The Philadelphia Phillies announced Saturday afternoon that they’ve acquired 28-year-old reliever Sam Coonrod from the San Francisco Giants.
Coonrod has a 5.74 ERA and 5.07 FIP in 51 career appearances at the major league level, so there must be something that the Phillies see in the former fifth-round pick that makes them believe his results will get dramatically better.
In their defense, Coonrod’s average fastball velocity in 2020 was 98.7 mph, and he also has a sinker, changeup, slider and curveball in a deep arsenal of pitches.
Given the undeniable intersection between sports and the fight for social justice, it would be malpractice not to mention that Coonrod expressed hesitancy about embracing the Black Lives Matter movement last July.
In return, the Phillies will send 22-year-old righty Carson Ragsdale, who they selected in the fourth round of the 2020 MLB Draft, to the Giants. With no minor league season, Ragsdale never actually pitched a game in the Phillies system after being selected in June’s draft. Phillies Nation‘s Destiny Lugardo wrote an in-depth piece on Ragsdale last summer.
In past seasons, the Phillies have lacked juice in their bullpen. Thus far, new president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has seemingly attempted to fix that problem, as the trade to bring Coonrod to Philadelphia follows up a prior deal where the Phillies netted lefty José Alvarado.
Considering a historically-bad bullpen likely kept them from reaching the postseason in 2020, Dombrowski and general manager Sam Fuld can hardly be done in turning over the bullpen. Ideally, they’ll had one or two options this offseason that are a bit more of sure things. But these two trades could be a start. Let’s face it, there’s nowhere to go but up.
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