A Big Week (Almost)

The Phillies went 6-1 last week.  They swept a 4-game series from the Reds and won a 3-game series from the Pirates.

A great week became a very good week when they laid another “day/Sunday/getaway” game egg against the Pirates.  Now, they go on a 6-game, west coast road trip to play Arizona and San Francisco.

The Phillies’ remaining schedule is encouraging.  They play 15 games in five very winnable series – 3 each at ARI, at SF, v. MIA, v. WAS, and at MIA. That takes them through September 15th.  If things go as we all expect (um, hope), the Phillies should have a comfortable cushion for a wild card berth.  They finish with 19 games in six series in which a playoff team should be able to compete favorably – 3 at ATL, 2 v. TOR, 4 v. ATL, 3 at CHC, 4 at WAS, 3 at HOU.  They are on a pace to win more than the 85-86 games I had anticipated. Eighty-eight to 90 wins do not seem out of the question, anymore.

At 72-56, the Phillies are firmly in third place in the division, 9.5 games behind the Mets and 6.5 games behind Atlanta.  Miami and Washington are out of competition for anything other than positioning in the draft pool.

The East and Central Division races are still competitive although Milwaukee is in danger of losing touch with St. Louis.  The West is over.  The seeding for the division winners looks to be set – West, East, Central.

The National League Wild Card race is down to a four-team race with the second-place finisher in the Central or West Division missing the playoffs.  San Francisco’s latest losing streak has them four games under .500 and in bad shape.  A good showing next weekend is imperative.

The Phillies are 2.5 games ahead of the Padres for the second wild card berth, with one game in hand and a 3-game lead in the loss column. The Brewers are 4.0 games back.  The Phillies hold the tie-breaker advantage against both teams.

By merit of the first tie-breaker (head-to-head), the Phillies hold an advantage over  Milwaukee (4-2), St. Louis (4-3), Los Angeles (4-3), San Diego (4-3), Colorado (5-2), Cincinnati (6-1), and Pittsburgh (6-1).

They clinched against Washington (10-2 with 7 to play).

They are ahead of Arizona (2-1 with 3 to play) and Miami (8-5 with 6 to play).

They are tied with Atlanta (6-6) with 7 to play.

They lost their season series with New York (5-14) and trail SanFrancisco (1-2 with 3 to play), and the Cubs (0-3) with 3 to play.

They have a 2-game series against the Blue Jays in September and close the season with 3 games in Houston.

The Phillies’ division record is 29-27.  Their record against the other NL divisions is 36-21.  Their interleague record, which doesn’t matter in tie-breakers, is 7-8.

Tie-breaking Procedures:

  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

Key Dates: some are guesstimates.  Bold dates are pretty much confirmed thru announcements, some digging, and some extrapolation from previous years. Italics are those dates that can’t yet be confirmed.

It has been a long time since we cared about playoff dates.

  • October 3, 2022: Opening Day for the Arizona Fall League
    • November 5, 2022: AFL Home Run Derby
    • November 6, 2022: AFL Fall Stars Game
    • November 11, 2022: AFL Play-in Semifinal
    • November 12, 2022: AFL Championship Game
  • October 5, 2022: Final scheduled day of the MLB regular season
  • October 11, 2022: Opening Day for the Mexican Pacific League
  • October 15, 2022: Opening Day for Dominican Winter League
  • October 22, 2022: Opening Day for the Venezuelan Winter League
  • October 28, 2022: MLB World Series begins (FOX)
    • October 7-9, 2022: NL Wild Card A/B (ESPN)
    • October 11-16, 2022: NLDS A/B (Fox or FS1)
    • October 18-25, 2022: NLCS (Fox or FS1)
  • November 2-6, 2022: Trading resumes the day after the World Series ends.
  • November 6-10, 2022: Five days after the conclusion of the World Series is the deadline for teams to make qualifying offers to their eligible former players who became free agents.
  • November 12, 2022: Start of the Colombian Winter League 
  • November 4, 2022: Opening Day for the Roberto Clemente Puerto Rico Professional Baseball League
  • November 10, 2022: Opening Day for the Australian Baseball League
  • November 16-20, 2022: Fifteen days after the conclusion of the World Series is the deadline for free agents to accept qualifying offers.
  • November 18 or 21, 2022: Deadline to submit 40-man rosters before Rule 5 Draft
  • November, 2022: GM Meetings 
  • November, 2022: Owners Meetings
  • November, 2022: MLBPA executive board meeting
  • December 1, 2022 – Non-tender Deadline – The last day for teams to offer 2023 contracts to unsigned players (pre-arb and arb eligible) on their 40-man rosters.  Non-tendered players become free agents.
  • December 4-11, 2022: The 2022 Baseball Winter Meetings will take place in San Diego, California.
    • December 9, 2022: Rule 5 Draft
  • December 9, 2022: Opening Day for the Panamanian Baseball League
  • December 15, 2022: Close of the 2021-2022 international signing period
  • January 15, 2023: Opening of the 2022-2023 international signing period
  • January, 2023: Deadline for teams and players to submit salary figures for arbitration
  • February 2-10, 2023: Caribbean Series (Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Panama, Cuba, Curacao)
  • February, 2023: Voluntary spring training reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and players recovering from injuries
  • February, 2023: Voluntary spring training reporting date for position players
  • February, 2023: Mandatory spring training reporting date
    • February/March, 2023: First spring training games
  • March/April, 2023: Opening Day for 2023 season
  • July 2023: 2023 Rule 4 Amateur Draft
  • December 15, 2023: Close of the 2022-2023 international signing period

This gives you a place to talk about the Phillies for the week.

Oh, I read the comments last week.  I will stop with the cryptic statements about the Phillies.  I’ll not interfere with those who wish to view them through rose-colored glasses.  I agree that I shouldn’t leak things if I’m not going to reveal sources.  And, yeah it sucks that I can’t be more clear sometimes.  It’s better for me this way.  My sources sometimes get antsy when I make certain comments.  I don’t want to lose them.  While I like being the guy who can tell stuff, I prefer knowing much more than I do telling.

Here are the transactions that were reported (or uncovered) this week.

