After yesterday’s 9-2 win over the Cardinals, Phillies president Pat Gillick retracted his statement that the club would contend as early as 2017 or 2018, according to Phillies beat-writer Todd Zolecki.
“It might take a little longer,” Gillick said in regards to the Phillies’ rebuilding process.
The Phillies are in the midst of one of the worst seasons in their franchise’s history, and currently have the worst record in MLB at 24-47. They are near-the-bottom in a number of key categories such as runs scored, home runs, OBP, and ERA.
Gillick, who will likely step down from his current position in the front office before next season, did not share any news regarding the Andy MacPhail rumors that surfaced earlier last week.
“I can’t confirm anything in regards to Andy MacPhail,” said Gillick.
Ruben Amaro Jr.’s future with the club was another topic Gillick touched on by saying that “there will be no change” with the team’s general manager.
In regard’s the job Ryne Sandberg has done as the team’s manager, Gillick had this to say:
“We knew what a challenge we would have on wins and losses. If you want to judge a guy on wins and losses then no, he hasn’t done a good job. If you want to judge the way he’s conducted the club, the way he’s kept them battling in games, that indicates to me that he’s keeping these guys in a positive frame of mind and that’s the most important thing.”
Sandberg cannot take the blame for the state of the team right now, especially with certain players not performing at their expected levels. However, his in-game management has been questioned along with his decision making.
The Phillies have not shown a lot of reason to be optimistic for the future, besides the solid play of 22-year-old Maikel Franco. The farm system has shown some promise, with pitcher Aaron Nola quickly moving through the team’s organization, and the performances of outfielder Roman Quinn and shortstop J.P. Crawford.
With the July 31 Trade Deadline approaching, the club’s future will become a little clearer. The Phillies have pieces that they would like to part ways with, such as Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon. The key for the Phillies is Hamels. If the Phills get the right return for the 31-year-old left-hander, then there can be reason for some optimism. If they don’t, Gillick’s deadline of 2017 or 2018 will become more of a stretch.