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Chris Young to replace Rick Kranitz as Phillies pitching coach

The Phillies hope for playoff baseball to return to Citizens Bank Park in 2019. (Matt Veasey/Phillies Nation)

Rick Kranitz will not return as the Philadelphia Phillies pitching coach in 2019. Instead, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic is reporting that assistant pitching coach Chris Young, who had received interested from “multiple” teams, has been promoted to the post. Kranitz, meanwhile, will be allowed to seek other jobs in baseball, per Rosenthal.

This move appears to be less of an indictment on the job that Kranitz did as pitching coach in 2018, but rather a sign of how highly the Phillies think of Young, a former Houston Astros scout.

At the same time, the Phillies starting rotation was excellent in the first-half of the regular season. Beyond Aaron Nola developing into one of the game’s elite starters, the trio of Zach Eflin, Nick Pivetta and Vince Velasquez helped the Phillies to enter the All-Star Break in first place in the National League East. However, after the All-Star break, each of the aforementioned trio, along with offseason signing Jake Arrieta, posted ERAs north of five, contributing to the 27-40 record the Phillies posted after the Midsummer Classic. It is fair to wonder if the Phillies had made the playoffs in 2018 – or not collapsed in the second-half – if the Phillies would have felt comfortable promoting Young at the expense of Kranitz.

The Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers each have pitching coach vacancies, so it’s possible Kranitz could catch on elsewhere. Kranitz was the Phillies assistant pitching coach in 2017 and the bullpen coach in 2016, so he could also accept one of those positions on another team. It feels unlikely he’ll return to the Phillies in any demoted role in 2018.


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