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With 2 more relievers in danger of missing Opening Day, Phillies acquire Norwood from Padres

The Phillies have acquired right-handed pitcher James Norwood from the San Diego Padres in exchange for minor league infielder Kervin Pichardo and cash considerations.

Brogdon’s downtick in velocity raises questions about his readiness for the first series of the season. (Cheryl Pursell)

Norwood, 28, has pitched in eight big league games in the last two years. From 2018 to 2019, he posted a 3.54 ERA in 20 games with the Cubs. Norwood was designated for assignment by San Diego earlier this week.

Norwood, who will be on the team’s 40-man roster, could occupy a spot in the Opening Day bullpen as the Phillies could be down two more relievers at the start of the season. They will already be without Sam Coonrod, who is expected to go on the injured list with a strained right shoulder.

In addition to Coonrod, José Alvarado continues to deal with neck stiffness. The lefty has yet to appear in a Grapefruit League game and Joe Girardi, according to Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer, expressed some doubt on whether or not Alvarado could be ready for the start of the regular season.

“It’s kind of a gray area right now,” Girardi said.

Alvarado resumed throwing on Monday after the team shut him down on March 25 when his neck “locked up.”

Unlike Alvarado, Connor Brogdon has pitched in the Grapefruit League this spring. The downtick in the righty’s velocity in his last outing, however, is a cause for concern. Brogdon, who walked three batters in his last game, is scheduled to pitch Wednesday in Clearwater against the Tigers. If the velocity and command issues persist, the Phillies might have to hit pause on Brogdon’s build up.

“That worries us [about] like, how close he is,” Girardi said about Brogdon. “We’re hoping there will be a little bit of an uptick these next couple of times.”

Things are looking better for the starting rotation. Ranger Suárez will make his first start this spring in Sarasota against the Orioles on Friday. Zack Wheeler will follow the next day in Dunedin against the Blue Jays. If all goes well, both could be ready to throw about three or four innings the first time through the rotation.


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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. John Elert

    April 4, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    If I win, I’ll give it to my Cousin in Limerick. I’ll come to visit from Chicago, and take him, his wife and daughter to a Phillies game as well. I’ll put the sticker on his RV, he’d kill me if I put it on his truck, or his wife’s car.

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