Open Discussion: Week of August 1, 2021

This is the courtesy thread for comments and discussion about the Phillies and other BASEBALL topics.  Draft discussion is in a separate thread.

The Phillies (52-53) looked terribly average after the trade deadline.  A team with questionable pitching forgot how to hit for two days.  Against the worst team in the league.  Then Girardi lets the new starting pitcher throw a season-high 113 pitches (he averaged 96 in his last 18 starts).

I think Dombrowski has set Girardi up as the fall guy.  He stated in an interview that pitching decisions were Girardi’s to make.  The decision to move Suarez to the rotation could determine whether Girardi continues to manage past this season.  Girardi was a Klentak/MacPhail/Owner hire not Dave’s.

Suarez could be the touchpoint because he has been their most reliable reliever this season and he is a long time removed from starting.  Suarez last started in the majors in 2018.  He appeared in four games, three starts, pitched 15 innings, had a 5.40 ERA, 78 ERA+, 5.49 FIP, 1.8 WHIP, 12’6 H/9, 1.8 HR9, 3.6 BB9, 6.6 K9.

Suarez’ last start of any kind was on June 4, 2019, for Lehigh Valley.  Six days later, he made a 4-inning relief appearance for the Phillies.  His next 36 appearances were for 2.1 innings (twice) or less until a 3-inning stint in his last appearance of the season on September 27th.  In all, he threw 48.2 innings in 37 relief appearances, less than 1.2 innings per appearance.

In 2020, Suarez pitched at the Alternate site until 3 appearances and just 4 innings in September.  This season, Suarez has made 27 appearances and pitched 40.1 innings.

I have always thought that talk of stretching out a pitcher mid-season was ridiculous.  Doing so with your best and most reliable reliever is dumb.  Using Suarez for three innings today just adds more pressure on the bullpen.  I think when this fails, Dombrowski will have little pushback when he replaces Girardi at the end of the season.  And, if it works, he can still go get his own manager, citing that Girardi lost the clubhouse earlier in the season.

Anyway, the Phillies begin an important 7-game stretch this week.  They need to show up in Washington and take a 4-game series so that the 3 games against the Mets mean something this weekend.  Otherwise, it might not matter how the Suarez experiment goes.

The Phillies completed 3 trades at the deadline.  Another trade that would have been the first wasn’t finalized when Pittsburgh backed out on a deal that would have sent starter Tyler Anderson to the Phillies for catcher Abrahan Gutierrez and RHP Cristian Hernandez.  Pittsburgh cited problems with Hernandez’ medical report, backed out, and completed a deal with Seattle.

The Phillies pivoted to plan “B” and traded pitchers Spencer Howard, Kevin Gowdy, and Josh Gessner to Texas for RH starter Kevin Gibson, reliever Kyle Anderson, and RHP prospect Hans Crouse.  Later, they traded Gutierrez to Pittsburgh for LHP Braeden Ogle.  Finally, they brought Freddy Galvis back to Philadelphia sending RHP Tyler Burch to Baltimore in exchange.

These trades add players who can help this season.  The players we are losing weren’t.  I never like to see players traded, but their purpose is to help the major league team.  Sometimes that means trades.

Adding Gibson to the rotation should make it stronger.  Adding Chase Anderson and Suarez in place of an injured Eflin and Moore and Velasquez is questionable.  I am sure that adding Moore and Velasquez to the bullpen weakens it.  I have never subscribed to the belief that moving a bad starting pitcher to the bullpen makes him better.  Especially when we’ve already seen one of them pitch out of the pen already.

Key Dates:

  • July 30, 2021: Trade Deadline (4 p.m. ET)
  • August 1, 2021: Signing deadline for 2021 drafted players
  • Oct. 3, 2021: Regular season concludes

Transactions (last week’s transactions)

7/31/2021 – Phillies activated RHP Kyle Gibson
7/31/2021 – Phillies optioned RHP Enyel De Los Santos to Lehigh Valley
7/31/2021 – Lehigh Valley activated LHP Braeden Ogle
7/31/2021 – Herbert Iser assigned to Lehigh Valley from Jersey Shore
7/31/2021 – RF Jhailyn Ortiz assigned to Reading from Jersey Shore
7/31/2021 – Reading released OF Logan Landon
7/31/2021 – RHP Victor Vargas assigned to Jersey Shore from Clearwater
7/31/2021 – RHP Jonas De La Cruz assigned to Jersey Shore from FCL Phillies
7/31/2021 – C Brahian Silva assigned to DSL Phillies White from DSL Phillies Red
7/30/2021 – Baltimore traded SS Freddy Galvis to Phillies for RHP Tyler Burch
7/30/2021 – Phillies designated RHP Brandon Kintzler for assignment
7/30/2021 – Phillies activated CF Travis Jankowski from the 10-day IL
7/30/2021 – Phillies placed RF Matt Joyce on the 60-day IL, low back strain
7/30/2021 – Pittsburgh traded LHP Braeden Ogle to Phillies for C Abrahan Gutierrez
7/30/2021 – Texas traded RHP Hans Crouse, RHP Ian Kennedy, RHP Kyle Gibson and cash to Phillies for RHP Spencer Howard, RHP Josh Gessner and RHP Kevin Gowdy
7/30/2021 – LHP Braeden Ogle assigned to Lehigh Valley IronPigs
7/30/2021 – Phillies optioned LHP Cristopher Sanchez to Lehigh Valley
7/30/2021 – RHP Hans Crouse assigned to Reading Fightin Phils
7/29/2021 – Phillies recalled LHP Cristopher Sanchez from Lehigh Valley
7/29/2021 – Phillies recalled C Rafael Marchan from Reading
7/29/2021 – Phillies placed C Andrew Knapp on the paternity list
7/29/2021 – Reading activated 1B Brock Stassi from the 7-day IL
7/29/2021 – Jersey Shore activated 3B Chris Cornelius from the 7-day IL
7/29/2021 – Clearwater placed C Micah Yonamine on the 7-day IL (then 60)
7/29/2021 – C Arturo De Freitas assigned to Clearwater from FCL Phillies
7/29/2021 – Clearwater placed LHP Anton Kuznetsov on the 60-day IL
7/29/2021 – Clearwater placed RHP Chi-Ling Hsu on the 60-day IL
7/29/2021 – Adony Mejia assigned to DSL Red from DSL White
7/28/2021 – Clearwater placed LHP Anton Kuznetsov on the 7-day IL
7/28/2021 – Clearwater placed RHP Chi-Ling Hsu on the 7-day IL
7/28/2021 – LHP Maikel Garrido assigned to Clearwater from FCL Phillies
7/28/2021 – RHP Victor Lopez assigned to Clearwater from FCL Phillies
7/27/2021 – Lehigh Valley activated RHP Adonis Medina from the 7-day IL
7/27/2021 – C Rafael Marchan assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
7/27/2021 – C Rodolfo Duran assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
7/27/2021 – 3B McCarthy Tatum assigned to Jersey Shore from Reading
7/27/2021 – LHP Erik Miller assigned to Jersey Shore from Clearwater
7/27/2021 – Jersey Shore activated CF Hunter Markwardt from the 7-day IL
7/27/2021 – 2B Casey Martin assigned to Clearwater from Jersey Shore
7/27/2021 – RHP Victor Vargas assigned to Clearwater from Lehigh Valley
7/27/2021 – Phillies activated RHP JD Hammer from the 10-day IL
7/27/2021 – Phillies optioned CF Mickey Moniak to Lehigh Valley
7/27/2021 – Reading sent 1B Brock Stassi on a rehab assignment to FCL Phillies
7/24/2021 – Clearwater placed CF Johan Rojas on the 60-day IL
7/24/2021 – FCL Phillies transferred LHP Riley Wilson from the 7- to the 60-day IL
7/24/2021 – FCL Phillies placed LHP Jaylen Smith on the 60-day IL
7/24/2021 – FCL Phillies placed RHP Dalvin Rosario on the 60-day IL
7/24/2021 – FCL Phillies placed SS Jamari Baylor on the 60-day IL
7/24/2021 – FCL Phillies placed SS Albert Jerez on the 60-day IL

403 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of August 1, 2021

  1. Yesterday, the Phillies could have scored 150 runs, but the fact of the matter is they still lost 2 of 3 to one of the worst clubs in the league if not THE worst. How this team does not show up on any given night, and especially following a comeback from a 7-0 deficit the day before and a trade deadline which improved the pitching staff and infield defense, if not much else, is pathetic.

    Joe Girardi has made many questionable in game decisions this season. But what’s more concerning is what’s happening pre- and post-game…or should I say, what’s NOT happening?

  2. The Phillies management of young players still concerns me and I am afraid they are now doing it with Saurez. Why move him while he is successful?When Eflin comes back I hope that don’t move Suarez back to the pen.

    Moniak was on the hottest streak of his career at LHV. They call him up and give him one at bat over a week then back to LHV? Spencer Howard was in the rotation, then the Pen, then back in the rotation. It just seems they destroy a young players confidence. I Still think Howard is going to have a great career.

    Kingery is a mess. Maybe the league figured him out but the constant position changes couldn’t have helped.

  3. Brandon Workman is now officially a free agent. Time to scoff him up without having to give away a prospect. They better hurry; he won’t be around for long.

  4. “I have always thought that talk of stretching out a pitcher mid-season was ridiculous. Doing so with your best and most reliable reliever is dumb. Using Suarez for three innings today just adds more pressure on the bullpen.” <<< THIS!

    Perfectly said Jim. And I am fine with Girardi being the fall guy. I have asked several times over the past 2 years for someone to explain to me what makes him a good manager. Because this team does not play good baseball consistently. I truly hope DD does a complete restructuring this offseason.

    1. It’s funny.

      We said a lot of the same things about Gabe Kapler when he left – and look at him now.

      I’ve watched a lot of baseball and rarely is a manager a difference maker.

      If you’re lucky, the manager might win you 3-4 games a year. I think Girardi is average to maybe a touch above. His hands are tied with a very uneven roster, much as Kapler’s hands were tied.

      As for Suarez starting, I understand what folks are saying and the plan may backfire. However, when you start Matt Moore, you are virtually guaranteeing a loss. We can’t afford that. So, if Ranger ends up giving you 5 innings a start in a few weeks and gives up 2-3 runs – it’s going to make a huge difference in the long run. So I think I disagree. The marginal positive effect he could have as a starter, outweighs his importance as a reliever. Is it a risk? Sure. If it doesn’t work, he goes back to the bullpen and you try to do the same thing with Bailey Falter when he comes back.

        1. v1 – I believe you. I was referring to most people on this site who, almost uniformly blamed him for everything. Good thing he was fired before COVID or he would have been blamed for that too.

          I was pretty neutral on him. I thought he was an okay manager on a learning curve, but I blasted him for his horrible choice in hitting and pitching coaches, the latter of which was a complete disaster when he had a really solid pitching coach – Rick Kranitz – on board already. Totally baffling. All of his pitchers went into full throttle reverse.

          So, yeah, he didn’t entirely earn his keep here, but he was young and learning. He apparently righted the ship on the coaching front with the Giants – it’s rare to see players coached up the way the Giants have done it the last few years, so he got the coaching hires right this time (I don’t know about the details – but it’s working for sure). Astonishing really.

          1. To be clear … Gabe Kapler did not hire his own coaches here. Matt Klentak (and the rest of the FO) picked out the coaching staff.

            And I don’t want to beat a dead horse … but … (and v1 knows this) it’s a whole lot easier to manage for sharp GM (Farhan Zaidi) than a dull GM. Gabe was managing with one arm tied behind his back here. How John Middleton missed that, is beyond me.

            1. Hinkie…I beg to differ.
              The GM may have been dull…..but Gabe approved and called the shots.
              All those July moves in ’18 and ’19….were Gabe’s call.
              Do you really think Klentak made those trades on his own without discussing it and getting approval from Gabe!
              Gabe is a Type A personality….they do not acquiesce.
              Do you think Sean Rod was all Klentak’s move?

            2. Romus … Gabe did not hire his own coaching staff. He would have brought in guys he had some sort of connection to/history with. Klentak picked out Kapler’s coaching staff. He also meddled in the lineups that Kapler ran out on the field. And (no offense … but) it’s almost laughable to believe Kapler had any say in Klentak’s deadline deals. Kapler (like any manager) would have insisted on the GM dealing for legit/proven BP help instead of Klentak’s annual dumpster dive finds.
              I’m not telling you Gabe didn’t make some game day mistakes (every manager does), but … type-A personality or not, Kapler did not have the power you think he did. He was the victim of Klentak’s malpractice.

