Yankees Rumors: Team Not Interested in Mazzone, Harkey Could Get Coaching Job

Via George King of the NY Post:

Although former Braves and Orioles pitching coach Leo Mazzone was campaigning to be Eiland’s replacement on the radio yesterday, there is no interest from the Yankees. They believed Mazzone used them as leverage against the Orioles, the team he joined following the 2005 season.

There is a belief inside the organization that bullpen coach Mike Harkey will be promoted to pitching coach and Single-A Staten Island manager Josh Paul will take over Harkey’s bullpen coach position.

That was the setup when Eiland missed almost a month this summer due to a personal family matter.

Thinking about Yankees GM Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi this makes sense. Cashman doesn’t like to be toyed with just look at the way the free agent talks with Johnny Damon went last season. If he really believes that Mazzone used him for leverage the first time he’ll avoid working with him in the future.

As for Girardi, he’s a loyal guy. Harkey was with him in Florida as his bullpen coach and then when he took over the job in the Bronx he brought Harkey with him. Harkey handled the job for a month this season when Eiland was gone during which time Girardi might have decided he’s ready for a full-time gig at the position.

My only question would be, how much different is Harkey going to be over Eiland. I’ve documented Eiland’s shortcomings already and the Yankees are going to need somebody who can keep A.J. Burnett in line and help the young pitchers develop their pitches and their game plans out on the mound, a few things Eiland couldn’t do.

At the same time, Harkey has been around for a while and knows this pitching staff. That could work to his advantage because he can get right to work. Somebody like Mazzone might take quite a while just to get to know the pitching staff before he really starts helping them.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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6 Responses to Yankees Rumors: Team Not Interested in Mazzone, Harkey Could Get Coaching Job

  1. Robert G. Kramer says:

    That Burnett pitched so poorly with Eiland gone and Harkey subbing in June makes me doubt Harkey's effectiveness.

    • Mindkind says:

      I don't think anybody can help Burnett. People can talk about coaches all they want but at the end of the day if the player doesn't have it, he doesn't have it. A.J's problem is mechanical and emotional and at his age I don't think much can be done to help him.

  2. My theory is AJ suffers from acute stupidity! And, while we may need someone with Harkey's size, I don't think he is the answer.

  3. BeckyBravo says:

    Nobody is the answer for AJ Burnett. Period. June has nothing to do with Harkey. What, does AJ need a babysitter or something? This is Yankees baseball. Not the Double-A Pirates. He got $82M out of this contract to pitch with the best team in history. I doubt Eiland giving him a bib and singing him a lullaby came with the agreement. He needs to be a man and earn his money and hope 3 years zooms by so he can get the hell outta here. Tired of this mess.

  4. The job of the pitching coach is to watch over the pitchers and make sure their mechanics stay consistent. Eiland didn't provide that consistency. If he had, maybe Burnett repeats his 2009 performance which wasn't great, but obviously good enough.

  5. Angel says:

    The Yankees need to swallow their pride and go after one of the better pitching coaches in baseball; Mazzone. Whether or not he used them as leverage is part of the game regardless of the sport. During Eiland's time off Harkey took over and the pitchers didn't so well. Not to mention the fact that Girardi needs someone that can think for themself and not someone he can control. Cashman should do something that he didn't last off season; use some common sense and get Mazzone and then go and bring back Wood

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