Friday, October 23, 2015

Phillies Add Two Coaches - Kranitz & McLaren

2008 Topps #463
The Phillies added two coaches to their staff on Wednesday, and both are new to the Phillies organization.

Rick Kranitz was named the team's new bullpen coach, taking over for the departed Rod Nichols. Kranitz was the Brewers pitching coach for the past five seasons (2011-2015) and he also served in that role with the Orioles (2008-2010) and Marlins (2006-2007).  Kranitz has been appearing on minor league and team issued baseball cards since 1980, but he's never been featured on a mainstream release.

John McLaren was named the team's catching coach, which is a position I don't think has officially existed in the past.  McLaren had been a scout with the A's most recently (2012-2015) and since 1986 he's coached with the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Reds, Mariners, Rays and Nationals.  He served as interim manager for the Mariners in 2007 following Mike Hargrove's resignation, and he also was interim manager for the Nationals in 2011 for three games.  Like Kranitz, McLaren has been featured on a lot of minor league and team issued cards throughout his career, but his stint as manager of the Mariners gave him a card in the 2008 Topps set.

Hitting coach Steve Henderson and pitching coach Bob McClure have agreed to contracts while the Phillies are waiting to hear back from bench coach Larry Bowa and former first base coach Juan Samuel.  Bowa has recently interviewed for the Marlins manager's opening.  If Samuel were to return, it's already been announced that he'd take over at third base.

Jorge Velandia, who was given the nondescript title of assistant coach when Ryne Sandberg departed could be in line to be the first base coach, or he could return to the front office.

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