We learned last night that the Phillies appeared set to bring back assistant pitching coach Rick Kranitz and add 2017 Triple-A manager Dusty Wathan to the major league coaching staff. The Phillies confirmed as such this afternoon. But there was also another name on the list: John Mallee, a hitting coach who won a World Series ring in that role.
The Phillies announced the moves themselves today:
Mallee may be new to Phillies fans, but is well-respected around baseball.
Mallee was hitting coach for the 2016 World Champion Chicago Cubs team, but has previous experience. Mallee first served as minor league hitting coordinator for the Florida Marlins for nine seasons before taking his first major league coaching job with the Houston Astros in 2012. In 2014, Mallee joined Joe Maddon's staff in Chicago and helped the young Chicago Cubs team win their first World Series title since 1908.
I would like to thank all the teams that showed interest in me on my new journey. I chose the Philadelphia Phillies. Gifted young talent, been thru this before with Astros and Cubs. New chapter, Same book, Game on.
The Phillies drafted Mallee in the 12th round of the 1991 draft and he played two seasons in the organization.
The Phillies say that Wathan will be third base coach, but Kranitz's role does not seem to have been totally determined yet. This could mean the Phillies have an eye on another pitching coach. Kranitz could return to his role as assistant pitching coach or perhaps be the team's pitching coach. Some teams opt to use their "extra" uniformed coaching slot to add either an assistant hitting coach or an assistant pitching coach. Perhaps the Phillies are still working that out.
The Phillies will have to fill the role of first base coach, bullpen coach, and bench coach.