The Philadelphia Phillies finally have all of the members of their projected 2016 pitching rotation working from the mound.
On Saturday afternoon while the big club was taking on the Toronto Blue Jays over at Bright House Field, the final member of that rotation was getting in his first real work on the back fields of the Phils’ minor league Carpenter Complex.
More from That Balls Outta Here
- 11 Free-agent deals the Philadelphia Phillies wish fell through
- Phillies-Mets owners’ rivalry grows after shocking Carlos Correa deal
- Could Rich Hill become ‘Jamie Moyer 2.0’ in Phillies rotation?
- Does Bailey Falter have a future in Phillies’ rotation?
- Prospect Andrew Baker could help Phillies bullpen in 2023
Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff took the mound for two innings of work in an intersquad game, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks. While the results are not what anyone would hope for, they were not nearly as important as his finally getting in the work.
“That’s the biggest thing, getting in a game, getting that adrenaline going, that same feel in the thumb and everything,” said the 25-year old, per Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal and DelawareOnline. Eickhoff injured his thumb during bunting drills at the beginning of spring training.
Eickhoff did suffer a minor setback, developing a blister on his foot. That should not be a lingering issue, and there is nothing wrong with his thumb or arm at this point. He should be able to continue working regularly as spring training moves forward.
As Montemurro also reported, pitching coach Bob McClure believes that the pitcher who is currently slotted in as the #4 starter in the rotation will be ready to go when the bell rings for the regular season.
“How he’s throwing his BPs and how he’s throwing, everything looks pretty good,” said McClure per Montemurro. “Not quite where he was at the end of the (2015) season, but it looks like it’s getting there quick.”
After coming to the Phillies as part of the big Hamels deal with Texas last season, Eickhoff impressed with a 3-3 record over eight starts in which he registered a 2.65 ERA, 1.039 WHIP, and allowed just 40 hits in 51 innings with a 49/13 K:BB ratio.
Entering spring training, I listed Eickhoff as the single Phillies player whom I wanted to see more than any other. Veterans Jeremy Hellickson and Charlie Morton have been added to the rotation, and should provide solid veteran stability at the front of the rotation.
Those two added to Aaron Nola starting his first full season in Major League Baseball would seem to make a competitive first three. It would be a real shot in the arm for the Phils to find that Eickhoff’s 2015 performance was not a fluke, but more a sign of things to come over the long haul.