Open Discussion: Week of August 19th

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

Key Dates:

  • 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 August 18th … there are 400 players in the org

8/18/19 – Phillies sent RHP Jerad Eickhoff on a rehab assignment to Reading
8/18/19 – Lakewood placed RHP Gilmael Troya on the 7-day IL retro to 8/17
8/18/19 – RHP Tom Sutera assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
8/17/19 – Phillies activated RHP Jared Hughes
8/17/19 – Phillies placed CF Roman Quinn on the 10-day IL, right groin strain
8/17/19 -Lehigh Valley placed RHP Jose Taveras on the 7-day IL, right foot contusion
8/17/19 – Lehigh Valley activated C Matt McBride from the 7-day IL
8/16/19 – RHP Ezequiel Ventura assigned to DSL Red
8/16/19 – Phillies signed NDFA C Willie Estrada; assigned to GCL East
8/15/19 – Phillies transferred RHP Edubray Ramos from the 10-to the 60-day IL, right shoulder impingement
8/15/19 – Phillies claimed RHP Jared Hughes off waivers from Cincinnati
8/15/19 – RHP Jose Taveras assigned to Lehigh Valley from Clearwater
8/15/19 – Rafi Gonell assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
8/15/19 – Tom Sutera assigned to Williamsport from Lakewood
8/15/19 – Oswald Medina activated from the RL by DSL Red
8/15/19 – Norman Anciani activated from the RL by DSL White
8/14/19 – Phillies placed RHP Jake Arrieta on the 10-day IL retro to 8/12, bone spur
8/14/19 – Phillies transferred RHP Jerad Eickhoff from the 10- to the 60-day IL, biceps tendinitis
8/14/19 – Phillies selected the contract of 1B Logan Morrison from Lehigh Valley
8/14/19 – Clearwater Threshers activated RHP Alejandro Requena from the 7-day IL
8/14/19 – Lehigh Valley activated Jose Taveras
8/14/19 – Clearwater placed Gustavo Armas on the Temporarily Inactive List (TIL)
8/13/19 – Phillies sent RHP Jerad Eickhoff on a rehab assignment to Lehigh Valley
8/13/19 – Reading placed RF Danny Mayer on the 7-day IL
8/13/19 – Reading activated LF Cornelius Randolph from the 7-day IL
8/13/19 – Nick Hundley activated by Lehigh Valley
8/13/19 – Lehigh Valley placed Josh Tols on the 7-day IL
8/13/19 – Jose Taveras assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
8/13/19 – FA C Gabriel Ojeda assigned to Clearwater
8/12/19 – LHP Ethan Lindow assigned to Clearwater from Lakewood
8/12/19 – Josh Hendrickson assigned to Lakewood from GCL West
8/12/19 – Dominic Pipkin assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
8/12/19 – Rafi Gonell assigned to Williamsport from Lakewood
8/12/19 – Oscar Marcelino assigned to Williamsport from Clearwater
8/12/19 – Francisco Morales assigned to Williamsport from Lakewood

265 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of August 19th

      1. rocco…..agree with Bohm, Moniak and Maton….but not sure on Howard, unless they feel he needs more innings or Stephen…normally the AFL requires from each MLB team a quota of specific positions and pitchers.

          1. I do not think they will….he will have had over 100 innings pitched for sure, with play-offs coming up to add to that 100 plus, and his currently fading.
            They may just let him rest.

            1. I think Howard is a good bet to go to the AFL. IMO, Darrick Hall is probably a near lock to also go (unless too many 1Bmen are already going). Grant Dyer and Cornelius Randolph are candidates to attend. If Jose Pujols is healthy by then, he may also be sent. After that, any of Bohm, Moniak, Jones, Medina, and Connor Brogdon could be under consideration. Of course, I would also love to see the Phillies send jaKe the caKe !!!

            2. Hinkie…Hall went last year…so he may not be eligible to go again….and out up 4 HRs with his standard >.200 ISO and low BA.

      2. A good list. Need to add a reliever too, a good arm but someone who missed part of the year.

  1. Just a rat-a-tat-tat….

    C Please, just lock JTR up and worry only about a backup backstop. He’s a beast for the next 3-5 years.

    1b Hoskins as your leadoff hitter is only another indictment against Klentak on how disjointed he roster is.

    2b Kingery and the Phillies need him to be playing his natural position. His overall impact on the team will not be realized until he does.

    SS Segura is fine but I’m looking forward to see Stott there soon, maybe in 2021? Jean will be serious trade bait when the time comes.

    3b Counting the days until the 2020 season opener. Hoping A-Bohm is at the hot corner.

    OF With Bryce anchoring, there are numerous possibilities in LF and CF. Cutch returning in ’20 brings some hope. Personally, I’m still envisioning Mickey Mo in CF on opening day 2021. Haseley should be a nice 4th man out there.

    The bench – anyone not named Sean Rodriguez is welcome but I hope the trend is for MLB teams to begin going with 5 man benches. Even with the DH, how many clubs have their 8th reliever out of minor league options? It makes little sense not to benefit strategically from having another option for the manager late in a game.

    Starting pitchers – this is a whole other thread. Nola and Howard are the only inhouse arms I am counting to have impact until the 2020 rule 4 draft. Johnny Cigars will need to dole out the dollars for a Gerrit Cole because there ain’t enough to trade for a #2.

    Bullpen – as Ruben liked to say, “It’s a fluid situation.” And always will be with relievers, unfortunately. Let’s hope Seranthony recovers to provide some stability.

    Manager – Rauuullll!!!!

      1. Raul is of latino descent but born and bred New York. Anyway, he’s been respected highly by his peers throughout his career. We need to look no farther than Ryne Sandberg for the classic case of a guy working his way through the organizational ranks to finally make it with another club. Unfortunately, we got more time from him as a manager than the HOF player he became. Aaron Boone was hired by a team much more successful than the Phillies without any minor league experience as a manager or coach. Ibanez is young enough to slot in as this team’s skipper begins to form its future core. These days, unless you’re a Maddon or Girardi, FO’s want a guy who totes the company line. Developing the clubhouse culture and real communication skills are most important for a manager. In the dugout, he needs to do his best to stay out of the way by not making overly manipulative decisions.

    1. would any other manager have had Realmuto behind the plate for all 3 games on a hot weekend, after playing the three days prior?
      would any other manager still have Hoskins leading off rather than hitting 7th?
      just tired of the little league-esque fake-positive talk from Gabe, while you see the Atlanta manager actually holding a player accountable.

      1. I don’t like Kapler but he knew they were off Monday. Did JT look tired to you? He’s our hottest hitter. Keep him in the lineup behind the plate.

    2. 8mark with all due respect Manager is the least of my concerns for this club at this time. I’m not a Kapler fan and I believe there were and would be better managerial choices out there however until Middleton solves his talent acquisition and evaluation models you can run whoever you want out there and it won’t change a thing IMO.

      I came to this conclusion over the weekend. Which is you can’t fire Kapler unless you also include McPhail and Klentak.

      1. I don’t believe that is true. McPhail to his credit put the hiring of Kapler on Klentak from the get go with his (paraphrase) a GM only gets to hire so many managers statement. Managers are hired to be fired. If they don’t produce they generally are fired. Even good ones get the ax. A new GM wants his guy. Happens all the time.

        I don’t believe this manager is cut out to be a manager. His lineups make no sense. His bullpen decisions often make no sense, irregardless of injuries. One of the players shouldn’t be here and I believe is, because of Gabe. 2 years running they have collapsed in the 2nd half.

        This standing on the dugout like you’re MacArthur when you aren’t and trying to convince everyone that you are protecting the players from the umpires and the reporters after the game is ridiculous. The notion that a major league player is a kid and needs to be cuddled is absurd. I agree with others on here that it is insulting to baseball fans intelligence to hear the dribble that comes from Gabe after a game so that he can be seen as protecting a player. You don’t need to throw a guy under the bus, but there is nothing wrong with acknowledging a player is struggling when everyone in the world can see that.

      2. Sorry if this reposts, but while I agree on Gabe’s in game moves and lineup decisions being bad, by far his biggest challenge is explaining why almost every single member of his rosters last year and this year have underperformed expectations. I mean every manager is going to have some that go the wrong way, but 90%+ of them? Not normal at all.

        While 1993 and 2008 and clearly two cherrypicked examples in Phillies history of where it worked out real well, they are evidence of what championship teams do.

        Yes, the 2008 team had superstars like Cole and Chase and Jimmy and Ryan. But Lidge, JC Romero, Madson, Eyre, and Durbin all greatly over performed expectations out of the pen. And Blanton and Myers in the rotation also did quite well in that regard. Not to mention Shane and Werth and Feliz and Ruiz. Whether it was coaching, culture, or other factors, the reality is that team won the World Series because in general, the roster performed better than expectations almost across the board.

        In 1993, same thing. The Phils signed a bunch of lower end free agents – Milt, Inky, Eisey, DJ, West, LA, and a few others. All of them had great years vs expectations. And guys like Stocker, Duncan, Greene, Hollins, Rivera, Dykstra, etc all took big steps forward from previous years’ performance.

        Back to the current state, the reality is that no matter what Klentak does this off season to add talent to this roster, give me one good reason we should believe that this manager can take whatever ingredients he is given and it turn into an award winning dish. In almost two full years at the helm, and I hate to say it, there is really no evidence that he can take players and make them better. Bottom line.

