Ruben Amaro Jr. and the Phillies might hire a stat-head

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Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has always prided himself on making decisions based on scouting and has often mocked the importance of statistical analysis.

But after going 154-170 over the past two seasons Amaro is talking about changing his approach, at least a little bit:

We’re going to make some changes. I think we’re doing some stuff analytically to change the way we do some evaluations. Look, we’re going to continue to be a scouting organization. That said, I think we owe it to ourselves to look at some other ways to evaluate. We’re going to build more analytics into it. Is it going to change dramatically the way we go about our business? No. But we owe it to ourselves to at least explore other avenues.

But wait, here’s the kicker from Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com:

Amaro said the club might hire a person with an analytics background. “We may bring someone in from the outside, but we have not decided that yet,” Amaro said. “If we have any changes at all, they will be pretty minor.”

Does that mean Amaro and the Phillies have yet to employ anyone with an analytics background? If so, that’s pretty astounding in 2013. Or, you know, 2003 even.

Tigers sign Francisco Liriano

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Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that the Tigers have signed Francisco Liriano to a one-year, $4 million contract.

Liriano split time between the Blue Jays and Astros last year, putting up a 5.66 ERA in 38 games, 18 of which were starts, striking out 85 and walking 53 in 97 innings. He pitched two-thirds on an inning in the World Series, but overall it was a pretty substandard season. But hey, those innings ain’t gonna eat themselves, and Liriano will eat some in Detroit.

Not to speak ill of him: he is almost certainly the second best Francisco Li- player in the division.