Three Phillies players — backup catcher Andrew Knapp, utility player Luke Williams, and right-handed starter Zach Eflin — tested positive for coronavirus on Friday and were placed on the COVID-19 injured list. All three players had been vaccinated.
Zach Eflin, Andrew Knapp and Luke Williams are breakthrough cases. They are vaccinated.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) August 27, 2021
The Phillies’ Friday night game against the Diamondbacks was briefly delayed after the club conducted contact tracing, but no other players were immediately placed on the COVID IL as close contacts.
Eflin is the biggest loss for the Phillies, but he was set to be placed on the injured list Friday even before testing positive. The 27-year-old right-hander, who has a 4.17 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP with 99 strikeouts and 16 walks in 105.2 innings this season, has been dealing with tendonitis in his right knee. He hadn’t pitched since July 16 but was set to return on Thursday until being scratched when the injury flared up during pregame warmups.
This is the latest rough development for a Phillies club that was briefly in first place earlier this month but is now six games back for the NL East lead. Earlier this week, first baseman Rhys Hoskins decided to have season-ending abdominal surgery.
Catcher Rafael Marchan, outfielder Jorge Bonifacio, and pitcher Enyel De Los Santos were recalled to fill the roster spots of the three players who fell ill.