8/28/2022 – LHP Jordi Martinez assigned to Jersey Shore from Clearwater
8/27/2022 – Phillies activated OF Brandon Marsh from the 10-day IL
8/27/2022 – Phillies designated CF Bradley Zimmer for assignment
8/27/2022 – LHP Matt Osterberg assigned to Reading from Clearwater
8/27/2022 – SS Sal Gozzo assigned to Jersey Shore from Reading
8/27/2022 – OF Emaarion Boyd assigned to Clearwater from FCL Phillies
8/26/2022 – Phillies placed CF Simon Muzziotti on the 60-day IL, partial tear of right patellar tendon
8/26/2022 – Phillies activated RF Bryce Harper from the 60-day IL
8/26/2022 – Phillies recalled LHP Bailey Falter from Lehigh Valley
8/26/2022 – Phillies optioned 3B Yairo Munoz to Lehigh Valley
8/26/2022 – Lehigh Valley placed LHP Jace Fry on the 7-day IL
8/26/2022 – Lehigh Valley activated LHP Brian Marconi
8/26/2022 – LHP Brian Marconi assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
8/26/2022 – Clearwater placed C Ryan Leitch on the 7-day IL
8/26/2022 – RHP Josh Bortka assigned to Clearwater from FCL Phillies
8/26/2022 – OF Dakota Kotowski assigned to Clearwater from FCL Phillies
8/25/2022 – Phillies sent OF Brandon Marsh on a rehab assignment to Lehigh Valley
8/25/2022 – Phillies placed RHP Zack Wheeler on the 15-day IL retroactive to 8/22, right forearm tendinitis
8/25/2022 – Reading activated RHP Mike Adams from the Development List
8/25/2022 – Reading placed C Jack Conley on the temporarily inactive list
8/25/2022 – Reading transferred C Jack Conley to the Development List
8/25/2022 – SS Luis Garcia assigned to Reading from Jersey Shore
8/25/2022 – OF Ethan Wilson assigned to Reading from Jersey Shore
8/25/2022 – Jersey Shore activated RHP Victor Vargas from the 60-day IL
8/25/2022 – Jersey Shore transferred LHP Rafael Marcano to the Development List
8/25/2022 – 2B Hao Yu Lee assigned to Jersey Shore from Clearwater
8/25/2022 – OF Leandro Pineda assigned to Jersey Shore from Clearwater
8/25/2022 – RHP Sam Jacobsak assigned to Jersey Shore from Clearwater
8/25/2022 – Clearwater transferred RHP Victor Lopez to the Development List
8/25/2022 – Clearwater transferred LHP Gabriel Yanez to the Development List
8/25/2022 – Clearwater activated RHP Nicoly Pina
8/25/2022 – RHP Nicoly Pina assigned to Clearwater from FCL Phillies
8/25/2022 – Clearwater activated LHP Andrew Walling
8/25/2022 – LHP Andrew Walling assigned to Clearwater from FCL Phillies
8/25/2022 – Clearwater activated 3B Otto Kemp
8/25/2022 – 3B Otto Kemp assigned to Clearwater from FCL Phillies
8/25/2022 – Clearwater activated OF Justin Crawford
8/25/2022 – OF Justin Crawford assigned to Clearwater from FCL Phillies
8/25/2022 – Clearwater activated OF Jordan Viars
8/25/2022 – OF Jordan Viars assigned to Clearwater from FCL Phillies
8/25/2022 – RHP Jesus Querales assigned to DSL White from DSL Red
8/25/2022 – 2B Marco Soto assigned to DSL White from DSL Red
8/24/2022 – Oakland claimed RHP Tyler Cyr off waivers from Phillies
8/24/2022 – Phillies optioned LHP Michael Plassmeyer to Lehigh Valley
8/24/2022 – Phillies recalled LHP Cristopher Sanchez from Lehigh Valley
8/24/2022 – Lehigh Valley IronPigs activated LHP Michael Plassmeyer.
8/24/2022 – Clearwater transferred RHP Cam Wynne to the Development List
8/24/2022 – Clearwater transferred RHP Alex Garbrick to the Development List
8/24/2022 – Clearwater activated RHP Orion Kerkering
8/24/2022 – Clearwater activated RHP Alex Rao
8/24/2022 – RHP Orion Kerkering assigned to Clearwater from FCL Phillies
8/24/2022 – RHP Alex Rao assigned to Clearwater from FCL Phillies
8/24/2022 – RHP Alex McFarlane assigned to Clearwater from Phillies Organization
8/23/2022 – Phillies sent RF Bryce Harper on a rehab assignment to Lehigh Valley
8/23/2022 – Phillies optioned 1B Darick Hall to Lehigh Valley
8/23/2022 – Phillies recalled 3B Yairo Munoz from Lehigh Valley
8/23/2022 – Lehigh Valley activated 1B Darick Hall
8/23/2022 – Lehigh Valley activated LHP Jonathan Hennigan from the temporarily inactive list
8/23/2022 – Lehigh Valley activated C Donny Sands from the 7-day IL
8/23/2022 – Reading placed RHP McKinley Moore on the 7-day IL retroactive to 8/22
8/23/2022 – Clearwater placed 2B Alexeis Azuaje on the 7-day IL retroactive to 8/22
8/23/2022 – Clearwater transferred LHP Jordan Fowler to the Development List
8/23/2022 – RHP Chase Webster assigned to FCL Phillies
8/23/2022 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Chase Webster to a minor league contract
8/22/2022 – Phillies selected the contract of LHP Michael Plassmeyer from Lehigh Valley
8/22/2022 – Phillies designated RHP Tyler Cyr for assignment
8/22/2022 – C Jack Conley assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
8/22/2022 – Jersey Shore activated C Nick Matera from the 60-day IL
8/22/2022 – Jersey Shore transferred C Adony Mejia to the Development List

199 thoughts on “A Big Week (Almost)

  1. Was great to see clubhouse cancer, oops, I mean reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper back in the lineup. It’s funny how excited and happy everyone is around him and how genuinely great everyone says this team’s chemistry is yet we have such a “troublemaker” amongst us. But I guess anonymous sources have agendas too…

      1. Most of the time, especially in today’s environment, we cannot handle an overachiever or someone that will hold others accountable. We have been much more competitive since we have been accumulating these high achieving assets. If thete are players, coaches, or management that can’t handle any player that wants excellence then they should move on, not the player expecting the best.

        1. I think the over arching problem is we haven’t won a darn thing and the expectation bar has been lowered to the point where many are just happy to grab a playoff spot in a season where those spots have been expanded.

          I can leave my mind open to many possibilities as to why that is.

          If you’re paying just to see BH you are almost never disappointed. If you’re paying to see winning baseball, well….that’s another matter.

    1. There is no doubt that the fortunes of the Phillies are tied to Bryce Harper. When you give that many years to a player, you’re stuck with them for awhile, for better or for worse. To Harper’s credit, he has embraced the city and its fans, which is what you have to do here. However, behind the scenes (which the casual fan doesn’t see), he may be exerting his influence (because of said contract) that others (teammates, employees, management) may not be comfortable with. That is what I think Jim is referring too.

  2. The Phils are playing well and having fun doing it. And it’s fun being a fan. Finally!
    90 wins does seem like it’s possible. Unfortunately getting that 2nd wildcard will send them to Atlanta (or NYC if Atlanta passes the Mets) for a very tough three game road series. It could become a real thud ending.

    1. 1980 the Phillies were down 0-2 going to Houston and won, in 1983 we were underdogs t o LA and won, 1993 we were underdogs to Atlanta and won, I don’t remember 2008 but I think we had a tough road thru Milwaukee and then LA but won, so It Can Happen.

      1. Not to nitpick, just a heads up that Phils were 1-1 with Stros heading to H-town for that 1980 epic … I still believe it’s the best series alltime

        And yes, we were 1-11 vs Dodgers in 1983 until Sarge and Charlie Hudson took over, a 3-1 NLCS win, the scruffy ‘93 bunch took it straight to that HOF staff and MIL came in with CC and all the pub in 2008 before Shane rocked him … Whatever it takes, dude

  3. Yeah Jim I wished you had kept that little nugget to yourself, now I’m trying to analyze every word Harper says and his body language. It is taking some joy away from my enjoyment of this team.

    1. If you want to catch a little nugget, noticed that when they interview the “start of the game” after each win Stott or another player will slip in to pour a little water over the guy being interviewed.

      Saw 1 exception this week. When they interviewed Harper after his first game back, it didn’t happen. Hmmm.

        1. Yes and he thought Harper was going to kick him out of his house…….he is staying there this season with the Harpers..

          1. Sounds like Bryce is now sold on the ‘Daycare’…..but let’s go back 10 months ago when he said the minor leagues was almost devoid of MLB talent and that was a problem..

            1. I’ve read what Harper said and he wasn’t wrong in the offseason and he’s not wrong now.

              Look, I don’t know Bryce Harper, but, from a fan’s perspective, he’s done about everything you would like him to do and has handled himself incredibly well at all times in public and he’s been a tremendous performer on the field. I think he’s fantastic and I respect him for saying the accurate things he has said and continues to say.

  4. I went to the game yesterday. Lol. Unfortunate that I picked the one stinker. Happens. A few thoughts
    1. Stott has professional ABs every time. Just looks like a good hitter. Comfortable in the box.
    2. Imo watching on TV doesn’t do justice to how bad defensively that Schwarber and Castellanos are. The reason that I say this is because the TV only pans to them while they are running to the ball. But at the game, you can see how badly they break on the ball. They get terrible reads.
    3. A lineup with Sosa and Vierling at the bottom really is a rally killer. Does anyone know why Rhys didn’t play yesterday? Just an off day?
    4. Bohm showed really good reflexes on a liner.
    5. Unless Thor’s stuff improves a tick or two in the off-season, he really is a #5 starter imo.
    6. Bryan Reynolds has such a pretty swing.

    1. Between Thor, Gibson and Eflin this off-season…who do the Phillies offer contracts to?
      Or maybe to none of them.

      1. Maybe Gibson on a 1-year deal but I’m not interested in Thor (overrated) and Eflin (Knees are only going to remain a problem).

        1. Gibson has certainly earned another year , maybe a two year deal.
          Thor , unless he can pick up his velo, probably walks.
          Eflin….not sure at all…a one year is a safe pillow offer

          1. The answer is Justin Verlander. Verlander above all other FAs this winter. Not to bore you with the same post over and over … but … Justin Verlander would bring the 2023-24 Phillies it’s biggest 💥 Bang For It’s Buck ‼
            Dave Dombrowski has a great relationship/history with the future HOFer. The guy has the ability to carry a club into/thru the postseason. Verlander moves everyone else one spot down the rotation:
            1. “Ace” Verlander
            2. Wheeler
            3. Nola
            4. Suarez
            5. from within (Painter or McGarry or Abel or Crouse or Miller [stretched out in ST])
            and Verlander would be a great mentor to every other pitcher in the rotation/the system. The birth certificate may say (almost) 40 YO, but he doesn’t pitch like a 40 YO. Get aggressive. Offer him a 2 year deal for mucho dinero (maybe 2/70M or whatever it costs).
            The lineup is already good enough to win a championship. Stott looks like he can handle leadoff. This club more needs that one experienced, special arm to head it’s rotation.

            1. Verlander has made $300M+ in his career, I don’t think money is the issue anymore. For him, I think it’s fit, and I see him finishing his career in Houston.

            2. If it’s not about money for Verlander, then he’d pitch for the Dodgers or Angels for whatever they offer him. Mr and Mrs Verlander live in Souther California, not South Texas. And the Dodgers give him as good a shot at a ring as the Astros.

            3. @Hinkie, who’s to say that Verlander isn’t happy in Houston? If he wants to get a ring, he could still do it in Houston. And you can argue that the AL west is a lot easier than the NL west, with SD going all in.

              I think you’re making too big of a deal about players returning home. They return home if they have no choice and usually take a below market deal. #1 they go where the money is. #2 they go somewhere to win. Returning home is way down the list.

            4. Hinkie…….Nathan Eovaldi or Chris Bassitt could be less expensive alternatives, if the desire in wanting Verlander incurs the Phillies to go way over the tax.

            5. Guru … I agree with your initial point that Verlander is in that one slim demographic (older player who has already made a ton of money) who may not sign for the biggest contract. The point I’m trying to make is we don’t know what Justin Verlander and Kate Upton may be comfortable with. If Houston is comfortable, why can’t Philadelphia (with Dave Dombrowski and former teammate Nick Castellanos) be as comfortable?

        2. I agree, Eflin has too much of an injury history and Thor will likely cost way more than what he’s worth.

        3. I think that’s how it shakes out.

          Gibson gets a 1-2 yr contract, Thor is not renewed, Eflin’s option is not exercised and he does not come back unless it’s on a very reduced dollar value deal. The team will sign at least one more starting pitcher over the offseason (it could be a big name or just a solid starter, like Taijuan Walker) and they will not rely on the group in the minors to fill any portion of the rotation to start the year. You need a lot of arms to get through the year. The Mets and Dodgers show you truly can never have enough good starting pitching. The Phillies have been relatively lucky this year. Only one starting pitcher has gone down for an extended period of time – but that’s not the norm.

          1. The answer is Justin Verlander. Verlander above all other FAs this winter. Not to bore you with the same post over and over … but … Justin Verlander would bring the 2023-24 Phillies it’s biggest 💥 Bang For It’s Buck ‼
            Dave Dombrowski has a great relationship/history with the future HOFer. The guy has the ability to carry a club into/thru the postseason. Verlander moves everyone else one spot down the rotation:
            1. “Ace” Verlander
            2. Wheeler
            3. Nola
            4. Suarez
            5. from within (Painter or McGarry or Abel or Crouse or Miller [stretched out in ST])
            and Verlander would be a great mentor to every other pitcher in the rotation/the system. The birth certificate may say (almost) 40 YO, but he doesn’t pitch like a 40 YO. Get aggressive. Offer him a 2 year deal for mucho dinero (maybe 2/70M or whatever it costs).
            The lineup is already good enough to win a championship. Stott looks like he can handle leadoff. This club more needs that one experienced, special arm to head it’s rotation.

            1. T.J…..2020 — 2021, left start this week with calf discomfort. Maybe starting to fall apart approaching age 40. Why chance it, he won’t be cheap.

            2. Maybe if we didn’t have Wheeler Nola and Suarez but I’d rather bet on a guy that will help you win every day as opposed to once every 5th day.

              Yes they need to try and improve that 3rd 4th or 5th rotation spot but I believe that can be done on minimal budget.

            3. skeet … Disagree. Calf discomfort, to me, doesn’t signal “starting to fall apart”. IMO, He’s proven this year that he’s made it through TJ. I’d bet his arm is stronger now than it was 5 years ago. Look at the stuff. Look at the results. Justin Verlander is going to win (or at least finish top 2 for) the AL Cy Young. I just see the guy as an almost generational talent who would provide a greater impact than Trea Turner or any of the FA pitchers available (maybe with the exception of Jacob deGrom who is going to coast a lot more). Maybe Verlander gets something “close to” Max Scherzer type AAV (43M) over 2 years, but if you want the guy best set up to help carry the Phils to the WS, IMO that’s money that has to be spent on Verlander.

              If Verlander can’t be had, I’d expect DD to next target Nathan Eovaldi, another former WS hero who has strong connections to the Phillies POBO (at a much cheaper cost than JV).

            4. I’m not against signing Verlander, but I still want Gibson too (or someone like Gibson). The brilliance of the Phillies’ plan for this year, wasn’t just about getting more hitting (which has had mixed results), but having really solid starters up and down the rotation. That’s what gets you into the playoffs. Consistent pitching which stops long losing streaks and lets you beat the hell out of teams like the Reds and Pirates.

            5. Boy, I hope Eovaldi isn’t the fallback guy. One thing I don’t want DD to do is think, yeah, I have to have another pitcher and Eovaldi is just fine and we can give him $18 million a year for a few years. He’s more likely to be bad or mediocre than good and if he’s bad you won’t be able to move him. I don’t want the pitching version of Castellano.

            6. Gibson is a work-horse who eats innings and oats.
              Saves BP arms and is what you want in a 5th in the rotation.
              Rarely on the IL
              Between 2017 and 2021…excluding the short 2020 season, he has averaged 175 innings pitched in those four regular season games.

            7. At the end of the day, I don’t think the Phillies are remotely in the discussion with Verlander, unless they go very deep in the playoffs this year. He’s going to get paid wherever he lands, so he’s going to choose a club that he thinks can win it all in the next year or so. The relationship with Dombrowski is overplayed, unless they demonstrate in the playoffs they’re worthy of consideration. The rest is just wishful thinking.

              If he doesn’t remain in Houston, I think Verlander gives serious consideration to the Dodgers, as they need a replacement for Buehler next year and they have no compunction paying a high AAV on a short deal for pitchers. Both New York clubs and Atlanta would be right behind them in preference, IMO.

              We’ll have to disagree on who would provide the most impact, especially given the contract length disparity. Turner would instantly make the lineup better by his presence, as he’s arguably MLB’s best base runner. He steals bases and puts a ton of pressure on pitchers, which results in more fastballs to those behind him in the order. Put Harper behind him in the lineup and you’ll see a light show for years.

              This will be the third year in a row where Turner will be top 10 in the NL MVP voting. He’s a career .300 hitter that could hit 20+ HR annually with Philadelphia. While not universally loved by defensive metrics, he’s plenty good and will knock down balls that might otherwise reach the outfield. He plays hard, he plays the right way, and he’s a winner. With him at the top of the order, I would stack that lineup against anyone.

              I’m rather curious to see which starting pitchers the Phillies sign or trade for this offseason. I’m not entirely convinced they bring back any of Eflin, Gibson, or Syndergaard. I think they would like to re-sign Gibson but he might get a longer term offer elsewhere that he can’t refuse.

            8. Howard…agree with your points on Verlander, and I am in with Turner at shortstop for all the reasons you mention.
              As for Gibson…..do not think any team will give a back-end guy a 3- year deal starting in his age36 season.
              I believe he and his agent will set their sights on a two year deal….and I think the Phillies can accommodate that length.
              The trick will be in what the market will play for him at his desired AAV. I tend to think he will want $8M AAV over two years..
              Not sure Dave D will do that however.

            9. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Trea Turner fan & would have no problem rooting for him as a Phillie. I just believe the team has enough offense to win already, and Stott looks like your future leadoff hitter/SS.
              In the playoffs, it’s really all about pitching. You need to build a rotation to compete with the Mets and the Dodgers.
              The other thing is the length of the contract. You’d likely only have to invest 2 years into Verlander. Turner is almost certainly going to command an 8 year deal. Do you really want to tie yourself to eight seasons (late 30s) to a guy who succeeds mostly due to his legs.

