It’s been a relatively quiet offseason so far for Matt Klentak and the Phillies. Aside from hiring the next manager of the club in Gabe Kapler, the roster has remained pretty much untouched. This seems to be a theme around the league this winter, as there haven’t been many major free agent signings or trades at this point. The rumors have been swirling about NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton and Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani, and it will be interesting to see if things heat up after the annual Winter Meetings, which take place from December 10-14 in Orlando, Florida. While the Phillies seemingly haven’t been aggressively pursuing any big name free agents to this point in the offseason, they made a move to help fill their coaching staff by promoting Rick Kranitz to pitching coach. What can we expect from Kranitz this upcoming season? Lets take a look.
Kranitz began his major league coaching career with the Miami Marlins in 2006. He had spent time with Baltimore and Milwaukee before joining the Phillies as a bullpen coach in 2016. Kranitz was the assistant pitching coach last season and made a good enough impression with players and management to earn the lead role of pitching coach next season.
As a team of young players who are going through major changes with the upheaval of last years coaching staff, I think promoting from within was a very smart choice. Players need a sense of consistency and familiarity in order to be comfortable and continue to develop well. Let’s hope retaining Kranitz leads to more dominance from Aaron Nola and some major development from guys like Jerad Eickhoff and Vince Velasquez next year. Who knows, maybe Klentak will even go out and get his coach a new weapon to add to the staff next year. The Phillies were rumored to make a long shot pitch to Ohtani, who some are deeming the next Babe Ruth, but it doesn’t seem likely to happen at this point. I’m not holding my breath, but it doesn’t hurt to hope, right?
I, for one, am excited to see how this staff leads the new era of Phillies baseball starting next year. They have a plethora of young talent to mold, and in turn have the major responsibility of making sure these guys stay on track. We have a while to wait for baseball, but let’s hope the offseason stove starts heating up quickly.
Image: Brule Laker (via Flickr)