Roger, Roger: Pitching Coach Search Heats Up

Ruben Amaro Jr.’s search for a pitching coach is heating up.

Pitching coach Roger McDowell’s contract with the Braves expired at midnight Thursday, which allows the Phillies to formally contact him.

It is a near certainty they have.

MLB.com reported as early as Oct. 22 the Phillies and McDowell could get together. The Braves have invited McDowell to return next season, but he still has not signed a contract. (Sources said McDowell is one of the lowest-paid pitching coaches in the game.) Meanwhile, the Phillies have interviewed at least six candidates for the job, but the fact they have not hired anybody indicates they have been waiting to speak to somebody.

That somebody is McDowell.

MLB.com’s Mark Bowman wrote yesterday that McDowell met this week with Braves general manager Frank Wren. Bowman wrote “the meeting did not lead to an immediate resolution.” If the Phillies make McDowell an offer, he certainly can circle back to Wren, get a much-deserved raise and return to Atlanta.

But the Phillies are going to make a run at him anyway.

It would be a nice coup for the Phillies, who are replacing Rich Dubee after nine seasons. McDowell, who pitched for the Phillies from 1989-91, has been Atlanta’s pitching coach the past eight seasons. The Braves had several notable injuries to their pitching staff this season, but still posted a big-league best 3.18 ERA.

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Former Phillies prospect Adrian Cardenas wrote a great essay for The New Yorker about why he quit baseball. The Phillies traded him to the A’s in July 2008 as part of the Joe Blanton deal.

12 Comments

Hope they land McDowell.

Would love to hear the rationale behind retaining Juan Samuel. His work at 3rd base seemed more than a tad suspect. (Have we ever had that many runners thrown out by 15 feet at home plate?)

Weren’t there more guys thrown out at home when Ryne was the thirdbase coach?

When was Ryne our 3rd base coach?

Um – the first 2/3 of last season?

Andy, Ryne Sandberg was the third base coach up until he was hired as the manager. He may have set a MLB record for getting guys thrown out at home.

No he wasn’t. He was the bench coach. Juan Samuel was the 3rd base coach all season.

Nope – Phillies didn’t carry a bench coach after Mackanin left. Samuel started as the first base coach and moved back to third. Source (one of them – there are a ton): http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillies_zone/Ryne-Sandberg-among-three-coaches-added-to-Phillies-staff.html

Stop alreadyt, Andy. You are just flat out wrong.

Todd:
Thanks for posting the article by Adrian C. Good look into his thots about pro baseball. And good to see his writing skills in action. doc

I agree, Doc. That was a fantastically written article by a guy who will easily make it as a writer. He may not make millions writing, but he’ll be making millions of readers happy to have read his stuff.

I think Cardenas needs to continue to take writing classes.

That’s the plan… God bless the young man.

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