Phillies hire Kilambi as an assistant GM

Former Rays executive to lead research and development department

November 11th, 2021

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies continue to reshape their baseball operations department as they try to catch up to the best teams in the National League.

The Phillies announced Thursday that they named Anirudh Kilambi as an assistant general manager in charge of research and development and the club’s use of data in all aspects of decision-making.

Kilambi, 27, previously worked in the highly regarded Rays front office, most recently as the assistant director of baseball research and development. Former bosses in Tampa Bay routinely cited Kilambi’s contributions in unearthing under-the-radar pitching talent that produced at the big league level.

“Ani’s skillset and personality provide us exactly what we were looking for when we started this search,” Phillies general manager Sam Fuld said in a statement. “His critical thinking, humility and passion for the game are standout qualities that position him really well for this role. We are delighted to bring him on.”

The Phillies’ research and development department has not enjoyed the same success. Outgoing team president Andy MacPhail mentioned its shortcomings after former general manager Matt Klentak was reassigned following the 2020 season. Andy Galdi, who previously led the Phillies’ R&D department, left the organization this past season.

“I'm just being blunt,” MacPhail said in October 2020. “I look at Tampa. They're able to unlock the hidden value or potential in Minor League players that have been around a while; they recognize something that we're not picking up on yet. I think that's one thing that this franchise needs to improve on. Our R&D needs to obviously help with that. They're seeing something we're not and we've got to figure out what that is.”

Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was asked about the team’s R&D department last month.

“I think we have some very smart people in the analytics department that do a good job for us,” he said. “We have to figure out a goal of ours during the wintertime, once we're able to establish the members of the organization in there. … They've already, to me, contributed with some of the things in a positive fashion that we did. When we made the trade with Texas [in July for Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy], they were helpful in that regard.

“But I do think there's room for improvement. It's an area where we need to better define how we're going to use all that information, and now with the wintertime ahead of us, we'll be doing that.”