Trippin’ to Canada

Tuesday, the Phillies start a two-game series in Canada against the Toronto Blue Jays.  Canada still has travel restrictions in place that prevent unvaccinated people from entering their country.  It will be interesting to see who among the Phillies’ active roster cannot make the trip.

MLB does not require players on the 40-man roster to be vaccinated.  Individual organizations put requirements in place that minor leaguers had to be vaccinated.  The Phillies, after toying with the idea, opted to not require vaccinations for their minor leaguers.


It is my understanding that there are no restrictions as to who can be selected from the minors to play in Canada other than the player must be vaccinated.  The major league player loses pay and service time for the days in Canada if he is not vaccinated.  The minor league player who replaces him gets pay and service time but it does not count as an option as long as he returns to the minors when the team returns to the US.


As fans, we have no way of knowing for sure which players are not vaccinated.  But, we can make an educated guess based on reports, transactions, and even social media.

We know that Kyle Gibson is not vaccinated because of a recent report that he has a condition whose medication precludes him from getting vaccinated.  The Phillies worked their recent rotation around this and can now bring an extra reliever (or bench player) to Canada in his place.


Now, let’s speculate.  Without naming names, I would guess that the Phillies might have as many as half their active roster who might be unvaccinated.  Hopefully, that estimate is too high.  A breakdown by position might be – one of 2 catchers, 2 of 3 starting pitchers, 4 of 10 relievers, 3 of 6 infielders, and 3 of 5 outfielders.

So, here’s the fun part, who do we bring to Toronto.

Catcher – Donny Sands and Rafael Marchan would just be bench depth, I like Sands in a possible pinch-hitting role.

SP – Which SP in the organization would you pick to pitch Tuesday?  I don’t think the Phillies would go as deep as Jersey Shore, and “they” both pitched this weekend.  Plassmeyer was effective but he just threw on the weekend.  As did McKinley Moore on the 8th.  Maybe just go with relievers and throw a bullpen game on Tuesday?  I’m not even 50% sure that Falter is vaccinated.

RP – Now, we might need 6 instead of four.  If vaccinated, how about Morales, Sullivan, Hennigan, Emanuel, Romero (if ready), Duron, Hernandez, Gomez, Miller, Zarbnisky.  Pick up to six.

Infield – Johan Camargo (if ready), Dalton Guthrie, Kingery(?), Wendell Rijo

Outfield – Strip Reading.  Simon Muzziotti, Johan Rojas, Jhailyn Ortiz.

Just spit ballin’.  Hopefully, there are very few unvaccinated players.  Although, leaving Familia in quarantine in Canada wouldn’t be the end of the world.  Just kidding.


It would be a shame if we looked back on this series as one that affected the Phils’ playoff and seeding chances.  But, as of right now, the Phillies are in the playoff mix.

They are on a pace to win 85-86 games by my count.  They need to win series, especially against division foes, against whom they are a woeful 15-19 (NYM 3-9, ATL 3-4, MIA 3-4, WAS 6-2).

The Phillies are currently in the third wild card race, a spot that will likely play the NL Central Division winner.  They are one game ahead of the Cardinals, 2 games ahead of the Giants, and 4 games ahead of the Marlins.  The Rockies and Diamondbacks are further back, trailing by 8 games.


MLB has replaced tie-breaking playoff games with a set of tie-breaking criteria.

  1. Head-to-head record
  2. Intradivision winning percentage
  3. Interdivision winning percentage
  4. Best record in the final 81 intraleague games of the season
  5. Best record in the final 82 intraleague games of the season (provided the game added is not between the tied teams), and continue one game back until the tie is broken
  6. Coin toss?

The Phillies have already won head-to-head against Milwaukee (4-2), St. Louis (4-2 with one game to play), Los Angeles (4-3), San Diego (4-3), and Colorado (5-2).

They are ahead of Arizona (2-1 with 3 to play) and Washington (6-2 with 11 to play).

They trail New York (3-9 with 7 to play), Atlanta (3-4 with 12 to play), Miami (3-4 with 12 to play), and SanFrancisco (1-2 with 3 to play).

