NEW YORK — Over a dozen years playing in the big leagues, Sean Casey was recognized for his consistent production at the plate, as well as his gentle nature endearing him to his teammates and earning baseball’s first struggling player one of baseball’s all-time honors.
Yankees ballots entered, and they elected “the mayor” to rally around a stagnant offense. The 49-year-old Casey is moving from the MLB Network studio into the dugout, having agreed to finish the season as the Pitchers’ hitting coach.
“I’m really excited to have this opportunity in the second half to influence the guys in the lineup,” Casey said. “The Yankees have a lot of professional hitters, and I look forward to connecting with them and getting on the same page.”
Casey, who has no prior coaching experience, has spent the past 15 seasons as a studio analyst for MLB Network. This selection reflects the hiring of Boone, who had never coached or managed at any level prior to being named manager ahead of the 2018 season.
“I’ve had the great pleasure of knowing Sean for nearly 30 years, and his passion for hitting is infectious,” Boone said. “For anyone I’ve ever come into contact with, his ability to inspire is one of his greatest talents, and I can’t wait for him to tap into our players and help them fulfill their potential. I have no doubt he will have a tremendous impact on our team.”
The Yankees fired hitting coach Dillon Lawson on Sunday, with assistant hitting coaches Casey Dykes and Brad Wilkerson confirmed to remain at their current positions. Casey said he has spoken with both of them, and that he “can’t wait to take advantage of their skills and all they have to offer.”
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Sunday that he is seeking a replacement from outside the organization, and indicated that the new candidate would be on good terms with Boone.
Casey and Boone were teammates at the Reds from 1998-2003, and Casey said Boone’s presence was a “huge factor” in accepting the position.
Announcing the appointment, Cashman said, “Anyone who knows Sean knows that he is a well-respected former baseball player with a great personality full of positive energy.” “We feel his ability to connect with people with his experience will serve him well in his new role as head coach.”
Three-time All-Star Casey batted .302/.367/.447 with 130 home runs and 735 RBI for Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Boston from 1997-2008.
“I think every major legoire wants to wear pinstripes,” Casey said. “When I think about post-season 2006 and playing at Yankee Stadium [with the Tigers]I remember thinking, ‘This is different. These are different fans. What a great place to play here or train here someday.'”
“To get the chance to come to the Bronx, wear a Yankees uniform and make a difference to the team’s success, it’s been so interesting, and I can’t wait to go.”
Casey would be tasked with improving the output of a Yankees offense that ranks near the bottom of the league in batting average (. 231, tied for 28), hits (690, 29) and on-base percentage (. 300, tied for 26th).
Describing his hitting philosophy, Casey said he believes “every player is different”, and that he should get to know each player and their way of playing.
“There’s no way to get rid of hitters, and if you start doing that, you’re going to get into trouble and underutilize their strengths,” Casey said. “One thing I will stress is the control of the area and the hunting of the area. I want them to control their operation and stick to their style with the goal of winning on every court.
“At the end of the day, we’re going to focus on making sure every hitter has a process that brings out the best version of themselves.”
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