Phillies could make more minor-league changes after removing top on-field instructor Chris Truby
The Phillies are still conducting interviews for a new farm director, but it no longer seems as if they will have one in place this week as first planned.
NEW YORK — The Phillies made another change this week to their minor-league system as they parted ways with Chris Truby, the highest-ranking minor-league staff member remaining after last month’s removal of farm director Josh Bonifay and assistant general manager Bryan Minniti.
Truby, 47, joined the Phillies in 2009 and has spent the last three seasons as the minor-league field coordinator, which falls just under farm director in the chain of command as the leading on-field instructor. Part of Minniti’s duties as assistant GM was to oversee the minor leagues.
The removal of Bonifay and Minniti was the start of the team’s minor-league overhaul as their system is ranked near the bottom by most publications. Under Bonifay, the team’s farm system has aggressively implemented analytics and new-age instruction. The new farm director is expected to bring a more balanced approach.
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President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said the Phillies have interviewed “half a dozen” candidates to replace Bonifay and have “a couple more” interviews remaining. The Phillies had hoped to have a farm director hired when instructional league begins on Sept. 27 in Clearwater, Fla. but that might not be possible.
“It’s progressing fine,” Dombrowski said. “Even though I said ideally we’d like to have it [done before instructional league], we’ve also said internally that we weren’t going to rush the process. We’re prepared to proceed without someone at that point.”
Before being promoted, Truby was the team’s minor-league infield coordinator for five seasons and was a single-A manager for five seasons. Truby played 14 years, including parts of four seasons in the big leagues before retiring after the 2007 season.
Removing Truby, Dombrowski said Sunday, provides more freedom for Bonifay’s replacement to hire for important positions. The minor-league season ended Sunday for all levels except triple A, and additional changes to the minor-league staff could be coming.
Marty Malloy, the minor-league infield coordinator, will oversee the instructional league with the help of assistant general manager Jorge Velandia and assistant player-development director Dana Parks, who are replacing Bonifay on an interim basis.
“We feel comfortable with the staff that we have down there. We’re way organized and ready to go,” Dombrowski said.
What about Bohm?
Demoting Alec Bohm to triple A has done little to help the Phillies’ lineup as their third basemen entered Sunday with the ninth-lowest OPS in the majors since Bohm was dropped down.
It’s at least worth considering a return for Bohm, who is back in the lineup at triple A after injuring his wrist and has strong numbers against left-handed pitchers, which the Phillies will see plenty of during the final weeks of the season. If Bohm was in the majors on Sunday, perhaps the Phillies could have started him against Mets left-hander Rich Hill and then subbed out for a late-inning defensive replacement.
“Right now, he’s just like everyone else down there,” Dombrowski said of Bohm’s chances to return to the majors. “He’s playing every day. It took him a while to get back and he’s just down there playing. Is there a possibility? Sure ... It’s important for him to play every day. For him, he needs to play on an everyday basis.”