Klentak: ‘We are Very Fortunate to Have Charlie Manual Here’
I suppose this was predictable, given the Phillies lack of offense since the All-Star break. With the Phillies offense ranking near the bottom of the pack in five major categories since the mid-summer classic, the team decided it was time to shake things up.
Surely they wouldn’t fire lead hitting coach John Mallee, who was hired with great fanfare last winter, coming over from the Chicago Cubs and was with the team when they won the World Series in 2016.
Mallee was named hitting coach last year following the team’s decision to hire manager Gabe Kapler, in part because of his analytic approach to hitting.
However, the offense hasn't improved under the watch of Mallee, in fact it was one of the worst in the National League, ranking in the bottom half of the National League in almost every hitting category.
The team posted am awful .738 OPS this season, which ranks 12th in the National League and 22nd in the majors - making a change inevitable.
“Our offense hasn't been good for some time now,” Phillies GM Matt Klentak said during a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. "We have not played well. We have not hit well, especially since the All-Star break. But we are not buried and we are not out. It makes sense to try something different rather than continuing to do the same thing."
Enter World Series winning manage Charlie Manuel.
"We are very fortunate to have Charlie Manual here, who's willing to step in," Klentak said.
Manuel has been brought in to install a new approach, a more old school mentality with some new school thoughts.
Here’s the spin from Phillies GM Matt Klentak, in comments delivered via MLB.com:
“I understand that there's kind of a simplistic viewpoint here that we are shifting from new school to old school, but it's really not that simple. I think the messenger is changing, but I think the message will be largely the same.”
The messenger is also the most popular manager in Phillies history, who lead one of only two World titles in the teams history.
“I think it's great,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told reporters. “We always want more resources, and Charlie's a great resource. I look forward to having the opportunity to pick his brain.”
Sure there could have been a mixed-messaging issue here, and perhaps it was best to move on, but Kapler can't feel great that Manuel is going to be joining his dugout everyday.
With Mallee out of the way … problems solved — right?
We're about to find out.