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.
Maybe the Reds should pay him like a pitching coach and give him the title of Future Head Pitching Coach. Sell him on that he gets to continues to learn and work with Boddy and Johnson. It would be like what the Jets arranged with Bill Belichick. Of course, that didn’t work out too well for the Jets.
The Reds have been groundbreaking with their embrace of pitching analytics and the teachings of Driveline and Kyle Boddy. When you have good people as the Reds do in pitching development, other teams are going to come looking for people looking for chances to advance their careers. This is similar to Tampa Bay, which has become the envy of its peers due to its methods of producing winning teams on lean budgets. Lieutenants in Tampa’s front office frequently move on to higher positions in other organizations, and the same is going to happen with people involved with Cincinnati pitching. It’s a good problem to have.
If Cotham walk away who should be his replacement?
I have a bucket in me.
Pay him well. Expand his role. Keep the staff together for another run.
Of course, he could do for Philadelphia’s staff what Price did! Price did such a great job that he was able to retire one year into a three year contract. I know nothing about Cotham, but can one really learn everything there is to know from Johnson and Boddy in two years, and learn it well enough to implement it without their guidance, teaching, and input? Maybe so, maybe not. It’s a big gamble for Cotham. If he is not ready and fails miserably, where does that leave him. Maybe the pitching coach version of Bryan Price the manager.
Presumably before the Reds follow the advice of above posts they will consult with Johnson and Boddy, who may have already identified the next Caleb Cotham.
Well said. It can be called ‘the pursuit of a career.’ People move on.
In a word, “yes” with the follow-up two words being “this week”.
“…develop one of the best pitching staffs in the Major Leagues.”
I LOVE IT! Nice line Sir Douglas of the Red Leg Nation!
This will be the 2nd year in a row we got a #2 plucked away. Last year it was our Director of Hitting Donnie Ecker. Add to that the loss of Dicky, and I’m starting to wonder how much of what the Reds have been building is intact.
Why not Mario Soto to replace him?? Also Doug has there been any talk of asking Votto to redo his contract to say pay him the rest of his contract over the next 4 years ($75 million for 3 years and a $7 million buy out) 82 million say defer it say 9 years to help resign Bauer? Or also help with other needs like at SS as well?
Pay him an extra $5 million if he simply agrees to retire. DH or no DH, I don’t see the value of keeping him in the lineup for what he used to be.