Phillies President Andy MacPhail phinally spoke on Monday and gave some very intriguing nuggets
Andy MacPhail arrived in Philadelphia as the veteran front office executive with a history of turning rust into gold. He did it with Minnesota, Chicago, Baltimore, and hopefully Philadelphia.
In his “start of the season” news conference, MacPhail gave the fans and media some great information and soundbites.
Here’re our takeaways from Andy MacPhail’s news conference.
1. The organization is in tremendous hands
The history behind Andy MacPhail dates back to his grandfather, Lee, who currently resides in the Hall of Fame. While the name “MacPhail” sounds perfect for the back page of the Philadelphia Daily News the Phillies president has done anything but phail. With a young, competent general manager hiring and all the right moves being made from a player personnel standpoint, it’s clear that MacPhail is the right man to lead the Phillies back to relevancy.
2. MacPhail wants more pitching
MacPhail provided one of the all-time great quotes at his news conference on Monday regarding the need for pitching.
“After improving the pitching, the next thing we should do is improve the pitching, and then after that, we should improve the pitching.”
Despite the naggy Ruben Amaro Jr. “pitching wins championships” mantra hanging in the back of our heads, MacPhail actually has the correct approach. Instead of acquiring and overpaying for veterans (which we’ll hit on later) MacPhail wants to build this team from the ground up with young, durable pitching.
3. The Phillies will spend money when the time is right
MacPhail acknowledged the Phillies can not solely rely on the farm system to provide the team everything it needs to win. While it’s not the 180-side of the spectrum from Amaro Jr., MacPhail confirmed the Phillies will spend money when the time is right.
"My experience has been that you can find the hitters. Particularly in our ballpark. And we have resources (aka $$$). When you have to sign pitchers through free agency, they’re fragile, they’re expensive. There’s times when you’re going to have to do it, but the more you can avoid it, the more you should. To me, it’s about pitching.”"
Everyone and their grandmothers know that the Phillies are eyeing the big name free agent classes coming in a couple of years to give them a championship push. This team has zero money on the books going forward, can afford Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, Clayton Kershaw etc.
4. Prospects are on their way
MacPhail highlighted the rarity of having major league prospects at nearly every position at the Triple-A level.
"What we feel very strongly about is the level of our position player prospects at the higher levels of our system. Perticularly, what might be the Triple-A team virtually every position is maned by someone who we think might have a major league future. That’s rare.”"
The names MacPhail is referencing are well known by now for Phillies fans: J.P. Crawford, Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro, Dylan Cozens, Jesemuel Valentin, Scott Kingery, Rhys Hoskins. Those guys are expected to be the future, and they are coming.
"Our expectation is that we’ll continue to introduce new talent onto our major league team, not unlike what we did last year (i.e. Alfaro, Thompson)."
5A. MacPhail wants even more pitching
Did Andy mention he wants more pitching?
5B. The team will be better, and ownership wants to make sure of it
While much of the old ownership that pushed for championships over growth (Giles, Buck, Gillick) are gone the Middleton’s are still pushing in the same direction. MacPhail said he expects this team to be better, and that ownership “quite frankly … doesn’t have the appetite” for losing.
This team added two veteran starting pitchers, two veteran hitters, and stabilized the bullpen. It will be better and we the fans must trust the process.