Gabe Kapler continued to fill out his coaching staff on Wednesday, hiring a coach who is young enough to be mistaken for a player.
The Phillies named Pedro Guerrero, a 28-year-old former Dodgers minor-leaguer with no relation to the 1980s slugger, as their assistant hitting coach. He turns 29 in December and is one of the youngest coaches in baseball — if not the youngest.
Guerrero’s hiring seems to signal that Rick Kranitz, last season’s assistant pitching coach, will be the team’s pitching coach. The team announced earlier that Kranitz would return but his role has yet to be specified. League rules allow a team to have seven coaches and one manager.
The Phillies have hired five coaches: Guerrero, Kranitz, hitting coach John Mallee, third base coach Dusty Wathan, and bullpen coach Jim Gott. The last two roles will be a bench coach and first-base coach.
Guerrero spent the last two seasons as a bench coach in the Dodgers minor-league system after playing eight seasons in the minors as an infielder. Guerrero will work with Mallee, who also never reached the majors before becoming a coach.
“A lot of times, it’s not the guys who really hit, but the guys who didn’t hit and try to figure out why” who become coaches, Mallee told MLB.com in 2015.