The Yankees made the playoffs and won the AL East last year in what remains one of the greatest mysteries of 2019—after all, just how does any team, no matter how talented, win games in spite of nearly three dozen injured list placements? It seems that’s a question the New York front office would rather avoid moving forward, judging by their hire of Eric Cressey, a well known and “highly sought-after” performance coach (in the words of The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler).
Cressey, the proprietor of Cressey Sports Performance, has counted Max Scherzer and Corey Kluber as personal clients in recent years, and, according to Adler’s report, will help determine the direction of New York’s strength-and-conditioning program, along with taking a lead on personnel decisions. Interestingly, the Yankees will not require Cressey to divest himself of his personal clientele through CSR, not unlike the Reds allowed when they hired Driveline’s Kyle Boddy earlier this offseason.
More notes on behind-the-scenes men and women driving MLB…
- Speaking of Boddy, the new Reds minor league pitching coordinator gave a talk at the American Baseball Coaches Association shedding light on Cincinnati’s organizational pitching philosophy, as covered by Baseball America’s JJ Cooper. Data, as would surprise almost no one, will be central to Boddy’s appraisal of both players and coaches. “Our coaches are graded on skills progression,” Boddy said. “This guy came in throwing 90. At the end of the year, he averages 93. What did you do to do that? This guy had a 30-grade slider based on our data scientists, he now has a 65-grade slider. Why did that happen?… We are holding coaches accountable, and we are promoting them and celebrating them based on the work that they do.” Boddy also shared that every session between pitching coaches and pitchers will be videotaped for later evaluation, with transcription software documenting conversations.
- Former Astros international scouting director, special assistant and major league interpreter Oz Ocampo is joining the Pirates’ front office under new general manager Ben Cherington, in what the baseball man called a return to his “scouting roots” in a Twitter post relayed by Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle (link). In addition to his tenure with the Astros, Ocampo has also spent time working under Kim Ng at the MLB office.