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#pounditFriday, February 3, 2023

Phillies make important coaching decision after World Series run

Bryce Harper holding a helmet

Oct 22, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Bryce Harper (3) after hitting a RBI double in the first inning during game four of the NLCS against the San Diego Padres for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies are keeping one underrated piece from this year’s World Series run right where he is.

MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports Saturday that the Phillies have agreed to a two-year extension with their hitting coach Kevin Long. The 55-year-old Long is now under contract through the 2025 MLB season.

Long, who previously won World Series titles as New York Yankees hitting coach in 2009 and as Washington Nationals hitting coach in 2019, had just joined the Phillies prior to the 2022 campaign. He remained with the team after Joe Girardi, Long’s former Yankees colleague, was fired in the middle of the season and replaced by Rob Thomson. Long received credit for nifty work with veterans like Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, and JT Realmuto as well as with young guys like Bryson Stott, Alec Bohm, and Brandon Marsh.

Ultimately, the Phillies were a top-eight offense all year under Long, who made his third career World Series trip as a hitting coach. Keeping Long around for three more seasons will be huge for the Phillies as they look to build on their success, especially since Long is widely acclaimed leaguewide.

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