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Yankees to hire Jeff Pentland, Alan Cockrell as hitting coaches

Seattle Mariners new coach Jeff Pentland watches practice

Seattle Mariners new coach Jeff Pentland watches practice during spring training, on Feb. 20, 2006, in Peoria, Ariz. Credit: AP / Elaine Thompson

In finally replacing Kevin Long, the Yankees decided two hitting coaches were better than one.

A source confirmed Sunday that the Yankees are set to hire Jeff Pentland as their hitting coach and, for the first time, also will employ an assistant hitting coach. That job will go to Alan Cockrell.

The Yankees also will add Joe Espada as their infield coach. That position became vacant when Mick Kelleher was fired along with Long in October.

Long later signed with the Mets to be their hitting coach.

Pentland, 68, has had stints as the hitting coach for the Marlins (1996), Cubs (1997-2002), Royals (2003-05), Mariners (2005-08) and Dodgers (2010-11). He never played in the majors.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi played for the Cubs from 2000-02.

Cockrell, 52, had a nine-game big-league career with Colorado in 1996 after being the ninth overall pick in the '84 draft by the Giants. He was a hitting coach with the Rockies (2007-08) and Mariners (2010-11). Cockrell had two hits in eight at-bats. His first big-league hit was a pinch-hit double off future Hall of Famer Tom Glavine.

Espada, 39, most recently was a special assistant to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. Before that, he was a third-base coach for the Marlins.

Willie Randolph, a former Yankees second baseman and coach and former Mets manager, was among those who interviewed for the infield coach position.

Among those interviewed to be hitting coach were former Yankee Chili Davis and former Met Dave Magadan. Davis was hired by the Red Sox as their hitting coach. Magadan stayed with the Rangers.

With the hires, Girardi's 2015 coaching staff will be set. Returning are pitching coach Larry Rothschild, third-base coach Rob Thomson, bench coach Tony Peña and bullpen coach Gary Tuck.

The coaching hires were reported first by YES Network.

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