Open Discussion: Week of September 5, 2021

This is the courtesy thread for comments and discussion about the Phillies and other BASEBALL topics.


The Phillies (70-66) went a dissatisfying 4-2 last week against the doormats of the NL East.  Still, they picked up ground (2.5 games) on an Atlanta team that went 2-5 out west.  The Phillies are 2.0 games behind Atlanta with the New York Mets 1.5 games behind us.

The Phillies conclude a 9-game road with 3 games in Milwaukee against a tough team.  Then, they come home to face Colorado in a 4-game series with no days off.  That should be a further test of our bullpen.

For you schedule and scoreboard watchers, Atlanta has off Monday, then begins a 9-game homestand with 3 games each against Washington and Miami, the teams we just went 4-2 against.  The NY Mets lost their off day on Monday and have to travel back to Washinton for a makeup game.  Then they travel to Miami for 3 games, then back home for 3 games against the Yankees.


FWIW, I’m really impressed with Ranger Suarez.  I still think he would have better served the Phillies at the back of the bullpen.  But, no matter how they have used him, I have always enjoyed watching him pitch.  I hope this tired arm thing isn’t serious and that he can pitch in his next turn.


 

RHPs Andrew Painter (1st round), Micah Ottenbreit (4th), Ty Collins (16th), and 1B Matt Goodheart (NDFA) made their professional debuts last week.  That leaves just three pitchers still waiting to make theirs –  RHP Christian McGowan(7th, Eastern Oklahoma State JC), LHP Jose Valadez-Acuna (14th, Veterans Memorial HS), and RHP Malik Binns (18th, Benedictine University Mesa).


 

Key Dates:

  • Oct. 3, 2021: Regular season concludes

Transactions (last week’s transactions)

9/04/2021 – Jersey Shore activated RHP Mark Potter from the temporarily inactive list
9/04/2021 – Clearwater activated C Arturo De Freitas from the 7-day IL
9/03/2021 – Phillies optioned SS Nick Maton to Lehigh Valley
9/03/2021 – Phillies activated CF Travis Jankowski from the paternity list
9/03/2021 – Phillies activated SS Didi Gregorius from the restricted list
9/03/2021 – RF Jorge Bonifacio returned to Lehigh Valley from Philadelphia Phillies
9/03/2021 – C Micah Yonamine assigned to FCL Phillies from Clearwater
9/03/2021 – 1B Matt Goodheart assigned to FCL Phillies
9/03/2021 – RHP Ty Collins assigned to FCL Phillies
9/03/2021 – RHP Andrew Painter assigned to FCL Phillies
9/03/2021 – RHP Saul Alcala assigned to DSL White from DSL Red
9/02/2021 – Phillies sent RHP Vince Velasquez on a rehab assignment to Lehigh Valley
9/02/2021 – LHP Spencer Van Scoyoc assigned to Clearwater from Jersey Shore
9/02/2021 – RHP Griff McGarry assigned to Jersey Shore from Clearwater
9/02/2021 – SS Luis Garcia assigned to Jersey Shore from Clearwater
9/02/2021 – CF Johan Rojas assigned to Jersey Shore from Clearwater
9/02/2021 – Clearwater placed 2B Casey Martin on the 7-day IL
9/02/2021 – SS Jamari Baylor assigned to Clearwater from FCL Phillies
9/02/2021 – OF Simon Muzziotti assigned to Clearwater from FCL Phillies
9/02/2021 – OF Marcus Lee Sang assigned to FCL Phillies from Clearwater
9/02/2021 – RHP Juan Melendez assigned to DSL White from DSL Red
9/01/2021 – Phillies placed SS Didi Gregorius on the restricted list
9/01/2021 – Phillies selected the contract of RHP Ramon Rosso from Lehigh Valley
9/01/2021 – Phillies selected the contract of RHP Cam Bedrosian from Lehigh Valley
9/01/2021 – Phillies placed 1B Rhys Hoskins on the 60-day IL, left groin strain
9/01/2021 – Phillies optioned RHP Seranthony Dominguez to Lehigh Valley
9/01/2021 – 3B Nate Fassnacht assigned to Lehigh Valley from Jersey Shore
9/01/2021 – Jersey Shore placed RHP Mark Potter on the temporarily inactive list
9/01/2021 – SS Kervin Pichardo assigned to Jersey Shore from FCL Phillies
8/31/2021 – Phillies recalled OF Matt Vierling from Lehigh Valley
8/31/2021 – Phillies sent RF Matt Joyce on a rehab assignment to Reading
8/31/2021 – Phillies placed CF Travis Jankowski on the paternity list
8/31/2021 – C Vito Friscia assigned to Jersey Shore from Lehigh Valley
8/31/2021 – Lehigh Valley activated C Logan Moore
8/31/2021 – Lehigh Valley sent 3B Dalton Guthrie on a rehab assignment to Reading
8/31/2021 – Clearwater activated RHP Gunner Mayer from the 7-day IL
8/31/2021 – Clearwater activated RHP Rodolfo Sanchez from the 7-day IL
8/31/2021 – Clearwater activated RHP Cristian Hernandez from the 7-day IL
8/31/2021 – RHP Hsin-Chieh Lin assigned to FCL Phillies from Clearwater
8/31/2021 – LHP Christopher Soriano assigned to FCL Phillies from Clearwater
8/31/2021 – RHP Leonel Aponte assigned to FCL Phillies from Clearwater
8/31/2021 – RHP Micah Ottenbreit assigned to FCL Phillies
8/31/2021 – OF Simon Muzziotti assigned to FCL Phillies
8/31/2021 – IF Hao Yu Lee assigned to FCL Phillies
8/31/2021 – RHP Luis Gomez assigned to DSL White from DSL Red

178 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of September 5, 2021

        1. You need to flat line a bit, never too high, never to low! Remember, we have about a month to ride on this roller coaster!🤪

          1. Yes. Phillies will probably lose some ground the first half of the week, but after these three in Milwaukee, the schedule becomes very inviting (it will be up to the Phillies to take advantage of it).

    1. I’m with you Denny. Every time they go on a decent winning streak, it’s always followed up by multiple losing streaks.

      I fully expect to be in 3rd behind the Mets and under .500 by seasons end.

  1. I see the AFL is still on for mid-October… Two players I think the Phillies will send is Abel and Miller..The other five will be interesting..

    1. Abel will be in FIL….doubt they will send him to the AFL also….might be a little too much for him right now.
      Typically pitchers…starters…. will get in 20 to 25 innings in during a normal AFL season.

        1. It’s usually AA kids, pitchers who need innings with some batters thrown in to see how they do against good comp. They usually send one from high A. If Muzzioti is ready, he could go. Stott is a definite and maybe Kroon. Miller is a possible pitcher with maybe Dohy and Marconi. I could see OHoppe go if they need a catcher.

          1. Unless he’s not healthy Miller is a lock and yes probably Stott. On second thought Abel might be a stretch but we might be surprised how good he would do.

        2. If the rule changes applied in 2019 remain in effect, these two give an idea of who is eligible (practically everyone).

          1.) Players on the 40-man roster of an MLB club are allowed to report to the AFL in October, as such players are eligible to play for their parent club through the end of the MLB regular season (normally late September or the first week in October).
          2.) For the 2019 season, MLB clubs were allowed to nominate players from any level of the minor leagues; this change was to be evaluated after the season. Previously, clubs were limited to two players below the Double-A level.

  2. I don’t make too many predictions because oft times I am wrong. But I think the Phillies can win 15 of the remaining games on the schedule.

    That would give them 85 wins and with one more win, they can end the season ten games over .500. When was the last time that happened?

  3. A blowout W vs a really good team, playing well, on the road. Great outing by Wheeler! Before the game, the analysts were saying we better scratch out a couple of runs vs Woodruff because the BP of the Brewers has been great. Well, the analysts know about as much as I do! Very little! 12-0, Could anyone have predicted that!!!

  4. Wheeler in the daylight for another good outing. If he’s slated to pitch in a night game at CBP, the Phillies should change it to an afternoon game.

  5. I know this topic must have been talked about before so my apologies for bringing it up again but what do we see as realistic expectations for Ranger going forward? I mean we obviously can’t/don’t expect him to replicate his sub 2 era over a full season and I think it’s prob asking too much to expect a sub 3 ERA from him (not impossible but don’t think it’s likely). He could be a big part of the future, cheap and controllable rotation arm. So what are realistic expectations?

    1. I think Ranger has a very decent chance of being a solid 3, which is HUGE. His stuff is good, but his command and pitching make-up are outstanding. I’d let him pitch the biggest game of the year and not think twice about it. That’s a guy you hold onto.

      1. One thing that Ranger is missing and that I think could help him a lot is a true “spinner” pitch – probably a curve. But he’s got 3 or 4 other pitches he handles well so maybe that’s not essential. As for ERA, if he could be in the 3.4-3.8 range that would be great and I see that as a realistic possibility. My guess is they keep Eflin for next year and that makes them deep in the rotation without a huge cost – Wheeler, Nola, Suarez, Gibson, Eflin. If you have Zach Eflin as your 5 you’ve got an awfully deep rotation. Falter will get plenty of starts as the 6th guy because somebody’s going to get hurt.

      2. Can anyone think of a solid #4 or #5 pitcher in the rotation that stuck around with the same organization for a long period of time?

        1. The better question is, SHOULD this be happening? Can an organization be competitive without developing SP? Even back end SP? Hint: Look at the Phillies history for answer. Pretty hard to stay above .500 when you can’t develop enough players

  6. My memory is that when the Phillies were last winning division title after division title the starters generally pitched maybe 7 innings, and then it was something like Madson followed by Lidge. If Falter or Crouse or someone else could replicate Madson’s domination of the 8th inning, what a huge impact that might have on preserving the health and productivity of the starting pitchers!

  7. After yesterday’s 12-0 shutout win in Milwaukee, the Phillies have bettered their run differential to -2. They haven’t had a positive run differential since April 16. That’s 175 days (almost 25 weeks). Can they get back in black tonight?

    1. Hinkie – funny you would mention that because as the game was playing out I was thinking will they make it to ground zero even yesterday ?

      1. Want to know what’s even funnier? I can’t count right. I must have been foggy when I posted that this morning. April 16 (the last time the Phillies had a positive run differential) was actually 144 days ago (20 and-a-half weeks ago). That’s still a long time ago, just not as long as I originally tallied.

        1. The run differential God given and the run differential God taketh away.

          But let it be said that the run differential God is an angry God and today he visited serious retribution on the entire Phillies organization. He was relatively kind to the big league team by comparison.

  8. On the Suarez conversation above – I envision him as a solid “3” capable of a 3.60 -3.80 ERA and winner of 11 – 12 games as a starter. I think as he matures he will have even more of that gritty undaunted attitude. I do agree, he needs another “junk” type pitch to add to the mix. If he did that I could see him as a 3.20 ERA pitcher.

  9. Surprised no one mentioned this but you can take Morton off the board as a possibility for next year. Signed an extension with the Braves.

  10. Romero walked alot of batters and invariably made it suspenseful but he was downright good too ! 165 innings / 133 K’s / 117 BB’s ; 4.2 WAR ; 2.73 era ; 6 – 6 record ; 4.78 FIP. 4 years with Phillies.

  11. Add another to the FA shortstop market….looks like Marcus Semien will join Trevor Story, Javier Baez, Carlos Correa, Corey Seager and Andrelton Simmons.
    The Blue Jays have reportedly been unsuccessful in their attempt to extend Marcus Semien’s contract, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

    1. That’s not a shock. Semien is looking to get paid and the Blue Jays are hamstrung salary-wise by the Rogers Corporation. Him and Ray are getting the QO.

  12. Vierling – another guy who had his batting stance ruined by the crack Phils minor league coaching. They’re gone thankfully and Vierling had fortunately found a new stance that has helped him regain his footing. Good for him.

    1. Reading that article in the Inquirer was maddening, but nothing new. For those who haven’t seen it, Vierling was given bad hitting advice two years ago and it led to him being really awful in high A ball. So, he goes home, finds a hitting coach near him, changes his stance and boom, he’s doing great again.

      Believe it or not, this is a familiar story. For years now, when Phillies’ hitters have a breakout you hear about how the guy went somewhere else outside the system, got a great tip or instruction and made enormous and helpful changes. But it shows things are screwed up in the organization down to the granular level. The system, the scouts, the instruction – everything needs improvement.

      1. While I believe that the team’s development staff has been terrible, this seems a little reductive. Mostly because Vierling has weak numbers in AAA, so the only evidence that he was “fixed” by not listening to the coaches is the 84 at-bats he had in AA and the 24 he’s had so far in the majors. Jury’s out.

        1. That’s me – “Mr. Reductive” . . .

          Anyway, I did not portray Matt Vierling as any type of world beater (I’m not THAT reductive). He may just be a AAAA player – we don’t know yet. But he is sure not the same guy who was struggling to hit at all in A ball – that much seems clear.

          It also seems clear, if perhaps a bit reductive, that the team’s hitting prospects chronically underperform as a group which speaks to poor scouting, poor developmental processes or some combination of the two.

          That’s all I’ve got for you.

          1. Fair. I do agree that the team’s coaches haven’t been doing a good job across the system for a long time. Plenty of guys show early promise only to seem overmatched once they start moving up.

  13. I thought there was a really good chance that they over extended themselves yesterday with the bats. Probably arm weary today from 6 dingers yesterday. Doesn’t matter as Rosso is proving his stuff doesn’t play in the bigs.

  14. I think Aaron Nola is tipping his pitches. Specifically, I think that he is tipping his changeup. Here is my logic…

    First, let’s kill the narrative that “Nola is having a bad season.” That is a lazy take and not true.
    – His K rate is the second highest in his career. and 6th highest in all MLB
    – His walk rate is the lowest of his career and 12th best in MLB
    – His BAA is pretty close to his career stats
    – His FIP is in line with his career
    – His hard hit rate is in line with his career and lower than the prior 2 years
    – His velocity is in line with his career numbers
    – His SIERA is below career ave
    – His expected ERA is below his career ave at 3.61

    So what’s going on?

    Digging into his numbers, the first stat that pops out to me is that his Ground Ball % is by far the lowest of his career at 39%. His career % is 49% ground balls. For the first time in his career, his GB/FB ratio is below 1.0. His career average is 1.56.

    So they are hitting more balls in the air on him. His home run per fly ball ratio is slightly lower than his career, so it isn’t that they are just crushing them. But for some reason, a pitcher with 1,000 IP in MLB has all of the sudden lost the ability to throw ground balls.

    Which pitch is getting hit?
    – First his pitch mix has changed slightly. He is throwing his fastball in line with career % at 51%. But he is throwing his curve a little less (3.5% of total pitches fewer times) and his change more (2.8% of total pitches more).

    How are those pitches doing? Looking at FanGraphs’ Pitch Value chart
    – His fastball is doing well. Second best of his career
    – His curve is also doing well. Not amazing relative to his career, but still a plus pitch for him.
    – His change is a negative value pitch for him for the first time since 2016 season.

    A change up should be a ground ball pitch. It should be a pitch that you roll over on. But we know that hitters are hitting the ball in the air more this season and fewer ground balls (reminder, ground balls have the lowest BABIP and SLG). Why would hitters all of the sudden (after 850 IP in MLB prior to this year) start hitting his change up in the air and with good pop to it? Why would all of the sudden his curve ball, be good but not elite anymore?

    I am not good enough to watch film and see how a pitcher is tipping a pitch. But I would bet money that he is.

    1. Very interesting thoughts on Nola tipping his pitches. Zolecki reported that of the 5 consecutive hits in the 3rd inning, 3 were curve balls. His article doesn’t identify the other 2 pitches.

      I’ve felt that he falls in love with his curveball too much, but I admittedly do not have the history/stats available to justify my position. I liked your piece very much and think tipping his pitches has merit. While, he could have only given up 1 run last night and still come up with a loss, which often times happens when he pitches.

      Good post.

      1. Clarification………..which often times happens when he pitches.

        In 11 games in which he has been a participant and have ended as a team loss, the team (Phils) have scored less than 3 runs in the outcome.

        1. Skeet…just curious, check those 11 games……who scored first and by how much…….the Phillies record is better when they score first….when they have to come from behind not so much.
          I think they start to press or something.

          1. Romus……in those 11 games cited, the opposition scored 1st 6 times to our 5. Included in the 6, we were shutout 4 times. Usually, when we scored 1st, it was a single run.

            1. Ok Skeet…thanks.
              Seems Nola ran into the ‘perfect storm’ this season….besides his own pitching inefficiency , he may have to deal with some less than adequate offense supporting him, and maybe even a shoddy defense behind him. For example his FIP is lower than his ERA….so in effect, he surrenders balls in play that the defense just does not handle well. And of course Nola has no control of what his fielders’ will do in the field.

    2. For me … Nola’s main problem is his ability/inability to command his FB this season. Too many FB’s catching the middle of the zone. If you’re Zack Wheeler or Jose Alvarado throwing 99 MPH, you might get away with lesser command. Aaron Nola, at 93, has to be more perfect in the zone. I don’t know what the numbers say, but I’ve seen him get hurt on too many fat FBs this season.
      He really seems to be physically worn down on the mound … the body language, all the sweating, the facial expressions … none of it looks good right now. He sort of reminds me of Roy Haladay in 2013.

      .

      BTW … I don’t even blame Nola for last night’s loss. He was struggling, but he should have been out of that 3rd inning with no runs allowed. Freddy Galvis has to make that play on the hard hit grounder the pitcher hit. If he does, as John Kruk pointed out on TV, Kolten Wong’s double would have been hit right at JTR (who instead was holding the runner on at 1st base), and would have been the third out of the inning.

      1. Hinkie:
        Perhaps time for another PRP procedure after the season.
        Check with their medical staff….the UCL could be fraying, only imagings can tell that for sure……it has been five years now from the initial procedure.
        Also, not sure if they re-do PRP procedures.
        Masa Tanaka had his in 2014….3/4 years later he started losing his finesse on some of his pitches.

          1. I agree that there’s something going on that’s not right. He could be tipping pitches as you say and sometimes his FB command is off. But the underlying stuff and ability all seems to be there. To me, he’s a huge bounce-back candidate for 2022. You don’t strike out 10 consecutive batters with mediocre stuff – it just can’t happen. And I still expect him to have a long and very productive career. It could still even be an elite career, but he’s going to have to make some adjustments for that to happen.

            1. It’s possible Nola may be done in Philly. While I still value him as a 2, another team may see him as a change of scenery candidate. Dombrowski should at least test the market this winter. San Diego may be a good trade partner, although I wouldn’t trade Nola unless he returns fair value on his controllable status and pedigree. I’m talking top 5 prospect or near major league level talent package.

            2. I don’t see that happening unless another team makes you an offer you can’t refuse, which I do not expect. Nola’s a very good pitcher on a cost-controlled contract who has just had an off year. Unless you get some awesome package, why would you trade him when you’re not rebuilding?

            3. Of course his contract may be appealing to another team, but why do you want to trade him when his value is depressed? Everything about his career, age and stuff suggests that he will have a bounce-back, and perhaps a really big one.

    3. I like that analysis.
      Apparently his change-up must be seen better by the hitter.
      Perhaps he is tipping that pitch.
      He seem to have lost his command in the zone with it also.

      1. Good analysis of Nola’s season. Question with the change-up is if he’s tipping the pitch or is he missing with location and leaving it up in the zone which would result in balls hit in the air vs. GB.

        Don’t know the answer to that question but his barrel % is the highest it’s been in his career even though the exit velocity isn’t much different. Biggest difference as noted is the launch angle against is about 5% higher than his career average (14% in 2021)

        Also interesting is that while his fastball velocity hasn’t changed much in the last 5 years his off-speed velocity has increased by about 3 mph. Is his throwing the change-up harder which is making it closer to his fastball and causing less deception?

        Other thing of note is he’s throwing more 4-speed fastball and a lot less 2-seamers. He was about 47% 2-seem and 10% 4-seem in 2016 and those numbers are reversed in 2021. Been a steady transition over the last 5 years. Might also explain the increased % of balls in the air.

        1. 3up…..you may want to take out the one year under PC Young (2019)….remember he changed his strategy and tactics.

        1. If he does, hopefully it will come a few shekels less then $33M a year….which Houston paid him for the last two years.

          1. Romus … he’ll be 39 and coming off TJ. I doubt anybody is going to give him 33M.
            I mean I guess it’s possible the Astros QO him, and he accepts the one year/19M deal.

            1. I doubt the Astros QO him. If he appears healthy maybe he gets something in the $10-15 m range, perhaps with an option for the second year.

            2. I hope they don’t, but Houston has been w/o 1st and 2nd round picks the last years (their punishment for cheating), and may look to procure an extra pick to compensate for the dearth of choices in 2020/2021. Not saying that’s a sure thing. Just saying I believe it’s certainly possible.

            3. The Stros get a win/win with a Verlander QO.
              1. !. If he accepts and comes back for another year ..and assume healthy…rounds our further their rotation.
              2. If he moves on…they get draft compensation.

  15. really not a stone thrower, but seriously, Moniak looks lost. No plate discipline, three pitches and out of there, something is not right. I saw a post earlier on this site about up and down, where you have to be mentally tough in situations like this summer. I agree 100% but wonder after seeing him this month if he even comes back after this year and call it quits or Phillies call it quits on him.

  16. … and now for the portion of schedule we’ve all been waiting for: 14 of the next 17 @ CBP, including games with the Rockies, Cubs, Orioles, and Pirates. Those opponents are a combined 104 games below .500.
    Despite the level of competition, the Phillies need JT and Didi to pick things up. With Rhys Hoskins out, the LU has mostly been Segura, Harper, and cross your fingers.

    I still believe the Phillies and Braves will both make the playoffs. The Phils are 2.5 behind Atlanta. In the WC race, I’m not really worried about the Padres (they’re schedule is ridiculously daunting). The Cardinals also have a rough remaining road. IMO, it’s going to come down to the Reds or the NL East runner up.

    1. 15 more wins gets them to 86 which might be enough for a playoff spot. They need to get at least 12 of those wins in the next 17 games.

      then .500 vs. Braves/Fish to end season becomes enough to get the job done.

  17. I realized something obvious last night…the Phils absolutely nailed the signing of Harper (an MVP caliber player) and Wheeler (Cy Young candidate on a good short term contract) and trade for JTR. All of which were best case outcomes. All of them couldn’t have gone better…And yet, this is a team just slightly above .500.

    It’s just amazing how poorly we have built a minor league system. I think that it is system wide. Developement definitely has been poor. To me, Francisco Morales is the poster child for our horrible development. High upside arm, but kid has gone backwards. But it is system wide. Player after player.

    I truly hope that DD turns this around. Because this team will go nowhere until we start producing quality prospects that perform at the MLB level every year. We need it so badly.

    1. Agree with you on that, v1. I think that has even been echoed by Matt Moniak (sorry if I’m mistaken on that, Matt). Think he mentioned Johnny A privately wasn’t happy with the development staff’s actions.

      Anyway … I’m still hoping DD promotes Dana Parks to director of player development. She’s sharp, hard working, and has a Tampa Rays pedigree.

    2. I have been thinking the same thing for the last few months.

      They’ve done great on those big three transactions, but have been horrible (boy, is that an understatement) in identifying talent, developing talent, and horrible in making under-the-radar trades (until DD arrived – he made some good trades in the offseason and the great trade for Gibson and Kennedy). I am so glad that DD said that developing talent is mandatory. It is mandatory and the need is urgent.

      And this system both needs to improve in terms of the volume of big league players produced and the quality of those players (more high end talent).

      You just cannot overstate how horribly the MacPhail/Klentak/Almaraz regime has performed and, even with the bloated payroll, it’s a miracle they are in the playoff chase.

  18. JTR is killing the Phils as of late and now teams are pitching around Harper. We really miss Hoskins in the lineup especially against left handers.

    1. Yes, the “trade Hoskins” crowd should take note. He’s a dangerous middle-of-the-order hitter. When you delete him from the line-up the effect is pretty catastrophic and not just because he isn’t there, but also because it shortens the line-up. With him there, they are a good 7-8 deep.

      1. I think it is less down on Rhys but more about roster shakeup and Rhys having the best chance of landing us quality pieces.

  19. I wonder what the residual effects of Realmuto’s injuries has been, because he has not looked good, at all, lately. Not trying to make excuses for him, we need his bat. I have never been part of the “trade Hoskins” crowd, I just never liked him batting #2. His Bat behind Bryce is a valuable part of the team. Do I wish he played better D? Of course!

  20. Almost 200 Innings pitched by Moore, Vinny and Anderson. An ERA well above 6, actually 6.27. Now, Eflin will not be starting the season. SP has to be on the table for the off season. Bailey Falter? IDK, no one else comes to mind, which means FA or another trade. Plus all the other spots. A backend of the BP, a LF and a CF, and maybe a SS and 3B? The D has to get better, which may be necessary upgrade #1! Wow!

    1. Stott will be in Philly in 2022, not sure about the glove. As mentioned Rhys has trade value and you can move Bohm to 1B/DH. I’m giving DD a pass on last off-season considering he was trying to land a franchise and not on topic ML like he normally would have been. He tried to piecemeal the roster but really laid an egg. My fear is that the core is aging and we are seeing that with our better vets hurting/struggling except for Bryce. We just are to hurt missing Rhys/Eflin and JT at less than 50% to beat out the Braves.

  21. I believe/have believed there’s at least a pretty good chance Rhys Hoskins is dealt this winter. And it’s not because he’s a bad player. It’s because he’s a very good offensive player under team control (at reasonable prices) for two more seasons. That means Rhys holds value. This is an organization lacking in valuable trade pieces (at least pieces they are willing to move).
    I have confidence that Dave Dombrowski can architect a deal, or a series of deals (including FA signings) that will upgrade the club (especially for the near future). Hoskins is likely a DH moving forward. If he can be traded for a player who can help the Phillies close out games (Josh Hader) or a position player who can upgrade the club’s defense (Ramon Laureano), and then sign a FA DH like Nelson Cruz, he might just do that.

    1. I hope that you are right…but I don’t think Rhys has the value that you think that he does. First, I think that Rhys is a DH. And I don’t think that DH’s have much value. He may be able to get us a nice bull pen piece. I don’t think that there is any chance that he returns a guy like Hader as you have suggested in the past. But I hope that you are right. I agree that he is an easy piece for us to trade and there are a lot of FA first basemen this offseason.

      1. Though Rhys usually ranks in the top ten according to Fangraphs of MLB first basemen, just these three alone 1B free agents of some significance…Rizzo, Belt and Cron (do not see Freeman reaching the open FA market) could make things difficult for teams to trade their existing first basemen for value, and especially one who is not considered a defensive stalwart..

        Making it more difficult, have also heard some talk that Rizzo of the Nats may market Bell.

    1. It’s rather apparent that JTR is struggling with injuries and it’s impacting his play. Guessing they are going to try to manage his playing time for the remainder of the season as much as they can.

      1. Like Hoskins ..JTR breaks down at the end of the season…two years for both now.
        Hoskins has been in both years soft tissue issues…UCL and now the groin.
        JTR was the hip last year.
        Perhaps it is an anomaly or coincidence……just hope it is not a trend.

  22. Okay….2 outs, 0-2 count. A legitimate closer takes care of business. We haven’t had one since (I’m wincing severely as I type this) Papelbon. Ouch! That really hurts.

  23. Ok. I’m out. I will be the master of my domain. No more Phillies games, reading about them or talking about them. It’s been a blast but I’ll see y’all next year! Seriously!

  24. It doesn’t get any worse than that. The team with the worst road record in baseball comes into CBP and shoots the Phillies in the head (put them out of their misery).
    No matter how hard I squint, there’s just no way I can see a playoff team out there.

    1. Yep, Hinkie…finally out of our misery. Time to look ahead to the off season. See who we can get for Nola and Hoskins, eat half of Didi’s salary, find out if Segura will waive his no trade, give JTR the rest of this season to get healed. Maybe Eflin is a trade chip despite his 8 month recovery? In my opinion, everything and everyone is on the table. Let’s see what rabbits Dombrowski can pull out of his hat. Somebody please drop the curtain on 2021.

  25. DD was all in for this year. Went Old, Old Broke Down. Should of got Story and others at trade deadline but went all in on DiDi, Cutch, played hurt Glavis, Journeyman Miller . Odumbel Herrera .

    Who’s calling pitch’s? Location failure or ?

    Roster redo Please

  26. We’re all upset about this defeat and how the Phillies have played generally. But the fact is this is not a winning Major League team, no less a contender. Look at the daily line up. Get past the first several players and you have AAAA and over the hill players.

    We love what Bamboo Brad, Torreyes and Luke Miller and Jankowski have done at times, but the reality is they are not Major League regulators. Likewise, Cutch and Didi are great guys who have their moments, but they are way past their primes.

    Then you have guys playing with injuries like Realmuto and Galvis.

    Run them all out every night and it simply isn’t a winning MLB line up. So, rather than be upset about their struggles, it’s probably time to face reality and take some satisfaction in how they’re playing given their talent level and injuries, and hope DD can pull off magic in the off season.

  27. While it is hard to feel for someone who will make 1/3 of a billion dollars, I feel sorry for Harper. It is sad watching him play his heart out every night only to see the team come up on the wrong end of the box score time and time again. He has done everything that could be asked of him short of coming into games to close them out. I wonder if he sits at his locker and asks himself, “Why didn’t I sign with SF?”

