Vince Velasquez, who is currently the weakest link in the Phillies starting rotation, has been placed on the 10-day IL with a right forearm strain. In his first four starts, Velasquez had an impressive 1.99 ERA. Since then, he’s been back to the old form that has defined his career with the Phillies, allowing too many baserunners and allowing his pitch count to quickly balloon. The result has been a 9.39 ERA in his last two starts.
Velasquez was scheduled to start Sunday in Kansas City and while nothing is official, Cole Irvin, who is pitching well for Lehigh Valley, would seem to be the logical choice to pitch for the Phillies Sunday. Irvin would need to be added to the 40-man roster, but there is an open roster spot to make the move.
For now, the Phillies have recalled left-handed reliever Austin Davis from Lehigh Valley. While the Phillies bullpen hasn’t been overworked of late, Davis will give them an added arm, at least for one day.
Velasquez has been no stranger to injuries. Three seasons ago he was out with a strained right biceps and last season he went on what was then the DL with a bruised right forearm. Concerns over Velasquez’ health have led some to suggest that perhaps he would be better suited with a lighter workload out of the bullpen, however, the Phillies have been steadfast in keeping him in the starting rotation.
On the season, Velasquez is 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA and in his MLB career, he’s 21-28 with a 4.54 ERA in 82 starts and 14 relief appearances, 12 of which came as a rookie with the Houston Astros in 2015.