Open Discussion: Week of February 17th

Pitchers and catchers reported and had their first official workout last Wednesday.  Position players reported Sunday for their physicals.  Seventy players will begin the first official full squad workout Monday.  Seventy-one if Kyle Garlick arrives from Arizona.

A mini-camp for minor leaguers also began last week.  It is held in the afternoons at the Complex after the major leaguers are done.  I’ve heard that even more players are showing up this week.  Estimates are now running as high as 140 players.

I’ve seen Johnny Almarez on at least 4 occasions during the past week.  He had said hello on each.  Saturday afternoon, he stopped and talked with us for what seemed like an hour.  He, as so many baseball people of his stature, has some wonderful baseball stories and baseball insights.  I wish every one of you could experience at least one of these opportunities that I so often enjoy.

Free Agency

Yasiel Puig remains the “best” free agent available.  He heads the list of “top” free agents still unsigned, he’s also the youngest at 29  – Brock Holt (32), Jonathan Lucroy (34), and Russell Martin (37).

Of the 638 free agents I’ve been following, 52 remain unsigned.  But, 586 have –

  • 129 – Signed MLB contract
  •      2 – Accepted QO
  •      8 – Declined QO and signed
  •    11 – Retired
  •      1 – Sitting out
  •   25 – Signed overseas (China-1, Japan-13, Korea-8, Mexico-2, Taiwan-1)
  • 410 – Signed MiLB contract

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

Key Dates:

  • February 22, 2020 – First spring training game at Tigers
  • February 23, 2020 – First spring training home game v. Pirates
  • March 1, 2020 – Reporting date for minor league spring training
  • March 2020 – Americas Qualifier in Arizona (2020 Olympics qualifier)
  • March 23, 2020 – Final spring training home game v. Rays
  • March 26, 2020 – Phillies’ opening day at Miami, active roster reduced to 26 players
  • March/April 2020 – At-Large Qualifier in Taiwan (2020 Olympics qualifier)
  • April 2, 2020 – Phillies’ home opener v. Milwaukee
  • June 10-12, 2021 – Amateur draft in Omaha, NE
  • 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

The rosters and lists are up to date as of February 16th … 383 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)
2/15/2020 – Phillies designated LF Nick Martini for assignment
2/15/2020 – Dodgers traded RF Kyle Garlick to Phillies for LHP Tyler Gilbert
2/12/2020 – Phillies placed RHP David Robertson on the 60-day IL. TJ surgery
2/12/2020 – Phillies signed FA RHP Tommy Hunter
2/11/2020 – Phillies sent RHP JD Hammer outright to Lehigh Valley
2/05/2020 – Phillies designated RHP JD Hammer for assignment
2/05/2020 – Phillies sent RHP Trevor Kelley outright to Lehigh Valley
2/05/2020 – Phillies claimed RHP Deolis Guerra off waivers from Brewers
2/05/2020 – Phillies signed FA RHP Anthony Swarzak to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
2/05/2020 – Phillies signed FA RHP Blake Parker to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
2/05/2020 – Phillies signed FA 2B Logan Forsythe to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
1/31/2020 – Phillies designated RHP Trevor Kelley for assignment
1/31/2020 – Phillies claimed RHP Reggie McClain off waivers from Seattle
1/23/2020 – 1B Neil Walker assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/23/2020 – LHP Francisco Liriano assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/23/2020 – RHP Drew Storen assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/23/2020 – RHP Bud Norris assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/22/2020 – Phillies signed FA 1B Neil Walker to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
1/22/2020 – Phillies signed FA RHP Drew Storen to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
1/22/2020 – Phillies signed FA RHP Bud Norris to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
1/22/2020 – Phillies signed FA LHP Francisco Liriano to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
1/17/2020 – C Christian Bethancourt assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/17/2020 – 2B Ronald Torreyes assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/16/2020 – Phillies sent CF Odubel Herrera outright to Lehigh Valley
1/14/2020 – Phillies designated CF Odubel Herrera for assignment
1/14/2020 – Phillies claimed LF Nick Martini off waivers from Cincinnati Reds
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster 3B Alec Bohm to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster 3B Luke Williams to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster LHP Kyle Dohy to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster 1B Austin Listi to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster LHP Tyler Gilbert to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster 1B Darick Hall to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Spencer Howard to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster LHP Damon Jones to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster C Henri Lartigue to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster SS Nick Maton to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster OF Mickey Moniak to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Ramon Rosso to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Addison Russ to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster LHP Zach Warren to spring training
1/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Connor Brogdon to spring training
1/10/2020 – Phillies agree to $2.65M contract w/RHP Zach Eflin, avoid arbitration
1/10/2020 – Phillies agree to $3.6M contract w/RHP Vince Velasquez, avoid arbitration
1/10/2020 – Phillies agree to $2.95M contract w/LHP Jose Alvarez, avoid arbitration
1/10/2020 – Phillies agree to $1.575M contract w/LHP Adam Morgan, avoid arbitration
1/02/2020 – Phillies signed INF Ronald Torreyes to an MiLB w/invite to ST
1/02/2020 – Phillies signed C Christian Bethancourt to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST

279 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of February 17th

  1. Another day passes and I’m still left wondering what exactly Andy MacPhail does. Other than, of course, conducting press conferences that leave us all feeling frustrated.

    As always, thanks to Jim for providing this forum.

  2. It’s actually 69 plus Garlick equals 70. They had 71 but gave up 2 to get Garlick. Of course, there’s always a chance they’ll add more. Martini might stick around …
    Amaro will be doing tv analyst work for us??? Crazy

    1. I’m actually excited for it. I think Ruben is a smart guy who will off good analysis. It’ll be nice to have a front office perspective after games and towards the trade deadline.

  3. Sounds to me as if the Phils are not going to trade for Kris Bryant. Who told me this? None other than his best friend, Bryce Harper, when he reported to camp yesterday. Oh, he didn’t come out and say it, that would be in poor taste. But if you read between the lines you can tell it is something he, Bryant and their agent, Scott Boras, have thought about a lot and probably discussed as a trio.

    Harper suggested that it would not make solid financial sense to bring in another high priced guy when he could leave after 1.5 years [Harper sounds like he thinks Bryant will get traded at the deadline] and that the Phils have in Bohm a potential Bryant lite and at a very low price.
    He probably knows that Bryant is intent on becoming a free agent and Boras almost never gives home town discounts.

    Harper also indicated that he thinks its more important that the Phils sign Realmuto to an extension and develop some low cost youngsters [he specifically mentioned Bohm, Howard and Jones, the lefty.] I was incredibly impressed with his knowledge of the Phils pharm system and he seems “totally in” when it comes to his Phillies experience.

    Look, perhaps I am wrong here but I don’t think so. Harper said he would be Philadelphia’s best recruiter for players and really tried to convince Trout to come East. But he made it pretty clear to me that while he would love to have Bryant, it simply is not a good long term Phillie move.

    My guess is that we can probably put this one to bed.

  4. During days in WAS, Harper appears to be an immature punk. But that changed from the time he signed to joined the Phillies. Harper doesn’t talk a lot in social media but when he talks his thoughts are very coherent and does make a lot of sense.

    I’m sure that Harper wants his pal to earn financial security and the Phillies may not be the best team to break the bank for his since the Phillies also have a lot of pockets to fill.

  5. ZiPS top 100 Prospects: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/zips-top-100-prospects/
    19. Bohm
    81. Howard

    no other Phillies prospects.

    National writers are not biased against Phillies prospects. Not KLaw. not Eric Longenhagen. None of them. They grade tools. they report what they see after cross checking with others. if a prospect that you think is great isn’t on their lists, then they are probably right. they are dispassionate about prospects and see a lot of them all day.

    1. @v1 – i think this ZiPs ranking is based on certain algorithms. Nobody knows what’s the basis of those algorithms are so there is still a touch of subjectivity similar to any prospect rankings.

      Nonetheless, this still doesn’t chance the fact that the Phillies farm system is still one of the weakest in the league. Bohm and Howard are the only bonafide Top 100 and Stott (5 good tools but none great) is the closest one who can probably break somebody’s Top 100.

        1. Finding the “star” is not the challenge. Most Top prospects that are ranked almost the same by different outlets are most likely will become the stars.

          The best stat about these rankings is who among the prospects they ranked so high or ranked higher than the others are correct.

          Let’s take for example this prospect George Valera who ranked #19 by Zips…Valera has a career minor slash of .227/.343/.424/.767. What Zips basis to rank Valera so high above others?

          Again, if you look at the prospect rankings of the past – you will see a lot of prospects that were ranked so high that a lot of them did not even made it to the majors or just flamed out a year or so.

        2. I don’t remember any prospect outlets that ranked de Grom so high but de Grom is one of the best SP in the league and I’m sure that are other Top 100 MLB players right now who are “under ranked” by the national outlets during their time as prospects.

          And to go back to that prospect #18 George Valera — is he really a better prospect that #19 Bohm and #81 Howard who I would say 99.9% of the GMs will pick over George Valera if they have to choose a prospect to be part of their team. How about Stott, is Valera is still a better prospect than Stott who is not in the Top 100?

          I like FG but never liked the Zips because you can poke to many holes in their logic.

        3. You can not consider this as “misses” but these MLB players were overlooked or under ranked as prospects …. Altuve, JTR, Muncy, Clevinger, McNeil, Bieber, Clevinger, Justin Turner and others.

        4. Lets start with Jacob deGrom…..then add these to the list pf those who never were top 100….well at least BA Top 100…not sure aboutr Fangraphs……Jose Altuve….Matt Holiday….Justin Turner, RHP Luis Castillo….J.D. Martinez……. Corey Kluber…. Jeff McNeil….. Paul DeJong…….. Paul Goldschmidt……..Tommy Pham………DJ LeMahieu……RHP Dinelson Lamet, ….OFer Ramon Laureano, Matthew Boyd……RHP Frankie Montas…. Nelson Cruz…….Eugenio Suarez…….. Christian Vazquez……… Lorenzo Cain….. Miles Mikolas…….Max Muncy……… Kyle Hendricks, ….Robbie Ray,………. Bryan Reynolds, P.. Michael Brantley,…..Jose Quintana, .. Mark Canha, ……Kyle Seager,….. Eddie Rosario,….. Dallas Keuchel, ………. Brian Anderson…….. Roberto Perez, . Yandy Diaz, …… Joey Lucchesi, …… Anthony DeSclafani, . Eduardo Escobar, ……Kevin Kiermaier, …… Whit Merrifield, . Matt Carpenter,….. David Peralta,

          1. Ok. I was thinking about Phillies. There are a lot of non-stars on this list. Many are good players but not stars. Even so, I don’t have the time to go back and check if any of them ever were on a top 100 prospect list. That said, you have proven your point that there can be really good players not on top 100 lists. I wasn’t suggesting that was impossible. but it is not common. Most of the all-stars any given year were on top 100 lists.

            1. When you go thru the list, in all fairness, many were ‘late comers’ or over-age appropriate at their end levels, or then there is the case that the pundits at BA/BP/Fangrpahs have that bias or old stigma of righthanded bats playing low-value positions, like first base or a LFer types, who will need to be more productive based on a higher offensive bar setting.
              As for the pitchers who never were top 100, but ended up as quality MLB pitchers, I have no clue how that could happen, unless it is the fact they may stay healthy and avoid serious injury.

        5. Lance Lynn, Ketel Marte, Mike Cleavinger and Charlie Morton were also not highly projected.
          And very soon Darick Hall will be added to that list.

          The ‘list’ guys are not infallible.

          1. @romus – you may need to start to put together those names as v1again like to go back to that argument —- name a player blah blah blah to support that the national outlets are correct most of the time.

            1. Getting ranked in several national publication’s top 100 absolutely, without a doubt gives a prospect a much higher probability of being an impact mlb player. The above list does not disprove that at all. Go look at the top 25 WAR players. Most were ranked in top 100 as prospects.

  6. There are literally dozens of lists. They are all entitled to make a buck. But, I don’t see Spencer Howard at 81, even if they are knocking him down some for health concerns.. I don’t think they are biased against us, just that they are wrong.

    1. Agree that Howard is better than that Zips ranking. At the same time the Zips ranking is probably considering his innings totals (for potential injury risk) and age versus level stats (remember he took the slow route through Lakewood so often pitched at a level where he was old for a top 100 prospect). Those are data items so Zips ranks him a bit lower than where his stuff likely merits. I will say the injury risk is real as it is with any pitcher that starts touching 100. One must ask if their body can handle it.

  7. Maybe I’m on a spring training sugar high … but … I can see the Phillies winning 90 games this season. The most important reasons for my optimism are:
    * Both the Braves and Nationals took huge hits to their lineups with the loss of their 2019 starting/All Star 3Bmen (Donaldson & Rendon).
    * Bryce Harper should hit the ground/season running. Last year, it probably took him the first few months to get settled in (both on the field and off).
    * There is no way Rhys Hoskins can have a second half like he did in 2019.
    * Their bench could be a lot better. Josh Harrison, Neil Walker, Logan Forsythe, and Matt Szczur will all give you professional AB’s (though there is a reason they all settled for non-roster spring training invitations).
    * Jake Arrieta and Didi Gregorius will be playing in walk years. Historically, guys tend to perform well when doing so for new contracts.
    * Most importantly, Bryan Price is a MAJOR UPGRADE over Chris Young. ICYMI (because I posted this a week or two ago) the Eflin/Velasquez/Pivetta trio saw major regressions after the switch from Rick Kranitz to Chris Young. It’s reasonable to believe Price can (at least) return those three to their 2018 selves.

    Eflin 2018 … 2.2 bWAR, 3.80 FIP
    Eflin 2019 … 1.5 bWAR, 4.85 FIP

    Velasquez 2018 … 1.9 bWAR, 3.75 FIP
    Velasquez 2019 … 0.1 bWAR, 5.21 FIP

    Pivetta 2018 … 2.3 bWAR, 3.79 FIP
    Pivetta 2019 … -0.5 bWAR, 5.47 FIP

    I didn’t even mention expectations for Alec Bohm and Spencer Howard, who could be the Phillies (cheaper) alternatives to trade deadline acquisitions.
    So … let’s hope for some good health (because this pitching staff does still lack depth) and a long over due playoff berth in 2020!

    1. I admire your optimism Hinkie! Just regression to 2018 for those 3 and you’ve gained back over 5 wins over replacement. If you consider zero ups or downs from the rest of the team, or, all things considered ups and downs net out to zero overall impact, that alone would boost the team from 81 to 86 wins. I think its a bit much to expect all 3 but even just 2 of them would be 2.5-3.5 addl wins, which is probably more in the realm of possibility. Add in add’l positivism from Wheeler and Didi, getting to 90 isn’t all that farffetched.

      1. As a start….9-10 vs the Marlins in 2019….turn that into something like 13-6 like the Mets did to them or the Braves or Nats @ 15-4…. and that will help.

      1. Oh yeah, it’s possible, if the right guys improve, other guys stay healthy and are productive and if one of or more of the very young players or rookies steps up – sure they could win 90 games.

  8. ‘Tis the (college baseball) season! Most teams kicked off their schedules this weekend. Here are a few notes:

    * The kid who led the nation in hitting last season got off to a spectacular start in 2020. New Mexico State 2Bman Nick Gonzales slashed .432/.532/.773 in 2019. In a four game series vs Texas Southern this weekend, Gonzales went berserk, going 8 for 14, 6 BB’s, 2 HBP’s, 2 doubles, 4 HR’s, 17 RBI’s.

    Arkansas’ Heston Kjerstad is another guy who had a big opening weekend. The Hogs’ RF’er went 7 for 11, 2 BB’s, 4 HR’s, 6 R, 10 RBI’s in a sweep of Eastern Illinois.

    And Arizona State slugger Spencer Torkelson picked up where he left off in 2019. The Sun Devil 1Bman slashed .351/.446/.707 last season. in four games vs. Villanova and Michigan this weekend, Torkelson went 3 for 9, 8 BB’s, 2 HR’s.

    All three of the above will almost certainly be gone before the Phillies pick at 1-15 this June. One kid who could be available is former prep standout/current UCLA OF’er Garrett Mitchell. Mitchell went 3 for 8, 4 BB’s, 3 HBP’s, 1 double, 2 SB’s, 4 R’s vs UC Riverside.

    1. The 2020 draft has been hyped for it’s glut of college pitching. Here is a quick recap for some of the top prospects:

      Asa Lacy … the Texas A&M LHP threw 6 innings. He allowed 1 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 8 K in a win over Miami (Ohio).
      Reid Detmers … the Louisville LHP went 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 9 K in beating Ole Miss.
      Max Meyer … a former teammate of Brett Schulze at Univ of Minnesota has a good chance to go in the first round of this year’s draft. The Golden Gopher RHP totaled 5 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 7 K vs Oregon.
      Florida St RHP CJ Van Eyk went 5 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 8 K against Niagra.
      Chris McMahon (West Chester, PA) had a strong opening outing for the U of Miami. The hard throwing RHP totaled 6 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 1 BB, 9 K.
      Georgia’s Cole Wilcox threw 95-97 MPH and went 5 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 8 K vs Richmond.
      Emerson Hanco@k (gotta spell it that way to avoid the site blocking it) is a candidate to go 1-1. He faltered in his season debut going 4 IP, 6 R, 9 H, 1 BB, 4 K against Richmond.
      JT Ginn is a former LAD first round pick who chose to pitch for Mississippi State. The soph eligible RHP got 2020 off to a slow start by totaling 3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 K in a win vs Wright State.

      IMO … Hanco@k and Lacy will never make it to the Phillies at 1-15. Ginn and Detmers are probably the two best college arms with maybe the possibility of making it to the Phillies pick.

        1. Romus … Crochet for some reason (injury?) didn’t throw at all this weekend. I did see him pitch on a few occasions last season. He was 95-98 out of the BP, but mostly 91-93 as a starter. He gets most of his K’s with his CB. Crochet is tall and still has some room to fill out. He’s another guy who could be available at 1-15.

          1. Last year he caught a line drive to his jaw and needed surgery……but came back within three weeks to pitch again….so he has some toughness going for him.

            1. Romus … I did some research on Garrett Crochet. He won’t throw for at least the first three weeks of the season. Tennessee manager describes “general soreness” as the reason. However, it’s being speculated Crochet has been experiencing shoulder soreness. As I mentioned above, he was mid to upper 90’s out of the pen early in 2019. He then transferred to the Volunteers rotation later and sat (only) low 90’s (91-93). Sometime in the fall, he had a velo spike (some reports he was hitting 100). It’s possible he was straining his shoulder by throwing harder.
              This injury should almost guarantee he lasts until 1-15 (if the Phillies are willing to gamble on his health).

