Open Discussion: Week of March 16th

Well, baseball has come to a halt for an indefinite period of time.  Sunday morning, the Phillies complied with MLB direction and sent their minor league players home and curtailed organized workouts at team facilities.

Fans are left with many unanswered questions, most can’t be answered. 

Foremost among those questions is when will the season restart.  Originally, I had thought that May 1st would be their target date.  It’s 6-weeks down the road and is a Friday.  Seemed perfect to me.  However, recent CDC recommendations are that gatherings of over 50 people not be held for 8 weeks.

The length of any postponement brings into question the need for, length of, and location of any continued “pre-season” training.  Similar questions arise regarding minor league teams and seasons.  Not to mention compensation for players who are NOT eligible to covered by the unemployment insurance system.

Some are concerned about the plight of stadium workers who will be out of work.  As well as the support staff for the major and minor league teams.  For instance, security at the Complex has been cut to one employee.  At his time of year thru the end of August, there could be as many as 12 security employees working partial shifts.

Another concern is the plight of the Venezuelan players who cannot enter their country in the wake the suspension of international flights by their country.

When baseball resumes, there are also questions regarding roster size.  Speculation is that they might be expanded to 30 players allowing 4 more pitchers.  This would likely be through the end of the season with no expansion the last month of the season.

If MLB opts to extend the season to recover as many games as possible, this could likely push back trade deadline.

STOP!  I’m just adding to the speculation.  I’ll stop here.  I’m considering taking a hiatus until there is a firm restart date for baseball.  When I can go to the Complex, I’ll begin providing coverage.

In other news, the Phillies signed another top international prospect – CF Yhoswar Garcia, 6’1, 155 lbs.  He’s from Venezuela.

The Phillies 71-player spring training roster has been reduced by 7 options (Romero, Gamboa, Grullon, Cleavinger, Llovera optioned to LHV; and Sanchez, Medina optioned to REA), 5 assignments (Dohy, Jones, Warren, Listi, Hall assigned to minor league camp), and one 60-day IL transaction (Robertson).  58 players remained in camp when spring training ended.

The 58 players remaining on the ST roster includes 33 players from the 40-man roster; 12 affiliated minor league players – Brogdon, Hammer, Howard, Kelley, Rosso, Russ, Lartigue, Bohm, Maton, Luke Williams, Moniak, Martini (1 option); and 13 players on MiLB contracts with opt outs.  We don’t know how the postponement will affect these players.  In all cases. if they make the 40-man, they are out of options, either because their three options have been used up or they have accumulated five years of major league service time.  So, in order to get them off the “40” they will have to be DFA-ed and waived.  They can’t be optioned.

March 19
Logan Forsythe – 5.0 Years of Service Time
Neil Walker – 5.0 Years of Service Time
Francisco Liriano – 5.0 Years of Service Time
Anthony Swarzak- 5.0 Years of Service Time

March 23
Blake Parker- 5.0 Years of Service Time
Josh Harrison – 5.0 Years of Service Time
Phil Gosselin – 0 Options

June 1
Christian Bethancourt – 0 Options
Ronald Torreyes – 0 Options

June 15
Mikie Mahtook – 0 Options
Matt Szczur – 0 Options
Drew Storen- 5.0 Years of Service Time

June 30
Bud Norris- 5.0 Years of Service Time

Option status for the Phillies on the “40” are as follows –

Alvarez – Plus 5.0 Years of Service Time
Arano – Plus 5.0 Years of Service Time
Arrieta – Plus 5.0 Years of Service Time
Cleavinger – 2 Options
Davis – 2 Options
De Los Santos – 1 Option
Dominguez – 2 Options
Eflin – 1 Option
Garcia – 2 Options
Guerra – 0 Options
Hunter – 5.0 Years of Service Time
Irvin – 2 Options
Llovera – 2 Options
McClain – 3 Options
Medina – 1 Options
Morgan – 0 Options
Neris – 0 Options
Nola – 3 Options
Pivetta – 1 Option
Robertson – 5.0 Years of Service Time (60-day IL)
Romero – 2 Options
Sanchez – 2 Options
Stock – 2 Options
Suarez – 1 Option
Velasquez – 2 Options
Wheeler – 5.0 Years of Service Time
Grullon – 2 Options
Knapp – 3 Options
Realmuto – 5.0 Years of Service Time
Gamboa – 1 Options
Gregorius – 5.0 Years of Service Time
Hoskins – 3 Options
Kingery – 3 Options
Segura – 5.0 Years of Service Time
Bruce – 5.0 Years of Service Time
Garlick – 2 Options
Harper – 5.0 Years of Service Time
Haseley – 3 Options
McCutchen – 5.0 Years of Service Time
Quinn – 0 Options
Williams – 1 Option

The only other players with options are minor leaguers Kelley (2), Hammer (2), Rivera (3).

In addition to Robertson who is on the 60-day IL, 6 other Phillies are listed on their injury report.  The delayed start of the season will likely benefit all of them.  They will be allowed to access team facilities during their rehabs.  They are – Arano (shoulder), De Los Santos (hamstring), Hunter (elbow), Knapp (rib cage), McCutchen (knee), Stock (forearm).  Additionally, Dominguez experienced pain in his recovering elbow just before camp ended.

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
  • TBD, 2020 – Tentative restart of spring training
  • TBD, 2020 – Tentative opening of 2020 MLB season
  • TBD, 2020 – Tentative opening of MiLB season
  • 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 15th … 382 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)
3/18/2020 – Phillies signed international FA CF Yhoswar Garcia to an MiLB contract
3/11/2020 – Phillies signed international FA OF Felix Reyes to an MiLB contract (2/22/20)
3/10/2020 – Phillies optioned Garrett Cleavinger to Lehigh Valley
3/10/2020 – Phillies optioned Mauricio Llovera to Lehigh Valley
3/10/2020 – Phillies assigned Darick Hall to minor league camp
3/09/2020 – Phillies optioned Deivy Grullon to Lehigh Valley
3/09/2020 – Phillies optioned Arquimedes Gamboa to Reading
3/09/2020 – Phillies assigned Austin Listi to minor league camp
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

104 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of March 16th

  1. I also believe we’re looking at a mid-May to Memorial Day start..I’m not in favor of extending the season so that were still playing baseball at Thanksgiving.. Let’s just all acknowledge what this year is; crap..Once we do get started let’s play the 120-130 games. Get the All-Star game, playoffs and World Series in then call it a year. By November/December were all going to be glad 2020 is over with..

  2. Thanks Jim. Everyone stay safe. With the CDC’s comments yesterday, we’re looking at June 1 at the earliest for the season to start up. Good luck to us all.
    Meanwhile, I watched the 1980 and 2008 final series games yesterday. They were still wonderful to watch.

  3. Haven’t seen the sun in a couple of days. No sports. Stuck working from home.
    I can look at the bright side and say this will all pass and the Phillies will win a season shortened World Series

    I think the season will be around 120 games or less

  4. Yhoswar Garcia:

    From Jesse Sanchz …MLB.com on Garcia
    “….He (Garcia) was recently clocked at 6.3 seconds in the 60-yard timed run. At the plate, he is known for his good contact skills and as a line-drive hitter with gap-to-gap power. He’s expected to develop more power as his body matures. Garcia projects to hit at the top of the order and could become a basestealing threat in the future. Scouts also like his makeup and natural baseball instincts.
    The Phillies have signed 33 international prospects during the current international signing period for an estimated $2.1 million.”

    https://www.mlb.com/news/yhoswar-garcia-signs-phillies

    1. Romus … is that 2.1 million dollar figure before Garcia or after Garcia. I’ve been wondering what kind of a discount the team gets (if any) on the Venezuelan CFer after suppressing his actual age. They were reportedly initially going to give him a bonus between 2 and 2.5 million.

      1. Hinkie….you know I was thinking the same thing.
        They could have maxed out now…2.1M plus the 2.5M for Garcia….4.6M total.
        Did they have that much after the penalties of signing Harper?
        I know he made some trades to get some money last year, I just do not recall who traded with.

    2. So, basically, if he reaches his ceiling, he’s like a 3 WAR player. It’s fine, let’s leave all the 6 and 7 WAR International players for the Braves and Nationals. Sorry, to be so down, but I was pretty annoyed when I read about his physical make-up. I hope I’m wrong, but I bet I’m not.

      1. catch…..Tocci/Muzziotti maybe?
        Check this stat out:
        Amazingly their age20 season slash at CLW are almost identical:
        Tocci ……..284/.331/.362
        Muzziotti .. .287/.337/.372

        Garcia would seem to be in the same mold I would think based on his physique..

        1. You’ve just outlined my problem with this transaction. Muzziotti is a perfectly decent prospect. But I want the next Juan Soto or Ronald Acuna, Jr., not, with all due respect, the next Simon Muzziotti.

          1. The Phillies did try back in 2015 with Jhailyn Ortiz…..and he still could be that stud power guy…if only he can make more contact.

  5. Hey fella’s hope you all enjoyed your weekend as best you could. I just made it back from visiting relatives in FL.

    A few notes: We had a 6 AM flight out of Atlantic City Friday morning. I was thinking it would be cool to see an empty flight but nope it was probably 90%. Our return flight yesterday was probably 95% full.

    I had never been to Naples before so I’ll just say wow. Everyone I encountered seemed to be taking everything in stride. What else can you do.

      1. LOL….

        I feel great Romus but that said I will try to stay put for a fews days just to make sure. Right or wrong even if I did feel a little off I probably would not get tested but rather simply self quarantine.

        1. DMAR:
          That’s good…heard at one time a few weeks ago, not sure anymore, but that the average incubation is around 5.2 days……so check back in with us on Friday!

            1. In 1964 when I was in Korea, we used last weeks movie circulars. Man, I hated it when the ink ran and wasn’t color fast, very embarrassing. Romus and Rocco hang tuff!

