Can Charlie Manuel save the Phillies’ season?

(Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /

Charlie Manuel is back in the Philadelphia Phillies’ dugout after being named their hitting coach for the rest of the season. But is it too little too late?

With the news breaking on Tuesday that the Philadelphia Phillies have fired hitting coach John Mallee and named Charlie Manuel his replacement for the rest of the season, fans have a right to be somewhat excited.

This team’s offensive malaise has lasted for far too long this season, and it was past time to move on from an approach that clearly wasn’t working, even if Mallee had been the hitting coach for the Chicago Cubs just three years ago when they won the World Series.

Then again, he was also a career .208 hitter in the minor leagues. So you have to wonder how much he had in his arsenal.

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Enter Uncle Charlie.

The only regret here is that this move wasn’t made sooner, as his influence would have had a greater chance at success if he were installed a month or so ago. I suspect that, behind the scenes, there was growing dissatisfaction with Mallee and the team’s offensive results, but that Gabe Kapler went to bat for his coach just as he does for his players to a fault.

But clearly a breaking point had been reached, and whatever coaxing Charlie Manuel needed finally was enough to bring him back to the dugout for (maybe) one last time.

It’s a win-win situation for Charlie. If this team somehow gets its act together in the final 44 games and hits enough to actually make the playoffs, it would likely be regarded as Charlie’s finest work yet.

If they miss the playoffs but still show some kind of improvement, he will still be lauded as well. But if the season plays out without the Phillies’ offense ever realizing its potential, Charlie will be off the hook because of having to work with a compressed time frame and the perception that this offense just has too many holes in it for even the great Charlie Manuel to plug.

Overall, we should all be grateful that he’s back, and that this could possibly be the first step that ultimately leads to Gabe Kapler‘s ouster if things don’t improve over the final weeks of the 2019 season.

I personally feel that the season is too far gone for Charlie Manuel to make any kind of measurable impact. But it’s worth a shot.

Next. Phillies prepare to take backseat to Eagles once again. dark

Good luck, Charlie, with this group, you’re going to need it.