Jim Benedict Turns Down the Phillies

Jim Benedict has turned down the Phillies.

Jim Benedict has turned down the Phillies.

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.

Yesterday, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reported that Benedict told the Phillies he would remain with the Pirates (h/t @mjdouble).

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.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • clemo83

    That just made my day- maybe the best news we could hope for this offseason

  • IC Bob

    Thats a big surprise to me. Are we sure he was actually offered the job. Very often in these instances all the final candidates get the opportunity to turn down the job they were not offered. That said who would want to live in Philly?

    • piratemike

      There is no such place as Philly, it is somebody’s invention sort of like Dante’s inferno.

      • deacs

        I live in Philly. It’s not without it’s charm. Kinda cool to see Todd Zolecki mentioned on a site that I’m on 10 times a day. He’s a good friend of mine. He seems to think they he may have turned it down because they took a while to get back to him plus a decent raise from the Bucs. Glad to see Benedict is sticking around.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 leefoo

    GREAT news! Turning down Philly just shows how smart JB is!! Lol

    Now give him a big raise, so he never wants to leave again.:)

    • http://www.deanmanifest.blogspot.com Dean Manifest

      Chances are he already got that raise.

      1. Interview with another organization
      2. Get a raise from your current organization
      3. Say thanks but no thanks to the new gig

      Beats getting a 2.5% raise at your annual review, doesn’t it…..

  • http://hiddenvigorish.com Hidden Vigorish

    I still wouldn’t be surprised if the Bucs lose a key part of their development staff to the Phillies. Scott Mitchell lives in south jersey right outside of philly. He is Benedict’s protege. Pure speculation, but it would make sense for the Phils to consider him.

  • blackmax

    I wonder what Benedict aims to do with his career. Some have described his approach as “intellectual.” Is he looking for something in the front office? Does he have upper management written all over him?

  • stickyweb

    To be honest, I’d never heard of Benedict until the Phillies talked to him a couple of weeks ago. I’m sure he’s helped out the pitchers that have been successful, but I also think the Bucs have a developmental system in place that could survive the departure of any 1 instructor/coach/special assistant. Still, I’m glad we won’t have to find that out in Benedict’s case this year. When guys (be they players, coaches or front office suits) are being pursued by other teams but choose to stay with the Bucs, it is a great sign of the organization’s strength.

  • impliedi

    Good to see Benedict sticking around. I’ve been curious to see when teams starting asking about Ray Searage. With so many pitchers rehabbing their careers the last couple of years in Pittsburgh, I’m sure that Searage has attracted quite a bit of notice throughout baseball. No idea if he’s got managerial aspirations, but somebody could give him a good bit of money to be their pitching coach.