Coffey not letting heavy load get to him

Coffey not letting heavy load get to him

CLEVELAND -- Rubber-armed Brewers reliever Todd Coffey insisted he could pitch Wednesday, even after quite a week of work.

In six games from Thursday through Tuesday, Coffey pitched four times, and all four appearances spanned more than one inning. That's an almost unprecedented workload for a key setup man to Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman.

"That's my job," Coffey said.

Coffey's carried a heavy load before. He remembered one stretch during the second half of 2006 in which he worked nine of 11 days for the Reds (it was Aug. 1-11). There have also been stretches of working on five of seven days, Coffey said.

He was not going to get that opportunity on Wednesday, manager Ken Macha insisted.

"Coffey's not pitching," Macha said. "We've still got 90-some games to go. Coffey's not pitching."

Coffey entered Wednesday second on the Brewers with 31 appearances this season plus a 2.60 ERA. Like left-hander Mitch Stetter, Coffey would like to appear in 80 games this season, a plateau he reached in 2006 with Cincinnati when he pitched 81 times.

That year, Coffey didn't play catch before games throughout the month of September to preserve his arm. He has similarly dialed back this week because of his heavy workload.

Coffey planned to be ready Wednesday night.

"I feel fine," he said. "I could go out there tonight if they need me. I'll have my spikes and my glove and I'll be in the bullpen, ready to run out there. That's my job as a relief pitcher. ... I love to pitch, and the more I pitch, the more effective I feel like I am."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.