Yankees: Get to know new pitching coach Matt Blake


The Yankees interviewed four collegiate pitching coaches and former Cy Young winner David Cone to replace Larry Rothschild. In the end, they turned to Matt Blake, who, just three days ago, was promoted to director of pitching development for the Indians.

Just when you thought the Yankees were going to give David Cone a legit shot at becoming the successor to Larry Rothschild, they go out and call an audible by hiring highly-regarded, yet publically unknown pitching expert Matt Blake of the Indians.

The 33-year-old Blake is an analytics-heavy, progressive biometrics believer that spent the previous four seasons in Cleveland as their pitching coordinator and assistant director of pitching development.

In a quick turn of events, the Indians promoted Blake to director of pitching on Tuesday — however, the allure of returning to the Yankees — where he previously worked as an area scout (from Maine to New Jersey) was too much to turn down.

Blake’s status as a pitching guru only began in 2015, when he was the pitching coach for Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, outside of Boston, MA.

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For seven years, Blake worked alongside Eric Cressey, a sports performance coach in New England and Florida, as pitching coordinator. Blake also managed to squeeze in time for the Yanks while building his reputation as an astute mentor of young pitchers.

Blake is credited with the development of many of the Indians’ top pitching prospects, including Zach Pleasac (8-6, 3.81 ERA, 1.228 WHIP in 115.2 rookie innings), Jefry Rodriguez and Aaron Civale. He also had a hand in molding recent All-Star Shane Bieber and current Reds ace Trevor Bauer.

When asked via Twitter by Yankee fans, what the club was getting Blake, Bauer responded:

"“One of the smarter guys I know. Knows a lot about pitching. A lot about development. Good communicator. Etc. Really excited for him getting this opportunity and pumped to see the results.”"

While the Yankees pitching staff performed admirably in 2019 (fourth in K’s, 12th in WHIP with a 1.30 and 14th in ERA at 4.31), durability was a significant factor.

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Perhaps with Blake’s scientific approach and use of advanced technologies, Yankees starters will stay on the mound longer, throw injury-free and allow the bullpen to flourish without being worked to the bone. It also wouldn’t hurt if GM Brian Cashman adds a top-flight arm or two.