Manuel, Schmidt assigned to their Phillies hitters
Pair will work to help improve club's production for 2015 season
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies had one of the least productive offenses in baseball last season, and then they traded two of their best hitters in the offseason: Jimmy Rollins and Marlon Byrd.
Scoring runs could be a significant struggle in 2015.
Philadelphia hopes a new hitting program in Spring Training can combat a lineup that lacks power. The program involves coaches working with specific hitters throughout camp in an effort to give them a consistent voice as they stress making more contact, using the whole field, having a more consistent two-strike approach and situational hitting.
Former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is scheduled to work with Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz, Maikel Franco, Jeff Francoeur and Grady Sizemore. Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt will work with Domonic Brown, Cody Asche, Darin Ruf and Freddy Galvis, while assistant hitting coach John Mizerock will work with Chase Utley, Ben Revere and Cesar Hernandez.
"With the minds we've got here, why not utilize them?" hitting coach Steve Henderson said on Thursday.
Henderson will oversee the program and float among the hitting groups, which also will have groups coached by Minor League instructors Sal Rende, Andy Tracy and Dave Brundage.
"I'm going to make sure everything goes the way we want it to go," Henderson said. "We're trying instill what we want as an organization. I've never done this anywhere. But we've never had this type of guys to help."