Yankees retain coaching staff for 2014 campaign

Kevin Long

It wasn’t much of a shock or a surprise but the Yankees made it official today that Joe Girardi‘s coaching staff will return for the 2014 season. Brian Cashman proclaimed during his end of the year presser that if he signed Girardi, he’d like to have the coaching staff back as well. Here is the official press release from the Yankees:

The New York Yankees today announced Joe Girardi’s coaching staff for the 2014 season. Mike Harkey (bullpen), Mick Kelleher (first base), Kevin Long (hitting), Tony Pena (bench), Larry Rothschild (pitching) and Rob Thomson (third base) will all return in the roles they served in 2013.

Harkey, 47, will enter his seventh season as the Yankees bullpen coach in 2014. Since joining the Major League coaching staff in 2008, the Yankees have gone 491-17 when leading the game at the end of the eighth inning, the most such wins in the Major Leagues over the stretch. In 2013, Yankees relievers combined for 49 saves, which was fifth-most in the Majors.

Kelleher, 66, will begin his sixth season as Yankees first base coach and 16th year as a member of the Yankees organization. Since joining the Major League staff in 2009, Kelleher has also served as the club’s infield instructor, with the team leading the Majors with a .987 fielding percentage over the five-season span. In 2013, the Yankees made just 69 errors, which was the third-lowest total in the Majors and tied the franchise record for fewest in a season (also 2010). Their .988 fielding percentage set a new franchise record, fractionally better than their .988 mark in 2010.

Long, 46, will embark on his eighth season as Yankees hitting coach in 2014 after assuming the post in 2007. In his seven seasons with the club, the Yankees have led the Major Leagues in runs scored three times (2007, ’09-10) and finished second twice (2011 and ’12). Over the seven-season span, the Yankees lead the Majors in home runs (1,437) and rank second in runs scored (5,852).

Pena, 56, will begin his sixth season as Yankees bench coach and ninth season on the Yankees Major League coaching staff, having served as the club’s first base coach from 2006-08. Additionally, he has been the team’s catching instructor in each of his eight seasons with the Major League club. Over the span, Yankees catchers have caught 279 potential base stealers, matching San Francisco for most in the Majors. Prior to the 2013 regular season, he managed the 2013 World Baseball Classic-champion Dominican Republic team and became the first WBC manager to lead his team to an undefeated record (8-0).

Rothschild, 60, will enter his fourth season as Yankees pitching coach, marking his 40th season in professional baseball as a player, coach or manager. Since joining the Yankees in 2011, the club’s pitching staff has recorded a 2.74 strikeout-to-walk ratio (3,773 strikeouts, 1,375 walks), the third-best mark in the Majors over the three-year span, trailing only the Philadelphia Phillies (2.94) and Detroit Tigers (2.77). Prior to joining the Yankees, Rothschild served as the pitching coach for the Chicago Cubs for nine seasons (2002-10).

Thomson, 50, will start his 25th season as a member of the Yankees organization, seventh on the club’s Major League coaching staff and sixth as third base coach. The Ontario, Canada native oversees the Yankees’ outfielders, who combined for a .993 fielding percentage (1,119TC, 8E) in 2013, the second-best mark in the Majors behind the Baltimore Orioles (.995). Thomson served as Yankees bench coach during the 2008 season.

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