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Old 06-02-2019, 05:06 PM   #1
The_Myth
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The Dead Zone: The Philadelphia Phillies (1984-

Imagine, in the course of a weekójust before the start of the seasonóa team executive trades away an eventual top-five MVP finisher in one league, and the eventual MVP in the other league. Thatís precisely what Bill Giles did in March 1984, sending reliever Willie Hernandez to the Tigers, then moving Gary Matthews Jr. to the Cubs. Hernandez won the AL Cy Young and MVP for the eventual world champions, while Matthews finished fifth in NL MVP voting for the NL East champion Cubs. The Phillies would go 81-81, the first of nine consecutive seasons without a postseason berth, the start of a dead era in Philadelphia baseball.

At the time the moves were somewhat understood. After a sustained run of success from 1976 to Ď83, including a world championship, two NL pennants, and six postseason appearances, there were hints that rebuilding, or at least retooling, had to happen. A need to contend past 1980 drove the Phils front office to send away more than a few prospects and young talents, including Lonnie Smith, Bob Walk, Keith Moreland, Dickie Noles, Jerry Reed, Roy Smith, Julio Franco, Jerry Willard, Lance McCullers, and of course, future hall of famer Ryne Sandberg. Annually the Phils got older, climaxing with that Ď83 club that included Pete Rose, Tony Perez, and Joe Morgan. Once they left after the Ď83 season, the front office mustíve felt a need to get young, and quickly, so they could get back to being contenders in the mid-80s. (And also to save money probably, but weíre not going there for this sim.)

So, on March 22, 1984, the Phils sent Hernandez - a good reliever blocked at closer by the better Al Holland - along with acquired-that-day Dave Bergman to Detroit for utility bat John Wockenfuss and outfielder Glenn Wilson. This was about getting Wilson, a promising 25-year-old hitter who had otherwise found himself on the outs in Detroit.

But with so many outfielders on the roster, Giles made a corresponding move four days later, shipping out the 33-year-old Matthews (who had shown signs of a power decline), plus defense-only outfielder Bob Dernier to the Cubs for reliever Bill Campbell (who would slot in Hernandezís place in the bullpen) and utility bat Mike Diaz, 23, who put up good numbers in AAA in Ď83.

Add to that haul a few other youngsters - outfielder Von Hayes (age 25), second baseman Juan Samuel (23), and starting pitchers Charles Hudson (25), Marty Bystrom (25), and Kevin Gross (22) - and Giles had reason to believe that, while the Ď84 team might take some licks, the future was pretty good in Philly. He even said as much before the season started.

Thereís no way he - or most people - saw Matthews, Dernier, and Hernandez making such a dent in the Ď84 campaign.

But forget all that. Giles has just hired me to take over as general manager of the Phillies, while he re-assumes the role of owner and team president. He wants me to oversee this group, in which I have to balance a youth movement with a need to contend. Considering Mike Schmidt is still in his prime, Steve Carlton remains a top National League arm, and John Denny just won the NL Cy Young, thereís reason to think a refreshed group of Phillies can return to prominence sooner rather than later.

Thatís my job. Itís March 1984, and Iím here to rescue the Philadelphia Phillies from the dead zone.


Housekeeping:
  • Iím using the 20-80 scale.
  • Injury frequency is low. (Likely to bump it to OOTP Normal if this heads into, say, 1986.)
  • Talent change randomness is 115. I like just a bit more variation than normal.
  • Trade settings are difficulty hard with neutral preference.
  • Player evaluation is 40/30/20/10.
  • Lineup selection is traditional; it is 1984.
  • First-year player draft is Nov. 1, 1984. That way the 1985 draft class starts playing in 1985, and I avoid holding the draft in the middle of free agency, causing an opportunity to game the system when it comes to signing players with arbitration conditions.

And a couple notes on my style:
  • I try to be faithful to the historical era and to the job of general managing. Thus, Iím not going to make a slew of trades all the time, and I donít mess with the 25-man roster too much before May/June.
  • Also, I donít promote and demote in the minors until usually late-May. And yeah, Iím handling promotions and demotions.
  • Iím doing daily rosters for the Phillies; essentially, I want to micro-manage playing time, and this is my favorite way to do so.
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:30 PM   #2
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March 27, 1984

We’re nearing the end of spring training. Here are my goals from owner Bill Giles:
  • Win the championship, by 1985
  • Sign Larry Andersen to an extension, by 1985
  • Bring in a manager with a better reputation, by 1987
  • Build a team that can bring a championship home, by 1987

Giles obviously wants a winner (though he also wants a quick retool), considering his priority is “extreme winning.” Heck, the Phils haven’t finished at .500 or below since 1974, and only once in the last nine years have they finished with a winning percentage under .530. His patience is “tolerant,” while his fiscal personality is “charitable.” An owner who expects to win but doesn’t mind shelling out the bucks isn’t bad at all.

Of course, I’m not sure if I’ll win the World Series in the next two seasons. But I can certainly build a contending team within four years, and I can both extend Andersen, a reliever, and upgrade my manager in time (current skipper Paul Owens is "average"). I shouldn’t have problems meeting most of my goals.

That said, as I mentioned, there are still aging veterans here, though nowhere near as old as the 1983 version that won the National League pennant. Here are my 10 oldest players, and how much they’re making in 1984 (of a total $9.1 million payroll):

Jerry Koosman, 41 - SP - $700K
Tug McGraw, 39 - RP - $380K
Steve Carlton, 39 - SP - $1M
Bill Campbell, 35 - RP - $380K
Garry Maddox, 34 - CF - $770K
John Wockenfuss, 34 - 1B - $330K
Mike Schmidt, 34 - 3B - $2M
John Denny, 31 - SP - $1.1M
Al Holland, 31 - RP - $360K
Ivan de Jesus, 31 - $163K

That’s $7.183 million of my $9.1 million payroll committed to 10 older players, a few of them with contracts taking them into 1986. The point: If any of these older guys declines hard, it could be hard to get out from their contracts. We'll need to be nimble, and sooner than later.

There is some young talent on the roster, though, and I’m hoping some of these kids - some of whom making a slight impression in 1983 - can deliver in 1984.

Let’s go through the top-rated prospects in my system.

Top Prospects

1. Darren Daulton - C - 22 - 46/60

Drafted in 1980, Daulton has steadily ascended the ranks thanks to his outstanding plate discipline (70 rating). Last year at AA Reading, Daulton posted a .425 OBP with 106 walks and 87 strikeouts. His 39 extra-base hits in 483 plate appearances wasn’t bad, either. He rates a 65 at catcher (60 catcher ability, 60 catcher arm), making him a quick mover. In fact, he got four plate appearances late in the 1983 season with the Phillies. The expectation is a half to full season in AAA Portland with a full-time Philly ETA of 1985. He should be a first-division regular, and could be one of the better catchers in the game, in his prime.

2. Mike LaValliere - C - 23 - 36/48

LaValliere is a third baseman who converted to catcher, and he played both positions at AA Reading in 1983 because he needed plate appearances while Daulton spent much of the time at backstop. Still, he accrued just 252 plate appearances, though he hit a stout .292/.382/.440 with 22 extra-base knocks. He’s Daulton lite, profiling as a solid on-base threat (60 rating) with decent power (50 gap, 45 home run). With a 60 catcher rating (55 catcher ability, 60 catcher arm), LaValliere should stick there, so he’ll repeat Reading in 1984 but as the primary receiver. His ceiling is average major league regular.

3. Juan Samuel - 2B - 23 - 40/46

The youngster signed out of the Dominican Republic has a potent combination of speed and power. In his first three minor league seasons - age 20-22 - he stole 163 bases and slammed 56 home runs. He started 1983 at AA Reading, and while Samuel struggled to get on base (.234 AVG, .267 OBP), he did notch 21 extra-base hits in 196 plate appearances, plus 19 steals. Promoted to AAA Portland, Samuel went off, hitting .330/.388/.617 with 37 extra-base hits and 33 steals in 289 plate appearances. Excitement level is high for him, though we should be mindful of poor plate discipline (90 strikeouts to 34 walks in 1983) and still-developing defensive profile (35 at second base; 45 infield range, 35 infield error, 35 infield arm, 45 turn double play). Samuel may be a thrill to watch, but sometimes he’ll be agonizing; still, he could be an all-star-caliber talent and will start 1984 in Philadelphia, as he’s by far the organization’s top second baseman.

4. John W Russell - C - 23 - 43/45

Another top catching prospect, Russell is best at backstop (60 catcher rating) but can also play first base (40), left field (45) and right field (40). Really it’s his bat that’s played, with a .501 SLG (27 HR, 23 2B) in 1983 at AAA Portland (with 109 strikeouts, however). Because of the power tool (55 gap, 60 home run) and his position flexibility, he jumped the line and started at the top levels of the minors. In 1984 he’s on the short list to start the season in Philadelphia; from here, he’s a solid bench bat with potential for a breakout in the majors.

5. Mike Diaz - 1B - 23 - 40/44

Acquired in the trade with the Cubs that also sent Bill Campbell to the Phillies, Diaz is a major-league ready do-everything type with some power (50 gap, 55/60 home run), a decent eye (45/50 rating), and average contact tool (45 rating). For AAA Iowa in 1983, he hit .324/.400/.592 with 31 extra-base hits in 271 plate appearances, showing breakout potential. He can play catcher (65 rating), plus first base (50), third base (50), left field (50), and right field (45). He’ll primarily play first and third at AAA Portland in 1984, and will be one of the first to Philly in the case of an injury or two. He figures to be a good bench bat, at best a starter in the corner infield. Catcher isn’t out of the question, either, but he won’t develop full time there in the minors.

6. Kelly Downs - SP - 23 - 33/42

Since being drafted in 1979, Downs has steadily moved up the system, though his previous two seasons in AAA proved a mixed bag. On one hand, his strikeout-to-walk ratio was poor (70/72 in 1982, 71/61 in 1983), but on the other hand, he limits hard contact (0.7 HR/9 last two seasons). He throws an average fastball, curveball, and changeup mix without overpowering hitters. To reach the majors and stay there, he’ll need to improve control (40/45 rating); otherwise, he’s likely to be a quad-A type that can fill in for a couple of starts each season.

7. Chris James - 3B/LF - 21 - 30/42

At just 21, James is showing to be a highly skilled hitter with speed and athleticism. In rookie ball in 1982, he hit .317/.381/.586, crushing 34 extra-base hits in 253 plate appearances. Moving to A Spartanburg in 1983, he continued to stun, hitting .297/.358/.515 with 53 extra-base hits in 562 plate appearances. He’s being aggressively pushed to AA Reading for 1984, where he’ll be tested to maintain and improve average plate discipline (40/40 rating) while continuing to show potential with his power and speed combination. He played a lot of left field over the past two seasons, but his third base play has increased annually. This year he’ll exclusively play third (45 defense, 60 infield arm rating). If numbers bear out, we’re talking an organizational top-three prospect with all-star potential and major league aspirations in 1985.

8. Don Carman - RP - 24 - 36/41

After proving in 1982 he needed more seasoning at AA Reading, Carman responded with a 2.75 ERA in 1983. He still walks too many batters (4.8 BB/9 in 1983) as his control suffers (35/45 rating), so that will need to improve as the reliever takes on AAA Portland in 1984. A strong start could bring this fastball-changeup-sinker pitcher to Philadelphia by midseason, but it’s all about the free passes.

9. Michael Jackson - SP - 19 - 30/41

Selected in the second round of the 1983-84 supplemental draft, Jackson comes out of high school to pick for the Gulf Coast Phillies in rookie ball. The six-foot, 185-pounder has a decent fastball (45/45), slider (45/50), forkball (40/40), and sinker (40/50), and while the stuff is playable (50/50 rating), he’ll need to improve control (30/45). A mid-rotation starter is possible, but a back-end guy is more likely at this point.

10. Jeff Gray - RP - 20 - 36/40

The 20-year-old Gray was signed out of college early in 1984. With an above-average curveball (50/55) and an average sinker (45/45), he’s slotted as a back-end reliever. He’ll need more movement on his two-seamer (35/35), but if he can generate swings and misses with it, he should move up the ladder relatively quickly. He’ll start in rookie ball for the Gulf Coast Phillies, but ending the year in class-A Peninsula isn’t out of the question.

11. Steve Jeltz - SS - 24 - 30/40
12. Rick Schu - 3B - 22 - 30/40
13. Larry Ray - LF - 25 - 39/39
14. Jeff Stone - LF - 23 - 38/39

This group includes four players who’ll begin 1984 in the upper levels. Jeltz might provide middle infield depth in the majors with an outside shot at a starting role; Schu skipped AA Reading, so this year he'll start there, adding second base to his repertoire; Ray is probably a fifth outfielder at this point; while Stone - who has stolen 311 bases over the last three years and won the Eastern League MVP award in 1983 - could morph into a regular thanks to his wheels.

15. Keith Miller - 2B - 20 - 34/39
16. Keith Hughes - LF - 20 - 29/38

Two players a bit further from the majors at this point. Drafted in the 16th round in 1984, Miller has a good eye, speed, and position flexibility, and will begin at A Spartanburg. The offense-first Hughes had a breakout in 1983 in Spartanburg, and will move to A Peninsula in 1984.

17. John McLarnan - RP - 22 - 38/38
18. Tony Ghelfi - SP - 22 - 37/37
19. Mike Maddux - SP - 22 - 28/37

Finally, three pitchers who could move quickly. McLarnan will start at A Spartanburg, but with a plus circle-change, and a nearly developed repertoire, he’s a candidate to finish the year at AA Reading or even higher. Ghelfi got 14 innings in Philly in 1983; he could get a few spot starts if necessary in 1984. And Maddux needs a good run at AA Reading before being seriously considered.

What does this all tell me? That my most viable prospects are at the upper levels, but I also don’t have a sure thing in the system (except maybe Daulton). It also looks like a weaker system. So I can’t really subtract, but also, I'm not going to sell or buy too hard. That means a real challenge for me.

Last edited by The_Myth; 06-11-2019 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:29 PM   #3
The_Myth
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March 28, 1984

Giles tells me that teams have been showing interest in my catchers. Makes sense, considering I have some depth there. Letís look at my current spring roster (after three rounds of cuts):

C - Bo Diaz / Ozzie Virgil Jr / John W Russell
1B - Len Matuszek / John Wockenfuss / Mark Funderburk
2B - Juan Samuel
3B - Mike Schmidt
SS - Ivan de Jesus
LF - Glenn Wilson / Greg Gross
CF - Von Hayes / Garry Maddox
RF - Joe Lefebvre / Sixto Lezcano
UTIL - Luis Aguayo / Kiko Garcia / Bobby Mitchell

SP - Steve Carlton / John Denny / Charles Hudson / Jerry Koosman / Kevin Gross / Marty Bystrom
RP - Al Holland / Bill Campbell / Larry Andersen / Tug McGraw / Steve Mura / Dave Wehrmeister

Here are the five cuts left to make this spring:

1. Catcher
2. First base
3. Utility
4. Utility / Outfielder
5. Pitcher

Letís start with the final three cuts listed: Lezcano has been bad this spring, but his major league contract makes it almost impossible to move him at the moment. Itís most likely two of the utility bats will have to be sent to the minors. Iím leaning Aguayo and Mitchell.

At pitcher, Gross has out-pitched Bystrom this spring. Bystrom is out of options; thus, I could trade or waive him, or I could make him a long reliever, thus forcing my hand between Mura and Wehrmeister.

First base is interesting because Funderburk, a minor league free agent signing, has been wielding a hot bat this spring. Meanwhile, Matuszek, 29 and well-liked by Giles, has been mediocre over the spring, while Wockenfuss - acquired in that Willie Hernandez trade - has a pricey little contract for a bench bat. Sadly, Funderburk may need to start the year in AAA Portland.

Then thereís catcher. Russell has been a nice surprise this spring, and since Darren Daulton will be starting daily in AAA, and Mike LaValliere will be in AA Reading, there isnít a ton of room for Russell. (Russell also plays first base and corner outfield, but those spots in Portland will be filled with guys Iím prioritizing, as well.) Meantime, I could stand to move some of that catching depth.

Iíd rather keep Diaz as heís a better defender, but heís also making slightly more ($450K to Virgilís $295K) and is a free agent after this season. But also, Iím likely in 1985 to run full time with Daulton, so Iíll need a competent backup whoís been around. Iím not sure Russell is that guy. Still, Iím leaning toward trading Virgil and letting Diaz and potentially Russell be my catchers, along with Wockenfuss, who also has good backstop ability.

March 29, 1984

As spring ends, I field calls from teams wanting both Virgil and Bystrom. Iíd love to move both, considering theyíd free up space on my 25-man roster and offer me more flexibility going forward.

Here are the teams Iím considering:
  • Boston - Would center around Jody Reed or Jeff Sellers
  • Chicago - Would center around Jamie Moyer or Billy Hatcher
  • Chicago - Would center around John Cangelosi or John Johnson
  • Houston - Would center around Glenn Davis or Ron Mathis
  • Oakland - Would center around Luis Polonia
  • St Louis - Would center around Vince Coleman, Jeff Fassero or Terry Pendleton

I start with St. Louis, offering Virgil and Bystrom for a package that revolves around two of the three listed, plus another pitching prospect.

March 30, 1984

Time to make some decisions.

Here are the final spring numbers for our final three first basemen, plus our potential backup catcher:
  • Len Matuszek - 1B/LF/3B - 29 - 38 PA, .235/.316/.559, .324 ISO, .231 BABIP, 6 XBH
  • John Wockenfuss - 1B/C - 35 - 20 PA, .278/.350/.611, .333 ISO, .214 BABIP, 2 XBH
  • Mark Funderburk - 1B/RF - 26 - 44 PA, .286/.318/.786, .500 ISO, .172 BABIP, 7 XBH
  • John W Russell - C/1B/LF/RF - 23 - 31 PA, .310/.355/.655, .345 ISO, .353 BABIP, 4 XBH

For all the excitement about Funderburk, Matuszek quietly closed the gap late and put up a respectable spring line. The former hasnít been in the majors since 1981 and only had 62 plate appearances last season (in AAA), while the latter has been in and out of the majors since 1981. Neither has made a real impression in the majors. And I guess Iím split between the two, maybe even leaning Matuszek since heís a lefty, and I have only a couple of them on the roster.

Meanwhile, Wockenfuss has logged as many catcher innings as first base innings. Iíve written about Russell being a backup if I trade Virgil, but Wockenfuss could also log some innings there. Either way, both played well enough to merit a major league assignment.

Now the utility options:
  • Luis Aguayo - 2B/3B/SS - 25 - 60 PA, .255/.317/.255, 0 XBH, 8 K, 5 BB
  • Kiko Garcia - SS/2B/3B - 30 - 50 PA, .326/.380/.457, 2 XBH, 8 K, 3 BB
  • Bobby Mitchell - LF/RF/2B/3B/SS - 30 - 52 PA, .260/.288/.320, 2 XBH, 5 K, 1 BB

Garcia is a shoo-in. He was the incumbent, and he hit well.

Considering the lukewarm performances by Aguayo and Mitchell, Iím thinking in the event of a Virgil trade, Garcia, Russell and Wockenfuss make the team, plus a regular first baseman (leaning Matuszek over Funderburk). If Virgil stays, itís him, plus Garcia, Wockenfuss, and probably Matuszek.

