The Lehigh Valley IronPigs came into their inaugural season in 2008 with Dave Huppert at their helm. They'll enter 2009 with Huppert and his entire staff intact, including pitching coach Rod Nichols and hitting coach Greg Gross.
Huppert will be entering his 22nd season as a minor league manager and his fourth in the Phillies organization. Huppert has delivered league championships in two of his seasons with the Phillies, first in Lakewood and then in Clearwater. Last season was the first time in his Phillies career that he didn't win a league title.
The Reading Phillies staff has been remade. Manager P.J. Forbes hasn't been reassigned within the organization, while pitching coach Tom Filer was reassigned to Williamsport. Steve Roadcap heads for Reading after managing the Lakewood BlueClaws for each of the past two seasons. He'll be assisted by pitching coach Steve Schrenk and hitting coach Frank Cacciatore.
Clearwater will also have some new faces, with Ernie Whitt taking over in the manager's office, Dave Lundquist taking over as pitching coach and longtime Phillies coach Ramon Henderson handling the hitting coach chores.
An interesting managerial choice is at Lakewood. Dusty Wathan, who spent his first season after retiring as a player as the manager at Williamsport, moves up to manage the full-season Lakewood BlueClaws. Wathan retired as a player after the 2007 season and jumped right into managing in the Phillies organization. Wathan will have Greg Legg, who managed the BlueClaws in their inaugural season, as his hitting coach and Bob Milacki comes over from the Pittsburgh Pirates organization to serve as pitching coach.
In the short-season leagues, another former Phillies farmhand, Chris Truby will manage Williamsport. Filer joins him as the CrossCutters' pitching coach and Eric Valent will return as the team's hitting coach. Roly deArmas will manage in the Gulf Coast League, with Aris Tirado and Carlos Arroys both helping with the team's pitching staff. Luis Melendez will serve as the GCL hitting coach.