The Philadelphia Phillies announced the firing of Joe Girardi on Friday after the team started the 2022 season 22-29 under his leadership.
The Phillies currently sit 12 games behind the New York Mets in the NL East race, with DraftKings Sportsbook giving Philadelphia +1600 odds of winning the division.
Phillies seek spark to renew postseason push
The expanded playoff format gives Philadelphia hope of making the playoffs even if it can’t catch up with New York. However, the Phillies are currently 5.5 games out of the final National League wild-card position. DraftKings gives Philadelphia +235 odds of making the playoffs this season.
“It has been a frustrating season for us up until this point, as we feel that our club has not played up to its capabilities,” Philadelphia president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said in a statement. “While all of us share the responsibility for the shortcomings, I felt that a change was needed and that a new voice in the clubhouse would give us the best chance to turn things around.”
Girardi managed the Phillies over the course of three seasons, compiling a 132-141 record with the team. Overall, Girardi is 1,120-935 as a manager in 14 seasons and won a World Series while managing the Yankees.
Bench coach Rob Thomson will take over as the interim manager for the remainder of the season.
The Phillies haven’t reached the postseason since 2011. However, the franchise made moves in the offseason with the goal of landing a playoff spot. Those included signing Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber to improve the lineup, while also adding depth to its bullpen with the likes of Jeurys Familia, Brad Hand, and Corey Knebel.
Girardi: too many things went wrong
The moves haven’t helped as much as the team imagined they would, at least in the first third of the season. While the Phillies may be a bit unlucky – their +1 run differential suggests they should be about a .500 team – they’ve lost seven of their past 10 games and are just 10-18 against teams with winning records.
Philadelphia is carrying a payroll of $233 million, the fourth-highest in MLB this season. Yet they have as many wins this season as the Baltimore Orioles, who carry the majors’ lowest payroll at under $46 million.
The Phillies haven’t played good defense – an obvious deficiency heading into the season – and their power-heavy lineup isn’t suited to the lower-scoring, low-homer environment in 2022. Still, Girardi says he thinks the team can turn it around. On MLB Network Radio, the former manager said that too many things went wrong for the team to succeed in the early going.
“We underperformed and that falls on me. This is what happens,” Girardi said of his firing. “I think you can overcome, sometimes, one thing, maybe even two, but sometimes when it’s more than that, I think it’s somewhat difficult … I just pray that they get better and they get to the playoffs.”
The Phillies host the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night. Philadelphia and starter Zach Eflin are -125 favorites over the Angels (+105).