            3. Not re-writing history. Here’s one example where Gabe wasn’t allowed to hire a guy he wanted.


              Dusty Watham and Rick Kranitz were already Phillies’ employees when they got spots on Gabe’s coaching staff. Watham was even up for the manager’s job Gabe got. Do you think Kapler made the call to hire him? Nobody from the LADs organization (where Gabe was working) got a coaching job. It is what it is.

            4. Hinkie…..Gabe and Kranitz had a blow out in August 2018 in Gabe’s office…..kranitz was all but gone 7 weeks later….who hired Young as the new PC?

            5. It’s certainly possible that Gabe was awful here and deserved to be fired and subsequently learned from his mistakes and became a better manager.

            6. I agree Kapler was part of the decision (along with Klentak) to keep Young over Kranitz. The Braves wanted to interview Young, with the intention of hiring him as their new PC. The Phillies had to decide whether to promote the 30-something YO Chris Young (who specialized in analytics) or retain the 60 YO Kranitz (who was old school). So … yes, he did have input (not the final say) into that one decision. But that was the exception. And … c’mon … there was never a time Matt Klentak had to get approval from Gabe Kapler to make a trade. That’s just not a thing. Joe Girardi (who wears a WS ring) doesn’t even have that kind of juice.

            7. I think Gabe was terrible here but agree it wasn’t all his fault. Klentak we all agree on. The org lacked and lacks depth and that has impacted a lot. I trust DD completely and consider him as capable as Gillick to do what he does. I suspect we’ll
              see a new manager next year and a fairly high roster turnover. These Phillies teams of ‘18, ‘19, ‘20, and ‘21 feel similar to those in the early 2000’s prior to ‘07-‘11, but the difference is those teams had Utley, Rollins, Hamels, and Howard coming into their prime.

  5. My concern about Suarez is does he have that third pitch needed to be an MLB starter.

    1. ciada…..correct, and also better to utilize it as a starter in spring training.
      It is easier switching a starter to a reliever during the course of a season, which is done often, versus, the other way around.

      Now if Joe was going to use Suarez as the ‘opener’, as Cash does, for 2 or 3 innings or one time thru the lineup……..I can buy that.

      Will have to see how this all transpires.

  6. Maybe this is the time in the season that management replaced Girardi with Sam Fuld or DD. It worked with the Pope in ’83.

    1. Do not see John Middleton doing that….just look, he still has Andy MacPhail and Matt Klentak, not just on the payroll, but still working somewhere in the organization..

      Anyway, if Joe should exit, wouldn’t Rob Thompson or Dusty be the one to take over in the dug-out?

      1. If we get a new manager wouldn’t that cause a Flux in the coaches again. 6 pitching coaches in 6 years , 5 batting coaches. Have to start some continuity sometime.

    2. While I think Ranger Saurerz better profiles as a starter than reliever … I wouldn’t monkey around with his current mojo. He’s more able to help the club win multiple games during a five game span coming out of the pen right now. When Bailey Falter gets healthy (hopefully soon), I’d stretch him out again and throw him into the rotation. Next season, I’d use them both (Saurez and Falter) as starters.

      Also … agree with mark (top of the thread). It’s great to beat up the Pirates yesterday, but this was a wasted weekend. The Phillies should have taken care of business in Pittsburgh. If there was TJS for the heart, I’d send most of this roster down to visit Dr. Andrews. I think DD needs to/will work on the team’s leadership problem this offseason. Bringing in Josh Donaldson (maybe as part of a Byron Buxton deal) makes sense. I also wouldn’t rule out Justin Verlander on a short term FA deal. Dombrowski has a history with/drafted him.

      1. Hinkie – If the team uses both Suarez and Falter as starters in 2022, you then have six in the rotation: Wheeler, Nola, Eflin, Gibson, Suarez and Falter, unless, of course, they move someone.

        1. Would be great to have a rotation of Wheeler, Nola, Suarez, Eflin, and Gibson, with Falter as a swingman ready to step in when needed. That’s a really nice pitching staff. They really need some AAAA options at AAA to provide depth when needed g FB or the rotation.

        2. spin Rate … I also think it’s possible DD could sign Justin Verlander. They need to stockpile SP depth. And I don’t rule out Dombrowski trading a guy like Eflin (in addition to Hoskins) this winter.

  7. I won’t ever understand GMs that make moves to keep their teams firmly planted in the mediocre range.

    Maybe Howard is a big health concern ( I suspect a bad shoulder) and that was the best DD could do. Seems like they just wanted to placate a deteriorating fanbase again.

    That said the division is so bad you guys might get what you wished for. I think it would take JT having a torrid second half which is possible and Didi being a little more present. That said I saw Cutch may have a knee injury and to the one that had the ACL tear.

    1. Okay, I’m going to stop you right there.

      Let me explain this move and the moves that were made at the trade deadline in 2019 and 2020: John Middleton.

      John Middleton demanded that the Phillies try to make the playoffs and do something to improve their odds. The actual move was on DD, but he was VERY careful so as not to destroy the long term prospects of the team (or his future trade capital). He traded a declining asset (I like Spencer Howard, but right now, he projects as a reliever – that most people don’t see this is mystifying to me) for two players who could really help this year (and one next year) and a decent prospect.

      Under the circumstances and the mandate I am sure he faced, I thought DD did a really superb job here. It may not work, but it was worth the risk.

      1. Catch22 – I couldn’t agree more with you. Howard, as gleaming a comet of pitching as he is, seems destined to be a quality back end reliever. The trade is entirely defendable for that reason – and DD still got a future pitcher.

        1. I agree it looks like Spencer will be a reliever but I’d pause to see what happens in TX. As a result of a complete lack of depth, the Phils bounced him all over the place. For someone who was a #1 prospect, they should have kept focused on his development over short term team needs. If I was Texas, I’d be doing whatever gives him an opportunity to be in their starting rotation at the start of next year. If he struggles like he did here maintaining velocity, then I’d move him to the pen for good. I’d give him one more full opportunity to start and make him prove me wrong.

    2. DMAR…..speaking of TJ…would not surprise me if Mets’ DeGrom has his second TJ…out until Sept now.
      T. Walker has been trending a bit downhill lately, and Stroman can be inconsistent.
      The Phillies could make a serious run over the next 7 games.

      1. Romus as an individual fan please by all means decide what you would like to see from the Phillies this year. I’m not buying this team can do anything in the playoffs.

        For me I just don’t feel much of an emotional connection with this team like I did with the 80 team or the 08 team. And it doesn’t excite me at all that maybe they back into winning the division.

        1. DMAR…….wonder why the emotional connection is not there?
          Very hard to pinpoint….but I feel something lhat also…maybe because I am older.
          Nevertheless, I think you are not alone.

  8. Para 1. Yes, but why? Time is getting short though, have a good retirement, Andy, what a guy! Thanks for everything.😝 Think Matt, is the warehouse supervisor for Golden Leaf Wrapper.

    Para 2. I think so.

    Q. Don’t get me wrong because I love the guy, but, why did we acquire Freddy? Torr👀s, I think has done a respectable job this year and Joe isn’t going to bench Didi. Love affair with Maton has dissipated. Segura is having a great year, with the exception of his antics and only needs an occasional breather.

  9. Cutch might be out for awhile this gives Galvis a roster spot. I might put Herrera and Williams platooning in LF and TJ in CF full time or platoon Herrera and Torreyas in LF and TJ & Williams in center.

  10. I don’t agree with all of you. I’ve been calling for Suarez to start for quite a while now. How many occasions are there to use a late inning reliever when you’re losing 5-0 after two innings? This team can’t afford to start Moore or Velasquez again. Falter probably would have gotten the starts over Suarez if he had been healthy but he’s been sick and just working his way back. A SP throwing 6 innings is more valuable than a 1 inning guy. Especially when you can’t use him because you’re always trailing by many runs early. Have any of you played? Do you realize how discouraging it is to fall behind every night that Wheeler doesn’t pitch? Also, I guarantee that this decision was made in tandem with DD. I don’t think Girardi is at risk at all and I don’t think he’s lost the clubhouse at all. This team doesn’t pitch, hit or field well enough. That’s not the manager’s fault. Lay the blame where it belongs, on the players

    1. Agree….”This team doesn’t pitch, hit or field well enough. That’s not the manager’s fault.”…….the only exception i can see…Joe wanted Didi back….and he has been poor both in the field and at the plate.(fWAr -0.1…-11 DRS)
      Then again Joe wanted Ron Torreyes also….he has been a very pleasant surprise……but not sure that is a wash..

      1. I believe they actually tried to sign Simmons and his gold glove first but he turned them down. Didi was not their first choice and then when they were desperate he demanded a 2nd year which they gave in on, with no choice at that point (it’s called using leverage). I don’t blame Didi on Girardi. Plus, if Didi was hitting the way he can, his bad fielding wouldn’t be as painful.

        1. He wasn’t their second choice, either. They tried to sign Semien, too, before he became too expensive. Then they lost out on Simmons. The only other SS who signed MLB contracts were Galvis and Farmer. Gregorius had them over a barrel and got the second year.

  11. If the GM intends to make the manager the fall guy or in theory ‘own his decisions’ that’s never done so he succeeds; usually the opposite… If this were truly the course the Phillies would have been sellers at the trade deadline and not buyers to accelerate the outcome that’s decided by any person who becomes the fall guy.. Every time I read about the roster constraints because of the luxury tax I cringe due to what level of mediocrity we have for nearly $200 million dollars a year.. I thought we should have been sellers at the deadline.. The Cubs are taking their medicine and will be back in the hunt in a few years..

    Btw; was 800+ comments for one week in the Open Discussion section a record?

    1. The Cubs and the Giants were set up to fail so that they can sell off as much as they could. But then both teams started winning. And when the Cubs had that big losing streak, they threw in the towel quickly. Management probably breathed a sign of relief when the Cubs started losing.

      The Giants are now in a bind. If they don’t win it all this year, their 2022 team will be a shell of what it was. They’ll lose most of their guys to FA with no prospects and likely no title to show for it.

  12. If we win 3 out of 4 from Washington and Mets lose 3-4 to Miami this week then we take 2 out of 3 from Mets over the weekend, We will be only a half game out of 1st next week at this time.

  13. I think moving Suarez to the rotation is a bad move but it sounds like Falter got really sapped by COVID-19 and they’re not confident they could stretch him out long enough.

    It seems like Suarez would rather start. He’s not going to be as effective but I don’t see why he can’t give us 5-6 innings and 2-4 runs.

    1. Suarez was a 5-6 inning pitcher when he was a starter. But, that was when he trained as a starter in the offseason and followed a starter’s regimen during spring training and the regular season. And that was two years ago.

  14. The state of the division was the biggest factor in the Phillies being buyers instead of sellers, along with having Dombrowski in charge. The NL east champion will merely be the tallest dwarf in the league. The only excitement for us as fans is the unlikelihood that this squad catches lightning in a bottle in the last few weeks of the season entering the playoffs and if so, the greater likelihood that they face Gabe Kapler in the first round. Now wouldn’t that provide another 800+ comment general discussion?!?!?

      1. Well, if the Giants can hold on their lead in the NL west – which I doubt they can sustain it with the Dodgers on their heels – the LAD plays SD (who I’m personally not impressed by despite the national love they’ve received) in 1 win-or-go-home matchup, which is really lame. Anyway, the Brewers appear to be the team to beat in the central division. The Phillies would probably meet either SF or LAD in the 1st round. The other would play Milwaukee.

        While we’re at it, I think the RedSox will Bloom (sorry) in September and overtake the Rays. Tampa and Oakland figure to be the wild cards. The White Sox and Astros take their respective divisions.

        My World Series pick: the White Sox beat the Brewers in 6 games.

        1. Wheeler/Nola/Gibson &/or Eflin will give us a good chance in a short series. Just as long as we can set up the rotation by winning early.

        2. The winner of the WC game plays the team with the best record in the 1st round.
          So, unless something really weird happens over the last two months, the NL East champ (hopefully Phillies) will take on Milwaukee in the opening round of the playoffs.

    1. All of that would be worthy of a lot of discussion.

      But there is another essential component that goes into 800-plus comments — Jim Peyton. It is because Jim does such a great job of running this site that so many of us turn to it daily to read and write.

      Congrats, Jim. I know you had a rough patch a week or so ago saying it wasn’t as much fun, anymore. But 800-plus comments show that it’s a lot of fun for a lot of people. And you (and the Phillies, of course) get the credit.


  15. I find it very telling that the net result of the deadline moves is to keep us under the Salary Cap. I like what we did, and sure, I wish we had done more. But, Dombrowski will get his chance to put his prints on the team this off season. The Defense has to be fixed, and I think one of the CF or SS will be a plus defender and maybe not the best offensive option. Joe has made a number of questionable decisions. Why was our new Closer in a 15-2 game, and why wasn’t he in Saturday’s game when it was 2-2? Just the latest questionable moves.

    1. Outside of the Dodgers, all of the other 29 teams kept their eye on the luxury tax. That includes the Padres who are desperate to unload Eric Hosmer’s contract (to save money) and the Mets and their billionaire owner Steve Cohen.

    2. Joe’s moves were fine. A closer doesn’t pitch in a tie game on the road. He’s held back to pitch if you get the lead. It’s different at home. Kennedy pitched an inning yesterday in a no stress situation with JT staying in the game so they could work together. It’s called good managing actually.

  16. Any news on Brito?
    Suarez IMO as a closer was an overshoot in that spot. Leaving him as setup reliever is the safe move. However he was looking great as a starter last spring and he got COVID-19 and lost the year. With him pitching 3 innings several times already I don’t think he will take long to get to 5 innings. When Falter comes back he may even piggyback some of his starts if needed

    1. Looked great last spring in what? Eight innings in February and March? In spring training? Against lineups that don’t include many star players? Geez, CJ Chatham started one of the games Suarez pitched.

      I hope he transitions well. But, I want to see 2018 Suarez from Reading and Lehigh, but not 2018 Suarez from the Phillies or 2019 Suarez from Lehigh Valley.

  17. Losing two of three from the Pirates… very frustrating, even more so when you score a blowout number of runs one game, and squat the other 2. They could’ve picked up ground too. I’m looking at the season in a 7 game stretch and … they went 3-4 over the last 7. They needed to go 4-3 minimum, honestly 5-2 was realistic for a true playoff team. Will see, hopefully efflin will be healthy soon, and stop wasting strong SP efforts when they do happen with 0 offense.

  18. Fangraphs trade deadline commentary:

    “Philadelphia Phillies
    The Phillies were battling both the luxury tax threshold and the Mets. They tried to thread the needle by hunting cheap pitching, but in my estimation, it cost them. After nearly acquiring Tyler Anderson before the Mariners pounced, they sent out prized pitcher Spencer Howard for… well, for not much! (Like Madrigal, Howard, graduated off prospect lists earlier this season.)

    Ian Kennedy is a nice pitcher, and he’ll bolster Philadelphia’s bullpen, but it needed more bolstering than one solid arm. Kyle Gibson is a hilarious mismatch with Philadelphia’s sieve-like defense, even with the return of Freddy Galvis; Gibson thrives on letting opponents put the ball in play, while the Phillies are one of the worst defensive teams in baseball. It’s an odd mix, one that was borne more out of a desire to match salaries and take available bargains than some underlying view of how the team should look. They’ll be kicking themselves, too, when they read the Mets section later on.”

    Pretty similar to what ESPN had (Phillies as “losers”).

    1. I never paid attention to the talking heads on TV or any media as they are wrong more often than not, Why not let the players decide the outcomes of the season and ignore the media-just give the new players a chance.

  19. First thought: my prayers and thoughts are with Brito and his family. My hopes is his strong and quick recovery.

    Second. Signing a Contact pitcher for short term probably the best DD could do or wanted, No faith in his system or it’s ability to develop one. Let’s hope we get more of what we saw.
    Moore and Anderson have been a bust, Moore and Anderson slow pitch offspeed guys who get you thru the lineup once but we see what happens after. DD missed again hoping for ?

    My Best wishes for Howard. He was never handled or helped in developing. Big Arm overshadowed his possible development, Phillies inability to help the You Man. Put in the innings, build endurance both mentally and physically overshadowed by Prospect Ranking.
    I’m sure he’ll benefit from this move. Change is sometimes Good. Best Wishes Spencer

    Where is the leadership or non leadership. It’s apparent that Joe is not calling the shots/moves. Hence DI Di still making errors, not making contact when RISP. I’d rather have Torreyes at least he makes contact in more AB’s
    Putting Williams one at bat one game is not helping the Team. Hard enough for a vet. Get Herrera out of there, plate discipline is horrible DiDi and Herrera are terrible RISP

    🙏🏻 Brito

    1. You look like a new commenter. So, here’s the general rule. Opinions are acceptable, but you cannot state as fact anything where you don’t have evidence.

      You clearly do not know anything about how the Phillies develop players or what they did or didn’t do with Howard, Best you keep out of development discussions.

  20. Okay, now that we’re done defending or lambasting those trades.

    How about Jhailyn Ortiz? Best breakout season by a Phillies prospect since Hoskins.

    1. I need him to do it in Reading before I go that far. Good on him for getting himself back on the map though.

        1. Not sure he will ever be a top 15 or 20 defensive MLB CFer , but his bat and ISO metrics should play well at the corners.

          1. It remains to be seen if he can hit upper level pitching. It’s a good sign that he cut down on the Ks month by month but his rate was still high. If things go smoothly he should put on a show with Reading and open next season in AAA or get there soon.

            1. Yeah…..he probably will never be a high average BA guy, probably in that 250 area, with K-rarte somewhere in the high 20s.. His strength will be that power bat. Hopefully he will draw enough walks to have a better than average .325 OBP.

  21. Hawkeye – I recall that this site hit a really large similar number when the Phillies were in the midst of the Harper-Machacho pursuit.

  22. Cutch is on the IL, and Rhys is still hurt. De Los Santos back up, Knapp off paternity list, Marchan stays up.

    1. JT at first with lefty pitching and either Marchan or Knapp catching. Righty JT catching and Miller at first.
      I would say this is DLs’s last chance. DFA if he goes as usual. Even a cat has so many lives.

  23. I saw David Dahl got released by the Rangers, while he’s struggled this year, he has a decent track record and is still only 27. Do the Phillies pick him up, even if it’s to stash him in Lehigh?

    1. Usually the narrative about traded prospects is that they’re excited to play well for the team that valued them (acquired them). Maybe get a little “revenge” on their original team for being willing to trade them. I’m genuinely sad that we’re already well on our way to Howard’s narrative being that he overcame the obstacle known as the Phillies to become successful.

      I genuinely wish the best for him. And hopefully he can blossom into a star, and that can be the catalyst that finally pushes us toward a sustainable team philosophy.

      1. Yes…wish him the best of luck with the Rangers.
        Though he only started 13 games with the Phillies …the articel indicates he started the BR bottom-line 162 game forecast of 29. 🙂

      2. …are you kidding me, if he seized the day, he’d still be here. If they thought he was going to be a dominant force in the pen or a starter, he’d still be here. The fact is that DD and the FO didn’t see it happening and they “cut bait”! He isn’t here anymore…..gone, gone gone! Get over it!

  24. Yeah that Ranger Suarez experiment was a disaster, eh?

    Almost any pitcher who can start effectively is more valuable as a starter than as a reliever. There are exceptions, but innings matter. You go Ranger!

  25. Was that Gregorius’ first ever hit to left field? Phillies leaving a lot of guys on base. Gonna come back to bite them on the butt.

  26. De Los Santos strikes yet again. They don’t have ANYbody else to put in there!!! Nice play by Bohm on the bunt.

    1. I have absolutely no idea what DLS’ role is on the Phillies. If he was good, he would have been on the Phillies instead of getting sent down this past weekend. Now he comes back up and he’s pitching in a close game? Girardi needs to make up his mind becaue DLS is just not good right now.

      1. I got 2 tickets in my hand one fir DLS and the other is fir Avarado. Girardi can Uber out.

    1. I don’t know how long Girardi can keep going to Alvarado. He’s walking 8+ guys per game which is outrageous. He has 0.2 WAR right now and it’s probably going lower after tonight’s game.

      And yet again, the absence of Falter hurts. He last pitched July 18.

    2. You’re right. I was an Alvarado guy. He has tantalizing stuff, but … yes he’s got to throw strikes or he is useless.

      1. There is a long line of people whom thought they got the better of a deal with the Rays only to learn later that they didn’t.

        You should read the Extra 2%. It will help you understand the Rays better. Great baseball book.

      2. The Rays are some kind of amazing.
        However, they may have been fleeced by the Brewers a couple of months ago when they gave up 4 years of Willie Adames for a couple of relievers.
        As far as Alvarado goes … Dombrowski gave up very little (Garrett Cleavinger) for 3 yrs of a LHP who throws 100+ MPH. I’d do that trade every day of the week.

  27. Why do successful closers get traded to the Phillies then totally stink it up? Now Kennedy won’t be available tomorrow.

  28. 2.5 games out!
    Ranger looked good as a starter.
    Ian Kennedy hasn’t looked great as the new closer.
    And Alec Bohm is back to 2020 Alec Bohm! As I’ve said numerous times, he’s not going to win a GG, but he should be able to handle 3B defensively for the next couple/few years (at least).

  29. Hard to believe Kennedy gets a Save for that, but a W counts. JTR heating up a bit, Ranger looked very good, and glad to see Bohm hitting.

  30. Do you think Kennedy sucking is due to having new catchers/ lack of chemistry?

    I’m worried he reminds me of Workman, even his average stuff is similar.

    1. Kennedy might be one of those relievers who struggles in mop up situations and loses focus of the game isn’t on the line.

      1. He needs to mix in a few secondaries once in a while. Too many FBs. Hitters see it too much, and they get a bead on it.

    2. I think he’s just regressing to the mean. That’s usually what happens when you trade for a player that has surface numbers that don’t match either his peripherals or his career numbers. He’s been extremely average for over a decade. Since he debuted in 2007, he’s had an FIP below 4 just 4 times (2007, 2011, 2014, 2019)… and one of those “seasons” was his debut of 3 starts.

      So yeah. This will keep happening as long as we expect average players to be more than they are.

      1. DanK….just look at his FIP just a reliever (approx 100 IP)….he was primarily a starter prior up to 2019.

  31. Looks like Joe will use Ranger as an ‘opener’ if he lets him go only to the third….not a bad idea.
    Assume he will let him go further into a game once he gets furthered stretched.

    1. Yeah, Romus. I think I heard the plan is to let Ranger throw maybe 60-65 pitches, or 4 innings his next time out (probably Saturday vs Mets).

      1. Ranger wears that 55 well on his back.
        I wonder if he will be a key cog in the rotation for years to come.

  32. The team should have a sports psychological on board. They have someone in sort of that capacity but I don’t think they have a “full- blown ” doctor. I think they have a ” happy feelings specialist” with the team. They need someone to get in their head to hit and pitch in crucial situations.

    1. Denny….what?
      They have a medical staff and I do think they can provide that service if needed..

      And anyway, those with wives and girlfriends, already have built in psychologist available right at home! 🙂

    2. Forgive me, Denny. As I read this all I could picture was the little dude in The Natural talking to the Knights in the locker room and Redford eventually walking out.

      1. Haha nice one. Just my frustration coming out. Maybe there should be a fan psychiatrist that one could call during the game. I would be first to call.

  33. Matt – Don’t think that was a save situation. Glam – Kennedy throws way more strikes than Workman but saves in Philly will be a lot harder than in Texas.

    1. The scorer on ESPN gave him a save for some reason, but you’re right that he wasn’t in a save situation by the rules.

  34. ciada, I just went by the boxscore. It’s fine with me if he gets one, I was just being sarcastic after another 2 Run HR. Meanwhile, we are 21/2 games out, which is hard to believe. I was driving when Harper got thrown out at Home after Miller’s fly ball, so didn’t see it. Was it a great throw, or a gamble by Harper to try to score?

    1. Given the way the Phillies in RISP situations, it was a reasonable gamble by Harper. It was a close play. at the plate and it took a good throw from the left fielder. It was just a shallow fly ball, and another poor job by a Phillies hitter with a runner on 3rd and less than 2 out.

  35. It wasn’t a good gamble IMO way too shallow.

    But Bryce feels pressure to perform and win with this team.

      1. when it comes to those of the big bats:
        Harper, Cutch. Jean, Alec Bohm and of late JTR….have better than average RISP production
        Didi and Rhys are really poor…well below average.

        Joe would have been better off pinch hitting anyone, maybe even Luke Williams ilo of Rhys when the bases were full……if you go by the analytics.

  36. I don’t see McCutchen (unless he’s willing to play for $5Mill), Bradley, Alvarado, Hererra, Knapp, or Williams and probably Jankowski on the roster next year. Of course there will be no room or need for Moore and Anderson.

    1. Knapp is likely coming back because he’s making peanuts, and JT plays like 85%+ of the games anyways. Unless you want Marchan to play 15% of games and watch JT play. Either way, it doesn’t bother me.

      Williams is coming back, he’s a bench guy and again making peanuts.

      Alvarado is also making peanuts but he needs to show some improvement.

      Cutch and Herrera are likely gone at their option price, Bradley likely is gone especially if he wants a raise from his current $6M. I don’t think anybody believes what Jankowski is currently doing is sustainable, but he’s getting a raise next season. We’ll see if the Phillies will be the one to give it to him.

  37. ciada, Cutch was pretty bad in April and May, and his D is not exactly stellar. But since June 1, he has been very good, and I am not advocating bringing him back, but his production will be difficult for us to replace unless Bohm becomes the LF. If that is the case, we still need a CF, a 3B, a SS, more BP help and another SP. Rhys was still being bothered by the groin, and could swing but not run. So, there was no chance he was going to do anything but swing for a HR. In typical Rhys fashion, he watched 2 pitches for strikes 1 and 2, and then K’d on a pitch that was worse than the first 2.

    1. Hoskin’s forte is hitting with the bases empty as evidenced by his HR success (15)? solo shots.

  38. I was quite impressed by that win and the fact that the Marlins jumped out and bit the Mutts for a win.

    Granted I look at how hard we had to work for a win against a pretty much AAAA team but still it felt pretty good.

    Yesterday I was saying I have a hard time feeling an emotional connection to this team but last night I was feeling it for Ranger and Bohm.

    1. The Phillies are not unique in their inconsistency in both their performance and their energy level, or lack thereof. The intangibles aren’t easy to come by, but the front office has to have a finger on the pulse of the clubhouse. Having a few likable or colorful characters in the fold is one thing, but when likable and colorful in and of themselves stops at the top step of the dugout, we got problems. Hoskins is a likable guy. I would trade likable with power and a propensity for solo shots for a couple bullpen arms with command and a wipeout pitch. If they happen to be nice guys, great.

  39. Ya, it really comes down to who gets hot now. If Suarez holds up and we can back Ef then if they get hot as hitters it could get interesting.
    Yes the big three in the west and Milwaukee have the better teams and everyone talks about how week our division is but past those four in the other two NL divisions?

    The big question is Kennedy enough in the bullpen, especially after the fingers he gave up on last two games and the subtraction of Suarez.
    Next you had guys like Utley, Rollins, Howard, Werth, Victorino, and even Ruiz (in playoffs) who would carry the team during these months. This group has not shown the ability to do that thus far.

    1. In the playoffs, anything can happen. Remember when Cody Ross got hot in 2010 and booted the Phillies out of the playoffs? He was the NLCS MVP against the Phillies. Or Chris Carpenter outdueling Roy Halladay in 2011 NLDS?

      1. AndR
        And remember the time Bobby Boucher showed up at halftime and the Mud Dogs won the Bourbon Bowl, do ya?” – remember when a Bobby Boucher

      2. It’s interesting how we remember the 2010 season. The Phillies won the most games that year with 97 I believe. The Giants ranked 5th in wins.

        Team OPS the Giants ranked 10th we were 9th and team ERA the Giants ranked 1 while the Phillies were 6th.

        I know we were all kind of stunned that they took us out but again that Giants team was a really good baseball team top to bottom and over looked as well.

        I don’t disagree that anything can happen in the playoffs I just don’t see any area where we would say the 2021 Phillies are a really good baseball team.

        Our team ERA is ranked 19th. Team OPS isn’t bad 13th

        Not sure where you find defensive ranks but we have to be close to the bottom and with the trade deadline behind us I struggle with anything can happen optimism.

        Cody Ross was a career 760 OPS guy and that year he OPSd well over 1.000 and he didn’t just do it to us he did that against the Braves NLDS and the Rangers WS

        1. OPSd over 1.000 I should of clarified that was in the Playoffs that season…

          His reg season OPS was around his career norm

  40. I don’t think that we talk enough about how awesome Bryce Harper has been. He is having the second best season of his great career. Truly exceptional across the board. And so consistent. He is everything that we had hoped for when we signed him to that big deal. I feel like we take him for granted. But he is really phenomenal.

    1. He is there just isn’t much around him. In some ways reminds me of the Jim Thome era al beit that era had a young strapping lad by the name of Ryan Howard on the come up

      1. Amazing Thome fun fact. He played an incredible 22 years in the bigs. 13 of those seasons came after he was 28 the age Bryce is now.

        If you look at their BR pages Bryce is on a very similar trajectory as big Jim with some really good seasons ahead of him.

          1. I’ve really loved almost everything about Bryce Harper since he joined the team.

            He gives 100 percent. He doesn’t appear to “big time” his teammates. He hustles and runs the bases. He gets what we Philadelphians are all about and embraces that. When he talks, he does so from the heart – there’s no jerk or phoniness about him. He seems like “good people.”

            And here’s the best one – he’s improving. And I think by a lot. The biggest difference between 2019 and now is that he no longer over-swings or fishes. He is so under control and doesn’t try to do too much. If they walk him, so be it.

            What a pleasure to watch and, damn, we got that signing right!!!

            1. Agree…..9.2bWAR in 300 games.
              If it is still an equivalent factor of $8M per WAR…..looks like he has outperformed his contract to date.

            2. It’s a testament to him that he’s the big free agent signing making a gajillion dollars playing for a disappointing, possibly underachieving team and he gets little if any hate. Usually the star player is the first guy to get blamed when things don’t go well. To this point he hasn’t really given people any ammo to complain other than getting hurt.

        1. Thome played most of his time at 1B and DH. Those are not exactly athletic positions. Bryce is in RF running balls down. His defense has wavered already. He has a strong arm which is great but his range has suffered and he’s misjudging flyballs. 5 years from now, not sure how his defense will look but I’m betting it’ll be worse.

      2. … Jim Thome played alongside Mike Lieberthal, Bobby Abreu, Placido Polanco, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, and a season of Shane Victorino.

        During his (first) Phillies tenure (2003-2005), the team was 4th in baseball in runs scored and also pretty good defensively. Our failures weren’t his fault, but there was plenty of talent surrounding ol’ Jimbo.

  41. Guru, I am still suffering emotional trauma from 2010 and 2011. We should have still had Cliff Lee in 2010, and whenever I think about the dumb moves made by the team, I remember trading Lee after 2009, getting nothing in return, so we could save $9.5M, and it makes every other stupid deal look better. And, v1, except for that Friday night game where Bryce lost those 2 Fly Balls, he has been a better defensive OF than I thought.

    1. Really? Bryce’s defense has been poor this season and his dWar bears it out: it’s his second worse defensive season in his career (-1 dWar). He still has his arm but he’s not reading the ball well in the OF. He had one game where he totally lost a ball and it landed inches foul. He had another one where he lost it near the warning track and bumped into Odubel. It’s a good thing his offense has picked up. He just doesn’t look comfortable in the field this season at all.

      1. Yikes:
        Adam Duvall….4.7
        Juan Soto….4.6
        Jason Heyward….4.5
        Ronald Acuna Jr….. 2.2
        Mike Yastrzemski…. 1.8
        Billy McKinney MIL 1.0
        Gregory Polanco…. 0.6
        Avisail Garcia……0.3
        Michael Conforto…..0.2
        Zach McKinstry…..-0.2
        Mookie Betts…..-0.3
        Charlie Blackmon….-0.7
        Wil Myers….-1.0
        Bryce Harper…..-2.8

  42. DMAR/Matt13 – Agree on Harper. Only thing is he’s playing a more difficult position than Thome and he dives into every base. Thome barely even slid. I think in a couple of years, Harper will need to move to the other corner, too.

    Was listening to Gary Cohen (the best) on the Mets game the other night when Ron Darling went into the Mets Hall of Fame. He was saying the oven mitts runners are wearing should be banned because when they dive into bases, they have an additional 3-4 inches.

    On another topic and I’d like some opinions, Steph Curry just signed for 4 years with the Warriors. Don’t get me wrong, I love Curry, great player and good guy. But 4 at $215 M is obscene. Come on! 54 million dollars a year!!!!

    Things are just so out of hand. I know players should get what they can but did you see some of those NBA contracts from yesterday? Not unlike baseball, guys are making astonishing dollars. My last year teaching after 30 years, I made $63K.

    1. It’s criminal that sports organizations are worth billions of dollars. But that’s the reality, so I prefer as much of that as possible goes to the people who ACTUALLY make it possible.

      What’s really obscene is what the owners are “making” just by having the money to have bought the team. They don’t get a salary, but their net worth increases by ludicrous sums each year just because they had money enough to buy a team in the first place.

    2. I’m not anit capitalist and I sure am not a commie but I agree. It’s quite obscene on both sides. That said the only way to get it in check is to stop supporting it.

      Every individual should be able to reach for their dreams, for their own summit with no limits. I’d just like to think they will give back of their own free will.

    3. Basketball salaries are seriously out of control. You could be an NBA scrub and pick up crazy money. Look at Nerlens Noel. He got 3 years, $32M. He’s 27 already on his 4th team. He can’t shoot 3s and his career scoring average is 7.6. If you have a tall grandson, send him to basketball camp.

      1. Or you can be Ben Simmons and not only not be able to shoot 3’s, but also be afraid to dunk on a guy 6 inches shorter than you. All for the cheap price of $30+M per year.

        I’ll be honest, I don’t care about the NBA at all. But my oldest brother absolutely LOVES the Sixers, so my dad and I watched some games with him. Wow. I was genuinely awestruck. I feel so bad that Embiid had to carry him kicking and screaming through the playoffs up to that point.

  43. Seranthony begins a rehab assignment in high-A Jersey Shore tonight and could be ready for a September return. Who’s to say how effective he’ll be but the idea that someone with his arm could boost a weak bullpen is something hopeful. At age 26, he’d be just now entering his prime. This organization needs someone to go right in spite of itself.

    And man, I love the idea of Jhailyn Ortiz manning a major league OF spot in the next couple years. Let’s hope he remains a Phillie. I can see him in RF as Bryce moves to either LF, 1b or DH, and probably a mix of all three. Jhailyn in CF? He’s been holding his own but I wouldn’t think that no matter his athleticism, his body type over time will keep him at the corners. But with that raw power, who cares.

    1. Denny, Joe may simply be playing it straight
      with matchups….Odubel has hit .286 vs Corbin. TJ is 0 for 4. But Bohm and Hoskins have lit the lefty up…. .400 and .348 respectively and 2 pops apiece.

  44. Daniel Brito in stable condition! great news! Nothing else about his condition or cause, but his Mother is here from Venezuela.

  45. Wheeler needs a big game tonight. Last week versus Corbin the Phillies did pretty good. Hopefully, they’ll continue that trend.

    1. The gun is supposedly to be 3-4 MPH slow. The Phillies mentioned that he was throwing 94 in simulated games.

      1. he threw mostly fastballs, all posted on the scoreboard between 91 & 93 mph. we were bummed to see a reliever warming up throughout his inning, signaling a one inning appearance.

  46. Supposedly Patrick Corbin wasn’t traded because no team wanted to take on the rest of his salary. He’s still owed 3 years, $83.25M! And his WAR for this season is -1.3, which is way worse than ANY pitcher on the Phillies.

    1. Corbin has been bad in 2021 but he actually had very good stuff last night. Was forced to hear parts of the Nats broadcast and they mentioned several times that they hadn’t seen that much velocity from him all year.

      Was a good win.

  47. Don’t look now but … maybe … just maybe the bullpen could get in a “I’m not going to blow the division” groove. Bradley, Neris, Alvarado, Kennedy, & Sir Anthony in a month. Plus the rookie. It’s not as bad as the beginning of the season

  48. Really great to hear about Daniel Brito, who was very much developing into a legitimate big league prospect. Here’s hoping for a full recovery for this young man. So scary.

    Speaking of big league prospects, it’s great that Ortiz and Moniak continue to develop. Moniak still needs to work on drawing more walks, but his M.O. is going to be as a guy who hits some homers and bangs extra base hits all over the place. That’s how he becomes a legit big league player. He keeps progressing and that’s all you can ask. And, when he arrives in the big league (I feel pretty confident he is a major leaguer in the future), we need to expect he will continue to develop, just as Alec Bohm has continued to develop.

    1. As I look at Brito’s hitting numbers and understand his fielding capabilities, he had risen to the level of a top 10-15 prospect, perhaps even back half of the top 10. Essentially a Cesar Hernandez type player, which is nothing to sneeze at. His minor league numbers this year compared favorable to Cesar’s at a similar age, with a better OPS. If he can get his health back, he has a very bright future in the major leagues. He’s the type of player that goes under the radar but really shouldn’t because he plays a key defensive position very well.

      1. Earlier in his career, the MLB Top 30 Prospects list description of Brito included a comparison to Robinson Cano at that age as well as a suggestion that he was the best hitter in the system.

  49. What do they do when eflin comes back? You can’t run a VV, moore, and anderson bullpen but lack starting depth.

    Story of the year: after eflin gets hurt again and the phillies have released moore and anderson, mark appel gets an emergency start and throws a shutout the puts the phils in the playoffs. Then retires to make theovie

    1. My guess is one of the three is DFA’ed. Wouldn’t be surprised if they send Vince on a rehab to AAA to buy time.

    1. Yesterday during the pre-game show DD all but said that the Hamels deal was not going to happen with the Phillies. It’s a little unfortunate, but oh well.

      You know, listening to DD reminds me so much of hearing Pat Gillick talk. DD is remarkably comfortable and candid. He’s at the point in his career where he doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone and his comments are remarkably straightforward and forthcoming. He’s not defensive and he’s very even keel and, even in a relaxed setting, he reveals a lot. It’s not the typical corporate speak you get from most people in sports. He’s the anti-MacPhail and thank God for that!

      1. Though they are 30 years or so apart in age….same remeshing and openness talk comes form the Eagles’ new head coach. .Nick Sirianni

  50. I honestly thought the Mets were trying to limit DeGroms IP and that he would be back and fresh to make the final push for the division. Sounds like I was completely wrong about that and he won’t pitch again this season.

    I don’t think they overcome a loss like that.

    We only play the Mets/Braves 9 games between now and the end. 6 against the Fish including the last 3 of the season.

    My prediction is those 15 games are the lightning in a bottle for this club. If they go 8-7 or 7-8 in those games forget it. They need to go 11-4 or 10-5.

    Some might say why are the last place Marlins important and I say to that because the past 3 years they thumped us when we should have completely man handled them.

  51. DMAR – deGrom’s woes began this season when he was constantly throwing FBs over 100 mph. In all his years, he had never done that. Maybe it caught with him and put so much stress on his elbow, forearm, and shoulder that he may never be the same again.

    And how about that Alvarado!! For years I’ve been begging the Phillies to go out and get him…Okay, that wasn’t me. It was Hinkie all along but as long as he’s doing well, I’m taking the credit and when he can’t throw strikes and blows leads, I’m blaming you know who.

  52. The 2008 Champs were clearly a better composed group than the 2021 version. However, after Cole Hamels (who was pretty good but not great in the ’08 regular season) there was Moyer, Myers, Kendrick, and Eaton who was displaced by Joe Blanton late. The sum was greater than the individual parts and they were backed by excellent defense, timely hitting, and a core of team leaders which learned how to win over a 3-5 year period.

    This current rotation is head and shoulders better than the ’08 staff, talent wise. The bullpens? Well….

    This 25 man squad has tread water for several years as a .500 ball club with virtually no continuity, identity or leadership. I was as critical of Charlie Manuel’s ingame chops as anyone, but the guy had a roster of players who played for him. The one thing BOTH teams have in common is a legitimate POBO. Let’s hope this season is the 2006 or better yet, 2007 prior to the next championship.

    1. Hamels had a 141 ERA+ in ’08. For comparison Zach Wheeler’s is 156 this year so I think relative to the league Cole was actually pretty close to great. The rest of the ’08 rotation is actually better across the board than this year’s by the numbers but we think of Nola and Eflin as better than their ERAs right now. The ’08 team didn’t have the anchors of Moore, Velaquez and Anderson rounding out the starting 5 either. Even Adam Eaton was better than any of those guys.

      Ranger and Gibson hopefully levels the playing field moving forward.

      1. The top 2 in this rotation are better. Nola is better than Jamie Moyer – putting aside It isn’t Nola’s best year. Myers and Eflin are a wash. Blanton and Gibson could be roughly equal. Kendrick wasn’t great but he’s better than any 5 we’ve thrown out there so far.

        1. Can’t argue there. The current starting 5 looks better on paper than the ’08 staff though maybe not by a lot. Unfortunately this team doesn’t measure up to the WFCs in any other facet.

    2. Man, people really forget how good Hamels was even before the playoffs.

      He was 15th among all pitchers in WAR and 12th in ERA among pitchers with 100+ IP (he moves up 2 slots if you make it 150+). Wanna know some of the names ahead of him? Halladay, Lee, Lincecum (and this was PEAK Timmy), Johan Santana, and CC Sabathia.

      He was AHEAD of such names as Wainwright, Lester, King Felix, Oswalt, Tim Hudson, and Mike Mussina.

      Dude was holding his own with multiple HoFers.

      The only real knock against Cole was his FIP was pretty substantially higher than his ERA. But that continued through his career (and with multiple teams), so it seems like he’s one of the pitchers that it didn’t evaluate properly (another notable example being Matt Cain).

      2008 wasn’t his peak, but Hamels was a beast that year all the way through.

      1. Hamels great before 2008 and now it is 14 years later, like Carlton in 1972 and 1986. Would you want to see that again in a Phillies uniform?

        1. Considering the Dodgers are paying him the pro-rated portion of a 1M contract, and also considering how awful our 5th SP options have been… absolutely. I’d take that chance 10 times out of 10.

          But there’s really no upside for Hamels in it, so I don’t blame him for choosing the Dodgers and a very good shot at another ring.

          But that’s not what this conversation was about anyways.

          1. As an aside, you say it’s 14 years later… but actually it’s 13 years later. And in ’85 Steve had a 3.33 ERA (in 92 innings, so even the smaller amount of innings is comparable).

            Not to say Hamels is going to be excellent after all this time off. But again, for this team? Worth the gamble.

      2. Maybe 2008 wasn’t his peak (it was around the time they got Cliff Lee the second time and shortly thereafter – he was a true 4 pitch, pitcher at that time), BUT he never performed better than he did during the 2008 postseason – he carried the team on his back. It was amazing.

        1. Oh yeah. Watching him pitch us to the World Series was incredible.

          I’m still, to this day, upset that the umps forced him to keep pitching in that ridiculous weather just so the Rays could tie the game before they suspended it. I get it; you don’t want the World Series to end in a game that doesn’t go 9 innings. Just make it a rule that all playoff games have to be at least 9 innings. Don’t tempt fate to make it happen again and maybe get someone seriously hurt the next time.

  53. I’m feelin’ it! I’m feelin’ it! Chase Anderson is going to have a quality start tonight. He’s going at least six innings and allowing three or less runs. Tonight the Phillies are finally going to get a down payment on Anderson’s contract.

    1. ciada….Anderson’s contract is $4M…if he pitches to a .5bWAR he has performed to his contract… right now he has to rise his bWAR .8 points to get him to the equity value of his contract.
      A no-hitter tonight would probably get him close.

  54. Why are the Phillies holding a 40 man roster spot for another RP, 23? Or 25 YO that has
    10 IP in AAA with a 9.90 ERA
    108 IP in AA with a 4.72 ERA

    Texas Throw-in?
    American League?

    Potential, Potential?
    Roster spot better used ya think

  55. But how good has Ronald Torreyes been? Good teams always have glue players like this.

    1. Cinn Reds were the one team that was not scared off by his 5’7″, 140 lb size and signed him in 2010. ..great eye, rarely Ks and puts his bat on the ball…..though also rarely takes walks
      Joe really likes the guy…..he is what I thought Scott Kingery could give the Phillies.

    2. As much as I like Ronald Torreyes, he’s only putting up 0.6 WAR. He’s playing a lot because Jean got hurt, Didi got hurt and not playing well, Bohm got Covid and not playing well. Ideally, he wouldn’t be playing this much if Didi and Bohm were at least league average.

  56. I’ve been offering the Phillies (through this website) the Hinkie plan for recruiting Japanese players since Shohei Ohtani and Yusei Kikuchi were still pitching in the NPL. ICYMI (in a nutshell): the team needs to hire Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto as Director Of Clubhouse Food Services. The way to a Japanese superstar’s heart is through his stomach!

    Don’t know if you have caught any Olympic baseball (shout out to Luke Williams for getting the US squad to the games), but the Japanese team is really good. They’ve got a number of very interesting players. The Phillies should be doing everything they can to push their brand into Asia (Japan specifically).

    Here’s a guy who could get posted this offseason: 2Bman Tetsuto Yamada is called the Japanese Mike Trout. He just turned 29, and he’s a career .291/.394/.526 slasher. His clutch hit today landed Japan in the gold medal game.

    1. I wish I was as optimistic as you that all it would take to attract Japanese talent is the right cuisine. I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt, mind you, and everyone should enjoy some quality Japanese food anyways.

      But there’s a reason that the west coast comes away with the vast majority of Asian superstars. The time difference is better, for one. And also there is a HUGE Asian community out west. Philadelphia’s China town is nothing compared to LA’s and SF’s (I haven’t been able to visit Seattle’s).

      1. DanK…Yankees and Red Sox have been able to attract Japanese talent…because of their deep pockets and reputations
        Phillies however are concentrating on the Asian kids…they have made in roads along those lines….a few months ago the Taiwan infielder……Lee Hao-Yu….$600K

        1. Yeah, they’re working in the right direction. I think they should really try to muscle in on the Korean market, and make some strong, lasting connections. There’s a real potential for that talent sector to boom like Japan has in recent years.

          1. And I also think the Aussie market is there for the Phillies…as long as they max out every winter and send their prospects, along with the Aussie born guys.
            Eventually some of the larger market teams with deep pockets will start to hit that country … the Phillies should do their due diligence quickly on scouting and developing those Aussie kids.

    2. If the Phillies want to be serious about going after asian players, then they need to throw a large amount of money at somebody. But unfortunately, that may not be enough.

      On the east coast, it’s all about the Yankees and Red Sox. Their reputation is large and obviously they have had a good history with asian players over the years.

      The west coast is better for them because of proximity to their home. Let’s face it, LA/SD/SF is closer to Japan/China/Taiwan/South Korea than Philadelphia. And obviously, there is a large asian population in the major California cities.

      Food is not going to get it done.

      1. My sense is that, among Japanese people, the team’s reputation is a big deal, as is geography. I think most players either want to go to a West Coast city or with a team like the Yankees or Red Sox. I think the challenges for the Phillies to get one of these marquee players is extreme, at least at this point time.

        But it’s better than being in Kansas City or St. Louis.

        1. I love that stuff but asians care more about reputation and respect. It’s going to be very hard for the Phillies to get a good asian player away from the Yankees or the Red Sox.

          I think somebody mentioned online that Philadelphia was the booing capital of the world? That doesn’t help either for asian players.

      2. Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto is just the crown jewel of a Japanese team the Phillies should put together to help recruit NPB talent. A year or two before Ohtani was set to join MLB, AJ Preller hired Ohtani’s one time trainer to work for the Padres. That move didn’t land the Japanese “Babe Ruth”, but you’ve got to admire the outside-the-box thinking.

        The real Japanese prize is still a few years away. Remember the name Roki Sasaki. He’s a 19 YO RHP. This kid was throwing 100 MPH in HS. He thought about “Coming to America” straight outta’ HS, but ended up entering his name in the NPB draft (where he went 1-1). He’s already throwing for the Chiba Lotte Marines as a teenager. Adeiny Hechavarria is one of his teammates this season. I’d hire Hechavarria as a coach the minute he retires from pro ball. John Middleton should offer Ichiro Suzuki a big salary as a Japanese ambassador for the club. Hell … I’d also find a job for his former HS coach as a Phillies’ Asian scout. Is Sasaki’s mother looking for a job? We’ll find something for her too.
        The point is … Middleton and Dombrowski need to be aggressive in their recruitment of Sasaki, Tetsuto Yamada, and other top NPB players who may someday make their way to MLB.


        Also … money (as always) is a big factor in where guys sign. Texas (with no real history with Asian players) signed Yu Darvish by offering him the biggest contract.

        1. BTW … the Phillies have been doing work in Taiwan. In addition to the kid Romus mentioned (Lee Hao-Yu), they signed Lin Hsin-Chieh (one of the top teen pitchers in Taiwan) a couple of years ago. They were also the favorites to sign two-way prospect Lin An-Ko (one of the top college players in Taiwan) about a year and a half ago before he decided to stay in Asia and became a first round pick in the CPBL.

  57. I only predicted a quality start by Anderson tonight but you read it here first. Romus predicted that Anderson will pitch a no hitter tonight.

  58. At least Chase Andersen sticks to his plan pitches to his ability and gives it best shot. Some of Phils other 5s quit early. No names needed.

  59. I guess Chase should be paying the Phillies. Terrible call by me. No blame on Romus. My bad. Just wishful thinking on my part.

    1. Remember the “Duke” said never apologize “it’s a sign of weakness”! We got the gist of your comments. My son is at this game, I ask him if they gave the tickets away that he’s getting to see so many headliners.

  60. Only MLB in the lineup is Soto and Bell, both primed for offspeed outs, it happened. This Nats Team is AAA so Chase and Matt have a chance , not to mention we have stop hitting. because we hit a 34 YO , 86 MPH all over.
    Moore throwing 96 like his Career depended on it.
    Please tell me this is the Last of these guys!!!

  61. Keep beating the bad teams.

    Nice job by Matt Moore. 96 out of the pen was surprising. He handled Juan Soto twice.

    Give Chase Anderson credit. He gave up all of his HRs early in the counts . That way, he was able to keep his pitch count down so he was able to cough up more homers to even more Washington hitters.

