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Phillies Designate Connor Brogdon, Select Ricardo Pinto

Phillies Designate Connor Brogdon, Select Ricardo Pinto

The Phillies announced that they have selected the contract of right-hander Ricardo Pinto, with fellow righty Connor Brogdon designated for assignment in a corresponding move.

The Phils have had to lean heavily on their bullpen to start this season, using five relievers in each of the first three games and six relievers last night. Brogdon pitched in three of those four contests and didn’t fare well, allowing six earned runs in two innings. He struck out three batters but also issued six walks and allowed three hits, two of which were home runs.

That’s a small sample size but it continues a worrying trend for a pitcher who looked so strong not too long ago. From 2020 to 2022, he made 112 appearances for the Phils with a 3.42 earned run average. He struck out 25.1% of batters faced in that time and walked just 7.3%. He added another 8 2/3 innings in the 2022 postseason with a 2.08 ERA, helping the Phillies make it to the World Series.

But he took a step back last year, with his strikeout rate falling to 20.5% and his walk rate climbing to 10.2%. His ERA for the year was 4.03 but he was likely fortunate for it to be that low. His 80.6% strand rate was on the high side, which is why his 5.15 FIP and 4.59 SIERA were less optimistic than his ERA. As he struggled, he was optioned to the minors and burned his last option.

This year, he didn’t look sharp in his 7 2/3 spring innings, giving out six walks compared to seven strikeouts. As mentioned, those struggles have carried over into the regular season. His fastball was averaging 95-6 miles per hour in 2021 and 2022 but was down to 94.7 mph last year and has been 92.8 mph so far this year. With the bullpen fairly taxed and Brogdon now out of options, he’s been squeezed out as the club adds a fresh arm.

The Phils will now have a week to either trade Brogdon or pass him through waivers. His recent form is obviously not very exciting but he could perhaps attract some other clubs based on his previous results. He came into this season with two years and 139 days of service time, meaning he could be controlled for three seasons beyond this one if he gets a roster spot elsewhere.

Pinto, 30, signed a minor league deal with the Phils in February. He spent 2023 pitching in the Mexican League for the Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos and the Diablos Rojos del México, then headed to Venezuela for some time in winter ball. He logged 137 2/3 innings between Mexico and Venezuela with a 4.12 ERA, 17.6% strikeout rate…

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