And on the mound:
  • Marty Bystrom - SP - 25 - 14 IP, 12.21 ERA, 14 K, 10 BB
  • Kevin Gross - SP - 22 - 17.2 IP, 1.02 ERA, 13 K, 5 BB
  • Steve Mura - RP - 29 - 12.2 IP, 4.26 ERA, 13 K, 11 BB
  • Dave Wehrmeister - RP - 31 - 13.2 IP, 2.63 ERA, 13 K, 11 BB

The odd man out is clearly Bystrom, and if a trade happens, this takes care of itself. If not, Iíll probably just send Wehrmeister to the minors until I can get something done.

Last edited by The_Myth; 06-04-2019 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:32 PM   #4
Buster Cherry
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You'll do fine as long as you avoid signing Lance Parrish as a free agent. Avoid Mike Easler too.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:12 PM   #5
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And I'm sure I can come up with a better slogan than "Lance us a pennant!"
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Old 06-06-2019, 12:02 AM   #6
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March 31, 1984

St. Louis continues to reject my trade proposals for Ozzie Virgil and Marty Bystrom. So I’ll pivot - Oakland wants Bystrom and Virgil, and is willing to surrender Luis Polonia (CF, 36/45), Steve Kiefer (1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 28/41) and Tim Belcher (SP, 20/42) to start. Then there’s Chicago, which will do Billy Hatcher (LF/CF, 33/45), Jamie Moyer (SP, 31/43) and Henry Cotto (LF/CF, 30/39). Finally, Houston will trade us Glenn Davis (1B, 33/49), Randy Braun (CF/RF/LF/1B, 30/40) and Jeff Heathcock (SP, 36/36). Keith Bonine (SP, 40/42) is also available.

I go back to Oakland, who also offers starter Curt Young (SP, 39/42), who could slide into the AAA rotation. St. Louis doesn’t counter, and Chicago comes up lame. Houston’s offer never seemed that solid, so I think I’m set. Let’s do it.

April 1, 1984

TRADE:

To Oakland Athletics:

Ozzie Virgil Jr - C - 27
Marty Bystrom - SP - 25

To Philadelphia Phillies

Luis Polonia - CF - 20
Steve Kiefer - 1B/2B/3B/SS - 23
Tim Belcher - SP - 22
Curt Young - RP - 23
Cash - $100,000

My fan interest decreases slightly; no worries there. Polonia and Belcher go to class-A Spartanburg, while Kiefer heads to AA Reading and Young to AAA Portland.

That finalizes the roster, too:

C - Bo Diaz / John W Russell
1B - Len Matuszek
2B - Juan Samuel
3B - Mike Schmidt
SS - Ivan de Jesus
LF - Glenn Wilson / Greg Gross
CF - Von Hayes / Garry Maddox
RF - Joe Lefebvre / Sixto Lezcano
UTIL - John Wockenfuss, Kiko Garcia

SP - Steve Carlton / John Denny / Charles Hudson / Jerry Koosman / Kevin Gross
RP - Al Holland / Bill Campbell / Larry Andersen / Tug McGraw / Steve Mura / Dave Wehrmeister

Russell, Mura, and Wehrmeister are all added to the 40-man roster, increasing it to 33.

Let’s now move to Larry Andersen’s extension. My boss wants it done, and as I have $4.4 million available for extensions, I think I can make it work. I’d like to do no more than two additional years, with a contract expiring after the 1986 season. So, with that, I ask what Andersen wants:

A four-year deal worth a total of $1.29 million (average $322K per season).

I’ll meet him close to the average (he currently makes $165K), starting at $300K per season for two additional. He says it’s fair and will consider; I feel good about the offer.

April 2, 1984

It’s opening day, which means predictions and rankings. Also, it means tons of players on waivers, though I’m not dipping in this year. No need for a quad-A type or a flier when I have more than enough currently on my MLB and AAA rosters.

Onto the predictions: Experts have us going 78-84, nine games out of first in the NL East (the Expos are predicted to take the flag with an 87-75 mark). This doesn’t bother me too much - I think we can win anywhere from 75 to 95 games … it’s a big margin of error this year.

Meantime, rookie Juan Samuel is an early offensive darling, predicted to hit .299/.330/.466 with 17 HR and 54 SB. Nobody seems to like Mike Schmidt or our pitching staff this year, which again, doesn’t bother me.

As for Baseball America’s top prospects. Our showing:
  • 5. Darren Daulton - C - 22
  • 69. Mike Diaz - 1B/C/3B/LF/RF - 23
  • 84. Luis Polonia - CF - 20
  • 86. Mike LaValliere - C/3B - 23
  • 87. Chris James - LF/3B - 21

That works, and heck, I acquired one of them. Plenty of excitement for Daulton, with the only prospects above him being Kirby Puckett (Minnesota), Eric Davis (Cincinnati), Mark McGwire (Oakland), and Danny Tartabull (Seattle). With those five top-100 players, our system is ranked 12th of 26 in the majors. Not bad to start.

Organizational positional rankings:
  • Catcher - 20th
  • First Base - 24th
  • Second Base - 18th
  • Third Base - 2nd
  • Shortstop - 24th
  • Left Field - 13th
  • Center Field - 16th
  • Right Field - 19th
  • Starting Pitcher - 3rd
  • Relief Pitcher - 4th
  • Closer - 13th

Pitching is my strength, clearly.

Also in the news, after a poor spring, 40-year-old Rusty Staub of the Mets announces his retirement. “Le Grand Orange” finishes his career with 2,685 hits, 290 home runs, a 52.7 WAR, and a line of .280/.363/.431. A bubble hall of famer. Take a bow, Rusty.

Last edited by The_Myth; 06-13-2019 at 02:23 AM.
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Old 06-06-2019, 10:37 PM   #7
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April 3, 1984

Time for our opener in Atlanta. But first, expectations:

Essentially, I want to be in the mix. After winning the National League in 1983, we’re trying to get younger but stay close enough to contention. I’m not gullible here - I know this team has weak spots, and specifically the corner outfielders, first base, possibly the middle infield, and maybe the bullpen. Okay, maybe a lot of weak spots. I’m not expecting the postseason this year, but I think we can turn it around quickly.

