10/02/12 7:46 PM ET
Amaro has high praise for scouting department
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
That means everything from the 40-man roster to the Minor League system to the coaching staff to the scouting department.
The Phillies feel that they made a nice addition to the scouting department on Tuesday, hiring Bart Braun, a former scout with the Rays, as special assistant to the general manager.
GM Ruben Amaro Jr. called Braun's hire "a home run as far as his ability to scout and contribute to our club. He has a lot of experience in scouting in several different areas."
Amaro added that the rest of his scouting staff is returning.
"Just like in any other part of our organization, everybody is being evaluated," he said. "Everybody."
"Oh, I would think so," he said.
Every organization has hits and misses throughout a season: good and bad free-agent signings, good and bad trades, a player released who should not have been, a promoted player who surprises everybody, and so on.
The trick is minimizing the misses.
The Phillies have had some of those. Last September they acquired John Bowker from Pittsburgh instead of promoting Brandon Moss from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Bowker went hitless in 13 at-bats with the Phillies. Moss signed with the A's in December, and this season hit .287 with 21 home runs, 47 RBIs and a .947 OPS in 258 at-bats.
The Phillies signed Chad Qualls, who brought with him numerous question marks entering the season. He was wildly inconsistent, so the Phillies traded him to the Yankees on July 1.
And one wonders why Philadelphia did not have more interest in somebody like Josh Willingham, who looks like a steal after signing a three-year, $21 million contract with Minnesota.
On the plus side, the Phillies signed Juan Pierre to a Minor League contract, which was a bargain. Pierre is hitting .310 with 37 stolen bases and has been a positive presence in the clubhouse. They also acquired left-hander Jeremy Horst from Cincinnati in exchange for Wilson Valdez during the offseason, a deal that also looks like an absolute steal. Horst is 2-0 with a 1.19 ERA in 31 appearances, whereas Valdez is hitting .203 with a .458 OPS with the Reds.
Other Minor League free-agent signings, such as Kevin Frandsen and Erik Kratz, played well enough that they could be on next season's Opening Day roster.
"We evaluate all those things," Amaro said of the good and bad moves. "We don't hit on every single guy. At the same time, I think we've done a very good job hitting on most. I have a great deal of trust in Mike Ondo, who heads up our pro scouting staff. He's as thorough and as good as there is. I think Mike and his people did a great job at the Trade Deadline. We got some very, very good players. We came away with some players that we believe really helped our organization and are going to make some impact on our club pretty soon.
"Listen, we're talking about human beings here. When you try to make moves that you think will work out and [they] don't for whatever reason, a lot of the stuff is not under your control. I feel pretty confident in the people that we employ to be the eyes and ears of our organization. I think we have as good a group of people in our baseball ops department as any club in baseball."
Rollins' season has likely come to a close
WASHINGTON -- Manager Charlie Manuel said on Tuesday that Jimmy Rollins probably will not play again this season. The season ends on Wednesday, so this is not catastrophic news.
Rollins, who is dealing with an issue in his right calf, finishes the season hitting .250 with 33 doubles, five triples, 23 home runs, 68 RBIs, 102 runs and 30 stolen bases. His .746 OPS percentage ranks sixth among 21 qualifying shortstops in baseball.
Rollins signed a three-year, $33 million extension in the offseason. If the Phillies can continue to get that kind of production from him -- although they would like to see a bump in batting average and on-base percentage (.316) -- they will be very pleased with the deal.
Infielder Freddy Galvis is participating in the instructional league in Clearwater, Fla., and he is scheduled to play winter ball in Venezuela. Galvis missed time this season because of an injured back and a 50-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Five Phillies are eligible for salary arbitration this offseason: left-hander Antonio Bastardo, right-hander David Herndon, outfielder Nate Schierholtz, and infielders Kevin Frandsen and Pete Orr.
General manager Ruben Amaro hinted that the Phillies might be more judicious in how they spend their money in the offseason. Rather going for a high-risk, high-reward signing, they might get back to more of a Pat Gillick-style approach and find some good bargains.
"There are some guys who have some track records, but what guarantee do we have that some of the guys that we may sign for a significant amount of money are any better than the players we have in this clubhouse?" Amaro said.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.