Open Discussion: Week of September 30th

My wife and I would like to thank all for your kind thoughts and prayers during our recent difficult times.  Several weeks ago, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer when a pea size mass was identified after her annual mammogram.  We prepared for her lumpectomy, but during an MRI a week before the procedure, another smaller mass was detected in her other breast.

Her procedure was delayed a week, and changed to a double lumpectomy and the removal of the lymph nodes under her arms for testing.  The surgery went extremely well.  This past week the we received the news that the pathology on her lymph nodes came back negative.  So, she is cancer free.

Now comes radiology and then five years of chemo.  Yeah, five years.

Some time today or this week, I expect that a lot of you will receive your own good news.  That announcement you’ve been waiting for.  You and the WIP crowd should be happy.

In the comments section, I saw someone reference a team that fired their GM, fired their next GM, and then brought back the previous GM whom they had fired.  It struck me that if Middleton were to copy those steps, everyone’s “favorite” GM would return.  Wouldn’t that be something.

I also saw all the comments longing for the hiring of an available exec (Bloom, I think).  I wouldn’t be surprised if and when the Phillies have a need for a guy like that if the position is filled from within.

To Hinkie,  you were right.  I went back and removed my correction on that Jay Bruce AAV comment the next day.  I meant to acknowledge that earlier.  I didn’t look further down the spreadsheet I use as a source.  Klentak did a good deal.  With $21,317,204 remaining on the contract, he got the Mariners to pay $18,567,204.  The Phillies are responsible for $2.75M in 2019 AND 2020, or $1.375M per year.  Not a bad haul for Jake Scheiner.

One last thing.  I learned this summer from an Angels’ employee that when the Phillies signed Bryce Harper, they probably lost any chance of ever signing Mike Trout as a free agent.  It took less than three weeks for the Angels front office and Trout’s agent to convince him that the Phillies would never be able to offer close to what the Angels could offer with the current and projected salary costs in the Phillies current near future.  Accurate or not, it worked.  There were just 18 days between the signings.

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

Key Dates:

  • 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 28th … 398 players in the org

9/28/19 – Phillies recalled RHP Enyel De Los Santos from Lehigh Valley
9/24/19 – Phillies activated RHP Juan Nicasio from the 10-day IL
9/17/19 – Phillies activated RHP Edubray Ramos from the 60-day IL
9/17/19 – Phillies placed LF Corey Dickerson on the 60-day IL, fractured left foot

526 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of September 30th

  1. Changes should be coming, if not to the front office or manager, then the coaching staff with the big club and the instructors in the farm system.

      1. Jim first great news for You and Your wife, Jim the coaching changes, were they in upper levels of minors or all over, just wondering,

        1. Nobody was actually fired as far as I know. Just some contracts weren’t renewed. I guess the announcements haven’t been made, yet. So, I’ll just say that some faces I would have expected to see at Instructs weren’t there like Ducey, Hayes, Gotay, one of the affiliated pitching coaches (can’t remember his name), … Keep in mind that I missed a lot of days over the last week and a half.

  2. Good news Jim for you and your wife. Our prayers remain with you both through the process.

    I would like all 3 in Phillies management ti be gone and start over. Need new philosophy meshing analytics and old school baseball.

  3. Since having a dissenting view on this site makes me a member of the “WIP crowd”, I’ll go back to just reading the great content and discussion on this site. Thanks for the jab. Sure glad Jeffrey Lurie was apparently part of the “WIP crowd” several years back.

    1. “You” is a plural pronoun and was meant to include all the intelligent, informed readers who comment here. “The WIP crowd” was meant for the 5% of fans who get their opinions from WIP. That jab was intended for the WIP crowd who I don’t think visit here.

      Interesting that you choose to identify with that crowd.

      FWIW, I consider my opinion that Kapler shouldn’t be fired as the dissenting and minority view both here, in social media, and among Phillies’ baseball writers/critics.

      It is also my opinion that Kapler’s firing is inevitable; that he and the rest of his staff were almost fired along with the hitting coach; that a losing record since the hitting coach was fired is not going to save his job; and that firing Kapler won’t fix the problem.

      1. I was indifferent on firing Kapler as manager until he had his explicit laden tantrum in a press conference around July/Aug ish. That to me showed the lack of control/maturity. I feel he should go, but I won’t be mad if he is here next year. I’m fairly pleased with what Klentak has done and like that we have him as GM. Only fault I really could see was that he didn’t add to the rotation last off-season. But time to move forward

      2. “It is also my opinion that Kapler’s firing is inevitable…and that firing Kapler won’t fix the problem.” <<< my views exactly. But c'est la vie

  4. I was wondering if anyone knows what our Lfers had as complete stats; McCutch, Bruce, Miller, Quinn, Hasely, Kingery, SeaRod, etc.

  5. On a personal note Jim, very happy that you have good news with your wife. As someone who watched a close relative go through chemo, there are good days and bad days, but we tried to always keep the big picture in mind and never get too excited about the good days and too down on the bad days. The most important thing for my mom was having a loving spouse right there by her side the whole way. Your wife is very lucky to have you there for her. My mom is now over 10 years removed from it and chemo was well worth the investment. My thoughts, prayers, and hopes are with your family and all others fighting cancer.

    1. Thank you. I’m glad to hear of your mother’s victory over cancer. I must admit that I don’t understand why if you are “cancer free” you have to undergo radiology and chemo to keep it from coming back. Seems if they got it all, the job should be done.

      1. Jim … so happy to hear about your (plural) health news. My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer about eight years ago (believe it or not, our dog actually tried everything to alert her [sitting in front of her consistently crying] for a month before she had a mammogram). She was diagnosed (stage 2) with an aggressive type of cancer. We went to Fox Chase where the great Dr. Marcia Boraas performed a lumpectomy. My wife then did six rounds (every other week) of chemotherapy, and followed that with 36 rounds of radiation. She lost her hair and felt like crap during chemo. However, she made it through, and has been cancer free for eight years now. The reason your wife probably has to undergo radiation and chemotherapy is to guard against the possibility that a cell may have broken off the tumor at some point and traveled to another part of her body. That’s why my wife was urged to go through chemo.
        Also … my wife met other women who were going through the same thing at Fox Chase and remains friends with a few of them. If your wife ever wants to speak with my wife for information or support, you can email me (I think you have my address) or let me know in a post and I can email you.

  6. jim, I am so glad to hear the news about your Wife. What a huge weight off both of your shoulders. When you get some time, can you offer your thoughts on this team going forward? What would you do?

    1. I’ll think some before committing more thoughts, but I would be done with Quinn. Yes, he’s exciting at the top of the order or in one of those Maddonesque batting ninth in the line up cards. But his injury and rehab history prevents me from wasting a spot on the roster with him.

      Besides, next year’s outfield already has a recovered McCutchen, Herrera, and Harper with Haseley as the fourth outfielder plus Bruce under contract. They can sign Phil Gosselin and Shane Robinson (or similar) to attractive MiLB contracts as insurance.

      Now, if the prognosis on McCutchen is not good and/or they find a way to move Herrera, that would change my thinking, but not about Quinn. I’m also done with Williams.

  7. Regarding the WIP crowd, I would have to say that the mob mentality in this city tends to neutralize those who wish to see similar changes made – but not necessarily for similar reasons. Cataldi and his following aren’t always wrong in identifying a problem BUT their collective thought process is often misguided, mainly because they don’t know the sport they’re talking about and lack understanding to offer an accurate diagnosis.

    Recently, commentors like Buddy B and I have been lumped in with the ignorant “fans” of our community, some of it has been in fun (like Hinkie).

    As for the whole Klentak-Kapler issue, for me it’s only partly to do with the tactical application of their joint philosophy. I used to be part of a non-sports organization which conducted “business” in a way that wasn’t given to transparency. Eventually I disassociated my family and myself mainly because of the Stepford mentality that was not only shared but ruled the day. There was no other “right” way of doing things. It ultimately affected many lives adversely because of the trust which had been invested in leadership.

    I can only conclude that the rigidity that some (like Klentak and Kapler) apply to administrating their realm of authority because they will only see the raw numbers without the visceral feel and intangible realities of who they are supposed to be leading – human beings.

    1. I’m not thrilled with the FO/Coaches approach to what seems to be a very heavy handed approach towards analytics. They have their place, but they are not full proof, much like gut calls. Sometimes the errors of analytics are disguised pretty well. This is what is concerning to me, the impact is had on Kingery,Efflin, and Hoskins seasons. I don’t believe in analytics for sports,
      As I do in the business world. I use them everyday, and many times I find them to be misleading. In sports, I find that the case as well. Young’s approach to Neris was painfully wrong imo vs the braces. Throw your best pitch more often with high fastball worked for the Astros. Staff… didn’t work for a neris as the Braves sat on his best pitch, missing the zone again and again and again.

      I don’t want to rant forever, but I’d like an 80/20% reliance on analytics going forward. Seems many stats have faults with them … like FIP… we should’ve had 3 breakout SP this year per this analytical data… yeah … then the human element happened. Not to mention i still don’t agree with not bunting runners over in certain situations. Sure hit away when you have the lead, but if it’s a tight game, your teams in a slump etc, get the runner over and focus on hitting without RISP…. these are just a few, but I’m over anaylitcs in sports, too many variables to predict

      1. What do you consider a to be a “heavy handed” approach? I don’t think providing analytic information, explaining or offering to explain the information, and letting the player decide how much if any of the information he chooses to use is “heavy handed”. I know of several players at the major and minor league level who have “opted out”.

        1. Jim, I’d consider the following heavy handed by the MLB club – the Phillies team oriented, one size fits all batting & pitching approach. I maybe mistaken, but I thought the whole work the count, don’t swing at the first pitch is driven by their newer found analytics? Ultimately looking for their “pitch” in more of specific count. It worked the first 2 weeks of the season. Same for pithing, Chris Young implemented an approach from the Astros, or at least his twist on it, in which he would have the pitchers throw their best pitch more often, with fastballs high in the zone compliment. To me it is a cookie cutter approach that sounds great in idea, but not in practice. It didn’t seem to work for kingery, Efflin, and Hoskins.
          I’d of rather seen an individual approach to the arms, and hitters as well. Again I maybe wrong, but that is what I looked like sitting from my recliner! Reading between the lines of the beat writers

          For the record, I’d keep the staff/FO but they need to alter what I mentioned above. I’d give Gabe until the midway part of
          Next season, to me the bullpen injuries were too much to overcome. Then reevaluate every few weeks to ensure a 3rd straight mid season collapse doesn’t happen.

          1. @Tac3 – I agree with you. I may not describe it as “heavy handed” but yes, the one size fits all approach works in theory but not it practice. As 8mark said in the other thread, it is similar to using GPS while driving, it’s OK if everything works exactly as planned. But if there are any road conditions that were not picked up by the GPS company, the GPS will continue to force you the way that’s already is a problem.

            Skippers and coaches are “boots on the ground”. They should be the ones connecting “data” to the actual result in the field. If the data is not matching the field situations, these coaching should be adjusting based on a given situation rather than force the issue using statistics. Classic example is the Nola game during Kapler’s 1st game as skipper.

            Also, players are wired different and they learn in different ways. This is where Kapler and the coaches failed big time. Kapler and the analytics gang took analytics as the “truth” instead of just using the data on how to further develop the players. Nola is another great example. Nola pitching approach not only yield very good results it is statistically proven it’s effective. As catch said, why the heck, change that successful pitching approach? Because “analytics” said it no one is sacred including Nola, crazy!

            1. Yeah, you don’t touch Nola, unless he is struggling on his own, let him figure out how to keep pushing to the next level at that point. For the rest, their were not a lot of nice things said to beat writers about Chris Young. When players believe that they don’t spend time with players who can’t be help… and their not “helping” you, I’d imagine that is counter productive for team

            2. You guys are guessing. You don’t know that the coaches aren’t handling each player as an individual. You’re assuming a “cookie cutter” or “one size fits all” approach and basing your following discussion incorrectly on that assumption. I think that’s called a straw man argument.

              I’ll say it again, more clearly. The Phillies provide individual analytic information to each player. They explain or at least offer to explain it to the player. They offer options to address any deficiencies that the data might suggest. The player decides how much, if any, of this interaction he wants to use. If the player chooses not to use it, he is coached in a non-analytic manner. So, I don’t see how analytics or an incorrectly assumed coaching approach is the problem.

            3. @Jim – there’s only a few people who can say they had 1st hand knowledge so most of us are guessing if not speculating considering that these current FO likes to keep everything close to their chest and they are not 100& honest. Actions speak louder than words and whatever excuses being said publicly doesn’t reconcile to the visible eye. There’s too much smoke about the mistakes made by this FO.

        2. Jim, the analytics approach may be tailored for each individual player, but the results were pretty poor across the board. Realmuto was fine, but what really hurt the Phillies this year was their inability to consistently drive in runners in scoring position with less than 2 outs. Why? Because ultimately the approach was the same- try to hit a home run. There was no shortening of the swing, no trying to hit opposite any shifts, and taking too many pitches down the middle because of the overall philosophy of seeing as many pitches as possible. Bryce Harper statistically had a very good year, but his two strike swing was the same as his swing on the first pitch of the at bat- hard. Rhys Hoskins was taking too many strikes, then swinging at pitches off the plate, then became lost at the plate. I always felt coaches should enhance what a player does well. There are some players that shouldn’t hit 20 hrs/yr because it isn’t their strength. Scott Kingery should be hitting line drives up the middle and using his speed to create havoc on the bases. Instead he spent the last half of the year trying to hit homers almost every at bat.

    2. 8mark Where is the list for the for the ignorant fan, did I make it on the that list? I just want to be on any list, but that one fits me. I listen to wip cause Jonesy is funny, Mitch is on now and I enjoy his insight, I laugh at some of the callers who think they know the minors, one guy in particular. its funny station, Never take the host serious, about basketball or baseball. Football some guy who are former players I like to listen to, To me the knowledge it there is any is hockey which I hate

    3. I haven’t been reading the comments religiously. Have there been inappropriate comments directed at you, Buddy, and others? Comments that weren’t in fun? Do I need to go back and check?

  8. Changes to the game in 2020 I’m hopeful for:

    Ban the shift! (like yesterday)
    Absolutely ruins the game for me in a few ways

    DH to the NL. Solves a few problems
    For the Phils, and it might as well be now vs down the line

  9. Best news of the day concerning the health of your wife. Prayers for strength during the process and tomorrow for both of you. God bless.

  10. I’ve gone back and forth on this a lot and I think Joe Maddon may be the best fit, especially after reading that Gelb article over the weekend.

    He’s an “old Gabe Kapler” but he has a proven record of success and there hasn’t been a shortage of Cubs players who have come to Joe’s defense.

    He and Gabe share similar philosophies but where they differ is Maddon has a long track record of success and sustained success with the Rays and Cubs. I think this helps get the players to buy in to what the Front Office is looking for. If they are truly “requesting patience” they need a guy who has come from heavily analytical organizations (the Rays and Cubs) and help them implement these within the team.

    My personal preference is to clean house, get rid of Andy & Klentak but I just don’t see that happening unless they really fight for Kapler or Middleton is embarrassed by the last two years (he should be). Since I do not see them cleaning house I think they need a veteran manager aligned with their thinking to take this organization where they want it to go.

    Joe Maddon and Jim Hickey or Ray Searage could bring this team to Wild Card contention with the right moves (Cole, and Hamels plus a bullpen overhaul)



    Line Up

    Moustakas (I’d sign him as 3B initially, once Bohm is ready move him to 2nd and 1st. He and Kingery would be super utility players for me)


    Herrera (unless they cut him in ST)
    Miller (I’d bring him back)
    FA Back Up Catcher (Lucroy would be my pick)

    I believe there are now 26 man rosters but if I’m incorrect I’d just cut Herrera in ST.

    1. That said I think that above is a little conservative. I think I plug every hole i can this year and forget the luxury tax exists. I really think if the FO wants to contend they need to follow the Dodgers model:


      Take on expiring contracts (i.e. Kluber) sign Cole, sign whomever. Just plug the holes. Create a team good enough to win the NL East. Build the infrastructure around that.

      The Dodgers took on guys like Crawford, Beckett, Gonzalez, Utley, Rollins, etc. They never won a championship but they were good enough to win while they developed Seager, Bueler, etc.

      1. JL26….when did the Dodgers spend, assume you mean ‘big’, before Pollock this season?
        —They took on expiring or close to end-of-life contracts thru trades, not normally free agency.
        —Dodgers’ pitching was beneficially augmented thru the years by acquiring Asian arms at relatively low cost.
        —They went to the ‘scrap heap’ and found treasures in guys like Turner/Muncy.

        So their model would be hard to duplicate.
        Klentak seem to be reluctant in taking on contracts a few years ago, when it was the optimal time to do it….now not so much.

        1. Dodgers have won 7 straight NL West titles (2013-2019)

          Dodgers opening day payrolls
          Year Active IL Dead Total

          2013 $185.3 $40.5 $16.0 $241.8
          2014 $172.5 $71.8 $25.5 $269.8
          2015 $195.9 $24.7 $45.5 $266.0
          2016 $150.5 $66.1 $19.3 $236.0
          2017 $161.2 $27.7 $38.9 $227.8
          2018 $137.2 $14.2 $26.0 $177.4
          2019 $123.7 $51.7 $30.6 $206.0

          What was the Phillies payroll this year? $160 million?

            1. Right, zero. But multiple pennants and anyway I was answering your question “when did the Dodgers spend?” and the answer is “every year.”

              The Phillies are going to need to spend $200 million per year — they’re going to have to out-spend the Braves because the Phillies young, cost-controlled talent is nowhere near the Braves.

              Cole for six years/$210 million plus and Strasburg for five years/$160 million would fix the rotation in a hurry.

              Here’s a link to the 2020 luxury tax payroll for the Phils:

              I’ve mentally removed Neshek and Vargas, putting the Phils at $112 million befor arbitration, new free agents, a new deal for Realmuto, etc.

            2. Or $136 million after accounting for benefits, etc. Gives them $72 million to spend in arb players, free agents, etc. without paying the luxury tax.

              Of course Arrieta’s $25 million AAV comes off the books after 2020, and McCutchen and Robertson’s combined $28 million in AAV comes off after 2021.

              The Phillies are way behind the Braves right now. And our farm is not great. So spend, spend, spend!

            3. West…okay…got your point now..
              The JTR offer seems ready to better an approx. $22M AAV in the equation..
              Agree on offering Cole.
              But adding Strasburg and that offer really pinches them down the road.

            4. I’d say it’s almost a given that John Middleton will be ignoring the luxury tax threshold in 2020. He’ll spend north of 208 million, but south of 228 million.

      2. Well, not to be a Debbie downer, but i don’t think they can copy the Dodgers model, or Astros, they simply can’t duplicate the drafting results. It stinks, but look at what the Phillies developed while they had good draft positions. I’m not trying to knock the scouts to death, but it does look like they have room to grow this are, or reasonable expectations to expect improvement. Bloating the payroll before that happens doesn’t bold well imo. This rebuild is going to take longer than everyone wants it too, whether we like it or not.

        Haseley, Bohm,Howard, kingery and Hoskins are nice starts, but they need to prove they are above replacement level talent on the cheap

  11. Glad to hear JIm, of the news on your wife.
    A positive attitude from the both of you will go a long way in the healing process.
    Good luck.

  12. Welcome back Jimmy. I am so glad to hear that your wife is well on her way to a positive outcome. You both must be relieved and perplexed with the decision to need further chemo. Many continued prayers to you both.

    I went to the Saturday game and took my youngest son 23 who is not a big baseball fan and a friend of mind and his son 5. We sat in section 125 which is right next to 126 which is where their opposing teams family and friends usually sit. I know because I’ve sat in that section many times being given tickets when someone I know well who both played and now works in baseball would come to town gave me tickets.

    Wei Yin Chen’s family was very present. I chuckled when they got very excited to see Chen get ahead of Harper 0-2. I turned to my son and friend and said Harper is one of the best I’ve see at getting himself back into a count after getting down 0-2. Within a few more pitches the ball was rocketing over the LF fence. The air came out of the balloon really fast for them.

    Also present was Kyle Keller’s sister and her 2 boys. Generally the chatter in that section is “who are you here for”

    The usher for our section was kind enough to bring balls down for all the young kids. Very nice touch. I was quite surprised at the turnout. Eflin pitched very well.

  13. I don’t listen to WIP at all so I’d be somewhat interested to know if those folks share the same opinion as I. I sometimes listen to the Fanatic 97.5 but the absurd lack of Phillies knowledge there has me turning it off more often than I care to count.

    That said I really don’t know how you come to any conclusion other than this group is just not in the same league as the Astro’s Dodger’s Yankee’s Rays etc…

    And by group I mean FO. The acquisition mistakes far out weigh any successes IMO.

    Put another way I’ll be more upset if all they do is relieve Kapler and Young of their duties.

    1. DMAR…but do you think Middleton will relieve MacPhail and Klentak six months after extending them?
      He may have jump the gun in doing that……I assume solely based on the off-season acquisitions of JTR/Segura/Cutch and Harper..
      He was counting his chickens.

      1. Romus I am not sure what Middleton will do but this will tell us a lot about how he plans to operate the team going forward.

        Like I said I have my popcorn ready because its going to be another entertaining off season.

        1. What was the timeline of Middleton taking over with major decision making responsibilities and Macphail coming onboard and then Klentak? Maybe he needs to clean the slate, learn from his mistakes then hit the reset button.

          1. Denny…officially Nov 2016…Middleton takes the controls…. Middleton actually emerged from the shadows of the ownership group in the summer of 2015, when Andy MacPhail was hired to take over the team president role from Monty who may have been in the early stages of his cancer battle…..Klentak Oct 2015, to relace Ruben who’s contract was not renewed..

    2. I also don’t listen to WIP and I agree with DMAR about the lack of Phillies knowledge within the 975 folks. Cataldi is in the same basket as Bayless so it is a waste of time listening to both and the 975 guys are mostly Eagles-Sixers and pretend to know about Phillies.

      1. I’ll give 975 credit for one thing. I do believe Andrew Salciunas knows a little more than the average host and his Phillies pregame shows which featured Corey Seidman quite frequently weren’t bad.

  14. Jim, I hope your wife is doing well. Keep your head up and don’t lose hope.

    I have a friend who will be going in for intense chemo next month. He’ll be hospitalized for at least a month. I’ll visit as much as I can, and I will keep hope alive that everything will turn out for the best.

  15. I can imagine what’s being talked about on WIP: Cut that guy, fire that guy, trade that guy, sign that guy. Most of the talk must be knee jerk reactions. In the end, what will be done will be done in the best interest of the franchise. But one thing I’m fairly certain about, the Phillies won’t be going hog wild with salaries and pay a crazy amount of luxury tax. We have not done this before and I seriously doubt we will go this route.

  16. Klentak and Mcphail have a far greater impact on the organization than the manager. If anyone should go it should be them, not that Gabe is great I just don’t think there’s a huge difference in value between a good manager and an average one.

    1. Kapler is the least guilty but Kapler also hasn’t shown any real capabilities that he can compete with the best of the best skippers in the major league. The 2018 and 2019 Phillies are not talent deprived team unlike the Sixers during their tank years. Just watching the games, Kapler’s decision making process cost the Phillies more losses than wins and no young player thrive under his watch.

      Can Kapler be Maddon 2.0 or Girardi 2.0? Possibly. But not on the expense of the 2020 and 2021 Phillies. Let Kapler do his learning from the tanking teams and maybe Middleton can sign him in 2022 when the crystal ball holding guys here can say “i told you, he will be a good skipper!!”

      There are a lot of more capable skipper in the major leagues so don’t get fixated with Gabe Kapler because he is nothing special yet.

  17. I know some have marveled at the Dodgers success, especially their pitching.
    But one thing to remember…..their initiative in acquiring Asian pitchers and having success with them, is only closely rivaled by maybe the Yankees, Sox (DiceK) or Rangers (Darvish
    These five Asian pitcher, since 1997, have given the Bums plenty of success.
    5. Kuroda
    Since 1997,
    ….approx 62bWAR from the combined five Asian pitchers the Dodgers have imported.

    1. Dang I even missed Hideo Nomo…maybe the best of all….he gave them 21bWAR.
      Six Asian pitchers with over 80bWAR production.
      That is plenty of Asian fusion.

    2. I wouldn’t say it’s an initiative. Their natural proximity to the Asian countries is a good benefit for them. They can attract them without doing much.

      Yankees/Red Sox, their names speak very loud. Everybody in Asia knows who they are.

      Texas, they’re close to the west coast but they are willing to open up their wallets. I think Texas has been more willing to attract Asian talent even though that Choo contract blew up in their face (so far 6 years, $109M, 8.9 WAR).

    1. Per, if Kapler is gone…. Ruben Amaro Jr is a contender!…

      I can hear the sports hot lines blowing up now lol, Harper mania 2.0. I know many hated Amaro, but what a turn of events that would be, …
      The guy with the handle “Ruintomorrowjr” might just have a heart attack

      1. Middleton is the driving force in firing Amaro so there’s no way he will hire him back. Middleton knows the dislike the fans had with Amaro so he will be wise not to reignite that hatred especially after a disappointing season.

        1. I know chances are next to zero, but I couldn’t help but get a chuckle thinking about the portion of the fan base that would be enraged by the move. Many funny scenarios pop in my head in this one, might as well put Darth Vader in dugout.

          1. Less than zero. That nugget had to have been mere speculation by a Ruben plant. It’s no secret he’s been wanting to be a MLB manager.

    1. news are saying that the Angels have high interest. the fact that the Angels moved faster in letting go of their skipper, it can be expected that they will be faster than the Phillies in hiring Maddon.

    1. To those who think Kapler doesn’t deserve to be fired – think of this. He messed up Aaron Nola. He screwed Nola in his 1st game as skipper and he made Nola look crappy this year by letting Chris Young mess up with Nola’s pitching approach.

      It is clear as crystal that Nola has the stuff to be #1/#2 and injury is the only thing to slow him down. Nola is a disappointment this year possibly losing 3-5 games because of the change in pitching approach enforced by Kapler and Chris Young.

      Kapler has nothing to do with the injuries, but his decision making slowed down the development a lot of the young Phillies that ultimately resulted to their poor performance in the field.

      Pivetta is another players that was messed up. Rather than working on Pivetta’s biggest strength’s. Kapler and Chris Young did the opposite. From a potential #2/#3, Pivetta became a DFA candidate.

      1. Kapler did screw over Nola in game 1. But other than that, the blame begins and ends with Nola. Nola’s fastball command was just not the same. His walk rate jumped from 2.5 to 3.6. It looked like he was trying to avoid bats.

        What is Pivetta’s strength? His fastball? No matter how good your fastball is, if you throw it down the middle, it’s going to get hit. Pivetta’s command stunk. He would look elite for 3 pitches, and then hang a curve or serve up a cookie. After that, he would get timid and try to avoid bats. Rinse, wash, repeat. The blame is on Pivetta.

        1. That is correct…both pitchers had command issues at varying times.

          As to the PC and looking to who may have improved from 2018….I saw four pitchers……Eflin, Neris, Ranger and maybe Adam Morgan .
          Vinny started out in April better than expected…then three months of blah….then his last 10/11 starts he seem to be better, not great.

          1. I’d remove neris
            From that list. He was toasted on several occasions versus teams with top lineups… the Braves in particular absolutely loves to see hector come
            Into the game, though process was likely … hurry up and get out so we can get to Neris for the win. No way do I go into next year with Neeis higher than a 7th inning guy

            1. Stats..his bWAR went from .2 to 1.8…from’18 to ’19.
              He was 14th in Saves in the majors….he was not top of the pole for closers, but he did improve from 2018…which was my point.

            2. Hector Neris was way better than you give him credit for. He had an excellent year in this live ball era, and he’s making peanuts.

            3. I strongly disagree. I don’t think he is a closer for contending team. The top offenses have him figured out imho. I’d love to be wrong, but I’ve seen him get dominated, and struggle to saves against top teams. He had his moments, but overall it was a feeling of “Mitch” against the better teams, specifically the Braves. A lot of rocky saves

            4. Let’s get this out of the way, Josh Hader is better than Neris (2.6 WAR vs 1.8 WAR). Hader had an 84% save percentage, he blew 7 saves. Neris had an 82% save percentage, he blew 6 saves. Of course, Hader blew that save yesterday in spectacular fashion. I’m just saying that Neris is not as bad as you think he is. Neris is not elite, but he’s close.

            5. I hear you, but I disagree. I didn’t watch every game this year, but I saw enough of neris to drum up Mitch Williams type feelings. I saw him pitch well against bottom feeders, but I remember seeing him really struggle against top offenses, which is usually what you run into during the playoffs. Their needs to be an upgrade for closer, and I’m not sure SirA is the answer either; but hopefully he is. You can’t be a closer on a contending team and struggle that much imo. If it’s not addressed, will have a lot of painful moments as phans for sure.

          2. To be honest … the next pitching coach they hire will have a bigger impact on the Phillies 2020 win total than the next manager they hire.
            This is where Middleton needs to throw around his financial might. Identify a guy you want, and outbid every other team for him. He’s got to be a guy with a solid track record of developing young arms. Dave Righetti and John Farrel are working in front offices. Ray Searage is currently left hanging in the wind after Clint Hurdle’s firing. And Kyle Snyder is currently working for Tampa. Snyder has helped develop two of my favorite pitchers in MLB in Blake Snell and Jose Alvarado. He and Searage, who also has a long history of developing/remaking pitchers (Charlie Morton for example) would look great in Phillies pinstripes.

            1. What about former Phil pitcher and brother of Greg!
              You no love Mike….though Cards may love him more now.

        2. What?? Nola and the other pitchers are not the ones who decided to change their pitching approach. Did Nola suddenly change to throwing the CB more than his FH and CU and throw the FB high than working on the edges?

          Nola is already a finished product and developed a pitching approach and repertoire. As Nola said before, it is about changing speeds and keeping the batters guessing to set up your best out pitch. This is a very sound pitching approach that’s working for Aaron Nola until somebody told him to change that and that’s his fault?

          Pivetta has a very good CB and SL. Pivetta’s issue is command. It’s not bad but it needs work. Rather than working on drills to improve Pivetta’s command, CY implemented something that Pivetta hasn’t done before.

          If it’s just Nola and Pivetta, maybe it’s on the players. But the poor performance is across all young pitchers. It is not voodoo magic it’s points directly to who is making decisions to make changes.

          1. I’m not sure what games you were watching, but I watched my share of Nola starts. He was changing speeds, same as he used to. Did he try to elevate his fastball? Yes, but he didn’t do it often. And when he was trying to paint with his fastball, he couldn’t. That’s on Nola. That’s not on the pitching coach. Now I’m not saying that Chris Young doesn’t deserve to get canned because results matter and right or wrong, he’s going to be the scapegoat.

            As for Pivetta, he was by no means a finished product. To say that Chris Young ruined Pivetta is taking the easy way out. Pivetta needs some blame here, and you’re making it sound like Pivetta was a stud. He’s not. Perhaps Pivetta is just a pitcher who can’t throw quality strikes. It won’t be the first time that has happened and it definitely won’t be the last.

            1. You can disagree all day long but my eyes are not blind. I share the same sentiments about Aaron Nola with some of the posters here.

        3. I’ve been posting about this for months. Nola’s biggest problem was pitch selection. He has a plus to plus plus FB (the velocity is above average, but the location and movement are elite) and yet he pitched backwards, which made his curve less devastating. Larry Anderson was complaining about this all year and he was right.

          1. Nola did admit early on into the season the new balls had an effect on his pitching.
            His command suffered.
            There was some adjustments that had to be made and he made them, when it took over and clicke for him I cannot recall exactly…maybe May sometime.
            Perhaps the pitching sequencing was also affected by this.

  18. Plug the Phillies into this equation as the 11th team.
    Where do you ranked them? How far do you expect them to close the gap after this offseason? expert October rankings

    1. Astros (No. 1 lineup | No. 1 pitching staff)

    2. Dodgers (No. 3 lineup | No. 2 pitching)

    3. Yankees (No. 2 lineup | No. 5 pitching)

    4. Twins (No. 4 lineup | No. 7 pitching)

    5. Nationals (No. 6 lineup | No. 4 pitching)

    6. Braves (No. 5 lineup | No. 9 pitching)

    7. A’s (No. 7 lineup | No. 8 pitching)

    8. Rays (No. 9 lineup | No. 3 pitching)

    9. Cardinals (No. 10 lineup | No. 6 pitching)

    10. Brewers (No. 8 lineup | No. 10 pitching)

    1. Thanks for the math work. If we pro-rate Adam Hasley’s stats that would be one formidable outfield.

  19. 10 teams, Top 10 in Pitching. We are in the 20’s for Pitching, and unless we make a dramatic improvement, we won’t be in the Playoffs next year. Cole will help a lot, but there needs to be more.

  20. Jim – wonderful news about your wife although it’s a long road to get through the five years. To occupy your thoughts during that time, we have the Phillies. Best of luck to her!
    Yes I’m in the camp of fire Kapler and Young. Everyone should listen to the podcast dropped today by Salisbury, Bottalico, etc. Salisbury was excellent in identifying why Kapler should be let go. Personally I would keep Quinn for now as I think he’d be a great 26th man. He won’t cost much and can always be traded. Teams love speed. Lots of questions: can they sign Cole? If not, then Wheeler? MadBum? Keep Bruce? Add a CF? Herrera coming back? Cesar? Franco? Lots for Klentak to do. I think he’ll get one more year to show he can put a team together

  21. Reports say that the Cubs want to speak with Raul Ibanez about their managerial vacancy. He turned down multiple requests to interview for a manager’s job last off season. I’ve been hoping the Phillies would talk to Ibanez since before they hired Kapler. I wonder if he declined already.

    1. Do we want another guy who has never managed before? Playing and managing are very different.

      1. They probably won’t hire a non-experienced manager now, but Ibanez would have been my choice before Klentak hired Kapler, which pretty much nixed the possibility now.

        1. Bottom line is, I don’t think that the current FO can make the appropriate decisions to lead the Team in the future.

  22. Congrats Jim. Wonderful news for you and her. I am sure that it was a hard time. But glad that you came through with a good outcome.

  23. There have been a lot of comments about the Phillies hitting approach this year. That the hitters have been forced to take pitches and that has lead to their downfall.

    First, I don’t understand the argument that “work the count” is somehow a new baseball strategy or that it is based on analytics. Coaches tell hitters to work the count on every baseball field in America. It is basic logic. Pitchers tire the more they throw. Don’t help them out by jumping at the first pitch or early in counts. See pitches and look for mistakes in a specific area.

    Also, the data says that most good hitting teams see a lot of pitches. Every playoff team except one is above the league average on p/pa. The teams above the Phillies on p/pa are excellent run producing teams.

    Finally, Rhys Hoskins lead all MLB in p/pa in every season of his career. So he was not more selective this year. And if you look at the list of most p/pa, it is filled with elite hitters.

    It wasn’t the strategy folks. It was the players.

    1. Bottom line with Rhys this season…was RISP….a BA under .220 just does not produce adequate results from a middle of the line-up hitter.
      Last season a .264 BA with more RBIs in fewer ABs was the production I expected again from him….and he knows it himself.
      He still generates BBs……..but when it comes to measuring RISP…BA>.BBs.


      1. Rhys accumulated 4 seasons in the minors 1,904 PA’s 11% BB Rate and 18% K Rate and OPS of 907.

        At age 24 he gets promoted to the MLB and over 212 PA’s he produces 17% BB 22% K 1.014 OPS

        2nd year 1st full season he goes 13% BB 22% K and 850 OPS

        3rd year 16% BB 24% K and 819 OPS

        My take is he’s been pretty consistent with his eye and contact rates but I think what we all saw was Rhys took too many 0-0 FBs down the middle. Yeah nobody likes to see a hitter swing at the first pitch and hit a pop-up or ground out.

        But someone with Rhys’ profile should be prepared to do damage early in counts. My book on Rhys if I’m advanced scouting him was throw him strike 1 he ain’t swinging. Follow that with hard inside he’ll start looking in there then go soft away.

        Something else I found interesting in his spray chart

        2017 I counted 4 HRS to the right of 2b and 5 to CF 50% (212 PA’s)
        2018 4 HRS to right of 2b and 5 to CF 26% (660 PA’s)
        2019 2 HRS to right of 2b and just 3 to CF 17% (705 PA’s)

        Many here have said it but I actually think there is some data to say he got away from the middle of the field and started looking to pull the ball more.

          1. Coach John here does a great study and I’ll take it at its merits. I could be petty and say there is more nuance to it such as inning, score, base open or not and who is hitting behind you.

            All of which is important information that needs to be processed in the blink of an eye.

        1. Good stuff DMAR. Yes, Rhys is a perfect example of how fans over react.

          Look at these stats with RISP,1

          2018 / 2019 Splits:
          – BA: .264 / .219
          – OB%: .387 / .374
          – SLG: .566 /.331
          – OPS: .952 / .705
          – BABIP: .301 / .261
          – K%: 25.8% / 19.6%
          – BB %: 14.1% / 19.1%
          – LD %: 20.9% / 27.1%
          – GB%: 30.8% / 28.0%
          – HR / FB: 20.5% / 5.7%
          – His pull % is basically the same and his hard and medium hit ball % are basically the same

          Ok, so if you look at those splits:
          – His BABIP was down 40 basis points while his Line Drive % was up huge! (6.2%) and his ground ball % was down by 2.8%, also a material improvement. this is counter intuitive since line drives have a much higher BABIP than GBs. This is purely bad luck. no other way to explain it. As a reminder, Line Drives have a far higher BA
          – His strikeouts rate was also down huge! (6.2%)
          – His walk rate was up 5%!
          – Basically, the only reason there is a perception that he did worse this year is because his HR per Fly Ball rate fell off the cliff. He hit more line drives this year than fly ball homers.

          But his other stats suggest that he did really well and just got really, really unlucky with BABIP.

          1. You overlooked one metric that resulted in a poor RISP in ’19 (28%) vs’18 (7%)…IFFB%….he popped up too much
            League average is usually less than 10%.

            1. Good catch Romus. I just did the math and those extra 20 IFFB from that extra spike likely accounts for the entire difference in BABIP.
              – 20 PA with an increased in IFFB
              – Assume a .300 BABIP if that gets normalized to the 2018 number
              – That’s 6 extra hits
              – on 120 Balls in play
              – thats 0.50 in extra BABIP, which brings his 2019 BABIP up to his 2018.

              So his BA would look better, but the big difference is that his HR per FB rate dropped off a cliff in 2019 with RISP. While his LD% when up considerably and his K rate dropped considerably.

            2. I really want to hear what Rhys has to say about his hitting this season.
              Be it from the pull aspect ….to the launch angle quest, if that was on his mind.
              or just he did not make adjustments he needed to make.
              I was hoping one of the beat guys would have had sit down with him this week to ask about his season.

    1. If you believe in Alec Bohm, this is where you save your money. Also, Rendon had a career year and will get paid off that year – I can almost guarantee that Rendon will underperform the FA contract he receives. I’d stay far away from that one – it makes no sense for the Phillies.

      1. I agree with you….move on from Rendon.
        And with Boras as his agent……a long negotiation appears ahead for whomever wants him

        1. That may be, but Boras doesn’t have another big fish on the market (like Manny last year) to impact the negotiating process.

            1. If the Nats offer reported to be 7/$210 ($30M AAV) is accurate, then I don’t think any MLB club bites unless he’s lured by something more than money. Lerner may have told Rizzo not to let him go because of money after losing Harper.

      2. catch – i agree with you. Bohm or Stott can be a good long term option at 3B. Used the $$ for Gerritt Cole instead.

        If Gerrit Cole will be signed, I would think that both Cesar and Franco will be non-tendered pushing Kingery to play 2B almost exclusively. Somebody like Brad Miller or anybody from the farm can temporarily hold 3B until Bohm is ready by mid-2020.

        1. Agree. The bamboo king has positioned himself into the Phillies immediate plans.

          The more I think about it, the more confident I am that Middleton will go all in on Cole. He’s a Boras client, which now doesn’t hurt our cause. With Cole-Nola and eventually Howard in the rotation by midseason, and Eflin, Smyly and Arrieta mixing in as the backend arms, I’m feeling better that the starting pitching will have been sufficiently addressed….thanks to the owner.

  24. v1, I think there is a difference of opinion over what the strategy really is. If you hit a Pitcher hard, you get him out of the game faster than making him throw a lot of pitches. You can’t just see a lot of pitches and have success. If the pitches are in the strike zone, then you are just simply out. Eventually, some one has to hit the ball. To me, it is the quality of a hitter’s eye regarding the strike zone, and the ability to pick up pitches. “working the count” means to let balls out of the zone go by, and attack the ones in the zone. When you are ahead of the Pitcher, narrow your zone to your sweet spot, and look for a pitch there. You want a lead off hitter to see pitches to start the game so the team gets to see what a Pitcher has that day. With RISP, if the first pitch is a FB down the middle of the plate, then I expect the hitter to attack the ball. I expect there to be a lot more hitting the opposite way, especially with RISP. When the Manager expresses pride in the side striking out in the 9th inning of a close game because they saw a lot of pitches before striking out, that is silly. It is those kinds of comments that bring into question what is being taught. I think the problem with Rhys was he wasn’t seeing pitches well this year. He Kd on pitches over his head and low and outside way too often to have not been starting his swing before he could pick up the pitch. Sure, it is on the players to perform, but exactly what is the strategy? Why did so many players, this year, get themselves out on bad pitches? We can’t just let the coaches off the hook

    1. Are strategy and philosophy the same thing? To me philosophy is over arching. A coaching staff might come in and say we believe the best way to win is to make the opponents throw a lot of pitches. And that can be a teams MO

      Strategy should be more malleable and change game to game possibly inning to inning.

      But most importantly both can be detrimental when applied to a player who’s strength goes counter to either.

      We used to get all fired up with Jimmy Rollins swinging at the 1st pitch from the lead off spot none the less.

      if you become so entrenched in your philosophy you then become very predictable and thus easy to take out by an astute opponent.

    2. Matt – the data says that you are wrong. Look at the teams who take more pitches per PA than the Phillies

      And look at the list players with the most p/pa.

      Great hitters work the count and wait for a mistake and take it

      As for Rhys, his O-swing% was basically the same from 2018 to 2019. Up slightly, as was his O-contact %. so when he swung at pitches out of the zone, he made contact at a slightly higher rate.

  25. When you refer to “Cole” maybe you should say “Cole H” or “G Cole”. I’m reading the comments and sometimes I think you’re talking about Gerritt and sometimes I think you’re talking about Hamels. Someone above put both of them in their Starting Pitching rotation. That was easy to decipher. Of course, by the end of each post I’m able to determine who you are talking about.

    I’m having a hard time thinking that the Phils have any change at G but I think they could possibly get H. This is the time of year to dream and salivate so go ahead and dream about G coming to the Phils.

    1. Chance not change in last paragraph.

      Jim, and all our praying for your wife has done some good. It sounds like all indicators are to the upside. Be her rock. My prayers will continue for your wife and you.

    2. I was very much in favor of trading for Hamels last year. Now, however, I’d be really careful about giving him anything approaching a big or long contract. When his velocity is around 90-92, which it has been recently, he’s a very average pitcher. Will that velo bounce back? Who knows, but I wouldn’t want to bet too much on it. Experience tells me that G. Cole will be worth the money – at least for the first 4 or 5 years of the deal. I’d do it, keep Smyly, and see if you can sign another guy on a 2 or 3 year deal or a big one year deal.

      1. I mean if Hamels took like 2 years and $26 m, with a third option year, that might be attractive – they just need to be careful.

        1. I think Hamels’ oblique issue ill-affected him in the second half of the season.
          But then again, at his age now, soft-tissue and tendon tears, with bruises, may be a concern with the mileage under his belt.
          But $13M AAV would seem reasonable…especially with his leadership for a young staff.

  26. I think the Phillies might try to “spread the wealth”, so to speak, with regard to the starting rotation. Instead of pouring so much money and years into Gerrit Cole (who ideally I’d love to sign), I can see Wheeler and Hamels, for example. Strengthen 2 more slots instead of one with established veterans.

    1. @8mark – Gerritt Cole + Drew Smyly IMO is still the better play than Wheeler + Hamels. I prefer to have a dominant pitcher with post season success anchoring the Phillies and that’s Gerrit Cole.

      SP1 Gerritt Cole
      SP2 Aaron Nola
      SP3 Drew Smyly
      SP4 Jake Arrieta
      SP5 Zac Eflin

      The above can be the opening rotation with Howard replacing any weak links followed by Medina and possibly Connor Seabold.

      I have a reason to believe that the bullpen will be a key strength next season with young arms from high minors joining arms with Pivetta and Vinny.

      1. Can’t argue that, Kuko. My suggestion was mere spitballing but as I’ve posted since, I’m more convinced now that Johnny Cigars goes all in for G Cole.

  27. As we go into next season, in addition to the Pitching upgrades we all agree that we need, and improvement from Rhys and more improvement from Scott Kingery, we need more from Jean Segura. I very much applauded the trade, and I also expected his BA to be 30 points higher. Also, I expected more from him defensively. An interesting article by Meghan Montemurro today about moving Segura to 2B or 3B. I think 3B is a bad idea, but what does everyone think about 2B? It has Kingery being the everyday SS. I think Kingery should be the 2B and Segura should simply play better.

    1. In this age of positional versatility, I still see Kingery as your prototypical second baseman. And yet, Kapler used him less at 2b than any other position he’s played as a major leaguer. The philosophy of square pegs in round holes, I suppose.

      1. I don’t see it that way. I think everyone pretty much acknowledges that Kingery’s greatest value is at second, followed by short and CF. The problem was that the team had holes at other positions bigger than at second, where Hernandez was solid if unspectacular. Once Alec Bohm is promoted, I expect Kingery to primarily man second base.

    2. matt13….I think the Phillies’ plan for Segura…placeholder until Stott is ready.
      So Segura gets the ss job for 2020, but thereafter who knows.

      1. Pending Stott’s development, look for Segura to be dangled next winter or the following trade deadline.

        1. Stott is at least 2 years away from a cup of coffee. Best case scenario is that he is an impact mlb level player in 3 years.

      2. Stott better be pretty good to move Segura. I expect a better season next year out of him. As of now, I see moving segura for stott as a downgrade player wise, but would open up the payroll. I’m not sure stott is projected to be at Segura’s ceiling. Will see, they are on a collision course, but I see stott as potential tradebait if Segura picks it up next year

        1. Tac3, I wouldn’t sleep on Stott as an impact, character player. Time will tell if he measures up to Segura, production wise, but I think he could be a special player who may or may not stick at shortstop. It will be interesting to watch if he and Bohm slide to a less demanding position on the infield. While many people here see it unthinkable that Bohm is anything but a 3b, if he has the hit tool he’s shown thus far, I don’t care where he plays if the defensive positions are well manned otherwise. Plus, let’s not forget the imminence of the DH in the NL.

        2. to through a curveball, I can see kingery or Stott at 3rd, it will
          Depend on how Hoskins rebounds, and “if” the DH comes to the NL in either 2020 or 2021. That likely keeps stott off the trading block, assuming he is performing to an untouchable level or this year’s draft class doesn’t make him expendable.

        3. Was anyone else surprised Stott didn’t make it above Low-A last this season? He had some ugly stretches of hitting against Low-A pitching which no one would confuse with MLB ready arms.. Could of been the long year when you add college + pro. I think his ascension to MLB will take two to three years at least..

          1. Let the kid play. The Player will determine how fast (or slow) he will be promoted. Stott is allowed 4 years of development before he gets added to the 40 man. If he gets here early, great. If it takes him 4 years, that’s fine too. If he doesn’t make it, life goes on.

    3. Getting rid of all Latinos; Luis Garcia, Ramos, Astruble, Wilson Ramos, Alfaro last year; Herrera, Cesar, Franco, SeaRod, Segura, Vargas this year. Arrieta saying culture was bad with Santana. What gives?

      1. Are they really “getting rid of Latinos”? Or are they looking for teachable players? By the way, Segura isn’t going anywhere soon. Franco and Cesar may have reached their respective ends as Phillies, for different reasons. The others you mentioned aren’t exactly the second comings of Roberto Clemente. I get your suggestion, but I don’t think in today’s climate, a professional sports organization will be able to do as you’re suggesting without much public unrest and media scrutiny. It’s more a matter of timing and coincidence, IMHP.

      2. I didn’t want to be the first to mention it, but now that it is out there, it looks some people on this site want to get rid of the latinos. Personally, I care more about their performance instead of the color of their skin. That’s why I don’t get the hate for Cesar (2.5 WAR, 4th best among Phillies hitters) and Hector (1.8 WAR, 2nd best among Phillies pitchers). They are obviously not perfect players but they have gotten more venom thrown at them than other, less productive players. They were not the reason why the Phillies went .500.

        As for Herrera, I’ve stood up for him in the past because of his past success, but with his DV issues, I’m good with whatever the Phillies do with him.

        1. I have no idea who “some people” are. I can think of one individual who has been disciplined and rebuked by Jim Peyton for racist comments.

            1. I’m not going to name names, but trust me, there have been discussions about that on this site.

  28. tac we need to hit on Stott. Bohm and Howard to help us get closer to braves mets. and nationals. it would give us money to get a Cole. or Wheeler or both

    1. Agreed, hitting on stott,bohm, and Howard would be a huge benefit to the onfield product and the books. Personally I think Segura is the best pure hitter on the team at times, with so many variables before it’s time to make that decision, it’s all
      Guessing for me on this one. One of the bats is going to get saved if the DH comes to the NL. That could be a variety of players at this point. With kingery being able to play anywhere on the diamond but catcher, will see how it shakes out. Either way, I’d hate to lose Segura.

  29. It’s funny, but when you look at this team’s home-grown talent – they’ve gone far backwards from 2018-19. On the whole, 2018 and 2019 were push seasons – the team stood essentially still in the W-L column. However, the infusion of talent of Harper, Realmuto, Segura and even McCutcheon was necessary to achieve that result. Without those acquisitions and with their home-grown base of talent, this is a really bad team – like a 90-95 loss team, easy.

    1. Long story short, the farm system isn’t doing its fair share and they need this to change. If Bohm and Howard come through, it will take us a good part of the way there.

  30. catch, we have Nola and then very little Pitching talent. We are counting on Howard. I think Kingery has a high ceiling, but hasn’t gotten there, for sure. I like Haseley, and I think he did well for his first time up. We don’t, however, have that elite young player, specifically the Latin American player, like Robles and Soto and Acuna. We paid a lot of money for Ortiz, but I am not really bullish on him. Garcia, who knows?, but looking at our system, that is a glaring missing piece.

    1. LOL – let’s just agree to call every coincidence statistically significant. The 1979 team was brimming with mature talent and came off a bunch of playoff appearances. Both teams played baseball – aside from that the connections between the teams are few and far between.

      1. @catch – how come I’m agreeing with you for most part since my absence? is that a good thing or did i change after i came back?

  31. just what catch said. Those Phillies teams were much better. 1976 and 1977 they won 101 games, and I think 94 in 1978. They lost in the NLCS to the Reds and twice to the Dodgers. This group hasn’t sniffed the Playoffs and, hopefully, that changes next year. What is taking John Middleton so long to do or say something? Let Kapler go, or don’t, but a decision has to have already been made. And, if Kap stays, Middleton still needs to address the fans and explain how he is going to proceed to make this a Playoff team.

    1. ……..and if he says we have a plan and are staying the course because we are almost there………well, I’m heading for the “state store” to stock up for next year!

    2. Waiting for full announcement; Bloom, Girardi and Madden in then MacFail, Klutztak and Kap out.

      1. MacKlentak and Kap all being out has better odds than Girardi and Maddon being together anywhere – Pacino and DeNiro worked well in the movie “Heat” (a modern masterpiece if you’ve never seen it) because they shared the screen for only about 10 minutes. Two iconic figures otherwise don’t mix well together. Besides, who manages and who GM’s?

  32. If Gabe is retained (I think it’s odd a decision hasn’t been announced yet) maybe Turner Ward is looked at as the next hitting coach? Would seem to be a guy who would align well with Gabe’s philosophies. Chris Taylor really broke out under him. Maybe he can get Rhys back on track.

  33. Just for fun, I’m looking at the 6 teams currently with managerial vacancies – KC, SF, SD, PIT, LAA, CHC, and 2 potentially imminent vacancies with PHL and NYM.

    Let’s play a round of musical managerial maneuvers.
    My guesses are…

    Joe Maddon to (surprise!) San Diego.
    Joe Girardi to (surprise!) Anaheim.
    Mark Loretta to Cubs (no surprise).
    Bruce Bochy to the Mets (surprise!).
    Hensley Meulens to SF (no surprise).
    Pittsburgh and Kansas City will likely name someone from within their ranks since top names are too rich for their blood (no surprise).
    And finally, Buck Showalter to Philadelphia (assuming MacKlentak remain in power, again no surprise).

    1. I wouldn’t mind Buck Showalter. I think he has the respect of the front office. I think he’s open enough to analytics but won’t oversaturate the players. I could see Rhys and Kingery take off under him.

      Lastly Buck really knows how to manage a bullpen save that fiasco in the Wild Card game. The Orioles had great bullpens during their run.

    2. I’m surprised that Buck is wanted by some of the people here. He’s old school to the max. Not sure how receptive he will be to analytics.

      1. Historically, he’s given the teams he’s managed a tick up when he took over the Yankees, Dbacks, Rangers and O’s. Who knows how he would fare here but his pedigree is pretty widely recognized, be he analytically inclined or not. After all, isn’t analytics just information that’s presented for someone’s use as they deem fit?

        1. He certainly has the experience, but I would be shocked that he’s the guy that Klentak wants after Kapler.

          I’m ok with Buck. I’m more old school than some, I want to see some “fire” from the coach when things are not going well.

          1. You are assuming that Klentak will do the hiring of the next manager.
            He may not have the final say on this one.
            May come down to Midldleton and MacPhial choosing the guy and he adapts or he can resign.

      2. I’ve seen the MLB crew interview Buck many times and ask his take on the proliferation of analytics into the game. He seemed sincere in his answer that he welcomes any competitive advantage he can get. He always cautioned that he stopped short of getting paralysis by analysis.

        He wanted his players to play free and loose. I’d welcome him with open arms but agree with most who say not much will change if the talent acquisition doesn’t change.

  34. Both G Cole and Strasburg are Boras clients. G Cole is a free agent and Strasburg can opt out (which he should do).

    In a perfect world, the Phillies would have excellent drafting and player development. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case for quite some time.

    So Middleton has two options for 2020 and 2021: (1) close up the checkbook, choose not to compete in a meaningful manner — that is, continue to miss the playoffs — while waiting for Bohm, Stott, Howard, and any other help coming from the farm; or (2) have annual payrolls of $200 – $220+ million and compete.

    That’s it. His call. Of course, option 2 doesn’t guarantee success (for example, they could sign G Cole and Strasburg and they could get hurt). But option 1 guarantees failure.

    1. I don’t view the options as being as binary as you phrase them. I think they will pursue free agents while trying to build from within. The goal is to get good and stay good – that’s a big thing with Middleton and I expect it will be the case regardless of whether MacPhail and Klentak or others are running the show.

    2. I think they can still have a good offseason without getting Cole or Strasburg.

      Wheeler and Hamels would be good gets.

      Aaron Nola / Zack Wheeler / Cole Hamels / Zach Eflin / Jake Arrietta would be an upgrade

      Will Smith being brought in as a CP or 8th inning arm would be an upgrade.

      There’s a few bounce back guys on the FA market – Scooter Gennett, Didi Gregorius (who I would pursue if they’re moving Segura to 3B or 2B), Eduardo Nuñez (placeholder for Bohm to platoon with Miller who I think needs to be retained).

      I think there’s salary dump guys out there who could improve the team (Kluber, Cueto).

      I don’t think they can bring themselves to the Dodgers/Astros/Yankees/Braves level next year but they can improve and be a Wild Card team next year.

      I want them to go nuts for Cole but it wouldn’t ruin my outlook for next year assuming they improve their depth considerably.

      1. Good call on your analysis. Getting Gerritt Cole would be ideal at this point, but it won’t be the end of the world if we don’t. And that contract is going to be nasty.

  35. It doesn’t feel good that Middleton is taking so long to announce his decision…I would like to see him be more decisive, after all didn’t he see what I/ we saw since July?
    That Podcast (Jim Salisbery) was very damming of Kapler, how can Middleton possibly keep him for another year?

    1. Because maybe not everyone agrees with Jim Salisbury, who is not Middleton’s employee.

      1. According to Matt Geld…last Thursday in the Washington hotel there were mixed views on keeping Gabe….so Middleton may be caught in the middle.

        1. I would think the GM and/or the President would want him fired. If you’re the GM and you stubbornly stick to your guns and refuse to change, you’re the one who gets fired. Just ask Ron Hextall.

          1. Exactly……though MacPhail did not give Klentak or Kapler great endorsements in Oct 2017 when he was hired……saying something to the effect getting rid of Pete Mack may not be endearing himself to some of the fans, and that every GM only has so many manager hiring in their tenure.

        2. I have to think that the voices which ultimately win out are the players’. While Bryce and JTR spoke honorably (diplomatically) of Gabe, neither gave any sense of his personal impact on them or their teammates. Gabe never threw anybody blatantly under the bus, and the players appreciate that. However, the evidence before our own eyes suggests that they didn’t exactly lay it on the line for Kapler.

          1. I don’t think they were particularly good or well coached. Is the latter flaw the fault of the manager? I guess so, but indirectly.

            1. It seems to me that the consensus among us here is that the most essential move which Middleton needs to make in order to promptly right this ship is the one which is least likely to happen – namely, firing or removing MacKlentak. The debate over Kapler runs on, but really, what changes if he’s the sole casualty?

            2. Or maybe just Klentak? I think Klentak is smart, but being smart doesn’t mean you are particularly good at identifying talent, and that’s one of the GM’s most important functions.

            3. I am dreaming of Middleton contacting the Rays’ brass for permission to interview Chaim Bloom (quickly and quietly) to become the Phillies VP of baseball ops, with a new GM and manager to be named.

            4. Or – while we speculate until we’re blue in the face – maybe Middleton outlasts Klentak, frustrating him until he finally breaks down and resigns his post.

            5. I really do not think Matt Klentak is a quitter… he probably will not resign.
              And i do not think Middleton would go so far to push him in that direction.
              But, I do think Kapler will not have the final say in the manager…he already crossed that bridge.

    2. Agree…everyday that goes by is one day closer to Gabe returning in 2020.
      Almost like a jury in deliberation….the longer out, the better for the defense.
      Gabe is on ‘trial’.

      1. I’m going the other way Romus the longer nothing gets announced the more I think/hope Middleton plans to clean house starting with Mcphail and Klentak

        at which point the manager position is left up to the new GM

        1. That could be a possibility…but still do not see Middleton canning both MacPhail and Klentak after just extending them.
          I think his pride would take a hit.

          1. Actually that would be a MAJOR STATEMENT on Middleton’s part, Romus. Like saying to hell with it, I want to get this right AND that no executive under his employ should ever feel secure because of his contractual status.

            1. Yeah…will have to see what he does.
              I have not seen any indications yet that he is willing to move on from MacPhail.
              Klentak and Kapler however is another story.

            2. What Middleton does NOT want, however, is to give any indication that there is instability within the ranks of leadership. It’s a tricky balance to keep.

            3. ….but maybe, just maybe, he’s waiting to break any news until right before tonight’s wild card game between the Brew Crew and and hated Washington Nationals. That would be a nice touch😄

  36. On their podcast, Jim Salisbury said that his sense is the Phillies aren’t overly concerned with the luxury threshold. I was glad to hear that. There will be enough salary coming off the books over the next couple of years so it shouldn’t be an indefinite issue. Go for it, Johnny!

  37. Off topic, but Jon Heyman reported today that the Reds and Mets will be shopping for a CF this off season. Anyone think we could send Doobie packing to either team?

  38. Boston seems to be having trouble with a keeping Betts and Martinez due to luxury tax considerations… What would the Phillies have to give up to get Betts in a trade?

      1. KuKo….do not think that many ….maybe three.
        Sox are losing Betts anyway after next year….so that is leverage and the team gaining him has to resign him, so there again is that aspect of the deal.
        Howard and Bohm and maybe a lower tier guy like Luis Garcia

        I’d pass on Betts since he will cost a bundle for yet another position player…pitching is the primary need.

        1. @romus – if the Phillies will make a trade now I still think it will take the 5 especially since other teams will join the bidding. But as the days pass, BOS will lose leverage similar to what happened to BAL and Machado.

          1. There may not be many lining up now to trade for Betts ……after next year there will only be only a few teams that will want to pay out the money for Betts
            he is a one year rental…..and teams treasure their prospects enough to not clean out the cupboard.
            The one team that may want to do it, IMO, is San Diego…Preller needs to make a splash again and start putting all his young talent to work for it on the field or as trade chips for a Betts.

            1. I haven’t gone thru the team’s line ups yet but Betts being a young stud and possibly Top 10 should gather interests to any non-rebuilding teams. SD being one and ATL being another. 3 Teams with deep farm that can drive the price up.

      2. That wouldn’t be enough. Phil’s don’t have the prospect talent to land a Betts type player. 26 year olds with 37 career war already don’t get traded. But if they did, it is for elite prospects. Like top 10 in mlb prospects. Not 2 top 100 types.

  39. Probably wishful thinking, but maybe Middleton is waiting to line up a new GM. I should think he’d want a guy who Realmuto can feel confident of so he can be resigned.

    Anybody think Ed Wade is a possibility?

    1. Hopefully Middleton is pulling the strings on the Realmuto deal as well. The GM should be irrelevant in this case.

    2. Frank….they go back a long way to the mid-90s.
      Maybe a possibility…..but Ed Wade , now in his 60s may be a little beyond the normal youthful age of most GMs these days.

  40. What an exhausting year, from the Machado/Harper rumors until this FO process. Need resolution to recover for next year.

    1. As much as I like John Middleton, the fact that it’s taking him beyond the regular season schedule to come to a decision is troubling. I understand he’s sought a lot of input from trusted baseball people from within and without the organization. But why is it now painful for us to speculate and wait, and we’re not even sure what we’re waiting for or even speculating about. That’s not good.

      1. Yeah, but when you come down to it. The whole year has been painful, so why would this be any different. My biggest fear is that he decides to honor their contracts and give them another year. That will probably be more pain than I can endure!😩

      2. Just because nothing is announced doesn’t mean he hasn’t made his decision.

        Also, a lot of people are just assuming its a foregone conclusion that at least one person is losing their job. This could very well be his decision; the right personnel are in place and we’re on the right path.

  41. Can someone explain to me who the differing voices in the Front Office are? If reports are true that there were mixed feelings on Kapler, who are they? Mac/Klentak are there, Dallas Green has passed on, may he rest in peace, I thought Pat Gillick is retired, there are the Buck heirs, who still own a piece of the team, I don’t understand who all the voices belong to.

    1. @matt13 – I’m also trying to figure out the differing voices in the FO. IMO, it’s basically Middleton vs Middleton’s Pride. Most of the mistakes made resulting to a disappointing season point to decisions made by his wonder boy Matt Klentak. From firing and hiring of coaches to signing or non-signing of certain free agents to over or undervaluing the abilities and capabilities of the team, etc.. The best course is to fire both McPhail and Klentak and let the new FO decide on Kapler. But Middleton just extended both gentlemen so he is admitting that the extension is a mistake and he will be on the hook if he let go of both.

      Like what most said here, Future Mr. Smart Skipper Gabe Kapler is the least of the problem. Some can say that Kapler was set up to fail by Klentak. But it is also reasonable to say that Kapler did not help his case or help in covering the mistakes made by Klentak with his lack of feel of the game and some boneheaded application of analytics.

    2. MacPhail may be anti-Kapler, Klentak pro of course. There’s farm director Josh Bonifay(?). Larry Bowa (anti?) and Charlie Manuel (anti?) who are advisors. The Bucks may have a say. Then there’s the assistant GMs – Brian Minnitti, Ned Rice, Scott Proefrock, Bart Braun, Jorge Velandia, and advisors like Pete Mackanin, Mike Schmidt and Jimmy Rollins. Depending on how wide of a circle he’s listening to, there may be varying opinions.

  42. Here’s the way Buster Olney sees the Gabe Kapler situation:

    “The lines seem to be drawn within the Philadelphia organization, and Gabe Kapler’s fate seems to come down to this: What does owner John Middleton want? General manager Matt Klentak hired Kapler and has expressed confidence in Kapler’s work, despite back-to-back September collapses by the team, and some rival evaluators suggest that any objective analysis is that Kapler has been adept in his in-game managing.
    But the Phillies’ vocal fan base has expressed its opinion — it wants change — and Middleton has acknowledged that this is a voice that matters to him. He stepped in when the fan base clamored for Bryce Harper over Manny Machado last offseason and executed a record-setting deal with Harper, and in August, Middleton asked Charlie Manuel to replace John Mallee as hitting coach.
    If Middleton orders a change, the ties with available candidates are deep. Maddon is a Pennsylvania native, a product of Hazelton. Mike Scioscia, another Pennsylvania native, attended Penn State long before managing the Angels for 19 years. Team president Andy MacPhail was with the Baltimore Orioles when they hired Buck Showalter, who might be an excellent win-now option. And, yes, they could pursue Girardi.”

    Olney (like Bob Nightengale previously) also says Gabe could be a candidate for the SFG’s job if the Phillies fire him.

    1. “General manager Matt Klentak hired Kapler and has expressed confidence in Kapler’s work…and some rival evaluators suggest that any objective analysis is that Kapler has been adept in his in-game managing.”

      But the WIP crowd wants blood, so they will force a firing.

      1. And all the empty seats at Citizens Bank Park in 2020 won’t have any impact on his decision?

        1. attendance is not the data to use to support your argument to fire Kapler

          obviously impossible to know 2020 attendance as of October 2019, but the 2019 attendance was terrific. The Phils had the largest year over year increase in attendance across the MLB

          of course, that had nothing to do with Kapler and had everything to do with expectations from the Harper and Realmuto additions. But that really is the point. Fans come out to see the players play. Not the manager.

          I expect Middleton to increase payroll again this off season and that will get the fans happy and they will come out.

          1. The only way the attendance in 2020 is anywhere close to 2019 and Kapler stays? Middleton instead fires MacPhail and Klentak. Otherwise very few will show their belief in this organization with their wallets at the turnstiles, Gerrit Cole or no Gerrit Cole.

          2. Attendance is tickets sold. That park was empty. Those tickets were bought months ago. The crowds weren’t great or maybe I was watching the wrong game

          3. I am in lock-step with v1.

            #1 … The Phillies had the biggest increase in attendance this season. Obviously, Bryce Harper was the reason for that. Harper will be back next season, and those same fans will be back out in 2020. The Phillies made lots of money this season, and will have no problem spending over the luxury tax threshold in 2020.

            #2 … Whether you want to believe it or not, many (and I’m not lumping the die hard Kapler haters on this site in with them) fans are persuaded by Angelo Cataldi. He’s made a handsome living taking the most extreme points of view on subjects over the years. Cataldi has been getting lots of mileage out of the whole “Gabe is the worst manager in the history of MLB” thing.

            I’ll make my point again … when the FO punts the season away before the trade deadline, and does nothing (worthwhile) to address the club’s horrific pitching problems while every other playoff competitor is making actual moves, how can anyone then blame Gabe for the Phillies second half collapse?
            IMO Kapler did a helluva job to keep the team in contention for as long as he did with the group of castoff pitchers he had to work with.
            Many of you want Joe Maddon. I wouldn’t be disappointed with him, but let’s be real here … (Maddon has a long history of success … but …) in 2019 Gabe Kapler did a better job than Joe Maddon. Maddon had (maybe) the deepest lineup in MLB, and he was running out a starting rotation featuring John Lester, Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels, and Jose Quintana. With all that to work with, Maddon’s team was only three games netter than Gabe’s.

            1. Well said. Kapler somehow nursed this team through September with perhaps the least talented bullpen I’ve ever seen due to injuries. It wouldn’t surprise me if Kapler outlasts Klentak and I’d be okay with that.

            2. Hinkie – major clarification from one of among the “Kapler haters on this site” – there is a difference between blaming him for the collapse (which I don’t primarily, that’s mostly on Klentak) and by observation coming to the conclusion that he’s simply not cut out to be a major league manager, at least not now – and we don’t have the luxury of waiting for him to become one. That needs to be clear, and I think I speak for most of those on my side of the argument.

            3. 8mark … for me, it’s impossible to fairly judge Gabe Kapler’s ability to be a good MLB manager when he’s working with group of pitchers he had. Someone (may have been Buddy) listed a group of managers the other day and asked me if I wouldn’t prefer them. I’m telling you none of them (not Maddon, not Girardi, not Showalter, etc) would have made the playoffs with the pitching staff Gabe was working with.

            4. Hinkie, short of having an all star team at his disposal, I doubt Kapler has the wherewithal to get a team very far. No feel, no accountability, no real baseball instincts. Yes, he’d be suitable for an executive position perhaps. No data to support it, I’m afraid. Just the old eye test.

            5. @hinkie – the issue with Kapler is that he is not “ripe” for the job. If the Phillies wants to win starting 2020, they need to do better than Gabe Kapler. Unless somebody is a clairvoyant there’s no way to find out if Kapler is really the best option to lead the Phillies team in the WS race.

              I’ve been asking this a number of times —- what specific abilities did Kapler displayed to give the fans optimism that he can compete with the best of the best? Not throwing his team under the bus is one. What else???

              All I hear and read are just excuses — Injuries, Klentak did not sign this and that, etc. If excuses is all you have to support a person, is that a sound decision making process?

            6. Yes, in a court of law, Kapler would probably be declared innocent of the Phillies demise of both 2018 and 2019, due to insufficient evidence. We can all agree….

              Now, if I’m looking for a guy who speaks with a resonant voice and has a positive attitude, he’s the man. What baseball qualifications he has to manage a professional baseball team is utterly beyond my perception.

          4. v1, Yes, attendance rose, but it fell towards the end of the year and in the last series attendance was below last year. So the fans might already have spoken and given a hint of what 2020 will bring if there isn’t some off-season boost to optimism as happened this year.

            Also, once burned, twice wary, and fan optimism was burned.

            1. Fans have short memories. See the Sixers, whom Cataldi and Eskin insisted the fans would never return.

              Win and fans show up. Lose and they don’t. Simple.

  43. Scott Lauber’s piece posted late yesterday suggests that it’s likely an announcement is made today. He also speculates that the Phillies may be considering offering Kapler another position within the organization, while possibly gauging interest from prominent candidates like Maddon, Girardi, Showalter et al.

    1. I heard one guy on MLB say Maddon wont come east, He has a home and likes the west coast, Who really knows,

      1. I agree that Maddon won’t be the Phillies new manager. My money is on Showalter. Which probably means MacPhail sticks around. Yippee!

        1. Don’t forget Clint Hurdle and Brad Ausmus are now out there also.
          And a third time could be the charm for Brad Ausmus….a slightly older version of Gabe.
          Seems former catchers go into managerial positions.

        2. NO NO NO NO NO. Please start over. Let’s mirror the worst team in baseball The Orioles.

          1. Denny…..remember Charlie Manuel got canned in Cleveland in 2002, his team was below .500 when he got axed. Phillies picked him a few years later and it worked out well.

            1. Maybe Showalter looks like every mean coach I had that had a little talent and never made it to the level they wanted in baseball so they take it out on the players.

  44. I know most of us are focused on the impending yay or nay from Middleton, but how about the absolute gift the Nats got? That must’ve been one awful nights sleep for the Brewers RF.
    Imagine the Phillies sell the farm to make a WC run, make it, and then the season ends like it did for the brewers? It’s not apples to apples but glad that they held tight at the deadline to regroup this winter.

    Stroman for a package led by Howard would be pretty hard to swallow at this point, if that’s what it would’ve taken.

  45. I know most of us are focused on the impending yay or nay from Middleton, but how about the absolute gift the Nats got? That must’ve been one awful nights sleep for the Brewers RF.
    Imagine the Phillies sell the farm to make a WC run, make it, and then the season ends like it did for the brewers? It’s not apples to apples but glad that they held tight at the deadline to regroup this winter.

    Stroman for a package led by Howard would be pretty hard to swallow at this point, if that’s what it would’ve taken. (Speculation on my part)

    1. Howard as part of a package for Stroman? That’s the beginning of the end in my view. No way!

    1. I agree with rocco. Howard is not available. He will be ready mid-season and will replace whichever of Smyly, Arrieta or Eflin is faltering.

  46. Is “WIP crowd” literally who you are if you support Kapler’s firing? If you’re a knowledgeable Philly sports fan, being associated with WIP and Cataldi is an insult. So the pro-Kapler are the Baseball Guru’s or The Truth now?

    I cannot stand listening even 1 minute to that station because it’s plain garbage.

    1. Kuko, the “WIP crowd” shot is a lazy way for the pro-Kapler people to lump all the anti-Kapler people together, as if there aren’t any varying aspects of the raging argument. I’m surprised because they are usually prepared with “data” to support a more sophisticated view.

      1. The funniest or goofiest thing I’ve seen on here lately is that you need data to support your reasoning for thinking Kapler should go. If data is the basis why are the Cubs letting Maddon go?

        1. DMAR….simple…he only won one WS ring…they wanted a total of three! 🙂

          Now time for the South siders to rule Chicago.

          1. LOL ok Romus they are on the come and will be in the running to spend some money…

            I expect them to be in heavy for Rendon…

    2. I don’t think it’s all that fair, it’s not a clear cut decision. I can see it going either way, or again, at least until the midway point of next season. It is not all that fair to rip Kapler when he went to battle without a true major league bullpen, that would cost many teams their chance at the postseason. At the same time, it is two years of mid season collapses. If they had made the playoffs last year, the injuries/bullpen is a lot easier to tolerate, but that didn’t happen.

      To me, the damning evidence is the record vs the marlins. That is either on the coach/players or FO. Also the improvement or regression is a key focus. Other key points exist, but The majority of rest is just noise to me. I’d narrow my decision down to that. Either way, it doesn’t look good for Kapler imo, either he is fired, or he stays on the hot seat. Time for results, but I don’t personally think the team is as close as they believe they are/want to be to the postseason

  47. This article exemplifies what I feel should be the decision making process of JM. Where is your FO in respect to those that are winning 100+ games? Where is your talent level top to bottom with respect to those teams winning 100+ games?

    Joel Sherman was on the other night talking about an interview he did with Billy Bean a few weeks ago. Billy says the tide has shifted more than it ever has for FO’s to race to the bottom when they view they are not at the top. He likes to zig when they all zag which means he now is seeing and finding value in the middle.

    What Joel doesn’t say is that Billy really has no choice as he can never spend even when it makes sense but the point isn’t a bad one.

    1. Bean got a lot of value out of guys like Fiers, Bassit, Anderson and Frankie Montas
      He got Montas in a deal from the Dodgers which included Jharel Cotton for Reddick and Rich Hill.

      Some would say Bean does a lot of throw it against a wall and see if it sticks type moves as that’s fine. But you can’t argue his squads eye for talent is a notch above ours.

    2. Agreed that the talent value is mostly in the middle – see Mike Moustakas and Mike Minor. But here’s the rub – you have to have the ability to spot and target that talent otherwise you end up with Michael Saunders. I will give Klentak this – his in-season moves were very value oriented. He added quite a bit of talent for not much cost. It wasn’t enough obviously (and many of those guys got hurt and you can’t predict that), but he did alright.

      1. That’s one problem that Klentak has – he spends money as if it’s coming out of his own pocket. Prospects I understand. Prep boy who won’t spend dad’s cash. Good kid. But I don’t want him running my baseball team.

        1. No, focusing on value is one of his strengths. His weakness is that he hasn’t been able to identify talent sufficiently or think out of the box.

      2. You are correct….Klentak avoided costly giveaways.
        For 2018 mid-season…give him a grade of C…Ramos was the only benefit
        For 2019…maybe a B or B plus…..Dickerson, Bruce, Smyly and even Miller were good pick-ups…Vargas just not sure.

      3. @catch – i agree about Klentak’s value shopping. But at the end of the day, you need real talent to win and Klentak cannot compete with the best of the best if his talents have a value of an item taken in a recycle bin.

        I have no issue with Klentak’s ability to get value, but his ability to evaluate legit MLB talent is what’s lacking. Klentak can be a good businessman but he should not be making any decisions about MLB talents.

        1. “I have no issue with Klentak’s ability to get value, but his ability to evaluate legit MLB talent is what’s lacking. Klentak can be a good businessman but he should not be making any decisions about MLB talents.”


  48. v1, I have been pretty clear in my opinion that firing Kapler does not solve a thing. My problems with the team come from above him. What I want is for the Owner to make a decision, and explain how we go forward, and to make it clear that next year the Playoffs are a must. The last guy I want is Buck Showalter because I want nothing that smacks of MacPhail’s influence. So bring back Kapler, give him a year’s extension, fire the PC, and go sign Gerrit Cole and some BP help, and the fans will buy tickets. Hearing nothing from Middleton is the problem right now.

  49. I’m not for or against hiring Showalter, but San Diego is interested in him, according to reports. They want an experienced skipper. He’s managed Manny in Baltimore and worked with Padres GM AJ Preller when they were together in Texas.

  50. I watched that NL WC game last night, and my two biggest take-aways were:

    1. Juan Soto is an incredible player at any age. The fact that he’s only 20 is absolutely mind blowing.

    2. My eyes almost popped out of my head when I saw Drew Pomeranz throwing 96 and 97 MPH out of the BP. The last time I really watched him, he was only 89-91 as a starter for the BoSox. He was still hitting 96 in his second inning of relief last night. He’s a FA this winter. A LHRP who can go multiple innings, and reach the upper 90’s, and who shouldn’t break the bank? Sign me up for that.

      1. Did you know and what surprised me?
        …Haseley’s bWAR ended up at 1.7 over 242 PAs…..if you extrapolate that over 600 PAs that is over 3.5bWAR
        Most of it however is dWAR, but…..

  51. Jim Salisbury just tweeted that he is not expecting any resolution to be announced today. Wonderful!

  52. Any chance that Middleton is waiting for Tampa’s playoff run to end so that he can introduce local product Chaim Bloom as President of Baseball Operations?

  53. Let me preface this by saying I think they do let go of Kapler but with that said, someone tell me why . . . first i’ll lay out why not . . .

    Year 1: Kapler had a team who no one thought was a contender in 1st place for 5 outta 6 months of the season. And that’s with no help at the trade deadline either. Basically took a shell of a team and had them playing above their heads.

    Year 2: Had a rotation that MAYBE had 2/5 who were competent ML starting pitchers and an ace who pitched terribly in the beginning of the year. Lost 2/3 of their starting OFer by June 1st (Their lead off hitter and leader on the team and their 6th hole starting CF) and a bullpen that belonged in AA or AAA. Not to mention that they lost I believe 5-6 games with 2 outs and the lead in the 9th (several with 2 strikes and 2 outs) . . . Yet still had them hanging around in Aug and Sept.

    I would like to see what he can do with an actual team.

    1. Eric D … welcome back.
      Excellent points that will mostly go ignored by a whole lot of people who have made up their minds and refuse to believe Gabe can win with an actual pitching staff.
      It’s like judging a plumber trying to replace an elbow joint with a screw driver and hammer vs another plumber doing the same job with a monkey wrench.

      1. @Hinkie – being a skipper is not really a specialized task. You don’t need a HOF coach in Chuck Daly to coach the original Dream Team and still win the gold. 90% of the NBA coaches can manage the Durant Warriors and still run away in the West.

        Anybody who will put in a situation with all the talent and resources can succeed. Again, nothing that I see and hear but excuses.

      2. Hinkie….Gabe seems to be too robotic…..even think, Boston Dynamics is coming out with his clone soon.

        1. KuKo … I agree that many different coaches/managers can win championships with great teams. I also know that the opposite is true. When a team is lacking talent (for instance only has one good starting pitcher and 2 reliable relievers), no manager is going to win anything with that group. Again … if you think Maddon, Girardi, or Showalter were going to take the 2019 Phillies to the playoffs, I don’t know what to tell you. Maddon couldn’t even take the 2019 Cubs to the playoffs with a deeper lineup and a starting rotation featuring Lester, Darvish, Hamels, and Quintana.

          1. I get it, Hinkie….but still – what qualifies Kapler as a manager? That’s an answer I’ve yet to hear from the pro-Gabe camp, other than he’s data driven as a basis for his decisions, which is only part and parcel to what the job entails. All I’m hearing is that since he’s not to blame for the collapse, which IMO is totally beside the point.

          2. @hinkie, I’m not specifically on Maddon, Girardi and Showalter. This might be hypothetical, but if Maddon and Kapler switched positions – will the Cubs and Phillies finish better??? There’s no way to answer that. That’s why I’m just asking —- what did Kapler do/did to give the Phillies fans comfort that he can lead a better team to WS??? Kapler has done nothing to convince me or anybody outside the pro-Kapler. I’ve been asking you and others directly but what I get are just hypothetical and excuses as why doesn’t deserved to be fired.

            I’m certain that if the Phillies improve the rotation, add a solid bullpen piece that will not implode and Hoskins will play to his abilities, the 2020 Phillies will be a contender regardless of who is the skipper. Sign Gerrit Cole and Will Harris and the key players played to their abilities and I’m close to certain that the Phillies will be better next season wheter it’s Dusty Wathan, Philly Phanactic, Gritty or Johnny Cigars is the skipper.

            IMO, a value of a skipper is he can lead his player to play at the best of their abilities. Maximize strengths, develop weakness and be accountable. It doesn’t look like Kapler did any of that. His lack of feel, low EQ and robotic approach led to decisions that broke the team and regressed this players. That Kranitz tale and the Chris Young story — Kapler has a hand on that. Chris Young, another analytics talker with no feel, just screwed up the pitching and let’s just blame the players for that???

            We’ve watched Pivetta and Eflin pitched for a while now. We know their weakness and we see them improved. Then come Chris Young and his analytics – then both Pivetta and Eflin became DFA candidate. Then there’s Aaron Nola who likes to change speed by mixing his FB and CU to set up his wicked CB for a K. Who asked him to pitch backwards?

    2. @Eric – on year 1, some players are over performing in the 1st half that’s why the Phillies are ahead of projection. When law of averages kicks in it shows where the should be. So give Kapler credit if players are over performing but blame the players (i.e. Nola, Pivetta, etc, etc) if they are under performing??

      On year 2, some of the bullpen collapse is on decisions made my Kapler. So we just point it out to the players again? The change in pitching philosophy screws up some of the player and this decision came from Kapler thru his endorsement of an inexperienced Chris Young.

      The big issue with Kapler is — NONE as is NONE of the young players thrived and developed under Kapler NONE!!! The pro Kaplers just blame the players, the injuries, Klentak without acknowledging Kapler’s faults and miscues that are very documented.

      The main reason why I leaning towards the move on from Kapler group is because most of the reasons I see to support Kapler are based on excuses.

  54. My main question for the pro-Kapler crowd is…Doesn’t good leadership make players better at all? Or, even the team?
    In the workplace, the employees that work for a mediocre company will be stuck in mediocrity, if you take that SAME workforce to a gold standard company, they will perform FAR better. Why? Because of the leadership!!
    Now, sports players do need talent to succeed, but do you actually believe that a manager only makes a difference of 2 to 3 wins and losses each year? Is there data for that?

    I do realize that he didn’t have many A players, How many A-players do the A’s and the Rays have??
    To me with their limited payroll…those two teams ARE the gold standard.I wish one of them would be in the NL…

  55. I think the longer this goes the more likely either Kapler is staying and they do not feel a need to announce it


    and I’m starting to think this may be more likely than we think: larger changes are coming in the front office. The process seems to have failed and you admit that by firing Kapler. It’s clear Klentak still believes in Kapler. Maybe there’s an internal power struggle going on that leads to Andy & Klentak’s outser?

  56. And, to put the fire Kapler group with the WIP crowd, come on, I thought people on here are better than that! Since we have a different opinion, we are now the WIP crowd??

  57. Macphail lost me was when he said he was a New York guy. He is here just for the $ and no one else wants him.

  58. Talking about McPhail, someone posted his long record as a baseball executive on Twitter — an overall losing record.

    I don’t have confidence that McPhail’s “if we do we do if we don’t we don’t” mindset.

    I’m not expecting it, but I’d be happy to see him and Klentak go.

  59. On a more refreshing subject, Baseball America has released its Top 20 prospects from 2019’s Florida State League season. Alex Bohm finished at Number Two behind BA’s overall Number One prospect Wander Franco.

    Bohm, BA noted, was one of only three players in all of minor league baseball to hit more than 20 home runs and have a strike-out rate under 15 percent. He finished at 13.5 percent.

  60. Gabe’s deficiencies:

    1 Does not maintain accountability within the dugout and clubhouse, or clearly communicate disciplinary action to the players aside from a discussion.

    2 Inability to envision the players on the team’s philosophy or sufficiently develop talent. Providing data is not the same as providing help with either mechanics or confidence.

    3 His ingame decision making is highly questionable, particularly with erratic lineup construction, illogical double switches and managing the pitching staff inconsistently – especially when every decision is supposed to be data based.

    4 Sean Rodriguez. Why he’s even on the roster screams veteran favoritism at the expense of younger players who need reps if they’re in the team’s plans at all (ie Franco and Williams). Otherwise they should have been assigned to AAA in order to develop. This is a corruption of managerial integrity.

    5 Lack of transparency. His pre- and post-game explanations are often insulting, usually couched in positive spin and empty praise of players who aren’t being served by hearing public comments that only mute their weaknesses or bad habits. And Kapler never admits his mistakes specifically or specifies in what ways he himself needs to improve. And so he keeps on doing the same things.

    1. Here’s why Gabe is Future Mr. Smart Skipper:

      Excuse #1 – Rotation. Klentak did not sign Mortion. Young arms sucks.
      Excuse #2 – Injuries. Farm did not produce top prospect arms to replace the injured players. Klentak did not trade for a legit arm.
      Excuse #3 – Bullpen – everyone he puts in don’t do their job.
      Excuse #4 – Players incompetence – players don’t know how to follow analytics. Nola is not dominating the batters by throwing mostly his CB. Pivetta and Eflin stink with their high FB.

      It is obvious to the visible eye that Gabe Kapler lacks a “feel of the game” that’s why he cannot implement the value of analytics properly. Gabe Kapler is an average skipper. He can be better, but currently he is average.

      1. Interesting, Romus. I wonder if many of the sabermetrically inclined, such as Gabe, suffer from a shortsightedness of the human factors of personal pain, be it physical, emotional or mental. Every day of the week isn’t the same for everyone. People have ups and downs. A kid who strikes out 4 times in a game vs 3 different pitchers may not feel the same as on another day when he goes 3 for 4 with 2 stolen bases and gunned down a runner at home. There are some in leadership positions, polished as they are in how they present themselves, who yet cannot effectively care for those who are hurting on any given day, because their paradigm doesn’t factor the unexpected into their equations for success.

        1. Yes…..supposedly, some leaders are truly empathetic, some sympathetic and others just a little too apathetic.

  61. 8mark… Great post!! I Greatly appreciate all of the time you guys all spend with your posts,and the info/ data you take the time to look up and share on this site.

  62. The 2019 Phillies is not in the same level as the pre-Joel Embiid Sixers teams. As expected, Brett Brown lost a lot of games but in the process build the “family” culture that the Sixers are experiencing right now. Brett Brown also made something of a Robert Covingting, Tony Wroten, TJ McConnel – players that have no business playing in the NBA.

    Kapler did nothing of what Brett Brown did despite having legit talent in his team like Harper, JTR, Nola, Hoskins, Kingery, etc. Players under performed, but why? It is because they just plain suck or because they were asked to back away from the things they do well but instead do something they haven’t done?

    If Klentak is guilty of setting Kapler to fail due to lack of talent, Kapler is also guilty for setting his players to fail because of the mistakes he made.

    1. Like a good player/teammate, a good manager will rub off on others and enhance their game.

      1. Mistakes are reasonable and expected from an inexperienced skipper like Kapler. But when the pitching and hitting coaches are trying to employ something that’s not working with his players, Kapler should just step in right away. I know I’m just guessing like most of us are doing, but the smoke of that Athletic article and chirping from the whisper lanes are too much to just ignore.

  63. The Stros may offer a contract to Gerrit Cole but there are certain not the exceed the luxury tax. Gerrit will not be an Astros next season.

      1. If the Stros will another WS, I will not be surprised if they will trade Correa, Greinke, Cole, etc , restock the farm and make another run again with a different core. I actually like the current mind set of the Astros FO. They look decisive to me and they act fast – on top of course on hitting on certain players they drafted.

        Decisiveness and Acting Fast is the opposite of what we have in the Phillies FO.

        1. I only wish there was some formula but it takes good baseball people who know what they are looking at, know how to nurture the talent, and mix in a little good fortune, all of which is difficult to quantify, but without it we’re sentenced to perpetual mediocrity. Best advice is to look for the best blood lines. Problem with the Phillies is, they’ve hired people from both Atlanta and Houston and yet to show the proverbial profit from them. Maybe time will tell….

  64. The Astros made mistakes, and they had the benefit of some top picks that worked out really well. Mark Appel, our old friend, is one of the mistakes. And, even with their homegrown players, it still took a trade for Verlander, and now Greinke and Cole to be the team they are. And, they had a better Rotation than ours before they added those 3 TORs. SP is key, and we can argue forever about Corbin, but we cannot make that judgment call again. Cole is better, and whatever it takes, 7/$235M?, whatever, we need to go get him. The next guys down, MadBum and Wheeler are a major step down from Cole. And, if we don’t get a major SP upgrade, and some BP help, then Casey Stengel reincarnated, won’t win.

  65. Ok well if you’re gonna talk about players who didn’t preform under Kapler how about Harper setting career highs? JT having his best year, Kingery improving, Hernandez having his best WAR year or close to it. You can’t name one player as not developing but then poop poop those who did better. Personality, I don’t believe the manager develops players, that’s done in the minors and then on the players own plus little help w video and minor tweaking by their respective coaches (pitching/hitting). Also I’ve heard “well Eflin got better when he went to his old way and didn’t listen to them” . . . Actually he pitched the best he ever has when he was listening to them. He just wasn’t in shape to throw to that style (“heavy body”). I think the turn around towards the end had more to do w not throwing as much (coming outta the pen) getting some rest.
    And Gabe didn’t lose games where we were up w 2 outs and 2 strikes only to lose, that’s on the player.
    Say what you want but he had a less than stellar team in 1st for 5/6 months when they were expected to do what? Nothing. And then kept a team in the race (only team in baseball to not dip below .500) until late in the year and that’s with little help from his front office at the deadline.
    As far as not holding players accountable, Segura did the same in Seattle and with the Brewers, maybe that’s just who he is. And Hernandez is a different story completely, he was watching balls that he thought he hit out, it wasn’t him not running balls out . . . That’s a huge difference, both wrong but a huge difference. Ones a lack of hustle and the other is mental. And in that vein, Hoskins/McCutchen/Harper/JT/Kingery/Adam H/Dickerson/Sean R etc etc all played hard, it’s not like it was the majority or even close to the majority.
    If we are being honest, the reason why many don’t like him is his post games but who cares? He doesn’t throw guys under the bus. We are smart enough to know the reasons why games are lost and he knows as well.
    No one is winning w the injuries and pitching staff we had this year. All you need to hear is, Vinny V/Jason Vargas/Drew Smily . . . That’s the 3 we had going into a key series vs the Indians towards the end of the year. Not on Gabe. Get rid of Klentak and MacPhail. Kapler isn’t even in the top 3 reasons we were only . 500

    I’d actually like to hear what won total people thought we should have had? Bc I believe w the run dif we were closer to a 76 win team if not worse. Maybe Kapler did a decent job by those metrics.

    And thanks Hinkie. It’s been a min.

    1. @Eric – Harper and JTR are legit studs. They will perform regardless who is the skipper. Kingery had a bad 2018, he cannot regress worst than that. Cesar is like 30 yos – he’s a finished product and he’s a candidate to be non-tendered. Do you have anybody else? Any good Kapler abilities that is not an excuse?

      When it comes to development, you should looking at the younger players.

    2. Or maybe if Kranitz is still the pitching coach, Nola, Pivetta and Eflin are close to who they were in 2018 – that’s an easy + 10 wins and Klentak doesn’t need acquire Vargas and Smyly anymore. Oh wait, Kapler doesn’t like Kranitz and he wanted him gone.

      1. I never understood that other than a personality or philosophy clash. Kranitz was very good.

        1. Didn’t Matt Gelb mention that their discussions centered around the usage of the bullpen last year?
          Or was that on Jim Salisbury’s podcast with Rick Bo and Corey Seidman?

        2. While nobody here have 1st hand knowledge of the truth — this mistake by Kapler (pushing Kranitz out) if true set a series of unfortunate events that help to the disappointing season. Going back last year, the Phillies promoted a group of young below the radar arms – Arano, Ramos, Rios and Davis — Arano and Ramos are really good last year while the fungible arms or Rios and Davis showed good promise both with improved FB and SL. Some will blame injuries for Arano and Ramos performance in 2019, but they are not the same pitchers in 2018 pre-injury. Similar with Rios and Davis, the promise is gone and both became a fungible arms post-Kranitz. DLS is another curious case.

          And similar pattern happens with the rotation – with Nola losing command and both breakout candidates Pivetta and Eflin became DFA candidates.

