Dusty Wathan, the Philadelphia Phillies third base coach who was thought to be a possible successor to Ryne Sandberg or Pete Mackanin as the club's manager, will instead soon interview for the Texas Rangers' open managerial position, according to philly.com's Bob Brookover.
Prior to joining the Phillies as third base coach following the 2017 season, Wathan, 45, spent 10 years as a manager within the Phillies minor league system. He led the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs to a 2017 playoff berth in his first and only season with the club, and prior became the Double-A Reading Fightin Phils' all-time winningest manager with a 373-335 (.527) record. Prior, Wathan managed the A-Advanced Clearwater Threshers for two years in 2010-11, the Single-A Lakewood BlueClaws to a South Atlantic League title in 2009, and the Short-Season Williamsport Crosscutters in 2008. Wathan also managed in the Arizona Fall League in 2012.
The Rangers, who finished last in the American League West this season, fired Jeff Bannister with 10 games left in the season and replaced him with Don Wakamatsu on an interim basis. Bannister had led the Rangers to division titles in 2015 and 2016, but did not win a playoff series.
Wathan played professional baseball for 14 seasons as catcher, although he only appeared in three Major League games with the Kansas City Royals in 2002, slashing .600/.667/.800 with three hits, one double, one RBI, one run scored and one strikeout spanning six plate appearances. Wathan appeared in over 1,000 minor league games with six different organizations: Seattle Mariners (1994-2000), Florida Marlins (2001), Milwaukee Brewers (2002), Royals (2002), Cleveland Indians (2003-05), and Phillies (2006-07).
Wathan is among five external candidates the Rangers have already done "due diligence on," with the others being former Phillies catcher Rod Barajas (San Diego Triple-A manager), Mark DeRosa (MLB Network analyst), Chris Woodward (Los Angeles Dodgers third base coach) and Sandy Alomar (Cleveland first base coach), according to the Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant.
If made Major League manager, he could always turn to his father, John Wathan, 69, for advice. In addition to playing 10 seasons with the Royals from 1976-85, John served as Royals manager for 557 games in 1987-91, and as the California Angels manager for 89 games in 1992.