The Phillies are going to keep their fans in suspense for a little longer regarding how they're going to fill the spot in the starting rotation that came open when they placed Charlie Morton on the DL with a left hamstring injury.Instead of filling that spot right away, the Phillies opted to add a reliever, also a much needed commodity, after the bullpen had to handle eight innings of relief work after Morton's injury on Saturday.
Luis Garcia, who spent all of last season on the Phillies roster, but didn't make the club out of Spring Training, was summoned from Lehigh Valley to help the depleted pen. While Garcia went 4-6 with a 3.51 ERA in 72 games with the Phillies last season, he struggled this spring and wound up back at Lehigh Valley, where he had pitched for parts of both the 2013 and 2014 seasons. With the IronPigs this season, Garcia had pitched in five games, recording a loss and a save and compiling a 4.26 ERA. He had struggled with his command, giving up seven walks in 6 1/3 innings, while striking out just nine. He also hit a batter and threw a wild pitch. His WHIP at Lehigh Valley this season stood at 2.053 through the early going.
Morton injured the hamstring running out a sacrifice bunt attempt against Milwaukee and needed to be helped off the field. Initially, the injury appeared to possibly be something more than it turned out to be, which is good news for both Morton and the Phillies.
Morton's spot in the rotation comes up again on Friday, although with a day off on Monday, the Phillies could push that back to Saturday if they wanted. To fill the spot, the Phillies could use lefty reliever Brett Oberholtzer in a spot start Friday or Saturday against the Indians, or could recall a starter from Lehigh Valley. Most of the speculation on who would be recalled focuses on Adam Morgan, who was the last starter cut in Spring Training, falling short in his battle to win the fifth spot in the rotation. Morgan and fellow IronPigs starter David Buchanan, whose regular turn would be on Friday, are both on the 40-man roster, making one of them the favorites to be recalled.
Morgan is 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA in his three Triple-A starts this season, and is slated to start Tuesday's game in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for Lehigh Valley. Buchanan started for Lehigh Valley on Saturday, the same day that Morton was injured, and allowed three earned runs over 6 2/3 innings of work. On the season, he is 0-1 with a 4.58 ERA.