Weekly Discussion (2/5/23)

The hot stove season nears its end with spring training just around the corner.


The Adelaide Giants won the Claxton Shield awarded to the Australian Baseball League’s Champion.  The Giants beat the Perth Heat, two games to one.

The three-game series opened with a single game in Perth which the Heat one, 9-5.  The series then moved to Adelaide where the Giants won game two, 9-2, and the clincher, 5-2.

Jordan McArdle with 3 HR and 8 RBI was the series MVP.  He was invited to spring training by the Phillies back in 2020 but was sent home when COVID struck.

In the championship series, Nick Ward went 5-12 (.417) with 2 runs scored and a walk.  Anthony Quirion went 3-13 ( .231) with a run scored, a double, and 2 RBI.  Rixon Wingrove went 4-13 (.307) with 2 tuns scored, a double, and 2 RBI.  Jared Carr went 3-10 (.300) with 3 runs scored, a double, HR, 2 RBI, and an outfield assist.  Jordan Fowler pitched the opener and lasted 3.2 IP allowing 5 hits, 5 runs, 5 ER, 2 walks, and 4 K.  Starlyn Castillo relieved in game one and pitched 2.1 IP allowing 3 hits, 2 runs, 2 ER, 2 walks, a hit batter, and 3 K.

Former Phillies contributed – 40-year-old Michael Martinez was added to the roster late in the season and went 1-11 (.091) with 2 walks and an error.  Josh Tols tossed 0.2 IP allowing 1 of 3 inherited runners to score on zero hits, walks, and strikeouts.  Austin Ross’ line was 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 4 K.  Bubby Rossman’s line was 1.0 IP, 1 BB, 1 K.

The Caribbean Series is halfway through its round robin stage.  Participating teams include Cuba, Curacao, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Panama, and host nation Venezuela.  After two days, all eight teams were tied at 1-1.  Today’s action opens with Venezuela and Mexico tied with 3-1 records, Puerto Rico and Cuba at 1-3, and the other four teams at 2-2.  At the completion of the round robin stage, the four teams with the best records will advance to the semifinals.  The finals will be held on February 10th.

Hot Stove

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

Rumors, Facts, and Fiction

Sorry for the late publication.  I’m still a little under the weather and my meds knocked me out last night,  I did make it to the Complex today for a short visit.  Watched Villanova’s Danny Wilkinson throw a live BP against Kendall Simmons and Simon Muzziotti.  It’s early in his rehab (I think it’s the first live BP he tossed).  He did unleash one nasty slider that froze the batter for strike three.

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


January 2023

1/30/2023 – Phillies designated RHP Sam Coonrod for assignment
1/30/2024 – Phillies signed free agent 2B Josh Harrison

176 thoughts on “Weekly Discussion (2/5/23)

  1. Atlanta won their arbitration case against Max Fried…he will get a nifty $13.5M…wonder if this will effect his thinking come free agency in Nov….I tend to think he may be the next Brave cog to walk following the footsteps of Freeman and Swanson.

    1. Agreed. You don’t antagonize a star pitcher over 1.5M and then expect to extend him or re-sign him. Of the seven extensions the Braves have meted out only one was with a pitcher, Strider.

      1. Looks like Fried or Ohtani, or maybe both, will be a Met in ’24 if it is up to Cohen’s wallet.

        1. I wonder if there’s a two-for in this scenario.

          Phillies spend in 2022/23 offseason. Phillies win NL East. Another expensive Mets failure causes Mets minor ownership to revolt. Mets are unable to spend crazy amounts of money in 23/24 offseason. Phillies sign Ohtani/Fried.

          (I’d also like the Phillies to sign Roki Sasaki, shout out to Hinkie!)

          1. Max Fried is not a FA until 2025. The Braves will run him into the ground.

            I don’t think the Phillies will be able to afford Ohtani unless they are willing to blow the tax out of the water. The starting point for Ohtani’s contract would be Aaron Judge’s contract (9 year, $360M).

            1. Plus, if the Phil’s continue to sign free agents to 10 yrs contracts, what will become of future Phillies. It will have to be renamed future opposition?

    2. I never thought Fried was going to re-sign with the Braves anyways. Arguing over $1.5M is petty by the Braves.

  2. Jim – have you heard anything on when the WBC guys will be leaving? They play practice games on Wed 3/8 so my guess is they’ll leave sometime on Monday 3/6 after playing Sunday 3/6 in Dunedin.

    1. No, just that they are allowed to report a few days ahead of the other spring training guys.

      I hate the WBC. We’ve got about ten guys who could be on their nation’s teams. These guys need to be in camp. Especially Realmuto who has to develop a familiarity with new pitchers (especially Painter if he’s really going to break camp).

      Losing two weeks in the middle of ST doesn’t appeal to me and just seems stupid.

      1. Both of our catchers will be gone although the backup only for a few days because Israel won’t make the 2nd rd.

        1. Wonder what happens if J. T. would get hurt in the WBBC, like break an ankle, severely pull a hamstring or break a hand bone in a hbp? Would he still get paid but his phillies contract?

          I guess this question could also apply to the situation if J. T. we’re severely injured in say April, May or June.
          Would they look to add a experienced catcher with a descent bat in the last year of his contract by trading some of their high pitching depth? Or would they rely on Stubb’s/minor league Phillie? What if Stubb’s would go on a extended slump and they would have almost zero production from the #2 position?

      2. You are absolutely correct Jim.
        Hope you feel better Jim.
        Had my annual physical today, got a new doctor, last one had hands like a piano player this one more like a machinist. I’m slowly recovering from some intimacy exams.

