Perlozzo, Mackanin, Gross All Fired by Phillies – Phillies Nation

Perlozzo, Mackanin, Gross All Fired by Phillies

The Phillies are cleaning house.

The will not renew the contracts of coaches Sam Perlozzo, Pete Mackanin, and Greg Gross for 2013. That could pave the way for Ryne Sandberg to be promoted to the big league club in an undetermined role. Juan Samel and Rich Dubee are staying with the Phillies, as of now.

Charlie Manuel has stated he will be back in 2013, so look for Sandberg to become the bench coach or hitting coach, preparing him to take over in 2014 as the Phillies new manager.

Back in April I wrote this:

It’s clear the hitting coach has no effect on this team whatsoever. Milt Thompson couldn’t reach them when the demise began, Greg Gross is doing less. Really, they’re in a tough position. Gross doesn’t have the ability to tell players that have been doing it their way for a decade (or more) to change their approach. Would Ryne be able to get through to them and at least help stop this offense from trending downward?

I don’t believe it will help, but perhaps a move like that will show the paying customer that the team is willing to do whatever it can to win. Maybe a Hall of Famer speaking lends more credence than a guy who made his living as a reserve? Hard to say.

I’d like to see Sandberg in time, but I don’t know that the time is now. He’s doing a hell of a job teaching the youngsters and keeping the Iron Pigs as one of the better programs in triple-A. Keep an eye on this.

As for the bunch fired, Perlozzo had been with the Phillies since 2009, Mackanin also since 2009, and Gross since mid-season 2010.

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  1. Chip

    October 3, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    They kept Samuel?
    Fine. Just get him off the base paths. He’s pitiful out there, IMO.

  2. bob

    October 3, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    phils should hire the starg matthews as hitting coach.

  3. Andrew from Waldorf

    October 3, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    I see cleaning house and I get all excited.

    I see no Ruben Amaro listed in the departed though. And I am sad.

    Charlies time to retire too and bring in Ryno.

    IMO Charlie deserves a statue in front of the stadium. Also he and Halladay are the only 2 current Phillies with hall of fame credentials.
    Making Charlie the only Phillie here for “the run” who is a hall of famer.
    Hamels will need to produce for 7 or so more years to be considered.

    • betasigmadeltashag

      October 3, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      I am not sure of your hatred toward RAJ, I know you are a hater in general but I thought it was kept for Howard. Lets see a few of the things he did, Aumont is a good reliever Horkst looks like a keeper. He signed Cole, and Doc, and Lee. Got Jroll, whom I assume you hate also, to a team freindly deal. When this team was fully healthy this team played well. He put a talented team out there that underperformed this year. One of the biggest problems with team early was the bull pen, which is a crap shot every year. So I look forward to you going back into your cave and cheering for the mets, until next year when you will disagree with everything philly while they win 100 games. thanks for the comic relief of hate for a guy who produced runs in half a season while recovering from an injury that everybody who knows has said it takes at least a yyear to fully recover.

      • George

        October 3, 2012 at 11:43 pm

        You’ve probably missed a few. One of them was letting Werth go instead of giving him the kind of ridiculous contract he got from the Nats. Another was taking a chance on Pedro Martinez. Letting Burrell go could qualify as a good move, and getting Juan Pierre on a minor league contract was definitely a winner.

        AFW is not the only one here vocal in his hatred of Amaro. I can’t see it, myself. It’s like hating your Grandmother because even though she baked some delicious cookies, she didn’t bake the kind you wanted that day.