  2. Out of curiosity, RAEF715 what would you have said as manager or alternately who would you have thrown under the bus?

    1. maybe throw under the bus whoever is supposed to make sure Bryce doesnt get dehydrated on a hot day? but seriously, there isnt necessarily a need to throw anyone under the bus after a loss, but this continuing emphasis on the positives after losses is just childish and insulting, to both players and fans.
      don’t tell me how great Rhys Hoskins at bats were after another O-fer.

  3. This year is a fight to win the 2nd wild card so Scherzer can beat Nola. It’s a step forward but a small step. The bigger question is next year and how to build this team. Starting pitching is bad with only Nola, Vargas, and a returning Arrieta locked in. From Eickhoff, Eflin, Pivetta and Vinnie, we still have nothing we can count on for next year. We need two starters. We won’t get Cole, I just don’t see us outbidding every other team for him. That leaves us in the next bin. We’ll need to bring back Hamels and sign someone else who can be a #3. There just aren’t any #2s out there after Cole.
    Cesar is having another decent year and should have some trade value. Kingery has faded and looks like last year again as he keeps swinging and missing at the high fastball. I’m not sure which of them should be traded. Bohm will not be up before June and it might even be later. They need to find someone who can play 3b but be flexible for when Bohm comes up. Listi could get a look. Or they could keep Cesar and let Kingery stay there. They also need a CF because Haseley and Quinn look like 4th OFs to me. Next year will be a 26 man roster and Quinn is the perfect 26th man. Trade ideas? Free agent targets? Never too early to speculate

    1. Agree with pretty most of what Murray posted above.
      The Phillies aren’t going to the playoffs this season. The sooner they are officially eliminated, the better off it will be for the franchise going forward. That’s when they can give Quinn (if healthy) and Haseley every day starts in the OF.

      Klentak will have to build a pitching staff this winter. You can pretty much forget about Gerritt Cole. This club has made it pretty clear they are not going to break the bank on arms. I think Alex Wood is the most likely FA option they could bring in. Cole Hamels is also a possibility, but I gotta’ believe the Cubs will probably slap him with a QO. I don’t think Hamels is worth giving up a second round draft pick for the third straight season (not to mention a 3rd rounder in 2018).
      With 2020 looking like a make or break year for Klentak and Kapler (don’t see him being fired this offseason), I wouldn’t be shocked to see Klentak re-explore deals for Matthew Boyd, Robbie Ray, or Mike Minor.
      I still believe Daniel Norris would be a nice “buy low” pick up.

      Finally, the club has to decide what to make of Velasquez, Pivetta, and Eflin. I think … in the end … the team will want to see them all be given another chance to work with a more experienced pitching coach. That’s why I’m pretty sure Chris Young gets fired.

      1. 2020: VV-28…Piv-27…Eflin-26
        Tough decisions to be made…one or two of them could bring back something in a deal with a GM who wants to gamble on the next ‘Arrieta from-the -Os/Archer from -the-Cubs’ resurrection with either of them.
        Or keep them for one more year and e=see if they develop beyond where they are now…though VV has surprised me of late.

      2. I don’t understand why everyone seems to assume we won’t get Cole? We were the second highest bidder on Corbin by a significant margin and are similar pitchers (though I prefer Cole). I can’t see what would have changed in the last year other than we need a pitcher even more so than last year.

        Secondly our young pitchers get trashed constantly but the reality is pitching is getting destroyed across the league. Atlanta and Milwaukee has given up more runs than us and even the nationals with all their “Aces” have only given up 34 less runs on the year. My biggest worry is that we give up on all these guys and then baseball adjust the balls and they go on have long careers elsewhere.

        As easy as it is to blame Klentak is think the juiced ball has more to do with our pitchers struggles than anything.

        1. You’re including bullpens when you just look at runs given up. It also doesn’t take into account innings pitched by the SPs. Giving up 3 runs in 7 innings is much different from giving up 3 runs in 2.1 innings.

          For starting pitching, the Phils are 25th in fWAR, 16th in ERA, 24th in FIP, 23rd in K/9, 19th in BB/9, and have given up the 10th most runs. That’s not good, and it’s not just a symptom of the juiced baseball.

          By the way, the Nats’ SPs have pitched more innings than ours (715 vs. 682.2) and have given up WAY fewer runs (288 vs. 346). Almost 60 fewer runs in 33 more innings is a huge deal. That’s a 3.63 staff ERA vs. our 4.56.

          1. Bosss … Contrary to popular opinion, the Phillies are pretty transparent. There was no question they were going to spend whatever it took to land a superstar/face of the franchise offensive player last winter. Not only did they break the bank for Bryce, they overpaid Andrew McCutcheon, and forked over probably their two best prospects (Sixto and Crawford) for more offensive weapons. They’ve announced their willingness to “buy the bats”.
            At the same time, they’ve let it be known they are not going to be a team to hand out long term/big money contracts to pitchers. Arrieta got five years, but only three are guaranteed. The Arrieta, Robertson, Neshek, and Hunter deals have probably only cemented this club’s philosophy on being conservative when it comes to spending on arms. You can even look at the draft. Under this regime, the team has never picked a pitcher (and spent the multi millions it would take to sign him) in the first round. They are just extremely risk averse when it comes to pitching.
            IMO … Gerritt Cole will most likely end up with the NYY’s or the LAA’s.
            Cole is going to get a six year deal. MacKlentak wouldn’t give Corbin six years, and Corbin is probably going to age more gracefully than Cole.

    2. If the Phillies make it as the second wildcard, I have a wild thought about their pitching approach if they really want a shot at a championship vs just making it to the NLDS. Save Aaron Nola to pitch Games 1 and 5 vs the Dodgers, and start someone else in the wildcard game. If you use Nola in the WC game, and only use him in Game 3 or 4 vs the Dodgers, I don’t see how any combination of Vargas, Smyly, VV, and Eflin wins you 2 of the other 4 games. But could they win you 1 of the other 3 if Nola gets you 2 wins? Maybe. I know it would be risky to pitch one of them in the wildcard game but they are better suited to beat a wildcard team than the Dodgers.

      1. Agree,….since the Wild Card Game is considered its own post-season series, and clubs set/re-set their roster prior to each post-season series, have Nola out for that one game and bring in another pitcher….and maybe even go with an opener on the road in that one-game play-off….high risk..high reward

      2. As crazy as it seems… I’d go VV if we’re not going with Nola in the wildcard round. With the understanding that he’s got a super short leash, obviously. He’s very capable of striking out everyone he sees, and it shouldn’t matter if we go to the ‘pen early because Nola should be giving the ‘pen a rest in the next game. If Nola gets knocked around, we’ve essentially lost anyways, so you just go to a mop-up guy at that point.

        Of course I don’t actually trust Gabe to have a quick trigger on yanking a struggling pitcher, so…

  4. Murray, I am not quarreling with your statement about Kingery fading a bit, but he is the future 2B. His defensive ability makes him a GG candidate, much, much superior to Cesar. I think he will keep getting better at the plate, and the question of who to keep should be an easy one. You are correct that we need SP, and one of them needs to be a TOR one. There is too large of a jump from Nola to whoever comes next, and we will not succeed unless that is addressed.

  5. To a tee…this is a typical Gabe’s post-game remark (from a poster from another site):

    “Our side struck out in the 9th inning but I’m proud of how hard our guys swung the bat”

    Now if that is not a positive spin, I do not know what is..

    1. A friend of mine said the other day while watching Gabe’s post game presser – “If he was the manager of the ’62 Mets, they’d have had a parade at the end of the season.”

    2. Romus, I am over Gabe. It was an important series to win, coming off the Cubs sweep. I frankly don’t care how many pitches we saw. It is meaningless that we saw 110 pitches when we can’t hit them. The 27 pitches we saw in the 9th inning meant nothing because we struck out each time. It may help the Padres next opponent if Yates is tired, but we don’t see him until next year! I am not proud of their “grinding out ABs” when the hitting with RISP is so poor. So, his positive spin after another lost opportunity just rankles me. If Jason Vargas gives us the game he gave us yesterday, we should win every one of them. If this team does not score 4 or more runs a game, they are not doing their job, and the patting them on the back for failing, but “giving a good effort” only plays in Little League.

      1. I hear thee.
        If Gabe is back in 2020, and the team fails to make the play-offs this season, …many of the faithful will be angered.

      2. Can’t wait until the end of the year Team party when Gabe hands out the trophies and makes the individual presentations.

        1. The first trophy goes to Jean Segura for his 11 pitch strikeout on Sunday. What an at bat!! Only matched by Andrew Knapp last season who K’d after 13 pitches. That’s the way to wear down the opposing pitcher….or Zach Eflin.

  6. On the topic of Gerrit Cole above, I wouldn’t be resigning to the idea that Middleton won’t charge Klentak with going after him aggressively. My doubt is whether the Phillies will offer more than the NYY, that being dollars plus a better opportunity to win.

    1. Why wouldn’t Cole stay in Houston if they match the dollars? Every team will chase him. It will take six years and lots of money.

      1. I really do not think every team will chase him….maybe 5 or 6.
        Yankees and Sox obviously, hopefully the Phillies,
        possibly the Braves.
        Cubs if they let Hamels go.
        Dodgers-maybe not
        Brew Crew-maybe
        Cardinals…too pricey for them
        Indians- same as Cardinals
        Rangers and Angels-maybe
        Rays-no way

  7. 8mark, I think there is one Top guy next year in Cole and the rest fall into the second tier. I certainly go after him, but our chances are probably not great, and we won’t stand any chance if Middleton lets MacPhail persuade him to limit the offer like we did with Corbin. How does Hamels not get a QO, and when he does, are we out? Next up is Alex Wood, and maybe we have a better shot at him, but I keep feeling that we will always lose out on that last year that someone is going to offer. They seem to like the trade route, but I am so reluctant to give up Bohm or Stott and I am not giving up Howard to get Robbie Ray or anyone else who may be able to be traded for. Our farm isn’t that top heavy. Who can we project to be a serious ROY candidate like some of our competitors have? Bohm or Stott is about it. So, FA seems the best and most logical way to go. We are a big market team and, yes, we signed Bryce, but we need to get that caliber of SP and I don’t see any realistic alternative to overpaying. So, I overpay. But, I want the best guy. And, I hope Middleton does to.

    1. matt13…IMO, Cole’s contract could be a little more than Corbin’s ( 6 yrs-$140M).
      The Phillies should be able to be in the running at something less than $24/25M AAV.

      1. Gerritt Cole will probably get a 6 year/156 million dollar contract. He’ll most likely get it from the NYY’s or LAA’s. As I posted above, MacKlentak are risk averse when it comes to paying pitchers. I’ll be impressed if they even invest a 2020 first round draft pick on one of the many premier college arms available in next June’s meat market. Even in the mid teens, the Phillies could land a guy like JT Ginn (a Romus favorite), Asa Lacy, or Reid Detmers. All three will be younger college arms with a combination of proven track records and big ceilings. I also hope the team holds on to their second round pick so they can take Burl Carraway with it.

        1. The Phillies are risk-averse when it comes to paying pitchers, but if they are serious about contending in 2020 and 2021, I don’t think they really have any choice. They are going to have to overpay for a quality starting pitcher. If they don’t 2020 is going to look a hell of a lot like 2019, because they don’t have quality starting pitching in the majors and, aside from Spencer Howard, no other SP help is coming from the farm. They basically have to overpay for a TOR type pitcher and probably at least one other guy who has a chance to be a MOR contributor. Their inability to develop starting pitching means they have to buy the arms. The good news is that Arrieta comes off the books after 2020, so they can afford this type of player.

          1. But when you think about……the Phillies FO need to take a book form the Astros/Sox/Yankees……they do not develop TORs either…almost all their impactful pitchers are FA signings or trades.
            I will give the Dodgers…Kershaw and Beuhler.

            1. Add the Cubbies in that mix also….Lester/Hamels/Darvish/Quintana and even Hendricks….all from outside their org.

  8. Has there been any talk from MLB that they will go back to the balls they used last year or do they think all these HR’s are going to attract more fans?

    Also do you think that MLB should have used the new balls in all minor leagues instead of just AAA? If they are going to stick with them, wouldn’t it be better for the younger guys to get used to it sooner then later?

    1. They may go with the balls currently being used and tested in the KBO.
      All the SLG and hitting metrics have trended down to a more rational level this year in the KBO from their previous years..

  9. A player that the Phils missed on was Michael Brantly. I believe they signed McCutheon because of durability over Brantley. At the time I wanted Brantly over McCutheon but began to appreciate Andrew’s approach and leadership before his injury. But, Brantly would have added a whole lot to their inconsistent offense. Wish we would have signed him.

    1. Guy is pretty high on Howard now with his four above-average to plus pitches.
      Also wish the Phillies could get the other guy in the write-up, LHP Kris Bubic from the Royals…he was dominant with the Blue Rocks this year when he was in Wilmington..

    2. If you watch videos of his strikeouts you soon realize that Spencer Howard has, with the possible exception of Sixto Sanchez, the best right-handed stuff of any righty Phillies prospect in the last 30 years (if you think I’m wrong, I dare you to find one former prospect other than Sixto whose stuff compares with Howard, and don’t say Gavin Floyd or Brett Myers – their stuff wasn’t as good and it’s not really close). That is not an exaggeration and speaks to his ability and the Phillies’ horrible track record in developing pitchers.

        1. You got me there – he’s a little behind I think (at least when he was a prospect, after he got to Cleveland he added about 3-4 MPH to his FB), but pretty close to the same territory.

          1. He being Carrasco. In other words, they are close but, as a minor leaguer, I don’t believe Carrasco had stuff as good as Howard’s and I think Howard has a higher ceiling than Carrasco ever did.

            1. Those three years for Carlos….2006-Lakewood, 07-CLW and and 08-Reading…he put up some good metrics with over 425 innings pitched…he was a horse…and BA top 60 prospect for all three years.
              But his stuff may not have been as electric as Howards…I do not remember.

  10. If the Phillies fail to make the playoffs, which coaches are back? Matt Klentak seems to be locked into Pitching Coach Chris Young as much as he is Gabe Kapler. And do the Phillies restructure their minor league development team? They had some high profile players regress this year, like Adonis Medina, Jo Jo Romero, and Jhailyn Ortiz, just to name a few.

    1. This is interesting because the hitting coach already got axed. I would lean toward Gabe getting canned before Chris Young, although it’s not like our pitching has been great either but they can always blame it on the juiced ball.

  11. If anyone can pull up Paul Hagen’s piece on The Athletic the other day, did he imply (or hear) that Harper suggested Middleton bring Uncle Charlie on board? That’s what I just heard on 94. Hagen isn’t given to sensationalism so it would present smoke where there’s fire.

  12. I think Chris Young has been a total zero as the PC, and the idea that they can simply look at numbers to determine pitching talent is ludicrous. The whole idea to run back the group from last year’s fiasco was FiP. Nothing about watching them actually pitch and fail to pitch well mattered at all. I know that MacKlentak is risk averse to paying SP, but that is why there needs to be a John Middleton decision that this is what we are going to do. Otherwise, we simply won’t win. I would be much more risk averse to trading our 2 or 3 top prospects to get SP help, and the idea of running back this group of SPs, again, will make me lose interest in next season before it even starts. You cannot fail to draft potential TOR SP, and fail to sign one in FA and acquire them any other way than trading away your farm. We don’t have enough top guys to trade the couple we have. So, this is on John Middleton

    1. Chris Young has been terrible. I thought Kranitz was very good. Put simply, these pitchers made very good progress with Kranitz and they’ve gone backwards with Young. Again, this brings up my biggest problem with this team – the inability to spot talent, not just playing talent, coaching talent.

      1. I posted last night (above) that I’m pretty certain Chris Young will not be back as pitching coach next season. Klentak needs to upgrade both the rotation and the bullpen through trade or free agency. At the same time, I think the team doesn’t want to completely give up on Vince Velasquez, Nick Pivetta, and Zach Eflin. It’s obvious those three haven’t responded to Young. The club will probably look to bring in a more experienced voice to work with that group.
        About those three (still) young pitchers:
        * I promised myself to never trash VV again after that CWS game two weeks ago. I have new-found respect for him, and I believe, going forward, all teams are going to save a roster spot for someone like Vince. This guy is a swiss army knife. He can be used as a starting pitcher, reliever, pinch hitter, pinch runner, and even play a corner OF. Teams like LAA’s the TBR’s are getting accolades for their procurement and use of Shohei Ohtani and Brendan McKay. Meanwhile, the Phillies have had their own version of this type of “do everything” player sort of fall into their lap. He makes my 2020 Phillies opening day roster.
        * I would have a hard time moving on from Nick Pivetta w/o giving him one last chance with a new/proven pitching coach. If John Middleton isn’t going to use stooopid money on a TOR FA (and he’s not), then he needs to overpay a top pitching coach away from his current team (it will cost a helluva lot less than Gerritt Cole). Maybe a new, proven pitching guru can unlock the mental part of the game for Nick. That said, if Klentak uses Pivetta as part of a package to bring back a proven LHSP (Minor, Boyd, or Ray), I’d probably be OK with it.
        * Zach Eflin seems like a really nice guy. He’s the kind of kid I want to root for and see succeed. However, I have just never been a big believer. For me, Zach has always lacked a good enough breaking ball. Even when he was going good/excellent the first half of last season, I proposed using him as a headliner in a package to go after Felipe Vazquez. Most on here disapproved of the idea. 14 months later … Eflin’s value has probably been cut in half (at least). Even at his diminished market price, I’d still have him on the trading block this winter. While I wouldn’t just give him away, I would definitely send him off if I could get something of value (MLB player or prospect).

        1. Hinkie, I am also impressed with Vinny’s athleticism. By main concern with him and Pivetta has been their mental/emotional makeup. When maturity sets in, how old will they be and how long do you stay with them?

          Eflin’s problem (speculation on my part) is mainly physical durability (knees?). At his relatively young age and position, that’s a tough go moving forward. And then there’s his secondary pitches that may not sustain him as a SP anyway.

          1. I actually think Vince has taken a nice step forward even if the stats don’t always show that. He’s making the transition from thrower to pitcher. I’m encouraged.

      2. The difference between Chris Young and Kranitz is when you have a boss who is everyone’s friend but not that good at his job and one who isn’t the ‘friend boss’, but actually good at his job.

        Phillies picked the guy everyone liked, but isn’t that good.

  13. I’ve liked John Middleton as many do. However, my biggest fear isn’t that he won’t take drastic measures but that he fails to see the larger, organization-wide issues. If he is so close to those he’s entrusted to this point and can’t see the forest for the trees, he may fire the wrong guy – or won’t fire enough people – unable to recognize the underlying philosophical shortcomings throughout. Let’s hope he’s getting insight from outside the organization.