        1. Denny…..if it is machinist hands you want to avoid clutching and probing, then you need to find female docs.
          My buddy had cystoscopy two weeks ago, the doctors young female assistant told him ‘relax and not stiffen up’ and it will go better.
          Needless to say, it was the longest 90 seconds of pain he said.

          1. i used a female, Is some much better, small hands, love her, except when she does private check of my testicle, Cant figure out why she always laughs, happen to any one else?

      3. Look on the bright side…..they will be already battle tested against top flight pitching when they return, 10/12 days or so before the opening games.

      4. I just read that the Pirates are blocking Ji Man from playing. Apparently the MLB club can deny your participation if the player had some form of off season surgery.

        In Choi’s case he had some loose bodies removed from his Elbow. He wants to play but Ben said no for now.

  3. Gelb has a great piece on Frantzke today. Many here will be relieved to hear that a long-term deal seems imminent.

      1. This isn’t short, sorry, bur I hope good.

        I remember the days of radio with Ashburn and Kala’s and Saam. I don’t even remember who was the first sub after whitey died.

        It may be that I tuned into just the baseball narrative more, but I thought they did a better job of describing the setting more than today. Mardlock is creeping in, taking the bunt away from bowa… Etc. You could almost see Richie Allen’s muscles the way he was described sometimes. OR…Brock is all the way on the carpet now…. there he goes… Carlton steps over and they’ve got him picked off, out at second, oh brother that helped. that Brock can run like lighting. He almost beat Carlton’s throw to second…….

        I think today’s announcers or players are sometimes as interested in their own show as much as broadcasting the game. I guess on TV it’s not as important as radio.

        In our small town bout 150 miles from Philly, in the mid 60’s and through the ’80s in the evening you could ride bike down the alleys and hear the Phillies (mostly) or Yankees or orioles, Mets, Indians, blaring out of the backyard shops or back porch. Almost like a Norman Rockwell scene.

        I don’t know if the announcers know how medicinal and religious listening to or watching the ballgames was and could be again…. Oh that sounds like the field of dreams speech.

        A familiar voice bringing stability and goodness across the airwaves. A few announcers had negativity towards the umpires and that negative vibe can come across the airwaves.

        But some announcers and some players think the show or the game is about them…. and it’s easy to think that with cameramen being allowed to run out on the field.. who really hit the hr, the cameraman or Schwarber?

  4. Great baseball names. What are your favorite?

    I stumbled across one I never heard before. Played in Philly for A’s or Phil’s in 1935?!

    Sugar Cain was his name.

    Several yrs ago, Phillies had an OUTman and an INman playing one level apart. I think OUTman made it up to mlb?

    1. Josh Outman – best pitcher last name ever.

      It doesn’t get much better for a running back than GAINwell.

      1. And Josh OUTman birthday was Feb 6;. How about that ,Harry Carey.

        And How about Bud Weiser?

        There are some lists of great baseball names… Oil Can Boyd.

    2. You mean to tell me Outman was IN and Inm an was out. Well wasn’t that something, whoda thought!

    1. I always wanted Addison Russ (pitcher) to face Addison Russell (infielder). How many people these days are named Addison to begin with and then to have last names that are so similar. Bizarre.

    1. Would these 3 get into the HOF as a group like Tinkers to Evers to Chance; (Dave) CASH to (Don) MONEY to (Ernie)BANKS?

      1. Rixon Wingrove is an outstanding name. My current favorite in the Phillies system. The Phillies have a strong recent history of excellent names. Ranger Suarez has graduated to the big club. Adonis Medina has moved on. JD Hammer had an A+ name for a pitcher. And Yang Wang was a Phillie prospect for a short time, but that name may have dominated MiLB during his career.
        This (players names) is a topic I have always had a great deal of interest in/fun with. The guys at Cespedes Family BBQ used to publish their annual list of their top 100 names in MiLB (don’t think they do it anymore). You can click here ▶ https://www.mlb.com/cut4/the-top-100-minor-league-player-names-of-2016-c170852370 to view an old list. Gotta’ love Xavier Javier, Jose Jose, Damien Magnifico, Forrestt Allday, Joey Pankake, and Sicnarf Loopstok. However … IMO, ⭐ Dustin Hurlbutt and ⭐ Earl Burl III are on a whole other level!!!

        1. I also like to track the “uniqueness” of Phillies’ monikers.
          * Seranthony (Dominguez)
          * Ranger (Suarez)
          * Taijuan (Walker)
          * Rhys (Hoskins)
          * Trea (Turner)
          * Bryson (Stott)
          * Darick (Hall)
          * Yunior (Marte)
          all are the only players in MLB history to sport their first names.

          Also, there have been plenty of Cody’s (with a “C”), but only one Kody (Clemmons).

          Jhailyn (Ortiz) would become a unique MLB name should he get promoted.
          Mick Abel’s birth name is McLean. There has never been a big leaguer with McLean as a first name.

          And finally, Bailey Falter just missed the list thanks to Bailey Ober. Ironically, Ober made his MLB debut (with the Twins) three weeks after Bailey Falter in 2021.

        2. Yeah, I thought J. D Hammer was going to make it in name alone! Let him sit in the bullpen as the hammer intimidation, or am I thinking of the Wharmer from the natural.

          Couple them made me laught like the guy on the Monty Python “Bigus Dickus” skit. And that’s not to bring up the cubs oriental outfielder from 15 or so yrs ago.

          1. J.D. Hammer would have been fine as a middle reliever/mop up guy – if he had pitched in the late 90s or early 2000s. His FB sat/sits 94-96, but he doesn’t have great command or breaking stuff. The bar is just higher for a righty reliever these days.

        3. Gotta’ love Xavier Javier, Jose Jose, Damien Magnifico, Forrestt Allday, Joey Pankake, and Sicnarf Loopstok. However … IMO, ⭐ Dustin Hurlbutt and ⭐ Earl Burl III are on a whole other level!!!
          Good stuff.

  5. I usually the skip going to any early April games but a childhood buddy wants us to go to the April 8 Saturday game against the Reds so I am going.

    1. Same here….can be a little too chilly or a little too damp….then again, it is a 4PM game vs the Reds, so the sun can be out and bright

  6. Just read Keith Law’s Phils top 20 prospects, it’s weird I thought it was a positive review.

    Sans the injury con on Painter, which is basically risk.

    1. Wonder if KLaw puts a similar warning line with other pitching prospects….virtually every hi-velo hard throwing pitching prospect will have that same risk.

  7. ESPN published its rankings of starting rotations. Phillies are 5th: “The addition of Walker and the expected rise of Painter make this a deeper unit. And Suarez might be ready to take his place alongside Nola and Wheeler to give the Phillies a powerhouse rotation trio for a full season.”

    The ranking highlights just how tough the NL East pitching is: the Mets are 3rd, the Braves are 4th, and the Marlins 13th.

    1. What’s interesting about this offseason is that the Phillies have worked hard to assemble a group of arms that have the potential to dominate from the first inning through the end of the game. If the Phillies rise to the top this year, the hitting (especially the power hitting) might be very good, but it, in my view, it will mostly be because of the pitching. And that’s the old Earl Weaver formula for winning. Good pitching and three run homers.

      1. If those BP arms do what the is expected, it will really help the starting pitchers, especially Nola and Wheeler, with the extra workload from the WS and shorter off season.

      2. Earl weaver sure didn’t sneeze at defense. Blair, belanger, and brooks were all top of the class for all time defense leaders. Phil’s will be ok up the middle but not so much elsewhere. But do they have a Vierling or two who can sub in left or right for late inning defense?

        1. They have Jake Cave who has, on occasion, been an alright defensive fielder (in the corners). He has (had?) slightly above average speed and arm. But who knows what version of him we’ll get.

          There’s also Guthrie. He only started playing OF last season, but he showed some flashes.

          But the real wild card might be Sosa. He’s got the ability to be an excellent defender anywhere on the field, so I wonder if they’ll get him to focus on the OF to give him more work. There’s no real need to have him as a defensive substitute at SS or 2B, so his appearances may need to come in the corners.

          Oh, also Kody Clemens. He’s a virtual unknown to me.

          1. The more I study Sosas comparatives, it seems like they have a gem of a utility guy.worthy of a multi-year if he wants it. He has speed similar to Vierling and above Stott IIRC. Clemens played most of his reps at 2nd base, but also in rf. I don’t know what they have there either. I think he stole a few bases and has standard 1 hr in 25AB +/- pop. But they also added Harris too. I like the idea of giving Guthrie a look in spring and increasing his training in of for both Schwarber and to spell Marsh.

        2. Agreed. Belanger, Robinson, Aparacio and Ripken (like Utley, he was always perfectly positioned even if he wasn’t all that fast) are 4 of the top 6 lifetime WAR defenders of all time (Blair is 61st, but was also really good)!

          To show how old I am, to this day I have not seen any defensive performance like what Robinson did in the 1970 WS. It was my introduction to baseball (I was 6, but I remember it a lot more clearly than my first grade classmates!) and, from that moment on, I was hooked. If you don’t know what I’m talking about YouTube it – Robinson made one insanely great play after the next – it was incomprehensible.

          1. I remember seeing highlights of the series, human vacuum cleaner!

            But adding some defense, Andy etchebaren (sp), Al Bumbry, I think they had a lefty hitting catcher with some better offense…. And then came Murray….

            It seems like they wnt by the old adage, pitching and defense

          2. Saw that series and Brooks Robinson’s incredible defensive feats.
            They were unworldly….diving left in the hole or right onto the line….jumping up and making great throws over to first. Reds had no chance hitting down third base
            Incredibly about that year for Robinson…it was one his lowest fielding percentage of his career….but probably the greatest World Series defensive fielding by anyone player.

            1. The second best may have been by Graig Nettles, who had a crazy great series at third for the Yankees in either 1977 or 1978 – Nettles is among a group of overlooked players, along with Bobby Grich and Lou Whitaker (there are others), who should definitely be in the Hall of Fame.

            2. Absolutely….Nettles did have one helluva ’78 World Series vs the Dodgers
              He gobbled up everything down his way.

  8. For sheer length, Hinkie, and anyone who remembers him, Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar, Tuskahoma McLish. That was some moniker.

  9. I know this is Phuture Phillies, and I love prospects as much as any of you, but there seemed to be a lot of hand wringing (including from me) over O’Hoppe and Curtis Mead. And while I put a heavy emphasis on catching prospects, so I certainly did not want to see them trade O’Hoppe for such a small return, I think the Phillies prospect pool is promising, our drafting has improved, I am hopeful that our international scouting has improved, and I think our player development has greatly improved. O’Hoppe was traded closer to his potential than Mead was, but we still have time to get and develop a top catcher, and our middle infield should be rock solid, plus we have Hao Yu Lee to watch.

    I want to see us really strive to have a terrific minor leagues. But part of having a terrific minor leagues is to trade off some prospects to help the big league club. When we signed Bryce Harper I did not see the Phillies being able to field a competitive team in his window. Their willingness to spend has greatly surprised me. If the Phillies are willing to spend like this, then I am confident any opening our call ups can’t fill can be filled in free agency. And that gives me a lot more optimism than the days when I needed the Phillies to call up 9 top flight position players and develop three aces.

    (Also now that we’re drafting hard throwing pitchers, I hope our future bullpen will have numerous interesting and exciting callups!)

    1. If they can sign that japanese fellow that was raved about on here last week who was who pitched 17 innings with 25k, they will have graduated to elite level for international signies. With minor league pitching,. it usually takes 3 or 4 bonafide prospects to produce a successful mlb career, so better perhaps to have too many prospects (depending on cost) than not enough..

    2. Mike A…..”…. so I certainly did not want to see them trade O’Hoppe for such a small return”….perhaps contact Dave Dombrowski and voice your displeasure with that transaction.

      1. You know that doesn’t work. Plus if the Phillies wanted my input they’d accept my job application.

        I don’t know how you are supposed to get a job with a baseball team. Is that a college course no one told me about? It’s not like half these scouts make the right decision, why can’t I make bad decisions while getting paid to watch Baseball too?

        1. If I recall correctly, the vast majority of scouts (and like 40% of FO personnel) are former players (most minor leagues, some made it to the majors and a few had long careers).

          Outside of having those connections through your playing days, the best way is to have a good resume and know the right people. So, pretty much like any (potentially) high-paying job.

          Just wish my grand dad had gone to his tryout for the Phils instead of joining the air force. I might be working for the Phils right now if he did.

          1. I’ve heard that knowing the right people is sometimes the reason of being drafted or moving up the ladder. Most often the person also has abilities, but a likable disposition and knowing or connecting with people in the profession might aid in advancement more than we think. Amaro Jr is an example. Falling out of favor likewise might have greater effect than ability.

            These things are true in most professions. So if you know who the scouts are assigned to your area, might work to make yourself and your baseball profession interest known, rub shoulders a little and try to find the way in.

          2. Dan….take Corinne Landrey……Director, Baseball Operations.
            Corinne was a teacher in Delaware, whiz in math and in all baseball analytics…..and a huge Phillies fan from her childhood days.
            Started on the blogs commenting and posting her analytical skills…..then got the Crashburn Alley site to run when the originator and his replacement decided to move on, then after a few years got a gig with one of the top three…..not sure which one (BA or BP or Fangraphs), stayed there for a bit, then applied and got a analytical position in the Phillies org as they were expanding that department ….did very well there, and then got her latest position.

            1. I think several roto-writers from 30 yrs ago eventually got jobs in ESPN and MLB. Jason Stark? They started writing advice for the rotisserie league craze and got noticed. Did the originators of this blog go on to a writing or analytical career?

  10. “But that brings up the question about what happens if JT would get injured during the year?”……if JTR has to go on the 60 day.
    Well Jorge Alfaro may still be out there as a free agent, do not think he has signed with anyone yet since Padres let him go.
    Do not think anyone has signed Gary Sanchez yet either….looks like they will be subs for other teams injured catchers

    1. I saw an announcement on MLBTR that Alfaro reached an agreement with Boston back in January. Not announced as completed yet. Probably waiting for his physical. And, I think he’s playing for Colombia in the Caribbean Series.

      1. Smith in la is in the last year of his contract too. Rentacather with some offense for a couple high ranking pitchers or that 2b and OF they got last year with #1 pick?

    1. Just my opinion … but … Rafael Marchan is the most under the radar/underappreciated guy in the organization. I’d be very comfortable with him getting the bulk of the PT if JTR were to go on the IR.

  11. Thanks all for following along the peculiar name post! It could go on and on. Sugar Cain and Bud Weiser prompted the forlay. Baseball seems to have an abundance of names that correlate to the sport or just make you smile.

    Here is a couple more, Then back to discussing doctors hands, proctocologists, etc. These are not necessarily noted for just the name but other interesting facetts. I’ll maybe catch up later.

    When I hear of the Michael Borne movies I remember the speedy of who started with the Phil’s. Turned in a descent career, retiring @34? with 375 or so career stells and a . 275ish ba. Wonder why he hung them up. I think he’s 39 or 40 now.

    Stumbled across Kelly Duggan playing quite well for independent Lancaster, pa barnstormers.

    This link searches all pro and college league participants. A few quick highlights.


    I didn’t check out the pitching side yet.

    Munetaka Murakami. Is age 22 and has 177 career HR in Japanese league.

    Makes one wonder why these guys below got skipped over.

    Cross Factor led all of baseball with a 1.573 OPS. Started college at age 21 so he is now 24/25 undrafted.

    Jack Thompson, second with 1.560 ops. Undrafted 4 yr player out of lewis and Clarke.

    Bradon O’Connor. Stole 98 bases in 48? games., caught 8 times for 5-42 Benedict tigers and rocky mountain vibes. Undrafted, unknown age.

    1. If I had to guess, because they beat up on weak competition and didn’t show anything special when they played in front of scouts. Factor, for example, hit only .125 in the Cape Cod league, which is a league that always has a decent amount of college prospects.

      1. I hear that cape cod league was always thought of as the premier college league. That is at least till mlb started running the draft league. Don’t know how it stacks up now.

        But I doubt hitting.129 in 31 AB would give enough of a sample to justify a judgement. did hit 2 doubles and walked 6 times striking out 9 in 37 plate appearances. But I’m sure there were scouts there and I wonder if it be an age factor as much or more than ability.

        I’m not saying I’m a fan, but 1.600 ops is pretty impressive anywhere this side of softball.

  12. As always, that will largely depend on who is and isn’t competing, as well as the health of other teams’ players and who is having a good year. The short answer is, there’s always someone we can trade for.

    But some early potential options would be Mitch Garver/Sandy Leon from the Rangers, Jacob Stallings from the Marlins, Tucker Barnhart and Yan Gomes from the Cubs, Luke Maile and Curt Casali from the Reds, Austin Hedges from the Pirates, Carson Kelly from the D’Backs, and Roberto Perez from the Giants.

