Open Discussion: Week of September 9th

Well, the Phillies won enough games last week to tease us for another week.  The loss on Nola night was unexpected and heart wrenching.  Oh, well.  The Phillies have gotten back to two games behind the Cubs.  However, the Brewers have caught the Phils, and the Diamondbacks have passed them.  The current standings are –

  1. WAS: 79-63 —
  2. CHC: 76-66 —
  3. ARZ:  75-68 1.5
  4. PHL:  74-68 2.0
  5. MLW: 74-68 2.0
  6. NYM:  72-70 4.0

I suggested last week that the final spot will come from among Chicago, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Arizona, or New York.  I still think that, although I think we can put a toe tag on the Mets.

The Phillies went 4-3 against the easier teams left on their schedule.  Their final 20 games are as follows – v.ATL (4), v.BOS (2), @ATL (3), @CLE (3), @WAS (5), and v.MIA (3).

Chicago (20) – @SD (4), v.PIT (3), v.CIN (3), v.STL (4), @PIT (3), @STL (3)

Arizona (19) – @NYM (4), v.CIN (3), v.MIA (3), @SD (3), v.STL (3), v.SD (3)

Milwaukee (20) – @MIA (4), @STL (3), v.SD (4), v.PIT (3), @CIN (3), @COL (3)

New York (20) – v.ARI (4), v.LAD (3), @COL (3), @CIN (3), v.MIA (4), v.ATL (3)

The Phillies have remaining schedule has a winning percentage of .529, the only schedule above .500.  Milwaukee has the easiest, .451.  Arizona’s is .471.  Chicago and New York face teams with a .489 percentage.

Cincinnati and Miami will figure prominently down the stretch as they each play 4 of the above teams.  San Diego plays 3 of the teams, 2 series with Arizona.  None of the 5 teams competing for the final wild card berth play each other.

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

Key Dates:

  • 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 September 8th … 398 players in the org

9/5/19 – Phillies recalled 3B Maikel Franco from Lehigh Valley
9/3/19 – Phillies recalled RHP Nick Pivetta from Lehigh Valley
9/3/19 – Phillies recalled LF Jose Pirela from Lehigh Valley
9/2/19 – Phillies released RHP Drew Anderson
9/2/19 – Phillies sent RHP Edubray Ramos on a rehab assignment to Reading
9/2/19 – Phillies recalled LF Nick Williams from Lehigh Valley
9/2/19 – Lehigh Valley activated LHP JoJo Romero from the TIL

361 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of September 9th

  1. The Phils were 6 games over .500 when McCutchen went down. They are 6 games over .500 now. Cutch made this team different but the results are the same. Haseley has helped, a lot, but he hasn’t been the difference maker to date. He’s a major leaguer going forward and the teams makeup next year has to include him. He could have a sophomore jinx but he can play on a big league club. He’s not a Dom Brown type teaser. He’s the real thing.

    1. Better way to put it is that the team was 6-games over .500 with McCutchen in the line-up and have been a .500 team without him.

    2. What’s a sophomore jinx look like for a guy with an 86 wRC+ and 25% k rate as a rookie?

      I know Haseley’s done some good things but I’m not comfortable with him as a starting OF heading into next season. Not on a team where it’s basically playoffs or bust. Find a real CF and have Haseley be insurance in AAA until someone gets hurt, or maybe bring him up as a 4th OF part-way into the season.

      1. As a rookie he has a 2.4fWAR projection pace right now (580 PAs) with his 172 PAs
        His minor league metrics were above average to plus in some cases.
        If he is not part of the future core, then he will be moved out. .

        1. The minor league numbers don’t matter to me as much as how he looks against major leaguers at this point. The WAR is coming from sss defensive stats; he’s mostly struggled at the plate. Way too many strikeouts for his profile.

          But I have enough belief in him that I don’t want him sitting on the bench all the time just yet. He was brought up quicker than the team wanted, so let him get in a rhythm with 150-200 PAs in Lehigh next year. Then he can come up and fill whatever role is available to him.

          Maybe he gets moved out as part of a trade package but I doubt he has a ton of value on his own.

          1. Fair point.
            But 172 PAs vs MLB pitchers is probably not a good cage to his long term outcome.
            I will use Kingery ‘s 2018 (61 wRC+) vs Haseley’s 2019 ( 86 wRC+ so far) as an example.
            Kingery was way out of his realm last year…..and this year has turned a corner…even with missing over 30 games in that one stretch.
            I think Haseley will benefit the same and in the off0season improve that much more now that he knows what he is up against.

            IMO, however, if he is not starting in CF in the spring. then agree….to LHV for 200 ABs.

  2. Crowded outfield when Cutch returns – Dickerson, Haseley, Bruce and OH. Ned some pitching. Lots of pitching.

    1. … With Moniak potentially pushing for a promotion next year as well. Also need to factor *Quinn in the mix

      I’d go – Dickerson, McCutchen, Harper with Haseley as the 4th. Quinn on bench if the payroll allocation could ultimately make sense.


      McCutchen, Haselely, Harper with Bruce as 4th/PH with power (cutch moves to CF) and Quinn on bench as def replacement, PH … mop up pitcher 🙂

      Dickerson depends on price, and likely will command a decent salary that could push Phillies out of bidding, no longer making sense. Tough choices from my viewpoint but I don’t get paid the big bucks to make them. (For record, would love have that responsibility, would take the money and run after they fired me 🙂

      1. Tac3:
        Haseley as the 4th??????
        The number 8 pick in the 2017 draft and putting the 24 year old (2020) as the 4th!
        Right now as a rookie he is playing at a 2.7bWAR pace.
        Might as well send him back down to LHV if he isn’t starting in CF in 2020.

        1. I think hasley as a 4th w a returning from injury/older Cutch, not spring chicken Dickerson and a guy you want to keep fresh could still get 3 to 4 starts a week

          1. Do not see it under Kapler….Cutch and Dickerson….if he even re-signs…..will get the majority if not all the ABs in April and May….then we have another Nick Williams scenario happening with Haseley.
            As I mentioned to TAC 3…….might as well let him start in LHV for the first two months if Dickerson returns, let Haseley get 200 ABs in Triple A…..then you also have Bruce, Quinn, Herrera even Williams if Klentak cannot move them

            IMO….Haseley is the starting CFer going into spring training and it his job to lose.

        2. Ruffled your feathers a bit i see 🙂

          In terms of the OF moving forward, it is crowded, imo. I’d love to lean with the young cost controlled players, which is what I did with Pivetta,VV, and Efflin (which I’m still not sold on giving up on any of them 100%, need a little more) will say I got a little burned on that this year.

          Back to the OF – The Phils have Harper,McCutchen, Herrera, Dickerson, Bruce, Quinn, Haseley, and Moniak in 2021, maybe 2020.

          How many roster spots can they give to the OF?, then the team salary/allocation comes into factor.

          It is likely to be: McCutchen, Haseley, Harper with Bruce and Quinn off the bench. Dickerson has good bar skills, likely will cash in, Herrera is gone imo, and Moniak can be stored at AAA for another year. He’d have to push out Haseley at that point.

          This is partially why I was concerned about signing OF help this past offseason, the young cost controlled players were coming. O well let’s see… to throw a curve ball into the scenario… lol what if they move Hoskins back to the OF! To make room for a FA 3B or 1B … like Rendon, with Bohm. Can’t rule it out, but again, it’s about payroll allocation at some point too, can’t sign everyone with no good cost controlled players to balance out the payroll. Im for rolling the dice with Haseley.

          1. He is no where close to ready. So for that to happen, there would have to be a lot of injuries. I guess anything is possible but that would be a bad scenario for Phils.

            1. He may make the majors but probably not until late in the year. I agree, it would be terrible roster construction to plan for Moniak to force his way to MLB. If it happens it happens and it’s a good problem to deal with but it’s unlikely.

            2. Looks like from Jim’s prospect rankings that he also thinks that Moniak could contribute in Philly next season.
              You want to be right about Moniak but you’re going to be wrong.

            3. You have that 180 degrees backwards. I want to be wrong. But sadly I fear that I am going to be right. As I have routinely said, I think Mickey will play in the majors, but I don’t think that he will be an above replacement level player. I think that he is fine, but not an impact mlb prospect.

              His batting line away from the Reading’s bandbox is truly awful. His line against lefties was also awful.

              Before you reply, do me a favor. Find an above replacement level MLB hitter who had a .303 on base % (.277 against lefties) in AA. That’s on base %, not batting average. There are a few that exist. Very few. But all of them developed big power later in career. If you think Mickey will be a 30+ homer guy then you can believe that he will be an above replacement level hitter. I don’t believe that will happen. I believe that Mickey’s profile is based solely on his hit tool. Players with a great hit tool don’t have a .303 on base % in AA.

              And before you use “but his age” to defend him, check out the stats of Josh Stephen, who was also 21 this year.

  3. I feel that Haseley is being undervalued on this site. Good post-Romus,I agree 100% except him starting next season in LHV.

    If he is already playing at a 2.7 BWAR pace, with steady improvement over the next few years, that is a good cost controlled player that this team needs, since we have to buy a good bit of starting pitching next year to contend.
    If you have a high priced starting eight, you better have young cost-controlled starting pitching to contend.

    A good GM has to consistently find the right balance.

    1. I like Haseley a lot but think he could still benefit from a half season or so in AAA. I’d sign Dickerson and put Cutch in center with Quinn as the 4th outfielder – assuming you can sign Dickerson on a reasonable deal – he’s just such a good bat. Haseley’s time will come in the near future.

      1. Cutch in center is not a great idea, especially coming off his first long-term stay on the IL with a significant knee injury. I’m not fully sold on Haseley at this point but, as others have mentioned, the Phils need to focus focus focus on pitching this year. Hidden gems can be found, if you have a bit of luck (like Jon Daniels picking up Lance Lynn), and the Phils need two of these mid-tier guys to sign and perform to even sniff the level of competition that ATL, WAS, and NYM are going to bring next year. So, yea…I’m good with Haseley in CF; Dickerson may end up getting a 3-year deal on his own, so I heavily doubt he stays.

    2. I’ve changed my tune on Haseley. I’m suddenly impressed with his athleticism. While I still don’t think he’s outstanding at any one thing, he’s very well rounded. Kind of reminds me of Cliff Lee but as a position player. And while Moniak’s ceiling may ultimately be higher than his, Haseley is more of a sure thing in terms of being a solid major leaguer going forward.

      1. Haseley, so far from what I have observed, may be the closest bat the Phillies have to an Utley going forward..
        Both uncanny, almost identical minor league K rates (16%) and BB rates (8%)…with Utley slashing .275 /.358/.465 and Haseley slashing .292/.360/.439

        1. Ugh – posted reply, didn’t go through.

          You gotta a point, as much as I like Dickerson’s hit ability, I’d hope the Phils can move Haseley into an everyday role with as a good young cost controlled player to beef up SP or BP needs. THEY did this with the SP this year and got burned, but still l, you gotta do it.

          Ideally it would be McCutchen, Haseley, Harper with Dickerson and Quinn. Bruce is traded with C prospect overflow to nab a BP upgrade.
          Moniak and Muzziotti, will have to push either Haselely or Mccutchen out to get starter role.


          Not bad … theoreticall, especially now that we know kingery can play, hoskins I’m not worried about.

        2. Bingo !!!
          Romus just nailed it. Adam Haseley has a whole lot of Chase Utley to him. He may not have been ranked among the top prospects in MiLB the past couple of years, but he’s getting a shot here late in the season, and the guy shows a nice, compact, level swing. I like the fact that he’s not up there always trying to pull the ball. He’ll turn on some pitches, but drive others to left-center field. He’s currently striking out too much, but his MiLB and NCAA history shows his K-rate will eventually drop. He also plays the game the way Chase played it (gritty, not pretty).
          His athleticism on defense is the thing that has really surprised/impressed me the most. Haseley is definitely either the Phillies opening day starting CF’er next season, or (less likely, but still a slight possibility) he’s used to acquire a SP with some team control.

          Corey Dickerson has been great since coming here … but … for 2020, he doesn’t fit. Harper and McCutchen are locks. The third spot would go to either Dickerson or Haseley. Adam is younger, a better defender, and is going to cost at least 10 million dollars (per year) less than Dickerson. A Haseley trade this offseason is the only path for a reunion with Dickerson in 2020. This winter’s FA pitching class is well stocked, and John Middleton still wants to spend money so I believe it’s much more likely they hold on to their top prospects/young players, and just buy an arm(s).

          1. Assuming Cutch is 100% when and if he returns opening day 2020, I agree. But to make that assumption prematurely is a mistake. Dickerson is entering what I believe will be his most productive years. However, his market may be limited by his overall profile. Many teams may see him mainly as a platoon (vs RHPs only) bat and LF only defender. My my point being that I would definitely try to re-sign him but his market value is less than what some here have suggested. Make the deal and worry about playing time as things go along.

            1. The problem is Cutch turns 33 next month so we don’t know what impact a torn ACL will have on his game. So it could be risky if they just assume he’ll be at 100% since his contract gets a big jump in dollars next to 17M and then 20M in ’21 plus a 3M buyout in ’22. He sure has a good agent.

              On the other hand they have depth depending on how the Herrera sage unfolds and if Quinn can ever stay healthy. What a kick in the nuts, poor guy as he was really starting to catch fire and then goes down with another injury once again. Sucks cause he’s a lot of fun to watch when he’s getting on the bases and using that speed in the OF.

              With the way Dickerson has played, unless he’s asking too much they should think long and hard about bringing him back. If Cutch is 100% then deal with that later. They should be able to carry 5 OF’s with the expanded rosters and so perhaps they can find enough playing time to keep Dickerson/Cutch happy while also getting Haseley/Quinn enough AB’s so that they don’t sit too much.

          2. Chase Utley … I didn’t see no grand slam in Haseleys first at bat! Joking aside, Dickerson is the square peg in 2020, but I wouldnt discard him so quickly. It’s the correct choice imo, tough choice because you can see an actual hitter at the plate.

            The Phillies did this with Pivetta, VV, and Efflin, and got burned. Is klentak willing to bet on young controllable talent again for next year? He almost has too, especially if he is going to buy those arms

            1. I am with Hinkie…and i think Guru mentioned also… on the Dickerson situation.
              It will be a hard fit overall….but more importantly to me, the bidding for him from just only one or two other teams, may push him a little higher in the contract negotiations.
              IMO…every dollar has to be allocated to pitching…a starter or two…..and at least one veteran, om-pf, reliable relief arm, if that is a reality these days.
              Klentak needs to get back on the horse when it comes to relievers…cannot get gun shy because of Neshek/Hunter/Robertson….and then Los Tres Fungibles of Hughes/Vincent/Morin.

          3. Hinkie..apparently he also has some of Utley’s behavioral characteristics……all business, no nonsense guy, no frills. and a very religious based value system.

          4. “A Haseley trade this offseason is the only path for a reunion with Dickerson in 2020.”

            I won’t go into specifics, or why I say this, but the above statement is not correct. For a more accurate statement you should replace “the only path” with “one of the paths”.

            And, actually, Dickerson can be a fit even with Harper and McCutchen being locks. Of course, that necessitates one of the locks playing center field, again.

            1. The one past knock on Dickerson was his defense, and to go along with it his weak arm.
              He has been a negative dWAR player for the better part of his career.
              Now for some odd reason…last year his ‘Plus Minus Runs Saved’ of 14 as a Pirate spiked up.and his dWAR was a very good 8dfWAR….perhaps because the Pirates let him play over a 1000 innings in LF whereas he never had that much playing time before and he was able to gun down 7 base runners…his highest assist count ..

            2. Jim … I assume you’ve heard something from somebody with knowledge, and I appreciate the info.
              For me, while Harper and McCutchen have played CF for other teams, neither should be trusted to man that position on a full time basis for the Phillies in 2020. Harper has been pretty good in RF this year, but would be below avg in center. McCutchen will turn 34 in 2020, and will be coming off knee surgery.

              The other thing is … I think it’s reasonable to project Dickerson to demand and get a 3 year/36 million dollar contract. If the Phillies do that, they are basically burying Haseley for the next two seasons (until McCutchen’s deal ends). This FO drafted Haseley. They should want him contributing sooner than that. Again … this is just the way I see it. I could be completely wrong.

            3. Dickerson’s defense? He won a gold glove in 2018. Perhaps that’s an aberration. I also questioned his defense and as soon as I did I was buried by the opposition this morning.

              IF one of the “locks” is able to return to CF, and IF they sign Dickerson, then Haseley would be their 4th outfielder. He wouldn’t be returning to LHV IF this scenario WERE to play out. (Note IF, IF, IF, and subjunctive case WERE.)

              Yeah maybe I heard something. I wanted to make sure that readers were aware that there are other paths available. People read and take what you say as gospel. Especially when you talk in absolutes like “only path …”.

            4. Jim … you had every right to question Dickerson’s glove. He’s been a negative dWAR player every year of his career, except for last season (the aberration). Not sure what data your opposition used to defend Dickerson’s work in the OF.

          5. Having seen Haseley a few times in the minors I was impressed he did not see the shift. Hits the ball where it’s pitched and to all fields.

            I’m okay if he’s a 15-18 HR guy that hits in .275-.285 range.

        3. I’m not sure yet what Haseley can be but I give him a lot of credit. Hitting out of the 8 hole is a big adjustment for a guy that has hit top of the LU most of his career…

        4. I hate it when posters compare minor leaguers to Hall of Fame caliber players. Ugh.

          Their swings are completely different. Chase had a much shorter swing with far more bat speed and an upward trajectory. Haseley is the opposite of that, which is why scouts were skeptical. Haseley will never come close to Utley’s career offensive stats.

          I think Haseley will be an ok mlb player. But Chase was an elite offensive player in his prime. Completely different profile.

    1. I think Maddon’s stock has dropped significantly, and off the table should the Cubs miss the playoffs. Of course he’s a better manager than Gabe but I doubt they consider him as a replacement if in fact they cut Kapler loose.

      Dombrowski might take a club president’s job but his GM days are behind him, and probably beneath him at his age. In any case, pass on anyone from the old boy network.

      1. Dombrowski strikes fast and hard….then wears out his welcome.
        He is known as Trader Dave, of course coming in second to Jerry Dipoto of the Ms..
        But Dave wins…with the tigers and now with the Sox…..then his teams start to trend downward.

        1. Dombrowski’s MO is to win quick by trading/spending big money and leaving a financial mess in his wake. Look at the RedSox current contract situation and minor league situation..

          Not interested…

          1. Agreed – I don’t want that guy. I want someone with a long term vision and a real knack for talent identification and development.

  4. Been impressed with Haseley. Maybe the Phillies make a run but with the longest winning streak of theirs being 4 games I’m not going to hold my breath. If Howard starts the season with the Phillies, they’ll have a good 1/2 punch. Figure Jake will be the 3 but really pitches like a 5. They’ll need to sign one top starter, if possible.

    1. With every dominant start Cole becomes more expensive. At the rate things are going now, he’s going to get a contract just below Scherzer’s deal – and he might even match it. It just takes one team who loves him to do this. If that team is the Phillies that’s good by me. I’d also re-sign Smyly – he seems to be coming on and should be affordable. I’ve changed my mind on Cole Hamels. It’s not that the Phillies beat him up in his last start against them (which was ugly), it’s that his velocity is down just enough to make him a lot less effective. As much as any pitcher I’ve ever seen, Hamels’ success is closely tied to his velocity. In starts when he was throwing 95-97 he was virtually unhittable. When he’s at 92-94 he’s awfully good. When he’s sitting around 90 or 91, he can get hammered. I think I’d probably pass.

      1. I’m all in on Gerrit Cole if Middleton tells Klentak to make it happen. Smyly over Vargas. I seriously doubt Hamels is even on the Klentak’s radar. I can’t blame him. And he certainly wouldn’t make that move for nostalgic reasons since Hamels was gone before the new regime took charge.

        A rotation of Cole, Nola, Smyly, Arrieta and Eflin, with Howard joining the ranks in May or June would boost my enthusiasm for the Phillies chances in October.

        1. 8mark….have not done the calculations….but if they offer Cole $33M AAV for 6 years and JTR, $22M for 5 years…..they still may be able to sign Smyly for 2/3 years@ $12/14M AAV and remain out of the penalty.
          Just not sure how close it will be or if they go over a bit
          They cannot afford to offer Rhys a LTC, but also doubt Boras would consider it anyway.

          1. I think Middleton is all in for 2020, and he’ll go over the luxury tax threshold (if he needs to). The threshold is 208 million next year. He’ll probably be willing to spend as much as 228 million (the next penalty level).

            As I’ve been posting for weeks, There’s a lot to like about Drew Smyly, and he is a no-brainer to bring back. Over the weekend, I re-evaluated my free agent salary prediction for Smyly after finding the perfect comp for him. Turns out 2019 Drew Smyly has everything in common with 2017 Mike Minor (that’s when he hit the open market).

            * Both 30 YO
            * Both LHP
            * Both former day one draft picks
            * Both former SEC SP’s
            * Both missed two seasons recovering from injury to their throwing limb.
            * Both averaged about the same bWAR entering free agency (Minor 1.1 per season, Smyly 1.3 per season)

            Minor got a three year/27 million dollar contract. With inflation, Smyly should get three years/30 million. Sign him up, Matt!

            I also took another look at Gerrit Cole’s situation (BTW … he turned 29 YO yesterday. Happt birthday to him!). I believe he’ll get some combination of the deals Patrick Corbin and Jacob deGrom got. deGrom got 5 years @ 137.5 million (27.5 million AAV). That contract takes him to age 35, and involves both an opt out and a club option.
            Corbin garnered a 6 year/140 million dollar (23.3 million AAV) pact. That deal takes him to age 35, and includes no opt outs or club options.
            I think Cole gets Corbin’s years (six), and deGrom’s AAV (27.5 million). That would guarantee him 165 million over a half dozen seasons.
            I still think it’s unlikely the Phillies would guarantee Cole (or any pitcher) six years. Zack Wheeler at 5 years/100 million is a lot more likely.

            1. Hinkie…wow….then I am way over for Cole’s AAV @ $33M.
              Phillies should not hesitate in making an offer that he has to seriously think about.
              I suppose Middleton will once again be the point man in the negotiations.

            2. Agree with Romus – start with a bidding floor of 6 years/$180 million and then go up from there. He could easily get 7 years/$210 million (same as Scherzer) or more. Phillies would probably opt for a shorter contract with a higher AAV

  5. I’l never understand the Pollyanna comments on this site. How does a guy who hit .252 with a .741 OPS in freakin AA ball get in the mix for the big league team next year. They are not signing Dickerson. Haseley will be the CF next year with Bruce & maybe Quinn as the 4th & 5th. I don’t think Bruce sticks past June.

  6. The BoSox fire Dombrowski 1 year after winning the WS. Our guy says “if we win, we win, if we don’t we don’t”. Our owner needs to make it very clear to all of Management that winning is the first and only priority, and whatever it costs for Gerrit Cole, go get him. He is a legit TOR, Cy Young contender, and only costs money and a draft pick. Imagine the cost of trading for someone like him. And, Dave, I don’t think Mickey Moniak contending for the Majors next year is a majority opinion. But rooting for him despite whatever his stats say, seeing good progress this year, and thinking he will make the Majors and contribute in the future, are not Pollyanna views.

  7. I think the Franco abuse this season is why the team is where it is. Franco had a horrific May (not as bad as their beloved Rhys second half) and has hit 260ish since. He hit 270 with 25 homers last year. He has 16 homers in 360 at bats. It was quite obvious to any smart baseball guy that he was primed for one of his very hot streaks. Brad Miller and Gabe’s boy Sean had no prayer in carrying the team
    All reports say that he is a terrific team mate. I just think our elitist management has issues bigger than baseball. I hope they release him and he hits 30 next year

  8. Always liked Franco. He gets pounded on this site. I say keep him yet another year. I also agree with Moffo.

    His Uncle Cesar is one of the best hitters on this team and he plays a decent 2B. I’d like to see him dive for a ball here and there but I say keep him.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to see Hoskins and Kingery go back to hitting the ball more the other way? I realize that it is easier said than done but they were both so good at it.

    1. I’m for keeping Franco, forget what his options are contract wise going forward, but I’d use him as a bench player/PH for 2020. 3B is his until Bohm is ready. Franco is serviceable imo, and their analytic approach probably hurt him.

      Teams will be hot for Franco imo, in terms of the new baseball philosophy. Moneyball is dead, every team does this now, so the next step is too look at a player like Franco, believe you can coach/change approach to unlock ability. He is basically the poster child for this.
      He’s shown the ability, not the consistency. The best thing for his career is to move on.

      I let Cehe go unless he wants to be a bench player. He’s not blocking Kingery,Segura, Hoskins, Harper, Realmuto or McCutchen… so it’s either Haselely or the bench.

      1. I would say that at the moment, Franco has more value than Cesar.

        I know the stats favor him somewhat, but Cesar is simply not an impact player, except when his brain is on lockdown. His walks are down which means his OBP is as well. He doesn’t drive the ball nearly enough except for an occasional homer.

        The main problem with Franco IMO may be his teachability. He’s prone to bad habits at the plate. However, he’s reputed to be a very good teammate. And his power threat alone makes him more attractive to a prospective trade partner than Cesar. Franco doesn’t possess a gold glove but he’s better defensively than many people give him credit for. Plus, Franco’s successor is still in AA while Cesar’s is waiting for him to vacate his rightful position. Other teams know this. That minimizes Cesar’s value as well. Finally, I believe Cesar’s playing days will be over within 3 years. I still think Franco has the better part of a decade to look forward to, perhaps with an AL club.

        Time long overdue to move on….

        1. Franco does not have more value than Cesar. Franco has played two of the last three years at a NEGATIVE WAR – in other words, he has been a AAA player for most of the last three years, which is precisely why he ended up in AAA. He’s had his chances and never has capitalized after a good first year or so. He’s costing them wins. Cesar has his flaws for sure and he may not be worth the contract that he might get in arbitration so they might have to move on from him but he’s been somewhere between a second and first division regular for several years. He’s frustrating and he’s not a great player (and might not be a “winning” player – that’s debatable) but he’s been a good player and he’ll remain a major leaguer for the foreseeable future.

  9. Hinkie, on the De Los Santos discussion. I finally got to read Matt Gelb’s column, and he mentions that DLS may have been injured causing a decrease in his velocity as well as the Phils tinkering with his mechanics. As a RP, he was throwing 96 and touching 98, but this year his FB was in the high 80’s. A significant drop. Maybe he was injured and that is why he was not called up? Another interesting bit was the lack of success Klentak has had with Minor League FAs since he became GM. Both hitting and pitching have resulted in minus WARs. And,that includes Daniel Nava’s plus WAR

    1. matt … I saw that. If he’s hurt, then the decision to not bring him up in September is understandable. Otherwise, it’s just ridiculous to bypass DLS for Morin, Hughes, and Vincent.

      1. DLS is at Instructs as are Medina and Hammer.

        Hammer was red-shirted today indicating rehab, usually. DLS and Medina are in gray T’s with their names on them, indicating no injury. Medina was among a large group of pitchers who threw on the Seven Mounds. We think Salas id here, too. (?)

        1. Assume the guys going to Arizona will be leaving the Complex on Friday, unless they have already been released to have a few days at home before heading to Scottsdale.

            1. Happy trails to him, Mr H. I certainly hope he’s on call – if you get my drift – but we won’t hold our collective breath.

            2. Mr. Howard, I hope you don’t take any of the comments about needing SP for next year, in any way, to be a reflection on Spencer. I think I speak for everyone in that we all love him, think he is going to be a future Star in the Majors, but think a little more time in AAA won’t hurt him. The SP I want is to be in addition to Nola and Spencer in the future. It’s great that you post here, and I just wanted you to know how I feel.

  10. Jim, slight correction to your intro to the open discussion – you mentioned that none of the 2nd wild card rivals play each other from here on out but beginning tonight, the Dbacks are playing the Mets in NY for a series with huge implications. I would still agree that NYM is on the outside looking in at this point but things have been changing quickly. I can’t recall a Phillies campaign this late in the season that has us fans so bipolar from series to series. Swallow hard, wince and all say together….LET’S GO METS!

    Ugh, that was painful.

    1. The other score to watch is a late nighter – Cubs in San Diego for 4 games. Again, all together….GO MANNY! (Yeesh🥴)

  11. Another fairly damning article regarding Phillies leadership on The Athletic today, this time by Ken Rosenthal.

    1. Whether you buy Rosenthal or not, a highly regarded national pub like that will almost certainly get John Middleton’s attention. And whether it does or not, the evidence is plainly obvious. Both Klentak and Kapler are standing in a bad light. Redemption is in a wild card berth. Anything short of that makes this a season of missed opportunities.

  12. But, this wasn’t from a Kapler is a bad Manager perspective. This went right to MacPhail and his comments, which I have probably talked about too much, but which he called “the ambivalence of the Front Office”. He questioned their belief that they were early on the rebuild. This year would have tied the Cubs and the Astros, so MacPhail’s wholw reasoning was risiculous to start. But, Rosnethal, like a lot if us here, has the belief that you need to act when the Window is open, not try to guess how long it’s going to last. He points to Keuchel, a perfect place to point to, because of the stark differences in the fortunes of us and the Braves, since we passed on him and they got him. Not to mention their farm system is much better than ours. Money, he said, is our clear advantage over the Braves. Maybe Rosenthal isn’t always right, but he was right on in this piece.

  13. It’s possible that MacPhail was the right guy for the job starting a rebuild, but considering the urgency of the fans and owner, he may not be the right guy for the job going forward.

    1. Talk about a sense of urgency…how about the Boston team…..4 championships since 2004…three different GMs (Theo Epstein, Ben Cherington and Dombrowski), as well as three different managers (Terry Francona, John Farrell and current manager Alex Cora).

      1. Romus, yes I wish the Phillies acted with the same urgency that the Red Sox have. Does anyone know if owner John Henry ever sits in Bob Kraft’s luxury suite? John Middleton was seen yesterday in Jeff Lurie’s box as the Phillies played their marathon game at Citi Field.

        Let’s face it. The Red Sox own the Boston sports landscape, not the Patriots. In Philadelphia, the Eagles are king. The Phillies are not. That will likely never change in our lifetime. But the pacivity and utter lack of urgency cause me to wonder what kind of air the Phillies leadership are breathing because it sure as hell isn’t the same we’re breathing.

        Boston has enjoyed many more parades than we have and they’ve had their warts in the process. I’m afraid this Phillies front office – Middleton included – operates in fear of being too aggressive and appear to me to be very calculated in their major decisions. Boston has had ups and downs while we’re treading water trying to find the magic formula.

        Mr Middleton, stop being a follower of other organizations and go for it. These people you’ve hired are math majors trying to solve a trigonometric problem. It’s not that complicated. Find people whose opinions you bear witness to and hire them. Not impressive resumes that haven’t been tested in the real world of professional sports.

        1. “Let’s face it. The Red Sox own the Boston sports landscape, not the Patriots.”

          How do you figure? Everyone I know in the Boston area (and it’s not a small number; my brother’s family lives there and I go up multiple times a year) VEHEMENTLY disagree with you. Until Brady and Belichick retire, that’s a football town first. Maybe still is after.

