By Brendan Kuty
Let’s break it down:
1.) Short-term: The length of the deal is interesting. The contracts of manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman each expire next year, too. Coincidence? Me thinks not. Then again, he’s also 62 years old. Maybe he wants just one more year before calling it quits.
2.) Cashman: The GM said in his year-end press conference Wednesday that he didn’t want to make changes to the coaching staff. So Rothschild has Cashman’s confidence. This wasn’t strictly an ownership move.
3.) Successes: You could call Rothschild’s work with several pitchers success stories. The ones that stand out? The recent CC Sabathia; Nathan Eovaldi’s splitter, Adam Warren’s versatility, Brandon McCarthy in late 2014 and getting through Andy Pettitte’s velo drop. Yankees pitchers have often credited Rothschild’s encyclopedic knowledge of them the moment they even join the team, with the coach often immediately having an impact on them mechanically.
4.) Failures: For whatever reasons, Rothschild wasn’t able to unlock the mystery of Michael Pineda or get Luis Severino comfortable with his changeup again. On one hand, that’s his job — to fix pitchers. On the other hand, Severino seemed to simply refuse to throw his changeup while Pineda’s long-time command issues clearly don’t suggest that there’s a quick fix out there for him. Ivan Nova seemed to find it once he left the Yankees, too, but that could also be a product of pitching the National League and in a bigger park.
5.) Final thoughts: Girardi leans heavily on Rothschild. It shows in how often he references needing to check with Rothschild on various pitching matters in spring training and throughout the season. It’s likely that Girardi wanted him back, too. With Cashman, Rothschild and Girardi each in the final years of their contracts, if things torpedo early in 2017, there could be many different faces in important places in the Bronx.