Tag Archives: Enyel De Los Santos

Jake Arrieta has bone spurs on his elbow, could be lost to surgery

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On Saturday night in Queens, Jake Arrieta was downright horrendous in his starting assignment at Citi Field against the New York Mets.
The Phillies 33-year-old right-hander was torched by the Mets batters for 11 hits which produced six runs, five of those earned, and he was almost constantly in trouble.
In the bottom of the 1st inning, a base running gaffe by Robinson Cano helped Arrieta escape having allowed just one run despite surrendering two hits and hitting a batter. In the bottom of the 2nd, the Mets had the bases loaded with one out. Again, Arrieta wriggled out of it, allowing just one run.
In the bottom of the 3rd inning, Todd Frazier led off with a single and came home on a double by the next batter, Dominic Smith. Arrieta again escaped with just one run allowed, thanks largely to Smith being thrown out trying to stretch that double into a triple.
In the 5th inning, the Mets finally kicked in the door, driving Arrieta from the game amidst controversy. With one out, he hit Frazier with a pitch, prompting Frazier to bark at Arrieta all the way down to first base.
When home plate umpire Tripp Gibson immediately warned both benches, Mets skipper Mickey Callaway came out to argue. Frazier then turned his barking to Gibson and was ejected. The Mets third baseman had to be restrained from going after Arrieta, and was fuming as he made his way to the dugout and locker room.
Smith then doubled again, moving pinch-runner Adeiny Hechavarria around to third base. Arrieta then hit another batsman, Amed Rosario. Despite the earlier warning, the Phillies pitcher was not ejected, but Callaway was when he argued that fact.
It might have been better for the Phillies had Arrieta been ejected, because the very next batter, catcher Tomas Nido, ripped a bases-clearing double to put the Mets on top by a 6-4 margin. That would prove the game-winner, as the hosts would go on to an eventual 6-5 victory.
Following the game, Arrieta made this controversial comment: “Frazier’s not happy about it, he can come see me. I’ll put a dent in his skull.

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Arrieta postgame: “Frazier’s not happy about it, he can come see me. I’ll put a dent in his skull.”

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Then in a report this morning by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic with contribution from Matt Gelb it was revealed that Arrieta has been battling an injury.
Arrieta has a bone spur in his right elbow, according to a source, and it likely will require surgery to remove it — surgery that those involved had hoped could wait until the end of the season. That delay is no longer certain.
Reporters repeatedly tried to question Arrieta following the game on the possibility of injury. He gave nothing but vague or evasive answers.
I labored physically,” Arrieta said per Rosenthal and Gelb. “I wasn’t able to put the ball where I wanted to. It’s been that way for a few weeks. Just physically not in a great spot.

Things have not gone as hoped for the Phillies when they signed former Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta at spring training in 2018.
Arrieta has made 17 starts in this, his second season with the Phillies after signing a big free agent contract during 2018 spring training. He leads the Phillies staff with 108 innings pitched and 8 wins. But he also has a 4.67 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, and .282 batting average against, surrendering 18 home runs.
Over his last seven starts, Arrieta has allowed 53 hits including nine home runs over 38 innings pitched. Amazingly, the Phillies have gone 4-3 in those outings, including last night’s defeat.
If Arrieta is lost now, or if that happens in the next week or so, the Phillies already emaciated starting rotation is going to be on life support. Aaron Nola has regained his form of a year ago and is pitching like an ace once again. But otherwise, none of the Phillies starting pitchers has been reliable.
Zach Eflin has allowed 26 hits over 14 innings across his last three starts with a 9.64 ERA and .400 batting average against in that span. Nick Pivetta has a 5.84 ERA and 1.476 WHIP over his 11 starts. Vince Velasquez has already been bounced from the rotation once, and has a 4.63 ERA and 1.402 WHIP over 20 games, 10 each in relief and as a starter.
The other options tried during the season have been equaling unimpressive. Jerad Eickhoff, currently on the IL, had a 5.71 ERA and 1.303 WHIP over a dozen outings, including 10 starts. Cole Irvin was called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and the southpaw produced a 7.82 ERA and 1.579 WHIP over his three shots in the rotation. Enyel De Los Santos was called up and in his lone start against Miami, the righty allowed four earned on seven hits over just four innings.
Injuries to the relief corps has decimated the Phillies bullpen as well, making the pitching staff nearly a complete disaster at this point. The Phillies pitching staff collectively ranks 12th of the 15 teams in the National League in ERA (4.66), and both their .266 batting average against and 802 OPS against are 14th of the 15 NL clubs.
The pressure is now on general manager Matt Klentak to find a deal or two to strengthen the rotation unless he is willing to throw in the towel on a run at a 2019 postseason run. It seems highly unlikely that such a thing would be acceptable to owner John Middleton. But with two spots to fill and a number of other teams in Major League Baseball going after the same available arms, the job may simply be too big for Klentak to successfully complete.

In the longer run, Arrieta has a player option at $20 million for the 2020 season. It seems hard to believe that he would not exercise that option for a season during which he would be 34 years of age, coming off a down, injury-marred campaign. That means the Phillies would be locked into his presence in their rotation for next season, at least to open the year.

Phillies Nation places Alec Bohm at top of latest Phillies Top 20 Prospects rankings

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Alec Bohm ascends to the top of the Phillies prospect rankings

The Phillies Nation official Top 20 Philadelphia Phillies prospect ranking is being updated here based on a survey of select members of our current staff taken as Spring Training wound down back in late March.

Taking part in the survey were Editorial Director Tim Kelly, lead writer Matthew Veasey (yours truly) and staff writers Alec Whitaker and Drew Rhoades.
We each presented individual Phillies top 20 prospect lists. These were subsequently compiled into what you find presented below as our official ranking.
As always, the staff here at Phillies Nation follow the organization on a regular basis, from the lowest levels of the minor leagues on up through the big league club. We regularly read evaluations from industry experts and those who closely follow the team.
In forming our opinions we incorporate those of the scouts and industry experts from various sources including MLB PipelineBaseball AmericaFangraphs and a variety of other respected outside resources. We also attend games in person at a number of levels and watch televised broadcasts of the big club and minor league affiliates. As often as possible, we work to see players and prospects actually perform on the field with our own eyes as well.
This latest Phillies Nation version of the current Phillies Top 20 Prospects is meant to present fans of the team with a clearer picture of the very best youngsters now moving through the organization’s minor league system.
Our usual standards applied: in order for players to be considered, they must have not used up their rookie qualifications of 130 big-league at-bats or 50 innings pitched with Major League Baseball.
To come up with each player’s ranking, I simply took each of our staffer’s lists and assigned a numeric point value based on those lists. A first place ranking from our staffer got you one point, a fifth place spot five, a 12th place spot got you 12 points and so on.
A dozen prospects found themselves on all four of our lists. You will find them as the No. 1-12 ranked prospects below. The next five from 13-17 were named on three of our four lists. The final three players at 18-20 were on two lists. Two other players were also named on two lists but ranked lower overall.
Full write-ups on the top 10 are supplied with 11-20 simply ranked. And once again as a bonus, players who were mentioned by at least one of our staffers but who did not make the overall top 20 are presented as well.
We hope you enjoy, and feel free to let us know about someone who you think we should be looking at for our next ranking in the late summer, your favorites who may not have made the list.


