Open Discussion: Week of March 28, 2021

Finally. We’ve reached the final days before real baseball.  The Phillies have one more Grapefruit League game.  Then they can make the final decision remaining.  Centerfield.  Which, of course, means that all other roster moves have been made.


The rotation is as we expected for some time now – Nola, Wheeler, Eflin, Moore, and Anderson. (1-5)

The bullpen is not completely as we expected – Alvarado, Bradley, Brogdon, Coonrod, Hale, Kintzler, Neris, and Velasquez.  I’m sure that carrying only one LHP in the bullpen is a surprise.  Hale and Velasquez are also probably surprises. (6-13)

The non-inclusion of Spencer Howard is also bewildering.  Their plan for his use as a reliever this season, but doing so at the Alternate Site is equally confusing.

The catchers are Realmuto and Knapp. (14-15)

The infield is Hoskins, Segura, Gregorius, and Bohm.  No surprise.  Miller and Torreyes are the utility infielders.  Torreyes is a surprise to everyone but me apparently.  As soon as Maton and Chatham were optioned, it seemed unlikely that a utility guy who was playing in the outfield exclusively and wasn’t hitting at all would be kept.  Although, I must admit that his option surprised me. (16-21)

The corner outfielders are McCutchen and Harper.  Joyce is a bench outfielder.  That leaves Quinn, Haseley, and Herrera vying for the last two spots on the 26-man roster.  Haseley was the early front runner but sustained a development-robbing injury that may have slowed his readiness for opening day.  Quinn got food poisoning.  Of course.  But, at least it’s not some 6-week injury.  Herrera got off to a quick start and had a good day at the plate this weekend.  I thought Quinn had won the position going into the weekend.  (22-26)

Kintzler, Torreyes, and Joyce will require transactions to get them on the 40-man rosters.  Adding Herrera would require a fourth.

The Phillies released C.J. Chatham last night.  That creates an opening on the 40-man roster and in the Alternate Training Site(28-player limit).  Two-three more such moves will balance the roster.

The trades I hinted at last week were shelved for now.  Maybe later.  Probably not.


The additions of Kintzler and Joyce will raise my estimates by about $4.5M minus the two minimum salaries they bump off the roster.  ($3M + $1.5M – (2 x $570.5K))

The Phillies’ running payroll is still $190,838,962.

The Phillies’ salary against the competitive balance tax is still $202,201,782.

The Phillies’ margin under the CBT threshold of $210M is still $7,798,218. (see spreadsheet)


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

Key Dates:

  • 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

For those of you who track the minor leaguers, there is a DSL transaction below.  Cesar Mata was released.  He had been on the RL for quite some time.  The far right column in the Organization’s Rosters below contains the players who are not included in the organization this season.  I expect they’ll be released at some point.  Most are on the RL.

The rosters and lists are up to date as of March 28th … 330 players in the org


Transactions (newest transactions are in bold print)

3/28/2021 – Phillies released INF C.J. Chatham
3/28/2021 – Phillies optioned INF/OF Scott Kingery to MiLB camp
3/28/2021 – Phillies optioned C Rafael Marchan to MiLB camp
3/28/2021 – Phillies optioned LHP JoJo Romero to MiLB camp
3/28/2021 – Phillies reassigned C Rodolfo Duran to MiLB camp
3/28/2021 – Phillies reassigned OF Travis Jankowski to MiLB camp
3/28/2021 – Phillies released C Christian Bethancourt
3/27/2021 – Phillies released RHP Michael Ynoa
3/26/2021 – Phillies optioned RHP Spencer Howard to Alternate Training Site
3/26/2021 – Phillies placed OF Simon Muzziotti on the Restricted List
3/26/2021 – Phillies released LHP Tony Watson
3/25/2021 – Phillies released RHP Hector Rondon
3/25/2021 – Phillies released RHP Ivan Nova
3/24/2021 – DSL Phillies White released OF Cesar Mata
3/24/2021 – Phillies released C Jeff Mathis
3/24/2021 – Phillies optioned LHP Ranger Suarez Alternate Training Site
3/24/2021 – Phillies optioned OF Mickey Moniak Alternate Training Site
3/22/2021 – Phillies optioned RHP Ramon Rosso Alternate Training Site
3/22/2021 – Phillies reassigned RHP Brian Mitchell Alternate Training Site
3/22/2021 – Phillies reassigned RHP Michael Ynoa Alternate Training Site

315 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of March 28, 2021

  1. A few surprises. Sending Kingery down will allow him to get everyday at bats and hopefully give him time to get back to the player everyone thought he could be.
    Bats are essentially the same as last year. They should be able to score some runs. Pitching is improved, both starting and relief.
    Fingers crossed, but very tough division. Mets, Braves and Nats all look tough. Young Marlins will continue to improve.
    Stay safe and healthy and play ball!

    1. I hope they don’t regret having only one lefty in the pen but I expect they will. JoJo will be back at some point however.

      1. I suspect that by the end of the year Romero spends more time with the big club than at AAA

  2. The rest of the minor leaguers are set to report this week as the major leaguers clear out. Releasing Bethancourt was a mild surprise but I guess that means Marchan will catch at LHV and not at Reading. Placement of the guys after the lost year will be an interesting thing to follow as all organizations may not do it the same way. As we wait to see which current prospect gets released….

    1. I think that Marchan and Logan can more than fill the void of losing Bethancourt. Also, think JoJo will be back really soon, maybe before the week is out.

  3. Muzziotti was placed on restricted list, I believe this opens a 40 man spot even if it is temporary. From what I have seen with these transactions is they are keeping their players who are out of options and sending down those who have them. This is why we see Howard and Romero sent down and they are keeping Hale, Coonrod, and VV in the majors. This is smart on Dombrowskis part as he has reinforcements that will be ready on a moments notice for someone who falters or gets injured. With that in mind I agree that Haseley will be optioned to minors for the time being.

  4. There is a lot of blame on Twitter for Kingery’s struggles. Most are throwing the organization under the bus and shouting “damn launch angle!” And while it is certainly possible that swing adjustments have caused some issues, IMO Kingery’s issues have always been mostly about a bad approach and plate discipline. His Junior year of college he had a 3.47% walk rate (9 walks in 259 PAs). He had a low walk rate in the minors too. When I watch him hit, I see a batter that takes too many hitable pitches and swings at too many pitches out of the zone. His o-swing% is too high and his z-swing % is too low. his contact rates are also not very good.

    This article summarizes it nicely:
    “There probably also needs to be a reckoning with Kingery chasing pitches out of the zone. Kingery struck out in 28.2% of his at-bats in 2020, at least partially due to the fact that he has swung at 36.4% of pitches outside of the strike zone during his career per Baseball Info Solutions. 30.6% was the league average in that category a season ago. ”

    https://www.philliesnation.com/2021/03/phillies-nuggets-joe-girardi-still-sees-all-star-potential-in-scott-kingery/

    I would also add one other point, the swing adjustments that they made for Kingery are the same that they made for Bohm. The difference is that Bohm has elite approach and batter’s eye.

    1. Nailed it.
      Poor on walks thru his whole baseball career after HS.
      Poor pitch selection on swings.
      And could use a more judicious approach on the level of his bat on a swing.

    2. V1 agreed. Bohm’s 2B off the right center field wall yesterday was a swing of beauty. For such a long fella he is so good at keeping his hands inside the baseball. That pitch wasn’t even on the outer half it was inside.

      There are very few guys that can do that with that pitch.

      When I watch hitters I like to pay attention to their takes as much as their swings as that often tells you how they are seeing the ball and recognizing spin out of the hand.

      Great hitters rarely leak out or flinch on breaking pitches. Yeah they may swing through them some but they stay on balance more often. Kingery’s issue with pitch recognition may not be fixable.

  5. Jim, as far as you can tell from what you have observed this spring, did any of our team’s prospects surprise you, or did their stock rise in your eyes, or do you feel like prospects you believe in having finally awoken the consciousness of others in Phillies media or amongst fans?

    While I do not have nearly the same exposure to the Phillies minor leagues and depend upon news from such persons as yourself, for me Moniak has validated my guarded optimism in his major league future. While I am not ready to anoint him as anything special or a sure thing, the development of his body which I first saw last season and his return to the approach that made him a good prospect heading into the draft are some big positives.

    The stock riser in my eyes is Johan Rojas. I already saw his name as well-regarded as a riser here and elsewhere, but I had never really seen for myself. A lazy comp is a player with game-changing speed similar to Quinn, but perhaps with health and with the potential to develop as a hitter, especially a hitter with some power to speak of.

    The non-prospect free agent spring training participant that I feel will be a low-key one that got away is Tony Watson. I was rooting for him and what he brings.

    1. NCPhilly I also was impressed with Johan Rojas especially in the last half of spring training. He actually looked different at the plate the last 2 weeks as opposed to the first half seeming more confident and making good quality contact. The other I saw was Moniak going from wash out prospect to hey wait a minute he may actually be good. We do have to remember he is still 22 so he is young.
      As for non-prospect I liked watching Nova even though he did not have a good spring. I hope they can bring him or another veteran back to stash in AAA in case they need him

    2. Okay, when you say “prospects”, I think of the young guys – Ortiz, Marchan, O’Hoppe, Stott, Vierling, Garcia, Rojas, Duran.

      Ortiz and Marchan were injured early. Duran played well for a guy coming off a major leg injury. The rest looked overmatched at the plate most of the spring. Vierling had at bats in the previous two springs, so I was a little surprised he struggled. The other guys all played at lower levels and probably never saw the quality of offspeed pitches they saw. But, O’Hoppe showed some power with a late spring HR, Stott got a couple hits this last weekend, Garcia started making hard contact, and Rojas got 4 of his 5 hits in the last 4 games.

      These are very important outcomes for O’Hoppe, Stott, Garcia, and Rojas. They should pay dividends as they continue their development. They now know that they can hit higher level pitching. Their confidence should grow. If Garcia and Rojas can add hitting to their defensive profiles, we’re talking major leaguers. Scott is expected to hit, but did you see some of the defensive gems he turned in? Exciting. There’s a chance they all start in Clearwater. Even more exciting.

