As is tradition, the Philadelphia Phillies will have a group of former players and coaches serve as guest instructors during Spring Training. MLB.com's Todd Zolecki released the list of 2017 instructors today, which features a couple surprise additions from a year ago:
Phillies will have Larry Andersen, Chad Durbin, Wes Helms, Brad Lidge, Charlie Manuel & Mike Schmidt in spring training as guest instructors— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) January 31, 2017
Andersen, who is entering his 11th season as a color commentator for the club's radio broadcasts is a regular, as are Schmidt, the greatest player in franchise history, and Manuel, who at least statistically is the greatest manager in club history. This also isn't the first time Lidge has served as a guest instructor, as he was part of the club's 2014 Spring Training staff.
Though some fans may not be excited by the name of Chad Durbin, he may be a very valuable person to have as a guest instructor. He was on the Phillies when they won the 2008 World Series and served as both a starting pitcher and a reliever during his career. If the club chooses to move someone like Adam Morgan to the bullpen this spring, Durbin could help aide his transition because he went through the same transition in his career.
Helms certainly isn't being invited to be an instructor to remind fans of his one season in Philadelphia, but if the club believes he will have a positive impact on some of their younger players, that's the most important thing.
Dave Hollins, Jim Kaat and Greg Luzinski were all guest instructors in 2016 that don't appear to be returning for the 2017 season. Matt Stairs was a guest instructor as well, but Stairs will be in camp in a different capacity this year as he's the club's new hitting coach.
Pitchers and catchers will report to Clearwater for Spring Training on February 13.