Phillies: 14 candidates to replace manager Gabe Kapler
Rob Thompson was the right-hand man for Joe Girardi in New York and for Kapler in Philadelphia. He was a finalist for the Yankees job before Aaron Boone was chosen, and Thompson was the hottest bench coach candidate on the market two years ago.
Thompson never played above Single-A in his professional career and instantly jumped into a minor league coaching role in the Yankees organization. He rose to work on the big league staff for a decade, including as the bench coach during the 2009 World Series season.
Thompson has the credentials to be a big league manager, but does he have the managerial experience the Phillies want? He does know the clubhouse and he’s worked in major markets, though his name doesn’t have the flash the Phillies will likely want.
Like Rob Thompson, Dusty Wathan is an in-house candidate who deserves a look for the Phillies manager job.
Wathan played the majority of his 13 professional seasons in the minor leagues, though he did get five major league at-bats for the Royals in 2002. His father John was on the Royals 1985 World Series team and has deep roots in the Royals franchise.
Wathan joined the Phillies organization as a minor league coach in 2008 and rose through the ranks to manage the Double-A Reading Fightin Phils from 2012 to 2016 and for one year with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Wathan was a major contributor to the development of Rhys Hoskins and other minor league players in the Phillies system prior to becoming the team’s third base coach under Kapler.
Wathan interviewed for the manager job prior to Kapler joining the team, and Wathan has been viewed as a future big league manager for some time thanks to his success in Reading. Hiring Wathan would be a move several players would likely stand behind, and it’d be a move similar to the one Atlanta made in hiring Brian Snitker, a long-time minor league coach who has turned into a very good big league manager.