Weekly Discussion (1/22/23)

The hot stove season continues though it is essentially over for the Phillies.


The Adelaide Giants (25-15) swept their opponent this weekend to secure their playoff position as the winner of the Australian Baseball League’s Southwest Division.  As such, they face the second-place finisher from the Northeast Division, the Auckland Tuatara (17-17).

The Giants clinched with a 2-0 victory over Geelong-Korea.  The Giants broke a scoreless tie in the eighth inning to clinch.  Starlyn Castillo started and threw five scoreless innings to aid the victory.

Two other Phillies’ prospects finished among the top four hitters among those who qualified.  Nick Ward finished with the third-best batting average and will contend for the league MVP.  He finished .344/.418/.643/1.061 with 54 hits, 10 doubles, 11 HRs, 23 RBI, 17 walks, and 31 strikeouts in 177 plate appearances.

Anthony Quirion posted the fourth-best batting average.  He finished with a .338/.427/.531/.958, 44 hits, 8 doubles, 5 HRs, 24 RBI, 15 walks, and 20 strikeouts in 150+ plate appearances.

Rixon Wingrove had a solid season. He finished .279/.341/.516/.857, 34 hits, 12 doubles, 5 HRs, 22 RBI, 10 walks, and 33 strikeouts in 135 plate appearances.

Jared Carr made a lot of spectacular plays in center field but his offense tailed off a little t the end of the season.  Like Ward, he played in all 40 games.  He finished .232/.316/.377/.693, 32 hits, 5 doubles, 5 HRs, 25 RBI, 14 walks, and 40 strikeouts in 156 plate appearances.

Arturo De Freitas appeared in 11 games before an injury sent him back to the states.  Nikau Pouaka-Grego appeared in four games at the start of the season but underwent season-ending knee surgery that may affect his 2023 minor league season.

Jordan Fowler posted a 2-2 record with a 1.63 ERA in 10 appearances 7 of which were starts.  He allowed 40 hits, 1 HR, 11 walks, and 35 strikeouts in 38.2 IP with a 1.319 WHIP.

Starlyn Castillo posted a 3-3 record with a 3.62 ERA in 10 appearances all starts.  He allowed 34 hits, 1 HR, 6 HBP, 15 walks, and 33 strikeouts in 37.1 IP with a 1.313.WHIP.

The Giants roster also included a couple of Australian players who were invited to ST a couple years ago – OF Jordan McArdle and P Jason Lott, a few former Phillies farmhands – pitchers Josh Tols, Austin Ross, and Bubby Rossman, and 40-year-old INF Michael Martinez.  Curtis Mead missed the entire season with an elbow injury.

The Giants host the 3-game series against the Tuatara.  If they win they will face the winner of the Brisbane Bandits (30-10) and Perth Heat (23-17) Preliminary Series.

The 2023 Caribbean Series is set to begin on February 2nd.  It will be played in Venezuela.  The participants include teams from Cuba, Curacao, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Panama, and Venezuela.

Hot Stove

Twenty-five days until pitchers and catchers report on February 16th.

Rumors, Facts, and Fiction

Are there any readers out there who are season ticket holders for the minor league affiliates?  I’d like to expand coverage of the Lehigh Valley, Reading, and Jersey Shore teams with commentary from someone who actually sees these teams in person.  Individuals who attend most of the home games for each team would be the best candidates.  If interested, e-mail me at prospectpoll@yahoo.com.  If you have comments one way or the other about this please also e-mail them, too, rather than let them get lost in the comments section.  Matt tried this several years ago.  That’s how I came on board as the backup for the Clearwater guy who got a better offer and booked before ST even started.

The DH is Darick Hall’s to lose.

The fifth starter is Bailey Falter’s to lose.

The eighth bullpen slot is Nick Nelson’s to lose.

The Phillies will have a designated closer by the home opener.

Andrew Painter will start the season in Reading to hone his secondaries.

Daulton Guthrie will more than adequately fill Vierling’s role as the fourth outfielder.

There will be no platoons to start the season, Stott and Marsh will face LHP until they prove they shouldn’t.

Lehigh Valley will once again be stocked with experienced players who can fill in for the Phillies if and when needed.  Don’t expect prospects to be assigned there.

Key Dates

  • February 13, 2023: Pitchers and catchers participating in the WBC report to their MLB camps.
  • February 16, 2023: Position players participating in the 2023 WBC report to their MLB camps.
  • February 16, 2023: Pitchers and catchers report to ST.
  • February 21, 2023: Position players report to ST.  
  • February 24/25, 2023:  Start of minor league ST
  • February 25, 2023: Phillies First Spring Training Game (split squad)
  • March 8-21, 2023: WBC interruption to spring training
    • Pool A – Taichung, Taiwan; March 8-13, 202
    • Pool B – Tokyo, Japan; March 9-13, 2023
    • Pool C – Phoenix, Arizona; March 11-15, 2023
    • Pool D – Miami, Florida; March 11-15, 2023
      • Quarterfinals – Tokyo, Japan; March 15-16, 2023
      • Quarterfinals – Miami, Florida; March 17-18, 2023
        • Semifinals and Finals – Miami, Florida; March 19-21, 2023
  • March 30, 2023: Season Opener at Texas Rangers
  • April 6, 2023: Home Opener v. Cincinnati Reds
  • July 7-11, 2023: Rule 4 Amateur Draft in Seattle
  • August 23, 2023: Little League Classic in Williamsport, PA – Phillies v. Nationals
  • December 15, 2023: Close of the 2022-2023 international signing period

Transactions:  Releases may increase as the organization attempts to get down to the 190-player limit and then the 180-player limit.

1/18/2023 – DSL Red released RHP Ender Paz
1/18/2023 – DSL Red released LHP Jared Loyo
1/18/2023 – DSL Red released 2B Deivi Cabrera
1/18/2023 – DSL White released RHP Douglas Mijares
1/18/2023 – DSL White released LHP Alexis Garibaldi
1/18/2023 – Reading released SS Sal Gozzo
1/18/2023 – Reading released RHP Aidan Anderson
1/15/2023 – Phillies signed IFA OF Jeadden Calderon to an MiLB contract
1/15/2023 – Phillies signed IFA SS Renair Manrique to an MiLB contract
1/15/2023 – Phillies signed IFA OF Victor Cardoza to an MiLB contract
1/15/2023 – Phillies signed IFA OF Jorge Julio to an MiLB contract
1/15/2023 – Phillies signed IFA LHP Eduardo Fernandez to an MiLB contract
1/15/2023 – Phillies signed IFA C Yhoan Escalona to an MiLB contract
1/15/2023 – Phillies signed IFA C Alirio Ferrebus to an MiLB contract
1/15/2023 – Phillies signed IFA OF Jose Marchan to an MiLB contract
1/15/2023 – Phillies signed IFA RHP Wen Hui Pan to an MiLB contract
1/15/2023 – Phillies signed IFA RHP Alexander De Los Santos to an MiLB contract
1/15/2023 – Phillies signed IFA C Eduardo Tait to an MiLB contract
1/15/2023 – Phillies signed IFA LHP Angel Liranzo to an MiLB contract
1/15/2023 – Phillies signed IFA RHP Pedro Peralta to an MiLB contract
1/15/2023 – Phillies signed IFA SS Jesus Caba to an MiLB contract
1/15/2023 – Phillies signed IFA LHP Luis Martinez to a minor league contract
1/15/2023 – Phillies signed IFA RHP Luis Dominguez to a minor league contract
1/15/2023 – Phillies signed IFA RHP Alexis De La Cruz to a minor league contract
1/15/2023 – Phillies signed IFA OF Isaac Ramirez to a minor league contract
1/15/2023 – Phillies signed IFA OF Esterling Rodriguez to a minor league contract
1/15/2023 – Phillies signed IFA OF Joseph Diaz to a minor league contract

168 thoughts on “Weekly Discussion (1/22/23)

  1. Although I’ve been a Phillies fan since childhood, (a longtime ago in the 1950’s), I never really followed the farm system until I discovered Phuture Phillies about ten years ago. I seem to remember a time when AAA was an essential step to the majors. It now seems that AAA has become a holding place for veteran, marginal players for promotion in case of injury. AA seems to be the most important “finishing” step to the big club – am I wrong in this assumption?

    1. You are entirely correct. AA is the best “prospects league” and has been for the entire time this site has been in existence. A handful of players play full seasons at AAA and develop there, but AAA has become both a “finishing school” for top prospects (1-3 months) and the place where “taxi squad” play who can be sent up and down as needed by the big league club (think Darick Hall). From time to time, a few of these taxi squad guys develop into real prospects, like Dalton Guthrie did last year. Also, some players with a lot of promise spend a year or more at AAA for various reasons. Amazingly, Chase Utley played almost two full years at AAA. This year, if the Phillies keep Griff McGarry as a starter, I expect he will spend much or all of the year at AAA while he focuses on improving his control. But if he’s a reliever, he’ll probably be there for a short time only.

  2. FYI – I would be surprised if Andrew Painter makes more than 4 or 5 starts in AAA if he’s on a roll (which I expect him to be), assuming he goes to AAA at all. Cole Hamels in 2006 made 2 or 3 starts at AAA, at most, if I recall. Once Hamels dominated in AAA (which happened immediately), he was on to the majors.

  3. I agree with all of your predictions except there will be a few prospects at LHV. I think Marchan, Muzzioti, Ortiz and DeLaCruz will be there. I expect Rojas to start at Reading.

  4. Nikau Pouaka-Grego’s knee surgery is very disappointing to hear.
    I hope when he returns he picks up where he left off at the plate.

  5. I’ve probably been the loudest voice suggesting Andrew Painter makes the Phillies opening day roster. I’m not guaranteeing it, but IMO, if Painter pitches well in spring training, the positive reasons to include him outweigh the negative reasons.

    ◾ The theory of not wasting bullets on MiLB hitters (especially in a season when his IP will probably be capped at ~140).
    ◾ The team has a very busy start to the season. They could use a 6-man rotation early to offset 31 games in 33 days.
    ◾ The whole Prospect Promotion Incentive program started by MLB last season. That means teams can be rewarded with an additional, high draft pick by including a top prospect to their opening day roster. So … if Painter wins ROY next season, or finishes top 2(?) for CY or MVP any/each season before he reaches arbitration, the Phillies would land a draft pick after round one. No team in baseball has had fewer draft picks than the Phillies over the last half decade. They could really use the extra draft capital. This is one of the reasons Dombrowski/Fuld put Bryson Stott on the 2022 opening day roster despite the fact the club had Didi Gregorius and Jean Segura set to start at MIF. Side note: The Mariners are getting the 1-29 pick (w/~2.65M in slot $) for next summer’s draft because they had (AL ROY) Julio Rodriguez on their opening day 26. Meanwhile … the Braves are getting bupkus/zilch/squat even though Michael Harris won the NL ROY. Why? Harris wasn’t a Brave until May 2022.

  6. Hinkie:
    “…if Painter wins ROY next season, or finishes top 2(?) for CY or MVP any/each season before he reaches arbitration.”
    …….that second part….before he reaches arbitration incentive… is for both AL and the NL?

      1. Ok thanks,
        ….so if Painter is put on the opening day roster….for the next four years, before he reaches arb1 status, the team will be eligible for those team bonus incentives of a higher draft pick based on how he performs.
        That is a pretty decent carrot.

      2. I’m going to slow down (not stop) the Andrew Painter to the majors train for one second.

        The reason for these rules, primarily, is to dissuade teams from artificially delaying service time for players who are ready for the major leagues (think Kris Bryant). They really weren’t put in place to rush players who aren’t ready, although, in some cases, it could have that effect.

        My view is that they should be treating Andrew Painter as the crown jewel that he appears to be. We should not rush him to the big leagues if that is not in his best interests. If he’s truly ready this spring, then fine, bring him up. But if not, let him finish developing and, if you promote him mid-year (or even , say, in mid-May or so), then you control him for the better part of 7 seasons (and probably save $20 million+ the last year he is under team control). There’s really no downside in in either event, but the player’s best outcome, not the possibility of a high draft pick, should control this decision (unless it’s a really, really close call, then I could see the draft pick being a relevant consideration).

        1. That said, given DD’s history, I think Hinkie could very well be right. There is a substantial chance Painter is with the Phillies to start the season. While I am concerned about this, I think the team will monitor his usage like a hawk and it helps a lot that the Phillies have an A+ pitching coach (Cotham) to develop Painter, so it’s not a bad situation at all. That said, I’d really like to see him spend two months in AA and AAA at least before he is promoted. It will probably be good for him and it will be good for Falter as well. Everything points to Falter being a really good #5 starter, albeit perhaps not the best postseason pitcher (a very inauspicious debut last fall, but we shall see).

          1. I would hope if Dave D. decides to place Painter on the opening day 26…it is because he deserves it coming out of ST….and not the chance of obtaining a higher additional draft pick and slotted money in the next draft.

            Personally…though it would be nice to get the additional pick if it worked out that way…I prefer Painter to get a little more seasoning in the minors.

            1. I’ve always prefaced Painter on the opening day roster by saying “depending on how he looks in spring training”. Dombrowski is too smart a baseball executive to promote him for just the chance at a draft pick. He’ll do what’s right for the player and the club. I’m just saying the club won’t avoid promoting him “if he’s ready” just because of his age/nobody else does it.

  7. Who’d a thunk that Cole Irvin would be considered the ace of Oakland’s staff going into the 2023 season.

    1. More of a damnation of Oakland’s team than a condemnation of the Phillies’ decision to let him go. I mean, do you want him back? I don’t.

    2. More of a damnation of Oakland’s team than a condemnation of the Phillies’ decision to let him go. I mean, do you want him back? I don’t.

  8. I agree with Jim; Painter no matter up/down in ST starts in AA.. He needs the acid test of adversity before the Show. He’s 19 going on 20.. If he doesn’t get a call up until Sept. 2023 is that a bad thing? Let him get his inevitable rough outings before the MLB. The Phillies have two studs with Painter/Abel and maybe a third in McGarry for pitchers on the way…Let’s do this right..

  9. Bailey Falter is an excellent 5th starter; IMO.
    In Aug & Sept in his 8 starts he went 6-1-3.21.
    His minor league stats were excellent also 89 starts 3 relief appearances 2.95 ERA 1.13 WHIP.
    He is only 6 months older than Max Fried, a pitcher that people describe as a “young lefty starter”.
    What more can he do to be a 5th starter?

      1. I went back and looked at all the Phillies 5th starters in their playoff years just for grins:
        1996 – Tommy Underwood
        1977/78 – Randy Lerch
        1980 – Walk/ Bystrom
        1981 – Marty Bystrom
        1983 – Kevin Gross
        1993 – Ben Rivera
        2007 – Jon Lieber
        2008 – Adam Eaton
        2009 – J A Happ
        2010 – Kyle Kendrick
        2011 – Vance Worley

      1. Sorry, I guess I’m a candidate for an Economic/ Financial spot in the government. I was thinking of someone else and can’t remember the person now. Back later thanks.

  10. I just watched Harper’s “swing of his life” homer 10 times. Still makes me emotional. Absolute baseball perfection. Such a rare and special moment. Will never get old.

    1. I still go back from time to time to watch the Eagles Super Bowl victory and also the Miracle of the Meadowlands Part 2 (or 3, depending on who you ask), culminating in that ridiculous Desean Jackson punt return – which he somehow made agonizing by not running right into the end zone – it felt like 10 seconds went by as he ran along the goal line before he went in (as I began to scream and go into Leon Lett shock).

      1. Etched in my memory of that play, still envisioning seeing NY Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin standing on the sidelines, fisted hands on hips, snarling at his punter as his face turns red.

        1. That was the best. Face beet red, throws off the headset, gets in Matt Dodge’s face for having punted in bounds. Dodge was actually a pretty good and promising rookie punter up to that point, but that play and the infamy that followed, ruined him. He finished out the last two games of the year and was gone from the NFL forever.

            1. Apparently, he wasn’t very well like even before the kick – that punt certainly didn’t help matters.

    1. Interesting 2 names on invites: Andrew Baker and Billy Sullivan. Two relievers who could sky rocket to majors with some serious heat.

      1. Yes, I have to email Billy’s dad about this (he sometimes works in my office) – I am sure he and the Sullivan family are pumped. Holding onto that Billy Sullivan signed ball for sure.

        1. Just did – the Sullivan family will be down in early March to watch their “Blue Hen” son shoot for the show! Go Billy! (yes, I’m a shameless Billy Sullivan fan, but don’t sell him short – he’s got quite the arm!).

          1. Pretty sure everyone in Delaware is cheering for him. He could be the biggest thing since Joe Flacco.

            1. Dan K….LOL, Joe Flacco is from Audobon NJ.
              Maybe Paul Goldschmidt…who was only born in DE but fam moved to Texas. Also Joey Wendle born in DE but went to Chester Cty PA HS.
              Another high end prospect Khalil Lee…born in DE but escaped to VA.
              But there is Kevin Mench…born in DE and stayed there for HS ball.
              And finally, probably two past famous Phillies…Chris Short and Dallas Green.

            2. @Romus

              Flacco is just popular around here because he helped make a bad UD football team relevant, and then went on to win the Superbowl as a rookie. A bunch of the local eateries have Flacco menu items that he supposedly would order when he was attending UD.

              But yeah, much harder for a baseball product to get recognition, mainly because college baseball just doesn’t have that cult following. The vast majority of people won’t even know where a prospect attended school until/if they make the majors. And even then, most people don’t really know unless it pops up on a commercial or in one of the stadium trivia questions at CBP.

    1. That Matt Gelb picture is so funny. He looks like a throw back photo of Cole Porter (look it up – it has nothing to do with baseball) or a 1950s gossip columnist. LOL.

  11. It was announced this evening that third baseman Scott Rolen was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
    This should open up many, many very good players to make the HOF. Standards are lowered, in my opinion. Should go back thru the years prior to Rolen and put others in.
    Also, Rollins, Utley and Howard should get in.

    1. I had a longer response that may or may not come through eventually. But long story short: Rollins and ESPECIALLY Howard are not even in the same stratosphere as Rolen.

      Utley, sure (and yes, he should also get in). But Scott Rolen was one of the best 3B EVER. We can’t let our feelings as Phillies fans cloud that fact. Rollins is borderline leaning toward no for the Hall. Howard is not even close.

      Rolen is a slam dunk.

