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Pete Mackanin is the right manager of the Phillies... for now.

On Episode 114 of “The Felske Files,” host John Stolnis talks to Phillies beat writer Matt Breen about the Mackanin extension and criticisms by Joaquin Benoit over bullpen roles. Also, an interview with AAA starter Tom Eshelman and Lakewood outfielder Cord Sandberg, and the crazy notion of ending baseball games no later than the 12th inning.

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MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies have removed lame-duck status from manager Pete Mackanin’s aura and given him what amounts to a one-year extension through the 2018 season, with a team option for 2019.

The move gives the Phils at least one more year to see if Mackanin is the right person to take them through their rebuild, and will test him as the team assembles better players onto a roster where expectations will be raised next season. It also provides the Phillies the ability to move on from Mackanin and sell potential free agents Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and the rest of that terrific 2018 class on a new, more high-profile manager.

Obviously, it would be best for everybody if Mackanin can prove he’s the man. Regardless, it’s a terrific story and a vote of confidence for a guy now in his 50th year in baseball.

Phillies beat writer Matt Breen joins the podcast to talk about the Mackanin extension and the team’s bullpen issues. Also on this week’s podcast:

  • Do relief pitchers need to have established roles in the bullpen?
  • Was Joaquin Benoit right in criticizing the manager and pitching coach Bob McClure for the team’s lack of defined roles in the ‘pen?
  • Phillies outfielder Aaron Altherr has been red-hot and might be the team’s All-Star this year
  • Tommy Joseph’s hot month of May has helped fend off calls for the team to rush first base prospect Rhys Hoskins to the big leagues.
  • Carlos Ruiz returned to Philadelphia to huge ovations.
  • Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs starter Tom Eshelman had a fantastic first start. He joins the show to talk about it and about his control-filled arsenal.
  • Jay Floyd of shares with us his interview with Lakewood Blue Claws outfielder Cord Sandberg.
  • Joel Sherman and other are advocating that games should not be allowed to proceed past the 12th innings, creating ties.
  • This is a horrible idea.
  • Stat of the Week
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