Phillies trade for Giants reliever Sam Coonrod


The Phillies traded for a reliever on Saturday, their second in two weeks under new president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.
The Phils acquired Sam Coonrod, a 28-year-old right-hander from the Giants in exchange for pitcher Carson Ragsdale, their fourth-round pick in the 2020 draft.

Coonrod has pitched 51 games for the Giants over the past two seasons, posting a 5.74 ERA with 35 strikeouts and 22 goals in 42 innings. Much of the damage against him was done by left handed hitters. He owns the rights to .225 / .319 / .314.

Coonrod’s fastball averaged 98.7 mph last season. He used five locations. He threw more pellets (97.9 on average) than the four couturiers, and also used a changeup, slider, and curve ball.

According to Statcast, Coonrod placed in the top five for average four-seam fastball speed and the top 10 for lead speed, among pitchers who threw a low of 50.

The Phillies need bodies in the survey pen and need to see the potential of Coonrod’s repertoire. Right before the New Year, they made a low-risk, high-reward trade with the Rays, acquiring Jose Alvarado for Garrett Cleavinger in a left-handed reliever trade.

Coonrod’s name was in the news early last season when he was the only player on either side of a Giants-Dodgers game not to kneel during the national anthem as a gesture against racial injustice .

“I meant no ill will,” he said after the game, per NBC Sports Bay Area. “I don’t think I’m better than anyone. I am Christian. I just believe that I can’t kneel before anything other than God – Jesus Christ.

“I’m a Christian, like I said, and I just can’t go along with a couple of things I’ve read on Black Lives Matter. How they lean towards Marxism and they said negative things about nuclear power I just cannot go along with that.

“I chose not to kneel down. I have a feeling that if I knelt I would be a hypocrite. I didn’t mean to be a hypocrite. Like I said, I didn’t want ill will towards anyone.

De Alex Pavlovic de NBC Sports Bay Area:

Coonrod broke into the big leagues in 2019 and had an odd run in the shortened season, briefly becoming a national figure when he refused to kneel for a moment of unity at Dodger Stadium. Coonrod was injured earlier this year, but when he came back from rehab he was throwing harder, consistently hitting triple digits. He briefly saw the weather as the closest, recording his first three career saves, but he abandoned a scoreless homerun in the final round of a crushing loss on the last weekend of the season.

Ragsdale was one of four picks for the Phillies in 2020, a draft that has been reduced to five rounds due to the pandemic. The Phils had just four picks because they lost their second round when they signed the last offseason with Zack Wheeler.

Ragsdale is 6 feet 8 inches tall and 225 pounds from the University of South Florida. He started his career at USF as a reliever, had Tommy John surgery and missed all of 2019, then returned in 2020 as a starter before the coronavirus stopped.

A piece of his draft Baseball America report:

“He’s more of a control-command pitcher, and because of that and a below-par third pitch, some scouts think he’s a better reliever profile. However, there are some teams who think he has a chance to start. ”

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