Open Discussion: Week of August 26th

You don’t need me to elaborate on the Phillies recent play.  But, their schedule gets tougher from here on out.  They have seven games against the Pirates (3) and Reds (4), both of whom have better records than the Marlins (haha).  They have five inter-league games against the Red Sox (2) and Indians (3).  They have 18 games against division foes – Mets (6), Braves (7), Nationals (5).  And then, they finish the season with a 3-game series against those pesky Marlins. 

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
  • February 22, 2020 – First spring training game at Tigers
  • February 23, 2020 – First ST home game v. Pirates
  • March 23, 2020 – Final ST home game v. Rays
  • March 26, 2020 – Opening Day at Miami
  • April 2, 2020 – Home opener v. Milwaukee

The rosters and lists are up to date as of August 25th … there are 400 players in the org

Transactions 
8/25/19 – RHP Omar Maldonado assigned to Clearwater from Lakewood
8/25/19 – Lakewood activated RHP Gilmael Troya from the 7-day IL
8/24/19 – Phillies placed RHP Juan Nicasio on the 10-day IL, rotator cuff tendinitis
8/24/19 – Phillies optioned Nick Pivetta to Lehigh Valley
8/24/19 – Phillies recalled Austin Davis from Lehigh Valley
8/24/19 – Phillies recalled Edgar Garcia from Lehigh Valley
8/24/19 – Lehigh Valley activated RHP Jose Taveras from the 7-day IL
8/23/19 – Phillies placed RF Bryce Harper on the paternity list
8/23/19 – Phillies recalled 3B Maikel Franco from Lehigh Valley
8/22/19 – Lehigh Valley activated RHP Jerad Eickhoff
8/22/19 – Lehigh Valley placed OF Nick Williams on the TIL
8/21/19 – Wilson Valdez assigned to DSL White from DSL Red
8/21/19 – RHP Norman Anciani assigned to DSL White
8/21/19 – C Jonathan Rodriguez assigned to DSL White from DSL Red
8/21/19 – Eiberson Castellano assigned to DSL Red from DSL White
8/21/19 – DSL Red activated Jhorjan Guevara from the RL
8/21/19 – Luis Candelo assigned to DSL White from DSL Red
8/21/19 – Wilson Valdez assigned to DSL White from DSL Red
8/20/19 – Phillies transferred RHP Jake Arrieta from the 10-to the 60-day IL, bone spur in right elbow
8/20/19 – Phillies reassigned RHP Jerad Eickhoff to the minor leagues
8/20/19 – Phillies optioned RHP Jerad Eickhoff to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
8/20/19 – Lakewood placed RHP Andrew Schultz on the 7-day IL
8/20/19 – Erik Miller assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
8/20/19 – RHP Saul Alcala assigned to DSL White
8/20/19 – DSL White released Michael Guzman
8/19/19 – Lehigh Valley placed LHP Damon Jones on the temporarily inactive list
8/19/19 – Lehigh Valley activated LHP Josh Tols from the 7-day IL
8/19/19 – Lehigh Valley activated 3B Maikel Franco from the 7-day IL
8/19/19 – Lehigh Valley placed C Matt McBride on the 7-day IL
8/19/19 – Clearwater placed C Gabriel Ojeda on the 7-day IL
8/19/19 – RHP Francisco Morales assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
8/19/19 – RHP Rafi Gonell assigned to Williamsport from Lakewood
8/19/19 – Victor Cairo assigned to DSL Red from DSL White
8/19/19 – Jonathan Rodriguez assigned to DSL White from DSL Phillies Red

266 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of August 26th

  1. Paging King Middleton, paging King Middleton, please return to the Planet of Earth and show us Humanoids of Philadelphia that you are appalled that your beloved baseball team has lacked hustle all year and nobody is being held accountable. Minus Mr Harper, this is the most un-Philadelphia team ever assembled. Please also arrange meetings with Mr Pederson, Mr Roseman, Mr Brown, and Mr Brand, to see what successful professional sports leadership looks like. Then spend an hour with your manager and see if any thoughts come to mind.

    Please show this city and fan base that you possess the pulse your team so sorely lacks.

    As part of my new and enhanced boycott of this franchise, this shall be my last post until a new manager is named. I can accept poor play and poor decisions, I cannot accept and support the lack of effort. I’ll see you on the other side.

    1. Middleton will get that message when like minded fans stop showing up at CBP beginning tonight and more than half the seats are empty. Passionate, reactionary fans like myself aren’t always right, but a dispassionate ball club will always be unwatchable, unlikeable and irrelevant. The Phillies were 3-2 on this recent trip, and 4-2 the week before. Not bad, right?That’s 7 of their last 11 games. HOWEVER, they are losing ground because other BETTER teams are winning games they should be winning. Sweep the Cubs and lay an egg vs the Padres. Sweep Boston in their park, then go down to Miami with a flatline roster which should not have needed their leader by example and new dad Bryce Harper for 3 games.

      Rhys Hoskins is a nice guy. He’s not a leader, sorry, only the poster boy for an ill conceived hitting philosophy – “Look, Ma! See how many pitches I can take?”

      Cesar Hernandez has no rub off on anybody except that he rubs us the wrong way. And nothing seems to rub off on him.

      Maikel Franco has exceeded his welcome in Philadelphia. And I won’t bother to name all those who have no business wearing a major league uniform.

      To recap: losing fan interest, no pulse, a lack of leadership and accountability, not nearly enough talent. Sounds like somebody’s head should be rolling. In these final weeks, we’ll probably be on these threads speculating who’s available to replace what needs to go more than anything else.

      Have a nice day.

  2. Once the season starts, until the last game is played, a majority of all owners in all professional sports will not be heard of publicly when it comes to their teams performances on the field.
    There are exceptions….e.g. Jerry Jones of the Cowboys, Snyder of the Redskins, but for the most part, the vast majority will wait for the state of the team’s speech/ analysis after the season is completed.

    You will hear from them at ceremonial occasions, and in the Phillies’ case Dave Montgomery’s funeral and then the all-star game selection for Philly seven years from now….but Middleton tried to shy away from comments on the team’s performance.

    They just do not want to interfere with their personnel running the baseball operations during the season.

  3. In my view, this system is a little bit of a state of chaos. With so many prospects struggling, there will be as much movement as I can remember in the top 15 this years. Here’s my list currently.

    1. Alec Bohm
    2. Spencer Howard (Howard and Bohm are really 1a and 1b – both are great prospects).
    3. Bryson Stott (very close behind Howard and Bohm – just needs more of a track record – very good draft pick)
    4. Francisco Morales (he’s young, but I think he’s a potential stud)
    5. Kendall Simmons (yup, I think he’s that good – has the potential to be a franchise player – if you want to get psyched about a potential superstar, he’s your man. If he had killed in Williamsport for 2 months rather than a month, I would have had him above Morales).
    6. Adonis Medina (not that big of a fan, but he’s still young and the stuff is very good).
    7. Erik Miller (nice 4th round pick)
    8. Mickey Moniak – say what you want about him, but he has progressed including improving his power and plate discipline, but we will need to see more. I could see him spending nearly two full years in AAA and that might not be a bad thing for him as he fills out, gains power and learns to hit advanced pitching.
    9. Luis Garcia (he could be #3 or 4 next year or fall to 20 or worse – who knows? But season was absolutely disappointing regardless of the fact that he was young for the league.)
    10. Enyel De Los Santos (by default)
    11. Simon Muzziotti (really good performance by a 20 year-old player in high A ball)
    11. JoJo Romero (bad year, but he could bounce back)
    12. Damon Jones (needs lots of work on command of all pitches and needs to work on a viable third pitch, but the stuff is pretty darned good)
    13. Nick Maton (very underrated)
    14. Devy Grullon (about where a future back-up big league catcher with power and some upside should be ranked)
    15. Jamari Baylor (thought about putting Ortiz in top 15 or even 20, but he’s really looked bad this year so I went with uncertain upside over a struggling offensive player whose defensive capabilities are likely to erode quickly given his size).
    16. Brett Schulze – I’m impressed.
    17. David Parkinson – has done nothing but perform
    18. Mauricio Llovera – the arm is good – if healthy he will be a big league pitcher someplace – that warrants a top 20 rating.
    19. Austin Listi – I don’t care how old a guy is, it still takes most players a while to adjust to adjustments that pitchers make and Listi seems to be doing this. Has a chance to be a legitimate late bloomer who becomes a decent big league DH or role player. If he excels in the big leagues I doubt it will be on the Phillies (they are full up at first base, left field and third – and won’t give Listi a real shot at any position unless there are multiple injuries, so the Phillies’ loss is the Rays or As gain).
    20a. Connor Seabold – has a chance to stick in the big leagues as a #4 (if he hits his ceiling could be a borderline #3) – good enough to merit being in the top 20. Many guys below him have a higher physical ceiling but are much more likely to fail before hitting the big leagues.
    20b. Jhailyn Ortiz – has physical skills but dropping really fast here.

    1. FYI – I missed Rojas – I would probably have him 16 and then move everyone down below him a slot lower.

  4. At this point of the season, and what looks like two skids, I’m starting to believe that Kapler has lost the clubhouse. Fans from a distance can’t always tell what’s really going on in the clubhouse, but that is my feeling, and the proof is the series lost to the marlins. The 7-0’blown lead, Cehes race to first base – that anyone’s grandma could’ve beat him, and pivettas blowup.

    I gotta believe their is a big pushback on the heavy analytics based approach from a significant portion of the team. This is why Cholly was
    Bought in. On the pitching side, there are signs of pushback. Niacsio getting injured after 2’pitches? Seems odd. Efflin stating he’s going back to his approach.

    This team has all sorts of holes, and I hope an offseason PLUS a trade deadline next year can fix it.
    It is a lot of pitchers that need to be added, for both the SR and Bullpen.

    2021 looks more realistic to me as we
    Sir here.

  5. I’m open to any and all possibilities but I find it hard to believe this FO and manager can survive this type of poor play down the stretch 2 seasons in a row.

    Granted both seasons were very different but results do matter and it will be hard to sell this club to the paying fans in 2020.

    So the #BeBold should be used against itself and a major shake-up should be coming. the old adage that if you continue to to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result looms large here.

  6. I think the Coaching has been very poor. I can’t believe the PC can be back unless Klentak simply refuses to admit a mistake, and that would be a bigger indictment of him than anything. Not a single Pitcher has improved. Nola is not as good as last year, everyone else has regressed. The Manager, allegedly with the input of the PC, has no ability to manage a BP. We can blame klentak for not addressing the Rotation, but there should have been something from the Pitchers that we can point to to show growth. Every one has failed. VV gives a few good outings but always falters. He has done that forever. Rick Kranitz was a good Coach, and to dump him for this analytics guru demanded that there be progress. Instead there has been regression.

    1. I don’t think a decision on Gabe Kapler’s future has been made yet. However, as I put fingers to keys this morning, I’d give him at least a 75% chance of being in the dugout as Phillies manager to open he 2020 season. Those odds could take a nosedive if the club has a couple more of the Friday night fiascos they had in Miami.
      In the end, John Middleton will speak with team leaders (Harper, Hoskins, Realmuto, McCutcheon, Nola, Arrieta) at season ending exit meetings, and have a huge (maybe all the) say in the Kapler matter.
      The one thing I can say with certainty is Chris Young will be following John Malee into the unemployment line after the final game of the 2019 season.
      So this begs the questions who will be the Phillies hitting and pitching coaches in 2020? I’ve put together a list of some candidates:

      HITTING COACH:
      * Charlie Manuel will be 76 YO by the time next season rolls around. I’d be very surprised if he wanted the full time gig.
      * Matt Stairs was hired by Matt Klentak the first time around, but Klentak also let him leave for the Padres so I’m not sold that he’d be high on the Phillies list this time.
      * Kevin Long has been with the Nationals for the past couple of years. He coached, and has a good relationship with Bryce Harper. Long also worked for both NY franchises, and has received much of the credit for Daniel Murphy’s success. Maybe the Phillies can buy him away from Washington.
      * Shawn Wooten had a cup of coffee in the Phillies organization during a brief MLB career. He is currently the assistant hitting coach for the LAA’s. However, he is best known for the five years he spent as a batting coach in the LAD’s minor league system (during Gabe Kapler’s tenure as farm director). Wooten helped develop Corey Segear, Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, Austin Barnes, Cody Bellinger, Willie Calhoun, and Alex Verdugo.
      * Troy Snitker is the son of Braves’ manager Brian Snitker. He may be the hot name on the hitting coach market this winter. Snitker is young (31 in December), and has been working in the Astros system for the past three years; the first two as a minor league hitting coach, and this year as the Astros assistant hitting coach.

      PITCHING COACH:
      * Dave Righetti is definitely a proven commodity. He was removed as pitching coach by the SFG’s after 2017 and has been working in their front office the past two seasons. He’s still just 60 YO. If he has the itch to get back, he should be John Middleton’s first choice.
      * John Farrell is another pitching coach with a proven track record who is currently not working in a dugout. Farrell has interviewed for manager jobs since being let go by the Red Sox after 2017. So far, he’s had no luck landing a skipper’s gig. He has been working in the Reds’ FO.
      * Ray Searage has spent the past decade serving as the Pirates’ pitching coach. He’s well respected. Maybe he could be persuaded to move across the state for some of that stoooopid money.
      * Kyle Snyder has worked in the Rays organization since 2012. He began working with Tampa’s minor leaguers, but was elevated to the Rays MLB pitching coach in 2018. Snyder has helped develop two of my favorite pitchers in baseball … Blake Snell and Jose Alvarado.
      * Brian Sweeney pitched 117 innings in four MLB seasons before (like Gabe Kapler) doing some time in Japan. Sweeney would come full circle if the Phillies hire him. The Native of White Plains, NY was originally hired by the Phils in 2015, and spent three seasons in the GCL and Lakewood as pitching coach. While with the Phillies, he drew rave reviews for his work with Ser-Ant’ny Dominguez, Sixto Sanchez, Adonis Medina, Drew Anderson, Ranger Saurez, JoJo Romero, Nick Fanti, Mauricio Llovera, Bailey Falter, Addison Russ, and Grant Dyer. The Indians hired him away after the 2017 season. He has served as an advanced scout and assistant pitching coach with Cleveland.
      * Bill Simas has been working his way through the LAD’s farm system since 2011. Gabe knows him very well. Simas has been stuck in AAA for the past two seasons, and seemingly has no path to the Dodgers’ big league club as long as Rick Honeycutt wants to work.
      * Mark Prior was a brilliant MLB pitcher who had his career cut way too short because of arm injuries. Today, he serves as the LAD’s bullpen coach.
      * Josh Hopper would be an “out of the box” choice. The 42 YO played just two seasons of MiLB (only topping out at A-). After his brief professional stint, Hopper began a career as a college pitching coach. He’s had stops at Berry College (where his pitching staff ranked in the top-25 nationally in ERA and opponent batting average), Alabama-Birmingham (where he produced nine All-Conference selections and saw nine of his pitchers selected in the MLB Draft), and last season at Dallas Baptist (where his staff set school records for K’s in a season, K’s/9 IP, and hits allowed per game). At DBU last season, he developed MD Johnson into an All-American and a top senior sign in the 2019 draft, Jordan Martinson into another top senior sign, and Burl Carraway into one of college baseball’s premier closers and a top arm for the 2020 draft.

      1. Scott Brown:
        Like to think he of Vandy…the pitching coach will soon be on some MLB teams list.
        Brown has had almost 8 seasons at Vandy and has coached a few top drafted pitchers at the school.

  7. Personally I choose not to put this on analytics as many clubs are implementing heavy doses of it with success. The analytics are static and benign IMO. Human aspect is what’s volatile and unpredictable.

    Communication and culture seem to be the bigger culprits with this club.

    When teams go into the process of a rebuild or let’s call it what it is tanking or purposeful losing they walk a very fine line of getting stuck in that mentality.

    1. Exactly. This isn’t a damning of analytics, it’s a damning of the Phillies and their ability to blend analytics with instruction. If the Phillies use their current misadventures as an excuse to use fewer analytics, then the club is just going to go backwards. It reminds me of how the Phillies used to go out and try to get international talent and fail and then use those failures as a means to justify not spending. The problem wasn’t that spending on international talent was a bad idea, the problem was that they were bad at it!

      1. Analytics works, but it doesn’t work for all players. Analytics is not the be alI and end all. I remember a previous thread to have Adam Haseley not change his line drive swing. If you’re trying to get a pitcher with poor command to throw high strikes all the time, that’s going to be a recipe for disaster. If the player has the ability to use more analytics, it’s to their benefit. Otherwise, you use what you can (and it may be very little) and you move on.

        1. “I remember a previous thread to have Adam Haseley not change his line drive swing” Yeah, that was ME. I never said analytics was an answer to everything. It’s not the full equation – it’s just part of the equation. It’s a matter of blending analytics, traditional baseball knowledge and really good people skills. A lot of pitching and hitting coaches are so good because they help a player’s confidence. And, by the way, I don’t think the Phillies believe that analytics are the answer to everything – they are just another tool

          1. If you look at the current state of the Phillies roster, for the hitters, who’s taking advantage of the launch angle (upper cut) swing? For the pitchers, who’s taking advantage of the high strike or throwing more curveballs?

            Then you ask yourself who’s NOT taking advantage of the analytics. Is it because they are resistant/not being taught properly OR they just can’t do it. How can you tell what’s the reason for a player not using analytics effectively?

            1. I think it’s important we clear something up here; it’s not analytics telling us that something will or will not work. Analytics tell us what HAS and HASN’T worked, historically.

              It’s also important to note that analytics are more helpful the more information you have. But yes, analytics WILL help literally everyone. Maybe not so much the person trying to read them and find the patterns. But, given enough information and the right implementation of the information, analytics will lead to a better ball player 100% of the time.

              Also, this isn’t a new school vs. old school kinda deal. It’s been in baseball since forever. Batting average with RISP is analytics. Scouting reports are analytics. Using a defensive shift is the most obvious use of analytics.

  8. I agree with all the comments before this one. I have been a Phillies fan for 70 years. I have watched the great teams, and all the too many bad ones also – with passion and an ongoing interest. When the team was lousy – for too many years, I took solace in the young players, the hard working vets, etc. When the team was great, I reveled in Schmitty, Lefty, Dutch, Utley, Rollins, Doc, Cliff, Big Piece, Vic, and Werth. We all endured the “rebuild” with optimism – but I have to say this current team has tried my patience, interest, and even fandom in their sheer inconsistency and lack of resolve to win – never mind the tecnique / analytic or instinctive. I wonder today why I don’t watch them on mlb channel any longer (I get all 162 games) when I would not miss a game the crummy 2014-2018 teams would play ? The in game management is atrocious ; the hitting ephemeral at best ; the pitching can’t “close” an at bat with persistent 0-2 counts that inevitably end in a broken bat hit — usually a game winner up the middle often because of some silly “shift.” After some of these recent embarrassing losses it is a wonder the team even shows up afterwards – actually, come to think of it, that may be the very problem ? All in – this has not been a good time – what could have been an exciting team with the addition of Bryce, J T, Cutch and others has melted like soft ice cream on an August pavement. I fervently hope that dramatic changes are made – without mortgaging a somewhat tentative “future.” Meanwhile – I can’t watch this team anymore as every outcome seems to be predictable — pretold by constant in game mis-decisions, missed opportunities, mental , and physical errors. Thanks to Jim and all others who make this a great site !!!

    1. Great post, RU. I’m sure changes are coming this offseason. Not sure the big one (Gabe) you, Romus, and many others are calling for will happen. That’s still up in the air.
      TBH … (IMO) Gabe Kapler is playing with the hand Matt Klentak dealt him. To me, Klentak (and an unbelievable amount of injuries to the bullpen) is more at fault for the state of the team this season than Kapler. Klentak is going nowhere, so (unless Middleton makes the call) Gabe is more than likely returning for 2020. That’s the way I see it.

      Also … for those who may have missed my post yesterday … Buster Olney lists the Phillies as one of the top three contenders for Gerrit Cole this winter.

      .

      The Highlights from Olney’s article (for those who aren’t ESPN Insiders):

      * Cole get 35+ million per year, and a contract worth at least 200 million.
      * Phillies, Yankees, and Angels are his top three landing spots.
      * Boras has a history of returning to the same owners (Ilitch, Lerner, and now Middleton) to do business with.
      * Cole grew up not far from Anaheim, and would probably love to play there, but it remains to be seen if the money is too much for Arte Moreno.
      * Boras usually drags out negotiations into January/February, but Cashman has a history of not liking to wait for resolution.

      Personally, I’d be surprised if Cole gets the contract Olney is predicting. MLB has moved away from those type of deals for pitchers. I hope the Phillies sign Gerrit Cole (they really need another TOR starter), but their recent history shows they won’t shell out that kind of money over that many years for an arm (no matter how dominant that arm currently is).

      1. Hinkie thanks for posting the highlights of Olney’s article. I agree I don’t think he will get 35+ but I can definitely see something like 6 years 160 million.

        I’ve seen you say a few times that the Phillies recent history shows they won’t shell out for an arm and while technically correct I think it’s important to remember that they haven’t been competitive in a long time. This last off-season they came up second to the Nationals in the Corbin bidding. I think it was reported we offered 5 years 120 million. The Yankees reportedly only offered 5 years 100 million.

        My 2 big take-aways from that are:

        *The Phillies plan on adding a big time pitcher and this season has only made it a bigger concern.

        *The Yankees will also be looking to add a big time pitcher but want them at a discounted price.

        I don’t think Cashman is interested in playing the Boras game and as a team with a 85-47 record right now frankly he doesn’t need to. The Sngels on the other hand could be our biggest competition. I’m sure Cole would love to play there but as you preached with Harper all offseason free agents tend to take the biggest offer. So the real question is will Arte Moreno open his wallet. He may but he also may have regrets about how his last foray into a big free agent went (Albert Pujols).

        If I had to make the odds I’d probably rank them in the following order
        1. Phillies
        2. Angels
        3 Yankees
        4. Padres
        5. White Sox

        One last thing thing as a fallback. Strasburg has 4 years 100 million left on his deal but $40 million is deferred. I think there is a good chance he may opt out which could be a nice fallback for the Phillies if we miss out on Cole.

  9. Let’s say Klentak is in no trouble for next year. I believe that. I also believe a failure next season as well will put him right on the hot seat. Having said that, and knowing they do not like LTC for SPs, if I am Klentak, and I know I have to improve the Rotation, and I know I might be gone before the 2021 season, why not trade the little top level prospects we have to get a SP? I don’t think that is in the best interests of the Phillies, but it may be in Matt Klentak’s best interest. That is something I hope John Middleton is considering. I will be very upset if we trade Bohm and/or Howard for anyone that may be gettable, but it is certainly my worry.

    1. Klentak is no dummy. Why trade for a SP if he can sign one? If you’re looking for a stopgap SP, there’s tons of those on the market. And you might get lucky and they turn into what Anibal Sanchez is doing (2.5 WAR). If you want an elite pitcher, you’re going to have to pony up the cash or trade big for one.

      I think if our rotation was more stable, perhaps Klentak might think he can get away without spending big. Now, I’m not sure anymore. He needs a reliable arm next to Nola, and although Gerritt Cole is no sure thing, he’s on pace for a 5+ WAR season. I think the odds have increased that the Phillies will go after Gerrit Cole. I would put the Phillies at #2 behind the Yankees.

  10. We can talk and dream about top free agents coming here all day,outside of paying them more than anyone else,with how the management of the team is from top to bottom, give me two good reasons why they would even WANT to come here?

    1. Judging by Corbins’ love for his childhood Yankees and Harper’s love for SF……the ‘Benjamin’s’ rule. I think that is the sole reason.

      Now Cole is a southern Cal guy, so will he break the mold and spurn the trump…..I lean he does not.

    2. Money talks, especially if you’re entering FA for the first time. And second, the Phillies are looking to contend. So that’s another bonus.

  11. John Middleton wants to win and he is assertive. Credit for signing Harper and the other former all-stars over the winter goes to Middleton for setting the tone. The hiring of Charlie Manuel shows Middleton is impatient. If the Phillies continue to disappoint for the remainder of the season, I don’t think Middleton will be of a mind to wait though the 2020 season to act on Kapler, Klentak and even McPhail.

    McPhail doesn’t appear to have a sense of urgency. The reaction to his “maybe we will, maybe we won’t” comment was an overreaction. I understand what he was trying to say. But it also maybe revealed the pace at which McPhail is willing to act, and it isn’t the same pace as Middleton’s.

    Klentak got credit and an extension from Middleton that he didn’t deserve. It was Middleton, as I mentioned, who pushed last winter to acquire players. I don’t fault Klentak for his strategy of one-or-two-of-our starters-will develop and then depend on a deep bullpen being undone by injuries and failure of the young pitchers to develop. But I do fault him for being negligent about not pursuing starting pitching to the point of being stubborn. And he had more than enough time before and during the season to do so.

    I don’t think Middleton having extended Klentak’s contract means his desire to win ASAP will be overcome by not wanting to have to admit that it was a mistake.

    Kapler. I actually like Kapler the person. And I don’t fault him for in-game decisions. Every managers is going to make bad decisions among the thousands made during a162 games. But I do blame him for lack of accountability and seemingly lack of hustle among his players. Last year, Carlos Santana crashed a screen in the clubhouse when he found two players playing video games during a game rather than being in the dugout supporting their teammates and showing interest in the game. That should have been Kapler who crashed the screen and setting the tone that lackadaisical will not be tolerated. Kap can be a nice guy, but he needs to show a little Gene Mauch, Dallas Green and Jim Fregosi once in awhile.

    Coaches, Kapler and Klentak. It has been well documented on this site that the Phillies have an almost unbroken record of players regressing and/or not progressing, and that players who go to new organizations so often improve. I don’t blame analytics for this. Middleton wanted it and Klentak has delivered. But I do blame a flawed philosophy of trying to fit square pegs into round holes, of trying to make everyone conform. Sometimes, the smartest guy in the room is the dumbest because he is blinded by his own arrogance. Launch angle is fine for many, maybe most. But don’t ruin Haseley or Kingery by forcing them to elevate to celebrate. Don’t celebrate pitches seen as though they are equal to base hits. Likewise, let pitchers develop to their strength, as Elflin suggested after his strong start on Saturday.

    Bottom line: Please Mr. Middletown, clean house, at least from Klentak on down.

  12. If you think there is a any legitimacy in the term ‘clutch’, perhaps the two-out RISP metric may come the closest to defining it. Rhys will need this to change in 2020.
    His OPS ranks near the bottom in the division of the big boppers.

    Harper…………………………1.254
    Rendon…………………1.237
    Robles………………….1.035
    Conforto………………….936
    Albies……………………..874
    Acuna…………………….816
    McNeil…………………..793
    Alonso…………………..787
    Donaldson………………719
    Freeman…………………714
    Hoskins………………………..695
    Soto……………………….673

  13. Bryce is back tonight, Franco back down. As tired as I am of Maikel, I’d rather keep him and say adios to Sean Rodriguez. But yeah, it’s like, do we keep the old ottoman or the recliner with the broken arm? The Phillies subs are collectively slashing .187/.256/.292, and there’s no other options? That alone is an indictment of the system’s depth.

      1. I remember when he was the “cats meow” on this blog and posters were arguing vehemently about the existence or non-existence of a hitch in his swing…….how the mighty have fallen. Seriously, he was the cream of the crop, not much of a crop.

        1. Yeah…the expectations were really high 4/5 years ago.
          I think KLaw was the one who said his mechanics had the ‘arm-bar swing’ to it.

            1. Heck after 2017, I had his metrics dead – set on the same pace with Aramis Ramirez before he became a Cub, when they both were at the same MLB PAs..
              Unfortunately Maikel’s flashes of brilliance were just too irregular since.

        2. I seem to remember a lot of heat from posters over someone questioning his swing, something about arm bar. I forget who it was but I remember back then many weren’t happy with whoever said it. I do remember watching Franco in Lakewood and thinking he would turn into something decent for us some day. But if I had a nickel for every time I was wrong about a prospect I would have a lot of nickels. Like when I thought for sure we were going to look stupid for trading Jon Singleton or when Dom Brown was a top 4 overall by BA I bought into the hype.

  14. Some AFL Rule Changes:
    Roster construction…………..”Beginning with the 2019 season, any player under contract with a MLB organization will be eligible for nomination for the AFL. Previously, all Triple-A and Double-A players were eligible, so long as they were in Double-A by at least Aug. 1. Clubs could also nominate one player below the Double-A level and one foreign player from a country that doesn’t have a winter-ball circuit. Also, no players with more than one year of MLB service time could participate.
    Now, all that is gone, which could lead to some fascinating Fall League rosters.
    Clubs could, in theory, send multiple Major Leaguers who need more development time or, at the other end of the spectrum, load their AFL contingent with younger players who they want to get experience against advanced competition. MLB added that this particular change will be evaluated again after the 2019 AFL season, so if rosters get too crazy, the change might not be around for long.”

  15. Beat reporters are tweeting out confusion over how clear Kapler was in communicating with Cesar about his not starting tonight’s game. Gabe says it was because of yesterday’s lack of hustle, but that it’s not punitive or a “benching”. HUH?!?! WHAT?!?! And Cesar told reporters that Gabe told him it had nothing to do with yesterday. UGH!!! Is this a dysfunctional clubhouse or what!!! And Gabe supposedly held a team meeting this afternoon to discuss the issue of hustling. What nonsense! How can this continue indefinitely with no repercussions?

  16. Question for those who were watching (I’m still traveling so I just have to follow along on ESPN); were the two called strikes on Bryce as ridiculously far outside as the app made it seem? If so, the ump just stole a win from us twice in one at-bat.

  17. If there’s somebody to blame in this game, win or lose, it’s Rhys Hoskins. 5 man infield, Stratton throws 2 strikes down the middle and he couldn’t hit a fly ball to win the game. Hoskins needs to sit for a few days. And he shouldn’t be leading off either. I think he’s hitting under .100 since the all star break. If you want a hitting scapegoat for the second half, it’s Rhys and it’s not even close.

  18. Team plays terrible fundamental baseball. Don’t get down bunts, bad base running, can’t move runner.

    Game should have been over long ago

    1. 3up………..I don’t believe Segura wanted to bunt, the 3rd base coach had to come and tell him to, then he takes two perfectly buntable pitches without offering til he had to when the count was full. That is my take, I don’t believe he ever wanted to do what he was being told to execute.

      1. I agree Jim which is another example of the manager not having the respect of the players. The all do their own thing.

  19. I’m not sure Rhys Hoskins is immune to criticism but Rodriguez/Knapp/Hernandez are the whipping boys. In the month of August, before today’s game, these are the stats:

    Knapp (17ABs, .235/.316./.294)
    Rodriguez (19ABs, .053/.182/.053)
    Hernandez (82ABs, .280/.352/.366)
    Hoskins (73ABs, .123/.337/.247)

    So Hoskins has almost 4 times the amount of ABs than the first 2 players, and he’s not catching any heat but Knapp and Rodriguez are? Sean Rodriguez, before tonight, has had only 84ABs this season. Andrew Knapp has 101ABs. Hoskins is on pace for 93 ABs this month alone. Hoskins NOT hitting is worth way more to the Phillies than Knapp/Rodriguez not hitting. If Knapp and Rodriguez hit under .200 the rest of the way, the Phillies can still make the playoffs. If Hoskins hits under .200, the Phillies are going to finish 4th in the East.

    1. Hoskins has been getting a lot of heat, from what I read and hear (and post myself), mainly because of his maddening approach at the plate, as if taking pitches is an end in itself.

      Sean Rodriguez has been flat out awful. Corey Seidman tweeted his 15 ABs vs LHPs prior to last night when he walked out homered (vs a RHP). He’s K’d 10 times, with one hit, a single.

      So last night the cosmos aligned and he, Miller and Knapp all contributed. I don’t anticipate that happening again anytime soon. Again, the bench is otherwise an indictment of how shallow the organization is. Another GM issue.

      1. You better get used to the “Sean Rodriguez” of the world because every single year, there will be a BACKUP on the Phillies who will stink.

        2008 Phillies Bruntlett .594 OPS, Taguchi .580 OPS.
        2009 Phillies Dobbs .679 OPS, Bako .644 OPS
        2010 Phillies Valdez .667 OPS, Dobbs .583 OPS
        2011 Phillies Martinez .540 OPS, Valdez .634 OPS

        And those were the good teams. So if you want to fixate on Sean Rodriguez, go right ahead and go nuts. I’ll take a good starter/bad backup combination every day of the week.

        1. I hear you. Maybe it’s not THAT he’s on the roster but rather WHY?!? That’s the thorn in my side – how the brass (including Gabe) rigidly justify their analytic decisions while Sean R defies any logic, metrically.

          1. After yesterday, Sean Rodriguez now has a .709 OPS.

            If Michael Martinez can hang around with a .540 OPS (209ABs!!!) in 2011, anything is possible.

  20. Last night, I learned that I really don’t know this game. Watching Sean first two swings were so bad, he missed that outside breading ball by a foot, Then the guy throw a pitch in the only place he could hit it, amazing. I still cant understand why he is on this team.

  21. Thankfully baseball is a crazy game. Anything might happen, and it seems more often than not, it does. Which is largely why we stay tuned in to these pennant races. On the face of it, the American League is so far superior to the senior circuit. The Yankees, Astros, Rays and A’s could more than hold their own against the Dodgers while the Braves have reminded me quite a bit of the 2008 Phillies – a lineup with guys who regularly get big timely hits, one after another, and a pitching staff that isn’t great but good enough.

    The Phillies hopes hang mostly on the fact that the other #2 wild card rivals haven’t impressed either. And the key heading down the stretch and into the post season is getting hot and playing well. Anything can happen. Unfortunately it’s painful to follow. The Cubs and Brewerd are currently sputtering while the Cards are playing like they want to win the central. The Nats have all but locked up the #1 WC.

    What surprises await us in September and October? We’re still waiting for that run by the Phillies….right?

  22. Hats off to JTR. He’s nailed 33 would be base stealers this season, 15 more than the next guy. Fangraphs has him rated the best defensive player in MLB, period.

  23. Jay Bruce is scheduled to return this Sunday as strictly a pinch hitter and DH option in Cleveland the final week of Sept. He could be huge off the bench.

  24. 8mark….Sean Rod. must be reading your posts. 🙂

    Rodriguez admitted… had become an issue with fans and critics alike.
    “Who’s looking bad and feeling entitled when you hear stuff like that?”. “I’m not the one booing. I’m not the one screaming. I’m not the one saying pretty disgusting things at times. That seems pretty entitled. You’re just making yourself look pretty bad as an individual, as a person, as a fan. That’s tough.

  25. Well I just read the comments from Sean Rodriguez. Where to start? Lmao … this dude … we are entitled to pay hard earned money to watch him play baseball? Every phan in this city knows something smells the high heavens on why you are still on the roster. Getting a line drive homer in that would be luck to get out of most mlb ballparks, doesn’t change that. Entitled … certainly seems the other way around pal, especially with your accrual of service time for what is obviously, not major league production for a backup.

    If his comments don’t get him kicked off the team, it Will be a shock, and frankly disrespectful. Actually, his play this season should …be what gets him kicked off the team. One or two timely hits in a season doesn’t warrant a roster spot. Give the young’s a chance to hit .056 in the month of August. At least they’ll get some playoff race experience.

    1. Well said, Tac3. An utter mockery thanks to the good old boy system. This is certainly one exception where a roster spot is determined by anything but metrics and merit. And Gabe seems shameless about it.

      1. I’m expecting for Middleton to mandate a roster move. JRoll barely survived his fair weathered fans comments, but he actually had talent worth paying to see, This Sean Rodriguez guy … not so much. Lol … he thinks he was getting boo’d before? Just wait till his next at bat at home! I’d be willing to bet that if he did get a hit, he’d still get boo’d for these comments. Talk about someone who doesn’t get it.

        For the record, I don’t believe him for 1 minute when he quoted fan support behind home plate “keep doing what your doing Sean, it’ll come around” …. no way is anyone in Philly saying that in June,July, or August… the nicest thing a fan could say to him would be to say nothing at all for his performance this year.

        1. I’ll add, that I heard Sean R’s interview, it sounds better than the print, he’s basically saying they want encouragement from the fans in a pretty arrogant tone. He says the booing doesn’t actually motivate the players to do better.

          This is a performance based business, you want cheers … do things on the field that warrant cheers … hint … having multiple guys strolling to 1st base throughout the won’t cut down on the boos, neither will SO with the bases loaded repeatedly, or coughing up 7-0 leads or more to multiple division rivals throughout the season after spending more money on FA than one can fathom

          The players want the fans to change, maybe he is the messenger, the sacrificial lamb to deliver it … I wonder what a Major League Baseball game
          Would look like in Philly if the fans cheered like it was their son/daughters little league games! That would be a sight! Popcorn worthy …

    2. This is his 12th MLB season, 34-years old….estimate earnings.(first 11 seasons) $19M. Will be entitled to lifetime medical coverage and MLB pension….as a lifetime hitter slashing 226/.300/.381.
      He has been blessed.

  26. If SeaRod can win it with a walk off then we might have magic in a bag somewhere.

    I would put JT at 1st tonight with Knapp catching. Needs a rest and RH needs to take a watch.

  27. Hats off to JTR, the best C in baseball. He has been terrific, despite a slow start offensively, and hustles all the time. His hustle to beat out an IF single kept the inning alive for Dickerson. I don’t understand Kapler. These are grown men making a lot of money. They are professionals, not children. You can use the word “punishment”, not start Cesar, and let him know he has to hustle without worrying about twisting yourself into a pretzel trying to come up with nonsense so his feelings aren’t hurt. There are consequences to screwing up. Period. Kapler is like a Little League Manager, afraid the kid will start crying unless he uses “safe” words. Ridiculous!

    1. You really can’t blame Gabe for not wanting to use the word “punishment.” If he did that, he might disqualify Cesar from the Phillies’ participation trophy at the end of the year.

      1. What’s more infuriating than actually watching/listening to this nonsense is the apparent deaf ear/blind eye which top management has turned to it all. I know final decisions will wait until season’s end but not to address these matters at all is gross negligence in the name of public relations.

        Having said that, I have decided that as bad as this playoff contender is, no other WC rivals are much better…and so I am in until we’re eliminated. (I just may need a few of you guys to remind me😉)

        1. matt … great point on JTR’s hustle to beat the throw and earn the infield hit. I made the same point to my wife while watching the game last night. If Realmuto is thrown out, Dickerson leads off he ninth inning against Felipe Vazquez. Dickerson is killing it vs RHP’s (.980 OPS) and struggles vs LHP’s (.578 OPS). He most likely would have been no match for Vazquez. The only RH bat left on the bench was Andrew Knapp so IMO JTR realistically won last night’s game with his hustle down the first base line in the bottom of the eighth inning.

  28. Hoskins-RISP-2019
    With 162 PAs RISP Rhys is slashing just….. 233/.404/.358.
    With 2-out RISP it is lower (74 PAs)…………193/.378/.281
    But in the lead-off position…OBP >.400.

    I think, in 2020, hopefully under a new manager, he needs to be back in the clean-up position and try to improve on his contact ability.

      1. Not happening – at least not yet. Kapler will start next season at the very least most likely and Klentak is probably here for at least another year and likely longer. MacPhail is upper management. You’d need another manager and general manager fail (no pun intended) for him to be removed and then he’d like be transferred to another position not fired per se.

        I want to see better player acquisition and development too, but this team is 6 games above .500 with only one good starting pitcher and a bullpen in distress and a starting line-up that has had big injuries and other large losses. If you told me this would be what happened at the start of the season and that we’d still be one game out of the last WC spot near the end of August, I think I’d be okay with that.

        1. Agree that MacPhail will never again be fired but moved to some honorary advisor position. It’s the way they roll these days. I don’t care. Klentak OTOH may live or die with Gabe. He may get another manager but my guess is that he won’t hand pick him alone, but rather be given a choice of 2 or 3 marquis names to appease the fan base. And rightly so. We don’t suffer exotic flavors well.

        2. Yes, catch. This march to run Gabe Kapler out of town is ridiculous IMO. As I have mentioned numerous times, he’s just playing with the team Klentak has dealt him. He’s got a club with a run differential of -17 five games over .500 and somehow still just a game out of the WC. Is Gabe perfect? No. The bigger question should be: Is Gabe smart enough to learn from/adjust to his mistakes? The Phillies have invested two years into Kapler. It would be foolish to dump him and let him take what he’s learned in his first two seasons to another club (SFG). It could be another Terry Francoa situation. For me, the better plan is to supplement the club this winter with better (healthier) arms and a better pitching coach.
          In the end, Middleton will speak with Harper, Hoskins, Realmuto, McCutcheon, Nola, and Arrieta to get a feel for what to do with Kapler, but I believe there’s a very good chance Gabe will be back (probably with an additional year [or two] tacked onto his contract).

          1. Thoughtful comment, Hinkie. As for Gabe – is he smart enough….?

            My concern isn’t so much about his intelligence. It’s that he’s too smart for his own good, and ours. He and Klentak are conjoined at the cerebellum. Their mindset is to follow through with ‘the plan’ no matter what. My take on Kapler isn’t personal. I would probably enjoy talking to him over a latte. It’s the Stepford company line that he and the GM, along with their number crunching staff, seem to be bent on forcing at any cost.

            Like I posted weeks ago, the Phillies brass are like the guy in the line dance at a wedding trying to do the Macarena but simply can’t dance, due primarily to deficiencies in scouting and player development.

          2. I agree on Kapler. He’s learning on the job and the guy I also kept thinking about was Francona. Let’s give him another year and, by the way, although he rubs a lot of fans the wrong way (let’s face it, he doesn’t “speak Philly” which is not the same as being incompetent), he’s done a fairly good job this year with a hand tied behind his back in terms of pitching. And, yeah, he’s not the pitching coach or the hitting coach, so I don’t blame him for those failures entirely. Being six games over .500 when you’ve scored few runs than you’ve allowed is, in and of itself, a pretty neat accomplishment.

            One other thing – and nobody talks about it. This team has more positional depth than it’s had at anytime I can remember (the great 2007-11 teams were whisper thin at all positions – they were lucky everyone stayed healthy). And Klentak really did do a good job picking up guys like Bruce, Dickerson, and Brad Miller for little to no cost to the team (fingers crossed that Kendall Simmons doesn’t end up as a PNL). On top of that Quinn and Haseley have shown promise. If I’m the Phillies, I might very well opt to sign Dickerson and play Cutch in center with Quinn as the 4th outfielder. I think Dickerson could be a huge bargain, much like Brantley was this year. Haseley can play a full season (or nearly a full season) at AAA and if someone gets injured, he can be promoted again.

    1. He’s clearly not seeing the ball very well. Seems to me he went through a bad period (not this bad) last summer and came back after getting hit in the face and being on the IL and did well in the homerun derby and then started to hit again.

      1. Hoskins will be fine. He’s a .255/.370/.480 slasher, and as long as he maintains an .850 OPS, and pop 30-35 dingers, he’s adequate as a #4-#6 hitter. But not a leadoff man. Please! And not irreplaceable. His current struggles are mental and he needs to regain confidence. He’s pressing, trying to keep up with the other big bats in the lineup. A strong September will go far in getting the Phillies to the finish line.

        1. Based on what I saw last night, his problems are technical as well as being mental. All good hitters have down times and even down seasons. I’m not worried about Hoskins long term at all – the question is whether he will right the ship this year or next.

        2. According to Fangraphs Hoskins…with all his batting issues post-All-Star break…is still ranked 8th in the majors.
          1 Carlos Santana Indians fWAR… 4.3
          2 Max Muncy Dodgers ….. 4.2
          3 Peter Alonso Mets ……. 4.2
          4 Freddie Freeman Braves …. 3.7
          5 Anthony Rizzo Cubs …. 3.7
          6 Yuli Gurriel Astros …. 3.0
          7 Matt Olson Athletics ….. 2.6
          8 Rhys Hoskins Phillies …… . 2.3

          1. Romus, I’ll try to remember that the next time he looks at a meatball right in his wheelhouse or pops up.

            1. Yeah, he’s as cold as an iceberg right now, but the overall point is that, even with this horrible slump counted in, he’s still fairly good. I’m very optimistic about Hoskins long term.

            2. 8mark…..I understand the frustration.
              He is a thoughtful and highly character guy and this may be the worst period in his baseball life going all the way back to high school.
              He should eventually see his way thru it…
              …if not Darick Hall will push him off to the side! 🙂

            3. Romus, I am fairly confident he’ll eventually figure it out, perhaps with a different plate approach without sacrificing his eye. The DH is coming sooner than later so I hope he’s the prime candidate.

  29. Hoskins leading off again tonight, and S-Rod getting rewarded for his game winner last night.

    1. Kingery left the game with an abdominal injury last night so I expect he’s not available. They are facing a LF pitcher tonight so there aren’t many other options other than Rodriguez at 3b.

          1. That’s classic, Denny!
            Reminds me of when Eyton Shander was fill in host for every shift on 97.5 until somebody realized he was so annoying, the ratings dropped and he was gone. It’s called over exposure. It never ends well.

  30. Gave my tix away for tonight……but will watch to see if the Philly entitled boo-birds squawk when Sean comes to the plate.

    1. Oh, I’ll boo Rodriguez for sure. You know, what with all the money I pay for tickets, food and parking as an inconvenient fan who happens to indirectly pay his salary – I’m so needy and entitled. To hell with him! Seriously, he is the one who is spoiled and entitled and, oh by the way, he’s not a good player on top of that.

      1. I will have to hear what John Kruk has to say when the booing starts.
        Of course pre-game Michael Barkann will certainly bring it up.

      2. Man, it was really fun to boo this guy. Even my wife, who never boos anybody, lustily booed him and he completely deserved it.

  31. Kapler said Kingery’s out tonight with lower abdominal pain but they don’t think it’s muscular.

    Translation – book it…he’ll be going on the IL.

  32. Well, since Sean Rodriguez is on a career hot streak, I hope the “phans” give him nothing but positive reinforcement tonight, as he will magically hit better if our booing doesn’t suppresses his talents …

  33. The last time the Phillies were 7 games over .500 was early June. They’ve had 10 chances since then to get back there. Lost every time.

    2 blown opportunities in 7th and 8th tonight because they couldn’t capitalize on 2 leadoff doubles. Nobody tried to drag one down the 1b line. No creativity by our station to station manager. And once Vasquez came in, say good night.

    And yes, I can’t wait for the DH in the NL. At least Rhys won’t be the goat in the field.

    1. Funny thing with the Phillies under Kapler is that for all the supposed analytics they employ, they play just like the Earl Weaver Orioles. They don’t run, bunt, or hit-and-run. It’s all about getting on base and then waiting for the 3-run homerun.

      Guess Earl was ahead of his time

  34. Rhys drops an easy catch to allow the winning run to score, and I don’t see any comments? I guess Rhys is immune to criticism after all. I mean, if Cesar booted that ground ball, I’m 100% sure I would see some comments.

    1. The last comment by me, I implied his deficient glove, right above yours. C’mon….I’ve said before that Hoskins will be traded within the next 2-3 years. Jim has alluded to the same possibility as well. Rhys is no sacred cow. He’s getting plenty of heat from this board. But he’s earned more respect than a few of his teammates.

      1. In the first half of the year, Rhy was on pace for 3+ WAR. Now, he’ll be lucky to get back to 2 WAR. He’s in a crazy slump and his defense is even worse than I imagined. His defense looks to be almost as bad as Ryan Howard, and that’s saying a lot.

        Rhys won’t be a FA until 2024. The only way he gets traded is if he’s still slumping and Bohm/Hall has to play 1B. Then you trade him for pennies on the dollar and you move on. The more likely scenario is that Rhys DOESN’T get a long term deal from the Phillies and after 4 more years, he leaves the Phillies and enters FA at age 31.

    2. The biggest complaint with Cesar isn’t making physical errors but rather the repeated mental errors and lack of effort at times.

      But I could have sworn Rhys was hearing boos last night so he’s obviously not immune to criticism. Difference for many Philly fans is that their isn’t any question about the effort.

      As for comments here, what type of comment are you looking for? Rhys made an error by not catching a throw. Not much to say beyond what happened.

      1. I’m less of a critic on Cesar Hernandez. I don’t want to see the mental errors either, but I’m willing to live with it since he’s a decent player. And if he makes a mental error and sits for it, I don’t have a problem with that either.

        Over the years, I’ve seen certain players get jumped on for mistakes, and then the comments turn to this player should be cut/traded/etc.

        Rhys Hoskins is an average 1B. If he can’t hit, it’s a serious issue because his defense is one of the worst at his position. Josh Bell is no stud with the glove at 1B but he made 2 plays ranging to his right that I doubt Rhys Hoskins would be able to get to. Then he drops an easy ball to allow the go ahead run to score. Sure, he’s hearing boos from the crowd (as well he should) but I’m hearing crickets on this site about his performance. How much leash does Rhys Hoskins have?

        1. How short should the leash be? Rhys has been a productive offensive player for all but about the last 6-weeks. His current value is that he’s cheap, has power and gets on base. The stupidity of Gabe batting him leadoff is outside of his control.

          Defensively, he’s was mistakenly put in LF last year when it was obvious he’s not an OF. I can’t blame him for being a bad outfielder. At 1b, he’s sub-par but he’s not terrible. He did make a terrible play yesterday.

