Weekly Discussion (1/29/23)

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


The Adelaide Giants advanced to Australian Baseball League’s Championship Series beating the Auckland Tuatara two games to one,

The Giants won the series opener on Anthony Quirion’s 3-run double in the eighth inning.  Nick Ward went 1-3 with a walk and 2 runs scored in the game.  Quirion went 1-4.  Jared Carr went 1-3 with a double and run scored.  Jordan Fowler got the start and went 3.2 innings allowing 3 runs (2 ER) on 2 hits and 2 walks.  He struck out two and committed the error that allowed the unearned go-ahead run to score.  Prior to that, he had retired nine of ten batters through the first three innings.

Game two was rained out on Saturday, and the series was completed with a doubleheader on Sunday.  The Giants were shut out in the opener.  Nick Ward went 2-4.  Starlyn Castillo pitched two scoreless innings in relief allowing 2 hits, 2 walks, and striking out three.

The Giants opened up a 4-0 lead and held on to win 4-2 in the deciding game.  Ward went 0-3 with a walk.  Carr went 1-2 with 2 runs scored, a HBP, and SB.

In the championship series, The Giants face the Perth Heat who upset the  Brisbane Bandits.  After dropping the opener, 3-2, the Heat outscored the Bandits 14-4 and 10-8.

The three-game series begins February 3rd with one game in Perth and concludes with games in Adelaide.  Although the Giants finished ahead of the Heat during the regular season, the Heat won the season series decisively six games to two outscoring the Giants 61-27.

The Giants will try to break a 43-year Claxton Shield drought.  Perth is going for their fifth Claxton Shield since 2010-2011 and sixteenth overall.  They last won the Shield in 2014-2015,  The Phillies’ Brian Pointer was a member of that championship team.

The Caribbean Series begins February 2nd with Cuba v. Curacao, Colombia v. Puerto Rico, Mexico v. the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela v. Panama in a single round-robin format with the top four teams advancing to the semifinals.  The finals will be held on February 10th.

Hot Stove

Eighteen days until pitchers and catchers report on February 16th.

The Phillies added some depth with the acquisition of INF/OF Josh Harrison.  He was signed to a one-year deal for $2M.  The Phillies signed Harrison back in 2020 but released him before the COVID-shortened season.  When official, somebody will have to come off the 40-man roster.  I know the expectation is that pitchers like McArthur, Ortiz, Sanchez, and Vasquez are at risk in this situation.  But, don’t be surprised if Ortiz or Muzziotti becomes expendable soon.

Rumors, Facts, and Fiction

Spring training coverage will not be as I had hoped.  I got sick after the Phantasy Camp ended.  So did a lot of the Complex regulars I interact with.  My daughter told me that COVID is on the rise again in the Philadelphia area.  So, I’m going to avoid the crowds at the Complex until they thin out in late March.

Well, either no one holds season tickets to the Lehigh Valley, Reading, and Jersey Shore games or no one is interested in providing game commentary.  So, I’ll continue as best I can until I can’t.

Key Dates

  • February 12, 2023:  E-A-G-L-E-S win Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, AZ vs. the Chiefs
  • 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:  (All transactions since the end of the 2022 championship season)

January 2023

1/29/2024 – Phillies signed free agent INF/OF Josh Harrison
1/25/2023 – LF Dustin Peterson assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/24/2023 – Phillies invited non-roster SS Scott Kingery to spring training
1/24/2023 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Andrew Painter to spring training
1/24/2023 – Phillies invited non-roster C Vito Friscia to spring training
1/24/2023 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Billy Sullivan to spring training
1/24/2023 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP McKinley Moore to spring training
1/24/2023 – Phillies invited non-roster 3B Will Toffey to spring training
1/24/2023 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Andrew Baker to spring training
1/24/2023 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Mick Abel to spring training
1/24/2023 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Griff McGarry to spring training
1/24/2023 – RHP Jesus Cruz assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/24/2023 – RHP Jeremy Walker assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/24/2023 – LHP Ben Bowden assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/24/2023 – RHP Louis Head assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/24/2023 – RHP Mark Appel assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/23/2023 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Jesus Cruz to a minor league contract
1/23/2023 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Ben Bowden to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training
1/18/2023 – Phillies signed free agent LF Dustin Peterson to a minor league contract
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 – 3B Vimael Machín assigned to Lehigh Valley
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
1/13/2023 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Mark Appel to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training
1/13/2023 – 3B Weston Wilson assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/11/2023 – Phillies signed free agent 3B Weston Wilson to a minor league contract
1/11/2023 – Phillies sent RHP Francisco Morales outright to Lehigh Valley
1/11/2023 – RHP Buddy Hayward retired
1/11/2023 – RHP Jon Duplantier assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/11/2023 – RHP Louis Head assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/11/2023 – CF Garrett Whitley assigned to Lehigh Valley
1/10/2023 – Phillies signed 3B Vimael Machin to a minor league contract
1/10/2023 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Francisco Morales to spring training
1/09/2023 – Phillies released RHP Vinny Nittoli
1/09/2023 – San Francisco traded RHP Yunior Marte to Phillies for LHP Erik Miller
1/08/2023 – Phillies signed RHP Jace Vines to a minor league contract
1/07/2023 – Phillies activated LHP Gregory Soto
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 free agent RHP Louis Head to a minor league contract
1/04/2023 – Phillies activated RHP Craig Kimbrel
1/04/2023 – Phillies invited non-roster RHP Jon Duplantier to spring training
1/04/2023 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Jon Duplantier to an MiLB contract
1/04/2023 – Phillies designated RHP Francisco Morales for assignment
1/04/2023 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Craig Kimbrel
1/04/2023 – Phillies designated RHP Vinny Nittoli for assignment
1/04/2023 – Chicago Cubs traded RHP Erich Uelmen to Phillies for cash
1/03/2023 – Phillies reassigned 1B Darick Hall to the minor leagues
1/03/2023 – Phillies activated 1B Darick Hall
1/02/2023 – RHP Jake Jewell assigned to Lehigh Valley

December 2022
12/31/2022 – 2B Nick Ward assigned to Jersey Shore BlueClaws
12/31/2022 – 3B Jim Haley assigned to Lehigh Valley
12/31/2022 – 2B Wendell Rijo assigned to Reading
12/24/2022 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Jake Jewell to a minor league contract
12/23/2022 – RHP Tayler Scott elected free agency
12/23/2022 – Phillies signed free agent OF Garrett Whitley to a minor league contract
12/22/2022 – Phillies sent RHP Tayler Scott outright to Lehigh Valley
12/21/2022 – Phillies signed free agent 3B Jim Haley to a minor league contract
12/19/2022 – Phillies signed free agent 2B Nick Ward to a minor league contract
12/19/2022 – Phillies signed free agent 2B Wendell Rijo to a minor league contract
12/17/2022 – 3B Nick Podkul assigned to Reading
12/17/2022 – Phillies signed free agent 3B Nick Podkul to a minor league contract
12/16/2022 – Phillies designated RHP Tayler Scott for assignment
12/16/2022 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Taijuan Walker
12/15/2022 – C Max McDowell assigned to Reading
12/10/2022 – Phillies signed free agent C Max McDowell to a minor league contract
12/09/2022 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Matt Strahm
12/08/2022 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Jeremy Walker to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training
12/08/2022 – Phillies signed free agent SS Trea Turner
12/07/2022 – Phillies claimed RHP Noah Song off waivers from Red Sox Organization
12/07/2022 – Lehigh Valley claimed SS Pedro Martinez off waivers from Bowling Green (TB)
12/07/2022 – Lehigh Valley claimed C Cody Roberts off waivers from Bowie (BAL)
12/07/2022 – Lehigh Valley claimed RHP Yoniel Ramirez off waivers from San Jose (SF)
12/07/2022 – Lehigh Valley claimed SS Cam Cannon off waivers from Worcester (BOS)
12/07/2022 – Lehigh Valley claimed RHP Trey Cobb off waivers from Syracuse (NYM)
12/07/2022 – Lehigh Valley claimed 2B Oliver Dunn off waivers from Somerset (NYY)
12/07/2022 – Lehigh Valley claimed RHP Zach Linginfelter off waivers from Rocket City (LAA)
12/07/2022 – Omaha (KC) claimed SS Shervyen Newton off waivers from Reading
12/07/2022 – Louisville (CIN) claimed RHP Kyle Glogoski off waivers from Jersey Shore
12/07/2022 – Oklahoma City (LAD) claimed RHP Carlo Reyes off waivers from Jersey Shore
12/07/2022 – Iowa (CHC) claimed CF Jefferson Encarnacion off waivers from Clearwater
12/07/2022 – Sugar Land (HOU) claimed RHP Manuel Urias off waivers from FCL Phillies
12/02/2022 – Phillies claimed CF Jake Cave off waivers from Baltimore
12/01/2022 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Jesus Polanco to a minor league contract

