Coaching Staff Takes Shape

The Phillies made their final hires for coaching positions. When all was said and done, the coaching staff was formed from pieces already in the Phillies organization. After Charlie Manuel stayed with the Phillies, taking over as manager, Milt Thompson, Marc Bombard, Rich Dubee and Bill Dancy all were promoted to major league jobs.

What was long figured to happen, did when it comes to Greg Gross. The former Phillies utility player is now the Phillies former hitting coach. Gross will be offered another job within the organization, but his duties have been taken over by Milt Thompson.

Thompson served as the Phillies first base coach and has been somewhat of a rising star in the organization. One of the things that played in Thompson's favor was the fact that he and Manuel crossed paths often during the 2003 season when they both worked with minor league hitters. Those meetings and the conversations that they had put the ground work in place for Thompson to take over as hitting coach.

With Thompson promoted, the Phillies then moved popular AAA manager Marc Bombard into the first base coaching box. Bombard served as Red Barons manager for eight seasons and was the third base coach for the Cincinnati Reds in 1996.

Another key hiring was pitching coach. With both Charlie Hough and Rich Dubee interviewing for the job, the Phillies again decided to stay in-house and hired Dubee. One of the reasons was Dubee's familiarity with some of the Phillies pitchers who he had at AAA Scranton when he served as Bombard's pitching coach. Dubee also served four seasons as the pitching coach for the Florida Marlins.

Dubee's hiring will now allow the Phillies negotiations with free agent Eric Milton to become more intense. Milton told the Phillies that he wasn't interested in re-signing with them until he knew who the pitching coach would be. The Yankees and a few other teams reportedly have interest in Milton to join their staff.

The third base coaching job went to Bill Dancy. The Phillies originally drafted Dancy in 1973 and he has been in the organization since then with the exception of just two seasons. Most recently, Dancy served as minor league field coordinator for the Phillies.

The return of Gary Varsho (bench coach), Ramon Henderson (bullpen coach) and Mick Billmeyer (catching instructor) were also made official.

Philly Baseball Insider Top Stories