During a coaching overhaul immediately following a disappointing 2012 season, the Phillies decided they wanted two hitting coaches to offer their lineup differing methods of instruction. They hired Wally Joyner, a 16-year major-league veteran, Monday to serve as assistant hitting coach.
Joyner, 50, will work with newly appointed hitting coach Steve Henderson. Part of Henderson's hiring was his acceptance of an assistant. It's the newest trend in baseball; three teams - St. Louis, Atlanta and San Diego - employed assistants in 2012. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said he studied the model and liked it.
"The system will be better with an assistant in so much that different guys take information in different ways," Amaro said. "I think it's important for our players to see different points of view and get information in different ways."
Joyner previously served as hitting coach for San Diego from 2007-08. During the last four years, he has worked as the lead hitting instructor for MLB International's Elite-level development programs in Italy and Brazil. He also served as China's hitting coach in the World Baseball Classic.
He hit .289 with an .802 OPS in 16 seasons with California, Kansas City, San Diego and Atlanta. He finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 1986.
Henderson, 59, was formerly hitting coach for Tampa Bay from 2006-09. He spent the last two seasons as the Phillies minor-league hitting coordinator.
Major-league rules allow for only six uniformed coaches in the dugout. It's likely Joyner will spend most of his time during games watching video with hitters or working in the underground batting cage.
In 2007, Joyner was one of 89 players implicated for usage of performance-enhancing drugs in the Mitchell Report.
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