The Phillies have named former major leaguer Matt Stairs as the team's new hitting coach, the club announced today. Additionally, all the coaches that were invited back have agreed to contracts for the 2017 season.
Stairs, 48, played parts of 19 seasons (1992-93; 1995-2011) in the major leagues with 12 different franchises, including parts of two seasons (2008-09) with the Phillies when the team went to back-to-back World Series. He batted .262 with 265 home runs, 899 RBI, a .356 on-base percentage and a .477 slugging percentage in 1,895 career games. Stairs made 935 starts in his career between first base and the outfield, but also had 490 plate appearances as a pinch-hitter where he hit .252 with a .357 on-base percentage and a .476 slugging percentage. His 23 career pinch home runs rank first in major league history. Stairs had spent the last three seasons (2014-16) as a color analyst on Phillies broadcasts. This position is his first as a coach at the professional level.
In Game 4 of the 2008 National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Stairs became a Phillies postseason hero. He hit a two-out, two-run pinch homer in the 8th inning off closer Jonathan Broxton to break a 5-5 tie and give the Phillies a 7-5 lead and eventual win.
In addition to the hiring of Stairs, two members of manager Pete Mackanin's coaching staff will have different titles in 2017. Rick Kranitz, formerly the bullpen coach, is the assistant pitching coach and John McLaren, formerly the catching coach, is now the bullpen coach.
Mackanin's staff is made up as follows: Larry Bowa (bench), Kranitz (assistant pitching), Bob McClure (pitching), McLaren (bullpen), Mickey Morandini (first base), Juan Samuel (third base) and Stairs (hitting).