The Phillies already had to rebuild baseball’s worst bullpen this offseason and now they have to replace the coach, too.
Bullpen coach Jim Gott’s contract was not renewed, giving the team another coaching vacancy to fill.
Gott’s departure, which was first reported by NBC Sports Philadelphia and confirmed to The Inquirer by a Phillies source, comes less than two weeks after pitching coach Bryan Price retired with two years remaining on his contract. Gott was the team’s bullpen coach since 2018 and was hired by Gabe Kapler.
The 61-year-old pitched 14 major-league seasons for four teams. He oversaw a bullpen last season that finished with a major-league worst 7.06 ERA, but the blame can be shouldered more on the front office that assembled the unit instead of the coach who answered the bullpen phone each game.
Gott, who has a fourth-degree black belt in karate and trained Dennis Quaid to pitch for the movie The Rookie, has an affable personality and was well-liked during his two seasons in Philadelphia. He was the Angels' minor-league pitching coordinator for five seasons before joining the Phillies and had been considered an internal candidate to replace Price.
Dave Lundquist, the team’s assistant pitching coach, and Rafael Chaves, the team’s director of pitching development, will be considered for the job of pitching coach. The Phillies are also expected to look externally. Rich Dubee, the pitching coach of the 2008 world champions, is interested. Bryce Harper is pulling for Vanderbilt’s Scott Brown, and Joe Girardi has ties to Yankees bullpen coach Mike Harkey.
The Phillies also have to decide if they are going to hire someone to run their baseball operations department or simply keep interim general manager Ned Rice in place. J.T. Realmuto is less than a week away from free agency and the Phillies have to decide if they can extend qualifying offers to both Realmuto and Didi Gregorius. A busy offseason is about to get underway.