Prospect Morgan looking to make strong impression

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."