This will be an abbreviated version of Philadelphia Phillies ICYMI Monday, as with only ten days left until the season opener on the road against the Alanta Braves on 3/29, I prepare my season preview for next week’s final edition. This week we will look at the latest moves and how the biggest injury of this camp will affect the starting rotation:

Phillies Injury Report:

On Friday it was announced that Jerad Eickhoff has a mild lat strain and will miss 6-8 weeks, so will start the season on the DL. The team does not believe it is related to any of last season’s injuries and he is expected to start throwing again in a week or two and will have to restart his spring training program.

Eickhoff was expected to be the third or fourth starter behind Aaron Nola, and Jake Arrieta, with Vince Velasquez also in the mix. Now the jobs of fourth and fifth starter would appear to be between Nick PivettaBen Lively, and Zach EflinMark Leiter Jr. and Tom Eshelman also could be in the picture for a fifth starter, which the team will not need to begin the season. Leiter seems to be more in line as a utility bullpen guy.

“We have a lot of candidates to take the ball at the big league level,” Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said.

Arrieta threw his first “simulated game” to live batters on Saturday, and only time and another simulated or S.T. start will tell if he will be ready for the second game of the season. If Arrieta needs more time, the Phillies might consider a four-man starting rotation.

“How quickly we can get [Arrieta] up to speed and how we work him into the rotation will have an impact on that,” Klentak said.

Latest Moves:

The Phillies have selected the contract of INF/OF Pedro Florimon, adding him to the 40 man roster, as he could have become a FA if they had not made the move. Florimon, 31, batted .348 in 49 PA for the Phils last season. His versatility keeps him in the running for a bench job and this move gives them more time to make that decision. In a corresponding move INF Eliezer Alvarez has been designated for assignment to clear a 40-man spot.

Only In Spring Training:

It was the top of the fifth inning Saturday when one of  those “only in spring training” moments happened.

Yes that is RF Collin Cowgill frantically alerting the bench that they forgot to send out a LF. Eventually Andrew Pullin would trot out and the exhibition would resume. BTW the Phillies won the O’Green slugfest 10-6. Carlos Santana also hit his first HR of the spring.

What’s Next:

Next week we will have a preview of the 25 man roster expected to go north for the opening week and will give our prediction of the eventual 2018 record for the Phillies.

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