Will we sell? Maybe. Depends on how poorly it’s going, but I’m not going to trade pieces that can help me win in 1985. I couldn’t see a John Denny trade down the line, for example, but I could definitely see a Bo Diaz or Sixto Lezcano trade, even if those returns aren’t very strong. Also, if we’re like five games back on July 1, I’m not throwing in any towels. Fifteen games back, however …

***

With Atlanta throwing righty Pascual Perez out there for the first one, here’s my opening day lineup and roster:

1. Von Hayes - CF
2. Greg Gross - LF
3. Mike Schmidt - 3B
4. Joe Lefebvre - RF
5. Juan Samuel - 2B
6. Len Matuszek - 1B
7. Bo Diaz - C
8. Ivan de Jesus - SS
9. Steve Carlton - SP

Bench: John Wockenfuss - C/1B, John W Russell - C/1B/LF/RF, Kiko Garcia - SS/2B/3B, Glenn Wilson - LF/RF, Garry Maddox - CF, Sixto Lezcano - RF/LF

Starting Rotation: John Denny - SP, Charles Hudson - SP, Jerry Koosman - SP, Kevin Gross - SP

Bullpen: Al Holland - RP, Bill Campbell - RP, Larry Andersen - RP, Tug McGraw - RP, Steve Mura - RP, Dave Wehrmeister - RP

I’ll play a few platoons (left / right) to start the season: left field (Gross / Wilson), right field (Lefebvre / Lezcano), and first base (Matuszek / Wockenfuss). Hayes, Schmidt, and Samuel will play just about every day, while de Jesus will get sporadic days off, and Diaz will play every couple games before being subbed out by either Wockenfuss or Russell. As the season continues, I’d like to give more playing time to the younger guys (Wilson and Russell especially).

***


Game 1984-1 - Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium: Phillies 7, Braves 4 (11 innings) / 1-0

After surrendering three first-inning runs, Steve Carlton hunkers down and throws 116 pitches in a nine-inning, seven-strikeout performance. We tie it in the seventh thanks to a two-run Von Hayes single, then win it in extras with a Mike Schmidt homer, plus a few more hits.

April 4, 1984

After waiving both Mark Corey and Max Venable (minor league free-agent signings before spring training), both players clear, so I release them. Would rather they get a shot somewhere else than to languish in extended spring training.

Game 1984-2 - Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium: Phillies 3, Braves 2 / 2-0

John Denny’s first start after winning the Cy Young is a 119-pitch effort in which he goes eight and surrenders 11 hits, nine of them singles. Joe Lefebvre gets a big early hit to put the Phils ahead for good.

April 5, 1984

Good news: Larry Andersen has signed the offered contract extension of two years at $300,000 per. That takes care of one of my owner goals.

April 6, 1984


Game 1984-3 - Riverfront Stadium: Phillies 2, Reds 1 / 3-0

In a tight one, Charles Hudson goes eight, giving up just five hits while striking out four. Mike Schmidt hits his second home run, and Len Matuszek adds a solo shot. We’re 3-0, and Al Holland has three saves.

Meanwhile, after three games all of the NL East teams are above .500, while all the NL West teams are below .500.

April 7, 1984

Game 1984-4 - Riverfront Stadium: Reds 7, Phillies 6 / 3-1

Plenty of fight from my offense, including a three-hit day from Juan Samuel (including his first home run of the season).

April 8, 1984

Game 1984-5 - Riverfront Stadium: Reds 7, Phillies 6 (10) / 3-2

Larry Andersen unfortunately lets up the winning run, but we had chances to win it. Meanwhile, Kevin Gross doesn’t pitch too well (3 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 1 K, 1 BB), but John Russell hits two homers in his first start of 1984.

April 9, 1984

An off day before the home opener. We’re ranked 13th in the first power rankings, or right in the middle. The top five:

1. Milwaukee Brewers - 5-0
2. St. Louis Cardinals - 5-0
3. Pittsburgh Pirates - 4-1
4. Montreal Expos - 4-1
5. Toronto Blue Jays - 4-1

The NL East has started out hot.

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Old 06-07-2019, 10:46 PM   #8
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April 10, 1984


Game 1984-6 - Veterans Stadium: Astros 5, Phillies 2 / 3-3

Itís the home opener! Kiteman delivers the first ball, and thatís as exciting as it gets for us. We waste opportunities at the plate, while Steve Carlton probably goes an inning or two too long (8.1 IP, 12 H, 5 ER, 4 K, 2 BB).

April 11, 1984

Game 1984-7 - Veterans Stadium: Astros 4, Phillies 3 / 3-4

Our fourth-straight loss. John Denny gives up three early runs, while the offense just canít come back enough. Poor performances by a number of hitters so far, though we get a big hit from John Russell.

April 12, 1984

First baseman Willie Aikens is on the waiver wire; Toronto is done with him after he hit .176/.263/.176 in 20 plate appearances. Hasty much? Heís a 53/53 and a 65 defensively at first base, still possessing 60 power and a 55 eye. Iíd debate making a claim but his $275K salary is beyond what I can afford. Blast.

April 13, 1984

Weíve faced nothing but righties so far, so plenty of plate appearances for Greg Gross, Joe Lefebvre, and Len Matuszek. That continues today, but Iím giving Juan Samuel (.207/.233/.448) a day off for Kiko Garcia.


Game 1984-8 - Olympic Stadium: Expos 4, Phillies 1 / 3-5

That doesnít work, as the offense keeps sputtering. Meanwhile, my A-level Peninsula Pilots are 7-1 in their first eight, scoring a nice 69 runs out of the gate. Todd Soares has been awesome (36 PA, .367/.444/.967, 5 HR, 1 2B, 1 3B, 19 RBI, 5 BB, 6 K), as has Greg Jelks (34 PA, .367/.441/.800, 4 HR, 1 2B, 12 RBI, 4 BB, 5 K). Thatís 31 RBI from two guys in eight games. Yowza.

April 14, 1984

Game 1984-9 - Olympic Stadium: Phillies 3, Expos 1 / 4-5

We get one. Jerry Koosman holds it together over 6.2 innings, while the bullpen slams the door late. Joe Lefebvre adds a home run, and Juan Samuel has a two-hit game.

April 15, 1984

Game 1984-10 - Olympic Stadium: Expos 3, Phillies 2 / 4-6

We canít hold a 2-0 lead, and we canít score more than two runs, as Pete Rose collects his 4,000th major league hit. (In real-life 1984 he reached 4,000 on April 13 against the Phillies).

April 16, 1984

New power rankings. Weíre 20th. Not good to start. The top five:

1. Toronto Blue Jays - 9-1
2. Pittsburgh Pirates - 8-2
3. Cleveland Indians - 7-2
4. Montreal Expos - 8-3
5. Chicago White Sox - 6-4

The positions of the real-life 1984 postseason teams: 10th (Kansas City), 14th (Chicago Cubs), 18th (San Diego), 19th (Detroit).
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:39 PM   #9
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April 17, 1984


Game 1984-11 - Three Rivers Stadium: Phillies 3, Pirates 1 / 5-6

After 10 consecutive road games to start the season, the Pirates come home, but Steve Carlton puts his best face on. 8.1 IP, 3 K, 1 BB, 6 H, 1 ER for Lefty, while Mike Schmidt and Len Matuszek add homers.

April 18, 1984

Game 1984-12 - Three Rivers Stadium: Phillies 2, Pirates 1 / 6-6

Against lefty John Candelaria, Glenn Wilson doubles, while Juan Samuel gets two hits (and unsuccessfully tries to steal home). John Denny (8 IP, 7 K, 1 BB, 5 H, 1 ER) is outstanding.

April 19, 1984

Von Hayes needs a seat; he was ejected a day ago arguing balls and strikes and has been just terrible (hitting .095). Garry Maddox will start for him, while John Russell gets a go at first base against lefty John Tudor.

Game 1984-13 - Three Rivers Stadium: Pirates 2, Phillies 0 / 6-7

No luck getting over .500 as the offense falters once again. Mike Schmidt is now hitting .196. Boy oh boy.

April 20, 1984


Game 1984-14 - Veterans Stadium: Mets 4, Phillies 3 / 6-8

I move Juan Samuel up to the No. 2 hole before this one. Itís where I ultimately want him to be, and it seems heís gotten comfortable at the plate (hitting around .270, though with plenty of strikeouts). Also, I want a shakeup at the top of a scuffling order. It sort of works, with both Von Hayes and Samuel collecting two hits, and Joe Lefebvre knocking in two from the five-hole, but weíre still working out the kinks.

April 21, 1984

Game 1984-15 - Veterans Stadium: Phillies 8, Mets 4 / 7-8

Thatís what Iím talking about. Schmidt slams a granny to cap this one. Hayes-Samuel-Lezcano (hitting for Gross) -Schmidt go 8-for-16. Kevin Gross does yeomanís work in 6.1 innings (2 ER, 9 H, 6 K, 2 BB).

April 22, 1984

Game 1984-16 - Veterans Stadium: Mets 3, Phillies 1 / 7-9

We load the bases in the ninth, but Joe Lefebvre watches strike three. Crushing. Juan Samuel continues his hot streak, lifting his average to .302.

Meanwhile, we move up a spot to 19th in the latest power rankings. The top five:

1. Toronto Blue Jays - 15-1
2. Cleveland Indians - 10-5
3. Pittsburgh Pirates - 10-6
4. Boston Red Sox - 10-7
5. San Francisco Giants - 9-7

So the middle of the league is pretty bunched up. Then there are the Blue Jays, who are first or second in nearly every offensive and pitching category in the American League. Leading them is Tony Fernandez, whoís hitting .455/.507/.606 in the early going. Also not shabby: Cliff Johnson (.357/.403/.589).
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:17 PM   #10
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April 23, 1984

An off day, so taking a look at our minor leagues, Mark Funderburk is at it again in Portland. Thunderburk is hitting .357/.379/.893 with four homers and 13 RBI in 29 plate appearances. Might have to just pull the trigger on him soon. In Reading, acquisition Steve Kiefer (48 PA, .295/.340/.614, 3 HR, 3 2B) is producing. For Peninsula, itís Keith Hughes (76 PA, .397/.500/.683, 12 XBH) and Todd Soares (77 PA, .318/.403/.742, 7 HR, 23 RBI) doing damage.

April 24, 1984


Game 1984-17 - Veterans Stadium: Phillies 4, Pirates 3 (11) / 8-9

A tight one, and we have chances to win it in the ninth and 10th. Finally in the 11th, Garry Maddox hustles a double and scores on a Von Hayes two-bagger. Big win.

April 25, 1984

Game 1984-18 - Veterans Stadium: Pirates 3, Phillies 1 / 8-10

Another off night for the offense, as we get just three hits and waste a golden opportunity in the seventh.

April 26, 1984

Game 1984-19 - Veterans Stadium: POSTPONED

That April rain does us in; a doubleheader has been rescheduled for June 8.

April 27, 1984


Game 1984-19 - Shea Stadium: Mets 4, Phillies 2 / 8-11

After Ron Darling stifles the offense in eight strong, a ninth-inning rally comes up short.

April 28, 1984

Game 1984-20 - Shea Stadium: Phillies 4, Mets 1 / 9-11

Home runs from Von Hayes, Len Matuszek, and John Russell win it. Hayes with three hits, too.

April 29, 1984

Game 1984-21 - Shea Stadium: Mets 3, Phillies 0 / 9-12

Dwight Gooden strikes out 14 in a dominant performance.

New set of power rankings, and we stay still in 19th. The top five:

1. Boston Red Sox - 15-9
2. Toronto Blue Jays - 16-7
3. Kansas City Royals - 13-9
4. Baltimore Orioles - 13-10
5. Detroit Tigers - 12-9

Things changing all the time.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:22 PM   #11
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April 30, 1984

After a month of play, the leader boards aren't very official. But hereís how our guys rank (all National League ranks):

Hitting

Batting Average
6. Joe Lefebvre - .344

Home Runs
T4. Mike Schmidt - 5

Stolen Bases
1. Juan Samuel - 11

Strikeouts
2. Juan Samuel - 25
T5. Mike Schmidt - 20

Sacrifice Hits
1. Steve Carlton - 5

Isolated Power
5. Mike Schmidt - .235

Pitching

Losses
T4. Steve Carlton - 3

Saves
T2. Al Holland - 6

Strikeouts / Walks
5. Jerry Koosman - 5.0

Walks / 9 IP
1. Jerry Koosman - 0.7

Holds
T2. Larry Andersen - 2
T2. Bill Campbell - 2

Early returns: Juan Samuel is exciting but also young, Schmidt still has big power, and hopefully some of those outs turn into hits as we continue. Itís been a tough month, but thereís reason to feel good about the future. Iím hoping as we start playing more NL West teams (that division isnít so hot), we can right the ship a bit and start competing for the division.


Game 1984-22 - Veterans Stadium: Expos 9, Phillies 1 / 9-13

This wonít get us going. John Denny only goes four, giving up six runs off seven hits and two walks.

May 1, 1984

Game 1984-23 - Veterans Stadium: Expos 7, Phillies 2 / 9-14

We commit three errors in the game (including two by Ivan de Jesus), though it feels like we commit seven. Also, somehow Mike Schmidt has four errors this season. That actually seems in line with his career norms, but it's jarring nonetheless.

