A Week in Review: Phillies Search for New Identity as Crucial Offseason Begins
As NL East rival Washington Nationals celebrate the organization’s first World Series Championship, the Phillies have begun to take steps to build towards a new decade of what they hope to be more successful than the last. Ever since winning five straight NL East Titles between 2007-2011, including their 2008 World Series Championship, the Phillies have been in search of an identity. Since the end of the Charlie Manuel era (2005-2013), the team has gone through three managers in six years, a slew of drafts that did not live up to their fullest potential and zero playoff appearances.
The organization handed the team over to first-time manager Gabe Kapler in 2017, hoping he and his staff would be able to live up to the front office’s analytical expectations and bring the Phillies back to the postseason. Fast-forward to the present and the Phillies front-office is clearly changing its tune by signing several veteran-minded leaders in new head coach Joe Girardi, pitching coach Bryan Price, and new director of amateur scouting Brian Barber.
Recent Roster Moves
– 11/3: Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta exercises a $20 million option to stay with the Phillies. The 33-year-old right-hander did not pitch after August 11 due to surgery that removed a bone spur in his right elbow. Since joining the club in 2018, Jake has posted a record of 18-19 with an ERA of 4.27. The Phillies are optimistic that the 2015 Cy Young winner will have a bounce-back season as he returns from successful elbow surgery.
– 10/31: Several players elect free agency. The list includes RHP Juan Nicasio, 3B Sean Rodriguez, RHP Tommy Hunter, LF Corey Dickerson, LHP Drew Smyly, RHP Nick Vincent, 2B Brad Miller and 1B Logan Morrison. The team also activated CF Odubel Herrera from the restricted list after serving an 85-game suspension due to a domestic abuse incident in late May. His future with the team remains unclear.
– 10/30: Phillies claim RHP Robert Stock off waivers from the San Diego Padres. Stock was drafted 67th overall in the second round of the 2009 MLB draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. He made his MLB debut with the Padres at age 28 in 2018. Stock has posted a 2-1 record and has an ERA of 4.11 in 50.1 innings of relief throughout the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
The offseason is about to heat up and the Phillies will be looking to make more moves in the next few months. Fans will get an opportunity to see just how committed to the club management is.
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