SAN FRANCISCO – The Phillies are trying something new with Adam Morgan.
They are going to give him a look in the bullpen.
“It’s an awesome opportunity,” the 26-year-old left-hander said on Sunday after the Phillies lost to the Giants (see game story). “I need to take advantage of it.”
Morgan has been used exclusively as a starter in his career. That includes 26 big-league starts with the Phillies. But in 11 starts this season, he has a 6.55 ERA, largely because he has had difficulty getting the ball down.
Morgan was dropped from the rotation on Saturday when the club announced that Vince Velasquez would come off the disabled list and pitch Monday night in Arizona (see story). It was unclear whether Morgan would go to Triple A and continue to start or stay with the club and go the bullpen. When the club announced that lefty reliever Elvis Araujo had been shipped to Triple A after Sunday’s game, it became clear that Morgan was staying – in a new role.
“I’ve never done it before, but I will give it a shot,” he said. “I’m excited.”
Morgan can immediately give the Phils multiple innings out of the bullpen, which has run up some miles lately.
“Long man, swing guy,” manager Pete Mackanin said of what Morgan's role in the bullpen would be. “We're going to get a look at him in that role for the time being, which doesn't mean he's never going to start again for us. But at this point, we want to give it a look to see if he can pitch out of the bullpen.
“He has four pitches and he has a good breaking ball and a good change-up for right-handers. I think, having been a starter for all his career, that's just what the doctor ordered when looking for a long man. A guy who throws strikes and has pitches to get both lefties and righties out. He's got it.”
Will this be the move that makes Morgan a successful major leaguer?
Time will tell.