Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. has been something of a lightning rod in recent years, getting most of the blame for the team’s fall from grace after the 2011 season. There were a number of poor decisions made under his leadership, including the Ryan Howard extension, the Cliff Lee trade to Seattle, separate trades to acquire Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence which depleted the minor league system, as well as some regrettable public comments with which he insulted Ryan Howard, showed he didn’t understand how OPS worked, and denigrated the value of walks.
The Phillies hit rock bottom earlier this year, when manager Ryne Sandberg quit suddenly due to an inability to effectively communicate with his players. Amaro named Pete Mackanin the interim manager, and the team has played much better and players have effusively praised Mackanin. Amaro also oversaw the overhauling of the Phillies’ minor league system, trading Jimmy Rollins during the off-season and executing trades of Jonathan Papelbon, Ben Revere, Cole Hamels, and Chase Utley. The Phillies now arguably have one of the five-best minor league systems in baseball.
And that may be reason enough for the Phillies to bring Amaro back for the 2016 season, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports. Amaro’s contract expires after the season, but incoming team president Andy MacPhail — taking over for outgoing president Pat Gillick — may keep Amaro in the GM seat rather than find a new candidate from outside the organization.
Heyman does cite as potential external GM options J.J. Piccolo of the Royals, Matt Klentak of the Angels, and John Barr of the Giants.
It was another night of explosive offense for the Blue Jays, who pounced all over Angels starter Andrew Heaney and then kept right on rolling through the Anaheim bullpen Saturday night in a 15-3 victory.
Josh Donaldson picked up his 34th home run, 33rd double, and drove in six runs to push his RBI total to 100. The 29-year-old third baseman really is making a charge at Mike Trout for American League MVP.
Toronto is still a half-game behind the Yankees, who got a very good start from rookie Luis Severino on Saturday night to beat the Indians, but there’s no reason to think this Blue Jays attack is going to let up over the next five weeks. Jose Bautista had a two-run triple on Saturday as part of a 3-for-5 showing. Chris Colabello also finished 3-for-5 with two RBI. Edwin Encarnacion drove in three.
Ben Revere even got in on the act with a 2-for-4 and three runs scored.
Your box scores and AP recaps from Saturday …
Indians 2, Yankees 6
Braves 7, Cubs 9
Giants 2, Pirates 3
Twins 3, Orioles 2
Brewers 1, Nationals 6
Rangers 5, Tigers 3
Royals 6, Red Sox 3
Diamondbacks 11, Reds 7
Dodgers 1, Astros 3
Phillies 4, Marlins 2
Mets 14, Rockies 9
Cardinals 0, Padres 8
Blue Jays 15, Angels 3
Rays 5, Athletics 4
White Sox 6, Mariners 3 (10 innings)
The Blue Jays acquired Ben Revere from the Phillies on Friday in exchange for right-handers Alberto Tirado and Jimmy Cordero. The speedy outfielder has made a good first impression in his debut with his new club this afternoon against the Royals:
Revere was batting .298/.334/.374 with 24 steals over 96 games this season prior to Friday’s trade. He’s expected to function as Toronto’s regular left fielder down the stretch.