As the Phils’ 2013 season wounded down, with the club wounding up in fourth place in the five-team NL East with a 73-89, .451 record, 23 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves, the Phils first post-season move was to make interim manager, Hall of Famer Ryan Sandberg, the team’s 52nd manager, by signing him to a three-year contract on September 22, 2013. The Phils’ next move was to announce on September 30 that Rich Dubee was not returning as the team’s pitching coach, ending a nine season relationship with the Phils, as the team started to look for a new pitching coach. On that same day, they announced that they were promoting from the team’s Minor League system, Paul Fournier, as the team’s new strength and conditioning coach, replacing Doug Lien, who had held that position for the previous six seasons, as the club hopes to improve the team’s overall health.
The Phils next move was to make a shake-up in their 40 men roster as they outrighted infielders Michael Martinez and Pete Orr, right-handed pitcher Zach Miner and lefthander Mauricio Robles on October 3, while, on that same day, the Indians picked up right-hander Tyler Cloyd off of the waiver-wire, while the Astros picked up leftie Raul Valdes, opening up six spots on the roster.
Two days later, on October 5, the Phils announced that they would not be renewing the contract of bullpen catcher, Mick Billmeyer, who had been with the club since 2004, first as the catching instructor, then as the bullpen coach in 2009, before becoming the bullpen catcher in 2012. The next Phils move came from out of the blue as, on October 8, former Phils’ player and one time Phils’ manager, and fan favorite, Larry Bowa, rejoined the team as the new bench coach, while another ex-Phil, Pete Mackanin, would join the team as the new third base coach. The Phils also announced that Steve Henderson would remain as the team’s hitting coach while Wally Joyner would leave as the team’s assistant hitting coach, later being hired by the Detroit Tigers as their new hitting coach, while John Mizerock would later become the new assistant hitting coach and Jesus Tiamo would become the new catcher coach, as Juan Samuel would stay on as the team’s first base coach, while Rod Nichols would remain the bullpen coach.
The next move occurred on October 17 as John Lannan decided to become a free agent after he had been outrighted by the club, after refusing assignment.
Then on November 5, the Phils announced that they were hiring Scott Freedman to help the ballclub better understand the use of analytics in the evaluation of players. Seven days later, on November 12, the Phils announced their first free agent signing, as they signed right fielder Marlon Byrd to a two-year contract worth $16 million dollars. Byrd, who is a right-handed batter, and an ex-Phil, has played in the majors from 2002, having played for the Phils (2002-05), the Nats (2005-06), the Rangers (2007-09), the Cubs (2010-12), the Red Sox (2012), the Mets (2013) and the Pirates (2013), appearing in 1250 games, hitting .280 (1222 for 4367), knocking in 533 RBIs as he scored 600 times. Among his 1222 hits were 252 doubles, 32 triples and 106 HRs, while he has also walked 307 times. The Phils plan to use him in the line-up behind Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, the later of whom the team hopes will bounce back from several injuries plagued seasons and regain his form as the team’s RBI and home runs leader. The Phils next announced on November 15 that they have given four players minor league contracts with invites to spring training: right-hander Shawn Camp, left-hander Cesar Jimenez and outfielders Clete Thomas and Leandro Castro.
The Phils then announced on November 18 that they have resigned present catcher Carlos Ruiz to a three-year deal worth $26 million dollars with a team option of $4.5 million or a $500,000 buyout for 2017. The next day, the team announced that they have signed a minor league contract, with a spring training invitation, to infielder Reid Brignac, who would be competing for a utility infielder position with Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis. On November 20, the Phils announced that they were adding four minor league prospects to their 40-man roster to keep them from being picked up by other teams in December’s 5-Rule draft: outfielders Aaron Altherr and Kelly Dugan, catcher Tommy Joseph and left-hander Rob Rasmussen.
The following day, November 22, the Phils signed Bob McClure as their new pitching coach, replacing Dubee. On that same day, they announced that they have signed infielder Andres Blanco to a minor league contract, with an invite to spring training.
On December 4, the Phils made a trade with the Blue Jays, receiving right-handed pitcher Brad Lincoln in exchange for catcher Erik Kratz and minor league pitcher Rasmussen. Lincoln, who has pitched for the Pirates and the Blue Jays (2010-13) has appeared in 97 games, 22 of which was as a starter, for a record of 9-11 with a 4.66 ERA. With one career save in two attempts, he has pitched in 220 games, giving up 228 hits, 123 runs, 114 of which were earned, as he struck out 167 batters while walking only 77. The Phils will likely use him in the bullpen. After the trade, the ballclub would sign catcher Wil Nieves to a one-year deal on December 5, as the team’s back-up catcher. Nieves, who has played for the Padres (2002), the Yankees (2005-2007), the Nats (2008-10), the Brewers (2011), the Diamondbacks (2012), the Rockies (2012-13) and the Diamondbacks again (2013), has appeared in 385 games, hitting .242 (249 for 1029), with 46 doubles, 2 triples and 8 home runs, as he knocked in 103 RBIs while scoring 78 times. He has also walked 59 times. On that same day, the Phils signed right-handed pitcher Jeff Manship to a minor league contract with a spring training invitation.
