The Cincinnati Reds signed Louis Coleman to a minor league contract and there is no secret what to expect.
The signing of Louis Coleman by the Cincinnati Reds holds no secrets. Coleman has been good enough to pitch in the majors at least part of every year since 2011. He is also considered weak enough that the lowly Reds were able to sign him to a minor league deal.
That’s not meant as a knock on Coleman. The Kansas City Royals selected him in the fifth round of the draft and he pitched in mostly low leverage situations for them from 2011 through 2015. Last season he pitched higher leverage situations than he had previously for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
If he enters camp healthy, Coleman should have the inside track on a spot in the bullpen. His obstacle is earning a spot on the forty man roster, if none of the other players land on the 60 day DL. It could be tough justifying Wandy Peralta or Arismendy Alcantara pass through waivers, just to add Coleman.
Coleman’s 2016 ended poorly as he suffered arm fatigue down the stretch. This is similar to what happened to Coleman in 2014 and 2015. He definitely has shown an inability to be a high volume arm in the bullpen.
With his history of shoulder fatigue, the Cincinnati Reds know what to expect from their latest acquisition.
Without causing any heart palpitations, Coleman will have a year not too unlike Ross Ohlendorf’s 2016, if he makes the team. Actually, if he pitched as well as Ohlendorf did in the first half, the Reds would count it as a success. Coleman’s season may depend on when he joins the big league club.
So here’s what to expect from Coleman. He will pitch 50 games and 50 innings. He will allow 43 hits, 20 walks and fewer than 5 home runs. His ERA will be 3.50 and, if he stays strong, his WHIP will be roughly 1.25.
That’s how he should have a better season than Ohlendorf’s 2016. Ohlendorf wore down last season, especially in the second half, finishing with 64 appearances and 65 2/3 innings pitched. Ending up with an ERA of 4.66, Ohlendorf’s season sets the floor for a healthy Coleman. Ohlendorf has left for the land of the rising sun, so someone has to assume his role, right?
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Coleman is good for about one strikeout per inning and 10 holds over the course of the season. In the Reds’ new bullpen, that makes him the seventh inning guy on days when Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Igesias are unavailable. If the Reds can limit him to 50 innings and fewer than 900 pitches he should be OK.