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Zach Eflin to IL, Victor Arano could miss rest of 2019

Eflin has enjoyeda strong start to the 2019 season, but will now be sidelined for a short period. (Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Phillies made two injury updates ahead of their series-opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday, neither of which contained encouraging news.

RHP Zach Eflin – who initially was slated to start Saturday night – was placed on the 10-day injured list retroactive to May 28 with mid-back tightness.

LHP Cole Irvin has been recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, which leads you to believe he will start Saturday against a Dodgers lineup that’s full of left-handed power, highlighted by early National League MVP favorite Cody Bellinger.

While there’s no indication that Eflin will miss more than a start or two, he’s a tough loss nonetheless. The 25-year-old is 5-5 with a 3.02 ERA, 4.35 FIP and 0.9 fWAR in 11 starts in 2019. Most notably, two of his five wins have been complete games.

Meanwhile, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told the collective media, which included Matt Gelb of The Athletic, that reliever Victor Arano is two-and-a-half to three months away from being able to begin a throwing program after having his right elbow scoped Tuesday. Kapler didn’t say that Arano definitely will miss the rest of the 2019 season, but given that timeline it seemingly would be an uphill battle for him to rejoin the bullpen again this season.

Arano, 24, may have been the Phillies best reliever a season ago. In 60 games in 2018, Arano posted a 2.73 ERA, 3.36 FIP and 0.7 fWAR. He began the 2019 season in Triple-A after a disastrous Spring Training, and has only made three appearances at the major league level this season.

Unfortunately for the Phillies – especially as they open a series against the two-time defending National League Champion Dodgers – Arano is part of a long list of Phillies relievers currently on the shelf. Adam Morgan, Pat Neshek, Tommy Hunter, David Robertson and Edubray Ramos are all currently injured.


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