There might not be anyone in the Giants clubhouse who has had more twists and turns this season than Sam Coonrod.
The second-year right-hander threw well in summer camp to solidify a job, and then immediately found himself as a national story when he refused to kneel for a moment of solidarity between the Giants and Dodgers. That was followed by a lat strain that put him on the injured list, but Coonrod has returned hitting triple-digits with his fastball and on Sunday he locked up his first save.
Coonrod will be in the spotlight between the lines if he does become a closer for the Giants. In his first public comments in five weeks, he said he doesn't regret the decision and comments that put him in the spotlight off the field in July.
"I stick by what I did. I definitely stick by what I did," Coonrod said Tuesday. "I meant no ill will by it. I definitely stick by what I did."
Coonrod was the only player on either side who did not take a knee as the Giants and Dodgers observed a moment of unity before the national anthem for the season-opener. He later had controversial comments about the Black Lives Matter movement.
"I'm a Christian, like I said, and I just can't get on board with a couple of things that I have read about Black Lives Matter," he said on July 23. "How they lean toward Marxism and they've said some negative things about the nuclear family. I just can't get on board with that."
Coonrod ended up trending on Twitter, but he has kept a low profile since July. In the meantime, the movement has intensified within Major League Baseball, with games being postponed last week after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.
The Giants and Dodgers did not play Wednesday, and in the aftermath, it appeared the Dodgers were much more united in their desire to sit out than the Giants. Coonrod seemed to confirm that Tuesday.
"A lot of guys want to remain neutral and they feel like they can't necessarily do that anymore," he said. "They just want to come to the field and play. That's probably the best way I can put it. They feel no matter what they do they're going to be condemned for it. I'm kind of the same way. I just want to be neutral."