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tonycpsu

Philadelphia Phillies 2018 Outlook

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Now that the Arrieta shoe has finally dropped, it seems like a good time to talk about the Fightin' Phils outlook for 2018. 

 

The youth movement is in full swing, with the suddenly very highly-ranked farm system having produced some gems that look like they could be franchise cornerstones.  A team that for several years has been bringing in retreads like Michael Saunders and Hyun-Soo Kim to soak up plate appearances looks like it can't find enough of them for guys like Aaron Altherr and Scott Kingery.  The addition of Carlos Santana creates a "good problem to have" with all of those bats, and makes the middle of the lineup pretty formidable.

 

It's not all sunshine and rainbows, however.  Nola/Arrieta is a pretty good 1-2, but the rest of the rotation is questionable at best.  I don't love the 3/75 contract for Jake, but you never know what's going to happen, and I'd rather they had that guy and wasted him during a transitional period than have them wonder what could have been.  He'll help the team sustain some winning streaks and stop some losing streaks, which is going to help the young guys develop, and take a lot of pressure off of Nola.  Pivetta hasn't looked sharp in Spring ball, Velasquez has looked pretty good but is a major question mark health-wise, and Eickhoff's an innings-eater at best.  The rest of the guys competing for the 4th/5th starter spots haven't shown any reason to get excited, either.

 

The bullpen is probably just a bit above average, with Neris as a middling closer/stopper depending on how he's used, Neshek and Hunter as solid setup guys, Luis Garcia as the most promising middle relief option, and Edubray Ramos and Adam Morgan showing some promise but no consistency whatsoever last year.

 

I'm not sure I'm buying into all of the hype surrounding Gabe Kapler, but the players seem to be, and that's probably more meaningful than if there's anything actually to it.  The placebo effect can produce results.  I do think he's got a good perspective on bullpen usage, though I think the lack of depth in the rotation would be forcing him in that direction anyway.

 

I don't think their offseason makes them a wild card contender this year, but I think .500 ball is the minimum for this to be considered a successful season.  And if a couple things break right... who knows.

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I like the Arrieta signing for the Phils- there were some blemishes with Arrieta last year which probably was at least part of the reason why him signing took so long. Still he's a very good sp that will help their rotation tremendously - tho like Tony mentioned the rotation is pretty scary after the top 2. Phils have a solid shot at a .500 season I think. I'm very interested in Altherr but I'm a little hesitant to target him with the crowded OF - has there been any buzz about who has the leg up so far?

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Phillies' contract with Jake Arrieta includes an opt-out clause after the second season.

 

Arrieta will earn $30 million in 2018, $25 million in 2019 and $20 million in 2020. The right-hander has the option to opt-out after the 2019 season, but the contract also allows the Phillies to void that potential opt-out clause in the form of a two-year extension for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. In that event, Arrieta would earn $20 million per season for those two years, with incentives that could drive it up to $25 million per season. All told, the final deal could wind up being for five years and between $125 and $135 million.

 

The Phillies managed to deal with a mega-contract the right way only on the hook for 3 years but if Arrieta performs well they can then extend it to 5.  Instead of the way other clubs sign a mega deal for 5 years and the player can bolt after 2 or 3 this gives the team control with just 3 years and the ability to block an opt out and automatically extend to 5 years if things are going well with the deal.  It makes the player prove he deserves 5 years instead of sitting on his laurels after he signs a big 5 year deal.  Excellent.

 

Really good negotiation here.  I'm sure other teams will use it as a template in the future for big signings.

 

And they have tons of money under the cap so could afford this move too.

 

They also sent a message to their players and fans that they aren't going to wait for maybe three more years to start contending.  They will be in line for a wild card spot by next year  And I believe and if they catch magic in a bottle could even be a dark horse team this year.  Especially if they still have enough money left to go out and say sign Alex Cobb as well. 

 

I mean their hitting is pretty well set though Franco is still a headache at times.  They are just one more good pitcher away from a legit contender and I just don't mean first round and out.  If you make the playoffs you only need 3 top of the line pitchers at that point usually.  And a good bullpen.  They could use some more arms there.

 

I'm happy for the long suffering Philadelphia fans.  At the very least it will be fun to come to the ball park again.  They are as crazy about baseball there as we are up in New England and having been born in a small town outside of Philly (family moved away when I was still a young kid) they have remained my second favorite team as a result so hope they have some great years ahead for their fans to enjoy.

Edited by The Big Bat Theory
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I like how people are bashing the Arrieta signing.

 

The Phillies had lowest payroll in MLB before this

a new TV deal that is ridiculous with NBC/Comcast

were the most profitable MLB franchise last year because they're a big market team that has been spending like they're the tampa bay rays

 they needed to add some players to this team in order to pursue 1 or maybe even 2 of the big time free agents next year where they can still outbid almost anyone for Harper or Machado. 

Edited by XxxOilOverloadxxX

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3 minutes ago, XxxOilOverloadxxX said:

I like how people are bashing the Arrieta signing.

 

The Phillies had lowest payroll in MLB before this

a new TV deal that is ridiculous with NBC/Comcast

were the most profitable MLB franchise last year because they are a big market team that has been spending like they're the tampa bay rays

and they needed to add some players to this team in order to pursue 1 or maybe even 2 of the big time free agents next year where they can still outbid almost anyone for Harper or Machado. 

 

I'm sure some people think of was a bad signing  but I get the vibe it wasn't too many. I was pretty surprised when I saw the Phillies with the lowest payroll. This is a pretty good deal and short term and won't effect them from signing anyone else.

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1 hour ago, XxxOilOverloadxxX said:

I like how people are bashing the Arrieta signing.

 

 

What people?  Where?  Is there some online site called BashTheArrietaSigningHere.com? 

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7 hours ago, XxxOilOverloadxxX said:

I like how people are bashing the Arrieta signing.

 

The Phillies had lowest payroll in MLB before this

a new TV deal that is ridiculous with NBC/Comcast

were the most profitable MLB franchise last year because they're a big market team that has been spending like they're the tampa bay rays

 they needed to add some players to this team in order to pursue 1 or maybe even 2 of the big time free agents next year where they can still outbid almost anyone for Harper or Machado. 

 

This. 

 

Being from Philly and as a Phillies fan, that was my #1 reason for liking the Arrieta signing. 

 

I agree with mostly everything Tony said. While the Jake signing this year I don't think is enough to vault them to a contender, it shows a positive direction and that ownership isn't just cost cutting to save some money. There's a purpose and a plan. Bringing in Arrieta this year shows the plan is to be competitive soon, and with next season's UFA crop + the amount of money to be spent, we could be looking at a huge addition- maybe even two.

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Adding Jake Arrieta is a good move for the Phillies.  They needed a good starting pitcher.

From a fantasy perspective,  Not having that Cubs defense behind him anymore and going to a hitters park makes him a slight downgrade.

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1 hour ago, Brooklyn Dude said:

 

Adding Jake Arrieta is a good move for the Phillies.  They needed a good starting pitcher.

From a fantasy perspective,  Not having that Cubs defense behind him anymore and going to a hitters park makes him a slight downgrade.

 

What is wrong with the Phils defense or so great with the Cubs defense?  Isn't JP Crawford suppose to be a great glove man first?

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The Phillies are my team. Anyone complaining about hard times just needs to think back to the World Series and commit to the process that is a rebuild. Bad decisions were made and the team is basically free from them now. They were basically the Lakers of the MLB for a bit with some of the brutal contracts they handed out. This team has flexibility. Flexibility to add to it if it surprises with competitiveness. Flexibility to continue to rebuild on the fly with short term commitments. That is really valuable. 

 

Personally, I don't think this group right now is a .500+ team or wild card contender. It could be, but they are probably a year or 2 away from wild card contention. Spring training doesn't really matter too much to me. Altheer is developing and needs to stay healthy. Hoskins is going to get adjusted to and he needs to make the counter. The league adjusts to everyone (except outliers like Pujols) and he will probably struggle. Once he figures out adjustments then he is a set it and forget it cornerstone piece. I am probably most excited about Kingery and hope to see him get a lot of at bats this year. 

 

Franco, Alfaro and even Odubel and Williams aren't the most dynamic offensive players. Their OBP is either a weakness or inconsistent. The lineup is going to be streaky af. I think this is a big year for recognizing what pieces the Phillies have. If Franco, Alfaro, Odubel, Williams, Crawford all take significant steps in their development then the team can be fun and competitive. But that is a massive amount of ifs. 