          Regression from 1-3 arms seems accept. But regression across the all young developing arms is concerning. Is that McPhail, Klentak or Kapler?

          1. KuKo….:’Eflin became DFA candidates.”….I think that is really not the case,,,there was never indication that the Philies were ever going to cut loose on Eflin.

            1. @romus – sorry to confuse you. looks like you took my sarcasm literally. when i said “DFA candidates” I mean that both Pivetta and Eflin are performing like they don’t belong in the major leagues.

  66. Clubhouse culture. Jake Arrieta publicly threw Carlos Santana under the bus last week because the latter smashed a TV on which several Phillies players (among which was Jake) were playing Fortnite while a game was going on. Santana’s mistake was not telling Kapler first. The guy who should have smashed the TV was the manager. And only if they could have sent Arrieta packing as well. I know he’s under contract for $20M in 2020, but I won’t be rooting for him next year. Bad dude. I blame Middleton for that one. He pushed for signing a past-his-prime clubhouse lawyer. I supported the deal at the time. Shame on me. Anyway, these are cases in point of the breakdown in Kapler’s leadership. He probably brought the boys in his office for a talking to. Great. Now, what’s changed? Who’s playing for Gabe now?

  67. Whatever happens, I find it hard to believe that there is no word yet. Maybe 8mark was right, and we are waiting to have permission to talk to Chaim Bloom? Middleton has to have had a plan before the season ended. Not a chance he started deliberating Sunday. He has to know, as we do, that just firing Kapler won’t matter.I get that, maybe, they held off because of the Jewish New Year, but they could have had a press conference at 11:00 this morning. Regardless, nothing matters, unless John Middleton is committed to upgrading the SP, and acquiring BP help. And, I guess I am more interested in what he has to say, and the waiting is frustrating.

    1. Actually, the Kapler decision is not really a must have. Middleton needs to be certain on how he wants to upgrade the team – whether going hard of Gerrit Cole and/or Rendon and some other FAs or giving up prospects in a trade. And also, Middleton needs to address the blunders and mistakes made by the front office – whether is on the misapplication of analytics, poor talent evaluation or setting the philosophy and/or mindset.

      Once the Phillies upgraded the talent of the team, set a winning culture with accountability and implement the proper use of analytics and opposing player scouting — the 2020 Phillies will be at least +10 wins and a top NL East regardless of who the skipper is.

      My only concern with Kapler as skipper, is when the game is on the line, Kapler will just goof it up due to his lack of feel and experience.

      1. If it were just losing a game here and there, I honestly wouldn’t care too much. Every manager screws up sometimes. My biggest concern is our young players will never develop properly under his watch. Why is it that Grullon couldn’t get playing time even after we were eliminated from the playoffs? How is Haseley supposed to improve against lefties if he NEVER faces one? What’s the point of having bullpen pitchers that will be gone next year come into a meaningless game? Why not have Suarez start the last game of the season since it was a bullpen game anyways?

        Those have me genuinely concerned. He was put in literally the ideal situation to let the kids play. He didn’t. He missed a golden opportunity to help them develop and to see if they might contribute next season.

    2. I’ve been saying this since Monday and Stark is on 975 now saying the same thing. if it was only going to be Kapler to fall on the sword it likely would have been announced already

      or that could just be wishful thinking on my part. In the end I can probably come up with 10 other guys better suited for the job than Klentak.

      1. Wow! That may be wishful thinking but the longer the delay in anything being announced, I am convinced that Middleton can’t do NOTHING and explain away what’s happened since 2015, and especially 2018-19, excuses and all. He has to act beyond changing the pitching coach.

        1. 8mark…..Gabe did say after Sunday’s loss that he loves the Phillies, the city and fans……and having ‘so much autonomy’…now that is something you do not hear that often from managers on the hot-seat.

        2. If Jayson Stark is on to something, I just went from frustration that nothing has been announced to excited about major changes to be resolved next week. I can now wait patiently.

  68. A’s added AJ Puk to their play-off roster.
    He threw a total of 25 innings this year…only other thing that would surprise if he ends up starting a play-off game down the road, if they should go on and win tonight vs the Rays.
    The A’s org are not shy about taking chances .

    1. As I said recently, if the Phillies are going to contend, they are going to need some pleasant surprise breakout performances. Seabold appears to have taken a very large step forward – I can’t wait to watch him in ST to see his stuff. His numbers make him look like a potential #3 which would be huge for this team.

    1. Hard to evaluate to judge the throw yesterday…..Jenista has played a total of 2 games this summer at first base and just a little more in the AFL…6… a grand total of 65 innings with 55 chances
      Any throw in the dirt will be an error on the third baseman, even if an inexperienced first baseman cannot handle it….so that could have been the case.
      Only errors that would concern me in the AFL would be fielding errors.

    2. Ciada, do you know if its a good field? Hard to judge just based on two games, do you think this means he cant field?

    1. Kind of weird for him to put that out there now don’t you think. Why not wait until after the post season…

      I’m sure Luhnow didn’t like that.

      1. DMAR…..exactly.
        Unwritten rule, but pOwners normally are silent until after their teams’ seasons are completed.
        So not sure what he was trying to do other than warn the fans……Cole may not be back since it would mean other players may have to be let go down the road…ie Carlos Correa.

    2. The Astro’s FO appears closer to reality that the ones we have in Philly. Astros know which fights to win or lose and probably realized that teams like the Yankees and Phillies will be going hard after Gerrit Cole that will force them to stretch their resources. Astros will ride Gerrit Cole for their 2nd WS and it’s already a win for them even if they lose Gerrit Coe via FA.

  69. Charlie Morton was pretty darn good last night as was Avisail Garcia but Yandy Diaz stole the show. A trade almost no one paid attention to. Austin Meadows had a terrific 1st full season with an OPS+ of 143. And Tyler Glasnow wow if that kid ever gets healthy look out.

    I used to make fun of the Rays and their bottom feeding ways now I’ve come to respect it.

    that said I don’t think they will ever get over hump operating on such a low payroll. But again I’ll take their FO personnel over ours every day of the week and 2X on Sunday.

  70. $60 Million payroll, truly a horrible stadium, not a really rabid fan base, but FO execs who know what to do, and can obviously spot talent. What would Chaim Bloom, Hinkie’s guy, do with our financial clout? Or, if one of the many advisers to John Middleton convinced him that Charlie Morton was, indeed, an upgrade for the Rotation? There must be hundreds of those advisers because it is not possible that he did not have a plan in place before this season came to an end. So, he must be having hundreds of meetings and that explains doing nothing so far.

    1. Matt shortly after Dombrowski was fired I brought an article to the board titled whats next for the Red Sox.

      In that article Chaim Bloom was listed as a top target for John Henry. I had said at that time Middleton should be following that list closely.

      Because more than a year before that when Bloom pulled off the Archer trade I was convinced that was the type of guy we needed to run our organization.

      And a year before that there was the Yelich trade. As an owner you can’t be obsessed with what other team’s GMs are doing but you should be paying attention.

      1. Except for McPhail who appears contended to wait forever and just receive his paychecks, the Phillies FO lacks a successful track record of success to really push the Phillies team into the next level. Klentak, Kapler and CY may have a brilliant mind, but they are like using the Phillies as their guinea pig for their experiment and see which one works or not. Youth and new ideas are good, but to be a sustainable contending team, the Phillies need to have a stable and decisive FO not a bunch of whiz doing experiments in the lab. There should be a good balance of mind set and skill set.

        The Kranitz-CY tandem last year is a good example – a balance of data analytics and feel for the game and connection with the players. I don’t understand why someone decided to break that tandem.

        I’m not sure if Kapler is involved or helping Klentak in identifying players to join the team. Kapler’s background as a scout should give them some edge in talent evaluation — but based on the last 2 years, the results are poor.

          1. He’s a legacy, like the kid in Animal House. Forget his name. His old man was a big wig in the NL back in the day. The Twins had their run in the early 90’s under his watch, but he’s done virtually little since then.

          2. I’m not a McPhail fan, but McPhail can always brag the 2 WS won by the Twins under his watch.

        1. I’m not sure how much record of success McPhail has. He’s under 500 for his career as a top exec.

          1. McPhail is like the Eli Manning syndrome. Both may not be good overall but both have the 2 rings in their resume.

  71. Bloom checks off all the boxes as a local kid. Middleton loves Klentak. A restructuring of the FO would have to take place in order for Bloom to sign on. I have to think something along these lines may be what’s holding things up. If so, I’m encouraged. While Joe Giglio thinks Middleton is a bad owner for meddling, it’s very necessary when the organization is at a crossroads. Go Johnny!

    1. Would it be an overstatement to say that this is by far the most important off season in many years?

  72. If it is just Kapler going there seems to be no reason that this is being delayed. Maybe I am trying to talk myself into it being more, but this is crazy. Maybe Middleton is in the South of France with Norman Braman? I have heard clips from the things he said before the seasons tarted. Not only did Klentak have the best off season for a GM, better than Branch Rickey!, but one of the keys to getting Harper and not Machado was some Todd Zolecki poll that showed the fans preferred Harper. Maybe he is having polls conducted to decide what to do? That would explain the delay.

    1. Yeah it’s a tough pill to swallow that Middleton loves Klentak, despite the fact that he’s got no balls, no creativity, and he can’t build a pitching staff.

  73. To get away from the FO talk for a bit, one source of optimism I have for a better 2020 season will be coming from the farm. While none of the Phillies prospects are highly regarded except Bohm and possibly, we might be looking for multiple potential breakout contributors from the following prospects that can be called up in 2020:

    Bohm and Howard – obvious choices
    Medina – ready to prove doubters wrong

    Connor Seabold
    Mickey Moniak
    JoJo Romero
    Damon Jones
    Kyle Dohy
    Zach Warren
    Jeff Singer
    Connor Brogdon
    David Parkinson
    Austin Listi
    Jake Hernandez
    Nick Maton
    Darrick Hall (??)

  74. I know that prospect development is not linear, but is there some concrete reason for Medina’s mediocre year? Lost velocity on FB?, lack of command?, he seems to have had very few good starts all season. I am looking forward to the prospect poll. I think, like most of you, that we will see Bohm and Howard in the Bigs this season. I think they are both legit prospects to not just play but do very well. I am looking forward to that.

    1. I’m still optimistic about Adonis Medina. The stuff is still good – 93-95 FB with very good SL and CU. The HR/9 is elevated the last couple of years and command left him from time to time. But Medina still have a decent GB% so once he clean up the command and lower the the HR/9 – he can a good #4 with #3 upside. Medina can also pitch from the pen mixing his FB-SL-CU so he can a contributor next season.

      1. KuKo…..Adonis has trouble carrying the velo beyond 75 pitches.
        He went into the sixth inning 8 times in his 22 games started..and twice into the 7th inning….now his pitch count in some of those games was getting high so that could have been a large factor, the again, his walks went up this year and swing and miss trickled/9 down.
        Going into age23 season I think he still needs to build more strength.

        1. @romus – i cannot disagree with that – that’s why i’ve been suggesting to pitch Medina from the pen. I will assume that the Phillies will sign a couple of veteran SPs (preferably Gerrit Cole + Smyly or Wheeler + Hamels, etc) to join Nola, Arrieta and Eflin. Howard I assume will be in the top of the queue followed by a returning Jerad Eickhoff then there’s Medina and DLS a pool of Irvin / Damon Jones / JoJo Romero / Parkinson and these LHV pool will basically supplement the bullpen.

          1. KuKo……do not discount 22-year old LHP Erik Miller…..he could be the guy also.
            Assume he stats in CLW, he could be in Reading or even LHV by the end of 2020.
            He pitched almost 120 innings last year, so he may be moving up faster than expected.
            They can be more liberal on total innings pitched with him.

            1. Yeah, but i don’t see Erik Miller jumping of the above pitchers I noted — maybe in 2021 but not in 2020. Miller only have 36 IP under his belt. Nola, a more MLB ready pitcher when drafted, threw 175 IP in the minors before getting promoted to the bigs.

              Miller will probably pitch 120-130 IP in 2020 so mid 2021 is probably the earliest we can see Erik Miller in red pin stripes.

            2. Kuko, there’s a growing mindset that would preserve young arms by throwing fewer innings on the farm, just enough to be ripe for the Show.

            3. Nola did get the call up 13 months after he was drafted (Jun’14—-MLB debut July-’15)
              But agree…..I see Miller getting to the MLB in May/June 2021…..if he maintains progress.

      2. Wait what? You have been the biggest fan of Medina and you’re saying that he could be a good #4 with 3 upside? You have been talking about going after TOR pitchers like Gerrit Cole and Medina’s best projection is a 3? Seriously? The way you were hyping him up, I would have sworn he’s a 2 with 1 upside.

          1. Pitchers are hard to develop. If you look at the Nats big 3, Strasburg was a no brainer #1 pick and Sherzer and Corbin came from FA. Mets developed deGrom, but Thor and Wheeler came from trades. Houston got Verlander and Cole and Grienke from trades.

            1. There was once an old time manager who once said….’the problem with pitchers, they do not become good until they are with another team’…I cannot recall who it was that said that now.
              And for the most part , except for some of the elite high draftees, ie Kershaw, MadBum, Strasburg…who stay with their original teams until free agency, that is the case.

        1. I cannot make sense of what you trying to do – antagonize me or what…but you are free to agree to disagree and that’s OK.

          1. I’m not intentionally singling you out. It just so happens that I disagree with a lot of your views, more than anybody else on this board by a wide margin.

            1. I’m not concern even if you single me out. You can shadow me or anybody in this site and that’s your prerogative.

              I cannot still make sense of what you trying to say about Medina and Gerrit Cole. I’ve been on record that I love both pitchers because I believe in their skill sets and I would love to see them pitch for the Phillies. I’ve been consistent in my observations about both pitchers based on what I see when I watched them — whether you are or not it’s up to you.

            2. @kuko, you have always wanted a TOR pitcher. You have been telling everybody that the Phillies should sign Gerritt Cole, a TOR pitcher. Presumably, you are tired of seeing the Phillies trot out non-TOR pitchers on the mound. But you’re hyping up Adonis Medina, a pitcher that you yourself ranked as a #4 pitcher. #4 pitchers are borderline replaceable. I find it odd that you want the Phillies to get TOR pitchers when it looks like you would be happy if Medina (a #4 pitcher by your call) to be the rotation someday.

    1. Carlos Beltran is rumored to be a candidate to be the next Mets manager, and bilingual which seems to be a big qualification for more teams.

      That leaves the Phillies with the last possible managerial vacancy. Let’s hope Middleton is narrowing down the list of prospective candidates as we speak before the league narrows it down for him.

    2. Phillies should look into Callaway…..he got a raw deal up there this year….like Gabe….bullpen stunk, and Robby Cano was not needed.
      Brodie Van Wags did him no favors.

      1. I’m good on ever acquiring another Mets castoff. They have not done well by us.

        Vargas, Bautista, Caberera.

        1. rocco…correct…they even ended up with 86 wins.
          46 and 26 over their last 72 games…..if they Phillies had that they would have been in the play-offs.

          1. As much as we complain about our local organization, the Mets are operated by the Keystone Cops in comparison.

  75. I keep seeing and hearing Raul Ibanez’s name popping up regularly. He would be a first time manager, but with the trend of teams shying away from the marquis names and looking to place “controllable” men in the dugout, he would be a good guy to improve the clubhouse culture. I’ve liked him since as manager material since he retired. The Phillies need a respected figure. I could be wrong.

    1. ….and let’s be honest….Middleton may be looking for a fan favorite with some credible blood lines since Raul has been hanging out with Friedman @ LAD.

      1. If Raul is actually brought in, with little to no mamagerial experience…I’d hope, outside the bullpen guys, that Dusty, Rob Thomson, Paco , Pedro and Bobby Dickerson remain on the staff for continuity purposes.
        He would then have to look for a pitching coach and maybe a hitting coach, unless he lets Pedro handle that duty and get another asst..

        1. You may be right, Romus. I’m sure the next manager will be allowed to pick his bench coach. The brass will probably pick both pitching and hitting coaches. I don’t see the need to dismiss anybody else.

  76. Can Rhys Hoskins’ problems at the plate be fixed? If not, what is the back-up plan: 1) sign Rendon and groom Bohm for 1B; 2) see what Listi can do in ST. There must be other ideas. If Hoskins repeats his line next year, going to the playoff will be very difficult.

    Good news about your wife, Jim. You have many friends here.

    1. Hoskins is making peanuts. Based on his past career, he’s going to get every chance next year to improve. If he doesn’t, then you might see him on the bench very soon or he gets DFAd. 1B only players who can’t hit and defend don’t last long.

  77. A quote from Corey Seidman’s article today on Charlie Morton and how the Phillies lost out.

    “Should the Phillies be criticized for not bringing back Morton? Maybe. It involves a ton of hindsight. But that’s kind of the point. They simply have not identified enough under-the-radar, ascending talent in free agency or via trade. A regime as analytically-inclined as this one should have. Had the Phils’ front office had more success with these types of moves, they’d get more of a pass for the ones they didn’t make.”

    1. He nailed it. Where’s the value trade or value signing? I don’t mean fair value – like Harper or Realmuto? They paid what those cost what are worth and that’s fine. But that’s not where you make up ground. I’m talking about deals where you get much more than what you surrendered. When was the last time that really happened with the Phillies? Bobby Abreu? I’m barely exaggerating.

      1. “I’m talking about deals where you get much more than what you surrendered”….wow, that is hard one.
        Trying to wrack my memory banks..
        I mean some of the obvious were way BC…Before Charlie.
        Guys like Carlton, Tugger, Lenny Dykstra and like you mention Abreu.

        Joe Blanton?
        Maybe JTR/Segura.when all said and done….who knows there.

        1. Team like the Yankees, Dodgers and Indians do these disproportionate value trades all the time. The mediocre franchises like the Phillies (that’s what they are right now until this ship is righted) almost never pull those types of moves off.

    2. “A regime as analytically-inclined” —- talking analytics and actual implementation are 2 different things. Not because you can talk the “analytics language” doesn’t mean you can apply them and be success.

      I mentioned about the “misuse” of data and analytics as my beef with some of the analytics speaking posters here. To me, the Athletic article is still a damning example of misapplication or misuse of analytics. It lacks context and common sense something like a robotic Gabe Kapler will be happy to apply.

  78. Just saw a tweet from Matt Gelb, as the Phillies continue to debate the fate of Kapler, there are also currently 51 players on the 40 man roster. That’s a lot of player maneuvering to be done over the next few weeks. A few of the 11 60-dayers won’t be returning, but neither will a few of those who aren’t. I hope nobody of value falls through the cracks.

    1. Come on 8mark. you are funny. 51 players I could cut 26 at least and it wont hurt us.

      1. Roc, I know you and I could cut the Sean Rodriguez’s on the roster, but I’m afraid the Phillies will let the Brad Millers go.

    2. yes, there are 51 active bodies with 39 in the 40-man and 11 from 60-DL + Doobie.

