Open Discussion: Week of May 4th

I hope everyone continues to be well.  This is week eighth of my self-quarantine.  I am a long-haired, bearded mess.  Florida opened pools last Thursday.  Beaches open Monday.  Restaurants can open at 25% capacity indoors, six-foot distancing outside.  I’m still not going out for the foreseeable future.  My wife and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary on the 1st and the 24th anniversary of the night we met on the 4th (Springfield Inn, Sea Isle City, NJ).  We’ll venture out to celebrate when it is safer for people at risk like the two of us.

Dropped Glee from the TV rotation.  Aside from a tiring story line, I looked ahead, and these high school kids are in all seven seasons.  Doesn’t anyone graduate?  Some of these characters were juniors and seniors in season one.  I watched season one of Twin Peaks.  Meh.  Started season two, the murder was solved in season one.  Came to the conclusion that season two is stupid and just trying to capitalize on the popularity of season one.  Dropping this one before the end of episode two.

I see the rumors are starting to pick up some intensity.  Keep calm.  I’m starting to hear some things from my sources.  Everything is still dependent on the availability of meds and testing.  But, the almighty dollar will likely win out.  FWIW, I’ve heard that some minor leaguers are down here working out.  Some of them are rehabbers who remained and others are the Venezuelans who were stranded when their country closed airports before we sent foreign players home.  There are about 3 dozen, working out in groups of 8-9 on the back fields.  I don’t think they are allowed in the club house.  I think they just make use of the field.

(Update: I had to go to the pharmacy Monday, so I drove past the Complex.  Fromj 19, I could see a group of individuals on Schmidt Field, so I pulled around to the Complex parking lot.  I caught up with a friend, one of the guards.  I could see some activity from the parking lot, looked like fielding ground balls in the OF or at 2B.  We spoke for some time at a social acceptable distance, 8 feet.  I also wore a mask.  While we talked, 8 players and 2-3 Complex staffers left.  I recognized Muzziotti, Yanez, and Cedeno, so the story I heard is true.)

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 May 4th … 382 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)
No activity since April 2nd.

57 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of May 4th

  1. Happy 21st, I’m coming up on 36 but I couldn’t tell you when we met. Tell the truth, do you remember or are you just taking her word for it?
    I still think we’re looking at July baseball in some form without fans. I can see them playing AAA in some form to have depth available for the majors but I don’t see the other levels playing this season. Will it count as a season of control? I think it will. Will any players regress from not playing?

  2. FWIW Spencer never left Clearwater. He and several pitchers (Nola is one) have been working out almost everyday at the facility or at a park (at one point even playing catch on a tennis court). The facility is not open and they are only allowed to use the fields and bullpens.

    1. I read that in an article on Nola, those guys are surely the lucky ones being able to stay active. Hopefully they’re being smart and staying safe. I’m sure this is tough on you and him as it just delays the inevitable, his major league debut. Who knows when now…. I don’t even know if there will be a minor league season other than to have depth players ready to help the major league club. Crazy year……

  3. So ready for baseball to return! I hope it’s late June or early July but are you sources saying otherwise? If they aren’t going to have a season, just please put me out of my misery now.

    I can always DVR KBO games I suppose

    Miss the daily banter with everyone and hope everyone is safe, healthy and sane!

    About to be welcoming another little Phillies fan within the next weeks.

    1. TrollU….congrats to you and good luck and best wishes for you and wife on the new one.
      PS… not be surprised if the newest little one becomes a Royals fan overtime…fighting peer pressure can be a little like swimming upstream.

      1. Haha lucky for me the wife is OK wearing Phillies gear. I’ve turned her in to a fan.
        Got the little one a Harper shirt as well

        1. And thank you! Can’t forget thanks

          I’m in suspense over season and this baby.
          It’ll actually be nice watching a game and taking a nap with the new baby then waking up towards end of game

  4. Jim….congrats on the anniversary…and wishing you many more.
    Hah..Springfield Inn on 43rd…. those big bad Juliano Brothers use to be regulars down there and in DELCO at Tom and Jerrys.
    Also hope wife is doing better after treatments.

  5. Happy Anniversary, jim! I wish you many more. I spent many an evening, some days also, at the OD in Sea Isle. Great times! Mr. Howard, we all wish Spencer and your family the best. I can’t wait to see some baseball, but I can’t say I will watch any of the Korean league if they show those games.

  6. A National Crosschecker I know for a team that will remain anonymous responded to my inquiry with “there’s a lot of chatter swirling that those dates are a go.” In the past he has been decidedly negative on MLB start-up news. Nothing else from him on where teams would set-up ST or which “plan” is the one being implemented.

    1. Nice! The stuff online says ST at home Ball parks. If they did that, I wonder if they’d actually play any games or simulations.
      Could make a for a sloppy season

    2. I think it’s reasonable to assume that either the 3 division realignment or the comparable one which keeps divisions as they are except teams play within their division and the other league’s corresponding one (ie NL east vs AL east) will be employed. Again, 108 regular season games are conceivable, if there’s a balanced schedule. Either 72 divisional games (4×18) with 30 (5×6) against the other division. OR just play all 9 opponents 12 games each in the 3 division format.

  7. I caught the last inning of the KBO season opener on espn. will keep an eye out for the former phillies that are over there.

        1. The pseudo Commissioner of MLB weighed on the situation:

          Scott Boras proposed that players report to spring training in May, beginning with the pitchers and catchers. Players would be isolated from the population for three to four weeks, grouping them according to whether they ever tested positive with no symptoms, were hospitalized, have recovered with antibodies or tested negative.

          “We have strong young athletes,’’ Boras said, “and we can ready them. They want to create a return to normalcy and certainly our national pastime is a sign of that.’’

  8. Well it’s definitely a rumor with some legs whether Law wants to admit it or not.. As for his “You can’t pack 50+ people in a clubhouse every day in this environment, even if you accept there will be no fans” is curious to say the least…1). Outside of the visitors clubhouse at Wrigley, MLB clubhouses are huge and can easily accommodate 50 people with social distancing guidelines… 2).Every itineration of any rumor/plan has testing and strict health protocols/procedures down to where I don’t believe even the press or any outside personnel get into the clubhouse. Only coaches, players and trainers. Finally; the health protocols likely implemented by the MLB may make the ballpark the safest place for these players. Certainly safer than a grocery store, retail outlet or those under the radar health club workouts we know many of the players are utilizing to stay in shape… Finally, we all want everyone safe. For those susceptible with secondary ailments or advanced age they really need to be careful… Yet outside of possibly some older coaches how does this fit athletes in the prime health of their lives? The percentage of athletes in this age group contracting COVID-19 is miniscule. We all know money is driving this search for a plan yet I believe Trevor Bauer said it best “the country needs baseball right now because people are scared and angry due to all the changes and they need something back which is familiar.” I think that’s the best reason for baseball to come back…

    1. Hawkeye,

      In World War II, FDR considered maintaining the baseball season important to national morale. I understand that this situation is different because this is an contagious disease, but the principle is the same — if we can keep players and coaches safe. And, I assume, as you say, the ballpark might be the safest place of all.

      1. Frank….there is the other alternative for baseball….prophylactic protocol…daily dose of Plaquenil with Zinc.
        However the critical issue with Plaquenil that is now occurring….shortage for the 2 million plus people in US who have been taking it daily for lupus, RA , JIA and autoimmune disorders….kind of a robbing Peter to pay Paul dilemma.

    2. Another issue that is coming up is that once the players are isolated (and getting tested), they cannot have any contact with their families. So once the season starts (say July 1st), they won’t be able to visit their families for say 4-5 months. This would be a really tough go for players with small children.

      1. Will that actually be the case come July 1? Or will there be contingencies in place for expectant fathers?

        1. Mike Trout and Zack Wheeler (both expecting their first child this summer) have publicly stated their opposition to the idea of players being isolated from their families/everyone.

          Here’s the deal (the way I see it) … owners understandably want to play games for financial reasons. The question is … “how many players/coaches/staff members/umpires will the league be ok with testing positive (because that’s going to happen) before they feel the pressure to shut back down?”

        2. It’s a dicey situation. I mean, people are already fed up with quarantines and it’s been what, less than 2 months? And MLB players are going to isolate for 4+ months? I think you will see a subset of players who will just refuse to play, no matter what their reasons. I think for expectant fathers, they’ll just stop playing once their kid is born.

          The logistics to keep everybody safe when new cases are nowhere close to zero are staggering. It’s clear that covid will cause havoc until a vaccine is available. No matter what news I’m hearing (and lack of details), odds are there won’t be a season. Personally, I’m putting the odds of a season reopening at maybe 35%? And going down fast.

          1. There are so many (too many) moving parts and data is interpreted in various ways by various sources. People are still dying, but with increased testing and availability of effective treatment, are the “new” cases really new, or a lag effect of broader testing. How does one verify that when there is more testing taking place now than there was two months ago? And it would be helpful to ascertain what percentage of deaths are those in nursing homes versus those in other quadrants of the community. Yet state laws are in place to obstruct that information from joining the equation. I think that as time goes on, decision makers are affected by how data is being filtered and pressure is being applied to government authorities, which are partisan to one particular school of reason or another. Many assume, unfortunately, that the information they’re given (from the sources they prefer) is accurate and unbiased. Again, we don’t have many answers to some questions that need to be asked. So, we tend to form our opinions on what we assume to be correct.

            1. MLB will reopen on their own terms, and within their views of the virus. It won’t matter what I think, you think, or anybody else on this site thinks about it. From what I’m reading, they are treating the virus very seriously. So my forecast above is based on that view. If MLB’s views change, then I will change my forecast accordingly.

            2. 8mark….DELCO PA stats 73% of all deaths… nursing home fatalities
              DELCO total pop.- 566K…… deaths…..320
              Sampling seems large enough…but every state and county in America (over 3125 counties or equivalents) may have their own unique characteristics..


  9. MLB players that reject playing this season due to start-up conditions that require a quarantine or what I’m reading is more likely a health bubble around the players that allows family members are free to to not play. Just don’t expect the game to stop for them.

  10. The Indians are operating under the assumption that spring training will resume on June 10 and that games will be played in their own ballparks July 1.

    Currently, there is no set plan to restart baseball, only rumors. So my question is this, is this the absolute latest that MLB can start?

    1. My guess would be that there may have been a push for earlier, then some blowback brought about negotiations to set a realistic time line.

  11. The fascinating thing about this is how our country views this pandemic vs others. I work with many people who are from and live in other countries. In short, most Americans view this as a political issue and most other countries view this as a global pandemic. The problem here is if you watch cnn or msnbc you see a global pandemic (which this is) that puts the most scare induced spin on this possible. If you watch Fox News, it’s the exact opposite. I don’t want this to be political commentary on this site so I’m going to refrain from sharing my views in that regard, but the real challenge we have is that our media options push so many of us to one side or the other, it’s hard to get facts and truly understand the reality. I know controversy and negativity drive ratings, but I really wonder what things would look like if someone started a competing news network that actually reported news and facts with good honest debate on both sides, and a 2020 presidential candidate perfectly in the middle running as an independent. As someone who has political ideals on both sides and has voted for both parties over the years, I’d LOVE to see someone run in the middle and run on the argument of “are you tired of the polar extremes and constant hatred by and of both sides?”

    As the above relates to sports, the players, owners, etc , like most of us, fall on one side or the other, and that difference in thinking is going to make this hard for an agreement to come together.

    1. Buddy; I watch very little live news because it’s so negative… Mostly sports, Netflix’s and other recorded shows.. Your point is well taken..

  12. At long last, there is some traction to get MLB back to playing baseball again. The proposal is expected in a weeks time. Some items I’m interested in seeing:

    1. Home parks?
    2. What happens if some players don’t want to play
    3. What happens if a player or clubhouse attendant catches the virus
    4. More player salary reductions? (due to no concessions, etc.)
    5. The border issue with the Toronto Blue Jays (currently the border is more or less closed)

  13. It’s my understanding that the MLB and MLBPA are sitting down next week to review a proposal (not a plan) for feedback from Tony Clark on logistics, operations, timing, health and economics.

  14. I know u will laugh at my idea but this year is a mulligan so why not think way outside the box.

    Shorten games to 6 innings. Teams will still have 25 man roster but each team can only dress 13 players per game. Other players not at ball park. In addition, pitching changes would handle like a goalie change. That is, no warm ups, no mgr visit to mound to take pitcher out. Finally, pitcher, catcher and mgr will be wired up like in football. So no need for mound visits.

    This would reduce exposure due to shortened games and less players in dugouts and clubhouse. By product is games will more intense as u only have 6 innings and so many strategic moves.

    Now is the time to experiment.

    1. I would agree that limiting “dressed” or “available” players in the dugout for each game makes sense, even under regular conditions. No team should need more than 8 pitchers so why have any non-scheduled starting pitchers around to do nothing but chit chat and chew cud? Benches should actually be increased to at least 6 players. However, I wouldn’t shorten games to less than 9 innings, or at least 7 for double headers. So, I would set squads for 22 per game, with a total of 30 on the major league roster.

    1. Phillies may need a few more rounds according to BA…they rank the Phillies system 26th in baseball.

      A snippet from Kyle Glaser’s report on the Phillies system.

      2020 ORG TALENT RANK: 26

      2019 RECORD: 81-81

      STATE OF THE SYSTEM: The Phillies have graduated most of their few draft successes to the majors (Austin Nola, Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery, Adam Haseley), giving them presently one of MLB’s shallowest and worst farm systems. Righthander Spencer Howard and third baseman Alec Bohm at least give Philadelphia two prospects at the top to work with.

      DEEPEST POSITION(S): Shortstop and catcher. 2019 first-rounder Bryson Stott and intriguing teenager Luis Garcia headline a Phillies shortstop group that has some promise. While none of them project as true everyday backstops, the Phillies have five catchers in their Top 30 Prospects, headlined by defensive stalwart Rafael Marchan.

      WEAKEST POSITION(S): Outfield. The struggles of first-round picks Moniak and Cornelius Randolph have left the Phillies without any outfield prospects who project as everyday players. Bryce Harper is signed for another 12 years, but the Phillies will need current young big leaguers like Haseley to step up in the outfield around him.

    2. Teams can sign an unlimited amount of undrafted players for $20K maximum. Obviously this benefits the more popular teams like the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox. I hope the Phillies will get their share of talented players and land in the top 10 in terms of signing undrafted players.

      1. Only college seniors will sign for $20K, the more talented juniors and high school players will wait a year. There probably won’t be a minor league season to join late anyway.

  15. Wow, the NBA is starting to reopen practice facilities and the amount of chatter out there is worrisome. Teams can only administer tests to asymptomatic people if there are enough tests in their area. Players are wary of resuming the season under a quarantine “bubble”. Raptors players residing in the US will be granted access on a case by case basis. Any person with a temperature 99.1F and above will not be granted access that day (normal is 98.6F). Mark Cuban has said that he’s worried about player safety and has no immediate plans to reopen the Mavs practice faclity.

    1. Tend to agree, avoid HS hitters this draft….but mocks accuracy rates are generally pretty low. At least the dozens I see every year from NFL pre-draft work ups.

      I suspect Klentak realizes time is not on his side anymore….and HS draftees are so far away and so unpredictable……he probably leans collegian players with a chance of producing at the MLB level at lot sooner than HS draftees.
      At least that is what I would do if I were in his shoes.

      1. With no 2nd round pick, Klentak HAS to get 1-15 right. This draft is far too deep.

          1. So with the 26 rated Farm System we only have two picks? And Klentak sucks at the draft, I feel bad for a lot of you, Middleton has set this team back 10 yrs, I Spend my money on the horses, screw the phillies and middleton

        1. Yeah probably the choice in other years under different circumstances.
          It would be hard to pass on him at 15 in any other year…MLB has him as a top ten pick
          Also, just see Matt K. wanting more expedient results from this year’s draft…this stoppage probably bought him one more year. I really think he has more doubts about HS picks as the first pick…seems to be leaning collegian after the 2015 (Amaro’s) and 2016 drafts.

  16. Can’t take a risk on a HS bat. I don’t think we will pick anyone not a College SP. i hope one of the ones Hinkie has mentioned falls to us.

  17. U have to go back to Mike Lieberthal the last time the Phillies hit on round 1 HS bat.

    Too much projection needed for HS bat especially in round 1. HS pitchers seem like they are easier to project.

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