Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Nearing Opening Days Thoughts

1. Jake Arrieta on a 3 year deal is just what this staff needed. Unlike most of the pundits, I am not convinced of Arrieta's demise. He was largely mediocre for the first half of the 2017 season (4.35 ERA/1.30 WHIP), but returned to his ace-like ways to close things out (2.28/1.09). I think he settles somewhere in the in-between (3.30ish ERA/1.20ish WHIP). That's a solid starting pitcher right there. One that will certainly help the Phillies win. Also, he's a tremendous competitor, and his fiery spirit is welcomed in the clubhouse and around such a young staff.
2. Kapler's bench is going to be one of versatility. Andrew Knapp is likely to be the backup catcher, but he can also man 1st base and is a switch hitter. Knapp's likely bench mates will be Jesmuel Valentin and Pedro Florimon, also switch hitters and can play all over the diamond. Rounding out the bench is 5th outfielder and speedster Roman Quinn, who has been playing shortstop in Spring Training like he did when he first joined the minor leagues.

3. Who should be in the rotation beyond Arrieta and Nola? I'm all for giving Nick Pivetta the ball every 5th day, because he has shown the ability to miss bats and could turn into a solid 3rd starter. I'm not so inclined with Vince Velasquez. He struggles to go 5 innings due to high pitch counts and seems to be better suited for the bullpen. However, he gets one more chance to make it as a starting pitcher, much like this is a make or break season for Franco at 3rd base. That leaves one hole to fill, due to Jerad Eickhoff's injury that likely doesn't have him returning until late May/early June. I'm in favor of Ben Lively. He auditioned well last season and has been bulldogging his way through Spring Training now too. Zach Eflin might have upside, but I just don't see the results, Jake Thompson is probably becoming a relief pitcher, Drew Hutchison should serve as Triple-A depth, and Tom Eshleman needs a bit more time in the minors.

4. Cameron Rupp looks like the odd man out in the Phillies catching duo. He's set to earn $2M+ this season and really doesn't deserve minor league banishment. He'd make a fine backup on most teams, so trading him makes sense. I see the Brewers and Nationals as fits. Make it happen Klentak.

5. Good bye Tommy Joseph. He's a feel good story of a prospect fallen on hard times due to injuries (concussions) and then forgotten, to rise from the ashes like a phoenix and make something of himself. But then the Phils went and signed Carlos Santana and had no room for him. Now ToJo takes his bat to Texas to slug with the Rangers. The American League is a good fit for the defensively deficient Joseph. Farewell.

6. As long as everyone is hitting in the outfield, Kapler has the chance to keep everyone fresh and happy with playing time. Hoskins and Herrera will start nearly every game, but even they need days off. Williams and Altherr will split right field. Assuming there's roughly 2000 plate appearances for all 3 outfield positions combined, that equals 500 per player if split evenly. I foresee Hoskins and Herra getting about 550 apiece, Altherr 425, Williams 375, and Quinn 100. If matchups are played to the Phillies advantage, this could lead to a very productive outcome.

7. Get your bobbleheads. I have a bobblehead collection and continue to add to it slowly. I recently added some from Phillies and Eagles lore. Check out National Bobblehead Hall of Fame.

8. Do you love the Phillies? Do you like trivia? Of course you do. So, check out So You Think You're a Philadelphia Phillis Fan. It's written by fellow blogger and good guy Scott Butler.


GM-Carson said...

Looks like Ryan Flarety will ask for his release. Would have been nice to have him stashed at AAA, but at least Adam Rosales will remain with the club.

Phils released Fernando Abad yesterday. Didn’t seem he was given a real shot to make the bullpen. Oh well, plenty of other options.

ripjgarcia said...

Lively has had a decent spring, although I think you are right and they go with Pivetta..

Carson Book said...

Both Pivetta and Lively make the rotation because of Eickhoffs injury.

ripjgarcia said...

Dunno what I'm thinking.. Had an extra pitcher in my mind.

ripjgarcia said...

I think it's safe to assume Franco will suck again this year. I don't understand why they just don't just DFA him and be done with it. He has absolutely no value at all.

GM-Carson said...

I actually think Franco will bounce back a bit this season - .250/.750, 25 HR, 80 RBI.
Not great, but better than last year. Kingery will start at 3rd at least once a week.

rslitman said...

Here's an interesting bit of Phillies trivia involving Arietta - He was the starting and losing opposing pitcher in Cole Hamels' complete game no-hitter, which was also Hamels' last start for the Phillies. Arietta gave up 6 hits and 3 runs. One of the hits was a 2-run Ryan Howard home run. Although Hamels got a double in the game, it came off a reliever.

I've got a far-from-complete list in my head of pitchers who have both thrown one or more no-hitters and have also been the starter and/or loser in an opponents' no-hitter. Arietta is on the list, of course, and so is Justin Verlander, who started but was not the losing pitcher in an opposing pitcher's no-no. He left when the game was still 0-0. A.J. Burnett, starter and loser in Josh Beckett's no-hitter against the Phillies, is another.

GM-Carson said...

It's going to be very interesting to see how Kapler gets all these players enough at bats. 4 good outfielders to split time and now Kingery must play too, but over who?

ripjgarcia said...

I see the ghost of Pete Mackanin is still alive and well

I'm beginning to wonder if ownership sits in the box and mandates stupidity to management in the dugout

ripjgarcia said...

The post game guys are just flat out pissed.

GM-Carson said...

Worst managed game I can remember in quite some time. Every move Kapler made was wrong. Very wrong.

rslitman said...

Another Pete M. move tonight - pitcher hitting 8th, with Crawford in the 9-hole.

ripjgarcia said...

Didn't I watch this game last year?

ripjgarcia said...

Now I understand what happened.. Hoby wasn't even warming up in the bullpen? This is not a good start for Kapler at all. A comedy of errors at every turn. Am I the only one who would like to see a proven manager in Philadelphia?

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