Yankees dismiss pitching coach Rothschild

October 28th, 2019

NEW YORK -- The Yankees have decided to seek a new pitching coach for the 2020 season, announcing on Monday that they will move on from Larry Rothschild, who had held the post since 2011 and had a year remaining on his contract.

“I want to personally thank Larry for his near decade of commitment to this organization,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.

“Larry cares deeply about his craft and the pitchers under his tutelage, and he played a significant role in our successes over the past nine seasons. There’s a reason why Larry has had the type of distinguished baseball career he’s had, and it starts with experience and dedication that is difficult to emulate.”

No announcement was made regarding the status of manager Aaron Boone’s other coaches: bench coach Josh Bard, bullpen coach Mike Harkey, infield coach Carlos Mendoza, third-base coach Phil Nevin, assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere, hitting coach Marcus Thames and first-base coach Reggie Willits.

“Larry is someone I leaned on extensively over these past two years," Boone said in a statement. "I’m truly grateful that I had someone as established and loyal as Larry as I made my transition to the dugout. Seeing him work day after day, I have a deep appreciation for how devoted he was to his craft and how tirelessly he dove into his responsibilities. His distinguished career clearly reflects how highly he is regarded amongst his peers in baseball, and I wish him the very best moving forward.”

It is expected that Sam Briend, whom the Yankees hired in June as their director of pitching development, will have a significant voice in the next hire. Briend joined the Yankees from Driveline Baseball, a data-driven baseball academy in Kent, Wash., and has been tasked with overseeing the club’s Minor League pitching operations.

Rothschild, 65, completed his 45th season in pro baseball as a player, coach or manager in 2019, overseeing a Yankees staff that ranked sixth in the American League with a 4.31 ERA and fourth with 1,534 strikeouts.

Since 2014, Yankees pitchers have ranked second in the AL and third in the Majors with 8,861 strikeouts. Rothschild, who served on the coaching staffs of World Series winners with the Reds (1990) and Marlins (1997), was re-signed by the Yankees in December 2017.

Rothschild may not have to wait long for another opportunity. He worked well with Joe Girardi during their time together in New York, and at a news conference announcing his hiring as the Phillies’ manager on Monday, Girardi did not rule out a reunion.

“I thought he did a great job with the years I think we were together [2011-17],” Girardi said. “The game has evolved a lot, and Larry continued to evolve with how the game has evolved. [Phillies general manager Matt Klentak] and I have a couple of positions that we need to fill, and we’re going to talk about every name that is out there and get who we think the best person is for Philadelphia.”

In his end-of-season news conference last week, Cashman said that the club’s situational hitting -- and not its pitching -- was responsible for the loss to the Astros in the AL Championship Series.

“Pitching is not what cost us that series with the Astros -- at least, that's my opinion,” Cashman said then. “I felt that our hitting with runners in scoring positions is what sent us home. Ultimately, when you peel the onion, that's the true fact of the matter of what decided the ultimate outcome of the Houston Astros-New York Yankees series.”