Open Discussion: Week of March 14, 2021

The Phillies are 7-6-1 through 14 Grapefruit League continues.  They are in the midst of a three-game winning streak.  But, the focus right now is on the injuries to some key players.

Last week, Adam Haseley came up lame with an injury that will likely cause him to miss Opening Day and cost him a platoon in CF.  This week, Brad Miller was sidelined with an oblique-like symptom that may cost the Phillies their number one bench player for some weeks.  An MRI on Sunday will provide the team with more information.  Matt Joyce played the game under instructions to not run hard a day after taking a number of ground balls in practice.  And during the Pirates’ game, Connor Brogdon was pulled after nine pitches.  He has a condition where a rib will pop out of place.  He can just pop it back in and continue, but Joe wanted to play it safe.  Afterward, Brogdon did his running.  So, hopefully, he’s fine.

With two weeks remaining before Opening Day, the competitions in camp for CF and the bench should heat up.  The team slash of .225/.297/.408/.705 is still among the league’s worst but is an improvement over the .217.295/.403/.698 slash of last week.

Their pitching has improved to among the top 5 or 6 in the National League.  They are tied for second with 4 saves (in five save opportunities).  Matt Moore and Chase Anderson look like the front runners for the back of the rotation.  Vince Velasquez remains in the hunt.  Spencer Howard has posted some great numbers, but we still don’t know how the Phillies plan to utilize him.

The bullpen looks like a battle among 12-14 pitchers for eight spots – Alvarado, Bradley, Kintzler, Brogdon, Hale, Neris, Rosso, Coonrod, Watson, Romero, plus the aforementioned Velasquez and Howard, with dark horses Mitchell and De Los Santos.

If none of the players with opt outs exercises them, the Phillies will have a strong contingent of depth in Lehigh Valley.

The Phillies have optioned seven players back to the Mini Camp – Dohy, Falter, Jones, Llovera, Medina, Morales, and Muzziotti.  Dohy, Llovera, Morales, and Muzziotti saw no action in Grapefruit League games.  All are on the 40-man roster.

To date, 157 Mini Campers have been invited to Grapefruit League games, and they have made 101 appearances.  They are starting to get fewer at bats as the regulars are being stretched out to 3 or more at bats.

The young guys had looked good, but their inexperience is beginning to show as they accumulate strike outs.

Herrera has looked steady and the Phillies may actually be considering him in the CF mix.  But that would necessitate a fourth 40-man, assuming Kintzler, Watson, and Joyce are assured spots on the 40-man roster.  A move that wouldn’t require a 40-man move would be to elevate Mickey Moniak to the starting lineup.  He’s certainly playing himself into the mix.  He’s done most of his damage later in games as a replacement (so, against presumably weaker pitching) but he has hit lefties well.  If Kingery and Quinn keep failing to put balls in play (Kingery 10K/22AB, Quinn 8K/17AB), maybe he makes the opening day roster.  He’s certainly deserving of consideration.  BTW, he has only struck out twice in 14 at bats and is slashing .429/429/1.143/1.571 with 2 doubles, a triple, and 2 HRs among his 6 hits.

But, yes, it’s early.

The Phillies’ playoff hopes do NOT hinge on center field.  If they receive at or near replacement level performance from center field, they should be fine.  What must happen is that six other players play up to their contracts (Realmuto, Hoskins, Segura, Gregorious, McCutchen, and Harper).

Yes, I omitted Bohm.  He should be able to develop into the player he will become.  There may or may not be some sophomore year slippage.  I think not, but he should not be expected to maintain the very good numbers he posted last season.  Yes, he might.  He seems to be that good.  But, he shouldn’t be expected to be one of the guys carrying the team.  That’s not his job, yet.

Only one other transaction, Jose Conopoima was released.

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:

  • March 24, 2021 – Opt out date for Brandon Kintzler, et alia
  • 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 … 337 players in the org

Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)

3/13/2021 – Phillies optioned Kyle Dohy to minor league camp
3/13/2021 – Phillies optioned Bailey Falter to minor league camp
3/13/2021 – Phillies optioned Damon Jones to minor league camp
3/13/2021 – Phillies optioned Mauricio Llovera to minor league camp
3/13/2021 – Phillies optioned Adonis Medina to minor league camp
3/13/2021 – Phillies optioned Fransisco Morales to minor league camp
3/13/2021 – Phillies optioned Simon Muzziotti to minor league camp
2/23/2021 – Phillies released RHP Jose Conopoima
2/22/2021 – SS Luis Garcia assigned to Phillies
2/17/2021 – Phillies placed RHP Seranthony Dominguez on the 60-day IL

133 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of March 14, 2021

  1. Really had high hopes for Kingery going back a couple of years. Thought his signing was a good deal for the Phils at the time. Hard to understand the incredible regression over the past couple of years. It is getting late early for him and he is beginning to run out of time. Maybe some time in the minors to see if he can get it figured out would be better.

