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May 31, 2019

Zach Eflin becomes the latest Phillies pitcher to hit the injured list

Phillies MLB
Zach-Eflin_053119_usat Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zach Eflin looks on from the dugout at Citizens Bank Park.

The injury bug just won't stop biting the Phillies. 

Late Friday afternoon, the Phillies announced that starter Zach Eflin would be put on the 10-day injured list with back soreness, marking the end of a week that has seen several of the team's pitchers hurting. To replace Eflin, the Phillies recalled lefty Cole Irvin, who went 2-1 with a 5.60 ERA in three starts before being sent down to the minors last week

Eflin, who has been the Phillies' best starter this season (5-5 with a 3.02 ERA in 11 starts) joins relievers Pat Neshek, Adam Morgan and Victor Arano on the injured list this week, a list that already included David Robertson, Edubray Ramos and Tommy Hunter. 

In other words, the Phillies bullpen is in shambles, and even though Eflin is a starter, his loss hurts the bullpen as well. When Adam Morgan was added to the injury list on Wednesday, the Phillies were down to just one left-handed reliever, and some believed that Irvin was going to be recalled to replace him after being sent down in favor of Nick Pivetta. Now, however, Irvin will return to the starting rotation for the time being.

But all hope is not lost.

Monday is likely going to be a big day for the Phillies, and not just because they have the 14th-overall pick in the MLB Draft. It's all the day that free agent reliever Craig Kimbrel and starter Dallas Kuechel will no longer cost draft compensation if signed, and Matt Klentak and Co. could now be in on both, especially since the Phillies have shown interest, especially in Kimbrel, long before all these injuries started. 

Unfortunately, the Phillies will hardly be alone in their quest to add pitching help.

Adding insult to injury, the Phillies are currently in Los Angeles for a three-game series against the Dodgers, the team with the best record in the National League. Not only is Friday night's lineup chock full of lefties for the Dodgers — compared to just one lefty in the Phillies 'pen — but Eflin was scheduled to pitch on Saturday against Clayton Kershaw.

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