Phillies hire Caleb Cotham as new pitching coach

Caleb Cotham #54 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Caleb Cotham #54 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

The Phillies have hired Caleb Cotham as their new pitching coach

The Philadelphia Phillies have hired a new pitching coach to replace the recently retired Bryan Price — Caleb Cotham.

Cotham joins the Phillies from the Cincinnati Reds organization, who hired him in January 2019 as assistant pitching coach; the following October, he was promoted to assistant pitching coach and director of pitching; now, he receives a promotion for the third straight offseason as Phillies pitching coach.

Manager Joe Girardi says Cotham has many strengths as a pitching coach that the team believes will help him “excel” with the team’s staff.

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“[Caleb] has a very good feel for evaluating pitchers and getting them back on track when things start to go wrong,” Girardi adds. “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.”

NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury recently reported that the data-driven 33-year-old “emerged as the clear frontrunner” for the open position, which preceded Jon Heyman’s report that the team hopes to finalize a deal with Cotham soon. Both ultimately came to fruition.

“Cotham has a chemistry with [Girardi],” Salisbury writes. “He pitched in the majors, breaking in with Girardi’s 2015 Yankees. He appeared in 35 games over two seasons with the Yankees and Reds.”

The Phils reportedly also interviewed at least five other candidates for their pitching coach position, including their current assistant pitching coach Dave Lundquist and minor-league pitching coordinator Rafael Chaves, as well as 2008 World Series champion pitching coach Rich Dubee and Astros bullpen coach Josh Miller.

The Tennessee native Cotham will now be the fifth different Phillies pitching coach in as many seasons, joining Price, Chris YoungRick Kranitz, and Bob McClure. The former major league pitcher Cotham was selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2009 draft; in December 2015, he was dealt to the Reds as part of the Aroldis Chapman trade.

Even with hiring Cotham, the Phillies still have other key vacancies to fill and/or address, including bullpen coach, general manager, and team president.

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