Eric Hartline - USA TODAY

Zach Eflin winds up on the DL after three straight rough outings, opening another spot in the Phillies rotation.

Last week, Aaron Nola wound up on the DL and this week, it's Zach Eflin. The right-hander threw a complete game shutout a few starts back, but has struggled since then to get hitters out. The good news is that it's not an arm issue.

In less than a week, 40-percent of the Phillies young pitching rotation have found their way onto the disabled list. Aaron Nola went on the DL with a right elbow strain, but the issue with Zach Eflin doesn't concern his right arm. 

Eflin wound up on the DL with patellar tendinopathy in both knees. Eflin talked about having sore knees following last night's struggles against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Eflin gave up seven earned runs in just three innings of work against the Dodgers and over his last three starts, Eflin has thrown just 13 innings, allowing 22 hits and nine walks, while striking out just five. His ERA over the three games stands at 13.85, compared to his season mark of 3.40 that he had coming into the stretch. After Monday night's game, Eflin's ERA sits at 5.54 over 11 starts with the Phillies.

Eflin was slow to blame the issue for his weak performances. In an interview with Jim Salisbury of, Eflin talked about issues with his knees.

“I’ve kind of always had different knees, kind of gone through it every single season. It’s more of a thing where sometimes, it’s a little worse, sometimes it’s better than other days. You kind of just wake up and see how you feel. But, no, I don’t think it has affected me the past three outings," said Eflin.

To temporarily fill the roster spot, the Phillies recalled left-hander Elvis Araujo from Lehigh Valley to join the bullpen. Araujo will be available to manager Pete Mackanin Tuesday night in Los Angeles. With four off-days between now and the end of the month, the Phillies could conceivably go with a four-man rotation, but it's also likely that they would add a fifth pitcher because they're watching the innings on their young arms closely. Eflin's turn in the rotation would be scheduled to come up again on Sunday at home against the Colorado Rockies.

Philly Baseball Insider Top Stories