NEW BRITAIN - The New Britain Bees have once again added to their already-deep pitching staff with a pair of signings: right-handers Casey Coleman and Mike Hepple.
Coleman is the fourth pitcher the Bees have on their roster for this season with major-league experience. He pitched for the Chicago Cubs from 2010 through 2012, piling up 48 appearances including 26 starts. After spending the 2013 season with the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate, he got back to the majors in 2014 with the Royals. That season, he made 10 appearances and posted a 1-0 record.
He spent the entirety of the 2015 season with the Royals’ Triple-A affiliate and the bounced around in the minor leagues for the 2016 campaign before landing in New Britain for 2017. Last season, he had 48 appearances (eight starts) and put up a 3.01 ERA, four saves and a 7-3 record. He faced 421 batters and struck out 82 of them and gave up 86 hits, while walking 24, in 101.2 innings of work.
The Bees scooped up their fourth local player for this season with the addition of Hepple, who graduated from Newington High School in 2008.
After playing independent ball in 2013, Hepple joined the New York Mets system and played affiliated baseball from 2014 through 2016, climbing as high as Double-A with the Binghamton Mets last season. With Binghamton and the St. Lucia Mets last season, Hepple picked up 40 appearances - all in relief - and posted a 3-5 record and a 4.76 ERA.
Hepple played college baseball at Eastern Connecticut State University, where he was teammates with current Bees closer and pitching coach Shawn Gilblair.