5 Phillies most interesting to follow this spring training
By Matt Rappa
Connor Brogdon finished his rookie season as among the best arms in the game.
The Phillies brought in a lot of relief pitchers from the outside this offseason — whether it be Jose Alvarado or Sam Coonrod through trade, Archie Bradley through free agency, or even minor-league veteran additions in Tony Watson and Brandon Kintzler.
All of these moves were made in an attempt to significantly overhaul a Phillies bullpen that recorded a combined ERA that was the highest in Major League Baseball over the previous 90 years.
While most Phillies relievers last season are now gone, some will return. Among them is right-hander Connor Brogdon, who started his rookie season off slow, but returned to the majors with a vengeance to finish out the schedule. He just looked different on the mound.
Brogdon debuted in mid-August and made three appearances overall that month — posting a combined 16.88 ERA in just 2 2/3 innings — before being optioned to the alternate training site. When he returned in mid-September, the right-hander put together six scoreless appearances, allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out 14 of his 29 batters faced. Opposing batters slashed just .037/.103/.074 against him.
In a recent Pine Tar for Breakfast podcast, Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said “you have to be impressed” when looking at video of Brogdon from last season.
“He is very impressive. He’s the type of guy that you smile when you see throwing, that he’s on your side,” Dombrowski added. “The thing is, he has to carry it forward. That’s the key for him. There are all indications that he will. He has that type of makeup and work ethic.”