The Yankees seem to be in the middle of an overhaul among the coaches they’ve chosen to produce their minor league pitchers. Back in September they fired longtime pitching guru Billy Connors and now they have reassigned minor league pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras and replaced him with Gil Patterson, according to the New York Post.
The Yankees have liked Patterson, who has served as the Oakland A’s minor league coordinator since 2008, for some time. He’s had experience as a coach in the organization in the past and was even considered for the team’s pitching coach position in 2010 before they eventually hired Larry Rothschild.
Contreras has held the position of minor league pitching coordinator since 2005 which goes back to around the time that Brian Cashman got more control of the team from George Steinbrenner. He gets credit for helping to produce Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain, Tyler Clippard, David Robertson, Mark Melancon, George Kontos, Phil Coke and maybe one or two others depending on how generous you want to be. He was also the controller of the “Joba Rules.”
I think the Yankees had higher hopes for the Hughes-Kennedy-Joba trio though and they definitely had bigger hopes for Manny Banuelos, Andrew Brackman, and Dellin Betances (of whom only Banuelos still has a promising future). So they have decided to begin moving in another direction. I can’t say as I blame them too much.