By Sam Bush
Phils right-hander Sam Coonrod has been designated for assignment.
Coonrod was a starting pitcher as a prospect in the Giants’ system when he lost most of his 2018 season to Tommy John surgery. Since then, he’s been working primarily as a reliever, with a blistering fastball but mixed results overall. With the Giants in 2019 and 2020, he made 51 appearances with a 5.74 ERA, 18.9% strikeout rate, 11.9% walk rate and 47.5% ground ball rate.
He was traded to the Phillies prior to the 2021 season and seemed to take a step forward that year. He tossed 42 1/3 innings for the Phils with a 4.04 ERA, striking out 25.9% of batters faced while walking just 8.1% and getting grounders at a 57.1% clip. He surely would have liked to build on that performance in 2022 but he was shut down in the spring due to a shoulder strain and wasn’t able to return to the club until mid-August. He made 12 appearances down the stretch but was torched for a 7.82 ERA in that small sample.
The Phillies will now have a week to trade Coonrod or pass him through waivers. Despite some inconsistency, it’s possible he would find interest from other clubs. His fastball has averaged 97-99 mph in the past few seasons, which he has occasionally used to good effect. He also still has one option year remaining, allowing a club to keep him in the minors as depth so long as they are willing to give him a 40-man roster spot.