Could Manuel Protege Thome be the Phillies Hitting Coach?
The relationship between former Phillies first baseman Jim Thome and Phillies manager Charlie Manuel runs deep. It was under Manuel's tutelage as Cleveland Indians hitting coach that Thome became the hitter he was. Manuel then became Thome's manager. After Manuel was fired by the Cleveland Indians, he joined the Phillies organization, perhaps because of Thome. An interesting question emerged today: could Thome be the next Phillies hitting coach?
Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer mentioned the possibility today:
For hitting coach, Girardi could be interested in Jim Thome, who worked with him the last two seasons at MLB Network. Thome said last year that he’s interested in coaching, but the timing might not be right as his front-office job with the White Sox allows him time to stay home with his family.
The hitting coach is one of two positions the Phillies need to fill under new manager Joe Girardi.
The Phillies already had one of Girardi's long-time coaches under contract in Rob Thomson. Thomson was Girardi's first bench coach when hired by the Yankees in 2008. Thomson also coached third base but was Girardi's bench coach when Girardi's tenure ended in New York 10 years later.
The Phillies will need to also hire a pitching coach. Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia already connected the Phillies to Larry Rothschild, current Yankees pitching coach, as well as Dave Eiland. Eiland was most recently the New York Mets pitching coach.
Either way, the Phillies appear to be continuing to turn to big names. That would indicate there is a need for instant respect from players in the clubhouse. Thome, Rothschild and Eiland all could bring that.
Manuel finished the season as Phillies hitting coach. Could his protege Thome take over for him?