Open Discussion: Week of February 24th

Busy week.  Position players reported, and the first full squad workout was held last Monday.  J.T. Realmuto lost his arbitration case and settled for the $10M consolation prize.  He’ll likely make up the difference in his extension.  Hector Neris settled before his arb hearing for $4.6M.  The Phillies opened their Grapefruit League season in Lakeland and played to an 8-8 tie against the Tigers.  Several young Phillies’ prospects distinguished themselves in the game.  The Phils beat the Pirates in their home opener at Spectrum Field, and the team unveiled an awkward update of the Phanatic.

We experienced unusually high temperatures at the beginning of the week, 80 in the AM and mid-80s by mid-afternoon.  With unusually high humidity, the afternoons felt like July and August during the GCL season.  I felt worn out after being on my feet for as many as 8 hours.  Friday, the weather turned to forties overnight and fifties during the day with a strong wind.

I haven’t felt like sitting at a keyboard lately.  And, there’s really not much to report during spring training.  How many times can I repeat that Alec Bohm hits like a major leaguer, Spencer Howard looks sharp in his bullpens (he threw one on I think it was Friday), or Andrew McCutchen looks tentative during BP.  Actually, He IS progressing better.  Late one afternoon, I saw him running sprints in left field on Ashburn with 3 trainers (or some such medical people) watching.

Minor league mini camp is running smoothly.   They start after lunch and work til 5:00 PM.  They spend a lot of time on fundamentals.  During an outfield exercise that required throws to third base only Jhailyn Ortiz reached the bag on the fly.  I don’t always stay for BP, but observed that Kendall Simmons has a very quick bat.  Luis Garcia has the best glove and strongest arm among the infielders, followed closely by Brito and Guzman.  Pitchers and catchers do most of their work out of sight from my prying eyes.  There are enough of them here that maybe they’ll play some intrasquad games now that the major league players have moved into Spectrum Field releasing most of the Complex fields for earlier workouts.

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

Key Dates:

  • March 1, 2020 – Reporting date for minor league spring training
  • March 17, 2020 – Tentative start date for minor league spring training games
  • 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 23rd … 392 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)
2/22/2020 – Phillies signed Kliubert Avila as an international free agent (11/27/19)
2/22/2020 – Phillies signed Erick Barria as an international free agent (2/7/20)
2/22/2020 – Phillies signed Estibenzon Jimenez as an international free agent (11/27/19)
2/22/2020 – Phillies signed Jared Loyo as an international free agent (12/27/19)
2/22/2020 – Phillies signed Ronny Ramirez as an international free agent (11/23/19)
2/22/2020 – Phillies signed Pedro Reyes as an international free agent (12/18/19)
2/22/2020 – Phillies signed Albert Rodriguez as an international free agent (11/25/19)
2/22/2020 – Phillies signed Gabriel Tirado as an international free agent (12/5/19)
2/22/2020 – Phillies signed Edgar Zuniga as an international free agent (1/4/20)
2/13/2020 – Lakewood released SS Seth Lancaster
2/21/2020 – Phillies sent LF Nick Martini outright to Lehigh Valley
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. Tommy John 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

204 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of February 24th

  1. The college pitching class looked good over the weekend (four months out from June’s draft).

    * Georgia’s Emerson Hanc@ck had a bounce back game after his dissappointing season opener a week ago. The Bulldog RHP (and 1-1 candidate) went 7 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 8 K vs Santa Clara.

    * Asa Lacy was pretty awsome for the second week in a row. The Texas A&M LHP mowed down Army by going 5 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 14 K. Lacy has racked up 22 K over 11 IP so far in 2020.

    * Reid Detmers was also pretty awesome. The Louisville LHP totaled 6 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 14 K vs Valparaiso on Friday night. This season, Detmers has 11 IP, 23 K, 2 BB.

    * Georgia’s “other” soon-to-be first round pitcher was good again. Cole Wilcox went 6 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 0 BB, 7 K against Santa Clara. The Georgia RH flame thrower has totaled 11 IP, 11 H, 2 BB, 15 K so far yn 2020.

    * Minnesota’s Max Meyer threw 5.2 IP and allowed 4 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 10 K vs TCU. The RHP (who may have been the best arm on the USA Collegiate National Team last summer) has totaled 10.2 IP, 6 H, 5 BB, 17 K to date in 2020.

    * Chris McMahon (West Chester) went 6 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 9 K for(#1 ranked) Miami in a loss to the (#2 ranked) Florida Gators. This year, McMahon is 12 IP, 11 H, 3 BB, 18 K.

    * Oklahoma’s Cade Cavalli went 7 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 9 K in a win over Illinois St. This season, the Sooner RHP is up to 11.2 IP, 10 H, 2 BB, 17 K.

    * You can add Mississippi State’s JT Ginn to the list of projected first round pitchers missing time because of sore arms/shoulders. Ginn didn’t throw this weekend. And … Tennessee’s Garet Crochett has yet to appear in a game in 2020 with an (reported) aching shoulder.

    1. One other name of note …
      Notre Dame’s Joey Boyle will be available when the Phillies pick. The behemoth (6’7″, 240 lbs) RHP throws really hard (up to 102 MPH), and strikes out everybody (27 K/9 IP), but is still trying to figure out the strike zone (11.4 BB/9 IP). Boyle has thrown exclusively out of the BP and has totaled 3.2 IP, 0 H, 5 BB, 11 K this season.

      1. Once again Jim thanks for what you do. We are just starving for any information wishing we were there, which I wil be on Friday.

        I see that Seth Lancaster was released. I’m always interested in players that are on the radar and then gone. Any info on Lancaster? What was he, why is he gone?

    2. Hinkie, you continue to provide great material to Phuture Phillies, but today I’m most impressed by how you entered Hanc@ck’s name to avoid the censor. You’re such a pro….

      And it’s good to hear that Jim Peyton and family are well and that he is so busy around camp that he’s unable to post as often as we would have. Thanks for all your efforts and labors of love, Jim.

  2. Hinkie five off the wall predictions …

    * For the first time since 2014, the Phillies will select a pitcher in the first round of the draft. “With the 15th pick in the MLB draft, the Philadelphia Phillies select Max Meyer RHP University of Minnesota”.

    * Scott Kingery will hit for the cycle on Sunday, June 28 (the 16th anniversary of David Bell’s cycle) at CBP against the Arizona Diamondbacks (Kingery’s hometown team).

    * Just before the deadline, Matt Klentak will trade Jake Arrieta (for 2020 cap purposes) and two prospects to the Cubs for Yu Darvish.

    * Phillies win 91 games to secure WC1 spot. They eventually are eliminated by LAD’s.

    * Phillies top 10 prospects this time next year: 1. Francisco Morales, 2. Bryson Stott, 3. Max Meyer, 4. Luis Garcia, 5. Mickey Moniak, 6. Nick Maton, 7. Rafael Marchan, 8, Erik Miller, 9. Kendall Simmons, 10. Starlyn Castillo.

    1. Hinkie:
      ” Phillies top 10 prospects this time next year”…..what about the first round pick this June?

    2. I noticed how you have Kendall Simmons in there and not Johan Rojas.

      And…the comments above state that Simmons appears to have a quick bat. Let the minor league games begin!

      1. IMO, Baylor has a tick more upside than Simmons.
        Both athletic with plus defensive tools.
        Simmons just seems to have too much swing and miss at such lower levels.

  3. “Minor league mini camp is running smoothly.” A minor league camp at the ST site that’s separate from the Minor League ST which starts on March 1st? Staggering start times or not that’s a packed site in Clearwater…

  4. 100+ mph pitchers are nice but almost inevitably they get TJ’s and you lose them for 18-24 months… For that reason I would steer clear of Boyle and Meyer..

    1. Thanks for posting. Some good nuggets:

      6. Muzziotiti: “This is the most talented set of hitting hands in this system” Projects to a future 60 hit tool

      7. Moniak: “I have him in as a low-end regular, a .310 OBP, .420 SLG sort of center fielder.” Future 55 hit tool

      8. Rojas: “Rojas is a scintillating talent with the best power/speed combination in the system”

      Hope we get at least one first division regular CF out of those three.

  5. Really loving the video of Bohm. You are right, Jim, he looks great at the plate. Oh man would it be awesome if we hit on a big time prospect. We need it so badly.

  6. Keith Law top 100

    22. Spencer Howard, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies

    Howard was my No. 2 Phillies prospect last winter, shortly before they traded their No. 1 prospect Sixto Sanchez. Only two months lost to shoulder “fatigue” kept him from ending 2019 in the majors, as he dominated High A and Double A with a combination of superb control and a true four-pitch arsenal. His fastball is special, up to 99 mph this past season, 94-98 in an AFL start I saw where he sat 96 in the first inning, and he can spot it and use it up in the zone to get swings and misses. His slider is a bit ahead of his curveball, although he can overthrow both of them when he’s not careful. The curve is a tight two-planer in the 74-78 range, while the slider is in the mid-80s. His changeup is his worst pitch, with some power fade when he hits it, and he has been using it more to improve his feel. He left a trail of dead right-handed batters in his wake in 2019, limiting them to a .137/.184/.197 line and walking just 2 of 125 … so when I tell you he had a sizable platoon split, bear that in mind. I see some little things that will keep him from being an ace — a slight cutoff in his delivery, effort to get to his glove side, wobbly command even within starts — but enough of everything else to think he’ll be an above-average starter for a long time.

    1. 38. Alec Bohm, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies

      Bohm can hit, really hit, and while he might not do it at third base for the long term, he’s going to hit enough to profile somewhere as a regular. Bohm was the third overall pick in the 2018 draft, and he might be the Phils’ best first-round pick since Aaron Nola back in 2014. The Phillies started Bohm in Low A, where he didn’t belong as a 21-year-old product of a major college program, but he bashed his way out of there and then did the same in High-A Clearwater before finishing in Double-A Reading, where he took advantage of the Eastern League’s best hitters’ park but struggled on the road. He should probably start 2020 there, but I don’t think he’ll stay there long. Bohm is incredibly strong, with power to all fields, excellent zone control, and a great work ethic that extends to his pregame planning against pitchers. He’s big for third, but his footwork is good and he’s clearly worked on his conditioning just since leaving Wichita State. I like his chances to stay at the hot corner, and I absolutely believe in his chances to hit, with high averages around .300 and 25-plus homers, along with plenty of walks and maybe average defense at third in a best-case scenario.

      1. The Braves and Dodgers are prospect conveyor belts. These teams treat their prospects like the gold nuggets they are. Even when they are winning they are churning out prospects galore and are not in the practice of selling these players off.

  7. Thanks v1, I continue to believe that Bohm stays at 3B, and will do so until he proves he can’t. Everyone I read says he can hit, and hit for average and with pop. A real good prospect. I didn’t expect anyone else to make the list. Hinkie, I appreciate all the work you bring us, especially regarding the Draft and I really rely on you for my draft info. I wait to see who you like, and base my Phils’ wish list on that!

    1. Vineland’s Zach Warren struck out the side in the 9th.
      Phillies do appear to have plenty of live BP arms at the upper levels.
      Dohy…did not walk anyone in his inning….but did give up the two HRs.
      Garcia…struggled a bit, Listi’s throwing error did help him in the inning.

      1. Just focusing on the mechanics, Dohy looks good in the mound and stuff is MLB ready – 3 pitch mix with 2 potential plus. But command will be his ticket to a sustainable MLB success. The 2 HRs are 2 poorly placed pitch he threw.

        Maton, Marchan and Luke Williams also looks promising.

  8. Maton not because he hit the homer, I like his swing. its only two times I have seen him. I never like Williams,

  9. Looks like catcher Marchan has a fan..and what a fan.

    From Jim Salisbury:
    “Girardi loved the work of minor-league catcher Rafael Marchan.
    “My favorite part of the game was Marchan,” Girardi raved. “He’s the block master. The master. That might have been the best exhibition of blocking I have ever seen in one game.”

    1. Yeah. And he threw out a runner at second too. Reports are he is a stud defensively. And has high contact rates at plate. Fangraphs has a future 60 hit tool. Biggest flaw is he has zero home runs as a pro. Zero. He is small, but still needs some power to be a major leaguer. But he is still very young. Just turned 21 today.

      1. I need to check this out somehow….but I think Marchan may set the minor league record for non-HRs per total number plate appearances…right now he is up to 846 over four years.
        He is a 30 run so an inside-the-park HR looks bleak.
        He might as well, not try now, but set some sort of record.

    2. I see Marchan as our backup C next season if he isn’t traded before then. Despite the absence of power, his hit tool makes him highly valuable on the market. I’ve been on him for 2 years now.

      1. Even if he progresses well as a hitter (unclear), he’s probably going to start in Clearwater this year, so you’re probably looking at at least another 2-3 years in the minors (level per year) before he would be considered for a promotion and this again all assumes he continues to improve as a hitter. Unless he becomes a superstar overnight, he won’t be on the MLB Phillies next year.

          1. Yeah, he may or may not be protected, but even if he is protected (it seems reasonable that he might be at least this year), it doesn’t mean he’ll be in the majors the following year.

    3. I think Joe G gets it! Building a prospects confidence is everything and I have often felt the Phillies did a less than stellar job at that.

      When a prospect gets a promotion to the big leagues its generally because he has performed very well at his highest level of play in the minors. Once he gets that call one of three things is going to happen

      1. He takes off and never looks back-Mike Trout, Bryce Harper etc…
      2. He has a little bit of success early then hits some road blocks
      3. He struggle right out of the gate

      Since 1 rarely occurs having a plan for how to handle a player when 2 and 3 happens is huge.

      Such a fine line exists for a players sustained success. Often times they have the ability but simply don’t believe in themselves. This is a nuance that good managers and good player development staff understand and practice.

