Two weeks after dropping Tyson Gillies from their 40-man roster, the Phillies have released the underachieving outfielder from the organization.
Gillies, 25, had been playing at Triple A Lehigh Valley, where he was hitting .214 with a .270 on-base percentage in 47 games. He cleared waivers two weeks ago and had remained in the Phillies’ system until being let go this weekend.
In short, the Phillies ran out of patience with Gillies, a talented athlete who ran into a variety of problems on and off the field after joining the organization as part of the return in the trade that sent Cliff Lee to Seattle in December 2009.
The return on that trade has been awful. The Phillies received three players, Gillies and pitchers J.C Ramirez and Phillippe Aumont. Of the three, only Aumont remains. He has been unable to stick in the majors and is pitching at Triple A.
Lee returned to the Phillies as a free agent a year after the trade.
Gillies was a key figure in the trade, a left-handed hitting outfielder with eye-popping athleticism and blazing speed. He hit .341 with 44 steals, 40 extra-base hits and a gaudy .430 on-base percentage for the Mariners’ Single-A California League team in 2009.
Gillies made jaws drop with his athleticism during his first spring training with the Phillies in 2010. He ran down balls like a gazelle in batting practice and climbed the outfield walls to rob home runs several times.
But a series of hamstring injuries, a lack of production and several off-field incidents held Gillies back. He was arrested on a cocaine possession charge in Florida in 2010. He pleaded not guilty and the charges were eventually dropped.
In subsequent seasons, Gillies was reprimanded by the organization, first for an altercation with a bus driver during a road trip and more recently for losing his temper and damaging team property at Lehigh Valley.
Throughout Gillies’ struggles, the Phillies showed patience with the player because they saw promise in his tremendous athleticism and they had an overall lack of outfield depth in the system. But patience comes with an expiration date and Gillies is a Phillie no more.