Phillies: Who should the team use in a bullpen game?
By Bryce Turner
Adam Morgan can pitch 1 2/3 between the third and fourth innings
Lefty reliever Adam Morgan currently has a 4.66 ERA over 9 2/3 innings in 13 relief appearances. Despite the ERA, he is one of the Phillies’ more consistent relievers and can pitch for more than an inning if needed.
After a slow start to the season, Morgan has an improved 2.57 ERA in his last seven innings (eight appearances), where he recorded nine strikeouts. He also looked solid in his two games with more than an inning — giving up only one hit, while striking out two in 1 1/3 innings against the Mets and giving up only one hit, while striking out four, in 1 2/3 innings against the Red Sox.
Vince Velasquez can pitch 1 2/3 between the fourth and sixth innings
If the Phillies elect to replace Vince Velasquez’s start with a bullpen game, they should still include him in such game. With the majority of his experience coming as starter, he could give them a few innings, though it’s probably best to limit his innings.
Velasquez entered two games out of the bullpen this season, giving up two earned runs off of two hits and a walk in one inning against the Baltimore Orioles. He did better in his most recent bullpen appearance, giving up a hit and three walks in two scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves.
The right-handed pitcher can do well but is very up-and-down. For instance, in his most recent starts, he gave up two earned runs off of seven hits, while striking out nine, in five innings against the Red Sox, before giving up four earned runs off of seven hits and a walk in 3 2/3 innings against the Marlins.
Given his roller-coaster nature, a shorter stint of 1 2/3 innings with breaks in between is a safer bet, though they can keep him out longer if he’s doing well.