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August 09, 2016

Phillies place Zach Eflin on the disabled list

Welp, at least the Phillies didn’t trade Jeremy Hellickson.

The team announced on Tuesday afternoon that right-handed rookie Zach Eflin was being placed on the 15-day disabled list with “patellar tendinopathy in both knees.” Or, patella tendinitis.

Or, as Ruben Amaro Jr. once said of Chase Utley, “the guy’s got bad knees.”

While you were sleeping, Eflin got hit hard for the third straight start on Monday night in Los Angeles. The Dodgers put a five-spot on him in the first inning (maybe you hadn’t fallen asleep yet) and served up three home runs in three innings (including one from your old friend Chase Utley, which surely you must have stayed awake for.)

Eflin, who has seen his ERA jump from 3.40 to 5.44 after his last three starts, alluded to knee issues when talking with reporters at Dodger Stadium on Monday night (Tuesday morning for you).

“I’ve kind of always had different knees — kind of gone through it every single season,” Eflin told reporters. “It’s more of a thing where sometimes it’s a little worse, sometimes it’s better than other days. You kind of just wake up and see how you feel. But, no, I don’t think it has affected me the past three outing.”

But the Phillies have made the call for him and now two of their brightest young pitchers in the rotation are on the disabled list. Aaron Nola was placed on the DL just six days ago with a right elbow strain.

The Phils called up top pitching prospect Jake Thompson (who was also hit hard in the first inning of his debut on Saturday night) to replace Nola. Either Adam Morgan or David Buchanan, two pitchers on the 40-man roster who have pitched well at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, figure to be the options for replacing Eflin.

  • An interesting read from our amigo Jim Salisbury on the upcoming decisions the Phillies will make with September call-ups and how the composition of this winter's 40-man roster could play a factor. Spoilers: You might not see J.P. Crawford in 2016.

  • The Los Angeles Angels, an organization that has found spots for Kyle Kendrick and Tim Lincecum this year, have claimed left-hander Brett Oberholtzer off waivers from the Phillies. It's unclear whether Oberholtzer (who previously started in Houston) will work out of the bullpen or the rotation with the Angels, but Los Angeles could try him as a starter since they have nothing to lose with a 4.78 ERA from their rotation (24th in baseball).

  • I took a break from baseball in the last three days to write about the sport that Philadelphia has taken over for the Americans in the Olympics – and how a serious run at a medal next week is well within reach. 

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @ryanlawrence21