Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi recently praised spring training guest instructors Larry Bowa and Charlie Manuel for the tremendous value they bring to the team throughout the season, especially in spring training as the team has extra focus on fundamentals.
Likewise, Girardi spoke highly of his hitting coach — Joe Dillon — who, like him, is preparing for his second season donning red pinstripes.
“I think Joe Dillon does a tremendous job in preparing our players in the cage for what they will see in the game,” Girardi said. “He has all these different drills that he does — velocity, breaking ball, he even throws all kinds of different pitches. So, I think Joe does a great job to prepare our guys.”
Joe Dillon brings his long-time coaching and playing experience to the Phillies.
The Phillies hired Dillon in November 2019 as hitting coach, after he spent the previous two seasons as assistant hitting coach for the Washington Nationals. Prior, he worked two seasons each as the Miami Marlins minor-league hitting coordinator, as well as hitting coach for the Nationals’ Triple-A Syracuse affiliate.
Dillon can use his experience as a former major-league infielder to help his Phillies players — he was selected in the seventh round by the Kansas City Royals in the 1997 draft, and later taken by the Minnesota Twins in the 2001 Rule 5 draft. He went on to play 12 seasons for the Royals (1997-01), Twins (2002), Florida Marlins (2004-05), Milwaukee Brewers (2007-08), and Tampa Bay Rays (2009-10).
Last season, under Dillon, the Phillies offense tied the Chicago White Sox for scoring the fifth-most runs in Major League Baseball (306). That would have been approximately 826 runs during a full 162-game season. In 2019, the Phillies scored just 774 runs — the 14th-most in baseball.
With J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorius returning — as well as with a healthy Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins and Andrew McCutchen, and Alec Bohm gearing up for his second season — the sky is the limit for the 2021 Phillies offense.