Yankees hire Reds’ HOF Casey as hitting coach

Published 7:35 pm Monday, July 10, 2023

Former Cincinnati Reds first baseman Sean Casey speaks during ceremonies enshrining him into the team’s Hall of Fame prior to a baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Minnesota Twins, Saturday, June 23, 2012, in Cincinnati. The New York Yankees have hired 12-year big league veteran Casey as their hitting coach for the remainder of this season. Casey, 49, has been working for MLB Network as an analyst.(AP Photo/Al Behrman, FIle)

SEATTLE (AP) — Sean Casey was hired Monday as hitting coach of the struggling New York Yankees, a day after the team fired Dillon Lawson.

Casey, a three-time All-Star during a 12-year big league career that ended in 2008, had spent the past 15 years with MLB Network, where the 49-year-old was an analyst.

“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,” Casey said in a statement. “So I feel good about being ready for this opportunity to teach and impart my experience and ideas.”

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Casey and Yankees manager Aaron Boone were teammates on the Cincinnati Reds from 1998 to 2003.

“His passion for hitting is infectious,” Boone said in a statement. ”His ability to inspire is one of his greatest gifts, and I can’t wait for him to tap into our players and help them reach their potential. There’s no doubt in my mind that he will have a tremendous impact on our team.”

Lawson was fired following Sunday’s 7-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs. The Yankees are eight games behind Tampa Bay in the AL East and have lost four of five.

New York’s .231 batting average is 28th among the 30 major league teams, ahead of only Detroit and Oakland. The Yankees are batting a major league-worst .218 in 31 games since Aaron Judge tore a ligament in his right big toe on June 3, going 14-17.

Casey batted .302 with 130 home runs and 735 RBIs over 12 seasons, including eight with the Reds highlighted by three NL All-Star selections. Know as “The Mayor” for his chatting with runners at first base and his charitable work, Casey also played with Pittsburgh, Detroit and Boston.

“There’s no way to cookie-cut hitters, and if you start doing that, you get into trouble and underutilize strengths they may have,” Casey said. “One thing I will stress is controlling the zone and hunting in the zone. I want them to control their process and stick to their approach with the goal of winning every pitch.”

Brian Cashman had never before fired a coach during a season since he became general manager in 1998.