NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 20: Manager Joe Girardi #28 of the New York Yankees looks on from the dugout against the New York Mets at Citi Field on September 20, 2015 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
There wasn’t much change expected for Joe Girardi‘s staff, but the team has announced a few adjustments for the upcoming season. As previously announced, Alan Cockrell will serve as the team’s hitting coach, with former Yankee Marcus Thames serving as his assistant.
Mike Harkey will rejoin the Yankees’ coaching staff, as he will be the team’s bullpen coach, a role he fulfilled from 2008-2013. In his previous stint with the Yankees, the team’s bullpen led the American League in wins, saves and strikeouts. Harkey was most recently with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, as he spent the past two seasons as their pitching coach.
First base coach Tony Pena will also return to the team, but his role with the team will expand in 2016, as he will be the team’s catching instructor as well. Pena will replace Gary Tuck, who was the team’s previous catching instructor.
The moves makes a lot of sense, as Brian McCann has previously stated that Pena has helped him become a better defensive catcher. During his 18-year playing career as a catcher, Pena was a five-time All Star and four-time Gold Glove winner.
To finalize their coaching staff for the upcoming season, the Yankees also announced that third base coach Joe Espada, pitching coach Larry Rothschild and bench coach Rob Thomson were all returning to the roles they fulfilled during the 2015 season.