This is the courtesy thread for comments and discussion about the Phillies and other BASEBALL topics.
The Phillies (76-73) had a good week going 4-2 and winning series from Chicago and New York. Meanwhile, Atlanta went 1-4 losing 2 games to Colorado and dropping a series against San Francisco. Worse for them is the likelihood of having to make up a postponed game with Colorado that will cost them an off day at the end of the season if it has to be made up. New York went 1-5 and are essentially out of the post-season.
- Phillies (76-73) 13 games remaining
- 3 v Baltimore, 4 v Pittsburgh; 3 @ Atlanta, 3 @ Miami
- Atlanta (77-70) 15 games remaining
- 4 @ Arizona, 4 @ San Diego; 3 v Phils, 3 v NY Mets; 1 v Colorado
- NY Mets (73-77) 12 games remaining
- 2 @ Boston, 3 @ Milwaukee; 4 v Miami, 3 @ Atlanta
The second wild card is slowly slipping away as Saint Louis has gotten hot at just the right time. Remind anybody of 2011? San Diego’s chances are probably deader than Generalissimo Francisco Franco. Too soon?
- St. Louis (79-69) 14 games remaining
- 4 @ Milwaukee, 4 @ Chicago; 3 v Milwaukee, 3 v Chicago
- Cincinnati (77-73) 12 games remaining
- 3 v Pittsburgh, 4 v Washington; 2 @ Chicago White Sox, 3 @ Pittsburgh
- San Diego (76-73) 13 games remaining
- 3 v SanFrancisco, 4 v Atlanta; 3 @ Los Angeles, 3 @ San Francisco
MVP chatter is picking up again with all types of baseball “experts” chiming in. Last night I had to listen to Vasgersian and Rodriguez give their opinions. Gawd, if it weren’t the Phillies, I would have turned that awful pair off as I do each week.
Anyway, since most writers gave the award to Shohei Ohtani and Fernando Tatis months ago, they seem hesitant to change their minds. Looks weak or uncertain and might taint their role as “experts”.
Here’s what I think. It’s an award to the player most valuable to his team. Not a “best player” award. It’s also a season award, so if a baseball-type chose to declare a winner in June, and has to make excuses to continue on that path, he or she should probably change their mind.
As unique as Ohtani’s season is, he has been terrible the past two months hitting just .223 in the second half. When he’s not pitching, he is a DH. He has zero starts at a position. His team is fading fast in the division (eliminated) and wild card (no chance) races. I don’t know if he’s in Cy Young talk. I would think not if many are pushing for him to win the MVP based on the uniqueness of his season.
Now, Vlad Guerrero Junior is having the kind of season that merits MVP talk. And, not just in the discussion, but front-runner numbers. He is hitting .307 in the second half (lower than his first half) and OPSing .947 in the second half (also lower). But, he’s killing it in September and has pulled his team into the second wild card from a long way back, one game behind the Red Sox for the first wild card. He also plays in what may be the toughest division in baseball. Geez, the 4th place Yankees are playing at a .553 clip (83-67).
In the National League, the MVP was “pre-awarded” to Fernando Tatis Junior back in spring training it seems. Tatis has had a great year. But, he’s carrying his team from a wild card spot that all these same “experts” ceded to the Padres months ago into oblivion. Bryce Harper on the other hand is having himself quite a second half. Harper is better in most percentage stats, like slash. Friday I listened to Wilbon on PTI say that even though the statheads are discounting the merits of the RBI stat, it is the most important to him. Of course, it’s the one stat that Tatis is way ahead of Harper. Forget that it has been documented that Harper had one of the lowest RBI opportunities during the first half of the season. I was shocked to see that he has 80, to tell you the truth.
Regardless, I don’t care so much about the NL award. It’s a vote among people who likely never played the game. I know how important Harper has been to the Phillies. If they win the division, it will very probably be because of Harper. In which case he will either win the award or lose a close vote.
The real shame to me is that Vlad Jr. will probably lose out because voters will rationalize that he’s young enough to do it again and what Ohtani did (pitch and play DH) is soooo rare that it can’t be done again.
Time to remind everybody that there is ZERO tolerance for name-calling here. You don’t get a warning. You don’t get a courtesy e-mail. You are banned. If you are dumb enough to think that an apology that goes on and justifies your conduct and you continue to belittle the guy who controls your fate here, You’ll get banned “for life”.
For those who don’t know recent history here, we had several incidents.
- One fellow started logging in and changing his name to that of other people and commenting as them. It caused a lot of anguish for the guy whose name was stolen most often. That banning lasted about 6 months, 3 months longer than it had to because the culprit kept trying to log on using other names and new accounts. He’s back now with no subsequent problem. The result was the rule that one name per person, and an actual, real e-mail account associated with the name.
- Political discussion is banned. There are many types of people here. There are many differing opinions. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Just not here. This is a baseball site. Actually, it’s a Phillies’ prospects site. Phillies talk is a courtesy I extend that can be removed at any time. There are other sites dedicated to politics. Go there.
- Discussion of social issues is banned. It is too easy for social issues to blossom into political discussion. It has happened several times. The most recent ended with the guy who instigated the heated discussion getting banned. His ban has since been lifted.
- Bannings can last a week, the rest of a month, the rest of a season, or until I grant a general amnesty and empty the banned user folder sometime in December before the new year.
- I came home from my birthday dinner with my wife Sunday evening and was in a good mood and dumped the banned folder. So, as of right now, no one is banned. I hope it remains empty for a while, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone doesn’t feel the need to come back at me.
- I was in such a hurry dumping the folder, I forgot to keep the info of “the name we do not speak”. I hope he doesn’t target us again. It’s been a few years and if he really wanted to mess with us, he can get around anything I could do to stop him. Fingers crossed.
The Arizona Fall League starts up on September 27th. There has been a lot of speculation on who should go, who would benefit. I “think” that the Phillies will send players who missed time rather than prospects who have played all year. For instance, Bryson Stott has been doing baseball stuff since major-league spring training. I “think” whether he goes to Lehigh Valley or not, he’s given the winter off. Simon Muzziotti would be a prime candidate for the AFL. He lost a big portion of his season to visa issues.
This brings me to the latest MLB negotiation. Those with the Caribbean Winter Leagues. I saw a copy of an agreement that has to be approved by the MLBPA. It looks like MLB’s power grab has extended into the Caribbean. There was a time, not too long ago, when the Winter League teams had to grant permission to an MLB team for one of their players to play in the AFL. Now it seems that the wording in the document allows MLB teams to make that decision without talking to the Winter League team. I think the team is compensated with $5K for any player assigned to the AFL. No discussion. I think high school ball is next.
I’ve seen the preliminary discussion on what the Phillies will/should do in the offseason. I expect that that talk will die down as long as the Phillies continue to make the division interesting. I would like to remind you all that no matter what the LTL, the Phillies have NEVER exceeded it. They also have a lot of sunk cost in buyouts for McCutchen and Herrera ($3M and $2.5M respectively) and Scott Kingery as long as he’s not on the 40-man roster ($6M in 2020). That’s $11.5M spent with no player on the roster to show for it.
Reminder. Jean Segura has a no-trade clause in his contract. If he agrees to a trade there is a cost of $1M assignment bonus in his contract. Probably will have to guarantee his 2023 option year of $17M. Plus he’s our second-best hitter.
JT Realmuto was signed as a catcher. If he plays any other position (like second base) his contract is an overpay. He’s a top catcher who runs and hits well. But not well enough to be an everyday corner infielder or outfielder. If he’s not catching, his contract was a big mistake.
Be prepared for another year of Knapp. He made $1.1M in 2021. His 2022 salary arbitration is not likely to exceed $2M by much, if at all. I’m not condoning this, just preparing myself for it. JT should be catching 130 games. I can’t believe that they would have Marchan sit on the bench, if he’s not traded.
I wouldn’t mind Vierling in LF next season. Or even CF. As a starter. He reminds me of the type of player who comes up through the Cardinals system, plays well for a couple years, and disappears, either traded to another organization or replaced by the next guy like him. We’ve got a couple other guys who look like those Cardinals’ type. We’ll see if they pan out.
Oh, I “think” the Phillies’ top priority among available free agents is going to be Bryant. Once again, I’m neither for or against. I know there is some sentiment that he likes and will remain in SF. I think money talks and if the Phillies want him, they’ll get him. Plus we’ve got his buddy Harper.
I’ve seen the Hoskins trade discussion. I suggested back in 2018 that the Phillies would eventually have to trade Hoskins when they couldn’t sign him to an LTC similar to Kingery’s. It’s not that I’m advocating a trade, but I can’t see Boras agreeing to an extension without testing free agency. Hoskins has 2 more arb years before becoming a free agent in 2024 at age 30, and maybe as a DH and not as a first baseman. He made $4.8M in 2021 and could conceivably go up to $7.8M to $8.2M. Maybe he doubles it in 2021. He’ll certainly be double digits in 2023. Whether you are in favor of a trade or not, he’ll be taking an increasingly larger chunk of money out of the available surplus each year.
Key Dates: most are guesstimates based on previous years. Italics are those dates that will be dependent on the new CBA,
- October 3, 2021: Regular season concludes
- October 5, 2021: Postseason begins – AL Wild Card Game
- October 6, 2021: NL Wild Card Game
- October 7, 2021: AL Division Series begins
- October 8, 2021: NL Division Series begins
- October 15, 2021: AL Championship Series begins
- October 16, 2021: NL Championship Series begins
- October 26, 2021: World Series begins
- October 30 – November 3, 2021: Trading resumes, day after the World Series ends
- October 31 – November 4, 2021: five days after the conclusion of the World Series – Deadline for teams to make qualifying offers to their eligible former players who became free agents
- November 14-19, 2021: fifteen days after the conclusion of the World Series – Deadline for free agents to accept qualifying offers
- November TBA: GM Meetings (Nov. 11-14, Scottsdale, AZ in 2019)
- November TBA: Owners meetings (Nov. 19-21, Arlington, TX in 2019)
- November 20, 2021: Deadline to submit 40-man rosters before Rule 5 Draft
- November TBA: MLBPA executive board meeting (Nov. 26-29 in Irving, TX in 2018)
- December 1, 2021: CBA expires
- December 2, 2021 – Non-tender Deadline – last day for teams to offer 2022 contracts to unsigned players (pre-arb and arb eligible) on their 40-man rosters
- December 2021: Winter Meetings in Nashville
- December 2021: Rule 5 Draft
- December 15, 2021: Close of the 2020 international signing period
- January TBA – Rookie Career Development Program
- January 15, 2022, 9:00 AM EST – Start of the 2021 international signing period (I gotta check this)
- January 2022: Deadline for teams and arb eligible players to submit salary figures to arbiter
- February 16, 2022 – Voluntary spring training reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and players recovering from injuries
- February 21, 2022 – Voluntary spring training reporting date for position players
- February 23, 2022 – Mandatory spring training reporting date
- February 26, 2022 – First spring training games
- March 31, 2022 – Opening Day for 2022 season
- July 2022 – 2022 Amateur Draft
Transactions (last week’s transactions)
9/18/2021 – Clearwater activated RHP Cam Wynne from the 7-day IL
9/18/2021 – Clearwater placed LHP Spencer Van Scoyoc on the 7-day IL
9/17/2021 – Phillies recalled LHP Damon Jones from Lehigh Valley
9/17/2021 – Phillies optioned RHP JD Hammer to Lehigh Valley
9/15/2021 – Phillies placed RHP Connor Brogdon on the 10-day IL, right groin strain
9/15/2021 – Phillies recalled RHP Ramon Rosso from Lehigh Valley
9/15/2021 – RHP Julian Garcia assigned to Jersey Shore from FCL Phillies
9/15/2021 – FCL Phillies placed RHP Chi-Ling Hsu on the temporarily inactive list
9/14/2021 – 2B Sal Gozzo assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
9/14/2021 – LHP Josh Hendrickson assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
9/14/2021 – RHP David Paulino assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
9/14/2021 – RHP Hans Crouse assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
9/14/2021 – LHP Kyle Dohy assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
9/14/2021 – OF Simon Muzziotti assigned to Reading from Jersey Shore
9/14/2021 – RHP Malik Binns assigned to FCL Phillies
9/13/2021 – Pittsburgh claimed RHP Enyel De Los Santos off waivers from Phillies
9/13/2021 – Reading placed RHP Tyler Phillips on the 7-day IL
9/12/2021 – Phillies released RHP Vince Velasquez