The Yankees have announced that they have hired Larry Rothschild as their pitching coach through the next three years.
I did not see this one coming. General manager Brian Cashman has been a little secretive during this entire process, but acknowledged that he was interviewing Gil Patterson, Mike Harkey, and Scott Aldred. He never mentioned any other candidates by name.
To get the job Rothschild had to take a video quiz and be able to identify strengths and weaknesses of both pitchers and batters on the fly during the games. If Rothschild beat out two in house candidates and Patterson whom the Yankees think highly of, he must have aced that quiz.
Here is more from the Yankees:
Rothschild, 56, joins the Yankees after serving as the Chicago Cubs pitching coach from 2002-10. Over the nine-year stretch, the Cubs pitching staff combined to lead the Majors in strikeouts (11,604). Cubs pitchers led the Majors in strikeouts in each of his first seven seasons as the club’s pitching coach through 2008, including a still-standing single-season Major League-record of 1,404 strikeouts in 2003.
He began his coaching career as a roving minor league pitching instructor for the Cincinnati Reds from 1986-89, before joining the Major League staff as bullpen coach from 1990-91 and then pitching coach from 1992-93. Rothschild then served as roving minor league pitching instructor for the Atlanta Braves in 1994, before taking on the role of pitching coach for the Florida Marlins from 1995-97.
Rothschild was named the first manager in Tampa Bay Devil Rays history on November 7, 1997, and remained in the position until April 18, 2001, compiling a 205-294 managerial record over the stretch. Under his guidance, the club’s winning percentage increased each of his three full seasons with the organization.
Originally signed by the Cincinnati Reds as a non-drafted free agent in 1975, Rothschild’s minor league playing career spanned 11 seasons from 1975-85 with the Cincinnati and Detroit organizations, going 66-46 with a 3.96 ERA in 387 appearances (80 starts). He made seven Major League relief outings (all with Detroit in 1981 and ’82), recording a 5.40 ERA with one save and no decisions (8.1IP, 5ER, 8H, 8BB, 1K, 1HR).
I’m a little surprised by this, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad decision. Like I said, he must have done well on the video quiz. Manager Joe Girardi was also the Cubs catcher in 2002 when Rothschild took over the job in Chicago so this wasn’t completely out of right field. If Girardi has worked with this guy before, he must have seen what he liked and is comfortable hiring him.