Open Discussion: Week of September 7th

The Phillies won 10 of 11 games and overtook the Marlins for second place in the division.  Then they played the second and third games of their four-game series with the Mets.  They dropped both games by a combined 19-2.  They maintained their position, but missed an opportunity to bury a division foe.

In the past week, the Phillies swept a four-game series with the Nationals and have gone 1-2 in their four-game series with the Mets.

The Phillies are 19-17 .528 and in second place in the division.  They are 3.0 games behind the Braves, and 1.5 games ahead of the Marlins.  They are currently the sixth seed, a couple percentage points ahead of the Cardinals.

All their remaining games are important, but the Phillies play many must-win games this week.  They complete their series with the Mets on Monday, then return home for a double header against the Red Sox before travelling to Miami for a seven-game set.

The Phillies finish the season with 24 games in 21 days.  As they continue their push for the playoffs, here’s a guess at how their starting pitching rolls out.  I would expect Nola and Wheeler to pitch every fifth day.  And the same for Eflin and Arrieta as long as it doesn’t affect the top two.  Those four would get 17 starts (5 for Wheeler and 4 for each of the other three).

  • 7th – Wheeler
  • 8th – Eflin
  • 8th – Velasquez
  • 9th – OFF DAY
  • 10th – Arrieta
  • 11th – Nola
  • 11th – Howard
  • 12th – Wheeler
  • 13th – Eflin
  • 13th – Alt Site pitcher
  • 14th – Velasquez
  • 15th – Arrieta
  • 16th – Nola
  • 17th – Wheeler
  • 18th – Eflin
  • 18th – Howard
  • 19th – Velasquez
  • 20th – Arrieta
  • 21st – Nola
  • 22nd – Wheeler
  • 22nd – Alt Site pitcher
  • 23rd – Eflin
  • 24th – OFF DAY
  • 25th – Arrieta
  • 26th – Nola
  • 27th – Wheeler

The other seven starts would go to Howard, Velasquez, an Alt Site pitcher, or a bullpen game.  I don’t want to see a bullpen game, although that’s essentially what Howard’s starts have been.  I have him getting only two starts and would expect some push back on that.  But, he’s not Marty Bystrom.  He hasn’t pitched on four days rest in his career.  If you check his 2019 starts, when he wasn’t on the IL he was getting 5 days of rest between starts.  I’d rather get more starts out of Wheeler, Nola, and Eflin than worry about a rookie down the stretch.  And, we don’t need to use VV three times if you balk at that.  There are other guys in Allentown they’ve tried to stretch out.  The above is just a guess.

This brings me to Quinn.  I’m sorry to see him get hurt.  But, I’m also tired of his “swing-for-the-fences” swing every at bat.  I get that he’s dynamic and all that stuff.  But, he’s Willie Mays Hayes.  He should be fined or have to do push ups every time he hits the ball in the air.  And why can’t he bunt?  I’m tired of all the failed bunt attempts.  That should be his best skill in the batter’s box.

Yeah, we lose his speed on those occasions when he does get on base.  But, Haseley was hitting pretty well when he went onto the IL.  And, frankly, I prefer Haseley’s steadier defense when he’s out there.  I guess it’s as simple as, to me, it’s not worth it to have Quinn get on base and be disruptive once every three games or so and then have to put up with his 11 other at bats and his shaky D.

And, finally, what about moving Hoskins down in the order now that he’s hitting.  We could move Alec Bohm in the two hole.  He’s hitting for average but not for power yet.  He has good at bats, sees pitches, works some walks.  He’d probably see better pitches with Harper behind him.  And a hot Hoskins could protect Harper.  Just a thought I had a week or so ago.

A few players made their way to the IL.  Adam Morgan was placed there, probably to make room for the activation of newly acquired David Phelps.  Jay Bruce suffered another leg injury and Roman Quinn made his annual trip to the IL.  Who had September 6th, day 45, or game 35 in your pre-season pools?

The Phillies are a little thin in the outfield. Kyle Garlick was recalled.  Kingery is still a few days from being eligible for recall.  The other possibilities include three guys not on the 40-man roster – Mahtook, Martini who was reported to have pulled up with a possible leg injury Saturday, and Moniak who is new to the Alternate Site and coming off a leg injury of his own.

Any deficiencies can only be filled from within with the trade deadline having passed.

The Phillies added a couple more players to the Alt Site – Jeff Singer (finally, I think he has the temperament to help if given a chance), Luke Williams (more infield depth who can play in the outfield and had a good spring at the plate with the Phillies), and Henti Lartigue ( a catcher to replace Grullon who was claimed off waivers by the Red Sox).

I saw some condescending remarks on social media remarks Grullon’s size and supposed weight gain.  Grullon has always been big.  Anyone thinking he has only recently put on weight does not know what they are talking about.  And size doesn’t matter.  Remember that Willians Astudillo was of similar size when he was in the Phillies’ system.  He made it to the majors and was still with the Twins when he was sidelined by COVID.

The Phillies now have 58 players on their 60-man roster.  We aren’t likely to see many more additions (unless someone is already going through the addition process) since new additions have to go through a 7-day quarantine before they can join the Alt Site.

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

Key Dates:

  • 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 September 6th … 345 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)

9/06/2020 – Phillies placed CF Roman Quinn on the 7-day IL, concussion
9/06/2020 – Phillies recalled RHP Mauricio Llovera from Alternate Training Site
9/06/2020 – Phillies recalled RF Kyle Garlick from Alternate Training Site
9/06/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster C Henri Lartigue to spring training
9/06/2020 – Phillies placed RF Jay Bruce on the 10-day IL, left quad strain
9/06/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster 3B Luke Williams to spring training
9/06/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster LHP Jeff Singer to spring training
9/03/2020 – Phillies sent Reggie McClain outright to Alternate Training Site
9/03/2020 – Red Sox claimed C Deivy Grullon off waivers from Phillies
9/01/2020 – Phillies placed LHP Adam Morgan on the 10-day IL
9/01/2020 – Phillies activated RHP David Phelps
8/31/2020 – Phillies placed 3B Scott Kingery on the 10-day IL,back spasms
8/31/2020 – Brewers traded RHP David Phelps to Philadelphia Phillies for 3 PTBNL
8/31/2020 – Phillies designated RHP Reggie McClain for assignment
8/31/2020 – Phillies designated C Deivy Grullon for assignment
8/31/2020 – Phillies activated RF Jay Bruce from the 10-day IL
8/31/2020 – Phillies activated LHP Ranger Suarez from the 10-day IL
8/29/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster CF Mickey Moniak to spring training
8/26/2020 – Phillies traded LHP Austin Davis to Pirates for PTBNL and cash
8/25/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Deolis Guerra to spring training
8/25/2020 – Phillies sent Deolis Guerra outright to Alternate Training Site
8/22/2020 – Phillies optioned Cole Irvin to Alternate Training Site
8/22/2020 – Phillies designated RHP Deolis Guerra for assignment
8/22/2020 – Phillies placed RF Jay Bruce on the 10-day IL
8/22/2020 – Phillies activated CF Adam Haseley from the 10-day IL
8/22/2020 – Phillies optioned Connor Brogdon to Alternate Training Site
8/21/2020 – Red Sox traded RHPs Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree, $815K, and a PTBNL to Phillies for RHPs Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold
8/21/2020 – Phillies recalled LHP JoJo Romero from Alternate Training Site
8/21/2020 – Phillies optioned LHP JoJo Romero to Alternate Training Site
8/21/2020 – Phillies designated LHP Austin Davis for assignment
8/21/2020 – Phillies placed LHP Jose Alvarez on the 10-day IL, testicular contusion
8/21/2020 – Yankees traded RHP David Hale to Phillies for RHP Addison Russ

430 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of September 7th

  1. Jim; you may have addressed this question already but any news on instructs in Clearwater? MLB says no instructs for any team earlier than September 18th but I would be surprised if instructs start any earlier than October 1st.. Probably some players at the Alt. Site who they want down in Clearwater. Thank you.

  2. Wheeler with 5 and Nola with 4 more starts each.
    They will have to really come up big in those 9 games between them.
    If they help the team to 7 wins in their outings, and the remaining staff can generate 8-7 ball (.533) that would give the Phillies a 34 -26 finish, just maybe an outside shot for the playoffs.

    1. Half the teams make the playoffs this year. I gotta imagine a .567 winning record is close to a lock for making it, not an outside chance.

      In fact, as of today, 5 of the playoff teams in the NL are below a .567 win rate. Cubs, Cards, us, Rockies, and Giants. The Giants even have a losing record. 3 teams in the AL are below it, too, if you’re curious.

      And since two of the teams trying to overtake us are the Mets and Marlins, we don’t even need to hope for them to lose. If we play .500 ball the rest of the way, they virtually can’t overtake us because that means 4 games for the Mets and 7 for the fish that are already a wash.

      Which is not to say we should take a playoff berth for granted. But we very much control our own destiny. Especially if we take advantage of the fact that another 6 of our games are against the bottom-dwelling BoSox and Nats.

    1. You know, you gotta admit, “…..that’s special”! Umpiring this year has been sub-standard. Pitches in the box and outside the superimposed box on camera are routinely missed, instant replay has to be invoked frequently to get the calls right and sometimes you can’t invoke it because it’s not replay eligible (?), but here is an umpire that has such a grasp of what is going on, on the field that he can also manage the luxury suites. Yep, “…..that’s special”!

      1. The 67-year old Cowboy Joe was always one for umpiring on the edge, with his flair for creating humorous controversy
        He may be the only MLB umpire known by his own nickname…or two…Country Joe I heard him called at one time early on in his career.

  3. Bohm is struggling of late. The last three games against the Mets he is 1-12 with nine Ks. So does Girardi give him today off to collect himself or let him bat against a soft tossing lefty (Moffo’s favorites) to get him back on track. And, is Bohm the real thing?

    1. Bohm will be fine. He’s still young and he’s still learning how the pitchers will go after him. And he ran into Seth Lugo and Jacob deGrom. If you look at Lugo’s numbers, he’s really underrated. And well, deGrom is deGrom.

    1. One other nugget in this article, the Phils are not comfortable playing Haseley against LHP. Which is why you see Harper starting in CF today

      1. Wow, that is one of the very few times I’ve seen where the team really doesn’t want a LH hitter to face a LH pitcher. Looking at Haseley’s splits:

        .503 OPS vs LH pitchers
        .680 OPS vs LH starter
        .780 OPS vs RH pitchers

        .622 OPS on the road
        .820 OPS at home

        Not sure why he’s that bad against lefties, but I understand why he’s not playing today.

          1. Adam Haseley is still pretty young (only a few months older than Alec Bohm), but right now, he’s a platoon player. My concern is that he’s not driving the ball with any authority.

  4. One of my great frustrations has been the Phillies lack of willingness to sign elite LatAm prospects like Luis Robert.

    All it took was money to get a stud prospect like him and we just never went big. I never understood why that wasn’t a part of the rebuild plan

    1. It remains a huge question, v1. One that I never have heard addressed. And a glaring mistake in building a team. Those players are all over the league. Not here.

      1. matt13……$4.4M for Ortiz in 2015 was probably a top 5 signing in LA history.
        They dole out the money….just they choose poorly

          1. So who were the top 10 or more LA signings that were more than $4,4M.
            I will be more specific….16-year olds….not the older than 16-year Cubans.

          1. Yes……the Phillies , when they finally decided to start ante up the bonus money, basally starting in 2011 with Carlos Tocci….have had more misses than hits…too many.

            And agree with Jim…..a draft is needed. …..long overdue.
            That would make the playing field equal in acquiring the yuong Latin talent.
            I think the Commissioner wanted it, but the talk has shifted with the pandemic and it has not been overly emphasized of late.

    2. I don’t know if I can put it into words that will ease your frustrations, but I can tell you how to fix it – international player draft. This would cut the cord of control that the buscones have in the placement of the players they “buy” at early ages.

        1. That works. I guess they would have to agree on a qualifying age. I don’t think 16-year-old international players and HS graduation for domestic players would be fair. Something like 17 by June 5th? June 30th? Education requirement would be tough for LA players since a lot don’t graduate grade school let alone HS.

    3. Jhailyn Ortiz was $4 million, we rarely went big and when we did we completely whiffed, just like Jhailyn.

      1. Luis Robert was in a totally different class of international signing. He was $21 m. Treat a guy like him as a FA without the draft pick compensation. Akin to Yoan Moncada

  5. Delvi Gruillen did resemble Williams Astudillo but WA was a DH for the Twins. Watching DG in limited action in ST games and a couple Camp times, he was not a great hitter either. I’m not crying about the transaction.

    I would love to see Mickey Moniak come around and start in CF next year. I know I am dreaming but someone said in an article last year that he could become our Ellsbury, Damon, Edmonds or Gardner.

    1. I think you should check stats before you present incorrect facts. Astudillo DH-ed 5 times for the Twins in 3 seasons. Grullon posted a plus .800 OPS at Reading and Lehigh Valley. I’m not crying either, but you have to give a player his due with correct facts, not some made up stuff.

      1. Sorry with the lazy analysis. I didn’t make it up, I just thought it up, thinking that everytime I saw him he was a DH or maybe looking at him I thought he looked like he should be a DH.

        Better analysis next time, promise.

        1. There was a popular video of Astudillo flying around the bases, scoring from first on YouTube. He played CF in winter ball, too. Don’t know how often, but I remember video of that, too.

  6. I don’t mind the thought of having Hoskins protect Bryce (or maybe JT?) now that he’s got a hot hand, but if Girardi was willing to ride with him and Cutch at 1-2 for half the year even without good results, I doubt he’s particularly inclined to move them at all. I know there’s something to be said for consistency and comfort for your hitters, but I would have thought for sure that at least one of the two would be relegated to 7 or 8 in the lineup after those starts. I guess he just sees or knows something that I don’t.

    All that said… what if instead of moving Rhys down, we move Bryce up? He’s certainly not a prototypical leadoff guy, but he’s got some speed and is just a better hitter in pretty much every way (when not in a slump). Could just swap him and Cutch or use the opportunity to really shake things up.

    1. At this point, I would line ’em up this way…

      Harper rf
      Realmuto c
      McCutchen lf
      Hoskins 1b
      Gregorius ss
      ….and the rest is variable. Since we don’t have the ideal prototype leadoff/top of the order bats with speed, why not simply go with the most dangerous ones at the top? Besides, you’re only talking the first go around through the lineup and Bryce and JT get more PAs.

    2. Dan, maybe Girardi put Hoskins second to start the season because he was coming off a bad spring where his best weapon was all those walks and a bad second half in 2019.

      1. Yeah, maybe. Seems an odd choice to me, but it’s possible.

        But I also imagine Cutch was leading off to be a catalyst, which isn’t how it worked out in the first third of the season. So I’m not sure what the reasoning for keeping him there was.