They have 7 games each against the Pirates and Reds, and 6 against the Cubs.

Other than the 2 games against Toronto this week, they have a 2-game series against the Blue Jays in September and close the season with 3 games in Houston.

As mentioned above, the Phillies division record is 15-19.  Their record against the other NL divisions is 24-15.  Their interleague record, which doesn’t matter in tie-breakers, is 7-6.


Just some thoughts over the weekend.  If nothing else, this gives you a place to talk about the Phillies.

87 thoughts on “Trippin’ to Canada

  1. If Phils lose both and fall short of playoffs they’ll blame it on unvaccinated players. Based fans will realize that the dozen or so blown games by the bullpen is of greater significance than the vaccine.

    1. This is illogical. Basically you are guaranteeing the Phillies would take both games against a great team in Toronto with their best players, minus Harper? The truth is, the Phillies could easily lose both games will all those players, just as they could easily win both. Wheeler is pitching one game, the other game, you’re not pitching both Nola and Gibson

  2. All I know for sure, so far, is Kyle Gibson is not because of a medicine that he takes for another condition.

    1. We know that Gibson won’t be accompanying the team to Toronto. But will the Phillies really put him on the restricted list? He wasn’t scheduled to pitch anyways. Putting him on the restricted will cost Gibson 2 game checks. This will get very interesting by gametime tomorrow…

        1. Nola, who also would not be scheduled to pitch, as well. But obviously this is not “breaking news” to any non-vaccinated players, and following is a paraphrase from an interview by Realmuto in an interview with Todd Zolecki, when asked about the money he will be losing – am I going to let Canada tell me what to put in my body for a little money? I don’t think so.

          1. It was disappointing to hear JT talk like that. First, he mentioned that he consulted medical professionals and still came to the conclusion that being unvaccinated was the best course of action. Second, the Blue Jays players had no choice but to get vaccinated. We didn’t hear any Blue Jays players grumbling about it, nor did we hear about any negative side effects. So making out Canada to be the bad guy is absurd. Canada has the right to impose their own rules, same with the US. Third, dismissing that small amount of cash looks bad, considering that most people won’t make that much money in any year. It’s JT’s right not to get vaccinated, I just wish he kept the reasons to himself.

  3. Sorry, Jim! If I had read your entire post, instead of rushing to say something, I would have seen you had that in your article.

  4. Previously, the Red Sox went into Toronto without their closer Tanner Houck (who is unvaccinated) and the Sox blew the save. Then twitter erupted and Houck got destroyed by fans and beat writers. Note that before the season started, the Red Sox required Trevor Story to be vaccinated in order to sign the FA contract. He got vaccinated.

    Note that the Blue Jays have the same requirement (to be vaccinated) in order to play in the US and ALL of them are vaccinated.

    It will be extremely disappointing if the Phillies can’t field a competent team vs the Blue Jays because of this.

    1. So we need to replace Bohm and JTR.
      Well 3B may have a better defense…and maybe Marchan and /or Sands gets the call to back-up Stubbs
      Actually Gibson not being vaccinated is a boon for the Phillies actu=ive for the two games.

  5. So, the American League wins the all-star game and the Bluejays win the ALCS and they are headed for the WS……and yep, you guessed it the Phillies win the NLCS with 4 of those WS games in Toronto. ……..oh, and our travel team will be a pickup team comprised of who is vaccinated from the Phillies, Ironpigs, Fightin Phil’s, and Jersey…🤣😂😅🙄🤔

    1. In that scenario:
      Harper and Segura are vaccinated and will be back.
      But…..Nola’s turn in the rotation could be an issue and JTR’s absence could be detrimental..

  6. I’m guessing Sands, Camargo, Emanuel are up at least.

    Crap, let’s hope that Bohm only has a dislocated finger.

    1. Bohm was playing great home town ball so that play was inevitable I feel. A little too aggressive in hindsight…

      You can see he mouthed to the trainer that he felt it was broken…

  7. DD didn’t outright say it, but with Falter not being available for Tuesday’s game, we can all infer that Bailer Falter is unvaccinated.

