Thursday, November 15, 2018

Young In, Kranitz Out as Pitching Coach

2018 Phillies Team Issue 2 #45
In a somewhat surprising move, last season's assistant pitching coach, Chris Young, was promoted to the full-time gig and the former pitching coach, Rick Kranitz was let go.  It had been reported on Wednesday that a few other teams were inquiring as to the availability of Young and rather than lose him, the Phillies opted to promote him.  Kranitz spent only the 2018 season in the role of pitching coach, having previously served as bullpen coach in 2016 and assistant pitching coach in 2017.

Kranitz appeared in each team issued photo card set since 2016, and I'll fondly remember him for always being willing to sign an autograph for my son Doug.  After each pre-game autograph hunt, Doug would report back with the list of signatures he'd received and finish with, "And oh yeah, another Rick Kranitz."  He probably has a dozen things signed by Kranitz in his bedroom.

Speaking of coaches, the nebulous roles of the field staff continue to evolve for the Phillies as Paco Figueroa was recently named the team's baserunning/outfield coach.  I'm not sure if he'll be in uniform during games in 2019 or not, but he's currently listed on the team's website along with nine (!) other field coaches.  Figueroa played in parts of seven seasons in the minors, mostly within the Orioles organization, although he did play in 68 games with the 2011 Reading Phillies.

To refresh your memories, the Phillies now have the following "traditional" coaches:
  • Rob Thomson - bench coach
  • John Mallee - hitting coach
  • Chris Young - pitching coach
  • Jose David Flores - 1st base coach
  • Dusty Wathan - 3rd base coach
  • Jim Gott - bullpen coach
And the following "non-traditional" coaches:
2011 Multi-Ad
Reading Phillies #11
  • Pedro Guerrero - assistant hitting coach
  • Paco Figueroa - baserunning/outfield coach
  • Craig Driver - bullpen catcher/receiving coach
  • Bob Stumpo - bullen catcher/catching coach
I have no idea what differentiates Driver's job as receiving coach from Stumpo's job as catching coach.

Below, I've updated my running list of pitching coaches since 1970 to reflect this change, and no word yet on whether or not a new assistant pitching coach will be needed or named.
  • Ray Rippelmeyer 1970-1978
  • Herm Starrette 1979-1981
  • Claude Osteen 1982-1988
  • Darold Knowles 1989-1990
  • Johnny Podres 1991-1996
  • Jim Wright 1996
  • Galen Cisco 1997-2000
  • Vern Ruhle 2001-2002
  • Joe Kerrigan 2003-2004
  • Rich Dubee 2005-2013
  • Bob McClure 2014-2017
  • Rick Kranitz 2018
  • Chris Young 2019-


Steve F. said...

Rich Dubee really stands out for the length of time he coached. Only Ray Rippelmeyer matches him. Was he that good a coach or was it because the team was winning that caused him to defy the odds and last 8 years in the role?

Jim from Downingtown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim from Downingtown said...

Not sure if you are asking about Ripplemeyer or Dubee.

Ripplemeyer must have been highly thought of, because he survived the regime change between managers Frank Lucchesi and Danny Ozark. Even when Steve Carlton won 27 games in 1972, the rest of the pitching staff was a wasteland.

Dubee (IMO) was a dunce, who held onto his job so long because a) he was pals with Charlie Manuel, and b) the Phillies had pitchers like Halliday, Lee, and Hamels that required only that you write their name in the lineup every 5 days. What has Dubee done since leaving the Phillies? Coaching the Tigers? How did THAT go?