    And Joe Girardi would have more success solving a Rubick’s Cube than handling the Phillies BP. What is he doing?

    1. Matt Moore really surprised me. Now that we know he can hit 95 and 96 in short stints, let’s keep him to 2 innings or less. He could be very effective in that role. Andrew Miller was a failed starter who became a stud doing that. I’m not saying that Moore could be as effective, but there’s some upside there. However, if you use him 4 innings in relief as if he were a starter, you’ll start to see more of the Matt Moore we already know.

      Once Eflin comes back and you add Falter and Brogdon (hopefully) to the BP, the team has a bunch of decent options. Chase Anderson is a stop gap at best. I don’t mind if he goes to the BP as a mop up guy just to keep the other guys fresh. But he should only being pitching in blow outs (either way) – he’s not very good as we all know.

    2. In Girardi’s defense, a Rubik’s cube has fewer moving parts than our BP.

      But yeah, I don’t get it. He has the bullpen management skills of Charlie without the ability to be likable (at least in the media/to the fans, maybe the players like him) or get hitters on the right track.

  62. I think its worth noting because I am a big fan and I know a bunch of guys wanted to trade him. Bohm:

    June 329/384/763 OPS
    July 296/387/869 OPS
    Aug 385/467/851 OPS

    It may take a while for more balls to start going over the wall but I think this is a long term stock you buy and hold for the next 5-10 years.

    1. Bohm’s rebound from an early sophomore slump is very encouraging. He may never be more than a 12-15 homer guy, but his hit tool should profile well as a #2 bat, spraying the ball around and hopefully increasing his BBs as well.

      1. Bohm does not have a good offensive WAR numbers, but much of that is affected by his poor early season performance. He never looked lost at the plate. Ever. He just had to make adjustments and he has been doing that.

        I think there’s quite a bit of power in there but he needs to develop that part of his game. You would hope, in the long run, that he develops into a hitter like Nick Castellanos, with a little less power, but more walks. Furthermore, I expect, once he becomes a somewhat better hitter, he will ultimately land in the outfield, first or DH.

        Oddly, he does well on fWAR defensively and poorly on offense and does poorly on bWAR defensively and adequately on offense. The analytics folks are confused as we are about Bohm, but if he can hit a lot at third and be okay on defense he should stick there for a little while at least.

    2. His bat is not in question, except for his power. The question is, where are you going to play him going forward?

      1. Where does a guy who doesn’t hit for much power, draw walks, or play good defense play? Answer: AAA.

        On the plus side, Bohm’s actually been walking and getting some XBHs lately. He just needs to keep doing that.

      2. He has played 3B better recently which has (not surprisingly) coincided with his increased offense. Not sure where he’ll play long term. And his lack of power is a concern so I think we’ll have to temper our expectations for him. A guess of his future slash should be something like .285/.350/.440. Not great for a 3B so he’ll have to improve his glove a little.

  63. With Falter and Eflin eventually returning, and Moore possibly providing effective high velo LOOGY duty, I like the idea of a piggy back #5 with Ranger starting and Falter coming in around the 4th or 5th inning.

  64. In my mind, the Mets are already cooked. The Braves are the team to beat. The Phillies are going to have to continue to hit to keep pace with that rugged Braves’ lineup.
    By Sunday night, I think the division will look like this:

    Mets –
    Phils .5 GB
    Braves 1 GB

    1. Agree. The Phillies need what they’ve seldom displayed in recent years….a torrid win streak, like 15 of 20, especially with their favorable schedule. Their tendency to play to the level of their competition cannot continue if they want to even sniff post season play. The Braves have the battle tested metal for a stretch run. The Mess are injury plagued and simply aren’t headed by strong, proven baseball people.

      1. After the Mets play us this weekend and the Nats next week, they play 4 consecutive series against the Dodgers and Giants, home and away. Yowsa….they may be 6 or 7 games back by then. The Braves schedule is much more favorable until late August when they play NYY for 2 games before facing the Giants.

    2. I also agree that Braves will be tough. Anthopolous loaded up on some HR hitting outfielders that actually lengthen their lineup. Duvall and Soler don’t get on base nor hit for average – but this game anymore is a game of solo homers. I watched the Cardinal/Braves games last 2 nights / after Phillies/ and their lineup is really tough – any batter can hit a homer. Riley and Swanson are underrated.

      1. You think Riley is under rated? I remember in his debut season Atlanta fans were rabid about how he was the next great hitter. Dude’s having a good year at the plate, but he’s also sporting a .344 BABIP. I have serious reservations that he’s anywhere near THAT good (for reference, Trout has a career .331, Harper .323, and Freeman .321). Don’t get me wrong, I think he can be a .260-.270 hitter with pop. But he’s also bad defensively. Like, we’ve been complaining about Bohm, but Riley makes him look like Pedro Feliz out there.

        Swanson, I also don’t think is underrated but he has a better case for it. He’s a good player and people think of him as such. He does a little bit of everything. Hits for okay average, has good pop, plays good defense. Not a world beater, but someone that would be a starter on most teams. His walks are a little down this year, but he’s been known to draw them at an alright clip in previous years. Other than that, he’s generally average or above in everything.

  65. Yep…SABR has Riley as bottom three @ third base in the NL
    Austin Riley…..-2.2
    Justin Turner…..-3.6
    Alec Bohm….. -4.8
    …naturally Phillies guy holds it up.

    Bottom three -AL:
    Anthony Rendon…..-4.0
    Hunter Dozier….. -5.1
    Maikel Franco….. -6.3

    As an aside:
    ROX…loses Gold Glover Arenado and McMahon steps in …has a chance at a GoGl. someday.

  66. I knew life in the minors was rough, but this article really paints an accurate picture of how ugly it really is. Side note: the story does point to the Phillies as one of the better organizations to play MiLB in (they give all players a housing stipend).


    I’ve always believed MLB clubs should be required to build dorms (to house and provide meals at no cost) at every level of their system. Why not truly treat these kids as investments in your organization?

    1. Regrettably, many modern companies don’t believe in investing in their workers. Just look at Amazon; they’re spending millions (if not billions) just to fight against their warehouse employees unionizing. Not to mention all the other shady stuff they pull (I’ve got plenty of stories to tell…). And this is despite the fact that multiple studies have shown that happy employees lead to drastic increases in profits on average.

      But yeah, most MLB teams have that same mindset. Cut costs wherever legally (or illegally if they can get away with it) possible and pocket the saved money. If we’re being honest, the vast majority of teams aren’t trying to build an empire of good baseball teams. They’re trying to put just enough talent on the field to maximize profits off of their fan base. Why spend money on developing talent when other teams will do it for you and you can just trade for it or buy it in FA?

      1. Talk about shutting down….nationwide boycotts left and right would pop up daily if the general public knew the unethical behavior of corporate America. I’m familiar with Amazon’s shipping contracts. The company I work for agreed to an absolutely horribly abusive contract with Amazon years ago (shame on the guy who brokered that deal…he was canned a week later). But because anyone can buy anything through Amazon for fairly cheap due to absurdly low shipping costs, hence their domination of virtually every retail market. MLB and other pro sports enterprises share a similar privelege, except they’re judged mostly by what happens on the field of competition before the scrutiny of millions of spectators and television viewers.

        1. Yep. People with effective monopolies can get away with literal murder. It’s a shame we can’t hold the powerful accountable. But until something affects them personally, most people are regrettably apathetic. And a lot of the ones that aren’t are just so overwhelmed that they can’t effectively doing anything about it.

          But on a good note, at least some journalists (like the one listed above) are starting the ball rolling on some of the injustices we all face. Makes me feel even better about subscribing to The Athletic.

    2. Hinkie… reason this commissioner keeps trimming the draft …..he wants the colleges to become the first ‘quasi’ first or second levels of the minor league development system….so the guys come in at 21 or 22 years old….the Latin kids will come thru the 30 academies in the DR…for their first 2 or maybe 3 years.
      And all 30 teams have the camp/complezes also for the initial and second level of training.
      Eventually the financial compensation does get a little higher in AA/AAA ball….then there is the 40 roster ‘reward’ for those who were able to survive and stay the course.

      1. That’s right, Romus.
        BTW … pretty sure the Phillies policy of covering the team hotel bill or providing housing stipends went a long way in helping the club land one of/maybe THE best UDFA classes last summer. Those guys got just 20-thousand dollar bonuses. That money would go even faster if the player has to foot the bill for his housing.

  67. LOL, Mets are definitely cooked. They’re about to lose three of four in Miami. And their schedule is only getting more daunting going forward.

    1. It’s over. Mets lose (despite Marlins error and infield hit). They left the bases loaded in the ninth. Javy Baez Ks five times today. The Phillies should treat them like a punching bag this weekend.
      First to do: finish off the hapless Nats this afternoon, and close the gap to a half-game in the NL East.

    1. Phillies .40.7%
      Braves. 37.5%
      Mets ….23.4%

      1. There’s still a non-zero chance an NL East team wins one of the wildcard slots. So that’s where the miniscule amount over 100 comes from.

          1. Here are BR’s odds to win the division

            1 Philadelphia Phillies………39.4%
            2 Atlanta Braves…………….. 36.2%
            3 New York Mets…………….. 22.3%
            4 Washington Nationals1…..1.9%
            5 Miami Marlins………………..0.2%

            Total …………………………………..100.0%

            Both the Phillies and Braves have best case scenarios winning 89 games, and worse case scenarios of winning just 77 (Phillies) v. 76 (Braves)..

  68. Nola’s error in the 2nd inning killed his entire game. He lost his rhythm after that and struggled right up to Bell’s 3 run dinger. Sometimes it’s just so maddening to watch “the used to be ace” pitch. Had a chance to sweep.

    1. Great pitchers keep their team in the game even when they don’t have their best stuff. Nola doesn’t. He’s never been an ace except for 2018. He’s only been the team’s best SP in other years. When he’s on, he’s so effective. But that’s what…once a month, maybe? He’s above average but not by much. His demeanor isn’t exactly inspiring, either. Perhaps DD can bring a nice prospect return for him in the off season. I wonder what the Rays would offer…

      1. Nola…22 starts so far….Game Score data
        GS 51 or above ….12 starts (8 starts at 60 and above)
        GSc…..40s……………5 starts…..replacement level pitching.

        Also his splits indicate he does poorly away.
        Hopefully this season is an anomaly for him

    1. Texas is not a great organization so the fact that, like the Phillies, they keep trying to force the square peg into the round hole, is not surprising.

      For crying out loud, let the guy either be a 2 inning opener or pitch him out of the bullpen. His problem is mostly a physical one. He has trouble sustaining his velocity. Who knows if this is a permanent issue or not, but put this kid in a position to succeed rather than pushing him past his physical comfort zone and setting him up to fail again and again. It’s dumb and it’s cruel in my opinion.

  69. Another comeback saves Nola. I wish someone could explain what has happened to him, but this has been a less than stellar season. I have been critical of Rhys and his performance with RISP, but kudos to him today! And JT is really good when he is hitting the opposite way! Great 4 game sweep, 1/2 game out and Mets in town!

    1. I said we should be sellers to prepare better for 2022. I still may be right but I’m hoping to be proved wrong! More fireworks today! 🎉🍻

  70. When Mike Rizzo drafts Kumar Rocker next year (up to 1-9 now with a bullet), Nationals’ fans can thank the Phillies for sweeping their team this week.

    1. Hinki:
      I still think Boras may discuss with him going to Japan ….but I believe, that would be for three years before he is eligible for the international free agency route..
      He will get paid well in Japan….and then at 24-years old can again get a large sum coming back to the MLB as a free agent….if he remains healthy.
      Have to wonder, the Mets medical probably did see something in his imaging, and Rocker intentionally did not want to have his pre-draft medical records released to MLB….. suspicious.
      But as you say, Rizzo and the Nats are the type of team that will take a chance if elects to stay in the US and get back into 2022’s draft..

        1. I guess he could go to Japan (like Carter Stewart), but I don’t get that vibe. Sounds like he wants to be available for the 2022 draft. Like you said above, a Japanese commitment would take him out of MLB play for a few years.
          It’s still mind blowing to think the Mets didn’t draft a higher profile prepster somewhere on day three. Instead of being able to sign a kid like that with the money they saved in their attempt to overslot Rocker, they just pocketed the cash. Steve Cohen is the richest man in baseball, yet he spent the second least amount of money on draftees.

          1. Yeah…..Cohen must be taking some flack from Mets fans.
            He also should stay off twitter for awhile.
            He should take a lesson from John Middleton and what he did after the 2018 season and announcing his ‘stupid money’ proclamation.

  71. Another good night for Moniak (double, triple, walk) — his OPS is up to .813 — and Ortiz (3-for-5 with a double). We need outfielders next year!

    1. At the beginning of the year, I admitted not knowing what Moniak could do. But it’s now looking pretty clear that he will be a big league player and that he could end up being a good one. As I said the other day, his M.O., at least early on, will be flexing extra base power – there’s nothing wrong with a lot of doubles and triples (that’s the Stan Musial formula, although “The Man” grew into a home run hitter over time). I assume they are working with him to do what most of the Phillies are now doing, which is not to try to pull everything and to drive the ball where it’s pitched. It’s old fashioned, it’s got nothing to do with launch angle, and it’s just damned good baseball. As Harper is showing – it really works! Kudos to our hitting coaches. These hitters are being coached up pretty well it would seem. The major league team went from a strikeout festival, to disciplined and controlled. I love it!

      1. At the very least you might pair him with a cheap RH platoon partner. I’d still like to see DD pursue Ketel Marte in the offseason

        He’ll be 28 next season and controlled through 2024

        1. Good point. I had failed to look at his platoon splits. They are definitely an issue, but given that he’s a lefty (with most starters being righty), it’s manageable.

          They will have some decisions to make next year about left field and probably DH. I’d like them to keep Cutch, if they can do so on a reasonable contract. You really can’t pay him more than about $11-13m consistent with their other needs – but he would look great at DH and could play left at times and in a modified platoon with a guy like Moniak.

          1. I had forgotten that the Phillies have a $15 million option on Cutch and a $3 million buyout. I would say he could get about $11-13 m on the open market (perhaps a little less), so maybe they want to renegotiate. Renegotiate a $12.5 m/year 2 year deal (or make the second year an option or player option) and implement a $4 m team buyout for year two so that buyout money shifts forward. Seems like a win-win.

            1. I like Cutch as a DH option but after buying him out at $3M, offering him $8M with performance/health (games played) plateaus to reach $10M. I doubt he will command more than that on the open market.

            2. I hope you’re right. Having him back for around $10m would be worth it if there’s a DH next year (as I suspect there will be). If there’s no DH, it’s a tougher call and you would not want to pay him as much as he is a negative defender in left and it puts him more clearly in the way of guys like Ortiz and Moniak.

        2. Kudos to Matt Moniak for apparently having such a strong impact on Mickey’s development, not just as a baseball player, but as a young man under lots of pressure as a 1-1. Nothing builds character like adversity. Here’s hoping the young man succeeds beyond even his predraft projections.

        3. Agree also on Ketel Marte being a target of DD’s this winter. Would love to see Moniak-Marte-Ortiz from left to right in 2023. Move Bryce to 1b, Rhys will be DH already if he’s not traded before then. That leaves Bohm without a position or else he’s the DH if Rhys is gone. That’s a very good problem to have…too much of anything provides value for trade capital.

          1. Bryce Harper is an okay right fielder. You always want to be slow to move a player down the defensive spectrum. As long as Harper can play an outfield position capably, that’s where he plays unless something totally unexpected occurs. The same is true with Hoskins although, admittedly, he’s not a great first baseman.

  72. Going 5 – 0 makes for a great start to August but the upcoming nine game homestand will be tough with three each against the Mets, Dodgers, and Reds. Will we win five? During that same time span the Braves play six against the Nationals and three against the Reds.

    1. Hope is…that the Phillies do not peak too early.
      Past three Septembers have been their demise.
      I still am cautiously optimistic.

      1. Remember 15 games left against the Mets-Braves-Marlins. They win each of those series and I’ll get back on the wagon.

        I really don’t care what they do against the rest of the dreck on their schedule if they can’t have statement series against those teams.

        1. Yeah…it will come down to those three in their division…and those Marlins always seem to be the thorn…the last three games of the year are in Miami, again..while the Braves and Mets play a three game season ending series.

  73. This is the version of Bryce Harper we all dreamed about when he signed. He is playing at an MVP level. Absolutely locked in. Along with Rhys, JT and Bohm right now they are carrying this club. It is refreshing to see the Phillies play winning baseball. I am not sure they are actually playing peak. There are still many issues. But those hitters are out hitting the issues and it is a lot of fun to watch. Never out of a game.

    Let’s friggin win this thing.

    1. Agreed. Great to see them (almost) clicking on all cylinders now.
      Still not feeling great about Ian Kennedy as their closer though.
      It’s important to get Zach Eflin back. With a healthy rotation (Wheeler/Nola/Gibson/Eflin/Saurez), this team will go as far as their offense will carry them.

      This race should come down to the Phillies and Braves. Their rotations and BPs are similar. It’s up to Harper/Hoskins/Realmuto/Segura/etc to keep pace with Atlanta’s lineup.

      1. Based on last night, maybe the plan is to have Archie close and Kennedy be a 7th or 8th inning guy? Bradley’s peripherals are extremely worrying, but he’s only given up 1 ER since 6/27 (in 14 appearances, 15 IP). With extremely limited options, riding the hot hand isn’t the worst strategy, I guess.

        Maybe when Falter comes back they try him out as the closer? Outside of that our options are… pretty scary.

        1. Bradley came in because he was warmed up and as you pointed out, he has pitched well recently. I believe Joe G still views Kennedy as the closer.

          1. Yeah maybe. I doubt we’d get a straight answer out of Girardi even if we asked him, so I guess we’ll just have to see how it plays out.

  74. On another note yesterdays umpire was horrible and it was both ways. Balls blatantly in the box called balls is unacceptable.

    Also that game was darn near 4 hours and most of it was incredibly boring. The stepping out between each pitch has to be contained. I know its not just Soto but his between pitch antics are so disruptive to the joy of watching such a fine young player.

    1. Ron Darling had a take on the umpiring of late…..with the advent of the ‘screen ‘box’ strike zone on the television…..umpires have become more concerned about looking bad on erroneous calls… anything high they seem to be calling more strikes on… pitches horizontally of the plate…..they have issues with accuracy, especially when they sit inside between the catcher and batter and the ball is on th outside portion.

      Bottom-line get the ABS into the game and they can relax back there and let the electronic eyes make the call..

  75. I’m starting to think my wife is on here and her name is Romus. 5 wins in a row and complaining.

    I will say though, I left game in mid innings cooked some cheeseburgers for family ran to gym came home cooked myself a burger with pablanos and onions got a shower and jumped in car to go to store. Radio on men on base with Realmuto driving in 2. Figure it’s highlights nope it live. Then figure must be like 13th inning nope top of the 9th. WT…. That was one long game

  76. New Bulletin Just In!!! Mickey Moniak traded to the Rays for 2 minor leaguers. Isn’t that something the Phillies would probably do? If the Rays wanted him, they must have seen something they liked. Let’s stick it out with him and Ortiz after all the Phillies have invested in them and hope for the best.

    1. Yes, a middle infielder in the Cesar Hernandez mold and a lefty pitcher with good velocity but significant control problems. Sound about right?

    2. Mickey’s recent turnaround in AAA has earned him another shot at the majors imo. But we should not enter next year with Mickey as our lone LF to replace Cutch. We should sign a veteran OF to a 1 yr contract to platoon with him next year.

      1. I have a lot of ideas for the OF situation next season. I won’t get into them now. We’re in the middle of a postseason chase. When the season ends, or (wash my mouth out with soap) we get eliminated from the playoff hunt, I’ll throw my ideas out here.
        But I will say this … A month-and-a-half ago, I would have set the odds of the Phillies picking up Odubel’s option at no more than my shoe size. He has definitely upped those chances (by a good amount) with the way he’s performed of late.

        1. I doubt Dombrowski is jonesing to keep Doobie around, Hinkie. The man probably wants to mold this roster to his liking.

  77. Sunday Phillies retire Roy H.’s number 34…that will give them a total of 7.
    ….1…14…15… 20…32 and 36.
    There will then be three more to add at some point…..6, 11 and 26.
    Bringing it to a total of 10.

    At least they will not have to scramble for numbers like the Yankees…..they have 21 retired numbers.

    1. You think they retire #6? The Phils haven’t even retired all of the numbers of those in the HoF as a Philly, and Howard has no shot at Cooperstown. The only number they retired that’s NOT in the HoF is Allen, who absolutely should be in (and might be next year). If anything, I gotta imagine Cole has a way better shot at his number being retired down the line.

      Rollins is an interesting case. He’s a borderline HoFer, but he has a case to have his number retired even if he never makes it because of how instrumental he was to the golden era, as well as how long he played well for the Phils. No offense to Ryan, but having equal numbers of years with a WAR over 2 as years with negative WAR (4 each) is not impressive. Meanwhile, Jimmy had SIX seasons of a WAR of FOUR. And he never had a full season with a negative WAR (only his partial debut, and his partial final season).

      Utley should be a slam dunk, though. He deserves to be in the HoF (it’s possible he doesn’t get in, but his peak alone makes him worthy), he was RIDICULOUSLY good, as well as good for a long time. He’s beloved in the city (as are the other two, but I think a guy nicknamed “The Man” is slightly elevated even among them), and his impact is STILL being felt on baseball.

      If they DO retire #6, then we’ll need to have a serious discussion about putting Chooch up there, too (and in that case, I hope they do re-do the layout so that his name can be adjacent to Roy’s, maybe by starting a second line and lining them up so 51 is directly below 34).

        1. Dating myself but anytime anyone says #6 I think of Johnny Callison. It’s that way with a lot of numbers – 3 Peanuts Lowery 4 Gene Mauch, 7 Bobby Wine, 8 Tony Taylor, 9 Gus Triandos, 10 Danny Cater, 15 Dick Allen, 16 Cookie Rojas.

          Best names from 1964, Costen Shockley and Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish.

            1. Chris Short and Tony Gonzalez. I remember the players (Wes Covington and Johnny Briggs, too). I just don’t associate their names to numbers as easily.

          1. Are we allowed to retire numbers in aggregate? Because if you combine Howard and Callison, there’s a pretty strong case the #6 deserves to be retired.

      1. Yeah…….the three were arguably the best at their positions in Phillies history…..even Howard….since he was a Philly lifer.
        In one respect…retiring a player’s number that gets elected to the MLB HoF is a no brainer……those three maybe different…..along with Chooch

        1. I won’t mind if they do. He’s a genuinely great dude by all accounts, and he was obviously a big part of the best Phillies run ever. But I just don’t think they will. They’re just so strict with who they’ll retire numbers for (which is fine, it should be a high honor).

          If they do retire his number, I think that opens the door for a handful of others. I think Chooch and Vic have to be in the conversation, and Jimmy and Chase will be locks. Plus Hamels afterwards (but he’s likely a lock anyways). It’ll be interesting.

      1. Mets fly under the radar, but they do well in the international market ….Alvarez, Mauricio and Ramirez now….then there was Ahmed Rosarion adn Jimenez both in the Lindor trade.
        They are doing something right in the Latin arena.

    1. Miller vs Stroman?
      ….. piece of cake…or bread.
      41 PAs…….slash….243/.317/.405

    1. I hope he has success in the NFL… but if it’s all the same, I’d prefer it was for a different team. I just need the Pats to be bad for a while with no redeemable qualities. I feel like we’re owed that after the past decade+.

  78. Kimbrel blows save giving up 3 to his former team. DDGG long ball. Uncle Caesar clubs #19. Incredible!

    1. I think it would need to be a “class action suit”, there are so many pitchers who could make the same claim!🤫

  79. Dave Dombrowski looks like he may have won the trade deadline. Not only has Gibson been incredible (both starts) so far. But Hans Crouse was excellent in his first appearance for Reading tonight.


    BTW … Braeden Ogle looks like another good pick up, and Freddy Galvis will help (especially on nights Gibson pitches).

  80. Analytics is helpful to track how major league caliber players measure up against replacement level average. However, to determine an MVP, those figures may prove to be at best irrelevant. Bryce Harper’s numbers this season are good but not spectacular, with possible exception of his slash. In any case, it’s the ability to come up big in pivotal moments that sets the guy apart from players with comparable metrics. His contract is what it is, whether the money or the length in years is worth it on the whole. But if the Phillies win a couple World Series this decade, nobody cares. I can’t say with any confidence how far this team will go, but as far as they go, he will likely factor into their success as much as any other player on the team. Right now, he has that gleam in his eyes like he smells something good is coming. His teammates need to hitch on and ride along, and Joe Girardi needs to merely get out of the way. This window for contention has begun. It may not last long, but special players like Harper can make it memorable.

    1. mark8:29…got to give you credit,
      ….you were early on the wagon to get Gibson and Kennedy from the beginning, also Gallo, but that part of the deal went into another direction.

      As for Harper…approx paid total AAV to date $50M ($25M +$10M+ $15M)…..WAR 10….about a $30M ROI.