      • ARc

        October 4, 2012 at 11:15 pm

        Are you kidding me? the Phillies have systematicaly fallen farther away from the ws every year since Amaro has been at the helm. Is this causation? no, but I think is certainly makes a case for a possible correlation.
        Also, you say the Phillies have been playing great? I think you overestimate the offense on that one. The phils have been masking their offensive inefficencies since 2010. Again, in 2010-11 offensive production was avg. 23rd in 09, 11 in 2010, and 16 in 2011, and 15 in 2012. However, i know this is only a part of the tale. Actually the phillies best season outcomes have had their lowest hitting avg. But the one statistic offensively that i think made the difference was in those seasons their HR hitting was phenomenal. So, what happened? Another possible correlation. the amount of Hr have consistently gone down. In 08 core hitters produced 159 homeruns, in 09 they produced 167, in 2010 98 hr, in 2011 81 hr and in 2012 64 hr. So whos to blame? Ryan howard has steadily declined as has utley. Obviously this season due to injury but their numbers were in decline before the injuries. In 08 pat Burrell was a major contributer, in 09 he was replaced by Ibanez and so was his production. Werth performed even better in 09, so production was fine in 08, and 09. Though pitching seemed to be the biggest concern, in 2010 Amaro swapped out Lee for Halliday. A dime for ten pennies. offensively Ibanez Howard Utley and werth underperformed. This is where Amaro made his fatal mistake. At this point in 2010 offensive power had been decreased by almost half, yet Amaro opts to splurge on pitching. By 2011, Werth is gone, Ibanez is average, howard is average, and Utley is terrible, 11HR. power production is even lower then in 2010. And we all know what happens in 2012; everybody underperforms. Ibanez gone, Werth gone, Utley and Howard gone, and the pitching staff collapses which now can no longer mask the terrible bullpen. Worley and kendrick moved from Bullpen to starters. So what shall we look forward to in 2013? howard and Utley at this point probably are what they are. We have no power in the out field, third base is decimated. pitching staff? Halliday getting old, Cliff Lee, hot or cold, Hamels the bright spot, Worley?, Cloyd/kendrick starters? Bullpen? are you F**cking kidding me? Amaro made his mistake by never adequately replacing the power on this team. Sadly i think the window has closed on this core, and with it the end of the dynasty? Even with Utley and Howard well, and Chooch playing like crazy, and even if they get some good offensive pieces, the core is past their prime. Utley can no longer be the 3 hole hitter and Howard must be moved to the 5 hole. Put Rollins at three.

      • schmenkman

        October 5, 2012 at 7:52 am

        ARc, there is nothing systematic when it comes to short series. The Astros didn’t “systematically” take 2 of 3 in Cincinnati last month, and then 3 of 4 from the Phillies. And by the time you get to the playoffs, every team is good and they are so evenly matched that you can’t tell who is better in just 5 of 7 games, so the postseason is determined in large part by matchups and which team’s players happen to be hot at the time.

        Secondly, yes, you’re absolutely right that the Phillies’ offense has declined since 2009. But looking at batting average and home runs is a very strange way to go about it. The only reason those matter is to generate runs, so why not just look at runs scored?

        And you compound that by only focusing on the “core hitters”. Who’s included there, and why exclude everyone else?

        Howard did not decline in 2008-2011. Look at his OPS+ (OPS relative ot the league) in those years: 125, 141, 127, 126.

        Utley is not the hitter he was in 2005-2010, but when healthy (like the 2nd half of this year), he’s still arguably the best all around second baseman in the game today.

        “Splurging on pitching” is a fine strategy, especially if your objective is to win short series. Why didn’t they win? See above.

        A great predictor of how successful a team is is the differential between how many runs it scores and how many it allows. It does not matter whether you get there by scoring a lot of runs, or by pitching well.

        Howard and Utley are what they are? I don’t think we know what Howard is until he recovers from the achilles. And again, Utley is the best at his position if he can stay on the field.

        Bullpen: they were young and they struggled in the first half, and Qualls didn’t help at all, but look at the stats of the bullpen in the second half:

        3.03 ERA, 5th lowest in the NL
        .200 batting average against, LOWEST IN THE NL
        .619 OPS against, 3rd lowest in the NL

        That is very encouraging going into next year, and makes me really hope they don’t waste their money on another veteran reliever.

