Open Discussion: Week of March 7, 2021

The Grapefruit League continues.  Through eight games the Phillies have compiled a 3-4-1 record.  But, there are a lot of bright spots.

In a small sample, the Phillies batters posted a meager .217.295/.403/.698 but lead the NL with 10 HR.

Of the 225 ABs so far, only 58 have been taken by the projected opening day line up, and only 17 ABs by Gregorious (9), Harper (5), Hoskins (3), Realmuto(0).

The Phillies pitchers have posted a 4.26 ERA, 2 shutouts, 2 saves in 3 opportunities, walked 33, struck out 68, a WHIP of 1.42, and a .233 AVG.

The four pitchers competing for the back of the rotation all looked good – Chase Anderson, Matt Moore, Spencer Howard, and Vince Velasquez.

And the leading contenders for the bullpen ALL have pitched well – two of the four above, Jose Alvarado, Archie Bradley, Connor Brogdon, Sam Coonrod, Brandon Knitzler, Bryan Mitchell, Hector Neris, JoJo Romero, and Tony Watson.

None of the pitchers above have allowed a run.  Neither has Zack Eflin, Damon Jones, Adonis Medina, Ramon Rosso, Michael Ynoa, Tyler Carr, Jakob Hernandez.  And EDLS has struck out 6 in 2.0 innings.

The Phillies have given their mini campers a lot of exposure in Grapefruit League games so far this spring.  Through eight games they have taken 88 campers to games.  They have gotten into games 54 times.

Individually, the leading bench guys have looked good – Knapp (.300/.364/.500/.864), Brad Miller, Roman Quinn (.333/.400/.444/.844, 5 K in 9 AB), CJ Chatham, Matt Joyce (375/.500/.750/1.250).

Adam Haseley was well on his way to a platoon in center field when he was injured.  Mickey Moniak was looked real good.  Rodolfo Duran has hit well.  And, Travis Jankowski looks like good depth.  Odubel Herrera has put up good numbers, but he has already made an out.  I think he would have had to bat 1.000 to make the team.  Although, he’s probably just two more injuries to guys ahead of him from making the roster.  (CF depth chart after Haseley’s injury – Kingery, Quinn, Moniak, Jankowski, Williams, Muzziotti, Kim Jong-Un, Herrera)

But, yes, it’s early.

The Phillies’ running payroll is $186,909,462.

The Phillies’ salary against the competitive balance tax is $198,272,282.

The Phillies’ margin under the CBT threshold of $210M is $11,727,718. (see spreadsheet)

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

Key Dates:

  • February 28, 2021 – First spring training game @ Tigers
  • March 1, 2021 – First home spring training game v. Orioles
  • March 24, 2021 – Opt out date for Brandon Kintzler
  • April 1, 2021 – Phillies’ home opener v. Braves
  • April 2021 – ST for Double-A and Single-A begins
  • May 2021 – Opening day for Double-A and Single-A
  • June 25, 2021 – Close of the 2020 international signing period
  • July 11-13, 2021 – 2021 Amateur Draft
  • October 2, 2021 – Phillies clinch a playoff berth in Miami

The rosters and lists are up to date as of March 7th … 338 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)

2/22/2021 – SS Luis Garcia assigned to Phillies
2/17/2021 – Phillies placed RHP Seranthony Dominguez on the 60-day IL
2/17/2021 – LHP Tony Watson assigned to Lehigh Valley
2/17/2021 – Phillies signed FA LHP Tony Watson to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
2/17/2021 – Phillies signed FA SS Brad Miller
2/16/2021 – RHP David Paulino assigned to Phillies
2/16/2021 – C Jeff Mathis assigned to Lehigh Valley
2/16/2021 – Phillies signed FA C Jeff Mathis to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST

142 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of March 7, 2021

  1. Seem to me if Moniak isn’t the starting center fielder (which is probably unlikely) he would be better served to get at bats daily in AAA than be a bench player. He still could develop…..

  2. Of the dozen or so pitchers mentioned in para 6 and 7 above……even JD Hammer came in yesterday’s game for a few batters and did well.. throwing some hi heat, 96-97.
    Seems most all relievers, already in the system before last Nov….have picked up a few ticks on their FBs. The Driveline training must be paying dividends.

  3. Dave47, I think the AAA issue with MM is hampered by the schedule being pushed back a month. He may be much better served on the bench, if he doesn’t start, than not playing for a month. The same issue faces the team with Spencer. Is he better off in the BP, rather than going to AAA and not Pitching for a month? Again, assuming he doesn’t win the 4th or 5th SP job.

    1. matt13……the Complex will still be openr during that month delay…..they could get in ‘alternate site’ routines until LHV is ready to begin ..or perhaps Coke-Cola Field will be available for that month …like they did last summer.
      I have to assume the weather conditions in Florida in April may be more conducive to regular practice and playing time, than Lehigh County in April.

    2. Good point that I hadn’t considered. I’ve always had high, and perhaps unreasonable expectations for MM, based on very small sample size both last year and this in Spring Training I keep thinking maybe the light will go on……..

  4. Romus, you are very right about the weather. I just don’t know how helpful the “routines” may be. I always have believed that playing games is the best way to keep developing talent. In MM’s case, he needs ABs against good pitching. I just don’t know how helpful the alternate site is going to be.

      1. I want to win. If Odubel Herrera is the best player, he should get the job. I want the best players in the lineup everyday. If we are serious about winning, and I think Girardi and Dombrowski are; then put out the best players and let’s go play. If the other guys beat him out then cut him loose.

        1. Jcoll49, I agree. He has paid the penalty and served the time so just like the rest of us he deserves a 2nd chance.

        2. He hasn’t played in 2 years and might just need more at bats against less stressful minor leaguers to find out if he still has game. Let’s not forget that he hit 220 at best over a calendar year. Lots of Ron Stone’s out there. He killed the ball every spring training and then did nothing once the season started and he faced better pitching). You guys shouldn’t underestimate the 40 spot importance. Haseley could be back by mid April.

          1. I agree that I think he starts in the minors (or gets traded) because of the roster spot implications, but his .222 average came in 39 games; not over the course of a year. That was when he got suspended. He’s a career .276 hitter and still in his prime, so there’s plenty of reason to believe he can still be a good player.

            Is he back up to speed already? No idea. We’ll see, I guess.

            1. If he keeps playing as well as he has, he won’t start in the minors – he will likely get the majority of at bats in centerfield in the majors. He might be subject to a trade, but if he’s really good, why do that if his value is down? The current version of Odubel we are seeing looks a lot like the 4.9 and 4.6 WAR player we saw a few years ago. If he’s close to that player, he’s the clear starter in centerfield and makes the line-up that much better.

          2. U mean Ron Jones or Jeff stone. But we get the picture. Herrera must hit 300 to atone for his sins

        3. Agreed. Idc what Herrera did two years ago and neither do mgr n gm. As long as Herrera hits 300. If he’s at 200 then F him

  5. I think Brian Barber, Joe Girardi, and even Matt Klentak did a helluva (maybe the best in MLB) job of signing UDFAs last summer. Remember, the draft was limited to 5 rounds, and anyone not picked could only be offered 20-thousand dollars. Barber was a top salesman. He signed a collection of pitchers; many with high upsides. Here are a few of those arms I’m really looking forward to following this season.

    * Billy Sullivan … seems like he was just meant to be a Phillie. He grew up a fan of the team, and then was drafted by the club (28th round) in 2017. It was a close call, but Sullivan chose to pitch for the Delaware Blue Hens instead of going pro. Sullivan was a Freshman All-American there, but a TJ surgery derailed his college career. The 6’2″/195 lb RHP hit 100 before TJ, and is now healthy and ready to go.

    1. * Blake Brown … was having a relatively pedestrian career at UNC Asheville until he made a slight adjustment to his delivery just as the 2020 season was shutting down. That small change caused a big uptick in Brown’s stuff.

      * Jake McKenna … was a surprise signing for me. McKenna was a prep arm from down the shore (Ocean City HS). The 6’6″/215 lb LHP gave up his scholarship to St. Joe’s for a chance to throw for his favorite team. When he was inked, McKenna was throwing 87-89. He’s been working with The Baseball Performance Center here in NJ, and is now up to the mid 90’s. @0-thousand dollars for a 19 YO lanky lefty who’s adding velo at an incredible pace? Yes Please!

      1. Hinke, thanks for the updates on some of the names we don’t hear about much. With a lost season last year and many new faces I could see the prospect rankings change dramatically this year. (Moniak may have a big jump even)

      2. Hinkie ….good info…anything on the other pitchers they signed as UDFAs?
        RHP Chase Antle
        LHP Jordan Fowler
        RHP Jon Hughes
        RHP Sam Jacobsak
        RHP Noah Skirrow
        LHP J.P. Woodward

      3. Again, don’t fall in love with a pitcher who throws heat but can’t throw strikes. Last week Greene with the Reds threw a ton of a 100+ mph pitches in an inning but walked three and got pulled.

      4. Hinkie – thanks for reminding us. I saw one report – don’t recall where now – saying Phils signed 6 of the top 20 USDA pitchers available ! I think all of us felt if you could sign players for a nominal price, 20 thousand, why not sign as many as possible ? The Phils were one of only 2 teams to approach it that way. But then they had the Hinkie reports !!!!! Thanks again.

  6. Hinkie, this stuff is great! Thanks! I feel really positive about a lot of what has happened since Barber got here. Can’t wait until the Minor League seasons start. I think we are all in for some very pleasant surprises.

  7. Carlos Tocci sighting as late-inning replacement in center field for Gnats

  8. Due to the COVID fiscal downturn and the possibility as a discussion point or an agenda item for Dec’s CBA, talks, MLB will be modifying their revenue sharing system between large and small market teams for 2021 and 2022.

    “Revenue-sharing is often a combative issue even in the best of times, and in the words of one executive, there was “a big fight” amongst owners over how (or even if) the system should be restarted in 2021 and beyond.?

      1. It’s very sad.

        Cormier was kind of a journeyman, but he had that one magical year on Phllies (2003) where, except for an early April blow out, he basically was unscored upon for months and months. It was a season to remember for sure: 8-0 1.70 ERA. Nobody can ever that away from him. Very sad to see he’s gone.

  9. Rheal was too young! may he rest in peace. Romus, there is also a dispute amongst Owners about whether the “Loaned” money that the small market teams get from the big market teams will be repaid. It seems MLB took out a loan to cover those payments.

  10. Once spring training ends for the Phils, the exciting spring training for the minors should start. I miss daily minor league box scores. I wonder how they’ll deal with the lost 2020 season in terms of 2021 placements. The guys all got one year older….

  11. Did I miss anything good? I was in Colorado for the past 5 days and didn’t get much baseball news let alone Phillies specifics.

    I did read about Haseley’s injury and saw quite a few reports on the Phillies site that Herrera has a good chance at earning that spot. So I was surprised to read this morning that Jim doesn’t think he will make the team.

  12. One thing I’ll be paying attention to at the end of camp is how many teams break camp with their best prospects on the 26 man. Whitt Jr, Kelenic and Kirrilloff to name a few.

    Only one of those teams the Twins has aspirations of winning the division. The Mariners in light of their disgraced president probably believe they have a shot at a WC if things break right.

    Whitt Jr. might be the best of the 3 but the Royals have no shot at anything but a great pick in 2022.

    So ? is will the owners and GMs go back to business as usual with suppressing service time even though one of their own went on record and exposed the practice. Either way they are going to look bad no matter what they decide.

    But what they decide will be a strong tell to how they feel labor negotiations are going to go.

    1. DMAR…….majority of owners want a HARD cap…not some soft luxury tax threshold, where a team gets nominal fines for breaking a few years then is able to get under, and then start once again.
      MLBPA and agents do not want any Hard caps…like the NFL/NHL/NBA….but prefer the current system but rather re-work the service time issues.
      So there in lies the stalemate…owners would re-work service time restrictions if a hard cap is instituted…….so MLBPA and owners agree to disagree.

      1. I’m one who doesn’t like caps either. I kind of embrace the David Goliath dynamic…

        I would however be in favor of a floor and lottery style draft at the top end of the draft.

    1. So the tide could be shifting. I’m not opposed to analytics I’m opposed to how front and center it all became and then how it infiltrated the game I grew up watching.

      Not that its bad. It just became less for me. If its drawing more fans that’s a good thing perhaps.

      I would just like to as they say “let the kids play” let their ability be front and center. Pitch the ball, hit the ball and catch the ball.

      1. When it comes to defense and the defensive shifts… has been a big thrust into the game. Spray charts and utilizing them correctly, do enhance run prevention, so the hitters must adjust…..then we have seen the birth of TTO…and EV and LA … to try to compensate for the shifts.
        ” Pitch the ball, hit the ball and catch the ball.”….still there, just modified a bit.

          1. rocco:
            Today’s lesson.
            TTO….’Three True Outcomes”…..HR, BB, K
            LA……..launch angle
            ………………………….GrBall.. than 50 degrees.
            EV……..exit velocity
            ……………………..Average- 85-89
            ……………………..Plus- 90-94
            ……………………..Exceptional- >95

            1. Launch Angle:
              Ground ball: Less than 10 degrees
              Line drive: 10-25 degrees
              Fly ball: 25-50 degrees
              Pop up: Greater than 50 degrees

  13. Yay!! The Phillies scored a run today! Thirteen Ks. Why was Velezquez pulled in the 2nd? Pitch count? Phelps did well – a season too late.

  14. If Scott Kingery continues to struggle, does anybody else see him starting in AAA to get regular AB’s? I know it’s early, so far, he does not look improved over last year.

    1. He does have fewer than five years of Major League service time so he has at least one option remaining, maybe more….so that is a possibility without the worry of a DFA procedure.

    2. They should probably give him a little more time – but not too much. Terrible contact tendencies now. I have no idea if it can be fixed – but it’s really not good.

  15. Kingery does not look good at all. MM with a 3B! He has definitely far outplayed Scotty Jetpax. Which one belongs in AAA?

    1. Can I say both belong in AAA at least to start…

      Odubel is not long for this club but at least showcase him and try to get something of value for him is my opinion.

      I’d break camp with these position players if I were making the decision today: Realmuto, Knapp, Hoskins, Segura, Didi, Bohm, Cutch, Herrera, Harper, Quinn, Joyce, Miller, Maton or Chatam

      I would hate to break Micky’s stride because he is playing well at the moment but if you take him north you have to play him everyday.

          1. Keith Law seems really high on Garcia, and thinks he still has star potential. He mentioned Garcia and Rojas as two prospects he was most excited to see when he goes back to seeing games live.

  16. On the bright side, Matt Moore continues to be impressive. He is throwing a variety of effective pitches and can hit 94 when needed – a valuable attribute for a lefty starter. If he pitches like a 3 or even a 4, this team is set up very well in the rotation. After 10 years in teh wilderness it’s time for some good surprises for the Phillies and, for whatever reason, this team has some mojo this year. I don’t know if they make the playoffs, but I think they will definitely finish well above .500 and make things interesting.

  17. It’s a little drastic but in theory… could they DFA Scott Kingery? He was a Klentak favorite but I’m sure others in the FO like him a lot. I think he needs every day at bats to fix his swing mechanics but if he can’t hit a fastball he can’t play every day in MLB

    My thoughts are he is owed $14 million the next 2 years I believe. I’m thinking if he has a brutal spring coming off the numbers he is coming off last year, no one would touch him.

      1. I understand he has options but if no one would claim the contract and you can retain an extra player it would be worth it to me.

        Instead of losing 4 players to waivers you could lose 3. He most certainly isn’t on my opening day roster at this point

  18. Honestly not sure that’s the depth chart for cf with jankiwski n the rest. I think Herrera closer than u think. I mean he has to keep it up and I never liked him even before he hit his gf. But I think only moniak is his main competition. Kingery (.154) may see time in AAA especially if Chatam makes team. Although Quinn up to .417 after two hits today I would still love moniak to prove why he was drafted 1/1. Herrera having good spring but the 40 is quite full n hard to crack.

  19. The Athletic (Matt Gelb) has article “Phillies Opening Day Roster Projections” this morning.

    Reading PP comments above there may be surprise to read that Herrera might be the likely CF at this point.
    And the last cut appears to be Quinn in order to keep Herrera, Chatham and Joyce.

    Here’s what is said about Herrera…

    At this point, the Odúbel Herrera scenario is becoming more and more realistic. Maybe the Phillies platoon Herrera and Kingery in center. But the team opened the door for Herrera, and they are content to travel down that path. “He wants to win that spot,” Girardi said last week. “He’s doing the things he needs to do.”

    1. I like/respect Matt Gelb, but I don’t believe Roman Quinn is going anywhere. Guys with 80 grade tools don’t grow on trees.

      1. Quinn looks like he may be the starting CFer. Without injury he is sufficient to fill that spot. Moniak should go to AAA to get ready to fill Cutch’s spot for next year. Kingery will be the super utility. Joyce the 4th OFer and Hasely back to AAA.

        1. Denny…..Joe did say Moniak is ‘interesting’…..but rather him play every day to start , then sit on the bench, so assume that means AAA vs the 26.

          1. Romus, you are so right. I see with the emergence and being healthy, Quinn can be the starting CF’er with Joyce and Kingery as 4th and 5th OFer’s. Moniak and Hasely back to AAA to refine their skills. Herrera has some value, good trade piece.

            1. Denny….in this COVID fiscal period, Doobie is too expensive ( minimum of $14M, maximum of $44M over the next three years) for his return value in a trade…and the Phillies cannot afford to pick up partial salaries in trade.
              Do not see any team wanting him without the Phillies picking up a percentage of hos remaining salary.

      2. He has Chatham making it over Quinn and I don’t think that will happen. The bigger question is whether Odubel will make it and if he does, what will they do when Haseley is healthy. I don’t think Odubel will make it to start so I think Chatham or Moniak will make it initially, until Haseley is ready. I expect Quinn to be the opening day starter. 40 spots are critical. Kintzler, Watson and Joyce will all need spots. Hale and/or Vinny will be gone plus 1/2 other pitchers.

        1. IMO, they are playing Herrera to increase his value. They can package him, VV, Hale and some other pieces for some prospects.

      3. Totally agree. Shared Matt’s comment as FYI. Quinn’s 0 CS in over 2 years is a weapon!
        (He had 2 h, 1 SB yesterday)

      4. I see Quinn either making the team or being traded. I view his biggest competition to be Matt Joyce for a roster spot. I think Girardi wants an all purpose defensive outfielder and electric runner on the team, so his chances of making the roster are pretty good. He will also get some OF spot starts but is a long-shot in my view for a platoon or starting spot in center. He’ll have to be really good to get that added playing time.

        1. I have Quinn making the team. I’d be shocked if he didn’t. I like him I just don’t think you can count on him for a full season. You simply take what you get when he’s on the field.

          I have no idea if there is a market today for Herrera. I’m positive the Phillies will need to pick up a large chunk of his salary say 50% of this season and the two buyouts or $6.925 million to create one.

          But it is possible if you allow him to break camp and have a strong month or two. Anything is better than nothing and if they banish him to the Minor League camp nothing is probably what you get.

          A delayed start to AAA and no scouting to really go off of almost ensures that.

  20. I just don’t see Herrera as someone they are going to trade. Again, a team would be bringing in a player with his recent past, in the world we live in today, I just can’t see another GM taking him on (MAYBE as Romus said Texas due to having him in their Org).

    1. Eric D…Daniels and Texas would….but the Phillies probably would have to pick up a percent of his salary…..they cannot afford to do that I would think.
      DFave D may have to move other pieces to clear salary….Vinny and Scott Kingery clears $8M…but what can you expect in return on salary dumps…other GMs know the situation.

      Signing all those veteran relievers to minor league contracts looks good in the beginning….but you ‘ pay the piper’ when and if many make the 40 in two weeks.
      That’s the life of a GM in roster construction.

  21. I don’t know what they do with Herrera, and I am fine if they trade him. I wasn’t a fan before he got arrested. But, Romus, why couldn’t we eat half his salary to move him? He is $10M against our Luxury Tax anyway, so we save there. It gives us more room at the trade deadline if the first level is still a de facto salary cap. Trading Herrera and VV at 4, and Hale puts us with another $10M to spend. I think that is financially prudent.

    1. matt13…depends on the owner ….how far up does he want to go to the luxury tax threshold…maybe even over it.
      They still have to save some wiggle room for a July trade…..if still in it and are interested in a stretch run push.

  22. Back home I get the Mets, Yankees, and Red Sox networks. So unless the Phillies are on Fox or ESPN, that’s all I get to see. Today I got to watch the Yankees B&C teams totally embarrass our boys. With the Phillies playing NY, TB, and TOR the majority of their spring schedule, they are going to lose a lot of games. Yes, I understand that the games don’t count but losing to these teams over and over again sets a tone.

  23. I get it ciada, the games don’t count, but it would be nice to see us hit the ball a little better. 4 hits today, and early in ST the Pitchers are supposed to have an advantage. Then, why did the Yankees’ scrubs get 14 hits? Less than 3 weeks until opening day. They better start hitting sometime.

  24. Jayson Stark has an article in the Athletic today about rule changes being implemented in AA this season. Pitch clocks and limiting throws the Pitcher makes to first and enlarging the bases by 3 inches in diameter, and other changes. They are trying to speed up the game, and make it more exciting. Maybe some come to the Majors. But, I was interested in how everyone feels about one in particular. The rule where all 4 Infielders have to have both feet in the Infield when the pitch is thrown. So, that eliminates the rocket past the 2B that is gobbled up by the 3B playing short RF. I do not like the shift, I am old school. It doesn’t make me right, but I think it lessens the excitement of the game, and really has much more of a detrimental effect on left handed hitters. I would much rather see that ball hit into the Outfield. Wondered what the rest of you think.

    1. matt13…..I think that is a good idea, having the infielders stationed with both feet on the infield dirt until the pitcher releases the ball…..but I do think what will eventually happen is that they they may nominally extend the distance from the mound to the grass line, …right now it is 95′.
      I suppose another 5 feet further out, may appease the bench coach or whoever, sets the defensive alignment in shifts.

      1. That also brings up another point. “Both feet on the infield dirt” would also mean they can’t play shallow to prevent bunts/infield singles. I don’t think that’s in the rules that they’re experimenting with, but should it be? Why is it okay to cheat in but not out? The 3B playing shallow is, realistically, just the first implemented example of a defensive shift.

        1. DanK……the batter however still has the upper-hand of control…..can either bunt or slap it right past the drawn in 3B.
          By the same token……the ‘cheat out’ deep defensive shifts…..the batter can still go the opposite way if he so inclines and is able to do it……or bunt as Harper has done in the past.

          But curious….why do you refer the shifts as ‘cheat’?
          They have been shifting on certain pull happy batters close to 100 years now…Cy Williams was the first batter to see the shift used against him.

          1. Oh I know, it’s a proud and long tradition. I was a 3B most of the time (probably about 70% of my play time was at 3B, but catcher was the only position I never played). I call it cheating in because that’s what my coach called it. I never asked why he called it that, but I suspect because it’s “stealing” a tactical advantage through use of positioning.

            But I do wonder if people had the same or similar thoughts about that version of a shift as people do about the modern shifts.

            1. I played 3b for a fast pitch Softball team in my mid 20s. I remember coming in for a obvious bunt play and the pitcher swung the bat. I fell back, ball whistled just over my prone body and went over the left field fence. Lucky I had an extra pair of pants in my bag.

            2. Hey…three 3B men…..interesting that the coach called it cheating,
              Outfielders are positioned all the time……maybe not at the Little League or 14-year old and under level…..but as Jrs and Srs in HS and college, positioning is critical.
              I suppose seeing extreme infield shifts is not normal at the lower levels, but maybe in college
              Next time I watch a college game i am going to look for that.

        2. For me depth isn’t as important as having 2 IFs on either side of 2B. Seems like they are dancing around the real problem.

          I remember seeing games where in the late innings with a game on the line they would bring an OF in to play up the middle. Usually runners on 1st and 2nd or bases loaded where a single could win the game or an out or DP would get you out of the jam.

          I like that

  25. If 2 IFs were required on both sides of 2nd base how close to 2nd can the nearest be. It seems to me the base hit that has been the most eliminated with the shift is the hard hit ball right up the middle. Now there stands the SS and it is a routine ground out. Not saying right or wrong just the way it has evolved. Did you guys notice the Phillies hit 3 straight ground balls back at the Yankees pitcher yesterday. Guess going back an inning it was 4 straight. I am glad I have got to catch a couple games this week on MLB.

    1. I would say for the SS his left foot has to be left of 2B (looking out from home) and the 2B’s right foot has to be to the right of the bag.

      In that description you’re not taking shifts completely out just making them less extreme. This will organically eliminate in most cases that short right fielder against left handed batters.

  26. Dan, I believe that Stark’s article addressed that and allows for playing in for bunts or situations where they want to cut down a runner coming from third. The main focus of the “feet on the dirt” rule is the situation I described, where the 3B is in short right field. There was no mention of all 4 being to the left of 2B but still within the “infield”. And, that is really the part I don’t like, playing shortfield like us old guys playing in a beer Softball league.

    1. if you don’t want to click on the link,

      1. Spencer Howard, RHP
      2. Mick Abel, RHP
      3. Bryson Stott, SS
      4. Francisco Morales, RHP
      5. Rafael Marchan, C
      6. Luis Garcia, SS
      7. Casey Martin, SS
      8. Johan Rojas, OF
      9. Erik Miller, LHP
      10. Simon Muzziotti, OF
      11. Adonis Medina, RHP
      12. Mickey Moniak, OF
      13. Yhoswar Garcia, OF
      14. Damon Jones, LHP
      15. JoJo Romero, LHP
      16. Kendall Simmons
      17. Jamari Baylor SS
      18. Mauricio Llovera RHP
      19. Nick Maton, IF
      20. Rodolfo Duran C
      21. Ramon Rosso RHP
      22. Connor Brogdon RHP
      23. Rickardo Perez C
      24. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF/1B
      25. Cristopher Sanchez LHP
      26. Ethan Lindow LHP
      27. Kyle Dohy LHP
      28. Logan O’Hoppe C
      29. Jordi Martinez LHP
      30. Eduar Segovia RHP

      1. Because relief pitchers are discounted in value as major leaguers (because they pitch so few innings), they tend to be seriously underrated on some of these lists. For example, I’m not sure Jake Diekman was ever a top 20 prospect in our system and, if you went back and looked at those lists, Diekman has probably produced more WAR than a handful of players. That is a long way of saying that Connor Brogdon is seriously underrated. He has at least a 70 grade change up, and a 55-60 fb. In fact, the change is so good (best I’ve seen on the Phillies since Cole Hamels) it leaves me to question whether he can transition back to a starting role. In any event, he is way, way better than our 22nd best prospect.

        1. Agree…..and as more MLB starters seem to only need to go 6 innings…relievers have become a very important part of a staff…….similar to overall special teams play in the NFL.
          Use to be failed starters always went to the reliever role….but now MLB teams are drafting college players higher in the drafts, to fill that specific role and are developed thru their minor league systems.
          I think they should be ranked higher on top prospect lists.

  27. EDLS…9 pitches …nine strikes…three strike outs swinging today in the 9th.
    Pretty efficient..

    1. Romus, I noticed that too. Like I wrote few days ago, I’ve never found reason to have any excitement for EDLS, but his last outing’s velo spike caught my attention. I couldn’t find velo numbers for his inning today. 4 swinging strikes out of the 9 make assume and hope it was similar heat. What a bonus he could be to the pen!

  28. You Quinn lovers who cite what a powerful weapon he is…………keep your eye on that K rate. 15 AB’s 7 K’s.

    1. He not the only one with k’s everyone is doing awful do why single one person I don’t see you talking about Kingry he has more k than Quinn

      1. If you read what I posted about Kingery you will see that I said he is on the clock for this year. As of right now destined for AAA.

  29. V1, there was not much doubt about Gowdy’s talent when we drafted him. His issues are injury snd recovery, and if he can regain what he had, we have a good prospect. Ronus, where did this elevated velocity come from with EDLS? He has had a reslly good ST!

    1. matt13…….where did the elevated velo come from?
      Both him and Rosso saw their velos tick up…along also with a few starters.

      Maybe a combination of both….. Driveline instructions and methods, and the fact……they are now homing in on a reliever as a career….they can ‘air-it- out’ for 40/50 pitches or less…no sense pacing oneself to go 6/7 innings anymore.
      They can also concentrate on 2 pitches…maybe a third if desire.

  30. For HInkie – I saw Maton’s homer yesterday and it was a shot. Maybe there is power in there ? The bullpen was lights out and Alvarado was throwing 101, 98,97,96 (only once), 100 numerous times etc. He just smoked the batters. Bradley and Brogdon also looked very good – Brogdon was throwing a change that was very effective vs. his fastball. Bohm is just a plain damn good hitter – patient, several full counts, and looked very sharp. His double was hit off the top of the fence and bounced back in to play.

    Both Kingery and Quinn looked overmatched by John Means – 4 K’s between them in 6 AB’s.
    To Bradenton tomorrow to see them play Pitt.

    1. Thanks for that report, RU.

      I’ve been a Maton believer for a couple of years now. He may lack any plus tools, but he is solid in every aspect of the game. He’s got the floor of a MLB utility INFer.

      What more can I say about Alvarado? I’ve had a man crush on him since he entered the league in 2017. He’s the guy who is going to face Freddie Freeman, Juan Soto, and Michael Conforto late in games, and he’ll win most of those battles. Thank you DD for acquiring Alvarado. No reason to believe Klentak would have ever gotten that done.

      The whole BP looks really good so far. I’ve really been impressed with Bradley, Brogdon, and Coonrod.

      I’m not too worried about Roman Quinn. He’ll help the team even if it’s just pinch running and as a late inning defensive substitute. At the plate, I’d be happy if he just constantly laid down bunts and outrun the throw to first.

      Have fun in Florida. Wear your mask, and stay safe.

      1. Thanks, Hinkie. Park rules vary and I got shot # 2 yesterday so I at least have that safety net (??).

  31. I’d love to see De Los Santos become a good reliever (it seems his starting days are over at least for the Phillies) but before we-I get too excited about him striking out the side on nine pitches, remember who he is facing.

    The last couple of relievers are pitching to mid level minor leaguers. In spring training, the top relievers get into the game in the first 5-6 innings which means that they are pitching to MLB players. Thus closing in ST is meaningless.

    As far as Gowdy goes, I can’t see why he is not on the top 30 list still. I know he is oft injured but he is still a top prospect seeing where he was drafted and how much money the team has invested in him. And GO Nick Maton!

  32. Hate to bore you some more but I forgot to write about the fielders. I really don’t see Hererra making the 26 man roster unless he is totally extraordinary these next couple of weeks in Clearwater.

    I believe he starts in LHV which saves the Phillies from having to create that spot on the forty. If Hererra is raking the first month or so in AAA, then the team can make a move.

    Would love to see Maton make the team but I think Dombrowski goes with Chatham and Maton plays a full season at AAA. I see him being a big part of the team in 2022.

  33. ciada, I am not a fan of Herrera, and it goes back to before his arrest. Who do you have playing CF? I know Quinn has speed, but I have expected it to produce outstanding D, and it hasn’t. Kingery looks terrible, and I would love Mickey Moniak to make the team. But, I heard a repeat of JoeG on the WIP show early in the week, and he was effusive in his statements about Herrera. Even when he made outs, he liked the ABs. Talked about some outstanding play in CF and several in RF. I have a real feeling he makes the team going North. Maybe that was to pump up trade value, but I don’t think so.

    1. matt … I agree with your last sentence. Girardi/all baseball people are sales people. It’s always a good thing to talk up your prospects/players. I believe Herrera is either traded or starts at the alternate site.

      1. At this point, Odubel is what he is: a very streaky player. And over the last couple of seasons that he actually played, the cold streaks were becoming way longer than the hot streaks.

        1. Hinkie…..correct….the tools are there, but he has been streaky and lately in his career, the wrong way. Though now, he is a desperate man, this is it for him.
          If he doesn’t cut it, it may be the last year he gets the big money.

        2. Hinkie, no one is trading for Herrera based on spring training. The soonest they’d be able to move him is around the trade deadline. He has no value, a PR issue and is overpaid. It would take a solid half regular season to rebuild value. Mlb teams don’t get tricked by coach speak especially in these cases.

          1. Garett … I understand Herrera isn’t going to bring back anything of much consequence. I believe he could be dealt for another player with negative trade value.
            The scenario I’ve mentioned a few times is this: if the Phillies aren’t satisfied with any of Kingery/Haseley/Quinn/Moniak at the everyday CFer, Dombrowski could look into swapping Odubel to Tampa for Kevin Keirmaier. That move would save the Rays ~13M over the next two years (not an insignificant matter for the cost conscious Fla team). Also, that club has a history of upsetting their fans (they just shipped off Blake Snell). I’m pretty certain Odubel wouldn’t be a deal breaker for Erik Neander or that fan base.

    2. As you know the Phillies have many centerfielders on their roster, and a couple of invitees, so they have many candidates. Which is not a great thing but there are some very good options from this group.   In my opinion at this juncture Roman Quinn is heading the field.  He has the tools you would like in a centerfielder, someone with speed to patrol a wide patch of ground on both sides which might be needed more on the Phillies due to Cutch in leftfield.  He also has an accurate arm and must be totally in the game defensively from start to finish.  His speed is also a benefit at bat, like you know no-one can steal 1st base, so he needs to get on base to utilize that speed.  He just needs to stay healthy and put his bat on the ball, cut down on the strikeouts and forget about the long ball.  He would be an excellent 8th hole hitter, right before the pitcher, get on first steal second and sacrificed to third.  So many options to score after this scenario.


      For the other outfielders, of course Cutch is in left and Harper is in right, so we need reserves that can play all 3 outfield positions.  I think Adam Haseley was leading the pack going into Spring Training, he bulked up and was ready to win that spot that he had at the end of last year.  He started off the spring season with a home run but then soon after pulled a muscle that has him hoping to get back around starting day, so that basically takes him out of the running.  I would say he would start in the minors at Lehigh Valley, but the AAA season has been pushed back a month and he will not be able to rehab in games.  That makes it interesting, and he might be carried.  Mickey Moniak has really been a surprise with his performance this spring, when he was signed as first overall in the 2016 draft as an 18-year-old HS graduate he weighed 168 pounds he has muscled up to 210+ right now and it shows.  He has been hitting the ball well this spring and even has a home run and triple against some tough lefties.  He also has the issue with AAA starting a month late, so if he continues to impress, he will make Joe Girardi have to make a tough decision.  I might keep him to platoon with Cutch in left.  Matt Joyce might be part of the equation of keeping or dropping Moniak, if Joyce continues to hit and field like he has then he will be the 4th outfielder and Moniak will join Haseley in AAA, which would be a great outfield with Moniak in left or right and Haseley in center for the Pigs.  I do not think Jankowski is a player that I would include in my decision, the others are playing well in front of him, he has speed, not much power, so he is iffy.  The final piece in Odubel Herrera, we all know his domestic violence issue and many people in Philadelphia are not too keen on keeping him with the Team.  The Philly sportscasters are also not a fan of Herrera.  I feel that they should continue to showcase him and try to build him into an asset to trade for a prospect.  I was never an Odubel fan, so his play defensively and offensively has deteriorated since his all-star appearance in 2016.

      Then we have Scott Kingery.  He also might be a good candidate for CF.  If something happens to Quinn like an injury or he tanks that last couple of weeks, I definitely would put JetPax in CF every day.  The Phillies did him a disservice since they brought him up in 2018.; except the generous contract.  First, they had Cesar Hernandez at second, they let Hernandez go to Free Agency after 2019, so why not trade him and put Kingery at 2nd   before that happened, then they pick up Jean Segura and put him at 2nd, now they signed Didi Gregorius, which is great, but still have Segura at second.  They don’t give him the chance he deserved in order to make it in the spot they drafted him, second base.  Let me explain: first of all, they play the kid out of position, then they move him around all positions, then they mess with his swing to get the best launch angle, which really messed him up and then he gets Covid (which was not their fault), but he should be put at second base and play a full season before we make a final decision on his future.  Trade Segura, maybe with Herrera and with a loser out of the starting pitching battle.

      1. Denny….whenever you mention trading players…..first and foremost …their contract comes into play at the top of the list for the other GM.
        So whether or not it is Segura, Kingery, Herrera, Velasquez or whoever, their dollars owe to them, means something…and most times it is a discredit to the return value you may want to get in that trade.
        It would not be so critical if the Phillies were $50/75M under the threshold, they could move them and pick up a percentage of the remaining years of that contract, but that is not the case.

  34. Regarding Kingery, this is his age 27 season. There are a few exceptions, but most hitters are who they are by that age. It doesn’t appear that he is a first-division regular. Utility guy, back-up, AAAA guy, up-and-down guy, call it what you will, but he is one guy we were all hopeful about and it doesn’t appear to have worked out. It happens. But relying on him as a starter at a key position appears to be unwise.

    1. Just my opinion, Denny. Let me say — I hope you are right and he turns into a super-valuable player for the Phils.

  35. I saw Kingery a couple of times in the Minors and just bought into the “next coming of Dustin Pedroia” hype. I admit I have been a fan since, and thought signing him early to a LTC was such a good move. He looks overmatched, and I hope it is the “adjusted his swing, then he got Covid” duo of reasons, but I have seen very little so far this Spring. Granted, I haven’t watched him but twice so far, but from all the reports I read where MM is raved about, and Quinn is talked up, and Herrera is lauded, Kingery does not seem to impress anyone. I hope it changes, but it’s time. I really like guys who improve themselves. Mickey looking really good, and bulking up, and adjusting his swing to be more of a line drive/gap hitter, those are the thing I like to see. So, I have always rooted for him, and am really happy he looks like he is going to play in the Show before long. Neris adding a Slider, and working hard to improve, those are the guys I can really root for.