  14. there is some talk that, in addition to Charlie being a good hitting guy, and a well-liked and respected guy, part of his job is to give John Middleton an assessment of what is going on in the Clubhouse. I hope that is true. My problem, overall, with the team, is the over reliance on analytics. I am not a disbeliever in using them, and some good teams, ie. Houston, use them very well. But, there has to be a balance with actual results, not just a reliance on projected ones. The SP was a perfect example, but not the only one. It goes to Kapler’s praising their “grinding out” ABs, when we got 4 hits and 2 runs and lost the game. Seeing pitches means nothing if you don’t get timely hits. I never thought MacPhail should have been hired, and I think he has accomplished little in his career. He is a legacy guy, but one who never did much on his own watch. Klentak is married to analytics, and unless he modifies his approach nothing will change. Middleton may have to fire the whole group, but I don’t see that happening unless we fail to make the playoffs in any meaningful way next year. Bringing Charlie in was a good first step, I think, and step 2 will be in the Pitching Department. I don’t see Kapler getting fired after this year.

  15. My spitball prediction of the month: Rhys Hoskins will be traded in a package for a TOR this winter or more likely next winter. Just a feeling….so long as his value remains high. A team friendly extension this year is unlikely considering Boras will certainly encourage him to wait out the arbitration years. But if Klentak or whoever is calling the shots can’t land a top FA arm, a trade would be necessary. And there’s not a whole lot to offer from the farm.

    1. Man, I don’t see that at all!! I see them trying to build a contender around Harper and Hoskins. If a trade of Hoskins happens, I’ll give you all the credit in the world but, in my view, I see that as less than a 2% chance – like virtually non-existent unless some other team makes them an offer they can’t refuse and I don’t think they will be actively shopping him either.

      1. I anticipate more responses like yours. It’s merely based on my opinion that the Phillies will need starting pitching so badly that a trade will eventually be necessitated. If they sign Gerrit Cole as a free agent then I would agree they will hold onto a fan favorite like Hoskins.

        1. I’m not seeing it. If you trade Hoskins, then you need to replace him and that’s not easy to do, given his historic production, the fact that he is cheap and is under team control for another 3 years. I’m not seeing it at all.

          1. Perhaps but next to a light hitting middle infielder and middle reliever, a power hitting first baseman/DH may be easiest impact player to acquire/replace, value wise. Besides, there’s no coincidence that Bohm has been playing 1b this season. I expect to see Stott playing more 3b.

            1. Austin List and Darick Hall are right down the road.
              Then there is Bohm if third does not wrk for him.
              And then finally Rixon Wingrove…just had to say him 🙂

        2. I can see that happening, I’m not sure it will and am not promoting it, but I can see it happening. I think we have enough guys that can play 1st base. I’m not sure they don’t see Bohm at that position. This team is not set in concrete, more changes are coming.

          1. More to your point, Romus….it would require an ideal fit between the Phillies and the trade partner. Likely? Maybe not but that’s a hard landscape to foresee.

            1. Tigers are loaded with arms in their system….Miggy is aging…maybe a good fit.
              But I would want Manning or Mize

            2. Trust me – you want nothing to do with Miggy. He is being paid $30 million a year this year and for the next 4 years and, currently, he is not even a replacement value player. His contract is an albatross.

    2. Oh, 8mark. I suggested trading Hoskins was the Phillies end game months ago.

      Hoskins and Boras already turned down a Phillies contract offer (back when they also signed Kingery).

      Boras almost always takes his clients to free agency.

      The Phillies have control for four more seasons – his last pre-arbitration year in 2020 and then three years of arbitration.

      So, you’ve got a 2-3 year window to win with Hoskins before you have to think about dealing him before he reaches free agency.

      Sooner if the deal is right

      This is is his age 26 season. If Boras doesn’t want to deal, he’s looking at his client going into free agency the off season before his age 31 season.

      Power-hitting first basemen are a fungible commodity every year on the free agent market.

      In 2-3 years, Alec Bohm might be the answer at first base.

      Sooner, if the Phillies sign Rendon this winter. (Not as unlikely as we all thought. I had a lengthy discussion pro/con on this with a someone who knows more about it than I. He was pro, I was con. He convinced me that it’s at least a possibility.)

      Now, I like Hoskins. I’m not advocating that he be traded. All I said then, and still believe now, is that Hoskins is the guy who is most likely to be traded from among the core guys – Realmuto (if he extends), Hoskins, Kingery, Segura, McCutchen, Harper, and Nola. Other than Nola. he’s probably the most attractive to other teams due to years of team control and cost.

      1. Jim, full confession – yes my hunch was partly based on your comments back then. I cannot deny but I didn’t want to invoke your name. Hoskins at present may be exhibit A as to why the current regime, Kapler in particular, is ineffective in translating the philosophy into reality. Nonetheless, I agree that Hoskins is the balance of an attractive yet replaceable commodity. Time will tell….

      2. Hoskins has the lowest batting average of any regular in ML since all star break!!! Gabe saved his butt by moving him to the lead off spot since he still draws a lot of walks. Phils desperately need his power but this has become more than a slump.

    1. Very interesting theory!? With the current baseball, 1B men that hit 30 hrs, grow on trees, but TOR pitchers that don’t give up hrs. are not…

  16. I am a big Rhys fan, and I don’t want him traded. But taking your prediction a little further, what would you say to a signing of Anthony Rendon in FA, moving Bohm to 1B and trading Rhys for a TOR. I am not sure what name to throw in there, but a legit TOR. Listi or Hall as the new 1B doesn’t exactly thrill me. All hypothetical, of course, because, number 1, I don’t want to trade Rhys. I want a legitimate Batting Coach to help him get better, and improve him. And, number 2, I don’t see Klentak trading the poster boy for the take pitches and OBP ruling the day philosophy. And, I don’t mean to disparage Rhys! That was meant to disparage Klentak. I know Rhys gives us much more.

    1. If Rendon/Boras signs with the Phillies, that’s a complete game changer – mostly because they desperately need a SP. I’d be stunned if they go for a FA bat.

  17. I’m actually a big advocate of not spending big $$$ on 1b because it’s a position that’s the easiest to fill and the money should be allocated elsewhere.

    I’m a fan of Hoskins and he’s valuable through his first few arbitration years but I would have no issues with trading him as part of a package in exchange for a TOR starter.

    1. Hoskins and the Tigers?
      …to the Tigers for either Mize or Manning…would they even budge?
      ….or…either of Faedo, Perez, Burows, Wentz or Skubal would not be enough IMO…would need at least 2 , maybe 3 from that group.

      1. Not enough for Mize or Manning… You would have to add at least one if not two up and coming players at least Hi-A or above..

        1. Yeah….Hoskins in his own right is valuable…..the contract and the power bat….and would think Mize would be untouchable….however Manning may be a get..
          Hoskins and Medina for Manning, and Faedo or Burrows.
          But this is all trade dreamin since cannot envision the Phillies parting ways with Hoskins, unless Boras gets overly greedy along the way….but him and Middleton are buds now so that may not happen either.

    2. Hoskins is a good 1B, but he’s no Freddie Freeman or Anthony Rizzo. If the Phillies trade Hoskins for a TOR, I’m driving him to the airport. Value wise, I don’t see any team giving up a TOR pitcher for Hoskins (who needs to get hot to get to 2.5 WAR).

      1. side note- while Hoskins has had a .296 slugging percentage the last 30 days, Aaron Nola’s brother Austin has been at .586- his OPS up to .930 through his first 125 major league at bats.

      2. Hoskins alone won’t get a TOR, at least not one that I’d want. He would need to be the center piece of a package including a top 10 pitching prospect like Morales.

  18. Last week, I threw out the name of the next great Japanese pitching phenom. In case you missed it, 17 YO Rouki Saski hit 101 MPH earlier this year. He then threw 21 innings (324 pitches) over three days at a HS tournament last month.


    I did some investigating/reading, and have found out the Phillies were one of ten teams in to scout Sasaki back in April.


    1. And on a first pitch strike, our lead off hitter will hit the ball over the Green Monster!

  19. I’ve been to Fenway, a couple yrs. ago & I’m not sure I’ve seen another ballpark as poorly maintained as that one? You would think that after a couple WS wins they could afford to fix the seats, replace some rusty bolts & paint some things?

  20. A’s released Marco Estrada. I’m desperate enough to pick him up. Anybody? Hell, I’ll take Eric Estrada at this point.

    1. Marco Estrada is finished. He’s 35, his SO rate is 4.2 per game, and he’s giving up a boatload of HRs in a noted pitcher park. Pass.

        1. Hmmm, over age soft tossing pitcher past his prime and injured what’s his number going to be in that Phillies uni?

    1. Oh well….so now why didn’t Morrison pinch hit for Knapp in the 9th? I know he reached on the K wild pitch but Morrison is a major league hitter for crying out loud!

    2. ….and he got away with pitching Morin vs Mookie who hits righties significantly better than lefties when he could have left Alvarez in. I can’t figure out his logic, even by the numbers.

    1. Yep, in spite of Gabe’s crappy lineup and questionable moves, or non-moves. Can you imagine if Nola hadn’t started this game? He may have to carry the team his last 8 starts.

          1. Next season, let’s hope the rotation fills out beyond….
            1 Nola
            2 ????
            3 Howard
            4 ????
            5 Arrieta

            Hamels or Wood would be nice FA options as a 3/4. But a #2 is definitely needed.

            1. Do not sell one of either Smyly or Vargas short, and back in the rotation.
              This may be their audition for 2020.