  2. It’s difficult to discuss Odubel Herrera because of his baggage, and there’s quite a bit of it, especially the assault.

    Look, I cannot blame anyone one bit for feeling that Odubel Herrera should never play another game for the Phillies or even another team. If you feel that way, I entirely respect that even if I think he should be given a second chance in light of his apparent contrition and the time that has passed, although he should not be given any leash at all in terms of future bad acts. None. Zero.

    1. But putting that big “but” aside, Odubel Herrera looks every bit the player we thought he would be going into his late 20s. He has (or had) a world of talent – all-star talent. In my view, neither Kingery nor Quinn is showing the ability to compete with Odubel this year, although, yes, it’s very early. Adam Haseley is still an unknown and may be the type of player who simply develops gradually over time, much the way DJ Lemahieu has, so he’s really an unknown.

      So, you know what I do? I let the performance dictate the playing time. I think, most likely, Kingery returns to the minors (folks, he hasn’t played like a major league player since the middle of 2019 – he needs to regroup), Quinn becomes a super-sub, defensive replacement, pinch-runner and spot starter and Odubel and Haseley sort out playing time between them. But let’s be clear, if Odubel returns to being a 4 WAR player, which is entirely possible, it makes this team incredibly dangerous and with that upside and no current trade value you’re probably best off keeping him around this year.

        1. Good stuff, Denny.
          I’m hearing a little Harry and Todd Kalas, or Jack and Joe Buck, or Marv and Kenny Albert in you and your son. 🙂
          That’s really cool. You two seem like you have a great relationship. Sports is always a great bonding experience.

          1. I was going to mention Howard and Spike Eskin, but I spared you that comparison. 🙂

            1. I might do the next segment as Harry Caray.👁👁. And he does a good Skip, well it’s a modified Buck Martinez.

          2. Thank you Hinkie. Greatly appreciated. Love the comparisons. I am a sports fanatic, he is twice as bad!

  3. Getting away from centerfield.

    Forget about the misleading team stats and the mediocre record. This has been a fantastic spring training.

    Matt Moore is looking like a real find – a bona fide middle-of-the-rotation pitcher. The bullpen has been unexpectedly superb and deep. It’s not so much their stats (which are great), but the actual performances themselves. The low-key reliable guys (Watson, Kintzler) have been spot-on and the high upside arms such as Alvarado, Coonrod and Brogdon have looked excellent. Throw-in the unexpected standout performance of De Los Santos and you have some very exciting outcomes. Thank you DD, I’m sorry I doubted you!!!!

    And the good news doesn’t stop there. Alec Bohm is one of the best young hitters I’ve ever seen. He has great plate discipline, a short, powerful swing and he hits to all fields. Odubel looks great and Moniak may have turned the corner and looks like the player we always hoped we would be getting.

    This team has some serious mojo. If they stay healthy they should be in the playoff race come September.

    1. And, of course, virtually all the existing starters and regulars have looked pretty darn good too, especially Harper and Eflin. Great news all around. I haven’t been this excited since 2011.

  4. I love you optimism Jim. Caught your last date on your schedule:

    October 2, 2021 – Phillies clinch a playoff berth in Miami

  5. catch, I agree with you. Matt Moore has looked very good, and to me, the best performances of the SPs so far have been he and Eflin. The BP looks like it might actually be good, although Closer is still a question mark. Much better than “historically awful”! Joyce and Miller, when he recovers from the oblique, and Andrew Knapp head an improved Bench. So, I have been optimistic with what I have seen. Jim stated it perfectly, aside from Kingery, the fortunes of the team rest on the guys with the contracts. If they play to their capabilities, we have the Offense to contend, and I think, we now have the Pitching.

  6. Funny thing about ST I always find myself in late January chomping at the bit for it to start then by this point I’m usually over it and wanting the regular season to get under way ASAP. No patience.

    Eflin’s stuff on Saturday was amazing. I hope the corner is turned for him to be consistent start to start over 162. So interesting to listen to RAJ and TMAC talk baseball over so many guys that came in under RAJ’s watch.

    At one point you had Eflin on the mound Knapp catching him Hoskins on 1st and Quinn in CF and Herrera and Kingery being discussed as in that mix.

  7. Set me straight here. If the Phillies want to send Kingery to AAA, could they DFA him as to open a spot on the 40? If a team claims him, is that team responsible for his contract? I ask this because isn’t that what they did with Hererra assuming that no other team would want to pick up his bloated contract? In Kingery’s case, another team might take a chance on him. Anyone want to help me understand this?

    1. I believe if Romus is correct Kingery would have options remaining so they can send him to AAA without DFA’ing him

      In Odubel’s case they wanted to remove him from the 40 man so they had to DFA him.

    2. Ciada I think I misinterpreted your post about DFAing Kingery. They certainly could do that to get the spot on the 40 opened.

      Its an interesting point. Maybe not out of the realm of possibility

      1. DMAR….though, I do think Dave D would prefer to try to trade him before DFAing him. But good luck on that however.

  8. My thoughts on Mickey Moniak – Let’s not get too caught up on his ST performance. It is only 14 ABs in late innings against level 2 or lower pitching. I would be more encouraged in he goes to AAA and bats over .300 and gets 25-30 homers. He needs to have success over a season long time frame. Then he would be a leading candidate for a starting position on the big club next spring training.

    1. I couldn’t disagree more. MM IMO should start the season in AAA but he doesn’t have to hit 300 or 25-30 HRs to prove he is a MLB player.

      You can only prove you are an MLB player in the MLB hence why we’re talking so much about Kingery at the moment and let’s go into the way back machine and study Domonic Brown

      and many others who had stellar AAA careers only to not have in translate to a big league career.

  9. Anyone get to see any of this Bobby Witt JR? About to be 21 in June and just incredible plate and pitch recognition presence.

    Last night he worked a 12-13 pitch walk against Urias. Dodgers pulled Urias from the Inning then reentered him the following inning (apparently you can do that in ST)

    Witt then took him way deep in one or two pitches

  10. Jim, in your comment about the bullpen competition, you left out Brogdon. Was this a miss, or do you think he doesn’t have a shot?

    I really liked what I saw of him at the end of last year.


    1. He has a shot. In fact, he has more than a shot – he has damned good chance to be another Ryan Madson. Brogdon is an excellent prospect.

      1. Love Brogdon love his CU and there’s enough FB to make him highly effective.

        He’s only seen 3.1 IP so far but has a 0 WHIP and 10.8 K/9. His issue if he has one will be willingness and ability to throw his CU in all counts.

    2. He’s there. “The bullpen looks like a battle among 12-14 pitchers for eight spots – Alvarado, Bradley, Kintzler, Brogdon, Hale, Neris, Rosso, Coonrod, Watson, Romero, plus the aforementioned Velasquez and Howard, with dark horses Mitchell and De Los Santos.”

  11. Tom B. I think jim has Brogdon on the list of his 12-14 fighting for 8 spots. I believe it’s Bradley, Neris, Alvarado, Brogdon, Kintzler, Watson, Romero, and then Spencer starts in LHV and VV starts the season in the BP. I still feel like a trade is coming to make 40 Man room, but I am not certain by any means.

    1. matt13…if Dave D is going to make any trades to try to open ome 40 slots…….over these next 8 days will be the optimum time to do it……the NRI relievers …and could be 3, maybe 4 of them, have legit shots to make the 40 and/or 26…….or they may just walk and sign on the 25th to another team that will guarantee them a 26 position.

    2. wow, miss by me … i even read it twice and missed it!

      Thanks for clearing that up for me, my bad!

  12. When is it time to start talking about Hoskins. He’s been woefully absent this ST. 5Ks 1 BB. I’ve yet to even see him hit something hard.

    He has to and I mean has to come up big this season if we want to see this club in the playoffs

    1. You cannot come up big, until you are healthy enough to come up big and I don’t believe he’s recovered yet. Just doesn’t look it to me.

  13. I think Matt Joyce was low key a great signing. He may turn out to be a very good player for our club and might get a lot more ABs than most expect. That dude can hit RHP well. Can’t hit LHP, but he rakes against Righties.

    1. reference above to Joyce taking grounders- has he been playing some first? don’t see that he’s ever played there in a regular season game- but i guess with Miller out, Bohm and JT are the only guys on roster other than Rhys who have played it-

  14. DMAR, I am as guilty as anyone of cutting Hoskins slack. I am a fan, and keep believing that he is going to be a big producer for us. But, at some point, he has to actually do it. I have only seen a few games and a few ABs. But, he looks the same to me. If the first pitch is a FB right down the middle, smoke it! He, more than anyone, usually gets the best pitch thrown first. He doesn’t have to do it all the time. He needs the Pitcher to believe he might swing. I haven’t seen much.

    1. LOL as if on cue Rhys hits his 1st HR of the spring….

      @Romus I am not sure Hall fits the bill. I know you like him a lot I just don’t see MLB player when I look at him. Perhaps he ends up elsewhere and someone unlocks his potential.

  15. So, of course, as soon as I posted that I said to myself, “I wonder how they are doing today” in time for Hoskins to hit a HR off some guy named King. This could be the start of a hot streak lasting into the season!

    1. LOL 🙂 Matt I am prepared to talk smack on any player that needs to get going if that’s what it takes.

      Last year it was Didi…

    1. Pretty sure I announced him as the next Phillies closer the afternoon that trade was announced.
      In reality, it doesn’t matter if Alvarado throws in the eighth or ninth inning. He just needs to be on the mound when Freeman/Soto/Conforto come to the plate late in the game.

