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Zach Eflin to the DL Leaves the Phillies Rotation Muddled

Post first appeared on phillyinfluencer.com on Aug. 10, 2016.

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CSN Philly

Another week, another Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher heading to the disabled list.

It was announced on Tuesday that Zach Eflin is being placed on the 15-day disabled list as he has patellar tendinopathy in both knees.

Eflin, who has had a rough go of it lately on the mound, wasn’t exactly in the know about his current health status.

“It’s pretty confusing,” Eflin said in an article by Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. “I’m confused, too.”

According to Zolecki, it is unknown as of right now whether Eflin will be able to return to the field this season. He is leaving the team and heading back to Philadelphia for further medical evaluation.

Something was off with the right-hander as of late. Eflin was 0-2 with a 13.85 ERA in his last three starts. He compiled a 3-2 record before those last three suspect outings.

Eflin joins fellow starter Aaron Nola on the disabled list as Nola was placed on the 15-day disabled list back on Aug. 3 with a right elbow strain. He also was struggling before being placed on the DL.

Losing the pair for at least the foreseeable future and potentially the rest of the 2016 season leaves the Phillies in a tough situation. To fill Eflin’s spot on the roster, the Phillies recalled left-hander Elvis Araujo, but that is just a quick fix. Araujo’s arrival still leaves a hole in the rotation and Eflin is due up next on Sunday against the Colorado Rockies.

Currently the rotation includes Jeremy Hellickson, Vince Velasquez, Jerad Eickhoff, and Jake Thompson, who just made his MLB debut last week. Despite manager Pete Mackanin’s gloom outlook on the situation as he was quoted in Zolecki’s piece, “We’re not in a tizzy, we’re in a quandary,” the Phillies have options.

Three different hurlers could be in line for a call-up, Adam Morgan, David Buchanan, or Phil Klein. Both Klein and Morgan have been up to the show earlier this season. Currently the Phillies are monitoring Morgan’s workload and if the team needs a long term answer, that may not be the best option. However, Morgan is the only lefty of the trio and the major league club only has one left-handed pitcher on staff, the recently re-called Araujo, which still leaves the starting rotation without a southpaw, as of right now.

Buchanan is enjoying success with AAA-Lehigh Valley. He is 8-6 with a 3.83 ERA and has logged 131.2 innings, something the Phillies need out of this position in the rotation. I saw him pitch in-person back on Aug. 4 where he went the distance in a loss to Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Aside from giving up four runs in the first inning on six hits, he pitched a two-hit shutout the rest of the way. Lastly, Klein has enjoyed success as of late. Most recently he struck out 10 batters in five innings of work on Tuesday night for the IronPigs, but hasn’t seen that success come with him to the majors.

Jim Salisbury of CSN threw out another option for the Phillies, but it won’t be available for a little bit longer.

 

With all of this uncertainty, aren’t you relieved the Phillies didn’t trade Hellickson?

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