After the news that Jeff Pentland and Alan Cockrell (assistant) were going to be the hitting coaches for the Yankees, New York made their coaching assignments official on Monday afternoon. According to the Yankees’ PR, they are moving Joe Espada (also hired Sunday) to the third coach and switching up the roles of Tony Pena and Rob Thomson on the staff:
Thomson had been the Yankees’ third base coach since 2009, after being the bullpen coach for one season in 2008. As for Pena, he had been the Yankees’ bench coach on two different occasions for Joe Girardi, once in New York this past season and once in Florida for the Marlins. He does have experience coaching at first base when New York hired him for that position for the 2006 season. He was the first base coach with the Yankees until 2008.
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Espada being named the third base coach should not be as much of a surprise when you consider that he was the third base coach for the Marlins from 2010-2013. It was a surprise to me that New York chose Espada over Willie Randolph, but he does have experience at the third base coach spot.
As for Gary Tuck, he will remain the bullpen coach while Larry Rothschild will stay on the pitching coach. Now that the staff is finalized, it will be interesting to see how Pena and Thomson handle their re-assigned role and how the experiment of having basically two hitting coaches will work.