The New York Yankees didn’t waste any time finding their new pitching coach, as they have hired Matt Blake to fill the role Larry Rothschild left behind. Blake was formerly the pitching coach of the Cleveland Indians and is known for developing big-league pitchers.
Blake’s ability to refine pitchers and his familiarity with the Yankees system, having worked as an area scout for them in the past, makes him a terrific candidate for the Bombers moving forward. He takes a more analytical approach to the game, while Rothschild depends on his gut and old-school mentality.
This is a step forward for a Yankees team that did have a great bullpen last year but saw their starters struggle at times. Blake should increase the efficiency of both units if he can manage to make the most of the pitching presently on the roster.
Blake comes over from the Cleveland Indians, where he previously served as the team’s pitching coordinator. The Yankees parted ways with longtime pitching coach Larry Rothschild earlier this offseason. New York also interviewed David Cone for the position.
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Of the four known candidates for the job, three (with former Yankees star David Cone as the outlier) were younger names in their 30’s without much any direct coaching experience on an MLB staff.
University of Michigan pitching coach Chris Fetter and Arkansas pitching coach Matt Hobbs were the two other names linked to the Yankees’ search.
It will be up to Blake to modernize the Yankees’ handling of their arms, and it perhaps isn’t surprising that New York hired someone from a Cleveland organization that has excelled at developing homegrown pitching in recent years.
Indians manager Terry Francona just praised Blake’s work in preparing young hurlers such as Jefry Rodriguez, Zach Plesac, and Aaron Civale, with the latter two making their Major League debuts in 2019.
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