    But can you ever really replace the best catcher in baseball? If he’s hurt for any significant amount of time, we’re in real trouble. But Marchan should at least be able to hold us over defensively (and Stubbs did an excellent job in his somewhat limited capacity last season, so we’ll see).

  13. Matt Winkelman has outdone himself this year.


    If you read nothing else from third party sources about our prospects, read Matt’s analysis. It is far, far more detailed and revealing than anything else you’re likely to read.

    I won’t provide a spoiler alert, but Winkelman’s analysis of Painter is spot on (no pun intended!) as is his assessment of McGarry’s stuff, which I agree is the best in the system, including Painter. I am more optimistic about Abel than he is, but he still gives Abel very high grades.

    His assessment of the position prospects is both detailed and, as one might expect (and as many of us have been saying), somewhat depressing as the organization has done as poorly at identifying hitters recently as it has done well in drafting and developing pitchers. He has Hao Yu Lee as the 4th best prospect, which I think is probably right. And his assessment of Crawford’s hitting skills (very damning to say the least) had me shaking my head and wondering how, after 40 years, we can have one failed toolsy first round outfielder pick after another – STOP THE MADNESS! I truly hated that pick when it was made and, while it’s impossible to assess a young player’s progress in a short season after he was drafted, nothing I’ve seen has made me change my mind. As usual, I hope I’m wrong.

    Matt also feels, as many of us do, that it’s possible, if unlikely, that De la Cruz becomes a star. He’s an interesting prospect.

  14. Nice blurb on McGarry in ESPN’s NL review published today:

    “McGarry was straight wild in college at Virginia: 134 innings, 131 walks, 186 strikeouts. He always showed plus stuff, but his way-below-average command made it where many scouts didn’t take him seriously as an option in the top few rounds of the 2021 draft. Fast forward about 18 months and 145th overall pick McGarry ($325,000 bonus) is the 138th prospect in baseball and No. 2 overall pick Jack Leiter ($7.92 million bonus) is the 149th prospect in baseball, with pretty similar scouting reports now. Both rely in a plus fastball/breaking ball combo with below average but pretty good command and solid-average third and fourth offerings.”

  15. And this, too, from the same article:

    “Song was a surprise Rule 5 pick from the Red Sox, as he still has a naval commitment with an unclear outlook, causing him to not appear in a pro game since the summer of 2019. He’ll show three 55- or 60-grade pitches with enough feel to start when he’s right, but it’s impossible to guess what he’ll look like when/if he returns to pro ball. Kerkering was a fifth-rounder last summer and has some similarities to Song on the mound. Kerkering sits 92-95 mph and mixes in a plus breaking ball, but his command puts him on the starter/reliever borderline. Baker is a pure reliever but sits 97-100 mph with a plus fastball/curveball combination; he could be in the big leagues in 2023.”

  16. I wrote another long-ish post that simply never appeared (this is frustrating and happens repeatedly).

    I told everyone to read Matt Winkelman’s amazing prospects summary. Like many of us, he has the big 3 starting pitchers ranked in the top 3, with Painter listed as the best Phillies starting prospect in his lifetime (hard to disagree – he admitted the competitors were Hamels and Nola). He also said, as I have several times, that McGarry has the best pure stuff. Very complimentary of Abel, although I’m a little higher on him than Matt is – but he is high on Abel.

    Very bad reports on most of the hitters except for Hao Yu Lu and repeatedly (and I believe fairly) criticized the team’s inability to draft and develop hitters. Report on Crawford was pretty poor. I hated that pick when it happened and I am still not convinced. Overall, he had the same concerns many of us have about the new talent people to draft and develop hitters. My view is that if you’re great at picking and developing pitchers, just keep doing that and err on the side of pitching and we can pay for or trade for hitters. An asset is an asset and, truly, you never have enough pitching.

    1. Well it’s at least reassuring that I’m not the only one that has long posts repeatedly go missing. I’d assumed they’d been flagged for moderation and Jim just didn’t see them, but maybe it’s a server-side issue.

      I’ve refrained from doing any deep dives analytically recently because every time I’d try to post something with any kind of significant number/word count, there was a 50/50 shot it would just not get posted.

      1. In lots of cases I’ve decided to write any lengthy comment offline (like Notepad, though I’m sure Google Docs/Google Keep can also work) and then copy and paste them in. Saves me a lot of grief in typing into a tiny box for editing, to re-read it easily, and when something inevitably goes wrong I keep my rant! Which I can then shamefully re-write or discard.

        Also, I’m still holding out hope for Crawford. But I understand not liking the pick.

    2. Crawford has a chance to be a decent player but like most I had big concerns about the hit tool.

      When we look back I think we’ll say Spencer Jones would have been the better pick of those OFers taken after Crawford. That kid just exudes hit tool.

      1. DMAR…the kid I like, probably a little more than Crawford, is Mari Boyd, the 11th round pick out of Miss.
        I think he can be a special payer. The tools explode. Very hard worker and coud stand to add a little more muscle which he probably will do at the Complex over the next few years.

        1. I like Boyd too. He’s a toolsy kid with speed and upside. As an 11th round pick, I thought he was great.

          Still, where is the truly great hitter we have been waiting for for so long. The last really great hitter we produced was Chase Utley – that’s 20 years ago!!!! O’Hoppe had a chance to be that guy but he’s gone.

          1. Te jury is still out on Stott….and maybe even Bohm now going into his 4th season in the majors. I still think he has room to grow as a hitter from his 2.6oWAR in 2022.
            But in the minors currently …..not much happening.

          2. Don’t bring up O’Hoppe 😦

            I understand Marsh was a highly rated prospect as well. But I still don’t believe O’Hoppe was needed to get Marsh. I think it certainly made the deal a lot easier to make, but I think we could have got there another way. And I’d have rather we have done that.

