After announcing a four-year extension for manager Joe Girardi yesterday, the Yankees are now turning their attention to other members of his staff.
According to George A. King III of the New York Post, the Yankees are close to an extension with pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Hired after the 2010 season, Rothschild’s contract is set to expire at the end of the month, along with the rest of Girardi’s staff.
Under Rothschild, the Yankees finished eighth in the American League this season with a 3.94 ERA. While CC Sabathia wasn’t his usual ace-like self and Phil Hughes turned in another disappointing season, pitching was only part of the problem along with multiple injuries and a lack of offense. Still, they’ll have holes to fill this winter with Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera retiring and Hiroki Kuroda and Hughes headed into free agency.
Making official what manager Ned Yost talked about last week, the Royals announced their rotation for the ALDS versus the Wild Card game winner: Yordano Ventura, not Johnny Cueto, will get the Game 1 assignment against the Yankees or Astros, followed by Cueto in Game 2 and Edinson Volquez in Game 3.
It’s quite a turnaround for Ventura, who pitched his way out of the rotation and was briefly demoted to Triple-A, only to quickly return and go 7-1 with a 2.38 ERA in his final 11 starts.
When the Royals acquired Cueto from the Reds they did so with the intention of the impending free agent becoming their top-of-the-rotation ace, but he mostly struggled with a 4.76 ERA in 13 post-trade starts.
Volquez led the Royals with 200 innings, starting 33 games with a 3.55 ERA and 155/72 K/BB ratio while allowing just 16 homers in 850 plate appearances.
Setting their rotation for the beginning of the ALDS versus the Blue Jays, the Rangers announced that right-hander Yovani Gallardo will start Game 1 and left-hander Cole Hamels will start Game 2.
Gallardo posted a 3.42 ERA in 33 starts this season, but averaged just 5.6 innings per start and hasn’t completed six or more innings in a start since mid-August. Clearly the Rangers will be hoping for five or six innings from him before turning it over to the bullpen.
Hamels, on the other hand, averaged seven innings in his 12 post-trade starts for the Rangers, including tossing a complete-game against the Angels in the regular season finale. He’s obviously the Rangers’ best starting pitcher, but because Hamels was needed to clinch the division title in Game 162 he’s not available to start Game 1 of the playoffs.