Howie Kendrick finished his career as a hero in Washington, but the final chapter of his 15 big-league seasons might not have played out so perfectly had it not been for a brief stop in Philadelphia. And now Kendrick, four years after playing 39 games for a 96-loss Phillies team, is coming back.
The Phillies hired Kendrick, 38, on Tuesday as a special assistant to the general manager. Primarily a second baseman, he retired after the 2020 season, a year after he helped the Nationals bring D.C. its first World Series title since 1924. Kendrick hit a grand slam against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the deciding game of their 2019 NLDS, was the MVP of the NLCS, and put the Nats ahead in the World Series clincher with a homer in the seventh inning.
The Phillies acquired him from the Dodgers before the 2017 season and traded him in July to Washington. He said that night that he couldn’t think of a better place to go to win a World Series. Twenty-seven months — and a grueling recovery from an Achilles injury — later, he was right.
The Phillies also hired Brian Kaplan as their assistant pitching coach and director of pitching development. He is the co-founder of Cressey Sports Performance, an elite training center in Jupiter, Fla. Right-hander Andrew Painter, the Phillies’ first-round pick last July, credited Cressey for his development.
Jason Camilli, who has worked in Arizona’s and Cincinnati’s minor league systems since 2012, was named assistant hitting coach. Camilli joins Kevin Long, who replaced Joe Dillon last month as hitting coach. Pedro Guerrero, the former assistant hitting coach, joined Gabe Kapler’s San Francisco staff earlier this month.
Morgan Gregory was named director of strength and conditioning and nutrition after spending the last nine seasons with Cincinnati. Furey Leva, who has worked for the Phillies since 2017, was promoted to assistant major league strength and conditioning coach after previously being the minor league strength and conditioning coordinator. Christian Bermudez, who was an athletic trainer last season for triple-A Lehigh Valley, was named medical operations liaison.