The San Diego Padres fired pitching coach Larry Rothschild. This was a decision that the team announced on Monday, May 7th.
The San Diego Padres dismissed Larry Rothschild, their celebrated pitching coach, on Monday, after they struggled to make the playoffs this season.
Ben Fritz, who was among the top picks in the Oakland Athletics’ infamous “Moneyball” draft almost 20 years ago, will take over as temporary pitching coach.
Rothschild, 67, was in his second season with the Padres after working as a pitching coach for the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs for the previous 18 years. Jayce Tingler, the Padres’ manager, said he fired Rothschild “100%” because he wanted to “alter the voice” down the stretch.
“Larry has given a lot to us,” Tingler added, “a lot of experience, a lot of expertise.” “We’ve won a lot of games with Larry as the pitching coach, so I think he was the right person at the right time. But going ahead, we’ve been in a position where we’ve had some injuries, no question about it, but we’ve also had some inconsistency on the mound, and I simply believe we haven’t achieved our level of consistency on the mound yet. We wanted to attempt to send a new message, a different voice, with 36 games left.”
The Padres (68-58) have dropped nine of their last 11 games and are one game behind the Cincinnati Reds for the second wild-card position in the National League.
Snell and Chris Paddack, a promising rookie in 2019, have struggled recently, while first-round selection Ryan Weathers, one of three healthy starting pitchers, has battled tremendously.
The Padres’ rotation, which has lately seen Darvish and Paddack on the disabled list, has a 5.63 ERA this month, which is tied for fourth in the National League. The Padres’ starters have the 10th best ERA in the National League and the 15th best innings per start.
“We’ve showed sparks throughout the year,” Tingler said, “but at the end of the day, I believe it’s just been too inconsistent.” “We’ve only seen a few glimpses of people pitching to their potential,” says the coach.
After prior positions as a rehab coordinator and minor league manager, Fritz, 40, is in his eighth year with the Padres organization and his second as the big league bullpen coach. Fritz’s flexibility, particularly his understanding of pitching mechanics and analytical data, as well as his familiarity with the Padres’ pitchers, was cited by Tingler as a primary reason for his promotion.
Tingler said he and Padres general manager A.J. Preller went “back and forth” about making a pitching coach move a little less than two weeks ago, eventually choosing to give it more time. Preller and Tingler fired Rothschild on Sunday night, after a 7-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies completed a third straight series loss.
“Larry is not a scapegoat in this,” Tingler said emphatically. “Larry has contributed so much to our organization, as well as his career and expertise in the game. As the manager, I’m ultimately accountable for the staff, our performance, and getting our players to play to their potential, and I took the choice with the notion, and thinking, that this would be the greatest option for us moving ahead.”
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