The Phillies’ depleted farm system was not helped by developments on Saturday.
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that lefthanded pitcher Adam Morgan had shoulder surgery and is likely out until at least August, and that righty Shane Watson is slated for the same fate.
Morgan, the team’s third-round selection in 2011 out of the University of Alabama, battled shoulder woes for most of last season, but the team thought Morgan could avoid surgery with a program of rest and rehab. After missing nearly two months at midseason, Morgan made eight starts down the stretch with Triple-A Lehigh Valley and finished with a 2-8 record, a 3.91 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 78 1/3 innings.
If Morgan had stayed healthy and performed well at Lehigh Valley, he could have pushed for a spot in the Philadelphia rotation by the middle of 2014.
“He was a guy that was close,” Phillies assistant general manager Benny Looper told MLB.com. “I know it’s hard for us, because it decreases our starting-pitching depth, but it’s more of a blow for him. He loses a year here. And really, including last year, he loses a year plus.”
See also: Phillies Top 10 Prospects
Watson, the team’s first-rounder in 2012, also dealt with injuries last season. He made 16 starts at low Class A Lakewood and none after July 4. He finished the year 4-6 with a 4.75 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 72 innings.
According to Zolecki, Watson will have surgery shortly and will be sidelined until August.
“We don’t expect it to be a major thing,” Phillies director of player development Joe Jordan told CSNPhilly.com. “Go in, do an evaluation and cleanup. We feel like we’re going to get a lot of innings and work in with Shane this summer.”
Though neither Morgan nor Watson ranked among the Phillies’ 2014 top 10 prospects, the organization’s lack of pitching depth takes a serious blow with the news.