And, Then There Was One, the Big One

The Phillies have just three games remaining and only need only one win (or one Brewers’ loss) to secure the final playoff berth due to their tie-breaker advantage. 

The Phillies are also in a position to catch the Padres (87-72) who are just one game in front of them and with whom they also hold a tie-breaker advantage.

The Phillies are 13 games over .500 with an 86-73 record.  Their magic number is one as described above because they beat the Brewers (84-75) in 4 of 6 games this season.

Atlanta swept the New York Mets and has a two-game lead for the division title.  They need only one win (or a Mets loss) this week to secure the division and a first-round bye.  This would relegate the Mets to the first wild spot and a date with the second wild card team.

The final wild card spot will have a date with the Central Division winner St. Louis Cardinals.

The remaining schedules are –

  • Atlanta (100-59)
    • plays 3 games in Miami
  • New York (98-61)
    • plays 3 games at home against Washington
  • San Diego (87-72):
    • plays 3 games at home against San Francisco
  • Phillies (86-73):
    • play 3 games in Houston
  • Milwaukee (84-75):
    • plays 3 games at home against Arizona

I guess, the preferred finish would have the Phillies clinching the final wild card berth and opening Friday in St. Louis.  However, the one win that would clinch the berth and a Giants sweep in San Diego would clinch the second wild card spot and a date in New York against the Mets against whom the Phillies went 5-14 this season.

Always something to worry about.

As I pointed out a few weeks ago, and several of you have pointed out this week, the Astros will not be resting starters.  The Phillies will face 3 of the Astros’ top starters.  The probable matchups are –

  • RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (412.38) vs. RHP Aaron Nola (10133.36),
  • RHP Justin Verlander (1741.80) vs. LHP Ranger Suarez (1063.37),
  • LHP Framber Valdez (1662.89) vs. LHP Bailey Falter (643.90).

Dusty Baker will probably want to get his relievers some work, too.  That may limit the number of innings the starters pitch.

The Brewers were forced to overwork their bullpen this weekend.  Thank you, Miami.  They will face the following probable matchups –

  • ARI LHP Tommy Henry (345.98) vs. MIL RHP Brandon Woodruff (1343.05),
  • ARI RHP Zac Gallen (1232.46) vs. MIL LHP Eric Lauer (1073.83),
  • ARI RHP Merrill Kelly (1383.43) vs. MIL RHP Corbin Burnes (1282.98).

The Padres still need to keep pace with the Phillies or lose their playoff position.  They have clinched a playoff berth.  They hold the tiebreaker advantage over Milwaukee (4-3).  Their probable matchups are –

  • SF RHP John Brebbia (623.14) vs. SD RHP Joe Musgrove (1073.03),
  • SF LHP Carlos Rodon (1482.88) vs. SD TBD,
  • SF RHP Alex Cobb (773.79) vs. SD TBD.

Barring no changes, the most likely NL playoff schedule looks like this –

  • Friday, October 7th
    • 4. NY Mets vs. 5. San Diego
    • 3. St. Louis vs. 6. Philadelphia
  • Saturday, October 8th
    • 4. NY Mets vs. 5. San Diego
    • 3. St. Louis vs. 6. Philadelphia
  • Sunday, October 9th
    • 4. NY Mets vs. 5. San Diego
    • 3. St. Louis vs. 6. Philadelphia

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.

  • 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) 1:05 PM
    • 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.

10/02/2022 – Phillies optioned LHP Cristopher Sanchez to Lehigh Valley
9/30/2022 – Phillies recalled LHP Cristopher Sanchez from Lehigh Valley
9/30/2022 – Phillies recalled 1B Darick Hall from Lehigh Valley
9/30/2022 – Phillies optioned 3B Yairo Munoz to Lehigh Valley
9/28/2022 – Jersey Shore activated RHP Matt Russell from the Development List
9/28/2022 – Jersey Shore activated C Andrick Nava from the Development List
9/28/2022 – Clearwater activated 2B Alexeis Azuaje from the 7-day IL
9/28/2022 – Clearwater activated OF Emaarion Boyd from the Development List
9/28/2022 – Clearwater activated LHP Gabriel Cotto from the Development List
9/28/2022 – Clearwater activated RHP Alex Garbrick from the Development List
9/28/2022 – Clearwater activated C Adony Mejia from the Development List
9/28/2022 – Clearwater activated RHP Alex Rao from the 7-day IL
9/28/2022 – Clearwater activated RHP Victor Lopez from the Development List
9/28/2022 – Clearwater activated OF Justin Crawford from the 7-day IL
9/28/2022 – Clearwater activated RHP Jean Cabrera from the Development List
9/28/2022 – Clearwater activated LHP Gabriel Yanez from the Development List
9/28/2022 – Clearwater activated RHP Eiberson Castellano from the Development List
9/28/2022 – Clearwater activated C Ryan Leitch from the 7-day IL
9/28/2022 – RHP Joel Heredia assigned to DSL Phillies Red
9/27/2022 – Phillies activated 3B Nick Castellanos from the 10-day IL
9/27/2022 – Phillies optioned C Donny Sands to Lehigh Valley
9/27/2022 – Phillies sent 3B Johan Camargo outright to Lehigh Valley
9/25/2022 – Jersey Shore activated LHP J.P. Woodward from the 7-day IL
7/29/2022 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Joel Heredia to a minor league contract

257 thoughts on “And, Then There Was One, the Big One

  1. Wrap it up today boys. Give everybody a few days to enjoy the feeling. Personally, I don’t care who they face, but yes, Stl should definitely be an easier road.

    1. I keep wavering from only the Cards and then thinking, if we can’t beat the Mets now how can we beat them in the 2nd round. Only thing that might be an advantage is the rotation is set for the top 3 in the 1st round and that might benefit the 1st series and then help us in the next one, if we move up to that one.

      1. advantage of the last playoff spot is that the winner of the WC #1 and WC #2 match-up gets the Dodgers while the Cardinals/WC3 winner would get the Braves.

        Much better to play the Cardinals/Braves than the Mets/Dodgers team.

  2. I agree, I would love to win twice now and play the Mets. Let’s exercise those demons in a big way. Honestly, just getting in after the Saturday 1:00 clunker and after some really bad baseball in Sept feels like such a surprise.
    Happy opening day in the AFL.

  3. While the Stro’s may not rest their starters I doubt they play with the same intensity and/or play the number of innings they typically would.

    When we clinch a spot in Houston we will be the 2nd team to have done so. The Rays did it just last week and as they celebrated the Astro’s put on their jumbotron a congratulations message to the Rays.

    Very classy…

      1. The Phillies should send the entire Marlins team individualized gift baskets.

        In any event, the Phillies are perfectly set up to have their big three start the playoffs with plenty of arms in reserve ready to go at a moment’s notice. I’ve always said, the best realistic outcome, by far, for the Phillies would be the third wild card spot and that’s likely to happen. The Cardinals are a much, much better match-up for the Phillies than the Mets.

    1. Agree DMAR, I expect the Astros to play their regulars but also suspect they will get at-bats for bench guys and work for the bull-pen guys they expect to be on the playoff roster.

  4. I am hoping I don’t jinx us, but I am looking forward to playing the Cards. In 2011, we had the best team in Baseball. I was at that last game, second level behind home plate, Doc vs Carpenter. An excruciating loss, and I still believe that both Utley’s and Raul’s swings would have been HRs in about 75 of the other home games that season, but died out on the warning track. Then Howard tears his achilles, and we have seen some awful baseball since then. Making the Playoffs is a really good starting point, but I would just love to pay back the Cards. Win or lose in that Series, I still think we go get Trea Turner, move Bryson to 2B, and pick up a SP to replace Gibson. Plus our annual 3 BP arms.

    1. Gosh Matt I so remember that game. I could not believe that 1 run in the first 2 batters I believe would be it for the game. I sure thought Raul’s was gone. So did he.
      I like the 3 BP arms. Phillies just have not had any luck besides Alvarado.
      I am not sure on Brogdon. I hope he pans out.
      I will be very happy with 1 Phillies win or 1 Brewers loss. Still tough road ahead. I prefer Cards over Mets.