PHILLIES NATION: PHILLIES TOP 20 PROSPECTS
  1. Alec Bohm, 3B: After the Phillies dealt away their consensus top prospect in pitcher Sixto Sanchez back in early February in the J.T. Realmuto trade, Bohm has ascended to the organizational throne. Well, at least in the eyes of three of our four participating staffers. The third overall pick in last year’s MLB Draft out of Wichita State, Bohm is billed as an advanced bat with both power and high-average potential who controls the strike zone well and who simply needs to prove that he can stay at the hot corner for the long-term. That will be his mission as he opens his first full professional season at Low-A Lakewood. If he produces as expected, you will at least see Bohm at High-A Clearwater before the summer is out. If he both hits and fields the position well you might even see him at Double-A Reading around the time that he turns 23 years of age in early August. Maikel Franco is off to a hot start in Philly. Rhys Hoskins has first base nailed down. However, with a new Collective Bargaining Agreement coming in a couple of years, we may see the Designated Hitter in the National League starting in the early-2020s. That could pave the way for Bohm’s promotion, if he doesn’t force a tough decision before hand.
  2. Adonis Medina, RHP: With the trade of Sanchez, Medina has inherited the title of top pitching prospect in the Phillies system. He also received the other top overall prospect vote from our Drew Rhoades, who stated the following: “the unanimous top pitching prospect for the Phillies, and for good reason. Medina has a 3.21 ERA in five seasons in the minors, and while his 4.12 ERA last season was a bump up from his 2017 3.01 ERA, he still has the stuff (9.9 SO/9 in 2018) to make it in the majors.” MLB Pipeline says “Pure stuff-wise, Medina is as electric as perhaps any prospect’s in baseball and when he’s locked in, he can be virtually unhittable. He uses his three-pitch mix to miss a lot of bats, striking out 10 per nine innings in his first two years of full-season ball.” Our Tim Kelly stated the following: “… it is worth noting that of the 51 earned runs that Medina surrendered in 111.1 innings at Single-A Clearwater, 26 of those runs came in just four starts. If he can limit his outliers in 2019, he could rise up through the Phillies system relatively quickly.”  He won’t turn 23 years old until a week before Christmas. Medina opens the season with Double-A Reading and, assuming he continues on his current developmental path, should reach Triple-A Lehigh Valley before the season is over. If his season is strong enough and he remains healthy you might even see him get a September cup of coffee in Philadelphia.
  3. Adam Haseley, OF: Haseley turns 23 in the second week of April, and the eighth overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft will open the season with Double-A Reading. Though Bohm got my top prospect vote, I had Haseley in my second position. I’m a fan of his toolbox. The kid can flat-out rake, with a sweet left-handed swing that consistently finds the barrel of the bat. Pipeline reports that he “…doesn’t strike out a ton and can draw walks and there’s the chance for more power to come as he learns to add more leverage to his swing, something he did more of later in his first season.” Though Haseley slashed just .167/.211/.250 in the Grapefruit League last month, he impressed many, including our Alec Whitaker: “…impressed me with his ability to hit to all fields. He brings speed, hustle, and solid defense to the table as well. He didn’t hit incredibly well in Spring Training, but he did other things well and gained valuable experience.” This will be an extremely important season for Haseley. The Phillies appear set in the outfield over the next couple of seasons, so he doesn’t have to be rushed. Produce this year in Reading and next year at Lehigh Valley, and 2021 could find him pushing his way to the Phillies. It’s entirely possible he pushes his way towards the majors much quicker. If he forces the organization’s hand sooner, it will be a good problem to have.
  4. JoJo Romero, LHP: Since Cole Hamels broke into the big-leagues in 2006 the Phillies have not developed a left-handed starter who has made a difference in their rotation other than J.A. Happ, who was dealt away in the 2010 Roy Oswalt trade, after one solid season. He won’t turn 23 until September, but Romero is not far off from helping the Phillies. Pipeline writes: “At his best, Romero commands his fastball to both sides of the plate and goes right after hitters, something he struggled with in the early going a year ago. Strong and athletic, he shouldn’t need too much more time to be ready for a gig as a mid-rotation starter.” If he remains healthy and productive this year, we might even see him get a promotion to Philadelphia later in the season. For now, he opens the season as part of the Triple-A Lehigh Valley rotation looking to both work on his control and demonstrate that he can get more advanced hitters out on a regular basis.
  5. Mickey Moniak, OF: “The former No. 1 overall pick slashed .286/.332/.442 with 29 RBIs and 17 walks after the All-Star Break a season ago. Now 20, this will be a crucial season.” That was the breakdown from Tim Kelly, pointing out the 2018 second-half breakthrough, which those who remain in Moniak’s corner are hanging their hats upon. Consider me one of them. I simply cannot believe that the Phillies would get it so wrong with the top overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. Pipeline stated “…he’s reportedly already added more strength this off-season to help him show more extra-base thump. He was more consistent defensively as well and showed he could help a team in center field even when he wasn’t swing the bat as well.” Moniak turns 21 years old in May and joins Haseley in the Reading outfield this season in what will be a crucial year for him to finally put it all together.
  6. Luis Garcia, SS: Easily the most disparate vote-getter among our staff, who ranked him third, sixth, ninth and 11th on our individual lists. With Garcia, it’s all about whether you value potential over a more proven record at advanced levels and closeness to helping the big club. The 18-year-old has that high potential in his corner. Pipeline describes it perfectly: “It’s hard not to get excited about Garcia’s tools, though it should be tempered with the fact that much of it is projection and the teenager has a long way to go.” When Sanchez was still in the system this past off-season, Baseball America ranked Garcia third behind Sixto and Bohm saying he is “at least a few years away, but he could soon become the Phillies top prospect as a potential plus hitter with plus defense at a premium position.” In ranking him third, Kelly pointed out that ESPN’s Jeff Passan has predicted that Garcia would be the club’s number one prospect at the end of this season.
  7. Enyel De Los Santos, RHP: It’s difficult to see where De Los Santos fits in with the Phillies, assuming he isn’t used as trade bait at some point. Alec Whitaker believes that “he may be better off served in the bullpen long-term. If that is the case, he has a chance to become an effective reliever.” His fastball and change are already good enough to help the Phillies bullpen right now. However, the organization will pitch him as part of their season-opening six-man rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He doesn’t turn 24 until Christmas Day, so time remains on this side. Expect to see him back with the Phillies again at some point this year when the need arrives for an emergency pitcher in either role.
  8. Spencer Howard, RHP: He’ll turn 23 years old at the end of July and will open the season fronting the High-A Clearwater rotation. As he gets more innings under his belt and the six-man Reading rotation sorts itself out, expect to see Howard at Double-A before that birthday. “He misses plenty of bats and has the stuff to be a frontline starter,” per Pipeline. “The only thing that could hold him back is his command and control. If he can build off of his improvements in finding the strike zone as well as consistent mechanics on his breaking stuff, he could reach that ceiling in the near future.
  9. Ranger Suarez, LHP: As Whitaker points out “He’s a lefty, which makes him vital to the Phillies – who lack lefty pitching. He’s probably destined for the bullpen, but he has back-end starter potential.” If Suarez pitches well as part of the IronPigs six-man rotation he will simply be waiting, like De Los Santos, for another opportunity in Philadelphia. His chance could come sooner due to his southpaw status, especially if Adam Morgan and Jose Alvarez let the Phillies down. Pipeline gets it right again: “His ceiling is limited to that of a back-end stater, but he’s ready to help out now.
  10. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF: Rhoades wrote “I love Jhailyn’s potential as a slugger. Back in 2017, former director of player development Joe Jordan called Ortiz a “hitter with power.” He isn’t wrong. Ortiz hit 13 home runs in 110 games last season, albeit with a .225 average. In 2017, Ortiz hit .302, so perhaps he’ll continue to grow as a contact hitter.”  Pipeline backs up that assessment of Ortiz power in their report which calls the tool “at least a 70 on the 20-to-80 scouting scale.” For Ortiz, who will play all of the 2019 season at age 20, it will be all about proving he can be something more than an all-or-nothing type. He begins the year battling a hamstring strain, and should open his season with High-A Clearwater once healthy.
  11. Cole Irvin, LHP
  12. Francisco Morales, RHP
  13. Arquimedes Gamboa, SS
  14. Rafael Marchan, C
  15. Mauricio Llovera, RHP
  16. Kyle Young, LHP
  17. David Parkinson, LHP
  18. Simon Muzziotti, OF
  19. Cornelius Randolph, OF
  20. Kyle Dohy, LHP

