For several years now, Yankee fans have been predicting that the team would move on from long-time pitching coach Larry Rothschild, but he always made the cut. That was true even when the team didn’t renew Joe Girardi’s contract after the 2017 season and ceded the ship to Aaron Boone. But Larry’s time, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, has finally come. Here’s what Sherman had to say on Twitter a few moments ago:
There’s a long joke on Yankee Twitter about no news being true until Sherman or Jack Curry report it, so as far as I’m concerned, this is as good as done. The Yankees and Larry will part ways soon and probably today, as Joel indicated. (I’ll update this post when the news is confirmed by the team.)
Sherman’s tweet follows an initial scoop by ESPN‘s Buster Olney, who reported that the Yankees were “discussing” making a change at pitching coach:
Rothschild became pitching coach after Dave Eiland was fired and assumed his duties prior to the 2011 season. He’d been here ever since. He was not the most popular of Yankee coaches, with blame laid at his feet for the struggles of good pitchers like Sonny Gray. Whether or not that’s fair is hard to say given our vantage point as we really have no insight into whether a pitching coach is good or not. For that reason, I usually stay out of those arguments.
In any event, I personally am not surprised to see this move. Back in June, the Yankees hired Driveline Baseball’s Sam Briend to take over as their organizational Director of Pitching. Driveline is a lab for pitching mechanics and is considered to be at the forefront of advanced analytics. Larry was always reportedly open to analytics and definitely wouldn’t have lasted this long if he wasn’t, but Driveline is a different animal altogether.
The Briend hire was a signal that change was coming and that change has come. The Yankees also moved on from Scott Aldred, an organizational pitching coordinator and staffer since 2007, following the conclusion of the MiLB season. So I’m not sure there was anything Larry could do about it. Remember, Girardi took the Yankees within one game of the World Series in 2017 and he still wasn’t welcomed back. My guess? Larry finds a home just down the road to team up with Girardi, who is now managing the Phillies.
I’ll have more complete thoughts on this tomorrow, but the winds of change appear to be here with the Yankees and their pitching philosophy. We’ll see where they go next, but I very much expect there to be mutual interest between the Yankees and David Cone for the role. We’ll see.
UPDATE (11:54 am): The move is official. The Yankees have fired Larry.