Dusty Wathan helped guide all the young players on the Phillies roster. And now he’ll join them in the major leagues.
The Phillies announced Friday that Wathan will be the team’s third-base coach in 2018, after he finished last month as the runner-up to be their manager. John Mallee joins Gabe Kapler’s staff as the hitting coach after serving in that role for the last three seasons with the Cubs before being fired last month. Rick Kranitz, last season’s assistant pitching coach, will remain in a role that has yet to be determined. Expect Kapler to fill out the rest of his staff within the next week.
Wathan, 44, played 14 seasons of professional baseball. All but three games were spent in the minor leagues. He retired after the 2007 season and immediately transitioned into coaching, becoming manager of the Phillies’ short-season Class A team.
Wathan, whose father, John, played for and managed the Royals, started his climb to the majors. He managed each of the Phillies’ minor-league affiliates before reaching triple-A last season. March 29 in Atlanta will be his first Opening Day in the major leagues, a well-deserved reward for a baseball lifer.
Mallee was the hitting coach for Miami (2010-11) and Houston (2013-14) before joining the Cubs. He was a Phillies draft pick in 1991 and played two seasons in their minor-league system. The Cubs had the highest on-base percentage in the National League during Mallee’s tenure and scored the second-most runs with the second-highest OPS.
“I would like to thank all the teams that showed interest in me on my new journey,” Mallee tweeted. “I chose the Philadelphia Phillies. Gifted young talent. Been thru this before with Astros and Cubs. New chapter, Same book, Game on.”