A Good Homestand

The Phillies returned home and came within 3 outs of a perfect 6 wins.  But 5 wins provided 2 more series sweeps.  They took 2 of 3 from the pitching-deep Marlins before taking all 3 games from the hapless Nationals.

The Phillies are running out of “easy” games.  They embark on a 6-game road trip against Miami and Atlanta.  Then, they return home for their final homestand to play 2 games against Toronto and 4 games against Atlanta.  The Phillies close out their season with a 10-game road trip with 3 games in Chicago, 4 games in Washington, and 3 games in Houston.

Sixteen of their remaining 22 games are on the road.

The Phillies are 16 games over .500 with a 78-62 record.  The NL East Division standings have long been decided.  The Phillies will finish in third place (barring a remarkable two sweeps against Atlanta this month).

The East Division race has developed into a real race between the Mets and Atlanta.  St. Louis has opened up a sizable lead on Milwaukee.  Los Angeles has all but clinched the West.  The seeding for the division winners is likely to be – West, East, Central.  However, New York and Atlanta could beat up on each other and allow the Cardinals to sneak into the second seed.

The National League Wild Card race is still a four-team race.  Atlanta is safely well in front for the first wild card if they don’t catch the Mets.  The Phillies are in second 1.5 games, 2 losses, and a tiebreaker ahead of San Diego.  The Padres are 2.0 games ahead of Milwaukee for the third wild card slot.  The Phillies are 3.5 games, 4 losses, and a tiebreaker ahead of the Brewers.

By merit of the first tie-breaker (head-to-head), the Phillies fare well against most of the probable playoff teams –

  • Los Angeles (4-3),
  • New York (5-14),
  • St. Louis (4-3),
  • Atlanta (6-6) with 7 to play,
  • San Diego (4-3),
  • Milwaukee (4-2).

The Phillies’ division record is 34-28.  Their record against the other NL divisions is 37-26.  Their interleague record, which doesn’t matter in tie-breakers, is 7-8.

In Other News …

The MLBPA is prepared to take on the representation of the minor league players who play for stateside teams.  The MLB commissioner announced this week that they would not contest the move and force an NLRB-sponsored vote.  It will be interesting to see this shakes out.  I saw a lot of comments on social media decrying the move as causing ticket prices to go up and teams and players to be reduced.  Along with pay and working conditions, unions protect jobs.  That plus the fact that the MLB has ten-year contracts with their remaining affiliates doesn’t seem to foreshadow any great loss of jobs.  Ticket prices may go up, but mine have every year.  That’s capitalism.

The MLB Rules Committee (6 owners and 5 other guys) voted to make several rule changes for the 2023 season – a pitch clock, shift restrictions, and larger bases.  Once again, social media went crazy over the changes.  For instance, one said the clock would mean less baseball for his money.  A silly statement since the clock would only reduce non-playing time.  I’ve watched games with a clock since they first started testing.  The players get used to it after a few games.  After a while, fans won’t even notice.  I’ve never been in favor of shift restrictions but I wasn’t in favor of the universal DH.  Tough on me.  And, the larger bases are supposed to increase action on the basepaths.  We’ll see. I think they need to change the way baseball people in the organizations feel about stolen bases to bring about change.

Instructs start this week.

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 24, 2023: Opening Day for Spring Training Games
    • February 25, 2023: (SS) v. New York Yankees (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
    • February 25, 2023: (SS) at Detroit (Lakeland), 1:05 PM
    • February 26, 2023: v. Minnesota Twins (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
    • February 27, 2023: at Pittsburgh Pirates (Bradenton) Time TBD
    • February 28, 2023: v. Toronto Blue Jays (SS) (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
    • March 1, 2023: at Minnesota Twins (Fort Myers) Time TBD
    • March 2, 2023: at Boston Red Sox (Fort Myers) Time TBD
    • March 3, 2023: v. Detroit Tigers (SS) (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
    • March 4, 2023: v. Pittsburgh Pirates (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
    • March 5, 2023: at Toronto Blue Jays (Dunedin) Time TBA
    • March 6, 2023: at Baltimore Orioles (Sarasota) Time TBA
    • March 7, 2023: v. Tampa Bay Rays (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
    • March 8, 2023: OFF DAY
    • March 9, 2023: v. Baltimore Orioles (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
    • March 10, 2023: v. Pittsburgh Pirates (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
    • March 11, 2023: at New York Yankees (SS) (Tampa) Time TBD
    • March 12, 2023: v. Toronto Blue Jays (Clearwater) (SS) 1:05 PM
    • March 13, 2023: OFF DAY
    • March 14, 2023: v. Atlanta Braves (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
    • March 15, 2023: at New York Yankees (Tampa) Time TBA
    • March 16, 2023: at Detroit Tigers (Lakeland), 6:05 PM
    • March 17, 2023:(SS) v. Toronto Blue Jays (SS) (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
    • March 17, 2023: (SS) at Toronto Blue Jays (SS) (Dunedin) Time TBA
    • March 18, 2023: at Atlanta Braves (North Port) Time TBA
    • March 19, 2023: v. Boston Red Sox (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
    • March 20, 2023: v. Baltimore Orioles (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
    • March 21, 2023: at Pittsburgh Pirates (Bradenton) Time TBA
    • March 22, 2023: at Tampa Bay Rays (Port Charlotte) Time TBA
    • March 23, 2023: v. Detroit Tigers (SS) (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
    • March 24, 2023: at Toronto Blue Jays (Dunedin) Time TBA
    • March 25, 2023: v. New York Yankees (Clearwater) 1:05 PM
    • March 26, 2023: at Baltimore Orioles (Sarasota) Time TBA
    • March 27, 2023: at Toronto Blue Jays (Dunedin) Time TBA
    • March 28, 2023: v. Toronto Blue Jays (Clearwater) 12:05 PM
  • March 30, 2023: Season Opener at Texas Rangers
  • April 6, 2023: Home Opener v. Cincinnati Reds
  • July 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.

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

9/11/2022 – Phillies activated RHP Seranthony Dominguez from the 15-day IL
9/11/2022 – Phillies optioned RHP Vinny Nittoli to Lehigh Valley
9/11/2022 – SS Madison Stokes assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
9/11/2022 – SS Sal Gozzo assigned to Reading from Jersey Shore
9/10/2022 – Phillies sent RHP Hans Crouse on a rehab assignment to Lehigh Valley
9/10/2022 – Clearwater activated LHP Matt Osterberg from the Development List
9/10/2022 – Clearwater transferred C Adony Mejia to the Development List
9/10/2022 – Reading activated RHP Braden Zarbnisky from the 7-day IL
9/09/2022 – Phillies sent RHP Zach Eflin on a rehab assignment to Lehigh Valley
9/09/2022 – Jersey Shore activated SS Uziel Viloria from the 7-day IL
9/08/2022 – Phillies sent RHP Seranthony Dominguez on a rehab assignment to Lehigh Valley
9/08/2022 – Clearwater activated C Chris Burke
9/07/2022 – LHP Jordan Fowler assigned to Jersey Shore from Clearwater
9/07/2022 – Jersey Shore activated C Anthony Quirion from the temporarily inactive list
9/07/2022 – RHP Albertus Barber assigned to Reading from Jersey Shore
9/06/2022 – Detroit claimed SS Luis Garcia off waivers from Phillies
9/05/2022 – Lehigh Valley placed RHP Mark Appel on the 7-day IL
9/05/2022 – RHP Griff McGarry assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
9/05/2022 – RHP Noah Skirrow assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
9/05/2022 – RHP Brett Schulze assigned to Reading from Jersey Shore
9/05/2022 – Reading activated RHP Brett Schulze

212 thoughts on “A Good Homestand

  1. I don’t like the larger bases. You are absolutely right Jim, organizational philosophies need to change. Maybe the clock will shorten the games but there will be more throws to the base by pitchers, step off and such, which will counteract the clock.

    1. There will be a maximum of two threes to the base allowed before a ball is called on the 3rd throw, unless the runner is picked off. There will probably not be more throws over. I really don’t think there will be much impact seen from the base sizes and if they stop batters from tightening their batting gloves after every pitch I’m all for it. Stopping the shift is fine with me too. That should help the Phillies next year.

    2. Denny…game swill not get shorter, in fact I predict they will get longer…without the shifts….more hits, more pitches thrown , more stolen bases with only two tosses to first and larger bases, longer innings, more runs scored…more change of pitchers.
      MLB operates with blinders on.

      1. Yes, I agree with your assessment, they indeed could be longer in duration because of more hitting. Do I understand this correctly, ss and 2b have to be on there side of the infield, on the dirt, before the pitch, but with the pitch may be on the move?

        1. Skeet…yes.
          Just not sure many infielders will feel comfortable moving or jumping laterally after the pitch is delivered before the batter swings……they will lose 50% of their fielding flexibility/options.

  2. Tinkering with the current lineup;
    With the young guys progressing, I can see a lineup with 7-8 guys with OPS’ over .800 next season.

    1. 7-8 guys with an OPS over .800 would mean that the Phillies are an all-star team and will be one of the best hitting teams in franchise history. During their WS run, the Phillies haven’t had 6 guys with an OPS over .800. Even the current Dodgers team doesn’t have this.

      1. I think Harper, Realmuto, Hoskins(or Hall), Schwarber, Bohm, Castellanos and Stott are capable. Then add Turner and 8 is possible.

        1. Even without Turner, if this happens, then it will be the greatest offensive Phillies team EVER. They will break franchise records all over the place and they should be able to get to 110 wins easy. They might even break the Mariners 2001 record of 116 wins.

          It’s possible, but I’m thinking it’s like 10% possible.

      2. Wow Schwarber and Castellanos were both over .920 OPS last season, didn’t realize they had regressed that much.

  3. Gotta’ admit I heard negative vibes about yesterday’s game when Christopher Sanchez entered the contest after the rain delay. I figured Thomson was prepared to sacrifice the game in order to think big picture (save the BP) for the rest of the week. Big hits by Rhys Hoskins & Alec Bohm, and excellent jobs by the back end of the pen (Alvarado/Robertson/Ser-Ant’ny) turned my frown upside down.

    1. I thought exactly the same thing and I thought another thing. During the regular season, you should put more resources into winning games you have a good chance of winning rather than exhausting resources on games that are more difficult to win. To their credit, the Phillies have done that this year, to an extent. We used to crush them when they couldn’t beat the bad teams, but they just crushed the bad teams this year, which is why they have a much better record than any Phillies team of the last decade. It doesn’t hurt that they shoved the Nationals’ faces in the dirt – I really cannot stand the Nationals.

      1. By the way, I’m not suggesting that you should waive the white flag against the really good teams and sometimes it is better to save a top notch starter for a game against a difficult opponent. But if you’re in a tie game with the Nationals in the 5th, you want to maximize your odds of winning against that team rather than putting in second tier relievers.

    2. And, I’ve gotta admit, I questioned Thompson’s decision to start Nola from the get go. The weather reports all morning suggested strongly that the game was going to be affected by rain. And, all indications were that MLB was going to go to great lengths to get the game played. So, why not use an opener and save your starter for when the game restarts?

      But, they won. They’ve got a day off. All is well.

      1. Jim – there was an article in the Athletic (I think), this morning talking about Thompson and his statement that in a prior life as the Yankee coach he went with an opener and it never rained. Yankees ultimately lost the game and his recollection of that very game caused him to start Nola instead of risking using an opener. He stated that he was haunted by that experience and didn’t want to repeat it.

  4. Doctor Jimmy – As usual you are right on target as you often are about starting an opener and that the final 22 games are going to be tough. Time for the boys in red pin stripes to put on the big boy pants.

    Hate to bear possible bad news but there is a chance the Phillies could win as few as 8 games moving forward. They can take one from Miami, two from the Braves, one from Toronto, one from the Cubs, two from the Nationals, and one from the Astros.

    That would make it hard to get into the playoffs. Please, someone-anyone, tell me I’m crazy.

    1. The Phillies are 29-34 against above .500 teams. Take the 11 under .500 or whatever it is against the Mets and we have a good record against the rest. We’ve dominated the fish and the nats and still have a series left against both and Chicago at home. Deep breath. Also eflin and Seranthony should help the pen a ton.

      1. Well, a Phillies 8-14 finish to get to 86 wins would require the Brewers to go 12-9 over their last 21 games to get to 87 wins.

        Does that help?

    2. That would be 86 wins. I think it will be hard for the Brewers to get there. Plus, Phils have tie breaker. I think 10 and 10 is realistic. That should be geed for playoffs.
      I do not think you are crazy.

    3. So the Brewers have 21 games remaining, six on the road 15 at home. They play the cards away for two and the Reds away for four. The remaining home games are the Yankees for three, the Mets for three, the fish for four, the D backs for three, in the Cards for two. They finish the season hosting Arizona for three games.

      1. Brew Crew will need to win at least 6 of 10 from the Yankees, Mets and Cards remaining games for them to leap into that WC spot..
        And Montgomery and Quintana have given the Cards a little shot in the arm of B12.

  5. There is no “P” in Thomson, just pretend it is like pneumonia, ptarmigan, psychic. Hinkie you did well. Jimmy & RU…..summer school.

  6. Predictions of longer games next year because of increased hitting, runs scored, etc are not borne out by the MILB experience this year. The average length of a minor league game was reduced by nearly 30 minutes this year.

  7. Romus…I think you need to be the shift doctor. LOL.
    I was a left-handed batter so maybe why I am ok with no shift.
    I am sure they will come up with another way of doing things.
    I did find out the classification for grandson baseball in 2023.
    They will stay in 2A. They should be a top 5 team all next season barring injuries.
    The IHSAA actually posted it the following day after I looked.
    Also, I was thinking of your comments on the Canadians after the Marsh play the other night. LOL.

  8. Romus…I watched parts of AAA Indy games during State Fair.
    One game was Iowa and the other was Louisville.
    I forget if there were any shifts.
    But I do remember there were still LOTS of low batting averages. Low 200s and high 100s. That caught my attention.

    1. Don…….check it out for 2022.
      MiLB …league batting averages:
      Pacific Coast-AAA-..266
      Florida St.-Low-A–..233


      1. Romus…You are so informed. I believe the PCL has always been a fairly good hitting league if I recall correctly. I only saw a few innings of 2 games so not really a good example. Plus, no idea of the quality of those 3 teams either.

        1. yeah Don….the PCL and also the California League were noted in the past as hitter’s leagues….not sure anymore if that is a correct statement, they could have made changes to the parks.
          Though their averages above are higher than the other leagues.

  9. In the minors this year, shift rules were adopted across Low A, High A and Double-A, while Triple-A did not have shift restrictions.

    1. WestCoast……yes….from a respected source the following data applies:
      “……… if you look at the data without knowing which levels had added shift restrictions, you wouldn’t be able to easily tell which levels adopted shift restrictions and which did not. In Triple-A, with no shift restrictions, the BABIP is up from .310 in 2021 to .311 in 2022. At Double-A, which has shift restrictions this year as it had last year, the BABIP is up three points to .311 from .308. In High-A the adoption of shift restrictions has seen the BABIP fall by seven points (.314 to .307). And in Low-A the BABIP has dipped from .323 last year to .317 this year. Major League Baseball has added a further tweak to the shift rules in the Florida State League this year. In the second half of the season, the FSL is using a shift rule where no fielder can stand in a “pie slice” area extending behind second base. With the pie slice rule, hitters have a .307 BABIP in the second half of the season. They had a .313 BABIP in the first half with the infield shift rules that have been enacted across the minors.”

  10. Somewhere Ryan Howard is thinking about what could have been. He was hurt more by the shift than anyone I can remember.

  11. From the Thresher games I saw this year the pitch clock works. The game moves along. I look forward to it in MLB next year.

  12. To be clear … I’m not endorsing this. I’m just posting an interesting tweet. I’ve been on record as believing this team has enough offense to win a championship. IMO, they should buy more pitching this off-season. And I mean a difference making arm(s) … ie Verlander.

    1. Hinkie, with Verlander I worry you may be underestimating the “Baker factor”. Not only is he a really good coach but players seem to really like playing for Dusty Baker. Perhaps you can come up with a plan B for a difference-making free agent pitcher.

      1. I feel pretty optimistic (although not 100% certain) Verlander will test the open market. Just like Max Scherzer, Verlander will probably want to do right by the MLBPA.

        1. Hinkie…the 40-year old Verlander, if he decides to leave Houston, will be looking at a two-year deal…..and somewhere in the range of $28 and $30M AAV.
          Would the Phillies be willing to do that …while also sacrificing a free agent shortstop signing ?

          1. I agree Verlander will look for a two year deal. But I think he’ll do better than 28-30M AAV. Scherzer got 43M AAV on a three year year pact. Verlander IMO can probably expect 2/70M.

            1. Yeah….he can, but he is a few years older than MadMax.
              And at this point of his career…with $300M in earnings already, I think Verlander will look for one more ring…..and go to the team with the best shot of giving him that opportunity.
              For example…if the Phillies offer $35M and the Dodgers offer $30M….IMO, he goes to LA..

            2. I do agree that the Phillies will not exercise options on Eflin or Segura and will use that savings (along with the savings of not renewing a guy like Knebel and not have to pay Familia) to enter into one big dollar contract for either a starter or middle infielder. It completely makes sense and I’m not sure which it would be (and I’m not sure they know which it would be, although I bet they have a preference). My strong suspicion is that they will be looking for another hitter because they believe (and rightfully so) that between their young guns (all they need is one to become a dominant starter and I think that’s going to happen), Wheeler, Nola and Suarez/Falter, they should be in very good shape on the mound.

            3. By the way, if the Phillies do go with a pitcher as their big ticket FA acquisition, I’m betting it will be Rodon. He’s going to be 30 (like Wheeler was when he came to the Phillies), he’s a power lefty (something they don’t have in the minors), and his velocity is trending up. Think about it, a rotation that, by the end of the year, would be Wheeler, Rodon, Nola, Painter and Abel/McGarry/Suarez/Falter (pick your poison on the 5th starter and talk about starting pitching depth . . . .)? I wouldn’t want to face that team in the playoffs, would you?

            4. I’d love Rodon, but that would be a much more risky deal to enter into. He’s probably going to get 5 years, and he has a history of arm/shoulder woes. But … strictly on ceiling, Rodon fits the “difference maker” SP I mentioned earlier.

            5. The option to get both a FA IF and a starter like Rodon for the rotation works in a situation where then decline options for Segura and also move Hoskins in the off-season to free up his approx. $11-$12 million arbitration figure for 2023.

              That opens up 1b to use Hall on his pre arbitration contract and still stay in a similar salary range while filling out the bullpen, etc.

            6. I like Hall, but he’s not yet done enough to prove that he can be a 2-3 WAR player in the big league and a suitable replacement for Hoskins. I expect Hoskins to be retained next year and the following year is anyone’s guess. And if for some reason they trade Hoskins (which I highly doubt), they will sign someone on a one-year deal to take his place (or compete with Hall).

              As I said in another post. If you really want the team to replace Hoskins (and, many do here, even though he’s been a better/more productive hitter this year than Schwarber and, obviously, Castellano), you should be rooting hard for our corner outfield prospects in the minors. If one of those guys – let’s say it’s De La Cruz – turns out to be good enough to become a first division regular, it means that the team can then move Schwarber to first base and let Hoskins walk (and hit 35 homers a year for the Red Sox for a few years).

  13. I am not disagreeing with any of you. I just try to look at this at what I think the organization believes. Is Painter a viable opening day roster SP for next season? What about McGarry? Is Stott the every day SS or 2B? Do they exercise the option on Segura? How do they feel about Maton and Sosa? Is Hoskins a candidate to be traded and do they feel it’s important to have a better defensive LF? I don’t know the answer to any of those questions, but I do believe they are all connected. Because I see 1 FA move this off season, and I have no idea what it will be. And, to be honest, I am not sure what I would do.

    1. Maton and Sosa would likely be considered the back up infielders. If they retain Segura then they may be trying to see if one of those guys would be able to step up and take over a starting spot either during the year or for the following year. This would be done to save money to be put into pitching.

      The team has tied themselves to Schwarber, Harper, and Castellanos for a number of years unless they work a trade. That is the corner OF plus DH so an upgrade to defense in corner OF is not likely. I do hope Harper can play in the field next year but with likely surgery in the offseason he may be the DH or even start on the DL next year.

      1. Bob D…I like v1 ‘s suggestion from a few weeks ago….move Hoskins while his value is at its apex, and move Castellanos to 1B.
        Even if Harper has the surgery in October/Nov….he can stat as the DH and then back out to RF in May/June of 2023.
        You get a liability defensive player out of the corner OF…and as a former 3b player, Castellanos should be able manage 1B.

    2. I have watched Painter, Abel and McGarry pitch a lot over the last few months. As great as Painter is and is going to be, he is not well served by being in the big leagues on opening day. Painter needs work developing and maintaining the consistency on his breaking pitches, even though I’m sure he’s a ridiculously fast learner he’s not quite there yet (imagine what facing him will be like when those pitches full develop!). My guess is that he is promoted to the big leagues 2-3 months after the start of the season. Now, there’s no doubt he could pitch in the big leagues now, but to reach his potential, he’s better served spending more time in the minors (as if we should be surprised by this – he’s 19 freaking years old!!).

      In my view, Abel is actually pretty close to being big league ready – he doesn’t have Painter’s FB command (or velocity, although it’s close) but he has really good control over some fine breaking pitches. McGarry is the wild card – I think he’s going to be inconsistent to start his career and he needs innings and development time. If he can be cheap a 3/4 in the majors while he develops, that’s fine (and I say he’ll be a 3/4 but that’s misleading because his issue is consistency – sometimes he’ll pitch like a 1/2 and other times he’ll pitch like a 5/6).

    3. Matt…do you feel that how this season plays out may affect the direction on moves the Phillies make for 23? It does look as though they will make the Playoffs barring meltdown. But as you have mentioned there are many ways, they may go to hopefully improve. I think we all agree there are too many DH players currently. Plus, I hope the defense improves and I still think the BP continues to be a major issue. I will throw out that I think improvement in the 1 and 2 spots in the batting order is needed. By that I mean guys who can get on base more. 200Ks is just not a good leadoff guy IMO.

      1. Don, I think failing to make the Playoffs would bring significant change, but I am optimistic that is not going to happen. When I mentioned 1 FA move, I was referencing a major one. I agree that there will be BP additions. Re they ok with defensive shortcomings? That is a good question, and I think generates any talk of a Hoskins trade. I don’t think he is traded because they believe he will bring much of significance back. It would be to free up $, move one of the DHs to 1B and get a better defensive LF. I don’t know that they don’t have a higher opinion of Rhys than some who post here, but a better defensive LF, Nimmo, for instance, along with a SP and a SS are what I think the team considers for spending FA $. It makes sense to me to move on from Segura, but he has done a pretty good job this year, and the team may feel much more strongly about him than I do. And, I totally agree with you that there has to be a change to batters #1 and #2 in the lineup. It cannot be Schwarber again.

        1. The announcers for the Nats on Sunday after Nelson got an error on the ball at 1st and then a ball dropped in front of Schwarber and he bobbled it and runners moved up. They stated he only has 1 error for the year in LF. I do not know if true or not. But that would be IMO from simply not being aggressive and making makeable plays very often
          I think Kyle and Rhys would be good 5 and 6 hitters in lineup. Both are capable run producers. My main thing is when they get on it is most likely base to base or a ball in the gap to move them more than 1 base.
          Now that the team is over the LT maybe not as big a concern going forward to remaining over if they can lure the FA or FAs they desire.
          This is just my thought and nothing more. Team is in a slight dilemma. Core guys are in win Now time of careers. But the young kids who show promise may need a little more time to reach that desired level.
          Hopefully team makes playoffs and surprises people. I saw on TV last night they have the 11th best chance to win the WS in Vegas. Think it was 35 to 1 odds.

  14. My current prospect rankings:

    1. Painter (could it be anyone else? No, of course not).
    2. Abel (in other years, he’s an easy #1 – still a great prospect).
    3. McGarry (huge upside [like Cy Young upside] but a fair amount of risk).
    4. Lee (a 19 year-old middle infielder with good contact skills, good plate discipline and some decent power potential – in my mind, he’s ahead of all the other position prospects).
    5. Rojas (tons of tools, ridiculous in-game speed with very high SB%, power potential, but unclear how far the bat will take him).
    6. De La Cruz (biggest riser hitting prospect in the system this year, aside from the departed O’Hoppe. It looks like the light went on for him.)
    7. Crawford – we know he has tools. But can he really hit? Will he have power and plate discipline? We shall see. Could rise or fall quickly next year. Your guess is as good as mine, but no way him I’m putting him in the top 5 now.
    8. Bergolla – it was rookie/DSL ball, but had very nice debut showing good contact skills and plate discipline.
    9. Boyd – great early showing.
    10. Baker – the next Ken Giles. The comp is totally legit.

    * FWIW – at this point, if they were still in the system, O’Hoppe would have been either 2 or 3 and Ben Brown would have been around 6 or 7.

    1. Like your rankings, catch.

      HINKIE RANKINGS (not too far off from yours, catch … with the exception of CDLC)

      1 Andrew Painter
      2 Mick Abel
      3 Johan Rojas
      4 Griff McGarry
      5 Justin Crawford
      6 Hao Yu Lee
      7 Simon Muzziotti
      8 Jordan Viars
      9 Nikau Pouaka-Grego
      10 William Bergolla jr
      11 Emaarion Boyd
      12 Gabriel Rincones jr
      13 Andrew Baker
      14 Erik Miller
      15 Christian McGowan
      16 Alex McFarlane
      17 Rickardo Perez
      18 Francisco Morales
      19 Jhailyn Ortiz
      20 Carlos De La Cruz
      21 Hans Crouse
      22 Yhoswar Garcia
      23 Micah Ottenbreit
      24 Andrew Shultz
      25 Jean Cabrera
      26 Alexeis Azuaje
      27 Donny Sands
      28 Ethan Wilson
      29 Aroon Escobar
      30 Jordi Martinez
      31 Jaydenn Estanista
      32 James McArthur
      33 Jose Pena jr
      34 Bryan Rincon
      35 Caleb Ricketts
      36 Joalbert Angulo
      37 Brett Schulze
      38 Marcus Lee Sang
      39 McKinley Moore
      40 Gavin Tonkel

      Soon to be on the list:
      Jesus Starlyn Caba (Venezuelan SS will officially sign in January)
      Pan Wen-Hui (Tawaiianese RHP “may” sign w/Phils in January)
      ✳ they both fit into the 10-20 range

      1. Hinkie,

        Poaka-Grego is 18 today. I’m sure he’ll gladly accept your ranking as a birthday present.

