Results tagged ‘ Wally Joyner ’

Phillies Hire Pitching Coach McClure

mcclureThe Phillies finally have a pitching coach.

More than seven weeks since they told Rich Dubee he would not be back next season, they announced this afternoon they have hired Bob McClure.

They also announced Rod Nichols will return as bullpen coach and Jesus Tiamo will return as bullpen catcher.

The Phillies interviewed at least 12 candidates for the pitching coach vacancy and previously offered the job to Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell and Pirates special assistant to the general manager Jim Benedict. Both declined. They also interviewed Randy St. Claire, Rafael Chaves, Carl Willis, Pete Vuckovich, Reid Cornelius, Ray Burris, Neil Allen, Jeff Pico and Nichols.

McClure, 61, pitched 19 seasons in the big leagues with the Royals, Brewers, Expos, Mets, Angels, Cardinals and Marlins. He was Royals pitching coach from 2006-11 and Red Sox pitching coach in 2012, although he did not last the season because of differences with former manager Bobby Valentine.

The Phillies still plan on hiring somebody to replace assistant hitting coach Wally Joyner, who left the organization in October, returning a couple weeks later only to leave again recently for the Tigers head hitting coach job.

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 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.

Joyner, Samuel Return to Coaching Staff

Remember when the Phillies announced Wally Joyner declined to return as assistant hitting coach?

He apparently changed his mind.

The Phillies announced today that Joyner will return in 2014, working alongside hitting coach Steve Henderson. Joyner received high marks this season from players, particularly leftfielder Domonic Brown, who enjoyed a breakout season.

They also announced Juan Samuel will return as first base coach.

The Phillies are still looking for a pitching coach and bullpen coach. Rod Nichols, who was the bullpen coach in 2013, remains in play for one of those jobs. If Nichols returns, it means former pitching coach Rich Dubee and former catching coach Mick Billmeyer will be the only casualties from last season’s coaching staff.

The Phillies also outrighted four players from the 40-man roster: right-hander J.C. Ramirez, left-hander Cesar Jimenez and outfielders Roger Bernadina and Casper Wells. Bernadina and Wells are eligible for salary arbitration, but the Phillies had no plans to tender them a contract.

Thursday Notes

A few notes today regarding the Phillies:

  • The Blue Jays claimed right-hander Tyson Brummett off waivers. Brummett spent most of the season with Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley before making his big-league debut with the Phillies on Oct. 3.
  • The Phillies outrighted infielder Pete Orr and catcher Steve Lerud from the 40-man roster. The Phillies have 37 players on the roster, plus four players on the 60-day disabled list.
  • Phillies third base prospect Cody Asche is hitting .360 with four doubles and three RBIs in six games in the Arizona Fall League. Infielder Freddy Galvis is hitting .460 with one double, one triple, three home runs and five RBIs in Winter Ball in Venezuela. Outfield prospect Tyson Gillies has hit .467 with one double, one triple and two RBIs in four games in Venezuela. Darin Ruf is hitting .133 in four games in Venezuela.
  • Phillies hitting coach Steve Henderson will wear No. 5 next season. Assistant hitting coach Wally Joyner will wear No. 21. Bullpen coach Rod Nichols will wear No. 54. And third base coach Ryne Sandberg will wear No. 23, assuming catcher Brian Schneider does not return next season.

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.

Phillies Hire Joyner to Help Offense

The Phillies know they need to improve offensively next season.

They believe Wally Joyner can help.

They announced today they have hired Joyner as assistant hitting coach. He will work with hitting coach Steve Henderson.

“Wally is a man with some experience,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “He’s not far removed from being an actual Major League player. We just felt like he was a very, very good fit. He’s going to be an asset to us.”

Joyner previously served as the San Diego Padres hitting coach in 2007-08. He also served as San Diego’s roving Minor League instructor from 2003-07. Since then Joyner, 50, has worked as the head hitting instructor for Major League Baseball’s International elite-level development programs in Italy and Brazil and worked with hitters at MLB’s European hitting camp in the Netherlands.

He also has been named the hitting coach for the China Senior National Team in the World Baseball Classic.

The Phillies also considered former big leaguers Matt Stairs, Mike Sweeney and others before hiring Joyner. They seemed to prefer a coach that had played in the big leagues fairly recently.

“I think it’s about credibility and connection,” Amaro said. “It’s important to have people who are easy to connect with and can communicate. Certainly Wally’s career and career path and some of the things he’s done at the Major League level, he came highly recommended. We really liked the way he expressed himself and handled himself in the interview process. We just think he was the right fit for this group.”

Joyer played 16 seasons in the big leagues with the Angels (1986-91, 2001), Royals (1992-95), Padres (1996-99) and Braves (2000). He hit .289 with 409 doubles, 204 home runs and 1,106 RBIs in 2,033 games.

Because of big-league rules limiting the number of coaches in uniform in the dugout, Joyner will not be in the dugout during games. The majority of his work will come before games, working with hitters and helping them prepare. He also will help in the video room and batting cages during games.

“It’s kind of a new venture for us and we’re still getting our arms around it, but most of the work Wally would do with Steve is before the game and in Spring Training and preparing our guys for each individual game, series, etc.,” Amaro said.