Phillies tap Wally Joyner as assistant hitting coach

Wally Joyner hit .289 with 204 home runs in his career.
Wally Joyner hit .289 with 204 home runs in his career. (AP)
Posted: October 16, 2012

During a coaching overhaul immediately following a disappointing 2012 season, the Phillies decided they wanted to have two hitting coaches to offer their lineup differing methods of instruction. On Monday, they hired Wally Joyner, a 16-year major-league veteran, to serve as assistant hitting coach.

Joyner, 50, will work with newly appointed hitting coach Steve Henderson. A condition 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 general manager 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 in 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 to 2008. Over 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.

Joyner hit .289 with 204 home runs and an .802 OPS in 16 seasons with the Angels, Royals, Padres, and Braves. He finished second in the AL rookie of the year voting in 1986.

Henderson, 59, was the hitting coach for the Tampa Bay Rays from 2006 to 2009. 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.

Galvis makes a splash. Four days into Venezuelan winter ball play Freddy Galvis has made a splash in his return to organized baseball, while Darin Ruf is still awaiting a chance to gain experience playing in left field.

Galvis had not played in a game since June 6 because of a fractured back and performance-enhancing drug suspension. He was 4 for 5 in his first Venezuelan game and is 8 for 18 in four games total with two home runs and a double.

Galvis, 22, is playing shortstop for Aguilas del Zulia in Maracaibo. He could be starting at third base for the Phillies on April 1.

Meanwhile, Ruf has started three of four games for Tiburones de La Guaira. Each time he has batted cleanup. But twice he has served as designated hitter and once as first baseman.

Ruf is 1 for 12 with a double and four strikeouts.

When discussing Ruf's winter plans, Amaro said he expected Ruf would primarily play left field in Venezuela. It is a position both team and player believe requires more work time. The Phillies do not have any say in how winter-league teams manage their rosters, but they can reach out to teams with suggestions or requests.

Contact Matt Gelb at Follow @mgelb on Twitter.


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