The Phillies Must Remain Patient


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The awful reality of the Phillies current 9 game losing streak, and their 100 loss pace, is that there is no player in the system that will change any of these outcomes. They are going to get humiliated in some games and that’s just a fact of life. It doesn’t matter if you want to talk about Aaron Nola, J.P. Crawford, Roman Quinn, or any other prospect, none of them are going to be of much help to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2015.

The other awful reality is a lot less awful- at the end of the day, if you’re not contending for a World Series, it doesn’t matter if you lose 109 games, or 75. If you’re not a playoff team, and you’re done at the end of the regular season, the bottom line is unchanged. For the Phillies, had they moved all of these kids faster, or had they signed one or two more ballplayers in the off-season, it would not have changed the outcome. Some people would say they should have done something this past off-season to make this team a 90 loss bad, mediocre club that was at least worth watching, and I can respect that opinion. The thing is, to me, it makes no difference. They had too many aging players under contract to build a good team in 2015, and need to divest themselves of these deals, either through trade or the passage of time. Either way, this team was destined to be terrible, whether they made a few moves or not, whether Ryne Sandberg or someone else was managing, and whether Ruben Amaro called up the prospects or not.

Unfortunately, the Phillies have always been run from a marketing perspective. This was true after 1980, and it was true after 2008. The heroes of the World Titles were rewarded with rich, long-term contracts that took them well outside of their prime, and took the team into a long-term drop-off. That has seemed to change since Pat Gillick took over as team President, but it will take time. Maybe several years. Gillick has said the year “2017” as his target in the past. I don’t think that’s an unfair target.

As crazy as this sounds, this year has been a success if you are able to see the long-term, big picture. Maikel Franco is now in the majors. Aaron Nola is in AAA. J.P. Crawford is in Reading. Roman Quinn is hitting over .300 and stealing bases (at least before his current 7 day DL stint). Zach Eflin, Ben Lively, and even Jesse Biddle are posting ERA’s in the threes. Gabriel Lino, Carlos Tocci, Ricardo Pinto, Kelly Dugan, and even Mark Leiter Jr. have been promoted already this season. The teams in the minors may not be winning championships, but they are producing some decent individuals. Cornelius Randolph and Scott Kingery both seem to be fairly decent draft picks. All of this is beneath the surface, but it’s happening.

I totally understand the desire to see some of these guys get to Philadelphia faster. I get the frustration with the players in Philadelphia. I get the frustration that no one has been traded, and no one has been fired, recently. I understand all of that. Patience is a virtue though. For the Phillies, the important thing is what’s on the field in two years, not what’s on the field today, tomorrow, or even in September. It may be painful, but you might as well sit back and relax, and enjoy the ride back to respectable baseball, through the Lakewoods, Clearwaters, Readings, and Allentowns of the world.

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