By Sam Bush
The Phillies made a move yesterday that will make their Nation very happy and also improve their chances in 2019:
They canned pitching coach Rick Kranitz and promoted assistant pitching coach Chris Young (above) to take his place,.
MLB.com is reporting that the Braves and Marlins are looking for someone to fill their vacant position and that the Phils simply did not want to lose Young.
The Phillies ranked 18th in MLB with a 4.14 ERA, but one of the worst defenses contributed to that number. The organization puts more stock into other metrics anyway. The Phils ranked among the best in the big leagues in categories like FIP (seventh, 3.83), xFIP (sixth, 3.87), WAR (sixth, 19.6), strikeout rate (sixth, 23.9), average exit velocity (fifth, 86.9 mph) and balls barreled (seventh, 2.2 percent).
Last season was Young’s first as a coach. He spent the previous three as a scout with the Astros (2015-17) and five before that as a scout with the Padres (’10-14).
Young is steeped in analytics, which no doubt is a big reason why the Phillies added him to manager Gabe Kapler’s staff last year.