No, really: the actual dirt:
About two weeks before the players reported for spring training in February, a firm called Natural Sand Company trucked in two loads of dark, brown clay from its mine in central Pennsylvania and, with the assistance of the grounds crew here, completely renovated the infield skin at the main stadium, creating virtually the same infield surface used at Citi Field in Queens.
This may not be the most important article on the planet, but I really dug it because it taught me stuff I didn’t know. Stuff like players tend to think that Citi Field has the best infield in the majors, which is kind of neat to know. And stuff like the dirt portion of a baseball diamond covers 11,000 square feet.
Don’t look at me like that. I just like trivia, OK?
Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season as he suffered a lat injury in mid-March and has been on the disabled list since. He started a rehab stint in the minors last week, making a start for Double-A Reading on May 15 and another start for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday.
Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reports that Eickhoff went a twinge in the fingertips of his right index and middle fingers late in Sunday’s outing after throwing a curve and on the subsequent pitch. The Phillies have paused Eickhoff’s rehab as a result and will evaluate him further.
Eickhoff went on the disabled list in late August last year due to nerve irritation in his right hand, so this latest setback could be related to that.
Eickhoff showed promise early in his career, posting a combined 3.44 ERA in 41 starts between 2015-16. He struggled to a 4.71 ERA last year before ending his season early with the nerve issue. Eickhoff was one of the many prospects the Phillies got from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade.