In a move that seemed to be more about appeasing disgruntled fans than strategic planning, the Yankees fired hitting coach Dillon Lawson mid-season and brought on Sean Casey. This decision, akin to a struggling football team swapping out their quarterback for the backup, has unfortunately not yielded the desired results for the Yankees.
The team’s offensive output under Casey’s guidance has been almost indistinguishable from its performance under Lawson. The first half of the season saw them post a .231/.301/.410 slash line. Since Lawson’s departure, they’ve managed .232/.325/.376 ahead of their final game in a three-game series against the Braves at Truist Park.
While there has been a slight improvement in on-base percentage, this gain is offset by worse slugging and lower OPS (.711 to .701). In terms of runs per game since Casey took over, they’re averaging 3.9 compared to 4.4 beforehand.
Casey remains optimistic despite these figures: “At the end of the day, we just have to continue to put pressure on the starter and we have to continue scoring runs,” he told The Post.
Manager Aaron Boone also noted some improvements in certain areas such as better at-bats and making it tougher for opposing starting pitchers but acknowledged that consistency continues to elude them with performances fluctuating between strong and shaky.
Despite never having been a hitting coach before his appointment with Yankees – though he was an accomplished hitter himself – Casey said he enjoys his role and could see himself doing it long-term: “I’m really enjoying it right now,” he said. “Just being part of the Yankees organization has been pretty incredible.”
However, even with this optimism from both Boone and Casey about future improvements due to players’ hard work and determination, this could simply be one of those seasons where things don’t click as hoped.