      2. According to bbref, the Phillies have the best pitching staff in baseball this year (based on WAR). The reason is because they have the best SP staff (based on WAR). I know that Hinkie wants to use all of our FA money on Verlander. While his current production is undeniable, I would go with a much less costly option and find a way to upgrade our OF defense. We have to find a way to get both Schwarber and Castellanos away from the OF. The only options are 1B and DH. Both should be able to play 1B with a full off-season. Castellanos was a 3B earlier in his career and Schwarber a catcher. But watching the game live yesterday, there were several balls that went down as a hit but should have been outs. And O’Neil Cruze’s “triple” to start the game was a bad jump by Vierling. If you upgrade the defense, you upgrade the entire staff. That’s where I would focus.

      3. I would hope Phils sign Gibson to a 1/2 year deal. I think Efflin walks due to his persistent injury history ; Thor, who seems to like the Phillies pitching philosophy and coach, decides to stay on a pillow contract around 8-10 million. And if he doesn’t, Phillies will let him walk depending upon how much it will cost, 10 -12 is too much. I agree with the statement that no provision will be made for the 3 stud kid pitchers to be in the starting group – until/unless they prove they should by the All-Star break next year.

    2. 2. Dom Brown was also a horrible reader out in the outfield.. don’t think i ever saw in person somebody react so poorly to fly balls.. was infuriating.. but mainly because he seemed to just be looking around the stands all the time/head not in the game.. i imagine with Schwarber/Cast they just are slow big guys that don’t belong playing defense… 3 no doubt DH’s currently with those two and Harper.. wasn’t a good plan going into the season (sure nobody saw harper having to DH).. i get the allure but it was a bad move regardless to bring Cast and Schwarb’s on board

      5. Thor isn’t a starter anymore and really should not be pitching… his arm slot is so far out of his body that any professional hitter can read his pitch easily.. and it shows.. Dude get’s hit.. sure he’ll have some luck and the hit balls will go to defenders.. maybe on a awesome defensive team he could be a #5 but really his days are done and i hope to really not see him pitch with this team much more.. i don’t see any of his future starts going well at all and the offensive better be ready to score 6+ in games Thor starts… Guess goes for Ranger now too… Really getting to be leaning heavy on the 1/2/3 and one of those guys is on the shelf for a rest… They really are trying their best to get everybody as rested as possible for playoff series but regardless Thor is a waste of money

      1. I too love watching Stott’s AB’s.. hard to get strikes by him.. works the at bat like a pro… old school AF AB’s.. love it

  5. I know we can’t win every game, and we have been playing well. But, the ABs by Schwarber and Castellanos just drive me crazy. The Pirates’ Pitcher couldn’t throw his FB for a Strike, and they K’d on pitches in the dirt, or bouncing to the plate, after swing after swing at the ball. Schwarber K’d one time I saw on 3 sliders in exactly the same spot. I don’t get how Stott can pick up the pitch better than those 2 guys. I know hitting a baseball is hard, but these guys are paid to hit it. They cannot do anything else but hit. Sorry for the rant, but the inability to hit Pitchers they see for the first time drives me crazy.

    1. Didn’t the Phillies handle Tyler Beede? I can’t imagine the Phillies have seen him that often. In the Mets series, didn’t the Phillies rough up Jose Butto in his debut?

      The majority of these pitchers, they are up in the bigs based on merit. They have the talent to kick an existing pitcher out of the rotation. Nick Lodolo is a very talented pitcher. Roansy Conteras is a very talented pitcher. Losing to talented pitchers happens. You make it sound like Contreras is a scrub when he clearly is not. So when Painter comes up and does well against an opposing team, the other team’s fans are going to go crazy and rant just like you did?

  6. I read a few articles this weekend on the differences between WAR calculations from the different sites. Here is one good explainer on the differences: https://library.fangraphs.com/war/differences-fwar-rwar/

    If you don’t want to read it, my conclusion is that the best approach is to average the WAR of both Fangraphs.com (fWAR) and Baseball-Reference (bWAR). Often, they are very close, but for some players, there is a considerable gap.

    Example, Alec Bohm’s bWAR is 0.6 (replacement level) and his fWAR is 1.4 (role player). Looking at both gives you a good range. Better than looking at only one metric.

    1. Yes, their OF defense is brutal. That’s why getting Marsh was important because he’s very smooth out there. Vierling is a decent corner OF defensively but he’s not a CF and the Phils know that.
      And Hoskins just had a day off. I wish Maton had okayed 3b I stead though, he gives better at bats.

    2. Wonder what the monetary contract value is now for one WAR,
      …be it bWAR or fWAR?
      Years ago I thought it was approx. $8M per one WAR with Fangraphs…not sure if that still applies.

      1. Last year:
        – Schwarber’s fWAR was 2.8 and bWAR was 3.1. So average of 2.95 and he got 4 / $79 or $19.75m AAV = $6.69M per 1 WAR
        – Castellanos’ fWAR was 3.5 and bWAR was 3.2. So average of 3.35 and he got 5 / $100 so $20m AAV = $5.97M per 1 WAR

        1. ok…so it looks like it went down a bit…I suppose every year it is a fluid range figure depending on who is in the free agent market.

          I did look at Corey Seager, one of the top dogs last off-season on the market….10 yrs/$325M contract from the Rangers.
          His fWAR in 2021 was 3.6 and bWAR was 3.7…..average of 3.65….came out a little higher at $8.9M.

          1. It is always based on supply and demand. I am sure that agents ask for $8m as a starting point. and when guys sit around for a while, the price comes down.

            1. Yeah..I can see that.
              Also positional value must be accounted for……..defensive lacking LFers vs shortstops probably come into play also.

  7. I did not mean to imply anyone is a scrub, Guru. My rant is based on the fact that they, Castellanos and Schwarber, kept swinging, and missing, at the same pitch. They saw he was not commanding his FB, and struck out on pitches that were not strikes. That was not Greg Maddux painting the black, those were pitches that bounced or were not close to strikes. And, the same pitch, so I expect them to be able to adjust. I apologized for my rant, but those were very poor ABs by those two well-paid hitters.

  8. Despite what appears to be less than competitive teams – I would take a 3-3 split on this west coast trip. Arizona is nowhere near as bad as Cincy or Pitt and Kaplan somehow gets the Giants to play better than they should against the Phillies. Some of the pitchers they will face are quite good – i.e., Rodon and Gallen for two.

    I’m also not shot with facing Miami – and Alcantara, Cabrera, and Lazardo.
    Here’s hoping San Diego continues to falter. Milwaukee plays Pitt now, can Contreras pitch on two days rest ?

    1. We should go 4-2, but yes, I’ll be ok with 3-3. Gallen is having a stellar season and anything can happen in Chase Field.

      Phillies are missing Logan Webb but getting Carlos Rodon. It won’t be easy @ SF.

      1. What is this nonsense you guys are talking here? Setting reasonable expectations? Understanding that while the Diamondbacks and Giants are not great, they are more competent than some bad teams and the situation favors them heavily being at home? There is no room for this type of talk on the internet.

        The phillies have to go 6-0 or 5-1 or else the sky is falling, they stink, and dont belong in the playoffs. There, that is how you internet!

  9. Here is our bWAR rank by position:
    – SP: 8.3 WAR (#1 ranked in MLB)
    – RP: 1.5 (#5)
    – C: 3.5 (#1)
    – 1B: 1.2 (#8)
    – 2B: 0.5 (#13)
    – SS: -1.7 (#28)
    – 3B: -1.1 (#24)
    – OF: -4.2 (#28)
    – DH: 1.4 (#5)

    I expect DD to focus on the areas that are in the bottom 5 in MLB this off-season. That’s what I would do if I was him.

    1. The OF is not going to change, you have guys locked into contracts and we just traded for Marsh. I guess we could move Rhys but there’s no guarantee that Schwarber/Castellanos won’t be a butcher at 1B either. In fact, I’m betting on them to be worse than Rhys for 2023. I doubt Bohm is going anywhere.

