Phillies “Promote” Mackanin

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin will not return as the manager in 2018.  Earlier this year, he had signed an extension thru the ’18 season.  Mackanin signed a new contract and will return as a special assistant to the GM.  Here is Jim Salisbury’s report.

IMO, this is an interesting development.  It may signal that the organization feels that they are closer to competing for a playoff spot than when they extended Mackanin.  It will also be be interesting to see who the Phillies target as a replacement.

Here is Saisbury’s article on possible replacements.

84 thoughts on “Phillies “Promote” Mackanin

  1. I think this is an exciting development. I felt that Mackanin was their “rebuild” manager, and that his extension meant that they expected the rebuild to continue through 2018. To me this signals that they are further along than anticipated, and want to get the “contention” manager in place sooner. I think the solid performances by Williams, Hoskins, Crawford, Altherr, Knapp, Alfaro among others have accelerated the organization’s expectations. With Kingery and our young pitching pushing their way upward, we can hope that their off season acquisitions mirror this development.

    1. I agree with this.

      I was critical of certain aspects of Pete’s performance, mostly his line-up construction and the playing time he gave certain players. He wasn’t always very good at this, particularly line-up construction. He also wasn’t good at woodshedding a player who needed it, including, at times, Odubel – who I like, but who could go off the rails at times and never seemed to be subject to even correction.

      As far as his use of pitchers was concerned, he didn’t ruin any arms (not a small thing at all) and he seemed to have a good feel of what pitchers to use and when. We weren’t all up-in-arms about that which means there was little to complain about there..

      But, Pete was generally very good at handling young players. He’s not a game-day whiz or a strategic genius, but he did a good job as a rebuilding manager – even a very good job.

      Now it’s time for the game day genius who wins games and pushes players to their limits.

      I like the move and I like the direction. Now they need to seriously improve this coaching staff – starting with whoever teaches these guys how to run the bases. Also, I think they need to move Samuel off third – he’s not a good third base coach.

      1. Perhaps there will be a complete sweep of the coaches….I hope except for Matt.
        Bo is 72/73 and he may be ready to move down or out.
        Samuel and Morandini look to be going now I assume.
        Though Sammy does handle the Latin players well, so he could be staying…maybe first base coach.
        Middleton likes an analytical guy…..i would hope that would be a good portion of the responsibility of the bench coach, though Bowa used it for the defense set-ups.

        1. Morandini needs to go or do something else – he’s the base running coach. Almost by definition, he has been terrible in that role as this is the worst base running team I’ve ever followed and it’s not close.

          Stairs deserves another year.

          Bowa – I have no idea. I doubt a new manager would want him around.

          Samuel is a good fielding coach – awful third base coach. Awful.

          Troy McClure f/k/a Colonel Sanders – should be replaced if an elite pitching coach can be located or obtained. He’s actually done a better job than you might think, but there might be better options available.

          1. Yeah forgot about Bob McClure…he will most likely move on
            He will be 66 next year so he may look to do something else.

      2. How about making Davey Lopes the bench coach and base running coach? Aaron, Cesar, Nick and Odubel have too much speed to be caught stealing as much as they do. He can also teach them how to use better judgement on the base paths.

    2. Bingo excited isn’t the word I think Mac a nice guy . Really isn’t a great ingame manager . I think I know who the new manager is he’s Managing a American league team. His contact is up at the end of the year and he has a 3 Rd baseman everybody wants. Can you name him?

      1. Showalter’s contract isn’t up until after 2018. But I think they target a young manager with a proven track record, like Brad Ausmus. I would think that if they extend their search past managers to include bench coaches, then the Cubs’ David Martinez would be an interesting addition.

        I don’t know if MacPhail and Klentak stay within the organization (Wathan) and I don’t think that candidates like Ross and McGwire get anything more than a token interview.

        As for the current coaching staff, I think that most will be let go. Especially any with connections to the previous regime (Bowa, Morandini). Samuel could survive but in what capacity?