        2. If I crawled out of a cave this morning (in the Philly suburbs) and knew nothing about the virus, I would swear it was the Christmas shopping rush by the volume of traffic and commerce among the businesses not yet affected by shut downs. I can only shake my head. Is the media hype > the actual level of urgency displayed by the general public? This picture doesn’t compute.

  6. If Garcia profiles like Tocci, then we over spent for him. I have much higher hopes, and maybe I am engaging in wishful thinking. I think Muzzioti will exceed Tocci, and be a productive Major Leaguer. How much so depends on his ability to increase his strength. But, even if Garcia reaches that level, we spent too much.

    1. No, if Garcia profiles as Muzziotti then we way overspent given our international spending limits. Look at the teams who produce stud prospects. Do the Dodgers, Braves, Nationals and Yankees promote young players that look like long-distance runners (Carlos Tocci)? Hell no! These guys are strong, physical players.

    2. I haven’t paid much attention to Garcia but I would caution judging the kid on his size may be premature. You can have 3 kids 6’1″ at 155 Lbs and one will be tremendously stronger than the others.

      Especially with a bat in his hands. I’ve seen this play out over and over again in legion ball.

      To find a silver lining 🙂

      1. DMAR….when I look at his pix…his face is rather full for a skinny kid..at least a lot fuller than what Tocci’s is viewed even today on Baseball Reference….so .he may weigh more or filled out more, than what was listed for him from last year.

        I cannot see the Phillies spending that much on someone without high upside….no matter the size.
        Tocci’s pay out was $760K I think back in 2011
        Muzziotti was $750K from the Sox and $300K from the Phillies in July 2016.

  7. I agree catch, I meant to say that we, for sure, overspent if he becomes Tocci, and while I like Muzziotti more, if he only reaches that level, we still overspent.

    1. I may have missed something on Yhoswar, but what I’ve been reading indicates that he’s a top of the order bat, gap to gap power, exceptional contact skills and speed. Tocci might as well have used a whiffle ball bat, considering his frail physique. Muzziotti is a 4th OF candidate from what I read. So, until he begins to play on grass and dirt before the eyes of evaluators, I can’t be too worried about any comps to lesser profiles.

          1. Doesn’t sound like it, considering they used 5 tool potential on him, he has power for only 150lbs yes hes a lot of projection but your STUCK on Tocci and Muz comps, for someone so thoughtful as you this constant negative vibe seems weird!

  8. Seeing a report that owners are bracing for a July return…

    Wondering if that’s worst case if this thing isn’t controlled in 8 weeks.
    I assume they’ll need a stretch out period etc but July is soooo far from now

  9. Hinkie:
    The cash out flow for J2:19-20 from what I can determine.
    Ysowar Garcia, OF Ven-$2.5M
    Jean Hernandez, RHP, DR- $300K.
    Randy Vasquez, SS/3rd, DR – LHB.. $350K.
    Jehisbert Sevilla, SS/2B, Ven – $275K.
    Jackie Pertuz, C, Col. – $200K.
    Jose Colmenarez, C, Ven– $350K.
    Fernando Hernandez, SS, Ven- $350K
    26 other signees..unknown bonus.

  10. So the big signing is Garcia. It can’t possibly be to get Simon Muzziotti. They have to have a higher ceiling projection for him. Don’t they?

    1. matt13…have to agree.
      He could have 65/70 run or maybe Quinn comparable speed.
      But the bat is what they also must project for paying $2.5M

      1. In my view LA signings have always been the wild wild west. I try to take the money associated with a player out of the equation and simply say hey we signed some guys let’s hope we hit on a few.

        I mean we’ve seen time and time again that more often than not its the moderate bonus guys who become above average regulars.

        1. That is correct…..for the most part it is a mix……you have the Acunas, Robles, Albies, and Andujar for the non-millions…….then there are the million dollar babies like Soto, Vlad Jr, Tatis, Moncado, Eloy Jimenez, Torres and Devers.

  11. It’s hard to fault the Phillies with their recent IFA signings. I’m sure none of us or the experts or even WAS and ATL knows that Soto and Acuna will be studs. Both Soto and Acuna are not the biggest signings of their class. Even the great LAD scouting machine missed on both Soto and Acuna.

    I understand the frustration of not getting our own Soto’s or Acuna’s — but the fact that the Phillies are spending tremendous amount of resources including $$$ in the IFA — the Phillies will eventually find their Soto’s or Acuna’s.

    Looking at the current 40-man, I counted 8 homegrown bodies from IFA — none of them are million $ signing and it doesn’t include Sixto who the Phillies flipped for JTR — without Sixto, the Phillies will probably don’t get JTR.

    Currently, some of the non-million $ IFA are popping out here and there —- Morales, Marchan, Rojas, Muzziotti, are showing up. And of course, we still have the million $ babies like Garcia and Castillo that can still provide hope for that uber IFA prospect.

    Just to reiterate, the fact that the Phillies are spending tremendous resources in the internation front, the Phillies will eventually hit with one of those kids.

    1. They’ve done okay with the pitchers – but not with the hitters.

      Listen, it’s been 35 years since they’ve had stud hitting prospect from Latin America (Juan Samuel) – that’s not bad luck, that’s bad scouting and signing. So, no, until I see that they can produce some good hitters from the international market, they get no benefit of the doubt.

        1. Chooch was a very good player, a real glue player – but he’s not the kind of star player I’m talking about. It really has been 35 years since we’ve produced a hot commodity position player from Latin America or anywhere in the international market who turned out to be a stud in the big leagues (the closest was Maikel Franco, and he didn’t pan out). That’s totally unacceptable.

          1. Yes that is correct, it has been three decades in producing a great non-pitcher LA player.
            And what is also a little disconcerting IMO……the ones we sign after other teams are penalized or just do not carry thru with the youngster…..Simon Muzziotti, Abrahan Gutierrez and Miguel Tejeda….and a pitcher like Ramon Rosso
            Our scouts either did not see their potential or could not persuade them to the Phillies side, until after another team had to cut them loose.
            And all of them look to be quality players…maybe even MLB quality players some day.

          2. But they got him for what $17,000? Ok he wasnt a superstar but he was a cornerstone player, was a HUGE bargain. I’d call that a HIT.

            1. Chooch was a good player, and some years a very good player, and he was a bargain, but he wasn’t a star. The fact remains, we haven’t produced a star position player from the international market in over two generations and we’ve produced very few regulars (Chooch, Cesar, Freddy and Maikel, none of whom were much more than average) – that’s outrageously, embarrassingly bad.

  12. I really miss baseball, but also enjoy reading. Recently read and enjoyed ‘Cup of Coffee Club”. Our library has a copy, but unfortunately in Pa. all libraries are closed. I also love shopping for used books, mostly at libraries. Last week in San Diego I bought “You Can’t Hit the Ball With The Bat on Your Shoulder” by Bobby Bragan. It was new, and never read for $1. A few years ago@ the Lancaster Public Library I bought a 1st edition (1951), “The kid who Batted 1000″ for $1. I sold it for a nice profit. Also enjoyed ” The Echoing Green” and “Where Nobody Knows Your Name”. Any other favorites?

    1. Nice Martin. I wish I read more. I have the attention span of a gnat. Or my other problem is a compulsory addiction to not being able to stop reading a book until I have finished it.

      The last book I picked up and read I was up for darn near 24 hours.

      I want to thank you for bringing that up however. I am in the Direct Marketing Industry so we are trying to brain storm categories that will still be able to thrive in this current climate.

      My vacation package client canceled all their campaigns obviously until maybe August or Sept. My online Fishing Tackle client is going to ramp up their direct mail and online presence as is my music streaming client.

      Audible should be another client of ours that could benefit from this crisis.

        1. Yeah no Romus not on my side of the business. Corporate does have a few CPG clients but I’m sure they are doing just fine 🙂

  13. DMAR:
    here is a list of international guys in the MLB from 2019 who did rather well and what they signed for….a mixed bag for sure.

    Ketel Martel…$100K…Sea.
    Xander Boegaerts…$510K…Bost.
    Raf Devers….$1.5M….Boston
    Yoan Moncada….$31.5M….Boston
    Ronald Acuna Jr….$100K…Atl
    Juan Soto…$1.5M….Nats
    Ozzie Albies…$350K…Atl
    Carlos Santana…$75K…Dodgers
    Nelson Cruz….$15K…Mets
    Jorge Polanco….$775K…Minn
    Jonathan Villar….$105K…Phillies
    Gleyber Torres….$1.7M…Cubs
    Jorge Soler….$30M…cubs
    Jose Altuve….$15K….Astros
    Jose Ramirez….$50K …Indians
    Yuli Gurriel….$47.5M….Astros
    Starling Marte…$85K…Pitt
    Willy Adames….$420K…Detroit

    So sometimes it comes down to just pure luck if a kid comes around.
    I agree with KuKo…the Phillies are due and they do make the effort.

    1. @romus – the Phillies can be said to start “late” in putting “adequate” resources in the international front. It’s probably 2013/2014 that the Phillies decided that there can be MLB outside the land of the free and home of the brave. 2015 is basically the year when the Phillies played the big boys card in IFA. The Soto’s and Acuna’s are probably once in a generation kind of find — but I’m optimistic that in 2 years time, this critically bashed Phillies international scouting effort will eventually bear fruits. To me, JTR is an indirect fruit of the interational scouting,

      1. That may be correct.
        The Yankees went way over board in 2013/14 to beat the cap that was coming….not a one made it.
        The Phillies I am sure will have their break-out position player or maybe more.

        1. If i will poke a hole in the Phillies approach in IFA the last 5-6 years is that they play within the rules. No getting over the limit to secure certain international prospects.

          Also, I still think that the Phillies international scouting needs better eyes.

          1. Yes….the Phillies never skirted around the rules.
            And yes also better eyes may be needed, but listening to Bryan Minitti, the Phillies really did not want to get into the game playing with the DR buscones when it came down to bidding for a certain kid, also he seem to think the buscones would hide certain kids in hope the MLB team with the most money to spend would make the offer….thus one of the reasons the Phillies have signed a few mre Ven kids than the normal MLB club.

    2. Thanks Romus

      There certainly seem to be some bargains there however the Cuban’s I tend to put in another class. Was hanging out with my buddies last night celebrating St. Patty’s day and the debate came again that we need to have all players enter the MLB the same way.

      My friend who’s son is hoping to at least get a scholarship out of baseball agreed. My other buddy who is a coach on the Pennsbury baseball team disagrees.

      I honestly just think he was trying to be difficult. How could anyone favor a system that disadvantages domestic born amateurs.

      1. DMAR……that question on the talent pipeline into the MLB has ben going on for years now. Five years ago I contacted Rob Manfred and gave him my proposal on how an international draft should be set up to be equitably fair for all parties…even, believe it or not, the buscones from the DR. Of course going thru the MLB legal dept was difficult and finally I just said enough….you do what you want.
        You see the Latin MLB players’ caucus ….about 28% of the league…threaten to strike if a draft was implemented. So MLB backed off and decided to go with the larger/small market team caps…..which seem to be a pretty good idea….however some teams decided to fins loop holes, Braves, Red Sox, San Diego to name a few….so they further tightened up the regulations.
        Bottom line….after the FBI came in 18 months ago to investigate under the RICO act .and certain Latin players had to testify, ie Puig I believe was one…..things all changed.
        A draft became forefront for ‘fairness’ and the Latin players realized, do not oppose it this time.
        So we will see how it goes.
        But to your point….the system does seem unfair to the north American kids….to include Puerto Rico and Canada….which are not considered international but under the Rule 4 regs.

  14. Regarding the start of the regular season, I’m keeping my eye on the NFL’s power/influence within corporate America. Football training camps begin in July. I realize that there is so much that is unpredictable and volatile with this pandemic. But it would take a global crisis to shut down the monster king of professional sports.

  15. DMAR – I can see you going from start to finish without stopping but taking almost an entire twenty four hours to read “50 Shades of Grey” is a little long. Only kidding, DMAR.

  16. Other MLB teams are stepping up to pay their Minor League players while on hiatus… Will the “Stupid Money” from the Phillies flow down to the Minor League players?

  17. We have Netflix, Hulu and a bunch of streaming services, but my go to app to watch in Tv is – You Tube. I’ve been doing a marathon of old Phillies, Eagles and Sixers game and some classic boxing fights. The quality is not HD but it brings back some nostalgic feelings…

  18. Hope everyone is well. I just want to share this, Yesterday my niece who is just out of college went to the store to buy groceries. When she went to pay, the card she took, was the wrong card, had no money on it, See my sister in law who is a widow and on kidney dialysis and in the hospital, had a new card issued cause she lost the other, She call me crying I said I will be right there with the money but before she could hang up, A young girl payed for her groceries. I told her get the address I will give her the money, My wife went over to meet my niece at the house to go to the girls house. The girl and she was young, wouldn’t take the money. She said I just had a feeling to take extra money for some reason, I just thought there really are great people in this world, thanks for listening

    1. Thanks for sharing this, Roc. There are heroes out there, ready to go the extra mile for people they don’t know and may never meet again, expecting no reward, refusing any reimbursement…as if they know already that they’re somehow being taken care of themselves. Seldom do accounts like these find their way in the news feeds. I call them mysteries from heaven.

    2. Great story… Thank you…I needed that.. Seems like everyone I know is afloat right now and not moored to anything as the rules and norms have been upended… In Orange County CA they will no longer allow people to talk or gather outdoors unless its with a family member. Seems like we’ve ceded too much authority away but that’s a topic for other sites..

    3. Thanks for sharing Rocco. It is always nice to hear there are good people in this world.

      I agree with 8mark there are more good and kind hearted people in this world than some would have us believe.

  19. As expected:
    “For now, Major League Baseball hasn’t put a freeze on rosters or halted transactions. But the commissioner’s office and Players’ Association continue to discuss myriad topics, and absent more direction, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said Tuesday that the team and Realmuto agreed to table negotiations on an extension that had been considered a high-priority item before the start of the now-delayed season”. – Scott Lauber, Philadelphia Inquirer.

    1. Romus, I don’t think this will lessen the Phillies chances of extending JTR…just postpone them. Eventual news of an agreement would most definitely lift the spirits of the faithful around here. Once opening day is determined, I’m hopeful it gets done soon after.

  20. Now that the college baseball season has ended (before it barely started), MLB scouts and FO’s are going to be challenged to properly evaluate prospects for June’s draft. This may lead to clubs retreating to their comfort zones. In other words … the Phillies could redraft guys they previously scouted, picked, and failed to sign. Here is a list of those dudes:

    * Kyle Hurt is a RHP at USC. The Phils selected him in the 34th round of the 2017 draft. Hurt was a big time prep prospect (top 100 overall). The 6’3″, 220 lb thrower features a 92-95 MPH FB, an above avg CH, and an average SL. He has had a rough time finding the K zone at USC (almost 6 BB/9 IP), although his control was better this year (4.2 BB/9 IP). In three seasons as a Trojan, Hurt has totaled 172.2 IP, 141 H, 107 BB, 170 K. Hurt will likely be an early day two pick, and will more than likely sign since he’ll already have turned 22 YO at the end of May.

    * Shane Drohan is another piece of Johnny Almaraz’s historic 2017 draft class. The Florida prep arm was another top 100 prospect that chose college (Florida St) instead of the Phillies. The 6’3″, 200 lb LHP was picked in the 23rd round. At FSU, Drohan has lots of K’s, but way too many BB’s as well. He’s chalked up 73.2 IP, 65 H, 69 BB, 99 K. Some club will almost assuredly gamble on Drohan’s stuff early on day two.

    1. * Of all the kids Johnny Almaraz failed to sign in 2017, I think none broke his heart more than Billy Sullivan. Sullivan was a local kid (Wilmington, Delaware) who was/is a huge Phillies (and Eagles) fan. Days before the draft, Sullivan spent an afternoon at CBP, met with Almaraz and threw a BP session. Johnny A used the 28th pick on the 6’2″, 185 lb RHP. Sullivan ended up disappointing the Phils when he decided to pitch for the Univ of Delaware. As a Blue Hen, he started out like a house on fire. He was named an NCAA Freshman All-American, totaling 72.2 IP, 52 H, 42 BB, 95 K. Those 95 K’s were the second most among freshman nationwide.

      After his freshman campaign, Sullivan attended a summer camp designed to help fuel his velo. It worked. While at that camp, he hit 100 MPH.

      Unfortunately, the stress from throwing that hard may have (and this is just me speculating) led to Sullivan’s elbow giving out. After two rocky starts in his soph season (4.2 IP, 4 H, 10 BB, 10 K), Sullivan was shut down and headed for TJ surgery. Sullivan had not yet thrown for Delaware in 2020, but was on twitter documenting his rehab, and appeared to be on track to taking to the mound again sometime this spring.
      You can see what a complicated draft situation this is.

      * Brian Morrell was a 35th round pick in 2017. Morrell hails from Johnny A’s go to place for prep players: Long Island (Nick Fanti, Kyle Young, Ben Brown, Logan O’Hoppe). The 6’1″, 185 lb RHP had his heart set on throwing for Notre Dame. Morrell spent two years in South Bend, and hardly saw any playing time (6.1 IP, 8 H, 10 BB, 6 K). He transferred to St. John’s (side note: where he plays with my niece’s son who ws drafted by the Reds last June) for the 2020 season. Morrell’s PT hasn’t picked up much at his new school. This year, he’s only pitched to two batters (allowed one hit). He’s also gotten 4 AB’s (no hits) as an OFer.

      * Paul Coumoulos was the Philies final choice in 2017. He was a Florida HS OFer, and a fringe draft prospect. He stayed in state for college (St. Leo’s in Central Florida) and has a pretty nondescript career there (.234/.300/.346 in only 107 AB’s).

      1. * DJ Carpenter is the highest spent draft pick not to sign on this list. Johnny A drafted him in the 15th round in 2018, fifteen rounds before the Phils took his HS teammate Brandon Ramey (30th). Carpenter was a long and lean (6’7″, 190 lbs) RHP who chose to go the JUCO route (9.1 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 16 K at Central Arizona JC this season) instead of signing. Two years, one inch, and 20 lbs later, Carpenter has added some velo (mid 90’s, T97). He’s got a shot at being a day two pick this June. If he’s not satisfied with his draft position/money offered, Carpenter has a dreamy fallback option. He’s committed to play for the University of Hawaii next next year.

        * Jake Smith was picked in the 21st round of the 2018 draft as a NC prepster. The 6’5″, 175 lb RHP turned the Phillies down and headed to Chipola JUCO in Florida. In 2019, he totaled 38.2 IP, 34 H, 18 BB, 43 K there. Smith didn’t throw this season. He’s scheduled to play for the Miami Hurricanes in 2021 if he doesn’t get drafted and sign this June.

        * Johnathan Jones (like Carpenter and Smith) was a RH HSP who said, “Thanks … but … no thanks” to the Phillies in 2018, Johnny Almaraz spent his 28th round pick on the 6’1″,195 lb tosser from Manvel, Texas. Jones opted for San Jacinto JUCO. He missed the 2019 season, and debuted to the tune of 9.2 IP, 5 H, 8 BB, 16 K in 2020.

        1. * Matheu Nelson (39th round in 2018) was a HS C with a connection to the Phiilies. He played for Roy Halladay at Calvary Christian HS in Clearwater. Nelson chose to attend Florida St. He’s a soph eligible draft prospect for June. He slashed .277/.439/.439 as a freshman in 2019 and .250/.410/.383 this year. At best, he’s a day three pick this June. He’ll most likely return to school with three years of eligibility left.

