It’s been six years since he last managed a game in the Phillies dugout. Now, the winningest – and some would argue best – manager in Phillies history is back in red pinstripes once again, this time as the hitting coach.

Yes folks, Charlie Manuel, the man who led the Phillies to the 2008 World Series title, is moving from his role in the front office to act as the savior to a ballclub that has been struggling with an anemic offense for most of the season, and especially since the All-Star Break.

John Mallee was fired on August 13th, and the Phillies are lucky they had an in-house candidate willing to step in and fill the void. But this isn’t a permanent move; Charlie is just helping with the remaining 43 games of the regular season and potential – and hopeful – postseason berth.

So, how hard of a task does Charlie have? Herculean.

The Phillies are 12th in the National League in average (.245), 12th in OPS (.738), 9th in runs (557), and 11th in home runs (149).

But remember that bit about the Phillies being even worse after the All-Star break? Well these numbers look like Babe Ruth compared to their numbers since the break.

They are last in average (.240) and runs (115), 14th in OPS (.705), and 12th in home runs (34).

All of this with guys like Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, Jean Segura, and J.T. Realmuto. Guys who were supposed to be playing and performing a whole lot better than they have so far this season.

So it’s really no surprise that Mallee was fired. The only question is why it took the Phillies this long to make the move.

Even with the late nature of this move, there is still time for the Phillies to make up ground. The NL East is a long shot – the Phillies trailed the Braves heading into their series against the Cubs by nine games – but they are only 2 games out of the Wild Card as of August 13th. A good hot streak can vault the Phillies into that Wild Card spot and possibly into a magic carpet Red October.

Charlie isn’t going to necessarily reinvent the wheel with the players. After all, there are only 43 games left of the regular season. But the idea is to present the message in a different form and to also simplify it. After all, this is a team that has complicated things so much that it has struggled to hit the fastball this season, according to an article from The Athletic.

But if there is one thing Charlie knows, it’s hitting. From Jim Thome to Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Jimmy Rollins, Charlie has helped get the most out of his players and connect with them. Here’s hoping he can do the same with this current group, and get them to realize that it’s hittin’ season.

Photo: via Twitter (@EricGStark)
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