        And what do you think of Roy Halladay as a pitching coach? I’ve heard that he has been quietly working behind the scenes with pitchers at the Complex. If true, the GCL pitchers showed vast improvement a short time after Halladay’s son’s high school team completed their season (file that under “Things that make you go Hmmmm”.) If he’s ready to do this full time, … (Full disclosure, when the Phillies hired McClure after a couple guys turned them down, I was hoping they would approach John Smoltz. Don’t know what that says about me.)

        1. first off, so happy that Pete is out, just wasn’t a fan for the long term so I really hope this does mean that they feel they are ahead of schedule as you put in the 1st post. As for Halladay as Pitching Coach, love the idea, think it would be a great way to go. I know it was said he did some work with Tom Windle when he was injured, he did at least appear to my eyes to look better after working with Halladay although I don’t know what impact it really had but it at least sounds like it could be a great idea to me.

  2. Tough break for Mackanin who went through the rebuild and won’t get any glory when the Phillies start contending.

  3. Gotta admit I’m surprised, I hope this signals the beginning of a push to get this team to the next level.

    now Klentak needs to find a manager to guide Amaro’s team … 🙂

  4. Ok …hold on to your hats for this idea …
    If I’m a part of the Phillies front office (call us MacKlinkie) the first phone call we make is to Hideki Kuriyama. Kuriyama is the current manager of the Nippon Ham Fighters and Shohei Otani. IIRC, Kuriyama’s contract is up after this season.

    1. Along those same lines, a much better case could be made for hiring Mike Trout’s manager, Mike Scioscia, or Showalter if signing difference making free agents in the future is a consideration.

      1. What other restaurant would there be for Hinkie and the family! 🙂
        Enjoy the evening.

        夕食をお楽しみください ….Shohei

  5. If Wathan isn’t named new manager, I think he’s at least on the big league staff as bench coach.
    Otherwise, I think Sammy makes a decent 1b and base running coach.
    Mick goes or gets assigned another role in the org.
    Bowa gets respectfully offered an advisory role at his age.
    I’m fully on board with Doc as McClure’s hybrid replacement – a psych doctor as well as pitching coach. Like it.
    Chooch of course as asst pitching/catching/bullpen coach.
    Stairs stays.
    I read and hear Velandia’s name a lot as a highly respected figure whom I know little about. (We still need a good 3b coach…)

    I’m excited and agree that this signals a significant acceleration of the rebuild.
    GO PHILLIES!!!

    1. 8mark,

      You wrote it word for word as I’m thinking.

      One possible different scenario. Showalter is having problems with the O’s front office. How about the Phillies arrange a deal in which they get Showalter and Machado (assuming a new Phillies multi-year contract) and Wathan is bench coach?

      Would we all stand and cheer, or what?

      1. I like the way you think, Frank. My only concern is what we’d have to surrender for Machado when he’s only a year away from free agency. Key word there – FREE!

  6. Well, looks like there will be two new managers next year at the Little League Classic at Williamsport.
    Phillies and Mets will have new two faces as managers, since it seems Collins will be gone after Sunday.

  7. In the last round of league-wide changes, there was some buzz about Raul Ibanez. My gut feeling, which might be completely wrong, is he might be worth a look

    1. I’ve thought Ibanez would be an intriguing candidate. He may have been with the Angels a few years ago before he retired. He was highly regarded and respected by players and coaches in the clubhouse and on the field. The key is to have good people around the manager as well.

  8. I want an “out of the box” thinker. I want them to find the next Joe Madden. I don’t know who that is, and I do not know enough about Dusty Wathan. I think the whole coaching staff goes, with the possible exception of Stairs. And, Bowa is one of my all time favorites, but it might be time. I want to see a large improvement in baserunning. I think there is zero chance that the O’s fire Showalter. A lot of the names on Salisbury’s list leave me empty. MacKlentak need to earn their keep.

    1. matt13….do you know what the following mangers have in common over the last twenty years……Joe Torre, Tito Francona, Charlie Manuel, Joe Girardi , Bruce Bochy, Tony LaRusso, Ned Yost, Jack McKeon, Jim Leyland?
      Besides winning World Series championships….all got dismissed from previous head coaching jobs.
      I like to think , besides ‘having the horses’ to win on their teams, as they say, these managers also learned something from their past experiences.

  9. @Tim, okay, since I pointed out that Showalter’s contract runs through 2018, I learned that he is having problems with the front office and they may release him from his contract or may listen to deals involving him. If true, then you Showalter suggestion has increased merit. However, the Orioles #1 priority is to re-sign Machado.

    1. Ty Jim Showalter was a Common sense me. His connection with the Fo is interesting. I was one of the only ones on This board that thinks Machado stats with Baltimore . I think the Phillies might make a run at Todd Frazier or the 3rd base man form Cinny.

  10. The timing surprised me. It should have been done after the last three games. I think they pick Dusty Wathan. The Phils have been keeping core groups of players together in the minors. Why not the guy who managed the rising stars at both AAA and AA? Maybe Ausmus with Wathan as bench coach? I look for all but Stairs to be out as well. Bowa will retire or get an advisory job. Morandini may be back to low-level minors managing, maybe Wmspt because they need to move Pat Borders up. Time to move on from Samuel. I would love to see Doc as pitching coach. Chooch in the bullpen would be fantastic. Jorge Velandia could fit in the mix somewhere.

    1. Ausmus is a very sharp guy. I like the idea of him as manager with Wathan as a bench coach. I sort of understand the Wathan love – but it reminds me a little of all the Ryne Sandberg love we saw before he was promoted. I’ll buy that Wathan is good with young players. But is he a great in-game strategist with a penchant for analytics? I don’t anyone has clue how good he’d be at those things and we need someone who is good at that.

      On Pete, did someone actually do him the courtesy of at least suggesting that he was burying himself alive by batting Freddy second? Or was it some kind of Machiavellian “test” – if the latter, that’s inexcusable and unfair. At least tell the guy what you’d like him to do.

      1. I’d like to see Wathan as the bench coach….but the new manager may want a whole new staff.
        I wonder if Ozzie G. or Fredi Gonzalez will be interviewed.
        Both can relate to the Latino players…and both are experienced.

  11. Wathan has made this crop of prospect better at every level he has managed. He is the obvious pick to grow with this team.

    Chooch & Halladay coming back is a great idea as well.

  12. Really out of box…sign Utley as a free agent in off season, make him a player manager he’s done a lot in a ‘mentor’ role with the Dodgers, and would have instant credibility with fans.

    1. I can’t see Utley as an effective manager. I think back to Sandberg’s communication issues and can’t help seeing the same thing happening with Chase.

      Personally, I always thought Jimmy Rollins would make a great manager one day. The cameras often showed him chatting his teammates up about what was going on in the game. Doubt it would happen, but would love to see some interest on both sides.

  13. I have no strong feelings for Mackanin either way. If his “promotion” means Mcclure goes then I’m good. Raul Ibanez back in the organization would be great as a coach with Wathan as manager.

  14. Romus, I don’t understand your liking of Fredi Gonzalez. Forgetting Florida because Loria is a jerk, he was not very good at Atlanta. I don’t see him as an analytics guy. I am not sure who I favor but Wathan as the bench coach is great with me.

    1. matt13….I see him identifying with the Latin players very well….and actually all players liked Fredi. The Phillies do have plenty of Latin players and prospects…and they will need to have that senior Latin leadership, and not a player.
      I also like to see Ozzie G get an interview…he has personality and passion…about what sometimes I do not know, but he has it.

      And matt13….do not get to wrapped up in past failures…..look at the list above of WS ring mangers over the last 20/25 years…..almost all were past failures in their early lives.
      Heck in all sports it is like that…Belichek was a total bust in Cleveland…Lombardi also early on……Bowman in hockey…once you get the horses it helps

  15. I agree with that point Romus. I just would like a more “modern”, forward thinking guy. How about a guy who managed before, but has now come to embrace analytics? Is there such a guy out there?

    1. matt13…..hard to find someone who totally embraces ‘analytics’ to the point that we would think. There is always have to be that combination, or proper balance, between analytics and , lack of a better term, ‘old school’.
      Heck even Larry Bowa uses it to set his defense, and he is as old school as they come.

  16. I see Dusty Wathan as the likeliest new manager but Jorge Velandia is the dark horse to me. Young, Hispanic, and analytically inclined. MacPhail may push for Buck Showalter if the O’s let him go. Beyond those candidates, I’d like to see Raul Ibanez given a shot as bench coach.

    In any case, me thinks they go young, unless possibly Showalter enters the picture as the exception to the desired profile that Klentak prefers. Gonna be quite an interesting off season, to say the least.

    1. Ibanez is an interesting possiblity. I’d love to see him on a staff. I think Stairs should get another year as the hitting coach.

      I bet Utley would not be a good manager. He’s cool and distant and most great players make horrible managers. I’m not seeing it.

    2. 8mark, Dusty Wathan was probably attracting attention from other MLB teams and promoting him to the Major Leagues is the only way to keep him. The Phillies lost Mark Parent(another successful Minor League manager at Reading) in 2011 by not promoting him. Either way with Dusty Wathan as the bench coach or manager; the young kids will have someone they know and trust.

  17. Signals a shift that the team will likely contend or be at least much better. Any team that can be at or around 500 is a contender these days. The a few good trades and a signing or 2 they can be there next year

    1. BobD…just look this year at the turnarounds…Twins…dead last to playoffs…then there are the Rockies, Brewers and D-Backs in the mix to the end.
      So the Phillies could be there next season.

      1. I agree. I look at the 2nd half where the team has won nearly 50% of their games. Then I look at the roster where I see great improvement and great depth – especially in the infield.
        The lineup has the potential right now to be good with Franco at 3B being a possible weak spot but also has shown good turn around over the last 5 weeks or so.
        The rotation has Nola and a large handful of other contributors of various degrees – this is the area where if they improve this in the offseason then they could be contenders. Trading infield depth and maybe one or two of these other arms for an upgrade at SP plus the potential to sign a free agent (I prefer one of the better ones) they could go into next season with 3 solid starters.
        The bullpen has improved but I’m not sure that it is good enough. Adding a back of the bullpen arm would be very helpful. Padres may trade Brad Hand and have a need at SS (Galvis??) just an example of how infield depth can help out.

        Oh on side note – I hear a lot in Philly blogs talk about how Galvis has holes in his game and they should just trade him etc… But I get to watch a lot of games where I listen to the broadcasters from the other teams. They speak very highly of Galvis and talk how he would be a great acquisition if their teams could trade for him. I even heard 2 of them talk about him and Ozzie Smith and comparing their defense. And even his offense – while it is not Allstar like – it is very acceptable for the SS especially counting how valuable the defense is to the team.

        Just a few thoughts.

        1. Concerning Galvis……Mack batting him in the 2nd hole for the entire season was his only drawback.
          Why was it a drawback?
          Freddy does not get on base….kills early rallys…..and now does not hit HRs as he did last season…even with a live ball this year.
          Was it what Freddy wanted and Mack acquiescent, or was it Mack’s judgment call? We do not know. But I tell you it may have cost them games and if Klentak is as an analytical a guy as is prefaced….then it may have cost Mack his manager’s job. A manager cannot control injuries to his players….but he can control the construction of his lineup for those who are healthy…and Freddy was healthy all year.

          1. You may have hit on the reason Romus. Certainly lineup construction was poorly done by Pete this year. Some of the late-season lineups had me shaking my head and thinking, “He must be trying to tank to get that 1-1 draft choice.” Probably not, but it was all I could come up with as a reason for some of those lineups.

          2. Who did you want batting second? Altherr? He was the team’s best 3rd spot hitter. Herrera? Galvis had an overall OBP of 309. Herrera had an OBP of about 260 batting first or second in the lineup. Herrera’s season took off when he was dropped down in the lineup. Even with that, his overall OBP of 325 was 2 points lower than Galvis’ 327 OBP batting in the second slot. Galvis batted had 417 PA batting second and 256 PA batting 7-9th so he did not spend the entire season in the second slot. Galvis is a good situational hitter with men on base. With just 12 GDP in 663 PA he was very hard to double up. He may be the team’s best baserunner. Galvis and Hernandez gave the Phillies stability at the top of the lineup. Williams, Franco, Rupp, Knapp, and Joseph strike out too much or are too slow to bat second. Hernandez is the team’s leadoff hitter. Hoskins, Crawford, and Alfaro were inexperienced rookies who did well in the lineup slots they were put in. I give Mackanin an A for the job he did this season.