          I agree that Cesar takes more criticism than he probably should but if I had to choose between Rhys and Cesar, I would keep Hoskins. He’s a more productive offensive player, he costs 1/10 as much, and both players are below average at their respective positions.

          As for Hoskins, I have stated before that I’m not opposed to his being traded as part of a deal for a front-line pitcher and I do not support the idea of signing him to some type of long-term deal.

    3. Gotta’ agree with Guru. I thought to myself last night the same thing. If this were Cesar or Odubel playing like Hoskins, they would be getting roasted. God forbid, Maikel Franco spent a month in an offensive slump and then cost the club a game by dropping a routine throw. He would have been exiled to Lehigh Valley (if not Siberia).
      Now … having said all that … I give Rhys credit for being a stand up guy, and taking the blame/answering all questions in front of his locker post game. I know Gabe will probably run him out there again tonight, but IMO it would be best to give the guy a mental health break today.

  35. At this point,I hope the front office does not extend Hoskins contract. I need to see more from him,I actually can’t believe how long he has been slumping.

    I guess I was hoping that he would end up being a Goldy or Freeman lite,seems like he’s just another home grown product that may not be a star after all.

    1. Sounds like Rhys may be sitting out a game from what Gabe said postgame. But when he’s back in the lineup, Gabe better not have him leading off anymore. That’s gotten old real fast. Another square peg in a round hole by Kaptak. Unfortunately there is no ideal leadoff man on the roster. My preference from who’s available is Segura. I would bat Rhys 3rd between Bryce and JTR for a little protection, theoretically. Dickerson 5th, followed by Kingery, Cesar and Haseley. Make it so….

      1. I would put Kingery 1st if he didn’t like to chase the high strike. I would go with this lineup:

        Hernandez
        Segura
        Harper
        Realmuto
        Dickerson
        Hoskins
        Kingery
        Haseley

    1. rocco……Abreu was overall, offensively a notch or two better than Rhys.
      Abreu’s age26 slash was .316/.416/.554

    2. You can’t compare those 2. Bobby Abreu was a definite 5 tool player and borderline HOF (60 WAR!). Rhys is playing like a very average 1B, who will be lucky to sniff 20 WAR in his career, especially with his poor defense.

      1. Bobby wasn’t a great fielder. you must be thinking of someone else. He made a lot of bad plays. Does War take into account how many games you lose by misjudging a fly ball or dropping a throw? I am asking cause I really don’t know.

        1. rocco…….Bobby really didn’t drop many balls he could reach, only 73 errors in 18 years…he just didn’t hit the ground unless he slid into second ….and he try by most accounts, to avoid immovable objects.

        2. To answer your question; yes, WAR does take that into account. Although you may disagree with how much (or rather, little) effect it has on the overall number.

          1. Interesting….Baines gets into the HoF with 39bWAR over 22 seasons….the total WAR of Bobby’s 60 over 18 seasons will probably never get him in..

            1. The answer is not that Abreu should be in – he shouldn’t – but that Baines really shouldn’t be in.

            2. The Today’s Game vote is actually just a freaking joke. They need to get rid of the special commissions and just allow the writers to vote for as many players as they see fit.

  36. The Phillies are 68-63. How many of those 63 were BAD losses? I estimate about 20, conservatively. If we win just half of those games, we’re contending for the division. This team hasn’t yet learned how to win.

    1. And yet…outside of another quality starter….IMO, there is only one position that will be up for grabs next season…third base.
      I assume Kingery will get the 2nd base job and Cesar let go.

        1. I do think Haseley is the guy they want to take control in CF for 2020
          His time this year , like Kingery’s last year, is prep school time for him.
          Herrera I assume will be marketed.

          1. It’s hard to imagine Herrera playing another regular season game for the Phillies unless he shows up to ST a changed man in every way and I’m not betting on that to happen, would you?

            1. If he comes back with the goldie lock dreads all chopped off…..then maybe he is on the right path.
              But he still will have to have done the anger management and that other training they are subject to under that conduct policy agreement of the CBA…and I think they cannot be moved until they complete the courses.
              But I still would try to move him this off-season or at least get a feel who may be interested .
              Theo could not move Addison Russell, last off-season, but from reports out of Chicago, so far, Russell has been on good behavior.

            2. If Herrera is at ST (i.e not traded or cut), he will have to hit like gangbusters to make the team. I suspect he’ll start the year at Lehigh.

            3. I can see Herrera getting a second opportunity with the team but agree it will only happen if he demonstrates he has truly changed and matured…

              Don’t know if he has the capacity to make such a change but we will see.

  37. Boy – talk about two players I would never think of comparing! Abreu had HOF talent and a bit less than HOF effort which is why, as good as he was (and man was he ever a good player), he shouldn’t ever be a HOFer. Hoskins is a more traditional and athletically limited power hitter who plays a completely different position, but he’s a 100 percent effort guys always. I don’t see the comparison between these two guys at all except maybe for their plate discipline.

    1. Comparing them cause they both imo made bad defense plays. That’s why bobby was dealt. not there offense. just defense two good offense players who play poor defense. but I guess you saw a different abreau.

      1. Abreu wasn’t dealt because of his defensive deficiencies. He was moved because the team didn’t like his laid-back attitude and apparent indifference to the W/L record.

        The move was made to change the leadership in the clubhouse, not to upgrade the defense.

        1. That is exactly right and, no, Roccom, I saw the full Abreu! Abreu was dealt for reasons related to the clubhouse and, against all odds, after they traded him, they got immediately better. His defense wasn’t the motivating issue as he was on the whole a very productive player. But his laissez-faire attitude was what sent him packing and what is going to send Cesar packing sooner rather than later.

        2. What’s concerned me has been (what I perceive to be, anyway) a complacent, “just glad to be here” air common throughout the roster. I’m sure it’s not unique to the Phillies but Cesar, Franco, Nicky Dubs are carry over players from the previous regime who personify it. Losses, no matter how heartbreaking or ugly, are met with head hanging disappointment but not much anger if any. Everyone wants to win, but few need to. Too few hate losing. I see players like Max Scherzer and Max Muncy who exude confidence and display an attitude that this all matters to them. Call it professional pride, whatever. But it seems to be a rare animal here locally. And Gabe Kapler’s style of leadership does little to instill that pride beyond his superficial “positive waves.”

          1. Yes. There is some validity to 8mark’s comments. Andrew McCutcheon was supposed to help with the whole “clubhouse attitude” thing. Unfortunately, he’s just a viewer instead of a participant because of the injury. Those injuries have been a real factor in the disappointing result to the 2019 season.

          2. As i said before….there isa difference from all the players who want to win…and those that need to win.
            Jeter types need to win. like Utley and Roliins and to some degree Werth.
            They have that obsessive compulsive mentality to push themselves further…they just are not always nice to be around

  38. 8mark..good points,especially Kapler’s style of leadership does little to instill that pride beyond his superficial “positive waves”
    That translates to how weak his accountability is with the players,plus the mis- management of the bullpen.
    A
    Another winnable game last night that got away

  39. I don’t think Rhys is immune from criticism, and I still am high on him. I want him to learn under a good Batting Coach. I think he needs to be told to stop looking at Pitches, and be more aggressive. Batting him lead off does the exact opposite. He took 2 strikes last night to start the game. Both over the middle of the plate, 91 and 92 MPH 4 seam FBs. Then he took a Ball, then struck out looking on another 91 MPH FB. His bat never came off his shoulder. He is a power hitter, with a good eye, not a lead off hitter, and he needs to approach things differently, if for not other reason than to change things up to get out of this slump. He needs to hit the ball, and hit it hard, not take more BBs. He can fail to take a walk at all in the next 20 games, and still lead the league. He needs to attack these pitches over the plate.He needs some good coaching. The ball he dropped he catches almost every time. That was a terrible play, but not indicative of a pattern. He is exactly the type of player you want on the team, batting in the middle of the line up. A completely different story than Cesar, who is an ok player, with a future Gold Glove 2B ready to take over his position.

  40. On the daily recap thread…the comment was..about bringing Spencer Howard up..depends on how serious Klentak is on making the playoffs..and then I thought…

    I would love to be a fly on the wall when MacFail and Klentak are together discussing the overall team performance and the minor league teams, if they self scout their own performance with the discisions they have made so far,do they feel good about their own performance or can they be critical enough and tell themselves that they SUCK and need to do WAY better?

  41. In case anybody missed it … Cholly Manuel was on twitter again this morning. These are his last two tweets:

    .

    Maybe there ought to be an age limit for Twitter 🙂

      1. Maybe he forgot to send his other tweet, the one in between these two, “C”.

        Put them all together and you got “I-C-U”. Maybe his assessment of team so far!

      1. I USED TO MANAGE THE PHILLIES SITTING IN MY EASY CHAIR. THIS GUY MAKES IT LOOK LIKE NUCLEAR SCIENCE.

  42. Bad news, good news….

    Rhys is in the lineup, which means Gabe didn’t want to tell him he couldn’t go out and play tonight.

    Rhys isn’t leading off which means Gabe can justify a lineup change which was waaaayyyyy overdue.

    1. His splits vs RHP is really bad..220/.351/.445…for the season, just not since the all-star break…
      i’d sit him against RHPs for awhile and bring in Morrison.

  43. Glad Phillies are sending JoJo now…going home for awhile.
    Have to assume Todd Zo did not get the word on Moniak and Maton also..

    Alec Bohm, Spencer Howard, Connor Seabold and JoJo Romero will play this fall in the Arizona Fall League.

    — Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) August 28, 2019

    1. Matt Moniak posted last week that Mickey was going. Possible there was a decision change since? Historically the Phillies have sent more than 4 players, no?

        1. But none of them get substantial playing time. Always seems that they are ” second stringers ” to other teams’ players.

        1. Easily the best group we’ve ever sent. All are legitimate big league prospects and include our two very best prospects. Must follow fall baseball.

          1. If Jo Jo is a big league pitcher, I am a mal mal fighter pilot. I have seen him, nothing to brag about

            1. He’s had a bad year and may go nowhere, but he’s a legitimate big league prospect nonetheless. Sometimes it takes lefties a few years longer to figure it out, but he has ability.

