Stress fracture in foot likely ends Eflin's '16

MRI on Friday reveals injury for rookie, who is already on DL

Stress fracture in foot likely ends Eflin's '16

PHILADELPHIA -- Zach Eflin's first Major League season could be over.

In addition to the patellar tendinopathy in both his knees that put him on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, an MRI on Friday revealed Eflin also has a stress fracture in his right foot.

"I would say it's unlikely he'll be back this year," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "I can't commit to that 100 percent, but it doesn't seem likely that he'll be back."

Eflin has dealt with knee issues for years, but the pain in his foot was a more recent occurrence. Eflin said the foot began to bother him a couple weeks ago and asked for it to be examined when he was getting an MRI on his knees.

In both cases, Eflin and the Phillies are waiting for more detailed results and will likely seek a second opinion.

With no knowledge of his current situation, it would be difficult to diagnose Eflin with any sort of injury. He strolled into the clubhouse with a smile on his face and a skip in his step. His foot is no game of Russian nesting dolls. There is no walking boot, medical tape or other treatment beneath the leather cowboy boot on his right foot.

"When I walk on the outside of it, I feel it, but I'm fine," Eflin said. "Obviously I could pitch through it. But it's just not really ideal."

If this is the end of Eflin's rookie season, he'll finish with a 3-5 record and 5.54 ERA. It did have its bright spots, though, including a complete-game shutout of the Pirates and a seven-start run without allowing more than three earned runs.

Worth noting

Andres Blanco is still more than a week away from removing the pin from his fractured left index finger. Mackanin said the tentative date for that is Aug. 22, but once it is out, it shouldn't take Blanco much more than a week to be ready for action again. Mackanin anticipates Blanco's return around the first week of September.

• The Phillies moved Jeremy Hellickson's next start back to let him rest his sore back and also get a better look at it. Originally scheduled for Wednesday, Mackanin said Hellickson's next start will tentatively come Saturday against the Cardinals. They'll know for certain after Hellickson goes through more tests Saturday.

"He seems to be improved and ready to go," Mackanin said. "But we're going to double-check tomorrow."

Hellickson said Friday that although he still had some soreness, he expected to make his next start.

• Mackanin also officially named Adam Morgan as Sunday's starting pitcher, filling in for Eflin. Morgan was scratched from his start at Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Friday and will be recalled prior to Sunday's game. The Phillies will send down a reliever after Saturday's game to clear a roster spot for the left-hander.

Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.