5 former Phillies competing for Cubs roster this spring

Jake Arrieta, formerly of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Jake Arrieta, formerly of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
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Adam Morgan #46, formerly of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

4. Adam Morgan

The Phillies drafted left-handed reliever Adam Morgan in the third round of the 2011 draft out of the University of Alabama. The Tampa, Florida, native went on to make his big-league debut four years later as a starting pitcher.

Through Morgan’s first 38 career appearances (36 starts) through the 2016 season, he went 7-18 with a 5.37 ERA and 144-46 strikeouts-to-walks ratio spanning 197 2/3 innings.

Morgan needed to reinvent himself if he wanted to remain in the majors, and he did just that starting in 2017 by transitioning full-time to the bullpen. Since, he posted a 6-9 record, 4.11 ERA, 158-56 strikeouts-to-walks ratio, and 1.295 WHIP spanning 161 appearances and 146 2/3 innings.

Morgan recorded a 3.83 ERA and 3.94 ERA spanning 67 and 40 respective appearances in the Gabe Kapler era (2018 and 2019). This past season, however, he recorded a 5.54 ERA in 17 appearances, but an injury may have played a factor in his poor showing. In early October, he underwent surgery to repair his left flexor tendon and was expected to miss 6-9 months.

A few weeks later, Morgan elected free agency after being outrighted off of the Phillies’ 40-man roster. Then, in early January, the Cubs signed him to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Morgan will likely miss the first half of the 2021 season, but the Cubs could turn to him later on to be a strong bullpen asset. The Phillies simply opted to go their own direction in the meantime, and have since added lefties such as Jose Alvarado, Matt Moore, and Tony Watson.