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Report: Yankees Part Ways with Marcus Thames, Phil Nevin in Coaching Staff Shake-Up

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVOctober 14, 2021

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

New York Yankees hitting coach Marcus Thames will not have his contract renewed for 2022, per Lindsey Adler of The Athletic.

The Yankees will also not renew the contracts of third base coach Phil Nevin or assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere, per ESPN's Buster Olney.

"They made a decision," Thames said, per Brendan Kuty of NJ.com. "I just hate that we didn't win a championship. But they want to go in a different direction, and I guess I wasn't the voice that they thought to get us over the hump."

Thames had been on the Yankees staff since 2016 and has been the team's hitting coach since 2018. The 44-year-old also began his playing career with the organization, making his major league debut in 2002.

The Yankees have reached the playoffs in each of the past five years with Thames in the clubhouse, but they haven't reached their goal of a World Series title or even an AL pennant.

New York was eliminated in the AL Wild Card Game this postseason with a 6-2 loss to the rival Boston Red Sox. 

Nevin came under fire during the game after Aaron Judge was thrown out at home by a wide margin:

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The third base coach's decision was a pivotal play in what was a 3-1 game at the time. It helped end Nevin's time with the Yankees after five seasons.

The offense had been more of a problem throughout the season for the Yankees, however. They finished 19th in the majors in runs scored and 23rd in batting average.

The struggles came despite having proven hitters like Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and D.J. LeMahieu in the lineup, plus midseason additions like Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo. The team had plenty of power but not enough consistency at the plate.

Young players such as Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez, Gio Urshela and Clint Frazier have also struggled to develop as expected. All of them finished the 2021 season with a below-average OPS+ under 100, per Baseball Reference.

Most of the lineup remains under team control, giving the Yankees the chance to bounce back offensively in 2022. They seem to believe that they need a new hitting coach to unlock their potential.    

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