Unlike most managers this offseason, Pete Mackanin wasn’t given a team to work with when the Phillies opted to sign the then interim manager. More like an island of misfit toys instead. With an aging core in the form of Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz, no reliable pitchers in the bullpen, an absent closer role and a baron roster all together devoid of big name stars or even talent.
Mackanin is stuck in the middle of a team that doesn’t know what it’s doing. Are they contenders looking to trade for major league talent. Or are they rebuilders that are trading away their major league talent for younger minor league talent. As the Phillies traded away star closer Ken Giles to bring in a wave of young talent. The Phillies also traded away minor league talent to acquire Jeremy Hellickson.
The Phillies do have some life in them as they currently sit 10-10 on the young season. Showing Mackanin knows what to do with a team that has thrown together over the course of an offseason. He appears to be making it a personal mission of his to prove ever one wrong. Show the world the Phillies mean business. Even if it is only baby steps at a time.
Mackanin has made his mark though on the team within the first twenty games of the season though. To platoon 1st baseman Ryan Howard and Darin Ruf. A strategy that has always been brought up, but never been put into action. Mackanin is showing he’s the boss now. Former managers Charlie Manuel and Ryne Sandberg would never of considered platoon Howard.
The Phillies aren’t expected to do anything spectacular this season, and they except that. But they’re not going to except their fate quietly. Mackanin’s on a mission to prove everyone wrong. Win a few more games than what was expected.