Leyland: Rothschild's "as good as it gets"

The Yankees pitching rotation consisted of CC Sabathia and a bunch of question marks in spring training.

Six months later, those questions have been answered.

Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon gave the Yankees more than anyone anticipated, Ivan Nova emerged as a Rookie of the Year candidate and A.J. Burnett, after a disaster of a regular season, managed to get the victory in a must-win playoff game.

If you're a Yankee fan looking for someone to thank, look no further than first-year pitching coach Larry Rothschild.

"He's been extremely valuable to us," Joe Girardi said on Wednesday.

Detroit manager Jim Leyland took it one step further.

"He’s as good as it gets. He’s got a great demeanor. He’s very bright,” Leyland said of Rothschild. "…. Good personality and very, very low-key. He’s the total package for a pitching coach. I thought he was terrific.”

Under Rothschild's tutelage, the Yankees finished with the fourth-best team ERA (3.73) in the American League. Their bullpen withstood a season-ending injury to Joba Chamberlain to finish with the league's top ERA (3.12).

Game 5 starter Ivan Nova credits Rothschild for helping him maintain confidence throughout his 16-win regular season.

“He's a tremendous pitching coach," Nova said. "Since spring training, he’s been like a daddy for me. He helped me in spring training, he helped me throughout the season all the way."