Two months ago Jerad Eickhoff went on the IL with right biceps tendinitis and three weeks ago started a minor league rehab assignment. The hope was that at some point he could provide help to a weak starting rotation or at least help to bolster a bullpen that has been rocked by key injuries this season. Don’t count on him being able to help the rotation anytime soon if his rehab assignment is any indication.
In five minor league outings since the injury, Eickhoff has pitched 12 1/3 innings, allowing 11 earned runs for an ERA of 8.05. In two appearances with Clearwater, he pitched fairly well with a 3.38 ERA in 2 2/3 innings. As he moved up though, things have gotten rocky with a 9.82 ERA at Reading in two appearances and one outing for Lehigh Valley that saw him allow two earned runs in 2 1/3 innings. Eickhoff’s longest outing on his rehab assignment was yesterday with Reading when he threw 4 1/3 innings, allowing four earned runs. It took him 70 pitches to get through the start.
Prior to going on the IL, Eickhoff had been bumped from the starting rotation and moved to the bullpen. In his last four innings of work he allowed seven home runs and had given up 18 home runs in 28 innings prior to the IL stint.
Eickhoff had pitched through what the team termed “discomfort” since late May, which could have resulted in the struggles and the alarming rate of home runs that he allowed.
After a strong season in 2016 when he went 11-14, but posted a 3.65 ERA with the Phillies, the 29-year old right-hander has struggled, posting a 4.71 ERA in 24 starts in 2017. Over this season and last, Eickhoff has pitched just 63 2/3 innings in the majors with an ERA of 5.80 in 11 starts and four relief outings.
Injuries have derailed Eickhoff, who missed most of last season with a right lat strain. In 2017 he went on the IL twice, first with upper back soreness and then with nerve irritation in his right hand, which required carpal tunnel surgery to repair. The Phillies got him from Texas in July, 2015 in the deal that sent Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman to the Rangers.