Getting to know the Yankees' coaching staff

We’ve become accustomed to the seeing a familiar coaching staff for quite some time in the Bronx. There were some coaching changes throughout Joe Girardi’s tenure, but for the most part, his staff went unchanged. Now that Aaron Boone is manager, only a couple of coaches from Girardi's staff are returning to assist him. A majority of them are new comers with differing levels of experience.
Photo via Brace Hemmlegarn

Coaches like Rob Thompson and Tony Pena manned their positions for years, but with a new manager almost always comes a new coaching staff as well. so it's no shock that this was exactly what happened. Since there will be so many new faces in the dugout and around the team, let's get to know them better.

Pitching Coach: Larry Rothschild

Most Yankee fans should be very familiar with him, since he has guided the Yankees’ pitching staff since 2011. Rothschild is returning for his eighth season. He managed the Rays for four seasons starting in 1998. He then was pitching coach for the Cubs from 2002 until 2010 before ultimately bringing his wisdom to the Bronx. 

Hitting Coaches: Marcus Thames and P.J. Pilittere

Thames has been promoted from assistant hitting coach to the main hitting coach. He is now taking up the role of lead hitting coach since Alan Cockrell, who was in that position in 2017, was let go following the season. By his side will be the new assistant hitting coach, P.J. Pilittere. 

Thames played for ten seasons including a stint with the Yankees in 2002 (his first season) and 2010. He most notably hit a home run at Yankee Stadium off of Hall of Famer Randy Johnson in his first career at-bat. 

As for Pilittere, he was drafted by the Yankees in the 2004 draft and played until 2011. Unfortunately, he never broke into the majors. Following his playing career, he was a coach for numerous teams within the Yankees’ minor league system, but this will be his first go around at coaching in the big leagues.
Photo via Getty Images
Bench Coach: Josh Bard 

He is another coach who has just recently ended his playing career. Bard, just like Thames, played from 2002 until 2011. He was a catcher, and he played for the Indians, Red Sox, Padres, Nationals, and Mariners in that order. The most games he has ever played in a season was 118 and his career high in home runs was in 2006 when he hit nine. He wasn’t exactly a power threat.

Following his playing days, Bard became a special assistant with the Dodgers. He later became their bullpen coach and remained there for two seasons, 2016 and 2017. Bard and Boone both played for the Indians in 2005 where they became friends. Their friendship helped Bard land the bench coach position.

First Base Coach: Reggie Willits

He was a member of the Angels for his entire playing career. His career wasn’t exactly lengthy though. Willits played for six seasons from 2006 until 2011. In those six seasons, he played over 100 games only once. That was in 2007 when he played 136 games. He also never hit a home run in the majors.

Third Base Coach: Phil Nevin

Phil Nevin was drafted first overall in the 1992 draft, ahead of a man named Derek Jeter, who was selected sixth overall by the New York Yankees. Nevin's career spanned 12 seasons. He broke into the majors in 1995 and played many different positions in his career. He bounced around the league, but a majority of his career was spent in San Diego. He had some pop too, and put up some very impressive numbers. 

In 2000, he hit .303 with 31 home runs and 107 RBIs. He followed that up with an even better season the following year. In 2001, he hit over .300 again but this time, mashing 41 homers while driving in 126. He would end his career with a respectable 208 home runs. Boone and Nevin grew up together and have become very close over the years which is why Boone chose him to be on the staff. Nevin also has experience as a minor league manager and as the Giants' third base coach. 

Article by: Shawn Maguire


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