Phillies Mailbag: Hall, In-Season Trades, Girardi’s Job Stability
We are back once again with a 97.3 ESPN Phillies Mailbag. Each week we take your questions and answer them on the Sports Bash with Mike Gill. Tune in each Tuesday at 2:40 p.m. to hear your questions answered!
Does Darick Hall get called up for some added pop?
A friended texted me at some point last summer. His message? "Is this Darick Hall a prospect?" My response at the time: "Nah." While I still do not necessarily see him as a high-level prospect or starting player in the major leagues, I think I need to give him much more credit than I did last year.
Hall is putting together a nice season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley this year. He is hitting .288 with 10 home runs and 35 runs batted in. That power makes good for an even 1.000 OPS. Pretty impressive.
This is a month into the season, of course. I think for Hall to get a look in the major leagues, a few things need to happen that work in favor of such a move.
First, Hall plays first base. Right now the Phillies have Rhys Hoskins entrenched in the position. Does Hoskins suffer a long-term injury like last season? Hopefully not. It might have been nice if last year Hall was putting up these numbers; he might have gotten a look.
Second, the Phillies are a little thin on the 40-man roster. Such an opening created by an injury would need to be one that also opened space on the 40-man roster with a 60-day injured list stint. I do not think they will cut a prospect in order to add Hall. We saw the Phillies opt to promote both Simon Muzziotti and Franklin Morales ahead of schedule because of his roster spot.
At 26 years old, Hall is somewhat of a late bloomer. He's had power at each level and has been a fan favorite. I think there are a lot of fans at the Phillies affiliates rooting for him.
But it's worth keeping an eye on him. Even Hoskins sort of forced his way in at some point.
What is the likelihood of a trade now/near future that will involve one or so of the starting 9? For instance, Rhys Hoskins or maybe Didi Gregorius or possibly Odubel Herrera, if Mickey Moniak picks up where he left off? Could use a bullpen piece or 3.
I do not think that in-season a trade of a starting player is likely. Moves like that tend to be transformational on a team's roster, and trading a key piece sometimes has negative consequences on the team around them. But I think that the biggest point is that the Phillies could really stand to keep the depth.
I just mentioned last year's Hoskins injury. The July 31 trade deadline is now a firm deadline; there are no more trades after that day. Hoskins hit the injured list on August 10.
The Phillies had no one available to replace him. Brad Miller played daily, but that was not in his strength. That alone was probably enough to keep the Phillies out of the playoffs last season.
John Middleton cannot be happy going over the luxury tax, how long does Girardi have to get things moving in the right direction?
Within the last week, particularly after Thursday's ugly loss to the New York Mets, the calls for the firing of Phillies manager Joe Girardi have gotten louder. The noise is not just from average Phillies fans; even Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Marcus Hayes put together a case to dismiss Girardi:
He looks empty. Done. The team right now reflects the manager.
And he seems to know it.
The team needs a jolt.
I tend to still think that it is a little early for such a move. The Phillies have certainly struggled to get going. And losing both Zack Wheeler and Zach Eflin to the injured list will be an extra challenge.
But just a few games below the .500 mark, should the Phillies hold their own and hover there after a tough May schedule, they could have the opportunity to go on a run.
The reason I think he will get the benefit of the doubt for a while longer is that the roster remains systematically flawed. Dave Dombrowski knows that. He's doing the best he can to win on the fly while also trying to rebuild his farm system. It is a very tall task after the failed rebuild of the Matt Klentak/Andy MacPhail era.
I am thinking the All-Star Break would be the time for a change, if there is a time at all. But a lot will depend on how the Phillies are playing by then. One thing is clear: Girardi is not under contract after this year. He needs to make the playoffs. But I still end to think he gets an opportunity to see this season through.