Phillies’ Former Lefty Adam Morgan Signs With the Chicago Cubs

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 19: Philadelphia Phillies batting helmets sit on the wall during the MLB game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies on September 19, 2018, at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Longtime Phillies reliever Adam Morgan has signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago Cubs.

The lefty has left the building. Jim Salisbury announced this afternoon that Adam Morgan has signed with the Chicago Cubs. With this news, Morgan’s tenure with the Phillies is officially over.

The Phillies drafted Adam Morgan in the third round of the 2011 MLB Draft, the same year they drafted Ken Giles and Roman Quinn. He made his major league debut with the team four years later. He was one of only three remaining players to have been on the Phillies in 2015, while Ruben Amaro was still GM and while Cole Hamels was still on the team. In other words, Morgan, along with Aaron Nola and Hector Neris, was on the Phillies before the official “rebuild” even began.

Morgan’s Phillies Career

Adam Morgan struggled to begin his career with the Phillies. Over his first two seasons, he put up a 5.37 ERA and a 4.94 FIP in 36 games (34 starts). Clearly, Morgan did not have a future as a starting pitcher.

The Phillies converted Morgan to the bullpen in 2017, but he continued to struggle. The team demoted him to the minor leagues after only a couple of weeks as a reliever. However, the time Morgan spent at Lehigh Valley paid off. When he returned, he struck out batters at a much higher rate and he proved to be a valuable member of the Phillies bullpen.

Over the next few seasons, Morgan pitched very well against left-handers and just well enough against right-handers to be a decent relief pitcher. If Morgan had the opportunity to be a true LOOGY, however, his statistics would probably look much better. Unfortunately, due to the Phillies’ overall scarcity of reliable relievers, Morgan often had to pitch against plenty of right-handed batters.

The 2020 Season and Beyond

Adam Morgan’s numbers weren’t so good in 2020. He only pitched 13 innings though, so the sample size is very small. In addition, while his 5.11 FIP was dismal, his 4.04 xFIP shows that he had some bad luck on fly balls. He was also surely affected by the new three-batter rule, which prevents pitchers from being taken out after facing only one or two hitters. Therefore, it’s safe to say he did not regress as much as his ERA suggests.

Nevertheless, the Phillies did not tender Morgan a contract after the 2020 season. The Phillies need to make moves to improve their dreadful bullpen, and Morgan is not worth what he would have received in arbitration. While it is sad to see Morgan go, the Phillies have more than enough unreliable relievers already.

Like Hector Neris, Adam Morgan was a longtime Phillie who played reasonably well for some very bad teams. He’s no “Wall of Famer”, but he was an important part of this era of Phillies baseball. Hopefully, he’ll find success next season with the Cubs.

Mandatory Photo Credit: Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire