Matt Blake is a rising star in baseball and the New York Yankees are taking a chance on the former Cleveland Indians pitching coordinator.
Blake previously spent time as a pitching coordinator and player development coach with the Cleveland Indians, a team with a history of developing starting pitching.
He has Yankees ties as well, serving as a scout for the organization in 2015. He comes to New York with a strong background in analytics, which is obviously something the Yankees value. Additionally, one source told Passan that “he excels at” hands-on coaching.
As it stands, Blake appears to check all the boxes the Yankees are looking for in a pitching coach. Who he’ll be coaching in 2020 is another story entirely.
Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg are the two biggest names on the market and the Yankees are expected to make a strong push for at least one of those aces. Adding either Cole or Strasburg would make the Yankees one of the clear favorites in the American League next season.
New York’s postseason gameplan was to rely heavily on the bullpen and that often meant manager Aaron Boone was quick to pull his starter. The addition of Cole or Strasburg could conceivably give the bullpen a much-needed breather during the grueling postseason schedule.
Although the bullpen was pushed to its limit during the postseason, it will remain a strength for the Yankees going forward. The team agreed to an extension with closer Aroldis Chapman while Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle, and Chad Green are all coming back as well.
Blake should have an exceptional staff to work with during his first season as Yankees pitching coach.