In another week, the Phillies had a decision to make on pitcher Sam Coonrod. The right-hander started a rehab assignment with Clearwater on July 22 and pitchers have a 30-day limit for rehabs. In the last two weeks, Coonrod has twice pitched on back-to-back days, passing a hurdle that the Phillies were looking for him to master, which made the decision a little easier.
Also making the decision easier is a lat strain suffered by pitcher Corey Knebel in Sunday’s game in New York against the Mets. Knebel underwent an MRI in Philadelphia Monday and was placed on the IL following the exam. There is no immediate timetable for Knebel’s return. He suffered the same injury last season while with the Dodgers and missed three months of the season. The Phillies hope the injury will not be as severe as that one was and that he will be able to return to their bullpen down the road.
Knebel inked a one-year, $10-million deal with the Phillies prior to the season and is 3-5 with a 3.43 ERA and 12 saves out of the Phillies bullpen this season. He opened the season as their closer, but was moved out of the role in favor of Seranthony Dominguez.
Coonrod suffered a forearm strain and wound up on the 60-day IL because of the injury. He made his first outing of the season with Clearwater on July 22 and came back two days later for his final outing as a member of the Threshers. His two shutout innings with Clearwater did not translate to the Triple-A level when he joined Lehigh Valley and was hit for six earned runs in his first two innings of work. In five appearances since then, Coonrod has allowed just one earned run in five innings (1.80 ERA).
With Coonrod being activated from the 60-day IL, the Phillies had to clear a roster spot on the 40-man roster and designated pitcher Andrew Vasquez for assignment to do so. Vasquez was claimed off waivers on August 2 and assigned to Lehigh Valley. With the IronPigs, Vasquez pitched four innings over four appearances and allowed one earned run for a 2.25 ERA. Vasquez started the season in the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen and had an 8.10 ERA in nine outings prior to winding up on the 60-day IL with a sprained right ankle.