Five Phillies players in a make-or-break season this year

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CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 25: Maikel Franco #7 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a two-run home run against the Baltimore Orioles in the seventh inning of a Grapefruit League spring training game at Spectrum Field on March 25, 2018 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 25: Maikel Franco #7 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a two-run home run against the Baltimore Orioles in the seventh inning of a Grapefruit League spring training game at Spectrum Field on March 25, 2018 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 18: Zach Eflin #56 of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on after giving up a run in the first inning against the New York Mets during their game at Citi Field on April 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

Zach Eflin

When the Phillies traded Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers in 2014, Zach Eflin was considered the major return in the trade. Most expected him to be a major-league starter. I was higher on him than most, seeing the potential for a No. 3 starter in him. Boy, was I wrong.

More from That Balls Outta Here

Every time Eflin starts to perform well in the majors, he takes a step back and falls victim to injury. He started off 2017 well with five strong starts before getting completely annihilated in his next three. He was sent down to Triple-A before missing a month of action due to swelling in his elbow. He came back for a few more starts before another injury, a shoulder strain, took him out for the season.

Eflin came into this spring with a chance to earn a rotation spot. His 5.79 ERA in five appearances did little to show he deserved it. He was sent back to Triple-A Monday as the job instead went to Ben Lively.

Next: Phillies 2018 Season Preview: Closer Hector Neris

Eflin may get another chance to prove himself this season if and when injury strikes the rotation. If he continues to struggle or gets hurt again, his valuable 40-man roster spot may become someone else’s

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