Phillies

Pedro Florimon heads list of Phillies' signings

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Pedro Florimon heads list of Phillies' signings

The Phillies on Wednesday announced the signings of 10 players to minor-league contracts. All of the players received non-roster invites to big-league spring training camp, which opens on Feb. 14.

The most notable player on the list is veteran utility man Pedro Florimon, who returns to the organization after spending most of the 2017 season with the Triple A Lehigh Valley club before joining the big club in mid-August.

The Phillies actually signed Florimon early in the offseason, a sign that he's in their plans for the coming season. The 31-year-old played shortstop, second base, third base and all three outfield positions for Lehigh Valley last year, then did the same thing in 15 games with the big club. Florimon went 16 for 46 (.348) with five extra-base hits before going down with a dislocated ankle that ended his season on Sept. 2.

Florimon's versatility gives him a good chance to make the Phillies' opening day roster in the utility role once filled by Andres Blanco. Heck, he could be the opening day second baseman, keeping the position warm for prospect Scott Kingery, if the Phillies were to move Cesar Hernandez in a deal for pitching.

Florimon has also played in the majors with Baltimore, Minnesota and Pittsburgh.

In addition to Florimon, the Phillies re-signed relief pitcher Pedro Beato, infielder Mitch Walding and catcher Logan Moore. All are expected to provide depth in the upper levels of the minors.

The team announced the signing of six players who played in other organizations last season. They include pitcher Steve Geltz, infielders Will Middlebrooks and Heiker Meneses, catcher Eric Fryer, catcher/first baseman/outfielder Matt McBride and outfielder Danny Ortiz.

Phillies move closer to hiring hitting coach, but could they lose staff to Gabe Kapler and Giants?

Phillies move closer to hiring hitting coach, but could they lose staff to Gabe Kapler and Giants?

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — The Phillies are looking to have a hitting coach in place in the next week or so, according to general manager Matt Klentak.

The field of candidates has been thinned with veteran hitting coach Chili Davis returning to the New York Mets. By all indications, that leaves Joe Dillon and Matt Stairs as the two finalists for the Phillies’ job, though it’s not uncommon for late candidates to emerge. The Phillies interviewed both Dillon and Stairs last week and were in contact with Davis, as well. Dillon has been Washington’s assistant hitting coach the last two seasons. Stairs was the Phillies’ hitting coach in 2017 and the Padres’ hitting coach in 2018.

Dillon might be the favorite because of his close connection to Kevin Long, Washington’s hitting coach. Long was hitting coach with the Yankees during Joe Girardi’s time as manager of that club. Girardi, the Phillies' new manager, has great respect for Long’s work and Long has called Dillon the best assistant hitting coach in baseball.

“I think we’re looking for the best possible candidate to work with our guys, and obviously with a new manager it’s going to be important that the person is on the same page philosophically with Joe,” Klentak said of the hitting coach job. “We’re interviewing people with a variety of backgrounds, some of whom this would be their first time as a hitting coach and others that have done it for some time. We’re just looking for the best possible candidate. We’re not going in with a specific resume that someone has to have.”

At the moment, hitting coach is the only opening on the Phillies’ coaching staff. However, it would not be surprising if another spot were to open now that the San Francisco Giants have named Gabe Kapler manager. Kapler was fired as Phillies skipper last month and could seek to take a member or two of the Phillies’ holdover coaching staff with him. Potential departures could include first base/outfield coach Paco Figueroa, assistant hitting coach Pedro Guerrero, catching instructor Craig Driver or bullpen coach Jim Gott. All are under contract with the Phillies for 2020 but the club might let one or two of them go so Girardi could have more say in building his coaching staff. Girardi oversaw the hiring of pitching coach Bryan Price and, obviously, has much say on the hitting coach hire.

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More on the Phillies

Giants fans seem to absolutely hate the Gabe Kapler hire

Giants fans seem to absolutely hate the Gabe Kapler hire

Gabe Kapler was a pretty polarizing figure in Philadelphia with a slight majority of fans disapproving of his managerial style and general demeanor as skipper of the Phillies. He had some progressive fans in his corner though.

Based on the reactions to the San Francisco Giants' announcement of Kapler as their next manager, you'd think he was the worst thing to ever happen to the game of baseball.

Fans were not pleased with the hire. Not one bit. From fans saying they're no longer going to be fans of the team after 40+ years of fandom to people saying they plan on canceling their season tickets, there was plenty of vitriol directed at the Giants. Here's a sampling:

And a check in from Philly:

Anyway, that's just a sampling. Go check out the Giants' actual tweet to see some of the brutal replies. And good luck to you, Giants fans. You will need it.