Zach Eflin placed on IL, Oscar Mercado officially joins Phillies roster

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)

After throwing only seven innings over his last two starts, the Phillies announced on Tuesday that Zach Eflin has been placed on the 15-day Injured List with a right knee bruise. The move, retroactive to June 26th, also makes room for Oscar Mercado to officially join the Phillies’ 26-man roster ahead of their series against the Braves.

On Sunday the 19th, Eflin exited their contest against the Nationals after only two innings of work due to his injury. Despite making his next scheduled start against the Padres on Saturday the 25th, the Phillies, Eflin’s injury is apparently still present, forcing the 28-year-old to take a trip onto the Injured List.

Eflin has performed well overall on the season, pitching a serviceable 4.37 ERA over 13 starts, keeping opposing batters to a career-best .712 OPS against him. The Phillies, who lack depth in the starting pitcher department, will either have to rely on Bailey Falter or bring in an outside starting pitcher as Eflin will likely at least two starts.

Phillies need SP depth

As Matt Winkelman points out, Eflin can arrive back in time for the Phillies’ series against the Blue Jays, which begins on July 12th. Additionally, with the All-Star Break taking place from July 18th-21st, it is also possible that the Phillies can next start Eflin on July 26th, giving him essentially a month to heal, while only missing three starts.

Regardless, the Phillies’ need for additional starting pitching depth has been made even more so apparent by Eflin’s injury. Meanwhile, the Phillies’ need for defensive help in the outfield has arrived in the form of Mercado.

Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire