Speculation abounds when managerial positions open. The suddenly open position in Philadelphia is no different. Here are four candidates.
Our dear friend, Joe Girardi, is no longer around. He probably hopped on the earliest flight to Peoria, IL possible in hopes to avoid any press lingering around Philadelphia International on Friday. The search to replace him has begun. The immediate future sees bench coach Rob Thomson as the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. Despite Thomson being the temporary fix, will he be the long-term solution? Let’s look at four potential long-term solutions.
Going With the Known
Immediately after being given the reins, Thomson guided the team to a sweep of the Los Angeles Angels. Though he is currently tabbed as the interim manager, there is always a chance he transitions from interim to full-time manager. Being a known figure in the organization helps his chances of this happening. Additionally, he has a track record of being on winning teams. During his tenure with the New York Yankees, he won 5 World Series rings. The knowledge he was able to soak in from Joe Torre is invaluable. And, the players have immediately responded to his leadership. The real question Dave Dombrowski and the front office needs to answer: do they want a fresh start with a clean break from anyone associated with Girardi’s staff? Time will tell. Winning goes a long way.
If we don't count managers let go in the final week, Rob Thomson is the 6th manager to take over the #Phillies in midseason in the last 40 years.
Thomson started 3-0.
The other 5 started:
In other words…1-12!
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) June 7, 2022
Another former Yankees Coach Possible
Joe Espada may be the current bench coach for the Houston Astros, but he might be interested. He joined the Astros in 2018 after a 5 year stint with the Yankees – 2 in the front office and 3 on the field as the 3rd Base/Infield coach. For Espada, winning is an expectation. No, he hasn’t won a World Series ring, but coaching with the top 2 AL teams is valuable. Plus, being an understudy of Dusty Baker isn’t a horrible way to learn either. After failed attempts to jump into the managerial role (Texas Rangers in 2018 and the Chicago Cubs in 2019), could the Phillies lure him to the City of Brotherly Love? If Dombrowski wants the clean slate, any attempt to interview Espada will have to wait until after the season. How long does the organization want to wait if Houston makes another deep run in the playoffs?
The Sunshine State Has a Decent Candidate
Winning typically generates interest in your squad’s coaching staff. Tampa is no different. Matt Quatraro is this man. He has spent most of his coaching career in the Tampa Bay Rays organization (sans a 3 year stint in the Cleveland Indians/Guardians organization). He has coached and managed at many levels in the Rays’ minor league system before reaching the big league team as their 3rd base coach. Though unconventional, learning how to manipulate metrics from Kevin Cash can be a benefit in reviving Phillies greatness. As with Espada, Dombrowski will have to wait for any opportunity to interview. Having interviewed just last year with the Oakland Athletics and New York Mets, Quatraro seems ready to make the jump from bench coach to manager.
Staying Within Could Be Beneficial
There is one possible hire to keep things within the organization – Pat Listach. Similar to many minor league coaches, Listach has bounced around organizations. In 2008 he was named the Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year guiding the Iowa Cubs (Chicago Cubs) to a division title and a playoff appearance. When with the Tacoma Rainiers (Seattle Mariners) he took them to a 3rd place finish and a playoff appearance as well. To top off his winning habits, he led the Acereros del Norte (Mexican League) to a league championship in 2018. He may be in Jersey Shore, but maybe he’s ready to make the jump to managing in the bigs. If Dombrowski wants to get an early start on interviewing candidates, Listach is the dark horse candidate.
1992 AL Rookie of the Year
Pat Listach pic.twitter.com/K6ICB9C76t
— OldTimeHardball (@OleTimeHardball) April 3, 2021
End Game: Hiring a New Manager
Dombrowski and the front office have their work cut out for them. Thomson seems like the natural fit if he continues to lead the squad to wins. If this team has a complete turnaround on the season and makes the playoffs, Thomson makes any decision easier. Listach’s advantage lies in his current employment already held by Philadelphia. Plus, he has no ties to Girardi’s tenure. Waiting on either Espada or Quatraro might cause anxiety for Phillies fans, but could be well worth the wait for the front office. Whomever it is, there are high expectations to succeed and do so quickly. Phillies fans want to see the playoff drought end.