The Philadelphia Phillies evidently like what they see pitching-wise from the Cincinnati Reds organization.
Just one year after signing former Reds manager Bryan Price as their pitching coach, the Phils have gone to the same organization for his replacement, Caleb Cotham, to take over for the recently-retired Price.
Phillies have hired former major leaguer Caleb Cotham as the team’s new pitching coach. pic.twitter.com/qihB7bUu4z— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) November 20, 2020
Cotham, 33, is reportedly a data-driven coach who helped Trevor Bauer win the National League Cy Young Award this year and Sonny Gray resurrect his career after floundering with the New York Yankees. Over the last two seasons, Reds pitchers have accumulated the second-most fWAR in baseball (28.1), with only the Los Angeles Dodgers (32.4) ahead of them. Their 4.11 team ERA since 2019 is 4th-best, 4.15 FIP is 3rd-best, and their 10.04 K/9 and 26.5% strikeout rate were both tops in the league.
Joe Girardi managed Cotham in 2015 where, in 12 games, he had a 6.52 ERA in 9.2 innings. For his career, which spanned the ‘15 and 2016 seasons, he had a 7.15 ERA in 34 innings for New York and the Reds. Unlike previous pitching coach Chris Young, Cotham is renowned for being able to simplify complex gameplans into digestible bites for his players.
The Phils did not enter the off-season expecting to hire a new pitching coach. Price surprised the organization when he announced he was stepping down one year into his three-year deal with the team to spend more time with his family. Cotham is the Phils’ fifth pitching coach in five years (Bob McClure, Rick Kranitz, Young, Price & Cotham), and will help the team find a new bullpen coach after Jim Gott’s contract was not renewed after the 2020 season.