      You would think every org is good at this but they are not. And certainly you can’t help every player over come confidence issues but after a while you can start to see others may be better at it.

    4. Joe G. ended his interview yesterday to go back to the bench and make sure to recognize for the good plays Marchan did. It’s always nice have some very good catching prospects in the farm not only a valuable C is hard to find but they also provide good value in trades. I think Marchan’s power will still improve since he is still very young. The defensive side looks solid, but putting the ball in the bat will be his key in making it to the majors.

      1. KuKo…have you seen his career MiLB ISO… is rather low…..060
        So he is a slap happy guy….put the barrel on the ball wherever its pitched….and more or less a station to -station runner on the base paths.
        But a guy like that at the bottom of the order keeps the inning going….his delta between K/BB is an exceptional 2….9% K rate and 7% BB rate

        1. @romus – stud offensive catcher is very rare so nobody should project Marchan anywhere in #1-#5. catchers are also not known as base path demons too. as a bottom of the order, a player like Marchan can provide value in moving the chains especially if the pitchers will throw around the heart of the order.

          I’m not fully sold on Marchan’s defense until I start watching him this spring training. If Marchan can keep that defensive profile, that’s one foot on the door. Now he just needs to keep hitting to get the other foot. If Marchan starts to develop power, then he’ll become a regular MLB player with big $$ coming in the future.

          1. I think the Phillies and Josh Bonifay should force-feed him up the ladder.
            Start at CLW and push to Reading around mid-year and maybe LHV in August for a10/15 games.
            His hit tool needs to be challenged…his defense is already rated above-average @ 55 arm and field
            I’d like to see him compete next spring for the back-up… it increases his value.

            1. I agree with you that the Phillies need to push Marchan harder — Marchan should be catching mostly in REA/LHV in AAA and see if he can step up.

              Even if Marchan carries his hit tool in REA/LHV, I still don’t believe that he is MLB ready next season. He might be protected (like what Phillies did with Gamboa) so they will not lose him in the Rule 5.

              Knappy boy needs to show his value in 2019 because with Grullon and Marchan behind him, Knapp becomes super expendible.

  10. When I watch ST games I’m always reminded of the game where Jason Donald hit 4 HRS in 4 PAs. I thought this is it this kid is going to be a stud…

  11. Ron Stone threw his tv while playing in the Mexican League because his tv only had Spanish coming from it.

      1. “Spinner” Stone, like a fuel dragster at the NHRA Finals when trying to steal 2nd. There would just be a hole in the ground 8 feet from 1st base.

      2. Jeff Stone reminds me of when Rocky Balboa was advised to invest in condominiums, his sheepish reply was, “…but I don’t use them.” Classic.

        1. 8mark………if you have time, read the article on Jeff Stone by David Skelton on It is a good read.

  12. If there’s anything more satisfying than a spring training game is a split squad. So much more to follow today….

  13. Can anyone post BA’s most recent top 10 Phillies prospects? I’m trying to compare and contrast among various outlets. Thanks….not sure if posting only their top 10 would be an ethical/plagiarism issue due to subscription requirements.

  14. was watching the game yesterday and the young hitters. I don’t know much about the minor guys other than stats, but my recommendation, if you get in the game, don’t beg for a walk…cough cough “Ortiz”. He had two plate appearances and never took a swing and saw over 12 pitches. Not once did he take his bat off his shoulder to swing. Disappointing, as its spring training and as Ben Davis says “thanks for coming”. That’s probably going to be his career for Phillies. Prove me right but very disappointed didn’t even swing at one pitch in two at-bats. Your up there to hit, you might run into something.

    1. That is rather unusual for a young guy.
      Usually they are hacking away with anything close to the plate.

  15. From my Gameday app, it looks like Jake served up a meatball to Tellez for a 3run tater in the 1st inning.

    1. Jake cannot locate his FB yet.
      Rhys….again…RISP JTR at 2nd…..takes three balls (3-0)…takes the fourth pitch for a strike….3-1….now he takes the 5th pitch down the shoot for another strike…then Ks on a sinker out of the zone…sheesh….rerun of 2019.
      Wish he were more aggressive ahead in the count when RISP.

  16. Adam Haseley’s season just flashed in front of my eyes. I could have sworn he broke his wrist on that diving attempt in the OF. Hopefully, it’s just a bump to his forehead.

      1. I want to know how his stuff played out and how Jones looks like in the mound when he pitches. Despite of the long ball gave up, I like what I saw in Kyle Dohy yesterday.

        1. KK – I saw Damon pitch vs. Pirates yesterday and he looks big – and maybe unorthodox in his delivery. He throws hard for a lefty but had some, for him, problem with location. He was not facing major leaguers when he was brought in. My impression was that he is not a finished product, did not look smooth, but managed to overpower the batters. I would say he is still a ways away….despite all the prospect comments, he needs to develop more to make it to MLB and is a “reach.”

      2. Jones has pretty good stuff – MLB quality stuff. But his command and even control is a real problem. I could see him ending up as an 8th inning guy.

        1. @catch – thanks! I can also see Jones as a high leverage pen guy, given his age, he might be close to a finished product.

          Except for command, I love everything about Damon Jones – 2 plus pitches, big, lefty, high K rate and high GB %. Jones is still not in the 40-man so the Phillies will continue to develop him as a starter.

  17. Looks like Ortiz took the bat off the shoulder….and yet another grand salami…..he must lead the org in them.

    1. That swing is why he gets a Mulligan for last 2 years. His raw power is awesome. Oppo taco on an easy swing on an outside pitch. So beautiful.

  18. Julian Garcia is getting some attention not because of his velocity but because of this FB spin rate. I saw at least a couple of local Phillies outlet that believes Garcia will be in the majors this year if not next year. Garcia is way behind queue and he doesn’t have the stuff to leap from the others in front of him.

  19. Luis Severino gone for 2020+, to undergo TJ surgery. Man, the Yankees are now down him AND Paxton until at least May. They’ll be scouring the market for veteran arms.

  20. I am always reminded about Doc, and how he was sent down to the Minors, regrouped, had help from a Sports Psychologist, and came back to the Majors to become a Hall of Famer. Not to imply that our guys either need a Sports Psychologist, or have the natural stuff of Roy Halladay, but the effect that a Manager or Coach or someone outside can have have on the psyche of players. Often, that confidence brings out the best, and I think that JoeG is really good like that. I think that both Vinny and Nick P have the stuff to be real good SPs, and need some combination of confidence and direction to bring it out.

  21. Also, on Rhys, I am a big fan. I am confident that he will figure it out. The first thing I want to see is what didn’t happen today. Gets ahead 3-0, great, he is in control. Takes a Pitch for a Strike, ok, 3-1. The next pitch, down the chute, looks at it. That is where he needs to be aggressive and pound the ball. Of course, just like the 2d half of last year, he Ks on a breaking pitch down and away. But, he “lost” the AB by taking that 5th pitch. Early in ST, plenty of time left, but that is the situation that I specifically look to him improving in.

    1. matt13…….changing the physical mechanics is a lot easier than changing the mind’s thought processes…especially when success in the past came from a systematic pattern already deeply imbedded in one’s cognitive memory..
      That may be a challenge for him…as it is with humans.
      Then the next AB he swung at the first or second pitch.


  22. Romus in the past he would be all over that pitch. It changed in the second half of the year. He took pitches right down the middle after getting ahead, then Kd or made a weak out on an outside breaking ball. I don’t know why the change. I thought he wasn’t seeing the ball well. Anyway, I hope he figures it out.

  23. Just heard some of the possible CDC restrictions in the U.S. for trying to contain the coronavirus would be to halt all large gatherings of people to contain the virus’s spread.. To me that means there is a real chance the baseball season is massively effected. At this point it’s just speculation but would MLB pause the season? Play games without fans in the stands (very weird) or something else? Sorry to be a downer but if quarantines are on the table baseball will not be played.

    1. No one knows I suppose however,
      just saw this……

      “:A Boston Red Sox pitching prospect is being quarantined in his Florida hotel room over fears he may have contracted the coronavirus following his trip from Taiwan.
      Chih-Jung Liu, 20, arrived at Red Sox spring training in Fort Myers last week from the Asian nation and was being quarantined out of “an overabundance of caution,” a team spokesman told the Boston Globe on Tuesday. He flew from Taiwan to San Francisco and then to Fort Myers last week.
      According to the newspaper, Liu wrote on his Facebook page that he was receiving three meals a day, doing some weight training and going on runs while he awaits the all-clear.
      The team also briefly quarantined infielder Tzu-Wei Lin earlier this month.
      The city of San Francisco recently declared a state of emergency over coronavirus fears after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning the U.S. will likely see more cases”.

      1. I’ve been watching this closely and if you get away from the outlets that seek to sensationalize this you’ll find experts saying it is nothing more than another strand of Flu and that it is very treatable.

        The Flu has still killed more people this year than Covid19 and again that is not to say that it should not be taken seriously.

        It really sucks that we are living in an age where mass hysteria is almost the daily norm for media.

        1. I agree with you, DMAR. The tree huggers have their own market driven agenda. And we live in the social media age where every hill is made into the insurmountable. Again, take necessary precautions, but let’s not melt down. We’ve been through these rodeos many times already.

        2. I wouldn’t underestimate it that much. I believe anywhere from 0.1-0.5% of people die from the flu on average, this thing is killing over 3% so far. That’s pretty significant from a virological stand point from what I’ve read. I do think we will be fine though.

          1. Feels like deja vu to be honest, remember the Bird influenza virus? I think will be fine, but the prevention of mass gatherings is interesting. With a global economy all the US needs to have the virus transfer is a infected factory worker not wash their hands and spread it all over a cheap product shipped all over the US. Like I say, cheap has a cost…
            In this case a hidden one! Now that maybe a stretch but depending on the temperatures, the virus can survive… and the it’s the right time of year for it to do so. Maybe the hysteria media can spread that news

            1. We will definitely be fine. Like the flu, it has a high fatality rate… among those with compromised immune systems (people that were already sick, infants, the elderly, etc.). But for the vast majority of the US, it would just suck for a while. The real reason this virus is so publicized is how fast it spread and the fact that we weren’t prepared for it. We’re behind the eight ball on making a vaccine for it, but it’s being worked on now.

              As far as baseball goes, pretty much anyone that attends games is at just as much risk of contracting the flu or a cold. So I can’t imagine anything happens to the season.

        3. DMAR, The mortality rate from reported cases is approaching 3.5 percent. That’s a lot more than the 0.1 percent for the flu. One difficulty of Covid-19 is that some number of people have no symptoms. They are unbeknowing carriers and so, by definition, it is impossible to quantify the risk of getting severe symptoms unless every person on earth is tested.

          So far, the overwhelming number of case are from Hubei province in China and many of the outbreaks can be traced back to people visiting Hubei, such as 200 South Korean church members.

          So, while there is sensationalizing for sure, it would be dangerous, even folly, to downplay the risk of such a highly contagious and fatal disease.

  24. Compared to concerns about the plague, my comment/question is really trivial. Is there a limit in spring training about how many split squad games a team can play? And if not, why don’t teams play more of them, especially early before they send their minor leaguers out?

    1. I believe no set rule, but most MLB teams…Grapefruit and Cactus… will not play more than 4….Phillies have three this year.
      ………..- February 25 and March 4, and then again on March 17

      Blue Jays in the Grapefruit play 4…..and in the Cactus the Angels, Brewers, and DBacks play 4.
      Tigers,Marlins and Cardinals in the Grapefruit play 2….in the Cactus…Indians Mariners Padres Rangers and Reds all play 2…..
      all others play 3 .

    2. I think the amount of work that pitchers need determines the number of split squad games a team will employ. Plus, the opposing team’s pitching needs need to be considered. Once the minor league games start, there is less of a need for SS games as starting pitchers are throwing a couple more innings as they get stretched out but the minor league games pick up some of the slack. There are 4, sometimes 5 games – 2 on the road and 2-3 at the Complex.

  25. MattWink’s puts out his Top 41-50 in PMT. I actually love MattWink’s rankings since his rationale is similar to mine. Although Matt will not have Ben Brown in his Top 50, DJ Jefferson made at it at #44 (I have Ben and DJ at #26 and #38, respectively).

    I love both these big and young RHP’s. Jefferson have good FB for a youngster but lacks secondaries. Ben showed flashed of an improving FB (low 90s, tops 94) with at least 2 workable off speed stuff. Watch out for these 2 youngsters as they can quickly jump out and rise in the prospect rankings. DJ is a UDFA HS arm, so he can be a real steal.

    1. Brown probably makes it if he didn’t have Tommy John Surgery (Kyle Young’s ranking is likely conservative for the same reason). Given when the injury occurred we are at best going to see Brown in a GCL rehab and Instructional League, if he looks like he did in 2019, he will make next year’s list, but as we have seen with Kevin Gowdy, Tommy John is career saving vs the alternative, but is not a 100% recovery.

      1. @matt – are your doing a mid-year? how long the list will be? 15, 20, 30? I agree with you on the Gowdy reference. I kept Gowdy in the Top 30 during his injury stint. I’ve seen Ben Brown in LWD before he went TJ — I like what I’ve seen in the mound, I’m actually surprised that he needs TJ because Ben’s mechanics is very lose and easy.

  26. I’m probably in the minority, but if Nicky Dubs plays well in ST, I like to see him start especially if Cutch is not ready. I think the Kapler computer language cause some disconnect with Nick. Nick’s defense in CF is not solid so LF will be his best fit — I’m still amazed by his speed-power potential so i like to see Nick get one final shot of starting and see if he steps up and grab the role whether it is still with the Phillies or another team.

    Quinn, Williams, Pivetta and Vinny — are clearly the enigma of this team that continue to polarize the whole fan base. But the team and the fan base need results – and these players are in their last straw to put up or go in a different direction.