            I do like Marchan too though.

            Also, I am still upset we traded D’Arnaud. Especially since it felt like an unnecessary trade when we could have just kept Cliff Lee and our prospects. But that’s a long way in the past – I just have a sore spot when the Phillies trade a highly touted catching prospect. (Isn’t there another catcher I’m missing? It can’t be Alfaro…)

            1. I’m still reeling from trading Clay Dalrymple for Ronny Stone from the Orioles. Should have held out for Jim Palmer too. If the shoe was on the other foot we would have traded him for Clay, remember Fergie Jenkins. Lol.

            2. Halladay had a higher fWAR in his first two seasons as a Phillie (14.9) than D’Arnaud has over a 10-year career (13.5). Definitely should have held onto Lee as well, but come on …

              An aside: What makes you certain O’Hoppe wasn’t necessary in the Marsh deal? What do you think needs to be surrendered for a young, cost-controlled, Top-100 prospect CF in his second year?

            3. Re: marsh,. Some were saying that in time he will improve in cf, and I believe he can. But cf was his first position in the minors and he played 70 games in 2021 for last in cf. In the minors he has over 300 games in cf under his belt.

              In evaluating and analyzing these players, sometimeswe (I) don’t know or think of the intangibles, like how well they get along and their similar ethics and other aspects become part of the picture.that we can’t see.

              So, though for example, Kyle schwarbers might be at the bottom of lf for OAA or range factor, sometimes the coaches statement in “the replacements” rings true”. Gotta have heart. His swing scared me when he came up with the cubs. He looked like he would be a good hitter .

        2. Always good to play a long shot Romus

          And to Andy’s point no not giving up on Crawford at all. Pulling hard for him now that he is a Phillie. I just thought Spencer Jones would have been a better pick.

          1. The guy that the orioles took at 32 or 33 also looks legit. Have to see what Crawford looks like in 4.

            Also like boydd. Was surprised by the one video I saw of him swinging. Not inside out or dragging the bat but over the top. Is much more than speed.

            1. This is the guy taken in back of the first round by the O’s since the Phil’s have had limited success in drafting high potential high school outfielders Jeff Jackson, Cornelius Randolph, Greene, etc… would it be better to invert their thinking and draft experienced college player in the first rounds and toolsy high schoolers with upside in the second half.

              I’m sure there is analysis on those issues too, Baltimore drafted 20 players, 2 high schoolers (the first was a #1 of 1st round, and the second midway through) and one CC player. 17 of 20 were 4 yr college players.


            2. Look what Ruben did in the 2014 Phillies draft…his thought that the college guys were more advanced and may make it faster to the majors.
              The laws of pobabilty came closer to the truth….two nuggets when all said and done…Nola the first pick of the Philies and Rhys in the 5th round. Ruben ended up drafting only one HS player of the first 27 picks by the team.

            3. That is about right…..which goes to the effect, MLB is made up of approx 30% Latin and foreign players from that category.

              IMO, Commissioner Manfred wants to go with more college drafted players, and lean away from HS players.
              He reduced the number of rounds in the Rule 4 over the last few years to 20 and at the same time they reduced minor league teams and total players in a club’s system. College players come in more physically and emotionally mature and need less ‘nursing’ so to speak.

            4. Sure seems like latin players are closert to 50%,-60% but I guess some with latin names are born in the states.

              I guess those high school ballplayers who don’t have the gpa or aptitude for college will have to excell to be noticed or try out for Indy ball or Aussie league.

              What that chart doesn’t show is what percentage of draftees come from HS vs college. It only shows the percentage of draftees from those places who have had some success in mlb.

              If 47% (or 62% if we split the international segment) of total signees are from college ball and 38% are signees from high school then there is no difference in success rate between signing from high school vs college.

    3. Catch- thanks for the heads up on Winkelman’s comments. I had forgotten to look up his review. Very good and interesting. Thanks again.

    1. Nope – he’s not a bust. Hopefully he turns out great. I just wasn’t a fan of the pick at the time and the reports I’m getting aren’t too good. And this new group of talent evaluators has been as bad at picking and developing hitters as they have been good with pitchers. Really weird, but until they show me they can draft hitters, I’m skeptical, especially with the type of player this team has failed with over and over and over again. A blind monkey could have done better with their HS outfielder picks – one disaster after the next.

      1. I remember 7 years ago as a 18 year old Mickey Moniak had a very good rookie league start. Things were looking bright in 2016 going into 2017…then things slowly derailed over the next few years.
        Hoping Crawford can make the necessary developmental advances.

  17. A little unsolicited advice for you guys finding long pieces not making it into print: write short pieces.

    A brief item not only will make it but will more likely be read when it does than a long piece that intimidates the reader. Also, keeping items short will help you organize your thoughts and your writing.

    Okay, enough from me. I’ll keep it short.

    1. That’s like saying no one should ever write a novel because short stories are easier to read. There’s room for both and they serve different purposes.

      I’m not willing to do any kind of statistical analysis without posting a sufficient amount of data to back it up. And if not everyone reads it because it has a lot of numbers, that’s fine. The people who get bored or intimidated by lots of information aren’t the target audience.

      1. DanK…not sure he is commenting on data in particular, but believe it is the text/narrative content he is referring to. In the legal arena they call it a’brief’….. in a trial/ appellate setting showing one side’s legal and factual arguments.

      2. Dan, not saying less data. Saying it should be in digestible parts. If your intention is to communicate, it’s best to do so in the way that is most likely to be read and understood. A novel-short story isn’t a correct analogy.

        At any rate, this is off topic so I won’t continue to stray away from Phuture Phillies. Thanks for responding.

