Extra Innings: a Phillies podcast
Summary: The Philadelphia Inquirer's Matt Breen, Bob Brookover and Scott Lauber take you inside the Phillies.
Remember "stupid money?" The Phillies weren't willing to spend any of it -- or give up anything in the farm system, for that matter -- to make their rotation better at the trade deadline. If you're feeling disappointed, take solace in the fact that, with the exception of a few teams, no one else got better either. Plus: And analyzing the Corey Dickerson trade; David Robertson out for the year, and who'd you rather see come out of the bullpen: Pivetta or Eflin?
The Phillies are in buy mode, and they're approaching the trade deadline with a critical series against the Braves looming. This weekend could make-or-break GM Matt Klentak's mind when it comes to trading away key prospects for a much-needed arm or adding a big contract to ensure a wild-card spot.
There's no shame in a wild-card spot, right? So what's up with Andy MacPhail's comments about the Phillies not wanting to give up prospects for a chance to compete? Our beat team is back and talking about moves the Phillies can make to contend, and discussing the differences between Gabe Kapler and Dallas Green.
Gabe Kapler floated the idea that Nick Pivetta, currently excelling in triple A, could join the bullpen. But does that make any sense? Plus, discussing Bryce Harper's recent struggles (is it a blip, or something more?) and the recent promotion of last year's first-round pick, Alec Bohm.
The last time the Phillies were in Colorado, they were in the midst of a dreadful slide. This weekend, they escaped Denver with one win in four games, and didn't fare much better in Queens. But is this a cause for concern or a natural ebb and flow of a season? Plus, exploring what Bryce Harper's ejection means, what the Phillies will do with Cesar Hernandez when Scott Kingery returns and the fact that if Aaron Nola is OK, the Phillies should be, too.
Is it time to be worried about Aaron Nola? Matt Breen, Bob Brookover and Scott Lauber offer up their opinions. Plus, the Phillies would be 9-1 if not for the bullpen's struggles. Would paying Craig Kimbrel be worth it? And more on Scott Kingery's at-bats and Maikel Franco's position in the lineup.
Bryce Harper said he expects to get booed at every visiting ballpark. But what happens when it's the city where he spent seven years and made the playoffs four times? We explore what might happen in D.C. on Tuesday, and talk about the Phillies' historic start (really) and what kind of tone the team set against Atlanta.
"There's no break in this lineup." Talking the power from 1 through 9, the players who survived the rebuild and showed up in big ways against the Braves, the fanfare surrounding Bryce Harper's debut and the trust Aaron Nola and Gabe Kapler have between each other. Plus, looking ahead to the rest of the series.
Rhys Hoskins joins the podcast to talk about Bryce Harper, last year's collapse and what the team learned from it, and what it was like to come back from a broken jaw. Plus - what Hoskins thought of his offseason spent in the city, and Matt Breen's Philly tips.
Discussing Mike Trout's record-breaking contract, how much of a chance the Phillies might have had to land him and the reality that large contracts like Trout and Bryce Harper's won't discourage teams from chasing the stars. Plus: A behind-the-scenes explanation of the Phillies clubhouse, and if it's possible the team was playing Fortnite and Gabe Kapler didn't know about it. Lastly: What is up with the Mets?
Phillies second-year manager Gabe Kapler sits down with Matt Breen and Scott Lauber and goes deep on the similarities between him and Bryce Harper, and what he thought when he first met his new star. Kapler also talks about integrating Harper into the clubhouse, what it's like to have such high expectations, his shifting lineups (and how that will change this year)... and MVP Baseball 2005.
Matt Breen and Scott Lauber talk about the evolution of defensive shifts, and how Bryce Harper will try to combat what he sees this season. Plus, they discuss Harper's defense, and his claim that playing in center field last year made him struggle. Lastly, Breen and Lauber answer your questions about the starting rotation, talk adding Dallas Keuchel and wonder how many wins it will take for the Phillies to make the playoffs.
Bryce Harper's Phillies jersey is a bestseller, and ticket sales are through the roof. The line on wins is 88.5, and expectations are higher than ever. Bob, Scott and Matt give their predictions and discuss what Harper's addition will mean for the rest of the outfield. Plus, who will be on the bench come opening day and the change Jake Arrieta made that he thinks will help him have better season than 2018.
You can't call the Phillies cheap anymore. Bryce Harper agreed to a 13-year, $330 million deal that shows the Phillies are ready to contend for a World Series on a yearly basis. We explore what that means -- plus talk about if there are any more moves to be made and reflect on how far the Phillies have come -- in the latest episode. Also ... what about Mike Trout?
What does Bryce Harper want? It's hard to answer that, but it might determine if he chooses to sign with Philadelphia or takes a short-term deal with a team like the Dodgers. Matt Breen, Bob Brookover and Scott Lauber discuss worst-case scenarios, Harper fatigue and how free agency affects other players, and also offer up gut predictions on if the outfielder will pick the Phillies.