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An inadvertent Phillies mailbag part 2

Picking up where we left off yesterday. Topics addressed include the Phillies’ developmental failures, the outlook for left field, and some 2001 trivia.

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Chicago Cubs v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Welcome back to part two of my inadvertent Phillies mailbag. Here’s part one, in case you missed it yesterday.

I agree with this sentiment completely, Andy, but I am also so unbelievably tired of thinking about the billionaire owners and how their relentless greed is ruining baseball. When I think about the owners, I’m not inspired to write an article for The Good Phight, but instead to buy a plane ticket to Dubai, climb to the top of the Burj Khalifa, and scream as loud as I can for as long as I can from the top of the tallest building in the world.

John Stolnis, however, did what I could not, and wrote about this exact topic just last week.

And speaking of which, if you’re looking for a steady stream of anti-owner discussion, I highly recommend listening to The Good Phight podcasts, where the hosts have done a wonderful job of ripping into the owners and Rob Manfred.

This is another area where the The Good Phight podcast is your best friend. Once a month, you can listen to “Continued Success at the Movies” on the Hittin’ Season Patreon.

I also have my fingers crossed that Smarty Jones will write some movie reviews for The Good Phight. And if you like reviews of any kind, Phrozen has done some fantastic book reviews for the site as well.

This is the million-dollar question, isn’t it? The truth is, if I had the answer to that question, I’d be working for in the Phillies front office right now.

That’s not to say that we don’t have any insight into what has gone wrong in the Phillies development system, though. There are several articles I can recommend that shed light on this very issue. Matt Gelb of The Athletic wrote extensively on the subject last fall.

I can also recommend reading this piece by Matt Winkelman of Phillies Minor Thoughts. In January, Matt Winkelman wrote about several young Phillies hitters who regressed under the tutelage of hitting coach Joe Dillon.

As I wrote in part one of the mailbag, I think Kyle Schwarber is going to be the Opening Day left fielder. He’s a strong hitter, which the Phillies need, but he’ll likely sign for fewer dollars and fewer years than Nick Castellanos or Kris Bryant, which the Phillies will like. I also think Schwarber’s elite .374 OBP from 2021 makes him a good fit for the top of the Phillies’ lineup.

As much as I want Cutch to come back, I don’t think a McCutchen/Schwarber platoon is a realistic possibility. Andrew McCutchen will be looking for a team that can offer him a full-time job, and for his sake, I hope he finds one. I love him here in Philly, but ultimately, I want the best for him where he plays.

I also think the combination of Schwarber’s and McCutchen’s salaries would be more than the Phillies are willing to spend on left field alone. They have several positions to fill, and we all know they aren’t going over the luxury tax (whatever it ends up being).

Finally, while Kyle Schwarber has struggled against lefties in the past (career 86 wRC+ vs LHP, 128 wRC+ vs RHP), he was actually quite good against LHP in 2021 (119 wRC+ vs LHP, 157 wRC+ vs RHP). If the Phillies sign Schwarber, they’ll be hoping that his 2021 success wasn’t a fluke, and that he can continue to be an above average hitter against left-handed pitching.

As an aside, I still really like Michael Conforto as an option for the Phillies, which I wrote about a couple months ago. Conforto has a longer track record of success than Schwarber, and he’s a better all-around player. He also might come slightly cheaper, since he had a down year in 2021. However, he’s one of the few outfield free agents that the Phillies weren’t linked to in any rumors before the lockout. Thus, I think Schwarber is a more realistic option.

An excellent request, but I don’t think I’m quite prepared for that kind of an undertaking. How about some 2001 trivia instead?

This quiz contains the players with the most plate appearances or innings pitched at each position for the 2001 Phillies. How many of them can you name?


Check back soon for the final installment of my inadvertent mailbag, which will be a closer look at backup catchers Garrett Stubbs and Donny Sands. And if you have any more suggestions for topics we can address, feel free to drop them in the comments.