- The Mets were considering Dodgers first base coach Clayton McCullough for bench coach after he impressed in his managerial interview with New York, but a hiring doesn’t seem likely to come to fruition. Jon Heyman of the MLB Network tweets that New York brass doesn’t believe McCullough would leave Los Angeles for a coaching position elsewhere. Instead, it seems he’s lined up to return for a second season on Dave Roberts’ staff. Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News reported yesterday that the Mets were looking into a potential “headline-grabbing hire” for bench coach.
- The Mets already made a notable coaching move this morning, tabbing longtime big league third baseman Eric Chávez as hitting coach. Chávez had accepted a position as one of two Yankees assistant hitting coaches just a few weeks ago, leaving the Bronx club with an unanticipated vacancy on staff. Lindsey Adler of the Athletic reports (on Twitter) that the Yankees do plan to replace Chávez this offseason. That aligns with general manager Brian Cashman’s stated wish to enter the season with three hitting instructors on staff. Dillon Lawson is slated to be the team’s lead hitting coach, with Casey Dykes lined up for an assistant role.
- Though the club has confirmed that Ray Montgomery will make the unusual transition from front office to bench coach on Joe Maddon’s staff, the Angels have not yet announced assignments for either former bench coach Mike Gallego (who will remain on the staff) or newcomers Phil Nevin, Benji Gil, and Bill Haselman (per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register). This may be due to the club’s pursuit of Adam Eaton for its staff should he choose to retire — which, given that he remains an active member of the MLBPA, cannot be completed during the lockout.
- The Mets announced their full slate of minor league coaches Thursday, including new managers at all four affiliates: former Cubs farmhand Kevin Boles at Triple-A Syracuse; journeyman infielder Reid Brignac at Double-A Binghamton; former Expos, Red Sox, and (briefly) Mets shortstop Luis Rivera at High-A Brooklyn; and former Mets catching instructor Robbie Robinson at Low-A St. Lucie. A full list of Mets minor league coaches, compiled by SNY contributor Jacob Resnick, can be found here.
- The Reds have hired sixteen-year big-league veteran Juan Samuel as a minor league hitting instructor, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, though his precise role has not yet been announced. Since retiring, the three-time All-Star has held a number of positions, including as a major league base coach and, briefly, as interim manager of the Orioles following the 2010 mid-season firing of Dave Trembley. In addition to his long and productive playing career, Samuel is remembered as the Mets’ return in the 1989 deal that sent Lenny Dykstra and Roger McDowell, cornerstones of the 1986 World Series champs, to the Phillies.
- The Rangers announced two members of their 2022 big-league coaching staff, including the promotion of former journeyman catcher, advanced scout, and so-called “coordinator of run prevention” Brett Hayes to bullpen coach and the hiring of former Jays farmhand and Dodgers minor league hitting instructor Seth Conner as assistant hitting coach. Both will join Chris Woodward’s staff for a season the Rangers hope will represent a major step forward in the rebuilding process following the club’s recent big-ticket signings of Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and Jon Gray.
The Phillies have an opening in the dugout after surprisingly removing Pete Mackanin from that role and transitioning him to a front office role. Philadelphia had extended Mackanin just four months earlier, making the decision all the more unexpected. We’ll track the majority of the managerial chatter pertaining to the Phils here over the course of the search and update accordingly as the hunt progresses…
- If the Phillies opt for a manager with Major League experience, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney tweets that the “industry expectation” is that John Farrell will get the job.
- MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler is also a finalist for the position, along with Wathan. Both impressed the Phils with their first interviews, and it sounds as if the Philadelphia brass will conduct one more round of interviews with this pair (and any other yet-unknown finalists) before making a final decision.
- The Phillies are “zeroing in” on Triple-A skipper Dusty Wathan for the job, per Nightengale (via Twitter). He’ll join Kapler, at the least, in a second wave of interviews. Wathan only briefly cracked the majors as a player, but has once again climbed the minor-league ladder since moving to the coaching ranks with the Phillies back in 2008.
Will Interview/Have Interviewed (Still Under Consideration)
- Recently fired Red Sox manager John Farrell interviewed for the position on Oct. 25, reports Zolecki. It’s not yet clear whether Farrell’s sitdown with the Phils will result in another interview.
- Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler is also slated for an interview, as Zolecki reports. Kapler took his position with Los Angeles after missing on the team’s managerial opening, but has continued to be cited as a possible candidate elsewhere ever since.
- The Phillies already have one strong internal candidate in Jorge Velandia, reports Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. Currently a special assistant to GM Matt Klentak, Velandia interviewed for the opening on Wednesday and is a “strong candidate,” according to Salisbury, though other interviews are sure to be conducted with external candidates. Nonetheless, Salisbury writes that the 42-year-old Velandia is well versed in player development and has embraced the analytical side of the game. His work with Klentak and the rest of the front office should bode well for communication. He’s spent time on the Phillies’ big league coaching staff in the past and has also spent six seasons as a manager in the Venezuelan Winter League.
- Current Phillies third base coach Juan Samuel has also interviewed for the opening, as Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Daily News recently reported. Samuel, 56, has been on the Phillies’ coaching staff since 2011 after coming over from the Orioles, where he worked with Andy MacPhail, who was then the Orioles’ president and now holds that same role with the Phillies. Samuel spoke to Brookover about his own openness to incorporating more data-driven decisions into on-field decisions. “If you have something available to you that gives you an advantage over other clubs, you should definitely use it,” he said.
- Both Salisbury and Brookover list Triple-A manager Dusty Wathan as another internal candidate that is expected to interview. It’s not known yet whether the 44-year-old has interviewed, but he’s spent the past 10 seasons managing at various levels throughout the Phillies’ system, so he obviously has plenty of familiarity with the Phillies’ homegrown players and a number of the front office execs that have been with the club for an extended period of time.
Preliminary Candidates (Interview Status Unknown)
- The Phillies have spoken with Mariners third base coach Manny Acta, Jon Heyman of FanRag writes (and clarifies on Twitter). Acta, who managed the Nationals from 2007-09 and the Indians from 2010-12, was in the running for the Mets’ job before it went to Mickey Callaway.
- In addition to a few of the other names already covered here, Heyman hears that the Phils have some level of interested in Red Sox bench coach Gary DiSarcina and possibly former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. Boston is in the midst of its own managerial hiring process, with the club leaving coaches like DiSarcina free to explore their options with other organizations.
- The Phillies are interested in speaking to Rockies bench coach Mike Redmond, per Heyman. There’s been no definitive word of an interview, but the former Marlins manager has been building his dugout resume since calling it quits as a player back in 2010. At 46, he’d give the Phillies a considerably younger voice than they’ve had under recent skippers like Mackanin, Ryne Sandberg and Charlie Manuel.
Not in the Mix/No Longer in Consideration
- Ryan Lawrence of PhillyVoice.com reported recently that the Phillies won’t consider bench coach Larry Bowa or former GM Ruben Amaro Jr. for the post. Klentak has stated a desire for a “new voice” and a “new style” in the dugout, Lawrence notes, which wouldn’t be accomplished with the 71-year-old Bowa. As for Amaro, while he’d been previously connected to the role and is reportedly on the Tigers’ radar, Lawrence definitively characterized the chances of Amaro being on the team’s radar as nonexistent.
- USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that Phil Nevin is no longer in the running after interviewing recently. FanRag’s Jon Heyman tweets that Athletics third base coach Chip Hale, who also interviewed for the Philadelphia vacancy, has been eliminated from the running as well.
- Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway interviewed for the post but has since been hired as the new manager of the Mets.