One of the less-discussed but clearly problematic elements of the MLB lockout is a lack of access to team employees and team facilities for players on the 40-man roster. As Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer explores, that’s particularly detrimental for still-developing players like Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm, the 2020 NL Rookie of the Year runner-up who floundered through a pronounced sophomore slump in 2021. The Phils hired a new hitting coach (Kevin Long) and infield coach (Bobby Dickerson) in part with the hope that the pair could help Bohm recapture his 2020 form. Bohm was able to meet with Long to discuss his approach at the plate multiple times prior to the lockout, but his access has since been cut off, forcing him to work out on his own.
It’s not a problem that’s unique to the Phillies, of course. Every team has young talent that would benefit from meeting with coaches and player development staff, to say nothing of utilizing team facilities for offseason training. That said, Bohm is an especially important player for the Phils, who selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in 2018 and who could also greatly benefit from the development of a cost-controlled star, given their expensive veterans elsewhere on the roster. The lack of access to the Phils’ spring complex is also particularly unfortunate for Bohm, as Lauber notes that the 25-year-old bought a condo in Clearwater a couple years back in order to have easier access to the team’s Spring Training facility in the offseason.
Some more notes out of Philly…
- Unlike Bohm, catching prospect Logan O’Hoppe is free to communicate with Phillies staffers, as he’s not yet been added to the 40-man roster. The 21-year-old (22 next month) broke out with a big 2021 season, slashing .270/.331/.458 with 17 home runs across three levels before turning in an impressive Arizona Fall League showing. However, there’s no immediate path for O’Hoppe to rise to the big league roster thanks to the presence of J.T. Realmuto (and fellow catching prospect Rafael Marchan, in Triple-A). In a separate column, Lauber takes a look at O’Hoppe’s status in the organization. Phils farm director Preston Mattingly tells Lauber there’s “no question” O’Hoppe will remain a full-time catcher even with Realmuto signed another four years. While some young players may find it discouraging to be “blocked,” O’Hoppe instead tells Lauber that Realmuto’s presence gives him an opportunity to learn and become an even better catcher himself. Lauber chats with multiple scouts about O’Hoppe’s outlook and upside while exploring the possibility that at some point the team could deal from its catching depth, be it O’Hoppe or Marchan. Phils fans, in particular, will want to check out both Lauber columns for scouting insight on Bohm and O’Hoppe, as well as quotes from key organizational voices on the pair’s future.
- As part of a reader mailbag, Matt Gelb of the Athletic suggests the Phillies could be a plausible trade partner with teams like the A’s and Brewers whenever the lockout concludes. Philadelphia has a strong core, led by reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper, Realmuto and a quality group at the front of the rotation. Yet the team has potential weaknesses at both positions on the left side of the infield and in the two outfield spots alongside Harper, in addition to their seemingly annual bullpen question marks. Gelb floats Oakland righty Lou Trivino — who could be on the move as part of a broader A’s sell-off — and Milwaukee center fielder Lorenzo Cain among the players who might pique the Phils’ interest. With Cain set to make $18MM in the final season of a five-year contract, Milwaukee would probably have to include some cash to facilitate a deal. Yet even entering his age-36 campaign, the two-time All-Star would likely be an upgrade over Philadelphia’s lackluster in-house options at the position.
Couldn’t bohm work out at the driveline facility where Phillies minor league hitting coordinator jason ochart is from?
I was kind of wondering something similar. He had hitting issues last year, but the bigger problem was that he can’t field. He’s -21 DRS in 1,219 innings. Are there no winter leagues that he could’ve joined if improvement is what he wanted?
I assume one of the issues is they do not want too many people telling him to do different things. I’m sure Kevin Long has a plan developed for him and driveline might tell him to do something differently. It is probably still better than nothing, but I can see the potential issues.
…and scott kingery has entered the chat…Hopefully since he’s off the 40man, he is working w/ Long……
Kingery could be the star of the Phils non-40 roster Grapefruit League campaign.
But if the sides work out a deal by June, he’ll return to the anonymity of life in Lehigh Valley.
Probably not possible for Bohm be anywhere near a member of the organization.
Sorry to say, the lack of coaching this winter wi hasten his placement alongside Moniak and Randolph as failed first rounders.
I really hope O’Hoppe isn’t dealt. He and JT could be a great tandem for years to come.
Trade Marchan instead.
they should, yes. Marchan’s defense should make him a valuable trade piece, and with Sands and Stubbs in the fold he’s farther down the depth chart than he was last year.
They don’t need to trade him. Catchers can take a bit longer to develop, and on the other end, can start declining a bit earlier with the rigors of playing the position. O’Hoppe is just turning 22 and Realmuto is soon turning 31. Marchan won’t block O’Hoppe unless somehow he can actually start hitting.
Either way, catching us a position you can never have too much depth at. The Phillies need young, good, and cheap talent to produce and shouldn’t think about trading him. It actually reminds me of Mike Lieberthal and Carlo Ruiz where they can do a multi-year transition and it will allow O’Hoppe a chance to succeed with less pressure as a backup.
Look up the Jomboy video on OHoppe, it’s hard not to pull for him. If you click the above link, he still has the same smile on the page that he had in the video…
Marchan profiles more as a back-up catcher without power. With the DH coming and Boras as Hoskin’s agent, if O’Hoppe can translate his talent to the MLB, it would be a great to have a Realmuto/O’Hoppe pairing.
As a lifetime NL fan, I would prefer a rotating DH spot…love what Hoskins brings, but not at what he’ll probably be asking for….
84-78 at best
Lol. Maybe wait until they have a full roster before silly predictions. I mean that’s pretty spot on for the Phillies to be fair, but what if they go nuts with FA signings and trades? Or conversely, what if they just give up and rebuild? Too early for predictions.
If it’s any consolation, you will finish slightly ahead of the Mets.
To early to predict who will end up were in the standings, since all the rosters haven’t been finalized, till after the lock-out? There might be a frenzy of trades and FA signings after the lock-out, who knows?
The Mets and Phillies will be known as non-contenders until they prove otherwise.
Keep O’Hoppe and see where we finish this year and if we miss the playoffs it is time to unload Realmuto and Harper and start over even if we need to eat some money.
Unload Harper? For what, more ‘prospects’? Lol. How has that worked out for the Phillies the last 20 years? Other than Efflin, name one prospect who has come in a trade and actually stayed around and produced? Nick Williams and Tommy Joseph did briefly, but soon faded away.
Realmuto is untradable. No team is going to trade for a declining injury prone 30 something year old catcher with a bad 25 million a year contract. The Phillies would be lucky to get a mid level ‘prospect’ for him, and probably would still have to eat some of his salary.
this will never happen
I could see the Brewers trading Cain. At this point he is not necessarily a full time player and the Phillies could pair him with Haseley. Milwaukee has Taylor and can find a backup Outfielder for the bench
I like giving the different perspective of the lockout problems. As for Bohm himself, no one should be giving up on this guy. Sophomore slumps are so common, especially in this age of intense scouting. I think his bat will be real strong, perhaps even elite one day, but his fielding will forever be subpar.
that’s why they should make him a LF but no one in the org seems to agree.
I’m not opposed to that at all, but I worry if he has the arm for it. Still better there than 3B.
If you have an arm strong enough to play third base, playing left field ( arm wise), is absolutely no problem.
If you have an arm strong enough to play third base, playing left field ( arm wise), is absolutely no problem.
His arm isn’t good enough for third base. Haha.
his glove is more the issue than his arm, I think, but yea for LF he’s gotta re-learn how to hit.
Nick Castellanos can’t play any position well and refuses to play 1B.
At his 1/2 a mill salary, I’m pretty sure he can find a baseball facility in FL to work out at.
I agree his bat will likely improve, but I think the Phils leadership is just happy to have someone willing to put on a glove and stand near third base.
I think they should do a Burrell with this guy……Bohm has a strong arm and a good hit tool, totally agree @soph slump. The Hoskins to LF didn’t work because he is not athletic enough.
Three of the top LF’s in Phillies’ history Luzinski, Ennis and Burrell….not the most athletic of gents…
The Phillies have never been shy about putting the least athletic looking people in LF. John Kruk played over 100 games in LF for the Phillies. Pete Incaviglia was a regular for 2 years. Greg Jeffries was pretty awful defensively no matter where they put him. Bohm would be fine in LF. The problem appears to be the Phillies either thinking they can Bohm a better 3B than he actually is or they don’t think they will find a 3B to replace him and Outfielders are easier to come by
John Kruk quote: I ain’t an athlete, lady. I’m a ballplayer. The story surrounding it is pretty funny…
As a side story in a similar vein, met Lenny Dyksta at Minella’s diner outside of Philly many moons ago. Two friends and I had just got done a night of mirth at Smokey Joe’s next door…..
We just sat down to order and Lenny walks in and sits at the counter alone….We do the whole “Hey Lenny” thing and he gets up and sits with us……Guy out-ate all of 3 of us by a good margin,….picks up the tab and tips the waitress a $50…..
I miss hearing Mitch Williams tell stories about those days with the Phillies on MLB Network. It really made it worth watching in the early days of the network
Ed Delehanty, Sherry Magee and Lefty O’Doul are the LFs on my all time Phillies teams.
Was Del Ennis a poor defender?
Yeah, maybe his path is comparable to Austin Riley, another third baseman who struggled until finding his form last season. If so, the Phils would really have something. Riley was a stud in 21.
In 2008 Joe Girardi inherited a Yankee team that had Posada, Giambi, Cano, Jeter, Arod, Damon, Melky, Abreu, Matsui, Pettitte, Mussina, Chamberlain & Rivera. A slew of All-Stars, clutch players and HOFers that already knew how to win before he got there. In his 2nd season, they win a WS, and then the cast thinned, age, retirement, etc and no more WS titles.
Former OF Reggie Smith on Tommy Lasorda “Tommy had the ability to take Major League players and make them believe they could win a pennant,”
Joe Girardi needs to take the Phillies as they are now and make them believe they can win a pennnt, otherwise, they are just an 84 win team.
I’m no Girardi fan, but you’re ignoring his success on the Marlins where he won NL manager of the year.
78-84 and finished 4th with Miguel Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez putting up stellar numbers. Did he really deserve Manager of the Year? Randolph won 97 when Pythagorean had the Mets with 91 wins, Girardi won 78 , Pythagorean had them at 80. Im not a Phillie fan, not anti Phils either, just wondering if Girardi is the right guy.
I don’t really equate a good manager to overall record to be honest. I think people overrate that. That Mets team was absolutely stacked.
I never understood the fascination with Girardi. He took a 83-win Marlin team and lead them to 78 wins. He took a 94-win Yankee team and led them to 87 wins. And took a .500 Phillies team and led them to .467.
Stan the Man
@Wampum…Just wondering…with your avatar and moniker why are you not a Phillie fan?
@JoeBrady I always thought he was overrated myself, but again, I don’t really look at Ws and Ls as metrics for a managers success.
Girardi is not a goodanager. I always liked him because as a player he would hold guys accountable so I thought his leadership would make him a good manager. But strategy is important too and that’s where he js lacking. His bullpen management leaves a lot to be desired IMO.
Sorry for the typos
I can’t see some of what I write from the phone cuz it bleeds to the edges and can’t be seen until after. I wish they had an edit button.
Girardi was good with a team that was basically on auto pilot. The Phillies gave him expensive shiny toys in Harper, Realmuto, and Wheeler. The Phillies however have failed to address the backend of the rotation, the bullpen (a classic Dombrowski achilles heel) and CF for the past few winters now. This is MLB and 3 players don’t win championships, the other 23 players on the roster are just as important
@rememberthecoop I can 100% relate. Typing on the phone kills me because of those edges and ads…etc. It’s impossible. You’re not wrong on Girardi either. He makes some questionable decisions particularly with the bullpen.
@Rsox You’re leaving out some key players here. Segura, Hoskins, Suarez, Gibson…Phillies had a lot more than 3 players. Even Nola who had a down year has tremendous potential. It’s the depth issues that are their problem. They’re filling holes with guys who are way below league average. They don’t even need stars. Just major league talent.
Girardi and Segura seemingly grudgingly tolerate eachother. I’m not saying the Phillies don’t have other players but they spent big on the three players but have ignored other spots seemingly regularly the past few years
The 2005 Marlins were gutted in the off season. Only Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis remained. The 2006 Marlins consisted of Cabrera, Willis, Reclamation projects and Rookies, Rookies and more Rookies. In fact, the 2006 MLB Rookie class is the best all time mostly due to the sheer volume and quality produced by the Marlins.
Joe Girardi won 78 games with a team that was forecast to loose 100+ games all while owner Jeffery Loria stood in the front row next to the dug out during home games openly micromanaging the team.
I wanted Showalter (before Kapler as well) , but when Girardi was noted to be analytics favorable, kinda felt he’d get the gig….I am not saying Showalter is not, but he is a guy who might rally against analytics when he feels he is right….
Even Girardi doesn’t believe the Phillies can win the pennant.
Last I checked, Tommy isn’t available unfortunately. But yeah I’m no Girardi fan for sure. To me the best managers are guys that can manage pitchers. That’s probably why so many are/were ex-catchers. IMO, the only ones that move the needle now are Francona, Hinch, Cora, Melvin, Martinez & Counsell.
…..uh and Girardi…..?
Trivino would be a solid addition to the Phillies bullpen. He could even be a closer (22 last year) if there is a need at that position. He’s also from the area (Bucks County, went to Slippery Rock Univ. and used to attend LV Ironpigs games with his parents.so they must be Phillies fans.. He’s first year arbitration eligible and can’t become a free agent until 2025.
Speaking of “Iron Pigs”, Philadelphia should change their name to that. “Phillies” is such a stupid name.
So is Cubs. As a fan I wish they could change their name. It’s too damn cuddly.
PHI were originally called the Quakers. Other names were Ruby Reds, Blue Jays and Fightin’ Fils.
Cubs have Ian Happ who can play center and we would gladly take one of their catchers in return.
Phillies need to do better than Ian Happ.
This lockout is really Bohming me out.
oooh so is that joke!
Phils to win super bowl in 2022. That might be the wrong sport but the chances are the same. Zero.
Kelso would be proud of that burn.
I didn’t want to laugh at that burn, but I couldn’t help myself.
Legend has it that Shakespeare’s final play was inspired by the last postseason team in Philadelphia.
@48-team….That 70’s Show reference, gold…the next nah. Still 1 for 2…..
My fans need material. Sometimes it’s hit-or-miss.
Ok, now you’re 2 for 3!
O’Hoppe is probably 2 years away. With acquiring Sands & Stubbs, good chance Marchan could get moved. Realmuto is already dealing with nagging injuries. In 2-3 years, he’ll likely start transitioning into some 1B/DH role while splitting time behind the plate. But the Phils def need a quality after all of years of watching Knapp.
A’s are a logical trade partner. Some would say get Matt Chapman. I think a more realistic target, trade for Laureano & Trivino. It doesn’t require breaking the bank in terms of prospects or money for a flawed FA OF like Schwarber, Castellanos, Conforto, etc.
If they wanted, they could put in some more prospect capital and see if they could get Montas as well. 3 years of control on Laureano & Trivino and 2 of Montas. Probably will cost a bunch but I think some package of Crouse, Morales, Marchan, Viars, Williams, & Falter gets the deal done or close.