Drew Anderson, Jerad Eickhoff provide back-end Phillies rotation insurance

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Zach Eflin has had a solid spring at back of Phillies rotation

As the club’s decision-makers have whittled away at the final Opening Day roster decisions over the last week or so, both the starting lineup and starting pitching rotation have solidified.

The regular starting lineup will see Rhys HoskinsCesar HernandezJean Segura and Maikel Franco around the infield. Andrew McCutchenOdubel Herrera and Bryce Harper will start in the outfield. Behind the dish, J.T. Realmuto will see most of the action.
On the mound it will be Aaron NolaNick PivettaJake ArrietaVince Velasquez and Zach Eflin in the starting rotation. Those are the same five starting pitchers who made 150 of the 162 starts for the team a year ago.
The club should feel confident in the first three of those arms. Nola was a 2018 NL Cy Young Award finalist and is one of the top young pitchers in the game today. Arrieta is a grizzled veteran with a Cy Young already in his trophy case. Pivetta is a strikeout pitcher who is widely considered as one of Major League Baseball’s leading breakout candidates.
The spotlight will be on the two pitchers at the back of that rotation. How Velasquez and Eflin pitch could go a long way towards determining whether this vastly improved Phillies squad can actually contend for the National League East Division crown or an NL Wildcard postseason position.
Eflin had a solid spring. He led the club with 20.1 innings pitched down in Florida, delivering a 1.08 WHIP and .224 batting average against over five starts. Eflin surrendered just 17 hits and produced an 18/5 K:BB ratio.
Velasquez’ performance was less inspiring. He allowed nine earned runs and 11 hits over 6.1 innings across just three starts. Hitters produced a .379 batting average against him despite the fact that Velasquez remained overpowering at times, evidenced by his 15 strikeouts.
There has always been a vocal minority of Phillies followers who have believed that Velasquez would best thrive in a bullpen role. His strikeout stuff could eventually even thrive in the closer role. However, the Phillies are just not ready to give up on his potential as a starting pitcher – yet.
What we did learn during spring training was that, should Velasquez continue to struggle or injuries strike the others, the Phillies have what appear to be reasonable options.
Jerad Eickhoff was re-assigned to the minor leagues. He will open in the rotation for the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Eickhoff proved this spring that he was fully recovered from a battle with carpal tunnel syndrome. He held batters to a .206 BAA over nine innings and now needs to stretch himself out, building up innings after tossing just 5.1 last year.
Also at Lehigh Valley will be 25-year-old Drew Anderson, who was perhaps the breakthrough performer here in Clearwater. Anderson allowed just six hits over 12.2 innings with a 12/2 K:BB ratio while holding opposing hitters to a .143 BAA and registering a 0.71 ERA and 0.63 WHIP.
Anderson made 19 solid starts at Triple-A a year ago, and also contributed five appearances with the Phillies, including his lone big-league start July 8 at Pittsburgh.
Others who could get the call for a spot/emergency start at some point depending on when it might be needed and their own availability are right-hander Enyel De Los Santos and left-hander Ranger Suarez, each of whom made their Phillies and Major League Baseball debut a year ago under similar circumstances.
With expectations elevated this year, expect that the Phillies will have little patience with Velasquez. He probably has at least the month of April in the rotation. But if he doesn’t produce, it won’t be long before either Eickhoff or Anderson is replacing him. Both showed over the past month that they are ready for that shot.

First round of a dozen spring cuts leaves Phillies with 49 players in big-league camp

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Enyel De Los Santos was among first dozen Phillies reassignments

The Philadelphia Phillies dropped an 8-2 decision on Monday to the visiting Tampa Bay Rays at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida. With that game in the books the club has now officially passed the halfway point of its Grapefruit League schedule.

The Phillies record under the Florida sun sits at 9-7 following the defeat. They now have 14 games remaining on their schedule prior to heading back north for the March 28 regular season opener against the division-rival Atlanta Braves.
Following their game on Saturday, March 9, a first round of seven players were reassigned. After today’s game another round of five reassignments was announced. These dozen roster moves are part of the effort to cut down to the 25 players who will be in the home clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park on Opening Day.
Both 22-year-old pitcher Adonis Medina, who is the Phillies #2 prospect now per MLB Pipeline, and 21-year-old shortstop Arquimedes Gamboa, considered their#13 prospect, were optioned to Double-A Reading on Saturday.

Today the Phillies optioned pitchers Enyel De Los SantosAustin Davis and Edgar Garcia to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. De Los Santos is the team’s #6 prospect and made his Major League Baseball debut last season, appearing in seven games and making two starts on the mound. Davis saw action in 32 games with the Phillies last season as a situational left-hander.
Reassigned to the minor league camp over the two days were pitchers Cole IrvinJoJo Romero and Tyler Gilbert, catcher Deivy Grullon, first baseman Austin Listi, infielder Malquin Canelo and outfielder Mickey Moniak. Romero is the Phillies #7 prospect, Moniak #9 and Irvin #16 per MLB Pipeline.
The 20-year-old Moniak was the top overall pick of the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft. While he has struggled for much of his professional career, he finally began to hit the ball with more authority last summer. Listi was the 2018 Paul Owens Award winner as the top performing position player prospect in the Phillies minor league system.
Given the improvements to the overall Phillies roster, none of these players were expected to make the team out of spring training. The team still has a crowd of 49 players at major league camp, and more cuts can be expected at some point during the coming week.

NOTE: the Phillies further announced that pitcher Ranger Suarez was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley following Monday’s spring game.

Fifth starter Zach Eflin will try to solidify Phillies rotation spot

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Obtained in trade for an icon, Eflin tries to solidify a rotation spot

Spring has sprung, if not in Philadelphia, then at least down in Clearwater, Florida where the Phillies are working out daily with temperature highs in the 70’s and lows in the 60’s.

There is a great deal of building enthusiasm surrounding the 2019 ball club. A young roster that held first place for much of last summer has been bolstered by an influx of talented veterans. And there remains the exciting possibility that a young superstar could still show up in camp one of these days.
The Phillies are clearly improved in their lineup. Former NL MVP Andrew McCutchen takes over in left field and a pair of All-Stars are now at shortstop and behind the plate in Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto. The already strong bullpen has added David Robertson and others to a deeper mix.
Whether or not the Phillies are able to bring in one of the young superstars Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, there is a good chance that success or failure in the upcoming season is going to largely depend on the performance of the starting pitching rotation.
Right now that rotation is fronted by young ace Aaron Nola and veteran Jake Arrieta. The former was an NL Cy Young Award finalist a year ago, the latter has won the award during his career. The club’s current #3 and #4 starters, Vince Velasquez and Nick Pivetta, are seen by many as talented arms who could each break out with big seasons this year.
The current fifth starter is often overlooked, but right-hander Zach Eflin has a chance to emerge as a vital contributor to the 2019 Phillies ball club.
A native of Orlando, Florida, Eflin was chosen by the San Diego Padres in the supplemental first round of the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft at 33rd overall. On December 18, 2014, Eflin was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of a five-player deal. The very next day the Dodgers flipped Eflin to the Phillies in exchange for an aging Jimmy Rollins.

