Open Discussion: Week of October 7th

I have brought the Key Dates section up to date after finding almost all upcoming important dates.  It includes the openers for the Australian Baseball League,and the major Latin American Winter Leagues – Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto RicoVenezuela hasn’t announced, yet.  Probably doesn’t matter.  I heard that players on rosters of Major League organizations at all levels were not allowed to participate.

The ABL will include several of our affiliated players.  So far, I know that Rixon Wingrove, Curtis Mead, and Mitchell Edwards have signed with Adelaide; Josh Tols with Melbourne; and Kyle Glosgoski with Auckland.

Our Scottsdale Scorpions have an 8-7 record and are 2.0 games behind the first place team.  Most of our guys are performing well.  Among position players, Alec Bohm is slashing .390/.409/.463/.873 in 10 games and 41 at bats. He has scored 2 runs, has 6 RBI, and hit 3 doubles.  Josh Stephen is slashing .357/.471/.500/.971 in 5 and 14 at bats. He has scored 4 runs, has one RBI, and a triple.  Nick Maton is slashing .333/.385/.667/1.051 in 3 games and 12 at bats. He has scored 1 run, has 2 RBI, and hit a double and HR.  Mickey Moniak is slashing .171/.190/.268/.459 in 9 games and 41 at bats. He has scored 4 runs, 4 RBI, and hit 2 doubles and a triple.

Among pitchers, Connor Seabold has a 0.75 ERA and 0.58 WHIP in 3 starts. In 12.0 innings, he has walked 2 and struck out 18 batters.  JoJo Romero has a 1.42 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 4 appearances. In 6.1 innings, he has walked 4 and struck out 3 batters.  Spencer Howard has a 2.79 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 3 starts. In 9.2 innings, he has walked 4 and struck out 13 batters.  Zach Warren has a 27.00 ERA and 4.50 WHIP in 1 appearance. In 0.2 innings, he has walked 2 and struck out 1 batters.  Though the league started on September 18th, Warren sat and didn’t make his first appearance until October 4th.

I’m posting the poll results shortly.  If you could keep your MacPhail/Klentak/Kapler comments to that forum, that might keep the volume of comments down to a manageable number in both forums.  Just a suggestion.

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

Key Dates:

  • October 11, 2019 – Opener for Liga Mexicana del Pacifico
  • October 12, 2019 – Arizona Fall Stars Game
  • October 12, 2019 – Opener for Liga de Beisbol Dominicano
  • October 26, 2019 – Arizona Fall League Championship Game
  • With the World Series scheduled to start on October 22, 2019, the expected end of the series can be no earlier than October 26th and no later than October 30th (barring postponements), so
    • October 27-31, 2019 – Trading resumes, day after the World Series ends
    • October 31 – November 4, 2019 – Deadline for teams to make qualifying offers to their eligible former players who became free agents, fifth day after WS
    • November 14-18, 2019 – Deadline for free agents to accept qualifying offers, 15th day after WS
  • November 11-14, 2019 – GM Meetings in Scottsdale
  • November 15, 2019 – Opener for Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente
  • November 19-21, 2019 – Owners’ Meetings in Arlington
  • November 20, 2019 – Rosters set for Rule 5 Draft
  • November 21, 2019 – Opener for the Australian Baseball League
  • Nov. TBA – MLBPA executive board meeting (11/26-29 in Irving, TX last year)
  • December 2, 2019 – Last day for teams to offer 2020 contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters
  • December 9-12, 2019 – Winter Meetings in San Diego
  • December 13, 2019 – Rule 5 Draft
  • January TBA – Rookie Career Development Program (1/9-11 in Miami last year)
  • January 10, 2020  – Salary arbitration figures exchanged
  • February 3-21, 2020 – Salary arbitration hearings, Phoenix
  • February 11, 2020 – Voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers and injured players
  • February 16, 2020 – Voluntary reporting date for other players
  • February 21, 2020 –  Mandatory reporting date
  • February 22, 2020 – First spring training game at Tigers
  • February 23, 2020 – First spring training home game v. Pirates
  • March 23, 2020 – Final spring training home game v. Rays
  • March 26, 2020 – Phillies’ opening day at Miami, active roster reduced to 26 players
  • April 2, 2020 – Phillies’ home opener v. Milwaukee
  • June TBA – Amateur draft
  • June 15, 2020 – International amateur signing period closes
  • July 2, 2020 – International amateur signing period opens
  • July 10, 2020 – Deadline for drafted players to sign, except for players who have exhausted college eligibility
  • July 14,2020  – All-Star Game at Los Angeles
  • July 31, 2020 – Last day during the season to trade a player
  • August 31, 2020 – Last day to be contracted to an organization and be eligible for postseason roster
  • September 1, 2020 — Active rosters expand to 28 players
  • September 16, 2019 – Phillies clinch playoff berth

The rosters and lists are up to date as of October 6th … 395 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)
These transactions signal the beginning of the 2020 off season.  The 2019 transactions have been archived and can be accessed off the Transactions drop down menu.
10/02/19 – Lehigh Valley activated OF Jan Hernandez from the 7-day IL
10/02/19 – Lehigh Valley activated 3B Mitch Walding from the 7-day IL
10/02/19 – Lehigh Valley activated RHP Alexis Rivero from the 7-day IL
10/02/19 – Reading activated RHP Tyler Viza from the 7-day IL
10/02/19 – Reading activated OF Grenny Cumana from the 7-day IL
10/02/19 – Reading activated RHP Luke Leftwich from the 7-day IL
10/02/19 – Reading activated RF Danny Mayer from the 7-day IL
10/02/19 – Reading activated RHP Luis Carrasco from the 7-day IL
10/02/19 – Reading activated RF Jose Pujols from the 7-day IL
10/02/19 – Reading activated RHP Mauricio Llovera from the 7-day IL
10/02/19 – Reading activated LHP Bailey Falter from the 7-day IL
10/02/19 – Reading activated RHP Trevor Bettencourt from the 7-day IL
10/02/19 – Reading activated C Nerluis Martinez from the 7-day IL
9/30/19 – Phillies activated CF Roman Quinn from the 10-day IL
9/30/19 – Phillies recalled SS Arquimedes Gamboa from Reading
9/30/19 – Phillies recalled RHP JD Hammer from Lehigh Valley
9/30/19 – RHP Dan Straily elected free agency
9/30/19 – C Rob Brantly elected free agency
9/30/19 – RHP Fernando Salas elected free agency

472 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of October 7th

  1. I’ve already posted (dozens of times) that I don’t think Gabe Kapler deserves to be fired. Kapler fits the model of the new age MLB skipper. Look around baseball, the most successful managers in the game today are young (mid 40’s or below), and analytically driven. Think Dave Roberts, AJ Hinch, Alex Cora, Kevin Cash, Aaron Boone, and Rocco Baldelli. For me, Andy MacPhail and Matt Klentak are the team’s bigger problems.
    Unfortunately, John Middleton (for whatever reason) doesn’t seem to be interested in replacing MacKlentak with Chaim Bloom. It’s been a week, and the Phillies owner still hasn’t announced what he plans to do about Kapler. Middleton needs to get on with it. It’s pretty obvious he wants to make the managerial change, despite pleas from MacPhal and Klentak. Just put your big boy pants on, and do the deed, Mr. Middleton. At this point, he’s emasculated Kapler. Gabe would be better off with a fresh start in SF.
    At the same time, Middleton needs to aggressively jump into the middle of the Joe Girardi sweepstakes (I’m a little down on Joe Maddon) before another team (Cubs or Mets) hire him. Girardi may not be perfect (he should have won more than one championship in ten years with the NYY’s), however … IMO he’s a good fit in Philly. For the Phillies, job #1 this winter is to do whatever it takes to drastically improve the pitching situation. Middleton should see Girardi as step one. Girardi has spent a career working with pitchers as a MLB catcher. Middleton should then, with Girardi’s help, quickly turn to step two: hire a proven pitching coach. Mickey Calloway, Kyle Snyder, and Ray Searage should head their list of candidates. After taking care of the manager and pitching coach, Middleton, Klentak, Girardi, and Calloway/Searage/Snyder can then get to work on rebuilding the team’s pitching staff through free agency, trades, and from within (farm system).
    The season ended a week ago. It’s time to stop dwelling on 2019 and start gearing up for 2020.

    1. Hinkie, while we disagree on Kapler, I’m on board with just about everything else you propose. Let’s go Phillies in 2020!

    1. It’s interesting that they have yet to try him some in the OF. I know not everyone can do it or is maybe willing to try but Kris Bryant has done it on occasion. Again just curious.

  2. Hinkie, Maybe Middleton is stalling because when he brings everyone back there will be less backlash, thinking everyone is so tired of the whole thing. I just want to start focusing on next year, so no longer care about the FO changes. I fully believe Mac/Klentak are back so it doesn’t matter.

  3. I like Gerrit Cole to the Phillies since early this season. I don’t need to see advance stats to know how good Gerrit Cole is and he will get paid this offseason — and whoever will sign Gerrit Cole will be paying the 1st 3-4 years of the contract while the rest of the contract will be sunk cost.

    If the Phillies will continue to play around the FO circus, then, they don’t need to sign Gerrit Cole because they will just waste his peak years the same way they just wasted 1 year of Bryce Harper and possibly more.

    And if Middleton will continue to wait for the emergence of a new and improve Kapler, might as well tear the team down and build it will players that will grow with Kapler.

    I don’t like Amaro but I know that the Amaro regime will end soon. This Middleton and the gang of stooges will be here for years to come —- so better get your meds so you will not suffer any heart attack.

    I wasted so much time and so much $$ to be deceived. Thank God the Eagles are here and the Sixers are coming soon.

    1. KuKo…..concerning Gerrit Cole, IMO Middleton will negotiate straight on with Boras, as he did with Harper. And as Hinkie posted the other day, 6yrs@$180M could get it done. And still room enough to offer an LTC to Realmuto in which Klentak can work that out .

      1. I pray hat it’s not a repeat of the Harper negotiations… in that it dragged out for the entire offseason.

      2. I seriously doubt 6 years, $180M is going to get it done. Think 6 years, $200M or 7 years, $220M.

        1. Guru…look at Corbin’s….6yrs/$140M with it back loaded at $35M in the 6th yr.
          Boras will want his to be the biggest as it his nature ….but not sure he will get any takers at the ridiculous Greinke contract AAV ( he earned/s a base salary of $31,500,000, while carrying a total salary of $34,500,000 AAV).
          Verlander at $33M AAV is only for two more years….and the Astros gave to him at 3 years.
          There has to be some trade-off between longevity of the contract and a short term top dollar.

          1. I’ve said this before … IMO Gerrit Cole’s deal gets worked off of the contracts that Patrick Corbin and Jacob deGrom signed last winter.

            Corbin was 29 YO and got 140 million over 6 years – 23.33 million AAV
            deGrom was 30 YO and got 137.5 million over 5 years – 27.5 million AAV (he also got an opt out & the NYM got an option year)

            I believe Cole (who is 29 YO) gets Corbin’s years and deGrom’s AAV + an adjustment for being on the open market. That would put the pending Gerrit Cole deal at 6 years/~180 million dollars. Boras probably also gets Cole at least one opt out, and he may (or may not) also get a 7th year vesting option.
            This may or may not be accurate. All it takes is for one team to go bonkers, but MLB teams (except for the Phillies when it came to Jake Arrieta) aren’t paying (especially pitchers) for past performance anymore. Clubs are paying for their evaluation of future performance. It would be easy to say, “My God! Gerrit Cole has been the most dominant pitcher in MLB this season!” and then promise him 35 million per year for the next seven years. Cole most likely may have one or two more peak years before he begins declining. Also consider this … Houston knows they aren’t re-signing Cole. They are going to squeeze everything out of him this month in their effort to win their second WS title. There are many examples/precedents of pitchers suffering down campaigns after being overused in the prior postseason (Cole Hamels in 2009, and Nathan Eovaldi this season off the top of my head). If that happens with Gerrit Cole, that would have a negative effect on one of his remaining peak years.

            1. @hinkie – i just have it a little higher at $190/6 years guaranteed with a 7th year option bringing the contract value to around $215M. But I agree with you that he will not get a $35M unless Boras can convince NYY to up the salary to consider the COLA and taxes playing for NY.

      3. @romus – i’m not doubting Middleton’s intention to spend stupid $$. Middleton is starting to become a false messiah to me —- he will sign those big names to get butts in the seats of CBP. I’ve never seen/met anybody who is optimistic about the current Phillies leadership except for the ones I know who are earn $ from the Phillies.

        I’ve gone thru the dark times of the Sixers tanking but that FO of Sixers gives me hope because there are clear vision – the Sixers did not even romanticize the beloved Sam Hinkie and the influential Colangelo dudes.

        I’m a very optimistic person but tolerance to mediocrity is something I have a short leash. I you being honest to yourself, this FO probably ranks in the middle or the bottom half of the league. The Phillies need a divine intervention to overcome the ineptness of the FO and the leadership team. Now we know why Chase-JRoll-RH6-Cole only got 1 WS ring.

        1. KuKo..can understand the frustration, but Middleton is an ardent Phillies fan besides being the managing partner/part owner.
          I think he signed Harper and shooting for Cole or MadBum or Wheeler to win first, the bodies in the seat are a plus…..Comcast stills sends its annual check ($75M neighborhood now), of that $2.5B deal… money is not the critical issue.
          I think his ownership and drive for success, is a lot better than the ones from the ones from the past.

          1. @romus – that’s what I’m worrying about. Middleton just spends $ just to bring $ in the bottom line and not necessary winning. I will not say better than the past leadership/FO group since Middleton share the same critical flaw —- loyalty trumps everything.

            It took a hailstorm from fans and media and empty seats after empty seats and low ratings before the Phillies leadership decided to make a change.

            I used to like Middleton before but I think he is clueless in the business of running a baseball team. Too many opportunities being passed by this leadership. Philly is a great sports town but we suffered from greedy and inept team owners.

  4. This offseason is very much different than I envisioned it the last year/two… I didn’t watch all the Eagles game, but having them flash Mike Trout … how crazy would it be with him going into the final year of his contract (no new deal in place) … and being at those games?

    I’m still stunned. Seemed enviable. 2018 -Harper, 2019- Cole, 2020-Trout … well in my alternate universe it happened

    Now I need to go clean up this spilt milk that’s everywhere!

    I’ll take Harper/Cole – Make it happen Middleton!

    1. Even if Middleton bust his wallet to sign Gerrit Cole – the Harper/Cole tandem may not be enough to carry the Phillies over the other contenders. This current FO will find a way to screw it up and deceive everybody that we’ll be alright.

      1. This team feels very far behind the Astros, and even the dodgers

        To me, 2021 is what is a reasonable expectation for the playoffs at this point. I said 2019, a few years back, but that was with Crawford, Thompson, Moniak, And others developing. That did not happen, Nd worse off, the Braves,Nats, and Mets have rebuilt better than the Phillies have,imo so far.
        The Mets have a legit SR, and agrressive GM, that lucked out on Alfonso. They have a nice core, need to hope their ownership
        Doesn’t figure things out .

        The Phillies really really need Bohm, Howard and the DH to come to the NL, just to keep pace imo, and then use FA to boost them past. A creative trade would be nice too

  5. I’m actually of the opinion that Middleton should either keep Klentak and Kapler or just fire them both. Kapler is an easy scapegoat. But the fact that Middleton loves Klentak, it will be hard for him to fire Kapler since Kapler is a brainchild of Klentak.

    Everybody is always looking for a young whiz in their FO. Klentak is not a young whiz and it will take time and luck for Klentak to start hitting the buttons correctly. Having a mentor with no sense of urgency like McPhail will not help too.

  6. We will learn a lot about the direction we are going when the Hitting coach and Pitching coach are hired. A healthy McCutchen will solidify the top of the lineup, and good coaching should result in Rhys and Kingery getting better. Cole in the Rotation, and a couple of BP arms are doable, so there is hope for next season. That is my optimistic view, fully believing that Management are all coming back.

  7. The Phillies aren’t that far behind the Cardinals in over all player quality and their in the playoffs in one of the most competitive divisions in baseball. Another quality starting pitcher and some bullpen arms will help the Phillies tremendously. That and the injury jinx taking a year off.

  8. Jim Salisbury just posted the latest on Kapler…

    Says a decision may come either later today, more realistically Tuesday, no later than Wednesday.

    He also emphasized that while many people are rolling their eyes at Middleton’s perceived indecision (which he’ll have to answer for), this process is all about how meticulous and plodding the owner really is. In other words, this is the norm for him.

    Salisbury doesn’t seem to lean either way in this article, but did say he thought Kapler would not return in the podcast with Corey Seidman on Friday.

    Personally, I don’t see why or how this decision should be taking so long, but giving the devil his due, I consider the man making the call and will allow him to play it as he sees fit.

    Klentak is safe, we all agree, BUT his power in running the baseball operations has already been scaled back by virtue of Middleton’s deliberate inquisition. MacPhail is still deliberating over cream color or tan for the executive suites. I thought he’d pick vanilla.

    1. I think vanilla is a little gaudy for him, I’m thinking something more transparent like clear coat.

  9. Regarding Searage, I see that G Gole and Glasnow have improved dramatically after leaving Pittsburgh. Charlie Morton too. Or look at Taillon’s year-by-year FIP and tell me that he has developed in the majors under Searage? Or look at Chris Archer? I’m a hard pass on Searage.

    I think Cole is going to exceed the AAV of deGrom — he’s a year younger than deGrom was when signing the extension, and he has no injury history (deGrom had TJS). I think Cole will get 7 years/$210 million or thereabouts. That’s ages 30-36. Probably with at least one opt out. Maybe the 7th year vests with IP in the first three years or something like that. To be clear, the Phillies should do that deal.

    1. West Coast Phan … so it basically sounds like you agree with me: 30 million AAV over six years with the possibility of a vesting option in the 7th season.

    2. Searage laid a very good foundation of Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton. The Morton case is an add one since his stuff jumped in the opposite side of age which is not normal than most. Archer is almost a finished product so I don’t know how much Searage factor can help. The trade of Gerrit Cole and trade for Chris Archer sounds like a FO screw up than Searage,

      Searage may not be the best option (FYI – McPhail, Klentak and Kapler are also not the best option) but Searage is definitely a significant upgrade — I’m OK with anybody who can significantly upgrade the capability of this Phillies team.

    3. On MLBtraderumors, fans of Pittsburgh in the comment section shined some light on Searage, and it wasn’t pretty. The opinions seeemed to be informed vs hate spewing. The overwhelming feeling was that Searage has more failures than successes, to the tune of 30/70. Take it for what you will, but seemed to be a sentiment of fools gold with him from their viewpoints. Now, you can’t blame the PC for everything, or take credit for everything, but I think he is far from a slam Dunk improvement at PC.
      For the record, I don’t know who’d I’d pick, but I thought I’d share to balance out the praise/positive points for Searage. In the end, if he’s hired, I’ll only care about what he can do for Pivetta, VV, Efflin, Howard, Medina, neris (who needs a lot of work imo, way to predictable) than anything he’s done in the past, that goes for whoever they hire.

      1. The thing I’ve been thinking about Searage — He could be the guy to get the most out of Zach Eflin. Searage is a huge sinker ball guy and that is arguably Zach’s biggest strength. Likewise he may be able to breathe some life into Arrieta.

        The biggest concern I have is that he doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would get the most out of Spencer Howard. Spencer Howard has the kind of stuff to thrive with the Phillies pitching philosophy.

  10. I agree with you there WCPhan. I actually like Calloway as Pitching Coach, and that contract for Cole sounds about what I envision.

    1. I prefer Calloway than Searage too but Searage is also a good option. WCPhan made it sound like it’s a bad decision to sign Searage which is not.

  11. When you all get a chance, watch the Zack Greinke presser on, it’s a classic! He gave the reporters literally NOTHING in response to very generic questions. How refreshing in the most hilarious way.

  12. Did anyone have success voting in the “annual James poll”? Did you have to select one of the fake names to get started?

    1. IHeart…select ‘other’ and type in the name you think deserves that particular award.
      Then vote

      1. Thanks Romus. When I first tried “orther” wasn’t an option, but I see Jim has it going now!

  13. Jim, Great to hear the news on your wife’s situation. Continued good luck. Have you heard any news in your area about the Instructs?

  14. Searage is very anti analytics, he won’t be hired here. Callaway is a real possibility if he’s not considered for another manager job. He was very well thought of in Cleveland. Speaking of which, would Cleveland like to then trade us their highly paid pitcher? He could be an interesting option for a bounce back year.

  15. If Middleton is surveying (or has surveyed) the players, which is being reported by Matt Breen, and which is in my opinion a sign that Kapler will be given 2020 to right the ship, then I believe the owner has been leaning to that end. And why have Kapler continue to report to CBP this past week. As much as I don’t want him as manager, the man is human with feelings like the rest of us. Whatever the verdict, Middleton will have plenty to answer about the entire situation, including the status, security and short term plan regarding Klentak and MacPhail.

    1. I believe Middleton made this decision before the season ended but announcing last Monday that all 3 would be back would look to the fans like he was ok with the results. He’s way too competitive to let other teams get an 8+ day head start on him if he was really going to hire another manager. And does anyone really believe he just woke up this morning and decided he should talk to some of his players when he was with the team every day for the last two weeks of the season?

      The bottom line here is he believes in MacKlentak, and they believe in Kapler, and they have told him change is hard (which I agree with) and the new organizational model will take another year to show results. I think Middleton believes them. I think he’s just wrestling with the idea that the fans are not supportive and not bought in.

      I fully expect at this point he brings them all back, he tries to spend his way into contention, and the team misses the playoffs again next year due to mismanagement of talent acquisition and development.

      1. Sadly I’m thinking along the same lines, Buddy. And if so, it’s been a rouse of window dressing.

        1. 65% of the readers want Gabe gone…..approx. 400 readers responded.
          I think that is a good enough sampling of how most of he fans would respond.
          If he is back…..there could be a cascade of boos at a game every time something goes amiss next season.

          I suppose Middleton could be thinking that Gabe is the next Charlie of 2006 with a club on the verge of something special.

  16. Starlin Castro has a $16M option coming up. Will the Marlins pay that or look to trade him? He had another good hitting year and can play all the IF positions. Also Starling Marte has an $11M option coming up. Any chance the Pirates would trade him to us? I want to let our cash be our primary trade asset. We have some pieces of upside value we could trade to teams like these two (Pivetta, Vinnie, Williams, Medina, Haseley). Make these two deals plus a deal with Indians, sign Cole or Strasburg, and then sign some relievers and we have a team to compete.

    1. Murray, I agree that the Phils should use cash to their benefit. However, Starlin Castro had a .300 OBP in 2019. That’s not good. He was 6% worse than league average at hitting (94 OPS+) and he put up a grand total of 0.8 WAR. That is not worth $16 million. Just for comparison, Castro played 162 games and put up 0.8 WAR; Sean Rodriguez played 76 games and put up 0.4 WAR — on a per game basis, they were equally valuable in 2019.

      Marte can play

    2. @Murray – 2 years ago, that will be a sound strategy. The window to contention was opened from the time the Phillies signed Bryce Harper. If the Phillies will burn $$, it should be to acquire a legit MLB talent like Gerrit Cole, etc. Starlin Castro will no longer provide good value especially with Kingery and Cesar around and Bohm coming up very soon.

      I think the there’s nothing much to do with the starting line up of Cutch-Segura-JTR-Harper-Hoskins-Kingery-Haseley-3B (or Cesar) —- other than to hire a hitting coach who will bring out the best of these guys.

      The offseason is all about pitching, hiring of coaches and preferable new FO.

      1. Cesar and Franco will be non tendered and will be gone. Someone has to play 3b with flexibility to play elsewhere for when Bohm comes up and to add legit bench depth.

        1. If Cesar and Franco are non-tendered (who I can see that happening), it means that the Phillies loaded up their pitching and bullpen if not sign Anthony Rendon (which I think is less likely).

          Bohm to the Phillies in 2020 is almost imminent. And if both Cesar and Franco are gone and Scotty Babe Ruth will be 2B full time, the Phillies will most likely sign a bench player placeholder (i.e. Bamboo Bambino, Galvis) and expedite Bohm’s promotion.

          I don’t see the Phillies absorbing any contracts unless it’s a contract swap since they will be operating close to the luxury tax threshold. And also, absorbing $$ was never been a Klentak MO.

  17. I expect an announcement bringing Kapler back tomorrow. I am more interested in what Middleton has to say. We have said it many times, firing Kapler and bringing the rest of the FO back would have accomplished zero. The fan reaction will be reversed as soon as Gerrit Cole gets signed.

    1. matt13…..if he brings Gabe back, then he will need to decide, whether or not to give Gabe an extension sometime before April…..or else he just is a lame duck manager for 2020.

    2. Matt, I don’t think the fan response is going to be that straightforward next season. Middleton’s explanation, regardless of its quality, is not going to make the average fan happy. MacPhail and Klentak never enthuse the fan base when they speak. And Gabe does not connect and his message does not resonate with the fan base. Philly is also a market that will only support so much spending at one time and with the Eagles and Sixers in prime position to not only contend, but have star power and likable personalities, it puts the Phils at best in third place in a market of four. The Flyers have 6 months to show that they deserve some time and attention from the fan base. The Phils could be walking into April trying to capture attention from a #1 seed in the NBA playoffs and the first round of the Stanley cup playoffs.

      G Cole is obviously an incredible pitcher and would do wonders to improve the Phils but I don’t suspect they’d get anywhere near the fan hype and ticket boost they got with Bryce.

  18. Isn’t that why they brought up Charlie in ’07 last week, Romus? To set the stage for bringing Kapler back without an extension. I just have the feeling that the decision was made a while ago, and this whole time has been to show “great deliberation.”

  19. FWIW – I don’t see Haseley as the starting CF on a team that wants to win a pennant. I expect they’ll bring in someone else to play CF.

    1. According to Matt Gelb, the Phillies aren’t too keen on Haseley’s hit tool, mainly his launch angle. So you may be onto something. He may become another casualty of the breakdown of their hitting philosophy.

      1. If true, this is an organizational philosophy problem of the highest magnitude. Haseley was not drafted as a raw high school kid, he was a top 10 draft pick who was fairly close to a finished product and who was expected to advance quickly, which he did. To select a college line-drive hitter with a low launch angle and then damn that very player for that attribute suggests that the left hand does not know or approve what the right hand is doing. So, again, if this is true, it’s pretty stunning.

        1. And, for what it’s worth, I actually like Haseley quite a bit. He looks like a plus fielder – perhaps even a 1-2 WAR defender so if he can continue to do that and gradually improve his hitting he could turn into a first division regular. I don’t understand why folks would write him off after one partial season. He’s young – I expect him to get better – perhaps quite a bit better and I don’t expect Mickey Moniak to become better than him, so there’s that too.

          1. Especially since he hits so well to the opposite field. Those doubles in the left field gap are nice

        2. Agree…the 8th pick in the draft, out of college, would seem to be a player that there had been a fairly large consensus of the scouts in the org to agree, that he was a future core player.
          IMIO, low launch angles is not an important metric to measure a hitter’s value upon……what I would be more concerned with wold be his LD%/hard-hit metric……but not as a rookie with MLB 250 PAs.
          Like I said earlier….the Yankees and Red Sox had no concerns with Gatrdner and JBJr going into their age24 seasons……the Phillies need to worry about other pressing needs than worry about Haseley

    2. And if that is the Phillies thought…then one reason why they will not accomplish what teams like the Yankees and Red Sox did over the last ten years…..both AL-East teams seem to think JBjr and Gardner were enough of CFers to take them where they needed to go.
      But I have come to expect that train of thought recently from the Phillies.

  20. According to a report, Raul Ibanez is not entertaining requests to interview for any managerial openings, saying it’s not the time. He’s 47, based at his home in Miami as a Dodgers special assistant to Andrew Friedman. He was rumored to be of interest to SF and CHC. I would have liked to see him given the opportunity here. Maybe down the road….

  21. According to Jon Heyman, it appears Joe Maddon is a virtual lock to be hired by Arte Moreno and the Angels. Maddon’s interview today went well.

    The Mets and Carlos Beltran reportedly have mutual interest. Joe Girardi might be a bit rich for their blood despite his supposed interest.

    Mike Matheny is reportedly the favorite for the KC job, but one might wonder if Dusty Wathan might be invited to interview since there were rumblings a couple years ago that his family ties to them might translate into a manager’s job.

    The Padres have been looking into Braves coach and former Texas skipper Ron Washington. Word is they want experience in their next manager.

    Meanwhile in Philadelphia, we wait….

    1. Middleton is so Type A, aggressive, hungry, and competitive. There is no way someone like that waits until a 6 month season ends to “conduct his analysis” for 9 days letting 7 other teams get a head start on him in picking a manager. If he was going to change managers, he’d want to prove his cigar is bigger than everyone else’s and get the best of the best, not the best of the rest. Unfortunately for all of us fans, it turns out its really just a cheap cigarette. Shame on him for being fooled by MacPhail and for trying to fool the fan base with his phony analysis.

    2. And let’s just pretend for a second he really is analyzing this and hasn’t decided, this would be so incredibly unfair to Gabe. While I think he’s the worst manager I’ve ever watched in my life, I don’t think anybody can question his work ethic and desire. If this analysis is genuine, he deserves better. If this analysis is a hoax, the fans deserve better. Either way, shame on you John Middleton.

      1. Buddy, apparently Middleton hasn’t discussed emotional intelligence with Jeffrey Lurie. This is embarrassing. However, who was it who told Lurie on the plane that Chip Kelly was toxic? Oh right, that former Cowboy running back. Not a good look for Middleton here. And this is a dark day, not just because Gabe is (likely) staying, but because the whole gang is sticking around….minus the trainer, and the pitching and hitting coaches. What’s that going to fix?

  22. Matt Gelb reports that Phillies trainer Scott Sheridan and his assistant have been fired. So there’s that….

    1. I told you yesterday, today is the day things will be announced, I got it from a guy who knows a guy, who makes coffee for a guy, who delivers to Middleton

  23. G Cole is the best FA pitcher to hit the market in awhile. He is a Halladay on the open market. I think the Phillies will be in it, but ultimately he goes elsewhere

    What if the Phillies can go


    To me this maybe more realistic. Again, I feel it will take 2 offseason and a trade deadline to get the rotation & bullpen to a serious contender; and not just an playoff entry level team.

    1. If Middleton will not sign Gerrit Cole, it means that he believes that the Phillies will not contend in the next 2 years …. which also means that McPhail-Klentak-Kapler will be here to stay and we will be suffering again in October watching other MLB fight for the WS.

      I was wrong on Middleton to believe that he wants to win BAD. Middleton is not the winning force that we expect him to be – lack of conviction and indecisiveness, tolerance with mediocrity and no sense of urgency — something you only see in FO of losing MLB teams.

      1. Feeling needs to be mutual. I believe the offer will be there from the Phillies, just that Cole prefers another location. If the Astros win out this post season, it’s even more likely to me that he is west coast bound. I just don’t get the same sense that I did from the BH/MM sweepstakes, but I hope I’m wrong.

        I think it’s a little to early to judge Middleton on this front, I’d like to hear his reasoning first, and to see if it’s reasonable. I feel it will be. Changing out Mcphail/Klentak is a lot more difficult than firing/hiring a new manager.

        If he changes direction, I’d expect a lull as the new regime incorporates their direction, if the incumbents remain, this process will light a fire under their a – – es.

        1. Tac3……Corbin loved the Yankees as a kid……Harper wanted SF or Washington……still comes down to the Benji

    2. I think I’d rather have Smyly over Kuechel and Lyles over Wheeler. I love Rendon over Hoskins (I’d move Bohm to 1B) and expect a nice piece in return for Hoskins even if you might be selling low on him.

      It’s an ouch move but I think you have to make it

      I would not eat up my payroll or comp draft picks on SP. I think buy the bats grow the arms is a solid philosophy even if we haven’t executed it properly so far.

      1. DMAR, I agree with you on Hoskins. The Phillies had originally pegged him as a central marketing figure to help build the team’s identity with the fan base. Well guess what? One Bryce Harper later (along with guys like Realmuto and Kingery), Rhys’ presence on the yearbook cover or on the field isn’t so essential anymore. I too would look to package him for a TOR. If we were one Gerrit Cole away from going for the trophy, I would certainly go all in for him. BUT I would now rather spread the resources, sign Rendon for (likely) less than Cole, and move Bohm to 1b. I believe that Klentak would better achieve the long term goal in doing so.

        1. Thanks for pointing that out 8mark “If we were one Gerrit Cole away” I do agree with that statement.

          Highlighting even more so the way to the WS is pretty much how the Astro’s handled acquiring Verlander and then Cole. They simply made a good trade in both instances.

      2. Yeah, Im positive on Smyly, I think he could surprise in the way Morton did.

        Tough calls either way. Trading hoskins would be pretty ballsy.


        Not bad …. but trading hoskins seems hard to do. I’d rather the NL just hurry up and get the DH already, it’s Inevitable imo.

        1. Tac I know no one really wants him back but a Herrera/Cutch Combo in LF would be pretty nice…

          you say it is ballsy to trade Hoskins but was it ballsy to trade Chris Archer or was it Ballsy to trade Chris Sale or was it ballsy to trade Goldschmidt…

          I love Hoskins so I’m not advocating giving him away and forget for a moment that Klentak is our GM and assume the return would be more than appropriate. Even if the DH comes I’d still move him.

          1. On Hoskins, I can see a path to contention if they trade him, by swapping Bohm & rendon for Hoskins & Franco. Meaning while swapping payroll for A combo of Hoskins, Medina, grullon,Moniak, Or Haselely In SP trade. That’s the painful trade it’d take.

            1. If that’s the package it would take to acquire a TOR, I volunteer to drive the van to the airport. Losing Moniak would give me a ping of pain, but I would soon get over the fact that he was a 1-1 selection.

            2. In theory, it is easy to say trade Hoskins for a SP! But it takes 2 to tango in a trade. Who (SP arm) do you specifically target? Does that team that owns the SP arm have a good reason to make the trade? And don’t tell me you guys are targeting Matt Boyd — common man!

            3. It does, and I took a peak, I’m not even sure who’d I got after. Nothing pops out me like an obvious G COLE signing, and because of this … I’m throwing the most amount of money and years at G.cole and make him say no. IF the deal winds up going south, it’s the move I’d be willing to fall on the sword for.

              You’d have to be creative as a FO, more creative than say … some dude posting in a comment section :). Maybe BOS wants to do a mini l-rebuild, I’d see if maybe BOS wants to “rape me” for Chris Sale? The best bet is likely to lower the package and pluck the good young marlins away! CIN has some pitchers they might be willing to give up. Kluber? Damn Indians got good again too sooo, it’s tough to identify teams that maybe sellers. If your philosophy is to grow the arms … you better grow some damn arms

            4. ….however, Hoskins probably can’t be the key piece in that deal. It would have to include a couple of prospects like Haseley and Miller, Garcia or maybe Ortiz. Or all of them.

  24. IMO, Middleton is having an internal dilemma – on one hand he wants to win and he said when he took over the Phillies and on the other – keeping the trio of McPhail-Klentak-Kapler means winning will have to wait unless he broke his wallet wide open and buy his WS.

    Keeping the current FO trio without going crazy in FA means that the window to contend will be pushed to 2021. McPhail and Klentak works very slow and methodical which is really mind boggling to me because I view Middleton as a man who wants results FAST!

    I really don’t know what Middleton saw in Klentak who never had a good track record as a GM to continue to have his back. Too bad for the Phillies fans that the previous leadership/ownership group set the standard very low as to winning – like 1 WS in your lifetime is probably good for them. We will be heading that path if Middleton will continue to ride the McPhail-Klentak train.

  25. KuKo, My real question is what he ever saw in Andy MacPhail? MacPhail hired Klentak, Middleton just signed off. You can make an argument that the Dartmouth grad, real smart guy, Klentak, can help the team navigate into the analytics age. What did Andy MacPhail ever do? He has “been around” the game. When the Dodgers hire an Andrew Friedman and the Cubs a Theo Epstein, Middleton made a mistake with MacPhail. Everything flowed down from that decision. The Yankees just swept the Twins. A huge signing was DJ LeMahieu. How Colorado screwed that up is a good question. But, the Yankeess got him because one of their FO people worked in Colorado, and told Brian Cashman that they had been messing with his swing, trying to make him more of a power hitter. Does this sound familiar? The problems with our team start at the top. Coach our players to be the best they can be, work on their strengths, not some pre- determined cookie cutter approach. Wouldn’t it have been better for Middleton to have just come out on day 1 and said these are my guys and we are sticking with them? This whole “process” has just made Middleton look bad.

    1. @matt – it shows that Middleton knows nothing about baseball. I was never on board with the McPhail-Klentak tandem although I have higher hope in Klentak than McPhail. Rather than scout FO candidates from successful teams, Middleton scout his FO in the clearance section of Ross and TJMaxx.

      McPhail still have that 2 WS in his resume that he can brag about in his lifetime and which Middleton bought right away. My initial sense is that Middleton will get McPhail’s wisdom but will be a hawk who can see lack of success immediately – and I was dead wrong. I can now pencil Middleton as a normal owner who is more concerned with bottom line than winning – spending $$ here and there to make sure that people still go to the ballpark.

      I’m not disappointed with the decision to hire McPhail-Klentak or the decision to keep or fire them. It is the lack of conviction and decisiveness to act and react to mediocrity, failure and substandard perform that is getting into me.

    2. In fairness, you can only hire who is available. I’m sure Middleton would ideally hire someone who is already employeed. McPhail was likely one of the best available, and he was an outsider, which was received pretty well at the time. I think klentak
      Was as well.

      The question is, are their potential replacements better? If so, by how much? And is it worth the risk of adding more time onto this “rebuild”? If he feels Bloom is a serious upgrade, I think he’ll do it. The man is rich, winning baseball games is what gives him a large portion of his pride/purpose. I trust him enough. Just like a rebuild isn’t linear, you can expect the same from the Owner/FO, they will make misteps as well

      1. When Middleton hired MacPhail, he was essentially signing off on whoever MacPhail wanted – which was going to be someone with whom he was familiar and most likely had a history of working together….which eliminated someone like Bloom, who is much more qualified as we have discovered, painfully.

    3. At matt13 – Leamahieu also comes from north Jersey – he was no doubt a Yankee fan as a kid. Clearly – HE WAS the best free agent available !

  26. I don’t know John Middleton from the man on the moon. However, I’ve gotten this vibe that like many of us fans, he gets excited about the IDEA of what things might look like moving forward, warm fuzzies with his kid GM, and the possibility that it’s just not working in the 5th year leaves him in the dilemma….what to do now! I sense Middleton has been so invested emotionally in the “process” of finishing the rebuild and entering playoff relevance, that as the writing is on the wall for many if not most of us, he can’t see the forest for the trees. And THAT is our BIGGEST problem, and darker days are still before us, Kapler or no Kapler.

