Phillies Lose Stairs to Padres

When the Phillies announced that they weren’t bringing Pete Mackanin back as their manager, they also in effect made all of their coaches free agents. GM Matt Klentak said that the next manager would be the one to call the shots when it came to hiring a coaching staff and stressed that the current coaches should consider looking elsewhere for work.

Bench coach Larry Bowa moved to the Phillies front office as a senior adviser to Klentak a couple of weeks ago. Third base coach Juan Samuel has been a candidate for the job as the next Phillies manager and interviewed for the position, but recent reports seem to indicate that the race for that job is down to either Dusty Wathan or Gabe Kapler as their next manager.

There hadn’t been any news on first base coach Mickey Morandini, pitching coach Bob McClure or hitting coach Matt Stairs, until Friday when it was announced that the San Diego Padres hired Stairs, who played one season in San Diego, to be their hitting coach replacing Alan Zinter.

Stairs reportedly beat out Chili Davis, Jason Lane and two other unnamed candidates for the job. Stairs worked to rave reviews from Phillies players this past season as he preached plate discipline and taking less aggressive swings at pitches. The result was pumping the Phillies team on-base percentage up from .301 to .315 and the team batting average up from .240 to .250 this past season. The Phillies also saw their runs scored move from 610 in 2016 to 690 in 2017 under Stairs.

Chuck Hixson

Chuck has a wide and varied background in covering sports both locally and nationally. Living in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania, Chuck has the distinction of being the only person to have covered both the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Lehigh Valley Phantoms in every season of their existence.

Chuck began covering sports in 1998 when he was the first program director and morning host at WTKZ-AM in Allentown, Pennsylvania when the station switched to an all sports format. Chuck produced the stations coverage of the Allentown Ambassadors baseball team, which played in the independent Northeast League.

From there, Chuck was the editor and writer of Pinstripes magazine, covering Phillies baseball. That led to Chuck founding Philly Baseball Insider in 2003.

Chuck has done freelance work for national entities such as USA TODAY, CBS, FOX Sports, Washington Times and others.

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