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Trio of young arms added to Phillies' 40-man roster

Biddle, Morgan and Ogando protected from Rule 5 Draft
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies placed three young pitchers on the 40-man roster Thursday.

The first is left-hander Jesse Biddle, who has battled issues on both the physical and mental sides of the game. The second is left-hander Adam Morgan, who is recovering from left shoulder surgery. The third is hard-throwing right-hander Nefi Ogando, whom the Phillies acquired from the Red Sox in a trade for infielder John McDonald in 2013.

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies placed three young pitchers on the 40-man roster Thursday.

The first is left-hander Jesse Biddle, who has battled issues on both the physical and mental sides of the game. The second is left-hander Adam Morgan, who is recovering from left shoulder surgery. The third is hard-throwing right-hander Nefi Ogando, whom the Phillies acquired from the Red Sox in a trade for infielder John McDonald in 2013.

Placing the trio on the 40-man roster protects them from the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 11 at the Winter Meetings.

Biddle, 23, has been an enigma the past couple of seasons. The Phillies selected him in the first round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, and he seemed to be living up to the hype for a stretch. He went 5-14 with a 3.64 ERA in 27 starts in 2013, but he battled health issues and questions about his maturity.

Biddle, ranked No. 4 on the club's prospects list, according to MLB.com, acknowledged early last year his maturity needed to improve.

"There are some things I really want to grow up on and want to improve," he said.

But Biddle went 3-9 with a 5.03 ERA in 15 starts with Double-A Reading before being placed on the inactive list in June. The Phillies wanted him to clear his mind. He returned late in the season, and had started to pitch in Winter Ball in Puerto Rico. He went 0-1 with a 15.19 ERA in two starts before being sent home because of an injured left elbow.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Thursday an MRI revealed mild tendinitis.

The Phillies selected Adams, 24, in the third round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. He impressed nearly everybody in Spring Training 2013, so much so that many expected him to be in the big leagues as early as that season. But Morgan came down with a shoulder injury a short time later. He had surgery last year, and missed the entire season. He went 1-2 with a 6.61 ERA in six games (five starts) in the Arizona Fall League.

Ogando, 25, went 5-1 with a 6.27 ERA in 48 appearances with Double-A Reading. He struck out 57 batters, but walked 28 and allowed 64 hits and 39 earned runs in 56 innings.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com.

Philadelphia Phillies, Jesse Biddle, Adam Morgan, Nefi Ogando