New York Yankees: Hitting coach Marcus Thames and 3rd base coach Phil Nevin are gone

William Parlee
Feb 23, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) , hitting coach Marcus Thames, and assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere (63) at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees according to @lindseyadler have informed hitting coach Marcus Thames and third base coach Phil Nevin that their contracts will not be renewed. On October 10th I wrote:

Yankees need to rid themselves of Marcus Thames

It’s time for the Yankees to part ways with hitting coach Marcus Thames and assistant hitting coach P.J. Pelilttere. After losing in the postseason again, it’s effortless to start the blame game this time of year, but these two guys who coach the hitters have to go. They have not done their job. If one or two hitters weren’t hitting, you could blame those hitters, but when the problem is team-wide, you have to look to the coaching staff.

If there was one glaring deficiency with this team all season long, the Yankees did not consistently hit the ball, going through prolonged droughts that resulted in far too many games that the Yankees only scored three runs or less. At the end of the season, that stat stretched to 67 games with many when the Yankees only scored one or two runs. But, again, we are not talking about a low talent team; these are quality players that are not performing.

I can’t speak to the details of what’s wrong in the hitting department because I am not privy to what goes on in the coach’s room, but there is certainly something wrong. It could be that the coaches can’t motivate the players, or it could be the hit for the fence’s mentality. You can indeed win games with home runs, but you will win many more if there are men on base.

These coaches can’t seem to get hitters to hit for contact; the home runs would follow if they could do that. Again, if it was one or two players, you can blame the players, but you can’t blame all the players and not hold the coaches responsible. Even hitting stars Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton had doughts in their hitting between long balls. DJ LeMahieu, who led all of baseball in 2020, dropped 100 batting points this season, and the coaching staff in 162 games couldn’t resolve that problem. Gleyber Torres, who hit 38 homers in 2019, could only muster up 12 long balls in two years. The coaching staff has not been able to solve his lack of power.

All season long, Yankee fans kept saying what’s wrong that this powerful lineup can’t hit the ball. Even manager Aaron Boone couldn’t come up with any answers, constantly saying we have to get better. You also have to consider that neither of these coaches have particularly distinguished hitting careers in their own right. This writer doesn’t have the answers, but a shakeup of the coaching staff seems in order.