It’s always a fun time for a mailbag and this time, you’re in luck. You have not one, but TWO writers from The Good Phight. It’s me and your favorite horse, The Smarty Jones! You’ll be able to figure out who is answering what question, but we’ve made it easy on you by indicating who did what.
On to the questions!
If the Phillies start loosing ground in the division do you think they’ll sell? If yes then who?— Ed McLaughlin (@ej_mclaughl) June 3, 2021
SJ: The Phillies have plenty of sellable parts if it becomes clear that the playoffs isn’t going to be a thing for them this year. The problem is, they also have long-term commitments to some very good players in or near the primes of their career. So despite the “Hinkie-brain” segment of the fanbase eager to “blow it all up,” I can’t see them doing a total rebuild. They’ll still try to compete in 2022, which means that every player they get rid of, they’ll need to find a replacement for next year.
Unfortunately, the high minors isn’t loaded with prospects who can easily be projected to step in and play for the major league team next year. If they trade away Jean Segura, do they count on Nick Maton or Luke Williams to step in next year? If they can’t on internal options, then they’ll either need to go bargain shopping or (laughs) exceed the luxury tax to fill all the expected holes.
Perhaps the saddest part of what I just wrote is that until I finished writing the last paragraph, the name Scott Kingery didn’t even cross my mind as a possible option for next year.
What do you think is gonna happen going forward with our 4th and 5th pitcher rotation?— JennyDG (@Phillyjdg) June 4, 2021
SJ: Based on the usual price for midseason starting pitching, and the Phillies’ dearth of trade pieces, it’s very likely that the rotation is going to be filled by players already in the organization. Vince Velasquez and Spencer Howard will probably hold onto those spots for a while longer, and if the team gets tired of trotting them out every five days, we’ll probably get another look at either Matt Moore or Chase Anderson.
Perhaps at some point, the team decides that either Bailey Falter or Adonis Medina is ready, and hope that they can provide an upgrade. Personally, I’d rather see them try the youngsters over Anderson or Moore who have already shown they aren’t any good.
What would have to happen for Luke Williams, Falter or Randolph to get called up?— Ben Jam In (@btehuac) June 3, 2021
EW: Well, as Smarty said, Bailey Falter might be in line to join the big league roster soon. Right now, two pitchers are on the Covid-list, so if they’re really sick, they’ll be out for a while. The team will need help on the big league roster. Falter, who has been outstanding of late in Lehigh Valley, might be getting a call to make a spot start with the team if both pitchers are out for a while or if Spencer Howard continues to struggle in the rotation.
Cornelius Randolph might be a tougher sell. Since his hot start, Randolph has cooled a bit. Currently, he’s on their injured list, so he’ll need to come back, get back in the groove before they consider making a move. Remember, he’ll need a 40-man spot if they want to bring him to Philadelphia.
Luke Williams is a little different. With Kingery heading off the 40-man, there is an open spot for Williams to snare if he wants it, possibly coming up to take some playing time away from Alec Bohm or someone else. He’s raked this year, but he’s also on the inactive list so that he can go play for Team USA. They ultimately qualified for the Olympics, so he might be rejoining them soon. If he can continue to hit, there might be a spot waiting for him in Philadelphia.
What moves do you think the Phillies will do at the trade deadline?— BallerOfTheWorld (@TheBallerOfThe1) June 7, 2021
EW: It depends on where they are at. If they are sellers, it’s almost a guarantee that Neris is gone as he could at least maybe get the team a top 150 prospect. You could see guys like Bradley or Alvarado going in a deal if there was a team that wanted some bullpen depth, though they probably wouldn’t command much more than some low level lottery tickets at best. If the team really wanted to get crazy, they could gauge the market on guys like Wheeler, Hoskins or even Nola, but that would defeat the purpose of trying to win in 2022, something they will clearly be striving to do. Of course, those are the only guys on the roster that would bring back any kind of no doubt impact talent, so it would be a tough sell if they were to move them.
Now, if they’re buyers, a back of the rotation arm or another bullpen arm would be something they could look at. While they don’t need a closer, they could use someone that is reliable for when Neris isn’t able to go. Coonrod has done a nice job this year as a fill-in, but you can never have too many candidates. Depending on how they approach the issues at third base, they might be in the market for a one year stopgap if Bohm still isn’t producing, but the chances of that are slim. They’d probably look at a guy who could play third in a pinch, but also could move around the infield as needed.
OH has been good in the lead off spot and seems to the team leader at the moment. Is he the Phillies center fielder for the rest of the season?— Boris B. (@BorisB68915903) June 7, 2021
SJ: Herrera has an $11.5 million team option for next season (with a $2.5 million buyout), so they will have a decision to make regarding his future with the club. The problem is that it’s difficult to assume that Herrera will continue to play at his current level. Based on his history, it’s very possible that he goes back into “suck mode” and the team would more than likely move on.
Assuming he stays near his current level of play, the team has to weigh if that’s worth what he’ll make next year. $11.5 isn’t cheap, but that’s still probably cheaper than getting an upgrade on the free agent market. For comparison’s sake, Jackie Bradley, Jr. signed for two years/$24 million this past offseason.
So it may be a question if they think Herrera is better than the internal options of Mickey Moniak and Adam Haseley. Assuming Joe Girardi is still managing the team next year and has any input, the team would definitely not count on Haseley, and given how this season has played out for him, I can’t blame them. So the question is: Does Moniak show enough this season to think he can do a viable job?
It’s also obvious that the team will only be considering his value on the field, and the domestic abuse violation won’t factor into their decision. His call up to the major league roster was a definitive statement that they believed that was in the past.