        Finally, the core is past their prime? Well two reactions:
        1. No kidding. 2. So what. All that matters is how good they are, not how they compare to some past peak year. Rollins and Utley are arguably still the best double play combination in baseball. Howard really struggled this year but we’ll have to see next year, and Ruiz is actually much better than in 2008-09.

  4. Nina Hartley

    October 3, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    I think Sam did a good job.. I will miss him.

  5. Mike

    October 3, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    I would love to see Jim Thome as the Phillies’ manager one day.

  6. Dave

    October 3, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Shouldve gave Davey Lopes the money he wanted…

  7. LA PHIL

    October 3, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Clearing the way for Sandberg, Wathan, Thome to join the staff

  8. "Big Ed" Delahanty

    October 3, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Finally!!!! Some new coaches, new energy. I agree that Samuel isn’t the best at third base. Excited to have Sandberg up. Looking forward to see what moves are made this off-season.

    • George

      October 3, 2012 at 11:26 pm

      Sandberg isn’t up yet. It appears he will be, but there are still other teams out there who will be hiring managers, and Sandberg will definitely be a candidate for one of those positions.

  9. brooks

    October 3, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Replacing Samuel probably affects next to nothing. Hiring Sanberg to get him into the system is a good move. Why all the interest in Thome? What or who has he managed?

  10. TheDipsy

    October 3, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Hmmmmm, what a non event.

    The Dipsy

  11. Morris Buttermaker

    October 3, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Can’t take another year of Mini Mart. He has to go.

    • Double Trouble Del

      October 3, 2012 at 10:16 pm

      Maybe one of the worst bats in Phillies history.

      • schmenkman

        October 5, 2012 at 5:18 am

        No maybe about it. He’s the worst since John Vuckovich (1970-81).

  12. George

    October 3, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Of the three firings, I’d say that dumping Gross was the most important. I don’t think he could have spotted a flaw in Michael Martinez’s stroke.

    The Phils will have some new hitters in 2013, some of them young and still learning. They’ll need a real coach, not someone who might ruin them all.

    I don’t much care about 1st base, because I think Lopes’ teaching stuck pretty well and now almost anyone will do over there. The Phils still do quite well in stolen base percentage.

    As far as Mackanin goes, so many people have griped about Manuel’s strategies and player usage, but some of that usually comes from the bench coach. Even if Charlie shook some of it off, it’s sometimes wise to have someone else to ask for advice. That’s what a bench coach is mostly for.

    All in all, I’m glad at least a few heads have rolled. The season can’t be blamed completely on injuries.

    • schmenkman

      October 4, 2012 at 5:32 am

      “The Phils still do quite well in stolen base percentage.”

      Yep. They led the NL in SB% for the 6th straight year (2007-12) and 8th in the last 9 (2004-05 and 07-12).

      • schmenkman

        October 4, 2012 at 9:16 am

        (by the way, I think that kind of dominance in a stat over such a long time is pretty unusual)

      • ARc

        October 5, 2012 at 8:38 pm

        yes why not look at runs scored, or even go deeper to figure out how those runs were scored

        I included the core hitters, those I had excluded have produced an avg amount of power from 08-12 as supporting cast. These players exist on every team. And I think I named the core hitters or the batters that contributed the most with HR. there is a stron gcorrelation with HR and runs scored in the phils org from 08-12

        howard may not have declined compared to the league, but he did decline in HR with himself thus affecting the phillies. How he compares to the rest of the league is irrelavent in my analysis.
        Again Utley has dropped in every stat since 08. In 2010 his HR hitting dropped by half it was in 08.
        again the argument is not a critique on the players as a whole, I just trying to pin point where the decline has come from offensively.

        “Splurging on pitching”? I wont touch that, except to say; I think we agree it wasnt the best move at the time.

        I think we do know what Howard is because he was what he was before the injury. Bleacher report ranks Utley 15th overall second basemen. Cant rank a player on who he used to be or what he might be. Utley of now is who you got.
        As for the bullpen, may they are improving, but also pitchers havent gotten the read on these new pitchers. In other words the sample is to small to get a good indication of what they can do.

        And finally on your last point, I did not attempt to gage how good they are now as a point in and of itself, but merely was trying to show a possible correlation between power performance, and the teams ability to make the WS.

      • schmenkman

        October 5, 2012 at 10:54 pm

        Howard: actually, if he didn’t decline relative to the league, then it did not affect the Phillies. And if “what he is” is what he was before the injury, then he’s someone who hasn’t declined since 2008. While that may be the case, we won’t know until next year when he’s fully healed.

        “Splurging on pitching”: I don’t know how I gave the impression it wasn’t the best move. It was a very good move.

        Utley: I don’t really care where some dude at Bleacher Report ranks him. The stats say that when he was on the field this year, he was one of the 2-3 best second basemen in the game, considering offense, defense, and baserunning.

        Finally, power schmower. What matters in the end is wins, and the best predictor of wins is run differential. It doesn’t matter whether they generate that difference between runs score and allowed by hitting home runs or pitching well.

  13. Ken Bland

    October 3, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    I don’t agree with those soft pedaling this news, or saying it won’t help. It’s impossible to tell what communication lines are like between players and coaches, but I suspect the changes could be pretty positive. There’ll be managerial changes, but probably a scarcity. I won’t say Sandberg won’t get a break, but I’d guess it’s a tough year. Assuming he doesn’t, I can only guess, but mine is it’s a terrific move to bring him up, and I assume it’d be a bench coach.

    I assume Pete Mac’s stock has dropped quite a bit. He seemed a little more than a courtesy interview with the Red Sox last year, and his name was bandied about in Cub circles. I never got the impression he was worth a great deal of fuss, but that’s just a fan’s impression.

    Maybe I believe coaches are more important than some people, but I would hope they can step outside this hometown nepotism of sorts and get some effective communicators on board besides Sandberg.

  14. Lefty

    October 4, 2012 at 12:08 am

    The Phils would be very fortunate if Sandberg doesn’t get his own managing gig this winter. I have serious doubts that he will be back here next season at all. Just a feeling I have, no facts to back it up. You can’t hold him back if he gets a good offer, and can’t expect him to wait for the end of Charlie’s era.

    • Ken Bland

      October 4, 2012 at 9:49 am

      That’s interesting that you say that with pretty good conviction. It’s so hard to read organizational thinking across the industry, it’s not even easy to have insight into the club we follow closely without being on the inside. I just don’t see too many changes affording him a timely chance. He might have a wider chance at a plum gig as a coach. I think his best shot might be the Marlins for a manager’s job, but as I suggested, for myself at least, I don’t know how they think. I wonder what the Phils reaction’d be if he did land something, and if they gave them a right of first refusal. I have a sneaking suspicion he’s going to be a pretty good skipper.


  15. Ryne Duren

    October 4, 2012 at 12:52 am

    all i wanna know is… did they have to wake gross up to tell him? i could just see it! greg……greg…. wake up greg. come on gregg wake up bunky.. atta boy.. are you up now bunky? yea ? good! you’re fired . hey sam got your stopwatch? time yourself, see how fast you can go out the door!…..pete you’re on third , here’s the squeeze go pete go ! go home pete! no really pete i’m go home!

    • George

      October 4, 2012 at 9:20 am

      Gross was certainly awake, but he’s no doubt still wandering around the clubhouse. He couldn’t read a hitter’s flaws, so he probably also couldn’t read his pink slip.

      • schmenkman

        October 4, 2012 at 9:24 am

        To be fair, we don’t know what he saw or didn’t see, what he tried to teach (or not), or any other interactions with players. All we know is that the some of the bad habits that we have seen have persisted.

