Pitching coach candidates keep rejecting the Phillies

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After choosing not to renew longtime Charlie Manuel right-hand man Rich Dubee’s contract the Phillies turned their attention to finding a new pitching coach and … well, it’s been a struggle.

Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Phillies have talked to eight known candidates for the job and at least three of them (Pete Vuckovich, Roger McDowell, Jim Benedict) told them no thanks.

Or as general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. put it:

We’ve made a couple of offers and they’ve decided to go different places. We’ve made some progress, but we haven’t made any decisions. We’re still in the process. We’ve identified a few guys, but we’re still working through it. We still have candidates. And we’re still looking through some other possibilities.

Hey, assuming that Amaro knows how to use Twitter there’s always Leo Mazzone!

Report: Mets showing interest in Bartolo Colon

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Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.

Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.

Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.