            2. I actually think both Smyly and Vargas have been good for the Phillies. I’ve mentioned Daniel Norris as a good “buy low” candidate this winter, but Smyly is also another “buy low” candidate, and the Phillies are getting an up close and personal look at him. I like what he’s shown. He moves the ball in and around the strike zone, and has good movement on all four pitches. He could use a little more consistency, but he is still working his way back from TJ so I expect him to be even sharper next season.

  21. Former Phil prospect and UDFA Josh Taylor was out there on the mound for the Sox last night…and looked good. Congrats to him

    Funny how things in the sports world evolves.

    Five years ago Amaro and the Phillies trade high pick RHP Chris Oliver and UDFA LHP Josh Taylor to the DBacks for a number one international slot and the money that goes with it….Phillies then sign Jhailyn Ortiz ($4M), Ven catcher Rafael Marchan, DR infielder Keudi Bocio and DR LHP Manuel Silva.
    Meanwhile DBacks give up on Taylor in spring 2018 and trade him to the Sox.
    He gets it together and now is in the Sox pen.
    From an insignificant UDFA signing to a MLB pitcher!

      1. Though have to admit, Ortiz at 20 years old and Marchan still have potential to be MLB players at some point down the line.

  22. We have to give some credit to Morin last night. He did the job in a tough situation, and Alvarez has been a nice pick up. Happy we won, and luck matters. It is usually us that makes the dumb base running mistake, and I am glad the lead held up for Nola, who pitched like an Ace, and deserved the W. We need the O to show up. Porcella has not been good this year, and especially not at home. So, maybe Rhys can do more than walk or make an out, and break out tonight, and would I love to see Bryce park a couple in that short RF porch!

  23. I’d actually like to see Gabe put Brad Miller (LF) and Logan Morrison (DH) in tonight’s lineup vs Porcello. They’ve hit him throughout their careers and he’s been ineffective this season. I would also prefer Harper to lead off over Hoskins, if he has to. Please!

    1. Matt Gelb just tweeted that though tonight’s lineup isn’t posted yet, Brad Miller is a career 13-47 off Porcello with 5 homers and 6 doubles.

      1. No Brad Miller tonight. Sorry to bore everyone but I’m on Kapler’s every decision, especially when the lineup is so sporadic at best and anemic way too often.

  24. Interesting perspective on Sixto from Fangraphs chat today:

    Not Evan
    12:41 You guys bumped Sixto Sanchez down from a 60 to a 55 this year. Was that because he missed the first month with an injury, or have you become less optimistic about his performance? I’m wondering whether the last few months have alleviated those concerns. Thanks!
    Kiley McDaniel
    12:43 The last few years, he’s basically constantly been either injured or out of shape because he was recently injured. It’s encouraging that he can hit 100 when this is the case, but this is not how most successful big league starters’ upper minors careers go. Always a shot that this can change — it’s not like he’s having arm surgery or anything — but it isn’t encouraging.
    He was also at the bottom of the 60 FV group in the winter, so it wasn’t a huge move

    1. One of the things I appreciate about Jim is that he seems to keep his finger on the pulse of how the organization sees certain high profile prospects, and wisely relay that here without totally casting aspersions or dismissing their validity as legitimate prospects. Sixto was one that despite his apparent talent, questions arose regarding his fitness and durability. Acquiring a bonafide stud catcher in Realmuto was definitely worth the likelihood that Sixto becomes a big league TOR.

      1. Realmuto is a an excellent catcher but Realmuto needs to be resigned to make that trade good. If JTR leaves Philadelphia as a Free Agent and Sixto Sanchez really develops then this trade was a long term disaster.

        1. I think he will. He’s stated publicly that he’d like to re-sign here. He and Bryce are tight and the Phillies brass have to know he’s gold behind and at the plate. My comment above assumed a deal will be agreed to sooner than later.

  25. I am in boston.. starting to rain. don’t know if they will get game in. I just want to get drunk, so I don’t care

      1. Romus I haven’t been to Boston in 20 yrs. wish I was younger, what a great drinking town, bar after bar and restaurants,

        1. Yeah…in my way younger days….it was the Combat Zone.
          Try doing Boston on St Patty’s day.

    1. I live in Northern CT and a rain storm from hell went through about an hour ago. The sun is out and nothing expected for another 5 hours. I think Boston will see a chunk of that. You won’t see the heavy lightning and thunder but you will see some rain. After that, it looks pretty clear for 4 or 5 hours. Enjoy the rain.

      I’m a Red Sox disliker with a lot more emphasis but I went to College around Boston. I’ve been to Fenway to see 9 games and they are 0 – 9 when I show up. I tried to get word to Yankees management in 2004 when they had a 3 games to none and then 3 -1 and 3-2 game leads on the Sox. Pay for my ticket, about 4 beers and maybe a hot dog and I can guarantee the Sox don’t win the WS that year. I still have nightmares about the 8th inning call to the pen and bringing Rivera in the pitch 2 innings. Flash Gordon was the setup man, and was yelling at the TV to let him pitch to at least a couple of So hitters. Mariano could easily get 4 outs but I didn’t feel good about him trying to get 6. It’s a premonition my friends, all Red Sox fans, still talk about when we get together.

  26. 66 freaking pitches by Porcello over 3 innings and we can’t score a single run….what up, Cholly?

    1. He heard you was talking [smack].

      Other comment is awaiting moderation because I forgot to censor hah.

    1. Anything less than winning 2 of 3 in Miami and the 2 W’s in Boston don’t mean squat. Time to press the gas, bats! We’ve got ONE and a half (VV) starting pitchers.

  27. Great sitting in lobby of Hotel and asking the Red Sox fans who won. then saying great I am from philly ,

    1. Ha, made me laugh Rocco

      I did something similar for one of the games there … sat in the CF, where cuts in to the green monster – during the game, when the SS made a play “ wow, AROd looks great at SS!, great pickup for the Sox’s” of course this is when he spurned them for the Yankees. This was of course, also before the 5+WS champ seasons Boston would go onto win. So don’t feel to bad for them, it hurt a lot more back then 🙂

    2. rocco…town has had 12 championship parades in the last 18 years….enough already for them.

  28. If I heard correctly, isn’t Harper’s wife due to deliver their first child any day now? I suppose he’ll be taking a couple days of paternity leave. Let’s hope the kid’s born this weekend as opposed to the Mets series next week, hah!

  29. BoSox are not having their best season, but their bats are still potent. This was a nice series for the BP. Nola was great, but the ‘Pen was huge and deserves credit. We are still in it, and need to show up vs. the Marlins. We have done far worse against the lower level teams than we should be, and we can redeem that a little bit this weekend. One SP addition this off season would have made so much of a difference, but we still have a shot at the WC, and it means something to get there.

  30. Whenever the Red Sox have a bad season they inevitably draft a first rounder who is a franchise type player. It’s a little hard to take as I’m sure it will probably happen again this year.

    1. I’ll retract that statement. They have been good at developing talent, but their record on first round picks is mixed. They certainly haven’t been nearly as good in that category as teams like the Braves or Dodgers.

      1. Yeah…Betts was drafted after ourRoman….Bogaerts and Devers international signings….over the last 15 years, they did hit on Benintendi, Bradley, Ellsbury, maybe Chavis and believe it or not Buchholz -.who would have thought.
        Still a mixed bag of success.
        They do not develop pitchers, IMO…maybe Lester and Papelbon.

      2. The Red Sox are historically aggressive, if foolhardy at times. Sometimes it works out for them, sometimes not, hence the their pronounced ups and downs. Their approach seems to fit Dave Dombrowski to a tee. He’d probably be more aggressive if the purse strings weren’t so tautly pulled at the moment. Teams like Atlanta and LAD are much more methodical, even if they were more inclined or able to spend. Ironically, these otherwise well run organizations have also been tagged with cheating at some point along the way. The Yankees don’t need to cheat. Their brand and their talent and developmental excellence stands alone. I hate ’em all😠

        1. Well, I hate them too, but it does make me feel good about one thing. When I look at these teams – the Braves, Dodgers, Yankees and to a certain extent, the Cardinals. I look at teams that are competitive and in the hunt and making good long and short range decisions year after year after year. And then, I think to myself, who is like these teams? And after I ask this question I soon realize that it’s the Eagles. The Eagles in football are like these organizations in baseball and it makes me feel very good about our gridiron team.

          1. The big turnaround for the Birds is when Howie finally realized he couldn’t identify talent and allowed his football people make those determinations. His measured aggressiveness is his calling card. He knows when to dive in and make a big splash (Wentz!) and when to lie in the weeds.

            1. Actually, I think he CAN identify talent. Once he didn’t have Andy Reid and Chip Kelly there to overrule him and tell him what to do, his own talent-evaluation skills were better put on display. When he was promoted to GM the first time, Jeffrey Lurie said that one of the reasons was that Lurie kept notes of who the various people in the draft room plugged as picks and, when he looked back at those notes later, Roseman’s evaluations were far superior to everyone else’s. I believe that. Of course, adding more talent to help him with drafting and evaluating made him and the process even better.

        2. True….the Sox will go out on the ledge at times…Rusney Castillo, Panda Bear, Hanley Ramirez et al….but it is them vs the Yankees….and over the last 15 years….they are ahead 4 to 1.
          But like you….there is no love lost for any of them.

      3. It’s not mixed, it’s poor. It’s poor for everybody. In the last 10 years their first round picks have boiled down to 2 players: Andrew Benintendi (9.5 WAR) and Jackie Bradley Jr. (14.7 WAR). The Phillies have not been that much better: Aaron Nola (19.7 WAR).

        1. Given where the Red Sox have picked, it’s not poor – it’s about what you’d expect. Truth is, when you’re picking in the lower half of the first round, most of those picks won’t pan out. The Yankees haven’t done any better really.

          1. Spot on…..Nats were successful with all those top ten picks, same with the Astros…..but when picking in the 20s the odds significantly get worse.
            Judge was a very fortunate pick at 32nd for the Yankees…..but a rarity.

            1. The Phillies need one of these young high ceiling kids like Carlos de la Cruz to come up the ranks like a rocket. But the big question and a concern of mine is who within the organization can bring them along?

            2. I do think Driveline and Jason Ochart’s involvement will prove to be successful for the minor leaguers

            3. Romus, I’ve heard about Driveline but not specifically what they teach. So long as it’s not launch angles and exit velos, I’m on board. That swing approach is like telling every golfer that one swing fits all. I’m so glad Harper has his own approach.

            4. Thanks, Romus. Loved the music. Would love even more a thumbnail sketch of what they propagate, mechanically, to young hitters. I can Google it….

  31. If you can add Carlos de la cruz to Stott,Simmons,Rojas to all of our catching prospects,and let’s not forget Luis Garcia,(ibut he does need to improve a lot next year,since a .190 batting average just doesn’t cut it at any level) we could have an exciting 2020 year.

  32. Just saw that Pittsburgh released C Francisco Cervelli and the Braves are about to sign him. Anyone know if or when Hundley will get the call up? September as 3rd catcher?

  33. raise your hand if you imagined Jacob Waguespack would ever throw 7 one hit innings at Dodger Stadium. ERA down to 3.63- would have gone to 5-1 if Ken Giles’s fill-in didnt blow the game in the ninth.
    Anyone remember who the Phils got from Toronto for him last season?

  34. Mets, Braves, Nats, Cards, Cubs all won. Man, I hate these weeks with 2 off days. MLB has the lamest, uneven scheduling system, and it’s unnecessary. Every team should play its 4 division rivals 18 games (72), the rest of the league 6 games (×10=60) and the remaining 30 would be interleague games (ten 3-game series) rotating 3 divisions every 3 years, ie NL EAST vs AL WEST one year; NL EAST vs AL CENTRAL the next, NL EAST vs AL EAST and so on….again, 3 game series both home and away. Balanced and even. I have NO idea who came up with this formula. I suspect it’s the same guy who discovered launch angles and exit velos.

    1. We play Boston here 2 games in September. Off Friday, play Saturday and Sunday, off again Monday, in the heat of a playoff race. Great way to stunt any continuity or momentum for a team if it’s on a roll. Stupid.

      1. 8mark….Sox will be long gone by then…probably pitch their young prospect pitchers…someone like south Jersey kid Mike Shawaryn.

  35. Great scoreboard watching this weekend – Nats@Cubs and Braves@Mets. Problem is who to root for….but I’ll take Cubs and Braves. The Cards host Colorado which doesn’t help our cause. My hope is that we overtake the Nats for the wild card because, hey – I hate them.

    1. I’ll tell you what – among the Nats, Mets, Cardinals and Cubs, it’s going to be hard to overtake one of those teams, let alone two (and perhaps even three), to make the WC. It’s not impossible, but it’s going to be really hard as I don’t think they are going to catch the Nats. If they want to make the playoffs, they really need a sweep this weekend.

      1. My view is that the Braves are definitely going to win the division – so they might as well beat up on the Mets and Nats. That said, both the Mets and Nats would have more than a fighting chance to beat the Dodgers in a short series due to their starting pitching.

        1. The Nats and Mets bullpens aren’t much better than ours. Their closer situations are both tenuous at best. The Phillies bats must come alive…and stay alive with Rhys Hoskins being the key. Ricky Bo addressed his slump this morning on 97.5, saying while teams like the Braves are looking for a fast ball to hit and swinging early in the count, he keeps taking pitches, and unprepared to hit them when he gets them.

          1. Yes, but their starting pitching, especially in a short post-season rotation, is far, far superior to ours. Don’t forget too that, especially with the Mets, some of the starters could be moved to the BP. If the Mets make the playoffs and win the WC game, they could easily get to the WS.

        2. Yeah, it would take a collapse by the Braves to cough up the division. The Nats bats are on fire but can they sustain? Possibly. The Mets, albeit a fine rotation, are still the Mets. The Phillies need desperately to go on that offensive run we’ve all been anticipating.

          The Cubs and Cards will battle to the end with the runner up in the wild card hunt. The Brewers seem to have lost their mojo from last year.

          The Phillies must play the best baseball they’ve played all season these final 5-plus weeks. And be awfully lucky all the while.

      2. 100% agree with catch. The Nats, Mets, Cubs, Cards, and Brewers are all better teams (on paper) than the Phillies. If the Phils make the playoffs, Gabe Kapler should win Manager Of The Year. Right, Romus?

  36. Rhys is probably 7 or 8 HRs off what I expected from him, and, at least, a dozen RBIs. From watching him, I think he has struggled with 2 strikes much more than last year. His looking at FBs in the zone early in the count has really hurt him. I would trade 15 of his BBs for another half dozen HRs. He would still be leading the league in walks.

    1. matt13…..with you, if you are mildly disappointed in Rhys’ production this season.
      I am sure he feels the same.
      Besides league lead in walks, he also is the leader or near the top in ‘seen pitches per AB’.
      Not sure if that means he is less aggressive or not.
      All his peripherals indicate a plus hitter…with a wRC+ 123….which is 43rd in the majors….not great but certainly well above average.

      IMO, the expectations I had for him was I wanted more as you indicated…should be in the 30s with HRs and doubles at this point of the season.

  37. Exactly Romus, I think Rhys would agree with me, maybe not taking less BBs, but where his HRs and RBIs should be. I think, watching a lot of the games, that there were opportunities to hit driveable pitches early in the count, that he took instead. Not just Rhys, but I see a direct correlation, this season, to his taking pitches, and hitting less HRs, and 2B, for that matter. And, he has performed less with 2 strikes on him than last year. I was hoping you had those numbers

    1. matt13:
      2019—two strikes….186/ .310/ .332
      2018—two strikes…..199/ .283/ .376

      Just a slight difference to the minus n 2019.

    2. But when the pitcher is ahead his splits are noticeable in the change from 2018 to 2019.
      248/ .260/.479 —2018
      176 /.200/.338—2019

  38. Thanks Romus! Also, Bryce on paternity leave, Franco up, but I am looking to Rhys to carry us this weekend. And, I want to see Logan Morrison and Brad Miller. They are professional hitters. I don’t stick Franco in the lineup. He was not exactly punishing AAA pitching. Of course, Gabe probably does the opposite.

    1. Miller at 3b. Morrison sits. Jim Salisbury says it’s uncertain if Bryce will return this weekend. Players get up to 3 days. He’d be back home for Monday’s first game vs Pittsburgh at the latest.

    2. Logan Morrison makes Hoskins look good at 1B, that’s how bad LoMo played in the field. LoMo is strictly a PH/DH at this point

  39. Great line – “A poor showing in Miami after a sweep in Boston would be like drowning in the bathtub after a successful swim across the English channel.” – Jim Salisbury

  40. 7-0 lead blown against Miami! How is it possible that Vinny couldn’t go 3 innings with a 7 run lead? Some horrible pitches and totally inexcusable! How would this season have gone with a little pitching help? What a huge miscalculation by Klentak and not a single one of the 4 is reliable.

  41. Wow! We blow a seven run lead and lose Nocasio after a few pitches. Can’t believe Gabe left VV in there that long as it was so clear he was struggling. There have been so many occurrences of mismanagement by Gabe. His in-game decision making is so poor and just can’t comprehend what he sees differently. He certainly does not get all the blame as the front office failed to give him a team that could remain competitive after the injuries. The uniform colors tonight are very interesting.

    1. Win or lose this game, Kapler is horrible. Was Nocasio properly warmed up? Why was Velasquez left in that long? Off day yesterday so arms are rested.

      4 years of this guy and he hasn’t developed beyond what he was when we acquired him. In fact I think he threw much harder when he was Vinny Velo. I’m sick and tired of so many people who continue to shove this guy down our throats as if finally it’s gonna click. Not here. Let some other club try. I’m pretty certain it’s mostly between the ears.

      Thanks again, Matt.

  42. I have seen some meltdowns in my day, but that one by VV is definitely up there. He hits Brinson to start the inning? As much as Brad Miller helps with the bat, his glove is suspect at 3B. At the least, Maikel gets 1 out and it’s whole different inning.

  43. After this Nicasio incident, does everyone still believe all the bullpen injuries “are just bad luck”?

  44. I tuned in at 9-7 … which l, off the bat amazed me on both sides.

    I was ready to toss VV in the dumpster much as anyone, but I’ll give him 1 more year, with likely a new pitching coach, and a year adapted to the new baseball.

    It’s now 9-9, thanks to Franco’s botched double play ball …
    Welcome back Franco!

  45. ….and then there’s another basket case, Nick Pivetta. 2018 was supposed to be the year they “found out” about the 3 amigos. What the FIP were they looking at? Since the end of last season I can’t fathom how Klentak could justify not acquiring legitimate major league starting pitching. Mind boggling.

  46. Ben Davis was right, the pitchers just need to be better.

    After this debacle, it’s pretty much a guarantee that Vargas’ option will get picked up. So Nola, Arrieta, Vargas will be back. I think Pivetta will stay in the bullpen. The Phillies will have to sign a pitcher in FA. And then Eflin/VV/Irvin/DLS can battle it out in ST for the last rotation spot.

