Cubs' Casey Coleman Could Contribute

Cacophony! Car! Cranberry! Cookie! LOOK AT ME I'M ALLITERATING.

But I'm being serious about Casey Coleman. The kid might be more than just org-filler after all.

Coleman's time with the major league team was, for the most part, split into two stints: he started nine major league games in April and May; spent most of the summer with Iowa, save a couple spot starts; and re-assumed a spot with the Cub rotation in mid-August.

That first stint — the April-May stuff — did not go well. Prior to the All-Star Break, Coleman posted a 7.23 ERA, a 1.94 WHIP, and 28 walks in 42.1 innings pitched, against just 31 strikeouts. Not good, not good at all.

Fortunately, his cumulative efforts in Iowa were at least OK: a 3.65 ERA is passable, as is a 54:22 K:BB ratio. Furthermore, it looks as though something may have clicked for him after a July 26 start when he got shelled by the Nashville Sounds. In the four starts following that effort, Coleman notched 20 strikeouts in 25 innings, against just three walks. And of the five runs he allowed over that stretch, four came on solo home runs (worth noting: the PCL is known to favor power hitters).

Well, whatever, what are four starts in the Pacific Coast League worth? I mean, look at Coleman's stats in the 42 major league innings he pitched after being called up from Iowa:

42.0 IP, 48 H, 26 ER, 44 SO, 18 BB

Admittedly most of the rate stats still sucked. A 5.57 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP do not qualify one for a role in a major league starting rotation — even that of the 2012 Cubs (yuk yuk yuk!).

But at least they're better than the first half of the year. Coleman pitched 42.1 innings before the break, and 42 after. In the year's second half, he cut his walks down from 28 to 18, and increased his strikeouts from 31 to 44. So, hey, there's some growth there.

And remember — this kid is still just 24 years old. Not that I'm saying this guy's gonna wake up tomorrow and throw like Matt Moore, but there is still room for some growth. To that end, the last thing I'll point out is Coleman's fastball velocity chart over the course of his career, courtesy of Fangraphs. The gray bars show the range of velocities on Coleman's fastballs thrown in each of his starts, while the green dot indicates average velocity.

Maybe it's just me, but don't the green dots furthest to the right look higher on average than the ones to the left? If Coleman can consistently throw fastballs in the 90-92 range instead of the 86-88 range, maybe this team can get something of value out of him yet.

Or maybe I'm reading way too far into this crap and the kid's just org-filler like we all say he is. Yeah, probably that.

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  • AJ ... 15th rd 2008 draft ... I thought Casey showed enough promise last year that I pulled for him to make it this year. He was barely above awful much of the time.

    You're right ... his early velocity was way down ... and he just plain doesn't have good enough "stuff" to miss bats unless he's on the black all the time. That said, odd that it was his father who spotted and corrected a flaw in his motion that seemed to restore not only velocity but command. (Can we please send severance checks to Q, Riggins and DeJesus?)

    2011 Cub stats ... 84 innings, 102 hits, 10 HRs, 46 walks ... bad!!!

    I'm with you ... he's 24 ... the kid is a roster filler at AAA ... and a back of the rotation filler for injuries. We've got much more impressive talent in the low minors.

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