In the end, the Cubs took the path of least resistance in opening up a spot for newly-signed pitcher Scott Feldman.

Today the Cubs designated up-and-down pitcher Casey Coleman for assignment, which removes him from the 40-man roster. The roster stands at 40 now, with the addition of Feldman.

The Cubs will have 10 days to release, waive, or trade Coleman, who didn’t do much in his limited opportunities with the big club in 2011 and 2012. Coleman, 25, was the Cubs’ minor league pitcher of the year a few years ago, but his stuff never really translated at the big league level, even when working out of the pen.

If the Cubs decide to waive Coleman, and he clears waivers – which seems likely – he could be outrighted to AAA Iowa. There, he might stick in the Iowa rotation and serve as depth if an injury/trade rash should hit the big league club.

I’d still like to see what he could do if given a chance to fully commit to the pen, though. He showed flashes of an almost mid-90s fastball and a solid slider last year, and maybe there’s something there if he settles in as a reliever.

We’ll see what happens to him.

  • North Side Irish

    Was this like an obituary for a celebrity? Where you wrote the body of it weeks ago and just added the particulars in the opening paragraph.

    • Brett

      Haha. I did get it up fast, didn’t I? I didn’t have it pre-written (although I have been clever enough to do that before), but I’d given some thought to what I might say in the event that, eventually, Coleman was booted.

  • Kyle

    I can think of a couple of guys on the 40-man I like less, but it doesn’t really matter.

    • ETS

      I can too, but my hope is they are gone before the rules 5.

    • BD

      I wouldn’t say I like anybody less- they are all tied for “please remove them from the 40-man.”

  • Kyle


  • Teddy Ballgame

    Seems like a good guy, but peace out homie. Didn’t get it done at any point. I’ve been wanting this to happen for over a year now…painful watching him on the mound.

  • MightyBear

    Not surprising.

  • João Lucas

    Iowa’s rotation next year might become a little crowded. Right now I figure it would be Rusin, Raley, Vizcaino, Cabrera and Struck, but there are also Coleman, Loux, maybe Bowden, maybe even that guy Yoanner Negrin. (And, who knows, maybe Travis Wood if we sign someone else.)

    • Brett

      Good call. Could be an issue (a small one, but a legit one).

      • Noah

        Well, even if we sign someone else, odds are pretty good that Baker doesn’t appear for the Cubs until early to mid-May. On top of that, I think for either Wood or Feldman if they aren’t starting they’ll be in the bullpen, not in Iowa. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Cubs still end up with Cabrera and Bowden in the MLB bullpen to start the season, and I also wouldn’t be surprised if, at least at the beginning of the I-Cubs season, the Cubs limit Vizcaino so that the first few weeks they essentially run two starters out when Vizcaino pitches.

        • Brett

          Alternatively on Vizcaino, I could see the Cubs hold him back completely until May or June.

          • Rich

            Brett with the moves made so far to our pitching who do you see as the best candidate to be our Taxi squad pitcher from Iowa this year like Wood was at the beginning of last year?

            • Brett

              I think it’ll depend on who the “other” guy is, if the Cubs make a move. Could wind up being the case that it’s Wood again (but instead of Iowa, he’s shuffled to the pen and back), or it could be someone like Bowden, Rusin, or Raley. Or Cabrera, if he takes to the rotation well.

              • Rich

                I would rather see Cabrera have a real shot at starting and get about 15 in Iowa this year. After that they will have a better idea if he is ready to be a big leaguer or not.

                • Noah

                  My concern with the Cabrera starting experiment is that he was a starter all the way up through 2011. Maybe they are trying to teach him a splitter to emulate Samardzija’s success instead of trying to teach him a change? But my guess is that we’ll have a good idea of if Cabrera is grasping that third pitch pretty quickly. If he is, by all means keep him in Iowa to work on it more. But if he’s not, might as well just put him in the pen now.

    • cubchymyst

      I think at this point if Coleman ends up in Iowa he stays in the Pen. No use trying to fit him into the already crowded starting rotation and he has not shown the ability to be a starter in the MLB.

  • Fastball

    Now I am in the Theo camp. Finally wacked this guy who was awful. Keep thinning the herd Theo.

  • Dylan

    Will miss him.

    He was always one of my favorite pitchers (just in general) when I saw him in spring training back in 09 or so.

    Yeah, I know he wasn’t the best, but I also saw him pitch in Iowa a couple of times.

    Also, to make this feel better, I converted him into a reliever and now is my closer in MLB the Show on my PS3.

    Yeah….he had 40ish saves in 2015.

    A guy can dream, can he?

    • Fishin Phil

      Seems like a nice guy, but his stuff has never impressed me. Farewell Casey, enjoy Des Moines!

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Coleman definitely had a fan-club here. There was a belief that he was very coachable and thus a real sleeper. I think that supposition got smashed this summer in the same way that Coleman’s fastballs did.

      • TWC

        …and I’m pretty sure Ace was, well, if not *in* the fan club, he certainly hung out with the kids that were.

        • Brett

          I’m trying to remember my evolving opinion on him (which, I suppose is probably fair with a young player getting more and more exposure). I always liked his age/level combo, and he has always had decent movement on his fastball. But I know I never said he’d be more than a back-end starter (though I suspect I was pretty confident he’d reach that ceiling).

          • TWC

            Well, I remember you being much more bullish on him than you might remember, but that’s often to be expected. I still can’t wait for Ty Griffin to take over 2nd base.

  • Matty

    Figgins has been released by Seattle. Would you take a flier on him if you were the Cubs?

    • DarthHater

      Would you take a flier on him if you were the Cubs?

      I would put him on an airplane flying AWAY from Chicago…

    • Brett


    • DocPeterWimsey

      The only look Figgins is worth is an autopsy. Seriously, how did someone go from being considered the best free agent signing of a winter to mediocre to bad in 18 months? He completely lost his batting eye and any bat speed, it seems.

  • Riggs

    $480,000 might be worth the flier. You could possibly platoon him with Keppinger(if you get him) at 3B and if he takes off you flip him at the deadline for a prospect. A playoff team might like him for his speed?

    • TWC

      No one likes Chone Figgins, not even his mother.

    • Rich

      What speed? The last 2 years he totaled 15 stolen bases in 22 attempts. He can’t hit anymore (.181). He doesn’t even get on base like he use to. I want this guy as far away from the Cubs as can be. Now if you talked him about being a “Personal Coach” for Campana to see if he can develop that lead off hitters skill set then I am all for it. Just don’t let him near the field unless it is to remove the tarp after a rain delay.

  • KidCubbie

    Anybod see the Cubs grooming Vizciano as a future closer? I think i would prefer him to go that route as opposed to streching him our for starting duty. Maybe its just me but i like his stuff at the end of the game. I think it translates well.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Was doing a google search about a current agent, and the 2002 player draft popped up. Pretty interesting story of life as a Cub fan.
    With the 21st pick, the Cubs took some 22 year old pitcher from the baseball factory Rutgers named Bobby Brownlie. He flamed out in AAA. Four picks later, the Giants took a right handed pitcher named Matt Cain.
    The Cubs had two supplemental picks. With the 32nd pick, they took a lefty pitcher named Luke Hagerty, who never made it past A ball. With the 38th pick, the Cubs took another right handed pitcher named Chad Blasko, gave him a million bucks. He made it to AA.
    Eight picks later the Reds took a guy named Joey Votto.
    Wonder if Votto and Cain were on the Cubs boards that day.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      This does look bad. However, remember, it was not just the Cubs drafting: look at how many other no-names were drafted in front of Cain and Votto! Indeed,if the Reds were oh-so-clever, then why did they draft Chris Gruler before Cain, FIelder, Hamels & Greinke (not to mention Votto!) with the #4 pick?

      Now, the 2002 first round actually was pretty good: 8 of the 40 guys in the main or supplemental round have made All Star Teams. In other words, one pick in 5 was a future all-star: that means some pretty good scouting. On the other hand, a lot of these guys never even made the big leagues! That’s the issue with young baseball players: we almost always put the best players at the top, but we also put a bunch of also rans with them.

      • Noah

        I didn’t read Moneyball until years after it was released (sometime in ’08 or ’09), but I chuckled at Brownlie’s mention. If I recall correctly, he was someone that Beane and company viewed as one of the best prospects in the draft, but was just way too expensive for them.

      • Jeff

        If you want to have fun sometime, go back and look at the Cubs drafts since the amateur draft began in 1965 and see how many and who has made it to the bigs. After doing so you will find that their best draft pick ever was there very first one in 1965. That year they picked Ken Holtzman, who had some really good years for them until they traded him for Rick Monday. Monday then had some very productive years on some very awful teams before they traded him for Ivan DeJesus. Ivan DeJesus then had some good years before they traded him for Larry Bowa and a “throw in” named Ryne Sandberg. I would call that a heck of a haul from one draft pick!

  • Riggs

    Completely understand on Figgins…he has been terrible. Funnny thing is his combined numbers for the last two seasons are very close with Ian Stewarts :) Before you go off…I know that Stewart is younger with more upside.

  • Jed

    Hey Brett, I just heard on Cubs Den that 2 Cubans just defected and are set to become free agents. What have you heard about them?

  • terencem

    Hopefully some more Cubans defect after the WBC, too.

  • cb

    You can make the same comment about a lot of drafts. The Trailblazers taking Sam Bowie ahead of Jordan… Tony Mandarich …

    Just because someone looks like they’re going to be a stud doesn’t mean they develop into one. The draft isn’t an exact science.

    I think Iowa’s going to be pretty crowded this next year. That’s pretty exciting – to look at our minors and go “wow, how do you fit all these guys in?”

    • Kyle

      Obviously, when you are talking about decade-old prospects, it’s hard to remember for sure, but I remember Brownlie as an overslot type that people were very hot and bothered over. Supposed to be a top-10 talent.

  • Mike Taylor (no relation)

    The Coleman crux is that he hasn’t been able to develop a change up. Plain and simple. He has no business in a rotation. Batters crush him the second time around in a lineup (if he gets through a lineup the first time). His fastball isn’t fast enough to be a “conventional heat-thrower” for the pen, so any value he has now at the big league level would be as a garbage time innings-eater. He should stay in the pen, unless a small-market team needs cheap rotational depth and we can work out a trade.

    …at least Samardzija’s breaking pitches have some velocity drop to them. I know he doesn’t throw a traditional change up, but has found something that works for him. We’ll see how he does this year when the league has a whole year to approach him differently.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Wait: you are telling me that wasn’t a changeup Coleman was throwing all the time?!?!? Ooooh……

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