NEW YORK -- The Yankees’ persistent offensive brownouts were one of the head-scratching mysteries of an underwhelming 2021 season, prompting the organization not to renew the contracts of hitting coach Marcus Thames and assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere, a source told MLB.com.
The Yankees haven't announced the decisions, which were first reported by The Athletic on Thursday.
Third-base coach Phil Nevin will also not have his contract renewed for 2022, coming off a campaign in which the Bombers tied the Royals (22) for the Major League lead in outs made at home plate. The Yankees have not formally announced the coaching staff changes and have not commented on the report.
There is no further clarity regarding the return of manager Aaron Boone, whose contract runs through the conclusion of the World Series.
“The only thing I regret is that we didn’t help the team win a championship,” Thames told WFAN. “I know the work myself and P.J. put in, the hours. At the end of the day, when you sign up to be a coach, sometimes this is what happens. It’s just another chapter in my book and I’ve been blessed to be a part of the organization for quite a long time.”
The Yankees ranked 19th in the Majors this year with 711 runs scored, well behind the surviving clubs set to face off in the American League Championship Series -- the Astros were first with 863 runs scored, while the Red Sox were fifth (829 runs scored). The Rays (857) and Blue Jays (846), both AL East clubs, ranked Nos. 2 and 3 in the Majors, respectively.
“This was overall just tough for us to really be the offensive juggernaut we’ve come to expect,” Boone said after the AL Wild Card Game. “I’m not sure why we didn’t realize our potential there.”
According to Thames, general manager Brian Cashman said that he believes there is a disconnect between what the team is doing at the Major League and Minor League levels. Thames said that he felt the hitting coaches had a “really good connection” with the analytics department.
“I don’t think it’s that,” Thames said. “I think it was some drill stuff that maybe some guys were doing down in the Minor Leagues that we weren’t quite doing for Major League hitters. But at the same time, I have Major League hitters. I don’t have Minor League hitters.”
Pilittere added: “They obviously want a different voice and it’s not ours.”
Nevin had a high-profile gaffe in the AL Wild Card Game at Fenway Park on Oct. 5, waving Aaron Judge home on a Giancarlo Stanton rocket that dented the Green Monster in left field. With New York trailing 3-1, Judge was cut down at home plate, costing a possible first-and-third, one-out situation. Instead, the Yanks had two outs and Stanton at second base, on their way to an eventual 6-2 defeat.
According to Nevin, Cashman said that the Judge send “had nothing to do with” the team’s decision.
“Losing is disappointing,” Nevin told WFAN. “I came here and figured, if I’m here for four years, we’re going to have a shot at the trophy. It didn’t happen, so that’s the most disappointing part -- really, that’s the only disappointing part. I loved my time there, love the city, the people. I walked out with my head high knowing that I gave what I had to make us better each day. So I’ll be fine. I’m not done in this game.”