Ruben Amaro Jr. is not blind.
Entering the final month of his team’s third straight season that will end with his high-salaried club out of the playoffs, Amaro knows the current makeup of his roster is not a winning one.
After dealing John Mayberry Jr. to the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday night, Amaro admitted on Monday afternoon that change was necessary in the coming months.
“You know, not that it’s a huge change, but we’re going to have to start churning the roster in a way that it’s going to have it be improved,” Amaro said of swapping Mayberry for minor league third baseman Gustavo Pierre. “We felt like we’re covered in the outfield as far as what we have right now and what we might have coming.”
Given his choice of words, Amaro was asked if he expected a lot more change (roster turnover) this winter.
“I think we need it,” he said. “What we have on our roster right now isn't working. How much we do depends on what makes sense for us. We're still assessing what we have, but I think it behooves us to look to make changes because we need to be better.”
But change can be tough when you have more than a couple players locked into not-easy-to-move, long-term contracts, right?
“These are discussions that we'll hold closer to the end of the year or after the season,” Amaro said. “We have a lot of ideas where we want to go, but to crystallize those we'll have to see how things go, particularly when we have a chance to see some of the guys called up here. We have a lot of decisions to make. I think it's a good thing. Change is going to be good in certain ways. Consistency is important too. I think we have a lot to assess, but we have a pretty good idea where we want to go. We just have to start thinking about the execution of those things.”
Mayberry, 30, hit .242 with 52 home runs and a .733 OPS in 6 seasons (500 games) with the Phillies. In exchange for the righthanded hitting reserve outfielder, the Phils received the 22-year-old Pierre, who is likely to spend 2015 at Double-A Reading.
“We’ve actually seen a lot of him this year, and our player development people and our scouts have seen a lot of improvement in him,” Amaro said. “He’s got the defensive tool and the power tool. He strikes out a lot and he doesn’t walk a lot. But he’s improved over the last couple years. But he’s improved over the last couple years. We’ll see what we got out of him.”
Pierre, a free agent signed out of the Dominican Republic, has hit .247 with 36 home runs and a .660 OPS in 6 minor league seasons (540 games). In the last two seasons, Pierre has hit 16 home runs while striking out 240 times and walking 17 times in 231 games between A-ball and Double-A.