        I won’t pretend to have any insight here into Girardi’s lineup constructions; just curiosity. I’m all for whatever works and definitely open to unconventional experiments.

  7. The issue with our top players — Harper, Hoskins, Nola, JT — is consistency. It affects the whole team as winning streaks are followed by slumps. They do lose focus? I don’t understand it, but it is the root of the problem. No consistency — no playoff or no playoff success.

    1. Name a single player who doesn’t have slumps. You can go as far back in baseball history as you’d like.

      Good/great players aren’t at that level because they never slump. They just do it less and/or when they aren’t in slump are on a whole other level. Even Doc in his prime had some bad games. Sometimes multiple in a row. So did Carlton, Schmidt, Utley, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Kershaw, Pedro… Mike Trout slumps. Yu Darvish is arguably the best pitcher in baseball this year and his entire 2016 was a slump.

      1. To wit: In Halladay’s 2010 season (you know, the one with a perfect game and end-of-season ERA of 2.44), he had FIVE starts where he gave up 5 earned runs or more. In 2009 he had a stretch of 3 consecutive starts where he gave up a combined 15 runs (4, 7, 4) in 17 IP (5, 6, 6). He ended that year with a 2.79 ERA.

      2. I am not talking about an occasional slump, but long periods such as Hoskins in the second half of 2019. Batting average, disparaged by those who love the metrics, is an important measure of consistency. The greats hit for power and average – Trout today and Pujols in his prime. Harper in his MVP season (2015) showed he could do that. Harper, JT, and Hoskins need to keep their power and hit close to .300; at the same time Nola and Wheeler need to give us just an occasional bad game. Then we could be talking about a serious run to the playoffs and in the playoffs.

        1. Mike Trout literally just had a 2 week slump in August. On the 12th he had an average of .328 and by the 25th it dropped to .255. He’s since come back to .295.

          Statistics are volatile in small samples. It’s why no one cares about a guy hitting .600 in the first week of the season; we know it’s not going to last. JT and Harper have had their average up around .300 already this year. There is literally no reason to think this slump is more who they are than who they were for the first half of the season.

          If you’re expecting Rhys to be a .300 hitter, I think you’re just being delusional. That’s not who he is. Nor do you have to be to be an elite hitter. Jim Thome has the 13th highest OPS in the HoF and he was a career .276 hitter. Mike Schmidt had a career average of .267. Harmon Killebrew .256.

          In fact, there are at least TWENTY FIVE POSITION PLAYERS in the HoF with an average below .270. Now some of them are definitely defensive wizards, but we’re also talking about the HoF. Rhys likely won’t be in that stratosphere. But is he capable of being a top-10 hitting 1B in the league? Absolutely. And we should all be happy to have that. Especially on a cheap contract.

          Anyways, we’re still also talking about small sample sizes. It’s not worth moaning about their stats until the end of the season. Because they’re going to change. In some cases drastically. Let us not forget that Hoskins’ average was below .200 as recently as August 12th, and he’s now above .250. It could drop .50 points again, it could grow .50 points, or it could stay relatively stable. We don’t know. But we do know that his current season averages are pretty darn good. He’s currently top 6 in fWAR, OBP, SLG, OPS, wRC+, and wOBA among all 1B. Pretty good for a guy making $600k and competing against people like Freeman, Rizzo, Goldschmidt, Sano, Votto, Alonso, Abreu, etc.

          1. “Pretty good for a guy making $600k and competing against people like Freeman, Rizzo, Goldschmidt, Sano, Votto, Alonso, Abreu, etc.”…….he is on a team friendly salary for sure.
            Maybe Scott Boras rang him up, and gave him some hitting tips a few weeks back.

    1. krams….thanks for the detailed report.
      Little disappointed in Medina and Damon Jones….was hoping this would be the time for them to make their move and become more productively consistent.
      They are on the clock, and need to get their game going in a more positive direction.

      1. Remember, I don’t always know everything: Sounds like Medina is going to be player #29 tomorrow for the Phillies. So perhaps he did more than I was able to see? Stay tuned.

    2. Thanks for putting that out for us, I for one, appreciate it. Interesting comments on Medina, Irwin and Jones. A shame about Moniak’s knee, would have liked to see him healthy for this year. Thanks again!

      1. Does anyone know of a streaming channel thru Roku that we might be able to watch the alternate training site on the Service Electric channel? Don’t live in the area but want to be a part of that action. bhanks.

  8. Might we have a new Ace? As much as I love Nola’s full repertoire, Wheeler can be Halladay-esque, like a technician on the hill. And thus far in 2020, much more consistent.

    1. 8mark…….they are so different in their menu….and believe it or not…Wheeler has the more varied historical repertoire. He even threw the splitter at one time in the past.
      Nola will throw some variations of his FB maybe 50% of the time…Wheeler , otoh, will throw the FBs almost 70%

      But as long as they get the same result…I am in whatever they do.

    1. If we’re lucky, aliens from Mars will come visit planet Earth and among them will be a few pitching prospects. This bullpen cannot get any worse, even after Klentak’s brilliant additions.

      1. Brilliance is kind of a dubious, uncertain, in doubt kind of connotation when used in conjunction with Klentak, don’t you think?

  9. As much as JoJo seems ready, he needs more experience. Facing Michael Conforto as the first hitter, he needed to get him out and he couldn’t. So even though Phelps served up the big one, they both didn’t do their jobs ar fas as I’m concerned.

  10. Segura can be an enigma sometimes but he has a steady glove and man, he can turn on a fastball.

  11. Maybe their biggest win of the season. And the Segura HR was the team’s biggest hit of the year (to the best of my recollection).

    Sweep tomorrow’s DH. Win 5 of 7 in Miami. That would put the club at 27-19 with 14 games to go.

    1. Marlins are 4-6 over their last 10 games…maybe they will continue that play starting on Thursday…..their next two games however are still vs Atlanta.

    2. I’ll take 4 of 7 in Miami. Double headers are so strangely difficult to prognosticate, but a sweep would be sweet, even against a dog like Boston.

  12. Hypothetical – Phils do everything to resign JTR, but somebody like the Dodgers simply outbid the Phils by a significant margin and he leaves. With Knapp playing VERY well in a limited role, do you in 2021:

    A) Make him your starting catcher and sign a backup
    B) Sign another catcher and split the time roughly 50/50
    C) Acquire a starting catcher and keep him as a backup
    D) Sell high and trade him during offseason.

    In a scenario we don’t want to even think about, I’d probably go B. I think it’s too small a sample size to go with A, but I’d like to see him get more playing time next year than just a backup if JTR is elsewhere.

    Having said all this, I think JTR will be back and Knapp will be his backup.

    1. I’d get another catcher with the intention of letting him split time, but also give Knapp the opportunity to prove that this is who he is; so if he keeps playing well, he becomes the new starter for 80% of the games and you eat the excessive money you paid the other catcher and just be happy for the embarrassment of riches and depth.

      But yes, I think we all hope JTR is here for the long haul. He’s a very different player from Chooch, but he’s quickly becoming just as beloved.

      1. I agree with this analysis. Sign another decent veteran and give Knapp a chance to win the job. He might surprise you and turn into a 3-4 WAR player. The defense is real and there is a lot of unlocked offensive potential there. He’s still an intriguing player.

        Look, the whole point of trading and signing players is to get and retain keepers like JT Realmuto. I totally get it. That said, they are going to use a lot of resources to sign him so if it he doesn’t sign they are going to have some serious coin to spread around between that contract not happening and the Arrieta (and Bruce) money coming free. It is definitely not a good thing if they don’t sign him, but, if they spend wisely, it won’t be the end of the world either.

        1. But you’ve really got to have a plan B if you don’t sign JT and keep Knapp because he’s just not going to have enough ABs this year for you to reach any definitive conclusion about whether and to what extent his improvement on offense is for real, as encouraging as it seems at this point.

          1. Good point – I didn’t realize it was that much. Thank you! Bruce has actually been a great pick-up, even with his reduced playing time due to injuries.

            The Phillies also won’t have the horrible Robertson contract hanging over their heads either next year. Between Robertson and Arrieta alone, that’s a ton of cap money (like $35 million, I think).

            One other thing about this team. They really need to start finding or drafting below the radar average to slightly above average players. The great organizations don’t pay dollar for average-ish players, but that’s exactly what we are doing with Gregorious and Segura, among others.

            1. Yes…Robertson’s will also save them a good chunk.
              I wonder if he will offer his service back to the Phillies on a 1-year pillow contract …maybe for $5/6M AAV max..
              I do not see a lot of teams going after him after TJ and slow recovery issues.
              He will probably get the normal minor league deals offered his way next spring.
              Maybe the Phillies can get him on the cheap… ong as they know he is healthy and can still pitch.

            2. FYI – I could be wrong, but I think Robertson’s career is effectively over. Before he got hurt he looked awful. Minor league deal is fine, but anything more and I would not be interested.

    2. If a team offers JT 6 years, we walk. Otherwise, the Phillies should be in on any 4-5 year deals.

      That said, I think Knapp gets to be the starter. He’s been in the system long enough, and he’ll be a FA in 2 years so the Phillies need to know if he can be a starter. If you want to sign a veteran backup, I don’t have a problem with that.

  13. Was disappointed when the Phillies passed on Puk. Glad now that they did. I’d like it if Moniak made me really look like an idiot.

  14. I think Hoskins in the 2 hole makes sense because of his fantastic OBP. Not sure McCutchen makes sense at 1 at this point in his career,

    When Quinn comes back, a platoon makes sense to me. Haseley’s career OPS is .780 against righties, .503 against lefties. Quinn has a career OPS of .797 against lefties, and .634 against righties. If Quinn could stay healthy, it would be a good platoon.

    1. They are technically in a platoon already, although Quinn was playing a lot recently because he was hot.

  15. I hope Moniak becomes a great player. But looking at that draft, few of the other candidates at the time — and by that I mean the consensus top half-dozen or so players — have done much.

    #2 pick Nick Senzel is 25 and has produced 0.7 WAR.
    #4 pick Riley Pint does not appear to be on a path to ever playing in the majors.
    #5 pick Corey Ray is about to turn 26 in a couple weeks and also may not make the majors
    #6 pick AJ Puk is hurt again, is 25, and has produced 0.2 WAR

    #3 pick Ian Anderson is looking good, and it hurts that he is with the Braves. But there have been a bunch of misses in that draft, at least so far.

    P.S. — some people at the time were calling for Jay Groome, from LBI. He dropped to 12th, and so far has thrown 66 innings, total, in the minors. The jury’s out.

    1. That’s why the MLB draft is the biggest crap shoot in all sports. You can do all the research you want, the player can rake in the minors, then they could get injured or not perform at the major league level. End of story.

  16. If the MLB draft is a crapshoot, why is it that some teams have far more success overall with drafting and developing young players than other teams?

    If you look at that draft’s top ten or so, it does look that way, but overall that isn’t total reality.

  17. Here is what I advise Middleton to do…
    Hire personnel from the teams that consistently produce the best results for pitchers, and I would do the same for teams that produce good hitters, etc.
    It shouldn’t be difficult to identify the top 5 teams that do better than most teams, for both pitchers and starting position players.
    I would choose office personal, scouts and coaches from that group. The results would HAVE to be better, don’t you think?
    If it is truly a crapshoot, then you’re relying on luck, and if it is luck, then why are some teams consistently better at it?

    1. He done did it.
      —Bonifay from the Astros for minor league development.
      —Barber from the Yankees for scouting

    2. Before I go into more detail, I found an article from MLB about the 5 teams that have the most 1st round drafting success, based on WAR:

      1. Phillies
      2. A’s
      3. Dbacks
      4. Angels
      5. Twins

      So obviously the Phillies have had their share of hits, albeit not recently.

      The small market teams (Rays, As) and the teams who act like them (Braves, Cardinals) have no choice but to draft better because they really can’t spend huge FA dollars. Does that mean that their scouting department is bigger/better/smarter? Possible, but it’s not like they haven’t had their share of misses.

      So since the Phillies can spend the dollars, it’s better to compare them to other in their position: Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, Nationals, Giants, Angels.

      If we’re focusing strictly on the MLB draft and NOT on singing international players and NOT on making shrewd trades, I think the Phillies are 4th, behind the Dodgers, Cubs, Giants. Dodgers are the Dodgers, they have name recognition and they can more easily lure a prospect to sign instead of going to school. And since California is their backyard, they can probably scout that area better than any other team. Giants can scout too, but they, like the Phillies, have hit a rough patch drafting after years of success. Cubs can definitely draft hitters, not sure what their draft strategy is. Note that the Phillies are in the Northeast, not exactly a hot bed of baseball, and I think they do a decent job, even though some people here may think otherwise.

      1. Now let the record show, the Phillies have been woeful in signing international FAs. Why is that? Who knows, but luckily for us, the international draft is coming sooner rather than later, so the Phillies can only go up after that happens.

      2. The reason small market teams (generally) draft better is because they get more picks (competitive balance picks). The Phillies OTOH have had the fewest picks of any club over the past three drafts.

        The LAD’s are the major market team that bucks this disadvantage (of not getting extra picks) by employing (and probably best compensating) the top scouts in MLB.
        I don’t believe the Dodgers gain any real advantages by being headquartered in Southern California. Every club has scouts covering that area, and most of the Dodgers best picks haven’t even been from the Golden State.

        It is absolutely amazing to me the job the Dodgers have done over much of the past decade. That organization pretty much plucks at least one future starting MLB player every year.

        Joc Pederson (11th round) in 2010
        Corey Seager (1st round) in 2012
        Ross Stripling (5th round) in 2012
        Cody Bellinger (4th round) in 2013
        Alex Verdugo (2nd round) in 2014
        Walker Buehler (1st round) in 2015
        Gavin Lux (1st round) in 2016
        Will Smith (1st round) in 2016
        Dustin May (3rd round) in 2016
        Tony Gonsolin (9th round) in 2016 *he has been lights out for them this year

        (That’s some excellent scouting right there).

        1. Hinkie……speaking of the Dodgers, Jon Heyman was on MLB this afternoon, hearing they are in on Francisco Lindor and willing to pay him what it will take to keep him in LA …..Seager then goes to third…Justin Turner may be moved.
          What does that mean for the Phillies……JTR will probably not be getting offers from Freidman.
          Also, two of their own, will soon be asking for bump ups in their AAV salary…Bellinger and Buehler.

            1. Right…and actually two…Will Smith and Ruiz.
              However, Yankees could be…..Sanchez has been on 3/4 catching coaches and he cannot break the Mendoza line with a high K rate. But Judge is their other wild-card….he is due now for the big contract….but last three years he has been on the shelf more than on the field.

          1. Romus … that would be a pretty bloated payroll on the horizon for the Dodgers. However (and I posted this last week), 2021 is the final year of the current CBA, and there is no guarantee that the next agreement will even include a luxury tax threshold. If there is one, it’s a pretty good bet the cap will go up significantly.