  44. Romus……do you want to call Klentak or should I to tell him to look for that $10 million for Dickerson?

    1. Jim….more than likely $20//25M for two years.
      Since Phillies may have to tack on another year to outbid other teams.
      But…..now what do i tell him to do about Cutch and Bruce’s contracts?

      1. Bruce is being paid so little, don’t worry about him.

        I’d put Cutch in center and play Dickerson mostly in left. Late in games Quinn could play center and Cutch could move to left. I really do have a feeling that for the next few years Dickerson is going to be an affordable and dominant hitter. Haseley can start in the minors next year and perfect his craft there – he could use a little more time in AAA.

        1. Disagree…Haseley should be given every opportunity to ‘lose’ the CF job next spring with Cutch in LF.
          Haseley was not picked as the 8th pick in the draft to spend more time in Triple A.
          If he cannot adjust at the beginnig then option to LHV.
          But I think he will be just fine and do well.

          1. Understood, but here’s my reasoning. First, we want to win next year. Having Cutch, and Dickerson in the OF next year gives you a much better chance to win next year than Haseley and if they are there, Haseley won’t get enough ABs, which he deserves. Second, Haseley should have been in AAA this year developing. Let him go down and finish his development and when he comes back he’ll be that much better. If he hits like gangbusters, the team can always trade someone else, including Dickerson or Cutch (most likely in 2021). By the way, I’m not anti-Haseley – I like him a lot. I’m just pro Dickerson.

            1. I also like Dickerson’s bat….but like Guru has mentioned on a number of times……he probably will not come back unless he is the starting OFer…..most likely LF.
              He will be a commodity that other teams who need a corner OFer who can hit and field , as a priority….and willing to give him 2, maybe 3 years at about $12/14M AAV.
              If Cutch were was not on contract, I can see it being a slam- dunk signing to bring him back..
              But right now not so sure Klentak will see it that way.

            2. I would hope Klentak will learn something this year about counting on young players before they’ve proven themselves. Dickerson at 2 years and $26 m would be a nice little pick-up.

  45. Taking a break from picking on Klentak’s pitching miscalculations to give him props on two big additions – for practically nothing – Jay Bruce and Corey Dickerson.

    Now, the Spencer Howard watch officially begins. Did he pitch his last minor league game tonight? 2 guys who might have gotten wind have recently given the possibility credence in Gabe Kapler and our own Jim Peyton (on the minors thread earlier).

  46. In the FWIW department, MLB has free agent to be, 3b Anthony Rendon as a likelier fit for the Nats, Phillies or Cardinals. Coupled with what Jim has heard recently, that tells me that the Phillies would be less likely to sign (or aggressively try to sign) Gerrit Cole and more likely to trade for a TOR this winter. And Alec Bohm’s future as a 3b or 1b is definitely up for discussion. And Hoskins…??? The matrix may be taking form.

    1. Cole will be their biggest priority in the off season – to be a legitimate contender this year they need a TOR arm. It’s really not an option.

      1. I meant next year. FWIW – the team is in a really good spot on offense. They’ve lost all of these players, guys aren’t all having great years and they are still okay. If they keep Dickerson they will be beasts next year. And, unfortunately, because Bohm might not be ready until the middle of next season or later, I expect another year of Cesar starting at second with Kingery primarily playing third. If Bohm comes on, they can flip Cesar at the trade deadline. They may have to absorb some salary but so what?

        1. I like Dickerson too. We can worry about who plays where later. Keep the bats around. As for Cesar, if they couldn’t flip him by now, they never will. He’s a non-tender candidate IMO.

          1. Agreed. McCutchen coming off an ACL tear shouldn’t be ridden the way he was last year. I see plenty of ABs between CF and LF for McCutchen, Dickerson, and Haseley.

            1. JL26….you make a good point on Cutch…age and injury should be considered in his usage.
              Plus Dickerson can play all three OF positions, as also Haseley, and Cutch can certainly handle CF for a stretch, maybe not a long period but in spurts.
              If Kapler is back, then he probably will do the rotational bit to keep Cutch fresh especially…

          2. Unless somebody on the Phillies promises that Dickerson will have LF all to himself, he’s not re-signing here. With the way he’s hitting, somebody will easily offer him a 2 year deal to start. If I was the Blue Jays, I would offer him a 3 year, $35M and he’ll take it in an instant.

            1. He’s an ideal platoon LF. There are no secrets in baseball. Nobody will pay him to be an everyday player, certainly nobody who can top the Phillies offer, especially if he prefers to be on a contender sooner than later. He’s 30 and been with a perennial also ran in Pittsburgh for several years now.

            2. Guru…..can the Phillies afford to go to 3-years with a $12M AAV for Dickerson , when Cutch is still owed $40M for two ore years?
              They will probably hit the pitching starters market very hard…and if it is Cole it will be the highest player on their payroll….AAV wise

            3. @8mark, that’s my prediction about Dickerson and I’m sticking to it. If Cutch wasn’t there, Dickerson comes back. If he re-signs with the Phillies, you can call me out on it. Else, I’m not going to say a word about it because that’s not my style. But I find it hard to believe that not 1 team out there is going to give him a starting job when he has a .850+ OPS right now.

          3. I don’t think they’ve been trying to dump him. They wanted to keep him. But unless they’ve got two solid guys at second or third going into next year, I think he stays for 2020. I’d be fine if they signed Moustakas for a year and put Kingery at second. It would be good trade off.

  47. Rendon needs to be a “pipe” dream, If we need to sign him to an expensive free agent contract to round out a good starting 8,we will be financially strapped and will NOT have the dollars needed to acquire the starting pitching that we need,and possibly a bullpen closer.

    If we don’t start to inject youth (Haseley) in the lineup and give them a chance to grow into good major league players,you can forget about being a gold standard organization and contending at least 30% of the time.

    Even the Yankees,Dodgers,Astros and others don’t try to “buy” a championship any more,do you know why? It does NOT work!

    1. Barf……that seems to be the prevailing thought these days….except for maybe starting pitchers.
      But teams like the Astros traded for Verlander…whereas the Nats bought Scherzer and Corbin….Yankees did it with Happ
      Theo bought Lester and won it…..but Darvish not so miuch.
      And Greinke did not do it for the DBacks.
      So pitchers seem to be the ones that seem to be the best FA buys.

      Still the Cole free agency is too tempting to let pass by.

    2. Barf, I get your point on Rendon BUT remember it’s all about value leveraging for need. I’m not saying it’ll work out this way but say we sign Rendon instead of Gerrit Cole or any TOR (which there aren’t any this winter). Obviously the question begs, Bohm either goes to 1b OR he or Hoskins becomes a major trade chip to acquire a TOR. End of the day, we fill 2 significant needs instead of just a starting pitcher. Does it matter how we spend our free agent pool of dollars as long as we meet the needs? If Rendon (and Boras) is a pipe dream, then Cole may be a bigger pipe dream. Juat my 2 cents.

      1. If you believe in Bohm long-term at third, you don’t waste your assets signing Rendon. Rather, you use the money to shore up an area of need/relative weakness. You have to leverage your cheap assets like Bohm in order to spread out the money properly. Don’t pay a lot for what you can get for cheap.

        1. All it takes is ONE person with enough clout to decide Bohm isn’t the long term 3b. And if the underground signals of interest in Rendon have been sent, it’s possible they’ve chosen him as plan A. We’ll see….but it’s more a question in my mind how dead set they are on Hoskins at 1b – again, he’s a good player, good citizen playing a replaceable position with a hot young bat and a comparable hit skill set waiting in the wings.

          1. Anything is possible, but this would seem like a foolish use of their resources at this point – not to mention putting Bohm at a position lower on the defensive spectrum thus further decreasing his value. It’s just illogical as far as I’m concerned.

  48. ‘So pitchers seem to be the ones that seem to be the best FA buys’….should have said not the ‘best’ but the favorite.

        1. Romus, leave him some slack. Rocco is still catching up after being away on extended leave. He just mailed out his Christmas cards….for 2018.

  49. Dickerson,versus Cutch? Is that the decision that needs to be made? In other words trade Cutch (you probably need to include money)

    So far, I like them both,but if you’re the GM and your job is to assemble the BEST team,what should you do?

    1. Exactly……Cutch and also Bruce, who produces a power bat, have to be part of the equation in determining if Dickerson is resigned.

    2. Nope – keep them both. Cutch plays CF and Dickerson LF. Bruce is a bench bat and occasional starter. Quinn plays 4th outfielder. Odubel gone. Williams gone. Haseley starts in AAA, where he should have been all year anyway.

      1. Agree. Dickerson, Cutch and Harper with a cheap Bruce and Quinn as 5th OF. Haseley starts 2020 in AAA unless he’s included in a package for a TOR.

        1. BTW, my money is on Moniak to be up late ’20/’21 with a higher ceiling and a better pedigree for CF.

          1. Agree with that 8mark. Mickey has had a very productive year. He is in the top5 or better in most every important category.. yeah his average could be higher but I will take that average with that kind of production. And if you look at the league there still isn’t one hitter batting over 300. And only one batting over 290 last I looked

      2. I don’t think the Phillies can rely on Cutch to be a full time CF, and that was before he got hurt. I have serious doubts that he will be able to do it post injury.

      3. Please, PLEASE don’t subject us to that OF defense. We JUST started having a decent defensive team.

        I like Dickerson, but he doesn’t fit with the current (projected) roster construction. We either need to make some trades (Cutch if you want him to start, Bruce if you want him as a 4th OF), or just let him walk. Baseball forces tough decisions like that sometimes.

        Also, Haseley doesn’t look like he needs any more work in AAA; just reps in the majors.

  50. Feel like Haseley is not getting a lot of respect either on this site or from the Phillies front office. He is hitting very well for a rookie, with a fantastic approach at the plate while being above average at one of the more demanding positions (CF).

    I believe he is ready right now to step in full time and help this team. It’s time to move on from Quinn and I don’t believe Cutch is a good option for CF, given his age and injury.

    Haseley just makes so much sense right now. Give him his shot.

