While Phillies GM Pat Gillick reaches the conclusion of his baseball career, a pair of assistants, Ruben Amaro Jr. and Mike Arbuckle, come into focus.
The Phillies are keeping a tight lip on Gillick's replacement, but if it comes down to Amaro and Arbuckle, as assumed, the on-the-job audition must be heading down the home stretch. The assistants have all but replaced Gillick in the public eye. Today’s Inquirer tapped Amaro for news about Tom Gordon, who has not pitched since June 15 in St. Louis. Amaro told the paper that the 40-year-old right-hander has a “balky” shoulder. In addition, Amaro and farm director Steve Noworyta attended yesterday’s Reading Phillies game, where Tyson Brummett earned a no-decision, allowing four runs in six innings while striking out six. Meanwhile, Arbuckle has been the source for most of the pieces regarding possible trades and was a guest on 610-WIP’s midday show yesterday. Generally speaking, Gillick has been out of the picture this season.
Admittedly, these are external, shallow observations done from a desk at the Reading Eagle based on what they've done in the press; it could be a completely different story on the inside. Smart money says the Phils will honor company loyalty, but sweeping change could be on the way depending which candidate is chosen. The next GM figures to be in it for the long haul. Gillick, who served as more of a figurehead these last few seasons and never made any real personnel change, is expected to retire to Seattle once his contract expires after the season. Chuck LaMar, Phillies Director of Professional Scouting and former GM for the Tampa Bay Rays, is also considered a candidate for the job.