Bomber Bites With Jumping Joe–Yankees Should Hire Two Hitting Coaches


The Yankees have an open spot for a hitting coach ever since long time incumbent Kevin Long was let go last week.  Conventional wisdom indicates that they will fill this spot from within the organization, perhaps moving Tony Pena from Bench Coach to Hitting Coach or by hiring an established coach from outside the organization.  Names such as Chili Davis, the current hitting coach for the A’s and Dante Bichette, who held the position with the Rockies last season have been mentioned as top candidates.  However, the Bombers should go outside the box on this decision and hire two coaches.

Seventeen teams currently employ two hitting coaches and the Yankees should become the eighteenth.  They were reportedly interested in hiring an assistant hitting coach two years ago but never did.  If the Yankees were ever to hire a second coach, now would be the perfect time. 

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By hiring two hitting coaches the Yankees could have the best of both worlds.  They can have an experienced “senior” hitting coach and an assistant who can gain experience on the job and still help the Yankee hitters.  A common lament on Yankee broadcasts the last few seasons was that Kevin Long only had so many hours in the day to work with hitters.  A second coach would double that amount of hours.

Mandatory Credit: Chad R. MacDonald.

Which brings us to who should be employed for the hypothetical two positions on Joe Girardi’s staff.  I have already been on record that the Yankees should consider hiring former Core Four member Jorge Posada as the Hitting Coach.  However, one of the biggest concerns in hiring the former Yankee backstop is that he is does not have any previous coaching experience.  The upside to having an assistant hitting coach is that he does not need to have experience.  The Catch-22 common to millennials everywhere of not being able to get hired without experience but unable to get experience without being hired can be averted in this case.

Another candidate for the assistant position to be considered should be Hideki Matsui.  Matsui has expressed an interested in coaching before and been a minor league and spring training instructor for the Yankees.  He has also guest managed his former team the Yomiuri Giants in Japan.  He would be a great addition to the staff as an assistant hitting coach or as the new first base coach.  Matsui had a stellar career in Japan before coming to the states and was a two time All Star and 2009 World Series MVP with the Yankees.  While a language barrier may be perceived hindrance to Matsui’s hiring, he actually knows conversational English and if there is one topic in which he is fluent, it’s hitting.

As for the “senior” hitting coach, the Yankees can still hire Chili Davis, who had success with Oakland the last few seasons.  In 2013, the A’s finished fourth in the majors in runs and third in homers.  However, this season saw the A’s offense stumble in the second half after they traded their cleanup hitter, Yoenis Cepedes to the Red Sox.

Other candidates for the senior position can include Don Mattingly (if he is let go as the Dodger manager), Bichette, and Tim Raines, who last spent the last decade coaching at various levels for several organizations, most recently as the Blue Jays minor league base running and outfield instructor.

The Yankees offense has been dreadful the last two years.  The current lineup does not figure to improve much other than perhaps the addition of Alex Rodriguez and a new shortstop.  The could benefit from more coaching and help at several key areas of hitting such as beating the shift and adjusting their approach at the plate to match the game situation, aspect that were lacking under Long.  By utilizing two coaches the Yankees will have the best chance to improve their ability to score runs next season.