Phillies Make Coaching Changes Following 2023 NLCS Collapse

Marlins Phillies Baseball
Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryson Stott reacts after hitting a grand slam against Miami Marlins pitcher Andrew Nardi during the sixth inning of Game 2 in an NL wild-card baseball playoff series, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

PHILADELPHIA – Hirings and firings are a common practice at the end of each team’s season especially if it ends in disappointment. After a deplorable NLCS loss, the Phillies decided to get ahead of the pack and start this process early.

In With the New, Out With the Old

On Thursday night, the Phillies announced in a press release that they have decided to move on from bullpen coach Dave Lundquist and assistant hitting coach Jason Camilli. While one could speculate if this is the beginning of a new age within the team personnel, rest assured that the remaining staff will be returning for the start of the 2024 season.

Here is the official statement from the team:

Lundquist, 50, was named bullpen coach for the 2021 season and first joined the Phillies’ major league staff in 2019 as assistant pitching coach. A former pitcher, Lundquist spent 11 years as a coach on the Phillies’ player development staff from 2008-18. He began his coaching career in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system (2005-07).

Camilli, 48, was named assistant hitting coach for the 2022 season. Before joining the Phillies organization, the former infielder spent time in the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals (2004-08), Arizona Diamondbacks (2012-20) and Cincinnati Reds (2021) minor league systems as a hitting coach.

-via SI’s Inside The Phillies

This decision comes as no shocker when you realize that star players Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, and Kyle Schwarber went a combined 1-for-11 in NLCS Game 7. Not to mention, all three of them had an OPS above 1.000 this postseason but couldn’t seem to get it going when it mattered most. These stats alone illuminate the fact that it wasn’t just the pitching letting them down throughout this series.

Phillies manager Rob Thomson
Philadelphia Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson walks to exchange line ups before a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Friday, June 3, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Next Steps for Phillies

Even with these dismissals, the Phillies won’t be looking to spend a lot of time restructuring their roster during the offseason as most guys are signed through at least the next one or two campaigns. Their biggest concerns, on the other hand, lie in their bullpen and with ace Aaron Nola hitting free agency for the first time in his tenure with Philadelphia. He’s most certainly going to be seeking a long-term deal with a $200-million dollar price tag attached so it will be interesting to see how the front office handles those discussions.

Adding to this, Rhys Hoskins’ future with the team is also uncertain as he was playing on the final year of his deal before tearing his ACL in spring training. Harper’s versatility to play first base only emphasizes the question of if the team really needs to bring Hoskins back given the former has held his own there for the majority of the season.

Ultimately, just like winter in Game of Thrones, changes are coming and the first domino to fall started Thursday night.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum