The timing, I’m sure, is a total coincidence, but it’s still really weird to see the Cubs’ former hitting coach fired by the Phillies on the day they are set to arrive in Philadelphia.
BREAKING: A source says Charlie Manuel has replaced John Mallee as #Phillies hitting coach.
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) August 13, 2019
Charlie Manuel is the Phillies’ new hitting coach, according to two sources. Phillies make a drastic change after installing John Mallee’s philosophies throughout organization. First: @ToddZolecki.
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) August 13, 2019
It’s also weird to see a hitting coach fired in mid-August in any case.
Mallee, as many Cubs fans will remember, was surprisingly let go by the Cubs after the 2017 season, despite apparent successes with the club (he took the gig in late 2014). The front office and Joe Maddon framed the decision as having less to do with Mallee and more to do with the availability of Chili Davis, who infamously replaced Mallee in the role … and was fired one year later. That left the Cubs in a position to bring back former minor league hitting coordinator Anthony Iapoce, who is the Cubs’ hitting coach today.
As for Mallee, he had no trouble finding a new job swiftly after the Cubs let him go, taking the hitting coach job on an up-and-coming Phillies club, complete with a new manager (Gabe Kapler) and a new front office. The guy has always been well-regarded.
That said, the Phillies have struggled all over this year, despite competitive expectations and a huge signing in Bryce Harper. I guess Mallee is the fall guy. It’ll be very interesting to see where he goes next, and whether there’s a role back with the Cubs available in some capacity.