People lose jobs when teams finish in last place. The first casualty of the 2014 Phillies season is the man who has ran their draft room for a dozen years.
The Phillies announced that assistant general manager and director of amateur scouting Marti Wolever will not be back in 2015.
Wolever, among other duties, ran the team's amateur draft each year.
"There's nothing easy about the decision we made, but we're trying to get better and we're trying to make changes," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "This is the change that we made. Nothing easy about it. Marti's served our organization very well for a long period of time. But we felt it was time for us to make a change there.
Wolever did not return a request for comment.
Wolever first joined the Phillies in November of 1992. He was named assistant general manager, director of amateur scouting in February of 2012. Prior to that, Wolever had been the Phillies' director of scouting since October 16, 2001, after nine years as the club's national cross-checker and scouting coordinator.
Under Wolever's watch, the Phillies drafted the likes of Cole Hamels and Ryan Howard and also prospects that were used in trades that netted Brad Lidge, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence.
But the Phillies amateur drafts have had more misses than hits in recent years, especially among position player talent. The Phillies find themselves in last place in 2014 in part because they haven't had a second wave of in-house talent to complement Hamels, Howard and company.
In the 12 drafts since Hamels was selected with the 17th overall pick in 2002, the Phillies have drafted the following players with their top picks: Greg Golson, Mike Costanzo, Adrian Cardenas, Kyle Drabek, Joe Savery, Anthony Hewitt, Kelly Dugan, Jesse Biddle, Larry Greene, Shane Watson, J.P. Crawford and Aaron Nola. Those players played in a combined 5 major league games this season.
Amaro was asked if those aforementioned names and the dearth of minor league talent in the current farm system was an indictment of the job Wolever had done lately.
"We just need to be better and we're working to get better," Amaro said. "As I said, Marti did a very good job for us for many years and we need to get better."
Could there be more changes coming in the near future in the front office or coaching staff?
"We're continuing to evaluate things as we go, but we're looking to improve in a variety of areas," Amaro said. "Obviously this is a very important area and we'll continue to assess things as we go. … Player development and scouting has always been the backbone of every organization. It's been the backbone of ours for many years. We've had many players playing right now, our core guys, putting us in a position of success every year. They're all homegrown guys. We've got to get back to bringing that caliber of player back to our system. That's our goal."