The 2012 Philadelphia Phillies baseball season was all but five minutes in the books when Ruben Amaro, Jr. announced changes to the coaching staff.

After the Phillies 5-1 loss to the NL East Champion Washington Nationals, it was announced that 1B Coach Sam Perlozzo, hitting coach Greg Gross and bench coach Pete Mackanin had all been relieved of their duties.

Enter: Sandberg.

Thursday afternoon Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs manager Ryne Sandberg was hired as the Phillies 3B coach and infield instructor. Current 3B coach Juan Samuel has been offered the first base coaching job, but has yet to accept.

The team also announced Steve Henderson will serve as the team's new hitting coach, Henderson served as the Tampa Rays hitting coach for three years from 2006-2009.

Other changes include: Rod Nichols, who served as pitching coach at triple-A Lehigh Valley, being named bullpen coach, with Mick Billmeyer being promoted to catching coach.

Sandberg has spent the last two seasons managing the Iron Pigs, also serving as manger for the Chicago Cubs minor league affiliates.

He was inducted as a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.

GM Ruben Amaro and Charlie Manuel are expected to address the media at Citizens Bank Park this afternoon at 2 p.m.

With more on the moves Phillies beat reporter Matt Gelb has more on his Phillies blog: The Phillies Zone.


--Pete Giordano