The Phillies keep striking out looking for a pitching coach. Of the three top candidates:
- Bryan Price became the Cincinnati Reds' manager.
- Roger McDowell returned to the Atlanta Braves.
- Jim Benedict flat out said no.
So, now what?
The Phillies have reportedly considered the following:
- Rod Nichols, 2012 Phillies bullpen coach and long-tenured Phillies system coach.
- Reid Cornelius, Miami Marlins bullpen coach
- Pete Vuckovich, Cy Young winner, now Special Assistant to the General Manager of the Seattle Mariners and once an actor/consultant for the movie Major League.
- Ray Burris, Phillies AAA pitching coach in 2012.
- Neil Allen, AAA Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays) pitching coach.
The Phillies missed out on the opportunity for Dave Wallace, who became the Baltimore Orioles pitching coach, and Brent Strom, who joined the Houston Astros earlier this winter. It appears that the Phillies are missing out on the big names.
Leo Mazzone, currently doing sports talk in Atlanta on the station that former Philly-area guys John Kincade and Kevin McAlpin work, is interested in the Phillies' open job. However, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com says that the Phillies have not really considered Mazzone. Mazzone has a big name, but the 65 year-old coach has been out of practice for eight years; he last coached with the Baltimore Orioles in 2005, when he was dismissed by the club.
One possible conclusion: Rod Nichols, who certainly has put his time in, will get the job. The Phillies really want a pitching guy in the bullpen, so they could give the position to a runner-up, such as Burris or Allen. The Phillies would be better off with an experienced pitching coach at the helm with Nichols the second guy, but I do not think the Phillies will be in poor shape with Nichols.
Hopefully they decide by Spring Training.