Then, on December 9, Roy Halladay announced his retirement from baseball, ending a 16-year career with the Blue Jays and the Phils, as he didn’t think he would be able to pitch after his most recent arm injury. Halladay, who said that he had signed a one-day contract with the Blue Jays to end his career as a Jay, and had paid a full page ad in the Philly newspaper thanking the Phils fans for their support during his time as a Phils (2010-13), had appeared in 416 career games, 390 as a starter, with a career record of 203-105, with a 3.38 ERA and a career save, had completed 67 games, 20 for shutouts, as he pitched in 2749.1 total innings, striking out 2117 batters as he walked only 592, as he gave up 2646 hits and 1135 runs, only 1034 of which were earned. He also threw a perfect game and a no-hitter in the post-season, both of which occurred during his first season as a Phil (2010). Thanks for being a member of the Phils, Roy, and being a class act, and wish you luck getting into the Hall.
On December 12, through the Rule 5-draft, the Phils would acquire right-hander Kevin Munson from the Diamondbacks’ Reno club, while they would lose right-hander Seth Rosin to the Mets, who would then trade him to the Dodgers for cash in the major league portion of the draft, and shortstop Jonathan Roof to the Red Sox in the Triple-A part of it, both from their Reading affiliate.
Next, on December 18, the Phils signed a one-year deal with right-hander Roberto Hernandez for $4.5 million dollars, plus performance and award bonuses. Hernandez, who has previous pitched for the Indians (2006-12) and the Blue Jays (2013), has appeared in 216 games, 177 as a starter, with a 59-82 record, with a 4.67 ERA. He will be part of the Phils’ starting rotation, along with Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick and Jonathan Pettibone.
In January, the Phils made a new TV-deal with Comcast for 25-year, which included broadcasters Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews not returning to the broadcast booth. On the 14, the Phils had four players file for salary arbitration: outfielders Ben Revere and John Mayberry, Jr. and pitchers Antonio Bastardo and Kendrick. The next day, January 15, the Phils announce that former manger Charlie Manuel would be returning to the team as a consultant to general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. On the 17, the Phils announced that two of the four arbitration eligible players have signed one-year deals: Mayberry, who had agreed to a 1.587 million dollar deal, while Kendrick had agreed to one worth 7.675 million. The Phils then signed two minor league deals on the 21, one to veteran right-hander Chad Gaudin, and one to former Phil and veteran outfielder Bobby Abreu, with both being given spring training invites. On that same day, the Phils and Bastardo agreed to a one-year contract worth $2 million dollars. Three days later, on the 24, Ben Revere signed a one-year deal with the Phils for $ 1.95 million dollar.
With that, the last bit of news is that the Phils might be replacing Wheeler and Matthews with former Phils Matt Stairs and Jamie Moyer, both of whom have impressed the Phils in their separate interviews to join the broadcast team, and that finally, yesterday, the equipment truck has started heading south for the spring training facilities in Clearwater, Florida from Citizens Bank Park in Philly. It is now six more days before catchers and pitchers are suppose to appear in Clearwater.
Can’t wait for Spring Training to officially start. 🙂
After yesterday’s game in Washington, the Phils announced that they were releasing their bench coach Pete Mackanin, hitting coach Greg Gross and first base coach Sam Perlozzo, all casualties of the 2012 season. Today, the Phils announced that they were going to keep Juan Samuel, who will now be the team’s first base coach, as well as their outfield/baserunning instructor, moving over from the third base coach’s box, Mick Billmeyer, who will now be the team’s catching coach, being promoted from being their bullpen coach, and Rich Dubee, who would remain the team’s pitching coach. They also announced their three new members of the coach staff:
Ryne Sandberg, who was formerly the manager of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, would be taking over Juan Samuel’s spot as the team’s third base coach, as well as becoming the team’s infield instructor; Steve Henderson, who will become the team’s new hitting coach, taking over for Gross, while Rod Nichols would become the new bullpen coach, taking Billmeyer’s place.
Congratulations on the promotions, or moving to new positions, Juan, and Billmeyer and congrats on joining the main club as coaches, Ryne, Steve and Rod. Hopefully, you five, and Rich, will help get this team back to being a pennant contender. Sorry to see you all go, Pete, Greg and Sam. I know what happened this year wasn’t all of your faults, but, well, a shake was called for after this sucky year. Wish you all luck in finding new teams.
Mackanin named Phils’ bench coach
Perlozzo takes over as third-base coach on Manuel’s staff
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
Welcome to the team, Mackanin.
PHILADELPHIA — Former Major League manager Pete Mackanin has been named bench coach, replacing Jimy Williams and rounding out manager Charlie Manuel’s coaching staff for the 2009 season.
Mackanin, 57, spent 2008 as a pro scout for the Yankees after replacing Jerry Narron and guiding the Reds for the final three months of the 2007 season as interim manager. The Reds went 41-39 (.513) under Mackanin’s watch, though he was replaced with Dusty Baker.
Mackanin’s hiring moves Sam Perlozzo to the third-base coach position, where he replaces Steve Smith.
Mackanin also served as interim manager for the Pirates after Lloyd McClendon was dismissed with 26 games remaining in 2005. Mackanin has also coached with the Expos and Pirates. As a player, Mackanin appeared in 18 games for the Phillies in 1978-79.
Manuel’s 2009 staff:
Bench coach: Mackanin
Pitching coach: Rich Dubee
Hitting coach: Milt Thompson
First-base coach: Davey Lopes
Third-base coach: Perlozzo
Bullpen coach: Mick Billmeyer (H/T Phillies.com)
And Manuel’s staff for 2009 is finally complete. Okay, guys, you have a new mission. To guide the guys under you into a repeater. Please, do not disappoint.
Perlozzo joins Phillies’ coaching staff
Ex-O’s skipper has not yet been assigned specific role
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
Welcome to the team, Sam. Hope you’ll enjoy the experience.
PHILADELPHIA — Moving quickly to fill one of two coaching vacancies, the Phillies announced the addition of Sam Perlozzo to the team’s staff on Thursday.
Perlozzo hasn’t been assigned a specific coaching position from among third-base coach or bench coach, where Steve Smith (dismissed) and Jimy Williams (declined to return), respectively, worked for the past two seasons.
Regardless, the former infielder will handle infield instruction. Perlozzo spent last season as Seattle’s third-base coach after 12 years with Baltimore as a third-base coach (1996-2000), bench coach (2001-05) and manager (2005-07). Before landing with the Orioles, Perlozzo coached third for the Mariners (1993-95), the Reds (1990-92) and the Mets (1987-89).
“I’ve known Sammy for a long time and couldn’t be happier to add someone with his experience to our coaching staff,” manager Charlie Manuel said in a statement.
Perlozzo was a five-time fielding champion in nine Minor League seasons, as well as for the Yakult Swallows in Japan in 1980, the same season Manuel hit 48 home runs for the Kintetsu Buffaloes.
Perlozzo’s role depends on who fills the other coaching vacancy. That could be someone else with managerial experience. Former big league skippers Jim Tracy, Grady Little and Terry Collins have emerged as candidates, according to a person familiar with the Phillies’ thinking. (H/T Phillies.com)
Once again, welcome to the team, Sam. Hopefully you’ll soon know which position you’ll be filling in.
Williams not returning to Phillies
Decision of bench coach unexpected; Manuel leaving door open
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
Wish you luck finding new employment Jimy. Welcome back Rich and Davey. As for Milt, please teach these guys some situational hitting, thank you.
PHILADELPHIA — Manager Charlie Manuel lost a valued member of his coaching staff on Monday, when the team announced that bench coach Jimy Williams wouldn’t return in 2009.
Pitching coach Rich Dubee, hitting coach Milt Thompson and first-base coach Davey Lopes will return in their current roles. The team was already looking to fill the position of third-base coach, after Manuel dismissed Steve Smith last week.
Mick Billmeyer, who has been serving as the team’s catching instructor since 2003, will likely return to the big league staff, though that hasn’t been finalized, according to general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.
Dubee, 51, returns for his fifth season as pitching coach. Under Dubee in 2008, Phillies pitchers compiled a 3.88 ERA, the fourth best in the National League. The rotation had 88 quality starts, the second most in the NL, behind Arizona (95).
Lopes again tutored the baserunners to a Major League-best 84.5 percent stolen-base success rate (136 steals in 161 chances). The team’s steals total was the third best in the NL. As outfield instructor, Lopes led the outfielders to 36 assists, tops in the NL and tied for the Major League lead.
Thompson, 49, returns for his sixth season as a Phillies coach and fifth as the hitting coach. In 2008 he oversaw an offense that led the NL in home runs (214), finished second in RBIs (762) and tied for second in runs scored (799). In Thompson’s four seasons as hitting coach, the Phillies have scored more runs (3,363) than any other NL team.
Williams, 65, started his playing career in 1965 as a shortstop and compiled 13 Major League at-bats in 1966-67, with the Cardinals. He has spent more than 30 years as a coach and manager.
Williams managed the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Astros before joining the Phillies in October 2006, following Manuel’s second season as manager. With Philadelphia, he worked with the pitchers, and they finished first among all Major League staffs in runs, second in walks and fourth in hits.
His departure was unexpected.
“I talked to him right at the end of the year,” Manuel said. “I told him how good a job he did and that I was looking forward to having him back. He wasn’t upset. It was one of those things that he wanted to see what he wants to do. It’s not like he left on a bad note. I guess there are things he wants to think about.”
Manuel plans to speak with Williams again in the next few days, and he left the door open in the event Williams changes his mind.
“To me, it doesn’t seem that way,” Manuel said. “But I’ll call him in a couple of days and see where he’s at. … I don’t know if he’s looking to retire. I think Jimy will stay in the game.” (H/T Phillies.com)
Well, looks like the team is really going to be different when spring training start next year. Hopefully that’ll include the guys knowing how to hit the ball when the situation calls for something other than a home run.