Casey Paul Fossum (born January 6, 1978) is an American baseball player and pitcher who currently plays in the Chicago Cubs organization. Previously, Fossum played for the Boston Red Sox (2001–2003), Arizona Diamondbacks (2004), Tampa Bay Devil Rays (2005–2007), Detroit Tigers (2008), and New York Mets (2009). He bats and throws left-handed.
- 1 Early years and college
- 2 Major League Baseball career
- 3 Pitching style
- 4 Personal life
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Early years and college
Fossum was born in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He attended Midway High School in Waco, Texas. He then attended Texas A&M University, leading the Aggies to the 1999 College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. He earned All-Big 12 honors in both 1998 and 1999, highlighted by a 12–7 record and 3.64 earned run average (ERA) during his junior campaign, establishing a single-season school mark with 162 strikeouts. Fossum also won the C. E. "Pat" Olsen Outstanding Pitcher Award in 1999 and was a second team All-American in 1998.
Major League Baseball career
1999-2003, Boston Red Sox
Fossum was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 1999 June draft as the 18th pick in the first supplemental round (48th overall), and started his major league career in 2001.
During three years with Boston, Fossum moved between the bullpen and the rotation, compiling 14 victories with two saves in 75 games. After a recurrence of tendinitis in his pitching shoulder, he underwent surgery in September 2003. Two months later, he was sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the trade that brought Curt Schilling to the Red Sox.
2004, Arizona Diamondbacks
In 2004, Fossum played for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and for the first time in his career, he was used exclusively as a starting pitcher. He finished third on the Diamondbacks staff in starts (27), innings pitched (142) and strikeouts (117), despite missing the first 5½ weeks to recover from surgery.
2005-07, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
In 2006, Fossum played inconsistently and finished the season at 6-6 with a 5.33 ERA in 25 starts.
On August 10, 2007, the Devil Rays released Fossum. He signed a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres on August 22, 2007. He never played for the Padres.
2008, Detroit Tigers
On January 24, 2008, Fossum signed a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Pittsburgh Pirates. At the end of spring training, he declined his assignment to the minor leagues and elected to become a free agent. On April 9, 2008, Fossum signed a minor league contract with the Detroit Tigers. On June 3, his contract was purchased by the Tigers, after the DFA of right-handed pitcher Francisco Cruceta, and he was added to the active roster.
2009, New York Mets
2009, New York Yankees
On May 2, 2009, Fossum signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees, making his first start for the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees that day. On June 24, Fossum opted out of his contract and became a free agent.
2009, Chicago Cubs
On July 3, 2009, Fossum signed a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs.
Template:Section OR Fossum throws three different overhand curveballs. The first curveball is a tight-rotating 1–7 curveball that has a velocity in the low to mid 70s, but a pitch that Fossum struggles to throw effectively over the plate for strikes and at times remains too flat. The second curveball is also a 1–7 pitch, has a moderate break while clocking in between 65–70 MPH, and can effectively throw for strikes. The third curveball is a 12–6 curveball with a large break, making it difficult to hit. While the pitch has been a very effective pitch for him to use, often landing for strikes or causing popouts, he regulates the pitch as a change-of-pace pitch to prevent batters from becoming used to it. Fossum dubbed this pitch the "Fossum flip", and it is essentially a form of the eephus pitch. He also has a decent fastball in the 88–92 mph range and a changeup that while effective, does not drop as well as most other pitchers. Fossum is also a good fielder and has an above-average pickoff move.
Fossum's biggest knock is his stamina. Weighing in at 160 lbs, Fossum has a somewhat violent throwing style and has been injured a few times in his career. In 2004, he missed the first five weeks of the season with a sore elbow, and near the end of the 2005 season his effectiveness was reduced to what he and Lou Piniella attributed to lower back pain. Fossum is also very bad at holding runners on base. In 2004, baserunners managed to steal 15 bases out of 23 attempts, and in 2005, only 4 basestealers out of 14 attempts were caught.
Fossum is married to Kim and they have three children.
- Chastain, Bill. "Fossum stronger, ready for start of '07; Right-hander has worked with trainers to prevent injuries", MLB.com, 2007-02-20. Retrieved on 2009-01-20.
- Harrington, Mike. "Bisons unveil three new uniforms", The Buffalo News, 2009-01-17. Retrieved on 2009-01-20.
- Jennings, Chad. "Yankees sign Fossum, To Start Saturday", The Scranton Times Tribune, May 2, 2009.
- Chastain, Bill. "Notes: Fossum introduces new quirk; Light-hearted eephus pitch expands lefty's versatility", MLB.com, 2005-07-31. Retrieved on 2009-01-20.
- Chastain, Bill. "Notes: Paul back in fold", MLB.com, 2007-07-27. Retrieved on 2009-01-20.