      • schmenkman

        October 4, 2012 at 9:28 am

        …we also know that management wants to make a change, either because they think it’s what the fans want, or (more likely) because they think they can find someone who will have more of an impact.

  16. Bruce

    October 4, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Phillies new HELP WANTED ad: Positions available for 1st base coach, hitting coach and bench coach. Experience preferred; good pay plus bonuses for postseason playoffs.;-)

    Wow! It make the off season all the more interesting. GM Amaro will reload the team where it is needed as the expectations of management, the media and fans remain the same for next season; to contend for the division title.

    The main issues/needs are for 3rd base, a RH bat for OF, and 8th inning setup reliever. It’s possible that solutions can be found within the team without the need for a trade. Ruff (RH bat), Frandsen (3rd base) and Aumont and/or Horst (8th inning reliever. A reminder that relieversStutes and Valdez will be back for spring training.

    The key factor for this team in making another run for the division crown is the health of Howard, Utley, Rollins, Ruiz, Halladay, Lee and Worley. We wish them all to stay healthy and strong in preparing for next season.

    One side note; If Amaro decides a trade is needed, I suggest John Mayberry Jr., Dominic Brown and Vance Worley as trade baits. Also I want to see Juan Pirerre rejoin the team as he provided great value in many ways even at his advanced age.

    • George

      October 4, 2012 at 9:10 am

      There are problems with your proposed trade bait. Mayberry won’t be percieved as a great option, teams aren’t paying a lot these days for “potential” guys like Brown, and Worley is coming off injury and a down season. The three of them as a group probably wouldn’t bring back much of any real use for right now. Also, a trade of Worley would mean acquiring another starter, because Cloyd so far is an obvious question mark and no one else is ready.

  17. c schreiber

    October 4, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Based on the team’s results, the season ended as it should end. The last out was made by Minimart, also his last in the majors I’m sure.

  18. ARc

    October 5, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    shenkman, what is it you dont get? some people are so intent on making their point they miss the big picture. Again, the concept is this; I am only pointing out one possible correlation between HR and post season runs. Do you understand me up to this point? I supported this premis with the decline in HR by the power hitters on the phillies since 2008, and the subsequent decline in post season wins. Do you understand to this point? Utley, whether injured, healthy, your wet dream or just avg. his contribution offensively to this team has declined. I dont care if you think he is the best 2nd basemen who ever lived. Finally, there consistent decline has been affected by their offense. This is almost defininately caused by the lack of replacement power on this team. As evidenced from this year, pitching obviously was not the answer. We have no 3rd baseman, utley, Howard, on a decline, Rollins produces, Ruiz is having an atypical year, we have no outfielders, yet you think pitching was the best moves to make? Producing runs is a process. it is a mechanical operation which takes a working line up. Something we lost in mid 2010.

    • schmenkman

      October 6, 2012 at 12:06 am

      I understand. I just think you’re wrong.

    • schmenkman

      October 6, 2012 at 8:37 am

      To add to that: yes, I think putting together a strong staff was the right move to make, since that is as much of a proven recipe as there is for success in short series. It didn’t work out last year, since there are never guarantees in the playoffs, but their dominance and 102 wins last year does validate the strategy.

      By the way, did you know that for the 2/3 of the season last year after Utley returned, they had the highest scoring offense in the NL? (not that it was all due to Utley, although getting the Valdez/Orr/Martinez Interim Trio out of the lineup certainly helped).

