The Phillies 2017 coaching staff continues to dwindle as hitting coach Matt Stairs has been hired by the San Diego Padres.
With a new manager expected to be hired soon, the Phillies coaching staff is stuck in limbo. Bench coach Larry Bowa already knew he wasn’t coming back, and now another coach will have to be replaced.
Hitting coach Matt Stairs is reportedly heading to San Diego to become their next hitting coach. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports was the first to report the news, and other beat reporters have since confirmed it.
Without any assurance of a job under a new manager, Stairs had to go where he knew his position would be safe.
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However, Stairs had better chances than most of staying in Philadelphia. The offense improved dramatically under him in 2017. They went from scoring 3.77 runs per game in 2016 to scoring 4.26 runs per game in 2017.
Stairs also had a good rapport with many of Philadelphia’s young hitters. He helped Aaron Altherr emerge as an above-average offensive outfielder.
Several others said Stairs helped them adjust to hitting major-league pitching for the first time.
San Diego’s offense was among the worst in all of baseball this year. Their collective 7.3 fWAR was league-worst and 84 wRC+ was second-worst. The Padres now hope Stairs will provide the same turnaround that he did in Philadelphia.
Whoever the next hitting coach will be will ultimately be determined by the next manager. Their decision could come soon, with Matt Gelb of Philly.com saying it could be as soon as Monday. It could also come once the World Series is over.