November 2022
11/23/2022 – SS Shervyen Newton assigned to Reading
11/22/2022 – Phillies signed free agent SS Shervyen Newton to a minor league contract
11/16/2022 – C John Hicks assigned to Reading
11/16/2022 – Phillies signed free agent C John Hicks to a minor league contract
11/15/2022 – Phillies selected the contract of OF Johan Rojas from Reading
11/12/2022 – Reading activated RHP Blake Brown from the 60-day IL
11/10/2022 – Phillies activated RHP James McArthur from the 60-day IL
11/10/2022 – Phillies activated CF Simon Muzziotti from the 60-day IL
11/10/2022 – RHP Mark Appel elected free agency
11/10/2022 – RHP Trevor Bettencourt elected free agency
11/10/2022 – RHP Nick Duron elected free agency
11/10/2022 – LHP Kent Emanuel elected free agency
11/10/2022 – LHP Jace Fry elected free agency
11/10/2022 – RHP Ofreidy Gomez elected free agency
11/10/2022 – LHP Jonathan Hennigan elected free agency
11/10/2022 – RHP James Marvel elected free agency
11/10/2022 – LHP Braeden Ogle elected free agency
11/10/2022 – RHP Bubby Rossman elected free agency
11/10/2022 – LHP Ryan Sherriff elected free agency
11/10/2022 – 2B Daniel Brito elected free agency
11/10/2022 – SS Ali Castillo elected free agency
11/10/2022 – 3B Yairo Munoz elected free agency
11/10/2022 – 1B Josh Ockimey elected free agency
11/10/2022 – 2B Daniel Robertson elected free agency
11/10/2022 – RF Jorge Bonifacio elected free agency
11/10/2022 – LF Dustin Peterson elected free agency
11/10/2022 – CF Chris Sharpe elected free agency
11/10/2022 – RF Justin Williams elected free agency
11/10/2022 – RHP Joel Cesar elected free agency
11/10/2022 – 1B Aldrem Corredor elected free agency
11/10/2022 – SS Jonathan Guzman elected free agency
11/10/2022 – 2B Wendell Rijo elected free agency
11/10/2022 – SS Kevin Vicuna elected free agency
11/10/2022 – LF Josh Stephen elected free agency
11/10/2022 – RHP Andrew Brown elected free agency
11/10/2022 – Lehigh Valley activated RHP Tyler Phillips from the Full Season IL
11/10/2022 – Reading activated 3B Matt Kroon from the 60-day IL
11/10/2022 – Jersey Shore activated LHP Spencer Van Scoyoc from the 60-day IL
11/10/2022 – Jersey Shore activated SS Casey Martin from the 60-day IL
11/10/2022 – Jersey Shore activated LHP Jhordany Mezquita from the Full Season IL
11/10/2022 – Clearwater activated CF Yhoswar Garcia from the 60-day IL
11/10/2022 – Clearwater activated RHP Tommy McCollum from the 60-day IL
11/10/2022 – Clearwater activated RHP Micah Ottenbreit from the Full Season IL
11/10/2022 – Clearwater activated RHP Eduar Segovia from the 60-day IL
11/10/2022 – FCL Phillies activated RHP Drew Garrett Full Season IL
11/10/2022 – FCL Phillies activated OF Gabriel Rincones Jr Full Season IL
11/10/2022 – FCL Phillies activated RHP Nathan Karaffa from the 60-day IL
11/10/2022 – FCL Phillies activated OF Gavin Tonkel from the 60-day IL
11/09/2022 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Wesley Moore to an MiLB contract
11/09/2022 – LHP Wesley Moore assigned to FCL Phillies
11/09/2022 – Phillies sent RHP Mark Appel outright to Lehigh Valley
11/09/2022 – Phillies sent RHP Hans Crouse outright to Lehigh Valley
11/09/2022 – Phillies sent LHP Kent Emanuel outright to Lehigh Valley
11/09/2022 – Phillies sent LHP Damon Jones outright to Lehigh Valley
11/09/2022 – Phillies sent 3B Yairo Munoz outright to Lehigh Valley
11/09/2022 – Phillies claimed LHP Andrew Vasquez off waivers from San Francisco
11/09/2022 – Phillies claimed RHP Luis Ortiz off waivers from San Francisco
11/08/2022 – Jersey Shore activated RHP Chase Antle from the Full Season IL
11/08/2022 – Jersey Shore activated RHP Christian McGowan from the 60-day injured list
11/08/2022 – Jersey Shore activated RHP Tom Sutera from the 60-day injured list
11/08/2022 – Clearwater activated RHP Buddy Hayward from the 60-day injured list
11/08/2022 – Clearwater activated CF Jefferson Encarnacion from the 60-day injured list
11/08/2022 – FCL Phillies activated LHP Danny Wilkinson from the 60-day injured list
11/08/2022 – DSL Phillies White activated SS Kilwer Colmenares from the 60-day injured list
11/07/2022 – RHP Zach Eflin elected free agency
11/07/2022 – SS Jean Segura elected free agency
11/06/2022 – RHP Chris Devenski elected free agency
11/06/2022 – RHP Kyle Gibson elected free agency
11/06/2022 – LHP Brad Hand elected free agency
11/06/2022 – RHP Corey Knebel elected free agency
11/06/2022 – RHP David Robertson elected free agency
11/06/2022 – RHP Noah Syndergaard elected free agency

213 thoughts on “Weekly Discussion (1/29/23)

  1. Keith Law’s top 100 came out this morning: https://theathletic.com/4132943/2023/01/30/top-100-mlb-prospects-2023-keith-law/

    2 Phillies:
    13. Andrew Painter, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies
    Age: 20| 6-7 | 215 pounds
    Bats: Right | Throws: Right
    Drafted: No. 13 in 2021

    Last year’s ranking: Unranked

    The Phillies took a high school pitcher with their first-round pick in 2021, the second time in a row they’d done so, and so far both of those prospects look very promising. Painter was the second of those two picks and he’s quickly become their best prospect, dominating at three levels as a 19-year-old last year with two plus pitches and a good chance he’ll end up with a third. He’s huge, 6-7, listed at 215 but probably 10-15 pounds stronger than that already, and could just bully hitters with his fastball in Low A, where he started 2022. He’s already working at 94-97 mph over full starts and can reach 99, coming from a high three-quarter slot that makes his two-plane curveball at 76-81 even more devastating. He also throws both pitches for strikes, even improving his control as he moved up the ladder — he walked just two of 109 hitters he faced in Double A, his lowest walk rate at any of the three levels where he pitched. He does have a changeup that projects to a 55 but he barely uses it, while he has a slider that is behind the curveball in effectiveness and isn’t as hard as it should be given his fastball velocity. Painter won’t even turn 20 until April, so he has a lot of time to continue developing, but also a lot of time to get hurt, unfortunately. His delivery is good and he repeats it well, but we’ve seen way too many guys like him get hurt on their way to the majors to ignore the possibility here. If your crystal ball says he’ll stay healthy, he’s a top-10 prospect in baseball, and might have a case to be in the top 6.

    1. 77. Mick Abel, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies
      Age: 21 | 6-5 | 190 pounds
      Bats: Right | Throws: Right
      Drafted: No. 15 in 2020

      Last year’s ranking: 91

      Abel built up to 108 1/3 innings last year after throwing just 44 2/3 the year prior, cutting his walk rate even through a midseason promotion to Double A. He’s a big, strong righthander, 6-5 and probably 210-215 pounds, built like a workhorse starter, and extends well over his front side. He’s 93-98 mph, sitting more 94-95, with a slurvy slider that’s an above-average pitch with good tilt, up to 85, although it could be plus if he can get more power to it. He has an upper 80s changeup that I didn’t love when I saw it, although it was moderately effective for him this year; he had a small platoon split, mostly in terms of power, giving up seven of the 11 homers he allowed this year to lefties. It’s going to come down to command more than anything, which is a little surprising as he’s always had a good delivery, even as a high school underclassman. He could be a good No. 3 starter if that improves and he gets a little more separation on the changeup.

      1. Yup, that one would hurt a lot more in almost any era of Phillies baseball. Right now, they can absorb such a bone head miss. The TB Rays come calling about a prospect … you really need to ask “why” … 10,000 times before okaying a trade. In fairness, there is no place for him to really play on this team, at this point he’d be a trade chip. Even then, the payroll is maxed, so if this were to happen, this is best time for it to. That said, yes, I wish klentak didn’t mess that up.

      2. Considering the guy doesn’t even have a position and doesn’t have an ideal body, what this tells you is that this guy is about as pure of hitter (OBP, OPS) as you’re going to see. And they gave him away for a AAAA arm. Wow. Not the fault of the current regime, but staggering nonetheless.

        1. I remember when I was excited for klentak too… at some point I was convinced he was some
          Young up & coming talent. I was anti-analytics, still am. Well, he was “young”, I’ll give him that. More screwups that hits, that’s for sure. People give Ruben a hard time, but klentak easily surpasses him imo.

      1. Yeah, there was something very gratuitous about that comment. Nobody has said Painter was overworked, that the Phillies abuse pitchers or that his motion makes him susceptible to injuries. But he might get injured, you know, because he throws a baseball for a living and some young pitchers get injured. Uh, keen analysis. Thanks, Keith.

        1. On the other hand, he ranked him 13, which is very high. Not high enough in my view, but at that point you’re splitting hairs.

          1. Yes…expected Painter to be at least top 10 somewhere in KLaw’s assessment. But what would be a KLaw ranking without controversy.

          2. But Law allowed that if “the planets and stars aligned” with his health that some people might think he was among the top 6 players (as most other national rankings did). Snarky little weasel that Law. I caught that smug comment immediately.

      1. Yes. Ten of 24 300-game winners started their careers at age 18, 19, or 20. Notables – Steve Carlton (20), Nolan Ryan (19), and Greg Maddux (20). Another 4 started their careers at age 21 Warren Spahn, Don Sutton, Roger Clemens, and Tom Glavine.

  2. Jim, covid has been declining fairly steadily for several weeks in Philadelphia.

    1. Among my very small group that travels to the Complex every day, there are the three of us who I call regulars plus another 3 or 4 who show up slightly less frequently. Four have tested positive for COVID in the past week. The week after Phantasy Camp. We all let our guard down and thought we were safe at the Complex. Two 60-plusses and two thirty-somethings out of a group of 6-7 seem like a high frequency. I think I’ll err on the side of medical safety and try and avoid out-of-town people during ST.

  3. Jim…hang in there.
    I know quite a few who have come down with the flu-like illness over the last several weeks up here….and it seems to linger for beyound a week or so.
    And virtually all have home-tested negative for COVID.

    1. i had covid two weeks ago, Really just a bad cough, But my wife is still having trouble breathing, She has gotten breathing machine treatments, can be mild or bad, just dont know, hope She has it mild if she test positive,

      1. rocco…you can order a nebulizer, not too expensive at all, and use H2O2( hydrogen peroxide)……food grade diluted down to 3% with filtered water….or even 3% store bought hydrogen peroxide.
        And do it 2/3 times a day for about 5/10 minutes each time…..that may help her breathing issues.

        1. yeah my wife got a Nebulizer still having trouble breathing, I think it affected her asthma

  4. Jim-here in Sarasota we have had a covid like hard cold/coughing (low grade fever) with the accompanying heavy aches/pains round of illness. I got it from a friend here then gave it to my kids inadvertently. It is going around.

  5. Like v1 I also quickly read my Keith Law writeup on his 100 prospects and couldn’t help but think if nothing else he is consistently Phillyphobic – faint praise with damning comments on both Painter and Abel. I think he would be intellectually injured if the Phillies hit on one or both of these young pitchers. To his, “he could be great but he’s young and could still get injured.” I wonder why he didn’t say that about the other dozen+ pitchers on his list ?

    I guess he had the 49ers and the points.

    1. Law has been consistently against taking HS pitchers because they are the highest risk picks historically. Not surprising that he continues to be skeptical that they will succeed without injury.

    2. Keith Law used the word “healthy” 18 times in that article. It is a risk for any pitcher, he does not show anti-Phillies bias that i see. he is a grumpy guy for all prospects.

  6. Congrats to the Eagles.
    Update on the knee. My wife has been really sick since last Wednesday. We are going to rehab and see them today. Much different than the first time. She got along really well then. Like I mentioned last week they did some things differently this time compared to the first. No idea if they are playing a part this time. We know the knee itself is a long hard deal with many good and bad days. Have not even got to that part of it yet.
    Romus…I will share the Rolen and Knight stories later when I return back home.
    I hope all of you who are not feeling well get better.

    1. Don rehab is so important, When you get home on off days do the excersises, they help a lot, Sleeping is what drove me nuts, even with drugs, couldnt get comfortable, Knee keep hurting,

      1. Thanks Rocco. They told her this morning she needs to drink more. So far, her knee has not been the issue. Just not feeling good. all the time.

  7. I like the Harrison signing. Good all around player and usually gives you a really tough at bat.

    Though if I were going to add a guy I believe Wacha is still hanging in the wind. Maybe we don’t have that kind of money left but he would be great to bring in for rotation depth and as a 5th starter.

  8. Romus…so here is the info IU put out on Rolen being elected to HOF.
    Scott is back in Southern Indiana.
    He has been the Director of Player Development for the last 5 years at IU.
    I did not know that. Scott says he really stresses to players Defense. Says that is the way you can help you team the most on a daily basis. Said the Ks and HRs come and go but you can contribute most making plays and getting outs for your pitcher and teammates.
    Rolen is the 18th 3rd baseman selected. Only played 3rd and PH.
    8 Gold Gloves, 7 time All Star, 1997 Rookie of Year, 2002 Silver Slugger, 2006
    WS champ with Cards. Says also he is only HOF elected who has received less that 15% his first year. 10.2.
    Rolen was an Indiana All Star in 93 in Basketball. Had scholarship to Georgia before being drafted in 2nd round of the 93 draft by Phillies. On a side note. With all the NIL money kids are getting these days he may have passed on signing and went to college. Scored 50 points in a game and still holds 3-point record in State Tourney.

    1. Don…..he sure accomplished a lot..a great athlete. I think being in a university atmosphere, with student-athletes is what he enjoys.
      He was on the MLB .network last week, after his selection, with Brian Kenny and he said a lot and also his foundation of ‘E5’ for youth.

  9. Sam Coonrod DFA’d for Harrison. And, Jim, Don’s Wife and Rocco’s Wife, get back to 100% quickly.

  10. surprised it was Coonrod DFA’d. I really like him and still think he can be a good set up reliever. Sad he got injured and didn’t look right when he did come back. But the roster is getting to the point of valuable players on the fringe will get cut when a spot is needed.

    1. Bob…..he still could be back..if he passes thru and no one claims him or trades for him in that short period, the Phillies could bring him back , like Morales, on a minor league deal.

      1. Wouldn’t he remain on the contract agreed upon to avoid arbitration? $775K. I think the Phillies hope that contract and two more rounds of arbitration are a deterrent to a claiming team. Pretty much the same gamble that Minnesota took when they tried and failed to pass Jake Cave through waivers. Morales doesn’t reach arbitration until 2026, I think.

        1. Yeah, I forgot about the contract he has may deter many teams from claiming him and may also entice him of remaining in the contract instead of becoming a free agent late in the game. Kind of a shrewd move.

  11. Jim; best wishes on your COVID recovery. Unfortunately it’s now part of our lives.. The Coonrad move tells me DD didn’t think much of him and McGarry could take his role this year? McGarry needs to clean up his BB ratio..

    1. That’s really good for Rojas, because he currently has some serious flaws in his game and hasn’t put up great statistics yet. He may never break through, but the physical talent is eye-popping.

  12. I am just wondering, Haven’t seen the phillies saying congratulation to the eagles yet, All other sports team have, A lot of the sixers were at the game Sunday, I might have missed it, cause the eagles went nuts when the Phillies got to World Series and Even playoffs

    1. I am sure no slight is intended. As I understand it, Lurie and Middleton are really good friends and Middleton is a huge Eagles fan who admires what Lurie has done.

      1. Ty Romus never saw this on the news or computer, Romus if you could do me a favor, can you go to clearwater, for a week, if you don’t get Covid, then i can go, ty m8

  13. Article on off-season grades: https://theathletic.com/4132417/2023/01/31/mlb-offseason-grades/

    Philadelphia Phillies
    Grade: A-

    The Phillies identified Trea Turner as their priority target before the offseason began and they landed him with a $300 million contract. That alone should have made it a successful offseason. But the Phillies added to their pitching corps with Taijuan Walker, Craig Kimbrel, Gregory Soto and Matt Strahm. The pitching acquisitions have their warts, and the onus is on the club to repair those weaknesses. The under-the-radar wins of the offseason were incremental bullpen upgrades to the 40-man roster that will either serve as depth during the season or potential trade chips in the spring to upgrade a bench spot. — Matt Gelb

    Honestly not sure how a team as deep as the Phillies and with the salary cap they have could have had a better off-season. I thought they had a great offseason.

    The article gave the Mets an A- too and I don’t get that either. I don’t see how the Mets got better. Swapping Verlander for DeGrom is at best a wash. But Verlander is 5 years older and at 39 really could break down any day. Otherwise all they did was re-sign their existing players. How does that deserve the same grade as the Phillies who clearly upgraded several roster spots.

    1. A- is a fair grade. They improved the line-up (in a big way), the bullpen (significant quality and depth added) and the rotation with some serious young arms on the way.

      What, last year, projected to be (and actually was), a second or third WC team with slightly under 90 wins is now probably a low 90s win team and clear WC contestant with an outside chance to compete for the division. If Painter (or Abel or McGarry) turns out to be the real deal and Harper gets fully healthy, this team will be very dangerous again in October.

      1. Imo A- is a fair grade if you ignore the real world limits. With this roster and this salary situation I can’t see a move that DD should have done that he didn’t.

        1. You say that as if a A- were a bad grade – I think it’s a super grade. You get a higher grade than that, in my view, if you get an amazing value on a signing that nobody expected (didn’t happen – he paid FMV for all the free agents – by comparison think Haason Reddick or Linval Joseph signings) or you work a trade where you clearly got the best of the other side (think C.J.G-J. trade – not clear that happened here, either). I reserve the right to improve the grade if one of the below-the-radar trades turns into a steal for the Phillies, which is possible.

          Basically, a Howie Roseman 2022 offseason is an A+ – that’s what I mean. DD didn’t do THAT well, but he did a pretty darned good job and I appreciate that.

            1. The Mets get the same grade if money is no object and what you’re measuring it by is solely how much they improved the team. If you’re measuring it by cost effectiveness, the Mets probably get like a C – although Cohen has money to burn. But mark my words, the owners won’t let Cohen keep this up forever, especially if he wins something. The penalties will end up being so onerous that it won’t be about money, it will be about competitiveness.

              Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered. Cohen is a hog and he’s going down.

            2. The Mets should NOT get an A- for resigning their own FA. Can anybody really guarantee that Verlander, Senga, and Quintana will be better than deGrom, Bassitt, and Walker? If anything, they should be penalized for screwing up the Correa deal.

            3. Yeah, fair point. They mostly held serve and that’s assuming that Verlander turns out to be an acceptable replacement for deGrom, which is less than clear.

    1. I see Sal Frelick of the Brewers is on there…liked him a lot coming out a few years ago…Lenny Dykstra type CFer.

      1. I was surprised not to see Henry Davis on the list being the 1:1 out of college in 2021. He struggled a bit at AA last season but still if he gets off to a good start this year the buccos are so bad how would you not get him up and try to finish his development in the MLB when there is no pressure on them to win.

        1. Yes…….they are bringing up many of their youngsters and letting them cut their teeth in the majors…Cruz and Hayes for two. I bet Cherington will have Davis up around August .

  14. I think our off season grade is a very good one, and I think our off season was significantly better than the Mets’. I read that not everyone loves the Walker signing, but I think the opposite. I think as a 4th SP, he will be a real asset, and have a very good year for us. And, I think the BP additions deserve superlatives. Of course, I love the Turner signing.

    1. Walker is an ideal 4th starter (who could become a 5th starter if Andrew Painter is promoted) for a team with a good offense. He is consistent and manages games. He had a 3.49 ERA and 2.6 WAR in 29 starts. He’s a guy you would feel fine throwing in a 4th game of a playoff series or having in reserve. And he’s only 30, but with a ton of experience. It’s a solid signing, although, again, they paid top dollar for him (one of the reasons they got an A- and not an A or A+ – DD always seems to pay top dollar).

  15. Jon Heyman….Steve Cohen has his next off-season target…Ohtani….with $$$$ as no object.
    MLB needs a hard cap.

    1. The players will never, ever agree to a hard cap (at least I think they won’t), but there are other solutions, namely, draconian competitiveness penalties other than taxes and one lost draft pick. Like losing multiple picks (and the associated signing money), losing international money altogether, exposing the team’s minor league players to competitiveness drafts. Trust me, there are places they can go with this outside of a hard cap that will be so punitive no owner will want to exceed the highest threshold again and again the way Cohen otherwise would. Make it about winning (or possibly not winning) and Cohen will likely fall into line.

      1. Agree…..draconian measures…MLB should remove high draft picks ( first rounders and work their way down for subsequent infractions) and also just cut substantial international monies.
        The threshold will always continue to go up….and Cohen will always exceed it as it stands now.
        But the one thing MLB can do…and its the majority of the ownership assembly’s call….if Cohen continually breaks the threshold without reservation…is voting to force him ouw….like McCourt, Fowler, Shott, Steinbrenner the dad, and a few others…..the MLB Constitution gives the Commissioner broad authority to fine, suspend and remove owners who act contrary to “the best interests of baseball.”

        1. Not going to happen. They are not going to throw him out just because he spends a lot of money (for numerous reasons). They will punish him in other ways so severely he won’t want to spend that much money.

            1. Donald Sterling was a full blown racist, sexist horrible pig of a person who was harming the reputation of the league. Cohen has to do a lot of offensive things to be voted out. Spending money won’t get him removed. It just won’t and they don’t have to do that. Just change the spending rules.

          1. Article II, which outlines the authority of the Commissioner. Section 3 reads:

            “In the case of conduct by Major League Clubs, owners, officer, employees or players that is deemed by the Commissioner not to be in the best interests of Baseball, punitive action by the Commissioner for each offense may include any one or more of the following:

            (a) a reprimand; (b) deprivation of a Major League Club of representation in Major League Meetings; (c) suspension or removal of any owner, officer or employee of a Major League Club; (d) temporary or permanent ineligibility of a player; (e) a fine, not to exceed $2,000,000 in the case of a Major League Club, not to exceed $500,000 in the case of an owner, officer or employee, and in an amount consistent with the then-current Basic Agreement with Major League Baseball Players Association, in the case of a player; (f) loss of the benefit of any and all of the Major League Rules, including but not limited to the denial or transfer of player selection rights provided by Major League Rules 4 and 5; and (g) such other actions as the Commissioner may deem appropriate [emphasis added].”

            Cohen’s entry into ownership was not a slam dunk three years ago.
            Middleton’s yea vote was one that helped him across the finish lime.

            1. Name me one instance where a U.S. league owner was reprimanded, let alone removed, simply by paying money the league allowed him to pay.

              Yes, that clause is ambiguous. I get it. But the players and Mets fans would rightfully go ballistic if Cohen were removed simply because he spent money the league allowed him to spend. It’s not, not, not going to happen without actual bad behavior from Cohen. But it doesn’t need to happen. They can make the penalties for going over certain luxury thresholds so bad in terms of anti-competitive effect that he won’t do this anymore.

            2. If he continues to exceed the threshold…..without any regard to the penalties that are imposed on him…..they will vote to remove him.
              The latest example, Ron Fowler of the Padres was removed or forced out as part of their ownership group..

            3. First of all, Fowler may have been forced out, but not for spending money and was simply pushed out by other members of his ownership group, namely, Seidler, who wanted to spend a lot of money, did spend money, and remains in power. It was just an internal power struggle – not punishment by the MLB. I see no relevance in that situation to what is going on, or what will go on, with Cohen.

              You are missing my point on Cohen. He is following the rules of the game and is willing to absorb the tax penalties others would not absorb. He is doing NOTHING wrong. So what will happen? They will change the rules of the game in a way that will dissuade him from breaking the rules. They will make it so that, if he exceeds the thresholds, the anti-competitive penalties (not JUST monetary penalties) will be so onerous that if he keeps breaking the rules, he won’t be able to field a competitive team. They may also limit the number of free agents a team may sign which, when you combine that with losing draft picks and international money will mean that Steve Cohen will not be able to buy championships every year. The whole league will be against him – he’ll keep his team, but he’ll get what’s coming to him if he keeps this up.

            4. “not punishment by the MLB.” “THE MLB”? Tsk, tsk. I’ve seen “THE MLB” drive some media types apoplectic on Twitter. Sorry for the infusion of humor into this very serious discussion.

              Seriously, though, Cohen isn’t doing anything wrong, as you pointed out. He’s spending money on players to make his team better. Until he actually wins something, he just looks foolish. IMO.

              If MLB changes the penalties and he persists in trying to buy players and a championship, is that really a valid reason to strip him of ownership? This is America. Home of capitalism. Is his spending really detrimental to baseball? Or is it just embarrassing to the cheap owners?

              MLB had revenue in excess of $10.8 billion in 2022 with a 6% decline in attendance. Sounds like baseball is doing fine.

              Regarding the penalties, aren’t they defined in the CBA? Do they have to be negotiated with the MLBPA? Can they be changed before the next CBA negotiations after the 2026 season?

              Sorry if my thinking is unclear or my punctuation and spelling is off. I’m still a little under the weather.

  16. Someone like Cohen could pull the ultimate end-around, which the players would love and would probably get the Commissioner to try to take action. Under the rules, a team that exceeds its draft pool faces penalties. From MLB.com:

    “Teams that exceed their bonus pool face a penalty. Clubs that outspend their allotment by 0-5 percent pay a 75 percent tax on the overage. At higher thresholds, clubs lose future picks: a first-rounder and a 75 percent tax for surpassing their pool by more than 5 and up to 10 percent; a first- and a second-rounder and a 100 percent tax for more than 10 and up to 15 percent; and two first-rounders and a 100 percent tax for more than 15 percent.”

    Say you have a few extra hundred million to burn. What’s to stop a team from approaching the top 40 amateur players and offering them outrageous amounts. So you tell your #1 ranked draft prospect that you if you have the chance to draft them you will give them a $20 million bonus, your #2 prospect $15 million, your #3 prospect $14 million, etc. You get them to then make outrageous demands to the other teams. Would it work on all of them? No, the other teams would draft some of them and “dare” them to turn down their slot offer. But could you get 20 of the top 40 players? Maybe. Heck, if you could get 5 or 6 of the top 40 players, it would be well worth giving up two first-rounders. And the tax would be affordable to Cohen.

    Someone smart, for whom money is no object, may try this. And it would be 100% within the rules.

    1. This could also be done in the international market. Offer to pay 16-year-old top prospects more than they agreed to when they were 12 or 13. Those early agreements are against the rules anyway, so just ignore them and make better offers.

      Both of these actions would probably be easier to view as against the best interests of baseball, though. More so than just buying free agents. I would like to see it though. I love chaos.

      1. I assume Cohen is smart enough not to cross the line, to push it too far……but ignoring all the thresholds and just willing to pay the price may not see with 3/4 of the owners…and that is all it takes to get voted out of the boys club.
        Now the commissioner can eventually levy all the ‘death penalties’…strip high draft picks and the respective slot monies……bar international signings for anything more than the minimum . But…….that will jeopardize the future quality of the team, a large market team, and that is also not in the best interest of baseball.

  17. I know a few fellows like Darick Hall, as do I. I noticed that he pitched rather successfully in college or short season ball.

    Being both a first baseman and a dh, he would be a prime candidate to develop into a inning eater/ emergency arm/ long reliever if he would at least be able to have control. Does anyone know what his velocity and other pitching characteristics were?

    1. He hasn’t pitched in the minors. There’s no way he’s pitching for the Phillies, other than as an arm to finish out a blowout loss.

      1. I think you are underestimating how difficult it is to pitch in the major leagues.

        Mark Appel was the #1 draft pick in the country. He struggled for years and years in the minors and, while he still throws pretty hard, only made his debut last year at age 31 (and he was okay) and then was soon back in the minor leagues.

        The odds of a guy like Derick Hall, who is in his late 20s and never pitched in the minors, now throwing and pitching in the big leagues is a virtual impossibility at this point, assuming he even had the stuff to pitch in the big leagues to begin with (very few do), which seems highly unlikely.

            1. Anthony Gose too. But Stubb’s is a mopup guy and a catcher. Hall would be in the perfect position as a dh/1b to help the bullpen by throwing a few innings in a blowout, much moreso than Stubb’s. A dh doesn’t need to throw after pitching and a 1b often throws very few times.

              They would be un-economical to at least not explore the option.

        1. And yet (using Appel as contrasting example) for some with control and understanding of pitching, batters, importance of locating, timing and so forth, it seems to come easier than others.Mulholland, Maddux, Moyer and others are examples of guys that barely top 90 and yet we’re successful. And that’s not counting knopuckleballers.

          Control and command are tops.
          If a pitcher can’t control his stuff to prevent excessive walks, he likely can’t control it enough to keep it out of the batters happy zone. This was exemplified in the choice of Alvarado or Wheeler vs Alvarez in game 6. Wheeler was still hitting spots, though not as consistently as at the start. Alvarado relies more on 100 mph than location though he can hit locations at times too. In order to not get behind in the count, Alvarado knew he had to throw strikes early, and since he isn’t as precise with his control, he couldn’t shoot for the black.

          I’m not suggesting Hall as a two way pitcher/hitter but that rather than Stubb’s or others who need their arm the next day, why not groom and use hall for the duties.

          1. If all you’re saying is that Hall might pitch in blowout losses, sure, that’s possible. They are literally just trying to eat innings and not use real pitchers and they prefer using a back-up player rather than a starter (so the risk of injury to a player of consequence is diminished).

            1. It is crazy that Anthony Gose finally made it to the majors as a pitcher. They made the wrong call on that for sure.

              I remember being at one of my kids’ little league games when he was drafted. My youngest kids are now 25 so that was forever ago. If he had started on the mound, he could have had a really good pitching career.

          2. Tony…..he pitched very well for DBU….that was almost 7 years ago.
            Asking him to pitch again is too much to ask of him.
            Those blow out games sure…..but he best just lob it up there.
            Remember when Sandberg left Frenchy in too long in Baltimore…Utley was visibly upset and let Sandberg know it.
            Position players have to worry about UCL/shoulder issues with their throwing arms if they are asked to pitch.

            1. I don’t think it’s to far fetched to explore the possibility of asking him to prepare for possible use as both an occasional fill in pitcher (not a two way player,) and especially a 5th of. Otherwise, and likely regardless of it, even if he has 30hrs when/if Harper comes back at the break, he or Hoskins will be traded or sent down.

  18. I thought for sure Preston Mattingly’s comments on the hypothetical use of Painter would bring some fiery remarks. Maybe the comments on Cohen wore you all out.

  19. ESPN published it’s Top 100. Painter #10 and Abel #46 (and Curtis Mead #31 and Logan O’Hoppe #62). There is also a list of 101-130, but not ranked in order, and Johan Rojas is in that group.

    Excerpt from Painter’s write-up:
    “Type: Huge, power-armed potential ace
    Reminds me of: (leans in, whispering, looking around) Justin Verlander
    It’s never likely for a prospect to turn into a Hall of Famer, but most future aces look something like Painter does right now in the minors. . . . This year, Painter will need to upgrade the command a notch, though his stuff is good enough that average control (throwing it over the plate) and fringy command (hitting his spot) could be enough to make him one of the Phillies’ top five rotation options pretty soon.”

    Excerpt from Abel’s write-up:
    “Type: Projection righty with frontline potential
    He now sits at 94 to 98 with a plus run-and-ride to his heater, a plus-or-better-flashing hybrid 83 to 85 mph breaking ball and a changeup that’s also above average at times. His fastball command is the main area for improvement, and he’ll spend 2023 in the upper minors, where hitters are good enough to force him to improve. There’s frontline potential here, and you can scout the statline a bit: If he keeps his strikeout rate over 10 per nine innings and his walks gets below three per nine innings in the upper minors, he’ll probably be moving up this list.”

  20. 2023 Over/Under:
    Philadelphia Phillies: 88.5 Wins (Lean: Under)
    Another line that feels spot on. The only reason I lean towards the under is my gambling brain. This team just made a miraculous run to the World Series, and now they have a line under 90 wins. My heart says to take the over, but my brain thinks the under is the right play. Adding Trea Turner and Taijuan Walker should help this team immediately, but they still have holes that often are exposed in the regular season in addition to Bryce Harper being out for at least the first half. The lack of defense concerns me, and an injury to either Zach Wheeler or Aaron Nola could knock this team off the rails. I originally had this number at 92 wins, but I may be off here with how suspiciously low the line is.
    New York Mets: 96.5 Wins (Lean: Over)
    Atlanta Braves: 94.5 Wins (Lean: Over)


    1. I’d bet the over on the Phillies, but without too much conviction. I think the Braves will be over too. I think too many things will go wrong with the older Mets (mostly injuries) and they will be under.

      I think it will play out something like this

      Braves – 97 wins
      Mets – 95 wins
      Phillies – 91 wins

      San Diego will win 93 games and the Phillies will, again, be the last wild card team and, again, could catch fire and go a long way.

      1. Yeah.
        Without Harper in the first half will be a challenge.
        Most all odds makers use that as one of the main reasons for the Phillies lower than 90 projections.
        IMO, the others will pick up the slack when they know they have to…plus hopefully the rebuilt BP will produce the added wins..

        1. That’s my thinking. An improved bullpen will likely net us 2-3 extra wins on its own, but also… we’ve seen this before. Harper out with injury, potentially sinking our season. And then someone else on the team decides, “I’ll do it instead.”

          JT played out of his mind while Harper was out last year. Plus you never know when Schwarber is just going to flip the switch and hit 20 HRs in a month. I want Harper back as fast as possible. But the other guys have proved to be able to lead the team to wins in his absence, so I’m not gonna knock them below 90 wins because of it. (I’m guessing 92 wins, personally.)