              BTW … the Crochet story reminds me a whole lot of former Phillie draft pick Billy Sullivan. Johnny Almaraz took him in the 28th round in 2017. Sullivan is from Delaware and grew up a big Phillies (and Eagles) fan. Sullivan eventually decided to attend the University of Delaware. As a freshman, he totaled the second most K’s among first year pitchers in the nation. After that season, Sullivan attended a pitching camp designed to bump his velo. It worked. Sullivan was hitting 100!

              Sullivan ended up having TJ a few months after that post. He’s throwing again, but didn’t pitch for Delaware this weekend. I’m assuming he’ll make it back sometime this spring, and maybe get drafted again this June.

              BTW … that 2017 draft looks more impressive the more times passes.
              Adam Haseley (1st round) and Spencer Howard (2nd round) could be starters/big time contributors as early as this season. Connor Seabold (3rd) is a back end of the rotation candidate by next season. Jake Sheiner (4th) was traded to Seattle for Jay Bruce. Ethan Lindow (5th) was the Phillies Paul Owens award winner in 2019. Nick Maton (7th) is my #8 prospect, and has a real shot to contribute as a bench piece/PT starter. It’s not out of the question Austin Listi (17th) also gets a shot as a bench player, Connor Brogdon (10th), David Parkinson (12th), Zach Warren (14th), Kyle Dohy (16th), Damon Jones (18th), Addison Russ (19th), and jaKe the caKe (21st) are all BP options (or even rotation options in a couple of cases). Ben Brown (33rd) had been very impressive pre-TJ. And Johnny A picked, but failed to sign Shane Drohan (23rd), Billy Sullivan (28th), Kyle Hurt (34th), and Edouard Julien (37th) … all of those four had/are having success in the NCAA.

              Kyle Hurt opened the season for USC last Frida night, and went 3IP, 1 R, 1 H, 3 BB, 6 K in a win vs Western Michigan.

              Shane Drohan pitched 3.2 innings out of the pen for Florida State Saturday night. He totaled 1 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 5 K vs Niagra.

      1. I wouldn’t be so sure some of the college pitchers and hitters you like won’t be there for the Phillies.. Some MLB clubs have a preference for high school players no matter how good the college player who is available at that pick… The Dodgers and Pirates are big time high school draft teams

        1. Not sure about the Pirates…but the Dodgers’ last ten drafts…first round picks only…..6 have been HSers and 9 have been college guys…mostly arms.
          The HSers include Seager, Lux, Ginn(unsigned), Holmes, Valentin (traded to the Phillies), Zach Lee.
          So the Dodgers in their first pick seem to lean college…especially the last 4/5 years.
          They hit big on Hsers after the first round…..Bellinger, Verdugo and Joc Peterson

          1. My thinking was the first few rounds they mostly they go high school kids then go college later rounds for the value and feel that they know what their getting as a floor.

  9. Hinkie, I applaud your optimism. I have no issue with any of the points you made, and I think Rhys, in particular, has a real good year. My big concern is the BP. I don’t know that there is sufficient raw material for Bryan Price to turn into gems.

    1. matt13…the Phillies do have some real live BP arms at Reading and LHV…perhaps a few 2018 Seranthony break-thru candidates.
      Someone like Connor Brogdon could be that guy..

        1. Yes Mauricio LLovera is a prime example of a guy who could be that break our reliever….even Edgar Garcia.

          1. I like Edgar Garcia than Llovera. Garcia can get batters out with both hi FB and SL. Llovera throws harder than Garcia but his FB is too straight. Llovera main advantage is his ability to throw multi innings.

            1. Garcia has the best pitch in the system but his problem is throwing strikes. If he can throw strikes, he’ll have a nice future. The Phils really do have a host of arms who could step up and become solid major league pen arms. Competition could become fierce. It’s a good problem to be sure.

            2. @murray – Edgar Garcia’s control and command of his pitches going up the minors are decent – not very good or elite but not bad either. Like most of the young arms, Edgar Garcia did not pitch to his best due to the “one size fits all” approach implemented by CY last year. In some of the games I saw Edgar Garcia pitch last year, he threw the SL early in the count and he also threw his FB high —- 2 signature CY thing.

              If Price will work with Garcia’s strengths – basically thrown FBs on both sides of the plate to set up his filthy SL for an out — we will see a better BB/9 and overall numbers from Edgar Garcia.

              Yacksel Rios was DFAd last season to accommodate one of the journeymen last season. Price can probably do wonders with Rios who improved his FB to high 90s and possess a very good SL.

      1. It would be really nice if a guy Connor Seabold could develop into a really solid 3/4. We are going to need guys like that to step up to make sure the team can stay competitive as payroll for stars begins to rise.

        1. Agree…..he developed a new modify change-up grip during his injury time off…..and after he came back from injury last season he then took off from there.
          Like to see him do well at LHV this season.

        2. @catch – my hope is that Seabold develops into a Kyle Hendricks — a good sized RHP who can handle good amount of innings (6 IP and above) – throws and command a 92-94 FB, a workable breaking ball but with a bat missing CU.

          1. Hendricks is a bit of a unicorn as he tops out at 88-90 – he’s just difficult for hitters to pick up. Maybe Seabold can become a Mike Leake type. A 2-3 WAR pitcher at the back of a rotation is very valuable.

  10. Interesting tidbit from Eric Longenhagen on Julian Garcia:

    “Take Phillies righty Julian Garcia, for instance. In the days of yore, Garcia’s statistical performance would have caused me to ask scouts about him, the scouts would’ve told me his fastball sits 87-90, and that would’ve severely damaged his ability to make the Phillies list. At his age and level and with a fastball at that velocity, he’d be a low-priority topic on a call with a scout with limited time to chat.

    But Garcia’s pitch data makes him very interesting. His fastball spins at 2700 rpm on average, which is incredible on its own but especially amazing at his velocity. It’s freaky enough to do more digging. And yes, scouts like Garcia as a pitchability depth starter. He has a deceptive overhand delivery, his changeup and curveball dovetail nicely, and he throws strikes. He gets a 35+ FV designation, a player who’s still fairly likely to be an upper-level depth arm but who has a characteristic that is rare or unique or special in some way, perhaps giving him a chance to be more.”

    https://blogs.fangraphs.com/more-data-more-prospects/

    1. Phillies will seem to fit this mold to a Tee….drafting more of those hi-velo relievers in the top ten rounds over the last two drafts.

      ” For example, there is a great big bubble of relievers of roughly the same quality who are constantly being shuttled back and forth from Triple-A to MLB while they have option years remaining. Pre-arb relievers with option years remaining are less expensive and make it less likely that your bullpen gets overtaxed since you’re constantly cycling them to and from the minors. Once they hit arbitration and/or are out of options, it’s sink or swim. At that point they’ve either seized a permanent roster spot with their current club, or they get traded to a motivated team for which they represent an upgrade to current relievers, or they become DFA hot potatoes.”

  11. Just heard from a friend….is it true Segura arrived in camp minus 15 pounds? If so, an average .300+ season from him would be huge for this lineup. In a clubhouse of solid citizens, he might feel the urgency to step up as well.

      1. After reading the article on Segura, it sounds like he was hung out to dry and not given much support by coaches or teammates (I’m reading between the lines here) after the McCutchen injury.

        1. There was a lot negative media after Cutch went down and Segura became the target.
          I remember Kapler going on the radio having to answer questions about Segura’s hustling….or lack of it..on that play and at other instances earlier..
          Segura seem to have remorse himself.
          Maybe the trimmer physique will work out for the better for everyone.

          1. I warned you against wearing those tight toe boxes and high heels. I just knew it would aggravate your plantar nerve. Next time listen to me.😎

  12. All good points guys on possible BP arms who could step up. I read that Segura article. He seems to have really taken the Cutch injury to heart, acknowledged his lack of hustle on that play, and seemed to be genuinely remorseful. I have to give him credit for coming to camp in really good shape, and I have to believe he is motivated to have a good season. He is also very friendly with Cutch, whose whole presence brings so much to the team. And, we don’t have to be reminded of the awful performances by all of the lead off hitters who tried to replace Cutch. I grant that we have a lot to be hopeful about. I am looking forward to the ST games.

    1. We have to stop measuring everyone by the Utley standard. Segura may not be exactly who we want him to be, but he’s a good player and it looks like he’s trying his best to fit in with his teammates, do as the team requests, be in shape and produce. I’ll take that any day.

      1. Maybe both Segura and Odubel had career-changing experiences and approach 2020 as new men.

        I’m reminded of the adjutant general of the Delaware National Guard who noted that he had dealt with young men throughout his career and observed that some mature at a young age and others take much longer but they all mature. Maybe this is the year for Segura and Herrera.

        1. Odubel has (or had – we’ll see) enough raw talent to compete for a batting title and an MVP. His eye-hand coordination is otherworldly. He’s probably the odd man out, but when he’s fit and focused, he can freaking play.

          1. Odubel has no plate discipline. He’s very streaky. And the only streak he’s been on over the last two seasons has been a very cold one.

            1. Odubel has had no personal discipline and no coherent approach. A few years ago (2016), Odubel decided to take pitches and, low and behold, he drew walks. Very few players have the talent to turn on plate discipline, but I believe Odubel does (or did). He just has to get his head screwed on right, be in shape and be consistent and disciplined. Hopefully, his physical skills have not deteriorated to the point where he’s beyond saving as a player.

  13. It may not be so etched in stone that Segura is a 2d and Kingery at 3B. Working Segura at 3B and JoeG said he is doing very well coming in on bunts and his arm works well. Still those in the organization who would like Kingery to be the every day 2B, so maybe, it works out that way. I know Segura doesn’t “profile” as the HR hitting 3B we like, but, there should be enough power on the team, I hope! I believe Kingery is a future GG 2B. Just one of a long list of things to see develop during camp..

    1. Kingery at 2b would be the ideal situation. Neither he nor Segura profile as your ideal 3b. Since Kingery figures to more likely be a Phillie over the long haul than Segura, it makes sense to me for the latter to hold down 3b until Bohm arrives. God forbid, but injuries are an inevitable reality. I would hope the Phillies at least give Bohm some reps in LF in case Cutch isn’t ready or near 100%. The rookie in Atlanta (name escapes me) was ticketed to be their 3b but instead manned LF much of 2019. These apparent roster log jams have a way of working themselves out. But let’s keep our players at their premium position as much as we can. I dream on watching Jetpax making diving grabs along the shallow RF line, or turning the double play pivot like clockwork. No more square pegs in round holes if we can avoid, please?

      1. 8mark…Austin Riley is who you were referring to in Atlanta.
        Though Segura has never played third in his career….he has to be at least serviceable over there….most MLB shortstops can handle third to some degree.
        He will probably be only holding it down until Bohm is ready to come up and step in.

      2. Camargo played 3B in 2018 (.272, 19 HR) and was displaced by Donaldson in 2019. Camargo struggled in 2019 (.233, 7 HR) playing all over the field (1B, 2B, SS, 3B, LF, RF). He saw his playing time cut in half from 464 ABs to 232 ABs; starts from 125 (105 at 3B) to 46 (21 at SS, 13 in the OF). Proving that you don’t have to wear red pinstripes to screw up a young player.

    1. That could be an issue of a sticky substance…..umpires will begin ejecting pitchers since the commissioner decided that no retaliation will occur against Astro players.
      There may not be any warnings…..now opposing pitchers will be on the defensive in their pitches, and will try to avoid inside pitching.
      What a real mess….plays into the Astro hitters hands.

      1. Yes, the cheaters go unpunished (amazing – I’ve never seen anything like it), get to keep their money and their trophies and now they are protected from retaliation. It’s mind boggling.

          1. I actually don’t like what Manfred did — this might result to Astros getting better pitches to his since some pitchers might be concerned to throw inside as this can be interpreted as retaliation resulting to their suspension.

            1. Exactly.
              Have to see at the beginning of the season….if the first few games the Stros’ hitters start getting hit…..then the umps will come down hard on the pitchers as mandated by the league.
              Then before you know it….a bench clearing ‘hockey game’ could break out

              I have never seen players turn on other players like what is happening now….even Mike Trout has come out hard against what they did.
              And that is very meaningful.
              The steroid era saw some of this backlash against the abusers, but it seemed very tempered.

        1. The 2017 Astros World Series needs to be vacated… I believe the anger would subside in the baseball community if the Commissioner which I believe has the power to do; vacates the title. Sports fans just feel like the Astros got off too easy. I’m not saying give it to the Dodgers just leave it blank for 2017..

          1. Totally agree. Let the punishment fit the crime. I Don’t think a fine and lost of draft choice is punishment enough, I don’t think any team wouldn’t pay a fine and lose some draft choice to get a title.

            1. rocco……not sure they will ever do that……when records still exist…Bonds HR king….and he was obviously juicing, along with the other players who smashed offensive records, then I do not think they will vacate the Astros; championship.
              The cheaters’ accomplishments are still on the history books,

              But agree they should vacate..

    1. it was reported that two astros said McCann did go to Beltran and asked him to stop at one point, but was ignored, fwiw.

  14. Saturday is the first Grapefruit League game, and it should be a fun Spring watching all of the developments we have with the team. Pivetta gets the ball in game 1.

  15. I believe the Astros should have their 2017 title vacated. Reason being, to leave it be makes it as legitimate as any other championship….which it clearly was not. The Dodgers should not be named champions, because no team wants to have it under those circumstances. Hey, history is full of ignominy. The 1919 Black Sox cheated….to lose, but for the financial gain of 8 players. Judge Landis came down with his verdict, and hard, costing Shoeless Joe Jackson baseball’s ultimate glory in Cooperstown. Jackson was deemed by many to have been non-compliant with his co-conspirators, but his knowledge of the fix alone was enough to permanently evict him from professional baseball. Manfred is merely a political go between whose half measures in this case will water down any legacy he might hope to leave. We can argue over what’s right, but the hypocrisy and indecision is sad. In any case, the Houston Astros will not enjoy the 2020 season, especially on the road, in the least. That may have to suffice, unfortunately.

    1. I was personally 100% against it. But after the last week of terrible apologies from the organization at the ownership level & the player level have changed my mind.

      They learned nothing from this experience. They are arrogant. Take the banner down and melt the rings. That stops the conversation. The Astros can’t claim their 2017 title was legitimate and the players they cheated out of a ring can finally say justice was done.

  16. It really will be interesting to see the difference that Bryan Price can bring. It sure seems that Chris Young tried his one type fits all method of pitching and it really was tough for guys to try to pitch that way. Now all I hear is low and away rather than high fastballs and I’m getting excited because that’s how we all learned how to pitch. I thought Arrieta’s comments were spot on. Pivetta will start things off on Saturday and try to show what he’s worked on. I love his arm, let’s hope. Vinnie to the pen has always been the sound move but Pivetta has to win the 5th spot for it to happen.

  17. Agree that the 2017 title should have been vacated but I do expect the Astro’s players to have a very long 2020 season, both from crowds on the road and among the players from other teams.

    Also, their star players will be under immense pressure to put up comparable numbers or the media drumbeat will become louder and louder about how their previous performance was bogus..

    Expect to see them involved in a few bench clearing incidents…

    1. I was thinking about this Astro mess and the thought crossed my mind that it is a very long season, even when things are going well. If the fan and peer displeasure is intense and endures for the season it might be desirable, if your an Astro to be traded and to re-establish your identity.

      1. Jim…that is another issue…..their main players…Altuve, Bregman, Springer et al….not that the Astros would ever think of trading them, but, they cannot afford to be traded….they may not be welcomed with another team.
        That stigma will endure for their careers now.

  18. 1a) Pivetta
    1b) Hoskins
    3) Seranthony
    4) McCutchen
    5) Arrieta
    6) Quinn

    The proper coaching for 1a and 1b, and health for 3 thru 6 could make the difference between a playoff berth and playing golf in October, assuming no major acquisitions are made by the deadline.

    I do believe Segura will rebound.

    I do believe Eflin is a legitimate breakout candidate, especially under Bryan Price’s tutelage.

    I do believe Girardi will turn the clubhouse culture into an environment for success.

  19. Something Manfred said last night that changed my mind on player discipline and Eric Byrnes echoed the sentiment.

    The union fought any measure of discipline so if the players are PO’d about it they only need to look in the mirror or at Tony Clark.

    Personally I roll my eyes at the false outrage. Everything they say is counter intuitive to what they do. That said everyone loves a scandal and the BBWA is having a field day with their mics in the face of any player willing to talk on the subject.

    Fans and non-Astros players bare some culpability in this as well. After all they clamored for replay, they clamored for more video, for higher definition TV why all the surprise when the lines for good became blurred and it evolved into maleficent behavior.

    It’s good for ratings it’s good for clicks. I refuse to feed into it any further.

    1. For me, I don’t understand why teams need to have live video feeds for instant replay and I never have.

      It’s a bang bang call for the umpire it should be a bang bang call for the coaching staff to decide whether they want to review it or not. You think the umpire was wrong? Throw your challenge and if you’re wrong move on.

      For me beyond the pitching changes I HATE how slow the game gets any time there’s a questionable call on the field.

      Lock the video rooms down and if you really need to review every close play before calling it move it out of the dugout and into a booth somewhere in the stadium the players don’t have access to.

    2. Don’t buy the argument that other teams/fans are partly to blame for the Astros abusing the technology. No different than trying to argue that because we are now able to do our banking electronically, it’s our fault hackers exist.

      I’m not a fan of replay overall but to make the argument that giving teams the ability to use technology as part of the process mitigates the Astros responsibility for their own actions..

    1. Klentak really took his sand shovel, dug deep and is now pouring it through the strainer, hoping for a prize or two.

      1. Yea, he went from signing high priced veteran relievers to collecting as many arms as possible in the hopes that a few of them have good years.

        Suppose if plan B didn’t work, he’s trying plan B

          1. Just hope any plan he chooses….the pitchers stay healthy.
            Not that they were all lousy performers….they just seem to all break down at some point.

  20. 8mark, I also think the acquisitions of Wheeler, who is a legit #2 and Didi, who is a bona fide Major league hitter, and who will add pop from SS, are 2 big reasons to be excited. Your list, and the development of quality BP arms out of the quantity that we have are what will be my focus this ST.

  21. 2020 might be the year that the Phillies will finally benefit from the farm — Bohm, Howard, Medina and a stock pile of bullpen arms (particularly LHP) can provide the needed depth, energy and fresh blood into the team.

    I’m glad that Arrieta and Nola spoke about Chris Young as this might serve as a good reference to people who view analytics as the holy grail. The problem with the Phillies use of analytics last year was not analytics itself — it’s mainly “people” problem —- people like CY who took analytics at face value and blanket-ly applied it to all. As I posted number of times before, I’m not against analytics, my issue is the abuse and misuse of data and statistics. Numbers don’t lie but it can deceive if used improperly.

    I’m looking forward to see Nola pitch at his normal phase (changing speeds and hitting his spots) setting up his CB and CU for a K. Similar with Eflin who can possibly bounce back this year especially if he can find a workable breaking ball and get his confidence back in using his CU. Everybody’s punching bags Pivetta and Vinny might bounce back too. Pivetta to me looked like clueless in the mound — a sign that he is confused, thus, lacked confidence in throwing his best pitch.

    Without the one-size fits all approach, Nola, Eflin, Pivetta and Vinny will start to pitching their out pitch, but rather, they can set it up to get batters out.

    1. I’ve never viewed analytics as the holy grail for pitching or hitting coaches. So much of it is comfort, routine and confidence. One of the best ever was Johnny Podres who pumped his pitchers up constantly (he always walked to the mound and told the pitchers they had great stuff) and gave them all the confidence they needed.

      I thought Kranitz was an excellent coach and said so here many times. But for reasons that I don’t understand Kapler chose Young and chose incorrectly and it helped cost him his job.

      1. I like Kranitz too. Most of the young arms including the likes of Yacksel Rios, Austin Davis, etc showed tremendous improvement under his watch. Kapler appeal to Klentak is his adherence to implement a analytics based approach. Kapler got burned by blindly using analytics resulting to questionable decisions so he probably thought and an analytics guru CY can help interpret and implement the data better. This sounds logical but the underestimated the importance of lack of experience – an experience that Kranitz had over CY.

        Data and statistics in the hands of 2 inexperienced coaches (Kapler and CY) proved fatal to the demise of the Phillies last year.

  22. My question is…How could Kapler & CY be so stupid? And…how could Klentax let it happen ALL year? Were they trying to play video games with people?

    It doesn’t make sense at all.

    1. @Barf – this is not surprising. This is the generation of data and analytics. As I posted earlier, data and analytics are not the problem — but it’s the people who believed (Kapler, CY and Klentak) that using data and analytics to a fault is the “right way”, thus, they implemented this without hesitation. This is a logical approach, however, it needs the “right” skill and experience to get the expected outcome. Both Kapler and CY lacks the experience and Klentak lacks the skill to guide both his disciples.

      1. Analytics is both a science and an art.
        The science , the data and statistical gathering is superb with the technology now at an organization’s disposal.
        The art…..the translation of the data from paper to the human side…the player.
        I think in Sam Fuld the Phillies have, as considered by many, as one of the best.
        This is his 5th year coming up.
        His job description highlights a very critical part of his duties..maybe the most critical:
        “integrate the use of information in all areas of on-field performance and preparation and make recommendations regarding the most effective areas of future research and analysis”

        The players seem to like and appreciate what he does for them.
        Somehow last season…that message must have got muddled and distorted, especially for the pitchers, based on the latest comments from Jake Arrieta…and also from Zach Eflin last August.

  23. My early spring guess for the pitching staff:

    Rotation – Nola, Wheeler, Arrieta, Eflin and Pivetta with Suarez as swing/long man and Howard arriving sometime in July.

    Bullpen – Alvarez, Dominguez, Morgan, Neris, Velasquez, Hunter, Stock or Swarzak, Liriano, with Arano standing by in AAA. Of course, injuries are inevitable. We’ll be seeing the Dohy’s and Brogdon’s throughout the course of 2020, I’m sure.

    1. @8mark – my prediction is almost the same although I’m not sure how may RPs you are predicting in the 26-man and how many vets will be added. Also, if Vinny wins the 5th SP over Pivetta, it means another bullpen slot since Pivetta is better off pitching as a SP in LHV.

      With Hunter in, only one of Parker or Swarzak might make it. If Liriano pitched well and added, then Ranger will start in LHV.

        1. @8mark – I understand the injury risk and like I said my prediction is similar to yours except for Ranger and Stock.

          For Ranger – he is still young so the Phillies might still want to develop him as a SP and let him start in LHV as a LHP. If the Phillies need a LH pen arm, Irvin might get the call. Irvin pitched better in the pen and he might follow the Adam Morgan way and hopefully see an improvement in his stuff.

          Stock – he really needs to out pitch not only Arano and other young RHP, but particularly the veteran NRIs. I really like the possibility of Blake Parker impressing at the camp and providing veteran stability to the bullpen and relieve that choker of a closer Hector Neris.

          1. Kuko, I’m not a big Neris fan – especially as a closer – but if Blake Parker is our plan B in that role….yeesh!

            1. @8mark – i think Seranthony (if he’s 100% healthy) will regain the closer role at some point in 2020. the Phillies cannot afford to have Neris closing as he is a choker against better teams. The Phillies need to start developing Seranthony into that role.

  24. I haven’t seen an opinion poll on how fans view the Astros, and a lot has been said on this site on the issue, but for the sake of sharing another opinion:

    1. Vacate the 2017 World Series title

    2. Hire a respected third party to investigate the 2019 buzzer allegation and be transparent in releasing the results.

    3. Issue a policy that any future violations will result in full-year suspensions of any and all involved, from players through top management, and let the players association sue if it wants the public relations black eye of doing so.

    4. Lock the video room during the game.

    1. Totally agree on 1, 3 and 4. The Altuve grand slam debacle was embarrassing in and of itself. And it’s over. Players will not be penalized now after the fact that there was an agreement prior to the findings. It was both unnecessary and unfortunate. But both MLB and the players union need to get their respective sh!t together.

    2. Frank.
      For all the heat and discord going on over the Astros cheating…..their record splits belie their nefarious efforts .
      Astros Home/Away Spltts…2017-2019
      2017:
      Home-48-33
      Away-53-28
      2018:
      Home-46-35
      Away–57-24
      2019:
      Home-60-21
      Away- 47-34

      Except for last year…they played better on the road (’17 and ’18)….for the two years they may have utilized that system…go figure.

      1. They pitched much better on the road in 2017 but they did also hit for a higher OPS .812/.834 on the road…

        1. However, when it comes to cheating…as having an advantage…it would probably only apply to the Astros when they hit…knowing the pitch being thrown.
          And since , from what I read, it was easier to employ their system at Minute Maid…unless they brought their own aluminum/metal trash cans on the road,
          It would stand to reason their offensive production at home would far outweigh their opponents and elevate their win totals at Minute Maid.

          Nevertheless…..there is no published record how often they did their misdeeds. For all we know it could have only been a handful of times in the most critical games..

  25. I see the Blue Jays and now the Cubs aren’t waiting for 2021 to raise salaries by 50% for their minor leaguers.. Hello Phillies, any of that stupid money left around our minor leaguers?

  26. I’m not discussing the cheating anymore. It’s baseball time! I love that Bryan Price is starting with “low and away”. I’m very excited to see how these pitchers look starting Saturday. We have so many arms in camp, I don’t know how all will get work in. I’m also excited to see how our AAA arms look. Brogden, Jones, JoJo, Dohy, etc. Let’s go!!!

  27. Any word on JTs arb case?
    As soon as i know he’s locked in on an extension I plan I’m buying his shirt to rep the OK kid!

  28. Best time of the year … lol I get to “surprise” the wifey & kids with a “Do you know what day this Sunday is?” question …. Its Baseball is back day (TV wise)! Yes, in short time, baseball will be on just about everyday until the end of September … possibly longer this year! bwhahahhahah

    As you may of guessed, I’m the only baseball fan in the family, so far.

  29. Have to wonder if Bryan Price is trying to make a case for bringing in LHP reliever Tony Cingrani….he had in Cincy when he was healthy and before the trade to the Dodgers.
    He was out all last year.

    1. @romus – i like Cingrani – I actually brought up his name and a couple other low 30s pitchers a while back. Cingrani, if healthy, will check a lot of boxes in the Phillies must have list.

        1. @romus – thanks for remembering me. You are a true friend…here’s another another thing…my daughter’s birthday is April 5th — Kurt’s death anniversary…
          I’m not joking and I can prove it …

      1. Cingrani, if healthy would be a nice addition out of the BP…..but wondering had the shoulder is doing…very tricky for pitchers..

    1. Great article Romus. I’ve brought it up several times and it still confounds me that they would use a ball so different. It really doesn’t make sense to me on any level.

      1. DMAR…..$$$$
        More offense means more excitement and fan thrill and enjoyment.
        Plus….making them in Costa Rico under the Rawlings label, though owned by MLB now, is pretty cheap labor….average cost of a dozen baseballs is $72.00. That means MLB is spending around $5.5M per annum baseballs alone…and it is a lot cheaper being made down there then in the states.

    2. I think that’s great, but you want to know what irks me?

      Every year, we read articles about things Phillies players have done to advance their career. It seems, almost without fail, that the source of these improvements are almost always some third party source or third party training facility. It is virtually never something that the player learned playing in our system or from something one of our coaches did. This bothers me quite a bit.

  30. We saw how poorly our leadoff hitters did last year after Cutch went down. I don’t want to rush him, and I would like to make sure he is here for the last 140 or so games, but I am still not comfortable with any of our Plan B options to leadoff if we bring him along slowly. Does anyone have any suggestions? A Healthy Roman Quinn, but that has become an oxymoron, DiDi, JTR?

    1. Don’t be surprised to see Harper at the top of the lineup if Cutch isn’t ready to go at the outset. His plate discipline makes him a logical option….but no, not ideal.

      1. ….but since it’s likely Quinn will be starting if Cutch is out, then I would probably lean toward him to at least maximize his speed.

        1. Bruce will most definitely be starting if Cutch is not ready. In that event, I could see Kingery or Haseley leading off. Or Quinn of course if healthy after a great spring.

    2. Haseley consistently had a high OBP throughout his college (404) and MiLB (360) seasons. Haseley IMO would be someone that could potentially fill that role and I think it would allow him to settle in and see many more good pitches to hit with the lumber stacked up behind him instead of a pitcher.

      You either believe he is the player you drafted 8th overall or you don’t.

      1. Agree…Haseley can be the guy iMO.
        His whole career delta of BB to K rate is plus….so he makes contact and with the inside swing he can spray the ball….and he does seem to have more pop than someone like a Ben Revere.

      2. DMAR, and to remain consistent with your point, Bohm is another candidate when he arrives, if there is no better leadoff option, perhaps much more so than Haseley.

        1. Looking at a few of Joes LU’s from 2017 he seemed to like Gardner at lead off and Didi 5th.

          @KuKo we’ve been through this a hundred times. Haseley’s splits throughout the MiLB against lefties were solid. If we want to sit around and judge a kid on a few hundred PA’s in the MLB hitting 8th in the LU I guess we can do that.

          Like I said this FO drafted him 8th overall for his hit tool

          Bohm IMO would be a great 2 hole hitter. Bat him right in front of BH and he could do some serious damage.

          1. @DMAR – I’m actually supportive of Haseley. But it’s “Go Time” for the Phillies now. Regardless of what Haseley did in college or minors, if he can’t produce in the majors, then he goes down the batting order. I understand that Haseley is young and still need time to develop, but until he can consistently hit and go on base, he hits where his performance dictates him —- and this also applies to Kingery who I supported since he was drafted.

            Haseley and Kingery down in the batting might provide some production that can continue to move the chain. But as of now, I prefer to see the proven bats hit in the critical batting order spots and let the younger bats prove that they are the better option.

            1. I mean yeah I get what you are saying I’m just debating that its not how other more successful orgs do it. If you have a young player you believe in specifically a player you believe can hit burying him in the 8 hole is not productive

              Let’s take a look at Benintendi for instance in 2016. Not ideal because the AL has the DH but it has been said around here he is a pretty good comp for Adam

              Batting 8 21 PA’s 188/381/586 OPS
              Batting 9 92 PA’s 333/374/933 OPS

              That year he had one game where he hit 2nd and one where he hit 5th. Guess who hit lead off for the BoSox that year yep Mookie Betts.

              2017 he started 143 games 43% in the 2 hole, 29% in the 3 hole, 12% in the 4 hole and the rest were 5th, 6th or 7th.

              Ozzie Albies is another good young player brought up and put right into the fire. Batting 8-294 OBP, batting 2-364

              Take it for what its worth and what harm would come from trying him there in ST.

      3. Haseley will need to prove that he can hit both RH and LH before he moves from #7/#8 to lead off and this also applies to Kingery. Quinn is ideal because of his speed and ability to hit on both sides — although there’s a big “CAUTION: FRAGILE” sign written all over him.

    3. The two players that I believe are keys to a successful season are Roman Quinn and Jake Arrieta. A healthy Quinn will lead to more runs scored in the lineup over Haseley and having a good number 3 starter in the rotation elevates this pitching staff from mediocre to good.

  31. Can I say how incredibly excited I am that RAJ is going to be a part of the pre and post game analysis. Probably just me and Catch.

    I’ve never hid my bias toward the Amaros. I got to know his brother Dave quite well when my wife took a job in the same office building as I in the late 90’s and Dave just so happened to be an executive at that company and my wife’s boss.

    Once we met in the common area and he found out how much I loved baseball he invited me into his office. He was so proud of his father and brother and low and behold he had a couple of young sons my sons age playing ball in another competitive league. We hit it off as they say.

    He must have given my family tickets to several games over the course of a couple of seasons and then finally when our boys started to go head to head I got to meet RAJ a handful of times. RAJ would come see his nephews play as often as he could. He was incredibly gracious and down to earth. Simply a genuine baseball guy.

    Welcome back!

    1. Haha – I don’t think RAJ is a bad guy (he’s been such a good sport with the Goldbergs TV show – appearing as his dad), I just don’t think he was good as a GM. I don’t care if he’s involved in the pre or post-game analysis.

      1. … and in Ruben’s final year, he drafted his nephew (Andrew) in the 35th round.
        As a matter of fact, Ruben went all out nepotism on day three of that 2015 draft. He also took Beau Brundage (son of Dave) in the 38th round, Griffin Morandini (Mickey’s son) in the 38th round, and Tommy McCarthy (TMac’s kid) in the 40th round. Four wasted draft picks.

    2. I only bash RAJ for being a smug and a bad GM. If I have the riches of the upper class, I will be nicest person in the world ever.

    3. I generally like Reuben BUT as an analyst, how critical will he be when he may have his “next job” in the back of his mind? Besides, he won’t approach anywhere near Ricky Bo in brutal honesty. Smugness? Perhaps.

    4. RAJ is a hot button topic for most of us, personally I fall on the side of giving him more credit than most. Now that’s not to say he wasn’t without his faults. Overall, I can accept most of his decisions and understand the reasoning behind them whether I agree or not. The one that bugs me off course is the Lee trade. That’s the one I wish he could go back and change, if he could, I think it would rewrite history. That’s as far as I’ll go, but he does imo get more of the blame than he should.

      93 Phillies needed steroids, the 09-11 Phillies needed sign stealin to win … if you ain’t cheatin you ain’t trying 🙂

  32. Growing up, I always liked Ruben, Sr. He lived, for a while, in the Ballwyn Park section of Philly, and I met him and he signed a ball for me. He was a tremendous defensive SS. I could never really dislike his son, and thought a lot of the mistakes were inflicted by Management over him. Not making excuses for him, but I never truly disliked him, and I think he will do well as an analyst.

  33. Like us all, Ruben has his strengths and weaknesses professionally and as a person, but he’s been a Phillie going back to his dad so it’s good to see him come home.

  34. Phillies won the JTR arbitration case. Now it’s on to the extension. Word is outcome had no bearing on prospects for an extension.

    1. From what I read, both sides seemed to have a good prospective of the whole arbitration process. JTR basically said he was doing what he had to do for future players and he fully understood it was a business transaction. In the end, he said he would either be playing for $12M or $10M and was fine with that..

      1. Yeah…..he was happy either way…was just a formality.
        I am guessing they already have the groundworks laid out for the 2021-2024/2025 portion of his contract

  35. JTR wanted to set a new level for Cs, and he tried in Arb. So, now they have a baseline, but I think he wants to set a new bar for a LTC for a C. That is, I think, either Posey or Mauer. I don’t see how the Phils can let him go, but I no longer have faith that they will do whatever it takes to sign him. They may, but what I once thought of as a sure thing, is no longer for sure. Maybe faith is the wrong word. I am no longer certain that we sign him.

        1. 8mark…he is getting paid $10M this year, no matter what….the Phillies need that to happen for the CBT.
          Whatever the AAV is for 2021 thru 2024, with I assume an option for 2025, remains to be seen.

            1. Virtually all contracts anymore seem to have one of three options tagged onto them….be it either club, player or mutual.

        2. 8mark I think you’re light on years my friend…

          Grandal at 31 just got 4/$73. I think you’re on point with the AAV it might even be a little lower but I think its going to take 6-7 years.

          Which is well worth it if you can project health

          1. You can bet, he will be taking some turns at first base as he ages, along with the DH in play at that time..

          2. DMAR, I might be light on years but a lot depends on AAV. I don’t think he gets more than 6 yrs. He might agree to 6/$120 ($20M AAV), but 5/$115 ($23M AAV) leaves a $5M differential which could be accounted for by other terms in the deal. I think the Phillies would prefer to not be locked in for 6 years if they can up the AAV per 5, since we all know that AAV is the big number in terms of the CBT.

        3. I assume that would be an extension that starts next year. It’s really heavy on the back end for a 34 year old catcher (hate to tell you this, but most every day catchers are all but done at 33 or 34 – there are exceptions, but that’s how it generally goes), but if they want to put together a nice run, they will probably need him.

          1. What you say is true….for your prototypical catcher. Realmuto is an all around athlete – built to last, so to speak. However, my guess is that his last year or 2 of the contract will see him playing 1b, DH, corner OF. He’s mobile. The key is that he’s still productive offensively. We need to remember that he’s more than a catcher in the traditional profile of the position.

            1. And I don’t want to come across as if I am down on JTR he is a stud. I’m just of the mindset that overall its a risky position to devote a lot of payroll resources into.

            2. This isn’t about athleticism, it’s about the pounding and wear and tear that this position places on all catchers. By the time they are 33 or 34, they are typically replacement level players or done altogether – even the really athletic ones. And even if he could still hit at the same level (which is highly questionable), as a hitter, Realmuto would be very borderline and certainly not worth anywhere close to the amount he would be paid. We can wish away father time for catchers, but this is nothing new. If we are really, really lucky, at ages 33 and 34 and he’ll be 80 percent of the player he is now – perhaps a 3 WAR player – but it could be much worse.

            3. If you’re a back-up catcher, however, your career can last much longer – often into your mid to late 30s – simply because you’re not catching 120 games and beating the hell out of your body every year. And it’s sad to see – Buster Posey – who was one of the best players I’ve seen at any position – looks like he was all but done by age 32.

            4. I would draw a comparison between JTR and Mike Piazza. Piazza certainly proved to have the better hit tool overall, but is light years from being the catcher Realmuto is. We’re talking opinions here. Mine is that JTR’s body – barring a serious injury beyond normal wear and tear – will sustain him through his mid 30’s, albeit deployed in other defensive positions…while still serving as a playing coach for his backstop teammates.

            5. I’m just going by the numbers – he’s not a good enough hitter to be worth anything close to $23 million at a low end defensive position. I’m not saying they shouldn’t sign him through at 33 or 34 to get several peak years, I’m just being realistic that the last year or two will likely be a serious losing proposition.

          2. I do not think they can make it an extension, technically….since the total of every year’s AAV counts against the CBT.
            They may have to do two separate contracts….the arb one and then a separate LTC.
            Unless they are not concerned about busting the CBT….but so far they seem to be treating that like the plague, even though Andy MacPhail says they will bust it this year at some point.

    1. matt13…..IMO, JTR will be signing a LTC with the club.
      I just do not know when they can officially announce it.
      There may be some type of a MLBPA/CBA restriction on how long after an arb decision is made before the parties can make it official with a ‘tag’ on contract..

    2. @Matt – the Phillies gave up a couple of high upside young players to acquire JTR so they will make sure to make any effort to retain him long term. Hopefully, Harper (signing long term with no opt outs) will have some influence on JTR signing long term (5-6 years) with no opt outs also.

      By the way, there’s a young guy in the Phillies that I really like (see him in JTR mold) and hope to see in red pin stripes — I will not tag him as the catcher of the future until he is in the majors.

      1. KuKo…if you look at him batting…he looks like a clone of JTR.
        And his catching already is a defensive plus.
        Will be interested in seeing his pop-up times.

      2. KuKo…..if he can slash close to .287/.347/.454 @ LKW , as JTR did at Greensboro in his age20 season…then we can become more optimistic.
        Park Factors has Greensboro a better hitters park then FirstEnergy in Lakewood.
        So could be tough.

        1. @romus – you know that I like the guy since he was drafted. but i’ve been trying to contain my excitement about a prospect right now until they spend a lot of time in A+ and above. This also applies to Morales and Miller —- two potential high upside arms that I really like.

            1. Andrew Amaro?!? LoL!!!! I’m talking about Logan O’Hoppe. I’m not proclaiming that he can be like JTR, but O’Hoppe has the potential to be a 2-way backstop that can stick to the position for a while. Part of me believes that he is a legit Top 10 Phillies right now ahead of Moniak, Rojas and Seabold.

          1. KuKo…I, in the past, have tended to get overly excited when players perform great out of the GCL/Williamsport. It is that …Phillies have a “golden nugget’ coming up….and many times things fizzle out. So I need to temper my enthusiasm.

    3. I agree Matt everything I’ve read is that JT wants to set the bar for elite catchers and that’s a lot of offense we’d be relying on at a position notorious for getting banged up and on the DL.

      Good Luck MK

  36. This Fangraphs article, dated 2013, on aging catchers and their productivity may shed some light on the JTR situation.. a little more optimism as the end approaches on a LTC:

    https://blogs.fangraphs.com/catcher-aging-is-a-curve-not-a-cliff/

    “Good 34 year olds don’t regularly become bad 35 year olds. In general, you should expect players to decline at something like +0.5 per season. If they’re especially injury prone and their bodies are breaking down, limiting future playing time, maybe you knock off +0.75 WAR per season.”

      1. Unless he switches agents from CAA Sports to Boras Co…should be no worries on the Phillies meeting his demands.
        So keep him away from Bryce and Rhys for a few months!

  37. Watching MLB last night there’s this thing Pecota which I never really buy into and it seems so sure of itself on who is going to win each division. So I got to thinking about surprises. Who doesn’t love surprises. These are my surprise teams to upset their divisions

    DBacks-I love what Hazen has done with that club and their farm is on the rise. Watch for Seth Beer and Daulton Varsho.

    Reds-Luis Castillo could win a Cy Young, Moose, Suarez and Castellanos combined could hit 100+ HRS

    Mets-Deepest starting pitching in baseball and Diaz is not going to be as bad as he was last year. I hate to say it. That said this will be the tightest division in baseball.

    Angels-They have the best player in baseball now paired with Rendon and Maddon. Pundits will say they don’t have the pitching I say they won’t need it.

    White Sox-Another team that is going to be able to mash the baseball. Eloy, Luis Robert, Madrigal, Grandal oh my watch the ball fly.

    Red Sox-Yeah this might be the longest of shots but had to pick someone other than the Yankees and Rays. But if Bloom insisted on Verdugo for Betts I’m going to bet Verdugo is pretty darn good.

    1. Bloom is having a rough start to his new gig in Beantown:
      “Verdugo is dealing with a stress fracture in his back, and as a result, he’s unlikely to be in the Red Sox lineup against the Toronto Blue Jays for the March 26 Opening Day game at Rogers Centre”

      ….and the investigation outcome could bring more misery.

        1. Do not know.
          But if any teams challenge medical records…it is the red Sox…they have challenged two past Padre deals with them….and the Twins last month with that rookie pitcher…and there was one other that escapes me now.
          They are notorious in the medical challenges…..probably a reason teams are reluctant to deal with them. Under Bloom that may change

          1. If he were much older I think I would be concerned but I saw video of him yesterday up and running around and playing with Big Papi

    1. I believe it is usual and customary not to hear much or as often from Jim when he’s at the complex

      But when we do hear from him we will get some really good nuggets

  38. Phanatic with what seems like a “reboot”

    Gritty vs Phanatic

    Sounds like the a Phillies PR realized they can’t just coast along anymore, as imo, Gritty has overtaken the Phanatic in this town for top mascot. Time for him to step up

    1. Plus they have an ongoing legal battle with the original designers of the Phanatic in which the Phillies are trying to establish that their mascot is now theirs legally after 4 decades of investing, marketing and branding efforts. The 2 plaintiffs are trying to get the Phillies to pay them millions in exchange to forego their rights to it after 35 years (which began in 1984 when the Phillies bought the rights to the Phanatic). June 15 is the court date.

      1. 8mark, good recall. Will see how that shakes out, my guess is on the Phillies winning. They likely should throw some bones afterward they win the case, as a goodwill gesture.

        Imo, Gritty has over taken the Phanatic. Both are tops in their sport, but Gritty is pushing the envelope. Throwing the cheesesteaks at people/cars is down right hilarious for those who haven’t seen it.

          1. Lol … Rocco, I’d love to see you in a bar up north, arguing that hockey is not a sport, with a room full of guys who drink Molson. Let me know how that goes.

  39. In reference to JTR, that article, and others that I have read, indicate he wants the largest C contract. So, Posey and Mauer received 8 year deals. Mauer about $189M total. a shade under $23M/yr, and Posey about $22M/yr. Does anybody think we exceed those? I don’t. 6 years at $25M per, is $150M, and I am hard pressed to think we go that high. So, I think my concerns that we don’t sign him are valid. Losing him for a draft pick will be a huge hit to the team, and if we are in a Playoff race, we can’t trade him. So, all of the leverage is with JTR. Maybe he takes a shorter, 6yr?, term for a higher AAV, and says the bar for Cs is now higher, which means we are looking at a 6 year/$150M deal, if we are lucky.

    1. Realmuto has significant leverage in this case due to the fact that Klentak traded Sixto and Alfaro for him, and getting only 2 years of service for him would be an awfully bad look for this already much maligned front office. I say he gets 6 years, depending on how they structure the contract with regards to 2020. A 7th year might be a vested option. The MLB financial climate for Posey and Mauer was dramatically different than the one today, especially the length in years. However, look for a record AAV.

      1. JT Realmuto will be 30 when he’s a FA. Giving JT a 6 year deal is dicey at best and probably not going to happen. Why?

        All you have to do is look at Buster Posey. He has steadily declined to the point where at age 32, he posted a 0.9 WAR. And the Giants are still on the hook for 2 years, $44M + a $3 buyout.

        As for Joe Mauer, he stopped catching after age 30. He became a full time 1B/DH and his best WAR since then was 3.3 at age 34. Not bad, but he wasn’t doing it as a catcher.

        So Ideally I would give JT something like 4 years, $100M (with a buyout option for the 5th year.) He gets to be the highest paid catcher, and everybody is happy.

  40. Just so I’m clear, my concerns are what the team will do re: JTR’s desire to lift the bar for all future Cs. My position is that he is the best C in the game, and I pay him whatever it takes. And, when we got him, I thought the team would do the same. After this off season and the salary cap story that took over the conversation about the team, I am not so sure. Not re-signing him is a disaster, and I am not overstating it. It’s why I thought we should have never gone to Arbitration with him. Not that he is mad at the team, or making $10M, but the system that sets a separate market for Cs. So, this next LTC is his chance to match his production against players who play other positions, and get paid accordingly, not less because he is a Catcher.

  41. The beauty of this forum is that you guys are all super intelligent and I’d enjoy having a beer with any one of you…

    Wanted to get that out there as we embark on a new season tomorrow the unofficial official start of the season.

  42. After Hunter, I still expect the Phillies to make at least a couple of roster moves – bench INF and a RP in particular – so we might see the end of Nick Williams (DFAd and traded for cash or PTBNL) and McClaim and Guerra will be in the chopping block too.

    The Phillies will have a stock pile or MLB ready pen arms to choose from if injury bug or under performance strikes again —- but I’m hoping that the Phillies will continue to develop Medina, Damon Jones and take a look at Cristopher Sanchez as SP.

    Cleavinger is reported to have improved velo and stuff in 2019 and given his age, Cleavinger might get the 1st call if he pitch well early in the season.

    The move that I like to see is Seranthony reclaiming the closer role and make Neris expendable via trade. Maybe Neris + a prospect can fetch something at the deadline (i.e. Hellickson type veteran).

    1. I know you don’t like Neris but he’s been durable his entire career and has had only 1 poor season the last 4 years. A lot of relievers can’t say that.

      Even if he’s the setup guy, Neris would still have value and he’s not getting paid a lot of money. Hector Neris is not the weak point in the Phillies bullpen.

      1. Some said of the same thing with Cesar and Doobie. The Phillies have depth in RP and a hole in SP. If Hunter, Parker, Swarzak, Liriano are pitching well and some of the young arms recovered (as some expect due to change of pitching coach) — Neris becomes expendable.

        Neris is not the weak point that’s why I’m suggesting a trade not release/DFA because only players with value like that will fetch you something in return.

        Suggesting a trade (like what i suggested with Cesar and Doobie years ago) doesn’t mean I don’t like a players (bashing is my means to do that) . It means that you something of value that you can trade for a need and have enough depth to cover for that loss.

        1. No matter how good our relief corps will be, you can never have enough good pitching. So if everybody is performing well, then it’ll be status quo and nobody will be traded. Because the last thing you want to do is trade Neris (presumably he’s performing decent) and have him come back and haunt the Phillies later in the season.

          If you want to trade Neris because you feel you have enough depth, you do it in the offseason. Now if during the season, the Phillies are not making the playoffs, then all bets are off.

          1. Neris….come back and haunt the Phillies…?? Seems to me that he gets easily scared with his hand on his heart after a near blown save. Doesn’t instill much confidence in the fans or his teammates, it would seem to me. In any case, we need a legitimate closer. He’s fine as an 8th inning option.

      2. That’s also my hesitation to trade Medina and Haseley — SP and CF lacks depth. It will change when Moniak and Muzziotti started to play like a top prospect or Seabold and Damon Jones becomes a legit #3 like Spencer Howard.

    1. Love the way Bohm sprays the ball around. I foresee him as a true 2-hitter in today’s game. 25-30 HR power. Even if his K rate increases a little at the major league level, he still profiles as a top of the lineup bat, given his eye to take a BB as well. And if so, this Phillies lineup stands to be very formidable going forward. With Bryce, Rhys and JTR behind him, we will need a leadoff man. If they don’t find one, Bohm could possibly fit that role as well. I’m feeling better and better about his impact in the Show.

        1. Good morning to you too, Roc😁
          …but don’t worry, his long lanky strides eat up ground even if he’s not a speedster.

      1. Bohm is a big guy with long arms. He’ll need to take his walks because he’s going to see lots of offspeed pitches. I love the way he uses the whole field. He’ll certainly bat in the lower half of the order this year with less pressure. If he does well, next year could be a different story. Play ball today!!!

  43. Personally, I’m looking forward to following the lower level talent this year. I’d especially love to see Luis Garcia, Francisco Morales and Johan Rojas emerge as promising players.

    Oh, and today is our first taste of spring action. PLAY BALL!!!

  44. Mr. H … Your son is featured in this piece by John Clark for NBC Sports Philadelphia. He’s one of a bunch of young players who lack the ability to grow big league facial hair.

    1. I saw this and the fact that he keeps trying has been a topic of many conversations (I have never had facial hair). It’s all in good fun and he knows it.

  45. Today’s lineup….
    2b Kingery
    CF Haseley
    1b Hoskins
    RF Williams
    C Grullon
    3b Forsythe
    LF Mahtook
    SS Torreyes
    DH Gosselin

    P Pivetta

  46. I’m not penciling in JTR for future lineups after 2020. Until he re-signs, there’s no guarantee he comes back. The Phillies should have done the right thing and gave him $12mil as it would show loyalty. Instead they penny pinched him and let it goto arb. He says it’s just business, but again, I don’t trust Klentak and Mcphail.
    Show some loyalty and give the man his $12mil. There was one report that stated Phillies offered $11mil. Good job Klentak, you won an arb case and perhaps cost yourself the best catcher in baseball and Sixto. Two years of JTR at the expense of Sixto and no playoff appearances will be a tough pill to swallow.

    On a happier note, baseball is back and I’m excited to see how this team does.

    1. There’s a path to 92, I believe. Seems to be a better bench. Better head coach, hitting coach, and pitching coach. Better starting pitching with a chance to add SHoward.
      Offense should be better with Didi and eventually adding Bohm. Reverse some of the fortunes against Marlins and this team is at 92+ wins.
      Going with 87 to be safe

      1. TrolllU……I am following that path to 90 plus..
        As long as the arms stay healthy for the majority of the season, I can see them doing it.

      2. I can see more wins, but I believe I accounted for the better coaching, player improvements, and some good fortune. Going over 88 imo, just about everything will need to go right. A 7 game improvement is a nice season generally, but the expectations will crap on that.

        I’d go higher, but I think the NL is stronger overall, so win totals will be spread out more, making a lot more teams in the hunt for the WC races longer

        1. Every year there is a team that breaks out from the pack it seems.
          I do think the Phillies have that chance this year.
          Over the last 7 years there was the Astros (2015), Royals (2013) , Twins (2017), Braves (2018), and even the Cubs (2015).
          Time to be optimistic.

  47. Kingery leading off today. He, Haseley and Rhys are the regulars in the lineup. Glad Baseball is back, and I hope things break our way. TrollU, I am not as pessimistic as you on JTR’s LTC, but I am far from certain that we get it done. And, a disaster if we don’t.,

    1. I do think it gets done but I don’t feel as confident anymore.

      Either way, I do believe this year will be the year of good breaks for the Phillies. I’m excited that they have two potential superstar prospects waiting in the wings

  48. I hope so, Romus, I just hear the “best C contract” and see what the numbers were for Posey and Mauer. Not the AAV, but the length. Anyway, I am happy to see ST games start, and I, also, think that this is a year for positive breaks for the Phils.

    1. Spencer threw a bullpen to JT today. For some reason it just hit me that this is getting real. Proud papa!

      1. Congrats on how far he’s come. He’s sounded great in his interviews, you’ve prepared him well. He just needs to get his work in now and stay healthy. Good luck!

  49. Good for him! Pivetta had a rough 2d inning, but JoeG said that these early games are to get in shape. Although there is a competition for Starting and BP positions, these early games won’t count. I am more interested in his delivery and if he seems to be generating swings and misses.

      1. DylanCozens hit one last year that went 450 at Lakeland over the building behind the right field concourse in ST. Then the year started…………

        1. Oh yeah…I remember that shot….first game also of the spring, if I recall.
          So what did he do yesterday in Ft Myers vs the Sox…o for 2 with a K…..played CF for the Rays.

          1. Yeah I know. Typical. Bubble got busted long ago. On theMoniak train now. Looking at a prospect that could have a great, good or non-existent career. Good guy that will honor the game, no matter what happens.

            Just had a fellow ballplayer pass a couple weeks ago. Played independent ball with him, Paul Pavelko. He was with the Tigers for 8 years and last 3 with Mudhens. He taught me to root for the underdogs and that is my creed. Paul was stuck behind Kaline, Horton, Stanley, Brown and Northrup. When they got up in age he was 27 and had to fight off the younger players. Then finished his career with guys like me, never wases in the independent league.

  50. Guess I’m now a little concerned we haven’t heard from Jim since last weekend, not even a comment posted anywhere.

    Anyone see him around camp?

    1. ….actually stand corrected, he did post a comment a few days ago (2/20). I don’t suggest we’re entitled to hear from him frequently, just seems odd this time of year. I’m spoiled, I guess. Hope all is well in any case.

      1. I hate the obvious green gloves standing out, and the skinnier costume makes the legs more pronounced. It makes the Phanatic less like a weird creature in a 70s/80s fantasy movie and more like some dude wearing a costume based on that creature

        1. New Phanatic is too thin and those eyes are hideous. He looks like a dude showing up at my front door on Halloween in a homemade costume.

  51. I don’t pretend to be a patent or copyright attorney but if the argument is a proprietary claim from the people suing the Phils, how does this costume adjustment change anything? One look and you say “Phanatic” It can’t be that easy to win a copyright infringement argument. Baseball wise, first inning shows a rifle arm on Didi!

    1. I thought the article was going to invalidate everything I know about ST and be about how there was a correlation. I was ready to re-evaluate my entire life.

      Nope. No correlation whatsoever.

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