Phils reaching final stages of managerial search

Wathan, Kapler expected to be finalists to replace Mackanin

October 26th, 2017
Dusty Wathan has been a manager in the Minor Leagues for the Phillies since 2008. (MiLB)

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies are finishing their first round of managerial interviews this week.

Next up? A second round with finalists and a possible hire next week.

Sources told that the Phillies have not made any final decisions about their next manager. They interviewed former Red Sox manager John Farrell on Wednesday, so they are still exploring their options.

USA Today reported Wednesday morning that the Phillies are "zeroing in" on Triple-A Lehigh Valley manager Dusty Wathan. A source said Wathan, 44, is expected to be a finalist, but the Phillies have gone no further than that. Wathan is highly regarded in the organization and knows the team's young players well. He guided the IronPigs to the postseason this year, despite losing top prospects , and to the Majors. Wathan has been a manager in the Phillies' system since 2008.

Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler also is expected to be a finalist. Kapler, 42, played 12 seasons in the Majors from 1998-2010. He managed Class A Greenville (a Red Sox affiliate) in 2007. The Dodgers nearly hired Kapler to replace former manager Don Mattingly following the 2015 season, but Dave Roberts got the job instead. Kapler has been considered a protégé of Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.

Farrell, 55, managed the Red Sox from 2013-17, guiding them to the 2013 World Series championship and American League East titles in each of the past two seasons. The Red Sox dismissed Farrell following the season.

Other than Wathan and Kapler, it is unclear who else might be considered a finalist to replace Pete Mackanin, who was reassigned to a front-office role last month. A's third-base coach Chip Hale, former Giants third base coach Phil Nevin and former Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway also interviewed for the Phillies' job. Callaway accepted the job to be the Mets manager on Monday.