    Marchan will be up to take JT’s spot for the next 2 games.

  8. Is there anyway we can petition MLB to double check Nick Castellanos’ vaccination records?
    I actually picked up the phone tonight to call 9️⃣1️⃣1️⃣ and report a crime in progress: the RFer is stealing John Middleton’s money.
    Castellanos has got to hit into more DPs than anyone else in baseball (maybe other than JTR). And you’d think he’d never seen a breaking ball before coming here. CBs and SLs look foreign to him.
    C’mon, this guy has got to start picking it up.

    1. Agree…

      Nick has always struggled to be consistent throughout a full season . The year Detroit traded him to the Cubs he was only OPSing 790 for Detroit

      He went on to OPS 1.002 for the Cubbies

      His Cinci years were the same in 2020 he came out the first month and OPSd 1.214 followed by a 840 and 640 to finish.

      2021 his 1st half OPS was 989 his 2nd half 890

      1. Not much different than Hoskins, Schwarber, Didi, and JTR…..all have their hot moments and then go thru down periods.
        The key is consistency….and only a few of the greatest have that.
        For the Phillies……better hope they all do not go into a funk together.

        1. Come on now, as much as JT and Rhys have had their stretches, this funk Castellanos is in puts them to shame. I don’t consider Didi here because I dont think hes very good anymore and dont expect much from him at this point i his career.

          1. Nick is good for 3rd on the team in RBIs and only behind Schwarber and Bryce 3 ahead of Hoskins.

            Now the optics of his ABs have looked horrible. I don’t know why though they haven’t moved him from the 3 hole to try and get him going. His chase rate on balls out of the zone right now has to be atrocious.

            The first pitch he swings at last night was a sweeping slider a foot and a half outside the zone…..sheesh.

  9. Castellanos has to move out of Ben Simmons house. I dont care if you dont believe in any of that juju type stuff, he has to at least try getting away from those vibes.

  10. Another disappointing loss. Even though Toronto is struggling, they still have a potent offense. Going into Toronto with a bullpen game wasn’t going to end well. Striking out 13 times against Berrios? Yet again, they see an interleague pitcher and it’s like they’ve never seen a curveball before. His strikeout rate before this game was 7.4. Frankly I’m tired of the Phillies stinking it up in interleague play.

    The pressure is on Wheeler to put up a dominant performance tomorrow.

  11. Lost a lot of respect for JT. Not because of the vaccination; I won’t judge for or not getting it. His comment about losing a little bit of money. It was pretty smug as I’ve seen described as on some boards.

    Little bit of money for two games $260k, is more 6x more than the average person makes a year.

    1. Realmuto just gained a ton of respect from me. In the face of immense pressure and public scrutiny, He is standing up for what he believes. You have to respect that.

      1. I respect him for his choice on what he wants to put into his body.
        However, he could have let it stand at that, and just refrained from the money aspect of his comment and his obvious disdain for another country’s president..

          1. Didn’t have to say that as in “it’s just a little bit of money”

            saw a squirrel and didn’t finish my thought lol

  12. Romus any way to find if league wide OBP is up or down? I’m scratching my head as I look around the league in general at what appears to be some severely low OBP rates…

    If I believe eyes I am seeing more sub 300 OBP stats than I can remember from MLB players

      1. Hmmm thanks Romus. Not sure its statistically relevant yet with half a season still to go but it did certainly appear that way to me

        1. The other aspect of OBP is the BB rate….. or maybe the total .raw numbers.
          Umps may have wider strike zones these days……most of us have seen that.
          And the fewer the walks , then the lower the OBP average.

  13. Didi is cooked IMO I wish they would just release him if they can’t trade him. I’d much rather see Maton and Munoz platoon out at 2B until Jean gets back and of course just allow Stott to grow into whatever type of SS he can be…

    and lastly I concede do something to improve CF just don’t trade Painter and I’d probably be ok with that.

    I don’t really like him but Hinkie does and he shouldn’t cost any of our top prospects so Laureano would be worth a shot. He is a bit of a spark plug type player.