May 2, 1984

Game 1984-24 - Veterans Stadium: Expos 8, Phillies 1 / 9-15

Jerry Koosman is uncharacteristically wild, and 13 hits from the Expos seals the deal. We look as bad weíve looked all season.

Meanwhile, Paul Owens ďblasted the mediaĒ after the game because of ďnegative coverage,Ē per a report. He was harsh and abrupt in the press conference. Of course, weíre 9-15, so Iím not necessarily on Owensí side here. Iím actually worried things are going to unravel sooner rather than later.

Taking clubhouse temperature, players seem to be content with no pressing issues. For now Iíll keep an eye on things, but for sure, Iíd entertain the thought of installing my own skipper at some point down the line.

May 3, 1984

RP Dave Wehrmeister to 15-day injured list
RP John Flinn promoted to MLB Philadelphia

Wehrmeister hits the injured list with a sore shoulder. Heíll be out for two weeks. I call up Flinn, whoís scraping by in AAA Portland (5.40 ERA, 2 K, 2 BB) but is just a fill-in. I thought about calling up Don Carman (1.93 ERA, 8 K, 5 BB), but he needs a little more time down there.

Prospect watch: Darren Daulton (50/72) is putting up great numbers at AAA Portland (59 PA, .327/.441/.653, 8 XBH, 9 K, 9 BB). Heís also caught 124 innings with an even 0 zone rating and a 47.1 percent caught stealing rate (third in the Pacific Coast League), both really encouraging stats. But one downside: his four passed balls is far and away tops in the PCL. Iím not yet ready to push Daulton into the majors; letís see where heís at after 250 innings caught.

Also, Mike Diaz is hitting well (70 PA, .281/.343/.438, 5 XBH, 12 K, 5 BB) and his defense hasnít suffered too much. He'll be promoted when a spot opens, and he's assured he can play a few times a week in the majors.

May 4, 1984


Game 1984-25 - Veterans Stadium: Phillies 5, Reds 0 / 10-15

A big rebound. Kevin Gross goes the whole nine, striking out four and walking two while allowing just three hits - all singles. Moving Len Matuszek to the three-hole works, as he goes 2-for-3 with two RBI. Von Hayes is now up to .239 with a .308 OBP.

May 5, 1984

Game 1984-26 - Veterans Stadium: Reds 1, Phillies 0 / 10-16

Frustrating to get this outcome. Just three hits. Mike Schmidt is now at .190 and needs a day off. We rally in the ninth but canít bring it home. So frustrating.

May 6, 1984

Game 1984-27 - Veterans Stadium: Phillies 6, Reds 5 (11) / 11-16

It takes a while, but we get a walkoff thanks to a Juan Samuel single in the 11th. A good showing by Al Holland and Bill Campbell keeping the game in sight (3.1 IP, 2 K, 1 H)

The newest power rankings have us at 23rd. Thatís out of 26. The top five:

1. Baltimore Orioles - 18-11
2. Montreal Expos - 18-11
3. Kansas City Royals - 17-11
4. Boston Red Sox - 18-12
5. St. Louis Cardinals - 17-11

Weíre now six in back of the Expos.
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May 7, 1984


Game 1984-28 - Veterans Stadium: Phillies 5, Braves 4 / 12-16

After taking a 4-1 lead in the seventh, Charles Hudson allows a two-run homer in the eighth, and Al Holland surrenders a bomb in the ninth. But we get the win with a sacrifice fly walkoff in the ninth. Good news: Mike Schmidt goes 3-for-5 after a benching, while Juan Samuel triples and steals a base (but also strikes out and commits an error). Love that guy.

May 8, 1984

Sixto Lezcano tells us heís not happy riding the pine all the time. I was hoping thereíd more of a 50-50 platoon out there in right field, but weíve seen a lot of righties so far; moreover, Joe Lefebvre (96 PA, .318/.375/.489, 10 XBH) has been too darn good to bench. Iíve given Lezcano a couple innings in left field; maybe Iíll put him out there more often, even against righties. Weíll see.

Game 1984-29 - Veterans Stadium: Braves 14, Phillies 7 / 12-17

A 5-0 lead in the fourth quickly becomes a deficit, as the Braves score 11 unanswered runs. Jerry Koosmanís ERA is now at 6.95; heís skating on thin ice. Mike Schmidt homers, one of three hits to keep his hot streak going. And Lezcano gets two hits including a dinger, so heíll start tomorrow.

May 9, 1984


Game 1984-30 - Astrodome: Phillies 3, Astros 1 / 13-17

Von Hayes slams a second-inning, three-run homer, and Kevin Gross strikes out seven, walks none, and allows just six hits in eight innings. With a 2.25 ERA, Gross is my best starter.

May 10, 1984

Game 1984-31 - Astrodome: Phillies 12, Astros 3 / 14-17

The offense comes alive. Schmidt goes 3-for-6 with a homer, Matuszek adds two hits, and Hayesí 3-for-6 brings his average to .243.

May 11, 1984


Game 1984-32 - Jack Murphy Stadium: Padres 6, Phillies 3 / 14-18

A three-run, Graig Nettles home run squashes our hopes. Offense only has five hits, too.

May 12, 1984

Game 1984-33 - Jack Murphy Stadium: Phillies 7, Padres 3 / 15-18

Von Hayes (2-for-5), Greg Gross (2-for-5), and Bo Diaz (3-for-4) all have good games to back Charles Hudson.

May 13, 1984

Game 1984-34 - Jack Murphy Stadium: Padres 3, Phillies 2 / 15-19

A heartbreaker, as Al Holland blows the lead and the game in the ninth.

In the power rankings, weíve moved up to 17th after a 4-3 week. The top five:

1. Detroit Tigers - 21-11
2. Toronto Blue Jays - 23-12
3. Kansas City Royals - 20-13
4. Montreal Expos - 22-14
5. Milwaukee Brewers - 20-14

The Tigers and Blue Jays have great weeks; that AL East race looks ridiculous, with Toronto, Detroit, Milwaukee, Boston and Baltimore all at .571 or better. Both the AL and NL west division races are weak, with Kansas City and the Dodgers, respectively, outclassing their rivals.
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May 14, 1984

Down on the farm, AAA Portland is 13-14. Still too early to make hasty moves, but Mark Funderburk is still doing well (79 PA, .284/.329/.635, 7 HR). Not sure where heíd fit on the roster yet, as moving John Wockenfuss means losing a backup catcher (Iíd still have John Russell, though, so itís possible).

