Phillies manager search down to two finalists, per report

MARYVALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 26: Gabe Kapler
MARYVALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 26: Gabe Kapler /
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Two men with a history of player development are reported finalists for the Phillies manager position

Lehigh Valley IronPigs manager Dusty Wathan and Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler are finalists for the Phillies manager job, according to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki.

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported on Wednesday that the team had “zeroed in” on Wathan as their next manager, however, Zolecki says no final decision has been made.

Wathan knows the young players in the Phillies organization better than anyone having managed every minor league team in the farm system.

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Most recently he led the IronPigs to the playoffs with Rhys Hoskins, Jorge Alfaro, and J.P. Crawford, all of whom are projected to be major contributors to the next phase of a lengthy rebuild.

Kapler played 12 seasons in the major leagues for Boston, Detroit, Texas, Tampa Bay, Milwaukee, and Colorado before retiring in 2010. At 42-years-old Kapler has been a finalist for manager jobs in the past, including the Dodgers job that went to Dave Roberts.

Approximately a dozen candidates have been interviewed for the manager job in a search led by general manager Matt Klentak. Reported candidates that have interviewed include former Red Sox manager John Farrell, A’s third-base coach Chip Hale, former Giants third base coach Phil Nevin, third base coach Juan Samuel, player development coach Jorge Velandia, and former Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway, now with the New York Mets.

Next: Wathan emerging as a favorite for manager job

A final decision is excepted before the end of the World Series next week.

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