    1. I don’t agree. I like Haseley a LOT. That said, he’s still in a developmental phase and could use another year starting at AAA because, right now, as good as his swing is, he’s below replacement level. If they want to win now, he should be in AAA for at least a half a year more.

      1. Even if he develops, there’s no way he’ll play ahead of Bryce, Cutch (who has 2 years left) and Dickerson (presumably with a multi year deal). So Haseley is not part of the solution?

      2. Haseley-2019 (OPS+…73) so far….,Kingery 2018 (OPS+…61)
        Almost identical
        Do not think Haseley will be starting in AAA unless he falls on his face in ST.

    2. Haseley doesn’t have any loud tools. Nothing about screams anything special. Nor is there anything which raises concern. As a GM is forming an opinion of a player, the “wow” factor will sway him especially if he’s got other options. Haseley may benefit most by the fact that he’s adequate in everything, which should keep him in the bigs. What role exactly remains to be seen.

      1. There’s some truth to that. I’m pleased his early fielding metrics are very good, but I agree that nothing really stands out in particular except for the truly beautiful swing and the aptitude to hit the ball where it’s pitched.

      2. ‘Haseley doesn’t have any loud tools’……he only makes contact.
        Lets not look at his SSS in the majors……but look at his MiLB metrics over 1000PAs…..292/.360/.439..16%-K…..8%-BB…..for a CFer that is above average metrics if he can transfer it to the major league level.

  51. Good points on either keeping Haseley on the team or sending him to AAA.

    The wild card for Haseley is,how good will he become? And,if he plays 80% of the rest of the games this year and has a full winter to make some adjustments,how much BETTER could he be by next April 1st?

    My personal opinion is…he needs to play in the big leagues NOW so that we can find out how good he will turn out to be….in other words,I’m not sure if he’ll gain much by playing in AAA,at this point..There is a HUGE difference in the talent level in AAA versus the bigs.

    1. Benentendi has 2 years of major league seasoning, World Series experience, and the IT factor which, to be fair, Haseley hasn’t gotten that opportunity yet. Otherwise there is little difference than that Benentendi has done it on a roster in which he fits well as a complimentary piece.

  52. I have no problem with Haseley being at LHV next year, and I am not giving up on him at all. But I agree with catch and 8mark that Dickerson/Cutch/Bryce would be my OF. Give Quinn another shot to stay healthy as a 4th OF, and Bruce off the bench. He gets enough starts with Cutch getting rest time. While I don’t care how much money we spend, there is a limit. And, while I would love Rendon, a TOR is crucial. Bohm is my future 3B, and we must get another top SP to go with Nola. They are not doing both. And, we need a real Closer. So, re-sign Dickerson, trade Odubel/Williams, try to trade Cesar. If so, Kingery at 2B, and a stop gap at 3B until Bohm is ready. Or, start Kingery at 3B, and see when Bohm is ready. But, I think it is time for Cesar. He is going to start to get expensive, and will cost significantly more than what he adds to the team.

    1. If they can get Moustakas to agree to a one year deal, they can shift Kingery to second and save Cesar’s salary which wouldn’t be that much different than what Moustakas might make. This takes the pressure off of Bohm too.

  53. I get credit for starting today’s discussion with my note to Romus (on Dickerson) and I must tell you, you guys have been superb in your proposals, well done!🥇I had 3 teeth removed this morning, so I needed the entertainment/education.

    Now to see who makes the birds roster.

  54. Cubs take care of Mets who are now 5 games off pace for 2nd wild card. The Phillies (2.5 gms behind Cubs) have a chance to put NYM out of the race altogether while we root for the Brew Crew at Wrigley this weekend.

  55. Phillies magic number all season continues to be 4. Their record when scoring 4 runs or more is 59-18, 2nd in MLB only to LAD. As bad as the starting pitching has been, the story has been the bats. We’ll live or die by them. The arms are what they are, for now.

    From the 40 man roster, Pivetta, DLS, and Irvin will probably join the big club in Sept. Question is who is brought up in need of a spot. Howard? Straily? Singer?

    I assume Williams and Pirela will be added from the 40 as well. I’m sure Hundley will be selected as 3rd catcher, but will Listi be given a shot in the final month? They may need all hands on deck. Also good that Bruce will be activated Sunday.

  56. Except for being an arm, what has DLS done this year to earn a call up? I have been very disappointed, and my answer is he hasn’t earned one. Singer has, Pivetta needs that Sports Psychologist that Doc used all those years ago, and Irvin is another soft tosser who needs perfect command. Nick Williams has proven he can hit at AAA, and he and Franco have to get a fresh start some place else.We can always use a 3rd C, so Hundley and Singer are the only 2 that may be able to help us.

  57. Does anyone know when we are going to get one of those Latin players who take the league by storm. Nats, Braves, now the Reds, they seem to be on a number of teams. When is our turn?

    1. I don’t put much into where top talent is found as long as it’s found somewhere. Backwoods of West Virginia, streets of Brooklyn NY, or the rural obscurity of Templeton CA. There certainly is considerable talent in Latin America. But they just can’t get to the major leagues. They have to stay there. That only happens after the league adjusts, then the player has to readjust. And so on until they’ve established themselves. I wouldn’t let the flashy skills of LA stars blind our eyes to the bad habits mixed in with them. I haven’t heard or seen scientific evidence that young LA players are proven to be better and sustain their success longer than non-LA’s. And I still don’t get the fascination with them.

  58. Ricardo Pinto’s contract was selected by the Rays. Doesn’t seem like he’s improved much from the time he was in the Phillies system, underwhelming in 25 major league appearances in 2017.

  59. Clearly Morin didn’t have it from the jump tonight yet Gabe left him in until the damage was done. Tight game. Every out matters. I don’t get it.

    1. 5 years at $110M ($22M AAV) would be sweet. Maybe an additional vesting option year based on innings behind the plate. If he’s agreeable, this is a no-brainer if ever there was one.

  60. 3 more hits for Dickerson last night. I can’t see letting him go, and I know there is a logjam with Cutch coming back, and Jay Bruce, but he can hit. I find a way to keep him. Alvarez has been a good pickup. I think that gets lost in the overall BP woes. But, there is a ton of $ coming off the books from BP arms, Neshek, Hunter, Nicasio, Robertson’s insurance $, hopefully, and the ‘Pen needs major reinforcing along with that TOR. I am not over reacting to last night’s debacle. I bring none none of this year’s deadline pickups off the scrap heap, and they need to be replaced along with the slew of injured guys.

    1. For what little we (eventually) give up for him (we hope), he could be a huge steal. Not sure how Klentak stumbled upon him but he should be a priority.

    2. To resign Dickerson means guaranteeing him more money than he would normally get….since he will not be a full time player in LF in Philly, so he will want more.
      Also Cutch plus Dickerson’s salary then will approach $35M AAV ……for at best a 3 maybe 4WAR combined LF value.
      Add in the little bit Jay Bruce (aprox $2M) will make.
      That is crazy money for the LF position…..only in the Kapler world!!
      That is btw, Mike Trout money numbers for LF without the 10WAR production
      The other issue…Cutch nor Dickerson are long term CFers, so now the team is juggling OFer just to keep their bats current.
      Klentak and Kapler….and mostly Kapler’s insistence….have a way of effing up a teams roster construction….without any appreciable increase in the win column.

      1. I agree with Romus, you would have to overpay for Dickerson to have him accept a platoon role. But on the flip side, you have to tell Cutch (who’s not making chump change) to accept a platoon role where his ABs will go down by more then 50%. I don’t see that happening. As for trading Cutch, nobody is going to take that chance if nobody knows how recovered he will be from the injury. If Cutch is healthy, he gets LF. If he’s not healthy, Bruce starts until Cutch is healthy. That’s it. I wish Dickerson the best but he’s going where’s he’s going to start and it won’t be here.

  61. Also, if we trade Cesar and put Kingery at 2B, wouldn’t Todd Frazier be a good interim 3B until Bohm is ready?

    1. The Toddfather would be decent at 3B, but it comes down how much you want to pay him and if he’s willing to sit once Bohm is ready. There’s not too many players who are willing to take a bench/platoon role unless they have to. Frazier looks like he can still start some where.

  62. If the Phillies give Realmuto his extension, and the Phillies have Bryce to another large contract, how many $20M+ AVV contracts can the Phillies have if they don’t want to pay the tax? 3? 4?

    1. The Phillies have only $110M committed to salary in 2020. With non-tender candidates such as Cesar Hernandez, who would get more than he’s worth through arbitration, they can make it work. After 2020, Arrieta’s contract is off the books as well. No sweat.

    2. Next year the lux tax starts at 208,000,000. The phils are at 127,738,462 for next year but it depends on what they do in regards to options.

      Vargas – 8M to bring him back vs 2M buyout
      Neshek – 7M to bring him back vs 750K buyout
      Hughes – 3M to bring him back vs 250K buyout

      Then you have to figure out what to do with Herrera. He’s owed 17M over the next 2 years plus a 2.5M buyout in ’22.

      The other thing to keep in mind, Jake’s 20M will be off the books after next season so that will free up some room.

  63. The stadium yesterday had more Mets fans. I hope John Middleton was embarrassed. It’s a whole season of untimely hitting and poor approaches to ABs. Starting with Rhys. His might be the least valuable 100 BB season I’ve seen. He is a good 10 HRs and 20 RBIs off where he should be. I am convinced we miss nothing by trading Cesar, and we will need 2 SPs and probably 4 Relievers. A lot of work to be done here. I hope winning next year fits MacPhail’s time line!

  64. Eickhoff – 60 day, Morgan – 60 day, Anderson – DFA, Irvin up, purchased – Vincent, purchased- Gosselin, purchased – Grullon, Bruce activated.

    1. Damn was hoping they would call up Brogdon and Gilbert to see if they can help the pen next year. But really happy for Grullon, got to see him at a few Lakewood games a few years back, thought he looked like they might have something there. Interested to see if he can make the majors next year. Too bad about Anderson, with the spring he had I had hoped he would take a big step forward this year but instead went the other direction.

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