I'm writing this two innings into an intrasquad game that is scheduled to last five innings, but the most interesting battle has ended, with lefty Adam Morgan and righty Jonathan Pettibone pitching a couple of innings. These two pitchers are the two strongest candidates for a promotion to the majors if an injury strikes the rotation, and how they fare this spring training could very well decide which one gets the first call. Pettibone is on the 40-man roster, but Morgan has the potential to make that irrelevant, much the way Mike Stutes did a couple of springs ago.
The early scouting report on both after watching bullpens and two innings of intrasquad:
Morgan: Keeps the ball down, throws his fastball with a good downward plane, works quick, is quick to the plate, showed a good slider today. Morgan retired five of the seven hitters he faced, allowing a loud single to left field by Jimmy Rollins to start the game and a line drive single to left-center to Laynce Nix in the next inning. Morgan followed up both hits by getting double play balls. He also recorded two strikeouts, both looking, one on John Mayberry Jr., and one on Ryan Howard, when he appeared to throw 3 sliders for strikes. On Mayberry he went slider called, change-up swing, fastball foul, fastball on the outside corner called strike three.
Pettibone: Has a good changeup and showed that today, but the question is whether he can do enough with his fastball to make that changeup relevant. His fastball is not overpowering, so keeping it down and commanding it are vital. He did not do that today, but again, we're talking about two innings of an intrasquad game.
Other quick highlights from the first couple innings of this game:
Darin Ruf connected on a double off of Pettibone in his first at-bat. Domonic Brown followed that with a single.
Michael Young was charged with an error on his first tough play at third base, a backhand that he knocked to the ground, then picked up and threw to first, pulling Ryan Howard off the base.
Freddy Galvis had a solid double off of Pettibone in the first inning. Chase Utley struck out in his first at bat. He did turn two double plays with Galvis, who played an excellent couple of innings at short.