Many fans thought Matt Stairs joining the broadcast team was odd considering his limited, albeit historic, affiliation with the Phillies and his lack of experience. The same cannot be said for his replacement. John Kruk has been tabbed to replace Stairs as part of the Phillies broadcast team starting in 2017. The addition has yet to be confirmed by the Phillies or Comcast Sportsnet.
Kruk, 54, was a 3rd round draft pick of the Padres in 1981 and spent the first 3 1/2 years in San Diego where he was a top 10 ROY vote-getter. In June of 1989 Kruk was traded to the Phils, along with Randy Ready, for Chris James where he spent the next 6 years and quickly became a fan favorite, clubhouse leader and crucial part of the Phils 1993 pennant winning team. He was a career .300 hitter and a 3 time All-Star (all with the Phils) when he finally ended his playing career after 1/2 a season with the White Sox in 1995. He was added to the Phillies Wall of Fame in 2011.
After 1 season as a broadcaster for the Phils in 2003, Kruk moved onto ESPN as both an in-game and studio analyst. After 12 years, he left the network this past October and quickly became a name that most hoped would succeed Stairs upon his addition to the coaching staff.
Kruks’ knowledge of the game, affable personality and fan-favorite status will add another level of credibility to the current team of Tom McCarthy, Ben Davis, Mike Schmidt and Gregg Murphy. What is yet to be seen is whether he will work a limited, rotating schedule as Stairs did or work the full 2017 season. More details will likely be available once the network makes an official announcement.