The Phillies are in the very early stages of reshaping their beleaguered bullpen and made two moves to take relievers off of the 40-man roster. Heath Hembree and Adam Morgan were both outrighted, leaving them with the decision to accept a minor league assignment or become a free agent. Both pitchers were eligible for arbitration prior to being outrighted.
Morgan, 30, has spent his entire career in the Phillies organization having been drafted in the third round of the 2011 Draft by the Phillies. Morgan has had elbow and shoulder issues in the past and underwent season ending surgery to repair a flexor tendon in his left arm and likely won’t be able to pitch until approximately the middle of the 2021 season.
It’s possible that Morgan will accept the assignment and work under a minor league deal with the Phillies.
Hembree was supposed to be a part of the solution to a struggling bullpen last season when the Phillies acquired him from Boston for pitcher Nick Pivetta. The 31-year old Hembree struggled both in Boston and Philadelphia last season, finishing with a 9.00 ERA after going 1-0 with a 12.54 ERA with the Phillies.
Even with the performance and injury issues that both players had in 2020, it’s likely that they would have gotten a raise through the arbitration process.
The Phillies have now jettisoned six relievers from their 40-man roster in the past couple of days. Left-hander Jose Alvarez and right-handers Tommy Hunter, David Robertson and Brandon Workman all filed for free agency yesterday.