The Phillies announced today that Pete Mackanin will not return to manage the club in 2018. Rather, Mackanin has agreed to a contract extension to join the front office and serve as a special assistant to general manager Matt Klentak. Mackanin will finish out the current season as the Phillies’ skipper. The news comes as somewhat of a surprise, as it was only May 11 that the Phillies gave Mackanin a vote of confidence by extending his managerial contract through the 2018 campaign (with a club option for the 2019 season). Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets that a friend of Mackanin’s described him as “shocked” to receive the news that he won’t be returning to his post next season. Beyond that, the Phillies’ play has improved substantially with the second-half arrivals of Rhys Hoskins, Nick Williams and Jorge Alfaro, among others. The Phillies entered the break with a record of 29-58 but have since played at a near-.500 clip. Overall, the Phillies played at a 172-237 pace under Mackanin, though he was tasked with overseeing a clearly rebuilding club that was never expected to win many games.