Results tagged ‘ Greg Gross ’

Changes to Coaching Staff; Sandberg Likely In

More changes are coming.

The Phillies announced their first changes following today’s season finale at Nationals Park, where they informed bench coach Pete Mackanin, hitting coach Greg Gross and first base coach Sam Perlozzo they will not be back in 2013.

“I think when you want to do some things, people on your staff, most of the time they’re the ones that have to be let go or moved or whatever,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel explained. “I think that’s just the position it’s in.”

Mackanin replaced Jimy Williams as bench coach following the 2008 season. Perlozzo replaced third base coach Steve Smith following the 2008 season before moving to first base in 2011. Gross, who served two tours as Phillies hitting coach, rejoined the team in July 2010, when the Phillies fired Milt Thompson.

It is expected Triple-A Lehigh Valley manager Ryne Sandberg will join the coaching staff in 2013, unless he takes a big-league managing job elsewhere.

The coaching staff changes will only lead to more significant changes on the 25-man roster.

“We’re definitely going to have some changes on our roster,” Manuel said. “How many or what, I really don’t know. From talking to Ruben (Amaro Jr.), we’re going to try to get better and get back to compete, win our division and have a chance at the World Series.”

Phillies Hire Samuel

The Phillies announced today they have hired Juan Samuel to be their third base coach and outfield instructor.

Sam Perlozzo, who served as the team’s third base coach the previous two seasons, will move from third base to first base and handle the team’s base running instruction. The Phillies hired Samuel because Davey Lopes, who handled the team’s outfield and base running duties as first base coach the previous four seasons, left the organization following a stalemate during contract negotiations.

Samuel and Perlozzo join pitching coach Rich Dubee, hitting coach Greg Gross, bench coach Pete Mackanin and bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer on the 2011 coaching staff.

“I feel fortunate that we were able to add someone of Juan’s stature to our coaching staff,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said in a statement. “He was a tremendous Major League player and a big part of Phillies history and I’m looking forward to him passing on his knowledge of the game to our players. He’s a great addition to our organization.”


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Phillies Fire Thompson, Gross Takes His Place

milt thompson.jpgIn a surprising, but not entirely shocking move, the Phillies fired hitting coach Milt Thompson tonight.

Greg Gross, who served as Larry Bowa‘s hitting coach from 2002-04, will take his place.

“It’s part of the business,” Thompson said tonight in a telephone interview. “I ain’t even mad. If somebody else can get them going and they can get in the playoffs this year that would be great.”

It certainly is fair to ask if Thompson is a scapegoat for the team’s hitting woes. Thompson, who had been the team’s hitting coach since 2005, had worked with some of the strongest offenses in Phillies history. The Phillies finished second in the National League in scoring in 2005, his first season as hitting coach. They finished first in scoring in 2006 and 2007, second in 2008 and first again in 2009.

They have struggled this season, but it certainly has not helped that Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco and Carlos Ruiz have missed significant time because of injuries.

“I did all I could,” Thompson said. “They’re just not responding this year. A lot of injuries and everything. We just couldn’t get it going. I’m not considered the scapegoat. I’m serious. I work hard. I know that I’m good at what I do. I’ll just move on and do it somewhere else.”

Thompson said the Phillies told him they wanted a new voice.

“I can’t get mad at that,” Thompson said. “If they want somebody else in there they think can get these guys going and we’re in the middle of the season and we still have a shot, that’s fine.”

Asked what he thought hurt the Phillies this season, he said, “I think the injury bug really has been a hard thing. I’m not going to be the first one to make excuses, but we’ve had our Opening Day lineup on the field eight times. You miss Jimmy. He’s back for a couple days then he’s gone again. The next thing you know, Polly is out. Now Chase is out. It’s just been one of those years. In order for a team to be successful and have a good year you can’t have a lot of injuries.”

So I asked Thompson how a new voice can change that?

“I can’t explain that,” he said “I can only go by what they told me. They want a new voice. You’ve got to allow them to do that. I’m not upset. I worked hard for the Phillies. I did the best I could.”


The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!