          1. I personally think having hall hit against right-handers at least will limit the effects of the loss of Harper. It’s not like Harper is Mike trout or A!ex Rodriguez They will lose some stolen bases and sacrifice some ob%. But Hall had a slightly higher slugging % than Harper in his beprief stint. And the Phil’s started winning without Harper last year.

            Remember how poorly Gregorius hit and even Stott early in the year!

            I think they will be hurting by losing Vierling as a of replacement and a rh dh. And I believe his better years are ahead of him. IMO, They had a strong enough bullpen without adding Soto

            Their bullpen cost them some games early last year and I think it was more than a few. So this deep bullpen might give them 5 more wins Trea will maybe add 5-10 wins over Gregorius especially with a seasoned Stott and Bohm. I think they could both flirt with .285-.300.

            I don’t see a big difference between Walker/Falter over Gibson/Eflin. Maybe 2-3 wins.

            If Marsh hits close to . 275+ and Guthrie can spell him in cf, they will pick up a couple games there too.

            Mitch will depend on how the braves, Mets and Phillies do against each other. All 3 are capable of 90 plus wins and any of the 3 could top 100 wins if they do well against their opponents. 95 wins and a first or second place is not out of the question.

            1. Tony…….one things for sure….the Phillies, Braves and Mets will have 12 less games to beat up on with the Marlins and Nats this season….only play them 13 times apiece vs 19 times apiece in the past.

          2. My heart says 92-94, but then I get the sinking feeling with injuries……Wheeler and Nola have been overall really healthy over these last two years (122 starts between both of them) and Murphy’s Law tends to creep into my thinking.
            I do however think Nick Castellanos has a resurgence of his career and rebounds well offensively….seems to happen that way in the 2nd year of LTCs for star players.

            1. In years past, Wheeler or Nola getting hurt would be the end of our contention for sure. And it is certainly not an encouraging proposition this upcoming season… but if we were ever to weather that particular storm, it might be this year. Painter and Abel (and McGarry to a lesser degree) are close enough to their promotions that there’s a very real chance that they could be injury replacements. And with how good their stuff is, it’s not hard to imagine a mid-3 ERA from one or both of them (as rookie pitchers often have the benefit of there not being enough tape for hitters to adjust to them properly). We’re not exceptionally deep at SP, but we’re close (developmentally) to being pretty deep.

              So yeah. Injuries are always a concern. But that’s true for everyone. Especially the Mets.

            2. The Phillies need to be extremely careful with Wheeler this year and I think they will be. He was not right to start the year, it took a while for him to regain velocity and then he lost velocity quickly. This year we get to see if last year was an aberration or a sign of things to come.

              As for Nola – he pitches a lot of inning, but with the way he throws (lots of offspeed stuff) and how they limit his pitches per start, there’s no reason for extra concern with him.

              Ranger is on the verge of becoming a solid #2. I think he was our best pitching in the postseason and he’s primed for some big years. They should be thinking about a LTC for him while he’s still on the cheaper end.

              Walker is such a solid guy for a 4th man in the rotation. Neat signing.

              There is such depth in the minors it’s amazing. I am still sad they lost Ben Brown. That was a high price to pay for a couple of months of a decent reliever. I get why we did it, but, again, we gave away more than we got as I think we did in the O’Hoppe trade. We shall see.

            3. Tall, 6’7″ RHP James McArthur could be another guy in the rotation mix come later this season. Had some arm/elbow issues last season and went thru the rehab….mid-90s guy but with his height and release point his FB may come in a little quicker on the batters.
              At 25 years old it is his time to make the move.
              I want to see how he comes out of the gate this spring.

          3. Key to me is how well Nick Castellano plays this yr, He would take a lot of pressure off other players

            1. Rocco – you’re absolutely right. If the Phillies get something close to the 2021 version of Castellanos, the offense should be great.

              It’s hard to overstate how poorly Castellanos played last year both on offense (surprising) and defense (not surprising). DD paid top dollar for him (this is a familiar refrain, DD almost always pays top dollar) and then he was less than a replacement level player. The amount of money they are paying to him is painful, but the length of that contract is the killer. So, hopefully, he can rebound and at least be an above-average hitter.

  21. Newest Phillies pitcher…UDFA signing…RHP Seth Nightingale

    Seth Nightingale
    Nov 18, 2022
    What good is the light without the darkness? Lotta bad days make days like these sweeter🔥🏴‍☠️ Also shoutout
    would not be doing this without him.
    Quote Tweet
    Tread Athletics
    Nov 18, 2022
    Six months ago Tread Athlete @sjnight21 joined us sitting 91 in games and T95.
    Today he sat 94-95 T96 mph in a pen 🔥🔥🔥
    PC: @htownsend18

    1. Nightengale in 33 innings walked 18, hit 13 batters and had 15 wild pitches. He may be the new Wild Thing.

      1. Yeah…big dude and wild at it.
        A scary thing for a hitter.
        Maybe the Phillies staff can rein his control in a little, doubt at this point command in the strike zone can be achieved.

  22. MLB is increasing the size of bases from 15 inches square to 18 inches square.
    And with this change….an advantage for “Trea Turner and other established MLB speedsters of his ilk, the Phillies’ newest SS has stolen a league-high 228 bases since 2016, and he’s coming off a season that saw him achieve peak efficiency with a success rate of 90 percent.
    That was for “only” 30 attempts, but any notion that the 29-year-old is slowing down is undercut a bit by the fact that his 30.3 feet-per-second sprint was in the 99th percentile. Another fun fact is that Turner led the majors with 33 infield hits last year. When combined with his 27 stolen bases, his speed alone gained him 60 bases last year. A made-up stat, to be sure, but another one for which Turner was the league leader in 2022″.

    1. Ben Brown is the cubs #8-10 prospect. Ohoppe is #1 and Meade is? #1,2 or #3, though that couldn’t have been foreknown. Brown and Ohoppe were known talents.

      Wonder which minor leaguers will get traded this yr when the injury bug or tired arms come around?

      1. You have to give talent to get talent generally; can’t win every trade. Mead was a trade by a prior front office. As for O’Hoppe and Ben Brown, O’Hoppe was blocked by JT for at least a few seasons (who continues to be the BCIB as recognized by the entire industry) and the Phillies have done a decent job of developing catchers generally. In any event, they traded O’Hoppe for a young CF under team control who was really pretty good in a Phillies uniform and helped them to a playoff berth. He could continue to get better. Ben Brown is a loss, but they traded from a minor league org strength (SP) to try to get the bullpen settled after losing Knebel to an injury. They’ll need to continue to draft and develop like any team and if they want to stay in contention they’ll occasionally have to trade some pretty good young talent to get difference makers on the major league team. No sense lamenting it after getting to the WS last year. Let’s see who the surprises are in the minors this year, because they certainly still have plenty of talent to develop.

        1. No, you can’t win every trade, but good organizations win most of their trades. I want to see that.

          As for trading prospects in areas of depth, yes, I get it, but you need to be careful. If you get lax in that area, that’s when you get taken to the cleaners. It’s one thing to say that Ben Brown (or Logan O’Hoppe) is at a position of depth in the organization and is therefore available for a trade. It’s another altogether to receive less than reasonable value in return for the player. I see Brandon Marsh as a very average-ish player – I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt it. O’Hoppe has a chance to be a difference maker. I said the trade was an error in judgment at the time and stand by that. Please prove me wrong, Brandon.

          As for the Phillies doing a decent job developing catchers, when was the last time they developed a first division regular at that position? I would say, at best, it was 2008-10 when they developed d’Arnaud. O’Hoppe could be a generational talent at that position – and those guys don’t come along on a team but every 15-20 years or so. Sorry, but Tommy Joseph, Andrew Knapp, Cameron Rupp, and an assorted cast of characters do not count as good catchers developed by the team. Most were not even second division regulars.

          1. ……d’arnaud might have been the last, but Lieberthal, Daulton and Ruiz were all decent 1rst division catchers and no Phillies catcher everhad the season Mike had in 1999.

            1. Okay, but Darren Daulton was drafted over 40 years ago; LIeberthal was drafted over 30 years ago. Both good players, but what does that have to do with what the Phillies have done over the last 15 years? FYI – neither Lieberthal nor Daulton ever had a minor league season as good as the one O’Hoppe had last year.

          2. Lieberthal caught the most innings of any catcher, owns a lifetime.274 average, a .310 average against left handed pitchers. In 1999 he hit .300, 31 HRs, 96 RBIs and won a Gold Glove. While we croon over JT (and he’s very good) it’s good to gr these guys.

            1. Very nice – just not relevant to what the Phillies have done recently and is actually more proof how infrequently the team produces first division regulars. The loss of O’Hoppe is potentially a very big deal. Frankly, I thought it was dumb as hell to be perfectly honest. Still think that.

            2. Lieberthal was a good player, but let’s not take this too far. He was not in JT’s class. Lieberthal produced 15 WAR in his career. JT already has around 30. Liberthal’s bWAR was over 3 ONCE (and never over 4). He had a couple of other decent years and then went down quickly. But I’m not ripping him. He was a good player for about 6 or 7 years and was a first division regular for may be 4 or 5 of those (max).

              JT has been ranked the number 1 catcher in baseball 3 years running. He’s better and more consistent on offense and much better on defense. He’s just a totally different class of player.

            3. And yet, the way he drops his glove and body posture and relaxes after he sees that the runner is t breaking from first is fundamentally wrong, gives a poor target and poor example and he should be called out about it. One of a catchers duties is to provide a target for the pitch. He’s a servant of his pitcher, not just of his cs ratio.

        2. Ohoppe wasn’t blocked the last two yrs by my. Logan wasn’t ready for mlb till this or next yr.

          It’s been said that JT could star at any position,. but Logan’s power bar seems that he could have been a dh orsecond catcher next year.I haven’t heard comparisons to bench or Munson, but??? or maybe Cameron rupp.?? Power in the minors didn’t transfer up.

          They needed a solution in CF last year, Maybe marsh will work out?! He hit . 288 after the trade. Just a lot of power to give up, with less than typical k rate.

          1. Jim and I have made similar arguments. The team easily could have made room for both. When you have two potentially great players at a critical position and one is young and the other is older – the best solution is often trying to figure it out internally, knowing the older player may have to move on in a few years.

            1. … or maybe Dombrowski/Fuld traded O’Hoppe at the peak of his value. I could be wrong, but I think they did.

