The Philadelphia Phillies have been seeking a new pitching coach, and in their search they were granted permission to talk with Jim Benedict, who is a Special Assistant to General Manager Neal Huntington. Last week there was word that Benedict impressed the Phillies in his interview, while a group of other candidates were either ruled out or removed their names from consideration.
Benedict has made a big impact in Pittsburgh. He played a big role in re-working Charlie Morton and turning him into a sinkerball pitcher with a new arm slot. He also played a role with Francisco Liriano and Mark Melancon in their turnaround in 2013, worked with Jeff Locke to add a turn to his delivery and get more command of his fastball, and worked with top prospects Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon on making their fastballs harder to hit.
The Pirates had a ton of success this year because of the revived careers of Liriano, Melancon, and Morton, not to mention Cole’s arrival in the majors and Locke pitching well for half the season. Benedict had a hand in all of that. Because of this, he was definitely deserving of a pitching coach job elsewhere, but it’s good for the Pirates that he has decided to stick around.