Joyner departs Phillies; opening for Morandini?

Joyner departs Phillies; opening for Morandini?

Jim Salisbury goes one-on-one with Ruben Amaro

November 17, 2013, 3:15 pm
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Updated: 6:11 p.m.

The Phillies have another opening on their coaching staff.

Assistant hitting coach Wally Joyner has once again left the organization, the team announced on Sunday.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that Joyner will become Detroit's head hitting coach.

It is not unusual for teams to let employees out of their contracts for better opportunities.

In early October, Joyner declined an invitation to return to the Phillies in 2014 because he wanted to pursue opportunities to be a head hitting coach with another club. Joyner ended up changing his mind -- presumably because he was bypassed for the Angels' hitting coach job -- and returning to the Phillies a few weeks later. Joyner had been a candidate for the Angels’ job that went to Don Baylor.

Joyner assisted Phillies’ head hitting coach Steve Henderson in 2013. It was the first year the Phillies had two hitting coaches.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was pleased with the tandem’s work. He said Joyner was “overqualifed” for the job.

The Phillies will continue to have two hitting coaches in 2014. One name to watch: Mickey Morandini. He interviewed for the assistant hitting coach’s position while Joyner was in limbo in October. Morandini managed the Phillies’ Single A Lakewood club in 2013.

The Phillies are still without a pitching coach. They have been rejected by a number of candidates (see story) and have begun a new round of interviews. Sources confirmed that Carl Willis, most recently Seattle’s pitching coach, interviewed last week.