Coleman hopes to make a lasting impression

Coleman hopes to make a lasting impression
September 27, 2011, 5:01 am
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Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011Posted: 2:00 a.m.

By Patrick Mooney
CSNChicago.com Cubs Insider Follow @CSNMooney
SAN DIEGO Casey Coleman hopes to be better for the experience, though everyone knows chances like this dont come around very often.

The Cubs viewed Coleman as the ideal insurance policy to stash at Triple-A Iowa. They didnt give him many innings during spring training, and certainly didnt foresee two starting pitchers getting injured during the first week of the season.

Nothing, it seems, has gone according to plan this year. It ended for Coleman on Monday night inside spacious PETCO Park, where the Cubs lost to the San Diego Padres 2-0 while you were following the Ozzie GuillenWhite Sox drama on the South Side.

The Cubs could have a completely new management team evaluating Coleman this winter. He didnt exactly build off his 2010 finish 4-2 with a 3.33 ERA in eight starts late last season but then again you could say the same thing about the entire organization.

Once Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner went on the disabled list, the Cubs had to go out and sign Doug Davis off the street (and release him several weeks later) and acquire Rodrigo Lopez from Atlantas Triple-A affiliate.

Coleman is only 24 years old. His father and grandfather both pitched in the big leagues. With the poise, intelligence and athleticism hes shown at times, he should stay in the picture. But he didnt nail down a big-league job this season.

Coleman cruised through five shutout innings on Monday and then broke up Mat Latos no-hitter by tripling in the sixth. He was winded when he gave up a home run to Will Venable and two doubles in the bottom half of the inning.

Its been a long year, said Coleman, who was charged with two runs in 5.2 innings. I didnt handle it the right way. I went in the dugout, rested a little bit. But as soon as I got on the mound, I didnt settle myself down. I got a little dizzy out there. (You) got to slow yourself down.

In an up-and-down season, Coleman had four separate stints with the big-league club and went 5-2 with a 3.65 ERA in 12 starts at Triple-A Iowa. He flashed signs of potential, shutting down the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field and beating the Milwaukee Brewers in September. His final line reads 3-9 with a 6.40 ERA.

Just a learning experience, Coleman said. It definitely gives me more confidence going into spring training next year.

Last August, Coleman earned his first major-league victory on the same night Mike Quade got his first win as a major-league manager. For the moment, Quade is the longest-tenured manager in Chicago, and all the heat will be on the South Side.

I know its been rough over there, Quade said. Thats a whole different world that I have no interest in getting involved in. We got enough stuff to deal with over here.

Patrick Mooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. Follow Patrick on Twitter @CSNMooney for up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.