      1. Agree…career splits vs 202 LHBs…..222/.320/.281….with only 1 HR given up to lefty.

  16. That is exactly what is needed to give Phillies shot at playoffs instead of a middle of the pack finish. There are certain pitchers who come in last inning and the other team knows game over. Phillies have not had that for a long time. Let’s hope this is the year. I think a legit playoff run is possible then.

  17. I think its going to be a really tough division. The team that manages to dodge the injury bug is likely to be the one that comes out on top.

    The Padres look really good and if they don’t wrestle the division away from the Dodgers they surely lock up one of the Wildcards. So Dodgers and Padres are a pretty sure bet in the West.

    Central appears to be Cards Brewers. The Cubs likely make some noise before trading off a number of their assets and the Pirates may be the only 100 game loser in the NL.

    Then there is the east. I don’t hear a lot of talk about the Nats being able to contend. If you’re running a healthy Scherzer, Strasburg and Corbin and Soto Turner they’re at least a .500 team on paper.

    I think whatever happens we’re in for some really good baseball in the East.

    1. The East will be the beast it appears, and the one team that remains a mystery to me is Don Mattingly’s squad.
      One cannot usually go by first half of spring training records……but teams like the Yankees and Dodgers are having great springs…….then there are the Marlins and a team like the Royals also having great early spring records.

      The last dozen games will probably give a better testament to how they may come out of the gate since starters will be playing a majority of the time from here on in.
      But the Marlins, from last season’s late push may be motivated more so next month to start it off.

      For sure…I can bet Ricky Bo will not be calling them ‘bottom-feeders’ when they come to Philly in mid-May..

      1. Meh – the Marlins have some good players, but their line-up is weak.

        They are much more a mirage than real and, yes, they are likely to finish either last or second-to-last in the division. They were two games above .500 last year in a shortened season. My guess is the end up finishing the year around 78-84. Really, they are not very good. They may be in a few years, but I doubt seriously they will be this year.

        1. Agree catch I just think they will be pesky enough to win some games they shouldn’t if you take them lightly.

          And as we witnessed last year a game or two here and there could mean all the difference.

          1. They may not be very good but I expect them to play the Phillies as if they were the 1927 Yankees – they always do!

          2. If their yuong pitchers come around….they could be an issue.
            Of course whether or not they finish last or 4th……they could still be close to a .500 team in a strong division which only makes matter worse for the Phillies.

      2. Alcantara is really good and we know Sixto is good but can Sixto make 20+ starts?

        The line-up is ok but I don’t think they have the depth for 162 games. They won’t be a slouch but hard to predict them any better than 4th.

        I’d bet they are out of it by the trade deadline and you see them trade off some pieces like Marte and Aguilar.

        1. I saw some video of Sixto yesterday. He really does not appear to be fit at all. I mean, he could end up being like Bartolo Colon and pitch well despite the girth (he’s more than a little pudgy now), but I wouldn’t say it’s a good thing by any means.

      1. JRoll was the only one I think…..mid-April, right after the season started, for about 2 weeks…Eric Bruntlett came in for him.

  18. ESPN has an article asking a few sports reporters what has impressed them the most this spring and one of them talked about how good Kintzler, Watson and Bradley looked and how they had brought a new attitude and nastiness to the Phillies bullpen. What immediately jumped out at me was that he hadn’t even mentioned Alvarado, who is likely the best of the group.

    One of the under reported but key reasons that the 2008 Phillies won the WS was that Gillick had basically turned the game into a 6 inning contest. If the Phils had the lead after 6 innings you got Romero in the 7th, Madson in the 8th and Lidge in the 9th and it was pretty much lights out. This strategy turned pitchers like Moyer and Blanton into very effective hurlers that year.

    It appears to me that Dombrowski, who so reminds me of Gillick in a myriad of ways, may be hoping to use the same plan. Its still a looooooooong shot given his history of inconsistency but it might just allow Velasquez to grab a rotation spot in Anderson falters.

    One more thing worth considering [hoping, praying???] in a spring when all dreams can become reality…we keep musing about when/if we are ever going to strike gold with an Acuna or Soto. Maybe Moniak will turn into a mini version? Unlikely, but not impossible. I like in So Cal, Moniak territory, and I am telling you…in high school the guy was a tremendous player.

    1. Ahhh, you’re right about the 2008 Phillies. That team did two things people almost never talk about. First, by the time they hit late September, if the Phillies were ahead after 5 or 6 innings, the game was essentially over. The bullpen was amazing. The second thing was that the team was amazing on defense.

      And you’re right, the national press is not discussing Alvarado, let alone
      Brogdon and Coonrod and Neris.

      And one more thing. We have all bitched and complained about the poor coaching on the Phillies. Well, it appears things are changing. Joe Dillon did a great job last year with the hitters and it looks like Cotham is having a similar effect on the pitchers. Things are changing with this team from the bottom up. I am becoming very optimistic.

