Joyner, Samuel, Henderson back with Phillies
It looked like Wally Joyner was returning to "Wally World," aka Anaheim, where he was a fan favorite with the Angels a generation ago. Joyner was a strong candidate to become the Angels' hitting coach. However, the team opted to sign former Diamondbacks coach Don Baylor.
So Joyner will come back to the Phillies as assistant hitting coach. It's a move that Domonic Brown, who had a breakout season in 2013, appreciates.
"There's no doubt that he [Joyner] had an impact on me," Brown said. "He knows hitting and he helped me a lot, going back to spring training. I can't thank him enough."
Brown — yes, the same guy who was seen wearing Cowboys gear at last Sunday's Eagles game — hit 23 homers and drove in 83 RBIs in 489 at-bats, and made his first All-Star team. Joyner returns for what will be his second season with the Phils, serving under hitting coach Steve Henderson.
The Phillies were the antithesis of an offensive juggernaut, but Ryne Sandberg thinks it takes more than a season for a new coach to connect with players.
Juan Samuel, who joined Charlie Manuel's staff before the 2011 season, will be back as first-base coach. The only other coaching staff opening for the Phillies is pitching coach. Bullpen coach Rod Nichols is under consideration.
"That's a significant thing for the Phillies to figure out," a NL scout said. "They need someone to help develop those young arms in the bullpen. Jake Diekman has great stuff and Justin DeFratus has an arm on him.
"If they can help those guys get to the next level, that would be huge for that bullpen. It's pointless to have guys like Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, if you can't bridge the gap to the closer. The pitching coach hire will be huge for the Phillies."