Yankees part ways with coaches Marcus Thames and Phil Nevin

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The first two chips have fallen. The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler reported that the Yankees informed hitting coach Marcus Thames and third base coach Phil Nevin that they would not return to the staff for the 2022 season.

This is the beginning of a coaching staff shakeup, whether or not manager Aaron Boone returns. He’s also without a contract for the 2022 season, though a return is still in the cards. Buster Olney reported earlier this week that Hal Steinbrenner is leaning toward bringing him back. Whether or not today’s moves have any impact on the managerial decision isn’t yet clear.

Thames became the team’s assistant hitting coach in 2016 and was promoted to hitting coach for the 2018 season, where he remained through this year. PJ Pilittere is the team’s current assistant hitting coach, though his future may also be up in the air (Update: he’s also out, per Adler). The Yankees’ offense was a major disappointment this season, and even though Thames had been on the staff for some better-performing lineups in recent years, the front office clearly wants to try something new.

Meanwhile, Nevin came aboard the same year the Yankees hired Boone (2018). He is close friends with the manager, but ultimately, the team’s dreadful baserunning and 22 outs at home plate likely did him in. Not to mention Aaron Judge getting thrown out at home in the Wild Card game.

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15 Comments

  1. dasit

    2019 was a bad year to be a pitching coach
    2021 was a bad year to be a hitting coach

  2. dasit

    larry bowa for third base coach
    ken singleton for hitting coach

    • Rich K

      While they’ve both had terrific MLB careers, they’re both 75 (actually Singleton is 74). I think given their age and stature managing would be the only way they’d consider. Also, not many look to do what the Chi Sox did.

  3. JIm

    Boone is going nowhere, and anyone who thinks he is needs to rethink that. The NYY do NOT remove GMs or Managers when they still have years left on the contract. The fact Cashman has a year to go means he is going nowhere, and it is my belief that Hal will not allow Cash to pick a manager who could outlast him if things don’t go well again next year. Look for Boone to get a one year extension, with a team option for a second, and they” revisit when Cashman’s contrat is up next offseason

  4. Angel

    You can’t blame the Manager for the Yankees poor play. They just didn’t hit this year with the exception of Judge and Stanton. I don’t care who the manager was.They struck out too much and they left too many runners on base. It’s the players that didn’t perform not the manager.

    • Bartholomew Meshir

      I guess the players should just manage themselves. Why waste money on coaches when they aren’t doing anything?

  5. DZB

    Worrisome that the announcement does not include anything about Boone. I want Beltran and will keep saying it until they make a final announcement on Boone.

  6. MikeD

    I thought maybe Nevin would have remained, but switch coaching positions.

    This reminds me that Kevin Long was once regarded as a great and coveted hitting coach. Players loved him, he showed tangible results. Then the Yankees hitting had an off year, he was gone. He, of course, has continued to be successfully employed by multiple MLB teams because he remains a respected hitting coach. Thames has been spoken of highly going back to when he was a hitting coach in the minors, and then when he came to the majors which coincided with the Yankees becoming one of the top scoring teams. Players loved working with him. My point is he will be snatched up immediately. Sometimes change is just needed. A new set of eyes. I will say that the complete regression of Sanchez as a hitter and Gleyber as a hitter (he did show great improved the last couple months) should be viewed as a failure of the MLB coaching staff. The Yankees drafted/signed/traded for them. Nurtured them through the minors. They made big splashes, and then something went wrong. A change is required simply to see if a new approach will help.

    The fact that the coaches were let go and there’s no announcement on Boone leads me to believe they likely are planning to keep them. Cashman probably doesn’t want to go through the grueling hiring process again. Although, let’s be honest. They make it a grueling process. A five minute phone call to Buck Showalter could land you a new manager, and one with a very different approach. Cashman simply won’t share the power.

  7. Terry from LA

    Doesn’t mean a thing unless they also dump Boone.

  8. chip56

    I mean, this is good but also meaningless. If the Yankees – as an organization – don’t change their philosophical approach towards hitting then all they’re going to do is replace Thames and PJ with two different guys who are going to teach the same 3 true outcome nonsense that the team’s been doing the last couple of years.

    As for Nevin – he was gone the moment Judge was tagged out.

    • Wire Fan

      Dead on. If the Yankees analytic “gurus” are just going to be a slave to exit velo, bat speed and launch angle, the next hitting coach will have the same problems.

      I also think the Yankees need to look at the sum of the parts of the lineup. Joey Gallo is a good hitter overall and it is fine to have a couple of three true outcome guys in the lineup. But if you have a bunch of them and they are all in the middle of the lineup, it would seem to increase the streakiness of the offense. A bunch of similar style hitters of any type in a lineup can be a problem (unless it is 5 or 6 Mike Trout’s)

  9. Rich K

    I’m sad to see Phil go because I liked the fire in his belly, but can’t say it’s undeserved given that they were tied for the MLB lead for runners thrown out at the plate.

  10. Anthony Rizzeddardo

    Thank the Lord, Derek! This is the best news I’ve heard I’ve heard all year. Unfortunately it means that Boone is returning but at least there’s some accountability. Thames did absolutely nothing to make any hitter better. His boom or bust approach often went bust in the postseason. Hopefully Paulie O’Neill or someone of his ilk that can actually hit is hired. Nevin deserved to be fired just for that awful send of Judge in the WC game. Matt Blake was the only coach on the team worth a damn so hopefully he’s the only one staying.

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