2/22/2013 3:57 P.M. ET
Prospect Morgan looking to make strong impression
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies geared up for their Grapefruit League schedule with an intrasquad game Friday at Bright House Field.
Left-hander Adam Morgan, who is ranked as the organization's No. 7 prospect, threw two scoreless innings.
"Morgan is all right," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "Morgan has a good arm. He locates the ball well."
The Phillies selected Morgan in the third round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. He went 8-11 with a 3.35 ERA in 27 appearances (26 starts) last season with Class A Clearwater and Double-A Reading. It remains to be seen where he'll begin this season, but it will be either Triple-A Lehigh Valley or Reading.
Right now, it seems like Aaron Cook, Rodrigo Lopez, Tyler Cloyd and Jonathan Pettibone are ticketed for the Lehigh Valley rotation. That could leave one spot in the Triple-A rotation for somebody like Morgan or right-hander Ethan Martin, the organization's No. 2 prospect.
"There's a couple different ways of looking at it," Phillies assistant general manager Benny Looper said. "Martin and Morgan, where do they need to be for their development to get them ready for the big leagues? The others are the veteran guys that we want to keep fresh and ready to go in case we need a starter in the big leagues.
"It's kind of a two-fold question. We want to have somebody ready in case there's a breakdown at the big league level, but we also want our prospects at the right place. That leads to some big decisions we have to make this spring."
Morgan is hoping to make a lasting impression on the coaching staff and front office in his limited time in camp.
"I'm playing for over a month with the best players in the world," Morgan said. "I hold myself to a high standard to go out there and I really believe I can compete with these guys."
Morgan learned he would get a invite to big league camp on Dec. 18. The lefty said he still has the voice mail saved from Phillies director of player development Joe Jordan.
"I was like, 'Are you sure you got the right number, man?'" Morgan said. "It was awesome. It really hasn't set in. I'm just taking it day by day and enjoying it, and picking some of these guys' brains and trying to learn."
Ruf, Brown shine in Phils' intrasquad game
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Two of the most intriguing players to watch this spring are outfielders Darin Ruf and Domonic Brown.
Both are fighting for a roster spot and playing time.
Ruf went 2-for-2 with two doubles and Brown went 1-for-2 with one double in Friday's intrasquad game at Bright House Field. Both are starting Saturday's Grapefruit League opener against the Astros at 1:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV.
"Ruf and Brown had a good day, didn't they?" Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "They had two good at-bats. We'll see."
It seems both their chances of making the Opening Day roster have improved since Delmon Young is expected to open the season on the disabled list following microfracture surgery on his right ankle in November, but nothing after that is guaranteed, assuming Young plays at some point.
Utley set for first Grapefruit League action since 2010
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies open their Grapefruit League schedule Saturday at 1:05 p.m. ET against Houston at Bright House Field on MLB.TV, and Chase Utley will be in the lineup.
Utley, who played in Friday's intrasquad game, will take part in his first Spring Training game since 2010. He missed the previous two springs because of bad knees. First baseman Ryan Howard, who missed last spring following left Achilles surgery, also will be in the lineup.
Utley went 0-for-1 with a walk Friday. Howard went 1-for-2.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel's lineup for Saturday will look like this:
1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Michael Young, 3B
3. Utley, 2B
4. Howard, 1B
5. Darin Ruf, LF
6. Domonic Brown, RF
7. Laynce Nix, DH
8. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
9. Erik Kratz, C
Phillies will send 10 to World Baseball Classic
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies will have 10 players at the World Baseball Classic:
Catcher Tim Kennelly (Australia), infielder Lucas Rojo (Brazil), right-hander Phillippe Aumont (Canada), outfielder Tyson Gillies (Canada), left-hander Jay Johnson (Canada), infielder Pete Orr (Canada), right-hander Rodrigo Lopez (Mexico), catcher Sebastian Valle (Mexico), shortstop Jimmy Rollins (USA) and left-hander Cesar Jimenez (Venezuela).
Phillies first-base coach Juan Samuel will be coaching with the Dominican Republic. Ernie Whitt, who is the Phillies' Minor League catching coordinator, will manage Canada.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.