Phillies fire hitting coach Joe Dillon, infield coach Juan Castro


Add hitting coach and infield coach to the list of positions the Phillies will need to fill this offseason.

The team fired hitting coach Joe Dillon and infield coach Juan Castro before Sunday's season finale in Miami.

Both were completing their second season on the job.

Assistant hitting coach Pedro Guerrero was told that he's free to seek a job with another organization because the new hitting coach will pick his own assistant.

Dillon came highly regarded from the Washington Nationals organization in the fall of 2019. He presided over an offense that entered Game 162 Sunday ranked 18th in the majors with a .240 batting average and 13th in runs per game at 4.53, right at the league average.

The Phils had a .726 OPS, which ranked 14th in the majors. They were hitting .248 with runners in scoring position, which ranked 19th in the majors.

Dillon will depart with a feather in his cap. Bryce Harper leads the majors with a 1.039 OPS and is probably the frontrunner for the NL MVP award.

Castro worked with an infield defense that was one of the worst in the majors. Overall, the Phils entered Sunday ranked 28th in the majors with minus-48 runs saved, according to Fangraphs. Only Arizona and Detroit were worse.

Castro, a former infielder, played for the Phillies in 2010 and was an outstanding defender. In fact, he made a couple of standout plays at third base to support Roy Halladay the night the Hall of Famer threw a perfect game in May 2010.

Castro was a hard worker and well qualified for his position. The infield that he presided over included three of the worst defenders in the league at their positions in first baseman Rhys Hoskins, third baseman Alec Bohm and shortstop Didi Gregorius. How much of their struggles was on the coaching and how much was on the player himself?

It's impossible to quantify that. But as the saying goes, you can't fire all the players, so the coach takes the fall.

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