By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor
For the first time since being let go as manager in August 2013, the Philadelphia Phillies' all-time winningest manager Charlie Manuel has returned to the coaching staff.
Manuel has replaced John Mallee as hitting coach, as first reported by MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.
The Phillies released the following press release:
"The Phillies have relieved hitting coach John Mallee of his duties, the club announced today. Former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has been named the team's hitting coach. Manuel, who currently works as senior advisor to the general manager, will assume the position for the remainder of the 2019 season.
Previously, Manuel, 75, served as hitting coach for the Cleveland Indians from 1988-89 and 1994-99. From 1994-99, his second tour as hitting coach, Cleveland led the American League in runs three times (1994-95, 1999), led the league in home runs twice (1994-95) and set a franchise record by hitting 220 homers in 1997."
Malle's dismissal may not be the only move from Phillies ownership; according to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury, more changes to the staff are "still being discussed."
Currently, the Phillies rank 19th in runs scored, 24th in batting average, and 22nd in OPS.
Mallee was named Phillies hitting coach on Nov. 10, 2017, after previously serving in a similar role for the Chicago Cubs from 2015-17. Under Mallee in 2016, the World Series Champion Cubs ranked second in the majors in OBP (.343) and third in runs scored (808). Also with the Cubs, Mallee coached the 2015 NL Rookie of the Year and 2016 NL MVP (Kris Bryant), and guided both Anthony Rizzo and current-Phillie Jake Arrieta to NL Silver Slugger Awards in 2016.
Malle was also hitting coach for the Florida/Miami Marlins in 2010-11, and the Houston Astros in 2013-14. From 2002-10, he worked as minor league hitting coordinator for the Marlins, before being promoted to interim major league hitting coach in June 2010. The Phillies selected Mallee in the 12th round of the 1991 draft; he went on to play two seasons in the minor league system for Martinsville (1991) and Spartanburg (1992).
Currently, the Phillies sit nine games out of the division (fourth place), and two games out in the National League Wild Card.