    Reynolds cost would be too far over the top

    1. Laureano is such a wild card but he’s still an improvement over what’s already in stock. If he wouldn’t cost an upper echelon prospect, I’m in…Benintendi seems to be a likely target as a rental. The Phillies won’t be able to compete with other suitors for Reynolds, and it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll be moved anyway since he’s currently hurt, and Pittsburgh is asking for the moon. I would kick the tires to see what Arizona might want for Varsho.

      …and Realmuto has nothing to apologize for.

      1. I think the Phillies could have picked up Varsho back in the off-season for a little return.

        And how about Adam Haseley….seems he has found something out now.
        Though WSox have a full OF at the MLB level.

        1. Adam Haseley needed a change of scenery. I wish him luck in Chicago. I don’t think he burned any bridges in Philadelphia. The same cannot be said for Nick Pivetta.

        2. Hes hitting well in AAA. Until hes productive in the majors, I’m not gonna mourn that loss. He had chances and just wasnt good enough. Nothing at all against the guy. But he seems like a classic “too good for AAA but not good enough for MLB” type for now. But he was good in the minors for us too.

      2. I haven’t seen Oakland play this season since Laureano returned from suspension. But I have seen his defensive metrics are down. I think at this point, I’d just run Matt Vierling out there (CF) every day. I like what he’s doing.

        1. BTW … last night, TMac used two sentences back to back that I pray I never have to hear again: “Last hope for the Phils. It’s Odubel Herrera.”

          1. Its so bad man…he comes up in the 9th, u dont even have to watch. honestly the fact that he didnt k on 3 pitches surprised me

        2. I agree. I think Vierling is quietly showing he can be a regular. He appears to have a great deal of confidence in his abilities and hasn’t embarrassed himself in the IF or OF.

      3. To Hinkie’s point below about Laureano Varsho might not be that much better than what is in house. His stats don’t command a high cost but his controllable years may

        I don’t know that Benintendi can play CF on a full time basis. I don’t think he has since he left Boston.

        and if you look at the league for CFs there isn’t much out there in the sense of who might actually be available.

        Wow the Jays fired their manager. Saw JR showing him up about that one replay he begged them not to use….

  14. I think Jim accidentally put todays minor league recap on “no comments” but JoJo is ready to be back up with the big league team, and Familia needs to be DFA’ed….id make that move today if I were the Phils…not sure whats taking so long with Familia, if they really are so worried about the contract or what.

    1. Yeah and some positive news going on over in the 7/12/22 affiliates thread.

      Yu back playing; Sang if not a tad bit old for Low A is opsing 937 in the last 28 days

      Rojas opsing 934 in his first 53 PAs at AA with only 2 Ks to 6 BBs…

      As Tom Jones once piped “Its not unusual”

      1. I am starting to run out of patience with Starlyn.
        Four years now …48 innings pitched….WHIP 1.6

        1. Just another high priced international signing that the Phillies fail to develop to reach the bare minimum of AAA ball, unfortunately not a new development. These failures continue to happen under the same LA executive even though throughout our minor league development/executive side we have changed personnel multiple times. Sal A needs to be replaced IMO.

          1. Yeah…..the limited success the Phillies have had with Latin signees……have been with the under the radar low cost signees.
            It is truly amazing how many high bonus signees that have failed in the last 11 years since Carlos Tocci and his $600K bonus.
            More 5 figure signees have progressed, even less than $50K than the 6 or 7 figure dollar signees.

            1. I could be totally wrong, but I would suggest that international signings should have a much lower bar for success than traditional draft picks due to the young signing age. Over the past 4 years since Starlyn Castro was signed, what percentage of Phillies traditional draft picks have become MLB stars, or at least come close to matching the success of Ranger Suarez?

        2. Romus, I went to the game and Starlyn’s stuff looked as hittable as the boxscore said it was. Marcus Lee Sang impressed as he did when I saw him earlier this year. Might be right for a promotion to see what he can do at the next level.

  15. DD needs to admit he screwed up with Familia and DFA, this is not a Monday morning take, the signing was universally criticized immediately. DD seemed to be the only person who thought Familia was worthy of $6 million in 2022.

    1. I have a theory that all GMs should leak their signing before they actually put ink to paper, and if all the fans of the players old team start laughing and making fun of the team for signing them, you dont go through with it haha.

      Obviously im mostly joking, but there is no better way to gauge the value. When the Phillies made that deal, Mets fans were joking at us on Twitter. When they signed Schwarber, the BoSox fans were all like “damn, you guys got a dog!”

      That signing was just a panic move and they need to DFA him for JoJo as soon as the team returns to the states

    1. Not bad considering the loss of Harper. Imo their pitching has surpassed my expectations. Particularly their bullpen. If DD gets a legit closer, our pen can be a real weapon.

  16. The Royals, who are playing in Toronto tomorrow, are putting a whopping 10 players on the restricted list. Notable names are Andrew Benintendi, Whit Merrifield, Michael A. Taylor. The Yankees have been linked to Benintendi and Taylor, and they still have 3 games @ Toronto in September…

    1. When the Yankees traveled to Canada in May and June, I couldn’t find any transactions where they placed any of their players on the Restricted List.

      Maybe the links to Benintendi and Taylor are just reporters making stuff up?

      1. In April, there was a report that the final two unvaccinated Yankees (speculated to be Judge and Rizzo) had complied with vaccination requirements for travel to Canada.

        Unrelated. I think the Yankees were among a handful of teams who required their minor leaguers to get vaccinated. I know of one Yankee minor league pitcher who retired because of this requirement,

        1. Jimmy what are you doing up at 2:17 in the morning LOL get some sleep my friend

          Or Jimmy posting at 2:17 in the AM that’s dedication!

  17. With the Novavax (sp?) “conventional” COvid19 vaccine being approved, perhaps players who refused because they had concerns about the mRNA vaccines will rethink. They will at least lose that somewhat dubious (since Astrazenaca’s also is not mRNA) excuse

  18. The Duron kid (not a kid) a man child looked impressive. His FB even though he ran it up to 99 a few times looked pretty straight. But his hook was pretty good. He looked a little over excited naturally of course.

    Rather see him for a few more outings than Familia.

  19. Word out now is that the Phillies should have an easier path to acquiring Benintendi, what with NYY, TOR and the other AL East contenders presumably out on his market. I would offer either Moniak or Ortiz along with someone like Lindow and maybe a catcher other than O’Hoppe. I don’t think it’s going to take more than that. KC is historically looking to stock the farm.

    1. I am 99.99% certain that having Moniak or Ortiz as the centerpiece of the deal for Benintendi will not work.

      1. Maybe not the centerpiece but perhaps a part of the deal,
        …Benintendi is only a 60 day rental and KC was not about to extend him at what he wants.
        Dave D has that leverage along with a shrunken market.

      2. I think Ortiz, Lindow and Marchan gets it done. They’re not trading Rojas, O’Hoppe or either of the two top stud arms for a rental. But I would throw in Odubel Herrera if it makes anyone happy.

        1. Not sure Benintendi would be such a plus defender in CF anyways….has only played it 10% of his time in the majors…..and has a negative 7 DRS playing CF vs. a plus 32 in LF. Has not been in CF since 2019.

          1. Not terribly high on him myself, Romus….beside the hit tool minus the power, there’s not much to get excited over. Just an upgrade over what we have now. I prefer to go after Reynolds but that’s not happening under the circumstances. Laureano seems like a DD possibility…

            1. Yes…Laureano could be in play.
              He however, is not a rental…free agent 2025….so he may cost more than Benintendi.

          2. Seen him on play in LF the other night look horrible going back on a ball…..granted the Royal’s park is one of the biggest OFs in the league

            It just doesn’t make sense for a team already challenged in LF and RF

            1. Ian Happ would be the guy I’d go after if DD is even thinking he wants to bring someone in to play CF

              Not great but good defensively has pop draws a lot of BBs and yes he K’s quite frequently too.

