The Yankees have finalized their coaching staff for the 2022 season, and a familiar face is joining the team.
There will be three hitting coaches on staff. Dillon Lawson will the main hitting coach while Casey Dykes and Eric Chavez will be assistant hitting coaches. Lawson and Dykes have worked in the Yankees minor league system, which in contrast to the major league team had a great offensive season in 2021.
The Lawson and Dykes promotion make sense as there was an expressed desire to make the practices in the major leagues consistent with what the Yankees do at the lower levels.
Chavez is a familiar name to many fans who have been following baseball for over a decade. He is most remembered for his great 13-year tenure with the Oakland Athletics in which he gained a reputation for being one of the best defenders at the third base position with 36 career defensive runs. Chavez spent two years with the Yankees in 2011 and 2012 as well.
Chavez’s 2012 season was more successful than his 2011 campaign. In 2011 he had an 82 OPS+ in 58 games, then a 125 OPS+ in 113 games in 2012. Chavez spent 2013 and 2014 with the Diamondbacks before retiring. He spent a year in the Yankees organization in 2015 as a special assignment scout before going to the Angels as a special assistant to their general manager at the time Billy Eppler.
Eppler is a former assistant general manager with the Yankees. Given that Chavez spent time with the Yankees and people who have history with the team since his retirement, it makes a lot of sense that he is back with the team in some capacity.
Manager Aaron Boone said that although Chavez’s title is assistant hitting coach, he brings a lot of knowledge in other aspects. He could be thought of as a Swiss Army knife type of coach who helps in a many areas beyond what his title indicates.
Having Chavez teaching defensive techniques would be a good idea. It might be a good idea for his first drill to be one that teaches players how to tell if someone is ready to receive a throw.
Throwback to when #Yankees assistant hitting coach Eric Chavez accidentally hit Cody Eppley in the head with a ball from third base in 2012.
— Max Goodman (@MaxTGoodman) December 21, 2021
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