Less than two weeks ago, Wally Joyner was labeled as "overqualified" for the position of assistant Phillies hitting coach. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. lamented Joyner's decision to pursue a lead job on the west coast. He said it was a "big loss."
Joyner, as it turns out, will return.
The Phillies announced Joyner's reversed decision nine days after saying the longtime first baseman would seek other employment. In addition, Juan Samuel will reprise his role as first-base coach.
Those appointments leave just one unfilled role -- pitching coach -- a job for which the Phillies are interviewing candidates. Bullpen coach Rod Nichols is one.
Joyner's flip comes one day after the Los Angeles Angels hired Don Baylor as their hitting coach. Joyner spent seven seasons with the Angels and was considered a strong favorite for that job.
The Phillies are happy to have Joyner, 51, around. He developed a fruitful relationship with Domonic Brown and was credited by numerous Phillies hitters as a positive influence with a fresh opinion. The results, of course, did not immediately transfer to the field. Manager Ryne Sandberg said it can be a two-year process with new hitting coaches, and that is why he retained Joyner and Steve Henderson.
Samuel, 52, was added to Charlie Manuel's staff before the 2011 season. He was demoted from third-base to first-base coach after 2012 but shifted back to third base at the end of last season when Sandberg was promoted to interim manager.
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