Camden Courier-Post - February 1, 1980

Phillies sign Lerrin LaGrow to 1-year pact


PHILADELPHIA – Free agent relief pitcher Lerrin LaGrow signed a one-year contract with the Phillies yesterday.


LaGrow, 31, pitched for both the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers last season before playing out his option. He was drafted by only the Boston Red Sox in the reentry draft, leaving him totally free to sign with any club.


"He's a pretty good pitcher," said Phillies general manager Paul Owens. "He had a couple of little physical problems last summer, but he came back and had a very good September. I know two other clubs in our league were after him, so I'm tickled that we were able to sign him to a major league contract."


LaGROW BEGAN the season 0-3 in 11 games with the White Sox before they sold him to the Dodgers in early May. Later that month, LaGrow came up with a bone spur on his left heel which he had removed with off-season surgery.


Favoring his heel, LaGrow came down with a sore arm which put him on the disabled list for most of August. LaGrow returned and had an outstanding final-month, 3-0 record, two saves in nine appearances, allowing one earned run. For the season with Los Angeles. lie wound up with a 5-1 record, four saves and a 3.41 ERA for 31 appearances.


HIS BEST years in the majors came with the White Sox. He saved 26 and won seven in 1977, saved 16 and won six the following season.


"He was very impressive in late-inning pressure situations in September," said manager Dallas Green. "We're gambling that he's back in the form he displayed with the White Sox. He could fit in very nicely in the pen and help (Ron) Reed and Tug (McGraw)."