Phillies fire hitting coach, bring back Charlie Manuel to help struggling bats

Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- The Philadelphia Phillies have lost ten of their last sixteen games, falling to fourth place in the National League East. Now, with their playoff hopes beginning to dwindle, the team has fired hitting coach John Mallee and replaced him with a key figure from their past.

The team announced Tuesday that former World Series winning manager Charlie Manuel will take over for Mallee, joining the team in the dugout. He is expected to remain in that role through the end of the 2019 season.

Manuel, 75, won exactly 1,000 games as a manager of the Cleveland Indians and Phillies. He also ranks 39th all-time with a .548 winning percentage as a manager.

Players have long liked Manuel's approach to hitting in particular. He served as the hitting coach for Cleveland during the mid 1990s, when the team led the American League in runs scored three times, set a franchise record with 1,009 runs scored in a season, and led the league in home runs twice.

The Phillies fired Manuel in August 2013. He later returned to the team as a senior advisor to the general manager, a role he had remained in up through the coaching change on Tuesday.

The Phillies rank 11th in the National League in home runs, 12th in batting average, and ninth in runs scored this season.

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