    1. Quinn, if he could stay healthy, feels like the a true leadoff Hitter. That speed is a weapon to produce runs. Great combo to par with the uppercut swingers. The key is his “availability”. If I could have one pull through, I’d take Quinn over Williams. I’m surprised Williams didn’t stick but I think he will elesewheee, he neeeds to be traded for his career. I can easily see him being pee’d Off at the Phillies for his handling on his intro interview after the trade.

      On the pitchers, plenty of late blooming pitchers, hopefully 1 of them comes through.

      1. Given Quinn’s track record – Roman’s best ability is his availability. I actually like the Phillies to keep Quinn — he’s an asset on the base paths and he’s a good 4th OF who can play all OF position, his switch hitting ability is good to have a pinch hitter and he’s is a good option as a pinch runner.

        Leash is getting shorter for Nick Dubs, Moniak and Muzzioti will be up in AAA soon, Johan Rojas is a fast rising OF and Listi-Vierling-Stephen are potential LF options if they can hit consistently at AA/AAA level.

          1. @romus – I’m not sure if Ortiz will stay in the OF, or more importantly, will Ortiz survive the upper minors. With the exception of Rojas (who at least have other tools to go up the ladder), most of the OF options I listed are close to MLB ready (assuming if they hit well enough) — Ortiz not only is still far from being MLB ready, he hasn’t hit enough so we can believe he can hit MLB pitching.

            1. In the words of Snagglepuss….Heavens to Murgatroyd Man!
              He has 70 power.
              He has a strong and maybe better arm than most all the guys above… leader board in OF assists last year in the FSL.
              And now just 21 years old.
              IMO, he would be an excellent LFer

            2. @romus – I hope that Ortiz will not flare out in the upper minors. We need that power bat in CBP. I’m a believer of the bat and the arm but poor pitch recognition concerns me. Ortiz cannot tap into that power it he doesn’t know how to connect his bat to the ball.

            3. Uh yeah, let’s slow the roll. I know he has great power – that’s real. But he’s been really bad in the minor leagues the last few years with terrible batting averages and middling plate discipline. Let’s all check back and see where he is at the end of May.

    2. Kuko, I think Williams (given the opportunity) would produce 20 homers, 75 rbi with a line approx .250/.320/.460, but the big issue with him IMO is consistency over the long season. The natural tools are there. The acumen to put it together? Not so sure. But he definitely needs a good whisperer to feed him confidence and focus.

      1. @8mark – that’s why I want to see Nick get a shot again. The last coaching group think and talk like computer and lacks the feel and intra-person relationship with certain players. I always believe that you can lead a team as a group but you have to manage the players individually as humans are unique to one another and wired differently. We’ve seen how Chip Kelly tried to implement a one size fits all manta and failed. Kap Coconut and CY Junk are doing the same thing.

        The current group under Joe G. has the experience and better feel of the game — giving me a better hope that these factors resonate better with certain young players.

  27. Jean Segura with 2 more hits (so far) today, RBI single and 2b. It’s early and someone is always gonna be hot but if he returns to form in 2020, this lineup is very potent. The fact that he thinned down is also encouraging.

    1. Joe G. wonder kid, Marchan 2 or 2 with SB and doing well behind the plate. Marchan is making the most of the opportunities to impress.

      Morgan and Cleaving looks good as well. Eflin with a clean and efficient 2 IP but lack of K (or bat missing pitch) still concerns me.

  28. The Twins must have asked Howard Eskin to run the scoreboard today….earlier it read #2 NICK SEGURA

    1. Cody Asche is still hanging in the majors.
      Our once ‘next Chase Utley’ is hoping to crack the Twins’ 26 man

    1. That is so impressive. Do you know how few major leaguers have any clue who is in their farm system, let alone have an informed opinion about these guys? Harper has done nothing but impress and act like a mature, motivated adult since he arrived. As a person, you really couldn’t ask anything more from him.

      1. Exactly…….sounds like some day, with his love of the game, he would be a good candidate for running a club, like what Jeter is doing in Miami.

  29. Moniak triples home a run, then scores the tying run on Maton’s single. Nice having the kids contribute in the spring.

    1. majority of the young prospects are making the most of their time and starts to make a very good impression.

      Gamboa (who hits like Michael Martinez) hits the go ahead HR and Medina shuts the door on the Twins for the win. Medina’s command still needs some work and the whiff rate needs to go up.

      1. Gamboa…….he must have done a lot of off-season work with Driveline.
        His bat looks different than last year…seems to have more authority in his swing.
        Perhaps he has turned it around.

  30. Brian Price – pitch down and away (like how we teach or learn how to pitch when we are young) and go with your best pitch to get batters out.

    Chris Young – shredder says that high FB and CB with a spin rate of X RPMs are cool pitch to make. Do that no if’s and but’s and no questions allowed.

    Statistics are really important as it can measure the science behind the game. But a delicate balance is needed to get the best of the both approach. Players are starting to voice out about the impact of the coaching changes in the organization. Hopefully, this optimistic will be reflected in the field and better results.

    I’m not overly excited about the Joe and Brian signings — but hearing interviews and player feed backs, it looks like that shortcomings from data-drive coaches like Kapler and Young can be counterproductive if misapplied.

  31. Looks like the Stanton contract could become a bigger albatross for the Yankees than the Big Piece’s was for us. Hamstring may keep him on the IL come opening day.

    1. I recall a time when many of us would have sold our soul to have him in a Phillies uniform. Yellich would’ve been the smarter one to sell it for… Stanton distracted us from the real choice. We got Realmuto however.

      1. If I recall correctly, there were reports that Ruben would have, had it been solely up to him. Stanton was the apple of his eye. But fortunately it never materialized.

        1. I believe that was in 2014, before Nov….before he signed that 13- year deal with the Marlins and Loria in Nov of 2014…….I do not think Monty would have been thrilled to go after Stanton after that deal was done.

        2. More than a few teams tried to get Stanton perhaps those teams are counting their lucky stars that the deal didn’t go through

          1. Though none of those teams would have given him such a ludicrous and risible contract length and that AAV, back in 2014.
            He did however produce almost 40rWAR up to two years ago.

  32. Saw Bohm yesterday vs the Pirates and he reminds me of Jayson Werth – both in size and profile. He is long, high waisted, and lanky. But – he appears to be both an efficient hitter and a lucky one – witness his 2 Texas league singles, one to right field, the other to short center. He looks “hitterish” as Whitey would say and despite having no position according to the “experts” he will definitely be a professional hitter. He just looks good – doesn’t get fooled and fouled off a number (5x) of 98 mph fastballs from a very young but promising Pirate reliever. He appears all about pitch location discipline and looking for something to drive – anywhere. He is not a fast baserunner but seems discerning.He probably deserves to be ranked higher (top 20 or lower) in the national polls if he was a more accomplished defender. I am saying this after seeing number of Braves 5 star prospects today, namely Pache and Waters. Bohm is better than both.

    1. That’s a nice spin on Bohm’s ranking, I can buy that. So basically the Phillies are going to need the DH in one form or another. Bohm is either the DH or Hoskins is with Bohm at first. Realmuto could slide in there after a few season, split time with Bohm Before Harper starts to nestle into that position 10, 11 years from now

    2. @RU – i agree with you about the JDubs resemblance, I echoed the same observation before. And also, even though Bohm’s AB are not scored hits, the ball was bit hard — the power potential is real. As long as Bohm continues to maintain a decent K rate, he will be a productive bat in the middle of the order.

      1. And regarding Bohm being lucky, you can’t be lucky if you don’t put the ball in play unless you’re counting on passed ball K’s. The 3-result philosophy suffers in that regard. Dying quails and seeing eye singles are just as good as walks, to reverse the old saying.

    1. Clarification; this is only the Japanese spring training schedule not the regular season. KBO (Korean Baseball) is also considering eliminating it’s spring season altogether..

  33. On pro baseball’s fringes, former Phuture Phillies…..Sugar Land on Atlantic League signed Cam Perkins and Seth Lancaster….Winnipeg of American Association signed Jordan Kurokawa(#28 Reader’s Prospect 2017) and resigned Kyle Martin.

  34. Rafael “Master Blocker” Marchan making good impression with Joe G. — looks like he Marchan can be added to the 40-man so Joe G. will not lose him in the Rule 5. Joe is a former catcher so he knows a goood one if he sees one.

    Also, Joe G. said that Kingery looks good at 2B so we might see Jetpax in his best position going forward — something that Kap Coconut refused to do in the past.

    1. ….although today, Kingery is playing SS. But the rest of the lineup is NRIs except for Rhys. Joe G also seems to be ok with Segura at 3b so far.

      1. Segura knows that he is close to the chopping block so he will make every effort to contribute to the team or at least look good so other teams will give him a chance to start.

        It will not be a surprise to see Segura doing some reps at 2B. To me, it is more important to what what the Phillies can get from Forsythe, Harrison and Walker and one of these dudes might get the back up INF role in the 26-man.

        1. KuKo…..did you have breakfast yet?

          “Segura knows that he is close to the chopping block ….”…..WHAT!

          He is locked onto the Phillies for two more years after this season , come hell or high water….his contract is prohibitive ($42M approx.) from other clubs wanting him….unless of course he becomes a Manny Machado fielder and hitter at third or even second base and becomes an attractive asset in a trade…and the Phillies are willing to pick up some percentage of the remaining portion of his contract…

          1. Romus, my friend – should Segura rake the first half of 2020, and the Phillies are thin in the rotation, you can count on him being discussed in trade scenarios for a TOR at the deadline, especially if Bohm is forcing his way to CBP.

          2. @romus – Bohm can make it really interesting about Segura’s future. Again, I’m not hating on Segura, I’m just thinking of potential scenario if and when Bohm force the Phillies hand to add him to the 26-man, Segura will be the odd man out since Joe will not let Didi go and Joe seems to like Kingery at 2B.

            The other scenario I can see if Bohm made it as a regular 3B is to push Kingery to CF (assuming Haseley is not getting the job done) and move Segura to 2B.

            This is my rational why I said Segura is in the chopping block since he will be behind of all these INF options right now. If that’s the case, the Phillies will not mind absorbing those $$ if it means a better team to compete.

            1. If the Phillies are contending, (1st or 2nd in the NL-East) and Segura is producing at third base…offensively and defensively…..I seriously doubt the Phillies trade him in July and bring in Bohm, even if he is raking at LHV.
              GMs rarely make moves with contending teams by subtracting a player who is producing….that would also alter the chemistry.

              On the other hand, Phillies are sitting in fourth in the NL-East in July, with three or more teams to jump to get to the WC slot, then moving Segura for an added piece, would be the logical thing to do to jump start the team.

    2. Joe G. on Marchan’s power:

      “Here’s my thought,” Girardi said. “He doesn’t have to show power. He just has to hit, be an adequate hitter, or he could become a really good hitter. Take his walks, handle the bat. Defensively, he’s going to save you runs by catching. Those are RBIs for me. He’s going to save you a lot of runs catching.”

      I agree with this assessment. A catcher with offensive power potential is very rate — this what makes JTR special and the best Catcher in the MLB. As long as Marchan defense is solid and not hitting close to Mendoza line, his lack of power should not be a concern. The Phillies have Harper, Hoskins, JTR, Bohm, etc or sign power bat in FA to supply the power in the middle so a catcher with Marchan’s profile can still provide offensive production in the bottom of the order.

      I still think that JTR needs to be signed long term and the Phillies can use that catching depth to acquire pieces that will help the team.

    3. Marchan will not be added before November’s cut-off date….why?
      A wasted precious 40 slot…..already did that with Gamboa.
      If they plan on going to go with Knapp and Grullon as the back-ups…no sense in putting Marchan on the 40 this season.

      1. @romus – if Marchan made it to REA at some point this season and has a good year, there’s a big probability of a team drafting him in the Rule 5. We will not see Marchan in red pin stripes this year, but he will be added by November. If roster spot is the issue – Marchan will take Knappy boy’s spot who might be traded to a AL team for cash, IFA $ or PTBNL.

          1. yes, the Phillies will not lose Marchan — not under Joe G.’s watch. Knappy boy must be sweating so hopefully Knapp comes around with a solid (behind and at bats) 2020 to prove his worth. With a stockpile of MLB ready arms in LHV and REA, the 40-man will be really tight again come Nov 2020.

  35. I have no problem with Segura. He came to camp in good shape. He obviously worked on his conditioning in the off season. I know he gave up whiskey. He talked about how upset he was over Cutch’s injury, something we did not hear last year. He can hit, and he can play 3B adequately enough. He has a strong arm that works at 3d, and I think he can have a good season. It puts Kingery at 2B every day, and when Bohm shows he is Major League ready, we will figure it out then. KuKo, I usually don’t disagree with you, but you weren’t excited about JoeG and Bryan Price? I think both hires were really good, and I think they have a clear positive affect on the team.

    1. I expect Segura to have a very good year. I think his renewed focus comes from his guilt of the McCutchen injury, which was from a lack of hustle. McCutchen has absolved him of fault, but I think Segura feels like he owes it to his teammates to have a great year, as he let them down last season. He’s not on the chopping block imo, he should be a top 35-50 MLB positional player if he is “on” this year. He was an mvp candidate not that long ago, that may even be low for him. He’s supposed to be really good, will see.

      Saw Hoskins new batting stance. If he hits, I don’t care what his stance is. Looks like the new stance shortened the time it takes to get his bat into position. Looks smoother to me, so let’s hope he did some cardio this offseason for all that extra jogging he’s going to be doing around the basepaths

      1. …and let’s hope he actually SWINGS the bat. That’s a key to his success. The eye is there already, to a fault. He needs to be a tad more aggressive, especially on cripple pitches.

      2. Hoskins has made a dramatic stance and swing change. Expect him to fail with it initially before he’s comfortable with it. It’s very hard to dramatically change your stance at any level, let alone in the majors. Hitting is a reflex thing and it doesn’t work until you’re comfortable. I agree that when he (or anyone) takes strikes down the middle it drives me crazy. I’m all for taking borderline pitches early in the count to drive up pitch counts but they should never be looking for a walk and take cookies down the middle. They’ve gone too far with trying to run up pitch counts while taking good pitches to hit. You can’t take the aggression out of aggressive hitters and expect good results.

        1. @Murray – looking at the limited video i saw, I think the actual swing is very similar, but the initial stance&loading up is what has changed. It should give him a longer time to identify pitches. Now, it’s like .0001 of a sec but you guys get the idea. Once he begins the “loading”, I see a lot of the same old swing imo. Throw tomotoes at me but that’s what I saw on first few looks at the new swing. If many of you see something different, I’ll put my glasses on the next time I watch 🙂

    2. @matt – I’m in the fire Kapler camp and very critical of CY (because I hate it when people misapplied statistics) so I’m happy with the changes like some of notable Phillies (Nola, Arrieta, Eflin, Neris, etc) are. My main gripe is with the FO – McPhail and Klentak needs to go.

      Seeing a lot of notable Philles (as I listed above) come out and looks happy and optimistic about the change – that makes me happy and optimistic too as a happy.

      Also, hearing Joe G. interviews , Joe sounds more genuine in his thoughts about the game unlike Kap Coconut who talks in political B$.

  36. By the way, Segura is not going anywhere. I still think he’ll end up playing 2b and Kingery will play all over when Bohm comes up. I’m not sold on Haseley but I do still love Quinn when and if healthy. This team will score more runs this year for several reasons. Health and being comfortable with each one will go a long way, once Hoskins starts hitting again. Pitching will one again determine our season (not rocket science I know). There is so much risk with both the starters and the relievers and very little certainty. Even Nola and Wheeler, which versions will we get?

  37. This should be a good year for a heated analytics vs oldschool debate. Young vs Price with 2018 Nola vs 2019 Nola & 2020 Nola. Nola is the biggest damnation on Young imo. If memory serves me, Nola basically starting ignoring Young after his guidance lead him to suckage. When he ignored, we saw the Ace Nola. I have a feeling he has a dominate year again, not just a half season.

  38. Rotation is back around to Pivetta today. What did I miss? Is Wheeler being held out for some reason?
    Good thing the Phils put Gamboa on the forty man roster. Now they know that he can hit
    the long ball!!!

    1. Looks like Wheeler is starting Saturday, he’s been throwing to hitters on the Minor League fields.

    2. Before I jump on the Gamboa wagon…I need to see if he can sustain this resurgence thru the season at Reading or LHV.
      His best year was at LKW in 2017..and that was for only half a season or so because of the injury.
      He does look the part.

  39. I know it is only spring training but I’m loving what I’m seeing with the high minors prospects — Bohm, Muzziotti, Maton, Williams, Marchan are showing very good contact ability – even the poor hitting Gamboa and Ortiz and Gomez having offensive games are joining the party. Moniak doesn’t appear to be intimidated and his defense is close to MLB ready covering all MLB position.

    Bullpen arms Jones, Dohy, Medina, Cleavinger, Brogdon, Russ are showing close to MLB ready bullpen stuff.

    Unfortunately, these fun and good development cannot mask the lack of SP depth down in the farm. So much will be ask of Spencer Howard to contribute upon call up unless the enigmatic trio of Eflin-Pivetta-Vinny finally pitch to their ability or someone like Enyel or Seabold can show consistent and MLB stuff to contribute.

    The Phillies cannot rely on Irvin and Ranger to fill the SP depth. Medina probably needs another year of development. I can see the Phillies shopping for a Hellickson type SP at the deadline.

    1. No radio or TV today but following Gameday app on my phone, I could still hear that old howler, “Everybody hits! Whoo-hoooo!!!” (Granted, against mostly minor league pitching, but hey, most of our regulars also sat.)

  40. The damnation of Chris Young and his failed analytics-based approach. I antagonized a lot of analytics guru in this site because of my strong opposition on the misused and misapplication of data and analytics. Numbers don’t lie but they can deceive as my main argument….Chris Young got caught up into the weeds that it blinded him to what’s the reality out in the field.

    That pitching high in the strike zone sounds a like very familiar line. Is that all they do under CY?

    1. I hear that, also the bus has come by for Kapler a few time as well with Arrietta, Realmuto, Kingery, and Pivetta each taking their turns thrown 1 of them under it. It’s starting to come out in the wash as they say. Will see, one thing to say, another to prove it. In this case, I say the players have a good chance to “prove it”

    2. People can argue if the Chris Young approach was good or bad (I wasn’t a fan) but that real message from the article was that it’s obvious the players weren’t onboard with it.

      For me, the most important job for coaches/managers is in the relationship with the players and getting them to buy into what you’re preaching. It might be true that pitching up in the zone is the best way to get hitters out but if the pitchers (and catcher) are not committed to the philosophy and are not able to execute it, it will fail.

      Good news out of early ST is that the players appear to be much more agreeable to the pitching strategy which also better fits the skill-sets of several of their starters.

      Real proof will be when the games begin.

      1. @3up – i agree. The game is highly dependent of the skills and abilities of the players to execute. I’m sure that high FB and a tight CB with certain RPM statistically can take batters out. But it will depend if the pitchers has the ability to execute it. Nola, Arrieta and Eflin are better know for their 2S or Sinkers that generates GB. Nola is awesome in painting the corners, making the batters guess by changing speeds to set up his CB or CU for a K. Vinny and Pivetta have command issues so if they can’t command a fast FB high in the zone it can get crushed!! Nobody needs to be Einstein to figure out that the philosophy and the players skill set are not a good match. The 2nd mistake is why continue to force it when CY is not getting the results! Nola and Eflin went back to their old ways and started to pitch better.

        I never thought that a pitching coach can screw up a team but CY just did that. As a proof, all the young arms regressed in 2019.

    3. Hate to see that stuff. I was not a fan of either coach but again if you weren’t willing to say that stuff while they were here you shouldn’t come out with it after they are gone.

      Intelligent fans will figure it out on their own.

      1. DMAR…….reading between the lines…JTR did say things about the pitching philosophy they were using, to Young …not sure he would have jumped the chain and have gone to Kapler. .
        Also, I do not think it is a good idea to go public in the middle of the season.
        After all they were 63-48 on August 6th and right there in the hunt
        Just the last 51 games they broke down and went 18-33

      2. The flashbacks to Kapler & Young will fade to black once the season begins. Occasionally there will be references made, but the pedigree of Girardi & Price will stand or fall on its own. It’s the consensus both within the organization and without, that the previous manager and his PC weren’t a fit for this roster. Time will prove if Kapler ever finds his fit. SFG may be his last chance. Girardi is now with his 3rd team and still commands respect throughout baseball.

