Open Discussion: Week of September 21st

The Phillies went 4-4 last week, but still have a 73.9% of making the playoffs.  They closed out their series in Miami with a loss on Monday, then dropped two of three to the Mets at home.  They began a crucial series against the Blue Jays with a double header sweep on Friday, their first double header sweep since 2012.  They went on to split the remaining two games with the Jays over the weekend.

The Phillies are 27-26 .509 and are in third place in the division a full game behind the Marlins and a guaranteed playoff spot.  They are still 4.0 games behind the Braves,  They are currently the seventh seed a half game ahead of three .500 teams – the Reds, Brewers, and Giants.

The Phillies have seven road games remaining.  They start the week with four games in Washington including a double header on Tuesday.  After an off day, they conclude the regular season with three games in Tampa.


The Phillies just took 3 of 4 (and it should have been a sweep if not for HRembree) from a Jays team that has owned them (40-25) since inter-league play began, including a World Series.  The Jays have a 2-0 edge this season and won previous season series, 4-2 in 2018 and 3-1 in 2016.

Past records won’t matter  in this week’s Nationals’ series.  The Nationals have one of the poorest records in the league, so of course they will be trouble.  Division rivalries are like that.

The Rays have one of the best records in baseball.  They have a 16-16 record against the Phillies since inter-league play including a World Series.  They won the most recent season series, 3-0 in 2018.  Hopefully, they’ll have clinched their number one seed and be resting players.


 

This week’s important series –

  • Braves (31-22):  Marlins (4), Red Sox (3)
  • Marlins (28-25): Braves (4), Yankees (3)
  • Phillies (27-26): Nationals (4), Rays (3)
  • Brewers (26-26): Reds (3), Cardinals (5)
  • Reds (27-27): Brewers (3), Minnesota (3)
  • Cardinals (26-24): v Royals (3), Brewers (5)
  • Giants (26-26):  Rockies (4), Giants v Padres (4)

Lost in all the major league stuff, the Phillies released eight minor leaguers.  All eight played for the Phillies’ DSL teams – RHPs Emiliano Brazon, Carlos Valero, Jeison Blanco, LHP Yosmel Naranjo, C Victor Cairo from Red and RHPs Jose Guaramaco, Aldemar Rivas, C Jonathan Rodriguez from White.

The Phillies received their PTBNL from the Pirates to complete the Austin Davis trade, RHP Joel Cairo.

And, they finally made public the 3 PTBNL going to the Brewers as part of the Phelps’ trade – RHPs Brandon Ramey, Israel Puello, and Juan Geraldo.


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 … 337 players in the org


Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)

9/20/2020 – Phillies receive RHP Joel Cesar as PTBNL in August 26th trade with Pirates
9/20/2020 – Phillies optioned CF Mickey Moniak to Alternate Training Site
9/20/2020 – Phillies recalled RHP Adonis Medina from Alternate Training Site
9/19/2020 – Phillies optioned RHP Ramon Rosso to Alternate Training Site
9/18/2020 – Phillies recalled RHP Ramon Rosso from Alternate Training Site
9/18/2020 – Phillies optioned LHP Garrett Cleavinger to Alternate Training Site
9/18/2020 – Phillies activated RF Jay Bruce from the 10-day IL
9/18/2020 – Phillies traded RHP Brandon Ramey, RHP Israel Puello, and RHP Juan Geraldo to Brewers
9/18/2020 – DSL White released C Jonathan Rodriguez
9/18/2020 – DSL Red released RHP Emiliano Brazon
9/18/2020 – DSL White released RHP Jose Guaramaco
9/18/2020 – DSL White released RHP Aldemar Rivas
9/18/2020 – DSL Red released RHP Carlos Valero
9/18/2020 – DSL Red released RHP Jeison Blanco
9/18/2020 – DSL Red released C Victor Cairo
9/18/2020 – DSL Red released LHP Yosmel Naranjo
9/17/2020 – Phillies sent Ronald Torreyes outright to Alternate Training Site
9/16/2020 – Phillies recalled RHP Connor Brogdon from Alternate Training Site
9/16/2020 – Phillies placed RHP Jake Arrieta on the 10-day IL, right hamstring strain
9/16/2020 – Phillies placed RF Kyle Garlick on the 10-day IL, right oblique strain
9/16/2020 – Phillies selected the contract of CF Mickey Moniak from Alternate Training Site
9/15/2020 – Phillies recalled LHP Garrett Cleavinger from Alternate Training Site
9/15/2020 – Phillies signed free agent 1B Greg Bird to an MiLB contract and invited him to spring training
9/15/2020 – Phillies signed free agent C Jonathan Lucroy to an MiLB contract and invited him to spring training
9/15/2020 – Phillies designated 2B Ronald Torreyes for assignment
9/15/2020 – Phillies activated CF Roman Quinn from the 7-day injured list
9/15/2020 – Phillies placed 1B Rhys Hoskins on the 10-day IL retroactive to September 13th, left elbow strain
9/14/2020 – 1B Neil Walker elected free agency
9/14/2020 – Phillies optioned LHP Ranger Suarez to Alternate Training Site
9/14/2020 – Phillies activated 3B Scott Kingery from the 10-day IL
9/14/2020 – Phillies optioned RHP Ramon Rosso to Alternate Training Site
9/13/2020 – Phillies recalled RHP Ramon Rosso from Alternate Training Site
9/13/2020 – Phillies recalled RHP Connor Brogdon from Alternate Training Site
9/13/2020 – Phillies selected the contract of C Rafael Marchan from Alternate Training Site
9/13/2020 – Phillies sent 1B Neil Walker outright to Alternate Training Site
9/13/2020 – Phillies optioned RHP Connor Brogdon to Alternate Training Site
9/13/2020 – Phillies invited non-roster 1B Neil Walker to spring training
9/13/2020 – Phillies placed RHP Spencer Howard on the 10-day IL, shoulder stiffness
9/13/2020 – Phillies transferred LHP Jose Alvarez from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL
9/12/2020 – Phillies optioned RHP Ramon Rosso to Alternate Training Site
9/11/2020 – Phillies activated LHP Adam Morgan from the 10-day injured list
9/11/2020 – Phillies recalled Ramon Rosso from Alternate Training Site
9/11/2020 – Phillies selected the contract of 2B Ronald Torreyes from Alternate Training Site
9/11/2020 – Phillies optioned RHP Connor Brogdon to Alternate Training Site
9/11/2020 – Phillies designated Neil Walker for assignment
9/09/2020 – Phillies optioned LHP Garrett Cleavinger to Alternate Training Site
9/08/2020 – Phillies recalled LHP Garrett Cleavinger from Alternate Training Site
9/07/2020 – Phillies recalled Connor Brogdon from Alternate Training Site
9/07/2020 – Phillies optioned RHP Mauricio Llovera to Alternate Training Site

534 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of September 21st

  1. Phillies versus Nationals: No Corbin and no Scherzer. If the Phils can’t take 3 of the 4 games, they probably don’t deserve to make the playoffs.

    1. Yeah. Usually pitchers are amped up for MLB debut and the adrenaline adds some velo. So that is not a good sign. However, let’s give him a few more starts.

      1. Not sure why you think giving him a few more starts would help. His fastball was maxing out at 93 and was trying to avoid hitting bats. The Blue Jays did him a lot of favors yesterday. He would get rocked by a more patient team. He’s ticketed for middle relief.

          1. I have no problem with him in middle relief. He really has a plus changeup. At one point, he threw it 5 in a row and the hitters were baffled.

    2. @romus – still early to conclude. I thought the FBs late are mostly 2S (not 4S). In 3rd and 4th inning, Medina started to have a better feel of his CB and CU and the 2S becomes the off speed. I think that Medina played it safe on his MLB debut thus not attacking the strike zone hard.

  2. Let’s talk about Haseley. It is still very early in his career (323 PAs) but there are two very, very troubling signs:

    1. he doesn’t hit the ball hard. Statcast tracks exit velo, barrels and hard hit rate for all mlb players. Haseley’s stats have been consistent for both seasons:
    – Ave EV: 87.2
    – Barrel %: 2.7%
    – HHR %: 29.1%

    As a comp: Mike Trout
    – Ave EV: 91.3
    – Barrel %: 15%
    – HHR %: 45%

    But Trout isn’t a fair comp, so here is the 2019 comp of a 100 WRC+ hitter, Andrew Benintendi
    – Ave EV: 89.1
    – Barrel %: 7.1%
    – HHR %: 37.7%

    2. He hits way too many ground balls:
    – Haseley: 55.6%
    – Trout: 36.3%
    – Benitendi: 39.9%

    Here is a complete list of players with a wRC+ of over 100, a ground ball rate of over 50% and an Ave EV below 88:

    That’s right, it is blank for the 2019. No player had those ground ball and EV rates and had a wRC+ of over 100. If you increase the EV filter to 89 instead of 88, this is what you get:
    Willson Contreras
    Starling Marte
    Garrett Cooper
    David Bote

    but among that list, Contreras had 24 homers and Marte had 23 homers. Don’t see Haseley getting into the 20 homer group, so the comp list is Cooper and Bote…yikes.

    1. It would appear to me that the Phillies have a nice composite of 4th and 5th OF candidates in Moniak, Haseley and Quinn. What they need is a bonafide first division CF going forward. Maybe we can dream on Johan Rojas but he’s a few years away. In fact, up the middle has become very tenuous, what with JTR’s uncertain future, who’s our keystone combo going forward as well.

    2. Not only that … Haseley takes way too many hittable pitches. And his defense has regressed tremendously since last season.

      Would you/anybody swap 5 years of Haseley for 2 years of Matthew Boyd?

      1. No Hinkie no!! Unless DET takes McPhail and Klentak too!!!

        I’ll probably see who’s there in FA for a 1 or 2 year deal before I look to trade for Boyd. The health of Spencer Howard is key in the SP decision this offseason.

        Nola-Wheeler-Eflin are locks and a healthy Howard should join that group and the 5th SP might be filled internally. I’m not feeling Boyd in CBP. Boyd can easily give away big innings with his penchant for long balls and fly balls,

        1. in a good rotation, Howard is the 4th starter and eflin the 5th. we need another stud if we want to compete. a guy like…I don’t know…hmmm….a guy like Mike Clevinger

          1. v1 – most teams will like to have a stud #1, #2, #3 and a solid #4 and #5 if they can. The Phillies are too late to have that pipe dream thanks to McPhail and Klentak. The Phillies resources are stretched. No more salary flexibility to buy a Clevinger and the farm is not deep enough to trade for one. Considering McPhail advocated to grow arms and buy bats (Middleton bought the bats + Wheeler), Klentak did not do a good job in growing arms whether thru draft or shrew trades. Nada.

            I watched Boyd in MLB.com and he is OK and not a must have in the rotation especially in CBP.

            1. the question is what are we building? are we building a team like “most teams”? or are we trying to build a championship club? if the later, then we need a better #3 than Eflin or Howard.

            2. v1 – with McPhail and Klentak the Phillies are building an average team. It appears that this duo do not have the skills set of a FO that can build a championship caliber team. Most of my criticisms I have about the Phillies points toward McPhail and Klentak. If Middleton did not open his wallet, the Phillies will be running for the #1 pick overall year after year under Klentak’s watch. And as long as we have McPhail and Klentak running this team, the Phillies will continue to rely on Middleton’s wallet to become a contending team – which is not the best way to build a sustainable championship caliber team.

              FIRE MCPHAIL and KLENTAK and the Phillis will see the light!

          2. @v1 – I agree with you that the Phillies should have a #3 better than Howard and Eflin if they want to go deep in the playoffs. It’s really hard not to think of the rotation with Sixto as the Phillies #3 behind Nola and Wheeler and #4 Howard and #5 Eflin. That’s probably the rotation you are looking for. With hindsight, that might be better with Alfaro/Marchan/Knapp behind the plate instead of JTR.

            But the train has left the station and Sixto is no longer with the Phillies. To get the Clevinger type #3, the Phillies may need to either give up Abel and another top prospect or not sign JTR so they can sign a Clevinger type. The Phillies are in deed between a rock and a hard place thanks to McPhail and Klentak.

      2. Hinkie….we agree to disagree on Haseley.
        If you look at his metrics….not 350 PAs over a bumpy less than two year period….but his whole body of work….his K/BB ratio is excellent…all the way up from college thru the minors.

        He will never be a 25HR guy but a 12/15 HR guy…but for a CFer that is fine enough for me, since his gap to gap hitting will induce and produce 25/30 doubles/triples per year.

        As for his defense….two plays and now he is a terrible defender…..and yesterday’s we do not even know where the card had him positioned before the Gurriel hit to LF.

        1. I’m neutral with Haseley and I’m on record here that he is not my choice that time. Haseley is projected to be Brett Gardner lite so don’t expect a top 50 player in Haseley. Haseley bats in the bottom of the order anyway, you cannot find a lot of Trouts or Benintendi’s or a top bat batting 7th or 8th.

          Haseley’s value during the draft is that he is a low ceiling high floor type that can be MLB ready soon. And Haseley is close to that profile. Also, Haseley doesn’t look like a natural CF in the field.

        2. Romus, based on 2019 stats, there was one outfielder with a wRC+ of > 100 and 15 or fewer homers…Adam Eaton. Here are his hitting stats compared to Haseley:

          – Ave EV: 88.9 / 87.2 (for Haseley)

          – Barrel %: 3.4% / 2.7% (for Haseley)

          – HHR %: 33.7% 29.1% (for Haseley)

          – Ground ball %: 39.6% / 55.6% (for Haseley)

          1. v1…not doubting his ‘hard hit’ capabilities or lack of….his swing needs to generate more lift.
            Kirsten Karsbach ( former Thresher announcer) told me two years ago the Phillies did experiment with him trying to create more lift….when he was at CLW….and he also maintained that at Reading later that year…..now he is more leveling it.
            He does have an excellent K/BB ratio…and see him making contact.
            I really do not think he projects offensively as a corner OFer….high ISO type guys.

            So he still may be evolving with his swing trajectory.

        3. Haseley has power I have witnessed it first hand in Trenton. That said its hard to dispute V1s assessment of the hard hit ball numbers. I tend to agree with Hinkie here he has been way to passive for me in FB’s down the middle.

          He’s just not getting the barrel to as many balls as he should. A possible re-tooling of his swing should be in the cards. My two cents anyway.

          And I was a big Haseley fan coming into the season.

        4. Romus … it’s his ability to track the ball. Maybe it’s a loss of confidence. Maybe he’s afraid of the wall/fence (even though he showed no fear last season). I’m not sure. However, I’m pretty sure he’s misplayed more than two fly balls this season. Haseley may be the biggest disappointment for me in 2020. Hopefully, it’s just growing pains.

          BTW … I’m neither endorsing or rejecting that Haseley for Boyd deal. I’m just opening it up for discussion. The new GM might be able to just sign a LH FA arm to a one year/”prove it” deal this winter for the same money Boyd will make. James Paxton, Jose Quintana, Cole Hamels, Drew Smyly, and Alex Wood have all missed significant time this year with injuries.

          1. @Hinkie – my preference will be to sign a 1-year deal preferably a LHP.

            I’m not entirely against trading for Boyd, it will all depend on what it costs (prospect equity wise) to acquire him. The last time teams checked, DET appears to demand multiple Top 100 prospects.

            Haseley for Boyd is still an overpay IMO. The Phillies currently lacks depth in OF and Quinn continues to be an enigma – so Haseley’s OF flexibility and contract provides a lot of value to the Phillies. Moniak and Muzziotti can possibly change to narrative.

            Jhailyn Ortiz is Rule 5 eligible this year, will Ortiz + a LHP for acceptable to DET? My point is, Boyd is not the player that the Phillies should overpay for.

    3. It is a concern. I think the Phillies may need to retool his swing, much like how they got Rhys to do his. Haseley is generating no power.

      1. Agree, Haseley needs to retool his hitting stance. He sits in a chair with no aggression in his swing He is reactive and seems to be surprised by the pitch, he his defensive, hence, hits to SS and LF. He took a pitch right down the middle yesterday for a 3rd strike. He needs to load and get ready on each pitch.

  3. I can’t believe how fast 53 games went by and the regular season is almost over. Between a vaccine and some experience now on how to deal with COVID I can’t imagine not having a full season of the minors and majors next year.

  4. Medina is obviously not Sixto but I’m glad that Klentak did not sell him low. I can see nerves in the early innings as Medina seems scared to attack the strike zone with confidence basically throwing his pitches away from the zone as much as possible resulting to a lot of BBs.

    But I’ve seen more positives that negatives. First is the GB%/K9 combo – this is the stat I like the most about SPs. Medina can be above average in this category especially if he keeps his K/9 close to 1K per inning average.

    The 2nd ability I like is the pitching repertoire and quality of pitches – Medina throws 4 main pitches – FS, SL, CB and CU. CU is Medina’s best pitch and has potential to be elite considering Medina can throw his CU close to upper 80s. Medina throws his CU only 20% of the time, but once he starts gain confidence this CU can be a killer out pitch. Medina’s main breaking ball is the CB which I can see a good potential. Medina’s just need to command that pitch because it has a good bite if he gets it right. Hopefully, spending time with Nola in the majors Medina can learn some tricks on how to utilize the CB and CU as a reliable out pitch.

    On the FB, this is the pitch most people like to see. Medina throws in low 90s topping 93 (I thought I saw it hits 94). Similar to Nola pre-ace, I’m not overly concern with the velocity. Medina is still 23 yo and he once throw in the mid-90s so I think there’s some arm strength to creep that velocity up to 94-95 which Nola starting to do now. My main concern with the FB is the command. If Medina cannot throw in hard enough, he needs to paint it in the corners which he had problems yesterday. The FB may not develop as plus, but if he can command the FB and use it to induce GBs – Medina’s FB-CB-CU pitch mix can serve him as a solid #4 rather than being relegated to the bullpen.

    I like to see Medina for few more starts and see his confidence in attacking the strike zone rather than pitching away and hope the batters will chase (that’s not likely to happen to most MLB hitters).

    1. I know that you like Medina, but a solid #4 pitcher is borderline replaceable, even if he’s making peanuts. He would be a tick better than VV.

      According to baseball reference, Medina is 6’1, 187lb and he’ll be turning 24 in December. His frame doesn’t look like he can add that much weight so I’m not sure how much his fastball will improve. As a comparison, Nola is 6’2″, 200lbs and he looks filled out already.

      He should be in ST for 2021. But unless he starts throwing 94-95, it seems unlikely he will make the team and will likely be headed back to the minors.

      1. I still remember how a lot of fireballers here criticize Nola for his low 90s FB. Every team needs a solid #4 especially the Phillies. I don’t know what you mean by “borderline replaceable” — a solid #4 will win you games and that probably costs some million of $ and good prospects in the market.

        If a team has a #4 who can throw at least 6 innings with ❤ runs, that's valuable not borderline replaceable. Medina just completed his 1st MLB game and he's only 23 yo so I'm not ready to discount him yet. And don't disregard the financial flexibility that Medina provides — most teams value cheap contract and this is important for a salary strapped team like the Phillies.

        I never said here that Medina is a savior. Just give the dude his chance so we can see what he can do. I can't believe calling Medina a solid #4 can offend people.

          1. 6 innings with less than 3 runs = 3 ERA. That’s not the profile of a #4 pitcher, that’s the profile of a 2/3 pitcher. A #4 pitcher profile is 4-5 ERA. And if that’s his profile, there will be days that he will get absolutely rocked.

            Will there be teams willing to trade for a #4 pitcher? Of course, but usually the cheap ones. If the Phillies traded for a #4 pitcher, I think a lot of people won’t be happy with that.

            And when I say borderline replaceable, that means his starter job is up for grabs any time a Phillies pitching prospect comes up with a higher ceiling like perhaps Francisco Morales.

            You know who I consider to be a #4 pitcher? Erick Fedde of the Nationals. He’s only starting to deliver value to the Nationals, at age 27.

            1. That’s your opinion and that can be subjective. All teams will want an Fedde or a Spencer Howard as a #4. But that’s not the norm, on few teams who can construct a solid rotation #1 to #5.

              JimP puts a guide on the scale which I think is closer to reality than what you have in mind. Adonis Medina fits in that #4.

              https://phuturephillies.com/prospectprimer/the-20-80-scouting-scale-or-why-the-phillies-dont-have-a-1-and-maybe-not-even-a-2/

              #4/#5 command of 2 ML pitches, average velo, consistent breaking ball, decent change-up

            2. @Kurt, I’m not saying that Medina has no value. As a #4, he definitely has some value. But with the amount of hype you were heaping on him, I was expecting a #2, not a #4.

            3. @Guru – dude, I literally said that Medina can be a solid #4 if he commands his FB and CB well. Where did I say in my recent posts that Medina is a #2????

              My recent posts about Medina is just to give that dude a chance to pitch in the majors (is that over hyping too) and I’m glad the Phillies just did that so I can finally see if the Medina I followed in LWD still has the potential as the Medina with Phillies.

              Over hyping is making exaggerated claims which I did not do. So projecting a Top 10 prospect as potential #4 is now over hyping? It seems to me as a lack comprehension than over hyping.

            4. @Kurt, personally, I wouldn’t be paying that much attention to a #4 pitcher but hey, that’s just me. But I’m pretty sure that back in 2018, you were expecting Medina to be better than a #4 pitcher. If I went out and said back then that he was a #4 pitcher, I would have likely gotten pounced on by you and a lot of people on this board.

            5. I’m probably the lone voice talking about Medina lately since I’ve seen a lot of times in LWD and REA and hasn’t lost faith in him as a prospect. With the garbage talent that Klentak put in the team, I think it just reasonable to ask why Klentak cannot give Medina a chance being a top prospect already in the 40-man.

            6. I will not deny that I have Medina a projected better than #4 (potential #2/#3 that time) — but I’m not alone on that assumption most folks here in PP and local outlets are saying the same thing. Medina was a consensus Top 100 prospect when I made that claim and I’ve seen in with my own eyes in LWD.

              But I know for a fact that prospect development is not lineal. Things can change along the way that’s I understand that prospect ranking change and like everybody else, I’m entitled to change my opinion of the circumstance warrants it.

              I’ve not been over hypoing any prospects lately because my mind is so fixated on the failures of McPhail and Klentak.

            7. KuKo….Medina may have lost some tickings in velo over the last 2 years.
              The pitcher you saw in LKW in 2017 and CLW in 2018 may not be the same velocity pitcher now. He was FB 94/96 regularly back then…now he is in that 91/93 range.

            8. @romus – I will not dispute that, that’s why I lowered my projection of Medina to a solid #4 (based on JimP’s scale). The CU looks good though and the CB if Medina commands it well, can miss bats.

              I’ll take Medina over the veteran carousel pen arms that Klentak brought to the Phillies team and that’s the point why I brought up Adonis Medina again. If Jones, Dohy and Singer are in the 40-man, I love to see them too.

            9. KuKo….in the past in the minors, when Medina got his slider and change-up going…he could be unhittable.
              They may eventually look at him as a reliever…as they did with Seranthony at the end of 2017.
              For an inning or two he may be able to uncork his FB in the 95/96 or a tick higher, in that range again to go along with a plus slider and plus change-up

            10. @romus – that’s the reason why I haven’t lost faith of Medina. I lowered my expectation of Medina but I can still see the abilities of a potential MLB pitcher whether as a SP and RP.

    1. v1 – it just shows how the Phillies erred on their evaluation of Sixto basically a microcosm of how bad Klentak and his team are in evaluating legit MLB talent.

      I think that was discussed in the forum before.

    2. Scary….that said a buddy of mine who is a big Mets fan would like to recant their deal for Diaz as well. To have given up Kelenic and Dunn in that deal (good for us) was not much better.

    3. I mean, I wouldn’t do it but as good as JT has been, imagine if Diaz was closing games for us. Under cheap control 2 more years and has been great this year. Has JT won us more games than our bullpen has lost? I’m not sure

  5. The Blue Jays announcers mentioned that 2 rookies have stood out for them during the season: Ryan Mountcastle and Alec Bohm.

  6. This season to me is in many ways a SSS that we shouldn’t get too wrapped up in the meaning of due to all the weirdness of it, in terms of final record and playoff performance (if the Phils make it).

    Having said that, this organization rebuilt too late, but did so in an effort to build a roster that would compete in the playoffs, for championships, on a regular and consistent basis. This organization, as it stands today, is going to win a World Series title only one way – if they hit the off-season jackpot almost the equivalent of picking winning lottery numbers the way Lee Thomas did in the 92/93 winter where he hit on everything from Jim Eisenreich to Danny Jackson to Pete Incaviglia to David West, etc, any everybody stayed healthy on an older, aging team. That is the best case scenario here and that’s quite frankly a) embarrassing after a lengthy “rebuild”, and b) IMPOSSIBLE under the “leadership” of MacPhail and Klentak.

    This is truly where we stand, the hardcore, no frills reality:

    1) JTR is either gone after this season or the Phils will be forced to sign him to a long term player friendly contract that will quickly have zero or negative team value due to his position and age. This is no knock on JTR who is the BCIB, this is all on MK not signing him to a much more team friendly contract at the time of the trade. He has turned this situation into a lose-lose.

    2) The front office must go – MacPhail and Klentak. I don’t need to restate what all of you already know and have said, but this many years into their tenure there are no best practices getting called out by others about unique or cutting edge approaches here. People can blast Sam Hinkie and the 76ers all they want but at least they tried and did something creative. This regime has not really done anything well and the draft and development results are poor at best. CLEAN HOUSE

    1. And for a FO (especially Klentak) who takes pride of using analytics in finding talent and making decisions, that seems to be an abomination. It tells again that analytics alone cannot give you the best solution. Klentak can memorize all the algorithms and mathematical formulas but if he doesn’t know how to identity talent – those analytics can be useless. For 5 years under Klentak, we probably know the answer to that.

  7. Congrats to Medina I’m sure he was excited, amped up just like Rosso. But having watched Medina since 2015 he has always been loved by this blog, Prospect and BA but he has only had one good year, 2018. He has sat at 89-91 for most of that time, hitting 93-94 in 2018. I tacked his game yesterday and only saw 92-93 and yes it went down. He has always pitched away and gotten good results with minor league hitting.
    There are 2 to 3 SP that have put up good or better numbers, velocity as good or better and can get batters out with command of the strike zone also on the same team, also 2015 but are sitting at home because for some reason. Growth in physically stature, velocity and understanding how to pitch seem to have not Value

    Once gain happy for Medina but someone needs to look deeper in the system for the “IT” YUY

    1. Harvey….yes…Medina’s velo has decreased as he advanced in levels and age.
      He will need to make up for it in his secondary stuff to be successful.
      Some arms are built to last a decade or more….some just are not, that’s baseball.

      1. @romus – I agree about the secondary pitches. It’s still early to tell but the CU and CB have some good potential especially CU. Medina will be at the back of the Phillies rotation and most back end starters that cannot throw heat!! While Medina is no longer the top prospect that he was, the Phillies needs as much rotation arm they can get.

        In a way I can see a similarly of criticism towards Medina and Haseley. Haseley bats in the bottom of the order but he was criticized for not producing like the top of the order. Same as Medina. Medina will be the #5 or #4 SP at best but he is being criticized because he can’t throw mid 90s. If your rotation’s #4 or #5 throw’s mid 90s, you have a top of the league rotation. Few teams have that kind of rotation because they know find and develop talent. Phillies is not one of these teams.

  8. Assuming that Howard is healthy, our starting rotation will consist of at least:

    Nola(1/2), Wheeler(1/2), Eflin(3/4), Howard

    In parenthesis, I have added what I think their profiles are. I didn’t add one for Howard because there’s just not enough starts to tell what he truly is, especially if he was pitching injured.

    This is a pretty decent rotation as it stands.

    So internal options are Suarez/VV/Medina I think in that order of preference by the Phillies.

    There has been talk of giving a 1 year deal to some LH candidates for a bounce back year. I have no problem with that.

    If the money is right, I would consider going after Bauer or Stroman. Note that Eflin is under control for only 2 more years.

    I think Bauer will get a lot of attention based on what he’s doing in Great American Ballpark. For me, I would like the Phillies to maybe give a decent deal to Stroman early (4 years, $60M) and see if if he goes for it.

      1. The rotation is probably top 10 right now and better than the rotation that won the 2008 world championship. If you add in Bauer or Stroman, it becomes top 5.

        1. No. Not at all. but we had the second best defense in MLB and the 3rd best offense in MLB and the 5th best bullpen including a shut down 8th and 9th inning reliever.

          there are many ways to win a championship. but the current roster is a very bad defensive team and the worst bullpen in baseball.

  9. Phillies need to stop worrying about Velocity, spin rate . What value are those two if you cannot command them or get outs. Being able to command the strike zone, make high stress pitches and get batters out seem to have no value.
    The pitching we see, have no command, loose pitching counts, have no ability to get outs relying on velocity.
    Alt site SP have physical strengths and potential but no command, control or conditioning

    1. You need to have a balance between velocity and command. If you have a higher velocity, you have a higher margin of error. No matter how good your command is, you will eventually make mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. And it’s believed that you can eventually improve command in time, where as improving velocity is a lot harder. It usually goes the other way as we age. That’s why you always see big arms in the ML level with poor command, versus extreme command and throwing 88-90. You leave a 90 fastball in the middle of the plate, everybody can hit that, even the backups. You leave 95-96 in the middle of the plate, you might get lucky and the hitter fouls it off or even misses it. The margin of error is bigger.

  10. I get the criticism of Haseley, but is it more fair to compare Haseley’s offensive stats vs the MLB average (or other teams) #7 or #8 hole hitters since that’s where Haseley will hit anyway? Expecting a bottom of the order bat to produce like a top of the order bat doesn’t seem fair since it’s like setting somebody to fail to begin with. Comparing Haseley against the top bats in the MLB is like comparing Vinny to CY winners.

    If I have to pick on Haseley, it’s going to be his defense. But even that, he doesn’t profile as a defensive whiz anyway. If you want to criticize why draft Haseley – then we’ll probably in the same boat.

    And the Phillies were not built like an ideal championship team – mid 90s arm #1 to #5 and very good hitters top to bottom. It’s not easy to construct an “All-Star” like team where there are no “weak links” anywhere. And yes I agree that there is not enough talent in this team thanks to Klentak.

    If the Phillies will go deep in the WS, they will be carried by their core group of Harper, JTR Nola, Wheeler, Didi, Bohm and Hoskins. Somebody outside of these core group needs to overperform on a consistent manner if they want to win all the way.

    1. Right now Haseley and Hiura are probably the two best first round picks from that 2017 draft that are producing….and the power hitting 2nd basemen Hiura leads the league in strike-outs (34% K rate) this year in less than 55 games.

      1. I know you are discussing other guys, 1st round picks, but Quinn has played in 36 games and has struck out 35% of the time. Even our big bats (Harper, Hoskins, Cutch, JT, and Segura) who you expect to strike out are not on that level percentage wise. JT is the leader with 44.

        1. Yes agree……Quinn has just not produced….his wRC+ and OPS+ are less than 60….that cannot cut it.
          Haseley at least is close to league average at 96 wRC+ and 95 OPS+

        1. Lets see how it plays out over a few more years between Adell and Haseley.
          When it comes to tools….contact/hit may be the most important from an offensive standpoint.
          No matter how it shakes out…Adell has a lot of swing and miss…25%, with a 8% walk rate in his 1000 minor league PAs……he better hit for power because he will be a candidate for the TTO protocol.
          And I see them as three years apart in age….1999 vs 1996 YOB.

    2. Sure, if your point is lower expectations on Haseley to be a bottom of the order non-impact hitter, then ok. We are on the same page. But to get that out of the 8th overall pick is a disaster imo. We only had a few big opportunities during the rebuild to draft top 10 talent and the expectation is to get impact players. Not replacement level players.

      1. Exactly.

        As great as Alec Bohm has been and may end up being, if they come away from 2015-2018 drafts and the 1/1/, 1/3/ 1/8 and 1/10 picks with only Bohm as an above average (or better) big leaguer? Holy cow, that’s an EPIC failure.

        1. That’s not an epic failure. Even with 4 picks in the top 10, the average should be 1 elite player and maybe 1 starter, the other 2 will fail. Getting the elite player (Bohm) is the hard part and the Phillies got that. Haseley is a borderline starter.

          Anyways, that got me thinking so I took a look at what some of the teams did:

          Marlins
          2012 #9 Andrew Heaney 5.1 WAR
          2013 #6 Colin Moran -0.6 WAR
          2014 #2 Tyler Kolek BUST
          2015 #12 Josh Naylor -0.5 WAR
          2016 #7 Braxton Garrett -0.1 WAR

          This is straight up brutal. Heaney is the only Marlins’ first round pick to have positive WAR since 2012 and most of it wasn’t for them because he got traded to the Dodgers.

          Pirates
          2006 #4 Brad Lincoln 0.4 WAR
          2007 #4 Daniel Moskos 0.2 WAR
          2008 #2 Pedro Alvarez 5.1 WAR
          2009 #4 Tony Sanchez 0.1 WAR
          2010 #2 Jameson Taillon 8.2 WAR
          2011 #1 Gerrit Cole 25.5 WAR

          Crazy right? And after Gerrit Cole, it’s just as bad.

          2008 #3 Eric Hosmer 17.7 WAR
          2009 #12 Aaron Crow 2.7 WAR
          2010 #4 Christan Colon 1.1 WAR
          2011 #5 Bubba Starling -1.5 WAR
          2012 #5 Kyle Zimmer 0.1 WAR
          2013 #8 Hunter Dozier 1.7 WAR

          Hosmer has the highest WAR out of their first round picks since 2008!

          Twins
          2012 #2 Byron Buxton 11.7 WAR
          2013 #4 Kohl Stewart 0.4 WAR
          2014 #5 Nick Gordon (minors)
          2015 #6 Tyler Jay BUST

          Since 2003, the most WAR by a Twins first round pick was Matt Garza with 12.5 WAR. Yes, 2003, not a typo.

          Padres
          It’s a flat out horror show. This has to be one of the worst first round drafting I’ve ever seen. I think you can take a baseball draft guide, draft the best player available and you couldn’t do worse. Since 1994, the most WAR from a Padres’ first round pick is Trea Turner (16.1 WAR), and most of that was for the Nats!

          1. Nats were very fortunate…Harper/Rendon/Strasburg and Zim……that is a bonanza.
            Many of their others not so much…..however Giolito was traded along with Jeuss Luzardo.

            1. Nats got lucky that 2 of the best draft eligible players in the last 20 years was available to them when they drafted #1 (Harper, Starsburg). In that respect, I don’t give them credit for those 2 picks. I do give them credit for Rendon and Zimmerman.

          2. And out of the 2014 draft, Aaron Nola has the most WAR out of ALL the players. When all is said and done, he’s likely to be one of the 5 best players to come out of that draft.

      2. @v1 – I agree and we’re on the same page that Round 1 picks should be high ceiling and not high floor prospects. My preference for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 picks are high ceiling power arms. Looking back, I’m still scratching my head (2015-2017 1st rd selections) and this (R4 drafting) is one of issues I have with Klentak.

        1. Like Hewitt, Greene, Randolph? Those types of high upside players? You have to balance it. Nola, Bohm, Haseley are all “safer” picks with 2 of those guys developing beyond just a safe pick. Haseley may not be great, but if they would have taken Adell, that would’ve been 3 HS OF’s in a row and people would have lost their minds. There has to be a balance. They gambled on a “safe” player developing beyond that and we still don’t know he hasn’t. Oakland took Austin Beck in front of Hasely. Maybe he’ll be great for them but their starting outfielders have more power but no one hitting over .241 and that’s Piscotty who’s OBP is .280. I think they would love to have Hasely in the lineup. Sure, I’d rather have Adell and don’t know about beck (mlb.com has him as Oakland’s 17th ranked prospect). Kyle Wright has struggled. Hunter Greene had TJ. Jake Burger hasn’t played since 2017. Pratto isn’t highly thought of. Who did you realistically hope they would take other than Adell?

          And give Klentak credit for Bohm. Yes, he was 3rd overall, but there was a lot of talk about others as well.

  11. There is going to be a massive clear out of 25/26 year old AA players before next season.. Move up or move out.

  12. What are your thoughts on Knapp? I liked him in the minors but until this year he really struggled, now he looks so much better. Do you think it’s legit, perhaps working with the new hitting coach?

    I liked Haseley in the minors but Joe G doesn’t seem to be a huge fan and that tells me something. That said as a 4th OF I don’t see a problem.

    The big disappointments for me have been Kingery and Quinn, Kingery I give him a bit of a pass due to getting covid but he just hasn’t be close to what I thought he would be after watching him in the minors. Quinn I always liked and thought he would have a big year since I had hoped the 60 game season would be short enough to stay clear of injuries. He was looking good there early on and maybe he’s not 100% as his ops in August was .789 and in Sept so far it’s a disaster at .256 as he’s just 3 for 30.

    I would add Howard to the list but who knows for how long the shoulder was bothering him, and it’s likely my fault for thinking he would come in and basically do what Sixto is doing as I was clearly wrong on him and Bohm as I thought Howard was our top prospect with Bohm 2nd but Bohm is just flat out amazing. I can’t get over how good he’s doing.

    1. There’s no doubt that Knapp is having a solid year as a backup. However, he’s already 28 (soon to be 29 in November) and this is the first year he’s had an OPS better than 750. So right now, 2020 is looking like an outlier year. I’m worried that if he gets more playing time, he might get exposed.

      Because of all his injuries, Quinn has only played 145 games in his career since 2016. You could argue that he’s been hurt so much that a book against him hasn’t been formed. Unfortunately for him, it looks like it has. Throw him breaking balls with 2 strikes and he’ll flail at it.

  13. Agree 89-91 with command is not option. 93-95 with command is where I’d choose over 95-97 with hopes of leaving over the plate or walking or getting lucky. 95-97 guy is Closer, short relief.
    I’ll win more with my roster

    1. You make it sound easy, but the reality is, the other 29 teams are looking for the same thing and there isn’t enough of those to go around. Add to it that relievers can easily have poor years vs good years and that’s where most teams are. It just so happens that everybody in the bullpen is having a bad year.

  14. Good move for the Phillies to put Hembree on the 10-day DL. This way, JoeG can longer accidentally call him to broke the game wide open. Rosso is called up. Brogdon was able to recover after horrible start – but Brogdon has a mid 90s FB and with a very good CU. Not sure if Rosso has the stuff to bounce back. Hopefully, Rosso will not be the younger imitation of Heath Hembree.

  15. Informed speculation on how the rotation may be set for the best of 3 Wild Card round, should Wheeler and Nola have to pitch Sat and Sun, respectively – 1st game starter: Eflin (Wed); Wheeler (Thu); Nola (Fri). Should the Phillies clinch before Sunday, Nola would pitch game 1.

    1. Lets hope the Braves and Yankees can throttle the Marlins this week.
      The Phillies could finish second with any luck.
      Plus doubt the Rays go with both Snell or Glasnow on Saturday or Sunday….so that may be a relief for the Phillies….Charlie Morton, Josh Fleming or Yarbrough however could be their starters for Saturday and Sunday.
      But then again…if the Rays have it all wrapped by Sat or Sunday…Cash may go to openers like he has done the past two years.
      Rays start their play-offs on Tuesday…..so they will want Snell/Glasnow for the first two games.

    2. You’re counting your chickens before they’re hatched. We still have 7 games left and lots of teams are close.

      1. Posted by one of the beat reporters. Not sure what chickens you’re referring to. It’s an either/or speculation.

        1. The Philies announcers just mentioned that the magic number was 8 with 7 games to play. That’s hardly a gimme to start talking about playoff rotations.

          1. It’s literally speculation on what to do if/when we need our two best pitchers to get us into the playoffs. It is the exact opposite of counting your chickens. It’s planning for eventualities.

            1. Unless the pitchers can pitch on short rest, the rotations have been set for both the regular season AND the first round of the playoffs. The odds are high that the Phillies will go into the final Sunday having to win that game since a boatload of teams are in the mix. Heck, even the Mets are still in it if you can believe that.

            2. @Guru

              Hence the speculation on what they can do if they still make it after needing toi use their two best pitchers… If they don’t make it, there’s nothing to speculate so this is the only conversation to have about it.

    1. No, he was ejected for arguing a strikeout, the manager went with him, they are playing bridge in the clubhouse with clubhouse staff.

  16. Kingery starting swing early because he cannot hit good fastball. If you watched at bat he kd on high slow inside curve. Started swing stopped then swung late at 70 mph curve. That’s a problem.

  17. Phillies laid a major egg tonight. Nats are out for revenge. If the Phils don’t sweep the next three, they are out of it.

    1. Hoskins and JT’s injuries are looming large. Harper/Didi/Segura are chasing pitches out of the zone. Knapp/Gosselin/Bruce are cooling off after being red hot most of the season. Bohm has been the most consistent the last 20 games. It’s not looking good right now.

  18. Someone want to explain this logic . . . Moniak is sent to the plate and McCutchen was on deck hitting for Haseley. Why would you pitch hit for Haseley but not Moniak? Maybe I’m missing something but that seems booty backwards (in no way did I think we were gonna win but regardless). Has anyone been impressed with Joe G as an in game manager? Granted he doesn’t have much to work with in certain areas of his team, I still can’t recall many times (if any) where I thought, wow our coach got us that run or out (or played a bigger role than normal).
    I could be wrong. Prob am.

    1. Phillies were down 4. If Cutch hits for Moniak and jacks one, the Phillies are still losing 5-4 with Haseley to bat. If Moniak gets on, then Cutch hits for Haseley and Cutch is the tying run if he hits it out.

      The issue here is that you want Cutch to tie the game with a HR.

      1. I’m in the camp that you get to that point first. You extend the game when possible. Ricky Bo made a comment about it after the game as well, said it was kinda strange. At least I wasn’t the only one scratching my head.

  19. Well, no sooner did I declare my so called Hinkie sense that the Phillies would go on a roll this final week, falsely so it would seem, I proclaim the 2020 season all but over. There is just not enough talent, not enough energy, not enough leadership, did I say not enough talent? The young players are not owning their game. Haseley, Quinn and Kingery are grasping desperately for confidence. Harper is run down trying to carry the load alone. Veterans like Cutch and Segura are on the back nine now. Didi and Bohm are the only steady performers. The injuries have become insurmountable and we’ve 2 reliable major league arms since the GM was incapable of sufficiently fortifying the staff BEFORE THE SEASON began.

    1. If the Phillies not making the playoffs is what it takes for Middleton to finally boot McPhail and Klentak out of the team, that might be for the better.

      Klentak failed to construct a team that can go deep in the playoffs. My concern is that the Phillies made the playoff but got eliminated earlier and Middleton gives Klentak another shot next year.

    2. 8mark:
      I know you are now on ridding the team of Haseley.
      And granted your dislike of him as a ball player,
      …..but lack of confidence!
      And lumping him with Quinn and Kingery!

      Haseley’s last 23 games (56 PAs)… slash 283/370/348.
      Quinn…..last 17 (49 PAs)……196/245/261
      Kingery…last 12 (37 PAs)……194/306/484

      I personally prefer the traditional non-power players who make contact.

      1. Romus, I actually think Haseley has a nice skill set, still developing, notwithstanding power, but I don’t project him as more than a bench player. MLB rosters today are more dependent on players like him. So I don’t necessarily want to be rid of him. We need an impact player in CF. I think Moniak has a better shot at filling that profile, gaining more power in time. Speed, defense and a sufficient hit tool to be a weapon off the bench if necessary. Joe Girardi doesn’t seem to be a Haseley guy, either. But only time will tell. It’s only my hunch that Haseley will be included in a package for a greater need.

        1. @8mark, I could ask that Haseley to be better defensively but offensively Haseley seems to be the type of player that he was projected to be when he was drafted. It appears the issue with Haseley is the expectation of being the pick 1.8 of the draft (as noted by V1) which will probably apply similarly to Moniak.

          I noted a similarity in criticism between your 2 best friends – Haseley and Medina. The criticism with Haseley is that he doesn’t have the offensive output similar to a top of the order batter — this is true because he is not that type of player that’s why he is mostly bats #7 and #8. Unless Haseley proves this otherwise, he stays there.

          Same with Medina. He was criticized because he throws 91-93 FB. What do you expect from a low $ lottery signing? Medina provides value more than what the Phillies paid for. Unless the Phillies starts to pay Medina like a #1, #2 or a #3 $$ or blocking any arms better than him, you guys need to give Medina some slack. Medina is not the weakest arm in the team right now and he doesn’t costs a lot.

  20. If going 30-30 and squeaking into the playoffs vs going 29-31 and missing the playoffs is enough for Middleton to keep MacPhail and Klentak, then the list of biggest concerns for this franchise starts with Owner John Middleton.

  21. With how Bohm is playing and “looking” like the real deal, is anyone rethinking us going after Bryant? There was a big push for us going after him but Bryant is having an absolutely horrible year :

    AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
    123 16 24 5 1 2 5 11 4 39 0 0 .195 .283 .301 .583

    Neither is going to be full time future 3rd baseman but with it being only a small sample and Bryant only playing 32 games, its looking like the right move not going after him.

    1. Games: 32
      AB: 123
      RUNS: 16
      HITS: 24
      2B: 5
      3B: 1
      HR: 2
      RBI: 5
      BB: 11
      HBP: 4
      SO: 39
      AVG: .195
      OBP: .283
      SLG: .301
      OPS: .583

      1. bishop …yuo cn always use slash for the future, it will work…tells most, if not all of the story… slash-195/.283/.301
        …low BA (few hits)…low OBP (few walks and hits) and low Slugging, (few HRs/doubles)

        …you can also always add in peripherals for more added effect…K% and BB%, along with weighted runs created….wRC+

    2. It’s about time that the Phillies hits on its early R4 draft pick and becomes a part of the main core of the Phillies similar to Nola. This is what the organization tried to sell to the fans — ride thru the losing seasons so they can get good prospects thru the draft.

      Whether Bohm stays at the hot corner or not, I’m not sure if anybody here is really serious about Bryant (especially post JTR trade) since we all know that Bryant costs a lot in terms of prospect equity (thru trade) or $$ (via FA).

      1. KuKo…Bryant may have to take a pillow one year deal if he has another year like this one in 2021….Boras will have to do plenty of spinning.
        And to top it off…he will probably get $20M next season in his final arb year…unless he elects to re-sign a LTC with the Cubs.

        1. I don’t think that the Phillies will be into Bryant. JTR might be their last big signing in the next 2-3 years and will probably work on short term deals to fill the gaps. This is another reason why the Phillies needs a better GM than Klentak since Klentak doesn’t seem to have an eye for those “value” signings.

        2. To put it bluntly, the Phillies don’t have the assets to trade for Bryant nor be able to sign him when he becomes a FA in 2022. The Phillies have other needs.

  22. Welcome back rocco! We are not going anywhere with another performance like last night’s error prone and lackluster effort. We made Anibal Sanchez look like Cy Young. I think they are pressing and getting a little weary. I thought we needed to go 4-3 to get into the Playoffs. Now we need to go 4-2. Hopefully JTR can get back today. We just have to win game 1 with Nola, and a sweep would be real nice.

  23. It was only a brief audio clip on 94 this morning, but Klentak didn’t sound too convincing on the topic of re-signing JTR. But more than that, he didn’t sound like a guy who’ll have any input on the matter when the time comes.

  24. And, regarding Klentak’s comments. I don’t want him here next year, but I can’t get on him for saying he is proud of the team. I think the young guys have come up and tried hard. Bohm has been really good, and Haseley has shown promise, although we can disagree about how much. The main problem is Klentak, and the complete failure to put a semblance of a decent BP together to start this season. He tried at the deadline, but that turned into another disaster. Had he done his job before the season started, we would be in a Playoff spot, and we could have made a move for another SP at the deadline, instead of 4 RPs.

    1. matt13…agree.
      Once a team has their starters and 8 main position players in place….which many contending teams have going early on into a season…it then becomes the GMs responsibility to get the bullpen arms and group together to aid the manager.
      He has failed these last three years.

      I cannot begin to count how many relief arms have pass thru the organization and the big club over the last 3/4 years.
      Aside from Neris and Morgan…it has been a turnstile of reclamations/fungibles and oft-injured arms.

    2. Baseball is one of the few sports where the supporting cast collectively is sometimes play the more important role that the main casts. The Phillies seems to have the “main casts” (thanks to Middleton $$) where Klentak failed is too look for the supporting casts and depth that infuse needed talent to the team when the main casts are having off days.

      If Klentak just fixed the darn bullpen even just this year (forget about the prior years), the Phillies could be #1 in NL East. The offense is best in MLB in scoring early so the Phillies always has the opportunity to win games.

      The bullpen carousel has been a staple Klentak offseason move and he never delivered even up to now.

      I don’t really know what Middleton saw in Klentak who track record is average and his performance as a GM is also been average.

      We can blame the players since they are the ones playing, but these players will not be in the team because of the FO. I would say that Klentak has 80% misses vs 20% hits.

      1. I feel like you should flesh that out more. 80% misses vs 20% hits. It’s not really fair to throw that out there without justification.

        Here are the guaranteed contracts they gave out over the offseason (from mlbtraderumors.com):

        Zack Wheeler, RHP: Five years, $118MM
        Didi Gregorius, SS: One year, $14MM
        Tommy Hunter, RHP: One year, $850K

        I’d say definitely 2 out of 3 hits, and Hunter for 850k is fine (though preferably he’s not used in high leverage situations.

        Trades and claims:
        Acquired OF Kyle Garlick from Dodgers in exchange for minor league LHP Tyler Gilbert
        Acquired minor league LHP Cristopher Sanchez from Rays in exchange for minor league INF Curtis Mead
        Claimed OF Nick Martini from the Reds (later cleared outright waivers)
        Claimed RHP Trevor Kelley from the Red Sox (later cleared outright waivers)
        Claimed RHP Deolis Guerra from the Brewers
        Claimed RHP Reggie McClain from the Mariners

        Clearly the only possible hit here would be Sanchez and we don’t know but these are all very low level moves. You can claim he should’ve done more but we don’t know about what he was allowed to spend, etc.

        Previous offseason:

        Guaranteed contracts:
        Bryce Harper, OF: Thirteen years, $330M
        Andrew McCutchen, OF: Three years, $50MM (includes $3MM buyout of $15MM club option for 2022)
        David Robertson, RP: Two years, $23MM (includes $2MM buyout of $12MM club option for 2021)

        Acquired C J.T. Realmuto from the Marlins for C Jorge Alfaro, SP Sixto Sanchez, minor league LHP Will Stewart, and $250K in international bonus money
        Acquired SS Jean Segura, RP Juan Nicasio, and RP James Pazos from the Mariners for 1B Carlos Santana and SS J.P. Crawford
        Acquired RP Jose Alvarez from the Angels for RP Luis Garcia
        Acquired international bonus money from the Orioles for minor league C Lenin Rodriguez
        Selected IF Drew Jackson from the Dodgers in the Rule 5 Draft, then traded Jackson to the Orioles for international bonus money

        Contracts: 2/3 hits.

        Trades: JT Realmuto – I guess it depends on your view if he leaves and Sixto is great, but I still think it’s a good deal even if he leaves. Then it’d be JT+1st rounder, for Alfaro, Stewart, and Sixto.

        Segura: Crawford has been bad, Santana good, Seguara contact bad. I’d say it’s a wash.

        Alvarez – clear win.

        Two international trades – wins.

        So you have to look at inseason trades and it gets a little dicey.

        The good: Bruce. Brad Miller. Wilson Ramos?

        The bad: Workman/Hembree, Phelps, Asdrubal Cabrera, Justin Bour

        I’m sure there are more for the bad. That being said, the acquisition cost for all those trades has been really small. With the workman/hembree and phelps deal, I think in theory those were great trades but have absolutely not worked out. Same with the Asdrubal and Bour deals. Regardless, small acquisition cost.

        So when you say Klentak has more misses than hits, really, I think it’s the other way around. If anything, it’s been that moves that he hasn’t made than the bad ones he has.

        I’m not going to be broken up if they fire him in that offseason but it’s unfair to completely throw him under the bus. I think the offseason philosophy of building the bullpen was bad and we’re paying for it. No matter the moves, a bullpen this bad is worthy of getting fired. It’s hard to blame him completely though an offseason after he spent money on Robertson and Robertson immediately got hurt.

        1. This is an interesting analysis.

          Regardless of his moves, the bottom line is if the Phillies don’t make the playoffs, it’s on MK. He’s been the GM for 5 years and that’s enough time for him to make his mark. I don’t have a problem with him getting fired, he’s been here long enough.

          1. and tha’ts fair. I think he’s actually built a decent team but you can’t just give him a pass for a historically bad bullpen.

            1. @Forrest – give a GM with $200M payroll and top 15 picks in 5 years with some talent to dispose during rebuild and probably most of them can built a team better that what Klentak put together.

              The Phillies has the resource, some you talent (pre-Klentak) and early picks to built a team and Klentak can’t build a sustainable playoff team??? —- please, don’t set your standard too LOW!!!

            2. Forrest … That’s a good post. Thanks for the time and effort it took.

              Just wanted to correct one thing. If the Phillies lose JT Realmuto, they won’t be compensated with a 1st round draft pick. The team would actually get a pick between competitive balance B and the start of the 3rd round. That selection would land at roughly pick 70.

              The other way to judge Matt Klentak is to measure his rebuild vs the rebuilds of the other clubs who were tearing it down at the same time. In this exercise, the Phillies GM comes up short. The Braves, White Sox, and Padres are all in much better shape than the Phillies. We more closely resemble the Reds.

            3. Continuing from last comment…..A .500 team with $200 million payroll. With it looking like a strong possibility that we may not re-sign JT after trading Sixto and making silly comments about knowing they may only have 2 years of control……Failure with the Arrieta signing….not addressing CF….continuing to rely on VV, Pivetta….Now going into next year needing to re-sign Didi to a large deal or address the position elsewhere, needing to give Hoskins a large contract in the near term, still needing to find a CF, needing a couple SP next year after Nola, Wheeler, Howard, needing to sign more bullpen arms. Possibly needing a CATCHER if you don’t give a 30 y/o JT a lucrative contract which would limit what you’re able to do financially at other positions….All while having ZERO impact players coming from the farm system to help fill any of those needs.

              I respect your opinion, but it appears there is no ability to build a team. Poor drafting and player development. No vision.

              Sorry. Not intending to be disrespectful at all. Just frustrated!

        2. I don’t view Harper, Wheeler, JTR, Didi and event Cutch as Klentak – they are all Middleton moves. Remember the $+_p!d money thing? And for JTR, Sixto and Alfaro are not Klentak.

          I will make it simple for you – what move or moves (except the ones I listed above) that Klentak did in his 5 years that has an impact to this Phillies?

          If tanking to get early draft picks is your answer, everybody can do that. And Bohm? Bohm was drafted where he should be. IFAs? Klentak was not necessary known to have track record of success in that field.

          So based on your list, Jose Alvarez is Klentak’s most valued move. Is that good enough for 5 years?

          1. I’m not sure if the Ken Giles trade is Klentak. I think any GM at that moment, will sell high on Giles given that a cheap top RP will serve no value to a tanking team.

            Any GM with go signal from the owners to spend $$ on FA can sign any top FA and that’s common sense and not a genius of a Matt Klentak.

            Middleton’s commitment to spend (due possibly by pressure from fans) masks Klentak’s inability to infuse talent to the team. Let’s not spin it or sugar coat it or white wash it to mask Klentak’s failures.

            And yes, I still believe that Klentak is 80% failure given the resources that he has. You don’t need to believe me but don’t play blind as well as to the root cause of the Phillies problem — failed FO. Klentak doesn’t have the track record of a winning GM and as Hinkie said it – Klentak is synonymous to plain vanilla. That’s not good enough for a big market team like the Phillies.

            I don’t know how can you justify Klentak’s 5-year tenure with the Phillies other than a failure. Just look at the other teams who are in rebuild mode same time as the Phillies and see the talent they have.

          2. That’s complete crap. You can’t give no credit to the GM on FA signings and then blame him for other stuff. No, Alvarez isn’t his best move. All the ones you give him no credit for are his best moves. If you’re going to give all that credit to Middleton, then you might as well blame him for this team not being better because he didn’t want to cross the luxury tax line. Or maybe pressured Klentak into Arrieta or Robertson because he wanted to be in win now. That’s completely an unfair way to evaluate things. There are no obvious moves in the MLB draft. They took a great looking player, give him credit. I’m not saying he’s pulling these guys out of round 3 or even the later part of the 1st round, but he still drafted Bohm.

            I’m not arguing Klentak is a great GM. I’m just saying have a little consistency and perspective. I’m not arguing that he should even keep his job. I think the lack of moves made is a fair criticism. The bullpen itself is a reason to get fired. I’m just saying to be a little more fair in your criticism.

            1. @Hinkie interesting are that those teams you mentioned also all have some big time international FA’s. White Sox have Robert and Abreu. Braves have Acuna. Those teams also have GM’s who unloaded studs to them – Dave Stewart, whoever traded the padres Tatis and Quintana helped the Cubs win a WS but that looks like it’s gonna be painful trading Eloy. Give them credit for their low level talent evaluation.

            2. Yes, it all points to Middleton. But can you fire an owner? I’ve been critical to the FO and not Klentak alone and I also criticize Middleton for being blind. But Middleton did spent his big $$ like what he said so it’s up to the FO to do their end.

              Also my criticism with Klentak is not the harshest of them all and my sentiments towards Klentak is shared by many.

            3. Padres sent pitcher James Shields to the White Sox for a very yuong raw talent named Fernando Tatis Jr and Erik Johnson…June 2016.
              Maybe worst trade in Rick Hahn’s GM career.

              Phillies have also another White Sox ‘giv up’ Latin players who;s father was an MLB star…CFer Miguel Tejeda Jr….he however had a difficult 17 year old season in the DSL last summer….but oozes with raw tools and talent.

  25. As for the Phillies playoff hopes, my guess? The likeliest is that they stumble their way to 8th seed in the NL with the privilege of facing the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine, to be disposed of in 3 games. (I think either Nola or Wheeler would salvage one game.)

    The next likely would be in the best interest of many here…miss altogether and say sayonara to Klentak (at least) and MacPhail, perhaps.

    The least likely IMO is they finish 7th after a flurry of Ws the rest of the week. In which case they would probably face the Cubs at Wrigley. That matchup is a toss up.

    The team’s wave of injury is it’s 2nd biggest obstacle after the historically horrendous bullpen.

  26. noticed the Reds are .5 ahead of Phils despite a .213 team batting average (pirates and rangers at .214). lowest team average in last 10 years i could find was .231- and thats despite adding DH in NL and no cold weather april games. more guys swinging for fences, but is lack of a real spring training the biggest factor to cause that?

  27. Parker pitched last night and so did Rosso. Those were my 2 guesses to start the 2d game today. I have no idea who gets the nod, but the entire BP, except for those 2 are available. That doesn’t exactly fill me with hope, but that is where we are. I have Nola going 7 in the Opener.

    1. I’m thinking David Hale might get the start. He started on Friday and did pretty well for the first 3 innings.

  28. Spencer Howard’s bullpen session yesterday went well. It doesn’t look like there’s anything structural so that’s a relief. He’s not needed for a start in the regular season so it’ll be interesting to see if the Phillies will put him in the bullpen or stretch him out for a possible start in the playoffs.

    1. Not being a SA, but I’m serious when I ask, what does that really mean. It went well. Does it mean, I was able to throw the ball moderately without pain? or does it mean, I felt no discomfort! I was able to really air it out 95-96, my curve was sharp. or I threw 35 pitches and I think I’ll be ok with a few more ramping up sessions.

        1. Todd Zolecki:
          “Howard threw a bullpen session on Monday in Allentown, Pa. Based upon how he feels Tuesday, he could throw another bullpen session or a live batting practice before possibly rejoining the team this weekend. If he rejoins the team, he will pitch out of the bullpen… eligible to be activated as early as Wednesday.”
          Matt Klentak:
          “I think the downtime in the last week has been very helpful for him,” Klentak said Monday. “I think it is possible he could be activated before the end of the regular season, most likely [against the Rays]. But even if that’s not the case, he would be a candidate for our first-round playoff roster. Now, just knowing that’s only a three-game series, I think he would likely be pitching out of the bullpen, if we get that far. But he has been trending in the right direction and there hasn’t been anything especially alarming in that one.”

  29. Matt K’s 5-year Resume: (to date)
    2016…71-91
    2017…66-96
    2018…80-82
    2019…81-81
    2020…27-27
    Winning %-.463
    He has seen them thru progressive improvement,
    but overall does not fare well for him

    1. Yes, Romus. This has been my complaint also. We’ve sat through five years of his rebuild, and Klentak has delivered a .500 team (the worst spot you can be in), a payroll up against the cap, and one of MLB’s lowest ranked farm systems.

      He’s just soooo average.

      Lots of complaints from other posters about the players Klentak has drafted. My biggest frustration has been the amount (or lack) of picks he’s actually made. No team in MLB has had fewer selections than the Phillies over the past three years. Obviously, I have no problem with forfeiting 2nd round selections for Harper and Wheeler. However, it was a terrible decision to give up high picks on Santana and Arrieta. And Klentak failed to ever use Middleton’s financial might to buy picks (eat other club’s bad contracts for draft picks). Atlanta and San Diego each accumulated extra picks while Klentak sat on his hands.

      1. I am trying to avoid becoming frustrated more or further depressed.
        I like to think or dream on, that just just one more piece solves the puzzle..like Pete Rose did in ’79….or the team all comes together like ’93….or all the youngsters mature together like the ’08 guys.
        A new FO may spark things.

      2. Agree, Hinkie. What troubled me most about Klentak was his inactivity/lack of creativity, more than any one poor move. It told me that he’s risk averse. The big splash acquisitions were mostly a product of Middleton trying to establish the organization as a legit big market club. But the nuts and bolts moves to solidify the roster never materialized. Hence the top heavy roster. Middleton’s biggest shortcoming, after hiring MacPhail in the first place, was NOT holding his top executives accountable.

      3. The lock of creativity in Klentak is disappointing and for a FO that took pride as analytics driven, Klentak still cannot to assemble a decent team with getting financial support from the owners.

        The Phillies is not a low budget team that a GM needs to navigate a lot of hoops. The Phillies invested in analytics infrastructure, training complex, put high $ in IFAs, hire enough people in scouting and player development, etc. but Klentak cannot seem to produce legit MLB talent.

        This complains are not new and there are already a known fact early in Klentak’s tenure so there’s no more justification why Klentak still has the same failures as he has since his Day 1 in the office.

        I though last year with the Gabe saga that we will see the end of McPhail and Klentak. I hope Middleton will finally see the light and move on from McPhail and Klentak.

        1. Basically McFail and Klentax had a philosophy and it blew up. They wanted to draft the bats and buy the arms. They wanted a universal offensive player and a universal pitcher. Batters would be measured on launch angle and exit velocity, pitchers would throw high heat. They had one plan and it wasn’t and isn’t a good one. I didn’t agree with them when they came in and won’t agree with them next week when they are on the way out.

          The Phillies need to get some management that doesn’t think it is the smartest people in the room. They need someone that can work with players’ strengths and build from there, they don’t need to go star gazing, just build from within and add pieces to complete the puzzle.

          Our coaching staff of Joe Giardi, Dillon and Price are set, they are baseball people, I am good with them, get some people at the top that aren’t trying to reinvent the light bulb.

          1. Well said, Denny. I firmly believe that had they focused on player development instead of indoctrinating a philosophy which they were incapable of employing, we would be witnessing more talent from the farm reach the majors with a greater rate of success. They said they wanted to be like teams such as the Cubs, the Dodgers, Houston, Tampa and so on. I want to be a brain surgeon. Now, it’s totally on John Middleton to scour those organizations for who he doesn’t have in Philadelphia. It failed. So be it. Let’s get on to the next regime instead of treading water in hopes of redeeming that which isn’t worth it.

  30. Moniak now 5th in career WAR among the top 10 picks in the 2016 draft 😉

    Ian Anderson: 1.2
    Cal Quantrill: 0.9
    Nick Senzel: 0.5
    A.J. Puk: 0.2
    Moniak: 0.1
    Braxton Garrett: -0.1

    The others haven’t played in the majors.

