After pitching four scoreless inning in relief of Nick Pivetta in a 14-3 win over the New York Mets on April 16, it was clear that Jerad Eickhoff had earned a shot to re-join the Philadelphia Phillies rotation after missing nearly the entire 2018 season. The Phillies gave Eickhoff that chance, and he initially made good (really good, in fact) on it. Unfortunately, his struggles of late will cost him his spot in the rotation, at least for the time being.
In Monday evening’s 13-8 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Eickhoff allowed five home runs and seven total runs in just three innings. Tuesday, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told the collective media, which included Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, that Eickhoff won’t make his next scheduled start.
Said rotation spot is scheduled to come up again this Sunday in Atlanta, as the Phillies wrap up a crucial series with the Atlanta Braves, who they are currently tied with at the top of the National League East. Cole Irvin, who has a 5.48 ERA in 21.1 innings at the major league level in 2019, seemingly is a candidate. Enyel De Los Santos hasn’t made a start at the major league level in 2019, but he’s 2-2 with a 3.65 ERA at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, so he’s a possibility as well. Assuming the Phillies don’t make an external addition before this weekend, using the opener, as they did on June 1 in Los Angeles, may also be under consideration. With that said, the Phillies currently have seven relievers on the injured list, so this may not be an opportune time to do that.
Eickhoff had a tremendous start to the 2019 season, going 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA in his first 30 innings, while not allowing a single home run. The 28-year-old’s season (and perhaps career) may have peaked on May 8, when he allowed just three hits over eight shutout innings in a win over the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
Since his eight-inning performance against the Cardinals, Eickhoff’s season has gone south in a hurry. In his last six starts, Eickhoff has an 8.89 ERA, having allowed 16 home runs over that timespan.
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