    2. Yeah, forgot about Pouaka-Grego – might have had him in the top 10 if I did it again and was considering Rincones but he just missed. I now have Viars in the 10-20 range. I know I’m bullish on De La Cruz, but when a guy pops two months in a row and does even better when he’s promoted, it means a lot to me. And De La Cruz has excellent raw tools so it’s exciting when he starts connecting the dots.

      1. And, to me, Muzziotti is one of these guys who checks a lot of “athlete” boxes but really never does enough to stick on a major league roster for very long. He’s 23 and he might play a little in the big leagues here and there but I just don’t believe in the player . . . at all.

  15. Catch………..agree totally with your paragraph 1 statement concerning Painter. Especially concerning his breaking ball. He needs to work on that. There is no need to rush him to the bigs at 19.

  16. Well, yes, familiarity does benefit the hitters more than the pitches in most cases (damn, 6 times? How is that even possible? He’ll have close 20 percent of his starts against the Phillies? Wow).

  17. Imo Verlander will not sign with us unless our offer is significantly higher than the 2nd best offer. The reason that I think that is because I doubt that he will play on such a poor defensive team. Houston is one of the best defensive teams in MLB. His ERA is better than his FIP. Houston’s entire staff ERA is almost a half a run lower than its FIP. The Phillies team ERA is 0.30 higher than its FIP. I don’t think a guy like Verlander wants to have his stats hurt by the defense.

    1. I’m not going to pretend I know what Verlander is thinking. You could be right. But he is from Virginia (not too far from Philly). He has a history with Dave Dombrowski. He was also teammates with Nick Castellanos. He may like throwing to the BCIB. The Phillies have other star players. And the Phillies should be a contender with him. Maybe these things and an aggressive offer are enticing.
      Bottom line for me … Dombrowski needs to target Verlander this winter. If they can’t land him, the team should sign/trade for another TOR SP. A TOR SP will be more impactful than another bat (even if it’s a SS).
      A Verlander/Wheeler/Nola/Suarez/home grown arm would be as good as any other MLB rotation, and could carry the Phillies through the postseason.

      1. Obviously neither of us “know what Verlander is thinking.” Just using logic. I don’t see why a guy like Verlander would want to play on a poor defensive team in a hitter friendly park so late in his career. He will have plenty of options.

  18. Alright gentlemen, big, big week here. I would be really happy if we could go three and three this week.

    1. I was going to bring that up today, but retracted it. With Stott, Sosa and Maton do we need to sign Bogaerts or Turner. Would we be better served to spend those big bucks elsewhere? Do we extend Segura or buy him out?

      1. Before the season, I thought it was 75% that the Phillies re-sign Segura. But now that Maton and Sosa are hitting, I think the odds just flipped to 25%.

        If somebody gives Turner a 6+ year deal, I think that’s going to be a mistake. He’s a candidate to break down physically early. Bogaerts can hit, but he too has a lot of miles on that body. Yes, they both can rake, but they’ll both command hefty dollars at a position that really doesn’t age well due to the physical demands.

        I’m saving the money and extending Nola. I might even consider giving Suarez a team friendly deal.

  19. Romus…………..do you know how many of Schwarber’s 37 HRs are solo shots. My guesstimate is 20-22.

  20. Have to give kudos to Bailey Falter who has just been outstanding for us. Maton wins the game, Falter outduels Alcantara, and we pick up a huge W. BP was great, and I can’t say enough about how they, and Sosa, have stepped up.

  21. Sandy Alcantara in 2022:

    Against all non-Phillies teams: 2.43 ERA
    Against the Phillies: 3.16 ERA

    Obviously that’s still a great number, but having an ERA more than half a run higher than the rest of the league is nice.

  22. That was another really good win.
    I loved the Phillies approach w/Alcantara in innings 1 thru 5. They had the Marlins’ Ace pitch count up to 80 after the 5th. I was annoyed with what they did in the 6th inning:
    Harper inf single on first pitch
    Realmuto fly ball out on first pitch
    Bohm ground into DP on first pitch
    ➡ Not smart baseball

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Harper/JTR/Schwarber/Harper/Castellanos, but I most enjoy the Phillies Day Care. Stott/Bohm/Maton/Marsh/Sosa(?)Hall/Stubby/Vierling/ Guthrie have been a lot of fun to watch & root for.
    Should probably add Bailey Falter to the Day Care crew! Exceptional again. Not sure Thomson can take him out of the rotation at this point.

    And the back of the BP looks set (fingers crossed). Don’t understand why Robertson is closing instead of Ser-Ant’ny, but those two and Jose Alvarado are good for innings 7 thru 9. Alvarado is looking like the dominant LH pen piece I was lusting after for a couple of years while he was in Tampa! Here’s to Dave Dombrowski for going out and getting Alvarado (for just Garrett Cleavinger). I would have grown old and felt empty waiting for Matt Klentak to make that deal.

    1. Now that they’re rested-healthy, Alvarado, Seranthony and Robertson look super reliable.

      Maton and Stott are ballers. If they continue to improve, as they should, no reason to spend big on bringing in another middle infielder.

      Lots of potential in starting pitchers Phillies have, but lots of question marks, too.

      In short, I’m in Hinkie’s camp: Bring in a difference-making pitcher.

      As for how many solo homers Schwarber has hit, let’s move him out of the lead off spot.

      1. I wouldn’t say NO reason to spend on another middle infielder. Depth is always key. I think if Bryce has the surgery there’s a case to be made to bring back Segura and free up Maton to move around. I’d rather have him in RF against a RHP than Vierling on opening day if Harper can’t go.

    2. Hinkie….LOL
      “I would have grown old and felt empty waiting for Matt Klentak to make that deal.”

  23. Was watching the Yankees-Red Sox last night. Judge hit two more. Amazing! Familia came in to pitch the top of the tenth. I knew what the result would be so I went to bed. The neat thing about Familia’s ERA when he left the Phillies is that it is the same if you turn it upside down. 6.09

  24. I have been on the Nick Maton bandwagon pretty much since he was recalled this year. The power is both surprising and real and I hope to God they let him finish developing and blaze his own path with the team. I think they almost have to move past Segura, although he will be tougher to replace than you might think because, he plays good defense and, in an era of .240 batting averages, the man always hits and, on an annualized basis, he’s 3.5 WAR player – clear first division regular.

    That said, if the team doesn’t sign a Turner or Bogaerts, I think the team will still sign a veteran infielder with some pop (not sure who) to be in the mix next year. That said, Nick Maton deserves extended playing time. Every time I see him hit, to me, he’s a bit like a Christian Yellich doppelganger who can play the infield. He deserves a chance to prove himself and, if he gets traded (teams who watch these things carefully will want him), I am going to be pretty pissed off.

    As for Falter, it’s not that surprising he’s doing well. He’s dominated AAA for 2 years. And, sure, AAA isn’t the majors, but minor league statistics typically do mean something. When I watch Falter, I think to myself – damn, if this guy could hit 93 or 94 MPH consistently, he could really become a solid 2/3. In any event, he’s been a life raft for this team and it’s nice to see several young guys contributing this year in all phases. When was the last time so many young players did well on this team? It’s been over 15 years, that’s for sure.

    1. And Rob Thomson, who has been just a superb manager this year, deserves the credit for putting these young players in a position to succeed and to keep running them out there and develop, which has benefitted the team enormously. There’s no way Girardi would have let these guys play and develop and, for reasons I don’t understand, Girardi just had a horrible time knowing when to lift/replace pitchers. It seems that whenever he guessed, he guessed wrong. Do that for 2 and a half years and you realize it’s more than just bad luck – he didn’t manage pitchers well.

      1. Girardi just had a horrible time knowing when to lift/replace pitchers………I agree with you, the crazy part of it, IMO is that Girardi was a catcher. You would think of all people, a major league catcher with years of experience would know when a pitcher is cooked and done.

  25. Have been rooting/praising Falter since he got drafted. Followed him and Nick Fanti very closely hoping both would make the major leagues. If Gibson lays another egg, I’d hope they would insert Falter into his spot when Wheeler returns.

    1. Once Wheeler returns, somebody will have to be off the 28 man roster and it has to be a pitcher. Who’s that going to be?

      1. Probably Coonrod. In fairness to the team, the pitching staff is actually pretty deep. The choices were Coonrod, Bellatti and Nelson – but all are fairly useful players in their own right. The decision won’t be an easy one.

  26. I like everything about how this team plays bad teams. I’m just waiting for them to take it to the Braves before I get too excited about our prospects in the playoffs.

    1. FWIW, the Phillies currently have a 6-6 record vs the Braves so the Phillies have played well vs the Braves. And to be honest, I’m way less scared of the Braves than the Mets, who can start Sherzer/deGrom/Bassitt and finish games with Edwin Diaz.

