While he was still in Florida for the GM meetings, Brian Cashman talked quite a bit about the process of finding a pitching coach.
He’d never done anything like this — searching for a pitching coach without a favorite in mind — so he set up a process that went far beyond a conversation between a GM and a candidate. It was a test as much as an interview. Cashman tried to come up with a process that simulated what a pitching coach does on a day-to-day basis.
“It was very different,” Larry Rothschild said. “It was much more in-depth. It wasn’t just about a question and answer. It was about something definitive you saw when you watched video of six different hitters and three different pitchers.”
Candidates watched video of hitters from opposing teams, then had to explain how they would attack those hitters.
Candidates also watched film of three Yankees starters: CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett. Cashman said there was a total of six hours of video. Each candidate was given a full day to watch and evaluate the film. After the day of film analysis, a second day was devoted to a standard interview with both Cashman and Joe Girardi.
“It’s everything,” Cashman said in Orlando. “It’s who they are as people. What their pitching philosophies are. What their pitching programs and plans are. How they utilize video. How do they utilize information? How they incorporate our advance scouting in attacking hitters. Can they see things that are obviously good or bad? There are certain things in the video that are setup in such a way that we’re looking for them to pickup on certain things.”
Obviously, Rothschild found those certain things.
“I probably spent seven or eight hours watching the video, just to get comfortable with it,” Rothschild said. “I do a lot of video work in the season anyway, so it was nothing new. As far as an interview process it was something I had never thought of and had never see and really had never heard of.”