      • ARc

        October 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm

        Obviously having a strong pitching staff is a no brainer. Was it the right move at the right time? I dont think so. Also contrary to superstition, an all star pitching staff does not win WS. As a matter of fact, of the top greatest pitching staffs ever assembled, only one has won a WS. Also let me teach you a postulate of statistics. In a short series/ toss of the dice, your more likely to get irregular outcomes. Over a long haul youre more likely to get an accurate representation of true performance. So, a short series statistically is more likely to favor a weaker team, while exploiting any inconsistency of the overall better team. What youre doing by implying that the Phillies have a better shot in the playoffs based on the record, or what youve just used to formulate an opinion is called ” a representative heuristic” which means youre basing the short term performance at any given time of an entity based on the redundant internal characteristics of that entity( consistently good pitching). Basing your reasoning on the internal consistency of the phillies performance is faulty. (sorry to get so academic, im an Ivy league psych major). Obviously, baseball is not based, or cannot be predicted by any postulates, theories or axioms of academia, but if you do believe the advantage goes to a team like a 102 game winning pitching staff, in a short series statistics say differently. Rangers produced 808 runs vs Oaklands 713 runs. The Rangers almost have 100 more rbis also. The Rangers are the best hitting team .274 in the mlb, the Athletics are 3rd from last .238 on offense while the pitching differentials are negligible; Oakland 3.48 vs. Rangers 3.99.
        After you account for eras the rangers still produced about 20 more runs than the As. However for their one game playoff, having an avg of almost 3 runs a game could only produce one run, while the third worst offense were able to produce 5 runs.

        As far as utley is concerned, again, If he played the whole season we’re probably looking at Jroll production, which would be good for second best on the team, as far as second baseman is concerned he’d be 2nd or third most productive in the MLB. that is awesome, and If he is able to even return to his declined state, he will be of the top second basemen in the league. My only point was that his production has declined since 08 and with that, the phillies offensive output has declined, and it seems there is a synchronous decline between that and post season runs. I know we can at least both agree on that?

      • schmenkman

        October 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm

        What I’m saying (and what I already said earlier) is that the “better” team does have a small advantage, but a small series is that small advantage is often trumped by the vagaries of amatchups, who’s hot, etc. The most important thing is getting to the postseason so you can get a bite at the apple.

      • George

        October 6, 2012 at 6:28 pm

        Your Oakland/Texas matchup is pretty silly. There was a half-run difference in the ERAs you cited, which isn’t “negligible; it’s substantial. Texas could only score one because the A’s pitching was that much better, (it was THEIR consuistent strength in 2012) and actually contained the Texas offense. The fact that Oakland scored 5 is also not all that big a deal when you consider that Texas usually gave up nearly four.

        Anyone who follows baseball is familiar with the axiom that “good pitching beats good hitting.” Oakland won simply because their consistent strenth WAS an advantage in a short series.

        I’m not saying this always holds true, but you should really pick a better example.

  19. ARc

    October 6, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    George, if you paid attention when you read my post you would see that i aready acounted for how Oaklands ERA would suppress some of the Rangers offensive power, but even with Oalands bettter ERA I still calculated Texas putting up around 20 more runs. While Oakland takes a half a run per ever 9 innings, the Rangers still produce about a run more per 10 at bats.
    And I dont consider the ” good pitching beats good hitting” and axiom. Its more like circular reasoning to me. If the hitting is good wouldnt that automatically make the pitching not so good and vice versa? can bad pitching beat good hitting? Can bad hitting beat good pitching? Ive seen the best pitchers have good games and lose, and Ive seen the worst pitchers win, same with hitting. Again my point was that the best offensive team in the Al could not produce a run in a 1 game series. The Phillies having the best pitching staff in 2012 could not prevent one run in a 5 game series. Using internal consistency as a measure of a teams potential in a short sample favors inconsistency. Im also sorry, I meant the orioles. Maybe now my post makes more sense.

    • schmenkman

      October 8, 2012 at 6:57 am

      I won’t address all of that, but in the axiom “good pitching beats good hitting”, “good” is meant to describe how that pitching or hitting has been proven to be over time, like over a full season. So the axiom is that when (proven) good pitching meets (proven) good hitting in a game or short series, the good pitching wins more often. I hope that helps.

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