Zach Eflin, Seranthony Dominguez to begin rehab assignments for Phillies

·2 min read

Eflin, Dominguez begin rehab assignments for Phillies originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Injured Phillies pitchers Seranthony Dominguez and Zach Eflin are set to take the next step in their recovery and begin minor-league rehab assignments.

Dominguez will begin his Thursday night with Triple A Lehigh Valley. Eflin will begin his Friday night with Lehigh Valley.

The Phillies will bring Eflin back as a reliever but he will start Friday's game for the IronPigs.

"He'll go two innings but we'll try to simulate it like he's coming out of the 'pen," manager Rob Thomson said pregame Thursday. "So he'll start the game, he'll warm up out of the 'pen and jog to the mound and start.

"It's more intense because it's an actual game. He's got to react to batted balls, bunts and things like that. It'll be a good test for him."

Eflin has been out since June 25 with right knee soreness. The Phillies plan to utilize him as a multi-inning bullpen arm and he could open some games. If used as an opener, it sounds like he'd be followed by a left-hander -- Ranger Suarez or Bailey Falter.

"You'd do the right-left," Thomson said. "He probably wouldn't open for a right-handed pitcher."

Eflin may not require more than one rehab outing but it depends on how his body responds to his first game action in more than two months.

"We're later in the season. If it doesn't go well or if he feels he needs another one, we'd give him another one," Thomson said. "We'll just assess it after he's done. Same thing with Seranthony."

The Phillies need Dominguez back as soon as possible. David Robertson has done a good job closing but fellow high-leverage reliever Brad Hand has been scored upon in four of his last five outings and Connor Brogdon has allowed three homers, six runs and 12 hits in his last 6⅔ innings.

What's next for Wheeler?

Zack Wheeler, out since August 20 with forearm/elbow inflammation, has thrown up to 90 feet.

"Now we'll get him up to 120 feet and then we'll figure out where we're at as far as a bullpen (session) is concerned," Thomson said.

There are still several steps to go but Wheeler might be able to return to the Phillies' rotation without appearing in a minor-league game.

"He could if we decide to go that route," Thomson said. "It all depends on how he feels. Does he need a live BP? Does he need two bullpens and a live BP and then get right into one of our games? Does he need a rehab assignment? We don't know until he gets on a mound."

The clock is ticking. The Phillies have 25 games left after Thursday.

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