Jerad Joseph Eickhoff
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 240 lb.
- School Olney Central College
- High School Mater Dei High School (Evansville)
- Debut August 21, 2015
Pitcher Jerad Eickhoff was a 15th round selection by the Texas Rangers in the 2011 amateur draft, out of Olney Central College (the scout was Derek Lee). In 2010, the Chicago Cubs had selected him in the 46th round out of high school, but he had not signed.
Jerad began his professional career with the AZL Rangers and Spokane Indians in 2011, going a combined 1-2, 2.37 in 14 games, all in relief. He became a starter with the Hickory Crawdads of the South Atlantic League in 2012, as 25 of his 26 appearances were in the role. His won/loss record of 13-7 was excellent, although his 4.69 ERA and 132 hits allowed in 126 2/3 innings were less so. He did strike out 90 while walking only 38, however. He moved up to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Carolina League to start 2013 and did well there, with a record of 7-3, 3.41 in 21 starts, earning a late-season promotion to the AA Frisco RoughRiders. The ride was indeed rougher in the Texas League, as he was 1-1, 7.45 in 6 starts. Back at Frisco in 2014 he had a solid season, going 10-9, 4.08 in 26 games. This time, his hit rate was quite good - 129 in 154 1/3 innings, and his K/W ratio was even more impressive at 144/52. After a couple of starts at Frisco to begin 2014, he moved up another rung to the AAA Round Rock Express. In 19 games between the two teams, his record was 9-4, 4.30.
On July 29, 2015, Jerad was one of five Rangers prospects joining veteran starter Matt Harrison in heading to the Philadelphia Phillies in the deal that landed Texas ace Cole Hamels and reliever Jake Diekman. The other prospects joining him were Ps Alec Asher and Jake Thompson, C Jorge Alfaro and OF Nick Williams. He was called up to Philadelphia to make his debut on August 21st, starting the game against the Miami Marlins, pitching 6 scoreless innings to take credit for a 7-1 win. He also drove in two runs with his first major league hit, a single off Kendry Flores against the 4th. In 8 starts for the Phillies, he went 3-3 with a solid 2.65 ERA.
After his strong performance in the last weeks of the previous season, Eickhoff opened 2016 as a member of the Phillies' starting rotation and he gave the team a very good performance, making 33 starts with a record of 11-14, 3.65. While some other of the team's pitchers may have had some spectacular stretches during the year, he was the most consistent member of the starting rotation during the season. He logged 197 1/3 innings and struck out 167 batters, against only 42 walks. In 2017, however, he could not buy a win, being winless in his first 12 starts with a 5.15 ERA. That was the longest winless streak by a Phillies starting pitcher since Cliff Lee had gone 13 stats without a win in 2012. After a 13-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves on June 7th, he was leading the National League with 7 losses. He made his final appearance of the year on August 30th, finishing the season at 4-8, 4.71 in 24 starts. He was then shut down because of nerve irritation in the fingers of his pitching hand. Health troubles continued in 2018 as he dsuffered a right lat strain in spring training. That was supposed to be a minor injury, but then the tingling sensation in his fingers returned during a rehabilitation start in late May. He had to see various specialists before a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome was made. Treatment included cortisone shots, and he managed to make it back to the Phils on September 8th by pitching through lingering discomfort. On September 28th, he made his first start of the year against the Atlanta Braves, and while he was charged with a 10-2 loss, he gave up only 2 runs in 3 2/3 innings, during which he struck out 8 batters, including 7 consecutively between the 2nd and 4th innings.