Joyner leaves Phils for Tigers job
For the second time this offseason, Wally Joyner changed his mind. He will not reprise his job as the Phillies' assistant hitting coach. He left the team Sunday to become the Detroit Tigers hitting coach.
Joyner declined the Phillies' initial overture on Oct. 8 to return in his same role, and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. labeled him "overqualified" for the assistant's job. But Joyner returned Oct. 17 after his search for a job as lead hitting coach failed.
The Phillies announced Sunday that Joyner left to "pursue other opportunities." Hours later, reports surfaced that Detroit hired him. Mick Billmeyer, a longtime Phillies coach fired earlier in the offseason, will be the Tigers' bullpen coach.
Phillies hitters lauded Joyner's influence last season, although the overall results were suspect. Domonic Brown credited Joyner for his improved power stroke. The two formed a strong bond.
With Joyner's departure, the Phillies have two openings on their coaching staff. They recently interviewed Mariners pitching coach Carl Willis, according to the Seattle Times, for their vacant pitching coach job. Willis could be the favorite if the Mariners do not retain him. Their new manager, Lloyd McClendon, has yet to decide Willis' fate.