By: Brooke Taylor
With a very important off-season for the Philadelphia Phillies approaching, Matt Stairs wanted to step up to the plate to make a change within the team.
Stairs has wanted to become a hitting coach since he retired back in 2011, and once the Phillies decided against retaining Steve Henderson, he reached out to manager Pete Mackanin. Stairs was hired for the position on Wednesday.
“Honestly, the last three years, sitting in that booth, I can tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly of every swing,” said Stairs, who will be leaving his position as an analyst on the team’s television broadcasts.
Stairs believes this will be an advantage on his part, since he as been around the team daily.
Stairs has his work cut out for him. “I don’t think you can turn it around overnight.”
He is inheriting an offense that was ranked one of the worst last season in baseball — the Phils ranked 29th in batting average (.240), on-base percentage (.301), and slugging (.385).
His first task as hitting coach will be meeting with each player individually and asking that hitter about their strengths, weaknesses, and what type of hitter they are and what they should be. “Know your strength and build off that.”
Matt Stairs was acquired by the Phillies toward the end of the 2008 season. He delivered a pinch-hit, two-out, two-run home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The swing not only pushed the Phillies toward the National League Championship Series, but toward the World Series title.