell so low on him, but he (like Stroman) is only under team control through the end of next season. Sanchez has shown some life recently (20 K’s/1 BB in 15.2 IP over his last three starts).

    1. @Hinkie – I agree with you about the impact of the Stroman trade. While people likes to make their own valuation of the players, it will still go down to what the market dictates. TOR selling Marcus Stroman low will become the benchmark which can drive the cost to acquire the Matt Boyd’s, the Mike Minor’s, etc to be less that what everybody thinks about their value.

      Sometimes it will take just one motivated seller or one crazy and trigger happy GM to dictate the market.

      I still think it will be Tanner Roark and Klentak will probably ride with Smyly. Alex Wood will be a target this offseason.

      1. My preferred targets are in order,
        all of which would be under contract through 2020 and/or beyond. I don’t believe Klentak will target a rental. I did but from what I’m sensing about the market, rentals may now be a harder sell for teams other than LAD, ATL, NYY, MIN, HOU, and none of the rentals are THAT good, including MadBum who may not even be available anyway.

        1. 8mark – Last winter, when the rest of the fan base wanted Robbie Ray, I resisted. I felt that we could get the same performance from two of Pivetta, Eflin, Velasquez, and Eickhoff. I was wrong. If we have a second chance to get him now, I want Klentak to take the chance.

  17. I like Tanner Roarke, and I Leake a bit less. I remember a number of good performances vs us by Roarke when he was in Washington. To help us out, without much of a prospect outlay, I would take either one. The SP issue is on the FO. They counted on what we had, and I have admitted, I thought Pivetta would be something this year. But, to count on all of them? That was dumb. They had a chance to rectify that by signing Keuchel after the draft, when all he cost was money. What has he made, 4 or 5 starts? Check his numbers vs. our guys not named Nola. Matt Klentak’s “objectively excellent” off season missed a really big part, Starting Pitching! And, let’s discuss Irvin. He is hardly a flamethrower. Why is he put into a BP role, when his future, if he has one as a Major Leaguer, is as a SP. A guy with great stuff, who has command issues, can work on them out of the BP. What’s BP work going to to do to help Cole Irvin? And, why would our manager, down 4 runs in game 1 of a crucial series vs. the team we are chasing, go to the last guy in the BP when we just had an off day? How is that even remotely smart Managing? I don’t like anyone to lose their job, but this Manager, PC, and HC need to be replaced. And, count me on the Joe Girardi team.

  18. Maybe I’m the last to know…

    But the Phillies mlb top 30 looks like it was updated.

    Cornelius holding on #29
    Gowdy still on the list at #27
    Ortiz outside the top 10
    Moniak in at #9
    Howard not as high Medina
    STott,Miller, added

  19. Hinkie…I respect and love your posts and will always feel like a kindred spirit with you since we both kept the Harper to Philly talk positive and fun. However, I disagree with your assessment of the Phils schedule being easy the next two weeks.

    Seven games against the hottest team in baseball, the Giants. I live in California and the Giants truly believe they can relive 2010,12 and 14 and are a very impressive team right now…winning something like 20 of their last 25 games. Don’t for one moment undervalue them. And its not the Chicago White Sox, its the Chicago Cubs….BIG difference.

    As for Arizona, the Phils have historically done poorly in Arizona. Unlike you, I think these next two weeks are brutal. We shall see, but I would be very happy with 7 wins in these 13 games, and suspect the Phils might win less than that.

    Right now, this is not a very good team….

    1. White Sox this weekend, not the Cubs.

      But great to hear from you, Cal Dream! Missed your posts since the Harper deal, even if you’re not telling me what I want to hear. Don’t be a stranger….

  20. Hinkie, I love your posts. We, however, can’t go by the schedule, because we can play awful against the worst teams, do well against the best Pitchers, and make guys with 8 ERAs against the rest of the league look like Cy Young candidates. And, unless we get SP help, we aren’t going anywhere. I can’t believe that Eflin will be allowed to start Thursday’s game.

    1. Totally agree, Matt. When a team is playing well, they can beat anybody. When they’re not, anybody can beat them.

      Looking at’s post today on the 7 likeliest players to be traded, they have any 2 of the Yankees, Twins and Brewers acquiring either Minor or Ray. Of those other 5 players, they list Yasiel Puig as a potential fit for the Phillies, along with the Indians and Rays.

      I’m very disappointed in Klentak for utterly neglecting the starting rotation over the winter. However, I’m trusting him this once to find value beyond a mere rental between now and 4pm Wed. He’s shown he won’t overpay in a trade. But will he get a pitcher worthwhile. Or, as MLB suggests above, is he looking to bolster the lineup with more offense to overcome the deplorable rotation?

      1. Mr. Dreamer … good to see you posting again.
        The Phillies host the CWS this weekend. They host the Cubs later in August. This team should win at least nine of those 13 games I listed (maybe ten). I understand San Fran has been hot, but IMO they would be making a “Giant” mistake by not selling at the deadline. Get on with your rebuild, already. This SFG club is not comparable to the championship squads you mentioned. They should be crashing back down to Earth any day now.

        1. Interestingly there were A LOT of Giants fans when I was at Petco on Friday. I was talking with one for quite a while before the gates opened. It seems like the fanbase is fully against selling. I told him, if it were me, I’d be screaming to sell because that team is playing way over their heads and their farm system is not going to be helping them anytime soon.

          But if they’re on a streak and the fans are truly against selling, then I could see why the FO would acquiesce. And it seems like that’s what’s happening. Obviously that changes if a team makes a ridiculous offer for one (or more) of their players. But if the Stroman trade is any indication, no one is about to do that.

          As an aside, a Giants fan was (by a HUGE margin) the most obnoxious fan of any team I’ve run into so far. He was firmly in the camp of, “I’m loud, therefore I’m funny/clever.” He was neither funny nor clever. At one point he was yelling about my jersey (Utley). He started with, “Utley doesn’t even play for you anymore!” I told him, “Utley doesn’t play for anyone anymore. He’s retired.” So then he yelled about Utley being retired. The kicker is, the dude was wearing a Scottie Pippen shirsey. Oh, I should also mention I was literally right in front of him. So he was yelling just for the sake of other people hearing him.

  21. Phillies inability to produce starting pitchers or good position players..I should have said…draft and develop..And I meant going back to when they Last made the playoffs,which was in 2011.
    So..starting in 2012 till this year 2019.. that is EIGHT years,and you can’t count the current prospects that are still in the minors..

    Bottom line…that list is very small…Has to be the worst for any club during that span..

  22. The Phillies ranks in MLB:

    – Runs scored: 16th
    – OPS: 20th
    – OB%: 19th

    – ERA: 18th
    – Strikeouts: 20th
    – Walks against: 18th
    – Batting average against: 22nd

    – Fielding %: 16th

    Let’s not kid ourselves on where we are. We are average to below average in every facet of the game. Selling our farm to pick up a pitcher or two will not change this materially. We need to upgrade 6-8 players.

    1. @v1 – while I still like to be overly optimistic about the Phillies. their chances is WC at best and even Nola carry the team in the WC, the Phillies will rely on a non-Nola pitcher in the 1st games against the Dodgers.

      I still like Klentak to make changes to keep the winning fight within the team but I hope that Klentak will fight the urgent of trading the top prospects.

      This season is now in the shoulders of Harper, Hoskins and JTR to carry the offense and 2 of the non-Aaron Nola SP to starting pitching like a #2/#3.

      1. We should always be trying to improve the team. I am just against rentals. Any player we add should have at least 2 years remaining IMO

        1. I agree on the continuous improvement. But I’m not adverse on the rental, as long as the price is not prohibitive. I’m actually against the Kilome trade last year because I still think that Kilome can be a very good shut down RP.

          As for years of control, this is depends on the type of player. I don’t give much value of Boyd’s years of control since Howard, Medina or even Damon Jones might be a better option than Boyd 12 months from now. I like Stroman and that’s a missed opportunity for Klentak. I also like Robbie Ray.

    2. Exactly. Being an average-ish team and selling the farm for some hope you can win a wild card and go somewhere is the trap of the average franchise. I call it cannibalizing the rebuild – you sacrifice your future for some momentary sense of progress. It’s what desperate, short-sighted teams do and I hope the Phillies don’t take the bait. If they do, it will be 2023 and we will still be under the Braves looking up. No thanks.

      1. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t make a trade, but it does mean they shouldn’t be trading valuable pieces unless the players they receive in return are under control for more than this year at least and are relatively affordable.

  23. Moniak is making a push. He ought to get a move to AAA before the end of the season. To me he looks to have warranted a bump. I’d expect him to regress a little and then handle himself by middle of next year with a potential showing in the big leagues, but likely eta is 2021 season.

    Then will have to wait for Stott and Garcia.

  24. Opps, it is the White Sox, my mistake. And 8mark, thanks for the kind words. I am here everyday to read and digest, will try and post a bit more, especially since I can try and provide a view from the Left Coast.

    And I still think the Giants offer a huge challenge for the Phils, they are not the same team we were reading about a month ago. They have a very talented young club now and Yastrzemski’s grandson is a very good player.

    1. Their team isn’t that young. It’s true their average age is 29, but that’s brought down by a lot of young players who don’t play much.

      They have 15 players with over 75 PA. 10 are over 30. Only one is younger than 28 (Duggar).

      Their pitching staff is a little better. 14 players with over 30 IP. Half are over 30, with 4 under the age of 28.

      But I vehemently disagree with the “talented” descriptor. Talented in the fact that they have players capable of being in the MLB, sure. But as far as MLB players go… not really. The don’t have a single player with a fWAR over 2. Their top 4 are Posey (1.9 WAR, 32 years old), Dickerson (1.5, 29, with a .452 BABIP), Longoria (1.4, 33), and Vogt (1.2, 34). Everyone else is below 1.

      And Yaz’s grandson has been pretty good at the plate (112 wRC+). But even he is 28.

  25. I’d sign on to a trade for Zack Greinke if the FO can make it happen. The availability of money favors the Phils if Greinke would waive his NTC.

    But another useful pick-up, and likely an easier one, is Zack Wheeler. The Mets seem intent on unloading him and not to the Yankees. He would be affordable for the Phils to re-up for 2020 and beyond. He’s a #3 in a rotation like the Phils and makes it easier to keep Pivetta in the pen where he is having success.

    1. No way the Mets trade Wheeler in the division. It won’t happen. A trade to the AL (As? Twins?) is much more likely.
      I expect a few small moves but I don’t think we’ll be very excited by either. The Pirela move is the type of stuff they’re looking at. I could see Leake or maybe one of the Reds pitchers for mid level talent. I could also see the White Sox closer but he’ll cost more. Two prospects ranked from 6-10 is reasonable, maybe one of them 10-15, I think for a year plus two months of the closer. A Moniak and DLS or Morales and DLS would do it.

      1. ‘No way the Mets trade Wheeler in the division’…..nobody knows what Brodie VanWags does or who are able to predict what he will do.
        Inter-divisional rivalries may mean nothing to him.
        He has Met nation spinning their heads trying to make sense of his moves.

      2. Murray, rarely — re your point about the Mets trading within the division — is a poster proven wrong so quickly.

  26. We are rumored to be talking to WSox about Alex Colome. I am happy to get some BP help, but a SP is #1 on the “need desperately” list. Can you imagine getting Bauer and Puig? Two guys with some, shall we say, issues!

  27. Last year, we should have r-acquired Hollywood and this June acquire , Keuchel ..That may have been a the right combo…

    It seems that the Phil’s don’t know how to nurture or develop young arms, and generally confuses them so much which turns their brains to mush.. LV or PHL/ Starter or RP — when they are struggling on the mound, where the heck is the p/coach?

    I think losing Cutch this yr was a killer as was losing Robertson.. just my two cents.

    1. Two huge losses. But look no further than NYY. They are having a phenomenal season and lost Stanton, Judge, Severino, etc and have dominated the AL. While getting disappointing performances from Happ and Paxton. The Phillies need to build a deeper organization.

      1. yes, those losses hurt, but a past his prime Cutch going down, especially with picking up Bruce for nothing, shouldnt be a killer.
        Tampa has alot smaller payroll, lost Glasnow, and now Snell, pulled D’arNaud off the street and have 60 wins.
        Cleveland has lost Kluber and Carrasco, has no outfield and Ramirez underperforming, and have 62 wins.
        Oakland got their best SP suspended, and Khris Davis, Treinen, and Profar have all underperformed, but they have 60 wins.
        some of that is really good managing- some of that is having guys given the opportunity and step up, which we really havent seen in Philly.

    2. Pirel’s Tires ( or you can go with as a stretch Pirela’s Tours)….that is the essence of this team’s mediocrity.
      Klentak misjudged his starters in the off-season. Kapler and Young…relying solely on analytics and the idea that FIP is a solid projectable metric for future success, especially since they rebuilt the defense. Klentak should have modified that strategy….and realized the odds for all three pitchers to click was low
      Then again, Klentak let Morton walk a few years ago, so he may have to incur the lion’s share of the fault.

      As for nurturing young arms….you have a point.
      Last June when they sent down Eflin to LHV, administratively mind you, he just did not respond after that.

  28. Realistically, the Phillies need to add about 9 players in order to solidify their current roster- 3 starting pitchers, 3 relievers, a starting third baseman, a backup catcher, and another bat off the bench. The Phillies brass are going to have to ask themselves if it is worth gutting an already weak system for marginal upgrades this year, or wait until next year when they could possibly have Alec Bohm and Spencer Howard ready to join the big club. And I would even add Grullon to the mix as the backup catcher. Hasley would be your fourth outfielder, assuming that they keep Jay Bruce, and hopefully they can trade Ceasar Hernandez and let Scott Kingery man 2nd base full time. I know there are people who will say that CeHe is one of their best players, but he is an average defensive second baseman, and is the one Philly who would most likely to be picked off, doubled off, caught stealing, and thrown out stupidly trying to take an extra base.

    1. If Seattle is paying Bruce’s $13/14M salary for 2020, might as well keep him and move him as a rental in July if circumstances change for the club..

    2. I agree mostly in what you said but I just want to add that Klentak needs to add Gerrit Cole and possibly another arm (Cole Hamels or Alex Wood) this offseason and make a run next year. Pivetta is starting to look good in the bullpen so I will not be surprised to see Pivetta to be closer next season with Seranthony as the 8th shut out arm. I’m still optimistic that Vinny will be a very good high level bullpen arm

      So if Klentak can sign a couple of veteran SP this offseason the rotation and bullpen will look like:

      SP – Cole, Nola, Hamels (or Wood), Arrieta, Medina/Howard/Eflin
      RP – Robertson, Hammer, Morgan, Damon Jones, Vinny, Seranthony and Pivetta as the closer.

      The position players will be:

      Starters – JTR, Hoskins, Kingery, Bohm, Segura, Cutch, Haseley and Harper
      Bench – Grullon, Bruce, Quinn, Miller and another FA

      NickyDubs, Cesar, Franco, Neris, Alvarez, Knapp might be wearing a different uniform between the trade deadline and start of 2020 season.

    3. Cesar was good 2 years ago when he was posting 3 WAR and costing $2.55M. His WAR is going down and his cost is going way up. He’s either getting traded or getting cut. It’s doubtful that Cesar will be on the roster in ST. I would be shocked if Kingery is not manning 2B opening day.

      Adding 2 (good) starting pitchers would be a monstrous task, adding 3 is a near impossibility. Nola and Arrieta will definitely be there in 2020. You have to figure that there’s going to be a lot competition for starting jobs. The Phillies will have to add at least 1 starter from FA.

    4. I don”t think they drafted Haseley a college bat 8th overall to be a 4th OF at least I hope they didn’t.

      Bruce if he is here next year is your left handed bat off the bench. Not sure the time table on Cutch’s return and if he will be the same player. I know baseball isn’t football but still an ACL on a guy his age tough.

      I agree Bohm and Howard should be ready to join the Big Club in May/June next year. Knapp hasn’t really stepped up so I’m cool with Grullon getting a chance at the back-up roll.

      MK has some pieces he needs to move starting with CeHe and Herrera. We’ll see how he does it.

      1. DMAr…Lyles traded to the Brewers…he was the one you wanted the Phillies to get.

        1. Hey Romus yeah when I logged off last night I went right to MLB network. Dan O’Dowd was on with Ken Rosenthal.

          Dan said he had a hand in drafting Lyles. Liked him a lot but said he is another tale of 2 pitchers meaning the results haven’t aligned with the stuff. His last 8 starts were abysmal but that is the point when you are bargain shopping.

          You hope a guy can get motivated in a playoff push or tweak a thing or two and have a strong second half.

          The Phillies its seems always loved going after Players that play well against them. I kind of like the Vargas move we’ll see how it unfolds.

          1. DMAR..agree.
            Some think Vargas and Smyly are dumpster diving….and they may be….but get them where every pitcher wants to be in August and Sept…and who knows what they can do…empower them.

      2. @DMAR – agree on Haseley. The Phillies will ride on Haseley as their CF as long as his defense can hold. Bruce will be that power lefty bat from the bench that will play back up 1B/DH/LF.

        Trading Cesar has been a long debate in this site and we might end up seeing that happen sooner than later.

  29. Romus, we were in this position last trade deadline, and passed on Cole Hamels. SP failed in spectacular fashion. Doubled down this off season, and didn’t even enter negotiations for Morton. We know what happened with Corbin. Then we had a chance to make up for past mistakes, albeit in a smaller way, and pick up Keuchel for free. Missed that as well. I am reiterating what we all know because Klentak cannot fail for a fourth time. At least, I hope not!

    1. matt13…..many missed opportunities on the part of Klentak.
      Shame Middleton offered him and Andy extensions in the spring, and just have waited until the fall to evaluate further.

  30. Brewers acquire RHP Jordan Lyles from Pittsburgh for righty AA pitching prospect Cody Ponce.

    1. milwaukee needed a warm body- i guess maybe we could use one as well, but im imagining the reaction if Klentak traded for a pitcher with season and career ERA of 5.3, albeit with some years in Colorado in there.

      1. I don’t think Jason Vargas will yield a Top 30 prospect. Klentak need to ask Mayo’s help to oversell Jose Gomez. Daniel Brito and Rodolfo Duran ranked #18 and #24 in the MLB ranking. I think both are expendable for Vargas.

        1. The Muts are absorbing some $$ in the trade. Josh Stephen and his beautiful swing should appeal the Muts. Or they can ask for a LHP – hopefully, it’s not Bailey Falter.

    1. Mlbtrade says it’s the Phillies ….

      Wondering what the divisional premium was?

      Looks like he can give the Phillies between 5-6 innings and outing, giving up around 3 runs. So basically, he is the Phils number 2.


    2. …… us according to Jeff Passan, ESPN., wow, huh, wow, better be a lot more coming our way!

  31. This stretch is where I really miss Pat Gillick. Nobody was better at assembling talent for a stretch run than Gillick and he typically didn’t give away the farm while he was at it. Scott Eyre, Matt Stairs, and Joe Blanton. All critical in the 2008 race – and none of them cost anything that we ever missed.

    1. And I ripped him at the time for the Blanton trade (and I mean I really, really ripped him) – but it turns out he was right all along.

  32. catch, you are so right! And he knew Werth from Baltimore, so got him for nothing with the thought of platooning him with Geoff Jenkins, and Werth took off. And, he made FA signings that weren’t good and the awful Freddy Garcia trade, but he didn’t let mistakes stop him from continuing to make deals.

  33. Austin Bossart goes to Mets, Sounds like a good, low cost, pick up. Vargas can actually give a quality start. I hope I am not offending any Bossart fans.

  34. Phillies acquire Jason Vargas for Austin Bossart. Solid move – another no risk, reasonable upside trade. Vargas has been better than every Phillies’ starting pitcher this year except Nola. A move like this has a hidden value. It means that perhaps Velasquez can be moved to the pen if he falters as a starter. I except them to acquire another starter and maybe another bat.

      1. Everyone should be aware, the rules have changed. Teams are rarely now trading good prospects for older talent. They’re just not doing g it on most occasions. I don’t think any of the sellers will be happy with their returns. It’s a good time to be a buyer. The Phils could still be in on another starting pitcher and a reliever. Improving the “edges” at minimal cost. It wouldn’t surprise me if they shut Arrieta down and let him get his surgery to be ready for next year. I also think Logan Morrison will be up after he gets healthy. Vargas is just adequate but he’s an improvement for us.

        1. This is not good for baseball. If you’re a poor team, and you can’t retool quickly by trading your best talent for good prospects, then you’re just going to continue to be bad. The Stroman trade is exhibit 1. Stroman even had 1 more year of control, and the Blue Jays couldn’t extract a top 100 prospect. Can anybody say that those 2 players the Blue Jays got have really improved their system? As a Blue Jays fan, can you really be excited by the deal?

          1. The irony…..prospects on a whole are highly valued, cherished and accumulated…..prospects also, on a whole, have low success rates.
            It is a dilemma all GMs struggle with.

  35. Austin Bossart, AA catcher – is the prospect. Expendable for the Phillies. Wish him well, except when his efforts impact the Phillies 🙂

    1. I know Bossart’s family member is a regular here, best of luck to Austin, I hope it makes it to the Show. Good Luck

  36. Brodie Van Wags decides to trade within the division….there goes that belief he will not..

  37. Contract also has a team option for 2020. I think/hope Klentak has learned that you don’t rely on untested arms for 3/5 of your rotation. If Vargas pitches well this year, I expect he might be around for next year too. There are worse things.

    1. Austin is a home grown guy who went to Penn. But he had a .195 average in AA this year. I bet Mets fans are steamed about this.

    2. Just watched some Vargas highlights … says his FB collects in at a blistering 84 mph … not overly hyped anymore. His stats look decent for this year, was an 18 game winner 2 seasons ago… but if 84 mph is true … it’s eickhoff with a crappier curve. Maybe he teaches Eickhoff how to pitch with below 84 mph FB

        1. The Oriole’s had a position player get a 3-out save throwing in the 50’s… 😀

  38. I feel like this is a great move by Klentak, another in a long line of very solid moves – Bruce, Morin, Smyly, Vargas, Brad Miller, etc. However, let’s all remember when Vargas gets here and his performance goes south, it is not that Klentak made a bad trade, it’s that he has a bad manager. Kapler Salary = Stupid Money

  39. This is the kind of move I’m ok with. I don’t want to give up anything of real value in trades because I don’t think the Phillies have a realistic shot this year. Save that ammo for NEXT SEASON or off-season trades.

    Trading a 26 year old catcher hitting below the Mendoza line at AA who at best projects to a defensive backup in the bigs is acceptable.

  40. I know they probably won’t do this, but I’d think about trying Arrietta as the closer. He has struggled after 3-4 innings as a starter but maybe he could be more effective the remainder of the year as a reliever. Move Neris to a lower leverage role and insert Vargas in the rotation and possibly Suarez in Eflin’s place if another starting pitcher isn’t acquired.

    1. If Arrieta will be moved in the pen, it will be for a long man. Pivetta is starting to look comfortable with his new role. Pivett’as whiff rate went up pitching from the pen and his average FB velocity went up by about 2 mph. Let Pivetta close the games. I agree taking Neris out of high leverage situations. Neris is a choker.

      Ranger is doing well as a starter. Moving him to be part of the rotation will not help. Ranger is basically Cole Irvin. Let delos Santos try a starting gig.

      1. If the Phils had ANY confidence in DLS, he would have been in the rotation months ago. They have passed him over time after time after time. There is something there they just don’t like – right, wrong, or indifferent.

        I know Pivetta’s stuff is more closer like than Arrietta’s, but I think Jake has the mentality to do it more than Pivetta at this point.

        1. Putting Jake in the pen for the remainder of this season…will ensure he exercises his option for next season and opt-outs.

          I say put him in the pen.

          1. Arrieta would get pissed, the veterans on the team would get pissed, and Scott Boras would go ballistic. It won’t happen. This is the type of stuff that could tear a team apart.

            1. Granted it would not be a good morale move……but yes….if you want to rid Arrieta and the contract, that would be the surest way to do it.

            2. Arrieta isn’t opting out of a 20 million payday at his age coming off surgery

        2. If you wanna see a repeat of the Bauer situation, tell Arrieta that you’re moving him to the pen. He might just throw Kapler over the center field fence. Not gonna happen, nor should it.

          1. LOL…….can you even imagine a rotation with Arrieta, Greinke and Bauer in it….and post-game interviews after a loss.

  41. Solid trade for Vargas. However, Klentak cannot possibly be done with the rotation.

    1. Maybe Tanner Roark will be the next one.
      The rotation will then have a very veteran presence…..with Vargas, Smyly, Arrieta and maybe someone like Roark.

  42. Story on Mets site notes that Bossart was college teammate of Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, FWIW.

    1. Interesting…..maybe Bossart will eventually end up in their management/minor league chain somewhere..

    2. Frank…. Jeff’s son.

      Austin Bossart
      C 6’2″ 210 LBS
      FULL BIO
      Hide/Show Additional Information For Austin Bossart
      Bradley Wilpon
      RHP 5’10” 175 LBS

  43. Whoever wanted Yacksel Rios to be DFAd just got their wish. That said, I think somebody will still claim him.

  44. Fine trade IMO, Vargas has been alright this year, 2 good months, 1 bad month, and was ok this month at best. Hes sadly our #2 or 3 at this point, which isnt a good thing.

    1. It has been highly speculated that Zach Eflin is the one losing his rotation spot. Now this could be very temporary with VV’s struggles and Arrieta’s elbow.

  45. Wonder if this starts a chain reaction. Cabral or Duran to Reading, though both are on IL right now. Then Marchan or Gutierrez to Clearwater. Then Aparicio or O’Hoppe to Lakewood.

    1. That’s a pretty tough call for mlb players with families. Not that it can’t be done, but August 15th doesn’t give players with kids a lot of time to find school, enrolled in activities, etc.. I can see a fat amount of push back on that , which I believe it was condensed into 1 deadline, was for the family unit

      Will see who wins that battle

      1. It’s like 2 more weeks… I’d imagine that whether a player is traded July 31st or August 15th, the family stays out until the offseason.

      2. AFAIK, most players that get traded just have their family stay put for the remainder of the season.

        It’s free agency that usually uproots the family.

  46. Seems like Alex Colome would cost the Phillies top young talent. He’s under control through 2020. I doubt they would go that route unless they took on salary relief to offset the return.

    I like Kirby Yates of SD. Not sure if Medina is enough to land him. Ken Giles’ elbow inflammation will give pause to any otherwise interested team. Either Will Smith and Sam Dyson of SF (probably the latter) may be targets. And Raisel Iglesias of CIN is another possibility.

    According to Jim Salisbury, the Phillies have had scouts in each of these cities. A backend reliever and another SP are musts by 4pm tomorrow.

    I can ride with the bats and bench options we already have, assuming Jay Bruce is nearing his return, and Logan Morrison can also provide some depth once he’s healthy. It would be ideal to finally turn the page on Franco and Cesar by including either or both in moves but I’m not holding my breath.

    1. Like to see Phillies take a chance with Roark.
      Tanner Roark in the rotation, with veterans LHPs like Vargas and Smyly, may bolster the Phillies fortunes for the stretch drive.

    2. not sure on the cost on Colome- i like him and his numbers are good but articles i read always seem to infer he is doing it with smoke and mirrors or due to regress.
      Tampa dumped him for non-prospects two season ago, in part getting rid of Span.
      Seattle dumped him for what seemed like an average part-time catcher from the Sox at the time- though Omar Narvaez has had a terrific offensive season

  47. The Phillies almost always beat up on Roark when he pitched for Washington. There was a reason why Smyly was let go by the Rangers (big reason). Not sure how much help Vargas, aka Alice Cooper, will be but I’ll go along with the wishful thinking of Romus and 8mark.

    1. ciada:
      ….Smyly had TJ surgery and was out a few years…just returning…..if he gets back to his pre-TJ production levels…the Phillies have a winner .
      …Roark….a career 20WAR pitcher…must be doing something right somewhere along the way.
      …Vargas…won 18 games two years ago..last year wasa bust..this year is better.

      All three collectively will give the Phillies more than ViVe, Piv and Eflin right now.
      And all know how to pitch and can get their starts into the 6th or maybe 7th innings.

    2. Ciada, I’m not “wishful” that the Phillies acquire Roark. I “wish” they would acquire a TOR…now THAT’S wishful thinking. Roark is merely a likelier target.

      1. 8mark…..knowing Klentak and Dipoto’s relationship….it would not surprise also if Mike Leake comes to Philly.

        Enyel DLS was a Seattle signee way back when before being traded to the Padres….so there may be some in their system who know him already.

        Would you do a DLS for Leake trade?