      1. Scott Rolen is a creep, wish he didn’t get in, He played 500 more games than Howard, and had less than 100 more rbis and seventy less homeruns,, i dont know how you can say Howard isn’t in the conversation with rolen, But maybe its just that i dont like Rolen,

  12. Of the top of my head: Ken Boyer, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, Dick Allen, Dwight Evans.
    Still thinking.

    1. Maybe if you said Lou Whitaker or Bobby Grich, but this list of players really underrates Rolen’s career. Steve Garvey only had half the WAR Rolen put up.

  13. Allen and Evans I can buy, but, man, Rolen is 10th all-time in WAR by third basemen. 10th! Ron Cey is 22nd. Yes, they both hit exactly 316 homers, but Rolen had 200 more doubles than Cey, and 200 more hits, and 100 more SB, and 150 more RBI. And Rolen won 8 Gold Gloves and Cey won 0. Defense is half the game.

  14. I am glad Scott Rolen got in.
    If a player like Harold Baines gets in, then Scott certainly deserved it.
    For 17 years he was a very good player…9 seasons he had WAR of approx 4 or better.
    He never led any league in any category (no bold blackened stats)….but was plus in many.
    Wonder if he will go in as a Phillie …his collective highest WAR years were with wearing a Philly uniform

    1. I’m surprised to see some people aren’t happy with Rolen being inducted. I can’t understand how Mcriff is in and Helton is close.

      As a positive, I see no reason why Utley won’t get in now. He should arguably be in just based on his 7 year peak.

      And would they just put Bonds, Manny, and Arod in already!? Three of the greatest hitters ever regardless if they used PEDs or not. Sheffield should be really close to being in also.

      1. Phi93….Helton’s career splits outside Coors were good.
        But I think the Coors factor hurt his chances.
        Home……345/.441/.607……..tOPS+… 119

  15. My opinion – for wiw – Rolen is a weak HOF entrant. The only good thing about this is that it may mean Utley will get in as well. Rolen was a high quality journeyman player with 17 seasons to get the counting stats.

    1. Scott Rolen was about as far from a “journeyman” player as you can get. He had 70 career WAR. Almost no untainted (steroids, gambling, etc. . . ) players who have 70 WAR fail to get in the HOF. Although he never won an MVP, he was an 8-time all star and had a 9.2 WAR season where he should have been the MVP. Most of the players who are within 5 WAR of Rolen have been or will be in the HOF. He was an excellent hitter and an elite third baseman and in an era filled with steroid inflated statistics, I don’t think there’s anyone who has suggested Rolen was on the juice (unlike, say, Craig Biggio, who is suspected of use, made it in anyway and had fewer WAR than Rolen).

      I mean, there is something to Rolen never being considered a superstar and his being viewed as kind of testy, somewhat user-unfriendly player (things ended poorly here and in St. Louis). But even if you deduct some points for that, he still deserves to get in.

      1. I view Scott Rolen and Curt Schilling as unique personalities, very intelligent and deep thinkers, and at times prickly, but deserving MLB players of the HoF.
        The difference…..one left baseball and deciding to voice his own American values loudly and became a lightning rod on the political scene while alienating himself to more than half of the baseball writers ….the other, Rolen, kept to himself and remained silent and caused no consternation among writers and the public.

    2. In light of who’s already been inducted into the HOF – are 25% to 30% of the current inductees actually legit entrants? – Rolen certainly belongs, but that’s an indictment of the voting standards of fickle and sanctimonious baseball writers who have watered down the standards ON the field and erected their own OFF the field parameters. I blame the Phillies dysfunctional organization at the time as much as Rolen’s prickly personality, although to his credit, he wasn’t one to air the dirty laundry. He’s a better candidate than either Rollins or Utley, but his election now boosts their case all the more.

      1. I genuinely don’t see how his induction is an indictment of anything. He’s top-10 all time for 3B WAR. He’s top 5 in pretty much EVERY defensive stat we have.

        Sure he’s not the BEST hitter in the hall… but he wasn’t even a bad hitter. In fact, he was quite good. A 122 wRC+ for his career ranks 43rd among 3B ever, and his .368 wOBA ranks 33rd. That’s top 5%. At a position that typically has very strong offense.

        If he doesn’t deserve to be in based on being a very good hitter as well as one of the best defenders ever, then no DH should ever be inducted. It’s not fair to weigh hitting so much more heavily than defense. In fact, if he doesn’t qualify, we may as well convert to the Hall being only the top 5 players at each position ever and start kicking the old guys out as time goes on.

        Rolen was elite. And he was elite for 15 years. Including a run of 8 straight years with fWARs above 4 (two of which were above SEVEN). I just don’t see how that can be considered lacking.

      2. I don’t entirely agree that he is a better candidate than Utley, although he may end up being more popular with the voters.

        Both Rolen and Utley have their pluses. Rolen had a longer career, one truly amazing year and more WAR.

        But Utley had a 5 year peak that was among the greatest ever at his position and, even with a shortened/impaired career with a bad injury, he still produced a lot of WAR. Utley also had many iconic moments, including 5 homers in a WS and the fake out play of the ages.

        I suspect Utley will end up in the HOF and he damn well deserves it. It’s funny that, after Utley, everyone then goes to Howard (no way) and Rollins (falls short by quite a bit imo), but the next closest recent Phillie is Hamels (also around 60 WAR). Hamels will probably just miss but he was like two more good seasons away from being in the conversation too.

        1. IMO, Hamels WS MVP could push him over the top.
          As for CY Young Award…..four times was within top 8 pitchers in the voting.
          have to see where he is % on the first ballot….Rolen was only 10% in 2008…..but was kept on thru the years…I suspect the same for Hamels.

  16. I am not a Scott Rolen fan. I hold a grudge for his wanting to get out of town, and go to “Baseball Heaven.” Having said that, his credentials, when you consider how good of a defensive 3B he was, put him right on that HoF level, considering who has gotten in. I think there is zero chance he wears a Phillies hat. I think it’s Cardinals for him. I congratulate anyone who makes it, regardless of whether I am a fan or not.

