Have I ever mentioned that I’m a big fan of Todd Coffey?
“Coffey looks confident,” Reds manager Jerry Narron said emphatically. “He looks like he knows he’s a Major League pitcher that can get guys out, and rightly so. It’s nice to see.”
Last season, Coffey worked a club-high 81 games while he went 6-7 with a 3.58 ERA. Although he’s gotten consideration for the vacant closer’s role, he’ll likely work in the sixth, seventh or eighth innings this season.
A still-in-development split-fingered fastball has the makings of giving Coffey another source of increased confidence. When he struck out the side on Sunday in his one inning against the Pirates, two of the outs came via the split-finger pitch.
Coffey stopped using the split-finger while in Double-A in 2004, and lost the feel of the pitch. He’s been tinkering with it since last season but has worked on it and his mechanics with pitching coach Dick Pole and bullpen coach Tom Hume.
“It’s another bullet for you,” Coffey said. “It’s another pitch you can throw at them, or you don’t have to throw it, too. Because [hitters think] he has a split, that could be a way to lock them up with a fastball, or a slider.”
I don’t know why, but I just like this kid. Perhaps it’s because he is one of the few pitchers in the Reds’ bullpen who can actually get someone out.
Blame Chad for creating this mess.
Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.
You can email Chad at firstname.lastname@example.org.