Phillies pitcher Adam Morgan revitalizing his career in the bullpen

jtown
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 28: Adam Morgan #39 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the ninth inning during a game against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on August 28, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 6-1. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 28: Adam Morgan #39 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the ninth inning during a game against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on August 28, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 6-1. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Adam Morgan has mostly been viewed as a bust by Phillies fans, but this season he has found his future role in the bullpen.

At the end of spring training this year, the Phillies were just about ready to cut Adam Morgan from the 40-man roster. The lefty had posted an ERA over six the year before and he did little in spring training to show he was any better. Probably the only reason he is still with the team is because Alec Asher got traded to the Orioles, leaving a spot for Morgan.

Morgan lasted a week in the majors at the beginning of the season before being sent back to Triple-A. He bounced between Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley in May as the bullpen shuffled all over the place. Hopefully Morgan had plenty of gas money.

June 3 Morgan was recalled to the majors yet again, but this was his final roster move for the season. Since this promotion he has been much better as a pitcher, posting a 3.21 ERA and striking out 10.29 batters per nine innings.

More from Phillies News

Morgan has been even more effective since July rolled around with a 3.60 strikeout-to-walk ratio, 1.02 WHIP, 2.23 ERA (51 ERA-), and 2.66 fielding-independent pitching (60 FIP-). His usage has started to increase as manager Pete Mackanin takes note of Morgan’s strong performance.

Morgan explained to Bob Brookover of Philly.com that once he found the right routine in the bullpen, everything started falling into place:

"“I think it took some time to get the routine down,” the 27-year-old lefty said. “I had to figure out how many pitches it takes to warm up, what to do before a game, what to do after a game, when to take a day off. I feel like I’ve got that part down. Once I started to pitch consistently, I felt like I started to get a better routine and I know myself better now.”"

More from That Balls Outta Here

It helps that Morgan’s fastball velocity has increased significantly working out of the bullpen. Last season, it averaged 91.70 mph and topped out at 95.16 according to Brooks Baseball. This season, it averages 94.60 mph and the hardest he has thrown it is 96.68. That velocity is much more in line with a typical reliever and is even more potent from the left side.

It also helps that Morgan’s slider is starting to pick up some major bite. Before this year, it barely moved horizontally. Now, it breaks 4.34 inches to Morgan’s glove side, making it a much more potent weapon.

According to Fangraphs’ pitch values, it is Morgan’s most valuable pitch this season.

Next: Matt Garza an option in free agency?

Morgan used to be viewed as one of the Phillies’ top pitching prospects, but those days are clearly over. Instead, he is starting to find a new role in the bullpen, one that could stretch into 2018 and beyond.

facebooktwitterreddit