Phils 'pen loses another ... is Kimbrel an option?

Lefty Morgan joins crowded group of Philly relievers on injured list

May 29th, 2019

PHILADELPHIA -- is the latest Phillies relief pitcher to land on the injured list. He has a strained left forearm, which bothered him while warming up in the eighth inning Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Morgan joins , , Victor Arano, and on the IL. It is quite a list, putting the Phillies in a serious bind in managing their bullpen in the coming weeks.

“We have to really game plan effectively,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said Wednesday.

Arano (right elbow inflammation) had arthroscopic surgery (not Tommy John surgery) on his right elbow in Los Angeles. There is no timetable for Arano, Neshek (strained right shoulder) or Morgan to return, although Morgan does not believe his injury is serious. Hunter (strained right forearm) and Ramos (right biceps tendinitis) threw bullpen sessions on Wednesday and could be gearing up for rehab assignments. The Phillies believe they could be activated sometime next month. Robertson (sore right elbow) could pick up a baseball within the week, meaning there is a chance he could rejoin the bullpen before the end of June.

Left-hander Jose Alvarez is the only lefty in the bullpen. The Phillies open a three-game series on Friday in Los Angeles against the Dodgers, who have a bunch of talented left-handed hitters in Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, Corey Seager and Joc Pederson.

“We have some options,” Kapler said. “It’s not optimal, but we’ll fight through a tough time.”

The Phillies could use some help, though. Free agent Craig Kimbrel remains available and the belief is once the 2019 MLB Draft passes next week, Kimbrel and free-agent left-hander Dallas Keuchel will sign because there no longer will be Draft pick compensation tied to them. Kimbrel would help the Phillies, but one source told on Wednesday that while the Phillies remain interested in Kimbrel, a deal is unlikely, at least if he still wants a multiyear contract.

A one-year deal is something different. Hunter, Neshek and Robertson are veteran relievers who have signed multiyear contracts with the Phillies over the past two seasons. The Phillies might want to limit their long-term commitments in the bullpen, especially with concerns about Kimbrel’s performance late last season with the Boston Red Sox.

Pivetta gets the nod

Kapler said right-hander Nick Pivetta will start Sunday against the Dodgers. Pivetta allowed three runs in five innings Tuesday in a 4-3 victory over the Cardinals.

Triple-A Lehigh Valley left-hander Cole Irvin had been a consideration.

Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez could return to the rotation at some point, but the team wants him to focus on being a relief pitcher.

“The message will continue to be to Vince that you are a part of our bullpen,” Kapler said.

Extra bases

Outfielder Roman Quinn (strained right groin) felt some soreness after running on Wednesday. He will head to Florida to continue his recovery. Kapler said Quinn’s timetable to return has not been pushed back dramatically.

“This is not a setback,” he said. “It’s more, we want to be very, very confident before we send him out for games.”