The Philadelphia Phillies are still looking for a new pitching coach after the team declined to renew the contract of longtime coach Rich Dubee.
Bryan Price had been the team's first choice to fill the role, reports CSN Philadelphia. However, he took the Reds' manager job a week ago. The Phillies have talked to six other candidates to fill the position.
Those six include two in-house candidates: Bullpen coach Rod Nichols and Triple-A pitching coach Ray Burris. Nichols was in his first year as bullpen coach after spending 11 years as a minor league pitching coach. Burris, too, was in his first year in his role. Prior to that, he spent seven years coaching in the Tigers' system. He has been a major league pitching coach, but has not been in that position since 1992 with the Rangers.
The team has also talked to Pete Vuckovich, Jim Benedict, Neal Allen and Reid Cornelius about potentially filling the vacancy. Vuckovich spent most of his post-playing career with the Pirates, first as a pitching instructor, then as pitching coach, and finally as a special assistant to the general manager. In 2012, he moved to Seattle's front office.
Benedict is currently a special assistant to the GM for the Pirates and has been credited with the rebuilding of that team's pitching staff and helping players such as Francisco Liriano, A.J. Burnett and Mark Melancon. Allen is the Rays' Triple-A pitching coach. Tampa Bay is another team who has had phenomenal success at developing young pitching. Cornelius is the bullpen coach for the Marlins, and played a part in the amazing rookie season of Jose Fernandez.
The Phillies do not appear to be on the precipice of making a deision quite yet, but it appears they do have their list of candidates whittled down.