Rob Thomson was close to retiring a few short years ago, but in the time since he’s been named the Phillies’ interim manager, their full-time manager and now he’s gotten a contract extension.
The Phillies on Monday announced that they’d tacked one year onto Thomson’s contract, carrying him through the end of 2025. He was previously set to enter 2024 as a lame duck manager and said it wasn’t weighing on his mind because of the year-to-year nature of the job, but he’ll certainly prefer this.
The Phillies have responded under Thomson, going 155-118 for a .568 winning percentage which equates to 92 wins over a full season. They’ve made two deep playoff runs, going 19-11, falling two wins shy of a championship and 2022 and five wins short after collapsing against the Diamondbacks in the 2023 NLCS, which they led 2-0 and 3-2.
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Thomson has proven to be the right sort of voice for a Phillies clubhouse that includes a mixture of well-paid veterans and young players trying to establish themselves as major-leaguers or everyday guys. There are times when his bullpen decisions have come into question, particularly at the end of the 2023 playoffs, but he’s pushed the right buttons far more often than he’s pushed the wrong ones since taking over for Joe Girardi in June 2022.
Thomson, 60, spent 28 seasons with the Yankees before joining the Phillies as former manager Gabe Kapler’s bench coach in 2018. He held that role until Girardi was fired after the Phillies’ 22-29 start five seasons later.
The Phillies also announced two hires — Dustin Lind and Rafael Peña join the major-league staff as assistant hitting coaches. Jason Camilli, their assistant hitting coach the last two seasons, was let go in late October.
The 35-year-old Lind was the Giants’ director of hitting and assistant hitting coach the last four seasons. Peña is 33 and spent last season as the Astros’ minor-league hitting coordinator after five years as a hitting coach in their farm system.