Padres tab Rothschild as pitching coach (source)

November 8th, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres entered the offseason expecting a coaching-staff shakeup under new manager Jayce Tingler. They weren't kidding.

According to team sources, San Diego expects to hire Larry Rothschild as pitching coach, replacing mainstay Darren Balsley who had served for 17 seasons in that capacity. The club has not yet confirmed the news.

Rothschild, 65, arrives after nine seasons in the same role with the Yankees. He was relieved of his duties following New York's American League Championship Series loss to Houston. Despite a number of injuries and other obstacles, Rothschild's Yankees finished with a better-than-league-average ERA in each of the last four seasons.

Balsley, meanwhile, is likely to remain with the organization, according to a team source, though his official capacity is not yet known. The Padres are expected to unveil their full coaching staff early next week -- a list that will include former Phillies infield coach Bobby Dickerson as Tingler’s bench coach.

In 17 seasons with San Diego, Balsley developed a reputation as one of the sport’s most well-respected pitching instructors. Even as the Padres have struggled over the past decade, their offense has largely been at fault. The Padres haven't had a winning record since 2010, yet they've still posted a 4.04 ERA since then, which ranks 12th in the Majors.

But the Padres’ front office was looking for a new voice to lead its pitching staff after a disappointing stretch. Balsley was considered for the role of pitching coach under Tingler, but the club settled on Rothschild instead.

Another highly respected pitching mind, Rothschild brought a blend of new and old school that the Padres liked. New York was known during Rothschild’s tenure as an early adopter of analytics and high-speed cameras for its pitchers. Yet Rothschild is in his fourth decade of coaching, and he brings a wealth of knowledge, including time spent as manager of Tampa Bay from 1998 to 2001.

Following his time with the Devil Rays, Rothschild spent nine seasons as pitching coach for the Cubs. He’s served on the staff of two World Series champions – as pitching coach for the 1997 Marlins and bullpen coach for the 1990 Reds.

The Padres have yet to name a bullpen coach to work with Rothschild, but the expectation is that the club’s hire will be forward-thinking and perhaps analytically driven. It’s unclear how much more turnover is expected on Tingler’s staff, but there will be at least a couple of holdovers.

The stakes for the Rothschild hire are particularly high. The Padres believe their window for contention will open next year, and they're going to rely on a host of young pitchers -- Chris Paddack and Dinelson Lamet, among others. Top prospects MacKenzie Gore and Luis Patiño could arrive next season, too.

No question, there's plenty of upside within the San Diego pitching ranks. Now, it's Rothschild's job to make sure that a promising young pitching staff reaches its potential.