Casey McGhee Weathers
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 205 lb.
- School Vanderbilt University, Sacramento City College
- High School Laguna Creek High School
Weathers was 1-2 with a 3.83 ERA in 2004-2005 for Sacramento City College. He transferred to Vanderbilt where he was 1-1 with 3 saves and a 3.83 ERA as a junior in 2006. Weathers had a fine summer, though. He had a 2.16 ERA and struck out 17 in 9 innings for Team USA's college edition (but walked 8) and helped the team to the 2006 World University Championship. He also played in the Alaska Baseball League, where he was 1-0 with a 0.84 ERA, eight saves and allowed a .085 average for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots. Baseball America rated him the #4 prospect in the league. The Detroit Tigers took him in the 25th round of the 2006 amateur draft.
Returning for his senior year, Casey was 12-2 with 7 saves and a 2.37 ERA, allowing only 25 hits in 49 1/3 IP while striking out 75 and walking 21. He was one of only three pitchers in NCAA Division I to lead his team in both wins and saves, winning more than #1 overall pick David Price. The Colorado Rockies picked him 8th in the 2007 amateur draft, the first right-handed pitcher selected. He was signed by scout Scott Corman for a $1.8 million bonus and was assigned to the Asheville Tourists. He debuted on July 27 against the Savannah Sand Gnats, walking two and allowing one hit and two runs in 2/3 of an inning.
Weathers was with the US for the 2008 Olympics, allowing 2 runs (both unearned) and striking out 5 in 3 innings. He saved a win over the Japanese national team. His career hit an important snag in 2009, when he had to miss the entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
On December 8, 2011, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs along with 3B Ian Stewart in return for OF Tyler Colvin and 2B D.J. LeMahieu. All four players were former 1st or 2nd round picks with a lot of upside. However, things did not go very well for the Tennessee Smokies in 2012, in spite of a 4-2 record, as his ERA was 6.62 and he walked a whopping 53 batters in 34 innings. He then missed the entire 2013 season after a large bone spur was removed from his throwing elbow, an after-effect of the previous surgery. He then struggled badly with the Charlotte Stone Crabs of the Tampa Bay Rays organization in 2014,, with a 13.06 ERA in 8 games. His career appeared pretty much over at that point, but he did not want to give up. He continued training on his own to regain the form of his earlier years, and sent videos around to various teams. One of these tapes caught the attention of the Cleveland Indians coaching staff who were impressed by how hard he still threw, but also by his strong "intent", scout speak for an ability to throw hard without any physical impingement, an important factor in a pitcher recovering from arm woes.
After joining the Indians organization in 2015, he had his best season in years, pitching 47 times in relief between the Class A Lynchburg Hillcats and AA Akron RubberDucks. In 49 1/3 innings, he gave up 45 hits and walked 26 batters while striking out 55, while putting up a record of 2-4, 3.10. Now 30 years old, he received an invitation to the Indians' major league camp in 2016 and impressed by hitting almost 108 mph in a conditioning drill used by the Indians; it was not a throw off a mound, but a short toss from a running start, but it was still the highest speed ever recorded under those conditions. He was also pitching completely without pain for the first time in years.
- Lindsay Berra: "Extreme Weathers: Indians prospect hits 108 mph", mlb.com, March 18, 2016.