Phillies righty Zach Eflin made his major league debut today. Big day for him! Big day for the Phillies rebuild overall too, as Eflin was the first real product of said rebuild, coming over from the Dodgers in the Jimmy Rollins trade in 2014. Time for the 22-year-old to show Phillies fans how much promise the future holds!
Eh, let’s give him a mulligan, shall we? Because today went crappy for him. Eflin gave up nine runs — eight earned — on nine hits in two and two-thirds innings. He allowed three homers, walked three and struck out only two. Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com notes that Eflin was the first pitcher in the majors to allow eight or more earned runs in fewer than three innings of his major league debut since Cesar Carrillo did it for the Padres in 2009. Carrillo ended up pitching two more games in the bigs and has been in unaffiliated ball since 2012, so . . . yay?
Eflin doesn’t seem primed to follow his path, of course. He was the third-youngest pitcher in the International League this year and had no trouble with it, going 5-2 with a 2.90 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in 11 starts for Lehigh Valley, holding opponents to a batting average of .199. Everyone is entitled to a bad day. Here’s hoping Eflin got his worst one out of the way right out of the box.