        2. I haven’t dug into the info to see but are small market teams drafting better or is it the case where they are constantly trading ML players who are getting ready to hit FA for minor league players to keep the pipeline going?

          Because they are able to target young trade candidates they have more intel vs. getting players directly from the draft.

  18. They “roll” 7 and 11’s more frequently or use loaded dice”…………others not so much “snake eyes”!

    Certainly, better evaluating methods is a + factor, but when you sort thru piles of oysters for pearls your chance of success diminishes significantly.

    It is a crapshoot!

  19. Conforto’s “infield single” to Bohm yesterday is the quintessential example of whether you think Bohm is a 3B in the future or not.

    For those who didn’t watch the game, it was a routine chopper to third that Bohm charged. Ball bounced up, so it was a good hop. But running in, he had to double clutch and Conforto (who is not a plus runner by any stretch) beat the throw.

    By rule, it is an infield single because a defender can not be charged an error based on delay of throw. It is a weird quirk in ruling. But I doubt anyone objectively wouldn’t think that that play should be an out at the MLB level.

    So the question with Bohm is, do you think that he didn’t make the play because of technique, which can be fixed? Or do you think that he didn’t make the play because his body type is big and not small space agile and when he has to range, he doesn’t have the agility to make the throw in one motion.

    That’s the question. Is it his body or his technique?

    For what it’s worth, I was watching the Mets’ broadcast (I live in NJ) and Keith Hernandez believes he doesn’t have the right body to be a 3B. That is what I see too. I see a lack of fluidity that is needed to be a MLB infielder.

    One last point, I am not hating on Bohm. I am not insulting him. I think that he will be a very, very good hitter. Maybe an elite hitter. I just think that he is a corner OF and will provide bad defense at 3B.

    1. No need to defend your observation since you share the same observation with majority of reads I got about Bohm’s scouting. This concern has been a given since the day Bohm was eligible for the Rule 4 draft.

      I don’t see anybody here who is very high on Bohm as a potential GG 3B.

      1. Now, now lets not be too hasty. Bohm may have the bat to win a few GG’s. Throw in a few splash plays in the Post season and he is there.

        Derek Jeter won four GG’s and has the distinction of having the worst DRS in baseball history.

    2. I remember that play. It looked like he gathered himself to make the throw and it was too late because Conforto busted it down the line. He’s been playing better D lately so I give him credit for that. It looks like he won’t be able to handle 3B now, but you know what, I’ll give him 2021 to sort it out. With his bat, as long as he’s not -0.5 dWar, he should be ok there. And if Stott comes up and pushes him off 3B to LF, I obviously don’t have a problem with that either. We’ll need to see during ST if Bohm starts getting reps there.

    3. If everyone is honest, I don’t think anyone can reasonably disagree with you. Bohm’s athletic enough to (maybe) “get by” at 3b through age 25 with some improvement. But let’s be real. His body type and mobility strongly suggest that his future is in LF at least until Harper is no longer an asset in RF. The Jayson Werth comps alone make the case. I do believe Bohm has the makeup to be a perennial .300 hitter and .380 on base guy.

      1. Here is why this is important, the Phillies are 12th (out of 15 teams) in NL on Defensive Runs Saved at -11. To show how important that stat is, the Marlins have Far less talent than the Phillies but are +15 in DRS and are very competitive.

        The main drags on team DRS for the Phillies are:
        – Kingery: -7 at 2b and -1 in CF
        – Hoskins: -5
        – Bohm: -3
        – Cutch: -3
        – Walker: -2

        1. I’ve been beating the drum on defense for years. Hoskins’ D is bringing his value down. If he was a pure DH, it would be a different story. Cutch is clearly not 100% but we only have him for 1 more year. Bohm has 2021 to prove he can play 3B. Not sure what’s going on with Kingery at 2B. It could be lack of reps, but I hope it’s not the yips on his throws. We already have Quinn/Haseley in the OF, we don’t need Kingery there.

      2. If Harper is no longer an asset in RF presumably because his defense has declined in the next 5 years, the Phillies will be in serious trouble with his contract.

    4. Have to agree,
      …Bohm may be a bit too long or big for the position as a third baseman…..kind of like Troy Glaus when he first popped on the scene with the Angels, however he had the hard work and dedication to stay there for most of his career. Bohm also works hard, from all reports, so maybe he will overcome any defensive liabilities..

    5. Here is my question: Bohm has shown significant improvement over the past two weeks on his defense and I heard our broadcasters say they are working on some things with him at 3B. What in the heck has he been doing in the minors for two years? Nobody bothered to show the kid proper footwork to play 3B in the minors?

      1. I don’t know how you can say that he has improved without knowing his baseline before coming up. The kid is a good athlete. And he has a plus arm imo. He will make some plays. Question is are his current limitations based on technique or small space agility?

  20. Nola is still the ace of this stuff. The only advantage of Wheeler over Nola is velocity and even that, Wheeler’s heater is fairly straight while Nola paints his FB around the strike zone.

  21. Yesterday’s game and the 4 game Met series – viewed by me, like V1 above is seen from NJ tv stations with the Mets play x play group – showed the Phillies fundamentally played poorly in the field and in the bullpen. This is not new news – Matt Gelb talks about it today in The Athletic. They have to outhit their opponents to win – other than when the 2 aces pitch says Gelb who also points out the team averages 5.38 rpg which is 6th in MLB. The shame of this, which may be tied into the discussion of Bohm above (needs more fielding work) – is if the team had a regular spring training and a normal season – would some of these issues be corrected ? Also – given that this is Girardi’s first season – was there enough time with all the start/stop activity to go over more fundamental baseball (Quinn learning to bunt) ? Lastly – does it appear to any/all of us that this team has some terrific players and finally a professional “real” manager – but the front office has handcuffed them with an awful bullpen and forgot to provide teachers of fundamental baseball ? Given a normal year, spring training, and proper player procurement will this all change for the better without a wholesale change in the team ?

  22. I am not ready to give up on Bohm at 3B. More out of hope. Has anyone seen Stott at 3B? If Bohm has to move to LF, let’s say in 2022, and Stott is the real deal, we need either a SS or a 3B. Or, back to FA. And on the D question. I am really disappointed in Kingery’s Defense. I can blame the virus on sapping his strength and causing hitting problems. But, I have no excuse for his Defense.

    1. matt13….don’t look now but Cesar is 10th in the majors on the leaderboard for DRS with a positive 5…… and JPC is 25th @ positive 3

  23. With the comments on here about Bohm’s defense at third being barely good enough for that position, since the discussion is he should be moved to the outfield…what are their minor league coaches seeing, or rather thinking?
    If it is so obvious that he needs to be moved to the outfield,why didn’t they put him out there at least once a week?

    1. I suspect they think/hope that with coaching and work he can get better and become average the the position. He’s more valuable as an offensive 3b than as a corner OF.

      From what I see, his biggest issue is that he has a slow gather and release when throwing. Is that something they can shorten with coaching?

      1. Correct about the transfer yesterday in Mets going slow chopper up line he tried to get around ball so he could make stronger throw but all he did was slow the process. If not a quick twitch guy he may have to be leftfielder

  24. Barring a major trade this offseason, I don’t see any way Alec Bohm is not the Phillies starting 3Bman next season. Maybe Bohm moves to LF in 2022 (after McCutchen’s contract runs out), and Bryson Stott becomes the team’s starter at the hot corner.

    1. Hinkie….do not forget that other middle infielder they just drafted from Arkansas….Casey Martin.. He could force his way into the conversation.

    2. I agree 100%. The Phillies are going to give him every chance to take 3B. Although, I wouldn’t mind Bohm getting some reps at LF in ST just to see how it goes.

    3. McCutchen should be moved to DH next year. Bohm to LF and we upgrade at 3B. We have a lot of money coming off the books this offseason.

      1. I don’t think that will happen in 2021. We’ll need money for JT and perhaps sign another starter.

        LF: Cutch
        CF: Haseley/Quinn
        RF: Harper
        1B: Hoskins
        2B: Kingery
        SS: Segura
        3B: Bohm
        C: Realmuto
        DH: FA

        1. Nola
        2. Wheeler
        3. Eflin
        4. Howard
        5. VV/Suarez/FA

        1. No way Segura goes back to SS. He wasn’t good enough in his age 30 season. He isn’t going to be in his age 31.

          I think they sign DiDi to a multi-year deal.

          1. I also believe they’ll look to bring Didi back on a shorter term deal (after they re-sign JTR). His LH bat really deepens the lineup.

    4. Based on who they drafted, I would guess that the Phillies would ideally like to see these players in the major league lineup by 2023….

      C JT Realmuto/Andrew Knapp/Rafael Marchan
      1b Rhys Hoskins
      2b Scott Kingery
      ss Casey Martin
      (with Luis Garcia or Kingery in the utility mix)
      3b Bryson Stott
      lf Alec Bohm
      cf Johan Rojas/Mickey Moniak
      rf Bryce Harper
      DH? A mercenary HBWT (“have bat will travel”) or possibly a guy like Logan O’Hoppe

      1. 8mark…I can see the Phillies moving Casey Martin to third in the event Bohm does not project well. He played it very well his freshmen year at Arkansas.
        He has a power bat, though K rate is high….with a plus glove and arm…..though he does tend to make some erratic throws when trying to do more than required….when he was at shortstop.

        1. Romus … I think Casey Martin is probably ticketed for the OF (probably CF). Also Bryson Stott is light years ahead of Martin offensively right now. Martin is really tooled up, but he’s going to have to work on his ability to recognize pitches and control the Kzone.

          1. Hinkie…..Haseley, Moniak and Muzziotti…not to mention Quinn…seem to make it a crowded closet out there.
            Martin will have to really show some outstanding defensive abilities to beat any of them out.

            1. You forgot Johan Rojas. They’ve also added Yohswar Garcia to the pipeline … but I believe Martin will be playing CF next season (probably in Lakewood).

  25. With FA money likely to be tight, will players even want to opt out of their existing contracts?

    I know Giancarlo Stanton has an opt out after this season, and I’m reasonably certain that the Yankees will dance a jig if he exercises it. He’s still due 7 years, $218M, although the Marlins will pay $30M of it.

    What are the odds Nicholas Castellanos will opt out? He still has 3 years $48M left. He has cooled off and now has 0.4 WAR. Can he get more than $48M?

  26. From 1983 to 1996, Cal Ripken, at 6 feet 4 inches, played shortstop. The last four years of his illustrious career were played at third base. He was steady all around at both positions but did not have all that much range. Perhaps, Bohm can make it at third. I admit that it seems like a long shot…

    But in time, maybe he gets better. The problem here is that he’s not playing on a team, in a city that that can wait. Philadelphia needs him to be good at third immediately. If he’s playing in KC, they can take the time for him to develop. By the way, speaking of KC, Franco is having a pretty good year.

    1. I don’t think I would say that 0.4 WAR is a good year. He’s near starter level which is way more than what he gave the Phillies the last 3 years. If he can hang around on a roster and collect a major league paycheck, good for him.

  27. Phillies add Garrett Cleavinger to roster for today’s DH. Devi Grullon added to Red Sox roster, will start in Game 2.

    1. It’s really weird to see the Red Sox take our castoffs and be as bad as they are. I don’t think this is a one or two year cycle for them either. I think the Red Sox are genuinely bad and need a nearly complete rebuild.

      1. By the way, how great are the Indians in drafting and developing pitchers? In a year, they’ve dispensed with Trevor Bauer, Corey Kluber and Mike Clevinger without skipping a beat and getting prospects in return. It’s insane.

        1. Kluber came over from the Padres in a trade…he was a late bloomer.
          But the others , along with Beiber, who has yet to be traded,…were all Indian scouting finds.

          1. Oops…Cleavinger was also a trade from the Angels to the Indians.

            Both Kluber (Padres) and Cleavinger (Angels) were 4th round picks out of colleges.

            1. And Bauer was a trade from the Diamondbacks.

              Their pitching player development is off the charts

          2. I didn’t say they drafted Kluber or Clevinger, or Bauer (acquired from Arizona, I believe), I said they were able to dispense with them and easily replace them. That’s amazing!

  28. I agree with Hinkie and v1. I think Didi is back on a 2 or 3 year/option deal. I have always been a Kingery fan, but he needs to show a lot more. Where is Stott’s best position? He should be the next one up, not necessarily next year, but of the every day prospects, unless Mickey shows that he has upped his game.

    1. I see Stott fits better as 2B with 3B as an acceptable option. I also agree with Hinkie that Didi on a short term deal will be pursued but it’s not a lock since Didi might prefer a long term contract.

      Segura will be the fall back SS and he will not be the Phillies first choice as the SS in 2021 on wards. I just hope that Luis Garcia develops as an uber prospect because that will help the Phillies a lot.

      Bohm will play 3B in 2021 unless his defense will costs the Phillies a lot of games. But as many of us predicts, Bohm will eventually move to 1B/LF and open the 3B for Stott.

  29. There is your answer for the pitching. Hire scouts, coaches, etc. from the Indians organization!
    Unless it is a total crapshoot. If so, they keep getting lucky every year lately.

    My opinion is, it can’t be a total crapshoot, since some organizations consistently produce year after year!
    In the meantime…GO Phillies!

  30. The farm really lacks SP depth. The SP arms next in line are beleaguered by inconsistencies —- Vinny, Rosso, Irvin, Ranger, Medina, DLS, Jones. Miller and Lindow are at least a year behind and Parkinson is a left handed Rosso.

    If the Phillies will make a deep run in the playoffs, it will be on the shoulders of the offense. Get ready for a bumpy ride again!

    1. matt13…he was ticketed for CLW this past season ..turns 21 soon….next season I see him starting in CLW, then maybe goes up to Reading late…if he keeps progressing, maybe second half of 2023

      Also if he can stay healthy there is Starlyn Castillo, maybe 2/3 years behind Morales.
      Maybe Miller, Gowdy or Pipkin will also blossom.

    2. The fastest route to MLB for Morales will be by mid-next year (2021) as a pen arm and that’s assuming that Morales will start well in A+ and AA.

      Morales is one of the interesting arms exposed in this years Rule 5 draft (if I calculated it correctly) so the Phillies might put some urgency in his development since he will occupy a much needed roster space next year.

      Lindow was much loved SP arm in the last prospect ranking here in PP. He can be a fast tracker but he lacks impact stuff – so he can be a cut between Irvin and Jojo.

      Glogoski is under the radar SP arm. Another “pitchability” starter that lacks impact stuff.

      Miller and Morales appear to be the big impact arms in the farm — having any (or both) of them by mid-next year might be a stretch.

  31. Does anyone know what Eflin is doing on the mound today? No command whatsoever. If it wasn’t the RedSox, the Phillies would be down by 5 runs already. He’s been Vinny-esque, inefficiency wise.

