Open Discussion: Week of March 9th

One hundred-and-nine wins.  That’s what you get if you extrapolate the Phillies’ won/loss record over their first 17 games (11-5-1) of spring training over a 162-game schedule.  Actually, the number is 109.58.  I decided not to round up.  So, 109-53?  Why not?

This is the kind of thinking we did as children in the early 60s when we followed the Phillies.  Take a hot streak and extend it over the rest of the season to convince ourselves the Phillies could still win the pennant.  Calculate that they only had to go 27-4 to win the pennant, if all the teams ahead of them lost every night.  And other child-like thoughts.  But, why not?

Just kidding, their are many reasons why not.   I saw a recent article, which I can’t find now, that listed five questions that the Phillies must still answer in spring training.  I believe they were –

  1. Who’s in the rotation?
  2. Who’s in the bullpen?
  3. Who’s on the bench?
  4. Who’s in CF?
  5. Who’s on third?  Who’s on first.  What’s the name of the guy on second base.  I don’t know.  Third  base.

All valid questions.  Most will sort themselves out.

The rotation will be Nola, Wheeler, Arrieta, probably Eflin, and a LHP.  Right now, it appears to me that both Velasquez and Pivetta are pitching themselves out of the rotation.  Maybe they have a shot to unseat Eflin who has looked shaky.  Suarez seems to have the inside track on a rotation spot as the others struggle, but he gave up a lot of hard contact his last start.  Another lefty might have the opportunity to step up.  Unless Eflin, Velasquez, and Pivetta have remarkable turn-arounds, I expect a LHP to be in the rotation.

The bullpen will be up in the air until opening day.  The returns of Arano and Dominguez will determine the make up of the bullpen.  Alvarez, Davis, and Morgan are all pitching well nut are all left-handed.  Neris is a lock.  Kelley has pitched well but requires a transaction.  Liriano, Guerra?  The walks scare me.  Garcia?  Probably.  We’ll see.

McCutchen’s slow rehab will alter the opening day outfield.  The most likely outcome is Haseley or Quinn in CF and a platoon of Haseley/Quinn with Bruce in LF.  And of course, Harper in right.

The 5-man bench will include Knapp, whichever of the three outfielders isn’t starting in LF/CF, an outfielder and 2 infielders.  I think minds are more close to being made up here than anywhere else.  I think Nick Williams is playing himself into his third option.  I am impressed by Luke Williams, but don’t think he has a chance due to his youth.  I’m guessing they have settled on experience over youth.  I expect Torreyes, Walker, Harrison, Forsythe, Martini, and Mahtook are the front runners for these 3 spots.  Personally, I think Listi has hit his way into consideration.  And, Gamboa has impressed me so far, as well.  We’ll see.

Who’s on third also begs the question, who’s on second.  It’s not really a big issue since the only two considerations at either position are Segura and Kingery.  But, …

So many starters aren’t hitting in spring training right now.  Gregorius is still looking for his first base hit, but he doesn’t really worry me too much.  Hoskins, in spite of a good day on Saturday, does worry me.  Kingery, Haseley, Quinn are all struggling.  Harper, Realmuto, and Segura are hitting above .330, but you know who’s hitting even better?  Yes, Bohm.

I know Bohm is not in their opening day plans.  But, come on, another good bat in the line up won’t hurt.  What does it cost?  His arb clock starts earlier and he becomes a super two?  So, money?  The Phillies will still have control for six years, unless that changes in the new CBA.  In six years, hell probably be a first baseman.  Those are easy to replace in free agency.  All I’m suggesting is don’t throw away runs and maybe a couple wins in April for money on the back end.

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

Key Dates:

  • March 17, 2020 – 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 March 9th … 379 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)
3/07/2020 – Phillies optioned JoJo Romero to Lehigh Valley
3/07/2020 – Phillies optioned Adonis Medina to Reading
3/07/2020 – Phillies optioned Cristopher Sanchez to Reading
3/07/2020 – Phillies assigned Kyle Dohy to minor league camp
3/07/2020 – Phillies assigned Damon Jones to minor league camp
3/07/2020 – Phillies assigned Zach Warren to minor league camp
3/04/2020 – Phillies signed OF Jordan McArdle to a minor league contract
3/04/2020 – Phillies signed RHP Jason Lott to minor league contract
3/02/2020 – Rafael Carvajal released (2/17/20)
3/02/2020 – Rafi Gonell released (2/13/20)
3/02/2020 – Jose Taveras released (2/13/20)
3/02/2020 – Juan Carlos Smith released (2/13/20)
3/02/2020 – Grant Dyer retired (1/17/20)
3/02/2020 – Edinso Aleman released (date unknown)
3/02/2020 – Luis Candelo released (date unknown)
3/02/2020 – Wilbert Garcia released (date unknown)
3/02/2020 – Jhongel Malaver released (date unknown)
3/02/2020 – Hernando Mejia released (date unknown)
3/02/2020 – Yefferson Mercedes released (date unknown)
3/02/2020 – Giuseppe Peguero released (date unknown)
3/02/2020 – Santy Prada released (date unknown)
3/02/2020 – Ellian Rondon released (date unknown)
3/02/2020 – Bailey Cummings released/retired (date unknown)
3/02/2020 – Gabriel Ojeda released/retired (date unknown)
2/25/2020 – Phillies signed FA INF Ali Castillo to an MiLB contract (unknown date)
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)
2/21/2020 – 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
2/13/2020 – Lakewood released SS Seth Lancaster
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

297 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of March 9th

  1. I’m so happy Girardi is learning towards have Kingery play his best and most natural position, second base. Segura will be fine on third. And this just makes the most sense. Welcome to the non-Gabe style of thinking.

  2. I’m thinking that Haseley will open the year at LHV with Quinn in cf and Martini will make the team as the extra OF. Martini will start in LF if Bruce is unable to throw. He says he’s feeling better though. The 2 IF jobs are still up in the air but 40 man spots could force tough decisions. Martini and 2 IFs plus Storen and Liriano would be 5 spots to be found. Williams and Gamboa could be released. The other spots will be tougher to find. I had thought Davis could go but he has pitched great this spring. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some trades of pitchers, especially Vinnie. A pen of 8 from 11 of Neris, Dominguez, Morgan, Vinnie, Suarez, Guerra, Storen, Kelley, Liriano, Alvarez and Arano if healthy. This assumes Eflin and Pivetta are 4/5. Tough decisions all around.

    1. Don’t forget a lot of those former vet NRIs have opt-outs in 10 to 14 days if they do not make the 26 man.
      Logan Forsythe and Neil Walker and Francisco Liriano and Anthony Swarzak opt- outs March 19, along with Blake Parker
      Josh Harrison and Phil Gosselin, March 23.
      The rest are starting in June:
      ……. Christian Bethancourt and Ronald Torreyes — June 1

      …….. Mikie Mahtook, Matt Szczur and Drew Storen — June 15.

      …….. Bud Norris — June 30.

      1. Knapp still hasn’t played a ST game. If the pitchers like throwing to Grullon he’ll likely be the BU catcher if Knapp is on the IL to start.

        I have these guys as locks right now to make the opening day 26: Harper, JT, Hoskins, Segura, Didi, Kingery, Quinn, Haseley, Bruce which is 9 guys

        If the cuts were made today I also think: Torreyes and Forsythe land jobs on the 26 which brings the total to 11 guys

        Leaving 2 spots being fought for. Martini being a LH bat and OF likely is in and probably Walker.

        1. Haseley is not a lock. Quinn is beating him out and they don’t want him in the bench not playing every day. Bruce will start in LF if he’s able to throw. Martini has looked pretty good and Garlick is on the 40 already and bats right handed and I think both will make the 25. I think they’ll go with the best bats on the bench. Right now I’d guess Walker and Forsythe. Of the NRI guys, I think Gosselin, Mahtook, Torreys, and Bethancourt will all stick around. Cszur will too but on the DL. On the pitching side, Swarzak, Norris and Parker are gone. I think Stock will go on 60 day DL and a few like Irvin ad Vinnie will get traded.

          1. Roman Quinn is about to play his age 27 season think about that. Think about that he’s never been healthy enough to play more than 77 games in a single season.

            Yet here we are thinking he is somehow going to be the everyday CF for a playoff team.

        2. DMAR, I have my doubts Haseley goes north for opening day. Martini and Garlick are two players who might fit in LF until Cutch returns, alongside Quinn in CF. Bruce may be considered a PH/1B/DH option only, at least early on, due to his arm. Needless to say, there will most likely be much roster movement in April and May.

          By virtue of being a LHP, Ranger seems to have the inside track on the #5. And another guy who may be considered a swing option – Francisco Liriano.

          1. LOL the Haseley haters

            Sure there is a chance he doesn’t go north and his poor spring thus far gives Klentak that out.

            That aside he has nothing left to prove in the minors. So I hate repeating myself but you either believe he is the player you drafted 8th overall or you don’t regardless of his spring stats.

            1. I don’t hate Haseley, DMAR. I question whether he is any more than a 4th OF. Nice player. But sadly no, as the 1-8 pick in 2017, he doesn’t strike me as an impact player. You stated that he’s a lock to go north. That’s what I was responding to. I am impressed with his athleticism, especially in the outfield. Just not sold on his bat.

            2. Well 8mark Haseley has made ever stop in the minors 1027 PA’s 292/360/798 OPS

              Does that guarantee he is going to be that in the MLB nope not at all.

              I suppose it takes courage to find out. Maybe the consensus around here is that we have to make the playoffs at all costs this year. I say this team is not ready to contend therefore my eye is still on building the future

              Guys like Bruce, Cutch and even Quinn because he’s never stayed healthy for a full season don’t figure into my Phuture Phillies.

              Perhaps also if you treat a guy like he is nothing more than a 4th OF that’s all you ever get out of him or treat a guy like he is your best player and…

  3. I am of the naive belief that teams should take the best 26 players north, but baseball is a business, so future financial considerations will win out. Does having Alec Bohm in the lineup give the Phillies a better chance to win? Probably. But the Phillies are usually reluctant to bring a player up unless he has had “development” time in the minors.

    1. Bohm is not going to make the team out of camp because of service time manipulation which I am perfectly ok with.

      But that wasn’t your question. Your question was does Bohm give the team a better chance to win.

      I say probably not because his making the roster means it displaces one of either Segura, Didi or Kingery in the LU and that all has a downstream affect on winning.

      1. I do think it would have behooved the Phillies to give Bohm ST reps in LF once Cutch was determined to miss the first several weeks. An opening day lineup could have looked like this…

        JT Realmuto c
        Bryce Harper rf
        Jean Segura 3b
        Rhys Hoskins 1b
        Didi Gregorius ss
        Alec Bohm lf
        Scott Kingery 2b
        Aaron Nola p
        Roman Quinn cf

        1. ….by the way, that’s close to the Phillies lineup versus Happ and the Yanks today, with the exception of Mahtook in LF. Just saying….

        2. That would be wise of them.
          If he ends up in LHV o start the season…they can let him finish games in LF up there.
          But they seem bent on first base as his second position.
          Matt Breen was saying yesterday he thinks he will be alright for third base.

          1. Romus, “alright for third base” is okay for the Marlins or Tigers or Orioles. If the Phillies are playoff relevant in September and October, uh-uh.

            1. Do they really need a Gold Glove at third to compete for the WS ring!

              2005 Mike Lowell (Marlins)
              2006 Scott Rolen
              2007 David Wright
              2008 David Wright
              2009 Ryan Zimmerman
              2010 Scott Rolen
              2011 Plácido Polanco
              2012 Chase Headley
              2013 Nolan Arenado…thru 2019

              …not many WS winners here.

            2. That may have had more to do with the rest of the team, Romus. I’m not suggesting Bohm must be a Gold Glove at 3b. But he can’t look like Chuckles the Clown either, especially in critical games when a smart manager calls for a drag bunt toward 3b.

      2. Service time manipulation may be #1 topic addressed in the new CBA for 2022.. To me it stinks. Over time it marginally helps teams bottom line but impacts there performance on the field in real time.. If the owners don’t budge on this issue I hope the Players Union strikes over it..

        1. Why would they strike over that one issue? It affects a guy’s salary for one year tops. The baseball players have the most effective union in all of American sports and both sides have realized the value of labor peace. I cannot imagine they would go to war over this issue or pretty much any other issue that is being discussed right now.

  4. Finally I’ve seen enough STs to know MLB veterans despite their ST Stats will be the back of their baseball cards come regular season provided they are healthy.

    AAAA guys are usually iffy bets despite their strong ST results.

    1. Agree.
      Too many tiimes we have seen the ‘HoF’ Spring training hitters….and then comes live action in April and it is a letdown.
      Just look at Kingery the past two spring trainings.
      Probably this time he comes out of the gate ablaze in April.
      Hard to figure.

  5. Thing with ST stats is that different players have different agendas. Guys who know they are going north may be experimenting with their approach, trying to focus on hitting certain pitches, etc. The non-roster guys are trying to make a team so they are trying to produce the best numbers possible. The minor leagues who started in big league camp but know they aren’t making the team are trying to impress and soak up as much knowledge as possible.

    Same with pitchers, where some are trying to master certain pitches in game situations, others are simply building up innings for opening day, and some are trying hard to make a roster.

    Stats are also skewed because players are often facing ML guys on other teams. For example, Bohn has looked very good offensively in ST but how many of his at-bats are against major league pitchers vs. facing minor league guys in later innings..

  6. With three months and one day to go until the draft, it’s evident that (barring a significant injury) five players will never make it to pick 1-15: RHP Emerson Hanco@k, LHP Asa Lacy, 1Bman Spencer Torkelson, MIF Nick Gonzales, and IF/OF Austin Martin.
    So … who are the best players who could make it to the Phillies?

    THE AILING PREMIER COLLEGE ARMS: LH Garret Crochet (Tennessee), RH JT Ginn (Miss St), LH Hugh Fisher (Vandy). All three were projected top of the draft arms, but have fallen because of arm injuries. Crochett hasn’t thrown yet this season. He’s nursing a sore shoulder. Ginn (two weeks ago) and Fisher (last fall) have had TJ surgery. How much of a discount could the Phillies get on one of these guys if they were even willing to take a chance on them at all? Remember … in 2015 (before Klentak), the team was interested in Walker Buehler, but took a pass because of arm injury concerns. The LAD’s took Buehler at 1-24, sent him in for TJ aftter the draft, and have been handsomesly rewarded for that gamble. The Phillies, BTW, picked Cornelius Randolph at 1-10 that year. How’s that working out?

    Ginn is a former Dodgers’ 1st round draft pick (2018), but chose to attend school instead. Last season, as a freshman, Ginn totaled 80.1 IP, 69 H, 18 BB, 103 K.

    Crochet is a lanky lefty (6’6″, 215 lbs), who went 65 IP, 67 H, 22 BB, 81 K between the Volunteers’ BP and starting rotation in 2019.

    1. THE TOP HEALTHY COLLEGE ARMS: LH Reid Detmers (Louisville), RH Max Meyer (Minnesota), RH Cade Cavalli (Oklahoma). Any of these three highly productive pitchers would make excellent choices for the Phillies if they make it to 1-15.

      Of the three, Dtmers is probably the least likely to be available at 1-15. He is ranked #14 on MLB.com’s draft list, #16 by Fangraphs, and the #8 draft eligible college prospect by D1 Baseball.com. The 6’2″, 185 lb Louisville standout has been stymying college hitters for three seasons. In 2018, Detmer]’/s went 107.1 IP, 68 H, 27 BB, 162 K. So far, in 2020, Detmers is 22 IP, 16 H, 6 BB, 48 K.

      Meyer is the guy I’ve been focusing on. He’s #24 for MLB.com, #20 for Fangraphs, #26 college prospect for D1 Baseball.com. The thing is … the diminuitive (6’0″, 185 lb) Golden Gopher RHP has been so good, he’s quickly darting up draft boards. This season, Meyer has totaled 27.2 IP, 15 H, 8 BB, 46 K. He’s done this with two plus pitches: upper 90’s FB and two plane SL.

      Cade Cavalli is #28 on MLB.com, #18 on Fangraphs, and #16 college prospect by D1 Baseball.com. The 6’4″, 220 lb Sooner is 23.2 IP, 25 H, 5 BB, 37 K this season.

      1. THE COLLEGE HITTERS (this is the pond Matt Klentak likes to fish from): OFer Garrett Mitchell (UCLA), OFer Heston Kjerstad (Arkansas), C Patrick Bailey (NC State), C Austin Wells (Arizona)

        Garrett Mitchell is #6 on MLB.com, #8 on Fangraphs, and #6 on D1 Baseball’s college prospect list. The switch hitting Bruin has plus speed, plus defense in CF, an average to slightly above avg bat, and virtually no pop. He’s slashing .355/.425/.484 this season.

        Heston Kjerstad is #13 on MLB.com, #42 on Fangraphs, and the #10 college prospect according to D1 Baseball.com. The Arkansas OFer has been an offensive force since turnind down the Seattle Mariners, who drafted him on day three of the 2017 draft. He was named the SEC (top conference in America) Freshman Of The Year for slashing .332 /.419/.553 14 HR’s. He followed that up by going .329/.404/.574 16 HR’s as a sophomore. The 6’4″, 205 lb slugger is off to a great start in 2020: .424/.485/.814 6 HR’s.

        Patrick Bailey is #26 on MLB.com’s list, #31 on Fangraph’s, and the #11 college prospect according to D1 Baseball.com. Like Kjerstad, Bailey was a day three draft pick out of HS who chose college. Also, like Kjerstad, Bailey was named Freshman Of The Year in his conference (ACC). The Wolfpack backstop is average defensively. However, the swith-hitting catcher has been very productive with the bat. He’s posted OPS marks over 1.000 during each of his first two seasons. In 2020, Bailey is slashing .327/.493/.755 6 HR’s.

        Austin Wells is ranked #23 on MLB.com, #37 on Fangraphs, and the #12 college prospect on D1 Baseball.com’s list. If you connect the dots, Wells could make sense to the Phillies. New Phillies Amateur Scouting Director Brian Barber was part of the NYY’s scouting department that picked the Wildcat’s backstop in the 35th tound of the 2018 draft. Wells (soph eligible) is also another product of a Las Vegas HS (Harper and Stott). Wells gets some Kyle Schwarber mentions. The LHH probably won’t be good enough defensively to become a full time MLB catcher, but his bat should be loud enough to profile in LF/1B/DH. As a freshman, Wells slashed .353/.462/ .552. He also had more BB’s than K’s. This season, he’s at .375/.527/.589. To top it all off, Wells was a beast on the Cape last summer (voted the #2 prospect by Prospects Live). He slashed .308/.389/.526, 7 HR, 8 SB with a wood bat.

        1. THE HS BATS: OFer Zac Veen, OF Austin Hendrick, OF Dylan Crews, SS Ed Howard, 3B Jordan Walker. Mid 1st round is an area where top prep players have a history of falling (and being picked).

          Zac Veen is #22 on MLB.com’s draft board and #4 on Fangraph’s list. Veen is committed to the Univ of Florida, but will be drafted high enough to head straight to professional ball. The LHH has great size (6’4″, 180 lbs), and a sweet swing.

          Austin Hendrick is ranked 11th by MLB.com and 10th by Fangraphs. The western PA HS OFer has a Mississippi St committment, but (again) there’s practically no chance he ever makes it to campus. Hendrick has one of the top power tools in the class, and starred on the summer circut.

          Dylan Crews currently ranks #45 on MLB.com’s list and #24 on Fangraph’s file. I suspect his advanced bat will be tempt a club in the mid first round. The RHH OFer has an LSU committment.

          Ed Howard is listed #12 by MLB.com and #15 by Fangraphs. He has greta size (6’2″, 180 lbs) for a SS. The bat is good. The glove is better.

          Jordan Walker is #20 on MLB.com and #7 on Fangraphs. Walker is a great student (is commited to Duke). The young 3Bman reminds me of a younger Alec Bohm: long and lean (6’5″, 210 lbs) with plenty of power to come.

          1. THE PREP PITCHERS: Mick Abel, Nick Bitsko, Jared Kelley are all RH throwers. There is absolutely no evidence the Phillies, under this regime, have had even a tiny bit of interest in this profile. To my Knowledge, the only HS arms Matt Klentak has ever considered in the 1st round are a couple of southpaws: Trevor Rogers in 2017 and Matthew Liberatore in 2018.

            Bitsko, BTW, is a local kid (Central Bucks East HS) and is ranked #9 by MLB.com and #14 by Fangraphs. He recently reclassified as a senior (from a HS junior) and is available to be picked this June. The 18 YO Virginia commit has a good frame (6’3″, 210 lbs) and packs two plus pitches (mid 90’s FB) and a CB with excellent spin rates.

        2. Well done throughout, Hinkie. I’ll go with Max Meyer or Austin Wells as my early 1-15 picks. Thanks for the breakdown and videos.

    2. Hinkie……that will be a tough decision for Klentak at 15 ….with the pitchers that have arm issues who will be available at 15.
      You know teams like the Nats and Dodgers….drafting in the hi-20s will not pass on those guys…they will just wait for rehab process to be completed and then slot thse pitchers into their minor league system.

  7. The work you do is terrific, Hinkie, getting us all of this information. I want one of the College Pitchers, and Detmers falling to us would be great. I don’t think that the folks making the decisions for us will have any interest in one of the Pitchers who is currently injured. Risk averse is characteristic #1. Yes, the Dodgers did great with Walker Buehler, and were amply rewarded. We don’t have that type of mindset making the decisions for us.

  8. Great stuff Hinkie….

    My good friend’s son plays in the same showcase circuit as Bitsko and I saw him out at Manheim back in Oct/Nov he’s legit but so was Jesse Biddle.

    It’s not always good for these youngsters to be drafted by their hometown clubs.

    1. If all the players I profiled above were available at 1-15, and signing bonus demands were all the same, I’d rank my top choices:

      1. Reid Detmers
      2. Max Meyer
      3. JT Ginn
      4. Zac Veen
      5. Garrett Mitchell
      6. Cade Cavalli
      7. Austin Wells
      8. Austin Hendrick

  9. LLovera is having a really nice showing this Spring. It may prove to be wise that we didn’t spend a ton on the BP this past off season.

    1. In 2019, injury bug and young arms not MLB ready hurt the bullpen a lot. The Phillies bullpen ranking 5th in ERA towards the back end of last season is a good sign that the Phillies can ride on especially that Seranthony and Arano are getting closer to 100%.

      For 2020, the farm is more than ready to provide the needed reinforcements to the bullpen in the case of injury, under performance or outright suckage.

  10. Rosso and Llovera looked good today. Bethancourt with another HR. How is his D? Bryce is ready for the season to start. Didi still looking for his first hit!

  11. Was wondering on the 1B situation in Lehigh. Listi should be playing every day, but do they have Hall in AAA even with struggling last year in Reading?

    I’m liking some of these younger pen guys in the upper minors like Russ, Cleavenger, and Dohy (who could be Ken Giles IF he gets his control under wraps).

    I will say that either Pivetta or VV have to go, but what do you get in return for them? Suarez I still is much better suited in the pen, which means that 5th starter is still a question mark IMO. Still dumbfounded they didnt resign Drew Smyly.

      1. They should have saved the money on the Grigorious contract and allocated it to one year deals (perhaps with an option year) for both Smyly and Alex Wood. This is not a slam on Didi, he’s a perfectly fine player, but it just wasn’t a proper allocation of resources in my view.

        1. I’ve been trying to make this point since it happened. MK always seems to zig when he should zag

          I’m pretty sure Joe pressured him into the Didi signing. I’m pretty sure there were other FA signs that were not of his making

          But I’m also plenty sure there were many more deals that were all his. Most if not all have blown up in his face. This job is too big for him IMO.

          1. I don’t know if the job is too big for him – he’s pretty smart in a conventional sense and he’s diligent I believe, but he’s show no special ability to evaluate talent or, thus, far, hire those who can. Wood and Smyly could have been on the payroll for a combined $15 m per year – it was such a no brainer in my view. But what do I wanted them to exercise Morton’s option while he was here and to sign him when they had a second chance but, hey, they knew much better, right?

          2. I just don’t understand why there had to be the choice of either Didi Gregorius or Drew Smyly? Why not just go over the cap (even by a little) for both Didi and Drew. If Middleton is ok with paying the tax for a deadline acquisition, why not do it to start the season. It would have given Joe Girardi a better roster for the first four months of the season, and it would save the club prospects it will have to surrender to pick up a player/pitcher in July. Sometimes/often this FO makes no sense.

