The shakeup in the Phillies’ minor-league system continues.
The organization cut loose four veteran hitting instructors this week, according to sources.
The group includes Andy Tracy, Frank Cacciatore, Sal Rende and John Mizerock.
Tracy had been the organization’s minor-league hitting coordinator since 2013. Cacciatore was the assistant hitting coordinator. Rende had been the hitting coach at Triple A Lehigh Valley for the last eight seasons. Mizerock was the hitting coach at High A Clearwater. He was on the big-league coaching staff in 2014 and 2015.
All four coaches were on expiring contracts.
Rumors of a shakeup on the Phillies’ minor-league hitting staff had circulated throughout the summer. Joe Jordan, hired in 2011 as the team's director of player development under former general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., resigned last week because of philosophical differences with the front office (see story). Many of those differences, according to sources, revolved around hitting — how it should be taught in the minors and the progress of several prospects.
The departures of Jordan and Tracy coincide with Rhys Hoskins becoming the first Phillie since Ryan Howard in 2011 to hit 30 home runs. Hoskins has credited Jordan and Tracy for suggesting the leg kick that he says changed his career four years ago (see story).
General manager Matt Klentak has said the team will interview internal and external candidates in filling the opening for director of player development. Internal candidates are likely to include Ben Werthan, the organization's coordinator of minor-league player information, Sam Fuld, who oversees player information and works with outfielders at the big-league level, and Jorge Velandia, a special assistant to Klentak.