Eickhoff is the fourth Phillies starter from the opening day roster to hit the disabled list
Amidst a flurry of moves made by the Phillies on Tuesday, the team announced starter Jerad Eickhoff would be placed on the disabled list with an upper back strain.
Replacing Eickhoff on the 25-man roster will be utility hitter Brock Stassi, who made the opening day roster as a role player.
With an off day Monday night the team could conceivably skip Eickhoff’s turn in the rotation. His next scheduled start was slated for the 23rd against Arizona. The health of Vincent Velasquez, currently on the disabled list with an elbow strain, could dictate how the rotation is handled.
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The 26-year-old starter was coming off his best performance of the year against Arizona, pitching six innings allowing only one run.
If Velasquez is not ready to replace Eickhoff in the rotation the team is left with options in the minor leagues. Mark Appel, acquired with Velasquez in the Ken Giles trade, has steadily improved with Lehigh Valley.
Jake Thompson, Mark Leiter Jr., and Ricardo Pinto are other options on the 40-man roster. Thomas Eshelman, also brought in via the Giles trade with Houston, would need to be added to the 40-man roster.
Eickhoff was the Phillies workhorse last season, going nearly 200 innings with 167 strikeouts. Manager Pete Mackanin tabbed the righty to start the home opener in 2017 after his strong performances early in the year.
Questions surrounding Eickhoff’s health have risen all season with an increased ERA and the inability to locate a dominant curveball.
Eickhoff joins a list of plagued Phillies starters slated to miss extended time due to injury this year. Aaron Nola missed a month with a lower back strain, while veteran Clay Buchholz is out for the year with a forearm injury.
Velasquez, as mentioned earlier, is currently battling an elbow strain, and Zach Eflin hasn’t pitched due to various injuries.
The Phils welcome the St. Louis Cardinals to Philadelphia for a three-game series before going on the road.