Five Phillies in need of a major bounceback in 2018

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 30: Jerad Eickhoff #48 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the top of the first inning against the Atlanta Braves in game one of the doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park on August 30, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 30: Jerad Eickhoff #48 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the top of the first inning against the Atlanta Braves in game one of the doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park on August 30, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – JUNE 17: Starting pitcher Jerad Eickhoff #48 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the first inning during a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park on June 17, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /

Jerad Eickhoff

After the 2016 season, many penciled in Jerad Eickhoff as the team’s No. 3 starter, and why shouldn’t they? Through his first 41 starts, Eickhoff had a 3.44 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 3.93 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He used a mix of control and strong secondary pitches to keep hitters off balance, exactly what a typical mid-rotation starter does.

2017 didn’t go nearly as well for Eickhoff as he dealt with injury. He tried to pitch through weakness and numbness in his right hand that ultimately led to him ending the season on the disabled list. He finished the year with a 4.71 ERA and 1.52 WHIP in 24 starts.

Eickhoff told Meghan Montemurro of the Athletic ($) that he struggled to be consistent last year, which led to his struggles:

"“Not being my healthy self affected things a little bit,” Eickhoff said. “I think the biggest thing is just I wasn’t clicking, I wasn’t consistent in my own personal delivery or how I was attacking hitters. Just very inconsistent. Being inconsistent whether it’s the mentality or the physical part is going to contribute to walks.”"

A return to 2016 form will be key for Eickhoff as the Phillies still haven’t acquired any help in the rotation, leaving its fate up to Eickhoff and the other young starters. If what he is saying is true and he is able to find his control, a bounceback could be in the works for the 27-year-old.

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