Phillies

Phillies transfer Jerad Eickhoff to 60-day DL; claim LHP Kevin Siegrist from Cardinals

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Phillies transfer Jerad Eickhoff to 60-day DL; claim LHP Kevin Siegrist from Cardinals

The Phillies on Saturday transferred starter Jerad Eickhoff to the 60-day disabled list, ending the right-hander's season.  

Eickhoff left his last start Wednesday in the third inning with what the team called "nerve irritation" in his right throwing hand. 

Eickhoff, arguably the Phillies' most consistent starter last season, has had a down year. He's also seen his velocity dip. His fastball had averaged under 90 mph in six of his previous nine starts. The 27-year-old righty insisted that his health up to that day had not been an issue.

"I just kind of felt it in the third inning there," he said after the game. "I felt tingling in my hand. Almost like a numbness and a weakness in it. I just couldn't exactly feel the baseball. That's never a good thing. It's something going on with a nerve, maybe. Where, exactly, I'm not sure. It's definitely a nerve issue."

Part of the return from the Rangers for Cole Hamels, Eickhoff finishes his second full season with the Phillies 4-8 with a 4.71 ERA in 128 innings.

In a corresponding move, the Phillies claimed LHP Kevin Siegrist off waivers from the Cardinals. Siegrist, also 27, has struggled this season (4.98 ERA) but was excellent for St. Louis in 2015 and 2016. In those seasons combined, he posted an impressive 2.44 ERA in 148 appearances. He also struck out 156 batters in 136 1/3 innings during that span.

Phillies pounded by Diamondbacks in gut check series finale

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Phillies pounded by Diamondbacks in gut check series finale

BOX SCORE

A series billed as a measuring stick for the Phillies ended with a one-sided loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday afternoon.

The D-Backs jumped Phillies' starting pitcher Ben Lively for seven runs in 2 1/3 innings en route to pounding the Phils, 8-2, at Citizens Bank Park.

Arizona, which owns the majors’ second-best record at 17-7, ended up winning two of three in the series. The Phillies are 15-9. They entered the series finale with the fifth-best record in the majors.

The Phils beat Arizona and right-hander Zach Greinke, 5-3, on the strength of a strong start from Jake Arrieta and a three-run homer by Aaron Altherr on Wednesday night.

Any momentum that the Phils gained in that one went away quickly as Lively was ambushed for three runs in the first inning. The right-hander served up a two-run homer to Jarrod Dyson two batters into the game as Arizona sent nine men to the plate in the first inning.

Lively walked two batters in the third inning, one setting the table for a three-run homer by Nick Ahmed. The other preceded a two-run homer that was served up by Lively’s replacement, Drew Hutchison.

Hutchison was able to give the Phils 3 2/3 innings of one-run mop-up duty as the team did not have to blow out its bullpen before a three-game series against Atlanta.

Lively does not have overpowering stuff. He relies on deception in his delivery and location of his pitches to keep his team in games. He had done that in his previous three starts, all Phillies’ victories, but was unable to continue the streak in this one.

The Phillies’ starting rotation has been a strength this season. The starting staff entered the game ranked first in the NL with a 3.08 ERA. A starter had allowed more than three earned runs in just four of 24 games this season.

Rookie Matt Koch got the win for Arizona. He held the Phillies to six hits and two runs over five innings.

Notes
• Odubel Herrera has reached base in 26 straight games, dating to last season.

• Aaron Altherr is 7 for 18 with two doubles, a triple, a homer and eight RBIs in his last five games.

• The Phillies host Atlanta the next three days. Pitching matchups:

Friday night – RHP Aaron Nola (2-1, 2.30) vs. RHP Julio Teheran (1-1, 4.00)

Saturday night – RHP Nick Pivetta (1-0, 2.57) vs. RHP Mike Foltynewicz (1-1, 2.77)

Sunday afternoon – RHP Vince Velasquez (1-3, 4.50) vs. RHP Brandon McCarthy (3-0, 3.38)

Once worried, Pat Neshek now feels 'great' as he targets return

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Once worried, Pat Neshek now feels 'great' as he targets return

When Pat Neshek went on the disabled list with soreness in the back of his right shoulder during the first week of the season, he was legitimately worried about his condition and concerned that the problem could be serious.

A month of rest, rehab and one of those magic injections of anti-inflammatory medication has erased the worry from Neshek’s mind.

“I feel great,” the 37-year-old reliever said before heading out to the field for a spirited game of catch Thursday. “It’s amazing.”

Neshek, who signed a two-year, $16.25 million contract with the Phillies in December, is set to ramp-up his recovery. He said he would throw a bullpen session on Friday. He is expected to head to Clearwater sometime next week to continue his rehab and is targeting the third week of May as a potential return to big-league action. The Phillies play in Baltimore and St. Louis that week.

Neshek spent four months with the Phillies last season before being traded to Colorado. He was brilliant in his time with the Phils. He pitched 40 1/3 innings and allowed just 28 hits and five runs while striking out 45 and walking five.

Even without Neshek, the bullpen has been an early-season strength for the Phillies. It entered Thursday ranked eighth in the majors in ERA (3.22) and opponents batting average .212.