Weekly Discussion (1/8/23)

The hot stove season plods along.


The Phillies are very likely done with the free-agent market.  But, they did manage a trade that will bolster the bullpen.  They acquired hard-throwing, left-handed reliever Gregory Soto and utility man Koby Clemens for three players from the back end of their 40-man roster – Donny Sands, Matt Vierling, and Nick Maton.

The trade deletes half of their bench.  We’ll see if they fill from within or make a move (trade or signing) that adds improvement around the edges.

Hot Stove

Thirty-five days until pitchers and catchers report.

Rumors, Facts, and Fiction

Players are beginning to arrive at the Complex.  Injured players are back to continue their rehabilitation to playing form.  And, a special camp is being run for a select group of participants.  I don’t recall if it is referred to as a “High Performance” or “Strength and Conditioning” camp.  In either case, I expect there will be very little work in the way of baseball drills.  We’ll start our spring training tomorrow and I will report activities and attendees when I can.

Key Dates

  • January 13, 2023: Deadline for teams and players to submit salary figures for arbitration.
  • January 15, 2023: Opening of the 2022-2023 international signing period.
  • February 13, 2023: Pitchers and catchers participating in the WBC report to their MLB camps.
  • February 16, 2023: Position players participating in the 2023 report to their MLB camps.
  • February 16, 2023: Pitchers and catchers report to ST.
  • February 21, 2023: Position players report to ST.   https://www.springtrainingcountdown.com/
  • February 24/25, 2023:  Start of minor league ST
  • February 25, 2023: Phillies First Spring Training Game (split squad)
  • 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.


1/07/2023 – Detroit traded LHP Gregory Soto and 2B Kody Clemens to Phillies for OF Matt Vierling, SS Nick Maton, and C Donny Sands
1/06/2023 – Phillies signed FA RHP Jon Duplantier to an MiLB contract w/invite to ST
1/04/2023 – Phillies designated RHP Francisco Morales for assignment
1/04/2023 – Phillies designated RHP Vinny Nittoli for assignment
1/04/2023 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Craig Kimbrel
1/04/2023 – Chicago Cubs traded RHP Erich Uelmen to Phillies for cash

239 thoughts on “Weekly Discussion (1/8/23)

  1. I’m still uncomfortable with the Soto trade due to our OF already being thin until Harper returns in June. As I wrote earlier I thought we over paid for a BP pitcher that is already one our strengths. I liked Vierling a lot. Maybe this is Rojas’s opportunity to make the 26-man as a 4th outfielder? Clemens was a throw in. They rarely mount up to anything worthwhile. He only hit .145 last year in the MLB. Not sure about his defensive metrics but that BA is a killer. He’s arguable a serious step back from Maton. Sands was expendable due to our depth at catching.

    1. I think you are doing the typical thing and over-valuing Vierling and Maton way too much

      Dime a dozen bench players

    2. I like this trade. DD got the player they wanted as a throw in. Years ago the Phillies threw in an infielder in a trade who only batted .167. We all wanted that trade back. DD and team got the player they wanted and the player they really wanted( Clemens). It is about time the Phillies came out on the steal end of an infielder.

    3. Spot on:. Vierling was a prototypical 4th outfielder with upside. At first, two yrs ago, I didn’t get the buzz, but after seeing his exit velocity and foot speed and knowing he was a good hitters in college,. He was insurance for a OF injury. iI think he will improve in the next few years, not sure about heisey and moniack.

      I think Gunthrie can take matons place (if he isn’t traded)but it’s often nice to have familiar faces that the locals from reading and Lehigh can visit. I think they both will become regulars in a year or two.

      Dumbraskie seems like if he isn’t making trades, he doesn’t feel like he’s doing his job???

      1. Come on. You typed 5 names and spelled 4 of them incorrectly. It’s not cute. It’s not quaint. A Phillies fan should do much better than 20% on current and former players. You want to be taken seriously? Be better.

      2. Will do better. Thanks for the call out. I was in knee-jerk reaction and mode and in to much of a hurry to verify spelling or double check typing. All but Dave’s was accidental error or ignorance.

        Haseley, Moniak, (spell check even just now typed that as Moniack?) Guthrie (not Gunthrie). I was 2 for 6 having gotten Vierling and Maton right, but I got the point.

        Mostly I question Jake Cave’s hitting (k ratio of 2.88) as a 5th OF and especially as a injury replacement. Cave has average range in LF but slightly subpar in rf and cf. And I question Soto’s whip as a wisest selection for a setup/closer though he has been an all star. If Soto’s whip is really on the downward trend, he may be quite the valuable peice. If not, he’ll be just another peice that might have been filled by advancing from within or free agency..

        I was never a big fan of the trading of the teams prospects especially for rental players unless it’s done from org depth like Sands. But they have lots more data to evaluate players than I or we.

        Have a good one!

  2. No news on a Morales trade yet. Is there a chance no team claims him and we can keep him? That would be a nice surprise.

    1. I expect if no trade there is a team willing to take a flyer on Morales. The Phils also have a roster spot open so I would think there is another move on the horizon.

      1. Morales will probably be at LHV.
        He will need to be put on another team’s 40 at this juncture if a team takes a chance with him..
        So teams will need to DFA a player to get him on their 40,
        …a decision many not want to make right now.

  3. JTR (USA) and Stubbs (Israel) will not be in camp for long, if at all.
    USA in Pool C will play out of Arizona and Israel in Pool D out of Miami.
    WBC starts March 8th and runs thru Tuesday Mar 21st…assume USA is playing in that championship game in Miami.
    So Marchan should get plenty of work come feb/March, along with a few others.
    I will be interested in seeing how catcher Anthony Quirion does in camp…currently tearing up in the AuBL

      1. JIm…..if you get the chance, ask him when Mark DeRosa wants the USA players to report for their camp. I assumed it would be the first part of March.

        1. Will do. Chances may be slim, though. JT gets to park in the players’ parking lot and is using the locker room in the stadium. Unless he mingles or uses the outdoor cages, I may get no closer than 300 feet.

          1. Ok…thank you.
            Not a big deal.
            I will look forward to seeing the young catchers more in the spring big club camp…this Quirion is having a great season in Australia..wonder how he will be in spring training.

  4. Romus……..how muchare you shelling out for that minority share of the D’backs? Which of the 3 Tigers will you miss the most?

    1. Vierling probably, close is Maton.
      But there are many similar role players like that around the league

  5. Here’s hoping that Scott Kingery is ready and the Phillies decision-makers regard him as worthy of one of the 40-man spots as a utility player.

  6. I don’t know about that deal. Not that I don’t think they should have traded one or all of those players but Soto has a career WHIP of 1.49 and 1.37 last year. That’s not good for a reliever.

    Years of control are a plus but man I hate seeing a guy coming out of the pen to walk guys.

    1. DMAR…I hear you.
      many cannot hit him….but the walks drive you crazy.
      Had better control last year…only 3 WPs and a tick fewer walks per nine.
      And also lowered his FIP from 4 in ’21 to 3.6 in ’22
      Oddly…lost 11 games last year…or 11% of all the Tigers’ losses…strange circumstance.
      Will see how it plays out….he may be getting better control of his FB as he ages into his prime.

  7. Any incite on who Salisbury’s replacement is going to be and when Jim’s departure will be? Thought he did a good job over the years.

      1. Would of been interesting to know what the deal there was. In 12 IP at AAA his WHIP 2.33 BB/9 10; K/9 13.5

        22 IP AA 1.156 WHIP 4.2 BB/9 and 10.9 K/9

        I forget if he started at AAA then was sent down or started AA and was promoted up. Maybe he just wasn’t feeling the org pitching philosophy.

        Either he was just going into his age 25 season and had to of been under team control for another 2-3 seasons.

    1. That’s a good question, Skeet. I wonder if Matt Gelb would make the jump from The Athletic. I doubt Todd Zolecki would leave MLB.com. Other possible contenders IMO: Ryan Lawrence & Alex Coffey. Maybe Meghan Montemurro as a dark horse. I’m assuming Corey Seidman is staying, and they’ll add to him.

      1. Do not think Meghan Montemurro will leave the Chicago Tribune …unless, of course, there is a hefty pay incentive to come back East.

      2. Yeah, guess we’ll hear something soon with ST on the horizon. Never been a huge Seidman fan. Probably stems from a report he wrote years ago on a preseason game between Reading and the Big Club and omitting the crowd reaction to Chooch. I figured out later he probably left the game at the end of the 6th and wasn’t there for the crowd response to Ruiz who wasn’t going to make an appearance, but the crowd started chanting “we want Chooch”, “we want Chooch”, etc. and they gave in and sent him out to PH to a standing “O”. It was the highlight of the game and not a word in the report. I probably should forgive him, but he seems a little starchy to me lacking a sense of humor.

        1. Jim … I’m not sure about that. Only an educated guess … but … I believe Jim Salisbury is/was making more than Matt Gelb. I think NBC Sports Philly may be a less risky thing. The Athletic was losing money before the NY Times bought it. Don’t know how it’s doing financially since.
          One other thing … pretty sure Salisbury makes all road trips. IIRC, there were some trips Gelb stays home for. Not sure if that was a Gelb decision, or an Athletic choice.

          1. The “less risky” NBC Sports Philly was in the process of cutting staff by offering buyouts. NBCSP wasn’t looking to “cut” Salisbury and was surprised when he accepted a buyout.

  8. Erik Miller has been traded to the Giants for Yunior Marte. Marte is a soon to be 28 year old RH reliever who had a really good year at AAA and pitched in the bigs with not great results.

    1. Wow….thought when drafted he could be a piece of a future rotation, especially with his size and his FB velocity….well/welp, he is going back to his college stomping grounds at Stanford..

  9. Our #10 and #11 prospects do not seem to be held in high regard by the team. I was a fan of Erik Miller, but he was clearly not as well thought of by DD. I would love to know their internal prospect rankings.

    1. Miller was interesting when there was hope of him being a SP. As a pure reliever he’s kind of just a guy. This is why I think Andrew Baker is probably too high in our reader poll, but he’s at least the best of the bunch.

  10. I really love this part of DD. He is stacking arms . . . . big, big, arms. And he is leaning on this pitching coach to make a few of these guys bona fide studs, just as Cotham did with Alvarado. In the meantime, the strong young arms on the farm won’t be rushed – they will come when they are ready. If a few things go well/right, this could be a devastating pitching rotation. I am now getting really excited about this team next year.

  11. MLBTR stated that Marte has two years of options left. That means he needs go on the 40 immediately. Is that correct?

        1. No vacancy now…..at their max of 40.
          Come March 30 Harper will go on the 60-day IL so they can another player…hopefully they do not lose any other current 40 players prior to March 30 while in spring training.

  12. All these extra bullpen arms will allow McGarry to stay as a SP which is the best way to maximize his value long term.

  13. I remain a skeptic. Maton and O’Hoppe may well make their mark – two exciting young players. We will see if what the Phillies received for them was worth it. Deals that look good on paper can turn on you. These aren’t even that good on paper. We have also badly weakened our bench.

    1. I don’t know if we’ve badly weakened the bench.

      First of all, as much as I liked Maton for the future, last year he and Vierling were very replaceable pieces. Their production was okay – nothing or more or less. The Phillies have internal options and if those don’t work well they can scan the marketplace. The good thing is that Edmundo Sosa is going to get some more playing time and he is a very useful player.

      As for Maton, it’s hard to know what he could/will become. My excitement really had to do with the way I saw him handle certain at bats and how he could really put a charge into a ball (very Utley-esque drives I never expected from him). I just saw a lot of projection there. That said, he has never hit .270 at any level, so it’s a bit hard to know what he is or could become.

      On Vierling, his problem as a hitter is that he neither lifts nor pulls the ball. Velocity off the bat is a good thing, but when you hit the ball without lift to the opposite field, your power projection is minimal – you’re basically Cameron Rupp. Now, Vierling has some potential – he’s athletic and some raw tools are there – but he has a lot of developing to do as a hitter. I’ve always said I could see him developing a lot in his late 20s – like Mike Yasztremski – but he could just as easily disappear from the majors.

      1. I liked Vierling as a 4th/5th OF but he is replaceable. As noted, he has some potential for improvement in he can improve his launch angle (Keith Law actually likes him for the Tigers out of the deal) but he wasn’t going to get the playing time in Philly to develop.

        I think that Maton/Guthrie are very similar players so Guthrie is a direct replacement.

    2. Bench players will NOT be the reason why the Phillies win, because they won’t play enough to matter.

      Garrett Stubbs had a career year hitting (.812 OPS), and only generated 0.9 WAR in 121 PAs. If O’Hoppe was the backup to JT, the odds would be against O’Hoppe to hit as well as Stubbs.

      Trea Turner and Stott are going to play a lot. Turner had 708 PAs last season. Stott still ended up with 466 PAs even though he was sent down for a bit. I’m expecting Stott to be over 600 PAs for this season. Any IF bench player will be lucky to get 150 PAs.

  14. The bullpen is now ten plus deep. Dominguez, Alvarado, Soto, Kimbrel, Bellatti, Brogdon, Nelson, Coonrod, Strahm, and Marti. There are several others further down the depth chart and there is a handful in Minors who can force their way up. Injuries will have a lesser impact with greater depth.

    1. And soon may know more on Francisco Morales…..today is the 6th day since being DFA, so by tomorrow he could be back within the Phillies org.

  15. Clemens is Roger Clemens son correct? I thought it was strange that in the various articles I read on the deal it wasn’t mentioned…that I noticed.

    Between Sosa, Clemens and Guthrie who I am assuming is the bench which one is a CF back-up? Marsh should play everyday and Rojas would be the call up if he were to get injured but what about an in game move?

    Hall and Hoskins I am going to assume do the bulk of DHing 1B to start. Sosa gets some time at either 2B or 3rd.

    1. Dmar, I think that Cave is also a bench option while Harper is out and would be an CF option although he’s a LH bat also.

      1. That’s right so maybe more likely if Marsh got injured that he would be the call up. Unless of course Rojas is tearing it up in AA or AAA.

        I just read that Duval and Profar are still out there but I can’t see DD adding any more payroll into bench roles. Anything is possible though if their prices come down.

      2. Thomson is familiar with Cave from when they were both in the Yankee org.
        So assume he will be around for awhile.

    2. Yes. It has been in most that I have seen. I believe he played on Texas team that made the CWS. I am not 100% on that though. Pretty sure Texas. He is young. Seems like several are high on him. I am not sure when Tigers drafted him or how high. Those are Romus matters.

  16. Looks like Correa to Twins for around 200M
    At least those hoping not Mets should be happy.
    I did not check for years.

    1. Thank you Jesus!
      Very worried about how the Mets offense would look with Correra. The twins have already done the major portion of the physical, so he should finally pass. Good on the twins. They have the makings of a good team.

      Next year, machado will opt out, but hopefully he prefers money and the west coast – so the Giants likely are able to finally dump a don’t of money on him, wreaking the Padres offense.

      1. A part of me wanted to see the Mets bury themselves in payroll with Correa with the bet that he might have a hard time staying on the field. But the talent is indisputable when he is on the field.

        I like him as a talent. As a GM though I would need a lot of assurances.

            1. I wonder, would it really bother Cohen if he had signed Correa for 10/12 years, $300M, and Correa stumbles after 4/5 years!
              The money would not be an issue from what I can see.
              Evidently, he must be listening to his GM and staff and decided to move on from Correa due to the long term prognosis..

          1. Haha Romus I hear you but at some point the waterfall effect of big contracts and no production has to take its toll on an organization.

            1. DMAR…correct.
              Production wise…..superstars do come up big, most of the time
              Nevertheless, it will be up to MLB to somehow curb Cohen’s monetary extravaganzas.
              And until they start penalizing him by, not by mere dollars,
              but by assets in the form of players/high draft picks/cut the international monies credit lines, …he will just keep on going up the payroll ladder.

            2. Romus – agree. I said the same thing below before reading your comment. The owners will not allow Cohen to go unchecked through the next CBA. He will lose that battle for sure.

  17. Didn’t see it posted by anyone else, but MLB has an article ranking prospects. You might recognize one or 2 of the names!

    Check it out, in the main mlb site if you haven’t seen it yet.

    1. Don,true … and hear that, but this saga is over. Sounds like they are hinting at the part of the physical that is holding this up … has been “passed”. The concerns were on the back end of the deal, and with the incentives he has to hit, they are safe guarded against that.

      It’s basically done.. a little more “legwork” to go … but it’s done for all intensive purposes.

      That’s a gut punch for the Mets

  18. True but the Mets will buy the next good option. This stuff is peanuts for Cohen. I am surprised he balked at this though. I am just hoping the pitchers are toooooooo old and have a major drop off soon. It will happen. We can hope it is 23.

    1. Sure, but I think this sets off a run of players that keeps the Mets out of a few races – Machado is next, but I bet he’s off to SF. That spreads the offense out of the NL powerhouses. That’s how I hope it goes, will see.

      Cohen can buy a lot of things, but he can’t buy young, controllable pitching. That is what makes Painter,Abel, and McGarry so valuable to the Phillies. That advantage can keep the Phillies & Middleton’s money ahead of the Mets. The braves to me are starting to cost average their playoof runs – letting freeman & Swanson go for Olson & Murphy is a bad move for postseason wins, imo.

      Phils looking good from here.

        1. I figure they would be in the race … hopefully ohtani goes with the real NYC team. Will see. I think correra Is a better fit offensively though. His bat at 3rd is tough to beat, easier to sign a DH/OF than get that type of production at 3B. That’s elite imo. The pitching side, yeah that would hurt but I’d bet ohtani makes him pay 40 mil per year, 45 mil. Will see. Now if they signed both Machado & ohtani… idk …
          I feel like I’m a way the owners club stepped in on this one and said … you can’t be spending all this money, you’re making us ALL look bad. Will see the shake out form this, but my spidey senses tell me something went down behind the scenes. Hell.. the Mets luxury tax bill
          Would have been more the the A’s entire payroll. Can’t have that. That’s embarrassing for a lot of owners.

          1. Yeah…….he gives new meaning to the phrase ‘a drunken sailor’.
            I do not think it is good for baseball when an owner goes monetarily rogue.
            Though MLBPA and the agents probably love him.

            1. You’re right. They must love him. But there’s one immutable rule of professional baseball – actually, all pro sports – in the long run, the owners always win. The other owners will not allow Cohen to simply buy a pennant year after year after year. If he keeps this up, the next CBA will have spending penalties that, at certain levels, will be so punitive that it won’t be worth it for him to be so far above the tax threshold. And when I say it will be punitive, I don’t mean monetary penalties – he could care less about that – I mean anti-competitive penalties.

  19. All along, the only way to blunt Cohen/Mets is IF YOU HAVE CONFIDENCE in your starting pitching is to build up your bullpen to the point where it is deep and as unhittable as possible – meaning pure smoke. That way if the other team doesn’t score off your starters early on – they will not likely win the game vs your bullpen. I think that is what DD is trying to do.

  20. Nightengale says Mets final offer was 157M for 6. Or $210 for 8. Not sure if last one had some issues with it. Correa did not like them and left. He sure has lots of new uniforms for his closet. LOL Romus maybe he will send me one for the grandkid. LOL

    1. Don…like I mentioned a few weeks ago…to get Correa for 6 or less years…a team will have to break over the line of the $30M AAV.
      Twins did it again with him.

  21. RU…good points. I am all in for the BP to be very difficult to score on. I cannot tell you how many evenings over recent years I have watched the Phillies squander leads late in games. I asked Romus to check but he said too many to count. LOL

    1. Maton brought hustle and verve which can be contagious; Vierling acquitted himself in CF; O’Hoppe a solid defender with power potential. And where was Marsh’s dazzling defensive plays and Soto lost 11 games. How did that happen?

      1. Rob, I understand your points. However, Soto was on a bad Tigers team, and DD is counting on Cotham to work with Soto. If he helps his command, then it was a very worthwhile gamble. I liked both Vierling and Maton. But isn’t that what a good GM is supposed to do? Hopefully, add a high leverage RP, to make a WS run, at the cost of the end of our bench, and not the top of our farm system. We should be able to replace both players. And, I am not shortchanging them at all. O’Hoppe is a different argument. He was not playing in Philly for a number of years, and we received a player they think is our everyday CF. He, admittedly, was a very good defensive player in LF, but I think we need to give him a little time. I know that everyone hated to part with O’Hoppe, but, realistically, when was he going to play here?

        1. How about as a September call-up this season, backup catcher in 2024 getting 25-30% (40-48) of the starts, and backup in 2025 getting up to 35% (about 50-55) of the starts. He’d have been ready to take over in 2026 if he continued to play well.

          For reference, Stubbs got 32 starts (19.8%) last season, only 6 after August 31st.

          Stubbs slashed .273/.348/.465/.823 in his starts with a .324 Babip. However, the Phillies were 15-17 in his 32 starts. Opposing teams ran on Stubbs more than they did on Realmuto, but his 28% CS rate was still better than the league average (24%).

          1. Maybe many forget that O’Hoppe was only 22 at the time of the trade.

            JT was a late season call up at 23 and played his first full season at 24. JT is signed for 3 more seasons including this one. Keeping O’Hoppe and mixing him in much in the way that the Braves had done with D’Arnaud and Contrereas would have been nice.

            JT is an iron man and a damn good catcher but all those games behind the dish are going to add up quick and the cliff for catchers tends to be steep.

            I have a feeling that one is going to sting at some point if we don’t bring home another ring.

            I can’t question too much as we did come within a few games of title against what I thought was the best team in the MLB. That counts for something. OTOH we also kind of backed into it.

            1. DMAR, I don’t question whether JTRs catching skills will diminish over time, but how steeply, considering his athleticism. I can certainly see him behind the plate gradually less from say, ’24-’25, but it’s not like he’d be a liability at 1b, or perhaps 3b. And he seemed to have raised his offensive game in 2022. And there’s something you can’t discount with certain players, and that’s competitive pride. He cares. He may not be a Phillie beyond 2025, but I’m not in the least worried about JTs contribution to the club for the next 3 years, at or behind the plate.

            2. I stand with Catch if you were going to trade O’Hoppe get more in return. I said it at the time. I saw a lot of Marsh. He was just OK IMO.

              Hinkie had always liked Kiermaier. Great defense not much bat on a day in day out basis. Marsh is pretty much that maybe with a tad more bat and a lot less defense.

              It sounds like I’m complaining I know but I’m not. There could be more there as he gets comfortable.

            3. Not a Marsh fan myself, especially even up for a top 3 prospect. It was actually Moniak and O’Hoppe to the Angels for Syndergaard and Marsh. Half that trade was a wash. Regardless of whether O’Hoppe was blocked or not, value for value, I think Dombrowski settled here. Maybe they truly think Long can help Marsh, time will tell…but all the same, I felt a pang when I heard O’Hoppe got traded.

            4. No Mark, there were actually two different trades. O’Hoppe for Marsh straight up. And a later developing trade of Moniak and Jadiel Sanchez for Syndergaard. Had the Angels made the Syndergaard trade earlier, they could have had two different prospects. But, since they came back at the last minute, the Phillies changed the offer to Moniak and Sanchez.

          2. Yes, the “Realmuto is blocking O’Hoppe” if not quite a false narrative, was an overstated narrative and your timeline is accurate. There was easily room for both players and, if O’Hoppe reaches his potential as an offensive player, he could have also gotten extra at bats at DH and perhaps could have learned to play at first too. First division catchers are like first division shortstops or aces – you get a prospect that has that ceiling and you hold onto him for dear life. You literally could go another 20 or 25 years before you get a catching prospect with his ceiling. Now, if I thought Marsh profiled as a star, I might feel differently, but he profiles as an okay to good player – not the equal of a first division catcher, even in centerfield.

            1. My main point on O’Hoppe was, even if you thought you had to move him (which is not at all clear), they should have gotten more.

            2. Losing O’Hoppe feels like it could certainly burn, but Keep in mind Marsh was a big reason the Phillies pushed past the braves in GM4. That 3run HR took off the tension, allowed Synderguard to do his thing. I get it, I do. There are going to be casualties along the way. It’s the difference of shooting for playoff window with the best team or extending the playoff window with a lesser team. Something of value is going to get traded.

              O’hoppe looks like the real deal, frankly marsh’s defense didn’t look better than Moniak’s … or enough for me to see it. It’s a tough one, because you wonder if Castellanos doesn’t bounce back, if the team is better off with O’hoppe bouncing between C,1B, and DH. Heck, maybe even RF while Harper is out.

              Turner – SS
              Stott- 2B
              Schwarber -LF
              Realmuto- C
              Hoskins -1B/DH
              Bohm -3B
              O’Hoppe – DH/1B
              Rojas – RF

              Until Harper returns, and you bump Harper to 3rd in the B.O.

              It would require you to trade castellanos. Will see how it plays out, but who taking castellanos until he proves his rebound

              This has the potential to be a huge what if, but the greater the risk the greater the reward. 2 more post season wins and … we care a lot less. A championship in the next few years, same deal. No rings out of this… well… let the finger pointing rain. That said this team is in position I’ve never seen it in before. They’ve never had a championship caliber team & viable prospects at the same time m. It’s always been 1 or the other. Let’s see what DD can do from here. He’s set the table in such a way, that we should be able to forget about O’hoppe. Gotta believe.

            3. So many doubters on Marsh!
              A guy rated top 100 multiple times.
              I liked to think the Phillies scouts and Dombrowski did their homework.
              Baseball America
              Pre-2020-#43…….Pre-2021- #38
              Major League Baseball
              Baseball Prospectus

            4. I don’t care what he was rated, I’ve watched the player quite a bit.

              Look, if Marsh turns into a 4+ WAR player, I’ll be surprised and very happy. However, that’s not what I think will happen. Even if turns into a perennial 3 WAR player (it could happen), that would be fine and would definitely make the trade acceptable because they need a cheap, young player there, although, again, I suspect it could end up being a large overpay (or maybe not – who knows?).

            5. Agree with Romus. I liked that trade from the afternoon it was announced. Marsh is exactly what the Phillies needed. And I think he’s only going to get better. O’Hoppe has been great, but I still expect Rafael Marchan to have a really nice career.

  22. What the Phillies are doing with the bullpen – trying to piece together one hard-throwing shut down reliever after the next- is absolutely on the cutting edge of what is going on in the big leagues in terms of shortening games. The Astros outclassed the Phillies in one way during the series – their bullpens were simply not comparable and the Phillies had to lean too heavily on about 2 or 3 guys. The hope is that the Phillies can use their strong starting staff to take them through 5 or 6 innings and then they are going to throw one dominant reliever after the next at the opposition. And there will be so many of these guys in the bullpen (or so we hope) that they can do it day after day after day. I have my criticisms of DD, but this strategy is brilliant and it could very well work.

  23. Not to spam the board today, but how awesome is it to have the team where it is … fresh off an improbably WS run, adding to the team the way they have with Turner and all the arms, continuing to increase payroll like they are a big market team …. AND to have what many baseball executives believe to be … the best pitching prospect in baseball in their arsenal. I seriously must be dreaming. Honestly, have the Phillies ever had a better off-season? The setup for the 2023 season is unreal.

  24. Looks like the Twins are going to count on the next 3/4 years of Correa of being healthy.
    Ken Rosenthal:
    —Correa will receive an $8MM signing bonus (paid out between 2023 and 2024).
    —Annual salaries of $36MM in 2023-25…. $31.5MM in 2026….. $30.5MM in 2027 and $30MM in 2028.
    ——- The vesting options are valued at $25MM (2029), $20MM (2030), $15MM (2031) and $10MM (2032) and each become guaranteed if Correa reaches 502 plate appearances in the preceding season. No injury clauses or opt-outs.

  25. Jim and Catch, you both make good points. I just have to hope that Marsh becomes as good a player as DD thinks he’s going to be.

  26. Reliever Velocities:
    Dominguez 97.6 FB, 98.2 Sinker
    Alvarado 97.8 FB, 99.6 Sinker
    Soto 98.7 FB, 98.1 Sinker
    Kimbrel 95.8 FB
    Bellatti 94.4 FB
    Brogdon 95.1 FB
    Nelson 96.3 FB
    Coonrod 97 FB, 96.4 Sinker
    Strahm 94.2 FB, 94 Sinker
    Yunior Marte 97.8 FB , 96.9 Sinker
    Luis Ortiz 95.1 FB, 93.9 Sinker
    Andrew Vasquez 88.7 FB
    Erich Uelman 93.7 FB, 93.3 Sinker
    Noah Song – military list

    Top 14 RP on Phillies now. (Most have other pitches)
    Then there are several minor league signings such as Duplantier, Head, Jewell, J Polanco, and Moore not listed and some of them throw some heat also.

    Add in 11 minor leaguers who could pitch into the majors this year (only with a big year and only if a spot could be opened *very low probability):
    Erubiel Armenta – 22 years old – LHP, Andrew Baker – 22 years old – RHP, Blake Brown – 24 years old – RHP, Orion Kekering – 21 years old – RHP, Taylor Lehman – 26 years old – LHP, James McArthur – 25 years old – RHP, Tommy McCollum – 23 years old – RHP, McKinley Moore – 24 years old – RHP, Andrew Schultz – 25 years old – RHP, Brett Schulze – 25 years old – RHP, Billy Sullivan – 23 years old – RHP

    1. FIP #’s all look darn good as well. When your defense is shaky, good to have SO pitchers. Really minimizes the teams weakness. If a batter is walked, they have Realmuto to minimize that as well. I like the strategy. Top heavy offense at the expense of defense, with a SR of 2 aces and a bullpen that throws fire.

      1. These are averages lol, 8 of them averaging above 95 MPH. Alvarado didn’t average 100 MPH due to him soft tossing a game at 97 MPH

        1. Compare this BP to the real winner Matt Klentak had Gabe Kapler using in 2019 (when Gabe guided the club to a .500 record):

          Ser-Ant’ny Dominguez 97.4
          Hector Neris 94.6
          Mike Morin 91.3 FB
          Jose Alvarez 91.5
          Adam Morgan 92.6
          Juan Nicasio 93.6
          Cole Irvin 89.8
          Blake Parker 91.2
          Jared Hughes 91.3
          Nick Vincent 89.1


  27. Correa passes Twins physical. Proves the point. If you fail once, twice, try, try again.
    He will be in the AL now for probably rest of his career.

  28. Seen Machado mentioned by some here. See a rumor article that says 5 teams should have him on their radar for 24. Phillies are one of the 5 teams listed. Mets, Yankees, Blue Jays and Cubs are the others. I notice none are West coast teams. I would think Dodgers would be a logical landing spot as well if he chooses to leave.

  29. Morales not claimed by another team and will stick around in LHV! This small development could end up being a big deal if he continues to improve his control.

    1. Really surprised with the Morales outcome. Not saying Dombrowski is God, but the guy does seem to be one step ahead of the rest of the league (and certainly all of the posters here).

      1. Should have said … certainly all of the posters here *except for Romus, who believed Morales could clear waivers.
        Good job by you, Romus.

        1. But it also tells you what the industry thinks of Morales right now. Apparently, not too much.

          1. I’m not saying they’re right, but they clearly have a pretty dim view of his abilities. But good for the team for knowing/understanding the market right now.

            1. I’m sure there were plenty of teams that stopped to at least consider it but most have full rosters now.

        2. Hinkie……many teams are set with their 40…..and do not want to have to DFA any of their players about month from catchers and pitchers now.
          Dombrowski knew this ..I guess he has been around the block a few times! 😉

          1. Yeah … but … the Red Sox weren’t able to get Darwinzon Hernández (another young RP with big K#s & inflated BB#s) through waivers during the same time span. Orioles just claimed him, and gave Chaim Bloom some cash for him. Maybe it’s just a “lefty” thing.

            1. Os , and probably some of the other small market, ‘ trying to be contender’ teams will still have their eyes open for young talent.
              Looks like the Os gave up on Díaz …. been designated for assignment to get Hernandez on board.
              I thought the Os had Yusniel Diaz (from the Machado trade) and not Lewin Diaz

      2. I think there is an evaluation gap between posters and people who actually get paid to do that kind of thing. DD’s made quite a few decisions now that people have questioned that have turned out with no damaging effects. So, when we see a DFA the conclusion we can come to is ……you know this guy must not be that important and there are other GMs that havjle the same types in their systems. So, when we say these guys don’t grow on trees……maybe they actually do!

    2. To me, Morales is one of those slightly less than high ceiling guys who may flash great stuff but never command it consistently. Middle inning long man with a fair but unspectacular outcome. Useful? Perhaps, but nothing to rave about. And with pitchers, there’s always the possibility that they reach their apex later in their career, maybe for one or two years…but long after they leave their original organization.

  30. Think it might be time to discuss the all time great executives in Phillies history. From most recent back to the 70s/80s glory days…

    Dave Dombrowski (Sam Fuld)
    Matt Klentak
    Ruben Amaro
    Pat Gillick
    Ed Wade
    Lee Thomas
    Paul Owens

    Did I miss someone? (maybe late 80s?)

    …none of them perfect, but how would you rank these? (Granted, DD’s tenure is far from established or over, but his pedigree speaks for him.)

        1. Utley, Howard, Hamels, Myers, Madson and Burrell…….where do you want him before or after Gillick….🤔☹

          1. Your message is really a salute to Mike Arbuckle. Wade was lucky to have him conduct those drafts, just as Klentak was truly unlucky to have been handed Johnny Almaraz. I was not and am not a fan of Klentak’s but giving him Johnny A. to do the drafts when he had no ability to hire his own person and MacPhail did nothing but consider how to upgrade the stadium (God, I HATE that man), left him in a terrible spot from day one. Not only did Klentak have two hands tied behind his back, he had two hands tied behind his back while someone was punching him in the head.

            1. Let’s talk about what Klentak did and did not do well.

              Klentak did not draft well – that’s clear.
              Klentak did not turn around the farm system.
              Klentak generally was not great at finding value in unexpected places.
              Klentak had NO idea of how to build a big league bullpen.

              However, several of Klentak’s free agent contracts and a few trades were quite good.
              The Zack Wheeler contract was tremendous.
              The Aaron Nola contract was awesome.
              As it turns out, the Segura trade was good.
              Obviously, he missed on Kingery and Odubel, but, in fairness to MK, everyone though the Kingery deal was brilliant at the time.
              He also signed Harper, but pretty much everyone believes that was a John Middleton signing, so he gets no bonus points for that.

            2. As I expected,
              …..Mike Arbuckle was around from 1992….as the Phillies’ Director of Scouting. So what happened between ’92 and ’98 when Ed Wade took over?
              …Mike drafted in the first round these noteworthy players….Chad McConnell. Wayne Gomes, Dave Coggin, Carlton Loewer, Reggie Taylor, Adam Eaton,
              When Ed Wade took over he made changes…..and additionally one was he promoted Arbuckle to his Asst GM.

            3. No, Arbuckle ran these drafts – Ed Wade wasn’t scouting those players and assembling the draft boards. Before Wade was GM, Arbuckle drafted Rollins, Rolen and Lieberthal. You conveniently omitted these names.

            4. Just answer me one question,
              ….why was Arbuckle passed over for GM in 2005 by Monty…after all, if he ran all the drafts and all the success stories from ’92 thru 2005, why shouldn’t he be the GM?

            5. Now you’re grasping for straws. Arbuckle ran the drafts and picked the players. He needed approval from Wade, but that is always true of the guy running a draft – he has to convince the GM. And Wade was fortunate to benefit from Arbuckle’s work (by the way, Wade raved about him) – there’s no shame in that – he was letting the guy do his job and he left him alone to do it. That’s what a GM should do – put people in a position to succeed and give them the tools and discretion to do so. Wade deserves credit for that.

              The fact that they picked Amaro over Arbuckle is pretty much irrelevant in terms of discussing whether Arbuckle picked players on his watch. Furthermore, by all accounts, it was a very, very close call and Monty tried hard to convince Arbuckle to stay after they went with Amaro. Finally, who says the Phillies chose correctly? The Phillies are famous for their errors in judgment – and all organizations screw some of these decisions up (the Giants once picked Ray Handley to be their coach over Bill Belichick – you think they wanted a do-over on that?).

            6. Not grasping at straws…I will keep it short.
              They picked Gillick , Nov 2005, over Arbuckle, not Amaro.
              Monty decided to go outside the org.
              Amaro was not made the GM until 2009.

            7. Arbuckle was passed over for GM first after Wade was let go in favor of Gillick…then notified he would be passed over again in the summer of 2008, he decided to go back home to Missouri after the season and hooked on with the Royals.

            8. Yes – straw grasping.

              Literally nothing you said has anything to do with Arbuckle’s drafting of players which was my entire point. We knew who he drafted – it’s not rocket science.

              And, by the way, how the hell could he compete with Pat Gillick, he of the two World Series rings? Anyway, he drafted the guys you say Ed Wade is responsible for. Wade was smart not to fire him and gave him more responsibility – Wade deserves credit for that!

            9. By the way, I am just pointing out the good things Klentak did. But he was by no means a good GM although, as I’ve said, everything was made worse by Almaraz and MacPhail.

            10. Harper signed with the Phillies in March 2019 (not 2018). The Phillies also acquired JT Realmuto in 2019 (late January).

            11. No. I got the years wrong, but the months and days are right. The trade for Realmuto on 2/7/2019 was completed three weeks before Harper was signed on 3/2/3019. Not late January on Realmuto.

          2. Skeet……Gillick brought in Werth, Blanton , Feliz and Lidge.
            …JRoll was drafted under Lee Thomas’ watch.
            Wade besides the drafted guys you mentioned , also signed Ruiz and Victorino….and hired the Phillies winningest manager, Charlie Manuel in 2004.
            Since they won under Gillick…I would have him right above Ed Wade

      1. This is actually a pretty fair ranking. I would probably go Owens, Gillick and Dombrowski, but they are the top 3 for sure. Lee Thomas had one incredible strength. Nobody got more value from trades than Thomas. But the drafting under his watch wasn’t good, nor was the player development. So he belongs in the middle.

    1. I remember when we all anguished over Franklyn Kilome- who looked even more promising than Morales at one time- and it turned out the anguish was unnecessary. I know he got injured, but he was looking less than promising prior to the injury also.

    2. 1 Dombrowski – aggressive, shrewd, willing to gamble with the resources he’s given. And very promising with what he has to work with through 2025, and maybe beyond…

      2 Owens – steady, reliable, kept the club playoff viable for a decade (’74-’83).

      3 Gillick – wise (i.e. moving on from Abreu), prudent, good judge of talent and value. Stint here was too brief to place him higher.

      4 Wade – developed impact core players, wasn’t too great with people but probably took the hit for ownership unwilling to go for it.

      5 Thomas – 1993 sums up his story.

      …and that’s pretty much where it should end. The rest were of little or no positive impact.

      1. …Catch makes a very valid point in Arbuckle’s contribution to Wade’s success in building the farm in late 90s/early 00’s.

      2. Wade did two thing I need to give him credit for.

        He engineered the first Abreu trade – one of the great trades in baseball history. It was like alchemy.

        He did not take the bait and trade guys like Utley and Hamels when he would have been sorely tempted to do so. It hurt his GM legacy because he didn’t “go for it” several years running, but, as time showed, it was 100 percent the right thing to do. I can almost guarantee you that if DD had been our GM during the time one or more of Utley, Hamels, Howard or Rollins would have been traded.

        I really like Dombrowski, but, honestly, we may not be able to assess his legacy for many years. He has many assets (definitely knows how to build a team and has an eye for talent) and he was an immeasurable upgrade over MacPhail and Klentak (ugh!), but DD gives up too much in trades (as a general rule) and signs guys to onerous contracts. How great will we all be feeling if the last 4 to 5 years of Turner’s contract are just nothing, which is highly possible? How about Castellanos? How about the O’Hoppe trade? It could be fine, it could be a disaster. And there will be one or more painful trades coming this year, I suspect. And don’t get me wrong, I’m super happy he’s here and it’s a lot better than the alternatives, but it’s always something of a mixed bag with DD and whatever he leaves behind when he departs. We shall see.

        1. Didn’t Wade offer Ryan Howard to the Pirates for Kris Benson? Or maybe it was Kip Wells. Either way, bullet dodged.

    3. Andy MacPhail was actually the executive in Dave Dombrowski’s position during the time when Klentak was GM in Fuld’s position. Andy MacPhail’s name should be right there next to Matt Klentak. It seems like Dombrowski has been fixing a lot of the development and scouting organizational mess that developed when Andy MacPhail was in that position. It seems like Klentak could have been set up for more success with a different boss, but I don’t really know because I didn’t live it side by side with them.

      1. But Andy MacPhail was only passively involved. DD runs the baseball stuff. Klentak ran the baseball operations and basically got sign off from MacPhail. MacPhail was condescending, incompetent and largely useless. We deserved better and so did Matt Klentak.

    1. On December 12, 2019, Machín was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2019 Rule 5 draft, and traded to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for cash considerations.

  31. GM ranking list I’ve witnessed work:


    A couple other points:
    Phans got distracted by Wade’s nerdiness, but he did a great job under the old penny pinchers. My gut is, he’s able to stick around if he had a decent payroll to work with. He was essentially forced to trade schilling & rolen. If the Phillies were running their Org back then they way they are now, I think both stay, at least schilling does. ive heard rolen was a bit of a baby from close sources. Back to Wade, Remember, he helped convince Thome to leave CLE. I don’t think that was easy. If they had the DH back then, with Howard at his entry level salary … come on now…. That would have been amazing lineup.

    Klentak, bombed in the draft, but gotta give him credit for the Realmuto trade as well.

    Amaro – he’s better than most give him credit for, and if Middleton is at the helm, not sure that Lee trade would’ve happened. You need to factor that into the equation.

    To me, klentak, easily the worst job of anyone from 86 on.

    1. Machin has a great BB/SO rate and a 400 OBP in AAA. Someone who can hit for average and work the count, but not a lot of power

  32. CBS has an article up on the NL East team to beat in 23. Their writers make their picks and reasons. All three think it will be a great race. Most are taking the Braves, Mets and Phillies in that order. They all like the Phillies moves but feel the Harper absence will have some effect on the race. Looks like we will have to wait and see how it shakes out. One writer did express concern about the age of the Mets rotation and how that might play out over 162 games. Said he would feel better with that rotation for just the playoffs. I too think that may be an issue for Mets. Both showed some signs of being worn out at teh end last year.

    1. The division is brutal. This will be like last year – the goal is to make the tournament and take it from there.

  33. I agree with catch. Getting into the Playoffs is the key. The Division race is a tough one, but Harper gets back, and we learn what BP lineup works the best, and Painter is ready to contribute, and we go hot into the Playoffs. That is what I am counting on. We should be able to stay very competitive with Turner, a rejuvenated Nick Castellanos, and a year older and wiser Bohm and Stott.

  34. Catch…totally agree. Couple pointed out to the fact that the Phillies finished 14 games back in standings. But another also points out that after Thomson took over Phillies played like a 95-win team and were basically even with Mets from that point on in season.
    One big plus though if you can win the division is only needing to win 11 games. Phillies won 11 games but unfortunately going the WC route needed 13 wins. Close but no cigar. Another thing Romus has pointed out is that each team only plays one another I think 13 instead of 19 games with the new schedule format. I think 13 was what Romus said.

  35. Dodgers officially release Bauer. Owe 21M. So, who takes a chance on him? Someone will. Any guesses? Saw where Mets and Yankees are NO. Heard maybe Astros though he has bad relationship with them.

