Phillies to Interview Nationals’ Joe Dillon for Hitting Coach Position
The Phillies’ first candidate for their hitting coach position is Joe Dillon, who served as the assistant hitting coach for the 2019 champion Nationals.
The Philadelphia Phillies are looking to fill their last remaining open position on manager Joe Girardi‘s coaching staff for the 2020 season: hitting coach.
The organization, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury, has received permission from the 2019 World Series-champion Washington Nationals to interview their assistant hitting coach, Joe Dillon, for the position.
Dillon, Salisbury writes, is gaining recognition around baseball “for marrying new-age science with old-school principles in coaching hitters,” a similar philosophy as to what Girardi will bring to the Phillies.
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As Nationals assistant hitting coach over the past two seasons, Dillon has worked with Kevin Long, who worked alongside Girardi on the New York Yankees’ coaching staff from 2008 to 2017. Long has called Dillon “the best assistant hitting coach in the baseball.”
The Phillies have not had a solidified, long-term solution to fill their hitting coach vacancy, ever since parting ways with John Mallee in July. Mallee was replaced by 2008 World Series-winning manager Charlie Manuel on an interim basis, however he is returning to his advisor role for the 2020 season. Mallee, meanwhile, has since joined Joe Maddon‘s staff as assistant hitting coach with the Los Angeles Angels.
According to Salisbury, Dillion will interview with the Phillies “soon,” adding he “had been busy throughout the month of October as the Nationals rolled through the postseason and won the World Series.”
Dillon, 44, played in parts of four seasons in the major leagues: 2005 with the Florida Marlins (replacing Mike Lowell at third base), 2007-08 with the Milwaukee Brewers, and 2009 with the Tampa Bay Rays. Over 137 career games, 95 with the Brewers, Dillon slashed .263/.344/.378 with 12 doubles, three home runs, 19 RBI, 22 walks and 47 strikeouts spanning 246 plate appearances.
Prior to becoming the Nationals assistant hitting coach in 2018, Dillon was the Miami Marlins’ minor league hitting coordinator, and as hitting coach for Triple-A Syracuse, where he tutored eventual-big leaguers Michael A. Taylor, Trea Turner, Brian Goodwin and Steven Souza Jr., among others.