Yankees Moving on from Pitching Coach Larry Rothschild

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.

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12 Comments

  1. Richard Smith

    Some of these former ball players are really getting annoying and taking jobs away from other well deserved talented people.

  2. RetroRob

    Rothschild was a 100% Cashman hire, not a Girardi hire. I remember when the interviews were ongoing and it was fully Cashman leading it, updating the media Cashman was the one who made the announcement. That was a clear signal to me how the game had changed. In the past, it would have been the manager who had final say. Now, it’s the GM. Further, when Cashman moved on from Girardi, he immediately signed Rothschild back before he even brought in Boone. He recognized the continuity and experience were important since he was bringing in a novice manager. Boone now has two years under his belt, and the hiring of Briend means the Yankees are upping the analytics part of their game even further. It’s not a knock on Larry at all. You don’t spend nine years with an organization after spending nine years with your prior organization if you’re not respected. They simply viewed it was time for a change based on where they’re going with Briend and company. Whenever you see a new manager or coach hired, just remember that the team they just hired them will eventually fire them.

  3. The Original Drew

    I am really not too surprised by the Rothchild firing. The Yankees have had the most difficult time helping their pitchers take that next step developmentally. I’d LOVE to see David Cone get the job, but would be a bummer to miss him on the broadcast.

    I will say that whoever the Yankees decide to get, us fans won’t and will never likely know the impact of it. Pitching coaches and bench coaches aren’t something that you can quantify and see what their actual impact on the team is. Same with managers to a certain extent.

  4. dasit

    i’ve been a baseball fan for more than 40 years and i still have no idea how to evaluate pitching coaches. leo mazzone was anointed a genius for his “sit in the dugout rocking back and forth while 3 hall of fame pitchers do their thing” approach

    i expect the modern incarnation of the job involves implementing mechanical directives from above

  5. mikenyc2007

    and watch Romine follow Larry and Joe right down the road as well :).

    its always hard to review what the coaches do…each of these guys have all sorts of trainers whispering in their ears, and half of them are just kids…

    Just from what we know, its safe to assume while his approach with Grey and Paxon didnt show the results we expected, German evolving and Tanaka realizing he had to change his grip are definitely checks in the box

  6. They should just bring back the ghost of Jim Turner, they won the World Series 7 times while he was pitching coach from 1949-1959!

  7. DJ Lemeddardhieu

    Dad and I are having a celebratory mimosa and slice pf Papa John’s, Bobby. Lumpy Larry didn’t make any of our pitchers better. His anti-fastball approach was outdated and pitchers like Paxton had to tune out what he was saying to get better in the 2nd half. Shoulda been fired years ago.

    Now I go to Coney and tell him he can have whatever he wants to be our pitching coach. He can run the analytics dept and then we have a successor to Boone if we don’t win the WS next year. We’ll miss his voice on YES but they can fill that with more Buck Showalter, who is a joy to listen to.

  8. Cone has made it clear he would listen to offers to manage. But, man you can here how much he is in love with pitching in the broadcasts. I’m sure he’d be a great manager too, but I think he could be a really special PC. Also, if the goal is to eventually manage there’s really no better stepping stone.

  9. Dani

    I have no idea if Coney would be a good coach but I’d love to see him in some role with the Yankees.

    It’s always hard to judge coaches from the outside but you’re not the pitching coach of the Yanks for 9 years if you suck at it. I always liked Larry and hope he’ll get a new job soon.

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