Open Discussion: Week of August 3rd

The Phillies are 1-2 .333, 2.5 games out of first place, but with 7 games in hand.  They are scheduled to resume the season with 4 games against the Yankees, 2 there, 2 in CBP, then 4 games against the first-place Braves at CBP.  Season on the line.  In fact, if the schedule remains intact, they are at home until August 16th with the Orioles and Mets coming in for 3 games each.

I’m going to continue the “Meet the Threshers” series I started months ago.  I need to brush up on research and I want to write about our minor league players.

To one of our readers.  I appreciate your comment last week.  I wanted to acknowledge that I read it, but didn’t come across it until Saturday morning, and sometime responses get lost at the end of the week.  I honestly don’t recall the issue.  You may be the reader I tried to reach in the comments section when I found comments were being directed to a Spam folder and not reaching the page.  I’m glad you’re still reading and commenting.  There’s no reason why you can’t use your original name and .gmail account.  If you find you’re having difficulty with them, let me know.  I’ll contact WordPress.

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

Key Dates:

  • July 23, 2020: Opening Day
  • July 24, 2020: Phillies opener at home v Miami – postponed
  • August 1, 2020 – Signing period for 2020 draft picks closes
  • August 31, 2020 – Trade Deadline
  • September 15, 2020 – Deadline for players to be added to Major League roster for postseason eligibility
  • September 28-October 1, 2020 – Minor League Baseball Innovators Summit, Winston-Salem, NC
  • September 30, 2020 – Expiration of the Professional Baseball Agreement between MLB and MiLB
  • October 15, 2020, 5:00 PM EDT – Close of the 2019 international signing period
  • October TBA – Trading resumes, day after the World Series ends
  • October – November TBA, five days after the conclusion of the World Series – Deadline for teams to make qualifying offers to their eligible former players who became free agents
  • November TBA, fifteen days after the conclusion of the World Series – Deadline for free agents to accept qualifying offers
  • November TBA – GM Meetings (Nov. 11-14, Scottsdale, AZ in 2019)
  • November TBA – Owners meetings (Nov. 19-21, Arlington, TX in 2019)
  • November 20, 2020 – Rosters set for Rule 5 Draft
  • November TBA – MLBPA executive board meeting (Nov. 26-29 in Irving, TX in 2018)
  • December 2, 2019 – Last day for teams to offer 2021 contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters
  • December 6-10, 2020 – Winter Meetings in Dallas, Texas, at the Omni Dallas Hotel and Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas, held in conjunction with the Baseball Trade Show and PBEO Job Fair.
  • December 10, 2020 – Rule 5 Draft
  • January TBA – Rookie Career Development Program
  • January 15, 2021, 9:00 AM EST – Start of the 2020 international signing period

The rosters and lists are up to date as of August 2nd … 346 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)

7/29/2020 – RHP Adonis Medina assigned to Alternate Site from Reading
7/29/2020 – 1B Austin Listi assigned to Alternate Site from Reading
7/29/2020 – SS Bryson Stott assigned to Alternate Site from Williamsport
7/28/2020 – Phillies sent SS Arquimedes Gamboa outright to Lehigh Valley
7/27/2020 – Red Sox claimed RHP Robert Stock off waivers from the Phillies
7/24/2020 – Phillies selected the contract of 2B Phil Gosselin from Alternate Site
7/24/2020 – Phillies designated SS Arquimedes Gamboa for assignment
7/23/2020 – Phillies recalled RF Kyle Garlick from Lehigh Valley
7/23/2020 – Phillies recalled RHP Reggie McClain from Lehigh Valley
7/23/2020 – Phillies recalled LHP Cole Irvin from Lehigh Valley
7/23/2020 – Phillies recalled LHP Austin Davis from Alternate Site
7/23/2020 – Phillies selected the contract of RHP Trevor Kelley from Alternate Site
7/23/2020 – Phillies selected the contract of 1B Neil Walker from Alternate Site
7/23/2020 – Phillies selected the contract of RHP Ramon Rosso from Alternate Site
7/23/2020 – Phillies designated RHP Robert Stock for assignment
7/23/2020 – Phillies activated RHP Tommy Hunter from the 10-day IL
7/23/2020 – Phillies activated 3B Scott Kingery from the 10-day IL
7/23/2020 – Phillies activated RHP Hector Neris from the 10-day IL
7/21/2020 – 2B Josh Harrison granted his release
7/20/2020 – RHP Anthony Swarzak granted his release
7/18/2020 – LHP Francisco Liriano granted his release
7/18/2020 – 2B Logan Forsythe granted his release
7/16/2020 – Phillies released RHP Bud Norris


260 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of August 3rd

  1. The Phils have played but three games in this most unusual season. Now they must face the Yankees with a super hot Aaron Judge amidst a hurricane/tropical storm, whose name I can neither pronounce nor spell. Can a plague of locusts be far behind?

    1. Speaking of stats, I need a clarification. With the new rule of a free runner on 2Nd in extra innings, if that runner scores is it an earned run charged to the pitcher??

      1. Acoording to yesterday’s Cubs/Pirates extra innings game, it’s not an earned run.

      2. Yes it’s treated as if the runner is on 2nd due to an error. The run would be unearned.

      3. Tony, that is correct. The runner placed on second is an unearned run if he scores. However, any advanced metric that uses Runs (like RA9 or WAR) and doesn’t differentiate between ER and unearned would likely be affected.

  2. I can’t wait for 2021.
    Last week was not too bad without the Phillies, didn’t even follow the Sixers too closely.
    Got all lost up in the Flyers. Now there is a follow. Go Orange and Black!

    1. Denny….NHL and NBA will do fine, unlike MLB and NFL,……their regular seasons were over 75% completed and so they were able to jumped right into a ‘bubble’ play-off.
      I am curious to see what happens when they have to start a normal 80 -game regular season and have to air travel to different cities
      From what I have read, both leagues will start up again in Jan/Feb time frame and have a short season next year, and however try to finish with their regular play-off schedule and end around June 2021.
      Will have to see where the country is with COVID-19 in 6 months from now.

  3. Not sure why MLB hasn’t scheduled a doubleheader for today. The tropical storm will be rolling through The Bronx tomorrow afternoon and night. It’s not like they have to consider how fans with tickets will be affected.

    1. Or at least play tomorrow’s game in the morning before the weather gets unplayable. Under these circumstances, what’s new…do whatever makes sense. Is TV really the biggest factor in any decision? Nevermind…that’s obvious.

      1. 8mark…..speaking of TV and athletics…check out the ratings for MLB in these last few weeks…or NBA….hard to believe Tom Brady/Peyton Manning/Tiger Woods/Phil celebrity match scored higher ratings two months ago, then much of the MLB/NBA

  4. This is a really tough series at any time, but we haven’t played, or even been able to work out much, for a week, and the Yankees are red hot. Judge is crushing the ball, and Gerrit Cole is one of the best Pitchers in the game. And, they have perhaps the best BP in the league, and we may have the worst. They have 4 BP arms who would be the best Pitcher in our BP, by far. I will be glad to see us play again, but I am afraid that it is not going to go very well.

  5. I’ve been mulling this over for several weeks now. The people that come here are a pretty close knit community. You have interests other than baseball, and maybe you would like to discuss them with your friends here at Phuture Phillies.

    So, how would you feel about an Op-Ed type of post which would provide a space to discuss topics other than baseball? I could post it when specific topics pop up in the media, when someone asks for one, or on a set schedule (weekly, monthly, etc.).

    1. Jim, I have lots of ideas and love to express them, so let me express one now: I’d be wary of getting into political, social, cultural issues that can drive this community apart. Baseball unites people of different views, backgrounds, ages. Let’s keep it all baseball.

      Occasionally, as we’ve seen with the pandemic, baseball ramifications lead to discussions of the pandemic itself. Maybe that’s okay and something you can regulate as you have done so well in the past.

      1. Frank….I am with you on that subject
        If you ever look at other blogs with commenters, whenever it goes into another direction…. political, social, cultural…oy vey!

        Remember, that old rhyme we grew up on….’sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me’…..not so sure anymore…things can get quite hurtful.

        1. Romus so true you cant say anything anymore, so if i want to rant i just will call romus, he is a good listerner

        2. This might resonate with a few of you but now at my age I look at the obits everyday before I get going just to make sure I’m not featured. I take notice to quite a few, more than I would like to think about, acquaintances that are now horizontal and non-functional.

          I don’t really shed a tear about their notice until I read their bio and find that they were an avid Phillies fan or Eagles fan. I didn’t know them that way, if we had met and only discussed our love of common teams we would have been friends.

          I have a best friend for almost 50 years and we never discuss politics, only once and I was surprised that we were different, he said something negative about a person I supported 15 years ago. I listened, didn’t reply and nothing more was discussed. We are still best friends.

          Let’s only discuss sports and remain friends.

          1. Denny ..I can relate…..rocco is a big Seattle Slew guy and I am an Affirmed guy….but we still are BFFs.

            1. Denny …Triple Crown qualifiers ….Secretariat was probably the best….he raced 21 times in his career…Ron Turcotte sat on him almost every one except for three times…beginning and end.

            2. Agree….hard to believe the 70s how great horse racing was…three Triple Crown Winners in six years……and I thought wow this is great, will be like this for awhile…then the drought…almost 40 years .
              Sort of like Phillies WS winners.

      2. Frank, I never thought of it but your reasoning is very logical and I am behind you 100%.

    2. My vote is to stay primarily on baseball with an occasional swerve into other sports. Thank you.

    3. Jim, while I have been one to respond and engage on political tangents in the past, the challenge is biting the tongue when someone makes an assumption or takes a position based on their assumptions (falsely, IMO) which is inherently political in its point, ie the pandemic. Unless we as commenters were to change our handles as we shifted to the OP-ed thread, it probably would create a hostile environment among us. Hinkie and I have a solid, amicable baseball relationship (remotely, of course) but that would likely go south if we continued our political discourse under our Phuture Phillies handles.

    4. I would rather try his page remain true to it’s intent, which is to discuss all things Phillies related, including the minor leagues, and the happenings within the baseball world as a whole. Discussions on non sports topics are a tricky road to go down, and if you do decide to go that way, Jim, it’s just asking for problems, in my opinion.

      1. Allowing other topics is an interesting idea, but I agree with wawatom that I prefer to have PP focus only on the phillies development players and programs

    5. I agree with SWL FRANK. As much as I am sometimes guilty of taking the conversation a stray I like that you keep me/us in check and steer it back to baseball

      My 2 cents

    6. I’d be very open to other sports related topics but would stay away from the hot button issues. I’d love to come here to complain hourly about the Sixers org being so terribly run or to plan the specifics of the Flyers parade

  6. There’s still hope!!!
    This is from Baseball Reference’s opening screen –

    ATL 7-3
    MIA 2-1 1.5
    WS 3-4 2.5
    PHI 1-2 2.5
    NY 3-7 4.0

    CHi 7-2
    MIL 3-3 2.5
    CIN 4-5 3.0
    STL 2-3 3.0
    PIT 2-7 5.0

    COL 6-2
    LAD 7-3
    SDP 6-4 1.0
    SFG 5-5 2.0
    ARI 3-7 4.0

    Most Likely Playoff Scenario
    NL Division Winners: LAD, STL, ATL
    NL Wild Cards: CHC, COL, WSN, PHI, ARI

      1. Yes, but technically, they go by winning percentage every year. That’s the way the rules are written. That’s why it’s not a revelation that they are doing so this year.

        1. True. I didn’t think my theory or far enough. I was worried about a team going 9-1, having to fold it and winning the division. Is there a maximum number of games to qualify?

  7. Why aren’t Nola and Wheeler starting the first two games against the Yankees?

  8. The game tomorrow has already been postponed due to the Hurricane. It will be made up with a DH Wednesday. Cards and Tigers PP due to a virus outbreak.

  9. Yankees Stadium is a freaking joke. The ball travels like crazy over there. That place is Chase Field of the east.

    1. Also worth noting that our lineup bats in the same field as their lineup. So if it is so easy to hit homers at that field, we should do it too, right?

      1. One issue I’m seeing so far (besides the slow starts) is missing the mistake pitches. It’s been 4 games, and JT has missed the most by far. Even Bryce has missed his share. Really, only Didi/Bruce/Gosselin have pounded mistake pitches (although Didi missed a fat one yesterday that he pulled way right).

        Cole has great stuff but he wasn’t sharp yesterday and the Phillies missed doing damage.

  10. Let’s be honest, this is a very mediocre team.
    – Our SP 3-5 are below average
    – Our bullpen is not good at all
    – and our lineup is average to below average.

    Compare us to the Yankees tonight. They are better at every position, with the exception of Catcher, which is pretty close. Maybe 1B is a push. But other than that, they dominate us at every position. Including Judge being materially better than Bryce. Stanton over Cutch. Is massive. Every other IF position they dominate us. CF is huge advantage to them too. Just massively better than us.

    This team is not close to being able to compete with elite teams. No depth. No home grown stars (beyond Nola). Really a mediocre team.

    1. I was surprised at the level of expectations for the team heading into the year from talking heads and fans. This is pretty much the same team that was .500 last year; changing managers isn’t going to boost them that much. Wheeler is significant but still not enough to add 12+ wins.

      I think the lineup should be above average but the bullpen is bad right now and the rotation is average. That’s just an average team. We’re relying way too much on Hoskins, Kingery, Pivetta and/or Velasquez figuring things out. Add Haseley, Howard and Bohm to that. I haven’t seen enough from those players collectively to be optimistic.

      1. On the plus side, Haseley has actually looked quite good. He could potentially be a Phil for a long time.

    2. I concur with V1 which is why I’ve believed for a long time this job is too big for MK

      1. A massive part of our mediocre MLB team has been the failure of drafting. We had top 10 picks in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. The only pick that has a chance to be a high impact player is our 2018 pick. Haseley is platoon player IMO. Other picks are non factors. Our second round has not been much better. Not sure what people think of Kingery, but he looks like a utility 5th infielder to me. Hopefully Howard is the stud that we expect. But other than that, nothing. That is what kills this team. No impact from the high draft picks.

        1. I am keeping my fingers crossed on that 2017 draft….they should have a good number of MLB producers, at varying degrees of production….Howard and Haseley have chances of really coming on, and 6/7 more as some sort of MLB players….even RHP Billy Sullivan as a UDFA signing in July was buried in that draft

        2. Kingery brings power, speed and defense in theory but I don’t think he’ll square up the ball enough. Hoskins has been disappointing. Agree that we just haven’t developed enough impactful players. It’s just Nola and Neris right now.

        3. I’ve already expressed my opinions about this year and next year’s draft, but aside from that I think Klentak should kindly yet firmly be shown the door before or after this season is up. Missing on draft picks is one thing, but trading away some of the few young players we may have hit on (e.g. Crawford and Sanchez, although he remains to be seen), is another. This is his fifth year as GM and the team is still not competitive enough to contend for a deep playoff run, let a lone a championship. But then again it really seems like an institutional failing since even the guys we thought we could count on to be stars–Nola, Hoskins, Kingery in particular–haven’t really taken that next step into Rollins, Utley, Howard, Hamels territory: legit, team-carrying ballers. They season is still young but it’s not looking good.

  11. When John Middleton talked about spending”stupid money” in free agency, he must have been thinking of the contract that he gave to Jake Arietta. The only advantage of the short season is the less amount of time we have to watch him pitch.

    1. I’m not sure why you’re ragging on Arrieta after yesterday’s game, he looked pretty good. He looked way better than last season when he was injured. He should have only given up 2 runs (that HR from Gardner to LF was a joke).

      1. I was being hard, and probably unfairly with Jake. But the season is only 60 games and there has been nothing in Arrieta’s history in Philly that suggests a reliable starter. A bad start to the season and no playoffs. I would rather have Spencer Howard replace one of the three ( Eflin, Velasquez, Arrieta), because he might be able to not only help, but maybe generate a little buzz with the team.

    2. I thought Arrieta’s line last night was pretty good 5 IP 0 BB 4K’s save for the 2 HR’s and 3 ER what’s not to like about that…

      You’re not going to beat the Yankees in a pitchers duel. You have to outscore them. And to be fair a tall order coming off a big layoff only to face the best RH pitcher in baseball right now IMO

      1. You are probably correct that I am being unfair with Arietta. It’s probably frustration. The Phillies only have 60 games and outside of Nola and Wheeler, I dread the other 3 games after those two, especially when there maybe a better option in Lehigh Valley (Spencer Howard). We just can’t afford to give away games. If the Phillies go 7-13 or 8-12 in the first 20 games, it’s basically season over.

  12. I cannot argue with v1, at all. I am trying to give them more time, and understand the damage that the long layoff causes. But, I am starting to worry about more than the BP. Arrieta was not bad last night, he wasn’t very good, but VV was bad. I expect much more from Rhys and Scott Kingery. Neither gets the excuse that “they hit into some bad luck.” They don’t look good at all, and the BBs that Rhys takes are not what I want from him. They should be a byproduct of Pitchers not wanting to pitch to him, and his ability to take Pitches. But the hitting from him has to come first, not the Walks, and he looks terrible up there. I compare him to Aaron Judge. Draft pick, showed a lot, a little off, Rhys with a lousy second half last year, Judge with some injuries. How are they comparing today? I compare Stanton and Bryce, and I am happy with Harper. Big $ signing vs. big $ signing. We have seen no growth from our young players, except Haseley, who has looked pretty good so far. Even Nola was much better 2 years ago. It’s early, Joe G just got here, and there is time to get into a groove and improve. But v1 is right when he says we are not one of the elite teams, and not close. I had hoped we were a Playoff team, however, and I may have greatly overestimated us.

    1. IMO, the quality of the DH shows everything about a team. Great teams have depth and high end talent. So much talent that they need to put an elite hitter like Giancarlo Stanton at DH. Bad teams have a DH who had a sub .300 OB% last year.

      but go up and down the lineup.
      – Cutch is a shadow of his former self. I get the injury, but zero depth kills us.
      – Rhys had one amazing half a season. But hasn’t been above average since.
      – Segura is definitely a bottom 5 3rd baseman on OPS this year. May end up the worst in terms of OPS. He is not a 3rd baseman. He is a weak hitting shortstop, who has lost his range.
      – IMO Kingery doesn’t look like an elite hitter at 2nd.
      – Personally, I am not a fan of Haseley and believe that he is in the right spot batting 9th. I think he has a bad swing path. He is a 5th OF to me.

      Harper is very good, but is not going to cary this team. JT is a stud, but is going to be a FA and I do not have confidence that we will resign him. Didi is a question mark to me, but so far, so good. But he is also on a 1 year deal in his age 30 season.

      This is just a very weak lineup.

      1. 4 games….. after months off… I think you need to give it time. Cutch looks very rusty. You have to remember he missed spring training and hadn’t played in a year. Kingery’s timing is way off but he was very sick and only practiced for a short period of time. Hoskins changed his swing in the offseason and just as he was starting to get comfortable spring training ended. Now he’s totally lost and needs time to find his swing again. I don’t think we can be too harsh on the hitting yet, need to give them time. I agree that right now they’re not at their best. I would move Cutch down in the order and use Quinn instead but that’s me.

        1. It is only 4 games (of only 60, maybe) but here come the excuses. This roster is insufficient. Fortunately the Braves pitching is decimated with Soroka’s achilles putting him out for the season. The Phillies bullpen is bad. The AL East should own the NL East. My hope is that we get to see Howard and Bohm in some developmental action as these games should serve some useful purpose.

          1. Agree with V1. Yes, it’s still early, but (and I mentioned this last week [?]) … this team is top heavy; really lacks depth. With 56 games left to be played over 53 days, this season has a chance to be a real disaster. On the bright side … we could be in store for a very good draft pick.

            1. Hinkie…the NL-East is eroding.
              —Braves lost their number one yesterday…and all of Freddie, Acuna, Albies and Inciarte are batting under .222 so far
              —Mets bullpen rivals our bullpen… they lost their DH, Cespedes…Stroman, who knows when he comes back….their infield defense is anemic, and their big bat is struggling out of the gate…Pete A.
              —Nats….weak bats, and then there is Strasburg and his hand issue….three starters of Fedde, Voth and Sanchez are not too scary to face
              —Marlins….I do not know if what I have seen is real when they played the Philies….maybe it is

              The division looks like it could be up for grabs.

            2. Romus … You make good points. The fact that everyone in the NL East has problems could artificially make the Phillies look better than they really are.

              Infrequent Poster … Any of Kumar Rocker, Jaden Hill, Jack Leiter, Jordan Lawlar, Brady House would be HR picks for the Phillies.

  13. Jim, would it be too much of a hassle to list the signings of drafted players in the transactions on the Open Discussion?

  14. The three lefties in the Yankee rotation are not doing as well as they expected…collectively 14 innings pitched and given up 21 hits and 11 ERs…so the Phillies need to jump on them.
    Because the Yankees deft BP will come in when the Yankees bats build up sizable leads or come back from deficits.

  15. I expect Girardi to get Howard up soon, along with Brogdon for the inept pen.
    Unless there is a resurgence , he is not going to play around too long with what he is seeing now from his pen..

    1. The bullpen hasn’t really been pitching with leads so we haven’t seen the back end too much. It’s safe to assume that the vets are the most reliable right now (Hunter, Morgan, Alvarez, Neris). Only Hunter has made more than 1 appearance.

      The middle innings are the big issue. Guerra/Kelley/McClain don’t have extensive track records as relievers. We know about Irvin and Pivetta so won’t beat that dead horse. Davis has potential and Rosso was clearly shell shocked in his only appearance.

      Brogdon (age 25) has some good SO numbers in the minors so if he’s ready, I have no issue bringing him up to help in the middle innings.

  16. The storm should clear out of NYC by game time tonight. Shame, they could have played. Anyway…guess contingencies must be made.

  17. Counting on so much of your BP to produce when their track records have been bleak, is not a great way to build a Roster. Segura has not looked good, but believing in Rhys and Kingery and that Cutch would come back is not that far-fetched. I am not a big Klentak guy, but I still have faith in those guys, and they may still come around. But putting this BP together and claiming that we are doing “everything possible to win”, is just an oxymoron.

  18. This season is so short and bizarre that I’m not going to pass judgment on any team.

    Like others, I’m disappointed in the Phillies start, but if this were a 162-game season and no long layoffs for COVID we might not be so upset. So, I’m going to try to adopt a 162-game mind set.

    v1 is a great analyst who I very much admire. But, with all due respect, v1, you might be being a little hasty. And I understand you are not basing your judgments on just four games, but you were a Hoskins bull in the past.

    So, here are some of my countervailing comments. Not statements or belief, but comments:

    Kingery. We thought he would be the new Dustin Pedroia. Let’s give him some time. He might still be.

    Hoskins. He was more than a great half season. He was a force beyond that. It might be more factual to say he’s a half-season disappointment that has carried over into this year. I’m concerned about Hoskins, but I’ll give him some more time. Meanwhile, Rhys, shave the mustache. You aren’t a mustache kinda guy.

    Haseley. Like v1, I’ve not been a big Haseley believer. He looks like a fourth outfielder to me. But, ya know, a good fourth outfielder ain’t a bad thing to have.

    Jay Bruce. Come on, a classic DH.

    JT. Yes, I worry we aren’t going to sign him. If not, fire Klentak. I understand that JT feels compelled to test the free market, not just for himself, but for other catchers. But that wasn’t his song when he first came to the Phillies. He should have been extended then. Immediately. Klentak may be cerebral and patient, but you also need to know when it’s time to strike, and strike early.

    Cutch. Worried about him. Fingers crossed, but worried he might be over the hill. Let’s give him a few more games.

    Pitching staff. Arghh! Arrrrgh and Double ArrrrrghI! I won’t say anymore because the failure to identify and develop talent has so many examples of so many kinds over so long a period that none of us has time to write a 600-page book bout it. Here’s hoping on young Mr Howard, Nola and Wheeler.

    Okay, maybe I did do some judging.

    1. “We thought Kingery was the next Dustin Pedroia?” I know I didn’t think that. Have you seen Pedroia’s numbers? He was ROY at age 23 and MVP at age 24. 4 Gold Gloves, 4 AS appearances, 51.6 WAR! He’s had a better career than Jimmy Rollins.

      As much as I’m intrigued by Bohm and Howard, I don’t project them to anybody because they can just as easily flame out. As an example, see Dom Brown. Give them an opportunity, and see what happens. It’s still early in Kingery’s career (he’s still only 26), but for now, he’s looking like an average starter.

      1. Guru thanks, correction: Not “we” but “many” thought that highly of Kingery. That most especially includes Klentak who gave him a long-term contract before had his first Major League strike out, er, I mean at bat.

      2. Guru, I wrote a response to your post that somehow hasn’t shown up.

        Basically, I issued a correction to say that “many” not “we” thought Kingery would be the next Dustin Pedroia.

        One of those many was Klentak who signed him to a long-term contract before Kingery had, as i said in the missing post, his first strike out, er, at bat.

        1. Hmmm. Interesting, now both posts are here. Either the gods of Word Press are at work or I’m not reading right. Must be the gods.

  19. Mick Abel #100 on MLB Prospect list.

    1. I hope Abel pans out. We need the talent influx but what would use as an evaluation for HS kids that had no high school or short minor league seasons for evaluation? Their junior year in high school? A lot of projection in the selection which is fine when so little else is available. I would just like to to see the kid pitch…

      1. Good question. Imo they grade the tools. With pitchers I think it is easier to grade tools than with hitters. A grade 60 curve ball is a grade 60 curve ball whether it is a cage session or a WS game 7. It is based on spin rates, velo, shape, etc.

  20. Frank – nicely done. I definitely agree with you on Hoskins and that mustache – wrong guy for facial hair….to your points – I think it is difficult not to judge but I agree with you that there is still reasons to be patient with all the players you point out. In this start/stop for a long time/ start/stop again season — it is very difficult to assess any young player when they are not playing. These professional players are bio-programmed to play regularly and when that doesn’t happen you get uneven results at best .I say it is way too soon to tell much of anything. The paint isn’t dry yet.

  21. What is fair to judge is the track record of a GM hired at the end of the 2015 season. Middleton is going to regret not bringing in a guy like Chaim Bloom when he had the chance and the perfect setting to cut bait when he let the manager go.

    Managers come and go on a whim. They don’t really set your franchise back should you hire an incompetent one but hire a bad or one who is not up to the task and you could set your franchise back a decade.

    1. DMAR, I might take it a couple of steps further. If Middleton hadn’t hired McPhail, McPhail would not have hired his protege Klentak. It may be time for both a new president, as well.

      I’ve not been as critical of Klentak as some. He’s made some well thought out, smart moves, but he’s had his five years, as you’ve noted, and given the charge by Middleton to build the franchise after it drifted so long after the glory years, he probably should have accomplished more than build what we think/suspect/fear is mediocrity.

      1. LOL I completely forgot about McPhail. Is he still employed?…double horrible mistake.

        I’d be curious to know which moves of his were smart and I’m not being a smart a$$?

        I would say the net sum of moves under him is negative and very negative. Or maybe this is still a very dysfunctional ownership group who knows.

  22. Great post, SWFLFrank, I am still a believer in Hoskins and am holding onto my hope for Kingery. I still think Hoskins needs to be more aggressive, and batting him #2 hurts him. It emphasizes the value of him taking BBs, when I want him to be a major slugger, with the BBs coming as a result of his hitting. I might be totally wrong, but I need much more from Rhys. Segura has been a big disappointment to me, and the whole JTR thing is a disaster if we don’t re-sign him. I do not think Klentak is very good, but I blame Middleton for JTR not already being signed. Like Bryce, like firing Kapler and hiring Girardi, those were John Middleton moves, and signing JTR long term is also on Middleton. The dart board approach of DFA’s, waiver claims and collecting failures from around the league to build a BP, is on Klentak. v1 is right on about our being far away from being a WS contender. This group of Management folks has been here long enough for us to be much better than we are.

    1. matt13…with Rhys, what you see is what you probably will get going forward.
      Offensively, I compare him to Pat Burrell….same type approach at the plate.
      Do I want him to have a Jayson Werth approach?
      Yes…aggressive but at the same time showing the patience enough to foul off unwanted pitches waiting for the one you want. But Werth IMO did not look for the walk…maybe I am wrong since his career BB was 12%
      IMO, Hoskins, is a cog in the lineup but not a carrier.
      And when it comes to RISP….if he can recapture his BA -RISP from 2018 I would be happy

        1. So glad your okay, Romus i know you cant swim and was worried, about the storm and you only being 5ft 4 inches getting stuck in high water

          1. rocco…so nice to hear of your concern…..I wore my Floatsafe Flotie Armbands just to be on the safe side.

        1. Does seem that way.
          Rhys rolls many over the left side into the shift whenever he misses mistake pitches….or those mammoth pop-ups..
          Let hope he can at least get back or close to a reasonable wRC+ he had from ’17 and ’18….I would like him to hover around 130

    2. matt, thanks. I agree with you, as you’ll see in my post above.

      Also agree in Rhys having to become more aggressive at the plate. His ability to to take balls is an asset, but the purpose of a big lumbering first baseman isn’t to get on base. We’ll see about Segura. He got a new approach with his physical fitness. Maybe he’ll get his hitting stroke back with a few games under his belt. But if we move on from him, it might not be missed.

  23. Good posts, Frank, Romus, V1, Matt & all. On Rhys…… sports, especially at the professional level it is my opinion that you only get to reinvent yourself once or twice, if you are lucky, because if you are not successful it is next man up. Rhys has to get it going in this screwed up year because I think this team is under a microscope. Like Romus said, he’s just a “cog” not a “carrier”.

    Kingery’s development is disappointing and troubling to me. I thought he would be much better with a bat than he has shown. X – 2 he gets a slider low and away if I’m pitching to him.

    The team as constructed is very mediocre as V1 expressed and that is quite apparent to my eye. I have to believe this is apparent to Middleton as well, maybe this short season will result in some new faces and a change of chemistry, who knows.

    Also, has anyone noticed the amount of injuries that seem to be taking place? Maybe Covid-19 makes it easier to take yourself out of the fray, but a lot of them seem to be season ending in nature.

  24. Girardi is going with Nola and Wheeler today. If the Phillies get swept with their two best SP’s on the mound, the prospects for a successful season really begin to diminish.

      1. Really lmao Two complete games. Lets Face it, this is a average team at best, with no money to spend and a bad farm system. It will be this bad for a while, even in a division where two teams cant spend big money, The first step is a New President and G.M who know how to win, not a college kid who cant judge talent, only goes by numbers.

        1. Should have been two complete games….Joe decided not to push them this early.
          I get that, but IMO I would always let them start the next inning and get the first batter…hopefully and out, then bring in the pen guys .
          If they cannot get that first batter, in comes the pen then.

          1. Let’s face it, Romus…if the first game was a 9 inning affair, my money was on the NYY to come back and win against this bullpen. Here’s one instance where the oddity of the 2020 season worked in favor of the Phillies.

            1. I know. I’m only pointing out that this roster isn’t built for 9 inning games…or even 7 in some cases.

            2. The pen is the glaring weakness right now… I have said…Brogdon needs to be up for the middle frames….and Howard’s presence in the rotation should move Vinny to end of game relief. That could solve 27 or so of the remaining 54 games.

    1. I think that it is interesting that they chose to start Jake against Cole. Keeping Nola and Wheeler to go against NYY’s #2 and #3 starters. Agreed, starting the short season 1-5 would be very bad.

  25. The Yankees have not won a WS or even been to one since the boss passed and that was July 2010. I’ve never been a Yankees fan never will be but I miss Mr. Steinbrenner.

    The game could sorely use a character like that again. He always took responsibility for the product on the field.

  26. Excellent game by the Phillies, they worked over the pitchers like the Yankees do.

    On the other hand, Austin Davis couldn’t mop it up which was troubling to say the least.

    1. Except for the meatball to Judge Davis had some bad luck with a couple of weak hits. At least his stuff was good.

  27. Seriously … if Gabe Kapler had taken Aaron Nola (88 pitches) out of this game (remember they’re using a DH), fans would have been marching down Broad Street towards CBP with pitchforks and torches. This BP is a disaster. For the Phillies this season, it’s going to have to be Nola and Wheeler getting the game to Hector Neris. Let’s hope Spencer Howard gets a shot soon. This club is desperate for difference making (even reliable) arms.

    1. Why is Spencer not up? The Phillies have covered themselves for the oh’ so sacrilegious service time. Good Lord. Some things never change.

      1. Yes service time is a real issue. Phillies aren’t the only team that think it’s important

    2. I get taking Nola out based on where players are with the limited training camps. I don’t get turning game over to a non-roster invitee coming off a major injury who’s throwing 90. Bullpen is weak but they had better options than Hunter.

      1. Hard for me to understand…..why can’t they just bring up Brogdon.
        Then Spencer Howard for the weekend start..
        Brogdon was electric in March…thru well last week vs the intra-squad guys.

        Vinny goes to end of game relief with Neris,.
        Brogdon goes to middle relief.
        Joe still has the lefties in Morgan, Alvarez and Davis…as for Cole irvin, maybe more time needed down at LHV.

        Not sure what to make tight now of Guerra, Hunter, Pivetta or Kelley.
        And the mystery behind Ranger remains….is it too many positives?

        1. Vinny, in his brief taste of relief work, hasn’t been materially better than he has as a starter. And one area he absolutely does not excel at is situations with men on base (especially in scoring position). Not one of the qualities I look for in a reliever.

          I’ve been plenty patient with him and Pivetta, but if we have ANY other options that we can look at on the farm, it’s time to cut our losses and get a look. And if we’re talking about relievers, we’ve definitely got options. I could maybe be convinced that we don’t have anything (short of Howard) in the pipeline for starters that are ready to come up, so we may as well use them until we do (running them out there as little as possible, obviously). But if you’re trying to sell me on either of them out of the pen, then their tenure in Philly is over.

          1. Vinny?
            2019…10 games in relief….10 innings in relief…..15Ks…6 BBS…..Holds 2….1 ER allowed in 9 games but for one game, he blew entirely for 4 ERs @ Milwauekee.

            1. Career of 29 IP in relief:
              4.66 ERA, 36 K (11.2 K/9), 14 BB (4.3 BB/9)

              Eerily similar to his 4.71 ERA, 9.7 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 numbers as a starter.

              Might he get better over time? Perhaps. But the same could be said as his ability as a starter. Either way, his numbers with men on base and men in scoring position paint the picture of someone who either can’t pitch from the stretch or has mental issues under pressure. Both of which are not what you want from a guy at the end of the pen. If anything, just make him an opener.

            2. Its just me, but I do have to give him the benefit of doubt that pitching in a relief as a rookie 6 years ago at age 22, vs last year, he has matured and progressed to some degree.
              Just like in handicapping horses… is what have you done lately..

              However, I can go with him being an ‘opener’…Cash did it lot these last two years with the Rays and it prove to be successful.
              Not Joe does those things however.

    3. As you and I both said last year, a crappy bullpen wasn’t Kapler’s fault then and it isn’t Girardi’s fault now. He has to pitch the guys that he has. Their job is to get three outs without giving up a run. There is a reason that he brought in the guys that he did. They just didn’t do their job.

      1. v1 … Yes, the 2020 BP doesn’t look a whole lot better than the 2019 version. Matt Klentak has proven he’s incapable of building a pen. I would go on about how John Middleton blew it by not bringing in Chaim Bloom (who always put together sensational BP’s in Tampa), but I don’t want to get accused of beating a dead horse.
        The issue I have with Joe Girardi last night is the fact that he removed Aaron Nola at all. Nola was buzzing through the NYY’s lineup (6 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 12 K), and had only thrown 88 pitches. I understand the whole “going thru a lineup for the third time”, and I’ll also give you the “he took out Zack Wheeler after 87 pitches”. However, Wheeler was up by 8 runs in game one, and Nola vs the Yankee’s lineup a third time is IMO a better bet than most of the Phillies’ relievers except Neris (who was unavailable because the clubs’ relievers were inept in game one).
        I also heard Girardi give the “gotta be careful with Nola’s health” excuse. I just don’t see 102 pitches instead of 88 pitches as that big a deal. It’s a short season. Nola’s IP’s are going to be organically controlled.

        … and … here’s the difference between a top team/complete team and a top heavy team:

        Yankees beat the Phillies in a BP game.
        NYY’s pen – 7 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 7 K
        Phils’ pen – 1 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 0 BB, 1 K

  28. As I wrote above the Phillies have covered the service time they need to gain for at least now under the current CBA the extra year of service time for Howard..Can anyone in the Phillies organization say with a straight face Spencer Howard would not be a better option coming out of the BP than Tommy Hunter or three or four other players?

    1. I really do think Joe wants Eflin to get at least one start this season.
      And he had the delay to work back in his two TORs.
      Howard could be up for a weekend start vs the Braves from what I have seen written

  29. Rumor has it that Hoskins is still standing at the plate…waiting for that perfect pitch.

  30. Any thoughts on perhaps trading Segura at the deadline for some bullpen help? Call up Bohm? Klentak needs to redeem this aberration of a season and get this roster more cohesive. Even if Didi walks after 2020, there are more pressing needs than SS, and I personally think Stott is closer to the Show than others.

    1. Who would want him? I think he’d generously be a 2.5 WAR 3B, and every contender outside possibly the Rays has a better option than that. But the Rays brought in Tsutsugo in the offseason, so I can’t imagine they want to cut bait on him this early.

      But I guess that’s our best possible scenario; the Rays are in striking distance at the deadline, Tsutsugo is struggling badly, and Segura really catches on fire. That or an injury. We’ll see, I suppose.

    2. Segura’s bat only has value if he plays SS or 2B. His bat doesn’t work at 3B. No one would give anything of value unless they think he could move back to SS imo.

  31. Nats update:
    Strasburg has a nerve issue in his right wrist and Scherzer tweaked his right hamstring yesterday.

    1. Thankfully they didn’t learn anything from our spending habits in the early 2010s. Those pitcher contracts are gonna hurt. And soon.

      1. Exactly:
        ….if Strasburg’s issue doesn’t resolve and if he needs corrective surgery he will not pitch again until 2022 possibly.
        Scherzer is already 36 years old.
        Corbin will be their guy it looks for now.

  32. Garlick and Enyel De Los Santos sent to LHV. I did not know DLS was even on the team? Don’t a couple of the young arms throw hard? Why does it seem that every team has some young flamethrowers that can come out of the BP, except us? If we are afraid to send Rosso out there after his opening day issues, why keep him up here? Isn’t he better served pitching in LHV rather than sitting up here? This was universally seen as a major problem, and no one can be surprised. Not absolving the hitters for Game 2, but Nola deserved a W after his performance, and taking that second game would have been a big deal. We are, what is the word?, mediocre.

    1. DLS was just up because McClain is on paternity leave. He’ll be back in another day or so and someone else will be sent down. Davis made a good case for himself yesterday. It’s very hard to pitch every 10 days. I think they really like Rosso and will give him another chance or two. Vinnie could be in the bullpen after his next start. If Howard gets called up for Sunday start, someone will have to go down. Of course, if they get rained out tonight, plans will change.

  33. Everyone wants to tear into Girardi but the reality is that Guerra pitched great in spring training and looked great in his first outing. Hunter three terrible in siting training but looked very good on Monday and has a veteran history of some success. Unfortunately both imploded in the last few days. The relievers have talent but they can’t be consistent from game to game. That’s a manager’s worst nightmare. It becomes a total guess who to use from day to day. I believe two or three bad appearances in a row will get a guy sent down but good one time and bad the next is confusing. Fresh arms will be brought up at some point but 40 spots are a big deal, especially this year, and the current guys haven’t pitched enough to know much.

    1. You must be new here and clearly from out of town. We rip the manager for any bad outcome in Philly. That’s how it goes. Fairness is not a consideration.

    2. Girardi caught 15 seasons in the MLB I trust his baseball instincts a bit better than most.

  34. Thanks Murray, I missed the report on McLain. I don’t blame Girardi. Without ST and with being shut down and not practicing much, he has to grow a sense of what he has. Now, he, in my opinion, has very little, but he can only send out there what he has to choose from. v1 is correct. There is already Girardi bashing on the Talk shows, but I don’t have any idea what they expect Girardi to do. Even if Neris was available, would he have pitched in a tie game? That seems to be today’s complaint. The loss in Game 2 yesterday was on the offense.

  35. I get that it’s hard with the arms and I get that they didn’t want to lose the first game so they put Neris in, but why Tommy Hunter and why is Hunter even on this roster? Hunter used to throw 95-98. He’s sitting at like 90 now. He has a zero chance of succeeding throwing at that velocity. Why are you counting on him of all people in a tie game in the last inning? I just don’t really get it.

    1. I’m wondering the same. I’m not ripping Joe he’s certainly privy to more information than I am but let us not forget his departure in NYY was likely due to how he managed his BP in his last series there. If memory serves me correct.

      And I feel like managers all over the league get ripped most often for leaving certain pitchers in too long or pulling them too soon.

      The things that tweak my melons are having to watch Segura and Cutch struggle the way they are at the prices being paid.

      Continuing to watch my fav player take FB’s down the middle

      Actually its a long list so I’ll spare y’all and stop here.

      Well one more the Marlins at 5-1 leading the division!

      1. Marlins pitching staff has not had the injury bugs that the Mets, Braves and Nats staffs have incurred so far.
        Of course the Marlins starters have only pitched 3 games after a week off…and the Os and Phil’s opening series is probably not a good measurement yet.
        Their schedule….20 of the next 22 vs Mets/Nats/Braves and Rays.

    2. Who would you have used in that 7th inning? Assume Neris. Morgan, Alvarez or Hunter? Hunter just didn’t get the job done although he had pitched well on Monday. He looks terrible to me but what do I know. Would you go back to Rosso? No. Guerra? No. Irvin? No. Weak choices are the reality.

      1. IMO, seems rather easy solution,
        two players to bring up this weekend, ,
        …Howard to start in the 5 and Vinny to the back-end of the BP,
        and Brogdon in the 7/8- inning- middle.
        Irvin and Rosso back to LHV for more seasoning.
        Phillies need a shot in the arm…a vaccine, or antibody, so to speak.

      2. LOL with the benefit of hindsight anyone but Hunter

        Look in all fairness I agree this isn’t to be put on the manager yet. We’re what 6 games into the strangest season we’re every going to see (hopefully)

        If it were my team though I’m using the next 54 games (or whatever we’ll play) to get a read on what I have in Bohm and Howard and I’m with Romus I really like Brogdon. I’ve been singing his praises since I saw him in Trenton last summer.

        I mean isn’t it plain to see this isn’t a WS team? It is to me which is why losses won’t be a source of frustration.

        I got $300 hundred some million tied up in Harper and virtually nothing else around him in the LU. Recipe for disaster Angel’s fans might be able to tell you all about.

        1. I want to reiterate a few points (I previously made in an above post):

          * The final grains of sand have got to be falling through the Matt Klentak hourglass. IMO John Middleton committed malpractice by not hiring Chaim Bloom when he was available.

          * I don’t blame Joe Girardi for the ineptitude of the Phillies bullpen (I blame Klentak for that again this year).

          * I do blame Girardi for the decision to remove Aaron Nola after just 88 pitches last night. Nola is this team’s GUY (probably one of this team’s two GUYS [w/Wheeler]). When he’s dominating like he was last night, you’ve got to ride him. 105 pitches shouldn’t be a problem for Nola. In a shortened season, his IP are going to be organically controlled anyway.

          * This season is too short to stick with a guy who isn’t (for whatever reason) contributing. Spencer Howard needs to be added to the rotation. Don’t be shy about giving guys like Connor Brogdon, Garrett Cleavinger, Addison Russ, Zach Warren, even Adonis Medina a shot. They can’t be any worse than Austin Davis, Cole Irvin, Deolis Guerra, Trevor Kelly, and Tommy Hunter.

          * Same holds true for the offense. I’d give Alec Bohm a shot at 3B. Maybe he gives the team a shot in the arm. Let Jean Segura battle Scott Kingery for time at 2B. They have nothing to lose. Both Segura and Kingery have been ineffective so far.

      3. I would use them in the order you have listed. Hunter was throwing 90 with terrible location. That isn’t a profile of late game pitcher.

  36. Effective Today new MLB COVID-19 Protocols:

    1. Players and staff must wear face coverings over their nose and mouth at all times anywhere inside a ballpark – including the dugout and bullpen – except for players who are on the field.
    2. Home teams are required to provide outdoor, covered spaces for visiting teams.
    3. Players and staff must wear masks at all times while inside hotels except when alone in their rooms.
    4. Traveling parties must be limited to essential personnel.
    5. Players and staff must notify their club compliance officer any time they leave the hotel while on the road.
    6. Players and staff are prohibited from visiting bars, lounges, restaurants, and malls.

    Anyone found to be in violation of these new protocols may face significant punishments including a potential ban for the remainder of the season

      1. They can send someone out for P/U Curb or perhaps order for delivery.
        Rules are rather restrictive for sure in certain conditions..

    1. Duhh. why would they NOT have done this at the very start? Aren’t player contracts filled with requirements to prevent them from doing health-risk actions? Why not extend that to staff? I know I feel like walking out the door when fellow employees violate my company’s mask rule and walk up to or right next to me.

  37. 3-0 lead in first is now 3-2. Eflin could have been out of the inning if not for an error by Kingery. We have so much trouble holding leads.

    1. Lets hope Eflin holds it until the 7th at least…..maybe the pen can get 9 or less outs.

  38. One thing about the Yankees, their hitters go opposite field a lot, something that the Phillies hardly ever do.

    Cutch has been hitting the ball hard, but he’s pulling everything right into the shift. Same with Scott Kingery.

    1. Have you soon RF in Yankee stadium? They are all conditioned to hit fly balls to right. Could tell by Voit reaction on last out he thought it was out

    2. I noticed that as well and I would surmise it has a lot to do with their home field’s ridiculous short porch in RF…

  39. Just noting that trading JP Crawford (1.1 WAR so far this year in 13 games) for Jean Segura will likely not turn out to have been wise

    1. True but we were able to dump Santana so Rhys could play 1st……oh Carlos started the All Star game and Rhys was the worst hitter in baseball in the second half?..

  40. Did Nick Pivetta tinker with his throwing motion? It looks like he’s not striding as much as he used to. And he’s throwing his curve way more often.

  41. A show of hands who else thought that shot by Voit in the top of the 9th with two on was going out?

  42. Y’all are freaking out over a VERY small sample size. I have nothing good to say about Klentak but Girardi will have this bullpen performing just fine by mid to late August in a way Gabe never could. The man will work his magic but it’s only been 5 major league games and a little league DH so far…

      1. rocco:
        Cesar…..302/.412/.349….51 PAs
        Kingery…100/.217/.100….23 PAs

        ……I hope you are happy. 🙂

        1. I have a hard time taking all the “see well the guy we got rid of is doing and how poorly the guy we kept is doing” talk serious. The Phillies haven’t even played 10 games and the other teams have only played a few more.

          Cesar is a good player, but he has his limitations and he kept making the same stupid mistakes over and over again. I was one of his biggest supporters but it was time for him to go. As for J.P., he could end up having a very good career – the trade was risky – we gave up some long-term upside for a middle/late career player who was supposed to help us win now – we will see. As for Kingery, he’s a little frustrating to watch, but if he is as good at second as I think he is and he makes some adjustments on breaking pitches, he could still have a very good career. Whit Merrifield, who has a similar skill set to Kingery, wasn’t even a big leaguer when he was Kingery’s age, so, to my mind, you’re going to have to give Kingery a little while to hit his peak.

          1. Yep…I get that.
            No team is immune from that … bases like to bring that up in times of frustrations.

            As for Kingery…..I ignored obvious red-flags in 2016/2017 at Reading and LHV……his higher K% (high teens to low 20s) vs low BB%..i was enamored with the power…and of course the speed and defense.
            But over time it appears , he will give you spurts of greatness and most times mediocrity at the plate.,,,very frustrating to see him with two strikes…the obvious result is predictable. I hope he comes around to be what we want.

            1. Romus i mention Kingery last year, I thought he was really having trouble with fast balls, Now i think Ben Davis mention it the other night, but he did have the virus, so a slow bat now might be the affects of the virus, But if he is a 240 hitter with some power, is he that much of a upgrade over Cesar?

            2. rocco…..Kingery’s defense I think is stronger than Cesars…plus there is the age factor and money factor….Cesar is 30 and will only trend downward in the next few years, along with the money he would command, though the Indians got him at a pretty reasonably priced deal..

        2. Hector drives me crazy, Maybe its my imagination. but it seems Hector hardly has a clean inning. Always seems to have guys on when he tries to close out games,

  43. I give Klentak a hard time for building this roster, but I will tip my hat on Gosselin. They may have found a diamond in the rough. He is a DH, but man can he hit.

  44. I know Kingery made that error, but he is a far superior defensive 2B than Cesar. Cesar deserves credit for making himself into a good player. But, he was not good enough. Kingery showed much more upside, and deserved the chance. It is up to him to get better, but that is exactly the chance you need to take. I am very disappointed in Segura, but I can’t trash Klentak for the move. I didn’t expect Rhys to be so bad in LF, and I wish JP Crawford well, but I don’t moan his loss. It is where the GM does not try that I have the problem with. We survived yesterday, and that is great, but I sure thought that Voit ball was heading out. It sure looks like Spencer will be up for Sunday. I would bring a BP arm along with him.

    1. I am guessing if a BP arm is brought up…it will be Brogdon.
      But Joe may not do that for awhile.
      With 5 doubleheaders coming up in the next 5/6 weeks and 2 within three days….they will need healthy starters.
      And for sure there will be a rainout or two along the way.

  45. And just a little bit of kudos to JTR. He is the best C in Baseball, and I can’t express how disastrous losing him would be. He is a terrific game caller, terrific defensively, and I don’t care what he costs, sign him. That is what a big market team does, and this is on John Middleton.

    1. When JT hit the home run yesterday, I was hoping to see Klentak standing at home plate with a new contract waiting for JT to sign it when he crossed home plate.

      1. You have to consider that no matter what they put in front of him he doesn’t sign and that he wants to sign under open market conditions. More so now than at the start of 162 games when you factor in he is so close to total FA.

        I also don’t think its prudent to say I don’t care what it costs. If all the other pieces were in place yeah maybe…

  46. Moffo’s Uncle Cesar was let go as much for his projected salary as anything else. Kingery will find his way. So will Haseley. They are tough kids with a lot of upside.

    1. Ciada I like Cesar and still think he is a big upgrade over Kingery, Kingery cant hit enough to replace Cesar, How do you know they are tough kids? we all watch the same game. What did Haseley do to make you come up with that statement, Kingery is what i said a 240 hitter with some power,

  47. DMAR, I understand your position. But aren’t you tired of waiting for this team to be amongst the elite teams in the league? Isn’t it sufficiently distant from 2011, that we should be much better than we are? Don’t you want Middleton to have been telling the truth? Are we not a big market team, and need to act that way? And, I me “you” to be plural. To me, signing JTR is crucial. There is no replacement. There is no FA better that we can get. Yes, we need to draft better, and make better decisions, but losing him really shows me that everything that Middleton said was BS. I don’t want that feeling. I don’t think JTR gets $250M. So, to me, whether it’s 5 years at $125 or 6 years at $150M, doesn’t stop me from signing him. The talent and the optics are more than worth it. Losing him means I lose trust in Middleton. But, that is just me. I really do understand that it may not be prudent. Simply put, losing JTR sours me on the entire organizational Management team, starting with John Middleton.

    1. matt13…..sure its been awhile…..almost going on a decade now,
      but how would like to be a Dodger fan?
      Great yuong players, great farms, beautiful setting…..and they have not won a ring in 32 years.
      Then you have those hated Giants up north….3 friggin WS rings from 2010 thru 2014.

  48. I agree with matt13 here…I am a real believer that perception becomes reality and if the Phils [see Middleton] let Realmuto go they will have lost all the wonderful credibility that they picked up when Harper was signed. In fact a good case can be made that signing Harper but losing Realmuto is a collective negative since A] losing Realmuto means losing him, Alfaro, [supposed prize of the Hamels deal] and Sanchez, B] casting doubt in Harper and Boras’s mind about Middleton’s true intentions for building a powerhouse in the future and C] once again causing notoriously skeptical long term Phillie phans [I am one!] to again say “same old Phillies.”

    Yes, I agree that Realmuto and his agent have almost every reason to wait for free agency since he is the prize plum left and several teams [Mets, Dodgers, Cubs] who will likely bid on his services. However, I also believe that there is a number that will get him to sign and I believe the Phils know what that number is. I think they should meet it or risk several more years of negative treatment from a phan base that has had little to cheer about in almost a decade.

    1. No matter how well JTR plays, I think he’s going to find a pretty tight market if he opts to test free agency. Just a consequence of an abridged coronavirus season. IMO, he’s going to be worth more to the Phillies than any other team (like Mookie Betts was to the Dodgers).
      Realistically, teams most hot for Realmuto will be larger market clubs (with payroll space) needing a catcher, and ready to compete during the next two seasons. Off the top of my head, that list would include the White Sox, Braves, Angels, and maybe the Twins.
      In the end, I think Middleton makes sure JTR gets taken care of.

      1. I disagree. For the elite talent, the market will be very healthy. For the average talent it will likely be a tight market. Bottom of FA will likely have to sign for less than most think they are worth.

  49. But Romus, If you were a Dodgers fan would you doubt the sincerity of the ownership to spend? Would you feel that Andrew Friedman is not a capable GM? Or would you bemoan bad luck and cheating Astros? Did they risk losing Betts or sign him? Yes we need better decision making, and that falls on Klentak, but let me have faith in Management like I would as a Dodgers fan, and then let’s see where we can go. Let’s say they lose JTR. Would you have faith in where that money is spent? I wouldn’t. Are we better with Andrew Knapp and some random backup? Of course not. Will the Supplemental pick we get make us a contender next year? Of course not. What we would do is take a major step, or 3, back. Before the pandemic, the word was that he wanted more than $23M/year. It should have been done then, but it wasn’t. Do Catchers age quicker? Yes. Should we care about year 5 or 6 of a JTR contract if we contend in years 1-4? That is an argument. I don’t. To me, recapturing the 2007 to 2011 feeling is worth not getting our money’s worth in years 5 or 6. That is the cost of doing business in our market. That is how I want the Phils to feel also.

    1. matt13… make many good points.
      When we signed Harper….I did not doubt the sincerity of ownership.
      Then Wheeler this year.
      Phillies do spend, they definitely are not a cheap organization….5th or 6th highest in MLB. So I give them credit for putting the money out there.
      Maybe not all the decision big money signings have turned out…..Santana and Arrieta, two of the latest.
      Nevertheless, I do really see JTR re-signing here.