Eflin was obtained by the Phillies as part of the Jimmy Rollins trade with the Dodgers in December 2014. (Arturo Pardavila III/WikiCommons)
He immediately became one of the Phillies top prospects, with Baseball America rating him fourth-best in the organization prior to the 2015 campaign. Pitching that summer at Double-A Reading, Eflin went 8-6 with a 3.69 ERA and was named to the Eastern League all-star team. He also pitched for the silver medal-winning Team USA in the Pan Am Games.
The following season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Eflin upped his game. He went 5-2 with a 2.90 ERA, allowing just 49 hits over 68.1 innings across 11 starts with a fabulous 55/11 K:BB ratio. For that performance, Eflin received his first big-league opportunity in early June.
On June 14, 2016, Eflin made his Phillies debut with a start in Toronto. It couldn’t have gone worse. He surrendered nine runs, eight of them earned, over just 2.2 innings in a Tuesday afternoon outing at Rogers Centre. The Jays blasted three home runs among the nine hits off him that day.
Eflin would not let the beating keep him down. Five days later he took the mound again for a start against the Arizona Diamondbacks and pitched into the sixth inning, keeping the Phillies in the game that day.
His next six outings all resulted in a Quality Start, including his first big-league complete game against the Atlanta Braves on July 5 at Citizens Bank Park and his first shutout on July 22 at Pittsburgh. Over a seven-start string he went 3-2 with a 2.08 ERA and .207 batting average against, allowing just 36 hits over 47.2 innings.
Now cementing his place in the Phillies rotation at just age 22, it all came to a sudden, crashing halt. Eflin began to suffer from knee pain, resulting in three consecutive horrendous starts. He would be placed on the disabled list on August 9 with patellar tendinopathy, and within 10 days would have season-ending surgery.
Eflin began the 2017 season still on the disabled list recovering from the surgery, and even upon his return he would struggle. Pitching at three levels, including making 11 starts back with the Phillies, Eflin had an overall 3.74 ERA while allowing 54 hits over 55.1 innings with a 50/15 K:BB ratio that year.
Last year, Eflin was called up from Triple-A on May 1 and remained with the big club for the rest of the season. He would make 24 starts and win 11 games for the Phillies, producing an excellent 123/37 K:BB ratio over 128 innings.
Just last month, Bob Brookover at Philly.com wrote that Phillies manager Gabe Kapler is bullish on his back-end starters, including Eflin, due to their 2018 FIP marks. Eflin had a 3.75 FIP, equaling the number put up by Velasquez. That left the two hurlers ranked 29th among all MLB starting pitchers in the category.
FIP is more predictive of what will happen next year than ERA is and that’s why we look at FIP more than ERA,” said Kapler, per Brookover. “ERA tells the story of what happened including defense. FIP tells us what might happen going forward.

Keuchel remains on the market and has been linked to the Phillies. His signing would complicate Eflin’s role to begin the 2019 season. (Photo: Arturo Pardavila III)
Eflin will turn just 25-years-old right after Opening Day. Even though he spent the last five months of the 2018 season as a member of the Phillies starting rotation, that role is not guaranteed in the coming season.
There are still rumblings that the Phillies could try to add a veteran arm, someone like left-hander Dallas Keuchel, to their starting rotation. There will be spring training competition from Enyel De Los Santos and Ranger Suarez, each of whom made their big-league debut a year ago.
Jerad Eickhoff, the 28-year-old righty who made 65 starts for the Phillies after coming to the club as part of the 2015 Cole Hamels trade with Texas, was limited to just three games and one start last year by various injury issues. Eickhoff had surgery back in October to relieve symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
As our Brandon Apter at PN wrote just days ago, Eickhoff suffered what is hoped to be just a minor setback in his recovery after seeming to be at 100% just last month. He will throw a bullpen session next week and be evaluated after that point.
Acquiring someone like Keuchel would probably result in Eflin beginning the season back at Triple-A, waiting for an opportunity to get up to help the Phillies later in the season. There are also scenarios that could find Eflin becoming a trade chip at some point.
Short of that, Eflin will be expected to contribute key starts for a team hoping to contend. Often overlooked by fans when considering the 2019 Phillies roster, he could very well prove to be a pivotal contributor.