Results tagged ‘ Larry Rothschild ’

2/3 Where were you …

… on Feb. 2, 2005? That’s the day the Cubs traded Sammy Sosa and his 574 career homers to the Orioles in exchange for Mike Fontenot, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Dave Crouthers. Chicago also signed free agent Jeromy Burnitz to a one-year, $4.5 million contract, part of the never-ending search for left-handed power. “Obviously, it’s a historic day,” Cubs GM Jim Hendry said at the time of the deal. “Everybody feels like it was the right thing to do.” Sosa hit 14 homers and drove in 45 runs in 102 games in his only season with the Orioles. He played with the Rangers in 2007 before retiring.

What about the others? Hairston batted .261 in 114 games with the Cubs in 2005, Fontenot spent that year in the Minors, getting called up for seven games in April-May. Crouthers never made it to the big leagues but retired in Spring Training in ’05. In a September 2005 interview with “Inside the Ivy,” he said he left the game because of anxiety issues. Crouthers credited the Cubs staff, particularly pitching coach Larry Rothschild and Hendry, for being supportive. “My decision really had nothing to do with the Cubs or being traded,” he said. “It just got to the point where I didn’t feel like I could compete.” He re-enrolled at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.

Burnitz hit 24 homers and drove in 87 in 160 games with the Cubs, batting .258 with a .435 slugging percentage. He played one more season with the Pirates in ’06 before retiring.

— Carrie Muskat

12/27 Mark Prior update

Former Cubs pitcher Mark Prior tells the New York Daily News that after all the rehab, he’s ready to try again. Prior, 30, signed a Minor League contract with the Yankees that will pay him $750,000
if he makes the team. He will be reunited with Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who caught Prior in his debut game May 22, 2002, vs. the Pirates (a 7-4 Chicago win), and pitching coach Larry Rothschild.

“I think a lot of people wonder if I’m bitter,” Prior told the New York Daily News. “But I’m not. I’m blessed to have three healthy kids, a loving family and friends. When I was a rookie, did I have a vision of what my career would be? Absolutely. Has it gone that way? Absolutely not. But that’s life.

“I think I’ve proved, at least to myself, that I’ve been able to overcome a lot. I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my career. I knew back then that I was getting to the big leagues, but there are no guarantees at this phase … Now I’m hoping to turn the page and reclaim my baseball career.”

Prior, whom the Cubs selected in the first round of the 2001 Draft with the second pick overall, was sidelined because of bizarre injuries. He collided with Marcus Giles while running the bases in 2003, and took a line drive off his elbow in ’05. His failure to live up to the hype was often blamed on high pitch counts.

“Did I have a high workload? Yes,” Prior told the Daily News. “But did I have freak injuries? Yes. Did those have a role? Probably. Maybe not. I got out of the business of asking … I don’t think anyone has the answer. I was arguing to stay in those games. If I knew then what I know now, would I have argued? Maybe. What competitor says, ‘Take me out.’ People get hurt. It’s part of the game.”

After another shoulder injury in ’09, he decided to try rest rather than undergo surgery. He has not pitched in the big leagues since 2006 and now is projected as a reliever, not a starter.

“It hasn’t been easy,” Prior said. “I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times I said, ‘Enough is enough.’ In 2009, I thought long and hard about it. I had done everything I could for two years and it wasn’t working. But I didn’t want to be 35 and say, ‘Man, if I had given myself extra time, I could’ve gotten healthy.’ It’s worth being patient now rather than having regrets.”

— Carrie Muskat

12/6 Cubs to name Riggins pitching coach

The Cubs were expected to name Mark Riggins as their pitching coach on Monday. The 2010 season was Riggins’ second as the Minor League pitching coordinator. He handled the same duties with the Cardinals for 12 seasons from 1996-2007, spending a total of 29 seasons in the St. Louis organization.

Riggins does have some big league time, having served as the Cardinals’ pitching coach under Joe Torre and Mike Jorgensen in 1995. He began his playing career in 1979 in the Cardinals organization after signing out of Murray State. Riggins, 53, pitched five Minor League seasons.

