Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Has Larry Rothschild Really Made a Difference?

In case you missed it the New York Yankees had one member of their coaching staff that was set to become a free agent before the 2017 season and that one coach was the Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild. New York seems high on Rothschild and they didn’t let him dangle for long as they signed him to a one-year deal for the 2017 season and that got me thinking. Has Rothschild really made a difference in the Yankees pitching over his tenure in the Bronx and should New York be stumbling over themselves to get him signed again for the 2018 season?

Rothschild signed with the Yankees back in 2011 after being the pitching coach for many teams but most recently the pitching coach for the Chicago Cubs. The year before Rothschild signed the Yankees pitching staff as a whole had a 3.73 ERA while the team posted a 3.84 ERA in 2012, a 3.94 ERA in 2013, a 3.75 ERA in 2014, a 4.15 ERA in 2015 and a 4.16 ERA in 2016. In the six years prior to Rothschild the Yankees staff as a whole posted a 4.52 ERA in 2005, a 4.41 ERA in 2006, a 4.49 ERA in 2007, a 4.28 ERA in 2008, a 4.26 ERA in 2009, and a 4.06 in 2010. While these numbers look good on paper you have to remember that Rothschild has a much better bullpen these days in the Bronx that skew these numbers just a tad from before he was the pitching coach.  

Does the pitching coach even matter or is it the pitchers that make all the difference? You have to remember that in 2011, the first year under Rothschild, the Yankees pitching staff consisted of CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Ivan Nova, Bartolo Colon, Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia. This season the pitching staff on Opening Day was Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi, Luis Severino and CC Sabathia with Ivan Nova in the bullpen and Bryan Mitchell on the DL. I said all that to say this, you can’t compare apples to oranges here unfortunately because in the era of free agency the team’s change so much from year to year.

With that said has Larry Rothschild really made a difference in the Bronx? Most would argue that no he hasn’t but looking at the numbers I’m not sure that’s as much of a failure of his as it is a general rule for all coaches and managers. Talent is talent and you can only give so much guidance in these days and times. Larry hasn’t made a huge difference in my opinion, he “lost” Luis Severino this year while Nathan Eovaldi also took a step back, but no one off the top of my head (that is available) would have made that big of a difference either. Just my speculation.

Just something to remember when everyone is looking for a scape goat after a tough season is all. Carry on. 


  1. I have been chirping on this topic for awhile. Larry seems to get a free pass and its BS in my opinion. He hasn't been able to solve the Pineda puzzle or fix Severino by making him throw his changeup or even develop one. There are many more arguments and thoughts on this but I thought your article was well written.

    1. I had you in mind when I wrote it, you inspired it. So I owe you thanks, not the other way around.

    2. It was a really good article and this is the kind of stuff I like to read from you. Stuff that has backbone and is factual and not something that is a pipe dream. Again great article

    3. Let me be the devils advocate again, as usual!
      I don't believe a coach (in the bigs) can do very much with a pitcher that has had success as a pitcher his whole life...unless, he thinks he needs to change something and wants help.
      If a pitcher such as Pineda with his stuff over throws his slider or under throws it, it is not the coach's fault. Sometimes one must just admit some pitchers can learn and change (Evo) whereas, others can't or won't.
      NO Free Pass at all, because there are pitchers that he has helped a bit. It is too late to change most pitchers very much! About all one can do is fine tune them and teach them another pitch if they think they need it. some people don't have the hands or wrist to throw some pitches, no matter how hard they work on any pitch.
      Fact! And opinion!
      It is amazing how the Yankees seem to be the only team that the coaches get blamed because a guy can't stay focused or has a brain freeze or can adapt to the way pitchers are pitching them etc.

    4. That is incorrect Reed. Every organization and their fan base blame coaches just as they do managers whether its hitting coaches or pitching coaches. There have been some great pitching coaches in the game. Larry gets a free pass and believe me when I tell you I have been saying that since I got on this site. Third base coach sucks too. Yanks never should've let Kevin Long leave as well

    5. Most fans wouldn't know a good coach or a bad one unless someone told them the guy was bad. The media has a lot to do with it. Look what they did to A-Rod with all the innuendoes, and someone said he heard..... about A-Rod! And they were proved out right lies, but they never printed that. Thank you Joe T.

    6. Really I can tell a good coach or not as most people can. The clown at third base has a knack for getting runners thrown out at the plate most of the time. Reed if I say day you say night and visa versa

    7. Ken H...you say; "Most of the time", I know it was a slip.
      Every 3rd base coach is wrong once in awhile, not everyone is suited to be a 3rd base coach. We have had worse and better, "The Crow" was the best. Let's hope he learned a lot this year.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)