Phillies front office: “Sabermetrics? We don’t need no stinkin’ sabermetrics!”

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That may not be an exact quote. And really isn’t anything close to what the Phillies people said in the article. I just like “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” and try to use that construction whenever possible.

But Bob Brookover of the Philly Inquirer does write today about how Ruben Amaro and his team aren’t as taken with statheaddy concerns as a lot of other teams:

WAR – wins above replacement. What is it good for?

The Phillies will not tell you “absolutely nothing,” but when it comes to evaluating talent, they are much more inclined to rely on human eyes than sabermetric calculations.

“We do utilize some of the information,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said during a recent workout at the Carpenter Complex. “There are times when I think maybe we should use it some more, but, frankly, I have a great deal of confidence in the people that we have hired to help us make some of the scouting and personnel decisions. I err on that side probably because I believe in our people.”

Brookover goes on to quote the Phillies’ analytics people who say that they use some stuff and not others and that their biggest use for some of the advanced metrics is to try to figure out how other teams — who do use them a lot — might value a given player.

Interesting enough, but the whole “stats or no stats” thing is so very ten years ago. Every team uses stats in some capacity and every team relies on traditional or more advanced eye-witness scouting techniques too. Indeed, you can read the quotes from Amaro and the other people to mean “we don’t use WAR because, dude, we have our own proprietary analytics that are way better than that.”  Which most teams do.

The binary stats vs. scouts thing in front offices basically doesn’t exist anymore. Teams have different ways to skin the player development cat, but none of them take some stubborn position that certain types of knives shouldn’t be used.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.