According to The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Matt Breen, Phillies first-base coach Jose David Flores has left to join Baltimore Orioles’ new manager Brandon Hyde and his staff.
In addition to coaching first base, Flores also had responsibilities such as coaching the infield defense and baserunning. Breen noted that the Phillies signed coach Paco Figuera last month to coach outfield and baserunning, so that’s one less task that needs to be filled due to Flores’ absence.
The Phillies have experienced a few staff changes over the winter. Pitching coach Rick Kranitz was let go in order to keep assistant pitching coach Chris Young, who took over Kranitz’s position. Kranitz then went on to sign with the Atlanta Braves.
The Phillies have also had staff members looked at by other teams, but they weren’t signed. Bench coach Dusty Wathan was seriously considered by the Texas Rangers for their managerial position, and the Orioles looked at assistant general manager Ned Rice for a front office gig. In addition, Sam Fuld was interviewed by the Toronto Blue Jays for their managerial opening, but ultimately withdrew his name from consideration. While it’s also nice to see coaches be rewarded for their work and make their way up the major league ladder, having continuity can also help an organization to have success.
The Phillies could opt to either look in-house or outside of the organization in order to fill the now open position. Looking at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, one name that sticks out is bench coach Wes Helms. Helms, a 13-year veteran in the majors, had experience playing first. As of now, the only other two coaches list by Lehigh Valley in addition to Helms are manager Gary Jones and hitting coach Sal Rende.
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