Open Discussion: Week of December 26, 2021

Day 26 of Mister Manfred’s lockout.  No action on the negotiating front.  No likelihood of any for a few weeks, it seems.  The Phillies did sign another free agent.  Woo Hoo! 

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

Rosters and Stuff

Key Dates:

  • December 1, 2021: CBA expires
  • December 2, 2021: Manfred locks out players
  • December 15, 2021: Close of the 2020-21 international signing period
  • January 28,2022: Caribbean Series
  • TBA: Minor League spring training reporting date (probably late February)
  • April 5, 2022: Lehigh Valley season opener at home v. Columbus
  • April 8, 2022:  Clearwater season opener at home v. Fort Myers
  • April 8, 2022:  Jersey Shore season opener at home v. Aberdeen
  • April 8, 2022:  Reading season opener at home v. Somerset


12/08/2021 – Phillies signed FA INF Ali Castillo to a minor league contract


55 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of December 26, 2021

  1. Why do you sign a 32/33 year old middle infielder that split year in AA & AAA with a BA just over the Mendoza line at both stops? Just needed to vent a bit after watching Eagles 1st half yesterday. Lol.

    1. Gotcha, Denny…………that was ugly for sure! Jekyl and Hyde comparisons. If we wanted that kind of ballplayer we could just bring Gamboa up, right.

      1. Exactly, get some young and hungry ball players. “Hungry dogs run faster”, sorry used a personal former coaches’ mantra.

    2. Denny, sometimes it’s not about performance. Sometimes a player is brought in to mentor a younger player. For instance, last season Jorge Bonifacio was brought in to mentor Daniel Brito, even though they played different positions. Brito had his best offensive season. They were both promoted to LHV on the same day.

      Perhaps Castillo and Rio will be asked to mentor Guzman and Ortiz?

    3. Probably they remembered the .322/.364/.453/.817 slash line he put up for Reading and LHV in 2019 and needed some minor league filler.

  2. Romus. I replied on last week but just in case you do not go back to it.
    As kid I got Cardinals, Reds, and Phillies late at night.
    Believe it was WCAU. 1210 on dial.
    I forget announcers. Buck for Cards. Nuxall for Reds.
    Johnny Callison was my guy. I modeled my batting stance after him.
    I was a right handed kid who batted left handed.
    I think after they Cardinals passed Philles in 64 they won last game or two maybe.

    1. In my wheelhouse now, Phillies retro baseball. I used to live in the Poconos and would track baseball team broadcasts. I could get the Cubs, Twins, and even sometimes minor league baseball as far as New Orleans.

    2. Don…..yuo are correct, WCAU (1210) was the station, and I read that By Saam before our time, actually broadcasted for both the Phillies and the A’s until the As left for KC in 1954.
      There is claim, he may have set the dubious record for announcers….called over 4,000 losses.

      1. Romus, By Saam also broadcast Penn Football when they were playing Michigan and other top ranked teams before the Ivy League was formed and excluded their ability to attract the best players. By stayed with the As until they left. He was hired by the Phillies the next year. His favorite phrase was “Right you Are ……which he uttered after being introduced when he broadcast the Dodgers – White Sox World Series as One of the great broadcasters.

        1. Puddinhead….he had that great low tone voice, similar to Harry’s…in fact I think Harry and Whitey invited him in the booth during the game when the Phillies won it in 80, so he could call an inning for a WS team.

  3. I grew up listening to games on 1210 at night during late 70’s and 80’s. Many memories of listening to games with Michael Jack vs. Lee Smith to decide game.

    1. Great memories ! I would run through the house yelling after Schmidt would hit a homer mainly because my brothers all said Luzinski was a better player, which he actually was for a couple years.

  4. I think I became a Phillies fan because maybe they were on the Game of the Week some in 64 with Dizzy and Pee Wee. Usually the Yankees were on all the time but maybe the Phils got on some because they were having a good season.
    That was the only game on TV during the week back then so I looked forward to it/
    Somewhere along the line I had to have had a chance to see Johnny Callison play.
    64 was my 1st disappointment.
    Then the mid 70s. Reds first. Then Dodgers.
    Finally 1980. It was worth it.
    You guys have to remember I was just a little kid in the 60s loving the Phillies for some reason. I have been asked over and over how the Phillies. I have always lived here in Central Indiana. But I did get to the VET on a couple weekends because my wife’s Dad worked for ARCO and he was located in Philly for a few years in the mid 70s.

    1. Don, memories, memories, memories.

      I was a kid in Phoenixville, so Philly fandom came naturally. My heroes were Chuck Bednarik and Richie Ashburn. My family moved to Delaware (my father from the steel mill in Phoenixville to the steel mill in Claymont) and we were then actually closer to Philadelphia though in another state.

      A different time. A different world.

      By the time of the 1964 Phillies collapse, i was a suburban kid about to become interested in politics and many other interests and off to college, leaving baseball behind, mostly just following the Phillies by reading the headlines each day. It took new roles in life and Jimmy and Chase and Cole to bring me back as a day-in, day-out go-to-the-games fan.

      Life takes turns no one of us can ever predict. Interesting how sports and the childhood loyalties and enthusiasms draw us together again in our different current lives.

      I saw one of those online “sponsored content” advertisements. It was touiting the 100 most iconic sports pictures of all time. The photo selected to represent them: Chuck Bednairk whooping it up over the broken body of Frank Gifford. I have met many New Yorkers who were not even born when that incident occurred who still hate Bednairik. But he’s our Concrete Charlie, and that’s what makes sports so special that they draws us to Phuture Phillies after all those years and all those miles.

      Thanks, Jim, for providing the platform that brings us together as a community of simultaneous strangers and family.

      1. I was a little kid in 1960, but will never forget the end of the Eagles-Green Bay championship game with the Packers near the Eagles goal line and one play left. Bednarik, the last of the two-way players, stood there with his hands on his hips, snorting steam, defiantly daring the Packers to try to cross the goal line. The Eagles goal line stand held and the NFL championship was ours.

        1. If y’all want, I’ll share my childhood memories of growing up as a Mets and Giants fan! Just kidding (not about my fandom, but about sharing), I want to keep as many of my friends here as possible!

          In my defense, I’ve been a suffering Phillies, Sixers, Flyers and Eagles fan for almost 30 years (don’t tell me family from Connecticut that, however – they still don’t forgive me for jumping ship) and have been on this site from the get go.

          1. Anyway, thank to Jim for running an amazing site. The most impressive thing about Jim’s work, aside from the fact that he has stayed with it even during what appeared to be some very tough times in his family, is that his editorial content continues to get better year after year. The player rankings combined with the player reviews after a player has been ranked are superb! Thank you so much.

  5. This is my favorite site. I always check to see what comments all of you have made.
    Even this Summer when I was super busy I tried to at least check the comments late at night or early in the morning before leaving again for the day.
    I am truly amazed at all the work that Jim does. Unlike at least some of you I see all of this from a thousand miles away. Keep up the great work all of you.

    It is nice to think back to the by gone years with those who remember the same.
    Some were great, some were ok, some were sad. But they were all memories.

  6. .

    Who thinks John Middleton doesn’t allow Dave Dombrowski to spend past the new LTT?

    1. Depends if it goes up or comes down
      I assume it goes up about 5%….so he may just go over it by a little.
      And we do not even know the penalties yet.
      Hopefully the talks resume on Monday.

      1. The Phillies are rules followers – for better or worse. My prediction stands, regardless of how much the LTT goes up. They will not break the LTT going out of ST – won’t happen, they’ve never done it before and they won’t do it now. They MIGHT go over the LTT if they are in the hunt around the trade deadline.

        Please don’t respond by saying this would be stupid and if they’re going to break the LTT they might as well do it this winter. Of course it’s pretty stupid. It’s just what I think they are going to do – I’d be thrilled to be wrong on this one for the first time.

      2. And I wouldn’t expect the talks to really heat up until late January or early February. There’s a chance it could go into ST and definitely a chance the beginning of the season could be delayed. My prediction is that it settles mid-February to early March. There will be a LOT of gamesmanship here. 50/50 that there’s no DH for 2022. Highly likely DH permanently comes into the NL by 2023.

    2. Interesting tidbit for those who have not seen it already but … the Phillies finished 3rd in payroll for 2021… squeezing just under the LTT tax by a mere $600,000. So the question is now … did Middleton already approve to go over with that Pittsburgh trade that fell through? I believe this Gibson, crouse trade was also in the works. No doubt in my mind he goes over. He has too if he wants to compete. I could hass it out, but essentially he needs to keep his prospects and spend to the max to compete. He’s not getting a discount if he wants his trophy back anytime soon

  7. I hope Middleton exceeds it, but I won’t believe it until it actually happens. I know all the reasons to do it, and he should, but he didn’t at last year’s trade deadline. Everything was Cap neutral. We were in a WC chase then, and DD made some good moves, but without going over the LT. I once had a lot of faith in John Middleton, and I no longer do. Hoping I am wrong, but I have to see it first.

    1. LMatt, I hear you, but I think he does. I feel pretty good that this is the year you say “Well it’s about freaking time!” 🙂 that’s my best educated guess. Will see. When he finally does, will send him some popped cherries as celebration

  8. Almost 2022. Hopefully only few weeks before pitchers and catchers report.
    Just for fun for New Year. All kinda know the needs for Phillies in 22.
    But who do you have as your wish list for additions by Opening Day.
    Then who do you have as realistic additions by Opening Day.
    You can do whatever you want with LT.
    I think I like Bryant and Conforto plus a couple BP guys who can consistently get some outs in late innings.
    In reality I think it may be lesser additions.
    Phillies need to realize that 2 of last 3 WS champs have come from NL East.
    They have to up their game. I still think quality BP guys are biggest need to get over the top.

    1. My hunch is that Dombrowski trades for a CF, most likely Kiermaier, but if that falls through somehow, I can see DD make a big splash by trading for Bryan Reynolds if he isn’t moved before the KK question is resolved.

      The only big dollar free agent I see us signing is Kris Bryant because of his flexibility and the Harper/Boras connection. At first I was fairly confident we’d get Schwarber, but since that didn’t happen before the lockout, I’m doubtful it’ll happen now.

      Knebel will be the closer. And I think DD will find some creative way to settle the left side of the infield. I don’t think it’s out of the question that Didi gets moved, or Segura might if he agrees to waive his no trade. I’m not convinced Bohm opens the 2022 season at 3b, especially if Stott is the SS on opening day.

      …so, more questions than answers.

      1. mark8:29…agree with you on Bryant for the reasons you state.
        And also there is no loss of a 2nd round draft choice…..if that actually remains in play after this CBA is finalized, since Bryant was not QO.

        And also I see Dombrowski making a trade….for a CFer like you say.
        Besides Kiermaeir and Bucco’s Reynolds….additionally, there is Ketel Marte and Ramon Laureano that may be on his target list.

        And how about a sleeper for CF…. Gary Varsho’s son, Daulton, out in the Arizona desert.

        He could be someone who could be ready to explode on the scene….and he may not require much in return.

  9. Trading for Kiermaier , sound like DD will have competition. Looks like 3-4 teams will be interested in him. Its no lock, so they’ll have to have backup plans. His bat is not ideal but if he is saving that many runs with his defense … I’ll be very excited.

    Going into 2022, looking forward to the surprise breakout prospect, whoever it is. Have a good New Years gents !

  10. Happy New Year’s Eve.
    Saw on CBS yesterday their writers made 4 wishes for new CBA.
    1. Universal DH
    2. Bigger bases
    3. BP limited to 11 pitchers
    4. Pitch clock
    I would add 5th. Ban shifts.

    1. Don53….Happy New Year to you also.
      One thru four seem very reasonable

      To purge a rule:
      IMO get rid of the three-batter rule for relief pitchers entering into a game.

      As for the shift ….I would keep it, but must have four infielders on the dirt, and to compensate for defensive strategies….push out the dirt/grass line by adding five more feet…….100′ from the pitcher’s mound , ilo of the now standard 95.

        1. Denny…..Happy New Year also,
          ……yeah, it deters that ‘Manny Machado’ shift……quasi RFer/2nd baseman…..which was great for defensive purposes but for the game it seem to unconventional

      1. Romus,

        Good idea on the infield. I hate seeing a really hard hit ball to mid right field just be a routine ground out. Another thing that bugs me is the hard hit ground ball hit right back up the middle. Some fielder is just standing there. When we were kids that is what we were always told to do. Hit the ball right back up the middle. Not now.
        I would have no problem with the getting rid of the 3 batter rule.

        I have really enjoyed reading your posts this year. Thanks for always being so nice and so informed on so many topics.

  11. I wish all of you a very Happy and Healthy New Year! I appreciate all of you who post here, and cannot thank Jim enough. I originally thought it was Schwarber, but I now think he goes back to Boston. So, for the reasons stated before, closeness to Harper, multiple position flexibility, and no loss of draft pick, I am going with Bryant. Then a trade for Kiermaier. Add a couple of BP arms. I am still not of the belief that DD trades the top of our prospect pool to make a deal for a Reynolds or Mullins, and Laureano’s PED issue concerns me. Part of that reason, besides my not wanting to decimate the farm, is that I believe we have a long term CF in the system, and we are more in need of a 1 or 2 year stopgap, which KK can fill.

  12. Wishing all on this site, and of course – its creator and mentor, Jim – a happy, healthy, and mirthful New Year. Thanks to all ……

    matt13 – I have to agree with most of your comments. Bryant over Schwarber (yes, I think Kevin Long would have signed him already) ; Hinkie’s guy, Laureano perhaps – with Vierling and a platoon partner filling in for the missing 26 games. From what I have read lately, Reynolds from Pirates will demand way too much and I don’t see Phillies gutting the system because if you are this close you need to keep some chips for mid-year ? For a trade, I could see DD surprising and adding another pitcher – a 3 or 4 slot – I would not be surprised to see Gibson flipped in a trade (due to his 1 year before FA). I also think the dh will be adopted which could cause Rhys to play there and a 1B/another hitter added to fortify the lineup – almost like a Jesus Aguilar of the Marlins, or even Dom Smith (in a 3 way trade with Mets).As for CF – why not acquire Victor Robles ? a GG – same hitter than KK and a possible reclamation project with the bat ? Didn’t Kevin Long coach him when he was hitting ?

    1. Thank you, RU. But, I can’t take credit for the creation of the site. I am actually the fourth caretaker of the site. Phuture Phillies was James’ vision. He created it so that similarly interested people could have a place to discuss the Phillies’ farm system and prospects.

      1. Yeah, but to quote Carly Simon “Nobody Does it Better.” You’re the best, Jim! Happy New Year!

  13. Happy New Year to all of my fellow Phuture Phillies regulars and any who just stop by on occasion. I wish you all the best in the coming year! I had a link to voting for #10 on our prospect list, and then it disappeared. Did anyone have the same issue?

    1. Yeah. Survey Monkey is inadequate for our purpose. It only shows me the first ten votes and holds the rest hostage until a subscription is purchased. I killed it when I found this out, after 16 votes. I’ll repost a NEW poll after PSU loses to Arkansas in Tampa.

  14. Hinkie’s 5 New Year’s predictions:

    1️⃣ As RU mentioned above … Dave Dombrowski will trade for a significant SP after the lockout. Tyler Glasnow (who will miss 2022 with TJ) could be that guy.
    2️⃣ Nick Maton is the Phillies primary SS for the first month of the season.
    3️⃣ Jhailyn Ortiz hits his first MLB HR in 2022.
    4️⃣ Freddie Freeman signs with the LA Dodgers.
    5️⃣ The Mets finish 4th in the NL East next season.

  15. Hinkie, I like your Met prediction, not that I agree with it, but I would love the consternation it would cause in New York.

    As for changes to rules, I’m for DH, even though I don’t like it, and favor the pitch clock and limited teams to 11 pitchers.

    As for shifts, I oppose a ban or limitation. Let managers and players use their brains as best they can and not adopt rules to hamstring them, if brains and hamstring can be in the same image.

    Happy New Year to all. Let’s hope for successful labor negotiations and a full season ahead.

Comments are closed.