In every ending, there is a beginning, or so I once read on a motivational poster in my boss's office. As we mourn the end of the Justin Maxwell Era (a winning era, I might add!) we mark the beginning of the Casey Coleman Era. Who is Casey Coleman?
Casey Coleman was a 15th round pick by the Chicago Cubs in 2008 out of Florida Gulf Coast University where he was teammates with Chris Sale. He was the first ever Eagle to reach the big leagues (the university was founded in 1991, its baseball program began in 2003). Casey is the son of Joe Coleman, Jr. a former All-Star and two-time 20-game winner for the Tigers in the 1970s, and the grandson of Joe Coleman, Sr., an All-Star pitcher with the Philadelphia Athletics in the late 40s and early 50s. Casey has not made any All-Star games. The Colemans are a three-generation MLB family, joining the Bell family (Gus, Buddy, David), the Boone family (Ray, Bob, Aaron and Bret), the Hairston family (Sam, Jerry Sr., Jerry, Jr. and Scott) and the Schofield family (Ducky, Dick, and Jayson Werth).
Casey struggled to strike out hitters with a 6.0 strikeout per nine inning ratio, and his walk total was higher than you'd like for a guy who doesn't strike out hitters (3.2 walks per nine). Still, he put up decent ERA numbers and rose through the system quickly. By age 22, in his second full professional season, he was in the big leagues, putting up a 4.11 ERA in 12 games for the Cubs in 2010, although with an unimpressive 27 strikeouts and 25 walks in 57 innings.
Coleman actually improved his strikeout numbers significantly the next year, but his lack of command caught up to him. Casey walked nearly five hitters per nine innings and he posted an awful Kyle Davies-esque 6.40 ERA in 84 innings as the Cubs somehow let him make 17 starts. Coleman bounced between Chicago and AAA Iowa in 2012, and he was horrendous out of the pen for Chicago with a 7.40 ERA in 24 innings. He spent all of 2013 in the minor leagues, mostly in the pen. After one bad relief appearance for Iowa in 2014, the Cubs let him go. On April 17, the Royals signed him to a minor league contract.
Coleman throws in the low 90s, relying on a curveball and a changeup. He has a 45.1% ground ball rate in the big leagues. If he's not going to be striking guys out, he really needs to throw strikes to have any kind of chance in the big leagues. With his track record, that's not a really good bet.