He will replace Larry Rothschild, who signed a three-year contract with the Yankees. Rothschild was the longest tenured coach on the staff, having handled the pitchers for nine seasons.

— Carrie Muskat

11/20 Pitching coach candidates

The Cubs are expected to promote someone from within the organization as their next pitching coach to replace Larry Rothschild, who announced on Friday he is joining the Yankees. Here are some of the top candidates:

* Mark Riggins: The 2010 season was Riggins’ third as the Cubs’ Minor League pitching coordinator. He handled the same duties with the Cardinals for 12 seasons and spent 29 seasons in the St. Louis organization.

* Lester Strode: This past season was Strode’s 22nd with the Cubs and fourth at the Major League level. He has been the Cubs’ bullpen coach for the last four seasons. Prior to that, he was the Cubs’ Minor League pitching coordinator from 1996-2006. He pitched in the Minors from 1980-88 with the Royals, Orioles, Cardinals and Cubs.

* Dennis Lewallyn: The 2010 season was “Lew’s” fourth as Double-A Tennessee’s pitching coach. He spent 11 seasons in the Diamondbacks’ system before joining the Cubs, and was Arizona’s Minor League pitching coordinator from 2002-06. As a player, he made his Major League debut in 1975 with the Dodgers and played eight seasons, including stints with the Rangers and Indians.

* Mike Mason: Mason pitched for the Cubs in 1987. The 2010 season was his third as Triple-A Iowa’s pitching coach, and his 18th year in coaching. He was the Royals’ Minor League pitching coordinator in 2007 after handing the roving pitching coordinator duties from 2004-06. He’s also worked in the Phillies’ Minor League system.

— Carrie Muskat

11/19 Rothschild to Yankees – UPDATED

Larry Rothschild couldn’t pass up a chance to be close to his Tampa, Fla., home and work for the Yankees. He signed a three-year contract on Friday to be the team’s pitching coach, leaving the Cubs after nine years. He had exercised his option for 2011 with the Cubs, but had a clause that allowed him to leave if he so desired. The change is not a reflection on Cubs manager Mike Quade, Rothschild said.

“The opportunity presented itself here [with the Yankees],” Rothschild said Friday. “I
didn’t feel it was time to leave the Cubs. It’s hard because I’m very
close with Mike Quade and have a lot of respect for him as a baseball
person and think he’ll do a great job.

“It was time, family-wise, that the decision became relatively easy,” he
said. “The opportunity with the Yankees doesn’t come along every day.”

Cubs GM Jim Hendry was expected to name a replacement shortly after Thanksgiving. Among the internal candidates are Minor League pitching coordinator Mark Riggins and Triple-A manager Mike Mason. One person who is not in the mix is four-time Cy Young winner Greg Maddux, who is an assistant to Hendry. Maddux has told the Cubs he prefers the more flexible schedule he has in which he works at Spring Training and with the Minor Leaguers and does some scouting.

Rothschild lives less than two miles from the Yankees’ facility in Tampa, and said he’ll be able to get started with the pitchers right away. He knows Yankees manager Joe Girardi well. Girardi was a catcher on the Cubs in Rothschild’s first year with the team in 2002.

— Carrie Muskat

10/26 Coaches update

Cubs manager Mike Quade needs a new bench coach and Ryne Sandberg does not appear to be in line for the job. Alan Trammell, who was the bench coach for four years under Lou Piniella, has joined Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson’s staff as bench coach, Arizona announced Tuesday. Trammell joins other former Cubs as Don Baylor was named hitting coach and Eric Young named first base coach. Gibson was Trammell’s bench coach in Detroit when Trammell managed the Tigers from 2003-05.

Quade, given a two-year contract one week ago after a successful six-week term at the end of the 2010 season, was not expected to name the rest of his staff until after the World Series. MLB asks teams to refrain from making any announcements during the series, which gets underway Wednesday in San Francisco between the Giants and Rangers.

Sandberg, one of the finalists for the Cubs manager’s job, was not expected to replace Trammell on the bench and it was not clear what role the Hall of Fame second baseman would have in the organization. That likely will be one of the topics discussed during the Cubs’ organizational meetings, which get underway next week in Arizona.

The majority of the Cubs staff was expected to return in 2011, including pitching coach Larry Rothschild, hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, bullpen coach Lester Strode, third base coach Ivan DeJesus and first base coach Bob Dernier. Dernier had been the team’s roving baserunning instructor before joining the big league team when Quade took over for Piniella on Aug. 23.

Matt Sinatro, who was a special assistant to the manager and involved with the scouting reports and working with the catchers, was not expected to return in 2011.

— Carrie Muskat

10/8 Extra bases

Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild has until Monday to tell the team whether he will exercise his option for 2011. Rothschild, 56, just finished his ninth season with the Cubs, who ranked 13th in the National League in ERA at 4.18. Even if Rothschild says yes, he can leave if the next Cubs manager does not want him or if Rothschild does not want to work with the new skipper.

* As of now, the list of candidates who have interviewed for the Cubs’ managerial job includes Eric Wedge, Bob Melvin, Ryne Sandberg and Mike Quade. General manager Jim Hendry has talked to at least seven others by phone but did not plan on calling any of them in for formal interviews.

* The Cubs ranked eighth in the NL in team batting average and 10th in runs scored. Hendry was happy with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, who finished his first season with the team. “He’s a hard working guy and I think you saw some positives come near the end,” Hendry said. “The guy’s been as good as there is for 15 years. I think over time his abilities will continue to grow for us.”

— Carrie Muskat

9/4 Pitching philosophy

Carlos Zambrano was pulled after throwing 102 pitches on Saturday. He’s gone deeper in games and probably could have against the Mets as well. But the Cubs have decided to lighten up the workload of their starters in the final month of the season.

Cubs manager Mike Quade and pitching coach Larry Rothschild have decided that the starters have logged a lot of pitches and innings already this season. They will call upon the relievers more.

“I think it’s better to me to be concentrating on those pitch counts now,” Quade said.

The Cubs can do this because the bullpen has been performing better.

“Right now I feel pretty good about the kids and they need the experience,” Quade said. “I don’t feel the need to tax any of them more than necessary.”

— Carrie Muskat

9/2 Silva rehab outing

Cubs pitcher Carlos Silva gave up five runs on six hits over 4 2/3 innings and took the loss in the Class A Peoria Chiefs’ 7-0 loss to Kane County Wednesday night. Silva threw 78 pitches in his second rehab outing. He cruised through the first 3 2/3 innings but in the fourth, issued a walk, a single and a three-run homer to Kane County’s Jason Christian.

The right-hander (10-5, 3.92 ERA) is coming back from a procedure to correct an abnormal heart rate on Aug. 9. He has not pitched for the Cubs since Aug. 1 when he was pulled after four batters because of the rapid heart rate. The next step for Silva will be determined after Cubs manager Mike Quade and pitching coach Larry Rothschild meet Friday.

— Carrie Muskat

8/18 Soto & Silva updates

Geovany Soto hit off a batting tee for the second day Wednesday and has yet to take batting practice but he is on schedule to be activated Sunday from the disabled list. Soto hit off the tee for the first time since going on the disabled list Aug. 7 with a sprained ligament in his right shoulder.

“I think as far as Geo’s concerned, he’s on track for Sunday, unless there’s a setback,” Lou Piniella said Wednesday.

* Pitcher Carlos Silva, hoping to return to the rotation after undergoing a procedure to correct an abnormal heart rate, threw 40 pitches on the side Wednesday. It was his second bullpen session since he had the cardiac ablation on Aug. 9. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild was to meet with the medical staff to discuss the next step for Silva (10-5, 3.92 ERA), which most likely will include a Minor League rehab start.

— Carrie Muskat