Sean Casey says broadcasting job prepped him for Yankees role

NEW YORK -- Sean Casey went directly from enjoying a 12-year big league career to sitting in the MLB Network studio analyzing hitting for television audiences on a nightly basis.

He believes the experience of discussing everything related to hitting since 2009 has prepared him for his new role as the New York Yankees' hitting coach, and he is optimistic he can turn around a struggling offense with 71 games remaining.

Casey, sporting a mustache as a tribute to former Yankees captain Don Mattingly, was introduced as New York's hitting coach Wednesday, two days after taking the job. He replaces Dillon Lawson, whom the Yankees fired following a 7-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.

"I feel like that job at MLB Network has set me up in a way to be an incredible coach because I basically had been coaching for 15 years," Casey said. "Every time I'm on air, and I'm watching games, and I'm having to break down players, guys that are hot guys that are struggling, what could they do?

"I feel like there's nothing when I coach this team, there's nothing that I don't know about what the swing looks like from the ground up, what it looks like mentally to be a great big leaguer and to have success as a team up and down that lineup. So, MLB Network has made me feel ready for this job."

Casey accepted it after Yankees manager and former Cincinnati Reds teammate Aaron Boone called him over the weekend as general manager Brian Cashman was planning to let Lawson go. Casey originally was going to take an assistant hitting coach job that went to Brad Wilkerson in the offseason but declined it to spend time with his fiancée, who had breast cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy.

He is taking over for at least the remainder of this season and will consider next season during the offseason.

The 49-year-old former first baseman is presiding over an offense that is batting .231, which ranks 28th among the 30 major league teams, ahead of only Detroit and Oakland. The Yankees are 14-17 and batting a major league-worst .218 since Aaron Judge tore a ligament in his right big toe June 3 after crashing into the right-field wall at Dodger Stadium.

The Yankees entered the All-Star break at 49-42 and fourth in the AL East. While New York is fifth in the majors with 129 homers, it is 18th in runs and its .300 on-base percentage is 26th.

"Expectations in New York, expectations for myself are high," Casey said. "I would expect myself to come in and make an impact. I think the biggest thing is that for all of us, you just got to make sure that you get locked into what your job is, and I think sometimes that if you start to worry what others' expectations are for you, you don't do them as good as you can in the trenches."

While watching the Yankees from the MLB Network studio, Casey said he noticed how quickly some of the innings unfolded, especially since Judge was out.

"I'm seeing a lot of five-, six-, seven-, maybe eight-pitch innings," he said. "For me on the outside looking in and I'm like, that's very unlike the Yankees. That's not the Yankee way. That's not the way these guys go about it."

Casey batted .302 with 130 home runs and 735 RBIs over 12 seasons, including eight with the Reds, highlighted by three NL All-Star selections.