    1. I’m not sure if Moniak will hit enough to be a starter, but I think he should be able to stick as a bench player. He moves well, his D seems to be good, and he has a strong arm. Now he needs to hit the cutoff man…

  31. Whatever Matt Klentak’s motives at this point, I do believe Joe Girardi is focused on finding out who he has in the young players. Injuries have provided him with a built in excuse. If they make the playoffs, great. But I think Joe isn’t deluded about their chances in 2020. Klentak, meanwhile, is pulling out all the stops – Medina, Romero, Moniak…hell, he’s even willing to risk furthering a Howard injury by getting him back in action sooner than next spring. Huh!

    1. That is something that will need to be addressed within the next 3/4 days…..Howard should be shut down until spring IMO.
      Two consecutive years now he has had some soreness in the shoulder and the velo has dropped.
      Now is the time to start some type of a program to strengthen the shoulder area.
      I would even look into PRP which has been used for some shoulder soft tissue issues.

  32. If I have to commend Klentak this season it is that Klentak doesn’t have the heart of a high roller. The trade with BOS looks like a bust but we should be glad that Klentak did not decide to go all in and put the top prospects on deck for a short term gain (rental players) and save his career.

    I hate it when ATL wins the NF East and I hate it more to see that the lowly Fish continue to be the better team and might get into the playoffs because of their wins vs the Phillies!!

  33. Hinkie, hold the phone on Dave Dombrowski being unavailable to take the helm of an existing MLB team. Multiple reports have him linked to the Angels soon to be vacant job. But he doesn’t appear to likely replace our GM.

      1. Klentak was more of a by product of hiring McPhail. If the Phillies hired somebody else and not McPhail – Klentak will not be here.

        1. To be clear … I wasn’t hoping for Dombrowski. I just threw his name on my “Next GM” list because I felt Middleton might be desperate enough to sell everything to win now.
          I think the most realistic candidates are Neander (Rays), Luhnow, Naehring (Yankees), and maybe an outside chance at Forst (A’s). I’d probably make Naehring the early favorite to replace Klentak.

  34. At 4:16 pm I want a new genius GM who wants to tear down the lumpers excuse me Phillies and start building with some solid pieces. As previously stated again and again. Total no mans land with this team. Have to be honest lot of Phil’s are good guys but have warts that may hurt ability to be part of WS contender and this includes Harper(sulking which he had reputation). Can’t buy way to championship without a farm system and be honest it is bare. Hope Phil’s prove me wrong and come back but for what to prolong mediocrity for several more years.

    1. Once again, a seeming Phillies “legacy”, regularly making pitchers with ERAs over 7.00 look like Greg Maddux. The injuries have been too much to overcome.

      And yes, I’ve begun to consider Nola and Wheeler as both #2s. Good ones, mind you. But Nola hasn’t established himself as a true ace except for his 2018. I’m not down on him, per se, he’s a fine pitcher, but I think we collectively as fans have placed him in a higher plateau than he merits. When he’s on, he’s lights out. But he’s very ordinary in about 75% of his starts.

      1. 8mark……career home/away splits tell the story with him

        Home….33-17…ERA…2.99
        Away…..25-21…ERA…3.98

        …at home he is a number one, on the road he is a middle of the rotation guy, leans three….just the way it has turned out for him for some strange reason….maybe he does not get the calls on the road.

  35. Another Pitcher with an ERA close to 7 that we struggle to even get a hit off. I don’t think we should attempt to bring Howard back. I don’t think we should even consider letting Howard pitch again this year. I think the WC chances are dwindling close to zero. Cannot let the offense off the hook for these last 2 games, and the Defense has left a lot to be desired. I trust that Middleton is thoroughly embarrassed.

  36. Phil’s minor leaguers are if his arm is strong enough if he can improve defense if he can hit for more power.

    Nationals marlins and Braves minor leaguers don’t all have ifs they all have when he gets here he will play here and will bat here

  37. In 2019, the Phillies entered their final 9 games with a 79-74 record. They were out of it but they could’ve made a statement by ending the season a bunch of games over .500.

    They made a statement: They went on to lose six straight games, five of them to the Nationals. They won the next two to get to 81-80 before losing the finale to the Marlins.

    Like most Phillies teams of the past, this team doesn’t have grit. They’ve got Harper now but all he does really is TALK a good game. He plays hard when he is “happy”.

    If you were Realmuto and got the same offer from a competitive team with a solid future going forward that matched the offer from the Phillies, would you want to come back to this team?

    1. JTR will most likely sign with the highest bidder and that’s going to be the Phillies. Middleton will probably need an extra push from Harper and Wheeler to convince JTR to stay and sell that the Phillies will move on from Klentak and hire a more capable manager.

      1. I tend to agree, Kuko. The highest bid may be higher than what the Phillies prefer but Middleton can in no way shape or form allow JTR to sign elsewhere. Despite this team’s present situation, the familiar culture of the past 2 seasons may be enough to keep him here. And as we’ve discussed before, we don’t know what has already been communicated between the negotiating parties. A handshake agreement before the lockdown earlier this summer may have sealed a pending contract. But that’s mere speculation.

  38. MLB’s 2021 draft order is highly likely to be determined by the results of the 2020 campaign, a source told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
    There was some uncertainty around the draft order due to a clause in a March agreement between MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association, notes Passan. The clause allowed the league to potentially change how the order was determined if the season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Passan’s source.

    The Pirates would own the No. 1 pick in 2021 if the 2020 regular season ended Tuesday and MLB used the final standings to determine draft order.The Rangers and Red Sox would select second and third overall, respectively. The Diamondbacks would pick fourth, followed by the 2019 World Series champion Nationals at No. 5.
    So Kumar Rocker to the Pirates it looks like.
    The Phillies now that it looks like they will be out of the play-offs…assuming they lose the second game…probably draft in that 13-15 range.

  39. Just watched the lowlights of the game. Bruce has got to come up with that ball down the line
    in the four run inning. I believe any other first baseman makes that play. I realize that Bruce is an outfielder but come on!

  40. And can we move on from Cutch as a leadoff man. I mean, is it some gratis respect thing. Granted, there is no classic leadoff type on the roster. But I’d rather let Bohm lead off. Let him grow into his power stroke, meanwhile maximizing his on base tool.

  41. I was about to say the Phillies are the third most embarrassing team. The Pirates are first because their ownership doesn’t even attempt to improve the team. They just hope to get lucky. I was going to say that the Angels were second but then I did the math. The Angels are paying $6.6 million per win this year. The Phillies are paying $7.5 million.

    1. Whoops that should be $7.2 million for the Phillies. Oh and thank God for the Mets. They are at $7.8 million per win.

      1. Pirates have the usual excuse…small market…low budget.
        Phillies, Angels and Mets….who knows what excuses they can use.

  42. Romus, doesn’t that September record say it all? Middleton overruled Klentak and fired Kapler, and as his reason said, and I am paraphrasing, I have seen the collapse the last 2 Septembers, and I had no reason to believe anything would change. That is the only reason he needs to move on from Klentak. The 2018 season, Klentak counted on VV, Pivetta and Eflin and added no SP. Last year, no SP, and a collection of extra hitters. This year, after a BP that was historically bad, he tried to patch it, and again, failed. 3 strikes, Matt Klentak, you are out!

    1. matt13…yep.
      Next week will be it for Matt K….unless they get into the play-offs…then it may be delayed another week later.

      1. Romus i think Jim knows i am Hinkie. also i think the phillies monitor this site, About a month ago i suggested that if a player hit a cutout the person should win tickets, today they are doing that, plus the player will sign the cutout and you get a grab bag from them,

  43. Forget masks. These relievers should be wearing paper bags over their heads. Utterly embarrassing.

    …and why, please, why did Joe G remove Morgan from the game when Taylor was 1 for 14 career with 8 Ks? Then comes the barrage….

  44. If you are the GM of this pathetic mess, who of this dismal anemic bunch of BP pitchers would you actually keep?

    1. FAs: Hunter, Workman, Phelps, Parker, Alvarez
      Arbitration: Neris, Morgan, Hale, Hembree
      Pre-Arb: Rosso, Romero, Brogdon, Suarez

      The 2021 bullpen should be Neris, Morgan, Hale, Alvarez (re-sign), Suarez, Brogdon, FA, FA.

      Rosso and Romero are not ready.

      Even though people on this board are not crazy about them, Neris and Morgan are FAs after 2021. The Phillies will have to overpay for a bullpen arm because the Phillies will be looking for a closer sooner rather than later.

        1. I would roll the dice with Neris for $7M. He’s 31, but still throwing 95. Closers on the FA market are expensive and nobody else in the current bullpen will be able to do it next season.

      1. I think your answer has some validity to it. Though I’m not too crazy about Brogdon, but then I’ve not seen that much of him. Incredible none of the late acquisitions are worth keeping, but I feel the same way.

      2. Neris (7 million team option)
        Phelps aka HR-Phelps-N-Stuff as Jim put it (4.5 million team option)
        Hembree (~2.5 million thru arbitration)
        Adam Morgan (~2.5 million thru arbitration)
        Victor Arano (~800 thousand thru arbitration)
        JoJo Romero (minimum wage)

        are most likely all going to be back

        Trevor May would be my priority FA BP arm

        David Robertson could come back on a minor league deal

        Ranger Saurez could be a swing man.

        Damon Jones, Kyle Dohy, and Zach Warren should be on the 40 man, and could see some time.

        1. @hinkie – I will prefer to not resurrect Hembree again. I rather give that roster spot to a Rule 5 pick or give Hammer/DLS another shot to get back to the 40-man or simply let the other young arms in the 40-man to win that slot.

          Workman, Hembree, Hale, Phelps should pack up together with Klentak,

      3. Miller is their best LHP. He should have been on the 60-man at a minimum. It’s inexplicable he wasn’t in the mix this season.

  45. Time to watch yanks vs blue jays. Can’t watch Phil’s corner OFs fumble around in corners trying to pick up greased pig anymore. Phil’s look like team who want to go home. Pathetic embarrassment for veterans. Younger guys get pass .

  46. Phelps, 3 hits, 3 runs, all earned, and zero outs. And, he is the guy I thought would help. 8mark, I have no clue why JoeG did that? I am at a loss.

  47. I have absolutely no idea how David Phelps turned into a pumpkin. He went from one of the best to one of the worst relievers in the blink of an eye.

    And let’s slow the roll on JoJo. I think he’ll be fine, but he’s nowhere near ready right now. He’s young and inexperienced. Right now, he’s too wild with his fastball. That fastball to Soto was center cut.

  48. Joe G using younger arms in BP without rest, risking young arms. Jo Jo, Brogden trying to step up because who’s going to say no. Hoping no one gets hurt.

    Jo Jo a starter by history not use to workload But doing his best. Today: 0.2 IP, 3runs ouch
    Brogden a BP Guy but 2 days on one day off. Pulling for the kid

    Too many injuries with this 60 game season schedule

    1. JoJo and Brogdon are young, but I don’t think they are being overworked. They are just young, inexperienced pitchers in a pennant race. To think that they will come in and react like experienced closers is a pipe dream.

  49. JT ran hard and got the game tied. He is a gamer and we should be the team he wants to play for. Once upon a time we were. The mistakes have been too many to count. We should already be lining up our pitching for the Playoffs. Let’s bring in a new Front Office and get where we should be.

  50. Bases loaded, one out, four and five hitters up and nada. Just watched Pivetta pitch five pretty strong innings on NESN. Allowed one run, 8 strike outs, but over a hundred pitches.

  51. If MK is not fired on Monday, there’s going to be a lot of unhappy fans on sports radio.

    I am in total shock. This bullpen is going to send me to the loonie bin. Joe Girardi is going to have an ulcer. I just don’t get it. I can’t believe this bullpen is this bad. I mean, it boggles the mind, it really does. I don’t think we will ever see a bullpen this bad in the next 20 years.

  52. Terry Murray 1997 … This team has “a choking situation”

    Mar Knofler 1985 … Brandon Workman “that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
    get your money for nothin’ ”

    If it wasn’t so sad, I’d be laughing. Absolutely everything Matt Klentak touches turns to dust.
    At least the Phillies are making a late climb up the 2021 draft order: 1-13 right now. A top 10 pick is still not out of the question.

  53. I feel awful and numb at the same time. The odds of the Phillies bullpen being this bad has to be like under 3%. It’s an all-timer, it’s crazy.

  54. Bullpen sucks but this team cannot manufacture runs. 1 run scored on ball thrown 10 feet over first baseman’s head. It’s more than just the bullpen.

  55. 9 runs against three pitchers who should not be starting In mlb and no better than anything nats had to face from Phil’s bullpen. Same team last 3 years. See if Girardi can squeeze out .500 record like kapler. Haha

  56. At this point, don’t you just have to put Brandon Workman on the IL. At the very least, he needs a mental health break.
    And has Victor Arano’s arm fallen off? Where is he?

  57. At the start of today’s action, Fangraphs had the Phillies at 87% to make the playoffs. Tonight it’s 35%. How demoralizing…but the hope is this free fall precipitates the removal of the club president and his protege GM.

    1. It firing McPhail and Klentak is the silver lining of 2020 – I personally take that as a win. Losing a battle to win a war.

      I agree with Hinkie, Klentak’s turning everything into dust is like divine intervention that will force the Phillies to do what they shouldn’t done before — stay away from McPhail and Klentak.

  58. Middleton just does not know when to pull the trigger – he waited a year too long on Kapler, and two years too long on MacPhail and Klentak. They did not know when to pull the trigger on the JTR extension and quite frankly I love Bryce, but looking back on it that contract was a mistake not because of Bryce’s performance at this point, but this team has zero depth and was years away from being a true contender so as much as Middleton wanted to believe getting a star would change things, this isn’t the NBA.

    1. Pivetta wasn’t going to thrive in this organization, Romus. In his case, I’m not sure his outing yesterday is a microcosm of his future as a major league pitcher.

      1. That would be logical…..many start out like blazes with that initial adrenaline rush than temper off to a more leveling point.
        But as it stands now…it looks like the Phillies could and will come out on the wrong side of the ledger with Klentak’s desire to win now at all cost.
        We have not even seen what Seabold bring to the table.
        We have seen Workman and Hembree.

        1. I agree with 8mark. As much as I still believe in Nick Pivetta’s talent, he was never going to succeed here. He needed a change of scenery. If you want to make the argument Matt Klentak didn’t get enough for him (and Connor Seabold), that’s a different story.
          TBH … I felt the deal was a fair one for both sides when it was made. Just hard to fathom how far south Workman and Hembree (not to mention Phelps) have gone since becoming Phillies.

  59. Middleton would show me something if he cut MacPhail and Klentak loose TODAY instead of waiting until official elimination from the post season. It doesn’t matter. If he doesn’t see that, we’re in even worse trouble as an organization.

    1. 1000% agree with you 8mark….

      This franchise needs a major shot in the arm top to bottom. I would not under any circumstances resign JT at the price he is going to command.

      Can I get two Nola’s for the price of one Nola?

      1. DMAR…….if certain teams want to go overboard for JTR….they can help themselves.
        I’d rather take the money and get the third TOR…..ie Trevor Bauer….and bring in James McCann as the catcher for 2 years at approx $11/122M AAV.

        This way they can also bring back Didi if they so desired….or QO him.

        1. While I think the Phillies will in fact re-sign JTR, I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of plausibility that Knapp and Marchan could share the backstop duties. I wouldn’t put it past Girardi, as much as I’m sure he likes Realmuto, to think progressively in devoting resources elsewhere. Just a thought….but the new GM might have more input on this whole scenario, which is why Klentak had nothing tangible to say about it because he knows he’s out of that loop.

        2. I just can’t bring myself to be a Bauer fan. As talented as he is he just seems to lose every where he goes…

          I do like McCann though paired with Marchan. Marchan is never going to be JT offensively but he is likely to be a lot like Chooch and cheap for years.

  60. I watched that second game and the comeback and got myself hopeful that the season was not over. I watched Neris pitch well, and knew Workman was coming in. I have been angry and embarrassed and all worked up previously, watching this team. Last night I was simply numb. Totally expected what happened to happen, and had nothing left to be angry about. Just numb. We have never seen anything like this because nothing like this has happened since the 1930’s. Kuko said it, I think, if losing this battle means winning the war, then ok. Andy and Matt K need to go.

    1. Matt … I’m with you. I laughed out loud when it ended.
      I always text with my cousin during Phillies games. This is the message I sent him when TMac announced Workman was entering the game in the bottom of the 8th inning: “Oh, good. Brandon Workman. This should end well.”

      The guy is cooked. He has to go on the IL. Girardi just cannot use him again.

    1. Pirates will probably go for Rocker.
      His teammate Leiter will probably go soon after
      Does not look deep with any pitchers after the first 5/6 picks.

      1. Romus … LSU RHP Jaden Hill is the other college pitcher that will go near the top of the draft. Ty Madden (Texas) and Steve Hajjar (Michigan) are in the next group. I like Eric Cerantola (Miss St) or Ryan Cusick (Wake Forest) as dark horse candidates if the Phillies in go college arm in round one.

    2. We do NOT draft guys that throw hard, stop the nonsense. We like our young, late inning relievers throwing in the low 90s please. Must be a Klentak analytics tool we’re not yet aware of.

      1. I also feel the sarcasm but with McPhail and Klentak almost getting the boot === we might start to miss those soft tossing and high floor prospects.

        I think Middleton will hire a more aggressive FO to replace the risk averse McPhail-Klentak combo,

  61. If the Phillies get swept tonight, what makes it even worse (if that’s possible) is that the Nationals beat them four straight without pitching Corbin or Scherzer.

  62. Romus, If there were 6 studs in the draft, we would pick 8th, so not even a team screwing up would help us. Sorry for the negativity. I feel another rebuild coming. Even with Harper and Nola and Wheeler, I just see a team with so many holes. We needed more from Nola in the first game, and the defense didn’t help. But he was not “Ace” Nola, for sure. I am almost giving up on re-signing Realmuto, and I just feel that will be a big mistake. I don’t think we have the winning team that Bauer will come to, and with him taking a 1 year deal, a lot of teams will be in on him. And, I don’t want the new GM to be a Dombrowski type, where he has to win next year, so trades what is left of any young guys. So, I see 2 of our best hitters who should be playing at 1B, Hoskins and Bohm, 2 2B, one who was simply bad this year, in Kingery, no SS, no 3B, no really good CF, a LF who is on his last legs, and no starting C. And, if a good BP has 8 Pitchers, then we need 6. Plus, a SP. Yes, maybe a couple of spots are filled with Haseley/Quinn, but we need an influx of top shelf talent, not just guys to fill positions at a replacement level. Please tell me I am just depressed.

    1. Matt, it’s ok. We’ll talk you down off the ledge. What will make us all feel better is when we get the Tweet from Salisbury or Zolecki that MacPhail and Klentak are being relieved of their duties. It won’t be a lasting drunkenness, but it’ll usher in the new era of Phillies baseball, for better or worse.

  63. Not to be Pollyanna, but it might not all be doom and gloom for next season namely because this roster can score runs. Even in these exasperating losses, the Phillies have scored runs and they’ve done it without their big hitters being healthy or being in games at all.

    The problem has been injuries and the bullpen. The won-loss record would be significantly better if both were average.

    Having said that, I’ve been in favor of replacing McPhail and Klentak for a long time and hope Middleton does that soon.

    1. yea, with an average bullpen they win the division. If JTR leaves, they probably spread that money around. I’d like to keep him, but if he’s gone you combine that 10 mil with the Arrieta and Robertson money and then you probably bring back Didi, go after a big name closer like Hendriks, and still have money left over.

      I like JT, but sky isn’t falling if he leaves. Again, how many games has he won us compared to how many the bullpen has lost?

    1. v1 – JTR will be forever be linked with Sixto and that mainly drives the sentiments about resigning (or not) this post season. The Phillies have good depth in C down in the farm so the hole the JTR will leave can be addressed internally.

      If MLB allows sign and trade, the Phillies will probably want to do that.

      But if JTR walks away (even if Marchan or O’Hoppe fills the void) and Phillies gets nothing in return and Sixto torments the Phillies for years to come, I expect that a lot will be bashing that trade (and you’ll probably rub it the most) – this is the reason why it appears that it is almost imperative to keep JTR to make up for the loss of Sixto.

      1. Kuko, with Middleton’s eyes and ears to the airwaves of electronic/social media, I would be utterly stunned if he were to allow JTR to simply slip away…and quite possibly to a division rival. The public outrage would be deafening. The media criticism would come nationally. His “or I’ll die trying” proclamation will be replayed time and again. And the objective evaluation of legit baseball people throughout the industry would be damning. There is no way John Middleton could justify not re-signing Realmuto unless Cohen simply bids against himself. Giving his okay (we assume) to trading Sixto for JT painted him into this corner. There’s really no way to polish this turd, as one morning radio blow hard likes to say. Keeping JTR doesn’t assure us of anything. Saying goodbye leaves us all here with a bad taste in our mouths which no liquor can drown out.

        1. @8mark – I agree with you and I think we are on the same page. I’m not necessary overestimating (probability to resign JTR) or underestimating (the void left behind) as V1 said – but it is the picture of losing that trade that potentially slows down the Middleton train that is really driving the needle to resign JTR.

          We don’t know who is really behind the trade and why decision it is to delay the signing of extension.

          What I know is that most big FAs follow the $$ unless the FO already burned the bridge and the FA can no longer cross.

      2. KuKo…I look at it in a capital $$$$ investment .
        Arrieta moving on, along with a JTR savings if he decides to sign elsewhere….gives the new GM plenty of flexibility and with Cutch in his final year in 2021, that is even more added fuel to make changes that need to be made.

        But really….one player people seem to forget that could come in and make a difference in further lengthening the lineup is Stott.
        He wasa top ten draft prospect two years ago….nothing has changed with him….further he will be working with Harper in Vegas in the off-season….hopefully Harper will guide him well.
        I have to think added experience and maturity will help both Moniak and Haseley….both of whom are very dedicated workers….along with Bohm.

        Kingery may only be up next season for a 6/8 week period….if he has not figured it out by EOM May….then can see him being optioned down to AAA…he has an option left. Something most GMs utilize for struggling vets….but not Matt Klentak for some reason.

        What concerned me was the poor defensive metrics that this team generated.
        Phillies were 28th-DRS with a negative 32….the youthful Jays and even the Nats were worse. That is a troubling stat……almost like 2018’s metric.
        That will need to be turned around.

      3. I think that you are missing my point.

        A MLB-wide top 25 prospect is a rare asset. That is a player with the potential to produce above average results for league minimum cost for 5+ years. The only rationale for trading that prospect for a 2 year window, is if that player that you get is the final piece of a championship club. If you make that decision, and are wrong about the quality of the club, then you don’t deserve the right to make future decisions. If you get an All-star catcher for 7+ years total, then that could justify trading a top 25 prospect.

        1. Your point is that the JTR trade was a mistake since you don’t think that JTR is the final piece of a championship club. The Phillies can no longer undo the trade so what do you want the Phillies to do? If that in fact a mistake, then Middleton should fire Klentak since last year (this makes me happy).

          I think you are mixing 2 separate issues similar to what you did to Haseley where you criticize his offensive skills and yet your issue is the value of Haseley (not an offensive stud) as a pick 1.8.

          This JTR saga has 2 sides — #1 the trade itself (was it justified to give up Sixto if the Phillies are not ready to contend) and #2 does make sense to allocated big $ to resign JTR to justify the loss of Sixto. Most people moved on from #1 since they can’t do anything about it anymore.

          1. You are still not getting my point. I have already answered that. If you make that trade, you have to sign him. Betts just signed. Roy Halladay. Etc. it has been done before. They can’t be independent events. You have to get him signed.

            1. @v1 – you are now confusing me more. OK, so you don’t think that the Phillies can resign JTR?

              I agree with you that Phillies should have resigned JTR sooner than later or simply JTR should not be allowed to hit FA where other big $ teams can outbid the Phillies. I can say that almost of all us agree with this.

              I’m not sure if it is Middleton or Klentak who decided to let it linger longer, but if I will make a guess — it’s probably McPhail and Klentak who advised Middleton to give it time and see if they can sign JTR cheaper than what Middleton is willing to pay.

            2. KuKo…..Jim Peyton may have already addressed this last month if I remember correctly..

              From what I can recall , he gathered from sources down there, that JTR was going to test free agency….there was not going to be any early signings before than.

              So it really is a moot point. If the player does not want to sign early than that is his right.

            3. Yeah, Romus, I thought I had cleared this up. But, V1 doesn’t accept my word. He challenged me to provide proof. I’m not about to burn a source just to win a discussion. You ready for another e-mail?

  64. Matt Gelb of the Athletic wrote a piece today that shows he is clearly deflated – furthermore, I heard him speak on Sirius radio as well – both communications were similar. For those who don’t get the Athletic etc., the highlights ; Phillies will only sign JT if they have the Hinkie $$ meaning the most or they will match the highest – it is all about the money period. The organization has systematically not built pitching and outfield depth such that it has virtually ruined their season. The bullpen is – despite some of our bloggers thinking it is the worst – HAS IN FACT established they are the worst in 90 years ! 176 innings with a 7 plus ERA ? Moniac in LF in arguably the most important game of the year – was indicative of not having readily available depth. Injuries to many – namely Harper, Rhys, and JT have also undermined performance – but again, more depth might have ameliorated that. All in all a very disappointing end to a very peculiar season – are these September collapses now commonplace and if so why ? His response DEPTH, or lack thereof.

    As for the games – I could not watch either one – knowing that I would be stomping around and throwing things against the wall. Enough is enough. From a 70 year fan ? surely I have seen worse ? yes – but I expected it, that’s the difference.

    1. I stopped watch the games after the Harper prediction. I will only watch the games again if Middleton revamp the FO or if my family is legally allowed to sue the Phillies if I suffer heart attack!!

      It’s always good to be nice but a true sense of frustration is warranted. The Phillies especially this FO deserved to be criticized by Phillies fans who burn hard earned money and time to support the team. Being nice to Klentak or this FO is being complicit to this mess.

    1. @v1 – I still call it as a wash. Segura is not the professional hitter that Klentak expect to bring to the team — but getting Alvarez is a nice move. I take Didi for 1 year deal (especially if 2020 is a full season) as the better SS solution and I don’t even think that’s on Klentak.

      1. I don’t see how you can find any statistics to support your conclusion of “a wash”. JP is the equivalent of a little league team’s automatic out. He has a sub .700 career OPS and is trending down. He has the same OPS as Freddy Galvis. As for defensive side, JP has a negative 6 DRS for his career.

      2. Didi was a Joe G move. Harper was a Cigarman move. JT was a move forced by Harper. Wheeler was a no brainer move. Klentak made Segura move to unload Santana to only taker. Arrieta was McFail move because he knew him in Baltimore. Everything else my grandson could have done if he was the GM.
        Klentak/McFail have no Grade Point Average.

    2. Segura now has the 3rd most WAR (1.4) on the team. If you extrapolate it to a full season, it’ll be 3.5+. Segura has had a good year and he has easily outplayed his current salary.

      1. Segura’s second base defense was the best on the team….positive DRS of 4
        The infield going from first around to catcher…. Hoskins/Kingery/Didi/Bohm and JTR….all negative DRS.
        That cannot be next season.

  65. Hang in there, RU. I’ve always believed this was (another) .500 team. I expect them to win 3 of their last four. Whether that’s good enough to make the playoffs … we’ll just have to wait and see. I believe their best chance for the posteason is passing Miami (and finishing 2nd in the division). The Marlins throw Sixto vs Max Fried tonight. If they don’t win, they could lose out, and finish the year on an 8 game losing streak.
    Cheer up, everybody!

    1. Hinkie…what really was a disappointment was that the Phillies could have brought in their part-time organist for the 30 home games…..would have like to hear his rendition of Notorious B.I.G. when Didi came up.

      1. Romus … I’m right with you there. The organist has been on my Phillies “to do” list for a while now.

        * Organist at CBP
        * Bring back the Dodge/whoever wants to sponsor Stump The Fans Trivia Question
        * Hire Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto as Director Of Clubhouse Food Services

        * Too late to replace Andy MacPhail with Chaim Bloom. Just gonna’ have to hire Jeff Luhnow, Tim Naehring, or Erik Neander instead.

        1. Hinkie, if I’m not mistaken, Neander would have to be offered the club presidency, no? Since he’s already GM in Tampa, it would be a lateral move…which means he would not be released from his current contract. So, he would then have to name a GM.

          1. Yes. Neander, Naehring (VP NYY’s), and Forst (A’s GM) would have to be offered a promotion. Neander could be named VP of Baseball Ops, and act as the team’s de facto GM. Whoever Neander hires as GM might be responsible for a lot of the leg work/paper work.
            There are quite a few teams around the league who use this FO model. For instance, the LAD’s hired Andrew Friedman as President of Baseball Operations, yet he’s the guy making the trades and signing the FA’s.

  66. Hinkie why do you want this team to be in the playoffs on National TV? dont you like Philly,? We will be laughed at by the whole country, for how bad a team we have with one of the top payrolls,

    1. Rocco … if it makes you feel any better, just making the playoffs isn’t going to save MacPhail/Klentak. This team would have to win a series (at least) for that duo to be back in 2021 IMO.

  67. Last night was my worst Performance, I went on a date from online Dating service, She was bigger than me, And had a tooth missing, I THINK I LOVE HER

    1. Yeah…..Knapp had it …even on his throwing arm in Oct 2013 and was batting in the first week of May 2014 in CLW…so it was the bottom hand/arm on the bat when he hit lefthanded.
      Also Didi was back mid-Oct 2018 from his throwing arm TJ and was hitting in the Yankee lineup first week of June. 2019
      Rhys will also be the bottom hand on the bat…but not his throwing arm..

  68. Remember when I posted that the Padres were terrible with their first round picks? In their current hitting 9, they have ZERO home grown players. Not only that, in their rotation, they have ZERO drafted players. The only player out of their current hitting 9 and starting 5 who was brought up in their system is Dinelson Lamet, who was an international signing. How crazy is that?

    1. That is, i though Their star young player was bought up in their farm, but I guess he was traded for

      The state of the Phillies is heartbreaking, it’s hard to watch the failure of this rebuild. It really is in so many ways, I feel like the fans are getting .35 cents for every dollar spent. The SR is nice, but not fully complete, the bullpen is the equivalent to lord of the flies, and the offense is a few headers sort of a V8. This rebuild is like a great potential house flip, you get started and you can’t finish, wind up having to sell it. They should be in much better position to win. I’m glad they will miss the playoffs, Because I don’t want a smoke And mirrors in the evaluation dept. I’d take a miracle WS run, but I’m not going to kid myself that this bullpen and disabled list team could make that Cinderella run. That said, this WAS the season to do just that, a shortened season could hide the warts of your team, get hot at the right time, and maybe yaa get lucky. Fake it to you make it. Nope not to be but close with that 10 of 11 run.

      The issues are This team has so much dead weight for a prolong title window. They are a one shot wonder, maybe a 3 year window with very low percentage chance of shocking the world. Kingery, Hoskins, and VV with an entire bullpen would need to come through for me to even consider something different.

      McCuten was a mistake
      Realmuto was a mistake – unless you needed him to get Harper, but that’s debatable
      Arrieta was like burning money

      So much money on the books for moves that should not have been necessary if the farm system could have produced players during this rebuild.

      We didn’t get enough from our drafts, and had to sign 3 FA outfielders in Harper, McCutcheb, Bruce, and others. We had Moniak,Cornelius, Hasley, and others, yet we have a bloated payroll.

      We traded for Realmuto with Alfaro, grullon, Knapp, Marchan in the system. would Sixto, Alfaro and a FA of 20 million+ give better war overall than Realmuto. I argue yes. It’s not popular but it is certainly looking that way. Catchers aren’t suppose to hit, but for some reason they do in philly. Bad trade imo

      I hope trading seabold doesn’t look stupid in exchange for 10 blown saves

    2. Tatis could technically be considered home grown….he did have three years in their minor league system (2016-2018) after the WSox trade.

      1. Tatis signed a $700,000 deal with the White Sox back in 2015….he was ranked 30th
        Jhailyn Ortiz ($4M) was ranked 10th and Juan Soto ($1.5M) was ranked 25th.

        Oh the humanity of it all!

  69. Guys don’t rush to TJ because the odds aren’t always with you. Depending on severity sometimes odds are better for rest than surgery

  70. Two tremendous efforts by Eflin to close out the season. If the Phillies make the playoffs (i think they will), Eflin would have to start game 1 on Wednesday, Wheeler would start game 2 on Thursday, and Nola would get the ball for game 3 on Friday.

  71. Eflin has been very impressive, Hinkie, and out pitched both Nola and Wheeler. I think we have another legit SP. Maybe a #3, but definitely a good #4. I really want Didi back. I know Romus is high on Stott, and I hope he is good, but I’ve seen nothing indicating he is close to the Majors. I expect a mea culpa from Middleton taking some of the blame for letting the Luxury Tax interfere with putting the best team possible out there. I am hoping for that, at least.

  72. The topic is NL top 10 saves leaders and where the Phils stack up since Papelbon left.

    2015 – None

    2016 – Jeanmar Gomez (5th)

    2017 – None

    2018 – None

    2019 – Hector Neris (7th)

    It’s not like the Phils have been bottom feeders regarding save opportunities over this period. It’s been exposed this year but was hiding in plain sight for the last 5 years. The Phils have under-invested in late inning and closer relief.

    If you ran a company and had a key position so under-performing, you’d put resources there and Klentak hasn’t made that happen. I personally think he’s not a good judge of baseball talent but it’s lack of attention to the closer role that really condemns him. The guy’s gotta’ go or the team’s more Middleton’s hobby than a business interest.

    1. Robertson, Hunter, Phelps, and Neshek are all examples of attempts to fortify the late-inning pen. Add in injuries to Dominguez and Arano, and I’m not sure you can condemn him for lack of attention.

      Definitely should have done more this year based on who was already hurt, but it sure feels like the guy is tired of getting burned by RP acquisitions. They need to get some rum to appease Jobu or something in addition to changes in the FO. There is some bad juju surrounding the Phils’ bullpen in recent years.

      1. I could have been misunderstood but the subject was closers. Robertson flashed for 3 seasons but the Phils got him 3 years after he faded. Hunter’s no closer and has 22 career saves in 38 save opportunities. That’s good only in comparison to the others you mentioned. Phelps has 6 carer saves in 27 career opportunities and I don’t know anyone who can rival that. Neshek has 16 career saves in 38 career opportunities.

        Neshek had some success in other roles while in Philly. But I think you made my point about closers. Ken Giles, the one we let get away, has 115 saves in 130 career opportunities. If you can develop more Ken Giles’, you can afford to trade the 1 you have. But if you can’t develop them — and the Phils demonstrably can’t with any regularity — you can’t afford to trade the 1 you have. The Phils continue to pay the price on that move.

        The Phils’ front office are just bad card players and keep a hand at the table because they think they’re playing with house money. Maybe, not maybe, it’s time for a change.

  73. Some former Phils:

    Darin Ruf has a 147 OPS+ in 36 games. Still can’t play defense, so he’s been worth 0.5 WAR

    JP Crawford can play defense, but he doesn’t hit much, so he’s been worth 0.8 WAR in 48 games

    Maikel Franco has put up 0.8 WAR for the Royals. Hard to believe, but that’s the second-highest yearly total of his career.

    Freddy Galvis has been terrible (-0.2 WAR) for the Reds.

    Cesar Hernandez has been good (he has 1.3 WAR) for the Indians.

  74. I’m sorry about saying that I was starting to give up on Eflin. He just earned himself a spot in the rotation next year, yeah that’s sounds nuts but to me he solidified it and is having an ok year.
    If he can throw that curveball and throw 94-96 with movement, plus the sinker . . . I keep dreaming on a really solid 3. It’s in there.

    1. When everything is working for Eflin, he’s a 2, maybe even better. His issue has definitely been consistency. But I’ll take that in a #4 or 5. In 60% of his games, he puts us in position to win. And in 10% of them, he actively wins them for us. I’m happy to overlook the clunkers when I think of the big picture with him. And surprisingly, he’s still young. It’s still entirely possible he puts it all together for an entire season.

      Now when he becomes more expensive, we’ll have to have this conversation again.

        1. I’m with you on that. Question is what would it take (I’m bad at this) . . . 4 years at 30m? Buys out 2 years of arbitration and 2 years of FA, gets him to age 30 where he can cash in again if he performs well.

          1. I’m not sure either but it seems to me it would be a better bet on him to continue improving at whatever cost it would take now vs having to go to free agency and pay the next Jake Arrieta 3 years and $60M.

            If this team is going to truly contend in the next 3 years, it’s going to need a big 4 of Nola, Wheeler, Howard, and Eflin to deliver.

  75. Like Eflin as part of rotation but I would put a small asterisk beside win last night. When a home team wins first 2 of 3 game series or 3 of 4 that home team always seems to take foot off gas peddle that last game. Especially team going home in 4 more days.

  76. With the Rays locking up the AL East, I’m anticipating the heartbreak scenario where the Phillies win Friday and Saturday in Tampa, drawing us back in with baited breath. Then lose behind Nola on Sunday to fall short of the post season. Let’s just put it out there now so we aren’t flummoxed by it on Sunday evening.

    1. 2 out of 3 could get it done. We will have the tiebreaker over SF and Milwaukee but not Cincy or Fla. If we win 2 of 3, we finish second in NL East if Miami goes 1-3 vs Atl (1) and NYY (3). We finish ahead of SF if they go 2-3 vs Col (1) and SD (4).

      The dream scenario here is the Phils jump the fish but not the Redbirds, with Cincy finishing 8th and knocking out the Dodgers in a best of 3 while we advance behind Eflin and Wheeler at Wrigley, lining up second round matchups between Phils and Atlanta and Cincy vs SD. We only need 2-3 starters in first round and 4 in the second round if we get aggressive. If we make it that far, I’d start Eflin, Wheeler, and Nola, followed by VV, and then I’d use Jake and Howard as late inning relievers. They cannot do any worse then what we have now and maybe if they can just get a guy or two to solidify the back end it will give that group some mojo.

  77. Phillies did not have to face neither Corbin and Scherzer and still came up short in DC
    This weekend Glasnow will not be pitching and Cash may sit out Snell as well.since he is scheduled for Sunday…..and who knows with Fleming who is sheduled for Saturday.
    Good friend Charlie Morton may however face one of his old teams tomorrow night ..if only for 4 or 5 innings.
    .

  78. Eflin in 10 starts with a fWAR of 1.5…..4.5fWAR projected over 30 starts.
    If qualified:
    ,,, xFIP of 3.09 would put him 21st in the MLB.
    ,,, K/9 of 11.18 would put him at 11th.
    ….BB/9 of 2.24 would put him at 14th.
    ,,, ERA of 4.15 would have him at 39th.

      1. I told 4 years ago he had the ability to improve his K rate! The velocity was always there and the stuff had to be unlocked.

        1. Look Eflin did this at the end of last year too. I know I was at the second to last game of the season when he threw a gem against the Marlins.

          Eflin’s stuff has pretty much always been there he tends to disappear for large parts of a full season. That said he’s a valuable piece and if he can be had on a team friendly extension they should do it.

      2. Eflin’s penchant to induce GB affects his K rate. When I watch him pitch in 2020, it was actually the CB usage that I saw differently from his previous pitching repertoire. I’m not sure if the CB is the real out pitch but adding a solid breaking ball can keep the hitters honest to set up with strike out.

        I used to love Eflin’s CU which I initially thought will be a solid out pitch.

        1. Not to difficult to figure out with him.
          He has reverted to his pitch-to-contact philosophy what got him to the majors in the first place…..more 2Smr sinkers less 4Smrs…he started at the end of last year…Price has let him continue it..
          He throw his sinker at least 50%…..breaking pitches slider and curve about 35%….forget the 4 seam FB….which he threw extensively in 2018 and the first part of 2019.

        2. Eflin became a much better pitcher when he stopped being a “pitch to contact” pitcher and his strikeout rates increased. Pitch to contact doesn’t work at the mlb level, with the rare exception. you have to be able to get strikeouts at the mlb level to get out of jams.

  79. I’d like to see the Phillies sign Drew Smyly (should have done it this year) and bring back….Tommy Hunter. Don’t start throwing things at your screen, please. I think for under a million again that he’d be worth it. Dump the rest of them except maybe Phelps.

    1. Relievers are so unpredictable year to year.
      Next year Workman could be the Workman of 2019……Phelps what he was early this year with the Brewers could also revert in 2021 to that..

      Trying to establish the total BP of 6/7 relief pitchers from year to year is like a crap shoot, and since they rarely ever go two days in a row anymore, half the pen can be totally a wash out half the time.
      .

      1. This is why depth is so important and so clearly lacking this year. The roadmap to at least a mediocre bullpen over a 162 game season is to have a solid closer, a few veteran setup guys along with a few young arms, augmented by depth at AAA in the form of up and coming hard throwers and veteran journeymen.

        1. Yep…..and then on top of it all, when key guys break down for a year or so…Hunter in 2019 and Robertson for two years, that will throw everything into turmoil…the pitchers portion of the 40 construction and the salary/ luxury tax management.

      2. Agree, Romus. Trying to assemble 5 or 6 reasonably reliable arms out of 8 is extremely difficult. With the exception of Phelps (who we all assumed would have been much more effective than he’s been), there have been no such pieces within Klentak’s reach. The problem was before the season began. He did virtually nothing then. That sealed his demise.

        How to construct a better bullpen? I’ve no clue. But Middleton must hire someone who does.

  80. 8mark, Romus, I agree that it is a difficult thing to do. But, there are teams that do it well. The Yankees, Cleveland, Tampa Bay all seem to have stellar BPs year after year. And, it is a necessity. It needs a mix of veteran and young arms. They can’t all be junk ball Pitchers. Not everyone can close, so identifying that guy is important. That doesn’t mean other guys can’t close on occasion, but the really good ones know Closing is their job. High leverage guys are different that someone who can give you 3 innings and keep the game close when the Starter struggles. In short, it takes a plan. Exactly what Klentak did not do. Was a Tommy Hunter, once upon a time, a leverage arm? Sure, but not to be counted on to be a key piece coming off injury. Could SerAnthony be good? Sure, but not coming off an injury where there was a debate whether he needed TJ surgery or not. What were the chances he wouldn’t be healthy? Pretty close to 100%. And, the rest were mediocre at best, and terrible at worst. Not at all 20-20 hindsight. All over the Baseball world, the team’s BP was identified as a weak spot. How bad it really was, no one could guess, because we have never seen this bad before.

    1. It’s a results business, no matter how arduous one part of the job is compared to others. 3 consecutive years of .500 mediocrity is enough to say ‘see ya’ to both the club president and GM.

