Struggling Yankees hire ex-Tiger, TV analyst Sean Casey as hitting coach

Detroit News
Ronald Blum |  Associated Press

Seattle – Former Tiger Sean Casey was hired Monday as hitting coach of the struggling New York Yankees, a day after the team fired Dillon Lawson.

Casey, a three-time All-Star during a 12-year big league career including a .281 batting average in two years with Detroit from 2006-2007, had spent the past 15 years with MLB Network as an analyst.

“I’ve been able to keep my finger on the pulse of the game, speaking with current big leaguers, watching a tremendous amount of video, breaking down film as part of my job and trying to figure out what hitters are doing physically and mentally,” the 49-year-old Casey said in a statement. “So I feel good about being ready for this opportunity to teach and impart my experience and ideas.”

Casey and Yankees manager Aaron Boone were teammates on the Cincinnati Reds from 1998-2003.

“His passion for hitting is infectious,” Boone said in a statement. ”His ability to inspire is one of his greatest gifts, and I can’t wait for him to tap into our players and help them reach their potential. There’s no doubt in my mind that he will have a tremendous impact on our team.”

Lawson was fired following Sunday’s 7-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs. The Yankees are eight games behind Tampa Bay in the AL East and have lost four of five.

New York’s .231 batting average is 28th among the 30 major league teams, ahead of only Detroit and Oakland. The Yankees are batting a major league-worst .218 in 31 games since Aaron Judge tore a ligament in his right big toe on June 3, going 14-17.

Casey batted .302 with 130 home runs and 735 RBIs over 12 seasons, including eight with the Reds highlighted by three NL All-Star selections. Know as “The Mayor” for his chatting with runners at first base and his charitable work, Casey also played with Pittsburgh, Detroit and Boston.

“There’s no way to cookie-cut hitters, and if you start doing that, you get into trouble and underutilize strengths they may have,” Casey said. “One thing I will stress is controlling the zone and hunting in the zone. I want them to control their process and stick to their approach with the goal of winning every pitch.”

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