      Moniak, Maton, and Williams all played at Reading in 2019. I think they all helped their stock.

      The youngest pitchers (Warren, Hennigan, Carr) didn’t get a whole lot of opportunities. The pitchers I consider prospects didn’t get on the field (Miller, Morales). But, that’s understandable when you consider that the Phils had to bolster the rotation and rebuild the bullpen.

      Regarding Watson. He couldn’t beat out Romero. And Romero didn’t fit into their opening day bullpen. If he had been willing to go to the Alt Site, he’d still be with us.

        1. That’s what I thought. But, … I was schooled on a call today. With SS set for two years and catcher set for five, there’s no rush on some guys. Moniak sitting in the wings also means there no rush on CF. I’m not going to get my hopes up, but … okay, I am. Even if I only get Garcia for half a season.

  6. Rojas has definitely opened eyes.

    One guy that opened my eyes was Maton. He has really filled out, has a great approach at the plate and now truly drives the ball. I always thought of him more as a 4th infielder, but, now, I think he might have the potential to be a starter. I am keeping my eye on him.

    Another eye opener is Connor Brogdon. It’s difficult to overstate how good Brogdon has been since he returned to the majors for his second stint last year. Here’s how good: 14.1 innings, 2 hits, 23 ks, 5 walks (and 3 of those were in one ST appearance). He has been dominating.

    Brogdon has a 60 FB and a 70 change. In fact, he’s been so good, that, in the long run (next year or two), if he could develop a third above average pitch, they might want to think about whether he could transition to a starting role. But for now, he’s going to make hitters look really bad out of the ‘pen.

    1. Or, he may be “hurt”. He was known for not wanting to pitch/work because of the least little thing. Had to be removed from AFL roster because of it. Probably part of the reason the Phillies were willing to part ways.

      1. Yeah….he was kind of ‘soft’.
        Never could get why he could not maintain an adequate controlled weight….as a 19 and 20-year old no less..
        Most of the Latin kids have a hard time gaining weight. But Sixto cherished it and most have liked his second portions.

      1. And if they were going to delay him for that extra year of service time…..why wait six weeks into 2015….all they had to do was wait two weeks.

    1. I only saw bits of the game but I liked what I saw from Conrood, someone I didn’t know anything about.

      Not in this game but I’ve really liked Brogdon in the minors while watching him on Milb.tv

      I expect Bradley to do well if not be the best guy in the pen.

      Neris always makes me nervous out there, he does the job most of the time but other times it can get dicey.

      I was surprised Hale and Vinny Velo made the team, I figure Joe G must have pushed for Hale and while I’ve never been a big fan of VV, he is a decent depth guy to have for a few innings.

      I don’t get the Howard move, just hope it doesn’t mean they don’t think as highly of him although TMac or Amaro said he could be back to starting in ’22, just seems odd to me.

  7. In the final five games of ST, Phillies pitchers walked 32 batters and allowed an eye popping 29 runs from the 7th inning on. Yes, most of the damage was not yielded by guys who will be on the active roster, but those are some very ugly numbers.

    1. Herrera is going to play in the bigs this year, in all likelihood it won’t be with the Phillies. Saying you are sorry evidently is not enough and trying really hard to put on a new persona is evidently not enough and evidently even performance is not enough. Hopefully some team will give him a chance to redeem himself and he will have success. I wish him the best!

      1. His performance was not good enough, what were you watching? Plus add in the 40 spot needed.

        1. Well, I was watching the whiffing meteor with the 40% K-rate that beat him out, and I kinda liked the 4 round trippers he had which tied Harper for ST and I liked the 11 runs he scored and the fact he appeared in a lot of games and didn’t need any Maalox or Mylanta. I thought his D was good and I liked his effort.

          1. Skeet, Agree. And as was frequently reported by the broadcasters, he faced an unusually high number of lefties. I’m rooting for Odubel.

          2. I’m not a Quinn guy. But, I thought it was pretty clear that he won the position outright before he got food poisoning. He didn’t get as many PAs/ABs. He posted the better slash .270/.341/.405/.747 to .231/.245/.481/.747. Quinn struck out more 15 to 11 but drew more walks 4 to 1. Quinn had a BABIP of .429 to .216, not sustainable but clearly better than a low .200. Herrera had an ISO almost double Quinn’s .250 to .135.

            As long as Quinn listens to the advice from Kenny Lofton and Charlie, his SLG and ISO should always be lower than Herrera’s. I think Quinn is the better defender, has a much better arm, is more than a little faster, and a better hitter.

            However, I think the battle was between Haseley and Herrera. They came into the spring with the hope that Kingery would win the job from the front runner position. Haseley would be a welcome platoon. Quinn was the solid fourth OF.

            Kingery hit himself out of the lead and Herrera started out on fire. But Haseley came back and posted a .316/.382/.526/.907 with 2 walks and 4 Ks in 21 PAs. He had a .357 BABIP and a .211 ISO.

            So, IMO, Haseley beat out Herrera for center fielder starter. IMO Quinn was always no worse than the 4th OF. IMO, Herrera wasn’t in the race for a bench spot. IMO, he had to clearly win the starter’s job in order to make the team. He didn’t do that. IMO.

            1. Ya if Herrera could have had one more 2-3 day at the end o think it would have justified giving up the 40th person but he didn’t.
              No big deal, whether they fully believe it or not, Girardi’s explanation that this is April 1 and May 1 could be someone else. It makes sense at this point to try the Haseley Quinn tandem one more month and see if it will work better this time. If not they hit options in Allentown.

  8. One of the big wild cards for how well the Phillies do this year for me is Eflin, some times he just looks like he’s going to dominate and others he just doesn’t look very good. If he can take the next step, and Nola ends up having another Nola like season and Wheeler does what he’s done in the past if not better, then wow that’s a heck of a top 3. If Moore is legit, then Anderson doesn’t even need to be that good especially if they get good hitting from the guys you expect.

    I worry a bit about Hoskins, wish he was a bit more aggressive at the plate since he has the power. You expect Harper, Realmuto, Didi to do their thing. Segura is usually solid at the plate, Cutch hopefully is better this year now that he’s fully recovered. Bohm is likely the most exciting player for me, I just can’t get how outstanding he was last year.

    1. Makes me wonder how much of a difference would there be from the lefthanded bat of Hall vs Rhys manning first base.
      Defensively…Hall may have the slight edge, however offensively, if it is power (ISO) and not BA that is the pressing issue…..than Hall may do just as well.
      Rhys cannot afford to come out next week and have an extended slump at the plate.

        1. I really have not seen Hall not nearly as much these last few years to get the true eye test on the defense compared to Hoskins……but everything written about it has been plus.
          But will like to see what the future will hold for him in this organization.
          Hoskins is not a free agent until 2024….but his arb2 next season will probably be around $7/8M…and with Boras as his agent, doubt he will sign anything in the extension arena.

          1. Joe commented on Hall’s defense a couple times. Tmac did too. So did the other Phillies’ announcers when they weren’t blathering on about topics other than the game. Even announcers from the other teams commented on his D.

            I think Hall is a FA after the 2022 season if he’s not on the 40-man roster. Now that he’s known, he may not survive another Rule 5. Wingrove could be the guy pushing Hoskins come 2024.

      1. DH next year so Hall needs a big year at LHV to push him to the Show next year. Let’s go!!!

  9. I thought that the AAA team would be a disaster, but now I think that it will be very good. The best thing is they will be young and not old AAAA players.

    1. Yes. For the first time in years, there will be no AAAA guys on the roster as insurance (with Torreyes on the 26-man roster). Jankowski is the only position player, and he’s likely not the first man up. Even the pitchers only have a few AAAA guys – Feliz, Paulino, and Mitchell. And none of those 3 are starters.

  10. I think the Jersey Shore team could be good, but the Reading team may have trouble to get a .300 record.

  11. How anyone can say that Herrera isn’t the best option for CF is beyond me. Haseley, to me, looks likes Ben Revere without the elite speed. Quinn, well we all know his issue (and its year in and year out).
    Does anyone have numbers on how many LHP vs RHP Herrera faced in ST, seemed to me like he was always facing LHP (Stacking the cards against him? who knows). He can further his growth by going to the alternate site and putting in his work while being a model citizen. I still think at some point he ends up the everyday CF this year, because Quinn and Haseley sure ain’t it.

    1. A question… my kingdom for a question. Herrera had 31 ABs versus righties. He had 8 hits, a double and 3 HRs against righties. He had zero BBs and 6 Ks. His slash .258/.258/.581/.839. Against southpaws, he had 15 ABs, 2 hits, 1 HR, 1 BB and 4 Ks. His slash: .133/.188/.333/.521.

    2. A few things on your Herrera point Eric. And I was rooting for him. He’s not part of the future and this team isn’t contending for anything big this season. Don’t you owe it to yourself to find out what Haseley is at 25 years of age drafted 8th overall in 2017?

      Even Quinn at 27 is not part of the future if he hasn’t cemented himself as an everyday player at this stage in his career.

  12. Hasley plays baseball the way a winning teAm needs its lesser talented players to play to help a team win games. If Herrera had played the best he should have made team. Hasley was playing better prior to injury. Herrera has history of doing wrong things on field.
    Also Hasley still improving

  13. Guys let’s understand that CF is batting 8th and none of our choices is that good. Haseley has a chance to be a 290 hitter, Odubel has a chance to be the player he was 3 years ago, and Quinn has a chance to be the player we dream on. Herrera is not on the 40 and wasn’t clearly a better choice. If he goes to LHV and is hitting 300 in late May and Haseley is hitting a weak 250, changes will get made. For now, realize this team has enough hitting and will live or die with its pitching. Our bullpen is still an unknown, very much so in fact. The first 13 games will test us quickly and could be lots of fun, or lots of pain. Let’s get it started!
    And now the rest of the minor leaguers report to camp!!

    1. From this season I really just want to find out about a couple of young players.

      QUINN 27
      MLB Career 450 PAs/235/306/669 OPS
      MiLB Career 1,962 PAs/280/355/762 OPS

      His knock has always been health.

      HASELEY 25
      MLB Career 334 PAs/269/330/712 OPS
      MiLB Career 1,027 PAs/292/360/798 OPS

      If you believe in a guy enough to take him 8 overall don’t you have to believe in him enough to let him play everyday. I look at a guy like Tim Anderson who the White Sox brought up in June of 2016 at age 23.

      He had a great debut followed by two mediocre seasons but they never waivered on him and were rewarded.

      The Phillies problem IMO has been they bring young guys up and want instant gratification and if they don’t get it they start pulling them from line-ups or only let them go out in favorable platoons, bat them 8.

      Not for nothing but if I make that investment in a player when I think he’s ready and I call him up I tell him you’re our guy go play everyday. And again the 8 hole is for an experienced hitter, or a guy whos only in for his D etc. It’s not for a kid you drafted because you thought his bat was a middle of the LU bat.

      The mistake would be to think the Phillies are actually a contender.

      1. DMAR:
        Haseley has hit at every level he has been at….from Orlando area HS days thru VU and the pro’s minor system….Stott also…..heard all these same reservations on Bohm back in the spring of 2019.
        Trust the scouts.

        1. It’s funny but the way Haseley hits to left field so easily I always thought he’d be fine against lefties. I like Quinn but to me he’s a great bench piece for late in games.

          1. Murray, Girardi apparently thinks the same way. His comments on why Quinn made the roster were his speed and ability to come in late in a game. Hardly an endorsement as the season-long starter.

            My problem with Quinn, who I really like and am rooting for, is that he has never been able to play even half a season and there’s no reason to think 2021 will be different. Odubel will be up before the All-Star break out of necessity.

      2. Tim Anderson’s first 3 seasons (age 23-25): 5.1 WAR. It’s about average, but he was fairly young, he was a first round pick and a top 50 prospect. And the White Sox were NOT contenders so they can afford to see him develop at the ML level.

        Adam Haseley’s first 2 seasons (age 23-24): 1.8 WAR. It’s really not good, and he’s been hurt on and off. The Phillies view themselves as contenders so the leash for Haseley will be short. That’s just the way it is.

        1. Haseley:
          Too mitigating circumstances in 2019 and 2020 to accurately evaluate Haseley.
          2019—called up while just starting at LHV as an injury replacement….held his own
          2020—injury , then no ABs vs LHPs…only 10 ABs…and he even batted .400…..total 92 PAs, less than 19% K rate…….but just not enough to make any credible evaluation

          IMO…stick him out there full time.
          He proved he can hit his whole career

        2. Not sure the Phillies should be considered contenders. They are 35:1 odds to win the World Series. Their bullpen is rebuilt but a major question mark.

  14. I have no opinion on whether Herrera should have made the team. I wasn’t a fan before he got in trouble. But, if anyone thinks that the idea of the boos he would get putting a blemish on opening day wasn’t a factor, isn’t thinking it through. I have no problem with Haseley getting a shot, and I agree that even if he starts vs Fried, Quinn is the 4th OF. I don’t think Herrera’s future is with the Phils. And, ST scores don’t count, but is anyone else a bit concerned we went 0-8 vs the Blue Jays?

    1. matt13….’we went 0-8 vs the Blue Jays?’……3 or 4 games Phillies had leads and Triple _A relievers without the benefit of a 2020 year, could not hold the lead.
      Concerned?…….not so much.

  15. First, the Phillies are looking to win. They don’t have time to wait for Hasely or Spencer Howard to develop in the majors. If Howard is a starter, then he should be getting his reps at Lehigh.

    The jury is still out on Haseley. Odds are he will platoon with Roman at CF. But the Phillies will give Haseley the opportunities because he was a top 10 pick and the Philies can’t afford to be spending money on a CF anyways. But the second he falters, he’s getting sent down because the Phillies can’t wait AND he has options. Roman Quinn is out of options and he won’t clear waivers.

    Anyways, the odds of Roman Quinn staying healthy for an entire season is extremely slim. Herrera will eventually find his way onto the MLB roster.

    As for Moniak, I feel he’s on his way to LF for 2022. As long as he’s starter level, he’ll be fine. The Phillies will need the money to go after starting pitching.

      1. I agree, but Kingery needs to find his swing again. Perhaps he can find it playing under less pressure.

    1. If the Phillies were serious about winning this season they would have blown past the Luxury Tax.

      Maybe they are serious about trying to back into a WC but DD isn’t dumb and neither am I. Sure they want to put on a face as if they are trying to win but any intelligent fan knows they have little chance at getting to an NLCS let alone a WS.

      As it stands they are 3rd in the division maybe 2nd if you squint. If I’m wrong I’ll be thrilled LOL

      1. I don’t want to get into an argument about why the Phillies should (or shouldn’t) pay tax. There are a lot of contending teams out there who are NOT paying tax. If the Phillies decide that they can contend without paying tax, so be it. According to Cot’s, the Phillies are 4th in payroll for 2021.

    2. Moniak needs to perform at AAA however. He needs to hit .260 – .290, hit 15 – 25 HRs, knock in 65 – 80 RBIs. He has never put up those kind at ant minor league level.

      1. He doesn’t need to hit that many HRs and his RBIs are beyond pointless. Who cares how many RBIs he has? He’s a defense-first player at an up-the-middle position. He can be an MLB regular with only moderate power (which he HAS shown).

        I can’t help but notice you didn’t mention doubles, triples, walks, or stolen bases. If anything, walks are the thing I’m most interested in him getting better at. He’s shown the ability to play defense, run the bases, and spray the ball over the field. If his walks go up, that shows me he’s being more selective with his swings. And if he’s doing that, he will most likely have a lot more offensive success.

        1. All that is well said by you. I agree 100%. You said it much better than i did. My point is (and I didn’t state it very well) that he needs to show more improvement that he has in previous years. I am pulling for him, but we can’t judge his progress based on 15 – 20 ST at bats.

  16. I was looking at the Phillies prospect list in MLB, and it notes some of the assignments of the players i.e Stott -> Jersey Shore.

    Why is Francisco Morales assigned to the alternate site? The Phillies still view him as a starter?

    1. The alternate site is just where he is today since he was in major league camp and needs to go somewhere. Minor league camp starts later this week once Clearwater empties out. At the beginning of May actual minor league playing assignments will happen and some players like Morales will get sent out to a lower level at that time. Morales has never played high A, but given the year layoff could be in either Jersey Shore (High A) or Reading (AA) depending on how far the team thinks he has developed.

      Main point – minor league assignments have not been made yet. The alternate site just contains players in camp that did not make the major league roster. It will not be the same thing as the actual AAA roster.

  17. It’s a bunch of ifs for everyone but even more fir the Phillies.

    If basically the same lineup can do better than last year against really good pitching.

    If the wheels don’t come off Eflin, Wheeler or Nola fir any extended period

    If 4 and 5 spots can win 50% or greater of there matchups.

    If Howard or VV have to sub in fir anytime that they can win more than loose or we get an uptick surprise from them or someone like Medina or?

    If and this is the big if, the bullpen is markedly better then last year. I mean it should be but this combo is still untested. The wheels wobbling on Neris and Alvarado yesterday was scary.

  18. Just saw the Dombrowski press conference…what a breath of fresh air!! He answers questions thoroughly without pontificating, acknowledges when he doesn’t know something and sends out an air of confidence and optimism with being Pollyannish [his words in fact!]

    For those who didn’t see or hear it, some of the highlights to me…

    1. Thinks the team is going to score plenty of runs.
    2. Is determined to limit Howard’s innings this year because they have big plans for him in the future and don’t want to come to August and realize he has already reached his limit on innings.
    3. Thinks Eflin is very much underrated nationally and expects Moore and Anderson to do well in the 4th and 5th slots in the rotation.
    4. Decision on Herrera was based on what he did or did not do this spring and had nothing to do with PR, though he did indicate that Herrera could come up later if he is doing well and there becomes a need.
    5. Admitted he was swayed to keep Haseley based on what others who have seen more of him felt. This impressed me so much. He acknowledged that he hadn’t seen enough of Haseley to form a definite opinion so trusted others.
    6. Acknowledged the depth and strength of the division but said their goal is to win it and if things are going well come June/July he would be prepared to make moves to get the team over the finish line.
    7. Expects the bullpen to be better this year but that they have to perform.
    8. Indicated that he thinks Chatham might come back on a Triple A contract and it was an oblique injury that the Phils didn’t know about at the time which caused them to move him the way they did. I got the feeling that he still likes the player.
    9. Says health is the biggest X factor in this season, if Phils stay healthy they will be good.
    10. Admits final decisions still rest with him but its obvious he values and considers all views before making a decision.
    11. Says hello to reporters by calling them by name, something I think is SOOOO impressive. He is also a great listener, never answering a question till the reporter has finished asking his question. And he answers directly and succinctly, unlike many people I have observed.

    There was much more but let me close with this. The conference lasted 22 minutes and I learn MORE in listening to 22 minutes of DD than I did from hours of listening to McPhail and Klentak. The Phils have had a few guys like this during my time as phan, Gene Mauch was awesome, Paul Owens was good and so was Dallas Green. Charlie was not bad either, if a bit homespun in nature.

    I just think we have a real winner in DD, a real winner. I am always so much more confident about the team after listening to him, never felt that way after a McPhail or Klentak press conference.

    1. At the risk of pandering to your comments about DD – I had posted about a week ago that I went to ST game in Bradenton (an away game) and upon leaving immediately recognized DD at the end of the game as people were filing out. I impulsively went up to him (we were both armed with masks and he was in conversation with 2 others) and I offered a hearty congratulations on the job he had done to this point and his professionalism. He stopped talking to other two people – happily thanked me twice and said that he appreciated the remark. I slipped back into the crowd. Honestly, I was thinking of you and this site when I made the comment.

    1. Lindor is getting crazy greedy, but I hope Cohen pays up. He’s going to realize what happens when you pay players into their late 30s. Odds are, it won’t be good.

        1. Albert Pujols is entering the final year of his 10 year deal at age 41. Pujols hasn’t had a 3 WAR season since 2015 when he was 35.

          Miguel Cabrera is 37 and he has 3 more years left on his deal. He had a 5.1 WAR season at age 33 and then hasn’t had a 1 WAR season since.

          And I don’t even have to mention the Chris Davis contract, Giancarlo Stanton’s contract, and likely the Stephen Strasburg contract.

          1. I watched the Angels get thumped by the Dodgers last night and just kept thinking after Ohtani, Trout and Rendon that line-up really has very little to keep up with their still poor pitching.

            Maybe they have enough to grab a WC in the AL West but after that they could be stuck in the mud.

            1. Agree, I read somewhere that they had the angels line up over the Phils lol, even with Trout and Rendon our lineup is deeper.

      1. I do think Sandy Alderson is whispering in Cohen’s ear….”.look at Arte out there with that Albert Pujol’s contract…..or even Cashman and the Stanton contract.”
        You hand-cuff a team down the road
        Now they may be playing the odds….that the next CBA has no luxury tax threshold or one that is really exorbitantly high…..and just some slap on the wrist penalty

        I think Friedman in LA does the right thing….spend mor on the prospect pipeline and scouting…..and only offer shorter year deals at higher AAVs……Betts and Kershaw aside.

        1. The Dodgers will definitely regret the Betts contract. Kershaw, it was only for 3 years so I give them a pass for re-signing a Dodgers legend.

          I know this sounds like blasphemy but there will come a time that Mike Trout declines. He has 10 years left on his deal and he has accumulated a lot of miles on his body. He’s also been relatively healthy in his career. He only needs 50 more WAR to be top 10 in WAR all time. That’s a crazy thing to say and I’m rooting for him to do it, but the odds are not in his favor.

          1. Getting to Ruth will be a short of a miracle….Ruth had 20WAR alone from those 5 great pitching years.
            Trout would virtually have to double his current WAR to get into that top ten…that means staying injury free and producing at an annual average 8WAR player for the next 8/9 years.
            And who knows if there will be baseball in 2022…..MLB and MBPA rarely agree on anything now, come December may be more of the same.
            So Trout could face two work stoppages…2022 and then again 2027.

  19. Let’s play the games to sort this out but no one and I mean no one has the Phillies finishing higher than 4th in the Eastern Div. with 84-86 wins. It’s the division. The East is brutal.

    1. CBS has them in 3rd for 4/5 of their writers, as does PECOTA. So there ya go. I’m not saying the Phils are the favorite to win the division or anything, but projections at the beginning of a season are pure fantasy. We’ve got the talent to compete. Now we just need them to stay healthy and play the way they’re capable of.

      1. Exactamente…i remember the year the Cubs were predicted 80 or so wins…they won 97…2015.
        In 2014 they had 73 wins.

        1. I have the Phillies in second place this season.

          Braves 92 wins
          Phillies 87 wins
          Mets 86 wins
          Marlins 79 wins
          Nationals 78 wins

          Take it to the bank 🙂

          1. Seems pretty reasonable to me. I’m at 88 wins but 87 is certainly a good plus/minus from there. It will be a tough game every day interdivision

  20. Phil’s drafted Holder from the Yankees then sold him to the Reds, he did not make the team and the Yanks took him back.

  21. The good news, we have enough talent to make a run if everything breaks our way….couple thoughts

    Bohm should bat 4th because hes our best hitter

    Vinny V has pretty average fastball tbh and zero secondary offerings. I guess he works as a long man/6 SP, though he isnt good as a SP. The rest of the pen has upside

    Lets get off to a hot start!!!

  22. Hector Rondon signed minor with Red Sox and Mathis signed minor with Braves and Mets signed Tommy Hunter to minor deal. Tony Watson signed Major deal for 1M with Angels.

  23. Seven 2021 Phillies Predictions:
    1 Matt Moore makes the All Star Team
    2 Adam Haseley gets 450+ ABs in CF as he locks down the position.
    3 Jean Segura hits under .220.
    4 Alec Bohm has a sophomore slump at the plate and his defense at 3B raises serious questions about his future position.
    5 Spencer Howard will be the 8th inning guy by the All Star Break.
    6 Despite a mediocre offense, the Phils win the NL East on the backs of a top 3 rotation and top 5 bullpen.
    7 Matt Joyce makes the last out via K at the hands of Clayton Kershaw in Game 5 of the NLCS.

    1. I love how quickly Matt Moore works and gets to two strikes. Now if he can just consistently get that third strike or get the batter out…

      Glad to see a lefty in the rotation once more!

    2. Haha Buddy these are pretty good. I don’t think we have to worry much about Bohm’s hit tool. Sure every player slumps at times but in a whole seasons worth of ABs he will be just fine and always carry a high OBP.

      Not sure about Joyce being left in to face a lefty for the last out when he is a career 187/270/574 OPS hitter against LHP. I could not find if he has ever faced Kershaw before.

      But B+ for creativity

      1. Just for the record, I love Bohm and think he’s going to have a great offensive career, but two thoughts: 1) It would be natural for the league to adjust and for him to have a temporary adjustment period, ie, Year 2. And 2) a lot of people thought Rhys was a can’t miss player a few years back and while he hasn’t failed, he also hasn’t been a star.

        PS – Kershaw will suffer a mid-season injury and come back as a reliever for the stretch drive and post-season.

        1. Counterpoint:
          It doesn’t matter what a lot of people thought about Hoskins.
          Whether or not Hoskins has become a start doesn’t matter.
          Their pedigrees are a little different, 1st round v. 5th round.
          Their styles are different – 3-outcomes v. contact.
          Bohm controls the strike zone and uses the whole field.

          But, more importantly (I think), Bohm studies and reacts better. In 2020, he faced one team in 3 different series – the Mets and their very good staff.
          First series, 3/10, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
          Second series, 2/17, 1 RBI, 10 K
          Third series, 4/14, 1 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K

          Now, a couple of his metrics are unstainable like his .410 BAbip or his .452 with RISP. He had reverse splits of .358 v. RHP and .270 v. LHP. He’s projected to slash .288/.363/.449/.812 in 443 PA after posting a .338/.400/.481/.881 in 180 PA.

          That’s a .050 drop in average, but I wouldn’t call that a failure. It’s more likely right around where he should be. I wouldn’t consider it the other teams ‘adjusting to him, just things being the way they are supposed to be.

          I guess we both see a lower BA, just different explanations of why he gets there.

  24. I see this team as a compete now team and contend team in year or two. Next year outfield of Bohm Hasley maybe upgrade and Harper. Didi 3b sign trade SS segura second hall or upgrade 1st. Add Howard to starting staff tinker bullpen and go

    1. I think Bohm is a better defender than he’s getting credit for, and he has at least a few more years at 3B in him. I also believe Didi could be moved to 2B (or he or Jean Segura could be traded) because DD will be a major player in the Trevor Story sweepstakes. However, don’t know if the Phillies will outbid the Rangers for the Rockies’ SS.

      1. I’m not sure why you think the Phillies would be going after Trevor Story.

        Home OPS: .994
        Away OPS: .760

        You have to be wary about going after Colorado players.

        1. Trevor Story career slash at Coors Field: .304/.370/.624
          Trevor Story career slash at CBP: .310/.356/.586 (It’s a SSS, but it is what it is)

          In general, you’re correct. But every player is different. DJ LeMahieu had the same type of drastic home/road splits. He’s flourished in NY. Yankee Stadium and CBP are both hitter friendly. I doubt Story’s bat would suffer playing here.

          Again, I’m not telling you Trevor Story is a lock to be playing in red pinstripes next season. I think the Rangers may overpay him. I am saying this: DD is here to win now, while doing his best to keep the franchise competitive for the long haul. The best way to do that is to play the free agency game, and hold on to your best prospects.

          1. Tom Verducci did a nice piece on this when he interviewed Arenado after his trade to the Cardinals.. More than the thin air is the spin rate effect.

            Obviously the ball moves less at Coors Field than it does elsewhere. Every hitter is different of course but those that are better at reading spin would struggle less elsewhere.

            Not sure how you scout that but I’m sure you can. We’ll get a pretty good look at it this year with Arenado.

    1. Don’t forget O’Hoppe lol, TBH if J.T. didn’t resign I wanted to see Knapp – Marchan and a Marchan – O hoppe tandem in the future.

  25. Right now I would rate Phillies infield defense below avg. to win a World Series you need above avg defense. Phils need improvement at 1st SS and 3b in order to truelly compete. Will make pitching better especially with guys like Eflin and Wheeler who keep ball down in zone.

    1. Didi and Segura have been very reliable at their respective positions in the past….Didi did struggle last year according to the metrics, but Segura is a plus defender at 2nd base.
      But the shifts have to be fine tuned…last season too many grounders found holes in the shift, and that is not suppose to happen.
      Rhys is what he is…he just has to make the sure plays….and Bohm has worked hard and may be a pleasant surprise….though he has the rep now that he will never be in contention for any defensive awards.

  26. More from Girardi, Bradley and Alvarado will setup, Brogdon, Kintzler, and Coonrod will be middle, and Hale and Velasquez will be long.

    1. Wow, prefer Kintzler and Bradley splitting the closer role….Neris–been there , done it and could be a tad too inconsistent.
      But nothing is set in stone for the whole season…come May sometime, this may all change.

  27. You are Mr. Positive Romus giving it till May.. I hope Neris does well. But we have seen this show before. The BP still gives me lots of concerns. I hope with the new arms Phillies can move into the middle of the BP groups. If they can do that I think they can compete for a playoff. If not, we see where it goes. I did see something the other day that Phillies were 3-10 vs Marlins and Orioles. That they played equivalent of 86 win team against the rest of schedule.

    1. Yeah Don……Marlins and Orioles were killers last year ….just like the year prior …2019…the Marlins did them in also, winning 10 of 19 games..
      They must beat the teams that are on their level or lower.

      Perhaps Joe wants to go with Neris upfront…….then if he fails then he has a veteran like Kintzler and a younger vet like Bradley to the rescue …..rather than the other way around, and have to bring in Neris

      1. Romus I have my fingers crossed on that. But to expand on your positive vibes last weekend I got to go see my grandson play 3 straight days. I have had both shots so feel pretty good. Last summer I only saw 1 game. So huge upgrade. Plus he had 2 really good games. In semi final he held the team that eventually won to 1 run on 2 hits over 4 innings. That team came back to win on relievers and they actually scored 59 runs against all other pitchers in tourney. So Romus it is time to be as positive as we all can be and hope for the best this season. Hope you get to enjoy some games at CBP this season. I have my MLB Extra Inning package so I am ready. Play Ball!

        1. Don….that is good news about your grandson. Sounds like you have another ballplayer in the family. Give him good tips grandpa.
          yeah…I may get down there this year….my season ticket group deicedly collectively to get credit for 2022…..two years in a row now, last year naturally and this season.
          But may get some game day tix. I will need to get familiar with the protocols at the park. I believe there will not be anymore paper tickets…all iPhone app.
          I know a few fellows that would save the stubs for the games they went to…write the score on them…not sure why…I never did.

          1. Thanks. He has a chance. I am very proud of him. He has some really good people working with him. The facility that he plays at is one of the largest complexes in the Midwest. They have like 28 baseball fields and 30 some soccer fields. All turfed now. He is 14 so they moved to the big boy fields this year.

            I love watching the games at CBP. It looks so nice on TV.
            I hope you have a great time when you get to go. I have my season tickets right here in my living room.

            You are probably correct on the tickets. Last week credit cards required for tickets and concessions. Lots of places here in Indiana have those in place.

  28. DD made the call on Haseley over Herrera. The players at the alternate sight will be playing the Mets and Yankees players from what I read.

    1. I could not find this article again but I did find an article saying they could play exhibition games in the Washington Post.

  29. I think you mean Neftali Felix, he is at the alternate site. Milb.com has the 30 man list of Phillies there.

  30. Teams can have 5 man taxi squads for away games, with 1 player being a catcher. 5 players will come from alternate site. Do not know what happens when AAA season starts.

    1. The harsh reality would be “tough”. Triple-A exists to provide players to the big club when needed.

      In a less harsh reality, if taxi squads are still in use in May, the Phillies can domino players up the ladder to Lehigh Valley from Reading, to Reading from Jersey City, to Jersey Shore from Clearwater, and to Clearwater from XST. It’s the same response when a player gets injured, only instead of one-for-one at each level, it’ll be five-for-five.

      1. The impact could be even less. I think Alt Sites are allowed 28 payers. I think Triple-A rosters are capped at 25-26. So, if I remember correctly, only 2-3 players would have to be bumped up from each level.

  31. I just read an article in BP by Rob Mains. It was more of a tongue in cheek type of an article where he ran 100,000 PECOTA simulations, and then picked out certain outcomes for their extreme results. For example, one run has the Dodgers winning 130 games. One had the Dodger last in the west, another has the Marlins finishing fifth with 86 wins! Any one simulation has a 0.001% probability of occurring.

    What I found interesting was the last paragraph of the article. He writes, “On the other hand, the three most common outcomes were Pirates last (93,957 occurrences), Yankees first (89,324), and Orioles last (86,848).

    And the most hard-to-nail-down team was the Phillies: 15 percent first, 29 percent second, 28 percent third, 24 percent fourth, 4 percent fifth.”

    That last line really sums things up nicely. As constructed, the Phillies are a team that has nearly equal statistical odds at finishing anywhere in the top four spots in the division. That tells me if the Phillies remain healthy and get solid years (not necessarily career years) out of their key players it could be a very exciting season.

  32. Jim, why did you edit my comment? Why don’t you put the whole post up? There are more critical comments in this thread then my full post. Show everyone? Must have been the Howard comments/facts…you rip players worse then us commentors do.

    1. Ricky, It’s probably none of my business, but I suspect your posts would be more welcome if you resisted the temptation to call people names. You can point out a player’s weaknesses without the name calling. You make some good points and can contribute to the discussion here but you undercut yourself with the insults.

      Okay, back to my own business.

  33. Just some thoughts. Just watched a segment on PTI. Discussion was on moving mound back from 60 ft. 6 in. Back in 2005 hitters got over 13,000 more hits than strikeouts. Pitchers averaged 90 mph. Last season over 1,300 more strikeouts than hits. Did not state pitchers velocity. I guess over 95. The thought was effects of moving mound back one foot. they also discussed the lowering mound in 1965 and its effects for hitters. I am just throwing this out as we embark on a new season. I for one enjoy balls in play much more than strikeouts. Anyone have any thoughts on topic and if something like this might be a discussion of next CBA.

    1. Don, I don’t like messing with the game. However, I would like a clock on pitchers and want batters to stay in the box. Just play, guys.

      Also, as a life-long National League fan, I’ve opposed the DH, but I’m for it now. The life more offense gives to the game is worth losing some of the strategizing, especially when we’ve over-strategized the game today and created the three-hour-plus-marathon.

      Fortunately, there seems to be some common sense coming back into the game, like DD and Joe Girardi talking about the need to move runners along, steal bases, put balls into play, etc.

  34. Okay, in the spirit of Buddy B, here are my seven predictions for the year:

    1. The Phillies win 84 to 87 games and finish second place behind the Braves. (Nats collapse and Mets struggle.)

    2. Odubel will be one of two places by July 4: in centerfield as the starter or traded to another team.

    3. Rhys Hoskins will return to rookie form offensively.

    4. Scott Kingery, unfortunately, won’t.

    5. Zach Efflin makes the All-Star team.

    6. The bullpen is among the top third in MLB.

    7. Alec Bohm does not have a sophomore jinx. He hits over 300 with an OPS somewhere around 800.

    Bonus prediction:

    8. All my prediction flop.

    1. Frank…..agree with most all of them….and especially number ‘5’….Eflin may be the key to the season.
      If he steps up and becomes a ‘1’ in ‘3’ clothing……that could make the difference. This is the year for him to make that move.

      1. Those sound pretty good for the most part. If 3 and 6 play out Phils probably have a good season. BP still to me is the biggest question mark. Going from last to top one third would be outstanding. Regarding Rhys I hope you are correct. He was so much fun to watch that 1st season. From afar it just seems to me he takes too many fastball strikes and swings at way to many out of the zone breaking pitches.

        1. Don, My thinking on the bullpen is that last year doesn’t matter. It’s nearly a whole new bullpen and filled with proven relievers and/or power arms. It’s also confidence in Dombrowski to identify talent and to not muddle through if further improvement is needed.

  35. I am generally against clocks and such to speed up game. Why are we as a society so obsessed with time. What is wrong with a sport that is not obsessed with speeding up.

    1. Agree Patso….

      The sad truth is that the younger generations have grown up in a different world than most of us. Everything is right at that their finger tips. It’s instant and its ungodly fast.

      Happy Opening Day everyone.

    2. What’s wrong is that you have 9 inning, regular season ball games that go 3 1/2 and 4 hours and start at 7 and don’t end until 10:30 or 11. It’s one thing if baseball were played once a week like football – then the extra time wouldn’t be a big deal. But with games being played ever day, it’s just way too long and too late.

      I love baseball, but the last three to four innings of most games take a lifetime and are torture at the end – to the point where it’s almost no fun. There’s no reason for this and it’s hurting the game. The game should be played briskly, like it was 30 or 40 years ago when games typically took 2 to 2 1/2 hours. A pitch clock should absolutely be mandated and, unlike 7 inning DH games and extra inning games, it won’t require a change in the underlying rules of the sport. Get the damned ball, get the sign, figure out the what the pitch will be and throw the ball. It shouldn’t take more than 15 seconds to do that, even if the catcher changes signs.

      1. Is that only part of it Catch? TV timeouts and delays for ad revenue play a big role in length of games also. Also the replay time should be looked at as well. IMO by the time the umps walk over to the headset the call should be made.

        I don’t get the 2.5-3 minute delays there.

        Someone could quantify that.

        1. DMAR…the elephant in the room that MLB and the Commissioner do not want to address…..18, 75 to 90- second commercial advertisements between innings thru a game. As they say….it pays the bills.
          Minor leagues do not have that long of a break between each half-inning.

            1. Yep…..works for FIFA in soccer…..games are almost two hours on the nose….but it is a running clock also.

        2. Well, agreed, they need to look at everything, but: (1) they aren’t going to cut commercials short because that’s direct revenue – it just won’t happen; (2) there should be a limit of the time for replays (at least until the playoffs start); and (3) I think the pitch clock, by itself, should cut games by at least 15-20 minutes and that’s a good start.

        3. DMAR, You’re right, It isn’t just the slow pace of play or the abundant use of relief pitchers. But that is the biggest part of it.

          When you see how slow some pitchers are and how some batters take a stroll between every pitch, it is unnecessary time taken up and it’s deadly dull.

          I’m impressed, also, with how avid baseball fans on this site abhor the length of games and how impractical night games become for fans when they have to fight traffic on the way in and then get home way too late on school nights. If avid fans like Catch above are upset about this, just think about casual fans or the difficulty in attracting new fans.

          I read a great book, The Glory of Their Times, in which turn-of-the-century ballplayers told their stories. One guy talked about games ending a 90 minutes and two hours as they tried to beat sunset after having started in mid or late afternoon. He was talking about the 2.5-hour game that became typical in the modern era as being too slow. Gee, I wish for the 2.5-hour game.

          1. LOL Frank I get it but those fast games occurred in a time without FAT A$$ TV revenues.

            I’m sure a lot of those old head players would trade 3.5 hours for the requisite money difference.

