Minor League Staffs Take Shape

With a few long-time minor league coaches and managers being promoted and reassigned, new faces will dot the landscape of the Phillies minor league system in 2005. Gene Lamont, who worked as Houston's third base coach for part of last season, joins the Phillies as Scranton's manager, while Steve Swisher and other former major leaguers fill other spots.

Call it a shuffle, a realignment or whatever you want, but the Phillies minor league system is taking on a different look. With Marc Bombard, Bill Dancy and others being promoted or reassigned within the organization, there was plenty of room for new faces.

Gene Lamont, who managed the White Sox and Pirates in the majors, will take over for Bombard at AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Lamont was Houston's third base coach last season until he was relieved of his job when manager Jimy Williams was fired in July. As a major league manager, Lamont posted a 553-562 record in eight seasons. "He is a proven manager and will bring solid baseball experience and knowledge to our organization," remarked Assistant GM Mike Arbuckle.

Lamont will have Rod Nichols as his pitching coach and Sal Rende as his hitting coach. Nichols served as the pitching coach for the Reading Phillies for three seasons before being promoted. Rende was the Red Barons hitting coach last season and had worked in various minor league organizations prior to joining the Phillies.

Greg Legg, who managed at AA Reading last season will take over for Mike Schmidt as the manager of the Clearwater Threshers. Legg's departure opened a spot that will be filled by former major leaguer Steve Swisher. In nine major league seasons, Swisher played for the Cubs, Cardinals and Padres as a catcher. His managerial experience includes ten seasons as a minor league manager and three seasons working as a major league coach for the Mets.

Joining Swisher will be pitching coach Tom Filer and hitting coach John Morris.

Filer went 22-17, 4.25 with the Cubs, Blue Jays, Brewers and Mets in parts of six seasons. For the past nine seasons, Filer has worked as a pitching coach for the Yankees, Blue Jays and Phillies. He spent last season as Clearwater's pitching coach.

Morris returns to Reading for his second season as a hitting coach, having previously worked in the Angels minor league system.

In addition to Legg's move to Clearwater, Scott Lovekamp will become the Threshers pitching coach for the 2005 season.

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