Thursday, October 14, 2021

Phillies Name Kevin Long New Hitting Coach

2009 Topps Heritage #465
On Wednesday afternoon, the Phillies officially announced Kevin Long as their new hitting coach for the 2022 season, their sixth hitting coach since the team's playoff drought began in 2011.  Like Joe Dillon before him, Long is highly regarded in baseball and the hope is he can connect with the Phillies offense better than Dillon and John Mallee before him.

Long has previously served as a hitting coach for the Yankees (2007-2014), Mets (2015-2017) and Nationals (2018-2021).  This will be a Yankees mini-reunion as Phillies manager Joe Girardi, bench coach Rob Thomson and Long all worked together in the Bronx between 2008 and 2014.  Bryce Harper and Long were together in Washington in 2018.

Long was drafted by the Royals in 1989 and spent eight seasons in their minor league system, never reaching the majors.  He appeared on a bunch of minor league baseball cards between 1988 and 2005, both as a player and a minor league coach.  He shares a floating head coach's card in the 2009 Topps Heritage set with Thomson.

With Long's hiring, the Phillies are down to needing an assistant hitting coach and a new infield coach, rumored to be Bobby Dickerson, who was with the Phillies previously in 2019.  Here's a look at the list of Phillies hitting coaches since 1970, with Billy DeMars still the undisputed dean of the group.

  • Billy DeMars 1969-1981 - DeMars also served as first base coach (1969-1972) and third base coach (1972-1979).
  • Deron Johnson 1982-1984 - Johnson also served as first base coach during his coaching tenure.
  • Del Unser 1985-1988 - Unser also served as first base coach (1985-1987).
  • Denis Menke 1989-1996
  • Hal McRae 1997-2000
  • Richie Hebner 2001
  • Greg Gross 2002-2004; 2011-2012
  • Milt Thompson 2005-2011
  • Steve Henderson 2013-2016
  • Matt Stairs 2017
  • John Mallee 2018-2019
  • Charlie Manuel 2019
  • Joe Dillon 2020-2021
  • Kevin Long 2022

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