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Phils add heat to bullpen with Coonrod

@ToddZolecki
January 9, 2021

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies are betting on another hard-throwing reliever to help their bullpen in 2021. The team announced on Saturday that it had acquired right-hander Sam Coonrod from the Giants for right-hander Carson Ragsdale, whom the Phillies selected in the fourth round of the 2020 Draft. Coonrod, 28, had

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies are betting on another hard-throwing reliever to help their bullpen in 2021.

The team announced on Saturday that it had acquired right-hander Sam Coonrod from the Giants for right-hander Carson Ragsdale, whom the Phillies selected in the fourth round of the 2020 Draft. Coonrod, 28, had a 5.74 ERA in 51 appearances over two seasons with San Francisco. He had a 3.58 ERA in 33 appearances in '19 and a 9.82 ERA in 18 appearances in '20.

TRADE DETAILS
Phillies get: RHP Sam Coonrod
Giants get: RHP Carson Ragsdale

Coonrod throws hard. His four-seam fastball averaged 98.4 mph last season, which ranked fourth-hardest in baseball (minimum 50 four-seam fastballs) behind Garrett Crochet (100.1 mph), Jacob deGrom (98.6 mph) and Sixto Sánchez (98.5 mph). Eight of Coonrod’s pitches touched at least 100 mph, and he clocked a season-high 101.4 mph fastball on Aug. 25.

Coonrod garnered national attention in July when he declined to kneel during a moment of unity at Dodger Stadium. He then missed nearly a month because of a strained right lat. He picked up three saves in September before finishing the season on the injured list with a strained right shoulder.

The Phillies’ bullpen ranked last in a lot of categories in 2020, but it also ranked in the bottom third in velocity. Its relievers averaged 92.5 mph on their fastballs (four-seam, two-seam and cutters), which ranked 22nd in baseball.

The recent acquisitions of Coonrod and left-hander José Alvarado from the Rays should improve that average. Alvarado’s two-seam fastball averaged 96.9 mph in 2020, although it averaged 97.7 mph the previous three seasons.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook .