Yankees fire pitching coach Larry Rothschild

Getty Images

UPDATE: That was fast. Rothschild has been fired.

11:23 AM: Some teams just fire a guy and you never hear about the leadup to the decision. With the Yankees you get all kinds of inside leaking and speculation first. I guess it goes with the territory when there are a couple of dozen reporters dedicated to your beat, all chattering with their own inside sources.

Anyway: Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the Yankees “have discussed moving on from pitching coach Larry Rothschild.”

Rothschild has been the Yankees pitching coach since the 2011 season, staying on after Joe Girardi was fired and Aaron Boone took over. There has been speculation that Girardi, just hired by the Phillies, may bring Rothschild on board with his coaching staff if the Yankees let him go.

And to be sure, there is a segment of Yankees fandom and observers who think Rothschild should go. The Yankees ranked sixth in team ERA in the American League this season, which is down a notch from 2018. Which was down two notches from 2017. That sort of thing tends to vary, of course — injuries and native talent level of the roster matter the most — and it’s not always clear how much control a pitching coach has over ultimate performance. It is the case, though, that the pitching coach is often held responsible for ultimate performance, and there is a sentiment out there that it’s time for the Yankees to move on from Rothschild.

Orioles sign OF Aaron Hicks, put Cedric Mullins on 10-day IL with groin strain

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles signed outfielder Aaron Hicks less than 24 hours after Cedric Mullins went down with a strained right groin.

Mullins went on the 10-day injured list, but the Orioles are hoping Hicks can help defensively in the spacious outfield at Camden Yards. Hicks was released last week by the New York Yankees with more than 2 1/2 seasons left on his contract.

“We had noticed that he was a free agent even before the injury,” Orioles general manager Mike Elias said. “When the injury occurred and it became pretty clear this was going to be an IL, it seemed like a good fit even more so at that time.”

The Orioles are responsible for paying Hicks just $483,871, a prorated share of the $720,000 minimum salary. The Yankees owe him the rest of his $10.5 million salary this year, plus $9.5 million in each of the next two seasons and a $1 million buyout of a 2026 team option.

The 33-year-old Hicks hit just .188 in 28 games for the Yankees this year.

“We have stuff that we look at from a scouting and evaluation perspective,” Elias said. “It’s very different from just looking at the back of a baseball card, and we hope that we get a bounceback from anyone we bring here.”

Hicks batted .216 last season.

“Hopefully that’s a good thing for him,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of the Baltimore deal. “A lot of time here and a lot of good things happened for him here. I know the last couple of years have been a struggle. But hopefully it’s a good opportunity for him and certainly wish him well. Not too well being in our division and a team we’re chasing, but hopefully it’s a really good fit for him.”

Mullins left a loss to Cleveland after he pulled up while running out an infield grounder. Outfielder Colton Cowser – the fifth pick in the draft two years ago – is hitting .331 at Triple-A Norfolk, but he went on the IL in the past couple weeks.

“Certainly he was building a case towards promotion consideration prior to his injury and prior to Cedric’s injury,” Elias said. “We’ll just see where we’re at.”

Hicks was active for the game but not in the starting lineup. Austin Hays, normally Baltimore’s left field, was in Mullins’ usual spot in center.

When the wall in left at Camden Yards was pushed significantly back before last season, it made left field a bigger challenge defensively.

“In this park … you really need two center fielders,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Aaron’s got a lot of center-field experience. Played left field here before also. Brings the defensive aspect and then the switch-hitting.”