blogging Phillies baseball and the home of Phillies Talk Podcast by Rich Baxter
blogging Phillies baseball and the home of Phillies Talk Podcast by Rich Baxter

With only 1 day to go to Opening Day – I’m concerned

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Maikel Franco was on the radar for doing great for the Phillies, this year is important for him

The great news is that we’ll see baseball that counts in only 1 more day. The Phillies open up their season in Atlanta at 4:10 PM with Aaron Nola on the mound. Nola was named well in advance of the acquisition of Jake Arrieta – or the job for Opening Day may have gone to the veteran pitcher.

The talk since the Phillies hired new manager Gabe Kapler has been really loud, vocal, and upbeat. That is how Kapler got his job in this organization, he is a good talker. Can he produce the good results though? There are a lot of people who are good motivational speakers, and Kapler is most assuredly one of them.

With the signing of Scott Kingery, this organization has departed with the ways that it use to operate. Now, several other teams have thrown out offers to their top prospects, some have accepted and some haven’t. It’s kind of hard to turn down $24M or so before you have ever stepped foot on an MLB field for a game that counts. Heck, with incentives, the Kingery deal can go to $58M or so.

That’s not totally why I am concerned. The talk from Gabe Kapler has been lately, having players move all over the diamond at different positions. I can see this quickly deteriorating into a position where a guy has a good game at one position in a game, then has a not so good game and is moved to a different position and suddenly you have players that don’t really have a position on the team but a situation of musical chairs.

We’ve seen this before from the Phillies, the platooning of players. I am not a fan of it. Can you imagine a Ryan Howard at first base for a couple games then moving him out to right field? Or a Chase Utley at second base for a few games, then move him to the shortstop position? It just doesn’t work. Let a player get comfortable at one position and keep him there. He’s won the job, and a set position is what a player is expecting. It’s one thing to talk about being versatile by moving players around, but it’s quite another to put it in practice on a major league club and have it be successful. Take every successful team for example, there is not a lot of movement with players asked to play different positions. Keep it simple, stupid is an acronym that I wish Gabe Kapler would adopt, don’t try to reinvent the wheel. For now, with one one day to go till opening day, I am excited but concerned.

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