Phillies Mailbag: September, Girardi’s Fate, Pitching
We are back once again with the 97.3 ESPN Phillies mailbag. Each week we take your questions and discuss them on the Sports Bash with Mike Gill. Send your questions at any time to @FrankKlose on Twitter.
Unfortunately, for the most part September call-ups are a thing of the past. For the 2020 season, the rules changed and now only 28 players may be on the active roster, compared to the past when all members of a team's 40-man roster could be active in September. The 2020 season they had extra players in the 60-game season, so for the first time in a traditional season, there will only be two extra players.
I would expect that the Phillies use one of them on a catcher. Rafael Marchan is already up and playing games. When Andrew Knapp returns from the COVID-19 injured list, he will likely be added back. With J.T. Realmuto sore, I would imagine the Phillies try to limit his catching workload.
The other spot probably goes to a pitcher. That pitcher is probably one of the many you have seen before.
If all works out with his rehab, that pitcher may be Seranthony Dominguez. However, Dominguez has allowed seven earned runs in his three outings (two innings) at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. That is after allowing eight earned runs over four outings (five innings) at Double-A Reading.
Dominguez will actually have to be promoted within a few days when his 30-day rehab assignment ends, or he will have to be optioned to the minor leagues. The Phillies might do that until he is pitching better.
If not Dominguez, Damon Jones and Adonis Medina are the others on the 40-man roster who could be called up. Not on the 40-man roster is Cam Bedrosian, if the Phillies could find room.
It is true: the Phillies might miss the playoffs once again. However, I am very inclined to believe that Joe Girardi will be the Phillies manager next season. I think it all comes down to this: looking at this team objectively, should they be a playoff team?
If your assessment is that no, this team is not good enough, then Girardi would have to be a miracle worker. If your assessment is that this Phillies team should have been a successful playoff team, then one might have the right to blame Girardi for this season.
But you may have noticed that Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski really gutted the front office, particularly in the area of player development. That seems to suggest that the major flaw is how Phillies have developed the players.
But even beyond that - there are some rumblings that Girardi is helping the Phillies with this organizational restructuring. Girardi seems to have the respect of Dombrowski and those looking to re-build the Phillies organization. So I think he is here to stay in the midst of probable other changes down the line.
The Phillies did believe that they would be getting Zach Eflin back when they designated for assignment the contract of Chase Anderson, who was back in the rotation for a single start most recently. But, despite the fact the Phillies are short on arms, they might just be okay without Anderson.
In the minors the only real starters that have any chance of joining the big club are Adonis Medina, a member of the 40-man roster, and maybe - a big maybe - Mark Appel. I think that the Phillies are probably going to use Matt Moore in these remaining weeks, with a shorter hook.
But the pitching is pretty thin otherwise.
However, Anderson had few good moments as a Phillie. His tenure with the Phillies ended with a 6.75 earned run average. I think it's fair to say that they have a shot of at least matching that in the innings Anderson would have pitched.
From 1970 to 2005 the Phillies employed an organist in Paul Richardson. Richardson passed away in 2006. Since Richardson retired in 2005, the Phillies have not used an organ.
The history of the organ shows just how practical it was for large venues. In theater, in Churches, and in athletic stadiums, the organ pipes could create the loudest sound, which made all the difference at a time when music could not be amplified.
But as amplification became common, the organ was not used as frequently in theaters, in Churches, and athletic stadiums.
In fact, when Citizens Bank Park opened in 2004, the Phillies decided not to establish an organ booth. Richardson played on the concourse as fans came into the stadium. But it was certainly not the same as before.
A few stadium organs remain. The Washington Nationals added one in 2017. There is a prominent organ booth at Target Field in Minneapolis. And the Braves have Matthew Kaminski as the team's organist, known for having a sense of humor as players are introduced.
Richardson was somewhat of a trailblazer. He is credited as beginning the first "at bat" music for players. He is also credited for the "charge!" sequence that has become commonplace at games.
Richardson's work remains at Citizens Bank Park; the Phillies use his recording of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame".