Larry Rothschild was the Cubs’ pitching coach when we woke up this morning. Now he’s the Yankees’ pitching coach. They just announced that he got the gig.
And when I say he was the Cubs’ pitching coach, that was only technically speaking. He was the incumbent. He was under contract and had just exercised his option to come back in 2011. But it was far from decided that he would actually come back, what with the Cubs’ hiring of Mike Quade as manager.
Rothschild has been around the block, serving as an instructor in the Reds and Braves organization before going on to become the Marlins’ pitching coach — where he snagged a World Series ring — and then went on to become the Devil Rays’ first ever manager. That tanked, with Rothschild becoming one of the many pitching coaches-turned-failed-managers in baseball history. He’s been the Cubs’ coach since 2002, serving under Dusty Baker and Lou Piniella.
It’s hard to get a handle on how good coaches are. Because really, with the exception of Dave Duncan and maybe Johnny Sain, pitching coaches tend to be hailed as geniuses when they have good pitchers working for them and bums when they coach palookas. Rothschild is no different in this regard, though he is certainly well-respected. There is at least some evidence that he has been effective in improving pitchers’ strikeout rates and in lowering their walk rates. He knows Girardi too, given that they spent 2002 together in Chicago.
I’m assuming his first task in New York will be in fixing A.J. Burnett. Good luck with that, Larry.