Friday Morning Food For Thought: A New Hitting Coach Candidate Emerges

Via George King:

"There was serious speculation running through Kauffman Stadium before the Giants’ 3-2 victory over the Royals in Game 7 of the World Series that the Yankees were waiting for the end of the Series on Wednesday night to contact the Royals’ Raul Ibanez to gauge his interest in becoming their hitting coach.

While Ibanez was not on the active roster against the Giants, he was with the team serving as a wise head for the younger Royals to bounce ideas off and listen to. Royals manager Ned Yost has praised Ibanez’s leadership qualities throughout the postseason."

Raul Ibanez, huh?  OK, I can get on board with that.  The Yankees have already lost out on what we have to assume was their top 2 candidates for the vacant hitting coach job.  If the silence since then has been them biding their time and waiting to talk to somebody who was still involved in the postseason, that would be much better than them stalling because they didn't really have a backup plan.  And if that somebody is Ibanez, a guy who has a great reputation for knowing and talking about hitting, then that's not a bad outside-the-box option to look at.

That said, there's nothing in King's report that actually links the Yankees and Ibanez.  It's all speculation and we haven't heard any further reports on the rumor since Wednesday.

While that speculation isn't enough to make Ibanez a true candidate just yet, I do think it's enough to safely assume that the Yankees aren't going to replace Kevin Long from within.  There's been nothing new on the Marcus Thames or James Rowson fronts, and the other name that was floating around was Eric Hinske, another outside former player with no hitting coach experience.  If it was going to be "keep it in house" business as usual, I think we would have had the replacement named by now.