Was Larry Rothschild the right move for the San Diego Padres?

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The San Diego Padres will have a new pitching coach this coming season. Larry Rothschild is a veteran coach, and he will bring new insight to the San Diego Padres’ pitching staff. 

The San Diego Padres recently announced that Larry Rothschild is going to be the new pitching coach ahead of the 2020 MLB season. The now-former Padres’ pitching coach Darren Balsley was demoted as he is now a special assistant in the minor leagues for the Friars.

The move came as a shock as Balsley had been the Padres pitching coach since 2003 and had done a pretty good job at it. However, Balsley has had a good track record with young pitchers and will now help out the talented pool of hurlers in the Padres’ farm system like Mackenzie Gore and Luis Patino.

The Friars will also be in good hands at the major league level with Larry Rothschild, who has a wealth of experience to offer. The 65-year-old has been coaching in the MLB since 1986. He enjoyed a long and successful tenure with the Cincinnati Reds in his first job from 1986-1993.

Rothschild was part of the 1990 World Series coaching staff with the Reds then went on to coach for the Florida Marlins in 1995, winning another World Series in 1997. The Chicago native later became the manager of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1998 and held his job until 2001.

Rothschild became the Cubs’ pitching coach in 2002 and enjoyed a long tenure with his hometown team until 2010. His most recent gig was with the New York Yankees, where he had been the pitching coach since 2011.

There is a pattern with Rothschild, and that is that he usually stays with teams for several seasons, as shown by his stints with the Reds (eight seasons), Cubs (nine seasons), and Yankees (nine seasons). If the 65-year-old was brought on, it was for a long-term project and not for immediate success as it may initially seem to be.

Rothschild had a very respectable tenure with the New York Yankees, making pitchers shine on a team that is known for its offense. During his tenure with the Bronx Bombers, the Yanks’ pitchers led the American League in wins with 826 and in strikeouts with over 12,000.

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The Yankees ranked 14th in ERA in 2019 across the MLB at 4.31, which is respectable as there were several critical injuries to the team like Luis Severino. Some unlikely sources like Domingo German fueled the Yankees pitching in 2019.

Rothschild has had a good track record of getting all he can get out of some of his pitchers as he did with C.C. Sabathia to help him in the final stage of his career. While Sabathia did not have a great 2019 season, he may have retired a few seasons ago if it was not for the help of Larry Rothschild to transition him and develop new pitches.

The veteran pitching coach has worked well with veteran pitchers, which may be the reason the Yankees made moves for guys like J.A. Happ and James Paxton in recent years. It will be interesting to see if the Padres take a similar approach, but Rothschild has also helped young pitchers develop and could work well with the current talent pool in San Diego.

Of course, Balsley clearly worked better with youngsters, but he will now be in a role where he can do that daily as he works with the core of the Padres’ farm system. Rothschild can then take that talent and help transition it to the major leagues with his wealth of experience and dedication to his role.

The Padres are expected to make some splash moves before the start of the 2020 season, especially in terms of pitching. For now, Rothschild with have a young staff to work with that includes players like Eric Lauer, Joey Lucchesi, and Dinelson Lamet.

4 thoughts on “Was Larry Rothschild the right move for the San Diego Padres?

  1. Not mentioned in the article:
    – Balsley – will spend more time with his son, a senior in high school who has committed to play shortstop at San Diego State. “I’ve coached hundreds and hundreds of players for however many years,” Balsley said. “I’ll coach my son for a year. … It’s not all bad. I’ll stick around and coach him up for a year and then get back out there.”

    – Current 2020 Padres Coaching Staff (Some to be hired)
    Pitching Coach – Larry Rothschild*
    Hitting Coach – To Be Determined (TBD)
    Bullpen Coach – TBD
    First Base Coach – Wayne Kirby*
    Third Base Coach – Glenn Hoffman
    Bench Coach – Bobby Dickerson*
    Assistant Hitting Coach/Infielders coach – Damion Easley

    * Indicates new hire

    1. Thank you! I was aware of Kirby, thought the remaining spots may also have been filled. Does seem likely that Balsley would be leaving the organization after this season. Hope not. Never seen a coach with better ability help make the most out of pitching talent.

  2. Any word on the rest of the staff? Only heard about bench coach and pitching coach. Is Glenn Hoffman still on the staff?

  3. I have been Fraile fans since 1984 Dic Williams squat..and i am still waiting for a World Series Champs shot..This season looks better and hope is the end of frusteaded years.

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