  17. The way Rolen left, I’m indifferent to him. I can’t blame him in someways for his decision, the team was a mess from 2000-2002. The Vet was still there, schilling was traded, JD Drew was a 4 letter word, .. it was just a young Burrell and Rollins at that point. That said, I’m pretty sure he hated the last few years of his time in Philly. I had inside info from that time, that he had a really petty feud going on with ownership about covering the cost of an expense for family members. He said the right things, and it stunk when he left, but he doesn’t feel like a “Phillie” to me. I’d be very surprised if he goes in as one, imo, he’s definitely going in as a STL. I mean, come on.. it’s baseball heaven… he played 17 years, 6 with Philly & 6 w/STL… he’s definitely going in as a Cardinal… heck, he’d probably rather go in as a Red over a phillie.

    1. And yet…his highest WAR was when he was a Phillie.
      But I get his wanting to go in as a Cardinal.

    2. Indifferent is the perfect word to describe how I feel about Rolen. Very good player but my all time favorite player is Mike Schmidt. Comparing him to Mike he falls short IMO.

      I detest HOF debates personally. I’d like to visit one day simply because I am such a baseball nut. I’m not sure how many players in are in the HOF and not sure how many are in that I actually saw play.

      I started watching baseball religiously in the late 70’s.

      1. DMAR………..you gotta do that before you are below the green……..so much nostalgia and lore……….a really great place to visit!

      2. You should head over to Cooperstown for Utley’s induction ceremony when he gets in.

        The hall in general is really cool, but the ceremony’s take it to a whole other level. Speaking of Schmidt, I was actually there for his ceremony. My family used to go to every Phillies induction before my grandfather died. There’s a lot of good camping places nearby if you’re into that. But there’s also plenty of “regular” accommodations to be found.

        1. Sounds like a plan for when Utley gets in. Fingers crossed, would be nice to see more 2008 champs get in but they gotta meet the high bar…or watered down bar

  18. I saw Gowdy signed with the Dodgers on a MiLB deal

    He went 2-3 with a 9.90 ERA and 2.08 WHIP in 32 games (three starts) for the Texas Rangers’ Double-A Frisco affiliate last season. Over four Minor League seasons the right-hander is 8-16 with a 5.42 ERA and 1.63 WHIP in 80 games (39 starts).

    Credit Matt Moreno of Dodger Blue for that report

    1. If there’s one team who can rehab a pitcher, it’s the LAD’s. Not saying they’ll be able to straighten Gowdy out. Just saying if he doesn’t rebound there, he may as well hang up his cleats, start his post-baseball life, and enjoy what’s left of the $3.5M signing bonus he got from the Phillies seven years ago.

    2. Rolen was second highest career war from the draft of ’93 through the first 6 rounds at least. #1 was some guy named Alex.

      He does rank at #9 (or 10?) In career war for hof 3rd baseman since 1900. And he is right on the average line in stats compared the average hof 3rd baseman.

      He had a couple injury years in which he lost close to the accumulation of a years worth of playing time or his war would be closer to 75+. 17 yrs is possibly only slightly longer than avg for a hof career.

      His career range factor doesn’t jump out at me as anything stupendous, perhaps . 20-.30 above league avg. But that would mean that he might get to 2-3 balls every 10 games that the avg fielder didn’t. To a pitcher, those 2-3 extra outs might be huge.

      I’ve just started seeing a stat category referred to as war 162 and have also seen war7 and war5 categories. He is generally in the same area of ranking among HOF as his career ranking.

      .870 career ops is respectable.

      1. Rolen had a career .855 OPS and a 122 OPS plus. For an elite fielding third baseman, those are tremendous numbers. Arenado, who most would consider a much better hitter than Rolen has a 124 OPS plus and counting for down season in the future, should end up around the same place role is.

        And we don’t give enough credit to Rolen as a fielder, Rolen’s lifetime defensive WAR is 21.2 – which places him 45th all-time among all fielders and around 5th all-time among modern era third-basemen (post 1920s) behind Brooks Robinson (one of the greatest fielders who ever lived – if you didn’t see him play even a little bit, I’m telling you, you missed something – his fielding abilities were astonishing), Adrian Beltre, Clete Boyer and Graig Nettles (who, by the way, should also be in the HOF – 68 WAR, long career, lots of power, ridiculously great fielding).

        1. Arenado strikes me as a good modern day comparable. Of course he would need to stay healthy enough to pick up about 20 more career bWAR to match Rolen.

          I feel like Rolen’s fielding was the best of any player I watched semi-regularly. He was good enough that I’d give up hope on any ball struck towards 3B being a hit once it left the bat.

      2. Amazing how close Rolen’s Phillies years were and his Cardinal years
        Phillies….7yrs….844Games……282/.373/.504 (126OPS+)….150HR…559RBIs…..WAR29.2

        Cardinals….6yrs…..661Games…..286/.370/.510 (127)……111HR….453RBIs….WAR25.9

  19. I wasn’t happy when Rolen forced his way out of Philadelphia, but he deserves to be in the HOF. He had an amazing glove at 3B.

    1. Rolen was not a warm fuzzy to be sure. But he was one hell of a player – he had no weaknesses (his base running was also fantastic) and he hustled all the time.

      1. The irony of it all….Scott Rolen made the MLB Hall of Fame but may not see the Phillies Wall of Fame.
        Unless John Middleton has a change of heart….probably as a public relation maneuver.

        1. I’ll defend Rolen’s admission to the HoF to anyone who tries to say he was undeserving, but even I wouldn’t say to put him on the Wall. Personally I think they’re already reaching with a bunch of the people they put up there, but you gotta draw the line somewhere, and that line should definitely preclude people that aren’t even really thought of as Phillies players.

          Had he stayed in Philadelphia he would have been an all-time great and talked about like Schmidt. But he left too soon to be considered a Phillies icon, so he shouldn’t be enshrined as one.

          1. Dan……a tricky circumstance for Middleton.
            I agree he should not be on the Phillies Wall…..plus he could hear a smattering of boos, which does not look good for an inductee.
            But it could come down to the Cooperstown ceremony.
            If he wears a Phillies cap in July’s ceremony…..Middleton, due to public perception, may be forced to put him on there.
            If he wears the Cardinal red cap….no problem
            If he has the none- affiliated team cap….who knows what happens then

          2. I’ll second that. At first I was shocked by Rolens inclusion, and it was by a narrow margin, but after doing some research the inclusion and the narrow margin pine seem appropriate.

            Now, Utley, Rollins or Bobby Abreu? Who has greater stats and war, etc. Any on the catchers such as chooch or Mike L?

