Zach Eflin OUT for 6-8 months: What it means for the Phillies

Phillies starter Zach Eflin
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 23: Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zach Eflin (56) pitches during the Philadelphia Phillies versus the Washington Nationals on September 23, 2020 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

The Phillies saw their playoff hopes take a crippling blow today. RHP Zach Eflin will undergo surgery to repair his right patellar tendon, keeping him out for 6-8 months.

It has been a rollercoaster season for Eflin, who was nearing the end of the rehab process for knee tendinitis. After pitching well in a rehab start not too long ago, all signs were pointing towards a timely return in a bid to help the Phillies sneak into a wildcard spot. Those hopes have now been dashed.

Eflin’s return would’ve been a monumental boost to a rotation that has struggled to string a solid series together. What Zack Wheeler does one night, would ultimately be undone in catastrophic fashion by a committee effort less than a day later.

Eflin has struck out 99 batters in 105.2 IP this season. With a 3.68 FIP on the year, he had been a workhorse in the rotation, pitching at least six innings of work in 15 of his 18 starts.

With Eflin now out for the remainder of the season and beyond, the Phillies will turn to Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, and Kyle Gibson, just as they have all season. It’s not like the dam are going to have to change much, it’s more that they won’t get a huge boost to their rotation.

Ranger Suarez will likely be the first man out of the bullpen, while Ian Kennedy and Hector Neris may begin to see some increased action as a result if there are still struggles at the top end.

We’re sending our best wishes to Zach and his family at what must be an incredibly difficult time. Here’s to a speedy recovery and seeing him return to the mound soon!

Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon SportswirE