With Boone’s Status Unclear, Yankees Begin Coaching Changes
After a seesaw season that ended with a disappointing one-game playoff loss, the 92-win Yankees are overhauling their coaching staff.
The hitting coach, Marcus Thames; the assistant hitting coach, P.J. Pilittere; and the third-base coach, Phil Nevin — who had all been in their roles for four seasons — will not return next season. The status of Manager Aaron Boone, whose contract expires after the 2021 season, remained unclear.
The Athletic was first to report that the coaches’ contracts would not be renewed. All three coaches confirmed their ousters to the radio station WFAN.
Despite having a talented collection of players, the Yankees were inconsistent this season. They finished 13th out of 30 teams in adjusted on-base-plus-slugging (100) and 19th in runs scored per game (4.39). Although they didn’t have a particularly speedy group of base runners, the Yankees were also tied with Kansas City for the major-league lead in making outs at home plate (22).
Should Boone, 48, return for a fifth season, it will be the most dramatic alteration of the team’s major-league coaching staff under him. The Yankees went 328-218 under Boone in his first four years, but the past two seasons have been more of a struggle. They finished second in the American League East this season behind the more capable Tampa Bay Rays and reached the playoffs as a wild-card team.
Despite all their spending, the Yankees have not won, let alone reached, a World Series since 2009. The rosters constructed by the front office of late were imperfect and cracks showed as the season progressed. Boone has said that he wants to return but that he recognizes the decision isn’t entirely his own.
“Whatever does happen, I’m at peace with,” Boone said after the Yankees had lost the A.L. wild-card game to the Boston Red Sox, 6-2, on Oct. 5. “I know that I can hold my head high.”