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Jerad Eickhoff was not much of a backup plan

Somehow Eickhoff was even worse than Pivetta and Velasquez

Arizona Diamondbacks v Philadelphia Phillies
Plenty of home runs given up by Jerad Eickhoff in 2019
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The numbers:

58.1 IP, 3-4 W-L, 5.71 ERA, 20.8 K%, 7.4 BB%, 2.78 HR/9, -0.4 fWAR

The good:

His first four starts after being moved into the rotation were excellent. His eight-inning shutout performance against the Cardinals gave us hope that Eickhoff had finally put his years-long injury problems behind him.

The bad:

Everything that came after those first four starts. Over his next eight outings, his ERA rose from 1.50 to 5.71, bottoming out with two horrid starts in June.

He was placed on the Injured List with biceps tendinitis, and then struggled in his minor league rehab assignments. His season ultimately ended with him back on the IL, this time with a finger laceration.

The Phillies’ decision to count on the trio of Zach Eflin, Vince Velasquez, and Nick Pivetta in their starting rotation was obviously a mistake. That mistake was compounded by counting on Eickhoff as the first backup option if any of the starters faltered. Based on his injury-riddled and ineffective 2017 and 2018 seasons, there’s no logical reason why he should have been depended on.

The future

Eickhoff hasn’t been healthy or effective since 2016, and it seems certain that he will be non-tendered by the team. He will probably get a minor league invite to some team’s camp next season, but he seems unlikely to ever live up to the promise that he showed back in 2016 before his injury problems began.