Open Discussion: Week of October 19th

I went to the Complex Saturday to watch an Instructional League game between the Phillies and Blue Jays.  I was one of five people in attendance – my friend Steve Potter and his wife and daughter, my friend and former photo contributor Mark Wylie, and me.

The game was held on Roberts Field.  If you are familiar with the Complex, you’ll have noticed that a walking and bike path runs down Old Coachman Road, crosses the road at the north end of the Complex parking lot (where the pedestrian light is installed), and continues between the Complex and Clearwater’s regional trash collection point.  The path skirts the outfields on Carlton (CF and RF) and Roberts (LF and CF) Fields.

The path rises a couple of feet and then crosses under Route 19 on its way to Safety Harbor.  It crosses McMullen Booth Road and a huge bike path.  The official name of this path is the Ream Wilson Trail.

Our vantage point was not particularly good.  We started out in a thin stream of shade behind the left field fence.  As the game started, we ventured into the sun, its still blazing hot even in October, behind center field.  The short elevation of the road allowed us to see the mound and home plate without having to peer through the canvas draped fence, but added about 40 feet to our distance from the action.

Later, I moved up to the fence and watched through a gap between the fence and the batter’s eye.  I noticed that that Phillies and Jays had secured cameras to the fence above to capture their pitchers delivery from behind.  The viewing screen was angled so that I could watch pitches in clear technicolor. However, my neck got sore staring up for any extended period of time and I found that when a ball was put in play, I tended to wait for the camera to follow the ball and missed the rest of the play.  Duh.

Back to the game.  The Phillies fielded the following line up –

  • 8, Simon Muzziotti
  • 9, Jhailyn Ortiz
  • 3, Edgar Made
  • 2, Rodolfo Duran
  • 6, Jamari Baylor
  • 4, Jonathan Guzman
  • 5, Jose Tortolero
  • DH, Wilfredo Flores
  • 7, Marcus Lee Sang (who for some reason did not bat)
  • 1, Erik Miller

Miller looked real good, but I think we would expect that against Instructs batters.  He retired the first Jay on a first pitch fly ball to Lee Sang.  He struck out the next batter swinging, and completed the first inning with a ground out to Guzman.

The Phillies opened their half of the first with a Muzziotti walk.  Ortiz grounded a single through the shift into left field and Made  (ma’ – day) drew a bases loading walk.  Duran followed with an RBI ground single to left.  Baylor struck out looking on a curve ball and the Jays rolled the inning.

Miller continued his dominance over the Jays’ batters in the second with a strike out looking.  He walked the next batter but then induced a chopper to second that was not going to be a double play.  It looked like Baylor hurried the exchange in an attempt to get the runner at first and missed the catch at second.  It might also have been a timing thing as Guzman appeared slightly off balance,  flipping the ball side arm on is heels.  Didn’t matter, Miller responded by striking out the next two batters swinging to end the threat.

The game quieted down as pitching seemed to dominate.  Tortolero drew a one-out walk in the second and stole second base but the other three batters were retired on ground balls.

Christian Hernandez pitched the third and survived a two-out bloop single and errant pick off throw to keep the Jays off the board.

Ortiz opened the home third with a walk but was stranded by two fly outs and a come backer to the pitcher to end the inning.

James McArthur pitched two scoreless innings, stranding a two-out double in the fourth and a one-out double in the fifth.

Meanwhile, the Phillies collected a single to center by Muzziotti and 5 Ks in the fourth and fifth innings.

Around this time, I got distracted by one of our between innings chats and spent the next few innings looking for the post that established my position on whom the Phillies should sign to catch next season.  More on that later.

During that period, the Phillies made several changes –

  • Andrik Nava took over behind the plate
  • Matt Vierling played first base
  • Jonathan Guzman remained at second base
  • Guarner Dipre to third
  • Luis Garcia to shortstop
  • Wilfredo Flores from DH to left field
  • Johan Rojas to center field
  • Jose Cedeno to right field

Also during this period, the Jays tied the game on a sac fly off Manuel Silva and went ahead on a HR off Victor Vargas.  Joel Cesar pitched a one-hit ninth inning and struck out two batters.

The Phillies batters rallied in the ninth.  Luis Garcia drew a lead off walk in a long at bat.  Wilfredo Flores singled to put runners on first and second.  Guarner Dipre tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but the pitcher decided to advance the runners with a wild pitch.  Dipre then lifted a sac fly to left AND Guzman who had come in to run for Flores moved up to third.  Flores (yes, he batted again, it’s Instructs!) followed with a ground out that scored Guzman (who was running for Flores) with the walk off, I mean go ahead run.  The Jays completed the inning striking out the next batter for the third out before the post game celebration could begin.

Best recollection is that the Phillies collected 6 hits, all singles, by Ortiz, Duran, Muzziotti, Cedeno, Tortolero, and Flores.  Pitchers allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks while striking out 10 batters.  Three of the hits were for extra bases though – 2 doubles and a HR.

Here are a couple of Mark Wylie’s photos

Batter gets fooled on an off-speed pitch in the dirt
Garcia tags up to tie the game

In other news, Bryan Price retired with two years remaining on his contract.  My first thought was to wonder if this is an indication that MLB is considering employing similar “quarantining” rules during ST and next season.  That would entail a longer period of time than just a 60-game season.

If the Phillies go externally to fill Price’s position, I have always thought John Smoltz would be a good choice having success as both a starter and reliever.  I know he doesn’t have coaching experience, but it’s always been an idea of mine.  In fact, I like a lot of the MLB guys from their shows.  I think Ron Darling, Pedro Martinez, and Al Leiter would all make interesting pitching coaches.  I’m sure they would get the attention of the players.

That’s it for my outside the box thinking today.

I would temper any hopes on the Phillies luring Erik Neander (nee-ANN-der) from Tampa to fill their GM position.  He already has the title and responsibilities of Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager.  That would encompass Andy MacPhail’s current role and that of interim Ned Rice in the Phillies organization.

I’m not saying that money won’t get a deal done.  But, it’s going to take a lot.  That’s the only thing that the Phillies can offer.  Neander is friends with owner Stuart Sternberg, got his start in baseball with the Rays at the age of 22, and worked his way up from intern to his current position.  Aside from friendship there is also loyalty.  Plus, he’s the top baseball operations guy with no interference from above.  Luring him away from Tampa, if that’s even possible, will have a large price tag.

So, don’t get upset if the Phillies can’t land this particular white whale.  The TB front office page has bios of most of their execs.  Here’s Neander’s.  Take a look at some of the others.

Oh, and finally, the conversation that distracted me from more closely following the middle innings of Saturday’s game.  My take was essentially “Why not Knapp?“.  He could be the starter.  He has proven to be more effective handling pitchers than earlier in his career.  It’s why he beat out Grullon and others as the back up the past few years.  His bat has improved, too.  All his numbers compare favorably to Realmuto except for passed balls.