        On topic, interesting to see Matt Winkleman rate Yoshwar Garcia so low observing his lack of power, solid contact. I saw him last year in what was probably the best series of his career. His performance then and his $2.5 million signing bonus made me a believer. Shows that “small sample size” holds for observers as well player experience.

    2. I’ll defend the long piece a little bit as some times for the writer it’s therapeutic to get it off their chest. Even if few are going to read it LOL

        1. Romus can you just give me the highlights on that long piece, i have short attention span, ty

      1. DMAR,

        In that case, the longer the better.

        After completing War and Peace, Tolstoy said: Gee, I sure feel good.

  18. A little early draft news … last week, two sport prep star Duce Robinson took a step towards making himself more likely to turn pro in baseball this summer than play college football this fall.
    Robinson is just the third ever 1st team Under Armour All-American in both baseball and football (AJ Brown and Kyler Murray are the others). Instead of committing to a school (Georgia/USC/Texas) to play on the gridiron on National Signing Day last week, the 5-star TE put off an announcement.
    Under Brian Barber, the Phillies have a “type” they seek in the first round: long, lean (projectable) prepsters with sky-high ceilings. That’s Duce Robinson. He’s a 6”6″/225 OFer. He’s got some flaws in his swing, but he has a chance to iron that out once he devotes his full attention to baseball. I’m not predicting the Phillies use the 1-27 pick on him. But Duce Robinson does get plenty of Aaron Judge comps, and Brian Barber made his reputation on finding/scouting/suggesting the Yankees draft the AL MVP.

    1. Hinkie…I see him more in the line of another current Yankee…. Michael Stanton, alias Giancarlo.

    2. Other than Judge I wonder who some of the other position players were that BB was responsible for in the draft? When I was watching Judge as a tike in Trenton they also had Bird.

      The difference to me between the two was night and day. I could tell Judge was going to be really good and Bird not.

      A buddy who was with me at the time and a big Yankees fan said how do you know that (like I didn’t know what I was talking about)

      And maybe I didn’t but I saw them a bunch of times and Bird more often than not was off balance and chasing balls out of the zone, rolling over on the soft stuff hitting weak grounders to 2nd.

      I remember saying at that time here as we were deciding it was time to trade Hamels that I would deal Hamels straight up for Judge instead of some package for 5 guys who may or may not make the show.

      1. Wonder how much of that ranking has his football options incorporated into it.
        A few years ago PA had a kid out of Malvern, Lonnie White, a PSU commit as a WR and an also OFer in in the Inter-Ac baseball league …..he fell to the 2nd round and the Pirates selected him.

        1. Yup. And he’s now the #28 prospect on the Pirates’ list, per Fangraphs. So maybe in the 700 – 900 range across all teams.

  19. Steve Cohen of the Mets:
    “I’ve heard what everyone else has heard: that they’re not happy with me. I hear things from people who are maybe more neutral — that they’re taking a lot of heat from their fans. I kind of look at that like, you’re looking at the wrong person. They’re putting it on me. Maybe they need to look more at themselves. I’m not responsible for how other teams run their clubs.”

        1. Cliff notes:.Sometimes we(I) think only in analyzing statistics and forget the human variable and also how negative the analysis might sound.


  20. Can you guys update me with where we are on the cap? Wacha still hasn’t signed. They say he’s only looking for an AAV of $15.

    Could we do that for 1 year? Could we do 2/$20 with an optout after this season?

    He pitched to a 3.32 ERA with Boston last year and a 1.12 WHIP and he’s only 31. He seems like a perfect 5th starter to me.

      1. If it’s a one or even a two year deal, I’m not interested in saving money, I’m interested in having as much redundancy as possible.

      1. Romus & DMAR …. Roster Resource shows the Phillies Estimated Luxury Tax Payroll @ $254,799,010. It makes no sense for the team to be at that figure. The 2023 LTT is 233M. The franchise is only on the hook for financial penalties/taxes if they stay within 20M of the threshold. The only non financial punishment teams receive is when they go past the threshold by more than that. Clubs have their first round draft pick docked by 10 spots. The Mets and Dodgers are paying that price this summer because they were each 20+M over the 2022 limit.
        There are no additional draft penalties for exceeding other cap limits. So if you’re going over by 20M and one dollar, you may as go over by 30M or 40M or 50M, or more (and just deal with the additional taxes). So I’d expect DD to either spend a good amount more money or shed a contract at the trade deadline this summer.

        1. Hinkie…thanks for the update.
          As for shedding a contract….there are only two that may make any major difference, and not sure they will do it it all…..Castellanos ($20M) and /or Hoskins ($12M).
          i jus do not see them doing either of those contracts now.

          1. Yeah. But I’m looking more at a smallish contract to get them under the first penalty level (253M). That means trimming ~1.8M.

            1. At first, I was surprised/disappointed by the harrison signing. But his stats comp very well to Segura. With Stott having only 2/3 of a full season at 2b and only performing well in the last couple months, it’s probably one of the better acquisitions made. He can probably cover a little more ground in LF and rf than the starters, but his rf there is very slightly below avg.

            2. Harrison was a little bit of a surprise.
              I dp like it because of his versatility in the field and still has a good bat..

            3. I was also surprised by the Harrison signing. Seemed like they were scared someone would sign him sooner? I felt we were pretty loaded on players who he profiles out to be this season, but a lot younger.

              Maybe our plan will be to trade off bench bats at the deadline to get under the cap, since we’ll likely have plenty. Maybe Harrison will be that guy, and they wanted someone here for Spring Training and the early part of the season to help mentor the young guys.

            4. Yhoshwar Garcia is the very embodiment of our failed position prospect philosophy. I hated, hated, hated that signing. Ooh he’s fast and can field – awesome. WHO THE HELL CARES!!! I don’t want the next Bill

            5. Finishing the thought

              I don’t want the next Billy Hamilton – I want the next Juan Soto. The other teams laughed their asses off when we paid $2.5 million for that guy – so, so, so stupid. I think Sal Agostinelli has no idea what he is doing with position prospects. That pick is the result of a completely failed philosophy on who to draft and sign. This needs to change – like yesterday.

            6. Phillies have signed Latin players…OFers…with size over the last decade.
              …Jose Pujols, Jhalyn Ortiz, Juan Encarnacion (who eventually had to go to 1B), Miguel Tejada, Jr, and a few current ones in the DSL and hopefully maybe in the FCL this season.
              Problem….they have not developed to the expectations they had upon their signings.

  21. Hinkie, Agree with you on Harrison. I thought, if they were to sign another bench bat, they would sign one who can play a competent CF. If Marsh gets hurt, who will play CF for us? Cave? Muzziotti? Guthrie? Rojas? The options are slim right now.

    1. The new drafting team is doing such a great job with pitchers – I mean outstanding – that I’ll give them some learning curve time with the position players, but I want to see some progress here.

      1. Maybe whoever is responsible for scouting catchers needs to give some pointers to the guys in charge of middle infielders and outfielders.

        We manage to find decent 1B every once in a while, and it seems like Stott will be around for a while (knocking on wood right now). But outside of him and Cesar, it’s been pretty brutal up the middle. Which is odd when there are projected to be THREE catchers from our minor league ranks (last season) on MLB rosters to start this upcoming season (O’Hoppe with the Angels, Sands with the Tigers, Stubbs with us). And none of them are Marchan who looks fully capable of being a MLB backup right now.

        It makes sense that we stumble upon 1B because they’re so plentiful. But how are we hitting fairly regularly on catchers (the HARDEST position to fill)… but nowhere else? It’s very odd.

        1. They really didn’t hit on Sands and Stubbs – both guys were developed by other teams. Marchan and O’Hoppe are (or were) our guys.

          1. Identifying other teams’ under-the-radar talent is also part of scouting, though. You can’t always draft/sign a guy you like (limited number of draft picks/resources). But if you can basically steal those guys, it’s the same end result.

            The Rays didn’t draft Mead, but he’s still undoubtedly one of their scouting wins.

    2. I think Guthrie was mentioned by DD when the Soto trade was made. That might change by April 1, but that was the idea. Plus he has infield versatility.

  22. Love to see the Phillies in full support of the Eagles!


    BTW … I’m 💯 on board with a second SB in six years (E-A-G-L-E-S!!!), but I gotta’ put this out there … if the Chiefs win, it will mark the second year in a row that a former Vineland HS Fighting Clan member gets a SB ring. Isiah Pacheco has been great for Andy Reid this season as a rookie (was really hoping Howie had drafted him last April), and Jamil Demby (was on the Ram’s IR) last season.

    1. I’m guessing he overplayed his hand and demanded more than teams were willing to give him, and that caused his other suitors to find alternative options. So now he’s taking a pillow contract with a familiar organization to (presumably) re-enter the FA market and try again next year.

      It happens every year, but it’s odd for it to be such a low amount for a reliever with his resume. Ever since we signed Strahm, the LHRP market has slowed to a glacial pace.

    2. I thought chaflin would have been a better fit for Phillies than Soto. Don’t know what Soto is making or what Chafin got.

  23. As part of my cable package I get NESN which shows all of the Red Sox games that aren’t nationally broadcast. I got to see Strahm pitch a lot last year. I feel that the Phillies overpaid for him and a two year deal wasn’t a great idea. I hope I’m wrong.

    1. Looks like Strahan has had respectable success out of the bullpen (when healthy) and had a bad year as a starter. Still looks like Chaflin would have been a better pick. 1.12 whip as reliever.

  24. Did a little checking at bb reference. In the first 3 rounds there is very little differece between success rate of a high school draftee and 4yr college draftee as far as making it to the majors. In the first round there is very little difference in avg war of those players. I didn’t check the other rounds for war. In the 5th round the success rate of players making it to the big leagues drops and the spread between the success rate of college vs high school players widens. I didn’t do a thorough analysis, but enough to share the above thoughts.

    1. Snapshot of recent MLB history, 2010-2020…. list of every hitter who has posted at least ONE season of 5.0 WAR or more over the last decade, according to FanGraphs.
      The resulting list featured 121 different players who broke down as follows:
      …JUCO/College: 55 (45.5 percent)
      …High School: 42 (34.7 percent)
      …International: 24 (19.8 percent)

      1. Just surveying the yrs from 2010-2020 would favor the 4 yr college draftee due to it taking high schoolers and extra 2 -4 yrs to develop.


        At the top of this page is a tool to select juco, h. S. or 4 yr college. In the first box one can view all players taken that year by each different yound. After the list of players, the site calcipulates the number and % of guys (oope, beings) making to mlb and the total war and avg war per player from that round or from each type of school.

        For #1/#1 In the 57 yrs of the draft, 28 h.s. and 28 4 yr college players were taken. 1) 4 yr guy didn’t sign and 2) 2 yr guys didn’t sign. 24 of 26 H. S. players made it to majors with an avg war of 21….( Don’t know if that includes zero wars for the 2 that didn’t sign)

        27 of 27 4 yr) college guys signed, with avg war of 16.

        1 guy was drafted from juco and has a 42 war in half a career.

        1. Oops, The avg war of #1/#1 high school players is 26, not 21. This difference of 10 in avg war would seem to indicate that if a dominant talent is seen in h. S., It is fine to draft from there. Arod, chipper, Mike trout, etc.

          There would be ways to evaluate the difference between high school/college pitchers vs hitters. The roto season of playing GM is slowing down with the beginning of spring practice and games.

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