CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies left-hander Adam Morgan opened Spring Training as a starter, but it is clear his best path to the Opening Day roster is in the bullpen.He said he is fine with that.• Spring Training: Info | Tickets | Schedule | Gear"I'm just trying to show whoever that I
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies left-hander Adam Morgan opened Spring Training as a starter, but it is clear his best path to the Opening Day roster is in the bullpen.
He said he is fine with that.
• Spring Training: Info | Tickets | Schedule | Gear
"I'm just trying to show whoever that I can be an asset to this team," Morgan said Saturday during a 6-5 walk-off victory over the Yankees in a Grapefruit League game at Spectrum Field. "If the fifth spot opens up, I would be more than willing to do that. If they want to put me in the bullpen, I would be more than willing to be in the bullpen. If they need a backup catcher, I'll be the backup catcher."
Morgan allowed two hits and struck out one in two scoreless innings. He also made a nice defensive play to turn an inning-ending double play in the second.
"He did OK," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "Just another outing. A couple clean innings."
The Phillies have 12 starters in camp, and Jeremy Hellickson, Clay Buchholz, Jerad Eickhoff, Vince Velasquez and Aaron Nola are considered safe bets for the big league rotation. That leaves Morgan and six other starters (Jake Thompson, Zach Eflin, Alec Asher, Mark Appel, Ben Lively and Nick Pivetta) looking to fill out the Triple-A rotation.
Morgan, who went 2-11 with a 6.04 ERA in 23 appearances (21 starts) last season, is unlikely to bounce any of the Phillies' top pitching prospects from the Triple-A rotation, leaving the bullpen as his best fit -- especially because the Phils are thin on left-handed relievers. Lefty bullpen possibilities include non-roster invitees Sean Burnett and Cesar Ramos, as well as Joely Rodriguez.
In Morgan's two relief appearances last season, he allowed one earned run in 3 2/3 innings. He said he enjoyed the experience.
"Every time that phone rang down there, I was on high alert," Morgan said. "It was awesome. It's a rush."
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.