The New York Yankees may be in the middle of a lockout, but they promoted two player development staff members this week, according to Lindsey Adler of The Athletic.
Former University of Missouri and Houston Astros farm coach Dillon Lawson joined the Yankees three years ago, working in their minor-league system as a hitting coordinator. Lawson was elevated to a major league hitting coach spot this week, with his contract expiring this off-season and in need of a new deal. The Yankees clearly didnâ€™t want to lose Lawson, providing him with a promotion instead.
In addition, general manager Brian Cashman elected to elevate Desi Druschel, a minor-league manager of pitch development to an assistant pitching coach. Skipper Aaron Boone signed a new three-year deal this off-season, and he will gain a bevy of new coaches to work with this upcoming season, given the lockout ends at some point.
The Yankees need all the help they can get after a tough 2021 campaign where they struggled in both hitting and pitching. The team finished 17th out of 30 in slugging percentage, 19th in runs scored, and 23rd in batting average, all far lower than anticipated for a team that relies on their explosive bats.
Based on these numbers, that is why Cashman remaining quiet in free agency was a bit of a surprise. However, it was clear he was instructed to remain patient throughout the lockout, and the expectation is that he will come out guns blazing once things return to normal and players are once again able to sign new contracts.