PHILADELPHILA -- The Phillies are casting a wide net to upgrade their bullpen for the final few weeks of the season.
They claimed right-hander Jared Hughes off waivers from the Reds on Thursday. Hughes, 34, was 3-4 with a 4.10 ERA and one save in 47 appearances this season. He is 27-23 with a 2.83 ERA and 12 saves in 499 career games with the Pirates, Brewers and Reds.
“I'm really excited about this one,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said before Thursday night’s game against the Cubs at Citizens Bank Park. “I had a conversation with him earlier in the day. He was especially enthusiastic and asking for the ball. You look back to last year, 70-plus innings. He has been really durable over the course of his career. He doesn't strike many people out, but also puts the ball on the ground. He's given up a few additional home runs this year that he didn't give up last year. His last outing [three scoreless innings vs. Washington] was really good.”
The Phillies needed a replacement in the bullpen for right-hander Zach Eflin, who will return to the rotation Saturday. Eflin will replace Jake Arrieta, who is expected to have season-ending surgery to remove a bone spur in his right elbow.
Philadelphia's bullpen has been hit hard with injuries. David Robertson, Seranthony Dominguez, Tommy Hunter, Adam Morgan, Pat Neshek, Edubray Ramos and Victor Arano are on the injured list.
“He's in a similar mold to Mike Morin and Blake Parker,” Kapler said of Hughes. “Our recent acquisitions are guys who have taken the baseball a lot. They have wanted the baseball a lot. They have been dependable and great teammates. They have some track record of success. It's encouraging for all of those reasons.”
The Phillies also have the ability to retain Hughes beyond this season. They have a $3 million club option (or a $250,000 buyout) for 2020.
To make room for Hughes on the 40-man roster, Ramos was placed on the 60-day IL. He could be activated as early as Sept. 14, and Kapler said that is a possibility.
LoMo is back
Before everybody seemed to be on Twitter or aware of Twitter, Logan Morrison used Twitter a lot. He developed a strong following when he began his big-league career with the Marlins from 2010-13. He had a particularly strong following with Phillies fans, who loved the back and forth with him.
“I’m not quite sure how that actually started,” Morrison said. “Being a Marlins player, we didn’t really have a big market. I didn’t even do appearances in Miami, but I did an appearance here in Philly [at Carl’s Collectibles in Havertown in April 2011]. It’s crazy.
“Yeah, [fans] wanted to trade for me. They didn’t really care if I was good at baseball.”
Morrison joined the Phillies this week as an extra bench bat. He is not expecting to last long. Hughes probably will replace him on the roster Saturday. Morrison, however, signed an advance consent where he will remain on the 40-man roster, even if he is sent back to Triple-A. It means Morrison could rejoin the Phillies when rosters expand Sept. 1.
Morrison is taking advantage of his time in Philly, if it turns out to be short. He said he grabbed lunch Thursday at Nick’s Roast Beef. He also fondly recalled the time in Sept. 2011, when he took a fire truck to the ballpark.
“My dad has a pretty close friend here who he was in the Coast Guard with, and he’s a battalion chief,” Morrison said. “I remember walking around with him in South Philly and people were like ‘What’s up LoMo? How you doing? Have a beer with us.’ I’m drinking [a beer] with someone on their porch.’”