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Rumor Central: Jorge Velandia in contention for Phillies' managerial job?

Jorge Velandia, currently a special assistant to general manager Matt Klentak, has emerged as a "strong candidate" for the managerial vacancy of the Philadelphia Phillies, reports Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Salisbury reports Klentak had a "lengthy interview" on Wednesday with Velandia, who has worked in a variety of roles for the Phillies over the last eight seasons. Velandia, a 42-year-old native of Venezuela, was a utility infielder for six clubs over parts of eight major league seasons and has managed in the Venezuelan winter leagues.

Velandia is one of three internal candidates who are being interviewed for the job, joining third-base coach Juan Samuel and Triple-A Lehigh Valley manager Dusty Wathan, reports Todd Zolecki of

"[Velandia] fits the mold of the young, energetic, analytically-inclined candidate the Phillies seem to be seeking," writes Zolecki, who also reports that interviews with external candidates will begin next week.

The Phillies began their search after announcing that Pete Mackanin would not return as manager and instead was reassigned to a front-office role.

- Doug Mittler

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