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Dave Dombrowski Hired To Lead Phillies Baseball Operations

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The Philadelphia Phillies made it official on Friday that they hired Dave Dombrowski to lead their baseball operations. 

Dombrowski, who began his career in 1978 with the Chicago White Sox, won the World Series in 1997 with the Florida Marlins and in 2018 with the Boston Red Sox.

Dave Dombrowski Hiring in Philadelphia Sees Mixed Reaction

While the Phillies themselves believe Dave Dombrowski is the right hire, local sports media in Philadelphia and podcasters cited Dombrowski’s firing almost immediately after winning the World Series in 2018 as a bad sign.

The podcasters pointed to Boston losing Mookie Betts to the Dodgers as well as a huge contract paid to David Price all during Dave Dombrowski’s tenure with the Red Sox. 

A history of high-priced bad contracts as well as the moving of prospects for players is something that follows Dombrowski from his days even in Detroit where the Tigers lost 100 games three straight years and he had given Miguel Cabrera an eight-year, $248 million contract. 

Dombrowski also said that the team should take steps forward with a retool and not a rebuild which is puzzling to Phillies fans given their last couple of seasons where they did not make the postseason. 

The State of The Phillies Before Hiring Dave Dombrowski

The Phillies themselves have spent $330 million on the Bryce Harper contract and have one of the league’s best catchers in J.T. Realmuto but were 81-81 in 2019 and 28-32 in the COVID shortened 2020.

Manager Joe Girardi and pitcher Zack Wheeler were added in 2020 but the Phillies did not make the playoffs again in 2020 despite the expanded format. The Phillies committed to five years at 118 million for Wheeler.

Didi Gregorius is gone from the Phillies as well and if Realmuto is not re-signed then that hurts the Phillies’ run production and offense in a big way.

Philadelphia also averaged more than five runs per game, the same as the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers but did not make the playoffs. 

Gregorius feasted at Citizens Bank Park with a .371 wOBA and 131 wRC+ as well as seven of his 10 homers versus .322 and 100, respectively, on the road. 

Realmuto’s is one of this year’s top free agents but Dave Dombrowski hinted it would be up to ownership to commit to spending that money. That one is on Phillies billionaire managing partner John Middleton, which led many to question if adding Dombrowski was supposed to help in bringing back Realmuto. 

Realmuto had career highs in OBP at .349 and slugging .491 and is a great framer behind the plate. He is also a fantastic blocker and a base runner’s worst nightmare. 

Can Dave Dombrowski Fix A Bad Phillies Bullpen

The Phillies had the second-worst bullpen in baseball history with a 7.06 ERA in 2020. 

We guess the only way to go is up from that dreadful number and there are some good free agents on the market that could help the team immediately.

Saying that Former Phillies GM Matt Klentak could not address the bullpen needs over the last couple of seasons is an understatement. This will be a serious challenge for Dombrowski. 

https://twitter.com/MLBNetwork/status/1334516676503736329

Liam Hendriks is one player who would slot in and provide immediate results. Since breaking out in 2015 he has the fourth-best WAR by relievers and had a 1.4 WAR in 2020 and has 4.8 WAR overall in his career.

Hendriks’ ERA was a career-low 1.78 in 2020 to go with a WHIP of 0.671, which makes it clear that the numbers do not lie at all. He would be ideal on a 2-3 contract given that he is 31 and a long-term deal might not work as he begins to decline in a few years.

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Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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Ben has been closely following sports since the late 1980s and began writing about them in the 90s. Armed with a BA, an associate certificate, and a diploma, he brings a highly educated perspective to sports betting. Specializing in hockey, baseball, and tech, Ben has contributed many outlets and is a frequent contributor to the CKNW radio station.