          To demonstrate the point (granted this is largely anecdotal), my brother’s wife is flying down to go to the game with my dad when the Pats are in Philly. She’s literally flying down the morning of, going to the game, and then flying back to go to work on Monday. She didn’t even come with us when my brother took me to Fenway.

          1. There are exceptions to every rule, like your family. I’m an exception in this area because baseball is far and away my first love in sports. In any case, that wasn’t even my point. I apologize if my post was too convoluted. I’m basically pleading with the Phillies to pull their brains out of their a$$.

      2. I think the situation in Boston impacts the Phillies harder than the FO would like. I was pretty confident everyone would return minus – the hitting & pitching coaches, and Sean Rodriguez… but now, it’s a lot more dicey. I don’t think it’s 100% done, but it’s moved from a 25% of happening to a 75% chance. The seats at minimum got hotter. My money is they survive, and can use the injuries as a crutch to get into next season. The“Axe” so to speak, has moved a lot closer though. They’ll have the first half of next year tops. Middleton is a businessman, which is exactly what would happen if it was another industry. You can’t live in an alternate universes than your competitors

        Damn … for the Red soxs guy… that’s like being the company’s top sales rep in 2017, losing a key customer due to drop dead pricing from the competition , trying to recover in 2018, and then your 💩 canned like a sac of potatoes…

        Yeah, no sympathy from these parts, but dang… that’s cold Redsoxs, but it sure happens

    2. Buddy, McPhail did not finish the Orioles rebuild as he left in 2011. Duquette finished the job and they went to the ALCS in 2014.

  14. Buddy, I don’t know that urgency is the right word. I don’t go by when MacPhail got here. To me, the organization has failed for 7 years before this year. I give them 2012, we were all in shock. But, you don’t go get Harper, then Segura, McCutchen, and JTR, and waste a year of their production. They made a mistake in the off season counting on the young SPs. They had a chance to get Keuchel and passed, as well. Forget Corbin for this argument. Any decent SP would have made a minimum of a 5 game difference. With BP injuries and inconsistent offensive production. They failed. Not because the fan base had a sense of urgency, but because the Playoffs were there, and they simply miscalculated. Klentak has admitted recently that the off season was geared elsewhere, and they will address it this off season. Since, I think he is back here, I choose to trust him at his word. But the mistakes were not because the fans were in a hurry and they were simply more prudent. They were simply wrong.

  15. 2020 hindsight, but wow has Donaldson been a good one-year rental for the Braves. He has put up 5.7 Wins Above Replacement, exactly 6 Wins above Maikel Franco (who has -0.3 WAR). Where would the Phils be with 6 more wins? They’d be 80-62, first in the wild card . . .

    1. I begged for them to sign him last year. In fairness to them he grew up down south and I believe he wanted to sign with the Braves.

      1. However – when the Braves and Phillies were doing their rebuilds at the same time many of us noted how much better the Braves were doing their rebuild than the Phillies. When the Phillies traded for grade B and C prospects the Braves always insisted on grade A prospects and now those prospects are becoming grade A players. It’s not surprising. On top of that, the Braves are way ahead on international signings with Acuna and Albies. The Phillies are pretty far behind the Braves and will have to do a lot well in the next few years to catch them.

      1. Donaldson for 1 year would have been nice. Beating the Braves to Keuchel would also served them as we’ve painfully watched this season unfold. Grandal however doesn’t hold a candle to having JTR for 5 years, Sixto or no Sixto. Realmuto is a transcendent talent at a premium position. No regrets there as long as they re-sign him, to which all indications point.

        1. I agree that JTR is exceptional. I love watching him play. He is definitely a better player than Grandal. But it takes a good overall team to make the playoffs. And elite SP prospects are very rare. Especially for our farm system. I would take Grandal and Sixto over JTR in a second. And I love JTR. Love him. Just value Sixto a lot.

          1. Straw bet – Sixto won’t have a 3 WAR season. I’m not wishing that on him. I just can’t bet on someone who hasn’t pitched a full season in sound health and a questionable history of staying in action and maintaining his condition. His talent is unquestionable.

  16. The Phillies are at a crossroad. Their major league roster struggles to compete with the big boys of the NL( Dodgers, Braves, Nationals), and their farm system can’t produce enough quality players to provide consistent depth when injuries hit the big club. Now there is no one at this point running the draft. What should the organization do? Personally I would replace a lot of the development staff, because it’s obvious that the high school players they draft, and their J2 signings reach a certain point where they can’t take that next step in their development. I realize that injuries play a major role for players like Kyle Young, Baily Falter, and Nick Fanti, but a lot a players were healthy and regressed or stagnated like Cornelius Randolph, Adonis Medina, Jahlyn Ortiz, Luke Williams, Cole Stobbe, Ben Pelletier. I don’t always buy into the argument that players are young for their league, as I look at that a built-in excuse for failure. And I get the argument that players develop differently, but eventually you are going to have to target players that can be developed. The best teams in baseball can actually develop some high school players and J2 players that can reach the majors and have success, like the Braves, Nationals, Dodgers, even the Yankees.

  17. Well, has Nola hit a wall for the season? Tired? Dead arm?

    Foltynewicz was outstanding last year but came into last night with an ERA north of 5.00 but the Phillies bats made him look like the 2018 version again.

    Anyway, let’s get JTR locked up. I like Corey Seidman’s prediction of 5/$112.5M ($22.5M AAV) which would set precedent for a catcher. Very good breakdown of the potential deal, personality and probability of things coming together. He’s a keeper on all fronts. The Phillies cannot blow this and they [should] know this, along with the other priority of starting pitching.

    Speaking of starting pitching, I really really don’t think we need to see either Nick Pivetta or Vince Velasquez toeing the rubber as SPs in red pinstripes ever again. Time to move them permanently to the bullpen or on to another team.

  18. On that open day which gives each starter that occasional extra day off, it is really important for the pitcher to recharge his battery. What they are doing with Nola is not too smart. He NEEDS that occasional day off. What the manager is doing is wrong.

    It reminds me of how Gene Mauch and the Phillies pitched Bunning and Short and Mahaffey on two days rest back in 1964. It’s a panic move. Give the kid (Nola) the extra day that as we can see, he truly needs. Kapler is doing him and the team a disservice.

    1. Totally forgot about that. Now I remember seeing Nola’s history of getting the extra day’s rest. It does make a difference. If only they had the #2 or #3 arm to fall back on.

  19. Kapler/ Klentax seem to be operating in desperation/ panic mode with Nola. Probably concerned that if they don’t get close to making the playoffs the backlash from the fans,etc will be so great that Middleton doesn’t have any other choice but to fire them. It tells me that they really have NO concern over the players well-being,health,etc. This is their ONLY good starting pitcher! Unbelieveable!!

    Looking back to last year,to think that the record was 72-62 on Sept 1st, and then they collapsed for the rest of the month, forward to this past winter when they acquired Harper,Realmuto,etc and Now they may collapse again!

    For me two things…How can Middleton the owner stand pat when his organization has gone backwards this year? Even writers are pointing it out.

    Second…how can any fan defend them and use injuries,etc. as an excuse?

    1. Totally agree. Injuries to Cutch and the bullpen (which, let’s be honest, even healthy wasn’t a slam dunk to deliver quality performance what with mid 30s arms) were setbacks. But there is absolutely no reason why Middleton should sanction both Klentak and Kapler going forward. They have displayed nothing in advancement of the franchise. 25k show up at CBP in Sept vs Atlanta 2 games out? Huh?!? That tells me nobody is buying or believing what these people are selling.

      1. FWIW, Todd Zolecki said he thinks the Phillies need to finish with a winning record or Middleton may very well clean house. They can’t sell injuries with the remaining talent still on the club. The Phillies need to go 8-11 vs mostly playoff relevant teams to finish with a winning record. That’s not a slam dunk.

  20. Well, here’s a vote for them to clean house. If the Eagles pursued the gold standard till they achieved it,why wouldn’t Middleton try it?

    Remember, Lurie failed with Chip Kelly and had to try a different route. If I’m Middleton and was relying on McFail all these years to improve the organization, plus opened up his wallet this past winter, and end up with the same results….It would be very hard for me to trust McFail/ Klentax for any longer!

    That would be…Pure Insanity!

    1. When you Ace cant set the tone for a series as important as this one, You offense cant hit a bad pitcher, Then all the excuses like we lost our bullpen or Clutch wont make up for that game last night. There needs to be a total revamp of this roster, and firing of the manager and G,M, Club President, cause they haven’t got us closer to winning. Really we are a lot farther away. So if people want to post excuses, its not going to address the real problem The team and its leadership are bad,

  21. I say this on this site every year but STOP THINKING ABOUT WINDOWS! That is a loser mentality. The goal is to be in the mix every single year with rare exceptions. The type of expectations that we have for the Eagles we should have for the Phillies. The goal is to build a self sustaining dynasty, not just have a 2 or 3 year run.

    1. Agree. ATL, NYY, STL, SFG, TB, and LAD are organizations adept – for whatever reason – which succeed in maintaining competitive rosters. They don’t win or even make the playoffs every year but they aren’t perennial seller dwellers either. The Phillies are (as Rosenthal posted yesterday) an ambivalent leadership which naturally wants to win (who doesn’t?) but they aren’t equipped to sustain relevance. And when the beat reporters start sounding the alarm, you know the clock is winding down on MacPhail, Klentak and Kapler.

      1. Last year was the first time in 5 years the Braves had a winning record. The Giants are on track for their 3rd consecutive losing season (and with a bad roster and bad farm system, I honestly have no clue why you listed them). TB tears it down consistently. They had 4 losing seasons prior to last year. And it took them a decade to post their first winning season. There’s a reason they have a losing record as a team overall.

        I agree with the sentiment that the goal is to stay competitive indefinitely. But that is REALLY hard. The vast majority of teams will, in fact, need cycles of rebuilding and returning to relevance. Even the Yankees had a 13 year playoff drought once upon a time. The Yankees and Dodgers certainly provide a goal for us to strive for, but let’s not go overboard saying some of these other teams are the gold standard when they’re just at different stages of the rebuilding cycle than we are.

        1. Please – stop it. You’ve been living in Phillies’ loserville way too long (that’s not your fault it THEIR FAULT). The Dodgers just won their division for the 9th straight year and in the last few years, while they were really good, graduated Bellinger, Buehler, Seager, Pederson and Lux. From 1996 to now, the Yankees have won 90 or more games 18 times, NEVER had a losing record and had only two “bad” seasons where they won 94 games.

          Stop thinking about windows. That’s what loser teams think about. Dynastic organizations don’t rebuild, they constantly reload. Demand the same from your Phillies – there is no objective reason they cannot be among those franchises.

          1. That is how John Middleton thinks.
            He wants continued and sustained seasons of excellent baseball from the Phillies.
            Not sporadic winning seasons.
            Remember when he hired MacPhail and Klentak….he said they must play for today and still look five years out.

          2. Read the last sentence. All I was saying was he’s idolizing teams that he shouldn’t be. The Yankees and Dodgers are the ones to look to. Those other clubs have all be in the rebuilding cycle within the last 5 years.

            1. Dan – I’m not criticizing you at all. Years of perpetual losing with rare good spurts have caused you and many Philadelphians to think about small winning windows. I’m telling you there’s another way and a better path. There are ebbs and flows, but great teams have long sustained winning traditions. Demand the same of the Phillies. They can and should do this. Okay, so maybe they won’t be the Yankees (or maybe they will, I don’t know), but I’d settle for being the Cardinals. I mean, they are virtually always in the hunt and if they have a mediocre year or two, they reload and are back in contention again.

  22. For me its always been pretty simple and pretty clear. Generally you pluck guys that have track records of success: Luhnow, Epstein, Friedman and watch for Mike Hazen are all pretty good examples.

    As far as I can tell Klentak had nothing going for him other than he could say he went to an Ivy League school and worked in a few pretty bad FO’s.

    Luhnow at least could demonstrate how he built his own proprietary software program that drove the Cardinals success. Epstein gave the Red Sox their first WS in over 100 years and Friedman with $0 budget always seemed to put competitive AL East teams on the field.

    As for Hazen a product of a couple systems the Indians and the Red Sox I’d keep an eye on the D-Backs. it’s pretty impressive what they have done since he took over. Hazen has made some great strategic moves and they are well positioned to give the Dodgers a run for their money over the next 5-6 seasons.

  23. The sobering reality is that no matter the gap between the Braves and Phillies in the depth of their system, for example, and the money Middleton has in the coffers to spend, the Phillies can’t buy their way out of the mistakes and miscalculations of leadership which lacks vision and willingness to take certain risks, or address obvious areas of need by nickel and diming in finding young talent.

  24. Read…. The gap between the Phillies and the Nationals/ Braves is huge on the Good Phight.

    Very well written, this is reality and I agree 100%. Since their horrendous slump earlier,was it in June? …reality has set in for me and I’ve been trying to share it on here.

    By the way…welcome back Buddy!!

  25. The problem started with the hiring of MacPhail, a legacy guy with no track record of his own, except employment. He brought in Klentak. He needs to be the first one to go. I don’t see that happening this off season, and simply firing Kapler is not going to fix anything. I think Middleton gives them another off season, and then pulls the plug on the whole shebang. But Mac/Klentak and Kapler are tied at the hip, despite their attempts to distance themselves from each other.

    1. Firing Kapler isn’t going to fix everything. But firing Kapler is necessary to move on from the synthetic culture this team needs to change. False hope is a bad facade.

  26. The most disappointing thing to me this season is how terrible the hitters have been with RISP. I’m not sure as to where they rank, but it has to be very low. I’ve never seen so many lead off doubles wasted because the hitters can’t do simple things to move runners. Incredibly frustrating.

    1. That’s because they don’t change the approach. Keep upper cutting in case you barrel it up no matter if you’re leading off the inning or have runners at first and second with one out or bases loaded with 2 outs. And work deep counts, too. Nonsense! And Kapler espouses that approach publicly.

  27. But, 8mark, that is because he was brought here to do exactly that because Mac/Klentak want that. So, firing Kapler is a cosmetic change, just like Charlie replacing the hitting coach. It is not long term. How is Klentak going to admit they were wrong all along, and bring in another Manager only to get fired next year, leaving the new GM with whoever the Manager is? I believe Kapler’s instructions come from Klentak. The PC was not Kapler’s call, it was Klentak’s. Another huge blunder. I am not saying Kapler doesn’t get fired. I think they bring him back, but that is only a guess. What I am saying is that just firing Kapler does not change the philosophical approach which is flawed. Both, Pitching and Hitting wise, it is flawed from the start. Which means the top.

    1. I don’t dispute your comments, Matt. Kapler and Klentak are twins conjoined at the brain. One goes with the other.

  28. Firing Kapler or Klentax or McFail….

    If Middleton has the desire to have a good/ gold standard organization he needs to do what Lurie did and clean house and start over, and eat the contracts.

    Is his loss more if he eats the contracts or if he averages 50% attendance?

    Remember..he is the owner and CAN do as he chooses.

  29. Matt Gelb delves into the Nick Pivetta saga and how his season has been the epitome of the Phillies season “gone sideways” calling into question the unknown that will be 2020, along with the issues regarding scouting and development. This scrutiny is both legit and a foreshadowing of the crossroads that these final 19 games will lead to.

  30. Whether they bring Gabe back or fire him (and I still believe he’ll get one more shot), the 2020 season is going to come down to pitching. The team can afford to buy a starter (or two) and a reliever (or two), but that won’t fix the underlying problem. Who’s going to help Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Zach Eflin, Spencer Howard, Adonis Medina, Ser-Ant’ny, JoJo Romero, Damon Jones, and the long list of other younger arms already here and on the way?
    Chris Young isn’t the answer. John Middleton needs to put some of his stooopid money into purchasing a pitching guru/a pitching coach with a track record of developing young arms. I’ve previously listed Dave Righetti, John Farrell, Ray Searage, Kyle Snyder, and Brian Sweeney as guys who I’d want considered.