      1. “Anyway, a good friend of mine used to say, ‘This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball. You hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.’ Think about that for a while.”
        Take it one game at a time.

  27. Watching the Texas Rangers roster in the upcoming years will be interesting. Marcus Semien got 7 years, $175M to play mostly 2B at age 31. He’s delivering 5 WAR which is great. Corey Seager got 10 years, $325M (ridiculous) to play SS at age 28. He’s delivering 3.6 WAR which is just ok considering how much he’s making.

    Backups are just as unpredictable as relievers. Our old friend Brad Miller got 2 years, $10M and then proceeded to give the Rangers -1.4 WAR in 81 games.

    Remember Matt Moore? He delivered -0.6 WAR for the Phillies last season and people here wanted him gone ASAP. He’s given the Rangers 1.9 WAR solely as a reliever for minimum salary.

    So as much we want to think that Stubbs/Maton/Sosa will be able to replicate their success as backups next season, the odds are against them doing it because of their sporadic playing time. Sosa had a magical 3 game stretch but he’s only played in 5 games this month. Maton is only playing because Castellanos is hurt AND Harper can’t play the field. Stubbs is having a career year but he’s contributing only 1 WAR. Why? Playing time. If the starters are healthy and more or less doing their jobs, the value that the backups give will be minimal. You can argue that both Harper and Segura getting plunked in the hand and missing 60 days is a fluke and likely won’t happen again in the future. That means backups in 2023 will likely start less games than they did in 2022.

    1. Yeah, I hear you, but I don’t think that’s the real question (namely, back-ups getting playing time). The real question is whether the back-ups are good enough for the team to allow them to compete for starting or other bigger roles next year and not extend or re-sign expensive veterans like Segura. That’s a really tough one here.

    2. Of all the backups mentioned, Sosa would be the one, IMO, to have the pedigree, based on his extensive MILB metrics, ( 284/.335/.413–2300PAs) to be able to sustain thru a 140 plus game season. The others probably get exposed in the long run.

      1. “exposed” is a good way to put it. It’s hard to know, with back-ups, whether, when the league starts to figure out their weaknesses, if they can adjust and still thrive. Some guys, like Domonic Brown, never adjust and just peter out and go away. The selling point on Sosa is that his fielding is so good that he doesn’t have to hit enough to justify his existence, but would if he were a starter. For me, I watch Maton and see a guy who, if he can make adjustments, could be an impact regular with power and plate discipline (one of Sosa’s weaknesses) – something I never would have imagined when he was first promoted. Very few of our regulars can hit a long ball the way Maton can – it’s quite a swing and the guy can play almost anywhere in the field.

        1. The Phillies won’t know if Sosa and Maton can be more than backups unless they become starters. And that can only happen if Segura is not there. I’m a fan of Segura, but I think it’s time to see what the young guys can do, especially when Segura is getting $17M for his age 33 season.

          And as much as people here would like to think that ownership will spend to the moon, I don’t think that’ll happen. They’ll pay the tax this season for Castellanos, and you can argue that his signing was a disaster (-0.3 WAR so far). Granted, he was signed to be the DH but it’s not like he’s hitting like crazy either. Phillies have 3 more years of Schwarber and 4 more years of Castellanos and they both are combining to give the Phillies 0.8 WAR total for year 1. Not the best start.

  28. Guru, my dude you made a lot of points I came here to make. The Sosa/Maton thing is something everyone needs to understand. First off, both have been both great and fun to watch since arriving with the big league team. But that does not mean they are every day players.

    A lot of guys can come up and provide a spark, but over time, they get figured out. Look at Hall; I like Hall but to me he is like these guys: probably useful bench players moreso than an every day player. Vierling is a good example: a guy who can look good now and then but over the course of a long season, starts to wear down. Not everyone is cut out for 600 at bats and that is ok!

    Maton I think has a chance, but I would rather him be used like the rays and cubs used to use Ben Zobrist. Let him play 4-5 times a week across a few different positions and be the guy who spells players who need a day. Thats a very valuable player, Zobrist won championships and made all star games being that type of player. One thing that common fans need to realize is a guy being good for a month doesnt automatically mean they should be the every day player for 150 games next season. Not talking about anybody specifically in here, but I do see plenty of “Maton can take over for Segura” “Hall can take over for Hoskins” type comments and I dont think its that simple.

  29. I like kicking a dead horse, it’s underrated 🙂

    Logan O’Hoppe … he has picked it up. Imo, he’s being undervalued at the C Top 10 position. Looks easily in the top 5 to me. I’m staying calm but … Moniak is back, and I have to ask:

    How much better is Marsh over Moniak … to trade away O’Hoppe for? I’ll live with it, hoping Marsh is worth the trade. So far… I’m in meh mode. He needs to pick it up, but I’ll give him
    A fair chance. Right now, the SO to BB is not good and his power numbers are a bit lacking. He’s had time to get readjusted after the injury so let’s see how he does down the stretch. Moniak had a great game today , but that’s cherry picking. Will see at end of season.
    As far as Thor… I could’ve kept Moniak
    Imo. Put Maton out there If needed… As of now I would probably reverse these trades. Still early to judge but I’m not liking the feeling so far

    Yup – I’m doing the reverse jinx. I hope Marsh reads this 🙂

  30. What ……. then we would have to move Marsh out of CF….then we would have given up O’Hoppe for nothing….too much to digest …. insurrection, blasphemy, have you been vaping with Rocco again……c’mon Romus.

    1. Skeet…LOL
      Here is the deal…..Nola, McGarry, Rojas and Schwarber for Trout.
      Marsh mashes and stays in CF and Trout goes to LF.
      Pretty simple…like DiMaggio for Williams straight up!

  31. Machine -like. That’s the way this team is playing/winning right now. They’re getting solid starting pitching. They’re grinding down opposing starting pitchers. And getting solid work from whoever throws out of the pen in the late innings.
    Phillies now 8 GB Mets. Seven behind Atlanta w/7 games remaining with the Braves.

  32. SD and Milwaukee both lose so Phillies add another game to the lead. Nice start to the series against 2 difficult starters.

    Also nice seeing Eflin back on the mound. Adds another power are in the pen.

  33. Tac3, u beat me to it. And I’ve agreed with what Catch has written the past week regarding O’Hoppe.

    I like getting Marsh as I like his pedigree and believe he can be a contributor. The difference though is that Marsh may be good with some flashes of very good. But O’Hoppe may be great with flashes of total stud!

    His progression the past couple years (through level promotions, in the prospect-laden AFL, and now post a trade), demonstrate strong physical and mental abilities. Guys, his upside is very high. I don’t care where he’s been or is now in prospect lists. Catch says he possibly Top 5 Catcher. I completely agree. And I’m rooting for him. And for Marsh. And Moniak too.

    1. Same I’m rooting for them all, a large portion of us are. Moniak may have frustrated many of us since he was the #1 pick and the expectations that come with that. Going forward I’m going to be analyzing Marsh’s defense vs Moniak’s, to me, this was the reason for trading O’hoppe. To improve the CF defense in this playoff push-3 seasons. Is the difference enough to have traded O’hoppe … as of right now .. I need to see some more of Marsh but I’m guessing No. the games I’ve watched vs highlights I’ve seen veirling

      The other argument to be made, could Maton have played CF during this playoff push? It’s looking like he can ball too. Time will tell but I feel like these 2 trades could be scrutinized for a long time. Brown for Robertson I get but either giving up on Moniak, or not being able to develop him forced the trade of O’hoppe. The way I am seeing it now. Fair or unfair.

    2. It’s worth taking a look at Matt Winkelman’s assessment of O’Hoppe over at Phillies Minor Thoughts in his pre-trade deadline mid-season assessment of our prospects. He lists him in the “You have to give to get” category, essentially predicting a trade- and he did not see O’Hoppe as a star in the making but rather as a potential major league starter for a good team.

      Earlier in the spring participants on this site were talking trading prospects as if we were flipping baseball cards. They were constantly down on Moniak. Everyone saw the outfield defense as a disaster. DD went out and addressed these issues reasonably for a team that needs to win now, with our main losses being a good prospect that was blocked by the BCIB, our 4th best starting pitcher prospect, a former top draftee that the most optimistic were considering a 4th outfielder at the MLB level and a low level A-ball prospect that if we were receiving from another team we would call a *lottery ticket*. DD was not going to get the return that he did by trading minor leaguers that we would all be comfortable giving up and we were not going to receive superstars for what we were giving. We’ll be able to judge this trade better in a few years. At least we didn’t give up a prospect of the quality of Sixto Sanchez!

      1. You have to give talent to get talent. I had no issues with the Sixto Sanchez trade. They got a top prospect, we got JT. End of story.

        Did the Phillies overpay when they traded for Marsh and Robertson? Yes. Was it a crazy overpay? I don’t think so. Anyways this is the cost of going for it. We have to outbid other teams. I’m sure the Cubs had other suitors for Robertson. The Angels could just have easily held onto Marsh. What if DD didn’t trade Brown for Robertson and the Cubs sends Robertson to the Mets instead? There would have been an uproar here. Or the Phillies keep O’Hoppe and Vierling (with his -0.5 dWAR) patrols CF? I don’t think people would be happy about that either. Marsh already has 0.2 dWar and you could see that he patrols a lot of ground in CF and teams are reluctant to run on his arm.

        To be honest, I don’t care what happens after the player leaves the Phillies. Was it a fair deal when it happened? Yes? I’m good. No? Then you reevaluate your methods to find out why.

        Let’s root for the players that we HAVE and move on.

  34. I believe while here O’Hoppe was the second best catcher in the Phillies organization and that includes the MLB level. Yet he still would have been a back-up to JT unless a trade or a position switch moved JT out of the catcher position. So his value to the Phillies was ideally as a trade chip. Did we get enough in the trade for him? Time will tell..

    1. Maybe we should combine the 3 trades into 1 and see if the sum of all the parts was value driven; O’Hoppe, Moniak & Brown for Marsh, Syndergaard & Robertson. Also have to take note of what is replacing the 3 assets traded in the MiLB.

      1. OFer Jadiel Sanchez could be also a very good player at some point.
        Right now he is in Low-A Inland Empire and batted over .300

        1. Don’t forget that his *twin* in the Phillies system, Marcus Lee-Sang has already moved up to A+ and actually improved his OPS there vs. in A ball.

      2. In fairness …
        3 deadline trades but 2 of them between the Same teams .. so it really feels like:

        O’Hoppe & Moniak
        Marsh & Syndguard (sp)

        I’m keeping an open mind, and I understand the reasoning for it due to Realmuto,timing, and need for playoff experience.. Phils are not in the “all in mode” just yet but it’s definitely “poop or get off the pot” time. Moniak was on borrowed time.

  35. Given his tremendous rookie success, I took another look at Nick Maton’s minor league stats.

    The first thing that jumps out to me is his exceptional walk rate. 12.5% in AA and 14.4% in AAA is really great. As I have said over the years here, I have seen a very strong correlation between great minors walk rates and MLB success. Not a guarantee but very instructive. And vice versa. Poor minor walk rates are a red flag for a prospect. See Scott Kingery.

    Maton also had good (not exceptional) but good K rates. 19% in AA and 22% in AAA are very good. Especially when paired with his exceptional walk rate.

    Check, check. Two important hitting stats both green. This tells me that he he as a great batter’s eye.

    His batting average in the minors was poor, which is why he wasn’t highly regarded as a prospect. But if you dig deeper there are a lot of good signs in his hitting metrics:
    1. His BABIP was very low. Only .234 in AA. Was it small sample size bad luck? I think so…
    2. His ground ball rates were low. This is good as ground balls have the lowest babip. His line drive rates are good. ~ 20% in AA and AAA
    3. His Pull, Center, Oppo % were pretty evenly distributed. Can’t really shift him.
    4. His soft contact rates in the majors are good. They don’t keep this stat for minor leagues but he isn’t getting lucky at the MLB level. He is hitting the ball hard consistently.
    5. His average launch angle in the majors is perfect ~17%. They don’t keep this stat for minors but you don’t get called up and just change your launch angle. It takes years to change your launch angle and some guys never can do it (See Maikel Franco)

    All this taken together, IMO Maton’s poor minor league batting average was mostly bad luck. He is a much better hitter than the small sample, poor BABIP would indicated.

    The one big unexplainable leap is his power. He had decent power in minors but nothing exceptional. He is not a .380 ISO guy. It’s fun to watch, but a 31% homer/fly ball ratio is not sustainable. That said, his 17% launch angle is perfect. So I think that he I could be a 15-20 homer a year guy.

    All things together, I think that Maton is a legit major leaguer. He is a very good defensive player with a lot of positional versatility. His speed is very good. Fangraphs grade of 55. He puts together really good ABs. Likes to take walks and has a perfect swing path, resulting in a great launch angle. He is obviously not a 1.063 OPS guy, lol, but he is imo a very good hitter. How about Jake Cronenworth as a comp. Maybe not Jake’s power, but a better walk rate. How about a .260/.360/.380 batting line, for a .740 OPS. Pair that with really good base running. Really good defense. And oh yeah, his best attribute, exceptional energy!

    I like him. A lot. The major league pitchers will find his weaknesses. They always do. But I think that he is a legit shot to have a long MLB career as a starter.

    1. That seems like a pretty close comp.
      If Maton can become and produce like a Jake Cronenworth type player that would make many folks happy.
      Maton at 24, made his MLB debut two years ahead of Cronenworth’s (26) MLB debut also.

    2. Curious that his babip is only .234. That is some bad luck or he’s getting robbed from the shift. With his contact abilities, it should be at least .280.

      As for his power, he definitely has changed his stance. He’s more open to start and not sure if he’s squatting a little more. His bat is now flying through the zone and he’s pulling with way more power than ever. Obviously, his 1.063 OPS is not sustainable but I think he could be a .750-.775 OPS which means we’re looking at a 3+ WAR player making minimum money. He needs to start 2B at least in a platoon. If I was an opposing GM, I would try to pry him away from the Phillies.

  36. I agree completely. Don’t forget Maton kept a hand injury quiet in AA and played through it; one of the reasons Bowa loves him so much. Early this year he said he’d found something in his swing during the offseason that had increased his power. Hey, it happens!

  37. That is some great stuff, v1, and I really appreciate the work you put in. It’s because of you that the first thing I check for a hitting prospect is his BB and K rates. Maton has certainly been a big help. I questioned earlier in the week if the organization may feel that Maton and/or Sosa could man 2B on an everyday basis next season, and with Stott at SS, we may not be in the market for a FA SS. Or, do they like Segura, and keep those 2 as utility guys, and still not want to spend on a FA SS. On another note, JTR has been huge for us. Now, if we can get anything out of Schwarber in September, that will be a big help.

    1. JTR has to be the team’s MVP….with Bryce running a close second.
      Since the first of July JTR is hitting .323 over 53 games. with 13 HRS, and 48 RBIS….OPS is hovering in the 1.0 area code.

      1. Once JT went back to his original high leg kick, his numbers have taken off. He’s delivering 5.5 WAR which is easily the highest of his career at age 31. 2 years into his 5 year deal, he’s given us 1 good year and 1 great year. So far so good.

        1. Not only is JTR the Phillies’ MVP – he will probably be in the top 10 in league voting. On his way to a 6.5 WAR season – the best in his career. Amazing after his slow start and a tip of the cap to Kevin Long who I believe had something to do with that.

        2. Gibson was also impressed…post-game said something to the effect…..”Phillies fans have two more years like this to watch him perform”
          I think Gibson got the years off by one…he is here until 2025.
          I hope so.

    1. Aaron Nola is vastly underrated (even by people here) but there’s absolutely no way he’s going to be even in the top 5 of the Cy Young vote. ESPN has a Cy Young predictor and Nola is not even in their top 10. Heck I would vote for Zac Gallen before Nola (sorry Aaron).

    2. I have sinned, I have no appreciated Nola as I should have.

      But I wouldn’t commit that kind of money to anything but a power starting pitcher. Am I wrong guys?

      1. Pitching is expensive. The Phillies got lucky pouncing on Wheeler while everybody was distracted by Gerritt Cole. If Nola hit the open market right now, he would easily get 5 years, $125M. Nola has been durable and effective most of his career.

      2. Pitching is risky regardless of the style. I think Nola’s tools probably age fine. He’ll pitch at 30 next year then a 5 year extension would take him through age 36.

  38. If Realmuto can average .275 with 20 HRs and 80 RBIs over the remainder of his contract, that would be exceptional.

    1. You know you’re asking for a lot right? JT has only hit 20 HRs twice in his career, and he’s already 31.

      Buster Posey was already in decline by age 31.
      Salvador Perez looks like he’s declining at age 32.
      Joe Mauer stopped catching games at age 31 and started declining that season.
      Yadi Molina started declining at age 34, although he had a bad year at age 32.

      So what JT is doing as a catcher at age 31, having an elite year, he’s already beating the odds this season.

      1. How about:
        Carlton Fisk 45
        Rick Dempsey 43
        Bob Boone 42
        Mike Piazza 39
        Javy Lopez 36
        Jorge Pasada 36
        Pudge Rodriquez 35
        Jason Varitek 35

        1. Just because catchers hang around, doesn’t mean that they are having good years. Mike Piazza played a long time, but 3 of his last 4 years were bad years. Pudge Rodriguez declined at age 33 and by age 35, he wasn’t even starter level anymore.

          Jt has 3 years left on his contract and the Phillies are paying him to be at least a 3 WAR player. If he declines to the point where he gives the Phillies say 5 total WAR his next 3 years, that’s not good for the Phillies.

