Friday, August 16, 2019

Okay. What Did I Just Prove?

I have had the sometimes private, sometimes shared sense that the Yankees' pitching staff has struggled over the years under Larry Rothschild.  Because the situation seems to have gotten worse over the past few years, I decided to plot the Yankees team ERA over the years on a graph.  Rothschild was signed just before the 2011 season so I started there.

To allow me to reach a conclusion other than "Rothschild Sucks", I also decided to contrast the Yankee Team ERA to team ERAs across the entire AL and MLB during the same time period.

If you're thinking things have gotten worse lately, well it's because they have.

Now for the BIG HOWEVER.

Until this year  which isn't over yet  the Yankees' performance as a pitching staff has consistently been better than most others in the AL.  With the exception of 2013, the Yankees have been better than the MLB average as well.  In fact, in 2017, we had the 3rd lowest team ERA in the AL, behind Cleveland and Boston ... and Boston only beat us by a couple of ticks.

Even though we're doing worse than the league averages this year 
 did I mention the year isn't over yet?  our staff performance has still largely followed the trend of the rest of the league.  In other words, if the ball is juiced this year as some have suspected, the numbers show that all pitching staffs seem to be suffering from it.

Don't get me wrong.  I like to bitch and moan about Larry as much as the next guy.  I get upset when I hear whispers that Rothschild strongly suggested that Sonny Gray rely on the slider, a pitch Gray wasn't comfortable throwing.  But, other than this year, the numbers just don't back it up.  In fact, other than 2013, Larry has kept his staff in the top third of the AL since 2011, his first year.

That made me wonder about what's going on this year: Is the problem really Larry Rothschild's?  Or is our significantly diminished pitching performance a result of Brian Cashman assembling an anemic starting rotation purchased on the shoestring budget provided by Prince Hal?  How different would those curves look if we'd gotten Keuchel or Corbin?

The curves above make me think that perhaps 2019 isn't entirely on Larry.  Perhaps our pitchers weren't going to be tops in the AL because, well, they're not.


HoraceClarke66 said...

Very interesting, LBJ.

And you know, it IS true that there's only so much anyone could've expected from this staff.

It's more the alarming drop-offs you see from the likes of Sap & Crapp, though with the latter this could be age.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

No, the trainers also are culpable.

Larry still has man boobs.

13bit said...

Listen, I didn't get involved in that leaky nipple, leaky penis thread the other day, but I have it on good authority that Larry has a leaky butthole and it gets squishy when he sits on the bench. Hence, he's often nowhere to be found. Hence our shitty pitching. See? Problem solved. Thank me later.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for doing the research. That was a good read.

As you point out... "With the exception of 2013, the Yankees have been better than the MLB average as well. In fact, in 2017, we had the 3rd lowest team ERA in the AL, behind Cleveland and Boston ... and Boston only beat us by a couple of ticks."

But, and I think you mention this, we start with more talent than most of the teams in the league.

The real question is, and if you want to check it out that would be cool.

What happens to a pitcher who joins the Yankees and what happens when they leave?

Or as Hoss might put it... Does anyone get better under Larry Rothschild?

I know that it is tougher to quantify because of injuries and other factors but...

A's Sonny Gray good. Yankees Sony Gray Bad. Reds Sonny Gray good.

Lance Lynn?


We always hear about Marcus Thames helping this guy or that. Larry? Not so much.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

And one other question (but not about the Yankees coaching staff per
se) Why does it seem like the Braves and the Dodgers always have great pitching? Who identifies and teaches these guys? We should hire them.

Doug K.

ranger_lp said... The Master would say "You can make statistics say anything you want..." (paraphrased). You never hear in the press how Rothschild fixed this pitcher or helped another pitcher. But, you hear stories about Dave Duncan, Brent Strom or Don Cooper. Where's Larry's story?

The only good one I could find is here:

Larry is listed #22.


How is that a thing? Well, they went on prior performance with Florida (now Miami) and the Cubs. But in New York it's "what have you done for me lately?"

Answer: starters (bad pun).

Oh, #FYL.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Doug K., ranger, this is something else I've been saying until I'm blue in the face. (It really makes my wife laugh when I'm blue in the face. Sometimes to the point where she falls on the floor in hysterics.)

Yes, why not recruit great "management"? In the front office, from the scouting and coaching staffs, etc—why not look around and say, 'Hey, this guy has done great! Bet he'd be open to the idea of a few hundred thousand more every year and a terrific Manhattan apartment.'

We have so much to out-recruit other teams with...and we don't.

Instead, we just move on to Coops' latest whacky theory: "Young pitchers who have already had Tommy John surgery are a STEAL!"

13bit said...

"Instead, we just move on to Coops' latest whacky theory: "Young pitchers who have already had Tommy John surgery are a STEAL!""

Just like cars with rebuilt transmissions.

TheWinWarblist said...

It would depend on the shop that rebuilt the transmission ... and Larry is not that shop.

Fuck you Larry.
Fuck you Coops.
Fuck you Hal.

TheWinWarblist said...

I love the avatar! Thank you Rufus T for encouraging (threatening?) me to get one. You're all the best Li'l anjils!

Fuck you Hal.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

OK, maybe not a threat.

OK, yeah, maybe it was.

After all, I have the negatives (something millennials have no clue as to what they are).

TheWinWarblist said...

I have a slide carousel whenever you're ready for the showing.

Fuck you Hal.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Next time we have a night off together.

I love a good 'art' show. I'll bring the manischewitz.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Flop sweat comes through.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Record since LBJ's "Larry is not really the problem" intervention:


I'm looking for any positive note available. ...and listening to weird Al's Amish Paradise. Like Robinson Crusoe...

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

I know this might sound like premature conjectulation, but what defines success in LA next weekend? I’m think be proud if we win one, and have a ticker tape parade for two.

Rufus T. Firefly said...


We're all premature here! Or at least immature.

As for the trolley dodgers, I accept nothing less than a sweep for the good guys.

Otherwise, I will whine here.

Or maybe even if they sweep.

I will whine about the time difference no matter what.

Fonzie enjoys the advantage here. We can only hope he steps up in his pessimism.

Mike Fan Cessa said...

"La la la la la Lasagna!"

HoraceClarke66 said...

"Man, oh, Manschewitz!"

Though I actually prefer Schapiro's slogan: "Wine so thick, you could almost cut it with a knife!"

TRUE slogan, for NYC's last kosher winery. It doesn't get any better than this.

Mike Fan Cessa said...

"Living on a thin line/Tell me now what are we supposed to do?"

Carl J. Weitz said...

Team ERA's are largely dependent on the talent assembled. Looking at the ERA is fine but I don't think the numbers necessarily prove a causation between a pitching coach and team ERA. The same can also be said about hitting coaches.

The true measure is what did the pitchers/players do before, during and after they were on the Yankees. His job is to evaluate the talent of the pitchers, impart knowledge, teach technique and instill confidence and motivation.In short, work with each pitcher and improve their performance with what strengths the pitcher has....individually. I think intuitively you can say he fails in all of the above. I think any comparison would also prove this. Oh, and as El Duque pointed out, you can add Gio Gallegos to that list.

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