Another Phillies reliever joins the Sore Elbow Gang as Adam Morgan goes on IL

USA Today Images/Jeff Hanisch

Another Phillies reliever joins the Sore Elbow Gang as Adam Morgan goes on IL

Phillies relievers continue to go down at an alarming rate.

Adam Morgan, the team’s best left-handed reliever, was placed on the injured list with a sore elbow Wednesday.

He joins a host of relievers already on the IL. The list includes Pat Neshek, who went on the IL over the weekend with right shoulder inflammation, and Victor Arano, who had arthroscopic surgery on his elbow in Los Angeles on Wednesday. (Manager Gabe Kapler did not know the nature of the surgery, but it was not Tommy John surgery, he said.)

Edubray Ramos is out with a triceps strain.

David Robertson, who signed a two-year, $23 million contract in the offseason, has been on the IL since mid-April with an elbow strain and Tommy Hunter has yet to throw a pitch this season because of an elbow strain suffered in spring training. Hunter is throwing off a bullpen mound and could be ready sometime in June.

Now Morgan goes down. His loss hurts. He has given up just four runs in 18⅓ innings over 24 appearances. He is second in the NL with 12 holds and has a WHIP of 0.709.

Right-hander Yacksel Rios was recalled from Triple A to replace Morgan.

With Morgan out, the Phillies have just one lefty, Jose Alvarez, in their bullpen. It’s possible that the Phils are looking to add Cole Irvin as a second lefty in the bullpen. He was pulled after from his start at Triple A after three innings Wednesday night and he is expected to accompany the Phils to the West Coast after Thursday afternoon’s game against the Cardinals.

Meanwhile, it’s likely that general manager Matt Klentak is casting a net outside the organization for bullpen help.

“Matt is always looking for help,” Kapler said.

How are the Phillies going to survive losing their top lefty reliever?

“We have to really game-plan effectively,” Kapler said. “Without Adam, we have Alvarez to go after a lefty or two. We have the Dodgers coming up (Friday through Sunday) and they have some left-handed dudes who can do some damage. We’ll have to use our right-handers to get outs. Both Seranthony Dominguez and Hector Neris can get lefties out. Edgar Garcia can, as well.

“It’s not optimal. We’ll fight through a tough time. We’ve fought through it with David and Tommy, with Arano and Ramos, and we’ll do it with Adam, as well.”

Kapler said Morgan had been managing some pain in his elbow (on the inner part of the arm near where the forearm connects with the elbow) for a couple of weeks. Morgan had trouble bouncing back from an outing Friday night in Milwaukee and on Tuesday night felt like he was altering his delivery to compensate for pain as he warmed up in the eighth inning.

That was enough for Morgan to speak up.

He had an MRI on Wednesday. The results were not immediately available.

“I’m pretty optimistic,” Morgan said. “In all the tests, the strength is still there.

"It's very disappointing. Losing D-Rob and Neshek and Arano and Ramos and those guys — it hurts me because I felt the pressure when those guys went down and I don't want to put that on my guys. That's probably one of the toughest parts."

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These ugly Cowboys-looking Phillies hats have Philly fans freaking out

These ugly Cowboys-looking Phillies hats have Philly fans freaking out

Remember back on Phillies opening day 2019 when the team used a logo extremely similar to the Dallas Cowboys' star on the jumbotron and everybody freaked out?

Well, it seems we have a reprise of that situation today but in hat form.

We bring these questionable caps to you today via a reddit post aptly titled, "On no.... please god no..." which shows images of a new Philadelphia Phillies hat made by New Era that is currently being sold.

Philly fans absolutely hate it. Not only does it cloesly resemble the Dallas star, it's also just kind of ugly.

the front:

The hat is part of the New Era Elements Collection where they take something smaller from the team's actual logo and make it the main thing on a hat. The Cincinnati Reds used a mustache which is awesome. The Baltimore Orioles' smily bird looks pretty cool.

And then there's this very bad Phillies hat.

It's pretty obvious they are highlighting the star from the middle of the 'P' which is blown up on the front of the cap and featured relatively normal size on the back of the fitted cap, but it's still way too similar to the Dallas Cowboys' star for most in Philadelphia's liking.

The back:

It's unclear if these hats will ever get anywhere near the actual baseball team. Let's hope not.

Phillies free-agent targets: Josh Donaldson

Phillies free-agent targets: Josh Donaldson

Leading up to baseball’s winter meetings, we will take a daily look at some of the game’s top free agents and how they could potentially impact the Phillies.

Today, we check in on slugging third baseman Josh Donaldson.

The vitals

Donaldson has been one of the game’s premier sluggers the last half-dozen seasons. He’s an above-average defender at third base and an outstanding competitor. He has belted at least 33 homers in four of the last five seasons and led the American League with 123 RBIs in 2015, the year he won the AL MVP for Toronto. He battled injury in 2017 and 2018, signed a one-year, $23 million contract with Atlanta a year ago and went on to prove himself healthy by finishing 11th in the National League MVP voting in 2019. He played 155 games for the Braves and hit .259 with 37 homers, 94 RBIs and a .900 OPS.

Why he fits

At a position loaded with sluggers, Donaldson is still one of the best and the Phillies have a big need. Phillies third basemen ranked 24th in OPS (.725) and batting average (.243) and 22nd in homers (23) among big-league clubs in 2019. Donaldson’s fiery style of play would quickly win him fans in Philadelphia.

Why he doesn’t fit

The injury history, coupled with his age — he turns 34 in December — would be a concern on the long-term deal he is seeking, especially when the Phillies have a young third base prospect, Alec Bohm, scheduled to play at Triple A in 2020. Donaldson is one of three big third basemen on the free-agent market with Anthony Rendon and Mike Moustakas. The Phillies have already shown an interest in Moustakas, whose price tag could still allow the team to pump significant resources into pitching.

The price tag

Donaldson jumped quickly at a one-year deal last year. That won’t happen this year. He is said to be looking for at least three years and you have to figure the average annual value will be in the neighborhood of $25 million. If Donaldson keeps producing like he did in 2019, he’d be worth it.

Scout’s take

“He loves to play. And when he’s healthy, he’s a major difference maker. There’s value in that power. The concern for me would be that it’s a long season and he could fit more in the American League because of the DH.”

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