The Phillies may be finally getting close to finalizing their 2018 major league coaching staff.  Gabe Kapler's staff already features John Mallee as hitting coach, Pedro Guerrero as assistant hitting coach, Rick Kranitz as pitching coach, Chris Young as assistant pitching coach, Dusty Wathan as third base coach, Jim Gott as bullpen coach, and Rob Thomson as bench coach.  First base coach will be the last and final piece and it could come soon.

Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies are close to adding an external candidate for the final coaching position:

This means that Juan Samuel, who may have remained in the running after the other coaching hires, is now out.

The Phillies may have given Samuel an offer to coach first base as well as time to think about whether or not he would accept.  Samuel was passed over three times for a managerial opening; he interviewed for the interim manager post that went to Mackanin, the permanent manager post that went to Mackanin and most recently interviewed when the Phillies selected Kapler.  Samuel may still have managerial aspirations and feel that he can best accomplish that goal by serving in another organization.

Many have felt that Bill Haselman might have a spot on Kapler's coaching staff, and he comes with major league first base coach experience.  However, Kapler has repeatedly stressed diversity of thought on the coaching staff and many of the hires have no prior connection to Kapler.

The Phillies actually exceed the limit of seven uniformed coaches, meaning that one of the eight coaches will not be allowed to be in uniform during the game.  Should the assistant pitching coach or assistant hitting coach not be in uniform during a game, they are free to work with players pregame and postgame as much as they like.

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