Phillies Notes: David Montgomery: 'Ruben is not on the hot seat'

Posted: August 22, 2014

David Montgomery, speaking Tuesday to a group of fans at Citizens Bank Park, issued yet another vote of confidence for Ruben Amaro Jr. The Phillies, who have spent more than $500 million in payroll since the start of the 2012 season, will miss the postseason for the third straight year.

"Ruben is not on the hot seat," Montgomery, the team's president, told fans.

The question-and-answer session was part of the team's annual Baseball 101 event for women.

Montgomery, who is undergoing treatment for jaw cancer, has not changed his public message about Amaro, his embattled general manager. Amaro is under contract through 2015.

In a June interview with The Inquirer, Montgomery stressed patience.

"I just believe that group of people gave us the successful period we had," Montgomery said two months ago. "They had different roles in it. I know people focus on Ruben's role having changed vis-a-vis 2009 vs. 2008. . . . It's not like we're not benefiting from the thinking of the same people we had before. That's why you have to look at the whole body of work. Have we been served well? My answer to that is yes."

Burnett's bonus

A.J. Burnett earned a $500,000 bonus Tuesday when he made his 27th start of the season. He can receive another $750,000 if he makes 30 starts. If that is the case, the Phillies will pay Burnett $16.75 million this season when his salary and bonuses are included.

Burnett owns a lucrative player option for 2015, although he is undecided on whether he will pitch. The righthander turns 38 in January and must undergo offseason hernia surgery. But the money will be difficult to turn down. His 2015 option will be worth $12.75 million if he makes those 30 starts in 2014.

Burnett, who has a 6.41 ERA in seven starts since the all-star break (all Phillies losses), wavered when asked about his future.

"I have no idea," Burnett said. "Probably not, but we'll see."

His 76 walks are the most in the majors this season.

Extra bases

Cuban outfield prospect Rusney Castillo is expected to sign soon, although the Phillies may be outbid for his services. The team scheduled a private workout with Castillo last month. He could sign for at least $50 million, according to an ESPN.com report. Several teams, including the Red Sox and Yankees, reportedly are in the running. . . . The Phillies have won five of their last six interleague games after starting the season 1-10 vs. American League teams. They have one interleague series left, at Oakland in September.

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