The Phillies could go out and sign a defensive back up to pair with him until the younger guys are ready.  Guys like: Sandy Leon (32 years old) not much of a hitter but a quality defender with great caught-stealing numbers; Josh Phegley (33 years old) career caught-stealing numbers approaching 33%; Bryan Holaday (33 years old) career 30% caught-stealing rate; and maybe even Drew Butera (37 years old) who has a good reputation for his receiving skills.

Eric Kratz (41 years old) might also be a good fall back option as a catcher in Allentown.

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

Key Dates:

  • 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 25-29, 2020 – Trading resumes, day after the World Series ends
  • October 30 – November 3, 2020, 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 8-13, 2020, 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 October 19th … 333 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)

10/15/2020 – 2B Ronald Torreyes elected free agency
10/14/2020 – RHP Deolis Guerra elected free agency
10/06/2020 – DSL Phillies Red released RHP Jhostyn Marin
10/01/2020 – 3B Luke Williams assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – 2B Ronald Torreyes assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – LHP Jeff Singer assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – RHP Reggie McClain assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – RHP JD Hammer assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – RHP Deolis Guerra assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – RHP Enyel De Los Santos assigned to Lehigh Valley from Training Site
10/01/2020 – CF Mikie Mahtook assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – LF Nick Martini assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – C Jonathan Lucroy assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – SS Nick Maton assigned to Reading from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – RHP Joel Cesar assigned to Reading
10/01/2020 – LHP Damon Jones assigned to Reading from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – C Henri Lartigue assigned to Reading from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – 1B Austin Listi assigned to Reading from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – SS Bryson Stott assigned to Clearwater from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – C Logan O’Hoppe assigned to Lakewood from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – SS Raibently Mercalina assigned to DSL Red

132 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of October 19th

  1. Thanks Jim, it’s great to finally read about our minor leaguers playing baseball again. Made batting 3rd suggests to me that they probably think higher of him than we have in the past.
    As for Knapp, he showed this year that he can be a very decent back up. As soon as he had to play more when JT got hurt, Knapp tired and his swing got long. He hadn’t played more than once a week in several years do I guess it makes sense. I’m holding out hope for James McCann if we can’t get JT on a 4 year deal. I don’t want him, a 30 yr old catcher, on more than a 4Yr/$100M deal. A six year deal could be a buyer beware deal as JT could have 2 or 3 more elite seasons before he starts to regress. He already got hurt this year and the injuries won’t stop as he gets older plus he’s not a good enough hitter to be a 1b or DH. This is not Johnny Bench were talking about.
    I want two SPs and Didi back and I don’t see how they can afford all that plus JT.
    Back to the minor leaguers, I’m excited about Miller’s upside. Also, how in shape or heavy did Ortiz look, if you could tell from that far away?

  2. Thank you Jim. Lots of great info by peering through a fence. You are amazing!
    What is your take on Marchand? I would like Smoltz, maybe he could help transition us into the Braves philosophy on pitching.

  3. I think Smoltz would make a great pitching coach, but I doubt he’d leave the broadcast booth for the dugout. I had been thinking along the same lines as Jim: it would be good to hire a PC who has had success as both a starter and reliever in MLB. The guy I came up with is Dave Righetti. He instructed some very successful pitching staffs in SF until they moved him into an advisory role three years ago.

    I think Girardi could also consider John Farrell and Dave Ireland.
    Two college coaches I’d have interest in are Scott Brown (Vandy) and Josh Hopper (DBU).
    I’m sure Dave Lundquist will get an interview. Girardi should also look into Brian Sweeney. Sweeney is an assistant pitching coach in Cleveland. The Indians hired him away from the Phillies three years ago. Sweeney had worked for the Phils in the GCL and Lakewood. He gets lots of credit for the work he did with Ser-Ant’ny Dominguez, Sixto Sanchez, Adonis Medina, Drew Anderson, Ranger Saurez, JoJo Romero, Nick Fanti, Mauricio Llovera, Bailey Falter, and Addison Russ.

    As far as Erik Neander goes … IMO, he’d be worth whatever money Middleton would have to fork over to bring him to Philly. Pay the man, put him in charge of baseball operations, and leave him alone.
    I almost threw up when I read the JJ Picollo story. No offense to JJ, but John Middleton needs to be searching for candidates from winning organizations with track records of finding and developing talent (like Neander). And please, please stay away from anyone with Andy MacPhail connections. If he plans on keeping Ned Rice (another MacPhail crony) as GM for 2021, we are headed for another loooooong season. I laughed when I read Middleton praise Rice for the video presentation he put together for their Bryce Harper pursuit, as if Harper picked the Phillies because of the video and not the money. Just tell me what prospect(s) Rice identified, and helped bring here.

    1. I just double checked. Brian Sweeney is now also the Indians bullpen coach. The other thing Sweeney has going for him is he pitched in Japan for a time. That (and of course Iron Chef Morimoto as Director Of Clubhouse Food Services) could help finally bringing Asian players to the Phillies.

    2. @hinkie – I remember the Phillies (Middleton/McPhail) saying how impressed they were with Klentak during the interview process that it is made them easy to make choice. Full of baloney!!

  4. Which group of prospects would your rather have?

    Group A:
    – Kolby Allard
    – Ian Anderson
    – Shane Baz
    – Ryan Weathers
    – Jackson Rutledge

    Group B:
    – Cornelius Randolph
    – Mickey Moniak
    – Adam Haseley
    – Alec Bohm
    – Bryson Stott

    Group A is the first pitcher taken after the Phillies pick in 2015 – 2019 draft and Group B is obviously the Phillies first pick.

    As exceptional as Bohm’s hit tool is (and I think that it is really, really good), I would rather have Group A. I think that if we had Group A, along with Mick Abel, we would be set for the next decade with pitchers. Of that group only Allard has been a bust. Ian Anderson looks like he has a very bright future and Baz, Weathers and Rutledge are elite SP prospects.

    1. I’m not sure Baz, Weathers, and Rutledge are elite prospects. Weathers are Rutledge are ranked behind Stott and Bohm and neither Weather and Rutledge are top 100 prospects (MLB Pipeline). Baz is ranked 86. So while I get your point, Anderson is obviously the biggest miss but after that, who knows.

  5. Actually, I am with you, Jim. I wouldn’t mind seeing a pitching coach hire from outside the organization. But, what gives me pause is the fact that the front office seems to be in flux, and I am not sure you can hire someone who may not be retained after next year depending on who gets hired to run the front office.

  6. Miller needs to be a ST invite and see where he’s at after 2020.. I believe he’s on the Clearwater roster but if he has a decent spring send him to AA.

  7. I like Knapp as a backup C. But Jim’s proposal to have him start and sign a journeyman backup (while spending the Realmuto dollars on pitching, I suppose) doesn’t excite me. I’m more concerned with who’s making the call on JTR to begin with. I assume Middleton will, while Rice and MacPhail do the leg work. Timing is everything with this organization right now. A disjointed front office can’t be trusted to make right decisions. Blind luck is the only way this off season turns out fruitful. I say, “let’s see what the kids can do.” (Knapp is 29. He’s not a kid.) If the Phillies go with a platoon behind the plate, I’d rather have Marchan take the other portion of starts if JT walks.

    1. 8mark…you do not like my plan if JTR walks!
      Sign McCann and Bauer.
      McCann will probably take a 3 yr or perhaps a 2 yr contract…probably $12M AAV, maybe a little less. Bauer for a year if he is agreeable, around $25/27M AAV

      1. Whether to sign Bauer the pitcher and the person for one year, begs for the young arms like Abel, Morales and Miller to emerge pronto, Romus. This organization needs some stability and Bauer, as talented as he is, doesn’t bring any. If the Phillies were that one piece away, why not? But they’re not.

        1. As for McCann, nobody impresses me until JTR signs elsewhere. I guess he’s ok but I’d rather see what Marchan and Knapp can do if we don’t have Realmuto.

        2. However, for one year of bauer….it gives arms like Howard, Miller, Medina, and Morales a little more maturation time..

          1. True. Bauer, Nola, Wheeler, Eflin and Howard(?) would make the ’21 rotation formidable. The concern as to whether the Phillies have the leadership in place beyond Girardi is still real. (I’m not convinced Harper and Hoskins hold the hammer to keep the top SP on the roster in check if and when he acts out of his demons, and Realmuto would presumably be gone. Didi? Maybe. Cutch? Maybe. But the culture within the clubhouse must first be set before welcoming such a wild card as Bauer’s personality. It’s worth the discussion, I guess. I’m just not sure whether it would ultimately result in more Ws or more chaos internally, especially when Bryce would be somewhat deflated by JTR’s absence. He’s a big boy, I know. But that’s another wrinkle in the bigger picture.

  8. I would be shocked if Bauer chose the Phillies. Simply a massive stretch. He cannot be paid for one year to compensate for JTR loss – and I find it absurd that he would accept one year when he can get more from literally 5 teams. It is irrelevant what he says – he is a blowhard. The Yanks are bereft of pitching – even the Dodgers – the Braves – Cincy wants him back – the ‘Stros – none of the big $$ teams can walk away from him. Phillies have alot more needs than one pitcher given their situation. Try catcher, entire bullpen, shortstop, outfielder ? starting pitiching ???

    1. He’s already accepted one year deals. One year deals are what he wants. Of course he’ll accept one. Whether he wants to play here, specifically, is another issue. But he won’t turn the Phillies down for offering one year.

      1. To clarify, he turned down multi-year extensions multiple times to instead sign one year deals/go to arbitration. He’s smart. As long as he’s pitching well, 1 year deals will earn him much more money. Maybe he’ll settle for multi-year deals later in his career, but after this year he sees a way to make 30m+ per year for the next few years and then “settle” for 20+ for multiple years after that.

        1. Dan….I understand he said he is is willing to take the risk, and bet on himself. Though he is contentious to say the least, he isn’t stupid, the guy graduated HS a year early with a 4.8 GPA and continued his on the field and in classroom skills while at UCLA.

          The guy marches to the beat of his own drum ..a perfect fit for this Phillies team.

          1. Agree with RU and Romus. Bauer is a little nuts, but he’s not stupid. I gotta’ believe he’ll want to sign a LT deal.

  9. I can’t imagine that Bauer comes here. There are teams that really give him a chance to be in the Playoffs that will offer him deals. 1 year, multi year, whatever it takes. Unfortunately, that “I want to win” part of what Bauer is looking for is not happening here next year. It is still hard for me to believe that Middleton’s Front Office brain trust is Andy MacPhail and Ned Rice. I keep hoping I am missing something.

  10. He has already backtracked on the only 1 year deal stance. He said that he knows what he said before, and he is going to make the best decision for himself. Mentioned Winning, and the opportunity to pitch every 4th day instead of every 5th. He certainly marches to his own drummer, and if I thought he was our missing piece, then go for it. But, he is far from that, and I still don’t think the “winning” part puts us on his radar.

    1. matt13…..” don’t think the “winning” part puts us on his radar”…that is where it gets tricky.
      The teams that can afford him, lets say for one year or 5….may not be teams that much different then where the Phillies currently stand.
      — Cohen and the Mets may be in the running and they are not head and shoulders above the Phillies. And he has the money to spend for him
      — The Yankees also can afford him….however, they need more than one starter right now….and then there is Judge who may reach $25M AAV in arb4..Cashman likes to say even they have a budget and they I understand, want to get out from under that penalty
      —Dodgers, he is a Southern Cal guy….but Friedman does not do that But then again, if the Rays pull the upset…maybe he will go for Bauer…and probably another manager.
      —Angels…Moreno is crazy with his money…but come on….Pujols, Trout, Upton, Rendon….going for five big tickets guys, really, a tough pill to swallow even for Moreno…and their team is not as close either.
      —Astros….that is the most logical, but they may need a referee in the dugout if he explodes again on them But Baker may want him, so it stands to reason they will be in play.
      —Cubs….maybe Theo’s last hurrah…there isa possibility there also.
      —Finally…the other Chicago team…..they have the money to spend and they are closer than the Phillies it appears.

      So there is not a whole slew of teams that will either bid for him at his asking price….or who are close to contending right now.

      1. I believe there is an almost zero chance the NYY’s pursue Trevor Bauer. Adding him would be like tossing a hand grenade into their clubhouse. Bauer and Gerritt Cole played together at UCLA, and hated each other. It was so bad, they would not speak to each other (they still don’t.
        I’m telling you …Bauer is more trouble than he’s worth.

  11. Good post Romus, and Cincinnati may feel they are ready to make the Playoffs, and Bauer allegedly liked it there. I acknowledge that a lot of my sentiment comes from the bad feeling that I have about this upcoming season. The whole keeping Klentak in the organization, not moving on from MacPhail because he has a year to go, putting Ned Rice in as GM, the talk about it might take a year to get the next guy, Middleton’s awful press conference, the whole “do you know how many fans we will have next year?” response, Todd Zolecki’s article where he says the team is not optimistic about signing Realmuto, and how far away we appear from actually being a Contender, all have me believing that next season is another wasteland. I am probably projecting my pessimism onto Bauer.

    1. matt13…can understand that.
      No matter how you slice it right now, next season does not look too optimistic.
      Unless we can get a resurgence from all the yuong guys…Howard, Kingery, Haseley, Moniak, Medina and maybe youthful arms in the bullpen come together like Brogdon, Romero, Rosso Arano and a few others…..could be a long season again.

