Yankees formally announce coaching hires and changes

The Yankees made the hires of hitting coaches Jeff Pentland and Alan Cockrell, and infield coach Joe Espada official and also announced some changes within the 2015 coaching staff.

Here’s a link to the full press release press release and here are those changes:

The New York Yankees today announced Joe Girardi’s coaches for the 2015 season, with Jeff Pentland (hitting), Joe Espada (third base) and Alan Cockrell (assistant hitting) joining the staff. Larry Rothschild (pitching) and Gary Tuck (bullpen) will each return to the roles they served in 2014, while Rob Thomson will now be the club’s bench coach and Tony Pena will serve as first base coach.

No more Robby Thomson and his horrible sends home! Hooray! Though it does seem odd that Tony Pena is now the first base coach and Thomson has been promoted to bench coach – the same positions they held back in 2008, during Joe Girardi’s first year as Yankee manager.

WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN?…

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Picking Out The Most Realistic Targets From The Remaining Free Agent Starter Pool

Vogelsong vs KC

Not a sexy option, but could pitch more innings than CC next year. Courtesy of Getty Images

However we all individually feel about things like the Stephen Drew signing, the recent bullpen moves, or the overall status and potential of the team, one thing we can all agree on is the need for more starting pitching.  There are serious questions and concerns about each guy in the projected rotation, most of them health-related, and the already thin organizational starting depth was dealt a small blow by the trading away of Manny Banuelos.  Ivan Nova‘s return will help some, but he can’t  be expected to step back into the rotation and pitch like the 2013 2nd half version of himself.

The Maxes Scherzer and Jameses Shields of the world are still hanging there for the taking on the free agent tree of temptation, but all signs point to the Yankees sticking to their word and not inking either of those 2 this offseason.  …

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We Don’t Really Need To Talk About Ryan Howard, Do We?

There was a rumbling of trade musings last week after this Jerry Crasnick tweet in which he listed the teams who were not on Ryan Howard‘s no-trade list.  The Yankees were included in that list of teams, so naturally that sparked a run of “what if the Yankees traded for Ryan Howard?” posts around the Yankosphere.  To be honest, I don’t understand why even one post of that nature needed to be written.  Ryan Howard is not coming to the Yankees.  Period.

Mark Teixeira may have been bad last year, but he was still better than Howard.  He had a .711 OPS to Howard’s .690, he hit 1 fewer HR than Howard in 30 fewer games, and he significantly bested Howard in bWAR and fWAR thanks to the fact that he can still actually play first base.  He’s younger than Howard by 4-5 months, he’s owed less money over the same period of time ($46.25 mil for the next 2 years compared to $60), and he’s a better 2-way player than Howard with a better chance to improve his production in 2015 if his wrist is stronger.…

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More coaching news: Espada to be infield coach

As you can see, Jack Curry is busy reporting hiring news today. Hey Jack, some of us (Brad V) are trying to watch football.

Anyway, Joe Espada was drafted by the Oakland A’s in 1996 and spent his entire playing career in the minors. He last played with the Pensacola Pelicans in the Central League (An independent league) in 2005.

Espada previously served as a special assistant to GM Brian Cashman. After serving as the Marlins’ third base coach, Espada turned down the Marlins’ High-A Jupiter managing position, opting instead to take the scouting position with the Yankees in 2013.

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Curry: Yankees will be hiring two hitting coaches

According to a series of tweets from the YES Network’s Jack Curry, the Yankees will be hiring two hitting coaches for the first time in the team’s history.

Jeff Pentland, who has been a hitting coach with the Marlins, Cubs, Royals, Mariners, and Dodgers will be the main hitting coach while Alan Cockrell, who has worked with the Rockies and Mariners, will be Pentland’s assistant.

Pentland worked with Joe Girardi when he was the manager of the Marlins and was also with the Royals when Tony Pena was manager and when Carlos Beltran was a member of the team.

Reports surfaced last month about Pentland’s possible hire and the Yankees will probably be making the announcement soon.

Curry also tweeted that his source said that both Pentland and Cockrell were impressive during their interviews and that the Yankees are comfortable with hiring two hitting coaches. Pentland has worked with Barry Bonds, Beltran, Gary Sheffield, Matt Kemp and Sammy Sosa.…

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Can CC Sabathia Have a Renaissance?

CC

The 2015 New York Yankees rotation is mostly a giant question mark right now, with CC Sabathia being the perhaps the biggest one.

Nobody is expecting much from Sabathia in 2015 because he hasn’t given anybody a reason to expect much since 2012. Sabathia went 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA after eight starts last season before missing the rest of the year with a knee injury. His struggles began in 2013 when he had a notable loss of velocity on his fastball and finished with a 4.78 ERA.

Obviously, he is never getting his 95 MPH fastball back, but plenty of pitchers have been successful with fastballs that average around 90 MPH. Despite all the negativity surrounding Sabathia, there are some signs that he can be one of those pitchers.

A scout told ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand that he believes Sabathia’s pitching smarts can help him reinvent himself as he turns 35 next season.

“When a guy gets into their 30s, they have to have a second career,” the scout said.…

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Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 1/9/15

Hope everybody’s first full week of 2015 was a pleasurable and successful one.  It’s been brutally cold in Wisconsin all week and I’ve been fighting a cold, so I’d say mine could have been better.  It also could have been worse.  Whatever, this intro blows.  Onto the links.

– On Monday, Daniel Burch of The Greedy Pinstripes wondered if a hard salary cap would actually benefit the Yankees.  If the cap were on contract years and not dollars, that would definitely help.

– Michael Axisa of RAB detailed the change in approach that led to Chasen Shreve’s breakout 2014 season.  If it’s sustainable, then Shreve becomes an even more intriguing bullpen piece.

– On Tuesday, Greg Corcoran of Bronx Baseball Daily profiled 19-year-old third baseman Drew Bridges as a potential breakout prospect candidate for the upcoming season.

– Doug Hall of Pinstripe Alley picked a handful of lesser known prospects to keep tabs on in 2015.  I’m a big fan of his first choice and the third one is growing on me too.…

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Picture of the Day: Happy 112th Birthday to the Yankees!

The Yankees came to be 112 years ago today – back then they were known as the New York Highlanders – and guess what? The size of their payroll has always been a hot button issue. That’s right, folks, even way back in 1903, newspapers were complaining about the high salaries.

To be fair, it took four months for the articles to begin but at least now you know just how far back the kvetching goes.

Amazing.

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Yanks Name Marcus Thames New Hitting Coach… For Triple-A SWB

Remember when Marcus Thames was set to be the new assistant hitting coach for the Yankees and then he wasn’t and the whole hitting coach search story disappeared again?  Well at least we now know where he will be coaching next season.  Via Chad Jennings, and on the strength of his last 2 years in Tampa and Trenton, Thames will serve as the hitting coach for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in 2015.  He’ll join returning manager Dave Miley and pitching coach Scott Aldred.

This is the next step in eventually securing a Major League coaching job, which does appear to be in the cards for Thames at some point.  As stated before, he’s drawn very good reviews for his work with the young hitters in the system over the last 2 years.  Moving him up another level suggests that the Yankees want him around to continue to work with those top young hitters as they get closer to the show.…

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