Phillies: Where does the starting rotation stand?

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 14: Pitcher Jake Arrieta #49 of Philadelphia Phillies watches from the dugout in the sixth inning during a baseball game at Citizens Bank Park on July 14, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Nationals 4-3. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Disappointment in the middle

After Nola and Wheeler, there is a considerable drop off in talent when you start looking at the #3 and #4 spots in the rotation. Currently, it’s looking like Zach Eflin and Jake Arrieta will be holding down those positions.

Like previously mentioned, the Arrieta signing has turned out to be a colossal failure for the Philadelphia Phillies. Over the course of two seasons with the Phils, Arrieta has posted an ERA of 4.26 and a WHIP of 1.369. He’s repeatedly been the cause of disputes in the clubhouse, has publicly criticized his teammates, and overall has had a sour attitude about his time in Philly.

Arrieta was off to a horrifically bad start to the 2019 season last year before ultimately being shut down due to bone spurs in his elbow.

The former Cy Young winner was electric during his time with the Cubs, spanning from 2013 to 2017. He was awarded multiple accolades and was one of the major driving forces in the organization winning the World Series in 2017.

Obviously, he’s been unable to recapture that same form wearing the red and white pinstripes.

On the other hand, while Zach Eflin’s story is quite the polar opposite of Arrieta’s, the disappointment surrounding him as a player is about the same.

Debuting in 2016, many amongst the Phillies organization felt he was the future #2 behind Aaron Nola. Despite all the high praise, Eflin struggled to really ever get off the ground, maintaining a career ERA of 4.73. Things got so bad for him last year that he was even sent to the bullpen for a few weeks.

The Phillies desperately need at least one of these two to finally show up in 2020. #3 level production, 10-12 wins, and an ERA in the mid-3.00s would be monumental in the team’s push to end their playoff drought.

Overall grade? D+

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