      Which obviously leads to SS and Trea Turner. If he wants a 6-7 deal, the Phillies should be out of that. SS is a very physically demanding position and Turner has been hurt over the years. I love JRoll, but he started declining at age 30. With the way Turner plays, I think he can decline pretty fast when it starts. Trevor Story and Tim Anderson look like they are already declining and they aren’t 30 yet. Take a look at what Brandon Crawford is doing. Starting at age 30, he’s had 1 good year, 2 average years, and the rest (3) were bad.

      How many SS that are age 30+ and in the top 10 of WAR at their position? There can’t be too many of those.

      1. I disagree that the OF can’t change. I think that it can and will change. If you move Rhys, I believe that you can get a good 1B from either Schwarber or Castellanos. They key imo, is what happens to Harper next year. Can he play RF or will he need TJ surgery this off-season. Would be a disaster to have Castellanos out there next year again.

        1. Concerning position players with TJ/elbow surgeries…normally they can be back by May, if the procedure is done by Nov.
          Two Phillies that come to mind were/are Andrew Knapp and Rhys himself, but for Rhys it was his non-throwing arm..
          Harper can still hit with the TJ by spring…..but may have to wait a month or so before he can air it out from RF.

      2. Guru….that is a very concerning and troubling projection for long term contracts for shortstops 30 and beyond.
        And some of the great ones from the past had to come off shortstop when they were in their 30s …Robin Yount, Ernie Banks, ARod

        1. In his defense ARod didn’t have to come off of SS. That was The Captain putting himself before the team. ARod had an exceptional(ly assisted) ability to recover from the wear and tear of playing SS.

        2. Naturally, the projected value is predominantly baked into the front half of the contract. I took the liberty of valuing Turner’s contract using the following from Fangraphs:

          1) ZIPS Projections for 2023 and 2024, then decreased WAR by the standard 0.5 for each year after (2025 – 2030) due to aging.

          2) Used their 2022 projection of $8.5M/WAR if the expected WAR for that player is beyond 2.0 for the season. Please note that the average dollar amount per WAR from 2018 – 2022 (excluding the COVID year) is closer to $8.7M and expected to rise going forward, so I’m being very conservative in my value projections below.

          This provides the following calculations:

          Trea Turner
          2023 – 5.5 WAR x $8.5M = $46.75M
          2024 – 5.1 WAR x $8.5M = $43.35M
          2025 – 4.6 WAR x $8.5M = $39.10M
          2026 – 4.1 WAR x $8.5M = $34.85M
          2027 – 3.6 WAR x $8.5M = $30.60M
          2028 – 3.1 WAR x $8.5M = $26.35M
          2029 – 2.6 WAR x $8.5M = $22.10M
          2030 – 2.1 WAR x $8.5M = $17.85M

          Total Value – $260.95M ($32.6 per season)
          Total War – 30.7 (3.8 per season)

          The total value is consistent with sites such as Fangraphs and their free agent predictions for Turner (8 years/$260M). The first half of his contract represents approximately 63% of the overall value, so clubs aren’t nearly as stressed as fans about the dreaded back end of the contract. Obviously, they don’t like it but they plan for it and expect it. Clubs use their own proprietary valuations but I think this is in the neighborhood of what it will take to sign him.

          This clip is from yesterday’s game. I love how he sent an immediate reply to the beaning.

          I have some health matters to tend to, so I’m probably not going to be on here much for the rest of the season. Happy viewing and Go Phillies.

          1. Very good analysis..
            Just want to mention….normally the last year of those LTCs for veteran players in their late 20s,…6 years or more…..have a built in option year, and most instances it is a mutual or a club option (with a buy-out).

  10. Like V1, I was (regrettably) at the game yesterday. And to be fair, I gave a warning that they don’t play well when I’m at the stadium. You shoulda gotten a refund beforehand.

    Anyways, fully agree that the TV broadcast doesn’t adequately capture how awful our corner OF is. Especially Castellanos. I was saying before that when Schwarber came back from his minor injury, Vierling should start to spell Castellanos. Well Nick has hit .300 for August… and he’s still been a negative offensively for the year. Think about how bad he has been that a MONTH of hitting .300 doesn’t bring his OBP over .310. At least Schwarber is doing something with the bat. Castellanos has a NEGATIVE WAR (both BRef and Fangraphs).

    He’s a bat-only player with a 96 wRC+. Are you kidding me? I’m trying my best not to overreact to one bad season. But I’m getting so freaking tired of seeing his mere existence in the OF cost us runs (and games). At this point, if they just straight up cut him I wouldn’t be upset. The money is gone anyways, at least we could get a 0 WAR player out there.

    But on the flip side, very happy with Stott’s continued progress. Still got work to do, obviously, but the bat has come around in a big way and he’s playing good defense at multiple positions. With a normalized BABIP, he’d probably be a 2 WAR player. I’ll take that any day from a rookie.

  11. There are some SS contracts out there that teams are going to start regretting very soon:

    Javier Baez (age 29, 6 years, $140M): 1.4 WAR his first year
    Trevor Story (age 29, 6 years, $140M): 2.1 WAR his first year
    Corey Seager (age 28, 10 years, $325M): 3.9 WAR his first year
    Francisco Lindor (age 28, 10 years, $341M): 4.8 WAR his first year

    1. Which is why I don’t think TT gets as much as people think…

      I think he gets more than Semien but not that much over the $200 mil mark.

  12. If the boys with the big “P” on their road uniforms can take 4 of the next 6, then I believe we really have something.

  13. The DBacks have issues being contenders because they can’t attract a good FA pitcher. No FA pitcher wants to pitch at Chase Field so the DBacks have to overpay for mediocre pitching (similar to Colorado, Toronto, Cincinnati). Bumgarner is a SF legend and the Giants were very willing to let him walk into FA at age 30 because they knew he was cooked. And the Dbacks gave Bumgarner 5 years, $85M which seemingly nobody else wanted to give. 3 years into the contract, pitching in Chase field, Bumgarner has given the DBacks 1 WAR (not a typo).

    1. But pretty much everyone knew it was a stupid contract the moment it was signed. Bumgarner’s stuff was already very much going down hill. He’s been worse than expected, but not that much worse.

  14. I think trading Ryhs for a great defensive leftfielder prospect makes the most sense. Maybe Baltimore? Milwaukee? Houston?

  15. Horrendously bad game from Segura tonight. Multiple bad defensive plays/lack of hustle that led to ranger getting pulled and 3 runs by the dbacks + not being able to convert double plays. Had runners at the corners in the first and he couldn’t drive in Bryce (fielders choice) and got caught stealing to end the inning.

  16. The DBacks are never out of it in Chase Field. And it just so happens that the DBacks call up Corbin Carroll and he hurts us.

  17. I haven’t seen a meltdown like that in a long time. Sanchez and Bellatti couldn’t throw strikes at all. It’s crazy.

    I think the bullpen is shorthanded today, that’s why Thompson went to Sanchez. I think Coonrod and Nelson are out. Bellatti is probably done.

    It’s a near guarantee that Sanchez is going down after the game and somebody will be called up for tomorrow night.

    1. yes! Suarez was victimized by his defense, but i think someone in Phillies Management thought there was a 6 batter minimum with Sanchez tonight. OMG!

  18. Was this worse than the 6 run blown 9th inning lead to the Mets in May? We are perfectly capable of blowing this WC lead, and I expect some BP move today.

    1. If this team incurs their fourth consecutive Sept meltdown, at least I will know when it began….these last two games.

  19. Brutal
    4 hours of my life wasted

    ⬆️ Choose your favorite description for last nite’s game.
    Segura’s worst performance since the day he didn’t run to first on a pop up that led to Andrew McCutchen’s torn ACL, which in turn led to Gabe Kapler’s on-air brawl with Angelo Cataldi.

    And a little ironic the team blew a 7 run lead on a day I posted numerous times that it’s not going to be the offense that prevents the Phillies from winning a championship. It’s going to be the pitching. Wheeler and Nola are great as a top two of the rotation. After that, you’ve got a whole lot of question marks/maybes/guys I have no confidence to win a playoff game in. Throw Middleton’s stoopid money at Justin Verlander. Put him at the top of the rotation. Move Wheeler to SP2 and Nola to SP3. Now you’ve got a postseason rotation to rival any other in MLB.

