Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Phillies are moving struggling starter Jerad Eickhoff to the bullpen. The club hasn’t yet decided how it will fill the gap. “Everything is on the table,” manager Gabe Kapler said, which includes the use of an opener.
Eickhoff, 28, was on the hook for five of the eight home runs the Phillies allowed to the Diamondbacks on Monday as both teams set a new major league record with 13 combined homers. The right-hander, who underwent an offseason procedure to address his carpal tunnel syndrome, started off the year on a great note, carrying a 1.50 ERA through his fifth start on May 8. Since then, however, Eickhoff has allowed 27 runs in 27 1/3 innings, including 16 home runs.
Vince Velasquez, who was recently demoted to the bullpen, could return to the rotation to take Eickhoff’s spot. The Phillies, though, are even more short-handed in the bullpen and may need to keep Velasquez there. Enyel De Los Santos or Cole Irvin could be called back up. Ranger Suárez could join the rotation.