Yankees fire hitting coach Dillon Lawson after continued offensive struggles

In a rare move for the New York Yankees, the franchise fired hitting coach Dillon Lawson on Sunday afternoon as they enter the All-Star break.

It marks the first time general manager Brian Cashman has ever fired a coach in the middle of the season in his 26-year career.

“It has been well documented that I have been reluctant in the past to make changes to our coaching staff in the middle of a season,” Cashman said in a statement. “I am a big believer that successes and failures are collective efforts. However, I ultimately felt that a change was needed and that a new voice overseeing our hitting operations would give us the best chance to perform closer to our capabilities as we move forward into the second half of our season.

“I want to thank Dillon for all his efforts. He has a bright baseball mind that will continue to lead a long and fruitful baseball career.”

Yankees GM Brian Cashman has never fired a coach in the middle of the season until now. (Thomas Shea/USA Today)

Lawson, 38, was named the Yankees’ hitting coach before the 2022 season after working in their minor league system. The team did not name a replacement, and it’s unclear if assistant hitting coaches Casey Dykes or Brad Wilkerson will remain with the team after the break.

The Yankees announced the firing shortly after they fell 7-4 to the Chicago Cubs in New York, marking their second loss to the Cubs in the three-game series.

The Yankees have struggled significantly offensively since losing star Aaron Judge to a toe injury on June 3, when he crashed into the fence at Dodger Stadium. He still has no timeline to return. As of Friday, the Yankees had the lowest batting average, .214, and on-base percentage, .284, in the league, per the New York Post, and had scored the second-fewest runs in the league since Judge went down more than a month ago.

Though Judge’s absence hurts, it’s not all on him. The Yankees hold a .230 batting average this season, which is tied with the Detroit Tigers and only better than the struggling Oakland A’s. They’re 27th in on-base percentage, and 29th in hits.

The Yankees enter the All-Star break with a 49-42 record, which has them in fourth in the AL East standings and eight games back of the Tampa Bay Rays. They’ve gone just 14-17 since losing Judge.

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