  5. matt:
    ‘Plus our annual 3 BP arms.”…as long as one is not Familia and non cost an arm and a leg as relievers go.
    Personally….I think there is enough now on the team and in the system, to warrant not to have to go out and get that special reliever.

  6. Yes, Romus, Familia was a waste of $, Knebel was a gamble on both sides that didn’t work out, and Hand pitched fairly well until later in the year, and now on the IL. I don’t see a Closer being acquired, we have SerA and Alvarado back, also Brogdon. I don’t know the status of Nelson and Belatti after this season, but we always pick up a couple of arms. I also don’t know if anyone from the Farm system may win a BP job out of ST?

    1. They will sign someone and may or may not re-sign Robertson (who has been very mediocre although he’s been pushed too hard for a pitcher in his late 30s). Nelson and Belatti are cheap – I expect them to be around and compete for roles on next year’s team. Odds are against Hand coming back but it could happen. There are some good arms in the minors, so there’s depth there and a BP arm or two could be promoted during the season, but there’s nobody who will be relied on for 2023.

  7. The Phillies gave Familia $6M for this season. If they could get him back for say, $4M next year….kidding, guys, only kidding.

    Someone help me here – didn’t the Phillies offer Knebel a 3 year contract and he turned it down?

    1. Not sure that ever leaked but it was definitely a multi-year commitment. Dodged a real bullet there.

      1. That’s what I remember as well. But Knebel “settled” on a pillow contract that would permit him to further enhance his value. Maybe he shouldn’t have bet so much on himself.

    2. Yes, Knebel turned down a multi year deal, but no idea on the length or money involved.

  8. Hey, guys. First time catching up on PhuturePhillies over even baseball standings since Ian hit. At a friend’s house 30 miles from home who has Internet so this is the first I’ve had to catch up on Phillies and I see they’re just one game away. Good luck to the Red Caps. Probably won’t learn how they do for several more days until either 1) power and Internet are restored or 2) I travel south again to piggy back on someone’s Internet. Anyway, with my luck, they’ll get into the playoffs and sweep the first series without me. If so, I want you to give me credit for not jinxing them with my presence.

  9. SWFL Frank, I am glad you are safe, and hope you can get back to normal as soon as possible.

  10. I second that thought from Matt. Hope things get better quickly for you.
    We will try to get the Phillies over the hump this week.

  11. SWFL Frank glad you are safe and hope that your home is OK. My son in Orlando had minimal problems but one of his friends has waist deep water in his living room.

  12. Here is an odd thing I have never thought about before. If the Brewers lose before the end of the Phillies game but the Phillies also lose-do they celebrate in the locker room? It just feels odd celebrating after a loss

    1. Instead of champagne and goggles…..they will be using 2022 New Year’s Eve Party Poppers.

    1. Stars Bo Bichette, Kyle Schwarber, Jose Altuve , Bryan Reynolds and also Alec Bohm ….all foundations at the bottom….quite surprising with some

        1. Ok……it is a stretch.

          Phillies ss…..I see Stott is a negative 3 and Sosa a positive 5…even Hoskins may be in the positive for the first time in his career.

    2. Not this year – he’s ineligible:

      Per the rules outlined on the Rawlings website, a pitcher must have thrown at least 138 innings in his team’s first 138 games in order to qualify for the Gold Glove ballot. The Philadelphia Phillies played their 138th game on Sept. 9, at which point Suárez had only thrown 127.2 innings.

      A garbage rule to not include the entire season but he wouldn’t have met the criteria based on an entire season, either. He’ll get one in the future.

    3. V1,
      Unfortunately, Suarez isn’t on the ballot. The broadcasters have said several times that when the ballots were printed, Suarez was like three innings short of qualifying at that time. Of course, I’m biased. But, I don’t think I’ve seen a better fielding pitcher this season. Maybe, well-informed voters can implement a write-in campaign for Ranger?

    4. They were saying during the game that Suarez in not eligible because when they were printing up the ballots he wasn’t eligible, but now he is, pitiful!!!

  13. Astro broadcast just had a really nice interview with the Maton brothers.
    I did not know Nick had brother on Astros. Pitcher. One is 4 years older.
    Guessing Nick is the older but not certain.

  14. Nice Romus.
    Astro announcers just said that Dusty said in presser today starter will play like ST games. 6 innings or so. Said he wants to get ABs for all of his guys and have them ready. Did not address pitchers’ length.
    Like early in season, I can only get the Astros. It has been that way for a while. Not sure the last Phillies broadcast I got. But I get to flip back and forth between Phillies and Brewers.

  15. With tonight’s leadoff HR, his 45th, Schwarber now has career highs in HR, RBI, R, SB, BB …and yes, K.

    For months my thinking was to trade Hoskins this off-season (at a high value pt) to lessen our DH count and free up salary to invest in improved defense and a SP 1-3.

    But now, although I like Schwarber and don’t actually want to lose him for he could be a sick #5/6 hitter for us, I believe trading Schwarber may be wise if it can work. Maybe swap his huge power for a quality defensive OF or MI, or a quality SP. (Or a decent prospect though I like idea to trade for a player better.). Maybe it helps us from having to sign a f/a with a QO as don’t want to lose another pick.

    And I’ll repeat my call Castellanos has a strong bounce-back in ‘23.

  16. Few things.
    Phillies played 1st game in Minute Maid.
    Phillies last clinched playoff spot in Minute Maid. 2011. Doc won 1-0.
    Nola has chance tonight to do something not done since 1884.
    200 IP
    230 K
    30 BB
    Never been done in Modern Baseball.
    Back then pitchers had 6 balls for a walk.

  17. PhormerPhillie Hoby Milner doing his old team a solid by giving up a 2 run shot to the snakes.

    Thank you, Mr. Milner. Glad you’ve managed to accumulate a decent amount of service time over the years.

    Aaron Nola is Mr. October!!!
    Happ for Zach Eflin. He’s a really good guy who has had some bad luck health wise. He and the guy below could be key players in the postseason.
    Jose Alvarado is the dominant reliever I knew he would be when I started campaigning for him a few years ago (Matt Klentak ignored me, DD did not).
    Bryson Stott is a winner. Gonna love watching him play here for many years.

    1. Hinkie, you were the one who told us about Alvarado and, boy, were you right! But let’s also give a shout out now to the really great coaching the Phillies have received this year. Cotham is an excellent pitching coach and was the main reason Alvarado was able to rehabilitate his season and probably his career. Pitchers have ebbs and flows, but most of the Phillies pitchers have pitched to their potential. Many hitters have progressed too. It isn’t discussed much, but I think Kevin Long is the main reason that Realmuto transformed his hitting (he was SO one dimensional before he worked with Long – like Bohm and Vierling, every ball was hit to right field – making him predictable and robbing him of much of his power).

      As for Stott, as I’ve said all year, I believe in the skill set and I agree with you that this guy is just a winner. I said it before and I’ll say it again – if and when this team goes somewhere (I guess they sort of already have), Stott will be a big, big reason they get there. If you want to know the look of Stott’s future, watch Dansby Swanson – that’s the type of player we have in Stott.

      1. I am really, really happy for a lot of the players and manager and coaches (you’re right about Cothan & Long & I would also add Bobby Dickerson who has really helped Stott and Bohm) and even the owner (and his wife). The clubhouse interviews were great (not gonna lie, there was a tear or two in my living room as my wife and I pop a bottle of champagne). It was nice to hear Alvardo speak. He showed a lot of humility, along with happiness.

        And the talent in this man’s left arm is just unreal. So awesome to see him throwing strikes because the movement and the velo are otherworldly!

  19. If the Maton’s face each other, if it resulted in a HBP, do you think Nick would charge the mound?Mom telling from the stands you’re both grounded for the playoffs! Yeah … I said PLAYOFFS baby!!!!

  20. Yeah Phillies!
    And yeah Nola! Hopefully he’s quieted the haters for a bit. .
    Eflin with the save!

  21. never mind! per online version of the Washington Post which I can’t really read because don’t subscribe, but hopefully can screenshot

    The video board at Minute Maid Park displayed the team’s logo and the words: “Congratulations Philadelphia” as the Phillies celebrated.

    1. Tampa also clinched a spot at Houston on Friday night.
      So, they are getting practice congratulating.

  22. thanks Tac3 = my comment crossed with yours. i think the Brewers won so even better that the Phillies took care of their own business

  23. Lets Go!

    Wasn’t pretty but as was seen last year with ATL.. anything can happen. Fire up the cigars for a night and get back to business fellas.. Lets bring some games back to the bank that have meaning and get some people in the seats and white towels flinging their frayed ends like snow

  24. Forget about the record, Aaron Nola is one of the best pitchers in baseball. I love that, after the prior September failures, he was the one who dominated and clinched. He deserves all the credit and a contract extension this winter, which I think he will get.

    1. I really think Nola is the kind of pitcher who will age well. He isn’t a power guy. He throws 6 pitches for strikes and has crazy movement. Elite command. That should age well.

      1. yes, V1, from a then= organizational drafting philosophy focusing on high floors rather than the tools to become elite, he developed a bit extra after being drafted

        1. The thing with Nola is that he never had elite velo which many felt meant he couldn’t be a 1. But he has always had exceptional command of 5+ pitches. Paired with crazy movement on his fastball. He dominated the SEC for 2 years. And then dominated the minors and has been special as a pro. I looked at his stats last night and many forget that he had a 10 WAR season. That is unreal. -30 WAR in 7 full seasons. That’s really special.

      2. I said the exact same thing about Halladay (will age well because of the variety of pitches and location), and look how that turned out!

        1. Roy had a 8.7 WAR season at age 34. He injured his back before his age 35 season and messed up his mechanics and was done. Back injuries can happen with age.

          Nola is currently 29. We should be careful about an extension, but it is not unprecedented to be a good pitcher past age 35.

          Besides Verlander, Darvish just put up a 4.2 war year at 36. Kluber 3 war at 36. Wainwright 3.8 and 2.8 war at age 39 and 40. Charlie Morton very good at age 38. Grienke still good at 38.

        2. I thought the same thing as well, but things were a little different with Halladay. First of all, Halladay was quite a bit older than Nola when he pitched well for the Phillies. He was 34 when he had his second standout season. Nola is 29 right now – so he has an additional 5 full seasons before he will be as old as Halladay was when he was still a great pitcher. Second, the Phillies and Blue Jays rode Halladay HARD. Manuel routinely had Hallday throwing between 120 and 130 pitches. There is no way in the world they would let Nola do that. He is much less likely to break down due to overuse. Finally, Nola has a much broader repertoire of pitches than Halladay had. Halladay’s bread and butter was a sinking 2-seam fastball that he threw between 93-95 MPH wherever he wanted. He had other pitches that were good, but EVERYTHING for him worked off that sinking fastball. Nola, I think, could still pitch plenty well if he was throwing say, 89-91 MPH. He would only be a mid-rotation pitcher at that point, but I don’t think he would sink into the abyss the way Halladay did.

      3. Agreed. Nola has plus plus movement, plus plus command, multiple plus pitches and, most (but not all) starts, can throw in the mid-90s when he needs that extra velocity. But a Nola 95 MPH fastball is different (in a good way) because of his movement and release point, the ball explodes up in the zone and is nearly unhittable. Nola is well on the way (actually, almost there) toward being one of the 5 or 6 best pitchers in Phillies history (Alexander, Carlton, Roberts, Hamels, Schilling, and Bunning – and Nola will soon pass Bunning in WAR for the Phillies with many more to come) and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he ends his career in the top 3 or 4. The question isn’t whether Nola is a great pitcher (he most definitely is), but whether he can get on a HOF track. He isn’t that far off, but he will need some Cy Young type seasons to do so. Agree that odds are he ages very well. This was the year, in my mind, he became a consistently great pitcher. I expect another 5-6 season of this at the very least, and perhaps more.

  25. So glad they got it done! Nola with a gem, and who needs a big FA Closer, we gave Eflin! Stott is a great story, really struggled early, they stuck with him, and we have a very good player. Nola and Stott, home grown, now let’s pay back St.Louis for 2011!

    1. Maybe for the rest of this season, but I am fairly sure that Zach Eflin still views himself and his future as a starter and he will look for a contract this offseason that pays him as a starter. The Phillies will almost certainly decline his $15 m option, but they may still try to sign him to a 1 or 2 year deal ($12-13 m per season?) that will provide him with short term security and the Phillies with upside. I think the Phillies like Zach Eflin and I think Zach Eflin wants to stay with the Phillies. so I could see them working out a deal in pretty short order. I mean, who do you want as your 3rd/4th starter? Zach Eflin or Kyle Gibson? It’s not that hard of a choice if they can reach reasonable terms with Zach.

      1. The final at bat last night highlights Eflin’s career long struggle…he doesn’t have a put away pitch. I really hope that they don’t intend to use him as a closer during the playoffs. I also would let him go this off-season.

  26. Thomson should get, other than Wheeler and Nola , the other ten or eleven pitchers some limited action over the next two games.
    And then the relievers will also have Thursday as an off day
    Also get Vierling, Maton , Guthrie and Stubbs some action.
    Keep as many as possible sharp going into the weekend.

    1. Yes, expect a lot of bench guys to play today and tomorrow. Would rather end in the WC3 spot anyway and get STL in the WC round.

      1. Yeah, there’s no way I want that second WC spot. If baseball weren’t such a game of momentum, I would say they should tank these last two games. That said, the goal of these games is to put the team at full strength for the playoffs while keeping everyone sharp. If they can do that, I’d be happy if they lost these two games.

    2. On Wednesday I would pitch each and every guy you don’t want to pitch any in the postseason and there’s no way I would start Falter. Falter is the guy you can keep in the bp as a pseudo starter to pitch as long as you need him if another pitcher struggles. The same is the case with Syndergaard. In today’s start I would definitely start Suarez to keep him sharp but there’s no way I am letting him throw more than about 4 or 5 inning or 60 or 65 pitches. I want him sharp and fully rested if they need him in a game 3.

  27. Do you protect Schwarber from a 200 strikeout season or keep him sharp? I would rest him today and let him play 5 innings on Wednesday.

    1. Oh goodness, who the heck cares if he strikes out 200 times? Would that really destroy a 46+ homer season? No way, he’s hot, keep him in the lineup and let him rake and be hot as hell for the playoffs. They should only rest the position players who really need a rest. Everyone else, including Schwarber and Harper should hit away and stay or get hot. I was trying to find my post, but I believe I predicted that Schwarber would hit between 44 and 53 homers this year – he’s right there and, when he’s hot, wow, he’s fun to watch.

      1. If anyone remembers the day(s) we posted predictions, let me know. I posted homer predictions and a bunch were good (Schwarber, Realmuto, Bohm, pretty close on Hoskins) and others not so good (Moniak WAY off, and well off on Castellanos, but so was the world).

      2. yeah, my only issue with Schwarber is that he isn’t a lead off hitter. they have him in the wrong spot. but he is having a really good season.

        1. Yes, Schwarber is a good fit hitting 5th and Dh’ing. He has also taken on a leadership role in the clubhouse.

          The problem is with him batting leadoff and playing LF.

          1. Over the past 10 years (I haven’t checked further back) there has never been a player who hit 45+ homers and didn’t have 100+ RBIs. Most are 110+ RBIs. Schwarber has 94 RBIs with 46 homers. He should be batting 4th behind Bryce. He would have 120 RBIs.

            1. Great stat, v1. Also agree Schwarber should hit in the middle of the lineup (fourth or fifth depending on where Harper hits). IMO, Stott is the club’s future leadoff hitter.

            2. While this does not answer your specific question, here is some older HR/RBI information taken from a 2013 CBS sports article:

              Fewest RBI for a player with 50+ home runs

              Brady Anderson: 50 HR and 110 RBI (1996 Orioles)
              Willie Mays: 52 HR and 112 RBI (1965 Giants)
              Mark McGwire: 52 HR and 113 RBI (1996 Athletics)

              Fewest RBI for a player with 45+ home runs

              Barry Bonds: 45 HR and 90 RBI (2003 Giants)
              Alfonso Soriano: 46 HR and 96 RBI (2006 Nationals)
              Harmon Killebrew: 45 HR and 96 RBI (1963 Twins)

              Fewest RBI for a player with 40+ home runs

              Bonds (2003 Giants)
              Ken Griffey Jr.: 40 HR and 90 RBI (1994 Mariners)
              Adam Dunn: 40 HR and 92 RBI (2006 Reds)

            3. Good stats. But my point was less about did it ever happen and more that it is an outlier. He should have many more RBIs. He isn’t a leadoff guy.

