Yankees: Rothschild Needs To Be Given A Direct Order By Team Brass
The Yankees are scheduled to play the Pittsburgh Pirates in a weekend series at PNC Park beginning on April 21. The Yankees pitching coach needs to be under a direct order to meet with the Pirates pitching coach over that weekend.
The Yankees will be bunkered down in Pittsburgh in a couple of weeks for an interleague weekend series with the Pirates. During that time, Larry Rothschild should be under direct orders from team management to have dinner at least twice with Pirates pitching Ray Searage, with the Yankees gladly picking up the tab.
The ability of Ray Searage to make successful reclamation projects out of pitchers the Yankees had cast off as hopeless was first noticed back in 2013 when A.J. Burnett flourished in a Pirates uniform (16-10 that year) after having been banished from the Yankee kingdom following three years of torture and a 34-35 record.
It appears that Rothschild is here to stay until the team puts him out to pasture or he retires at the close of the 2017 season.
During his tenure with the Yankees, Burnett was assumed to be a head case and not quite ready for a starring on Broadway in the Big Apple. That may have been partly right, but it was also quite apparent that Burnett had a live arm and was underperforming. Searage was mostly given credit for turning Burnett around, but his name wasn’t necessarily paired with Rothschild.
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However, with the emergence of Ivan Nova, who is now with the Pirates, as the pitcher he was always supposed to be with the Yankees, the pairing is unavoidable. And Rothschild should be held accountable to at least measure the difference between his style of coaching versus the style of his counterpart in Pittsburgh.
Because something ain’t quite right here.
Yesterday, I took Michael Pineda out to the woodshed for a well-deserved whooping after his inexcusable performance Wednesday night in a loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. But maybe on second thought, his constant failure to perform up to the level he is capable of is not entirely his fault.
While Larry Rothschild’s job description doesn’t include the title of being the Team Shrink, there does need to be some level of accountability on his part for being unable to handle what is, of course, another head case with Pineda. And the same is valid to a lesser extent Luis Severino, who is also up and down and all over the place as a pitcher for the Yankees.
Video Courtesy of the MLB Network
But it’s one thing for a pitching coach to tell one of his charges that the reason his slider has no bite lately is that he’s gripping the ball too tight (Mechanical), and quite another thing to tell the same pitcher that the reason that guy hit a home run off you the other night is because you lost concentration on that pitch, and you can’t do that at this level. Every pitch must count (Head Stuff).
With Rothschild, there have been no complaints from pitchers on his staff (at least publicly) about the service they are getting from him. But it could also be that the reason for that is they ignore him, for the most part, knowing that he has little, if anything, to offer them. And even if only a half truth, that’s a sad situation for the Yankees.
Normally, the first thing that would come to mind is to think that it must be some Generation Gap stemming from the fact that Rothschild is soon to be a septuagenarian. But that notion is quickly dispelled because Ray Searage is 61 and only nine years younger.
Brian Cashman does not appear to be a GM who is willing to change horses midstream, so Rothschild is here to stay until the team puts him out to pasture or he retires at the close of the 2017 season.
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However, there is nothing stopping Cashman from adding to the staff now with the intent of having someone with Searage-like qualities and communication skills that Rothschild clearly is lacking and has been required for some time now.
As a matter of fact, when Rothschild executes the direct order given to him by team brass to have a little “chat” with Searage in a couple of weeks, maybe they could also have him slide a napkin across the table with a number on it that constitutes an offer that Searage just can’t refuse for next season.