Dusty Wathan

This is a 2017 photo of Dusty Wathan of the Philadelphia Phillies. This image represents the the Phillies active roster on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, in Clearwater, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Phillies and new manager Gabe Kapler have begun to build a coaching staff.

The team announced it has hired Dusty Wathan, John Mallee and Rick Kranitz as coaches.

Wathan, who managed the triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs last season, will be the third base coach. Wathan was a finalist for the manager’s job.

He has a good relationship with many of the Phillies’ young players, including Rhys Hoskins, J.P. Crawford and Nick Williams.

Wathan, 44, has managed at every level of the Phillies minor league organization.

He led the Lakewood BlueClaws to the 2009 South Atlantic League championship. This is Wathan’s first major league coaching assignment.

Mallee, 48, is the team’s hitting coach. The Phillies drafted him in the 10th round of the 1991 draft, and he played in the Phillis organization in 1991-92. Mallee was Chicago Cubs hitting coach from 2015-17. He also worked as a hitting coach with the Miami Marlins and the Houston Astros.

The Cubs won the 2016 World Series during Mallee’s tenure. Chicago did not rehire Mallee after this season instead chooisng former major leaguer Chili Davis as their hitting coach. But in Mallee’s three seasons, Chicago had the second highest on-base percentage (.334) in baseball and scored the second most runs (2,139) in the National League.

Kranitz, 59, is a hold-over from last season’s Phillies staff, where he was the bullpen coach. The team did not specify what role Kranitz would have this season.

— Michael McGarry

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Contact: 609-272-7209 MMcGarry@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPressMcGarry

I've covered high school sports and variety of other events and teams - including the ShopRite LPGA Classic and the Phillies - since 1993.

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