      2. JT is also a significantly better athlete than the players mentioned above. Barring injury, I suspect he will age better than most

  39. Hinkie, I just read an article on Murakami and Sasaki. We need both, and you are in charge of the Plan to secure them. Since we have historically failed in the Asian market, a whole new approach is needed, and you are the one to do it! Good luck!

  40. Looks official now…minor league players are unionized under the MLBPA.
    “………..This new union will likely represent more than 5,000 minor-league players, and the MLBPA has also indicated it will bargain on behalf of players in the Dominican Summer League, even though it’s based outside the United States. ”

    And MLB responded:
    “Major League Baseball has a long history of bargaining in good faith with unions, including those representing minor and major league umpires, and major league players. We respect the right of workers to decide for themselves whether to unionize. Based on the authorization cards gathered, MLB has voluntarily and promptly recognized the MLBPA as representatives of minor league players. We are hopeful that a timely and fair collective bargaining agreement will be reached that is good for the game, minor league players and our fans.”

    Bottom-line…….strike or lock-out…and you can bet there will be one of those at some point….means neither major or minor league baseball.

  41. Guru – That’s why I wrote it would be “exceptional” and with three years left on this contract, I’m hoping for the best. You know why? I’m a Phillies fan.

  42. Why did the Phillies lose tonight?
    Leadoff triple. 0 runs.
    1st and 2nd nobody out. 0 runs.
    And Thomson used the C-team out of the pen.

    1. Hinkie, the “C-team” only gave up 1 run in 3 innings – that isn’t totally shabby! Perhaps, the immortal words of “Meatloaf” are appropriate here…. “2 out of 3 ain’t bad”

    2. 2 – 5 hitters were offer the game and Vierling and Sosa joined them. While Scwarber had. A blast it was his customary solo shot #24, can’t we hit him 5th or 6th?

      1. Skeet…does make sense to put him a little further down.
        Marsh could turn out to be a lead-off guy, he has the speed for sure to leg out hits and stretch gappers into doubles, plus he has over an 80% steal success rate as a professional..

  43. I believe that Hinkie first said this, and I now agree with him, that Kevin Long was our best off-season addition. What he has done with Marsh in a short time is remarkable. Marsh’s stats:
    – pre-trade: .226/.284/.353 (.637 OPS), 36% K rate
    – Post-trade: .300/.317/.475 (.792 OPS), 29% k rate

    And while his time with Phillies is a smaller sample size, I think his improvement is legit. That’s because Marsh’s swing mechanics are materially better than they were earlier in the year.

    Here is a homer on May 7th of this year: https://www.mlb.com/mets/video/brandon-marsh-homers-4-on-a-fly-ball-to-center-field-max-stassi-scores?t=moonblasts

    Here is a line drive double from last night: https://www.mlb.com/gameday/phillies-vs-marlins/2022/09/15/661321#game_state=final,lock_state=final,game_tab=videos,game=661321

    Obviously a homer is a better outcome than a double, but the swing last night and the launch angle is materially better than the May fly ball homer. Much more repeatable. Two swing changes that I noticed:
    1. Much more crouched into his legs. The liner had great cary. Seems to be able to get the low, outside pitch better.
    2. Much much quieter swing. His May swing had a negative stride to start it and a toe tap. That type of movement looks beautiful in BP when it is all fastballs. But MLB pitchers can mess up a timing mechanism like that. You have to time if for a fastball and then you are out in front for an off-speed. Whereas his current swing, is much more simple of a stride. No timing mechanism. Just a short up down. Hips don’t move forward. Trunk stays in the same place from set-up to launch to contact. Simple. Let his quick hands do the work. I love that approach.

    Do you notice other changes?

    It shows what kind of elite athlete he is to be able to make such radical changes to his swing mid season and perform. Give him a full off-season of refining it and he may become a really good hitter. His K rate is still too high and his walk rate with the Phillies is silly low. But he has a history of a good walk rate (11.4% in AA) so I think that will settle in once he gets more comfortable with his new swing. I am pretty excited about Marsh. Great defender in CF. 60 grade speed on the bases. He may become a weapon. Losing O’Hoppe hurts but Marsh is a very promising young player too.

    1. vi…spot on analysis.
      I too am exciting about Marsh….fluid in the field and the plate approach has come around.
      I like to see the Phillies put him at the top of lineup next season if he can continue at what he is doing now.

      1. He has to get that walk rate back up to be a top of the lineup hitter imo. But his current line is a real weapon at the bottom of the lineup. Makes our lineup much deeper.

      2. I would rather Stott be at the top of the lineup. Marsh is nowhere near a finished product and he needs to make more contact and lay off outside breaking pitchers better.

    2. time stamp on this tweet is after my post…but we arrived at similar conclusions, Marsh’s swing has materially improved post trade

  44. If you were a ML hitter, rank these pitchers in order of who you’d rather face:

    Syndergaard, McGarry, Plassmeyer

    Syndergaard has to be first right? Think it may be time to pull the plug. Maybe throw him in the pen and see if he can reach back and add another mph or two to his fastball? But that trade looks like a bust, and its ok it happens I get why they did it. But I would love to see them be bold and avoid starting him the rest of the season.

    1. Right now I doubt he is on the first series play-off roster.
      He has a few more starts before Oct …so we will see how he does.

      1. Trying to be realistic and optimistic at the same time but what the bottom of the rotation starters do is not relevant to me. And not having Wheeler back in time for this series against the Braves tempers any enthusiasm I might otherwise have.

        Ideally you would have lined up Nola and Wheeler for 2 of these 3 games.

    2. I think it’s split between Syndergaard and Plassmeyer, and Plassmeyer might get the edge because he doesn’t throw hard and he’s not a top prospect. And obviously there is a big gap in experience too.

      Syndergaard wasn’t pitching that poorly yesterday until he grooved a HR to De La Cruz.

      Syndergaard wouldn’t even be on the team if Eflin was healthy.

      1. Im not sure if anyone talked about this yesterday, but did anybody get super excited about the thought of Eflin as a high leverage 7th inning reliever in the playoffs. He can worry about starting again for next season. It was one inning against the Marlins but id be lying if I didnt watch it and think holy crap he can be Madson-esque in that role for the rest of this season.

        1. Yes I love Eflin in that roll down the stretch. Always thought highly of the young man but frustrated by the health. Not his fault of course.

        2. Eflin looked great. His arm looked good and his pitches had zip. He can definitely be a force in the playoffs.

  45. I am not going to knock Syndergaard. Yes, it was a bad pitch that resulted in a 3 run HR, but he has been fairly decent since the trade. He wasn’t why we lost that game yesterday, even with the HRs. We have to get better at runner on 3rd and no outs, and runners in scoring position with less than 2 outs, much better. And, I don’t understand, still, the Schwarber at lead off. I have read about his “comfort level”, and how Thomson doesn’t want to disrupt that, but wouldn’t there be more pressure batting leadoff? And, great post and analysis, v1. Those hits yesterday didn’t come in a game where the team got 20 hits, but a game where the opposing SP did a pretty good job against the rest of our lineup. Plus, Marsh is a plus defender. Hope we have something with him, great D, can run the bases, and if he is even a decent hitter, we have a plus in CF.

  46. v1, great analysis.

    Have you looked at how many ABs the Angels gave Marsh versus LHP, versus how many the Phillies are giving him? It looks like the Angels were playing Marsh full time, and the Phillies aren’t — a big factor in his improved numbers could be simply putting him in situations were he is more likely to be successful (Marsh’s OPS against LHP this year is .496). Sort of like what happened to Pujols once the Dodgers and Cardinals got him away from the morons who run the Angels.

    P.S. — in no way do I mean this as a knock on Kevin Long. He appears to be doing a tremendous job.

    1. I have not noticed him being platooned when healthy. I will look into that. From what I see, he is mostly the CF when healthy but does get an off day here or there against a LHP. But something to watch for sure.

      1. I just looked it up on Fangraphs. For the Phillies:

        vs LHP: 21 PA, 42.9% K rate, .190/.190/.238 for a .429 OPS; .333 BABIP
        vs RHP: 61 PA, 24.6% K rate, .339/.361/.559 for a .920 OPS; .429 BABIP

        For the Angels:
        vs LHP: 82 PA, 41.5% K rate, .192/.241/.274 for a .514 OPS; .316 BABIP
        vs RHP: 243 PA, 34.5% K rate, .240/.300/.380 for a .681 OPS; .351 BABIP

        So it is not because they are playing him less against LHP. And it is not because he is doing better against LHP. It is simply that he is doing better against RHP.

    2. I understand there is discussion on Marsh’s lack of prowess vs LHPs.
      When one looks at his metrics, as a LHH,
      prior to 2022, primarily minor leagues…..he has done very well.
      He has a BA of .275… (335-ABs, 92-H)..which compared to most minor league LHB is plus/ very good.
      I have no qualms in letting him hit lefties in the majors after this season.
      He seems to be a vey good adjuster.

  47. Keith Law on Brandon marsh….pre-2021 season:
    1. Brandon Marsh, OF (Top 100 rank: No. 36)………….”From the Top 100: Jo Adell debuted for the Angels last year but struck out 42 percent of the time and struggled in the field, so perhaps the Angels will let Adell spend the year at Triple A and give Marsh a shot at the right-field job. Marsh impressed the Angels at the alternate site as his power continued to develop, including power the other way as well, while still playing above-average defense in center. He cut his strikeout rate significantly from 2018 to 2019 despite moving up to Double A for the full season, and if he holds that while also adding a grade of power, he could be a 5+ WAR player in center, or maybe something like peak Brett Gardner with more pop in a corner spot.”

  48. Marsh did have some previously high rankings:
    ..2021…Top 100 Lists
    BA-38…BP-44…ESPN-19…Fangraphs-15…MLB-53…The Athletic-36

  49. Albies back just in time to torment our boys. Someone in the know: for the playoffs and WS are the regular season rules in play? Those being the ghost runner, 3 player minimum, etc.

    1. Last years’ play-off rules still apply from what i understand….the regular season rule that places a runner on second base during the start of extra innings will not be part of the postseason, meaning the 10th inning onward will start with empty base paths.
      Not sure about the three player minimum…it applied in last year’s play-offs.

  50. Saw a discussion about next year’s rotation in the box score thread but I’m adding my thoughts here in case it doesn’t last. But to start off 2023 I see:

    FA/trade acquisition
    Falter/Plassmeyer/McGarry/Skirrow (darkhorse)

    Falter clearly has the inside track as the most experienced, and he’s done well lately, but he’ll still need to show he’s capable in the spring. I think Chris Sanchez gets moved to relief permanently; a move that probably benefits him.

    I also think there’s an outside shot that they bring Eflin back and roll the dice there. Maybe they’d rather spend their money on bats and try to luck into a cheap mid-rotation starter, believing they have reinforcements on the way in McGarry/Painter/Abel.

  51. Tough night for our boys across the system. Painter gives us a rude awakening that we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves. The big team loses in a post season atmosphere.

    It could be the start of something big or in our case, tragic. Losses in the past two games, two more with the Braves, Stripling and Gausman for the Blue Jays, then four big ones with Atlanta.

    1. …and Brewers come back from 5-0 to the Yankees and win in the 9th…looks like they are starting their run. And out west, the Padres pummel the DBacks.

  52. 2 – 4 hitters offer the game 2 nights in a row.
    Schwarber another solo HR #25.
    Guthrie outstanding defensive catch and 2 hits.
    Suarez and Alvarado looking v dry good.
    Anyone how trim Alvarado looks this year.
    Harper really struggling.

    1. Sorry about post, my reply box is screwed up, clips what I enter and only shows upper or lower portion of it.

  53. Romus…or anyone. Saw these on scroller this morning. I went to bed so check for score.
    1. Mets are 80-0 when leading going to 9th. Wow.
    2. Despite that Braves are only 1 game back. Wow.
    3. Phillies are 59-35 under Thomson. What if he had started season?
    4. T Mac said I think on Thursday his start was the 3rd best in history for a 1st time manager.
    5. 18 games to go. What will it take to make it? May get interesting.

    1. Don…..with 18 to go, IMO 10 more wins puts them at 90 and a play-off berth.
      Maybe even 9 wins if Padres and Brewers stumble….but last night they may have turned their remaining seasons around with very emotional wins.
      BR has the playoff odds now at 92% to make the postseason,
      ….San Diego at 72% to make the postseason (17 games left) and the Brew Crew at 35% (19 games left)
      The six games away vs Cubs and Nats will be must wins..cannot lose 3 or more…4 or 5 wins makes it a lot easier for them…..Toronto/Atlanta at home and Astros away will be real dogfights.

  54. Blown save by us and the Brewers big comeback W vs the Yanks are reminders that we are a long way from being in the Playoffs. I agree with Romus that 90 will do it, and we owe the Cubs a big payback for that sweep right after the All Star break.

  55. Bleacher Report…Turner to the Phillies as number one location this off-season:

    “As the Phillies are currently operating with their highest ever payroll, the financials are the tricky part here. But they will have some wiggle room this winter, as they can free up money by declining $32 million worth of options on Jean Segura and Zach Eflin.”

  56. Matt… I predicted 90 before season. Funny it may take that many now.
    I just looked and Phils are game and a half up on Pads and 3 on Brewers.
    Tie breaker makes it really a game more, I think.
    Brewers would have to go 13 and 5 to make 90. Do not think they will do that.
    Pads would need 11-6 to make 90. Both seem unlikely.
    If Phillies can go 9-9 that most likely gets it done.
    Matt you are correct on Nats and Cubs. Just cannot give those games away.
    Also, they need to get 1 of these next 2 games.

  57. Anyone else sensing we get swept by the Braves? Strider is the Pitcher I am the least comfortable with us playing against. Sorry for the pessimism.

    1. On his single? Same reason Bryce didn’t score. Because he would have been out. Easily. Like not even close.

      Acuna has a great arm, as evidenced earlier in the game.

      1. Why wasn’t he trying to steal 2nd to get in scoring position. Yeah, Stott’s single to CF may not have scored him if he had but he shouldn’t have been still sitting at 1st base. Let’s not have to need 4 or 5 hits in that 8th inning in order to score two to tie.

        1. If he had been thrown out stealing 2nd you would be asking why he’s running when they are down 2 runs in the 8th.

          1. We lost waiting on a 4th hit that inning. Playoff baseball (and also contending baseball) sometimes takes more aggressive (though smart) play to succeed. Teams manufacture runs. Can’t be frozen by fear. Phillies are a good team but not great, so I’m just thinking we may want to try being more bold. Just my .02.

            1. I’m pretty sure you’re vastly underestimating how hard it is to take an extra base against good teams. The Phils are actually pretty aggressive on the base paths. Especially the young guys and Harper. As a team, we’re #7 in MLB in BsR, #9 in SB (90 SB vs 24 CS), and #4 in Spd.

              But just because stealing a base would help, doesn’t mean it’s wise. If the coach is timing the battery at a pace that makes it unlikely to not get caught, or if the pitcher has a delivery/move that makes it difficult to get a good lead, then you’re better off staying put until the ball is put in play.

              A man on first with 1 out is infinitely better than no men on with 2 outs. No matter what the score or inning is.

  58. Even if Falter pitches today the way he’s pitched the last 5-6 times out, the Phillies won’t win if they don’t score any freaking runs. The best chance they had to steal a game in this series was last night against Odorizzi and they couldn’t capitalize on him. It’s going to be a nerve wracking two weeks.

    1. Nola will need to step up.
      He has three more starts left…Atlanta, Cubs, and Oct 3rd in Houston….unless Thomson give him an extra day somewhere along the way.
      So far in his three Sep starts he has been better than average…the Braves game last night was his hiccup. And that rain shortened game was probably a miscue from the manager on starting him with that impending poor weather forecast.
      Nola has to come up big against the Braves on Thursday and then the Cubs.

        1. Phillies started the season with 9 players making approx $15M or more (Segura @ $14.85M).
          The Dodgers the only other team with 9 players at $15M or more…Yanks at 6 and Mets at 5.
          Such a letdown that this team cannot seem to get over the hump.

        2. I think our biggest deficiency is not our staring pitching, but our 1 – 5 hitters and the people we leave on base. We are pathetic in RISP. We don’t get them in. Whether we make the playoffs or not, this team needs to be shaken up and infused with some of the daycare.

  59. Getting a little tired with this “we really have a lot of talent in this clubhouse”. If they are going to talk the talk, then show it.

  60. We sacrificed 6-7 years of a cost controlled Logan O’Hoppe for this? Every year their desperate strategies fail them. I am so tired of the Braves owning us, winning a WS, and getting younger in the process.

    1. They feel they need to do whatever Is necessary to make the playoffs because you know it’s baseball and anyone might win. No. No. No. You need to do whatever is necessary to assemble a championship roster and a championship organization. Any other approach yields failure.

  61. This team needs to make the Playoffs. And it falls on the hitters. Assume Castellanos gives nothing tge rest if tge season. It’s on Schwarber and Hoskins and Harper and Realmuto. We are awful with RISP, and will win nothing scoring 2 runs. Those guys need to do it. And, the team was right to do everything it could to make the Playoffs. O’Hoppe may have a great career, but it wouldn’t start here until 3-4 years from now, and if we can’t win with the current best C in baseball, why would we win 4 years fron now with O’Hoppe? I don’t understand the angst over tge trade. We once had the best prospect in Baseball, Dom Brown, how did that work out? I love our prospects, and I didn’t want to trade Painter or Abel, but we also have to make the Playoffs, and I think we may have something with Marsh. I think it was worth the shot.

    1. Matt13 I think you may not agree with the angst but you can understand it. Hoppe in the short sample size since his trade is putting up numbers in the minors that haven’t been seen since the days of King Kong Kingery. His stats don’t necessarily improve on JTR but they would come at a substantially reduced payroll price.

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