Another day, another low-level trade for the Phillies. On Tuesday, it was the Phillies shipping Adam Haseley to the Chicago White Sox for a relief prospect. Today, it’s the Phillies sending a prospect for another power bullpen arm.
James Norwood was designated for assignment by the Friars earlier in the week. The former Cub and more recent Padre threw 5 scoreless IP in 2021. Overall in MLB, he has a 3.67 ERA in 27 IP in parts of 4 seasons.
Norwood features a 4-seem fastball and sinker that both average around 96 MPH. He tops out around 99 MPH. With that velocity comes control problems. He has a 5.7 BB/9 ratio in his 27 MLB IP.
In 120 Triple-A innings, Norwood has a 4.05 ERA with a 13.0 K/9. He will most likely fill the 40-man roster spot that Adam Haseley vacated.
For Norwood’s services, the Phillies sent Kervin Pichardo to the Padres. Pichardo isn’t a top prospect in the system. As a 19-year-old in 2021, Pichardo started at rookie ball where he murdered the baseball, hitting .400 with a 1.338 OPS in 15 games.
He quickly cooled off after a promotion to the Clearwater Threshers. In 19 games there, he hit .146, He somehow still got on base over 40% of the time thanks to walking once a game (19 BB in 19 games).
Over the past 2 years, the Phillies have been laser-focused on acquiring fireballers for the bullpen. Before 2021, the Phillies acquired Sam Coonrod (98.5 MPH) and Jose Alvarado (99.4 MPH). This current offseason the Phillies added Corey Knebel (96.3 MPH), Jeurys Familia (97.2 MPH), Nick Nelson (96.4 MPH), Dillon Maples (95.4 MPH), and now Norwood.
This Phillies bullpen will live and die with the fastball. Hopefully, the strikeouts will aid the living part.