The New York Yankees announced today Joe Girardi's coaching staff for the 2009 season. Mick Kelleher was named the Yankees' first base coach, Rob Thomson will take over as third base coach and Tony Pena will assume the role of bench coach. Dave Eiland (pitching coach), Kevin Long (hitting coach) and Mike Harkey (bullpen coach) will return in the roles they served in 2008.
Kelleher, 61, will enter his first year as the Yankees' first base coach having spent the previous three seasons as the organization's roving infield instructor. This will be his third stint as a Major League coach, serving three years as Detroit's first base coach from 2003-05 and as Jim Leyland's first base coach and infield instructor with Pittsburgh in 1986.
Prior to his three seasons in Detroit, Kelleher was the Yankees' roving defensive coordinator from 1996-2002 as well as a Major League scout in 1998. His other Minor League coaching duties were with the San Diego Padres (1984-85), Chicago Cubs (1987-92) and Milwaukee Brewers (1994-95) organizations. A third round draft pick by St. Louis in 1969, Kelleher played 11 seasons at the Major League level with the Cardinals (1972-73, '75), Houston Astros (1974), Chicago Cubs (1976-80), Detroit Tigers (1981-82) and California Angels (1982). He finished his career with a .974 lifetime fielding percentage, appearing in games at second base, third base and shortstop. He won two Rawlings Silver Glove Awards (1972, '75) in the minors as the National Association's best shortstop.