Yankees hire Matt Blake as pitching coach

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman walks on the field during a baseball team workout Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, at Yankee Stadium in New York. Yankees will host the Minnesota Twins in the first game of an American League Division Series on Friday. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)|Art or Photo Credit: Frank Franklin II/AP

The New York Yankees have announced that Matt Blake has been named the club's pitching coach.

Blake, 34, joins the Yankees' Major League staff after four seasons with the Cleveland Indians (2016-19), where he was recently promoted to Director of Pitching Development. He had spent the last three seasons as the club's Assistant Director of Player Development, a role in which he oversaw the formation of pitching strategy for the organization, collaborating with coaches, coordinators and front office personnel. He also assisted with leadership of the organization's player development staff and the design and execution of the staff's programs, policies and curricula. He began his time with Cleveland in 2016 as the Lower Level Pitching Coordinator.

In 2019, five young starters Blake worked with contributed for Cleveland at the Major League level. Each member of that quintet - Mike Clevinger, Shane Bieber, Zach Plesac, Adam Plutko and Aaron Civale - were developed in the Indians' farm system, including three (Bieber, Plesac and Civale) who spent their entire minor league careers under Blake's instruction since being drafted together in 2016. These five pitchers combined to produce 13.3 WAR (FanGraphs) over 107 games (105 starts) in 2019, anchoring the starting rotation for a 93-win team.

Prior to joining the Indians, Blake served seven years as the pitching coordinator for Cressey Sports Performance in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., while also spending time coaching the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox of the Cape Cod League. 

The Concord, N.H., native pitched four seasons at the College of the Holy Cross (Mass.) and graduated in 2007 with a degree in Psychology and Philosophy.