Our first batch of Reds rumors for the winter center around Caleb Cotham.
According to NBC Sports Philadelphia, Caleb Cotham, the Cincinnati Reds Assistant Pitching Coach, is the “clear frontrunner” to be the Philadelphia Phillies new pitching coach. These latest Reds rumors shouldn’t come as a shock, as Cincinnati’s pitching staff, who now boasts the 2020 NL Cy Young-winner, has been among the best in Major League Baseball for the past two seasons.
Cotham was hired to be Derek Johnson’s assistant upon the former Milwaukee Brewers coach’s hiring back in 2018. Johnson has long been regarded as one of the best pitching coaches in the league, so it stands to reason that Cotham has certainly learned a great deal under his tutelage.
Cotham began as Cincinnati’s assistant pitching coach when he was hired, but was given additional responsibilities this past season as the director of pitching. Many of the Reds players have praised Cotham for his work with them over the past two seasons.
Caleb Cotham played for the Cincinnati Reds during the 2016 season after being part of the trade that sent Aroldis Chapman to the New York Yankees. Cincinnati also received Rookie Davis, Eric Jageilo, and Tony Renda. Unfortunately, none of those players are still a part of the organization.
Cotham did not have much success during his major league career, owning a 1-3 record with a 7.15 ERA. However, as mentioned earlier, Cotham is beloved by the players. Both Michael Lorenzen and Trevor Bauer have spoken very highly of the 33-year-old.
Ironically, if Cotham joined the Philadelphia Phillies, he’d be replacing former Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price. Price resigned after one season as Philadelphia’s pitching coach, a position he previously held with the Reds.
Caleb Cotham, like Derek Johnson, is firmly entrenched in the world of analytics. A data-driven coach has become all the rage in Major League Baseball, and with the recent success of the Tampa Bay Rays and World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers, it’s hard to argue.
Though this is the first of this winter’s Reds rumors to hit the wire, it won’t be the last. Look for fans and pundits alike to connect the dot should Cotham be hired away and project that Trevor Bauer signs with the Phillies this offseason. Philadelphia would definitely fit the mold of a franchise looking to win now, something Bauer has expressed as one of his chief desires.