          * Thomas Little was picked in the 33rd round last year. There were reports that the Canadian prep LHP had signed/was about to sign with the Phillies. That never happened. Instead, the young (only 17 YO when drafted), projectable (6’7″, 200 lbs) pitcher decided to play for Northern Oklahoma JUCO. He only faced three batters in his truncated freshman season. He allowed 1 hit and two BB’s. It’s possible a team drafts him on day three again this spring. They’ll almost certainly have to offer him an above slot bonus to pry him away from his four remaining seasons of college eligibilty.

          1. * Jalen Battles was selected one round after Thomas Little last season. Johnny Almaraz used his #34 pick on him. The 6’2″, 195 lb SS slashed .320/.433/.532 6 HR’s in his first season at McLennan JUCO in Texas. He turned down the Phillies and returned to McLennan for his soph season. In 2020, Battles slashed .303 /.402 /.438 i2 HR’s before things abruptly ended. Battles is a top 15 JUCO player for the 2020 draft. There’s a good chance he will get picked on day three again this year. He may be a tough sign, however, because he’s got a commitment to play for Arkansas (SEC school) in 2021.

            1. While we’re at it …. new Phillies Amateur Scouting Director Brian Barber has a connection to some top draft prospects. While with the Yankees, Barber was a part of the scouting department that chose these players:

              * Bryce Jarvis (Duke) was picked by the NYY’s as a soph eligible prospect last spring in the 25th round. Jarvis took a pass on signing. That was the right decision. Probably no other college pitcher has upped his draft status more. The RHP spent the offseason with a trainer who helped him gain strength. The process helped the 6’2″, 190 lb throwerup his velo from 89-91 range to 93-95 (T96) this season. Jarvis also owns one of the best CH’s in the draft, and his command is also second to none. This season the Duke Friday night starter has totaled 27 IP, 11 H, 2 BB, 40 K (including a 15 K perfect game vs Cornell). Jarvis is probably a late first round pick, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Barber and Klentak at least consider him at 1-15.

              * Austin Wells is a C at University of Arizona. Before his college career, he was a 35th round pick by the NYY’s out of a Las Vegas HS. As a Wildcat, Wells has been a hitting machine. He’s slashed .357/.476/.562 during his two seasons there. On top of that, Wells was ranked the second best prospect on the Cape last summer by Prospect Live after he registered a .308/.389/.526, 7 HR, 8 SB line with a wood bat there. Wells is a first round pick this June. I would expect him to get some serious consideration by Klentak/Barber.

            2. * Tanner Burns was picked as a prep thrower in the 37th round by the Yankees in 2017. Burns chose to take his talents to Auburn. While there, he has been one of the top pitchers in the SEC. Last season, the 6’0″, 214 lb RHP totaled 79 IP, 62 H, 21 BB, 100 K. This year, he registered 22.1 IP, 15 H, 7 BB, 32 K. Burns is probably also going to be a first round pick this June.

              * Alika Williams is another HS player drafted by the NYY’s (32nd round 2017), but declined to sign. Williams, instead, headed to Arizona St. The 6’2″, 180 lb Williams is a plus defender at SS. Offensively, he’s more average (.300/.383/.400 for his ASU career). Williams should see his name called in the second round.

              * Joey Lancellotti was picked by the NYY’s in the 34th round last June out of UNC. The 5’11”, 205 lb RHP decided to head back to school with two years of eliginlity left. Lancellotti is a local kid (Penn Charter) who has totaled 109 IP, 80 H, 48 BB, 114 K during his three years as a Tar Heel. He’s probably a day three pick.

              * Andrew Abbott was drafted in round 36 in 2017. He turned down the Yankees and went to the Univ of Virginia. While there, the 6’0″, 175 lb LHP has worked both out of the BP and in the rotation. He’s totaled 108.1 IP, 91 H, 49 BB, 165 K in his three year college career. He was also one of the top arms for the US National Collegiate Team last summer. He’s probably a day two pick in June.

  21. Came across this random blood test from someone as a sad joke/commentary on today’s world….

    “Got a random test at work, so glad I’m not sick😃”

    Cocaine………………..positive
    Opiates…………………positive
    Benzodiazepines……positive
    Cabanis-10…………….positive
    CoVID-19……………….NEGATIVE

  22. Hinkie….absolutely great job on all the draft eligibles….hope the family is well and your daughter has recovered..

    1. Thanks, Romus. My daughter has recovered. Her company has her (and most of their other employees) working from home.
      Unfortunately, I’m now quarantined (101-102 fever Monday and Tuesday). It’s more of a low grade fever today (Yippee!)

      Also … Keith Law has released his MLB Draft Top 30. He’s pretty well tuned in. He speaks to lots of scouts and FO folks. Unfortunately, he has Max Meyer at #7 (I really wanted him at 1-15), Zac Veen at #8 (my favorite prep player), Reid Detmers at #9 (another great choice for the Phillies), and Cade Cavalli #10 (another excellent fit for the Phillies). Law seems to think one of your favorites, Garrett Crochet (#22 on his list) should be available at 1-15.