    1. matt13…..perhaps Kingery is experiencing a type of a ‘Bizarro world’….his 2018 and 2019 spring training camps he was excellent…..and kind of faded during the regular season….though 2019 he did end up with 2.8bWAR season.
      Maybe this season he will come out smokin’

      1. I think Scotty needs to go the minors for two months and get his issues ironed out. A lot of very good players struggled and used a minor league trip to completely turn their careers around including Alex Gordon, Ron Gant and, the best example, Roy Halladay. He’s a mess. He needs to clear his head and get back to basics.

        1. Catch, How do you teach Kingery how to hit a fastball? I love to know the answer,

          1. I don’t know, but if he can’t consistently hit a AAA fastball, then he shouldn’t go back to the majors. When he came up he struggled with breaking pitches, but as I recall not the fastball, so my guess is that he’s “thinking” too much when he’s at the plate and trying to slug rather than be quick to the ball and it’s causing him to be late. But who knows? If he can’t hit a decent fb, his career will be over very quickly.

  36. I’m still expecting Quinn and Kingery to start the year platooning in CF and batting 8th. After watching all of the pen possibilities, and knowing that we’ll need 3 spots on the 40 for Joyce, Kintzler and Watson, I expect Vinny and Hale to be traded for young players who don’t need to go on the 40. The 3rd spot might come from another 60 day IL guy. I expect a AAA team of Hall, Maton, Chatham, and Williams with Torreys as the utility guy with Moniak, Odubel and Janakowski in the OF. Marchan and Bethancourt as the Cs. Do we still have Listi? Rotation? Medina, Jones, maybe Nova, maybe Llovera, maybe DLS, maybe Parkinson, maybe Howard

  37. At the end of ST and an evaluation of MILB players commences I’ll be interested in the groups observations…Especially Stott’s..

  38. It appears Kingerys ceiling was about hitting a 92 mph fastball. Maybe beginning of mlb career he cheated and started swing early on >92 mph fastballs which left him susceptible to offspeed. What little I see now pitchers don’t need offspeed just upper quadrant heat. Great guy hope I’m wrong .

  39. Miller with an oblique strain? Man those are tricky injuries to heal from… Rule of thumb is around a month…

  40. At what point do we wonder the status of Harper’s back is with almost two weeks to Opening Day and he still hasn’t played RF yet?

  41. I thought harpers swing Yesterday looked more compact than last year. Maybe improved contact and a better back to boot

  42. The GM will have some tough decisions to make in a little over two weeks if things continue and progress as they have the last two weeks…..BP arms, Watson, Mitchell, Kintzler, Ynoa and Rondon all NRI….have legit cases for addition to the 40 and even the active 26.
    Kintzler would appear to be a certainty.

  43. Appears Brogdon pulled something today – I was at Bradenton, saw him twitch strangely twice and then Joe and trainer came to take him out. Romus was right – Hall hit a bomb but Odubel also hit an absolute laser shot hr – he also had a nice bunt single in the first inning.. Because so many Phillies fans “travel” with the team – I was amused by positive crowd buzz for Odubel during his AB. It may be different at Home but there were no boos. Bohm, again, 2 super hits well hit and timely. Ran full counts in his AB’s. Kingery does not look sharp. I can see an Odubel/Quinn platoon of sorts in center – Kingery may end up in AAA per comments above.

    Recognized DD on the way out and went up to him and “Congratulated him on a great job so far and wishes for good luck.” Very gracious, he was appreciative and happy to hear my remark – or so he said.

    My guess is Brogdon will be utilized very carefully, if at all, so that will create a space for one of the other relievers, while he recovers from his apparent injury today.

    1. RU………thanks for the eyewitness report. I watched on TV, but not the same as being there!

    2. RU….good post.
      On Brogdon:
      “Everything’s fine, according to Girardi. Just caution given the time of year. He just had a little rib kinda get-out,” Girardi said. “They brought him back in, they pushed it in and he’s fine. It happens with him a lot. I was just being overly cautious with him, and then he went and ran, so we don’t really have any concerns.”

      Hall’s HR…announced at 409 ft…..that may have been just a little understated.

      Next time you see Dave D….tell him Hinkie has some advice for him! 🙂

      Trade Odubel to the Rays for Kevin Kiermaier.

      1. Actually Romus – I thought afterward I wished I had said, 2 words – Shane Greene – (just in case) ??? How psychologically scarred are we from that awful bullpen last year !!!

        Another comical item was the man I sat next to with his family – fifty years old erudite and quite polished – who attends Phillies games all over US with the goal of watching them play in every stadium – related a story of having a seat right next to the dugout by a Kapler led team and by the 6th inning he became so incensed by Kapler’s repeated dumb moves and over managing plus a liberal allotment of beer that he started yelling into the dugout at Kapler. He apparently was so loud half the players were looking at him trying to figure out who this guy was ! This story started because he felt Kingery who has fallen far short of expectations was due to Kapler’s mishandling of him.

        1. RU…..LOL….you kniow who also did that back in 2019, …that is, followed the Phillies across the country….Dan K on this site.
          He even got himself on the telly and announced by Tom Mac and John Kruk in Pittsburgh…..does not strike me as the guy, however, to yell into the Phillies dugout out of disgust.

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