About 10 minutes into Dave Dombrowski’s session with reporters on Monday afternoon, he was asked about acquiring a generational talent. wink wink wink No, it is not Feliz in Juan Soto Market. Dombrowski, the club’s head of baseball operations, has spoken about how much he loves star players, but feels that the Phillies lack the depth of talent in their organization.
“We are more …” Dombrovsky began, then stopped himself. He said, “This is a topic for another day.” Then he continued talking.
“The strength of our organization right now is our youthful beginning,” Dombrowski said. “It’s a very talented group of young rookie shooters. The other thing I found about young rookie shooters is very talented, you check back where you’ve been and sometimes they make it to the major tournaments very quickly. I’m not saying this year, but there are some people who might be competing for Next year’s positions are youngsters.I’ve never had a problem promoting the 20-year-olds who are very successful and putting them in the big leagues.And they are so good that some of these guys might promote it here.
“So I don’t want to just think short-term – bubble. I’m not saying they will. But they will be going to spring training with us next year. I mean, some of these guys are really good.”
Dombrowski is not stupid. He knows that every word he utters is dissected. “No offense,” he said of the August 2 trading deadline, “but I don’t want to walk my hand completely in public with what we’re going to do.” So, present this prospect flowing under anything more than an interesting idea he wanted to share with everyone at a time when the Phillies are in desperate need of upgrades through the trade.
This isn’t a misconception: Phillies have indicated to other clubs that Andrew Pinter, Mick Appel and Griff McGarry are not available. The Felizs have not boasted an array of high-end rotation possibilities like these three at some point. All three are among the top 100 players in the sport.
If that’s the club’s account – perhaps the painter, for example, is already playing a major role in the league in 2023 – then it makes sense that Velez is on a conservative path for now. They want to trade in for a back pitcher. Dombrovsky confirmed this fate. Otherwise, they will look for marginal additions. It’s wise not to rule out a potential surprise from Dombrowski, but it wouldn’t rise to the level of Phillies giving up a big possibility.
Perhaps, however, an organizational plan appeared, in the words of Dombrovsky. Al Velez has called for patience when it comes to development plans for Painter and Abel, who were drafted in the first round of high school. The Painter is 19. Abel is 21 years old as of August. McGarry, a 23-year-old who already works at Double A, is on a faster path. But it was hard to see how Phils could integrate that volatility with the early years of their high-priced list now in the big companies. Even Painter’s strict plan won’t make it to major companies until sometime in the mid to late 2024.
Then, Dombrowski changed the public schedule on Monday.
“It’s a fun situation, and it’s always one of those[people who don’t recognize it]until they’ve gone up a little bit higher in Double A,” Dombrowski said. “Now, all of a sudden in Double A, McGarry made six stops and he’s already in the top 100, right? But now she’s like, ‘Wow, look at that.’ That’s what it takes sometimes when they get to that level. We have a couple more. From the shooters it doesn’t necessarily take that because they are so good, but once they hit Double A, I’ve never had a problem jumping from Double-A (players) to the big leagues.”
It is ambitious and reasonable. Velez has a club option on Aaron Nola for 2023. Zach Wheeler is signed until 2024. The alternate fives will have to be replaced for next season. The Phillies may be pushing big prospects to allocate payroll resources elsewhere. Short star, perhaps?
Ratings of promotion prospects are the reason the Phillies are reluctant to cash in on one of them in a top-notch rookie deal they’ve had for a year and two months. Perhaps the Feliz embrace their horizons too much. The price of a great promotion next week, according to Dombrowski’s estimation, does not match the team’s odds. A more reasonable addition.
“There are a lot of clubs trying to explore and acquire,” Dombrowski said of the current business talks to start bowlers. He added, “Where are we at this time now, you might ask for number 5 at first and they might ask you for possibility #1. I mean, that’s where you are. … We still have eight days because (the deadline) is six next Tuesday. That’s an eternity. on the trade deadline.
Dombrowski will find a match – or two – because it’s what he’s doing this time of year. Whether it was enough to push the Phillies into the expanded postseason field remains unclear. The Velez will laugh at Jean Segura, who goes to Triple A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday’s rehab assignment, and Bryce Harper as the biggest “acquisition.” Harper did not remove the staples in his broken left thumb on Monday when he saw a doctor. They will try again next week. It’s still weeks, maybe a month away.
Harper turns 30 years old in October. He hasn’t played in a post-season game since he was far from his 25th birthday. All the Phillies have done in recent years is maximize Harper’s offering. He still has many years of production left.
The failed Phillies teams in recent years have been too heavy. This is a little more balanced but still flawed. One way to build a more dynamic roster is to stream one or two starting pitchers of young, high-ceilinged slates. Dombrowski has a history of pushing young shooters, which he alluded to.
Rick Purcello was selected in the first round of the 2007 draft and made his Detroit debut as a 20-year-old in April 2009. Jeremy Bonderman was drafted as a sophomore in 2001, acquired by Dombrowski in 2002, and made Detroit’s inaugural roster in 2003 as a start at 20 years old. Justin Verlander was 22 years old when he debuted. Andrew Miller, a college pick, was in a major league rotation a year after he enlisted. 22-year-old Levan Hernandez made 17 starts for the Florida Marlins in 1997. The two 22-year-olds, Eduardo Rodriguez and Henry Owens, combined to start 32 games in the 2015 Red Sox Championships.
It’s all just wishful thinking about 2023. It explains how Velez will perform in 2022, although it’s not as if Dombrowski plans to sit idle on the deadline. The Feliz won’t do everything they can to end the drought.
“We’re trying to make the playoffs,” he said. “If we win the score, that’s great. But we sit, what, 9 1/2 games out of number one? But if you do a postseason, anything can happen. And I think if we’re on a short streak, as we are, we have a great short streak structure. “.
(Top photo by Dave Dombrowski: Lyn Sladky/Associated Press)