      1. Yuong guys Is that Korean? I just cant appreciate how John Middelton can affirm to us that we will be conspicuously, for a real run on a title,

  12. I agree with Jim, I like Knapp, I believed he has improved but I would like to give a healthy dose of playing time to Marchan yo get a bigger sample size because I liked what I saw, it really not the best bet for a contending team.

  13. My approach would be to drastically change this roster starting with trading Hoskins, Knapp and Nola. Yep that’s right. Nola would and should fetch a handsome return of two really good young players. I don’t expect a whole lot in return for Hoskins and Knapp but who knows a much better GM/talent evaluator might find something pretty good for Rhys.

    I would QO JT of course and Didi. I’d expect Didi to accept JT to not accept.

    I’d go with a McCann/Marchan split at catcher. Start my rotation with Wheeler, Eflin and Howard then fill it out with a bunch of 2 3 year deals on starters.

    I’d kick the tires on some veteran guys that might be out there to fill some holes. LeMahieu if the Yankkees don’t QO him would be a nice fit as our new 1B. Marcus Semien is a nice player too if Didi doesn’t accept.

    The worse thing the new GM or JM could do would be to think they are just a few pieces away with the roster they have now. My opinion of course.

    Back to a Nola trade. Nola is really cheap for the next 3 years and the kind of pitcher a deep team like the Rays might be willing to part with some guys for given they are likely to lose Morton after this season. Imagine getting Baz and Brujan or Edwards back in that deal.

    1. DMAR….a radicalization of the Phillies!
      However, if moving Nola….why not to the Padres for a couple of their young pitching prospects….Gore and either Morejon or Weathers.

    2. The Phillies cannot afford to lose 2 of the their best homegrown arms in a short period of time after trading their best one (Hamels) few years ago. Losing Sixto already moved the Phillies years back and losing Nola will push them further. The Phillies almost got empty handed with the Hamels trade and they look like they will regret trading Sixto away. And now Nola? If the Hamels and Sixto trades adid not help the Phillies, what guarantee that the Nola trade will?

      The Phillies do not need to overthink and be crazy — they just need to do what a winning team does — get a competent FO than will run the team. The key pieces are in place. Depth, scouting and player development needs to be addressed.

      1. It’s exactly the type of move Erik Neander would make. The fact that Nola is homegrown should be insignificant. There are plenty of Nola’s out there.

        The fact that MK screwed the pooch on the Sixto deal should be insignificant to the new GM.

        As fans we may not like it but for a new GM he needs to dissolve himself of any emotion and infuse talent into the system. If you approach this idea with a frame of reference that MK or any prior GM would be making a bad deal then I can’t help you.

        If you imagine for a second that we have a real GM that knows what he/she is doing then maybe you can see a path forward.

        1. There are plenty of Nola out there? When and who? I know that Nola disappointed in his last 2 starts but he is not the problem of this team. Wheeler disappointed too so we cannot give Wheeler a pass but not Nola. Trading Nola will be moving the Phillies for another 2 years since that will leave the weak rotation even weaker.

          A good GM will do what ATL did. Find smart 1-year prove it deal and bounce back candidates while drafting well. A good GM also keeps workable assets and dump only the useless ones. Nola is one of those workable assets. Separating personal emotions is a trait of a good GM so that’s not even a question.

        2. @DMAR – homegrown normally means “cheap” so it does matter. But what matters more is “talent” whether homegrown or not. Nola is one of the best talents in this team. Sixto will torment this team for years and you want Nola do the same?

          Baz and Brujan or Edwards for Nola? Few years ago we thought that the Phillies found their #2 and #4 hitter in Kingery and Hoskins and they regressed. Nola is top arm, Phillies should get more than Baz and Brujan or Edwards for Nola.

          1. Kuko you don’t agree that’s ok. I just don’t think the Phillies are going to spend their way out of this mess.

            But to your point they should get more for Nola makes my point even further doesn’t it?

            1. @DMAR – I just don’t think that the Phillies need to step back 2-3 years to contend. From the time the Middleton signed Harper and Wheeler to big $, the fight is on. Middleton’s mistake which most of us know since Day 1 is he trust the team to poor FO.

              IMO, the Phillies do not need to construct a MLB All-Star type roster to contend. The just need to find reliable complimentary pieces to fill the holes and provide depth. Sixto could have been a good fit behind Nola and Wheeler followed by Howard and Eflin – but let’s move on.

              IMO, Nola, Wheeler, Eflin + Paxson and Quintana will be a decent rotation with Howard, Suarez, Medina and a veteran serving as depth. The Phillies just need 1-2 reliable veteran RPs to anchor the bullpen and the Jojo, Brogdon, Arano and others to fill the rest. Again, this is not an All-Star pitching line up, but somebody from the farm might surprise. Jojo and Brogdon in 2020 so Medina, Jones and Dohy in 2021?

              I haven’t thought of the offense side but I think there are options. What the Phillies need is a GM that can find those short term complimentary pieces that better teams were able to do.

              If the team has enough depth, they can make some noise if Harper and others can stay hot in September and October. Phillies had been bad in September so law of averages might turn the tide in Phillies favor and Harper, Hoskins, Nola and Wheeler can get hot is September/October.

    3. It’s taking me some time to come around but I’m beginning to think that your idea has merit, DMAR. This Phillies team is not close to legitimate contention, light years behind Atlanta and in dire need of administrative stability, better talent evaluation and even greater development.

      1. If the Phillies don’t intend to content in the next 2 years, they might as well trade Harper and Wheeler. Harper and Wheeler are better in 2021-2022 than the older version of themselves. Players decline past 30 years old and there are no Manny Pacquiao or Bernard Hopkins in baseball.

  14. The Phillies “on paper” will not rank high in 2021 Power Rankings to WS unless Middleton goes beyond the threshold. But it doesn’t mean that 2021 reason in useless. It is more important now for Middleton to assemble a competent FO that will give the Phillies a “chance” to contend since that FO knows how to construct a team. Phillies just need to look how the Braves did it —- have a FO that can build the farm and identify legit contributor in FA and sign them cheap.

    Signing a superstar make sense but the approach cannot be too top heavy. Klentak’s biggest failure is providing enough depth to the team. Big part of that is his inability to identify talent. I’m not an enemy of analytics but proper interpretation of data is equally important. Klentak talks about being savvy in analytics but his output is very abysmal.

    Middleton admitted that he is not a baseball guy and he is still learning the baseball business. I’m not certain if Middleton really learned a lesson from his mistake in trusting a less credible team of McPhail and Klentak. Not until we know which direction is heading when it comes to the FO search, it’s hard to second guess what they are doing. Middleton might suddenly decide to tear this team down and trade Harper, Wheeler and Nola.

    It’s hard to talk about Phillies because the organization is in total disarray.

  15. Hinkie discussed what I think is a reasonable plan to address the rotation. Keep Nola, Wheeler and Eflin and sign 1-2 of Minor-Ray-Quintana-Paxton-Oddi to high $ 1-year prove it contact. The Phillies can easily find a spot for Howard if he is healthy and also serves as a MLB ready depth together with Medina.

    The Phillies need to keep Nola, Wheeler and Eflin if they intend to contend during Harper’s prime years.

  16. The high tide of losing JTR is washing in among respondents here and in the media. It now appears to cast a pall on the Phillies that he is if not gone yet, he is certainly packing his bags. It is as if we can agree that some sort of 23 million package for 4-6 years is just too much to spend on one player, despite his prowess, given his position and the metrics. It will be a painful revelation but let’s hope that the cash saved can be employed to help the team in more than one other area. I find it saddening that this team is now an underdog to resign him. The whole transaction was mishandled and now with a temporary (??) FO who knows if they can even be effective ? If through some miracle they did resign him ? does that pump up a disappointed and depressed fandom ?

    1. Putting out the vibe that they are not optimistic about re-signing JTR may not be a bad negotiating posture. If the market isn’t as flush for him as he hopes, the Phillies might rebound with a last ditch offer, say 5/$120M ($24M AAV). But at this point, with all the conjecture about how the game’s economic condition will dampen the free agent market, wait it out like everything else. My sense is that things will become more “clear” by January.

    2. RU….curious, what do you think would be a good contract for JTR…from the Phillies standpoint?
      Here is the likely scenario.
      Length…..will be 5 for sure, more than likely a vested option year at 6.
      AAV………$23M, if lucky, minimum …..could be $25M or $26M

      I for one, could see issues with the max. extended length and the highest AAV.
      Jim Salisbury threw out a $200M contract….that would entail more than 6 years
      and a much higher AAV…whoa nelly on that.
      Like I have repeatedly posted before….that new guy in NY will be the wild card in the driving force. Will Middleton want to play poker with him?

      1. Romus – I would put JTR into the context of Y Molina. Meaning – 20 mill is the highest salary ever paid a catcher (Molina) for his age 36-38 seasons.He received a 3 year 60 mill deal in 2017 which was an extension of a 5 year 75 mill contract – arguably 15 mill per year then (2012 – 2017).

        Despite a bigger market – $$ wise – I can see making JTR the highest paid catcher ever at say $23 mill 2021 ;$ 23 – 2022 ;$ 22 – 2023 ; $22 – 2024 ;$18 – 2025 for a total of $108 mill for 5 years.— OK maybe I throw in $5 mill bonus for a total of $113. Now that may be “cheap/naive” but that is what I think he is worth in the context of the rest of the team. If some team wants to pay him $ 25 mill for 6 years I think that is overkill. My figures are “pandemic centric” too.

        As much as we like him – the marginal difference between paying a catcher who has all his attributes + hit is not value when you can purchase (in McCann I’m thinking) 75% of that production for $6 million (he made 5.2 mill in ’20); then 4 mill in 2022 ; 3 mill in 2023 (13 mill all in for 3 year deal). I understand those teams that don’t get JTR may bid McCann up so that he costs more – but I have allowed for some of that. Otherwise split Sandy Leon with Knapp for a fraction of the cost and put those savings into a better pitcher(s). Maybe Stroman ?

        1. RU, I’m tracking with your line of thinking on how to maximize the money NOT spent on JTR, but I don’t want anything to do with journeyman catchers, or any position for that matter. I’d rather see the kids fly or flop. Marchan may be undersold as a major contributor to the major league roster. Sans power, his skill set both defensively AND offensively is IMO legit. He’s gotten a sip of coffee already. I say bring him to spring camp as a candidate to at least share the backstop duties.

        2. RU…ok, I can see your rationale. And $113M over 5….$22.6M AAV.
          I think that would bode well for the Phillies…..well in a non-pandemic climate, we actually do not know what will happen in the market place for free agents just yet.
          And if JTR decides to take a better offer and walks, the McCann scene and bidding will probably be higher as you suggest.
          I do think he will get closer to $10/12M AAV …..and will look for the longest deal available…which I assume will be at least 2 years, and no longer than 3 years.
          If it were me McCann would be a two year deal for $25M
          And I would like the defensive aspect of a Knapp/McCann duo .
          And there is enough to get that ‘number 3’ better pitcher out there…and keep Didi.

          Basically it is not that much different than the JTR-Arrieta-Didi fiscal trio of 2020….which was around $49M AAV….assuming Didi does multi year @ 15M AAV.

          1. Out of respect and as a good faith gesture to JTR, despite the cold realities of business, I would grant him the AAV benchmark of $23.whatever million if he’s set on raising the bar for catchers, but not the years if it’s more than 5. But then it’s neither my money nor my business, so….that’s as far as I would go under the current circumstances.

            1. I may do $24M AAV for 5 and, a 6th @ $20M…mutual option.
              And then let Cohen and the Mets go higher if they want ..or even the Nats.
              But still will have to see how this FA economic market plays out now.
              Why outbid yourself!
              Fortunately, a silver lining ……there is no Boras to deal with.

            2. I just don’t think JT is that good in the sense that we’re falling in love with him measured against other catchers. He’s not even a top 25 OPS player.

              His offensive production is pretty easy to replace (for much less) and Marchan IMO is just as good catch and throw if not better.

              Here’s a question would you pay him that kind of money if he were your 1B?

  17. Zack Wheeler had his middle right finger resection surgery and is expected to be ready for spring training. That’s good news. If it bothered him during the season, it certainly didn’t show. Might we expect a monster 2021 from him?

  18. They’re not trading Nola. They signed Harper and Wheeler to compete now and that’s what they’ll try to do next season. They have lots of holes to try and fill though. I don’t think signing JT is the smartest way to spend their money but they’ll certainly try to sign him before moving on. They need two SPs and there are available arms that would fit the bill. They also need a closer plus another reliable late inning arm. While I love Didi I wonder if they’d be getter off signing an upgraded defensive SS like Galvis or the Angels’ SS. We sure need a FO that can get a lot done.

  19. Hmmm trade Nola. Someone brought that up month ago. Would do if smart but no way this owner restarts process.

  20. Somebody help here, please. When Wendell hit that double to RF in the 3rd inning to put the Rays ahead 3-0, did Mookie Betts take a really bad route to the ball?

