Eflin's transition to the bullpen comes as a result of his own struggles, and the Phillies' recent signing of LHP Jason Vargas, who will make his club debut this Friday against the Chicago White Sox in his place. The Athletic's Meghan Montemurro reported the right-hander was " a little surprised" by the move: “If I don't like it, I should pitch better," Eflin said. "I hadn't really been doing my job. Going to the bullpen is another opportunity for me. It's a challenge. I'm a fan of challenges. ... I wholeheartedly believe I'm a starter.”
Parker, 34, recently cleared waivers after being designated for assignment by the Minnesota Twins, who then sent him outright to Triple-A Rochester. Yesterday, the seven-year veteran instead elected to become a free agent, before agreeing to a deal with the Phillies.
As the corresponding move, RHP Edgar Garcia was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and third baseman Mitch Walding was designated for assignment. Right-hander Yacksel Rios was designated on Monday to make room for Vargas on the 40-man roster.
Through 37 appearances this season, Parker had posted a 4.21 ERA, 34-to-16 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 1.376 WHIP. He last played for a National League team in 2014 with the Chicago Cubs, and arguably his best season came in 2017 with the Los Angeles Angels — 71 appearances, 2.54 ERA.
Parker is the second former Twins reliever the Phillies have added this month, joining RHP Mike Morin.
Eflin had posted a 10.46 ERA over his last six starts since June 24, and according to Kapler, his most likely bullpen role, for now, will be to potentially "piggyback" behind Jake Arrieta or Vince Velasquez, "who have challenges giving the Phillies length in the rotation these days," notes Jayson Stark.
The Phillies have made a slew of moves recently, and there's still time for more ahead of Wednesday's trade deadline.