One of the rising stars among hitting coaches has joined the Phillies coaching staff as the team’s hitting coach. Joe Dillon, who leaves his position as the Washington Nationals assistant hitting coach to come to Joe Girardi’s staff, was the primary focus of the Phillies search. Dillon replaces John Mallee, who was fired last August and replaced on a temporary basis by former manager Charlie Manuel.
Dillon is well respected and has a connection to new manager Joe Girardi through Nationals hitting coach Kevin Long. Long served as Girardi’s hitting coach with the Yankees and Dillon was a player under Long as a hitting coach. Long and Dillon also worked together in the offseason and it was Long’s relationship with Dillon that brought Dillon to Washington. Obviously, Dillon’s star rose when the Nationals won the World Series.
The hiring of Dillon completes Girardi’s staff with the Phillies. Bryan Price was previously hired to be the team’s pitching coach and Juan Castro was hired to replace infield coach Bobby Dickerson. Pedro Guerrero will stay on as the assistant hitting coach under Dillon.
Dillon, 44, played in 137 major league games with the Marlins, Brewers and Tampa Bay Rays over four seasons. He then served as the Marlins minor league hitting coordinator for three seasons prior to joining the staff in Washington. One of the selling points for Dillon is that he is seen as having the ability to mix new-school data and analytical approaches to hitting with old-school habits.