  47. With 3 bench players available, Gabe lets Ranger bat with 1 out in the 7th, down 6 to a AAA team. He quit. This would be the first time the Phillies gave up a 7 run lead and lost since 2003 to the Expos..

    This is a colossal disaster. Middleton can’t possibly wait to act. Charlie Manuel takes over tomorrow as interim manager. Book it.

    1. What does it matter. This is one of the worst teams in baseball. One pitcher, one pitcher, if that doesn’t get a G.M/ fired nothing will. Injuries excuse pls. they are terrible. The phillies plain and simple are terrible. stop with the playoff talk, they just are plain and simple one of the worst teams in baseball.

    2. It gets better. After leaving Ranger in to bat in the 7th, now he pulls Hughes DOWN 10 RUNS in favor of my favorite player Sean Rodriguez who he could have used to pinch hit for Ranger. Is this some type of gag reality TV show? You can’t write this stuff.

  48. Not only was that easily the worse loss of the season … it may be the worse regular season loss of my lifetime. One team is battling for a playoff spot. The other is battling for a top draft pick. Brutal.

    1. Discussions are “ongoing” (according to Kapler pregame) regarding Spencer Howard’s possible September call up. That’s the first I’ve heard any club representative acknowledged the possibility.

      1. For me, that would be shocking. The only time I can recall a starter coming up from AA was Kyle Kendrick and he came up because nobody in AAA deserved it. And Kyle Kendrick had started 80+ games in the minors. And crazy enough, the Phillies are at that point again where nobody at Lehigh deserves it.

  49. So imagine if Bryce didn’t have to go on paternity leave, he plays RF, Haseley plays CF, and Kingery is at 3B and maybe 3B is NOT a defensive hole tonight. Same thing if Quinn wasn’t hurt (again) and he plays CF, Haseley plays LF and Kingery gets 3B…

    1. So maybe the Marlins score 15 instead of 19 and we still lose?

      I am not a reactionary fan, so let this statement have its full weight: someone needs to have lost their job from tonight. If Charlie was brought in to see how things are on the inside, he need not report. If I were one of the position players or Nola, I’d be setting that clubhouse on fire.

      I don’t really care who the fall guy is at this point, but you can’t do nothing after that travesty. If it were one night, I’d shake it off. But based on the season as a whole, this is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

  50. John Middleton has to step up, Having told us he wants to win. and seeing how after the high draft choices, money spent in free agency, he still isn’t close, he must Fire The G.M. manager, and President today, show us he really wants to win. let Charlie take over until the end of the year. to see what is going on in that clubhouse. Take a look at the way we draft, he must act now.

  51. MacFail,Klentax & Kapler…Middleton are you listening? I hope you have the GUTS to do what needs to be done.
    With this meltdown performance last night and the past two years,first of all,we can be thankful that Harper decided to sign here,(I realize he went after the benjamins) If we’re competing against the gold standard teams,ie Yankees,etc. for Gerrit Cole and others,where do you think they’ll sign?

    I’ve been recommending for over a month now that Kapler must be fired before more damage is done..

    1. “Kapler must be fired before more damage is done”….once they are officially eliminated from the play-offs, more than likely Sep 30th

  52. to a city that loves to overreact to one loss, the Phils have presented their fans with the ultimate loss to overreact to.
    someone pointed out that VV and Pivetta both pitched 2.1 innings, threw 58 pitches, 37 strikes. When VV hit Anderson for the first run, the thought came into to my mind that they might just blow the lead- but to do it before recording 2 more outs? Unbelievable.
    was wondering if Gabe was going to say Vince just wasnt experienced pitching with a 7 run lead, but noticed on baseball reference that before last night- Vince had about a 2.85 era in his 10 starts where the Phils scored 3 or more runs, and a 7.77 in his 6 starts where they scored 2 or fewer.

  53. What a pathetic performance! We did not get Major League performances from Velasquez or Pivetta. Not only did Vinny blow a 7 run lead, he gave up the tying 3R HR to a guy hitting .150, on a pitch that can only be described as an 85 MPH FB! Is he gassed, injured, or was that pitch some strategic garbage? Nick throws not one, but a series, of hanging CBs, like a guy working on a new Pitch in ST. Not Major League performances from either of them. That goes to them, of course, but the responsibility for that debacle rests with MacPhail, Klentak and the analytic genius Chris Young. I know Kapler cannot manage a pitching staff, but he is 4th on my responsibility list for last night’s performance. And, I know the D was awful, and there were multiple errors, despite the awful official scoring, but the Pitchers were terrible, and receive no excuses from me. I would send both Vinny and Pivetta to AAA this morning and call up anybody. And, I do not harm Howard’s development by calling him up prematurely to drop him in this dumpster fire. He needs more seasoning, was injured early, and his development should not be jeopardized by some band aid Hail Mary.

    1. My only reservation about bringing Howard up is that he’d be subjected to the atrocious coaching of Chris Young. The players should band together and tell Kapler and his crew that they need to be left alone, “let us play our game and stop f***ing our heads up with your nonsensical so-called analytics”. If that didn’t light something under Middleton, he needs an autopsy.

  54. 8mark…Excellent post!! As for me overacting after one loss and that I was advocating for firing Gabe for over a month now…I am NOT overacting,that is not the case.My main reason for “the manager needs to go” is….WHAT IF you bring another manager in and even a few of these players play up to their abilities instead of below their abilities..Carlos Santana?? and possibly others…

    Point is,time is of the essence here, for determining exactly how many players we can rely on for next year and beyond..

    Otherwise? Expect some more meltdown games like last night.

    “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over,and EXPECTING different results”

  55. Perhaps a cultural change is needed on the club.
    Pat Gillick began his change with moving Abreu. for virtually peanuts.
    I guess the key difference between then and now…Gillick took over for Wade and was fairly new, Klentak is going on his fifth year as GM with an extension in hand.
    But some players need to be moved on….and maybe the manager also.

    1. Klentak endorsed Kapler and the coaching staff about six weeks ago by stating publicly that they are safe for the rest of the season. He won’t fire Gabe until after the season at the earliest. If it’s going to happen now, Middleton would have to drop the axe, which would essentially tell Klentak he gets one more manager, and that’s if the owner doesn’t clean house altogether, including the wet blanket president.

  56. Romus, Gillick made a decision that Utley/Rollins needed to be the new leaders of the team. They were deferential to Abreu, and so he made the move. This is different. I am happy with Rhys and Bryce and JTR leading the team. No one is being held back unless you want to say Kingery is by not playing 2B. That is not a cultural thing however. The cultural change needed now is more about actually playing baseball and not guessing how the baseball will be played. And, for that to occur, MacPhail is the first one that has to go. Does anyone actually see that happening?

    1. matt13…..the cultural change, IMO, starts with a new manager.
      The player change…. try to .determine players who ‘want’ to win vs players that ‘need’ to win.
      All players want to win…..certain players need to win.
      Harper and in the past, Utley, types need to win and will also take on the leadership qualities that is expected of them in that capacity..
      I am not so sure about a few of the others.
      Determining that difference is a difficult process but when you are around personnel on a daily basis, as a manager, coach and even the GM with their inputs, you should be able to ascertain it.

      1. I can’t argue Romus. But, how does changing the Manager help when the culture of the team comes from the President’s office? Not just the “if we win we win, if we don’t we don’t” mindset, but the whole over reliance on analytics and the disregard for actual results? That starts from MacPhail, Sure, he’s distanced himself from the Kapler hiring, but Kranitz was fired for fear of losing the “wunderkind” Young, and that came from above kapler.

        1. matt13…….an experienced and a strong willed manager like a Joe Girardi, who has nothing to prove as a manager, may be what is needed.
          As for MacPhail……he is about as close as a ‘laissez faire’ exec as they come…no interference from what i have heard….maybe to a fault.
          IMO, Kapler has Klentak’s ear…thus all the late season maneuvering on players for the last two years in a row.

          They miss the playoff again…and this time sliding head-first into the sandpit…..Kap’s days will probably be numbered in Philly.

  57. Pretty interesting comments from Jim Peyton above in response to my Hoskins post. What really shouts loudly to me was his admission that there’s a possibility that the Phillies may pursue Rendon, the ripple effects of which are significant.

    Hoskins is a good egg, accessible to the media and fans, and has a handle on what he’s trying to do at the plate. However, his value to the team in a package for a TOR can’t be dismissed. Bohm is more athletic, sprays the ball to all fields and can play both corners. He’s not a major leaguer yet, but the time is short before he is.

    And the prospect of having Rendon in the lineup? Are you kidding me? Of course that would mean excising some serious salary because they also have to pay a TOR, one whom likely would be a trade acquisition.

  58. Pivetta has been sent down to AAA, Nicasio on IL, Austin Davis and Edgar Garcia are back up. The same old revolving door is seriously creaking.

  59. VV had a few good prior starts, if we except 5 innings as good for a SP. He pitched worse, considering a 7-0 lead, than Pivetta. I am not real hopeful that the new additions will help. Don’t you need to excel at AAA, or maybe, do well, before you do well in the Majors? And, on the new Manager topic. Would anyone like Joe Maddon, assuming, and I think it is a fair assumption, that the Cubs let him go? I think Joe Girardi is happy broadcasting, and spending family time.

      1. He shouldn’t be happy, but it’s on him! By the way, I have been wearing black since the start of the second half, glad the team finally caught up with me.

  60. Pivetta getting demoted a 2nd time? He better get used to being a reliever because he’s not starting again for the Phillies. Or he hopes the Phillies trade him for pennies on the dollar.

