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2019 Phillies in Review: The Broken Bullpen

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A review of the 41.2 combined innings that David Robertson, Tommy Hunter and Adam Morgan pitched.

Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images

The Numbers

Hunter: 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 0.00 ERA, 5 K, 0 BB, 0.375 WHIP, 0.2 fWAR

Robertson: 6.2 IP, 5.40 ERA, 6 K, 6 BB, 2.100 WHIP, -0.1 fWAR

Morgan: 29.2 IP, 3.94 ERA, 29 K, 10 BB, 1.011 WHIP, 0.3 fWAR

The Good

In March we got this adorable tweet:

Other than that… I don’t know.

The Bad

41.2 innings pitched by these three. Combined. In a full year. That pretty much tells you everything you need to know about Adam Morgan, Tommy Hunter and David Robertson in 2019.

In March Hunter was placed on the 10-day IL with a forearm strain. In April he was transferred to the 60-day IL. He made rehab appearances with both Clearwater and Reading and returned to the Phillies in late June. 17 days later he went back on the 10-day IL with the same forearm strain and two weeks later hit the 60-day for the remainder of the season.

Robertson hit the 10-day IL with right elbow soreness in mid-April. A little over a month later, he was transferred to the 60-day. He had Tommy John surgery in August that officially ended his season.

RELATED: Get to know Tommy John Surgery

Morgan had the most longevity of the three, but even he pitched less than 30 innings this season. He was placed on the 10-day IL in May with a forearm strain and returned in late June. But he only lasted a little over a month before returning to the IL with a flexor strain. He was transferred to the 60-day, officially ending his season, in September.

The Future

Hunter is a free agent this winter. With an unimpressive 2018 season followed by an essentially non-existent 2019 season, it’s unlikely the Phillies will want to bring him back. Especially since higher-quality relievers like Will Smith and Will Harris are going to be available.

He could potentially be a low-cost option if they decide to spend their big money elsewhere, like on both Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon. But bringing back Tommy Hunter should be an emergency situation only.

Robertson’s TJ surgery in August means he could miss the entire 2020 season. Rehab typically takes around 12-15 months for pitchers, which puts his estimated return between August and November of 2020. Because his contract runs through the 2020 season with a club option for 2021, it’s very unlikely that we’ll see David Robertson in a Phillies uniform again.

Morgan is arbitration-eligible for the 2020 season and has not been outrighted by the Phillies, which means he probably will be back next year. He is also arbitration-eligible in 2021. If he can remain healthy and improve under new pitching coach Bryan Price, he could help address the growing concern that is the Phillies’ broken and depleted bullpen.