Each season in Major League Baseball is currently scheduled to last for 162 games. This means that the Philadelphia Phillies (30-21) will reach the 1/3 pole with their home game on Tuesday night against the Saint Louis Cardinals.
Over the next few days, I’ll be handing out the report cards for the first “trimester” of the season for each player on the Phillies 2019 roster. There will be a letter grade, along with a brief description of their contributions, including their relevant statistics.
I’ll be back with each player’s grades for the second trimester and the season to that point when the Phillies reach the 108-game mark. That is scheduled to come on July 31, the same date as the MLB trade deadline.
FIRST TRIMESTER GRADE: B
STATS: Eight games (seven starts), 2-2 record, 3.86 ERA, 1.190 WHIP, 35 hits allowed including seven home runs over 42 innings with a 39/15 K:BB ratio.
REPORT: Eickhoff began the season in the Triple-A Lehigh Valley rotation. Showing that he was healthy over his first two starts after missing nearly all of last season with various injuries, he was promoted and quickly moved into the Phillies starting rotation when Nick Pivetta struggled mightily over his own first few starts in April.
Gabe Kapler used him in relief in his first appearance, and Eickhoff actually earned a Save when he delivered four shutout innings in a 14-3 win over the Mets. Moving into the starting rotation, the right-hander allowed just 15 hits over his first four starts and 26 innings.
However, just when it seemed that he might have returned to the levels that had made him an 11-game winner for the club back in the 2016 season, Eickhoff has hit a major speed bump. Over his last three outings including Friday in Milwaukee, Eickhoff has allowed 17 hits over a dozen innings with a 9.75 ERA and a .333 batting average against. Opposing hitters have slugged seven home runs over those three starts.
Kapler and GM Matt Klentak are going to have some tough decisions to make moving forward with the starting rotation. Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta are clearly the top two starters. But after that it’s pretty much an open competition among a half-dozen arms. Eickhoff is part of that conversation, but he is no longer the lock that he appeared to be becoming just two weeks ago.
You have to grade Eickhoff on the fact that he started the year at Triple-A. It was unknown exactly what he could contribute or when to the Phillies this season. To this point he has given them innings and shown promise. Will he be able to right the ship and stay in the rotation all year? Time will tell.
The 38-year-old Eickhoff and outfielder Nick Williams are also the only pieces remaining with the Phillies from the five-player package obtained from the Texas Rangers back at the 2015 trade deadline for Cole Hamels.
Give us your feedback. Respond either as a comment to this piece or at our social media feeds. What is your take on him to this point? What, if anything, would you do differently regarding this player or their role if you were the Phillies manager or GM?
MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION:
- PN first trimester report card: Nick Williams
- PN first trimester report card: Nick Pivetta
- PN first trimester report card: Pat Neshek
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- Zack Greinke, Madison Bumgarner recently scouted by Phillies