            BTW … I posted my odds on the Phillies trade deadline acquisition a couple of months ago. Drew Symly has the second lowest odds.
            ICYMI (or even care) … here’s the way I see it:

            Hinkie odds on Phillies trade deadline acquisition:

            Yusei Kikuchi 15 to 1
            Archie Bradley 12 to 1
            Alex Cobb 10 to 1
            Yu Darvish 10 to 1
            Daniel Norris 10 to 1
            Jose Urena 8 to 1
            Jeff Samardzija 8 to 1
            Matthew Boyd 7 to 1
            Jon Lester 6 to 1
            Brad Hand 6 to 1
            Keone Kela 5 to 1
            Ken Giles 5 to 1
            Robbie Ray 5 to 1
            Mychal Givens 4 to 1
            Drew Smyly 4 to 1
            Mike Minor 3 to 1

            1. Note: I’m predicting the Phillies get off to a good enough start that Klentak trades Jake Arrieta (for 2020 cap purposes) and two prospects for 3 years of Yu Darvish @ 21 million AAV.

            2. Hinkie, I was under the impression that Arrieta had a no trade clause. In any case, if the Phillies get off to a good enough start, Klentak and MacPhail may be deluded enough to think that they’re okay without making major moves. That’s my concern, anyway. However, I’m not forgetting MacPhail’s words, and that he expects the club to breach the tax threshold at some point in 2020. Let’s hope it’s not too late….or too little.

            3. Well, there didn’t have to be a choice, but since the owner wouldn’t let Klentak exceed the luxury tax limit, there in fact was a choice the GM had to make and, in my view, he chose badly.

  12. Realistically, the Phillies will need 3 bench options (2 INF and 1 OF) and 2 pen arms (RHP and LHP) – if I have to guess Torreyes, Forsythe, Martini, Liriano and a veteran pen like Parker/Storen will probably get those spots.

    The issue is the 40-man and the opt outs. So far, Guerra and McClain are the 2 potential open spots. Who else needs to go to create the additional 3? Unless Klentak can work out a trade that can create open spots, does it make sense to just dump Nick Williams, Enyel delos Santos, etc?

    Given the opt outs – the Phillies will probably keep Torreyes in LHV with Forsythe and Liriano will get the 1st 2 spots and Guerra/McClain DFAd. If Haseley will not win the CF role – Quinn and Bruce will be the starts with Williams and Garlick as the 2 bench OF. I think the Phillies still own the rights over Martini so they can retain him in LHV. The Phillies can choose to fill the bullpen internally but they are still a bench INF short unless they want Gamboa to fill that role.

    My guess wiill be Haseley and Quinn starts in OF with Bruce and Garlick in the bench. Trade/release Williams and DFA Guerra/McClain to add Forsythe, Liriano and possibly Harrison. Phillies keep Torreyes, Storen, Bethancourt in LHV and see these trio can bumped anybody out of the 26-man until they opt out.

    1. Keep Torreyes in LHV and fill the bench slot for IF with Gamboa? I’m not sure I follow that. I do think there comes a time if you can’t find a trade partner and the pipeline is full with comparable talent that you dump/release players. Of course if that is your call you have to be a good evaluator and not “kennel blind”. Still hoping for the trade Romus keeps hinting about.

      1. Jim….that trade will probably never happen.
        Matt K. is really not too creative when it comes to player movement/acquisition, outside of the many fungible reliever arms and utility bats,,,,, and he also tends to take the slow route on trades..

        1. Romus…………Sadly, I think you are right. Remember “the whiz kids”? I don’t mean Whitey and that bunch, I mean Robert S. McNamara and that bunch. They had a plan too!

          1. For Matt K….this could be his last hurrah with the Phillies.
            I do not see him back next year, unless the team makes the play-offs.

      2. @jim – the premise of that conclusion is that Klentak will only make 2 roster moves — DFA Guerra/McClain is my guess === these 2 roster spots will be prioritize to veterans who have earlier opt outs — Forsythe and Liriano will be my guess.

        Putting the best 26-man is the easiest exercise to do. But in reality considerations such as service time, opt outs, available roster spots, etc makes it more complicated for GMs to navigate around. Unfortunately, the Phillies has one of the least creative FO in the league.

  13. Joe G. gave hints that today’s lineup could be a harbinger of Opening Day, with Jay Bruce playing in LF. JTR, Bryce, Segura to bat 1-2-3. Quinn 8th. Interesting that JTR at leadoff seems to be a real thing.

  14. Moniak is having a nice camp. Small sample size, of course, but I like the 5 BB to 2 K ratio across 19 PA. Hope he puts up a good year in AAA

    1. Agreed MM is having a good camp and 5 BB to 2 K is purposeful hopefully. I however would make him start the year in AA and continue to implement that approach over 150 PAs before moving him up to AAA.

  15. Is Bethancourt a better back-up to JT than Knapp? I like what I’ve seen from him this camp and wow he can really throw and frame.

    1. Bethancourt is IMO a better option to begin the season while they start Knapp at AAA to “make sure he’s ready to go”. I know Jim insists that the Phillies love Knapp and he will be the backup, but that could be a miscalculation on their part. Knapp is an ideal organization guy who should become a good coach at some point. I prefer a backup C to have more years in the big leagues. Bethancourt doesn’t have extensive experience but more than Knapp, plus a better skill set overall, including some pop in his bat.

      1. Does Knapp even have an option available to him?
        Though, even if he has to be DFAed, not sure any team will pick him up

  16. Nola showed up yesterday morning at the Complex and was sent home.
    I suppose the elephant in the room, …is the COVID-19 issue.
    MLB have been drawing up plans to limit player exposure
    When Jim Salisbury asked Joe G about him and when he can expect him back, and will he be available to pitch opening day, which is two weeks away now, Joe’s reply was basically he does not have any idea and not sure.

  17. 3 Camp cuts announced Cleavinger and LLovera to Lehigh Valley and and Hall to Minor League Camp…

    1. Sounds about right to me…though I wonder where they eventually have Luis Garcia.
      I tend to agree with MLB pre-season rankings more times than some of the other publications. It is just their mid-season rankings in August that seem to be just cut and paste after July trades and the June draft.

    2. Amazing..Marlins at 4th already…..two years ago they were in the mid-20s
      Just shows what a few good drafts can do…..and with a little luck and skill in the international market.
      Phillies can get right back up there on that leader horse, with an exceptional draft.

      1. Well, take their top ranked prospect (#22 Sixto Sanchez) and return him to the Phillies for JTR and the rankings would be a bit closer I expect.

  18. DMAR, Cleavinger and Llovera are 2 guys I expect to see in the Big Leagues, and quite possibly, this season. There is zero chance that all of the arms that come North to form the BP stay healthy and/or successful throughout the season.

    1. I agree especially on Llovera. It was just one outing that I saw but I was thoroughly impressed as was JoeG because they had him on live as he was throwing.

    2. @matt13 – i liked what I saw in Llovera and Cleavinger and I also think they have a good change to break camp with the Phillies especially if Hunter, Arano, etc are not 100%. I think the Phillies/Girardi already have a good sense of those two and probably want to focus on the veteran NRIs to see which can stick around before they opt out. Also, Girardi might do a first-in first-out type (Edgar Garcia, Austin Davis, Irvin, Ranger/Vinny/Pivetta) unless these guys pitch their way out of the 26-man.

  19. Bryce taken out of today’s game in 1st AB, HBP on right foot. Left under his own steam. The better news is that Wheeler absolutely blew the Twins first 3 batters away. They had no chance. Filthy.

  20. Interesting that one of the major criticisms of Klentak last year was that he was counting on Eflin, VV and Pivetta to fill out the rotation when so many pitchers were available. So, after all of that well-publicized criticism, here we are a year later counting on Eflin, VV and Pivetta to fill out the rotation. Also hoping again on Arrieta.

    1. Exactly – even if you think the old pitching coach was much to blame, putting the same dudes out there and hoping for a different result without any real safety net was totally nutty to me.

      1. No, it’s not that – it’s that there are two pretty big question marks at the back of the rotation that could have been shored up at a reasonable expense.

        1. I would question whether or not they could have been shored up at a reasonable expense. The idea that Drew Smyly, Alex Woods, etc. are certain to be better than 2 of Eflin, Pivetta, VV, and eventually Spencer Howard is not all that certain.

          But my response was primarily to the comment that they are in the same situation in 2020 with the rotation that they were in 2019 which is obviously not true. Yes, they could have added some additional bodies to the back of the rotation in the hopes of improving their odds not at the cost of triggering the penalty process of being above the tax threshold..

          1. Nothing is certain and of course they improved the rotation. That said, I would have rather had Smyly and Wood than Gregorious – I just don’t agree with how they spread the money around.

            1. Without Didi….assume Kingery or Segura share shortstop, third and 2nd…..who is the third player in that mix until Bohm comes up…Gamboa, Walker, Torreyes, Harrison or Forsythe ?

            2. Catch, I tend to agree.

              As for being in the same situation as in 2019, they aren’t exactly. Wheeler clearly is an improvement. I just would have had Klentak make more moves. And with opening day still two weeks off — Covid-19 willing — he may still.

            3. Was also in favor of spending on pitching vs Didi but do not think it makes sense to bust cap for a 5 th starter

  21. Wow Wheeler dialing it up today 2 IP 5K’s. and a base knock

    Didi gets his first hit of the spring plus an RBI…love to see it.

  22. Cannot understand now after three years, Rhys still looks at a third strike from minor leaguer Jax…..he must be a guess hitter.

  23. Romus, I am a Rhys supporter, but I am nervous about him coming around. I don’t get why he still looks at 1st pitch strikes down the middle, and seems to be guessing like that on 3rd strikes. His second half numbers were abysmal, and we need him and Kingery to perform. I want to be in a position to make Middleton spend at the Deadline for a SP or BP help, or both, and Rhys and Kingery are keys to that. ST has not exactly calmed my nerves. I actually feel pretty good about most of the team, and I am hopeful that we can piece together some type of competent BP.

    1. matt13……Rhys reminds me so much of Pat Burrell….and last year it was like 2003 all over again with Burrell. Both take a lot of pitches and draw a lot of walks….but both seem to be less aggressive than a normal power guy.
      With two strikes Rhys, at times…not always though, but instead of being a defensive hitter like a Werth was, becomes more of a selective hitter….why?
      Last year the NL average with two strikes was:
      0-2….162
      1-2….174
      2-2….186
      https://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/split.cgi?t=b&lg=NL&year=2019
      …..you would think a batter would just put the bat on the ball, as Mike Schmidt always said…’choke, stroke and poke’.

  24. Spencer Howard Alert: If you’re near a TV, Mr. H’s son will be on the mound for the Phillies in the bottom of the 7th inning. That’s moments away!

    1. Twins are swinging early…..even Astudillo got one.

      rocco…your neighbors boy, Jimmy Kerrigan, with two put outs in CF for the Twins…

      1. Yeah. Howard’s 0-2 pitch to Willians Astudillo wasn’t up enough. He seemed to overthrow a couple of FB’s that ended up in the dirt, but for the most part he was very impressive. The breaking balls had good movement, and that last FB the Twins batter took for a called 3rd strike was a thing of beauty on the outer edge of the zone.

        1. Agree…Howard looked very good…the breaking ball movement was exceptional.
          You may be correct…they may keep him down there in April in XST, for awhile before bringing him north to LHV or Philly.

          1. It’s very hard to assess any young player (for better or for worse) by his first appearance in a ST or regular season game. Some players get a crazy adrenaline boost and perform like they never were again (hello, Antonio Bastardo!) and others get tight and just don’t perform the way they can.

            Spencer did well, but it looks like he still needs to work on his command on several of his pitches but, again, when he settles in a little more we’ll get a better idea of where he stands. One thing was clear, however, while Spencer showed decent breaking pitches and a very nice, moving fastball (loved the last pitch of the inning – great stuff!), you could see, by comparison, just how hard and well Zack Wheeler was throwing. If Wheeler stays healthy that could be an all-time signing – his stuff is beyond electric. Not many pitchers have a plus plus fastball with good command, but Wheeler sure does.

            1. Zac Wheeler could be the 11WAR Craig Morton of the last three years that the Philies and Matt K missed the boat on.

              Yeah….Spencer still has to get his innings in, I am sure he is doing plenty of bullpens, but live game action is different.
              The gun had him between 94 and 97 on his FBs yesterday.