    1. Don….he is toxic right now.
      Though he comes at the league minimum now, and the Dodgers still owe him $21M, there may be a few GMs kicking the tires with his agent.
      He should try to go over to Japan or Korea and pitch a year over there and see what happens in another year from now.

      1. He would be a great #5 in our rotation with upside to #2… He’s basically free, and he’s playing with a chip on shoulder

  36. Trading Lee before the ’10 season may well have cost the Phillies a WS Championship. Name a more costly mistake in the last 30 years.

  37. Rob…I agree. I could not believe that when I heard that on the radio. Just read where some surprised Red Sox let Seabold go. Sounds like he and Cora had issues maybe.
    He was not very impressive but only 18 innings. He has big K rates on fastball, slider and even higher on changeup. Do the Phillies take a flyer on him at this point? They would know the most about him.

  38. Don’t know what brought up that memory, Rob, but I totally agree. There was zero reason, financially or baseball wise, to make that decision. The last mistake of Bill Giles’ tenure. Not only was Lee making only $9M, but we rushed the trade and got nothing in return after he and Utley almost won the ’09 WS singlehandedly. We could have easily afforded Doc and Lee, as we did a year later, but Giles got cold feet for some unknown reason. Truly a dumb move!

    1. matt…Ruben has said Monty wanted to restock the farm system, with an idea of being competitive down the road.
      Unfortunately the three they got back…Aumont, Gillies and Ramirez… from Seattle did not fare well.

      1. I have heard him say that, Romus, but the deal was done so quickly and they only talked to Seattle. I still believe it was Bill Giles driven. After what Lee did in the WS vs the Yankees, he could have brought a real haul. We ended up with, literally, nothing for him. And, it cost us another WS appearance in 2010, and a possible win. Doc’s deal included him signing for multiple years, and and the Lee trade was rushed. $9M was his 2010 salary, and I think it was a huge mistake, with no reason behind it, IMO. It didn’t have to go down so quickly, and shouldn’t have been done at all. And, as coincidence, or not, would have it, John Middleton became a much stronger voice amongst the Owners after the 2010 season, and Monty became much more of the team spokesman, supplanting Giles.

        1. Okay, the second Lee deal was a screw-up of the highest magnitude for the following reasons:

          1. They were a team coming off back-to-back WS appearances and had an affordable ace on their staff who could have helped them win a WS the following year. That alone made this unforced error inexcusable.

          2. The Phillies were trying to reload their system in a hurry. They were in an irrational rush to get a deal done and took three guys who never panned out and really made no contribution whatsoever. Basically, they traded a WS ace for nothing. Memo to file – you can’t rebuild a farm system quickly. Like, ever. And if you trade for bad players . . . well that does you no good.

          3. They were in a rush because they engaged in a foolish public relations game trying to hookwink the Philadelphia fanbase into believing the Lee and Halladay deals were essentially linked so that, in effect, the Phillies were trading Lee and a package of players for Halladay and a package of players. It was a lie. Nobody believed it. Nobody bought it. The Philadelphia sports public is way too sophisticated to be fooled by such public relations games. They were separate and unlinked transactions except that the Phillies were foolishly trying save money (when they should have been spending it) and poorly trying to make up for the epic failures in their farm system when they should have been going for it. And, by the way, as much as I slam Amaro, I do believe he was forced into making this trade as I am sure he would have loved to have had Lee and Halladay on the same pitching staff in 2010.

          1. Exactly what Catch said. And, by all accounts, Bill Giles is a nice man, but in now way suited to run a big market team. He was not wealthy, did not inherit wealth, and for much of his career was a salaried team employee, whether here or in Houston. No doubt, his Dad gave him familiarity with the movers and shakers in the League, and he did a masterful job putting together the Limited Partnership which made him the General Partner, with no money of his own. But, I believe the Lee trade was an ill conceived attempt to save the $9M and Doc’s trade took a lot of the heat off. Not 1 year later, Middleton called the move to re-sign Lee as a FA, and Monty took over.

  39. Buster Olney reports half the games will use the electronic ball and strike system.
    The other half of the games will use the challenge system. Something tennis does that allows you to challenge the call. Not exactly sure how that works.

    1. How it works is that the umps are still making the calls, but there’s a tracking system in place. Each team gets a set number of challenges (I believe they used 3 most recently in MiLB), and any of the batter, catcher, or pitcher can call for one of those challenges at any time they believe the umpire made the wrong call. Then the automated system says whether or not the umpire was correct (some teams have made it a bit of an event, where they’ll show the digital representation of the pitch in slow-mo, and then display the result on the scoreboard).

      Supposedly the challenge system is the one players liked most overall. Might change if they get more familiar with full-robo ump games, though.

      1. Wow, more delays to make the games longer…………IMO, just go with the robo umps and be done with it. Some games I viewed last year they would have run out of challenges (#?}.

          1. Are you implying that Mike Trout and Max Scherzer AREN’T sentient baseball robots sent from the future? I’m not convinced.

            1. MadMax could be….one eye is bionic….the left brown or right blue?
              ….. who knows for sure.

            2. The one that’s bionic has x-ray vision………he looks into batter’s minds….looking for a heater?……..not going to happen, heh, heh.

        1. I agree that I would rather full robo ump games, but the challenge system doesn’t delay the game at all, really. In fact, it could theoretically shorten it by a bit (minutes, not hours). Think of how much time is actually spent arguing with umps about a missed call, or hitters taking a short walk to cool off. Now they just challenge and the automated system tells them who is right. Nothing to argue or get upset about.

          But yes, the downside is that some umps will require strategic usage of the challenges; else you run out before the halfway point of the game…

  40. Thanks Dan. I have not seen any of this in play, so I have no idea how it works. So, what does the umpire do regarding balls and strikes? Does he still give signals? You mentioned 3 challenges. Per game, per inning, per batter? I am sure the system is pretty easy to set up. The travel kids at Grand Park have a camera right behind home plate that gives like 7 or 8 things on every pitch a kid throws. There is a monitor they have set up under the concession stand that you can watch. Velo, spin rate, pitch depth. Romus would know what it is called. Drive trac, pitch trac or something like that.

    1. Three challenges per game. The umps act as they normally do. The only thing that changes is after he makes a call, one of the aforementioned players can make a signal to challenge his call.

      It doesn’t impact the flow of the game much at all from what little I’ve seen of it. And it gives the players a bit more of an incentive to really KNOW the strike zone. Here’s an article (with short video) about how Jasson Dominguez used it last year: https://www.mlb.com/news/jasson-dominguez-uses-abs-challenge-system

      And yeah, generally speaking all of the equipment they need for the automated system is already available at all these games. Scouts already use it. It’s just a matter of making it an “official” part of the game.

      1. Sounds similar to the NFL challenge then. Gosh if it ever gets to MLB how would someone determine to challenge Angel Hernandez calls. LOL.
        Olney said some games would have the robot calls and some the challenge.
        I wonder if they will designate home teams as one or the other or if they will maybe rotate how the games are called.
        If you only get 3 per game, I agree on learning the strike zone for the hitters. So, it sounds like maybe a total of 6 per game if maybe 3 for each team.
        Thanks, Dan, for helping.

    2. Don…..do you mean pitchf/x?
      That uses three or four synchronized placed cameras for velo et al readings

      1. Romus…I am not sure. I need to check my phone and see if I can find the pics I took. They only had one camera placed behind home plate on the netting and then each pitch info appeared on the large monitor under the awning of the concession. But it had lots of info on it. Kids waiting for the next game were constantly watching it. GP has it at all diamonds in each quad.

