The New York Yankees are making a big change heading into the All-Star break.
The ball club fired hitting coach Dillon Lawson, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman announced Sunday.
New York’s decision to make a change with its offense isn’t too surprising. Its offense has struggled since Aaron Judge went down with a toe injury on June 3, scoring the fourth-fewest runs in baseball over the last 30 days prior to Sunday. As a result, the Yankees have gone 14-17. Their latest defeat came on Sunday when they lost at home to the Chicago Cubs, falling 7-4 as they lost two of three in their final series before the break.
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But even with the reigning MVP, the Yankees’ offense has struggled. They’re 19th in runs scored this season, and no hitter on their roster has an OPS of over .800 outside of Judge. As a team, the Yankees’ have a .300 on-base percentage. Not only does that rank 26th in baseball, but it’s also the lowest in team history since 1990.
Still, there is an element of surprise to the Yankees’ decision to fire Lawson. It marks the first time that Cashman has ever fired a coach of any sort during the season in his 26 years running the Yankees.
“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 to a long and fruitful baseball career.”
Lawson, 38, was hired to be the Yankees’ hitting coach prior to the 2022 season, replacing Marcus Thames after his contract wasn’t renewed. Prior to becoming the Yankees’ hitting coach, he spent the prior three seasons working as the organization’s minor-league hitting coordinator.
A successor wasn’t immediately named, however, Cashman told reporters that the replacement will come from outside the organization. New York has narrowed its search to two unknown finalists and could make a hiring as soon as Monday, The Athletic reported.
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