On Friday afternoon, which is always the best time to release important news, the Phillies announced that they had hired two new people into their baseball operations department.
The most notable name on there is Sam Fuld, who was a major league player until just a few hours ago. He officially retired earlier today, though he hadn’t played in the majors since 2015. (Fuld did play on Team Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.) Fuld is joining the Phillies as “major league player information coordinator” after spending parts of eight seasons with four different teams. He was an outfielder and a bench guy — he never played more than 120 games in a single season, and only once topped 400 plate appearances. Not that any of those things mean anything in his new position, of course. He’s the player information coordinator now, not the game-playing, hit-getting, plate-appearance guy. Fuld also has a bachelors in economics from Stanford, so he and Ruben Amaro Jr. will have to meet up at the next reunion.
The Phillies also hired Ben Werthan as minor league player information coordinator. Werthan has spent the last six years as the advance scouting coordinator for — say it with me — the Baltimore Orioles. Team president Andy MacPhail, former Orioles executive, loves him some Orioles dudes. Werthan is a graduate of Dickinson College (my grandfather’s alma mater, so good choice), and has also done some baseball ops interning for the Reds and Rays.
As for what Fuld and Werthan will be doing, well, that’s a little less obvious. Here’s the final paragraph of the Phillies’ statement.
Fuld and Werthan will work closely with the Phillies players, coaches, front office staff and research and development department. They will help integrate the use of information in all areas of on-field performance and preparation and make recommendations regarding the most effective areas of future research and analysis.
That’s certainly a doozy. Let’s try to unpack this. So Fuld and Werthan will work closely with a bunch of Phillies people and departments to integrate “information” into... things?
That’s the best I’ve got. All I can imagine right now is Fuld sitting at a desk and calculating the ideal number of push-ups to do during pregame warm-ups. I know it’s more than that, but the Phillies have given so little actual information that I’m left to imagine Fuld and Werthan sitting in the Phillies cafeteria, counting out spinach leaves and doing complicated equations to figure out the perfect number of leaves for a salad.
Even though we don’t know exactly what they’ll be doing (beyond integrating “information” into things), congratulations to Sam Fuld and Ben Werthan on their new Phillies jobs. This is a great time to join the organization, which is something we haven’t been able to say with honesty in at least four years.