When the Philadelphia Phillies report to Spring Training next month, they’ll have a former National League MVP ready to help coach what they hope will be an elite offensive unit.
Friday, the club announced that Ryan Howard, the 2006 National League MVP, will be among a group of six guest instructors for Spring Training.
Now 40, Howard spent his entire 13-season major league career with the Phillies. In addition to winning an MVP, Howard was the 2005 National League Rookie of the Year, 2009 NLCS MVP and helped power the Phillies to their second World Series title in franchise history in 2008. His 382 career home runs are second in Phillies history.
Brad Lidge, a teammate of Howard in 2008, will also return as a guest instructor, a role he served in during Spring Training in 2017 and 2018.
MLB Network analyst Dan Plesac has become a veteran of Phillies Spring Training and will return as a guest instructor for Joe Girardi. Plesac pitched out of the Phillies bullpen in 2002 and 2003, the final two seasons of his 18-year major league career.
Charlie Manuel, the winningest manager in franchise history, will be present throughout the course of the Phillies preseason preparation. Though he briefly returned to the dugout as the team’s interim hitting coach in the second half of 2019, Manuel will resume his role as a senior advisor to general manager Matt Klentak in 2020.
Franchise icon Larry Bowa, also a senior advisor to Klentak, will be present with Manuel as well.
Former manager Pete Mackanin will also serve as a guest instructor during Spring Training. Mackanin, 68, largely hasn’t been visible over the past two years, though he does remain with the club as a special advisor to the general manager. Mackanin took over as Phillies manager in June of 2015, when Ryne Sandberg abruptly resigned. He managed the club through the end up the 2017 season, finishing with a 174-238 record.
The Phillies, who are looking to snap an eight-year postseason drought, will have pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater on Feb. 11. Position players will report on Feb. 16. The club’s first full squad workout will take place on Feb. 17. The team’s first Spring Training game will come in Lakeland against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 1:05 p.m. ET.
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