Starting pitching prospect Zach Eflin will make his MLB debut in a start against the Blue Jays on Tuesday, CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury writes. He takes the place of Vincent Velasquez, who’s headed to the DL with a biceps injury that is not expected to be serious. The 22-year-old Eflin was in the midst of a fine season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, with a 2.90 ERA, 7.2 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9. MLB.com lists Eflin as the Phillies’ 13th-best prospect, praising his low-90s sinker and ability to get ground balls. As MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki notes (on Twitter), the timing of Eflin’s promotion coincides with the White Sox’ decision to designate Jimmy Rollins for assignment. The Phillies acquired Eflin from the Dodgers (along with another minor leaguer, Tom Windle) for Rollins in 2014. Here’s more from Philadelphia.
- Tommy Joseph hit two homers in the Phillies’ loss last night to the Nationals, celebrating manager Pete Mackanin’s official decision to make him the team’s first baseman ahead of Ryan Howard, Salisbury writes. “I can’t say enough about Tommy Joseph,” Mackanin said. “I talked to Ryan today and told him, ‘I’ve got to go with Tommy Joseph right now.’ I can’t sit Tommy Joseph. I can’t justify not playing the guy.” Mackanin added that he would look for opportunities for Howard to pinch-hit and spot start. Joseph now has seven home runs in his first 69 plate appearances with the Phillies. Howard’s decline has been amply chronicled, but this season has been his worst ever, with a .150/.213/.346 line in 169 plate appearances. The Phillies still owe him the remainder of his $25MM 2016 salary, plus a $10MM buyout on his 2017 option.
- The Phillies had the best Friday of any team in the draft, MLB.com’s Jim Callis writes. With the first pick of Day Two, they grabbed Cole Stobbe, a Trevor Story-like shortstop who Callis thinks was the best position player who was signable and who made it through Day One. Callis also lists the Giants, Indians, Cardinals and Athletics as teams who did well on Day Two.