For the first time since the 2011 season ended, the Reading Fightins are in need of a new manager

Dusty Wathan, the winningest manager in Reading history, will replace Lehigh Valley's winningest manager, Dave Brundage next season. With that change in place, there's room to speculate about who takes over in Reading.

Dusty Wathan has always been viewed as an up-and-comer in the Phillies organization. When he was named by GM Matt Klentak as the IronPigs manager after Dave Brundage's dismissal, it didn't come as a surprise. Now that he moves out of the Reading manager's office, who might be measuring the place for new furniture? Just a warning to the next occupant, there's not much room. 

If the Phillies are going to stay within the organization - and there's no guarantee that they will - the name that immediately come to mind, is Clearwater manager Greg Legg, who just finished his second season as the Threshers manager in what is actually his second stint at the helm of the Clearwater Threshers. Legg actually managed at Reading earlier in his career, leading the Reading Phillies as they were known then, from 2002-2004. Last season, Legg was the Florida State League Manager of the Year and led the Threshers to the best record in the league.

Legg has also served as a manager with Batavia, Martinsville, Piedmont and Lakewood in addition to his time with Clearwater and Reading.

This past season was Legg's 35th year with the Phillies organization after being drafted by the team in 1982 and appearing with the big league club in 1986 and 1987. In those two seasons, Legg, 56, hit .409 (9-for-22) with no home runs and one RBI. He played second, third and short for the Phillies. Legg hit .276 in 1,198 minor league games, all in the Phillies organization.

Pat Borders, who managed at Williamsport for the past two seasons, is also highly thought of in the organization. Borders, 53, was late to the coaching ranks after retiring as a manager. Borders didn't start his coaching or managing career professionally until 2015 when he was named the manager of the Crosscutters. After two seasons at Williamsport, it would seem that the Phillies would be getting a little anxious to move Borders up a level or two as a minor league manager. He led Williamsport to the postseason in 2015, but the team came up short in their quest for a return to the New York-Penn League playoffs in 2016.

If you want a dark-horse candidate, let's talk about Mickey Morandini. The former Phillies second baseman is now the first base coach for the club after spending some time as a minor league coach and manager. In 2011, Morandini managed Williamsport and spent the next two seasons leading the Lakewood BlueClaws. After that, he spent two seasons as a coach under Dave Brundage at Lehigh Valley and also spent time on Wathan's staff at Reading when hitting coach Frank Cacciatore had to leave the team for personal reasons.

Morandini has always been popular with the fans and within the Phillies organization after he spent nine seasons with the Phillies and two more playing for the Cubs and Blue Jays.

There is always the possibility of bringing in a new face or two from other organizations to manage at Reading or elsewhere in the organization. It's also very possible that if Carlos Alonso decides he wants to pursue a coaching or managing position, that the Phillies could fit him in somewhere in the lower ranks of the minors and push some others up the line.

It's very possible that the new Reading manager won't be named for another couple of months, although Klentak moved quickly on Warthen. It's possible that he moved so fast because he knew that Wathan might be exiting for another organization if he wasn't given some sort of bump up by the Phillies.


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