Pittsburgh Pirates Jim Benedict impressed the Philadelphia Phillies in his interview for the vacant pitching coach position. It’s an important hire for Phils GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. and he certainly treating it as such. Amaro has even seriously considered former pitching coach Pete Vuckovich for the job. Vuckovich pulled his name late in the week.
The article with all the scoop is here. If you have been enjoying the Pirates improved success on the pitching mound in recent years, you know who Benedict is. Losing Benedict is not something we can possibly imagine would be a good thing for the Bucs. The one thing that might be swinging in the Buccos favor is the length it’s taken for the Phillies to pull the trigger. Certainly Benedict realizes he isn’t Amaro’s top pick, and maybe….just maybe that can keep Benedict in Pittsburgh for one more year.
Who wants to be the back-up-to-the-back-up pick? Well, maybe Benedict now that the latest, and what we consider the second candidate the Phillies were interested in was Roger McDowell who signed a two-year extension with the Atlanta Braves. McDowell has been with the Braves since 2006.
The Phillies top candidate was hired as the Reds skipper, so now the choices have been reduced and by the process of elimination Benedict might be in the drivers seat after Rich Dubee was let go after nine years in Philly.
The Phillies have interviewed Rod Nichols and Ray Burris, two coaches from within the team. Also included in Amaro’s search are Reid Cornelius of the Marlins and the Rays Neil Allen, but they are out of the mix.
So right now it looks like Benedict might be at the top of the list, well that is if Amaro doesn’t start rolling candidates in again this week. Being at the top of the list is good for Benedict. Bad for Pittsburgh.