The Phillies’ new MiLB assistant pitching coordinator is getting his first taste of the pros at summer camp
Manager Joe Girardi, hitting coach Joe Dillon, and pitching coach Bryan Price are not the only new coaches in the Philadelphia Phillies organization this season.
There’s also Travis Hergert, who joined the Phillies in December as minor-league assistant pitching coordinator after spending more than 15 years at North Iowa Area Community College. There, Hergert served as an assistant coach from August 2004 to August 2012, as well as head baseball coach from August 2012 up until his first-ever promotion to professional baseball.
Hergert says joining the Phillies is an “opportunity of a lifetime” that he could not pass up. The pandemic has temporarily changed Hergert’s job description, for at least the 2020 season anyway. He was supposed to travel to each of the Phillies’ minor league affiliates to check in on prospects, craft scouting reports, and help organize training and pitching programs for the players.
But then came the shutdown. Hergert kept in touch with players and made sure they followed the right workouts. Major League Baseball ended up returning, but not Minor League Baseball, as its season was recently canceled.
Therefore, Hergert’s responsibilities that he expected he would fulfill changed; after less than a year working at the collegiate level, he is now unexpectedly getting his first taste of professional baseball helping out coaching in the big leagues at Phillies summer camp in Citizens Bank Park.
Hergert recently told Rochester, Minnesota’s KIMT that him being in Philadelphia and learning from some of the established veterans has been a blast, adding: “Just to be around baseball. Just to hear the crack of the bat, to hear guys playing catch. Just the normalcy … it’s been nice.”
Once summer camp breaks later this month, Hergert will likely travel with players who do not make the Opening Day roster to the Phillies’ alternate training site, the home of the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
It has been a crazy year for all of us, including Hergert, who went from coaching a community college in Iowa to coaching players among the Phillies’ 60-man player pool ahead of the unprecedented 60-game 2020 season.