Phillies hire Rick Kranitz as pitching coach

Rick Kranitz (right) was promoted from assistant pitching coach to the main job for 2018.

The Phillies hired from within to fill an important position, as they named Rick Kranitz the team’s new pitching coach Friday, and added a 36-year-old coach to assist him.

Kranitz, 59, developed a strong rapport with many of the Phillies’ pitchers in the last two seasons. He was bullpen coach in 2016 and assistant pitching coach in 2017. He has 10 years of experience as a pitching coach in the majors with three teams — Miami, Baltimore, and Milwaukee.

The Phillies had announced last month they would retain Kranitz on the staff, but did not reveal his title. The team had continued to interview potential pitching coach candidates but decided to stick with a familiar presence in Kranitz.

He replaces Bob McClure, who was hired earlier this week by Minnesota as a senior pitching advisor. McClure was pitching coach for four seasons.

Chris Young, a 36-year-old former minor-league pitcher who was the major-league scouting supervisor for Houston last season, will be the Phillies’ assistant pitching coach. Young scouted for seven seasons before his promotion in 2017. The end of his professional career came with the independent Camden Riversharks in 2008.

The Phillies have two spots to fill on their coaching staff; they still must hire a bench coach and first-base coach. The Athletic reported that former Yankees bench coach Rob Thomson was a leading candidate for the Phillies’ bench job. He interviewed this week, a source said. Thomson was in contention to become the next Yankees manager.