On Wednesday, the Philadelphia Phillies organization officially announced that in relief for Steve Henderson, long-time pinch-hitter, and former Phillies player, Matt Stairs will take over as Phillies hitting coach next season.
Stairs has been a fan favorite in the Greater Philadelphia Area ever since his dramatic, game-winning home run at Dodgers Stadium, in Game 4 of the 2008 NLCS.
For the past three MLB seasons, Stairs has served as a Phillies broadcaster, calling every game and home run, alongside play-by-play announcer, Tom McCarthy. Though Stairs will continue to work for the Phillies organization, an open position on the broadcast team has now opened up.
There has been much speculation about who will take Stairs’ place, but all signs seem to point towards another former Phillies player, John Kruk.
After a 10-year career with the Phillies, San Diego Padres, and Chicago White Sox, Kruk finally retired from the MLB in 1995. As a three-time All-Star, Kruk ended his career with a .300 batting average, 100 home runs and 592 RBIs, in addition to becoming a member of the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame.
In October, Kruk left ESPN, after 12 years of serving as one of their most distinguished Major League Baseball analysts.
Prior to beginning his career with ESPN, Kruk spent time as an analyst with Comcast SportsNet (CSN), in addition to coaching the Phillies’ AA minor league team, the Reading Fightin Phils, during the 2001 season.
Many reliable sources have stated that Kruk is in the running for the open position on the Phillies broadcast team, and that he is currently in discussions with Comcast Sportsnet.
Comcast Sportsnet released a statement, addressing these rumors, saying, at this time “we have no announcements regarding our Phillies broadcasts for 2017.”
Furthermore, in October, following his departure from ESPN, Kruk took to Twitter, stating, “I will continue to pursue TV opportunities so I can continue covering the game I love.”
Luckily for the Phillies, Kruk became available when they need someone the most.
Though no official announcements have been made, the chances of Kruk joining the Phillies broadcast team for the 2017 MLB season seems more and more likely with each passing week.
Photo: Lindsey B (via: Flickr)