Mackanin holds team meeting before opener

Phillies lost 15 of last 18 games ahead of series vs. Pirates

Mackanin holds team meeting before opener

PITTSBURGH -- The Phillies entered Friday's series opener against the Pirates having lost 15 of their last 18 games, so manager Pete Mackanin held a team meeting at PNC Park.

"I don't want to divulge my recipe for that, because then everybody will use it and nobody will go into a slump," Mackanin said of the meeting. "We want the rest of the teams to falter."

But players clearly sounded frustrated following Thursday's loss to the Rangers in Texas. Maikel Franco said the Phillies are in trouble. Pat Neshek said the bullpen is feeling pressure coming into so many games in the fourth and fifth innings. The Phillies enter their series in Pittsburgh coming off a sweep at the hands of the Rangers.

"We just want to stick together as a team," Mackanin said. "I don't expect anybody to be happy when you're going through what we're going through. Nobody should be happy or careless about it. If they are, then they're not the right people. We just have to fight through it."

Mackanin said he sees the effort he wants to see from his players.

"These guys work hard," he said. "I have no issues with the pregame work."

Injury updates
• Right fielder Michael Saunders left Thursday's game in Texas because of tightness in his left groin, but he was back in action on Friday against the Pirates, replacing Daniel Nava in the sixth inning. Mackanin said prior the game that Saunders was available to play, if needed.

Nava left the game with tightness in his left hamstring. He pulled up running to second base on a double in the sixth. The veteran isn't sure of the severity, but Mackanin called him day to day.

• Right-hander Jeanmar Gomez (right elbow impingement) threw a bullpen session Thursday. Mackanin said it went well. He is scheduled to throw two more bullpen sessions, and Mackanin said he might not need to make a rehab appearance.

Morgan recalled
The Phillies recalled left-hander Adam Morgan. He is expected to help in the bullpen Friday and Saturday before right-hander Aaron Nola is activated from the disabled list before Sunday afternoon's game.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.