      1. Hinkie…..KLaw, every year, does have some interesting rankings…always does.
        Now with seasons over, it will really be a a difficult proposition for the clubs in determining the best available.
        Glad to hear your daughter is doing well…..and hope what has your temp rising, you will overcome. Cannot assume anything these days.

      2. Hinkie….if your primary is aware of your fever, probably assume you can only call him at this time since many primaries do not want possibly infected people coming into their buildings, then thru his office you may eligible to receive the first batch of the self-swab that the govt is working on getting now.

  23. From my immediate area we have Sam Ruta. He has a chance to get picked day two. He committed to Army but I’m told he could be signed out of that commitment.

  24. BREAKING: Trump is making the anti-malaria drug available for treating the coronavirus. It has been effective in early cases. Let’s hope and pray this helps turn the tide of its spread.

    1. Yes that would be a tremendous break through,,
      …….and btw hope Hinkie is doing better….have not heard from him yet.

    2. Along with the anti-malaria drug, there’s also an anti-viral drug which the president and FDA are okaying for fighting the coronavirus.

    3. This is a very good sign. Since it is an existing drug, it already got tested and presumably with acceptable side effects. Now it’s only a matter of checking if it is that effective against covid and if it is, how fast production can get ramped up. This drug can easily flatten the curve and buy time for a vaccine next year if it works.

      1. Yes….that would be something great.
        And if it is the real deal for treatment for this COVID-19…..I suppose people will begin buying up all the Tonic water off the shelves.

  25. in an article today, Jim Salisbury wrote about the increased need for BP depth. Whenever the season starts, and we can only pray that something helps with this virus, Pitchers will not be able to go as long as they normally would. But, in the article he says “with SerAnthony Dominguez expected to undergo elbow surgery any day now”… Did I miss some announcement? Salisbury is pretty well locked into the team, and I read nothing about this being definite.

    1. Nothing has been said yet but we’re all assuming he needs TJ surgery. Chris Sale now getting TJ, also no surprise.

  26. Girardi, with the delayed start, is now expecting Hunter, Arano, and all three of the 5th starter candidates to be on his staff. Expectations are that there will be a 30 man initial roster with up to 17 pitchers. That will allow for a 12 man pen, lots of jobs.

  27. ESPN posted its top prospect lists. Phillies list is:
    1. Spencer Howard, RHP, 60 FV (No. 21 in top 100)
    2. Alec Bohm, 3B, 55 FV (No. 42)
    3. Bryson Stott, SS, 45+ FV
    4. Luis Garcia, SS, 45 FV
    5. Mickey Moniak, CF, 45 FV
    6. Simon Muzziotti, CF, 45 FV
    7. Johan Rojas, CF, 45 FV
    8. Francisco Morales, RHP, 45 FV
    9. Adonis Medina, RHP, 40+ FV
    10. Kendall Simmons, SS, 40+ FV

    1. Regarding Stott, ESPN said “There’s clear top-100 and even top-50 upside by this time next year.”

      Regarding Moniak, ESPN said “the elements are there for league-average offense and above-average center-field defense”

    2. Kiley McDaniel has a few ‘out- of -the- box’ guys higher than expected on his list…..ie Rojas and Simmons,
      Leaves off guys like Marchan. Miller and even Maton, who are three I would also consider.
      McDaniel and Eric Longerhagen of Fangraphs share a similar prospect projection philosophy it would appear and that only makes sense since they worked together for a number of years

  28. “Regarding Stott, ESPN said “There’s clear top-100 and even top-50 upside by this time next year.”

    For Stott to justify that ESPN Top-50 or even Top-100 ranking he needs to jump from Low-A Williamsport to AA Reading and MLB Futures All-Star game invite. He’s another victim of the ST being shutdown… He needed a lot AB’s this spring.. Now with a very condensed ST and fast start to MiLB season (whenever that comes) he’ll need a fast start… Let’s hope for him and the rest of our MiLB guys that’s the case..

    1. For sure the scouts have him at some of the 4 tools that could be considered plus to plus-plus…..hopefully the ‘5 herramientas’ of power comes around for him.

  29. Yeah he looks better than Tocci for sure.

    I hope everyone is ok, I have read from all of you for years and I feel admiration to Jim and everyone in this site.

  30. 40 years ago today – March 20, 1980- a mentally unstable man, an armed truck driver, forced his way into the offices of the Eagles’ record lable and took a female executive hostage, demanding to speak with Don Henley, Glenn Frey or Jackson Browne (who shared the same label) and ask for $2500 because his truck had been stolen. None of the above could be reached. However, NYPD was on the case. They asked a local DJ to play ‘Desperado’ and dedicate to the trucker. When the song reached the lyrics, “Why don’t you come to your senses, you been out ridin’ fences for so long now,” the man broke down, gave up his gun, and no one was seriously hurt.

    I share this story (found on the site of Ultimate Classic Rock) in honor of all the first responders out there. Plus, it so happens that ‘Desperado’ is my personal favorite song of all time. Awesome lyric about a man trying to find love, meaning and satisfaction in all the wrong places. If you haven’t lately, give a listen.

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