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Alan Cockrell new hitting coach; Marcus Thames joins coaching staff

The New York Yankees promoted Alan Cockrell to hitting coach and make Marcus Thames a part of their big league staff.

Earlier this winter, the Yankees did not renew the contract of hitting coach Jeff Pentland. Cockrell had served as the assistant hitting coach during Pentland's one year on the job. Thames has been a Yankees minor league hitting instructor.

Cockrell is a former University of Tennessee starting quarterback. He had been the hitting coach with the Colorado Rockies and Seattle Mariners in the past. Thames is a former Yankees outfielder.

After the 2014 season, the Yankees fired Kevin Long. Long went on to have success with the New York Mets this season.