Open Discussion: Week of September 26, 2021

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

The Phillies (81-75) had a good week going 5-2 and winning series from Baltimore and Pittsburgh.  Just not good enough as Atlanta went 6-2 against Arizona and San Diego.

  • Phillies (81-75) 6 games remaining – 3 @ Atlanta, 3 @ Miami
  • Atlanta (83-72) 7 games remaining – 3 v Phils, 3 v NY Mets; 1 v Colorado

Atlanta’s magic number is 5 and with the Phillies 3 back in the loss column.  The Phillies almost have to sweep Atlanta to have any real chance at winning the division.  Two losses against Atlanta leave them on the verge of elimination.  One loss leaves them in a position of probably needing a series win or sweep of the Marlins.

Atlanta’s scouts have also seen the blueprints that beat the Phillies of late – a starter with a high ERA, a starter with only a few major league starts, or any left-handed pitcher since that won’t stop Girardi from leading off with Herrera and sticking Gregorius somewhere in the lineup.  Might even see Miller at first base.

The second wild card is a Saint Louis win or a Phillies and Reds loss from being decided.  I wouldn’t want to be the second-place team in the West and having to face the Cardinals in a one-game playoff.  I don’t think I’d want to have to face them in the division series either.

I see the Phillies finally DFA-ed Matt Joyce.  I don’t know what took so long (Girardi?  Probably.)  Joyce went 3-21 in April, 1-22 in May, and 1-7 in June before going to the IL on June 19th.  He was sent to Clearwater on rehab on June 25th but that didn’t occur.  He went on the 60-day IL on July 30th.  He started rehabbing on August 24th and was activated on September 11th.  He tied up a roster spot for 15 days and gave the Phillies an 0-7 September before being DFA-ed.  Great roster management.

I thought Hans Crouse looked okay in his first major league start.  The first pitch HR was a bummer, but he pitched effectively enough to keep the Pirates off the board for the rest of his outing.  The walks were off-putting, but they came with one or two outs and he pitched out of any danger.  And, he gave the Phillies three innings and a chance to win.

The first day of Fall Instructions is September 27th.  The Arizona Fall Leagues opens on October 13th.  I think I mixed these dates up last week.

Key Dates: most are guesstimates based on previous years.  Italics are those dates that will be dependent on the new CBA,

  • September 27, 2021: First day of Fall Instructs
  • 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 13, 2021: Opening day for the Arizona Fall League
  • 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 and a few late posts)

9/26/2021 – Phillies designated RF Matt Joyce for assignment
9/26/2021 – Phillies selected the contract of RHP Hans Crouse from Lehigh Valley
9/26/2021 – Phillies sent RHP Connor Brogdon on a rehab assignment to Lehigh Valley
9/25/2021 – Phillies placed LHP Matt Moore on the 60-day IL, low back strain
9/25/2021 – Phillies placed RHP Archie Bradley on the 10-day IL, right oblique strain
9/25/2021 – Phillies selected the contract of LHP Kyle Dohy from Lehigh Valley
9/23/2021 – Phillies placed LHP Matt Moore on the 10-day IL, low back strain
9/23/2021 – Phillies recalled LHP Cristopher Sanchez from Lehigh Valley
9/22/2021 – Phillies activated CF Travis Jankowski from the 10-day IL
9/22/2021 – Phillies optioned LHP Damon Jones to Lehigh Valley
9/22/2021 – 2B Sal Gozzo assigned to Jersey Shore from Lehigh Valley
9/22/2021 – LHP Kyle Dohy assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
9/22/2021 – SS Bryson Stott assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
9/22/2021 – RHP Francisco Morales assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
9/22/2021 – RHP David Paulino assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
9/22/2021 – RHP Brian Marconi assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
9/22/2021 – OF Simon Muzziotti assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
9/22/2021 – C Logan O’Hoppe assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
9/22/2021 – 3B Dalton Guthrie assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
9/22/2021 – RHP Hans Crouse assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
9/22/2021 – Lehigh Valley released RHP Zach McAllister
9/22/2021 – LHP Josh Hendrickson assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
9/21/2021 – High Point Rockers signed free agent C Logan Moore
9/21/2021 – Phillies released RHP Tyler Phillips
9/20/2021 – Phillies activated 3B Luke Williams
9/20/2021 – Phillies optioned CF Mickey Moniak to Lehigh Valley
9/20/2021 – Lehigh Valley released LHP Tyler Alexander
9/20/2021 – Phillies designated RHP Tyler Phillips for assignment
9/20/2021 – 3B T.J. Rivera roster status changed by Lehigh Valley
9/20/2021 – OF Charlie Tilson roster status changed by Lehigh Valley
9/08/2021 – FCL Phillies placed RHP Lee Ji Tae on the 60-day IL
9/08/2021 – FCL Phillies placed LHP Corey Phelan on the 60-day IL
9/08/2021 – FCL Phillies placed LHP Christopher Soriano on the 60-day
9/07/2021 – LHP David Parkinson assigned to Reading Phils from Lehigh Valley
8/27/2021 – FCL Phillies released IF Juan Herrera

339 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of September 26, 2021

  1. Thinking about this year’s Phillies players, and specifically the pitchers, it seems totally unsurprising a” bullpen game” would not end (or start) well. But a little remarkable that in the last week of the season they still mathematically could be a playoff team. Contrast them to the Mets!

  2. I know they’re not sweeping the Braves and winning the division. However, they have 81 wins and are one win away from a winning season, the first since 2011. When you consider how many things that went wrong this year (Didi, Nola, Bohm, Eflin injury, and the bullpen, again), it’s very rewarding to still have a chance in late September and to have a winning record. There is so much to do in the off-season.

    1. The flip side is that a whole lot went right for us to still be mathematically in it. We have both an MVP and a CY candidate, Segura has been consistently good, Ranger has a 1.45 ERA, and the team has been relatively healthy. Plus the Mets collapsed (which I personally expected because… they’re the Mets. But still), and the Braves not only started extremely slow, but lost their best player for the year.

      If Nola pitched to his FIP or xERA, we’d be in the playoffs this year. But even if that happens next year AND everything else about the team repeated itself, we probably still lose to the Braves. Do we get a wildcard? Maybe. But at this point it feels like the team is closer to a rebuild than a playoff berth. I honestly don’t know where DD would even begin to start working to make this a playoff team; let alone a championship contender.

      1. Well, let’s start with first things. We AREN’T getting a wild card berth. The second wild card team is the Cardinals and they are six games ahead of the Phillies in the wild card race, so the magic number on that is one Cardinals win or one Phillies loss with 6 games to go. And, oh yeah, the Cardinals have a 16 game winning streak. So it’s not happening.

        Moving forward, we are going to have a tough time keeping up with the Braves. They are built very well and, frankly, they should be about 12 games ahead of the Phillies based on their run-scored differential. We are very close only by sheer luck, although we have a puncher’s chance to make it.

        However, the team does have a star pitcher and hitter and a number of other good players. Middleton isn’t rebuilding with this crew, so you can forget about that. It’s now up to DD to build a team that can get around 88-90 wins next year and try to contend for either the division or, more likely, a WC.

        But, like the Sixers, the Phillies screwed up the rebuilding process and have put their new, and highly competent GM, in a very difficult situation (just as Daryl Morey was dealt a difficult hand due to the staggering incompetence of Colangelo and Brand). So, now, with only a little payroll flexibility, not a young (or old) team, and a pretty bad farm system, he has to both improve the product at the major league and minor league levels. It will be interesting to see what he does.

        1. The wild card comment was about whether we could win it next year. That’s our most realistic chance at the playoffs next season, but even if we repeat this year’s successes and add some other improvements, it’s not a lock.

          I agree we won’t rebuild, but it’s not clear to me that we SHOULDN’T. It’s an absolute shame to waste prime years of some excellent players, but that’s exactly what we’re doing. And Mike Trout is proof positive that having even the best basis of a core doesn’t mean you’ll build a good team.

  3. Many on this site have been yearning for an international star player to be signed by the Phillies. We mention the Braves and Nationals among others that have done so but…..maybe we did but didn’t recognize it. I think he received the bloated sum of $5,000 to sign. Ranger Suarez might be our man.

  4. Lots of great posts early in this thread. Always love to read the thoughts of the members of the best Phillies blog on the internet.

    And yes catch, you summed the whole situation up in a nutshell. Agree with everything you said.

    From leadoff hitter to closer (and multiple stops in between), DD’s “to-do” list is extensive.
    Please rank these items in terms of their importance. Some can fall under the “two birds/one stone” category (i.e. CFer who can leadoff), but for this exercise, just rank the individual items separately. Also … you decide for yourself the importance of long term vs short term.

    A) Closer
    B) Additional SP (or two)
    C) Hire next player development director (which could get done this week)
    D) leadoff hitter
    E) improve defense
    F) change manager
    G) 3Bman
    H) SS
    I) CFer
    J) bit time, run producing bat in LF
    K) import veteran clubhouse leader (w/winning pedigree)

    1. Well, I think that SS/3B is an either/or, as is LF/CF, which more likely will be CF. The defense will improve with both additions. But anyway, I would have:
      1 closer
      2a SS/3B
      2b LF/CF
      4 clubhouse leader
      5 SP
      6 leadoff hitter

      The new player development vacancy is vitally important, but Dombrowski doesn’t have to trade for one. Just pick the right one. I consider this move apart from the major league roster situation. Not sure where it would rank.

    2. In descending order:

      1) Player development director (because of importance but not immediacy)
      2) Leadoff hitter
      3) Additional SP
      4) SS
      5) LF
      6) 3B (possible in house option makes me rank this lower)
      7) Closer
      8) Improve defense
      9) CF (Odubel is fine and has maybe been on the unlucky side this year. His batted ball stats are some of the best of his career)
      10) manager
      11) clubhouse leader

    3. Here are my answers, DD call me!
      1)Closer – easiest way to boost win total
      1B) Hire player development – need highly desirable prospects to trade to “go for it” vs “rebuild” + its high time the Phillies got this right
      2) Improve defense – will better our run differential
      3)Lead off hitter – Harper hit too many solo home runs
      4 & 5.- tied – SS & 3B. I’ll take some combo of Stott & Bryant/Story for opening day, though I suspect Stott is traded
      6)CF – I long for the days of Dykstra, hopefully the new CF can be lead off hitter too, and … improve defense?
      7)Add SP – Wheeler, Nola, Efflin, Gibson, & Ranger good enough, strength of the team, beef bullpen instead
      8)LF power bat – need should be minimized by adding Bryant or story
      9)Veteran presenance – Harper is all you need imho
      10) Fire manager – all these moves should negate Joe, but imo if it is needed, you get a bigger boost to the team if it is done near the deadline in season, not before.

      1. Remember that Eflin is going to miss time next year, so they’re going to need another guy. Maybe they can get away with a fill-in type if Nola pitches like a 2, Ranger pitches like a 3 and Gibson pitches like a 4. Personally I’d like more insurance in case Ranger regresses hard or if Nola doesn’t rebound.

        1. The starting rotation will at least be Wheeler, Suarez, Nola, Gibson. Eflin is likely to get $6-7M in arbitration. Not sure what kind of insurance you’re looking for. No decent starting FA pitcher is going to sign with the Phillies if they know that they will be replaced by Eflin later. And the Phillies don’t want to throw $5M+ to a pitcher as insurance so that he MIGHT be in the rotation. Where’s he going to pitch in the meantime? That’s what AAA depth is for. Falter should get first crack at Eflin’s spot. After him, you bring up somebody from Lehigh like Crouse.

          1. If the Phillies believe they have a SP who’s ready to make the jump to the majors (or to the rotation in Falter’s case) and succeed then by all means they can go that route. Recent – and long term – history suggests that they can’t count on that.

            It doesn’t have to be a free agent; I imagine a good org would be on the lookout for trade candidates knowing that you can never have enough pitching and somebody besides Eflin is probably going to wind up injured and missing time. If they end up with 6 pitchers who are good, healthy starters, that’s fine.

            1. Trading for reliable starting pitching is not easy and it’ll cost you one way or another (from salaries to prospects). If it was that easy, then everybody would do it.

              The Phillies have Falter and Crouse. That’s your depth. And since they are on minimal contracts with options, the Philies can do whatever they want with them. You trade for somebody with no options or a large contract, you’re stuck.

            2. I am looking for Morales next season to step up after a lesson learned year this season
              As opposed to Medina after his first lackluster year in 2019 at Reading…..Morales does not seem to have lost any velo.

        2. To me, the SP is the strength of the team, at least this year. I expect that to continue, even with Effflin out. There should be enough AAA pitching to get them through. Gotta remember too you can get away with a 4 man rotation for part of April, that helps, and then maybe the 2022 Closer … can actually … close. That would help negate efflin’s DL time 🙂

        3. Handzus, given Nola’s regression, I don’t think it’s a rebound. It’s more like a breakthrough after several weak seasons. And I don’t expect that.

