After a seesaw season that ended with a disappointing one-game playoff loss, the 92-win Yankees overhaul their coaching staff.
The batting coach, Marcus Thames; the assistant batting coach, PJ Pilittere; and third base coach Phil Nevin – who had been in their role for four seasons – will not be returning next season. The status of Manager Aaron Boone, whose contract expires after the 2021 season, has remained unclear.
The Athletic were the first to report that the coaches’ contracts would not be renewed. All three coaches confirmed their departure to the radio station WFAN.
Despite having a talented collection of players, the Yankees have been inconsistent this season. They finished 13th out of 30 teams in corrected on-base-plus-slugging (100) and 19th in points scored per game (4.39). While they didn’t have a particularly fast group of baserunners, the Yankees also tied with Kansas City for the Major League lead when scoring outs at home plate (22).
Should Boone, 48, return for a fifth season, it will be the most dramatic change to the head coach staff of the team below 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 made it to the playoffs as a wildcard team.
For all their expenses, the Yankees haven’t won a World Series since 2009, let alone reached a World Series. Boone has said he wants to return, but acknowledges that the decision is not entirely his own.
“Whatever happens, I’m at peace with it,” said Boone after the Yankees lost the AL wildcard game 6-2 to the Boston Red Sox on October 5. “I know I can hold my head high.”