      The following 15 dudes can be expected to be released via FA/non-tendered/option not picked up and the number goes down to 36….

      Hughes, Jared
      Morin, Mike
      Nicasio, Juan
      Parker, Blake
      Smyly, Drew
      Vargas, Jason
      Vincent, Nick
      Hunter, Tommy
      Neshek, Pat
      Gosselin, Phil
      Dickerson. Corey
      Miller, Brad
      Morrison, Logan
      Rodriguez, Sean
      Pirela, Jose

      Then there’s Doobie and additional potential non-tender candidates in Franco and Cesar (in case the Phillies the $$ game to manage luxury tax) and the number goes down to 33….and few more “in the bubble guys” – Austin Davis, Edubray Ramos, NickyDubs, Knappy and out of option Roman Quinn and the number goes down to 28 before the Rule 5 prospects.

      Jojo Romero and Mo Llovera are the only almost sure lock protections unless the Phillies want to lock Bailey Falter, Jhailyn Ortiz, Rafael Marchan and Manuel Silva which is unlikely.

      The 40-man should be around 35-36 before the Rule 5 draft and the FA signings begin.

  79. Romus re: Corey Seidman’s article. We can give them a pass on not bringing Morton back the year after he was injured. What, however, was the excuse for not trying this past off season? There is none. They can trot out the same argument about how good the young SPs were, but that is an argument that doesn’t fly. Morton is better than every one of them, didn’t cost very much at all and had ties to the area. To ignore him? Indefensible. Klentak’s entire Starting Pitching approach was a failure.

    1. matt13, and how’s this for the kicker – had we signed Morton (either the year he was injured or later) than Jake Arrieta and his $75M contract probably aren’t in the current picture. Ouch!!

    2. Okay, fine, but that’s not his point. His point is that all value deals don’t work out but with a good front office, a lot of them do. But not for this team – and that’s a talent evaluation and development problem – their biggest issues.

      1. But now comes the challenge. Can the Phillies scout their own players? The biggest problem with Morton was that he was here and his stuff was lights out – but nobody in management noticed (I sure as hell did – and was on record here saying so). Now, did they happen to notice that Corey Dickerson and Brad Miller hit the snot out of the ball? Brad Miller hit 12 homers in 118 ABs with the Phillies. That’s not easy to do and he didn’t hit cheap ones either – they were blasts. So if they let him walk away and sign with the As or the Twins and he hits 30 homers in like 370 ABs next year – you can blame their really poor talent evaluation skills.

        1. @catch – i think we’ve been in the same page on Klentak’s lack of ability to identify legit talent internally and externally. Any GM can acquire Harper and JTR with the resources that Klentak had in his disposal so I don’t give him credit for that.

          I also agree with you about the Bamboo Bambino Brad Miller. I think Miller can come cheap and a good stop bridge to Alec Bohm even it means asta la vista to Maikel Franco (who Klentak should be able to trade for low minors lottery or some IFA $$).

          Dickerson might be a harder decision since Dickey will command more $$ and it might block the development of Adam Haseley who I believe should be the starting CF in 2020.

          I will also refuse to give Klentak a pass on Morton on the basis that even most fans here saw the Morton signing as a requisite after missing on Corbin. Morton to Phillies sounds like a perfect match except for Klentak.

        2. catch…IMO, Miller and Dickerson are the Justin Turner/Max Muncy type players the Dodgers seem to resurrect or the Yankees with Urshela/Trauchman/Ford et al.

  80. Phillies are negotiating with Kapler, he won’t stay unless Sean Rodriquez is guaranteed a spot on next year’s roster.

    1. Well that makes it reeeeeeaaaall easy then, that dude needs to go. Good luck to him elsewhere. He is not major league talent, period.

      I had trouble answering Jim’s survey, but there is not easier offseason decision than to show Rodriguez the door.

  81. It’s official – Ray Searage is out in Pittsburgh. Middleton should make the phone call himself, to see if Searage has any interest at all.

    1. Clint Hurdle and Searage may want to come as a team after spending the last decade together in Primanti Brothers sandwich town.

  82. KuKo, I agree, Brad Miller should start the year at 3B. If Bohm is ready, like some of us think, by mid-season, Miller is a terrific bench player. I think Dickerson gets a promise of more time on a team in the AL, and therefore gets more $. Jay Bruce is a fine back up and probably Roman Quinn, our old friend, gets a 26th man slot. We need to address back up C, at least the decision of Knapp vs. someone else, and another bench player to replace Rodriguez. Then comes the major work. SP and the BP.

    1. Dickerson is going to get paid by somebody else since the Phillies are not paying Cutch to ride the bench.

      If Haseley played the full year at CF, he would be a 3 WAR player. He needs to play every day, his glove alone dictates that.

      Brad Miller is an interesting case. I doubt he gets a multi year deal, but he made himself money this year. If the Phillies tell him that he’s going to be placeholder at 3B until Bohm is ready and somebody gives him the 3B job outright and the money is comparable, we’ll see what happens.

      We’re still talking about Roman Quinn? Unbelievably, he played less games this season (44) than last season (50). If he’s not healthy in ST, he could get DFAd.

  83. I don’t take saying someone should be fired lightly, but here are my cons for klentak and Gabe

    Not trading for Hamels at last year’s 2018 deadline
    Not going after Morton
    Especially not going after Kuechel in June
    Losing value on players and/or overvaluing : Franco,
    Valuing Machado over Harper
    Ken Giles trade – can. Ow be ranked as a loss IMO

    Realmuto and Segura trades
    Picking McCutchen over other OF help
    Trade deadline deals – generally all players boosted
    Not blowing payroll while rebuilding

    I wouldn’t call for his head, but I’m not going to strong argument for him to stay either

    For Gabe
    Boring press answers
    Overuse/mismanagement of bullpen
    Helped push pitching coach out the door
    Learning on the job in some areas
    Doesn’t sit players
    Too concerned that he is a players manager


    Learned from mistakes
    Protects players in interviews
    Positive outlook while ship is sinking

    Ok I have my answers, that’s what’s I’m going off of

      1. He’s too in the shadows, so no pros for him. The cons, if he pushed for MM of Harper, that would be one, If he said no to Kuechel in June (speculating), or if he is the reason for this years batting and pitching cookie cutter approaches l, then I’d say he should be out or moved to another position 🙂 you never hear from him, so I’m
        Not sure what he does. With Middleton as owner … notnsure you really need an Andy McPhail. I’m in different on him, but if both klentak and Gabe go, he should too.

        I can be persuaded to see them all
        Into the middle of next year, but I think at least 1 is gone, likely 2.

        1. That’s my take as well, he is invisible until there is a media news conference which requires him to speak and then he gives you a sarcastic or non-definitive answer that leaves you numb.

    1. LOL – how can you rip Klentak for valuing Machado over Harper when they signed Harper? Wow – you really hate the guy – lol. Even when he makes what you would deem to be the right move you criticize him as if he had made the wrong move.

      1. I think it’s pretty reasonable to assume that Middleton nixed the negotiations (if there were any at all) with Machado before they got very far. Bryce was Middleton’s baby. Klentak just signed his boss’s name on the bottom line. MacPhail and Klentak were likely more attracted to Manny, partly because they have no finger on the pulse of the city. Anyway, no harm, no foul. But still…

      2. Catch I maybe wrong, but I believe from the storm that those two FA created last year, and fact that they went after Machado first, made the first offer, that the FO preference was Machado over Harper. So yes I can fault the FO for that, not sure if it was driven by Mcphail or klentak, or possibly even Middleton, but my guess it was the 1st two. Speculation on my part.
        Harper was and is the correct choice for this team/City. I’m glad they got him, signed him over MM when we found out our dream of getting both was crushed.

        1. Tac3…I think MacPhail’s relationship with Manny from 2010, his first negotiated deal after being drafted, fueled a lot of that speculation.
          And it could have been correct.

  84. Moffo – Been out all day so I couldn’t reply to your question. I’m hoping Bohm can play 3B as much as anyone on this site. Saw him play in Storrs his sophomore year vs. UConn. He looked adequate for sure.

    I only brought up the back to back games with a throwing error because when the AFL games are reviewed we are told that he is batting so well, but there is never any mention of a player’s fielding.

    1. Ciada for some reason, With no knowledge or inside info. I think Bohm is going to play first, I think they move Rhys, for a starter , just a guess on my part

        1. To trade Hoskins…you will need a buyer, who will be willing to meet your price for him.
          There really are not a lot of teams out there who ned a first basemen with Rhys’ credentials.

          Many already have a good hitting 2st baseam in place or one getting ready to graduate to the big leagues.

          It will be hard to move him….maybe the Tigers?
          But don’t expect a Manning/Mize/Skubal or Perez…but maybe Boyd.

            1. Romus two things you are leaving out is American League D.H or A current First baseman who can play another postion,

            2. rocco….you are correct…forgot about the DH…thanks.
              That opens up more alternatives.
              As for the versatile first basemen….not sure there are many of those anymore as they become older…especially the ones who catch with their right handed glove.

      1. I continue to feel the vibe (without any concrete information) that while Bohm is still getting reps at 3b, his future is at 1b, which means –

        A) the NL gets the DH before the Phillies decide to trade Rhys Hoskins, or

        B) the Phillies decide to trade Rhys Hoskins once his value rebounds from April through July in 2020, and at the deadline they strike a deal for a TOR (hopefully to replace Jake Arrieta, who by then could be nursing another injury and ride out the rest of the season out of our sight instead of boreassing us with his divisive comments).

  85. Brad Miller cannot be the place holder for Bohm because although he can hit, he is not a major league third baseman. Have you seen how he butchers the position? He’s safer in left field.

  86. Okay. I’m convinced that John Middleton has already made his decision but is unable to either execute and/or announce anything yet, due quite possibly to the fact that Chaim Bloom is under the employ of the Tampa Bay Rays until they are eliminated from the post season. Ya go, Hinkie!

  87. I am all on board that train! Back to Rhys Hoskins. I’m sorry, I don’t trade him. First, he is coming off a terrible second half. So, any hopes that we get a TOR, even if we stretch the definition, are dismal. Second, I believe in him. I think with the proper coaching he will flourish. I can’t tell you why, I just believe it. So, for at least this coming year, I do not think about trading him, and I do not think about moving Bohm. Let him come to the Bigs, play 3B, and prove he doesn’t belong, before we send him elsewhere, 1B or another team. A couple of throwing errors don’t faze me. The easiest part to correct defensively is accurate throwing. Unless we have a Steve Blass situation. If he has no range, and if hands like bricks, that is unfixable. A couple of errant throws, assuming even that they were off line and not ones that a good 1b could have handled, can be corrected. I want to give Rhys a chance to clear his head. He had himself twisted into knots. and I trust that he gets himself straightened out.

    1. Agree on Bohm…as a third basemen…with over 250 games experience at the hot corner going all the way back to his freshman year at Wichita State,
      He has put in the extended work since drafted to prove he belongs there and I think he deserves the chance to stay there.

      1. Romus, I don’t disagree with you guys on Bohm having the opportunity to be the 3rd baseman. People on here have said don’t put too much into him playing 1B It doesn’t mean anything. If our plan is to get him to the majors as soon as possible then why aren’t we playing him at 3b all the time. Who is blocking him at 3b at AA or AAA……………no one! I think they are anticipating or planning for the future and that is where they see him playing (1B), their vision of Freeman.

        I see Bohm at AAA early next year, maybe a prerequisite couple of weeks at AA. If all goes well, the majors in June. Why, they want their options open to explore options for SP, FA acquisitions, 3B, etc. Contingency plans, who knows what, kinda like Abbott & Costello…….who’s on first….I guess we’ll know when we see it in 2020.

        Thanks for insert on Rhys above, kinda in the middle of the pack on D isn’t he?

        1. Jim…understand your point. And it is a good question why he isnt;t playing third all the time….Vlad Guerro Jr did….why not Bohm!
          I think Josh Bonifay is the only one that can answer that question.

      2. I think the Phillies drafted Bohm with the intent of playing as a 3B not 1B otherwise, the could have drafted Madrigal, India or any other prospect that’s not a 1B at pick 1.3.

        I agree with the suggestion to let Bohm play 3B unless his defense is detrimental to the success of the team. I can see Bohm playing a decent 3B defense probably for about 4-5 years and by that time Rhys is already in the 30s and a potential FA.

    2. Matt, I’m with you. Hoskins is a horse. He’s proven his ability, including getting clutch hits and working counts. He had a tough second half. Let him get over it next year. If he can’t, then we cross the bridge. But if we trade him off-season we might regret it.

      As for Bohm, I’ve seen him play. He’s pretty athletic. Let him play 3B until he proves he can’t. My guess is that he can, at least enough to justify being a starter thanks to his bat.

  88. watching Dodgers last night had me thinking- where are the Phils better? answer right now might be just at catcher and second base- but Gavin Lux is going to be better than anything we have at second most likely, and Will Smith might shorten the gap with Realmuto.
    Buehler seems to be passing Nola, plus Dustin May looks better than any of our young pitchers, Verdugo probably better than Haseley. A little depressing.

      1. i was considering Bellinger in right as a wash with Bryce- of course that can be argued.

    1. The Dodgers farm system is amazing. They draft (or sign) and develop elite prospects over and over.
      2015: we take C at #10. They take Buehler at 24
      – we take Moniak at #1. They take Lux at #20 and Will Smith at #30
      – we take Cole Stobbe in the 3rd round. They take May

      Prior regime:
      – 2013 they took Bellinger in 4th round. We took JP Crawford in first round and no one else from that draft had any value.

      It just goes on and on. They draft and develop high impact players. We do not. End of story.

      1. Yes, agreed. However, I really like our last few drafts. Also, this whole thing about Johnny A. wanting to spend more time with his family – I view that as a convenient back story and don’t believe it for a minute. He was the guy from the old administration who was not brought in by this team and was always the guy I thought would be first to go and he was. Further proof this wasn’t just a lifestyle move was this last draft and the movement away from control pitchers – a very un-Johnny like draft, which was not a bad thing. I liked this last draft a lot.

        1. @catch – i agree with you once again. It appears that Johnny A. went out of his comfort zone and came swinging with high risk picks 2019 and 2018. 2016 is expected to be a productive draft considering the draft position and the draft $$ that is starting to look like a dud —- but 2017 headlined by Haseley and Howard might be the surprise draft year as we might be looking for a potential 8-10 MLB players in that draft and that excludes a potential gem in Ben Brown.

        2. Which drafts in particular do you really like?

          Everyone liked our 2013 draft and thought JP would be a stud when he was tearing up Low A. Not so much when he got to AAA.

          I know everyone is excited about Bohm, but he was the #3 overall pick. Whom else from that draft are you excited about?

          He hit on Kingery (2015). And Howard (2017) seems like a good pitching prospect. Stott is way too early to tell whether he will be anything.

  89. According to Salisbury, Middleton’s delay has nothing to do with broader changes, he is literally taking this long to gather intel for his decision regarding Kapler as the FO is split. His detractors say the team lacks urgency and his voice doesn’t carry weight in the clubhouse. His supporters say he’s learning and getting better.

    In a different article, the FO is building the coaching staff they want back regardless of who the manager is and Middleton is on board with that. If they fire Kapler, new managerial candidates will be told that half or more of their staff has already been picked for them. So that likely eliminates some of the big names who will likely want more say.

    Gelb also posted a story on the roster – Phils don’t seem to hit on Haseley due to launch angle, Smyly might be asked to be a reliever, and doesn’t sound like Grullion is well thought of.

    So in the end, Middleton will in essence endorse MacPhail and Klentak, May very well keep Kapler, he believes in where the organization is heading, but even if he fires Kapler, they’ve already made critical decisions for the new manager.

    These are dark days, that is for sure.

    1. Ok, Buddy – you and Salisbury have my attention with the “nothing to do with broader changes” part. That is discouraging. My Bloom theory is shot if that’s the case. Oh well….

      Maybe they still hire my main man Raul!?!?!

      1. Btw, does anyone know if Ibanez is bilingual? He was born in Manhattan. I assume he knows some Spanish, but just wondering how fluently.

  90. I’m as impatient as the next guy but I’ll never understand the knee jerk WIP panic over Middleton’s deliberation in resolving the Kapler/FO issue. I want him to get it right. I still may be disappointed when he’s come forward with the decision, but simply firing Kapler with no collateral action is pointless. Besides, he’s required to honor MLB policy by not upstaging playoff games. But the Cataldi and Giglio rants pay no mind to the bigger picture. Get a clue!

  91. Wonder what Matt Gelb meant about Haseley and launch angle?
    “Phils don’t seem to hit on Hasley”?
    After 250 PAs in his rookie year?

    Looking at the CFers in the majors…LHBs…..he would eventually give you what some of them are doing ..and for most like JBJr, Heyward, Gardner it took them a few years before it happened.

    I really do not get what the Matt Gelb is trying to say there.,d

    1. OF Adam Haseley (24): One metric concerns the Phillies: Haseley’s average launch angle (4.7 degrees) ranked 393rd among 406 hitters with at least 100 batted balls. His hard-hit rate ranked 352nd. Every evaluation of Haseley depends on whether he can be an everyday center fielder.

  92. When Andy MacPhail is the President of the team, how can anyone in the FO complain about the team lacking urgency? That’s a joke, and if Middleton hasn’t addressed privately that awful press conference that MacPhail had mid-season, then we are a lot worse off than we thought.

  93. They remind me of methodical “bumpkins” Too often, by the time they decide on something, Morten, Corbin and now possibly a new manager or other personnel changes, some other team has already signed them.
    I keep coming back to McFail, what has he ever accomplished? Is Middleton scared of being bold and admit the current regime will never be the gold standard?

  94. This current FO give shades of the last administration. To the advantage of RAJ, his predecessor put in place some homegrown core pieces (Chase, JRoll, RH6, Hamels, etc) to make that magical years in the 2000s. Excluding the core players, the RAJ FO is basically what this FO is all about —-

    1) lack of urgency;
    2) lack of creativity to create advantage
    3) poor scouting and player development
    4) substandard winning expectation
    5) and most importantly an owner in charge who is blind to mediocrity

    There is no question that Kapler is learning from his job. But the Phillies should not wait forever. Kapler is not the only smart people in the baseball world. McPhail and Klentak are not the only FO tandem that can do that job.

    And similar to the previous administration, this current FO will have some good years but I doubt this FO can make a sustainable years of success. That core group of Chase, JRoll, RH6, Hamels, etc deserve more than just 1 WS.

    The Phillies will be lucky if they win 1 WS under this current FO. McPhail-Klentak-Kapler are average. They are similar to low 90s FB that lacks movement.

  95. Isn’t this whole thing an indication that the approaches given to the players comes from the GM, not the Manager? How can they approach an experienced Managerial candidate, if they remove Kapler, and tell him that “oh, by the way, you get to pick 1 Assistant, all the others are picked for you.” Sounds dumb to me, but maybe I am wrong. Usually there is 1 guy, like John Wathan, who the organization wants to keep, but this multiple coaches already being hired seems silly. And, I still think Middleton had all year to evaluate the Manager. What is going on now borders on a lack of conviction.

  96. Back in 2017, HOU offered Alex Bregman to the non-contending DET for Michael Fulmer. And in last July, Matt Boyd was one of the hottest trade candidates but DET did not pull the trigger and Boyd’s trade value took a hit.

    DET FO displayed a different type of ineptitude than the Phillies but it shows that if FO lacks the ability to properly evaluate MLB talent both internally and externally – you will have a losing team. DET should be happy that there’s a sure fire 1.1 when they drafted 1st in 2018 unlike the Phillies in 2016.

  97. There is no doubt that Ronald Acuna is an elite talent. But it looks like he also has a problem with hustling out of the box (similar to somebody else that we know). I also remember him taking his time throwing to 2B on a single that allowed Bryce Harper to stretch it into a double. The problem now is that Acuna did it in the playoffs and in a close game and the media attention has magnified it 10 fold. Even Freddie Freeman wasn’t happy about it. I wonder how long it takes before the fans turn on him.

    1. Fan base won’t turn on him as long as he continues to put up monster offensive numbers. Atlanta fans are a little more forgiving..

  98. My advice to Middleton – just hire the current champion dart thrower and blindfold him. He’ll be just as successful as this group of inept and empty polo shirts. Why did they even pick Haseley if they don’t like his launch angles? Again, let’s draft, sign or trade for talent that we’re only going to mess with what got them to where they are now. Makes absolutely no sense.

    1. ….or better yet, kidnap everyone from the Astros’ HR and R&D departments. They are the gold standard.

        1. 3 coaches which I would guess are welcome back are Bobby Dickerson, Paco what’s his name, Dusty Wathan. Not sure how the dynamic of bench coach Rob Thomson worked with Kapler. I doubt he would return if Gabe doesn’t. I also wonder if offering Kapler another high profile position is on the table.

          1. Dusty Wathan may be a perfectly good bench coach and org guy but good God he’s a terrible, terrible third base coach. He sends so many runners that get nabbed by like 10 feet – it’s just dreadful.

            1. Romus, I’m getting that sinking feeling that we’re stuck with Gabe for at least one more year.

              ….but then, why no announcement yet is beyond me. If there were broader changes, I can see the delay. So what gives….

            2. 8mark…if that were to occur…Gabe for one more year…..then they are bringing him back on a one year contract…ther eis no option on his contratc from what I recall….so .his last year is 2020.
              He would want and extension at some point…..or then he is on ‘probation’ for that last year.

              Very unusual and unsettling situation for him, his coaches who are selected, and the players that play for him
              Even Pete Mack was given an extension by Klentak…then
              let go to another position in the org.

  99. Gelb reporting Klentak’s status for next year was “never in question”. Doesn’t even mention MacPhail which I assume means he’s also safe.

    1. After seeing these reports, I would not be surprised if all that’s left is shuffling some furniture around the executive suites. Middleton’s name is on the line here.

    2. Another wasted year, Middleton can buy the 27 Yankees and Kape would screw it up, One thing that isn’t bothering me anymore is, I just wont spend my money on them so if they want to be 4th place again, keep the three stooges.

  100. This was a slam dunk. Maybe they keep Young to return to his old job where he breaks down tape and uncovers tendencies. That info could be available for the new pitching coach and pitchers for their use if they want to use (ant part of) it.

    Hopefully, John Middleton is spending as much time/even more time picking the club’s new pitching coach as he is in determining the identity of the 2020 manager. I’ve posted this a couple of times, and absolutely certain that next season’s pitching coach will have a bigger impact on the Phillies win total than the manager.

    Who should Middleton hire to teach the teams’ arms? My choices (in reverse order):
    5. John Farrell … currently working in the Reds FO.
    4. Dave Righetti … currently working in the SFG FO.
    3. Ray Searage … now unemployed after being let go by Pittsburgh.
    2. Mickey Calloway … just fired as Mets manager.
    1. Kyle Snyder … current pitching coach of the Tampa Bay Rays.

    Searage (64 YO) has been excellent in Pittsburgh for the past decade. Maybe his greatest accomplishment is the work he did to transform Charlie Morton into the stud he has become.
    Mickey Calloway (44 YO) may have failed as Mets manager, but the job he did with Cleveland’s pitching staffs prior to that speaks for itself. Calloway mentored Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, Ubaldo Jiménez, and Cody Allen (among others). He could also bring a little intel on Mets hitters with him.
    IMO Snyder (42 YO) is the best pitching coach in MLB. He did an amazing job developing Blake Snell into a Cy Young award winner. He’s also put together maybe the best bullpen in MLB with a group of young guys (Diego Castillo, Jose Alvarado, Emilio Pagan, Nick Anderson, and Oliver Drake) who were never top prospects. Finally, Snyder’s work with Tyler Glassnow may be his pinnacle achievement. Not even Ray Searage could help Glassnow throw strikes in Pittsburgh. His BB/9 IP was never below 5 with the Pirates. In his two seasons with Snyder, Glassnow has averaged 3.1 and 2.1 BB per 9 IP while still averaging 10.3 and 11.3 K per 9 IP.
    If I’m Middleton, I ask Snyder to name his price, and then meet it.

    1. Callaway or Searage as pitching coach would be an immediate upgrade. Young needs to leave the big league team – you can’t have the old pitching coaching milling around – it doesn’t work. The minors is another story.

      1. Callaway was key in Kluber’s rise back in 2013.
        I think him or Searage would also be viable candidates
        Can imagine him returning to Citi Field in a Phillies uni. and facing the NY beat guys..

    2. Thumbs up Hinkie! As I posted earlier, the CY-Kranitz is a good tandem until someone decided to break it off. The pitchers under CY-Kranitz combo contributed a lot to the +14 wins in 2018 and most of the young arms took a level up which probably the reason why Klentak was so optimistic about the internal pitching options.

      I’m sure that CY holds value to any MLB team but he doesn’t currently fit as a pitching coach right now.

  101. They are positioning the Chris Young mistake to be Kapler’s mistake, we can see that writing on the wall. I never believed Klentak or MacPhail were going anywhere. And, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have removed all 3. So, it makes little sense to fire Kapler. They can bring him back and pick his PC for him. And, I don’t mean to diminish the value of Young’s input. It is very valuable, but he just isn’t a PC. There is certainly room for him in the analytics department. If I am TB, I decline any request to interview Snyder. I like Calloway or Searage. Hinkie, who do you like as Batting Coach? Charlie won’t be doing that full time.

    1. matt … I can’t say for certain this applies to Snyder … but … most coaches (including pitching and hitting) are on year-to-year deals. I don’t think Middleton would need Tampa’s permission to interview and hire Snyder after the 2019 season ends.

      As far as possible hitting coaches go …

      * Kevin Long has been with the Nationals for the past couple of years. He coached, and has a good relationship with Bryce Harper. Long also worked for both NY franchises, and has received much of the credit for Daniel Murphy’s success. Maybe the Phillies can buy him away from Washington.
      * Shawn Wooten had a cup of coffee in the Phillies organization during a brief MLB career. He is currently the assistant hitting coach for the LAA’s. However, he is best known for the five years he spent as a batting coach in the LAD’s minor league system (during Gabe Kapler’s tenure as farm director). Wooten helped develop Corey Segear, Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, Austin Barnes, Cody Bellinger, Willie Calhoun, and Alex Verdugo.
      * Troy Snitker is the son of Braves’ manager Brian Snitker. He may be the hot name on the hitting coach market this winter. Snitker is young (31 in December), and has been working in the Astros system for the past three years; the first two as a minor league hitting coach, and this year as the Astros assistant hitting coach.

  102. The Dodgers do a great development job, so I would like Wooten. I did not know that about year to year contracts. Also, I was one of those who thought that Kingery playing 1 position every day would help his hitting. I still want him to be the every day 2B. But, I see the Dodgers move guys all over the field. Half the lineup played multiple positions, and all of them hit. They have so much Pitching depth that Rich Hill will be gone and there may be no room for Ryu. Andrew Friedman has done a terrific job, and I know that they have not won the WS yet, but he has done a great job. I haven’t given up hope for Bloom coming here, we are just going to have to wait another year.

  103. Romus, there was a report the other day about how Charlie worked in 2007 without an extension. He was a lame duck Manager. So, maybe they won’t offer Kapler an extension?

    1. Really an awkward situation these days to be in.
      It will be play-offs or bust for Gabe I guess….unless the add on a club option year.
      All that means he gets a paycheck for another year if he gets canned this time next year.
      Then also assume coaches will be selected by Kapler/MacPhail/Middleton.

    2. If he’s kept on, the Phillies will need to win impressively out of the 2020 gate, otherwise nobody but nobody will show up at CBP.

      Whether he gets a one year extension or not is neither here nor there as far as I’m concerned. What’s another $800K to Johnny Cigars? He can still drop Gabe after next season at the drop of his hat. It’s all the other ramifications and the very real risk that the organization will be set back farther than it already is. Now was (or still is) his chance to change course and it sounds like he’s tiptoeing through the cow chips.

  104. I think if Kapler comes back, and next year plays out like this year, the the whole group goes. Meanwhile, I can’t imagine how many more people Middleton has to confer with. This decision should have been made by the last pitch on Sunday.

  105. I have a theory. Not sure I’m as good a prognosticator as Hinkie but….

    What we now know is that Middleton believes in MacKlentak. We know coaches are being renewed and Young was let go but rehired into a new role. We know that Gabe has shown up for work each day.

    I think what Middleton was debating during September was the fan hatred of the job Gabe is doing vs most of his trusted advisors telling him they should keep Gabe. His dilemma is he thinks he should listen to his team but he doesn’t want to come across as not listening to his customers. So I think before the season ended, they probably told Gabe he is coming back but they won’t announce it for a week (which will feel like a month). This will give the fans the feeling that he really did his homework. The Phillies never let anything leak but now all of a sudden there are leaks about Middleton being torn and doing analysis and talking to all these people. This all serves a narrative to show the fans he isn’t ok with what happened despite the fact that he’s bringing all 3 back.

    My guess is he stays and they knew all along. Consider this – MLB doesn’t like big announcements after the playoffs start. Announcing you’re firing nobody doesn’t qualify as a big announcement really.

    1. That’s very plausible speculation, Buddy. And very sad if it’s true. We’re always left pretty much in the dark, and the media only relays the narrative that the brass wants us to “know”, at least until long after the fact. Then some day, somebody tells the real story, long after we care or we’re dead.

      1. Plus it’s all coming from Zolecki and Gelb and Salisbury, not Stark or Rosenthal or Heyman etc. To me, that means we’re getting what Johnny Cigarettes wants us to know.

        1. Roc, you can Google the definition of any word these days….you know what Google is, right?

      1. Now you’re speaking my language.
        If so, I don’t think the new manager will be a top name/experienced/proven winner who doesn’t take direction well – like Girardi, Maddon or Showalter. Scratch them off the list. But it may be a fan favorite who could also be a good soldier/first time manager, which fits my “” campaign.

  106. Put me down as undecided on Kapler. The hitting and pitching deficiency goes back to instruction. A set of top-grade hitting and pitching coaches should make a difference. Their job: get Nola back on track, continue Eflin’s development, tutor Howard and Seabold should they join the team; then get Hoskins’ swing and confidence back, develop Kingery and Haseley, and get Segura back to a .300 hitter. I have never been sure that managerial changes turn things around. Let the FO and Gabe bring in a first class instructional staff see what happens.

    1. We tried that once, that is how we got the ex-hitting and pitching coaches and left the good pitching coach go.

  107. Spencer Howard finally got touched last night, trouble from 2 doubles and a triple, 3 runs over 3.2ip, 1 BB but still K’d 7 batters.

    Zach Warren didn’t fare much better.
    Jojo Romero did pitch 2 solid innings.

    Moniak continues to struggle, 0 for 5, 2 Ks. .139
    Bohm singled in 5 ABs, but still at .361 in AFL. He also committed a fielding error.

  108. FWIW department: on their NBCSP “At the Yard” podcast yesterday (after the Chris Young firing), Jim Salisbury still thinks Kapler will not return in 2020. Said anytime between Monday and Wednesday is when we could hear the verdict.

  109. Wouldn’t Callaway look good as our pitching coach? He was very good in that role in Cleveland. He would love to beat the Mets and have insider insight which might help. He might also have opponent knowledge on us which could be brought to help us.

  110. I know everyone wants G Cole but if Strasburg opts out as expected, he’s the guy I would chase. He has quietly become the star he was supposed to become.

    1. No argument here.
      Just the one aspect on him compared to Cole, he has a little more mileage on his arm being he has been in the league a few years earlier than Cole being drafted in ’09 vs Cole’s ’11.

      1. I don’t see a team willing to offer Strasburg more than the 4/$100M he’s already on the books with WSH for, especially at his age and injury history. It would be risky for him to opt out, even as well as he’s been pitching.

        1. Well that is a concern with him……he may come cheaper than Cole….in fact probably will….because of his health history, age, mileage….so it may be worth it on a year or two shorter contract and less AAV. than what Cole will command.
          Cole will probably get 6 yrs and who knows….maybe $35M AAV
          Strasburg probably 4 plus and option @ $30M AAV tops.

          1. Based on the previous couple of free agency periods, do you think he’d risk his current contract for an extra, maybe, 20M? I’d have to think about it long and hard, personally. He could hit the Arrieta roadblock and cost himself 40+M.

            1. DanK….that is a decision he really needs to weigh. There could be a real cold spell in the dollars offered like what has happened recently.
              But when an owner like Middleton is ready to spend……then he may decide to take that chance and declare for free agency.
              Also……it will put Mike Rizzo and the Nats in a rather difficult situation if he declares. With Rendon also going out there…the Nats would be hard press to bring them both back.

  111. It’s Cole #1 for me, and I like Strasburg a lot, but I pay Cole whatever it takes. SP is key, as we know oh so well, and Wheeler and Odirizzi, just to name two, don’t equal 1 Gerrit Cole. SD and the Angels are interested in Maddon. The longer this goes, the more convinced I am that Kap comes back. It is going to be much more important what we do this off season than whoever the Manager is.

    1. Maybe on the field it will matter more which players we acquire but at the gate, Gabe will go over like a lead balloon.

  112. G Cole was dominant last night with 15 Ks. Threw 100 mph in the 8th inning, that’s crazy. But threw 116 pitches, too many? Does his arm regress next season? Buyer beware?
    FYI – he has more than 12 Ks multiple times in a postseason game. Gibson, Palmer, Cole. That’s unreal.

    1. Sorry, Seaver also. That is some list even with many fewer postseason games back in the day.

    2. Cole hit 100 MPH on pitches #114 and #116. That was an historic performance.

      Murray is right, though. Buyer beware. The Astros know Cole isn’t coming back next season so they’re not going to be shy about really riding him this month in their push for a second WS. Compare 2019 Nathan Eovaldi (0.1 rWAR) to the 2018 version that the BoSox worked like a mule and rode to the WS. Same thing could be in store for Gerrit Cole.

      1. No worries if Gabe comes back. He would only let Cole throw that many pitches in a meaningless game at the end of the season.

        1. I guess there is no topic that doesn’t fall back to Gabe Kapler for you 🙂
          I’ll just make these points:
          * Gabe let Nola throw an extra 10 to 12 pitches in game #157, and then shut him down for the year instead of throwing him on his scheduled next turn (game #162). Cole could be throwing for another three weeks.
          * Gerrit Cole is throwing 100 MPH. Nola is throwing 93-94.
          * Aaron Nola’s AAV is 11 million dollars. If the Phillies sign Gerrit Cole, his AAV is going to be close to 30 million dollars. Losing either guy to an arm injury would hurt on the field, but losing Cole would put way more stress on the club’s payroll.

          1. Aren’t there insurance policies built into those contracts to protect the ball club? I don’t know.

            1. Rob … that insurance helps recoup money for the owners, but it has no effect on the club’s payroll in terms of the luxury tax threshold. For instance … the Phillies give Gerrit Cole a 6 year/180 million dollar contract. Cole throws just a handful of games before he blows out his elbow/shoulder. Middleton can get back some money from the insurance policy (depending on when/if Cole pitches again). However, Cole’s 30 million AAV counts against the Phillies’ team payrolls until 2025 whether he ever throws another pitch for the team or not. Middleton can go over the luxury tax threshold, but penalties increase by the amount you go over and by the amount of consecutive years you go over. The penalties include the percent you pay in taxes, draft picks, and J2 dollars (I think).

  113. We can try to talk ourselves out of every Pitcher available, but the fact remains Cole is, by a large margin, the cream of the FA crop and must be our priority. Everything comes with some risk but he just threw a brilliant game in the Playoffs and I want him throwing them for us next year.

    1. For the record … I’m not saying the Phillies should not sign Gerrit Cole. He’s been the best pitcher in MLB this season. However, teams have to also throw future projection into the mix when deciding whether to outbid all other teams for him. A lot of teams (including the Phillies) are risk averse when it comes to spending on pitchers. Middleton/Klentak better have top actuaries and medical professionals on the payroll to help make the decision.

      1. Hinkie….what do you think Cole will command from a team?
        I think the Phillies….if they want to be in the hunt for him…will need to get to $35M AAV for 6 yrs
        Boras worked well with Middleton on the Harper deal….maybe the same goes here.
        All Middleton needs to do is get the plane fueled and ready to go.

        1. Romus … I don’t think Cole/any pitcher is getting 35 million AAV anymore unless it comes in some sort of convoluted contract Boras cooks up. That type of contract would guarantee Cole lots of money early (maybe the first two or three years), club opt ins, and player opt outs.
          In a straight deal, I believe Cole/Boras gets no more than 6 years/180 million. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s the way I see it.

          1. That would be a good deal , IMO…..6@$180M
            I am not sure who the other bidders will be….just assuming the Yankees for one, but that will make a difference also in the final offer.

            Also, noticed those opt-out clauses were not part of the four biggies from last off-season..Trout/Harper/Machado and Corbin.
            I know Strasburg and JD Mart have them ready to be exercised next month if they desire,,,,,,,but wondering if Tony Clark and MLBPA are dissuading agents from using the opt.out clauses in contracts for awhile, to avoid the owners using it as a leverage tool against them in the next CBA negotiations

            1. Aroldis Chapman can also opt out of his deal this winter. And … wishful thinking … Jake Arrieta can also opt out this offseason.

            2. Yeah….I was not really looking at the tail-end option years of the contracts but the mid-year opt-out years of the contracts.
              Like Strasburg/Martinez have built into theirs.

              Also see now the union is gearing up for this off-season free agency.

              Phillies look to be one team that should cash in on a starting pitcher of some ilk.
              That will make the union happy.

  114. This should be the week for some resolution. Then we can fully prepare for the off season. I think Kapler stays. BP help, I want both Wills, Smith and Harris

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