Yankees Announce Alan Cockrell As New Hitting Coach, Marcus Thames As New Assistant

After waiting for a while to replace the departed Kevin Long last offseason, the Yankees wasted no such time this year in replacing Jeff Pentland.  As first reported by George King and since confirmed by the team, the Yankees have promoted assistant hitting coach Alan Cockrell to the "head" hitting coach position and promoted former player and Triple-A SWB hitting coach Marcus Thames to Cockrell's former assistant position. This was the most logical move in following the dual hitting coach format that the team took on this season, and one I predicted 100% correctly on October 18th (look it up).  Cockrell was reportedly productive in working with the team's older veteran hitters in 2015 and Thames has earned a sparkling reputation in the organization for the way he works with young hitters, so this tandem is a good fit for what the Yankees are going to look like in 2016.  They're going to need production from their veteran bats to win games and they're likely going to try to work in the kids even more.  If the FO's plan was to stay in-house, this is the best possible option.

It's not as sexy as signing a player or making a trade, and it will be impossible to determine how much on-field impact this change will have next year.  But it's news and I think it's good to see the team move on this decision quickly.  One more things to check off the list before getting the real meat and potatoes of the offseason.