Scattered Clouds 52° Good Morning
Scattered Clouds 52° Good Morning

Alan Cockrell hired by Yankees to fill hitting coach vacancy

New York Yankees assistant hitting coach Alan Cockrell

New York Yankees assistant hitting coach Alan Cockrell is seen in the dugout during a game against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday, April 23, 2015, in Detroit. Photo Credit: AP / Carlos Osorio

The Yankees didn't look far to find Jeff Pentland's replacement.

Alan Cockrell, who served as Pentland's assistant during the 2015 season, will take over the lead hitting coach spot in 2016.

Additionally, Marcus Thames, a former Yankee who was the hitting coach for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season and whose stock with the club has steadily risen in the last three years, was promoted to the big-league staff.

Pentland, who oversaw an offense that ranked second in the AL in runs (764) and homers (212) but collapsed in September, was notified last month that his one-year deal would not be renewed.

The 52-year-old Cockrell, a hitting coach with the Rockies in 2002 and 2007-08 and with the Mariners in 2009-10, came aboard with Pentland last season as the Yankees sought to replace longtime hitting coach Kevin Long, who was fired after the 2014 season.

Cockrell played baseball and football at the University of Tennessee, starting at quarterback for the Vols in the 1982 and 1983 seasons. The San Francisco Giants made him the ninth overall selection in the 1984 draft. Cockrell played nine games with the Rockies in 1996.

Extra bases

Lefthander Chris Capuano, infielder Stephen Drew and outfielder Chris Young became free agents Monday and can sign with any club of their choosing as of 12:01 a.m. Saturday. Young, who crushed lefthanders much of the season before tailing off, is a possibility to return, though the Yankees will explore options.

New York Sports