Mickey Morandini was supposed to serve his second season as the Lehigh Valley IronPigs bench coach last season, but instead, wound up the hitting coach for the Reading Fightins when Frank Cacciatore left the team to tend to personal issues. When Cacciatore returned, Morandini stayed with Reading, in part to help shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford adjust to the new level.
Morandini will make the jump to Pete Mackanin's coaching staff for the 2016 season, serving as the Phillies first base coach and baserunning coach. Last year's first base coach, Juan Samuel, is moving to third base to serve as the coach there for the Phillies.
Before joining Lehigh Valley, Morandini managed at both Williamsport and Lakewood in the Phillies minor league system. Morandini, 49, played 11 seasons in the majors, with the Phillies, Cubs and Blue Jays. He holds a career .268 average, with 209 doubles, 54 triples and 123 stolen bases. Morandini was an All-Star in 1995 and was a member of the 1993 National League Champions.
The hiring of Morandini completes the Phillies 2016 coaching staff. Larry Bowa will serve as the bench and infield coach, Steve Henderson as the hitting coach and Bob McClure will be the pitching coach. Rick Kranitz (bullpen) and John McLaren (catching) were hired shortly after the end of the season. Samuel and Morandini will serve as the Phillies base coaches, with Samuel also serving as the outfield coach and Morandini as the baserunning coach.
Jorge Velandia, who joined the staff last season when Ryne Sandberg stepped down, will return to his role as special assistant, player personnel.