Speaking of catchers, Darren Daulton has been outstanding (93 PA, .295/.409/.551, 10 XBH, 19 K, 14 BB), though I donít want to bring him up until Iím positive heís the everyday catcher at least 60 percent of the time. Kelly Downs has been the teamís best starter (37 IP, 2.68 ERA, 3.32 FIP, 1.9 K/BB, 5.1 K/9), though he could still use time in AAA. Don Carman (9.2 IP, 0.93 ERA, 2.76 FIP, 1.6 K/BB, 10.2 K/9) is threatening a promotion, and that could come soon.

At AA Reading, outfielder Willie Darkis is demanding a promotion. Repeating AA, heís hitting .320/.359/.557 with 13 XBH in 131 PA. Defense and consistent hitting have been issues, but heís doing well with both, playing in left field. Problem is Jeff Stone is in left in Portland, and heís not quite doing his job (just three SB when heís regularly swiped more than 50 bags per season). If I promote Darkis he could move to the DH spot, or to right field, but I donít want to stunt development. Another option: Moving Stone to center so Darkis can stay in left. And that might actually be the best idea; if Stone is beginning to prove no more than a fourth outfielder, why not build his defensive flexibility?

(By the way, I try not to promote minor leagues until about June 1, which is the 150-200 PA range for most players. Iíll usually do a wave of promotions around July 15 [midseason], and potentially a final wave around Sept. 1 [roster expansion].)

Second baseman Steve Kiefer, who I acquired in the Ozzie Virgil trade, is also ready to move to AAA Portland. Heís in line to do so on June 1. (FYI Virgil is playing well in Oakland but in a platoon, which he doesnít like; Marty Bystrom, meanwhile, has an ERA over 6.00.)

At A Peninsula, center fielder Todd Soares is still hitting the cover off the ball (153 PA, .318/.405/.636, 21 XBH, 25 K, 18 BB, 200 OPS+, 2.5 WAR), and left fielder Keith Hughes is right there with him (152 PA, .354/.441/.562, 17 XBH, 31 K, 21 BB, 191 OPS+, 2.3 WAR). Then thereís third baseman Greg Jelks (144 PA, .313/.375/.588, 16 XBH, 25 K, 12 BB, 177 OPS+, 1.7 WAR) and right fielder Kevin Ward (155 PA, .343/.432/.455, 10 XBH, 21 K, 19 BB, 159 OPS+, 1.7 WAR). Also, first baseman Randy Day has 10 HR and a 149 OPS+. All but Jelks has been good defensively. Point is, lots of guys aiming to be promoted to Reading, either by June 1 or midseason.

On the mound, David Bulls is forcing the issue (61.2 IP, 2.63 ERA, 2.64 FIP, 2.7 K/BB, 6.0 K/9) and at age 23, can be pushed sooner rather than later. Also, 24-year-old Jerry Arnold is probably ready (45.2 IP, 3.35 ERA, 2.81 FIP, 3.0 K/BB, 5.3 K/9). Iím also watching reliever Tony Evetts, whose 9.3 K/9 is stunning.

I have already promoted one reliever: John McLarnan moved from Peninsula to Reading. Down in Peninsula the 22-year-old put up a 3.77 ERA in 14.1 IP, but his 13.8 K/9 and 11.00 K/BB (also a 1.09 FIP) sold me.

Finally, in A Spartanburg, second baseman Keith Miller is starring (106 PA, .343/.387/.475, 6 XBH, 7 K, 7 BB), while first baseman Ricky Jordan is supplying power (104 PA, .299/.317/.526, 12 XBH, 11 K, 4 BB). Also, center fielder Luis Polonia hasnít been bad at the plate (108 PA, .240/.306/.396, 9 XBH, 12 K, 10 BB), and has been good in the field (+3.4 ZR), though his 3.19 RF suggests he needs work commanding the outfield.

On the mound, while itís still early, William Jester has been terrific (35.1 IP, 2.29 ERA, 3.34 FIP, 2.4 K/BB, 5.9 K/9), while Tim Belcher (acquired in the Virgil trade) has been as-advertised (32.1 IP, 2.51 ERA, 4.20 FIP, 2.1 K.BB, 4.7 K/9), though the strikeouts can go up.


Game 1984-35 - Dodger Stadium: Dodgers 7, Phillies 5 / 15-20

Weíre up 5-0, then Kevin Gross walks seven and the Dodgers score seven unanswered. Sure.

May 15, 1984

Game 1984-36 - Dodger Stadium: Dodgers 7, Phillies 1 / 15-21

After giving up two hits, walking a batter, balking Ö why isnít Steve Carlton lifted in the eighth? Beginning to wonder what the hell Danny Ozark does on the bench.

May 16, 1984

John Wockenfuss wants more playing time. Yeah, hard to do it now.

Game 1984-37 - Dodger Stadium: Phillies 8, Dodgers 5 (10) / 16-21

Despite giving up a 5-0 lead (again), we take it in extras thanks in part to John Russellís three doubles.

May 17, 1984

Taking the day off.

May 18, 1984


Game 1984-38 - Candlestick Park: Giants 12, Phillies 9 / 16-22

A three-run homer by Schmidt in the top of the first makes me feel really good, then Charles Hudson immediately allows four runs in the bottom half (and seven runs in a row). So frustrating. Also, with a 13.50 ERA in 2.2 IP, it may be time to let John Flinn head back to AAA Portland after this San Francisco trip. (With Dave Wehrmeister coming off the injured list today, it definitely is.)

RP Dave Wehrmeister activated from injured list, sent to MLB Philadelphia
RP John Flinn demoted to AAA Portland

May 19, 1984

Tough news out of Montreal: Andre Dawson is out for the season with a ruptured achilles tendon. Will this help our chances? Probably not.

Game 1984-39 - Candlestick Park: Giants 6, Phillies 1 / 16-23

Why does Larry Andersen have a 6.17 ERA? Why does every opponent get like 10-15 hits per game against us? This May is beginning to prove that we have a lot of work to do.

May 20, 1984

Game 1984-40 - Candlestick Park: Phillies 5, Giants 2 / 17-23

Hey, a win! Kevin Gross pitches well (7.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 6 K, 2 BB), while Schmidt collects two hits, and Hayes homers. Letís leave the West Coast and get back home to Philly.

A new set of rankings, and weíre 21st again. Woo-hoo. The top-five:

1. Toronto Blue Jays - 28-13
2. Detroit Tigers - 26-12
3. Kansas City Royals - 24-15
4. New York Mets - 23-16
5. Milwaukee Brewers - 24-16
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