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November 05, 2015

The Phillies finally have a computer!

While other owners are in the news for questionable trophy handling, John Middleton loves him some analytics. He has first-hand knowledge that, over the years, the Phillies have been verrrrry resistant to change when it comes to the sabermetric movement.

Earlier this year, ESPN The Magazine ranked Sam Hinkie and his merry band of quants first in how much they embrace advanced statistical analysis. This was among all four North American major professional sports, mind you. Where did the Phillies rank? 122nd, dead last.

Numbers aren’t everything, but the Phillies’ lack of commitment to what amounts to more information wasn’t acceptable. This is baseball we’re talking about here!

Enter baby-faced general manager Matt Klentak, who has a degree from Dartmouth. One week into the job, he is using a beta version of the team’s sabermetric system that will store scouting reports, stats, medical info, etc. Its name is PHIL, which stands for “Phillies Holistic Information Location.” From Matt Breen of the Inquirer:

“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 said. “That’s what PHIL will provide. I’m new to it. 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.”

The Phillies have a lot of catching up to do, and this is just the start. Now just don’t let Joe Lacob get his hands on PHIL.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann