Yankees set to name Indians' Matt Blake as pitching coach, per reports
Blake has been a pitching coordinator with the Indians
For the last three seasons, Blake who's just 33 years of age, had served as pitching coordinator and then assistant director of pitching development for the Cleveland Indians. He was just days ago promoted to director of pitching development for Cleveland. As Passan notes, Blake previously worked as an area scout in the Yankees organization.
Not long after their loss to the Astros in the ALCS this past postseason, the Yankees dismissed veteran pitching coach Larry Rothschild, who had been in that position since 2011. The Yankees this past season won 103 games, but the rotation -- thanks to injuries and inconsistency -- was not a major driver in their success. The 2019 Yankees had 12 different pitchers make starts, and their starters pitched to a 4.51 ERA, which ranked sixth in the AL. The Indians, meantime, have a long recent history of developing effective starting pitchers and a reputation for incorporating data-driven coaching into their pitching programs.
Blake will inherit a staff that's largely intact, save for the retirement of CC Sabathia. The Yankees, however, are expected to be players in the free agent market for notable names like Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg to go with holdovers Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton and J.A. Happ. Regardless of how that plays out, Blake will be expected to get better results and more durability from his rotation in 2020 and beyond while also modernizing the Yankees' approach.
Other candidates for the post reportedly included David Cone, University of Michigan pitching coach Chris Fetter, and University of Arkansas pitching coach Matt Hobbs.
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