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San Francisco Giants: Will these relievers be part of the 2020 bullpen?

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: Tyler Rogers #71 of the San Francisco Giants delivers a pitch during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Oracle Park on September 9, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: Tyler Rogers #71 of the San Francisco Giants delivers a pitch during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Oracle Park on September 9, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images) /
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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 11: Sam Coonrod #65 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the top of the seventh inning at Oracle Park on September 11, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 11: Sam Coonrod #65 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the top of the seventh inning at Oracle Park on September 11, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

RHP Sam Coonrod

Sam Coonrod spent much of the season shuttling between Triple-A and the majors, as he’s in his third stint on the MLB roster.

He’s made a total of 30 appearances, going 4-1 with a 3.46 ERA while tallying 18 strikeouts and just three walks in 25 innings of work. Opposing batters are hitting .186 off the flame-throwing right-hander, which means he could be a good candidate to be used in the late innings in 2020.

It also helps that he doesn’t allow many baserunners, evidenced by his rock solid 1.12 WHIP. That alone provides plenty of reason optimism, should he break camp next spring with a spot in the bullpen.

With Moronta on the shelf, Coonrod could step into a high-leverage setup role or even get a look as the team’s closer, depending on what is done to address the ninth inning. He certainly has the power stuff generally associated with late-inning relief roles.

However, there are some reasons for pause.

Coonrod has been brilliant against right-handed hitters, holding them to a .169 average and a 2.79 ERA, but he has struggled to a .222 average and 5.40 ERA against left-handed hitters. That points him toward more of a specialist role than a true late-inning spot if those trends continue.

There’s also the fact that this is only his rookie campaign. A sophomore slump is always a possibility as the league starts to become more familiar with him.

Either way, Coonrod has earned a long look next spring after what he’s done this season.

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