Results tagged ‘ Jim Benedict ’

Joyner, Billmeyer to Join Tigers Coaching Staff

The Phillies announced shortly after the 2013 season Wally Joyner would not return as assistant hitting coach.

They announced a little more than a week later he had changed his mind.

But then today the Phillies announced Joyner left the organization again to “pursue other opportunities.” Sources confirmed a FOXSports.com report Joyner will become the new Tigers hitting coach.

Those sources also said former Phillies catching and bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer will be named Tigers bullpen coach.

Joyner received high marks this season from players, particularly leftfielder Domonic Brown, who enjoyed a breakout season. Steve Henderson is the Phillies’ head hitting coach. The Phillies are expected to hire somebody to replace Joyner.

Billmeyer was one of the most well-liked people in the clubhouse and organization because of his high-energy personality, positivity and sense of humor. It is why the Phillies moved him into the dugout this season.

The Phillies still remain without a pitching coach since deciding not to renew Rich Dubee’s contract. They are still interviewing candidates. A source said they recently interviewed former Mariners pitching coach Carl Willis.

The Phillies previously offered the job to Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell and Pirates special assistant to the general manager Jim Benedict.
Both declined.

The Long Search for a Pitching Coach

benedictThe Phillies probably figured they would have a new pitching coach by the time the free-agent market opened today.

They do not.

They have interviewed or contacted at least seven candidates: Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell, Pirates special assistant to the general manager Jim Benedict, Mariners special assistant to the general manager Pete Vuckovich, Phillies bullpen coach Rod Nichols, Marlins bullpen coach Reid Cornelius, Triple-A Lehigh Valley pitching coach Ray Burris and Triple-A Durham pitching coach Neil Allen.

McDowell had been their top choice once the Reds made Bryan Price manager, but after the Phillies spoke with McDowell late last week the Braves announced Saturday he had agreed to a two-year extension. Benedict could have been offered the job – he impressed in his interview and has a strong track record with Pirates pitchers – but a source said today he recently told the Phillies he will remain with the Pirates.

Oddly, former Braves pitching coach Leo Mazzone tweeted yesterday to the Phillies’ official Twitter account: “I would be very interested in being your pitching coach. #championshipball.” But one source said his name had not been discussed.

So what’s next?

“We’re still doing our due diligence,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said today.

Asked if he is surprised or frustrated it has taken so long to find somebody to replace former pitching coach Rich Dubee, Amaro said, “We’re just trying to get the right guy. We’re still looking through candidates.”

He said he still likes some of the candidates the Phillies have interviewed, and possible candidates they have not interviewed. But clearly the Phillies have watched some of their favorites fall off the board.

Pitching Coach Search Continues …

While the Red Sox and Cardinals play in the World Series, the Phillies continue their search for a pitching coach to replace Rich Dubee.

Bryan Price had been atop their list, but the Reds recently named him manager. The Phillies have interviewed at least five candidates: Phillies bullpen coach Rod Nichols, Marlins bullpen coach Reid Cornelius, Pirates special assistant to the general manager Jim Benedict, Triple-A Lehigh Valley pitching coach Ray Burris and Neil Allen, who is the pitching coach for Tampa Bay’s Triple-A affiliate.

“We’re still talking to people,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “We’re doing our due diligence.”

Amaro said they still could interview others candidates.

Sources earlier this week told MLB.com the Phillies could make contact with Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell. He has been invited to return to Atlanta next season, but he has not signed his contract. It is expected to arrive before the end of the month, but once his agreement for 2013 ends the Phillies can contact him.

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