          1. Leake does give you that veteran’s presence in the middle to the end of the rotation.
            Along the lines that Hellickson did a few years ago..

            1. Leake packaged with Seattle closer Roenis Elias would be a different story, Romus. I like him. And Klentak and DiPoto can deal again.

        1. I will trade Jake Thompson or Mark Appel (if Klentak can find them both) for Mike Leake. Mike Leake’s contract should further drive his trade value.

  48. Brody could be the gift that keeps on giving. Agents turned GM have been suspect in the past. Dave Stewart as GM of the D-Backs made some bold moves but their long view was quite detrimental to the club and hence he didn’t last long before they went with Hazen.

    That trade for Diaz and Cano was really bad for the Mutts and really good for us. Hopefully he can bury them a little more before he gets ousted.

    I’m really curious to see what the Dodgers and Braves do in the NL I think that is your NLCS.

    And in the AL Houston and Yankees seem to be the ALCS to which I give the edge to the Astros right now as their pitching is just better. If only slightly.

    The Twins could upset that apple cart but I honestly believe the Indians run them down.

  49. Have you ever watched line dancing at a wedding? There’s always one guy who’s trying to watch the other people next to him to follow the steps, right? Like me. And the Phillies seem to be that guy, watching teams like the Cubs and Astros and yet, the reality is that they just can’t dance.

    1. LOL 8mark thats a great analogy…

      Try to find the handful of GMs in the MLB you would NOT want over MK. I think the list is short and it starts with Van Wags…

      I’m not sure who the Marlin’s guy is and it might not be fair to judge him as Jeter appears to be an arse of an owner/president type.

      Dombrowski likes to mortgage the future and saddle his teams with big contracts but he does tend to get his teams to the WS if not for short bursts. He never got the Tigers over the hump but he was close.

      And finally DiPoto appears to be all over the place yeah he is likely to have won the Cano/Diaz move Dunn/Kelenic but again that’s against Brody.

      And I can’t really see Neil Huntington being attractive. Not after giving up Austin Meadows and Glasnow for Archer.

  50. I saw Roark pitch well against us, so I think adding him would be a plus. We’ve scored 62 runs against him in 23 games, so we didn’t exactly have great success. We have to measure the improvement vs what we have been throwing out there, so the bar is low. I think we all agree that a #2 needs to be added sometime in the near future. I think another BP arm may be more likely unless they plan on VV being the BP arm to add.

  51. I just finished reading The MVP Machine, How Baseball’s New Nonconformists are Using Data to Build Better Players. I read the book in part because it’s primarily about Driveline and I know the Phillies have hired numerous coaches and advisors from that company and believe in their approach. The book references individuals the Phillies have hired several times and sites fantastic examples of where those people have done amazing things with players in other organizations prior to joining the Phillies. The central figure in the book is Hinkie’s pal Trevor Bauer and talks with him a lot about his work ethic and approach and how he has used data and technology to improve. It also gives a pretty good look into his character and attitude. The book clearly shows how the Astros were the first and are the best at this new approach – talks about their work with Charlie Morton, John Malee’s work with Altuve, and also how Verlander’s maintained his performance level.

    As I’m reading the book, it just seems to me that the Phillies are doing all the right things from an organizational perspective to pounce on this approach of BetterBall – using technology to find those little things that can improve a player’s performance and take them to the next level. I just don’t understand what’s going on internally that is preventing it from working with the Phils. As I’ve mentioned numerous times and we all can see, the performance of almost all players under Gabe has stagnated or gotten worse and players that leave improve with new teams. In the minor leagues, I think there is an argument to be made for a new approach can be tough for players and it’s going to take a little time for what the Phils are doing to take hold, or at least that’s an optimistic way of hoping for the best. At the major league level however, it is clearly not working. Players we’ve had are not getting better (Eflin, Velasquez, Rios, PIvetta, Eickhoff, Ramos, Davis, Hernandez, Herrera, Franco, Knapp, Williams, Altherr, Quinn). Players we acquire have regressed (Harper, Realmuto, Segura). Pitchers we’ve acquired have almost all gotten injured which one has to wonder is just a crazy coincidence or ??? (Arrietta, Hunter, Robertson, Neshek). And players that have left are performing much better elsewhere (Santana, JPC, Alfaro).

    I’d love to hear others’ thoughts on this, but the team is using the right technology, hiring the right people it would seem, have acquired players that all of us have mostly applauded at the time of the trades, yet the team and individual performance is not delivering on the hope and promise of the added investments the team has made the past two seasons. If I had to take a guess, my hypothesis is that the players are either a) not buying in and/or b) are making adjustments that just aren’t working. Either way, the manager is ultimately accountable at the major league level and I can’t help but think the issues is more around his culture, communications, and level of respect in the clubhouse.

    1. There is probably no clear cut answer. How sure can we be that those in the development department are able to effectively communicate the concepts to players at any level. At the major league level, the culture of entitlement is so steeped in the clubhouse that unless the core group is knit well together, it’s almost impossible to affect change. What can complicate it all the more is managerial/coaching incompetence.

    2. “hiring the right people it would seem” — this is my culprit. Talking vs understanding vs applying an approach are different from one another. Some smooth talking can blow you away with power point presentation of data and analytics and explain what it means but it doesn’t guarantee that they can apply them properly. Jayson Stark can talk about various stats even while sleeping but it doesn’t mean he can apply those knowledge to build a successful team.

      The Phillies just need to hire the best people (who are known in the industry) for the job — like get whoever in working for HOU, STL, etc.

    3. My thought on technology and data has always been if its that far superior than what was available long ago why hasn’t it surfaced in today’s stats. Or maybe it has.

      Probably far too many variables to compare decade to decade. Obviously we had the dead ball era, the greenies and coke era, the steroid era with the latter seeming to have the biggest affect on records and longevity.

      And as you sum it up buddy there is the biggest variable of them all that technology probably will never solve and that is the human element.

    4. ” I just don’t understand what’s going on internally that is preventing it from working with the Phils”
      ……first rule, the player must have the talent and skills AND the raw tools to start.
      ……second, will take time, thru an off-season at least
      ……third, the dedication from the player to the program.

    5. Betterball is interesting, and I believe has really always been around. Every team has copied moneyball and can spot players who fit the mold. Those advantages are essentially over, which has dawned Betterball tactics.

      If I’m against Gabe, I’m saying he is incompetent and if I’m for him – I’m saying the changes he is making are working, but it is 1 step forward, 2 back in the sense that the change has a great negative effect than a positive one on the player.

      I think Franco is a perfect example of this. He has had stretches of being the player the Phillies believed he could be and then we know the rest. He is the perfect “betterball” player to take a chance on. I believe he puts it together, just not for the Phillies, And not in time to be replaced by bohm

    6. I’m not sure how responsive this is to the points of the book but I’ve watched the Reading team 2 of the last 3 nights. The team seems to buy into the idea of working the count, taking a lot of pitches. This approach seems to be part of Rhys Hoskins’ success.

      But I see guys like Darick Hall getting called out on strikes in back-to-back ab’s and opposing pitchers with command dominating the count. I would not say Reading is a good hitting team. At some point, guys would seem to need to take charge of the situation. I wonder if the Phils are creating a bunch of guys whose career path mirrors Dylan Cozens; that is, flattens out in the high minors.

      I realize there is counter evidence but guys like Scott Kingery improved at the MLB level when he became more aggressive in looking for balls he could hit rather than working the count.

      1. As for Kingery, last year he was “taught” to work the count, take pitches and wound up chasing in 2 strike counts which really screwed him up. This year he’s been more aggressive early in counts, had success, and now the league has adjusted. He’s still barreling balls regularly so I’m not concerned about him long term. He’ll have to adjust and I think he’ll settle into a .280 bat with 20-25 homerun pop and lots of doubles and triples. And a gold glove at 2b once the resident is gone.

  52. Thank-you for your great post Buddy!

    I am almost certain that it comes down to…Gabe Kapler who is the manager and the leader in the clubhouse…

    So…if he isn’t the problem you at least need to try another manager to find out,at this point what do you have to lose?

    Besides Nola,the starting pitchers have been a train wreck,now we’re stuck with dumpster shopping to piece together a starting rotation that can hopefully keep us IN games,slim chance of dominating other teams!

  53. Overall, my biggest complaint, aside from talent evaluations, is the attitude that they are somehow pleased with themselves, and making the Playoffs this year wasn’t all that big of a deal. I don’t need to repeat MacPhail’s comments. They make me ill. But, it is symptomatic pf a belief that they have more time to put a winner on the field, why are we so concerned?! They feel they are doing a great job!

  54. I think their biggest problem is they don’t know “Philadelphia speak.” I don’t think for a moment that Andy MacPhail or Klentak don’t care about making the playoffs. They are trying to rebuild for the long run and they need to make that clear and make it sound like not making the playoffs this year pains them but does not and cannot take them off course from their larger goal, which is to build a championship team for the long haul. But he didn’t say that and he was snotty, another cardinal sin for Philadelphia management. Be humble – or fake it. MacPhail, one of baseball royalty (his grandfather was the GM for the Dodgers way back in the 30s), was too good to act like he cared what we thought and maybe he doesn’t.

    1. Maybe I am in the minority but I appreciated McPhail’s honesty and I don’t really think he is the right guy for the job. I also don’t need a FO that tries to placate me with phony BS.

      I’m going to judge them by the product and the totality of their moves. One move good or bad shouldn’t be enough to sway your opinion.

      We’re close to 5 years into this rebuild and I can’t say we are close to competing for championships or the division for that matter.

      My standards were set by Theo delivering a championship to Chicago in 5 years, by the Astro’s, By Friedman, by Dombrowski, by Cashman and we’re likely to add to that list before MK turns anything around.

      The longer Middleton waits to realize the obvious mistake he made in hiring these two the worse off he will be.

      For me Kapler was the canary in the coal mine move. A totally selfish and esoteric move that he was trying to tell the MLB hey look at me I’m smarter than you, I’m hiring the guy with no managing experience, no bench coaching experience and really no dugout experience.

      ….and everyone is going to love him.

  55. Well just noticed a couple familiar faces starting tonight. Zach Green at third for SF and Tom Eshelman starting in Baltimore.

    You can say how is he starting but after Nola we got? Our starting pitching is at a real low right now.

    Saw a few articles with our player development versus braves….not sure where we go from here.

      1. I think shortly, today or tomorrow we will hear of 1 or 2 pitchers leaving and 1 position player.

          1. Ok you mean like Walding being designated and Garcia being optioned that type of thing?

  56. I don’t want to be lied to either, nor BS’d by Management. I want them to genuinely care about winning and be capable of expressing that. Not selling our top prospects for a short term fix is certainly not want I want, and there was nothing wrong with that part of what MacPhail said, but the spokespeople for my teams need to know how to speak to the public. And be genuine in what they say. And want to win as much as the fans do. It’s clear that John Middleton cares, MacPhail has grown up in the business, yet manages to come off as uncaring, snotty, and pleased with himself. All while failing. The antithesis of a Philly team executive.

    1. I hear what you’re saying, Matt. And agree largely with you. However, I’m not sure what a Philly team exec really looks like because they, like most across the country from league to league, are somewhat detached from their respective fanbases. Most execs here aren’t Philly guys. Dave Montgomery, God rest his soul, was a rare exception but in my humble opinion wasn’t a baseball guy despite his many decades around the game. Fans simply don’t like it when their front offices pee on their shoes then tell them it’s raining. MacPhail was being honest and was pretty accurate in his assessment. It was his demeanor that turned people off, along with the fact that as a blueblood, he doesn’t resonate with most of us. But that’s not what he and Klentak and Kapler will be evaluated on. By Cataldi and his circle, yes. But by John Middleton? W’s and L’s.

  57. I think the Phillies should focus on Syndergaard. Bohm, Medina, and 1 lesser prospect and we will take Familia off their books too.

    Think about next year. Nola and Syndergaard. Then hopefully we go hard after Gerrit Cole. Add one of Hamels or Keuchel and we could be in decent shape.

    Bohm might not be long for third base, so there’s either Donaldson or Moustakas available.

    Let’s spend that stupid money.

    1. Syndergaard is not a free agent, not until 2022….so the Phillies will have to mortgage the future to the Mets to get him. And to tell you the truth…I think he is headed in the wrong direction…I do not see him getting better as Scherzer/Verlander/DeGrom have when they reached their later 20s and beyond.
      He has the great stuff….but doesn’t seem to make it click altogether as he did last year, for some reason.

  58. Just taking a gander at the remaining schedules of the Phillies, Braves and Nats – aside from inner division series, our toughest (so to speak) series is against the Cubs here at home and at Cleveland in Sept. The Braves take on LAD at home while they and the Nats both travel to Minnesota. The Nats finish the regular season in Cleveland. Everything else is pretty much against “beatable” clubs. Of course, the Phillies bottom line will be scoring runs – preferably 4.5 per game on average.

  59. So Vargas replaces Eflin who moves to the bullpen, leaving the current rotation with Nola, Arrieta, Velasquez, Smyly and Vargas…..yeah, we need another starter. Arrieta is one outing away from going on the IL while Velasquez could implode any day now.

    1. If Klentak can get Roark or Leake…then Vinny should join his pals in the pen…that would be a formidable pen….and they can be used for those double-header bull pen games if any rain outs occur down the road.

      1. By my count, Romus – we would have Velasquez, Eflin, Pivetta, Neris, Nicasio(?), Parker, Alvarez, Morgan and Ranger (or Morin but my guess is he’d be odd man out).

    2. So management is happy getting pitchers that can go 5 innings and give up 3-4 runs but Vinnie is not valued. Huh?

      1. Vinnie’s value is in the pen.
        Last six starts…two exceptional starts…4 below average starts
        Game Scores:
        June 16-37

  60. I come here to learn, be informed, and sometimes vent. I just think back to how excited we were to start the season, and sweeping the Braves. Trade deadline comes and we get Vargas, Smyly and Parker. You have to laugh, just to stop from being aggravated. I have rooted for the Phils since 1961, one of the worst teams ever, and I will continue to do so. But, this is pretty disappointing. Maybe next year we will win.

  61. A reformed, revitalized Drew Smyly might make Matt Klentak into a genius. Granted it’s the Giants (man, I can’t believe they’ve been hot with such a crappy lineup) and Pirates last week, but hey, those wins count.

      1. You can say that again, and it will always be that way til Nick learns to get the ball down and paint the corners!

        1. Probably why Velasquez is a better bullpen option than Pivetta… A lot of Vince’s problems are removed if you put him into a reliever role. He stops having to pitch/think like he needs to worry about the 2nd and 3rd time through the lineup. Pivetta has different issues and I don’t think him being in a relief role removes those issues or helps him correct them (without hurting the Phillies during the process)

        2. But isn’t the Phillies philosophy high heat so that if he misses the ball can go the other way with superior launch angle and exit velocity, as it did last night?

  62. Here we go – Trevor Bauer to the Reds in a 3-way deal with SD who also send top prospect Taylor Trammell to Cincinnati. More details to come but how about 2 non-contenders – Mets and Reds – stirring up the market!

    1. I wonder how happy Bauer is about this? I can see him blowing off some steam at the reds presser.

      What is the Phillies equivalents In trades: jay bruce & ?

    2. Correction…Trammell goes to San Diego from Cincinnati. Puig to Cleveland along with Franmil Reyes from the Padres. Other players involved as well.

  63. I hope when Bruce comes off the IL, the everyday lineup looks like this:

    1 Haseley CF
    2 Segura SS
    3 Bryce RF
    4 Hoskins 1B
    5 Bruce LF
    6 Realmuto C
    7 Cesar 2B
    8 Kingery 3B

    1. Yes, the lineup becomes far, far better and deeper when you can play Kingery at 3b.

  64. Looking more and more like the Phillies will get either Alex Wood or Tanner Roark, especially now with Bauer is Cincinnati. Not sure who I prefer. Both are rentals. Wood has more upside but the injury history. Roark is the “safer” option.

    1. Roark , like you say is the safer option….Wood’s back issues can resurface at any time, he has only pitched the one game so far thus year.

      1. On the other hand, Wood would give us 3 lefty starters which gives us a better shot against LAD should we get that far.

      2. So the Reds trade Taylor Trammel a 21 Y/O top 50 prospect for a year and a few months of Bauer an enigmatic once every 5th day starter.

        Add that GM to the list of GMs I would not trade MK for…

        OTOH give me Chris Antonetti. Imagine what that guy might be able to do with some money.

        Now if Dick Williams and Krall somehow turn Bauer into pieces better than Trammel today I’ll be impressed.

        1. Trammell is currently struggling in AA ball…and turns 22 next month.
          His ISO is .100 and the guy has pretty good size for an OFer.
          But he has all the raw tools.

    1. What do you mean what’s going on? He’s appealing it, so it doesn’t go into effect (if it’s upheld) until after his hearing or he drops his appeal. Usually takes a couple weeks to find out the decision, so we’ll be hearing soon.

  65. Give me some more of Adam Hassley,another good night at the plate.Small sample size so far,but it is exciting to see.

    Boy! that would be a plus for us this year,if he ends up being an above average regular.A hitter with good contact skills,good gap power and some home runs to go along with it,fills a major need for this lineup.

      1. Yes, Haseley has a chance to be really good, first division regular, especially if he can stay in centerfield, which is where I expect him to be on opening day next year if he’s healthy. I’m pretty sure the Odubel era is unofficially over. And it’s a shame because Odubel is as talented as anyone on that team, but his conduct on and off the field has cost him dearly.

    1. I tend to watch how other teams handle their young players The Red Sox with Benintendi and Devers

      The Dodgers with Bellinger and now Verdugo

      The Astros Yordan Alvarez

      When they make the decision to bring them up they play them and they don’t flinch. They seemingly say you’re our guy go get em.

      We seem to bring guys up and then fumble around with them. Granted I’m not sure we had anyone to bring up as talented as those guys but still.

      1. DMAR…Sox also did it with JBJr, who had a poor bat to start, but a plus defensive CFer. Another example of the Phillies handling of their prospects….I look what Kapler did with Kingery last year, and also JPC .

    2. Really impressed with Haseley has shown so far, have liked the swing since I first saw him but then again I really like Knapp’s swing but he just hasn’t been able to get a hold of too many pitches.

      With Kinger and now Haseley there’s certainly some excitement for the future and next year could see Howard and Bohm at some point. If they could only get one of those pen arms in LV to step up, Brogdon, Gilbert, Dohy, etc.. if just one of them could surprise and turn into something decent it certainly would help matters. Although who knows what trades and other moves will happen by next season.

      1. Cody Asche was another one of those guys that looked like he should succeed just based on his swing.

        But Haseley has been making good so far. Hopefully it continues. Would like to see more walks, though.

        1. Mitch Walding also has a nice swing and so are CeeCee and Josh Stephens —- these bats appear to have form over substance. It will take an elite batter to have both —- but the ability to make contact is an innate ability.

  66. Looks like the Indians made out well again – they are a really good franchise. Bauer is a fine pitcher, but a class A jerk and the Reds are in desperation mode. I don’t see Bauer taking them over the top. By the way, if the price is reasonable and he’s healthy – I love the Phillies taking on Alex Wood – he’s a hell of a pitcher. I don’t get why everyone is down on Klentak and his moves recently. I think he’s done a very good job so far balancing the needs of the present roster with a desire to keep on track with the younger prospects. The Smyly and Bruce deals both look excellent. Now he just has to stop signing 34 year-old relief pitchers because, admittedly, the bullpen signings have been terrible.

    1. Catch, people are down on Klentak’s moves because he badly misjudged our starting and relief pitching needs this offseason. That said his moves so far has been good as Drew Smyly has been excellent, Morin has helped and Parker could help. All these acquisitions did not cost much at all and no high prospects were traded. However, Klentak did not address our long term problems as Cleveland did. I see the hand of Gillick/McPhail in these transactions not Klentak’s.

      1. I don’t think he misjudged our pitching at all. He completely overhauled our bullpen. The reason he didn’t add in the rotation is because our depth was supposed to be great there. You really can’t plan for losing an entire MLB bullpen to the IL, nor can you plan on 4 MLB starters and 5+ minor league depth pieces all pitching poorly.

        I don’t believe for a second that Klentak was expecting all 3 of VV, Pivetta, and Eflin to succeed. I do believe, however, that he expected one to succeed and that Arrieta and our depth would provide two more serviceable starters. That didn’t happen, and it’s nigh impossible to fill 4 rotation slots mid-season.

        1. DanK….they…Klentak and Kapler put their faith in ViVe, Pivetta and Eflin…..due to the fact their analytics based FIPs from 2018 projected them to take the next step forward in their major league development into 2019.
          Sometimes it isn’t linear.
          IMO…they misjudged the three young starters.
          I do not fault them for injuries in the bullpen…but the three starters were not injured and just did not produced as expected.

          1. It wasn’t just those three, though. DLS looked ready to contribute. Ranger looked like he could make some starts. Jojo, Irvin, Medina all were valid candidates for potential dark horses. And then there’s Eickhoff, Anderson, and Eshelman.

            It wasn’t unreasonable to expect 1 of the 3 to succeed and then find another pitcher among the other 2 and the 8 I just listed. But to have all 11 AND Arrieta not work out… there’s not a lot of preparation you can do for that.

            I get people wanted Corbin and/or Morton. I don’t think there’s any way we would have gotten both. But sure, we’d be one pitcher closer to first place if we had either of them. However, we’d still be left in a situation of having 3 question marks in our rotation. I don’t think there’d be any less complaining in that scenario, if I’m being honest.

            1. Klentak would have to be delusional to think that 11 unproven arms and a clearly regressing veteran were enough insurance to advance this team to the playoffs after he ramped up the lineup. I loved Irvin and he proved me wrong. DLS is a lottery ticket we got in return for one year of a journeyman utility player. Eflin ran out of steam last season. Pivetta and Velasquez are still both projects. Throwing mud against the wall and hoping enough sticks isn’t the way to build a contender.

            2. @8mark

              I thought the offseason trades made it pretty clear that the plan was for the OFFENSE to carry us to the postseason. The pitching was just supposed to keep us in games (which is NOT an unreasonable expectation from that many options).

            3. Dan K, with all due respect (and you do make insightful comments) I think that ultimately Klentak half-baked this cake by simply not aggressively pursuing at least one established major league SP, that’s all. Let the other young arms figure it out. That’s understandable.

            4. @8mark,

              Fair enough. To be honest, I play devil’s advocate a lot because conversations can’t move forward without different viewpoints. I definitely wanted Morton on a short term deal myself (I didn’t want Corbin on that contract he got, but would have jumped at him at a lower number of years). But outside of him, I wasn’t crazy about any of the guys we were talking about.

    2. I generally agree with Klentak’s methodology except for his grossly overvaluing of the rotation. 2018 was supposed to be when they “found out” about Eflin, Pivetta and Velasquez. Keep one or two? Ok, maybe. But to neglect the need for a legitimate starting pitcher since last season is beyond me.

    3. Agreed. I’m having trouble thinking of many moves Klentak has made that I HAVEN’T liked. But I guess most people are more focused on the moves he hasn’t made.

      Then again, most people are working with hindsight. I was firmly in the Manny camp this offseason, but I don’t harp (no pun intended) on the outcome because Bryce also made sense (maybe even more sense) at the time. It’s important to filter all moves through the lens of what information was available to use at that time, not what we know now.

      1. “….most people are working with hindsight…”

        Okay. And you know this how…?

        I was screaming for an upgrade over the off season but apparently neither you nor Klentak heard me.

        1. “Most” is not the same as “all”. And I know this because I remember how many people were singing the praises of Eflin and Pivetta in particular, plus also bringing up a number of our minor league depth option (DLS, Medina, Jojo, and Irvin chief among them).

  67. Dan, I think, except for Wawa Mike, we were universally in favor of adding SP dating back to last July’s deadline. And, Mike has admitted he was off as well. I thought Pivetta would emerge, but to count on all 3, and not upgrade the Rotation was a mistake, and an over valuation or missed valuation of our SP. And, I include the so-called “depth” in AAA. We, clearly, needed someone who is a #3, and we still do. I don’t think it is fair to say we are judging the moves with 20-20 hindsight. Smyly has done well in his 2 games, and I applaud that move. I applaud most of Klenta’s moves. But, we remain in need of that SP who slots behind Nola. And, we need that going into next year also.

    1. If what we’re looking for is a #2 or 1B, I think that has to come via trade. I get the feeling Klentak has no intention of handing out long term contracts to pitchers in FA, and I can’t fault that strategy.

      So then the question becomes… which of that tier of pitcher was available in the offseason? Paxton, clearly. But I don’t know that we could have beat the Yankees for him. Outside of him, the only SP I can remember being traded were Wood (who we’re in on now, but has been injured), Nova, and Bailey. Am I forgetting anyone? I guess the Indians pitchers were rumored to be on the block, but I don’t think they were serious about moving any of them at that point. Was Robbie Ray actually on the block? Is he even now?

      I dunno, I’m having trouble seeing a clear answer here. Which isn’t surprising because that type of pitcher is what every team in baseball is looking for in the offseason.

      1. To put all this another way, I think a lot of fans wanted the FO to put together a great pitching staff, but I believe the FO was banking on the SP staff being average with the ‘pen and offense carrying most of the weight. Unfortunately, none of those have happened. The SP has been bad, the bullpen has been decimated, and the offense has not lived up to even half of its potential.

    2. @matt – i agree with you. While the offeason discussion was dominated by the Harper and Machado to Philly talk — a lot of us talked about SP upgrade in the offseason. From Corbin to Keuchel to Morton to Happ and even the injured Garret Richards were discussed as possible options.

      There’s good reason why the Phillies give Pivetta, Efiln and Vinny the chance to success as SP — these 3 arms are young, cheap and have good stuff who can be game changers if everything worked out well. Unfortunately for the Phillies, things did not work in their favor. My boy Anderson looks good at ST who can be an option but got hurt. Even the returning Eickhoff looked good early then, struggled then got hurt. JoJo Romero the top LHP before Damon Jones broke out, struggled early, otherwise, he will be the one in red pin stripes and not Cole Irvin.

      I agree that Klentak overvalued his current rotation of Nola-Arrieta-Pivetta-Eflin-Vinny. But his biggest mistake is not having a solid fall back option to provide some room for error. Having young arms in the high minors for depth is good, but having a proven arm helps with or without hindsight.

      Ergo, not signing Charlie Mighty Morton is Klentak’s biggest mistake. That dude wants to be a Phillie!

      1. Morton is the one case I can’t make heads or tails of. I still can’t believe the Phils didn’t offer him at least 1M more than that contract he got.

        If they truly didn’t go after him, I’ll agree that was a mistake. But I do wonder if maybe he actually didn’t want to play for the Phillies (did he see something here he didn’t like in his first short stint, maybe?). I dunno. That one is baffling.

        1. It was all over the new that Morton is either thinking of retirement of play close to his wife’s family who lives in Delaware. Most are pointing to the Phillies as the Morton destination having played for the Phillies before as well. Even the contract that Morton signed is spot on — a manageable 2-year deal that the Phillies could easily afford.

          My thinking is that Klentak just don’t like Morton —- he let him go the 1st time and he did not sign him the 2nd time. Under valuing Charlie Mighty Morton is Klentak’s biggest mistake!

          1. I know what the news was saying. But he signed with Tampa. And as a DE native that went to see a game in Tampa just a few weeks ago, I can assure you… that’s not close by. So obviously the news doesn’t know everything.

            It’s entirely possible that Klentak just doesn’t like Morton, in which case I agree that it’s firmly a mistake. But something just doesn’t add up there. I’ll probably never know for sure, but I’ll definitely be curious for a long time.

  68. Agreed that they overvalued the young rotation. They should have brought in at least one additional experienced arm to anchor the rotation. They also signed too many old relief pitchers. Hopefully, Klentak will watch and learn. Certainly his in-season moves for more pitching suggests he understand he needs more pitching depth. To give him a little credit, however, the bullpen injuries to young pitchers and old were beyond any reasonable expectation. But when people say things like the team isn’t any closer to contention – I don’t agree – they are nearly stacked with good and typically younger position players and depth, including some decent prospects in the minors at positions of need (third especially). Now they need to add pitching from the farm, free agency and trades – but it looks like they are starting that process.

  69. I have been reading the comments regarding Klentak misjudging the rotation, and I have to admit, everyone makes valid points which are impossible to disagree with. My take? I don’t necessarily blame Klentak for this mess, because to this day, I believe he was forced to sign Jake Arrieta by John Middleton. My reasoning for this is that if you understand the philosophy that the GM espouses, Arrieta’s metrics were trending in the wrong direction when signed. I don’t think that he would have signed him to that kind of contract money wise. At this point, Jake is a 7-8 mil/yr fifth starter. And it’s not Klentak’s fault that Nick Pivetta can’t throw strikes with his fastball. However, I will blame Klentak for the lack of pitching depth in the minors. After three years and many college arms drafted, they have nobody capable at this point to step up and seize a rotation job.

    1. Could be. Arrieta could also be a direct factor why they didn’t sign Corbin (as in, “see, this is what big contracts for pitchers looks like”). On the drafting side, though, I don’t know that you can judge them yet. 3 years isn’t typically enough for pitchers to move through the system except for the 1st round types like Nola (who we haven’t drafted since… Nola) and RP.

    2. What?? I don’t like the Arrieta signing too because I prefer somebody else but you cannot blame that signing (whether it’s Middleton or not) to the current demise of the rotation. The issue is “not having enough SP” who can perform in the rotation to win games. So that specifically points to the GM. If the scouting or player development failed to develop a SP in the farm, then the GM has ALL the rights and power to sign or trade for one. Sign means Charlie Morton sign. I get why Klentak did not pursue Patrick Corbin. But Morton and Happ can be had. That’s all on GM.

      If Pivetta, Eflin, Vinny, Eikchoff suddenly forgot to pitch like a major leaguer – a GM also has the rights and power to do something — moving these arms to pen or optioning them to the minors are ALL GM moves – that’s Klentak which he did. Even the change in Pitching Coach is ALL of Klentak. Kapler is also ALL on Kletak.

      If there’s one thing that I will probably not point to Klentak is not beating WAS’ offer to sign Corbin. But all of the issues that the Phillies is having, Klentak as GM has a hand on them.

  70. Listen guys, you don’t need to sugar coat or apologize for Klentax about the starting pitchers for this year.. He made his decision last winter to go with these pitchers,and it didn’t work out,so now he needs to man up to his mistakes.

    For all of these starters to work out was a pipe dream,if he would’ve signed one #3 or #4 starter,it would have made a big difference.

    If the dumpster diving for starting pitchers works out for him,he will look like a genius,but my opinion will be that he got lucky.

  71. I look for 2 things. First, I wanted to push to make the Playofffs, While I still would like Roark or Wood, Roark more, and a better option in the BP, Smyly has pitched 2 really good games, and I think Vargas is going to be better than the last 2 months of Eflin. Secondly, I am not advocating Klentak being fired. He has done enough good things. I neither think he should be gone nor do I think he will be. I like him a lot more than MacPhail, but that is another story. I want to see, this off season, if he has learned, and is going to get us that SP who slots behind Nola. Then, if Howard comes up mid-year, and is as good as we hope, so much the better.

    1. I look for 2 things also First how is MK going to overtake the Braves and win the division.

      Two how is he going to catch up to the Dodgers and beat them in a 7 game NLCS.

      That’s a tall task for even a good GM.

      Smyly/Vargas/Parker blah blah blah its just white noise like last years Bautista and Cabrera moves.

      Another question who on our team is getting any MVP votes? Do you get to a NLCS or ALCS or win a WS without an MVP? I’m not sure you do these days.

      1. DMAR…..”Smyly/Vargas/Parker blah blah blah its just white noise like last years Bautista and Cabrera moves.”…I cannot believe you believe that!
        Smyly alone has done more for the team in two starts then either of Joe Bats or Andrubel did in the seven or eight weeks they were here last year.

      2. Smyly in two starts sits at a .8WAR…..extend that over a healthy nine more starts, I am hoping for 3.5bWAR production.
        I am dream weaving a bit, but have to have some hope.

        1. 2 starts against whom Romus LOL

          When we start winning series against the Braves or Nats even you can color me happy.

          Or get me a Boyd or Minor without giving up any of my top 5 prospects and you can color me happy.

          1. Fair point…though Giants have been the hottest team in baseball since right before the all -star break.
            But you still have to beat the teams on your schedule…even the mediocre ones.

  72. I believe we’ll see multiple relievers on the move this afternoon. Pretty sure Klentak will buy (at least) one. Tanner Roarke could be another upgrade to the Phillies rotation. If not Roarks, I wouldn’t mind another LHSP. Alex Wood shouldn’t cost too much, he’s a rental coming off season long back issues. I still would love to see Klentak make a move for Daniel Norris. He’s another guy who has suffered through lots of ailments over the past couple of seasons. He’s under team control for 2.5 years. I’ve already mentioned I’d flip VV for Norris if the Tigers were interested.
    The other buy low pitcher I’d have interest in is Aaron Sanchez.
    Klentak should also be looking into Todd Frazier.

    One last thing … I still believe the Phillies have a real chance to take advantage of a real lull in their schedule over the next two weeks. They should win at least nine (maybe ten) of:

    3 at home vs SFG
    3 at home ve CWS
    3 at DBacks
    4 at SFG

    1. Hinkie, prices for preferable LHP’s like Ray, Boyd and Minor may be dropping throughout the afternoon. Interesting to see who flinches. Sounds like Houston is favorite for Wheeler while Braves and Tigers are talking Shane Greene. It would be a surprise but I’d love to see Klentak swoop in, offer Medina in a larger package and come away with somebody we weren’t expecting.

      1. 8mark….I would try to offer the Tigers Nick Williams, Medina and JoJo for Boyd and Castellanos and see what they say…I know they would not hang up the phone, since everything these days is done in text messaging!

    2. Hinkie…if Jason Vargas cost us Austin Bossart…..are you now willing to sacrifice Henry Lartigue for Todd Frazier! 🙂

      1. It will be interesting to see Todd Frazier and Jake Arrieta in the same clubhouse.

        1. Jake Arrietta is a scary dude. He’s ripped and has those crazy eyes. I don’t think too many people want to mess with that guy.

  73. Nats acquired righty reliever Daniel Hudson from Toronto, supposedly to be their closer. Ken Giles is still in talks, most recently with NYY.

  74. Hold the phone….now Nats are also zooming in on M’s lefty closer Roenis Elias. That would make Hudson their setup man. Matt…you there???

    1. What the he!! am I saying. Doolittle is their closer. So all the more WOW! Let’s go Klentak!

      1. I heard they got Hunter Stickland BH’s old pal from the Giants and now a Mariner….

  75. Wouldn’t mind a surprise trade for Giles, Toronto seems to be taking less than expected.

    1. With the elbow injury you might get him for cheap and there’s always a physical for trades if he fails it (because of the elbow looking like it NEEDS SURGERY) then you just reject the trade. If it looks like it was just fatigue and he can come back and pitch then you might have solved closer for this season and next.

    1. Dickerson/Haseley/Harper OF with Kingery your starting 3B the rest of the year?

      1. Don’t know who they had to give up (shouldn’t be a whole lot because Dickerson is a rental), but this is a helluva upgrade for the Phillies. Nick Williams has given them next to nothing.

      2. This trade only make sense if Kingery takes 3B. Otherwise, why are we doing this?

      1. well hopefully it is for a player
        That they would need to protect on the 40, but no longer had a need for, will see soon

  76. Phillies acquire Corey Dickerson. Nice move if the price is reasonable (I expect it will be). That dude can hit. I’ve been liking pretty much every move that Klentak has been making.

    1. It would be nice if he were a righty (since we already have Jay Bruce), but I’ll take it.

  77. We just traded for Corey Dickerson of the Pirates who is having a good season after being injured earlier this year. Does he play Center Field or Left Field? He is also a Free Agent at the end of the year but don’t know who we traded.

      1. Domingo Santana the inconsistent ex-Phillie – who has spent more time in the minors than MLB? His stats decline when the league gets a book on him and he is in AAA the next year.

      2. This is the story that won’t die and it should. Aside from 1 year, Domingo Santana has been replacement level and his defense stinks. Why is anybody caring about this guy? I guarantee NOBODY on the Phillies is losing sleep over Domingo Santana.

        1. Agree…the only thing that bothered me was that Ruben offered him up as a prospect at 18 years old in Lakewood as a PTBNL—a large undersell IMO…..if he didn’t two years later at Reading or LHV his trade chip value could have doubled.

  78. I like the Dickerson move very much. However, while both the Braves and Nats strengthen their pitching staffs, Klentak will have come up short without another SP and backend reliever.

    1. I’m not going to complain… this year. I can see making moves for the next year at this years deadline, but Inthibk we needed to hold at this deadline.

      They have money, and can make trades in the offseason. The Braves and nats got marginally better, and the Mets could even catch us if the Phils stay in a funk.

      WS perdition: Astros vs Dodgers – boring predicition but both those teams
      Are light years ahead of the Phillies

  79. Dickerson reported to cost balance of this year’s salary, 2.5 million and possibly international $$ – but still not confirmed.

    1. If that is the case with the TJ…his Philly days are finished…he will not pitch next season, so 2021 he is a FA if the Phillies do not want to pick up his option .

    2. 2 years, $23m PLUS a $2m buy-out for the 3rd year.

      He’s going to make $25M from the Phillies for throwing 6.2 innings.

      He’s certainly got a future as an agent

      1. Dang…and I thought Freddy Garcia had the best contract the Phillies offered based on service.

        1. It reminds me a lot of Danny Tartabull. He played like 3 games (I checked, I was right on the money – 3 games!), got hurt and that was that. His batting average was .000. The three old guy relief pitcher contracts that yielded zero value for the team this year are painful when they bypassed guys like Morton to sign those stiffs. NO MORE OLD SECOND TIER RELIEF PITCHERS!!!

          1. It’s bad enough they sucked, but to pour salt in the wound, all were well above market contracts (give the players’ ages) even if they had performed. How about replacing Robertson, Neshek and Hunter with Moustakas and Morton? Ugh! Klentak needs to have a long coffee session with Howie Roseman.

            1. It is very distressing with those ordinarily reliable arms in the past…as to health also.
              What can you do!
              You cannot take a chance and go into a season without any experienced relief arms under contract.
              The youngsters seem to incur growing pains.

            2. It’s a cautionary tale. A 34 year-old reliever is generally about as reliable as a 30 year-old running back. With rare exceptions, you don’t want a lot of them on your team.

      2. He had thrown at least 60 innings every season this decade.
        Cutch had played at least 153 games every year except for 2014 (147)
        They signed two of the most durable FA’s on the market, and got 6 innings out of one, 59 games played out of the other. Bad luck.

  80. This appears to be a solid move, Corey Dickerson is a very solid player. Let’s put it this way…Phils just got a guy who can easily slide into a starting role [LF] and either leadoff or bat in the ,middle of the order. Look, I was excited when the Phils got Jose Tartabull too so one never knows just how this will end up.

    But on the surface this is a great pickup. Admittedly, Harper, Hoskins and Realmuto have to step it up a bit but a middle of the order [L,R,L,R] of Harper, Hoskins, Dickerson and Realmuto is very good. It also likely moves Kingery to the infield [3rd] and moves Franco to the bench.

    Again, a bench with Bruce and Franco is not bad.

  81. MLBTR on Robertson: …and the Phillies may end up getting no value from it (his contract). Talk about bad luck on everybody’s end.

  82. Astros got Greinke

    They gave up two pitchers (Corbin Martin who had Tommy John surgery earlier this month and was a pre-season top-100 in the 80-100 range), JB Bukauskas also a pre-season top-100 in the 80-100 range. They also gave up two position players. Seth Beer, 1b(22 years old, 28th pick in last year’s draft) and Josh Rojas(IF/OF 25 years old in AAA)

    Beer doesn’t seem ranked but his numbers are really outstanding, .936 OPS since he was drafted last year. 25 HR’s this season in 98 games between High-A and AA with a .973 OPS.

    1. Beer…is a 1st base only guy, and with little speed, and an average arm, so that is the concern with his projection.

  83. Dan Straily from Baltimore? And down to AAA. Well, once again, when it comes to ballsy moves, please don’t tell me Klentak brought a knife to a gunfight. Again, nice addition with Dickerson. But our pitching staff will not contend with the Braves and Nats. Maybe he’s hoping that the bats will erupt these final 2 months. I don’t know….

    1. Dan Straily had a decent career with the Marlins and is a starting pitcher. I’m sure he did not cost much so maybe he helps us. We keep our prospects but have to refill the holes next year and hope for a Wild Card spot this year.

    2. There’s a time to be ballsy, and this wasn’t one of those times. The Phillies have too many holes and not enough good trade chips.

      Overall, I thought Klentak did okay. He didn’t get a whole lot, but he gave up next to nothing. Given the Phillies position in the standings and team makeup, it was a reasonable approach.

  84. So let’s look at what Gabe might do with the position players…

    LF Dickerson
    SS Segura
    RF Harper
    1B Hoskins
    C Realmuto
    CF Haseley
    3B Kingery
    2B Hernandez
    Knapp, Bruce, Franco, Quinn (and if they go with a 5 man bench as Gabe discussed already, Morrison may get a call)

    Rotation: Nola, Arrieta🤞, Smyly, Vargas, Velasquez🤞
    Bullpen: Neris, Nicasio, Alvarez, Parker, Morgan, Eflin, Pivetta (Morin to AAA if 5 man bench)

  85. so the Mets dont trade Wheeler- guess they make a QO and get comp or go Degrom, Wheeler, Stroman, Thor next year?
    interesting to see Marlins move Gallen.

    1. I really do not see how the Mets can afford all of those pitchers……to resign Wheeler would be a large investment…..then Thor will get a bump up in his arb year.. along with Matz, who will have the smallest salary in that rotation.
      I do not see the Wilpons doing that.
      They will probably offer Wheeler the QO….and of course he will sign in June next year as all the analytical young age GMs have learned that is the latest trend for optimum return, and the Mets get the short end of the stick.

  86. Braves DFA Luiz Gohara. I know he has shoulder issues, but what are your thoughts on the Phils taking a shot in the dark at picking him up? Was a prized prospect at one point and is only 23.

    1. DFAed him on his birthday…Happy Birthday Luiz……here are your walking papers.

    2. Never gonna stay healthy if he doesn’t manage his weight. Some players can handle being overweight, but his body doesn’t seem to. Besides having the shoulder surgery weight definitely has impacted his leg/ankle injuries.

  87. Last two months ..Klentak has netted,
    ….OFers Bruce and Dickerson,
    …..Brad Miller,
    …..RPs Parker and Morin,
    and starters Smyly, Vargas and Straily….eight players…a 32% changeover from the 25 roster out of spring training…and has kept their top prospects.
    Hopefully it pays..

  88. DBacks move Greinke out for a bundle and prospects…then bring in Leake to try to keep their playoff hopes alive.
    Good tactics on the part of Mike Hazen.

  89. Cashman and the Yankees were losers today….no pitching help while the Stros solidified an AL championship run.
    Cashman for all his talents, has one chink in his armor….starting pitchers and a formidable staff has eluded him for the last 5/6 years.
    Dodgers also did not get any relief help…..Jansen better come around.

  90. Quick reaction from the deadline – I’m happy with klentak, gave up none of their impact prospects. Glad to see the big chips all survive, especially Howard, Garcia, and Moniak. As I felt they were the most at risk of being dealt. Not really Howard but I was “concerned”

    Up to the players to do their part. Braves and Nats all got better without giving up much. Mets can make. Run at 3rd place too. that clubhouse better be focused on the finish line, the east is heating up

  91. I know a lot of people will be unhappy we didn’t do more at the deadline (especially on the pitching end), but how did we get Dickerson for nothing??? That’s nuts.

    I swear, some of Klentak’s trades are straight up black magic.

    1. pirates werent going to resign him, and wanted to save some $
      im just imaging Gabe fantasizing about a Dickerson-Bruce-Harper outfield against righties when Jay is back, and Haseley wastes away on the bench though.

    2. Dan, then the other GM’s are running the Hogswarts School of Witchcraft and are running circles around Klentak and the Phillies.

      1. LOL….you said it.
        Preller and Hazen did well for themselves.
        Cashman and Dodgers not so much with their weaknesses.

        1. Also, Cleveland did very well with the Trevor Bauer trade for this season and next season. The Mets look like they are trying to recreate the 2011 Philies rotation with four very good starters(wonder if RAJ had anything to do with that process). Now the Mets need more position players but they are not far away from being a very good team.

        2. I was really surprised the Dodgers and Yankees stood pat. It will really hurt the Yankees as I think they now will have a very tough time getting past the Astros. Heck it wouldn’t surprise me if the Red Sox run them down for the division. It’s funny because under George it was trade all your prospects for proven MLB players and now under Hal and Cash its hold onto them like they are diamonds.

          The Dodgers should cruise to the WS but once there that shaky BP could come back to haunt them.

          As for our boy MK I’m happy he held on tight to our best prospects. This just wasn’t the year to go for it but the pedal has to hit the metal this offseason it’s time to buy some talent that actually produces and at the same time convert on the guys who need to move on.

          Preller is kind of a weirdo his feet always seem to move a mile a minute but that club never gets any where and they have some nice young players.

          1. DMAR…you are correct on the Yankees.
            Cashman, as great as he is proposed to be, blew it.
            He has the ability to get hitters….but cannot build a decent pitching staff….been that way for the last 5/6 years.
            The one chink in his armor is his inability to get arms that stay healthy PLUS also remain effective when healthy ie Sonny Gray and now Happ and Paxson…..rarely do they bring any up thru their farm…Andy Pettite was great, however Severino is the latest and greatest, but now may be done for awhile with shoulder issues.
            German was an original Marlin farmhand.
            The Astros would have to have a total collapse for them now to not make it to the WS…who knows what happens after that.

            1. Or maybe he knows something we don’t 🙂

              Maybe Severino is going to come back throwing darts and Bettances is going to lengthen up the BP

              or maybe he was afraid to shine a light on his acquisition of Paxton and re-signing of Happ.

          2. Maybe…but doubt Severino will come back at all…here it is August without any rehabbing being done from the mound and no spring training at all…they would be ill-advised to push him thru.
            Paxton and Happ…maybe they will get it altogether
            Bellinces seems to be the one who will come back strong for them down th stretch.

      2. Alright, which of the acquired players should we have gotten, and what package of prospects would you have offered that would have beat what they were acquired for?

        1. maybe Sam Dyson from SF since he’d be here next year as set up guy, with Robertson/Hunter/Neshek out of the picture- twins gave up young pitchers ranked 29/30 and a 25 year old first baseman….so maybe something like Darrick Hall, Victor Santos and another young pitcher..

          wow, the Astros only gave up Derek Fisher who they had no place for, and got Biagnini, whose spin rate Houston would love, and Aaron Sanchez- think it was Girardi on MLB the other night talking about how good he thought he could be a s a reliever, plus Toronto threw in a minor league OF with solid numbers.

          1. I wouldn’t have minded Dyson, but I think you’re light on your package for him. Partly because the 25 year old is a RF, not a 1B.

            Maybe Williams, Santos, and Pipkin gets it done. But I’m not sure how much teams value Nick at this point, and I’m definitely not giving up Haseley. Plus, are we sure we should be giving up prospect capital for a RP over 30? We’re not having much luck with those…

            Sanchez I definitely would have liked, but that’s almost certainly a case of Toronto being in love with Fisher. I’m not sure we have anything similar that they’d have taken in that deal. Certainly not Williams. Maybe Haseley, but I think we’d have had to add on. Haseley+DLS? I’d have to think about that, but I’d probably do it. Would it get it done?

            1. true on Dyson- and there will probably be guys they can just sign as FA after the season.

              with no August waiver trades, i guess we’ll be seeing some veteran impending FA’s just released this month- like Asdrubal Cabrera got DFA’d yesterday.
              If the Phils are clearly out of wildcard hunt in late August, maybe they just release a guy like Dickerson to allow others more playing time- maybe get a guy like Listi on the 40 man and some major league experience. Could lead to some interesting pickups still for playoff contenders.

  92. So, are we committed to 5 inning Vinny for the rest of the year?

    Will they finish the year strong enough for Gabe to keep his job?

    If Philly Phans don’t come to the ballpark will JM pull the plug on any of the FO guys?

    Is there anyway to rejuvenate this club so we don’t have to watch listless baseball like we did tonight?

    1. I’m not sure a team that’s 7-4 in their last 11 and has scored 4+ runs in 6 of those (and hasn’t been shut out in 16 games) exactly needs “rejuvenating”. Shark, like the rest of his team, has just had a pretty darn good July and we just happened to run into them when they’re hot.

      1. Just my opinion Dan. Going back to the beginning of the Dodgers series, 14 games. We have allowed the opposition 85 runs while we have scored 55. We are averaging 3.9 runs per game and allowing 6.07 runs per game. In those last 14 games we have scored 3 runs or less in 8 of the 14 games. They look listless to me, complacent and without energy.

    2. Straily will eventually bump Vinny out of the rotation…I believe that was their plan in acquiring him from the Os.

  93. I think we can give Klentak credit for the moves he made. Dickerson was a steal, I think. He can really hit and won the Gold Glove just last year. Smyly already paid dividends, and cost nothing. I would have outbid the Mets for Stroman, and we wouldn’t have had to give up Bohm, Howard, Haseley or Moniak. And, I would have gotten another arm for the BP. Again, without touching the top. We lost Robertson, Hunter, Neshek and SerAnthony to injury for the season. 4 of Gabe’s 5 “high leverage situation” RPs. We replace them with Morin, Parker, Eflin and Pivetta. I think we could have done better than that. All in all, Klentak did well. I just would have liked a little more.

    1. matt13…getting Stroman almost puts the Phillies out of the Gerrit Cole off season bidding war, alon with the pairing of offering a LTC to JTR…unless Middleton would be willing to come close if not exceed the threshold tax.

    2. It’s true Matt I’ll admit MK has made some really good moves on paper and been incredibly unlucky with those moves.

      But in the same breadth that is what separates the men from the boys. Building the depth to sustain you through the unfortunate.

  94. Is the indictment on MK for believing in the young arms with great stuff or for believing CY was the pitching coach to help them take that next step?

    Imagine if the light went on for just one of them this year.

    1. Believing totally in analytics is a blessing and a curse.
      Klentak/.Kapeler/Young saw the FIP metrics for the three youngsters and decided…they are ready to take the next step to stardom in 2019…..but it may have been a year too soon, or it may just never happen.
      Putting faith in the metrics is suppose to minimize the risk…..the three pitchers’ may have all been an anomaly in regression this year.

  95. Romus, I understand what you are saying. My contention is that they can look at the numbers and still realize that the chance that all 3 were going to turn into a #2/3 SP were very slim. I wanted to add 1 guy, then let all of them fight for #4 and #5, the competition loser goes to the BP or to LHV. They chose to believe all 3 were really good. The fact that all 3 were not good at all, or 2 failed, and 1 turned into a 5 inning Pitcher, was certainly a more predictable outcome. They counted on all 3 being the equivalent of a #3 SP, and in fact, none of them are. I want to know what we do going into next year. Is it go to be the same “rinse, and repeat” of this year? Smyly can do great, we re-sign him, and I still think we need that guy to slot behind Nola. That guy is not in the organization presently. And, the value of Chris Young as the PC, with his analytics evaluation skills, has proven to not benefit a single guy on the staff.

    1. matt13…..I can understand your frustration, and share the same.
      This season it seems they have already counted it out…maybe a WC with one and done.

      Lets hope they pull all the stops out for Cole in the off-season…outbidding the Yankees for one.

      “…slot behind Nola. That guy is not in the organization …”…like to think Spencer Howard will be that guy …maybe not at the start in 2020 but set to go in 2021 with same MLB experience from late 2020.

      And Chris Young…..I need to reserve what I think until after next season.

      1. Spence is that guy I firmly believe it. I just hope they get rid of CY before he screws him up…

    2. Can’t argue a single point, Matt. How does this fit into their analytical hat…

      Velasquez’s batting average against thru the batting order:
      Once – .192
      Twice – .194
      Thrice – .515

      That’s phenomenal.

      1. That is sad.
        Looked at Jake;s in 2012 when he was 26 and struggling in Baltimore
        1st time….258 .304 .391
        2nd time…299 .360 .438
        3rd time….280 .342 .510
        ..consistently mediocre all the way…maybe there is some hope for Vinny…other than the bullpen.

  96. Austin Nola the older brother of Aaron has caught fire with the Mariners as a 29 y/o rookie. In 80 PA’s he’s slashing a lofty 356/405/1.035 OPS

    good for him…

  97. I agree with all of you on Spencer Howard. I think he is going to be really good. I don’t think he gets to the Majors out of ST. If we see him in July, that is great. We will still need that guy behind Nola, and he can then be behind Spencer when Howard gets settled in.. Jake is done after next year, and the rest can fight for spots #4 and 5. I also believe that another year of jelling together, Cutch coming back, Kingery settling in at 2B, and stop gap at 3B until Bohm is ready will result in our offense doing much better, and achieving what we envisioned when the seasons tarted. I believe every one of them has under achieved, but I believe there is a really good line up to be put together from what we have.

    1. Howard threw 112 innings last year, not going to reach 100 this year- what would be max innings for him in 2020? How do Phils manage that especially if in contention-
      SD had similar situation with Paddack this year, but they can just shut him down anytime they want since not in contention.

  98. Something else I am not sure who to blame about, is that the Astros have a surplus player like Derek Fisher. He gets them Sanchez and Biagnini. Our surplus, Nick Williams and Cesar, even add Mikael Franco to that list, is worth nothing.

    1. Correct.

      Franco and Cesar have become like flypaper. No matter how, you just can’t get them off our hands.

      1. I like to reverse jinx Cesar. Happens all the time. As for Franco, he’ll probably hit a meaningless home run later today but it’s long been time to move on.

    2. It’s important to note that while Fisher is going to be 26 this month, he’s making peanuts since he’s not even arbitration eligible until 2021. Williams will be also 26 and making peanuts. However, Franco is making $5.2M and Cesar is making $7.75. You don’t want to pay these guys that much money if the output is not there.

        1. Romus, I am not blaming Cesar. I just hoped that Kingery could be the 2B, and Cesar could help get a Pitcher back. But, I was wrong. We do need to move on from Franco, though. Put our new GG LF out there, Haseley in CF, who I am liking a lot so far, and Bryce in RF, move Kingery to 3B every day, and put Franco on the bench.

          1. matt13…I think that is the plan.
            Maikel will not like it…..but this could be his swan year here anyway it appears.

  99. Silver linings playbook – according to Matt Gelb, the Phillies are 23-13 (.639 winning %) in day games this season, 4th best in MLB. Go get ’em!

  100. If we are able to win today, it will be the first series win vs. a plus .500 team since May 20. And, we are only 1/2 game behind the Nats, 1 game behind the Cards and Cubs, and in a virtual dead heat with the Brewers. We need to go on a bit of a run at some point, it might as well start today.

    1. You would think by sheer luck that we might even sweep a series or two along the way. And against the weaker sisters like the White Sox and DBacks who are up next. The Phillies have won 7 of 11….it just feels like they’ve lost 7 of 11.

  101. Congratulations to Jeff Luhnow and the Houston Astros for clinching the AL pennant (and probably the WS) yesterday. They do it right. He’s put together a great core, and uses a strong farm system to build (and replenish) a dynamite rotation. To Luhnow’s credit, he’s acquired Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Zack Grienke, and never given up any of his best prospects.
    And don’t sleep on Luhnow’s “other” deadline deal. He somehow managed to sell Toronto on the idea of surrendering Aaron Sanchez (1.5 years of team control), Joe Biagini (3.5 years of team control), and Cal Stevenson (lottery ticket/decent season in A+) for Derek Fisher. While Fisher would have been a better “get” than Mark Appel turned out to be in the Ken Giles trade, he’s just a career .201/.282/.367 slasher in almost 300 MLB AB’s.

    1. If by, “never given up his best prospects” you literally mean their number one prospect, then sure. But the prospects they gave up in those trades aren’t nothing. Some of them WOULD be the best prospect for other teams.

      1. I mean any of his top three or four prospects, and most are trending down.

        Verlander went for Franklin Perez (Astros #6 prospect) and Daz Cameron (Astros #9 prospect and fading), and Jake Rogers (unranked).

        Cole went for Michael Feliz (Astros #10 prospect), Joe Musgrove (Astros #8 prospect), Jason Martin (Astros #27 prospect), and Colin Moran (Astros #25 prospect and in a free fall down their list).

        Greinke went for JB Bukauskas (#6 Astros prospect to start the season and was down from 2018), Corbin Martin (#5 Astros prospect and out until probably 2021 with TJ), Seth Beer (Astros #10 prospect to start the season and a DH only future), and Josh Rojas (unranked former senior sign).

        As I mentioned in my initial post, Houston has had a strong farm system, but it’s still unbelievable that they have not had to surrender any of their top prospects for these three “Aces”.

        1. Gotta give credit where it is due. The man can flat out GM. The Astros run is pretty remarkable, and it’s not over.

          I’d imagine that Astros fans had a “Cliff Lee rd 2 reaction” when they found out they got Grienke last minute.

          Not to bring up dead horses, but my main beef with the Phillies 07-11 run was selling off Lee, and it turns out for squat. The Astros dont seem to be making that critical mistake… O .. they can draft too! I expect them to be around when the phillies are finally legit contenders again.

          1. 2020 could be a real turning point however….Cole may be gone….Greinke and Verlander could be closer to the cliff.based on their age and mileage and still will be owed an almost combined $60M thru 2021.

            So this next three months could be the best the Stros will get to see from this current pitching staff.

        2. Luhnow gets it. Rather than stuff Fisher on the back of the bench of the 25 man he leaves him in AAA to put up a slash of 286/401/924 OPS

          You can sell that

          As opposed to what we did with Nick Williams

          He did the same with Colin Moran

  102. Exactly Hinkie, So, please explain to me why Nick Williams is worth nothing. I would have traded him, plus a prospect to make that deal. And, I remember they were worried about Fisher’s health, so we got Appel instead. Can I be mad at Klentak for that?

  103. 2 on 2 out 2-0 count on Arretta in the bottom of the 3rd, inside pitch for probable 3-0 count but he swings. Fair ball 1 inch in front of the plare, out, stupid!

  104. If VV can’t go past 5, and Arrieta can’t go through 5, why not piggyback them? Start Jake, and bring in VV. We could get 8 innings every 5 days. Wouldn’t that be like a good #2 SP?

    1. In essence put Vinny in the pen.
      Every 5th…jake starts and Vinny picks up where Jake exits out.
      Then Vinny will need a day or two off….and come in from the pen as a one inning guy, which is like his bullpen session in the past…..get a day off then back up for Jake again.
      Sounds like a reasonable plan..

      1. Jake’s a warrior I love that guy but I have a strong suspicion he won’t make it to the end of the season.

          1. LOL at some point you have to protect the asset for next season. I’m sure he will give them whatever he has.

            Yeah I’ll take a WC if I can get it but my decisions are prone to winning the division in 2020.

  105. Best thing about today’s laughter – the Phillies K’d just 3 times. Also good to see JTR swinging the bat so well. We will need him operating on all cylinders, at AND behind the plate if we’ve any playoff aspirations.

  106. Good win, series win vs a hot team. Let’s sweep the WSox and end the weekend in the 1st WC spot!

  107. I have this feeling Vargas is going to be a dumpster fire for us… But to Smyly is going to be a steal.

    Hopefully Dickerson can provide some life to the offense and the Phils can make the playoffs. Will see what happens from there

    1. From Klentak’s comments it sounds like Dickerson will start most games once his groin is ok. That’s the troubling part. I’m afraid it will be an ongoing problem. “Sure,” said Huntingdon, Bucs GM, “he’s a very good player. You can have him for next to nothing.” Although he’s a rental. Let’s hope Klentak struck gold for these last 2 months, anyway.

  108. Can anyone here entertain the notion that Spencer Howard might be in position to get a September call up?
    (His innings have been limited thanks in large part to his extended stay on the IL, but I’m wondering if there is an underlying purpose along with his scarce usage to this point in the season….and the utter uncertainty and disarray of the major league roster’s pitching staff. It’s not improbable that Arrieta and/or Eflin won’t make it through the month of August. )

  109. I think the Arrieta/VV combo is still a good idea, and I had hoped Straily might be the 5th SP, but he was rocked. I still think we missed the boat on Stroman and then Roark, but, heck, I think we missed the boat on a lot of pitching. I don’t know why this wasn’t Klentak’s plan. Jake clearly cannot go much past the 4th inning, and Vinny cannot go through a lineup for the 3rd time. Getting 4 from each could work. We still need Smyly to keep it up and Vargas to keep us in games, but dumber things have worked out, why not piggy backing Jake and Vinny? If we look at their numbers, pitching each one 4 innings makes a pretty good outing every 5th day.

    1. We can start calling them JV games. As for Straily, even after last night’s clunker, his season ERA is still 3.46 so he hasn’t been that bad all year. Plus he’s got big league experience.

  110. Not writing him off 8mark. I just would have been more excited about my plan if he pitched well last night. But, seriously, how can Klentak and Gabe and the analytics folks there look at their numbers and send them out separately every 5 days?

  111. The Twins made a trade today. Apparently you can trade for guys on MiLB contracts not on a teams 40 man during the current season…


    1. Yeah, old news. And of course MLB knew nothing about the recomposition of the baseball since, right? Man, how I despise corporate America.

    2. DMAR…..MLB even buys Delaware River mud to rub their balls with.

      “The mud originates from the New Jersey side of the Delaware River. The mud is cleaned and screened before sale.] Each year Jim Bintliff visits the mud’s source and returns with 1,000 pounds of it to store over the winter and sells it the following baseball season.
      If anybody happens to catch me in the act of harvesting mud, I come up with a story to give them a reason I’m putting mud in a bucket. I’ve told people I use it in my garden, I use it for my rose bushes, I use it for bee stings and poison ivy and any kind of story
      Before all major- and minor-league baseball games, an umpire or clubhouse attendant rubs six dozen or more balls with the mud to give them a rougher surface, to make them easier for pitchers to grip, and to comply with MLB Rule 4.01(c), which states that all baseballs shall be “properly rubbed so that the gloss is removed.” The rubbing mud’s unique feature is that it is “very fine, like thick chocolate pudding”, and it has been considered the “perfect baseball-rubbing mud”.

      1. ………for your mud packs when you get your nails manicured and that is why you have that nice complexion after all these years! Who woulda thought.

        1. Next time you cross over the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge into Jersey….jump off 73, go down to the river line, and get some official MLB mud

      1. It’s chicken or egg for me. Was Billy good because he never had the option to have to make big money FA decisions.

        We all saw the movie so we know why he turned down John Henry and the Red Sox…

  112. With Corey Dickerson’s arrival, this is how I would maximize the starting lineup:

    vs RHPs
    2b Cesar Hernandez
    ss Jean Segura
    1b Rhys Hoskins
    rf Bryce Harper
    c JT Realmuto
    lf Corey Dickerson
    3b Scott Kingery
    cf Adam Haseley

    vs LHPs
    2b Scott Kingery (CeHe brings zippo batting R)
    ss Jean Segura
    rf Bryce Harper
    1b Rhys Hoskins
    c JT Realmuto
    3b Maikel Franco
    lf Adam Haseley
    pitcher bats 8th
    cf Roman Quinn

    Barring injury, Kingery is done playing the OF. Haseley should play everyday with only occasional rest vs LHPs. Bruce returns to primarily come off the bench or spell Hoskins on occasion.

    1. The odd thing is that Maikel has reverse splits. And Cesar has a decent OPS against lefties in his career, just not this season.

  113. Adam Morgan to the IL. Maybe we should have gotten a little more BP help? Robertson done for year the same day as the deadline. We didn’t know he was going to the Dr? Maybe, the set back should have raised a red flag? With all due respect to Morin and Parker, isn’t Neris the only one left of our “high leverage situation guys”? Is there anyone at LHV or Reading who we haven’t had up here that can get a look?

    1. Klentak made the right moves this deadline, news like this is why he made bargain aisle purchases. He could’ve add 2 relievers, and he would’ve needed 5 to sure up the bullpen.

      Way too many injuries this year to make a push. I’m glad he saved his ammo for next year. Imo, it would’ve been an a waste, with what the real contenders did, and even within our division. The nats and even the Mets will pose a significant road back to win a WC this season.

  114. Angels DFA’d Jonathan Lucroy. If he somehow got to us on the waiver wire, I would take him over Knapp.

  115. If you want Kingery out of the OF its 3B . . . I’m sorry but you don’t sit Hernandez who leads the team in hits and has 20 plus doubles. Corey S has a tweet yesterday that perfectly describes ppls view of Hernandez:

    “Fans in all cities have a hard time conceptualizing that league-average production can be valuable. Cesar is slightly above league-average at his position each year, but people want average players to be good and good players to be great.“

    1. I can’t argue with that comment at all. And would still play Kingery at 2b vs righties, especially since Cesar is significantly worse than Kingery in the field.

  116. Quinn is such a dynamic player, need to find him at bats.

    Good job to the fan who yelled “swing” on Pivetta 2-2 pitch for the 2nd out of the 8th

  117. Gabe should have used that new reliever/closer Klentak traded for at the deadline. LOL.

  118. And now you know why I don’t believe that the Phils will win a World Series with Gabe Kapler as manager. You are in extra innings, you run the risk of over using your bullpen due to the game’s length. You have a former starter pitch two scoreless innings. He is stretched out and can go for as long as you need him. What does a manager do? Bring in a position player to pitch in a tie game. I’m sorry. Kapler is a moron.

    1. Roman Quinn and Vince Velasquez are absolute warriors !!!!!
      That said …. 3 runs in 15 innings is an embarrassment.
      And Gabe Kapler took an advantage and turned it into a disadvantage by trying to prove himself to be the smartest manager in MLB. Eflin should have been able to outlast the CWS last two relievers.
      Also … why not use Adam Haseley on the mound? He was a two way player at U of Virginia just two seasons ago.

      1. BTW … Matt Klentak is not faultless in this loss. How does he not trade for at least one BP arm at the deadline? When Kapler is forced to go with Nicasio and Alvarez to close out a game, odds are things probably won’t end well.

        1. Just watched Kapler’s post game press conference. He claims Eflin was sore and didn’t want to have pitch any longer. If that was the case, then why not pinch run for him as soon as he got on base (after the failed bunt attempt). Why wait until the BB landed Eflin at second base? Better yet … why not use VV to pinch hit for Eflin since you claim Eflin couldn’t throw any more? None of it makes sense.

        2. in Klentak’s mind, he got 3 relievers..Morin, Parker and Eflin (with Vargas taking his rotation spot)-
          this loss is a killer and kind of sums up the season though-
          absolutely no fun to watch, inability to get a big hit (Bryce 0 for 7, unable to get his bat on the ball with bases loaded 1 out), bullpen issues and Kapler,

  119. I fortunately didn’t stay awake to see the final 3 innings. The first 12 were excruciating enough. First, watching Nova and Vargas tossing lollipops up there made me want to grab a bat BUT then watching our big bats continue to….I don’t even know what to call it….

    Anytime Gabe has to go extra innings, you can be certain he won’t know how not to concede the game due to his misuse of players. He is simply overmatched. Period.

    And Klentak. Please tell me he lost his cell phone signal at the deadline, which itself would still be inexcusable but it’s the best reason I can think of as to why he left this mishmash of a roster unaddressed. I don’t care to hear about how remarkable Velasquez was in left field. Or ha-ha, look at Roman Quinn on the mound again. Once again the Phillies are a large market team continuing to operate like they’re the Toledo Mud Hens.

    And as for John Middleton, he must have left the country. I can’t explain how else he’s been this absent. Or is he merely ashamed and embarrassed? I couldn’t blame him for that.

    1. 8mark…owners, or the principal owe in this case, normally will not talk during the season, they usually wait until after the season is completed.
      Of course, there are those few, Ed Snyder/Jerry Jones, that are exceptions.

      1. It’s worth noting that the typical vocal owners are not who you want owning the team you cheer for. They tend to butt in and prevent their FO from doing their job correctly. Just look at the mess the Redskins have been in for almost 3 decades.

  120. I have tempered my expectations dramatically since the offseason, and the season opening sweep of the Braves. This loss stinks but I’m more mentally prepared for it. I’m trying not to get sucked back in. I just don’t see this team as a playoff team. Mainly because of that bullpen. It is mind boggling how the surplus of relievers crapped out this year.

    Sir A
    And others

    I’m pretty sure the season has 5 more wins with those guys pitching at their norms. Even with how bad the offense has been at times, ditto the SP

    Time to bring up Doyh, next man up. Least he fires heat.

    Wacky end to a game, and crazy enough Quinn gets the loss … the one player who didn’t deserve that last night. Way too many bases loaded 0 for # … that was the game

  121. I watched that whole debacle last night, and while I hate the blown save and the offense was awful, Matt Klentak wears this loss. I am sorry, there is no excuse for not adding another BP arm to this team. We can’t forget Ranger, who couldn’t get loose, SP moved to the BP where they can’t go all the time like guys who are used to relieving, so we played with 23 guys. Quinn almost pulled it off with Vinny’s help, but the offense was just terrible. In the late innings, Bryce should have just taken advantage of the shift. There is a 2B just waiting by getting the bat on the ball. Just like Rhys with that bloop 2B. Instead, he grounds out right into the shift. Scotty Kingery was terrible last night also. But, Klentak gets the goats horns last night.

    1. matt13…team offense is lousy…the three big guns of Hoskins/Harper/JTR are inconsistent.
      Last night almost half were on them…Team RISP: 2-13 ( Harper 0-2, Realmuto 0-3, Hoskins 0-1)

    2. The bats lost the game with 3 prime opportunities to score multiple runs over the regulation 9 innings. But there was enough blame to go around, both on and off the field.

  122. Why isn’t Eflin on the IL already? Are we supposed to gameplan around his availability/”heavy body” bullsh!t.

    1. well Zach said he told Gabe he was sore, but Gabe decided to take him out. Of course Gabe is probably gun shy with all the relievers on the DL.
      Saurez has been a reliever for a couple months now- not being able to pitch 2 days after a 22 pitch outing is a little hard to take.

      1. The whole explanation doesn’t pass the sniff test (IMO). Zach said he told Gabe about being sore before his AB. If Gabe was concerned for Eflin and didn’t want him throwing anymore, then why let him bat in the first place. The manager should have had Roman Quinn steal second base and use Velasquez to pinch hit for Eflin with Roman in scoring position.
        Also … why didn’t Gabe go to Adam Haseley when he ran out of pitchers? Haseley is just two years removed from being an accomplished two way star at the Univ of Virginia. While there, he pitched in 35 games (29 were starts), had a career ERA of 2.51 and a career WHIP of 1.10.

  123. I want to say again …

    * Vince Velasquez and Roman Quinn were outstanding (and thoroughly entertaining) last night. Too bad the rest of the team and manager played down to their competition (CWS had lost 16 of their last 20 before that contest).

    1. Very small consolation, Hinkie. There have been too few games where 2 or more players played well together. The byproduct of a disjointed roster (on Klentak) and coddling clubhouse culture (on Kapler).

