Well, that was fast. Mere moments after rumors began to swirl regarding Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild’s job stability, Joel Sherman reported that the Yankees will dismiss him. Rothschild had held the pitching coach position from 2011 up through last season.
This puts an end to a long tenure that yielded mixed results. The Yankees’ staffs under Rothschild generally put up good numbers, but then again, the Yankees have generally had plenty of talent over the past decade. The question, of course, has always been about whether Rothschild and Co. were doing enough to maximize that talent on the pitching end.
The Yankees appear to have decided that going forward, they would rather have someone else trying to get the best out of the players on hand. Sherman indicated that some of the motivation behind the move was to find someone a little more open to molding pitchers with analytically-minded, new-age techniques:
#Yankees more and more are moving toward new-age techniques to develop/game prep their pitchers, from the minors up. Rothschild was not totally resistant, he used analytic data to meld a pitching plan. But he was clearly more old school, than new.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) October 28, 2019
It’s impossible to say whether past talented hurlers like Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Pineda would have achieved more had the Yankees employed someone other than Rothschild, but it doesn’t help his case that Eovaldi and Pineda have found some success elsewhere. Just as importantly, recent trade acquisitions like James Paxton and Sonny Gray have either plateaued or imploded in New York.
We shall see if the Yankees can get more out of their starters next year and beyond, but this does mark a pretty significant step towards shaking things up. We’ll have more on who the team intends to appoint as Rothschild’s successor when the news emerges.
Update: The Yankees make it official. They will now begin a search for a new pitching coach.