Morton's injury worse than expected

Right-hander strained hamstring running to first on bunt

Morton's injury worse than expected

WASHINGTON -- It sounds like Phillies right-hander Charlie Morton will miss more than just a couple of starts.

Morton strained his left hamstring Saturday running to first base on a sacrifice bunt attempt in Milwaukee. The Phillies placed him on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, and he received an MRI exam in Philadelphia on Monday.

"Apparently, his MRI wasn't as good as we were hoping," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said before Tuesday night's series opener against the Nationals at Nationals Park. "We're going to see what happens in the next two or three days and see what the next step is. I really don't know what the next step is, I just know it's not as good as we were hoping."

The Phillies have made no formal announcement, but Triple-A left-hander Adam Morgan is expected to take Morton's spot in the rotation Friday night against the Indians at Citizens Bank Park. Morgan had been scheduled to pitch Tuesday night, but the IronPigs started right-hander Reinier Roibal instead.

Morgan is 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA in three starts at Lehigh Valley. Vince Velasquez beat Morgan in a Spring Training competition to be the team's No. 5 starter.

Morgan went 5-7 with a 4.48 ERA in 15 starts last season with the Phillies.

Worth noting

• Cedric Hunter not only made the Phillies' Opening Day roster, he started in left field on Opening Day.

But the Phillies optioned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on April 18 and outrighted him from the 40-man roster Monday. Hunter hit .088 (3-for-34) with one home run, one RBI, two walks and six strikeouts in 13 games with the Phillies.

According to MLB.com research, Hunter is the first Opening Day starter to be outrighted from a team's 40-man roster before the end of April since 2014. The Pirates outrighted Travis Ishikawa on April 19, 2014. He started at first base for the Pirates on Opening Day that year.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.