The New York Yankees today announced they have signed pitching coach Larry Rothschild to a three-year contract. The 2011 season will mark Rothschild’s 37th season in professional baseball as a player, coach or manager. He has served on the Major League coaching staff for two World Championship clubs – the 1990 Cincinnati Reds and 1997 Florida Marlins.
Rothschild, 56, joins the Yankees after serving as the Chicago Cubs pitching coach from 2002-10. Over the nine-year stretch, the Cubs pitching staff combined to lead the Majors in strikeouts (11,604). Cubs pitchers led the Majors in strikeouts in each of his first seven seasons as the club’s pitching coach through 2008, including a still-standing single-season Major League-record of 1,404 strikeouts in 2003.
He began his coaching career as a roving minor league pitching instructor for the Cincinnati Reds from 1986-89, before joining the Major League staff as bullpen coach from 1990-91 and then pitching coach from 1992-93. Rothschild then served as roving minor league pitching instructor for the Atlanta Braves in 1994, before taking on the role of pitching coach for the Florida Marlins from 1995-97.
Rothschild was named the first manager in Tampa Bay Devil Rays history on November 7, 1997, and remained in the position until April 18, 2001, compiling a 205-294 managerial record over the stretch. Under his guidance, the club’s winning percentage increased each of his three full seasons with the organization.
Originally signed by the Cincinnati Reds as a non-drafted free agent in 1975, Rothschild’s minor league playing career spanned 11 seasons from 1975-85 with the Cincinnati and Detroit organizations, going 66-46 with a 3.96 ERA in 387 appearances (80 starts). He made seven Major League relief outings (all with Detroit in 1981 and ’82), recording a 5.40 ERA with one save and no decisions (8.1IP, 5ER, 8H, 8BB, 1K, 1HR).
The Chicago, Ill., native graduated from Florida State University with a degree in business management.
Rothschild's "strike 'em out" approach seems to be the antithesis of more famed pitching coaches Leo Mazzone and Dave Duncan, both of whom preach to hitting the corners, pitching to contact, and keeping the ball on the ground. My knowledge of Rothschild is extremely limited, so I may be making a snap-judgment based on numbers alone - but those Cubs teams walked and struck out batters by the boatload. The Yankees certainly have the arms to fit that strategy.
Based off of the little I know about the candidates interviewed and Rothschild's history, I must say that I am a fan of this move. I'll keep my eyes open for more about the new coach's philosophy and the like.