  21. Let’s assume for argument’s sake, that we do not bring back Realmuto and Didi. Not exactly impossible. We are worse at C and SS than last year. The next best C on the market, McCann is, I can argue, a significant drop off. We can differ as to how much. Segura at SS is significantly less of a player both offensively and defensively than Didi. We have to hope for a big bounce back year from Kingery, or we are much worse, offensively and defensively, than with Segura at 2B, his best position, IMO. Rhys may not have his power back until May, and a Rhys Hoskins without power is not a very good player. And, we could use a platoon partner for Cutch and significantly more production from CF. Of course, another SP, and most of a BP. So, maybe Middleton sees what I see, and isn’t going to try to spend out of this mess, will reboot in 2021, wait for the fans to come back and MacPhail to nicely go away, and will wait to bring in the next guy to try to save the franchise. Am I way off base?

    1. what you said is a known fact. however, Middleton still needs to pay that huge payroll whether they win or not — that’s $200M down the drain if they just want to chill and reboot in 2021!

      While the Phillies will not be top contenders, they just need to hire a FO that can give them the chance to compete – a FO who knows how to infuse talent with limited financial commitments. If Nola and Wheeler gets it going, that’s 4 chances to win in a 7 game series. Same with Harper who can be streaky.

      the Phillies have good pieces in place to compete. what they need is depth across the key positions and talent infusion from the farm to balance the payroll. Klentak failed significantly in these areas but the Phillies doesn’t need to restart and push their road to contention back again for another 2-5 years. because if they do, just trade Harper, Wheeler, Nola, Hoskins and others.

      1. No one in the league is going to take on Harper’s contract unless you pay a significant portion of it down. I love Bryce but can we not admit now JM outbid himself on that deal. He’s a nice player but he isn’t even in the MVP conversation let alone getting votes.

        A season and a half ago the Rays traded Chris Archer and here they are in the WS not sure why you or anyone would think so narrow mindedly that trading Nola means a full on reboot.

        It’s mind boggling to think this team as it is can contend when they couldn’t even make the playoffs in a year when 12 teams made it and they couldn’t even beat out a rebuilding franchise in the Marlins.

        That said you are probably right that they don’t trade Nola. It’s the kind of move smart progressive clubs make and the Phillies just aren’t that smart.

        Now I do have to grant you if this team had just a slightly better bullpen they would have made the playoffs but I’m not sure they would have had enough of a line-up to get by the Braves or Dodgers.

        1. I don’t think we are in full reboot mode, but we have significant needs, which is why we need a savvy GM in place now rather than next year. Pat Gillick always thought you needed to change/tweak the chemistry of the team every year. Everyone has different thoughts on here of where we can stand pat and where we need change.

          If we need to move 1 guy to improve 2 positions, I’m for it, but it has to be worth the loss and it has to make us better now, not 3 years from now. I think our starters +1 are adequate, our bullpen is not. CF, and C can be manipulated through trades, system players and free agency. I think DiDi is coming back @ ss.

        2. @DMAR – Archer was 30 yo when Rays traded him and Nola is only 27 yo. That’s a trade that 9/10 good GMs will make. The Rays have Snell and some good arms and the Phillies don’t have that luxury especially after trading away Sixto.

          Also, if you will use 2020 as your measuring stick —- the Phillies are just 1 game off considering how many games they gave away. And the issue with that 1 missed game is not Nola. It’s the GM who is clueless in finding MLB talent. In 2019, the Phillies imploded because of pitching because the same clueless GM decided to let go of Kranitz because of his love of analytics and chose CY who sabotaged the development of the young arms.

          I think you are missing the whole root cause of the demise of the Phillies. They will not be WS favorites, but if they can keep Nola, Wheeler and sign a couple of reliable SPs and surround Harper will pieces that can actually contribute, they can make a run if Nola, Wheeler and Harper peaked at the right time.

          1. You could be right we’ll see. I’m basically making an indefensible point because I cannot tell you players we would be able to get in return or even what their short and long term impact would be on the club.

            Nola is a terrific pitcher I’m not proposing you give him away for nothing…

    2. I am not horrified by the prospect of a mini-rebuild over next season. Offer JT and DiDi QOs and see what happens. Likely lose them both, but gain some payroll flexibility and draft picks in a draft that is supposed to be very deep. Catching is a position of strength in our farm, so why not construct the team with that in mind. (I am not suggesting anyone replaces JT’s production, but we do seem to have a few legitimate MLB players in the pipeline behind the plate — marchan, OHoppe) Use the offseason to pay for defense (simmons, Iglesias, seiman, bradley, Jr.), Nola, Wheeler, Eflin, Howard is not a bad rotation if you play some defense for a change. Who knows what has happened on the farm this year, since it was all out of public view. See if any arms/prospects emerge. Don’t dump money into the pen. See where we are at by the deadline, and if we are struggling, shop Hoskins, Quinn, Segura, McCutcheon for prospects, and be willing to eat some salary. Then get ready to spend again in 2022 with an elite ss, at a time when Stott, Marchan, Miller, Morales, etc.. can reasonably be expected to provide some MLB value.

      1. Jayha…..That sounded pretty good and you might be qualified for GM in some organizations, unfortunately if you aren’t a ivy leaguer or know Andy MacPhail, we probably can’t use you……………..have you ever sold cigars?

      2. I’m optimistic about seeing some good pen arms coming from the farm. But the Phillies still need a legit closer that will anchor the bullpen. Young arms are very volatile and injury risk for pitching is high. It’s good to have that depth of young pen arms but a couple of reliable veteran RPs are needed. Hopefully, the next GM is not as blind as Klentak,

        I also agree with the depth in C prospects. This has been discussed in this site multiple times. But if the Phillies wants to contend, they need an experience C. Knapp is a good back up and Marchan looks to be a solid prospect but they are not the experience C that a contending team has.

        Harper and wheeler are in their prime years and getting paid big $ — it will be a waster their prime years because the Phillies don’t know how to win.

  22. Whatever title is given, my gut tells me that Jim Hendry gets the Phillies gig. Yankee connection, MacPhail connection back with the Cubs (yeah, I know…but loyalties die hard even in the world of baseball, and we may have to live with Middleton’s).

  23. Painful Phillies Phact of the day:
    The Phillies drafted a guy named Jake Sweaney 3 picks ahead of a guy named Cody Bellinger.

    1. And the Phillies did draft Cavan Biggio in the 29th round that year…but he was a committed Irshmen!

  24. Will the great Mayor of NYC be a feather in Middleton’s cap?
    DiBlasio has to give his approval of the Cohen ownership proposal within the next 3/4 weeks….seems Cohen’s hedge fund had some legal issues 7 years ago and had to pay a $1.8B fine levied by the SEC…and this could slow up the approval process…maybe some help for the Phillies in the JTR bidding.

    Also understand ARod is making noises and getting WSox Jerry R. to help block the sale to Cohen.

    Dang….guy is not even owner yet and the drama arises..

