1. Manage the playing time of the young players efficiently
The Phillies were already one of the youngest teams in the league last season, but they will be even younger next season.
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The team has a loaded farm system, and many of those players will likely break into the majors next season. J.P. Crawford, Jorge Alfaro, Nick Williams, and several others will likely find themselves on the 25-man roster sometime during the 2017 campaign. It will be important for Mackanin to manage these players’ playing time the right way, and it will be interesting to see if Mackanin keeps his young players fresh and playing hard.
Mackanin will also have a new full-time starting first baseman in 2017. With the departure of Ryan Howard, Mackanin won’t have to worry about platooning Howard and Tommy Joseph next season. It’s clear Joseph has earned the right to be the team’s starting first baseman on Opening Day. Despite Joseph being the everyday first baseman, it will still be important for Mackanin to keep Joseph fresh and to make sure he plays him correctly if and when he enters a slump.