            4. LOL, Romus. Much more Chuck Nasty than John Wick. But like I once said to you … if Brandon Marsh is even one-tenth as good as his job as John Wick is at his, Marsh will be a lock for the Phillies Wall Of Fame!

          2. I agree with all of you re: Schwarber. Very happy with the signing, love his leadership role, and always love 40 plus HRs. I don’t think he should hit leadoff, and I am with Romus, Marsh, depending on his off season work, may be a good lead off hitter.

        2. I’ve heard this opinion now several times…on here, amongst friends and elsewhere on social media. My only counterpoint to this suggestion (which I kind of agree with what you’ve stated…why waste power with no one on base) is wouldn’t he be pitched differently as a 4 or 5 hitter? And would Schwarber be less likely to swing early in the count as a middle of the order guy compared to hitting 1st in the lineup? Just adding my two cents in to continue the discussion because I don’t know if there is a right answer, and his stats may be completely different if he wasn’t at the top of the lineup for the majority of the season.

      3. I said Schwarber would hit 37-52 homers – I guess I hedged that bet didn’t I? I remember writing that and starting at 43 to 52, but thought 43 was a pretty high floor. I should have stuck to my guns.

  28. Want to understand the Phillies minor league system over the last decade up until the last 2 seasons. This quote was from Amaro (talking about Nola) in a Matt Gelb article about the Phillies clinching last night.

    “When we drafted him, we wanted a guy who could come to the big leagues in a hurry. But we didn’t think he would pitch much more than (as a) No. 3 (starter) or maybe a No. 2. But he’s pitched as an ace at times.”

    So with the high 1st round pick, they intentionally took a guy they expected to be a #3 starter. Might be why they never produced high-end players.

    I’m glad Nole became more than they expected but wow, what a statement by a former GM…

    1. Sometimes the right things happen for the wrong reasons.

      Frankly, in that 2014 draft, Amaro and his cohorts were trying to save their jobs. Their approach to the draft was pretty inexcusable. They were trying to draft guys who were going to make it to the major leagues as quickly as possible and contribute so the team could rebound. As a result, they drafted college players and they didn’t even TRY to draft high school players in that entire draft until they got to the throw away part of the draft. In the first 28 rounds of the draft the Phillies drafted ONE high school player. It’s unthinkable. And, of course, what happened? It was the best draft of the Amaro era, by far, even though they really hit on only two of their picks. Nola and Hoskins were massive hits, making it a good draft. Baseball is weird. Still, the idea that you could turn around a franchise in a year or two by drafting only college players is pretty foolish. Clearly, you can’t.

    2. Yeah….he had made that statement in 2020 on one of his first Nola games he had as a studio guy….glad he was wrong about the projection from 2014.

      Have to admit…the Phillies are doing well in grooming pitchers thru their system.

  29. And, I forgot to give kudos to Hinkie who was in on Alvarado and was thrilled when DD got him. You called it, Hinkie! And, this was really a whole team effort, Harper early, then Schwarber took off in June. Realmuto later on, key contributions throughout from the young guys. I love the way Stott plays. I know he made a few errors recently, but overall, he has been very good defensively, and became a solid hitter. And, that game Nola pitched last night was a real gem. Good for him!

    1. Yeah matt…Hinkie was on Alvarado way back when he was a Ray.
      Hopefully bats now show up on Friday and Saturday with Wheeler and Nola back on the mound.
      Keep Goldey and Arenado in check and Phillies have a real good chance for a series win.

    2. Wow. Am I the only one surprised that Alvarado was a DD trade and that he’s only been with the team for 2 full seasons? It feels like he’s been here an eternity for some reason… Really happy he’s become so dominant this year. His stuff has always been electric. Let’s hope ownership can find more diamonds in the rough like this and the coaching staff can unlock them like they did Alvarado.

      Go Phillies! Thanks for all of the interesting discussion this year on this blog.

  30. Little bit of trivia; both of the Phillies’ world championships have (partly) come on the back of a home run champ. Schmidt hit 48 dingers in 1980, and Howard also hit 48 in 2008.

    So clearly we need Schwarber to hit two more bombs in the next two games and then immediately bench him until the playoffs. That is the key to another trophy.

  31. After Schwarber hit the first pitch out, I said to myself if Nola can simply throw a perfect game the Phillies are home free. He almost did. Congrats to him and all the Phillies. Let’s go get them Friday. Baseball is crazy. Anything can happen. It will be 0-0. First team to either 11 or 13 wins if WC. Nats barely won WC game and they won it all.

    1. Don….no matter how far the Phillies go beyond this point, I do think Thomson may have made himself a few million dollars more now and will have the interim label taken off his job title.

      1. I agree Romus. It would be very difficult for them not to give him the full time job now. He has done a great job. Team had a few hiccups last couple weeks but righted the ship in time. Plus, he started 8 games in the hole at 21 and 29.

  32. I agree, Romus, and Friday is the anniversary of that excruciating loss in 2011. Let’s bury that memory with a big W. It’s time for Harper to get hot, and for Nick C to show why we got him. This is why, when things looked bleak, that making it in was a big deal. We now have Wheeler and Nola lined up, and that is a nice way to go into a 3 game Series. Red October is back!

  33. Matt Gelb had a couple of great articles in the Athletic. In one, he recounts many of the names of players who came through town during the Drought. We once had an OF of Bourjos, Goeddel and Parades! No wonder we struggled! It feels good to chuckle now, but there were some really rough years.

  34. I have long thought of Nola as a lot like Hamels-a guy who will likely will never win a Cy Young, but will be one of the top 5-15 pitchers each year for a decade, who will, in aggregate, be the best pitcher in that decade. Is there a pitcher between 2007-2016 with a higher WAR than Hamels?

    1. It’s funny you say that, but it’s true that, right now, Nola’s career is completely on a Hamels-like trajectory, although, as pitchers they were quite different and Nola has no postseason hardware or reputation like Hamels does. In order to change that trajectory, Nola is going to have to have several Cy Young type seasons. But on his current path Nola will retire with about 50-60 WAR – just like Hamels did.

    2. I mentioned last night that the Astro announcers mentioned that Nola had a chance to do something never done before in the Modern Era.
      I think it was
      200 IP
      230+ Ks
      30 or less BBs.
      He had no walks last night, so he achieved that feat.
      Great job.

    3. Yes there were pitchers ahead of him. Hamels is 5th in fWAR from 2007-2016.

      Kershaw, Verlander, Felix Hernandez, and Greinke were ahead of him. Good company, though.

      The coolest thing is that Lee was still 7th and Halladay 11th on that list despite them having 70-100 fewer starts than the others (due to, you know… being retired).

      1. I thought about Verlander and Grenkie. Overall they had more WAR but weren’t as consistent they had great years and bad years.

        I didn’t think of Kershaw because he started one year later. Hernandez surprised me I guess how awful his career ended covered up a great early career.

        My main point though was Hamels consistency over his brilliance. He was the only one who had 3.3+ fWAR every season between 2007-2016. Yes I realize I cherry picked the years and bWAR was much less kind to Hamels 2009

        1. Don’t worry, you won’t hear me complain about someone singing Hamels’ praises. I’ve always been one of his biggest defenders (even after 2009). It’s really no shame to be just behind no-doubt hall of famers over a stretch of a decade.

          He, like Nola, was always better than a lot of Philadelphia was willing to give him credit for.

  35. Random thoughts –

    Schwarber – the reason I wanted him is because he has that “clutch” factor. 1 pitch, 1 run. Set the tone. Looking forward to what he has in store

    Castellanos- worst season in a long time for him. Not sure what happen but he needs to get going

    Harper – wondering if he is playing hurt, by that not technically hurt, but not at 70% strength in his hand. Surprised by the lack of power since coming off the DL. Will see. Hopefully it’s just a timing thing he gets sorted out shortly

    Segura – I’ll say it… not running that pop up out … that’s a give up mentality, thinking the worst. I don’t understand how you do that in a playoff hunt. You’re in a dome, the ball could get lost in the lights. Low IQ baseball play on top of that. Could have been doubled up if Bergman pulled it off. He’s not as bad a herrera, but yeah … that’s not winning baseball

    Astros uniforms – ugly as always. They got a special talent for barf designs

    1. He may not be the most personable guy in the locker room, but think Castellanos will redeem himself next season, after all, he has no college degree so he has to hit HRs.
      As for Jean Segura….probably gets bought out.

      1. Jean is probably gone. I am not a real big fan of his. He definitely is a good hitter and he can field and he’s been worth his salary which is more than you can say about other players on this team. That said, he’s the guy who, when he screwed stuff up and didn’t hustle, wanted to fight Girardi. That was uglier than anyone ever really got into. You want to FIGHT the manager when he’s on you a little for not hustling or doing your job? Nope – don’t like it at all (actually, I really hate it) even though he does seem to get along with the other players.

        1. Like I’ve always said, Segura might be good for a year- to- year signing but not long term at this point. Not a good sustainable body type.

        2. He has had some emotionally confrontational issues in the past…brawl in the locker-room, Seattle with Dee Gordon, Sep 2018…….so DiPoto called his buddy Matt K and traded Segura to Philly.
          Yeah…all of that drama aside….probably best to let him go.
          He is not part of the core going forward.

    2. Tac3
      Hans Solo is that 1 pitch, 1 run

      Castellanos spot on.

      Definitely playing hurt.

      Segura occasionally has mind cramps

      Astros dead wrong, they are beyond ugly, a whole different category.

        1. That would be close to 20 MPH (about 20 3 minute miles in an hour) – that’s elite NFL WR/RB speed. There’s no doubt Rojas is a tool shed player.

          1. Ok….that sounds a lot better.
            Rojas has the wheels.
            Man, I can only wish somehow Marsh and Rojas can be in the same outfield…and both hit.

    1. Thank you for this update, with everything else going on I forgot about this season in the AFL.
      Much appreciated.

  36. Little season trivia:
    Phillies first 50 games……..21-29
    Brewers first 50 games……32-18

  37. I calculate potentially $90m coming off the books for next year. $98m if they move Rhys to make room at 1B for Schwarber or Nick. That’s a lot of options for DD.
    Segura 17
    Didi 15
    Eflin 15
    Knubel 10
    Gibson 7
    Syndergaard 7
    Hand 6
    Familia 6
    Odubel 4
    Cutch 3
    (Rhys – 8)

    1. Sorry, the Eflin number in 2022 is $5m. The $15m is for next year, which they will decline. So $80m (or $88m) coming off the 2022 salary

      1. Segura is actually $16M…they have to buy him out for $1M which counts vs LuxTax.
        Hoskins’ will be more of savings since he would be in his last arb…and looks like maybe $14M with the year he is having and Boras pulling him along.

        Eventually, when you do the whole spreadsheet….you probably should factor in Nola and a LTC …assume $23/25M AAV for who knows how many years.

    2. Hoskins isn’t going anywhere without a suitable replacement at both positions. Since there isn’t a suitable replacement on the roster, it would cost money – probably as much or more as Hoskins is going to make. So . . . it’s very unlikely Hoskins is moving. And at the risk of being a broken record, Hoskins and Schwarber had nearly identical WAR this year. I’m not saying he’s a better player than Schwarber or I want him more than Schwarber but he’s a lot better than folks here will ever allow and it’s highly unlikely they move him this off season. Let’s all stop fighting that fact pattern. He’s here next year.

      1. Disagree, and I don’t intend to concede the point that he won’t be traded because I believe that he is the most logical player to be traded. I am sure that DD will talk about upgrading the team’s defense in his post season presser. That’s the obvious area to improve. Our OF defense is horrendous. You have to move Rhys to upgrade the OF because Schwarber and Castellanos are not getting traded.

        1. I think Bohm is the most logical player to be traded. He’s the guy who again has market value but perhaps a limited long-term future (that’s the gamble – what’s his upside? I think we may just have seen exactly what he is and can be, which is okay, but not much more).

          Now, I hear you about not having an OF with Castellanos AND Schwarber, you can put up with Schwarber, but, over a season, Castellanos is just intolerable in the field. So maybe the lynchpin is whether Harper’s surgery is expect to be successful. If Castellanos can be moved back to DH, I don’t see who you’re realistically going to get for Hoskins that is going to make the trade worthwhile.

          1. You know that I am not a huge fan of Bohm, but he is basically free. So I doubt that he gets moved. There are not a lot of great 3B options and certainly none at his salary. Rhys on the other hand will be expensive.

            I have thought about who we can trade Rhys for and Houston desperately needs a 1B and I think would be interested in him. I would do a deal of Rhys for Luis Garcia. Garcia is the Astros #5 starter, but is a 4th starter type.

            But he is young, controllable and cheap. He would fit in perfectly to replace Gibson.

            1. v1,
              I have written my roster information article and am saving it until after the Phillies complete their run.

              I calculated the Phillies’ available $ differently. I added up all the contracts, sunk costs, and reasonable guesses on options, arbitration, and tenders and have just under $58M available for maybe 5 free agent acquisitions.

              If you want, I can e-mail it to you and you can let me know if there are any obvious errors other than some secondary transactional data which has to be updated since the article was prepared a few weeks ago.

            2. v1……that is a good idea.
              Stros will need to upgrade their first base situation…and Hoskins in that park with the short Crawford boxes would play well.
              And I like Garcia…a good kid from the Ven.
              I do think however, you will need to add a pitching prospect to the Hoskins package, since he is only a one year rental at this point….as long as it isn’t Painter or Abel…they will want McGarry, I’d offer Miller instead….or one of the teenagers that do not 40 protection for a few years like Segura or Ottenbreit

  38. Sadly not going to earn friends on this site for this, but have to defend Segura. He has played solid or better with 100% effort on defense all year. The numbers may or may not support my impression – but my impression is he has been pretty “clutch” with his hitting. Jimmy Rollins was also known not to run out a play or two, and Realmuto has had worse base running mental errors this year. This doesn’t excuse them, but focussing on one pop up is like cherry picking examples to prove a point that could be made about a number of others on the team.

    1. You also have to factor in his $$$$…not just the occasional lack of hustle.
      Is he worth $17M at the expense of not signing an upgrade somewhere else?

      IMO, it comes down to whether or not the Phillies go for one of the big free agent shortstops….if they sign one, Segura is let go, if not…then Stott stays at shortstop and Segura more than likely comes back for his final contract year.

  39. I Heart, I don’t think they exercise the option on Segura, and I have that opinion without being negative towards him. I think, while it is great that we have made the Playoffs, there are areas of improvement needed. And, not an unlimited budget. I believe the team goes after Trea Turner and moves Stott to 2B. That will eat up Segura’s $, plus significantly more. We also will need a SP, or 2, and a BP arm, or 2, so that $ goes fast. Stott can adequately replace Segura, while we may argue about trading Rhys and his 30 HRs, or anyone else, I think it’s a logical move to move Stott to 2B, if we are successful in getting Turner, or one of the other SSs. Although, I think it’s Turner or no one. I have a feeling Swanson goes back to Atlanta and Bogaerts to Boston.

    1. Matt13 (as usual) I agree with your comments, and though the finances might be prohibiting when other needs are considered I would be ecstatic to have Trea Turner join the team. Thank you for not disagreeing with my actual comment, which was and is, that there is no need to disparage Segura because there might be a more desirable option. Hoskins, Realmuto, Stott, Bohm, Marsh in his short tenure, have all had fielding issues that were as bad or worse, and or lack of hustle issues. It should be possible to advocate for Turner – or Verlander, or whomever, without disparaging Segura or comparable other players.

      1. IHeart. I agree with you on Segura. I think he has been one of the better defenders and one of the more clutch hitters as well. I have mentioned several times that I like Segura. The $$$s may be a factor.

  40. If you sign Turner, then trading Hoskins for a quality SP makes sense. Hopefully with Harper back in RF and Nick/Hall at 1B the offense could be stronger. If you can’t sign Turner, then keep Hoskins use the $$ to sign a quality SP

  41. LOL. This may drive some of you cray-cray … but … this guy ⬇ needs to be priority #1️⃣ this winter.


    Also love listening to Dave Dombrowski. A couple of highlights from his inning in the booth tonight:
    * Sounds like he might like Bryson Stott better at 2B
    * Believes Edmundo Sosa can be an everyday SS

    1. Hinkie…liking Stott at 2nd means in translation,
      …’love you Jean and wish you well on your future baseball adventures’… for Sosa…who knows…Bryce wants his pal Turner…..hard to argue with the asst general partner.

