Your favorite beat reporter and mine Jim Salisbury is reporting that the Phillies are close to making at least one major decision so far in the hiring of a new pitching coach. From his story:
The Phillies appear to be on the verge of hiring a new pitching coach. Cincinnati Reds assistant pitching coach Caleb Cotham has emerged as the clear frontrunner, according to multiple baseball sources.
Finding a new pitching coach is a big part of the team’s offseason plans. They’ve had trouble developing pitchers at the minor league level, so might as well start hiring people that can do it at the big league level. Besides, a lot of their 2021 season is riding on the fortunes of names like Zach Eflin and several names in the bullpen.
Cotham has some of that sweet, sweet Driveline experience that has turned a lot of careers around.
Cotham has a background in data and new technologies stemming from his experience with Driveline and the Bledsoe Agency, where he was director of pitching before joining the Reds. He is a protege of Derek Johnson, who was the pitching coach at Vanderbilt University and with the Milwaukee Brewers before joining the Reds in 2019.
While it may not seem like the sexy hire, it’s an important one if it comes to fruition. Were Cotham to help the pitchers in the big leagues improve, it’ll go a long way to helping the team get back to the playoffs.