Results tagged ‘ Steve Henderson ’

Manuel Will Work with Howard This Spring

Mike Schmidt, Charlie ManuelThe Phillies had one of the least productive offenses in baseball last season, and then traded two of their best hitters in the offseason: Jimmy Rollins and Marlon Byrd.

Scoring runs could be a significant struggle in 2015.

They hope a new hitting program in Spring Training can combat a lineup that lacks power. The program involves coaches working with specific hitters throughout camp in an effort to give them a consistent voice as they stress making more contact, using the whole field, having a more consistent two-strike approach and situational hitting.

Former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is scheduled to work with Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz, Maikel Franco, Jeff Francoeur and Grady Sizemore. Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt will work with Domonic Brown, Cody Asche, Darin Ruf and Freddy Galvis; and assistant hitting coach John Mizerock will work with Chase Utley, Ben Revere and Cesar Hernandez.

“With the minds we’ve got here, why not utilize them?” Phillies hitting coach Steve Henderson said today.

Henderson will oversee the program and float among the hitting groups, which also will have groups coached by Minor League instructors Sal Rende, Andy Tracy and Dave Brundage.

“I’m going to make sure everything goes the way we want it to go,” Henderson said. “We’re trying instill what we want as an organization. I’ve never done this anywhere. But we’ve never had this type of guys to help.”

Henderson Thinks He Can Help Phillies Hitters

I had a chance to speak today to new Phillies hitting coach Steve Henderson, who is pairing up with Wally Joyner to try to turn around the Phillies offense.

It won’t be easy.

I hadn’t realized until looking it up today — or maybe I just forgot — that the Phillies’ 684 runs this season (4.22 runs per game) were its fewest since 1997 (668). Also, the team’s .255 average ranked 18th over the previous 20 seasons. Its .317 on-base percentage ranked 20th and its .400 slugging percentage ranked 14th.

Now, it should be mentioned offensive numbers in baseball are down everywhere. Teams averaged just 4.32 runs per game this season, which ranked 19th over the past 20 seasons. But like Charlie Manuel said last season in the dugout at Marlins Park, just because offensive is down everywhere it doesn’t mean the Phillies should accept mediocrity.

The Phillies ranked just eighth in the National League in scoring this season, seventh in batting average, ninth in on-base percentage and seventh in slugging percentage. It’s not awful, but the Phillies are trying to win a World Series. It’s simply not good enough — remember the 2010 and 2011 postseasons — especially with concerns about Roy Halladay‘s ability to bounce back from a bad season. The Phillies can’t just expect the pitching staff to carry them anymore.

Read what Henderson had to say here.

Sandberg and Others On Board

More news on the coaching front today:

Ryne Sandberg has been hired as the team’s third base coach and infield instructor. Steve Henderson has been hired as hitting coach and Rod Nichols has been hired as bullpen coach. Mick Billmeyer, Rich Dubee and Juan Samuel have been retained after yesterday’s dismissals of Pete Mackanin, Greg Gross and Sam Perlozzo.

Dubee, who is Charlie Manuel‘s right-hand man and controls everything pitching related, will return as pitching coach. Billmeyer moves from bullpen coach to catching coach. Samuel has been offered a move to first base/outfield/baserunning instructor.

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