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Phillies appear near end of pitching coach search

Not naming candidates, Amaro 'hopeful' of announcement in near future

PHILADELPHIA -- A more than seven-week search for the next Phillies pitching coach could be nearing an end.

The Phillies have interviewed at least 12 candidates, but general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. indicated Wednesday afternoon he might be close to finding somebody to finally replace Rich Dubee, who served that role for nine seasons before being informed that he would not return.

"We're hopeful to make an announcement or make a decision soon," Amaro said.

Amaro declined to discuss candidates, but sources have said the Phils offered the job to Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell and Pirates special assistant to the general manager Jim Benedict. Both declined.

In recent days, the Phillies have interviewed Bob McClure, Randy St. Claire, Rafael Chaves and Carl Willis, each of whom has been a pitching coach in the big leagues. In previous weeks, they have interviewed McDowell, Benedict, Mariners special assistant to the general manager Pete Vuckovich, Phils bullpen coach Rod Nichols, Marlins bullpen coach Reid Cornelius, Triple-A Lehigh Valley pitching coach Ray Burris, Triple-A Durham pitching coach Neil Allen and D-backs Minor League field coordinator Jeff Pico.

Pico has since been named as the Reds' pitching coach.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for
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