Rosenthal on Eflin. Not sure there's really concrete evidence he has learned to manage his knee issues but maybe he was on the right track upon returning. It was the lack of time to built up arm strength that kept him from starting again.
Right-hander Zach Eflin, a pitcher with chronic knee issues, would seem a curious selection by the Rays for a club-record free-agent contract. But the Rays had their reasons for agreeing with Eflin on a three-year, $40 million contract, even if they are not necessarily obvious at first glance.
Eflin’s 4.17 and 4.04 ERAs the past two seasons were not overly impressive. His expected ERAs of 3.87 and 3.27, however, suggest he possibly was compromised by the Phillies’ shaky infield defense. His expected opponents’ batting averages and slugging percentages, based on quality of contact, also were lower than his actual numbers.
The Rays, then, believe Eflin is better than what he has shown, and they’re not expecting him to provide 180 to 200 innings per season. Eflin, 28, also has learned to manage his knee issues, giving the Rays confidence that he will be a quality addition to a rotation that already includes Shane McClanahan, Tyler Glasnow, Drew Rasmussen and Jeffrey Springs.
(Next item after that is about Gibson too. It also mentions how the O's just made their LF fence deeper).
Gibson, like his former Phillies teammate Eflin, should benefit from better infield defense. Phillies infielders combined for -26 defensive runs saved last season, fifth worst in the majors. Orioles infielders were +15, tied for sixth best. Rutschman’s reputation for handling pitchers, meanwhile, evidently is spreading fast. He emerged as an immediate leader with the Orioles and finished second in the American League Rookie of the Year balloting.