Phillies activate Adam Morgan from IL, tab Vince Velasquez to start Saturday


A few notes as the Phillies get set to open a three-game series against the Miami Marlins on Friday night:

• Left-handed reliever Adam Morgan was activated from the injured list and lefty Cole Irvin was returned to Triple A.

Morgan had been out since May 26 with a sore elbow.

• A pair of rainouts and a doubleheader earlier in the week forced the Phils to scramble for starting pitching after Aaron Nola’s assignment Friday night.

Manager Gabe Kapler announced that the team would use Vince Velasquez as the starter for Saturday afternoon’s game (4:05 p.m. first pitch).

Enyel De Los Santos will come up from Triple A and make the start Sunday afternoon.

Velasquez will be making his second straight start after nine appearances out of the bullpen. Velasquez pitched well out of the bullpen at times and team officials seemed eager to see more of him in that role. However, the team’s immediate need is starting pitching — a role where Velasquez has been inconsistent. He has made seven starts this season and recorded a 4.83 ERA in 31 2/3 innings. Though he was willing to try the bullpen and at times seemed excited about it, Velasquez has long preferred starting. He gets another chance.

“It's an opportunity for Vince,” Kapler said. “It's an opportunity to take control of that fifth spot in the rotation for the time being. Very similar to the way I think we viewed Nick Pivetta when we added him back to the rotation. It's up to him. He's got a really cool opportunity in front of him and he has a chance to seize it.

“It’s imperfect that he’s had to go back and forth between a rotation spot and the bullpen. What I told him today, and it’s sort of important that he repeats it in his own mind, is, ‘I prepare my whole life to deliver a pitch on the mound. I have been doing this since I was a kid. I came through the minor leagues. I’ve pitched in the bullpen. I’ve started big games for us. I’m ready for this.’ And he is. He’s physically prepared for it. He’s mentally prepared for it. It’s time for him to share that. ‘I am ready for this moment,’ and go out there and get it done.”

Kapler believes that Velasquez is stretched out enough to get through the Marlins’ batting order “a couple of times.”

De Los Santos was acquired from San Diego for Freddy Galvis in December 2017. He made two starts for the Phils last season and has pitched in relief four times for the club this season. The right-hander has a 3.28 ERA in eight starts at Triple A Lehigh Valley this season.

• A couple of injured Phillies are getting closer to a return.

Reliever Tommy Hunter will pitch an inning for Single A Clearwater on Sunday and be in Philadelphia for an evaluation on Monday.

Outfielder Adam Haseley participated in running and fielding drills Friday afternoon and will likely play in a minor-league rehab game Monday. He has been out since June 6 with a groin strain.

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