  81. not only mediocrity for the last 3 years, 8mark, but one September collapse after the other. It hasn’t been “we started slow, but really came on at the end, giving us hope for next season.” One collapse after the other, and I point to the failures of 3 straight trade deadlines by Klentak. This year, I equally blame an awful plan coming into the season.

  82. As Buddy B wrote “…a few veteran bullpen set up guys…”. That’s why I like Hunter. I think he is respected by his teammates and he is inexpensive now.

    What about Smyly? I know he has his flaws but I think it was Hinkie who liked him as a 4-5 as do I and he is a left hander to boot.

  83. Eflin is a #2. When he is on, he can be lights out. He is the best of the bunch of SP to come through over the rebuild from trades. The SR is built enough to compete with a strong offense and bullpen that can be better than average. I saw glimpses of this before, where he goes lights out for a 4 game stretch, then gets lost, then finds it again. I think he is here to stay now, looks like he has figured it out. Sign that man. He is low cost talent for now, stretch it out.
    Nola,Wheeler, & Eflin is pretty strong. Howard should be serviceable as a #4, or #5 at minimum. It’s early in his career, I’m talking in more of expectations for next. He is a bonus if he can perform better. Now it would be interesting to argue if the Phillies still had Sixto and Alfaro over Realmuto

    Nola, Wheeler, Sixto, Eflin, Howard

  84. This upcoming FA class is dreck…other than JT and possibly Bauer (who I’m not a fan of) I don’t see much out there that would help turn this team into a real deal contender.

    1. After re-signing JTR and Didi, the new GM should still have enough money to bring back (yes, ciada) Drew Smyly and Trevor May.

    2. I’m only focusing on the players that I think have a chance to be signed i.e. Cutch is staying in LF so I’m not looking for a LF.

      Marcus Stroman
      If didi is not re-signed, Andrelton Simmons

      Trevor May
      Anthony Bass
      Shane Greene

      any reliever with a pulse

  85. I previously mentioned that the Phillies should approach Eflin about a team friendly deal. I consider Eflin a solid #3, because as good as his SO rate has been, he’s still relying on his sinker and early contact. And whenever that happens, there’s always a chance of bad luck on the ground or missing his spot and the ball goes out. If you want to see a true #2 pitcher, check out Ryu of the Blue Jays. Ryu’s career WHIP: 1.165. Eflin’s career WHIP: 1.344. There’s a big difference here. Anyways, he’s under control for 2 more years. I think his arbitration number will not be impacted by the rumored lack of money that will be spent during the upcoming FA season. So if I was Eflin’s agent, I would wait until after 2021 before accepting any team-friendly deal. This means of course that there’s a chance that Eflin won’t re-sign with the Phillies after 2022.

    1. Zach Eflin’s higher WHIP is driven by his H/9, which is driven by his pitch-to-contact philosophy. His GB% need to be mid-40% or higher for his effectiveness to be maximized when he uses his 2SMr. Pitchers with 10 starts or more he currently ranks 29th in the majors out of the 70 starters or so who have made 10 or more starts this season….and incidentally l trails Nola and Wheeler in that category

      But to go along with that decent to high GB%…a quality infield defense would further complement his effectiveness. And not sure if the Phillies current infield defense is the best we can see from them this season.

  86. The Marlins lost again last night (that’s four in a row). They had Sixto on the mound. As I mentioned yesterday, that (IMO) was their best shot at winning a game this season. Miami has an excellent chance of losing out, and finishing 2020 on an 8 game winless streak. Also posted yesterday the Phillies were in a good spot to take 3 of their last 4. That would put the team at .500 (once again), and into NLE2 playoff spot. Looks like a first round (best of three) series vs either the Cubs or Padres.

  87. So, Hinkie, we need 2 of 3 vs. the Rays, who have already clinched vs. us, a desperate team. We have Wheeler and Nola going. They do not have their top 2 guys going. We still have it in our hands to make the Playoffs. Giants have 5 games left. Today vs. the Rockies, then 4 vs. the Padres, with 1 a DH. So, the Playoffs are here. Wouldn’t it be nice if we got a good start from Vinny and took game 1, leaving us with just needing 1 from either of our Aces? See, I am dreaming again!

    1. matt13…Nola is scheduled for Sunday….four days rest after getting bombed in DC.
      His past history has shown he is more effective on 5 days rest….however this season it is altered. He actually has done better on only 4 days rest vs the 5.
      Six GSs with 4 days rest….ERA 2.0 …WHIP – 0.9
      Five GSs with 5 days rest….ERA 5.0…WHIP – 1.5
      ..not sure why that is but it does bode well for Sunday’s game..if the Phillies need it.

  88. Did you notice last night that the promo for tickets next year featured 3 Phillie faces…Harper, Nola and Bohm. No Realamito. Not saying they won’t try to resign J T but agree with V1 that it is no slam dunk. I believe there is a limit to how much they will spend on not only J T , but the catcher position.

    1. The trick about the value of a catcher – the position itself is of utmost importance while the player historically has a shorter window of impact in his big league career, at least as a catcher. Realmuto enters his age 30 season in 2021. Tough call in Realmuto’s case…it really comes down to how much his price increases with rival suitors, OR if there’s one outlier owner willing to make the big splash.

  89. I see a lot of comments about personnel changes if the front office gets fired. But I am curious as to whether the DH will be in play next year in the NL. Anyone have a sense?

  90. Someone called into WIP yesterday when talking JTR . . . To me it was an interesting thought, many here will vehemently disagree. The caller wondered if we may have dodged a bullet with not signing Realmuto (I think the caller prefaced it by saying to take the way he got here outta the equation). His logic was to look at his past 2 years, he’s been injured in each of them and this year what would have been early in the season (during a normal year). Also he talked about how much he’s been played over the past few years at the most demanding position on the field. Add in that it’s going to take massive money and prob 6-7 years.

    Would it be that bad if he walks? Could that money be used elsewhere that would have more of an impact?

    1. Actually there a few on here that have no objection if JTR takes the most money and longer years and decides on another team.
      We all know the typical catcher’s waning production in just a few years after their 30age season….maybe JTR is the exception to the rule…..there in lies the risk.
      And there is the health aspect with that demanding position.

      1. Very important point – should JTR walk and that money is reallocated, WHO IN GOD’S NAME is making that assessment of where and who the money goes to? If it’s the same Larry, Moe & Curly, then I’d rather “squander” the money/years on a known commodity in Realmuto.

  91. Those are good points, although I want him here. My feeling is that if they let JTR walk, then there was no reason to sign Harper. There were those who felt that was also a mistake, and the team would have been better off spending the money elsewhere. Maybe. But, I have watched this team be irrelevant for long enough. I have no interest in another rebuild, and I don’t think there was a nearly good enough job done in drafting and developing players. And by “drafting” I include International signings. That leaves spending money on getting, and in JTR’s case, keeping, the best talent we can.

  92. If Realmuto is not the heart of this team, he is definitely the soul. He always plays hard and he completes the middle of this lineup. Sure, he strikes out a ton and doesn’t walk much but he is clutch at times.

    You know he will break down as a catcher in just a few years so is a big contract sensible? Does he eventually move to first base or left field? Also, if he doesn’t resign, you know Harper will be pissed.

    One last thing: Alex Gordon is retiring. Always liked Gordon. He went from being a below average third baseman to one of the best left fielders in the game. Sad to see him digress after signing a big contract.

    1. I like JT a lot, but there is a limit to how much I pay him and how many years I’m willing to give him. You can’t just plug him into 1B as we already have too many of that skill set. If he can play OF fine.

      This team needs too much to be a top tier team year in and year out. Catching is our strong suit. They are not JT, but they might be good enough if you throw a journeyman in for depth.

      A team who can afford to keep Odubel swinging on the gallows must not be too concerned about money spent for non-performance. Someone should run a roster sheet on what we paid out for nothing this year. If you do, include most of the BP.

  93. “Harper will be pissed.”….how so?

    He will be happy for JTR for maximizing his worth if he signs for the largest contract a catcher can get….same as Bryce himself did when he left the Nats.
    I do not put much stock into those things….after the Christmas holiday everyone is just looking forward to spring training and their current teammates.

  94. Romus, Harper believes that he took less of an AAV so that the team had flexibility to put a contending team out there every year. If we lose JTR, and we don’t, somehow, improve the team, he is not going to be happy. Not that I worry about his happiness. I won’t be very happy, and I think a lot of fans feel like I do. I understand your scenario with Bauer and McCann, I just don’t think that is good enough. And, I don’t see us getting Bauer.

    1. matt13……all depends on what JTR asking price will be.
      Can the Phillies afford to match an offer of $27 or 28M AAV for 5/6 years….and who knows what this new Mets owner will do…..he is like Middleton….a passionate Mets life long fan..
      He is already jumping into the fray….new President…maybe new GM…you can bet he will offer JTR, since Ramos is jot what they need.

  95. Harper-Nola-Wheeler-JTR are in their physical prime. The time to win is NOW. I love Marchan (but I love O’Hoppe more), but he is not the Win-NOW catcher the Phillies need. JTR is a 2-way superstar and you don’t normally get a catcher that can be offensively and defensively capable.

    Middleton will be forced to exceed the salary threshold — signing 1-year deals will be the better way so it gives the Phillies flexibility to go under the threshold if needed to reset the penalties.

    I agree that there are a lot of holes to fill but I also think that the supporting cast can be filled by a combination of 1-year deals with MLB vets and internal options. The Phillies just needs to get a GM who can identify contributors and not turn things to dust like what Klentak does.

  96. Romus, I get that there is a limit to where we would go, and yes, we probably shouldn’t go past a certain point. My problem is losing him creates another hole, a huge one, that Knapp and McCann, IMO, don’t nearly fill. Then we have to be much better elsewhere to make up for less production at C, and, probably, less production at SS, and still add a SP, and most of a BP. I don’t see that happening. It, for sure, doesn’t happen if Klentak stays, or the new GM has any contact with MacPhail. Other teams will continue to get better, and if our net is the same, or worse, and 8 teams don’t make the Playoffs, where are we?

  97. I will play the devils advocate.
    I like JTR,
    …but what has the Phillies record been with him….one game under .500 for two years now.

    Now if you are going to tell me we need to keep him to be a winner….then what just happened these last two years?

    And exactly what pieces can be added by keeping him and paying him $25MAAV or more?
    That negates Arrieta leaving and his salary.
    The Phillies will need another starter….that could be $16/20M…unless we stay with Vinny.
    Can they afford then to keep Didi…since people want him back and Joe will also?

    1. Bad argument. You think the reason this team is only .500 is because of JTR?

      He is what’s right with this team. You keep him and build around him.

      1. There are risks………catchers do not age well, agree?
        So maybe the Phillies get two , maybe three plus years.
        Then there is the money aspect…..if the Mets Cohen offers 26/27M AAV….does Middleton go to 28M AAV for 5 or 6 years.
        It is a Ryan Howard rerun in 2024 and beyond.

        And exactly how do you build around him with fewer dollars….can Didi be re-signed?
        I suppose the youngsters have to pick it up then …..Haseley/Moniak/Howard/Stott..maybe even Kingery.

  98. Agree, but my premise is on Middleton exceeding the Luxury Tax. My salary total is $227Million. Arrieta’s $20M is taken by JTR getting $25. He makes $10M this year, so that leaves $5M that I give Didi on another 1 yr. deal. I think a QO for him is $19M. I get a SP like Smyly. That is Robertson’s $ We need to add to the BP, and have about $15-20M to build it with, May and Hendriks, let’s say. That’s my sketchy plan.

      1. I have a strong sense that Didi will age like fine wine. Not sure if the Phillies would offer him more than a QO but some team may value his leadership and offensive skills.

      1. Please no fat jokes, i took that girl roller skating, Did you ever try to pick up a 300 lb women with skakes on, my back is killing me

        1. Rocco……Glad you are back, thought perhaps something bad had happened to you. Nice to know you were just rolling around the “ice” with a “fat” girl with teeth missing. I never saw her, but someone on here said she could eat mashed potatoes through a picket fence. Not important if you love her!

  99. Geez, Romus, I thought you, if anyone, would be savvy enough to figure out what I was writing. Of course Harper would be happy if Realmuto broke the bank. He’d be pissed that the Phillies didn’t match the offer. Give me a little credit here.

  100. Playoff Scenarios vs Miami: (Including possibility of rainout tonight vs ATL)

    Phils sweep and finish 31-29, Marlins would need to go either 2-2 or 2-1 or worse, Phils finish 2nd

    Phils win 2/3, finish 30-30, Marlins would need to go 1-3 or 1-2 or worse, Phils finish 2nd

    Phils win 1/3, finish 29-31, Marlins would need to go 0-4 or 0-3, Phils finish 2nd

    Phils get swept, no way to finish 2nd

  101. Tiebreaker Scenarios vs Non NL East Teams:

    San Francisco – Phils win tiebreaker

    Cincinnati – Phils lose tiebreaker

    Milwaukee – if teams tie at 31-29, Phils lose tiebreaker. If teams tie at 30-30 or 29-31, Phils win tiebreaker

    St Louis – only playing 58 games vs Phils 60, so .500 record would be the only tiebreaker scenario, which Phils would lose that tiebreaker

  102. While Haseley is not the impact player we want as a pick 1.8, that 2017 draft still look promising and a potential great draft for the Phillies.

    Seabold, Russ and Scheiner were used as trade assets while Haseley, Howard and Brogdon (a $5k signee) already made it to the majors and show potential to be solid contributors.

    Going down the list – Maton, Jones, Dohy, Warren, Listi and Hernandez are MLB ready starting 2021 and Ethan Lindow looks to be a keeper as well.

    I’m starting to love Brogdon — his stuff reminds me of Ryan Madson. I’m still optimistic about Damon Jones and hope that he still develop as a SP. Jones GB% and K/9 I think is very good.

    1. People should not make any assumptions this year about how free agency is going to go. The owners, as a group, have taken large collective losses this year and next year is going to be weird because, while they may play a full season, or close to it, there is no collective thinking on whether or when fans will enter ballparks and generate revenue. As such, unless we get early and decisive good news about a vaccine and the lifting of COVID restrictions by spring, the owners will operate and make decisions as though next year will be full of financial losses as well.

      As a result, take all of your expectations about how long contracts should be and how much guys should be paid, shake them up, and throw them out the window. It is entirely unknown how this off season is going to play out, but I think owners will be low balling almost everyone and the end result is going to be a lot of last minute pillow (one-year) contracts. I expect almost no longer term deals except perhaps for a couple of elite free agents including, perhaps, Realmuto, but expect the offseason, as a whole, to be completely weird and expect some good players to be signed for a year for pretty low numbers, so there’s an opportunity there as well.

  103. Weekend scoreboard watching preview:

    Cincinnati (29-28) is in Minnesota for 3 games. The Twins are playing for the AL Central division title, only 1 game up on the White Sox. *The Reds win a tiebreaker with the Phillies.

    San Francisco (28-28) plays a 4 game series vs the Padres, who have 2nd place locked up in the NL West. Gabe’s Giants lose the tiebreaker to the Phillies. They play a double header tonight.

    Miami (29-28) is in the Bronx this weekend for 3 games. The Yankees may prefer to line up their rotation for the playoffs. The Phillies lose the tiebreaker, of course.

    Milwaukee (27-29) and St Louis (28-26) play each other, but this series has less impact unless the Phillies sweep the Rays while the Brewers sweep the Cards.

    The Phillies are 1/2 game behind #8 seed SF. So the SF-SD 4 game series is the key. Should the Phillies take 2 of 3 while the Giants split, the Phillies are in.

    Yay….

    1. The Marlins beat Atlanta last night, thanks in large part to a lack of defense by the Braves (4 errors led to 3 unearned runs). There goes by theory that Miami would end 2020 on an 8 game losing skid.

        1. More troubling is that Ben Davis thinks Klentak remains GM regardless of whether the Phillies make the playoffs or not. I only hope that’s his opinion and not some inside track on the situation.

          1. I assume he would say that only because Klentak is leading the negotiations with JTR’s contract and probably is in the middle of it making whatever progress there is to be made at this juncture.
            Cannot think of any other reason…..especially since Ben should realize the Phillies could easily miss the play-offs again just by losing one game this weekend.

            1. I believe the Phillies would have to (at least) win a playoff series for Klentak to keep his job. MacPhail might be moved to an adviser role to open up the President of Baseball Ops position. Middleton gave them a short leash after last season. 2020 hasn’t been any better than 2019. Can’t see him giving that duo a pass because of COVID.

            2. Pretty sure Ben Davis isn’t getting fed that kind of inside info. It does him no good to throw Klentak under the bus.

  104. I heard that, 8mark, and the thought is more depressing than the season. I hope Ben Davis is wrong. What a disaster! Anyway, to make everyone even more depressed. Matt Gelb had a column on the worst pitches of the season, and how they were responsible for losing games. What a delightful time, thinking back on those horrors! A little nugget he put out there. Workman and Hembree, 2 of our key trade acquisitions, have made 25 appearances between them. 22 1/3 innings. A 9.27 ERA, 40 hits in those 22 1/3 innings, and 11 HRs. This was Klentak attempting to fix a horrible BP that he put together, that cost at least 6 Ws before the deadline. Bringing him back would cause me to lose total faith in Middleton.

    1. Workman and Hembree ………..now all we need to complete this picture, is for Nicky P. and Connor Seabold to become reliable rotation pieces in Boston next season.

    2. Just wonder what the dynamics of the relationship between upper management & the field staff. If K is demanding that we use certain players in certain positions and field is just following orders then we really have an issue. I think the situation is field staff is “new” and will listen/follow the instructions at first, then when it goes “south” the field staff will take over; i.e. steps out of closer role, players go on IL, etc.

      Middleton has to make a change and sometimes it is just for changes sake. It is like construction, you don’t need to “rebuild” rather it will be a retro-fit infrastructure process.

  105. While we are preoccupied with how the Phillies fare this weekend, there are three pressing matters to be resolved in the off season regardless…

    1 Does John Middleton fire Matt Klentak and/or fire/reassign Andy MacPhail? And if not, how does he justify his decision(s)?

    2 Does John Middleton go balls to the wall to re-sign Realmuto? Or does he choose to punt and reallocate the “stupid” money elsewhere?

    3 Most importantly, where is the organization in terms of contention vs rebuilding/”retooling” (if there is such an animal)? This has to be addressed since clearly the goals which had been set are no where near coming to fruition, no matter what the team does in October. 2020 is an anomaly regardless, not an indicator of progress.

    3

    1. The answer to the first question will depend on how big Middleton’s ego is. Ultimately, the underwhelming results of the FO in the last 5 years is his undoing. There are better options to kick start this team and he chose incorrectly. So is he brave enough to man up and own his mistake and move on or continue to be in denial.

      Like most of all, the ghost of Sixto might haunt the Phillies for yours to come. Resigning JTR is probably the only pill to this. Some teams might overbid just to screw the Phillies cap wise, but Middleton already made provisions to sign JTR with big $$.

      The key players are in their physical so window to contend and win is NOW. This is the main justification why give up a high ceiling prospect to get a top MLB player at his prime (JTR) — to go all in NOW. So it will be retooling — Phillies will need a legit good GM who can sniff talent with 1-year deals to plug the holes.

      1. Also, KuKo, the $207M should never have been a salary cap. It is possible to re-sign JTR, and add what we need, and stay under $227M, which is the level that really matters. Sure, as Romus has postulated, if some team gives Realmuto $30M a year for 10 years, we have to pass. But, at $25M a year, we need to sign him. That is a Middleton deal, not the GM.

        1. JTR will be a Middleton’s call – I think most of us agree here. The 1-year deals I will attribute more on the GM – preferably a new GM not named Matt Klentak.

    2. If I’m John Middleton, this is what I would do:

      1) The morning after the last game of the season, or 2 mornings after the parade ha, I call a press conference to announce MacPhail and Klentak are no longer with the team.

      2) At the same presser, I also announce that Joe Girardi will return next season – not even a thought otherwise.

      3) I would then immediately begin interviewing candidates for the newly structured role of President of Baseball Operations. This role would report to me and be my only interaction with baseball personnel but I would make it clear to all candidates that they will have 100% decision making authority within the financial guidelines I set. I will NOT be involved in day to day baseball operations.

      4) When this person is hired, he would be an engaged and present decision maker, not how MacPhail has led. He would have the following positions reporting directly to him:
      A) General Manager (TBD)
      B) Manager ( Girardi)
      C) Amateur Scouting Director
      D) Professional Scouting Director
      E) Player Development Director
      F) Performance Management Director
      G) Analytics Director
      H) Special Advisor (think Gillick / Amaro / Wade, but likely someone external – fresh thinking)

      5) The new President would immediately focus on 3 critical tasks:
      A) Hire the right GM
      B) Complete a top to bottom detailed diagnostic of the organization’s baseball operations with a focus on scouting, drafting, development, and medical departments.
      C) Due to Covid, many teams have laid off significant portions of their scouting teams. I’d go make a list of the top 10 scouts that were let go and immediately make them all offers.

      6) Based on these findings, decide on whether you are keeping or firing the leads of scouting, player development, etc.

      7) I would have the President put in place a process and structure on how decisions are made. He would be the final decision maker with balanced input from analytics, scouting, the manager, and GM.

      8) The Performance Management team would include medical, sports psychology, nutrition, training staff, etc.

  106. All good questions, 8mark. If Middleton brings them back, what could he possibly say? Blame himself for the Salary Cap? Claim it was his idea to build the BP from the scrap heap? Does anyone see that happening? But, I can’t imagine bringing him back, period, so if he does, his rationale will just be noise. We are quite a ways from a WS contender, well, we probably won’t make the Playoffs when 8 teams do. Who will Middleton blame for that?