          1. He was very good in 2020, albeit a short season. 2019 wasn’t what we want from him but it was still much better than what he’s done this year. The numbers from this season support a bounce back and just from watching him I think he still has the pure stuff to be a TOR pitcher, so I’m relatively optimistic. I wouldn’t just assume it though.

    4. Hinkie- A closer is number 1 on my wish list. Geez if we could have signed Melancon this year we are in first pace by 5 or more games. After a rough start Colome of the Twins has had a pretty good year and Romo has pitched well for the A’s. So maybe we don’t have to spend the big bucks but have good evaluators and a bit of luck. We could have had all 3 in our bullpen this year for around 6 million total salary dollars.

  5. Hinkie you know more then me and you are more informed and investigate it more too. You want to change the manager? Who would you want? Also what kind of manager do you see working with this team? Yes it’s great they may be a 500 team but this team is a manager killer. Look at krapler I didn’t like him at all but he seems to be doing well in San Fran. Also what if Joe leaves and has has success at his next stop. Joe may not be the right manager for this group but I am not sure that is the main issue. Just wondering who you feel would work? Thanks

    1. Rocky … I’m not endorsing a managerial change, but I know there are many fans who have had it with Joe G. So I figured I’d add to the list of things DD may consider. IMO, it’s doubtful (but not out of the question) that Dombrowski will fire Girardi.

      Your question does lead to another very interesting poll question:
      Who would you rather have manage the 2022 Phillies? Joe Girardi or Gabe Kapler?
      and Romus … I’ve already got your vote counted. 🙂

      1. Hinkie, I know you favor Kapler and I agree the MacPhail and Klentak were the problem, but Gabe wasn’t the solution HERE. Hey, even Terry Francona had his “mulligan” before becoming a national managerial darling. Likewise, only time will tell us the real story on Gabe. Otherwise, I think we can all put this debate to sleep…please.

      2. Hinkie…….I will give Gabe credit for one thing…he knows the true healthy benefits of MCT……coconut oil.

  6. Joe Girardi for me, and Gabe can stay in SF, and I wish him well, and I know that the real issues were Klentak and MacPhail. But, I have no interest in Gabe being back here. To your list, Closer at 1, and defensive improvement at 1A. Then very close behind is CF/Leadoff hitter. I consider the player developmental guy to be a separate category and crucially important. Something tells me that Didi is back, so next would be a 3B. That covers my run producing player as well, so I can run a platoon in LF with Matt Vierling and a Veteran. I honestly don’t know how Dombrowski can address all that we need fixed. But, I wish him good luck!

  7. It’s no shocker that the Phillies start their yearly choke during their last home game. They win 1 game during Brave series and one against Miami.

    They have had some luck but they don’t have that sense of urgency/fire that is needed to get past the finish line.

  8. Changing managers is #1 for me. Player development has to continue at the major league level and Girardi just doesn’t play the young guys. Not sure how many times someone has come up from AAA and didn’t play- position players and bullpen. This really leads to Girardi’s influence on the 40 man. We don’t see the churn on the fringes like other teams and there appears to be way to much reliance on underperforming vets.

  9. I think Moniak plays in AAA next year. Here are his stats from July 3rd – Sept. 26th, including a few stints with the big club:

    PA: 223
    AB: 198
    .263/.320/.470, for an OPS of .790
    21.1% K rate
    7.6% BB rate
    .307 BABIP

    That is . . . not bad. That’s a pretty decent sample size, too.

    Play AAA next year in his 24 year-old-season, get that K rate down a couple points into the teens, bump the OPS into the .800s, and he’ll be looking like a contributor on the Phils for 2023 onward. Maybe that is as a platoon partner — for the year, his OPS against righties is 133 points higher than against lefties — but that could have real value.

    1. It’s not bad, but it’s going to have to be a lot better for him to get promoted permanently and become anything more than a 4th outfielder in the big leagues. He’s going to have to get really good at something or just good at several things to allow him to stick as a big league corner outfielder and, unfortunately for Mickey, the offensive bar there is pretty high.

      And, because I know Matt Moniak reads what we write on occasion, I’m not saying he can’t do it (and out of respect, I won’t state what I believe the odds of that happening might be – that’s not reasonable or polite), just that he will need to do it in order to have a viable big league career.

    2. MM will be 24 for most of next season, but it’ll be his 6th year in the system. Whether or not LF and/or CF will be open for competition will be determined if the Phillies fill those positions in FA. Worst case, MM will be in ST looking for an OF bench job.

      1. West Coast, Catch and Guru………….I think you guys expressed yourselves in a very commendable way. One of the reasons I don’t like HS drafts for your 1rst pick is because it seems to take so long to bear any fruit. I know there are exceptions, but mostly, it seems to take time.

        1. Skeet…even more so with HS pitchers.

          Besides the developmental time it takes…usually 400 plus minor league innings…there is the aspect of arm injuries…be it the elbow or shoulder.

          Of all the hi-velo HS first round pitchers taken between 2006-2016 in the Rule 4 draft (118)….approx 9% have gone on to produce a 10WAR or better MLB career to date.
          It is a roll of the dice..

        2. HS arms take longer to develop. The only HS bat I would take in the early 1st round would be a high ceiling kid with a 5 tool profile.

      1. Very good chance. Too many holes to fill and not enough prospects. I hope it works out for him regardless, imo, he is very close to MLB. I’d like to see where he is midway through next season. He should have a good offseason to focus on weaknesses, and a half season to prove it. He is not traded this offseason, he should be on on the roster by then. He has to be pretty excited. He made his money, and now he is on the verge of becoming an MLBer. It’s been a build too for him. No matter his outcome, it has to be pretty exciting, finding out whether you are or aren’t an MLBer. There is no suspense in that question for me, its an obvious “nope” Good luck to him , we are obviously pulling for him.

          1. He’s doing Okay. .270 avg is pretty good these days. … feels like a .285-.290 from 10-15 years ago. 9 hrs thought …. Pretty weak for an everyday player . 35 doubles… not to shabby. His OBP needs work. I’d like to see his numbers next year. I bet he keeps slowly progressing into an above average player. He is cheap, or at least cheaper than Segura was, not to bad of a trade, but Segura is the best player from that trade. WOULD have been nice to wrestle away Harrington for LF

          2. As Jim has mentioned previously, JPC had issues and wasn’t performing. The Phillies were able to flip him for 4 years of Segura (although his salary wasn’t a bargain). It’s the rare deal that has worked out for both sides.

      2. MM is talented (or else he wouldn’t have went #1 overall) so I think he’s a candidate for being a late bloomer. If the Phillies traded him now, they would be getting pennies on the dollar back. So why trade him now? Let him stay on the bench and see if he blossoms for the Phillies. He’s not even arbitration eligible until 2024.

        1. I agree. Moniak’s trade value is negligible at this stage. IMO, maximizing his value is to platoon him in LF with Vierling next year, unless DD happens to sign either JD Martinez or Nick Castellanos, but even they are better suited as a DH, not LF, so…

          No matter how much Dombrowski spends this winter, you can’t have mega contracts at each position. A steady, if small influx of youth is important to the continuity of an organization’s success. 6 of the 8 positions will be marked by fairly big salaries if DD signs/acquires a SS/3B and CF/LF or DH (if that is contractually resolved soon enough in CBA talks).

        2. i agree. If they trade him now, the Phillies are too far off from his max trqade value, more like closer to his min. Issue is the push for the playoffs. Can’t keep everyone, and only add FA. not enough imho. DD is going to need to clean out a lot of prospects. MM is up there. It’s time to go for it. Pivot from there.

        3. Can’t keep everybody hoping and waiting for their break out year.
          One time potentially prized prospects players move on every year
          Usually 7/8 slots for OFers on a team’s 40 come Nov…..
          maybe 4 or 5 of the following will be off it….Bryce Harper …..Adam Haseley ……Odúbel Herrera ……Travis Jankowski ……Matt Vierling…Brad Miller
          …….Andrew McCutchen …………Mickey Moniak……..Roman Quinn.

          1. Quinn is hurt (again), Cutch is gone, Jankowski is replaceable. Haseley and Moniak could be the bench OFs provided they hit enough. Vierling will definitely be in the mix.

            Miller could play mostly in the infield.

            1. That will be tricky.
              You will have to release him first and buy him out,…$2.5M for ’22 and $1m for ’23…then re-sign him… the meantime he will hit the open market.
              Money wise it could cost more against the luxury tax doing it that way.
              It is a gamble…..he may get one year offers above $8/9M

            2. I’ll say Odubel is let go and returns to the Rangers from whom we took him as a rule 5 guy. Just my narrative….

  10. I don’t pretend to know the personality issues at play, but just looking at 2021, consider this:

    2021 Fangraphs WAR: Segura 2.8, Crawford 2.8

    2021 Baseball Reference WAR: Segura 3.7, Crawford 3.5

    Considering Crawford is making $2 million this year, and Segura is making almost $15 million, I don’t think that trade has worked out for the Phils. That $13 million could be spent on relievers!

    P.S. — the Mariners at 86-70 are 5 games better than the Phils, so Crawford can obviously play SS and leadoff for a winning team . . .

    1. We gave up Santana in that trade too (5.6 WAR combined in 2019-2020 from baseball reference). Even with Santana playing well it was a bad deal for the Phillies when the money and all the players are considered (not counting off field stuff). It just cost us lots of money to make up for Klentak’s initial mistake of signing Santana when we already had Hoskins. In hindsight the deal to make that offseason might have been Hoskins who would have brought back a substantial young player in a trade.

  11. We don’t know the issues that jim has alluded to a number of times, and that was a big part of the trade. We don’t know if he has matured, if he now works hard, we know nothing about the Crawford who was here vs who he is now. I have always believed that jim has sources that are accurate. So, on paper, sure, we can criticize the trade, but that was not the entire story.

    1. Agreed, matt. I don’t pretend to know those details.

      I guess I’m just quibbling with the idea that the Phillies clearly won that trade. I mean looking ahead to 2022 and 2023 — and considering only on-the-field performance — I’d rather have Crawford at ages 27 and 28 for two arb years (maybe $15 million combined?) than Segura for ages 32 and 33 at about $30 million

      1. But you are making the assumption that the Phillies org. would have been able to develop his talent. Something they haven’t demonstrated of late.

        1. All Seattle did was put him in the lineup every day beginning mid-May 2019….at shortstop (not 2B nor 3B)….and have patience with him thru 2019 and last year’s truncated season.

          1. The Mariners were able to do this because the team was not expected to contend. They can just put Crawford out there and see if he sinks or swims.

      2. I didn’t say that the Phillies won that trade, but I think the Phillies are more than satisfied with Segura. Would the Phillies have wanted a cheaper Crawford? Of course, that’s a no brainer question. But besides his issues, Crawford wasn’t performing at the plate. If he was, he would still be in a Phillies uniform. Again, this is all hindsight. Crawford’s first 2 years in Philly: 1 total WAR, .214/.333/.358. And you wanted him to continue to be a starter for 2019? How could you say at that point that he was going to be 3+ WAR 3 years later?

      3. Not arguing at all, WCP, I don’t know the specifics at all, and don’t know if whatever it was could have been fixed, or there were multiple sides to the story, and you are 100% correct! I would love to have a productive player, at any number of positions, who is young and cost controlled. Kingery and Crawford could have been a DP combo for a lot of years, and we would have ample $ to fill other spots. Hopefully, our luck changes, and Bohm regains his form and can play some position, and Stott is the real deal, and is Segura’s eventual replacement at 2B. Time will tell. And, I know it is more than just luck. Our developmental successes have been very few.

  12. So the Tampa Rays are talking about splitting time with Montreal for half the games but I really don’t buy it. Montreal has no viable stadium to play baseball, and the new stadium won’t be built with tax payers money. And I seriously doubt that they would build a stadium for half a season. The Rays are just trying to put pressure on Tampa to get a new stadium built. The Rays are locked into their lease until 2028.

  13. Does anyone else see the similarities between Middleton and Flyers late owner Ed Snider. Both owners desperate to win. (To their credit) Both refusing to rebuild instead always opting to retool. Both owners signing just over the hill former stars.

    The Phillies are stuck in the middle. Can’t rebuild and waste the years of Harper, Realmuto but at the same time don’t have a pipeline of young talent to offer support. Sadly, the only strategy i see is to hope. Hope that a surprise unexpectedly emerges from the minors like Ryan Howard did.

    1. It’s a very accurate comparison. Decade after decade, Snider traded prospects and went for it with the obvious result that there was never enough depth on the team (or goaltending) to win anything, although they did get close a few times.

