The Yankees made it a priority to bring in a forward-thinking pitching coach after the forced departure of Larry Rothschild. They elected to hire Matt Blake of the Cleveland Indians, known for his progressive mentality and ability to dissect pitchers beyond the analytical node.
What are the Yankees getting with Matt Blake?
Four years ago, Blake was the pitching coach at Lincoln, Sudbury Regional High School, where he also founded “Elite Pitching Developmental,” a program that allowed him to analyze and work with arms like Curt Schilling, Max Scherzer, and Noah Syndergaard.
Blake’s experience with top-level pitchers and his ability to refine their existing skills, allowed him to progress through the coaching system and find his way to the majors, where he helped the Indians develop plenty of quality arms. Bringing his approach to the Yankees organization will not only serve youngsters like Michael King and Deivi Garcia well, but the veterans on the team will also benefit from his incredible talents.
As per the NY Post:
â€œHeâ€™s ahead of his time,â€™â€™ said Kirk Fredericks, who brought Blake on as his pitching coach at Lincoln-Sudbury about a decade ago.
â€œMatt was very progressive with video analysis,â€™â€™ Cressey said. â€œHe was ahead of the curve. He picked it all up from scratch.â€™â€™
â€œYou can have all the analytics you want, if you canâ€™t disseminate it to people, it doesnâ€™t matter,â€™â€™ Cressey said. â€œAnd thatâ€™s what separates Matt.â€™â€™
Blake seems to be ahead of the curve, speaking about launch angle and spin rate before almost anyone else. His ability to see the next trend is what ultimately earned him the job as the top pitching coach for the New York Yankees. It was likely an easy job to take once it was offered, considering he worked with the Bombers as an area scout earlier on in his career.
It will be interesting to see his approach towards the game and how he will help the existing pitchers on the roster increase their efficiency on the mound.