  18. Given the relative importance of managers vs. marquee players, I would kick the tires on Upper Darby-born Mike Scioscia and Showalter in the hopes that either becoming available would enhance the prospect of Trout or Machado signings. If I thought the next Phils’ manager led to the signing of Trout or Machado, I could put a lot of other considerations in my back pocket.

    1. Fighterflea … what if the Phillies next manager led to Shohei Otani ?
      See my post earlier in this thread concerning Hideki Kuriyama.

      1. Love your creativity and resourcefulness, Hinkie. But that’s not only outside the box, it may be out of this world. I say stick to the Darvish plan of attracting Otani, along with everything but the kitchen sink to get him in red pinstripes.

      1. HariS…and you can only bet the guy in the middile …the go between…was Matt Klentak…since Dipoto and Scioscia cut the communications off before he resigned..

  19. Whether Klentak goes young gun or seasoned skipper, the manager/bench coach tandem will be huge, i.e. Buck/Raul.

  20. I agree with others that Wathan will be on the staff next year in some capacity. He was the 3rd base coach in addition to manager so he could slide into that role easily. I think Ausmus will be a possibility but a name I think of is Dave Martinez. A former major league OF, he coached for Madden in Tampa and now in Chicago. Is he ready to step up? Did he learn st the foot of Madden? If so, that’s a guy I want. As for first base coach, anyone know what Victorino is doing? He would be my choice if he wanted to coach. And of course we’d all love Chooch to retire and come back as bullpen coach. I think I’d give Stairs another year. Pitching coach? Velandia maybe.

  21. Leaving Showalter aside since
    a) he’s still Baltimore’s property, and
    b) he’d be the one candidate that isn’t considered as ‘young’,
    my list of likeliest interviews would be:
    Dusty Wathan (on staff either as mgr, bench or 3b coach)
    Dave Martinez (because of the Maddon factor)
    Raul Ibanez (especially as bench coach)
    Jorge Velandia
    Brad Ausmus (although the Dartmouth-Klentak connection doesn’t sell me)

  22. The Tigers certainly have had a lot of injuries this year, a poor bullpen, and veteran star players traded away by the GM. However, as I read about Brad Ausmus being fired, what I read is that his biggest fault is that he’s not Jim Leyland. In this article there is this quote; As one rival GM put it regarding Ausmus’ future should he be let go, “He’d have to wait about eight minutes for another job.”
    https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/report-tigers-will-fire-brad-ausmus-at-end-of-season/

  23. It is shame that Pete will not get to coach next year because they will be in the playoffs and Pete did a great job this year.

  24. Another opening I don’t see much discussion about is in the broadcast booth where Anderson is going part time. Jimmy Rollins?

  25. I wonder if Dusty Wathan is a Klentak guy. I read somewhere that Brad Ausmus won’t last long on the manager market. He’s highly regarded throughout MLB.

  26. Just for goofs, my odds on certain managerial candidates:

    IN-HOUSE
    Dusty Wathan 3-1
    Jorge Velandia 10-1
    Juan Samuel 20-1

    OUTSIDE THE ORG (sans Showalter)
    Brad Ausmus 3-1
    Dave Martinez 4-1
    Mark DeRosa 5-1
    Raul Ibanez 10-1
    Mickey Callaway 20-1
    Chase Utley 50-1

    Unless Klentak has already narrowed the field to guys under the league’s radar, he might have to move quickly since some of these won’t last very long.

    1. Agree,,,Ausmus looks like a shoo-in….him and Klentak both were tutored by Bob Whalen at Dartmouth and seems former catchers along with managerial experience do well

      Also looks like Fredi Gonzalez could be the Tigers new skipper….he has an interview this week.
      Then if he gets it, I wonder if Bowa goes down to be with Mattingly again in Miami?

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