  14. One big difference, there was never a self imposed salary cap with Ed Snider. Dombrowski was brought in and Middleton realized his MacPhail and Klentak regime was a failure, but he still did not let DD do his job. Even at the trade deadline, there was money coming back. Ed Snider would never have done that. He may have paid the wrong players, but money was never going to stop him from pursuing better talent.

    1. I mean… he didn’t have to impose a cap, the NHL already has one. And it’s not particularly high. Middleton pays more than two times as much as Snider ever did.

      I know it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, but we can’t say that Snider would have paid any cost because he never could and therefore never did.

      1. But, in pre- NHL Salary Cap days, which was the majority of Snider’s tenure, he would have never acted like Middleton. And, he would have tried every trick in the book to circumvent the Cap. Has Middleton done that? Not in the slightest. And, I apologize if I appear to be arguing. I just put the blame for the state of the Franchise on Middleton, and unless he changes this off season, we will be unsuccessful next year, and then we will have to deal with yet another tear down and rebuild. Ed Snider really would have done anything to win, and I don’t have any of that feeling about Middleton.

        1. It’s true that beside the big splash signings of Arrieta, Cutch and Harper, perhaps keeping JTR, Middleton has not put his proverbial stupid money where his mouth is…this winter, with a mover and shaker like Dombrowski – albeit with economic uncertainty surrounding the new CBA talks – along with the limited window of Bryce’s prime years, he’ll have a fan base mandate to put up or shut up.

          1. While I agree that it would be wise for Middleton to go over the top for a year or so in order to get the team he wants, it’s ludicrous to say his poor decisions are about money, especially when so many good teams are well below the luxury tax threshold and the Phillies are the one of the rare teams that spend to the limit almost every year.

            This isn’t about money, it’s about choosing the right executives at the right time and building something sustainable and not constantly sacrificing the future in search of elusive short-term gains that essentially never materialize. It’s about really poor stewardship – not cheapness.

            1. That’s a valid point. I’m not calling Middleton cheap, per se, but rather somewhat timid to commit financially when he has the Buck family (and other corporate entities) to answer to, perhaps? I only wonder if someone got in his ear at some point (Jeff Lurie?) since the stupid money quote, and impressed upon him a more fiscally sound plan which translates into spending judiciously and less wastefully. Problem it seems to me is that he’s taken half measures when he tightens the purse string on supplemental roster positions which call for better talent than aging and/or broken down veterans…hence the top heavy roster.

              That, and his lack of discernment in selecting top front office personnel, of course. His biggest mistake was hiring MacPhail who made the second biggest in hiring Klentak over Bloom…but that’s water under the bridge. Should he continue to stay under the cap, hiring Dombrowski is like putting lipstick on a pig.

            2. I agree, catch, I am not suggesting it is all about money. But, it is about money right now, as the 2021 season is coming to a close. The team is currently at the state it is in because the choice of MacPhail was a terrible one, and his choice of Klentak matched it. That leaves us with trades, and since we are limited in tradeable prospects, and I, for one, am not in favor of trading all the good ones, that leaves FA, or a trade for a contract that a smaller market team needs to unload. And, this predicament is Middleton’s own fault, so if he was being honest, and the reason for last season’s handcuffs on Dombrowski were due to cold feet from the Pandemic, then he has this off season to make amends. And, hopefully, while he is spending over the Cap, our new farm development people will start developing talent, so we are not in this position again.

  15. Do or die….I can see the Phillies hit Morton tonight beyond a hopefully close-to-lights-out Wheeler. Tomorrow night, I’m not so sure with Nola vs Fried. But nothing surprises me with this team. However, come Thursday with Gibson vs Ian Anderson, it’s hard to fathom a sweep. Gibson is becoming famous for 4 or 5 strong innings…then BOOM!!

    1. Chaim Bloom is a native Philadelphian who was promoted quickly through the Tampa Bay Rays organization before the Red Sox hired him as their President of Baseball Operations last year.

  16. Rocky, Chaim Bloom, from Philly, ex official with Tampa, and currently the head of Baseball Ops for the Red Sox, and Hinkie’s choice back when he was interviewed, but MacPhail thought Klentak was so much better.

  17. I mean geez anyone from Tampa or Boston or that Boston is interested in is worth getting. Instead they go with someone from Baltimore. Like I said before they should have gotten Arbuckle. They need to go with someone that had a history of building pharm systems and is a good judge of talent. That’s where they can spend money getting the right guy. I do think DD is a good start but I am a phan of building up the system and getting better worth home grown talent filling some holes with free agents like they did when they made the long run with the utley Howard teams. Time to stop just putting a band aid on this team. We need a rebuild.

  18. Or someone with the Dodgers You all know what I mean we need a pharm system talent stud. Also how do the braves Dodgers and other teams do so much better with the Latin American free agents?? Even Nats hit on Soto. I know they go after these guys when they are very young and it’s hard to hit in them but we need that fixed too. Maybe it’s out development system in the minor leagues too. Seems like we have issues developing talent look at MM maybe he was not getting effecting coaching ??? And some of the other prospects. I think we need to do a better job of making these kids into major league players. I know not all will pan out but if we could develop them better it would help. Build it. I find the Snyder and Flyers comparison to be right on.

    1. Rocky……’someone with the Dodgers’….done did it …Gabe.
      As for the developmental program……over the last 6/7 years, since MacPhail and Klentak came on board in June/Oct 2015 there have been multiple changes in personnel… least 3 directors, maybe now the 4th.

      1. Hmmm Gabe as in Kapler. Yes I am not a phan of his but seems like he’s doing a good job with Giants. Hmmmmm

  19. As I’ve said before, the MacPhail/Klentak disaster set this team back a decade. Not 5 or 6 years – a decade.

  20. Griff McGarry, RHP, Phillies (5th round, Virginia)
    McGarry can reach triple digits with his fastball and flash a plus slider, but he struggled with his control throughout his career at Virginia before coming up big in the NCAA super regionals and the College World Series this June, no-hitting eventual champion Mississippi State for seven innings at the latter event. He stayed on a roll after turning pro, topping all 2021 draftees with 43 strikeouts in just 24 1/3 innings between Low-A and High-A while recording a 2.96 ERA and .153 opponent average.

    1. Yes, Brain S. Barber might actually be a good choice for scouting director, if he is given a chance. As I recall Boston was one of the worst teams in baseball last year (although it was a short year) 12 games under 500, and burdoned with the huge payroll a former GM had given an old, oft injured pitching staff. But for much of this season they had the best record in both leagues and they will end up with a record well over 500. It might not take a decade to recover, Catch22, especially if we(by which of course I mean “they”) can put players like Kingery, Moniak, and so forth in a position where they can make a contribution, and yet not feel like the whole world is on their shoulders. Going back about 20 posts, my number one choice would be a new manager

      1. Jim … please disregard my post awaiting moderation. I accidentally included three links. I fixed it myself. TIA.

      2. I didn’t say that it would take them a decade to recover, I was sugesting that it would probably take a decade from 2015 to put a possible contender on the field. Next year will be year 7 from the MacPhail/Klentak hirings, so I hope I’m wrong, but if I am, it probably won’t be by much.

      1. I put this together a couple of weeks ago. Was going to post it after the season. Looks like the season may pretty much end tonight (thanks to this pathetic offense).


        1️⃣ Andrew Painter

        2️⃣ Mick Abel

            1. 8️⃣ Simon Muzziotti

              9️⃣ Francisco Morales

            2. 1️⃣5️⃣ Erik Miller

              1️⃣6️⃣ Christian McGowan ⬆

            3. 1️⃣9️⃣ Jhailyn Ortiz

              2️⃣0️⃣ Kendall Simmons

            4. 2️⃣9️⃣ Hao Yu Lee

              3️⃣0️⃣ Micah Ottenbreit

            5. 3️⃣5️⃣ Jared Carr

              3️⃣6️⃣ Christian Hernandez

            6. Baron Radcliff

              Nicolas Torres

            7. Yemal Flores

              Ethan Lindow

            8. Logan Cerny

              Freylin Minyeti

        1. Hinkie – two follow up question on your prospect list:
          1. How can you have Mickey over Vierling? What’s your logic?
          2. No mention of Jean Cabrera? Just not enough information on him?

          1. 1.) By my calculations, Mickey Moniak has acquired enough time (more than 45 days during the 26-man limit period) on a major league roster to no longer have prospect status. This also applies to Rafael Marchan (>70), Nick Maton (>75), Luke Wiliams (>75), and Bailey Falter (>45).
            2.) We know you don’t like the player. Let someone have a different opinion without going into attack mode. I think it’s time to give it a rest.

            1. Jim is right. Rankings are opinions. I’m sure I’ll be more wrong than right.
              I don’t want to duck v1’s question. So let me just say I don’t really know anything about Jean Cabrera. Can’t find any video. Haven’t read any reports.
              Also … I’m very impressed with the way Matt Vierling has played. And I hope he becomes a contributor going forward. But this is such a tiny sample size. I just rank Mickey ahead of Vierling based on his age and pedigree. Vierling is red hot, but his #s at LHV aren’t too dissimilar than Mickey’s.

              BTW … I love the story of Vierling’s choice for his walk up song. According to TMac, Vierling choose “Dancing In The Moonlight” because it’s his father’s favorite. I like the original version from King Harvest, but the Toploader cover is well done though.

            2. Hinkie….did see one report on JC Cabrera….flashed up to 96/97 velo…..and just not a very tall guy.

          2. Yeah, I have to think that despite his SSS, Vierling has a nice outlook in the majors as role players continue to be key figures in teams’ success. And he might turn out to be more…

            1. Phillies do seem to have that 5th Round Rule 4 magic going for them…besides Vierling , now is McGarry.

            2. ….and if Dave Dombrowski is priming to spend big in free agency – let’s face it, Bryant and/or Marte and /or Story and/or a legit closer will cost major dollars over the LTT – having cheap young talent in roles such as platooning LF with Moniak and Vierling may be part of the strategic construction of the 2022 major league roster.

            3. Yes befuddling…since they cannot get it right in the first rounds….maybe after the first couple of high rounds….they let area scouts make some of the selection calls.

          3. I’m more curious about the reasoning for ranking O’Hoppe so low. In this system he’s borderline top 5 to me and I’d say he’s a tier above Moniak. As for Vierling, I’m not a believer. Hi K’s, low BBs, meh power, non-elite defender, sky high BABIP in a small sample. Shades of Williams and Maton from earlier this year.

      1. Hinkie, great work as usual. I too would place Painter (a potential ace) over Abel (a solid TOR prospect but not quite ace material). But I think Johan Rojas will soon emerge as the Phillies top prospect. I also like Erik Miller as the top lefty in the system, although he may take more time to become an established big league arm. Stott projects to be a 2nd tier player, though maybe not a star. And speaking of lefty bats, I love Viars’ profile and would be tempted to place him higher than your 17 despite his age and raw talent. Jhailyn Ortiz is quite the enigma. He’s got something unique about his game, both bat and glove, and he should be higher in the ranks at this point. He should get a nice long look in spring training for us all to gauge where he’s really at in his development. All in all, these are a few of the players that offer hope. And a guy like O’Hoppe could become a real impact player here if he’s not traded first.

      2. Hinkie, when it comes to prospects and especially future potential draft picks, YOU ARE THE MAN! Thanks again for all your posts and insights.

        By the way, I’m also pretty high on Griff McGarry. If he can control his pitches, his upside is huge.

      3. Yes fabulous work H….

        and who doesn’t love good highlight reels. There some guys in here that have the raw talent so the question becomes can they develop the consistency that is needed to be everyday big leaguers.

        Such a thin line separates having the raw ability and making it

  21. For all intents and purposes, the game was lost in the (top of the) first inning.
    Odubel and Segura get on w/nobody out. Harper, Realmuto, and Miller kill the inning on just nine pitches. Phillies score zilch, and Morton throws just 12 pitches. Terrible.

    DD has got to do whatever he can to help this starting rotation: better D/more consistent O/better BP.

  22. Preston Mattingly (Don’s son) looks to be our new farm director.

      1. Perhaps…………..they are all up-and-coming, until they have to produce. Then the proof is in the pudding!

    1. Ok it’s a start. I know nothing about Preston but I assume he has grown up around MLB baseball.

      A MLB franchise these days is a billion dollar company. Good companies have great culture and consistent messaging from top to bottom. And to that end I hope he contributes to fixing that.

      1. Young and energetic.
        Padres were able to do well….until they started trading all their kids for MLB talent.
        Though one caution flag…Padres have not been able to develop from their own farm system MLB staring pitchers of late. Their latest struggle is Gore.

  23. Exactly right, Hinkie, and thank you for that terrific post and all the effort it took! The first inning was the game. Ground out by Bryce, K by JTR, rather than stepping up and showing we were a serious threat. We need a much better year from Realmuto along with all the other things we need.

    1. JTR and Harper are not the problem. JT is a legitimate All-star and Harper is a superstar. They can’t have good games all the time. The problem lies with other parts of the team.

      1. You are right Catch, they are not the problem. This offensive juggernaut that has produced 1 run (a gift, I might add) in the last 20 innings coupled with poor defense and a poor bullpen is the problem. Look at the box score, 3 hits by Hererra and Segura and the rest of the lineup 0 for the game. Someone above said it, THE BRAVES ARE TOO DARN GOOD, alas………..we are not.

        1. Not only are the Braves really good as they are today but they get Acuna back and I have a strong belief they come to terms with Freeman in the offseason.

          Not to mention Anthopoulos has proven to be a really keen GM. Aside from the disaster that befell him on Ozuna who they still owe $53 million but only at an AAV of $16 mil or so.

          They will be difficult to leap frog for at least the next 2-3 seasons.

        2. Bill James once said that fans take their frustrations out on a team’s best players and often it’s true. I still can’t forget when people got on here and on sports radio after the Phillies lost to the Cardinals 1-0 in a complete game masterpiece by Roy Halladay and insisted that Halladay came up small in that game even though the Phillies couldn’t score one stinking run against Chris Carpenter. Really? That’s what you saw out there?

          1. catch, I was at that game, and it took me a year to get over it. Doc was masterful after giving up a lead off 3B, and that runner scoring. Our bats couldn’t get a single run. But, I vividly remember both Raul and Chase hitting long FBs, that when it left their bats, most of the stadium thought were gone. And, in probably 70 of the 81 home games that season, those would have been HRs. Then the game ends with Ryan blowing out his achilles. What a brutal night that was!

  24. Great list Hinkie. I trust your process!!!! What about Jabari Baylor ??? I am from Philly been stuck in central Virginia for a while and was wondering about your view on him???

  25. That’s a wrap for me. What I hope for the remainder of the season. Nola pitches like the 1B he can be against the braves, right the ship for next year. Harper keeps puttting up killer numbers, finishes season above 1.000 for OBP. Would be nice for wheeler to get another win. Not sure how this season a pitcher like him can have 10 losses but … that is how bad this offense is At times.

    This off-season better be on fire for the Phillies. Like … Steinbrenner busy

  26. So…have we anything firm yet on who exactly is representing the Phillies in the AFL? I’ve read scattered blurbs that Moniak (from Matt M) is going again…Miller? Stott? Anything official?

  27. Noah Syndergaard returned last night as the opener for the Mets. He touched 96 mph, which isn’t his peak velocity but bearing in mind his long layoff, that’s still pretty good. At 29 years of age, he also becomes a free agent this off season. Should Dombrowski be interested enough to kick the tires, perhaps approach him about the closer role? His injury risk factor could affect his market value as a SP. But what if he was offered a one year “show me” deal worth, say $15M? (He’s making $9.7M this year, his last in arbitration.)

    1. Hell yes, I’d take him if the Mets don’t give him a QO (which they might). Wheeler, Syndergaard, Suzarez, Nola and Gibson – that’s damned good!

  28. I fully expect Nola to not pitch well tonight. Even when he has had good seasons, September has not been good. I would prefer to be wrong, but I am pretty convinced the season ended last evening. I know nothing about Preston Mattingly, other than that he is Don’s Son. So, I hope he turns us around. I am with Tac3, this off season needs to be Steinbrenner-esque.

  29. Even though I was hoping for Dana Parks, Preston Mattingly sounds like a phenomenal choice. I’ve got a lot of confidence in Dave Dombrowski to recognize talent on the field, and in the executive suites. Best of luck to young Preston.

    And I don’t expect Zack Wheeler to pitch again this season. The Phillies will be eliminated before his next scheduled start. What an outstanding year he had. It’s a shame his season (and Harper’s season) will go for naught. I expect Dombrowski to really shake things up this offseason.

    1. He said he tries to balance sabermetrics and “old school” going with his gut as far as baseball decision-making is concerned.
      “Sabermetrics is a big part of the game today, but all it is, is numbers,” Mattingly said. “A lot of times it’s facts. You blend that with eyes and scouts and you use them both.”
      Up until this week he has been with the Padres for almost five years.

    2. Indeed….I expect the following names to no longer be on the current 40 man roster come opening day 2022:

      Bedrosian, Bradley, Jones, Medina, Moore, Rosso, Marchan (trade), Galvis, L.Williams, Haseley, Herrera, Jankowski, McCutchen, Quinn

      And possibly via trade: Nola, Hoskins, Moniak

      Obviously only Harper, JTR and Wheeler are highly, highly unlikely to be moved, and nobody is completely off the table, but yes, Dombrowski and Fuld will be busy men this winter.

      1. Dave D will need a truth to power conversation with Middleton…can’t have Didi at short next season, or even Doobie in CF.
        Maybe the DH comes in….if not, Bohm and Rhys probably cannot be on the field together again. Their DRS are well below average.

        1. Agree that one of either Hoskins or Bohm are gone….depends on what’s on the trading partner’s side of the table.

          1. Why would you trade Hoskins? That dude can really hit and get on base. He’s affordable. He’s coming into his prime. The NL is about to get the DH, so we will need more hitting not less hitting. And he’s the righty clean-up hitter who pairs perfectly with Harper. Trading Hoskins makes no sense. I don’t get the Hoskins aversionon here and never will. If Hoskins doesn’t go down, this team has a good chance of out-battling Atlanta and winning the division. The Phillies have been much worse without him.

            Also, why trade Bohm? His value is down. Unless you’re getting another player whose value is down in return, I don’t like that either and I’m guessing that if he starts to hit, he’s going to end up in the outfield. I have no proof of that, but I just don’t see him working out at third and he can’t hit enough now to play first.

            1. I will go on record now that if the Phillies trade Hoskins, Hoskins is going to be one of the best power hitters in baseball over the next 3-4 years. I would never consider trading him unless some team that I would trust (NOT Tampa or the Yankees) made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Otherwise, he’s just fine here, thanks.

            2. Catch – I agree with you. If Rhys doesn’t go down I think the team would have done quite a bit better despite Miller’s yeomen job. Rhys can hit that HR that can just put the other team on the defensive. I say it cost them at least 3 wins or more. No way I trade him for anything less than two of Miami’s kid pitchers. He is going to be the DH.

        2. Bohm without power and as a horrid defender has no place on the team that I can see. I think it’s telling that after being brought up he is only being used as a pinch hitter.

          I like Bohm and am pulling for him, but unless he fixes his two major defects he can’t play a power bat position — 3B, 1B, LF or DH.

      2. ….Didi is a DH candidate who will see less action at either ss or 3b, depending on whether DD signs either Bryant or Story. I doubt there’s a match with another club to take even half his salary. He’s basically done, unless he can recover his health and rebound over the off season.

        1. Angels could be looking for a one year stopgap shortstop..they have 4 prospects that are 2 to 4 years away…Didi may fit in there for a year.
          But Middleton may have to eat a good chunk of his 2022 salary.

      3. One can only hope Mark. I’m a big “beware the unintended consequences guy” and certainly if DD were to clean house or just reshape a good portion of this team the record could be worse.

        But to me and for me the outcome these last 3 seasons with basically the same guys means I’m prepared for that.

        I have no hard feelings towards any of these guys I don’t think I would even call any of them a negative name. The bottom line is they couldn’t get it done. Time to shuffle the deck.

      4. Mark, might be a year early on Marchan. He may be needed as a back up until O’Hoppe matures, or unless they trade for a veteran. Also, we all seem to think that Marchan is trade material, but maybe it’s O’Hoppe who is traded as a valuable prospect.

    3. Phillies need to get this right.
      Since 2010…Chuck LaMar, Joe Jordan, Josh Bonifay and now Preston Mattingly.
      Jordan lasted 7 years.

    4. Hinkie – before moving on, THANK YOU for such a complete writeup with pictures of the top 50++ … Marvelous job all the way around. Kudos to you.

  30. So Joe G has Didi starting tonight vs lefty Max Fried. A case could be made to shake things up some, start Bohm at 3b (I know, I know, but…) and slide Torreyes to SS. But NOOOOO…Girardi will live and die with veterans no matter how broken down they are. Why bring Bohm up to ride the pine? Sure it’s a huge situation but where’s Joe’s feel for the game been this season?

    1. …now 2 of our lefty bats, Harper and Odubel, have fared well against Fried, as has JTR. Here’s to a little last ditch magic for the offense tonight🍺

    2. If and when the team is eliminated Bohm will see more action in order to see if his demotion caused any positive changes. He will likely pinch hit when the pitching arm calls for it – that’s all for now until elimination.

  31. Hey, congratulations and a warm welcome to the Phillies new farm director Preston Mattingly, ironically the Dodgers’ first round pick in 2006 (#31 overall) but never made it to the majors. (Ha! At least he should feel comfortable in an organization with many 1st rounders who haven’t amounted to much.)

    1. In case people don’t remember, Billy Beane was also a failed first round pick of the Mets. I actually saw him play in spring training (I grew up outside NY, excuse me for my former Mets fandom, at least they were my hometown team back then) when the team was still really bad. During spring training the Mets were walking off the field between innings and I screamed something like “the Mets are number 1!” The look that Billy Beane, the player, gave me was something I’ll never forget (seriously, it was that memorable) it said “Good god you’re an idiot” – LOL at the time, he was certainly right.

  32. The Mets are going to sweep the Marlins. When the Phillies are eliminated, they will probably limit their SP to a couple of innings the rest of the way. With the way they play in Miami and with the reasoning that they will be “down”, they just may go zero for the rest of the season. And you know what that means. They end up 81-81.

  33. Looks like, Phillies draft 16th right now for 2022’s Rule 4,
    …..will stay there as long as the Reds do not go on an end-of-the-season losing streak.

  34. Gelb has an absolutely jaw-dropping piece this morning in the Athletic on the Phillies’ development morass. As bad as we’ve thought it to be, it’s actually been much worse.

    1. It’s apparently becoming the real culprit to the Phillies misfortune, at least in recent years. Scouts talk and share opinions, help each other to form opinions, and for the most part, everyone knows who the most talented prospects are. But when the philosophy behind the organization’s development plan is misguided, how much foundation of natural talent a young player has becomes virtually irrelevant. The “we know better than conventional wisdom” approach may work for a while but everyone eventually catches up with you. Player development is much, much more personal than clinical. I’m not there, but my guess is someone needs to restore the ability to recognize the player’s strengths and weaknesses, and build from there instead of trying to frame the player’s profile into cookie cutter, one size fits all methods.

    2. And as bad as Gelb has described it I suspect the reality is much worse. Unfortunately there is no quick fix for this one, it will take years to change and install a healthier culture in the organization. It will telling to see who Mattingly hires to fill out his staff. I wish him the best of luck, it will be a Herculean task to clean out these stables.

      1. Boy, it’s making me want to sign up for the Athletic.

        Did Gelb blame Klentak/MacPhail for setting up that system or was it a combination of those guys and the prior regime? In any event, it’s more support for my notion that this will be roughly a 10 year detour from the Amaro regime to a competitive organization. Charged with rebuilding a bad team, somehow, Klentak and MacPhail took a bad organization and made it much worse. It’s unfathomable.

        Anyway, with a little luck and a lot of great work from DD and Fuld, we can maybe make the playoffs in 22 or 23, but it’s probably going to take until 24 or 25 until we have a solid and durable organization and that’s assuming they got it right with the Mattingly hiring. Maybe they did, but who knows?

        1. I’m actually encouraged that, with the right personnel and plan being installed, the Phillies have a handful of legitimately hopeful, high ceiling prospects….Painter, Abel, Rojas, even both Garcia’s. And there are guys like O’Hoppe who might rise to success in the right developmental environment.

          1. No doubt that the change can do nothing but good. They are at the bottom of the trough now – there’s nowhere to go but up and there do seem to be some very good prospects in the system and recent drafts have added high ceiling players. We need to hit on a few of those.

  35. My word a loss for words this morning. When you needed them most they didn’t show up….again!

    If that is not cause for some type of partial tear down I don’t know what is.

    1. DMAR….yes it is frustrating to watch, if you have the obsessive inclination to sit thru 9 innings of mediocrity, which I can say, I have not these last few weeks.

      The only consolation I can derive from this nearly decade of debacle, is that the Philies are not the sole team caught in this web of uninspired futility.

      As for a tear down….Dave D probably will do his normal re-working of the roster, and a few familiar likeable names may be headed elsewhere.

      I want to see how the Flyers do this season, with Fletch making quite a few changes.
      Sometimes tearing up to 1/3rd of a roster does not always give you the results you wanted.
      The chemicals do not always mix well.

      1. So this team has chemistry???? No way all along I have said they won’t make the playoffs and they are a 500 team that tease every year. Also said system is broken as athletic has reported. I do hope they turn the ship around.

  36. At the start of the season all you can hope for is to control your fate the last few series of the year. We accomplished that but once again were found wanting. No passion against Atlanta at all. Another year of the post-season blues.

    1. The energy level, or lack thereof, should be NUMERO UNO of Hinkie’s list of needs this organization has. The nice guy culture has to change. Max Scherzer may be a bit of a “Francis”, but his competitive fire is a commodity winning teams possess. We may be in for more drastic changes than we expect.

  37. There is only one guy of the starting 8 that I would say trade for whatever you can get and that would be Didi.

    I’d trade anyone else on the roster in the right package. it’s not an affront.

    It’s simple business that should be conducted with no emotion and a general assumption that DD knows what he is doing.

    I remember the outrage around baseball when Dipoto traded his closer in division to the 1st place team. Their record since that trade has been incredible and they will likely finish the season with at least 90 wins. Still might not be enough to get them into the playoffs but it was a bold move.

    Bloom traded Mookie effing Betts and a few lament the mere possibility of who we might move to add young affordable talent to what is a despicable display of losing baseball 3 seasons in a row.

    1. DMAR….if only Dave D would have read Phuture Phillies back in Feb….when someone mentioned trading Nola….oh the humanity of it all! 🙂

      1. Seriously, Romus….I’m under the impression that Nola’s chances of being traded are increasing. Whatever kind of teammate he is, my sense is that he’s had his fill of the organization’s dysfunctional leadership going back to Ruben through Klentak and Kapler (who there’s no secret he wasn’t a fan of). The spoilage of his discontent along with the downturn of his production despite the promise of his future combine to make him a tradeable commodity, especially since he’s still a relatively affordable TOR.

      2. Well mine was just one man’s opinion Romus. That opinion occurred to me at the end of last season and well before February. I forget the timeline of when DD was put in place.

        Surely JM drug his feet and it was late in the game. The one time I remember feeling outrage was at the time of the Kapler firing and MK and Andy didn’t go with him.

        Honestly it never made sense to me that someone supposedly as forward thinking as JM was pronounced to be decided to pluck an inexperienced guy from a losing organization to lead the rebuild.

        It was so counter intuitive on every level.

  38. Catch, The Gelb article makes it perfectly clear why we have failed at this rebuild. The toxic culture and failure to have a coherent developmental plan are the result of something that was clear. MacPhail and Klentak, when they came aboard, spent Millions on bringing analytics to the organization. It was much needed, and analytics are a very helpful tool in building a team. The mistake was, as Gelb states, “they tried to take a shortcut and make up for being so far behind. So, they hired an exclusive deal with Driveline.” Any other opinions were stifled or ridiculed, hence the toxic environment. Team officials became immersed in “job saving mode” rather than developing players, and the players were caught in the middle of the scouts blaming the development folks and vice versa. “The Driveline contract is coming to an end, and will not be renewed.” We can only hope that Mattingly brings the proper merging of scouting and analytics. We have seen how poorly the team has rebuilt. We now know a big reason why.

    1. Thanks for that thumbnail on the Gelb piece, Matt. What quickly comes to mind is a guy like Scott Kingery. Can he be regenerated under new guidance? Or is he water under the bridge that will roll along as a sunk cost?

      1. That’s a terrific question, mark. Regardless of his contract, I think we all saw a player we liked. A line drive, gap hitter, who was a really good defensive CF. What happened, I don’t fully understand. But, someone, or multiple someones, including Kingery, decided to change his stroke to try and become more of a power hitter. I wish I know who I can blame, and I don’t know who, associated with the team, is a hitting rehab specialist. We saw, with Eflin, he took it upon himself to disregard the PC, Young, and he found his groove. He wasn’t a product of our system, though, he was a Padre and then a Dodger, if I remember correctly, so it’s not an accurate comparison, except for the part about going back to what got him to the Big Leagues in the first place. I don’t know what is involved with Kingery, but going back to what he was is where I would start.

        1. I had Kingery tabbed as our 2b for the next decade, Matt. They decided to convert him into a swiss army knife. I’m still scratching my head over the way they deployed him. Was it because super utility players had become the new flavor of this age?

        2. I swear there’s a new breed of techy academia who’ve come along, trying to reinvent the wheel, and claw their way up the ranks anyway they can to justify their existence…and call it progress. But that’s just me…

          1. A chainsaw in the hands of the right person can carve you a beautiful sculpture…

            in ordinary hands you’d just get a bunch of saw dust

    2. If you piece this together, this again suggests to me that, between the rigid (and entirely arbitrary) timelines imposed by Middleton, combined with the complete inexperience of Klentak, made this an untenable situation. Whenever something goes wrong here, you don’t have to look too hard to conclude that Middleton contributed to or caused the problem. And, by the way, he really is again. The team should do a minor rebuild here and try to reboot for a successful run again in about 23 or 24. That would be optimal, but he’s not going to let that happen, which means that DD and Fuld are going to need to nail almost all of their moves and it hopefully also means that if Middleton insists on winning immediately, he agrees to pay some luxury tax for a few years at least. DD really inherited a tough situation here. Not impossible, but very tough.

      1. I have the utmost confidence in DD in whatever he is tasked with from JM. I have confidence that if he disagrees with JM’s assessment he will tell him so.

        I also think he has the cache to put JM on his heels.

        1. I agree completely. I was very skeptical of the DD hiring when it occurred, and I’m still a little worried about him trading too many top prospects but overall, boy, was I wrong. Dave, my apologies. This guy is a lot like Pat Gillick – he sees the playing field at a very, very high level a level a guy like Matt Klentak could only dream about. And you nailed it on the cache issue – he can tell JM the truth and not be worried about the consequences (and at his stage of his career, he doesn’t care about the consequences – he just wants to win). And he’s a truth teller to the fans like Gillick was – I don’t feel like screaming or poking my eyes out as I did when that condescending and arrogant Andy MacPhail talked. I am so impressed. Now they’ve got to get Mattingly to fix the farm and, of course, the jury remains out in a big way on Fuld because, ultimately, he’s the heir apparent.

    3. Question then Matt…if its clear we failed at the rebuild then are we still rebuilding?

      my quarrel has always been with those that say we can’t go through another rebuild when we never actually rebuilt

      1. DMAR, I think it is more re-tooling. Not playing semantics, I think the rebuild was trading Chase and Jimmy, Cole Hamels and those guys, and not being very good, so having high draft picks. Regardless of the players involved, and their stories have not been fully written, I think it is fair to say that we have not acquired Star players, either by trade or draft. Is Eflin our best return? I think so. My own opinion is that a rebuild now would involve trading Harper and Wheeler and Realmuto. That is what I don’t want to do. I think with some FA additions, some trading by DD, and some help from the Farm, we can re-tool. Now, I could be wrong, but I don’t think that Dombrowski has made his mark yet. I am hoping he is allowed to this off season.

        1. I picture a retooling as similar to the trade DD made with Texas – he got a very serviceable starting pitcher ; an effective albeit high HR closer due to him being a fly ball pitcher ; AND a meaningful chip for the future in Hans Crouse – who could conceivably replace Spencer Howard as a rotation/relief piece. I still think Gibson has alot of value and I could even see DD including him in a trade for something more – say into 2 players- a veteran piece and another “close” young pitcher. The point is all three of the acquired players were optimal acquisitions now and even going forward. For what he was paid, Kennedy was a good fit.

          Lastly – lets not forget that DD had to do the above trade and keep all under the “salary cap” which speaks to the trade even more. That’s why Phils ended up with Kennedy rather than say, Castillo from the Rays.

      2. Lol thats how you remain a 500 team we kind of have to rebuild. Sure DD has a chance but we need to develop a team.

  39. Going into next season, I think revamping the Defense has to be as high on the list as a Closer. CF, and one of SS or 3B, because I don’t think we add all 3, are crucial. No, I don’t think Odubel is back.

    1. I’m all for pursuing run prevention this offseason. I think LF also needs a defensive upgrade. So many balls that McCutchen just couldn’t get to after those injuries. Improving the defense may be the key in a bounce back from Nola and sustained success from Ranger and Wheeler.

      1. In any trade involving Odubel, or for that matter Didi or Segura…..the Phillies more than likely will need to eat a portion of their 2022 salary.
        My guess…anywhere between 35 and 45% depending on who they are dealing with.

      2. Odubel is due $11.5M in 2022 should DD pick up his option, or a $2.5M buyout. I highly doubt that Texas, or any major league team, will pay him $11.5M, and the Phillies to pick up the option then trade him…only to have to eat some of the money if they want anything worthwhile in return, seems illogical. I do believe he will become a free agent after the Phillies decline his option and he’ll sign with the Rangers, probably for somewhere in the $6M-$8M range, with club options following. Odubel has little leverage with his market, despite the fact that he’s had an okay 2021. There are plenty of comparable talents out there, with much lower price tags.

        1. …having said that, if Doobie’s market is less than he hopes, the Phillies could offer him, say $5M-$6M as a 4th OF/ platoon LF. But since DD will be aggressively pursuing a top CF, I doubt Odubel would get much consideration until after the outfield situation is sorted out.

          1. Like to see them just put Mickey Mo out there and let it ride with him.

            Looking at his Triple-A-East metrics.

            —tied for 22dnd in HR with 15 with four games to go…..must of all the 21 above him are older but one, Jose Miranda of the Twins, who is month younger…two others are also his same age season but slightly older.
            —led the league in triples with eight.

            1. No offense to Mickey, but I don’t think he’s ready. I’d give him at least another part year (maybe full year) at AAA and if he’s promoted, I’d use him against righties primarily to start.

            2. Yeah…that is something that the front office will need to decide upon next March.
              He has over 2000 PAs in the minors with 400 or so at Triple A.
              So he has enough plate appearances and games under his belt.
              I like to see what they will do with him come spring.

              Then there is also Adam Haseley who was thrust into the majors in the middle of 2019 by necessity and held his own…however since, has seem to regress.

              Many small market teams will have patience with these type players and give them ample opportunity to produce…letting them play it out for 3 or 4 months in a season…Philly is in a win now mode and does not have that luxury nor follow that direction.

            3. I don’t care how many AAA plate appearances he has – he is not ready. Josh Donaldson for example had almost 1,100 plate appearances in AAA before he was ready. And Utley had over 1,000. When he shows mastery over AAA pitching he will be ready. He’s not there yet.

  40. Matt Gelb article in The Athletic on the farm system is a must read. Phils had the most walks allowed in AA and AAA and are the only system without a minor league pitcher reaching 100 innings. Driveline guys will be out when they’re contract expires Oct 31.
    What a s… show. Mattingly has his work but out first him. I’m optimistic though.

  41. Regarding Kingery and him finding his old swing, I once has a talk with Von Hayes. Hayes came here as a high average extra base machine but with only 15-20 homer power. He did well here. However, when Schmidt retired, the team told him he needed to hit more homers so he changed his swing to hit more homers. Unfortunately he hit only a few more and his average went way down. The next season he tried to return to his old swing but was never able to find it again.
    Applying this to Kingery makes me wonder if Kingery will ever be that guy again. It’s sad too because he was such an exciting prospect.

  42. The off-season talk starts tonight or tomorrow night for us. Lots for DD to do. I look forward to a very busy off-season with many moves.

  43. Well, as Boz Scaggs once sang,

    Why can’t you just get it through your head
    It’s over, it’s over now
    Yes, you heard me clearly now I said
    It’s over, it’s over now

    I’m not really over you
    You might say that
    I can’t take it, I can’t take it
    Lord, I swear I just can’t take it no more

  44. Hinkie…..I saw your list of things to be done this off season…..can you please make @ least 3 predictions of what you see happening this off season. Thanks

  45. Why do people still talk about Moniak? He isn’t the answer at any of the OF positions, I could careless if they released him in the off season, not losing much there at all. You can find his talent level on the trash heap.

    Also why is anyone talking about trading Nola? Going to trade him at his lowest point in terms of value? Really? Why?

    And Eflin or Gibson? Maybe I’m crazy but I’d feel more comfortable rolling w Eflin in a game than Gibson.

    Lastly, why the confidence in Dave Dom? Someone mentioned how they were wrong and apologized about being critical of him, but why? What has he shown so far? IMHO he’s shown nothing. What moves did he make in the off season last year that were good or at the deadline?

    Off Season
    Resigned Didi – looks like a terrible move.
    Resigned JTR – say what you what but he was over paid and has been meh.
    Signed Matt Moore – terrible
    Chase Anderson – terrible
    Revamped bullpen – MLB record blown saves.
    Trade Deadline
    Kennedy (4.50) and Gibson (5.09)
    Galvis .219/.287/.375

    And don’t tell me “he was new to the organization”, that has nothing to do w the moves he made in the off season and/or trade deadline.

    1. GREAT points Eric D & I agree with all of them. The only thing is they had to do the JT deal for sake of saving face for the trade that got him.

      Moniak, he’s not even a AAAA player IMO

      Didi, we were looking @ 1 year deals with other SS’s and when we didn’t pull the trigger on them, he was the last SS standing.

