Knee issues force Phillies' Eflin to DL

Knee issues force Phillies' Eflin to DL

LOS ANGELES -- Zach Eflin's knee condition is more concerning than originally believed.

The Phillies announced Tuesday they had placed Eflin on the 15-day disabled list with patellar tendinopathy in both knees. He will be evaluated by specialists in Philadelphia, and it is unclear if he will pitch again this season.

"It's pretty confusing," Eflin said. "I'm confused, too."

The Phillies recalled left-hander Elvis Araujo to help in the bullpen until Eflin's turn in the rotation comes up Sunday against the Rockies at Citizens Bank Park. It is unclear who will make that start, although left-hander Adam Morgan and right-hander David Buchanan are options. But with Aaron Nola on the DL and the workload of both Vince Velasquez and Jake Thompson being monitored closely, it should be interesting to see what the rotation looks like at the end of the season.

"We're not in a tizzy, we're in a quandary," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.

Eflin, 22, has had knee issues since he was 11 or 12 years old.

"I've had it my whole career," Eflin said. "I've gotten treatment my whole career. And it's getting to be a little much right now. I woke up this morning and they were pretty stiff and sore."

Eflin went 0-2 with a 13.85 ERA in his last three starts, allowing 22 hits, 20 earned runs, nine walks, six home runs and striking out five in 13 innings. He allowed seven runs in three innings in Monday's 9-4 loss. He is the third Phillies' starter to allow six or more earned runs in three consecutive starts since 2000. Sean O'Sullivan ('15) and Joe Blanton ('12) are the others.

Eflin was 3-2 with a 2.08 ERA in seven starts before his recent slump, which made his struggles somewhat alarming.

"It's kind of affected me enough to where we're going to back to Philly, we're going to reevaluate everything," Eflin said. "We're going to get some studies done and see what's really going on. I really don't know what to expect. Like I've said, I've had it for so long. It's always been tolerable. It's always been maintainable. I guess we'll see what happens.

"It's always been maintainable. But just recently this year has probably been the worst year."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.