    1. Verlander is a phenomenal pitcher. First ballot Hall of Famer. I don’t think that he will leave Houston to come to Philadelphia, but even if he would, I would not spend our entire FA budget on him.

      Obviously he would help because he is clearly better than our current #5 pitcher. But our biggest issue is our poor defense, and that hurts every pitcher.

      Besides his age, it is important to understand that JV’s current performance is materially helped by Houston’s elite defense. His FIP is nearly a full run higher than his ERA and his xFIP is 1.5 runs higher. Both are very good stats still, but they are career outlier stats for him while his K rate has fallen from his prior years. That difference adjusts for an average defense. But the Phillies have a below average defense. The difference in Defensive Runs Saved between Houston (3rd best) and Phillies (26th) is 84 runs. That means you would project JV’s ERA to be worse than his FIP if he was here and probably worse than his xFIP too. He is great, don’t get me wrong. But we have bigger issues.

      IMO DD will address our defense this offseason. not doing so would be malpractice.

      1. The defense has to be high priority
        LF and 3B may be sunk cost defensively…the hope is, that the offensive side from the players more than make up for it.

  20. A note from Matt Gelb about Harper


    For those without a subscription, he tweeted that even though Harper was not in LV over the weekend as expected, he still bought food for more than 100 people on Saturday, Players, coaches, and support staff for both LV and Gwinnett.

    Steak, Potatoes, etc.

  21. Hinkie, We still need Nola to be much better this September, and I am worried, even if Ranger isn’t, that he has lost command in the middle innings 2 straight starts. Thompson feels 150 innings from Ranger is a good number, well that leaves about 25 innings left. Wheeler is still on the IL, and we are only hoping that he is fine when he gets back. And, 7 runs is great, but we went hitless after the 4th. So, color me concerned.

    1. Matt we’re 9.5 back of the division lead; we have a 5-14 record against the division leader it’s really not about this season and what they do

      Sorry to say again but its about what they can do for the next 2 seasons to win a division not chase a WC berth.

      I guess what I am saying is that I can’t be disappointed this season. I like what I saw from Bohm and Stott. I like that there is the potential for front line pitching in the system. I expect Bryce JT Rhys, Wheeler and Nola to be themselves I can expect better from Schwarber and Castellanos next year and there is no way DD doesn’t add again this coming off season.

      Whether it be Turner or Verlander or Rodon we are going to be better next season.

      1. DMAR, I understand and respect your opinion. I think it is important to not endure another September collapse. Making the Playoffs means something to me. Even if we are behind the Mets and Dodgers, and Atlanta, it is a failed season if we blow this again. I think for the players, and for the fanbase. I still want to build on it, and have the best team in the Division and in the NL, but we can’t keep failing in September with this kind of payroll.

      2. I hear you but also do not agree.

        This is MLB not the NBA, where the lower seeds have virtually no shot to win it all. You get in the baseball playoffs and you legitimately hope to win it all. The Braves did it last year and I don’t see why we couldn’t get hot and least go a few rounds too this year. This isn’t just about the next few years.

        1. And, for me, it is not just about thinking we can do what the Braves did, although we have the Pitching and the type of hitters who can get very hot, and it is certainly possible. It is more about that this organization can’t keep spending so much, hit FA every year, make moves at the deadline, and then fail.

    1. When Tom McCarthy says after Schwarber’s 3-run HR in the 4th…’the Phillies have busted it open’
      That’s when lights go out

      Tonight…Gallen on the mound for the DBacks…..may be another depressing early night snooze.

        1. Tonight I may like to do the same but….I am sure I will take a peek to see how Nola and the team are doing..

          1. We beat Gallen in Philly, it’s not a lock. I feel like our best baseball comes out when we look like the bad news bears the night before.

            If they lose tonight though this could bring down the road trip.

  22. Suarez is a good pitcher. At times he reminds me a bit of Vinny Velasquez (talented but can’t pitch deep into games). Last night he was undone by defense which extended the innings which in turn tired him out even more. He had not even allowed a hit up until that first big inning. He was fairly economical to that point, but also needs to regather himself when things don’t go your way for a batter or two.

    1. I think he may benefit from skipping his turn when Wheeler comes back. The IL stint seemed to do wonders for him last time.

    1. I watched and listened to Ron Darling who must have talked to Dave Roberts. The Dodgers are beat up in their BP but seems like Roberts plan for success for Hembree is to have him pitch only to the bottom of the order.

      They brought him in last night to face McCann with runners on 1st and 3rd 2 out…he K’d him and that was his night.

  23. Just signed RP Chris Devenski to LHV, released by Dbacks. He is 31, last had a good year with Houston in 2017.

  24. Is todays game a re-run from yesterday? few hits a couple of runs then boom error extends inning and more runs

  25. I stopped watching after it was 5-0. I had zero belief that we could do to them what they did to us the night before. Hoskins’ D was not good, but this was mostly a poor outing by Nola, and our inability to hit until Marsh hit a meaningless 3 run HR. They were tagging Nola’s pitches. Unfortunately, we got September Nola in August. Whoever we play in his next start has to be a big game for him, or we are in serious trouble. Not that I am not already nervous.

  26. Well last night I did my penance and watched all 9 innings right to the last 3 outs. A futile 1-2-3 9th…

    I also watched quite a bit of the Dodgers Mets game. I know anything can happen but those 2 teams are really good. The good news is its still August so these 2 clunkers could just be us getting them out of our system before the calendar turns tomorrow.

    I read that Devenski would have to be put on the 40 before midnight 9/1 to be playoff eligible. It will be interesting to see if they do that. I don’t know if he has anything left in the tank though. Maybe just use him up to get there.

    1. DMAR…wow….you are a better man…all nine innings.
      It was a very early flip the channel nite for me.
      Three poor games now against teams playing their youngsters.

  27. Where was Derrick Hall when he was needed. That’s right, the Phillies sent him to Triple A. Had he been in Arizona the last two nights, he could have come in to pitch the couple of innings in the 13-7 and 12-3 blowouts. Wow! Are the Diamondbacks that good?

  28. Silver lining from last night was Marsh going 2 for 3 with a homer. As I watched the video of his homer, what stood out to me was how quiet his swing was. Very few moving parts. I went to youtube and watched his swing from earlier in the year. it wasn’t a very noisy swing, but he did have this timing mechanism with his front foot earlier in the year that KLong seems to have removed. his swing last night was really simple. small leg lift, put it right back down and take the hands to the ball. that seems to be KLong’s consistent approach and I love it. hitting is so hard. when you have to figure out timing of both your front foot and the barrel, it is even harder. so KLong seems to focus on simplifying the swings by removing the extra motion. I love it. hopefully this unlocks Marsh. we desperately need his defense in CF.

  29. I had a distinct feeling that Arizona might sweep the Phillies in this series. They are that good. Now in the last 3 games they have outscored Fightin’s 38 -11. They are brash, resilient, and relentless.

    1. I would think the Phillies could get one win out there….l they are one of 8 teams in the NL with a below .500 record.
      The 3-game sweep by the Cubs at home…..and maybe another in ‘Zona……that could be 6 games that should have had better results.

    2. Arizona has no pressure to perform, they have a bunch of young guys who bring energy, and Chase Field messes with the heads of all opposing pitchers.

  30. We should still be able to take 2 out of 3 there, Guru. No excuse for the meltdown Monday night, it was just terrible. BP is set now, we got Vinny Nittoli!

  31. Vinny Nittoli will be added to the roster on Thursday, he will be 14th pitcher on the 28 man roster. Somebody will have to be booted off the 40 man roster.

  32. I’m relatively happy with Schwarber’s overall offensive production, but can we PLEASE move him down in the order? Stott, Segura, JT, or even Bohm will get on at similar or better rates and will score from first way more often.

    Really nothing against Kyle. Just let him hit his homers with people on while the speedier teammates set the table instead.

  33. Wow! Onlt 3 innings … but …Bailey Falter so far has commanded the Kzone better than any Phillie pitcher has this season. I mean almost everything is on the black. And 93 w/elite extension.

  34. Hope Falter’s injury isn’t serious. He’s given the team three straight really good outings. As I mentioned above, he commanded the zone tonight as well as/probably better than any Phillie pitcher has this season. He lived on the black. If he can bottle what was coming out of his arm tonight, Falter will make a nice living as a LHP in MLB. I mean even the velo was better than I’ve ever seen from him: consistently 93 (even touched 94 a few times late in outing), and the breaker was excellent too (he just kept dropping it into the very bottom of the zone). Not to over-hype this performance, but Falter looked better than Ranger Suarez has ever looked, at least for this one night IMO.