    2. “Bryce Harper’s numbers this season are good but not spectacular” << what statistics are you looking at? They all look spectacular to me. A model of consistency and extremely high production. Low K rate for his power. High walk rate. He is second in all of baseball for OB%. Power. Average. Plate discipline. It doesn’t get much better than the season Harper is having.

  81. Hope Harper stays in this mode of being more of a gap to gap hitter. His mindset to let the ball get in a little bit and not be pull happy is why the avg is up.

    Once Freddy is back how often does Bohm play. These pitchers will not stand for plays like last night when he didn’t get down on hard grounder. A Legion pitcher would get pissed at his fielder on that one.

  82. I like Bohm, the hitter, and I have been one of the last to deem him as someone who can’t play 3B. But, he has sure convinced me this year. A less charitable official scorer may have given him 3 Errors last night, but he can’t play 3B. I mentioned the other day how much better JTR is when he goes the opposite way, and it is true of Harper and it is very true of Hoskins. Should we worry at all about the HRs Ian Kennedy has been serving up? Although, he does get another Save.

    1. matt13….I hope the Bohm experiment at third base ends after this season.
      Maybe 1st or LF for him.
      Go out and get a glove for third….doubt Giants sign Bryant to a LTC or maybe bring in Story for short.
      The whole left side of the infield needs to be fixed….Rhys is what he is at first..

      1. Totally agree on Bohm. Hoskins will be a FA following the 2023 season and his arb figure will only increase from the $4.8M he’s making this season. Trade him and his controlled status in the off season for some legitimate bullpen help, or package him to Arizona for Ketel Marte. Bohm should be okay at 1b, and noticeably better than Rhys. If Jhailyn Ortiz manages to stay in CF, then Marte is also a viable option at 2b, where Segura will depart after 2022 since Dombrowski likely won’t pick up his $17M option for ’23 ($1M buyout). That’s my reading of the writing on the wall, Romus.

        1. Rhys is interesting…….he will stand to get a raise in his arb year, I assume in the range of $8M to $12M AAV……do the Phillies talk to Boras in November about a LTC with him to buy out his last two years of arbitration. Or let it go one more year.
          I mean if they reject it…he becomes a free agent at 31 years old….market might not be to ripe for him….and he will be looking at maybe a 3 year, at the most contact length.
          Dave D will need to do something there come Nov….I am sure Rhys is waiting for an offer….and Boras would like one out of good faith so he can say no.

          1. I prefer the idea of buying out Cutch’s option ($3M) and bringing him back as DH/platoon LF with Mickey Mo at a significant discount for ’22. Rhys is a good guy, but his primary calling card is hitting solo homeruns.

            The ’22 defense would lineup like this:
            C Realmuto
            1b Bohm
            2b Segura
            ss (free agent: Semien?)
            3b Gregorius
            lf Moniak/Cutch
            cf K Marte
            rf Harper
            dh Cutch/Realmuto/Harper

            1. This drives me crazy. Do you realize how crazy an offensive downgrade Bohm would be over Hoskins? There aren’t a lot of guys floating around who are affordable, can hit 35-40 homers and typically have an OPS around .850. There is zero reason to screw around with Rhys Hoskins right now. They have him for at least two more years – so let’s ride that horse as long as we can.

            2. Exactly. Imo using Bohm/Rhys as a DH/1B platoon next year makes a lot of sense. No reason to re-sign Cutch to make him a DH. Use that money for a 3B or SS or another OF.

            3. Rhys has never hit 35 homers and I don’t know that he ever will (I doubt he ever gets 40) but I agree that moving him and penciling in Bohm at 1B is puzzling. Bohm hasn’t proven he’s even an adequate starter at any position and I’d be surprised if Dombrowski just makes him the 1B and hopes for the best.

          2. I think Rhys is looking at a salary between 7.2M – 7.7M through arbitration this winter. Zach Eflin can expect a similar salary, provided he gets back soon, and stays healthy.

            1. That looks about right for Rhys if he can finish with an .800+ OPS.

              For Eflin, it should be lower.

              In general, hitters get more in arbitration. And if any player wins a Cy or MVP, their numbers drastically go up.

              The Blue Jays better hope Vlad Jr. doesn’t win MVP. He’s arbitration eligible next season and he has a legitimate shot at getting $10M which would be massive increase.

        2. Ketel Marte has an extremely favorable contract for the next 3 years. I’m 100% certain that the DBacks fielded calls for him but didn’t find the offers great. The price for Marte should be high and rightly so. Abel would have to be part of the package, no getting around that. DBacks need pitching badly in Chase field.

          However, Marte’s defense took a huge step backward this season. Not sure why. It could be an exception, but it’s seriously bringing down his value for this season (0.7 WAR).

      2. Agree, Bohm needs to be moved to 1st or LF, I remember in every minor league level he did this, he started setting up his hit tool and he would add power whenever he felt comfortable.

        I think a move might help his offense too, if they take away the pressure at 3rd.

        1. It’s easy to jump off the Alec Bohm bandwagon after a night like last night. But … I will continue to tell you Alec Bohm can be a league avg defender at 3B. He has the ability to do it. It might take the offseason for him to clear his head. IMO he’s playing the position with a total lack of confidence. He’s got to learn to let a bad play go. Move on.
          What I don’t get is the thought that he’d be OK in LF. Bohm has played 3B since HS. He’s never (as far as I know) fielded a ball in LF. If you believe there’s pressure on him at 3B, just imagine him tracking fly balls at CBP for the first time in his life.

          1. Hinkie ….putting Bohm in LF continues the Phillies great tradition of their great teams and LFers….the Bull, Pete Stinkaviglia, Pat the Bat, Lonnie Skates Smith …he would continue that tradition to team historical greatness. 🙂

          2. Give him an offseason to work on it. Catching fly balls isn’t the hardest thing if he’s got the footspeed to get to them, which is the question I have. I haven’t seen any evidence that he can play 3B in the majors; he’s been terrible since he came up.

      3. Amen, I agree 100% and the difference in defense between Miller and Hoskins at 1B is a coin flip.

    2. Man, you all killed me on this blog when I said that Bohm isn’t a 3B. Imo, it was easy to see, just watch his hips when fielding a bunt. He doesn’t have the fluidity in his hips to move laterally or bend and make the play.

      That said, one of the bright spots this season for me was seeing Bohm turn it around with the bat. I am really happy to see him be a productive hitter. It is so important to have young, cheap highly productive players for a team. Next year we will have a DH in the NL so you can platoon him and Rhys at 1B/DH. But agree w Romus below, we need to improve our 3B and SS defense in the off-season. Bryant is a dream but I think that he is going to want a mega contract and we shouldn’t do that. Would be too top heavy. Not sure who the solution is right now. But is a big upgrade opportunity.

  83. I don’t want to be greedy and it would never have happened but if the Phillies could have convinced the Pirates to take a replacement player, they could’ve gotten both Anderson and Gibson at the trade deadline without having to give up major farm pieces.

    Last night was another so-so outing for Workman. He gave up his third homer in four games and he looks really shaky. Did I write “Workman”? I meant to write “Kennedy”. In all seriousness, I hope he does well. After the homer, he seemed to settle in.

    1. I wouldn’t worry about last nights home run. He made 2 great pitches just prior to it and then gave in, which is what you would want with a 3 run lead. Starting that inning off with a walk would have been worse. After that AB, he started using his changeup and breezed through the last 3 hitters. At this point, there aren’t a lot of options.

  84. Hinkie – One of your favorites has finally started paying dividends for the Ind….I mean Guardians in the name of Cal Quantrill.

    1. Yeah, ciada. I would have drafted him 1-1 (at a similar discount they gave MM) in 2016. I saw he K’d 10 Tigers last night. Nice.

  85. Offense looks locked in.
    Rotation has solidified with Gibson and Saurez (also appears Eflin will be back in about a week).
    BP? The teams’ relievers have quietly become more steady. I’m still not too confident in Ian Kennedy, but Hector and Archie Bradley have been throwing a little better of late. Not sure if Wednesday’s performance was a one time thing … but … if Matt Moore can give the club anything close to that on a regular basis, he’d help. Joe Girardi may also get aid in the not too distant future from the returns of Brogdon, Falter, Coonrod, and even Ser-Ant’ny. The dark horse contributor could be Braeden Ogle. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him added to the 40-man before the end of August to make him available for playoffs (if Phillies make the postseason).

  86. I’m not sure Bohm can be a first baseman. Hopefully ur first baseman can bail out his fielders occasionally errant throws with his glove. If he can’t play left field at this point in his career as well as the bull then he is in trouble

  87. Its interesting to speculate that if DD had completed the Pirates trade for Anderson for the two minor leaguers, would they have also gone back to Texas to get Gibson and Ian Kennedy ? My guess is DD had both trades on the table, and when Pirates said no to the Anderson trade he pulled the trigger on the Gibson/Kennedy deal. Had they gotten Anderson, imagine the bullpen now with Kennedy and Ranger Suarez ? That would have had some depth !

    Tonight should be interesting because it will include the second group of relievers – Alvarez, Llovera, possibly Moore ? Won’t see Hector or Archie today. If any/all of the Coonrad, Falter, and Brogdon group can rejoin the team it will be important – I concur with HInkie on that one ! How far away is Seranthony ? another 2 weeks or more ?

  88. The home plate umpire in today’s game may be the one to bring the ABS screen to reality.

  89. UNCLE CAESAR #20. When the Phillies batters go into a funk, they really go into a funk.

  90. Did someone nail Joe to the dugout floor or what, that he doesn’t recognize where 3 cookies in the middle of the plate go!

  91. 7 in a row!
    Great job by JD Hammer and Hector.

  92. CBP was rockin’ today. I can’t guarantee this team will outlast the Braves, but the Phillies are relevant again. If your John Middleton and Dave Dombrowski that is why you “go for it”.

    1. He is already in the passenger seat and we are heading up the Northeast Extension for The Lehigh Valley.

  93. JD Hammer was terrific, and I am not the biggest Odubel fan, but kudos! Huge HR followed by a terrific defensive play. Bamboo Brad with 2 HRs and a pick up at 1B I am not sure Rhys would have made. Great W! Now we need a big Start from Zach

  94. I neglected to compliment Hector, my bad! And, I confess that I was all ready to complain about JoeG leaving Llovera in but I realized I completely forgot the 3 batter rule!

  95. I was at the game last night and the atmosphere was electric. The clock felt like it had been turned back a decade. Lots of Mets fans and the give and take with them was a lot of fun. The entire deck above Harry the Ks was filled with them. Wow, they were loud. But the silence was deafening from them after Odubel’s HR.

    1. I was there Saturday and it was just like I remember 07-11 being, my 9 year old is a huge baseball fan and was going crazy. Kid has ADD and kids of today can’t focus on baseball but he will watch a game anytime anywhere.

  96. It’s so wonderful to see the Phillies playing winning baseball. Bryce is a star. A true elite talent who relishes the big moments. He is delivering everything we dreamed on when we signed him. Thank you Hinkie for making that happen.

    I am also so happy to see Bohm’s turnaround with the bat. Depth of a lineup is so important. Especially when it comes from young, cheap players.

    But the most unsung hero this year imo is Jean Segura. He missed about 20 games due to injury but his hitting and defense have been very good. very solid and consistent productivity. Out performing his contract. Just playing good baseball.

    1. Also many heroes at differing times in brief stretches….Torreyes, Doobie, Jankowski, Williams and Miller.
      Probably my main disappointment…Aaron Nola….I was looking for a little more consistency.

      1. Maybe this is his 09 Hamels year, and after this he comes back and dominates for the next decade.

        1. Yes….that is a positive belief to keep in mind.
          My initial thought was that maybe his PRP was wearing off after 6 years…….his inconsistency actually started towards the very end of 2019 and continued thru that truncated season of last year, and I did not think much of it last year because of all the upheaval and changes.
          But now this season, he has been hot and very cool.
          I noticed Maso Tanaka had similar issues with the Yankees after 3 or 4 years after his PRP therapy in 2014.

          I do hope he can right the ship and give the team more consistency.

  97. Just an incredible performance today. Zack Wheeler incredible!

    1. Should now be the favorite for Cy Young.
      Top challengers would be Brewers duo of Burnes and Woodruff and if he comes back in Sep, Mets’ deGrom.
      Not sure about Dodgers’ guys of Buehler and Urias

  98. Great game! Our Ace throws a CG shutout, Realmuto a HR to RF, Segura one also and Harper to LF. What got these guys hitting the opposite way? Just a great Series!

  99. On the day #34 was retired Doc Holliday would surely approve of Zach Wheeler’s pitching performance… Zach Wheeler is an Ace in the truest sense of the word and his respect and admiration with Phillies fans grows with every start…Hat tip sir!!

  100. Really like the emotion this club is playing with right now. Here’s hoping they can ride it through the end of October.

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