Phillies

Pete Mackanin out as Phillies manager, will finish out 2017

Pete Mackanin is out as Phillies manager.

Mackanin will manage the Phillies' final three games this weekend against the Mets but won't return in that role in 2018, despite previously being under contract through '18 with a 2019 option.

Mackanin signed a new contract to join the Phillies' front office as a special assistant to the general manager.

The job statuses of the rest of the Phils' coaching staff will be at the discretion of the new manager.

The timing is somewhat surprising as the Phillies are 35-35 in their last 70 games and have a chance to finish over .500 after the All-Star break. They've played much better baseball the last two months as their young position players and bullpen pieces have found success.

In parts of three seasons as Phillies manager, the 66-year-old Mackanin is 172-237 (.421). He was one of eight men in Phillies history to play, coach and manage for them.

He took over for Ryne Sandberg when Sandberg abruptly resigned on June 27, 2015. The Phillies liked Mackanin's methods of communication and honesty enough to bring him back in 2016 after that interim stint, and they twice extended him to new, short-term contracts.

When Matt Klentak was hired as the Phillies' GM in October 2015, he inherited Mackanin as a manager. The two developed a relationship, but the Phillies, finally in a position to make a push toward .500 or beyond, are now headed in a different direction.

It wouldn't be surprising to see the Phils opt for a young, analytically-inclined manager given Klentak's background and owner John Middleton's desire to push the Phillies to the forefront of that movement.