Yankees hire broadcaster Sean Casey to replace fired hitting coach: 'Big personality full of positive energy' – CBS Sports

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Former MLB first baseman and current MLB Network personality Sean Casey is the new hitting coach for the New York Yankees, the team announced Monday. Joel Sherman adds that Casey’s contract will run through the rest of the 2023 season, at which point both sides can determine whether a longer and more permanent agreement is desired. Casey will replace Dillon Lawson, who was fired following Sunday’s loss to the Cubs and coming out of one of the worst offensive first halves in franchise history. 
“Anyone who knows Sean knows he is a very well-respected former baseball player with a big personality full of positive energy,” GM Brian Cashman said in a statement. “We feel his abilities to connect with people with his experience will serve him well in his new role as our head hitting coach.”
Replacing Lawson marked the first time the Yankees have fired a coach during the season since Cashman took over as general manager prior to the 1998 season. The team had not changed coaches during the season under any general manager since 1995, when Nardi Contreras replaced Billy Connors as pitching coach in July. Assistant hitting coaches Casey Dykes and Brad Wilkerson will remain in their current roles.
As for the 49-year-old Casey, he remains one of the most affable and well-liked figures in the game. A three-time All-Star, Casey racked up more than 1,500 hits across an MLB career that spanned parts of 12 seasons, eight of which came with the Reds. For much of Casey’s time in Cincinnati, he was teammates with Yankees manager Aaron Boone. Casey retired as a player in 2008 with a career batting average of .302, and he has spent the last 15 years as an analyst on MLB Network.
“I’m just really excited about having this opportunity in the second half to impact the guys in the lineup. The Yankees have a lot of professional hitters, and I’m looking forward to connecting with them and getting on the same page,” Casey said in a statement. “… I’ve been in professional baseball for almost 30 years, and my passion is hitting and the mental side of the game. Working at MLB Network for the last 15 years, I’ve been able to keep my finger on the pulse of the game, speaking with current big leaguers, watching a tremendous amount of video, breaking down film as part of my job and trying to figure out what hitters are doing physically and mentally. So I feel good about being ready for this opportunity to teach and impart my experience and ideas.”
The Yankees finished the first half hitting .231/.300/.410 as a team. They rank 29th in batting average, 27th in on-base percentage, and 13th in slugging percentage. New York is averaging 4.40 runs scored per game, 19th most in baseball. Several veterans, including Giancarlo Stanton and DJ LeMahieu, are having the worst offensive seasons of their career.
Reigning AL MVP Aaron Judge has not played since tearing a ligament in his toe crashing into the Dodger Stadium wall on June 2. Since Judge’s injury, the Yankees are hitting .218/.288/.383 and averaging 3.70 runs per game. They are 14-17 in 31 games since Judge got hurt. Obviously losing a player of that caliber hurts, but Judge’s absences alone doesn’t explain the poor performance.
Sunday’s loss dropped the Yankees to 49-42 on the season. They enter the All-Star break one game behind the third and final American League wild-card spot and one game up on last place in the AL East.
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