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Sam Coonrod was acquired by the Philadelphia Phillies from the San Francisco Giants in January 2021 in exchange for prospect Carson Ragsdale.

Coonrod, who made his major league debut in 2019 at age 26 with the Giants, posted a 5.74 ERA in 51 appearances over two seasons in San Fran. And during the shortened 2020 MLB season, Coonrod, under former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, had an abysmal 9.82 ERA in 18 appearances. However, his FIP for the year was 4.76, a whopping 5.06 difference. So, maybe the 27-year-old wasn't all to blame for his inflated ERA.

And during his first few months in red pinstripes, this seemed to be the case for the reliever. Coonrod dazzled out of the bullpen, a welcome sight by Phillies fans who lost faith in their pen after one of the worst performances in MLB history the previous year.

In April, Coonrod posted a 1.50 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 12 innings pitched. His sinker and four-seam were topping out at 98-99 mph and he was looking like a solid addition by President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski. But all good things must come to an end.


By the end of May, Coonrod's ERA rose to 3.63. In 10.1 innings, he allowed 14 hits, seven runs, three walks, two home runs, and struck out 11. Coonrod only made six appearances in June before being sidelined with forearm tendinitis on the 25th.

He began rehabbing with Triple-A Lehigh Valley on July 17, but after still experiencing discomfort in his forearm, he was shut down for the entire month. He was eventually transferred to the 60-day IL on Aug. 12 to make room on the 40-man roster, but he began rehabbing again on Aug. 16. He finally returned to the big-leagues on Aug. 25.

Coonrod was serviceable out of the bullpen for the remainder of the season. In 15 games, he pitched to the likes of a 3.12 ERA, 2.12 FIP, and picked up 18 strikeouts across 14.1 innings. He reportedly was dealing with a thumb injury during the final week of the season, but avoided the IL.

The 29-year-old reliever isn't arbitration eligible until 2023, and Inside the Phillies predicted that Coonrod will likely return for 2022. Although he finished 2021 with an ERA above 4 and a WHIP of 1.323, his value lies in his versatility in relief and his pitch arsenal can be dangerous when on top of its game.

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