Rothschild, Coaching Staff Returns

The Cubs announced Tuesday that their entire coaching staff, including pitching coach Larry Rothschild, would return for the 2006 season.

Rothschild had been mulling an offer to join the Detroit Tigers' coaching staff as new Tiger manager Jim Leyland's pitching coach.

The former manager of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Rothschild was brought on as pitching coach in October of 2001 by then-Cubs manager Don Baylor after Baylor fired his first pitching coach, the fan-favorite Oscar Acosta.

Rothschild previously served as pitching coach under Leyland in 1997 when the Florida Marlins bought the World Series and then, piece by piece, sold it to the highest bidder within the following year. Dave Dombrowski, Florida's General Manager at the time, is now the GM of the Tigers, who signed Leyland to a three-year contract barely 24 hours after the team fired ex-manager Alan Trammell last week.

Under Rothschild, the Cubs finished ninth in the National League in ERA (4.19) this year; third in both 2003 (3.83) and 2004 (3.81); and 12th (4.29) in 2002.

The Cubs also retained coaches Gene Clines (hitting), Gary Matthews (first base), Chris Speier (third base), Dick Pole (bench), and Juan Lopez (bullpen).

Under Clines, the Cubs finished with a .270 team batting average, tied for the second best mark in the National League in 2005. However, they were 11th in the league in on-base percentage and ninth in runs scored.

Matthews was the Cubs' hitting coach under manager Dusty Baker during 2003 and 2004, but was moved to first base coaching duties prior to the 2005 season when he and Clines switched roles. A former Cub outfielder, Matthews had previously served as hitting coach for the Milwaukee Brewers and Toronto Blue Jays. Speier, a former coach with the Oakland A's, returns for his second season on Baker's staff. He replaced Wendell Kim as third base coach following the 2004 season.

Pole will return for his eighth season as a coach and fourth since Baker was named manager in 2002. Pole previously served as Cubs pitching coach under Don Zimmer from 1988-91.

Baker returns for his fourth season as Cubs manager and 14th big league season overall.


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