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Larry Rothschild thinks he can get Sonny Gray back on track

Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild talks to starting

Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild talks to starting pitcher Sonny Gray during the second inning of the team's baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday in Toronto. Credit: AP / Fred Thornhill

TORONTO — It’s back to the drawing board for Sonny Gray, and quick.

Aaron Boone repeated Saturday what he said after Gray’s latest implosion Friday night: The struggling righthander will make his next scheduled start Wednesday night in Baltimore.

“There’s some things Larry’s kind of identified, small adjustments mechanically,” Boone said of pitching coach Larry Rothschild. “A couple of things that could really help him create better shape with his pitches.”

Speaking a little bit later, Rothschild declined to get into the specifics.

“Just a few things,” he said. “He’s been working. I don’t have any problem with the work he’s put in and the effort. There’s some things we talked about today, and when we do the side [session], we’re going to work on a few things just to try and get some things smoothed off.”

There is much to be done in that regard. Gray pitched only two innings Friday — his shortest outing of the season — and allowed five runs. That dropped him to 5-7 with a 5.85 ERA this season and 9-14 with a 4.92 ERA as a Yankee.

Needless to say, those aren’t anywhere close to the kind of numbers the Yankees envisioned when they acquired Gray from the A’s before last July’s trade deadline. At the time of the deal, Gray was 44-36 with a 3.42 ERA in his five-year career, including 6-5 with a 3.43 ERA in 2017.

“He’s got a history, a history of pitching really well,” Rothschild said. “I think that’s the thing we have to remember. Right now it’s just getting him back to some of the basics and understanding that this can be put in the rearview mirror quickly if you do it right.”

Rothschild added: “The movement and the spin on the breaking ball [is there], but the finish to his pitches hasn’t been the same. We need to get him back downhill and down in the zone.”

Though supportive Friday and Saturday and saying there’s been no consideration given to skipping Gray, Boone also indicated that he needs results at some point to keep it that way.

The Yankees are expected to battle with the Red Sox all summer, and the possibility is very real that one of those clubs will win well over 100 games yet have to play in the one-game wild-card round. Clearly, the Yankees can’t afford to throw Gray every five days if there isn’t tangible improvement.

“The standings and where you are, that matters,” Boone said. “That certainly factors into decision-making and how long you go with certain people and stuff like that . . . Every team’s situation is a little different, but how you’re playing and where you are in the standings [are] factors, absolutely.”

But Boone isn’t at the point of making any get-it-together-now-or-else declarations.

“Larry, as do I, believes that even though the results aren’t there, that he is a lot closer and feels like if we can somehow get him there, he has a chance to really impact our club,’’ he said. “And I think Larry’s still holding on to that and feels like hopefully they can unlock some things here in the days before the next start and hopefully we can see those results.”


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