A year from now we won't have Pat Gillick to kick around any more, but while he's still on the scene he remains fair game.
When Gillick was appointed GM he inherited the players who form the nucleus of the offense. He made a few trades, most notably the Aaron Rowand deal, to improve the offense and defense, but by and large the strength of this team -- its potent offense -- was assembled by other men.
Gillick also inherited the Phillies' current number one and two starting pitchers. Since then, he has done very little to improve the rotation. Three years of tinkering, bad trades and poking around the fringes of professional baseball and the Phillies are still short of pitching. Three years of auditioning has-beens and never-weres, signing or trading for hurlers of questionable health and attempting to fill out the rotation with mediocrities and Rule 5 drafts have left the Phillies exactly where they were if not worse when it comes to pitching.
It is also worth noting there isn't much waiting in the wings. Three years of presumably overseeing the rebuilding of the farm system and the Phillies have precious few arms who are close to being an answer.
A little less than three weeks remain for the season begins and it would be fair to ask Pat Gillick: are the Phillies better off than they were a year ago? Some would say, yes, the bench is better and third base is improved, but in the areas where the Phils had to improve they haven't. Can a team make it to the post-season by out slugging the opposition? I suspect we are about to find out.