    1. Don’t you see Chris Young as merely an extension of the mindset shared by Kapler/Klentak? That’s an impressive list of pitching gurus, Hinkie. But which of them would buy into the reigning approach espoused by the current manager and GM?

  31. Chris Young as merely an extension of the mindset of Kapler/ Klentak… Well said, 8mark!!

    You see…that is the ROOT of the issues…It doesn’t matter how hard we try,it will still come back to those two and McFail.

    1. I would like to see what top personnel people from Tampa could do with an organization with money to spend. Like Middleton’s. They’ve proven the knack for developing talent only to see it fly away when time comes to pay for it.

      1. The Dodgers seem to be a good example of what can happen.

        Choosing the executives that ran the early 2010’s Orioles and an executive with the Angels to build a power house seems to have been a bad gamble.

    2. I would like to see what top personnel people from Tampa could do with an organization with money to spend. Like Middleton’s. They’ve proven the knack for developing talent only to see it fly away when time comes to pay for it.

    3. The person who runs the baseball enterprise – whether that be the general manager or the club president- is by far the most important hire in almost any sport. The current group is way better than the last team but has not performed nearly as well as the baseball people from the truly elite teams. Middleton might fire some people this offseason but if they stay and the team doesn’t excel in 2020, more heads will roll.

      1. Middleton moved us from horse and buggy to an Edsel I can’t commend him for that.

        With the Edsel brand, Ford had expected to make significant inroads into the market share of both General Motors and Chrysler and close the gap between itself and GM in the domestic American automotive market. Ford invested heavily in a yearlong teaser campaign leading consumers to believe that Edsels were the cars of the future – an expectation they failed to meet.

    4. DMAR…me thinks Hoyer returns to Beantown or maybe they go with Falvey….do not see Hazen leaving Arizona this soon and Bloom leaving the Rays.
      Dave D. is hard to work with and it created issues among the staff…..but he did get along with the manager, Cora.

      Assume Phillies will be lining up candidates for the manager’s position come October 1st.
      For Bryce, known as a manager killer in DC, it will be number 6 …Riggleman, McLaren (interim..he does not count I would think), Davey J,, Matt Williams, Dusty B., Dave Martinez and maybe Gabe..

        1. I agree but I’m also wondering if the lack of bullpen roles is what may have led to the rash of injuries.

          If we can settle guys into 7th/8th/9th inning roles during the regular season I’m wondering if we’ll see more effectiveness/better health.

          Bullpens without roles really only ever seem to succeed in the playoffs. I think an overall organizational mindset regarding pitching philosophies needs to be looked at.

          1. How about the numerous ingame miscommunications between the dugout and the bullpen throughout the season, relievers not warmed up and ready in time. These are the tell tale signs of ineptitude. The lack of discipline regarding the lack of hustle on several occasions, met with no consequences other than a ‘talking to’ until the most recent instance when Cesar was unaware that he was being benched in lieu of a routine day off. Shall we go on…..

        2. A manager like a Girardi or Buck, can bring the excellent leadership qualities and needed experience that will trickle thru the entire org.
          Heck I think Jim Riggleman would have done just as good or even a better managing job then Gabe.
          Look at Snitzer with the Braves….a lifer Braves guy…….worked his way up thru their system.

      1. In DC, Bryce may have worn out his welcome among teammates since arriving as a brash and cocky young star. I tend to believe that was only part of the clubhouse/dugout breakdown with the skippers suffering the brunt of their paltry playoff results.

        However, I perceive a maturity in Harper as he’s gotten older and wiser to what works and doesn’t. The Phillies manager issues are squarely on Gabe Kapler, not any mutinous activity from any disgruntled players. They only need to stand back, listen and watch as Kaptain Kapler bungles his own case for keeping his job.

    5. Chaim Bloom >>> Andy MacPhail
      If Bloom is available, Middleton would be crazy not to lure him here with more of that stoooopid money !!! Hire Bloom, and let him replace Klentak and Kapler.

      1. He was a finalist for the Mets GM job before they hired Brodie V.Wag.
        But Bloom may be an upgrade……from a Dartmouth grad to a Yale grad.

        1. The Mets front office is more dysfunctional than the Phillies and they passed on Bloom? I say “hire him!”.

  32. Hinkie, 8mark, you are both correct. The change has to come from Middleton, and I think the big off season change is in Pitching Coach, who will be brought in with the mandate that he does things his way. There has to be an acknowledgement that the current model failed. That statistical evaluations of pitching is not good enough. That each Pitcher is different and needs to be developed in a way that best benefits his abilities, not one method fits all. Young has, clearly, not bonded with these Pitchers. Vinny and Pivetta and Eflin all have different problems. Pivetta’s, I am convinced, is mental. Eflin pitched much better using his Sinker, doing the opposite of what they wanted him to do. He still needs a better 4 seam FB, but that should be in addition to what he has, not instead of. Vinny may just simply not have the command skill that he needs to go more than 4 innings, and should be a long reliever, someone missing from the staff this year. All in all, the change was a mistake, and started with a philosophical direction that needs to be changed.

    1. It makes me chuckle when I see you guys call for the pitching coach to be fired. Not that I disagree but I picture Iverson in his famous press conference talking about practice

      replace practice in that rant with pitching coaches

    1. Romus, can you imagine Gabe saying that to a reporter? Man, what a spin he would put on that situation like, “I’ll make every effort to accommodate a player so he will in position to be the best version of himself, so we talked and decided it would be in the best interest of the Philadelphia Phillies to have Andrew Knapp be Nick Pivetta’s primary catcher.”

  33. Also – and I’ve been saying this all year – whoever has encouraged Aaron Nola to pitch backwards should be fired – unless it’s Realmuto himself. He should be pitching off that great fastball – not the other way around.

    1. Cannot believe Nola’s large discrepancy in his record with 5 days or more vs 4 days rest….4 days rest only…23-22……30-11 with 5 or more.

  34. We can all rest easy for tonight’s game. Sean Rodriguez will man 3b against lefty Max Fried. Phew! I was worried that he would just let Kingery play 3b and Haseley start. But hey, it’s a playoff run. Go with your best friend, Gabe, instead of the better player.

    What an absolute disgrace!

      1. I can’t believe that there is not more outcry on this issue. SeaRod plays over Franco, really? If the pitcher makes a mistake who is the better player to make them regret it. He was a disgrace again. And then why not Hasely? Dickerson hit 2 homers off different left handed pitchers. Surprisingly Vincent didn’t close.

  35. Romus, Nola’s large discrepancy on 4 days versus 5 days…Wow! That is a major difference. And to think that Gabe / Klentax supposedly go by analytics?

    The more people dig out info, the worse they look. It’s not Nola’s fault that Klentax didn’t get better starting pitchers. I bet he’s not happy,next he’ll get hurt!

    1. Exactly…..does not make sense….desperation maneuver on Gabe’s part.
      I suppose analytics is only used by him when he feels it fits his situation.

      1. While I don’t blame any manager to go hard with his only reliable SP, I also don’t think Nola is built for that kind of over usage in the long run, or even late into the season as he is now. And yes, the analytical implications go out the window. Klentak should have thought more about this eventuality back at the deadline or before Keuchel signed with Atlanta.

  36. I’m not suggesting pitching every 5th day will lead to a future injury, but this team NEEDS Aaron Nola in 2020 and beyond. Combining the performance data above with the 4.8% chance they have of making the playoffs, I wouldn’t be pitching him like this. Hinkie has said it, the focus should be on 2020. I’d be running Nola, Pivetta, Velasquez, Eflin, Smyly, and Vargas out there every 6th game. I’d pitch them deeper in games and try to use the bullpen less not more. Make Neris your 9th inning guy, make Álvarez your 8th inning guy, and use Suarez and Morin for the 7th. Everyone else should be used as little as possible. Not sure why he wants 8 different relievers to pitch every night.

  37. I’m already over this year. We’re not making the playoffs and the only unknown is whether we can win 8 more games to achieve our first winning record since 2011. The schedule is tough so the 8 wins are not a slam dunk.
    I’m already thinking about next year and the offseason. I think we should bring Vargas back and sign Bumgarner or Wheeler. I would also try to bring back Hamels but only if the salary is reasonable for what he is now. The starting pitching needs a full redo. Howard is not ready and I don’t want to rush him. A rotation of Nola, Bumgarner, Arrieta, Hamels, and Vargas would compete. We’d go from no lefties to 3. I would also take a run at Will Smith for the pen plus find two other middle guys. I think they’ll think about trading Cesar but will end up bringing him back. I think Kingery will be the 3B until Bohm is hopefully ready mid season. CF is tougher. Spending so much money on pitching will have them not spending on the lineup. I see them letting Dickerson go, keeping Bruce for the bench, and maybe signing a cheap CF to compete with Haseley and Quinn. Maybe Hamilton. Add Grullon over Knapp. And if Rodriquez is back on the bench…..
    Odds of this all happening? Probably not good

    1. I believe almost every Philies’ fan is in your camp..and looking towards 2020.
      The reality is there right in the standings for this year…
      However, the manager seems to want push the buttons to the extreme to get 19 more wins in the last 19 games.
      Next season is not in the manager’s cross-hairs right now….and I suppose that is the way it should be.

  38. I always hope they win Murray, but my interest has faded considerably, and my belief in this team, as structured, is slight. I knew they needed SP, along with thousands of other people, and I hope they go “all in” this off season. But, we need to make adjustments to the way we play the game. The way we attack with RISP, the way we don’t ever play small ball, etc. Whatever it takes to sign Cole, we need to do.

  39. If we don’t sign Dickerson I’m going to remind you Jr. GM’s every day of the season next year. You are forewarned.😘

    1. Yes I find it difficult to think that they would simply let him walk. Are we that rich in talent, and so crowded in the outfield that 3/$45M would be too much to pay for a guy who’s shown he’s worth it? Cutch will hopefully return at 100% but can you bank on that? If it means breaking the luxury tax threshold after signing a big arm or 2 as well, so be it. Come on!

    2. Age old decision: Veteran proven player vs young up and coming (hopefully)

      I hope the team makes the right decision. How much of an upgrade is Dickerson over Haseley? Would a BP piece add to more wins than that difference?

      That’s why I’m a phan, and don’t get paid to post 🙂 … but whoever is, better make the best decision!

      1. Tac3….very tempting to keep Dickerson with Cutch, maybe also Bruce……on the other hand, they are not going to be the core for the future beyond two years.

  40. If they move on from Andy, Matt & Gabe I’ve been thinking about Neal Huntington as a potential club president. The Pirates have been one of the better teams at drafting and developing pitching talent. Maybe he can bring in the staff to get the most out of our arms. He’d have more resources at his disposal her.

    1. I’m quite sure that the Chris Archer debacle is enough to single-handedly push NH out of the business of baseball altogether…

  41. I just read an article at in which the topic was pitching coach Chris Young, and Kapler states that he is happy with Young’s work because there has been improvement the last six weeks. I wonder if Gabe Kapler is watching the same team the fans are watching? He brings up Drew Smyly’s last start as proof. Smyly had one good start in his last 5 or 6 outings. Jason Vargas can’t throw strikes consistently enough to pitch more than 4-5 innings a start. Zach Eflin begged the team to allow him to go back and throw his two seam fastball over the four seamer. Nick Pivetta is totally lost. Vince Velasquez will pitch great for four innings, then implode. Aaron Nola has really regressed this year with his command, and Jake Arrieta was Jake Arrieta before his injury, a .500 pitcher at best, a five inning starter with an ERA over 4. The bullpen cannot throw strikes, no matter who the bring in or bring up, and when they do, the ball is deposited in the seats for an opposing home run. But go on, Gabe. Tell everyone that Chris Young is doing a great job.

  42. Trade Rhys to the Rays for premium arms. TB is absolutely loaded and could stock up the Phils’ near-ready MLB talent while still keeping Morton, Snell, Glasnow, and Honeywell (likely their “untouchables”) at the front of a very strong staff. If the Phils have any hope of competing with WAS and ATL next year, they will need a rotation shakeup bigger than what potential FAs can provide. Dealing from a position of (relative) strength to address an area of glaring weakness is what this team needs to do. It will never happen, and honestly I would hate to give up on Rhys after one bad year, but I have very little faith that the staff can be fixed solely via free agency and this division is getting stronger. A bounce-back candidate in Rhys could be a tantalizing option for the budget-conscious Rays club in need of some middle-of-the-order thump.

  43. Wow! What a blow to the Brewers – Yelich out for the season with a broken knee cap.

    Cubs lose in San Diego, Dbacks lose to NYM, Phillies back to within 2 games of Cubs with Milwaukee between us.

    1. A broken knee cap? Ouch x 100! Not good for baseball, showcasing its stars. Sad to see/hear. Time for the Phillies to step up. Hopefully the team is listening to Harper vs Kapler 🙂

      Kapler – work the count, exhaust the pitcher then strike in the 7th inning when we’ve worn him down

      Harper – (clown answer bro) … Where’s Charlie?

  44. The wild card just got more interesting. The Brewers lost Yelich for the season and he’s a large part of their offense. I don’t think the Phillies have the horses right now to exploit the loss but it makes things far more interesting.

  45. Cubs do not have their MVP player…Baez out with a hairline fracture in his left thumb and is expected to be out of commission until the postseason……..and Bryant is playing on one knee….and Lester has been shaky….leads league i hits allowed @180 and a WHIP of 1.7 over the last 5 games.
    So things are really in play now
    For the Phillies, could come down to that last series with the dreaded Marlins.

      1. DMAR…good point.
        June (11-16) and August (13-14) were the two bad months.
        I like to think they may finish like they started…..33-24 ..March/Apr/May.
        But lets keep the hope alive

  46. The only way it makes sense to resign Dickerson is if they trade Cutch. Dickerson won’t sign here if he’s not going to play every day, it’s not a matter of money. He’ll get paid regardless of where he goes, he wants to play. Cutch also wants to play every day. Unfortunately Cutch is untradeable until he shows in spring training that he’s healthy. The timing makes it tougher. I would love to keep Bruce as our 4th OF if he accepts the PT role.

    1. Completely disagree. Presumption over Cutch’s health is dangerous, even if it means breaching the luxury tax. Successful teams are interchanging their outfield construct all the time. Dickerson may like it here and balance his preference for playing time with an opportunity to win. You’re right. He’ll get paid, so why not here.

    2. Realistic view, you have 2 starting OF and 3 platoon guys, of which are closer/progressing to a starting role.

      Harper Cutch are the ST and work around pieces. Unless we are

      Do you trade either of Bruce, Cutch, or Haseley to make room for a FA signing of Dickerson?

      Who do you want the most out of:
      Cutch, Bruce, and Dickerson?

      Personally, cutch is likely too difficult to move in a trade, with his salary, wouldn’t get fair value.

      I’d consider trading Bruce, Making 14 p/yr. Get a nice BP piece for him, which they desperately need, or package him for a better player. Have Dickerson/Cutch/Haseley all platoon.
      Harper Plays every 6 of 7 gm, Cutch plays 5 of every 7, Dickerson plays 5 of 7 and same for haseley. Likely cutch gets bumped to 6 of every 7, and haseley dropped to 4 of 7. Bench is strong on those off days too.

      It’s easy to rotate 4 OF, but put in 5, that makes one of them trade bait – if you want Dickerson, you likely need to trade Bruce to keep the players happy with time&money allocated . I’m fine with that but the power off the bench decreases. I still want Quinn on the team in a bench role, sub/defensive replacement. It will be hard to find him at bats if you platoon those 4.

      This needs to be managed correctly by the FO, so let’s hope they do, in the meantime will debate as Dickerson has been producing runs at an RBI per game … hard to pass up

  47. From Bob Brookover, the Braves coaching staff’s average age is 55. The Phillies’ is 45, and take away Uncle Charlie, it’s 42. Something else to consider.

  48. As a pure baseball fan forgetting my Phillies fandom I want to see an NLCS of Braves@Dodgers; Yankees@Astros and let the chips fall where they may.

  49. Why can’t we re-sign Dickerson? Seattle is paying most of Jay Bruce’s contract, so he is most certainly worth something to an AL team. Sign Dickerson, who can flat out hit, platoon him with Cutch. Haseley plays CF, Bryce RF. Trade Cesar and Scotty is the 2B. Or, he plays 3B if we keep Cesar.. Jay Bruce was a terrific pick up, but he is a bench player, and can DH in the AL. Package him if we have to, and we can get something useful for him. But, how can we lose a guy who hits as well as Dickerson does? And as much as I iove Cutch, we have no idea how he will be, at least to start next season. Haseley doesn’t get sent back to AAA, and we don’t lose a good hitter.

    1. matt13……that sounds good as Phillies fans go….but Dickerson only played 44 games in Pittsburgh as a platoon guy…..if the money is not different, what if he does not like that idea and wants a full time job and still gets paid the same amount?
      He may not like the platoon idea.

      1. He hits pitchers throwing from both sides, he doesn’t need to platoon. He’s also only 30 so he’s not old. Cutch also very much doesn’t want to platoon. He came here to play every day and I’m confident he’ll be fine next year, it wasn’t a bad injury. You don’t want an unhappy locker room. It can only work if Cutch can play CF. I wouldn’t count on that. I would however trade Cutch to allow Dickerson to play LF and keep hitting 300 for us.

      2. Realistic view, you have 2 starting OF and 3 platoon guys, of which are closer/progressing to a starting role.

        Harper Cutch are the ST and work around pieces. Unless we are

        Do you trade either of Bruce, Cutch, or Haseley to make room for a FA signing of Dickerson?

        Who do you want the most out of:
        Cutch, Bruce, and Dickerson?

        Personally, cutch is likely too difficult to move in a trade, with his salary, wouldn’t get fair value.

        I’d consider trading Bruce, Making 14 p/yr. Get a nice BP piece for him, which they desperately need, or package him for a better player. Have Dickerson/Cutch/Haseley all platoon.
        Harper Plays every 6 of 7 gm, Cutch plays 5 of every 7, Dickerson plays 5 of 7 and same for haseley. Likely cutch gets bumped to 6 of every 7, and haseley dropped to 4 of 7. Bench is strong on those off days too.

        It’s easy to rotate 4 OF, but put in 5, that makes one of them trade bait – if you want Dickerson, you likely need to trade Bruce to keep the players happy with time&money allocated . I’m fine with that but the power off the bench decreases. I still want Quinn on the team in a bench role, sub/defensive replacement. It will be hard to find him at bats if you platoon those 4.

        This needs to be managed correctly by the FO, so let’s hope they do, in the meantime will debate as Dickerson has been producing runs at an RBI per game … hard to pass up

      3. To date he has played 33 games for us and has 1 more ab than at Pitt. During that time he has twice the hrs that he had there and his average hasn’t suffered. Sounds like Pitt wasn’t using him to his fullest potential. Suppose we guarantee him 100 games if he is physically able? These guys, all of them, get run down in the course of a season. I think one way or another, we could make it work with him and Cutch.

        1. But my point….he may not want it that way, sharing or platooning……he may want to play and start all of the time…..140/150 games a year…500 ABs a year.
          How do you guarantee that for him?.

          1. Since when has Corey Dickerson established himself as an every day player in a market that no longer gives 30+ year olds those kind of guarantees?

            1. What are you talking about? The Phillies gave a 32 year old Cutch to be the starting LF for 3 years. Dickerson is 1 year younger with a .900 OPS. Michael Brantley got 2 years at age 32.

            2. Yes but that scenario has dramatically changed when the former MVP Cutch suffered an ACL. That’s not a paper cut. Am I going to let Dickerson walk because I’m chiseling Cutch’s name in the opening day lineup? No way, unless he’s demanding too much, which IMO he won’t find a willing team to beat the Phillies offer, if our GM is so inclined.

  50. Cutch and Dickerson…be interesting to watch how it all plays out..At this point,I like them both but neither is a center fielder. If Dickerson keeps hitting like this,as much as I don’t like it, The best thing for this team would be to trade Cutch and sign Dickerson to play left field.

    This is where a good GM makes the right decision for the team,it wouldn’t be the first time that a player lost his position on a team after he got injured. I’m sure some other team would gladly take him if his health checks out.

  51. You all make valid points. I just hate to see us lose who guy who has hit as well as he has. SSS, for sure, but he can hit. I would try my best to keep him. Haseley isn’t playing 162 games, they can all play a little 1B, and I bet we can get more than 100 games and over 400 ABS from Dickerson. And, I pay him as I would if he was playing every game. He says he loves it here. We have $, and that is a creative way to use it.

    1. Creativity. Does Klentak even know the word? My biggest concern is that, whatever options there are to somehow make it work, he will bargain for what’s behind door #3, which turns out to be a Canadian caribou…. wa-wa-waaa🥴…. when he could have settled for the SUV behind door #2. He tries to be clever, which he confuses with creativity.

  52. I am trying to put aside my disappointment about this year, and give Klentak credit for the moves I think he made that were very good. Bryce is Middleton, so Klentak gets nothing for that. But, Segura can play, Cutch was really good until he got hurt, although you could make a real valid argument that Brantley was a better option. JTR is terrific, the best C in Baseball and worthy of a LTC. He has been even better than I thought, and he started out slow. Dickerson was a terrific pick up and so was Jay Bruce. I even give him some credit for Smyly and Vargas and I want Smyly back. But, he needs to have the same “objectively excellent” off season again, this time with Pitching help. Both a SP, although Cole may be a John Middleton deal, and the BP. Cole, Nola, Arrieta, Smyly and Eflin are my SPs. VV to the BP. Pivetta back to LHV as a SP, trying to regain whatever he lost. There will be BP help available. We need to pay for the right ones.

  53. A lot of you have been posting what the Phillies can/can’t afford this offseason. I figured I would break down what the team’s 2020 roster may cost. I’ve mentioned a couple of times already, I expect John Middleton to disregard the luxury tax threshold. Next year’s cap is 208 million. He’s almost definitely going to spend over that. He’ll more than likely spend up to 228 million (the next penalty line). MLB uses AAV to calculate clubs’ salaries. With that said … here’s what I’ve got:

    Harper (25.4 million AAV)
    McCutchen (16.6 million AAV)
    Dickerson (13 million AAV *estimate)
    Bruce (13 million AAV)
    Haseley (550 thousand AAV)
    Quinn (550 thousand AAV)

    Realmuto (22 million AAV *estimate)
    Knapp (550 thousand AAV)

    Hoskins (600 thousand AAV)

    Kingery (4 million AAV)

    Segura (14 million AAV)

    Miller (3 million AAV *estimate)
    Bohm (550 thousand AAV)

    Arrieta (25 million AAV)
    Nola (11 million AAV)
    Smyly (10 million AAV *estimate)
    Wheeler (20 million AAV *estimate)
    Eflin (2.5 million AAV *estimate)

    Velasquez (4 million AAV *estimate)
    Pivetta (600 thousand AAV)
    Neris (4 million AAV *estimate)
    Alvarez (3 million AAV *estimate)
    Morgan (2 million AAV *estimate)
    Arano (550 thousand AAV)
    Garcia (550 thousand AAV)
    Sergio Romo (2.5 million *estimate)
    Will Smith (11 million *estimate)

    Robertson (11.5 million AAV)
    Odubel (6.1 million AAV – Phils will probably have to eat this money)
    Vargas (2 million buyout)
    Neshek (750 thousand buyout)
    Hughes (250 thousand buyout)

    40-man roster players in MiLB (2.2 million *estimate)
    Estimated player benefits to be paid (15 million)

    That adds up to ~230 million dollars with the addition of Zack Wheeler (on an estimated 5 year/100 million dollar deal), Sergio Romo (on an estimated one year/2.5 million dollar contract), and Will Smith (on an estimated 3 year/33 million dollar deal).
    This roster isn’t perfect. It probably needs another MIF’er and one less OF’er, but it gives you a rough idea of what Klentak is looking at.
    I think this illustrates how difficult it is going to be to re-sign Corey Dickerson, and still upgrade the pitching staff. You can substitute your own favorite FA for anyone I have listed to get a feel for what John Middleton would be on the hook for if you were GM.

        1. 8mark…how about this for numbers/math in baseball, which is built around stats and numbers….. the Mariners’ win-loss record from 1995-2019 now stands at, that is correct….1,995-2,019

    1. Not that 3 mil a whole lot, but I believe harpers AAV came in at 22mil AAV? Doesn’t that give klentak another BP arm or 2?

      The payroll allocation is not looking so great. This offense needs to rake, and the young guys need to step up or this “window” is going to close fast, Bryce or no Bryce

      1. No, Harper’s AAV is $25, 385, 000. So, Hinkie’s $25.4M is accurate.

        However, Jay Bruce is entering the 3rd year of a 3-year contract valued at $39M. So, his AAV would be $13M not $3M. (I’m going to edit Hinkie’s comment so that it reflects this one item, but not his conclusion based on the total. That may be correct if he just transcribed Bruce’s number incorrectly from his notes.)

        1. Jim … Seattle is paying (from what I read) 18 million of Bruce’s money over 2019 and 2020. He was traded to the Phillies on June 2. After taking all that into account, I came up with the Phillies responsibility at ~3 million AAV.
          It’s the same situation the Yankees are in with Giancarlo Stanton. I think Stanton’s contract has him at a 25 million AAV. However, the Marlins are responsible for 3 million per year, making Stanton count 22 million AAV against the NYY’s.
          I could be wrong, but from what I understand, this is how MLB calculates the salary cap.

        2. Ugh, well I wish I was right! I think the last years of his contract was what I was thinking. All that said, 25m+ AAV looks way better than the speculated 30milAVV-35milAAV from the offseason.

    2. That’s a big payroll not to have a single Cy Young Type Pitcher or MVP type position player.

      You want to win a WS you need impact players. You need 2-3 position players fighting it out for MVP honors. This is a good not great roster.

      We don’t have a single player top 20 in OPS you have to go all the way to 42 before you see a Phillie (Harper) while the Dodgers can boast 5 the Astros 4 and the Braves 3. The Nats only 2 but both top 10 Rendon and Soto.

      You can’t even say we make up for it in the aggregate as we rank only 17 in the league.

      1. right…which is exactly why I don’t think the FO can just throw money at pitching and solve the problem. Sure, a huge deal for Cole or two smaller deals for second-tier guys would push the rotation in the right direction, but some options need to come from within. From the pipeline. Well, from someone else’s pipeline but injected into our pipeline via creative maneuvering. Klentak needs to figure out how he can get a top-talent, MLB-ready arm from a team with tons of depth in that department–like Tampa Bay.

    3. I still don’t think the Phillies will exceed the luxury tax. Why exceed it if you don’t have to? And the Phillies have never exceeded it in their history. The Phillies are still a business.

  54. Thanks for the info Hinkle..That clarifies what a gold standard GM must do to fill out his roster, and does well consistently. (Yankees,Dodgers,etc. )
    Howie Roseman has been a master at it! Boy, to have a GM like that,stays within the salary cap,but still puts a good product on the field.

    And in football, if even a handful of their top players get injured for the year, that is why the Patriots run has been VERY IMPRESSIVE!

  55. So Felipe Vazquez and Kyle Crick got in a fight in the Pirates’ clubhouse.

    Crick says Vazquez started it and threw the first punch, and then he retaliated (and hurt his hand, requiring surgery). Vazquez didn’t comment. If he really did start a fight in the clubhouse, he just torpedoed his trade value. I know we’re hurting for relievers, but do we want anything to do with a player who will throw punches at his teammate? We had that before in Papelbon, and that didn’t work out so great for us.

    On the other hand, if the Phils think it’s an isolated incident (maybe Crick slept with his sister or something), he just became a much more affordable trade target…

    1. I’d let him knock out Jared Hughes, Mike Morin, and Nick Vincent before every game if Klentak could acquire him !!!

      1. Vazquez is a BEAST! Crick hit him in the jaw, and ended up breaking his hand. Meanwhile, Vazquez is still eating all foods with no problem.

      2. How would you feel if he, instead, pulled a Pap and went after Harper?

        You don’t always like all your teammates on a personal level. But they’re still your teammates and there’s lines you don’t cross. He crossed one. If he’ll cross one, he may very well cross others.

    2. According to Crick, it was nowhere near the first time that he and Vazquez had a disagreement.
      “I don’t know if anything really started it,” Crick said. “Things happen over the course of a season. It’s been a tough season. Frustration is pretty high. It got to a boiling point and it tipped over.”
      Boys will be boys

    3. This incident narrowed his market from teams who can’t afford him anyway to those who will still take the filthiest lefty closer in baseball, short of a domestic violence or murder wrap, and have the young talent to offer Pittsburgh. I seriously doubt his value has dwindled even a little unless there’s peripheral issues underlying the situation.

      1. It 100% has. He’s elite, so teams will still take a shot. But teams would also 100% rather he were accused of domestic violence than have him get into fights with teammates. Domestic violence has the public outrage factor, but at worst you only lose one player that way. Imagine if that had been, say, Josh Bell that he got into a fight with. Imagine if they both broke a hand. What if they were in a playoff race? Now they’re out TWO star players for the race and potentially the post season.

        That’s the extreme case, sure, but it’s not the most unlikely thing to happen. Papelbon went after Harper in DC. What if Vazquez comes here and it happens again, but this time he needs a DL stint?

        So teams will definitely still take the risk, because he’s elite. But it’s a serious concern, and any serious concern turns into a serious negotiating tool.

        1. Klentak did take on Jean Segura….who had that fight one year ago this month with Dee Gordon in Seattle.
          What is another boxer in the clubhouse!

  56. Hinkie, I think we get a team to pay some part of Doobie’s contract, and I think we trade Jay Bruce. But, I don’t have much of a quarrel with your supposition that Middleton needs to go past the $208 Million. Especially if the SP is Cole, not Wheeler. I am assuming that you are correct and there is no relief from Robertson’s $ even if there is Insurance. But, you also make the point that to add what we need, and what you are suggesting is a minimum of what we need, then we cannot pay Cesar what he will get.

    1. matt … at this point, the Phillies are underwater with that Doobie contract. They’d probably have to add a prospect to have another team take him in a deal. My guess is they just eat his money, and send him somewhere for a non-prospect. If Klentak can even get some J2 dollars in return, I’d be impressed.

      I’d estimate Cole’s AAV at ~27.5 million starting next season.

      IMO there’s no chance CeHe and Franco fit in 2020.

      And … catch (below) is right. Bruce is very cost effective/a keeper. Seattle is on the hook for most of his salary.

      1. I think Cesar fits just fine. They’re probably going to give Bohm a month or so at AAA unless he absolutely dominates in Spring Training and signs a deal like Kingery did.

        Cesar is better than all the stop gaps available. Depth is a beautiful thing to have and this team isn’t hurting for money on a 1 year deal. Might as well keep him and figure out some sort of time share between 2nd, 3rd, and CF for he, bohm, kingery, and Haseley.

            1. Though that, for Cesar, is not an enormous AAV for 2020, the team still has to look at a SP in free agency, JTR’s LTC and maybe something to offer to Dickerson if they plan on keeping him for 2020.
              So every little bit counts.

