Phillies forced to question Vince Velasquez’s future with recent injury

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 30: Starting pitcher Vince Velasquez #28 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the third inning during a game against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on July 30, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 2-1. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 30: Starting pitcher Vince Velasquez #28 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the third inning during a game against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on July 30, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 2-1. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
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Vince Velasquez is on the disabled list yet again, this time with a finger injury. The Phillies now face a hard question about what to do with Velasquez.

Vince Velasquez lasted just one inning into his start Thursday before exiting with a finger injury. He landed on the disabled list Friday due to some bruising on his finger. The Phillies aren’t sure where it is from and Velasquez will see a hand specialist to determine the cause and extent of the injury.

This is Velasquez’s second stint on the disabled list this season. He missed a month and a half with an elbow strain earlier this year. Last year Velasquez missed a couple starts and was shut down for the year after one start in September.

Manager Pete Mackanin questioned Friday whether or not Velasquez will return this season. For now, Mark Leiter will fill his spot in the rotation. If Mackanin is any indication, this might be the last we see of Velasquez for the year.

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This year has been less than ideal for Velasquez. In 15 starts, Velasquez logged just 72 innings, walking 4.3 batters per nine innings, and posted a 5.13 ERA, 5.50 FIP, and 1.500 WHIP. He gave up home runs on 20.8 percent of the fly balls he allowed. The team was looking for a step forward from Velasquez; if anything this year has been a step back.

This season has left the question unanswered about whether or not Velasquez can stick in the rotation. He went past the fifth inning in just six of his 15 starts. His control was abysmal and he gave up far too many home runs.

However, people will continue to advocate for Velasquez in the rotation due to his upside. His 16-strikeout game from last year and a more recent seven-inning shutout appearance show that Velasquez still has potential. On the other hand, the inconsistency and injury concerns continue to cloud Velasquez’s future.

Next: Jorge Alfaro should be Phillies starting catcher

Many say that Velasquez could have to move to the bullpen in the future and he could be an effective reliever in the future. That question will have to be addressed this offseason.

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