TODAY: The Phillies announced that Velasquez has been placed on the 10-day DL. Righty Ricardo Pinto will be called up to take the open roster spot.
YESTERDAY, 11:13pm: Velasquez says that he believes the injury to be mild, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly tweets, though a trip to the DL will be required regardless.
7:49pm: Phillies righty Vince Velasquez left his outing early tonight after experiencing a velocity drop. The team has now announced that he has been diagnosed with a strained flexor in his right elbow.
Obviously, the severity isn’t yet fully known at this time, but it seems clear that Velasquez will require at least some kind of absence. The Phillies aren’t contending and will surely exercise plenty of care in handling the young righty.
It has already been a trying year for Velasquez, who has shown signs of excellence in the past. Through 48 2/3 innings entering today’s action, he carried a 5.55 ERA with 9.6 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9.
Now, there are increasing questions about durability for Velasquez, who’ll soon turn 25. He missed time last year with a biceps strain and was ultimately shut down for the last month of the year.
Velasquez did manage 136 total frames in 2016 (including a rehab start), which set a career high. But it remains to be seen whether he can carry a full starter’s load. It has long been said that Velasquez may end up pitching from the back of a bullpen, and those calls figure to increase with this latest injury flare-up.