According to The Athletic’s Zack Meisel, Cleveland Guardians hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo will not return to the team in 2022.
Breaking: Ty Van Burkleo will not return as Cleveland’s hitting coach in 2022.— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) October 6, 2021
Employed since the start of the 2013 season, he was the longest-tenured hitting coach in the league.
Van Burkleo has served as the team’s hitting coach throughout the Terry Francona era, since 2013. The Guardians seem to be operating under the assumption that Francona will return to manage in 2022 — despite not finish the last two seasons due to various health concerns — but he will do so without his long-time hitting coach and former right-hand man Brad Mills, who stepped away from baseball prior to the 2021 season.
While one hitting coach probably does not make or break a major-league offense, it appears that a new voice was needed for the newly-minted Cleveland Guardians in 2022. The team was no-hit three times in 2021 (four if you count the combined seven-inning no-no), and they haven’t finished with a combined wRC+ over 100 since 2018.
Since 2013, Cleveland’s offense ranks 7th in the American League with a wRC+ of 100.