      I still wonder what they are going to do with Velasquez. The announcers and coaches keep talking about how great his stuff is. You know, I’m not entirely buying it. I think it’s pretty good, but unlike, say, Alvarez Spencer Howard or even Brogdon, he doesn’t have any reliable swing and miss pitches right now (and hasn’t for the last 3 or 4 years) and that’s a problem.

      1. That team really didn’t have a weakness. If it did maybe it was starting pitching. Hamels was excellent but the rest of the bunch was just mediocre.

        That line-up mashed

        1. Nah, that team definitely had weaknesses. As you mentioned starting pitching was the glaring one. But also LF and 1B defense, and 3B and C offense. We were fortunate to have a couple potential HoFers and multiple perennial all-stars to cover the deficiencies, though. And actually, something that rarely gets credit; our base running. It’s the only offensive stat we led the league in (in fact, we didn’t even lead the NL in anything other than BsR, HRs, and ISO). And not only did we lead the league in it; it wasn’t even close. Phils had a team 23.6 BsR and the second place Rockies had 15.2.

          People have rose-colored glasses with that team, which I get. But it wasn’t a master-class in team building. We got lucky that year. Not only with getting hot at the right time, but also with health and bullpen volatility (out of our entire 2008 bullpen, exactly ONE person had a sub-4 FIP the next year; Madson). Don’t get me wrong, they definitely deserve praise for accumulating the talent that we put on the field; Utley, Hamels, Werth, Victorino, Howard, and Ruiz are all HUGE wins for that scouting department (Burrell was good, but he didn’t out-perform what anyone thought he would become really). But that starting rotation was mediocre at best, and if our luck with relievers had been even slightly worse, then we don’t even make the playoffs at all that year.

          It is funny how baseball works, though. The worst roster of our “golden era” wins it all, while the best one doesn’t even win the pennant.

  19. Totally agree on the game being a 6 inning game in 2008. That is what the good teams have now. Hopefully Phillies can return to that. In recent years opponents have looked forward to the last 3 innings vs the Phillies. That is when they knew they had a huge chance to comeback and win if trailing early. IMO Vince’s pitches at least here on TV appear to be too straight coming to home plate. Even with decent velocity the balls needs to move or these hitters are going to get on it. I think by now a lot is mental with him. I always think back to the 16K game he had his first year and wonder what happened to that guy. Same has kinda happened with Kingery.

  20. Nola not looking good. They need Nola to have another Cy Young season. The good news and we were talking above about 08 Hamels in ST that year was not good.

    1. He did get his 70 pitches in (67% strike rate)….and if nothing is ailing him, then just have to move on and put it in the rear view mirror.
      Have to hear from him, he could have been tinkering with a specific pitch.

    2. The year Nola had 10 bWAR he was awful in ST. Don’t worry about it for now. He’s healthy.

      1. To add onto this; much like minor league games ST games need to be taken with a huge grain of salt, especially for pitchers. They’re usually working on something specific to get up to speed, so they aren’t always throwing the pitch they want to be throwing in any given situation.

        If he’s getting hammered during the actual season, then we should start diagnosing the problem. Until then, he’s just warming up.

        1. Yep…Nola now working on a cut fastball..from what he said yesterday.
          Hopefully he can master it..

  21. Moniak strikes out twice. Hopefully, no one will be crying now after he gets sent down soon. I still think Quinn will be the opening day CF with Chatham grabbing the 26th spot until Haseley is healthy (bench of Miller, Joyce, Kingery, Chatham, and Knapp). If all healthy, pen of Bradley, Kintzler, Watson, Alvarado, Brogdon, Romero, Neris and ?? Coonrod, Howard, Vinny, Hale, and Rosso all possible. Vinny and Hale could be traded to open 40 spots.

      1. I think Odubel is either the starting CF or shares time with Quinn, and then Haseley, until a winner is determined.

        FYI, the Phillies’ pitchers are getting lit up today worse than the home intruders in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

    1. Good ole fashion butt kicking for sure. Nola’s FB seemed – a few ticks. I think MM has been destined for AAA now matter how he does in ST. I will only be crying if Quinn is the center fielder and it will more than likely, wailing. I’m paying Odubel anyhow, might as well have him in center. DD bound to move some bodies in the next 2 weeks, hope I’m right. Hitting is what disappoints me the most, too many K’s and they don’t seem to bunch them enough to suit me.

      1. Skeet….last 10 games now…..4 -NYY, 3-Tor and 3- Det…like to see the batters start getting into their rhythm and groove.
        And Dave D will need to make some moves with the 40, opening some slots for guys like Kintzler and, Watson
        Mitchell, Nova and Ynoa may get squeezed..

    2. Gelb suggested in the comments section of a recent article that he thinks that the Phillies’ goal with Moniak is to rebuild his confidence this spring, noting that he has mainly appeared lated in games and against AA-level pitching. Today he starts and Ks 2x, which might indicate Gelb might be right. Might.

  22. What an ugly showing!! Just went through the “plays” of the game reported on Both teams started pretty much their opening day lineups. The Jays are a hitting machine while our boys are a strike out machine. And two “locks” for the revamped bullpen, Watson and Kinzler, got pounded. As I stated before, they are beating the so-so teams but can’t really compete with the Yankees and Blue Jays.

    1. If jean Segura had no passed Torreyes on the base path on the bases loaded double he hit, and get called out…..had just kept his wits about him….may have been a different outcome.
      But just an exhibition game

    2. Imagine thinking that Spring Training wins and losses matter. Go back to following the Eagles you doofus.

  23. Chatham sent down today which sure enhances Odubel’s chances of making the 26, opening day, unless they decide on 9 in the pen until Haseley is back. Adding Odubel would mean another 40 spot (4) would be needed. Moves from DD are definitely coming.

    1. Another homer and great defensive play and Odubel surprisingly looks like he’s put himself in the lead for the job. Go figure. 4 x 40 spots will be needed and they’ll probably all come from the pitchers since only Chatham, Maton and Marchan are position players on the 40 and not on the 26. Hale has looked good. That could get him a spot on the 40 or it could get him traded. Vinny might be moved. Other moves could be tough. Guys like Dohy, Jones and Llovera are at risk of being traded. They will certainly be picked up by others if moved off the 40.

  24. If Odubel finishes the spring close to the way he started it, I don’t see how he is not the starting CF’er. He’s looked good at the plate and in the field. On the other hand, there is Kingery. The Phillies like his positional flexibility, which may cause them to overlook how he has faired at the plate. But if it were my decision, he would not head north with the club.

    1. Yeah…same thing with Darick Hall…he keeps mashing and smashing…Rhys could be DFAed! 🙂

      1. Romus – I detect some sarcasm here. Was that a veiled criticism of the suggestion that Kingery should not start the season on the active roster?

        1. To be frank, I suppose it was.
          Kingery has no business being on the 26, unless of course injuries occur.
          His best chance at redemption is to start in Triple A and then come back up later in the season if he figures it out.
          That philosophical approach has worked with others, why not give it a go with him.
          Because right now…it ain’t working with him.

          And to tell you the truth…..if he was still in his arb years, and the Phillies were not saddled with his contract in this pandemic declined revenue crisis……he would be targeted for the minors, and a player like Nick Maton or Luke Williams or CJ Chatham, would be given more of an opportunity.

          IMO…his contract is saving him from being optioned.

          1. I agree with you, Romus. I am a Kingery fan, and I am not trading him for pennies, and I think he looks terrible. I am not giving up on him, and he belongs in AAA getting his head and stroke back together.

            1. matt13….and if isn’t getting regular ABs he could be in his funk for a longer period of time.
              If Odubel does well in CF, and Didi and Jean Segura remain healthy….he will see limited time……or gets ABs every other day but playing another position.
              Since the last 70 plus games of 2019, thru last season…..though he was recovery from illness , it has been a real struggle for him.
              Confidence is key…..and maybe he can regain it at LHV after a month or two.

  25. Are you kidding me, 15 K’s…….who was pitching for the tigers Bob Feller, Nolan Ryan?? Romus, tell me was that misprint? Wow!,,, Go Hall.

  26. Yes 15Ks. At least box looks like it was a team effort. Most contributed in some form. A day off for the fielders. Yikes. Phillies pitchers were good though.

  27. I really have a feeling that Herrera is going to be damn close to his 2015/2016 years. And if that happens he should be the favorite to win Comeback player of the year (however I can’t see him winning it due to why he hasn’t played the last 2 years). Adding him to the mix would really extend the line up, I mean will there even be a weak point 1-8?

    1. The more and more that I think about the domestic violence issue with Odubel the more I feel like we should accept his apology then move forward. And yes it might be because he looks like the all star player he was and not as the past couple years and also, after watching the Yankees pitcher Domingo German dominate us the other day after he sat out in 2020 after his domestic violence issue and thinking I would accept him back into our rotation because he is so good, I started feeling like a hypocrite.

    2. Agreed.

      Also, his swing looks different and more powerful. He used have a little bit of an inside-out swing, which tends to improve contact, but makes it more difficult for a player to drive the ball out of the park. That homer yesterday was not an inside-out swing. It was a power swing.

      As I’ve said all along, if Odubel plays like the player we thought he would be in his late 20s, you’re looking at a first division, every day player, perhaps even an all-star. He is ridiculously talented. But even if he’s a 3 WAR player, that’s a big upgrade in centerfield over what we’ve had the last 3 or 4 years (including his “down” years) and it means there will be no hole in that line-up 1-8.

