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Yankees’ Dillon Lawson: MLB Playing Experience Not a Must for Eric Chávez Replacement

Lawson and the Yankees are still looking for a second assistant hitting coach after Chávez left for the Mets.

Eric Chávez took 17 years of major league playing experience with him when he left the Yankees for the Mets earlier this month, but that doesn’t mean the Bronx Bombers are necessarily looking for a replacement with significant big league service time.

With Dillon Lawson hired to be the Yankees’ lead hitting coach, Chávez was supposed to be one of two assistant hitting coaches alongside Casey Dykes. However, Chávez quickly left the role to become the Mets’ top hitting coach. With Chávez gone, manager Aaron Boone and bullpen coach Mike Harkey are the only members of the Yankees’ new-age staff with considerable MLB playing experience.

Mark Trumbo and Eric Hinkse, who spent 10 and 12 years in the majors, respectively, have been connected to the vacancy Chávez created. However, a lengthy big league playing career isn’t a requirement for New York’s next assistant hitting coach.

“I think that experience is important, but we have that in Boone,” Lawson said Wednesday during a Zoom call. “Boonie’s done it; we have that piece.”

Lawson and Dykes both stopped playing at the collegiate level. Even though Lawson would have led New York’s hitting efforts, Chávez would have given the Yankees a hitting coach with a decorated playing career.

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It’s still possible the Yankees will add a coach with a similar résumé. But such experience is not mandated.

“We’re interviewing candidates who have a wide range of strengths,” Lawson said. “We’re not looking for some sort of cookie cutter fit. It’s literally just finding someone who helps us become the best.”

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