Yankees are set to interview ex-player for new opening as bench coach

MLB: Texas Rangers at San Francisco Giants
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

After a report from Ken Rosenthal came out regarding the Yankees’ interest in recently fired manager David Ross, the Yankees are interviewing former San Francisco Giants’ pitching coach Andrew Bailey. This report came from Joel Sherman of the New York Post, who also originally reported that the Yankees offered James Rowson the hitting coach position. Bailey is just 39 years old, and he spent time as a pitcher with the Athletics, Angels, Red Sox, Phillies, and even the Yankees in his career.

With his pitching expertise and the Yankees’ strong track record with pitching since the hiring of Matt Blake and Sam Briend, he could fit a great role as a communicator of different analytical concepts. They continue their search for a new bench coach following the recent news of his departure to the Mets across town, and it’s another player-turned-coach.

The Yankees Continue to Search For Communication

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays
Sep 21, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees relief pitcher Andrew Bailey (38) throws a pitch during the eighth inning in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. The Toronto Blue Jays won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Bailey was born in New Jersey, and he was selected in the 6th Round of the 2006 MLB Draft out of Wagner College in Staten Island. He seems set on going back to the East Coast, and as a former player with a decade of experience at the professional level, the baseball acumen he’s developed helped him transition into the coaching world. Bailey first served as a coaching assistant in 2018 for the Angels before transitioning into a bullpen coach role, and the San Francisco Giants would name him their pitching coach prior to the 2020 season.

Since that point in time, the Giants have led all of baseball in FIP (3.72) while having the sixth-best ERA (3.81). Pitchers like Alex Cobb and Kevin Gausman have joined the Giants and improved their game dramatically, and there’s a strong track record of veteran pitchers making tweaks and improving with San Francisco. While Matt Blake is a genius, perhaps Bailey’s track record as a former player helps him better communicate new principles to veteran pitchers on the roster and creates more buy-in and familiarity.

Bailey is a highly-respected mind with a diverse baseball background through his journey as a former Rookie of the Year winner and two-time All-Star to a journeyman reliever who struggled to find his footing at the Major League level. Now as a coach, he’s had legitimate success getting more out of pitchers, and for Aaron Boone’s right-hand man, he’d fit in perfectly.

The Yankees are prioritizing coaches with backgrounds as former players in an attempt to improve communication, something that worsened this past season. From a baseball standpoint, adding another smart person who’s young and has the ability to connect to players is usually a good thing, and the Yankees will continue to search for the right pieces to their off-field puzzle as they begin the offseason.

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