So far this season, Zach Eflin’s performances have caused a great deal of concern among coaches and fans.
The young prospect looked solid throughout the month of April. He maintained a 0-0 record to go along with a 1.89 ERA allowing 10 hits, three walks, and 11 strikeouts coming through 19 innings pitched.
In his first game after the call-up on April 18th, he went against the division rival Mets. He pitched five innings allowing three hits and one earned run. In addition, Eflin struck out four and finished the game with a 1.80 ERA.
Next, he faced the Braves on April 23rd and performed much better than his first go around. He pitched seven innings, giving up three hits and just one earned run.
Finally, to cap off April, Eflin faced the Dodgers. He gave a quality start by going seven innings, but he also allowed one more hit (4), and one more earned run (2) than his last outing. He matched his strikeout total of four against the Mets but gave up his worst ERA of the month by posting a 1.89.
In the month of May, Eflin went 0-3.
On one hand, that isn’t all that worrisome as teams and players go through stretches of being hot and cold throughout a 162 game season. On the other hand, Eflin’s stats are horrendous.
In five games, Eflin earned a 9.00 ERA, giving up 48 hits, and 28 runs to go along with six walks and fourteen strikeouts through the month of May.
Eflin was drafted 33rd overall in the first round of the 2014 draft by the San Diego Padres. He was then flipped to the Phillies in the three-team trade consisting of the Dodgers and Padres headlined by Matt Kemp and Jimmy Rollins.
Furthermore, as a pitcher, a knee injury is devastating to recover from. It may just be the second hardest injury to recover from following “Tommy John surgery.” Instead of giving up on Eflin, the Phillies should allow him to make the proper adjustments, including modifying his motion.
Eflin is a young player and like all young players, he still has much to learn.
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