Eickhoff with the Phillies in 2016
|San Diego Padres|
|Born: July 2, 1990|
|August 21, 2015, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|MLB statistics |
(through 2019 season)
|Earned run average||4.15|
Jerad Joseph Eickhoff (pronounced JAIR-ed EYE-kawf; born July 2, 1990), is an American professional baseball pitcher for the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball. He previously played in MLB for the Philadelphia Phillies. Eickhoff was drafted by the Texas Rangers, in the 15th round (474th overall) of the 2011 Major League Baseball draft. In July 2015, the Rangers traded him to the Phillies, with whom he made his big league debut in 2015.
Eickhoff was born in Evansville, Indiana, and graduated from Mater Dei High School in Evansville. In high school, he was primarily a third baseman, though he started pitching in his junior year. (Later, when Eickhoff made his MLB debut, he became only the second big leaguer from his high school's baseball program to play major league baseball -- Rob Maurer being the first.)
Eickhoff attended Olney Central College, where he played college baseball for the Blue Knights. Eickhoff was drafted after his freshman year by the Chicago Cubs, in the 46th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft, but did not sign, instead returned to Olney Central.
In 2011 (his sophomore year), Eickhoff was the Great Rivers Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year, after going 10-4, with a 1.90 earned run average (ERA), striking out a school record 116 batters, in 88.1 innings, and earning NJCAA All-American honors. Eickhoff was then drafted by the Texas Rangers, in the 15th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft, and netted a signing bonus of $150,000. Only one other Blue Knight (Clint Barmes) preceded him to the big leagues.
Eickhoff signed with the Rangers and made his professional debut in 2011 with the Rookie Arizona League Rangers of the Rookie Arizona League. He also played for the Class A Short Season Spokane Indians of the Northwest League that year. In 2011, Eickhoff's combined record was 1-2, with a 2.37 ERA, and 22 strikeouts, in 19 innings.
In 2012, Eickhoff pitched for the Class A Hickory Crawdads of the South Atlantic League. He was 13-7 with a 4.69 ERA -- his 13 wins were third in the league and matched the 2nd-highest single-season win total in team history.
Eickhoff started 2013 with the Class A-Advanced Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Carolina League, and was promoted to the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders of the Texas League during the season. He had the 3rd-lowest WHIP (1.17) and the 8th-lowest ERA (3.41) in the Carolina League, and his 11 wild pitches were 6th in the league.
Eickhoff returned to Frisco in 2014, where he was named Pitcher of the Week, on May 5. Eickhoff's 144 strikeouts and 12 wild pitches with Frisco led the Texas League, and his 1.17 WHIP was 4th-best in the league.
In 2015, between Frisco, the Round Rock Express, and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Eickhoff was 12-5, with a 3.85 ERA, and 126 strikeouts, in 133.1 innings. In 2017, with the Reading Fightin Phils he was 0-1 with a 1.80 ERA in one start. In 2018, with the Clearwater Threshers, Reading, and Lehigh Valley he was 0-1 with a 2.90 in eight starts. In 2019, with Clearwater, Reading, and Lehigh Valley he was 3-2 with a 5.93 ERA in eight starts.
On July 31, 2015, the Rangers traded Eickhoff, Nick Williams, Matt Harrison, Jake Thompson, Alec Asher, and Jorge Alfaro to the Philadelphia Phillies for Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman. He made his major league debut for the Phillies on August 21. Eickhoff's 2015 big league pitching totals included a 3-3 win-loss record with a 2.65 ERA, while he struck out 49 batters in 51 innings pitched.
In 2016 (his first full season with the Phillies), Eickhoff was 11-14, with a 3.65 ERA, gave up 1.92 walks per 9 innings pitched (4th in the National League), had 20 quality starts (tied for 6th), struck out 167 batters in 197.1 innings (8th), and had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.976 (9th).
In 2017, Eickhoff was 4-8, with a 4.71 ERA, and struck out 118 batters, in 128 innings. He held opposing hitters to a .218 batting average with runners in scoring position, the 6th-lowest average among NL pitchers. Eickhoff missed the end of the 2017 season because he was experiencing numbness in his fingers.
In 2018, Eickhoff was 0-1, with a 6.75 ERA, and struck out 11 batters in 5.1 innings. In a game on September 28, against Atlanta, he tied a Phillies franchise record shared by Steve Carlton in 1981 and Curt Schilling in 1996, by striking out seven consecutive batters at one point. Eickhoff missed most of the season due to a strained back muscle, followed by a return of the numbness in his fingers, which caused him to be put on the disabled list. He met with a number of specialists during the summer to evaluate nerve damage that was leading to the numbness, twinges, and tingling in the fingers of his right hand, especially when he threw his curveball; their diagnoses ranged from thoracic outlet syndrome (which was ruled out) to carpal tunnel syndrome, and Eickhoff was given two cortisone shots. In the off-season he signed a one-year contract for $975,000.
In 2019 with the Phillies he was 3-4 with one save and a 5.71 ERA, and struck out 51 batters in 58.1 innings. He ended the season on the injured list, first with right biceps tendinitis and then with a blister/laceration on his right middle finger.
On December 27, 2019, Eickhoff signed a minor league deal with the San Diego Padres.