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Jerad Eickhoff to miss six to eight weeks with strained lat

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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff will miss the next six to eight weeks with a strained right lat. Manager Gabe Kapler said the right-hander suffered the injury with one of his final pitches during his most recent Grapefruit League start.

Eickhoff, who suffered a similar injury last year, went 4-8 with a 4.71 ERA and a 118/53 K/BB ratio in 128 innings during the 2017 season.

Salisbury notes that the Phillies are likely to fill Eickhoff’s spot in the rotation internally. With free agent Alex Cobb still available, GM Matt Klentak said on Monday that the Phillies’ moves were likely complete. Following news of Eickhoff’s injury, Klentak said on Friday that the young pitchers — almost certainly referring to Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, and Mark Leiter, who are fighting for rotation spots — are stretched out and worthy of a look.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).