PITTSBURGH — Phillies pitcher Jerad Eickhoff has experienced another setback in his recovery from a hand condition that has him on the disabled list.
Eickhoff has experienced on-again, off-again tingling in the fingers on his right hand when he throws. He experienced the sensation again while throwing to hitters in Clearwater and will return to Philadelphia to be checked by doctors, according to manager Gabe Kapler.
“I don’t know how concerning it is,” Kapler said Friday. “He’s optimistic. I’m optimistic. The shoulder is sound. The elbow is sound. There’s nothing that has come across that has been, 'Oh, no.' He’s just feeling tingling in his fingers.”
The tingling, which first presented itself late last season, has been limited to two fingers. The difference now is Eickhoff felt it while throwing his fastball. He had previously felt it throwing his curveball only.
Eickhoff, a 28-year-old right-hander, has not pitched all season. He began the season on the disabled list with a lat strain. The issue with his fingers reappeared during his rehab from that.
Eickhoff has been seen by a number of specialists in recent weeks. Thoracic outlet syndrome, a circulation issue that has plagued some pitchers, was ruled out.
The Phillies were set to open a three-game series against the Pirates on Friday night with Nick Pivetta on the mound. Jake Arrieta will pitch Saturday afternoon.
The Phillies have not yet named a starter for Sunday afternoon’s game. The Phils have not named starters for Monday’s doubleheader, either.
“We have a lot of balls in the air,” Kapler said. “We want to see how our bullpen goes today.”
It’s possible that the Phils could use both Aaron Nola and Zach Eflin on Monday and fill Sunday’s game with the bullpen or bring someone up from Triple A.
Vince Velasquez, on the DL with a right arm contusion, is feeling good and will throw a bullpen session Saturday. If all goes well, he could pitch Wednesday in New York.