  32. Tommy Hunter, our key high leverage Reliever needed only 2 batters to get the score tied. Eflin was not good today. 8mark called it correctly, Vinny-esque. I am not sure what pitches were giving him trouble today. Wasn’t Devers another International signing? I can’t wait until our great International player gets called up. Anyone know when that might be?

  33. Huge, clutch, game winning hit by Bohm. He deserves a ton of credit. As happy as I am with Bohm, and whether he sticks at 3B or not doesn’t change how good his bat will be, that is how concerned I am about Haseley. Says a lot when he is unplayable against left handed Pitching, and I know Barnes throws that knuckle curve, but he watched 3 of them go down the middle of the plate and didn’t swing.

    1. I am certainly not a hitting coach but in watching Haseley he seems to be reactive to a pitch and does not attack. He is too nestled into a stance and by the time he loads up it is too late. Just a thought.

  34. Happy/relieved to see them win, but they blew a 3 run lead to a team battling for the 1-1 draft pick. Not good.

  35. Hinkie, Eflin is getting crushed by left handed batters. The BP still is scary, and we keep blowing leads. Harper is in a really bad slump, and I keep waiting for him to break out in a big way. But, he seems to be really frustrated. We have Vinny in Game 2, and Hunter and Neris can’t pitch because they pitched in the first game. We need to score early and often and not stop.

  36. Before today, Tommy Hunter hasn’t had an earned run in his last 8 innings. I guess he was due for a clunker.

    The bullpen still has Phelps/Hembree/Romero/Workman/Hale available for game 2. That better be enough, considering that the Phillies have an off day tomorrow.

  37. Vinny served better. Pitched well, Grullon’s hit to tie it was a broken bat bloop. Phelps walks first batter and gives up a moonshot to Dalbac. Not quite what we needed.

  38. Klentax must be a poor judge of bullpen arms.
    Can’t wait till he gets fired.How many years has he been trying to get a better bullpen?
    Oh, that’s right it’s just a crapshoot.
    He must be blind squirrel. He can’t even find one good nut!

  39. I don’t know what is still holding Middleton from moving on from Klentak. I agree with Barf – how long will it take for a full funded GM to put together a decent bullpen. I’m also a heavy critic of RAJ but RAJ is not this bad.

  40. WHIZ KIDS, WHEEZ KIDS, ……now Cardiac Kids – I almost can’t watch these games anymore – they are no longer any sort of relaxation ? Ugh…another wasted opportunity.

  41. Klentak just did a band aid approach. If Harper and JTR heat up again, they can still make a run in the playoffs. Nola and Wheeler can give the Phillies a chance to win series but this bullpen is just a ticking time bomb! Klentak should just DFA Hale if it means keeping Jojo in the regular roster.

    Parker and/or Phelps really need to step up and be the reliable pen arm in high leverage situations.

  42. It’s my understanding instructs will be starting down in Clearwater later this month…No information on how many players will attend but there to run until late October…

  43. Except for the 10-0 early lead game, they’ve led at one point in every recent loss. Every one! Has to be the worst bullpen ever. I’m sure it’s discouraging fir the team as well to blue these games they’re leading in.

    1. The other day during one of the games Ruben Amaro was saying that 70% of teams that score first win, so with the phils being one of the best if not the best teams at scoring in the 1st, a solid pen would likely have them sitting in 1st place for much of the season.

  44. It appears those trades were pretty even with our trading partners. It seems we gave away nothing and it appears we received nothing. Out of the 3, Workman, Hembree and Phelps which is most disappointing to you. It’s a tossup for me between Workman and Phelps.

    1. Skeet…..Phillies bullpen ranked 27th in the majors….only Red Sox, Giants and Mariners are lower.
      Top 5 bullpens and remaining NL-East…by fWAR….
      1. Blue Jays….3.1
      3. Indians…….2.6
      4. Twins……….2.5
      5. Braves……..2.5
      16. Mets………1.0
      17 Nats………..0.8
      26. Marlins…..-0.7
      27. Phils………-0.7

    2. Phelps was having a season for the ages in Milwaukee. He comes here and morphs into every other Phillies’ reliever. Is it Bryan Price? Is it Jim Gott? Is it the mound at CBP? Or maybe it’s the curse of Ryan Madson. The team hasn’t had much luck with relievers (with the possible exception of Ken Giles) since RAJ rescinded a 4 yr/44 million dollar offer to Madson almost 10 years ago.

      1. Its crazy.It’s crazy. I think that many of his in season trades should have worked out. Asdrubal Cabrera forgets how to play, same w justin bour. Phelps was great until he arrived. The idea behind workman and hembree was good. Then everyone gets here and sucks. It’s really weird.
        People complain about klentak but if he would’ve given up value to acquire Hader, they would’ve lost their minds.

  45. I think Phelps. He was actually having a great year with Milwaukee. I didn’t expect him to get hit so hard, and I certainly didn’t expect his breaking pitches to be so flat. That young kid from Boston crushed that HR. We gave up Addison Russ for Hale, so we lost that trade. Hale looks about ready for a DFA. The offense, which is supposed to carry us scores twice in the first inning, then nothing the rest of the way. So, if the plan is that we need 6 runs every game, and that is certainly what Klentak has built out there for a BP, the offense let us down in the Nightcap.

  46. In a fantasy world, not considering contracts and free agency, would you trade JT for Alfaro and Sixto right now? I know the Marlins wouldn’t do the trade from their perspective. Sixto looks like an ace. Klentak better figure out a way to sign JT. And JT’s agent knows that has to happen so it will cost BIG money now. Should have extended him last year. “Patient” Klentak has to go.

    1. Not worried so much on how Alf ends up…..big bat prone to Ks and defense looks suspect, sans his arm….possibly another Gary Sanchez.

      Sixto….it is early… to see how he is in 2 years from now.

      JTR…you are correct….he will be costly…Phillies catch a small break with reduced revenues from the pandemic…fewer teams will be in on him.
      The one team that concerns me are the Braves….they have the money and team salary well under control….and could make a big push for JTR.

      1. Cohen the new owner to be of the Mets will be the richest in the MLB… He wants JT and will over spend to get him..

        1. Possibility exists there.
          He better hurry up and sign the sale’s agreement with the Wil[pons…my guess, JTR will be signed within the next 100 days….before Christmas

        2. The MLB needs to take a very hard look at Cohen, he’s a total D bag that should be in jail for him and his firms naking short selling let alone all the lawsuits filed by female workers against his firm. How he got away with it when they had everyone on him, SEC, etc.. but somehow the people below him opted to go to jail instead of rating on him. I had some run ins with him way back in a little bio-tech called Rock Creek which made headlines with their drug Anatablock (pro Golfer Fred Couples was their spokesman, came out of retirement because their drug worked so well) I could go into a lot of details but I’m sure no one else cares.

          1. Yep….hedge fund billionaire…$14B…..NFL has ‘character’ checks for prospective owners…not sure what protocol MLB does but pretty sure vetting is done by M.L.B. and then he would have to pass a vote of the league’s owners.
            They are very wary of tarnished imaging…especially these days.

      2. Romus … you would think the Braves are positioned to make a run at JTR, but I’m not sure how much of a threat they are because that organization is run through spreadsheets. They search for market (or below) deals.
        The Yankees could be players for Realmuto. The Nationals could also be contenders. I’ve also read the Mets might make a push for JTR if the team is sold (and is approved by the other owners) to Steve Cohen before the winter. Toronto and Houston could be dark horse candidates.

        Hinkie odds for Realmuto signing:

        Phillies … 3 to 1
        Yankees … 4 to 1
        Nationals … 6 to 1
        Mets … 6 to 1
        Braves … 8 to 1
        Blue Jays … 10 to 1
        Astros … 10 to 1
        Twins … 15 to 1

        1. Hinkie…Yankees I believe will bail.
          Cashman has to make major decisions on two players…Judge and Sanchez….has to do it before next season, both are FA in 2023.
          Even if they go to arb3 with the Yankees…it will be costly for the Bronx Bombers.
          Judge could be $14M to $16M AAV and Sanchez, $10M to $15M AAV for 2021
          Then there is Stanton and Coles contracts. with DJ LeMahieu at probably $15M AAV for two more years.
          If they resign Tanaka……that will another $15/17M
          I just cannot see Cashman coming up with the cash for JTR for 5 years at $25M AAV….they still have a budget up there.

          1. Romus … You are correct when you say a number of Yankees will reach free agency or arbitration this winter. Aaron Judge (arb 2), and Gleyber Torres (arb 1) are each going to get hefty pay raises (probably 18-20 million between the two of them). They’ll also have to rebuild at least 60% of their starting rotation. Tanaka, Paxton, and (probably) Happ will see their contracts run out in October. Not sure when their last starter Luis Severino will make it back from TJ.
            The other way of looking at the Yankee’s situation is this: they have/could have up to 81 million dollars coming off their books this winter. That’s the amount the club is paying (in AAV) to Tanaka, Happ, Paxton, LeMahieu, Gardner, and Sanchez this season. In addition, it’s not impossible (might even be likely) the Yankees ignore the cap in an effort to make the most of Gerrit Cole’s prime years.
            In any event, Brian Cashman should be the most interesting man in MLB this offseason.

            1. Another way/a more succinct way of looking at the Yankees catching situation is this: Gary Sanchez will probably earn ~8 million dollars (thru arb 2) next season (and probably ~12 million in 2022). Cashman can trade Sanchez (for maybe a MOR SP) and replace him with JTR at maybe 25 million AAV. The net difference for the Yankees would only be +17 million in 2021 and +13 million in 2022.

            2. Sanchez’ defensive liabilities adversely affect his value.
              And right now, his hit tool and hi K-rate also do not help him at all.
              Not sure Yankees can get much back for him and getting a middle rotation arm may not be what Cashman would desire.

              I mean would you be willing to give up a 26-year old Eflin or 28-year old Vinny for Sanchez ….that is if JTR was not here?

              Cashman will,not get a premium prospect arm for him….unless the Padres decide to unload another one of their prospects, be it Gore.
              Tigers have a few prospect arms.
              I think Cashman would want a youthful veteran to step right in.

              Now if JTR is their goal….then Cashman can just move Sanchez for whoever they can get…..just to have that capital vacancy and roster spot.
              BTW…I do think they bring back Tanaka…..Happ and Paxton will probably walk. Besides Cole, he may be about their only other steady arm in that rotation.

            3. Romus … I didn’t mean to say the Phillies would trade for Sanchez. However, I do think Sanchez would have some trade value around the league. A team like the Reds or Twins, for instance, might give the Yankees a young veteran pitcher. I’m not able to search their rosters right now.
              I just think Cashman may look to upgrade the NYY’s catching position, and JTR would be their main focus.

    2. @Murray – if the Phillies is in the WIN-NOW mode, yes – the trade needs to happen. Phillies signed up Nola long term and made some big $$ splashes. They just need to complete the process and tie up the loose ends. It looks like Klentak is not the right GM to push this team into the next level.

      Middleton did his part by opening his wallet. It is Klentak who is not doing his job properly by missing on low cost complimentary players.

      Miss #1 = SP – Nola is a no brainer and Middleton gave us Wheeler but Klentak continue to fail on rounding up the rotation with reliable arms. Morton. Stripling, etc are misses.

      Miss #2 = Bullpen – the bullpen carousel just doesn’t work. This is also the are when Middleton hasn’t pour big $$ so this really expose Klentak’s inability to look for talent.

      1. You’re talking about Ross Stripling, the one with -0.8 WAR for 2020, that Ross Stripling? He’s been a replaceable pitcher for most of his career.

  47. Biggest weekend ever coming up. One team makes the playoffs after it’s over. The big guys need to start playing better: Realmuto, Hoskins, and a brooding Harper.

    Let me put this to y’all: How do the Phillies fair this weekend? I got them going 2-5 against the Marlins mainly because of the bullpen. How ’bout you?

    1. Marlins BP is as bad as the Phillies….so that is a push.
      I can see the Philies going 4-3.
      Sixto pitched last night vs the Braves and handcuffed them for six innings….so the Phillies will see him on Sunday in one of the doubleheader games..

    2. In the last 14 days,

      Harper – .146/.345/.171/.516
      Realmuto – .200/.368/.311/.680

      in the last 7 days,

      Cutch – .167/.310/.208/.519

  48. At the Marlins this weekend…If they end up in tight games with the bullpen needing to pitch 3 or more innings each game, I expect 2-5, unless they win a few more with late-inning heroics from the hitters.
    If they mash and score runs early while their starting pitchers are still in, then they can go 5-2.
    Right now, how can anyone predict them to do better than that?
    Must be demoralizing for their hitters to see the pen guys come in and give up walks and bombs.
    No wonder, Bryce is on edge right now.

    1. Somehow, the quality and quantity of talent on either roster in this matchup seems to be irrelevant. Miami has the upper hand because they have less pressure to win since nobody expects them to. It may come down to one play or player on either team in each game. Should Atlanta beat Miami today, the Marlins would be 2 back of the Phillies in 3rd place. I don’t think that a 4-3 or 3-4 series results in anything significant. If either team takes 5 or 6 games, then naturally that team gains the advantage over the final 2 weeks. The Phillies need to win the series strictly out of a need for confidence (read: momentum) heading down the stretch. Both bullpens are very weak, to be kind. Hence the starting pitching is crucial. I give the Phillies the edge offensively BUT we all know how these bats can be stymied by the Joe Bagodonuts of the world. So yes, time for Harper to put his big boy pants on, and Hoskins needs to stay hot, power wise.

  49. To answer the question Murray posed. I take JTR. I want him re-signed and have expressed my opinion that failing to do so is disastrous for the team. I am not a big Alfaro fan. We will see what Sixto becomes. I am, in no way, knocking him. I want the best C in the league. He should have been signed before the pandemic. I am not a Klentak supporter but that decision was on Middleton.

    1. matt13….projected over 162 games…who has the better WAR….Knapp or JTR?
      Knapp @ 7.6WAR and JTR @ 4.4WAR.

      I know,
      now that is being silly since no one expects Knapp to sustain what he has done in only 17 games….to carry over thru out an entire year of starting. However, Knapp in his limited role has been very effective.

      1. @romus, i know you’re goofing around and this is one of the reasons why i hate using WAR. Not only it measures historical performance, it can be misleading if used out of context.

        All GMs will want JTR over Knapp anytime, any day. The Phillies are in the WIN-NOW mode so they need players who can contribute ASAP.

      1. This is easier said now since Sixto is dealing. But when Sixto was injured and having some conditioning issues pre-JTR trade – I don’t see anyone arguing about the trade.

        JTR is not just a best catcher, he is one of the best 2-way player in the game right now.

  50. We all have limited memories but just look at Knapp’s God awful stats in 2018 and 2019. K rates alone well over 30%. He is a decent backup and a switch hitter but does anybody really feel confident with him as the Phillies starting catcher in 2021? Phillies really put themselves behind the eight ball not signing JTR sooner. They can be held hostage by his agent.

    1. People keep saying that the Phils messed up by not signing him, so I guess I’ll be the one to remind everyone this time:

      PLAYERS ALSO NEED TO AGREE TO A DEAL. We’re not in the ’60s anymore where teams have all the leverage and power.

      JTR has not been shy about the fact that he’s going to test FA. He’s doing it to help future catchers get better contracts. So the only way the Phils would sign him early is if they paid significantly more than he and his agent think he could get on the open market. That is to say, a record contract.

      He has also not been shy about his fondness of Philadelphia and his open communication with the FO. So they almost 100% have an agreement that the Phils get a chance to match any and all offers. That’s not being held hostage, it’s good-faith negotiation.

      A discount would have been nice, but it was never in the cards. And if he’s not taking less than market value, then it literally does not matter whether he signs now or in FA. He’s going to get paid. I hope by us, but if the cost is too high then we should pass. But I won’t be mad at us for not over-paying, nor at him for taking the money. He’s earned it, and that’s baseball.

      1. “He’s going to get paid. I hope by us, but if the cost is too high then we should pass”….what is considered too high of a cost?
        $25M AAV seems to be a number being bantered around by the beat writers lately.

        1. I’m not sure what is too high for the Phils. I’d be fine with $25M. That’s more market-value than excessive.

          But think of it like Werth’s free agency. Should the Phils have offered him a competitive contract? Absolutely. Should they have matched the Nats’ offer? God no.

          So if the Phils offer him something that seems like a fair value (which I’ll let the market decide rather than speculating), but one team comes out and offers him 8 years and $350M (just as an absurd example), I won’t be upset that the Phils don’t match. I’ll weigh in more on what I personally feel is fair or not when the offseason comes and we start hearing about offers.

          1. Gotcha.
            I am with you on that point.
            And I am curious if contract length will play a significant factor in his decision.
            I am on board with 5 years……6 years I quiver a bit , but anything more no deal IMO

            1. I think he’s looking for AAV more than years, but that’s just my guess. He’d probably happily set the mark either way. But I really can’t see him setting a new bench mark for years that’s longer than Mauer’s, hence my guess.

              No catcher has ever had an AAV of $25M, though, so I do wonder if he’d do 4/100 with options (vesting or otherwise) for two more years at ~20M. That would move the market for catchers, and wouldn’t be as likely to bite us as the back end of the Mauer/Posey deals. That’s also pretty reasonable, though, so I’m betting multiple teams would be willing to match that.

        2. I agree with you, but I don’t want him at all costs, Several weeks back I said that that I thought it was 50/50. I think the odds are more 45/55 favor of the opposition now. My guess is he’ll be wearing a blue uniform. I’d like to be wrong.

  51. I believe Knapp is a good back up. And a good back up C is valuable. And, yes, you do not need a great C to win the WS when you have excellent players in other areas. We have Bryce Harper. Sixto may or may not be an Ace going forward. But at the time of the trade there were doubts about him. The question was would we trade JTR today back to the Marlins for Sixto and Alfaro. I would not. I want to keep JTR, get better elsewhere, add another SP and a genuine Closer. I don’t care what it costs as I think the CBA changes the whole LT thing anyway. That is what we need to win a WS.

    1. Whether the Phillies err on their evaluation of Sixto pre-trade — the concerns about Sixto during that time appears to have legs since I hear the same concerns from multiple outlets. JimP mentioned it here, some folks in TB/CLW area i know said the same thing and I also read articles from some local outlets report the same thing.

      It’s hard not to wonder everything you see Sixto dominate in the mound, but my biggest source of hearth ache is always been the GM/FO. If I can undo make one Phillies decision made in the past —- it will be the hiring of Andy McPhail.

    2. There’s not one team that would trade Sixto for JT right now, even if he was signed to an extension.

  52. Does anyone recall the Halladay trade? Didn’t the Phillies condition the trade on the ability to extend Halladay? If so, wouldn’t that have been the best strategy in the JTR trade?

    1. Correct…..Roy agreed to a contract extension worth of $60M that included a $20M vesting option for a fourth season thru 2013…Roy’s last year before he had to retire due to the labrum injury.
      …..Todd Zolecki covers most everything in his book on Roy..

    2. was just looking at that trade- had forgotten that Travis D’arnaud was the main piece to leave in that deal- took him quite a while but he’s become a really good player. OPS over .900 this year.
      Couldnt Aaron Nola have told the Phillies that his brother was a good player? JT has a career high OPS this year but Nola is 32 points higher.
      Not suggesting Id rather have either guy than JT of course.

  53. I am going with 5-2, us. I still want to be positive, and I think that Bryce and JTR have another hot streak ready to break out. We have let them have the upper hand since last season. Let’s pay them back.

  54. Eric Longenhagen runs down his latest on the Phillies prospects playing in Philly and their alternate site.
    Among the highlights: Rafael Marchan, as a prospect, is on a level with Patrick Bailey (SFG’s 1-13 pick this year) with less power.

  55. The Braves scored 29 runs tonight vs the Marlins!
    3 (3!) players had 5 runs scored!
    What an offense! Their 2, 3, 4, 5 hitters all have BA > .300. And that doesn’t even include Acuna or Albies! (Or Duvall who had 9 rbi tonight.)

    So here’s my question. Will the Phillies score 29 in the 7-game series? (They scored 34 in last 7 vs Mia)

    I’ll answer Yes. …And I’ll predict Phillies go 5-2, including first DH sweep since 2012. (I’m an optimist)

  56. Probably would have gotten several more good years out of Halladay if Charlie hadn’t made him go 120 to 130 too many times

    1. You got me thinking on this…so I did a little digging.
      Roy pitched from 2010 thru the last injured year of 2013….4 years.
      …103 games.(33-32-25-13)..he was starting to break down the last two years.
      Pitch counts:
      120———6 gms
      He may not have had many over PCs over 120,
      and those 6 were his first two years,
      but he did have plenty between 111-119 —40
      Have to agree,
      ….Charlie really did over-use him starting at his age33 season in 2010.
      By the time he got to the Phillies he was at approx. 2000 MLB iP in his career
      Charley probably should have eased up on him…but Roy was a very dedicated guy so coming out earlier than he wanted was not his schtick.

      1. Pitch counts: 100 -37 gms…100-119—-60 gms…over120———6 gms

        Sheesh……word press really has some hiccups

  57. The Brewers score 19 runs last night and that’s not the top offensive total for the night. They did win the run differential spread… Crazy night of baseball..

  58. It’s funny how, in a week, due to some clutch hits, Bohm has gone from being under the radar, to being an alleged potential MVP candidate.

    Longenhagen has it right. Bohm’s currently modest in-game power due to his careful approach creates a ceiling issue. Longenhagen projects him as a 2 to 2.5 WAR player, which I could see if his power does not play up very much. He will need to hit around 20-25 homers, with a good average and OBP to project much higher than that. But he’s a talented hitter, so it could happen.

    1. Longenhagen overlooked Logan O’Hoppe…who besides the defense, is hitting with power at the Alt Trng Site. At 20 he may be the youngest at the site.

      1. Agreed. He did. O’Hoppe might have the upside of a first division regular. He’s an “x” factor player for sure.

        1. I had to read his article again….I think he was selecting prospects that he thinks will probably make their MLB debuts this season
          I have to assume he thought it is very unlikely the Phillies will add O’Hoppe to the 40 to make his debut in the next few weeks.
          That would not be a very business oriented approach with service time starting so soon for the prospect.
          Marchan alright…since he has to be 40 added in two months anyway.

    2. If Bohm’s D is bringing his value down, then I could see that he’s a 2- 2.5 WAR player. I think he could be 3 oWar. His modest in-game power could be because he just turned 24 and he could still put on some weight. According to baseball reference, he’s at least 15lbs lighter than Jayson Werth. I think when he gets more comfortable and he grows into his body, I think he can hit 20+ HRs a season.

      1. Yeah, I think there’s a good chance he could grow into a 20+ homer a year guy and, yes, he will need to focus on filling out and getting stronger, but he’s got a hit tool and approach that is almost impossible to teach, and that’s a valuable thing.

  59. Should Cashman bail on Gary Sanchez this winter and go hard after JTR, that poses a problem for Middleton. (Forget Klentak. In this case, he’s an empty suit.)

    This certainly appears to be a case of misjudgment on the part of Phillies ownership, going back to last winter. If they’re going to hedge the market, they had better be sure their ducks were in order. And now it may be late in the game, unless there is a handshake agreement in good will that they will match or exceed Realmuto’s best offer. We won’t know one way or another for some time, however.

      1. I believe JTR holds the most value to the Phillies, and I’ve thought all along Middleton would take care of him. However, I never thought the team would allow him to get to free agency. Once they get to the open market (and there is no stopping him now with just 21 games left of team control left), anything can happen. The Yankees are a desperate franchise.

        1. IMO the JTR contract is something that needs to happen and then we remember that at the time it was signed it was needed to be done. In the future we just remember the facts at the time:

          1) he is considered the best catcher in baseball
          2) he is a leader on the team
          3) we do not have any other catchers that can step in
          4) we traded Sixto Sanchez for him
          5) he is a building block for the team, without him we are rebuilding.

          1. He is really important to the team and keeping him is really important. But I don’t agree this is necessarily a rebuilding team without him. He is going to cost big time free agent money that can be allocated elsewhere without him. There are ways to cushion the blow here – but it requires some really good GM work, and our GM has been mediocre and inconsistent at best to date.

    1. I’m not sure why you think the Yankees should bail on Sanchez. He’s not hitting well this season, but this season is more or less a wash anyways. Sanchez is making peanuts, decent defensively, and had 3.1 WAR in 2019.

      The Yankees already have Cole and Stanton on their books, Judge is going to get a big raise in arbitration, and they have a lot of other players heading into arbitration.

      Tanaka, Happ, Paxton are FAs so they have to find 3 starters. They have their work cut out for them. If they want to spend big bucks on JT, that’s a mistake in my opinion. They need pitching badly.

      1. Yankees should bring Tanaka back…..but probably at a $15/17M AAV vs his current $22M AAAV. The two lefties they will probably let walk.
        But agree….pitching is what they will need….Severino ($10M AAV) is questionable now going forward..

      2. Guru … I know nothing for sure. I’m just speculating/connecting dots.
        In response to some of the points you make above:

        * I don’t think the NYY’s felt this season was “more or less a wash”. They have a lot of money invested into their 2020 payroll. They were all in.

        * The Yankees have the deepest pockets in baseball, and Realmuto is the best player available this offseason.

        * I’m not saying Sanchez is a bad player. I am saying JT Realmuto is a major upgrade. Sanchez K’s waaay too much, and is not very skilled at either framing or blocking balls in the dirt. He’s also a big guy (and getting bigger) so his D probably isn’t going to improve moving forward.

        * Cashman would be able to flip Sanchez for rotation help.

        * Cole and Stanton are exactly the reason why I think Cashman would invest in JTR. They should be all in during their prime years. Of course, the Phillies are in the same position – they need to be all in while Harper is in his prime.

        1. When I said that this season was “more or less a wash”, I meant that the player’s poor production in this abbreviated season should not be a true indicator of his talent. There are a lot of good players having poor seasons i.e. Kris Bryant.

          As for having the deepest pockets in baseball, they do. But spending it is another story. They have actually showed some restraint over the years.

          And all the negatives that you said about Sanchez will depress his trade value. If you see those negatives, other teams see it too. They can trade him, but they won’t get anything significant for him.

          In the end, if the Yankees want to give JT a crazy deal like 6 years, $150M or 7 years, $175M, there’s not much the Phillies can do about it.

          Stanton’s contract is bad and he’s already breaking down. Cole’s first season in NY hasn’t exactly worked out. Cole’s HR rate and FIP are way above his career norms. Yes, this season could be an outlier for him. And Cashman better hope it is, since he gave Cole $324M.

  60. This 7 game series is a perfect time for Harper and Realmuto to get hot again! We will need a lot of runs. I think we will know very quickly after the season ends whether we sign JTR or not. I have stated several times that losing him is a catastrophe for the team. Anyone who thinks we will be fine, and only want to go to a certain level, or think the money is better spent elsewhere, please tell me what you are doing with the money to make us a WS contender.

  61. Forbes released its 2020 Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans Tuesday, and six Pennsylvania billionaires made the cut. Mars was ranked 74th overall.
    Two are Philly professional team owners.

    74. Victoria Mars, of Philadelphia, Mars Inc. — $7.2 billion
    213. Thomas Hagen, of Erie, Erie Indemnity — $3.7 billion
    213. Mary Alice Dorrance Malone, of Coatesville, Campbell Soup Company — $3.7 billion
    228. Michael Rubin, of Bryn Mawr, Kynetic — $3.5 billion
    238. John Middleton, of Bryn Mawr, John Middleton Inc. — $3.4 billion
    319. Jeffrey Lurie, of Wynnewood, Philadelphia Eagles — $2.9 billion

    1. 3, Michael Rubin is a minority owner of the 76ers, and I have heard rumors he is trying to buy a sports team, in Philly or somewhere else.

  62. Romus, John Middleton doesn’t just have a ton of money, he has professed to being a fan, just like us, but with more money. Not counting Rocco, who came in at around 350 on that list. And, I have not suggested that we blindly spend money, or act irresponsibly. I do not consider that the first level Luxury Tax should have been any form of barrier to putting the Roster together. It clearly was. Both in the construction of the BP, and the dealing with JTR. They wanted the lower Arb # to be the base year of a new deal. He wanted it higher, and I think the difference is a couple of Million. At lot of money to you and me, but not to a MLB Owner. Had we not sent him to Arbitration, and just negotiated the LTC, we would, in my opinion, have him signed already. That is on Middleton, not Klentak. Once the pandemic hit, and things were in flux, of course it takes 2 to agree, and JTR is waiting for FA. But, it should never have gotten that far. Knapp is a good back up, not an All Star C. There isn’t one coming. The pandemic did not stop the Dodgers from Signing Mookie. We did not go all out in the years 2013-2019, so a lot of money should be in the “use for future players” Bank Account. The fan base fills the stadium for a winning team. There are other holes needing to be filled. I expect John Middleton to keep his word. That he will do whatever is necessary to get his bleeping trophy back.

        1. If you say so Jim, I trust you. So when he gets to FA, and we don’t sign him, it is a catastrophe for the team. Not a fact, my opinion, and I hope we sign him so we don’t see it become a fact. Meanwhile, this BP implodes again. Was the construction not the result of staying under the Luxury tax?

          1. I’m not questioning your opinion that losing Realmuto would be a catastrophe. I’m saying that whoever you blame for not signing him before arbitration or before the season didn’t have any chance of signing him and therefore shouldn’t be blamed.

        2. Jim – can you share whatever you read to conclude that it is a fact that JT wouldn’t have signed when he was traded? Everything that I read, including quotes from him, suggested otherwise. Rather that it was the Phillies strategy to wait it out. But I am open to changing my POV if you share the facts that you have.

