After not pitching for three weeks, Vincent Velasquez made a dominating return to the Phillies
After fans feared the worst when Vincent Velasquez exited a game after throwing only two pitches, the young right hander returned Monday night in dominant fashion.
With the Phillies monitoring his workload, the 24-year-old pitched five shutout innings against the Diamondbacks with seven strikeouts and only five hits allowed.
While Velasquez has a long way to go before being dubbed an ace, he has the “stuff” to make it happen.
When looking at a Phillies rotation in the near future, lets say 2018, most of the guys expected to be on the team are already in the system. A rotation could look as followed: Velasquez, Jake Thompson, Aaron Nola, Jared Eickhoff, Zach Eflin. That is not even accounting for Mark Appel, who has been struggling with injuries throughout his career in both the Houston and Philadelphia organizations.
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Thompson’s abilities at the major league level are yet to be seen, but based on his success and reports coming over from the Rangers organization, we should be in for a treat when he arrives.
Contenders for a future rotation could also include Ben Lively, who has been pitching very well in both Reading and Lehigh Valley, Nick Pevetta, and Franklyn Kilome in Clearwater, who has a ways to go before he comes up to the Phillies.
Of course, many of these prospects could one day become trade chips for the Phillies when they are ready to contend for an extended period of time once again.
While pitch count is an issue Velasquez still has to iron out, the numbers he has put up in 13 starts are impressive. In 66.2 innings he has 80 strikeouts, 22 walks, 25 earned runs, and 61 hits allowed.
If he stays healthy for an entire season, 200 strikeouts is an obtainable number for Velasquez.
With the current outlook of a future Phillies pitching staff, Vincent Velasquez has the makeup of the next ace in Philadelphia.