      1. @romus – is this article written by McPhail or Klentak? Reading the article is like watching McPhail-Klentak manage the Phillies – slow, long and looks like there’s no end in sight. it will take me 10-20 years to finish reading just how McPhail-Klentak plans to win the WS.

    1. McPhail-Klentak might have a very good vision but most will tell you a vision without a set timeline is a DREAM – being a businessman Middleton should know that. McPhail-Klentak should be in the business of whiskey if they are looking for a timeline of 10-20 years.

      My disappointment really points to Middleton. After 4 years and spending big $, the Phillies under McPhail and Klentak are still non-contenders and with a farm in the bottom of the league. Middleton should be really mad at McPhail-Klentak on the fact that after 4 years, McPhail-Klentak made the Phillies the 4th best team in NL East (not even the NL or MLB) just above the Marlins who by the way, improved their farm a lot in the last 2 years!

      4th in your division and be satisfied with the FO who made that possible? And like what losers do – they’ll find an excuse to rationalize the failures.

    2. My guess is he is influenced by the current playoff teams rebuild process, and their timeline. I remember reading/hearing that rebuilds should take 4 years or less, and he is racing against that clock.

  27. It’s funny, watching Dave Roberts manage, I realize he does things exactly like Kapler does them during a game. However, his personality has more fire and he’s more of a leader. Where Kapler is a quiet “let’s play hard today” guy, Roberts is more out there with his smile and actions leading that team. Remember that Roberts got that job over Kapler with the folks there knowing both men well. They certainly made the right choice. Can Kapler become more like Roberts? I don’t think so, it’s not in his California dna. The biggest difference right now is that the Dodgers bench is crazy deep and their starting pitching is amazing. Roberts handles it all very well while Kapler seems to push buttons without a feeling.

  28. For several years, I have been openly complaining about how this team is built…specifically through the draft. But also through FA and trades. The playoff teams support every claim that I have made.

    This article articulates these points well:

    1. Arguments that I have been making…Don’t draft soft tossing control type pitchers. Data to support this:
    – “percentage of four-seamers thrown at least 95 mph…2008 regular season: 16.3 percent, the 2018 postseason: 51.2 percent.
    – “As a group, Major League hitters this year are hitting .243 with a .423 slugging on four-seamers 95 mph and above, and .282 with a .529 slugging on four-seamers 94 mph and below.”

    2. Pitch to contact is BS. it is all about K rate (and low walk rate)
    – Dating back to 2000, the average increase in strikeout rate is 2 percent. In the last four seasons, the increase is 3.2 percent.

    3. A great farm system produces high quality relief pitchers. Our farm system does not produce good RPs. So we went out and purchased older RPs and they broke down.
    – In 2018, relievers pitched 39.4 percent of regular-season innings. In the postseason, they pitched 49.7 percent of innings.

    4. Elite SPs dominate…and first round picks have a higher propensity to produce elite SPs. I have been pounding the table every draft to take the best available SP in the first round. Instead we have drafted safe picks that were deemed to have great hit tools. That left us with no impact players (although Bohm might become one). And no pitching depth in our system.

    – Look at the top SPs in the playoffs…the majority were first round picks: Scherzer, Strasburg, Cole, Verlander, Buehler, Kershaw, Soroka, Berrios

    We “won” this offseason, by doing the splashy move. We invested in Harper, the Nats invested in a 3rd elite SP. We traded one of our two elite SP prospects for the best catcher in the game. Milwaukee signed a similar WAR impact FA Catcher for 1 year and no prospect cost. We signed a 32 year old OF for $50m…he got hurt but even before that, he wasn’t changing our outcomes like an Elite SP would have.

    The problem is with the front office. Until we start investing in pitching (drafts, FA, Trades) we will go nowhere.

      1. Yes. I have been saying for years that the problems that the Phils have are due to Almaraz. I have no idea how he escaped scrutiny. Our Farm system is ranked very low right now. We have 2 highly rated prospects. After 5 drafts in which we selected in the top 10 or 15 of every round, we have a very weak farm system. Zero pitching depth beyond Spencer Howard. It is a complete disaster.

        1. “The problem is with the front office. Until we start investing in pitching (drafts, FA, Trades) we will go nowhere.” —- I also agree with this 100%. While Klentak might be a sweet talking analytics guy, I doubt his ability to identify legit MLB talent. Klentak might be looking everything by the numbers —- while numbers don’t lie, numbers can deceive you and this might explain why Klentak continue to miss on certain MLB talents both internally and externally.

          And going to the domestic scouting and draft, the last 4 years put the Phillies in the a very good position to hit in multiple high end talents — missed opportunity!!! Phillies also missed the opportunity to add talent by not exploring to acquire comp picks. Everything the Phillies did the last 4 years has the FO of McPhail and Klentak written all over it. The failure to produce a contending team after 4 years despite of a good Rule 4 draft positions and $ spent in FA and infrastructure — all points to an inept FO.

    1. Disagree on 2…Pitch to Contact is BS.
      Was it BS for Arrieta and Hendricks in 2015?
      Or Porcello in ’16 and ’18?
      Or Keuchel?
      It comes down to the pitchers involved and their capabilities..
      Granted, everyone, including myself, would like to have the Thor/Verlander/deGrom/Cole mixture but it is not there for a majority of the pitchers.
      Will a p-to-c pitchers ever be an long-term Ace….probably not,….but yuo have to work with what you have.

      1. These guys are exceptions – you don’t build your team on soft tosser control pitchers it’s a long failed philosophy. Look back over the last 30 years and identify the soft tossers the Phils drafted who made it. The success rate is about 0% which is barely an exaggeration.

        1. Yes… do not build your rotation on them, no one is saying that….but they are still useful in a rotation…especially the lefty version of them..I can name dozens in that case….one of which was Randy Wolf for the Phillies..
          As for the Phillies, Eflin is a pitch to contact guy…always was since his Pads days….and since he reverted back it showed in his recent success…..but he does have that 95/96 velo 4Smr at his disposal to fall back on.
          And therein lies the reason most of the Phillies RHPs soft tossers, since the Tyler Cloyd/Dave Buchanan days to the Mark Leiter days, did not pan out…..they did not even have a mid-90s velo, to back up on.

  29. DAY NINE: The wait continues.

    A few thoughts:
    * Someone above posted the Phillies have fired Scott Sheridan. I haven’t seen that anywhere else. Is this true? If so, who’s call was this? Middleton? MacPhail? Klentak? What an absurd move to fire/blame the head trainer because many players suffered injuries. Can anyone seriously blame McCutchen’s ACL on Sheriden? Is Sheridan at fault for the arm injuries to Robertson, Hunter, SerAnt’ny, and Morgan?
    * John Clarke reports John Middleton is traveling around the country meeting with players to gather their feelings on Gabe Kapler. This has always been the main reason I felt Gabe would be brought back. The players aren’t going to throw him under the bus. Gabe has taken bullets for almost every guy (except for Maikel Franco and Nick Pivetta) on the roster. If you’re Rhys Hoskins or Jean Segura, how can you not appreciate the fact that Kapler has stood behind you and never publicly criticized you despite struggles/mistakes.
    * If Middleton does bring Gabe back, he must tack on another year to his deal. He cannot have Kapler working in the last year of a deal … especially after totally emasculating him for the past nine days.
    * I can only hope Middleton is putting in as much/even more time into securing the club’s next pitching coach as/than he is into deciding Kapler’s future. I’ll say it again … the Phillies pitching coach will have a greater affect on the team’s 2020 win total than the manager (whether it’s Kapler, Joe Girardi, or someone else). As a matter of fact, I’d be willing to pay Mickey Calloway as pitching coach more than Kapler (800 thousand dollars) as manager.

    1. Hinkie et al, the story in the athletic by Gelb this morning says roughly the following:

      1. The Phils have agreed on contracts with all 7 of their coaches to return next year outside the hitting and pitching coach, regardless of whether Kapler returns.

      2. There is mutual interest between Showalter and the Phils if they move on from Kapler, but says he is not necessarily the leading candidate. (Not sure I believe that second part.)

      3. He says that others around baseball see the phils in some cases as overthinking this, in other cases as exercising a thorough evaluation process, and others think they are totally dysfunctional.

      4. “The Phils were best by bullpen injuries in 2019 and, within the org, there were disputes about how some of those pitchers were used and how their rehab programs were structured. Over the years, Sheridan developed a strong reputation among players for his meticulous work.”

      5. Hints that the players will support Kapler because he lets them police themselves and has very few rules of any kind. (including hustle during games apparently.)

      6. There are numerous tidbits in the story, too many to list, that give me the feel that Middleton and the culture he has created is dysfunctional. Lots of comments that hint at lack of trust, lack of communication, etc. Not a good vibe from the story.

  30. They have mentioned, both MacPhail and Klentak, the whole timeline to rebuild thing, and how fast Houston and the Cubs did it. 4 years. Wasn’t this past year, year #4? MacPhail was hired in the summer, June or July, of 2015. The 16, 17, 18 and 19 baseball seasons have come and gone. That’s 4 full seasons. We are 4th in our own Division, 18 games worse than the Atlanta Braves. So, we tied no one for fastest rebuild, and hopefully, we never have to hear about it again. Now comes year 5, and unless the philosophy changes about FA SPs, or they trade the farm for someone, the Manager won’t matter. And, please do not trade the farm.

  31. My god this board is getting ridiculous with all the hate. We aren’t the Marlin or Orioles but some of you are treating management like they are.

    Hey you know those Padres who have all this young talent and just signed Machado? They went 70-92 without all the crippling injuries we had. You can’t always expect a one year turn around.

    The Phillies with all the injuries they had and how the Braves were playing decided they didn’t want to push all in this year. I completely agree with them. In the one game wild card era the smart thing to do. It’s amazing to me we are on a prospect site and not a single person here appreciates that they made the long term decision hold prospects. How quickly we forget what Amaro did.

    Now it just seems like everyone wants to create all these false pretenses about Klentak and management without a shred of evidence. In fact Jim has even went out of his way to tell people they are making false assumptions or guessing. My assessment is Klentak made a lot of good moves this year and the only bad one was Robertson who got injured. He didn’t get us into any long term bad contract which is great for us since lots of big markets are up against the cap these days. The farm didn’t perform great but their are definitely some guys who made some noise this year. Everyone seems to mention we don’t have a top tier farm system but ignores that we traded several big prospects away including Sixto.

    It wasn’t that long ago that the whole Philly Fanbase was calling for Howie Roseman’s head. Now he’s beloved. It’s not always the GM’s fault when thing’s go wrong. The Phillies have made several changes in the last year including Johnny A stepping down, Hitting Coach firing, Chris Young removed as PC, bringing in Jason Ochart from Driveline. Clearly they recognized the same issues we all have and have made changes seeking improvement. Maybe…just maybe… we should give them another year to see if they bear fruit before calling for everyone’s heads.

    1. ….see below. (Expect a turn around in one year? What are you talking about? They’re on year #5!)

      1. Klentak was hired 4 years ago. Everyone know this was going to be a long rebuild. This was the first year where they moved towards contention.

        1. you’re hoping that everything turns into the Phillies favor. an inept FO like the Phillies will make sure that all your hope will be gone.

          the battle for NL East is already tough and the Phillies might be battling for a wild card slot with WAS, CHC, MIL at the most.

    2. dude, the Phillies are non-playoff team for 8 years and counting….are you happy with that?

  32. Bottom line – we enter the 5th year of this regime as 4th in the division, and a farm that is at best in the bottom 10 in MLB. That alone should be enough for Middleton to scuttle the ship. Otherwise, we won’t be seeing a Hunt for Red October anytime soon.

    1. You are selectively picking facts to back your argument. Here are counter points.

      1. It was always going to be a long rebuild. Barren farm, old roster, bad contracts.
      2. 4th place in the most competitive division in baseball. 4 teams made a big push this year. See signings of Donaldson, Corbin, and the Cano/Diaz trade.
      3. Farm system may be ranked in the bottom half of baseball but again we traded away or promoted several prospects which would have caused us to be ranked in the top 15.

      1. well, you are also selective to support your argument —- the Phillies are non-playoff team for the last 8 years and counting. this will only fly with fair weather fans and small market teams.

      2. We had 4 top 10 picks in a row. If we don’t have a top farm system then our process is completely broken.

        We have zero pitching depth. One elite SP prospect and no one else that isn’t a 5 starter. The only good prospect we traded with Sixto. We missed on the #10 overall pick in 2015, #1 overall in 2016 and it now seems the #8 pick in 2017. We also had high picks in other rounds in those drafts and have only one good mlb player to show for it (Kingery). It doesn’t take more than 5 years of high draft picks to turn around a farm systemic you know what you are doing.

        1. I pretty much agree with you across the board. I just think Johnny A was the problem. The last 2 drafts look a lot more promising. The issue may have already been addressed.

          I made the mistake of blaming Howie Roseman for things decisions that were really made by Andy Reid and Chip Kelly. I don’t want to do it again. For all we know Klentak has been wanting to make a change for a while. Middleton obviously has a lot more information than we do and I’m trusting him to make the right decision.

          1. looks like you have a habit of pointing your finger to the wrong person. if that (incorrectly blaming Howie) is your reason for your support of Klentak, then it is not a good position so no wonder why you will get rebuttals in all directions.

            1. Yeah I don’t get the frequent comparisons between the Phillies and the Eagles. The NFL has no guaranteed contracts, for one. The nature of the games are totally different. It’s not like you can swap out Klentak for Roseman….or can you?

        2. Totally agree v1. In addition to your points, baseball remains the one sport where money can really make a difference without a hard cap, etc. The Phillies during this rebuild could have taken on all kinds of bad contracts in exchange for more international dollars, or compensatory picks, or prospects, etc and they really almost did none of that. They may have invested a lot of money in their academies in Latin America, I’m not sure, but if they didn’t, why not? And if they did, where are the results?

          This rebuild has literally yielded almost nothing of significant value outside of Aaron Nola. Regardless of whether it was drafting, development, or a combination of reasons, VERY VERY little came from the system into the majors at a significant level.

          The further you step back from this season, the bigger the performance challenges look. There is a drafting problem. There is a minor league development problem. There is a young major league talent development problem. There is a culture problem. There is an international development problem. There is a creativity problem. There is an accountability problem. This team has one thing going for it – financial resources. If we don’t fix the above but spend the money, our upside is being the Angels or Rangers. Money alone doesn’t get you to be the Yankees or Dodgers or Astros.

          1. As I read your post, Buddy….all I can hear in my head is somebody playing Taps. Spot on….

      3. “Farm system may be ranked in the bottom half of baseball but again we traded away or promoted several prospects which would have caused us to be ranked in the top 15.”

        This is wrong. Only top 100 prospect traded was Sixto. Only top 100 prospects promoted was Kingery. Haseley made the back of a few lists for one year.

        The top farms produce impact prospects every year and still stay on top.

  33. Very good posts….so then, how can Middleton bring this group back???

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Does Middleton not know this? Or, is he to scared to go out on the limb where the fruit is?

    Oh, well he owns the team and can do as he pleases.

    1. He may not awaken until he’s wondering why they are averaging less than 20 thousand at the gate next season.

    2. it’s either Middleton has no clue or he doesn’t have the urgency to win. The Phillies have Top 10 picks from 2014-2018 and the only legit MLB contributors they have are drafted by the previous regime. The Phillies also started to become a key player in IFA and they secured a big contract from Comcast. And yet, they are still non-playoff team for the last 8 seasons (4 under the new regime)!!!

      And we have a Middleton who flexed his muscles and said he wants to win and yet 4 years into his control – the Phillies are still non-playoff team and possibly non-contenders in at least 2 more years!

      1. A big time starting Pitcher, healthy roster, and a solid bullpen addition is easily a playoff contender. That’s ignoring guys like Howard and Bohm who should contribute next year. I don’t see where this 2 year non-contender thing comes from.

        1. you’re hoping that everything turns into the Phillies favor. an inept FO like the Phillies will make sure that all your hope will be gone.

          the battle for NL East is already tough and the Phillies might be battling for a wild card slot with WAS, CHC, MIL at the most.

        2. I can understand how someone might argue a point or two defending any of the Phillies brass, BUT to apologize for the whole shebang makes no sense to me. I’m sorry….

          1. I’m not apologizing. I just think the biggest factor this year that led to our 4th place finish was injuries. Several changes has been made as I have highlighted to address some of the big issues.

            1. using injuries as the reason the lamest excuse to justify the disappointing season. like the traffic in I-76, player injuries are inherent and therefore, should be part of risk management of a GM – otherwise, it’s GM malpractice.

              the Yankees were besieged with injuries with their “key” players and yet they won 100 games and rule in a competitive division too. The Brewers lost their best player and was still able to make a run in the WC. and who does the Phillies lost in injuries? they are mostly secondary players – somebody who a decent GM should be able to replace with a capable body.

              most of the Phillies best players are playing during the year and yet we blame the injuries as if the Phillies are the only ones affected by it??? how about the decision to let of Rick Kranitz and replace him with an inexperience guy who screwed up the players that he is supposed to help? is that not a valid reason for the meltdown? and maybe with Kranitz around, the young arm continued to develop under his watch and stabilized the rotation and also develop the young pen arms in JD Hammer, Edgar Garcia, DLS to cover for the injured pen arms?

              Blaming injuries is an excuse — the Phillies still have their best players playing. It is the decision of Klentak to change the pitching/hitting coaches and his inability to identify talent and find adequate replacement that really cost this team to lose.

            2. It’s a lot hard to fill holes when it is your first real year ascending. The phils jump started by spending and making trades. That doesn’t leave many options on the farm. In a couple years when players start getting blocked then you can absorb some of the injuries easier.

            3. “In a couple years when players start getting blocked then you can absorb some of the injuries easier” — even in absorbing injuries, do you want Klentak to ask 2 more years??? The excuse is getting ridiculous.

              As I said earlier, injuries are inherent to the sport. Injuries can happen anytime and GMs don’t need years to address the risk of injuries — that’s why there’s a 40-man team and the whole farm system so a team can stock players to reinforce the 25-man in case of under performance and injuries.

              Klentak failure to add MLB talent in the 40-man particularly the rotation is all on Klentak. Klentak has the power who to include and exclude in the 40-man team. Klentak has the power to sign and trade for players. Morin? Hughes? Pirela? Sean Rod? Vincent? etc, etc, Klentak is the one who littered the team with below average players.

  34. If the Royals move forward with Matheny they’ll regret it… Matheny laughably does T.V commercials for the Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis and extolls the virtues of chess for adults and kids… The impression is Matheny manages like a chess player and he’s always thinking five moves ahead.. In reality the times Matheny would look at his empty bench in the 8th inning when a pitcher was due up to hit with a man on 2nd/one out and he’s forgotten he already used all his subs by the 7th… Or even better no LHP or RHP reliever for a late inning situation because they’ve already been used for one batter earlier and my favorite the double-switch that forces a pitcher to hit fourth and up to bat… The guy is low brain power manager who only succeeds with very good assistants who can manage/anticipate HIS screw-ups before they happen..

  35. Final answer:

    Gut is telling me:
    McPhail – canned
    Klentak – gone
    Kapler – survives due to players backing

    Doesn’t follow the norm, but after 4 years, and being outbuilt by the Braves and Nats … even after stealing away Harper, and the possibility that the Mets have leaped over them, they are shown the door. The marlins are in the rearview, but they are closer than they should be as well after 4 years and taking realmuto from them.

    Final answer

    1. Tac3 I would accept that actually. Let the new FO make the decision on Kapler (provided the players aren’t giving him a bad grade behind close doors)

      because at the end of the day as so many have pointed out with the exception of Bosss this club top to bottom is devoid of talent after 4 years.

  36. Bosss, I can appreciate that you support Mac/Klentak, although I disagree. But, here is where you are wrong in your dispute with those of us who think they are the problem. First, the 4-5 year rebuild notion did not come from the fan base, but, on numerous occasions, from MacPhail and Klentak. We just finished year 4. Number 2, injuries were not the cause of our dismal year. The lack of SP was. And, that was the fault of MacPhail and Klentak. They decided that the trio of SPs that completely busted for the last 2 months of 2018 were all going to have good seasons, and did not feel the need to add 1 quality SP. That was their mistake. No one suggested giving up on them. No one suggested that we should not continue to develop them. We just wanted 1 quality Starter. And, you can argue that Corbin’s last year of the deal made his contract a bad one, but there is no argument that they failed to get anyone other than Corbin. What is the excuse for never contacting Charlie Morton? Then, when those same 3 SPs failed to pitch well to start the season, they had a chance to add Keuchel, and they chose not to. And, last, the argument that somehow we wanted to trade the farm to go for a WC shot is just false. No one wanted that. No one wanted to trade Bohm or Howard, our 2 best prospects. But, we did want to go after better BP options than what Klentak got, guys DFA’d or released by their former teams. These are no false narratives, but factually what went on. No second guessing because the same people who think the SP decisions were bad ones thought the same thing as the decisions were being made. I have no personal animosity towards either gentleman. I just think that firing the Manager and leaving the top of the FO intact will accomplish nothing. And, unless we get a quality Pitching Coach, and we change philosophy and sign Gerrit Cole no matter how long or expensive the contract is, or we sign Zach Wheeler as a consolation prize and he turns into Gerrit Cole, next year will resemble this one.

  37. v1, agree with your view of the drafting and player development.

    In my view, Middleton is going to have to take the payroll up to $220 million or more, or the Phillies won’t make noise in the playoff in the next two or three years. They just don’t have the horses in the minors.

    I think Haseley can be a 3-4 win CF-er. I think Howard can be a star by 2021 (4-5 WAR). Grullon can be a back-up catcher. I hope Moniak can be a regular (not star) in 2022-ish (2 WAR). Maybe Medina becomes a decent #4. Bohm can be a star third baseman by 2021 (4-5 WAR). Stott can maybe be a first-division regular at SS(3 WAR) . If ALL of those things happen — and the chance of them ALL happening is <5% — I think they don't win a division title in the 2020-2022 time frame, without adding other stars like G Cole.

    1. I definitely agree with v1 and it’s why i’m glad Johnny Almeraz stepped down. Remember Johnny A was hired a year before this Klentak.

      As for Westcoastphan. I don’t understand how you say we don’t have the horses in the minors and then name a stable of horses. I’m pretty sure if all those things happen we are making the playoffs. It only takes about 10 more WAR to go from an 81 win team to a 91 win squad.

      1. Bosses….glad to see yuo are sticking to your guns.
        KC, Cubs, Stros,Twins and even those Braves made the jump in the last 5 years from bad -to-good within a year.
        Maybe it is also in the cards for the Phillies.
        Hopefully Klentak can make the correct moves

      2. Yup, they make the playoffs as a wild card. I don’t think they win a division title.

        Moniak in the OF producing 2 WAR is a wash with McCutchen/Dickerson in LF in 2019.* Haseley at 3-4 WAR adds maybe two wins over what he produced this year. Howard vs Arrieta in the #2 role adds 3 wins, Stott at 3 wins vs Segura in 2019 adds ~2 wins, Bohm over the dumpster fire of a third baseman adds probably 5 wins. Maybe Medina adds another win. That gets us maybe to 93 .Five out of the the 6 division winners in 2019 won 97 or more games.

        Look, maybe they win a division title if all of those things pan out. Maybe. But all of those things are not going to pan out.

        *It’s a wash in terms of value but a 2 WAR player at the major league minimum is super valuable, so that the almost $20 million spent in left field in 2019 can be directed towards other needs.

  38. The interesting thing about drafting and development is…who was in charge of the people that were managing the drafting/ development?
    Oops! That’s right,MacFail and Klentax. And, let’s not make the excuse that drafting and development is a crapshoot.

    Oh,well..I rest my case. Middleton owns the team and he can and will do what he wants to.

    1. Are you FreeAEC? Your insistence to make a, “joke” out of their names is very old. Feel free to share your opinions and disagree with their decisions, but repeatedly calling them by those names just makes you sound like a kid.

      1. I love this site. We do a lot better job of policing each other than the Phillies do. Maybe they need to read Phuture Phillies for that reason alone.

  39. Well if there’s mutual interest between the Phillies and Buck Showalter, there’s also a report that Manny Machado is urging the Padres to consider his former manager as well. Let’s get this over with, JM! It’s becoming a comedy of horrors.

  40. Reading through these comments, has made me realize my fears for the Phillies are coming true, or darn near close.

    Just because your team “officially” rebuilds, does not mean you will win. You have to rebuild correctly, and better than those doing the same at the same time, especially in your division. That doesn’t seem to be the case. The desired outcome is to merge the Braves and Phillies rebuilds. Mainly the Braves outcome backed by Middleton’s war chest. That is what I was expecting. The reality seems far off, and I don’t want to bash the scout/fo to death, but I’m not impresssd. We are to far along is this rebuild to not be having a stocked pipeline of prospects ready to replace or trade away. As a result, the one really big advantage the Phillies have, is to outspend just about any other team, is negated because they are not mixing in the cheap young productive players. Middleton should be able to see this. The one area they have usually been able to develop players, is catcher, and they still made
    A trade for a high priced player. It’s like they didn’t learn After 2012. That is fustrating.

    The reds look their rotation is ahead of the Phillies … after the Phillies had all
    Prospects – Sixto, Appel, Thompson, lively, Eickhoff etc – doesn’t make sense. Thank God Nola is the real deal.

  41. I browsed thru an article tagging the Phillies as a fit for Mookie Betts trade. BOS is apparently looking for a MLB OF, a mid-rotation arm and 2 Top 100….I don’t honestly believe that the Phillies have enough “prospect equity” to acquire Mookie but just an exercise to put a package based on what’s BOS is looking for, the Phillies will need to trade the following:

    MLB OF – best choice here is Haseley

    MLB MOR – this is where Pivetta, Eflin and Medina should be and the Phillies do not have a good MOR to offer

    2 Top 100 – Bohm and Howard. While not Top 30, Bohm and Howard are high upside prospects.

    To acquire Mookie Betts, the Phillies can offer:

    Option 1: Haseley, Mediina (or Pivetta/Eflin), Bohm, Howard

    Option 2: Haseley, Howard, Bohm, Stott

    Option 3: Howard, Bohm, Stott, Medina, Morales

    I don’t think any of the above will get Mookie Betts so BOS will just hang up.

    1. No Betts please…he is a one-year rental….and it you want to keep him then, (close to Trout money) there are no SP free agent pitchers out there that the Phillies will then be able to afford.

      1. Agreed. Although I would trade some non Bohm/Howard pieces for Starling Marte.


        While overly right handed would be an improved offense. Maybe they can sign a Moustakas to play 2B and keep Kingery in his bench role. May be worth it to juggle some pieces for a year or two with McCutchen coming off a major surgery and the potential for Hoskins to continue to regress.


        Kingery / Bruce / Miller / Quinn / Knapp

      2. Romus – I agree. No Betts. He is a wonderful player – but between he and Harper the team wouldn’t be able to get the uniforms dry cleaned – assuming they resigned him – which is highly doubtful anyway. Trade the whole team + the Liberty Bell for one year ? No interest. Bosox have some real issues.

    2. Betts…IMO pass…a one- year rental.
      Will command 90% of Trout money.
      And yet another OFer for Klentak to try to cull the herd of.

      1. @romus – I will not disagree. You know that I’ve been clamoring for Gerrit Cole and Cole is my main target to use the stupid $$ that Middleton is talking about.

        A Betts-Harper middle of the lineup is awesome but the rotation needs help big time!

      2. I can’t see Boston trading Betts unless they are buried in the standings by the deadline. They will not get anything close to the value they are looking for, for a 2 month-1 year rental. The better organizations – LAD, HOU, NYY, TB – won’t even bother to call. One possibility is SD. They have the young talent to offer but they would be mortgaging their future to do so. IMO, Preller is not one of the better GM’s around, so he just might give up the farm since he’s on the hot seat to win in 2020, considering what the owner said.

        1. KuKo….I see. Cole has to be Middleton’s top priority
          8mark….not sure who will running the show up there in Beantown this off-season, but agree they will not get offers in any shape or form close to what Betts is worth.
          Little surprised that Dave D did not trade him this past off-season…right after the parade….of course he then would have been tar and feathered in the Commons

        2. @8mark – Mookie Betts to ATL is a real possibility. ATL has the intriguing OF and Pitchers that BOS is looking for.

          1. Kuko, that’s only possible if Atlanta is willing to pony up in trying to sign him once he hits FA, which certainly isn’t their MO per their history. They’ll spend big but only on short term deals, ie Donaldson and Keuchel. Can’t see them going long, say 7 or 8 years at $35M AAV. You?

            1. @8mark – the Braves GM is aggressive and risk taker and they have a big hole in the RF. Anthopoulos made a lot of aggressive trades to go all in and it is in his DNA to go big time. ATL is capable of paying Betts north of $200M to be competitive in the next 5 years.

      3. Yeah the way to build a team is not trading for rentals its trading for a Mookie Betts before they become Mookie Betts if you catch my drift.

        Mookie was drafted in the 5th round mind you. Not sure how quickly he made a top 100 list but he made it to the MLB at 22 after being drafted at 18.

    3. 1. I would love Betts on this team and would offer him a mega deal. He is so elite.
      2. Zero chance we get him if he is available. We simply don’t have enough young talent or prospects to outbid other teams. Even a package led by Bohm and Howard wouldn’t be enough.
      3. I can’t see Betts being traded. He is entering his age 27 season already with 37 career WAR and no injury history. Boston is a major market. No chance he is let go. But if he is, it would be for an unprecedented haul.

  42. It’s 3:51pm, Tuesday October 8 2019. Are we a day late and a dollar short with this whole Middleton mess?

    1. I am embarrassed by this organization the last two years.

      On top of the manager situation it looks like we need a scouting director. I hope the F/O is offering big money to an executive from Houston or LA to lead our drafts. More than the manager this is a very important hire.

  43. Dan K.
    Ouch! Now that is close to name-calling. No, I’m not FreeAEC. Please feel free to call me a kid, you’re entitled to your opinion. If there is one thing that is a downer for this site is when people start to criticize posts from certain people…

    I was only stating my opinion of the front office people, I’m a realist and I cannot look at this team with the glass half full any longer.

    But you know what? I don’t need to comment on a site that people discriminate posts from certain people, to the point that you call them kid!

    1. Maybe, but what you did is LITERALLY name-calling

      “Feel free to share your opinions and disagree with their decisions…”

      I didn’t criticize anything but one behavior of yours, and that behavior is, in fact, childish. If your posts are pointless without you name-calling people (regardless of how you feel about them, who they are, or what they’ve done), then they probably aren’t worth much to begin with. Just calling it like I see it.

    2. A mix of generations lol, that’s what we get. Probably have posters from mid 20s (possibly younger) to damn near one foot in the grave 🙂 sorry guys/gals, I hope they win one for you before both feet are “settled” in 🙂

      I’m usually more on the positive side, but I can see the frustration building. I was cool with letting the FO start the 2020 season, then I realized it’s year 5 of the rebuild … a fan base such as philly should not be good with such performance, and it’s not just that they finished 4th, it’s that they finished 4th with a thinned out prospect pool from attrition, and a bloating payroll. Can they turn it around? Sure, my guess is it takes 7 years, not 5. Is that OK? Well I don’t have to like it, but I can’t really change it, it is what it is.

      Fair questions to ask:
      Is this team better with Ken Giles?
      Sixto Sanchez?
      Cole Hamels?
      Chris Morton?

      I’m not expecting the FO to be perfect, but 80/20 would be welcome!

      All in all, they could’ve done everything they’ve done with a few changes to make the playoffs this year:

      Resigned Morton
      Sign Kuechel
      VV to the pen ages ago
      Pivetta to pen

      This team is likely in the playoffs with

      Smyly/host of others

      The depleted bullpen can tread water with a defined roles for VV and Pivetta

      If you really want to throw salt in the wounds, add hamels at the trade deadline lAst year

      Now it’s also hindsight, but it is fair criticism going into year #5, finishing in 4th, with less hope than you started with at gm#1

      I’m on this site to learn more about the prospect pipeline, I wish all the kids well, but after all the losing the phan base went through, it’s fair to say I expected a more Stocked pipeline. That’s the FO fault, not a reflection on the players.

    3. Barf we all are entitled to our opinion, Just look at the Post Romus makes, and we don’t get mad. Just please don’t call me fat. I lost a lb

      1. rocco……looks like that coffee scoop guy may have got the day wrong on the Phillies changes.
        I guess it wasn’t WB.

  44. Bohm selected to AFL…Fall Stars….Spencer Howard and Connor Seabold not selected it appears.

    If you wish you can vote one of them on at:………

    Fans have 48 hours to select one additional player for each Fall Stars team in online voting that will run from Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. ET through Thursday, Oct. 10 at 3 p.m. ET

      1. Connor and Spencer were selected for all stars. Phillies did not want them to pitch outside of their regular schedule so names were withdrawn.

        1. Thank you for that update….great to hear that news.
          Looking forward to the game coming up.

  45. I’m seeing a lot of trade Rhys for a young tor, but what team has an extra young/youngish tor that also needs a 27 year old 1b coming off a down year? Can Bohm play 1b better than 3b? Who will be the 3b in that scenario? Not trying to demean anyone’s ideas but I don’t see a team we match up with.

    1. I think people would be disappointed to learn what Rhys’s trade value is. It is no where near as high as some think. He is not getting you a good or young SP. no chance. He is a DH.

    2. While I am a proponent of signing Rendon and trading Rhys I never said he was worth a TOR at least not one that is currently pitching in the majors now. If we use the Goldschmidt trade as a benchmark this is probably what you might expect in return for Rhys since he offers more years of control:

      Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt from the D-backs for a package that cost them former top prospects Carson Kelly and Luke Weaver. The Cardinals also sent Minor League infielder Andy Young and their compensation pick in Round B of the 2019 MLB Draft to Arizona

      1. I’m not sure Rhys gets you that kind of package. He’s not in the same discussion as a Freddie Freedman or Paul Goldschmidt. He’s probably a tier below (as of now he could improve but that 2nd half was concerning). Likewise he’s coming off an awful second half.

        Even if they signed Rendon i wouldn’t consider it urgent to deal Hoskins. I think all three can coexist. Bohm could also get Outfield reps. I want to have depth in the event Hoskins OR Bohm do not perform to expectations. Figure it out after if they do.

        1. For my, hypothetical Hoskins trade, I mentioned it as 1: it’s likely near our top trade package to potentially upgrade the team, minus a kingery or Nola. Mix Hoskins with the prospects mentioned and there you have it. Its unpopular but creative. Something that the FO will have to do, to make up the ground they’ve lost to the Braves,Nats, and Mets.
          I know we focus on the pitching as the main problem, but the offense had some serious struggles as well, thus why Charlie made a cameo appearance

          1. At this point I would keep him and hope he improves, spend the stupid money on pitching, and clean house. That means mcphail, Klentak, and most of the decision makers when it comes to scouting. Try raiding the dodgers, astros, braves, cards, rays, all the usual suspects of their scouts. Basically a complete overhaul. Sounds harsh but what have we gotten out of it the last 10 years. Just my 2 cents, I appreciate everyone’s opinion and insight, that’s why I love this site.

  46. The Phillies have made a big deal of how Ethan Lindow worked with Tom Glavine before he was drafted, and how it has really helped his development. Would the Phillies be bold and ask Pedro Martinez to guest instruct during spring training and help pitchers like Adonis Medina and Francisco Morales and maybe even Jo Jo Romero straighten themselves out in order to maximize their talent?

    1. John Middleton imo is now lost. He cant make up his mind on Gabe or did he already tell him and Gabe was told to keep it quiet? His bringing back The G.M. makes me think he is blind like Laurie was with Andy, Took 14 yrs to realize he couldn’t win a big game. Why cant middleton just go to a winning G.M and let him run things. Some one who isn’t going to be blinded by a ivy league guy who is all numbers, and has no idea outside of numbers how to construct a team or farm system.

      1. Rocco I certainly don’t like the fact that a story was leaked that Middleton is seeking the players opinion as this more or less makes the players the scapegoat for a decision either way.

        not good leadership in my opinion. Middleton has to own the decision whichever way it goes.

        1. From every angle (including launch angle) this situation cannot be explained away by Middleton….

          How it has emasculated Kapler.

          How it undermines Klentak’s oversight.

          How it makes Middleton himself look after his well established persona as a crafty, win-at-all-costs, stupid money owner/fan since he took control of the club.

          How it puts all the players under an unusual blanket – Kapler comes back, he and they are all booed for supporting him at the first failure; Kapler is fired and they didn’t back him after he faithfully had their backs since he began? Who really backed him and who didn’t becomes a point of speculation. Unnecessarily.

          It will be one awkward presser….

      2. rocco….so you do not think Buck Showalter will be managing in Philly next season?
        What is your coffee friend saying?

        1. Romus today Rabbi Shalone said he thinks that the next manager will be jewish. That’s all I know.

          1. rocco……and wasn’t Brad Ausmus just let go by the Angels…I guess he is coming to Philly!

  47. My son and I turned on the Rays Astro’s game last night and during pregame they said Verlander was going on short rest. I said to my son that is dumb and it rarely works. Not for nothing but he is little old to be going on 4 days.

    I’m a little peeved because I want to get the Rays out so I can see if anything would happen with Bloom…

    Plus I don’t really want to see the Yankees win another WS and believe the only team capable of stopping them would be the Astros.

    1. I think the one time I saw that work….ace coming off 4 days in the play-offs…..was MadBum of the Giants when they played KC.
      But have not seen it work very much at all….especially in the play-offs, against many powerful good hitting play-off teams.

      1. I guess you can afford to give it a try if you have Cole to back him up in a game 5 at home on 5 days rest…

        But then you gotta hand it to the Rays for the opener invention. That kid Castillo was flat out nasty and then they bring Snell in for a batter to close it out and will have him start game 5.

        1. Cash employed the ‘opener’ 40 some times this year, last year I think it was close to 60 times.
          He has had success with that pitching plan, with 90 plus winning seasons in a row
          Of course…..a traditional ‘starter’ will never get a 20 game winning season with him doing that.

  48. It doesn’t hurt that the Rays have the best pitching staff in the AL – from top to bottom. And for those on this site who really want to go ballistic – how about getting Nick Anderson from the Marlins in mid-season for “nothing.” He is arguably – other than Hader – one of the best relievers in mlb now.

    1. Can you imagine the Tampa Bay Rays with a fan base and money? They would possibly become a juggernaut. Great staff of people who know what they are doing without the benefit of the big market.

    2. Another great point RU. If we are just a bunch of average Joe’s that love the Phillies from the farm teams to the big team and we can see the glaring weakness that pervades our fav team how does JM not see it….

  49. Instead of wasting his time – and boreassing us – with his reported interviews of the players, why doesn’t he instead spend that time picking the brains of the top execs of Tampa, Houston, LAD, NYY and Oakland?

  50. DAY TEN: Still waiting.

    I really hope John Middleton took a break from racking up the frequent flyer miles to sit down and watch that game last night. While he is reportedly playing “footsie” with another former Oriole (Buck Showalter), the Rays are competing/beating the powerhouses of MLB. What did the Orioles ever win with MacPhail/Klentak/Showalter? You also have to remember when that trio were running the Orioles, their owner (Peter Angelos) was spending “stooopid money”. Compare that with what Chaim Bloom is doing with the Rays on a shoestring budget. If John Middleton can’t figure this out, then there’s no hope of seeing the Phillies competing for titles anytime soon. Forget the trivial stuff (replacing the head trainer & deciding Kapler’s fate) and focus on the root of the problem (MacPhail/Klentak). Look how the Dodgers have taken off after hiring Andrew Friedman from the Rays. It’s absolutely reasonable to believe the Phillies can do the same with Chaim Bloom.

    1. Hinkie, My hope is that the delays isn’t just agonizing over Kapler, but that Middleton has been working on a Grand Plan to replace the front office.

      Probably wishful thinking.

      MacPhail has had a mediocre career, and his “If we do we do. If we don’t we don’t” comment is absolutely unacceptable for the leader of any organization. As the saying goes, the speed of the pack is decided by the speed of the lead horse.

      1. I gotta believe he is, hold the faith. The holdup has to be that he is weighing the improvement of potential new hires vs his current staff. If he is being as “methodical” as they say he is, can’t see how you wouldn’t do just that.
        Also, the delay is a tell to me. It means he is waiting on one of the playoff teams
        To be eliminated to negotiate, or he is respecting the playoffs with not announcing. My money is on Bloom. He’s a business man, he’s got to see the innovation of the “opener” as well as the value they get for their payroll.

        With Kapler still coming to the office everyday, he stays and McPhail & Klentak are out.

    2. @Hinkie – we’re back on the same page again although I will point it all the way up to Middleton. While Middleton can claim successful pedigree in the tobacco business, he has no clue how to run a winning baseball team. I don’t know what Middleton sees in McPhail and Klentak and believe that everything is alright.

      Eventually lady luck may struck and McPhail Klentak can hit on success, but Middleton is wasting time and opportunities something he will not allow in his tobacco business.

      Middleton needs to own that the Phillies need to move on from McPhail and Klentak if they want to be legit contenders.

    3. I’m afraid that when it comes to the Phillies organization, there’s just something in the water coolers that is contaminating their ability to build a sustainable product. The baseball careers of Schmidt, Bowa, Carlton and Rose all converged back circa 1980….then those of Rollins, Utley, Howard and Hamels converged a decade ago. But throughout our lifetime, when has there been a stretch of winning that carried over into another with only a slight decline before the next wave of talent and administrative excellence kicked in again?

      The “good old boy” network mentality going back to the 70’s has never been replaced by a radical mindset to shake off the stale methodology that has since ruled the Phillies. This organization has always been among the slowest to catch a vision for doing things a better way, never letting ‘WHAT you know’ supercede ‘WHO you know’.

      And so here we are….John Middleton may have a more vibrant personality than the figures who have preceded him. But he’s yet to give us any evidence that this perpetual mediocrity will ever give way to the idea that blowing it all up for the sake of the future, though immediately painful is worthwhile in the longer, smarter view.

    4. I think a few facts are off here with regard to Buck. First Buck managed the Orioles from August 2010 to the end of the 2018 season. Duquette came in to GM the Orioles in 2011

      So there really isn’t much of a tie between McPhail Klentak and Showalter.

      When he won the AL East title in 2014 their payroll rank was 14th so he was hardly winning with stupid money. In fact the highest payroll rank he ever attained during his tenure was 10th in 2016.

      He has quite a resume including 3X AL Manager of the year so he obviously knows baseball. You really should check out all that he has accomplished but the one most impressive thing about him is when George Steinbrenner offered him a new 2 year contract but told him he had to fire his hitting coach and instead he resigned.

      So all that said I do not want Middleton to hire Buck Showalter if it means he has to work under McPhail and Klentak. That’s the equivalent of giving the iron chef a pile of poo and asking him to cook you something good.

      1. Andy MacPhail will let Buck do his thing without interference or meddling.
        Let him do it in 2010 and 2011.
        Klentak will revisit his past Os days again and acquiesce.

    5. Hinkie,

      I support the idea of bringing in Bloom but I don’t get the “Still waiting” thing. Tampa is still playing as you mentioned. If you want Middleton to hire Bloom isn’t waiting until the series is over to pursue/hire Bloom exactly what you would hope for?

      1. Bossss …. Yes. Bloom would be worth the wait. However, from all reporting, Middleton is only pondering Kapler’s future (aside from allowing Klentak to scapegoat Scott Sheridan … what an embarrassment.)
        If he proves all reporting wrong, and hires Bloom away from the Rays, I’ll apologize to him here. It just appears Middleton is under the spell of MacKlentak.

        DMAR … MacPhail hired Showalter in Baltimore. MacPhail already gave the GM job to Klentak (another of his former hires in Baltimore) after interviewing (and bypassing) Chaim Bloom in 2015. It’s like an Oriole nepotism party in the Phillies FO. If I was going to raid another club’s decision making team, this former Orioles staff would not be near the top of my list.
        I know this is the unpopular opinion around here … but … (w/o getting into the whole Kapler is a victim of the inept FO argument again) at least Gabe Kapler comes from the Dodgers FO. He was actually a finalist for their managerial opening that eventually went to Dave Roberts. The Dodgers, Astros, and Rays are the clubs John Middleton should be looking to shop from. The Orioles were a middle of the road franchise. Guess where MacKlentak have taken the Phillies … right to the middle (16th best record in a 30 team league). Everything MacPhail touches turns to vanilla … like the Phillies.

    6. Maybe they are waiting for the Rays to be eliminated so they can pursue Bloom before they make any FO/manager decisions or annoucements.

  51. Hinke, Awesome post!! You guys are amazing with how you get info/ words together for your posts.
    I, on the other hand, need to get back to work, as I have a business to run, plus Kid Caller may be lurking…

  52. I suppose before we draw judgement on Buck Showalter and his lack of managerial acumen , perhaps a look at the facts.
    The Os between 2012 and 2016….5 seasons….won 439 games….on average 88 wins per season.
    In the tougher AL-East which goes without saying.
    Under Showalter, the Orioles reached the postseason for the first time since 1997 in 2012,
    After finishing out of play-offs 2013 , in ’14 Showalter led the Os to the AL East title—their first in 17 years
    And in 2016, the Os finished tied for second in the AL-East at 89–73.
    They made the postseason for the third time in five years.
    Then the Manny escapades started occurring and the Angelos, unfortunately, decided on other matters that were of more importance.
    So the collapse finally occurred in 2018.,
    IMO, Buck has the ability to take the Phillies to the next level.

    BTW….Macphail was hired by the Os in 2008…..and let go after the 2011 season.
    And had four consecutive losing seasons….but drafted the players that started in 2012 and also hired the manager in Aug 2010.

  53. Also let’s not get tunnel vision on Chaim Bloom as there are many other brilliant minds out there if you’re willing to do your homework. Guys that would be a significant upgrade over Klentak.

    Erik Neander plays a big role in the Rays. David Stearns and Matt Arnold of the Brewers, Michael Fishman of the Yankees to name a few more. And probably a host of others.

    1. For Stearns it would be a lateral move, since he is Pres there now, but Middleton could make the money better, but he still is under contract with the Brewers and just took an extension in January with them.

      1. I think its moot they are announcingthat McPhail and Klentak are back and Kapler’s status is still being evaluated….throw up emoji

          1. The fact that there is reported mutual interest between the Phillies and Buck without there actually being an open position is rather peculiar, no?

            1. The whole situation over the last 10 days is peculiar….similar to Gabe’s managerial decisions over the last two years.

          2. In any case, I’m fine with Showalter as manager. The existing problem – the elephant in the room – mediocrity remains in the front office.

  54. I’m like broken record … but … the bottom line is … the new pitching coach is going to have a much greater impact on the Phillies 2020 win total than the manager. With that said … here are my two suggestions/options for John Middleton:

    A) Keep Kapler and pay Mickey Calloway like a manager to take the pitching coach job.

    B) Hire Kyle Snyder (Rays pitching coach) as Phillies manager and let Rob Thompson tutor him on the bench. Snyder would be the de facto pitching coach.

    1. Keep skipping, Hinkie – you never know when Johnny Tiparellas might scroll through these threads for some input. And why not? He seems to be surveying all available advice everywhere else. Maybe he’ll surprise us all with an unexpected verdict after it’s all said and done.

  55. Now that the off season is upon us, I am back to post regularly [not that anyone missed or even knew I was gone!] because the off season allows for a lot more horizontal viewpoints…away from the day to day discussions of an ongoing season.

    With that said, allow me to suggest one thing in regards to Kapler. This view that he should be kept because the players like him is fool’s gold of the richest kind. It has been widely reported that the main reason the players liked him was because he let them do whatever they wanted in the clubhouse. As a former player, trust me this is one of the major reasons to replace a manager. Players rarely know what’s best for them and will almost inevitably abuse so much freedom. This is why players like Roy Halladay and Steve Carlton were so universally respected by their teammates…they knew the work habits of these two and realized it was almost unmatched.

    I have advocated for Showalter since Peter Mac was let go and am advocating for him now. He would be the antithesis of Kapler leadership wise…a strict fundamentalist that would insist on cleaning up what I perceive to be among the Phillies biggest weaknesses, their almost maddening inability to play the game fundamentally correctly. Even in his darkest years as a manager Showalter’s teams always played the game the right way and while Kapler can be somewhat excused for the bullpen arms he was given this July-September he cannot be excused for his club’s inability to get runner’s in from third base with less that two outs, moving runners up, NOT striking out when hitting the ball is essential.

    Look, I empathize with those who suggest it’s not Kapler’s fault and I can listen attentively to those who think he has improved as a manager [though I don’t agree!]
    but I don’t believe he will EVER be as good as Showalter has always been and might well be best suited for another organizational position with the club.

    1. Yo! Welcome back, Cal Dream.

      While a decision on Kapler hasn’t been announced, that doesn’t mean one hasn’t been made. I tend to think that, whatever is actually going on as we spitball here and there, it may be a matter of Middleton and MacKlentak rearranging/redefining some positions. Gabe seems to be equipped for some type of human resources position, perhaps on a one year trial basis as he fulfills the final year of his contract. Who knows.

      I think Showalter is standing by, perhaps under a gentleman’s agreement, waiting for his new office to be cleared out.

    2. I think it says a lot about Buck that Manny Machado reportedly requested the San Diego front office interview him. I’d be okay with him succeeding Gabe.

      1. If it is actually Buck that John Middleton decides he wants….he may be the new Uncle Charlie…Uncle Buck! 🙂

    3. C-D – I completely agree. Showalter is a pro. He is not apt to be using inappropriate players out of position, forcing pitchers to pitch up when they pitch better “down,” and more than anything, not likely to put up with game playing in the club house. He strikes me as a no nonsense “get ‘er done” type of manager. He understands the finer points of the game and is capable of teaching young players how to play. If it wasn’t for the zaniness of things in Oriole land he would still have that very same job.

    4. so well said-
      while there were reasons outside of Gabe for not having more success, I just havent seen anything to make me think this team will do better under Gabe for the reasons you state- just because he’s young and uses analytics and guys fitting that description have had success, isnt enough reason to run him out there another year.
      i was thinking of Showalter as an AL manager only used to managing with the DH, but was forgetting he had managed in Arizona, albeit 20 years ago.

  56. Talk about a beatdown in Atlanta. The Cardinals are taking the Braves to the woodshed for a tomahawk whooping.

    1. Yeah, proof you don’t need to hit it out of the park to score runs. Launch angle all that dung. Good landing place for Haseley, just be yourself and hit the ball!

  57. I hate to kill everyone’s dreams, including my own, of MacPhail going and maybe Klentak too, but Zolecki reported today they are both absolutely coming back and we know where Zolecki gets his intel from. There is no way John “Caught in the” Middleton would put that story public and then shoot them a day, week, or month later, just isn’t going to happen.

    And all this Buck talk, I think it’s just more of the smoke screen to convince the fans he really thought hard before bringing Gabe back. And as I said yesterday, if this isn’t that and it’s all real, what a horrible human being he is being to Gabe. Gabe is one awful manager, but nobody deserves to be treated like this publicly if he really hasn’t been told anything. That guy for all his faults, I believe truly cares about the organization and the players and works his butt off to do everything he can and he deserves better and Cigarettes ought to be embarrassed of how he’s handling this if that’s what he’s really doing.

    1. I can’t argue that. No matter how this turns out, I have lost considerable respect for Middleton. I am among many here who have taken Kapler to task this season. But what Middleton has done has put Gabe in the public square to be further shamed, like a boy who’s being punished in front of other students for failing to complete his homework assignment on time. Even if Gabe has been told he’s returning and to keep it under his hat (which from simply a moral standpoint is unthinkable), what’s he then to think of the owner?

      1. When I am wrong, I say it, I never thought The Dodgers would lose that series, Atlanta always chokes so its not a big surprise, but I would have bet Atlanta in the series if I still bet Baseball, I bet horses, you win or lose in less than 2 minutes, better than sitting for 4 hours to lose

        1. Nobody has choked more than Kershaw in the last decade. Dude is money during the regular season, come playoff time, he turns into a AAAA pitcher.

          I saw the Dodgers up 3-1, fell asleep after 7th, wake up, 3-3, and again at 7-3.

          If the Astros get knocked out tonight, the Nats could have a great chance to win it all.

        2. rocco…Dodgers were a ‘sure thing’…a lock! 🙂
          Nats will probably take it all now…..and the irony of it all, if it does happen, Bryce did promise a parade for DC ..inadvertently at the dais in Clearwater back in March.

  58. DAY ELEVEN: It’s beginning to feel like the Iran hostage crisis. Please make it end.

    John Middleton better have some monumental story to tell when he finally lets us all in on his final decision. If he just puts out a press release saying Gabe is or isn’t returning as manager, I’m going to explode. I want to know what exactly he has been doing for the past week and a half. Make some sense of all this.

    1. @hinkie – while I share a different opinion with you about Kapler, I agree with your post. I actually start to feel sorry to Kapler as each day passed without Middleton saying anything. With a high sentiment of moving on from Kapler, there’s a real possibility that Middleton will let go of Kapler, impliedly saying that Kapler is the reason for the failed season and continue to ride with McPhail and Klentak to be just a middle of the pack MLB team.

      Removing Kapler is a bad aid patch, Klentak is the root cause of the mid-level performance for the last 4 years.

  59. Jim Salisbury says to expect word to come down either today (Thursday) or Friday, probably earlier in the day so as not to coincide with playoff game action. And once the 2 LCS’s begin Friday, MLB would frown on any managerial news upstaging its showcase series.

    Meanwhile, the Angels are reportedly going to interview Buck Showalter along with their other candidates.

    1. And with 7 coaches already returning, why would any manager with any pedigree join the mess that Middleton and MacKlentak have created with no say on his staff. Gabe is definitely coming back. The owner’s fallout on this disgraceful black eye is the only story at this point.

  60. All game 5 starters were first round picks who throw very hard

    1. I agree with the overall message your trying to make, draft high velo arms in the first round to improve your team, for a more effective draft strategy, but that is just one piece of The puzzle. The team (Phillies) needs to be able to develop that player as a “pitcher” at every level as well. Velo is not enough anymore. If they can’t coach the prospect up, the FO will still be swinging and missing. At this point , we have to wonder if they organization has the coaches to help they prospect along, if they actually did draft a high velo arm, 1st rd. Fair questions after the parade of pitching prospects that have come through in the last 5+ Years.

      Foltynewicz line in GM 5, likely needs elite velo:

      O.1 inn,3H,7R,6 ER, 3 BB, O SO, 7.36 ERA

      1. Obviously it takes proper development too. But in the Johnny Almaraz drafts he took
        – zero first round pitchers
        – 1 second round pitcher (Howard, aka our best pitching prospect)
        – 1 third round pitcher, a soft tossing college arm

        Got to have the horses to develop.

  61. Watching the Nats celebrate a bomb into the RF bleachers at Dodger Stadium sure sparked memories of Mr Stairs big moment. Thinking about that 08 team really puts an emphasis on just how bad the Phillies bench was last year vs the 08 team. Benches don’t cost that much to build, hard to believe Klentak, with money to spend, didn’t come up with something better.

    1. Cannot argue this year with Miller/Dickerson combo.
      And thank Gabe for his former teammate Sean Rod.
      And in 2018….well 3 of 4 of Bats/Andrubel/Bour were not the answer…Ramos was.

      1. I’m excited to see if they can squeeze Dickerson into their plans, prolong Haselely or go to a 4’man rotation to get at bats. Word came out the team is not high on haseley launch angle, maybe it’s more likely Dickerson is resigned for big money

        1. I think Dickerson will be let go to test free agency..and see what his value is out there His issue….only a one position player…LF.
          If he comes back a smaller AAV there is that possibility
          However, Cutch is not an every day, 150 game a year, CFer anymore
          So something has to be worked out.

          1. Agree Romus I like Dickerson but he is not an impact player at this point in his career and this line-up needs that.

            IMO they have to prioritize landing Rendon or Springer

          2. Especially with the concerns around Rhys (who I would like to see play less. I think he really wears down and when he slumps he needs to sit, I don’t care if he wants to play, he should) I could see him splitting time in Left and 1st but that is probably the role Jay Bruce holds this year with Clutch sliding to CF. I think you leave Bryce alone and find some way to rotate McCutchen/Bruce/Haseley in CF and LF with Bruce playing 1B as needed.

            1. With all do respect JL Cutch wasn’t adequate in CF before the injury. in fact when he was still in Pittsburgh he was bumped for Marte

            2. The eventual arrival of the DH may help Hoskins but I tend to agree. Gabe rode him into the ground, all in the name of ‘he wants to play’ – another case of where Kapler needed (and needs still) to manage. Dude, you’re the boss. You tell your players what to do. Rhys isn’t so far established in his major league career to carry that kind of cache.

            3. He wasn’t, I agree but He would only be playing there for me once or twice a week.

              My ideal outfield would be:


              but I think to get Bruce enough playing time you’ll have to eat the bad defense and go with

              I’d find some way to rotate:

              McCutchen/Haseley/Harper Hoskins 1B (Primary)
              Bruce/Haseley/Harper Hoskins 1B (Day Game after night game?)
              Bruce/McCutchen/Harper Hoskins 1B (maybe give Haseley a day off once or twice a week)
              McCutchen/Haseley/Harper Bruce 1B

              Make it some sort of regular rotation. I think 1B is a clear path to ABs for Bruce once a week at a minimum.

        2. I never expected Haseley would be a 30 HR guy but if he’s gap to gap with 30+ doubles and a 350-360 OBP guy with his defense I’ll take it.

          Finally if you didn’t already know Rendon was an elite hitter now you know +defender too.

          1. I will go back to what I posted a few days ago….if the Yankees and Red Sox went with players like Gardner and JBJr in their mid-20s to play CF…there stands to reason than, that the Phillies ought to go with Haseley.
            And Haseley may be a better hitter than JBJr was when he was 24- years old.

            1. Romus, the Haseley thing is as damning as anything related to this regime’s player development approach as I’ve heard. Now we can watch and follow his progress – here or with another club – and track whether the “one swing fits all” philosophy really works.