      2. Yeah they put him on the forty man roster, He is really good outfielder, nice kid, Only thing is will he hit enough

  25. JTR, Bryce, Nola and Wheeler make the Top 100 on ESPN Top 100 players. We can argue with where they were ranked, but I don’t think anyone was left off that should be on. Soroka so much higher than Nola is wrong, and we knew how loaded the Dodgers are.

  26. Megan Montemurro wrote how Nick Martini has been impressing Joe Girardi with his “professional” at bats this spring. So much so that he may find his way back onto the 26 man roster, let alone the 40, in which case someone (Nick Williams likely, IMO) may be replaced.

  27. Idle roster speculation with 15 days before opening day….

    I can see these 6 NRIs going north on the 26 man roster:
    Francisco Liriano
    Christian Bethancourt
    Logan Forsythe
    Ronald Torreyes
    Neil Walker

    …and these 6 players being removed from the 40 man roster, either DFA’d or traded:

    Deolis Guerra
    Reggie McClain
    Robert Stock (moved to 60day IL)
    Nick Williams
    Arquimedes Gamboa
    either Nick Pivetta or Vince Velasquez traded – barring injury, I don’t see BOTH being on Girardi’s team
    (*David Robertson is already on the 60day IL)

    Which would constitute the following 26 man roster:

    (2) Catchers: Christian Bethancourt, JT Realmuto (Andrew Knapp optioned to AAA or remains in Clearwater for XST)

    (6) Infielders: Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery, Didi Gregorius, Jean Segura, Logan Forsythe, Neil Walker

    (5) Outfielders: Bryce Harper, Roman Quinn, Jay Bruce, Kyle Garlick, Nick Martini (Adam Haseley optioned to AAA – something isn’t right with him)

    (5) Starting rotation: Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Jake Arrieta, Zach Eflin, Ranger Suarez

    (8) Bullpen: Hector Neris, Seranthony Dominguez, Adam Morgan, Jose Alvarez, either Pivetta or Velasquez, Francisco Liriano, Cole Irvin, Victor Arano (if healthy) or Anthony Swarzak (and Arano to 60day IL to make room)

    LET’S GO PHILLIES!

        1. I thought he had as good a shot to stick as anyone before camp opened, but his better days seem to have passed.

    1. I agree with much of this but there’s no way Bethancourt is making the 26. I think the Phils will try hard to have him stay at LHV. Knapp has this team made if healthy and if he’s not, they won’t lose a player from the 40 to promote Bethancourt got a short time when there’s already another catcher on the 40.
      I agree that Haseley will get sent down and I agree that Martini will get Williams’ 40 spot while making the 26 man roster with Garlick. I think Forsythe and Walker make the 26 (Gamboa loses 40 spot plus a pitcher) and they try to get Torreyes and Gosselin to accept LHV.
      I think Pivetta wins the 5th spot, Suarez makes the pen, Vinnie gets traded, and the pen decisions are tough. Neris, Dominguez, Morgan, Alvarez, Suarez, and Liriano are set. Arano doesn’t seem like he’ll be ready. Kelley, Storen, Swarzak, McLain and Guerra fighting for two spots. It’s anyone’s guess. However, with Hunter and Arano coming back in April, that might make them want to keep the upside arms (McLain and Guerra) over the veteran arms.

    2. I totally forgot about Torreyes. He’s a Girardi guy. Might be difficult to keep him off the big league roster. If so, tough call between Forsythe and Walker. I go Walker since he bats both sides and his clubhouse rep as a glue guy.

  28. We also need Aaron Nola to regain his status as an Ace, not just our #1 SP. I just read an MLB list of potential Cy Young winners, and I know there are tons of lists, and they mean nothing, but Zach Wheeler is on the top 20, but Nola is not. Just an indication that his rep around the league has been tarnished because of some spotty work last season. He is just a season removed from a top 3 CY finish and that Pitcher is certainly who he can be again.

    1. I suppose he is with the group that includes Corbin, Snell et al

      “20. Germán Márquez, RHP, Rockies
      Petriello: I should probably pick Nola, or Corbin, or Snell, or Lucas Giolito, or maybe even lean into how much I like Clevinger here. But for the final pick, I’m going with someone I kind of want to see win.”

    2. matt13…..IMO, with 30 teams…..the top 2 on each team could conceivably be in the running for a break-out CY Young year…that is 60 pitchers…even teams like the Tigers, Os, Royals, Mariners etc could have a legit pitcher as a candidate.

      I did notice that Rox LHP Kyle Freeland….4th in the voting in 2018…was not even mentioned…..guys like him sometimes come back better and stronger than ever.

  29. I agree Romus, I was just remarking on how Nola’s perception has taken a hit. I believe in him, and think he will have a great year. To the trade comments above in putting together a 26 man Roster. I don’t see a trade happening out of ST. Klentak would need to receive less than what he perceives the value to be. He doesn’t do that. We can point to Cesar and Franco and Nick Williams as Exhibits A, B and C .I think, if there are no better performances than what we have seen so far, that Pivetta goes to LHV, and Vinny starts by default. Ranger makes it as a long reliever, but I think they want Ranger to be a SP. I don’t think Pivetta works as a BP arm.

    1. At this point, Matt13….Nick Williams is a prime DFA candidate before camp closes. He’s run his course with this organization. Nothing to gain for anyone from sending him to AAA. Perhaps nobody claims him and he accepts an assignment to Lehigh? Fine.

  30. 8mark, no argument from me there. I think he should have been traded a while ago. He has no value now. I just think that a trade of Vinny or Pivetta is going to yield very little, and I don’t see Klentak doing that.

  31. I think the Phillies will utilize the opt outs date to determine who and when to add to improve the team since most of these new adds will sit in the bench and/or another pen arm. I cannot see the Phillies adding 6 players right out of Spring Training — adding 2 (Forsythe and Liriano) is a MUST and possibly 2 more but not 4. Bethancourt has a later opt out, I don’t see the Phillies carrying 3 back up catchers in the tight 40-man. It’s either Knapp/Grullon are traded, move to 60-DL or DFAs before the Phillies add another Catcher in the roster.

    Martini is definitely outplaying Nick Williams and is more deserving to be in the roster. Martini is not a starter and the Phillies keep their rights over him, so a start in LHV (and future promotion) is reasonable.

    If Forsythe is added, the Phillies will only add one of Harrison, Walker and Torreyes. My guess is that the Phillies will add Harrison, let Walker walk out and keep Torreyes in LHV and make a decision closer to the opt out date. My roster prediction moves will be:

    MUST – add 2 (Forsythe and Liriano) and remove 2 (between Guerra, McClain, Williams)

    REMOVE – 2-4 more via trade for PTBNL, IFA, Cash or DFA or 60-DL — potentially, Williams, Knapp, delos Santos (traded), Irvin (traded),

  32. Romus … I forgot to mention one of your favorites for the draft, Garrett Crochet, made his season debut over the weekend (3.1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 6 K, 42 P). Good news for the Phillies. If he stays healthy, he could be available at 1-15 (even though I’m not a huge Crochet believer) or push down another college arm (Detmers [unlikely] or Meyer [maybe]).

    1. Hinkie….thank you for that.
      I still would be concerned about his shoulder but he claims he is fine and the coach seemed overly cautious with him.
      As a tall LHP with that kind of stuff/velo he would be very desirable.
      Like to see him pitch out the entire season and see how he does.

  33. Have we ever talked about Jordi Martinez the 18 y/o lefty Dominican that can run it up to 96 with a plus slider and pretty good CU? Just saw an article with Bonifay where he was referred to in the deep sleeper category.

    If we have I missed it but if Bonifay touches on a guy its a pretty good sign.

      1. Callis really seems up beat about some of the prospects…can understand the excitement over Bohm, Howard and Stott/Morales…..but signaling out Marchan and Martinez is noteworthy.

  34. Seranthony’s PRP therapy may not have taken….hopefully it is only a temp setback.
    Sometimes it just doesn’t work for every pitcher.

    1. How about VV
      If Seranthony is out long and if FO does not make a trade then poor man’s best idea may be to go all-in ASAP to groom VV’s approach and mindset to be late innings guy.

  35. Jim,
    I’ll be at the minor league complex tomorrow. I’ll look for the straw hat! :). Enjoyed chatting last I visited about 3 years ago. Appreciate you!

    Sorry this is also on minors page but wanted to ensure readers saw this. Would love to meet other phuture phillie readers there as well!

  36. Maybe I’ve missed it, but I’ve seen no mention of Odubel so far this spring. Apparently he isn’t going to get a shot at redemption, as a player and as a person. At least not in red pin stripes.

    1. I was hoping …….Jim …….might comment on Doobie’s whereabouts, progress, etc., myself. I guess it wouldn’t surprise me if they make him start the season at LHV and go from there.

    2. Odubel is starting the year at Lehigh. He’s going to have to earn his way back to the bigs.

      1. If he does well at LHV…he could be a desirable trade chip for a team that may have OF injuries.

        1. Odubel would still be toxic. The Phillies would likely still have to eat a decent part of his salary, and get back not much.

      2. How exactly do you do that? Let’s see, you report to camp in good physical shape…check. You apologize to the fan base about how stupid and I’ll advised your actions were and how embarrassing it was to your organization …….check. You report to minor league camp and work on your craft, be a good soldier, keep your mouth shut and talk only when the media wants you too…….check. Now, you await for the social media cloud to disperse from over your head and whatever time limitations the FO has dictated must pass before you are in there eyes ML ready………………in progress.

    3. When I was there the other week, I did catch him walking off of one of the complex fields. Wasnt sure if he was working out with the low minors guys or nkt

  37. The NCAA just restricted all sporting events to teams. essential personnel and immediate family. No fans for March Madness!!! High school and college baseball is in turmoil…High school teams are seeing their seasons cancelled. The Ivy League just cancelled their baseball season today. Every conference is contemplating either no fan attendance or cancelling the season. Mark my words, it’s coming to the MLB and MiLB and games will be played with no fans… This really sucks..

    1. One issue …which is really not as big as the virus itself.

      How the revenue pie is divided.
      From 2006 to 2017, the percentage in player compensation across MLB, MiLB and amateur signings was 56.5%. In 2018, the figure was 54.8%. This occurred as the growth of league revenues increased at a faster pace than compensation back to the players grew. The percentage for player compensation has not moved smoothly.
      So, without fans, concessions, parking revenue etc. and the refunding of tixs, it all comes down to the TV money as income.

      The owners will have to pick up the expenses….unless MLBPA and the players decide to take their guaranteed contracts and give up a small portion/percent to compensate for the lost revenue.
      That would signal a really goodwill gesture on their part…..I can see the superstars dong a small percentage….but many of the pre-arb younger guy it may not be advisable

  38. Seranthony’s setback seems to, at the very least, make his opening day roster appearance very iffy. Hopefully, not a longer issue. We will need to fill his spot. A big problem if he can’t go for a while.

    1. Unless a miracle happens, I expect MLB to delay the start of the season and restart the season by Memorial Day if the virus is under control. Then the 2020 season will continue with a reduced schedule like 100-110 games. Worst case, the virus drags into June and I seriously doubt baseball is going to play half a season of baseball.

  39. My hope is that Manfred/MLB plays games at the major and minor league levels with no fans; just the teams and essential personnel. By suspending the season the financial hit to baseball is going to be massive. There will be minor league teams that won’t survive due to no fan attendance, MiLB revenue and ball park concessions thus weirdly achieving Manfred’s goal of reducing the number of minor league teams without him being the bad guy. Secondly what to do with the players? Most likely send them home. In the Phillies case that means sending approximately 350-360 players back where they started the year. The Phillies won’t have the players staying in hotels in close proximity to each other and their not going to pay the hotel and meal per diems while these players are just sitting around.. I think all American pro and amateur teams will conduct business differently after the coronavirus is done.. In the future we will discuss our teams in a prior and post coronavirus assessment… This is unprecedented but we will survive..

    1. Covid-19 is serious but it’s not unprecedented. H1N1 (swine flu) hit starting in 2009 and killed around 12,500 people in the U.S. alone. In 2002 is was SARs. 2016 was MERS.

      Some of the reaction to this outbreak is unprecedented due to both media coverage and to advances in the ability to track and monitor the viruses progression compared to previous events but I suspect that once the outbreak is over/contained things will return to business as usual.

      1. I agree the swine flu mortality rate was worse… I don’t why sports leagues weren’t shut down back then… And I agree in some regards the hysteria level dial has been turned up to 11.. But here we are…

        1. Swine flu mortality rate in 2009 was 0.02% worldwide vs the current 3.6% with Covid-19. SARS and MERS was limited to 29 total countries vs the 119 countries with Corona.

