Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Eflin too good to be traded? Here's why

Upcoming rotation in question; Eickhoff feels 'tingling' in right hand
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PITTSBURGH -- Phillies right-hander Zach Eflin is on such a roll recently that he has crept into Manny Machado trade talks.

Eflin is 6-0 with a 1.91 ERA in his last six starts. It's not unreasonable to think that if the Phillies' season ended this weekend and they needed somebody other than Aaron Nola to get them into the postseason, they would start Eflin.

View Full Game Coverage

PITTSBURGH -- Phillies right-hander Zach Eflin is on such a roll recently that he has crept into Manny Machado trade talks.

Eflin is 6-0 with a 1.91 ERA in his last six starts. It's not unreasonable to think that if the Phillies' season ended this weekend and they needed somebody other than Aaron Nola to get them into the postseason, they would start Eflin.

View Full Game Coverage

MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi recently reported that earlier this season the Phillies probably would have moved Eflin to acquire Machado. But now? A source told Morosi the Phillies likely would say no. In fact, MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reported Friday night that a source said, "The Phillies have moved on from Machado for now, as Orioles' asking price is too high."

Tweet from @Feinsand: Source says Phillies have moved on from Machado for now, as Orioles��� asking price is too high. My colleague @ToddZolecki reported yesterday that the Phillies were ���considered longshots��� for Machado.

"What I'll say on record publicly is that my job is to work with the players we have in the clubhouse right now," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said before Friday's series opener against the Pirates at PNC Park. "We have everything we need right now to compete right here. If all of our young players take these small steps that we've talked about since Spring Training, theoretically, we're a better team in the second half, and we're in a position to strike and make the postseason.

"I trust the work that [Phillies general manager Matt Klentak] is doing … that includes examining the landscape and looking for ways to upgrade. Are they looking to trade young players for young players? I'm not sure."

Would it make sense for the Phillies to weaken a position of strength to upgrade in another area? Sources have told MLB.com that while the Phillies would love to add Machado for the final two-plus months of the season, they are unlikely to mortgage the future to make it happen.

"I don't think we are where we are today if not for Zach Eflin's performance in the last five weeks," Kapler said. "He's been incredibly valuable for us."

The rotation for Sunday and beyond

The Phillies have not announced their rotation beyond Saturday, when Jake Arrieta is scheduled to make his 17th start of the season.

Right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. is a candidate to start Sunday's series finale against the Pirates, depending how the Phillies fare Friday and Saturday. The Phillies could start both right-handers Nola and Eflin in Monday's doubleheader against the Mets at Citi Field. In that scenario, the Phillies will need somebody to pitch Tuesday against the Mets.

Right-hander Vince Velasquez, who is on the 10-day DL with a bruised right forearm, is on schedule to rejoin the rotation Wednesday.

Video: WSH@PHI: Velasquez fans Soto to strike out the side

"We have a lot of balls in the air," Kapler said.

Kapler said Triple-A right-hander Enyel De Los Santos is a possibility to pitch Tuesday, although he would need to be added to the 40-man roster. The Phillies could place infielder Pedro Florimon on the 60-day disabled list (broken right foot) to make room for him.

De Los Santos will be the Phillies' lone representative at the All-Star Futures Game on July 15. He is 9-3 with a 1.89 ERA in 16 starts with the IronPigs.

"I've actually been talking to people a lot about him," Kapler said. "One of the things that is encouraging is that even when he's not getting empty swings -- swings and misses -- his deception has been really strong. Opposing hitters who faced De Los Santos will report -- when we do our little back channel homework to learn what people are seeing from our Minor League pitchers -- that people aren't seeing the ball really well against him. So when you have command and control plus deception, I think that's a good recipe for success at the Major League level."

Eickhoff suffers setback?

Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff felt a "tiny bit of tingling" in his right index and middle fingers while pitching this week in Clearwater, Fla. He will return to Philadelphia for further evaluation. Eickhoff missed the beginning of the season because of an injured right lat, but a nerve issue that ended his 2017 season returned while recovering from the lat injury.

"I don't know how concerning it is," Kapler said. "He's optimistic. I'm optimistic. The shoulder is sound. The elbow is sound. There's nothing that has come across that has been, 'Oh, no.' He's just feeling tingling in his fingers."

Ramos rejoins bullpen

The Phillies activated right-hander Edubray Ramos, who had been on the 10-day disabled list since June 25 because of an impingement in his right shoulder. Ramos is 2-0 with a 1.24 ERA in 33 appearances. He has struck out 32 and walked 11 in 29 innings.

Video: STL@PHI: Ramos K's Pham to strand a pair in the 7th

Ramos takes the place of right-hander Jake Thompson, who was optioned Wednesday.

Extra bases

• The Phillies announced Friday they have signed right-hander Jake Kinney, whom they selected in the 33rd round of the 2018 Draft. The Phillies signed 32 of 38 selections before Friday's 5 p.m. ET deadline.

• The club traded left-hander Elniery Garcia to the Cardinals for international slot money.

• The Phillies announced Class A Lakewood catcher Rodolfo Duran, Lakewood left-hander David Parkinson, Lakewood second baseman Daniel Brito and Class A Clearwater infielder/outfielder Luke Williams are the organization's Minor League hitter, pitcher and co-defenders of the month, respectively.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Philadelphia Phillies, Zach Eflin