Phillies reliever Connor Brogdon fine after freak rib injury

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Connor Brogdon (Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Connor Brogdon (Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports) /

The Philadelphia Phillies had an injury scare to one of their key young relievers during their Sunday matinee victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates — right-hander Connor Brogdon.

Pitching in the bottom of the seventh, Brogdon struck out Pirates catcher Michael Perez swinging on four pitches, showcasing his hard-throwing repertoire with fastballs faster than 95 miles per hour. Midway into his next at-bat, the right-hander exhibited discomfort, twisting his lower back and side. Manager Joe Girardi and the trainer took no chances and immediately pulled him from the game out of precaution.

Phillies reliever Connor Brogdon is fine after being pulled from Sunday’s game.

After the game, Girardi told reporters that the 26-year-old was dealing with a slight rib injury that has happened to him before where it “pops out.”

“They brought him back in, they pushed it in, and he’s fine,” Girardi said. “It happens a lot with him. So I was just being overly cautious. He went and ran. So, we don’t really have any concerns.”

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The Phillies hope Brogdon can build off the dominant end to his rookie season — he will be one of the few relievers that will carry over from the infamous 2020 bullpen that posted the highest combined ERA in the last 90 years of Major League Baseball.

During his final six appearances — after being called up for the second time — the right-hander allowed just one hit and two walks while striking out 14 of his 29 batters faced spanning 8 2/3 scoreless innings. Opposing hitters had just a .037/.103/.074 slash line against him over this stretch.

Two other notable Phillies injuries in spring training are bench bat Brad Miller and catcher J.T. Realmuto. Miller hopes to soon have a better understanding of his right oblique injury and be ready for the start of the season. Realmuto, meanwhile, seems to be on track after being out with a broken right thumb. He recently tested it with 40 throws and will start doing more baseball activity in the coming days, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury reports.

Just 14 Grapefruit League games remain for the Phillies before they head north to prepare for Opening Day against the Atlanta Braves, home on April 1.

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