Report: Yanks hire Cressey to head training staff

January 4th, 2020

NEW YORK -- The Yankees have hired performance coach Eric Cressey to oversee their training and strength/conditioning departments, according to a report by The Athletic (subscription required).

The move comes amid an apparent overhaul of the Yankees’ training room after a season in which they set a Major League record with 30 players (39 stints) appearing on the injured list. The club has not announced any changes or confirmed the report.

Per the report, the club plans to transition longtime head athletic trainer Steve Donohue to an emeritus role. Donohue joined the club in 1979 and served as the assistant athletic trainer under Gene Monahan, taking over the head athletic trainer position following Monahan’s 2011 retirement.

Cressey is something of a celebrity in the world of performance coaching. He has worked with high-profile stars like Corey Kluber, Noah Syndergaard and Max Scherzer, helping to popularize the emphasis of kinesiology and biomechanics. Cressey also hosts an “Elite Baseball Development” podcast on which he interviews big league players and personalities.

According to The Athletic, the Yankees plan to allow Cressey to continue working with players on other Major League clubs. He will also retain his role as the president and co-founder of the Cressey Sports Performance training centers, which are located in Hudson, Mass., and Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. 

Matt Blake, who was hired as the Yankees’ new pitching coach in November, had previously served as a pitching coordinator for Cressey Sports Performance.

In October, general manager Brian Cashman said that the club was continuing to investigate underlying reasons for their 2019 injury issues, including rehab setbacks that extended IL stays for prominent players like , and .

“Are they preventable? Is there something that we're missing?” Cashman said. “Is there something in our process that is faulty? I can assure you that has been a laser focus. I’ve described it as ‘CSI: The Bronx.’ That has been occurring.”

In December, the Yankees dismissed strength and conditioning coach Matt Krause, who had served in that role for the organization since 2014.

The Athletic said that Michael Schuk will be promoted to head athletic trainer. Schuk has served as the assistant head athletic trainer under Donohue since 2012. Assistant trainer Tim Lentych will also remain with the club.