Posted on 24 November 2010 by Lou
Could Greg Maddux be the next Chicago Cubs’ pitching coach? With the departure of long-time pitching coach Larry Rothschild to the New York Yankees, the Cubs have indicated that they will promote someone from within the organization to be the team’s next pitching coach. Could that person be Greg Maddux?
While in theory it would be great to have a Ryne Sandberg Manager / Greg Maddux Pitching Coach Dynamic Duo, in reality, that is just not going to happen anytime soon. Maddux took the assistant to General Manager role because it gave him a lot of flexibility to be able to spend time with his family at this stage in his life. It is unlikely that Maddux will give that up right now to take on the difficult task of being a major league pitching coach on a daily basis.
Look for the Cubs to go with one of the following – Mark Riggins is the Cubs minor league roving coach who has a ton of experience and has pretty much worked with every single Cubs minor league pitcher for a long time. Riggins could be the front runner. The Cubs current bullpen coach Lester Strode is also a top candidate. The Cubs could also go with one of the current pitching coach’s at the minor league level – Mike Mason at Triple-A Iowa or Dennis Lewallyn at Double-A Tennessee. Look for the Cubs to make an announcement shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday next week.
Posted on 19 November 2010 by Lou
In a surprise move, Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild left to become the pitching coach for Joe Girardi and the New York Yankees. This is a huge surprise as Rothschild just exercised his option to remain the Cubs pitching coach through the 2011 MLB season about a month ago, and he seemed excited to be back for another year on the North Side (it would have been his 10th season as Cubs pitching coach). Now new Manager Mike Quade will be under the gun to find a new pitching coach for the Cubs in short order.
Yankees Manager Joe Girardi had this to say about luring Rothschild to New York – “Larry brings a wealth of invaluable experience to our team and to our pitching staff. He’s a championship pitching coach, and I’m excited to add larry’s abilities to our staff. He is above all else an excellent teacher, who brings a professional attitude and a keen sense of preparation to his craft. I’m very much looking forward to working with him moving forward.”
Rothschild had plenty of praise for the Cubs organization – “I’d like to thank Jim Hendry, the Ricketts family, Crane Kenney and the entire Cubs organization for their outstanding support and allowing me to pursue this opportunity with the Yankees. My reasons for pursuing and accepting the opportunity are personal and family-based, as the Yankees hold spring training in, and travel several times a year to, my hometown of Tampa. The chance to spend increased time with my family was something I wanted to explore and I am grateful for the opportunity to have done so… My nine years with the Cubs were tremendous and I’m proud of the pitching staff I leave behind. I wish Mike Quade, the Cubs and their great fans the best and look forward to returning to Wrigley Field in June.”
Crazy stuff continues to happen on the North Side. While some may see this as a negative, I am happy with the move. This staff has not done enough to bring a championship to the Cubs organization. Rothschild has had plenty of great arms under his tutelage – Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Carlos Zambrano – and he never was able to make them consistently dominant for several years at a clip. After 9 years relying upon Rothschild, I think it is a good things that the Cubs will have a new pitching coach who will give a fresh perspective on the Cubs arms on a going-forward basis. Especially with some young guys who have a lot of talent – Andrew Cashner, Jeff Samardzija, James Russell – you would hate to see Rothschild not take advantage of their full potential.
Posted on 27 October 2010 by Lou
Mike Quade is officially looking for a bench coach to work with him during the next 2 seasons on the North Side of Chicago at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.
Alan Trammell – Lou Pinella’s bench coach for the last 4 seasons – has joined Kirk Gibson’s staff as the bench coach for the Arizaona Diamondbacks. Two former Cubs – Don Baylor (hitting coach) and Eric Young (1st base coach) are also on that staff.
The Cubs and Quade do not expect Triple-A Manager Ryne Sandberg to want to take the Cubs bench coaching job for the 2011 season given his managerial aspirations. Although Sandberg is still the Triple-A Iowa manager, everyone expects Sandberg to leave the organization to take a major league coaching position elsewhere.
Larry Rothschild will be back as the Cubs pitching coach. Rudy Jaramillo will be back as the Cubs hitting coach. Bullpen coach Lester Strode, 1st base coach Ivan DeJesus and 3rd base coach Bob Dernier are all expected back as well.
We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear who might be the front runner for Quade’s bench coach job in 2011 and beyond…
Posted on 13 October 2010 by Lou
In an expected move, Larry Rothschild officially told the Cubs that he would like to continue to be the Cubs pitching coach during the 2011 MLB season. Rothschild has been with the Cubs for 9 seasons. Although the Cubs ranked only 13th in the NL with a 4.18 team ERA, Cubs starters did lead the major leagues with 96 quality starts. Given that the Cubs won only 75 games, that is a pretty incredible statistic. Cubs starters sported solid ERA’s for the most part — Ryan Dempster – 3.85; Ted Lilly – 3.69 (in 18 Cubs starts); Randy Wells – 4.26; Carlos Silva – 4.22; and Carlos Zambrano – 3.33. And with the excellent pitching of closer Carlos Marmol, the Cubs were tied for 7th in the NL with 40 saves – Marmol racked up 37 of them. Sean Marshall also helped improve the Cubs overall team pitching stats with his best year as a major leaguer – 7-5 record plus 22 holds, 2.65 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 90 K’s and 25 walks in a career-high 80 appearances.
Rothschild is a serviceable pitching coach, but he has been here for 9 years now, and we have not grown an elite pitcher from within during his tenure. There are worse options out there, but Rothschild is still missing something that enables pitchers to really flourish under him. With plenty of young, talented pitchers getting their chance to pitch at the major league level this year and for the foreseeable future, the time is ripe for the new Cubs manager to go in a different direction with a new pitching coach. That might not happen if Mike Quade gets the nod, so let’s hope that Ryne Sandberg gets the job instead. You would have to think that Sandberg would want to bring in some of his own guys to “start from scratch” with a new regime in 2011.
Posted on 09 October 2010 by Lou
Larry Rothschild has only a few days left to decide whether he wants to exercise his option to remain the Cubs pitching coach in 2011. He must inform the Cubs by Monday if he wants to stay on as Cubs pitching coach for the 2011 MLB season. The odd thing is, even if he exercises the option, once the Cubs hire a new manager this winter, that new skipper could decided he doesn’t want Rothschild on his staff.
Rothschild’s Cubs pitching staff finished the season with a 4.18 team ERA – good for 13th in the National League. That was the worst that his team has performed in years given the fact that there were so many rookies making their major league debuts in 2010. The team had finished in the top 5 in ERA each of the last 3 seasons. Despite the high ERA, Cubs starting pitchers had the most quality starts in the NL in 2010 with 96. That is a prett high number for a club that won only 75 games.
Despite the good numbers produced over the years by Rothschild, something is wrong there and I think the club would be wise to try to get a new guy in there. He’s had so many talented pitchers of late — Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Carlos Zambrano — but he never seems to be able to get a consistent 100% out of any of them. The Cubs have some talented young pitcher coming up through the ranks – Andrew Cashner, James Russell, Casey Coleman, Jeff Samardzija just to name a few. It is the perfect time for the “right” pitching coach to take these guys to the next level (just like Leo Mazzoni did with young pitchers like Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Steve Avery back with the Braves in the 1990’s). If Rothschild doesn’t have what it takes to mold these players into the superstars of the future, then the time to part ways with the guy is now.
Keep your head up high, Larry, because I think you have a friend on your side. With the way the Ricketts continue to endorse GM Jim Hendry and the “great” job he has done, it doesn’t seem like the new owners are to anxious to make any rash moves right now. I guess we’ll have to wait 3-5 years and suffer through a few more awful seasons, before they realize they need to make change if they expect to end the longest World Series drought in major league history…
Posted on 17 March 2010 by Lou
Which Carlos Silva is for real? Silva pitched 4 scoreless innings in the Cubs 4-1 over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday. He struck out 3 without any walks and he gave up just 2 hits. It’s the 2nd consecutive start in which he has not allowed any runs to score, but this is the 1st outing in which he looked confident and in control (in his 1st start, Silva was knocked around for 6 runs on 7 hits in just 2 innings of work, and in his 2nd start, he gave up 4 hits and 1 walk in 3 scoreless innings).
Was it the good news that Silva heard from his mother before the game (that the United States issued his mother a 10-year visa so that she can enter the country at her pleasure) or was it the hard work that Silva has put in with Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild? Most likely, it was a combination of both. The Cubs have requested that Silva throw the ball across his body more than he has in the past, and they want him to finish his wind-up more towards the 3rd base line. It has been a work-in-progress, but Silva is slowly working the new motion into live game action and if it works, it could reap huge rewards for the Silva and the Cubs. Silva is happy with the latest results — “Today, before the game, he [Rothschild] said, ‘Don’t worry about anythingm just fire the ball up in there’. That’s exactly what I did today, and we had good results… The last two years haven’t been easy for me.. It was a very tough two years. This is a fresh start, this is a new start. I feel very comfortable with this team. The only thing I have to do is my work. That’s it… I’m very competitive. I want to be in the rotation — that’s what I’m looking for. I want to keep working on my stuff, keep working with Larry, keep working in the side sessions. The only thing I want to do is help this team, no matter where, as a starter or reliever.”
You gotta like his attitude, especially after how poorly he pitched in his first spring start. Plus with all the rumors swirling around about the poor shape he was in, you really wondered if he would be able to establish himself early this spring. It looks like some of Rothschild’s work with Silva has already started to pay off. Even Manager Lou Pinella was impressed – That’s as well as I’ve seen him throw all spring. He got ahead in the count, you saw him elevate pitches, you saw him pitch inside, he had a good changeup. That’s a nice performance today. He kept his velocity up for the full four innings. He should be really pleased — I know we were.”
This is great news Cubs fans. If Silva can get on track and be productive this spring, that will definitely help the rest of the Cubs pitching staff. Allowing Sean Marshall and even Jeff Samardzija start the season in the bullpen will give some extra depth to the young pen. Let’s hope Silva continues his positive trend in his next few outings…
Posted on 16 January 2010 by Lou
The Cubs Convention is going on this weekend in Chicago at the Hilton Chicago. Passes for the convention are sold out, but supposedly there is still home hotel room availability for the weekend. If you have a room, you can buy up to 4 passes per room for the weekend.
The opening ceremonies to the 2010 Cubs Convention kicked off on Friday night from 5-5:30PM. There were a few other activities on Friday, but the real action begins in earnest today. You’ll get to meet the Ricketts Family in person and you’ll get to mingle with current Cubs players (Derrek Lee, Carlos Zambrano, Carlos Marmol, Ryan Theriot, Ryan Dempster) and former Cubs players (Ernie Banks, Andre Dawson, Ron Santo, Ryne Sandberg, Milt Pappas, Dave Otto), as well as the team’s coaching staff (Lou Pinella, Larry Rothschild) and broadcasting teams (Bob Brenly, Len Kasper, Pat Hughes and Santo).
Gotta love it – what a perfect way to get geared up for the upcoming 2010 Cubs schedule at Wrigley Field…