Two Phillies SP prospects go under the knife

Two Phillies SP prospects go under the knife

Bottalico and Salisbury on Morgan and Watson injuries

January 11, 2014, 6:45 pm
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Adam Morgan, 23, has a 3.25 ERA in 56 career minor-league games. (USA Today Images)

The Phillies' farm system isn't flush with talent, and a barrage of injuries to some of their top-tier minor-leaguers has made it even thinner.

Right-handed pitcher Shane Watson, a first-round pick in 2012, will require shoulder surgery some time this month, Phillies director of player development Joe Jordan told CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury recently.

"We don’t expect it to be a major thing,” Jordan said. “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.”

Another of the Phillies' high-upside young pitchers also will miss time in 2014 because of shoulder surgery. Left-hander Adam Morgan, who has a 3.25 ERA, 8.3 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 56 career minor-league games (55 starts), finally had shoulder surgery this month after missing most of 2013 with shoulder issues, according to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.

Morgan was initially told to rest the shoulder, but surgery was ultimately deemed necessary.

"He took off the time we wanted him to and the doctors wanted him to," Phillies assistant GM Benny Looper told MLB.com. "But then he started his throwing program and it still bothered him, so he had it looked at again and the decision was made that it was best to have surgery.

"He was a guy that was close. 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."

Morgan was a third-rounder in 2011. He sped through the Phillies' system, reaching Triple A in just two years. With all of their injuries he surely would have received a chance in the Phils' starting rotation in 2013 had he not gotten hurt.

Elsewhere on the farm, speedy shortstop Roman Quinn is recovering from Achilles surgery and 2013 second-round catcher Andrew Knapp is healing from Tommy John surgery last October.

Quinn ruptured his Achilles running sprints in early November.

"We hope he’ll be in games before the summer is over and he can also recoup at-bats in the fall,” Jordan told Salisbury.

A ruptured Achilles can be a crippling injury for a player whose game is as reliant on speed as Quinn's.

The Phils expect Knapp to be 100 percent by the beginning of July.