News that Eflin still has pain in his knee may prompt Phillips to explore the trade that originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
MIAMI – The Phillies received some disturbing news Sunday morning when pitcher Zach Eflin reported to the ballpark with persistent pain in his injured right knee.
Eflin had a knee test on Saturday afternoon by pitching to the hitters. After Teal’s session, he met with pitching coaches and an athletic trainer. not like it. Now, it has been confirmed.
The team hoped that Eflin could face the hitters again at the All-Star break, but that would not happen. He will be examined in Philadelphia on Monday and there is no timetable for his return.
“He was a little upset today and that’s why we’re going to back off and he’ll get it checked out tomorrow,” manager Rob Thomson said ahead of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Marlins.
Eflin has a history of knee problems. In 2016, he had surgery on both his knees. He had another procedure in September last year to repair a torn patellar tendon in his right knee.
Eflin and the team are both on record as the current issue is not related to the patellar tendon or his surgery in September. According to Eflin and team, the current issue is a bruise on the “fat pad” under the right patella. The injury occurred on June 9 when Eflin played a fielding game in Milwaukee. He pitched with discomfort for three starts and stops after an outing in San Diego on June 25. Eflin was expected to have a short stint on the injured list and return to the pitch in the second half, but that clearly remains an issue.
“I don’t think it went backwards,” Thomson said. “It’s not worse than before.
“I think we’ll bring him back at some point, I don’t know when.”
Later on Sunday, Eflin said he still hoped to return this season.
“Absolutely,” he said. “Without question. It’s getting better. It’s one of those things where[the pain]has to go away before it’s out there or it just comes back.”
Eflin’s absence has already been a setback for the team and will remain so as long as he is out. The Phils, led by Jack Wheeler and Aaron Nola, has a solid starting rotation, but it only goes down to depth five. The Phils have plugged past rotation holes this season with Bailey Falter and Christopher Sanchez and one of them could jump for Eflin after the All-Star break. But it is also possible, if not mandatory, that the team will look outside the organization to introduce rotation assistance. The trading deadline is 16 days away. Phil is needed in the outfield and the bullpen and Eflin’s position increases the need for a starter.
The Fils dispersed for the All-Star break after Sunday’s game. Thomson said Kyle Gibson would start the first game back from Friday night’s break at home against the Chicago Cubs. Wheeler will pitch on Saturday. Beyond this the rotation of the fils was inconclusive.