PHOENIX — Matt Imhof, a lefthander at single-A Clearwater and a former Phillies second-round pick, suffered a serious eye injury last week in a freak accident in Florida, the team said.
Imhof was injured during a postgame exercise routine at Brevard County's Space Coast Stadium, a Phillies official said. He was struck in the face while using a rubber resistance band anchored to a wall. The mounted base broke off the wall, a source said, and damaged Imhof's right eye.
The pitcher has undergone surgery, said Adam Karon, his agent. Karon said the Imhof family asked for no further comments to be made.
The Brevard County Manatees are an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers and a tenant of the stadium, which is owned by Brevard County. The Brewers did not immediately return a request for comment.
Imhof, 22, recently was moved to the Clearwater bullpen. He had a 3.91 ERA in 14 games this season with 48 strikeouts and 43 walks in 53 innings. He started 18 games for Clearwater last season and posted a 3.94 ERA.
Imhof, who pitched at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, signed for a $1.2 million bonus as the 47th overall pick in 2014.
Looking for lefty
The Phillies had used four lefthanded relievers before Monday, and those pitchers had combined for a 6.75 ERA and 17 homers allowed in 66 2/3 innings. So Adam Morgan, a starter for his whole career, has an opportunity to win favor with some effective pitching.
The only two lefties in the Phillies bullpen — Brett Oberholtzer is the other — are considered long men. But Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said he could ultimately use Morgan as a situational lefty once the pitcher adapts to a relief role.
"Possibly," Mackanin said. "We're going to find out."