The Phillies announced three roster moves earlier on Tuesday. C Andrew Knapp was reinstated from the 10-day DL, RHP Zach Eflin was transferred to the 60-day DL, and RHP Victor Arano was promoted to the MLB.
Knapp had been shelved since August 4 when he took a foul ball off his right hand while catching. The diagnosis was not as bad as originally thought, but three days later on August 7, Knapp was placed on the 10-day DL with a bruised right hand. Leading up to the injury, Knapp had been rather impressive in his first big league season, posting a slash line of .253/.362/.373 with eight doubles, three home runs, 28 walks, and 52 strikeouts in 188 plate appearances.
Eflin’s career continues to be injury-riddled. The tall right-hander hasn’t been able to be a mainstay in the rotation due to struggles and multiple injuries over the course of the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Eflin had originally been placed on the 10-day DL on August 22 with a right shoulder strain. He made just 11 starts this season, logging 64.1 innings and finishing with a 6.09 ERA. Eflin also served up 16 home runs while striking out just 35 hitters, good for a K/9 of 4.9.
Arano had been hyped up this offseason as one of the Phillies’ best relief pitching prospects, and early on in Spring Training he showed that the hype was legitimate. He never appeared in a game in Spring Training, however, as he was shut down in late February with an elbow injury. This is an excerpt from Matt Gelb’s article describing the injury:
The righthander returned to Clearwater on Wednesday after having a platelet-rich plasma injection to treat his sprained ulnar collateral ligament. General manager Matt Klentak said Arano will need at least four weeks of rest before throwing again.
Pre-injury, Arano was sitting comfortably in the mid-to-upper 90s with his fastball and possessed three above-average pitches. After returning from injury on May 31, however, Arano’s fastball velocity has ticked back down to 91-93 which is where he sat prior to being converted to a full-time reliever. He does have good command of his pitches, so as the velocity starts to build back up Arano could potentially develop into a solid reliever.
He played with double-A Reading for all of 2017, pitching 38.2 innings over 32 appearances. Arano walked just 11 batters and struck out 38, however he did allow 7 home runs en route to the highest HR/9 total of his career at 1.6.