From a solid enough piece about modern fielding stats, Crashburn Alley's Bill Baer honed in on this passage:
Not everyone pays attention to these numbers, of course. While teams such as the Mariners, Red Sox and Detroit Tigers, who improved greatly on defense in 2009, peruse and subscribe to these stats, some teams still just won't buy them -- literally or figuratively.
"I think defensive statistics are the most unpredictable stats there are," says Charley Kerfeld, a former big league reliever who now serves as a special assistant to Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr.
"And since I've been here, we don't have an in-house stats guy and I kind of feel we never will. We're not a statistics-driven organization by any means.
"I'm not against statistics. Everybody has their own way of doing things. But the Phillies believe in what our scouts see and what our eyes tell us and what our people tell us."
Baer points out, reasonably enough, that the Phillies, for some years now, have consistently fielded good defenses, drawn more than their share of walks, and run the bases effectively. Ergo, they must be looking at some decent metrics, right? Baer's big finish: "Of course we don’t know for sure, but I’d be shocked if the Phillies weren’t heavy proponents of Sabermetrics. They show all of the symptoms. You’ll know for sure if you ever see Amaro sporting a pocket protector or using a slide rule."
Two more possibilities:
One, the Phillies do value defense, walks, and baserunning but don't bother with any advanced metrics. It would not be so difficult to build a team with a good Ultimate Zone Rating while not actually paying any attention to Ultimate Zone Rating. Meanwhile, walks are walks and it's not so difficult to know a good baserunner when you see one. Granted, all these things are easier with good numbers. But defense and baserunning are highly scoutable, too.
And two, notice what Kerfeld said. He said the Phillies don't have an in-house stats guy. That leaves a great deal of room for consultants. Some GMs prefer to use consultants because they're cheaper (and more easily disposable) than full-time employees, and also because their lack of presence around the office results in fewer ruffled feathers among the ex-ballplayers (like Charlie Kerfeld) running around the place. I would be willing to bet money (though not a lot) that the Phillies do have an out-of-house stats guy, and perhaps a few of them.
The Phillies have put together seven straight winning seasons, with an eighth on the way. They're doing something right. In-house, out-of-house, or no house at all.