    1. Hinkie, you may be right but contrasting Suarez’ outstanding performance last year with his inconsistent one this year, I wonder if he was victimized by overwork when he first came up, without any Spring Training, and was left in immediately for 100 pitch outings. His key seems to be incredible, pinpoint control – lack of walks in the minors was amazing if I recall right, and if that was thrown off at all… this entire season for him may be a disappointment…..

      1. I think the only thing victimizing Ranger is unrealistic expectations. His season is far from disappointing. If anything, it’s super encouraging. Plenty of pitchers have a good first cup of coffee and then flame out. He’s followed up his incredible year with a very good year. It’s not uncommon at all for pitchers to have a sophomore slump as the league adjusts to them. And if the league has adjusted to Suarez and he’s STILL putting up a mid-3 ERA, he’s going to have a long career.

        Also, his BBs are up. But not by so much that anyone could say he’s lost his command. His percentage of pitches in the strike zone, called strike percentage, and first strike percentage are all right around where they were last year. The biggest difference is he’s getting swinging strikes less often. That tells me that he’s fooling hitters less often, which allows them to extend the at-bat and draw more walks.

        So I’d say it’s less that he needs time to work on his command/control, and more that he needs to continue developing one of his out pitches (likely his change-up).

      2. I think the only thing victimizing Ranger is unrealistic expectations. His season is far from disappointing. If anything, it’s super encouraging. Plenty of pitchers have a good first cup of coffee and then flame out. He’s followed up his incredible year with a very good year. It’s not uncommon at all for pitchers to have a sophomore slump as the league adjusts to them. And if the league has adjusted to Suarez and he’s STILL putting up a mid-3 ERA, he’s going to have a long career.

        Also, his BBs are up. But not by so much that anyone could say he’s lost his command. His percentage of pitches in the strike zone, called strike percentage, and first strike percentage are all right around where they were last year. The biggest difference is he’s getting swinging strikes less often. That tells me that he’s fooling hitters less often, which allows them to extend the at-bat and draw more walks.

        So I’d say it’s less that he needs time to work on his command/control, and more that he needs to continue developing one of his out pitches (likely his change-up).

    2. If the Phillies are looking to save money for a big FA signing, we may have found our #5 for the rotation.

  35. What would the odds have been yesterday afternoon that the Phillies would outscore the Diamondbacks in this series?!

    After first two games: D’Backs 25-10
    Series totals: Phillies 28-27

    1. Here are the #5 starters for our World Series Teams:
      1980-Christensen 5-1-4.03
      1983-Bystrom 6-9-4.60
      1993-Rivera 13-9-5.02
      2008-Eaton 4-9-5.80
      Kendrick 11-9-5.49
      2009-Moyer 12-10-4.94

    2. Add in that they scored 18 runs in the game without a HR. When was the last time that happened in the major league?

  36. Marsh may have been a great Dave D deal.
    I hope he has found his rhythm and can provide sparks at the plate….and he is motoring……any gap hit that splits the OFers is a triple in the waiting with him
    Like I have said before…if he can get close to his minor league slash (289/.372/.440), then I am happy and we will have solved the CF issues.

    1. With his defense, if he hits anywhere close to a .700 OPS, he’s easily a 2-2.5 WAR player. If he gets to .750 OPS, he’s a borderline AS.

      Marsh must have a reputation because the DBacks had a chance to run on his arm on the flyout, but the runner on 3rd stayed put. He might have ran if Vierling was at CF.

      1. I do think he can also power the ball enough to get to the 12-15 HR range.
        He was a very good HS QB from Georgia and watching his football videos he really could run and had a very good arm.
        Seeing Rojas coming up, makes for good competition at that position and brings out the best.

        1. Marsh is going to get a long leash to prove himself at CF.

          There’s no rush for Rojas anymore, but his defense is likely still elite. Vierling better keep on hitting because Rojas could take his job as a 4th OF if Vierling stumbles.

        2. Marsh is already in the 12-15 HR range – he’ll probably hit about 12 this year. The hope is that he becomes a GG centerfielder and a guy who can hit 16-22 homers, with a decent OBP and okay average. I think one reason they traded for him is that Kevin Long thought there was some good upside there and he might be right. I have complained over the years about the Phillies not acquiring guys who have struggled but have upside – well, that’s what they got in Marsh, so, while I’m very sad to see O’Hoppe go, I’m glad they got a guy with a lot of potential in return.

          1. I was surprised that O’Hoppe couldn’t get the Phillies more, but that goes to show how some other teams value our prospects. It takes 2 to tango.

            Anyways, O’Hoppe was blocked and he was clearly our most obvious trade chip, and I’m now getting excited with Marsh’s potential. Marsh could potentially be as good as Shane Victorino.

            1. O’Hoppe was nominally blocked. He’s 22 and in AA. Realmuto has 3 more years on his contract. If they thought O’Hoppe was the answer Realmuto could have easily been moved with a year or two on his contract, although the Phillies might have be forced to eat some of the salary. It’s a bit similar to the situation the Eagles had with Zach Ertz. Ertz blocked Goeddert – until Goeddert became the TE of the future. These things can almost always be worked through.

  37. Can’t say enough about Bailey Falter, who has really done a great job for us, especially the last 2 outings when he was needed so much. And, the RISP #s last night were off the charts! Well, we are in September now. Hoping we get it done!

    1. If that was Falter’s last start for this season, he made a really good impression. He needs to have a shot at taking a rotation spot in ST next year.

      1. I like Falter. He’s been lights out at AAA for a couple of years now. It’s not the big leagues, but it definitely means something.

        In my view, Falter needs to do a couple of things. First, he needs to work to try to get his FB consistently between 92-94 and he needs to command the FB a little better. Because his release point is so close to home plate, 94 looks like 96 and he hides the ball well. Those extra few MPH mean a lot for him. Second, he needs to develop a solid third pitch. These days a starter usually can’t thrive with just a FB and curve. I am not sure if the pitch is a slider or cutter, but he needs something else.

        1. I think the announcers mentioned that Falter went with 2 and 4 seam fastballs most of the game, and it worked. His curve was a 3rd pitch and I think he threw one changeup.

          If he becomes close to a 2 WAR pitcher, I think the Phillies would be happy with that.

          1. Yeah, I mean, technically, a 2 and 4 seam FB are different pitches, but I’m thinking of another off-speed pitch to provide some contrast. For some reason, over the past decade the cutter has fallen out of favor, but I think it’s a very good pitch for the right player. It’s helped a lot of players (Hamels and Cliff Lee among them) and it made Mariano Rivera a legend.

            1. All fastballs….2Smr, 4Smr and cutter…so he could manage to master all of them and still try to come up with an effective change-up.
              Lefties with effective change-ups are killers.
              I remember Joe Kerrigan once saying, on breaking balls, pitchers should concentrate on either a curve ball or slider….not try to master to throw both

            2. It seems like Caleb Cotham and the Phillies organization are bringing the cutter back, I think it would be a great pitch for Bailey.

  38. I can’t wait until we see another good knuckleball pitcher again. I know they don’t teach it anymore (really, they never did), but sooner or later, someone (or a few players) will use it, excel and then have a long big league career throwing it. Now, more than ever, it would provide a nice contrast to the high 90s heat players see all the time. I see no reason why we couldn’t have another Phil Niekro or Hoyt Wilhelm.

    1. On Wilhelm. If you ever get a minute go back and look at his stats. He was amazing. From 1961-69 (his age 38-46 seasons!!!!), he never had an ERA over 2.64 and most years it was under 2. The guy was incredible.

    2. You mean like another RA Dickey? That’s going to be tough. Nobody teaches it and it takes time to get to the point where you’re not walking 6 batters a game and/or throwing 4 wild pitches per game. And in the meantime, you’re taking a spot away from a young pitcher, which is more important now since the number of minor league teams have declined.

      The only way I could see a knuckleballer coming back is if they develop outside, say in the independent baseball leagues, and then some teams takes a chance on him.

      1. Yeah, like R.A. Dickey but with a longer career; more like Tim Wakefield, but I’d happily take another R.A. Dickey.

        I am not nearly as pessimistic about there being another knuckleball pitcher as you are because we all know that there’s no reason there could not be another great knuckleball pitcher. First of all, let’s be honest about all of these “great” prospects in the minors. At every level, there’s maybe a few good prospects on a team and a ton of filler. Just go to any minor league game and you’ll see 4 or 5 pitchers on a given day you basically KNOW have no shot to make the major leagues. So, I’m not buying the argument that there’s no room for those guys – because it’s entirely not true. But it will take a team or two that is open-minded enough to allow a knuckleballer to develop and you’re right that it’s just as likely or more likely that the pitcher will come from the independent leagues. But I’m optimistic. There’s no reason this cannot or should not happen again.

        1. And . . . I always joke with my oldest son – who is 28 – that he’s now too old to be a prospect (which is more a commentary on my age than his, but that’s for another time). But his response is that he’s still working on the knuckler and he’s not too old for that! LOL.

  39. I don’t think Hall gets called up. Have been howling all along that Falter will be a fine #4-5 starter. Last night LHV hitters struck out 18 times.

    1. I don’t think he has much of a role. Sands makes a little more sense. Who in this line up is Hall really going to pinch hit for other than maybe Marsh? Sands fits as a RH power bat off the bench and if Rhys goes cold you can put JT at 1B more.

      1. Is Sands a better power bat than Hall? I thought Hall understood he was just doing down to get some ABs and then would be called back? I think he deserves more.

        1. No, he’s not. Hall has like 70 grade power. But Sands is a better hitter and has much better plate discipline. Sands has a chance to be a pretty decent, contributing major league hitter if he can find a spot for himself. I’m excited to see him.

        2. Rob….Sands gives the manager positional flexibility….more so than Hall.
          Darick is strictly a 1B or DH…..he was tried in LF last year but that did not go very far.
          Plus as a catcher Sands can spell JTR or Stubbs and let Stubbs PH or PR.
          Just a guess on my part…..but if Hall is not added to the 40 in to months , he probably moves on.
          If Hall however is added, Rhys probably moves on.

          1. i am so on the fence on Rhys, He gets into those hot streaks, his final numbers will be pretty good if we dont have to overpay, i keep him, i saw enough of Darick,

            1. There are both pros and cons with Rhys vs Hall:
              Phillies can take the offensive risk with Hall, (primarily BA vs LHP), or play it safe with Rhys for one more year.

  40. Anyone hear anything about Seranthony? He’s eligible to come off IL today but he hasn’t had a rehab outing as was said to be likely when he threw on Monday.

    Hoping to see him get back in a good groove to help us clinch and to be ready for October.

  41. Diamondbacks shutout d the Brewers last night. It’d be nice see them take 3 of 4 this weekend, and Phillies win their series over SF.

    1. The DBacks have 6 games left vs the Brewers and 7 vs the Padres. They can definitely play spoiler and I think they will. And after seeing them play against us, I’m glad that the Phillies are done with them (Phillies split the season series 3-3).

      1. Agreed! I believe they will play both of them pretty competitively across those 13 games.
        They are becoming a dangerous young team. The callup of stud prospect Corbin Carroll adds more potential in that lineup.

  42. I am watching today’s Reading game. McGarry continues to pitch great and improve. Change is getting better and hit 99 on the gun twice.

    Also – did anyone here know that Andrew Baker routinely hits 100 on the gun! Wow. Saw him hit 101. There’s a lot of potential there. Amazing 11th round pick.

    1. Both McGarry and Baker could be throwing out of the Phillies BP next season. Although, hope McGarry throws enough strikes to remain a rotation piece. Baker looks like the second coming of Ken Giles.

      1. And Brian Barber may have hit the pitching jackpot with last year’s draft class:
        Round 1 … Andrew Painter
        Round 5 … Griff McGarry
        Round 11 … Andrew Baker

        Meanwhile, Micah Ottenbreit (round 4) and Christian McGowan (round 7) are recovering from TJ, but they’re each very good prospects. McGowan was the top JUCO arm in the 2021 draft. And Jose Pena Jr (just 19 YO) shouldn’t be overlooked either. You can’t ask for much more out of a draft class.

        1. Agreed and a minor league asset is an asset regardless of the player’s role. But what do they all have in common? Of course they are all pitchers. We need to start nailing the hitter picks – just like the Braves do (let’s face it – the Braves nail everything – pitcher picks, hitter picks, LA free agent signings, trades – you name it, they nail it).

  43. I think if Stubbs could get his % of strikes up I would feel better about him in these high leverage situations. His off-speed stuff is adequate, but I think he goes to it too much!😎

    1. Skeet..last four Septembers.
      One silver lining….the team however has improved with each Sep

      1. 24 more to go in September! Maybe we can go 13-12 to get over the hump. I am concerned about the starting pitching though, starting to show wear and tear. ……………too many bullpen games IMO.

  44. At least I was saved from watching last night’s debacle because it was streaming. I would have otherwise seen the first few innings. It was bad enough reading about it. And, Wheeler hit a speed bump in his path to getting back. Bad news after bad news. Another game that they need to “flush”. An awful lot of flushing lately.

    1. matt…”An awful lot of flushing lately.”…..as long as the toilet does not get clogged the Phillies should flow nicely into the play-offs.
      Padres have a very difficult schedule coming up.

  45. Its becoming more and more realistic to carry a bench player, ala D. Hall, who can pitch – maybe even somewhat effectively – we are getting too many of these games.
    Not getting on Stubbs who is the Swiss Army knife player !!

  46. Recurring theme………RISP 3-15….It totally amazes me the times we get a guy on 3B with no outs or 1 out and cannot get him home……….poor defense 2 errors …….. and 2 misplayed balls that should have been caught. Why would you wear brightners with a high sky and full sun? If we continue to expend pitchers at this rate we will need a bullpen re-do by Monday or Tuesday.

  47. We are a team built to hit. Pathetic with a runner at 3rd and less than 2 outs. This loss was on the hitters. 1st and 3rd, no outs, a ground ball to SS, runner out at home and Bryce bounces to Pitcher for a DP. No excuse to fail. 29 games left. It’s on thehitters.

    1. it could also be on the manager and other coaches, Matt13. In addition to the above example, runners on 1st and 2nd, no out, down by one run in the late innings…. what do YOU do?

      1. Also a good point I heart. I move the runners, bunting is still allowed. Schwarber hits a lead iff triple and gets stranded there. Yes, the D is terrible, and the BBs are awful, but we need a big hit to overcome all that, and they keep failing. Rodon today, good luck! And, I call up Guthrie.

  48. If Castellanos is out for an extended period of time…like to see Jhailyn Ortiz brought up and thrown into the fire…sometimes the least expected flourish, empower the kid.
    Guthrie is another….he will have to be put on the 40 first.

    1. Gutherie is my choice. He is older, more versatile, knows the big leagues from his father and is on an upward trend.

    2. Ortiz would be eaten alive by major league pitching. Guthrie is, by far, the best choice right now.

      1. Ortiz could be eaten up, then again, he could surprise.
        No one actually knows until he is put in that situation.
        Guthrie is older, versatile and more experienced, so I will like to see how he handles MLB pitching.

        1. Sure anything could happen – but the most likely scenario is that he cannot hit major league pitching. He hasn’t earned a call up to AAA, so why would you promote him to the majors which is tremendously more difficult than AAA?

  49. Ok back to back starts for Suarez where he cruises along till the 4th and throw well over 30 pitches in the 4th inning and loses steam. Now last week was extended by bad fielding but he also started walking/getting wild as the innings dragged along.

  50. And on our way to getting swept. Another bases loaded, less than 2 outs, no runs inning. Can’t win if you don’t score. Today’s excuse is Rodon is a good Pitcher, but someone needs to step up.

  51. Something is wrong with Ranger, too many innings?, can’t have him losing it in the 4th or 5th inning like he has done 3 outings in a row. Maybe he is better off in the BP? JTR came through, and Robertson survived Maton’s poor d play, but should not have gone out for a second inning. 0-3 to start September. As much as I complain about the team, I still convince myself something good is going to happen and keep settling myself up for disappointment.

  52. Luis Garcia DFA’d to make way for Guthrie. Another Phillies big bonus ($2.5 million) Latin American bust signing.

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