adam morgan

Phillies sign pitcher Adam Morgan, avoid salary arbitration

Phillies sign pitcher Adam Morgan, avoid salary arbitration

The Phillies and pitcher Adam Morgan have avoided the salary arbitration process. The reliever and the club agreed on a one-year contract worth $1.575 million on Friday.

Morgan, who has pitched in 144 games the last three seasons, made $1.1 million last year.

Friday is the deadline for arbitration-eligible players to agree to 2020 contracts without beginning the arbitration process with an exchange of proposed salaries with their clubs.

With Morgan signed, the Phillies have five remaining arbitration-eligible players, catcher J.T. Realmuto and pitchers Zach Eflin, Vince Velasquez, Jose Alvarez and Hector Neris. 

More agreements could come down today. Players who don’t agree on deals will exchange salary proposals with their clubs and can have their salaries determined by an arbitration panel in February, if they still can't reach an agreement.

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Will the Phillies be without valuable reliever Seranthony Dominguez next season, too?

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USA Today Images

Will the Phillies be without valuable reliever Seranthony Dominguez next season, too?

Phillies reliever Seranthony Dominguez experienced some soreness in his injured right elbow during his last throwing session.

You don’t need a degree in Sports Medicine to know where this could be headed.

Nor do you need to be a rehab specialist to know what it could mean for next season.

According to manager Gabe Kapler, Dominguez will be examined next week by orthopedic surgeon Michael Ciccotti, the Phillies’ longtime head of medical services. A course of action will be determined after that examination.

This doesn’t sound good, and here’s why:

Dominguez, 24, has not pitched in nearly three months. The hard-throwing right-hander left the Phillies' June 5 game at San Diego with pain in his elbow. Two days later, general manager Matt Klentak said that Dominguez had sustained “damage” to his ulnar collateral ligament. Klentak added that Tommy John surgery was a possibility pending a second opinion.

It’s worth noting that general managers don’t throw these words around unless they’re pretty convinced that surgery will be needed.

Dominguez got his second opinion from all-star orthopedist James Andrews and, surprisingly, surgery was not recommended. Andrews treated Dominguez with a PRP injection and prescribed a rest and rehab program that left the Phillies hoping that Dominguez might actually come back and pitch this season.

That’s not happening now, and given the initial diagnosis of  UCL damage, and the pitcher's lack of progress over nearly three months, one would suspect that surgery is a strong possibility.

If Dominguez does indeed need Tommy John surgery, he will require up to a year of recovery time and that will put him out for most, if not all, of next season. That will be a blow to the team because Dominguez is a real talent, one the Phillies hoped to build their bullpen around.

Already, the 2020 season is off to a bad start in the bullpen. David Robertson, whose two-year, $23 million contract runs through next season, could miss all or most of 2020 after having Tommy John surgery earlier this month.

Injuries have crippled the Phillies’ bullpen this season and Dominguez has been one of the team’s biggest losses. The Phils have eight relievers on the injured list with just Hector Neris and Jose Alvarez remaining from the season-opening bullpen.

Tommy Hunter and Pat Neshek are done for the season. Adam Morgan is out with a flexor injury in his left elbow and Kapler said it’s likely that he’s done for the season.

On the starting pitching front, Jake Arrieta had his elbow surgically cleaned out earlier this week. Kapler said the pitcher had a couple of bone spurs and some loose bodies removed.

“He definitely gutted it out and pitched through some real challenges,” Kapler said.

Arrieta is expected to be ready to go for spring training.

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Phillies may have lost another key reliever to season-ending injury as Adam Morgan is placed on IL

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USA Today Images/Bill Streicher

Phillies may have lost another key reliever to season-ending injury as Adam Morgan is placed on IL

As the Phillies welcomed their newest face to the clubhouse in Corey Dickerson, they may have lost another key player for the season.

Left-handed reliever Adam Morgan was placed on the 10-day IL with a flexor strain, the second time this season Morgan has been shelved by the injury.

An MRI Friday revealed the condition had worsened.

"Some days were OK, some days were worse. The bad days were just getting a lot worse than what they were (before)," Morgan said. "We had been putting everything on it and just trying to manage it the best we could but it just kept getting worse.

"I'm not gonna change my mechanics for it. At this point, I'm only doing the team a disservice without my best stuff. I knew I wasn't gonna be 100 percent but I feel like I wasn't competing the best I could."

Morgan knew upon his return in late June that he was not going to be pitching pain-free. But the pain became too much, and it resulted in less velocity and less effectiveness from a pitcher who was one of the Phillies' best the first two months of the season. When Morgan hit the IL the first time, it was the end of May and he had a 1.96 ERA. In 16 appearances since returning, he had a 7.15 ERA.

Is he done for the season?

"I'll be back as soon as I can but I can't promise anything," Morgan said, which sounds ominous. The first time Morgan was sidelined this season, he missed a month. This is worse, so it's likely this will take longer than a month. Only eight weeks of the regular season remain, and the amount of time Morgan spends not throwing will be the amount of time he needs to build back up.

The good news is that Morgan will not require surgery or a PRP injection. The bad news is the Phillies are without a solid lefty for their stretch run. 

David Robertson and Tommy Hunter are out for the season. Pat Neshek is a ways away and may not pitch again in 2019. Manager Gabe Kapler is still holding out hope Seranthony Dominguez can return from an elbow injury that was initially thought to require Tommy John surgery.

In all, 20 different Phillies have spent time this season on the injured list, with five of those players requiring two stints. Nine of those 20 were relievers. No team in the majors has suffered more bullpen injuries than the 2019 Phillies.

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