Phillies manager Pete Mackanin told reporters after last night’s game that Aaron Altherr will eventually move into center field this year, prompting CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury to explore the possibility of an offseason trade of Odubel Herrera. While Herrera was one of the Phillies’ best players in the season’s first half, he’s hitting just .235/.289/.394 since July 1, and his glovework has taken a step back this season (hence the decision to look at Altherr in center field). Moreover, Salisbury writes that Mackanin has been frustrated recently by some decline in Herrera’s early-season plate discipline and a lack of focus. Philadelphia has outfield alternatives, Salisbury notes, listing both Roman Quinn and Nick Williams, and the team did show it was willing to trade controllable assets last winter by moving Ken Giles.
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- Philadelphia placed rookie right-hander Zach Eflin on the disabled list yesterday due to patellar tendinopathy in both of his knees, per a club announcement. The Phillies aren’t sure if Eflin will pitch again in 2016, as MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki writes. Eflin said he’s had issues with his knees throughout his entire career but this season has been the worst in terms of discomfort. Eflin, who will meet with specialists in Philadelphia before the team determines his next course of action, said the condition has always been “tolerable” and “maintainable.” The 22-year-old tossed a complete game shutout against the Pirates back on July 22 to lower his ERA to 3.40, but he’s been torched for 20 runs in 13 innings since that time.
- With Eflin joining Aaron Nola and veteran Charlie Morton on the disabled list and the Phils watching the workloads of young arms like Jake Thompson and Vince Velasquez, the club could turn to left-hander Adam Morgan and right-hander David Buchanan for starts down the stretch. Matt Gelb of the Philly Inquirer writes that prospect Ben Lively could get a look as well despite not being on the 40-man roster, as he’ll need to be added this winter anyhow to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. Salisbury tweets a reminder that suspended right-hander Alec Asher can be reinstated on Sept. 15 and could provide the Phillies with a much-needed fresh arm in the final weeks of the season. Former Rangers right-hander Phil Klein, who was claimed off waivers earlier this season, represents another 40-man option for the Phillies to make some spot starts through the end of the year, as can be seen on the club’s depth chart.