Edubray Ramos

Phillies send Jerad Eickhoff to bullpen, ponder next move

Phillies send Jerad Eickhoff to bullpen, ponder next move

One day after giving up five home runs in a 13-8 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Jerad Eickhoff learned he would not make his next scheduled start Sunday in Atlanta.

“I wasn’t getting the job done,” the always-accountable right-hander said. “That’s what I pride myself on. I had three or four starts that weren’t up to my standards or theirs either.”

Eickhoff was not sent to the minors because, as manager Gabe Kapler said, “We see him as one of our 13 best pitchers.”

Eickhoff will work out of the bullpen.

“We told Jerad that when he’s back on track he’ll be a consideration in the rotation again,” Kapler said.

Kapler was uncertain who would make Sunday’s start. He mentioned Vince Velasquez as a possibility then seemed to back off of that because Velasquez has suddenly become important in the bullpen and “maybe the best move is letting him get settled in there.”

Left-handers Ranger Suarez and Cole Irvin are both possibilities. Prospect Adonis Medina is not. (The Phils would like to give him more development time at Double A.) Suarez was called up from the minors on Friday, replacing injured Seranthony Dominguez. Irvin is currently in Triple A.

It’s also possible the Phils could use a reliever such as Jose Alvarez as an opener. They did that recently in Los Angeles.

Kapler said the Phils could have a decision by Wednesday.

The decision to send Eickhoff to the bullpen went beyond his poor outing Monday night. He has given up 16 homers and 27 runs over his last six starts.

“My ball has been a little flat, my arm is dragging a little,” he said. “I need to make some adjustments. I’m always willing to do the work.”

A few health checks

Reliever Edubray Ramos could be ready to come off the injured list Wednesday.

Kapler said reliever Pat Neshek is not far away from being activated. Neshek might not require a minor-league rehab outing.

“Pat is very close,” Kapler said.

Center fielder Roman Quinn was slated to play nine innings for Single A Clearwater on Tuesday night. It sounds like there’s a chance he could be ready to go by the weekend.

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David Robertson will be shut down a little while longer after second opinion from Dr. James Andrews

David Robertson will be shut down a little while longer after second opinion from Dr. James Andrews

A "visit with Dr. James Andrews" often means bad injury news in the sports world, but the Phillies are characterizing reliever David Robertson's appointment with him Monday as a positive one.

Robertson, out since April 15 with a strain in his right elbow/forearm, got a second opinion from the renowned sports orthopedist and the goal is for the injury to heal naturally. Robertson will be shut down from throwing for three weeks.

"David feels more comfortable after this most recent diagnosis and feels more confident," manager Gabe Kapler said before Monday's Phillies-Brewers game. "It was a good news visit from our perspective."

With this recommended method of treatment, it looks like Robertson will not be able to return until late June or early July at the earliest. After the three-week shutdown period, he will have to begin a throwing program and ramp back up before beginning a minor-league rehab assignment. That will take a few weeks in itself.

The Phillies did not offer a concrete timetable but July is just six weeks away at this point.

Robertson is the highest-priced reliever in the Phillies' bullpen. He was signed this past offseason to a two-year, $23 million contract with a third-year club option. 

He arrived in Philadelphia having made at least 61 appearances every season since 2010. This is the longest period of time he's missed. Robertson's only two prior career stints on the disabled list lasted no longer than a month.

Entering the season, Robertson was perceived as the Phillies' most important reliever because of his successful track record and ability to both close and set up. The Phillies' bullpen has held up for the most part without him. They enter Monday night with the eighth-lowest bullpen ERA in the majors at 3.89. The rest of the NL East has a 5.13 bullpen ERA. 

Ramos to the IL

Reliever Edubray Ramos was placed on the 10-day injured list Monday with stiffness in his right shoulder. He was examined Monday and there are no long-term concerns. Ramos will not throw for a few days.

"This feels like a very short stint on the injured list but we felt like it was the right decision and conservative one," Kapler said.

The Phillies replaced Ramos on the active roster with left-hander Austin Davis, who is available to pitch tonight.

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Phillies send down Edubray Ramos; Victor Arano recalled

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Phillies send down Edubray Ramos; Victor Arano recalled

Update: Pitcher Victor Arano has been recalled. 

The Phillies have altered their opening day roster for the first time this regular season, optioning right-handed reliever Edubray Ramos to Triple A Lehigh Valley. 

A corresponding roster move will be made prior to Friday’s game in Miami against a Marlins team that was outscored 21-1 by the Reds the last three days. 

The activation of Roman Quinn is a possibility but seems more likely to occur next week. The promotion of another reliever would fit with the Phillies’ preference to carry eight relievers. 

Candidates include:

• Victor Arano, who has pitched four scoreless innings at Triple A, allowing one baserunner and striking out seven.

• Edgar Garcia, an interesting right-handed relief prospect with a good slider. 

• Lefties James Pazos and Austin Davis, who are both at Triple A. 

All four are on the Phillies’ 40-man roster. 

We’ll see tomorrow.

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