Ryne Sandberg took one step closer to a big-league managing job Thursday, when the Hall of Fame second baseman was named the Philadelphia Phillies third base coach and infield instructor.
Sandberg's promotion comes amid a coaching-staff shakeup for the Phillies, who finished the season at 81-81, their first season at .500 or worse since 2002. First-base coach Sam Perlozzo, bench coach Pete Mackanin and hitting coach Greg Gross won't return.
Sandberg has spent the past two seasons managing Philadelphia's Triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. He could be in position to eventually succeed 68-year-old Charlie Manuel, who is entering the final year of a three-year extension he signed in March 2010.
The Phillies also offered third-base coach Juan Samuel the first-base coaching job. Steve Henderson and Rod Nichols will become hitting coach and bullpen coach, respectively. Mick Billmeyer, who had been the bullpen coach, has been promoted to catching coach.