Mackanin excited to be back on Phillies' staff


Mackanin excited to be back on Phillies' staff

Larry Bowa isn’t the only former Phillies player and coach to return to the club. 

On Wednesday, Pete Mackanin also took part in a conference call with the Philly media to talk about his return to the organization after a one-year absence.

Mackanin will take over as the third base coach a year after he was an advanced scout for the New York Yankees. Before that, Mackanin was the bench coach for Charlie Manuel from 2009 to 2012 before not having his contract renewed for the 2013 season.

When Ryne Sandberg asked Mackanin to join his staff as a third base coach, he was excited, but reluctant.

“I asked Ryno, ‘Is this OK with Ruben and the organization?’ and he said they discussed it and there were no issues and we’d love to have you back,” Mackanin said. “I was really excited about it and here I am.”

Mackanin managed the Reds and Pirates for a year before joining the Phillies as a coach and played for the team briefly in 1978 and 1979. A Chicago native, Mackanin was a young minor-league manager in the Cubs’ organization when Sandberg was a player.

The Phillies still have some spots to fill on the coaching staff. They need a pitching coach to replace Rich Dubee, a bullpen coach, and a first base coach. The team may also hire an assistant hitting coach and/or a catching coach to replace Mick Billmeyer.

Juan Samuel and Rod Nichols, members of the 2013 coaching staff, are in the running to fill two of those spots.

Phillies promote outfielder Andrew Pullin to Triple A after strong run with Reading

Phillies promote outfielder Andrew Pullin to Triple A after strong run with Reading

Cameron Perkins' call-up to the majors opened up an outfield spot at Triple A Lehigh Valley and Andrew Pullin was the beneficiary, earning a promotion Thursday.

Pullin's success at Double A Reading has been somewhat overshadowed by Scott Kingery's eye-popping first three months but Pullin has nearly kept pace with the second baseman all season. In 67 games with Reading, the 23-year-old Pullin hit .308/.368/.556 with 22 doubles, 14 home runs and 46 RBIs.

The left-handed hitting Pullin has been locked in for the better part of the last two years. He hit .322 with an .885 OPS last season, splitting time between Clearwater and Reading.

Pullin is not on the 40-man roster and in December was exposed in the Rule 5 draft. For whatever reason, he went unclaimed. It's difficult to imagine that happening again this winter if he's not protected on the 40.

As for Kingery, expect his promotion to come soon. Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said last week that the next challenge for Kingery is looming. Don't be surprised if that promotion from Double A to Triple A occurs Monday when the IronPigs return to Lehigh Valley. With Reading home this weekend, it would be just a short trip for Kingery.

Today's lineup: Odubel Herrera batting 3rd as Aaron Altherr gets day off

Today's lineup: Odubel Herrera batting 3rd as Aaron Altherr gets day off

Odubel Herrera made a costly mistake in the Phillies' 10th-inning, 7-6 loss to the Cardinals Wednesday night.

With the game tied in the bottom of ninth, Herrera ran through a stop sign from third base coach Juan Samuel and was subsequently thrown out at home by a mile, thus putting an end to the inning. When the Phils came out onto the field for the top of the 10th inning, Herrera was taken out of the game via a double-switch. 

Herrera won't have to wait long to have a chance to redeem himself as he was moved from sixth to third in the Phils' lineup Thursday, with the team looking to avoid having a series swept from them for a second consecutive time. Aaron Altherr, who had been mostly manning the No. 3 spot in the order, was given the day off. Howie Kendrick, who paces the Phillies with a .350 batting average, was also left out of the lineup in favor of Andrés Blanco.

Cameron Perkins, who made his first major league start in the leadoff spot last night, will bat first again after collecting a pair of hits.

Carlos Martinez will take the mound for the Cardinals looking to deliver the Phillies their 14th loss in the last 15 games. Martinez (6-5, 2.86 ERA) tossed a complete-game shutout against the Phils on June 10, surrendering just four hits while striking out 11 in a 7-0 St. Louis win.

Opposite Martinez will be Aaron Nola (3-5, 4.76 ERA), who tossed five innings of three-run ball in his only start against the Cardinals this season on June 10. Nola has been tagged with a loss in five of his last six outings. 

Here is today's full lineup:

1. Cameron Perkins, RF
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Daniel Nava, LF
6. Tommy Joseph, 1B
7. Andrés Blanco, 2B
8. Cameron Rupp, C
9. Aaron Nola, P