              Won’t cost you Abel Painter or O’Hoppe. Maybe Marchan or even Sands (as they pretty much will also trade Contreras) Miller and or Lindow and one other lower level piece.

        2. How many times do I need to say that you have to give talent to get talent? Benintendi has 2.4 WAR already. He could probably get you close to another 2 WAR for the rest of the season. He is by far the Royas biggest trade chip. Ortiz is the #11 Phillies prospect. Giving up quantity is not the same as giving up quality. You can dream all you want, but that trade is not going to happen.

          1. Agree with you on talent for talent. Actually, I don’t see why people are clamoring for a “rental” whose ability to play CF is suspect. It is not like he is the missing piece to post-season play.

  20. Im still really high on Moniak. Don’t shoot the messenger, but I don’t believe his ST was a fluke. Just something that he’s lost temporarily, I’d hate to trade him, but he is running out of time . I personally believe he is better than Vierling. My assessment from what I’ve seen when they are both “on” .. hopefully he can do it soon because the clock is ticking

    1. Moniak is definitely running out of time. He’ still only 24, but he’s slashing .140/.196/.358 in 17 games. He has a big hole in his swing with breaking balls. I don’t think Thomson trusts him anymore. He needs a change of scenery, else he’s going to be the 4th/5th OF for the rest of his years in Philadelphia.

      Vierling is already 25, but he’s recovered from an early slump to .236./.312/.350. Not great, but he did have .907 OPS in June. Unfortunately, he’s back down to .564 for July.

      If a team is looking for a reclamation project, you can do a lot worse than a former #1 pick. Moniak’s trade value is minimal, but a lot of teams will gladly accept him as a throw in.

  21. It will be interesting to look at the Phils versus 2020 draftee Max Meyer tonight. That Marllns 2020 draft seems like it was the ultimate in “grow the arms”

  22. I’ve been so into the draft, I almost forgot to stop by this thread to say last night’s game in Miami was a contest the Phillies really had no right winning. Sandy Alcantra vs Kyle Gibson was a mismatch. The Phils got just enough offense, Gibson threw one of his best games (maybe second best behind his last outing in St Louis) of the season, and the BP was very good again. OK Ser-Ant’ny had me saying some obscene things, but he got the job done. Hopefully, Ranger can give the club a quality start today.

  23. Phillies get: Juan Soto
    Nationals get: Andrew Painter, Mick Abel, Griff McGarry, Logan O’Hoppe, Johan Rojas, and Hao Yu Lee

    🟢 Yes
    🔴 No

    1. Think the Nats could do better. I can’t imagine a trade that doesn’t include them getting a young, already productive MLer.

    2. I think, No.

      I don’t think he’s enough to guarantee the playoffs this year. He would add a reliable bat to the lineup, but all the deficiencies that exist now would still exist. CF is still weak. Second, third, and short remain questionable. A solid closer remains a need. And, the rotation is thin depending on Eflin and Suarez.

      Soto probably pushes Castellanos to the DH and Hall back to Lehigh. With another lineup/roster squeeze when Harper returns.

      So, I don’t see this as a near-term fix.

      For the two remaining years of control, we should trade Middleton for Cohen and let the new owner extend Soto, re-sign Nola and Hoskins, and sign any free agents needed to plug other holes around the diamond, in the rotation, and in the bullpen.

      Seriously, I would really be hesitant to trade our three top pitching prospects when we seem to be having success with them. Don’t want to see two of the tree come back to haunt us in the division for a half-dozen years. Especially if we can’t extend Soto.

    3. I would make this an OMG No, Hinkie. First, where from the people you are trading would we get the money to pay him, and stay under severe cap penalties? Second, where would we then find the money to upgrade starting pitcher and the infield? Third, where would we then find the resources to find a quality defensive center fielder? Fourth, if two of the six prospects pan out, you are probably losing WAR in the transaction.

  24. Here’s a question for you trivia buffs out there if you could look into this. I found the Philly since 1967 and I never remember a road trip where the Phillies had force shut outs in a road trip much less the first two games of the road trip and the last 2 g of the road trip with shout outs. Does anyone know is that ever happened before?

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