Change needs to occur for the Phillies, but where?
The Phillies are as disappointing as it gets right now. They are 11 games out of first place and are on pace to once again miss out on the playoffs. Now if this was a normal Phillies season I would not be surprised. However, we have so much money invested in this team, that they should be 11 games ahead rather than behind. Our line-up consists of the 2021 MVP Bryce Harper, the best catcher in baseball JT Realmuto, 2021 Silverslugger Nick Castellanos, and 2021 All-Star Kyle Schwarber. A nice $230 million invested in that lineup.
As of right now, the Phillies are 11th in batting, 20th in pitching, and 20th in fielding. Not only that, they are 30th in heart at the moment. They are not playing well and are as embarrassing as Philadelphia sports teams get. If the Phillies want to make a run this October, they will need to make change ASAP. However, where is that change. Is Joe Giraradi actually on the hot seat? Is major shakeup in the front office coming? Or a massive lineup or rotation change coming?
He has been on the hot seat all season long. The seat has been rumored to be hotter in the most recent days too. People's reasoning for disliking Joe comes down his pure stubbornness. He sticks to his way and has never changed. Look at how he managed the 2009 Yankees and how he manages the 2022 Phillies. It is identical. He goes to the bullpen at horrendous times and his idea that he can not use a guy 3 straight days. However, when a pitcher throws less than 20 pitches across 2 days, I think we can use him on day 3. Or bringing in our closer when there is not a save opportunity.
His involvement of the development of our young players is also hurting this organization. What good is Bryson Slott to this organization if he gets inconsistent at bats and sits the bench for a majority of his games? Yes he is struggling, but that is what rookies do. Baseball rookies are not like basketball rookies where they are instant impact players day 1. Let Slott get the reps in the field and in the batters box.
When I think of an MLB manager, I expect to see a guy the players love and will support. Look at the Dodgers with Dave Roberts. He is always laughing and joking with the players. He has created an atmosphere that is fun and fun can lead to wins. I expect a manager that will back his guys. When Schwarber had his outburst again the Brewers, majority of the managers would have been ejected right after, because they would have backed their guy. Did Girardi? No he went out there and had a casual talk with him (probably agreed with the umpire.)
**Side note: This is the most energy I have seen from this team all season long, and all it took was Angel Hernandez to do Angel Hernandez things!**
However, firing him would be useless at this point. The Phillies coaching staff has no managerial experience. On top of that, their coaching performances have also been below expectations. If the Phillies bring Charlie Manual back for the remainder of the year, I would say there is a chance, but truthfully, Joe Girardi is the best option for the remainder of the season.
However, a shake-up needs to occur with the coaching staff. Infield coach Bobby Dickerson needs to go ASAP. The Phillies defense has cost them games. 3 errors in one play to lose to the Braves? He should have been fired then. The Phillies pitching has also been subpar for a long time. At some point, Caleb Cotham also needs to be held accountable. The Phillies are going stale, but a change in coaching and getting fresh ideas could benefit this team.
Dave Dombrowski and this roster
Every stop he has been at, he has had success. I want to see what he does this year and this off-season. I am not suggesting he needs to leave, but he needs to look at this roster and make some major changes. This roster is not ready to win this year and surely will not be ready next year, so change needs to occur.
He has already made some major investments in the offense, so that no longer needs attention. However, he has failed to truly acknowledge the pitching for this team. He added Corey Knebel and Brad Hand this off-season to the bullpen, however they are not major improvements. The starting pitching is also atrocious. We tried the idea of put 7 runs on the board and hope the other team scores 6. However, then our bullpen makes throwing a 7-1 9th inning lead to the Mets look easy.
We have no consistency from any starter on this team. Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler are not aces. This team needs an ace. Dave needs to get on the phone and make some calls. However, he needs to get on the phone with his scouts. The Phillies have no farm system, however they can go and find that diamond in the rough. Players like Jean Segura or Didi Gregorius (when healthy) could be possible trade candidates to pick up a future ace. We do not have the capital to trade for one right now, but they could find a future ace in the minor leagues.
The change that needs to happen: The Culture
The Phillies need to find a winning culture. They have one of the longest playoff droughts in all of baseball right now. Besides Schwarber no one on this team has played in the World Series. Joe Girardi won a World Series when he managed the Yankees in 09, but never brought that winning mentality with him here.
When you watch this team, I see no passion with them. They are not having fun. I remember Bryce Harper's first season. The man was having so much fun out there. Do you see that from anyone now?
Remember when Bryce hit that walk-off grand slam against Chicago? Look how much fun he is having. If he did that now I bet he is not sprinting around the bases.
The biggest change that needs to occur is the culture. This team has no fire in them. They need to bring in someone to help change that. This season is not lost quite yet. However, if we go into the all-star break down double digit games, than this season is a wash. Joe Girardi needs to step up and spark some fight in this team. I will give Joe till the end of the season, but if he does not change this soon, then Charlie may be back in the dugout.
The Phillies do not have the talent to win on talent alone. They will not be handed a pass to the MLB Playoffs. They need to want it. They need to have that spark. Joe needs to forget about his old habits and adjust the 2022 baseball. Dave needs to find that missing piece in the pitching. This team is not out of it, but a change in culture is needed if they want any chance of playing this October.