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Rick Kranitz and John McLaren will join Pete Mackanin's coaching staff with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Phillies closed up two holes on their coaching staff with the hiring of Rick Kranitz and John McLaren. Kranitz will serve as the Phillies bullpen coach, while McLaren will take over as the catching instructor. Coaches Steve Henderson and Bob McClure inked new deals for 2016.

The lasting image of former Phillies bullpen coach Rod Nichols may be the one of him sitting in the bullpen next to the bullpen phone that was off the hook. All the while, then manager Ryne Sandberg and the rest of the Phillies coaching staff was trying in vain to get Nichols attention as the Phillies took a beating in Baltimore. Nichols is officially gone and will be replaced by Rick Kranitz, who has served as a pitching coach for the Brewers, Orioles and Marlins during his long career in the game.

Of course, the image that goes with that incident is the one of pitching coach Bob McClure waving a white towel in an attempt to get Nichols' attention. At the time, fans questioned whether that was the reason or if the team was simply waving the white flag of surrender. Either way, McClure is officially back, as is hitting coach Steve Henderson. Both coaches signed deals for 2016 to remain on manager Pete Mackanin's staff.

After the season, third base coach John Mizerock was told he wouldn't be returning. Mizerock also worked with the catchers and served as the team's assistant hitting coach. The title of catching coach will go to John McLaren, 64, has 23 seasons of major league coaching experience and also managed in Seattle and Washington.It's not clear whether McLaren will coach third or assist Henderson as a second hitting instructor.

Henderson will continue on under Mackanin, who signed a one-year deal with a club option for a second season. Mackanin took over for Sandberg, who stepped down as manager in June, and inherited his staff.

First base coach Juan Samuel and bench coach Larry Bowa have both been invited back, but both are exploring other opportunities. Bowa has interviewed twice with the Miami Marlins regarding their open manager's position. Samuel hasn't publicly been linked to any managerial openings around baseball.


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