  50. Off that topic, are there any reports of how Bohm and Stott are looking? I saw 1 scrimmage report on Spencer throwing well. I know there are not games, but I am hopeful. Who is in charge at LHV?

  51. Interesting conversations above But am I the only one that sees: Without a real ST pitching velocities, control and pitch execution is not evident. Overall defensive play is below average as well as Long Ball/HR is the majority of runs scored.
    Current roster has a player that is hitting .536 but because he is not a Current Mgmt pick gets saddle with pt player. Promote Howard, Bring some hungry players from next gen players AA up. Give the players who have performed a chance pitchers as well as players. Current Phillies are just logging time. Service Time!
    Tell me Min, Balt, Rays, Oak, Angels: All using younger players .
    Anyone see velocity on current MLB ? 89-93 except Top 8 MLB Teams

  52. Cesar is a better hotter than what Kingery has shown so far in his career. The Phils did him no favors by bringing him up too soon and then playing him all over. Right now he looks awful but he had Covid and got a late start and doesn’t seem like has his footing yet. He needs a few days off. His defense doesn’t look great either but he just doesn’t look right. I wonder how he feels. Cesar was not a winner and always seemed to make an error or a boneheaded play at the worst times. Plus he was the worst base runner fir a fast guy I ever saw.
    Howard will be up Sunday and someone will have to come off the 40. Someone has to go down (Davis?) for McClain to come back. I think the LHV relievers on the 40 (Arano, Cleavinger, DLS, JoJo) will come up before Brogdon and Jones.
    As for JTR, he wants too much money to sign him now. He’ll test the market but I still think there’s a decent chance he ultimately stays here. Let’s hope. Plan B is not pretty. It’s way too early to bail on this team though. I think they’ll improve as they get to play consistently

    1. Funny Cesar was not a winner? what a statement, how in gods name can you say that with a straight face, Like any of this team are winners, Really funny Cesar is gone but he was a good player Career 280 hitter with 353 obp, and can run, Yes he did make bone head plays sometimes, but so do others, forget Bob Boone used to make some of the worst running mistakes, on the bases, no one says anything about that, Lonnie Smith fell half the time he ran, Luzinski misplayed a ton of balls, and so on, People just fall in love or hate for a player, its the way it goes, doesnt mean the guy isnt a good player or winner,

      1. rocco….have to admit… of your better thought- out rebuttals. And yes, those who remember, remember Bob Boone as a great defensive catcher, decent hitter, and tend to forget how his slow footing cost him on the base paths at times.

        Nevertheless, they had to clear the way for the future and Kingery younger and signed to a multi had to play. Who would have ever thought Cesar would sing for $6M…I thought he would have come in at least at $10M
        He is a FA again in November.

      2. Was there a big market for Cesar’s services? Were the Phils able to trade him? Did he sign for $10M? Don’t kid yourself, the league knows what Cesar is. He’s a serviceable player, nothing more. Bob Boone? That’s some comparison A slow footed journeyman catcher who just happened to play for ever. Lonnie Smith? Yes he fell but he also won multiple rings and came up big in the clutch with his hitting and base running. The next time Cesar reads a ball well and goes first to third will be the first. I’m not saying Kingery will be better. He certainly isn’t yet. We’ll have to wait and see though. There are smart scrappy players and then there are players who aren’t smart. I believe you win more with talented smart players (like Harper and JT). I hope they resign JT but it won’t be until the offseason most likely. Maybe they’ll match any offer. Time will tell.
        Congrats Mr Howard on Sunday. Sorry you won’t be in the stands. We’re all pulling for him.

        1. So Lonnie smith didnt fall? Bob Boone didnt run into a lot of outs on stupid base running, Your points dont address the question Bob Boone was a allstar, not a Journeymen? what a statement, i quess you never saw him play, to make that statement, I quess then if you play stupid and win its okay by your statement My point is still the same is Kingery a big upgrade or a upgrade at all, no is the right answer

          1. Rocco, what people think of Boone, Smith, Luzinski, or even Kingery has absolutely no bearing on what people think or should think about Hernandez. He is a second baseman who reached free agency. The money they didn’t spend on Hernandez helped sign Wheeler and Gregorius. I like Hernandez, but his time here was done.

            1. For people who don’t look at the back of his card, Hernandez will always be defined by the bonehead plays they remember. His actual legacy will place him behind Utley, Samuel, Trillo, Cash, and Taylor for our generation as well as maybe Polanco, Morandini, and even Morgan. In franchise history, he should also easily be behind LaJoie and Hamner. And this doesn’t include one of my personal favorites, Cookie Rojas.

  53. Agree 100 percent with Matt13 on this.

    The belief that Realmuto signs with the Phillies seems almost complacent to me. It sounds good because we think there’s a great relationship between Realmuto and the Phillies. But if the Dodgers or someone else offers materially more money, why wouldn’t Realmuto take his wares to a new city, knowing his new teammates can be great guys, too, and that the fans of a new city can be great, too?

    As has been mentioned on this site numerous times, most especially during the pursuit of Bryce Harper, players almost always go to the highest bidder.

    The Phillies gave up a lot to get Realmuto as Cal Dreaming recounts above. If he goes to another club, it’s criminal no matter who you blame, Klentak or Middleton or both.

    We have the best catcher in baseball. Keep him.

    1. The fact that JTR gets to FA is a massive mistake by our FO. We should have locked him up a while ago. Best case scenario is we overpay to keep him.

      1. Probably have to out pay the Braves for his services….they will have loads of money under the lux tax threshold. Dodgers and Sox…Red and White ….could also be offering top dollars.
        Will be very concerning times in three months.

  54. spencer howard to start sunday, barring postponement due to covid, tornado, earthquake, plaque of mosquitoes or gov wolf banning baseball in the state.

  55. Last season the Phillies brought in Blake Parker, Jared Hughes, and Nick Vincent to toil away in the bullpen. Vincent was easily the best of the lot with an ERA under two. Don’t know why he was not resigned! He’s pitching well for the Marlins and is a whole lot better than half the guys the Phils are sending out there these days.

    1. Matt Klentak has a very mysterious bullpen philosophy.
      Over the last 5 years the Phillies must have signed (or traded) for 3 dozen fungible BP arms.
      Then a guy like Jacob Wags’ they trade to the Jays for Aaron Loup (who again) and he seems to be and working his way up as at least a competent reliever..
      Matt seems to be always chasing solutions for the BP.
      Oh…the humanity of it all!

      1. 100% Agree with you, Romus. The bullpen has been Matt Klentak’s Rubik’s Cube.

        BTW … that’s not to be read that I think he’s got the other parts of the roster figured out. Just pointing out that he stinks terribly at building BP’s.

        1. Hinkie…yes.
          I think he needs to delegate that aspect to someone else……or perhaps he has already….then time for a new face or faces
          I know he gets input from multiple source of org. people on who is out there and if attainable…..he however pulls the trigger.

  56. I really liked the David Robertson signing, Romus, and he has had a history of good health. Of course, he gets injured, but the idea was a very good one. He would have been a terrific 7th-8th inning Pitcher had he pitched to his normal level. Sure, Klentak has been burned by injury, but you cannot be afraid of that, and go the opposite way with a few dozen mediocrities, and pray that someone emerges. I remember Pat Gillick always said that you can’t be afraid of a mistake, you just keep on trying. That Freddy Garcia trade was terrible, but never stopped Gillick. And, I don’t think the Robertson signing was a mistake, just bad luck, and even more reason to have tried again.

    1. matt13….well MK has this season to try to get it right…..with expanded play-offs, and if the Phiilies fail to make it…I am afraid he gets the pink slip.

  57. Just read that Ranger is throwing in Clearwater, but I saw nothing about when he is projected to be able to join the team

    1. matt13……Ranger was put on the COVID-19 list on Wednesday, July 1st by the Phillies I hope and pray, he did not have to go thru a difficult sickness over these last almost 6 weeks. I would think we would have heard something about that…as Freddie Freeman and Scott Kingery’s cases.
      OTOH, he may have been in the ‘Joey Gallo’ orbit….keep testing positive from specific testing procedures. You need two consecutive negatives to be cleared to return. Then there also could have been the quarantine issue and time frame required to meet those parameters.
      In any event he is back and hopefully ready to go

  58. Mr. Howard, just echoing Murray’s thoughts on Spencer. We are all pulling for him, and rooting for his first Big League W. Can’t wait to watch him pitch, and can only imagine how proud and excited you are!

    1. Matt Gelb posted a neat article on him (Howard) in The Athletic. I think most are familiar with the General story, but I didn’t realize that in the fall of his freshman year, the baseball team had to cut a player to get within size limits. It was between Howard – who was a redshirt walk-on – and another kid.

  59. I’m optimistic Jake Arrieta throws a good game for the Phillies today. I know the results didn’t show it, but I felt he was good vs the NYY’s. Good movement, good command.

    1. Hinkie, you had tomorrow’s newspaper today ! Congrats on that call….he was the best I have ever seen him in the red pinstripes.

      1. RU … never underestimate the motivation for a guy playing in his walk year. As I mentioned earlier, I felt Arrieta was pretty impressive (movement & command) vs the NYY’s. That said, I thought he got lucky on a couple of mistake (right over the middle of the plate) pitches to Ronald Acuna in the third inning.
        This rotation has a real chance to be one of MLB’s best if Spencer Howard performs like I think he can.

        What surprised me the most was the way Tommy Hunter rebounded. He was throwing 94-95 Saturday after only hitting 90 the other day. Maybe/Hopefully, he just had a hard time getting loose vs the Yankees.

  60. Does anyone have hot sauce, so when I eat my words about Jake Arrieta, they will taste good? I was called out for my harsh statement about Jake after Monday’s game against the Yankees, and rightly so.

  61. Very good effort from Arrieta and the BP. Bruce, great performance, Didi and others as well!

  62. Mr. H … once again, congratulations to you, your family, and especially your son. I know I’ve been waiting to see Spencer throw at CBP for a couple of years now. I can only imagine how emotional the moment will be for you.

    1. i Wonder if there is anyway, The phillies can just let his family in to see game?

      1. I personally feel like they could at least let the parents come. Make masks and distancing (from any personnel in the park) mandatory. Just give them their own section somewhere.

        But on the other hand, it’s also more important to keep people healthy. So if they can’t be sure they can do that, it is what it is.

        1. Dan K…agree.
          It is a MLB funded program and initiative…air fare, room and board, tickets….they could have found some way with all ball parks having multiple suites available that could have one targeted to accommodate immediate family.
          Same with Brady Singer a few weeks family members present for his debut.
          MLB may have overlooked this or just decided against it.

        1. Romus talk about keeping people safe, Last night i am watching Ozuna bat he is spitting right at home plate, Then he hits a weak foul ball right where he was spitting, The ball if i am not mistaken is giving to pitcher, i though if i was the catcher, i would have said something,

          1. rocco….I know, what can you do…spitting is part of the game, it is a baseball tradition. Lenny Dykstra brought it to a new level when he played. 🙂
            But I do think when the ball hits the ground it is tossed out of the game.

    2. I echo Hinkie’s point. A special moment for Spencer and his parents. It has been a long journey for you all.

      A bit of unsolicited advice since you probably are not long time Phillies fans. Our fan base is tough. When going is good, they are rabidly support you. When the going is bad, they can be equally brutal. Tell Spencer to ignore all that noise. Hard to do. I know. But don’t read the press and for God’s sake, never listen to WIP. Not when things are going good and certainly not when things are going bad. Just play this magical game and enjoy the ride.

      1. Excellent advice and we were told probably the day after he was drafted. Spencer can handle it…me not so much.

  63. One more point on Spencer…he represents the biggest draft and development win for the Phillies since Ryan Howard (irony of same last name). There have been better prospects in between. But they were high first round picks. It is harder to get a prospect like Spencer than a prospect like Nola, who was drafted 7th overall.

    We are (for good reason) hard on the draft and development system on this blog. But Spencer is a massive win as a second round pick who didn’t start in college until his Junior season. Almaraz at the time said he was the best right handed in the draft. And he may turn out to be right on that prognosis.

    Go get ‘em Spencer!!

    1. At this point, he’ll have to contend with others for that distinction (Hoskins, Giles, JA Happ and Michael Bourn, notably) but he certainly has that potential. Hoping today is just the first of many great moments for him as a Phillie.

  64. I’ve been saying for years if Spencer can just pitch one inning in the bigs…and here it is. I’m so proud of his accomplishments but most proud of the man he has become.

    I guess this means he won’t be joining the family business anytime soon.

    1. Wonderful life moment. Enjoy. It takes a lot as a parent to get a player here. So a big moment for you and Spencer’s mom too.

      1. Mr. H … Aside from congratulating you, I also wanted to thank you for taking part in this site. It has been very cool to get your view on Spencer’s journey. It was through you that I found out Johnny Almaraz jumped the Cubs (who had Spencer to Wrigley for a pre-draft workout) to pick your son. I hope you’ll continue to chime in from time to time even as Spencer becomes a full time big leaguer.
        Same for Matt Moniak. Hope to continue to hear from you as Mickey’s career continues.

        … and (last but not least) much thanks to Jim for keeping Phuture Phillies available to both fans of prospects and families of prospects !!!

        1. Thanks Hinkie and I enjoy this site! GO SPENCER! I’m excited to watch. Like I said earlier , he is such a good kid. I text him last night saying congrats…mom and dad did a good job. Congrats to entire Howard family . Exciting day.

          As far as Mickey goes, he hit yesterday in Clearwater and says he is about 100% as far as running goes so he is healing much faster than they thought he would. when they gave him the prognosis, I said I think they are under estimating the healing power of the Pollock! Haha

  65. VV’s day is done. I’m not sure what else is there to say. His changeup is a work in progress and has some potential. His fastball topped out at 93 and his control wasn’t great yet again. He wasn’t crazy wild, but he’s missing enough off the plate that you wonder if he will ever have average control. He has 1 more arbitration year left and I guess you hope he gets super motivated to pitch better in 2021, but right now, he’s replaceable.

    1. I agree “4 Inny Vinny” is the long man in the BP, should have been for some time now. He is not a SP, don’t care about arb years, as you said he is replaceable. The BP is bad, no use lamenting the state of affairs concerning it.

    2. The difference for VV right now is that the Phillies may finally have 5 SPs who deserve a chance to take the ball more than him. That generally hasn’t been the case since he’s been here.

  66. Been excited all day for Spencer! I bet because his dad writes on here that we all even feel a bit like a proud dad watching him battle through the 1st then settle in to a 1-2-3 2nd. Go Spencer!!!

  67. Spencer Howard has some good stuff. Plus fastball, the change up is pretty good. His slider is a little iffy at times and his curve, I think he should throw that a tad more. It was a learning experience for him against a really good hitting lineup. He’s going to learn that players will jump on 1st pitches if he’s thinking about getting ahead on the hitter. That fastball to Freeman wasn’t too bad, but it caught too much of the plate and Freeman hit out. He hung a slider to Acuna and the ball went far. Obviously most lineups he’ll face won’t be that loaded, but he definitely has the stuff to stick and he’ll need to sharpen his slider a bit more. Obviously not the debut he wanted but we’ll see what happens the next time out.

    1. Don’t forget Vinnie. If he got some runs he would have been out there thru 5. He should have stayed with his fastball more.

      1. Phillies RISP is horrific.
        Does help their pitchers if they can hit up the middle and drive in a few runs
        Certain key players just need to step it up.

        1. Like I always said all pitchers, especially Vinnie & Pivetta, would look good if the Phillies are ahead 5-1 or 7-1 in the 6th.

      2. VV is hard to watch. That second inning took like 30 minutes because he slowed it way down and started to lose his command.

        I’m all for giving people opportunities, but VV is 28 and this is his 5th season for the Phillies. And to be honest, he hasn’t improved much. If the Phillies cut him at the end of the season, it’s on VV.

    2. Yes I think there’s a lot to build on with Spencer. Had some good moments, but command of the strike zone right? I’m looking forward to him get his arms stretched out and working with Bryan Price. A lot of upside here, it’ll be interesting to watch his next start.

    3. All those points are valid, but I’m not worried as of yet. I remember when Tim Lincecum debuted against the Phillies and we put up 5 on him. Needless to say he figured things out from there, and I think Howard has the tools/makeup to do the same.

    4. Guru- I echo your thoughts. Loved Howard’s poise and demeanor today. He is the real deal – to Hinkie’s kind thoughts to his parents etc,, I also agree. I think he is well equipped to succeed (at least as a baseball fan) but he had to face probably 2 of best hitters among the NL’s top 10 and they got him – otherwise, he maintained his poise, his pitches, and had an anemic offense supported him maybe the result would have been different. If Segura and Kingery hadn’t flubbed those 2 other balls – admittedly hard hit – he would have had a more “presentabe” day. He has got to get that slider to go down and off the plate – too middle up. Whatever, loved his performance and arm. You go HOWARDS !!!! # 48 will be great !!!!

      1. Segura is not a 3B so he’s trying his best at the hot corner, and so far, he’s been just ok, or a tick below average. He does have a strong arm.

        I’m more concerned about Kingery at 2B. I remember when people on this board said that he will win gold gloves at 2B (his natural position), but the outlook so far is really not good. He’s not getting to balls, he’s missing some balls, and he’s bouncing some throws to 1B. It looks like he’s guiding the ball to first instead of throwing it.

  68. Dan’s nephew in hot water.
    Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Zach Plesac was sent home by the team for breaking COVID-19 protocols while on the road, according to multiple reports.
    According to The Athletic, Plesac left the team hotel to go out with friends Saturday night in Chicago following his start against the White Sox.
    Could be gone for the season….may be the test case.

  69. I know it’s early and I know this is a weird situation but at what point do we look at Hoskins and say, he is what he is, and that’s just not that good. I’d be all for Bohm getting “thrown into the fire”, can’t be much worse than Hoskins. And I was never high on Kingery but didn’t expect him to be non existent. Cutch, Segura, Hoskins, Kingery along with Quinn might as well not show up. I’d rather see Bruce LF, Gosslin 3B, Bohm 1B and Walker 2B playing right now.

    Hopefully people can now see that this wasn’t on Kapler (Know that isn’t a popular thing to say)

    Oh and btw Wentz isn’t elite. He’s a top 11-13 QB in the league. Getting all my frustrations out.

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