But keeping existing staff is a choice. This is the organization he chose to move forward with. It was also a choice by DD to wait a year, before making changes, especially after the damage wrought by MacPhail's sitzkrieg.
"Still not ready to call the season toast, but the ceiling is last playoff spot and perhaps, a big first-round upset. It's all well and good to say the schedule will get easier, and the team may improve/change as well, but there are too many better teams that will prevail in a post-season series, of any length."
I can't really disagree with this. I'll only say that we are at the 50-game mark and June and this year's Phillies have IMHO revealed their character and talent level. And what is revealed is: losers.
There are those media experts who will declare that the first third of the season is for evaluation and then changes can follow, which improve the team's fortunes beyond what seems apparent in the moment. I have 3 counters for that"
-- the Phillies have already shot their budget for the year, with DD receiving approval to go $20 mill over budget, so it is unlikely that we are in a preferred position among contenders for the final wildcard, when it comes to using $ for deadline deals, in which we take on a bad contract
-- I'll argue that we are in a bad position in terms of being able to trade minor league talent for deadline help, in comparison to other contenders with deeper/stronger farm systems
-- I'll also argue that with our top prospects either lower in system (not O'Hoppe) and an old team, which has big contracts locked in for years, and which is playing very poorly that thinking in terms of the future arc of this franchise, we would be among the least likely teams to trade future for present. DD is less likely to get permission to do that, because the picture he painted for Middleton in getting permission to blow through the lux cap is now known to be lacking in reality