Former Yankees hitting coach lands in a new job with AL East Rivals

Former Yankees hitting coach Dillon Lawson is seen during his time in the Bronx in 2022.
Inna Zeyger
Tuesday December 19, 2023

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After his unceremonious exit from the Bronx, Dillon Lawson, who previously served as the hitting coach for the Yankees in the major leagues, has been looking for redemption. He has now taken on the role of hitting coordinator with the Boston Red Sox. In his new position, his primary emphasis will be on collaborating with the upper-level minor-league players within the organization.

Dillon Lawson’s tenure as the Yankees’ primary hitting coach spanned from the beginning of the 2022 season until July 9, when he was released by the team due to significant offensive struggles. This marked the first instance, within general manager Brian Cashman’s 25-year tenure, of dismissing a coach midseason. Despite acknowledging Dillon Lawson’s commendable work, Cashman explained that he believed the big-league clubhouse required a new “voice.”

Dillon Lawson became part of the Yankees’ setup in 2018, assuming the position of coordinator for hitting development in the minor leagues.

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Ex-Yankees coach Lawson excited about his Boston job

The ex-Yankees hitting coach expressed his excitement about joining a great team that was already moving in the right direction.

Dillon Lawson conveyed his deep respect for Jason Ochart, the club’s director of hitting development, and Peter Fatse, the major league hitting coach. He mentioned his familiarity with the club’s assistant hitting coaches as well. The former Yankees coach had previously collaborated with Ben Rosenthal during their time in the Houston Astros organization. Additionally, he revealed that he attempted to recruit Luis Ortiz for a position within the Yankees’ organization.

“I’m excited to be joining a great team that’s already moving in the right direction,” he said.

The Yankees appointed Sean Casey as his replacement, a three-time MLB All-Star with no prior coaching experience. Manager Aaron Boone expressed confidence in Casey, highlighting the immediate connections he made with hitters. Boone specifically cited DJ LeMahieu‘s revitalized performance as evidence, although the overall offensive statistics for the Yankees did not show significant improvement.

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The team concluded the season with an 82-80 record, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Casey’s contract only covered the remainder of the 2023 season. However, he opted not to return for the 2024 season, citing a desire to spend more time with his family.

On November 13, the Yankees appointed James Rowson to assume the role of their primary hitting coach. Rowson, an experienced coach at both major and minor league levels, had previously reached the position of bench coach with the Miami Marlins. Notably, he had also served two terms as the Yankees’ minor-league hitting coordinator. During the Winter Meetings, Manager Boone confirmed that assistant hitting coach Casey Dykes would continue in New York. However, it remained undecided whether fellow assistant hitting coach Brad Wilkerson would return.

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