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Altherr, Herrera to begin rehab in Double-A, Eickhoff placed on DL

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By Brandon Apter, Sports Talk Philly editor

The Philadelphia Phillies look to be close to getting two of their productive outfielders back while one of their starting pitchers hits the disabled list. Aaron Altherr and Odubel Herrera, both out with hamstring injuries, will suit up for the Reading Fightin' Phils this evening. Meanwhile, right-hander Jerad Eickhoff heads to the disabled list with nerve issues in his pitching hand.

Altherr, 26, hasn't played since August 5 after re-injuring his hamstring. He missed 10 games in July with the same injury. In 87 games this season as one of the Phillies' outfield regulars, Altherr is slashing .285/.357/.536 with 16 home runs and 49 RBIs. 

Herrera, 25, has been out of the lineup since August 15 with a hamstring injury. Despite his occasional blunder, his numbers are very impressive, especially in the second half of the season. Since the All-Star Break, Odubel is slashing .383/.450/.692 with 11 doubles, two triples, six home runs and 17 RBIs. Overall on the season, he's hitting .287 with 36 doubles, 12 homers and 46 RBIs.

It will be interesting to see how the Phillies position their outfield upon Herrera and Altherr's returns. Ideally, Altherr goes to left field, Herrera takes his spot in center and Nick Williams remains in right. With that move, Rhys Hoskins will hopefully take over the majority of reps at first base unless Pete Mackanin decided to platoon Hoskins with either Altherr or Williams.

While Aaron Altherr and Odubel Herrera are closing in on a return, Jerad Eickhoff very well could have made his last start this season after exiting game one of Wednesday's double header against the Braves. The 27-year-old right-hander experienced some nerve irritation in his pitching hand and was removed from the game in the third inning after allowing six earned runs in the first two frames.

Eickhoff has been disappointing this season, posting a 4.71 ERA in 24 starts. It looked like he was turning the corner though, as he had limited opponents to three runs or less in seven of his nine starts prior to Wednesday's outing. This will be his second stint on the DL this season, the first time being for an upper back strain.

Ricardo Pinto will take Eickhoff's place on the roster for now, but the Phils will need to find a starter for Sunday's game.

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