      2. Romus…I found the 3 pics I took. I do not see what it is called. My grandson knows. I see him tonight. It has 9 items it measures on each pitch. They then post them on like a big screen tv monitor. Three rows with 3 items in each row. I was wondering if the team could get the readouts in print or something after a game. I do not know if they can. Lots of info. Some things I do not know what they represent.

        1. Kids today have a lot of individual data on themselves indicating their strengths and weaknesses.
          Some things they can work on to improve themselves.

  41. The Phillies open in Texas where they almost always play terribly. Add to that deGrom, Perez, and Eovaldi to start. They may come home 0 for 3.

  42. Don’t be negative, ciada! I am calling 3-0, Phils, 3-1 over deGrom, 5-2 over Perez, and 4-1 over Eovaldi. It’s January 13, why not be optimistic? LOL

    1. I’ve mentioned Pan Wen-Hui to the Phillies for a number of months now. He’s been a star teenage pitcher in Taiwan for some time. I think he’s turned 20 YO now. He throws hard (especially for a teen), although the FB is a little too straight. The “splitter” is the difference maker.

      1. Love it! DD is all about the big arms. Sign me up! When it comes to pitchers, DD is the GM I’ve always been waiting for.

        1. It’s hard to say where he should rank without a more complete scouting report on him but I’d be tempted to put him at #7, right below Lee Hao Yu. Or at least have him in that group of players ranked 8-14. That’s a tier, imo.

        2. If he, in Taiwan, is using the Mizuno manufactured baseballs as they do in Japan, which is smaller, then he will need to adjust to the slightly larger American baseballs. I want to see how he adjusts to it.

  43. $12M for Rhys, avoiding Arb. Wen-Hui Pan is 20 years old, and another Fireballer. Played with our Lee Hao Yu on the Taiwanese tourney team. I apologize in advance if I put his name in the incorrect sequence. I know there is a difference between here and Taiwan.

      1. May see him at the Complex next month. Maybe he could be considered a top of the rotation pitcher.

  44. I know we are at the payroll level that John Middleton does not want to surpass, but I would like Adam Duvall as that 4th OF. I think he would be a big contributor, and an upgrade over Jake Cave. I don’t think we are spending more, however.

  45. Pan Wen-Hui signing is awesome. I would be ecstatic if the Phils were able to also sign similarly-aged Luis Morales!

    1. MLB pegs the As to be hot on him…Phillies are projected for ss Jesus Caba out of the DR right now,
      If its a pitcher…the one currently with no team projection is tall RHP Jun-Seok Shim out of Korea.

  46. Here is a dumb question on my part. Pic of Painter last night had him in a uniform with Hot Dogs across the front. Which team is that? I am not up on all the lower-level teams names. Thanks.
    Also, what separates Painter from the other young pitchers? Thanks again.

    1. belive that was Reading Phillies- game i was at to see Painter- they have all sorts of special uniforms they wear one time and then try to auction off. think that one was honoring their crazy hot dog vendor guy who has been chucking hot dogs into the stands for years without needing rotator cuff surgery.

    2. Don – here’s my take on what separates him. First he has outstanding velocity. He sits 96-98, touching 99 and even 100. It’s a plus plus fastball. But guess what? Mick Abel throws almost as hard as does McGarry. Painter’s breaking pitches also flash plus to plus plus. But to me what separates him is command and repeatability of pitches and body control. The sense here is that once he hones his breaking pitches he is going to throw with such exceptional command that he is just going to toy with most hitters. A good comp for Painter is an early career Justin Verlander or even Roger Clemens. He’s not those guys yet – but one day in the not-too-distant future he could be.

      But do not sleep on Mick Abel or even McGarry. Were it not for Painter I would easily declare Abel our best advanced (we traded Sixto before he was an advanced prospect) righty pitching prospect in decades. IMO he’s a better prospect than Brett Myers was – in fact, again excepting Painter, in the 30 years I’ve been a Phillies fan, I don’t recall a better starting righty pitching prospect than Abel. He’s a truly excellent prospect.

    3. Don – here’s my take on what separates him. First he has outstanding velocity. He sits 96-98, touching 99 and even 100. It’s a plus plus fastball. But guess what? Mick Abel throws almost as hard as does McGarry. Painter’s breaking pitches also flash plus to plus plus. But to me what separates him is command and repeatability of pitches and body control. The sense here is that once he hones his breaking pitches he is going to throw with such exceptional command that he is just going to toy with most hitters. A good comp for Painter is an early career Justin Verlander or even Roger Clemens. He’s not those guys yet – but one day in the not-too-distant future he could be.

      But do not sleep on Mick Abel or even McGarry. Were it not for Painter I would easily declare Abel our best advanced (we traded Sixto before he was an advanced prospect) righty pitching prospect in decades. IMO he’s a better prospect than Brett Myers was – in fact, again excepting Painter, in the 30 years I’ve been a Phillies fan, I don’t recall a better starting righty pitching prospect than Abel. He’s a truly excellent prospect.

    4. With regards to what separates Painter from the rest, there’s a few things. But I’ll just leave you this list of some of the top pitching prospects in baseball and their respective K/BB numbers.

      Grayson Rodriguez: 3.89
      Eury Perez: 4.4
      Daniel Espino: 8.75 (small sample size)
      Taj Bradley: 4.27
      Bobby Miller: 3.92
      Kyle Harrison: 3.80
      Ricky Tiedemann: 4.03
      Ken Waldichuk: 3.70
      Matthew Liberatore: 2.44
      DL Hall: 2.79

      Painter: 6.2

      With the exception of Espino (who pitched only 18.1 innings this year), no one is even CLOSE to Painter. And he’s only 19. It’s almost unprecedented for a pitcher that young to have stuff AND control that good.

      For a further point of reference, before he was called up as a 22 year old, Hamels had a K/BB of 5.67.

      1. Thanks, Dan – this totally jibes with my personal observations above. And it’s not just control, it’s command. He puts the ball exactly where he wants it.

  47. The Jesus Caba signing today is exciting. A great fielder at 17 years old, expected to stick at the shortstop position, and a 50 grade hitter at the moment.

    I really like the job that Dombrowski, Fuld, and staff are doing in building up the minor leagues, and the timing of the imminent arrival of Painter – with Abel and McGarry perhaps not far behind – is great for this contending team.

    1. I like to see if OFer Tony Ruiz is in their sites……have not seen any teams projected yet on him.
      Phillies pool to start was alitle lower than usual at $4.6M because of Nick Castellanos and Noah Syn signings…..and so far that I can see they used $3M for Caba and $400K for Pan Wen-Hui.

      1. Correction…Noah Syn was the Angels and so they forfeited some of their international monies.

      2. I believe the money for Pan was the day prior and from the end of the prior year’s money. Could that be right?

          1. Not 💯 certain, but I’m pretty sure Pan is part of the Phillies 2023 class. I believe the team had reached agreement with him late summer of 2022. They were out of pool money so they waited until January to give him his 400-thousand dollars.

            Also the club signed another RHP ⬇

            According to the video: FB low 90s, CB has some crazy spin rates for a 16 YO (3,000+ RPM if you believe the video … not certain I do).

            1. Ok Hinkie…that makes sense now.
              I saw where the official signing for Pan would be Jan 16th , so that probably is current international money.

              Looks like a good signing with Peralta.

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