The Philadelphia Phillies made a big splash a few days ago by signing free agent right-hander Jake Arrieta. On Friday, the team lost one of their incumbent starters to injury.

Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff, who was slated to begin the season in the club's rotation, will miss potentially up to two months with a lat strain. He came to spring training healthy after missing time with a finger injury in 2017.

Eickhoff, 27, came over from the Texas Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade a few years ago, and last season he went 4-8 with a 4.71 ERA (90 ERA+) in 128 innings. From 2015-16, Eickhoff threw 248 1/3 innings with a 3.44 ERA (120 ERA+). That's the Jerad Eickhoff the Phillies were hoping to get in 2018.

The Phillies are not short on rotation options to replace Eickhoff. Here is the rotation depth chart with ZiPS projected 2018 WAR:

  1. Aaron Nola (+4.3 WAR)
  2. Jake Arrieta (+2.7 WAR)
  3. Vince Velasquez (+1.9 WAR)
  4. Jerad Eickhoff (+1.8 WAR) (injured)
  5. Nick Pivetta (+1.7 WAR)
  6. Zach Eflin (+1.0 WAR)
  7. Ben Lively (+0.9 WAR)
  8. Mark Leiter Jr. (+0.6 WAR)

Pitching prospect Tom Eshelman also projects well according to ZiPS (+1.3 WAR). There's nothing sexy about a +1 WAR player, but you know what? When you have +1 WAR pitchers stashed in the minors as depth, you're in really good shape. Many teams have to turn to replacement level arms when injury strikes.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies
A lat strain will sideline Jerad Eickhoff for up to two months. USATSI

Eickhoff's injury does, of course, take a bite out of Philadelphia's chances to contend this season, which were slim to begin with. SportLine gave the club an 8.2 percent to reach the postseason. Even with Arrieta, the Phillies are going to need strong seasons from Velasquez and Eickhoff as well as a breakout performance or two from guys like Pivetta, Lively, and Eflin to contend. Now they'll be without Eickhoff for the start of the season.

That said, teams with lots of young talent tend to arrive ahead of schedule, and the Phillies sure do have lots of young talent. The Cubs and Pirates went from sub-.500 one year to 95-plus wins the next in recent years, for example. When the breakthrough happens, it can happen quick. The Phillies have the depth to cover for Eickhoff's injury, and if he comes back on schedule, they'll still have a chance to make some noise in the postseason race.