Zach Eflin has season-ending knee surgery
Zach Eflin's rookie season ended Friday morning on an operating table, as he had knee surgery to repair his right patella tendon. The Phillies pitcher hopes the procedure will help alleviate pain he has dealt with since he was 11.
Eflin will likely have the same surgery in six weeks on his left knee. He will not have surgery to repair his fractured right foot. It is expected to heal on its own as Eflin's leg is currently in a brace and immobilized. Eflin was transferred to the 60-day disabled list, opening a spot on the team's 40-man roster that the Phillies can fill when rosters expand in September.
"Talking candidly with Zach last night, while not excited to undergo the knife today, he was pretty excited about the possibility of coming to spring training next year pain-free for the first time in his life," Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said before Friday's game against St. Louis.
Eflin, sidelined since Aug. 8, registered a 5.54 ERA this season in 11 starts since being promoted in June to the majors. He pitched two complete games, but finished his season with three starts in which he allowed six runs or more in each. If healthy, Eflin will enter spring training in contention for a spot in next season's starting rotation.
"I thought he was pretty damn good," Klentak said. "What I like about him especially is that what he was in spring training is what he was at the minor-league level this year and is what he was when he came up to the big leagues. He didn't really change anything. He knows his strengths; he knows what he's good at. He fills up the strike zone. He lets the movement on the ball do the work for him. He works quickly. He's efficient."