Right-hander Vince Velasquez’s Saturday start was his final outing of 2016, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Breen, who tweets that the Phillies will shut him down for the rest of the season. Velasquez made his last showing of the year count, going seven innings and allowing two earned runs with eight strikeouts and no walks in a 6-4 loss to the Braves.
The fact that the Phillies are putting an early end to the prized 24-year-old’s campaign comes as no surprise after manager Pete Mackanin revealed last week that it would happen in the near future. It turns out the time is now for Velasquez, who amassed a personal-high 131 innings of 4.12 ERA ball in his first full major league season. Velasquez also struck out 10.44 batters per nine innings, putting him in a seventh-place tie among starters who have tossed at least 120 innings, against a respectable walk rate of 3.09. Moreover, he induced infield fly balls at a 13.0 percent rate, good for a top 15 mark among starters.
Velasquez’s 2016 wasn’t without storm clouds, as he went on the disabled list in June with a right biceps strain and then, after his return, dealt with trade rumors in July. No deal came to fruition, but switching organizations wouldn’t have been anything new for Velasquez, whom the Phillies acquired from the Astros last offseason. Velasquez headlined the package Houston sent to Philadelphia for shutdown reliever Ken Giles, and it’s fair to say the rebuilding Phillies made out well in Velasquez’s first year with the club.