The Phillies announced that pitching coach Bryan Price has elected to retire. It’s a surprising development, as the longtime big league coach just signed with Philadelphia one season ago.
Price, 58, was in-demand at this time last year. He reportedly spurned pitching coach offers from the Diamondbacks and Padres to take the same position with the Phillies. 2020 marked Price’s 15th season as a major league pitching coach, as he previously served in that capacity with the Mariners, Diamondbacks and Reds.
Of course, Price is more famous for his time as Cincinnati’s manager. He skippered the Reds from 2014-18. That wasn’t a particularly successful stint, as the club managed just a 279-387 record in that span, failing to reach the postseason. Nevertheless, Price remained well-regarded in the industry, as evidenced by the number of opportunities available to him last offseason.
Philadelphia manager Joe Girardi will now hunt for a new voice to lead the pitching staff. Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola present an enviable top two starters with whom to work. Zach Eflin seemingly turned a corner in his age-26 season and Spencer Howard is one of the sport’s most talented prospects.
That said, the Phillies will certainly have some work to do in the coming months. Howard struggled as a rookie, while Jake Arrieta and Vince Velasquez continued to underperform at the back of the rotation. The bullpen was atrocious, contributing to Philadelphia getting left out of the 2020 expanded playoff bracket. Price’s replacement will work on building up depth behind that strong core. As Meghan Montemurro of the Athletic observes (via Twitter), that person will be the Phillies’ fourth pitching coach in as many years.