The Cincinnati Reds are likely both thrilled (for Cotham, who deserves this) and disappointed today. Caleb Cotham, who was the team’s assistant pitching coach as well as their director of pitching in 2020, has been hired by the Philadelphia Phillies to be their new pitching coach. That job is open because former Reds pitching coach and manager, Bryan Price, retired following the 2020 season after the first year of a three year deal he signed with Philadelphia before the start of the 2020 season.
It’s been a quick rise for Caleb Cotham in the professional ranks. His first job in professional baseball after retiring as a player came in 2018 with the Reds when he joined Derek Johnson’s staff as an assistant pitching coach. Cotham has pitched for Johnson when Johnson was the pitching coach at Vanderbilt. Along with Johnson (bullpen coach Lee Tunnell, and the pitching staff and catchers), Cotham was a big part of what helped turn around a historically bad pitching staff for years and turn them into one of the better pitching staffs in the entire league.
At this point in time it’s unclear if the Reds will be replacing Caleb Cotham in the organization, or if they are doing that who the person would be that would take over the job. While there was clearly a link between Cotham and Johnson that likely brought him on board, the work that Cotham was doing was clearly helping the pitchers and catchers, who almost always seemed to bring up his name when talking about things they had been working on, improving, etc. Filling the role that he had seems to just make sense.