The Philadelphia Phillies announced Friday that they’ve hired Caleb Cotham as their next pitching coach.
“Caleb has many strengths as a pitching coach that we believe will help him excel with our staff,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “He has a very good feel for evaluating pitchers and getting them back on track when things start to go wrong. The pitchers in Cincinnati were very complimentary of his game-planning ability and knowing how to play to each one of their strengths. Caleb is a tremendous competitor whose experience as both a major league pitcher and major league coach will enhance our staff.”
This won’t be Cotham’s first experience with Girardi, as he pitched 12 games for him on the New York Yankees in 2015. As Phillies Nation‘s Destiny Lugardo uncovered, Cotham actually pitched head-to-head against Aaron Nola for a few innings in 2016, when he was pitching with the Cincinnati Reds. Now, Nola will be at the forefront of the arms that Cotham is asked to get the most out of.
Cotham’s hiring hardly came as a surprise, with Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reporting last weekend that things were trending in the direction of the Phillies hiring the 33-year-old, who had most recently been the assistant pitching coach in Cincinnati.
Bryan Price’s surprising retirement earlier this offseason means that Cotham will become the Phillies fifth pitching coach in as many years. Bob McClure was the pitching coach under Pete Mackanin in 2017, while Gabe Kapler had two pitching coaches in two seasons, Rick Kranitz and Chris Young. Now, Girardi will be working with his second pitching coach as Phillies manager, hoping that this hire will bring some stability to the position.
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