Phillies: Five players who disappointed this season
4. Jerad Eickhoff
Going into the 2018 season the Phillies thought they had a solid rotation led by Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta, and Jerad Eickhoff. All three had a history of pitching consistently and Eickhoff’s cureveball was emerging as one of the best in baseball.
In 2016 batters hit just .158 off Eickhoff’s curveball, and his 81 strikeouts with the pitch were second-best in the National League behind Jose Fernandez.
Eickhoff’s entire 2018 season has essentially been lost after a lat strain suffered in spring training and tingling in his fingers kept him out for the first five months of the season. After rehabbing with Lehigh Valley Eickhoff has returned to the big leagues as a reliever, though he’s yet to make his season debut.
We looked at whether the Phillies could give Eickhoff a start or two down the stretch considering he has little to no load on his arm this year. It’ll be tough to sneak him in during a playoff run and with Aaron Nola pitching as well as he is.
Eickhoff’s injury might have cost him an opportunity to start long-term for the Phillies with the success pitchers in Lehigh Valley like Enyel De Los Santos and Cole Irvin have had all season. Multiple arms in the rotation are likely to end up in the bullpen or pitch elsewhere. Ben Lively was the first after being designated for assignment and picked up by Kansas City. What does that mean for Eickhoff being 2018?