          1. I don’t see that as a problem. When he is healthy and producing id take him at that $$$ figure. There’s no chance they get a real asset for him in a trade.

  57. Sean Rodriguez gets the start again tonight over Franco after an 0 for 3 with 2 K’s last night. I can’t imagine that those pictures he has of Gabe can be worse than the ones of him on the beach which surfaced when he was first hired. Doesn’t this warrant a criminal investigation?

    1. Rodriguez is just getting his swing grooved!!

      I’m with you, I’ve never been a big Franco guy but it’s managerial malpractice to start Sean Rodriguez ahead of him (or Miller for that matter)

        1. You mean two nights ago when we lost because we scored only 1 run? When he went 0-2?

          Last night he pinch hit. Franco, Kingery, and Haseley started. Kingery had a very “meh” night, but the other two rewarded Kap for allowing them the pleasure of playing the game. Haseley especially. It’s weird to say, but I’m really proud of the kid for just keeping at it and doing his job despite the ridiculous mishandling of him. I hope he continues to improve and becomes a star (I currently think he’ll just be a good starter long term).

          If Kap keeps giving Rodriguez starts and plate appearances for the 21% chance he gets a hit or the 8% chance he gets an extra base hit, then I’ve got good news for him! Haseley and Franco both have better odds on both of those outcomes. And, you know, can play defense.

          By the way, can we all appreciate for a moment that since August 26th, Haseley has slashed .364/.440/.591 with a .426 wOBA and 164 wRC+? There’s luck in there, obviously, but that’s Mike Trout territory (both that wOBA and wRC+ would rank 3rd in baseball behind Trout and Yelich). That’s the guy you wanna sit? Really? I have no words…

          1. DanK..agree.
            IMO, Haseley has gone, so far, beyond my expectations….but it is still early in his career. So have to see what happens.
            He is however, a no-nonsense ‘player’ that is all business out there and he works at his craft hard.

  58. Realmuto has another arb year so he won’t be making 20+mill next year. Dickerson won a gold glove last year. Play him in CF throughout the spring. I’m sure he’d be at least average out there. Cutch gets left with plenty of rest. Haseley plays a lot as the #4. Move Bruce as he is limited to LF and very long in the tooth. Some team will pick him up in a trade at 3mill.

    1. An extension for JTR is anticipated at or near the end of the season. He’ll definitely make more than $20M in 2020.

      1. 8mark…correct.
        Just look at Rendon’s salary this year in his arb4….$18M.
        JTR plays at the top level of catchers at the highest positional value..

  59. catch, I like Jay Bruce. My scenario was based on an attempt to keep Dickerson while signing a SP making north of $25 Million. I would love to do it all, but I am not sure that is feasible. I was trading Bruce and Cesar somewhere for something useful. Of course, without Dickerson back, that is $13 million or so that we have to spend elsewhere. I am just not thrilled with giving up Dickerson. And, I am not spending $12 Million on Cesar. I just watched inconsistent hitting all season long, so I would like to keep him but I realize that is a long shot

    1. “The LTC for Realmuto would not kick in until 2021.”
      * This is usually not the case. The player forgoes his arbitration year(s) for the new contract. Aaron Nola signed his deal last winter, and avoided arbitration altogether. Scott Kingery did the same thing. If/when JT Realmuto signs a LTC this winter, that deal will almost certainly take effect for the 2020 season.

  60. Hernandez tends to sign for less and never gets to the arbitrator. He wants to be in Philly. I believe he tops out at about 9.5mill. It’s a lot but Moffo says he’s worth it. As for Dickerson, I think he really likes this team and that he loves hitting at CBP/

    1. It’s not like it’s entirely up to him anyway. Fine that he wants to stay, fine that perhaps he’ll settle for less. He’s not worth more than $5M a year. And his brand of playing and profile, including a significant lack of brains, are already replaceable from within the organization. And who will miss him at 2b, the only position he can play?

      1. Perhaps Klentak can package Cesar in a trade…..he tried last year, in a one-for-one trade, and did not get the value he wanted.

      2. Let’s say we open the season with 2B Kingery SS Segura 3B Bohm

        Who plays 2nd or SS every day if we lost Kingery or Segura? Some retread like Rodriguez or Miller?

        I’d give Hernandez a 1 year 10 million deal. It’s a 1 year deal and it makes your infield deeper. This team’s biggest problem was a lack of depth. Look at the Dodgers they have 4 every day players in the outfield (Peterson, Verdugo, Pollock, Bellinger) guys like Kike Rodriguez and Chris Taylor on their bench who would be starters on other teams.

        I’m not tradings Cesar unless we get a real asset of the Phillies. They don’t need to shed money. They’ll shed Franco’s $5 million.

        Kingery is also invaluable in his role. We have an every day player who plays an elite 2nd and CF and a good SS and 3B. I’d like them to add another player in that mold either in the OF or an Infielder.

        1. You don’t pay $10 million for a backup in case of injury. The Dodgers have depth in the OF because of the depth of their system, not because they are paying all of them big $$ to be bench players.

          Verdugo and Bellinger are both making less than $1m. Taylor $3.5m and Peterson $5 m.

          There entire Dodgers OF costs less than the Phillies are paying Harper in 2019…

          1. He’s not a back up. Kingery would be the back up. I think the value he provides as an everyday player at potentially 7 different positions is more valuable than locking him in to one set spot. If I had to give him everyday at bats anywhere next year after Bohm arrives it would be in CF.

            1. They didn’t sign Kingery to a long-term contract to be a perpetual fill in player. He was signed to be an everyday player and is being paid like one.

            2. Thank you, 3up. I promise to stop the anti-Cesar campaign if these Cesarites will have mercy on me with their ‘let’s keep him one more freakin’ year’s. Please can we move on?!?! He’s only a remnant of all these water treading rebuild years. Plus he’s not worth whatever the arb process gets him.

            3. 8mark…..I am with yuo, Kingery needs to be the 2nd basemen period.
              He should be a core piece for the future
              But as long as Gabe is calling the shots…forgetaboutit.
              He will use him all over the field.

  61. 8mark – In that case maybe they non tender him and try to sign him (if they want him back) for the 5mill you suggest. I think he gets more than that on the open market.

    1. Cesar does not hit the open market until 2021…arb 4 is 2020.
      And there is no way he does not get at a minimum $8M….he already is at $7.7M for 2019 on arb 3…they normally will not reduce the offer in jhis last year after he has started the whole season and has good metrics compared to other MLB second basemen.

  62. At this point, I would play Kingery at 2b and Franco at 3b. Bottom line is we need power to score runs. Cesar and Sean Rod don’t provide it. It’s a contradiction to Kapler’s philosophy that he doesn’t. Not that he hasn’t contradicted himself many times already.

    1. Now could someone PLEASE tell me why Kapler is batting Franco 9th when he cleared the pitcher’s spot in the order with a pinch hitter and the pitcher’s spot becomes the 8th?? So he’ll need to pinch hit for the pitcher again before Franco bats. I’m confounded by this manager. Again.

    2. 8 mark you really sound like my wife same thing over and over again,. Cesar cant do this, its his fault they lost, cause of power, How about the whole team stinks with runners in scoring positon. OMG let it go about everything is Cesar fault, We get it you don’t like him,

  63. Announced attendance tonight was below 24,000 – the lowest home attendance at home this season. That speaks volumes.

  64. Dallas K saying the Phillies didn’t even call him. Really? The pitching staff we have and we couldn’t place a call? Wow!

    1. “If you don’t come calling, what is there for me to be mad about? I think a lot of those guys over there in that [Phillies] front office are second guessing themselves. I would too.”
      – Dallas Keuchel after last night’s Braves win

    2. That non move doesn’t look good at all right now, does it? There really is no way to explain this away gracefully, if you’re in the Phillies FO. Unless Middleton said “No” … that’s a lot of egg on their faces

      The analytics must’ve said he was the worst CY pitcher left on the FA market, so they passed due to their depth of SP… that’s the season, that and the inability to beat bad teams … see record vs marlins. 162 games, and those Vs the marlins is what’s sealed it.

  65. Can someone please tell me why Gabe Kapler can’t find any at bats for Deivy Grullon? Not even a Pinch hit at bat in a blow out?

  66. I thought about it some more, The phillies are the oldest one name, one city team in baseball. The reason they only have two world titles is Cesars fault. The reason they have a bad farm system is Cesars fault. The reason the bullpen is bad Is Cesars fault. The reason kape cant manages is Cesars fault. All hail Cesar he is the only thing stopping us from winning. according to 8 mark amazing

    1. rocco…….getting closer to the Philly As…only three championships to go to tie them up…and they now have only been gone 65 years.
      Hang in there….we are catching up.

  67. Didn’t even call Keuchel?? Man,their analytics model must be junk! Now I understand why Gabe makes the decisions that he does… They have a piece of junk analytics model! It’s time for them to upgrade to a BMW !

    Hmmm….playing 34 year old Rodriguez instead of Franco,many other decisions,moves, I can understand it better now.

    No wonder that they may all be back next year,the analytics model is wrong and needs to be upgraded!

    1. Not sure their model is junk……think it may be in their back pocket where the wallet is tucked away.
      Not just Keuchel in June….Moustakas or Donaldson were there for the taking in the off-season on one year deals. They passed.

      But not surprising…..same group passed on Morton prior to the 2017 season..

  68. Segura’s error absolutely killed Eflin. He was pitching so well to that point. The blunder forced him into many more pitches and just flat out changed the complexion of the game.

  69. Not saying I told ya so, but . . . this winter I said the Phillies should sign Keuchel and Donaldson on one year deals. If that had happened, Kingery could have played second, we would have had a real 2/3 starter and we’d probably in the lead for the second WC spot. Some of the Phillies’ issues can be attributed to bad luck, but many of the issues can be attributed to poor talent evaluation, both inside and outside the organization.

    Now, for the first time since the MacPhail/Klentak era began, I think our front office guys are on a very short leash, last year’s “objectively excellent” (cough, cough) offseason notwithstanding. Our front office has not been horrible – we’ve rebuilt enough to be in the WC hunt, but they have been significantly outpaced by the better front offices. Believe me, Middleton is taking notice. He’s loyal to a point but he’s not stupid.

    1. I will also say again that there’s a good chance Donaldson really only wanted to sign with the Braves because he’s from the south and was a big Braves fan as a kid. But Keuchel was clearly there for the taking.

      1. And Moustakas and Boras would have sealed the deal easily with Middleton after the Harper signing.
        I like Maikel, but lets face it….MacPhail all but said it last October….maybe Maikel would have found his niche in another place or words to that effect….and what happened…they bring him back!

  70. Tac3, there is no chance that Middleton said no to Keuchel. This was a Mac/Klentak decision. A poor one, but their Pitching decisions are mostly poor. The Braves also got Melancon, just for $, and Martin and Greene for very little. We were not interested in any more than dumpster diving. Which FO did a better job? Which farm system is better? Same answer. The FO felt they did enough in their “excellent” off season. They will all be back with a demand from Middleton that we make the Playoffs. Let’s see what they do this off season. And rocco, I know you like Cesar, and no one dislikes him. But, he is going to be making $12 Million, and he is simply mediocre defensively and ok offensively. Kingery belongs at 2B. He will provide elite defense and has way more power. Cesar is about 20th on my list of reasons this team has failed, if he’s even that high. But, going forward, the best baseball decision is to move on from him.

    1. I am not saying they should keep Cesar at second next year, but they are going to need someone other than Kingery to play second to start the year at the very least because it’s unclear when Bohm might be ready and we don’t want Kingery at second with some bum at third. So they need to look at Cesar and look at the second base market and see what the best solution is going to be. An alternative would be to sign Moustakas, but then you’ve really pushed back Bohm a full year which is also not ideal.

      1. Ironically….they could let Cesar go and sign his best friend for the utility role that Sean Rod has been doing… poorly mind you.
        Sign Freddy G for that $12 or so million AAV….plays most everywhere well.

          1. Yeah…I see that… $5.5 million club option for 2020 with a $1 million buyout they be foolish to let him go…….he probably would not cost more than $7 or 8M if he were out in free agency.

        1. I wish that was our greatest need. We need….
          a new team president,
          a new GM,
          new scouts,
          new development personnel,
          a new field manager and coaching staff,
          a new third baseman until Bohm arrives,
          and an entirely new major league pitching staff minus Nola.

  71. catch, that is an awful lot to pay Cesar to play 2B so Kingery can play 3B for the couple of months that we think Bohm needs in LHV. It works if we can then trade Cesar. But, I don’t see that happening. If he brings anything back, it will be in the off season. It is an issue, no doubt, but as much as I don’t care how much money we spend, I know it is not infinite and a TOR takes precedent. I would rather have Brad Miller start at 3B then lose out on a SP because we are paying Cesar too much.

    1. I didn’t say they should play Cesar – I said they need to scan the market and get the best deal and have someone other than Kingery play second to start the year – it might be Cesar or it might be someone else. Brad Miller is nice in theory and I like him, but I don’t think he has the defensive chops to handle third – he’s kind of an error machine there so he’s not an option as a starter in my view – not even for two months.

  72. Let’s review.

    We can’t win series against bad teams.

    The dearth of starting pitching was utterly ignored.

    There is no apparent sense of urgency within the organization, based on the owner’s absence, the team president’s dour state of the club comments, and the GM’s non-action in season.

    The attendance reached a season low on Sept 11 vs the best team in the division while only 2 games within a wild card berth.

    The minor league system went from top 5 to bottom 5 within a calendar year.

    Even the radio broadcast team is regularly calling into question the manager’s lineup and ingame decisions.

    I could go on but I have to get to work….

  73. 8mark, you forgot to add that we are running them all back next year to try again. This time it will be on MacPhail’s timetable to win. A whole different approach, mind you, we will now get to see how good a team President he is when he actually cares about winning!.

    1. Worst of all, the president of Cesar’s fan club thinks I’m blaming him for everything. Anybody know I can make it up to such a sensitive guy?

  74. I get that we had to move Santana but the crowd was gaga over the Segura trade. In a vacuum I’m not impressed not for the money. Ranked 16th in the league in OPS.

    Walk it back which is to say another move compelled but a bad decision that Rhys could play LF.

    This is just a bad FO admit it…

  75. The Phillies reportedly showed interest in left-hander Dallas Keuchel during his long stay in free agency, but the 31-year-old suggested Wednesday that wasn’t the case. “If you don’t come calling, what is there for me to be mad about? I think a lot of those guys over there in that front office are second-guessing themselves. I would too,” Keuchel said to Gabriel Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other reporters. He made those comments after stymieing the Phillies with six innings of one-run ball in a 3-1 victory for the Braves.

  76. According to Corey Seidman, the Phillies record in their last:
    2 games, 1-1
    4 games, 2-2
    6 games, 3-3
    10 games, 5-5
    12 games, 6-6
    14 games, 7-7
    16 games, 8-8
    18 games, 9-9
    20 games, 10-10
    22 games, 11-11
    24 games, 12-12

    That’s remarkable. Who says this team hasn’t been consistent? Painfully so….

    1. That’s amazing. They are the epitome of a mediocre team. Like I said before, the front office guys are definitely on the hot seat now and they should be.

      1. Being 11th in team payroll and being mediocre is not a great place to be. The Braves are 14th and dominating the NL East, the Dodgers are 4th and dominating the NL.

        Houston is 6th and dominating the AL.

        The team I most admire right now is the D-Backs. 21st in payroll flush with good young prospects and money to make some moves this off season.

      2. I’d like to think if Cutch did not go out on June 3rd…..instead of their record being 11-13 for June after he went out …it would be reversed
        They did their June swoon by not being able to overcome his loss from the top of the lineup.

  77. Paul Goldschmidt, their best player, traded, Patrick Corbin, their 2d best SP, and miles ahead of whoever you want to call our 2d best SP, lost in FA. Zach Greinke, their best SP traded, and here they are, right with us. If that is not an indictment of the organization, and if a National discussion of the team emphasizes the FO “ambivalence”, then I don’t know how John Middleton can’t demand significant changes, if not in his Management team making the moves, then the philosophy that Management team is using.

    1. Matt I have a slight issue with the syntax in your statement “then I don’t know how John Middleton can’t demand significant changes”

      Can’t just means you won’t. JM is the managing partner he doesn’t need to demand anything he just needs to make it happen.

      If he’s not coming to the conclusion these aren’t the right men for the job we’re in a heap pile of you know what. Wishing won’t make it so. No shame in making mistakes only shame is hanging onto them thinking they will get better.

    2. I think the hardest decision that this brass has made was whether to include Sixto in the JTR trade. I was impressed. However, there seems to be an apprehension when it comes to making aggressive, out of the box, moves. Klentak is so buttoned down conservative that it’s frustrating waiting for him to plod along in the name of patience. He’s largely been a miser who discovered the cupboard is not nearly as stocked as he thought. He nickels and dimes to find a Bryce and a Dickerson. Good for him. But the big boy moves still elude him. There also appears to be a paradox on either side of him – MacPhail the wet blanket and Middleton the money mogul who wants to push forward, like an angel on one shoulder and a demon on the other. Then there’s Gabe, his co-conspirator, whispering who he likes and doesn’t like. Klentak may be conflicted by all 3 sides, which has created the ‘ambivalent’ front office. Everybody wants something. But everybody can’t. It’s fixable IF and only IF the owner recognizes this dilemma which has now hamstrung the organization.

      1. Serious question. It’s been 5 years! Where and how are we better than the 5 years which preceded Klentak?

        And keep in mind he has had more analytics at his disposal than at any other time in this clubs history.

        1. DMAR…we’re getting close…on the cusp… just a few more pieces.
          Maybe a Cole signing…a Bohm coming on like Alonso….a quality pen arm who stays healthy for 60 games..
          Could be happening.

          1. I’m not a pessimistic person by nature Romus. But the realist in me says we are not close at all. I believe in Bohm and Haseley as everyday players but we need them to be impact players. That remains to be seen and they both need time to prove what they can be.

            I believe Spencer Howard will be an impact player and soon.

            We needed Harper to be his MVP year and it just didn’t transpire. Sure it could happen in the next 4-5 years of his deal. Maybe they will ban the shift. Until then he is just a very good player and passed by from the likes of Bellinger and Yelich and probably a few others. Again 42 in OPS.

            We have the best catcher in baseball but as good as he is he isn’t MVP caliber and he will cost big money.

            The Braves have set themselves up well for the near and long term. Imagine a scenario where they go hard after Rendon or Springer.

            Cole is a west coast guy and yeah he is going to go the high bidder route but there will be enough teams out west including the Astro’s that will appeal to him more than Philly. That’s just my opinion. I don’t count out my team crush the D-Backs either. They did it for Greinke I can see them doing it for Gerritt.

            And last but not least what happened to my favorite Phillie Rhys Hoskins. This should have been his year to take off with the addition of Harper.

            And that’s before we even talk about all the pieces that can’t coexist on the roster: Herrera, Franco, Hernandez and whomever else I might be missing.

            1. DMAR….putting it that way, now I am depressed.
              Worse than rocco.
              Can you still walk up the Walt Whitman?

      2. The problem wasn’t this year’s trades or in-season moves – they were mostly very good (Realmuto is a star, Harper’s been fine in an off year and Segura and Cutch are exactly what we thought they would be – and getting Smyly, Bruce and Dickerson has been super). The problem has been drafting talent and identifying under-market talent and developing the talent we have – we are way behind the curve in these areas.

        1. Fellas I’m sorry for being the debbie downer yesterday lol…

          If I have anything to post today I’ll try to keep it positive.

        2. Catch I said I would keep it positive today but regarding Realmuto I’ll defer to V1again’s point about Grandal…

          If you organically end up with the best catcher in baseball great but if you have to spend a lot for it then it usually doesn’t end up well. Catchers get banged up and generally have shorter offensive life spans than most position players.

          1. There is a good argument to be had on this trade, it is hindsight but, let’s dive in … let’s frame the conversation around, what was best for the Phillies overall

            The trade happened, they got what they expected out of Realmuto, more so in the second half, and is producing in sept.

            All that said, this team needs pitching. Next year the Phillies likelybcouldve plugged Sixto and Howard into the rotation, which would look really nice right about now. That’s allows you to technically move Pivetta and VV to the pen (lol not like you can’t now, anyways)

            Nola, Arrietta, Sixto,Howard, Efflin and or a bigbFA SP signing.

            The offense is minus Realmuto, with either Alfaro,Knapp, or Grullon.

            Which team is better off in a 3 year window? Or 4+?

            Catching is the one area this team has been able
            To produce, so this trade will have eyes on it for awhile. The Giles trade looked great at first, so I’m hoping the FOs next biggest trade keeps working.

            The payroll allocation to Realmuto is what will turn the heat up. Not everyone can make over 20+mil

          2. Look, I agree that Grandal and Sixto would have been better than Realmuto and no Sixto. I also agree that the window for catchers is shorter. That said it’s sort of hard to kill them for acquiring a guy who has been among the top 15 players in WAR in all of baseball, so I won’t. That said, what you mention is important because it shows Middleton paid a premium to move up the supposed window of contention by a year or two – if you’re not careful overly aggressive moves like this can kill a rebuild in its tracks. Notice how the Braves, unlike the Phillies, positioned themselves so their rebuild did not involve departing with top talents. Again, the Realmuto trade was a good one even if they need to extend him after next year, but they are not swimming with elite prospect so they need to be very, very careful.

            1. Don’t agree that Grandal and Sixto would have been better. Realmuto is a superior player to Grandal and costs less.

              Maybe Sixto turns out to be a major league star and then you can argue this premise but as of this moment, they are better off with Realmuto…

            2. And I’ll add that he’s been the only Phillie hitter in the last 6 or 7 years that has performed at a star level.

  78. DMAR, my problem was trying to express my believe that the Front Office will be back, but I hope Middleton forces them to approach things differently, ie, not losing out on the Top SP on the market over an extra year, or disregarding SP altogether, similarly to how he brought Cholly back to be the Hitting Coach. I realize he can just fire the whole crew, but I think he gives them another year.

  79. catch, Kingery can play, and if he plays 2B, with what I believe his D to be, he will be an All Star caliber player. I believe Rhys can be much better, We need Haseley or Bohm, or both, to be impact players.And there is Stott and Spencer coming. So, we didn’t totally screw up drafting guys. And, yes, the moves they made were good ones. But, to me the big problem was the failure to see that a SP upgrade was needed, and that is really inexcusable, compounded by failing to get Keuchel when he was free. Had they done that, they would be the WC team, and these others teams would be fighting for the 2d one. Even with the BP being decimated by injuries and the inconsistent offense. And, sure, I would like an Acuna or a Tatis or someone like that, but we can still close that gap with the Braves with Pitching.

  80. Just so it doesn’t get lost in a different conversation and to give the kid the recognition he deserves;

    Since August 26th, Haseley has slashed .364/.440/.591 with a .426 wOBA and 164 wRC+. That wOBA and wRC+ would rank 3rd in baseball behind Trout and Yelich.

    Luck is certainly a factor, but he deserves every good thing that happens with how hard he reportedly works. Good job, Adam.

    1. His overall BABIP is not excessive, hovering around his OBP, and would not show much regression @ .336…..not sure what it has been over his last 50 PAs, but assume higher than .336.

      1. Over his past 50 PAs (which is, coincidentally, the exact number he’s had since 8/26. Did you know that, or just coincidence?) he has a .400 BABIP.

        But you’re right; his season BABIP isn’t much higher than we can reasonably expect for his career. His batted ball profile is pretty good, too. More GBs than you’d like to see 55.4% (which is what has suppressed his power, mostly), but excellent line drive numbers (23.1%, which is just behind Harper’s 23.7% and would put him tied for 39th in baseball). Definitely a lot of encouraging signs for a rookie.

        1. Yeah…that .400 BABIP probably is not sustainable over the long term…but if he hovers in the 320/330 range it would be a truer indication of his hit tool

          But I remember he did have a propensity to hit more GBs when coming out of VA… CLW they modified his swing a bit to try to increase lift.

          The LD rate is very encouraging and if you go by his peripheral K (16%) and BB (8%) rates out of the minors that is also encouraging with a single digit delta
          He seems to be able to get his bat on the ball and I also assume he will get stronger.
          I am hesitant if making any comparisons anymore since they seem to backfire for me…..but he may be the closest hitter we have to Chase U….then again I thought Cody Asche would be that guy 5 years ago.

          His ability in the OF to track fly balls or for that matter line drives also is simply amazing . When he came out of VA scouts graded him in the field at ….Run: 55 Arm: 50 Field: 55

          Hopefully he only gets better .

  81. Hasaley… There is your good cost-controlled young player that we need, to have a playoff-contending team next year. He also had a good diving catch last night, plus 2 walks.
    I bet he is getting more confident every day that he can play in the bigs since he is a hard worker and has good all-around tools, I believe that he will be a far better player that people predicted.

    Now..if only Gabe would let him play EVERY inning for the rest of this year.

    1. I loved Haseley from the get. I believed in what I saw with him. The question is not whether or not he is an MLB player because he is. The question is how good of an MLB player can he be.

      1. What I think we are starting to see is that Haseley is an elite or near-elite outfielder. I thought he might be okay, but he’s far, far better than that. He’s often a game changer out there. That fielding ability and a growing hitting ability with decent power mean that his ceiling is quite a bit higher than projected. He might have the ceiling of a solid first division regular and occasional all-star. Unless Moniak develops really serious power and offensive skills (doubtful but still possible), I think only one of Moniak and Haseley will stay on the team and right now, my money’s on Haseley. It really looks like this dude can play.

        1. After having first thought that Moniak’s ceiling is/was higher than Haseley’s, and granted it’s been a SSS, I agree – I’m impressed with his poise and athleticism. He kind of reminds me of that triathlete profile – not particularly big bodied or imposing, but rock solid, agile, and proficient. And as a rookie nonetheless. I won’t go Yelich quite yet. But there’s a mold here that’s to dream on. Let’s hope Kapler and crew don’t f*** him up.

          1. Haseley, IMO, has to be the penciled in CFer to start 2020…his job to lose out of ST….he will have had over 200 MLB PAs after this season, so it is his time
            It is time to put the future core on the field….Phillies circa 2006.
            And hopefully a more thoughtful and long-range visionary manager to guide them.

            1. Romus, his recent success and projection for 2020 cause me to rethink a Dickerson re-signing. Neither he nor Cutch figure to be permanent CF options anyway, but Haseley can play ANY outfield position very well. That’s huge to the composition of the OF. A very encouraging development, perhaps the biggest to close 2019.

    2. It maybe a blip, but with the way the payroll is trending, you almost certainly have to roll the dice that he will be as good or better than a veteran player.

      OF Decision will need to come down to who to keep, Bruce or Try to sign Dickerson. Herrera is gone imo.

      I don’t see Cole coming to philly. This team is not close enough imo for an ACE to sign here. Money talks, but that’s a given no matter where he goes.

  82. To get the Phils into the postseason, next year, regardless of what happens this year, I see their path through a beef’d up offense and a shut down bullpen. The SP will still be the weak point, just not as weak.

    Too many holes in the rotation, to fill in one offseason, along with what is available
    Nola,Wheeler, Arrietta, Smyly, and Efflin don’t excite me.

    I don’t see a player of Cole’s caliber coming here to bail the water. Timing of the teams rebuild is not right, from where I stand. I think he’s more likely to go play with trout if he’s not going to a
    Direct contender. Pray he doesn’t go to Atl.

  83. Wheeler is a big upgrade over Vinny, however, Cole is by far my first choice, and we have to make him turn down a monster contract to go somewhere else. Haesley, as catch said, is a really good defensive OF. He is much better than what I thought, and he should be the starter in CF, so I definitely agree with Romus.

  84. Two more Phillies scouting positions were opened when national cross checker Bill Moore was let go and northern California scout Joey Davis bolted to the Braves organization.

    On another front (speaking of the Braves), Snitker complained to the media about Neris’ stalling tactics when called in from the bullpen. He also did it in the Mets series last weekend. Anyone know what’s with the delay? Not a good look for the manager. Intentional? Miscommunication?

    1. Guessing it’s because Neris is not ready. Saw in last nights game Gabe went to the bullpen phone, hung-up with a disgusted look on his face, and then made a signal to Realmuto to go talk to the pitcher.

      Once the umpire broke up the conversation, Kapler then went out to make the change.

  85. Forget G. Cole! Clay Buchholz is back and available next year. If that doesn’t work, bring back Jerome Williams.

    On a serious note, I’ve been on the Haseley train since day one. Always said/wrote that he’d be a solid major leaguer.

    I see him in CF next year but not against all lefties. Then, Kingery will play there leaving a left handed backup at 3B.

    You know what that means? Moffo’s Uncle Cesar will man 2B for (at least) one more season.
    Got to admit, the guy hits.

  86. I posted that I thought Haseley was being undervalued on this thread a couple weeks ago. I am glad that he has continued to adjust to big league pitching and others are coming around on him now as well. I hope that he continues to produce with his bat and glove for the duration of the season’s remainder.

    I see no reason why centerfield should not be his job to lose next season. A young, cheap, talented player with upside is exactly what this team needs right now.

    1. You can add Haseley to the future core of this team, along with JTR (pending his likely extension), Harper, Kingery, Nola, and perhaps Hoskins, whose apparent lack of confidence is concerning, IMO. I hate to think he’s so mentally absorbed by the current regime’s philosophy of taking mega pitches that his 2 month slump has him in a tizzy. And I wonder how receptive to the advice of the less cerebral Charlie Manuel.

      1. Hoskins may be just experiencing one of those anomaly down periods that players have in their careers..
        A guy like Trout do not experience it….but most MLB players do, in fact Harper is a prime example, and probably will eventually talk to him about how you go thru it….may have already.
        Remember Pat Burrell went thru something similar 15 years ago or so.

  87. Just hanging out here on a slow day both at work and in baseball news. Thinking about what John Middleton might do in the event/likelihood that the Phillies do not reach the 2019 postseason. Either on the day after elimination or very soon after the season’s final game, Middleton may announce the following…

    My speculation is that while not everyone gets the ax, there would be a restructuring of sorts in the club’s leadership.

    First, I think Andy MacPhail would agree to step aside as president to take on an advisory role. Call it a graceful landing.

    The owner seems impressed with Matt Klentak despite many of our reservations. It wouldn’t surprise me if he were to make the Ivy Leaguer the Phillies president of baseball operations ONLY – a different and more specific title than that which MacPhail held rather ignominiously.

    I think that Josh Bonifay is highly regarded as a Houston bred executive who’s been serving as farm director, bumping Joe Jordan last year. I see him taking over as GM under Klentak. This way, Middleton will know that the player personnel department won’t be run unilaterally. So Klentak won’t be left to figure things out on his own. Call it a co-lateral move.

    Finally, I really think Gabe Kapler and many of his coaching staff will be shown the door, not for the team’s W/L record and falling short of expectations again this season, but due mainly to the public relations disaster the club has suffered since Kapler began his managerial career here. Dusty Wathan has served as a good soldier and may be the interim skipper in the closing days of the season. He may also be considered among the candidates to permanently fill the opening, but that will be addressed later through the interview process by both Klentak and Bonifay, with Middleton acting as the tiebreaker, so to speak.

  88. Senzel, Yelich, name your own on the IL with season ending injuries and appointments with the surgeons on the off season. Athletes get injured. If you invest big money in one of them and they come up lame or incapacitated that is a part of the crapshoot.

