Originally posted on Philly Sports Live  |  Last updated 10/4/12

The Philadelphia Phillies season ended yesterday in a lose to the Washington Nationals.  After the game, the Phillies wasted no time in making changes to the coaching staff.  Bench coach Pete Mackanin, hitting coach Greg Gross and first-base coach Sam Perlozzo were told they would not be part of the 2013 Philadelphia Phillies.  While Gross may come as no big surprise, because lets be honest where were his coaching skills actually at this season.

When you needed your hitting coach to help in developing some of your younger talent into viable everyday players, Gross failed.  While I understand his struggles in getting veteran players like Jimmy or Shane to play the type of small ball that the Phils needed early in the season, Greg came up very small.  Perlozzo was a little of a shocker to me considering as a first-base coach he seemed like he did a serviceable job.  Mackanin is another guy I mean I understand why the move may have been made, and while he had big shoes to fill when bench coach Jimy Williams left, I feel he too was serviceable.

Going into Thursday the big question that everyone was asking themselves is were the Phil’s going to bring up Ryan Sandberg to fill any of these open roles.  Then early this afternoon that question was answered and while many assumed that Sandberg would fill the recently vacant bench coach position, he was instead promoted to the Phil’s new third-base coach and infield instructor.  Along with Sandberg, the Phillies brought up Steve Henderson to be the teams new hitting coach.  Henderson has spent the last three years in the Phil’s minor league system as a hitting coordinator.  Next was new bullpen coach brought up from triple A, coach Rod Nichols.  Nichols has been with the Phils since 2000, working as a pitching for the four different affiliates.

The Phillies also made a couple lateral moves, offering third-base coach Juan Samuel the position of being the new first-base coach, replacing Perlozzo.  They also moved Mick Billmeyer to the catching coach position, from his former role as the bullpen coach.  The only position I was shocked they have yet to fill was bench coach, and that’s because the Phils decided to go through the 2013 season without a bench coach.  While this does seem odd, it also leaves an opportunity for a lot of controversy with Sandberg now on the Major League squad.

If Charlie happens to get tossed from a game, as Charlie has been know to do, who replaces the skipper and fills the role of the manager.  While it makes sense that Sandberg could easily fill that role, there is also an arguement to be made that Dubee has the experience to be the manager.  Needless to say the fans got what they wanted with Ryan Sandberg being brought up to coach on the Phil’s staff, while maybe not in the capacity some were hoping, he is now back in the “bigs.”  The biggest question remaining is when do the fans and media start calling for Sandberg to replace Charlie in the final year of his contract.  It should make for an exciting year either way and hopefully these coaching moves are just the beginning of moves to improve an aging team.

-Brett DeFalco

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