      1. Harper does seem to usually get what he wants so I can see Turner being a Phillie this winter. If it were me, I’d focus on an impactful arm. Verlander fits perfectly because he’ll probably command just a two year deal, you saw last night he’s still one of the SPs in MLB, and he’s got a history with DD.
        And I’m not telling anyone I know Verlander wants to play here. But you never know until you put the full court press on.

          1. Hinkie…I will give you this….getting Verlander does put the Phillies into a different stratosphere in the NL -East for 2023 and maybe 2024 as you suggested in a two year deal.

            But what is buried deep in the recesses of my mind….is the Philies luck or for that matter any club’s luck with that ‘old great pitcher, with that old great arm’….and then kaput…..the cliff shows up
            Goes down like Roy H, Cliff Lee, or Strasburg, or even this season for a stretch deGrom or Scherzer or Kershaw.

            Guarantee……once Justin and Kate eat their first Tony Luke’s cheesesteak with onions…..his arm goes lame.

    2. He was awesome Hinkie. I was thinking it would have been an epic battle between he and Nola. Wow. I am glad Phillies won game 1.

  42. V1, Catch, Romus, all…

    To improve their defense they absolutely have to trade one of the hitters. I don’t want to but we have to.

    Hoskins is a great candidate but truth is that Schwarber or Castellanos are likely worse at 1B. Maybe by a lot.

    So while I’m a big fan, I don’t see a better option than to trade Schwarber.

    How bout Cleveland?

    I’d love Amed Rosario!
    Schwarber isn’t enough so let’s go Schwarber and Falter for Rosario.
    (Cleveland was 29th in HRs this year. They also have Roccio up to AAA to take over SS.)

    If they won’t move Rosario then shift to the other need.
    Schwarber for Cal Quantrill.

    …Btw, I also like Austin Slater (RH) from Giants to platoon in CF with Marsh (LH). Both have splits that support a platoon. And both are strong defensively.

    1. For the Cardinal series…IMO, Falter.
      Personally if it comes down to game three on Sunday…start Eflin as the ‘opener’ to face the RHBs of Goldey, Arenado and Pujols in the first inning….then bring in Suarez in the 2nd or3rd inning.

      1. Suarez is the Starter IF Game 3.

        Eflin is now the closer mix for 8/9th w/ SerAnthony, Hand and Alvarez. Can’t waste him in the 1st.

        Revenge 2011, Retire Pujols.

        1. Skeet…he has had his rest now…..I would hope it will not be a concern. Prior to that game in Atlanta almost three weeks ago he seemed fine.
          Maybe he is tiring……so maybe with two days off he may come around.
          Plus last night…..there is that letdown after clinching and late night partying.

  43. Don’t know if it will affect him for the Phillies series, but Cardinals’ closer Ryan Helsley injured/jammed a finger on his throwing hand, and had to leave last night’s game.

  44. Any thought on moving Segura to 3B for 2023? Sigh Turner. Infield is D is improved. With Harper back
    In RF, you have flexibility to hide one of schwarbe/castellnos poor OF Defense.
    Then bank on Painter being a #4, release&resign Efflin as a bullpen piece. Move McGarry to pen. Extend Nola. Bohm & Hoskins available for a trade If SP is needed.

    Yes, I’m not a fan of seguras hustle, but it’s something we are forced to live with. He has a .300 capable bat with good defense. Not easy to find.

    1. I wasn’t impressed by his play at 3B when they tried it before. I’d rather move on and spend the money elsewhere. He doesn’t seem comfortable over there.

      1. offensively, Segura and Bohm are basically the same player. Numbers are very similar and I’m not sure Segura is much of a defensive upgrade at 3b but he will cost significantly more.

        I’m with JL26, good time to move on and reallocate that money.

        1. Reading between Dave D’s lines from last night’s interview in the box with TMac and Ruben…..he probably already has Stott penciled in at second base for 2023……senderos felices amigo Jean.

  45. Not a great tuneup by Ranger last night! We have to, when planning off season moves, figure out if Bryce can play RF to start the year. Does he get off season surgery, and, if so. When will he be able to throw? I also think the team is happy with Schwarber, and I don’t think they are trading him. I know the OF defense has to be better, but if one of last season’s FA pick ups gets moved, it’s Castellanos

    1. matt13…one thing that stood out to me in the Dave D interview….he compared Kyle Schwarber’s presence in the locker room to Dutch from the Phillies team of the 90s and that WS Marlins team, in which he was the GM at the time.

      1. As evidenced by tonight, I think we have a chance against St. Louis, after that we better be really beucy because we just don’t have the talent to compete.

        1. The last two games aren’t really proof of anything. Any time either team rests its starters, the results aren’t particularly telling. When BOTH teams do it, you need to take it with a handful of salt.

  46. Exactly Romus, they value his leadership and his HR hitting ability, so I don’t believe they have any inclination to trade him.i get the same sense that they view Stott as an even better 2B than a SS, and I don’t us see trading Bohm. So any every day player trade is Hoskins, Nick C or no one.

    1. I believe Bohm eventually grows into a 20+ HR guy. He needs to get back to taking more BB’s though. He had a 17% K rate and only a 5% BB rate. Obviously he was concentrating on not striking out as much.

      Defensively he improved a great deal but ultimately he winds up as a 1B whether that is next season or the season after we’ll see. He’s not eligible for FA until 2027.

      That type of cost control is not getting traded in the near term.

  47. 2023 Draft Lottery Odds Released:
    1. Nationals (55-107), 16.5 pct
    2. A’s (60-102), 16.5
    3. Pirates (62-100), 16.5
    4. Reds (62-100), 13.25
    5. Royals (65-97), 10.0
    6. Tigers (66-96), 7.50
    7. Rangers (68-94), 5.50
    8. Rockies (68-94), 3.90
    9. Marlins (69-93), 2.70
    10. Angels (73-89), 1.80

    Come on As, Pirates or Reds…do not want to see Dylan Crews in the NL-East.

    1. Is that just to land the #1 pick then everything else is seeded out accordingly? Or do they shuffle the whole top 10 deck?

        1. Gotcha….

          Personally I think they should have made it more interesting by continuing it down the line meaning the 10 team would get a shot at the 2 pick if they didn’t get the first and so on. Same percentages or odds of course.

  48. Call me crazy (I’ve been called worse) but I believe Plassmeyer can easily replace Gibson as the number five in the starting rotation. Or at least the long man/spot starter in the bullpen.

      1. Gibson has reminded me of Kyle Kendrick.
        Some good games. Some bad games.
        Like someone earlier said he takes up innings.
        Almost every metric ends up being average to below.

    1. For this series Ciada or moving forward into 2023?

      Either way Gibson shouldn’t be hard to improve upon. He had some decent starts early in the season but faded down the stretch for sure.

      Not sure I’ll be disappointed but I’ll be surprised if we don’t take this series against the Cardinals.

    2. He’s not going to be slotted as the replacement for Gibson. As poorly as things ended for Gibson (and, they did, which is why he needs to move on), he pitched to a 1.8 fWAR (and a .60 bWAR, which averages to a 1.2 WAR), which was perfectly good for a 5th starter. Plassmeyer has done nothing special to earn that role, you don’t slot rotation spots on a playoff team to a journeyman minor league pitcher. It would not be a good idea and it’s not going to happen. Now, could he pitch his way into that role next year? Sure, it’s possible (although unlikely) but it’s not happening over the winter or during ST.

      My view is that they are going to sign at least one solid pitcher to be the #4, whether it’s Eflin or someone else and it might be that they sign two guys – a star and a solid additional starter. Under either scenario, Bailey Falter would be slotted as the 5th or 6th starter.

    1. Last year when everyone was gaga over Gabe I was trying to get this POV out. This is nothing knew as I have been hearing this from someone I know in the MLB since 2014.

      Not saying at all that it is right or wrong or that one is better than the other.

    2. DMAR ..good read.
      Glad Middleton went with Dombrowski and not another new-=age techno GM… fault of Matt Klentak, but teams respond differently and when he let Pete Mack go, then the direction was already decided where they were going to go.
      Still in all…the teams with the old -head managers still seem to be doing well…ie Snitker, Baker, Roberts, Showalter et al.

      1. For the most part they have their players play the game the way it was meant to be played. I do realize they have in some cases added the new tech into their job but lots of fundamental baseball.
        I am interested to see how the 4 teams with over 100 wins do. Now everyone is 0-0. I wonder what the odds are that a team under 100 wins the WS.
        Think Braves won 88 last season. Nats probably were in the 80s as well in 19
        If WS was just Dodgers vs Astros I think I would pick the Astros. Their pitching is really good..

      2. I think Maddon’s point was that it all has to mesh and Perry’s hiring didn’t make sense if Moreno wanted him as manager.

        I think Middleton is learning. He definitely jumped the gun with McPhail and Klentak and then compounded that mistake by not relieving Kapler and Klentak at the same time…if not sooner. Clearly in hindsight the game had passed McPhail by and Klentak was in way over his head.

        the old adage that too many cooks in the kitchen will ruin the soup is a good one. Until the players are replaced by robots emotional intelligence not AI is still the most productive way to manage a club day to day.

        I imagine the players throughout the league walking around their clubhouses wondering who are these guys and why are they here.

  49. DMAR – I’m talking about next season. Of course, he’ll have to prove himself in spring training but I see him as a Cole Irvin type. For the playoffs, I don’t see them needing a #5 or a long man.

  50. The problem started with the hiring of Andy McPhail. There was no reason to do that. To me, it was a case of a new Owner, and I know he or his Dad has always been a part of the Ownership group, but Monty was the guy at the meetings with the other Owners, wanting someone to introduce him to the other Owners, and learn the secret handshake and all that goes along with being in the Exclusive Club, so he went with a long time Baseball name, even though McPhail had been long removed from any connection to success. Yes, that is partly in jest, but the point is that he was more concerned with getting to know how things actually worked, and he let McPhail hire Klentak. I believe he got it right with Dombrowski, and I was very impressed with the words he spoke after we made the Playoffs. Genuine, humble, grateful, I have to give him kudos.

    1. Agreed that the hiring of MacPhail was one of the worst possible moves Middleton could have made. It set the team back a minimum of 5 years.

      But Middleton doesn’t get a free pass as a “new” owner. Middleton has been controlling the franchise since the early 2000s at the latest. Unlike Jeffrey Lurie, who has something of a magic touch when it comes to finding front office talent, left to his own devices, Middleton makes the wrong decisions all the time. He has done this a few times and, ultimately, he does what any rich desperate person does (and it’s not the worst idea), he hires the guy with the longest track record of success. He did this with Gillick and Dombrowski. If he’s really lucky, Dombrowski will be able to identify the right guy to succeed him when he steps down.

  51. In 08 the Phillies were 7th in OPS they faced the Rays who were tied for 10 in OPS. In 09 we actually were 6th in OPS but we faced the Yankees who were #1.

    This season the Cards are 5th in OPS we are 8. It’s close

    I’ve always believed the better OPSing team wins unless of course its close and then the pitching comes into play. I think Wheeler/Nola Mikolas/Waino might be a dead heat.

    1. Nah, Wheeler and Nola are way better than any pitcher the Cards have (Wainwright in his prime would be on their level, but now he’s a tier below). They’ve had fine years, but if they appear to be comparable to our co-aces, it’s only due to the ridiculous disparity in the defenses behind them.

      If the Cards win the series, it’ll almost definitely be on the back of defense and relief pitching. There are very few pitchers who can hang with Aaron and Zack in a vacuum.

  52. I don’t know how everyone feels about the upcoming Playoff Series, but I am feeling pretty good. I do not underestimate the Cards, at all. I know that Arenado and Goldschmidt are terrific players. However, I think we match up well. I think that Wheeler and Nola give us a genuine shot at taking this Series, I look forward to Bryce or Schwarber or JTR, or Hoskins getting hot. Maybe the Nick Castellanos that played for Cinci last season shows up, or one of the Day Care make there October mark, but I am feeling good about winning this Playoff.

  53. I realize the Phillies have no say over scheduling the playoffs, but 2 on Friday (kids in school) and 8:40 on Saturday & Sunday (games will end near midnight) isn’t exactly a way to attract young fans. My “kids” are in their 40’s but grandkids won’t be seeing much of the Phillies. I know there are lots of teams involved different time zones and football figures in, however for a sport that should be looking to a younger audience this isn’t helping.

    1. Dave…I agree. I have to play Uber driver for 2 of the grandkids tomorrow afternoon so I am going to miss a big portion of Game 1.
      I know it is all TV and $$$$$ generated.

  54. I hope they have a plan for the bullpen, the recent shakiness over the last month is not reassuring

  55. Bob D, I think that Alvarado and Eflin give us significant reason for hope, and that Brogdon and Ser’A can make positive contributions. I wish Ser’A was in the Alvarado and Eflin category, and he may still be, but he has shown some of that shakiness you mention.

    1. matt13….Hand may also be in the mix…if not this series, but the next if the Phillies happen to go forward.

  56. Romus, I wasn’t sure about his availability. For the most part of the year, he was a very helpful arm. He will help. I find it very interesting that the Cards are starting Quintana. From what I remember, we try for him before we got Thor. Anyway, they are trying to neutralize Schwarber and Harper. I expect them both to do well regardless.

    1. There top hitters are right hand bats…..Goldey, Arenado, and Pujols …Edmans is a switch-hitter.
      Wheeler and Nola may be able to neutralize Goldey and Pujols…their splits vs RHPs are not great….Arenado however has an odd reverse split going on this season as opposed to his career splits (which however includes Coors)…..2022 slash 250/.323/.616 vs LHPs …and a slash of .303/.367/.512 vs RHPs….more contact vs RHPs

  57. The Phillies could easily take 2 out of 3 from the Cardinals. The next series would be MUCH harder.

  58. Quintana has always pitched well against the Phillies going back to his Cubs days.

    The bats are really going to have to come up big to get past the Cardinals.

    The Phillies beat the Cards in the season series but if I recall, they lost the last 2 or 3 games.

    1. Yeah, okay, but there’s no doubt the Phillies can beat them and they are, by far, the best first round match up the Phillies could have reasonably hoped for. We all know they tanked the second-to-last game in Houston – I would have done that if I were them.

  59. Phillies won’t face old friend JoJo Romero. He was optioned to Memphis Tuesday by the Cardinals.

    After the Sosa trade, he was optioned to Memphis. He was recalled on August 19th and pitched in 15 games – 14.1 IP, 3.77 ERA, 6 ER, 9 BB, 16 K.

    He was more effective in his first 8 games than in his last 7 – 6.1 IP, 5.68 ERA, 4 ER, 7 BB, 8 K.

    Apparently, Matthew Liberatore beat him out as the last LHP in the bullpen. Zack Thompson should be the top LHP out of the bullpen.

    LHP Jose Quintana draws game one. The other lefties on the roster are Jordan Montgomery (all 11 appearances were as a starter) and Steven Matz who started 10 of his 15 appearances but has been very effective in his last 5 appearances, all in relief.

    1. But I like JoJo. He has a chance to have a very long career as an effective middle reliever and 7th/8th inning guy. He’s got a good arm and I like his demeanor and approach. He wants the ball and he can sling it.

  60. Romus, his speed is elite, and I believe I had read that he could play a quality CF in the Majors already, so he needs to hit decently, and we will have a good player. Speaking of CF, I am not sure what Marsh’s BA was after he came here, but at 1 point last week it was .294. That is very good, and despite those 2 lost balls in the Sun, he displayed excellent D, and base running ability. I am happy with him, and another couple of years for Rojas to develop his hitting, and we will go from no good CF options to 2 really good ones.

    1. matt…for Rojas, this AFL experience, if he can continue it for the next six weeks, may be all he needs to speed up his progression.
      AFL has been a stepping stone for many stars.
      OTOH, teams when they call Dombrowski or Sam Fuld, may be inquiring about his availability in a trade.
      So just as Logan O’Hoppe was utilized as a trade chip… summer Rojas may also be the one going somewhere for a need.

      1. Difference is C was a position with a star plus we’re deep.
        CF meanwhile is wide open. So unless we acquire a big-time long-term CF, GM should just say no when asked for Rojas.

        Btw, thoughts about the plan to keep CF warm in ‘23? I like Austin Slater. He and Marsh have complimentary splits to create a quality platoon. And both strong defenders!

      2. I would like to see the Phillies acquire a real CF to backup/platoon with Marsh this offseason. It would be great if Rojas hits well enough in Arizona and becomes that guy.

        1. Jim, what are your thoughts on why Rojas struggles so much pre-June 1? Is it just weather? Or adjustment to level? …

          As much as I look forward to Rojas being in the majors it just seems he’d benefit from more time in the minors. If he doesn’t struggle early again and if he gets another 200+ ABs against AA/AAA and produces then maybe he’s up by July.

          1. He’s too aggressive. If he dials it back and waits for his pitch rather than swinging at the first pitch in the strike zone, I think he’ll be more effective.

            When I say, “If he does well in the AFL …”, I don’t necessarily mean his batting average. I mean all things coaches look at that indicate a successful at bat other than the outcome. They have a coach there. I’m sure that’ll be monitored.

            If he does well enough, why not let him benefit from working with Kevin Long rather than in the minors? Marsh seems to have progressed well working with Long on the job.

            It’s just a thought. If it could work, it would be a cheap solution for CF depth and a late-inning defensive replacement for Schwarber. Plus, OJT from Long.

            1. Though have to admit…for a free-swinger and an outside-the-zone chaser,
              …his overall K rate below 18% is very good…and 7% BB rate is about minor-league average, but for a Latin player, it is a little above average.
              If he can get 80/90 ABs against more experienced pitchers in the AFL and then maybe another 250/270 next season between AA/AAA pitchers , he could surprise be ready to jump to the majors by late 2023 as a 23-year old..

            2. Knowing the Phillies and DD, I don’t see Rojas as a player who will stick around as a back-up. I think they will either have a plan for him to become a starter or will move him. His value will probably be more in a trade than it would be backing up Brandon Marsh. Next year will be interesting for him and the Phillies.

            3. I just don’t see the Phillies trading O’Hoppe with the idea that Marsh is going to be a platoon CF. I expect their plan is for him to be the everyday guy facing both righties and lefties until he proves he’s not able to hit left-handed pitching.

              They seem to think there are things that can do with his swing to made him a better overall hitter, especially with a full ST to work on those changes.

            4. I kept thinking about a comp for Brandon Marsh’s upside, and the name I kept thinking about was Charlie Blackmon. If Marsh reaches his ceiling, the best we can probably hope for is another Charlie Blackmon, which would be pretty darned good. Blackmon was a 4 time all-star who hit (I guess still hits, sort of) with power, a good average and can play a capable centerfield and, heck, they even look alike! If he turns into something close to Charlie it will certainly help help justify the trade.

  61. Keep in mind the playoff schedule is unique this year due to the late start to the season. In the NLCS, Games 3-7 are played with no off day meaning teams will need 5 starters or to pitch on short rest.

    In the nearer term, if the Phils advance in 3 games this weekend, I’d bet they pitch Wheeler on 3 days rest in Game 1 at Atlanta so he could come back on 4 days rest in Game 5. That’s the only way you can get 3 of 5 games with Nola and Wheeler. Otherwise you’d be looking at Falter or Noah in Games 1 and 5.

    1. It will take years to know but will be interesting to notice if WC teams struggle to make it to the WS over time.

      It may place greater importance on being 1 of the top 2 division winners.

      1. DMAR…look to the NHL…they have been doing it for years….the team that wins the Presidents’ Trophy…..most points in a season…rarely goes on to win the Stanley Cup……..eight (22%) won the Stanley Cup from 1986(1987, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2008, 2013).

        1. Difference in NHL is the top team(s) don’t get to skip a round of the playoffs. The interesting thing to watch is how much does having to play the 3 game WC round impact teams in the next round when they are unable to set up their rotation to match the team they are facing.

          To me, that’s the biggest advantage for the teams that get the bye (besides not risking losing a 3 game series)

      2. I see the argument, but there is an argument for the preparation the WC race provides as well. Sitting & waiting for the playoffs doesn’t seem to go well in baseball. Will seem, but I feel like WC teams can have the advantage. I like the way the Phillies have this setup

    1. The team lost a real spark and a heck of glove (and surprising bat!) when Sosa went down. I am glad he’s back in time to exact some measure of revenge on his old team.

  62. So, Hoskins, Segura, Stott, Bohm, JTR, Castles, Schwarber, Harper, Vierling, Maton, Stubbs, Sosa, Marsh, Wheeler, Nola, Suarez, Thor, Gibson, Falter, Ser’A, Robertson, Alvarado, Hand, Bellatti, Brogdon, Eflin

    1. I don’t really see the need for Gibson. On the other hand, if you were faced with a blowout loss, you might want to throw him out there, quite literally, just to eat a lot of innings. Other than that, the roster looks solid to me. I mean, you stand back and look at the roster and you see it’s a much better team than any we’ve had since 2011 and it is definitely playoff worthy. NLCS worthy, perhaps not so much, but it’s a good (if poor fielding) team.

      1. Well, no, I guess Gibson doesn’t literally “eat” innings, but you know what I mean.

        1. Well lately, he hasn’t been eating innings but he’s certainly butchered a few of them.

  63. FYI – since this is the general discussion, I’m attaching/quoting Matt Winkelman’s work on the state of hitting in our farm system. He said it about as well as could be said. A very worthwhile read:

    “We don’t know enough at the time of a draft to really make definitive statements. The people in the room have more data, more personal connection, and more plan for what they will do next. Every pick that feels like a “reach” or just off should be treated as the org telling you “trust me, I know what I am doing”. If you are the Rays or the Dodgers or the Yankees or another team with a history of turning unknown players into contributors, you nod your head and trust them. The Phillies have not built that trust when it comes to hitters. Their selections have been poor with notable misses like Casey Martin and Ethan Wilson. You can see the hit tool holes on players with power and speed. You can also see a farm system that is very much lacking in hitting talent thanks to either poor acquisition or just lack of acquisition (the last 3 drafts have slanted heavily towards pitching), as well as a poor track record of development. There are a lot of factors at play, and with the human element of the players themselves, it is dangerous to dive too much into the blame game. That all said, the Phillies are asking for trust, and there is no reason to give it to them.

    That said, the system is crying out for hitting and dynamic hitting at that. We already touched on Crawford, he is a dynamic athlete with high upside. Emaarion Boyd (11) is not the all around projectable stud that Crawford is, especially when you look at potential power output, but he is a dynamic athlete that has the potential to be a speed and defense force. Shortstop Bryan Rincon (14) has a good glove and a fascinating past and path, and will be one to watch closely. The college hitters have some trends, but are not all the same. Gabriel Rincones (3) and Caleb Ricketts (7) have some level of analytical appeal, though I really worry about another corner outfield bat and how much pressure that puts on him to mash.

    Much of the rest of the Phillies hitting group is asking for a lot of faith. There is power in the group, there is speed, and even guys who might stick up the middle at catcher or center. There are a lot of college performers with high strikeout rates for the conferences they played in. The Phillies are going to need huge growth themselves in possibly helping some of these guys close those gaps or chases. For the most part we are talking about late Day 2, and into Day 3 and undrafted guys. It is a large influx of hitters into the system too. Even if they don’t become noted prospects, this influx could possibly help them close some of their minor league depth holes. Even with Crawford, there is no one in this group that gives you warm, fuzzy optimism right now.”

    1. One draftee that could surprise…is local kid from Pottstown, Jordan Dissin….Malvern Prep product and then JuCo time and a little time with the Spiders of Richmond. He does seem to have the intelligence and dedication ..all four years honors at the Prep. I am interested in seeing how he does in 2023 in the FCL

  64. I am sitting here at work on my computer and “watching” gameday. OMG – what chance do the Phillies have if he expands the strike zone 2-3 inches? If you do that Quintana is going to throw a 3 hitter every time. I want to scream at my computer screen.

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