The Philadelphia Phillies have signed manager Pete Mackanin to a two-year extension through 2017, including a club option for 2018, per a team announcement. Mackanin was named interim manager last June after Ryne Sandberg stepped down and named manager for the 2016 season last September.
Mackanin, 64, has also managed the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds on an interim basis. He was bench coach with the Phillies under Charlie Manuel for four seasons, then returned to the organization in 2014 as Sandberg’s third base coach.
Mackanin played for the Texas Rangers, Montreal Expos, Minnesota Twins, and Philadelphia Phillies. He batted .226 with 355 hits in 548 games over his nine-year career.
Mackanin is 37-51 in 88 games as Phillies manager. The Phillies are in rebuilding mode, and this contract extension solidifies their trust in Mackanin for this long-term project.
In an interview with Phillyvoice.com, Mackanin said regarding the upcoming season, “We know we’re in a transition phase and we might not win 100 games. But you know what, I choose to be as positive as I can be. I’m the captain of the ship. And I feel like I should be the most positive guy out there and look to win an awful lot of games.”
The Phillies are in no position to contend this season, and Mackanin seems to be the guy to lead this young group. The team has had a successful spring with a 14-7-2 record. They have named Jeremy Hellickson their starter for Opening Day on April 4 against the Reds.