Phillies Lose Pitcher Charlie Morton for the Season
When the Phillies traded for starting pitcher Charlie Morton and agreed to a $9 million salary for 2016, the Phillies hoped to have some veteran stability that the team lacked in 2015. Morton pitched his usual up-and-down self throughout his first few starts of the 2016 season, until he met an unfortunate fate Saturday night. Running to first base in the top of the second inning in Milwaukee, Morton awkwardly landed on his leg, tearing his hamstring. Now his season is over.
The Phillies announced late Wednesday morning that Morton will miss the remainder of the 2016 season, as he is set to undergo surgery on his left hamstring on May 2nd. The expected recovery time is six to eight months, which of course is beyond the 2016 season. Luckily for the Phillies, the product on the field will not suffer terribly.
After being scratched from a start in Lehigh Valley last night, starter Adam Morgan is expected to take Morton's spot in the starting rotation. Morgan arguably pitched well enough in Spring Training to deserve a spot in the starting rotation, but the Phillies were committed to Morton, veteran Jeremy Hellickson, and young starters Jerad Eickhoff, Vince Velasquez, and Aaron Nola.
While Morgan may provide a similar output on the field as Morton (though from the left side), the Phillies lose a potential trade trip down the line. The Phillies may have used Morton as a trade chip for a prospect for a contending team looking for a veteran arm. Morton will be a free agent at season's end.
The move will also result in an open 40-man roster spot, as the Phillies now can move him to the 60-day disabled list. Should Morgan be added to the starting rotation as expected, he already occupies a 40-man roster spot. That means the Phillies have an opportunity to add another player if they so choose. The Phillies currently have 39 players on their 40-man roster.