  28. Jim Salisbury is running out of adjectives to describe these losses. Excruciating, painful, terrible.., but just plain awful sums it up. A 1st inning HR by Bryce and nothing much else except a bunt hit for most of the game. Sure, blown save #30 is hard to top but the hitting has to share in this blame. As good as Miller and Torryes have been, they are not fulltime starters. Someone said that yesterday, and it’s true. We need much more than a Closer to be any good, and I don’t know how to get all we need.

    1. Let’s put the franchise record 30 blown saves in perspective….the Giants (whose record is 19 games better than the Phillies) have had the lead in 109 of their 140 games this season. The Phillies? 106 of 140.

      Run differential – minus 14. The Phillies have scored 639 runs total, 13th in MLB. Middle of the pack numbers offensively when you need to be in the top 8-10 won’t get it done.

      Blame whoever you want but this roster is at best top heavy, and that’s probably a kind description at this point. The Phillies will need at least another starting pitcher who can go 6-7 innings consistently, which alone will improve the bullpen. They currently have….let’s see….1 in Wheeler. I can’t even begin to figure how to fix the bullpen aside from stealing good arms at gunpoint from other GMs.

      Bats? Let’s simplify this. We need a CF, SS and a 3B, to start. Good young ones, not Didi & Cutch 2.0….and ones who can catch the ball and throw it where it’s supposed to go.

      Make room under the Christmas tree…we’ll need all we can get.

      1. ….and considering the dearth of energy on the field notwithstanding Harper’s, let’s change the manager as well – not because of the lack of talent he has to work with, but Joe’s propensity for wasting opportunities to give younger players the playing time they need doesn’t bode well for the future.

        1. You are right Mark*… and it was bad being thrown out at 3rd base yesterday, slip or no slip, but Herrera seems to have energy, and if only for trade value, has got to be a bright spot considering he started the season as a nonentity and offers decent defense as well as some offensive production.!

      2. What do we feel good about for next year? Here’s my take, roster wise:

        C – Realmuto
        1B – Hoskins
        2B – Segura
        SS – ?
        3B – ?
        LF – ?
        CF – ?
        RF – Harper

        SP – Wheeler
        SP – Nola
        SP – ? (Would be Eflin if he was healthy)
        SP – Suarez
        SP – Gibson

        CL – ?
        SU – Neris
        MR- Brogdon, Falter, Alvarado, Coonrod,?,?,?

        Everyone else either may not be here or needs to be upgraded. That’s a lot of work, to find four regulars, a viable SP and a few relievers. Maybe they take a chance on having both Suarez and Falter in the rotation but that could end up looking bad.

  29. When the Phillies traded for Kennedy, I wrote that getting saves in Texas would be a lot easier than getting them in Philly pitching in high pressure situations. I watched the high(low)lights of Kennedy hanging that curve ball and had a difficult time getting to sleep. I imagine that Kennedy kept seeing that hanging curve ball and got no sleep at all. Feel his pain.

  30. Last nights loss was very frustrating. More frustrating for me this year though was FO failure to accurately self-evaluate our chances. Someone needs to throw out all the rose-colored glasses or beer-goggles, cause this team just wasn’t/isn’t good enough. There is sooo much for DD to accomplish this off-season. It would have been incredibly helpful to have let DD begin preparation for next year this July! I believe he could’ve gained a couple prospects (if for nothing else but to flip) and purged the roster of at least some of their financial obligations, to provide better flexibility and opportunity. He could have set himself up for a more focused strategic off-season via the head start.

    Last night didn’t end this season but only a long winning streak can save it now.

  31. v1 nailed it above: “this team will go nowhere until we start producing quality prospects that perform at the MLB level every year.”

    Here’s a crazy stat: from 1998 to the present, only one Phillies second-round pick has produced more than 1 WAR for his career. Here is the total list of second-rounders with positive WAR:

    Anthony Gose (2008 second-round pick): 2.0 WAR
    Roman Quinn (2011 second-round pick): 0.8 WAR
    Scott Kingery (2015 second-round pick): 0.6 WAR

    That’s it for positive career WAR from the second-round from 1998 to now. Hard to believe.

    Just for comparison, here are the top five of the Braves second-rounders from the same time period:

    Freddie Freeman: 42.3
    Andrelton Simmons: 36.9
    Brian McCann: 32.0
    Nick Ahmed: 12.7
    Alex Wood: 12.2

    That’s just the top 5. The Braves have 12 second-rounders with positive WAR fro 1998 to now.

    DD fixes drafting and player development or this franchise goes nowhere.

    1. Yes, they either fix it or we remain the Angels of the National League. You cannot build a championship team mostly on big ticket free agents. It doesn’t work. You must have quality, cheap (and preferably young) contributing players and a lot of them.

    1. I did too. It’s too bad, but not surprising, that our team could not seem to unlock his inherent potential. Whoever is coaching the Giants big league hitters is doing about as good of a job as I’ve ever seen. Turning journeymen into borderline stars and reviving the dead careers of a lot of older hitters. It’s something to behold and the pitching coach is doing a similarly outstanding job – taking a seemingly on-the-ropes guy like Gausman and turning him into one of the best pitchers in the league and doing much the same for their other pitchers.

  32. Ok so what’s the chances of things changing.
    DD like Vets, needs are entire minor system is what it is. You what they say about doing the same things and expecting better results, Phillies Dev System and Scouting.
    Ok so Painter, Abel, Stott for example. Put them in the Phillies System and what do we think will happen- same results
    Verling, Maton, Moniak, Falter, Jo Jo, Sanchez, O Hope, Miller, Martin and Muzziotti.Get them better Coaches.

    Prospect should be Fantasy
    Morales big arm but no control year after year
    Medina been on this list 4ever same results year after year
    Llovera

    Coaching at every level?

    1. Harvey…then also you have pitchers…Cole Irvin and Nick Pivetta, who reached a plateau in the Philies org, both move on and seem to have better their game.
      Yes…it is a frustration, that never seems to resolve itself.

      1. Over the last several years, while teams like the Dodgers and Giants have coached their guys “up” we have generally managed to coach them down and make them worse. It’s pretty damning, although I hope the changes are in process.