    This is why I don’t understand the discussion today on JTR vs. Sixto etc. Yes, catchers are more inclined to get injured, but anyone on the field of play is eligible for a season or career ending injury. Take JTR’s contribution for the year away and replace it with an average or less ML catcher and we aren’t even close to being in the playoffs. Team MVP Harper, JT or Nola.

  89. Dickerson, Haseley, and Harper should be outfield next year. Cutch and Quinn as back-ups and Bruce packaged with a trade. Kingery at 3B, Hernandez at 2B, and Hoskins of 1B. If Bohm develops at AAA, perhaps by June he is 3B, Kingery at 2B, and Hernandez as trade chip. I see no big trade to complete that line-up. Of course Dickerson and JT should be offered lengthy contracts. After that resources need to be focused on pitching and the development and scouting departments. I do not see the need for a new GM to wave a magic wand.

    1. Jay Bruce is a valuable role player in that he costs us relatively little. However, I would not be opposed to the GM (whoever he may be) getting creative in solidifying the outfield situation by trading him for bullpen help. The sticking point is that Haseley may figure to be by far the most viable option for CF, so how is LF handled. I don’t trust Kapler to handle it well at all if he’s given too many options. If the Phillies can secure Dickerson to a reasonable contract, say 3/$40M, McCutchen could be dealt for a couple decent prospects if we helped pay down his salary. Klentak (or whoever) can’t botch it up, however. An all left handed hitting starting OF would offset the primarily right handed hitting infield and JTR.

      As for the luxury tax threshold, I see it this way – while Middleton like any businessman isn’t eager to overpay for anything, there are two things to consider. First, the urgency to legitimately contend now should motivate him to break the threshold if necessary, and secondly, with Atlanta, Washington and perhaps even the Mets in better position to be playoff relevant over the next 5 to 8 years, can the Phillies really wait until they’re better positioned in terms of system depth without spending more money now? I don’t think so.

      1. 8mark…have noticed one ting about Klentak in almost all his trades…when it comes to contract monies being negotiated, he tends not to pick up any of any players’ remaining contract.
        It is as if, saving the millions of dollars makes the trade more favorable to the Phillies side of the negotiations.
        Its not my money so I shouldn’t complain.

        Anyways, has there been one trade he has made so far that the Phillies picked up a portion of any contract?
        I can’t recall any but if there were, I’d like to know.

        1. Agree with Romus. My biggest complaint with Matt Klentak was/is that even when the Phillies were tanking (had one of the lowest payrolls in MLB), he never took advantage of the situation to acquire bad contracts for prospects and/or draft picks.

          I’ve said this dozens of times this season … even though Gabe Kapler takes most of the abuse for the Phillies performance, I’ve ranked John Malee, injuries, Matt Klentak, and Chris Young as more responsible. They’ve already fired Malee. Injuries are just a matter of bad luck. And, Chris Young will be replaced in another couple of weeks. Klentak isn’t going anywhere even though he currently has Kapler in a position to rely on a bullpen full of pitchers who throw mostly 89-91 MPH. The fact that Gabe still has this team just 2.5 GB the WC is miraculous.
          For me, Matt Klentak has never been aggressive enough. While he was playing it safe during the Phillies rebuilding years, the Braves and the Padres were buying draft picks.

          1. He was plenty aggressive this off season and his in season moves were pretty darn good. If he gets much more “aggressive” we are going to have like a 2 year window of success and then we can suck again for 5 years. No thanks. This is about talent selection and development, especially with pitchers.

            1. But I guess it depends on what you mean by being aggressive. When most people say that they mean go make trades of prospects for established players. The Phillies have some capacity to do that but the best use of good young players is on your own roster. Teams that get better at the expense of future cost-controlled stars usually don’t stay good for very long and Middleton was dangerously close last offseason to sacrificing the future for the present.

              But I do agree they should be aggressive in pursuing better draft picks and in trading for young talent. The idea that good organizations always trade for stars is typically false. Most of their best moves are often for underappreciated young players with upside or cheaper older players who are still effective. The Yankees specialize in both types of players.

            2. Agree. There’s a difference between being aggressive “splashy” and being aggressive “shrewd”.

            3. Klentak had a good offseason. The Realmuto and Segura trades were excellent. He probably overpaid (slightly) for McCutchen, but that was another good move. He gets credit for the leg work on Harper, but Middleton was the driving force and closer on that deal.
              In season, he gets mixed reviews. The Dickerson trade was larceny. His additions of Vargas and Smyley were helpful. However, he gets an “F” for the disaster that is the Phillies bullpen. That pen was down Robertson, Ser-Ant’ny, Hunter, Neshek, and Morgan. His decision to supplement with bargain bin additions/freebies/other teams’ castoffs is (IMO) the main reason this club has no real chance to make the playoffs.

              Most importantly (and this is the point I was particularly trying to make in my prior post), Klentak hasn’t done enough to maintain the farm system. Over the last five drafts, no franchise has made fewer top three round picks than the Phillies (see below). He wasted two high picks on (1 year of) Carlos Santana and the bloated overpay of Jake Arrieta. At the same time, while he was sitting on one of the most meager payrolls in MLB, Klentak never thought to eat another team’s bad money for a draft pick (or prospects). That’ to me is either lack of aggressiveness or lack of “out of the box” thinking.

              Top 3 Round Draft Picks over the last 5 years:

              Phillies 12
              DBacks 23
              Braves 19
              Orioles 19
              Red Sox 14
              Cubs 15
              White Sox 14
              Reds 19
              Indians 19
              Rockies 20
              Tigers 14
              Astros 19
              Royals 20
              Angels 15
              Dodgers 18
              Marlins 17
              Brewers 18
              Twins 18
              Mets 15
              Yankees 17
              A’s 18
              Pirates 21
              Padres 20
              Giants 15
              Mariners 16
              Cardinals 18
              Rays 22
              Rangers 17
              Blue Jays 16
              Nationals 15

              BTW … this is another reason why I have defended Johnny Almaraz when many on here have burried him.

            4. … oh, … and another chance for an “out of the box” move went by the wayside last winter when Matt Klentak passed on signing Garrett Richards (who was not carrying a QO) of a TJ rehab deal. How nice would it be to have Richards penciled in for the 2020 rotation. Now, it looks like Klentak is going to have to sign another FA starter this winter. All the good ones are going to be tagged, meaning the Phillies will lose another 2nd round pick next June. BTW … the 2020 draft is already being graded as one of best in the past 10 years.
              So … while Klentak hasn’t wasted prospects for “win now” moves, he has absolutely damaged this club’s future by mis-valuing draft picks.

            5. Probably would be more accurate to say … Klentak has absolutely damaged this club’s future by wasting the opportunity to make early draft picks.

            6. Hinkie…i could not have posted it better.
              I know people are probably tired of hearing us harp on the wasted opportunities and his lack of creativity when presented to him…that we see….that would strengthen the pipeline of the farm at the turn- on valve….but I find it frustrating.

              Next up …..whether or not the international draft becomes a reality in 2020….will he make any moves to obtain better positioning!

            7. Romus … You have also been outspoken about Klentak’s lack of aggressive “out of the box” moves. He is very vanilla. The best GM’s (in all sports) are forward thinkers. They turn over all stones to find an edge. That’s not Matt Klentak.
              In the past, I had given him high marks for being patient, and not dealing prospects for “win now” moves. However, at the same time, I/we have complained about his unwillingness to use John Middleton’s money to buy bad contracts/draft picks.

            8. Good posts, Hinkie. Leave it to Sam to criticize the GM for not getting value at the margins.

              Coming into this season most pundits didn’t think the Phillies were a playoff team. They made big offseason improvements but had overachieved the year before. The starting rotation was badly misjudged. End result is that it’s not a shock that the team needs more reinforcements to really compete next year, but there are more holes to fill than we hoped.

              I think Klentak has this coming offseason to really get things together but if next season doesn’t bring results he’ll be gone. I’m not sure about Gabe; that should really depend on the climate inside the locker room. The personnel shortcomings aren’t his fault. Some guys did underachieve and maybe you can pin that on him.

            9. All of these comments go to the same underlying general theme. The Phillies did not do their rebuild nearly as well as the Braves did – something many of us pointed out very loudly as it was going on. Much of this can be attributed to Klentak and MacPhail, but Middleton is politely impatient and he was urging them to acquire FA talent, so he shares some (and perhaps even a large share) of the blame.

              The problem isn’t that they haven’t done some things well (of course they have – they went from being a cellar dweller to a wild card contender – that means the team has gotten a lot better), but that they really haven’t done an excellent job in enough areas and, as a result, they have neither an excellent team (it’s mediocre), nor an excellent payroll situation (the days of the endless pot of money are drawing near – they are already a high payroll team), nor an excellent farm system (it’s good-ish). But they do have some young talent and the worst thing they can do is panic and go all in without any regard for the future. If they do that, it will be 2024 or 2025 and we’ll be looking at another 4 year rebuild. Please. God. No.

              Let’s get good and stay good.

  90. Hinkie, you and Romus have said this very thing so many times, I have lost count. I agree with you both. That was a major fail in the rebuilding phase.

    1. Sounding more and more like Klentak’s job is safe while Gabe’s hangs on whether the team makes the playoffs or not. I agree that the win-loss record isn’t nearly as much his fault despite his roster mismanagement and questionable ingame decisions. Klentak needs to feel some serious heat.

      1. Firing his hand-picked manager would be heat on him. He won’t get another mulligan. If Gabe is fired, the next manager better win. If he doesn’t, there will be wholesale changes.

  91. Today’s NYT has a story on how Indians have 3 young good starting pitchers from the same draft. Stunning. We need someone from their scouting AND development departments.

    1. that would be Bieber, Civale and Plesac in 16. But take a look at the Dodgers amazing draft that year.

  92. RISP has been the bane of the Phillies offense. It’s practically homerun or nothing. Franco’s walk with the bases loaded tonight was an anomaly. And sadly their only run of the game. And Cesar’s leadoff walk in the 9th was utterly wasted by Kapler who refuses to play small ball to get a single run to tie the game. He persists in trying to let the long ball be their salvation. This team, unlike so many other teams, just can’t hit HRs at will. Another exhibit of Gabe’s (and supposedly the organization’s) philosophy of upper cut and swing hard – just in case you make contact.

    And what a waste of such a strong outing from Nola. And if you didn’t know differently, wouldn’t you have guessed that the game was being played at Fenway? That certainly had to tickle Middleton’s belly.

    1. I wonder what the Phillies brass thought when the redsoxs bunted in the 9th inning of yesterday’s game, in a 1-1 tie. Weird how the redsoxs scored…. without a ball leaving the park.

      I’ve said it before… analytics is so overrated, if it wasn’t, the Phillies would be screaming past 100 wins. Bunting vs swinging away … sure swinging away has a better percentage, by .001 … it’s so ridiculously close, I have to wonder if the mathematicians understand the game as much as they do the numbers side. From conversations with others, and reading articles that are pro-lytics, I know they don’t take into a count the various scenarios vs a generalized statistical outcome. How does analytics know the following combination. A 100mph primarily fastball pitcher, poor defensive 3B, and a speedy batter? Not to mention the OF is shifted to pull. It can’t imo, and I’ve also see analytics on a daily basis in my career field, which drives my day,weeks, and month … it is obviously flawed, if it happens in business analytics, it can easily happen in the mlb world. I live it. The issue is the Phillies playing the numbers so heavy handed. Whatever they are doing, it’s not working. I’ll give them a pass on the pitching side, specifically the bullpen, my focus is on the hitting side. It needs to change for 2020

  93. As I said a week ago, finishing with 82 wins and a winning record is not a certainty. It’s likely they’ll need to win 2/3 from the Marlins in the final series to finish 82-80, our first winning record since 2011. This is not a playoff team. This offseason will be about acquiring pitching. I don’t expect any changes to the lineup. I think Kingery will stay at 3b, and Cesar at 2b, u til Bohm is ready. I think Cutch will be in LF with Haseley in CF, with Bruce and Quinn on the bench. The pitching will be the important piece to improve, starting and relieving.
    And no, I wouldn’t trade Bohm or Howard for anyone. We’ll finally trade or release Williams, Franco, Pivetta and maybe Vinnie. I don’t expect much however. Dickerson will sign elsewhere where he will start.

    1. The number one priority on Middleton’s shopping list this off-season has to be signing Cole…Gerrit that is.
      He needs to make the best offer as he did with Harper.
      Having both Cole and Nola at the top of the rotation gives the team the flexibility with the remaining rotation pieces… bringing Smyly back and also trading for another pitcher.
      Personally i’d go after Kyle Freeland of the Rox who may be coming off the worst year of any TOR starter from 2018. He could be a correction candidate for 2020.
      Maybe the Rox would listen to a Vinny, Irvin and/or Medina for him package

      1. Romus, I’m starting to view some things differently at this point in the “rebuild”. I say now begrudgingly, as I’m the offseason I thought they took the step forward, not the case. To make matters worse, my biggest fear has come true, they have not rebuilt Better than the other teams rebuilding in the NL, let alone the NL East. The Braves will create further separation this offseason imho, they should go
        For the jugular and get Cole themselves.

        Is Cole the priority for Middleton?

        Sure, but that kills the payroll allocation/flexibility moving forward. That is freaking sad seeing how the Phillies were basically reset my.

        I generally don’t throw klentak under the bus, but I’m going to say another area he didn’t properly navigate is the OF. McCutchen was a reach imo. It basically said Haseley, Moniak, Cozens , Quinn, Williams, etc weren’t good enough .. but you have to develop on of those guys, now we have Dickerson looking like the one who should stay. McCutchen outperformed expectations while healthy, but it was a huge price to pay, as that should be money allocated to a player of Coles ability. Yes, it’s not our money, but they are expected to spend it wisely.

        Lastly, Middleton’s priority 1B should be to get his FO off the analytics train and find some real trend setting baseball people … aka ones who don’t go
        By 95% of what the numbers say

        1. Tac3…….signing Cole….”kills the payroll allocation/flexibility moving forward. “….I am not sure about that.
          We looked at the resource roster the other day and he could be squeezed into it at $30M AAV or less….along with JTR’s long term contract fo $100M over 5 years
          What Klentak must do:
          1. Let these two come off the books within two years….Arrieta (2020) and Cutch (2021)
          2. Trade Herrera at any cost now, and will be a low sale for sure, just to get his salary ($40M@4 years left) off the books
          3. Cesar may have to be moved or DFAed to save on his $9/10M arb 4 year

          4. and 5, Maikel and Dickerson……not sure if I want to move Maikel, but he will cost approx $7/8M arb 3…..Dickerson is another tricky debate, his bat is too good to lose, but the OF gets crowded and he will command $11/13M AAV for 3 or 4 years.

          So it will take nifty maneuvering on Klentak’s part to make all the pieces fit squarely in the puzzle.

          1. I don’t know if the Phils will get G Cole but you know they will go hard after him. G Cole and Cole H would be a great pairing. I think they will talk to Rendon also because they should. After that, who knows. No way they pay Franco’s money. They need to find lots of pen arms also.

            1. I am hoping that when Cole hits free agency there will be only a handful of teams bidding for his services…..assume Astros to start, then the Yankees, not sure about the Braves, Red Sox or Angels…..Dodgers I doubt since they rarely sign the big salary free agents.
              It could eventually look like the Harper scenario, as it unfolded last off-season..

          2. I’ve seen a few of the payroll maneuvering scenarios, and yes they will work … will just say I have my concerns. The concerns are more in line for correcting/fixing mistakes or getting that final piece. In hindsight, this past offseason was great in terms of fanfare, but it was a bit rushed, which leaves this area of the rebuild bloated

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