PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Phillies have turned to the most successful manager in franchise history to revive their feeble offense.
The Phillies hired Charlie Manuel to replace John Mallee as hitting coach Tuesday before a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs. Manuel, who was working as senior adviser to general manager Matt Klentak, will join the team today.
"We have 44 games remaining and we're two games out of the playoffs," Klentak said. "We have not hit well but we aren't buried and we are not out and in my judgment with 44 games remaining, it makes sense to try something different. We are very fortunate we have Charlie Manuel as a colleague who is willing to step in, is excited to do it and feels he can help."
Klentak said the 75-year-old Manuel is assuming his new position for the remainder of the season. Mallee joined manager Gabe Kapler's staff last year after serving as the hitting coach for the Cubs from 2015-17.
Manuel led the Phillies to five straight division titles, two NL pennants and the franchise's second World Series championship, in 2008.
His 780 wins as Philadelphia's manager are the most in team history. He was 1,000-826 in nine seasons as manager of the Phillies and three seasons managing the Cleveland Indians.
Manuel previously served as hitting coach for the Indians from 1988-89 and 1994-99.
"Charlie is a great resource," Kapler said. "I was with the Tigers when Charlie was in his heyday with the Indians. Those guys scored 1,000-plus runs. They had that confidence when they walked up to the plate, from Travis Fryman to Jim Thome to Robbie Alomar. Those guys felt good about themselves and you can see it in the batter's box. Charlie was instrumental in that."
The Phillies are fourth in the NL East, but only two games behind St. Louis for the second wild-card spot with Milwaukee and the Mets also ahead of them in the race.
The Phillies are 19th in runs, 24th in batting average (.245) and 23rd in home runs (149).