The Yankees announced Monday that long-time pitching coach Larry Rothschild will be relieved of his duties. Rothschild was the one carryover on the coaching staff from the Joe Girardi era.
Many fans hated Rothschild because the pitching staff never met their expectations. Fair enough, but when someone holds the same job for basically a decade, I’m inclined to personally believe that he is good at that job. The Yankees don’t exactly have a track record of coaches staying in the organization for a long time if they are disappointing, you know? Moreover, no fans (or media, really) can see what Rothschild did or did not do on a day-to-day basis. Maybe some of the guys would have been “even worse” without him.
Many point to guys like Sonny Gray, Michael Pineda, and Nathan Eovaldi as examples of why Rothschild was bad. Perhaps we should consider blaming the pitchers themselves for not being able to make it work with the Yankees?
Despite the lack of guys who “overperformed” in New York (does Adam Warren not exist?) there are many of examples of players that hint at Larry’s handiwork being a success. James Paxton was fixed midway through this season. He was awesome down the stretch. Domingo German was a throw-in when the Yankees picked him up in the Eovaldi trade. Now he is potentially a top-of-the-rotation starter. Dellin Betances was as big a prospect failure as anyone, but he became the decade’s premier setup man. Masahiro Tanaka has continued a fantastic MLB career despite a partial tear of his UCL years ago. Chad Green was never considered anything great as a prospect. JA Happ turned around a disaster season to have a strong September and a few solid playoff performances this season. Luis Cessa proved himself a capable
Similarly to how we can’t know that Rothschild was responsible for other people’s failures, we don’t necessarily know he is responsible for the successes of Paxton, German, Betances, Warren, etc. The point is that it is much more of a mixed bag than social media will tell you.
With all of that said, I think it is a perfectly fine time to make a change. Get a new voice in the clubhouse. I don’t love Larry as a coach or anything, because I have no idea how good or bad he actually is.
It seems very likely Larry ends up with the Phillies, where former colleagues Joe Girardi and Rob Thomson are currently employed. Seems inevitable, no?
I appreciate Larry Rothschild for all his time with the Yankees (I may be the only one), but I am looking forward to getting some new blood into the clubhouse and getting on with the pitching coach search. Wouldn’t mind if we start being able to use whatever devil magic the Astros have going.