Caleb Cotham has interviewed for two different pitching coach jobs this offseason according to Cincinnati Reds General Manager Nick Krall, as reported by C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic yesterday. We know that one of those teams is the Philadelphia Phillies. We do not know who the other team was.
We are learning today that the interview seemed to go well with the Phillies, who are looking to replace former Reds pitching coach and manager Bryan Price, who retired following the 2020 season with Philadelphia after just one season of a three-year contract he signed to be their pitching coach. Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia is reporting that Cotham, who is currently the Reds assistant pitching coach and director of pitching, has emerged as the “clear frontrunner” to land the job in Philadelphia.
For Cotham, he’s only been a professional coach for two seasons – both with the Cincinnati Reds. He joined up with the organization when current pitching coach Derek Johnson came on board. Cotham pitched for Vanderbilt when Johnson was the pitching coach at the collegiate powerhouse. If the former Major League reliever lands the job in Philadelphia he’ll be joining another former coach of his – manager Joe Girardi. When Cotham made his Major League debut it was with the New York Yankees in 2015 and under manager Joe Girardi.
It would be a rather meteoric rise for Caleb Cotham, who is just 33-years-old, to go from not being a professional baseball coach in 2018 to being the man leading a Major League Baseball team’s pitching operations as pitching coach. But Cotham has plenty of things working for him, too. He’s pitched in the big leagues, so he can relate to guys on that level. He, unfortunately, has also battled through many injuries, and has experience with working through rehab and knowing what it’s like to come back to the mound afterwards – which can again be something valuable when it comes to communicating and working with guys. With the Reds, he’s worked with Derek Johnson and others to help develop one of the best pitching staffs in the Major Leagues in each of his two seasons with the organization. The track record is short. But the results speak for themselves.