Hitting coach Sean Casey fails to spark an uptick in Yankees’ offense

Yankees hitting coach Sean Casey is with Billy McKinney and Aaron Judge.at Yankee Stadium.
John Allen
Thursday August 17, 2023

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Two consecutive shutouts against the same team is a rare occurrence in the Yankees’ history. But it points out how far their offensive slump has gone down. Even the appointment of new hitting coach Sean Casey fails to reignite the Yankees’ sputtering offense with or without Aaron Judge.

The Yankees’ decision to dismiss hitting coach Dillon Lawson during the All-Star break and bring in Sean Casey was an act born from a sense of urgency. Unfortunately, till now, it looks like not going anyway. Under Casey’s guidance, the Yankees’ offensive performance has remained nearly unchanged from when Lawson was in charge. Prior to the break, the Yankees registered a .231/.301/.410 slash line.

Yankees’ offensive change after Sean Casey took over

Since Lawson’s departure, their statistics stand at .232/.325/.376 as they approach the conclusion of a three-game series against the Braves at Truist Park on Wednesday night.

Exhibiting a marginally improved on-base percentage, diminished slugging capabilities, and a reduced OPS (registering at .711 in contrast to .701), the Yankees’ offensive performance has seen a shift. Under Sean Casey’s guidance, their scoring average stands at 3.9 runs per game, a decline from the previous figure of 4.4 runs.

Sean Casey emphasized the importance of consistently challenging the opposing starter and maintaining a steady run-scoring approach in his conversation with The Post. He noted the competitive nature of the league’s pitching and specifically mentioned the current series against the Braves, highlighting their strong offensive capabilities. Sean Casey stressed the need to effectively get players on base and capitalize on scoring opportunities, emphasizing the significance of converting those situations into runs.

According to manager Aaron Boone, he has observed advancements in specific aspects, notably the Yankees displaying improved plate discipline and placing greater pressure on the starting pitcher from the opposing team.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone and hitting coach Sean Casey are at practice session before the game vs. the Rays at Yankee Stadium on July 31, 2023.

Yankees’ offensive slump continues

Nevertheless, maintaining a steady level of performance has proven elusive, with the team oscillating between commendable displays and more uncertain ones.

Presently, the Yankees find themselves in a brief period of underperformance, managing to score merely three runs in their past 21 innings. During their defeat on Tuesday, a game that pushed their record to a balanced win-loss ratio, the Yankees only managed a solitary hit off Braves pitcher Bryce Elder, who had conceded 10 earned runs in his preceding 9 ¹/₃ innings, along with contributions from two relief pitchers.


According to Boone, there have been instances in recent weeks where the team has shown improvement in delivering more challenging at-bats, effectively wearing down the opposing pitcher. This has been an issue the team has faced throughout the year and continues to struggle with to some extent. Despite this, Boone conveyed that there were stretches over the past few weeks where the Yankees had managed to string together three or four games with solid performances at the plate, creating tougher situations for the pitchers and creating opportunities for themselves. While they haven’t achieved the breakthrough they desire, Boone acknowledged that this was partially due to the team’s injury situation and their efforts to regain the health of some key players.

The challenges faced by the 49-year-old Yankees hitting coach are novel, and it’s difficult to place blame on Sean Casey for the team’s lineup difficulties.

While he lacks prior experience as a hitting coach, despite his impressive track record as a three-time All-Star and inclusion in the Reds’ Hall of Fame for his hitting prowess, Sean Casey expressed his affinity for the role. Despite the current outcomes, he indicated a genuine interest in continuing this job for an extended period.

The new Yankees coach is currently finding a lot of satisfaction in his role. Sean Casey mentioned that he might need to evaluate his situation at the end of the year. He emphasized his contentment with his current responsibilities and the unique experience of being a part of the Yankees organization.

According to Sean Casey, he holds the belief that a turnaround is on the horizon due to the relentless effort and resolute mindset exhibited by the players day in and day out. However, it’s plausible that this might simply be one of those years when all the pieces don’t fall into place.

Sean Casey mentioned that his extensive experience in the game has taught him that there are seasons marked by excellence, some by mediocrity, and others by forgettable outcomes. At this juncture, with 40 games remaining, the Yankees’ focus remains on seizing the opportunity to perform at a high level and strive for postseason contention.

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