  61. Romus……….Dickerson looks to me to be a good ball player, who will be the teams interested in his services in 2020?

    1. Jim…tough call.
      He will get at least $10M….he is a gppd hitter and for the most a LFer now.
      He does not want to be a 4th OFer I would think.
      What do you do with Cutch?
      Not sure Dickerson wants to be a 4th….and I think they want Haseley or Herrera, if still here, to man CF.
      Cutch probably is not a full season CFer. anymore but when he is the lineup the team played better.
      Probably have to let Dickerson test free agency at least

      1. I wish I felt comfortable that Cutch would be the same guy next year that he was prior to the injury.

    2. Dickerson is a good hitter, although he’s more or a LF at this point and he does struggle against lefties in his career. He’s going to get at least 2 years, $20M from somebody, just not from the Phillies.

  62. I really do not want MacFail and Klentax shaping our team for 2020 and the future. We have a lot of major tweeking to do and decisions on team philosophy. Our minors need rebuilding and coaching needs retooling.

    Need better decision makers.

    Let’s MPGA; Make Phillies Great Again.

    1. Really, I don’t know how many times or how loudly I need to shout it, if we don’t make a change now it will be continued insanity. We will continue to do the same thing and hope for a different outcome.

      1. I grew up a Kansas City Chiefs fan after watching them beat my older brother’s favorite team, the Minnesota Vikings, in the 1970 Super Bowl. Neither team has won a title since. And as much talent as they have with Mahomes at QB, KC is no closer to winning one with Andy Reid as head coach – the epitome of insanity since his days in Philadelphia. His “I’m smarter than you” smugness hasn’t changed, not to mention his inability to manage a game clock to save his life – and he still won’t admit when he’s wrong. Pride goes before destruction. This Phillies regime shows similar traits. “We bought into this program, dagnabit! And we’re not going to stop until we prove it works.” Sad.

  63. Buster Olney list the three most likely landing spots for Gerrit Cole this winter. For non-Insider subscribers, he names the Phillies, Angels, and Yankees.

    1. The Cliffs Notes:

      * Cole could get 200 million dollars (35+ million per year)
      * Scott Boras has a history of going back to the well/doing business with the same few owners (Illitch, Lerner, and now Middleton).
      * Cole went to HS just 5 miles from Angels stadium. Not sure Arte Moreno would ante up the money.
      * Boras’ negotiations with his best free agents have often carried on into late January or February, and Cashman’s history is that he doesn’t like to wait for resolution.

      As I’ve posted here numerous times, I believe MLB clubs have moved away from 200 million dollar contracts for pitchers. I think Cole gets ~156million over 6 years.
      I also think it’s a long shot to see the Phillies meet even that price. I’ve already listed the favorites as:
      1) Yankees
      2) Angels
      The Phillies would fall into a tie for third in a group with the Cubs, BoSox, Astros, and Cardinals.

      1. I think he goes to the Angels. Time for Arte to make good on his Trout deal. Money is coming off the books and he also needs to replace

      2. Huinkie..agree with all the teams in play you mention…sans Cardinals….they just do not want to get into any competition with other teams for free agents.
        But your order seems about right.
        As for the Angels…..with Trout’s contract as the highest in MLB, Cole’s will be the next highest or on par. Wonder if Arte Morneo will do that…with Pujols and Upton high up on the payroll also for the next 2/3 years.

        1. Romus, I gotta believe the Angels go very hard after him. I can’t see it not happening, maybe they don’t get him, but it won’t be over money if he doesn’t, or years, it will be preference/strength of team. At this point too, trout is locked in, you gotta believe players want to join him.

      3. Gerrit Cole is going to get more than $156M. I think his floor is $180M.

        You can’t count out the Angels because their owner is not afraid to spend money.

        Not sure about the Yankees, they have recently shown NOT to spend big money.

        And that leaves the Phillies. Looks like the Phillies are Boras’ new best friend, so we’ll see what happens. Note that the Phillies only have Nola as a reliable pitcher past 2020, so the Phillies will have to get one in FA anyways. It will remain to be seen if they’re willing to spend the big money.

  64. Food for thought – were McPhail&Klentak on board this offseason for pushing the rebuild into hyperdrive? Did they believe they needed more time? How much of the push was mandated by Middleton? I feel whatever that conversation entailed, is rearing it’s ugly head this week…

    At this point of the season, I hate this version of the Phillies. One of the most aggravating collection of players I’ve watched over 3 decades+. The marlins loss … correction of losses to the marlins is the sole reason this team is in the position it is in. With everything that has happened – injures, poor performances, mismanagement… it will be the games against the marlins that burn the most, and should be under the microscope. Yesterday’s horrendous loss will be the poster Child for the season. Take care of business vs the marlins, you’re in the lead WC spot. Ridiculous how the marlins have always seemed to have the Phillies number no matter how terrible they are.

    Herrera is gone imo. No need for him with all this OF talent. Pivetta is absolutely being mismanaged, should not have been sent down. VV needs more time, and the FO needs to determine how the OF plays out over the next few years, massive logjam

    Harper, Cutch, Bruce, Dickerson, Herrera, Haselely, Quinn, Moniak, and possibly Kingery depending on how INF shakes out

  65. How many mental blunders are in this 2nd baseman, thank goodness Rhys bailed him out! If I was the manager he wouldn’t play for a week no matter what.

  66. On Pivetta, I think he is being mismanaged. I don’t agree with sending him down. You gotta get through to this kid, regardless of his terrible attitude from what is being reported. The Phils are extremely unlikely to make a WS run, therefore, you should be giving Pivetta the playoff run experience. Among other things, I’m not one to call for anyone’s job, but I really think the current staff is not getting through to someone like Pivetta. Whether that is Chris Young or Kapler, something has to change to help his kid out. He has the stuff, as does Efflin, and even VV, they need full accountability but also a different guidance approach. Sounds like Efflin took the “Kingery” approach in his last outing. Maybe Pivetta should do the same, though he seems like the maturity is an issue with him, I’ll give the coaching staff that, still they should be able to get through to him, imho.

    1. I’m not sure why you think Pivetta is getting mismanaged. He started 71 games for the Phillies over 3 years before he got sent to the bullpen/demoted. If you can’t establish yourself after that many games, it’s on Pivetta. And fact is, there are numerous, talented players who fail at this game. Pivetta won’t be the last to fail for the Phillies, I guarantee that.

      1. I hear you on Pivettas part. For the counter side, I don’t think the coaching staff has gotten through to him, on how to handle different aspects of the game – examples -miscalls by the umps, errors in the field, giving up a big hit, etc. on top of that, I think he has regressed and some part of that is the switch in pitching coaches, and the heavy analytic approach. Lastly, I’m don’t think the newer tightly wound ball has been well received by Pivetta, that’s the mental side/adapting mentioned earlier. We saw it with Nola, it took a CY candidate a few months to get used to the new ball, in guess it has affected Pivetta.

        At this point in the season, should’ve just kept him up vs optioning him.

        1. I think the high strike approach has benefited Pivetta, he has gotten his share of strikeouts in that area. The new ball has benefited no pitcher, let’s get that out of the way. If Nick needs to see a sports psychologist, then he should go see one. I don’t think the Phillies are preventing him from doing that. The fact is, Pivetta is not making good pitches. His SO rate has went down, his walk and hit rate has went up. If he needs a change of scenery, so be it.

    2. Eflin deciding to o back to ‘pitching-to-contact’ as he did in the minors may be a blessing for him.
      Like he said…..when he needs to he can dial it up to get that 4-Smr high FB swing and miss.
      But just looking at his minor league style…..he gave up less HRs per 9 in the minors, than at the MLB level, with his 2 Smr …which is natural since it sinks to off the barrel contact.
      And the other added benefit…..he stays in the game longer and that lower pitch count affording extended length, can only benefit the bullpen also.

      1. I agree, the new thing is the high strike, but some pitchers just can’t do it consistently for whatever reason. They need to go back to what got them to the bigs in the first place.

  67. How many POP UPS can one team hit???? I consider soft fly balls to the outfield a POP UP too! ARG!!!!

  68. Once the Sept call ups arrive, I don’t want to see Sean Rodriguez ever again. Or Knapp. This bench is awful.

  69. Jim Salisbury was right after all, from the English channel to the bathtub. What a disgrace! It’s official. GABE MUST GO! And Cesar had better not be in tomorrow’s lineup…or the next day for that matter. This has to stop. Not that anyone else should really care at this point. There’ll be lots of crickets at the ball park tomorrow.

  70. The marlins are 2 gm above .500 vs the Phillies, at 9-7. With 47 wins on the season, they can thank the Phillies for 19% of their win total, largest by any MLB team, especially from the analytics East. They can thank the Braves for 8.5% …. there’s the division and WC. Hey, they can sweep the Cubs and Redsoxs though … this team is so maddening.

    I’m not one to call for anyone’s job, but I’d suggest that every coach & FO personal practice their sales pitch, by those numbers, they are going to need a good spin.

  71. Two-out RISP:
    …..Rhys will need to pick this up in 2020…drawing walks is nice but he is expected to do more in these situations.
    In comparison.
    Acuna……..302/ .439/ .377
    Freeman….268/ .348/ .366
    Rendon……353/ .492/ .745
    Robles…….298/ .403/ .632
    Soto………..196/ .379 /.294
    Alonso…….213/ .315/ .468
    McNeil…….298 /.389/ .404
    Conforto…..256/ .500/ .436

    Harper…..400/ .529/ .725
    Hoskins….193/ .378/ .281

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