Phillies starter Charlie Morton went to the ground last night while trying to leg out a sacrifice bunt (that once more became a double play) and had to be helped off the field.
Morton didn't want to speculate on the injury, and in fact seemed to talk down on speculation as a general practice, which is obviously crazy. This whole place is built on speculation. Without speculation, what would keep the lights on? There's a man in the basement with a metal dish strapped to his head, considering the possibilities of moving Brett Oberholtzer to the outfield, or Cody Asche to the bullpen, or whether the team has a plan or not for when the Phanatic comes in one day and lays an egg. These are the things that require speculation; otherwise you're just saying the whole internet has no value whatsoever, which is of course ridiculous.
Anyway, to speculate wildly, we could suggest that Morton's leg fell off last night and he's been carrying it around in one of the bat bags to not freak everybody out. But to put a more accurate spin on things, we would say that Morton felt his left hamstring snarl in the second inning of Saturday's game against Milwaukee. While an MRI is on the docket for Monday, Morton seems to already believe he isn't making his next start, having missed eleven days with the same injury in 2009.
This is exactly the situation for which a tidal wave of young pitching arms is around. While the Phillies wait and hope for a speedy recovery to one of their rotation's two elder statesmen, they can promote a guy like 26-year-old lefty Adam Morgan, who is on the 40-man roster and sporting a 3.57 ERA with 20 SO and only 4 BB in 17.2 IP for the IronPigs in Lehigh Valley. Or, David Buchanan is also an option, technically, but [end of sentence]. The Phillies also have an off day tomorrow - already, again, somehow - and may be able to avoid making a decision for one cycle of the rotation if they're feeling indecisive about everything.
Let's get real crazy and talk about how Jake Thompson is also up there in Lehigh. The Phillies have made some rapid, at times panicky, decisions of late in response to problems ("the offense is terrible"/"let's put Darin Ruf in the outfield") so maybe they'll act as irrational as fans' desires are to see young stars of the future. GIVE US THE YOUNGLINGS, PHILLIES, is something a crazy person would shout. Thompson's looking a mite raw at the moment, having given up 14 H, 8 ER, and 8 BB in 14 IP so far. And since we're at it, why don't we just say Mark Appel's name for the hell of it? "Mark Appel." That was nice. He's striking out men without mercy (11 SO in 11.2 IP with a 0.77 ERA) and causing the early early pangs of trade jealousy in Houston. Or what about new IronPigs arrival James Russell? He may not have even gotten his bags off the bus yet. Turn 'im around, boys. No, I'm kidding; please don't. Ah, speculation: It's impossible to be wrong, even though you definitely are.
All in all, Morton's injury is not even appropriately reflecting how bad it looked from the outset, when one might have assumed that his knee had ruptured violently, abruptly, and entirely. Instead, it's a simple strain with which he has experience and may not take too long from which to recover. In the mean time, the Phillies have deep enough, um, depth, damn it, to slide in a stopgap.
The main takeaway from this is, of course, thanks a lot, bunting.