        At least DD sees this and heads are rolling, as they should – and the long shadow of incompetence brought to us by Klentak and MacPhail, who constantly raved about the team’s coaching capabilities, continues to grow. They have set the franchise back a decade through their bumbling – 5/6 years of nothing while they were here (none of their draftees have been difference makes to this point) and another 4/5 years, minimum, to fix the damage they caused.

        I used to be amused when folks posted here that they hoped the team went all in because they were getting old and, otherwise, they might not live to see another great Phillies’ team. I’m getting into my late 50s and, guess what, it’s not that amusing anymore.

        1. Catch, I’m considerably older and no longer hoping for a championship team, just a team on the rise will do. A championship team while I’m still young enough to appreciate it would be a bonus. What we have now is just perpetual disappointment. As Hinkie has said, if’s the worst of teams — 500.

          I also agree with Spin Rate, it’s hard to watch Harper play his heart out and waste the prime years of his career.

  33. Phillies get Marquez tonight against TBA or is it TBD? Either way, they are going to need a lot more than their usual 2-3 runs to break this 3 game losing streak.

  34. Looking back, how bad was our off season last year? I mean Didi looks like it was a horrible mistake, Anderson and Moore were mistakes as well (I know on a much smaller scale), the bullpen “upgrades” have led to a franchise record 30 blown saves and just a bad bullpen in general. I get Dave Dom was new and wasn’t exactly as familiar w the org as he would have liked to be however that has zero to do w FA signings. I’m also gonna add JT in there, anyone else think his signing was a mistake?

  35. Do you think the tickets were free promotion tickets or that someone actually paid to watch this game? I think the young man with the gigantic glove got in free just so the viewers had something entertaining to see.😝

  36. It’s like the team knows that when it is a bullpen game that they are going to give up a lot of runs (which they do) so the bats go into the tank.

  37. Lucky thing the Rockies are the worst road team in MLB. Otherwise, the Phillies may have lost 20-2.

    On the brighter side … the Phillies are up to the 1-16 pick for the 2022 draft, and have a decent chance to climb to 1-13 for the second year in a row.

    … and Michael Barkhan is on the post game show right now pointing something out that I was saying to my wife as it happened in real time: how inappropriate was it for Bryce Harper to put the homer hat on Didi Gregorius after he hit a 9th inning solo homer while losing 11-0? Harper is a great talent, but he is not yet the kind of guy to run a championship locker room. DD needs to bring in a Josh Donaldson or a Nelson Cruz or an Anthony Rizzo to teach these guys how to win (and how to lose).

    Thank God the NFL season starts this weekend. E – A – G – L – E – S … oh wait, they’re going to stink this season too.

      1. No reason to say sorry, I’m glad other ppl saw it in real time. Harper has pretty much said and done the right things from day 1 with us, this isn’t one of them.

  38. I hate to say it, but this team is not close to winning anything if they’re getting blown out by the Rockies on the road.

    On offense, you let Cutch and Odubel walk. You eat as much money as you can to trade Didi. I have doubts that the Philies will be able to trade Segura (because of his no trade clause) but who knows. I would definitely try to trade Rhys but not sure if the Phillies will get value in return.

    I would listen to offers on Wheeler and Nola. Eflin is likely a no go because of his injury.

    JT and Harper will be pissed but we can’t be playing like this the last few season. Things have to change. Girardi is likely gone but it won’t be enough.

    The Phillies need help from their system. The Philies won in 2008 because of their home grown core that came up more or less at the same time and grew together.

    Bohm needs to hit again. Stott and Crouse likely make their debuts in 2022. But really, it hinges on the development of Abel/Painter/Garcia/Rojas. Just looking at their ETAs on MLB pipeline, this means 2023 or 2024.

    Even though DD wasn’t brought in for a “rebuild”, he’s going to have to do a quick one.

  39. As Ben Davis noted with the exception of Coonrod and Hammer the remaining of that bullpen-pack from last night have ERAs from 5.03 to 7.94. Please tell me their ship will sail this Dec.

    Well, need to get in a + frame of mind after all, we can’t lose forever…can we???

    1. Yeah, we can. Remember the old Washington Senator? If we don’t develop solid young players, it’s going to be lather, rinse, repeat for the mediocre Phillies, even if they max out on salary as they have. If they go cheap on salary, we will be even worse.

    2. Skeet……don’t look now but Dohy is starting to look like the BP arm they expected from last year…his BBs are down……and even Warren is starting to show what he can do…..both lefties..
      If they can get Seranthony and JoJo healthy and back to their old selves….and Dohy and Warren can jump in…..they may be able to save some $$$$ from free agent reliever signings…..that seems not to have worked out to well for them over the last 4/5 years.

      I just wonder….do they bring Hector back?

      1. Do they have a choice? If they don’t bring him back then they need to find 2 back of the bullpen arms instead of one. Recent and semi-recent history tells us we can’t count on the Phillies to find reliable relievers from their farm system regularly, only once every few years (Brogdon, Dominguez, Giles).

        1. Handzus……Hector retuning as the middle guy (6, 7, 8 inning) could come less expensive than his current salary….which is really not that much in the grand scheme of things ($5M)

          1. Hector as a 7th/8th inning guy would be great but there’s also the chance they’ll need him to close again next year. I don’t think Kennedy will be back so that means they’d either have to go out and get somebody proven or hope a younger pitcher steps up. Either way if they don’t bring him back they’d be left with another big hole to fill

            1. Yeah they will need that closer.
              Will Seranthony be healthy and ready to do it is one question Dave D will need to decide on what to do.
              He may trade for one or go the free agency route…..meaning laying out the big $$$$……a guy like Raisel Iglesias could cost a bit.
              .

      2. Romus, I kinda think all things considered…… that Hector has a good chance of coming back. If some of the kids can latch on and we can save $$$$’s there and allocate it to position players, that would be great. We need so much it seems!

        1. Looks like Dave D is going to have pinch pennies somewhere..unless he can pull off some exceptional trades…..why not the BP!

          I jut do not want to see anymore high $$$ ….BP arms that come up lame out of the gate in spring training…Robertson, or Hunter or even the fungibles from other teams…like Hale or Workman or whoever.
          I know relievers are tricky year to year but I think you really need to have yuor farm system be the foundation of the pen.