 

Nola and Arrieta are fine and just need to stay healthy. I think Eickhoff is more than an innings eater if he can figure out LHB. He tweaked his change so hopefully that is the weapon he needs to neutralize LHB a bit. If he can get his splits close, he is a solid #3. Obviously, the rest of it is a wait and see.

 

This team made improvements, but they are still pretty far away IMO. Nationals are in a tier or two or three above them, but they will get old and have a lot of risk tied to Harper leaving. The Braves are scary with all of their pieces. The upside of their prospects are a tier above the Phillies, but it is unknown if either reach their potential. The Mets could neutralize anyone on any given day based on the health of that day's starter. The Phillies have a lot of work to do. 

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39 minutes ago, The Big Bat Theory said:

 

What is wrong with the Phils defense or so great with the Cubs defense?  Isn't JP Crawford suppose to be a great glove man first?

The Angels and Cubs are projected as the top defensive teams in each league this year.

If I had Arrieta on my fantasy team,  I would prefer the Cubs defense behind him.

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29 minutes ago, XxxOilOverloadxxX said:

OBP machine? From winning organization?

Well he's 32, not really mobile, and has hit under .260 last 4 years. Volatile player who's now entering his decline phase. They have Hoskins at 1B, and 3 young guys who look like they all can hit and just need ABs. You stall the development of Altherr and Williams, who both look like potential 30HR hitters. 

 

If you're gonna spend money, spend money where you need it. The bullpen could've used some more help. Maybe they are gonna move one of their OFs, who knows. 

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28 minutes ago, Travis Burten said:

They have Hoskins at 1B, and 3 young guys who look like they all can hit and just need ABs

 

Well, two and Nick Williams.  You're probably judging Williams on his headline numbers without looking at the peripherals, including some plate discipline numbers that Rougned Odor can laugh at.  Besides, where is this idea that a team should roster precisely as many good/great players as they have starting lineup positions coming from?  Guys get hurt, guys need days off, guys show promise and then struggle.

 

Going all-in on Williams, Altherr, even Hoskins and passing on an elite OBP bat like Santana makes no sense for a team with the financial resources of the Phillies.  Winning teams are going to stock up on more talented players than they have starting spots and let the players deal with their ego problems.  The Phillies rebuild is over -- they don't need to coddle young guys and give them all the PAs when they can afford someone better who can push them into making the most of the ABs they get.

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Yea, who is getting the share of ABs in that OF?  I've been targetting Altherr & Williams late in mock drafts, kind of not realizing they both won't be getting regular ABs.  Is Williams the odd man out there?

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1 hour ago, Travis Burten said:

Well he's 32, not really mobile, and has hit under .260 last 4 years. Volatile player who's now entering his decline phase. They have Hoskins at 1B, and 3 young guys who look like they all can hit and just need ABs. You stall the development of Altherr and Williams, who both look like potential 30HR hitters. 

 

If you're gonna spend money, spend money where you need it. The bullpen could've used some more help. Maybe they are gonna move one of their OFs, who knows. 

IMO Williams isn't anywhere close to being a proven commodity. The league will all know what he did last year and they will make adjustments. He might hit HRs but his OBP is lacking. He could easily go the route of Maikel Franco and be in a prove it year 12-24 months from now. With a BABIP on the lower range of normal Nick Williams becomes awfully average really fast. Altheer needs to stay healthy. Both Altheer and Williams aren't exactly young. They are in that make or break window. 

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2 hours ago, Travis Burten said:

Why the hell would they sign Carlos Santana....

 

 

Aside from what others have said about him you can add that he is known as a good clubhouse guy.  The young Philly players will have a good mentor with him. The Red Sox got Chris Young, who was only a platoon player at best, and had him for two years mainly to help mentor Mookie and then Benintendi. And Carlos is way better a player than Young.  These things matter in real baseball as opposed to onine baseball stat sites who don't understand anything that can't be reduced to a mere number.

 

A number of teams wanted Carlos.  The Red Sox went hard after him too.  Guy is valuable above and beyond his stat line.

Edited by The Big Bat Theory
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2 hours ago, Travis Burten said:

Well he's 32, not really mobile, and has hit under .260 last 4 years. Volatile player who's now entering his decline phase. They have Hoskins at 1B, and 3 young guys who look like they all can hit and just need ABs. You stall the development of Altherr and Williams, who both look like potential 30HR hitters. 

