The New York Yankees have one more vacancy to fill this offseason after Sean Casey announced on Wednesday morning that he would not be returning as hitting coach after a two-month stint in the dugout.
Casey's technical impact was tough to nail down; the Yankees' offense saw more pitches down the stretch, but watched their offensive statistics regress further from even what they were doing under Dillon Lawson. BREAKING: Team Has Roster Issues.
Gleyber Torres appeared to make a few valuable stance tweaks, and DJ LeMahieu woke up under Casey's tutelage, but it seems highly likely that the ex-big leaguer's impact was mostly intangible. The team will miss him, but the team would've been rudderless, confused and undermanned no matter what decision Casey made (it also remains unclear if he was ever offered a return).
So what's next? Considering the clash between Casey's teachings and Lawson's system at the minor-league level, maybe the team just needs to find a better communicator who can translate what's worked in the system? Or maybe it's time to bring in a few beloved former Yankees with championship experience?
The rumor mill this week circulated both Tino Martinez and Nick Swisher for the position, with Pete Simonetti noting that both men have reportedly been "considered" for coaching gigs this season. Considering Swisher appears to have an increased personnel role with the current Yankees, this is hardly far-fetched.
Yankees could consider Nick Swisher, Tino Martinez to replace Sean Casey
Doubt the Simonetti Source at your own peril.
This past fall, Swisher traveled with the Yankees more often than Brian Cashman did, accompanying Omar Minaya as the season wrapped. If not hitting coach, it would certainly stand to reason that he's being considered for an influential role.
Martinez, once the Miami Marlins' hitting coach, resigned in 2013 amid allegations of player abuse, with former Yankee Derek Dietrich being named in the bizarre scandal (Martinez was alleged to have grabbed Dietrich by the neck/chain in a heated moment, which he confirmed). The 44-homer thumper returned to the dugout with the Hyannis Harbor Hawks in the Cape Cod League this past summer, beginning his official journey back into a coaching role.
These rumors have their merits, but would represent -- once again -- a complete chasm between how the Yankees operate at the minor-league level and how they function in the majors. No matter who they hire, whether it be Swisher, Andy Pettitte or Willie Randolph, they'd better find a way to sync everybody's strategies.