Pete Mackanin: Phillies 3rd Base Coach
Today at TBOH we’ll continue our 9-part series on the Philadelphia Phillies uniformed coaching staff with a look at the club’s Third Base Coach, Pete Mackanin.
Mackanin began a career in pro baseball in 1969 when he was drafted by the Washington Senators. In 1973, he would finally reach the majors as a member of the Texas Rangers, and in September of 1978, Mackanin was claimed by the Phillies.
As a Phils player, Mackanin batted .176 with 1 homerun over 18 plate appearances during the 1978-79 seasons. Spanning parts of 9 total seasons in the major leagues, Mackanin batted .226 with 30 homeruns and 141 RBI for the Rangers, Expos, Phillies, and Twins.
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In 1990, Mackanin began managing for the Reds’ Triple-A affiliate in Nashville and would lead his squad to the Eastern League Division championship. Quickly becoming a hot name around minor league baseball, he was rewarded with a major league job as the Expos’ third base coach in 1997.
In 2003, Mackanin was elevated again, becoming the Pirates bench coach. When the Buccos started to fall apart in 2005 and Manager Lloyd McClendon was fired on September 6, Mackanin stepped in as the club’s interim manager.
After a few years scouting and a brief stint as interim manager of the Reds in 2007, Mackanin joined the Phillies organization once again in 2009 as the Bench Coach to Charlie Manuel. Following the 2012 season, Mackanin was not retained.
In 2014, Mackanin would return to Philadelphia to fill his current position as the 3rd base coach. The Phillies 3rd base coach has numerous responsibilities, which include sending or holding a runner at 3rd, telling them whether they need to slide or not on approaching the 3rd base bag, and helping them know to when to tag up.
When executing each of these responsibilities, Mackanin must know the quality of runner he has on base. For example, he would be much more likely to send Ben Revere home than the gimpy Ryan Howard. He also needs to have knowledge of the arms and all-around fielding skills of the opponent’s defensive players.
Mackanin is considered an experienced, valued member of Ryne Sandberg‘s coaching staff, and now enters 2015 with four decades of baseball knowledge looking to use that experience to assist the Phillies in bringing more runs across the plate.