While There are Similarities, the Phillies Aren’t Exactly the Royals


While I can appreciate the comparison, I have to disagree on the inference:

Tuesday, Madson stood in a corner of the clubhouse and talked about his new team in terms that might make you nostalgic.

“The first couple of weeks I was here, when I walked into the clubhouse, I thought, ‘This is like the ’07 Phillies,’ ” Madson said. “The atmosphere, the energy, the players – they all played together in the minor leagues, and now they are experiencing this together.”

But think about how long those players were together before they experienced that success. Think about the number of years between the date they were drafted and the date they made the playoffs.

Amaro would be wise to choose his words more carefully, which he spent most of Tuesday acknowledging. But judging by the trajectories of other teams that started from the bottom and now are here, the fan base would be wise to recalibrate its timetable.

Generally, I agree. Fans who think this team should be better in 2016 are being unreasonable. The Phillies are really, really bad right now. With that said, the idea that they will take a decade is kind of foolish too.

I count the Phillies as having five prospects right now that I am very confident will make it- Crawford, Nola, Franco, Eflin, and Quinn. They may not go five for five, but these guys have mostly reached the upper minors and still are showing signs of success, and so they give me hope. To be fair, that is not quite in the league of the current Royals group, which was homegrown all the way through, however I don’t think that’s all the Phillies have. There are players in the majors (or who will be back this year), such as Galvis, Herrera, Asche, Giles, De Fratus, Diekman, Gonzalez, and Buchanan, who might also factor into the plans. Let’s assume three or four of these players will factor in though, and now you are looking at eight to ten roster spots being filled. This is before any potential trades of guys like Papelbon, Howard, Utley, Harang, or of course the big one, Cole Hamels, that will presumably bring more bodies into the system who are going to be a part of the future. Now you are looking at likely half of your next good roster being in place by Opening Day of 2016. It’s fair to say that your 2017 or 2018 roster is half built then.

Of course there is another fundamental difference between the Phillies and say the Astros or Royals- money. The Phillies have deep pockets that other teams don’t. They have a very large TV deal beginning. They have money to their aging stars that mostly comes off the books in the next two years. They have a very, very wealthy partner in the ownership who likes to win. They have not cried poverty at any point since they stopped winning in 2011, even this season as attendance has dropped. This coming off-season has a deep crop of pitchers, and the Phillies have plenty of money to sign a future bat, or two.

Again, the 2015 team stinks, and the 2016 team isn’t going to contend to win anything. You’d have to look ahead to 2017 even be hopeful, and that may be a little early too (though i’m not sure who’s future in the NL East is a lock that far out). Looking at the situation though and thinking the Phillies will be bad still in 2020 is being excessively negative with your outlook. If this team can do anything right, they should be back in just a few years.


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