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Joyner won't return to Phillies' staff

Former assistant hitting coach leaves to take head job with Tigers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies announced shortly after the 2013 season ended that Wally Joyner had decided he would not return as assistant hitting coach.

They announced a little more than a week later he had changed his mind.

But then Sunday the Phillies announced Joyner left the organization again to "pursue other opportunities." Sources confirmed a report Joyner will become the new Tigers hitting coach.

Those sources also said former Phillies coach Mick Billmeyer will be named Tigers bullpen coach.

Joyner received high marks this season from players, particularly left fielder Domonic Brown, who enjoyed a breakout season. The Phillies are expected to hire a replacement for Joyner to assist hitting coach Steve Henderson.

Billmeyer was one of the most well-liked people in the clubhouse and organization because of his high-energy personality, positivity and sense of humor. It is why the Phillies moved him into the dugout this season.

The Phillies still remain without a pitching coach since deciding not to renew Rich Dubee's contract. They are still interviewing candidates. A source said they recently interviewed former Mariners pitching coach Carl Willis.

The Phillies previously offered the job to Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell and Pirates special assistant to the general manager Jim Benedict.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for
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