            2. I’m not stating this as fact. It’s my opinion.
              Dombrowski is pretty good (although not perfect) at self scouting his own prospects. The fact that the LAAs reportedly made offers to Willson Contreras this offseason is another red flag IMO.
              Had the Phillies waited until this winter to seek a deal, they would have found the catching market to be watered down: Wilson Contreras (FA), Mike Zunino (FA), Sean Murphy (trade), William Contreras (trade), Manny Pina (trade), and Gabriel Moreno (trade) were all on the move. Other catching prospects were “available”.
              I’m not rooting against Logan O’Hoppe. In fact, I wish him well. But the list of highly regarded “bat first” catching prospects to not pan out is long. I can think of Blake Swihart, Gary Sanchez, and Jorge Alfaro off the top of my head. Bottom line for me: Dombrowski took a very good prospect who was going to be blocked here through 2025, and flipped him for a young player (under team control through 2027) who filled an area of need.
              Under the radar fact … MLB Pipeline ranks O’Hoppe their #53 prospect. This time in 2021, MLB Pipeline ranked Brandon Marsh their #53 prospect. In other words, Dombrowski got back the same level of young player. He just got a guy who fits the Phillies better.

            3. Hinkie…you make a very good point….that list of bat catchers ranked high as they came into AA or AAA has a lot more, like those of Reese McGuire..Tyler Stephenson…Francisco Mejia… Chance Sisco… Zack Collins…. Victor Caratini…. Kevin Plawecki…. Christian Bethancourt..I could go on…..all had good bats in the minors and also ranked high as a catchers go….and just did not fully reach their potential

        3. 65th…catcher Jordan Dissin, out of Malvern Prep, I am confident will and could be a real pleasant surprise. A very hard worker with the right size, strong arm and is capable of handling a bat.

    2. So how much shorter will the distance between first and second be.

      A. 6″
      B. 3″
      C. 4.5″
      D. O” as they plan to move second base back to keep the distance between 1st and second the same.

      1. 6” closer I believe. You can’t move 2nd vase, it’s part of a diamond formation. It will definitely increase the number of steals

        1. It’s 4.5″.

          3^2 = 9 inches added to base size
          dived by 4 (adding equal length to each side to keep it a square) = 2.25
          times 2 (one for each base) = 4.5

          It’s a good thing JT is a monster at throwing people out. Also, Trea is gonna have a field day.

            1. Checking out catchers career Caught Stealing ratios. Roy campanella is well over 60%. Most of the top guys from 45%-60% are from the pre-1960’s.

              JT tops out between 40 and 45 and is some years in the upper 20’s. Still good, but what did they or the pitchers do that catchers or pitchers today do not do?

              Did the pitchers short stride with speedy runners on base? One difference is that the catchers caught with two hands back then. That e!instead the transfer step.

              Limiting the number of throw overs to two will change things more than shortening the distance. Phil’s should be working hard to reduce delivery time to home from the stretch. Jim Kaat, where are you?


          1. That reminds me of a Abbott and Costello 7×13=28 skit.

            Just asking the amount of decrease between first and second, not all the way around.

          2. But, I think 4.5 is right,

            90 ft to first is measured to the outside back right corner. But second base is located measured to the middle of the base. (Go figure?). 3 inches added to first and 1/2 of3″ added to second base would be 4.5 inches shorter from first to second and 3″ shorter from home to first.

          3. I finally figured out the math. Your final answer is correct, but not for the reasons you stated.

            The answer is 4.5, but here’s how you get there.

            The distance between first and second is reduced, by virtue of the first base bag alone, by 3 inches. Because the first base bag is placed entirely within the baseline – the entire 3 added inches added to the base size is included in the calculation. In short, because the dirt after the base now starts 18 inches from the foul line and not 15 inches, with that new bag, the runner starts out three inches closer to second.

            But second is different. Half the added length of that bag is between first and second and the other added length is between second and third. So, the bag now goes out 1.5 inches further in each direction.

            That leaves you with a total of 4.5 inches less between first and second (and also second and third).

            As for the distances between home and first and third and home – the reduction really depends on where you place the bag relative to where it used to be. I am not sure how much closer those bases are with the changes.

  23. I understand why some folks are upset about trading O’Hoppe. But the team decided that we needed an everyday CF, and was not happy with what we had, and Rojas may never hit well enough to play in the Majors. I hope he learns to hit, but CF was a big hole. O’Hoppe, as good a prospect as he is, was blocked by JTR, and even those who feel we could have made room for him somehow, the back up C position was deemed less important than the full time CF. Now, we need Marsh to play well, but that trade has not yet been a failure, and I am hopeful that Marsh can fill the CF hole for some time. If not, and O’Hoppe becomes an All Star C, then, sure, we can call it a dumb move.

    1. Agreed.
      FYI – Marsh was a big time prospect coming up also. Let’s not write him off yet. Give him a full spring training playing CF plus working with our hurting team and we might be very happy with him. Have to give to get…. OHoppe was always going to be a trade asset with JT blocking him. JT’s value is as a catcher only.

      1. The Ben Brown deal was a little tougher but we got a World Series out of it with Robertson helping to get us there after several injuries to arms.

  24. There was absolutely nothing “dumb” about the O’Hoppe/Marsh trade from the Phillies’ standpoint. Indeed, it was a fair trade for both sides.
    Marsh is not chopped liver, and good centerfielders like him are hard to find. He is an above average defender in the most important outfield position defensively, and his hitting improved significantly once he arrived in Philly [thank you Kevin Long]. What’s not to like about him – – other than his desperate need of barber?

    1. 💯 agree. I’ve never understood the consternation over the O’Hoppe for Marsh trade. O’Hoppe was not only a luxury for a club with JTR under team control thru 2025 (and IMO another excellent C prospect in the wings … Rafael Marchan), but Brandon Marsh, a year prior, was a more highly regarded prospect than O’Hoppe, and filled an absolute need (in CF) for the Phillies. W/O Marsh, the club probably doesn’t make it to the WS. He improved offensively, and helped cover the defensive deficiencies of the Phils’ COFers. And … hey … Marsh is only 25 YO (24 at the time of the trade) and under team control through 2027.

      Not as important … but still a pretty big deal for a fan friendly franchise … Brandon Marsh has been as good a guy as the club could have hoped for in his short time in Philly.

      1. One last thing …. Since the Phillies have been slow/not interested in the Hinkie “Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto” plan to help recruit top Japanese players, Brandon Marsh could join Charlie Manuel as the club’s only two realistic options to recruit Roki Sasaki (gotta be “all in” on him) when he comes state side in a few years.

      2. FYI – get your points and won’t beat it all to death. Let me end by saying that I hope to God I’m wrong and will keep rooting for Brandon Marsh. At least he wasn’t an expensive player – so that’s good.

      3. Hinkie……he, however, could stand to use a facial trimming.
        Nothing like a ‘Yankee’ cut, but a nice tapered trim job.

        1. I saw him recently. It looks like he did trim up the beard a little bit. It’s still long, but not October 2022 long.

  25. i dont follow or know the minors, Like a lot of you, But it seems we traded away three top ten prospect for a center who cant hit, and what else? Wonder what these three guys would rate in our system if we still had them,

    1. Well the, “what else” is a AAAA pitcher (Sanchez) and an old, rental RP (Robertson).

      But it feels disingenuous to say Marsh can’t hit since he hit .288/.319/.455 for us after the trade. He has work to do, for sure. But he’s shown he’s capable of it, and even with just that line he’d be a positive for us offensively. Especially considering he plays a premium defensive position and would be batting near the bottom of the lineup.

      As for where they’d rate, probably 2nd or 3rd (Mead), 5th (O’Hoppe), and maybe 10th for Brown. Last one is a little more iffy since he’s the least polished. And Mead’s placement assumes he would develop the same way in our system as he has in the Rays’ (which we probably shouldn’t assume…).

    2. I would think that over a half year or more, the better and more rangy of’s will have more po/9 than the less rangy ones. So rf/9 should give some good beginning data to compare, especially in of.. IMO they could leave assists out of it for range comparison. But assist numbers/9 aren’t that great a difference from the best to the worst as the yearly leaders total 20. But Marshes other defensive categories, (rtot,etc) are avg to sub avg too. Rtz is #8 from the bottom.

      I thought Dan k had said marsh was a premium defender. Now I see I misread. But that misread made me check up on his actual defensive ranks . Otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered the dead horse. He appears thus far to be able to be included n a group of mlb average cfs unless other data shows differently.

      1. Marsh hit pretty well when he came over here, and an offseason under Long may improve this more. Also, players don’t necessarily peak at age 24. He was a well-thought of prospect. O’Hoppe became only a top 100 prospect one year ago and was blocked from playing much. Keep in mind that Schwarber/Nick C/Harper will be DHs here in the future so its not too simple to just say one can DH. The trade made sense and the early returns really aren’t bad since Marsh definitely contributed to our late season run. It also allowed us to spend money elsewhere this offseason (Turner/Walker) instead of overpaying for someone like Nimmo.

  26. Rocco, we once had Dom Brown, the #1 rated prospect in all of Baseball. It did not work out so well. So, I am giving the team a little leeway. That WS trip was too much fun to complain about trades before they turn out to be mistakes.

    1. He should be a one dimensional Ohtani: dominant RHSP. He’s going to cost a ton of money. That shouldn’t prohibit the Phillies. But they are going to have to make inroads in Japan. The club should be taking steps to better recruit there. I’ve been selling the “Iron Chef Morrimoto as Director Of Clubhouse Food Services” idea since early in the Andy MacPhail era. Crickets. LOL.

      1. Hinkie….Kentucky Fried Chicken is the favorite Christmas meal in Japan…..how about a little ole Colonel Sanders at the park! 🙂

          1. Or maybe Campos (Mike & Denice Campo used to be my neighbors … one of my sisters used to babysit their kids) could add sushi to their menu. That would be a start.

            1. Yes……that could also be an alternative method to entice the Japanese player. Something has to work at some point.

            2. Hinkie:
              I may joke about the Phillies connection with Japanese players.
              But it really is no joke.
              They have never signed a Japanese player straight out from the NPL.
              Almost 70 Japanese players have played in the MLB….
              Phillies have had two ,So Taguchi ( 2008) and Tadahito Iguchi (2007 and 2008).
              And both were close to the end of their careers and both were after multiple MLB clubs had already had them in their service.
              I do not know what the issue is…..but the Phillies may be the only club with the fewest ever Japanese players.
              Two for a total of two years.
              What gives!

            3. Agree, Romus. Too bad they weren’t a fit with Masataka Yoshida this winter. He’s a Bryce Harper fan boy, and seemed eager for the opportunity to play here. He could have maybe opened the door to future Japanese stars.

      2. Objectively, based on range/9 innings alone, he is slightly below average in cf. He is slightly above average in of and rf. Herrera was better cf rangewise, Moniak was slightly better and Veirling, even with his speed was slightly behind Marsh. Marsh ranked 104 out of @180 cf in range factor.

        And aside from needing speed, most would say that cf is the easiest of position from which to track the ball.

        What I don’t like about Marsh is his strikeouts. Even after coming to Philly, he greatly reduced his K rate and it was still close to 30% . Before the trade he was in the 1/2.5 AB range. His career k rate is 35% and wlk rate is sub average 6.5%. His slugging % became a respectable . ©.750 but guys who strike out 200 times per yr hit 48 hr.

        Did they have any other options? Maybe? But only time will tell if he will s
        improve to a avg or better than avg cf defensively or offensively.

        1. That’s not saying that I’m not rooting for him or his improvement, but if he hits 9th there will be a lot of back to back ks with Schwarber and slot of lob runners.

          That’s nuff said bout that. Just don’t tell me DD is a miracle worker.

        2. OMG! Are we really using an antiquated, meaningless stat like Range Factor Per Nine Innings? This is a useless defensive metric. All RF/9 gives you is a historical reading of how many putouts and assists a player averages in 9 innings. It tells you nothing about a player’s range in/out or left/right. This goes for all positions, not just center field.

  27. There have been 67 NPL players out of Japan who heve signed to play for MLB teams. The first was Masanori Murakami, a pitcher who was signed by the San Francisco Giants in 1964, was called up in September, and released in October of 1965.

    Since then, ALL Japanese players have debuted during or after the 1996 season. Three of the 67 signed this season and haven’t played yet.

    There are five other active Japanese players in the majors.

    Of the 30 major league teams, five have never signed a player directly out of Japan – Miami, Philadelphia, Washington, Colorado, and Houston.

    The 67 were signed to their first major league contracts as follows –

    New York Mets 9,
    Seattle 7,
    Boston 6,
    Los Angeles Dodgers 5,
    Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Texas 4,
    Los Angeles/Anaheim Angels, Cleveland 3,
    Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco,
    Tampa Bay 2,
    Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Detroit, Kansas City, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Toronto 1.

    All 30 teams have employed a Japanese player at one time or another.

    New York Mets 14,
    Seattle 11,
    Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston 9
    Texas 8,
    New York Yankees 7,
    Milwaukee, Toronto 6,
    San Francisco, Los Angeles Angels, Oakland, Cleveland 5,
    Pittsburgh, San Diego, Tampa Bay, Kansas City 4,
    Washington, Colorado, Chicago White Sox 3
    Atlanta, Miami, Philies, Arizona, Detroit , Minnesota, Houston 2
    Cincinnati, St. Louis, Baltimore 1

    1. Think they need to re-think their philosophy on Japanese posted star players.
      Now of the almost 70 that have played in the majors……maybe less than 20% were truly impactful players, but still in all, a large market team like the Phillies ought to try to be able to land a ‘posted star’ at some point once in our lifetime. A good solid middle-to-end of rotation pitcher should be fairly easy to sign at a reasonable price.
      I do not know what the Phillies philosophy is on this…they never address it.


  28. Hinkle; The fact that the LAAs reportedly made offers to Willson Contreras this offseason is another red flag IMO.

    I guess that also reflects on what they though of Marsh. Traded him for a guy they projected to be a 2nd string catcher.

    Actually, to be fair, LAA writers were projecting Contreras to a 4 yr contract. I as starting catcher, one as shared duties and then likely move on to dh.

    But it is true that 1 in the hand is worth 2 in the bush, and in minor league top prosoects, that’s likely 3 in the bush.
    And this is especially
    Let’s go back just a few yrs, drabek, combs, Biddle, ..

    So if one of Painter, Abel, McGarry or Baker have a successful career, that’s likely all that can be expected.

    1. I’ve compared the Painter/Abel/McGarry trio to the Pirates collection of Gerrit Cole/Jameson Taillon/Tyler Glassnow a decade ago (top ranked prospects … 2 high 1st round picks & a 5th round flier w/big arm talent). All three of Cole/Taillon/Glassnow have had big league success to different degrees. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, most of it has come with other franchises. Not saying that will happen here (Phillies have done a good job developing their arms at the MLB and MiLB level). Just saying pitching has always been/will always be the most volatile commodity in the sport.

      1. I like to use the 2014/2015 Mets trio…deGrom/Harvey/ and Thor …and how volatile pitching prospects can be, and how it is to their future.
        BTW…24-year old Zack Wheeler was also there in 2014 as a upcoming pitcher.

      2. This could be the Phillies version of that, but ONLY time will tell. And it’s hopefull (or hypeful, either way) to be positive and excited.

        Avery, Glavine and Smoltz was another.

        Ben Brown would have added another factor, but Robertson helped. This year they already have BP depth, so needing to trade one away after a BP arm injury or wild spell shouldn’t be necessary

        Someone made mention of Appel as comparison.

        And a couple, few yrs ago Phillies made some trades that landed 4-5 former 1st or 2nd round pitchers in their system. Yep, I was hopefully. Pivetta, Velazquez, I think Appel, Tom………… that got traded to Baltimore, another, and maybe one of their own?

        And about 12? yrs ago, phils had the equivalent to Baltimore’s Fab 4 pitching in high A clearwater/Reading. None made it to Phil’s. Arm injuries or wildness curtailed their career.

        ONLY time can tell weather ANY or all 3 or 4 will advance This should be revisited in 5 yrs. Right now we’re all just excited and hopefully, but blowing smoke.

        Someone said that the Phil’s have done a good job developing arm talent. There should be some comparative analysis to substantiate how different minor league coaching and developments systems do in developing pitchers.


      3. Bleacher report has the Phil’s overall farm system rank at #27 of 30. Tops is Dodgers, then Baltimore. Surprisingly Braves, after dumping 4 top 10 prospects are #30.

        Mlb states that when polling mlb execs, Phil’s got at least a vote (likely finishing 10th) in developing pitching talent. So, they’ve done “better than average”. They don’t show up in any other polled category.


  29. Tony, not to belabor the Marsh issue too much, but he was a GG caliber LF with the Angels. So, he can track a ball and has the speed, that with time and Coaching, I believe he can be an excellent defensive CF. My suggestion to bring Garry Maddox to ST was not meant as a joke. Also, Marsh hit .288 after the trade. I think with a full off season with Kevin Long, and some coaching of his defensive skills, he can be our long term CF. MM, Doobie, Vierling, Muzziotti, none were going to be.

    1. matt….still Rojas has the potential to be the long term CFer…defensively, no one questions it, he is there already.
      Going into 2024 he could be that guy.

    2. You saying he won the GG? Oh, saying he is GG caliber. Well there should be some stats comparing him with the top defensive Lfer too back that up. I’ve looked objectively enough already. Show some Data. I already mentioned that he is better than avg in left and right, but lf is where you put your rhys Hoskins, Darren Ruffs, Kyle schwarbers, Greg luzinskis, etc. But he is below average in cf.

      From the data I saw comparing his pre and post trade stats, it appears they encouraged him to cut his swing down a little. That was likely as much Bryce Harper as or in conjunction with Kevin Long. He had more doubles and less hr and struck out slightly less.

      I’ve already stated my concerns about strikeout and walk rate.

      Have a good rest of the weekend.

      1. Sorry, Tony, I feel that being one of the 3 GG finalists qualifies Marsh as GG caliber. “The bearded 24-year-old is now patrolling center field for the Phillies, but he spent the first four months as the Angels’ starting left fielder and finished 2022 with 8 OAA in left.” That’s the report I read on Marsh. I believe that with good Coaching, he can be that in CF. Maybe I am wrong. I said nothing about you being wrong, just offering my opinion. Maybe Rojas can hit and he is the future CF, but I think that Marsh can do the job. I didn’t think Herrera was good at all in CF, after he came back from his hiatus. The team felt they had a big hole in CF, and I am rooting for Marsh.

        1. In regards to Marsh in the majors he has struck out a lot and walked just a little. In the minors he walked much more with a high amount of Ks. He is now going into age 25 season after he played 70 games as a rookie then a full season of 134 games. There is a decent chance that he will get better as he goes into his prime. He was a highly rated prospect just 2 years ago so I would be willing to bet his 2023 season will be better than his ML average of 248 BA 303 OBP. (He was 288 & 319 with Philly in 2nd half)

        2. Am not familiar with OAA.

          I’m sure marsh might do ok, but it’s still in projection stage.

          1. Just look at Brandon Nimmo’s age24 season metrics…slash-260/.379/.418…28% Krate…..15% BBrate….and he was a 1st round pick…13th overall.
            I have no concerns over Marsh.

        3. Ok, not sure if OAA is such a better stat than the others, but it was already acknowledged that marsh is a better than avg left fielder. But his 2022 OAA in cf was -1. Monika in his brief stint was +2 and Herrera+1.

          So, anyhow, as mentioned, Lf is where some teams put their good hitters but weak fielders. (Schwarber had a –12 OAA) So marsh’s comparisons that reach a +8 in half a year in LF are with these types of guys.

          In cf, his comps are typically against guys with speed and a better skill set. I saw 2 to 3 reps where he shed away from leaning on the wall and misplayed one that Herrera typically gets. So as shown in the other stats, he is currently a below average cf With coaching, he might attain avg cf capabilities. That would be ok defensively. And he’s got a holy swing. Must be the beard! Pun intended.

          Comparisons including his burst speed and exit velocity are at baseball savant

          It would be ironic if Moniak with a change of scenery and some continued hitting coaching like he had in spring last year would allow him to develop into a good cf. He already has the defense.

          I guess my days of thinking of a baseball job for the orioles or Phil’s are mostly behind me… So all this analytics is just for mental exercise, self gratification and for future (I told you so).

        4. Some more analytics. Phil’s have the bottom 1%–3% in OAA at the 4 corner spots.

          Marshes sprint speed rank is #62, about 90% He is 4th abong Phil’s and basically tie with J. T. Sosa, Stott and Turner are above him. Vierling was also. Sosa should get playing time at all 3 spots and could likely start at 3b or elsewhere if they didn’t have Bohms ceiling and future to think of.

          Hoskins is the slowest Phillie but not among the very slowest players.

          That’s enough for me for now.

  30. I agree, Romus, and I mentioned, in an earlier post, that it very well could be Rojas, who has the speed and the defensive ability already. However, the big issue is his hitting, and he has to show he can. I don’t think the team is looking for Billy Hamilton to play CF. He may never hit enough, but I sure hope he does. He has this season, and I believe the next one as well, to show he can be a Major League hitter. I think DD made the Marsh trade not because he was giving up on Rojas, but because he thought it might be a couple of years to see if his hitting could be developed.

    1. matt…I can understand the concern over his hitting….but with no shifts, bigger bags and his propensity to hit it on the ground…..he will, carry a greater BA and OBP then he has in the past…..plus he is a little like Trea Turner…..infield hits will be on the menu, and SBs will put him in very favorable run situations.

    1. Maybe I am wrong… that ball went 552 miles….or 2.9M feet….could be the longest in history!

      1. Are you sure,……they said it came down off the coast of South Carolina. Wouldn’t it have to be in orbit for awhile. What is his BHOOA (ball hit out of orbit average?

  31. As someone who lives in South Orange County, Calif and gets direct Angel news daily I can assure everyone that the Angels LOVED Brandon Marsh and were quite reluctant to move him. He was a wonderful defensive left fielder [I saw him play in person] and most outfielders will tell you LF is more difficult to play than CF simply because of the way the ball comes off the bat. A CFer sees it directly and instantly whereas a LFer has to determine the flight and angle of the ball while moving to catch said flyball.

    Marsh will be fine in CF and in baseball you must give to get and this is what the Phils did. IIRC, we always suspected O’Hoppe was a trade candidate and in my opinion the important thing was that we received in return A] a young player, B] a young player playing a position of need and C] a young player playing a position of need who is likely to get better and grow with the team both physically and internally [the team really enjoys him and he fits Philly to a T].

    Look, there are reasons to believe O’Hoppe will eventually become an All-Star. Likely in fact. BUT, not in the next 3-4 years and this needs to always be put into focus when assessing the Phils acquisitions and player moves.

    One other thing worth considering. A year ago at this time the Angels LOVED Marsh as much as many Phillie phans love O’Hoppe now and were not happy when the deal was announced. They thought the Phils had fleeced the Angels.

  32. Thanks, Cal Dreamin – some long overdue realism. Marsh will be fine – and O’Hoppe will be what he will be. Its over. Move on…without Marsh, the Phils don’t get as far as they did last year.

  33. The reason i cant really talk about OHoppe is i never saw him play, I have seen Marsh, in the time he was here he lost three balls that i can remember in the outfield, He is a 250 hitter with low OBP , you can find them all over baseball, But you cant find Allstar type Catcher, Hope i am wrong, but the phillies didn’t get the best of these trade, unless Marsh shows better offense and defense, But so far in this three part time season in majors that’s his numbers 249 with 298 obp, not good

  34. If LF was more difficult to play than CF then Luzinski, Hoskins, Burrell, Schwarber, Tony Curry and other bricklayers would have played CF. Say what you want about O’Hoppe/Marsh (I personally hated the trade and still do) but don’t sell the con that LF is easier to play than CF. Yes, I am aware about the ball off the bat stuff. Then just lobby Thomson to switch the outfield positions of Schwarber and Marsh. How do you think that would play out?

    What people say is also meaningless. It is what managers do. And managers put their bricklayers in LF.

    Saying Marsh was a gold glove LF candidate means nothing. He isn’t playing LF for the Phillies and wasn’t acquired to play LF for the Phillies.

    1. Thanks calif dreaming.

      The Marsh/Ohoppe trade isn’t just about Marsh/Ohoppe. It’s about a pattern of what I call microwave baseball that I don’t think is sustainable, meaning that I don’t think that trading away hot-top prospects for players that “might” get you into contention is a business model that results in perennial League championship teams or W. S teams and dynasties like the Dodgers, Braves have had at times, or even as the Phil’s in ’75-’81. If of course, that is the objective and goal, as I assumed it was. That is, unless you follow the Cohen model and arent concerned at all about luxury tax, or how the Yankees were under steinbrenner.

      Phil’s currently have 3 of 8 starting position players developed through the system. They traded or released 7 or more away last year or this offseason (including 3) former #1 or 2 picks). Aaron Nola, Suarez and Falter plus 2-3 relievers could be added as farmies. Marsh is the only holdover to show for the trades

      The fact that they got a young guy before arbitration is huge to offset the 7 or 8, 20 to 30 million contracts that they have now. And this topic should come into play in the Hoskins/Hall conversation midway through the year or at the end of the year. And also in the Nola/Wheeler/painter/Abel conversations coming up. Walker is out of the discussion for the next 4 which means either Wheeler or Nola (or other) will not be resigned or Painter, Falter, Abel or Mcgarry , or Baker or others will be trade bait

      Only time will tell how all this stuff plays out. Have other things to do. But like Steve Porter says, it’s a good day, it’s a baseball day.

    1. From Bowden on the Phillies: “They improved their rotation by adding veteran Taijuan Walker, and will benefit from the emergence of rookie right-hander Andrew Painter, who is talented enough to win a Cy Young Award someday and is expected to make the big-league team out of spring training.”

      1. Bowden predicting Painter will go North in April with the big club is refreshing to read.
        Personally, he would t=really have to be the cat’s meow in his spring training games.
        There is a part of me that want it to happen…and another part where I would like to see him pitch a few additional games at AA or AAA level.
        I have seen more time than not, kids doing well in spring training and then struggle at the MLB level and then be sent down….I am not sure the Phillies want that to happen.

          1. Tend to agree…..not sure they will wait a full two months, especially if he is pitching well at AA/AAA level….and of course it also may depend on the health of the current veteran starters.
            I think he will be up, if he is doing well, around the first few weeks s of May.

            1. I tried to reply before (it didn’t post) but let me try again.

              I definitely would be against promoting him on day one.

              First, you’d like to see him succeed in AA/AAA before he is promoted. Second, if you wait a month or two, it’s easier to control his innings toward the end of the year. Third, his agent is Scott Boras, and, even with the incentives provided by the MLB for an early promotion, with Boras around, I’d much prefer securing 7 years of Painter before he goes out to the highest bidder (that’s Boras’ history so, if Painter is as good as we think he’ll be, that’s probably what’s going to happen and where it ends up is anyone’s guess).

            2. The reason why I feel Painter and possibly Able will break camp with the team:

              Prospect Promotion Incentive (PPI) program. In order for a team to qualify for the PPI program, they must roster a qualifying prospect long enough for the player to accrue a full season of service. Going into the season, a qualifying prospect must still have their rookie status intact with 60 days or less of service and be included on two of the three Top-100 prospect lists from the following publications: ESPN, Baseball America, or MLB Pipeline.
              A team may acquire a max of one amateur draft pick after the first round if an eligible prospect wins Rookie of the Year or if they finish top-three in MVP or Cy Young voting. This applies during the prospect’s pre-arbitration years of control. (copied and pasted)

              Painter and Able could help the Phillies this way in 2023. Just food for thought….

            3. For the reasons stated above, I wouldn’t promote Painter on opening day, even if he pitches really well in ST, which I suspect he will.

              However, I’d definitely consider doing that with Abel next year, particularly if they promote him mid-August or so this year.

            4. BobD…that PPI may not be a big enough carrot for a Dombrowski when you weigh that against the development of a player, specifically a pitcher.
              And the odds are against a rookie pitcher who most likely will be on an innings limitation program.
              All for one pick after the first round and Round A competitive balance picks.

          2. I’ve been thinking about this and, for many reasons, I’d let Painter pitch at least a month or two in the minors.

            First, if you send him to the minors, you make sure he’s ready. I mean, as much as it would be nice to have him in April, what difference, really is it going to make if you send him down and make sure he’s ready?

            Second, if you send him down, you could really help control his innings. He could start with like 3 to 4 inning appearances, working up to 5 or so before he is promoted. He doesn’t need to throw more than 5 innings in any minor league start because I doubt he will ever pitch more than 6 innings this year, at least until you get near or during the postseason.

            Third, guess who represents Andrew Painter? It’s Scott Boras. If you want to guarantee 7 season of control over Painter, you don’t promote him on opening day. No way. And I know there are nice little carrots for Cy Young award placement and ROY of the placement, but I’d still prefer a year of control of Painter to the uncertain promise of a draft pick.

            I’ll reiterate that the career length of pitchers who were promoted to the majors at a very young age is, frankly, extremely poor. Most of those pitchers were completely cooked by the time they were 31 or 32. I know the Phillies know this, and most of those pitchers were victims of extreme overuse, but I really hope they keep Painter’s usage down not only this year but, actually for the next 3-4 years at least. It’s not entirely a coincidence that guys like deGrom and Scherzer, who had light use as younger pitchers, are able to throw hard in their late 30s.

  35. I don’t normally respond to posts that have responded to mine, I value clarity over agreement and always aim to be considered a civil and responsible part of this posting community. But I will respond [in a cordial and responsible fashion] to what NL said yesterday when I mentioned that A] Marsh was a wonderful LFer in Anaheim, B] he would be fine in CF and C] most outfielders will say that LF is more difficult to play than CF because of the angle of the ball after its hit.

    NL mentioned that if this were the case such former and current Phillie luminaries such as Luzinski, Burrell, Hoskins, Swarber and Tony Curry [he actually did play some CF in 1960 but was a poor outfielder and thus went back to LF] could have played CF.

    Here is the fallacy in his argument. I said that Marsh was a wonderful LFer, not a mediocre one as all of those previously mentioned players were. And Marsh only played LF in Anaheim because some guy named Mike Trout manned CF for the Angels. My point being, and continues to be…if you can master as a GG candidate LF then you surely can master CF IF you have the arm to stay there, which Brandon Marsh does.

    One of the ironies about those who claim Marsh is not a good CFer is because they saw him misplay 3 fly balls in CF because he didn’t have his glasses on. They have even suggested that Garry Maddux should be entrusted with coaching him since he is still arguably the greatest defensive CFer the team has ever had. The irony is that Maddux on more than one occasion also lost fly balls in the sun because he failed to have sun glasses on. The most famous one was against the Expos in 1980 when his miscue cost the Phils a late season game and even caused manager Dallas Green to bench him for a spell during the last week of that season.

    Therefore I stand by my previous statement…if you are a wonderful defensive LFer you can master CF. One more thing and this is with complete admiration…NL mentioned Tony Curry, who just happened to be my favorite Phillie because I loved his rookie baseball card. Almost no Phillie phan remembers Tony Curry but NL obviously did! And Curry was indeed brutal in LF, likely the reason his career was so short. The guy could flat out hit.

    1. Sure do remember Curry. Went to my first Phillies game in 1957. Against the Milwaukee Braves. What a powerhouse team. After Ashburn was traded my favorite Phillie was a good field no hit CF named Bobby Del Greco. I have seen them all since the late 50’s.

  36. My opinion CF is all about reads and range, speed, 1st step. Someone who is slow a foot would not be able to master CF.

    While having a good arm is better than a noodle it generally doesn’t play into the metrics of CF.

    Now LF/RF usually is the same player with RF defaulting to the better Arm…

    1. DMAR….that sounds about right and how the baseball men would lean. Believe it or not, Mike Trout with exceptional speed and a cannon of an arm…..usually has low DRS metrics..over 10K innings in CF, negative 2 DRS.

  37. CalDream I think most of us got and understood what you originally wrote so to us defending your statement was not necessary. I enjoy reading your posts even if you do live on the left coast.

  38. For lots of reasons already mentioned, I really hope Painter starts in the minors. Let him dominate in 3-4 inning starts down there once a week and come up around June. There’s no rush to bring him up if he’s going to be capped at around 135 innings. As for Abel and McGarry, they’re not close to making the team. Both need to have much better control. Again, there’s no rush, barring injury to one of our 4 starting pitchers.
    As for the OF debate (I’ve played lots of OF), I’ve always thought the corners were harder than CF in terms of ball movement off the bat but you have to cover lots of ground and get a better jump in CF because there’s lots of ground to cover. Marsh will be fine out there after a full spring training working on it. A quick first step is huge and I think he has that. Not all great CFers were super fast but they all got a great first step.

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