            2. Agree.
              I can see the LD%/hard-hit aspect being a bit concerning, only after next season is completed for him…..but the launch angle metric for him, is too over-rated.
              Lift will come with more experience.

          2. Just to give you a sense of how rare a .350 OBP guy is, there were 4 qualifying CFs last year that did that: Trout, Ketel Marte, George Springer, Acuna,

            If you expand to all OF, there were 18 more for a total of 22. Only 2 of those 22 had less than 20 homers: Eaton and Reynolds (who had a .387 BABIP)

            so it is not a small feat that you are asking.

            1. Fair enough that rolled off the keyboard too easy. From Haseley I’d take an 800+ OPS guy….how’s that!

            2. MLB Outfielders with an .800+ OPS and under 20 homers…2 Whit Merrifield and Bryan Reynolds. And that is with the juiced ball.

              it is possible, but hard to do.

            3. Thank you, DMAR….I am a simple guy. I am an OPS guy. Give me a corner infielder or outfielder with an OPS between
              .800 and 1.000 any day of the week, middle infielders above .750 with good small ball skills, and a catcher with .700 plus OPS and excellent defense. Fortunately we have a C with .800 plus and elite D.

              I’m sorry, but there’s way too much metric info out there, my brain would hurt. Plus I simply don’t enjoy watching the game like it’s being played on Xbox.

  62. How about Clayton Kershaw’s playoff record. He may be a sure fire HOFer, but I’m doubtful he’s in on the 1st ballot. The Dodgers are an excellent organization, but even the top teams can carry the stigma of not being able to get over the hump. Theirs continues. I hate the Nats, but this may be their big chance to put theirs away once and for all.

  63. I don’t get it, maybe I am a dinosaur, but Haseley looked good to me. He played really well in the OF, especially CF. I like his swing. I don’t need him to hit HRs, but 2Bs and 3Bs. He is a young, homegrown player, and good coaching should develop him into, at the very least, a very good every day player. I go by what I saw out of him, and could not care less about his launch angle. I agree that the use of analytics is important and using every bit of information is the way any business should be run. But, to tell me that a young player who looks like he can be a good player, isn’t, because of launch angle, then that is silly. Cut down on Ks, Walk a little more. hit line drives, play excellent D, that is what he should be doing. But, I also think the coaching on this team has hurt Hoskins a lot, and I wouldn’t trade him, I would bring in a quality Hitting Coach who can help make him better. I want Bohm at 3B and Hoskins at 1B. I don’t spend on Rendon, and I want Pitching. That is my recipe for the Playoffs. And, just so I get it off my chest. To me, the value of making the Playoffs is exactly what happened. Houston was unbeatable, now a game 5. The Dodgers were unbeatable in the NL, and they are going home. Their Manager, who managed great all season, completely botched that game, and the Dodgers are not winning a WS, again. So, getting to the Playoffs Does matter, but I am sure that MacPhail wasn’t paying any attention.

  64. Jim Salisbury just tweeted that we should expect a Kapler announcement today.

    Now….do we really care at this point?

  65. Projected Arbitration Salaries For 2020

    Phillies (15)

    Cesar Hernandez – $11.8MM
    J.T. Realmuto – $10.3MM
    Blake Parker – $4.7MM
    Jose Alvarez – $3.0MM
    Maikel Franco – $6.7MM
    Vince Velasquez – $3.9MM
    Hector Neris – $4.7MM
    Jerad Eickhoff – $1.5MM
    Mike Morin – $1.2MM
    Adam Morgan – $1.6MM
    Phil Gosselin – $700K
    Edubray Ramos – $800K
    Zach Eflin – $3.0MM
    Jose Pirela – $900K
    Andrew Knapp – $800K

    1. Morin, Gosselin and Pirela are easy non-tenders saving $2.8M and creating 3 roster spots.

      Parker and Maikel can be trade candidates for low minors saving additional $15.4M and 2 roster spots.

      Cesar and his $11.8M price tag will be a key decision and Cesar may not have a potential trade partner with that high price tag.

      If Middleton will sign another high profile FA, Cesar and the 5 other ARB eligible players will be non-tendered saving a total of $30M.

    1. Wow! Well….

      Let’s hope Middleton spent some of that plane fuel on visiting with his future manager.

    2. Good luck to Gabe. Even though Kapler still made rookie mistakes in Year 2 of his job, he looks like he’s learning. But Kapler is just not the right skipper that the Phillies need right now.

        1. Firing Kapler is the scapegoat. Middleton still need to address the root cause of the organizational issue – McPhail and Klentak.

    3. YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I would like to take this opportunity to point out that 1 for 3 in baseball is a .333 batting average and better than 0 for 3 and a .000 batting average.

      1. “One year I hit .291 and had to take a salary cut. If you hit .291 today, you own the franchise.” – Enos Slaughter

    4. … so Gabe Kapler and Scott Sheridan are the scapegoats while MacPhail and Klentak live to see another seaon.
      I’m pretty sure we can all agree that the trainer cannot be blamed for guys getting injured. That one is just ridiculous.
      On to Gabe … he has been getting blamed for the teams’ consecutive second half collapses after the President and GM raised the white flag at the trade deadline in 2018 and 2019 (“if we don’t, we don’t”). Sorry, but none of Joe Girardi, Buck Showalter, or Joe Maddon were going to take this team to the playoffs.

      1. That’s not the point hinkie, missing the playoffs isn’t what makes Gabe a bad manager, it’s all the things that go into the job. I fully agree with you the other two have huge blame in this also, but Gabe is a huge part in this. He drove the approach with the pitchers and the change in the pitching coach. There’s an argument that with Kranitz around and someone like a Scioscia or Girardi as manager, much greater development would have occurred this year with the Phils pitching.

        1. @Buddy – i made reference to that Athletic article in my previous posts about the Kapler decision. I used to be neutral with Kapler, but the revelation in the Athletic article on how Kapler is instrumental in pushing out Kranitz (who helped most young arms move in the right direction) in place of a similar no experience coach in Chris Young — pushed me in a position to doubt Kapler. Plus, Kapler making rookie mistakes in Year 2 shows to me that he is not ripe to be a skipper of a contending team.

          But I agree with most the McPhail and Klentak are the organizational issue and not Kapler.

  66. Don’t look now but I think Gabe was telling Dodger Dave Roberts how to manage that bullpen last night. If Sean Rodriguez had appeared we would have known for sure. See you next year, trolley Dodgers….

    1. Dave Roberts and Gabe Kapler must have each followed the Buck Showalter blue print. You know, the one where you blow a WC game when you get your closer (Zach Britton) warmed up three different times, but never use him.

    2. I’m not a HUGE Dave Roberts fan, but man he is getting killed this morning for his bullpen last night, but seriously, if he took Kershaw out after striking out Eaton and the next guy blew the game, everyone would be screaming at him for taking out the greatest LHP of our generation. Then they’re killing him about using Kelly in the 10th, but he threw like 10 pitches in the 9th and same thing – if he brings in the next guy and he blows the game, everyone would be screaming about why he took Kelly out. I really don’t think he’s that bad of a manager. I’d love to see the Dodgers fire him and we at least talk to him and consider him.

      1. Yes….let’s all agree that this was never a mutually exclusive “either/or” argument. Kapler gone is better than Kapler staying BUT it doesn’t solve the broader problem.

      2. Buddy … I was being facetious. Dave Roberts is a helluva manager. Last night was just another example of a manager only being as good as the players he has to manage. Roberts didn’t do anything egregious. Two of his best pitchers just failed him.
        Same holds true for Gabe Kapler. The only difference is Gabe didn’t have a tenth of the talent Roberts had when it comes to a pitching staff.

        1. Hinkie I give you credit, You just keep thinking Gabe can manage, But he is only one third of the problem. Middleton has no guts to start over, too afraid of the fans, What is going to change if The G.M is still in charge, same mistakes, same stupid saber only approach. Middleton is lost as a owner.

          1. rocco….lets see how the Phillies do come next Sept before we pass judgement on Middleton as an owner.

  67. Buddy, 1 for 3 in this context equates to zero. The problem was not Gabe Kapler, and I am not his biggest fan. The problem started with MacPhail and goes to Klentak. Now, after this, I think the problem really starts with John Middleton. Buck Showalter may be a good Manager, but I dread anything that comes from MacPhail.

      1. Jim Salisbury posted 12 candidates just after the firing. One notable inclusion among the more obvious names was Phil Nevin. He seems to have a no nonsense reputation, a bit of an edge, and has recently served under Bochy and Boone. Ibanez was also listed but he’s recently declined any opportunity to interview for a managing gig at this time.

  68. The players behind closed doors comments obviously didn’t match their public comments…………not saying that is the only thing that went into the decision, but it’s very telling IMO.

  69. For me … Kapler’s replacent should be either Joe Girardi or Kyle Snyder. I do not want to see them hire Buck Showalter.

    1. Middleton says Klentak will head the search for next manager. I seriously doubt they hire an alpha dog like Girardi. Phil Nevin is a name to watch, as I mentioned above. I’m open to anybody they pull from Tampa or Houston.

      1. I wouldn’t believe the next manager is really going to be Klentak’s choice. Klentak may get some input, but Middleton is definitely having final say.

      2. A lot of things irk me about this whole situation. Like:
        * Not trying to offend anyone … but … I absolutely believe John Middleton got bullied by the WIP mob.
        * Why wait 11 days? Whether you like/hate Kapler as manager, he’s been a good dude, and didn’t deserve to be emasculated like that.
        * Scott Sheridan along with Kapler were used as scapegoats. MacPhail and Klentak deserve the bulk of the blame, yet they live to see 2020.
        * Keeping MacKlentak and giving them one more year to get this team to the playoffs likely means Middleton will miss out on Chaim Bloom because I believe another club (possibly the Red Sox) will hire him away from Tampa this offseason.

        And with that … I’m going to start focusing on 2020: new manager (please no Showalter), pitching coach (Mickey Calloway), FA targets, possible trades, next year’s draft, and even international guys the Phillies should consider.

        1. Hinkie, I think what bullied Middleton more than anything was the recurring nightmare of 40,000 empty seats he was seeing. But yes, public unrest had to be a pressing factor, but it’s essentially all the same. To sell the product, it has to have a market.

  70. a few random points;

    1. some on this blog have argued that the results of the last two years were not kapler s fault. he was not the problem. the argument has merit. but was he part of the solution? i dont think so, so lets move on.

    2. with several surveys demonstrating kapler s unpopularity with fan base, keeping him would have been costly in terms of attendance, merchandise etc. it was, in my view, a simple business decision for mr. middleton.

    3.what happens next is very important as mr. middleton s credibility and the fans hopes for the future have been seriously damaged by the way this situation has been handled.

    4. it will be interesting to see how established managers will react to job situation where the most of the coaches have already been chosen.

    5. watching the post season games has intensified my desire for a robo ump to call balls and strikes. these major league umps miss too many calls and they sometimes have a big impact on the game. the video replay has gotten most of the field decisions correct, so why not take the next step. it is even more significant in the minor leagues where the umps are often far worse. developing players can t learn the strike zone properly and this has big effect on their hitting performance.

    major league baseball should move quickly on this. have ever seen the words major league baseball and move quickly in the same sentence? neither have i.

    there, i feel better now that i have had my rant. enjoy the rest of the day my fellow fans.

  71. I’m anticipating Joe Giglio going on the air today to suggest that Carson Wentz be replaced at QB by Gabe Kapler.

    1. GMs usually have 2 shots at picking a manager. However, if the next manager fails, Klentak will likely pack his bags too.

  72. Because MacPhail and Klentak seem to have no ability to create and drive a culture in the organization, I’m hoping for a big name manager who will immediately become the Phillies power broker and call the shots – i.e., Maddon, Girardi, Scoscia, or someone similar. I would love to see Maddon hired by Middleton, and he would become the biggest name in the room, and he would influence the whole org not just his job.

    I don’t think the sixers have the greatest owner or GM in the world, but Brett drives the culture of the whole org. I think the Eagles under Doug is similar. I think the Phils could overcome some of the gaps created by MacKlentak with this approach.

    1. Yes, agreed. But Klentak is being given the lead in the hiring process. Don’t see him inquiring on any of those names unless Middleton “asks” him to. Which is actually quite possible.

  73. to the knowing fan Middleton’s credibility took a big hit today. I would have had more respect for him if he said he was going to pick the new manager and give that person the autonomy to run the club house and manage the line-up card.

  74. I have had my rants throughout this process, and I remain a Phillies’ fan. So, I will wait and see what is next. I fully anticipated Klentak and MacPhail staying, so, to me, the next clue is who is brought in to Manage. If it is Showalter or Girardi or Maddon, then I expect them to have been given assurances that they will call the shots.That, alone, would be an improvement. Next is the hitting and pitching coaches, and that will tell us a lot about whether any real coaching changes happen. Then, Middleton has to pony up the $ to put together a Pitching staff capable of being a Playoff team. Finally, we still need a Director of scouting/drafting, or whatever Johnny Almaraz used to be called. We have to get better there, period. Some high end arms would be a very good start.

  75. I will hand it to Gabe…he does have class. Todd Zolecki tweeted Kapler’s parting statement if anyone wants to check it out.

    1. Always a positive guy to the end.
      I figured he would post.

      :”John Middleton made the right move in firing me…..I would have fired me the way the last two Septembers went”

    2. I agree on Gabe’s response, he was not treated with much respect the last 10 days. While he was an awful manager and I believe very strongly he lacks the EI to succeed in this role going forward, he did work hard and try his best and I can respect that. I suspect after leaving Philly, he will more closely follow the Chip Kelly track record (next job in SF, flame out quick, and then move on to something else) than the Terry Francona one.

      1. Sabean, Zaidi and the Giants seem to be leaning Mark Kotsay.right now.
        But now that Gabe is out there officially, who knows now.

        1. Romus, now you can stop worrying about those pending government investigations involving Gabe since he was originally hired….😎

          1. Exactly……..however the one tangible benefit from the FBI’s efforts…an international draft finally.
            And Gabe and Freidman can also be thanked for that.

      2. If he can open up on how he really thinks and feels (in other words blunt honesty) he would do well as a TV analyst, which he’s done before although a little too polished.

  76. What an eventful 24 hours it has been!

    Kapler got canned. Not a surprise by me. Didn’t make the playoffs again under his watch and like it or not, it’s on Kapler. Seems a little too positive for my taste, and I feel like he’s being PC instead of saying how he really feels.

    Braves got blasted, and their streak is still alive. What streak is this? They haven’t won a series since 2001.

    Dodgers lost. Kershaw’s postseason woes are well documented and why the Dodgers didn’t go to Jansen earlier when Joe Kelly was in trouble was baffling. Or maybe the Dodgers were scared about Jansen, and kept Joe Kelly in there for too long. Either way, it looks like their bullpen bit them in the ass.

      1. Being selected to the national team not only brings pride and recognition of the athlete’s skills but it also gives the athlete a platform to perform in a competitive level. Bohm and Howard being top draft prospects already have the skill set to be very good. Hopefully, this US team experience can bring out the best in Seabold who is showing better stuff this year. The Phillies need as much arms they can get from the farm.

        1. Seabold now has a plus change-up and has improved his slider…CU goes straight down like a curveball…said being out the first part of the season he was able to perfect his change-up experimenting with different grips and motions.
          The slider now has more depth based on the fact his grip is a little tighter and not as loose as he had in Reading.
          So hopefully it will all come together for both him and Howard next season.

  77. Corey Seidman ranked the 8 managerial openings based on how appealing they are….

    1 Mets
    2 Phillies
    3 Padres
    4 Cubs
    5 Angels
    6 Giants
    7 Royals
    8 Pirates

    ….I can’t argue.

    1. I actually would put the Padres at the top. While yes, you’re competing with the Dodgers you have Fernando Tatis, Chris Paddock, and Manny Machado. Plus a deep farm that should bear fruit within the next year. If you get that team into the wild card you are going to be a MOY favorite.

  78. Well I was wrong, thought it was more likely McPhail and Klentak were out, if Middleton is asking around the league for info… those two have to be on the hot seat! How can they not… your owner is second guessing your decision making or at the very minimal, asking your peers if your doing an adequate job! Doesn’t make sense on that front unless they are on the hot seat themselves. If you have full confidence in your FO you don’t run around the league asking others to confirm if you have a good FO

  79. Great new! We have a potential TOR with close proximity to the Majors. Bohm seems like a legitimate hitter. He has to stay at 3B, so we can spend money elsewhere. v1, what is your assessment of the next in line SPs? I know you like guys who can throw heat, and don’t particularly like Pitchers without it, but I am interested in who would be the next few you think have a shot.

    1. Connor Seabold is showing results with improved stuff. Seabold will not throw heat like the pitchers V1 listed, but if can be an Aaron Nola light (92-94 FB with movement and control + 2 workable off speed pitch), Seabold can be a reliable arm in the back end of the rotation.

      Erik Miller has the size and the stuff to be #2/#3 but Miller will be 2 years away and that if Miller can harness his command of his pitches.

      Damon Jones is a GB machine that can miss bats – 2 attributes of a very good SP plus Jones has size. Jones can contribute next year but unless he can fix his command issues Jones will be bullpen bound.

      Colton Eastman is basically another Connor Seabold. If Seabold can pitch his way to be a solid #3/#4, Eastman can be the same.

      And there’s also the high risk high reward arms in Francisco Morales, Dom Pipkin, Kevin Gowdy, Gunner Mayer who we will probably start to assess better when these young arms reach the high minors.

        1. yes, Eastman is throwing 89-92 but he attacks the strikes zone more aggressively so I can see Eastman increasing the heat closer to what Seabold is throwing. The key for Eastman is to refine that projected plus CU a pitch that Seabold improved a lot.

          As of now Seabold > Eastman. And I want to be optimistic that Eastman will develop the same way as Seabold.

      1. I have read the same things as Mitch…he is likely a back end starter.

        Basically I think that we have Spencer Howard and a bunch of back end types. Maybe Erik Miller figures out command and becomes more. But I am not very excited about any of the arms in our system outside of Howard. I had high hopes for Medina. But for some reason he went backward this year. Still not over for him, but not a good trend.

    2. My wild card pick for future arms are:

      1) Ben Brown – TJ casualty but Ben Brown has size, command, can miss bats and developing stuffs to be at least a #3.

      2) Ethan Lindow – good command that can miss bats. Stuff is not graded elite, but as a LHP he can be a surprise.

      3-4) Kyle Glogoski and Manuel Silva – stuff appears average-ish but they have the Vinny Velasquez fight in them. If the stuff improves, they can be something.

  80. With 11 games left in the season…Spencer Howard and Connor Seabold probably get two more starts apiece with 4/5 innings per start.
    As for Ks/BBs so far.
    Seabold in 17 innings has 22 Ks (leads the league) and 3 BBs, and Howard in 14 has 19 Ks, 6 BBs….and third in the AFL in Ks.

  81. How about high leverage BP arms? I ask because I see what TB has done. No money to spend. They certainly were smarter than us about Charlie Morton, but they have 7 or 8 guys coming out of the BP, all of whom pitch effectively. Someone is clearly able to discern talent much better than we can. I know Hinkie wanted Chaim Bloom. He’s not coming. Can we expect anything from our system for the BP next year? Ranger pitched well. I think he should get a shot. I also think VV would pitch well out of the BP. What else do we have?

    1. matt….IMO, Edgar Garcia has some potential.
      There is also Dohy and Brogdon at LHV, who I think the Phillies are high on.
      Then there are the five arms in Reading that also have potential…..Hernandez, Singer, Russ, Hennigan and Dyer.
      Llovera may also see the pen.

  82. Thanks Romus, I hope that while Middleton was taking his tour to decide on Kapler’s fate, he learned that there is a lot more wrong than changing Managers will fix. If people were honest with him, then he knows, if he didn’t already, that poor decisions resulted in a lack of a quality Rotation, despite whatever the numbers from 2018 purported to show. I expect him to be as committed to getting Cole as he was Bryce. Tweaking the coaching of the Pitchers and the hitters is also needed, as well as a change in philosophy heading into the draft in June.

    1. Jim Salisbury was just on with Ricky Bo, Ben Davis and Michael Barkann for a round up conversation.
      Seem Jim is leaning the Phillies bringing back Hamels as a 4 or 5 in the rotation, there is a mutual interest…..and says Boras will try to push one of his three clients onto Middleton to help his other client, Harper.
      One of the three being either…Gerrit Cole, Strasburg, or Rendon.
      Ben Davis however thinks it is better to bring in Wheeler and Cole Hamels.

      1. If the Phillies will spend aggressively as they have proclaimed, I have to think the percentages say they will land one of the Boras boys. And really, they must in order to pump up the fan interest….again.

        1. 8mark, do you think that if the team starts doing well that the fans maybe will pump themselves up?

          1. No. Not at the gate, which is the truest sign of whether they are buying what this regime is selling. How many people showed up at CBP vs Atlanta in September with a wild card berth within reach? Not many….how I should have phrased it is “in HOPES to pump up fan interest”. But they have quite an uphill battle to regain trust of the fan base. And Middleton has now put himself in the crosshairs of public hostility.

      2. I can understand Ben Davis’ feelings on bringing Cole Hamels back, but is it wise? Hamels is 36, spent time on the IL this year, and I believe was shut down at the end of the season with shoulder fatigue. As Klentak’s signing of older, veteran relievers has shown, guys that age cannot be counted on to complete a full season, especially when you have an overpriced 5th starter coming off elbow surgery.

        1. Thomas Wood….can understand your point. Jim Salisbury says Hamels would be a veteran leadership influence on the pitching staff and it would not cost much.
          Hamels…elbow surgery?
          It was actually an oblique strain that put hi on the IL this season…arm is healthy.

          1. think he was referring to Arrietta as the overpriced 5th starter coming off elbow surgery.
            definitely less interested in Hamels with how his season ended for him..if you didnt already have Arrietta as the veteran guy you hope can make it through a season…

      3. My sense is that if the Angels pony up, Cole is heading west. I don’t see the Yankees going very hard after him. If the Phillies outbid LAA, then I say he’ll sign here.

        If LAA gets him to sign, the Phillies should go right for Rendon. The Bohm/Hoskins situation can be worked out later.

        I don’t go near Hamels or Strasburg. But if G.Cole goes elsewhere, Wheeler becomes my target. Then you have Nola, Wheeler, Howard (come May or June), with Eflin as my #4, Arrieta or Smyly as the #5. I highly doubt Jake can physically endure a full season. Smyly can be a swing man until Howard arrives.

        With Rendon in the fold, and a collective hitting philosophy that finally makes sense, the offense should be pretty potent.

  83. Ok, let’s think it through. For argument’s sake, on one side is G. Cole, assuming we can sign him, and knowing it’s over $200 Million to do so, and on the other hand is Cole Hamels and Zach Wheeler. Nola, with Eflin as #4 and Arrieta as #5. So, we bring back Smyly in the Gerrit Cole scenario. Hamels and Wheeler have to get over $30 Million a year between them. Which Rotation is better? I think the one with Gerrit Cole. In my mind, he is then our #1, and Nola becomes #2. As much as I love Cole Hamels, I still go Gerrit Cole. The other scenario is my Plan B, assuming G.Cole goes elsewhere.

      1. If they get a team-friendly deal for Hamels it’s not the worst thing but, aside from a relatively low dollar deal, he is no longer the buyer value he was when he came from the Rangers to the Cubs. That deal was screaming to be made.

  84. Now that John Middleton has appointed himself the team’s de facto GM, Cole Hamels suddenly becomes a real thing for the 2020 Phillies. Most Phillies fans love Hamels. That’s good enough for Middleton.

    1. As Middleton goes FA shopping this winter, he’ll mostly be studying, FIP, OPS, and Q Ratings.

    2. I was all behind that last year, but the time for signing Hamels has probably come and gone, unless he agrees to a deal the team can’t refuse. His stuff has really fallen behind in the last two years. I’d pass.

  85. I would like to voice my displeasure at how the Kapler firing took place. John Middleton didn’t need two weeks to decide his fate. He should have had an idea of what he wanted to do the day the season ended. Leaving Kapler twisting in the wind for as long as he did shows that maybe John Middleton isn’t the owner he thinks he is. And, add to the fact that most of the coaching staff, minus the hitting and pitching coaches are coming back, just adds to the feeling that this was a clown show. If you want to fire the manager, fire the entire staff and let the new guy make his picks.

  86. A few random thoughts?

    How serious of a candidate is Chase Utley for the managerial vacancy? Sounds like they want an experienced manager, but I know the old regime would not be able to resist the nostalgia factor of having utley and hamels back in pinstripes
    Utley apparently loves the shift! Will see,
    I say it’s doubtful, but next time around, they’ll throw it at him

    Possibility of GCole and Hamels brought in this offseason?

    Imo, 2020 is klentak’s last season as GM with no playoffs. If so, he’s outtta here

    1. Regarding the new manager….
      While the Phillies may go with experience, it may be better to go with a younger man who can grow with the team yet bring some intangibles that Kapler lacked.

      My preference is still Raul Ibanez, who has publicly stated that now isn’t the time for him.

      But from what I read and hear, 48 year old Phil Nevin is highly regarded.

      Ricky Bo strongly endorses Joe McEwing. He would be my 3rd choice.

      Astros bench coach Joe Estrada will soon be a big league skipper from all accounts.

      After those, Joe Girardi and finally Buck if none of the above want the job.

      1. My preference for manager and pitching and hitting coaches is somebody who understands and appreciates data and who can effectively implement it, but who is not doctrinaire and will work with individuals on their strengths and weaknesses and not insist on plugging square pegs into round holes.

    2. If you want another Ryne Sandberg on the bench, just hire Utley. Seriously, great baseball players usually make horrible managers, especially the reclusive non-communicative guys like Utley. There are exceptions, but generally, it’s not a good plan.

      1. Good point.
        Quite a few former catchers, who were not the superstar type, seem to have a better feel for the managerial position.

  87. The Astro’s are riding the G Cole train like a rented mule. I know someone brought it up before about the playoff hangover pitchers tend to suffer coming off long runs into the playoffs. i think that is very real.

    I think you go mining for guys like Jordan Lyles who may have a chance to be the next Charlie Morton. That guy has really good stuff and comes with no draft pick compensation.

    As much as I love Cole Hamels I hope we stay with Smyly he’s younger or maybe take another look at Matt Boyd or Mike Minor (although we may not have the depth to get one of them)

    That said if there is a team out there with some salary concerns we should try to get creative with that. The Indians have to decide if they want to pick up Klubers option for $17.5 mil or buy him out for a $1 mil.

    1. DMAR….”take another look at Matt Boyd or Mike Minor”….Tigers are looking for controlled young veteran hitters…..Herrera and Franco along with an Adonis Medina or Cole Irvin or Ranger Suarez may get a Matt Boyd…..who incidentally really struggled in the second half of last season.

      1. I would offer Velasquez, Odubel and Medina for 1 year of Mike Minor, with hopes of a 2-3 year extension.

  88. Romus, I think you are quite a ways short on what it would take for Boyd. Herrera and Franco bring nothing except, maybe, some International $. I don’t know how good Boyd is, but the Tigers will want much more. This is exactly the reason that we need to go the FA route, even if it is not preferred. We do not have the depth to get a young, controlled arm who projects high. I am not trading any of Bohm or Stott, and Howard is untouchable. And, if we went the route of taking on some teams’ bad contract if they throw in a young arm, do you trust who we have to identify young talent? I don’t. Some of the trades I read simply over value what we have to offer when you take out the top guys.

      1. @8mark – Boyd will be slaughtered in CBP. Boyd high HR and poor GB rate will make him a > 5 ERA pitcher in CBP. If the Phillies is really desperate for a LHP, just sign Alex Wood.

    1. matt13……the Ttigers could not get what they wanted for Boyd in July……and then his last ten starts he was way below average…..1 good game and another close to good….8 clunkers….his value has decreased, plus his past value was not great at all…..he has upside potential right now.
      I think they will move him for young hitters and of course some pitching, though they are loaded in the minors with pitching..
      Also the Phillies would probably need to let go of one of their catching prospects in a deal for him.
      The Tigers do not have the catching depth in their system outside of Rogers like the Phillies do..

  89. I would not 8mark. I am one of those who really likes Hoskins. I think he was harmed by the dysfunction on the team. It screwed up his head, and I think a competent hitting coach straightens him out. I want Bohm to be legit at 3B and Hoskins to get back to what we thought he was, and not need to pay what it would cost for Rendon. I am still holding out hope. Then we can use our finances to get Gerrit Cole. Also, I am not a big Boyd fan. A big part of me wants Hoskins and Kingery and Haseley and Bohm to be good so it validates our farm system, somewhat. I know we have had drafting issues, but we need some of our young guys to succeed because we can’t buy players at every position. So, I put some more faith in Hoskins to turn it around. Sorry for the long winded answer!

    1. I was hot for Boyd at the deadline but his stock has obviously dropped. I ask myself, which do I prefer – Bohm at 3b and Hoskins at 1b OR Rendon at 3b and Bohm at 1b? Now I realize that doesn’t take in the broader picture but putting all our eggs on one pitcher (GCole) in hopes that he is the difference between missing the playoffs and legitimately contending for going deep into October.

      You make a valid point on Rhys getting out of his own head and under a sensible hitting philosophy, like the one he had when he came up 2 years ago.

  90. 8mark, for all I know, Rhys simply can’t pick up the spin on the new baseballs, or something else is wrong. I just think that a player with as good an eye as he had to suddenly be as screwed up as he is, something fixable is at play. And, I understand the counting on Cole, but less say that the choices are Rendon and Bohm or Bohm and Hoskins plus Zach Wheler and Cole Hamels? We are both assuming that it is one or the other, Rendon or Gerrit Cole/2 other Pitchers we hope are better than what we have. Maybe Middleton’s approach is to obliterate the luxury tax threshold? But, for now, I stay with Bohm and Hoskins and go and get Pitching.

    1. Obliterating the luxury tax threshold would make a huge statement for Middleton to make to an already skeptical fanbase. But signing both behemoth FAs would be more fantastic than realistic. And Boras can’t offer a 2 for 1 discount either.

    2. If Middleton will decide to spend big, he needs to catch the biggest fish. Gerrit Cole will check a lot of boxes with the Phillies. But if Middleton will continue the shenanigan with McPhail and Klentak which means that contending will not come soom, then Middleton doesn’t deserve Gerrit Cole. Signing Gerrit Cole meaning contending and winning in the next 3 years.

      I will only go to Wheeler, Wood, Hamels and Lyles as fall back or Plan B. Gerrit Cole should be the Plan A.

      Rendon can be a consideration but it means leaving a big hole in the team —- rotation — which also means that the Phillies will need to hit not only with Spencer Howard but also with Adonis Medina and other top pitchers in the farm.

      1. I Think its time for me to say my piece. I don’t care who is the next Manager, If we don’t get better scouts and people who can evaluate talent. especially in the draft, We will not go anywhere, there is only so much money you can spend. If the phillies put Rendon at third. that is another 25 or more million plus they have to give Rys his money. Still need a center fielder, redo the catcher, Two starters plus a bullpen, The lack of talent in the minors hasn’t been addressed by the media to Middleton, I would love to have his answer on that one,

        1. @rocco – i think there’s a lot of us that share your sentiment which basically pointing to McPhail and Klentak as the primary organization issues. Those gentleman has the power and mandate to hire coaches and personnel that should be infusing talent to the team both minors and majors.

          It is not a good business practice for the owners to meddle with managing the business especially if the owners do not have the expertise to run it, some blame can pointed to Middleton since it appears that he is blind to the faults and limitations of McPhail and Klentak.

          In a business world, it is still the officers fault if the business failed but if the board of directors (in this case Middleton and owners) tolerate mediocrity of the officers, they will be co-equally guilty too.

          1. Yep, one of the principles of professional sports is that a bad owner is the only terminal problem a team can suffer. Snyder in DC, Jones in Dallas, and Lauria in Miami mercifully sold the Marlins. Let’s hope Middleton finds his way through this self inflicted maze of ineptitude.

            1. Middleton’s only job is to hire the “right” font office to run the show. Pledging his continued allegiance to McPhail and Klentak is not doing his job correctly.

          1. Ownership has been the problem since Rudy Carpenter sold the team to Bill Giles Group in the 1980’s.

  91. I agree that he has probably cast his lot with the wrong guys. I actually dislike the smug and relaxed MacPhail more than Klentak, who is smart and hard-working but has not shown a special nose for talent either in finding baseball players or those who should find, coach and lead them.

    1. FYI – I’m really not talking about the owner. I think Middleton is a pretty darn good owner and this will be apparent over time. He just needs to hit the re-set button on MacPhail or Klentak or both.

  92. I agree with catch. I just saw Schilling has “interest in Managing Phils or PC for RSox.” Absolutely not! I can’t think of much that would cause me to root against my team, but Schilling as Manager would do it.

    1. I wouldn’t sweat it. This group in power would never let a loose cannon like Schilling sit before a microphone before and after EVERY GAME. Are you kidding me!

  93. What concerned me was that at no time did any of the 3 behind the table admitted any specific mistake. “Everybody makes mistakes and we’re just trying to learn as we go” was the underlying theme. Very lame. MacPhail admitted his “if we don’t we don’t” blunder, which was ill advised but that comment was made in context and the overreaction to it was WIP driven.

  94. I will take a small victory in that he acknowledged his comment was ill advised. He is not my favorite person, but he is here for another year, at least, so I can only hope they do better. It does me no good to beat up on MacPhail all the time, so I’ve moved on. The overall problem is a lack of ability to discern and evaluate talent. MacPhail hasn’t done it, Klentak is just learning, so he can’t. Who is the trusted scout or evaluator who will find talent in the margins? I didn’t hear the press conference. Aside from excuses about the past, what did they say about next year? Is making the Playoffs on the agenda?

      1. …and at this stage, nothing should preclude either Klentak or MacPhail being removed after the 2020 season, barring a playoff berth. And not just barely backing in default of a weak NL.

  95. Trying to gauge the Gerrit Cole contract, with some comps below, is more difficult than I would presume, especially with Boras as his agent.
    I was under the assumption as Hinkie had posted a few days back….6yrs@180M would get it done….then saw where Coery S had it at 7 or 8 years with an AAV approaching $33M.
    Now saw somewhere it could be mid-$30s…sheeesh!

    Greinke-age 32 (6/$207MM)….AAV- $34.5M
    Price-age 30 (7 yrs@$217MM)…AAV -$31M
    Kershaw-age 26 (7/$215MM)…. AAV -$31M
    Scherzer- age 31 (7/$210MM)—AAV -$30M
    Corbin – age 29 (6/$140M)………AAV – $23M
    Strasburg-age 28 (7/$175M)…….AAV – $25M
    Verlander -age 36 (2/$66M)……..AAv – $33M

    1. I think the climate of the free agent market dictates that Cole will max at 6/$33M AAV….unless Middleton wants to blow the market away at say, 7/$35M.

      1. 6/$33AAV is a good benchmark as I see it at $190M/6years with 7th yr vesting option at $30 and 8th year team option at $25M so basically $245M/8 years but only $190M/6 years guarantee.

        1. Let’s count on Boras going for the record overall value for a pitcher, just like he did for Harper. Maybe $225M over 7 years, perhaps including a buyout of $10M on an 8th year vesting option. That comes to an AAV of slightly more than $32M in guaranteed money.

    2. Romus your so smart. how do you do it, knowing the contract Cole will get, are you a agent?

    3. I think it will take Price’s deal to get Cole. That would be a 7/$31 M per deal. Cole is as good as anyone right now, very legit. I’d sure try to get a 5 year deal with a high per yr amt with an option but I think it will take at least 6 and maybe 7. As a Boras client, I don’t expect this deal to be finished until Jan.

          1. 8mark…..will be a very inetersting odd-season for the Boras Company…I expect them to have their own daily segment on the MLB network.

    4. Kershaw is only 26? Seems like he’s been blowing postseason games for the dodgers for decades

      1. Tac3….no, that is the age he signed that contract. I did not mention that….those are the ages each signed their contracts.

      2. Kershaw? He’s 31. But he has been losing in the playoffs for over a decade; we beat him in 2008 (and 2009, for that matter).

  96. After that presser I need to take a vacation from them my brain is stewed. I have no more opinions no more wants. I’ll sit back and watch for the next 4 months and see if something happens to get me excited again.

    I had a big tree fall in my yard and a brand new chain saw in my hands so I’m gonna go and carve up some wood for my fire pit. You fellas enjoy your weekend.

    The best Phillies board ever hands down!

  97. What I took away from the presser….

    The brain trust had no answer for the weak farm.

    Middleton asserted his position as CEO, spent considerable time talking about his 40 years of experience, making mistakes, yadayadayada….
    which only served to further marginalize Klentak’s authority on major decisions, and made MacPhail utterly irrelevant.

    The media – specifically Jim Salisbury, Todd Zolecki and….(gulp….yuck!) Blowhard Eskin – asked good hard questions to which the 3 blind mice could only tap dance.

    Reading between Middleton’s words, they don’t see themselves as a preferable landing spot to the bigger names on the manager market (ie Girardi, Maddon…)

    And finally….I’ll never get those 57 minutes back again.

    1. agreed- i couldnt make it through the 57 minutes.
      when Klentak talked about finding a managerial candidate who would appreciate the culture and organization we’ve built here- huh?
      just a bit depressing to look back at the great opportunity they had to do this rebuild right..and where we are now, just hoping we can overspend on free agents to get better but probably still not good enough, without much to look forward to on the farm.

  98. It is saying something that Howard Eskin asked good questions. This is my last complaint about this past season. They have exhausted me and like Dmar I will wait to see what they do. But, if they point to the BP ERA after the All Star break, and commend how highly they ranked, then doesn’t that render moot the argument that injuries caused the failed season? It was, and remains the Starters! So, we will see what they do. In the meantime, go Spencer! I am looking forward to the Prospect polling, And, hoping anyone not the Nationals wins the WS.

    1. Hate to say it but I’m seeing a Nats-‘stros World Series. The best starting pitching belongs to those 2 teams, and they both have lineups with hitters who regularly come up clutch.

  99. I wasn’t able to watch that press conference until late Friday night. My head is still spinning. Three quick takes:

    1. John Middleton has appointed himself the Phillies de facto GM. MacKlemtak have surrendered (Klentak looked like he was in a hostage video), and are here only to collect paychecks. They are not going to do anything Middleton doesn’t want them to do. Not only do they now all think alike, they all now dress alike: khaki pants, dark blazer, dress shirt w/open top button, no tie.
    2. I’m more convinced than ever that Gabe Kapler did a tremendous job. Having a .499 winning percentage while working under this dysfunctional front office should have earned Gabe a couple of Manager Of The Year Awards.
    3. Short of drastically overpaying … no top notch managerial candidate is going to want to work for this group.

