Zach Eflin Placed on 15-Day DL with Knee Injuries
It has not been a good week for the Phillies pitching staff. Just as Aaron Nola is presumably shutdown for the season with an elbow injury, we now see rookie Zach Eflin put on the shelf.
The young right-hander has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with tendonitis on both his knees.
This is the same issue Chase Utley dealt with late in his Phillies career.
Eflin struggled Monday night in his start against the Dodgers, only going three innings and giving up seven runs on three hits. He complained about some knee soreness after the game, but said to reporters it didn’t have anything to do with his performance.
"“There’s a little soreness. Kind of gone through it every single season. You kind of just wake up and see how you feel. Sometimes you get out there and you just don’t feel like yourself. Today was one of those days, but no, I don’t think it’s affected me the past three outings.”"
When Utley continued to have tendonitis in his knees, Philly.com asked Christopher C. Dodson, M.D., a sports medicine surgeon at the Rothman Institute at Jefferson what exactly Utley was dealing with:
"Patella tendonitis, also sometimes called jumper’s knee, is a condition of the knee where the patella tendon [the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shin bone] gets inflamed generally from overuse or a lot of activity. It causes inflammation in the patella tendon itself. It can lead to pain, particularly when you fire the quad muscle. Activities like running or jumping tend to bother it, and rest makes it better."
Eflin had two hits last night, including a double in his first at bat. On his second hit, he could have easily made it to second, but held up at first and reportedly looked like he tweaked something.
After a tough major league debut in Toronto, Eflin was mowing down batters over his next seven games. In that time span, he had a 2.08 ERA with 24 strikeouts. His last three outings he has not been as strong, possibly showing the wear of a long season.
The Phillies are now thin in the starting rotation with Nola and Eflin out. Brett Oberholtzer was claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Angels, and will be reporting to them this week.
Ben Lively is the next pitching prospect on the docket, but he is not on the 40-man roster. Bringing him up would require the Phillies to make a corresponding move.
This means it’s back to either Adam Morgan or David Buchanan. The 27-year-old Buchanan has pitched well this season in Lehigh Valley, sitting at 8-6 with a 3.83 ERA in 21 games. He recently pitched a complete game, but ultimately took a loss.
Morgan has bounced between Lehigh Valley and the big club, but struggled in the majors all year. He pitched into the ninth inning on Saturday, and struck out 11 batters.
As of Tuesday, the pitching rotation consists of Jeremy Hellickson, Vincent Velasquez, Jake Thompson, and Jerad Eickhoff. Velasquez will most likely be on an innings count down the stretch to avoid any more injuries.