Yankees Re-Sign Pitching Coach Larry Rothschild to One Year Deal
The New York Yankees announced on Friday they have re-signed pitching coach Larry Rothschild to a one-year contract for the 2017 season.
For better or for worse, the New York Yankees will keep their entire 2016 coaching staff intact for next season. General manager Brian Cashman had already confirmed the return of everyone but pitching coach Larry Rothschild during his annual end-of-season press conference on Wednesday.
Just two days later, the team has worked out a deal to bring Rothschild back for his seventh season in charge of the Yankees pitching staff.
Honestly, it seemed like if any coach was going to be scapegoated for the disaster 2016 campaign, I would have guessed Rothschild. The complete implosion of the rotation was the primary culprit behind the 8-14 April that basically removed New York from serious contention. Although things eventually improved, the pitching staff’s poor performance in the first month put them in a major hole.
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Most notably, Rothschild should be held accountable to some extent for failing to harness the talents of starters Luis Severino, Michael Pineda, and Nathan Eovaldi. None of those guys have developed as expected and its reasonable to ask whether the team needs a fresh set of eyes.
It’s also worth asking why not a single one of the Yankees Scranton Shuttle relievers have emerged as a quality option in the middle innings. Masahiro Tanaka and No-Runs DMC were undeniably excellent, and CC Sabathia had a nice bounce-back, but the rest of the staff was a real mixed bag this year.
Cashman discussed the reasoning for retaining Rothschild Friday, pointing out that many of New York’s peripheral stats were strong, even if their run prevention was less than ideal.
"Our starting rotation is an area that — as you compare us to some other teams or many other teams — we’re not as deep as we wanted to be or as productive as we wanted to be or even as healthy as we wanted to be. But that notwithstanding, we finished first in QERA. We finished in the top ranking in strikeouts per nine. I think we were fourth in walks per nine. So, somehow, there were a lot of areas that we were able to put some real positive impact on our overall pitching staff."
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On the other hand, Rothschild has a solid reputation around the industry and it is always impossible for those outside the clubhouse to judge the efficacy of a coaching staff. With both Cashman and Girardi in the last years of their deal as well, this may be a make or break season for many key Yankees coaches and executives.