26d | RotoWire
Eickhoff (hand) said last week that he has thrown off a mound three times this winter and has had a "fairly normal offseason," Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. "A lot of it was," Eickhoff said, when asked if his physical limitations played a factor in his disappointing 2017 campaign. "I think, honestly, what kept it moving was my mentality. That was one of the hardest things I have had to do -- to pull myself out of the game. But it's going to make me a better pitcher because of it."
Following a strong first full season in the big leagues, Eickhoff saw his ERA jump from 3.65 in 2016 to 4.71 in 2017 through 24 starts before he was shut down in September due to nerve irritation in his pitching hand. Though the injury may have played a factor, Eickhoff's mechanics seemed to be out of whack throughout the campaign, finished with a 3.7 BB/9 rate, nearly double the mark from the previous season. Eickhoff indicated he has spent the offseason reviewing his mechanics with the Phillies' new pitching coach, Rick Kranitz, and is hopeful that an adjustment in hand placement will result in a more fluid delivery that generates better results. While it's reassuring that Eickhoff is being proactive in identifying the root of his struggles, he'll probably need to show improved performance during the spring before fantasy owners can invest in him with much confidence.