What makes Phillies think a data-driven, techno-based pitching coach will work this time?

The Phillies jumped back on the information and technology superhighway on their route to hiring their new pitching coach. Caleb Cotham, in the words of manager Joe Girardi, “knows all the new stuff.”

Cotham, whose appointment was officially announced on Friday, is the team’s fifth pitching coach in five years. He replaces Bryan Price, who retired one season into a three-year deal in October, citing a desire to spend more time with his family. Price, who had previously managed in the majors and been pitching coach with three clubs, had joined the Phils a year earlier as a highly regarded old-schooler ready to strike a more traditional tone with a pitching staff that had rebelled against the new-school ways of Chris Young a year earlier.

Girardi admitted to having significant influence in hiring Cotham. What makes him think new school is going to work this time?

“Caleb wants to get to know every pitcher,” Girardi answered. “He’s about giving them the information they want and want to handle. He’s not about saying, ‘You have to do it this way.’

“He’s not going to take anything away from anyone. He’s going to look for every opportunity to make every pitcher better through his knowledge, which I think there’s a ton of. But he’s not trying to make cookie-cutter pitchers. Zach Eflin is going to pitch different than Zack Wheeler who is going to pitch different than Aaron Nola and Caleb understands…

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