            What we wouldn’t give for a Bobby Abreu now?!

            But hey, Marsh hit . 288 after joining the Phil’s!

            1. Tony……of those you name…Utley probably is the most deserving.
              BUT…Abreu does have the numbers when it comes to WAR (60) and has led the league in 4/5 categories thru his career…plus…he had 7 straight seasons of statistical dominance…’98 thru ’04

            2. I saw Utley has a +17? Defensive war while Bobby’s is a -11? Wow. Utley has a 64 war in a couple less years than Bobby.

              I found it funny that the Mets brought Bobby back at age 40 and he got 1 sb in that year…. number 400!

              Utley’s inclusion might come to another evaluation of how he stacks up against others in the hall at 2nd base.

              Bobby is the one I was thinking of when I mentioned rolen with a 870 ops.

              I like the WAA wins against average stat better than WAR wins against replacement. But they likely aren’t much different when evaluating or comparing careers.

            3. Tony….Abreu also has more BBs than any Latin born player in MLB history…1,476…ranks 20th on the all-time list in baseball.
              Manny Ramirez is second @ 1329 and David Ortiz is third @ 1319.
              Abreu will hold that record for ages.

    1. That’s good. But, it’s interesting – when I watched Painter last year, the issue was never his velocity (regularly 96-98 and touching higher). It was the quality of his secondary pitches – which varied quite a bit. We all love the velo and a 100 MPH FB is fun to watch, but I want to see killer breaking stuff from him. That’s what will ultimately make him elite, assuming he gets there (and I expect he will). What’s nice about his bulking up is it shows how seriously he takes his career – which isn’t surprising. He seems very mature.

          1. I never meant to denigrate Andrew Painter in any way. His stuff, ability, arm, aptitude – everything – is entirely off the charts. He’s the only pitcher they’ve had in the last 20 years where you can say his ceiling is higher (and it might be significantly higher) than Cole Hamels’ was when he was speeding through the minors. He is an A++ prospect – what else could you possibly want from other (other than, perhaps, having the exact same abilities but pitch left handed).

            Last year, when he was about a month and a half or two into the season I said that I could not possibly believe there were 10 prospects in milb better than Painter. I am glad the experts now agree.

        1. A friend in Jupiter told me last week a bunch of Phillies were at Cressey’s. More mechanical tweeks and metrics vs gas throwing fast balls. I assume Abel and McGarry were there with five or six other Philly pitchers..

      1. Thanks Catch…………that needed to be said, his secondary stuff isn’t there yet but people want to ride the wave of euphoria.

          1. I remember another “pipeline “ I told people Rhys wasn’t good defensively and people here told me I was full of it.

          2. Also the physical appearance is one thing. I’m not so sure at 19 all the tendons and bones connected to those tends are fused in such a way to support a rigorous work load.

            They could be…

            I would just errr on the side of caution with Andrew

            1. DMAR…you are probably right…one thing you do not want is him incurring any ligament, tendon or soft tissue injures…plus the kid could still grow some and sometimes the tall guys have issues repeating their mechanics.
              So far he does not have that problem.

            2. DMAR – you are right!!!

              My biggest concern is overuse until he’s about 25 or 26. Look at the other early promotions DD was responsible for. Many of those guys turned out to be excellent pitchers, but by their early 30s, they were cooked. Some of that may have had nothing to do with the early promotions, but it is a concern.

              The good news is that we (the industry) knows a lot more about this stuff now than they did even 15 years ago. 15 years ago Charlie Manuel regularly had his starters throw between 120 and 130 pitches. That would never happen today. I think they will rely on the science to be careful with Painter, but in terms of pitches thrown (and high stress pitches thrown) and innings pitched. They can ill afford to take stupid chances with him and Abel (again, Abel is much closer in performance and ability to Painter than people here or the industry acknowledges – they really are like options 1A and 1B – Abel absolutely has ace-like ability) and I think they know that.

            3. I’m not a doctor to know at what age tendons and bones fuse. But are those tendons and bones going to fuse any more or less easily/safely if Andrew Painter throws 140 MiLB innings instead of 140 MLB innings? I would be more worried about how failing/getting hit hard as a 20 YO in the Phillies starting rotation could affect him psychologically.
              Again … I take DD at his word (why would he put added pressure on the kid) when he says Painter has a real shot at a rotation spot to start the season depending on what he looks like in ST. Dombrowski & Preston Mattingly know Painter better than anyone here. I trust they won’t put him in a spot that could ruin him.

        1. Right, it isn’t there yet – at least it is quite as consistent yet – but he has flashed plus to plus plus with several of his off speed pitches. That matters because this guy has such tremendous command of his pitches and body control that it seems like it’s only a matter of time (and perhaps not much time at all) before he consistently nails his breaking stuff. But, anyway, that breaking stuff, not 2 more MPH on his fastball, is what lies between Andrew Painter of last year and a dominant big league pitcher. But, quite literally, the sky is the limit for this kid. What is his ceiling? Hall of Famer. I am not putting pressure on him, but that’s his ceiling, just as it was Bryce Harper’s ceiling when he made it to the big leagues.

  20. I don’t really participate in the readers poll anymore but I noticed you you guys had Yu behind Rojas and Crawford. I think I would have Yu as my top position prospect.

    His hit tool is the best in the system IMO.

    I also don’t think I saw Marchan in the Top 10 which is crazy to me. He’s a big league catcher now IMO. He gets very little love. He’s hitting 361/477/861 OPS in the VEWL. He’ll be just 24 this season.

    Sure he will never light the world on fire as an offensive player but he might become that rare bird that hits better in the MLB than he ever did in the MiLB. Plus Plus defense too.

      1. On second look he didn’t even make the top 20 😦

        Who knows maybe I’m wrong about him but I see a lot of catchers in this league on championship teams that don’t hit much.

        To me he feels like a red light player. In big moments he will shine for you but at the end of the year his batting line will look just mediocre.

        1. DMAR … agree 💯 on Marchan. However, Marchan no longer qualifies as a rookie because he’s spent way more than 45 days on the 26-man roster.

