Phillies GM Matt Klentak stressing patience in trying time

Oct 26, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies general manager Matt Klentak answers questions during a press conference introducing him at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 26, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies general manager Matt Klentak answers questions during a press conference introducing him at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

The Phillies were a dumpster fire this month but general manager Matt Klentak is continuing to stress patience with this struggling team.

The Phillies are a complete and utter dumpster fire this month for lack of a better term. They are 6-21 as of the last game of the month and are on pace for a 100-loss season. Fans are looking for any way to get out of this landslide, and some want the team to make some promotions and/or demotions in order to do that.

However, general manager Matt Klentak said on Wednesday’s pregame show on CSN Philly that he is going to remain patient this season despite the team’s struggles.

One player he is going to stay patient with is Maikel Franco. The struggling third baseman was benched last week and manager Pete Mackanin said Tuesday the team had considered demoting Franco to Triple-A to work out of his slump. However, Klentak said Wednesday that a demotion for Franco isn’t on the horizon just yet [quote via Matt Breen of]

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"“We believe in him. We have confidence that he will (break out). There are a lot of indicators, whether you’re looking at his exit velocities and launch angles,” Klentak said on Comcast Sportsnet’s Phillies pregame show. “Again, I don’t want to say he’s been a victim of bad luck by itself — it’s not the only thing but there are reasons to believe he can get out this.“It could happen today, it could happen tomorrow, it could happen next week, we don’t know. But we’re committed to showing confidence in this kid and finding out what he can do and that’s really the end of it. Right now, he’s important to us and we need to show confidence in him and let him go out there and play.”"

Another player struggling on offense is center fielder Odubel Herrera. However, Klentak also expressed his confidence in Herrera, noting his defensive prowess: [quote via Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly]

"“He’s been playing good defense in May, but obviously hasn’t been hitting,” Klentak said. “I think he’s gotten himself into an offensive slump largely because he is not taking pitches as well as he has.“When you see the productive Odubel Herrera — it’s when he’s taking close pitches, grinding out walks, pumping his fist and clapping his hands after a walk and pointing to the dugout. We haven’t seen that for the last month.“We have a lot of reason to believe Odubel will come out of it. And the big thing is even when Odubel’s not hitting, he is impacting the game. He is one of the better defensive center fielders and really one of the better defensive players in all of baseball. He’s more productive when he’s hitting, but even when he’s merely playing good defense, he’s still a valuable player to us.”"

Fans want to see some prospects in the major leagues, namely several of the hot hitters in Triple-A like Nick Williams, Rhys Hoskins, and Dylan Cozens. However, Klentak also said the team needs to think about the long view with promotions: [quote via Salisbury]

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"“We’re not going to rush a player to the big leagues — that does not make sense for us right now. I understand why a lot of people want us to do that. I get it. We have to take the long view in certain cases but there are also certain times where we can push the envelope. Andrew Knapp is a rookie and he had not had a single day of service time before opening day. He’s been on the club all year long. We brought up Nick Pivetta, we brought up Jake Thompson, we’ve brought up Ben Lively — though he never pitched — Ricardo Pinto is here today. It’s not like we’re sitting back on our hands, either. We will bring up the kids when we need to, but we still have to have a long view at times.”"

Finally, on the team as a whole, Klentak pointed out that several contenders this season were at one time the worst team in baseball like the Phillies are now. He says that there will have to be a storm before the sun will shine again:

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"“Honestly, what I do when I get frustrated — which I do — is I try to remind myself as much as possible: right now, would we trade places with the current Houston Astros, the current Washington Nationals, the current Chicago Cubs? The answer is yes, but they lived through this.“The Nationals had the number one pick and were the worst team in baseball two years in a row. The Cubs went through four or five years of top picks. The Astros lost 100 games three years in a row. That doesn’t make this any easier to stomach, that’s not what I’m saying at all.“This is kind of where we are right now and we’re doing everything we can to try to pull out of it. But teams that have been successful in their rebuilds have gone through stretches like this. Now, our job is to pull out and try to end this.”"