    Some of the most interesting highlights:

    * Middleton brags the organization is better today than it was four years ago (when MacPhail brought in Klentak). Huh? The team was in the middle of a rebuild at that time. The better measuring stick should be …. How does the Phillies rebuild compare to others? Look at the 2019 Braves and then look at the 2019 Phillies.
    * Middleton was soooo lost when Howard Eskin confronted him with the clubs’ lack of depth because of poor drafting. He actually tried to spin the team’s bullpen as evidence against Eskins point. C’mon …. their pen was mostly loaded with guys other clubs released. LOL’ed when Eskin tried to follow up, and Scott Palmer shut him down before Middleton’s brain overheated.
    * Matt Klentak’s mistakes should be chalked up to “learning experience” while Gabe Kapler’s mistakes amount to his dismissal.
    * For all the people here who have told me Kapler wasn’t fired for his second half collapses, all three (Middleton/MacPhail/Klentak) confirmed that was the reason Gabe was let go. What a joke. MacKlentak punt the season away at the trade deadline (two years in a row), and Kapler gets blamed when he doesn’t win with the collection of pitchers other teams have released.

    1. Hinkie, your assessment of the actual press conference is spot on. All 3 looked (from left to right) disengaged, disemboweled and disinterested. Middleton seemed conflicted by the tension between not admitting his mistake in hiring MacKlentak and wanting to take over the whole operation.

      I know your fondness for Kapler, but he was widely panned by critics across the country simply for his poor ingame decision making and lack of a feel for the game, aside from the obviously insufficient talent on the roster.

      In all fairness, Middleton had to make a dramatic change. Unfortunately his closeness to MacKlentak inhibited his willingness to cut them loose ALONG with Kapler.

      In any case, I feel your pain.

      1. 8mark … not sure about “widely panned by critics across the country simply for his in game decision making”. Kapler’s in game decisions were mostly ruled by the numbers. Most managers around baseball would have (for the most part) made the same moves. The reality of the situation is this …. Other than Alex Rodriguez one time disagreeing with a Kapler move, Gabe was beaten down mostly locally. Angelo Cataldi used him for an entire ratings book to pump up his numbers on WIP.

        I posted this last week (?). It’s an ESPN Insider piece from Buster Olney.

        Here’s what Olney had to say about the 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.

        1. Hinkie, Gabe may get hired by his old LAD associate Farhad Zaidi in SF and go on to have a successful career as a manager….and in so doing would prove me wrong, and reveal the even deeper warts of the Phillies organization. I sincerely wish Kapler well. And I continue to respect and value your opinion. From here on, I personally consider the discussion closed. Onward I go.

        2. Oh mr Hinkie, there was a time when you were criticizing the in game decision making by Matt Klentak’s only and best friend Kap, like the rest of us, but somewhere you’ve gone awol. I remember you killing him over of his handling of the game VV ended up in LF. But like 8mark, the rest of your assessment was spot on.

          How much better would that press conference have looked with Bloom and Maddon sitting around him.

          1. Bloom interviewed for the GM job in 2015….Middleton selected Klentak, though may have been a little tilted towards Matt Klentak since he and MacPhail had gone back to the Os together since 2008 for about three years.
            Bloom however, was a big Philly sports fan growing up here. …attended Solomon Schechter and then Akiba Academy…finally after graduating Yale going to get his Masters at Wharton. But he has been with the Rays for well over a decade now, so his roots seem to be in Tampa.

  100. Hinkie, you are exactly correct. I have taken the position that we are stuck with this arrangement, and since I choose to remain a fan, I have to hope it works out. But, Klentak looked exactly like a deer in the headlights. Someone mentioned Eskin’s question yesterday, and I have to admit, although I am not a big Eskin fan, Middleton did not know how to answer the question about the farm system. The only Reliever, from the recent farm, who pitched well was Ranger. It was clear that Klentak wanted to keep Kapler, Middleton wanted some change and refused to admit he was wrong about Mac/Klentak, and MacPhail simply tried to guess what Middleton wanted, and then took that position. My trust in Middleton took a big hit, and I really hope I am wrong.

    1. matt13….you can listen to Howard Eskin this morning right now on WIP….talking about the presser yesterday…people are ranting loudly.

  101. Moving forward with the managerial search….my assumption is that a top name like Joe Girardi (Maddon is all but officially the Angels’ new skipper) will not be coming here. I’m expecting – without knowing with any certainty – that when Buck Showalter and the Phillies were mentioned last week as having mutual interest BUT not necessarily the leading candidate, tells me MacKlentak may want him BUT Middleton may be cool to the idea of tying his new manager to the existing regime.

    So, my conclusion is that while it’s early in the process, a fresh face may be targeted – somebody who’s been circulating for awhile but not necessarily a previous MLB manager.

    I suggest Phil Nevin, Joe McEwing, and Joe Espada will be invited to interview. Perhaps Raul Ibanez would be swayed to join the mix as well if the owner flew down to Miami to visit him personally? But I won’t hold my breath.

    1. Ben Davis likes Phil Nevin….Ricky Bo liked Bristiol’s Joe McEwing and Jim Salisbury was leaning Buck.

      1. I will be pretty angry if it’s Buck Showalter. This team doesn’t need an old-time Andy MacPhail buddy managing the team. Screw that. Whether you like it or not, the baseball world has changed. The analytics are real. They are not EVERYTHING, but they are important. People blame analytics for the Phillies’ failures. That is utter nonsense. Just because the Phillies’ people were bad at marrying analytics with common sense, doesn’t mean the analytics are irrelevant or unimportant.

        We need someone who brings us the best of both worlds, much like Doug Pederson brings us with the Eagles – not delivers us back to 1993. No thanks. I would happily take a guy like Joe Girardi, who I think gets all of this at a very deep level and is a good leader.

        1. Agree Catch. I want to tear this Orioles connection down, not add to it.

          Separately, I don’t know how Middleton justifies firing Kapler and not Klentak. Kapler was a stretch-hire from day one. An outside-the-box hire that McPhail reportedly ‘allowed’ Klentak to make. And now the owner had to intervene – to undo the work of those who get paid manage baseball operations. And I don’t want to hear that they built an analytics department. That would have been an applaud-worthy accomplishment in 2007. But not in 2017.

  102. I realize I’m not saying anything new – but I’m really not sure where they even go from here. The farm system is an absolute joke (sorry – nothing personal to the people who are passionate about the prospects on this site). From a realistic standpoint, we probably have something in Bohm, but that’s about it from a ‘difference maker’ perspective.

    They are light years behind the Nats and Braves… at this point, I’d be happy with a complete rebuild.

    1. Spender Howard and of late Connor Seabold could be difference makers.
      Not sure how you would define a ‘difference maker’….is Bieber from the Indians a difference maker?
      If so…those two pitchers have a chance to produce something similar.
      Bohm is everyone’s choice right now.

      But I have seen farms change quite drastixcally in a year.

      The Mets were middle to the bottom for the last 5 years…..with Dom Smith as their main guy….but then McNeil, Alonso and Rosario seem to have past him and come around

      I am more optimistic about the farm than most on here.

  103. Matt, don’t forget Spencer Howard. I feel he is a legitimate Top prospect, the equal to what any other team may have. But, you are not wrong about overall “difference makers.” There is still a farm director to hire to replace Johnny A. Romus, what did you think of the Press conference? Did you come away with a feeling of optimism? I worry that Showalter is already penciled in. I think they want experience, and not necessarily Major League experience, but experience with being in charge, setting rules, and issuing consequences. Do the Astros or Yankees or Dodgers have a successful Minor League Manger that we can poach?

    1. matt13….the presser from the three was basically …’how do I get the egg off my face’. Klentak summed up Gabe to a tee….he was never really accepted here.
      But he had his managerial shortcomings. I suppose that very first game in Atlanta was the first impression for many Philly fans

      And if it is Buck…I am fine with it…..Charley was hired in 2004 , basically after being fired as the Indians manager, and it was not liked and for a few years it was nt accepted, but the times were different.
      I think Middleton sees something similar to Buck……hey the guy did win in the Al-East …from ’12-’16…almost 500 games. Was it his fault his superstar wanted out after rejecting an offer from the team and all that drama started in 2017

      1. Listing to wip instead of coming to the synagogue. Our people worship on Saturday Romus.

    2. You’re right about Spencer Howard – I’ll chalk up omitting him due to it being relatively early on a Saturday!

      Just a little bit of a background on me.. I used to be a regular on this site back when James ran it, but have strayed over the years. It had nothing to do with the site, or the people, but more so the Phillies organization.

      I’m 39, and was a die hard “watch 150 games a year” type guy.. but quite honestly, this team is not only bad, but they are tough to root for. There aren’t many likable guys on the team, and most importantly, the brand of baseball that they play quite honestly SUCKS! The “home run or bust” mentality of this team is absolutely brutal to watch.

      If anyone can tell me “how many times did the Phillies string together 3 hits in a row” during 2019, it would be greatly appreciated!

    3. To expound, Phil Nevin is highly regarded, no nonsense, doesn’t take crap, with good blood lines having served under Bochy and currently the Yankees. He would be my 1st interview. Buck may be the “safe” pick but I don’t think Middleton is necessarily on board with him. That’s only my speculation. If Ibanez had thrown his hat in the ring, he would be my first choice despite his lack of experience. These days, experience isn’t the priority it once was. And in Raul’s case, I think it wouldn’t need to be with a supporting cast of coaches.

  104. Meanwhile, Nats win game 1 behind their #4 SP almost throwing a no-hitter. Whoever the new Manager is, John Middleton had better arm with a Starting Rotation. From what I gather, it was he who signed Arrieta. We know Harper was Middleton’s all the way, so he simply needs to fly to wherever Gerrit Cole lives, and stay there until he signs. 7 years/$225 Million, no problem! And, then I have a feeling we need another SP better than Drew Smyly.

    1. Matt with say Cole, and Wheeler, Rendon at third. chapman in the bullpen along with will smith. I think we can play 500 ball.

  105. I haven’t read through all the comments, but most.
    I’d say s large part of why Kapler was canned by Middleton was how he ran the clubhouse, which was basically letting the players do what they wanted. How Kapler handled Cehe and Seguras lack of 80% hustle during the season was the nail in the coffin to me. Middleton wanted to fire Kapler when Cehe wasn’t punished for not hustling, and that whole mix up w few days later. Now we know, cehe’s benching was almost certainly mandated by Middleton and at the very least, highly influenced by Middleton. It’s apparent, that the onfield product atmosphere/culture better resemble a Chase Utley/Halladay type focus/effort …. or Middleton will be interjecting. This is for when you are losing or winning. To me that’s what got Gabe fired. Not being in charge of the clubhouse.

    That said, I don’t want Wathan as manager. A good amount of these players came up together and they need a different manager to let it be know they don’t run the big league club, or things will be the same
    As A,AA,AAA… this is the end of the line. Your here, congrats, but time to produce

  106. well rocco, as always, you put a smile on my face. But, you are being a little bit pessimistic. We played .500 ball this year, so those additions have to be worth 5 wins or so! Being serious for a moment, if we get G.Cole,and Will Smith and Will Harris for the BP, we are a Playoff team. I expect a new Manager and hitting coach to boost improvements from Rhys and Kingery. We have the $ to add those 3 Pitchers. Middleton needs to just go do it.

  107. a very good article in the atlanta paper yesterday about the braves. it makes the point that they are actually an old team with significant holes to fill. it s easy to over glorify a team that had good season but we should not ignore the reality of the situation. they have their problems. now, does their fo have better solutions than the phillies fo? that s another issue entirely.

  108. Bohm, Howard and Seabold will be playing on Team USA…..they are in Group A with the DR, Mexico and Netherlands (Nov2-4 in Guadalajara, Mexico)….top two of that group advance to Super Round championships in Toyko, Japan…Nov 11-16.
    USA games could be televised on the MLB network
    Will not be easy for the USA lads….I suspect that the DR and Mexico are formable opponents.

  109. Klentak should be happy that he relented. Ron Hextall didn’t and look what happened to him and, by the way, Hextall’s inflexibility didn’t end up saving the coach’s job anyway. But, unless the Phillies really have some sustained success beginning soon – Klentak probably won’t survive another managerial firing. Klentak is on a pretty warm hot seat right now, MacPhail less so (at least in John Middleton’s eyes). By the way, I always wonder whose opinion Middleton asks outside the organization. I’m sure the Braves and Nationals owners would tell him that his folks are doing a brilliant job in drafting and signing International free agents.

  110. catch, Klentak won’t survive another season like this past one. Which is why I don’t see some young, up and comer getting the job. He needs to win next season. Assuming Maddon goes to the Angels and Girardi does not get the Cubs’ job, let’s say David Ross gets it. Showalter and Girardi would have to be the front runners. I don’t think that the rumors of “mutual interest” between us and Buck were idle noise. I would have to believe there is substance there.

    1. I can’t recall that last time the Phillies had an impactful bat and impactful starter arriving around the same time. I’m not convinced either Bohm or Howard are up by May 1, but I suspect we see them both before summer.

      1. Steve – you realize that we have no idea whether either Bohm or Howard will be an “impactful” major league player, right? there are a ton of top prospects with far better prospect rankings that never work out at the major league level.

  111. My favorite moment from the presser was when little Matty “Stupid Money-ball” Klentak almost cried when he said Gabe and Philly never connected. If anyone saw the skit last year on SNL with Matt Damon playing Kavanaugh, it reminded me of when Kavanaugh was getting emotional talking about his old drinking buddies. Had that presser yesterday only been 8 mins long, I would have wondered if it was an SNL skit.

  112. I’ve read a good bit of the press conference reaction, so I thought I’d add what I took away.p that hasnt been said too much. For the pro Kapler fans, looks like what got him fired, imho, is not having control of that clubhouse. Kapler ran a player friendly clubhouse, with very little to no “leadership.” We saw this with cehe & Segura who was not “punished” until it didn’t matter anymore. Middleton wanted Kapler fired mid season! He saw the lack of hustle that should be imbedded Into the clubhouse culture/mindset. Kapler can thank his buddy Chase Utley for helping him get canned. Middleton has seen the utleys & Halladay prepare, play, & recover during a rebuilding time up to a championship season, that is the culture he wants. It is unlikely to be meet with that high water mark, but I’m pretty sure when he walked through that clubhouse, he saw way too large of a gap between what should be the max effort and the clubhouse’s avg/current level. I applaud Middleton for that. Unfortunately the rest of the FO manipulated the situation to keep their paychecks coming. I however is the new manager, I can assure you that we won’t be seeing players impersonate human snails down the first baseline without having a few days off to “recover”. I can’t stand watching that junk baseball, half hearted efforts don’t belong at the majors. I expect to see a lot more hustle next year, playing the game the right way l, I’m looking forward to that … and some more wins

  113. Klentak shows little competitive fire, just like Kapler. They were probably kindred souls that way, along with McPhail. Middleton has fire and shows it. I don’t trust that Klentak will consider “fire” as a necessary skill set. I think it was a glaring problem with Kapler. He never seemed fired up for big games. I know Nevin has fire as does Girardi. Does Showalter? I think Nevin could be a surprise choice. I think Middleton is looking for the next star manager.

  114. Hey’ my Philly bothers and sisters, JHC… Lighten up. yes 81-81 sucked. Think Tiger fans wouldn’t have loved another 40+ games like the Phillies? lighten up…next year will be 10-15 games better an get us in the playoffs..Hinkie save this this comment… 400+ comments a week on what combination of manager, GM and owner change does nothing. Churning, churning churning…Two to three upgrades gets us in the playoffs.. Love the Phillies…

    1. Hawkeye … From your lips to God’s ears. A 10 to 15 game improvement is pretty optimistic. Just about everything would have to go right for that to happen. I have no confidence inthis dysfunctional FO to straighten this ship out.

      Also … Gabe could be the new manager in SF. Good luck to him.

  115. ROMUS they are setting up now. Went to church at Stella Maris Broad st will be closed soon,

      1. No Romus, the Phillies will interview both Showalter and Girardi tomorrow in NYC where both are either living or working. Dusty Baker will also interview for the gig at some point.

        My preference among the 3 is Joe Girardi. This isn’t THE most important thing BUT he’s managing the USA team in November. Bohm, Howard and Seabold will be playing under him. That’s significant. I’m ok with Buck as a manager but I’m suspicious of the O’s ties to the front office. I don’t trust MacKlentak here. Dusty is 70. I prefer a guy who can age with this group of relatively young players. His window would end within 5 years. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the Phillies were including him to satisfy the league rule of having a minority among the candidates. That’s probably why Maddon hasn’t been named the Angels’ manager already – protocol.

        1. 8mark…yes see that…and agree Dusty may be a bit long in the tooth.
          Eithr of Girardi or Buck will do…Thomson was Girardi’s BC for almost a decade in NY, so they see have some continuity together.
          Showalter was hired by MacPhail and also worked with Matt Kentak for about a year and half in Baltimore, before Klentak went out to LA.
          So I suppose it will eventually come down to the two of them.

          Showalter can jump start a team like he did the Os in 2011….took over for Juan Samuel at the end of 2010, and improved them in the next year by 15 wins, then starting in 2012 they ended winning approx. 450 games over that 5 years period

  116. What exactly does a manager do? The coaches do most if not all of the instruction. The bench coach and the pitching coach are right at his side to manage the game. Supposedly, Gabe was responsible for the culture in the club house. What is that supposed to mean?

  117. ‘Supposedly, Gabe was responsible for the culture in the club house. What is that supposed to mean?’….seems it meant a lot to Middleton in his decision, since the culture did not prevent two consecutive late season Sept collapses.

    Gabe may not have been entirely at fault…..but, coaches fall on their swords first in the pecking order.

      1. rocco… guess….Girardi already has his main one in place…Thomson as his BC back from the Yankees days
        Showalter has Dickerson in place already.
        Both will hire a new HC and PC,
        ….probably Dusty, and Paco stay on the lines.
        Pedro probably also to help the new HC…if Pedro wants to stay.

  118. No interest in Dusty. Buck or Girardi will do fine. I would trust either of them to hire a HC and PC more than I would Klentak. And, those picks will be more important than the Manager. That, and what we get in the off season to pitch.

  119. Successful owners hire good people with deep knowledge of the game and then let them run the show. Meddling owners such as Dan Snyder of the Redskins can make a hash of things. Middleton claims he spent hours interviewing Gabe before he fired him over the objections of Klentak and McPhail. I guess Middleton thinks he knows more about the business of baseball than they do. We have seen this movie before and it doesn’t end well..

    1. Rob agree, I think your on the right track, Middleton Is another Snyder, spend money with no clear direction

    2. was just having a conversation with a former Middleton employee who works with me and saying the same thing and mentioned Dan Snyder-
      the SI story on the Astros and the trade for Grienke shows an owner doing just what you what an interested owners involvement to be.

    3. Middleton ….the Meddler!

      So let me get this straight…..did not hear any complaints when he reeled in Harper last March….and it was him, not the GM?
      No complaints when he stepped in and relieved John Mallee the hitting coach and brought in Charlie?
      Or when he approved of Chris Young’s leaving.

      But now he is meddling when he lets go of Gabe.

      1. For my two cents, I would’nt label him a meddler as of yet. He is shaking up/reorging his executive team so to speak. Perfectly acceptable in my view. Once the coach and staff are in place, I believe you will see him more hands off. If not, then it is either because he is a meddler or that he does not trust his FO hires the way that he should

  120. Romus he just fired a manager, that his G.M wanted to keep. I hated Gabe, but Middleton fired him not the G.M, Same with the Hitting Coach sounds like a Snyder clone to me.

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