The 2019 Phillies pitching rotation began with Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta, Zach Eflin and Vince Velasquez. It looks a little bit different now behind Aaron Nola with Jason Vargas and Drew Smyly taking over two of the spots. The Phils came into the season hoping that a couple of their young pitchers would step up in the rotation. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case and Vince Velasquez is the only one out of himself, Pivetta, Eflin and Jerad Eickhoff showing some consistency at this point.
One guy who the Phillies were hoping would be able to contribute this season was Jerad Eickhoff. After finally getting past the numbness in his fingers issue with carpal tunnel surgery, Eickhoff looked poised to bounce back for the Phils in 2019. That didn’t end up being the case as Eickhoff was once again sidelined by injury. He’s appeared in 12 games this season for the Phils (10 starts), posting a 5.71 ERA just one season after playing in just three games. This time around, right biceps tendinitis has kept him from being able to get back to the big leagues.
Eickhoff hasn’t pitched with the Phils since mid-June, but the team could use some depth when it comes to starting pitching. At this point, though, that depth may not come from Eickhoff. The 29-year-old right-hander began rehab assignments on July 30. He hasn’t garnered the best results, allowing 10 runs over his last 9.2 innings between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He lasted just 4.1 innings in his last outing, allowing four runs on five hits while walking two.
The Phillies could very well bring Eickhoff to the majors as part of the September roster expansion, but it may make more sense to just shut him down. It’s clear that Eickhoff has had some issues with his throwing arm and an entire healthy offseason could be beneficial.
Eickhoff joined the Phillies as part of the Cole Hamels trade back in July 2015. After a solid 2016 campaign that saw him start 33 times and post a 3.65 ERA, things went downhill. He started 24 games in 2017 with a 4.71 ERA before injuries started to become a problem. Eickhoff is arbitration eligible this offseason for the first time in his career.
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