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Phillies reunite hitting coach Kevin Long with manager Joe Girardi and Bryce Harper

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USATSI

The Philadelphia Phillies continued to overtake their teaching employees this week, hiring former Washington Nationals hitting coach Kevin Lengthy to the identical position, the group introduced Wednesday.

Lengthy is an intuitive match with the Phillies, as he has connections to each supervisor Joe Girardi and famous person outfielder Bryce Harper. Lengthy was a member of Girardi’s employees with the New York Yankees for a number of years, and he was extensively credited for serving to longtime outfielder Curtis Granderson faucet into his uncooked energy.  Lengthy later had multi-year stints with the New York Mets and with the Nationals, the place he labored with Harper for a season earlier than Harper departed by way of free company.

“I’ve had a long-standing relationship with Kevin and have seen his work up shut and in particular person for years,” Girardi mentioned in a press release. “I really consider he’s the perfect within the enterprise and can have a huge effect on our offense.”

Lengthy can be making an attempt to enhance a Phillies offense that sputtered underneath former hitting coach Joe Dillon. The Phillies as a unit ranked thirteenth within the majors in runs scored in addition to twentieth in wRC+. (wRC+ is a FanGraphs metric that adjusts for ballpark, among other variables, and properly weighs on-base percentage.) The Phillies had two specific disappointments of their lineup, in third baseman Alec Bohm and shortstop Didi Gregorius. 

High government Dave Dombrowski has since admitted that Gregorius may not enter next spring slotted in as the Phillies’ starting shortstop, and that the group will pursue a “middle-of-the-order” hitter this winter.

The change at hitting coach is not the one alteration the Phillies have made this offseason. Additionally they employed Miami Marlins supervisor Don Mattingly’s son, Preston, to run their farm system. The Phillies nonetheless have to rent a brand new infield coach after dismissing Juan Castro, and can work with Lengthy to discover a new assistant hitting coach.

The Phillies’ strikes are available response to them extending their playoff drought to 10 years in a row. The Phillies have completed with a .500 or higher report simply 3 times over that stretch, together with this season.

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