The Phillies announced that they’ve selected the contract of infielder Mitch Walding from Triple-A Lehigh Valley and created a spot on the 40-man roster by shifting righty Jerad Eickhoff from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL. Walding will step into the spot that had been previously occupied by Pedro Florimon, who has been placed on the 10-day disabled list. Florimon sustained a broken bone last night when he fouled a ball into his foot.
Walding, 25, has played third base almost exclusively in the minors, so he won’t be able to replicate Florimon’s ability to handle shortstop. But he’ll bring a productive Triple-A bat to the table, having slashed .271/.379/.484 through 182 plate appearances so far in his first crack at the Triple-A level. Though Walding’s 29.7 percent strikeout rate and .372 BABIP in Lehigh Valley suggest that his overall line is likely to regress, he’s also walked at a 14.3 percent clip and largely continued the uptick in power he displayed at the Double-A level in 2017, when he smacked a career-high 25 homers.
As for Eickhoff, the move is largely a procedural one. The right-hander was placed on the 10-day disabled list at the beginning of the season due to a strained lat muscle, and the team recently halted his rehab program after he experienced some numbness in his fingertips. Eickhoff wouldn’t have returned by the 60-day mark of the season anyhow, and the move to the 60-day DL doesn’t reset his DL “clock,” so to speak, meaning he’ll still be eligible to be activated whenever the Phillies deem him healthy enough to embark on and complete a new minor league rehab assignment. That said, it’s not clear at all just when Eickhoff might be medically cleared to do so.