The Phillies are inching closer to getting a key starter back in the rotation.
Zach Eflin (right patella tendinitis) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment on Saturday with Double-A Reading, Matt Gelb of the Athletic reports. It’s possible that Eflin makes only one rehab appearance and returns to the Phillies rotation in time for a weekend home series against the Diamondbacks starting on Aug. 26.
Eflin last pitched on July 16 against Miami, giving up five earned runs in a loss. He dealt with patellar tendinitis earlier his career and underwent surgery on both knees in 2016. Eflin began throwing to hitters off the mound during the previous homestand and traveled with the team to Arizona.
Eflin’s impending return to the rotation is massive. While he might not be stretched out for a typical starter’s workload upon return, Eflin threw at least six innings in all but two of his 18 starts this season. The Phillies should be in good shape going forward with a rotation of Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Eflin, Kyle Gibson and Ranger Suárez.
Of course, none of that matters if the offense continues to struggle. The good news is that Rhys Hoskins’ return is even closer. Hoskins could be activated prior to Friday’s game against San Diego.
Sam Coonrod (right forearm tendinitis) and Freddy Galvis (strained right quadriceps) are all out on rehab assignment with Lehigh Valley. Vince Velasquez (right middle finger blister) is currently with Low-A Clearwater on rehab assignment.
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