 

If you're gonna spend money, spend money where you need it. The bullpen could've used some more help. Maybe they are gonna move one of their OFs, who knows. 

 

Hasn't had an OBP under .350, ever.

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On March 11, 2018 at 8:08 PM, tonycpsu said:

Now that the Arrieta shoe has finally dropped, it seems like a good time to talk about the Fightin' Phils outlook for 2018. 

 

The youth movement is in full swing, with the suddenly very highly-ranked farm system having produced some gems that look like they could be franchise cornerstones.  A team that for several years has been bringing in retreads like Michael Saunders and Hyun-Soo Kim to soak up plate appearances looks like it can't find enough of them for guys like Aaron Altherr and Scott Kingery.  The addition of Carlos Santana creates a "good problem to have" with all of those bats, and makes the middle of the lineup pretty formidable.

 

It's not all sunshine and rainbows, however.  Nola/Arrieta is a pretty good 1-2, but the rest of the rotation is questionable at best.  I don't love the 3/75 contract for Jake, but you never know what's going to happen, and I'd rather they had that guy and wasted him during a transitional period than have them wonder what could have been.  He'll help the team sustain some winning streaks and stop some losing streaks, which is going to help the young guys develop, and take a lot of pressure off of Nola.  Pivetta hasn't looked sharp in Spring ball, Velasquez has looked pretty good but is a major question mark health-wise, and Eickhoff's an innings-eater at best.  The rest of the guys competing for the 4th/5th starter spots haven't shown any reason to get excited, either.

 

The bullpen is probably just a bit above average, with Neris as a middling closer/stopper depending on how he's used, Neshek and Hunter as solid setup guys, Luis Garcia as the most promising middle relief option, and Edubray Ramos and Adam Morgan showing some promise but no consistency whatsoever last year.

 

I'm not sure I'm buying into all of the hype surrounding Gabe Kapler, but the players seem to be, and that's probably more meaningful than if there's anything actually to it.  The placebo effect can produce results.  I do think he's got a good perspective on bullpen usage, though I think the lack of depth in the rotation would be forcing him in that direction anyway.

 

I don't think their offseason makes them a wild card contender this year, but I think .500 ball is the minimum for this to be considered a successful season.  And if a couple things break right... who knows.

The youth movement sure is in full swing like you said. How about that Scott Kingery deal? What are your thoughts on that

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Whatever happened to Dylan Cozens?  Before the signing of Santana, he was going to be the reason Hoskins was being moved to LF or so the story was going. 

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1 hour ago, Low and Away said:

Whatever happened to Dylan Cozens?  Before the signing of Santana, he was going to be the reason Hoskins was being moved to LF or so the story was going. 

 

he had an awful 2017 season, low avg, high Ks.  just all around awful

 

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Roman Quinn and Zach Eflin sent to Triple A. 

 

Looks like we will be rolling with 12 Bats and 13 P's to start off the season. 

 

http://www.nbcsports.com/philadelphia/tags/roman-quinn

 

Catchers
Jorge Alfaro
Andrew Knapp

Infielders
Carlos Santana
Cesar Hernandez
Maikel Franco
J.P. Crawford

Outfielders
Odubel Herrera
Aaron Altherr
Nick Williams
Rhys Hoskins

Infielder/outfielders
Scott Kingery
Pedro Florimon

 

With 12 position players, the Phils are set to open with 13 pitchers. It looks like they will go with a four-man rotation until Jake Arrieta is activated on April 8. Arrieta could open on the disabled list to build arm strength or briefly be optioned to the minors. He will pitch in Clearwater on Tuesday and throw a simulated game in New York next week as he gears for his debut.

 

As of Monday morning, there were four locks in the rotation:

• Aaron Nola
• Nick Pivetta
• Vince Velasquez
• Ben Lively

 

The Phils will open with a nine-man bullpen. There appear to be eight locks:

• Hector Neris
• Pat Neshek
• Tommy Hunter
• Luis Garcia
• Adam Morgan (LH)
• Hoby Milner (LH)
• Edubray Ramos
• Drew Hutchison

 

The final bullpen spot appears to be down to Victor Arano or Jake Thompson.

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