          Also, one of the top players in baseball (Mookie Betts) just signed before reaching free agency. So not sure anyone can conclude that it isn’t possible to sign a star before FA.

  63. Phillies 21 wins Marlins 18
    Phillies 18 losses Marlins 19
    Phillies 207 mill Marlins 85

    The last one obviously is payroll.

  64. Not sure how metrics work grading catchers. But seen Sanchez catch fair amount of yankee’s game and imo he is a butcher behind plate. From framing to blocking to hustling to having the pitchers confidence.

    1. The numbers say that he’s decent defensively. He hasn’t had 1 season of negative dWar (yet). And I think he has a good arm so that limits the opposing team’s running game.

    1. Sanchez will probably not ever want to come to Philly as long as Joe G is still managing….he did not care for the way Joe would replace him with Austin Romine

  65. Incredibly, the Phillies do have one major league record right now that I am sure they want to end…and soon! It was eight years ago [2012] yesterday [Sept 9] that the Phils swept a twin bill at home against the Colorado Rockies. Who knew that 8 years later, they have NOT swept another double header. Every team but the Phillies has swept at least one DHer since then.

    Given the importance of the 4 double headers over the final 21 games, literally 1/3 of their remaining games, it sure behooves them to end that drought soon and this weekend would be a nice time to do it.

  66. Who Gets Rule 5 Protected in Two Months?
    The list is a bit long.
    LHP Damon Jones …LHP Kyle Dohy…LHP Jakob Hernandez

    LHP David Parkinson …LHP Zach Warren …LHP Kyle Young

    RHP Kevin Gowdy…RHP Andrew Brown …RHP Francisco Morales

    IF Dalton Guthrie…IF Nick Maton

    OF Mickey Moniak …OF Austin Listi…OF Josh Stephen…OF Simon Muzziotti

    C Colby Fitch …and again for the second time,
    ..C Marchan..OF Jhailyn Ortiz..1B Darick Hall

    1. I’ll say Moniak, Muzziotti and Marchan get protected. None of the arms are either developed enough or worth a rule 5 selection.

    1. IMO …

      Maton (he’s on the bubble, but they can probably use another MIF)

      Crossing my fingers my guy, jaKe the caKe doesn’t get picked (don’t think he will).

      1. Hinkie….I think you are spot on with Dohy and Warren, and maybe even Jones.
        Looking at the current 40….some many arms will not be carried over into 2021 .
        Alvarez is a FA with Arrieta….then there are the many types like Parker, Hale, Llovera, Irvin, Hunter, …and who knows about Hembree , Workman or Phelps though think two will stay on the 40, unless they are FA.
        Robertson will probably be off the 40 also.
        Position players…Garlick and Gosselin will probably be gone as free agents.

        1. I just put together a quick offseason 40 man (there’s actually 39 to leave room for a JTR signing.

          Vìctor Arano
          Connor Brogdon
          Garrett Cleavinger
          Ser Ant’ny
          ** Kyle Dohy
          Zach Eflin
          Heath Hembree
          Spencer Howard
          Cole Irvin
          ** Damon Jones
          Mauricio Llovera
          Adonis Medina
          Adam Morgan
          ** Francisco Morales
          Héctor Neris
          Aaron Nola
          David Phelps
          JoJo Romero
          Ramón Rosso
          Cristopher Sánchez
          Ranger Saurez
          Vince Velasquez
          ** Zach Warren
          Zack Wheeler

          ** Rafael Marchan
          Andrew Knapp
          Rafael Marchan
          Alec Bohm
          Phil Gosselin
          Rhys Hoskins
          Scott Kingery
          ** Nick Maton
          Jean Segura
          Kyle Garlick
          Bryce Harper
          Adam Haseley
          Andrew McCutchen
          ** Mickey Moniak
          Roman Quinn

          ** indicates new adds

          Cole Irvin could be dropped if/when Didi is re-signed
          VV is also in danger of being either non tendered or traded

          BTW … Phil Gosselin is under team control thru arbitration

          1. Oops! just noticed I listed Marchan twice (told you I put this together quickly). So that is 38 players.

            1. He does not need to be put on the 40 until 2022…they will not put him on it this year…..way too early
              They did something like that with Gamboa a few years ago and it bit them in the backside.
              Every 40 slot is gold .

        2. Romus … Hembree (last year of arbitration) and Phelps (team option) are under club control for 2021. Workman is a FA.
          I think Damon Jones carries the “pick me” profile for the rule 5 draft: LHP with high K/9 #’s. The Phillies would almost certainly lose him. Gotta’ add him.
          And I can see a scenario where David Robertson returns at a minimal salary (ala Tommy Hunter this year). The team would wait until the start of the 2021 season to make it official, and swap Ser-Ant’ny (move him to the 60 day IL) out for Robertson.

          1. Hinkie…yeah can see it also that way with Damon Jones….good stuff is attractive from a lefty standpoint…. though Robertson could be re-signed on a minor league contract… not expect him to get any major league offers coming off TJ with added issues on his projected return date. The Phillies of all teams know his medicals and have seen his progress so they may extend a minor league deal straight away.

            1. You’re right. I think they did sigh Hunter to a minor league deal last winter.

              BTW … @Hawkeye … Erik Miller was drafted last year. He doesn’t need to be added to the 40 man until the winter of 2022.

  67. JoJo firing 97 tonight. He has really been impressive … not with just the FB, but his CH is a swing and miss offering. Breaking ball has impressive bite too. He’s got opposing hitters off balance early in his career.

  68. Once again…and again and again…thanks a lot, Matt – for a bullpen which can’t possibly be worse.

  69. Keep hearing how good Girardi is at managing a bullpen but I don’t see it. Hunter should not be pitching important innings late in games. Romero and even Neris are much better options but he used Romero in the 6th to get 1 out.

    Yes, the options suck but can still try using the better options in important spots.

  70. 23 runs in last 6 games, ERA over 8. Another blown save. And 5 games in 51 hours. Not making the Playoffs would be simply depressing.

  71. Yes. Atlanta (or maybe the LAD’s) has the deepest lineup in baseball … but … the real difference between the Phillies and the Braves is the BP. AA spent the last year (2019 trade deadline and last offseason) building a lights out pen. Matt Klentak, OTOH, has spent his entire career as Phillies GM throwing darts against a wall (or pulling names out of a hat, feel free to use your favorite expression for “has no clue”).
    Take tonight for example. In Washington, Braves starter Robbie Erlin gets shelled. He gives up 5 runs in 1.2 IP. Atlanta’s BP follows with 7.1 IP and allows just 1 R.
    Meanwhile, in Miami … Phillies relievers fall flat on their face again (3 IP, 4 R).

    That’s it in a nutshell.

    1. You rarely go wrong going for quality.

      In 2019, Klentak went for quality and it didn’t work because of injuries. That happens. Rather than continue with that strategy this year, Klentak went for collecting a lot of junk in the hopes that something would stick. It didn’t.

      Damon Runyon famously wrote that the race is not always to the swift or the contest to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.

      Klentak chose to ignore that wisdom, instead deciding to dumpster dive. Not the wise way to build a bullpen.

      Last year, it was Harper who saw his old team win the World Series. Imagine what free agent JT Realmuto will think this year if his old team makes the playoffs and the Phillies don’t.

      1. The good news, I think, is that if the Phillies don’t make the playoffs, Matty K probably gets fired. That could end up being better for the franchise in the long run.

  72. Words can’t describe it anymore. This is the worst Phillies bullpen I’ve ever seen. The only consolation is that I only see it for 60 games and not 162.

    So who’s the closer now? Does Hector get his old job back by default? I wouldn’t be surprised if Blake Parker gets some chances this weekend. I normally wouldn’t go with JoJo as the closer because closing is a different animal, but if the Phillies have a 3-4 run lead in the ninth, I might just put him out there and see how he reacts.

    1. I thought Workman was really going to help settle this BP down, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. He got here, and forgot how to throw his CB (his out pitch) for strikes. I mean that pitch usually doesn’t even come close to the strike zone.

      David Phelps is another guy who was having one of the best seasons of any reliever in MLB … until he got here. With the Brewers … 2.77 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, 2.79 FIP. With the Phillies … 19.29 ERA, 3.43 WHIP, 21.18 FIP ! How is that even possible?

      Again … the only answer I come up with is The Curse Of Ryan Madson. I blame RAJ for reneging on the team’s 4 year/42 million dollar offer nine years ago. I know Madson ended up with an arm injury, but the Phillies bullpen (with the exception of Ken Giles) has been cursed since that event.

      1. I was happy with Workman because he was better than the other guys we had: Guerra, Pivetta, McClain, etc. But Workman’s career walk rate was always high and it’s even higher this season. Like Neris, walks have been a huge issue for both of them.

  73. On a lighter note, unlike other MLB teams, the Marlins did not have cardboard cut-outs of their fans in the seats. It was just an empty field of blue seats. Kinda like a normal season game for the Fish.

  74. My gut tells me that loss sets the stage for a succession of bad losses…. I sooooo hope I’m wrong..

  75. Ben Davis was just plain angry when Hunter walked the lead off guy in the 8th. He had to check himself and said @Well, Tommy isn’t trying to walk him there.” Of course he wasn’t trying to. He just isn’t good. What he is throwing up there isn’t good enough. We counted on him, coming off an injury, to be a key high leverage Reliever. Workman has no clue where the ball is going. Breaking pitches just hanging up in the zone, over and over again. Now, no Wheeler Saturday. He hurt his finger putting his pants on! We cannot make this stuff up. How many more Es would we have if Klentak had simply started the season with a mediocre BP, less than average, just not historically awful. We would be comfortably in first place.

      1. Hopefully the club instructs Wheeler to only wear gym shorts until the season is over. Just have him avoid zippers altogether.

          1. Romus … you know, I was thinking about injuries Aaron Sanchez and Salvadore Perez have recently suffered while carrying suitcases, and I found this list. Take a couple of minutes to reflect on some of these incidents. Absolutely astonishing! They’re all funny, but I nearly hurt myself laughing so hard at #’s 3, 11, and 12. And #6 puts them all to shame!

            1. They were pretty good…Jose Cardenal unbelievable!
              Crickets kept him awake….lol
              I remember Dave Hollins getting a spider bite in bed on his leg and missed time in spring training one year.
              For the longest time after I read that, before I jumped into bed at night I’d pulled back the covers looking for spiders.
              Then when I finally overcame that phobia…..I found one however, buried under my pillow as a I was going to puff it up. about a relapse phobia!

            2. HaHa. You sound like my wife with the arachnophobia (although, anymore it’s her fear of sprickets).

  76. It is obvious that Klentax is a blind squirrel, he can’t even find one good nut that is reliable for his bullpen.
    I’m starting to question the coaches now too, some of these guys were doing fairly well earlier this year for their previous teams but as soon as they pitch for us their ERA doubles or worse.

    Middleton, it is high time to admit that you need to clean the front office, MacPhail and Klentax have FAILED you, running your franchise. Sure, there are some draft picks that are working out, you did open your pocketbook to sign some players, but overall as a big market team, are these results really good enough for you and your fans?

    The end of the season is in sight, man up and do the right thing, right now the only way that
    you have a chance to re-sign Realmuto is if you overpay, he will have plenty of options to sign with better teams, better run organizations.

    1. I have been following the Phils since their 23 game losing streak in 1961, so I have seen my fair share of bad play. I have never seen such an incompetent relief corps.
      This team is great fun to watch for 6 innings. Good SP and mostly good hitting, but I have to walk away when the starters leave to preserve my sanity. Luckily I could switch to the NFL last night. Was not surprised to read the score in today’s paper.

  77. I know it’s conventional wisdom not to throw a young arm into the closer role too soon BUT since this roster (thanks to the GM) has no closer (even if Robertson and Seranthony were healthy – hey, injuries happen and haven’t kept some other GMs from making it work), I propose Jojo Romero be given the opportunity. He seems to have the brass ones by his demeanor on the mound, not the heart palpitations of a Hector Neris. What’s there to lose, really. It’s not like Romero was that highly regarded as a starting pitcher to this point. Maybe he could be that anomaly who emerges as a real commodity, and under team control for some time. What say ye?

    1. I second that motion……Get Back JoJo
      And what ever happen to the lone Ranger!
      Two frightful innings a week ago….and now is he shut down?
      After watching Workman, Hembree and Hunter continue to get 2nd and 3rd chances, time for a change up

      1. I think Ranger is going to be working extended innings in some of these double-headers and is being prepared for that. Otherwise, there’s little logic to his disappearance.

  78. Didn’t you just know that failing to get Realmuto home from 3rd with 1 out was going to haunt us? But, then again, that extra run would have just given the BP a bigger lead to blow. Look at that post from v1. 34 out of 40 games we led. Before the trade deadline, I believed that we lost at least 6 games that would have been Ws because we did not have even a passable BP to start the season. I don’t know what that number is now. But, we would in in first place, with a cushion. This was not caused by injury. This was an attempt to find competent Relievers while dumpster diving. Not, for that extra piece in the BP, but most of the entire BP. I can’t believe what we have seen. And, I am with Tony Curry. I first became a fan in 1961. That was awful Baseball, but they were expected to be awful. This is a $200M plus team, supposed to make the Playoffs, and in a season when 8 teams make it. So, to fail this year, is worse than that 23 game losing streak in 1961

    1. Matt, personal story:

      After the Phillies broke their 23-game losing streak in Milwaukee and headed home, they were greeted at the airport by about 400 fans there to offer their support. Phillies pitcher Frank Sullivan quipped that the players should leave the plane one at a time so the fans couldn’t get them all at once.

      An Inquirer columnist, I don’t remember who, wrote a great column about that incident. I liked it so much that I cut it out of the newspaper to keep. I liked it so much that, when I was assigned by the Army to go to Korea in 1966, that I took that column with me as memorabilia from home.

      The column has long since disappeared, but the memory remains.

  79. I know Nola is going in the first game, and the 2d game is a BP effort. Scary thought! But, do we know who is penciled in to Start? And with Wheeler starting Monday instead of Saturday, who pitches Saturday?

  80. Just venting.

    We have a .124 batter up (Jazz) with a 3-2 count (I think) and the shift playing him to pull to the right side and what do we throw but an outside belt high pitch that he’s late on and slaps through the vacant left side of the infield.

    Jo Jo has improved so much from last year it’s something I take heart in. Love his demeanor. He has stones. Hopefully he continues to grow, Hopefully he doesn’t catch what the rest of them have. Always come back to the article I read where Pat Gillick went to scout him in AZ JC and actually got on the field to see JoJo delivery from all angles.

    1. I vote for Jo Jo as the closer. Can’t be worse than what we’ve got and his youthful enthusiasm might more than make up for any rookie jitters. And if he gets rocked, he’s young enough to bounce back next year.

  81. Great story SWFL Frank! I remember the trade that brought Turk Farrell. I think we traded a guy named Brandt. The story said the Phils traded a guy who is a screwball for one that throws one. And, thank you for your service!

