ALTHOUGH THE Phillies have yet to announce who will join their rotation when they place Roy Halladay on the disabled list, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. may have tipped his hand when he said that the team first has to "figure out what we are going to do with our roster."
While Triple A righthanders Tyler Cloyd and Ethan Martin are on the 40-man roster, lefty Adam Morgan is not. The Phillies, however, have a spot open because they only have 39 on the 40-man roster. That would mean either placing a player on the 60-day disabled list or designating someone for assignment.
Morgan would make sense for a number of reasons, including the fact that he pitched yesterday and would be in line to step in for Halladay when his spot in the rotation arrives on Friday in Arizona. Morgan, 23, who impressed pitching coach Rich Dubee and manager Charlie Manuel with his performance in major league spring training, is regarded as having a much better arsenal of pitches than Cloyd, who posted a 4.91 ERA in six major league starts last season. While Cloyd pitched well in his last two starts, including 10 strikeouts and no walks in eight innings on Friday, the potential of a lengthy stay on the disabled list for Halladay means the Phillies might feel the need to go with the player who has the greatest potential to have sustained success against big-league hitters. Martin, meanwhile, has struggled with his command throughout the season, walking 20 with three hit batsmen and four wild pitches in 22 1/3 innings.
Morgan has allowed 12 runs in 16 innings in his last three starts after surrendering just three in 19 innings in his first three. But the Phillies' decision to elevate Pettibone, who did not have great numbers in his first couple of minor league starts of the season, shows that results are sometimes a secondary concern.
Potential 40-man roster casualties include centerfielder Tyson Gillies, who was recently demoted from Triple A to Double A, and reliever B.J. Rosenberg, who is 27 and has a 5.11 ERA in five starts at Triple A after struggling in the majors last season as a reliever.
Cloyd, of course, is already on the 40-man roster.
Expect a decision to come shortly.
After back-to-back games in which they managed just three runs on five hits, the Phillies are now hitting just .237 with a .296 on-base percentage and .374 slugging percentage on the season while averaging 3.5 runs per game. Jimmy Rollins had a pinch-hit single after entering the day having reached base four times with no extra-base hits in his previous 24 plate appearances. Ben Revere had a hit and a couple of walks after entering the day having reached base six times in his previous 31 plate appearances. Chase Utley went 0-for-3 and is now 5-for-33 with two walks, two home runs and a double in his last nine games. His on-base percentage is .312 on the season.
"I'll say this, with the lineup that we've got, we better hit some extra-base hits," manager Charlie Manuel said, "because we're not getting a whole lot out of our speed right now."
Roy Halladay is the first Phillie to allow eight or more earned runs in consecutive starts since Mike Welch in 1998 . . . The Phillies are now 5-15 in games started by Halladay, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. They are 9-3 in starts by Kyle Kendrick, John Lannan and Jonathan Pettibone . . . Marlins starter Kevin Slowey held the Phillies scoreless for seven innings to record his first win since Sept. 18, 2010 . . . Marlins utility man Adeiny Hechavarria, who entered the day hitting .196, hit his first career grand slam and had a three-run triple to tie a Marlins team record with seven RBI.