Phillies Name Matt Stairs Hitting Coach
The Phillies announced earlier this offseason that they were retaining all Major League coaches except Steve Henderson. Henderson, who had been with the Phillies organization since 2010, served as the Major League hitting coach from the time Ryne Sandberg took the managerial helm through 2016. Today, the Phillies announced that Matt Stairs would be the organization's new hitting coach.
The Phillies made the announcement Wednesday afternoon:
That means there is now a vacancy somewhere else: the broadcast booth.
Stairs joined the Phillies broadcast team as a member of Comcast SportsNet's staff in 2014 alongside Tom McCarthy, Gregg Murphy, and Jamie Moyer. Ben Davis replaced Moyer a year later. For the vacancy, the Phillies could turn to another familiar face.
John Kruk, who formerly served as a Phillies broadcaster in a limited capacity, left ESPN recently. According to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, the Phillies are considering Kruk for the position, on a limited basis. The position he held as ESPN usually pays more than the positions on the broadcast team, which was why Mitch Williams did not consider the role in the past.
Stairs has coached hockey in the past, making this his first formal coaching job. Stairs, however, served as a special Spring Training hitting instructor for the Phillies in 2016. With the Phillies at their limit of uniformed coaches, Stairs is not likely to have an assistant hitting coach.