  107. I love reading Jayson Stark, and have since he was a local writer. In case John Middleton has missed part of the season, here is a little tidbit for him, and anyone not subscribing to The Athletic. Joe DiMaggio, a fairly decent Baseball player, put up this Career slash line: .325/.398/.579. Pretty outstanding, huh? Hitters vs. our BP, this year, .320/.395/.563. We managed to turn the league into Joe DiMaggio. If the real Hinkie was in charge of tanking the season to get the Top pick in the draft, he would not have put together a worse BP than Matt Klentak did in trying to put a Playoff team on the field.

  108. How will they handle the minor leaguers next year, will they jump players a league like they would had their been a minor league season or do they just write it off as a lost year for many? So as an example, if player X was in Lakewood last year and was slated to play in Clearwater this year, would said player just go to Reading (assuming they are solid at spring training). Or do they just start in Clearwater?

    I guess it will be a case by case basis, just haven’t heard much talk on it.

  109. I hope we win this game, and all 3, for that matter. But, I watch Charlie Morton pitch and it confirms to me that Klentak has zero ability to evaluate Pitching talent. I know he was injured, but if you take a shot on anyone, you bring back Morton. Klentak has been so risk adverse, he should be fired just for that.

  110. Another blown 3 run lead. Brogdon was our best Reliever. Adam Morgan was pretty bad this year. We haven’t given him as much grief because so many Relievers were much worse than pretty bad. He can not be here next year either, and I would be fine with it. It doesn’t matter how much we lead by early, eventually every team can catch up and win. Just an awful season.

    1. Adam Morgan just can’t walk 2 guys in a game like this. He knows better. It’s just yet another demoralizing loss.

      The phillies are officially cooked.

      We’ll see if MK gets canned on Monday

  111. Oh, to root for a gritty, well-run, small market, small budget team that seems to produce able, plug-in players year on year. This instead of a heavily paid team of broken parts, a sieve of a bullpen and a seeming desire to get off the field and on to the links as soon as possible. Other than my MLB cable subscription, I didn’t waste a cent on this team and I think I like it that way. I feel less complicit. This is not a team with many players to root for — and I’ve been following this team since 1958. I wonder what Girardi is thinking. He knows what a real team looks like.

  112. Well, you know that annoying bathroom faucet in the middle of the night that you just can’t stop dripping as you lay wide awake?

    Drip……..drip……..drip…….one poor bullpen performance after another.

    2 more drips and this long night of a season is over. (And hopefully a new plumber who will fix it)

    1. Patso, You are right. I’ve been wondering why the failure of the offense to build on leads or come back has received virtually no attention.

      Meanwhile, I’ll repeat what I said a couple of days ago: all is not doom and gloom for next year. This team scores runs. Given an average bullpen and average injuries, this team.would have clinched a playoff berth days ago. The same offense will be back next year, and we should have a strong starting staff.

      So, in the immortal singing of Harry Kalas:

      1. Frank…agree.
        I see the team as pretty close….and I do not see all the holes others see.
        A few pieces will get the job done, along with the maturation of some of the younger players.

  113. Anyone except maybe Hinke or Jim recognize that guy who closed the game for the Rays last night? His name is John Curtiss and he was with the AAA Phillies last year and was released… I don’t blame the Phillies. He had an ERA north of 10.00 and was 27 years old… He signed with the Rays and this year has a 1.85 ERA over 24 1/3rd innings… 1.85 ERA…… This is sickening.. Matt Gelb at The Athletic is none to happy this morning..

    https://theathletic.com/2094589/2020/09/26/there-is-a-deeper-problem-phillies-make-it-9-long-years-without-winning-record/

    1. Hawkeye, this is another indictment of the Phillies organization in terms of their inability to develop talent.

      1. John Curtiss is proof of what Romus pointed out the other day: the value of relief pitchers are unstable. Most are up one season, and down the next. Chances are extremely high (although, not a lock) that Curtiss will revert to his past self next year.
        This is why the new GM will probably bring back Hembree, Morgan and Phelps thru arbitration and team option.
        Hopefully, the new GM is also more talented/(at least) luckier at finding diamonds in the rough (like Curtiss). Most of the names I’ve thrown out here as possible MacPhail/Klentak replacements come from teams who have been successful at building BP’s: Forst (A’s), Neander (Rays), Naehring (Yankees), Luhnow (Astros).

        BTW … I do cut Klentak a little slack in terms of the BP. He invested lots of money in Robertson. Robertson was healthy his whole career. He got here, and broke down after a half dozen IP’s. The injury to Ser-Ant’ny has also been huge. He was the BP’s only power arm. The fact that the club lost two-thirds of the back end of it’s pen was bad luck. The fact that the team had no depth is all on Klentak.

        1. And don’t forget Jose Alvarez getting a ball to well, his balls. He was easily our best reliever and you have to figure that if Jose Alvarez was pitching instead of Morgan or Romero, the outcome might be plenty different.

        2. Hinkie, here is what I thing re: Klentak and the BP. Yes, Robertson, who I thought was an excellent signing, got injured, and had been injury free his career. Bad luck, for sure, but a good signing despite the bad luck. Klentak then got afraid of that happening again, and fear is a killer. SerAnthony and Tommy Hunter are 2 different stories than Robertson. He knew both were injured. It was not unforeseen that SerAnthony would not last after there was a split over whether to get TJ surgery or not. There was a really good chance he would be injured. Even if Hunter got back to full strength, it would take a while. Yet, they were both counted on to be “key” BP pieces. We already were without a real Closer, as I think Hector is more of a set up guy, and too inconsistent to be counted on like some of the Closers around the league are. So, bad planning, being timid, and being unable to judge talent, added to bad luck, produced the worst BP in history. Some of that should have been planned for. Instead, Klentak tried cashing a multitude of lottery tickets, hoping to strike gold. So, I don’t cut him the slack that you do. Plus, 3 straight Septembers, 3 straight Playoff chances, 3 straight needs for Pitching of various types, and Klentak tried: 1, do nothing and hope we had enough, 2, add some bench bats and hope that overcame the need for Pitching, and 3, bring in 4 BP arms. 3 straight fails.

          1. I posted (about a month ago) this team was top heavy, and lacked depth. In the end, that’s what did them in. The club could not overcome the injuries to Realmuto, Hoskins, Arrieta, Howard, and their best BP arms (Alvarez, Robertson, Ser-Ant’ny).

            1. But, Hinkie, If there was even a mediocre BP, and I am being conservative in saying that cost us 6 Ws, we would be in the Playoffs. I wasn’t counting on DerAnthony or Robertson at all. With the injuries, with the slumps, lack of depth, and with everything that went on, just a mediocre BP, a below average one, and we end this 9 year drought.

            2. matt13…perhaps yuo are correct there.
              …..8 games with 3 run leads going to the middle innings….and in a few of the doubleheader games going into the 5th.

  114. John Middleton had a chance 5 years ago to get it right. He did not. There was no reason to bring in Andy MacPhail. He has had no great success in his career, and has zero ability to identify talent. Middleton’s job was to find the next Theo or Andrew Friedman, and he failed. Now, he has a chance again. No one can spin this disaster of a season. No one can spin that there wasn’t enough time or money spent or have any excuse for failing when 8 teams make the Playoffs. He needs to stand up there on Monday and accept responsibility and announce that he will find the right team President, and that guy will be in charge and hire the next GM. And, he needs to apologize to the fans for this mess.

    1. I hate to say this now but I honestly thought when Andy M was hired his only “winning” was his first year in Minnesota(which he had zero to do in building” and then everywhere else he was hired he failed to meet expectations. John M thought he was getting another Gillick and he didn’t. MacPhail has all the connections but cannot be a champion that is all I care about. Klentak was always seen as his GM and the fact he was bypassed in LAA for the job where they had a horrible farm system worried me.

  115. Two days left and yet the torture continues. Believe it or not, the Phillies can still lose another game and back into the post season should Gabe’s Giants lose both remaining games to San Diego. Somebody please make it stop….

    1. 8mark—I noticed that too – at 12:30 am est Padres hit a walk off homer to beat Kapler’s charges 6-5 after being down the entire game. Thought maybe they used a Phillies hurler out of the pen ? Anybody seen Workman ? I also realized the pain will continue…

  116. If I’m John Middleton, this is what I would do:

    1) The morning after the last game of the season, or 2 mornings after the parade ha, I call a press conference to announce MacPhail and Klentak are no longer with the team.

    2) At the same presser, I also announce that Joe Girardi will return next season – not even a thought otherwise.

    3) I would then immediately begin interviewing candidates for the newly structured role of President of Baseball Operations. This role would report to me and be my only interaction with baseball personnel but I would make it clear to all candidates that they will have 100% decision making authority within the financial guidelines I set. I will NOT be involved in day to day baseball operations.

    4) When this person is hired, he would be an engaged and present decision maker, not how MacPhail has led. He would have the following positions reporting directly to him:
    A) General Manager (TBD)
    B) Manager ( Girardi)
    C) Amateur Scouting Director
    D) Professional Scouting Director
    E) Player Development Director
    F) Performance Management Director
    G) Analytics Director
    H) Special Advisor (think Gillick / Amaro / Wade, but likely someone external – fresh thinking)

    5) The new President would immediately focus on 3 critical tasks:
    A) Hire the right GM
    B) Complete a top to bottom detailed diagnostic of the organization’s baseball operations with a focus on scouting, drafting, development, and medical departments.
    C) Due to Covid, many teams have laid off significant portions of their scouting teams. I’d go make a list of the top 10 scouts that were let go and immediately make them all offers.

    6) Based on these findings, decide on whether you are keeping or firing the leads of scouting, player development, etc.

    7) I would have the President put in place a process and structure on how decisions are made. He would be the final decision maker with balanced input from analytics, scouting, the manager, and GM.

    8) The Performance Management team would include medical, sports psychology, nutrition, training staff, etc.

    1. I want to add, this person should’ve been Chaim Bloom last year, if not the year before. The challenge is to now find the next Theo, the next Chaim. He is out there. He is available. He does exist. The question is if Mr Middleton a) has the appropriate judgement to move on, b) has enough humility to admit his horrific error, c) has the cognitive ability to hire the next FO superstar, and d) then stay out of his way to turn this titanic around.

      1. I would definitely highlight 5C. The fact that Middleton has not laid off anyone is a good look for the organization.

  117. I was impressed with Brogdon yesterday. He’s older (25 already) and he was a full time reliever last season. Next season, you make him the 6-7th inning guy and you see how he reacts. He’s already throwing 95-97. He could be a future closer down the road.

    1. I don’t think he really has “closer” type stuff but he could have an important role as a setup guy. He reminds me of Ryan Madson; the stuff is a tick behind Madson’s but he has the same fastball, changeup, cutter repertoire with the change being his bread and butter.

    2. Joe may have benefitted if he brought him up earlier in the season, prior to mid-August….though he did show some nerves vs the Orioles and blew up some.
      Suppose there was a lack of trust involved in that decision not to bring up the rookie earlier or maybe it was a numbers issue..

    3. yes, thank God they got him out of there after striking out the side- i couldnt deal with a phils reliever impressing me.

      guess im relieved that this team is toast- and to get beat out by the Marlins, and by Gabe coaching a team that looked devoid of talent on opening day, just adds salt t the wounds that hopefully end up with Klentak gone.

  118. What a kick in the nuts to Realmuto, demanded trade from Marlins because of desire for playoffs, they make it, and his new team is on the verge of missing out. Hope it comes down to the benjamins

        1. Can see that as the GM… and the risk.
          —defensively they are basically a wash.
          —offensively JTR has the advantage.
          With McCann the GM has the financial flexibility to improve the roster/pitching staff….and gives the required time for youngsters like Marchan/O’Hoppe/Gutierrez or whoever, the time to develop without force feeding them.

          Both ways involve risk.
          JTR breaks down in 2 years then it is sunk cost
          And McCann really flops for two years at the plate….well that is a possibility.

      1. Romus its a 60 game season the playoffs mean nothing and its fake title, 7 inning games, dh, joke season, means nothing i am more excited to pick 13th if i am right

        1. rocco….maybe picking higher than 13 if they lose the final two games.
          Nevertheless ….they will not get all – world Vandy RHP Kumar Rocker who looks to headed for the Pirates.

      2. This is not a cut and dry question, and it should make you think, as there is a ripple efffect on what else can be addressed.

        For me, personally I don’t think the team is close, likely 2-3 years away from being a serious contender because the rebuild has sputtered and the payroll is maxed. I’ll feel much better if Eflin and Hoskins have really turned the corner, and quinn really can stay healthy.
        Now if I believe Moniak can replace McCutchen or lock down CF, it makes t he job easier of overpaying Realmuto to resign. They need a SS to replace segura or Kingery. So hopefully Bryson is similar to Bohm. If that money is free’d up with cheap productive talent, I do the 5 year deal, 6 i likely baulk at. I wouldn’t sign McCann either, I’d go with Grullon,Knapp, & Marchan. O wait we pissed away Grullon! I’d put the money into bullpen or scouting. Possibly SR, but it’s getting overkill with Nola,Wheeler, Eflin, and Howard. Plus we have Abel who could be good. I don’t sign either to leave the money free for someone who can be an everyday player and get better numbers. This is where the failure of the rebuild hurts, because it’s not so black and white. They obviously need bullpen help. I bet they win more games with a top bullpen then they’d do with Realmuto on board. Well glad I’m not the person to make the call, it’s not like the slam dunk it was to pay Harper or trade for Halladay

  119. Romus, the difference between the 2 talent wise is huge. Sure, years 5 and 6 could be problematic, but the $12M you are saving in those 2/3 years doesn’t give you enough money to make up for the loss in talent. Where are you making that up? Give me the top C, and I don’t have to worry about that position. Then go get the other pieces we need. McCann would be ok if you are really good every where else, but we are not. JTR for me.

    1. matt13.. just guessing, but .take a look at the catcher’s WAR who have been starting for the two teams each World Series these last few years….none equal JTR…Posey in 2014 may be the last.
      It is not a requirement to have a great offensive catcher…..you need a plus overall defensive catcher for sure….McCann meets that minimal requirement.
      Plus……a GM can invest in another starter with the added savings $$$.

      And you mentioned about Middleton busting the lux tax…he has been the man now going on 5/6/ years…has he done it yet?
      Past experience tells me he will not in the future.

      1. Can’t argue with you there Romus. My belief is based on hope, pure and simple. Without busting the Luxury Tax level 1, we cannot improve the team enough. Use the savings from JTR and there is still not enough $. I don’t believe Bauer comes here, especially after we lose Realmuto. And, I may be wrong, but keeping the payroll under $207M means year 10 with no Playoffs.

        1. Let’s look at the Tampa Bay Rays. Shoe string budget, small market (virtually NO market, crickets instead of tickets) but an excellent baseball staff. Not only do they know talent ($value$), they know how to bring along their own. Really, when you look at it, spending lots of money guarantees nothing when the personnel department has no clue. Big money buys you big names, not championships.

          1. no argument from me 8mark. I am just looking at what we have, where we are right now, and how do we make the Playoffs next year. If we are rebuilding again, that is a different story. If next year doesn’t matter, and it is a re-boot year, then it doesn’t matter. But, to me, if we want to be a Playoff team next year, we have no option but to spend $.

      2. I thought we had catching depth in the minors, My point is i give two yr to McCann, cause we have three good catching prospect who should be ready in two yrs,

        1. rocco…..I am with you….but there are no guarantees any of them will eventually make it….Marchan and O’Hoppe seem to be the two that the Phillies people salivate on right now
          Then there are Duran, Andrick Nava and Gutierrez and a host of others ..all Latin kids with potential also…and the Australian kid Mitchell Edwards

      3. “It is not a requirement to have a great offensive catcher…..you need a plus overall defensive catcher for sure….McCann meets that minimal requirement.”

        While true, Realmuto also provides offense. He batted 4th almost exclusively in 2020 and 5th most of the time in 2019 with substantial at bats 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.

        Not re-signing Realmuto creates a hole in the middle of the order, a line up that will be further weakened by the loss of Gregorius and the further decline of McCutchen.

        Realmuto ticks two boxes. Passing on him to sign an offensively inferior catcher to save money for a SP also creates an important offensive need.

        1. I assume Middleton will indicate to JTR and his agent , let him have the last chance to match any offer. he should receive during his free agency marketing time.

          With that in mind……if new rabid Mets fan now owner Cohen, decides to break the bank for JTR….does Middleton match…..@$25M AAV plus, for 5/6 yrs?

          If he does….doubt they will offer Didi what he could get somewhere else.
          So you bring back JTR and probably lose Didi.

          With JTR you will now have 3 big ticket $$$ pieces ($20M AAV plus) for 5 or more years….or $75M AAV for just the three…Harper/Wheeler and JTR.
          If Middleton does not want to break the threshold…..then they probably can only afford one more big ticket guy …but probably not for awhile. And if it goes to 2 more years, then Nola becomes the big ticket guy, who has already been here since 2015.
          Basically it is the same team.

          IMO, i prefer pitching and defense then the offensive aspect, since, come playoff time, offensive firepower can fizzle out when facing better pitching.

  120. I keep hearing on Philly sports talk radio how they think Klentak is back, I honestly cannot see this happening. My biggest fear is that he keeps MacPhail because I have ZERO faith he could identify the correct GM. Over the past 5 years I don’t think this city has ever misjudged an owner(giving him credit) then we have w/John M. He has shown me nothing that gives me faith he knows who/how to hire the correct people. People may say he got us Harper but the simple fact is Bryce took the best offer.

    1. FWIW…Jim Bowden of The Athletic tweets Matt Klentak is probably one of the 5/6 who have a very real possibility of being gone after next week.

      If 6 GMs are gone and there are 6 vacancies ……then John Middleton will need to be doing his homework for the next GM.
      Angel, Mets and Phillies are all large markets.
      Could be some competition there.

      1. Yes. I was going to wait until Monday (after the season) to post something on this … but … since the topic is gaining steam, I’ll just put my two cents out there now.

        The Cubs and Astros tore it down a few years before the Phillies, and reformed their franchises into WS champions. The Braves, Padres, and CWS rebuilt at the same time as the Phillies. Any of those three could win it all as soon as next month. The Blue Jays began their makeover after the Phillies, and they’re in better shape than our franchise. Let’s not even get into the Marlins’ situation.

        It can’t be stated loudly enough or frequently enough … under Andy MacPhail and Matt Klentak, the Phillies’ rebuild has been an unmitigated disaster. They’ve given us a .500 team (sports purgatory), with a bloated payroll (208 million in wages/208 million cap), and a bottom third farm system.

        It’s been nine years since the Phillies have found themselves in the postseason. More than half the teams in the league qualified for the playoffs this year. MacKlentak’s squad most likely isn’t going to be one of them. John Middleton put them on a short leash after 2019. Under no circumstance can he give them a pass because of an abridged COVID season. He blew it by not doing the deed last fall, and hiring Chaim Bloom. I’ve already thrown out names like Erik Neander (Rays), David Forst (A’s), Tim Naehring (Yankees), and Jeff Luhnow (ex-Astros) as possibilities to run the Phillies. Maybe Middleton has somebody else in mind. The bottom line is this: the FO now needs a rebuild.

        1. My buddy, the Blue Jays fan, would disagree with you. He wants the Blue Jays GM canned but he knows it won’t happen. If this was a 162 game season, he feels the Blue Jays would have 70 wins. Their starting rotation after Ryu is a disaster and they have no starting pitching depth. He feels the bullpen got extemely lucky as they brought in some scrap heap signings that turned to gold. He feels they won’t get lucky again next season. And Toronto pretty much has to overpay for any FA in order to get them to come to Canada.

          1. Vlad Guerrero (21 YO), Bo Bichette (22 YO), Cavan Biggio (25 YO), Teoscar Hernández (27 YO), Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (26 YO) is a really good, young core. Austin Martin may have been the best prospect in the draft this June, and Jordan Groshans is another good looking young SS/3Bman.
            The Jays have drafted and traded for some elite pitching prospects over the last couple of years. Nate Pearson and Alek Manoah could be in their rotation next season. Simeon Woods Richardson is a little younger, but is another top prospect. They’re also a whole lot better off in terms of payroll flexibility. I’m not telling you Toronto is winning the WS this season or next, but IMO, they’re probably set up better than the Phillies right now. Everything has to go right for the Phillies because they have a top heavy MLB roster, and farm system. They have to stay healthy, or John Middleton has got to ignore the LT threshold.

            1. The Blue Jays treat their team like a small market team. They don’t spend money at all and that frustrates the hell out of my buddy. Vlad already got moved to 1B so his value went straight down. Teoscar is entering arbitration so he’s going to start getting expensive. He’s due for a big raise. Nate Pearson is no sure thing.

              Their rotation next year: Ryu, Roark, Stripling, Pearson, FA

              That rotation scares absolutely nobody.

              Did I mention that they don’t spend? They are going to bottom feed for the last rotation spot. And their prospects are minimum 1 year away from helping.

            2. You make some good points. I just feel like the Jays have done more in less time. As far as their payroll goes, they’ve spent in the past, and I expect them to spend again as they get closer to contention.

  121. Whether the Phillies will or will not make the playoffs – the Phillies should move on from Klentak. Klentak hasn’t really done anything from normal that help the team to competitive in their division and especially WS. Some will point to the draft as a success – there are hits and misses for a team that drafted high for 5 years – they are bound to make a hit eventually.

    Nonetheless, the opportunity to build a competitive thru draft has left the station – the Phillies need to win NOW and their best way to win NOW is not with Klentak.

    1. From the little that I’ve seen of and heard from Klentak, my sense is that this guy knows he’s finished here. Middleton hasn’t approached him just yet, I’m sure. But any of us in office settings can feel the vibe as to whether a superior is down with how we’re doing our job. Middleton’s silence is deafening. My guess is it’s not the same with MacPhail since there’s probably more dialogue between the owner and the team president. Anyway, Middleton won’t be hiring the next GM. The team president will, whoever that might be.

      1. I think you’re wrong – Middleton will be front and center in hiring the new GM. The team president will be part of that process and perhaps the leading person to identify candidates but you can bet the person making the final decision will be Middleton. No doubt about that.

  122. It’s very hard to imagine that Klentak will be the GM next year. The problem is that I highly doubt that MacPhail will be out of power. Middleton keeps casting his lot with the wrong people.

  123. Two years in a row Braves bring in middle-of-the-order, mvp-caliber bat for one-year to compliment their already excellent lineup! Some might say they were lucky that both a) the players eventually gave in to accept a pillow contract and b) they perform as well as they have. However, a shrewd man might recognize a) oft leads to b), so maybe it isn’t so much luck as just smart strategy! Reading and playing the market well! Develop the SPs, trade to help build best bullpen in baseball, develop hitters, and use F/A to further strengthen your team. Brilliant plan and great execution!

    2019
    Josh Donaldson
    1 yr, $23m. (Nov 26, 2018)
    .259/.379/.521/.900, 96, 37, 94, 4
    11th NL MVP voting (which was 3rd on his team, and higher than any phillie)

    2020
    Marcell Ozuna
    1 ye, $18m. (Jan 21, 2020)
    .335/.429/.629/1.058, 37, 17, 55, 0
    …He’ll certainly be in top 10 (or 5!) of mvp voting, and will be higher than any phillie.

  124. Phillies worries about starting MLB Clock on Minor players, Spend money on BP Arms that nobody wanted. Brogden, Howard sent message that give the kids a shot! Dohy, J D Hammer, Jacob Hernandez ( not even invited to alt site) Llovera, Cleavinger, Rosso.
    Not to mention SP not invited with tested experience to put in innings even 1, 1, 1.
    Santos, Irvin ••••••••••••.
    Nope let’s do the same thing hoping for different result. Trade kids to get help for Harper, JY, Cutch.
    Phillies cannot see value in their system. They don’t understand how to develop

  125. Regarding the Braves – in a perfect world, their Anthopolous would be my choice for a GM except he is not available.

  126. Hard to believe … but … the Phillies can still back in to the playoffs with a win today vs Tampa, and losses by Milwaukee (vs Cardinals) and San Fran (vs Padres).

  127. Not up to speed on all different stats but imo the Phillies rely way to much on home runs to score runs. Guess I am old but much prefer watching Rays offense put together an inning hit the ball where the defense is not.

    Most may not remember but back when Phil’s played big red machine in playoffs in 70s. Any time Refs got a guy on they found a way to get that guy around to score playing baseball not mash ball

  128. Sixty games is enough of a sample size for me at least to proclaim the 2020 Phillies bullpen may be historically one of the worst in MLB history.. All the seasons x all the teams = Likely Top 25. The remaining 120 games would not have changed anything.

    Some enterpriser out there with data resources can prove me right or wrong but I know bad when I see it..I don’t need to be stuck in a traffic jam and look ahead to see five ambulances and three firetrucks and not believe there is a bad accident to see it..

    1. I hope everyone has a good off season, i am off to a home i bought in Maine, its off the grid, Leaving thrusday, i dont know if i could get any wifi, i just wanted to get away from people and spend time with my Main squeeze, Plus its cheaper to kill my own meat, then feed her store bought, she eats too much

  129. Of the ten worst bullpens in MLB History…Phillies own 4 of them, with their current one numero dos.
    The 1930’s Phillies team (52-102) was number one ..their relief pithers in 378 innings pitched gave up 586 hits and 166 walks…with an ERA of 8

    https://stathead.com/tiny/pIkdl

  130. It’s bearing dead horse to complain about bullpen. Myriad of other problems to right this ship. Including picking and developing baseball players.

    Roman Quinn prime example if he played outfield correctly could be gold glove caliber outfielder. If he was thought to hit correctly more line drives ground balls and walks better top of order bat. Hasley, Bohm better at these skills probably because of college programs.

  131. Also someone has got to get in harpers ear. Saying most scouts considered your skills superior to trouts coming from youth hs and juco baseball. Trout has continually refined his swing shortening it to match up with increased velocity of pitchers. You Bryce continue to have big long swing that produces beautiful 450 ft homers and tons of ks and missed opportunities to drive in runs

    1. You mentioned Trout.
      Harper…..PAs-4879….Ks-1054….21.6% K rate…BB rate 15%
      Trout……..PAs-5514….Ks-1174….21.3% K rate…BB rate -15%

      ..do not see much of a difference in those peripherals.

  132. With 13th pick in upcoming draft i take, Hoglund or Abel, or Montgomery, they are my top three with this pick

  133. Ok timid let’s propose I trade trout for Harper. Harper is cheaper. They should have no problem doing it based on peripherals. They should do it right away. I’ve watching baseball including travel, college, area code cape cod minors the wrong way all these years

  134. We can complain and whine about what has happened here (and are completely justified in doing so), but the real underlying problem is an inability to identify and develop talent. Until that problem is solved, we are going to keep overpaying free agents to play on .500 teams. If you compare organizations around baseball, unfortunately, the franchise we most resemble is the Angels, and, friends, that ain’t good!

    In the coming days or weeks, Klentak will likely be fired and John Middleton will unquestionably face the most important decision he has had in 5 years – replacing the GM. Choose well and this could franchise could be an upper-tier organization for a decade or more (although that person will have a huge challenge trying to fix the talent evaluation and development issues that have arisen – it’s a very deep and tough job). Choose wrong and the misery will continue.

  135. Alls saying it’s on whole organization from development to highly paid regulars. Got to play up to 30 million contract to get to top.

    1. Patso.
      Another example of both a poor judgement and expediency for expediency sake signing..

      Arrieta…3 years $75M…..64 starts…..1.5bWAR….3.5fWAR
      At approx $8M per WAR…..either a $63M loss…. or $47M loss

      1. I admit at time i agreed thinking that it was good signing showing willingness to spend on pitching but was wrong. Unfortunately some signings appear to be done to appease ticket and future ticket buyers. Give me GM that gives crap about anything but building competitive team. Tickets will take care of self if competitive

  136. I don’t understand how we got beat on 2 hits against the shift where Wheeler three sinkers to left handed batters which they hit where the defender should have been. One guy hits .200, the other about.150. Didn’t the Coach who set the shift tell the Pitcher to throw inside? Why Did the C call for that pitch? And why is it something we can never seem to do with runners in scoring position? The BP is awful, we all know that. But how about fixing the fundamentals that we don’t do very well?

  137. Perfect finish! Giants losing, Brewers losing, so of course we get shut out, not by any Tampa top Pitchers BTW, and our Ace comes up short. We only needed to be mediocre to end a Playoff drought but it is probably better this way. The embarrassment and anger that John Middleton feels should match mine.

    1. Nick Pivetta with one more victory in the final week then the Phils could manage.

      none of the phils big dollar players came up big in the final week.

  138. Every team tried to help the Phillies into the playoffs lost and yet all the Phillies needed to do was win one out of three in Tampa Bay. Nada. Honestly it looked to me Friday night that the Phillies were sick of 2020 baseball, quarantines and they missed life and this was nearly a pre-determined outcome. Another off season with no Phillies baseball.. I’m getting riled up and pissed so I’ll see everyone tomorrow…

  139. Kingery needs to be moved, poor guy needs to go to become the player he should be. Bad contract, bad usage do him a favor..165 BA!
    Whole system needs to be revamped get some people that know how to judge talent, use the tools to develop arms and talent to contend instead of buying OLD talent.
    Trade some Minor players, they benefit from getting away from this joke and maybe Phillies stumble into talent

  140. Ken Rosenthal
    @Ken_Rosenthal
    ·4h
    Will Moreno pivot to Dombrowski? Story on Angels’ GM change:
    Rosenthal: Angels fire GM Eppler; would Moreno pivot to…
    Dombrowski is the sexy and perhaps obvious choice to replace Eppler, but he is not the kind of GM Moreno has chosen before.

    ……Eppler beat out Klentak 5 years ago for the Angel job.
    i suspect tomorrow is the day for the Phillies change.

  141. Mets-Cohen….Braves-McGuirk/Schiller
    They will be bidding for JTR’s services come November.
    Middleton will need to make some strong decision.
    I am sure JTR will give him the last shot….but wonder how high will the others go is the question.

        1. Gotta’ agree with Guru. Atlanta may sniff around, but in the end, they won’t be real players for JTR. It’s not that they don’t have space under the cap. It’s just that they run that franchise by spreadsheets. They try to get their own good young players signed to long term, team friendly contracts. They then seek short term deals with available FA’s to fill out their roster. Look at their recent history: Josh Donaldson, Marcell Ozuna, and Cole Hamels have been signed to rich one year pacts.
          BTW … I’m not knocking them for being so risk averse. The proof is in their results.

          I still think the Yankees, Mets, and Nationals will be the biggest threats to the Phillies in the pursuit of JTR.

          1. Braves will probably offer 23/25M AAV….just enough to make Middleton edgy and need to beat it.

            Cohen however, once he decides what he wants to do long term with Conforto, and the post-TJ Thor, may go as high as $27M AAV…that will put Middleton in a real pickle…Cohen will be making big splashes in NY

            Cashman…..already read from up there he is concentrating on Judge’s LTC and what they want to do with Sanchez…plus he needs to get pitching with Tanaka, Happ, PAxton all free agents…and Severino a health question mark.

            Lerner and Nats….yes can see that ….but can they afford another high ticket player, along with the three aging TORs ($95M AAV alone in 2021) they currently need to pay…all four 30 and older?

            Bottom-line..I see the Mets breaking the bank for JTR

            1. Yes. Cohen could look to make JTR his “Look at me. I’m here!” splash.
              And any of those clubs could look to drive up Realmuto’s price just to put Middleton in more of a payroll bind.

            2. I think a six year deal for JT is something that the Phillies don’t want to do. If you’re an analytics driven team, you just cannot give him that 6th year, especially for a catcher. It’s only a matter of time before JT breaks down because ALL catchers break down. Heck, he hurt himself running to 1B and missed 10 games.

              Remember when the Phillies gave Raul Ibanez that extra year to pry him away from other teams? Raul gave us 0.5 years of all-star production, 1.5 years of below average production, and 1 year of terrible production.

              If any team gives JT 6 years, he’ll sign with with them and the Phillies will move on.

            3. And judging by what I am reading about him and what he wants from his home town favorite team, Cohen will be the one to do that.
              He now has his biggest and baddest toy to play with.

  142. The Phillies current rotation in actuality:
    1 – vacant
    2 – Aaron Nola
    2a – Zack Wheeler
    4 – Zach Eflin
    5 – vacant (at least until we see Spencer Howard’s viability and durability established as a major league pitcher)

    As for the bullpen, whomever is brought back, it needs a complete overhaul. Good luck!

    Assuming that re-signing JTR is a priority, the Phillies need a CF and a SS (I like Didi’s game and leadership but I doubt he returns, that’s just me).

  143. Romus, I see the Braves as the team for your guy McCann. I agree that they like to add veteran help on 1 year deals. They may offer JTR $23M, but for 1 year. That won’t get it done. I am waiting for some sound from the Owner, who watched this debacle like the rest of us. If he brings back Klentak then I don’t care what he does. Next year will be another disaster.

    1. matt13……I really cannot see him bringing back Klentak….the decision will probably be this afternoon or tomorrow.
      As for MacPhail…perhaps he will get one more year thru 2021, and then retire before the 2022 season, approaching 70 years old..

  144. So … what time today does John Middleton do the deed? And is Andy MacPhail sent packing with Klentak?

    I think we’ll hear some reporting (maybe a Jim Salisbury tweet) by 2:30 this afternoon. Klentak will be fired. MacPhail will be demoted to an advisor.

    1. Keeping MacPhail as team President Baseball Ops (even for just one more season) would be a bad business decision. Middleton’s going to need to offer that title to land one of the top candidates right now.

    2. Yay for Klentak. Boo on MacFail. We do not need him as an Advisor. If they want to save face have MacFail resign for time to do other interests and Cigarman can pay him out, and more to leave. It is done all the time, pay someone to leave.

  145. With the core in their prime, the Phillies has no choice but to overpay for the 2-3 peaks years of JTR. That overpayment might be worth it if they can win the WS which I think the Phillies can with a core of Harper-JTR-Nola-Wheeler and a couple of reliable veterans like Didi and somebody else and a solid supporting casts.

    The key for constructing a sustainable contending team is player development thru the farm, signing contributing MLB veterans for 1-year deals and adding complimentary pieces. the FO McPhail and Klentak failed miserably in those areas. If they get at least one of them properly, the Phillies might made the playoffs under their watch.

    Also, I can see a lack of overall appreciation in the talent of the farm. I understand that the farm is not littered with top notch talent, but there are some better talent down in the farm than what Klentak acquired in the recycle bins, clearance aisles and FAs. I’m sure that nobody saw Connor Brogdon coming – and Brogdon is not even a top prospect. Sometimes it just needs a legit opportunity for some prospect to step up. Klentak wasted time and opportunity to a lot of wrong dudes in 2020. That is some bad GM skill.

  146. It wasn’t just this year. It has been 3 years in a row. Pitching, Pitching, and Pitching. Year #1, do nothing, SP fell apart. Year #2, buy bench bats, no Pitching, Pitching fell apart. Year #3, come into the season with an awful BP plan, watch it implode in historical fashion, try to fix it with 4 shots at the trade deadline, watch those “reinforcements” fail in spectacular fashion, and go in the tank for the third straight September. I would have fired him before the Angels got a chance to fire Eppler.

    1. Middleton should have fired McPhail and Klentak last year – that was the right decision to do. We talk about how fans know nothing about the teams decision making but I’m certain that most Phillies fans are on the right side of moving on from McPhail-Klentak duo especially last year.

      I was not a believer of this FO since Day 1 – risk averse, lack of creativity, can’t identify legit talent – these are not new to Klentak. Klentak has not solid track record of success plain and simple and yet Middleton let him linger for 5 years! If Middleton lost $$ because of Klentak’s lack of success, he can’t blame no one but himself.

  147. I don’t like to see anyone lose their job. I’ll especially feel bad for Matt Klentak. He’s got a young family. MacPhail has been around forever. He’ll be fine. Having said that … Middleton needs to find someone better equipped/more talented to run the baseball operations.
    So I’m going to assume Klentak/MacPhail are sent packing as I post this.

    .

    Last week, Kiley McDaniel put out a piece (ESPN Insider) describing each team’s FO philosophy. He categorized them from traditional scouters to progressive/analytical types. He also separated FO’s from low risk takers to high risk seekers. You can see his chart here.

    The reason I bring this up now is because it kinda’ helps to point us down the aisle the Phillies will be shopping for their next GM/Head of Baseball Ops. John Middleton is “all in” on analytics. It’s reasonable to believe he’ll look to bring in a progressive guy. If we use Kiley McDaniel’s chart, we can eliminate (almost) all the clubs left of center, and even focus the most on the teams farthest right. I’m expecting Middleton to be less risk averse after shedding MacPhail/Klentak. We can look at the way Brian Barber (a more recent Middleton hire) handled the draft this summer as evidence of this. Barber took four high risk/high reward players. That said, I wouldn’t automatically disregard any of the men working for teams under the X-axis. Smaller market franchises may find it safer to be more risk averse for financial reasons. If a GM/Pres of Baseball Ops lands a job with the Phillies (major market), he could become more bold/high risk tolerant (especially early into his tenure).

    Here are the guys who make a lot of sense:

    * Tim Naehring (53 YO NYY Vice President of Baseball Operations)
    * Erik Neander (37 YO Rays GM)
    * Jeff Luhnow (54 YO former Astros GM)
    * Mike Chernoff (39 YO Indians GM)
    * Thad Levine (48 YO Twins senior VP and general manager)
    * Matt Arnold (40 YO Brewers Senior VP and Assistant GM)

    Any of these six would be upgrades. However Naehring screams out to me as the guy Middleton would most likely want. The Phillies owner has a thing for the Yankees. He’s already hired Joe Girardi and Brian Barber. Those three have a history with one another. Middleton may also prefer an older fella after Matt Klentak.
    Erik Neander would be my favorite hire. He’s the reigning Executive Of The Year, he’s very smart, and he’s got a proven track record of building superior BP’s on a shoestring budget. He’s one of the top evaluators in the league, and works for one of the most progressive and high risk tolerant franchises in MLB.

    1. @Hinkie – I’m less compassionate for people who made millions especially I know a lot of folks who literally put themselves in harms way every time they work or folks that do physically demanding jobs for pennies and peanuts. Think of the people who files unemployment comp for reasons beyond their control. Should I be considerate for Klentak who earned millions for doing a very poor job? Klentak has a young family but the Phillies already set his family for years to come.

        1. @Hinkie – we did some consulting work with the Phillies in my old job in a Big 4 CPA firm. I cannot disclose any financial information but what I can tell you, GMs from big market teams are well compensated. If I have Klentak’s job with the Phillies, I can already retire even if Middleton fire me now and my family is still going to be OK — unless of course if I want an extravagant kind of life which 95% of the Americans cannot afford.

        2. Other online sources claim that GM salaries generally range from $500,000 to $2.5 million annually, with a few salaries exceeding the higher figure.
          Large market teams will pay more.

    2. Hinkie, I’m with you on Erik Neander although Middleton will go after a Yankee bred guy like Tim Naehring. The thing is, if both MacPhail and Klentak are out, I’ve got to think that Johnny Cigars hires him as club president of baseball ops and then he gets to pick his GM. If MacPhail is retained, that puts a serious monkey wrench into the situation. Let’s hope the owner has sense enough to make a clean sweep.

      1. So what we’re saying here is that Middleton has to MacPhail, not Klentak. The new prez, if he’s worth his salt, gets to hire his GM, which itself becomes a process. So yes, John Middleton needs to act with some urgency while the marginal playoff teams are busy playing out their string.

        Another major point to be considered is JTR and the prospects/effort to re-sign him. If it’s completely Middleton driven, then the new club president would have to be okay with that (although few baseball people would be adverse to having the best overall catcher in the game).

        1. 8mark … yes. MacPhail has to go because in order to get one of these top candidates (guys with proven track records), Middleton will have to offer them a promotion, more authority (Middleton needs to take a step back from baseball decisions), and a big fat raise. The new Pres of Baseball Ops would hire a GM to handle the leg work, but the President would handle most of the traditional GM duties (trades/FA signings/oversee draft). The Dodgers have done this with Andrew Friedman. The Red Sox are doing this with Chaim Bloom. And the Cubs have done this with Theo Epstein.
          The two guys on my above list Middleton could hire strictly as GM are Luhnow and Arnold.

    3. If I’m the hiring person, my preference will be to hire someone with a proven track record of success and someone who hold himself accountable. The latter is a cliche in a lot of interviews because that’s a catchy phrase that wins job interviews. But in reality, most people don’t know what that means. Being accountable is taking the ax for recurring failures and substandard performance. Most people who held themselves accountable demands to be relieved of their duties or they will do it themselves — you don’t usually see these kind of trait nowadays. Klentak will hold on to his millions even if he drags this team down to the dusts. This is not being self accountable. It’s just plain incompetence.

  148. Hinkie, I am with you. I don’t dislike either man, and don’t like to see anybody lose their jobs. This is purely Baseball related, not personal, and both men have a nice little severance package. I don’t think Middleton considers Luhnow, and I, honestly, don’t know if I would go that route. The rest can be gotten, I think, with the title “President of Baseball Ops.” Neander, Chernoff, Levine have worked for small market clubs, and I think would love to run their own show in this market. And, Naehring would love to be in control. All food picks. Aside from Luhnow, I would rank them in the order you listed them.

  149. Nola is a very good pitcher but he struggles with too many starts in a row with 4 day’s rest. He needs an occasional 5 days of rest. Without it, his arm tires and his fall straightens out. He’s not a pure ace but he’s very good. Wheeler is a legit #2 starter. They really need to find a legit #3, replacing Arrieta, and they need to decide whether Howard can be their 5.
    Not signing JT last year was the mistake. I now think he’ll sign elsewhere but I really want Didi back. With a new GM!

  150. I mentioned about the core of Harper-Nola-Wheeler and potential JTR and Didi these group will eat a significant chunk of the payroll.

    Eflin, Bohm, Howard, Jojo and Brogdon are almost locks to be in 2021 Phillies – they can contribute and they help to balance the payroll. Brogdon’s stuff is Ryan Madson-nesque – mid 90s FB with killer power CU – that’s high leverage BP arm. If the Phillies resign both JTR and Didi, if Middleton still want to spend $$ to acquire an a reliable closer.

    Whether we like it or not – the 2021 Phillies will have Nola-Wheeler at the top followed by Eflin and possibly Howard. I don’t think the Phillies will have enough $ and prospect equity to add a very good SP. We should be happy that we no longer have Klentak to fill that hole because we know that he cannot do it.

    Klentak’s version of the Phillies for the last 5 years is a team full of holes that lacks significant depth. DEPTH should be the main focus of the next GM.

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