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Phillies ax four minor league hitting coaches

Sal Rende
The Phillies announced that Sal Rende and three other minor league coaches/coordinators won’t return for the 2019 season. (Photo courtesy Cheryl Pursell)

The shuffling of the player development department continues in Philadelphia. First, farm director Joe Jordan announced he was leaving the organization and now, the team has let go four coaches/coordinators in the minor league system who were either hitting coaches or assisted with hitters as roving instructors or coordinators.

Lehigh Valley hitting coach Sal Rende and Clearwater hitting coach John Mizerock along with minor league hitting coordinator Andy Tracy and assistant hitting coordinator Frank Cacciatore were all let go.

Rende was credited by Shane Victorino in helping him to find his hitting stroke and was also credited with helping many young players. He had served as the IronPigs hitting coach for eight seasons and had been a coach or minor league manager in the Phillies organization for 15 seasons.

Mizerock just completed eight seasons with the Phillies and his fourth as the Threshers hitting coach. He spent two seasons – 2014 and 2015 – as the Phillies assistant hitting coach.

Both Lehigh Valley and Clearwater were in the postseason this year.

Tracy was a popular player for the IronPigs and took over as the Williamsport Crosscutters manager in 2012, one season after retiring from baseball. He was promoted to hitting coordinator the following season and became the assistant field coordinator in 2014.

Cacciatore had just become the assistant hitting coordinator for the 2017 season after serving as a coach with Reading from 2008-2013 and for 2015 and 2016. In 2014, he served as a coach with the Clearwater Threshers.

The Phillies have taken a hard shift to analytical style player development, leaving Jordan, Rende, Tracy, Mizerock and Cacciatore kind of behind as more traditionally oriented personnel. No replacements were named and the organization has not made any other moves to their player development department public.

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