    1. I can see how you would have Hao Yu Lee the number one position prospect in the system – it’s not a crazy placement at all. The bottom line is that he plays a middle infield position and is the top hitter in the minors right now as a 19 year-old, so it’s not crazy at all, especially when the other two have not yet shown they can be plus hitters (not saying they can’t be, but they haven’t shown it yet).

      On Marchan – yeah, I’d like to see him really progress in AAA this year and then become the back-up catcher next year at some point. He could be one of those guys who hits better in the big leagues than the minor leagues. It happens and it happens with catchers more frequently than it does with other position players.

      1. I don’t mean to diminish Rojas and Crawford either. Both have exciting tools and hopefully big league careers ahead.

        And Rojas at 21 in AA had a very respectable showing. I like that he walked 21 times to just 44 K’s in 261 PAs. Which he then followed with a nice AZFL 310/433/876 OPS with 8 BBs to 8 Ks in 52 PAs.

        I’ve learned my lesson from being here for 17 years getting excited about speed and defense. It’s become apparent that none of that ever matters much if you don’t get on base and command the K zone in the minors.

        JP Crawford for example. While not an all star in the MLB if you go back and look at his MiLB career you can see how he demonstrated his command of the K zone tool.

  21. Hi guys. Hope all is well. As fellow Hoosier congrats to Scott Rolen.
    I got a chance to skim through the comments last evening. Lots of good discussion.
    My wife had knee replacement surgery on Monday. She had her 1st one 4 years ago. All went well last time. This time has been more difficult. Same surgeon, same hospital but they made some changes in procedure. First three days have been pretty rough. Yesterday really difficult. Hopefully things start looking up today. Enjoy reading all of your comments. Like that only few more weeks till pitchers and catchers.

    1. yes Don its tough i had my knee done in July, I will never do the other one, so much pain for months, Now just starting to walk okay, without pain, it is no joke, Had plate put in my neck and it didn’t hurt near as much as knee replacement,

      1. Thanks guys. She is better today. She put off the left knee for years, but finally had it done in 19. Things went pretty well and that one was actually in worse condition that the right knee. Yesterday was brutal but she is feeling much better today. It is a really long process. She had concerns on Monday when the anesthesiologist tried and FAILED to get the spinal block in place. My wife and the nurses were all upset. He finally went and got the gal who had done it 4 years ago. He tried 4 times. After the 2nd botched one, I would have probably turned around and knocked him out. Plus, surgery was at 10 and we were home by 5. She stayed overnight the first time, but they got her out quickly this time. Rocco…our mail carrier had both knees done around Christmas at same time. I have no idea how one can do that. I have not heard how she is doing.

    2. Don…hope your wife has a rapid recovery. Knees are a harder rehab than say hips, from what I have been told. My friend had both her’s done at once…..went thru the hellish rehab….then a few years later slipped on the ice in her driveway and had to have one redone. Keep your wife indoors until spring!

      1. Thanks Romus. She is in her recliner with her ice machine. She feels much better today. At same time would be hellish. She is home for a while.
        I am doing the grandkids games for a while solo. Leaving for granddaughters’ game shortly.

  22. On the Rolen Wall of Fame issue. I don’t put him on the Phillies Wall. Whether he was right or not, he forced his way out of here. A “Scott Rolen night” is a big mistake for the organization. There will be more than a smattering of boos. I think Utley is more deserving than Abreu. Utley was the premier player at his position for a significant enough number of years. The Dodgers rave about his leadership, and he was, even in his stoic way, the soul of our Phillies run. Rollins being the juice. I think he gets in. Abreu had a terrific swing, but his aversion to the OF wall costs him a number of votes, and I don’t think he makes it.

    1. You all can kiss your hopes of Scott Rolen not being honored by the Phillies goodbye.

      When Rolen was elected to the HOF, Middleton posted that Rolen would be honored by the team this summer. I, too, am not all that happy about this decision, even though I support (and certainly am not against) Rolen’s admission to the HOF. He left here in a pretty ugly and unhappy way, so if they honor him, I hope it’s not with a Wall of Fame plaque because when the team does that, it’s about more than performance, it’s about your legacy with the team and his legacy with the Phillies is very, very mixed.

      As for Abreu and Utley. Utley should go in and Abreu shouldn’t. Abreu was a very good player, but if you watched him play every day, there’s little doubt he did NOT pass the HOF eye test and it tells you something that, at the height of his career, Gillick dumped him for almost nothing because it was better for him not to be on the team than to remain here and intefere with the young leadership of Rollins, Utley and Howard. And it turns out that Gillick was right!

      1. I can see it both ways. Even though I wouldn’t do it the Phillies did draft him so there is something to be said for that perhaps.

      2. I agree, catch. If the team wants to honor Rolen, I don’t care much, but it doesn’t have to be the Wall of Fame. That, to me, as you stated, more of a legacy honor, and I don’t think Rolen’s legacy here is a great one. And, Don, my best wishes to your Wife and her recuperation from her surgery. Let her know that many of your Phuture Phillies friends are sending prayers her way!

    2. Don……Scott Rolen was a little aloof at times, and extremely well read/ intelligent. When players are playing cards on a trip he could be seen reading an author like a Nietzsche. That was who he was.

      1. Don…..yeah that would make a lot of sense.
        He may never have felt comfortable in Philly coming from a more rural environment….even with a touch of Louisville Kentucky down there.
        Some guys have no problems making the transition and some do.

      2. I think Ray was his midde name……..didn’t know he wrote too…..one heck of a linebacker though, I can testify.to that.

    1. Very good trade by the A’s. Hernaiz, the infielder acquired by Oakland, has extreme upside – like all-star upside. Irvin is what he is (he’s a solid 4 – nothing wrong with that, but you don’t win postseason games with a guy like Irvin) and it’s a good thing they moved the fences back in Baltimore, because you wouldn’t want him pitching in a homer-friendly park.

  23. Of the Phillies 55 yrs of the draft, 40 first rounders have made it to mlb. Only 13 have career wars over 10.

    It’s interesting glancing over the names.

    Jd drew had a career 44 war.

  24. omg if they put Rolen on Wall of Fame, I believe and hope i am wrong, the booing will be bad, He wasn’t like by most fans,

      1. I would be SHOCKED if he decided to wear a Phillies cap and surprised if he went with a non-generic cap. I am pretty sure he would prefer to be known as a Cardinal – the team he elected to join, had his best season for and won a WS (and appeared in two WS) for.

        1. Yeah…..he did want to go to ‘baseball heaven’ in St Louis,.
          Though he did have a falling out with Tony LaRussa during the 2007 season, and then new GM John Mozeliak who then traded him to the Jays in 2008
          He left two cities on sour notes.
          We will know for sure what he does on July 23rd.

          1. I believe a lot of guys have had problems playing for LaRussa. Drop that name in front of “Ricky Bo” and you’ll get a bristle, of course it doesn’t take much to get a bristle from someone as on opinionated as Ricky. Just don’t get the vibes he’s a players manager. What do you think?

            1. Interesting. Apparently, the LaRussa/Rolen feud arose when Rolen was benched during a game in the 2006 WS. But I’ve read Rolen’s comments on the matter and it seems, even if he was miffed and headstrong at the time, he tried to mend fences with LaRussa which speaks to his maturity. Hopefully, that’s been going on in Philly with him and those in management. I agree that Rolen is not a bad guy, he’s just his own man and thinks about things differently than many do. He lives life on his terms and the way he left Philly was negative, but he played great here and if they want to have a day to honor him – so be it. He really was an excellent player and part of the problem/issue in Philly is that, as a third-baseman, you’ll always be compared in some way to Mike Schmidt and essentially nobody can compare to the greatest third baseman of all time.

            2. I happen to have heard a lot about LaRussa. He’s pretty much your classic megalomaniac. If he likes you and there is no rhyme or reason to what he likes he’s great to play for and/or work with.

              Problem is that is typically a small percentage of folks in an org for him.

              And that is before you even get to his drinking problem.

            3. Skeet……LaRussa , IMO, is a little rough around the edges….when he was younger.
              One time he went down a hall in a stadium and right into a radio booth after an announcer who made a comment about him.
              He may have mellowed quite a bit over the last few years.
              After the Cards WS, Rolen had shoulder surgeries/procedures/scopes done and LaRussa may have been skeptical about the extent of the injury…who knows…..but that did not sit well with Rolen.

    1. I think time and history will soften the city’s reaction to Rolen, sort of like what happened with Lindros, though I don’t see Rolen ever being embraced in the way Lindros is now. We can forgive having beef with the organization but not so much with the fanbase.

      Also yeah, I assume he’s going in the HOF as a Cardinal. I’d be really surprised if he went with a generic cap.

  25. Fangraphs just put out its overview of the Ray’s farm system. Very strong system, as usual. Of course, the number one prospect in the system is Curtis Mead.

    Excerpt: “The Rays stole Mead from the Phillies in what seemed like a relatively innocuous trade at the time, a swap that sent a low-level developmental sleeper (Mead) to Tampa for depth starter Cristopher Sánchez. In the three years since the trade, Mead has become one of the more dangerous hitters in the minor leagues”

    So painful to read.

    1. So painful. If you can’t scout your own players, you’ve got a big problem. That’s obviously what happened here. It’s especially painful in light of the fact that Christopher Sanchez appears to be the very definition of a AAAA player. Yeah, we just gave the Rays their number one prospect. Hopefully this nonsense will stop now that there is a new administration. Thanks again Matt Klentak.

    2. That is who Yu reminds me of…

      If Sanchez would just work on or try to get a better Change Up he would be much more serviceable.

      Not sure where Mead ends up defensively but in hindsight yeah you’d like to have that one back or have something better than Sanchez out of that deal.

  26. Personally, I would not have voted for Rolen to be in the HOF. Most people who advocate for his entry to Cooperstown point to his fantastic defense. Larry Bowa was a great defender too and happened to have more hits than Rolen and did it in one fewer season – he didn’t sniff the 75% needed. I’m not saying Bowa belongs in the Hall because he hit for zero power but it seems some people cite defensive metrics when it’s convenient. That said, good for Rolen to make it to the Hall and good for Rolen if he wants to come back to Philly and make nice for a “Scott Rolen Day.” But I’d rather not see him on the Phillies Wall of Fame and I certainly hope they don’t retire his number…which may happen since all Phillies Hall of Famers have their numbers retired (I think).

    1. No, it’s when you combine plus offense with outstanding defense and longevity at a critical defensive position – that’s when you get a HOFer. That’s Rolen.

      1. But no, I don’t want him on the Wall of Fame either and I can’t imagine they would retire his number.

      2. One of the voting baseball writers, Rob Parker, said on the Rolen selection…..his basic logic on whether a player gets in or not…..if you have to debate on a player to get in or not….then he is not a Hall of Fame player.
        He did not vote for Rolen.

      3. Catch; agreed. The HOF writers have become a bunch over-sensitive social justice warriors who obsess over things that have nothing to do with the players career. The writers who voted hate Jeff Kent because he was a gruff POS with them. So what? His stats show he was the offensively the greatest 2nd baseman ever. Schilling; they hated his politics and right or wrong his first amendment rights. The HOF process for the MLB is broken..

    2. “which may happen since all Phillies Hall of Famers have their numbers retired (I think).”….

      Fergie Jenkins is an example of an x phillie ( though only for a short time) whose number isn’t retired nor is he on the wall of fame. I’m sure there are several others.

      If he goes into the hall as a phillie they might consider it.

  27. Scott Lauber had a Scott Kingery story today, and I still root for Scotty Jetpax. Hoping Kevin Long can get him back to the line drive/gap hitter he was. Probably, a huge longshot, but what a nice story it would be.

  28. The big unknown is whether Mead would have reached the same level he’s at now under the Phils’ developmental system. I’d love to read an interview with him describing if anything changed for him in the Rays’ system. We may never know. It sure looks like a bad trade though…

  29. Looks like JTR and Stubbs will be no shows to start in the Phillies camp….. pitchers and catchers participating in the WBC report on Feb. 13 to their respective country camps.
    So a lot of minor league catchers will get plenty of work with the big pitchers in Clearwater in Feb thru mid-March.
    Marchan and Ricketts should see plenty of duty and two that intrigue me are Anthony Quirion and former Malvern Prep Jordan Dissin.

    1. They’re reporting to their own teams on those dates. They’re not going to their WBC team until early March. WBC Practice games start March 8.

  30. Don…ok…..you then must be a big Bobby Knight guy I would assume….throwing chairs across the floor and all! 🙂

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