    1. matt13…..Turk Farrell after his last game of his career, decided to leave America and move to England to work on an oil rig in the North Sea…..a few years later he got killed in an auto accident in England. He did his own thing.

      1. Romus, I never knew that. A real shame! I think there were a lot of characters on that team. I remember Bobby Del Greco and Bobby Gene Smith, and Bobby Malkmus, Players I probably would never remember except it was the first team I rooted for. Then, just assumed my team was not going to be very good. 1964 happens, we are winning, and I followed every game. Fell asleep with the transistor radio on to listen to the later games. Of course, we know what happened, but what a ride! So,my impatience towards the team now, and my belief that Management owes us,as fans, a relevant team each and every year, comes from almost 60 years of following and rooting for every team that wears the Phillies uniform.

        1. Matt amen. remember all those guys. Add my namesake Tony Curry, Ted Savage, John Hernstein. Always waiting and waiting for that breakthough. Don’t get me started on Curt Flood. Us old guys have a lot of scars

        2. In 1962 I was living in Williamsport where the Phillies had their AA team (Eastern League). I was lucky to see one of the greatest Phillies ever, Richie Allen. He was swinging this 42 oz. bat like it was a toothpick. I said to myself, this is going to be the best player the Phillies have in 1964. What happens, he is the star of the team. I fell asleep many a night listening to the games on my transistor radio. Long live the Phillies. Richie now on THE HALL OF FAME.

  82. Shows how bad our baseball organization is when we have to hold our hopes on a bullpen piece that should probably be a lefty specialist now. Even if make playoffs probably not go far and likely not as good next year. No bullpen pieces in minors no minor leaguers to replace at shortstop and or catcher and possibly a hole or two in starting rotation.

    Need new blood to lead organization. No offense to the Bowas Morandinis… but time to move on. Organizations past sucks. 1976 to 1981 barely got to finish line and needed Rose to get there. Should have definitely one more than one World Series 2008 to 2011.

    This team is in no mans land right now. Needs an almost genius to fix.

    1. Patso…….” No bullpen pieces in minors no minor leaguers to replace at shortstop and or catcher and possibly a hole or two in starting rotation.”

      ……………..there are relief arms with good stuff in the minors….Warren, Dohy, Hammer, Brogdon then recent draftees Schulze and Schulte in 2019…..but they just lack and have to get MLB experience.
      Stott is the shortstop they just drafted also….and catcher may be the Phillies strength in the minors….Marchan, O’Hoppe, Gutierrez, Nava, Duran, Aparicio et al

  83. You are right on so many levels, Patso, but we do have a $200+m payroll. That at least puts the Phillies in the same category with the highest payroll teams. That alone puts them in a TOP five something.

    Agree with Hawkeye: scary for what’s to come. Last night’s game sets the tone for the entire seven game series. Marlins feel good, have confidence, and know that they can beat the Phillies.

    My thinking about the DH today is to give the guys additional rest by just forfeiting the second game (the bullpen game). We already know how it’s going to turn out. Anybody know where Moffo is?

  84. Phillies BP have faced 625 batters…their allowed slash…330/.405/576……BABIP .387 ..OPS+ 164….ouch.
    Starters have faced a total of 894 batters,,,,slash allowed of .258/.314/.433….BABIP .316….OPS+-99.

    Perhaps Joe ought to use JoJo as an opener for two innings every other game for the last 20 games…..let the starters get to the 8th inning

  85. This made me chuckle.

  86. I guess they’re going with a BP crew in game two today. However, I wish they’d add Adonis Medina as the extra player for today, and give him a shot. I’d rather see him (sink or swim) rather than a parade of relievers.
    BTW … the Marlins are starting Trevor Rogers in game two. The Phillies liked/considered him at 1-8 during the 2017 draft. They picked Adam Haseley instead.

    1. Adonis Medina…….he has been inconsistent these last few years, but why not see if he can re-capture some of his old magic!
      It least showcase him for perhaps a trade chip this off-season

      BTW…Angel’s GM….Billy Eppler looks to be going soon….he replaced Jerry Dipoto. five years ago…..and briefly worked with Matt Klentak for a few weeks before the Phillies hired Klentak in Oct 2015..

  87. Just on a positive note, last night Alec Bohm had another key hit with runners in scoring position. I really like his bat. Haseley then laid down a perfect bunt to bring in a run. Something we haven’t seen around here in a while. I enjoyed that. The BP tortured me later, of course, but I didn’t want to lose sight of those two contributions last night.

    1. More shocking was they let Haseley bat with the bases loaded in the 8th inning against a lefty. He popped up but the way they’ve been hiding him against them I thought it was a strange situation to leave him in.

      That being said, I’d rather they let him sink/swim against them vs. playing Garlick.

    2. Honestly, I took Haseley’s sac bunt as an indication of how poorly they feel about him. That is the treatment little league teams give to their worst hitter. They didn’t even trust him to hit a fly ball. Embarrassing for the former 8th overall pick.

    3. matt13, “Just on a positive note”….that’s hilarious when you think about it. Maybe Jim can put up a thread solely for positive Phillies comments…..nah, nevermind.

  88. Wheeler hurt his finger zipping his fly? Can you believe this team?!? Sounds like something Quinn would do. It’s contagious. Lockdown!!!

    1. Broke his bird nail.
      Remember Danny Tartabull in that Seinfeld episode and George as the Asst GM….and he was driving Tartabull to a PBS pledge drive and he thought the guy was flippin him the bird….but the guy’s bird finger was in a cast

  89. Neil Walker DFA’d. Ronald Torreyes (an old Girardi hand) is called up. Adam Morgan back from the IL. How those moves improve the bullpen is hard to figure.

  90. I realize that Connor Seabold was only projected as a back of the rotation arm but if he becomes anything at all with Boston, or whoever, there’ll be a lot of disgruntled Phillies fans on this site. He’s the one player in all these pre-deadline trades that held any kind of legitimate hope to have impact at the major league level. And for who?

  91. Haseley seems to be finding a groove or something vs a LHP no less..

    BTW…….Interesting note….this truncated season has seen the NL, for the very first time since 1972, have a higher OPS than the AL.
    And in 1973…the AL adopted the DH….huh.

  92. Disagree with Haseley bunting. Solid player Girardi trusts to make contact on safety squeeze. Bunting is not easy as proven by how many guys can’t get one down fair. Bunting may be easy in little not with 95mph fastball that’s moving.

  93. To us all those guys are gaaruntees and will be ready next year which I was referring to. Lots of young catchers never make it. Never seen Stott play but by far no lock to be mlb ss or hitter. Let alone replace didi next season.

    1. Hoskins is smokin…last 21 games with 10 reminiscent of 2017 when he first came up…18 in 50 but tailed at the end.

  94. Wow when was the last time you got to watch a Phillies game where they had 3 of their 1st round picks all doing some damage to the opposing team.

    With the way Bohm is looking I wonder if the scouts (I’m talking BA, etc..) shouldn’t have had him ranked higher in their top prospects list. Although with baseball prospects are so hit and miss, since we all know how highly ranked Dom Brown was and how that turned out.

    1. The prospect lists are great for us because it gives the fans some hope and creates stuff to talk about. The lists do help the player since it might motivate the team to promote the player to see what they can do. In the end, it’s up to the player to do damage in the minors and to be ready for their time in the majors when opportunity knocks. I’ve seen enough prospects fail to realize that nothing is guaranteed for the prospects. No matter their rankings or draft positions, they still have to show they belong. In this abbreviated season, Bohm has shown he belongs.

    2. Time will tell on Bohm. His defense drags down his value and he’s mostly hitting a lot of singles. I’m not convinced that the power will come without a change to his swing.

      1. Looking at his power, that is gap-to-gap doubles mostly and the 2 HRs
        …right now he ranks 123 in the majors in ISO (.135) …SLG @ .458 would rank him at 69….Pete Alonso is 68th @ . 459

        He has 2 HRs in a little over 100 PAs…..add just two more HRs and it changes the dynamic.

        With his limited SSS of MLB debut PAs….I still see the HRs coming…in bunches at some point…if not in the next two weeks then next season.

  95. I can’t believe all the negativity that Haseley gets when he has scarcely had an opportunity to show what he can do. Why don’t we wait til this short season is over before we bury him and put him on the scrap heap?

    1. I don’t think Haseley is more than a 4th OF; his combination of little power + too many strikeouts isn’t a good one. Still, I don’t understand the way he’s been handled by Girardi. Why pigeonhole him as a platoon bat? I don’t think he’ll succeed long term but he at least deserves the chance to sink or swim when the other option is Kyle Garlick/Harper in CF.

  96. Hasley closest thing to all around player for under 26 kids. Solid all around including defense. And homers are nice but love to watch guys hit gappers and put crooked numbers up by keeping the lineup moving.

    Unfortunately history says fills get 3 hits In nightcap

  97. Let Haseley play every day and he will do fine . He has figured it out at every level and remember, he didn’t play at AAA.

  98. Ranger did not look good at all. Hembree is a HR machine, and Hale is just not good. I have no idea what they saw in him. Parker had 2 scoreless innings, and, of course, we started with a lead. A big game for Spencer today. We need him to go 5-6 innings, and we need to put up some runs. Just my opinion, but Hunter is not a high leverage guy. We are stuck with Workman, and it would be nice if he showed some level of command, but I don’t have him close. Neris is good for the 8th, as long as the split is working, Parker deserves more late inning opportunities, and I would give JoJo a shot to close. Less than ideal, I know, but we have to find some way to make the Playoffs. Hale can get DFA’d, and let’s see another kid from the Minors. Maybe, get a little lucky?

    1. You forgot Phelps in your discourse of the BP. What about him? I think you were pretty accurate in your assessment!

      1. Skeet, you are correct! I completely blocked out on Phelps. I thought he was the acquisition that was really going to help. He really had pitched well with the Brewers. His stuff seems flat. He has been terrible for us. I don’t know what the problem is, and I don’t know if Bryan Price has enough time to fix any of these guys. Hale, I wasn’t thrilled with from the beginning. Hembree pitched well in his first outing, then turned into a Batting Practice Pitcher. Workman lost all command. He has no clue where the ball is going, and Phelps just lost whatever he had.

    2. Maybe it comes down to JoJo perhaps in key critical situations.
      Who would have thought that 5 months ago!
      His stuff and old-time mound persona work well in relief roles.

  99. Haseley goes 3 for 4 in the first game, and Joe doesn’t start him in the second game, what is the reason for that?
    Whatever happened to playing the hot bat? Plus, he has good defense.

  100. Romus, I believed you when you said Wheeler would pitch on Monday. Now, it doesn’t look so sure. I read it was a little more serious, and may need more time. It is a problem he has had before with that nail. And, anyone know where Rocco has been?

    1. Yeah…heard that about Wheeler’s persistent nail issue over career. Hopefully they will be able to do something with it for the next 3/4 weeks .if they make the play-offs.
      rocco’s absence?
      That is strange…do not think Jim banned him again…but could have.
      rocco usually gets banned in even years, and Jim reinstates him in odd years.

  101. Who would have bet three weeks ago that Harper would have the lowest batting average in the lineup last night for Phils.

  102. He has been really struggling. And, it seems that, and I am far from a batting expert, but it seems that he is not far off. I have seen him foul off pitches that he would have hit out before. I think he gets hot again, and I hope it starts soon!

  103. Agree although about 3 4 night ago he slapped outside pitch down 3b line and I thought that would do it. Usually stay back hit a couple other way gets em all going. We will see. Season winding down.

  104. This is for SWFL Frank, tony curry and matt13…I became a phan in the about June 1963 and that team went 56-35 to finish the season and then were 90-60 in ’64 till the collapse so I actually became a phan when they were doing a lot of winning but know a whole lot about the ’61 Phillies because I loved Gene Mauch and because I collected and traded baseball cards going back to 1960.

    My favorite Phillie was Tony Curry though I never saw him play but got his rookie card [1960 and loved it for its color background. tony curry uses his name here but probably remembers that Curry was gone by the time of the 23 game losing streak. Ironically he began the season as the teams leadoff hitter and was on the Topps All-Rookie team in 1960 along with fellow Dodger OFers Tommy Davis and Frank Howard.

    For SWFL Frank…that column you talked about was written by Sandy Grady, a guy who covered those early 60’s Phillies along with Allen Lewis and wrote that story which was discussed and re-copied in The Sporting News. Here’s a tidbit for all 3 of you…Johnny Buzhardt won the game before the 23 game losing streak [4-3 vs the Giants] and ended the streak with a 7-4 win against the Milwaukee Braves nearly a month later.

    As for Turk Farrell, he was traded to the Dodgers early in the ’61 season for Don Demeter, not Jackie Brandt, who didn’t come to Philadelphia till 1966. By the way, Demeter was considered “strange” because he was a devout Christian and many thought he didn’t take baseball seriously enough. Turned out to be a great deal as Demeter was good in ’61, great in ’62 and good enough in ’63 to bring a guy named Jim Bunning back in trade in December of that year.

    And for all three of you, here are some names to recall…Cho Cho Coleman, Jimmy Coker, Pancho Herrera, Joe Koppe, Paul Brown, Ken Walters, Bobby Malkmus, the aforementioned BG Smith and Bobby Del Greco, Curry, Tony Gonzalez, Johnny Callison, Jim Owens, Jim Woods, Alvin Dark, Art Mahaffey, Jack Myers, Valmy Thomas, Gene Conley and Ruben Gomez. Oh, and a guy named Robin Roberts, who went 1-10 for that ’61 team!

    Hope you enjoyed this walk down past Philies early ’60’s lane.

    1. Cal Dreamin, Another memory. Johnny Buzhardt was pronounced by the broadcasters as Buzz Hart, until he informed them he was Buzzard, with the emphasis on the second syllable.

  105. Thanks CD!, So do you remember the story that quoted traded someone who throws a screwball for a guy who is one? That was the Baldschun for Brandt trade? Tony Gonzalez was a pretty good player, and of course, Callison was an All Star in ’64. God stuff!

    1. Cal Dreamin, what a great post. Thanks very much.

      Thanks also for recalling that it was Sandy Grady that wrote that column. I loved Sandy Grady and he was with the Bulletin, not Inky, as I had said You’ll no doubt recall that “in Philadelphia nearly everybody reads the Bulletin.”

      Another personal story: I still have a Bulletin newsboy’s bag, and I have a copy of the last edition of the Bulletin

      Also, thanks for the great list of names. Bobby Malkmus to me was the quintessential Gene Mauch player. Little talent, but played his heart out. Loved Gene Mauch, too.

      Now, let’s see how far back we go: Ted Kazanski, Rip Repulski, Stan Lopata, the Phillies Polish Threesome. And who remembers the chant: Go, Go Chico!

      You could not have written a better nostalgia post even if you mentioned John Facenda and Bill Campbell.

  106. Hope I do not speak too soon….though it is mid-Sept., but does look like Spencer has got himself into his mid-seasonal groove.

    1. Kind of hope there’s an injury to blame for the quick downturn, but not a serious one. It would be ironic for the Phils to have traded Sixto because they feared he was a reliever only for the guy they liked better to end up in that role.

  107. Spencer Howard left due to injury. It looks like his shoulder, so we’re hoping for shoulder stiffness and not anything structural like a labrum tear. The announcers say that there should be more information after the game.

  108. Doesn’t look like Romero is ready to be a closer yet. Would be nice if Reamuto could hit better in the clutch.

    1. People need to realize that JoJo just turned 24 AND he has not pitched 1 inning in relief in the minors. He played in 75 games and started 75 games. To think that that he could step in to be an effective closer at the Major League level is slim right now. He needs more experience period. He’s still a little wild and he needs to execute his pitches better against RH batters.

  109. as I have been saying. Spencer Howard is so hard to watch. He has no chance to be TOR. He is VV….everyone is begging that he is hurt so there is a reason he’s been so bad. No, he just sucks . Every inning is painful

    1. I’m not sure what game you’re watching. Howard may not be a TOR pitcher but he has the talent to stick at the Major League level. You’re bashing him after 6 starts into his career in this abbreviated season? Give me a break.

      1. guru. Youre not sure what game I’m watching? Are you drunk? Aside from prospect reports, what have you seen that makes you think he’s talented? Were you originally saying he was simply a guy you were hoping could “stick” at the major leauge level? No, you thought he was legit. Now he can simply hang on? Nick Pavetta has way better stuff….Spencer Howard, I was hoping so bad. I’ve seen enough. He is trash

        1. You think Nick Pivetta has better stuff than Spencer Howard? The Nick Pivetta who has a career WAR of 1.1 in 4 seasons? I will remember that for the future. I will remind you of your prediction. But you saying that Spencer Howard is trash after 6 starts shows me that you are either a) trolling or b) have no idea what you’re watching. So do everybody on this board a favor, and stop being a fan of the Phillies if it pains you so much to watch them.

  110. The only way to beat the Marlins is to just add on – every inning. There is no way you can win a game with a 5 run lead unless you score every other inning…and Phils are not doing that and thus the game is now in the offing.

  111. No dum dum. I never said Pivetta was good. And I’m happy he is not on the team. What have you seen from Spencer howard to make you feel confident. Not sure he has thrown a good inning yet

    1. Pretty Ricky, With all due respect, the PhuturePhillies site is for informed opinion by people who debate their differences respectfully. Please, no name calling like dum dum.

      Thanks. I know you will appreciate being treated with the same respect.

      1. Pretty Ricky, I noticed after my post that you referred to Spencer Howard as trash. That is absolutely uncalled for. A young man pursuing his dream might not make it, but that doesn’t make him trash. As it turns out, he has shoulder stiffness, which might explain the problems he’s had this year with losing velocity as the game goes on.

        We’ll hope it’s not serious and that Howard can resume being the top prospect he has been.

  112. Seven run lead with two innings to go. I don’t believe that even this bullpen could blow this big a lead. Was just about to write that Garlick is not a very good major leaguer. Oh, wait. I just did.

    1. I don’t know, but if we are in on the FA bidding after the season on this guy I’m heading down to the executive suites!

  113. I’m the biggest phillies fan you will find. And love and always on this site. Im just perplexed as to why this guy is being defended. We are trying to win the division with 20 games left…Spencer Howard is a liability. If you look at his game log, literally anyone in the system can put up those results…it truly sucks

  114. PR has a point. When Howard pitches, it’s really a lot like a bullpen game. Let’s hope in time he matures into a MLB starting pitcher.

  115. Spencer Howard left early due to shoulder stiffness. Who knows what it means but it could explain the results thus far. I would not be opposed to bringing up Adonis Medina if there’s a need to fill a rotation spot. No guarantee that he’ll succeed but at this point, let’s see what he has. You never know. Besides, what are our options?

  116. How is it possible that all the Philly teams in the 4 major sports have just an insanely high number of injuries every year?????? This is getting insane.

  117. I noticed a start or two ago that Spencer was shrugging his right shoulder in between pitches. Was hoping he was adjusting his uni or it was ritual thing. Now I think it’s been bothering him for little while and he tried to pitch thru it. Hope it is no worse than impingement issue.

    1. Patso….if he is able to get loose at the same time frame as before it may be a some shoulder strain…..if it takes a little longer each time, well labrums can be a tricky issue to deal with.
      They do have a program to strengthen the shoulder complex…Thrower’s Ten Program…. from what I have seen, .almost all the teams’ trainers are aware of it….he may be doing some variation of it with light weights and tubing.

    2. I noticed that as well and I have thought that this shoulder situation might have been a recurring problem for awhile. Could have been a contributing factor to velocity drop this year. Whatever it is, I hope for sound recovery.

  118. Spencer has some kind of shoulder injury. I don’t think he pitches again this season. So,my first thought is I hope it is minor. We have not seen the Spencer Howard he will be.

  119. With money likely to be tight for FA, not sure what kind of market will present itself for Didi. He’s going to be 31 and he’s a steady, not elite, player. He seems to like playing here so you figure his first choice is coming back. With that said, I doubt the Phillies will give him a long term deal. We just need the money elsewhere i.e. JT. So I would give Didi another 1 year contract which means Kingery gets pushed back into a super-utility role.

    1. I looked into the Phillies payroll situation (and posted something on it) last week.
      The team will have about 55 million dollars (60 million if they trade or non-tender VV) to spend this winter (if they’re planning to be obedient to the luxury tax threshold again). IMO, Klentak (or his replacement) will prioritize JT Realmuto. After that, he will/should look to re-sign Didi to a shorter term deal. Gregorius has done a nice job this season. His LH bat really lengthens the lineup. Those two (JTR/Didi) should cost the club ~40 million AAV.
      Last … but not least … Klentak (or his replacement) has to get serious about building the BP. They need some power arms. My #1 target would be Trevor May (as a FA).

      Another thing … anyone who is ready to give up on Spencer Howard (who may be throwing at less than 100%) is foolish.

      And … agree with 8mark. It’s time we see Adonis Medina. I’ve been a Medina believer. He can’t be worse than another bullpen game (and even if he is, I’d rather see a kid who could be a part of the future take his lumps than guys like David Hale).

      1. Hinkie…getting vibes, but like Pivetta at the end of last season, Medina seems to be just hanging on in the organization.
        IMO I think he gets moved this off-season.
        Same goes with EDLS.

        1. Romus … I hope you’re wrong. Pivetta and DLS were given opportunities. Medina, not so much.
          I’m so over seeing aging pitchers fail. I sit up and take notice when JoJo Romero and (your guy) Connor Brogdon throw. They may not succeed every time out, but they look good.
          Medina has been a top prospect, and only two years ago was getting compared to Casey Mize.

          1. Yeah….but they will not let him pitch in the majors…..two years running now he has been on the 40 (Cleavinger and C, Sanchez this is their first year on the 40 I believe)….he is the only one on the 40 with that length of time , that has not seen the major leagues
            Not sure what is happening that is preventing them from bringing him up……he has been inconsistent so far this season at LHV from krams reporting last week.

  120. matt13…yes, it was Jack Baldschun, a Phillie reliever who threw the screwball that was dealt to Baltimore for Jackie Brandt, an outfielder who was a screwball after the 1965 season. Baldschun was famous for getting into trouble and then pitching his way out of it. Mauch said that Baldschun was called 6 pack by the manager because Mauch, who was a chain smoker, would go through 6 packs of cigarettes in games that Baldschun pitched.

    My two biggest memories of Baldschun involved one very good…and one oh so painful and costly. In July of 1963 the Phils were just starting to play well after a 31-40 start when they played the Giants in Candlestick Park. They trailed the whole game but tied it at 3-3 in the ninth and went into extra innings. Baldschun pitched 6 innings in relief and in the bottom of the 11th allowed a leadoff triple to Willie Mays that literally hit the top of the fence and bounced back onto the field. Surely this game was lost.

    Baldschun walked two hitters intentionally to load the bases then proceeded to strike out the next two and get a weak grounder for the 3rd out. Johnny Callison hit a two run homer in a 4 run 14th inning and Phils won 7-3.

    The painful one? A game that I have always maintained cost the ’64 Phils the pennant, though they didn’t know it at the time. It was Sept 9, the day after Frank Thomas broke his thumb and Cards, who were playing well and had climbed to within 6 games of the first place Phillies, came to town for a two game series. They needed at least a split.

    Phils had Bunning going and took a 5-3 lead into the ninth with Baldschun in relief. Phils had lead the whole game. Cardinals got a couple of hits and a stolen base by Brock to score a run with Kenny Boyer up, two outs and two strikes and Brock on third. Boyer singled to center to tie the game at 5 and then scored 5 runs in the 11th to win 10-5.

    The next afternoon Chris Short was brilliant in a 5-1 win and Cards left town with a split, still 6 games behind. Had Baldschun retired Boyer the Cards would have been 8 out with less than 25 games to play and acknowledged later that their season was likely over.

    That series was so painful. Phils/Cards played 20 innings of baseball and the Phils lead in 16 of them and were tied in 3 others. Cards only lead in one inning yet got the split. Seemed a bit insignificant at the time…but we know in retrospect just how significant it was.

  121. It would appear that Girardi is conceding today’s 1st game vs Sixto by the lineup…no Didi, no Rhys. It will be interesting to see how Bohm handles Sixto in the cleanup spot. And let’s hope Bryce is back in form following last night’s game. Of course, they’re probably giving JT a couple days to see how his hip comes around. Haven’t seen who will serve as backup C in the meantime. Anyone hear?

    1. It’s a very odd lineup to be sure. Does Sixto have reverse splits? I’m shocked that Didi is not in the lineup for a hard throwing RH pitcher.

      Kingery, Bruce, Quinn still out.

  122. Never been a big Medina fan but I have liked Connor Seabold. Oh well. He might be the starter in game one if……

    Looks like the Phillies will not go with a backup catcher in the doubleheader. That either means the Phillies are stupid for not adding Marchan to the 40 or they think JT can catch in a an emergency. The Phillies being the Phillies I will go with the former. Of course if they hadn’t decided Grullon was trash he would be on the 40. Still don’t understand why he was released. He was on the 40 and certainly could have at least been a semi-competent #3 catcher.

    Another irony. Sanchez is healthy and Howard isn’t. The Phillies didn’t like Sanchez’s string of minor injuries and his condition. Oh well.

    1. I agree on Seabold. From the jump that trade didn’t register with me. He would have been very handy to have on the roster.

      As for your Howard/Sanchez point, let’s step away from the here and now and allow the big picture over time to decide if either, neither or both become impact arms in the majors. Lots of impulsive comments these days. Very few of us like what Klentak’s been doing. But let’s take it case by case and not assume the worst.

      1. 8mark, I really like Howard. I posted way back in 2017 when Howard was at Williamsport. I saw him in his second start. I was directly behind home plate. Dead behind home plate and I posted that he was a great pick with great stuff and would be a definite big league starter. To write him off now is silly. However, he has had an injury history and shoulder troubles can be big trouble. At some point he needs to be healthy for a full year and show he can pitch at least 125-150 innings. As they say in football, you can’t make the club if you are in the tub.

  123. Cal Dreamin – my most painful memory of that whole season was – and it is frequently documented – Chico Ruiz stealing home with Frank Robinson at bat in a scoreless game. That was 9/21/64 and they then proceeded to lose that game and the next 9.

    Going to college in Ohio we could hear radio KDKA (from Pittsburgh) if you drove out of town in central Ohio and tried to find a hill (?? – hard in Ohio) we could hear the games (don’t know why KDKA was doing Phillies games). My buddies and I listened for 6 nights in a row as they lost the 2 remaining games to the Reds and then following 4 game series to the Braves. We knew it was over then. During the year we had even driven to Connie Mack to watch games —– from Ohio !!!!

  124. Ramon Russo is being activated from the Alt. Sit. and starting the second game…I barely recognize this guy… He’s not even on the MLB Top-30 listing for the Phillies… Why not Medina? Good Lord…

  125. If they don’t make the playoffs at least we have Bohm to hope on, I can’t believe how good he’s been. Maybe the silver linning if do miss is they could get a new GM and maybe the owner will have to butt out as I would assume a GM wouldn’t want the owner going over his head and going against him so I would think that would need to be ironed out at the time of hire. The problem outside of the pen of course is until you get a #3, either Howard steps up (say next year if he’s not back), or Eflin but not sure he can since he’s been so inconsistent over his career so far at least. Will be interesting to see how things play out (no pun intended)

  126. I’ve been as big an Eflin fan since they got him from LA via SD but even I’m losing patience Thirty two pitches in the first inning is unbearable. If they lose this second game, that’s horrendous! It was bad enough that Sanchez spun a complete game against them in the opener.

  127. Rosso and Brogdon both showed in game 1 that they have the talent to be part of the bullpen moving forward. Add in JoJo Romero and there’s your young bullpen.

    1. I was thinking about the same thing. If you take the best we’ve seen of JoJo, Brogdon, Victor Arano, and Ser-Ant’ny you’ve got the pieces for a promising young BP. Maybe they hit on one or two of Dohy, Cleavinger, Warren, Hernandez, Schultze, and Shultz.
      I know this is all “best case scenario” stuff, but the way things are going right now, it’s something to dream on.

      1. Seranthony will probably not pitch again until 2022…..outside chance next August/September..
        But the other arms should step up…I even like Hammer to add to that list.

  128. Wow, the last time I saw a Phillies rookie like Bohm come up and start hitting the ball over the place was Ryan Howard. Man, Bohm can seriously hit. That HR to center at Marlins Park was a bomb.

  129. On our way to losing a DH to the Marlins and falling behind them. A depressing day! Watched our franchise QB give a game away. CD , great stories from ‘64. Never understood why March never pitched Ray Culp. He had a good year, and we know the whole Bunning/Short Pitch them constantly plan that didn’t work. I am feeling as bad with this year’s team. I hope John Middleton is very pleased with himself.

    1. matt13…i feel your pain….if the Phillies fail to make the play-offs, then Matt Klentak, in 14 days will be, more than likely, moving on. He may want to tell his wife….honey don’t buy any green bananas..

  130. Bad news Is 7 hits and two runs in 14 innings adding up to a DH sweep. Good news is they didn’t commit any errors. A pretty pathetic showing.

  131. Marchan gets the call up. Hope he gets a legit opportunity with JTR on the mend. If Rhys is out indefinitely, I would move Bohm to 1b, slide Segura back to 3b, and bring Kingery back to play 2b. Keep Haseley in CF for the rest of the season vs righties and lefties. Get Medina up here in Howard’s absence. Make the most of what’s left of 2020. Find out something about the youth. I’m also ambivalent about making the playoffs if it means Klentak’s job is in the balance.

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