Yankees eyeing 2009 World Champion for assistant hitting coach job

Lose one Eric, replace him with another. That might be the name of the game for the 2022 New York Yankees, who suddenly have one spot to fill on their previously-finalized coaching staff.

Just two weeks ago, New York’s braintrust was boasting about Eric Chavez, letting the baseball world know they’d just added a Swiss Army Knife to their coaching staff as well as a theoretically low-level assistant.

Now, they’re scrambling to replace his expertise after opting not to block his hitting coach interview with the New York Mets.

You know, like the Padres and Giants did when they sensed their coaching staffs might get upended by Steve Cohen.

Nevertheless, the Yankees are now forced to press on thanks to Cohen’s revenge, which really seems like an issue of their own making,

After promoting minor-league coordinator Dillon Lawson to take the primary gig, New York is still in search of a second assistant to add to the mix, and they’re reportedly keen on that coach being a former player with an analytical bent.

Prior to Tuesday, we’d heard the name Mark Trumbo attached to the position, a recent retiree known mainly for booming home runs and low batting averages. This week, it looks like we’ve added Eric Hinske to the mix, a 2009 New York Yankee known primarily as a great clubhouse guy.

Yankees rumors peg new hitting coach candidate: Eric Hinske

Mostly a power guy following his Rookie of the Year campaign with the Blue Jays in 2002, Hinske is most well-known for appearing on three different AL East teams in three consecutive years, all of which made World Series trips: the 2007 Red Sox, 2008 Rays, and 2009 Yankees, a team he joined midseason after starting the year in Pittsburgh.

With the Yanks, Hinske hit .226 with seven bombs in 39 games, then moved onto Atlanta in 2010, where he had a prominent role on another postseason team.

And, oh yeah, he has a full back tattoo unlike anything we’ve ever seen. The Steinbrenners won’t let you not shave for a week, but they’ll hire a coach with this?!

Hinske was the fall guy for the 2021 Diamondbacks’ historically long losing streak, losing his gig as an assistant hitting coach in the desert in mid-June.

Regardless of his very recent past, the Yankees seem intrigued, and Hinske has some fans in the building. In what’s sometimes a personality-driven business, Hinske definitely seems like a fairly obvious one-for-one Phil Nevin attitude replacement, at the very least.