The Phillies wanted to keep their hitting-coach tandem of head man Steve Henderson and assistant Wally Joyner in place for 2014, but Joyner declined an invitation to return.
Nothing personal. Just business and geography.
“Wally will be a big loss for us, unfortunately,” GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday. “We did offer him an opportunity to come back in that same role.
“I think Wally is probably overqualified for that role and showed that with the work he did. Wally will have plenty of opportunities to be a No. 1 guy. Plus, I think he wanted to stay on the West Coast. He's a Salt Lake City guy. I think being away from his family was somewhat of a factor here. He's qualified to be a No. 1 guy and I think he wants to try that possibility.”
The Colorado Rockies could be an interesting possibility for Joyner. They have an opening at hitting coach after Dante Bichette stepped down. The Los Angeles Angels are also in the market for a hitting coach. Joyner played for the Angels for seven seasons.
The Phillies had two hitting coaches for the first time in 2013. They will continue the practice.
“We will hire an assistant hitting coach for Steve Henderson,” Amaro said. “We think very highly of Steve and we are excited about being able to add some support for him.”
Jeff Manto could make sense as a candidate for the assistant hitting coach job. He was recently let go as the Chicago White Sox’s hitting coach. He has also been a hitting coach with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Manto, of course, is a Bucks County native. He starred at Temple University and played for eight big-league teams, including the Phillies. He also coached and managed in the Phillies’ minor-league system. He and Amaro are former teammates and close friends.
Manuel offered job
Amaro met this week with former manager Charlie Manuel. Manuel was fired after nine seasons in August. The Phils have offered him an undisclosed position in the organization.
“Charlie and I had a real good discussion a few days ago,” Amaro said. “I think Charlie is in the process of deciding what he wants to do. He would be a valuable member of our organization. I think he could help in a variety of ways. Hopefully we can work it out.
“We have made him an offer. Hopefully it would be something he'd be interested in doing.
“Charlie is in a position right now where he doesn't have to do anything. But I think he's always been pretty fond of the Phillies and the feeling is mutual. Hopefully we can bring him back. If not, that will certainly be his choice.”