Bomber Bites With Jumping Joe–Larry Rothschild Worth Weight In Gold
Pitching Coach Larry Rothschild has been worth his weight in gold for the Yankees since arriving on manager Joe Girardi‘s staff after the 2010 season. The staff posted a 3.73 ERA in 2011, a 3.84 ERA in 2012, and a 3.94 ERA in 2013. But his best work may have been done this season. The Yankees pitching was shattered this season with four of the five opening day starting pitchers spending significant time on the DL. For the first time since 1996, Mariano Rivera was not the anchor at the back of the bullpen. Yet, despite all this, Rothschild was able to make the pitching work and get the most out of the staff.
The Yankees were eliminated from contention in AL East yesterday and will likely miss the playoffs for a second straight season. However, the pitching is not to blame for that. The pitching has been solid all season, they just have not gotten even a minimum of run support most nights. Rothschild started the season with a rotation of CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Hiroki Kuroda, Masahiro Tanaka, and Michael Pineda. He will end it with a rotation of Pineda, Kuroda, Brandon McCarthy, Chris Capuano, and Shane Greene.
Due to injuries, the Bombers also sent the likes of David Phelps, Vidal Nuno, Chase Whitley, and Bryan Mitchell to the mound. Yet, the Rothschild was able to overcome those challenges and the Yankees have a team ERA of 3.75 good for 8th in the American League.
Mandatory Credit: Chad R. MacDonald.
A big part of Rothschild’s style is that he preaches throwing strikes. The guys who have come up through the system this season, like Greene and Whitley, are known for throwing strikes early and often. Tanaka was a control artist before he went down.
In the bullpen, Dellin Betances has one of the best strikeout to walk ratios in the game. As a team, the Yankees have issued the least free passes in the American League and only the Giants and Nationals have issued less in the majors. Meanwhile, Yankee pitching has struck out the fifth most hitters in the majors.
Pitching and hitting coaches often get too much blame when things go poorly and not enough credit when things go well. This season has seen Yankee Hitting Coach Kevin Long under fire the poor performance by the offense. However, Rothschild should be given high praised for his ability to work with the pitchers who gave the Yankees a chance to win day in and day out despite having the majority of games started this season by personnel who were not members of the Bomber rotation at the end of spring training.
In a season in which the Yankees struggled mightily in many different ways and which will not end in the postseason, Rothschild may be the only coach who was worth their salary in 2014.