GM Matt Klentak and his staff are getting to put some new faces in some spots with minor league teams and in the player development department. The first move came when Dusty Wathan was named the manager of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs even before the major league season ended. Fast forward a few weeks and the rest of the minor league affiliates now have full coaching staffs and other positions in the player development department have been filled in by Klentak and his staff.
In addition to Wathan at Lehigh Valley, the Phillies minor league coaching staffs will include Greg Legg (Reading), Shaun Williams (Clearwater), Marty Malloy (Lakewood), Pat Borders (Williamsport) and Roly de Armas (GCL). Legg moves up a level from Clearwater, as does Williams, who managed at Lakewood last season. Borders just wrapped up his second season as the Crosscutters manager and de Armas has managed the Phillies Gulf Coast League team since 2007.
Malloy is an interesting hire. The former player, who played 11 major league games with Atlanta in 1998 and 24 more with the Marlins in 2002, was also the subject of a book by Paul Hemphill in 1996, entitled Heart of the Game: The Education of a Minor League Ball Player, which chronicled Malloy's battle to reach the majors. Malloy spent two seasons managing the Astros Gulf Coast League team in 2014 and 2015 and will now take over in Lakewood.
John Mizerock, who was the Williamsport hitting coach and spent part of last season as a bench coach with Lehigh Valley, will be the hitting coach for Legg at Double-A Reading. Frank Cacciatore, who served with Reading last season will become an assistant hitting coordinator in the minors, working under former IronPigs first baseman Andy Tracy. Former Phillie Charlie Hayes joins the GCL staff as a coach and former IronPigs fan favorite Tyler Henson was officially named a coach with Williamsport.
In the Dominican Summer League, Orlando Munoz, Joe Betancourt, Feliberto Sanchez and Samuel Hiciano will comprise the coaching staff. Ray Robles will become the assistant director of international operations.
The Phillies also made what could be another key hire from outside of the organization when they grabbed Bryan Minniti from the Arizona Diamondbacks to be a special adviser to Klentak. Minniti has been mentioned as a potential major league GM, but was overlooked by the D'backs when they conducted their recent search for a new GM. Jorge Velandia, who served as a special assistant in the player personnel department was promoted to also serve as a special adviser to Klentak.
Natan Weinberger takes over as the new analyst in the baseball research and development department and Geoff Miller joins the organization as the mental skills coach.
There were also several moves in the scouting department. Greg McMillan is the director of international scouting and Rafael Alvarez will serve as an international scout for the Phillies.
Greg Schilz comes from the Pirates organization and will be the director of national scouting for the Phillies, who added Will Brunson, Justin Morganstern and Justin Munson as scouts.