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Phillies Hire Joyner as New Assistant Hitting Coach

During his end-of-season press conference, Ruben Amaro alluded to the Phillies adding another element to their bench following the firing of several coaches. Today, they made the move to hire former major league first baseman Wally Joyner as an assistant hitting coach to Steve Henderson. Here are the details from the Phillies:

Former All-Star first baseman Wally Joyner has been hired by the Phillies as the assistant hitting coach to Steve Henderson, Manager Charlie Manuel and Senior Vice President & General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. jointly announced today.

This will be Joyner’s second stint on a major league coaching staff.  He previously served as the San Diego Padres hitting coach during parts of the 2007 and 2008 seasons, as well as a roving minor league instructor for the club for five years (2003-07).  During the last four years, Joyner has worked as the lead hitting instructor for MLB International’s Elite-level development programs in Italy and Brazil.  He spent this past year at MLB’s European Hitting Camp in the Netherlands working with hitters selected by the MLB Scouting Bureau.  Joyner was also named the hitting coach for the China Senior National Team in the World Baseball Classic.

Joyner, 50, played 16 seasons in the major leagues with the California/Anaheim Angels (1986-91; 2001), Kansas City Royals (1992-95), Padres (1996-99) and Atlanta Braves (2000).  He finished his career with a .289 batting average, 409 doubles, 204 home runs and 1,106 RBI in 2,033 games.  In his rookie year of 1986, Joyner was elected as the starting first baseman for the American League All-Star team and finished second in AL Rookie of the Year balloting.

Joyner, along with Henderson, will take over for Greg Gross who didn’t do very much during his tenure here. The move to a former all-star and a guy with a lengthy major league career is a great one (not to mention a guy that looked like a teenager throughout his playing days). During the course of his 16 seasons in the majors, Joyner was able to go from a power hitter to a lighter-hitting corner infielder without incident. He’ll need to impart that wisdom on some guys within the Phillies organization. He’ll also be joining some pretty good company in Ryne Sanberg and Charlie Manuel as guys who love to teach and talk hitting. Joyner’s presence should hopefully add a new wrinkle to what was a stale regime. It’s hard to say whether or not he’ll pay dividends, but all-in-all, on the surface, it appears to be a fine move.

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