      1. On the field, Odubel (IMO) isn’t going to change. He’s going to be a streaky player. He’ll look good for a couple of weeks, then look lost for a month. To this point, he’s clearly outplayed Kingery/Quinn/Haseley/Moniak. On ST performance alone, he’s won the starting CF job. Of course, the situation is more complicated mostly because of the 40-man situation. The domestic violence incident is a black eye for the organization, and some fans will never forgive him. But the truth of the matter is Odubel has paid a far greater penalty than any other player charged with domestic abuse that I can think of. Herrera served an 85 game suspension w/o pay, and was DFA’ed by the Phillies the following season. Addison Russell saw a 40 game penalty. Jeurys Familia got just 15 games. Jose Reyes served 52 games. And Aroldis Chapman was hit with only a 30 game suspension despite the fact that he fired a gun (eight times) during his incident.

        1. I’d don’t think I would have any qualms with DFA for Sanchez, Chatham or Suarez.

          Chatham and Maton are redundant IMO. Sanchez and Suarez the stuff is just average.

          Could also be a trade or two on the horizon.

          1. For me, Hale and Llovera currently own the final two 40-man roster spots. If Odubel, Joyce, Watson, and Kintzler all make the team, two other guys would have to go. Agree with DMAR on any of Chatham/Sanchez/Saurez could go. Maybe DD makes a trade. Although, I can’t see Kingery being dealt because his value is at it’s absolute lowest. And I would hold on to VV. The team will need the pitching depth, and I generally bet on guys in their walk years.

            1. Like I said before…..for Dave Dombrowski to DFA Chatham would really be a difficult decision for him….trade for a specific guy, you once drafted in the 2nd round and not sure what he told him after the trade, but it would take a bit of fortitude for the GM to DFA him.

        2. Don’t forget about Roberto Osuna. No details were leaked about his domestic assault but supposedly it was really bad. The incident was covered up like crazy.

    1. Thanks for nothing, Chris Young. His horrible coaching screwed up two years of Pivetta’s career and left him in such a bad head space that he needed a change of scenery. Very frustrating.

  28. Mets on Lindor and Conforto:
    “The Mets have made an opening offer to extension candidate Francisco Lindor, and Lindor’s representative has countered once, according to league sources with direct knowledge of talks. The team has also made its first offer to Michael Conforto, sources said. Those talks are ongoing but no deal is close. While the Mets’ offer to Lindor was described by a source as slightly less than $300 million — and the counter was well over — the Mets are almost certainly willing to get to $300 million to lock up Lindor. If the shortstop wants significantly more than $300 million — like, for example, the $340 million that the San Diego Padres are paying Fernando Tatis Jr. or the $365 million deal between the Dodgers and Mookie Betts — an agreement could be tricky, to say the least. The sides are not currently close on what constitutes a fair price. ………owner Steve Cohen plans to make a significant financial investment in a top-shelf player at some point in the next year or so. The feeling around the team is, perhaps that player will be Lindor this month…………while neither Lindor nor Conforto will be traded soon — obviously — their situation is …. fluid and hard for even the team and agents to predict if either or both negotiations will end in a deal. Lindor has set a firm deadline of Opening Day for a deal, or he will test free agency. The Mets hope that Conforto talks present a bit more wiggle room on timing……….Asked on Friday whether Conforto has a hard deadline of Opening Day for extension talks, his agent, Scott Boras, said: “Michael is focused on the season and his performance. Not addressing any contract questions.”

    ….can just imagine what it would be like in Philly if two of the best players could walk…and one is represented by none other than Scott Boras.

    1. Romus … the Mets have some work to do. Lindor, Conforto, Syndergaard, and Stroman are all FA’s after this season. Then, after next year, deGromm can (most likely will) opt out, and Nimmo hits free agency. It’s going to take a whole lot of Steve Cohen’s stoooopid money to get all that done.

      1. Hinkie…agree.
        And Lindor will be asking the most….I think he will go for a minimum of $320M/11yrs….or $29M AAV.
        They could be on the cusp or over, the luxury tax line after next year.

  29. Getting no-hit through 7! Our hitting has not been good! We are a weekish away from opening day. I don’t know how some light is just going to go off.

    1. Ugly for sure Matt, but many of these guys are not going north. Some that are really need to pick It up this coming week. I am not impressed with Stott even a little bit. Romus’s buddy is really raking lately, but it won’t be enough!

  30. EDLS:
    3/6: Enyel finally got my attention by striking out side of Springer, Bichette, Semien with FB hitting 94-96 ten times.

    He’s pitched well since however no pitch above 93 and today every pitch was exactly 92.

    Was that velo pop just for one day? Or maybe the gun in Dunedin was hot on the 6th?

  31. Baseball is a funny game. I’m not really worried about our hitting as guys who have always hit will find their rhythm once they’re playing every day all game, plus have a complete lineup. This team will go as far as health and pitching carry it. Health will be needed because any drop off to AAA players would be significant. Pitching will once again determine how this year goes. In spring training, it’s looked very good, especially from the guys expected to make the team. Let’s hope they can carry into the season and get off to a good start.

  32. So sorry,………..but in a serious vane! Who do we jettison this week? Trades of guys out of options, cash deals, straight trades, whatever. Seems like to me many of the faces we brought into ST haven’t proved they belong. Your take?

    1. Probably not until next weekend but decisions will have to be made soon. Velasquez’s injury might complicate things. I’m assuming they can get something for him to open a 40 spot and save $4M. Hale has pitched well enough to make the team but it’s also made him easily tradeable. If healthy, the pen might only have one spot healthy with Coonrod, Howard, Hale, and Vinny fighting for it. 3 or 4 x 40 spots will be needed depending on Odubel. Marchan, Moniak, Maton and Chatham are all safe so the 3/ 4 would have to come from pitchers. I could see Howard taking the 8th spot, Coonrod going down for now (he’ll be up at the first injury), and Hale and Vinny being traded. That leaves one or two and it could be Dohy and/or Jones because neither has shown they can throw enough strikes. Other thoughts?

      1. Decision will need to be made by Wednesday…most NRI contracts are up on Tuesday ….the relievers could bolt to teams that will put them on the 40 or 26 immediately.
        I expect a few DFAs come Tuesday.

        1. Do they have to be added to the 40 by Wednesday or maybe just be told that they will be added to the 26 by Wednesday?

          1. I believe it is the 40 ….but really do not know the specifics of their minor league contracts….they can be complicated based on dates the players want.

            “….The most difficult clauses to come to an agreement on, mostly due to all of the variation, are those concerning assignment and release, which fall under the general term of opt outs. The basics are that a player can request to be added to the 25- or 40-man roster by a certain date, and the team then has 48-72 hours to honor that request or release him from the contract with no further obligation from either side. Simple enough, but the hangups come from the dates, with both the player and team perhaps looking for earlier or later timeframes depending on the situation. Beyond the simple opt out, players can ask for related clauses that allow them to search out 25- or 40-man rosters spots with other teams..”


  33. VV out with an oblique injury. Realmuto back this week and Haseley ahead of schedule per MLBTR. Looks like our pitching is taking a hit with VV, Eflin and Howard on the mend.

  34. So, VV will start the season on IL, I am guessing? Obliques can take a month. I don’t know what is up with Spencer, but with him having some arm/shoulder issue, how can we give him a spot?

  35. Watching Phillies today and Roman Quinn continues to pop up. Keep thinking about the movie, Major League and Willie Mays Hayes. Waiting for Joe G to yell out and make him do pushups at home plate.

    1. I’m not a Quinn fan, K’s too much! Having said that, have you guys been keeping tabs on Stott? Wow, he k’s 65% of the time. I’d say it might be awhile til we see him with the big club!

  36. I was just thinking about Quinn. Hitting .320, and could he be the CF Opening Day? I misspoke earlier about Spencer. I think it is back issues, not arm or shoulder. But, I still am not sure exactly what it is, just that it has limited him, so I have no idea if he is available when the season starts. Are his back issues similar to Eflin’s? We still are not hitting anywhere near what I expect, or that we will need. It sure would be nice for Rhys to get on a hot streak going into the season. I have seen very little in ST from him. Brogdon had a bit of wildness today. Yes, that is an understatement!

    1. … but the Vineland mound wizard (Zach Warren) did a nice job.
      And LOL at Jose Alvarado throwing 101!

  37. In Clearwater. Watched live baseball today for the first time in almost a year and a half. Love this game…..

  38. I know they’re levels below the majors but I’m concerned at how overmatched Stotts and Luis Garcia look at the plate in spring training against fast balls. It’s one thing to look bad against good off speed, that might not be that bad at their level. But being overpower by fastballs makes me worry that they’re not likely future major leaguers. I hope they go to Lakewood and prove me wrong. I’d be surprised if Stotts starts at Reading.

    1. Stott won’t start at AA. He’s listed on the Lakewood Hi-A roster for now and that may be tenuous. His last official league experience was Low-A Williamsport which is essentially average college pitching and he didn’t exactly set the world on fire… Stott needs a full year of minor league ball for the Phillies to see what they have and where he needs work..

  39. Bohm can flat out hit and I am not worried about him at 3B. Anderson gave up a shot for a 3 run HR them a monster shot for another. With Eflin iffy, SP is a worry again.

  40. I also would pick Quinn to start in CF. To me, his speed brings a weapon that can make a difference. I wish he tried to hit HRs less and sprayed the ball more, but I would give him a shot to start.

  41. I do, Romus, and you are right. He is probably a little bit old to change now. But, I hold out hope! Stott looks a little slow on FBs only at 91! He may need a few years. Big week for opt outs, 40 man issues, and maybe a trade or 2?

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