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Gillick's Guys: Through August

Hola, amigos. I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but the team's been exciting to watch recently, so it's hard to be Debbie Downer and point out just how much Pat Gillick has done to hurt the team on the field. But, here I am, doing it once again.

Putting aside the roster moves of bringing guys up from the minors or trading away dead weight (which, in the final analysis of how the team plays, is impossible to do), let's just, as we've done throughout the season, look at the talent that Pat Gillick has added to this organization and how that talent has contributed to the product on the field.

As has been the case throughout the year, it's not a pretty sight.

In these charts, VORP is Baseball Prospectus' standard evaluating metric - value over replacement player. WPA is Fan Graphs' stat of win-probability added. It shows a player's net contribution to the team's win total. Each net win is 0.50, and each net loss is -0.50. WPA is a situational stat, so it shows what the player has added (or subtracted) from the team's win probability at the particular situation in the game the player hits or pitches.

Let's start with the neutral, the pitchers:

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Reliever IP ERA WHIP K/BB VORP WPA
Tom Gordon 49.1 3.28 1.20 60/17 14.8 0.90
Arthur Rhodes 43.1 5.19 1.68 45/27 4.6 0.52
Fabio Castro 18.1 0.49 0.49 8/3 11.4 0.06
Matt Smith 2 0.00 0.50 1/0 1.4 0.00
Julio Santana 8.1 7.56 2.04 4/9 -3.0 -0.05
Jamie Moyer 12 6.00 1.33 8/1 -1.9 -0.22
Rick White 22.2 3.97 1.59 11/11 2.6 -0.31
Adam Bernero 2 36.00 4.50 0/2 -6.4 -0.38
Ryan Franklin 53 4.58 1.43 25/17 8.3 -0.55

Gordon's great start has been ruined by injury, but he's had a positive contribution of about two wins by win-probability added. Rhodes has been erratic to say the least, but overall he's been positive. Castro's VORP is excellent, but his win-probability added is minimal as he's been in meaningless game situations for the most part. The rest of Gillick's pitching acquisitions have hurt the team, although none by more than a net win. Overall, the pitchers added to the team by Gillick have been entirely neutral (a total WPA of -0.03).

So why am I so down on Gillick (other than the fact that he traded Bobby Abreu for four bags of old wornout baseballs; no, scratch that, the four bags of balls would at least be useful to somebody)? The hitters he's added to this team have been, with only a couple of exceptions, bad to the point of being very harmful to the team:

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Batter AB AVG OBP SLG VORP WPA
David Dellucci 217 0.304 0.371 0.576 18.3 0.62
Aaron Rowand 405 0.262 0.321 0.425 8.1 0.58
Jeff Conine 5 0.400 0.500 0.600 1 0.05
Jose Hernandez 9 0.222 0.222 0.333 -0.5 -0.10
Alex Gonzalez 36 0.111 0.158 0.111 -6.4 -1.16
Sal Fasano 140 0.243 0.284 0.386 -2.7 -1.34
Abraham Nunez 240 0.200 0.266 0.258 -19.3 -1.96

Of course, Dellucci's been good, and Rowand's had some positive moments amidst a lot of struggles (when he's actually in the lineup, that is). But, the troika of Gonzalez, Fasano, and Nunez have weighed this team down for the entire year. Gonzalez and Fasano are gone now, but their harm of 5 combined net losses has already been done. Nunez is playing better of late, but he's still the second worst hitter in the majors (second to Tomas Perez, who thankfully Gillick didn't re-sign, although the $3.5M for two years to Nunez is pretty much re-signing Perez), and for the season he's contributed 4 net losses to the team all by himself.

Here's the real kicker: for the season, the hitting talent Gillick has added to this organization has netted 6.5 losses for the Phils. Considering the Phils' hitters as a whole have contributed 6.5 net wins to the Phils' record, that means that the guys who were already on the team before Gillick took over have contributed 13 net wins. The pre-Gillick Phillies hitters are being held back by the players Gillick signed.

The first principle of any GM should be "do no harm." Gillick hasn't succeeded in that basic task.