First, a quick introduction to what you're about to see the first installment of.
In an effort to focus a bit more on the individual in a team game that consists of countless individual battles throughout, the Brewer Nation presents "Brewers By The (Jersey) Numbers: A Look at the Potential 2010 Beer Makers", which is a countdown of sorts.
When the calendar days reads such that we are a number of days away from Opening Day that corresponds with the jersey number of a player that has a realistic shot at making the 2010 25-man roster, I will profile that player in both a review of his 2009 and a preview of what can be looked forward to in 2010.
Let me put it to you this way by offering an example. April 5th is Opening Day for the Brewers. ---> February 4th is 60 days away from April 5th. ---> Todd Coffey wears jersey number 60. ---> I profile Todd Coffey on February 4th.
Make sense? Good.
So, let's get going with the first installment.
Justin Todd Coffey is a right-handed relief pitcher who was acquired by the Milwaukee Brewers as a waiver-wire claim in September of 2008 from the Cincinnati Reds.
He sprinted his way into the hearts of Brewers fans (figuratively and literally) by shutting down opponent after opponent as the Crew approached the playoffs after each sprint in from the bullpen regardless of which manager was calling his number 60.
In 2008, Coffey threw in nine games winning one. He posted an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.091. He finished three games during that stretch and, like I said, was a key piece of getting Milwaukee to the post-season for the first time since 1982.
That initial success led directly in 2009 where Coffey began the season with seven more outings of scoreless relief work. It wasn't until April 22nd against the Mets that Coffey surrendered his first run. He still even managed to record the save in that game, so it's not like it was a total loss.
Coffey led the team in appearances bit last year with 78. While left-handed specialist Mitch Stetter was second with 71, Coffey threw 83.2 innings to Stetter's 45.0.
Coffey was a textbook workhorse and was inarguably the 2nd most important piece of the bullpen next to the man he was setting up for, Trevor Hoffman. Coffey's 2.90 ERA, 1.159 WHIP and 3.10 K/BB ratio all illustrate his season-long effectiveness.
Part of Coffey's resurgence since joining the Brewers in 2008 can be linked to an increase in velocity. His strikeout rate (7.0 K/9) and walk rate (2.3 BB/9) were both the second-best of his five-year career.
As for what to look forward to in 2010? I would expect more of the same general neighborhood in statistical measurables. However I expect a slight drop off overall mostly because he pitched so much in 2009.
Coffey threw 78.0 innings in 81 games in 2006 posting a 3.58 ERA. The following season, after having throw so much, his ERA ballooned to 5.82 and his peripherals suffered as well. He only appeared in 58 games in 2007 as well.
The 2010 chapter of Todd "Hot" Coffey's career will be inked by his performance with a co-authoring by how his arm recovered this winter.
Look for Coffey to be back setting up Hoffman in the 8th inning, bridging the hopefully much shorter gap between starter and closer this year.
An ERA in the low 3.00s will suit me just fine so long as his strikeout rate stays good and his walk rate doesn't get much worse at all.
I expect big things from the man who fires up the crowd with his all out effort both on the mound and in getting to it.
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