    1. Cohen deserves to own the Mets, He will make them good again, They will show the world how bad our owner really is and maybe he will sell to someone who knows what to do, i am sick of Middleton and his slow responses to our problems of Bad drafts, bad trades, and bad team, He shows no leadership by keeping The club president,

        1. I know that we agreed that this will only be for sports and I one of the biggest supporters of this, but DiBlasio is ………………… . And that is all I will say about that!

    2. That USA Today article is behind a paywall/create an account to read which doesn’t interest me but I’m curious on how DeBlasio could block the sale of a MLB franchise? I’m uncomfortable with politicians having that kind of power…

      1. From the article:
        “In the 2006 stadium lease agreement between the Mets and New York City, there’s a provision in which the mayor can prohibit the sale of the team to a “prohibited person,’’ since Citi Field is on New York City owned park land. The lease defines a prohibited person as “any person that has been convicted in a criminal proceeding for a felony or any crime involving moral turpitude.’’ Cohen was never charged with a crime, but in 2013 his former hedge-fund company, S.A.C. Capital Investors, pleaded guilty to securities fraud and wire fraud. The company agreed to pay $1.8 billion in fines in one of the largest criminal cases against a hedge fund. Cohen, in a civil suit with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, was prohibited from managing outside money for two years.”

        1. okay romus now find dirt on the Yankees, Braves, And all the other teams who might sign him, lmao, he is gone, Middleton and his two other stooges, blew it

          1. rocco…Yankees , like the Harper situation, cannot afford to go after JTR…too many things have to fall in place….LeMahieu contract, Judge and Sanchez contracts, 2 or 3 quality and proven starting pitchers are needed (Tanaka isa free agent along with Happ and Paxton,,,Severino is a health question and German is a domestic abuse issue)..Gardner is a free agent however it looks like Frazier will finally get his full time position.
            They are talking of trading Andujar and Voit for pitching.
            So Cashman has a lot on the table right now…doubt he wantys to concentrate on negotiating a JTR deal.

            Braves……they like their one year big time starts it seems….but they may change…Freddy’s contract is also coming to fruition soon,
            Travis d’Arnaud has the one year….but they may extend for 2/3 more ….then they will not need JTR.

    3. I would bet that, more than anything, DiBlasio is trying to extract some concessions for the City. Ultimately, he is a politician and he knows that his constituents, the Mets’ fans, want this franchise sold to a new deep pocket so the dysfunctional Wilpons can be pushed aside. I’ll bet that, ultimately, the sale goes through, but the City gets a bigger piece of the action going forward. It will be interesting to see this play out.

      1. Exactly…..he will get more for the city, in exchange for letting Cohen get the team.

        The other side of the coin is ARod and CWSox’ Jerry Reinsdorf…seems they are wanting an ARod control of the Mets and not Cohen…i wonder what they have up their sleeve.

        The longer this plays out, and its uncertainties, …maybe just maybe it is better for the Phillies and the JTR least when it comes to the Mets.
        Cohen though needs 22 of the remaining 29 teams to confirm him as the new owner

    1. In fact, the Phillies were entirely shut out of the nominations, top 3 at each position. But take heart, Roc…your boy Cesar is among the AL 2b nominees. JPC is no surprise at AL SS.

  25. Thank you, Hinkie and Matt. My question is, with the money coming off the books, does this give the Phillies enough financial flexibility to sign both JTR and Didi? To me, it’s obvious that John Middleton won’t exceed the threshold, and with the bullpen being the mess that it is, will the team be able to solve that issue if they sign JTR and Didi. Personally, I would like the top 4 rotation pieces be Wheeler, Nola, Eflin, and Howard. But how much can Howard be relied on, since he has been shut down in consecutive seasons due to shoulder issues. If Howard is healthy, then I would like to see Damon Jones, David Parkinson, Ranger Suarez, and Adonis Medina compete for the 5th spot in the rotation. It is time to see what we have pitching wise.

    1. Corey Seidman posted a very good breakdown of how the Phillies may shed between $65M-$73M this off season, with which may could most definitely sign either/or, but I seriously doubt they re-sign both. As much as I like Didi, at this point of his career, and the situation the Phillies are in presently, I let him walk and get better value at SS, with defense being the priority.

  26. I agree, It is definitely doable to sign both, but I don’t see that happening. Putting aside my pessimism, and I sincerely hope I am wrong about Middleton scaling back, there is room to sign Realmuto to a $25M/AAV contract. And, address the BP, and bring in a platoon partner for LF. Whether that occurs, or not, is the big question. We can go with what we have to fill out the SR, shift Segura to SS, and hope for a big bounce back from Kingery, give Neris his $7M to close, and use some moderate amount of money to add to the BP around him, Brogdon, Romero. I can see offering Didi a QO, and seeing him get a 3 year deal elsewhere, and pick up a Comp pick, although I would love to have him back. If they want to keep Kingery as a floater, bring in a defensive SS, and leave Segura at 2B. That is all doable under $210M. And, may be a pretty good team, if, and that if is huge, the person picking the additional players, another LF, and BP arms, knows what he is doing.

    1. I think that if JTR re-signs with the Phillies, it is even more important for them to cut loose the arb eligible players who won’t be worth their projected salary, namely guys like Velasquez, Neris, Morgan and Hembree. That’s over $20M right there. Allow the younger arms like Jojo and Singer to emerge and see what they have, while acquiring better value veteran pitchers. The front office may lack the requisite talent evaluation skills, but they should at least cut the fat on the 40 man roster.

    2. matt13….FAN660 talk up in NY ..Sweeny Murti among others on their radio sports talk……that they will be making changes as usual this off-season…..and one possibility is that Torres will be shifted to second base, and Didi could be brought back to bolster their middle infield defense.
      So if the Phillies do offer him the QO…they could get that compensation pick for him.

  27. I read that also, Romus, and that makes sense for them. Didi is a popular clubhouse guy, and he played very well for us. I think he wants, and gets, a multi year deal from somebody, and I don’t think that is us. But, does NY want to lose LeMahieu? Does he go to 1B? A lot of questions for the Yanks, which is why I don’t think they are a real player for JTR. But, I do expect them to not be very happy that they finished second to Tampa.

    1. Yeah…most of the people up there say Cashman will pass on JTR.
      Luke V. probably goes and DJ LeMahieu slides over to first base.
      Torres to second base.

      Judge is the elephant in the room for Cashman…..only two more years of control…arb3 next year…turns 29….arb alone could be $15M AAV for 2021…and if not extended…$25M for 2022…then he walks…the face of the franchise…whoa..

  28. I was just reading that, also. The Angels could use him. I really like Didi, and I am not positive that Stott will be ready for 2022, and I also don’t know how good he will be, so I would love Didi back on a 3 year deal. Maybe, if we lose Realmuto? But, I have a real bad feeling that Middleton is cutting back totally. Some well known names were cut today from the scouting staff, and just for the record, I still value hands on scouting as well as analytics. I believe that thee are kids that just that have built in competitive drive that does not show up on video or by putting numbers into a computer algorithm. Not knocking the use of analytics, just saying that both are important. So, a payroll that does not go above $170M would not shock me at all.

