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.
Last week the Phils’ picked up, via waivers, infielder Carlos Rivero from the Cleveland Indians.
The team is still looking for low price free agents for their bullpen, while pondering whether to give new contracts to either Chad Durbin or Jose Contreras, or to both pitchers. In the meantime, they are in the hunt to resign Jayson Werth, but since his agent Scott Boras is asking for money in the Matt Holliday/Jason Bay range, it is more than likely that he won’t be back in red pinstripes.
It has been announced on Monday that ex-Phil Jamie Moyer has re-injured his left elbow while pitching winter ball in the Dominican Republic, while trying to prove that he can still pitch. Ouch. Talk about a setback. Hope it wasn’t too bad an injury, Jamie.
It was also announced yesterday that former Phil GM Pat Gillick is on the Hall of Fame ballot that is being sent to the committee to elect those managers, executives and retired players who were not elected originally, who come from Baseball’s Expansion-era (post-1960). Congrats on getting on the Ballot, Pat, and wish you luck getting into the Hall. You deserve it.
Lastly, today, there is speculation that former Phil, ex-Orioles manager and fan favorite, Juan Samuel, is thinking of taking over Davey Lopes’ position as the team’s first base coach. If he does, that should be good news for the team, since he was a very successful base stealer during his days as a ballplayer. Is has also been announced that they are looking at Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg as the new manager for their Triple-A Lehigh Valley ballclub, as he is leaving the Cubs Triple-A club after being pass over as the main club’s new manager. He might be another popular move, if the Phils do go after him. Whether the pair will actually get either post is another question.
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.