Phillies: Gabe Kapler holding out for Chase Utley coaching?

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Chase Utley /

Is Chase Utley ready to return to the Phillies bench?

As the talking points of the offseason continue to materialize the Phillies are quietly building both a young roster and a brand new coaching staff. After a lengthy process that resulted in Gabe Kapler being named manager the rest of the coaching staff is still up in the air.

Dusty Wathan, a finalist for the manager job, will serve as the third base coach and John Mallee will be the new hitting coach replacing Matt Stairs.

Outside of those two jobs the franchise hasn’t made much news regarding the remaining positions. A pitching coach, first base coach, and bench coach will be needed in the very near future. Bullpen coach Rick Kranitz will return in an unannounced role, so he could fill the vacant pitching coach job.

Kapler’s bench coach remains an important key in the franchise going forward, and the vacant role could be filled by Chase Utley.

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In his introductory press conference, Kapler went out of his way to praise Utley’s work ethic and professionalism displayed while the two were in the Dodgers organization. His comments raised many eyebrows and drew speculation as to whether Utley could return to Philadelphia as a bench player or coach.

That idea would likely have been raised towards Utley after Kapler’s hiring, but considering Utley isn’t sure whether to retire or not could explain the continued vacancy of the bench coach job.

If Utley does want to play, it’s hard to imagine him not considering being a player-coach in Philadelphia. HIs presence would do wonders for J.P. Crawford, Scott Kingery, Jorge Alfaro, and the other high-profile prospects coming up in the system.

Should Utley not be the man to fill the bench coach job several candidates remain for Kapler to pick from. The futures of Mickey Morandini and Juan Samuel are yet to be determined, and Atlanta Braves third base coach Ron Washington would bring managerial experience to the table.

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Some have speculated Morandini could replace Wathan as the IronPigs manager. As for Samuel, don’t rule him out for the first base coaches job.