3 coaching vacancies for Phillies

Posted: October 08, 2013

RYNE SANDBERG has three vacancies to fill on his coaching staff after the dismissal of a second coach in 6 days this weekend.

The Phillies announced Saturday they would not be renewing the contract of catching coach Mick Billmeyer, 49. He was the longest tenured coach on the staff this season and the last remaining from the 2008 World Series champion team following pitching coach Rich Dubee's dismissal a week ago.

Billmeyer, whose jovial personality made him a popular figure in the clubhouse and in the dugout, where he was moved to from the bullpen this past season, had been with the Phils since 2000. He first joined the major league staff as Larry Bowa's catching instructor in 2004.

Coincidentally, Bowa could be a fit one of the three open spots on Sandberg's staff.

After Sandberg replaced Charlie Manuel in mid-October, the Phils shifted Juan Samuel from the first-base coaching box to third place, where Sandberg had been. Assistant hitting coach Wally Joyner took over at first base.

Since Sandberg was already on the staff, the Phils never added a body when they fired Manuel. In addition to a pitching coach, the Phillies will likely add two more coaches, with one in the role of a bench coach.

Bowa, who was traded with Sandberg to the Cubs in 1982 and has remained close with the Phils manager ever since, could be a candidate for bench coach or third-base coach.

- Ryan Lawrence

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