      Nola, we can only hope for a bounce back year and I wouldn’t trade him now.

      Bullpen is a dumpster fire

      All the other moves were terrible IMO…he was penny pinching and it ended up costing them.

      I don’t even know where to begin to fix this mess of a team and minor league system.

      1. Oh my the regulars in the site may not like your opinions but you’re right. Though we should give DD this year to see what he can do. It is a real bad situation and hopefully we can stop being a team that tease the phans and is just a 500 team. This site is the great though and Jim does a great fob keeping us all informed. Plus many here know a lot and seem to have similar views. Hope we have a great off season.

    2. Eric D,,, concerning JTR.
      His season has been close to an enigma.
      Pretty good overall statistics for a catcher …….but seem, at times, to lack that knock out punch in some crucial settings at the plate…then again, he came up 143 times with RISP in 2021….slashed…..293/.413/.466…which is pretty good.
      His bWAR of 3.5, is lower than his first year with the Phillies of over 4 in 2019.
      So it is difficult to really point the finger at him for what has happened these lastr three Septembers..

      The one area I see that bothered me was his pitch calling….especially with 0-2 or 1-2 on the batter….just too many hits were allowed in those favorable ‘pitcher’s counts’. He claimed the pitcher had to execute better.

      1. Regarding performance on pitcher’s counts, I don’t think I agree.

        On 0-2 counts, the Phils were 13th best in wOBA against, and 11th best in BA against. Which surely is middle of the pack and we should hope for better, but not bad. You’re right about 1-2 counts (21st for wOBA, 23rd for BA). However, we have to remember this all includes pitches from our bullpen and people such as Matt Moore, VV, and Chase Anderson. I have no problem believing that those pitchers didn’t execute; I find it less likely that our All Star catcher forgot how to do his job. It’s also worth considering our defense (which allows extra hits, even if a good pitch forces weak contact).

        Now for the sake of defending JT, here’s some of the numbers for our pitchers who AREN’T categorically bad. 2021 stats below.

        The NL average for 0-2 counts is .162/.195/.257 with a .198 wOBA.
        For 1-2 counts it’s .170/.227/.275 with a .223 wOBA.

        0-2: .122/.155/.203 with a .158 wOBA
        1-2: .097/.158/.126 with a .136 wOBA

        0-2: .198/.205/.401 with a .253 wOBA
        1-2: .215/.226/.379 with a .256 wOBA

        0-2: .187/.194/.234 with a .186 wOBA
        1-2: .213/.242/.320 with a .243 wOBA

        0-2: .116/.164/.174 with a .155 wOBA
        1-2: .168/.248/.177 with a .203 wOBA

        So our two excellent pitchers have been, well… excellent in pitcher’s counts. Eflin has tip-toed around average, and Nola has under-performed. Since Nola is the clear outlier, I went ahead and looked at 2019 and 2020 as well since he had JT behind the plate those seasons.

        0-2: .144/.178/.258 with a .187 wOBA
        1-2: .138/.201/.217 with a .187 wOBA

        0-2: .092/.119/.138 with a .117 wOBA
        1-2: .110/.198/.207 with a .189 wOBA

        I won’t bother posting the league averages for those years, but suffice it to say Nola was better; substantially so in most cases.

        So, if we assume that Nola was the one having the issue (which seems reasonable considering his excellence the prior two years with JT), it doesn’t seem to me like it’s a JT issue. This doesn’t account for the games that JT didn’t catch for those players, nor does it account for changes in coaches. But if the coaching change is the issue, then it’s still not JT’s fault. And considering how few days off he gets, it seems redundant to try to account for the games he wasn’t in.

        Now obviously we don’t have all the necessary information to say for sure. But I definitely err on JT’s side. He was excellent with the Marlins, he’s been excellent for us. I think it’s a case of the talent around him making it seem like he’s been worse than he has been.

    3. Eric, Getting Crouse, Kennedy and Gibson for Spencer Howard was a good trade. DD has a history of success. Let’s give him the chance.

  46. We went out without a whimper, playing lifeless baseball and scoring 4 earned runs in 3 games. It proved that we are not close to Atlanta and need a huge influx of talent. Why have faith in Dombrowski , guys? Because he has done it before. He was not given a full shot to impact the team, operating under a Middleton made up salary cap. I believe he has the ability to convince the owner to spend this off season. That is a huge part of the offseason moves that didn’t work out, as you’ve highlighted. I disagree on Realmuto. I think he had an off season, not that he isn’t good or should not have been rse-signed. Even the trade deadline moves required money back, lessening the ability to make moves. I get all your anger at the team, this is simply the opinion if one fan who wants to see what DD can do without handcuffs, and who dreads another tear down.

  47. I’m not frustrated because the Braves are better than us in every way, offense, defense, stating pitching, and bullpen. Let’s remember that they lost their best player plus their 4 hitter during the season and replaced both at the deadline. It all starts in the farm system and with their management. They had assets to trade that we don’t.
    With our system, spending money is the only way to catch up in the short term. DD has a big job ahead of him but we have to hope the owner allows him to spend.

  48. While we all enjoy the excitement of being “in the hunt”, I’m so glad for ultimately being spared the delusion that this Phillies team is anything close to resembling a legitimate playoff contender, let alone a championship contender. Keep the top prospects, develop them and aggressively promote the ones who show promise. Spend the money on filling the obvious holes in the roster for the next 2-3 years. I trust Dombrowski (despite Eric D’s valid post above) to make the requisite moves without the financial constraints placed on him and the dysfunctional development department with which he’s had to evaluate and begin to makeover. I look forward to an exciting hot stove season. It can’t begin soon enough…

  49. I agree, mark, and also on the top of the list is an “energy” player. I don’t know who, or what position, and Bryce had a great season, but this team showed me no fire in Atlanta, and frankly, a lot of times this season. I want balls in play, 2Bs to the gaps, something with some excitement. We were dead men walking in this whole Atlanta series, and the JTR and Cutch late HRs last night were meaningless to me.

  50. matt13….”top of the list is an “energy” player”,
    ….normally that means a player with some youth these days.
    The Philies have an experienced, but getting aged starting line-up.

    1. Matt, sounds like you want the player that Kingery was supposed to be, and maybe would have been without lousy coaching and, perhaps, long-haul COVID.

      Meanwhile, nobody can question Harper’s drive and spirit. And Segura played hard, maybe hoping to finally make the playoffs. And Cutch was Cutch. So, I think there’s some peer leadership.

  51. I have to tell you, I am kind of rooting for them to be swept by the Marlins so the owner knows this team isn’t particularly close to doing anything meaningful. Does this feel like an over .500 team to you? It does not to me and the run scored differential confirms that.

  52. As I read this thread, I am always amazed at the number of people who think there is a possibility that the Phillies will exceed the luxury tax threshold. It’s not going to happen. There is only one team that has done it to any significant extent and that is the Dodgers and they are in a totally different market world. The majority of the owners of the MLB teams are billionaires so the amount of any luxury tax fine is couch change for most of them. So why is this so?

    If I were to put on my tin foil hat I would call it a conspiracy, so perhaps it is just a gentleman’s agreement. It is there to keep in check the cost structure of the sport for the lower and mid market teams and to act as a governor on agents and players salary demands. We tend to characterize the owners as a united voice when talking to the union and as free agents when dealing with their team. The truth is somewhere in between. In order for there to be any contract with the union there has to be a consensus among the owners. Hence the gentlemen’s agreement. The negotiations amongst themselves will be more difficult than the ones with the union.

    The initial contract proposal to the union called for a lowering of the LT tax threshold to $180Mil and an increase in the LT tax percent. The former will definitely not happen but it is a good indication of their desire to control costs.

    1. Well, if that is so, and the LTT is a no go, then we can most definitely say goodbye to Cutch, Doobie, Neris and any player(s) whose salaries would be deemed extraneous relative to their actual value, especially if Dombrowski plans on targeting high priced free agents like Bryant or Story, and Marte. OR he actually targets younger and fairly inexpensive talents like Reynolds or Ketel Marte which will cost much in prospect capital….hmmm.

    2. I agree, the Phillies (and other teams including the Padres) have given no indication they are inclined to exceed the cap.

      Even during the trade deadline, you could see how many teams paid most of the traded player’s salary.

  53. When the best sports team in the city is the Sixers, who are currently being held hostage by their “star” player who passed up a mostly-free dunk in an elimination game, you gotta wonder if the people of Philly may need a record amount of alcohol to survive the winter.

    Please, Flyers, surprise us all with a cup. If not for me, then for Giroux. Dude deserves it, and it would make his decision to play his entire career here a no brainer.

  54. Let me be clear, I’m not saying I don’t trust Dave Dombrowski, I’m just saying he needs to hear the criticism as well. He’s done the same level job as Klentak. Their off seasons, IMHO wouldn’t have looked any different. That’s not saying he can’t turn it around, just that blame must be placed on him as well. Again, name one good move he’s made . . .

    1. The Howard trade with Texas may prove to be a good one in time…in concept it was sound. All depends on how Crouse and Howard progress…and if Gibson can be a solid #4.

      1. It was a pretty risky trade in concept imo. We traded the most valuable asset and the one with the highest upside. Kennedy and Gibson haven’t really worked out so it puts a lot of pressure on Crouse’s development to “win” the trade.

        1. I have to disagree with you on that one. A starting pitcher who loses big velocity after two innings in two consecutive seasons is a rapidly depreciating asset and they were lucky as hell to get as much for him as they did. Howard is not the same stellar prospect he was before the 2019 season – not even close. Most likely he’s a future relief pitcher or control pitcher – a young Kyle Gibson, at best. I think the trade was brilliant, even if it didn’t entirely work out quite as well as we would have liked, although it still could yield excellent benefits next year and in later years. Klentak would have done much worse – I can practically guarantee that.

          1. Agree…..the few shoulder-shutdowns over the last 2 or 3 years were a foreboding sign. Seranthony had something similar in 2017 at CLW…and then it was to the relief corps for him later that year and into 2018 with Reading and LHV..

          2. I agree. Beyond that Spencer Howard has somehow performed worse in Texas. Getting Crouse who is providing SP depth currently but probably profiles as a reliever long term as well was a good get. Gibson should be better if we can improve the defense next year.

          3. I think Gibson is an odd comp for Howard. Howard doesn’t have the control for one, and even with diminished velocity his stuff is way better. I think we would have been better off trying to rehab his value. Maybe the team is incapable of doing that; I just don’t think the return was worth it. Gibson stinks, Kennedy stinks, both are old and this team was never making the playoffs. At least Crouse is worth something.

        2. The Phillies are not going to “win” all the trades. It was a fair deal for both sides. Phillies got help for the stretch run and a back of the rotation prospect. Rangers got Howard (a risky talented former top prospect) and a bunch of lotto tickets.

        3. Hand, Howard might have been the most valuable asset based on what people expect of him, but the doleful fact is that he was a lousy pitcher when given the opportunities. He couldn’t maintain velocity beyond three innings. And this wasn’t new. He had problems throughout his career. I’m sure Howard is a wonderful person, but he might not have the strength-stamina-resilience to stand up to the physical demands of playing at the highest level.

  55. Matt Gelb penned an ode to our 10 year failure to be a Playoff team, and it was worth the price of subscription. There were names I didn’t remember, and names that pitched in big spots that will make you tear your hair out. It is much better to laugh than to cry, but what a complete mess we have witnessed the past 10 years. I don’t want to argue anymore about what is next, I just wanted to pass along a really good read.

    1. matt13…if the Mariners and JPC, win these last three games vs the Angels…..then, looks like the Phillies hold the dubious distinguish of being the longest non-playoff tenured team.

  56. I changed my mind, I am happy to argue. Klentak was awful. He did more harm than good. Anyone notice Rick Kranitz, still the PC in Atlanta? Run out by the new age boys. Who created the dysfunction in the Minor League system? And, if you want to blame MacPhail together with Klentak, I am all aboard. I would like to see Dombrowski without restraints. And no, the Dodgers are not the only team that has exceeded the first level of the LT. The Red Sox won a WS, then re-set. But, the point is that Dombrowski and Klentak have not done the same level of job. Dombrowski is already much better. His trade deadline move provided some help. Kennedy did a decent job, Gibson was helpful, Crouse is a nice addition to the prospect pool. Klentak’s trade deadlines move were a disaster. So, I am ready to believe that Dombrowski makes the team better for next season. Will he trade someone/s I wished we had kept? Of course, I am already resigned to that. But, let’s see what he can do.

    1. matt13……Kranitz and Kapler were not always on the same page….plus I think Gabe favored Young, and fearful of losing him they decided to let Kranitz go after the 2018 season, with another year left on hs contract, which the Philies would have paid….but the Braves decided otherwise, and inked him within 10 weeks.

    2. Matt13, Kranitz went from Philly to Atlanta and immediately turned their pitching around.

  57. Romus, I recall the press conferences where MacPhail and Klentak intimated that they were going to orchestrate the fastest rebuild we’ve seen. Instead, they sent the team backwards. I hold no animosity towards Gabe. I think he was in over his head, and the blame fell mostly on the shoulders of those above him. He fully acknowledges the lesson her learned here, that he corrected in SF. I don’t think that would have happened here. He and Buster Posey recall an a situation early, when he went to pull Cueto from a game, and was talked out of it. Something that didn’t occur here. He said that he learned to respect the human part of the game, and that was a big lesson learned. So kudos to him. MacPhail simply cashed a paycheck and was a huge Middleton blunder, and Klentak will not sniff another GM job again. I clearly have not let go of my animosity towards them.

  58. The Phillies get Alcantara tonight so I don’t expect anything different than the past four days. I’m really disappointed in how this season is wrapping up like most of you out there. If this team goes totally into the tank and finishes 81-81, I’ll really be pissed. Another gutless three game sweep is what I fear the most. They’ve got Suarez tonight, Crouse/Medina Saturday, and who knows on Sunday. I doubt very much they’ll pitch Wheeler the final game of the season in a meaningless game to have them finish over .500. Back to the drawing board.

    1. These great players are getting older and have never been in a World Series….Trout, Harper, Machado, Ohtani, Goldey, Arenado, Cutch …even Freeman if the Braves lose next week.

  59. Great that we are starting five players who probably won’t be with the team next year. Would be nice to let some of the kids play to gain more experience.

  60. Who are the other guys besides Harper and Tatis who have a shot at MVP. I think Albies has a legitimate chance to win it. After all, his team is the only one going to the playoffs. That’s why Soto won’t win it.

  61. Here’s a question: Has Kapler learned from his first managing experience or is he just lucky to be managing a team of veterans who he can’t push around (Be Bold T-shirts, stupid pitching coaches telling sinker ball pitchers to throw high strikes)?

    Maybe a little of both. But I think Buster Posey has more to do with the Giants success than Kapler.

  62. In looking for positives from this year:

    Harper showed the ability and spirit that can lead a future pennant drive.

    We discovered Ranger as an excellent starting pitcher, even if somewhat serendipitously.

    The rotation, assuming no trades, will be strong next year: Wheeler, Suarez, Nola, Efflin, Gibson.

    Segura seems to have become a hustling team player. Maybe he’s matured, in which case he can be very valuable in a pennant race. He’s motivated.

    Down on the farm, Stott showed promise. So did Ortiz. And O’Hoppe could be a surprise to the baseball world outside of Phuture Phillies.

    DD will make big moves and they will be productive.

    On the downside, the Braves have loads of talent and a great combination of youth and experience; the Mets will have healthy pitchers back and they have an owner willing to spend to win.

  63. I’m sorry but just bc you got rid of someone who wasn’t panning out doesn’t mean you won the trade. It’s looking like we both lost that trade. Gibson and Kennedy WERE NOT good in the 2nd half. One w an ERA above 5 and the other above 4. That was a failed trade for both teams (so far). I still can’t find a move that Dave Dom made that has been a great success.
    I’d argue that his lack of moves (or a bigger move) cost the NL East (and again, I get that it takes 2 to make a trade and it’s not like he had a ton of valuable pieces, he didn’t and still doesn’t.

    1. Eric, I think we should agree to disagree. I think getting three for one was a good deal and am more charitable in judging Kennedy and Gibson. We’ll see. You might be right, but I’ll wait til next year to pass final judgment on the trade.

      1. I agree that you can necessarily call someone a winner or loser yet, but it sure isn’t looking like a good trade as of now (for either side).
        Also, I realized that Soto’s numbers overall were great but I didn’t realize that he’s had a better 2nd half than Harper has. Crazy. It’s gonna be close in the MVP race. Odd trending down for Harper and up for Soto. Harper still w the edge tho.

      2. Eric, you make some good points, and I don’t want to detract from that. But just by having Kennedy this allowed the team to shift Suarez to the rotation, which was huge. And this team will have an affordable year of Gibson next year, which is very important. At worst, Gibson is a solid 4. At best, he’s a borderline 2 – but at a low salary, he’s very attractive and he gives the team competitive innings. And Crouse offers upside as well. He’s still developing, but I like him.

        Speaking of Suarez, we are getting past small sample size issues here. He’s done nothing but dominate and improve. If Suarez develops into a sub 3 ERA starter (which now looks very possible), you cannot overstate the importance of this development because it gives you at least 2 top of the rotation starters (with a third if Nola can rebound, which is also very possible). Add another one and you realize that, for short-term playoff success perhaps pitching and defense is a good path for this team to be competitive next year.

        This off-season will be very interesting and is precisely why you hire a guy like DD. This is his time to shine.

        1. I missed Crouse – he would probably be around 7 or 8 for me. He’s a good prospect. The hope is that he can develop into a solid mid-rotation starter. He has a lower ceiling than Spencer Howard, obviously, but I think the odds of him becoming a solid starter are as good or better since I view Howard as a future reliever.

        2. By the way, Baseball Reference has Suarez at 5.8 WAR (the same as Harper!) in 106 innings. Fangraphs has him worth about half that much, but still. 5.8 WAR in 106 innings? It’s staggering. Suarez’s emergence is a massively positive development for this team.

          1. Ranger is the long suffering answer to our need for the TOR lefty we’ve been without since Hamels departed. Definitely THE #1 positive development for the 2021 Phillies, and a potential stud for the rest of this decade.

          2. Pitching Leaders…WAR…Baseball Reference:
            1. Wheeler • PHI 7.5 **************
            2. Ray • TOR 6.6
            3. Buehler • LAD 6.5
            4. Scherzer • 2TM 5.9
            5. Burnes • MIL 5.8
            6. Mahle • CIN 5.7
            7. Miley • CIN 5.7
            8. Woodruff • MIL 5.6
            9. Suarez • PHI 5.6 *************
            10. Cole • NYY 5.6
            ………that is unbelievable for Suarez.

  64. Since we can’t realistically field a team of all free agent all stars next year what if we made do with what we have in certain areas – Moniak & Vierling platoon in left, Rhys at first, and, gulp, Bohm at third. Then spend what money or trade capital we have for upgrades at shortstop (maybe for only a year if Stott is for real), centerfield (preferably a lead off hitter) and bullpen. This could be a fiscally reasonable way to move forward. Obviously this still leaves problems, but with stronger defense at short, left field and centerfield, maybe Bohm wouldn’t be such a liability. I’ve never seen the rush to trade Hoskins 30-35 home runs a year…. Starting pitching a bit thin but Wheeler, Ranger, Nola, Eflin & Gibson certainly trump the starting 5 from 2021. Falter and Crouse next in line.

    1. Man, he reminds me of JTR…build, athleticism. I would hate to see him traded. And I agree that he should be a top 5 prospect.

      1. How often does a team with even a good farm system have a catching prospect that is a potential first division regular? Maybe once every 15 years or so? It’s not common. That prospect, in my view, has extreme value. You hold onto that guy for dear life. While almost nobody is untouchable, O’Hoppe, Stott, Abel, Painter, and Rojas are pretty close to that and, call it instinct, but I think Viars is pretty close too. If the Yankees or Dodgers or Rays come calling with a trade package that seems to be too good to be true and includes Viars, watch out. it’s a trojan horse.

        1. And, yeah, O’Hoppe is probably top 6 or 7 for me. Maybe even top 5.

          In no particular order, the top 5 or so would include:

          Stott, Painter, Abel, Rojas (first tier) and then O’Hoppe, Garcia (he combined power and plate discipline – that’s HUGE for a middle infielder), and perhaps Wilson, McGarry and Viars, People include Erik Miller in the top 10, but I’ve not really seen anything from him yet, regardless of whether that’s his fault or not. I can’t justify having Miller in the top 10 at this point.

        2. Catch – you should mentally prepare yourself for DD trading 4 of those 5 players this offseason. DD is going all in. His goal is to make the playoffs the next 4 seasons.

          1. v1, I hope you are wrong. Really, that’s depressing! I think Marchan may go, and we keep O’Hoppe. You may be right, but I don’t trade Painter or Abel. I know what you are basing your opinion on, and I am very familiar with Dom Brown, one time top Prospect in all of Baseball. And, I know we are not getting a ton for what I feel we can give up, but, I don’t want to see the farm stripped. Again, I could be wrong, but I hope not.

      2. .mark8;29…..’I would hate to see him traded”,…..agree,
        but the realization it appears is that Dave D..will be making moves now that Phillies fan will have to be able to tolerate and endure when it comes to prospects..

  65. With the confirmation of Girardi’s return in 2022, and his subsequent comments last night, we can begin to speculate about certain off season decisions…

    His answer to a question about Bohm’s defensive future – “third baseman” – tells me that Bohm may very well be available because between you, me and the man on the moon, we all know Bohm is NOT a future 3b. Of course, Joe G isn’t going to say anything to diminish the young man’s market value. But curiously he didn’t start Bohm at 3b last night in a meaningless game for no apparent reason…other than not to expose him again at the hot corner? And Joe also said that some positions will have to be earned next year and besides, “I don’t know yet who we’ll be getting in the off season.”

    My guess is that Didi and Torreyes will return if only because they are Girardi guys. The impending DH may afford Joe to keep Didi in the lineup vs RHPs without sacrificing the left side of the infield defense.

    Now, whether Joe’s contract is extended by the spring or not remains another interesting development which we will keep an eye on. We’re all familiar with the lame duck manager scenario…

  66. I’d like to revisit the prospect of acquiring Whit Merrifield from KC. His AAV through ’23 (club option year/$750K buyout) is only slightly over $4M. (Cheaper than Odubel’s $11.5M if the Phillies re-upped.) His OPS is down this year, his age 32 season, but he still stole 40 bases. Moderate pop with 10 HRs. He’s versatile in that he plays CF and 2B. Not an especially high OBP but his energy fits as a leadoff candidate. His contract certainly suits the Royals MO for salary scales, but a couple young prospects could pry him away as Merrifield nears free agency.


    1. He would cost more in prospect capital than you probably expect, and he wouldn’t make us a playoff contender. So no thanks. We should only be spending prospect capital on young, controllable assets at this point.

      If teams wanna swap veterans with us, I’d be more open to that.

  67. Bohm @ 3b………not… and Joe, please pray tell …….differentiate for me the difference between a year positions are not earned and one where they are earned! Some were not earned this year?

    1. It’s just lip service. If positions truly needed to be earned, Didi wouldn’t keep getting play time. But Joe has his guys, and even plays them with young guys on the bench at the end of the year in games that don’t matter.

      I’m glad Vierling hit a pinch-hit homer last night, because it’s at least symbolically a middle finger to Girardi. It’s absolutely absurd to not give him play time over Travis freaking Jankowski and Doobie. Hell, he could even let Bryce catch his breath now that his Herculean efforts have officially been wasted.

      1. It’s the same knock on Girardi as when he was in the Bronx. Dissed the young talent. It’s a concern. Vierling is a SSS but you owe to the player, the ball club AND most of all, the fans to find out about these guys before marginalizing their playing time. Maddening…

        1. Yeah, the thing about small sample sizes is that they stay small unless you expand them. If you refuse to do so, you never know what you have. Meanwhile, we KNOW what we have with most of the roster. Find out about the other guys.

          It’s really not a hard concept and it’s extremely concerning that ANY MLB manager wouldn’t adhere to it. It’s literally a no-lose situation. Your guys don’t run the risk of hurting themselves in meaningless games, and the unproven guys get a shot to prove themselves. And yet here we are.

          Middleton and DD, if you’re just looking for a guy to be angry and not make good managerial moves, I volunteer to do so at 1/10th of Joe’s salary.

    2. Skeet…the one position probably not earned, and could have been lost, but Joe decided not to….was shortstop.
      Didi’s defensive play and bat just did not meet expectations.
      Other than Alec Bohm..lowest WAR of all regular position players….even super sub Ronald Torreyes.

      1. Defensively we are ok at RF, 1B, 2B, and C (also the 4 best hitters). If Herrera is brought back then he is about average in CF (5th best hitter on team), but above average slightly in LF. (I would like a Sterling Marte signing to improve CF) But the whole left side needs an upgrade – LF, 3B, and SS. Improve the defense you improve the pitching.

        Also I don’t care how many homers you hit, you can only have so many hitters in lineup hitting below 240. No wonder why they don’t score much.

        1. I mean… you’re right that there’s a balance to be had. But… the Phils are very much middle of the pack when it comes to batting average (they’re 18th at .240, which is just 5 points away from being top-10). Meanwhile they’re 15th in HRs and 13th in runs scored. The Rays have a team average of .241 but have the second most runs scored. The Dodgers are 5th in runs with a .244 team average.

