Report Cards

Phillies 2019 first trimester report card: Zach Eflin



Young right-hander Zach Eflin has made a positive impact at the back end of the Phillies pitching rotation thus far in 2019. (D. Benjamin Miller/Wikimedia Commons)

Each season in Major League Baseball is currently scheduled to last for 162 games. This means that the Philadelphia Phillies (31-22) reach the 1/3 pole with their home game on Tuesday night against the Saint Louis Cardinals.

Over the last few days, I began handing out report cards for the first “trimester” of the season for each player on the Phillies 2019 roster. That process continues on Monday and Tuesday with a letter grade, along with a brief description of each player’s 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.

 


Zach Eflin

 

FIRST TRIMESTER GRADE: B

STATS: 11 starts, 5-5 record, 3.02 ERA, 1.188 WHIP, 64 hits allowed including 10 home runs over 65.2 innings with a 51/14 K:BB ratio.

REPORT: Eflin opened the season as a major question mark after collapsing over his final eight starts a year ago as the ball club also collapsed out of the playoff race. He turned just 25-years-old the day after his second start this season, and has generally been a positive in the rotation.

He was beaten up in Milwaukee on Sunday. But prior to that he was riding a stretch where five of his previous six outings resulted in a Quality Start. On April 28 at home against the Miami Marlins, Eflin tossed the Phillies first complete game victory in three years. Two starts later on May 11 in Kansas City, he did it again.

Because he started so strong this season there has been some concern over natural regression with Eflin. Some of those voicing such concerns will point to yesterday’s blowup at Miller Park as evidence that this process has begun.

I don’t necessarily buy into it. While Eflin does not usually possess dominating stuff when he takes the mound, the fact is that he has proven himself to be a winner at every level. He simply knows how to pitch, and he rarely gets rattled. There is no reason that he cannot continue to find success at the back end of the Phillies rotation as they contend for a postseason berth.

Eflin was bothered by a stomach bug that struck him just a couple of hours before yesterday’s start, but didn’t want to blame that on his poor outing. His comment on the matter per an AP report at CBS3 Philadelphia:

“I woke up fine this morning and about two hours before the game it kind of hit me pretty hard and didn’t feel right. I felt good enough to compete. It had nothing to do with me missing my spots or having bad command.”

Let’s write this one off to his poor physical condition on the day, no matter what he says, and let’s see how he bounces back in his next outing. For now, his first trimester grade reflects his overall positive performance over the 2019 season’s first two months.

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?

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