    1. matt13…if the Phillies are cutting back, they are not alone….there will be many players, along with scouting personnel out there.
      Every team took a financial hit this year.

      1. Agreed. I predict the effect on the free agent market as a whole will be catastrophic. I think a few big contracts will still get done (Realmuto could be one of those), there will be a few mid-level deals and perhaps several large extensions of younger players and just a ton of one-year pillow contracts. There are opportunities out there for resourceful teams. Will we be one of those teams? History says no, but we shall see.

        1. I suspect by next weekend, since the World Series should be well completed by then…we will hear the first Scott Boras declaration on free agency and what he thinks the owners will try to do in their game plan.
          I am glad JTR is not represented by the Boras Co.
          The oriny…one the leading free agents this off-season..Trevor Bauer came out 4 months ago and told Scott Boras “keep your damn personal agenda out of union business.”.

      2. Another excuse for John Middleton, he has a bad scouting record and he is cutting scouts, Remember the famous words of late owner Braman MONEY WONT INFLUENCE US, John Middleton is another Braman cutting now is dumb, you should be like a hawk looking for good scouts with track record to hire, He is a bad owner, who is clueless,

  29. Maybe this was posted previously, but I just saw this from Longenhagen:

    “Of the Phillies campsite position players, so far I’ve only been compelled to move Rafael Marchan up to the 45 FV tier, commensurate with late first round college prospects. Marchan, 21, has looked great defensively at the campsite and is making lots of contact from both sides of the plate against advanced pitching. I think a comparable college catching prospect would go somewhere toward the back of a draft’s first round”

    1. I think Marchan will exceed expectations. Just has a solid approach to the game. Makes contact, maybe not the dream that exit velo-launch angle enthusiasts are looking for, but some kids just figure it out. And just because he’s still only 21, let’s not constrain him to a mere projection with limited action. If he can play, let him play.

  30. Also this from a chat on 9/18:

    Philz: Moniak’s promotion seemed pretty out of nowhere, have you heard much about how good he might have looked at the alt site?

    Eric A Longenhagen: I’ve seen Philly campsite video and Mickey Mo came in to camp without a leg kick and then reintroduced it pretty quickly and was hitting liners into the gaps against Philly’s campsite arms (Enyel De Los Santos, Garrett Cleavinger types). Thought he looked pretty good considering the layoff.

  31. Here’s what the 40 man roster may look like come early November….

    PITCHERS (13)

    CATCHERS (2)



    That’s 24, leaving 16 slots open. Jose Alvarez has been on the 60day IL but I believe he becomes a free agent anyway. Seranthony is also on the 60day so I didn’t include him since he’ll be back on the IL come opening day.

    1. As I’ve posted before, I say sayonara to Velasquez, Hembree, Morgan and Neris. Probably not all of them, but they’re arb eligible and IMO that money would be better invested elsewhere.

      1. Neris will stay for sure but they’ll turn down his option and go to arb with him. I agree the others can go although Velasquez might get arb and then traded.

    2. 8mark…at the end of every season, players on the 60-day DL get activated. As a consequence, they occupy spots on 40-man rosters. And then around the start of every spring training, players get placed on the 60-day DL, as it’s again made available…so you will have t include Seranthony on the 40

  32. I think they keep Neris, maybe not at $7M, but at some number. They may even bring Phelps back. Without JTR and Didi, and adding some veteran C, and a couple of BP arms, the payroll may, very well, not exceed $160Million. Of course, we will probably finish in 5th place in the East, but that is what I worry about.

    1. Neris likely a non-tender candidate and then be offered a deal with Phillies. Doing so risks losing him to walk to another team.

  33. If you really want to be concerned about the future of the organization – and you should be – look at how many of their scouts the Phillies are firing without any idea that these people are going to be replaced with hopefully better scouts .

    This organization is so pennywise and pound foolish. Regardless of COVID, this is where the team should be increasing spending, not diminishing it. In fact, they should spend $10 million less on players and devote that money to scouting and development. If they do the job right it would repay them by a factor of 10 to 20.

    As the owner, Middleton cannot, on the one hand, complain that his team’s biggest failing is the inability to develop talent and, on the other hand, fire all the people whose job is to find the talent. It’s so stupid.

    But, hey, this is the Phillies. They not only fail to think outside the box (perhaps Klentak’s biggest failing, among others), they ARE the box.

  34. catch, I agree. They should be looking to poach scouts from other teams that are forced to make cuts, and take advantage. It is like the economy. When things are bad, and stocks are undervalued, how many rich people get richer? An awful lot. They have the financial ability to snap up bargains. Does anybody believe that John Middleton will? Or, is more analysis going to be done in house, using video and statistics? You don’t learn about what makes a player tick by watching video or crunching numbers.

    1. matt13…….they could have improved their scouting by taking out an annual subscription to BA and Fangraphs. 🙂

      1. Really…you may be kidding, Romus, but does it really take hiring people with very subjective evaluation skills – unless you find a guy with an impressive track record – when all of baseball has information resources at their fingertips from people who are essentially doing the same job, and getting paid by somebody else? I mean, c’mon. Not to take jobs away from anyone, but this isn’t 1960 when information could only be transmitted over the phone or by snail mail.

        1. 8mark…I suppose yuo could do it that way when drafting kids out of HS or college…since the information is all over the place.

          But the international kids/Latin 15 and 16-year olds….you will need eyes on the ground for that purpose…also, the advanced analytics are pretty much non-existent other than the basics measurements/vitals/drills that NFL teams do at combines. .

          Plus…those journeymen minor leaguers who sprout late….that teams like the Dodgers and Yankees always come up with….you will need both a keen analytical dept and good scouts on the ground to zero on these guys who may only have a small window to fame

    1. Agree, it was one of the best. I especially liked the full sprint, head over heels forward roll, double juke, head first slide into home for the game winner. Our guys would have piked on the forward roll.

      1. The look of disgust on Dave Roberts’ face from that Lowe HR until the end, could be symbolical of what may happen to him if he does not get his team 2 more wins in the next three games. His 5-year warranty may be up by Wednesday, so they better kick it back in gear.

        1. Ya know, I admire the tenacity of the Rays. There is no quit in them. I was watching them closely this series and they are really focused and into the game. Not too much screwing around and joking going on with them. Attention seems riveted on the field with serious discussions being had. Only a handful of our guys seem to exhibit that quality. Among our own, Harper, JT., Knapp, Efflin, Haseley seem to be ones who exhibit that quality.

  35. I dont know how many of you live in New Jersey but vote for ANDY KIM its Romus real name

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