Another failed season at the plate as led to the Phillies finally making a change within their coaching staff
As reported last week heading into the Phillies final series of the 2016 season, changes within the coaching staff were to be expected. Members of the Phillies front office had a “frank” conversation with manager Pete Mackanin and his staff, and many speculated who might be shown the door.
With little surprise, the Phillies reportedly fired hitting coach Steve Henderson after four seasons.
The club has not made an official announcement regarding Henderson or any of the other coaches, but two sources have informed MLB.com of the pending change.
We broke down last week why Henderson was most likely to be gone, highlighting the stagnant growth of the offense and declining averages.
"In his first season as hitting coach in 2013, Phillies hitters (minus pitchers) hit .254, ranked 10th among the 15 National League teams.The following season the Phillies hit .248, followed by a 2015 season where they hit .255.In 2016, the Phillies have hit .245, the second-worst in the National League. I have little doubt Henderson will be fired Sunday night."
Prior to being named as the Phillies hitting coach after the 2012 season, Henderson spent three seasons as a minor league coordinator for the Phillies in terms of hitting, base running, and outfield defense.
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There are no obvious candidates to replace Henderson, but it would be fair to look at the two organizations with the most connections to the Phillies new front office: the Angels and Orioles. Los Angeles finished the regular season with the 10th best batting average in baseball at .260, supported tremendously by Mike Trout’s .315 average. Assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento came in after David Hansen was promoted to hitting coach, and could be a name floated.
Orioles assistant hitting coach Mark Quinn played just four seasons in the major leagues, and was playing as recently as 2002. It would be hard to find someone in Baltimore worth hiring at this point.
The most well-known name among Phillies fans would be Raul Ibanez, who played for the team from 2009-2011. An offensive catalyst during the Phillies World Series run, Ibanez was floated as a finalist for the Yankees hitting coach and Rays manager. While he does not have any official experience as a coach, Ibanez has been a great mentor throughout his 19-year career.