Phillies

Sources: Phillies cut loose Andy Tracy, Frank Cacciatore, Sal Rende, John Mizerock

Sources: Phillies cut loose Andy Tracy, Frank Cacciatore, Sal Rende, John Mizerock

The shakeup in the Phillies’ minor-league system continues.

The organization cut loose four veteran hitting instructors this week, according to sources.

The group includes Andy Tracy, Frank Cacciatore, Sal Rende and John Mizerock.

Tracy had been the organization’s minor-league hitting coordinator since 2013. Cacciatore was the assistant hitting coordinator. Rende had been the hitting coach at Triple A Lehigh Valley for the last eight seasons. Mizerock was the hitting coach at High A Clearwater. He was on the big-league coaching staff in 2014 and 2015.

All four coaches were on expiring contracts.

Rumors of a shakeup on the Phillies’ minor-league hitting staff had circulated throughout the summer. Joe Jordan, hired in 2011 as the team's director of player development under former general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., resigned last week because of philosophical differences with the front office (see story). Many of those differences, according to sources, revolved around hitting — how it should be taught in the minors and the progress of several prospects.

The departures of Jordan and Tracy coincide with Rhys Hoskins becoming the first Phillie since Ryan Howard in 2011 to hit 30 home runs. Hoskins has credited Jordan and Tracy for suggesting the leg kick that he says changed his career four years ago (see story).

General manager Matt Klentak has said the team will interview internal and external candidates in filling the opening for director of player development. Internal candidates are likely to include Ben Werthan, the organization's coordinator of minor-league player information, Sam Fuld, who oversees player information and works with outfielders at the big-league level, and Jorge Velandia, a special assistant to Klentak.

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Phillies looking toward the Bronx in future-shaping week

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AP Images

Phillies looking toward the Bronx in future-shaping week

Phillies officials begin an important work week Monday, one that will have a significant impact on the team's future.

On Monday, the club will host Joe Girardi at Citizens Bank Park in a second interview for the team's open manager's job.

Girardi met with team officials last Monday in the New York metropolitan area. He is the third candidate to receive a second interview for the position. Dusty Baker and Buck Showalter visited Philadelphia for second interviews on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

The Phillies have a narrow focus in their search for a new skipper; they are seeking someone with previous big-league managerial experience. Girardi, Showalter and Baker, with 53 combined years of big-league managing experience and seven manager of the year awards, are the only candidates for the position and it is possible the team could make a hire this week. Thursday could be a target for an announcement as the World Series pauses for an off day between Games 2 and 3.

The Phils could make another important announcement this week. Multiple sources around baseball say the Phils have completed their search for a new amateur scouting director and that Brian Barber is the guy they are locked in on. Barber is a highly regarded national scout for the New York Yankees. His hiring by the Phillies could be announced this week. Barber will replace Johnny Almaraz, who last month stepped down as the Phillies' director of amateur scouting.

Of course, Barber isn't the only man with Yankees roots in the Phillies' sights. Girardi won four World Series rings with the Yankees — three as a player and one as a manager — and is believed to be the Phillies' preferred candidate for manager. 

In addition to having a wealth of experience in running a game with his instincts and intuition, Girardi is well versed in the use of analytics in roster building and game management. Phillies ownership has committed millions to building an analytics department and the club is looking for a manager who can blend a traditional approach to running a game and a team with an approach that uses data and analytics. Girardi managed the Yankees from 2008 to 2017 and in that time the team became an analytics powerhouse.

Girardi is also a candidate for the New York Mets managerial opening. It is not clear if the Mets are prioritizing previous big-league managing experience like the Phillies are. The Mets have interviewed Girardi as well as a number of candidates who have not managed in the big leagues, such as Carlos Beltran and Eduardo Perez.

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It turns out Jeopardy host Alex Trebek isn't the biggest fan of the Phanatic

It turns out Jeopardy host Alex Trebek isn't the biggest fan of the Phanatic

Jeopardy has been home to some great moments regarding Philadelphia sports in the past.

 I wish this was another one of these moments ... but it's not.

 It turns out, the show's host host Alex Trebek isn't a big fan of the Phillie Phanatic ... I know, I'm hurt too.


 The Phillies are in disbelief, we all are.
 
 Of course, fans had quite the reaction to the video that surfaced on social media. After all, the Phanatic is the best mascot in all of sports (totally unbiased, of course).




 

I don't even want to know what he thinks about Gritty.

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