Is Vince Velasquez a Mainstay in the Phillies Rotation?

 

Philadelphia Phillies GM Matt Klentak made somewhat of a bold move, when he dealt flame-throwing closer Ken Giles to the  Houston Astros in a six-player deal in December, 2015.  One of the players the Phillies received in return was hard-throwing right-hander Vince Velasquez, who was probably the best part of the deal. Velasquez is in the rotation right now, but his lack of control and inability to consistently go deep in games could make his days numbered in the rotation.

In three starts so far this season, Velasquez has only gone six innings in once, has walked three or more batters in all of his starts, and has surrendered at least one home run or more in each of his three starts. His strikeout rate is incredible, but it also balloons his pitch count up a ton. Velasquez is averaging 92 pitches per start and can’t seem to get many outs, when he can’t punch someone out. He also hasn’t won a start since July 8 of last year, which is 12 straight starts without a win. If this trend continues, the Phillies will have to do something and eventually moving Velasquez to the bullpen could help the organization.

The one thing the Phillies have in their farm system is a ton of starting pitching prospects and many of them are pretty much one step away from the show. And the biggest flaw of the Phillies this year has been the bullpen, but Velasquez can help fix that. If the Phillies were smart, they would turn him into a super reliever like Andrew Miller or just have him close games. Imagine how effective Velasquez could be in small spurts with his electric stuff and strikeouts rate, he could become one of the elite closers.

For now, Velasquez will remain in the rotation, but that could definitely change in the near future with the way guys like Nick Pivetta and Ricardo Pinto are throwing the ball down in Lehigh Valley. Velasquez’s next start will me against the Marlins on Tuesday and we will see if he can turn it around.




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