Phillies hire veteran hitting coach Kevin Long

The Philadelphia Phillies named Kevin Long as their next hitting coach on Wednesday.

He replaces Joe Dillon, who was fired on the final day of the regular season.

Long, 54, spent the past four seasons as the hitting coach in Washington. Under Long, the Nationals topped the majors in on-base percentage (.338) and led the National League in batting average (.259). In that same span from 2018-21, Washington had the second-lowest strikeout rate (20.8 percent) in the majors and the fourth-highest walk rate (9.5 percent).

In Philadelphia, he’ll be reunited with manager Joe Girardi. Long was the hitting coach of the New York Yankees when Girardi managed the team.

“I have had a long-standing relationship with Kevin and have seen his work up close and in person for years,” Girardi said in a team news release. “I truly believe he is the best in the business and will have a huge impact on our offense.”

Long was with the Yankees from 2007-14, then spent three seasons with the New York Mets (2015-17). He was part of World Series-winning teams wih the Yankees in 2009 and Nationals in 2019.

The Phillies finished the 2021 season 82-80 and 6 1/2 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East.