Joyner tabbed as assistant hitting coach

Joyner tabbed as assistant hitting coach

PHILADELPHIA - The Phillies know they need to improve offensively next season.

They believe Wally Joyner can help.

The club announced on Monday that it has hired Joyner as assistant hitting coach. He will work with hitting coach Steve Henderson.

"Wally is a man with some experience," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He's not far removed from being an actual Major League player. We just felt like he was a very, very good fit. He's going to be an asset to us."

Joyner previously served as the San Diego Padres hitting coach from 2007-08. He also served as San Diego's roving Minor League instructor from 2003-07. Joyner, 50, has since worked as the head hitting instructor for Major League Baseball's International elite-level development programs in Italy and Brazil, and worked with hitters at MLB's European hitting camp in the Netherlands.

Joyner has also has been named the hitting coach for the China Senior National Team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

The Phillies also considered former big leaguers Matt Stairs and Mike Sweeney, among others, before hiring Joyner. They seemed to prefer a coach that had played in the big leagues fairly recently.

"I think it's about credibility and connection," Amaro said. "It's important to have people who are easy to connect with and can communicate. Certainly Wally's career and career path and some of the things he's done at the Major League level, he came highly recommended. We really liked the way he expressed himself and handled himself in the interview process. We just think he was the right fit for this group."

Joyner played 16 seasons in the big leagues with the Angels (1986-91, 2001), Royals (1992-95), Padres (1996-99) and Braves (2000). He hit .289 with 409 doubles, 204 home runs and 1,106 RBIs in 2,033 games.

Because of big league rules limiting the number of coaches in uniform in the dugout, Joyner will not be in the dugout during games. The majority of his work will come before games, working with hitters and helping them prepare. He also will help in the video room and batting cages during games.

"It's kind of a new venture for us, and we're still getting our arms around it, but most of the work Wally would do with Steve is before the game and in Spring Training and preparing our guys for each individual game, series, etc.," Amaro said.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.