The San Diego Padres brought in a veteran pitching coach Larry Rothschild to help give their staff a new perspective.
When you ask any San Diego Padres’ pitcher about Larry Rothschild, there is one common word used to describe the coach.
That word is – chill.
Not something you’d expect to hear about a 66-year-old from his much younger pitching staff. But Rothschild is not like most veteran baseball lifers.
The Padres’ new pitching coach is as seasoned as they come, but the teacher is well aware of how to motivate pitchers of different walks of life. “Larry? He is a great guy,” Reggie Lawson declared when speaking about the coach. The 22-year-old pitcher has no problems working with Rothschild and loves what he brings to the franchise. “He has been in the game for a long time. He has so much experience in the game. It is great to have a guy like him to look up to.”
There is great mutual respect between Rothschild and his staff. Even those that are fresh out of their teen years enjoyed their time with the coach. Pitchers continue to speak very highly of the new coach and his personality. Rothschild “grinded” for the success he has attained in the game, and the ballplayers are conscious of that fact.
Padres’ right-handed pitcher Chase Johnson is a lifelong minor leaguer having spent seven years at the lower levels of the game. He is battling for a roster spot this spring with his hometown team. The native of Fallbrook is well aware of the grind and enjoyed his interactions with Larry Rothschild this spring. “He has really helped me a lot. You know what he says is going to be helpful and you know that you can trust him. That is a key thing,” Johnson said. Rothschild spent 11 years in the minor leagues. The pitching coach can relate to many aspects of the game from an up and coming pitcher all the way to a veteran hurler.
MacKenzie Gore smiled when asked about Rothschild. “He is helping me a lot. Larry is great,” Gore said. The veteran coach was in and around a bullpen session from Gore that day and stood in the batters’ box as the pitcher fired the ball into catcher Austin Hedges. Rothschild provided several tips to the young pitcher and even took time after the bullpen session for a little one on one time with the Padres’ top prospect.
Believe it or not, the veteran coach spent some time in the San Diego Padres system. Rothschild is a native of Chicago and made it to the major leagues in 1981 as the Tigers selected him in the Rule-5 draft from the Cincinnati Reds. He only spent seven games in Detroit over the next two seasons as he pitched mostly in Triple-A for the Tigers. In 1983, Rothschild signed in San Diego and pitched in Las Vegas for the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate. That was his second stint (1978) with the Padres in their system and a year in which he went 9-2 with a 5.09 ERA in the hitter’s league, which was the PCL.
In 1986, the coaching career of Larry Rothschild began with the Reds. As the bullpen coach, he won a World Series ring in 1990 with Cincinnati, staying with the organization until the 1993 season. After a stint in Atlanta with the Braves, Rothschild joined the newly formed Florida Marlins. A second World Series ring in 1997 with the Marlins as a pitching instructor gave the coach an early taste of winning. Rothschild has not hoisted a Championship Trophy since and is very hungry to win it all. “There’s a group here that’s really good, and I think it’s a really good situation,” Rothschild said of the young Padres.
His pitching career did not amount to much on the major league level, but Rothschild put in a ton of effort to play the game at the highest level. The soft-tossing right-hander can easily relate to pitchers on the roster who battled to get to where they are. There is an unspeakable bond between him and his pitchers. “He knows we are going to do our thing, and he is there if we need him. That is how it should be,” Drew Pomeranz said about Rothschild. Reggie Lawson echoed that sentiment exactly. “He will let you do what you gotta do, but if he sees something, he will let you know,” Lawson said.
The presence he provides goes without saying, but Rothschild’s true value is in his ability to communicate. The Padres and their staff are focusing on this aspect as they cultivate their roster into a potential playoff contender. There is a long way to go in their guest, but Larry Rothschild gives the coaching staff a fighting chase in attaining their lofty goals.