By Sam Bush
The Phillies have formally announced the hiring of Bobby Dickerson as infield coach for the 2022 season.
They lured him from the Padres for whom he served as the team’s official bench coach and third base coach following the front office promotion of previous third base coach Glenn Hoffman.
His biggest challenge will be to make third baseman Alec Bohm and first baseman Rhys Hoskins adequate fielders.
The hiring serves as a reunion between coach and organization, as Dickerson served in the same infield coach capacity for the Phils during the 2019 season. This followed an eight year stint with the Orioles, who boasted a few Gold Glove-winning infielders during Dickerson’s tenure.
As was the case with the team’s recent hiring of Kevin Long, Phillies manager Joe Girardi adds a veteran coaching presence to cajole some new talent out of the existing roster. Dickerson will look to help Girardi in the latter’s third year with the team and boost an organization that has been stuck in a near .500 rut for four years in a row.
This move to rehire a respected defensive coach comes on the heels of what the front office surely recognizes was an organizational weakness this past season. By measure of Defensive Runs Saved the Phillies ranked last in all of baseball in 2021, with the Jean Segura-manned second base the only position on the team to score plus marks in the metric.
As for the Padres, the departure of Dickerson comes as no surprise in the wake of recent firings to pitching coach Larry Rothschild and manager Jayce Tingler. It remains to be seen what other changes await a San Diego dugout that is quickly growing accustomed to making them.