Before defeating John Cena on Sunday night and walking away from the
company as WWE Champion, CM Punk previously suggested he might defend
the title in other promotions. Is this just a photo of two guys who
know what it takes to be a champion, or could Cole Hamels be in line
for a shot at the belt?
As part of a much talked about angle
that has been garnering some mainstream attention, Punk defeated the
face of the WWE in front of his hometown Chicago crowd about one hour
prior to his contract expiring. The first order of business for the
Straight Edge Superstar: parade around Wrigley Field with the gold.
Hamels and manager Charlie Manuel were said to be seen hanging around
and having their picture taken with Punk on the field before Monday's
game, as well as some members of the Cubs. Punk also threw out the
first pitch on Friday.
As for Monday Night Raw (spoilers), it turned out to be far more entertaining than the Phillies game.
were treated to the first two rounds of a tournament that will
supposedly crown a new WWE Champion, and chairman Vince McMahon was
informed by real life son-in-law Triple H that the publicly traded
company has charged the wrestler-turned-executive with taking over
If you've ever been into this stuff, the
last month has been great. If not... hey, look! There's a picture of
Cole Hamels holding the WWE Championship.
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Just pitch.
Don’t worry about the role.
That’s Adam Morgan’s mindset this spring.
“I’m just trying to show whoever needs to see it that I can be an asset to this team,” the left-hander said after his spring debut against the New York Yankees on Saturday (see story). “I’m just keeping it simple that way. I’m not trying to go out for that fifth (starting) spot. If the fifth spot opens up, I’d be more than willing to do that. If they want to put me in the bullpen, I’d be more than willing to do that. If they want me to be the backup catcher, I’ll be the backup catcher.”
The Phillies have plenty of candidates for backup catcher.
And the top five spots in their starting rotation, barring an unforeseen development, are accounted for.
But there is a way for Morgan to make this team.
“He’s definitely a bullpen candidate,” manager Pete Mackanin said.
Mackanin is on record as saying he’d like to have two lefties in what likely will be a seven-man bullpen. It might not work out that way, but that would be Mackanin’s preference.
Morgan is one of what appears to be four candidates along with Joely Rodriguez, Cesar Ramos and Sean Burnett. Ramos and Burnett are experienced major-league veterans in camp on minor-league contracts. Rodriguez is the only pure lefty reliever on the 40-man roster. Morgan, of course, is on the 40-man roster, but he’s mainly been a starter in his career.
There’s a long way to go in spring training and it would not be surprising to see general manager Matt Klentak add to the list of lefty relief candidates with some type of pickup before the end of camp.
But for now, it’s just these four.
Morgan, who turns 27 on Monday, started and pitched two scoreless innings against the Yankees on Saturday and will likely continue to have his innings stretched out throughout the Grapefruit League season, just in case he’s needed as a starter.
Ramos and Rodriguez both pitched an inning Saturday. Ramos allowed a hit and a run. Rodriguez had a clean inning. Burnett was tagged for two hits and two runs on Friday.
Morgan made 21 starts for the Phillies last season. He also made two relief appearances and finished the season with a 6.04 ERA. He was sent to Triple A in July and returned in mid-August. He made nine starts after returning and pitched at least six innings and gave up two or fewer earned runs in four of them.
During his time in Triple A, Morgan started throwing a two-seam fastball or sinker. He’s continued to throw it this spring and believes it will help him.
“I learned to trust the two-seamer last year and that’s what I hope to keep moving forward with,” he said.
Will it take him to the Phillies’ bullpen?
He hopes so. He got a taste of relieving last season and liked it.
“Oh, yeah, I loved it,” he said. “Every time the phone rang down there, I was on high alert. It was awesome. It’s a rush.
“But wherever I land, I land. I’d be willing to play anywhere on this team.”