      3. Now come on. If you’re a guy like Pivetta or VV and you’re just hanging on by a thread are you going to take on the pitching coach directly or through the press? Of course not! You’re going to be a good soldier and try to do what they are telling you to do despite your reservations.

  41. Bohm and Stott are reported to play together in the left side of INF later in the game today. Too bad the game is not televised. I think the next 3 games where Nola and Wheeler will pitch are not televised!

    1. Dumb question but I’ll ask anyways
      If they’re not actually televised, will they be on MLBTV or won’t be on in general?
      I’m not local

      1. It doesn’t have too. I think the Phillies can utilize some of the players already in the CLW. Hernandez, Gomez, Stephen, Julian Garcia, Brito, Ross are some of the minor leaguers that saw some time but were not NRI’s.

        1. who can forget about Jhailyn Ortiz, another non-NRI that get some playing time. Carlos de la Cruz and Johan Rojas (not sure though) also got some cameo early in ST.

          1. Have seen them both in game vs. Pirates the other day. De la Cruz looks like he could take Embiid’s position while he is out – ain’t no way somebody can hit a ball over his head at 6’8″. Both looked a little overmatched vs the AAA pitcher they faced -both K’d.

  42. I’m not sure if Vinny and Pivetta are real mainstays in the rotation. If I’m the pitching coach, I already transitioned these guys in the back of the bull pen 2 years ago and work on that potential plus FB-CB/SL combo. If the Phillies intend to make Vinny and Pivetta as one-dimensional pitchers – bullpen is the direction. But JTR has something to say about that….hopefully, JTR is correct.

    JIM S.: How about Vince Velasquez and Nick Pivetta?

    “Those were two of our main guys last year that we tried to make one-dimensional pitchers and it’s hard to be successful that way so this year they’re both working on different pitches. They’re both trying to throw more changeups and get that fourth pitch, which as a starter, unless you have two or three absolutely dominant pitches, you need four. I feel like both of them are developing that changeup and both are developing the ability to pitch down in the zone and up in the zone and not having to do just one or the other.” — JTR

    Pivetta has been throwing that CU more than ever, it that pitch doesn’t cause a lot of damage, Pivetta becomes viable as a SP again.

    1. It would be a mistake to give up on Nick Pivetta as a starting pitcher.
      As a matter of fact, I would trade Pivetta for an established reliever (Mychal Givens for instance) before I sent him to the BP. He just doesn’t want to be a reliever, and if his heart isn’t into it, he’s probably not going to succeed in that role.
      Again … I’m not suggesting they trade Pivetta. I’ve been on record believing he has a great chance to take off under Bryan Price. I’m just saying the team would be wasting Pivetta in the pen. He doesn’t want to be there.

      1. @Hinkie – as of now, I agree with you. But note that I’ve stated 2 years ago.,,Pivetta or Vinny could have been anchoring the bullpen right now as opposed to trying to figuring out himself.

    1. Our former infielder Jonathan Arauz did too…with better results. Many of us were afraid he would be one of those guys you regret to have traded.

  43. Don’t look now…but the best team in the majors this early in spring training are those Fish from Florida…undefeated.
    Jeter must be getting anxious for the season to begin to see if this is for real.

      1. I would not take them lightly…Phillies should be well aware of that from last year’s disaster 9-10 record with them

        1. Fish always plays the Phillies tough, have for a long time now. Without looking I’m sure Alfaro is off to a scorching hot start, He’ll Cool down by early to mid May. We are good there 🙂

  44. MLB: Opening Day lineup, rotation, closer predictions….I came up with the same line up and order but I like to tinker about switching Rhys and Didi as #4/#5 depending on the pitcher.

    1) Andrew McCutchen, CF
    2) J.T. Realmuto, C
    3) Bryce Harper, RF
    4) Rhys Hoskins, 1B
    5) Didi Gregorius, SS
    6) Jean Segura, 3B
    7) Scott Kingery, 2B
    8) Adam Haseley, CF

    1) Aaron Nola, RHP
    2) Zack Wheeler, RHP
    3) Jake Arrieta, RHP
    4) Zach Eflin, RHP
    5) Vince Velasquez, RHP

    Closer: Héctor Neris, RHP

    1. Kuko, I think Pivetta and Velasquez are battling for a bullpen spot moreso than the #5, if you follow me. I agree with the earlier comment that it the rotation or bust for Nicky P. Velasquez? He’d be the #5 only by default. Otherwise, he’s ticketed for the pen. Just my perspective anyway.

      1. @8mark – unless the Phillies sign a veteran FA SP, one of Vinny and Pivetta will slot into the final rotation spot. Howard, for obvious reason, will not make the Phillies out of ST — Enyel, Irvin and Ranger cannot be trusted as a SP option unless Vinny or Pivetta pitched themselves out of the team. Liriano, if signed, probably will be a swing man early in the season. Medina and Jojo still needs development.

        So far Nola-Wheeler-Arrieta are locks and Eflin-Vinny-Pivetta will fill the next 2 slots are there are no other options in the 40-man. That’s why I still prefer for the Phillies to sign another FA SP. If not, one of Vinny or Pivetta will be in the rotation. And if its Vinny, Pivetta might start in LHV. And if it’s Pivetta, Vinny might transition to the bullpen.

        1. KuKo:
          “That’s why I still prefer for the Phillies to sign another FA SP…”
          ….may come down to the $$$$ and CBT.
          They seem hesitant on going over the top.

  45. I, as much as anyone on this site, hope that Moniak turns into a solid MLB player but how would A.J. Puk look in the Phillies rotation today?

    When that draft came around, there was a lot of excitement and discussion having the 1-1 pick. I was on the Puk bandwagon from the start.

  46. Girardi told Matt Gelb and other reporters that Cutch will open the season on the IL, perhaps available as early as mid-April. Stay tuned…

    1. The IL is still 10 days….pitchers it is now 15.
      So looking at somewhere around April 6 if he is healthy.

  47. KuKo, I assume you meant Cutch in LF, and we have talked for a while about him not being ready for Opening Day. That looks to be the case. So, does Quinn stay healthy through ST? If so, I think he plays LF and bats leadoff, although wouldn’t he be better in CF and Haseley in LF? Quinn is the next best lead off hitter after Cutch

      1. I prefer to have Jay Bruce come off the bench as a serious power threat late in a game. Quinn at the top of the lineup in Cutch’s place offers so much more, even though he of course doesn’t bring a proven track record of Bruce’s calibre. But considering his defensive, speed and energy, for the brief time that he’ll be needed, Quinn is a better option.

  48. I wonder if Cutch being injured opens the door for Williams to try to show he can help the team or not.

  49. Although April will be a test with the schedule, 21 of first 31 games on the road, a bigger month is May….18 of 27 are home games – and even bigger is that 9 of those 18 home games are against Atlanta, NYM and the Nats.

  50. Going to my first ST game today while I’m on vacation in Orlando. Any quick tips that could help? Were on the lawn since the kids are with us.

  51. Rocco………….no one talking baseball the past 2 days. How is the hockey looking from your perspective? Eshelman looked good for the Orioles.

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