      1. Happens too many times that we are unprepared for extra innings. Need to keep pitchers in for more than 4 pitches before extras in close or tied games. But then I guess if they get hit the media will ask why are you saving arms and not trying to win during game.

  124. 8mark, I want to know who to blame. I know the players have performed below expectations across the board. JT has been hot lately, but with runners on last night, he was as bad as the rest. Bryce has done well with runners on, but last night was terrible. I think Kingery has been hitting under the Mendoza line for a month. Rhys got a hit when he blooped the ball to RF, after swinging off balance. He, at least, didn’t try to pull it. Consistently, we took a first pitch strike down the middle. Why aren’t we more aggressive, especially against a bad team? I watched that whole thing, and thought we should have won in regulation about 9-2. How can the Hitting Coach keep his job? At least, I am not complaining about the Starting Pitching!

    1. Matt, I blame Klentak for the starting pitching. I blame the starting lineup for not generating the offense they were reasonably expected to. I blame injuries for losing Cutch and the bullpen which has performed better than expected under the circumstances. I blame Gabe for incongruity between his ingame decisions and misuse of personnel. And again, I blame Klentak for hiring him. I blame myself for thinking we had a snowball’s chance in hell at a playoff berth.

    2. Yes – ask yourself this – which of our pitchers or hitters have demonstrably improved under John Mallee or Chris Young? I don’t see that it’s happened at all. Very damning.

      1. Is it the philosophy change and the confusion by hitters of a style learned over 15-20 years then changing.

  125. This was not on Kapler. It was on the offense and it was on the FO. All the idiots on twitter were jumping down Kaplers throat during the game without waiting to hear why he did what he did, once it was learned that Eflin was sore (why risk it with all the injuries that have occurred so far?), Ranger who is new to RP couldn’t get loose and wasn’t originally an option for this game and Smily wasn’t available bc he threw his side the day before, they decided to try to attack him for switching the line up. I literally had someone tell me that they lose bc Harper and Hoskins were switched in the line up (granted she doesn’t know her arse from her elbows), give me a damn break. They lost bc the line up couldn’t come thru and bc they bullpen is basically a collection of AAAA arms.
    My ONLY question is why not use Haseley as your guy on the mound? He was VERY good pitcher at Virginia. You can say you don’t want to risk getting him hurt but you can say that about Quinn too. You would think you might utilize someone who was a pitcher and not THAT long ago. But anyways . . .

    1. The only reason I can see Quinn over Haseley is because Haseley actually having been a pitcher who could throw low 90s there was a concern he would REALLY PITCH and not having done it for 2 years could injure himself as opposed to Quinn just lobbing it in there.

  126. Things can really get crazy tonight if Aaron Nola (for whatever reason) can’t give the team at least five or six innings, or if this game also goes into extra frames. Neris is out (suspension) so they are already working with a 24 man roster. There’s no way Eflin is avalable. I’m assuming Pivetta can’t go on back to back nights. Parker threw two innings (29 pitches) on Friday. Then there is this from Matt Gelb in The Athletic:
    “The Phillies, at this point, are out of pitchers. They have seven relievers on the injured list. Three extra relievers on the 40-man roster — J.D. Hammer, Edgar García and Austin Davis — all pitched Friday night for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. García cannot return to the majors for another week unless there is an injury. Jerad Eickhoff is still rehabbing in the minors.”

    They could be working with a four man BP tonight: Suarez, Morin, Nicasio, and Alvarez. This is a lot of bad luck, but also mismanagement b Matt Klentak.

    1. Tonite the bats will probably come alive…as usual…Hoskins/Harpe/JTR will kill it since they are pissed about the ooofer RISP last night.
      They need to keep that attitude for 50 plus more games.
      Consistency escapes this team’s offense.

    2. “This is a lot of bad luck, but also mismanagement b(y) Matt Klentak.”..that is true.

      But looking around the league….how do you build a bullpen?
      Virtually every team has bullpen it health wise or the off-year slumping reliever productivity.
      The Yankees have average starters this year …but a plus bullpen.
      A lot of teams have the opposite.

      Klentak keeps signing the 30 plus year ld releivers and they break down.
      Might be better to go into a season with the young prospect relievers and then sign the veterans…who ever is left out there…after the season begins.
      I do not know the answer…..maybe it is just plain ole luck that a bullpen stays healthy and stays productive.

    3. plus Nicasio has thrown 20 pitches the last 2 nights-
      De Los Santos also pitched last night but just two IP due to the rain.
      they could put Morgan on the 60 day and put someone else on the 40- Gilbert pitched last night though too.

  127. In FA, there’s no such thing as a young good reliever. If he was good, you would keep him. So the relievers on the market are either not effective (and was released) or got too expensive (exhausted their arbitration years). That’s why the Phillies are signing older, more expensive relievers because that’s what is out there. Take Adam Morgan. A converted starter, fairly effective, making peanuts. He’s be a FA in 2022 when he’s 32 and the Phillies will likely let him walk. If Pivetta stays in the bullpen, he’ll be a FA in 2024, when he’s in his 30s. That’s just the way it is.

    If you want a younf reliever, you either have to develop him yourself or trade for one.

    1. And that is what I said….use your own young prospect relievers and then after the season starts or maybe a week prior, search for the veteran reliever who is out there.who is not on any DL list.
      It is luck no matter how you slice it.
      In the older days….a majority of wash-out starters became relievers….now teams are drafting relievers and cultivating them in their systems.
      The wash out starters still have their place in the bullpen….but only if they can bring the heat
      Looking around the league…every GM seems to have an issue with their bullpens.

    2. “In FA, there’s no such thing as a young good reliever. If he was good, you would keep him”….different GMs have different views or philosophies.

      Dipoto decided to trade one of the best in Diaz.
      Huntington decides to keep Velasquez..

      So some GMs seem to go against the grain.

      1. Unless you find somebody dumb enough to take on Robbie Cano’s contract AND give up Dunn and Kelenic.

  128. .

    I’m still interested to see if Klentak claims Luiz Gohara. The Braves DFA’d him a few days ago. He hasn’t thrown all season. I have no info on the extent of his injuries, but he’s LH, throws upper 90’s and has a plus SL, and is a former top prospect who has to lose some weight. Claim him if he makes it to you. I think the Phillies would be 10th in line to claim him.

    1. Hinkie…risky…. who will take up a 40 spot and may not pitch again until 2020, if he does return. Shoulder issues have plagued for the last two seasons.
      If any does sign him it could be after the Rule 5 in Dec. but until he can throw live again, I see a lot of GMs hesitant .

      David O’Brien‏

      #Braves pitching prospect Luiz Gohara will miss the entire season after having shoulder surgery. The arthroscopic procedure was characterized as a clean-out/exploratory operation, to alleviate soreness he’s had since spring training. No significant tissue damage was discovered.
      7:39 PM – 19 Jul 2019

    2. We resigned Walling and I see that Cozens was given an unconditional release; does that mean that they are 2 different situations and we can’t resign DC?

      1. It means Walding is still in the organization and Cozens isn’t. But he could re-sign with us in the offseason (or sooner if both parties wanted to, he’s just free to explore his options).

        Although typically released players don’t sign with the team that released them, because if that team wanted them they… wouldn’t have released him…

        1. Cozens was going to be a minor-league FA at the end of the season anyway, and he’s out for the season, so releasing him now is no different than not releasing him now. Just means they recognize reality.

          Walding will also be a minor-league FA come October – but unlike Cozens, he can actually play (and maybe contribute) at AAA for the next month…so they won’t release him early (unless they decide he’s in Bohm’s road, but I don’t think that’s likely).

  129. I know everyone believes the pitching injuries are an unfortunate coincidence but let’s review the story.

    1 More injuries than any pitching staff in baseball
    2 At the same time the team is starting to follow and train using Driveline principles and new hires
    3 Driveline’s big focus is on training pitchers using a “heavy ball”.
    4 Many credible critics have warned heavy balls can lead to injuries if not implemented very carefully and with full understanding of how to do it

    1. Driveline is a great program for pitchers. Have had massive success with it working with my baseball players. You have to do it correctly and I have no doubt a major league team knows what they are doing with it.

  130. Woo hoo Sean Rodriguez in the 5 hole tonight protecting Rhys Hoskins!!!!!!! #BeBold

  131. Nola is desperately trying to put this team on his back just for them to squirm around like little kids trying to escape.

  132. While the Phillies continue to fumble around looking for any competent pitching (starters and relievers) behind Aaron Nola. John Middleton has to be asking “Why couldn’t we beat the Astros for Aaron Sanchez?” At the deadline, Jeff Luhnow somehow passed off Derek Fisher (.201/.282/.367 career slash line) as adequate compensation for 1.5 years of Aaron Sanchez, 3.5 years of Joe Biagini, plus a lottery ticket.
    Last night, in their Houston debuts, Sanchez (6 IP’s 0 H, 2 BB, 6 K) and Biagini (1 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 1 K) were featured performers in Houston’s combined no-hitter against Seattle.

    C’mon’, Matt Klentak (and this is not me playing Monday morning QB. I mentioned Sanchez as a “buy low” trade target before and after the deadline) … certainly, you could have beaten Derek Fisher w/o surrendering any of the Phillies top prospects.


    1. apparently the Blue Jays really, really like Fisher for some reason- on the flip side, Fisher lost a ball in the sun yesterday and got hit in the face-
      was reading reactions to this trade on Friday night- and Smoltz on MLB broadcast was just talking about what a steal that was going to turn out to be for the Astros-
      then again, the Astros are experts at figuring out what a pitcher needs to do to maximize his talent- would you have any faith in the Phillies doing that?

  133. Hinke..That is actually my biggest gripe with Klentax,failures like that.
    Common sense moves that he is to bone headed to make.

  134. Hinkie, when it happened last week I asked you why Nick Williams can’t even bring Biagnini, let only Sanchez and him. Derek Fisher has shown kess flashes than Williams

    1. I wonder if Corey Dickerson is ready to play the outfield, and this means that Scott Kingery is the Third baseman the rest of the year.

      1. Da faq? I get Franco has not lived up to expectations, but I’m not seeing how Rodriguez helps this team more… stupid move imo. Franco off the bench is Munich better than whatever pictures Rodriguez has of Gabe and klentak.

        I’m not a huge feancovsupporter but I’d bet the odds of him doing better in another organization are 60/40.

        1. Franco only plays one position…Rodriguez plays numerous position and is faster afoot is probably the reason.
          Franco is not a bench player…if he isn’t starting he probably is not useful in any situation as either defensive late game guy or even a pinch hitter…look at his metrics over the last six weeks…not good..

        2. That’s not saying a lot since Franco has been playing at a replacement level his whole career. If Franco does better for another team, good for him. But the blame for Franco getting sent down is clearly on Franco and nobody else.

          1. Franco is a betterball candidate imho. Showed flashes, maybe some other coaching staff can help make it click for him.

  135. Franco should have been optioned to LHV two Junes ago…2017
    But Klentak or Mack decided against it….may have helped him in the long run…worked for Wong/Ozuna etc etc

    1. Major league players cannot be traded but minor league players can, Franco and Williams could both go soon.

      1. Denny….cannot happen.
        Under the new rules adopted this season, no player that has been on a Major League contract at any point in 2019 may be traded until after the World Series, meaning only players on Minor League deals who have not been promoted to the big leagues this year can be dealt.

    1. I do not expect Cliff Lee to have a Wall of Fame dedication anytime soon….his image may be more tarnished than Jayson Werth’s was when he was a National..
      Lee, from what I understand, did not even come up after he went out that last year played, for any of the charitable events run by the Hamels, the ALS event, the Utley’s pet charity event and Ryan Howard and his wife’s charity event.

  136. Another pathetic performance vs one of the worst teams in the league. They made us look silly. And I know Smyly had a bad inning but this is on the offense. We stink. If they czn score 9, we should score 12. Our philosophy, approach to hitting and coaching is systemically flawed. Matched by poor execution. How can there not be changes throughout the coaching staff, including the Manager, when every offensive player under performed? Segura is .50 under what I expected, Rhys and Bryce, 12 HRs short, not a single sign of growth unless we consider Kingery abandoning what he was taught to do as growth?

  137. What’s interesting is while Harper isn’t hitting HR at the clip that was expected, he’s driving in runs at just about the same clip as those with 30 plus HRs. So who cares how he’s driving in the runs? He’s driving them in.
    Don’t believe me go look at Yellich, Trout, Cruz and others w 30 plus HRs. He’s either right at their production or only slightly behind.

      1. Or RBI shows an actual stat, what he’s doing w runners on base. You can only drive in the actual people on base. And he’s doing that.

  138. We lost 2 of 3 to a bad baseball team in our own ball park and barely won the game last night. This has been a demonstration of a poor organization from top down. The only talk from Middleton that matters now is the news that this entire coaching staff be replaced immediately. And then Klentak and MacPhail go at season’s end once the team regresses from 2018’s 80-82 record. Johnny Cigars had better be lining up some new FO candidates pronto.

  139. I hate the Mets, but with that rotation and their core of good young bats, they’re sitting 3 games behind the Phillies. The Nats have their hands full with Arizona – where our futile Fightins’ are boarding their plane for – and Atlanta split 4 games with the Reds at home. I’m sensing the Phillies will be in 4th place, at least 12 games out of 1st place by Labor Day.

    1. 8mark, I agree with you about the Mets as they have the best starting rotation in the National League. The Mets probably will not catch the Braves but a Wild Card spot is easily within reach. I hope the Phillies can stay in the Wild Card hunt until the end but our pitching has to improve.

      1. Phila, the only way the pitching improves is if the personnel changes. It’s Aug 4. The only way the personnel changes is bringing up minor league arms. Arrieta may eventually opt for surgery to prepare for 2020. Smyly and Vargas may give us 6 innings and keep the team in games, but I doubt both will consistently. Velasquez has a twice thru the lineup limit, and that’s when he’s pitching well. I’m all for bringing Medina and Howard up in September to give them a taste, followed by invites to spring training. Let’s get on with. And Middleton must earmark $180M for Gerrit Cole.

        1. 8mark…Tuesday, August 6th will be the one year anniversary when the Phillies started their slide last year…17-34 over the last 51 games.
          Gabe better hope it is not a repeat…or Monday Sep 30 will be ‘finito’ for him.

          I can see Medina making his debut…..but Howard IMO they will not wait to put him on the 40 and also to start his service time clock in the last month of a season.

      2. Looks like Medina sees his opportunity…..pitched a very good game tonight.
        Six innings, 2 hits, 8 Ks one earned run, however three walks.

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