Eflin will finally make his return after missing more than two months with right knee issues. The 28-year-old has battled problems in both knees for years, and went down on 26 June of this season with a contusion. Eflin has been a decent back end starter for the Phils for a few years, posting a 4.53 ERA and 94 ERA+ across 651.2 lifetime innings pitched.
Eflin has started all but five games of his big league career, but Interim Manager Rob Thomson will use him out of the bullpen for the rest of this year. With the Phillies’ bullpen being banged up, and lacking the time to fully build up to a starter’s workload, the decision was made to deploy Eflin as a reliever down the stretch. Hopefully, he’ll help offset the loss of Corey Knebel for the season, as well as take some stress off of the overtaxed Seranthony Domínguez and David Robertson.
Unlike Eflin, the 31-year-old Appel will have a disappointing end to a career year. The first overall pick in the 2013 draft, Appel was viewed as one of the biggest busts of all time after failing to reach the big leagues in almost a decade. After a trade from Houston to Philadelphia and three years away from the game, he finally made good on his promise and made his way to the majors in 2022.
Appel showed well in six games for the Phils this year, tossing 10.1 innings of two-run ball, surrendering nine hits and three walks while fanning five. Despite only making his way into six big league contests, it still marks the culmination of an incredibly challenging journey for Appel, and hopefully he’ll fit into the Phillies plans next season.