The latest out of Philadelphia…
- The Phillies moved right-hander Vince Velasquez to their bullpen May 26, but they’re already giving him an opportunity to reclaim his old starting role. Velasquez will start Saturday, when he could “take control of the fifth spot for the time being,” manager Gabe Kapler told Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer and other reporters. The 24-year-old Velasquez hasn’t performed well as either a reliever or starter this season, evidenced by a 4.71 ERA/5.57 FIP in 42 innings. But with no obvious answer behind Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta, Zach Eflin and Nick Pivetta, the Phillies are turning back to Velasquez. For the most part, Nola, Arrieta, Eflin and Pivetta haven’t been great either, which helps explain the Phillies’ recent tumble down the NL East standings. They’ve lost 13 of 19 since sitting a season-best 11 games over .500 on May 29, and now trail the division-leading Braves by 4 1/2 games.
- Philadelphia announced Friday that it has reinstated reliever Adam Morgan from the 10-day injured list and optioned fellow lefty Cole Irvin to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Morgan missed just under a month with a left forearm strain. Before that, the former starter pitched to a 1.96 ERA (with a less shiny 3.93 FIP) and logged 8.84 K/9 against 2.45 BB/9 in 18 1/3 innings. Morgan’s return is a bit of good news for a Philly bullpen which is still dealing with injuries to David Robertson, Seranthony Dominguez, Pat Neshek, Victor Arano, Jerad Eickhoff and Tommy Hunter.
- The Phillies have promoted young third baseman Alec Bohm to the Double-A level, per per the Inquirer’s Matt Breen. The 22-year-old Bohm opened the season at Single-A before jumping to High-A, where he raked with a .329/.395/.506 line (164 wRC+), four home runs, and 17 unintentional walks against 21 strikeouts in 177 plate appearances. Bohm, the third pick in last year’s draft and now MLB.com’s 39th-ranked prospect, could end up in the majors around September if he continues rolling in the minors, Breen writes. The Phillies are weak at third base, where Maikel Franco has managed awful production, though they could remedy that by the July 31 trade deadline instead of counting on Bohm as a late-season savior.