Wally Joyner departs Phillies coaching staff as Pete Mackanin returns

Former Phillies hitting instructor Wally Joyner (far left). (Yong Kim/Staff file photo)

The Phillies suffered a loss Tuesday as Ryne Sandberg's coaching staff took clearer shape. Wally Joyner, often credited by hitters for their success, declined to return as assistant hitting coach.

Joyner will likely seek a head hitting coach position elsewhere.

Larry Bowa's addition to the staff is the major news, although Joyner's loss will hurt. Steve Henderson will return as the Phillies hitting coach, and the team will hire a new assistant. The Phillies averaged 3.77 runs per game in 2013, their lowest output since 1988.

Pete Mackanin, who once served as Charlie Manuel's bench coach for four seasons, returns to the staff following a one-year hiatus as Yankees scout. He will be Sandberg's third-base coach.

Joyner spent one year with the Phillies and his work was best visible in Domonic Brown. The 26-year-old outfielder called Joyner "an angel" in spring training before he bashed 27 homers. Both Joyner and Brown attended the same high school in suburban Atlanta and developed a strong connection.

In addition to replacing Joyner, the Phillies must still hire a pitching coach, first-base coach and bullpen coach. The team said Juan Samuel and Rod Nichols remain under consideration for the 2014 staff. Nichols could be a candidate for pitching coach. If not, a return to the bullpen is likely.

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