Dividends from the Cole Hamels trade weren’t supposed to start paying off for either team until 2016. But then the Rangers stormed the West to clinch a playoff berth with a 3-game lead on the Astros for the division, though the Phillies haven’t really missed a beat production-wise as Jerad Eickhoff has essentially matched Hamels (yes, I realize that Alec Asher has been a negative for Philly while Jake Diekman has also been a boon for the Rangers tilting the balance back in their favor rather sharply, but this is about Eickhoff).
The read on Eickhoff both before the season and at the time of the trade was a #4 or #5 starter who could find success in a bullpen role if he didn’t quite pan out as a starter. Through eight starts in his big league career, he looks more like a solid mid-rotation option by the numbers, but has he shown enough to be considered such for 2016? Of course, all of the necessary small sample size caveats are in effect at the 51-inning mark, but he is showing improvements on his early season scouting report.