November 17th, 2013

Wally Joyner to be next Tigers hitting coach

While you were watching that Lions-Steelers trading touchdowns (or another NFL game), the Phillies announced this afternoon that assistant hitting coach Wally Joyner had stepped down to “pursue other opportunities.” It’s the second time he has done so in about a month; he declined an offer to return at season’s end, only to change his mind a week or so later.

The Tigers didn’t have an opening the first time he went out on the market. They do now, and he’s expected to fill it, industry sources told MLB.com.

Also expected to make the jump from Philly is Mick Billmeyer, who was a catching coach on the Phillies staff. He’s expected to be named bullpen coach.

Like the Tigers this past season, the Phillies used two hitting coaches this year, with Joyner supporting top hitting coach Steve Henderson. Joyner received a good share of credit in Philly for the emergence of Domonic Brown, who grew up from perennial prospect status to legitimate Major League hitter in 2013. He hit .272 with 27 home runs and 83 RBIs.

Joyner has been in the top job before, serving as Padres hitting coach from July 2007 to September 2008. After stepping down from the job, he spent four years as the lead hitting instructor for Major League Baseball’s international elite-level development programs, coaching players in Italy, Brazil and the Netherlands.

Ausmus didn’t join the front office in San Diego until after Joyner left, but they were teammates with the Padres in 1996.

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