Report: Phillies “Zeroing In” on Wathan
The World Series is officially underway. This means that the Phillies cannot make an announcement regarding a manager until it is completed, which will not be sooner than Saturday, provided there is a complete sweet of the Houston Astros by the Los Angeles Dodgers. That does not mean, however, that the Phillies do not have their next manager.
Two reports today indicate that the Phillies have at least greatly narrowed down their choices.
First, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports indicated that the Phillies have ruled out Chip Hale and Phil Nevin. Mickey Callaway was a candidate but will become the manager of the New York Mets. Heyman said that those still in consideration included Dusty Wathan, Jorge Velandia, Juan Samuel, and Gabe Kapler.
"Zeroing in" could mean that the Phillies need to negotiate a contract with Wathan, who would be taking the first major league managerial job of his career. Many of the young players on the Phillies have previously been managed by Wathan.
Wathan came to the Phillies organization in 2007 as a minor league free agent. He caught for the Double-A Reading Fightin' Phils and the Triple-A Ottawa Lynx. After the 2007 season, Wathan retired from playing and was named the manager of Short Season Williamsport.
Wathan then rose up each level of the organization. Wathan managed the Class-A Lakewood Blue Claws in 2009, Class-A Advanced Clearwater in 2010 and 2011, the Double-A Reading Fightin' Phils from 2012 through 2016, and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in 2017. Wathan joined the Phillies coaching staff as an extra uniformed coach in September.
The Phillies could look to a veteran bench coach to supplement Wathan. John McLaren and Juan Samuel had managerial experience on last year's coaching staff in addition to former Phillies manager Larry Bowa, who is not a candidate to remain a coach. There may be other experienced managers available to serve in a bench role on the market, too.
While the final choice may leak out, expect the Phillies to make the announcement the day after the World Series ends.