          1. And the speed of the spread is not direct contact-to-contact…people are not sneezing or coughing in each other’s faces.
            Off inanimate objects were the virus seems to live up to 3 days on some objects…like plastics and stainless steel….and light enough to stay airborn for three hours.

          2. The current mortality rate with Covid-19 is higher but that number will likely drop after all is said a done. Part of the issue with Covid-19 is that for most, the symptoms are mild and take days to manifest. Those who are being identified currently are the ones who’ve gotten sick enough to be hospitalized..

            Compare that to Swine Flu where early mortality rates were probably higher than stated because unlike Covid-19, its thought that many of the early H1N1 deaths were being attributed to flu because people weren’t being tested specifically for H1N1. 1 in 5 people worldwide supposedly were infected by H1N1.

            Here is one article if interested..
            http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2012/06/cdc-estimate-global-h1n1-pandemic-deaths-284000

      2. 10,000 people die every year from the flu. I’ve never had a flu shot. That’s just me. This strain is certainly very serious, but these crises tend to bring out the best AND the worst among us. Many will profit from the misfortune of some, while some will take noble measures to promote the health and safety of the commonwealth. Nobody wants to be held responsible for NOT taking action in these litigious days. So, we suffer with the inconveniences. Hence, the onslaught of whipping up the hysteria and pushing every panic button in sight. This will eventually blow over. Until then, it is what it is.

        1. The WHO estimates that the flu kills 290,000 to 650,000 people per year globally. Last year was one of the worst in 40 years as 80,000 died in the US alone. People seem to be vastly overreacting, if we were at 100,000 deaths I shudder to think what would be happening to society right now despite the fact that in a bad flu season we could have 5 or 6 times that number and no one would really bat an eye because it wouldn’t be on the news every day with sites that track every case and death.

          1. People can get flu shots to help protect themselves. There will be no vaccine for covid-19 until next year. The flu is spread on a 1:1 ratio, meaning if you get the flu, you’ll spread it to one other person. The covid-19 is spread at a 1:2.5 ratio, meaning an infected person will spread the virus to two or three other people.
            In addition, the flu’s mortality rate is 0.1%. Dr Fauci yesterday said covid-19’s mortality rate is 1.0% (ten times greater than the flu). It’s estimated that 75 million to 150 million Americans will (at some point) get covid-19. Do the math … that would put the death toll to between 750 thousand to 1.5 million (mostly older people) in this country (if Dr. Fauci’s numbers are correct).

            1. Flu shots…unfortunately every winter there are new strains of the virus, AFTER the flu shots are made and people have gotten the shots, hence that is part of the reason that people still dye from the flu.

              Bummer! No sports for a while.

            2. Hinkie, these numbers seem very high, 330 mil people in the US on the last consensus, and this person is saying that close to half of all Americans with contract the corona virus? Seems off, but I’m not a doctor or scientist. Did work in healthcare for 15 years, the hysteria is getting to be a bit much. IMO the media is throwing gasoline on this, too many times to discuss instead of reassuring. Not saying I’m not doing my part but it would be nice if people could put this into perspective …Like when MRSA spread

            3. Tac3…H1N1 stats for mid-March 2010…12.000 deaths…hopefully we do not come close at all to that….but do not remember the panic back then, like it is now.
              The Asian flu in the late 50’s was 70,000 American deaths.

            4. This is interesting, but, so far, the virus is showing a mortality rate of around 3.6%

              So you can see why people are freaking out. If 100 million Americans were to contract the virus and the mortality rate stayed constant, it would result in 3.6 million deaths, which is more than the population of Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota and the District of Columbia COMBINED. It’s a staggering amount of people, so I’m glad that officials are taking this seriously and trying their best to nip this in the bud – it’s literally a matter of life and death. We can live without sports for a few months – no big deal.

  40. Rumor has it that ST games will be suspended. If that happens, it’s a near certainty that the start of the season will be delayed.

  41. Minor leaguers will likely being headed home by this weekend. Clearwater ST camp will be a ghost town… My thinking until every person is tested there will be no resumption of sports..

    1. The fear of close social interaction has just about made many places ‘quasi-ghost towns’….except it seems grocery stores.
      Just came out of a Trade Joes, of all places, and shelves were completely bare..hard to believe.

  42. Arrieta left today with a possible injury. Listening to the game on the radio and makes me wonder if Austin Davis could find his way to making the team whenever they start back up.

  43. Welp this sucks . . . I get why they are doing it but sucks none the less.

    On a side note really disappointed in Matt Winkleman . . . I’ve followed him for at least 6 years and have had pleasant conversation with him in regards to Phillies prospects (Ive also promoted his site and account any time people ask who are must reads in regard to Phillies content). Recently he posted something about socialized healthcare and I responded with my opinion on it (nothing rude what so ever) . . . Since my opinions were different than his I am now no longer able to read his tweets. So I get punished for being a conservative . . . Such a BS response and exactly what’s wrong with the country these days. You can disagree with people and still interact with them.

    1. I normally keep my belief about politics and religion to myself since it’s mostly does not result to a meaningful conversation.

      I follow MattWinks for his knowledge about Phillies prospect and baseball in general and nothing else.

      1. I can’t speak for Matt Winkelman, and I didn’t read what happened … but … in general, the internet deteriorates very rapidly when the discussion of politics breaks out. Your (Eric’s) comments were probably followed by others (again I’m just speculating), and he wasn’t interested in an on-line war over Bernie Sanders/Donald Trump/Joe Biden/etc.
        Hopefully, things quiet down and Matt will reopen his tweets.

        1. Hinkie….do not think he will, that is the way he rolls…for me it was on Crashburn Alley or PMT…and it was not even politics or religion…it was a discussion with another poster about a prospect’s chances for success, and no not Darick Hall, he was not even drafted then….and he cut the cord.
          As in the words of Billie Joe Armstrong:
          “Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
          Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
          So make the best of this test and don’t ask why
          It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time”

          1. LOL, Romus. Outside of Darick Hall, I couldn’t see you getting heated with any poster over any prospect.

        2. Here’s the thing tho . . . And let me be clear, I’m not saying I’m anyone special but I’ve went back and forth with him plenty of times about Phillies prospects and ALWAYS give him praise and credit for the work he does. It’s not like I’m some random person commenting on his account and again, I wasn’t rude in the least bit. I get that politics are touchy however you need to be able to discuss them with all sides. I’ve had plenty of conversations with those in the left where I’ve found common ground with them. It’s just disappointing that I now lose a really good source for Phillies prospects bc we have differing political views.

          1. it s remarkable that people who claim to worship diversity don t like it when others have different opinions then they have. where is the logic in that?

            1. Ironic huh? It seems to only be those who are uber progressive or far far right, imho those are the ones who don’t want to talk about things and plant their feet in the ground and don’t budge. I’ve had some really good debate/discussion with Classical dems (Clinton democrats and prior) and Conservatives who aren’t on the far right, changed my stance on somethings due to those conversations.

              I get this is a baseball site and i’m sure Jim isn’t a huge fan of the political talk (that’s not a shot at you Jim, I can understand why you’d feel that way) but sometimes its not a bad thing.

              Romus – I would have never guessed that he was like that. I always knew where he stood but felt like he could separate the issues.

          2. Social media is the absolute LAST place I would ever discuss politics. It’s all a CNN vs FOX polarization. An utterly fruitless exercise. But suit yourself. I know it’s entertaining to some who don’t take it seriously and enjoy the comfort of remote anonymity.

          3. It’s hard to find a common ground in politics especially in these times. America’s best strength is also it’s most sensitive weakness – diversity. Talk of politics normally starts with political issues but quickly takes it run to war of race and ethnicity. When you start talking of politics especially in public something bad is ought to come back.

            1. I couldn’t agree with you more and that’s the problem. How can you learn from one another and see from another perspective if you shut down conversation before having it. Twitter (and I get some people don’t like it) is for discussion (if you tweet), if you put something out there you should expect others to comment if they would like to . . . as long as you keep it respectful, there’s nothing wrong with that. You and I have had disagreements on twitter, all about Phillies pitching coaches (haha) but we keep it civil, I get its harder in politics. It’s just disappointing and disappointing in a selfish manner as well since I lose a great source for Phillies prospect info.

  44. Back to baseball….good to see Joe G letting loose his baserunners. Quinn with 2 steals, and Kingery, Luke Williams and Jhailyn Ortiz all nabbed one. That’s something which was seriously lacking in 2019 as we waited around for 3run HRs. Speaking of which, Harrison, Quinn, Gosselin and Walker all went yard as well. Hey, this is it for a while, so let’s celebrate a 13-5 Grapefruit League record.

    1. A .722 winning percentage in spring training has to count for something!
      Over a full regular season that’s a 117 – 45 record….even rocco could live with that.

    1. What’s left….golf I suppose…..empty galleries but still no need for crowd cheering….or Premier League soccer……no fans either.

  45. I went to the Acme today they had plenty of Milk and TP. I’m heading to Ft. Myers tomorrow to see my family with my 2 sisters and my nephew.

    Maybe I’m ignorant but I’m not worried at all. Sure I’ll be a bit more diligent about what I touch and washing my hands more frequently than I already do and this is just me to each their own.

    Hope to chat with you fellas Monday when I return and give you my report. I intend to live life to the fullest up until the point I am no longer here.

    1. DMAR…clear latex gloves …..and if you walk a dog you know the proper procedure for removing them! 🙂

    2. DMAR … I (wearing a Phillies shirt) was also in the Acme today. I ran into a Mets fan (who cancelled plans to head to Florida because of the carona virus). He told me he liked the Phillies chances this year.

    3. DMAR,

      Welcome to Southwest Florida. We have a bunch of Wawa’s here now, so you’ll feel at home.

  46. Just heard Tom McCarthy on the radio, and he offered his opinion, nothing official, that ST would resume April 25, and the season start on May 1. Arrieta says it was just “shoulder stiffness”, and he came out for precautionary reasons. If this was the regular season, he would have stayed in. SerAnthony very worried about his upcoming MRI. Re” the March Madness tournament, I can’t imagine playing those games without the fans in the stands. Once Duke took themselves out, it seemed inevitable.

    1. Went to the last spring training game today to see Phils. Arrietta looked good (ball was way down inducing groundouts) until he tired in the 4th, gave up a long HR to Renfroe (no surprise there) ; Phils looked good and started their starting IF. Sat next to 2 young ladies from DE who must read this blog because they knew their “Hinkie” stuff and were up on all of Romus and 8mark’s musings. Their comment, “Kapler was out of touch with his Philly audience” and that is why he failed – “he belongs in SF where they are all on the bullxxxt pilaver.” I agreed. As to Klentak – “he does nothin,.” was the reply.

      Aside from the gentler gender’s take – Roman looked terrific !!! Several hits, one a HR, and two stolen sacks (2b then 3b) and two brilliant catches in center. Once he started running to first on his hit — the young lady next to me yelled, ” hey, be careful there, Mr. Quinn…not too fast, you’re fragile.” Case closed on that discussion. Rhys did not look good on 2 called out K’s ; Gosselin continues to impress with two very hard hit balls that went for extra bases + HR ; Harrison absolutely crushed the ball in every AB despite his 1 for 3 line/HR ; despite many disillusionments, Moniak hammered a double off the wall and looked good doing it. Austin Davis might make the team as he continues to pitch well – 95 mph, effective slider.

      Goodbye to Florida spring training – a sad state of affairs, had tix to 3 more Phils games. The media continues to boost the panic…..

      1. RU…good report.
        And good to hear about Austin Davis…that would be a real shot in the arm for the BP if he can be counted on to deliver quality back end innings.
        And Mickey Mo seems to be also coming around…hopefully this season in Reading or LHV he rakes.
        And what is going on with Rhys and looking at third strikes…I really do not get it….that’s three in the last two games.
        I cannot figure out if he is just guessing or confused.
        Of all counts, with two strikes on him, he does not take the bat off his shoulder.
        IMO, umps more often than not, give the benefit of the doubt to the pitcher when there are two strikes on a hitter…unless of course the pitch is in the dirt or something.
        It is simply infuriating watching him take the third strike..

        1. My concern with Rhys Hoskins is this – he badly needs to get out of his head. Ben Simmons won’t shoot 3’s? All Rhys takes is 3rd strikes. He already established his batting eye. But now, it seems fear of swinging at anything other than what he’s looking for (if that’s the case) is crippling him. When he hits, it’s a double or homer. His OBP doesn’t dip that much but his K’s looking are killing us.