            I keep wondering when pro sports will collapse beneath the weight of itself.

            1. DMAR, good question about pro sports collapsing beneath their own weight. Nothing goes up forever. And the human tendency is to push, push, push until, unwittingly, having pushed too far. Then the bubble bursts.

              I’m reminded of the story of Sir Isaac Newton, arguably the smartest man who ever lived. He was an investor in the South Sea Corporation, whose stock had risen far beyond reason. He sold out. But the stock kept rising. Finally, he couldn’t resist, and he bought back in. The bubble burst. The lesson: if the smartest man in history can’t resist a bubble, what makes you think you can?

              This phenomenon can apply to all aspects of life, not just investing. How many more contracts like the Mets just handed out can the system endure before it collapses under its own weight, especially as we tolerate anti-fan-friendly excesses like 3.5-hour nine inning games?

  36. The NL West could see 2 100+ game winners. I was trying to think of a division NL or AL where the Phillies would be odds on favorites to win that division. I couldn’t.

    That said I am excited that the baseball we see this season is going to be excellent.

    My NL Rookie of the year is going to be Charlie Haye’s son Ke Bryan…

  37. Definitely time to break out Strat O Magic for an Opening Day game. Enjoy Opening Day your own way.

  38. I do think about the fans at games on week nights as I sit in my easy chair and most games do go after 10. Then people have to go home and then to work early next morning. Couple weeks ago Mike Greenberg interviewed Costas. Bob is concerned path game is going. He had 3 suggestions. Outlaw shifts, pitch clock, and reduce bull pen numbers. He felt those would aid the game. Last night was first I had heard mound discussion. I do not know how much moving slightly back would do. My grandson moved back from 54 to 60 ft 6 in this year. That is 6 feet and it appeared the pitchers were throwing just as hard a year ago. I am a big fan of playing the game by playing small ball at times. So many games are decided by a run or two. Carrying your bat back to the dugout on your shoulder just does nothing for me in certain situations. Like others I was opposed to the DH but so often now pitchers do not hit even coming up in some of these youth leagues and lower minor levels maybe it would be best going forward. Just my thoughts. Everyone enjoy the season.

    1. Don, I agree with reducing the bullpen size. I opposed the expansion of the roster from 25 to 26 players because it just encourages teams to have bigger bullpens, which means slower games.

      As I mentioned in a previous email, I’m against changing the game itself and don’t want to see shifts outlawed or pitching mound moved. I simply prefer rules that require brisk play.

  39. So Lindor’s deal sets the market for the upcoming FA SS class which is pretty darn good. You have Correa, Seager and Story at the top of that class. Who am I missing?

    Not sure if Hoskins ever materializes again so maybe taking a good look at a deal for Xander who is signed through 2026 at age 33 is a more prudent opportunity. Obviously this move in the short term necessitates another IF move

    But Bogaerts is an excellent SS with an average OPS of 896 over the last 3 seasons and from a money standpoint its a 6yr/$120 million contract

    1. Dodgers will have to break the bank to keep Seager, and then Bellinger and Buehler soon after, and that is what Freidman would like to do, but can he!
      As for Lindor ….he will make $22M for 2021 and then goes thru 2031 at a higher AAV, when he turns 37.

      Hoskins’ agent is Scott Boras….if Rhys does well this year, OPS+>115, do not think he will sign early, if his OPS+<105……I think Boras will talk extension, knowing his client may be on the decline. Boras wants a player to be at the top of his game before talking free agency.

      1. Rhys Hoskins won’t be a FA until 2024. Boras has a history of hyping up his clients to the point where he demands top dollar for their services. Hoskins best WAR season was 2.2 his rookie year at age 24. I’m not giving Hoskins any contract until he posts at least a 3.5 WAR season. You can argue that Rhys Hoskins is somewhat comparable to Eric Hosmer, and at least Hosmer won some gold gloves. Not only that, the Padres gave Hosmer an 8 year deal and they’re probably regretting it.

        Hoskins is not elite by any stretch of the imagination right now. Let him play out his arbitration years and then let him walk.

        1. I think you all dismiss Hoskins too easily. I think he has a damned good chance of putting up a couple of nearly elite season over the next 3-6 years – .900-.950 OPS years with 35-40 homers, high OBP and high slugging. So I wouldn’t rule out a long term deal for him if the terms are right. His OBP is so good that he doesn’t need to hit .280. .380 OBP and .255-.270 will result in very high production.

  40. One thing I always have a hard time getting my head around is opening day scheduling. By my count there are 14 clubs whereby either location or closed roof situations you would be virtually guaranteed great weather if not perfect conditions (roof)

  41. Huge Hoskins fan not just as a ball player but as person. He ran a muscular dystrophy walk before pandemic because he used to work with kids who had disease. Kudos to Kingery, Nola Middleton and Arrieta for being there also (and Phanatic sorry). Hoskins will stroke a seed to right center then next at bay is 2 feet out in front of a fastball. Hope he figures it out

  42. 1st Covid postponement on day 1. Nats vs Mets. Lets hope all goes smooth for Phils. I always thought the effects of that 1st Marlins series played some measure on Phils last year.

  43. game time would be cut significantly if the batter and the pitcher didn’t go through their little routines between pitches. it is a huge time waster and unnecessary. just ingrained habits. the batter is not allowed to leave the box once he digs in and the pitcher is on a clock. action would be much more brisk and it could cut 30 minutes off a game easily.

    this wouldn’t interfere with the $ important between innings ads which are probably untouchable.

    1. Agree on the stepping out – no stepping out of the box without good cause – stay there and hit. If you want to drive yourself crazy, just pay attention to what Andrew Knapp does between EVERY PITCH. You’ll curse the day I told you to pay attention to this. He steps out, puts the bat between his legs and re-tightens his batting glove BETWEEN EVERY PITCH. That’s ridiculous and should not be permitted – it makes his at bats last forever.

      1. Haha I think Soto is worse and there are probably more players than I realize that do this sort of nonsense.

        I don’t catch myself being bothered by that stuff too often. For me its the replay. For commercials I’m usually flipping over to the MLB Network for the live look ins.

  44. Still no word on final 40 spot move. Someone had to go for Torreyes. Website still lists 42 including Dominguez

    1. I assume one of the 25 listed pitchers on the 40 will go….Llovera was my guess before…….Suarez, Sanchez and Medina are the other possibilities.

        1. When looking at the 40 man one thing that really stood out vs years past was there just isn’t that much room on the 40 whereas in the past there were several spots that it didn’t matter who the dropped off the 40.

    2. Turns out it was Dohy as I predicted. Luckily, no one picked him up so we were able to keep him. He has to improve his control or he has no future. This should be a wake up call for him.

  45. Just got home a bit ago. Game on my Extra Inning package. Looks cold and windy. How many fans were allowed? Romus they look like I did last Sunday for grandson game. Just hit me the team that won was from Chicago. No wonder the cold did not affect them. Phils look good so far. Think Bryce was safe at 3rd but really hard to reverse. Nola really looks good so far.

    1. Yes, everything is setting up perfectly for Hector Neris to blow his first save. 🙂

        1. LOL I kept thinking as I was watching how you thought JT and Nola worked together. I’m sitting there watching the AB begging for soft away. I see JT set up outside and down. I’m giddy with excitement that its going to be a CU fading away and Nola gets a K to get out of it.

          Nope FB and he misses down and in none the less

          1. DMAR…one poster, cannot recall who now, mentioned that JTR does everything plus…..sans pitch selection…and I thought ‘come on man’
            But then yesterday, Sandoval had an 0-2 count, with 2 outs….do you see what he called…now the placement low and away was fine, Nola missed the location.
            Still I would have called for a letter-hi 4SMr….anything low to a lefty can be dangerous.
            https://www.mlb.com/video/pablo-sandoval-s-two-run-homer

            1. After I yelled an expletive I had a glass of wine so I raised it and said cheers catch. I had my 6 month old grandson in my lap. My wife sitting next to me and my son and his fiancee looking at me like I had a third eyeball.

            2. Well, a couple of years ago I said Knapp called a better game than Realmuto, but as time when by I realized, and think I said here, that the big problem wasn’t with Realmuto but Chris Young. I think Realmuto was just trying to implement Young’s really stupid pitching game plans, like Aaron Nola always pitching backwards and robbing him of using his killer breaking stuff as out pitches. Now that Young is long gone I think Realmuto calls a very nice game. I’m not sure he’s as good in that department as Knapp but he’s better than Knapp at pretty much everything else and he’s good at game calling.

  46. Why in the name of Cookie Rojas are u batting Quinn for Hasley. Joe needs to shake love affair with Quinn

    1. There was speculation in the booth (which I agree with) that it might have been because of an injury to Haseley. The reasoning being that he came in as a straight switch instead of a double switch with the pitcher, which is unusual at that point in the game.

  47. JT is one of the smartest catchers I’ve ever seen. He positioned himself absolutely perfectly to make sure the throw would allow him to block the plate.

  48. A key play in 10th was JT putting the ball in play moving the runner up. It is so much easier to score from 3rd that 2nd. Also excellent play by both Roman and JT. I had forgot we still have the runner on 2nd. I like that. Great start for Phils.

  49. curious to hear thoughts on this question: does anyone think dombrowski would have made the realmuto trade?

    1. I think yes its the type of trade DD makes. Given his penchant for acquiring MLB proven commodities…

        1. $$$$$…..Grandal…Brew Crew paid him approx $20M
          Harper, Nola extension and Grandal….along with Arrieta and Cutch….could they afford them all under the luxury tax?
          JTR came cheaper in the dollars.

          1. Romus – I get your point about the $$$. But in 2019, the Phillies were the early favorites to win the division. There was a great deal of excitement over the Harper signing and the JT trade. Once they brought in Harper, I don’t believe it is unthinkable that they might have gone over the CBT to sign Grandal, especially if it was on a one year deal. The argument at the time could have been made that they were just a player away.

            1. Yeah ..I get your point, it is fair.
              And also…I missed the point myself…the premise was-what would have Dave Dombrowski do vs what MacPhail/Klentak did.
              I think he would have made the trade…that is usually his modus operandi……and the other factor at the time, if I recall correctly, Marlins’ Jeter/Mike Hill were auctioning off JTR…..to the highest bidder…and the Mets , Nats and to some degree the Braves were all in on it..

  50. You guys see Sixto cut his throwing session short because of shoulder discomfort? Good win, today, huh?

  51. Based on his track record, definitely DD makes the trade. And if we are anywhere in a race come July he may make a similar one. Kudos to Quinn for that throw, and the BP started looking like the polar opposite of last season’s.

  52. Good win. Good for the bullpen to get off to a strong start too. Haseley was lifted because of hamstring tightness. I was frustrated to see Quinn strikeout , but he does have a better arm than Haseley so it ended well.

  53. Phillies magic number down to 161 !!!

    The only thing worse than playing in freezing cold weather is losing in freezing cold weather. Great way to kick off the season by beating the Braves in 30-something degree wind chills.

    1. I share that sentiment in my post above. I’m watching recaps last night and they have the Padres and D-Backs playing each other. Two teams that always have perfect weather

      meanwhile Cleveland is playing the Tigers in a snow squall

  54. i just hate the extra inning, Starting with man on Second, its not the pure game i loved .growing up anymore,

    1. rocco….how about starting with a man on first only?
      Bunting then becomes a another component.

      1. How about keeping the game, We grew loving the same? Putting a man on for free is so stupid, its not baseball

      2. I’m with Rocco I hate it. I’m that guy officially an old head lol.

        Listening to Buck Showalter last night on MLB Network he hates it too. Says it rewards bad performance. Part of the job of being a good GM and a good manager is managing a 14 inning game and the 2-3 games that follow.

        managing a BP, managing the 40 man so you can navigate through such games where you have to use your entire BP.

        I get why they think its a good idea. I get they think they can attract a new younger group of fans.

        I don’t think it will work in the long run. I think their best hope of that is those of us that love the game passionately the way its been for the past 50 years will pass that down to our children and grandchildren.

        1. DMAR……well they do not do it in the play-offs,
          …..look at the NHL, hockey only has a shoot-out in the regular season,
          Eagles, again, just proposed a rule change for NFL overtime…start at the 15 yard line with some caveats involved.

          i get the idea….avoiding the long games and over usage of pitchers from the pen.
          A study showed that when a batter gets on first to lead off a game…walk or single….36-40% of the time they score. On second naturally that percentage goes up. IMO…start that modification in the 10th or 11th inning

    2. I like it because I feel like it forces teams to actually play baseball. Once the extra innings come along it seems like everyone swings for the fences until you get to the other team’s worst pitcher then finally you get a rally. At least with the runner on second it forces a team to bunt/move a runner/intentionally walk a pitcher/etc.

  55. I have watched this extra inning thing for a few years in youth travel leagues. At first I too did not like it. It does not happen often. They only do it in the elimination rounds. But I have kind of grown to like it. Putting the runner on 2nd makes the defense have to make plays. That is always good to force them to make a play on a ball put in play. It also makes the offense do something other than swing for the fence on each pitch. JT was great example yesterday. Put the ball in play behind the runner and it allows him to end up at third each time. From third there are just so many more ways to score than from 2nd. This kinda reminds me of the college football overtime. If the team executes they have a great chance to score each time. Simply puts the onus on who executes better. Both teams did yesterday. Freddie did exactly what he needed to do. Then a very close play at home. To me it add more excitement rather than 3 or 4 more scoreless innings. I would not want it for 162 games but my guess you are maybe talking around 10 games at most for the season. Plus it does save on the pitchers. Someone tends to score rather quickly in most cases. Romus, putting the runner on 1st would be ok but again not as much pressure applied to the defense. I love the bunt in a game winning situation. So I am ok moving the runner to 3rd with the first batter. Rocco, I get your thoughts as well. Kinda the way I feel regarding shifts. Have great day guys. Warm weather on the way. Still in 20’s here but warmth coming.

  56. DMAR I heard Buck as well last night. I was watching while Bard got the final outs vs Dodgers. Buck is as old school as it gets. That is ok. He was ragging on the Bard pulling out his card it seemed on every other pitch or so. Guess we have football to blame for the card thing. QB’s started this using the card. Now you see it everywhere.. Softball pitchers flip their wristband open prior to every pitch. It is just sign of the times. Regarding the young kids it will be difficult to have them love the game as it was. They are being coached in a totally different manner than we grew up playing. I get first hand knowledge of that every weekend.

    1. LOL Don while I am an old head I’m not a curmudgeon….yet.

      I’m still watching as many innings as I can.

  57. I’m in agreement with Dr. Romus. Start him on first base. Hal, Haseley was a pitcher in college; yet, his arm is suspect.

    1. Didn’t say Haseley’s arm is suspect….said Quinn has a better arm. Seen both of them in Clearwater throw from the outfield and have watched during games. My opinion….and by the way that doesn’t mean I think that Quinn is a better overall outfielder than Haseley. Both have their strengths.

      1. Quinn was a shortstop – he has a rocket arm and can throw the ball 96 MPH from the outfield. Haseley also appears to have a good outfield arm.

  58. I was just remembering my 2019 spring training conversation with Connor Brogdon’s dad while watching Connor throw in a minor league game at the complex. It’s hard to believe how far Connor has come in such a short time. Connor and his dad seemed like great people and I’ve rooted for them since then. Congrats to Connor and dad on getting a win in the opener yesterday (thanks to Roman and JT! and of course Segura). Hopefully it’s the start of a surprise season.

  59. Also, I’m surprised but I love the extra inning rule. Does anyone really like a 15/16 inning game of attrition? It’s awful. Plus it has a negative impact in games the next few days. Having said that, I hate the 7 inning doubleheaders from last year. That’s not major league ball.

    1. Interesting Murray as much as I don’t like the man on 2nd rule I do like the 7 inning DH.

      Here is the thing though. I don’t think they should have both.

      Before covid Double Headers disproportionately affected only a certain number of teams. A team that plays 82 games in a roofed stadium or the CA teams is never going to have a home DH.

      Sure they might be the away team on occasion. It’s so random maybe it doesn’t rise to a level of a competitive disadvantage.

      1. A follow up question and again before Covid did rainouts occur more often than 14/15 Inning double headers

        Not sure how to find that stat

  60. I get both sides. I am definitely an “old head”, but understand wanting to save Pitchers and add a little more excitement. I will tell you what I loved, though. JT moving the runner to 3B! I would like that more often, not just in extra innings.

  61. The thing regarding the 7 inning DH is it seems like it is the 5th inning in a blink of the eye.
    I know they are probably similar in time but they sure seem to go faster on an inning by inning basis. I do not see a move to the Dr. Romus 1st base start though I see nothing wrong with it. This is what kids are growing up with regarding extra innings. In regards to the travel leagues I am sure the idea was based on getting the game over as soon as possible. It is more likely for that to happen at 2nd than at 1st. It does add to the intrigue at the end of the game. Regular games tied just remain a tie. It was obvious the 7 inning games did not work well for the Phillies last year. I think there record was close to awful.

    1. Sixto was shut down when he was a Phillie back in the summer of 2018 for elbow issues…..soreness or inflammation…I guess that is the same thing.
      After a battery of tests that they like to do, it was determined that he would not require surgery. He spent the summer rehabilitating the injury in Florida and began getting back on the mound in late August.
      Then again that fall, shut down again…preventing him from going to Arizona Fall League games.
      So here it is three years later and now he is having shoulder issues.
      Hopefully he will not require any operable shoulder procedures.

      1. Sanchez had a history of aches and pains during his time with the Phillies. The staff could not always determine a cause for some of these “injuries”. That was the case when he didn’t go to the AFL as you noted above. He was at Instructs that fall though.

        I wondered if this injury was his counter to the Marlins sending him to their Alt Site. I hope he’s not seriously hurt, but I hope he misses all his starts against the Phillies.

  62. MLB is moving the All Star Game out of Georgia. This is not a Phillies’ baseball topic and should not be discussed here.

    PLEASE NO REPLIES OR COMMENTS ON PHUTURE PHILLIES.

    Thank you.

  63. I eagerly await the day when Rob Manfred can be legitimately brought into a Phuture Phillies discussion.

      1. Today is the 17th anniversary of Citizens Bank Park….same name 17 years running and more. .

  64. Don’t look now, but it’s been two whole days that the Phillies have sat on top of the NL East. Enjoy it because it might be the only time we see it this season. Go Phillies!!!

    1. ciada – I see the world through biased Phillies-colored glasses. So I hope in late Sept. you’re posting, “Don’t look now but there are two whole days left in the season and the Phillies sit on top of the NL east.”

      1. spin:
        I have no issue with Phillies pre-Sept months of the last three seasons,
        (2020-July/Aug),
        it is just those September months that are a drag,
        Last three years:
        Pre-Sept- 156-142
        Sept-……..33-53
        They seem to have a mental block or something,
        going down the stretch run.
        And definitely do not want to look at Nola’s metrics in Septembers, when both Gabe and Joe decided to start him a little more than usual..

        1. Yea, I don’t understand the Sept swoon the past three seasons. It is the opposite of the Howard, Utley, Rollins, teams. The Phillies had a winning record in Sept from 2004 through 2012, highlighted by 2010 when they went 21 – 6. Ah, those were the days.

          1. Yeah…they have to capture that killer instinct in the last stretch…..confidence is the key.

          2. With those teams it always seems to be June where they would hit a wall. Don’t have numbers to back up my memory tho.

  65. Jim – have all the kids showed up to start the minor league spring training? I believe they were supposed to start on April 1.

  66. But, Romus, finally we will have reinforcements from the trade deadline to help get us over the September hump. I trust Dombrowski, never had any faith in Klentak.

    1. matt13…I hope so. I do not want to be giving up, and turning my attention to the Eagles in the third week of September.

      1. If you have to turn your attention from the Phillies to the Eagles you are in the dire straights………..like bungee jumping a 90’ drop with a 125’ rope or drinking almond flavored Kool-aid from South America.

  67. Okay, everyone. My Beat-the-Streak number stands at 1. Only 55 more to go. And don’t think I will forget you guys when the $5.6 MM starts pouring in.

  68. Seeing Acuna with his “13” necklace reminds me that I just don’t understand why players like wearing that stuff during a game. I don’t really care that they do, but just… why? I hated even having my batting gloves on me or in my pocket when I was on the bases (big thank you to my teammates who would come out and grab them for me) or in the field. It feels clunky and cumbersome to have anything on that I don’t actually need.

    I know there was that whole thing with those necklaces that players believed increased blood flow or whatever, but this isn’t even that. I guess it’s just that they think it looks cool? Maybe for luck, I guess.

  69. Wheeler was so impressive, not talking about the hitter, which was great to see but man was he dealing today. If Eflin and be consistently good to really good and Moore ends up being a steal that is going to be a really nice SP staff.

  70. Well after today, the Phils are tied for the MLB lead with powerhouse teams such as the Orioles, Tigers, and Royals. It’ll be exciting to see which of those teams ends up with the #1 seed in the AL.

    But in all seriousness, for those wondering how the Phils could possibly win the division, now you know. Can they keep it up all season? Probably not. Can they do it enough to win the division? Maybe. But at least we know they can do it at all.

  71. Wheeler reminded me of a Rick Wise Perfetti back in the day. Great game, Eflin’s turn tomorrow!

  72. For extra innings, how about this:
    Inning 10 – nobody on base to start, normal rules
    If it goes to 11, start with a runner on 1st
    12 – runner on second
    13th and on – runners on 1st and 2nd

    1. Buddy – by placing a runner on first as well as second in the 13th inning does not do much to increase the probability of scoring at least one run.

      With no outs, the probably of NOT scoring is:

      Runner on first ……………………. 58%
      Runner on second ………………. 39%
      Runners on first and second …. 38%
      Runner on third …………………….18%

      So, if you really want extra inning games to end quickly, maybe start in the 10th with a runner on first, if the game goes to the 11th, start with a runner on second, and in the 12th, start with a runner on third. (I would not be in favor of this.)

      While the likelihood of scoring is increased by only one percent by adding runners on first and second, what goes up more dramatically over just the runner on second is the probability of multiple runs scoring.

        1. Romus – In the article, James looked back 10 years. The data set used for the numbers I gave include all games from 1955 through 2015, including post season.

          1. Yeah….but the variance is still less than 5% in the probability of not scoring……62 vs 58….and that probably is in an acceptable range.

            1. I suspect that the numbers jump around a bit from season to season. What might be the most relevant is to look back over the most recent 10 or 20 years to better reflect how the game has evolved. If I ever get motivated, I could write some code to do it, but frankly that isn’t happening any time soon.

  73. ‘Baseball is Back’ with our first bench clearing pushing and yelling match between the Reds and Cardinals. Last year this was strictly verboten. I guess not this year. Good to see.

    1. rocco…..you have learned well over the years from PhuturePhillies.
      Happy Easter.

  74. Happy Easter guys. Told grandson last night if Phillies and Tigers win 100 of the next 160 they will be in playoffs. He is a big Miggy fan. April games count just the same as September. Keep it up Phils.

  75. This treatment has gotta be tough for Haseley. He never even gets a chance to hit against lefties and just has to watch Quinn not even come close to hitting them anyways. The team has less trust in him than a guy who strikes out 50% more often than he gets a hit.

      1. JT hit for Haseley, which made sense. JT is a good hitter with the platoon advantage. But then Roman came in to hit for the pitcher and to play CF. So it was effectively just a straight switch. Could have just as easily kept Haseley in and then had JT hit for the pitcher instead.

        1. Yeah,,I see your point.
          i can only see it as Joe wants to nurse Haseley along against lefties

    1. Well, you give him (Quinn) a good deal more credit than he deserves. Right now he has no hits and he has 4 K’s and he is equally adept at K’ing from either side of the plate. I think his K-rate is 80%. I thought it was a rather stupid move myself.

      1. I didn’t want to make a judgement based on a small sample, so I went with his career numbers. But yes, his start to the season has been even worse.

        1. Roman Quinn swings like he wants to be Ryan Howard when he should be trying to look like Juan Pierre

  76. Man has the SP been so impressive in these 3 games. Nola made one mistake that cost him but Wheeler was just outstanding and Eflin was just dealing today. Interested to see how Moore does in his first start.

  77. I wonder if the Phillies would consider opening extension talks with Eflin. Over a full season, Eflin would have easily posted close to 4 WAR last season. Eflin is a FA in 2023 at age 29. I wonder if he would be willing to go 4 years $65M or 5 years $80M.

    1. I brought this up last week…..comparing it with his draft class HS pitcher Lance McCullers……Eflin has one less year of service time compared to McCullers.
      McCullers. and the Astros agreed to a five-year, $85M contract extension
      Phillies would have to buy out his Arb3 yr, (probably $7/8M) since he becomes a free agent in 2023.
      But agree…time to at least start talking about it now.

      1. We need to get Eflin signed now so that he won’t cost the Phillies 20M+ per year when he hits FA. Get Eflin signed soon, and then try to develop some pieces in the minors for the last 2 slots. The jury is still out on Spencer Howard, Morales is likely 2 years away, and Abel is likely 4 years away. We need at least 1 of these guys to be a viable starter.

  78. Fun start! We K waaay to much! The Pitching was great. 2 bad pitches in 3 games. I know it’s worked so far, but we need a Closer. and some production from CF. But great to see our top 3 SPs do so well.

    1. The Phillies struck out a lot because we just played a top 5 team in the Braves. They have a good rotation and their bullpen is legit. If we did that against the Pirates or Dbacks, then you should be worried.

  79. Great to be 3-0 but it is very difficult to watch Roman Quinn try and hit a baseball. Perhaps the biggest waste of speed I have ever seen. He should be a slap/gap hitter rather than swinging from his heels. He isn’t going anywhere so all we can do is hope.

    1. NL….bingo.
      When he came up in the 8th and whiffed…Schmidt and Kruk needed all they could muster, from saying what they felt when he whiffed.
      Kruk was hinting at bunting early in the count…Schmidt was alluding to the ole choke, stroke and poke thing with Roman.
      But Roman swung from the heals with two strikes and did what most expect anymore.

      1. Roman Quinn should be calling up Juan Pierre and taking notes. Pierre hung around until he was 35. Quinn is turning into Billy Hamilton and that’s not a good thing.

  80. I think the reason they batted Realmuto before Quinn was because if JT some how knocked in the run, they would’ve kept Eflin in the game. Also, if I was a catcher, I might never call a fast ball to Segura. It seems like the guy just cannot hit a breaking ball.

    1. It was not the best series for Jean, even though he had that game winning hit in game 1. He needs to temper his aggressiveness at the plate sometimes. He thinks he can hit anything, and the Braves dared him by chucking breaking balls the last 2 games. But I’m not too worried, he’ll get over that eventually.

  81. Do not see Roman changing his approach. It is a shame that somewhere in the minors someone did not get him to understand where his game needed to go. I like all others hope he changes but we have seen this for quite some time now. If he bunted 50% of his at bats he might get on half the time. He seems to get down the line just as well from both sides. I got to watch parts of all the games. Besides Roman strikeouts things looked pretty good. I agree on too many strikeouts. I am not sure the number would be that much less against other teams. That is just the way the game is played today. But overall a great start.

  82. I was negligent in not recognizing Alec Bohm for being a legitimate Major League hitter. I think we strike out too much not based on 3 games, but the past few years. There were multiple opportunities to advance a runner by hitting ghe opposite way and we are not very good at doing so.

    1. matt13…..the Phillie do have their share of hitters that seem to like to pull or swing from their heels and out- of -the- zone…..and they are not that powerful…Quinn and Kingery come to mind right away.

      And this is the year those type hitters cannot do that…..because the ball has been deaden a little.
      As you say….they need to punch it the other way and try to stay alive when behind in the count.

      Now Joe raves about Torreyes…..perhaps he needed to be in there ilo of Quinn for the PHer today.

  83. Ecstatic the boys won but if Acuna gets that last pitch called a ball, which it appeared to be to me, things would/could have been a lot scarier. Any ideas why Kinzler wasn’t used the entire series?

  84. The guys were talking yesterday on TV that Alec hates striking out. We need more guys who are willing to put the ball in play to advance a runner in certain situations. Philies have had 2 one run games in first 3. Adding an extra run here and there is so important in these close games. Regarding Hector in the last inning he just makes me nervous each time he pitches. It seems he just never has a clean inning. There is always tension. I just noticed tonight on the Phils site that they will now get the top of the Mets order on the pitching front since their series was postponed. If the Phils can win this next series that would be a great start to the season.

  85. I can’t remember the last time we shut down Freeman like this past weekend. Very encourage first 3 games. With that said, if Quinn or Haseley is just gonna be thrown in the 8th hole and forgot about, I’d rather see Herrera there. Quinn isn’t an mlb hitter and Haseley, even if he hits around .280 (which I just don’t see happening, feel like he’ll be closer to .250-.260) it’s going to be an empty .280. Herrera, IMO just offers so much more upside and for that to come outta the 8th hole, well this line up could be really potent.

    1. I’ve been pretty much in favor of Herrera, but he didn’t walk once in ST and he could probably use another month of steady at bats. I agree with you regarding Quinn – he is very physically talented, but has a terrible approach at the plate for his skill set.

      As for Haseley, your observation is pretty much right as to what he is right now, but it’s unclear whether he can develop more. He has worked to put on muscle weight and he has a very nice swing, so I think they are doing the right thing. Keep throwing him out there and see what happens because if he hits, he’s a useful player given that he does a nice job in the field. If he doesn’t play well, Odubel is always nearby.

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