College basketball fans are well aware of Florida Gulf Coast University. FGCU made a name for itself when they upset Georgetown University in the 2013 NCAA tournament. After building a 52-33 lead, FGCU held off a late rally en route to a 78-68 victory.
For Florida Gulf Coast, it was a day of opportunity. That wasn’t the case for Chicago Cubs pitcher Casey Coleman. Along with Chris Sale, Coleman is one of two current MLB pitchers who played collegiate baseball at FGCU. Sale is an ace pitcher for the Chicago White Sox. At age 23, Sale will make his first Opening Day start in 2013.
Coleman wasn’t as fortunate. On the same day that FGCU won their first NCAA tournament game, the 25-year-old pitcher was demoted to the minor leagues. This spring, Coleman allowed five hits in 6.1 scoreless innings.
Is Coleman a Triple-A pitcher or MLB pitcher? He’s a good example of something in-between: a Quadruple-A pitcher (AAAA). Since his debut in 2010, Coleman has been promoted and demoted 11 times. He has a career 5.76 MLB ERA. His ERA has declined in each of his first three seasons.
According to Cubs manager Dale Sveum, Coleman has changed his delivery. Sveum wants Coleman to keep working on it in the minor leagues. If another injury occurs in the bullpen, Coleman would probably head the list of potential call-ups.
I’m not putting much faith into his spring numbers; it’s just 6.1 innings. He has had plenty of opportunities, yet it has never clicked for him. It’s a stretch to think that he’ll amount to more than a pitcher who keeps bouncing back from the 25-man roster and Triple-A.
We’ll see if Coleman continues to pitch well in meaningful games—in the minors.
Regardless of what happens, it’s good to see that he hasn’t quit. Or pull his quad.