          1. 8mark…agree.
            It was great he led the league in walks last year with 116 and a plus .364 OBP, and was able to play in 160 games….however, now is the time for him to take the next step up at the plate if he wants to be considered an elite hitter.

            1. Romus, I don’t recall who the guest was on the radio earlier this week (Ben Davis maybe?) but I agree with his perspective that while Gabe Kapler insisted on playing Hoskins EVERY DAY when he struggled in the 2nd half of the season, AND batting him leadoff in some instances, Joe Girardi will NOT keep him in the lineup until he “figures it out”.

            2. Well we will have to see how Hoskins comes out of the gate….he normally starts hot and then cools in the 2nd half of seasons.
              rocco….would tell you…..he would be a great Derby horse…..but a middle of the pack Belmont thoroughbred.

        2. Romus & 8Mark – I didn’t get a chance to read any responses today until late – the two called looking Rhys K’s were both on high, inside pitches – one looked like an offspeed pitch. The umpire’s strike zone was very erratic but the second time Rhys should have known that. I was directly behind the plate – first row and within 15 feet of the ump and I thought both pitches (called K’s were bad calls) – I even heard Rhys complain. My point – he was errantly called out maybe one time/ the other time he should have known better. If anythng, after his AB’s the ump erred on calling too many low balls – strikes. Go figure ? If I was Hinkie I could provide photos which I took – tech challenged !

          1. RU…thanks for that.
            Sometimes, you can never know how a plate ump will call a game until after the first time thru a lineup.

      2. I want to say a word or two about Roman Quinn. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player in any sport plagued by a broader array of miscellaneous debilitating injuries over a 7 or 8 year period. I believe his ability to work through this constant disappointment has made him mentally tough and, I expect, very motivated and appreciative. Until he’s had a full year without a nagging injury, it’s hard to rely on him, but, I would still love to see him make the big league team and get as much playing time as his performance merits. He’s a superb talent and what a tremendous gift he could be to the Phillies when the season actually resumes (I am thinking we probably won’t see the season start until May or June).

      3. RU … I’ve been a big Roman Quinn fan for a while. My wife and I met him in Clearwater three years (I think) ago. I hope he stays (mostly) healthy this season.
        I’m on record as putting the blame mostly on Klentak (and MacPhail) for the Phillies failures last season instead of Gabe Kapler. That said, Joe Girardi is certainly an upgrade. Most importantly, the Bryan Price hire IMO will actually make the most difference in the W and L columns.

        Sorry you will miss out on three more games.

  47. Well, stay healthy and safe guys until we are back at the national pass time again. Our spring looked pretty good with several guys standing out, so maybe we can pick up after this hiatus. Again heartfelt regards to all.

  48. i am here in tarpon springs, as i have been for the lasr twenty years, to see some phillies spring training baseball and this happens. condemned to 10 days at the beach. poor me.

  49. I had a typo, Tom Mac said ST would resume April 15. Romus, I am not too old to appreciate your Green Day reference! I hope all of you stay healthy. I am scheduled for vacation in SW Florida, Cape Coral, the 1st week in April. A new grandchild is due any day now. I hope flights aren’t cancelled. I would have to drive. DMAR, have a great trip!

    1. matt13…when the day comes, congrats on your new arrival grandchild.
      Exciting time.

      I guess the Complex will be closed off….it will be a new experience for Jim for sure.

    2. Matt I drove once only stopped for gas and bathroom, straight thru, longest trip of my life, its really boring

      1. rocco…know the feeling…one time with the family in my younger days…in one of those big Dodge Ram Vans….from the Georgia/SCarolina line to the end of that long stretch thru Jacksonville, seemed like it wouldn’t end.

  50. We canceled our FL trip. With a pregnant wife and a little one, we didn’t want to take any chances. Everyone be safe and I hope this passes soon. I’m ready for some baseball!!!

    A little nervous about the JTR extension, seems like he’s aiming high. I don’t trust Klentak.

      1. Thanks! She’s good…just have to walk on eggshells 🙂

        Got my little one rocking a Harper shirt so she’s ready for ball too

  51. Jim have you heard if the Phillies intend to keep their ST facility open for the players? Some clubs have already announced they intend to keep their facilities open for players to workout which includes other amenities like trainers and food services..I get the big leaguer’s staying around but what about all the minor league players? If the goal is ‘social distancing’ do they want to keep them in the hotels in such close proximity to each other? Will they pay for them to gain housing in the area while were on hiatus? a lot of open issues..

  52. Good piece on MLBTR regarding the ongoing negotiations with JTR. This would certainly be an opportune time to nail down an extension but it appears Realmuto is asking high….in the Posey/Goldschmidt range. The Phillies may be saying, “uh…humminahummina” right now. But not extending the best catcher in baseball after giving up Sixto-plus would be a tough sell to the fan base.

    1. My guess is that the battle is not over AAV but the number of years. They should give him great money, perhaps even significantly overpay him, but they need to be really, really careful about the years. I don’t care how great of an athlete he appears to be today, history tells us that, by age 34 and almost certainly age 35, fas a catcher, he is likely to be a shadow of the player we see right now. I’d give him $25 m a year for 5 years and a couple of option years (also with a good opt out clause of $10 m or so), to make sure the contract doesn’t go too long. But if we are paying him big money into his age 35 and 36 years, well, they should probably go to Plan B. They probably won’t go to Plan B, but they should.

      1. Hmm….a 6 year deal beginning in 2020 would take him through his age 34 season. Buy out/replace this season’s arb price by including it in the extension….6/$150M ($25M AAV). I’m conceding he may not even be catching full time by 2025. But with DH/1B/LF as viable for a player of his profile, I’d be willing to risk the back end of his contract. No opt outs or buyouts.

        1. That’s where you’re almost certainly wrong. He’s likely not going to be a good first base/outfield option by the end of his contract. Right now, at least half of JT’s value is on defense. He is above-average (not elite) now as a catcher. If he were a first baseman or outfielder, he would be roughly average right now and he’s probably at his peak as a hitter. By the time he gets to age 35 or 36 he’s likely to be a replacement level player or worse as a non-catcher. You don’t pay those guys $5-7 million, let alone $25 million. So, no, he’s not a good mid-30s option as a non-catcher, in fact, he’s likely to be a horrible option.

          1. Clarification – I meant to say is now above-average as a HITTER at the catching position. His defense is obviously elite as a catcher.

            1. Look, he’s a really super catcher right now and he’s the guy you want to lead the team to the playoffs over the next 3 or 4 years. I know they are going to have to overpay him. I know they are going to have to give him a longer contract than they want to give him. I’m just saying that the end of the contract is likely to be a losing proposition for the team and while you can live with that for a year or so, you don’t want it to become a sinkhole like the Ryan Howard contract became or the Albert Pujols contract has been (what a nightmare that deal is).

            2. But catch…..it would only be for a year or two at the most, at that AAV if he has to play first base/DH.

            3. Who the heck said he’d be an “invalid” at that time? I’m saying that, at that time, he’s likely to be a replacement level player (or worse) as a non-catcher, just as Buster Posey will be at that age and Joe Mauer was after age 31. The offensive bar for a DH or first baseman is MUCH higher than it is for a catcher. Good offensive numbers as a catcher translate to average or or worse offensive numbers for a first baseman or DH – if you don’t accept that concept, I don’t know what to say, but it’s indisputably true. What this means, in essence, is that the player has has little or no net value and so you’re giving away any money for any salary that above a couple of million dollars (for the reason that you can replace that offensive production for that cost). Yeah, you could live with this for a year or so as a cost of having a catcher for the peak of his career, but much more than that and it’s really going to hurt the team down the line.

            4. So what is your position on JTR and a contract…..give it to him, or not, and let him become a free agent?

          2. He wouldn’t be under contract with the Phillies by age 35. And if so, it’s an acceptable proposition for me to use him at that point as a 1b/DH. I don’t follow your insistence that he’ll be an invalid by that time, albeit some wear and tear….or unable to handle another position. Good luck passing up the best catcher in baseball in his prime years (29-32) because you’re afraid of his decline thereafter.

            1. Who the heck said he’d be an “invalid” at that time? I’m saying that, at that time, he’s likely to be a replacement level player (or worse) as a non-catcher, just as Buster Posey will be at that age and Joe Mauer was after age 31. The offensive bar for a DH or first baseman is MUCH higher than it is for a catcher. Good offensive numbers as a catcher translate to average or or worse offensive numbers for a first baseman or DH – if you don’t accept that concept, I don’t know what to say, but it’s indisputably true. What this means, in essence, is that the player has has little or no net value and so you’re giving away any money for any salary that above a couple of million dollars (for the reason that you can replace that offensive production for that cost). Yeah, you could live with this for a year or so as a cost of having a catcher for the peak of his career, but much more than that and it’s really going to hurt the team down the line.

            2. We can slice it any which way, but the Phillies have virtually NO leverage in this situation. I’m not inclined to allow another big market club to come along and swipe him away as their last piece to a championship puzzle. 6/$150M. I hope that’s enough to do it.

        2. Seems logical….near the last few years maybe a JTR conversion to first base.

          Rhys may not be here at that point, assuming Boras remains his agent and maintains his normal stance on no early extension contracts.
          Rhys is a free agent in 2024, so he is under control for four more years going into his age 31 season.

          1. Again, you could move JT to first base, but, at that point, he would likely be hurting the team offensively just the way Buster Posey and Albert Pujols hurt their teams these days.

        3. You can’t touch the 2020 contract. if you include the 2020 season in the extension, it increases the AAV for 2020 over the dreaded luxury tax. That’s why they went to arbitration, to have two distinct contracts. Any extension has to start in 2021.

            1. Romus, reports are that the team will disperse without going home and reconvene Sunday to reassess. Idea being, better for all to stick around instead of spreading out and being exposed to who knows what….

            2. Yes. I learned their plans yesterday but decided to wait before telling you guys. Good thing, they’ve already altered them. it’s a fluid situation down here. They met with the minor leaguers this morning. No workouts today and tomorrow. They’ll meet again Sunday. No idea what they’ll do.

          1. I know, Jim…but I figured, if push came to shove, maybe MacPhail’s words that they would breach the line at some point in 2020 might come to fruition under these circumstances.

    2. With Harper and Wheeler locked up, the Phillies literally has no choice but to overpay JTR so will have all 3 at their peak years to compete. This is where the farm will help in providing low cost talent to balance the payroll —- Bohm, Howard and others need to perform so the Phillies will no longer need to sign another expensive MLB talent.

      1. Agree, Kuko….JTR would possibly be my last big expenditure for the time being. The young bats and arms must come rolling up the pipeline to help sustain a perennial playoff contender.

        Romus, Rhys and Boras (despite the latter’s normal MO) should have been open to an early extension in his case. His long term profile is limited in making megabucks. And with the Phillies, he’s VERY replaceable.

        1. The Phillies have 4 more years of control for Rhys Hoskins and he’s going to be on the older side when he first becomes a free agent (age 31 season) – they have a ton of time and leverage to decide what they want to do with him. He’s pretty low on the list of long term concerns and they would be crazy to do anything until they they know whether he can recover from last year’s swoon.

        2. 8mark….my guess on Rhys , an extension will be offered in two years.
          Assuming boras rejects it….then the goodwill gesture was extended by the Phillies and then covertly decide to let Rhys’ last two years 3 and 4 arb play out and move on.
          Would be difficult if the Phillies win a WS ring in the meantime and Rhys is pivotal, just as what happened down in DC with Ryan Zimmerman….you know public perception is still a tangible determinate.

  53. Hey all…Mickey called me this am and he said Klentak told them all to stay put until Sunday and they Will continue to monitor the situation. They have the option to go to complex and workout and could leave if there was a reason like and illness in family etc., but they want them to stay close and hopefully get back aftet it as soon as possible . Not to mention like for all of us, the less interaction with the general public the better so staying put beat idea anyways. Obviously there are still a lot of unknowns at this point but they definitely don’t want everyone dispersing unless its necessary . He wants the season to start asap like all of us!

    1. Thanks Matt for that update.
      At least the players can get cage work in, some throwing and also I would think let them go out to the fields for drills and maybe intrasquad games..

      1. They haven’t said anything yet 8mark but prob will give him an idea after he is sent back down to minors I would think

      2. @8mark – I think MickeyMo will probably start in REA so the Phillies can hold some of the veteran OF that serves as depth just in case of you know what. I have no doubt that Mickey will be playing in LHV by May/Jun and will be added in the 40-man by November.

  54. These are crazy times. My wife and daughter went to Urgent Care last night. They had no covid-19 testing kits there, but the doctor quarantined each of them when they tested negative for the flu (my daughter was running a 103 degree fever).

    With no sports (NONE) to watch, I figured I’d offer a few TV suggestions (things I like) if you’re stuck in your house for the foreseeable future (feel free to add to my list):

    * All Or Nothing (the documentary of the Eagles 2019 season) … most of you have probably already seen it, but if you haven’t, binge watch all eight episodes on Amazon Prime. Brandon Graham (and his little girl) are excellent.

    * The Hunters … 10 episodes on Amazon Prime. It stars Al Pacino (among others) as Nazi hunters. I enjoyed it (even though the ending was a bit of a disappointment).

    1. * Chopped … this Food Network gem has been my go to show for the last decade. You never know what’s going to be in those baskets.

      * The Masked Singer … has become our guilty pleasure. The current season is about six weeks underway, but you can catch up by using On Demand. My wife and I compete to figure out who is behind the mask. She believes the kangaroo is Sia. I’m positive it is Bindy Irwin.

          1. Troll … thanks. They told my daughter to go the emergency room if she’s not doing better this weekend. She can be tested for covid-19 there. She’s still feeling crappy today.
            Best to you (and your wife) on your new baby.

            1. Very welcome. Sorry for the late reply.
              This is crazy times so it’s nice to have a place like this to come chat and get some sports interaction.

              And thank you as well.

              We can all agree we want everyone to be happy and healthy.

              If anyone needs some good laughs, I’ve been watching episodes of The League on Hulu. Not kid friendly so I recommend watching without the little ones

        1. And I also am wishing your wife and daughter the best and a speedy recovery whatever it happens to be.

      1. Hinkie… As far as good watches on television I will throw in my two cents since there are no Sports! The History Channel Last Summer aired the documentaris and also just this past weekend called “foods that built America”. It’s a documentary with actors that is more like a movie and is very well done. it’s about Hershey v Mars, Kellogg’s v Post etc… extremely well done and interesting and a very good watch if you can find it!.

    2. Man in the High Castle was a good find. Also a documentary on the McDonald’s game fraud, McMillions.

      Feel better, Hinkie’s family. And don’t you go getting sick!

    3. HaHa Hinkie I watched the Hunters last week. Turned it on at 5 PM and was up til 4 AM to complete the series.

      Agree great up until the ending…

      Hope your wife and daughter are doing better.

  55. This may taint my otherwise pristine reputation on this site🤣….but anyway, my wife and I watch THIS IS US. 4th season is nearing an end. I have to say, I can’t think of another series that the story telling is so deliberately, thoughtfully and smart. The family parallel story lines and character development from the 80s to present…and now into the future…are remarkably well written with subtle, and not so subtle, twists and ties to each other. It keeps us wondering what did happen in the past…or what will happen moving ahead. I probably would never have begun to watch it on my own. But hey, wives are meant to break us from our old standbys. It’s been so worth it from strictly a human interest perspective. And local ties to Philly as part of the show as well. It packs a lot without being preachy or agenda driven.

    1. 8mark … speaking of “local ties to Philly”, I should have mentioned The Goldbergs as another show worth watching. We jokingly call my wife Beverly because she acts just like Beverly Goldberg (the mother on the show).

        1. Actually, my mom was more like the Barbara Streisand character in Seth Rogan’s “The Guilt Trip” – a Beverly-like part, haha.

          1. Back to a baseball question. Am I correct in assuming any games missed due to a delayed start will not be made up and the schedule will not be re-adjusted. That being said Phils could lose 15 away games if delay goes more than 2 wks this should benefit us. also lose division games with Mets and Marlins so schedule will be unbalanced.

            1. I heard this discussed on one of the MLB TV shows yesterday. If only a 2 week postponement, they speculated the games could be made up at the expense of off days and extending the off season further into November. I can’t imagine the union going along with this unless it is to avoid loss of salary. More than 2 weeks, and they speculated that games would be lost but maybe teams could be added to the playoffs. We’ll see. Could just be the talking heads blathering on to fill air time. I don’t mind losing away games, and avoiding the Marlins could be be a good thing based on recent outcomes.

  56. Observation: I work in retail (not food or essentials) and while yesterday all the panic stricken were nowhere to be found, today they are back in full force. Human nature, I guess.

    1. Yes finding TP was crazy around here.
      We have plenty around here but if I have to start working from home, that’s a different story

  57. One consequence of the covid-19: It weakens the 2020 draft (Phillies are w/o a 2nd round selection) and strengthens the 2021 class (Phillies should keep all of their selections … fingers crossed).

    1. Hinkie…hope your daughter is doing well.
      Not sure if this is good news, but hearing children and women seem to recover well from COVID-19…..us males on the other hand, have more issues for some unexplained reason..

    2. I disagree, players can still come out if they want. They’ll just have the ability to stay another too.

  58. Hinkie – hope your daughter is on the mend – just beware of dehydration ! All the best to you and your family. Meanwhile I will watch the palm trees in the wind – oh, for the crack of the bat !! Be well !!

  59. A line from EDtv says it all, “What do they expect us to do now?” But from some of the discussion above, the answer is hunker down and watch TV or NetFlix or whatever.

    My wife headed over to BJs on Friday morning to pick up a few things and the parking lot had no spaces open at 9am. Not one space including the loading dock area around the back. She got gasoline and came home. Normally there are 12 cars — tops– in the parking lot at 9

  60. Good to see the Instagram shot of some of the Phillies players and their WAGs hanging out together by the beach in Clearwater. It makes little sense to me to “encourage” them to go home. If they need to for some reason, fine. But what’s the point? If they should go anywhere, they might as well head to Philly and get situated here before baseball activity resumes. Man, I tell you – the political correctness these days is stifling. Forget about what’s logical. Make every decision out of fear of being considered presumptuous….and having someone file a law suit against you. Sad times, and that’s aside from the virus.

  61. We started the week talking about line-up construction and the bench and are ending up wondering when the season will start… Some teams are shutting down their ST sites which tells me April 9th isn’t realistic for re-starting the season.. My guess is May 1st. Officially re-open camps around April 9th and give the teams three weeks to build back up pitchers arms and fine tune the rest of the team for regular season play… My guess were in the 140-144 game range for 2020..

    1. I have tix for the April 17 (Marlins) and May 1st (Rox) games….so far they have not let us know what their plans are for make-ups or what not.
      I suppose they are working on contingency plans for any scenario.

      1. Romus m8 don’t go to games at your age 75 I worry about you and this virus, Stay inside, order pizza and rest

        1. rocco….thank you for your concern my brother…..and that was also discussed….whether or not we were going to attend in April before they suspended operations….made the decision easier now.

  62. Have been reading but not posting for many years. Thanks for the site, Jim, as well as all of you contributors.

    What a week, indeed. On Monday and Tuesday I sat with my wife with our feet against the Phils’ dugout and now, well, who knows when we’ll see another pitch?

    I’m no scout but those seats can provide some observations that might not be as easy to make on TV, at least for me. I was particularly impressed with Wheeler and Llovera. Electric. Likewise, the veterans contending for bench roles left me feeling this area has got to be a lot better this season. Phils should have some good final choices plus AAA depth when injuries occur.

    I’m an optimist by nature but thought Bohm, Howard and Moniak were all very impressive. Saw Didi get his first hits and it just seemed his timing had been off and he’ll be fine. Hopefully that’s the case for Kingery too. Seems like someone will want Bethancourt if he has an opt out.

    On the other hand, I’ve been hoping for Nick Williams but he seems lost. Hasely’s timing seemed off but of course this was ST and he seems like a slow starter. Could this be the season Quinn stays healthy? We can only hope.

    One other observation: just watching Girardi up close, conferring with his assistants and interacting with guys coming off the field, etc. left me feeling confident. Don’t know how to further explain it but he seems like a pro’s pro.

    Anyway, I’ve been a fan since ‘59.

  63. Welcome to posting Jim. Than You for your observations. I think you make a great point re: the Bench. Whoever emerges from the group should be a significant improvement over last season. Bamboo Brad was a help, but overall, the bench was weak. This year’s bench should be a positive. My early concern is piecing together a competent BP. I don’t expect the season to start until May 1.

    1. Good Friday is April 10, and will mark 2 weeks after opening day. I predict that will be the first day of baseball action.

      1. They’re saying it could be Memorial Day or June unfortunately:(

        Unless this social distancing thing works out, I think we are in for a long couple of months.

        Need sports!!

  64. I have no medical opinion at all, but a baseball question. Wouldn’t the team be better off staying at the ST facilities? Medical people and equipment are in place. They can stay in relative isolation from the rest of the world, continue to work out and bond together. I don’t know what the benefits would be to scatter all over the country. Is that a reasonable question?

    1. It comes down to $$$$$. Never under estimate how cheap some teams can be… Not all; I believe around 12 as of this morning are offering to keep camps open with support amenities..

  65. Jim Carlson…wow, a phan since 1959, I simply had to comment on this as a guy who loves Phillie history. I was wayyyy to young to remember the ’59 team [ironically I became a phan in 1964, best of all worlds, worst of all worlds!] but I did collect baseball cards as a youngster and absolutely loved the ’59 baseball cards and tried to trade for the older 1959 cards whenever I could. Gosh, I remember those cards,,,Robin Roberts, Wally Post, Harry Anderson, Joe Koppe…Sparky Anderson!

    1959 was Anderson’s only year in the big leagues and he was the starting 2nd baseman on that Phillie team. That was a very bad Phillie team but it would get worse, 1961 record was 47-107 and the 23 game losing streak!

    If anyone ever gets nostalgic for the past, go to retrosheet.org. It has EVERY year, EVERY box score and lots of interesting historical facts.

    Anyways, Jim, your historical memories would be a treasure trove of fun info for many of us voracious Phillie phans who occasionally think baseball was invented in the 1980s! And you probably attended games at Connie Mack Stadium, one of the more fascinating stadiums from that period. Short right field porch, 447 feet to center field and the giant scoreboard in right center field.

    1. Mr Dreamin’:

      Oh my gosh, it would be a long list of memories!

      Heck, there’s no sports to watch so here are some of those memories:

      Connie Mack where our Dad once took us to see a Twi-Night double header In the early sixties with Drysdale and Podres ( I think ) for the Dodgers and Bobby Wine homering. I’ll have to look up on the site you recommended to recall who actually won.

      Annual LL bus trips to see Frank Robinson, Willie Mays, Clemente, Gibson, Aaron, Koufax but around our house the favorite was Johnny Callison. And of course Roberts, Mahaffey, Bunning, Short and should be HOF’er Allen.

      Watching “The Richie Ashburn Show‘“ on a B&W TV with “rabbit ears” to learn how to stay down to field a short hop, why you should choke up on a bat, catch with 2 hands or properly do a pop-up slide.

      Being 12 in ‘64 stays with a kid for a long time. Back when there was a “Senior Circuit” a “First Division,” only 2 playoff teams and sneaking your transistor radio into English class during the WS day games. Once we finally won in ‘80 I was fine. I’m probably more patient than most with this re-build.

      When I was 14 a Sr. LL teammate of mine had an older brother who came through the Phillies system to finally pitch for the big club: Ken Reynolds. Incredibly exciting.

      I grew up in Willingboro and at the time a bunch of Phils lived there. One summer I worked for the Rec Dept and occasionally would play catch with the little Pre-school Boone brothers when their Mom Sue took them to the kiddie pool.

      As a young guy just out of college I was working in Millville when the JayCees needed to cobble together a team of local “all stars” to battle the 76? Phillies in a charity basketball game. Big leaguers did that sort of thing back then and I have the program to prove it. To this day I’ve never seen an in bounding pass like one Mike Schmidt threw from one baseline to the opposite foul line to a cherry picking Bowa (again, I think). I swear that ball hissed down all of 4 ft off the court on an absolute rope.

      I come from a line of pretty good athletes (my brother was in the last cuts of the Cowboys in ‘69) I played D-2 basketball and I have HS friends who were prominent Big 5 ballplayers. It’s very, very hard to become a pro. All respect to those who do. I think that’s one thing that draws me to Phuture Phillies: ALL these kids have at least one great tool or they wouldn’t be in camp. And each and every one of them has a dream. In the best of circumstances it’s gone in the blink of an eye. I wince when I read them being described harshly and I absolutely love seeing the parents in the stands when a kid finally gets a call up up to the Bank.

