Joe Coleman, a former big league pitcher himself from 1965-79 who had a 23-win season with the Tigers in '73, kept an eye on his son's outing on MLB.com on his computer. Joe gets too nervous watching Casey pitch in person.
Coleman gave up one run on two hits over six innings and struck out a career-high eight batters in the Cubs' 5-2 victory. But what most fans probably didn't notice was how Coleman had shifted to the right side of the rubber when he faced the Brewers' right-handed hitters. That was something his dad suggested. Casey knew he'd hear "I told you so" when he called his father after the game, and he did.
"[My dad] was impressed with how I kept the ball down," Casey said. "When I told him I moved to the third-base side, he's like, 'With your kind of pitches, I told you that.'
"He said, 'You'll have more success and be more deceptive.' So, he didn't come out and say, 'I told you so,' but he was pretty much saying, 'I know what I'm talking about.'"
The elder Coleman has been a pitching coach at the big league and Minor League level longer than he pitched. It's in their genes. Joe's father, also Joe Coleman, pitched in the Major Leagues from 1942-55. They are the only third generation of pitchers in the Majors.
Casey felt he needed to slide over because he had been flying open on some of his pitches from the first-base side. It worked.
"They were taking 0-1 fastballs that were strikes on the plate," Casey said of the Brewers on Monday. "It was just giving them a different look. That was big for me last night."
However, scouts probably noticed as well.
"I feel like I'm way more competitive from that side of the rubber against righties," Casey said. "If I'm on the first-base side, they know I'm not coming in very much. This opens up the right side of the plate for me."