In the ultimate scheme of things, it's not a major move. Billmeyer was most recently the catching coach and before that was the bullpen coach. Usually, those are not the positions that make or break the team. He also was the guy who spotted pitcher or baserunner tendencies and suggested pick-offs or hit-and-run plays. More often than not, he was correct.
Last season there was a play in the ninth inning of a game against the Rockies where the Phillies were clinging to a one-run lead and Jonathan Papelbon was on the mound with the leadoff runner on base. Billmeyer spotted something and suggested a pick-off move and before anyone knew what happened, the Phillies had an out and Papelbon had an easy save.
The next day when asked if he was behind the pick-off call, Billmeyer deflected the attention.
"Team effort, team effort," he said.
Billmeyer also worked closely with Carlos Ruiz goign back to when the catcher made his pro debut in 2000. Once, during a discussion about Yadier Molina's work behind the plate for the Cardinals, Billmeyer was asked which National League catcher he would take to start his team.
"I'll take our guy," he said, meaning Ruiz.
Billmeyer was one of those guys who made friends wherever he went, mostly because of his good-natured attitude, quick wit, and knowledge that the big-league life was a gift. His faux battles with pitching coach Rich Dubee were often hilarious and ended with Billmeyer walking away with a smile and muttering, "I abhor that [deleted]."
A nine-year minor leaguer with the Orioles, Rangers and Angels, Billmeyer started coaching in 1994 with California. In 2000 he joined the Phillies organization as a roving minor league catching instructor and joined Larry Bowa's staff with the Phillies in 2003 and stuck around when Charlie Manuel was hired to manage in 2005.
In 2010 Billmeyer was famously caught with peering through binoculars in the bullpen at Coors Field. The Rockies complained that Billmeyer was stealing signs, which the coach denied, saying he was simply looking at catcher Carlos Ruiz's positioning behind the plate.
When asked about the incident after Major League Baseball issued a formal warning to the Phillies, Billmeyer maintained innocence. However, he admitted that if he was able to steal signs and relay them the the bench, he would.
Billmeyer is the second holdover from Manuel's staff not to have his contract renewed. Dubee was told he would not be renewed the day after the season ended.