          In fact, only five teams have averages above .250; and one of them is the Nationals who have fewer runs scored than we do. Two of the others are Boston and Toronto, so 2 teams out of the top 5 in BA won’t make the playoffs.

          And lest we believe it’s because offense has just gotten worse across the board; our juggernaut offense of 2008 scored 799 runs. The Dodgers (.244 BA) have 812, the Giants (.249) have 791, and the Braves (.243) have 779.

          There are lots of ways to build successful offenses. Having a lot of high average hitters can certainly help, but it’s not necessary. There is absolutely a cutoff where hitting enough HRs far outweighs hitting sub-.240 as a team. We just don’t meet that criteria.

  68. Harper, Wheeler and Ranger were very good, and Segura gave us a really nice season, as well. I am confident in a better season from Realmuto, and Hoskins manning 1st. Gibson slots at #4 in the Rotation. We desperately need a bounce back from Nola, a CF/lead off hitter, and an upgrade at 3B. I believe Didi has off season surgery/rehab and is back. Bohm cannot play 3B. I think LF is a youngster platoon, let’s call it Vieroniak. Then the BP. Not much, huh? I hope DD is well rested!

    1. matt13…the team can save some $$$$ by getting the BP on the cheap…..plenty of arms now with some experience….two guys coming back in JoJo and Seranthony.
      As for Hector and Archie….Hector as a non-closer was fine, so he may come back relatively inexpensive…..Archie…not sure what he will want.
      Who will close?
      Keeping my fingers crossed…but hope Seranthony will be healthy and prepared to close.

      Didi……I do not think he will be the same defensive player from just 3 years ago..prior to his TJ.
      And the one position play-off teams need to have a defensive presence at is ss.

      1. Just about forgot Seranthony possibly as the closer, Romus. And Jojo returning adds to the pen. We need healthy arms. I say goodbye to Archie, Kennedy, Neris and any other extraneous salary. Brogdon and Coonrod should be decent middle innings guys, with Falter as a long relief/spot SP option. If Seranthony returns to his original form, the search for a closer becomes less urgent.

  69. You are right, Romus. Part of me is trying to think what they do combined with what I want them to do. I don’t think he’s tradeable, and I don’t know about moving him to 3B and getting a SS. I agree with you that we need one going forward, irregardless of next season. Stott will play 2B I am pretty sure. We do have some young BP arms. The Closer is a big “I have no idea!” A healthy SerAnthony would be a great stroke of good fortune. I also believe Hector is back in the same role he had after we acquired Kennedy. There is also an issue of an additional SP until Eflin gets back. Maybe Bailey Falter? I would love to predict FAs all over the place and some big trades, but there is a limit to what Dombrowski can do, which is why I think LF is a youngster platoon.

    1. Improving team defense is tantamount to improving the pitching staff. Whatever Moniak might give you offensively, his glove will solidify LF, and Vierling shouldn’t hurt you. Filling CF with a top glove is likely a Dombrowski priority. SS is easier, I think, to upgrade than 3b. Not sure Bryant wins any gold gloves at the hot corner, but there are a few shortstops on the market significantly better than Didi.

      1. Seems to me that a young platoon in left helps both cost wise and defensively. Spend on a top center fielder and a one year, solid defensive shortstop.

    2. Speaking of Seranthony, he’s been recalled from AAA for these final 2 games. Brogdon back on the IL.

  70. First move will be to decline Cutch’s option. However, unlike all of you, I think there’s a chance they bring him back in a one year cheap deal.
    I think Neris will definitely be back while I have a hunch they’ll bring back Bradley too but not as a closer.
    I really hope they chase Story but I don’t think they’ll get Bryant.
    I’d really like Marte in CF as our lead off hitter but I’m not sure if they’ll get him. CF might have to come from a trade.
    No good SP will sign here to be our 6th SP so I expect them to sign a 4A guy plus give Falter a chance.
    Vierling seems to have earned a shot but there’s no way they’re counting on Moniak to be the starter against righties.

    1. Trading for a CF: I’ve proposed this already and some here think (understandably) that Bryan Reynolds is either untouchable or will cost too much in prospect capital. I get it. But Dombrowski came here to remold this roster and only so much money will get you only so much improvement in the lineup. There’s reason to believe that Middleton (like the vast majority of MLB owners) won’t okay going over the LTT. (U_DUB posted a compelling argument earlier this thread.)

      Again, I call the Pirate GM Cherington and offer Abel, Bohm, Rojas and Marchan for Reynolds and lefty reliever Chasen Shreve. I’m not including Painter, O’Hoppe or Stott since 2 of my top 5 prospects are already in the package, along with a former ROY candidate whose also a bounce back candidate, ala Austin Riley this year after a horrid ’20.

      I’m sure naysayers will shoot it down, and perhaps other GMs won’t be willing to offer quite as much. But Dombrowski is in position to do what he does best in a WIN NOW moment.

      1. …I would also add (again) that Pittsburgh doesn’t pay the big bucks, and Reynolds will be getting more and more expensive, even though arbitration. That might motivate Cherington as well.

      2. I agree that they’ll talk to Pitt about Reynolds but there’s no way they’ll trade Abel at this point. I also don’t think there’s any way they’ll trade Bohm at his lowest value. I could see a deal around two of Marchan, O’Hoppe, Rojas and Garcia plus a throw in arm. I could see this package offered to the Athletics also.

        1. If the Phils like Y Garcia, I could see Rojas as the centerpiece of a deal. Rojas definitely has high trade value.

        2. If DD can acquire Reynolds without trading either Abel or Painter, I’ll be seriously impressed. And thrilled.

        3. Speaking of Oakland, how about a trade for 3b Matt Chapman? Down year except for power. 28 with 2 more yrs arb eligible, making a little under $7M this season, under control through 2023…prime trade candidate for A’s who naturally squeeze the nickel until the buffalo s**ts.

          1. Depending on the cost, Chapman would be an ideal acquisition candidate. Think Marcus Semien version 2022. You would solve a bunch of problems at the same time by acquiring Chapman. The cost? Something like Marchan, Rojas, Brogdon. I think that would do it and I would definitely execute that trade. I wouldn’t want to trade Stott because he’s going to be affordable help they desperately will need starting mid-April next year.

  71. Rotation of Wheeler, Ranger, Nola, Eflin (when back), and Gibson. Falter as the #6.

    Dump Didi. Eat $7 million of salary and see if anyone will take him.

    Between Cutch and the Didi salary dump, that saves $20 million (after Cutch buyout), Let Bradley and Moore walk. That saves another $9 million. Use that $29 million to sign one of Story/Correa/Seager for SS (think that AAV will be doable). Also, the Hoskins and Eflin injuries, while they hurt the team in 2021, will help in 2022 because their arb numbers won’t be quite as high — perhaps saving $1 million apiece over what they otherwise had gotten based on a full year of production.

    Platoon Stott and Bohm (.812 OPS in 2021 vs LHP) at 3B. Platoon Moniak/Vierling in LF.


    Correa (or Seager or Story)

    Bench: Marchan, Torreyes, and the two not starting in the platoons. And if one or the other in each platoon totally sucks, give the playing time to the one doing better.

    Crouse in the bullpen. Maybe Dohy

    Farm is intact.

    1. Correa is not coming to Philly, you shouldn’t be hoping for that. He’s 27 and in his prime. He’ll be looking for Lindor money (10 years, $341M).

      Didi is owed $15.25M for 2022. He was negative WAR for 2021. The Phillies would likely have to eat $10M of his contract just to get back a lotto ticket.

      Wheeler, JT, and Nola’s contract also bumps up for 2022: + $10.6M total. The arbitration raises for Eflin and Rhys will likely add another $5M minimum. That and other arbitration increases will easily cover the savings from buying out Cutch’s contract.

        1. Romus, you’re absolutely right no one is confusing him for Byron Buxton, but since you would let Herrera walk and not trade for other assets, who do you have in mind that is going to provide better defense than Herrera and improve upon his 0.260 batting average for 9M?

          1. Joe G will not like it I am sure……but I say empower the players and let them prove otherwise that they cannot do it.
            Defensively, either will do fine in CF.

            1. We tried to give all the young, not ready guys, a chance to win the CF job this year and it was a full fledged disaster and probably cost them a few games. Relying on Moniak and Haseley to start the year would be gross malpractice. One of the keys to building a good team is to ensure you don’t have outcomes like we had in center for the first month or so. No way can we rely on those guys at this point. No way.

      1. You’re probably right about Correa, but the Phils can get one of those three shortstops for an average annual value of $29 million.

        I’m looking at the luxury tax perspective. Wheeler, JT, and Nola already have their contract’s Average Annual Value, so for luxury tax purposes they have the same salary in 2022 as in 2021.

        Also, I didn’t add in other savings — Velasquez made $4 million, Kintzler made $3.5 million, etc., which should cover arb increases for folks like Eflin and Hoskins. Even little things like Marchan instead of Knapp saves $500k . . .

        1. The Phillies still have to revamp their bullpen if they’re letting Neris, Bradley, Kennedy walk. If you’re bottom feeding on relievers, don’t be surprised by what you get.

  72. I want the DH…I’m tired of watching pitchers who have no experience hitting or bunting…..I’m tired of Philles pitchers walking the opposing pitcher….I’m tired of listening to John Kruk babbling mindless commentary

    1. “I’m tired of listening to John Kruk babbling mindless commentary”….LOL….but that is a beautiful thing. 🙂

  73. Sorry guys, but I can’t watch Knapp up there flailing away and getting nothing but air. I don’t care about the pitchers like to throw to him. Somewhere there is a backup catcher that is suitable and one who can hit .200, which he cannot! We have pitchers on this team who have higher batting averages who could pinch hit for him! Send him on to his coaching career, if he has anything to teach anyone.

  74. The team will likely be able to afford to upgrade only 1 spot on left side of infield. They should go ahead and bring in a top SS who is a good fielder – this will require a long term contract. If they do this he should be able to be moved to either 3B or 2B if the need arises. Stott could end up playing himself onto the ML roster in a year or so meaning he would need a spot to play. Segura, we are not sure how much longer he will be around after next year (team option in 2023). Gregorius has only played SS but likely could play some at 3B or end up be DH if it arrives as expected. And we are not sure if Bohm will improve at 3B.

  75. Considering the limited $(IMO no reason to think we go over LT when we never have) and multiple spots to fill, SS will be Stott’s. Btw we have 5th highest payroll, JM is not cheap just hasn’t hired the right people.

  76. Expanding on what Martin wrote up above, there was a great point made by John Smoltz last night. With the DH coming next season, starting pitchers will lose from 30-35 strikeouts per season.

  77. Phils luxury tax commitments for 2022:

    Harper: $25,384,615
    Wheeler: $23,600,000
    Realmuto: $23,100,000
    Segura: $14,000,000
    Didi: $14,000,000
    Nola: $11,250,000
    Kingery: $4,000,000

    That’s $115 million. 40-man salaries in the minors and player benefits takes up about $18 million. That leaves about $75 million for the rest of the team.

    1. And how much of that $75M goes to arbitration cases? You have Hoskins, Eflin, etc. So what’s the total afterward?

    2. I’m not sure where you got those numbers. Cots has a payroll total of $134M for 2022. The total for 2021 was $191M. That leaves $57M for arbitration and FAs. Eflin and Rhys alone will account for at $13M. Did I also mention that Suarez is entering arbitration too? He’s in for a nice payday, at least $4M. So you figure at least $20M for arbitration. That leaves $37M. Then you have to replace Neris/Bradley/Kennedy/Miller. There won’t be too much money left for a big time FA.

      1. That is not correct. Suarez entered the year with 1.124 years in service time. He is not arb eligible this offseason.

        Yeah, Cots has $134 million, and I said $115 million + $18 million . . . which is $133 million. I apologize for being off $1 million.

        The luxury tax threshold for 2021 is $210 million. If you subtract $134 million from $210 million, that leaves $76 million.

        1. West Coast…..”The luxury tax threshold for 2021 is $210 million.”…is that set in stone?
          The new CBA comes up in two months…owners want it dropped…some say to $180M……small market vs large market civil war could be on the horizon.

        2. Hmm, seems like Cots has it wrong that Suarez is arbitration eligible for 2022.

          The LTT may be $210M, but the running payroll for 2021 for the Phillies was considerably less. I would rather go with that number as that is a number that they have already went up to.

  78. Bottom-line:
    Again, another year of futility,
    vs teams that should be handled better.
    BAL – 2-1
    ARI – 3-4
    MIA – 9-10
    COL – 2-5
    PIT – 4-3
    Total – 20-23

  79. Baseball a game of stats….Bryce in grand company…. the 4th OFer in MLB history….joins Babe Ruth (1921, 1923), Stan Musial (1949) and Barry Bonds (1998)….40 doubles (42), 35 HRs, 100 runs (101), and 100 BBs in a season.

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