I may be the only one, but the more talks swirl around the Phillies looking to the future, the more it's important to look at Pat Gillick's acquisitions so far to judge his ability to evaluate talent when he brings guys to the team in the future. In that vein, here's another installment of Gillick's Guys, the All-Star Break edition.
The pitchers this time around have a few new guys on the list. In the past month, Gillick has added "proven veteran" Rick White, has traded for a promising young arm in Fabio Castro, and has called up another arm he signed in Adam Bernero. How are they doing, along with the other pitchers acquired by Gillick this year?
As has been pointed out throughout the year, other than All-Star Tom Gordon, this is not a pretty bunch. Franklin's recent streak of decent pitching has brought him back to respectability, but Arthur Rhodes has imploded lately (a 14.40 ERA in his last 8 outings, ouch!). Castro has shown promise so far, but White's "proven veteran" status has proven that he's just more of the same - another mediocre old arm in the bullpen. Bernero's one start was a failure, and he was sent packing.
Overall, if Gillick has the ability to find pitchers who can really contribute at the major league level, we haven't seen that ability yet this year other than in Tom Gordon.
Gillick's hitting roster has stayed the same all year:
And the story is pretty much the same as it has been all year. Rowand has been a good contributor, although nowhere near the contributor the Kenny Michaels (or Jason Lofton) platoon was last year. Gonzalez thankfully retired; Nunez should do the same, but would you with a guaranteed $3.5M salary? It's amazing that his .362 OPS has come to the plate over 100 times this season. That OPS is the worst in the majors for anyone with over 100 plate appearances, and his -15.0 VORP is fourth-worst in the majors. He should be designated for assignment, demoted, or, if he has to stay on the roster, left in the clubhouse to fix the post-game buffet. He should not see the light of day with a bat in his hand. Ever. Next to Nunez, Fasano is Babe Ruth, but next to the rest of the league, he's just another weak-hitting catcher. Lucky for him, he has cool facial hair and an ethnicity that bonds him to half the Phillies' fanbase instantly. He's the Teflon catcher.
The bright spot is the emergence of David Dellucci. I was high on him when he was traded for in the off-season, if only because the Phils' bench was so bad last year. Now that there's a possibility of one or both of the starting corner outfielders being traded, having him as a backup is even more important. Or, he could be traded himself for a valuable future piece of the puzzle. Or, he's just valuable spelling Abreu, Burrell, or Rowand when they need days off. However he's used, if he's getting consistent at-bats, his production is going to be helpful.
Again, what we've seen from Gillick as a talent evaluator is not very encouraging. It's not an outright disaster by any stretch, but if he's going to rebuild the team this year and in the off-season, let's hope the guys he brings in do a better job than the guys he's put on the field so far.