  40. Romus – Ever the optimist. That’s why I enjoy reading your posts. At season’s beginning, many of us felt the Phillies could make the playoffs. We did right up through that last winning streak. But did we really think it could happen? For those of us who did, there’s a guy in Brooklyn who wants us to pool our money and buy a bridge he has for sale.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. If the FO could have evaluated accurately we would have been sellers. It still frustrates me because we’ve made the same mistake for years now.

      I’m also with Romus and Skeet. I believe our farm will help produce a quality pen by next year. And that should allow DD to focus more on Lineup & SP.

  41. Was going through what the Phillies 40-man may look like this winter the other day. Here are 36 players I came up with.

    Zack Wheeler
    Aaron Nola
    Zach Eflin
    Kyle Gibson
    Ranger Saurez
    Bailey Falter
    Jose Alvarado
    Connor Brogdon
    JoJo Romero
    Sam Coonrod
    Ser-Ant’ny
    JD Hammer
    Enyel De Los Santos
    Hans Crouse
    Francisco Morales
    Christopher Sanchez
    Adonis Medina
    Damon Jones
    Braeden Ogle

    JT Realmuto
    Andrew Knapp
    Rafael Marchan

    Rhys Hoskins
    Jean Segura
    Didi Gregorius
    Alec Bohm
    Ronald Torreyes
    Luke Williams
    Nick Maton

    Bryce Harper
    Adam Haseley
    Travis Jankowski
    Mickey Moniak
    Roman Quinn
    Matt Vierling
    Jhailyn Ortiz

    EDLS is a borderline add, and he’s probably the first to be DFA’d if they need a spot.

    Tyler Phillips, Ethan Lindow, Zach Warren, and Cornelius Randolph should also get consideration. I think the club risks losing Randolph thru MiLB free agency if he isn’t added so it’s possible he does get a spot.
    Of course, you gotta’ believe DD will be busy in the trade and FA markets this offseason so this list will probably be fluid.

    1. I think Damon Jones and Travis Janko will not be kept. on the 40.
      Knapp is another interesting debate.
      And like you say EDLS is another that is questionable…and might as well put Adonis on that list also
      If any pitchers come off, I would like to add Jack Perkins..

        1. Yep that is how it will work…same probably with Moniak and Haseley…..they will move on become solid MLB players for other teams…

  42. I would like to see the team promote Medina to the big club, and give him the chance to start every 5th day for the rest of the month. Can he be any worse than these BP games (which also handcuff Girardi for the games before and after). This way the team can also get a better idea of what Medina can contribute going forward.

    1. Hinkie….Medina has been a mystery for the last two and half years now.
      Maybe its me, but just seems they give EDLS more chances.
      Not sure what the deal is with Medina.
      Why not let him start ilo of these bullpen games…..if he can give you 4, maybe even 5 solid innings that would be great.

      1. Medina seems like an afterthought now; I don’t think the team believes in him and I’ve mostly written him off as a result. I agree with you above about him being a DFA candidate.

        1. Its been like this since 2019….this indecisiveness on the Phillies part is unproductive. If they feel he cannot help……then move on. and open a 40 spot…should have been done last year.
          Four MLB innings pitched since they put him on the 40…..was it 2019?

          1. He made a spot start last year and I actually thought he looked decent. Better than Chase Anderson looked this year at least.

      2. Medina has been a after thought for sure but it appears he’s been told to pitch to contact, Medina, Parkinson and Sanchez are working on split finger pitch’ s, Sanchez has been successful and Medina a little but Parkinson has hit a wall.
        All 3 have ability but Medina has become a mystery especially because he’s been in the system so long and keeps dropping as a prospect.
        Almost hesitant to express concerns on him because he mentioned but just a comment, this blog for that my hopes

            1. That’s NOTHING. Check out Curtis Mead’s stats. On top of not being able to coach-up our prospects, we can’t scout them either. Mead could end up being an impact big leaguer. But fear not, we got Chris Sanchez in return. Ugh!!

            2. Of all the Aussie in the Phillies system…we give up the one who projects right now on being that stud player. Strewth!

  43. I just came up with the bestest of all ideas. Girardi should pitch Wheeler every other day right through the end of the season. If the team has a day off, Wheeler would be pitching two games in a row. You think I’m crazy, right? Hey, if Gene Mauch was managing this team, he’d do it in a flash.

    1. Ciada,…….the idea has merit and if we get out in front early like we normally do by 8 or 10 runs by just batting Segura, Harper, Segura, Harper, Segura, Harper and pinch run for them like we did in backyard ball when we were kids…..hmmmm🤔

  44. Knapp is back with Marchan optioned to Lehigh.

    DLS has been DFAd. It’s stunning that it took this long to happen. He pitched in 26 games and generated -0.7 WAR. He has the worst pitching WAR out of any Phillies pitcher this season (which includes Moore, Chase Anderson, Kintzler and David Hale). Just brutal.

  45. How bad has the Philies offense been? Odubel is tied for 4th on the team with 2.1 WAR and Cutch is 5th with 1.4 WAR. And these 2 guys will likely not be on the team next season.

    Who has been the best reliever for the Phillies outside of Suarez? Neris with 1.4 WAR. After he lost his closer job, he’s done everything the Phillies have asked for and then some. He definitely still has something left in the tank. But he’s a FA and likely won’t be coming back unless the Phillies pay up into the $6M range.

    1. Giving Neris 2-$10m is the type of move that keeps this team both mediocre and at .500.

      Time to move on to either a cheaper option that can give similar results or a more expensive option that can actually close out games.

      1. Meant to say both .500 and against the luxury tax threshold.

        Need to quit spending above average money on below average talent.

        1. Whether or not not they bring Neris back…..they still will need a closer next year…..Kennedy I do not see coming back.
          And the typical money spent on any closer these days is around the $8/12M AAV range depending on his gravitas.
          Not many notables……Iglesias , maybe Colome or Melancon..plenty in the mid-to-late 30 age range…but so many question marks with them.

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