      Sorry to drone on so long but I should be watching sports at the moment!

  66. I ,first went to Shibe Park,in May 1948,to see the A’s,not the Phillies.My dad grew up with the ‘29,30,31 A’s world series team.They played the Red Sox,with Teddy Willoiams,the” L’il Professor”,Dom Dimaggio,Pesky,Doerr …….But at age 8,I knew the Phillies,Ashburn ,Ennis,Roberts and Bill Nicholson,Emil Verban etc
    Good day to think back.Be careful and stay healthy

  67. Jim Carlson….your memory is pretty good. Indeed the Dodgers and Phils hooked up in a twi night doubleheader on June 1, 1962 and Drysdale did pitch one of the games, Stan Williams the other. It was fairly easy to find since you indicated that Bobby Wine homered and indeed he did…amazingly in BOTH games. Not hard to find since he hit so few homers in his career and this was the only HR he ever hit off Drysdale.

    Alas, the Dodgers won both games, 11-4 and 8-5. The Phils lineup that night was interesting, the two losing pitchers were Paul Brown and Dallas Green. Brown was a favorite of mine since he NEVER won a major league game and I always rooted for him to get at least one. Covington also homered that night and one more interesting fact from Game 2 [perhaps you recall this!] Jim Owens actually was the starting pitcher in Game 2 and pitched a perfect 3 up, 3 down first inning but was then removed for Green. Owens was known as a hot head and I wonder if he got tossed out for arguing a ball/strike call?

    Hope this stirs the memory!!! Boy, you were a phan young, 7 years of age by my count since you indicated you were 12 in 1964. One more question…did you ever see Tony Curry play? He was an All-Rookie left fielder in 1960 and was wayyyyyyyyyyy before my time but I loved his 1960 rookie card [the unique color of it] and always wished I had gotten to see him play. By most accounts he was a very talented player who was A] rushed to the majors far too soon and B] was a good hitter but terrible defensive player. Did you ever see him play in 1960?

    1. Thanks for those details…Drysdale was my favorite non-Phillie.

      Yes, In both games Wine homered. Alas, I don’t recall Curry. But I do recall Pancho Herrera. Who could forget?

    2. I saw him play and he was my favorite Phillie, hence my user name. Was convinced he was going to be a star, but he quickly disappeared. Another similar guy was Ted Savage I think a few years later. Loved to watch Covington knock them off the wall in Connie Mack. he was one impressive dude.

      1. As long as we are on memory lane, I first became aware of baseball as a 7 year old in 1960. Don’t remember much of that year, but Pancho Herrera is a clear memory as our top power hitter. I also remember the infamous 21 game losing streak, although not the historic significance at that time. Thankfully, expansion the next year rescued us. I remember Art Mahaffey as our top pitcher of that era. My best memory, a couple of years later was Dick (then still Richie) Allen hitting two bombs over the right-center roof of Connie Mack in one game- have never seen a sight like that one since.

  68. Signed

    1. That’s encouraging news when we could use some. I was under the impression that he was older when reports said that the holdup to his signing was an age related issue. Like, in his 20s? Here, he’s only 18.

      Anyway, we welcome “the Drone”, his nickname.

    2. Hope he is a good one. We really need to hit big on a international player. It seems it is the best and easiest way to get a star player and the Braves and Nationals are kicking our a$$ in that regard. Ronald Acuña, Cristian Pache, Juan Soto, Victor Robels. Around the league we have stars Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Eloy Jiménez, Fernando Tatis Jr., Gleyber Torres, Wander Franco, Luis Robert, Jorge Soler,
      Eugenio Suarez, Ketel Marte, Yoan Moncada, Eduardo Escobar, Xander Bogaerts. the list goes on and on. We MUST do a better job in the INT market

    3. Good to hear that…another CFer in the mix.
      Since he is 18 I assume, if they ever get to play, he will start out in the GCL.

  69. Could “The Drone” be the reincarnation of Carlos Tocci?

    He’s thin, good defensively, very little power, all for $2.5M.

    1. I hope he fills out, but I saw this report and his stats and thought to myself “you’ve got to be kidding me.” We don’t need another 2 WAR ceiling player. I hope he’s not that, but goodness, from a 30,000 foot perspective, it doesn’t look like we’ve learned anything.

      1. catch…I am resting my hopes on Miguel Tejada Jr….6’1″, 200 lbs with all the raw tools…runs a 60 yard dash in 6.8 seconds…fastest to second in the MLB was Kevin Kiermaier of the Rays at 7.2….and yes, understand dash and base running are different animals but 6.7 is still fast….also Miguel has a great arm, strength and very quick bat.
        The one rather large negative, outside the PED issue, he struggled mightily at the plater last year in the DSL as one of the youngest players as he was 17 years old.

        So whenever play resumes, he will need to prove he was worth what the White Sox saw in him when they went after him before the PED issue blew up for Rick Hahn and them

  70. The Phillies are closing their ST site to all but the most critical rehab players.. Word is the Phillies are preparing for a long time close..

  71. MLL…it was actually a 23 game losing streak in 1961…but at that point, who was counting? As for your memory of Richie Allen’s 2 home run game in his rookie year, that occurred on Sunday night, August 23 against Pittsburgh. I was in my first year as a young Phillie phan and I remember that game [and 5 game series against the Pirates] because it was the date when the Phils got their largest lead of the season [7-7.5 game lead] and EVERYTHING was going well then. Mahaffey tossed a 2 hit shutout that series, rookie Rick Wise pitched a brilliant win, Frank Thomas had been with the club for a bit over 2 weeks and the Phils had won 14 of 18 since arrival, Bunning and Short were pitching well and Allen, Callison and Thomas had formed a wonderful back to back to back hitting trio.

    It was undoubtedly the high point of the season and at that moment Phillie phans were actually beginning to believe the team would win the pennant. If you are wondering how I recall so much its because I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and in 1964 it was the Giants and not the Reds or Cards who actually went tow to tow with the Phils for most of the season and because of that the sports shows were as interested in what the Phils were doing as they were in the Giants efforts.

    It has been affectionately called the Summer of ’64 and for a young baseball phan such as I it was truly magical…Bunning’s perfect game, Callison’s game winning home run in the All-Star game, Mauch outmaneuvering Alvin Dark of the Giants. Needless to say, nothing in my young life prepared for that awful 10 game losing streak. For those who recall it, it was truly a sports nightmare.

    1. That last few weeks of Sept were a nightmare….Gene starting Chris Short and Jim Bunning three times apiece in that 10 game losing stretch was a bit over the top since Jim Bunning was a rather old 32 at the time and probably just ran out of steam.
      I remember Mahaffey and Bennett pitching also….but at the time , just wonder why he just did not trust the rookie Ray Culp.

      Saw something to almost the same effect that Gabe did with Aaron Nola in Sept last year.

      1. I Love the old stories, guys tell on here, Wish I could have seen those players, too young, but love the stories

  72. Garcia needs to pack on 45 lbs to hit 200! I would be happy with an additional 30. He needs to hit and with a bit of power to be better than Tocci. I hope he does. First team I followed was the ‘61 Phils, one if the worst teams ever. Lots of great memories. Spent a lot of summer weekends at my grandparents in South Philly. Took the trolley from 6th and Ritner to transfer to the bus that took me to Connie Mack. Saw a lot of games from the bleachers. Saw us play the Giants a lot one year, and would stand outside after the game as they went on their bus. Willie Mays always was in the middle of a bunch of guys and never stopped. But Tito Fuentes always did! Always dressed like he played, flashy, but always stopped for a while to sign autographs. That memory has always stayed with me.

  73. I read everything on this site religiously, but have only commented a few times. Been living in LA since ’74, but I am a diehard Phiilies fan. Just wanted to add a couple of things to the memories. In either ’57 or ’58, my dad took me to see the Cardinals at Connie Mack on Stan Musial night. In the early sixties sat behind home plate and saw Bob Gibson outduel Chris Short one to nothing, if I remember correctly. (Maybe a one hitter.) Lived and died with Ashburn, Roberts, Simmons. Hamner, Taylor, Mahaffey, etc. I remember my dad talking about the A’s moving when I was only 6 and just becoming aware of baseball. I remember listening to the Eagles on the radio in the car with the announcer talking about Eddie Bell and Tom Scott. Let’s hope this pandemic ends sooner than later with minimal death and that we have a baseball season. Also, I greatly appreciate all of you: Jim, Romus, Hinkie and all the rest of you.

    1. I vividly remember my first game at Connie Mack stadium….my Dad and I walked up the ramp to our seats and suddenly unbelievable colors of the green grass, the white chalk , the red seats etc. Never expected anything like that as an 8 year old from watching games on a black and white TV. I was hooked as a Phillies fan since 1963.

  74. Hal…the game you recall was played in early May 1965 and indeed Gibson did toss a 1 hitter, with Johnny Callison geting the only hit. The score was 2-0 and Chris Short was the tough luck loser.

    Romus…yes, Bunning and Short each started 3 games during the 10 game losing streak, with Bennett and Mahaffey each starting two. Interesting that its always the pitching that is blamed for the collapse but I have always maintained [and I recall all of those games, it was like the Bataan Death March] that it was the lack of clutch hitting, and not the starting pitching, that caused the majority of the losses.

    If a person carefully studies the game by game results they find that Bunning tossed one solid game [his 1st start], Bennett had one good one [lead Cincy 3-2 going into the 7th] and Short had two good ones [Atlanta and St. Louis.] Mahaffey was highly effective in both of his starts [lost 1-0 on the Ruiz steal of home and led Milwaukee 4-2 when he was relieved in the 8th inning of his second start.] Six of the 10 were extremely winnable games and even in Bennett’s poor start, the Phils only lost 4-2.

    Rather it was the almost complete collapse of the hitters [only Allen, who hit almost .500, Callison and rookie Alex Johnson hit well during the collapse] that doomed the team. Covington and Herrnstein in particular came up 3-4 times during the stretch where a hit wins the game and they failed on each occasion.

    Gene Mauch has forever been blamed for the blown pennant and his strange use of his bullpen did contribute to the losses [though he commented that he saw fear in the eyes of some of his hurlers, mostly notably relief ace Jacvk Baldschun] but in the end the Phils were undone by something they had excelled at all year…clutch hitting.

    1. Yes can understand that….the hitters really came up short in critical times, but my only dismay if I recall from back then, was why Ray Culp was not used more….unless of course he was hurt, just not sure since I was a youngin then so it is a cloudy recall for me

      Sometimes teams have those unexpected good results from the least expected in critical times.

  75. Culp’s last start was August 15 in New York against the Mets when he had a 6-0 lead after one inning, allowed a couple of runners to get on to start the bottom of the 2nd and was removed. John Boozer got out of the inning, went the remaining eight innings in an 8-1 win and Culp never started another game though he insisted he was healthy.

    Mauch apparently was unhappy that Culp had gained 10 pounds since the season began but in retrospect he made a big mistake in taking the Texan out of the rotation. Culp opened the season at 1-5 but then incredibly won 7 games in one month [mid June-mid July] but never won another game after July 22.

    By the way, you mentioned that you thought Culp was a rookie, he was actually in his 2nd season after having been the rookie pitcher of the year in 1963, winning 14 games. He came back and won 13 games in 1965 and had a very good career, much of it with Boston.

    Culp hated Mauch for what happened in 1964 and was one of the few players who did not make it back to Veterans Stadium in 1989 for the 25 year reunion. Chris Short was in a coma then and much of the money raised from that reunion went to the Chris Short Foundation. He died shortly thereafter. Bunning couldn’t make it either as he was a Senator in Kentucky and the team couldn’t locate Wes Covington or Alex Johnson. Mauch was there, as were Allen, Callison, Mahaffey, Bennett, Rojas, Amaro, Wine and Taylor. In all, I believe 21 of the main guys were there.

    Gus Triandos, the veteran catcher, coined 1964 The Year of the Blue Snow [due to its rarity] and another phrase coined for that team was The Days of Wine and Rojas [the double play combo.]

    1. Thanks California Dreamin for that information
      Never realized how Culp felt afterwards…..I guess I cannot blame him.
      I liked him along with Hollywood sun glasses Lowell Palmer who came along a few years later.
      And Chris Short….my former sister-in-law was his nurse at the time when he was in the hospital in Christiana, Delaware after his stroke.

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