The Philadelphia Phillies relieved Joe Girardi of his manager duties 51 games into the season on Friday. Girardi managed one full season in Philadelphia and finished his tenure with a 131-141 record. The shortened season in 2020 was his first with the club, followed by a mediocre 82-80 season in 2021.
The organization named bench coach Rob Thomson the interim manager for the remainder of the season. Thomson worked with Girardi for the entirety of his tenure with the Yankees before reuniting with him in Philadelphia. He joined the organization in 2018 when Gabe Kapler was the manager. The Phils are considered one of the biggest disappointments in baseball, despite the number of high-profile players on the roster.
@HarryBrownRusso, @nearn_9 and I legit just did a podcast the other night talking about the #Phillies and Giraldi’s future.
We kinda thought a move would be made at the end of the year. But here’s the pod to hear more: https://t.co/rTMj7XHsvs
— Jovan Alford (@Jovan10) June 3, 2022
The bullpen continues to be one of the least reliable in baseball, and the team has struggled defensively. The lineup has explosive bats, but they lack a clear leadoff hitter, with Kyle Schwarber producing more from the sixth hole (.265/.438/.612 with five home runs and 12 RBIs).
Nevertheless, the Phillies need to improve under Thomson, or they’ll be looking for their third manager since the 2019 season. The team will also likely be sellers at the August trade deadline if the struggles continue. The Mets and Braves could take control of the top-two spots in the division, which could open the door for the Phillies to add to the farm system.
The Phillies will hope to start the Rob Thomson era with a win against the Angels on Friday night. Millville, N.J. native and MLB superstar Mike Trout will be the talk of the town, followed by Shohei Ohtani, who is making his first appearance in Philly. Phillies fans will enjoy the superstars coming to town this weekend but will make their first examinations of Thomson as manager.
[Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports]