When ESPN put together their list of just how deep teams are in terms of using analytics, the result was the Phillies coming out last on the list of 30 teams for their use - or lack of use - of analytics. The Phillies have made improving that rating a priority and have been working on a new computer program that would allow them to have all of their scouting, sabermetric and medical information in one place and that place is PHIL.
PHIL - or the Phillies Holistic Information Location - is now up and running, at least in a beta version, that new general manager Matt Klentak is now able to use to assist him and the front office in player personnel decisions.
"Basically, it's a place to house all of our information and synthesize it and try to manage it and pool it and bring all together," Klentak told Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "That's what PHIL will provide. I was not involved in the design of it, but I'm getting more and more familiar with it. We're making some tweaks to it to make sure it suits what we're looking to do and what we're hoping to achieve. It's close to its official launch."
Two years ago, the Phillies hired Scott Freedman to be their manager of baseball analytics, but haven't really delved too deeply into using analytics. The most obvious use came in the Phillies instituting infield shifts against various players. It's not clear how involved Freedman was in designing and implementing the program.
Phillies owner John Middleton has stressed that the Phillies needed to improve their analytics usage and president Andy MacPhail stressed that analytics would play a big part in deciding on the person he hired as the team's general manager.
"I can assure you, as you already probably know, that sabermetrics is something of intense interest of the ownership," said MacPhail after he was hired. The implementation of PHIL is a major step in that direction.