Bad news for the Phillies and Charlie Morton: the 32-year-old starter needs surgery for a torn hamstring and is done for the remainder of the season.
Morton had a 4.15 ERA in four starts, but he tore his left hamstring Saturday while trying to beat out a bunt. Viva the pitcher batting, I guess. Adam Morgan is expected to take his spot in the starting rotation, at least at first. The Phillies will use a lot of pitchers this year, no doubt.
It’s not like Morton was the key to the Phillies 2016 season or anything, and it’s unlikely that he’d even still be on the team the next time they’re contenders. But a player like Morton is a valuable cog on a young team like the Phillies, taking the innings someone has to take, doing his best to save the bullpen so it can be used with younger, less-experienced pitchers and being a role model and mentor to the guys who will, one day, play for the next good Phillies team. For those reasons, and simply for his own well-being, of course, this rather sucks.
Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN when the defending World Series champion Houston Astros host the Chicago White Sox on opening day.
Clemens made four appearances on last year’s KayRod Cast with Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. He will be stepping in on March 30 for David Cone, who will be doing the New York Yankees opener against the San Francisco Giants on YES Network.
“Roger has been sort of a friend of ours for the last year, so to speak, he’s in. He’s been engaged, knowledgeable and really present,” said ESPN Vice President of Production Phil Orlins. “You know, whatever past may be, he’s still tremendously engaged and he really brought that every time he was with us.”
Clemens was a seven-time Cy Young winner but his career after baseball has been tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use. He is a Houston native and pitched for the Astros for three seasons.
Orlins said that with the rules changes and pitch clock, it is important to have a pitcher in the booth with Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez.
“We don’t feel like we have to have the dynamic of Eduardo with a pitcher, but we certainly think that works. Throw in the added factor of rule changes and it is better to have a batter-pitcher perspective,” Orlins said.
Orlins did not say if this would open the door for future opportunities for Clemens as an ESPN analyst.