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2022 report card: Zach Eflin

He did everything the team could have asked for. Now he gets his financial reward

MLB: Wild Card-Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Eflin’s past season with the Philadelphia Phillies was an interesting one and we all saw him in a new role which he was effective in. Eflin, 28, started the season as a starter for the Phillies and was pitching decently until he suffered a knee injury in June which makes it three knee injuries in only two seasons. When he returned in mid-September, he was a late-inning pitcher who either pitched in the 8th or the 9th inning. This new role for Eflin turned out to be a positive for both sides as the Phillies found yet another piece for their strong bullpen and Eflin got some more appearances.

The Good

We all know the type of starter Eflin is. He can either give you 6-7 strong innings of superb pitching or he can get blown up and allow runs and he can get hit around. Although, as a reliever late in the season and in the postseason, Eflin excelled the expectations of him as he pitched in 7.2 innings while only allowing only 1 earned run and an excellent ERA of 1.17.

Eflin primarily used his sinker and his curveball this season and if he used his fastball more, he would most likely see an up-tick in his strikeout numbers but since he suffered an injury during the season, his arm weakened and he didn’t use it as much since he probably wouldn’t like the results of a dead fastball. Looking ahead for Eflin, we should all see him use a mix of fastball, curveball and sinker. Maybe moving forward he can feature his slider more which he strayed away from this past season.

The Bad

Previously it was stated that Eflin succeeded as a reliever and not necessarily as a starter this past season, the numbers tell that story. He started 13 games for the Phillies during the 2022 season further showing his lack of staying in good physical health. In those 13 games, he had a 4.37 ERA, had a WHIP of 1.191 and allowed an opponent batting average of .251.

In his career with the Phillies, Eflin has had his luck tarnished by injuries and obviously that is going to distinguish most chances of seeing consistent success at the major league level. This past season for him was memorable and he did end up making a positive impact in the postseason.

The Future

Eflin is no longer with the Philadelphia Phillies organization as he signed a 3-year, $40 million dollar deal with his hometown team, the Tampa Bay Rays. To make this signing interesting, this is the largest contract the Rays have ever given to a free agent from another team. The annual average salary of the deal is $13,333,333 million dollars, is Eflin going to be healthy enough to deliver for the Rays? That’s a question that the Phillies will not have to worry about anymore.

All Phillies fans hope that Eflin stays in good health and can start this new chapter in his professional baseball career on a good note.

Final Grade: B