At the Deadline, Girardi's 'ticker is always on'

July 23rd, 2021

PHILADELPHIA – Joe Girardi does not pretend that he does not watch the out-of-town scoreboard. He does.

He pays attention to the action before the July 30 Trade Deadline, too.

“Of course,” Girardi said before Friday night’s game against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park. “The ticker is always on.”

Girardi knew that the Mets acquired left-hander Rich Hill on Friday from the Rays. New York needs starting pitching help with Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, Noah Syndergaard, David Peterson and Joey Lucchesi sidelined because of injuries. deGrom’s status is day to day. Carrasco could return this month, Peterson could return next month and Syndergaard could return in September. Lucchesi will not pitch again this season.

“Yeah, I saw that,” Girardi said. “Rich has been a pretty good left-handed starter for a long time. So, you’re going to start seeing things now. It’s that time. Nelson Cruz went to Tampa. That’s a big bat that they added to their lineup. We’re going to start to see moves now.”

Hill's trade to New York means one fewer option for the Phillies, who also need starting pitching help. It is unclear if they pursued Hill, but there are other back-end rotation candidates available in trades. The group includes Colorado’s Jon Gray (6-6, 3.68 ERA); Minnesota’s Michael Pineda (4-5, 3.93 ERA) and J.A. Happ (5-5, 6.15 ERA); Chicago’s Zach Davies (6-6, 4.30 ERA); and Pittsburgh’s Tyler Anderson (5-8, 4.35 ERA).

The Phillies also scouted free-agent left-hander Cole Hamels’ showcase last Friday in Texas.

Girardi said he is trying to focus on the 26 players in the clubhouse and winning Friday, and not on what Dave Dombrowski and the Phillies' front office might be doing. The Phillies (47-48) have lost three in a row to fall below .500.

“We need to get back to our winning ways,” Girardi said.

Setback for Coonrod
The Phillies expected right-hander to rejoin the bullpen on Sunday, but he suffered a setback Wednesday during a rehab outing with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Coonrod, who has been on the injured list since June 25 because of tendinitis in his right forearm, felt more soreness in his right elbow.

The Phillies said Coonrod will not throw for three days, then resume his throwing program.

Coonrod pinned the pain on a new slider he started to throw before he got injured. It is a split-grip slider as opposed to a more traditional slider. He will no longer throw the split-grip pitch.

“It was very good, very sharp,” Coonrod said. “I kept throwing it and eventually it started hurting. … I was out there the other night and I was throwing 100 mph with all the torque and force, I guess my arm just can’t handle it right now. It’s that pitch. Everything else is fine. It’s just that unique slider causes big problems.”

So, he isn’t worried about the elbow?

“It’s fine,” Coonrod said. “We’ve done everything we needed to do, looked at it, scanned it, done all of it. For whatever reason, whenever I have that type of supination motion with a split grip, it bothers my elbow. Once I stop that, they gave me some medication, I think I’ll be fine.”

Monday’s starter is?
The Phillies need a starter for Monday’s series opener against the Nationals. Right-hander Spencer Howard remains with the team after starting Wednesday in New York. He is an option. Right-hander Chase Anderson is an option, too. He has been on the COVID-19 injured list since June, but he threw 102 pitches in his fifth start in a rehab assignment on Tuesday with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Anderson’s rehab assignment ends on July 30, so he will need to be activated at some point next week.

“It’s possible,” Girardi said about Howard starting Monday. “We’ve discussed it. I haven’t had a chance to share everything with everyone, so I can’t quite do it yet.”