Diving into the depths: Philadelphia Phillies

Leave a comment

This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Philadelphia Phillies
Rotation
1. Roy Halladay
2. Cole Hamels
3. Joe Blanton
4. J.A. Happ
5. Jamie Moyer
6. Kyle Kendrick
7. Antonio Bastardo
8. Jose Contreras
9. Drew Carpenter
10. Ryan Vogelsong
11. Joe Savery
Barring the addition of Pedro Martinez or another veteran, Kendrick figures to hold down the fifth spot at the start of the year, since Moyer is going to be recovering from his surgeries. I feel a little bit better about that than I would have a year ago, mainly because he improved his groundball rate in Triple-A. Still, he doesn’t miss bats. Contreras would likely prove to be a superior option, but the Phillies signed him intending to use him in the pen.
Bullpen
1. Brad Lidge
2. Ryan Madson
3. Danys Baez
4. J.C. Romero
5. Chad Durbin
6. Jose Contreras
7. Antonio Bastardo
8. Sergio Escalona
9. Jamie Moyer
10. Kyle Kendrick
11. Mike Zagurski
12. Phillippe Aumont
13. Scott Mathieson
14. David Herndon
15. Ehren Wassermann
16. Ryan Vogelsong
17. Pat Overholt
18. Bill White
Six spots are spoken for, but only if Lidge (knee) and Romero (elbow) can return from their surgeries in time for Opening Day. The Phillies still figure to add another left-hander from a group that includes Joe Beimel and Alan Embree.


Catcher
1. Carlos Ruiz
2. Brian Schneider
3. Paul Hoover
4. Dane Sardinha
First base
1. Ryan Howard
2. Ross Gload
3. Andy Tracy
Second base
1. Chase Utley
2. Juan Castro
3. Placido Polanco
4. Cody Ransom
Third base
1. Placido Polanco
2. Greg Dobbs
3. Juan Castro
4. Cody Ransom
Shortstop
1. Jimmy Rollins
2. Juan Castro
3. Cody Ransom
4. Brian Bocock
The Phillies were aggressive in going after Castro, even though they really could have used someone better in a reserve role, particularly since they lost Jason Donald (in the Cliff Lee trade) as another potential fallback. Fortunately, Polanco is their only infielder with a spotty track record as far as health and even he’s played in 140 games in three straight seasons.
Left field
1. Raul Ibanez
2. Ben Francisco
3. John Mayberry Jr.
4. Ross Gload
5. Dewayne Wise
Center field
1. Shane Victorino
2. Ben Francisco
3. Dewayne Wise
4. Chris Duffy
Right field
1. Jayson Werth
2. Ben Francisco
3. John Mayberry Jr.
4. Ross Gload
5. Dewayne Wise
The outfield depth isn’t in question. Francisco would be a perfectly adequate regular at any of the three spots, and Mayberry would offer power off the bench if any starters go down. Assuming that everyone is healthy, Mayberry will return to Triple-A. The Phillies are set with a bench of Francisco, Gload, Dobbs, Castro and Schneider.

Noah Syndergaard on Mets extending Jacob deGrom: ‘Pay the man already.’

Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Leave a comment

March has marked contract extension season across Major League Baseball. Just in the last week, we have seen Justin Verlander, Chris Sale, Brandon Lowe, Alex Bregman, Ryan Pressly, Mike Trout, Eloy Jiménez, Blake Snell, and Paul Goldschmidt sign extensions. Nolan Arenado, Luis Severino, and Aaron Nola also notably signed extensions during the offseason.

One name strikingly absent from that list: Mets ace Jacob deGrom. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner is coming off of a season in which he posted a 1.70 ERA with 269 strikeouts and 46 walks across 217 innings. It’s the lowest ERA by a qualified starter since Zack Greinke‘s 1.66 in 2015. Prior to Greinke, no pitcher had posted an ERA of 1.70 or lower since Greg Maddux in 1994-95 (1.56, 1.63).

deGrom is earning $17 million this season and will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration eligibility going into the 2020 season. He will turn 31 years old in June, but is an obvious extension candidate for the Mets, who have built arguably their most competitive team since 2015, when the club lost the World Series in five games to the Royals. Thus far, though, the Mets and deGrom haven’t been able to get anywhere in extension talks.

deGrom’s rotation mate Noah Syndergaard is watching. Per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, Syndergaard said, “I think Jake’s the best pitcher in baseball right now. I think he deserves whatever amount he’s worth. I want them to keep him happy so when it does come time for him to reach free agency, he stays on our side pitching for the Mets. I just think they should quit all the fuss and pay the man already.”

Syndergaard added that the recent extension trend around baseball — and deGrom’s lack of an extension to date — sends a message. He said, “I think so, yes, because of what you see in what’s going on in baseball right now. If there wasn’t a trend of other guys getting contract extensions, then I don’t know what the circumstance would be. But you see Chris Sale, Verlander getting extensions. I think it’s time Jacob gets one too.”

Part of the equation behind the recent rash of extensions is the stagnation of free agency. Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel — two of baseball’s better pitchers — have gone through almost an entire spring training without being signed. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado didn’t find new homes until late February. Free agents in their 30’s are largely being underpaid or otherwise forgotten about. Extensions represent financial security for young and old players alike. Syndergaard himself can become a free agent after the 2021 season, so if deGrom’s prospects improve, then so too will his, at least without knowing the details of the next collective bargaining agreement which will be put into place ahead of the 2022 season.