Phillies relievers continue to go down at an alarming rate.
Adam Morgan, the team's best left-handed reliever, was placed on the injured list with a sore elbow Wednesday.
He joins a host of relievers already on the IL. The list includes Pat Neshek, who went on the IL over the weekend with right shoulder inflammation, and Victor Arano, who had arthroscopic surgery on his elbow in Los Angeles on Wednesday. (Manager Gabe Kapler did not know the nature of the surgery, but it was not Tommy John surgery, he said.)
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Edubray Ramos is out with a triceps strain.
David Robertson, who signed a two-year, $23 million contract in the offseason, has been on the IL since mid-April with an elbow strain and Tommy Hunter has yet to throw a pitch this season because of an elbow strain suffered in spring training. Hunter is throwing off a bullpen mound and could be ready sometime in June.
Now Morgan goes down. His loss hurts. He has given up just four runs in 18⅓ innings over 24 appearances. He is second in the NL with 12 holds and has a WHIP of 0.709.
Right-hander Yacksel Rios was recalled from Triple A to replace Morgan.
With Morgan out, the Phillies have just one lefty, Jose Alvarez, in their bullpen. It's possible that the Phils are looking to add Cole Irvin as a second lefty in the bullpen. He was pulled after from his start at Triple A after three innings Wednesday night and he is expected to accompany the Phils to the West Coast after Thursday afternoon's game against the Cardinals.
Meanwhile, it's likely that general manager Matt Klentak is casting a net outside the organization for bullpen help.
"Matt is always looking for help," Kapler said.
How are the Phillies going to survive losing their top lefty reliever?
"We have to really game-plan effectively," Kapler said. "Without Adam, we have Alvarez to go after a lefty or two. We have the Dodgers coming up (Friday through Sunday) and they have some left-handed dudes who can do some damage. We'll have to use our right-handers to get outs. Both Seranthony Dominguez and Hector Neris can get lefties out. Edgar Garcia can, as well.
"It's not optimal. We'll fight through a tough time. We've fought through it with David and Tommy, with Arano and Ramos, and we'll do it with Adam, as well."
Kapler said Morgan had been managing some pain in his elbow (on the inner part of the arm near where the forearm connects with the elbow) for a couple of weeks. Morgan had trouble bouncing back from an outing Friday night in Milwaukee and on Tuesday night felt like he was altering his delivery to compensate for pain as he warmed up in the eighth inning.
That was enough for Morgan to speak up.
He had an MRI on Wednesday. The results were not immediately available.
"I'm pretty optimistic," Morgan said. "In all the tests, the strength is still there.
"It's very disappointing. Losing D-Rob and Neshek and Arano and Ramos and those guys - it hurts me because I felt the pressure when those guys went down and I don't want to put that on my guys. That's probably one of the toughest parts."
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