Bryan Price has stepped down as the full-time Phillies pitching coach after just one season with the team.
The Philadelphia Phillies suddenly have another crucial vacancy that they will need to fill this offseason. Sunday evening, the team announced that Bryan Price has “retired from a full-time coaching capacity.” According to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury, this was solely a “personal decision,” as the 58-year-old wanted to spend more time with his family in Phoenix, Arizona.
With Price stepping down, the 2021 season will feature the fifth different Phillies pitching coach in as many years — with the new coach joining Price (2020), Chris Young (2019), Rick Kranitz (2018), and Bob McClure (2017).
Price had two more years remaining on his contract with the Phillies, who hired him late last October as the first coaching addition under new manager Joe Girardi; he reportedly turned down offers from at least two other teams, the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres, when he decided to instead don red pinstripes.
Girardi told NBC Sports Philadelphia that the Phillies were “all shocked” at Price’s decision to retire, “because he fit in so well.”
“He was great to work with. Great attitude,” Girardi said. “The pitchers loved him. He connected with them extremely well. They don’t get any better than Bryan.”
Before joining the Phillies, Price spent parts of five seasons as Reds manager from 2014 to 2018, and was on their coaching staff for four seasons prior as pitching coach under then-Reds manager Dusty Baker — who coached the Houston Astros to one win shy of an American League pennant in 2020. Prior to his tenure with the Reds, Price spent the previous 10 seasons as pitching coach for the Seattle Mariners (2000-2005) and Diamondbacks (2006-2009). He also was a pitching coach in the Mariners’ minor league system from 1989 to 1997, before serving as their pitching coordinator in 1998 and 1999.
Price is highly regarded in baseball and his departure is significant for the Phillies, who are also currently without a general manager — with Matt Klentak similarly stepping aside from his position after five seasons without a postseason appearance. The Phils had a Major League Baseball fourth-worst 5.20 combined ERA in 2020, a figure high mostly due to the bullpen struggling with a 7.06 combined ERA.