The Philadelphia Phillies are in a bad way as of late. They'll enter Tuesday's game against the San Francisco Giants having lost 11 of their last 15 contests. That poor stretch has left them with a 21-28 mark on the season, putting them 11 ½ games back in the National League East and six back in the wild card race. Nevertheless, manager Joe Girardi told reporters on Sunday that he is not concerned about being fired in response to his team's recent struggles.
"I don't worry about my job," Girardi said, according to ESPN. "I've never worried about my job. I don't worry about my job. I've got to do my job. It's the business of being a manager. I don't worry about it."
Girardi, who the Phillies hired prior to the 2020 season, is in the final guaranteed year of his contract. The Phillies do hold a club option on his services for next season, though it's unclear how likely they are to exercise it. In two-plus years at the helm, he's amassed a 131-140 record, good for a 48.3 winning percentage, and has failed to lead the Phillies to the playoffs.
It would be unfair to blame Girardi for all of the Phillies' problems, but he deserves criticism for questionable bullpen management and, seemingly, an inability to keep his players loose.
"I don't know how to describe the energy now, but it's obviously not where it needs to be," outfielder Nick Castellanos told the Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday, "because we're not playing like we should be."
How should the Phillies be playing? They were expected to benefit from the expanded postseason this summer, to the extent that they spent the winter adding veterans like Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber to a core that already included Bryce Harper, Zack Wheeler, and J.T. Realmuto, among other stars.
Despite underperforming so far, the Phillies still have decent playoff odds, depending on the source. Baseball Prospectus' forecasts give them roughly a 50 percent chance at cracking October's tournament, while FanGraphs' have them at 22 percent. SportsLine's projections aren't nearly as rosy, with the Phillies holding just a 10 percent shot at making the postseason.
Whatever the case, it's worth noting that the Phillies also overhauled their coaching staff last offseason, dismissing Girardi's hitting and infield coaches. Teams who do such things don't always change managers in short order, but they certainly would seem more likely to do so than the average club.